[identity profile] octoberdreaming.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] sga_flashfic
Title: Minor Variations
Author: [livejournal.com profile] dreamingoctober ([personal profile] elegantpi)
Characters: Elizabeth Weir
Rating: G
Genre: Gen
Word count: 910
Notes: Vague spoilers for end of S3, beginning of S4
Summary: Picking up one of the statues, she shifts it from hand to hand. It feels different – out of balance, not quite the same weight – she can't put her finger on it. Minor variations in the feel, in the form of things.

Minor Variations

Elizabeth is running on instinct, mostly. It feels like flipping switches inside her brain but outside of it, too; holding some closed, forcing some open, keeping the Asurans still and locked into place, fighting Oberoth for control. It is not a mechanical process; it feels organic but unnatural; if she could spare the brainspace, she would wonder what it might have been like to grow up as a Replicator instead of unwittingly becoming one later in life.

"We're not leaving you behind!"

Cursing John's tenacity, she nearly turns her head to look at him, order him to go, but she knows if she falters, even for an instant, she will lose the battle – and her self. So she pushes harder, further in, screaming now, clawing into the recesses of Oberoth's mind, every neuron straining to control, to crush.

Oberoth collapses into a heap of robes at her feet, and the Asurans stand frozen once more. John's mouth drops open and he freezes too, eyes wide, before Ronon punches his shoulder.

"Let's go," the Satedan says, his voice in its usual gruffness displaying no surprise at Elizabeth's mastery over the Asurans.

"Yes," Elizabeth quickly agrees. "I don't know... I don't know how long it will be before another Oberoth emerges, or before they... unfreeze."

John waves her forward, and she follows after the already-retreating Ronon, trying not to wonder if her military commander has his gun trained on her as they run for the puddlejumper.

Rodney is waiting. "Oh, thank god," he says and leans into the hand she rests momentarily on his shoulder in approval and gratitude, a familiar exchange between them, one from which she now feels strangely detached. She settles into her seat and closes her eyes, but she's still somehow linked into the Asurans' network, and she has no idea how to break the connection. She doesn't want to interrupt Rodney, who is sweating under Sheppard's orders. Then, they're rocking under weapon's fire, then the Daedalus, then...

"Elizabeth?" She opens her eyes to see Rodney, John, and Ronon peering at her from behind a plastic isolation curtain. The datastream is gone from her mind and from her sight, and her head feels like the anvil beneath a blacksmith's hammer. She's lying on her back, on a bed – she turns her head gingerly to look around – in the Daedalus infirmary. A nurse in hazmat gear comes into the isolation tent to check her.

"Did you... break the connection?" she asks as the nurse pokes and prods. What if they follow? What if they try to get her back?

"Yes – as soon as the Daedalus picked us up, first thing," Rodney reassures her. His eyes are wide and worried. "You... you passed out before that."

"Ok... good." She closes her eyes.

"You're gonna be OK, Elizabeth," John is saying, but his voice fades away into an echo.

The wind on her face is fresh and clean and briny. The morning sunlight warms her hands and tickles the backs of her eyelids. She opens her eyes to the view from what she thinks of as her balcony. The atmosphere of New Lantea scatters the light differently than the city's old home, so the sea seems to her eyes a deeper, richer blue-green than before. Rodney assures her that it's only the atmosphere, not the influence of the nanites, but she still finds it disconcerting. Dizzying. Occasionally, things flicker in and out of her peripheral vision, at the corners of her perception. Is that also the light? It happens indoors, too, sometimes. Minor variations in the feel, in the form of things. She grips the balcony rail, trying to remember how it felt before she last left Atlantis.

"Hey," John drawls, and she turns to see him leaning in the doorway in his customary slump. "Better come get some coffee before McKay drinks it all."

"I..." For a minute, she can't remember what she's doing here, on this balcony. Wasn't she just...

"Mission briefing?" John says, playfully, as if jogging her memory. "Recap of our daring adventures for transmission to the SGC and the IOA later today?"

"Yes, of course," she snaps, then holds out a hand in apology. "I'll be there in a moment, John."

He nods and disappears back into the office. She turns back to the ocean, but the rising sun has made the view too dazzling for her eyes.

Inside, she pauses beside her desk, studying the three sculpted women arranged in a circle. There used to be four, before Rodney nicked one to give to his sister as a goodbye present, or maybe for Jeannie's daughter, she can't remember. She's had the set for nearly a decade and a half. Fond memories of travels on Earth. Picking up one of the statues, she shifts it from hand to hand. It feels different – out of balance, not quite the same weight – she can't put her finger on it. She puts the statue down, and it settles into place in a way that feels... off. Rodney has also told her that this planet has a slight but perceptible variance in mass and therefore in gravity.

In the briefing room beyond, she can hear the team laughing, and she moves to join them, thinking how good a cup of coffee will taste. At the edge of her vision, a flicker of blue light. She closes her eyes and turns her head away.
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Stargate Atlantis Flashfiction

April 2017


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