Fandoms: Stargate Atlantis/Highlander: the Series
Characters: Sheppard, Teyla, Ronon Dex, mentions and cameos of others.
From Highlander: Richie Ryan, Duncan MacLeod and now guest-starring Methos aka Adam Pierson
Prompt: #53 earth
Disclaimer: Highlander: the Series and the characters that appear here or are mentioned belong to Panzer/Davis etc and are only 'borrowed' for the purposes of the story. Stargate Atlantis belongs to Gekko Film Corp. Renaissance Pictures, etc as do all of the characters who appear here or are mentioned. The story references events from the 2nd season episode of SG: Atlantis “Aurora” and briefly, the first Stargate movie.
Note: written for the crossovers100 prompt #53 earth, and is part 5 of a series that began with "Strangers in Paradise." and picks up with a short hiatus taken into consideration after "Hurt Hawks"
. (or how Methos arrived in the Pegasus Galaxy")
"Last Night on a Dying Earth" by Karen
Just because one was in the habit of hiding in plain sight did not necessarily preclude the need to remain informed on events happening in the wider world.
While the fact remained that the man known to the general public as Adam Pierson, and to a much narrower number as people as Methos normally adopted the blasé, sarcastic and world-weary attitude of man who had seen, done, and far too much in his extraordinary long life to give much of a damn of how the world and what made in spin.
However survival also required to at least remain up to date on current events.
The sudden disappearance of Duncan Macleod and his protégé had the Watchers in a tizzy.
Methos was no stranger to sudden fade outs and at first, figured that it was just another case of things becoming too hot or too dangerous in MacLeod's adopted stomping grounds of Seacouver, Washington and required a return to Paris.
However he could not rid himself of the nagging feeling of an impending disaster; a feeling akin to a sudden freak storm, the kind that sputtered out of a clear blue sky in the middle of high summer and raged briefly but spectacularly and then died out; made his nerve endings tingle.
He had approached Joe Dawson, who, as usual, had been evasive as to both MacLeod and Richie Ryan's whereabouts.
From there, he went on to the contacts that he had obtain, mostly legitimately during his tenure as a research assistant.
His inquiries turned up a bunch of tantalizing clues, but on the whole, he eventually determined that he had to go elsewhere when he received an unmarked manila envelope from an old acquaintance that he had sometimes corresponded when the latter required his talents in the field of linguistics.
Opening it almost immediately, it too him a while longer to digest its contents.
Methos did not immediately recognize the cryptic markings in the margins of the sheaf of papers inside of the envelope, he did however, recognize the hand-written commentary of his colleague in the field of ancient and modern linguistics, Dr. Daniel Jackson.
It had been a very long time, not since the young man had been a brilliant and promising graduate student with a specialty in Egyptian and Sumerian, and gods only knew what else.
However, Methos did not believe it was a coincidence that Dr. Jackson had also seemingly disappeared off the map, although, granted, neither man had done much to maintain contact with each other.
Something was up.. Something big. The only problem was that that nebulous BIG Something was too damn nebulous and it defied his ability to define; he hated that.
Methos hated, being left out in the dark, and soon after got onto a computer in coffee bar he frequented that was equipped with an internet connection and used it to confirm that the symbols confirmed to a series of other recognizably Egyptian cuneiforms that activists, and international news media had been going on about.
In the past five centuries Methods had been around to those who prophesied the end of the world, and most of the times their fears had served to either irritate, amuse, or simply get in the way of other more important endeavors.
Methos knew that this time, this time, he simply could not afford to ignore the warning signs.
He had made of one of considered decisions, whether or not he could reach Dr. Jackson, to confirm his half-formed suspicions, one thing was certain an event of monumental proportions was about to happen, and when it he would be around to either do something about it, or find a way to survive. He always had, and somehow, he always would.
The dune-buggy he had rented came with a supply-kit and a mask to protect his face along with an assortment of other emergency equipment the clerk at the supply depot figured he might need. There had been mixture of both a bored and a curious look in the fellow’s eyes when Methos had complete filling out the requisition form and logged his route; however the man did not comment and Methos left.
He had not done more than ten miles before the wind whipped a furious dust storm and had been forced to stop and wind the face clothes around his nose and mouth and adjust the fit of the goggles on his head.
Buried somewhere in the sands of Nevada, far enough but too close for comfort the United States military test sites dating back to the early days of experimental fission.
He had buried a ship, a ship whose exterior and interior markings bore an uncanny resemblance to those found in the contents of the letter from his old friend.
Hunkering down inside of his rented dune-buggy, waiting out the sandstorm, his mind drifted back to another time when had been both a part of a military operation and had been witness to the discovery of another artifact bearing Egyptian hieroglyphics.
The Valley of the Kings, Giza, Egypt 1944
The man who called himself Adam Pierson, although that was not his true name, stood at the base of a tall hill, one of many which encircled a series of hills their shade bringing a welcome relief from the blazing sun, but their shade could only blunt but not completely the stifling heat. He could feel the sweat on his back and making his loose shirt stick to his skin. Professor Caroline Langford, whom he had been working under as a graduate research assistant tapped him on the shoulder and said:
"See, I told you all of our hard work would pay off."
"You did indeed," he replied.
The heat, discomfort and the need to dissemble all fell away from in one of those silent, perfectly captured instant when stands in front of something impossible to believe in, but there it is, impossible to ignored that it’s real, but one could hardly doubt the evidence of one’s own eyes. A massive circular gate made of metal and stone, the mixture impossible to readily identify without closer inspection, with both an outer and inner rings.
"Any idea on the dimensions of that thing?" he asked.
She nodded and replied: "I'm guessing the gate is about 2-3 thick (if you were to look at it sideways). From what we can see from our current vantage point is the gate is about 5-6 feet "wide." The inner track looks to be about 2-3 feet "wide." The gate itself takes up the remainder. Since there are seven chevrons, space them evenly along the circumference of the gate," Langford said.
"Are you certain it’s a gateway?" a nearby soldier asked.
"As certain as I can be,’ she replied.
"If so, do you think it’s still functional," he asked.
"The Egyptians always did have a reputation as mighty builders," another soldier remarked.
Langford glared at him. "In my not-so humble opinion the Egyptians did not build that thing, as Dr. Jackson would agree with him. That ‘thing’ as you so quaintly refer to it, was not built with any human hands."
Methos was momentarily shocked by such a bold and controversial statement coming from Dr. Langford, but then realized with a suddenness that hit him with the force of a sucker punch to the gut, that not only did he believe her, but that it would change everything they knew and believed but the ancient Egyptian culture.
The sandstorm came and went, scrapping raw both the face of the land and the skin of his face and hands, even through his protective covering. Kicking his vehicle back into gear, which sputtered and finally started up again, Methos went on his way. The ship was right were had buried it, and much to both his surprise and relief, it still functioned.
Meanwhile in the Pegasus Galaxy
The Atlantis's deep-space sensors detect the Aurora, an ancient Atlantian warship at the edge of the galaxy, Sheppard's team wastes no time hitching a ride to it aboard the Daedalus.
Upon their arrival, they encounter a Wraith scout ship. They destroy the scout before it can cause trouble or so they hope.
"We’ll split up, Teyla, Ronon, and Ryan in one group, McKay, MacLeod with me. We’ll cover more ground that way."
Teyla nodded and replied. "Agreed."
Taking his attention from where Rodney McKay labored at the array of control consoles and other instruments Sheppard tapped grabbed his radio and spoke into it: "Roger that, Teyla, we’ll be there as soon as I can. Keep searching, and keep me posted."
"Sheppard," McKay announced via the radio, his voice slightly faded by static, "I think I’ve found something that will enable us to communicate with them, it would appear that all of their stasis pods are linked via a neural interface. Ingenious really, because I don’t believe that they’ll survive the defrosting process if we took them out of stasis prematurely."
"What does that mean?" Sheppard asked, waiting patiently for McKay’s usual long-winded explanations laced with his customary smugness.
The man was brilliant, yes, but as had happened on more than one occasion, he did not take much pains to let everyone else know just how brilliant he really was. It was an annoying habit, but Sheppard was willing to overlook it to the point where it interfered or endangered the mission or his team.
"Is there any way I can talk to these folk, find out where they’re from or what wrong?" Sheppard asked
"I suppose I can put you in one of these and link up with the interface, but I can’t guarantee that it would be very safe, or..."
"Belay that Rodney, if they really are ancients or even their descendants, anything we can learn from them we should take full advantage of it."
Rodney shook his head, but whether it was in negation of what Colonel Sheppard proposed or at something else entirely Duncan MacLeod who had been ordered to stand guard at the entrance they had used to gain access to this chamber, was impossible for him to tell for certain. "If I might venture to say, Sir. I would have to agree with Dr. McKay. It might be dangerous."
"Thank you for concern, Mr. MacLeod, but as I’ve already told Rodney here I’ve considered the risks and potential gains, and I find the risks acceptable."
Sheppard entered an empty stasis pod while he waited for McKay to connect him to the interface.
Once inside of the neural interface, kind of like a virtual reality; Sheppard immediately finds himself aboard a fully powered Aurora.
To his surprise, the Atlantians there treat him like an intruder and toss him in the brig.
The Aurora's captain is intrigued by Sheppard's story, but doesn't remember entering a stasis pod, and he does not believe that his world is a computerized fiction, and certainly isn't convinced that 10,000 years have passed.
Instead, he and his single-minded first officer apparently believe that they're still in their own time. They're racing to upgrade their ship's hyperdrive engines so they can reach Atlantis quickly and deliver vital intelligence about a critical weakness in the Wraith's defenses.
Meanwhile back in real-time aboard the Dadelous Colonel Steven Caldwell had concerns of his own.
"Sir," his communications officer said. "We’ve got a bogey coming up fast on the long-range sensors and its’ moving at a good clip directly for our present position."
"Wraith?" he asked.
"Shields up, at maximum. Contact Sheppard’s team, Tell them to be ready for beam-out at a moment’s notice," Caldwell ordered.
"Aye, Sir," the man replied.
Several hours later.
Teyla and Ronon and Richie came stumbling into the control room where McKay had just finished extricating John Sheppard from the ship’s neural interface.
"What’s going on, Teyla?" Sheppard asked. "That this ship’s crew was not completely comprised of Atlantians, while searching the ship we found.."
"You are taking to long to apprise him of the situation, Ronon," Teyla interrupted. "I am sorry, but time is of the essence."
"We discovered a Wraith in another of the stasis pod chambers," Teyla announced.
"Alive?" Sheppard snapped.
"Very much so," Ronon agreed.
Richie looked up. "He’s right. I know I haven’t been with the team for very long. But I would rather not have another run-in with those guys any time soon if we can help avoid it."
Sheppard nodded at the young man and replied. "Has Caldwell checked in yet?"
Teyla nodded and using the radio-linkage raised Caldwell aboard the Dadelous, after several moments had elapsed she looked up and look of both anger and fear and steady resolve etched on her features. "It would seem, Richie, that your wish is not to be granted this day. According to Colonel Caldwel several Wraith ships on enroute even as we speak. He has given orders for our team to be prepared for an immediate beam-out."
"Tell, him, we’ll be standing by."
Just then, from the far side of the control room a tall lean man whose face and skin seemed to have been scored by wind, rain and sun, staggered in. It face of man who would not have stood out in crowd; who, chameleon-like could have found a way to blend in, adapt himself to any environment, any circumstance in which he found himself, but still both Duncan MacLeod and Richie Ryan would have recognized him just about anywhere.
"Methos!" MacLeod exclaimed.
"Well, I’ll be damned!" Richie whispered in an undertone.
"A friend of yours?" asked Lt. Colonel John Sheppard?
"You could say that," Duncan MacLeod replied.
"Yeah, but only when he wants to be," Richie replied.
"Okay, I’m confused, which is it?" Sheppard asked.
"A little of both, mind you. It’s complicated once in a while." Duncan shook his head and strode forward the dozen or so paces to help the man they both knew as Adam Pierson: mild-mannered research assistant with the Watchers and as the 5,00 year-old Immortal Methos.
"I don’t understand this any better than you do. Who knows, maybe we all slipped through the some kind of crack in the space-time continuum, right?" Methos shrugged and looked around his immediate surroundings.
"I don’t mind telling you all this, but this place is beginning to give me the creeps. What say, we get the hell outta here?"
"Same old Methos," remarked Duncan and strode forward to help his old friend extricate himself from the wreckage of twisted metal and back onto his feet.
"Hey, Methos," interrupted Richie, "Not that I’m not overwhelmed with joy to see you, alive and well, but I’m beginning to feel a little left out here."
Methos stepped away from MacLeod and strode over and stretched out a hand. "Yeah, nice to see you too, kid."
He gave the younger Immortal a quick apprising glance. "You’re looking well, Richie. If memory serves the last time I saw you, was in Paris at night on a racetrack, about to get your head handed to you, literally. It would appear that circumstances have changed greatly since then. I am happy to see you, too."
Richie swallowed against an unaccustomed lump in his throat and replied, keeping his voice as steady as possible. "I’m glad to see you, too."
"I hate to interrupt your little uh, family reunion,’ Sheppard remarked. "But we’re gonna have to cut it short. We should get while the getting’s good. Caldwell says there’s several Wraith ships en route to our location even as we speak. We need to move, now!"
"You’ll get no argument from me," Both McKay and Richie replied" almost simultaneously and both men chuckled.
Sheppard grimaced and shook his head, as if to clear it of the inevitable cobwebs
"Did they tell you, that the Earth, as we knew it, went boom?" Richie Ryan asked as he sat down.
"It would appear, then, that there is more to heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies," Methos replied. "Damn, hey MacLeod, our old friend Bryon would be proud of me, he always was a big fan of the Immortal Bard."
"SO, then the Earth that was destroyed was ours, or the world we called him, and there are any number of Earths or Earth-like planets."
"If that’s the case, Richie," Duncan MacLeod replied as he ran a hand through the dark mass of his mussed hair; it had been a very trying and long day. I gather, from what both Dr. McKay and Dr. Radek have said, and trust me, half the time I can’t figure what Rodney saying, that there’s a remote possibility that once the mission is done here in the Pegasus Galaxy, we can use the Gate to return home to the Milky Way."
"And if we do not?" Methos asked.
"I don’t know about you, Mac," Richie remarked as he glanced around MacLeod’s assigned living quarters, and cocked his head to one side as if thinking over his next words. "But, really, is it so bad living here. I was starting to get used to it, you know? Wrapping my head around the fact that we’re really in another galaxy. And, I mean, I miss our friends and stuff, but, oh, what the hell, you know what I mean, right?"
Duncan regarded his young friend and protégé fondly and distractedly for a moment and sniffed, attempting to maintain the stern paternal air he had grown into adopting with Richie; however, there was something in what Richie had said or in what he had left unsaid that caught up at Duncan and reached over pulled the younger man into a tight hug.
Methos turned his head away, not wanting to interrupt this moment, and even his cynical nature was momentarily blunted. "Yeah, here’s to trying, rhymes with dying." and reached over for the bottle of whiskey that had been left forgotten on the end table by the sofa.
To be continued in chapter 6 “ Domesticating Ghosts”
Which can be found here: <"ghosts">