EAD – Nebulae and Novae

Evan woke with a harsh gasp, air flooding into his oxygen deprived lungs as body overcame mind. His hands reaching out to grasp the edges of the narrow bed of his new quarters, the fresh additions to the tattoo on his wrist burning as it grated over the sheets. Rolling his face into the pillow he scrubbed salt from his face as he breathed,

“Carson…”  He rolled to a sitting position and carefully lifted a thin chain from the metal chair at his bedside. Catching the slim pendant hanging from it in one hand, Evan gently lifted it to his lips and pressed a soft kiss against the cool sliver before carefully placing it down on his pillow so the chain coiled neatly under the disc.

He rose to his feet, moved numbly through his ablutions  and quickly dressed in his plain black workout gear with a series of almost mechanical motions. Just as he pulled the last loop of his trainer laces tight a loud knocking filled the room and Evan pushed to his feet with a sigh. Inches from the door he paused in front of a narrow set of shelves and an the back of his forefinger over the surface of a photo standing there. Letting his eyes flutter shut he bit his lip before letting out a sad huff of laughter, “See you tonight.” He looked away, blinking back tears, as the knocking sounded out again. As he reached out to slide his palm over the door lock he whispered, “ I miss you.” Even as he willed the door open his feet refused to move towards the exit and away from the shrine.

The door slid open silently at his command and Evan was pulled from the room by a large hand and carefully tugged into the tight embrace of Ronon Dex. Evan relaxed into the hug as the door hissed shut behind him. The urge to turn around and crawl back into bed with the pendant and picture beginning to fade as his friend towed him towards their running route.

“I wasn’t ready to go.” Evan suddenly said as they reached the end of the corridor, finally trying to duck out of Ronon’s hold.

“I know.” Ronon rumbled softly, tightening the grasp he had kept on Evan’s shoulders.

“I kind of hate you.” Evan muttered bitterly as he let his head rest on Ronon’s shoulder as they walked.

“I’ll take what I get.”

“Why won’t you just let me…” Evan was cut off as Ronon stopped dead and used the momentum to swing Evan to face him before letting go.

“Because I love you. And I loved him… I’ve lost too much to give you both up!” Ronon shouted before lapsing into silence. Eventually, after a dozen or so rapid, harsh, breaths, Ronon lent close enough for the stubble on his cheeks to scratch against Evan’s face and softly murmured. “ Your soulmate died and that gives you an out on life. But I spent a hell of a long time running alone so it does’t seem too much to ask for me to run for you for a while.”

Evan let his head drop forward even as Ronon stepped around him. Just as Ronon was about to step out of his reach Evan turned and reached out grasp the other man’s hand. As he fell into step next to Ronon, he carefully linked their fingers together and squeezed.

An easy silence fell between the two men as they slowly sped to a run and set off on their familiar route.  They  ran through the city’s towers and across the spaces between them on soaring Ancient bridges in the pre-dawn light. The cold breeze washing off the ocean around them clearing Evan’s head and pushing him to run a little faster to keep warm. Beside him Ronon ran with an easy silence, as though he began every morning with heartfelt declarations. Evan watched him out of the corner of his eye and for a moment he imagined how different things would have been if Ronon had been bolder with his affections just a few months earlier.

As they reached the mid point of the run the Lantian winter sun was just beginning to fill the sky with a wash of pinks and oranges that left Evan almost wishing that he still had his paints. He slowed to a walk as his radio pinged and his CO requested him.

“I’m out on the west pier with Ronon, sir.” Evan pulled his hand out of Ronon’s so he could cup his ear to cut down on the wind noise to better hear John’s response.

Head back in. There’s been a collapse out in tower 12. Rodney wanted to check it out first thing but it’s taking longer than expected. I need you to see gate team 5 off.”

Of course, sir. Should I let Dr. Weir know you will both be late for the senior staff meeting?” Evan said with a smile as he motioned to Ronon that he was heading to the transporter. As Ronon waved goodbye, John answered in a distracted voice.

Shouldn’t be that long, Rodney’s just rebooting a the last console now to check for system damage.”

“ See you in 30 then, sir.” Evan said as he stepped into the transporter and pressed the button to head to the central tower.

As Evan stepped out of the transporter opposite the ready room the head of gate team 5 was waiting for him. The marine handed him a tablet and shouted for the rest of her team to hurry up. Evan quickly scanned through the list and turned to walk backwards up the stairs so he could look at the team’s equipment as they all headed up the stairs and towards the Gate room. With a satisfied nod he pulled the pen out of the tablet casing and signed the bottom of the checklist. He quickly flicked to the next page in the digital file and turned to the Major beside him, “Major Tedly, are you satisfied that your team is fully equipped and prepared for your mission?”

“Yes, sir” She replied as they stepped into the Gate room.

“Everyone has been through a recent medical and has been signed off by C… Dr Keller?”  They both pretended that he hadn’t stumbled over the name and Tedly simply nodded in response.  As they reached the base of the stairs up to the control centre Evan signed the form he had opened and flicked over to the gate procedures sheet. He patted Tedly on the shoulder and  with an easy smile said, “Very well. You have a go.”

Tedly grinned at him and nodded before turning to carry out final checks on equipment and to re-run through the first few moments after they went through the gate. Evan ran up the stairs to stand next to the technician on duty and handed the signed tablet off to him. The technician quickly checked through the lists and signed sheets before he stood to carry out a head count on the team. He added his signature to the bottom of the check list before starting to dial the gate.

“The MALP cleared the area around the gate yesterday, the live footage shows the area is still clear and conditions are much improved. All mission parameters are met. You are clear for departure.” The technician shouted down to Tedly a few moments after the wormhole established. The marine nodded to him and waved her team to the gate.

15 minutes after John’s call Evan watched as the last member of the team stepped through the gate and the wormhole closed. He glanced up to Weir’s office and pressed his radio  as he walked towards the nearest transporter.

“Gate team 5 is off world, their first check in is set up for 6 hours. Dr. Weir isn’t in her office yet so I’m going to get changed then I’ll head over for the meeting.”

Rodney’s done, so we’re heading back in.” As John replied Evan carefully slide through the menus in the transporter to select the point closest to his quarters. Over the radio he could hear John doing the same thing before the channel was closed.  Tapping button to activate the transporter Evan frowned at the loud beep that came out of the panel. He lifted a hand to tap his headset saying “Rodney…” as the room was flooded with a brilliant white light and pain filled his mind. The ground jerked beneath him and even as he realised he was falling the world faded away.

Evan’s legs kicked out as he twitched awake, his eyes fluttering open until a bright light hit them and he shut them again quickly. He slowly pushed himself up the wall he was slouched against so that he was sat against it instead of twisted at a strange angle. Carefully he pulled his knees towards his chest and rested his arms against them so that he could shelter his eyes from the light, after his next attempt to open his eyes set his headache to migraine levels he gave up for a moment. All of the moving had made the taste of metal flood his mouth and the echo of a soft Scottish voice had sounded in his head to tell him that ‘that’s never a healthy sign, lad’. He tried to take a deep breath and stopped as pain flared in his chest.  With a huff of annoyance he pressed against the ear piece in his left ear twice to open the emergency channel. Even as he called out he realised something felt off,

“This is Major Lorne, I seem to have run across a transporter malfunction. Medical attention needed.” He frowned as he tried to figure out what was wrong and waited for a response, fingers resting against the radio casing to reassure himself it wasn’t damaged.

“This is Colonel Sheppard, I also seem to have…” Evan lifted his head and tilted it as he tried to work out how John’s voice could be coming from his right. “… Oh. Fuck.” Evan  jumped slightly at the swearing, gasping as pain flared, and forced his eyes open. Across the concrete bunker John was pushing to his feet slowly clearly heading towards Evan. As Evan tracked the other man’s progress to standing his eyes skittered sideways to the spray painted code on the 25 foot tall square wooden packing crate to the side of John.

“Sir? I think we might have a problem.”

– – –

Evan looked at John as he slumped against the wall next to him. As he studied the growing bruise developing on the side of John’s face the other man twitched, then shook his head before bitterly muttering, “I think I hate the fact that you found it necessary to learn the entire history of the Stargate program.”

Evan pulled his gaze away from the purpling reds and muttered back, “You’ll rather not know?” before sliding up the wall and to his feet so he could get a better look at the other artefacts in the storage room. He followed the gentle tug of ancient technology to a stack in the far corner of the room.

“ At this point it would almost be a normal day in my life to run around with no idea where or when I am until I find out that I’ve been abducted by aliens and planted in a VR of some kind. Or that we both have major brain trauma caused by a terrible transporter accident so Rodney froze us both and set up a programme to keep us entertained.”  John muttered from his patch of wall as Evan carefully climbed up the side of a large stack of crates behind the enormous box and peered at the neat hole that had been cut into the solid concrete and rock of the wall behind the Stargate. With a wince he pressed a hand to the large splat of blood on the wall that seemed to match the ache in his shoulder and the tenderness in the side of his head.

“How exactly is getting transported into the past by some strange and totally unpredictable computer fault not the everyday for us?” Evan said distractedly as he pulled a cut in half box out from the top of the pile.

“Oh, the past I could cope with but Earth? In the 1970’s? In a place the Ancients had never been? Now that I find unlikely.” Evan glanced up from the crate as John reached the point of almost shouting. After a moment he hummed in agreement and went back to poking in the crate.

“And it all seems odd and unpredictable until I show you …. THIS!” Evan held up a small device that looked like a stone but felt unusually warm in his palm. “Huh, never mind it’s some kind of … mental game.” He dropped the device back into the crate and continued to poke around, searching for the thing strong enough to attract him in. After a few more minutes of digging through the box Evan pulled out a long, thin wand like metal object and held it out to John.

“Now that particular little thing I actually do recognise!” John grinned and finally climbed to his feet, Evan watched him for a moment as John crossed the room to begin searching for another box of Ancient doodads.

“I should hope so, haven’t we found one of these in pretty much every set of quarters we cleared?” Evan asked with a laugh as he dropped the wand back into the crate. “Well, interesting as that box was I don’t think that any of these ‘personal effects’ could actually have caused this.” He roughly tipped the box onto one edge and started to slide the crate towards the pile behind the gate. The sound of a door slamming made him pause for a second before grabbing the crate from the floor and stuffing it onto the pile. Evan leant around the huge crate to grab John’s sleeve and quickly dragged him up the pile of boxes and half jumped, half fell into the gap the gate had carved. Just as they slid into the box to huddle in one corner, pressed against the metal of the gate, the door to the storage room opened and the soft tread of rubber soles crossed the room.

Evan held his breath as the soldier checking the room paused, the footsteps halting in the middle of the room before heading towards the opposite side of the room to where they were hidden. As he frowned John poked his shoulder and pointed at Evan’s face. Evan shrugged at him, puzzled, and John reached out towards him to sweep one finger across Evan’s cheek before pulling back so he could see the glistening blood on the tip of John’s finger. Evan winced and bit his lip as the footsteps headed back towards the middle of the room before slowly crossing back to the door . As the door swung shut with a clang Evan made to stand but John quickly grabbed his shoulder and held him down. Evan tilled his head at John in silent confusion until, eventually, the door swung open again and the footsteps finally headed out of the room.

Evan watched as John slowly and silently climbed up the stack of crates to peer over the top of the box that held the Stargate and out into the room. Evan quietly climbed up behind him  and glanced down into the empty room before whispering,

“They were dialling Earth. The weekly update was due so we were dialling Earth, the transporter technology works like the Goa’uld ring tech and we know that rings can interface with the gate. If, somehow, the device Rodney was moving managed to interfere with the transporters and if it had something to do with time travel, it is possible that the device threw us through time and the transporter threw us through the gate.” Evan trailed off into silence as John turned to look at him with one eyebrow raised.

“We were in one of Janus’ labs but I don’t think it matters right now.” John whispered back as he pointed across the room to the path of blood droplets that led from Evan’s landing place to the side of the pile of crates. “ We need to move before he comes back with company.” Evan looked at John and nodded softly in agreement just as the other man breathed “Too late!” and twisted his body onto the top of the crate, feet pointing towards Evan.

Evan twitched in to motion and mimicked John as he slid fully onto the top of the crate and flattered his body so that he wouldn’t be visible from the doorway. The steel door slowly swung open. Evan twisted his head to look at the worn treads of John’s boots as the other man shifted to try and peek over the edge. Four loud steps echoed around the room. The door was pushed shut almost silently. A moment later a soft thump sounded out and the shudder of something hitting the front of the crate rocked though the wood. Evan looked across the top of the box at John as a loud creek came from the pile behind them. As John slid a knife from his belt Evan reached out to take another from John’s boot sheath. Evan watched carefully as John’s fingers twitched a count of three and as the three appeared both men rolled to their feet to face the man climbing to their perch.

“ Huh, you’re learning.” A familiar voice said,

“Ronon!” Evan sighed with relief as he slowly slumped back to a sitting position on the top of the crate. When Ronon offered his hand Evan let himself be tugged onto the pile and into a rough embrace.

“I figured you weren’t gonna wake up. So I went to look for an easy way out.” Ronon rumbled as he let go of Evan and jumped off the now crumbling pile of crates. As the first crate collapsed Evan stepped onto the concrete floor and turned to Ronon with a hopeful look,

“Please tell me that you discovered that there is a big 21 painted on the wall out there.” Ronon turned to look at him strangely and from near the door John let out his barking laugh.

“… There is. Does that mean we don’t need his uniform?” Ronon pouted and pulled Evan around the corner so he could look at the young soldier Ronon had knocked out and dumped by the door. John looked up from where he was carefully stripping the weapons off the man and frowned at Ronon.

“This uniform was never going to fit you.” John said after a moment. Ronon rolled his eyes and sighed,

“Nah, I figured you’d be awake by time I got back. Though you could ‘capture’ me and I’d have to carry Evan.”  Evan shook his head with a grin, and then a wince as pain shot through his head, Ronon squeezed past John to check the corridor was still clear, after a second he ducked back in, “So, you know how to get out of here then?”

“Well, no.” John said before nodding at Evan. “Fortunately, I picked an XO who enjoys reading other people’s old mission reports and SG1 seem to spend a lot of time breaking out of their own base.”

Evan helped John to drag the young unconscious soldier to the side of the crate pile as Ronon kept watch in the corridor. They carefully arranged the boxes so it looked like the pile had fallen on him and he had managed to stagger a few steps to lie over the stain Evan had left on the floor. With a guilty wince Evan bashed one of the crates against the man’s cheek to make a deep cut. After a final glance around the room Evan slid out into the corridor and cautiously led the other men towards the nearest emergency exit. They squeezed into the narrow access shaft just as a call for a medic rang out from the store room, the door clicking shut just as the sound of running feet started in the distance.

“Now what?” John hissed at Evan as they crowded together. Evan grinned at Ronon over John’s head and as he swung himself onto the ladder he sighed,

“Now we climb, its only a leisurely 28 stories or so…”

“And what do we do when we get to the top?” Ronon asked even as he started to climb up behind Evan, below them John sighed deeply before saying,

“We steal some clothes, find a hospital and claim Evan was hit by a car. Preferably before his brain begins to dribble out of his ears…” John’s voice faded out of focus and Evan’s hands refused to grip the rung even as a warm body crowded him against the ladder and the world swayed out of view.

– – –

Soft beeps filled the still air around him as Evan slowly drifted back to consciousness on a gentle haze of drugs. A hand soothed over his forehead, soft and warm before dropping to wrap around his wrist.

“Carson? I’m sorry. Promised I wouldn’t get myself hurt and make you fix me up again. I lied.” His words betrayed him and slurred together even as the person above him hushed him before pressing a kiss to into his hair.

“Go to sleep.” Ronon muttered into his hair, Evan breathed out with an ‘oh’ and then added,

“Will you tell Car I’m sorry?”

“Sure thing. Just go to sleep for me, OK?” As Ronon spoke, Evan shook his head softly but curled onto his side and drifted away anyway.

A shake had Evan waking in the silent room, a hand pressed to his lips to keep him quiet. A solid arm slid under his knees and another under his shoulders as he was tucked against Ronon’s broad chest. Evan forced his eyes open and glanced about until he spotted John slipping into the room in a white coat with bulging pockets. With a nod to Ronon, John stripped the white coat off and quickly emptied the vials and needles from the coat into a black backpack sat under the window. In a smooth motion John pulled the backpack on, opened the window and leapt out. Ronon quickly followed him and pulled Evan close before dropping from the second floor window into the hospital garden. Above them a nurse loudly declared into the newly empty room that ‘the police would like a word’, as the voice got closer to the window Ronon pressed back against the building out of view. After a moment a whistle sounded across the little garden and Ronon set off running. Even fisted his hand firmly into the thin tee-shirt the other man was wearing as they raced across the garden and leapt over the short wall to the roadside. John grinned down at Evan as he helped Ronon climb into the back of a blue sedan before climbing into the drivers seat and starting to swear as he tried to jump start the car. Evan curled into Ronon as the younger man rifled through the backpack John had dumped next to them. After a moment the car roared to life and Ronon tugged the thin hospital gown off Evan’s shoulders and began to wrestle him back into the work out gear the nurses must have stripped him out off.

“You got a plan, sir?” Evan asked, his tongue clumsily tripping over the words as Ronon attempted to tuck socks over his feet.

“To not get arrested?” John said distractedly as he nodded to the car that pulled up beside them at the lights. “My family own a place out here. I probably look almost enough like my uncle, and he always was an odd enough man, that the neighbours won’t ask too many questions. According to the date on the news paper and looking at the weather my family aren’t going to come for a visit any time soon.” Evan looked out of the rear window to watch as the city faded into the darkness and the mountains started to close in around them. As the roads narrowed and became bumpier, Evan turned to look at Ronon as the man leant forward to whisper,

“You scared me. I told Carson I’d look after you so you don’t get to make me a liar.” Evan smiled sadly and sat up a little so he could tuck his head into Ronon’s neck.

“I couldn’t even keep my own promises to him, I’m sure he wouldn’t blame you if I break yours.”

John’s family’s place turned out to be a hunting lodge at the far edge of the road out of town. By most peoples standards it would be considered a large family home, one story but three separate wings. Evan lifted his head from Ronon’s shoulder just as John pulled into the three car garage and parked between a high end sports car and a motorcycle. The inside of the house was a cliche of old money spending, unwelcoming furnishings and uncomfortable looking family pictures, Evan watched as John carefully avoided looking at the photos on the walls and avoided entire rooms as they picked bedrooms to crash in for the night.

After they had settled in and made a mediocre meal out of the can collection Ronon had raided from the larder, they retreated to one room to get some rest and plan.

“We’ll get a couple of days of quiet before the housekeeper realises someone is staying and comes over to restock the kitchen and clean up.” John uttered moodily, Evan glanced up from the book he was reading while tucked into the nest of pillows he had built when the pain killers started to wear off.

“And then we need to move on?” he asked quietly,

“No. My uncle was…is a recluse, he avoids people where ever possible so as long as we keep out of sight as much as we can she should just assume that we are him.” John looked away uncomfortably, looking over at the chaise lounge Ronon had sprawled onto to sleep.

After a while Evan looked over at John. “I don’t really know what we do from here. We can’t hide out forever and eventually we are either going to need to get jobs or figure out how to get home.”

“I think we should try to get to Pegasus. We can’t do anything here but mess up our own futures.” John said softly, “I mean at least if we aren’t on the planet then there isn’t a chance of us accidentally killing ourselves or stopping one of us from joining the SGC.”

“Would that be such a bad thing?” Evan asked carefully  “Carson and I were living a couple of miles apart in the 90’s, a nudge towards the right pub and I’d meet him a decade earlier. And if he doesn’t end up going to Pegasus so what? I get to keep him instead.”

“And what if you meeting Carson earlier means that he follows you back to the US when your posting was up? He goes into trauma instead of genetics and we never figure out the ATA gene.” As John moved forwards to sit next to Evan, he pushed himself up so that he was sitting instead of sprawled on cushions. “What if that means I never sit in the chair because Carson isn’t there to start showing me around? Or they never figure out that the Ancient outpost needs the Gene so they can’t use the chair to defend Earth from Anubis?” Evan looked at John as the other man lent towards him, a desperate tone in his voice.

“It’s worth the risk. We just have to make sure that we end up in the right places but if it does go wrong it would be worth it. I got five years, a tiny nudge in twenty years time and I get at least an extra decade. If we play it right… a lifetime. It is worth it John.” Evan reached out as he spoke to grip John’s shirt,  desperate to sell the other man on his plan. He felt Ronon looking at him and with out looking away from John said, “And if we never go to Pegasus then we don’t wake up the Wraith. Teyla’s  people don’t get culled, the Hoffan don’t develop their drug, the Genii…. How exactly is it better if we go. What did we do that would actually be missed?”

“I die. The Wraith run me into the ground, because they still wipe out Sateda, Carson isn’t there to take out the tracker. And eventually I stop running.” Ronon slid off the chaise to crouch next to Evan. “You would change everything to win a few years with Carson but for every year of happiness you win… I won’t help you abandon me to years more of running.” Ronon stood and started to leave the room. As he reached the door way he paused, turned, and softly said, “I would rather lose the chance to know you for the rest of my life than miss out on the time we had on Atlantis.” As Ronon walked out of the room Evan shouted after him,

“We know how things play out! We can make this work, why can’t we have it all?”

John laid a hand on his shoulder, “because we can’t predict how what we change will ripple out. What if you meeting Carson earlier means that he comes back to the US with you? He acts exactly like he does on Atlantis and wades right into the middle of a stupid argument to try and save someone and gets shot. He joins the SGC when you do, ends up on the Unas’ home world looking into the wild Goa’uld symbiotes and gets taken over? What if meeting you earlier…”

“FINE!” Evan suddenly shouted, tears pricking he eyes with anger as much as frustration. “So what? We go to Pegasus, join the Satedans? Or do we go to Atlantis and wake her up early, find a ZPM and tidy up some of the Ancients messes before we can arrive? Is..Is that your plan” he asked harshly.

“At least we aren’t running the risk of killing ourselves early.” John muttered.

“No? What if we go early and we wake up the Wraith sooner? Or we help Sateda prepare for the Wraith attack but by saving them we create another race we can end up at war with like the Genii? HOW IS THAT BETTER!” Evan yelled, “How is it better to run the risk of changing things in Pegasus than here? At least I can see how fixing things here makes my life better.” Evan stared at John until the other man broke eye contact and stood.

“You are wrong, Evan. At least in Pegasus we can avoid changing the future. We make sure we don’t contact anyone we have already had contact with. We don’t go to Atlantis. We don’t save Sateda. In Pegasus we have distance from the people who’s lives we could change. I won’t let you change the world to save your doctor.” John walked away as he spoke and rooted through the backpack. After he finished speaking he threw a small bottle of pills at Evan and dropped onto the chaise that Ronon had abandoned with a sigh, “Take your pills and get some sleep.”

“If we aren’t meant to change anything then why have we been sent here?” Evan muttered after popping the pills.

John laughed harshly, “ For the same reason everything over the last few years has happened. Because some Ancient fucked up their pet project.”

“Those projects usually end up helping us.”

“Yeah, when they don’t kill us.”

– – –

“Say you are right,” Evan said as he sat across the table from John in the early morning light, “Then how would we get to Pegasus?” John lifted his apple juice, took a long drink and then dropped the glass back to the table top before rocking in back and forth.

“I have no idea, I figured you might know. As the token history buff and all.” Evan looked across the table and raised his eyebrows.

“And you really think I’m going to help you not save Carson.”

“Not any more.” John muttered before moving to make coffee, brooding silence fell between them. Eventually Ronon broke the silence when he burst through the backdoor and jogged across the room with a mumbled ‘shower’. As the kitchen door swung shut John turned to look at Evan, leaning back on the counter. “Look, you aren’t the only one losing someone. I get that we can’t of home, even if we manage to get back to Pegasus the chances of us finding a way to skip forwards thirty seven years is pretty damn unlikely. I would be seventy four by time we make it back to our own time, if we even survive that long, When this is all over I don’t get to just go back to Rodney and expect him to…”

“Exactly, we don’t get to go home. If you’d been with Rodney maybe he could work something out. So why not use this as a chance to give myself more time with the one person I should have spent the rest of my life with.” Evan looked up at John as he spoke, John glanced away and sighed.

“What if we could stop Carson from dying? If we get to Pegasus then what is to stop us from taking that device and dropping it straight into a sun. No exploding tumours… Carson lives. Changing that one little thing has to have less impact on the timeline then changing a huge chunk of your life.” Evan looked down as John dropped a cup of coffee onto the table in front of him. “I don’t think I have ever resented the Wraith as much in the last five years as last six months, they just keep fucking with us. They left broken junk all over the city and ever time we try to tidy up it costs us the things most important to us. I can’t get Carson back for you and I can’t get home to Rodney but at least I can keep you from ruining the time you did get.” Evan lifted his coffee up as John dropped into the seat next to him.

“If only we had an Ancient to help us fix the mess…” Evan trailed off, frowning before looking around at John. “We can’t get an Ancient but we can go for the next best thing. An Asgard.”

“And how exactly do you plan to get in contact with a race who, from what I remember, don’t even want to acknowledge that we are worth talking to.” John said in an exasperated tone.

Evan shrugged before taking a drink of his coffee, “Hang around near Roswell and hope Loki gets interested? Contacting the Asgard isn’t exactly SG-1’s go to solution to getting thrown through time. So unless you know how to build a deep space transmitter Roswell is probably our best bet.” They sat in silence for a while until Ronon walked in,

“What’s the plan?” he asked,

“Try and contact the Asgard. Don’t suppose you know how to make yourself more interesting to an alien perv?” John asked.

“Other than building some kind of transmitter? Not really.” Evan turned to look at Ronon in surprise as John punched him in the shoulder.

“Well, Why did we not think of just building a transmitter. I mean that’s just common sense, right?” John said with a laugh. “Right, because we don’t know how to!” Evan rubbed his shoulder as Ronon cocked one eyebrow and muttered,

“You might not but I do. We had ships. We talked to the Travellers. I had to learn how to build one as part of my training. You get me the parts and I should be able to figure it out.” Evan leant back with a laugh, after a few moments and a couple of deep breaths he asked,

“What do you need?”

– – –

Evan dumped a box in front of Ronon and the giant ‘frankenstein’s monster’-esque  transmitter he had constructed. After a moment Ronon looked up and grunted before rooting through the box and grabbing one of the small radio parts, He lent back into the depths of the wire mass and connected the parts together. He carefully leant over and flicked the power socket on, a small light flickered before turning solid.

“Tell John he can stop playing at being the eccentric lord of the manor. It’s working.” Ronon rumbled before leaning back to look up at Evan. He sighed tiredly and dropped into one of the hard chairs stored in the garage,

“How long until it starts working.” Evan asked as Ronon pushed to his feet and took a swig from the jug of lemonade resting on the sideboard, the other man shrugged,

“Guess that depends on how far away these Asgard are. It’s already running.” Ronon offered Evan the lemonade

“What did you program it to say?” Evan asked as he relaxed back into the chair and accepted the lemonade, taking a deep swig.

“Nothing, its more of a … Big noisy thing than a telling you something thing. Kinda like McKay when I get him all convinced that I just like shooting things.” Evan raise his eyebrows as Ronon grinned. “ It’s gonna sit here shouting until someone out there gets pissed off enough to come take a look.”

“How loud does it shout?” Evan asked worriedly,

“… Loud enough to attract in anyone in the solar system, quiet enough that I figure the Gou’ald won’t pick up on it.” Ronon shrugged.

“What if they aren’t in the solar system? How long do we wait?” Evan asked as Ronon started to walk out of the room, Evan jumped to his feet to follow him. “What if we’ve done all this and then discover that this is the one year that Loki decides to not hang around Earth? What if he decides that it’s just noise?” Evan crashed into Ronon as he stopped suddenly and turned to get hold of Evan’s shoulders. Evan looked up at the other man as he lent close.

“Take a breath, Evan.” As Ronon let go he wrapped an arm around his shoulder and pulled Evan into the kitchen , where John was lounging. “I can make it louder, much louder, but then we run the risk of attacking in anyone with the ability to listen.”

“I guess those parts work then?” John asked as Evan dropped into the seat across from him.

“They do but all I can make is unfocused noise.” Ronon muttered as he rooted through the fridge for leftovers.

Evan shook his head at John as he kicked his feet up onto the chair opposite him and lent back to look up at Ronon before asking “You need to tune it in?”

Ronon pulled out of the fridge and shut it so he could lean his head against it. “Find me a Gou’ald radio and I can aim it at a couple of frequencies that they don’t use or find me an Asgard radio and I can aim it right at them. If you can’t do either then stop panicking about the could be’s that might not happen.”

Evan sighed and rested his head on the table, mumbling as he went. “The Asgard never crashed on earth and the Gou’ald tech left lying around is out-dated. We don’t have a DHD and I think writing a dialling program is beyond any of us.” He dropped his head to the side to look at Ronon before saying, “All we have is considering ‘the could be’s’.” He shut his eyes with a huffed laugh. John shifted next to him and a chair scrapped across the floor as Ronon dropped in to a seat.

On the far side of the room the clock ticked steadily.

“Antartica…” John said suddenly.

“Under nearly a hundred feet of ice…” Evan replied wearily, without lifting his head off the table.

“Right.” John muttered moments before a soft thump echoed through the room and Ronon declared,

“I’m going for a run. Try not to wallow too much.”

As the door slammed shut Evan looked up, “ but we know where it is. Exactly where it is in fact and there should be fissures leading down to the gate. Carter said in her report that they looked old…” John looked at him with and shook his head.

“We can’t get to Antartica, even if we get there how do we trek all the way out to where the outpost is and figure out the right address to dial?”

“We… damn…” Evan breathed, they sat in the quiet until Ronon came back, then until the sunset. Eventually Evan lifted his head, “I know how to knock out everyone in the SGC. If we can make a big enough battery we can spin the gate by hand, dial the planet Ernest Lifflefield ended up on and use the Asgardian technology there to get hold of any Asgard we fancy.”

“We already built a giant battery. How do you think I’m generating enough power to run a subspace transmitter?” Ronon grumbled from the corner of kitchen counter he had perched on.

“And I can make a mean batch of knockout gas.” John added with a grin, when Evan looked at him in shock he shrugged, “I went to Stanford… I lived with a chem major and… actually that is a really long story that you do not need to be able to have to win Rodney over with at some point. How many floors do we need to knock out?”

“One, if we climb down to 21 we can gas the level, Cheyenne was designed to seal off each level so that it was harder to take the whole base out. So we fill the level with gas, use the gate and then as we leave open the emergency vents to the surface. Everyone wakes up after we’re gone.” Evan said slowly.

“Where do we get gas masks?” Evan looked at John for a moment,

“It’s the 70’s and you have grown an epic beard… How eccentric do people really thing your uncle is? Doomsday or friendly teaspoon collector?” John nodded consideringly.

“I think I’m beginning to understand where he got his reputation from.” John sighed “There’s an army surplus on the outskirts of town. I’ll look there first, it shouldn’t shut for a few hours. Lorne, start figuring out where we can steal this stuff from” Ronon hopped off the counter as John climbed to his feet and pushed a short list across the table to Evan. Evan looked over at Ronon as he muttered,

“And I will start unbuilding the thing I just put together.”

“Yeah, try to make it small enough to carry?” Evan asked as Ronon left the room.

– – –

Evan looked around the concrete bunker with a frown as the three off them stood in front of the gate, he took a deep breath inside the mask he was wearing before eventually sighing,

“I feel like we should have though about this part of the plan a bit more before we came down here.” As he spoke he squeezed into the edge of the crate next to the stargate. After a moment Ronon huffed and slowly eased himself in to the opposite side of the box. John laughed from the corridor as he dragged the last unconscious soldier into the closet they had chosen to lock the few men who had been on patrol in. “ If you wanted the perfect plan you should have got yourself sent back in time with the science side of this soul bond.”

Evan looked over at Ronon as the bigger man rolled his eyes, reached up and began to rotate the symbol ring. While John continued to mutter about the various people it would have been better to end up in the past with Ronon tapped his comm off and mouthed,

“ So the symbol 4 up from you needs to be at the top?” Evan peered at the scrap of paper he had tugged out of his jeans pocket before nodding and helping to turn the ring. As they slowly turned the ring backwards and forwards John attached the generator to the ring and ensured that each symbol locked fully.

Evan watched as Ronon carefully slid the last symbol into place and in the seconds before the kerwoosh they both dove out of the box and pressed themselves flat to the floor. As Evan’s ears began to ring a pair of boots appeared in front of him and he was hauled to his feet. He glanced over at where Ronon was crouching by his slimmed down generator carefully detaching it from the stargate and shoving it into his backpack.  John shoved Evan forwards slightly as he murmured,

“I can hear banging, I guess the gas isn’t going to last as long as we thought.” As they passed Ronon john leant down and tugged the bulky framework that held the main parts together off the floor and hustled Ronon to his feet. Taking one last deep breath of Earth air he sighed, “We better not end up on Abydos.” Evan wrapped an arm around John’s shoulders and wrapped his hand into Ronon’s jacket before stepping over the threshold of the event horizon.

“Humm, well! I guess the time has come and gone for me to repair that hole…” A horse voice muttered from somewhere above them. Evan carefully eased his arm out from behind John and ran his fingers over his head pausing when he felt sticky warmth.



“I think the past hates me.”