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Watching Atlantis - chapter 5

Okay, as promised last night, here is the next chapter in my Watching Atlantis saga.

For anyone who hasn't read the first four, or if you might want to go back on refresh your memeory (it's been about six months since the last chapter (hangs head))I have them saved in the memeories file on my journal. Feel free to look. They are saved under btvs/sga. I'd do a link, but I don't know how. Kinda techno challenged.


Watching Atlantis - Part Five

For disclaimers see part one.


“That takes care of matters for this morning.” Everyone started to stand, but Elizabeth remained seated. “However, I do have something of a personal nature I would like to discuss with you.” The others exchanged looks and sat back down.

Elizabeth frowned at the papers in her hand. “It’s about our guest. I’m worried about Rupert. Except for the time each day that he spends with Teyla, he never leaves my office. He’s burying himself in the translations.”

Rodney nodded. “His grasp of the language is phenomenal. We’ve gotten information on the working of the city sooner than I dreamed possible. He’s concentrating on the information about colonies now. Which ones had zed p m’s and when they received them, which would give us an idea on whether or not they could still be operational.” Rodney paused. “But you’re right. He’s obsessed with finding something that will help him go back to Earth, and if he’s not careful it’s going to kill him.”

Everyone looked surprised. Rodney gave them an affronted glare. "What? I notice things. We've had a few conversations when I've taken him more work. He's had an interesting life." He gave a little shrug. "So sue me, I like him."

Carson spoke up. "A few of the people on the night shift have expressed their concerns as well. They say the last few nights he hasn't left at all. He's falling asleep at the desk and when he wakes up he just goes to shower and change, bringing tea back with him. He's not eating very well either. In the few days he's been here he's lost weight."

"He is in pain," Teyla said quietly.

"What do you mean?"

"I noticed him rubbing at his chest yesterday and I thought that I had hit him there, but he told me that I hadn't. He said that because of the length of time that he has been Buffy's Watcher, a bond has formed between them. It is physically painful for him to so far away from her for this amount of time. He can't sleep unless he is completely exhausted."

Elizabeth looked appalled. "Does this apply to Buffy as well?"

"He's not sure, but he is fears that she is also suffering from the effects of their separation. He is afraid that it will cause her to lose her concentration, become careless, and be injured or even killed."

There was silence as they all thought about the burden that their new friend carried. There was a brief knock on the doorjamb and Zelenka came into the room. He handed Rodney a stack a papers, pointing out something on the top page. Rodney frowned at him briefly, then read the paper. He looked up at the others.

"I think I may have something here that will help. This last batch of translations shows the instillation of 2 zed pm's on the planet the ancients called Delos. We had gone there, but it's now uninhabited and we didn't register any energy readings so we crossed it off the list. This," he waved the paper, "gives us the exact coordinates of where they were placed. I think we should go check it out and I think we should take Rupert with us. Give him a break from the paperwork."

"But if there were no energy readings, doesn't that mean that the zmp's had either been removed or were depleted?" Carson asked.

"Those are possibilities. But it's also possible that the devices have just been turned off, like the outpost on Tayonas. I really think we should check it out."

Elizabeth looked at Sheppard. He nodded. "Get your team ready, I'll ask Rupert if he would like to go with you." When Rodney started to protest she waved him down. "I agree that it would be a good idea from him to get away from the paperwork, but he's not a member of this team. I can't just order him to relax."

"Perhaps he would agree if I asked him to come along," Teyla said.

Elizabeth nodded. "Do it."


*************


Four heads were bent over books in the silence of the front room of the Magic Box. From the back room came the sound of rapid smacks and thuds. Willow lifted her head and looked worriedly at the door to the back room.

Xander looked up as well. “Has she been like that all day?”

Willow nodded. “All day, every day. I have to practically force her to stop and eat a little something." Willow looked at Ethan. "She hasn't been sleeping either, has she?"

"Very little, and then only because I've been putting her to sleep. Somehow she's able to fight the effects of that and wake up after just an hour or so." Ethan shook his head. "She's decimated the demon population of Sunnydale. We didn't see a single vampire or demon on patrol last night, so she came back here and destroyed the target dummy." He frowned. "She denies it, but she keeps rubbing her forehead as if she has a headache. I can't get her to take anything."

"It's probably because of the lack of sleep," Xander said.

"No," Tara said quietly. "It's because Mr. Giles is gone."

"We're all upset about Giles being gone, but you don't see us wrecking the shop."

Tara shook her head. "You don't understand. As Watcher and Slayer they have a mystical bond. It's been severed, and she's suffering from lost of the connection. I read about it in some of the Watcher diaries and asked Mr. Giles about it. He said the longer the pair work together, the stronger the bond, and the stronger the reaction when something happens to break it. He said that was why, in the times when the Slayer lived for many years, that the Watchers committed suicide when their Slayers died. The physical distress was so great that they literally couldn't live without them."

Everyone sat in an appalled silence that was finally broken by Ethan saying quietly, "Then Ripper is going through something similar, wherever he is?"

Tara nodded. "Probably."

"Christ." Ethan threw the book he had been reading across the room. Willow flinched as something was broken, but said nothing. Ethan stood and began to pace around the room. "We have to find him! If only I could remember how Maltz said the ritual we could re-create it. But at the time I all could think was how badly he was mispronouncing the words."

"In any other town at least one person would have caught it all on video tape, but not in good old Sunnydale. And even if they had, they wouldn't believe it and would have erased it by now."

"What we need," Xander said, "is the Wicked Queens' magic mirror." At the blank looks he continued. "You know, in Snow White. The Wicked Queen had this magic mirror that let her see anywhere in her kingdom." He gave a little shrug. "I know, not the place or time. Shutting up now." Instead of responding, Willow and Ethan were staring at each other. "What?"

"Can it be done? I mean, you know more about magic than Tara or I. Is there a spell that will let you use a mirror to view past events?"

"I've never heard of one that will do that, but Ripper has quite a selection of books. Now that we know where to concentrate our research, we should be able to find something that we can adapt." Ethan headed for the stairs and disappeared in the upper level. He returned a few minutes later and handed a book to each of the others. "Mirror spells or viewing spells of any kind. Don't stop to read, just make a note of the page and keep looking."

The group settled down with a renewed purpose.


***********


"I'm glad that you agreed to come along on this mission," Teyla said as she led Giles to the shuttle, "it seemed a shame that, after coming all this distance, you haven't left the planet."

"Well, I didn't exactly plan on coming all this distance, but I suppose that you are correct in that I should take advantage of the opportunity. I never dreamed that I would ever travel in a space ship."

"This?" Sheppard's voice came from behind them. "This is just a little puddle jumper."

Giles turned around and saw Sheppard leaning against the side of the ship he had seen come through the gate on his first day in Atlantis. Next to him Teyla gave a little huff of laughter. Ah, obviously a private joke of some kind. Sheppard made a sweeping gesture towards the back of the little ship. Giles walked around and up the ramp. Lights came on as he entered the vehicle, and he heard a gasp behind him. Giles turned around to see Teyla looking at him wide-eyed. "Is there some problem?"

"No, not a problem. Rupert, would you mind coming back down here?"

Giles shrugged, but moved down the ramp. As he left the little ship, the lights shut off. Teyla and Sheppard exchanged looks. "Something is wrong. What is it?"

Sheppard paused a moment. "I'd like to try an experiment. Go back in, and come out again."

Giles gave him a searching look. He frowned when Sheppard remained silent, but he did as Sheppard asked. Again the lights came on when he entered and turned off when he left. By this time others had joined the group.

"Rodney, your turn." McKay opened his mouth, but shut it at the look Sheppard gave him. He walked up the ramp into the ship. Nothing happened. He came back down. The other three members of the team repeated the experiment, with the same results; no lights.

Giles watched in puzzlement. Why had the lights come on when he entered, but not any of the others? He saw Sheppard walk up the ramp and enter the ship. The lights came on. Giles was stunned. He knew from his talks with Teyla that Sheppard was one of the people with the gene that controlled the Atalantian equipment. In fact, he was one of the strongest who had been found, equal to General Jack O'Neill.

But the lights had come on when HE entered the ship. That would imply……"I have the gene?" Giles looked at Sheppard in shock.

"It looks like it. We can't test you in the chair cause we don't have a zpm to power it, but only the one’s with the gene trigger the lights when entering a jumper. Carson can check your DNA when we get back." Sheppard gave him a wry smile. "Looks like you were meant to be here after all." He gestured to the others. "Come on; let's get this mission under way. We can talk about this later."

*************

Ethan looked up from the paper in satisfaction. "I'm fairly certain that this will work, but we need to test it." He looked over at Willow. "Pick a time in the recent past that we can view."

She gave him a panicked look. "Me?"

Ethan rolled his eyes. "Any one of you can make a suggestion. Anything up to a week ago, since that is the timeframe we want to check."

A smile appeared on Xander's face. "How about when Buffy kicked Riley's ass?"

Ethan's smile matched Xander's. "An excellent suggestion." He walked over to the mirror and softly chanted the altered seeing spell. The mirror went dark, then the image of the interior of the Magic Box appeared.

*Buffy shoved Ethan through the door of the Magic Box. Willow, Tara and Xander looked up in alarm at the noisy entrance. Xander’s eyes widened. “This is not good.”*

The group continued to watch until the point where Buffy yanked Ethan into the back room. Ethan waved his hand and muttered something. The mirror went blank.

Willow smiled widely and bounced slightly in her seat. "It worked. Quick, let’s watch the demon in the park."

Ethan returned to the table. "Not quite yet. We need to make one more test." Willow began to protest but he waved her to silence. "Yes, we could see and hear what happened, but we need to see it more than once. You really have no idea how badly Maltz was pronouncing the words. We need to precisely recreate what he said to achieve the same results. Do any of you own, or know someone who owns, a video camera? If we can record the image, then we can re-play it as many times as we need to insure we say the words correctly."

Anya spoke up. "Xander and I have a camera. We use it to tape ourselves when we have sex."

Xander blushed deep red and tried to hide behind a book. Willow and Tara blushed as well, but Ethan just smiled. "Good. Run home and bring it back here." Anya nodded and headed for the door. "And don't forget to bring a blank tape." Anya rolled her eyes at him and left.

"Now, we'll summon that time in the past again. If the image and the sound both record then we'll try to summon the other time." Ethan looked at the door to the training room with a slight frown. "I don’t think we should let her know what we are doing until we know that it works."

"I agree," Willow said, "but what if she comes out here while we are watching the tape?"

Ethan stood. "I'll put her to sleep."

"But I thought you said that only lasts for about an hour. What if we need more time?"

"I can put her out for longer; it's just that the spell I need to use isn't as friendly as the one I've been using. In fact, if the tape idea doesn't work, she might really kill me when she wakes up."

Willow and Xander exchanged looks. "You're sure there isn't anything else you can do?"

"I'm sure." Ethan walked to the door and opened it. Buffy, who had been pounding the punching bag, stopped and looked at him.

"What do you want?"

"This." He pointed at her and a ball of fire flew across the room, knocking her down. Ethan walked over and picked her up, placing her body on the couch. He picked up Giles' sweatshirt and placed it over her. Buffy moaned slightly, but curled up on the couch, clutching the shirt.

Ethan watched with a frown. "She shouldn't be moving at all. I really don't know if even this will keep her out long enough. I should have waited until Anya got back with the camera."

"A little late to worry about that now." Xander observed.

Ethan gave him a sour look. "Let's go back out to the front room. Even though she is supposed to be unable to hear us, I wouldn't want to depend on that. We need her to stay asleep as long as possible."

The others nodded and they all went back into the main area of the store. As he closed the door Xander said, "I hope this works. Not just because it means we'll get Giles back, but I'd really like to a have a tape of Buffy decking Riley."

Ethan chuckled. "I'm sure Ripper will enjoy seeing it too." Everyone laughed, and then they waited in silence until Anya returned. While Xander readied the camera, Ethan stepped in front of the mirror and recited the spell. The image began and Xander stared to film. When Ethan waved to end the viewing the others huddled around Xander. He rewound the tape and pressed 'play'. Both sight and sound were clear.

Ethan smiled in satisfaction. "Now, let's see the important one." He stepped in front of the mirror and drew a deep breath.

"Hang on a minute," Xander said. "Don't want to accidentally record over this." He quickly changed the tape in the recorder. "Okay, ready now."

Ethan shook his head, but smiled. He started the chant. The mirror went opaque, then the scene in the park appeared. Xander focused the camera and hit 'record'.


Two hours later the door of the training room slammed open. Buffy stormed over to Ethan. "Do that again and you are a dead man." Willow giggled, but stopped when Buffy glared at her. "What?"

"I told them you would say that. However," he held up a hand to silence her, "the possibly of the threat was worth the risk. We've found what we need."

Buffy paled and Ethan thought she was going to fall down. He grabbed her arm and could feel her shaking. "Giles?"

"We're sure we know how to go get him." She stood silent; eyes wide with unshed tears. "I won't go into details now, but Xander gave us the idea." Buffy looked at Xander in astonishment. He blushed and shrugged his shoulders. "We've just been waiting for you to wake up to try it."

Buffy beamed a smile at him. "I'm awake. What are we waiting for? Let's go get him."

Ethan tugged on his ear. "Well, actually, we have already tried it. It didn't work with just me. We need more magical power than I alone have. Willow and Tara will need to go with us."

Buffy looked at the two witches. "Are you guys okay with this? We don't know where we're going to end up. It could be dangerous."

Willow gave her a look. "More dangerous than living on a Hellmouth? Besides, this is for Giles. We've got everything ready." She gestured to where a pentagram had been drawn on the floor. Candles were set at the points. Xander and Anya stood at the bottom two points.

"Are they coming too?"

“Of course we’re coming. Let you guys rescue Giles without us? I’d never be able to live it down.” Xander sent her a cocky grin. Tara and Willow moved into position.

"Where do I stand?"

Ethan took her hand and led her to the top point. "Here with me." He stood her in front of himself and placed his hands on her shoulders. Willow gestured and the candles were lit. Buffy could feel Ethan draw several deep breaths. He began to speak; strange sounding words that made the hair on the back of her neck stand up. Power surged in the room and in the center of the pentagram the blue portal appeared.

Buffy looked at the strange, water-like hole in space. She glanced at the others. “Last chance to change your mind.” Everyone just shook their heads and moved close to Buffy and Ethan. The six linked arms and stepped into the portal.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
marilynloren
May. 21st, 2006 10:12 am (UTC)
OOOOH! I've missed this story! Thank you for updating! I hope they end up in the right place!
gilesbabe
May. 22nd, 2006 01:26 am (UTC)
Glad you like it.

And really, could there be any doubts? I would never be that cruel.

Or would I? Hmmmmm.
michamon
May. 21st, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad that you're writing again.
Any plan to a sequel for "never assume"?
gilesbabe
May. 22nd, 2006 01:28 am (UTC)
I'm glad too. It's so nice to sit down and be able to get something to show up on the screen.

As to Never Assume. I did promise a sequel, but right now I want to finish these two.

Unless Bunny wants to work on the others. The Muse can be picky sometimes.
(Anonymous)
May. 25th, 2006 01:31 am (UTC)
Chapters 1 & 2
Hey love your stories, glad you're back to writing! I read the previous chapters of Watching Atlantis but can't locate chapters 1 & 2 could you tell me where they are? Can't wait to read 'em.

TKS
Tiamac7
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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