Characters: Ancient!John/Rodney, Jeannie/Kaleb Miller, Radek
Warnings: #25 in the Ancient!John 'Verse; "McKay and Mrs. Miller"
Summary: A king is made
Notes: This is the second of 5 stories written while I was in SEPS. The next two are longer, I promise.
'Princeps' translates directly to 'Prince,' but it's more accurate Roman translation is 'first in time or order; first, chief, most eminent, distinguished or noble' and, in many ways, is more important than 'Imperator' as a title of a Roman Emperor, the latter being merely 'commander' and given to distinguished generals, whereas 'Princeps' has the whole 'sense of republic' feel behind it.
'Schimaticus' is a schismatic, ie, a heretic like Chaya who calls herself a god but is not Ori. 'Haereticus' is a heretic, ie, an Ori. 'Haeresis' is 'heresy' and applies to any Ancient/Ori who calls/believes himself to be a god.
I've named M7G-677 Piraeus for no reason I can remember. Harmony's planet is now called Kenosha, because it was never given a name, and the planet from "Coup D'etat" became Winnetka for the same reason - both of which are stops on the train I took getting home.
'Pontifex' is 'high priest' or 'bishop'. 'Servola fabricata' are litterally 'Robots of Manufacturing,' ie, remote mining probe.
Also, if anyone's curious, the signing date is 10 October, 2006.
An Ancient!John Story
They call him Lord Iohannes and bow their heads when he passes. Tribute in the form of fruit, flowers, and flat bread starts appearing on the Gate Room steps. Attendance at the Athosian's Altar Room is through the roof, particularly among the conference delegates from Pyrderi and Dagan.
Iohannes can feel the power flowing into him with every prayer, each one slowly but steadily increasing the quantity already at his disposal.
So this what it's like to be a god.
He almost wants to wash his hands and keep washing them until all of the 'Haeresis' and filth on his skin is washed way - until the skin and bone and blood itself is gone and he's nothing but pure light once more, untainted by false idols and apotheosis.
The rest of him thrums from the power. Iohannes has never felt this good - this confident - this in control - before. Already in the short time since his Ascension, the power at his command has grown tenfold. He's still not strong enough to face off against the Others on his own, to say nothing of the Haeretici, but he's certain that he's strong enough to protect Atlantis if the Wraith or Asurans were ever to come against her again; more than strong enough to protect her if the
Genii or any of their other native allies were ever to turn against them.
Not that he thinks that will ever happen.
Of the six peoples that are taking part in the Confederation Conference, the Taranins and the Daganans are so entrenched in their faith in the Ancestors - in him - that Iohannes doesn't think the idea of defying could ever occur to them. He's known the Athosians too long for them to easily give up that friendship either. Only the Genii are wild cards. Ladon might not be Kolya or even Cowen, but he's still Genii. Their militaristic, opportunistic streak runs deep; deeper still in any man able to rise to the rank of First Minister. If it ever appears to be in his best interests to turn against Atlantis, he will take it, no doubt about it. It's his nature. Granted, Ladon has enough foresight that he'd probably hold off on such a move until they've taken care of the Wraith, but nothing is certain in this universe. Of that, Iohannes is more than sure.
Of the other three participants, Keras' people, the Piraeans, are too few; the Kenoshans are too weak; and the Winnetkans, while under the Genii's thumb, are more followers than wave-makers.
So, provided Iohannese can win the Genii's trust - or keep them under his control until the rest of the galaxy has joined the Confederation - then they're in the free and clear.
Atlantis will be safe at last. Even if it means becoming a god.
The Confederation Conference - the first of several, for there are already three more planned, to cover such topics as trade, religion, and the Wraith, and probably at least another two in the wings - is Elizabeta's brainchild. As a career diplomat, she'd been looking forward to helping charter a a brand new and utterly unprecedented form a government. Her unfortunate, unforgivable death has done little more than move up the timetable. (Elizabeta had wanted to wait until after the Terran new year before even considering hosting formal talks, whereas Iohannes had decided to move them up to mid-September, barely a month after being named acting Head of the Expedition.)
But the talks are still Elizabeta's baby. And while most of the Charter was a Pegasus friendly riff off the Terran United Nations Charter, what changes have been made to the original document had been penned by her.
Oh, others have done their parts too - Radek and Dahlia Radhim, for instance, have been instrumental in creating The Declaration of Universal Rights, which lists such things as freedom of speech and proscription of slavery, which Iohannes hadn't thought anyone might need directly spelled out, - but the conference was Elizabeta's. And, as such, Iohannes feels uncomfortable chairing it. Even if he is the one they're about to name Emperor of Pegasus. Especially if.
So he takes every chance he can to escape, leaving the delegates in Teyla's far more capable hands while he runs errands that he should rightfully give to whatever Gate tech is playing executive assistant for him that shift.
Which is, of course, how he ends up in the Clean Room, looking for Rodney to ask the far-from-urgent question, "Do you have any idea how you go about accrediting a college?"
All three heads bent over the nearest tablet - Rodney's, Radek's, and Jeannie's - snap up, the first asking quite eloquently, "What?"
"Colleges. Universities. Institutions of higher learning. How d'you go about accrediting them on Terra?"
Jeannie looks confused.
Rodney just fixes him with a 'look' that seems to say that he already knows exactly what's going on and is only saying anything aloud to make completely clear how incredibly stupid he finds the whole idea. "Tell me you did not just do what it sounds like you've done."
He beams at his 'amator'. "Yep." Iohannes rocks back on his heels. "I also endowed a hospital and made Teyla the 'pontifex' of my religion. You want to be it's first president, or you gonna pawn that off on Doctor Z too?"
"I'm sorry," Jeannie interrupts, "but what exactly is it that you've done?"
Doctor Z shakes his head. "Unless I am much mistaken, the Colonel here has chartered a college for Atlantis and what to place your brother in charge."
Iohannes shifts his grin his way. "I am thinking of calling it just UA - y'know, 'University of Atlantis.' One of the anthropologists who's documenting the whole thing suggested naming it after Father, but I think that opens the door to a worse Imperial cult situation than we already have.
"I'm calling the hospital 'The Elizabeta Molia Praefecta Imperial Healthcare Centre,' or IHC."
Earlier peevishness momentarily forgotten, Rodney swallows before managing, "I think Elizabeth would have liked that."
"Yes, well," his eyes drop to the floor and his hands fall from his hips. "I couldn't save her before. Maybe if we'd a proper hospital on Atlantis we might've been able to. I figure we can likely scavenge most the equipment from around the city, but the bandages and vaccines and stuff we'll have to get from Terra."
"That could get expensive fast," Jeannie points out.
He shrugs. "'Lantis has been investing the money the SGC insists on paying me in something called 'The Stock Market'. She tells me that between what she's already done and what I should be getting in reward money for that math proof next time I'm on Terra, there'll be more than enough to fund both for a long while."
She hakes her head. "But still, John, a college?"
"We can't fight the Wraith with just one 'linter', and there's nowhere else we can send them to learn what they'll need to know, not so long as your planet stupidly insists on letting it's population believe it's alone in the universe."
"But we only have 'one' spaceship, Colonel."
"But we can build more," he tells Radek confidently.
They can scrounge crystals from the city. Wiring for circuitry and various plastics can be imported from Terra. Now that they have a pair of charged ZPMS, they can even build 'servola fabricata' to collect the raw materials they'll need from uninhabited worlds in Pegasus itself. With a little work, they can easily get Atlantis' metalworks up and running again. His people did it before, in the middle of the Siege - the remaining 'urbes-naves' had built dozens of 'lintres' each after the Fall of Tarquinius. The Expedition can easily repeat the task now.
"'We can build more,' he says," Rodney snorts. "What about the little problem of how none of the natives in this galaxy having the ATA gene, hmm? Unless your dad sewed more wild oats than you've been letting on."
Iohannes rolls his eyes. "We don't have to put that part in."
"Oh, yes, because that can be done."
"Like I know. I just want 'lintres.' You're the scientist. You figure it out."
"Of course, because I don't have literally thirty-seven other open projects to worry about, including this one here, which may very well rip a hole in the fabric of multiple universes if we screw it up."
Teasingly, "Well, if it's too much for you..."
"Now hold on," Rodney blusters. "I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that this is going to push the other ones back a couple of months."
"Well, if that's the best you can do..."
Rodney narrows his eyes.
"So. UA: yes or no? 'Cause, Doctor Z, you're more than welcome to it if Rodney doesn't want it."
He throws his hands into the air. "Fine. Yes. I'll do it, if only to spare the people of this galaxy whatever ex-Soviet excuse for a university Mr. Fumbles McStupid over here would foist upon the weak and unsuspecting. But," his 'amator' adds archly, stabbing the air with a finger, "don't expect me to teach. I'm far too important and far too busy to try to explain something as complicated and delicate as hyperspace flight to the knuckleheads the natives laughingly call scientists."
With a grin, "I never expected otherwise," Iohannes assures him. "So, how goes it here? Any luck on the whole Matter Bridge front?"
"A little," Jeannie admits. "We think we have the science down, it's just taking a while to crunch the numbers."
"Yes," Radek adds. "McKay and I have been working in base-8 maths for a while now, but neither of us have quite your proficiency."
Iohannes rolls his eyes and extends his hand, wriggling his fingers for the tablet. "Hand it over. I'll take a look at it."
The Czech smiles beatifically at him before doing so. They don't really need him here - sure, Iohannes 'is' better at base-8 than they are, but only because he grew up with it; Rodney and Radek are more than adequate at it - but they all know how little he wants to go back to the conference, with it's bickering delegates and kowtowing natives. Any excuse to keep him away will do.
Despite all his absences, intentional and otherwise, the First Confederation Conference concludes less than three weeks after it begins, producing both a charter of confederation and Radek's Declaration of Universal Rights. The latter is expansive, guaranteeing every freedom Iohannes, as an Alteran, has ever taken for granted and more than a few he'd never thought to question. But the former...
The former is a work of art. While most of it is lifted from already extant Terran and Pegasus documents, the preface is all Elizabeta's, and it is is this Iohannes reads at the signing Ceremony on the final day of the conference, in one of the Great Halls of the old 'Academia' spruced up to act as a ceremonial area for the occasion.
"Sometimes," he reads, his dreamt-up formal clothes itching against his dreamt-up skin,"in the course of history..."
SOMETIMES in the course of history, it becomes necessary for people to join together in common cause, regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual preference, caste, level of scientific and industrial progress, or planet of origin.
OFTEN these are times of great peril and hardship, borne out of gravest necessity and falling apart as soon as their objectives have been achieved.
TODAY, however, we are strong. As a galaxy, we have never been stronger. And so by joining this strength together, we hope to build an alliance that will stand all tests and defeat all enemies, and in so doing improve the lives, prosperity, and progeny of all those under it's aegis.
AND so to this end we, the undersigned, and all future signatories write this, The Charter of the Confederation of Pegasus, and decree its articles into law for the betterment of all peoples of this galaxy.
Iohannes signs first, the straight, orderly Alteran letters strange beneath so much meandering English text. Teyla signs next in her own flowing Athosian script, then Chancellor Lycas for the Taranins, and so on until the Genii First Minister, Ladon Radhim adds his name at the bottom of the final sheet.
There's silence in the hall as Ladon sets down his pen. When he looks up, meeting Iohannes square in the eye, everyone can hear his quiet, "Long live Iohannes, by the will of the Ancestors Lord of Atlantis, Emperor of Pegasus."
The room reverberates as the crowd echoes, "Long live the king," and Iohannes can feel his power soar.