Words: 1,787 (of 16,683)
Pairing/Charecter(s): Ancient!John, Rodney, Ronon, Elizabeta; John/Rodney
Warnings/Spoliers: part #14 in the Ancient!John 'verse. General spoilers for "Aurora"
Disclaimer: All characters, situations, quotes et al are properties of their respective owners and I am merely using them under Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine, without intents to infringe upon or defame anyone's legal rights.
Summary: In which Iohannes' mother makes an appearance of sorts.
Notes: I've kinda been dying to write this one for a while, but it's proving more difficult than one would otherwise think. I'm posting what I have so far, mostly because I think this is a wonderful place to end, but also because Mass Effect 3 comes out tomorrow and IDK when I'll actually find time to write next. Now might also be a good time to take a look at the timeline and Iohannes' family tree. The later, at least, won't often be important, but this is one of those times where it might be. Oh, and any of you who got this while reading drabble #13, good for you.... Oh, and Legati means, roughly, Colonels.
Fessona was the goddess who releives weariness in Roman Mythology, and Pellonia was the goddess who protects one from enemies. Aurora was the red-fingered goddess of the dawn.
[Beta'd by spaci1701]
An Ancient!John Story
"You're getting slow, old man," Ronon says, not even the slightest bit winded as they pause on the catwalk.
Iohannes hunches over and tries not to cough up either of his lungs as he attempts to catch his breath. Before he'd met the Runner he'd liked to think of himself as pretty fit, but Ronon has summarily done everything in his power to prove him otherwise. He's even gone so far as to ask 'Lantis to run through her databases, searching for any mention of his people doing genetic manipulation on Sateda's Descendant population – anything, really, that could explain how Ronon could run as many miles as they did each morning without looking how Iohannes felt, which is to say like keeling over and dying – but she'd found nothing. Nothing helpful, at least.
So it is with some ill-humour he asks, "Who you calling old?" as soon as he actually has the breath to do so.
"I think that'd be obvious, old man," Ronon smirks.
"Laugh all you want, Chewbacca. You'd be lucky to look half as good as I do when you're my age."
"And what's that? Fifty?"
"No, it's-" He blinks. "What do you mean fifty? There is no possible way I look anywhere remotely close to fifty."
"Well, you certainly run like it."
Iohannes glowers. "You are going to pay for that."
"What are you going to do?" Ronon laughs, "Pass out on me?"
"You're absolutely hilarious," he says, going for his water bottle and downing what remains in one go before accepting, only somewhat reluctantly, the mostly full one Ronon hands him a second later. "We'll have to convert one of the Academia's lecture halls into a theatre so you can do shows."
Ronon doesn't even bother to answer this, just shrugs and leans against the railing, looking down at the mostly-silent turbines below as Iohannes continues to catch his breath. It truly is ridiculous how slow he is compared to Ronon, the fact that the other man's been on the run for the better part of the last seven years not withstanding. He remembers being faster then this – but, then again, he remembers a lot of things and very few of them have any real actual value in this day and age. Stasis, he's discovered, has a tendency to fuck with peoples' minds that way.
As if knowing the direction his thoughts have taken, Ronon asks, "So, how old are you anyway?" in a tone that implies he could hardly be less interested if he tried. Which, having become somewhat familiar with Ronon over the last several months, could either mean he's genuinely uninterested and asking only 'cause it seems like the thing to do, or else he's well and truly interested and trying to pretend he isn't, 'cause he's lived the kind of life where the things he shows interest in have only been taken from him.
In a dim, distant sort of way Iohannes wonders if it's always been this way for Ronon or if it's just the last seven years of running that has done this to him but he doesn't ask. He just runs with him when Ronon wants company.
But still, "Ten thousand, two hundred and thirty-eight next June," he answers truthfully, doing his best to be flippant about it. It's another one of those things Iohannes tries not to think too hard about because, honestly, that way madness lies.
"Tell me about it."
"How'd you manage to stay alive that long?"
"I accidentally put myself into stasis for a couple millennia."
"Er, frozen hibernation?" he waves his hand vaguely. The specifics of the process never really interested him. "I dunno. Ask Rodney or Zelenka to try to explain it if you want details. But, pretty much, I sat in the cathedra at roughly the age I am now and came out a few thousand years later without having really aged," by which he means without having aged at all, but that was another one of those things Iohannes tries not to think about too hard.
"Why would you want to do that?"
"I didn't. Thus the accidental part."
"And you Ancestors did this sort of thing a lot?"
"Not really, no."
"Huh." There's a pause, and then, "Ready to finish this lap?"
Hell no is what Iohannes wants to answer but is saved from this indignity – or the equally ego-bruising one of agreeing to said madness – by his radio going off. "Sheppard here."
"Where are you?"
"Eighth floor of the air recycling plant," he tells Rodney with a ghost of a smile, despite the fact his amator is in no position to see it.
"What on Earth are you doing there? And, no, don't say it, I know the planet's Lantea. It's just a saying. You don't have to be quite so literal with these things. Anyway, it doesn't matter, how soon can you get to the Control Room?"
"I can be there in three minutes." Less if he had the energy in him to run but, as he doesn't, three is the best he can manage. There's a vectura at the base of the stairway on the far side of the plant, one that can take him to the Inner City and another not far from there that can take him up to the Control Room.
"Good. 'Cause there's something up here you're going to want to see."
"Three minutes," he promises and sends Ronon a half-hearted look of regret before taking off for the Control Room.
"My God, what have you been doing?" Rodney asks as soon as he arrives at his destination, eyeing his sweat-soaked workout clothes warily. Even Elizabeta, who's hovering next to one of the consoles, looks vaguely concerned.
"Running with Ronon," he tells him, not really seeing what the big deal is as he sinks into the nearest empty seat with a groan. After all, they've seen him covered in far worse things than sweat and Rodney's tone had implied this was too urgent to wait for a shower. /Maybe I am getting too old for this,/ he tells the city, who responds-
/You are only as old as you feel, pastor./
-which is oddly kind of her, considering her usual smart-ass attitude. But Iohannes is too tired to read much into it, so he sends her a weary smile by way of the ceiling before turning his attention back to Rodney-
-who is watching the proceedings with more than a little concern. "I'd ask if you have a death wish, but..."
"It's called keeping in shape," he snaps peevishly, dabbing the sweat off his forehead with the hem of his shirt. "Keep it up and I'll tell Ronon you want to start training with him too."
Rodney holds up his hands in a universal don't shoot gesture from beside the far console, where there appear to be no less than forty dozen wires running between the crystals underneath and the small army of lap tops perched precariously on various surfaces around it. "I've nothing against the whole keeping in shape thing. I am, if you haven't noticed," his hands now moving up and down in Iohannes' general direction, "rather a fan of your current shape so, please, do whatever it takes to keep it. It's more of the with Ronon part I'm concerned about. I mean, have you seen him? It's like watching the road runner on speed, only with less beeping and more grunting, which is a mildly disturbing image in and of itself. Can't you just continue to torment your Marines like a normal person?"
"Who says I can't do both?"
"As loathe as I am to admit it, probably the majority of the medical community."
Iohannes (seeing Elizabeta trying – and failing – not to laugh) just shrugs. "As grateful as I am for your concern, did you have an actual reason for calling me up here or were you just trying to save me from supposed death by muscle fatigue?"
"Someone's tetchy today," Rodney huffs without real malice and grins as he punches something into the tablet in front of him. "Well, this should cheer you up. You know how we've been reactivating all the dormant systems since work on the ZedPM recharger is pretty much at a standstill?"
Rodney just gives him a smug smile. "Well, we've managed to get the one that tracked the location of Ancient ships during the war back on line."
"A linter?" he breathes, not quite believing what he's hearing. "You've found a linter?"
"See, look at his eyes all lighting up again. Pavlovian, I told you. But, yeah, we found you a warship. Atlantis must have sent out some kind of automated subspace beacon recalling ships back after we activated the ZedPM and we just didn't notice that any were sending anything back until we got this baby up and running."
"Which is it?" he asks quickly, waving aside his amator's explanations as he stands and makes his way to the console. "You should be able to tell. 'Lantis, why didn't you say anything?"
'Lantis doesn't answer.
Rodney does. "The Aurora."
Iohannes falters, only managing not to trip by grabbing the nearest console. Hard. Unless he's very much mistaken all the blood has just left his face – and, quite possibly, the rest of his body. "No. That's wrong," he says slowly, trying to string together words in some sort of order.
"It can't be Aurora. The Aurora was lost thirty-one years before the Exodus. The only lintres we had left by then were Fessona and Pellonia. It has to be one of those."
Rodney frowns, "I've double checked everything like five times. It's definitely the Aurora. According to the logs, it was on a recon mission-"
"-to the planet Elora, to determine the fate of the urbs-navis Elorus, which was destroyed the Wraith in 108 Aetas Lanteae, from which it never returned. All two hundred thirty-eight crew members aboard were declared dead and that sector of Pegasus was declared off-limits by the remaining Councils."
"You're familiar with it?" Elizabeta asks, smiling a little, like she's glad things are finally going their way for once. It fades once he lets out a hollow, self-deprecating laugh.
"Familiar with it? Mother was its executive officer."
Continue on to Pars Dua