Pairing/Charecter(s): Anceint!John, Rodney; background John/Rodney
Warnings/Spoliers: this drabble takes place, chronologically, after part 5 of "Legati" in Ancient!John 'verse, and "Aurora"
Disclaimer: Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine.
Summary: Some talk about stasis pods
Notes: I'm begining to wonder why I ever thought this storyline was a good idea, as I can't seem to make the next installment work. Here was what seemed like a brilliant start for part 6, but turned out not to be
An Ancient!John Drabble
"Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen."
John le Carre "The Chancellor Who Agreed To Play Spy"
"What did you mean?" Rodney asks, half buried under a console as he physically creates workarounds around damaged crystals. "Earlier," he clarifies. "When you were talking to Aurora before I beamed over. The side of the conversation I heard mentioned something about pods."
Iohannes is, by this point, sitting not too far away. They've gotten the life support system back online, so he's been able to remove his pressure suit. Well, the helmet and gloves at least; he's still got the suit itself on, unzipped and pushed down to his hips, and the mag-boots. The mag-boots aren't really necessary either – the artificial gravity had been restored with the inertial dampeners – but he'd not thought to bring his combat boots with him when he'd beamed over and getting Thor to do so now doesn't seem worth the bother, not when they're within half-hour or so of bringing Aurora in to land.
What all this adds up to is that the crinkling of the suit's Nomex fabric rather covers up the sound of Iohannes' head banging against the wall as he asks, "Would it be too much for you to hope I meant escape pods?"
"Do you even need to ask?"
He sighs. "Aurora carried a crew of two hundred and thirty-eight. Sixty-three managed to get to the stasis pods before life support cut out." It must have happened fast, however the attack had gone down, for only twenty-six percent of the crew to make it to the pods. They must have been desperate too, as they would've gone to the jumpers first, if they could, or tried to repair the damage themselves. Even amongst his own people, stasis had held cowardly overtones that few were willing to countenance.
"For someone whose favourite hobby is waxing lyrical about how difficult it is to be the last Ancient in the universe, you don't sound all that excited."
"I've never waxed lyrical about anything," Iohannes protests.
"Obviously you've never heard your my people were not gods, or even particularly decent people speech."
"I prefer to think of it as more of a diatribe myself."
"Fine, whatever. Still, there are sixty-three of your people on this ship in stasis, which is sixty-three more Ancients than the universe had yesterday. That's got to be worth something."
"It's not that simple, Rodney."
"Why? Did the pods malfunction or something? 'Cause I'm pretty sure that the last diagnostic I ran showed a fair amount of power going to something that could be a whole bunch of suspended animation systems."
"Rory says the pods are functioning at seventeen percent, but that's not the point."
"It's not? 'Cause I would've thought you'd like having other Ancients around. At the very least, they'll be someone new for the anthropologists to bother about their arrowheads and pottery shards. And, if we're very lucky, some of them will know something about this ship, so we'll be able to start right in on repairs rather than waste half our time trying to figure out how everything works."
"They've been in stasis for over ten thousand years, Rodney. They're not going to be in any shape to show anyone anything."
"You were sneaking into a Wraith base within twenty-four hours of being defrosted. I think these folks should be able to handle a few engineering questions."
"I doubt that."
"What?" he asks, sliding out from underneath the console at long last. "Why not?"
"'Cause, Rodney, mostly dead corpses tend not to be able to do much of anything."
"What d'you mean mostly dead corpses?"
"I mean, Rodney," (Iohannes stresses this last so harshly that the word seems to shatter, with pieces of its shrapnel flying into every corner of the room), "that, even having been in the pods, they're going to have aged so much that you should planning their funerals, not what questions to ask them."
"What the hell are you talking about? You were "
Iohannes takes a deep breath. Then another. And then, after a third, he pulls himself to his feet, ignoring the way the crinkling of the Nomex seems to dominate the room. "Look, let's just get Aurora back home. We can talk about her crew when we're on the ground."