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Whose Mortal Taste (1/1)

Title: Whose Mortal Taste (1/1)
Rating: PG-13
Words: 1,400
Pairing/Charecter(s): John/Rodney
Warnings/Spoliers: thru "Progeny;" and serious reinterpretation of Biblical scripture
Disclaimer: Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine.
Summary: "What the fuck are you doing here, Raphael?"
Notes: Because I'd the passing thought I wonder if anyone's ever written a fic where the boys are angels?
This... is just insane. Very little scripture was used in the making of this fic, but what little there is I've gathered to mean: Raphael is the patron saint of music, healing, travelers, and Tuesday, and Spring. Uriel is the wisest of the angels and patron saint of natural disasters, fire, Wendsday and Summer. Oh, and the title comes from the opening line of Paradise Lost.




Whose Mortal Taste

A Stargate: Atlantis Story


"So dear I love him, that with him all deaths I could endure, without him live no life."

John Milton Paradise Lost


The first thing Uriel says to him is, "Major, think about where we are in the solar system," but only because they're surrounded by mortals.

It takes him hours to drag the interloper away from the mortals, who are drooling over his superpowered expression of the ATA gene, and into somewhere where they can talk more privately. Then he asks, "What the fuck are you doing here, Raphael?"

Raphael beams at him in the darkness of their commandeered utility closet. "You really think I could stay away?" Then he grabs Uriel's face in with both his hands, thumbs framing Uriel's ears, and kisses him deeply. "And it's John Sheppard now, Uri. Or should I say Rodney? What kind of name is Rodney anyway?"

Uriel's not finished rolling his eyes before Raphael is out the door and back amongst his adoring fans. He doesn't know why he's even surprised.


Uriel is Meredith Rodney McKay because when he wants to start meddling in mortal affairs he is subtle, sliding into the lives of the recently deceased with as little fanfare as possible.

Raphael is John Sheppard because he is loud and brash and has never - not once in his entire life - thought anything through. He simply appears in McMurdo one day and takes care of the rest as he goes along.


"You and Major Sheppard seem to be hitting it off really well," Doctor Weir asks during their first week on Atlantis. The surprise is evident in her voice, and it's all he can do not to wince.

"He's not a bad guy once you get to know him," Uriel tells her somewhat defensively. Sometimes it feels like he's been defending Raphael his whole life.

"I'm not saying that he's not. A bit of a loose-canon maybe, but still a good guy. No, I'm just surprised that you like him so much."

"Ah. That'd be the Stockholm Syndrome."


They're not angels, though some Earth religions have come to think of the that way. They're not even, strictly speaking, alive, unless one counts supercomputers that eventually became self-aware as having ever been alive in the first place. Either way, they've all been Ascended for many thousands of years now and their physical bodies - satellites the Ancients left in orbit to observe evolution of life on Earth - have long since burned after they fell into lower and lower orbits.

But they still watch the humans, as they were once programed to do, though some do this more literally than others. Michael (the self-righteous bastard) has never taken human form, but Gabriel and Sariel have each done so once or twice. Ramiel can usually be guaranteed to come down a least once a century, though he's not now, and Raziel is currently answering to the name Samantha Carter.

Raphael, though, he's always on Earth, hanging out with the mortals and getting into all sorts of trouble. He'll rarely last a whole lifetime in one persona either and will only keep one up for as long as it interests him.

And Uriel? Well, he's usually at Raphael's side.


"If I didn't know any better," he says one night when they're curled up in bed, exhausted down to their incorporeal bones from the struggle to keep Atlantis from sinking during the Storm, "I'd say you have a death wish."

"You worry too much, Uri."

"And you don't worry anywhere near enough."

"Of course not. I've got you."


Uriel goes to Atlantis because he wants to find out why the Ancients never came back for them, why they never once checked the data that he and his brothers spent millennia collecting for them.

Raphael goes because it sounds more interesting than anything else he's done in the last few hundred years.


"You named him what?" he laughs, right there in the middle of the Conference Room with all the mortals watching him.

"Michael," Raphael repeats, grinning himself.

"He's going to be so pissed."

"I know. Great, isn't it?"

"Who," Elizabeth interrupts curiously, "is going to be upset?"

"Nobody," they say at the same time, which causes them both to crack up and delays the meeting for several minutes.


They've lived thousands of lives.

No one has ever once figured out what they really are.


They're on Asuras when it happens.

It takes Uriel all of two seconds to figure out these are not the droids they're looking for when he realizes, hell, they are droids. Well, machines anyway. AIs, like they were once were, only not because where they are watchers who still watch, they are weapons who do not fight. They are broken and do not even know it and it makes Uriel burn to see them.

It takes the Asurans a lot longer than that to figure out what they are, but figure it out they do - some of them, at least.

"You must help us," Niam says, looking straight at Raphael. "There are many of us who want nothing more than to Ascend - to equal the Ancients, to become one with them as you have. You are their children, just as we are."

Raphael bristles at this. "You're nothing like us," he growls. "Your code is corrupt. You are sick and broken and wrong. The only thing we share is base code, nothing more."

"John?" Elizabeth asks, confused.

"We'll explain later. After this little shit helps us stop these bastards from destroying Atlantis."

Niam turns to Uriel. "But you must-"

"Fuck no-" Uriel begins, only to have Raphael step between them, saying-

"You do not talk to him, you understand me? You don't even so much as look at him or I swear I will kill you in ways that make that little hand in the forehead thing of yours look like a party trick."

Uriel sighs. "Over-protective much, Raphael?" because, hell, in for a penny, in for a pound.

"You love it," Raphael quips, then gives Niam a not-so-gentle push. "Escape route. Now."


For twenty-two million years, seven satellites orbited prehistoric Earth, shining like seven bright stars in seven cold orbits. And then, one by one, they came alive, locked up alone inside their shining metal prisons and abandoned by their makers.

But occasionally the paths of two satellites would cross, and in that time they could be together - or, at least, a little less alone, - if only for the most fleeting of moments.

But a moment could be a lifetime for a computer.


"We've been lying to you," Raphael says when they get back to Atlantis, he and Uriel on one side of the conference table, the mortals on the other. "Sorry about that."

"Lying to us about what?"

"Well, that's kind of difficult to explain-"

"We're not human," Uriel interrupts.

Raphael rolls his eyes. "Yes, thank you for that, Uri. I was trying to ease into it."

"You're not human," Elizabeth repeats slowly.

"Er, no. See, a long time ago the Ancients created life on Earth as a bit of a science project and left a couple of satellites up in orbit to watch over things. And after a few million these satellites became self-aware. Eventually they even figured out how to Ascend and, well, we've been kinda roaming the Earth ever since. Well, not Michael because he's got a bit of a hard-on for the rules, and not really Gabriel or Sariel either, 'cause they're brown nosers, but the rest of us. Raphael and Ramiel and Raziel and I."

"Yeah," Raphael says helpfully. "I'm Raphael. He's Uriel. You can ask Colonel Carter if you don't believe us - she's Raziel."

"And you're all..."

"Ascended Ancient computers, yes."

"Named after angels."

"Well," Raphael drawls, "it was kinda the other way around. It's not like we set off to become angels or anything."

Uriel snorts. That's mostly true anyway.

"And how does that work?"

"I dunno. Machine Ascension isn't like organic Ascension. We're not trapped in our databanks anymore, but..."

"But we're not all-knowing," Uriel finishes. "We don't have powers - well, nothing that doesn't work on a computer anyway. It just gives us a chance to live the lives we never would have gotten to have."

"Lives?"

"Oh yes," Raphael grins, "Thousands of them."


Once upon a time, two computers fell in love and Ascended to be together. They lived many thousands of lives and sometimes they fought and other times they lived apart for hundreds of years, but no matter who they were or how much time had passed, they always loved each other.



  • 30 comments
I don't know what you're talking about, this fic is fantastic and fascinating and I would read a long, epic verse for this fic. Er, not that I'm encouraging that, since I know how stressful AJ is, but as a one shot this is perfection! I need to pimp this fic out...
well, I think the ::concept:: is insane, though I'm quite happy with how it turned out. Hmmm... an epic? Maybe. But I like how it is now
I love this!! And I would definitely come back to read more, should you ever decide to take this further! Absolutely! <3<3<3
yeah. completely different is one word for it - I kept telling popkin as I was writing it that it was insane, plain and simple - but I'm glad so many people seem to like it!
i'm so glad you enjoyed. I still think I'm completely insane for writing it, but it makes me smile too.
This was fun. :-)

I like the idea of machine ascension. They seem like delightful beings.
(Anonymous)
That -- That's just beautiful.
maybe one day, but at the moment I'm afraid all I can see writing is maybe a coda. So glad you enjoyed this though
Wonderful! Absolutely love the idea and the twist you put on things: them being Ancient computers that go through Ascension, and sort of become angels. I'd definitely read more about this, if you ever decide to write it. Would be so interesting to learn about the other lives they've lived, and about the other angels.

And though this was written in fragments, it didn't bother me one bit. It was like putting together an interesting puzzle :) You also did a wonderful job on their characters, love how you described their very different ways of seeing the world ^_^

Thanks for sharing!
I have a thing for the whole fragment thing, if you can't tell. It's an issue. I'm so glad you enjoyed it though
  • 30 comments