Pairing/Charecter(s): Ancient!John, Richard Woolsey
Warnings/Spoliers: part of the Ancient!John 'verse, taking place after "Idolon"
Disclaimer: Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine.
Summary: Iohannes and Woolsey talk
Notes: This was going to be the start of pt2 of "Idolon" before my word processing issues. I rather like the new version better, but this part I liked enough to save and turn into a drabble. (And dear god, how did we get to 50?)
That being said, causidici are lawyers, ambassadors, and negotiators in this verse; Woolsey, Elizabeth, and Teyla all qualify for the title. Praefectus is, again, the governor of Atlantis - ie, Elizabeth's position. For more on the rank/title system in the AJ 'verse, please follow the links.
An Ancient!John Drabble
"The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it." Lord Macaulay
"Mind if I join you?"
"Knock yourself out," Iohannes says, patting an stretch of empty floor next to him.
"I think I'll stand, if that's alright with you."
Iohannes shrugs. He'd rather Woolsey went away entirely, but if there's one thing he's learned in life, it's that no one ever gets what they want.
"Teyla make sure you got settled in okay?"
"Miss Emmagen has been very hospitable. She even suggested I change into this uniform, though I have my doubts as to how much it will truly help me blend in here."
"Never underestimate how much blending in with the natives really helps."
"Be that as it may, I notice that you're not making an effort to," Woolsey says, gesturing at Iohannes' Guardsman uniform, which is rather conspicuous in it's impossible shades of white.
"Yeah, well, I'm having corporeality issues."
"So I've heard."
"I'm working on it."
"It might take me a while."
"I sincerely hope you figure it out soon." At Iohannes' curious look, Woolsey explains, "There has been some talk back on Earth of having Colonel Caldwell replace you has military commander of Atlantis for the time being, and while I have no doubts of the Colonel's capability, I do not believe that removing you from command would suit anyone's best interests."
Surprised, Iohannes admits, "That's good to know." It's always good to have a causidicus in their corner, especially one who has sway with the IOA. "Though Major Lorne has agreed to continue acting in my place until I'm on my feet again, so to speak."
"There are those who worry that becoming a pastor like yourself may have compromised him."
Raising a single eyebrow in the way he's learned most Terrans find intimidating. "And are you one of them?"
"I've made no decision on the matter as of yet, though he seems to be handling the change quite well."
That's something at least. "So how long d'you think this little inquiry of yours will take?"
"A week, most likely. Two at the most."
"That long, huh?"
"These things take time, Colonel."
"They shouldn't," Iohannes tells him. "All you're doing is just reconfirming Elizabeta as praefecta."
"I'm afraid the situation is a little more complicated than that."
"No, it's not." He gestures idly at Woolsey. "Oh, you - the IOA - are trying to make it seem that way, but the truth is you can't replace Elizabeta without militarising the Expedition, not with the Wraith out for our blood. And you don't want to do that, because militarisation puts the American military in control, which scares the shit out of most the IOA nations, and me in command of Atlantis, which freaks the rest of them out.
"Not that the SGC would put me in command initially. No, they'll probably try to bring Caldwell in as praefectus, but he won't go for it. Not if it means replacing Elizabeta, to say nothing of the fact I think he respects me enough now not to take away my command.
"So they'll try to bring in someone else, but it won't stick. Not unless it's someone who's willing to see this city as more than just another outpost out in the universe for the sole benefit of Terra. And I gotta tell you, I didn't exactly get that warm and fuzzy sense of open-mindedness from most the legati I encountered on Terra.
"So, in the end, it'll have to be me in command if you choose to militarise and you guys don't want that. It's bad enough in your eyes that an alien not beholden to any of your silly little countries is in charge of the military presence in Atlantis. You don't want to give me any more power than you think I already have.
"So you'll stick with Elizabeta for now, because she's a civilian and vetted and tried and tested. But because you're causidici, you're going to make this process as slow and painful as possible, to make it seem like she's hanging onto her job by the skin of her teeth. Because you're too proud to admit that she made the right call, without any help from you."
"Sounds to me like you think Doctor Weir was right to attempt an alliance with the Wraith."
Iohannes snorts. "Nah, that was twelve kinds of stupid. But she thought it was the right thing to do and it was her call to make."
"And if you'd been in her place, Colonel?"
"I'd have shot that hive ship out of the sky before they could ever get a signal off. But I have the benefit of hindsight and a deep-seated hatred of the Wraith like you couldn't even begin to understand." He shrugs before standing.
"Glad we could have this little chat," he says with his best fake smile before striding away with a false sense purpose.
Maybe he'll go find Rodney.