Title: Fida
Rating: R
Words: 1,381
Pairing/Charecter(s): Ancient!John, Rodney, Elizabeth, the Genii; (background) McShep slash
Warnings/Spoliers: #6.5 in the Ancient!John 'verse (falls during "Liberator"); contains lots of minor charecter death and mentions of torture, as well as spoilers for "The Storm"/"The Eye"
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: Elizabeth knows full well all her arguements are futile.
Notes: For creating my fantastic Ancient!John icon (not used here, as this is sorta a "missing moment" from the series), kazbaby wanted Iohannes and Kolya arguing over whom Altantis belongs to. This is sorta what happened when I tried to write it. I hope it works, 'cause the prompt kinda took the wrong exit getting here... Fida means faithful, and also, in this context, believer. (PS, IDK what is up with the formating with this one, but it just won't agree with me.)


An Ancient!John Story

Eternal Father, strong to save,

Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,

The first time she hears about the Ancients, Elizabeth thinks she's dreaming. Their race seemed to be everything she'd ever worked for: a people who knew neither war nor poverty, who had conquered only hunger and sickness. That they had traveled the stars was just an added bonus and that they'd left behind a way for them to do the same the true dream, one probably born out of too many hours of watching late-night Star Trek marathons during her college years. (Never let it be said she isn't as big of a science fiction junkie as the rest of the Expedition; the only difference is, where the others got a bunch of science and to boldly go stuff out of it, she'd taken away the idea of an United Earth and a Federation of Planets.)

Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep

Its own appointed limits keep;

And when she firsts steps into Atlantis? It's love at first sight. She's never been anywhere so beautiful, so amazing, so full of knowledge and culture and history.
And then Rodney finds a real, live Ancient and it's as if her prayers have all been answered.

Oh, hear us when we cry to

Thee, For those in peril on the sea!

But almost immediately things start to go wrong.
She can't blame Lieutenant Ford for bringing the Athosians to Atlantis, not really. She can't blame John for going after Colonel Sumner and the others either but the Wraith are worse than the Goa'uld and, God help her, she feels she's been betrayed when she learns how the Ancients refused at first to fight them and then, when they realized they couldn't win, ran away. They're supposed to be perfect, the Ancients; the bastions of civilization in a universe otherwise filled with terrible, horrific things. They're supposed to look upon their descendants, see them suffering and help them. They're not supposed to play God with their lives and turn their backs on the people who, in one form or another, they had given life to.
Elizabeth knows full well her arguments are futile. She's likened the Ancients to God and while there's still the small matter of life on Earth having been seeded by them to contend with, they're not actually gods. They are, in fact, human, more or less. And for all their millions of years of evolution, they're just as fallible.
John is not anything like she expected either. Forget genetics, he's too human. Before they've been there five months he's more cognisant with Earth pop culture than she is and has developed something of a California beach-comber accent, though Rodney alone might know how. And while he might be the least military of any military man she's ever met, he's still a solider. His solution to most issues is, as Rodney might put it, to shoot them and/or offer them C-4.
She's never been happy about that until now.

Most Holy Spirit, who didst brood

Upon the chaos dark and rude,

John's voice on the radio might be the best thing she's ever heard. If anyone can take care of the final grounding station and release them before it's too late to matter, it's John, who knows Atlantis like no one else and has no qualms about doing what it takes to protect her. Normally such thoughts kept Elizabeth up at night wondering if maybe Doctor Zelenka was right and he had goals beyond merely seeing Atlantis restored to her former glory, but now...
But now...
"This city," she tries to reason with Kolya, "was designed to be inhabited by the Ancients and their direct descendants." John has made that more than clear, time and time again. "It simply will not work otherwise."
"And you? You claim to be descended from the Ancestors?" the Genii commander asks in a tone she cannot read but expects that, if she could, she would not like.
"No, but many of my team are and with the Wraith waking, soon this galaxy will be embroiled in a war the likes of which our generations have never seen."
"A war that you expedited."
Elizabeth cannot argue with him there. But as John had told her that first day, the Wraith were coming to Atlantis. They were coming everywhere. It would only be a matter of time. "Disagreements like ours will no longer matter. The only thing of consequence will be how prepared we are and what defences we are able to mount. Now, this city holds many secrets which may help us win that war – but only if my team is here to discover them. So fine, take whatever you need for your people. But if you don't leave this city you're only hurting yourselves in the long run."
"You believe," he snorts, anger and disbelief colouring his words, "that your people – who are not even of this galaxy – are closer to the Ancestors than we are? Your arrogance is astounding-"
"No," she cuts in. "Yours is. You think I'm lying to you, that I'm just passing along some sort of cultural belief? Fine. Just go out there and try to use the equipment. It doesn't matter what; the fact is that it simply will not work for anyone other than us. So go ahead and kill us. It's not going to help you any when the Wraith get here and you can't even turn on a light switch!"
Kolya roars at that, suddenly standing and looming over the desk like he's prepared to shoot her right there if she doesn't shut her mouth. "We will take this city. We will mount a defence. And we will win – with or without your help, Doctor Weir."

And bit its angry tumult cease,

and give, for wild confusion, peace;

Much later, after everyone's back in the city and caught up on sleep, they're sitting in the conference room in uncomfortable silence. Oh, Elizabeth's glad to be alive but it's cost at least sixty men their lives. It doesn't matter that most of them were Genii who would sooner kill her than anything else, the fact remains that they're still dead. The thing is John's just sitting there, looking much like he's always done, like killing so many single-handedly is nothing and she just can't stand it any longer.
Before she can say anything, John speaks up. "You did what you had to do."
She's not sure if he's talking to Rodney, who's in the chair to her left, or her, or everyone in the room.
"The most important thing about hostage situations is that you do what it takes to survive. Sometimes that means telling your captors what they want to hear."
John probably means it in good faith. He's the only one with experience in this sort of thing (or so they guess; she's never learned more from him than that he is the pastor Atlantis and had been the second-in-command of the Lantean Guard before the others fled to Earth. What little else she knows is second-hand from Rodney and even then she's not sure how much of it is supposition) and it'll probably come in handy at some point in the future.
But, God, half of her thinks they could have avoided the whole thing if John had just been upfront about being an Ancient in the first place with the Genii. Instead he'd just kept telling them that Atlantis was his city without any rhyme or reason as to why, so it seemed that it was up for the taking by whomever had the biggest guns. And the rest of her knows it could have been avoided if only John hadn't so blithely offered them C-4 as if it were nothing. And maybe to him it was nothing but it's still his fault, and he's still killed over sixty people, and she's lost the first two people under her command, and-
"It may not seem like it now but I promise you it'll be fine."

Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,

For those in peril on the sea!

  • Current Mood: confused
  • Current Music: Bon Iver "Blood Bank"
It may not be exactly what I wanted but damn is it ever good. You really nailed Elizabeth, her belief towards the Ancients. While in canon she pretty much continued to have a belief in them and the path to ascension even after discovering so many of the Ancients flaws/failings, you show the beginnings of that faith unraveling and I think that is so much more plausible for the type of person she is.

Thank you for such an awesome story!
thanks. I was really worried and still am not entirely happy with this one... but, yea, one of these days I really am going to write that treatsie compairing Dr. Weir with Janeway from VOY, and mostly in a negative way.

In fact (if I can be allowed to rant for a moment), by the middle of S3 I was convince that Elizabeth was exactly the wrong person to lead the Expedition. This isn't to say I don't like her charector, but, as a leader, for all she tries really hard, she's not actually a successful one is she? She's just not Machiavellian enough.

But, also on that note, her belief in the Ancients always struck me as more, well, Catholic than Teyla's spiritualality, and it offered a lot of room for crises of faith to creep up on her...

And, anyway, yeah. Glad you liked! *wipes brow*
You have such a wonderful grasp on Elizabeth's character, I think. Elizabeth has never been a favorite of mine, but I love reading about how outsiders view a character/pairing that I love, and this really hit the spot. Poor Elizabeth; Atlantis is a dream come true, only that dream comes with disillusionment over the Ancients. I think she's having a hard time grasping the fact that Ancients were/are human too. That they make mistakes, like casually offering people C4 ;)

I admit, I wish the show *had* shown Kolya or one of his people attempting to use some of the consoles in Atlantis, only to find they're completely dead to them. Though I imagine in his mind, rather than accepting the fact that what Elizabeth says is true, he'd somehow twist it around to being Elizabeth and her people's fault.

FASCINATING addition to the fic. Lovely.
Well, obviously, the Expedition sabatoged everything... because there's just no way the Genii are less Anceint than they are. Obviously.


And I agree with you whole heartedly. Elizabeth's not my favourite either, but I do like her and, well, it seems like her charector is set up perfectly for whole traditional Catholic problem of evil issue with the Ancients and thus crises of faith....

And, well, yeah. I've strong feelings on the issue. If you haven't been able to tell.
I liked this. Elizabeth in canon is shown as a diplomat and really she was always seemed too, soft for the SGC and Atlantis. You've shown her here as a idealist underneath her calm persona.
She hoped to find gods instead all she found was John, who turned out to be human. She's seems to be going through a crisis of faith.
I would love to see more of her view. Or any other POV.
Yes. Exactly! You've hit the nail I was going for exactly on the head.

I can't promise any more from her POV soon, but there might be a place for it in a later installment.
I really enjoyed this. Elizabeth is a character that I like, but that I don't love, and I think you really nailed that idealism, and the slow unraveling of faith. And the fact that John is an Ancient in this really highlights how different he is from Elizabeth in both their understanding of and approach to a problem.
I know, right? Elizabeth is a charecter I like, but not love. Probably because she's too idealistic and I'm a fuzzy-hearted misanthrope, for all the sense *that* makes.
Anyway, glad you liked. and thanks for the reveiw!
Is it just me, or does Elizabeth seem a bit naieve about the darker side of human nature, for someone who's supposed to have negotiated some pretty tough treaties?

I get her frustration with John, but I also can see that he wouldn't want to tell the Genii who he really is. He's probably worried they'd worship him as a god, or something equally aweful.

I like the idea about her believing in a United Earth and a galactic federation. It fits with her choosing to lead an international expedition.
Elizabeth always struck me as frightfully naive in the show, so I think I've only expanded upon it here. Her whole relationship with the Ancients and their failings is very similiar, in my head at least, to the idea of if there is an allpowerful, benevolent god, why does evil exist?

John has his reasons, as you stated, for not wanting to be named an Ancient, but Elizabeth has her points too. It's a grey-area question, and Elizabeth's not so good with grey areas.