Characters: Ancient!John Sheppard
Summary: She's called The Lost City
Series: drabble #3 of ??? in the Ancient!John 'verse. Part of Locality.
Notes: Yet more of things I end up writing when I should be working on "Socii" part three, this time with the caveat of or working on the one-shot I started to get a plot bunny out of my head so I can work on "Socii" part three. Cleaning all the glass in a grocery store gives you too much time alone with your plot bunnies.
Note Bene: In chronological order, this is the third drabble.
An Ancient!John Drabble
"Vivas to those who have fail'd! And to those whose war-vessels sank in the sea! And to those themselves who sank in the sea! And to all generals that lost engagements, and all overcome heroes! And the numberless unknown heroes equal to the greatest heroes known"
Walt Whitman "The Song of Myself"
The Terrans call Atlantis The Lost City.
Their anthropologists have several ideas as to why – because the Gate address as lost, because they thought she had been destroyed, her rubble long lost to some alien sea; because it sounds better than The Last City in the tales of their ancient storytellers, amongst others – but Iohannes doesn't think any of them are quite right.
The Terrans called Atlantis lost because that what his people had thought her: lost to an enemy they could never defeat, not knowing he'd stayed behind to defend the urbs-naves. Lost, because, unlike the others, she hadn't been destroyed. No, she'd been lost the way they'd lost Avalon to the plague and the home galaxy to the haeretici before that: lost out of their own cowardice and blind, ancient fears.
But he doesn't tell the Terrans any of this, especially their anthropologists and particularly their praefecta, Elizabeta. They only trust him because they still believe their Ancients were as saints and could do no wrong. To tell them that their idols – his people, Iohannes himself – were not angels but rather risen apes, just as they are? That hard-won trust would vanish overnight, and then where would they be when the Wraith finally came, as they ultimately always would?
Dead and lost, in the Terrans' sense of the word, that's what.