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Gearing Up

This is just a little character study, born out of a reflection of how their place in the team and on Atlantis is dependent on their perspective.  I found it while rummaging around my ideas and incomplete folder, so I thought I'd share.  Thanks go to Linzi for helping me fix my tense problems. :D

Title:  Gearing Up
Genre:
Character Study
Rating: PG
Warnings:  none

Spoilers: Set in S4
Word Count:  1211

Beta: Linzi - thank you! 

Gearing Up

She looks at the uniform in her locker.  She wears them more often, now, increasingly donning the coat of arms of another race.  But today she feels the need to be Athosian, and it will serve the purpose of the mission more to be geared so anyway.  She reaches in past the uniform and removes her tac vest, pulling the alien armour over her Athosian clothes.  After four years it is commonplace, but every now and then she finds herself in a reflective mood, marvelling at the changes in her life from before.  She joined the Atlantis team to fight for her people, but now she finds that she fights for theirs just as often and with as much care and conviction.  She pulls the vest tight and examines herself in a small mirror, noting how the merging of Athosian and Atlantean clothing compliment her own place in the galaxy.  She closes her eyes and inhales deeply, stilling her mind and centring herself for the mission ahead.  She feels calm and at ease, and she holds on to the kernel of that feeling as she clips her P-90 to her vest and moves towards the gateroom.

Ronon nods to Teyla as he passes her in the corridor, then pauses at the door of the locker room and looks around.  He hates it in here.  Flashes of another room, from another world, assault him.  Images of friends long dead, jostling and teasing, pulling on different armour of a people who no longer exist. He won’t do this again, won’t wear armour or a uniform.  He survived for seven years as a runner with no uniform, no allegiance.  He wore them once, and everything died.  He shakes his head as though that will dislodge the memories, and strides quickly over to Sheppard.  “Colonel Carter said to see what’s keeping you.”  It came out harsh, angry.  Sheppard gave him a curious look, and before he could say anything, Ronon punched his shoulder.  “So hurry up, would you?” he says more lightly.  He flashes a grin, hiding his discomfort, but he turns to go before Sheppard can call him on it.  A hand on his shoulder halts him, but the man behind him doesn’t speak, just squeezes quickly and lets him go.  The memories abate, not gone, but less painful for a moment.  He shrugs away the pain and focuses on the anger.  He holds on to the white-hot core of determination the anger fuels.  He won’t let it happen again.  He’ll fight harder this time, even if it costs him his life.  He won’t be the last to survive while everything he cares for burns around him.  Never again. He’ll stop it through sheer willpower if he has to, or he’ll die trying.  He tries to ignore the ghosts haunting his memory and hurries towards the gateroom.

John watches him go, slightly perplexed, before shrugging it off.  He’s used to Ronon having some odd moments and, especially given the Satedan’s past, is willing to accept them as part of the package.  Excellent tracking skills, superb fighting skills, occasional odd moments.  You can’t have it all.  He checked his thigh holster, then slipped into his tac vest with a sigh.  It was comforting, getting geared up for a mission.  A moment of quiet before the rush of emotions and adrenaline to come.  With each piece of gear, he felt calmer, more focused.  By the time he was in full field gear he felt, just for that moment, like nothing could go wrong.  It was an interlude in between the worry and the fear; rare, precious moments of getting ready to take action before Lady Luck had a chance to blow the mission to hell and gone.  He turns to Rodney.  “Ready to go?”

“Yes.  Yes, nearly ready.”  Rodney stands quietly, holding his tac vest in his hands.  He looks at it, trying to overcome the revulsion he feels every time he has to don his field gear.  A physicist most of his life, and a self professed nerd for all of it, he didn’t think he’d ever overcome the strangeness of finding  himself in a soldiers’ locker room dressing up in uniform and arming himself with guns he still felt awkward using.  The reality of exploring a new galaxy still overwhelmed him at times.  Finding some new technology never failed to thrill him, his words tripping over each other as they tumbled off his tongue, trying to keep up with his thoughts, while his team-mates looked at him with varying degrees of patience and amusement.  They always let him talk, though, when he came across an exciting find, something he noticed in quieter moments.  But there was also the fear.  With new worlds and new technology had come new monsters; some human and some more akin to his nightmares - creatures he never would have believed could exist before coming to the Pegasus galaxy.  He jumped, startled, as a hand came down gently on his shoulder.  “Hey, are you okay?”  He looked up into John’s concerned eyes, and pushed down his anxiety and fear.  He looked down at the black vest in his hands.  “Sometimes I just don’t want to put it on.”

John looked momentarily surprised at the quiet admission.  His eyes flicked away and he bit his lip slightly, before locking his eyes onto Rodney’s.  “You know if it was only a matter of the science, no matter how much of a genius you are, if you didn’t belong in that vest, you wouldn’t be on my team.”

“Of course I know that!”  Rodney blustered, arrogance shining through his features.  Then a glimmer of fragility broke through the blue eyes.  “Uh, really?” 

John gave him a reassuring smile.  “Really.”  Rodney smiled, and slid his arms into the vest with embarrassed awkwardness.  John watched him fasten it and waited for him to arm himself with Barretta and P-90.  Once his friend was level with him, he gave him a gentle punch in the shoulder.

“Besides, when you’re on the missions, it’s you that gets shot in the ass, not me,” he smirked.

“Oh ha, ha.”

Sam watched John and Rodney walk into the ‘gateroom, bickering amicably with each other, and join Teyla and Ronon who were quietly conversing near the ‘gate.  They were so different from her team, and she felt a pang of sorrow at the passing of that period of her life.  She missed them, every day, but never so keenly as watching another team enter the ‘gate on a mission.  She gave Chuck the order to dial the ‘gate, and returned her gaze to the team below as they silently watched the co-ordinates light up around the ‘gate’s circumference.  The four people below were so different from each other; she wondered how they had formed such improbable friendships.  Any other time or place, she thought, they’d be lucky to not half-kill each other instead of bond as they had here.  But as with her own improbable friendships with her team - it worked.  She watched them step through the event horizon, praying that it would work again, and they would see each other back safely.  She sent the prayer winging through the ‘gate behind them as the event horizon flashed closed.

 

Disclaimer:  The copyright for Stargate Atlantis belongs to MGM studios and SciFi channel.  It’s their playground- I’m just playing in it.  

 



 

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Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
alipeeps
May. 27th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
Heee, I liked that. Nice little character piece. One tiny bit of concrit is that your tenses are a bit confused - you start in present tense, switch briefly into past tense, back to present and then finish up in past tense again. It's a minor niggle but easily tidied up. :) I think you got into the characters' heads well and I particularly liked your take on both Teyla and Ronon's thoughts about the uniforms and about their place in Atlantis. :)
lauriel01
May. 27th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
Darn. Linzi (who picked up heaps of my tense booboos) and I both had a look at those. It started out just as some thoughts and grew from there, so the writing didn't start off in a particular mode. Sorry about that.

Thanks for the comments & concrit.

Edited at 2008-05-27 03:59 pm (UTC)
wildcat88
May. 27th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
That was lovely. I really liked your transitions from one character to the next and their thoughts on getting mission ready.
abracah
May. 28th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
Great job. I really feel like I had a peek into each character's head. Smooth transitions too. Having Sam watch the team at the end tied it all together.

Thanks for sharing!
lorr54
May. 28th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
Very nice! I think you captured their characters quite well. Thank you.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )