Spoilers: Eh...through Lost Boys, I suppose. Maybe not even that, as this is somewhat AU.
Summary: Atlantis has her own idea of how things should be.
Disclaimer:I do not own the characters or the franchise.
Atlantis had been this quiet only once before--when she had been abandoned by the Ancients and left to dwell in the depths with only a single being for company and limited company at that. Elizabeth shivered and wrapped her arms around herself to ward off the chill coursing through her body, but as it came from within and not without, it didn't do much good.
It had been six hours since everyone had disappeared, leaving her talking to thin air. She shifted in her chair to get more comfortable, then stood up and began pacing before returning to the chair, only to repeat the cycle, as she had been for the past five hours. The first had been spent attempting to get the door to her office to open, to getting someone on the radio, something, anything to prove she wasn't alone, trapped seemingly indefinitely with no way of getting nourishment.
Air supply was a worry as well, but as she had no way of knowing how much was left, or even if any life support systems were working, she pushed that to the back of her mind almost immediately to concentrate on finding a way out.
Now she was just sitting and waiting, having gone through all the troubleshooting she knew how to do--which really didn't amount to much, that's what the scientists were for.
A soft sigh escaped her lips as she collapsed into her chair and covered her face with her hands, breaking the cycle for just a moment as defeat washed over her. Why had she ever thought she'd be good enough to do this, to lead an expedition into the unknown? Into an alien environment with technology and beings they only minimumly understood?
So far they had awakened a deadly enemy, released a thousand-year old virus that had killed people before they found the solution, had been party to partial genocide, and so many other things that may have been prevented if they had just stayed home.
As always, when self-doubt threatened to overwhelm her, another, self-preserving, instinct forced her to look at the brighter side of things, or if not brighter, then certainly not as bad. They had kept the Wraith from getting Atlantis. They had kept Atlantis safe throughout a hurricane and from falling into Genii hands. There were many bright people whose skills were used to prove themselves, to grow, who may not have had that chance.
She straightened in her chair and turned to look out the window at the quiet and empty control center. Wherever they were, her people, they would find a way back. She had to believe that. She would believe that. Meanwhile, she would just have to wait, and waiting, though not really her forte, was something she had become good at. Waiting was a diplomat's primary job. She had given her side of it, used all her knowledge, and now it was up to someone else to reach the final outcome.
Settling back in the chair she felt a weight lift off her chest, now that she had made the decision to sit back and let things happen as they would. At that moment, the doors slid silently open.
Stiffening, Elizabeth stared at them before cautiously standing and walking towards them. They remained open and, just as wary, she stepped outside into the control center.
The silence was deafening, even though the machinery hummed its own little tune, and once more she had to ward off a chill as she slowly walked between the consoles, looking around. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end as a feeling of being watched grew steadily the longer she stood in the empty room. Her eyes fell on the gate, but it remained still, a silent sentry, not giving anything up.
Mouth dry, she calls out, "Is anyone there? This is Dr. Weir."
Silence met her words, and the feeling faded enough that she wondered if it had been just her imagination, just the stress of it all catching up with her.
Now that she was out of the confining office, she had more options to figure out what was going on. Or at least find other people. There was an off-world team not scheduled for return until tomorrow, but she could contact them through the radio. Dr. Zelenka was with them. As the second best expert they had, he would certainly have a better chance of discovering their missing people--or at least what had happened to them.
If he hadn't disappeared too.
She quickly pushed that thought away as she dialed the address of the planet Major Lorne's team had gone to, ignoring the relief as the gate came rushing to life.
"Major Lorne, this is Dr. Weir, I need you to return to Atlantis as soon as possible."
Nothing but static. Fear slithered through her.
"Major Lorne, please respond."
More static, and then..."...Major Lorne...cave...Zelenka...ZPM...repeat?"
Licking her dry lips, she repeated her first message.
Frustrated, Elizabeth pounded the edge of the console with her fist, then winced as pain lanced through her arm. Clenching her teeth, she made a new decision. "Standby, Major. I'm coming through."
Had Sheppard or Caldwell, or even Rodney been there, they would have stopped her from going through the gate with no protection, but this was an emergency. And who knew how long the gate was going to remain working? Determination in her eyes, she walked purposefully for the shimmering blue of the event horizon--and the gate flickered.
"No!" The word was torn from her throat as she began running, but she wasn't fast enough. The gate shut down just before she reached it.
Almost immediately, the chevrons began lighting up one by one. Elizabeth stared at the blue lights dumbly for a moment, before she hastily backed up, just before the whirling vortex whooshed out in the spot she had just been in. The shield that had come up as soon as an outside connection was made, disappeared after a few seconds.
For several moments nothing more happened, giving Elizabeth time to go up to the consoles, and noticed that though Lorne's IDC had come through, no one had given the command to lower the shield. Of course no one had. There had been no one there.
The realization that no one would be coming hit her. Whatever had made the people on Atlantis disappear, had affected whoever had come through the gate. And it was her fault.