Chapter Rated: R
Word Count: 3,612
Disclaimer: This plot/story is ©2021-2022 by Dream Howler. This story is the sole property of its author, and may not be copied, in whole or in part, or posted on any other website without the written permission of the author. As for the characters that are in this story, they are the property of their creators and are only being borrowed for my enjoyment. I am not receiving money for writing this story, and I have no money for any lawyers to take should they decide to sue me.
Author Notes: Keria and her podcasts have spawned many ideas. My brain decided world-building was best a week before the deadline. lol Special thanks to a very old GeoCities page for the new inspiration behind my Spirit Guides. I found them after I had given the main characters animals, but the fact that they matched up to their animals so well, I am pleased. You can see the page via the Wayback Machine at: https://web.archive.org/web/20021016124306/http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/4076/index1.html
Canon Notes: Anything you don’t see hasn’t happened.
John Sheppard – Alpha Prime Sentinel
Rodney McKay – Alpha Shaman Guide
Vilkas – Canadian Wolf
Orion – Canadian Lynx
Evan Lorne – Sentinel
Ronon Dex – Guide
Koko – Kodiak Bear
Yuri – Polar Bear
Steve McGarrett – Alpha Sentinel
Tony DiNozzo – Alpha Guide
Hokulani – African Cheetah
Guido – African Leopard
Civilian Leader: Dr. Miko Kusanagi
CMO Guide Dr. Aleena Cole
Rodney wasn’t meditating long before he let himself transition onto the psionic plane. He looked around the meeting place to see if anyone was there that needed something, but didn’t find anyone. His Spirit Guide, Orion, was padding toward him instead, nuzzling himself against Rodney’s leg after he arrived. Rodney ran his hand through his Lynx’s fur, as he thought back to the night before when Blair had called a meeting on the psionic plane with the other Shamans on the Earth. There was a pitifully small number of them for the size of the population of the world. Each of them had reported that every higher level Guide in their area had been contacting them to ask what these immensely terrifying dreams or feelings were.
In the wake of the nightmares and terror that were affecting the Guide population, latent Guides were coming online in droves. This also awoke the respective latent Sentinels that were needed to protect the Tribe. Looking down at his Spirit Guide, Rodney grumbled. “I can never seem to get a night of restful sleep lately. I have a mission to prepare for and more training to go through. I don’t have time for this great evil. Do you have any idea what is going on yet?”
Orion sent him a head tilt and a questioning expression, which caused Rodney to sigh. He almost wished Orion could talk to him, but he had a feeling that his Lynx would be a chatty son of a bitch. The most he could get were impressions of emotions and sometimes a very vague picture of what needed conveying, with minimal context. Which was, Rodney had to admit, annoying as hell sometimes. Other times, he figured it at least allowed him to get sleep and work done.
After looking around for several more minutes, and not seeing anyone on the plane, Rodney dropped back down to Earth and into his regular sleeping routine. It had become a habit for Rodney to check to see if anyone needed anything before officially going to bed. Which, to be honest, was a new weird thing that his new role had brought upon him. He, luckily, hadn’t randomly started to “care” about anyone and everyone, which Rodney was afraid of when he came online. He cared about people that mattered to him, and he had no problem being semi-nice to the members of his new Tribe. However, he was glad that his core personality was still mostly the same. It made his new status as a Shaman a little more bearable. As Rodney fell asleep, he hoped that tonight he would get a restful sleep, but whatever being listened that night, they didn’t listen to his hopeful wish. It seemed he was in for another night of nightmares.
The absolute terror through the bond to Rodney suddenly awoke John. He looked around grumpily, fully alert, frantically scanning the surrounding area to figure out what was terrifying his Guide, but didn’t see any threats to him. After several moments, John realized that Rodney was having another nightmare. Gently, he shook Rodney’s shoulder. “Rodney, wake up!”
Rodney startled violently and grabbed onto John, hugging him tight, his breath coming out in gasps. He was clearly panicked when he suddenly let go of John and rolled over on the bed to grab his phone violently off the side table. “I’ve got to call Blair!”
John watched curiously as Rodney quickly dialed the now familiar number. It was disturbing that this had become his almost nightly ritual. Rodney still hadn’t calmed down from his previous nightmares, let alone this one. Before he knew it, Rodney had conference called the entire Shaman Council and told them to meet both of them on the psionic plane as soon as possible. After he hung up, Rodney latched onto the bond and pulled his Sentinel onto the psionic plane.
“Rodney, what is going on? Talk to me!” John exclaimed. The emotions coming off his Guide were ramping up his protective instincts.
Rodney shook his head violently. “Give the others a moment to get here. It’s more secure to talk here.”
John walked over to the center of the landscape, where his Wolf, Vilkas, was lounging next to Rodney’s Lynx. He jumped slightly when the scene changed to Blair’s natural landscape that had chairs for them to sit on. Rodney was still learning how to do this, so John wasn’t surprised that the other Shaman always took charge of the sessions.
Blair reached out with his gifts toward Rodney and attempted to calm him down as they waited for the rest of the group. Shaman Incacha, from Peru, with his Sentinel Elena, was the first to arrive. They settled down quickly near Rodney. After several more minutes, the Shamans from Canada, Africa, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, and Australia had arrived. If the psionic plane hadn’t had infinite space, twenty-two people wouldn’t have fit comfortably in the area around Rodney.
A few minutes later, their second’s for the expedition, Tony and Steve, showed up. Tony looked upset and slightly freaked out, and Steve had a look that could kill on his face. Steve was furious, but once he took stock of the room, he settled. It was odd that they were there since they weren’t the day before. It was then that John realized that in Rodney’s panic; he had yanked their Betas’ onto the plane with the other shamans. Tony grabbed onto his Shaman’s hand and held it for a moment, projecting safety and calm, letting it go after several minutes. He settled into a chair next to Rodney just to be on the safe side. After everyone settled on a couch or chair, Rodney had calmed down enough to talk properly.
“Did anyone feel the event that happened about twenty minutes ago, or was it just me? Because it was so terrifying, I nearly had a panic attack!” Rodney exclaimed, trying not to get worked up again.
John grabbed onto his projecting Guide and sent soothing thoughts down the bond to him. He looked around at the other guides in the room to find several of them just as unsettled by Rodney’s projecting.
“Rodney, calm down. You are projecting your terror.” John said.
Rodney looked around frantically at each of his fellow Shamans. No one seemed to be on the level of panic he was. “NO ONE?” Rodney exclaimed as Tony grabbed his hand again. It was then that all the other Shamans rose from their seats and did the same. After several moments there was a pile of Shamans circled around Rodney, all touching him in some way.
“RODNEY!” Blair exclaimed. “Tell us what you saw!”
Rodney calmed down suddenly, yanked out of his panic attack by Blair. “Saw? Don’t you mean blown up?” Rodney said as he shivered in pain.
“Blown up? Rodney, are you talking about something to do with your future mission?”
Blair was being a little vague about the mission, but most of the room knew about the mission to Atlantis in some form or another. It was hard to keep secrets from some of the most powerful minds on the planet. Luckily, before the Shaman meeting the day before, Blair had gotten each of them to sign a non-disclosure agreement to cover anything that was spoken of in their meetings to protect the program. He had plans to visit each of them to explain the program the following week, so they were mostly told to keep a list of questions to themselves until he could get there. Though he explained at the beginning of the meeting yesterday that aliens on other planets were real, and we had been visiting them for years. That threw the group for a loop, to be sure.
Rodney frantically nodded. “Yes. I saw this enormous ship hovering over a planet. A group of people set off what looked like a nuclear bomb, and the gigantic ship blew up. Then it was like millions of evil minds came online. It was the most painful thing I have ever witnessed! They were filled with hunger… and I don’t think it was for normal food.”
Rodney started hyperventilating at that moment, and John wrapped himself around his Guide.
John looked over at Blair. “Well, it looks like we will definitely have an enormous problem on our mission,” John said. “About those Samurai? Can we order more? In fact, do you have some ninjas or some other sizeable group of badass people that can help? I have a feeling we will need everyone we possibly can get. I will see if we can get some Seals, Green Berets, Night Stalkers, and Rangers.”
Blair nodded. “I will see what I can do, John.”
After several days of meetings, the mission had gathered twenty extra Sentinel and Guide pairs. This number didn’t include the ones on the mountain or elsewhere that had already joined the mission before Rodney’s nightmares. Many of the extra pairs were, in fact, of Asian descent in some form, such as China, Japan, and even some from India. They had also amassed a group of single Sentinels and Guides from all types of special forces. Once they were told of the program, almost everyone signed up that didn’t have children to take care of.
Jack looked at the group of senior staff settled at the conference table and sighed. “On the advice of several of our new Japanese Sentinels, I purchased 300 Katana and 300 Kendo Practice Katana for the mission. They informed me that no one would use actual swords unless they had a very extensive practice using the practice ones. They are sending several Master swordsmen and their teams to train and take part in the mission. They are bringing materials, plans, and supplies to make more swords or for repairs while on the mission.”
John nodded approvingly. “I appreciate the generous offer. Rodney has been on edge and can’t sleep. I almost don’t want to go to Atlantis. Whatever this is, it’s bigger than us. We need a full-blown army!”
Tony chuckled, “We have one, his name is Steve…”
John and Rodney both snorted. “Yes, your Seal is fantastic, but even he can’t make war alone,” John replied with a laugh. John appreciated the fact that Tony was trying to keep the group in lighter spirits with his jokes and sense of humor.
Rodney looked up from his tablet. “From what the Asguard said, they will deliver all the items we need to store and retrieve everything for us the morning the expedition is to leave. Once we get there, the Asguard will check on us and deliver anything that they can spare as far as materials. They also said that the reducer was too heavy to just push through a gate and too sensitive.”
“I almost want to say the trip to Pegasus isn’t worth it…” replied Jack. “These vague pictures that Rodney has sent us to seem to be scarier than the Goa’uld and Replicators put together, throwing in a few Priors too.”
Rodney nodded. “I can’t get them out of my head. They look like an awful horror movie. When I saw the images from the president’s kid, I thought she was making it up about how vampirish they look. She wasn’t kidding. I saw one of them. She had this violent looking long reddish hair, she was pale as a ghost, and had some weird sucker in her hand!”
“I hate to say it, but it looks like we are more needed in Pegasus than ever. Even with the forty people that joined the program and the ones that are joining us from the SGC, I am not sure if they will be enough. Luckily, when the word got out to the special forces, single Sentinels and Guides started applying in droves,” said Steve.
“Jack, it’s best that you coordinate with Blair and Jim to get any others here and ready to go through the gate. Then, when the ships are ready, send them out. We will hopefully know by then how many people the city can hold realistically,” said John.
“Hopefully, when we get out there, either Rodney will figure out if the ZPMs can recharge, or maybe we can find where they make them,” Miko replied.
“Well, after all my tests, I have come to some disappointing conclusions. The parts may help make a new ZPM, but the numbers don’t add up for recharging it. John and several mathematicians checked over the numbers. Which means there must be some way to create them on Atlantis.”
Rodney looked disappointed, but John could tell that he hoped that they could find more ZPM’s on the city. John hoped there were ZPMs as well. If not, they may not be able to return home due to power issues. That was why it was so crucial that the Asguard came to check on them. If they had to evacuate quickly, the Asguard could tell Earth a lot more rapidly than them trying to get more power.
“Are the Asguard upset that you aren’t telling them the address of Atlantis until we leave, Jack?” John asked.
“Not that they have said, however, they have always been very silent people. I was surprised that they gave you this technology,” said Jack.
John smiled, “Well, since they have learned how many of our people have the ancient gene, and we found Atlantis without their help, they realize that we are growing up. They said they may even throw in one of those nifty replicating machines. They said it may help us repair the city much faster if we can scan a crystal and get an exact working copy.”
Rodney grinned. “It would be much easier to repair the city with one of those machines. I read a report when the General got to use one on a ship. It was impressive.”
Jack nodded. “It was. It was like being able to use a StarTrek replicator. It was awe-inspiring how it interfaced with my brain. Though, I remember little about it.”
“Well, let’s just hope they either leave the replicator or at least leave us a bunch of working crystals of all shapes and sizes. I am sure that if this place has been lying dormant for centuries, it probably has a lot of things that probably will not work. That’s why I asked for some engineers and other maintenance experts.”
Jack nodded. “I approved them without even glancing, to be honest. I do not understand how Weir and Sumner, may they rest in peace, thought they could survive with the meager list of supplies they were originally planning on bringing.”
John and Rodney looked at each other and then over at Tony and Steve. They had told them after the fiasco several days ago who they had to arrest for the so-called accident involving Weir and Sumner. It was not even pleasant to think about.
Tony cleared his throat. “Speaking of Weir and Sumner, we have made an arrest in the murder case of Dr. Weir and Colonel Sumner.”
Jack blinked at him. “Murder? I thought it was a car accident?”
Tony shook his head. “No, sir. General Landry and Dr. Weir were having an affair. It started when she was here as the leader of the SGC. She promised him a lot of technology and the path to Ascension or some crap like that. He got jealous when Dr. Weir accepted Simon Wallace’s proposal. Then he thought she was having a second affair with Colonel Sumner.”
“You have got to be kidding me! She was nice looking, but she wasn’t that attractive!”
“Well, from what we gathered, she wasn’t having an affair with Colonel Sumner. However, she was sleeping with both Landry and Wallace,” Steve said.
“That is just wrong. What did Weir stand to gain? I am surprised Landry didn’t think she was sleeping with Carson as well!” Rodney shook his head and shivered with disgust. “I just can’t stand the fact that so many men thought Weir was that much of a catch.” Rodney stopped for a minute and turned to Tony and Steve. “Wait, did we clear Carson? I didn’t have time to ask. Did he know what she was planning to do once she got onto the city?”
“We found out she promised him some science-related grant and some specialized housing for his ailing mother. She didn’t tell him what the gene-splicing was for. She said it would help more people come online. He was telling the truth. I am a much higher level Guide than he is, so I could tell he was being honest. It’s hard to believe he was that gullible, though. However, he was probably doing it for his mother more than anything else.”
Rodney shook his head. “I wish he had come to me. I would have helped him get the care his mother needs.”
John reached over and grabbed his Guide’s hand, squeezing it lightly. “You can be there for him now. At least he hadn’t started doing anything, so he did nothing wrong. Luckily, in this case, intent doesn’t mean a crime.”
Rodney nodded. “I will talk to him after the meeting. I think we need to have a long talk about him and his mother. If she is that sick, does he really want to risk being away when she may die at any moment?”
Everyone nodded, and Jack spoke what was on all their minds.”I think a frank conversation with Dr. Beckett would be a good thing. We don’t need someone out there distracted and getting people killed because their mind is back on Earth with an ailing parent.”
“All right, I will go call Dr. Sandburg, and I am sure you all have things to do. I would like a formal report of General Landry’s involvement in the death of Dr. Weir and Colonel Sumner as soon as you are able. Then we can wrap this entire thing up. I feel sorry for Dr. Wallace. He had no idea how much of a floozy his fiance was.”
Tony snorted, and Steve looked over at his Guide. “Hush you.”
Tony laughed harder. “He said, floozy!”
Steve shook his head and looked over at the General. “Sorry, sometimes he is easily entertained.”
Jack shook his head. “It’s fine. It was the nicest word I could think of in the heat of the moment.”
Steve grinned, “If you say so, General. I doubt anyone of us would have said anything if you had used a different word. She was going to leave the expedition to die. It doesn’t matter that she died before it happened. She had planned it out.”
Jack nodded, “You have a point, Lt. Commander.”
Steve shook his head. “Steve, please, General.”
“You call me General, I will call you Lt. Commander. When you relax enough to call me Jack, we will revisit the conversation.” Jack grinned.
Steve laughed, “Yes, Sir. Force of habit.”
Several weeks went by, and they were almost to the point of leaving for the Ancient City of Atlantis. Rodney was getting more anxious to embark on the Atlantis mission. It was over six months after they were supposed to leave at this point. Rodney also hoped that once they got out to the Pegasus Galaxy, the dreams would slow down or stop. He thought that once they started doing something about the rising hungry, ugly vampire looking creatures, that his subconscious would let him sleep. The dreams, on the whole, weren’t as violent now. It was mainly glimpses of almost entire worlds being taken into their ships, never to be seen again. It was, sadly, the worst thing that Rodney had ever seen. After a while, he didn’t even tell John about them. They were just the same thing repeatedly, with no end in sight. He knew that he wasn’t hiding anything from his Sentinel. Still, he didn’t really want to talk about it anymore unless something big happened.
John, on his part, was quite worried about his Guide, but Blair told him it was something that Rodney would have to learn to block. Blair had come to the mountain to train Rodney in some advance blocking and shielding techniques. It didn’t do any good to have him dealing with constant nightmares every night.
After several weeks of intense training, Rodney had finally learned to block most of the nightmares. Blair wouldn’t let Rodney off the planet until he had learned to shield from all of them. Which delayed the mission further. The best thing about that was that it gave them time to collect more items for the mission and more people. The sad thing about it was that Carson had stepped down as the head of research for the mission. However, he had finally perfected an ATA serum that would allow some members to get the genome.