She says goodbye silently.
Her heels echo on the floor as she walks from her office, through the Control Room, down the stairs.
It’s an unfamiliar sound; she almost misses her boots and uniform.
She stands at the bottom of the Stargate Ramp. Looks up to the giant ring that changed her life.
The red carpet is still beneath her feet. The podium has been dismantled but chairs are still set up in parallel rows.
Tables are against the walls, but the plates have gone now. A few empty cups still rest there.
Her speech burns a hole in her pocket, the letters burning through to mark her breast.
She hears her own voice repeated in her head, congratulating them all on a job well done. She told them that the new President’s
decision to abandon Atlantis was no reflection on them. She told them that it was not three years wasted; that they had made
an impact on this Galaxy and that they would be remembered for years to come. She told them that the Wraith have been severely
weakened thanks to their efforts.
She didn’t believe a word of it.
"What are you doing?"
Most people left through the Stargate hours ago. She is not shocked that he stayed. "Saying goodbye, I suppose."
He sighs, a deep sound that resonates through the silence around them. "Hard to believe it’s over, isn’t it?"
"Yes." Her answer is quiet, as if saying it too loud admits the truth.
Part of her still believes that if Hayes had been re-elected, they would not be leaving now. Part of her believes that
when the next election comes, they may all end up back here. Part of her believes that she will never see him again and that
bothers her more than she is willing to admit.
"I made this for you." He says, holding out his hand.
"What is it?"
"A paper airplane."
She smiles despite herself. "I can see that, why are you giving it to me?"
"If you look at the paper, it’s a printed out copy of the orders we received."
She looks a little harder and can make out the words ‘official’ ‘immediately’ and ‘depart.’
"You made me a paper airplane of our orders?"
John shrugs. "I could get all of the writing on a bullet."
He stands beside her now, watching the Stargate with her. They share a small, sweet smile. This is how it ends, she
thinks, so anti-climactic.
"The Daedalus is almost ready to go."
"Can I have a moment?"
"Of course." He touches her arm gently, offering silent support in the only way that they have ever known how too. "I’ll
set up the chessboard. Meet you there?"
Elizabeth smiles and nods, turning back to face the ‘Gate as his footsteps retreat until she can’t hear them
The Athosians have been re-located. The Stargate has been permanently sealed. New security measures have been installed
so that if anyone with Wraith DNA steps foot on their base, the self-destruct will automatically be engaged.
President Kinsey thinks that will be enough.
He is deluded, but he wouldn’t listen to them.
They all told him, they all fought. She screamed until she was hoarse and spoke of impending doom but nothing worked. He
had decided that the Wraith would not be a threat if they weren’t occupying any part of the Pegasus Galaxy.
She wonders how long it will take for them to find a way around the security measures and find Earth.
But that, as the President harshly reminded her, was no longer her concern.
Fingering the paper in her hands, she lifts her arms back and throws it, watching with satisfaction as it flies through
the air. It makes a few circles, finally coming to rest at the foot of the Stargate.
She says goodbye silently; no one sees her tears as she turns and walks towards where the Daedalus awaits.