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Week 5: The A. I.

Title: The A. I.
Author: stella_pegasi
Genre(s): Character Study, angst
Rating: PG
Character/Pairing: Atlantis
Spoilers: Set after Season 5, references to Rising Part 1 & 2, and Before I Sleep
Warnings: None
Het/Slash/Gen: Gen
Word count: 2, 039
Disclaimer: I do not own them, I would have treated them better.
Summary: From her beginnings, Atlantis was created to sense her surroundings, and to understand.

Written for sga_saturday Prompt: senses.

Note: This story is somewhat of a departure for me. I usually write action/adventure, H/C, with a smattering of humor. I am intrigued by the relationship between ancient technology, Atlantis in particular, and Sheppard and other gene carriers. I wanted to explore the origins of how Atlantis interacts with Sheppard.


By stella_pegasi

She wandered the corridors, nightly, reveling in the sounds. She had existed with silence for thousands of years, now finding the sounds of everyday life soothing. The beeping of a monitor in the infirmary, a tinkle of glass in the kitchen, the gentle tapping of a computer keyboard in a laboratory, all familiar sounds she missed for so long. Particularly, she thrilled at the sound of laughter. There been so little laughter before the others departed.

She was ancient, built on Altera Seven eons before. Officially, she was called Artificial Intelligence Processor 1187719-07, designation Atlantis. She was created by Adalricus Ludo, a member of the Praeclarum, the elite of the Alteran scientists. The cityships were intended to soar among the stars, bringing life to barren worlds, and knowledge to existing worlds. Ludo created the AI's to bring the cityships to life.

Originally, the AI processors were only designed to be the operating systems of the cityships. However, as Ludo's work progressed, he realized that he wanted more for these AI's than to react only operationally to their thoughts. It was one thing to be able to sense the need to open a door, raise a shield, or engage the stardrive. Ludo realized that the cityships would most likely never return to the Alteran home worlds. Therefore, he felt that the AI's needed the ability to learn, to grow, to understand humans, their emotions, their fears, their joys. He wanted them to interact on a level that the Alterans had never been able to accomplish before. Ludo was well aware that the Alteran council wouldn't approve of his plan. The majority of the Alterans valued logic and science over emotion, but Ludo was defiant in his beliefs. If they lost their humanity, then they were lost forever.

Covertly, Ludo embedded code into the AI's that would allow them to respond to the person who possessed the strongest ability to interact with the technology. All Alterans could sense the technology due to the gene they possessed, the gene that responded to the frequencies created by the crystal-based systems. However, only a minority of Alterans possessed a gene strong enough to interact with the code he embedded. That person, muse, would be able to hear and converse with the AI, who, in turn, would learn from their muse. Ludo hoped muse and AI, would grow and learn together.

Atlantis remembered the moment when she first became aware. She was young, strong, fully powered by three zero point modules. Each nanosecond of her existence was filled with commands, some running in her autonomic systems keeping the power conduits full, the machinery operational. She opened doors, turned on equipment, powered the gate, upon direct command. Yet, she felt something missing; she yearned for more, but she was unaware what she desired. The fact that she felt desire was puzzling to her; she didn't comprehend the need.

As the years passed, she observed the cycles of her inhabitants, birth, life, death; each generation brought a muse but never one that satisfied the nagging desire within her. She remembered the hundreds of years she kept the humans warm when they were in the bitter cold, the times they rested on the surface of a warm ocean, and the times when she enclosed them in a shield to keep them alive as they traveled through space. When they left the cold, they were afraid; they hadn't wanted to leave, but they were dying. They escaped to another galaxy where her muse directed her to land on a warm ocean, and they remained there for many years, while her inhabitants explored their new home.

However, one day Atlantis began to realize that the Altarens were disturbed, there was dissent within the inhabitants. The scientist Janus was hiding things within her databanks; the others were suspicious of him but were too distracted by the emergence of an enemy, an enemy of their own making. Soon, they realized that they could not survive, and she was ordered to submerge the city. One by one, the Altarens said goodbye and disappeared through the stargate, returning to their cherished Earth, leaving her alone.

However, Atlantis was not alone. Shortly before they departed, a visitor had arrived with a tale from the future, a tale that spoke of an expedition to arrive in 10,000 years. Janus took advantage of the visitor's presence in order to save her. He had rewritten her programming, and placed the visitor in stasis. He wanted his city to survive so that a group of explorers could bring her back to glory. Awaking at intervals, the visitor rotated her zero point modules, keeping her alive, weak but alive.

Atlantis was designed to be patient, time did not exist for her, but she had learned to interact, and had begun to feel the need for contact with a muse. The visitor was awake for only fleeting moments and was unable to communicate with her. Atlantis determined from the visitor's facial expressions that she held reverence for the cityship, but she did not have the gene. They could not interact, and she felt disappointment, another feeling she didn't understand.

At times, she wandered to the great hall where the stargate was bathed in a cold eerie aquamarine glow. The stargate, made of naquada infused metal and pale blue crystals, stood as a silent sentry waiting, as she did, to come to life. However, her existence was mainly focused on maintaining the city, which was becoming increasingly difficult.

She was concentrating on strengthening a weakening area of the shield when she first felt the sensation. Power was flowing toward the stargate. She turned her attention to the darkened great hall to see a brighter aqua glow piercing the dim blue light; someone was dialing the stargate. Someone was coming.

As she felt the pleasurable rush of primal power from the formation of the wormhole, she waited. As the first humans exited the gate, she was excited, but her excitement fell as she sensed they did not have the gene. She searched for a command, a thought, that would bring her to life but there was nothing. Again, a feeling of disappointment washed over her, though she did not recognize what it meant. She watched as the humans spread out, searching the great hall, which remained dark. Then one of them spoke, and others enter the wormhole stream.

She felt the connection immediately, a flushed feeling of power, as he stepped through the stargate. He thought how dark it was, and she turned on the lights. Others followed him; a few had the ability to talk to her but not as he could. He approached the stairs, leading to the control room, and she began to react to him instantaneously; his thoughts were her actions. She had never felt a muse with such strength, yet she sensed he didn't realize the power he held. She was thriving for the first time in thousands of years.

More and more new ones came, bringing items with them, then one of the new ones spoke. The visitor, currently in stasis, was standing before her, young, vibrant. Her tale had been true, the expedition had arrived; they had come to explore her. When the visitor finished speaking, another object arrived through the gate, and then the gate disengaged. These new ones were staying; they were staying with her.

Atlantis reached out to her new muse, attempting to communicate, but she became aware of new programming entering her processing. Janus had left additional instructions. As she assimilated the new data, she realized she must act quickly, or the new ones would die. She needed to rise to the surface of the planet, and she had to collapse the shields to have enough power do so. Again, she attempted to reach him, but could not; he didn't understand. She had to save them alone.

Harrowing hours passed as she sensed their fear at what was unfolding, and she could not tell them that all would be well. The new ones thought they had to evacuate the city, and her muse departed through the gate searching for somewhere they could flee. She had to work quickly; she couldn't allow them to leave. While Atlantis worked to save them, another new arrival, one with a very complex brain was shutting off systems, conserving power. The large brain one did not realize he was helping her, giving her time to accomplish what she needed to do.

While he was gone, she felt abandoned, lost; when he returned, she was greatly relieved. However, something was wrong; more strangers arrived with him, but others, who had left with him, did not return. He was upset, arguing with the visitor, before he discovered the gate ships. His joy at learning he could fly the ship filled her with pleasure. When he gated away from her, she knew he would return; he was home.

Many years had passed since that moment when she felt the stargate engage to bring him to her. Slowly, she had helped him learn how to communicate with her. He was stronger than any muse she had ever interacted with, although she didn't understand the reason. The data they brought with them taught her a great deal about his home, Earth. She discovered that the others had intermingled with the population of Earth, spreading the gene through descendents. However, the gene should have been diluted in their descendents, not enhanced. Yet, the gene was stronger in him than in any of her prior muses. There was something unique about her new muse; a reason he had come to her.

She enjoyed wandering the corridors so much that she did so nightly. The humans living with her now were so unlike the Alterans; they saw more to life than science and work. They were serious about their work on the expedition, but they held a joy for life she had come to embrace. Ludo would be surprised to learn his programming had allowed her to feel more passionate about her existence than he believed possible.

Atlantis' wanderings took her to the place she always ended up, to him. He had given her the ability to recognize the passion, the fear, the sense of duty, the loyalty, the care he felt for his team and for her. He was not demonstrative in his relations with his friends, but she knew everything he felt. Once he allowed himself to accept the fact he could not hide his feelings from her, they truly began to communicate. He had so much to learn about the power of the gene he possessed, but until she had a full complement of zero point modules, she couldn't teach him how to reach his potential. For now, she was content with what they did have.

"Atlantis, you're lurking again." He was in his quarters, lying on his bunk, a magazine across his chest. As he reached out to her with his thoughts, a small smile crossed his lips.

"Did I awaken you, colonel? I did not mean to do so."

"Liar; you always mean to wake me up. What brings you here so late at night?"

"I am making my rounds to determine that all is well in the city."

"Did you repair Rodney's air conditioner? He was really cranky today from the heat."

"Yes, you are not the only one to request that I make the repairs to Dr. McKay's quarters a priority. Doctor Beckett pleaded with me to 'cool him off'; I believe was his comment."

"Good, he won't be quite as cranky tomorrow. So, what else is on your mind."

Their conversation about other matters in the city lasted for nearly fifteen minutes. As Atlantis slipped from his thoughts, she sensed him drifting to sleep once more. Before she continued her rounds, she lingered for a bit, watching him as he slept.

The colonel was unaware of his destiny, and of the information she had discovered, hidden deep in her databanks, information that would change everything. Until she could find a way to teach him the things he needed to know, she had to protect him. Protect him, at least, until he could protect them all.

The end….


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 29th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
Intriguing! I hope you decide to expand this universe, it's fascinating.
Jun. 29th, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. Glad you like the story. I love writing John and Atlantis...and do plan a story regarding the hidden information that only Altantis knows. It's actually started, just need to find time to finish it.

Thanks again!
Jun. 29th, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
Lots of requests to continue!!! There's a distinct pattern here!!

Great story hon!! But you know I think that already!!
Jun. 29th, 2011 08:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks...I appreciate you commenting here and on ff.net. That's sweet of you. Glad you enjoyed the story!
Jun. 29th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
Oh I do hope there's more to come. I stopped reading a few paragraphs in. First I brewed a pot of coffee, got a sweet roll and then sat down to READ. This is lovely. The atmosphere, the way John interacts with his 'ghostly' visitor (even to the point of feeling comfortable enough to fall asleep), Atlantis' humble beginnings, the changes in Atlantis' long life... it's simply wonderful.

I'm going to go back now and Read it again. Thank you for publishing it.
Jun. 29th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I really appreciate you comment. So pleased that you enjoyed the story that much. I have always enjoyed writing John and Atlantis and their interaction. The prompt from this comm (all of which have been excellent)sent me on a few tangents until I thought about this. So glad you enjoyed. I have written a few stories with this theme, that Atlantis knows something about John that he doesn't know and how powerful he really is. The follow-up story has been started...finishing, well, as soon as possible.

Thanks again.
Jun. 29th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
very interesting! There aren't enough John&Atlantis stories. Please write more.
Jun. 30th, 2011 01:52 am (UTC)
Glad you liked! I love to write John and Atlantis, and have included Sentient!Alantis in several stories. That storyline was so undertold on the show, and I love it.

So, I'll definitely be writing more of John and Atlantis, and the ending of this story is planned to be part of a story that I have alread started...hope to finish once I get some other things finished. Not enough hours.

Thanks again!!
Jun. 29th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
Yay, a ShepLantis story, nice AI back story, and yes i'd read more of this 'verse.
Jun. 30th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
Thanks...so glad you enjoyed. I love writing John and Atlantis...so I know they are going to show up again.

Appreciate your comment!!
Jun. 29th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
Left a comment in your journal
Jun. 30th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
Thanks...I saw it and appreciate it!
Jun. 30th, 2011 01:25 am (UTC)
Continuation gets another vote! This is a wonderful vision of the relationship b/t John & Atlantis. I can't wait to find out what John's destiny is!
Jun. 30th, 2011 02:07 am (UTC)
Thanks...I do plan on writing about the hidden info that Atlantis has found, and Sheppard's destiny. I'm so glad that you enjoyed the story and I really appreciate your comment.

Thanks!!! And I LOVE your icon!!!!!
(no subject) - hoktauri - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stella_pegasi - Jun. 30th, 2011 03:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 30th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
I love the idea of John actually holding a conversation with Atlantis. And the stuff about his destiny made me want you to write another story addressing that (hint, hint, poke, poke). I love stories that focus on the connection between John and Atlantis and I really loved the approach this story took.
Jun. 30th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, I am pleased that you enjoyed this story. I love writing John and Atlantis conversing; I think it's an amazing relationship and should have been covered in the series more. I will be writing about John's destiny. It's actually in the works now, just has a few stories ahead of it.

Thanks again, I really appreciate your comment.
Jun. 30th, 2011 04:48 am (UTC)
Oh wow oh wow! I looooooooove the history you give to Atlantis! One of many, that she remembers her builder, and is a distinct personality, once one among many.

Also, hee the large brain one. Awesome.

OH, and some special destiny?!!! Ok, I hope to see more of this in the future. I really really enjoyed it!
Jul. 1st, 2011 02:00 am (UTC)
So glad you had fun with this, I had fun writing it. I've been hinting at John's destiny in a few stories...and have the beginnings of a story written to follow up that story line.

I so love these prompts, and I have to tell you I have another story based on this prompt half-written...I stopped when I realized the idea of writing a back-story for Atlantis would work with the prompt. Plot bunnies are bad bunnies.

Thanks again!
(no subject) - lilyfarfalla - Jul. 1st, 2011 06:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stella_pegasi - Jul. 1st, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 1st, 2011 09:26 am (UTC)
this is a really fascinating take. I liked the OC Ludo and am totally intrigued by that last paragraph. nice exploration of Atlantis' history, both as city and AI.

oh! and the art is beautiful!

Edited at 2011-07-01 09:27 am (UTC)
Jul. 1st, 2011 12:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I love the John-Atlantis connection and I always wanted to explore Atlantis' early days. The wonderful prompts you and lilyfarfalla are providing are inspirational! I love them!

Thanks for the comment on the art...he is pretty, isn't he?

Thanks again!!!
Jul. 1st, 2011 10:02 am (UTC)
Interesting study - Atlantis as a lurker! Maybe there are AIs on livejournal too... *G*
Jul. 1st, 2011 12:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks...as I mentioned in another reply, I always wanted to explore Atlantis' backstory, and this gave me the chance.

Ah..lurkers on LJ? I think you are on to something!!!!
Jul. 1st, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)
This was amazing, I love the whole idea of Atlantis being sentient, and this was a beautiful beginning I am delighted to read comments that suggest there will be more..
thank you so much
Jul. 1st, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I am really glad you enjoyed this. I have written Atlantis as sentient before but really wanted to write about how she was built. This gave me the opportunity.

Thanks again, I really appreciate your comment.
(no subject) - scarlettandblue - Jul. 1st, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC)
I like sentient Atlantis stories! It's strange that Atlantis is always a woman, though. Like cars and boats...

I, too, am intrigued by the rest of the story that's not being told. What does she know? Who is John? Such a cool start to what is sure to be an interesting Verse.

Aug. 3rd, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the delay in replying...my email keeps treating LJ messages as scam and I missed your comment. My apologies.

I'm glad you liked the story. I love the relationship between Atlantis and John and have included it in stories when I can. I do intend on writing more about John, Atlantis and the secret she knows.

Thanks again and so sorry for the late reply.
Jul. 6th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
Intriguing storyline. I really like the special connection John shares with Atlantis....how cool would that be? Like you I wish they would have explored that a little more, but great you are doing that for us Sheplantis junkies! Looking forward to seeing where you might take this. Thanks for all the good stories....the hard work is always appreciated!
Aug. 3rd, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
My apologies...sometimes my email and LJ do not like to talk to each other and I missed your comment. Please forgive me.

So glad that you liked the story and the story line, I try to incorporate Atlantis into as many stories as I can. I also wish TPTB had taken us there in the series. I am going to follow-up with this..in fact, someone suggested I write about how John became aware of Atlantis in the first place. It's on the list.

Thanks for your kind comment and again, sorry for the delay in replying.

BTW...love your icon...that is one cool pooch!
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )

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