Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Characters: John Sheppard, Miko Kusanagi
Word Count: 950
Warning: discussion of harassment and violence
Summary: On Atlantis, one should never underestimate the civilians.
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“Attention!” Lieutenant Miller called to the room as Major Lorne and Colonel Sheppard entered. He stepped forward and saluted the Colonel. “All personnel assembled as ordered, sir.”
Sheppard nodded and Miller returned to his position. He watched as Sheppard stared into the face of each man standing still in the front row. He didn’t speak and other than the shift of his eyes which was barely detectable he didn’t move. The silence dragged on, uncomfortable. Standing there at attention it was clear that they were being judged.
When he finally spoke it was with a steel in his voice few of the newer recruits would have believed him capable of possessing based on his normal demeanor. “Ladies. Gentlemen. It seems we have a problem. I don’t like problems in my command. Problems get noticed. Problems require solutions. Problems affect the relationship we enjoy with the members of the civilian staff on this base. Problems in combat will get you killed. It seems some of you are not aware that even though we live and play here, this base is in a combat zone.”
One of the men in the front row, Corporal Devers, who sported a cane for his wrenched hip and a sling for his fractured collarbone started to shift. Sheppard’s attention shifted to him. “You are at attention Marine. Did you not learn what that meant in basic, Private?” Devers straightened, white-faced.
He refocused on the assembly, “Some of you are new. You were recruited to stand between Earth and one of the worst threats we will ever know. You were read into the program and volunteered for placement here, most of you after extensive work earning a place. So it puzzles me greatly how you could make it all the way here and not understand that the civilians in the program are our best hope for victory. The actions of even one of you reflect on every member of the military because the civilians can and will paint us all with the same brush.”
Miller watched Sheppard look with disgust at the three men standing next to Devers. All on Atlantis less than five weeks. All were sporting multiple injuries, sprains, broken fingers, wrists, dislocated knee, blackened eyes, and at least one broken nose. Rumors spread hot and fast through a base like this and each more ridiculous than the last. The most prevalent was that they had attacked a civilian scientist and Ronan had schooled them harshly. Miller regained focus as Sheppard continued.
“Every man and woman here will become intimately familiar with the rules and regulations concerning harassment. There is a zero tolerance policy on this base and it will be enforced with prejudice. Now as the civilian in this incident has been questioned and the security footage was reviewed there will be no repercussions to her as she believed she was acting in self-defense. As to the military members involved they will be returned to Earth when the Daedalus arrives. You can plead your case to remain in the program with General Landry once there.”
His face remained strict but his eyes danced slightly as he said, “Of course the four of you are going to have to explain how a 4 foot 11 inch tall, 98-pound woman beat the crap out of four highly trained combat assets after you tried to get physical.” He looked back over the rest of the assembly. “Let this be a lesson to the rest of you. The civilians who come to Atlantis understand that the Wraith don’t discriminate between military and civilian. Each and every one of them is ready and willing to defend themselves from any and all threats. The ones who aren’t are back on Earth or dead.”
The Colonel nodded to Major Lorne and left the room. Lorne spoke up, “Devers, Mayes, Krueger, and Berle you are restricted to quarters until further notice.” He motioned to the waiting Marines who lead them out of the room with everyone watching them hobble along. As soon as they were gone, “The rest of you will find reading material waiting in your email along with your assigned Harassment and Conduct Training schedule. Anyone who fails to complete the material and course will find themselves returning on the next transport to Earth. Dismissed.”
Miller exited the room with everyone else as the whispers gained volume. Of all the rumors that one hadn’t even made it into the mix. And let’s be honest. There was only one civilian on this base that fit that description and he didn’t believe she was capable of what the Colonel had claimed. As he entered the mess for lunch the whispers were immediately silenced as they noticed McKay eating lunch with most of his science staff.
Getting his tray Miller took one of the only remaining seats which was next to the science table. He tried to eat quickly and quietly as no one was inclined to antagonize any of the civilians after the meeting. Their conversations where geeky, sometimes funny in a strange way, and often devolved into arguments so far over Miller’s head he wasn’t certain they were speaking a language from Earth. A couple of them were working on a crossword puzzle and one called out over the table, “I need a nine letter word that means ‘power over others’ and the third letter is an M.”
Miko Kusanagi looked up from her laptop and her gaze locked with Miller’s in a way he couldn’t have broken if his life had depended on it and he suddenly found new reason to believe the story was possible. Her voice carried across the mess with a firm assurance as she said, “Dominance.”