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Allegiance -- Rodney and Todd

With only a month or so to go until Allegiance comes out (hopefully) I have requests for more Rodney and more Todd in Allegiance, so killing two birds with one stone, Rodney and Todd both in one scene! (Also extra bonus Ember...) I'd love to hear what you think!



Quicksilver thought he dreamed, perhaps of the dark-haired queen who guarded his mind’s gates, but he could no longer remember. Instead, he remembered human faces, fragments of places and voices, the gate room in the city, the shabby little man who had tried to trick him, the warrior who had killed Dust, who had called him by a human name. Other things he could not have seen this time — the fierce and beautiful woman with the bearing of a queen, who had attacked him on the hive; the hall where the humans had their meeting; another woman with golden hair, and a smaller room with red walls where the humans’ zenana gathered — and he guessed those were memories of his captivity.

He shifted on his pillows, awake again, and unsettled enough that sleep had lost its appeal. Twice they had called him by a human name, promised to help him: a terrible deception, all the worse because he could almost put a face to that name. Rodney, they had said, and in the long nights, lying silent and still so as not to disturb Ember, he had remembered a second name attached to that one, in human fashion: Rodney McKay. But he knew McKay, or knew of him, was sure he had known him in his captivity: a human scientist, a clever man even by his own high standards, the man he was sure had been his greatest enemy among the Lanteans. Handsome and strong, at least by human measure, and certainly brilliant — a worthy adversary, Quicksilver was sure of that. But why the other humans would call him by the same name, except in mockery….

And that they would pay for. He rolled out of his sleeping niche, saw to his surprise that Ember’s door was drawn back, the narrow compartment empty. Frowning, he found clothes, dressed — that, at least, had come back to him — and slipped the communicator onto his wrist.

"Ember."

There was no answer, and Quicksilver frowned. "Ember!"

"I am with my commander," Ember said at last. "What is it? Is there a problem?"

"I want you in the labs."

"It is the middle of the late-night watch," Ember said. "Can it not wait—?" He broke off then, as though someone else had spoken to him, and when he spoke again, his tone was resigned. "Come, then. I am in Guide’s quarters, Steelflower’s Consort. It is on your way."

Quicksilver snarled, but there was really no point in objecting. He made his way through the corridors, brushed past the drones that guarded the rooms assigned to the visiting lords, and laid his hand on the door control. It opened, though not to his touch, the door sliding back to reveal Ember, his hair pulled back into a single loose tail.

*Must we begin the day so early?* he asked, but Quicksilver’s gaze was fixed on the man behind him.

*I know you,* he said, startled. *We have worked together — where?*

He heard Ember draw breath sharply, but the older blade shook his head. *We have not,* he said. *And from what my chief cleverman tells me, it would have been a memorable experience.*

*That’s not right,* Quicksilver said. He had just enough presence of mind not to call the man a liar outright, that was too great an insult from cleverman to blade — worse from cleverman to commander, he thought, realizing abruptly that this must be Guide himself, but he could not bring himself to let it go. *We worked on — replicators? A weapon against them?*

He heard the door slide shut behind him, felt a flash of something like fear from Ember. That was instantly controlled, and Guide shook his head again.

*You and I have never met before now.*

There was force behind the words, pressure to believe, and Quicksilver shook his head. *No. I’m sure of it. Something to do with Atlantis —*

*I was a prisoner there,* Guide said. *As were you.*

*At the same time?* That didn’t seem right, and Quicksilver frowned.

*I don’t think so,* Guide answered.

*You know what was done to me,* Quicksilver said. He couldn’t have said how he knew it, but once the words were formed, he felt the confirmation, quickly shielded. *Tell me!*

*Commander,* Ember said, his tone a warning, and Guide shook his head.

*No. Not now.* He looked at Quicksilver, frowning slightly, the star tattoo around his eye very dark in the gentle shiplight. *I may not tell you.* He held up his hand, forestalling Quicksilver’s instinctive outburst. *There are good reasons why you must find that out for yourself, it is not something you can come to by way of another’s mind. But there is one thing I may share with you —*

*Commander,* Ember said again, and this time there was definitely fear in his tone. *You run too great a risk.*

Guide spared him a quick glance. *I know the risks I run, cleverman.* He looked back at Quicksilver. *Give me your hand.*

Quicksilver extended his off hand, wary, and Guide caught it in his own, circling the wrist with his long fingers, so that they spoke in intimate privacy. *I give you a name to conjure with. Michael.*

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Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
draco_stellaris
Oct. 7th, 2011 12:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for sharing this! It's fantastic! Guide, Quicksilver and Ember, what more could we wish for? :D
jansma
Oct. 7th, 2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
Guide and Jennifer? :P

Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm obsessed. *sighs and blurts* But they are meant for each other!

*rocks* Now I need the rest of the book. :/
draco_stellaris
Oct. 7th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
LMAO! I should've known you'd say that. :P
I'm modest, I'm absolutely satisfied with everything that has Ember in it. :D

But if there happens to be a bit of Guide and Jennifer in Allegiance I'd be quite happy as well. :D
jo_graham
Oct. 8th, 2011 12:09 pm (UTC)
There's quite a bit of Ember in Allegiance. I think he's Melissa's favorite Wraith, so he has a lot of screen time!
jo_graham
Oct. 8th, 2011 12:08 pm (UTC)
Alas, no Guide and Jennifer in this book!
jansma
Oct. 8th, 2011 12:53 pm (UTC)
Back to the saltmine for me then, eh? *dusts of WIP and rolls up sleeves* There will be Toddifer, dammit. :o :P
jo_graham
Oct. 8th, 2011 12:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I think this is Melissa's scene, though I often can't tell which one of them wrote what.
jetnova16
Oct. 7th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
That sounds very interesting.

I just don't understand one thing, how is Jennifer in this part? Jennifer Keller isn't mentioned I am sure of it. Steelflower I believe is Teyla from the episode "The Queen".

If Guide (Todd) knows that Quicksilver is really Rodney, then the name given to conjure might just be familiar to Quicksilver because if it really is Rodney, he should somehow still remember all about Michael.
jo_graham
Oct. 8th, 2011 12:11 pm (UTC)
Jennifer's not in this part, no! She's in the book, but not the Wraithy parts.

Todd does know that Quicksilver is really Rodney, and he hopes that this will give him an idea to investigate. After all, if Michael was a Wraith turned human, could Quicksilver be a human turned Wraith?
jetnova16
Oct. 8th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
Had a feeling.
2bluaeryn
Oct. 7th, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC)
AUGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! It's not November yet!

This is just so COOL. I'm so excited about this book. Actually I think I'm going to go back and reread the books so the details will be fresh for the new release.

*off to grab Kindle*
jo_graham
Oct. 8th, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
*G* Since it's not my book, I can say that it's really good! There are two sequences where I was literally biting my knuckles and I knew how they had to come out because I'd read the outline. And Ronon's plotline is so good. I wish I could talk about spoilers!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )