Reflections Over Morning Coffee

by MMW

Alternate Universe: SGA7

Character PoV: Orin Travis

Disclaimer: The characters of The Magnificent Seven belong to MGM, Trilogy, etc. The Stargate Atlantis universe and characters belong to the Sci-Fi Channel etc. Both are used here without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.

Notes: Many, many thanks to Hannah Standish for all her help with the background for the boys as well as the Atlantis canon details. (There are some universe notes at the end.) And many thanks go out to Marnie for her beta skills

When the arrangements were reviewed for the Atlantis Mission after communication was re-established, the directive had been passed that, just as with the SGC, the Atlantis facility would be running twenty-four hours a day seven days a week - or however many hours and days passed for time on Atlantis. The daytime shift, under Dr. Elizabeth Weir would handle the bulk of the work, but any maintenance that needed to be done or missions that didn't fit into the normal parameters would be handled by the nightshift, run by Mr. Orin Travis and his hand-selected crew.

Retired General Orin Travis had a military background that pleased those in the armed forces, but was strictly civilian now, which pleased the politicians. It had taken much conversation and, eventually, a plea from the President of the United States to get him to agree to the position.

Eventually, though, he did agree and happily took a back seat to Dr. Weir, allowing her not only to head the mission, but also to take most of the credit. He had his fair share of kudos and pats on the back throughout his life and was more than happy to watch someone else handle the spotlight. She knew he was there for her if she had questions, but, for the most part, he operated his quiet night shift almost completely autonomously.

Leaning back in the chair, settled in the corner of one of the cafeterias, he looked over the twenty or so people gathered here before their shift began. That meant there were still ten people who had yet to turn up, but he had every confidence they would. After a full year at Atlantis, he knew he could count on his people. He also knew that seven of them would still be grabbing every extra hour of sleep they could manage after their return.

Laughter broke out at one of the tables across the room and his eyes were drawn to the group of scientists and technicians. It was a small, but tight-knit group of soldiers, scientists and natives of Pegasus that worked the reverse-day on Atlantis. The core of the night-shift, however, was the group they had started calling "The Seven" rather than their call sign of SGA7.

It wasn't unusual for that team to be split into two different groups and have one of the other people from the nightshift assigned to round out the second 4-person team, but for the trickier missions, it was easier to keep the Seven together. They seemed to work almost seamlessly, knowing what the other would need without having to wait for a request to be made.

Orin had seen them in action a few times and was still amazed.

It was an odd group, but not the only blended one. Like SGA1, there were people from both Earth and the Pegasus galaxy on the team.

Those from earth included Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Larabee, the team's leader; Major Buck Wilmington, the team's weapon's specialist, explosives expert, backup pilot and possessor of the ATA gene; First Lieutenant John "JD" Dunne, the team's and the night-shift's technology expert; and Dr. Josiah Sanchez who added degrees in both Anthropology and Psychology. From the Pegasus Galaxy were Ezra Standish, a man Travis was still trying to get a handle on; Vin Tanner, an excellent fighter who showed a talent for crafting unusual plans as well as piloting the puddle-jumper the team used; and Nathan Jackson, healer and doctor in training.

There were more to all seven members of the team than what they allowed to show in their work. Even after a year there was much he didn't know about them. Of course, some of what he did know he almost wished he didn't.

Colonel Larabee was a changed man from the first time Travis had seen him, but it was an understandable change. The smiling, laughing leader Chris had been had changed into a quiet, serious, scarily intense man. It was good to see some of that old spark and joy come back now, thanks to the others on SGA7.

His three years with the Stargate program at Cheyenne Mountain and his many heroic actions had led to his promotion to Lt. Colonel just two weeks prior to his reassignment to Atlantis. Oddly, though his rank was only a few weeks junior to Colonel Sheppard's, Larabee had easily, almost eagerly, relinquished the responsibility of the military personnel to the other man. He was still responsible for the military personnel on the night shift, but didn't want the responsibility of overall military control

Major Wilmington, was a rogue. How he had managed to stay ahead of sexual harassment charges both at Cheyenne Mountain and in Atlantis was beyond Travis. Of course, Buck's love of women had caused more than one incident on the various planets they had visited. Travis chuckled as he recalled one particularly sticky situation where a female leader tried to claim Buck as her love slave.

The years that Wilmington and Larabee had spent together from basic training to assignment to the Stargate program and eventually to Atlantis had proved invaluable to SGA7 on more than one occasion and to Larabee personally as well. Wilmington's quick mind and sense of humor had diffused more than one tense situation. Of course, it had also caused quite a few problems as well.

Lieutenant Dunne, frequently called to mind the character of Tigger from A. A. Milne's "Winnie The Pooh" stories that Orin read to Billy, his grandson. He was full of life and excited about everything. Though he didn't actually bounce, there was an energy around J. D. that could either energize or exhaust those around him. Every now and then, though, the boy would take a back seat and he would catch a glimpse of the man Dunne was becoming - strong, determined, brave, a force to be reckoned with, a man anyone would be proud to call friend.

He had more than earned his position on the Atlantis mission and SGA7 on that team's first mission. Larabee had, initially, been reluctant to take the young officer on his team, knowing just how dangerous it could be gating to other worlds. Dunne's determination and technical abilities had proven invaluable to the team that found itself frequently outnumbered and in trouble.

Doctor Sanchez was an interesting person to try to get to know. There was a darkness, a pain within the older man that he didn't share, resulting in bouts of temper that were terrifying. The other six seemed to know what he needed, though, and were able to bring comfort to the anthropologist. Travis had found great comfort in Josiah's presence. Talking with Sanchez in any capacity was an adventure of words, but always worthwhile. The man's unique view of the world, combined with his insight into people frequently left the listener feeling like they'd been side-swiped by a speeding car and shown the answers to the universe all at the same time.

He had been called in as an expert to the Stargate program on Earth several times. Though his work had been exemplary, he had never expressed an interest in joining the program. Something had changed, though, in the week between the time he was first told of the opening on the Atlantis mission and the follow-up call. He had completely changed his mind and agreed to the mission. Someday, Travis hoped to find out why.

Ezra Standish. The first words that came to mind when Travis thought of the younger man were "conman", "gambler" and "trouble". Both Orin and Chris had been very reluctant to include Standish on the team initially, especially given his Genii heritage. But the man had more than proven his worth over the past year. The fact he had gladly renounced any and all ties to the Genii - whom he called "those uncivilized cretins" - had helped as well.

His smooth talking, incredible ability to complete a favorable deal and staunch support of the others had soon erased those doubts and allowed the others to begin to see past the slick facade. Somehow the Athosians had seen past that façade prior to Earth's arrival at Atlantis and allowed the man to trade with them. He had been with Teyla's people on a business trip when the Wraith had attacked. Escaping to Atlantis, he found the comforts of the city to his liking and quickly found a way to make himself indispensable.

Nathan Jackson had proven to be a contradiction in some ways. He was caring, compassionate and stubborn - all necessary characteristics for a doctor and healer, but he was also hot-tempered and held his own group of prejudices as strong as those he'd fought against. Being with the others had tempered the younger man though, mellowed him and shown him that people aren't always easy to label. Nathan had grown a lot in the past year.

He had been with Teyla's people studying their medicine when the Wraith had attacked. Originally he had been given the option of returning to his home planet. The thought of learning about the medicine Carson Beckett had used, though, convinced him to stay at Atlantis. He had made only two trips home in the intervening two years and seemed more than happy with his position on SGA7 and his work in the med-lab.

Vin Tanner was difficult to get to know. The quiet young man didn't speak of himself often and didn't shy away from conflict, but it was obvious he was happiest when his teammates were getting along peacefully. The young man's survival skills and fighting ability had, more than once, helped save, not only his team, but innocents as well. There were secrets lurking behind those blue eyes, Travis knew, but until Vin was willing to share them, no one would find out what they were.

He had grown up with Teyla's people, becoming one of their best hunters. When the Athosians relocated from Atlantis to the main land, he had initially gone with them, but soon grew restless. Eventually, he had taken to riding on the puddle-jumper that shuttled between the mainland and Atlantis. Flying intrigued his quick mind and he longed to try it himself. When the opportunity arose to see if the procedure used to instill the ATA gene - the gene that allowed humans to use the Ancient technologies on Atlantis - would work on a native of Pegasus, he quickly volunteered. Teyla encouraged his acceptance in the program and soon he was able to try piloting the puddle-jumper himself. Flying came naturally to the young man and he had soon taken over flying the shuttle between the main land and Atlantis. When the night shift started, he and Larabee seemed to have an instant understanding and Vin's need for adventure and freedom was assuaged as he found himself on SGA7.

These seven men - men who each carried a personal darkness inside, had brought light out in each other and in the night-shift crew. Individually they were worthy of respect, together they were a force to be reckoned with, a team whose potential had yet to be realized.

Settling back in his seat, Orin flipped open the folder before him, reading the latest report on the Wraith. Though he knew that they were a serious and terrifying threat, knowing that he had The Seven on their side - in addition to Sheppard, Weir, Teyla and the others from the day shift - gave him confidence in the belief that the humans would prevail.

His perusal of the file was interrupted by a shout of indignation and a cry of "Buck! Give me back my hat!" followed by the sound of running and laughter.

Travis smiled, turning his attention back to the file before him. One thing was absolutely certain - with The Seven, life would never be boring.



Below, I've broken down the characters in this story as well as some of the terms and references so they will hopefully make sense.

The People:

Wraith: A species that feeds off of the life-force of others. They live in large ships called "hive ships". They go on raids on planets throughout the Pegasus Galaxy, taking humans and using them as food.

Athosians: These are among the first people the Earthlings (referred to as Tau'ri from time to time) meet. The Athosians are well known traders throughout the galaxy. When their world is attacked by Wraith while the Earthlings are there, they are brought through the Stargate to Atlantis. They lived for some time on Atlantis before deciding to populate the mainland. Teyla is their leader, ambassador to Earth and member of SGA1.

Genii: Another planet/people in the Pegasus galaxy with a fairly complicated historic relationship with Atlantis. They're about mid-20th century when it comes to technology - at least when first meeting the Atlantis expedition. They want to trade the food Atlantis needs for technology - specifically weapons. Eventually there are two factions of Genii - those who want to take over Atlantis, kill the Earthlings and rule the galaxy and those who don't want to do that. It's actually quite a bit more complex, but that's the nuts and bolts of it. Basically, Ezra being Genii - even if he hasn't been on that world in years and years - is enough for him to be mistrusted on sight.

Ancients: Ten thousand years ago, these technologically advanced humans learned how to "ascend" or become the next evolution of humanity. They left behind a genetic marker - the ATA gene - as well as technology. They are the original creators of the Stargate system and Atlantis.

Stargate Atlantis Personnel:

Dr. Elizabeth Wier: the leader of the Atlantis expedition

Lt. Colonel John Sheppard: Military leader of the Atlantis expedition.

Teyla: Native of the Pegasus Galaxy, Leader of the Athosian people, ambassador to earth, member of SGA1 - Sheppard's team

Dr. Carson Beckett: Head of Medicine at Atlantis (well, at the time this is being written he was head of medicine - he's dead now)

Lieutenant Aiden Ford: Originally Sheppard's second in command, he became addicted to an enzyme produced by the Wraith, pretty much 'lost it' and is listed as Missing in Action.

Ronon: A "Runner" that was rescued and is now part of SGA1. A "Runner" is basically, mobile prey for the Wraith. The Wraith implant a tracking device in the human and then release him to 'run' while they hunt him down.

Dr. Rodney McKay: Head scientists on Atlantis. Though he uses his ego as a defense mechanism, he is a remarkably intelligent scientist who frequently ends up saving the day or doing the impossible.

SGA7 Team Members

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Larabee. Career army. He joined the Stargate program three years prior to going to Atlantis right after the deaths of his wife and son, Sarah and Adam Larabee. He was promoted from Major to Lt. Colonel two weeks prior to setting out for Atlantis. He heads the military personnel on the nightshift and has no desire to take over for Sheppard. He leads SGA7, his team, with a relaxed attitude, not demanding strict military discipline unless in combat.

Major Buck Wilmington: Larabee's long time friend. Upon the deaths of Sarah and Adam Larabee, he followed Chris into the Stargate program in the hopes of keeping Chris alive. He loves women in all shapes and forms - thus his reputation as a rogue - and has been known to fall into an overprotective brother for any injured member of SGA7.

Lieutenant John "JD" Dunne: Upon the death of his mother shortly after his 18th birthday, JD discovered even with scholarships, work study and loans, he would not have enough money to go to college. He made a fateful decision and signed up with the Air Force ROTC program. He managed to graduate in three years and is now serving out his years in the army. He has adopted the members of SGA7 as his new family.

Doctor Josiah Sanchez: The oldest member of SGA7, held dual doctorates in Anthropology and Psychology. He has lived life in the fullest sense of the word. He carries secrets deep within, including why he changed his mind about joining the Atlantis expedition. He is usually quiet and patient, but once the end of his patience has been reached, his explosive temper shows itself. He also offers insights into the cultures they meet during their travel.

Ezra Standish: Though born a Genii citizen, he happily relinquished any claim to that heritage years before the people of Earth reached Atlantis. His past is nebulous at best and he can be difficult to describe. The one place he seems to shine brightest is in negotiations when setting up trading partners. He has more than once claimed that he is simply a "business man", but he has never explained his "business".

Nathan Jackson: A healer in training on his home world, Nathan had been sent to other, friendly, worlds to learn of their healing techniques and bring back whatever he could to help his own people. Though he has been offered the opportunity to return home, he has chosen to stay on Atlantis, not only learning all he can from Dr. Beckett, but also satisfying the wanderlust that seems to flow in his veins. He returns home periodically to teach what he has learned and to visit his betrothed - Raine.

Vin Tanner: An Athosian hunter, his restless nature and need to explore led him to try new things, thus his volunteering for the ATA therapy, learning to fly and going on missions with SGA7. He blends well with the others on the team and, like JD, has adopted them as his family.

Orin Travis: Retired General Orin Travis is the leader of the nightshift. Restless in retirement, the position of heading Atlantis' night shift appealed to him. The more reliable and frequent contact that Earth and Atlantis now maintained made the job that much more appealing. Though he occasionally misses his family, he wouldn't trade his time in Atlantis for anything.

The Technology:

Stargate: a transportation device that allows the user to travel from one planet/galaxy to another in almost no time at all. It creates a stable wormhole between the first gate and the one which is "dialed".

DHD: The Dial Home Device (DHD) allows the user to input destination addresses to the gate, telling it which other gate to connect to via a stable wormhole

Puddle-jumper: a small transport ship, also referred to as a Gateship because it can fit through the stargate's ring.

ZPM: The Zero Point Module (ZPM) is a power source used to power Atlantis.

Hive Ships: Large spaceships which are the homes of the Wraith

Deadalus: Transport spaceship that makes runs through hyperspace between Earth and Atlantis.

For further details on Stargate Atlantis, the personnel, technology, background or shows, I recommend either going to the official Stargate Atlantis website or doing a Google search for fansites.