cirque: Sam Carter from Stargate Atlantis, standing alone in front of an active Stargate. (gate)
[personal profile] cirque
Title: 2012
Fandom: Stargate (SG-1)
Characters: Cassandra Fraiser, Sam Carter.
Rating/Category: PG/gen
Wordcount: 1244
Summary: She's never really stopped to consider the fact that there are armies out there willing to blow a hole in the galaxy. Or that, once upon a time, they were willing to use her to do it.
Notes/warnings: The end of the world, from Cassie’s perspective. (It’s officially December, which means I’m free to post all the apoca!fic I want right? Here’s to the Alien Invasion of 2012!). I figured that there are enough fics exploring alien invasion from other characters’ POVs, I wanted to see how it would feel from Cassie’s perspective. I took some liberties with her age, I guess, because in 2012 she’d probably be too old for college, but maybe she went to med school or something idk she probably wants to be a doctor like her mother.
A/N 2: Yep, I’m still procrastinating my Yuletide piece. At least this is in the same fandom? Kind of?

When the world ends Cassie is sick. Her eyes sting and her head pounds, and she starts seeing spaceships in the sky between star clusters and airplane halos, no bigger than her thumb from this distance.

"It'll never happen," said Uncle Jack, when she was ten. "I'm almost certain," he amended, when she was sixteen.

She plays it off as part of the sickness, or shooting stars, or another hoax, and returns to her dorm to chew her way through noodles and ibuprofen, and gulp down an old remedy they had in 'Toronto', ginger and mint to taint the back of her throat.

That night, she watches news reports unfold, heresy and pseudoscience with a healthy dash of national panic. She isn't entirely sure what to do, and clenches her fingers in anticipation. She'd always assumed the world would just end, overnight or in a quick airstrike; she wasn't prepared for this hazy feeling of terror.

She tells her friends not to worry, and goes to bed. She hears them in the kitchen, vapid whispers going back and forth, unified in their panic. Cassie has never felt more adrift; she fit smoothly into Earth society in the early days, but she can't join them in shock that alien races exist.

She falls asleep in a flu-induced stupor in the early hours, and is woken by her phone's shrill ringing. She jabs the phone against her ear before she is properly awake. "Yeah?"

"Cassie!" It's Sam, thank God. "Cass, are you at your dorm?"

"Yeah," she sits up, blinking gingerly. The few hours' sleep seems to have eased her sickness, but she feels groggy as hell. It takes her a second to remember the spaceships in the sky. "Is it real - everything they're saying on the news?"

"Yeah. Cass, I can send a car to get you, but I can't come myself. Pack a few things, and be ready quick." Sam's voice is rushed; there are voices in the background and the line sounds gritty, busy. Cassie hears the methodical beeping of CPU systems.

"Ok. Is there a plan?" She can't help the fear creeping into her voice; though biologically alien, she's never really stopped to consider the fact that there are armies out there willing to blow a hole in the galaxy. Or that, once upon a time, they were willing to use her to do it.

"We've had a plan for years."

Cassie smiles, and uses her shoulder to prop her phone up while she throws clothes at random into her backpack.

"But Cassandra," Sam's voice flickers; Cassie figures that she's probably moving around the base, overseeing the end of the world from the frontline. "Any plan we have isn't something that's safe for you."

She feels her stomach drop at the thought of the alien substance that powers through her body; the sudden reminder of the naquadah that is as much a part of her as oxygen. The stuff of space and wonders, and man-made Stargates. She knows that, in any given disaster, the foremost plan would be to evacuate as many people as possible through the first habitable Gate destination: the President, business owners, scientists, army personnel. Everyone except alien time-bomb college students.

"But we'll keep you safe regardless, ok?"

Cassie is hesitant. "Ok. Are you sure you can't come?" She does her best to keep the need from filtering through, but she sits on her bed in a slump. She's sick and afraid, an alien on a planet full of terrified people; her mother is dead and the world is ending.

"I'm sorry sweetheart, we can't." The implication is clear: there was no chance that any member of SG-1 could get away from duty just to comfort her. Sometimes she forgets that they're not only her family; they're soldiers.

"Sure," she says, "Ok. I'll be fine."

(A blink, and she's ten again, forehead-to-forehead with a tomboy Captain who is stroking her hair and trying to smile through her tears. "We are both very brave.")

"Just..." Cassie is hesitant, well aware that Sam is busy and needs to concentrate on saving the world, but also painfully anxious to hear her voice. "Promise me you won't leave me?"

There is silence, in which Sam considers what she's asking. She appears to be in the Gateroom, because Cassie hears the drone and whir of the chevrons locking into position. "I won't leave you Cassandra, you know that."

(Cassie's strongest memory from childhood is the heavy thumping of Sam's heart against her own, in those crazy few seconds before almost-death. Surviving genocide is unthinkable, impossible, something she still can't believe; it is the catch of Sam's breath as the clock ticks down that Cassie remembers with real ferocity, the realization that there was someone on this planet willing to die with her.)

Cassie makes a vague noise of assent. She knows it, but she can't be sure if it's because Sam loves her, or because she knows that Sam has no desire to Gate from Earth and leave it to burn.

"Daniel will meet you at the Washington facility, and I'll try and get there later today. At the very latest, I'll see you tonight."

"Ok. When will they strike?"

"Two days. If we're lucky."

Lucky? Cassie finds herself remembering 'Toronto' with surprising lucidity; the feel of the grass, her mother's singing, gold panning in the summer. She hasn't thought about it in years, but it's tucked away in her brain, brought out by shots to her hippocampus such as impending alien invasion. She thinks, with badly-contained hatred, that the Goa'uld and their kin aren't content with destroying her home planet; they're intent on blowing her sanctuary to pieces too.

"But we'll think of something," Sam continues, "we always do."

“Yeah,” says Cassie, under her breath. She can barely count on her fingers the amount of time SG-1 have saved the world, never mind Stargate Command as a whole.

“I’ve got to go now Cassie,” Sam is saying, footfalls almost obscuring the sound of her voice, “but I’ll see you tonight, I promise.”

“Ok. I love you.”

“And I love you,” Sam says, and Cassie doesn’t doubt that. “Bye.”

“Bye.” Sam disconnects the call in a hurry, and Cassie is left staring at her shoelaces, tied in a haphazard knot. It is almost four am and her roommates are asleep, gathered in a crowd in the kitchen, coffee gone cold on the table in front of them. She passes them by in silence, dragging her backpack over her shoulder, and goes out to stare at the sky. The triangular ships are bigger now, more apparent, piercing through the bluish cosmos with frightening clarity.

She remembers Daniel telling her once that they are bigger than the great pyramids. They look tiny from so far away, hardly bigger than the moon, and maybe it’s the anxiety, but she’s certain she can feel the naquadah ticking around her body like a subcutaneous reminder of all the horrors that are out there.

She shrugs it off and walks further down the street with her shoulders hunched against the cold, fighting back tears and nausea and the desire to lie down on the ground and never get up. Her transport should be arriving soon, and the last thing she wants is for someone to report to Uncle Jack that she’d been crying. General O’Neill, she corrects herself, I’m supposed to call him General O’Neill when the world is ending.

Link to Part 2: on DW.



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