Cassie learns through her dreams just what the crystal means...
They hadn't spoken much. There were moments of such distance between them that he felt he stared at her across an aching chasm, hand held out but unable to reach her. She smiled and talked with the others but the smile did not reach her eyes and Carson cast worried glances her way, knowing also that what troubled her, was not medical. It had been two days since their arrival back from Tegalia and tonight was movie night, something Cassie usually enjoyed, often being the one to chose the night's selection. Tonight she just shrugged her shoulders negligently when Rodney asked what they were going to watch. She hadn't eaten much, John watched her food intake like a hawk and she seemed disinclined to nibble on the little chocolate treats that he had had sent back from earth.
They settled down in one of the cosy rec rooms that had been designated their official theatre, outfitted with a large video screen and comfy chairs. John made a beeline for one of the large overstuffed armchairs that he favoured, patting his knee as he held out a hand to Cassie. She hesitated, but needing his touch that night, she curled up in his lap, tucking her head under his chin and he sighed, loving the closeness after feeling the distance between them for the past two days. He growled in her ear “missed you baby...” and in response she snuggled closer, sending his starved senses into overdrive. He didn't recall very much of the movie, just loving the feel of her and knew she didn't watch much of it either. Her easy breathing very early into the movie, an indication that she had fallen asleep.
He woke her when the movie finished and she stretched sleepily, but followed unprotesting as he led her back to their room. He went to have a shower and came out to find her out on the balcony, wearing just a tiny nightgown that fluttered enticingly around her mid thigh, whispering in satin folds over her burgeoning stomach. John ached with both love and desire, and still damp from his shower he moved behind her and began kissing her shoulders. “You are so damn beautiful baby... I can't breathe sometimes when I'm around you.” She turned and wound her arms around his neck allowing her head to tilt back so that he could trail hot kisses down her neck and lower. “Love me John... I need you...”
“Always baby...” he breathed and picking her up he carried her inside to show her just how much.
Later that night he awoke and she was crying and thrashing around in the bed, hair tangled and damp, bedclothes pushed aside. He touched her shoulder gently but she did not wake and troubled, he got out of bed, pulled up a chair and sat watching her and the play of emotions across her face, wondering where she was, and how far was the journey to come back.
She didn't arrive there suddenly, it was rather a slow and arduous journey. She took physical form, not as with the mind essence and was capable of cohesive thought. She walked amongst others who were of her kind, but not of her time. She walked in the city of Atlantis, but again, not of this time. She knew she was not herself in these dreams, she wore the clothes of another, but the knowledge was shared and with shared knowledge came confusion.
Cassie knew somehow that her dreamscape was of a reality she would never experience, not a future, but a past. She recalled the words of a friend who was an FBI profiler “Dreams are answers to questions we have not yet learned how to ask.” In the beginning when the dreams had begun, they had unsettled her mainly because when she awoke, there were only tendrils of memory and a feeling of restlessness that something was beyond her grasp.
The frequency of the dreams had increased and they occurred nightly now, regardless of how exhausted she was when she went to bed, and awoke still exhausted, questions just beyond reach.
This night she entered the dreamscape more deeply than before and it was her agitated movements that had alarmed John, forcing him to sit through this night long vigil at her side. Behind her eyes, in another time, she strode through the hallways of Atlantis, hearing the order over the loudspeaker to evacuate the city. She was a part of it, yet not a part, words came from her mouth almost as though she played a role without knowing the script. Other Lantians, at least that is what she surmised them to be, ran past her responding to the evacuation order. The order was given for all personnel to exit through the stargate and for the city to be submerged, but Cassie 'then' remembered her most precious possession, a valuable artifact that she had been chosen to guard still in her quarters and she turned and frantically tried to get there before it was too late...
Fear pulled her out of her dreams and she did not return easily, kicking and clawing, crying out in fright and John, dozing lightly in chair was at her side, folding her into his arms and soothing the remnants of the dream away.
When she awoke fully and disorientated, he could see that the dream had a residual effect on her. “Shh baby, you're ok now – wherever you were, you're back now.” Rocking her a little, he got up. “I'm going to get some warm milk for you and in the morning I think that you should talk to Dr Heitmeyer about these dreams, someone who can help you work out what they mean.” John left her sitting up against the pillows, pale and still a little disorientated and went down to the mess to heat up a cup of milk.
When he came back Cassie had moved outside to the balcony, one of his shirts buttoned up carelessly against the cool night air. He passed her the milk which she took without argument, and sipped thoughtfully, looking out over the dark ocean. He pulled her back against him for a brief hug, then led her back to bed, holding her tight for the short time until morning as if he could chase her demons away.
Seated in Kate Heitmeyer's office later the next morning, John took a perched seat on the windowsill, wanting to give her some space to talk privately to Kate. He saw that Cassie did not relax into her chair but sat perched near the edge and Kate attempted to relax her sufficiently to break through the barrier that would allow her to pull out the waking details of the dreamscape, but Cassie seemed unable to release this barrier.
Kate motioned for John to join Cassie in the next chair. “Colonel, I cannot break through into her dream. Self preservation seems to have dictated that her mind install what we call a waking barrier that allows the dreamer, no memory of the dream. We need to get past that barrier, and I would suggest perhaps hypnosis?”
Cassie was out of her chair, eyes startled as they darted to John, who placed a calming hand on her knee. “No hypnosis Doctor, we don't want to risk any wraith interface at this stage.” Doctor Heitmeyer nodded her head and appeared to think. “I would then suggest trying meditation and I presume Teyla would be happy to assist you in these endeavours. Meditation may be sufficient to clear you mind to allow the dreamscape to become clear.”
Cassie relaxed a little into the chair and John keyed his ear comm, and got up to move over to the window to run their plan past Teyla. His eyes still on Cassie, he did not miss, the slight flicker of fear that crossed her face and knew that he had to find a way to bring back the laughter in those green eyes.
Cassie arrived at Teyla's personal quarters after lunch, feeling far from relaxed and knowing it was likely going to be difficult for her to shut down enough of the angst in her mind to successfully achieve the required state for meditation.
Teyla had set up the room invitingly. Curtains had been drawn and candles flickered warmly all around the room creating a soft and pleasant atmosphere and in spite of herself Cassie felt a little of the tension slip slowly away. Twin mats had been placed on the floor and in between stood a tea service set, obviously containing an aromatic tea, the scent of which had begun to permeate the room. Cassie sniffed the air experimentally. “Smells... nice...” she smiled at Teyla and indicated the mats on the floor. “So, I guess we sit?”
“Relax Cassie, this will not hurt. I want you to calm a little first. I can see the sparks of energy dancing off you, and you need to rid yourself of that before you can expect to enter a meditative state.” She indicated the tea. “Sit Cassie, we will take tea first. It is a special blend infused with a calming herb. It will not drug you or harm you, you have my word.”
Cassie gracefully sank down onto one of the mats and Teyla admired the sleek agility of her dancer's grace, evident even in her state of pregnancy. She possessed a unique grace that Teyla found pleasurable to watch. Pouring a tea for herself and Cassie, she passed one cup to her guest, dipping her head slightly to say the ancient prayer that signified good health and out of respect, Cassie did the same before taking the first sip.
Warm and naturally sweet, the tea slid welcomingly down her throat, and she swallowed, the warmth infusing her with a calmness and she sighed deeply, welcoming a small measure of peace amongst the almost constant state of turmoil.
“I want you to lay down on the mat Cassie. You must clear your mind of negative thoughts. Picture something that makes you smile, a wonderful beach with golden sand, warm sun, waves breaking softly on the shore...” as Teyla's voice continued, soft and melodic, Cassie pictured that beach and unbidden, a smile came to her face and she felt some of the tension leave her shoulders and back , which had begun to ache these past few days. Teyla sitting and watching Cassie, smiled in silent approval as the younger woman's mind began to clear.
“You are in a comfortable place now Cassie. This a good place, your safe place, you can go from this to your dreamscape, but the beach will be just behind you and if you need to feel it again, just turn around and it will be there. But up ahead, is your dreamscape and you can enter it now at peace, knowing your calm place, your beach, is just behind you. There is nothing to fear in your dreamscape. Go there now Cassie.”
Cassie slowly relaxed into sleep, a light but restful sleep with no signs of the agitation that had plagued her more nights than not lately. She sighed softly as the activity of long ago Atlantis bustled around her. She knew their names now, did not fight the connection, did not fight the knowledge and opening her mind, she knew why she was being pulled into the past.
As the order to submerge the city was given, Cassie 'then' ran to her personal quarters and pulled out a hidden artifact and she clutched it protectively to her chest, instinctively knowing it would be of importance a long time in the future. She made it to the gateroom, one of the last ancestors to leave Atlantis and as she stepped through the stargate in time, and in dimension, she bade farewell to her home knowing that Cassie 'then' would return one day, in another time. She stepped through the gate to earth, holding her precious parcel.
With a gasp Cassie sat up, excitement in her eyes, once again sparking with energy, all signs of tension gone. “I know Teyla – I know what I was meant to see!”
The air crackled as she stood, and embracing Teyla, who jumped back slightly at the static shock tingling through her body. She left the room, hair a wild mane behind her, swathing a path of pure energy before her.
Forewarned by Teyla as soon as she had left her room, John came running, meeting Cassie just as she arrived at the door to their personal quarters. Taking in her flushed cheeks and feverish eyes, he started to activate his comm to warn Carson, but she stopped him, grabbing his hands and he had to grit his teeth at the jolt of electricity. “It's ok John... it's ok now... I know!” Clearly jubilant, he could only stare at her as she pulled her hands from his and burst through the doorway of their room, energy crackling behind her.
“Cassie! Slow down, you're scaring me.” She didn't answer. She dropped to the floor and began digging frantically through a drawer that held some of her personal effects that she had brought back from earth. Items went flying and concerned, John dropped to one knee behind her, to pull her away and calm her down.
“For God's sake Cassie – what are you looking for? Tell me!”
Triumphant now, she pulled it out holding it aloft, and it caught a streak of sunlight coming through the window. Green crystalline stone, shaped into a delicate statue, caught in a prism of light that reflected throughout the room, reminding John eerily of his son's mind essence.
“The answer John. This is what I tried to save 10,000 years ago. I took it with me, left Atlantis before it was submerged. Me, another me, past me, or at least a fragment of who I am. I took it through the stargate to earth. It contains all the missing information from the ancient data base. They could not store everything there, in case the city fell into wraith hands, so pertinent information was left out and stored in this crystal. It became lost over the millenia, and was found on a planet in our solar system by my brother Cam, who thought it would make a pretty gift for his sister, so he brought it back to earth and gave it to her.
Don't you see John? It has come full circle!” She turned herself, in a dizzying circle. “Oh my God, how can you not see? Everything is so clear now. We are on a predestined path and everything is intersected – meeting points, events, but in the end we must complete the circle.”
Her excitement was contagious and he cautiously touched the crystal, but was distracted by the high colour in her cheeks. Tapping his comm he called Carson. “Carson, I need you in my private quarters, urgently.”
“Cassie, I know you're excited, and what you've just told me, that is mindblowing on all levels, but sweetheart, I need you to sit down for a bit, just a little bit.” He moved toward her, but she whirled away, clasping the crystalline statue. “We need to get Rodney to analyse the data on this, this is the key John, I will sit down later, can you call Rodney?”
Carson came in at that point carrying his bag and immediately assessed the situation. “Cassie love, I need you to sit down for me, just for a moment, I want to take your blood pressure.” He put his bag on the bed and gently eased her down, getting out his monitor. He flicked a concerned glance at John. “Your blood pressure is too high love, and your heart is racing. Do me a favour Cass, and lie down a little so I can take a good look at you.”
Excitement flashed into her eyes and she broke free of his grasp and launched herself off the bed. Holding her green cystal in front of her like a talisman, her eyes gleamed with an almost unhealthy light and she backed away from him, clutching it to her. “Carson, I found it – look! This is where my dreams have been leading me, this is what they needed me to see. Finally.”
“Cassie, I'm concerned at the moment love, and while I would love to look at your crystal, please sweetheart, just let me get you calmed down just a little first.” Holding out his hand to her, hoping that she would take it so that he could manoever her onto the bed, he saw a sudden anger come into her eyes and the sparks of energy start to escalate and he began to fear that she was beginning to do herself some damage.
“You just want my crystal – you can't have it Carson, it wasn't yours to find.” A devious light had come into her eyes now and he knew that she hovered just a little, on the brink of some sort of madness.
Carson raised his eyebrows at John in silent query and after receiving a nod from John in reply, he eased a hypodermic from his bag as John, moving quickly, managed to pin Cassie's arms and hold her close to his body. Carson, with an apologetic look at Cassie, injected the hypdermic into her arm and after a moment's awareness at what he had done, her eyes fluttered close and John was able to ease her gently onto the bed.
“Bloody hell lad, her readings are off the charts. We need to get her into the infirmary and now! What on earth has got her so riled up? What was is all this about a crystal? I felt like I'd just stepped into The Twilight Zone!”
John pointed to the green crystalline statue she still gripped firmly in her hands. “She's just discovered one of the great mysteries of Atlantis, the answers to her dreams and a serious glimpse into her past all in one great epiphany.”
“Well I guess that would explain it.” sighed Carson. “But I think there is going to be hell to pay when she wakes up!”
“For both of us...” muttered John. He picked up the now calm Cassie and followed Carson to the infirmary.