WINNER: SFB-SGAC: Illusions by Matt Harper

by Matt Harper

Opening Paragraphs: What had this trip to Atlantis come to? Was I going insane? Had I lost my grip on reality, or were the phantasms who now haunted my days and nights just that? Ghosts carrying over from another realm, ready and willing to interrupt my peace and happiness. They had arrived without notice, and I had been forced to deal with them, each encounter more a quandary and a pain than fright-laden vision from beyond. I couldn't help but remember the movie, The Sixth Sense - "I see dead people" echoing in my mind. This was different. I was seeing dead people, or at least dead memories of relatives.

There was no one I could tell about this sudden arrival of the dearly departed - or at least that is what I thought they were - they gave no real clue whether they were ghosts or delusions from some fevered, warped portion of my brain. Everything had changed since that last mission when I was hit with lightening or laser bolts from that Ancient machine. Now these ghosts simply appeared, standing, waving, walking and mirroring many of my movements.>>

*I am sitting on my bed, watching these ghosts walking all around my room, trying to communicate with me* Sheppard was thinking *this sudden appearance of all of these people must have something to do with that Ancient device back on the mission to MGX-653, there's no other explanation other than 'I'm crazy' but I'm willing to rule that out. I have to tell somebody, I can't keep this a secret forever, it's already been too long. These ghosts must be known of by someone other than me.*

Walking down the hallway of Atlantis, not even knowing where he was going, Lt. Col. Sheppard was thinking: *Who would believe me? Who would not think that I'm crazy and put me in a padded room?* Another one of the ghosts walked past him, waving. *this has got to stop. I should talk to McKay, he's the best qualified to find out how to get rid of these ghosts. What is it? Some kind of window to another reality? A window to the past? When the Ancients still inhabited Atlantis? Yeah, I'll ask McKay, he'll figure it out.*

When Sheppard got to McKay's lab, he found McKay sitting at his computer working on something, "McKay?" Sheppard said, "Do you have a moment?"

McKay looked away from his computer screen and looked at Sheppard, "Uh, sure, go ahead, what's up?" Sheppard sat down in an chair next to McKay, "Rodney, I've been seeing things lately." He said to McKay as he sat down in the chair. "Really?" McKay responded, "What kind of things?"

"Well," Sheppard began, "I've been seeing ghosts, ever since the incident with that Ancient thing back on the planet." McKay looked at Sheppard as if Sheppard were joking, "Ghosts?" McKay said. "Yes, McKay," Sheppard replied seriously, "I'm telling you,it has to have something to do with that device."

McKay continued giving Sheppard a 'you're joking' look. "Well, there has been an incident on the SGC about something like this." McKay replied also seriously, "I'll do some more research on that." Sheppard then saw another one of the ghosts trying to talk to him standing next to McKay. When Sheppard looked at the ghost, McKay turned to look at wherever Sheppard was looking, "What are you looking at?" McKay inquired. Sheppard took his eyes off of the ghost and looked at McKay, "Ummm," Sheppard said, "just another one of the ghosts standing next to you." Sheppard got up and left the room.

As Sheppard walked down the halls of Atlantis to his quarters and saw Teyla, "Hi Teyla." Sheppard said as he walked past. "Hello Colonel." She replied as they walked past each other. *Whew! At least she didn't stop to chat* he thought as he saw three more of the ghosts on his way back to his quarters.

When he got back to his quarters, he picked up the jar of jellybeans he had sitting next to his bed as he continued to observe the ghosts walking around in his room. One after another the ghosts entered and exited his room. Then a ghost that represented a child with some sort of costume that had antennae on it walked into the room. *Ancients have a lot of the same characteristics as humans,* Sheppard thought.

Then Sheppard heard a knock on his door. "Come in." Sheppard said, and then McKay walked into his room. "Colonel." McKay said, "I've got the information we need to turn the devices effects off, but we need to go back to the planet with the device on it."

When Sheppard and McKay arrived at the planet, McKay went to work on the device by hooking his computer into it. *I'm just lucky the device is near the Stargate* Sheppard thought. "Here we go." McKay said to himself, "All I have to do isÂ…" He typed a few keys on his laptop and the red lights on the device turned off, "There, it should be deactivated." McKay told Sheppard as they headed back to Atlantis.

When Sheppard got back to Atlantis, he let out a sigh of relief as he wasn't seeing any more of the ghosts,

"Thank God." Sheppard muttered as he walked off to his quarters.
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