Title: To Immortality
Disclaimer: Stargate: Atlantis and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko
Productions. This story was created for entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s), not me. Thank you to the amazing writers, producers, actors, crew and directors who bring these shows to life.
Rating: Gen/T – vignette
Characters: Um...whomever you think this is speaking.
A/N: I know Weir delivered Carson's Eulogy, and then they walked through the wormhole, but it wasn't enough for me. So I imagined another eulogy, one delivered...by someone else.
He walked up next to the casket, eyes wet but not shedding any tears. He rested a hand gently atop the flag, fingers tracing the thick material, and for a moment, he just stood still. Alone with his friend one last time. Then he turned, eyes lifting to capture all the people who stood in the Gateroom, waiting for him to speak, for him to finish what Elizabeth began.
This is Carson's Eulogy.
And when, in the grand scheme of things, we die, we do always hope to go out with a bang. Something amazing, something mind blowing, something lasting, like the chord dying out in the Cathedral after the last note has been sung.
Carson died a hero. He died saving a life, and no one is surprised by that. I would expect nothing less.
But, thing is, I'm not sure if I can appreciate Carson's death the way I could appreciate his life. Elizabeth said that his work lives on in those that he saved, and, therefore, that he lives on. And, to a certain extent, that's true. But, and here's the thing...Carson was more than just a doctor. He was more than just a brilliant scientist.
He was Carson.
He was the idealist of Atlantis -- the kindest soul, the softest touch, the bleeding heart liberal, the best friend and the true dreamer. I'm not sure anyone else on Atlantis dreams as much as they did when they first walked through that wormhole, but I think Carson did. I think he really believed that we would survive...and prevail. And not just us. He wanted everyone to live – human, Wraith, even, I would guess, Replicator, if he could find a way. Sheppard likes to think of himself as an optimist, but he was never in Carson's league. Carson truly believed.
Perhaps, because he understood, better than most, the life cycle of things, he could think that way. He knew that life moved on, relentlessly, on and on. In every family he comforted after losing a loved one, in every pat on the back he received after delivering a baby, in every gripped hand when he had to explain a life changing infirmity, in every hug he received after saying the word benign...or malignant. Life moved on all around him, and he saw that every day.
So, he remained an optimist, in the face of a reality where the only constant is that everything can and will change, and the only way to survive is to grow and change along with it.
Today, I lost a friend. I'm not going to hope he's in a better place, because I don't think there is a better place than right here. I'm just going to say that I miss him.
And that I wish I were more like him.
I wish we were all more like him.
Because, without him by our side, I'm not sure we'll remember to keep dreaming, to keep hoping, to remember how to push through when the changes come. Because more will come. Atlantis will change. We will all change.
And so, I ask only this. Don't let Carson's memory live on only in those he saved. Let Carson himself, the man, live on in all of us. Let our monument to his memory be living the way he lived, and never letting hope die.
And so I say again, and so say we all:Thank you, Carson. For everything.
(The title is derived from the first verse of an Emily Dickenson poem—Number 712:
Because I could not stop for Death—
He kindly stopped for me—
The Carriage held but just Ourselves—
And Immortality )