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Discussion: The schematics of Atlantis

I think this is my first discussion post about SGA. It does contain several oblique references to things in season 4, but nothing that will truly spoil you if you haven't seen the episodes.

I have been trying to work on an SGA fic that has long been sitting dormant and I realized that the biggest sticking point for me is still the same thing I was running into before I put it down...

I don't know where things in Atlantis are!

I am trying to write a scene where the boys are going from the armoury to the ZPM room to one of the labs. Atlantis has been attacked; there are Wraith in the city. Only... I don't know where the freakin' armoury IS! And if the transporters are inoperable, I need to detail the journey. But I can't!

Are there City schematics somewhere that show an actual layout of where things are in relation to each other?

I mean, okay, we *know* that the command center and gateroom are at the top of the central tower, the Puddlejumper bay right above that; I think most of the fandom assumes (and this may be canonical) that the living quarters are near by. Judging by the view out the windows of the commissary, it appear to be located near the top of the central spire since you look down on most of the city and you can see several of the piers in the distance.

What I want to know:

Is the ZPM room in the central tower? (and hello, does it have a name other than ZPM room? Power room? Something?) I am assuming it is in the tower of course, but where? Same level as the command center? That doesn't seem to make sense, it feels too vulnerable. So...

Where is the Chair room in relation to the ZPM room? Again I am assuming that it is in the tower, because that seems logical, but again, what level? Now, this begs the question...

Auxiliary Control is somewhere deep in the tower, presumably in case the command centre is rendered inoperable. Is this or is this not the same location as the chair? That *would* make sense to me. It seems like a good idea, since I am assuming the chair location must be heavily shielded and a back up command center would be shielded as well. kinda like Auxiliary control on the Enterprise - buried safe and secure, and god help us all if Riley gets himself locked in there and start singing "I'll take you home again, Kathleen!"

So, okay, maybe I'm kinda of a geek. Shut up! Anyway...

ZPM aside, there are also 5 naquadah generators. Are they in the tower? Or are they off in outlying sections of the city at the end of various piers? It would seem to make sense that they were distributed around the City, bu again, this is never made clear. And how exactly did they wire them in? I mean, you can't just rip a panel off and plug a generator into the electrical system. Were there pre-existing back up power rooms of some sort?

Cuz again, I am thinking that would make sense that each outlying section would have some sort of self contained back up generator in case there was some sort of catastrophic failure and the ZPM machine (Power Core? Main Generator? What the hell is that thing called, anyway?) needed to be taken offline for repairs or whatever. And it would mean that there were hand dandy location in which to plonk down the naquadah generators and plug em in. Logical, yes?

Another things that bugs me... where exactly are the grounding stations? I was assuming that these were actually out at the edges of 4 of the piers, but then I thought that was weird, wouldn't they have made a grounding station for each section?

Where is Sheppard's office? I'm trying to remember - have we ever seen it? is it *in* the armoury? Is that near the gate? Clearly they have an embarkation room (and wasn't it fun to watch Ronon pull a protesting Rodney from it) but is that next to the armoury? Do they have more than one? Perhaps scattered weapons lockers around the city - I know that I have read about that in more than one fic and I *highly* approve of the idea. But, has anything actually been established in canon and if so, is there any clue as to *where*?

Finally; where the hell is the main concentration of labs anyway? We see John scaling the freakin' tower in one episode, so clearly some of the lab are in the central spire. But we have also seen camera pans indicating that some things are places in completely disparate sections of the city. So, are they just scattered around randomly?

I know there are transporters and all, but this is an immense city. and we see that there is a lot of movement involved in just getting around in the tower. Not knowing where things are *bgs* me. A lot.

I suppose it's too much to ask, but I am kind of a geek when it comes to this kind of thing. I actually owned a set of blueprints for a Klingon D7 Battlecruiser once and still have my pre-Okuda out of print copy of Starfleet Command Line Officers Requirement manual. With complete schematics of every tricorder, Feinberger, cruiser and dreadnought in the Trekiverse.

So. Comments? Suggestions? Thoughts? Ideas? Bueller?

Help me out here, people.


Aug. 10th, 2008 08:37 am (UTC)
If you're looking for canon answers to all these questions, then I think you're going to be sadly disappointed. Star Trek has always been very good in providing blue prints, and even before that, with the significantly smaller and definitely more functional design of the various Enterprises, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Dreadnoughts, battle cruisers and the Defiant it was somewhat easier to guess where things were even without the blue prints. Plus, some characters would usefully request the transporter to take them to "deck 4", thus we'd find out what was on deck 4 when they got there.

I don't think the writers of SGA have put so much thought into things. A great example of where Star Trek has is "Ten Forward" - the very name tells us it's on deck ten, the forward section. SGA has nothing like this. Another thing you must remember is that this is TV Land, and not eveything is going to make sense. If the writers see fit, things may even shift locations!

I have loads more to say on this subject, but what I've written (in Wordpad) already looks like a post, not a comment. Last year, I started a series of Fanon vs Canon (not done any this year) meta posts, and this would almost fit into that, and I'd like to post my findings as a post, not a comment.

But quickly I'll say this: In "Adrift" Rodney states that the ZPM Room is at the base of the Tower, and that the Chair Room is outside the mostly collapsed shield, so that (semi) answers two questions. The Chair Room not being in the Tower is also established in "The Siege - Part 2" with those swinging shots.

There are small nuggets of info in all the Atlantis based eps - I see people have mentioned "The Storm" and "The Eye", "Hide and Seek", but there's bits all over. You mentioned Rodney's lab being located in the Tower in "Quarantine".

I'd go with your assumption that the main armoury is off the Gateroom, and that the gearing up room is next to it. It make tactical sense to have other armouries.

Edited at 2008-08-10 08:39 am (UTC)
Aug. 10th, 2008 08:52 am (UTC)
If you're looking for canon answers to all these questions, then I think you're going to be sadly disappointed.

I think your right. Hope springs eternal. ::plots:: Maybe I'll just have to make up my own...

I'd like to post my findings as a post, not a comment.

I look forward to reading it!

In "Adrift" Rodney states that the ZPM Room is at the base of the Tower, and that the Chair Room is outside the mostly collapsed shield, so that (semi) answers two questions. The Chair Room not being in the Tower is also established in "The Siege - Part 2" with those swinging shots.

Oh, excellent! Thanks! See, it all starts to jumble up for me and I can't remember these important details. I have found some really great SG and SGA wikis and fan databases, but the piddly stuff I am looking for is never there. So - thanks!

I think the boys are going to be making there way from the commissary to a secondary weapons locker. The lab they are headed to has to by Rodney's, so that would place them in the tower for this whole scene.

I appreciate the help!
Aug. 10th, 2008 09:01 am (UTC)
The "commissary" I believe is called "The Mess" most of the time, though Teyla certainly refers to "The cafeteria" in "Broken Ties". This, I think was an ad libbed line, to explain why she's comfortable giving her boy to Wolsey, so I'd go with "Mess", though I don't see why they'd not call it both. No idea where it is, but I think it's low down - you'd have to look at the end of "Doppelganger" for that - I assume the outside area with the table adjoins the interior we've seen so many times. Also "The Gift", where we first see the outside area.
Aug. 10th, 2008 09:03 am (UTC)
Correction - in "Tabula Rasa" Sheppard calls it "The Mess Hall"!
Aug. 10th, 2008 09:16 am (UTC)
So, can I come pick your brain every time I have a SGA city specific question? Because you are a font of very useful information!
Aug. 10th, 2008 08:56 am (UTC)
Also, there's got to be more stuff in "Quarantine". The room Zelenka ends up in is "The main power room" I don't think this is the same as the ZPM room, but it's in the Tower too and certainly "down" (poor Dr Z) from where Dr Z and Carter got trapped. I can't see any Pms ("pms?" D'oh! ZPMS!) in there, but there are 2 Naquadah generators. The Armoury must be through a few doors, or you'd think they'd use Lorne's C4 to blast their way in and get MORE C4 (actually this is probably just something the writers didn't think of, or glossed over to serve the plot).

Edited at 2008-08-10 09:04 am (UTC)


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