- Science Fiction
“How do you think he’s adjusting?”
John shot McKay a look. “Is now the right time to discuss my kid?”
“We’re not doing anything else,” Rodney pointed out reasonably. “They clearly prefer to talk to Teyla over the rest of us.” He inclined his head when Ronon grunted in agreement. “See even Conan agrees.”
“One day someone is going to show him that movie, and he might kill you.”
“It’s a great movie,” Rodney protested.
John made a face. “I think your childhood nostalgia is betraying you, McKay. Have you ever watched it as an adult?”
“No, why would I ruin that for myself?” Rodney demanded. “Regardless, we have nothing to do but stand here until that guy is finished fawning over Teyla. So, how’s the kid.”
“Still having nightmares,” John said. “He says they’re only about the car accident because of what he saw when the lawyer agreed to let him see what was left of the vehicle.” He exhaled sharply. “But sometimes I think he might be dreaming about other stuff. I don’t know how much he’s figured out about his circumstances on Earth or if he understands what really happened to his mother. I just don’t think he’s old enough to be told that she was murdered.”
“He’s smart,” Ronon said. “He has to wonder why he was allowed to come out here when there are no other children from your world on the city.”
“I told him that I couldn’t leave my posting on the city,” John said roughly. “And if he didn’t want to leave Earth that I would have to place him with my father. I didn’t want to do that, and I don’t think he would’ve been safe, but I felt like he deserved to make some kind of choice.”
“Having some say in your circumstances helps,” Rodney said. “My parents never really let make any sort of decisions until I forced their hand by getting a full ride to Northwestern at thirteen. They’d have kept me at home until I was eighteen if they’d had any sort of real say but I got a lot of attention after that, and the Canadian government was keen to see me thoroughly educated as a resource. My mother died just before I finished my first Ph.D. and my father was too busy being jealous of what I’d accomplished to see me as a real person.”
John really hated McKay’s father. He hoped he never ran into the man because he wasn’t sure he’d be able to remain civilized. “He didn’t want to stay on Earth, but that was because he really wanted to be with me. I don’t know what I’ll do if he decides he’d prefer not to stay here. O’Neill told me that the only way I’m getting out of the SGC is retirement or a box.”
“I was told something similar about a year ago,” Rodney admitted. “When I was fussing over a contract extension. Getting people who are willing to stay here in Pegasus—they’re hard to come by. The threat of the Wraith is one thing, but our connection with Earth can’t ever be depended on to be a permanent thing. Not with the threat of the Ori and whatever other enemy SG1 has made this month.”
“Don’t tell him his mother was murdered,” Ronon said roughly. “He’ll blame himself when it becomes clear why she was killed. It’s an unfair burden.”
“Or he’ll blame me.”
“You didn’t even know he existed,” Rodney protested. “And he knows that. If his mother hadn’t kept him a secret, then the Trust wouldn’t have thought they could get away with killing her and taking him.” He huffed. “Not that I’m blaming her for her own murder, but out of everyone involved, you’re the least culpable.”
“He’s ten, McKay, and being a genius doesn’t change that. It doesn’t change how irrational grief can be. You know that.”
Rodney made a face. “Yeah.” He checked his watch. “Gah, how much more time is this guy going to spend staring at Teyla’s…” He trailed off when John nudged him. “Come on. He totally is. I’m surprised she hasn’t punched him in the face. She must like those peach things as much as I do. I can’t eat regular peaches, you know, because they contain citric acid. I didn’t even know what I was missing until I had one of those things and someone said they taste kind of like peaches.”
John remembered since he’d also witnessed Rodney’s brief freak out that he might have an allergic reaction. They had actually only happened once since they’d come to Pegasus and he wasn’t keen to ever experience it again. There had been a few jokes about Rodney’s allergic before he’d turned blue in the face and passed out in the middle of the mess over some lemon in Teyla’s tea. Tea he’d accidentally picked up and drank because he was in the middle of a tirade and not paying attention. No one on their team consumed citrus anywhere near McKay as a result.
“I’m not saying I’d like a wraith dart to appear out of nowhere, but this is boring,” Rodney said, and Ronon nodded then glanced around in the sky hopefully.
“You’re both assholes.”
– – – –
“The agreement seems extremely one-sided,” Sebastian said. “I mean what we’re giving is much more valuable.”
“By Earth standards, yes, but by the people of Rotu find our offered improvements to their society amusing at best. They seek mental enlightenment and care little for material things. Clean water pleases them, medical care soothes them but construction materials for permanent structures…well. In the past, their villages have been temporary. Currently, they have an Ancient shield protecting them because we repaired it. Fortunately, it’s solar powered so we didn’t lose a generator to the project, and McKay was able to find plans for the device that he believes we can replicate. Being able to provide such shields in the future to our allies is good relationship building.”
“It’s more of an amusement because they’ve learned to believe everything is temporary—even life,” Sebastian said. “That’s…enlightened, I guess, but it’s also sad. Is it an off-shoot of the Ancient’s pursuit of ascension?”
“I think so, yes. There is quite a bit of ancestor worship in this galaxy, and I don’t know that the Ancients ever truly encouraged it but…”
“They benefit from it—like the Ori.”
“Yes, of course, and maybe that contributes to their desire to influence and change the course of events both here and in the Milky Way.” Dr. Weir stood from her desk and retrieved the carafe of tea then refilled her cup. “Did you want more water or some juice? I have both in my mini-fridge.”
Sebastian shook his head. “No, thank you. If the Wraith will wipe out this whole galaxy and there won’t be anyone left to worship them. They say they don’t want it—they say they can’t interfere due to their own rules, but they still influence us. They let that lady, Chaya, exist as a goddess on that planet. They ignore the fact that the worship she’s given is distributed to all of them. Moreover, does distance play any part in the exchange of power?”
“I don’t follow,” Elizabeth admitted.
“Do the Ancients here in Pegasus receive power from the Ori followers in their home galaxy or the ones popping up in the Milky Way?”
She looked startled. “I honestly don’t know. We’ve not invested much time in researching that aspect of the Ancients nor their relationship with the Ori past or present.” Weir returned to her desk. “When you finish your history reading, let me know if I can help with any of it. World history was my favorite in school.”
Sebastian nodded. “It’s certainly more interesting than American history but honestly not by much. I know we’re supposed to learn from history so we don’t repeat the mistakes of others, but it’s all really boring to me.”
She laughed. “So says the kid who spent an hour arguing with a man who has two PhDs on the composition of black holes.”
“I just think he shouldn’t be so rigid on the subject,” Sebastian protested. “Our definition of life is actually quite narrow, and if we’re going to be out and about exploring the universe, then we should really take that into consideration and maybe work on expanding the idea of what life is. But he thinks that’s fluffy science.”
“I think you’re good for him,” Elizabeth admitted. “All of them in fact. Scientists tend to get bogged down in their process over time and forget to stop looking up. You make them look ahead even if they don’t want to.” She grinned. “Did you want me to run some interference on the whole panel thing from this morning?”
“I didn’t even touch it, Dr. Weir,” Sebastian complained and huffed. “It’s not fair.”
– – – –
Dr. Weir walked him to lunch since she had a working meeting scheduled in the mess hall but let him go at the door. Dr. Zelenka appeared at his side as he was in line.
“Fixing the crystals in that panel completely eradicated the power drain.”
“Cool.” Sebastian grabbed a slice of cake and Zelenka huffed. “I’m a growing boy, Dr. Z. I need cake.”
He grabbed a banana, too, which seemed to placate the scientist. Then he moved to the taco bar and made himself two soft tacos then grabbed a bean burrito for good measure because he was starving. He made a mental note to tell his dad his appetite had increased dramatically after coming to Atlantis. Zelenka carried his tray for him which he didn’t mind since he had his backpack.
Sebastian ended up tucked between Drs Simpson and Kusanagi. He liked both women, and neither tried to mother him which was great. In fact, they both treated him more like a colleague than even just as a kid.
“Dr. Kusanagi, you’re a natural gene carrier right?”
“Yes,” she agreed and raised an eyebrow.
“Do you eat more on the city?”
“Quite a lot more,” she said. “I had to increase my caloric intake by 500 to maintain a healthy body weight. Dr. Beckett should’ve told you this at your physical.”
Sebastian pursed his lips. “I didn’t…get a physical. I mean I had a check-up at the SGC, and they tested me to make sure I wasn’t carrying any sort of viruses that I could spread to you guys and I got a bunch of vaccines, but I haven’t had any appointments in the infirmary since I got here.”
Kusanagi made a face and shared a look with Zelenka. “I’ll send your father an email. It probably hasn’t occurred to him that you didn’t get the ATA gene lecture at the SGC.”
“Dr. Beckett is very busy,” Simpson said. “He probably didn’t mean to forget you.”
“Too busy trying to get a wraith on the city you mean,” Sebastian pointed out. “I do listen to you guys talk even when you forget I’m in the room.”
Zelenka sighed. “Which I think we do way too often. Don’t worry about the wraith. Your father is never going to approve having one on the city with you here, and Beckett has no hope of capturing one without the Colonel’s help.”
“What if the people on the Daedalus help him?” Sebastian questioned.
“Colonel Caldwell is even more opposed to the experiment than your father is,” Simpson said. “Because Beckett has already tried to get the whole thing moved to the ship for greater security which I think is stupid. Giving a wraith access to one of our ships is just insane.”
Zelenka cleared his throat. “Let’s discuss something else.”
Sebastian grinned. “Sure, let’s pick a kid-friendly topic.” He laughed when the older man huffed at him. “I planted herbs in hydroponics today, and we’re getting some kind of asparagus looking vegetable in a trade deal that has lots of iron and fiber. It’s orange though so Dr. McKay is probably going to complain about it a lot when it hits our plates. It’s pretty funny that he finds the purple potatoes from New Athos so appalling when you get purple potatoes on Earth.”
“Why are you taking botany lessons?” Simpson asked.
“It’s a good supplement to my science classes from Earth, and it rounds out my curriculum for homeschooling to avoid questions with Colorado state system since Daddy has to report to them on my progress as a student to avoid them trying to force me into a public school.”
She nodded. “Makes sense—must be boring though.”
“No, not really. My mom had a big garden behind our house, and she liked plants. We had all kinds. We were even considering an air garden for the sun porch before the accident.” He opened up his burrito and doused the inside with hot sauce then folded it back up, took a big bite, and chewed before continuing, “I think I’ll ask Dr. Parrish about some air plants, but since they get most of their nutrition from the air, they might thrive here. They focus entirely on food and medicinal crops in the greenhouses so it would have to be a small experiment kind of thing.”
“Personal experiments will be good for your school records,” Kusanagi said. “Since you can’t participate in science fairs with your peers.”
Sebastian nodded. “Dr. Weir actually has the most boring job on the whole city.”
Zelenka raised an eyebrow.
“And the worst,” he continued. “Because Dr. Weir has to put up with people complaining both on and off-world plus she has to write trade agreements which suck. The only thing remotely entertaining about her job is getting to meet aliens which she only gets to do on rare occasions. Plus she has to deal with politicians from Earth, too, and I’m not sure even the wraith are worse than that.”
Simpson laughed. “Please don’t repeat that in front of any of your father’s superiors. They wouldn’t appreciate being compared to a wraith and found worse.”
“I did meet President Hayes while I was staying with General O’Neill,” Sebastian admitted. “He’s…friendly, I suppose. But he reminds me of some guy you’d see on late night television trying to tell you some kind of only-on-tv product.”
“Please tell us you didn’t say that to him,” Zelenka said in horror.
“Nah, I was on my best behavior the whole time I was in the oval office. It was cool to get beamed there though. And I got to get a tour of the Daedalus while it was in orbit, but I didn’t get to meet the Asgard who works on the ship because he was in Nevada when I visited which sucked because General O’Neill said I’d get a kick out of that but wouldn’t explain why.”
Zelenka smiled. “You didn’t meet an Asgard at all then?”
“No.” Sebastian stared at him. “Why?”
“Well, the ship will be here soon enough. We’ll make sure you get to meet Hermiod,” Miko said and patted his back.
It was, Sebastian thought, a conspiracy.
After lunch, they made their way to the engineering lab, and Sebastian was let loose to work on his naquadah battery project. The plans for the naquadah generators were stupidly complicated, but after he’d studied them, he’d realized that the potential for naquadah could be capitalized on differently. Sebastian had also gotten to examine the power sources from a ZAT and Teal’c staff weapon both of which were powered by naquadah. He thought one of the things the generator did wrong was to ignore vacuum energy storage which the ZPM clearly used.
“What’s the kid working on?”
He glanced up from his keyboard and say Peter Kavanagh had entered the lab. The scientist didn’t like him at all. In fact, as far as Sebastian could tell, he didn’t like anyone on the whole city. The scientist was staring at the large monitor where Sebastian’s work was displayed. That was McKay’s policy so they could monitor his process and offer corrections as he worked as needed.
“A vacuum energy battery,” Zelenka said without looking up from his own work.
Kavanagh glared, and Sebastian shifted on his chair. “Why the hell would McKay give the kid such an important project to work on? If he doesn’t have time for it, he should’ve passed the idea onto a legitimate member of the science department.”
Zelenka sighed and looked up at Sebastian’s work. “That is not McKay’s idea. It is the boy’s—from concept to execution.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Kavanagh protested. “There’s no way a ten-year-old came up with this.” He waved a hand at the screen.
“He is a genius,” Zelenka said flatly. “And the idea is entirely his, Peter. No one cares if you believe it or not. You made it perfectly clear before his arrival that you had no interest in being part of his education program. Don’t act put out now that haven’t been kept in the loop about his potential or his projects.”
“A genius,” Kavanagh repeated snidely. “After a month, you still think Sheppard’s secret baby is a prodigy?”
“Watch your mouth,” Zelenka snapped.
Sebastian felt his cheeks heat. He figured secret baby was just Kavanagh’s cowardly way of saying bastard. His mom’s ex-boyfriend had called him that once and only once because she’d dumped him right on the spot.
“Sebastian, what’s your IQ?” Kusanagi asked, and everyone in the room focused on her. “It’s in your records, correct? Verified by Colonel Carter?”
His face got hotter. “Yes, ma’am.” He bit down on his lip and averted his gaze when Kavanagh focused on him. “232. Colonel Carter said it’s probably because of my ATA gene. My mom had a really powerful one, too. A theorist at the SGC thinks that especially powerful ATA carriers can be drawn to one another for breeding. My paternal grandparents are both gene carriers as well. Though only my grandfather is alive.”
Kavanagh’s face grew pinched, and he pointed at the big screen. “And this is all your work?”
“With minor corrections by Drs McKay, Kusanagi, and Zelenka, yes,” Sebastian said. “It’s just a…hybrid model of the naquadah generator and ZPM on a small scale.”
“Just a hybrid model,” Kavanagh repeated. “Of two devices the rest of us barely understand. Right.” He turned on his heel and marched out of the room.
“Wow,” Sebastian muttered. “That guy really doesn’t like me.”
“As McKay already explained, he is just jealous of your potential,” Zelenka said. “Don’t worry about him. He’s petrified of your father and would never hurt you.”
“I don’t worry about that kind of thing on Atlantis,” Sebastian said. “But what if he complains to the SGC about me being taught on the city?”
“Everything we’re doing regarding your education has already been approved by the SGC, General O’Neill, the President of the US, and the IOA representatives for the US and Canada. You’re not a burden, Sebastian, so don’t worry about it,” Miko said. “In fact, you’re poised to make a huge contribution to the SGC with your little battery project. It’s game changing since your theoretical model is currently only using materials from Earth.”
“It wouldn’t be beneficial to everyone else if it couldn’t be mass produced on Earth,” Sebastian said and shrugged. “Is it really just jealousy though? I mean…”
“Dr. McKay spends a lot of time with you,” Zelenka said. “And yes there are plenty of scientists on this city who’d like his attention on a mentor level—even Kavanagh who hates him. Because McKay is the preeminent scientist of our generation and in some circles that’s everything. On Earth, Kavanagh could write his own ticket with any military contractor in the US if McKay would endorse him.”
“But he won’t?”
“He thinks Peter is lazy and too busy trying to get ahead to be ahead,” Simpson said. “Kavanagh’s ego is worse than McKay’s ever been and he doesn’t even have the justification for it.”
– – – –
John had barely had time to store his off-world gear before he was due in a meeting with Weir and Beckett. He’d been dreading the meeting for weeks because he knew no matter what Beckett’s latest proposal was he was not going to be on board with the research. The very idea of having a Wraith on the city near his son made his heart race. He poured himself some coffee and ignored everyone in the room while he doctored it. Once he felt like his face was neutral enough, he took a seat and inclined his head toward Elizabeth.
“Carson, the floor is yours.”
“I’ve refined the vaccine, and its success rate on samples is one hundred percent. The simulations are also successful. We’re ready for a test subject.” Beckett said and passed packets of information to Weir and John.
John didn’t open his but watched Weir browse through the first few pages, her mouth tight. He knew part of her wanted the experiment to happen, and she wanted it to work.
“Your samples are small,” John said. “How long did it take to work?”
“So long do you estimate it would take to work on an adult wraith?”
“As much as twenty-four,” Beckett said roughly. “The wraith will be unconscious.”
“Can you guarantee he’ll be unconscious the entire twenty-four hours because the species is telepathic. Can they communicate with each other in a state of unconsciousness? Their telepathic networks are complicated but also relatively easy to tap into. Teyla did it, and she only has a tiny bit of wraith in her. Will the vaccine eradicate all of the wraith genetics permanently?”
Beckett flushed. “No, it’ll have to be administered daily to keep the changes.”
“A daily injection is not a vaccine,” John said flatly. “Is the medication addictive? How will we be able to maintain the schedule for dosage? How long does it take to wear off?”
“I won’t know these answers until I have a test subject,” Beckett returned hotly. “You’re being difficult on purpose, Colonel. I don’t understand. I thought you would welcome a cure for the wraith.”
“It’s not a cure, Dr. Beckett,” John said evenly. “It’s medical experimentation on an enemy combatant, and that’s illegal.”
“We’re not on Earth.”
“So I should leave my ethics back in Colorado?” John questioned. “Is that where you left yours?”
Weir cleared her throat. “Clearly this experiment has raised some questions that must be explored in full. I’m not willing to bring a Wraith onto the city due to their telepathic nature. Due to the medical experimentation angle, I have no choice but to give the final decision over to the IOA where I will recommend that if they want the experiment to go forward that it will have to take place off-world far from Atlantis. Considering the Colonel’s moral objection, I cannot in good conscience order him to participate in the capturing of a wraith, Carson. The IOA will have to send a team in from Earth to handle that as well as confinement in whatever off-world facility they decide to use.”
“But…” Becket began then trailed off with a dejected sigh.
“Thanks to the gate bridge,” John began, and they both focused on him, “The security of Atlantis has never been more important. We can’t allow them to find out about it because they might be able to hack it and get access to Earth and their so-called new feeding grounds. I will not allow the wraith to get a foothold in the Milky Way. There are too many lives at stake.”
“You just don’t want to do the experiment here because of your son,” Beckett snapped.
John blinked in surprise. “For fuck’s sake, Beckett, of course, I don’t want a wraith anywhere near my ten-year-old.” He huffed when the man’s mouth dropped open. “He’s not safe on Earth thanks to the Trust and our position out here is precarious as hell without intentionally adding to it. I also don’t want a freaking space vampire anywhere near anyone else on the city. I work pretty damn hard on a regular basis to keep this city a wraith-free zone.” He flicked a hand around as if to encompass the entire city. “Moreover, medical experiments on sapient creatures isn’t exactly the kind of morals lesson I’d like anyone on the city exposed to. The crap on Hoff was bad enough.”
He stood from the table as they both stared at him in shock. “I wrestle with the fact that my mission mandate in Pegasus is essentially genocide. We can’t bargain with the wraith because it’s immoral to even consider sectioning off this galaxy and telling them who they’re allowed to eat. Our only long-term solution to the mess the Ancients left behind is the eradication of their entire species. I live with it, but I won’t be a part of this kind of experimentation or the psychological torture of a wraith. Nor will I intentionally put the people who live and work on this city at risk for no damn good reason.”
– – – –
He found his kid in the mess hall as expected. Sebastian was sitting with McKay and Zelenka. From the amount of hand waving and finger pointing, the kid had managed to get up to something while they’d been off-world. He fixed himself a plate and grabbed a couple extra pudding cups because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t get one at all between McKay and the kid.
He slid onto the bench beside his son.
“It wasn’t my fault, Daddy,” Sebastian immediately blurted out. “I just stood there.”
Zelenka snorted. “As I was telling McKay, Colonel, your son managed to stumble upon a damaged power relay in an unused office space in the tower we use for the botany department since it is close to the greenhouses. It was causing the small power drain we’ve been searching for since our arrival.”
John glanced Sebastian’s way, and the kid put the better part of his hamburger in his mouth. “And you didn’t touch anything?”
Sebastian chewed quickly and swallowed. “No, the door even opened by itself.”
“Okay,” John said reasonably. “Tell me how your day went down. Leave nothing out.”
“Well, first I programmed with Dr. Kusanagi, and I did two hundred lines all by myself with no mistakes. Then I potted plants with Dr. Parrish while Dr. Brown investigated some fruit he found off-world. Then on my way to Dr. Weir’s office, I saw this door was kind of open, so I walked toward it, and it slid open, and there was a glowing panel in this empty room. I called Dr. Zelenka on the radio who came to repair it. Then I want to Dr. Weir’s office to discuss trade agreements and get a lesson on bartering. After that, I went to Dr. Zelenka’s lab and worked on my battery until dinner, and Dr. Kavanagh hates me.”
John focused on him. “Pardon me?”
“He had a lot to say about my battery project and how I shouldn’t get assigned such an important project, but then he was all weird about it when Dr. Z told him it was my project from start to finish. He thought I was working on one of Dr. McKay’s concepts which really upset him. I don’t think finding out it was my idea helped at all actually.” The kid shrugged and grabbed two of the pudding cups off John’s tray. He passed one to McKay.
John ignored the pudding shenanigans and focused on Zelenka. “Is this a problem?”
“Only for Kavanagh, he is a very jealous person, and now he has someone new to be jealous of. The boy’s age is a factor but not the biggest one. The measure of one’s intelligence plays heavily into our office politics and…” Zelenka shrugged. “Sebastian is only how matched by McKay who is supposedly quite rare. It is like being in the room with Isaac Newton and Da Vinci at the same time—mind-boggling and sometimes infuriating for those who can’t set aside their own ego.”
“It’s just a number,” Sebastian said as he poked at his pudding. “And not even a very good indication of intelligence and potential in my opinion. My mom told me to never put much stock in it because there are so many ways to measure intelligence and plenty of things impact it—privilege, environment, nutrition, and experience. You can’t measure a fish’s intelligence by asking it to climb a tree.”
John had always struggled with his own projected potential and his parents’ expectations because of it. His father, especially, had plans for him that he didn’t think he could ever meet and that more than anything was the root of their estrangement. Oddly, it was also the cause of his divorce. Nancy had plans for him as well, and she hadn’t been interested in being a career officer’s wife. He was glad that Sebastian didn’t seem all that emotionally invested in his IQ.
He focused on McKay. “Do I need to have a chat with Kavanagh?”
“No, you’d probably give him a stroke. I’ll handle it. But speaking of problems, how’d the meeting go.”
“I made it perfectly clear that I would have no part of the project now or in the future. It’s stupid and dangerous.”
“Beckett’s not much for the big picture,” Kusanagi interjected. “It’s caused problems in the past.”
John agreed with that, but he didn’t want to have a real discussion regarding the CMO in front of Sebastian.
“Speaking of Dr. Beckett,” Sebastian said. “Apparently, I didn’t get information on the ATA gene and diet because he didn’t handle my physical.”
“Oh.” John blew out a surprised breath. He wondered if there was a day in his future when he wouldn’t feel like he was a complete fuck-up as a parent.
“I sent him in the information packet,” Kusanagi said. “At least as far as nutrition goes, but I really think, considering his gene status, that you should carve out some time in your schedule to give an in-depth lesson on Ancient tech and how impacts you, Colonel. No one has a better grasp of it than you.”
John nodded and glanced toward his son who as doing his best to scrape out the last bit of chocolate pudding from the plastic cup.
“I’ll add it to his schedule.”
Sebastian eyed his pudding.
“Go get an apple or something,” John said and moved his cup out of the kid’s reach. “No citrus.”
Sebastian laughed and left the table in search of fruit.
John turned to McKay. “You make sure Kavanagh understands that if he fucks with my kid, I’ll kill him.”
McKay glanced toward the snack bar where Sebastian was chatting with a Marine. “Not if I beat you to it. Relax, John, Peter’s bitchy but harmless.”
John really didn’t think a single adult on the city was harmless, but he nodded. He watched Sebastian’s return to the table and wasn’t surprised to see him return with bowls of sliced peach-like things for both himself and McKay. John hated the texture of the fruit in question, but the two of them could eat their weight in it if given the opportunity.