- Character Bashing
- Alternate Universe
- Time Travel
John entered his quarters to find Rodney sitting on their bed, head in his hands. Sgt. Bates had informed him of Rodney’s visit to Beckett’s quarters. He had a feeling his husband was going to need him after that.
He knew Rodney heard him enter, but it was a sign of how much they knew each other than he didn’t flinch when John sat next to him and took his right hand in his left.
“How are you doing?” John asked softly. He kissed the knuckles of Rodney’s hand.
“Do you know,” Rodney sighed. “That if you count the other timeline, I’ve known Carson Beckett for over twenty years?”
“I didn’t, no,” John replied. “How did you meet?”
“A research conference in Paris, France,” Rodney said. “He saw me ranting about the buffet having citrus on practically everything. He agreed that it was unfair that there were no safe food choices for me. We went out and found a cafe that was safe for me to eat at.”
“Must have been nice to find an advocate,” John said, giving his hand a gentle squeeze.
“It was,” Rodney sighed. “We kept in touch after that. His genetic research on anomalous sequences that seemed to appear in random samplings dovetailed into a theory I had about why Ancient technology seemed to only work for certain people.”
“The anomaly being the Ancient gene?” John asked.
“Yes,” Rodney replied. “Though it takes more than just one gene in order to have the level of responsiveness that you and O’Neill get. There is an entire sequence that marks you as only a few generations removed from a full blood Ancient.”
“So back when the City called me the scion of Janus-” John trailed off.
“Yeah,” Rodney sighed. “Considering he was the one that created most of, if not all of, the temporal technology we’ve discovered so far. I wouldn’t put it past him to…”
“Put the moves on one of my ancestors?” John provided.
“That,” Rodney pointed at him.
“I’m a little disturbed by that thought,” John admitted. “How far back?”
“Not sure,” Rodney shrugged. “More than two generations back, but less than ten.”
“And Carson figured this out?” John prodded.
“I introduced him to a few key members of the SGC’s genetics department,” Rodney replied. “Let him explain his issues with the data he was getting and in a few short months he was making real strides in the understanding the difference between hybridized genetics and natural mutations. So, yeah, he made a lot of the discoveries that moved the SGC forward in things like tretonin synthesis for the Free Jaffa. He is very good at what he does, and he always struck me as a highly compassionate and caring person.”
“But what he did with the retrovirus,” John interjected.
“I know,” Rodney moaned and buried his head in his hands. “It is a slippery slope, playing with the building blocks of pure creation. I don’t think he sees how far he has fallen.”
“Dr. Lam has kept him in check so far,” John reminded him. “If he steps out of line again, if he hurts someone.”
“I’ll put a bullet in his brain myself,” Rodney said grimly. “If it comes to that.”
“Let’s make sure it doesn’t,” John said, pulling him into a hug. “You should get some sleep.”
“Just sleep?” Rodney asked.
“For tonight,” John replied, smiling. “We’re both worn out.”
“But I get wake-up sex, right?” Rodney teased.
“We’ll see,” John laughed at his pout. “We have Carson’s hearing in the afternoon. But we have a lot of crap scheduled tomorrow morning.”
“I need to go over the Orion’s hyper-drive,” Rodney said. “Her shakedown cruise when like clockwork, but I don’t want to launch her again until I look at the numbers one more time.”
“As soon as you give her the all clear,” John said, stripping off his clothes. “I want a team, meaning us, to take her out to the coordinates for the Aurora.”
“Yeah,” Rodney agreed. “We need to set those Ancients free, they’ve been in those sleep chambers for way too long.”
They got into bed and John spooned up against his husbands back. “Still so much to do,” he sighed.
“We’ll get it done.” Rodney promised.
Teyla lead her team through the gate to Athos. It pained her to see the burnt and blackened remains of what had been the winter camp site. Whether by accident or design, the DHD and the gate itself had been unharmed by the Wraith’s wrath. She took heart in the fact that the damage only extended out a hundred kilometers out from the gate in all directions. A warning to any who would dare oppose the Wraith, but not enough to make the planet uninhabitable. Once they had deemed the area was safe, the expedition and the Athosians had agreed to use Athos as a beta sight, in order to conceal their final destination.
The rains had come in her absence and the lake had filled with water one again. There were some signs of life already, tiny shoots of grass poking out of the ashes, and high-flying birds could be seen in the distance.
“Looks like migration season has begun,” Halling said at her shoulder.
“Yes,” she agreed. “The herds will bypass this area, but I think Sheppard would be amenable to a hunting party, using the puddlejumpers.”
“Must you use their names for things,” Halling asked stiffly.
Teyla smiled at him. “We do not know what the Ancestors called their flying craft. I think, as many of them carry the blood of the Ancestors, it falls to them to give names to those things.”
“Sheppard is nothing like what I would have thought an Ancestor would be like,” Halling replied. “He is irreverent and far to… human.”
“I do not think he would take that as the insult you mean it to be, Halling,” Teyla said.
“We should probably get going,” Lt. Ford said, looking around. “We don’t want the stuff in the cart to spoil.”
“True enough, Lt. Ford,” Teyla agreed. “Please, dial the Alpha site. It should be mid-morning when we reach Atlantis.”
“My wrist watch is kinda useless,” Ford said. “With Atlantis being twenty-six hour days, and Earth being twenty-four hour days, keeping track of what planet is at what time of day is harder here than it was back home.”
“Why do you still wear it then?” Halling asked.
“I guess, so that I can tell how long I’ve been waiting,” he said with a shrug. “If nothing else I’ll know when someone is late.” He finished dailing and they headed through the gate.
“Welcome back, Teyla, Halling, Lt. Ford, Pvt. Marks,” Toran greeted.
“Toran,” Teyla smiled in return. “You’re looking well.”
“Hunting has been good this day,” he replied pointing to the large grazing animal hanging nearby. “We’ll have plenty of meat for the next festival.”
“I look forward to it,” Teyla replied. “Any other news?”
“There was a problem on Hoff,” Toran said. “Dr. Beckett was taken back to the City under guard.”
“Seriously?” Ford asked, his eyes wide. “What did he do?”
“I didn’t ask,” Toran admitted. “They didn’t stay long enough for anyone to question them.”
Teyla felt her heart drop. “That is unfortunate,” she said. “Let us not delay then.” After a few more words with the other people stationed at the Alpha site, they dialed Atlantis.
The gate room had a subdued air about it when they entered the city. “Welcome back,” Dr. Grodin said as the gate closed behind them. “I see the trading went well.”
“Yes,” Telya said, she turned to Ford. “Please take care of the cargo. I wish to speak to Major Sheppard.”
“I’ve got it, Ma’am,” Ford said with a smile. He signaled to Marks to help him take the cargo down to the kitchen level.
“The Major is in his office with Dr. Heightmeir,” Dr. Grodin said.
“Can I go in?” Teyla asked.
“The Major said that he wanted to speak to you and Halling as soon as you returned.”
“Thank you, Peter,” she replied. Halling nodded and followed her down the hallway to the room John had chosen for his office. She touched the door pad to activate the tone.
“Enter,” John called.
The door slid open to reveal the Major and the expedition’s head psychologist sitting across the desk from each other. “You wanted to talk to us, John?” she asked.
“Yes,” John said standing. “I take it you heard about the incident on Hoff.”
“Only that there was one,” Halling replied.
John sighed and explained what had happened. Teyla knew it had been very hard for John and Rodney let Carson ever leave Atlantis at all. That Dr. Lam had requested him to go with her to Hoff had been something they had agreed to, only because they couldn’t justify denying the request without explanation.
“What do you need of us?” Halling asked.
“I would like to house Beckett on the mainland for at least a week, perhaps longer,” John said. “Get him off the city.”
“I believe he needs more personal contact with normal people and less time in laboratory,” Heightmeir said. “I think fresh air and sunshine would do him good.”
“And you wish for him to be away from the temptation of the Gate,” Teyla surmised.
“That too,” John said. “I know it is an imposition.”
“Not at all, Major,” Halling said. “I think it would do him a great deal of good to be away from the City of the Ancestors.”
“Just don’t work him too hard,” John joked weakly. “He’s a bit sedentary.”
“A rare luxury indeed,” Halling replied. “Perhaps I will encourage him to be less so while he stays.”
“That’s fine,” Dr. Heightmeir said.
The small auditorium was packed with members of both he science and military contingents. Rodney watched as all the department heads and seconds sat together, talking quietly. The leaders of the expedition along with Teyla and Halling sat on the raised platform. A separate chair was placed in front of their position, facing the leaders. The crowd talked quietly amongst themselves until Sheppard and the rest of the leaders entered the room. Rodney joined them as they made their way to the platform, and he took his place with the science division.
“All rise,” Sgt Stackhouse called. “This hearing is called to order.”
“Thank you all for coming,” John said. “This hearing is been called in order to determine if Dr. Carson Beckett should face discipline for his action on the planet Hoff.”
Carson was escorted by a single guard to the platform and seated in the lone chair. Their was a small spat of murmured comments before the room went quiet.
“Before we begin,” John said, his eyes locked on the Scottish doctor. “I would remind everyone here of the very basic facts of our existence. We are in a galaxy millions of light-years away from our home. We have not been able to establish contact with our home world for over a year despite having more than one ZPM. The Orion is our one and only ship that might be capable of reaching Earth but that trip will take weeks and as she is only now been certified to be space worthy, I am reluctant to send her into the Black between galaxies just yet.”
“We have two enemies that we are forced to contend with, first are the Wraith, which as we all know have terrorized this galaxy for ten thousand years unopposed. Our few encounters have proven them to be terrifyingly strong and resistant to our conventional weapons. They possess technology that rivals the Goa’uld at their height of power and numbers that, our best estimates, place in the hundreds of thousands.”
“The other are the Genii, whose goals while similar to our own, are motivated by a desire to control and conquer, much like the Lucian Alliance or even the Goa’uld. While their technology is equal to Earth of the late fifties for the most part, they do possess nuclear reactors and from all reports, have a tendency to kill anyone that learns that they are anything other than simple farmers. They are constantly seeking ATA gene carriers and see us as a threat to their power.”
“The Wraith have yet to cull any of our people,” John said. “But that may simply be because they are dormant. The Genii on the other hand have attempted to follow our teams through the gate several times and manage to detain and interrogate members of AG-4 three months ago. They weren’t able to get anything from them, and we were able to rescue our people, but let me be perfectly clear. Until now, we have kept the truth of our location and the existence of our ATA carriers a secret.”
“You all know as well I do that we are in hostile territory. Though it is true that we have revealed who we are and where we come from to others, those groups were chosen after quite a lot of deliberation. Hoff had not been chosen to be one of those groups for various reasons.” He paused and let that sink in to those assembled.
“Dr. Lam,” John turned to her. “Would you please state what you witnessed on the planet Hoff.”
“In the course of our continuing, very cautious exchange of knowledge with the Hoffen Science Academy,” she began. “Dr. Beckett revealed to the head of the medical division that not only did our people have access to Ancient technology, but that we had several people, including himself, who were capable of activating many of the more complicated and advanced Ancient machines.”
“Was anyone else present at the time?” Rodney asked.
“Several of their interns were nearby,” Dr. Lam replied. “Whether they heard that conversation I couldn’t say, but I seriously doubt Prima Medica Perna would keep such information from her superiors.”
“Dr. Beckett,” John turned to him. “Please explain, if you can, your reasoning for this breach in security?”
“Does it matter?” Carson asked. “You’ve, bloody well, made up your minds about my guilt already.”
“Are you claiming that you didn’t tell Prima Medica Perna that you possessed the ATA gene?” John asked.
“I’ll not deny I told her,” Carson said. “They believed they were close to finding a way to keep the wraith from feeding on humans. A resistance to whatever it is that allows the wraith to take human life energy. They needed to be able to analyze samples they had from a man that had it naturally, but they don’t have the technology anymore thanks to the Wraith.”
“So you put the entire expedition in danger,” Rodney said.
“No, I wanted to help them,” Carson stated. “We’re sitting on a treasure trove of Ancient technology that we could be sharing with all the people of Pegasus. Yet all I see is you lot fixing broken things and hoarding them in this city.”
“Lets say we do as you suggest,” Dr. Lam said. “We announce to all of Pegasus that the City of Ancestors, a people they revere as gods, is being occupied by people from another galaxy. How do you think they are going to react?”
“I would think people would rejoice,” Carson said.
“Really?” Rodney snorted. “And what happens when this information gets back to the Wraith? We are working on our defenses, but we are far from being able to withstand an attack or worse a blockade. Which, need I remind you, is why the Ancients fled this galaxy.”
“Maybe if you let me study a live Wraith we might learn enough about their physiology and find a way to eliminate their need to feed off of humans,” Carson replied. “Maybe if you had given the green light on my last proposal, I wouldn’t have felt the need to advance another scientists research.”
“Are you seriously blame compromising this base and our people on Dr. Lam?” Rodney said outraged. “Your last proposal violated the medical code of ethics and the Geneva Conventions.”
“Considering we aren’t on Earth anymore, I don’t think the Geneva Convention is applicable.” Carson shot back.
Several people in the auditorium shouted in outrage. Everyone started talking and it was obvious to everyone that Carson had lost the crowd, assuming anyone had been on his side to begin with.
John slapped his hand against the conference table. “Alright quiet down.” When they had all settled again John said. “I don’t think we have to discuss this situation any further. Dr. Carson Beckett, you will be sent to the mainland for two weeks. There you will work as the doctor on duty for the village and the livestock range. You will be allowed a communicator and standard medical supplies, but you will not be allowed any research materials and your research will be locked for the duration-”
John was interrupted by the PA system. “Major Sheppard and Dr. McKay please come to the Gate Room. Major Sheppard and Dr. McKay come to the gate room immediately.”Dr. Grodin called. He sounded stressed.
“Dr. Lam, Sgt. Bates, please go with Dr. Beckett make sure he packs only what he is allowed to bring with him,” John said quickly. “I want him off this city by the end of the day.” He turned as Rodney stood. “Let’s find out what is going on.”
end part 2