Kidnapped and experimented on, Rodney McKay is lost, alone and in pain, with no hope of rescue or escape - or so he believes...
Complete Stories Characters:
Beckett C, Dex R, Emmagen Teyla, McKay R, Other, Sheppard J, Weir E, Zelenka R
Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe, AngstWarnings:
This fic is AU, for the prompt 'Weird Science'.
Thank you to Jayne for once again rescuing me! She helped write a few scenes and helped me to work out a few plot holes. Without her help, this fic would still be lingering in my WIP folder!
1. Chapter 1 Lab Rat by Leesa Perrie
2. Chapter 2 Rescue Mission by Leesa Perrie
3. Chapter 3 Telekinesis by Leesa Perrie
4. Chapter 4 Weird Science by Leesa Perrie
Chapter 1 Lab Rat by Leesa Perrie
By Leesa Perrie & Jayne Perry
Guild - 1. an organization of persons with related interests, goals, etc., esp. one formed for mutual aid or protection.
Chapter One: Lab Rat
Rodney McKay had never been so afraid in his life before. He'd been kidnapped from his home three, four or more days ago - it was hard to keep track of time - by masked gunmen, and then drugged and transported to here, wherever here was. Since then, he'd been x-rayed, scanned and had his blood taken, amongst other tests and examinations.
He was being studied like an intriguing lab rat, unable to fight them as he was restrained to a hospital gurney by straps over his ankles, calves, thighs, chest, wrists, arms and forehead - ensuring his ability to move was severely curtailed. When he wasn't in the lab, he was frog-marched to his cell by thugs armed with tasers - well, cell was rather a grand term for the cage that they pushed him into. It was little larger than a closet, with bars all around that gave him no privacy, especially as he was constantly watched.
The lack of privacy had been humiliating at first, but right now it was the least of his concerns. He'd been escorted back to the lab yet again, and securely strapped down once there. Behind him, he could hear them talking - their voices lowered to a hushed whisper that somehow still managed to carry to his ears.
"We've finished the tests," a man's voice stated. "Everything looks to be within the parameters that we need."
"Good," a woman's voice answered. "Time to move onto the first stage of the experiment."
That word - experiment - was terrifying. Visions floated through his mind, all of them bad, bad and even more bad. He pulled at the straps, knowing it was futile, but fear gripped him, sending him into panic. He wanted out of this place - out, out, out!
But there was no escape for him, and no one coming to his rescue. No one to even notice he was missing, and certainly no one to care if they did.
When the doctor, researcher, or whatever she called herself appeared beside him, his struggles became frenzied and wild. He cried out in fear, thrashing against the straps holding him down.
"Don't do this, don't hurt me."
He was ashamed of his pleas and the fear he couldn't hide. It didn't do him any good anyway, as the woman ignored him, injecting him with a pale blue liquid.
"What is that? What are you doing to me?"
She didn't answer, merely watched with cold eyes, waiting.
And then there was pain. Agonising pain that swamped his nerves with a white heat that wouldn't lessen. Screams rent the air - his own he realised - screaming in pain and fear until his voice gave out and he felt like he was drowning in fire and pain and hurt.
But even when his voice was gone, still he screamed - silent screams, as the fire flickered on, relentless. He writhed against the restraints, his skin reddening where the straps rubbed against him. Distant voices noted his vitals with unfeeling calmness, and hours seemed to pass - though time had lost all meaning to him - but finally the fire started to cool, the pain to recede and he wept in relief.
Shaken and shaking, he was aware of more blood being taken and stats being discussed. And then the straps were removed and two burly guards grabbed him, pushing him into a wheelchair as he was too weak to stand.
They took him back to his cell, his cage, where he curled up on the poor excuse of a bed - a thin mattress on the floor that was doing nothing for his bad back - to try and sleep and not think about the next experiment.
It didn't work.
It had been a sunny day in Colorado Springs but now, at last, the heat was abating. Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard stood and stretched, easing tired muscles. He'd been working on his newly acquired 1947 Indian Chief for most of the day, hiding from the sun inside his garage - if not from the heat - and now decided it was time to have a shower, grab a beer, order in a pizza and settle down to a college football game.
He had just entered his home when the phone rang. Sighing in annoyance, he decided to ignore it. The shower was calling him and they could leave a message if it was important. The phone stopped ringing as he slipped off his t-shirt, but no message was left.
Couldn't have been important, he thought to himself, even while wondering idly who it had been.
"John, please answer the phone."
Teyla's voice resounded in his head unexpectedly, causing him to jump in shock. Damn it, he was never going to get used to her telepathy.
The phone began ringing again. Rubbing a hand across his brow, he went back downstairs and answered the call.
"This is my day off, you know," he protested, albeit mildly. He knew it must be something important - well, it had better be! - but damn it, he'd been looking forward to a relaxing evening.
"Sorry, John," Elizabeth, his boss, answered him, sounding tense rather than apologetic. "We have an emergency."
"You want me to come in? Teyla could have told me that..."
"No, I wanted to brief you on the situation myself, you know how using her telepathy over long distances tires her. She's just left with Ronon and Carson to pick you up, they should be with you in about thirty minutes."
"Okay. So, what's up?"
"Our contact at the NID received information from an agent inside The Foundation for Genetic Advancement. There is a small group of them conducting experiments on an enhanced person not far from here."
"And we're going to rescue the enhanced person?" John said, not able to hide the deep anger and hatred welling up inside of him. Those bastards had killed his mother in the name of research six months ago, and the only reason he had survived was because the newly formed Guild had rescued him. The ones directly responsible for his mother's death had been dealt with, and he was glad that illegal experimenting on humans (or aliens, though the general populace was unaware of their existence as yet) was treated the same as predetermined murder.
Though that had been little comfort to him at the time, or now even. Nor was the fact that they hadn't started their experiments on him, having decided to concentrate on his mother first. He still had nightmares of watching her suffer, wishing it was him instead, but being unable to help her.
"Yes," Elizabeth said, and he could hear the sympathy in her voice even if she didn't put it into words - something for which he was grateful for. The anger helped to keep the grief at bay and being consoled was the last thing he needed right now.
"Tell me what you know."
"The person in question is a Dr Meredith McKay, an astrophysicist who, according to the NID agent, the Foundation have been watching for several months. His job was terminated recently, and as he lives alone, it seems they decided this was a good time to take him. Certainly no one has reported him missing as yet."
"Any idea what his ability is?"
"According to his medical files he has gills as well as lungs, which enable him to breathe underwater."
"Not heard of that one before," John said, but not sounding too surprised. They were often coming across new genetic mutations. Most were able to live reasonably normal lives, others were recruited to one of the military contingents, while others were recruited either to the Stargate Program or, more recently, to the Guild. Criminals, of course, were placed in special jails, designed to keep in even the most tricky of 'enhanced people' in.
Mutants, freaks, genetic mistakes; he'd heard them all, and worse, but the government preferred its more politically correct term. Personally, he believed himself to be a freak of nature, and no amount of counselling would change his mind on that.
"No, not one we've run across before," Elizabeth agreed. "And one that can be easily hidden, depending on where the gills are situated. The NID have spoken to some of his former co-workers and none of them were aware of his enhancement."
"Kept it a secret, but the Foundation found out and decided to target him, poor bastard." John hoped that the Foundation hadn't gone beyond taking some base readings, otherwise who knew what they might have done to the guy? "Whereabouts are we heading?"
"A mansion situated in a secluded area about ten miles outside of Burlington. It's rented under the company name 'TA Pharmaceuticals'. You should arrive there at dusk."
"Right. Standard procedure I presume - recovery of the victim, capture of the personnel and recovery of their data, if possible. In that order of priority."
"Yes, the usual. Take care."
"I will," he replied before ending the call. Moving quickly, he headed to the bathroom. He had just enough time to have a shower before his ride arrived, so long as he was fast.
John, fresh from his hurried shower, was waiting on the porch when the van pulled up in front of his home. The side door of the van slid open.
"Hey," Ronon greeted him from inside the van.
"Hey," John replied, climbing into the van and sitting down next to Carson. "Who's driving?"
"Sergeant Stackhouse," Teyla told him. "We will meet up with Major Lorne and his team when we get closer."
"Good." John nodded, they were good people. Stackhouse was normally part of an offworld team, but often helped out if available. He had the ability to freeze anything he wanted to, to whatever temperature suited his needs. Major Lorne was also part of the Stargate Program, with his own team. Lorne was the opposite to Stackhouse, able to warm things up to whatever temperature he wanted. His other team members weren't enhanced people, but they were solid and dependable nonetheless.
He pored over the building blueprint that Teyla had handed him, mapping out the mansion and working out a plan of attack. He was always amazed at how much information the Guild had access to - amazed, but also grateful, as it made his task much easier.
"Doc, you coming in with us or sitting this one out?" Sheppard asked. He could see that Carson was nervous, but also knew that Carson was capable of overcoming his fear if he felt he needed to. Still, John wouldn't hold it against him if he chose to sit this one out.
"Ach, you might need me to be on hand for the poor bugger they've got in there. No saying what they might have done to him."
"Okay, doc. You're with Teyla. I'll send Stackhouse and Smith in with you." Lieutenant Smith was one of Lorne's team, the other two being Sergeant Markham, an experienced marine, and Dr Miller, a computer geek extraordinaire.
"Ronon, you're with me. We'll take Lorne, Markham and Miller in with us."
Ronon nodded his assent.
"The Intel we received says the rooms we're looking for are in the basement," Teyla informed him.
"Okay," John said, looking at the blueprints carefully. "Teyla, you and your group take the entrance to the left here. I'll take my team in from the back entrance and head down this staircase. That way we have one group coming at them from the left and one from the right."
"So they have no way to escape," Teyla said.
They continued planning as the van took them to their destination, hoping to cover all possible contingencies, anxious to make sure the mission went well.
Rodney shivered in the restraints, the pain receding slowly. This was the third time they'd injected him with the blue liquid. The third time his body had reacted with intense pain for what seemed like forever, before gradually subsiding. Hours of pain followed by a few of rest, followed by tests and then another injection.
Behind him the scientist recorded her observations. The bitch didn't care about his pain, only about the results. Whenever she looked at him, her eyes were cold and calculating, making him wish she'd look away.
Behind him, hidden from his view, he heard someone enter the room and ask her for a progress report.
"The scans of the subject's brain are showing a slight alteration. We believe a mental ability is starting to manifest itself, but so far it is very weak, possibly too weak for the subject to be aware of or use. However, each time the injection is given, the scans show further development. Over time, we believe the ability will strengthen."
"Is there a way to increase the efficiency of the serum?" the man asked.
"Richards is working on it, but it will take time."
"What about the pain? We can't subject our enhanced friends to that."
"No, of course not. We're concerned that any pain medication or anaesthesia may interfere with the serum, either adversely affecting the subject, possibly harming or killing him, or else slowing down the serum's effectiveness even more. We wish to track the serum's ability to alter the subject further, maybe another three or four injections, before introducing any possible complications pain relief may cause."
"Hmm. Can you speed up the process? One injection every fourteen hours seems a little over cautious to me."
"We need to give the subject time to recover or risk weakening him too greatly, potentially causing his heart to give out on us. We also need time to gather the data we need from tests and scans." The woman sighed. "But perhaps we are being a little too cautious. I'll speak to the Richards, we may be able to give the subject an injection every, say, ten hours instead? It would help if we had another subject too."
"It's hard to find suitable subjects - you know they need to be isolated enough not be missed for a while. However, I'll see what I can arrange."
"That would be good."
Rodney didn't hear any more as he was released from the restraints by two of the guards and roughly manhandled into the wheelchair. The pain flared up again at the mistreatment, swamping his thoughts until he was back in his cage, lying on his side and curled up as best as he could. As the pain receded to a dull roar, his mind started to process the information he'd overheard. It was the first time anyone had talked about what they were doing to him while he was present, and it sent chills down his spine.
The idea that they were trying to stimulate another mutation within him, a mental one at that, was scary enough without hearing that it was working, albeit slowly. He didn't want another mutation, didn't really want the one he had but had grown used to - well, used to hiding. He'd learned early on in his life that it was better to hide his gills, because no one wanted a freak. Hell, his parents had taken one look at their newborn child and walked away, leaving him to be cared for by the state.
He supposed he'd been lucky in some ways. The home he'd grown up in had been well maintained, and the people who ran it seemed to care - when they weren't too busy or harried to spend time with him, which all too often they were. It was hard watching other kids being fostered or adopted while he was left behind. He knew it was because he was a freak - something he was never allowed to forget by those kids that knew. So he learned to hide his gills - though not his intellect! He wouldn't hide that, even when it made things difficult for him at school.
When he was fourteen he'd tracked his parents down, not sure what to expect, but not really surprised to find hatred and loathing. He still couldn't work out what had possessed him to do that. But it didn't matter - he ignored the part of him that said it did, that it hurt to be rejected - he was better than them. His intelligence got him a full scholarship to college and he earned his first doctorate within four years, his second a year later.
Of course, people were jealous of his intellect, something he knew that all too well. His so-called friends usually wanted something from him in return for pretend friendship, dropping him when they had what they wanted - or discovered they weren't going to get it.
It was better to remain alone.
Only it appeared that remaining alone had gotten him into this mess. There was no one to report him missing. Not one person to notice or care.
He shivered again. More injections, at least three, possibly four, without any kind of pain relief. And even when, or if, they introduced pain meds, it could make him ill, harm him, kill him even.
Maybe that wouldn't be so bad. It'd be better than this; being experimented on, tortured for the sake of medical advancement.
Part of him hoped for death, but most of him wasn't there yet. Most of him still wanted to live, to escape, though he had no idea how.
Huddled in his cage, he tried to take his mind off his predicament and the painful future he faced by working out long complicated equations, thinking up new theories, designing computer programs - anything that kept his mind distracted.
It didn't really work all that well, but he tried.
Chapter 2 Rescue Mission by Leesa Perrie
Chapter Two: Rescue Mission
They parked the van off the road, hidden in trees about a mile from the mansion's grounds. Major Lorne and his team arrived shortly after them in another nondescript van and parked nearby.
The mansion's security was not as tight as it could be, but John supposed the Foundation didn't want to attract undue attention with high tech systems on display. It was set inside heavily wooded grounds, only the last fifty metres or so were treeless, and even then there were shrubs to hide behind for much of the way. If he had been running a place like this he would have cleared much of the bushes and trees, and could only suppose that the place hadn't been used for nefarious activities until recently. Either that, or the Foundation was getting sloppy and overconfident.
They entered as one team, making their way through the wood carefully and quietly. Part way in, Ronon stiffened and used a hand signal for everyone to stay still, his enhanced senses having picked something up.
"Dogs," he growled softly. "Can smell and hear them over that way." He pointed slightly to the right of them, before striding off in that direction.
Sheppard nodded, letting Ronon get several metres in front of them before signalling the team to follow. Teyla took the lead, using her empathic ability - that allowed her to pinpoint people accurately - to track Ronon, and several minutes later they caught up with him.
Ronon was on the ground, fussing one of the four very docile looking Dobermans, who were feeding from his hand - literally. The Satedan's ability to calm and control even the wildest of animals always amazed Sheppard, and could come in extremely useful at times like this.
"Food's drugged," Ronon informed them, keeping his voice low as the dogs slowly closed their eyes. "They'll sleep for hours now."
"No. At least, not that I can hear or smell."
"Okay. Teyla, take your group and head for your assigned target. Radio silence unless it's an emergency."
The teams split up, heading into the gathering darkness.
Teyla made sure that Carson was sandwiched between herself and Stackhouse, with Smith covering their six. She used her empathy to locate the enemy inside the house, but pulled back from reading emotions as that would tire her unnecessarily. It seemed that the household were situated within a small area, most likely the labs she and her team were targeting. Nine people, and one of them would be Dr McKay. She would be able to distinguish him from the others as she got closer.
Stackhouse froze the lock of the door, causing the metal to turn brittle and crack, enabling him to break the lock with the butt of his gun. Teyla was worried that the people inside would hear the noise, but her senses told her no one was coming to investigate. She carefully pushed the door open, making sure not to make contact with the remnants of the handle or lock, knowing that they would be cold enough to badly burn her if she did. Walking down the hallway, the door that led down to the underground corridor and labs was easy to locate. Stackhouse soon had that open as well.
Teyla put up her hand to stop everyone before they entered the stairwell, having sensed the presence of a person approaching below. Had he heard the lock breaking? Carefully, she extended her empathy. No, it seemed he had other things on his mind. She pulled her empathy back and they waited for him to come closer, pulling the door too so that he would not, hopefully, notice any problem with it.
Fortunately the man didn't notice anything amiss and entered a room just before the stairwell. She led her team down the stairs, to the door of the room the man had entered, and indicated that Smith and Stackhouse position themselves on either side of the door of the room.
The sound of a toilet flushing was soon heard, causing Smith and Stackhouse to share a grin and a moment of mimed juvenile humour. But they were ready for the man as he left the restroom, quickly and silently overpowering him. Carson injected the man with a sedative, before Stackhouse and Smith tied him up and left him in the restroom. All of this was done in a practised silence.
Telya led them down the corridor, expanding her empathy again and reading the emotions of those she could sense. A strong feeling of pain, fear, desperation and despair hit her and she had to close her eyes to help steady herself against the onslaught. She narrowed the feeling down to a room two doors away, and then pulled back quickly to save energy that she needed for her telepathy now.
"From our position, Dr McKay is being held two doors down. Two guards are with him," she informed both teams and John. " Three doors down and around the corner from us there is a room with five more people inside. No others, except the one we just took down. My team will wait outside the second room were Dr McKay is being held. Once I sense we are all in position, I will give the command for both teams to go in. If that is alright, Colonel, click the radio once."
Hearing a click, she nodded to her team to get into position. She hoped she didn't need to use her telepathy for more than giving the 'go' command - she was tiring rapidly.
John led his team to their point of egress and Major Lorne used his enhancement to melt the lock - only in doing so, he also melted a fair bit of the metal door as well. John rolled his eyes as Lorne gave him a sheepish grin and a shrug of the shoulders.
Being careful not to burn themselves on the molten metal, and grateful that the hallway and surroundings were solid brick and stone, they entered the kitchen area. Ronon took point, using his enhanced hearing and smell to warn of any people close by.
It didn't take long to find the back stairwell down to the lab area, and this time Sheppard stopped Lorne before he could try to melt the lock - the door was made of wood and would most likely catch fire - falling back on his black ops training from many years ago and picking the lock instead. Something he hated doing, as it was fiddly and took more time than he liked.
They paused at the top of the steps as Teyla contacted them with the locations of people inside the mansion along with her plan of action. Clicking his radio once in acknowledgement, they stealthily moved into position, glad that the corridor turned another corner before reaching the room they were targeting, giving them some protection.
He waited for Teyla.
Teyla gave the command to go, and she and her team burst into the room, taking down the first guard before he even knew what was happening and the second before he could return fire. Hearing firing from around the corner, Teyla resisted the urge to find out how things were going, instead motioning Carson into the room, and then standing guard at the door.
Carson approached the cell - or cage, he amended in his head - slowly and carefully, not making any sudden moves that might further terrify the frightened man before him.
Rodney had nearly had a heart attack when the fierce looking woman had entered the room and killed the two guards. He'd slammed himself into the bars at the back of the cage, slipping into a crouch and curling into himself, hoping that the next bullet wasn't meant for him.
"We're here to rescue you. Once we have the place secure we'll see about getting you out of that cage. Are you hurt?"
He looked up at the man in front of his cage. He wanted to believe that, he really did, but maybe these people merely wanted to do their own experiments on him? Out of the pan and into the fire and all that.
"It's okay," the man said quietly. "We're not going to hurt you. I'm a healer, if you're hurt, maybe I can help you."
Healer? Did he mean he was a doctor?
"Who..." he croaked, his voice strained from all the screaming of the last few days.
"I'm Dr Carson Beckett. That's Teyla Emmagan, Sergeant Stackhouse and Lieutenant Smith. I'm a medical doctor, and also a healer," the man answered, apparently understanding what he'd tried to ask. "I have the ability to heal people - well, so long as the injuries aren't too severe. I can't raise the dead or anything like that."
Another freak, like himself. That didn't mean they weren't here to hurt him though. The ones who'd held him here talked about their enhanced friends - people who would benefit from his pain. These could be people like them.
The healer, Beckett he'd called himself, was kneeling by the bars of his cage now, as close to him as the man could get - within touching distance, but Beckett made no move to reach him. Scared and hurting, he decided to take a risk and reached out hesitantly, showing Beckett the welts on his wrists from the restraints.
Beckett hissed in sympathy and gently touched him. He flinched back, before steeling himself and leaning forward, allowing Beckett to hold his arm. A cool sensation, that was strange but not entirely unpleasant, spread throughout his body. He could see the welts on his wrists healing before his eyes and felt his other injuries being healed as well. Then the feeling faded and Beckett removed his hand, kneeling back and smiling at him.
"I'm sure you're feeling a lot better now."
"Thanks," he answered easily, his vocal chords returning to normal.
He was still desperately scared that these people would turn on him, but Beckett hadn't harmed him and, okay, maybe they needed him healthy for their own experiments, or maybe they were trying to gain his trust to make it easier to study him, but something about the man before him suggested otherwise.
He didn't always follow his instincts, preferring rationality, logic and facts to guide him instead, but he was tired and scared and maybe, just maybe, his instincts were right.
He hoped that they were.
John positioned Lorne and Miller to one side of the door, and Ronon and Markham to the other. Then, standing in front of the closed door, he took a deep breath and slowly made himself invisible. It wasn't easy for him to do - imaging a shield or cloak surrounding himself and anything he held helped - but even then, he couldn't remain invisible for more than a few minutes without feeling very queasy.
He waited for Teyla to contact him, wishing not for the first time that they had someone with x-ray vision on their team - but so far, that was an ability that remained solely in the realms of comic book heroes.
"Go!" Teyla's voice still managed to startle him, even though he'd been expecting it.
Not wasting any time, he opened the door and entered the room, moving to the right and out of the line of fire. In the room, four guards were playing cards at a table, and off to one side was a doctor - or at least he assumed she was a doctor by the white coat she wore - who was studying a computer. No one had noticed the door opening, apparently too engrossed in their activities. John shook his head. Sloppy, very sloppy.
He fired, his shots taking the guards by surprise, two of them down before they realised they were under attack and could respond. He wished there was another way, but knew from bitter experience that guards employed by the Foundation would rather die than surrender, taking as many with them as they could.
Lorne burst through the doorway taking out another guard, while Ronon dispatched the last of them. Lorne then turned his gun onto the doctor.
John took the time to shake off the his invisibility - the doctor looked at him curiously, before giving a sad smile. Her legs buckled beneath her and foam dribbled out her mouth.
"Smells like almonds," Ronon stated, his nose picking up the smell.
"Cyanide," Markham said with a grimace. "Must be mixed with something else, though, to act that quickly."
John nodded, not really surprised by what the doctor had done, but wishing he had been able to stop her. He watched as Dr Miller moved to the computer, carefully avoiding the doctor's body, and connected his laptop to it.
"Lorne, call NID and get a clean up crew in here. Then take Smith with you to get the vans. Markham, you're with me," John ordered, heading to check on Teyla's situation.
Rodney started in surprise as two more people entered the room.
"Hey, everyone okay in here?" one of the men asked.
"We are fine, John," the woman, Teyla, answered. "The key is missing, but Sergeant Stackhouse is about to freeze the lock."
"You might want to step away from the bars," the sergeant said to Rodney. "They might get rather cold as well."
He stood quickly, moving away from the bars while watching the sergeant with furrowed brow as the man froze the metal lock until it cracked and broke, the door swinging open. Another freak, then, he thought to himself. Though one with a useful ability, he had to add, as he cautiously left the cage.
"Are you all enhanced?" he asked curiously, trying to hide how vulnerable he felt without the bars between them - part of him wanting to go back into the cage where they couldn't hurt him, but part of him knowing that was stupid, pathetic even. He was a rational human being, not some animal that preferred its cage to freedom when the time came to be released.
"Everyone in this room except Lieutenant Smith, yes," the healer, Beckett, explained, sounding tired.
"We need to get you out of here," the man Teyla had called John said. "The van should be at the front soon, and there's always a chance the Foundation has been notified somehow. An alarm button certainly isn't out of the question, so the sooner we get you are out of here, the better."
The thought of an alarm button wasn't comforting, and Rodney decided that, although he wasn't confident of the motives of these people, he really didn't want this Foundation - presumably the ones who had hurt him - to get their hands on him again.
"Okay," he said, swallowing nervously.
"Stackhouse, you drive. Send Smith back in to help with the clean up. Teyla, Carson, you're going with Dr McKay. I'll send Ronon and Lorne as well. That way, if the Foundation tries to reacquire Dr McKay, you'll have plenty of backup. I have to stay here and wait for our NID contacts," John, obviously the person in charge, ordered.
Rodney allowed himself to be led out of the building, climbing into one of the vans when they arrived. He really hoped these people were the good guys - and not more bad guys in disguise.
The journey had been nerve racking, with Rodney afraid that the van would be attacked at any moment. But no one had attacked them and now he was in what passed for an infirmary inside Cheyenne Mountain. Maybe he should have paid more attention to conspiracy theories, because he was sure this wasn't part of NORAD. Though whatever it was, presumably it had a military basis to it, as it was accommodated here.
The room held several beds, though none of the other beds were occupied, to his relief. He had checked the room for any form of surveillance, but hadn't found anything - of course, that didn't mean the room wasn't bugged. Still, he wasn't strapped down, which was a definite plus, and it wasn't like he was going anywhere any time soon. Even after the weird healing Beckett had done, he still felt weak. Apparently, there were limits to what Beckett could do.
He perched on the edge of the hospital bed, wearing the grey sweatpants and t-shirt he'd been given not long after arriving. Although still unsure of these people, he was grateful to get out of the dirty white scrubs he'd been wearing and back into proper clothing, even if drab and ill fitting.
The door opened and Beckett entered with a tray of food. His eyes lit up. That smelled good. Really, really good.
"I thought you might be wanting something to eat. I've no idea if those bastards bothered to feed you or not."
"Not much," he said, moving to a table and chair next to one of the walls as Beckett placed the tray down. "It's not got any citrus has it?" he suddenly asked anxiously. "I'm deathly allergic..."
"No, I checked."
"How did you know to check?"
"When the Intel came in about you being captured by the Foundation, information on you was requisitioned, including your medical records." Beckett shrugged. "We needed to be able to help you, and to be able to do that properly we needed to know everything we could."
"Oh," he said, feeling decidedly uncomfortable with that knowledge. These people knew too much about him for his liking. As he started in on the food - wow, the stew was delicious - he wondered if there was anything they could use against him, and if there was, would they?
"I know you're probably feeling skittish about medical things right now - goodness knows I would be in your place - but I would like to check a few things; your pulse rate, blood pressure, nothing invasive or painful. Would you be alright with that, Meredith?"
"Don't call me that," he said with a scowl.
"Ach, I'm sorry. Would you prefer Dr McKay?"
"Yes, or Rodney if you must, but definitely not my first name!"
"Ah, I see. Not overly fond of it, I'm guessing," Beckett said with a smile. "Not that I can blame you. So, can I..."
"If you must," he muttered, hiding his unease under anger.
"Aye, I must," Beckett said, though he did have the decency to wait until Rodney had finished eating.
It wasn't that bad, really. Beckett did some basic checks and then left him alone to rest. Not that he expected to sleep much - but exhaustion had other ideas and he soon fell into a deep sleep.
Pain tugged at him, calling for attention, straps digging into him, burning and burning, muscles contracting, convulsing...
People talking, watching, recording, waiting...
And then there was Larry, his best friend when he was six, laughing at him as the bullies beat on him, shouting names at him, ending their friendship in the cruellest of ways...
And he was fourteen and his parents were snarling at him to go away, to leave them alone, they hadn't wanted him as a baby, they didn't want him now. A sister he didn't know watching him with fearful eyes. Pain in his heart...
Shifting through darkness...
The drone of bees, out to get him... can't breathe, can't breathe, going to die... and he's alone and afraid and there's no one and no one and still no one and he can't breathe, only he can, but it's wheezing and it's hard and he's going to die... but it eases and he doesn't die but he was alone and no one knew and no one seemed that worried when he told them what had happened...
And there's laughing, and it's Susan, and she's laughing because he thought that she liked him, and it was high school and he's not quite sixteen yet, but she said yes, he could take her to the dance, but when he showed up at her door she laughed and there was Joel, the star quarterback, and they went to the dance and he went back to the children's home, alone...
And pain, so much pain, detached voices, not caring, no one ever caring, never really caring, just pretending and then leaving or hurting or discarding...
Pain...pain...white-hot fire in his veins...
He screamed... and awoke, sitting up suddenly, eyes darting around the room...
White room, medical...
No, no, no, no, no! He was back there, the rescue was all a dream, a terrible dream...
He pushed himself out of the bed, rushing to the door - he had to get out, out, out and he had to do it now, before they came back and restrained him, and he opened the door but beyond it lay darkness, solid and terrifying, reaching out to him, so he shut the door, but then hands were pulling him back towards the bed and pain and...
Someone was talking, a low voice rumbling in his ear...
He jolted awake - really awake this time, not the false waking of his nightmare - and nearly collided with the one talking to him.
"Easy, lad," the soft tones of Beckett reached him. "You're safe now."
Suddenly embarrassed, he wrapped his arms around himself, unable to meet Beckett's eyes. "Sorry," he muttered quietly.
"Ach, it's only to be expected. And nothing to be ashamed of, that's for sure." Beckett patted his shoulder gently. "You might want to talk about it. It can help."
"No," he said, shaking his head.
"Aye, well, when you're ready."
He didn't think he'd ever be ready to talk about, well, that. What they'd done to him.
"There's nothing in your medical files about telekinesis."
"When you woke up, you pushed your bedside table over, telekinetically," Beckett explained. "At least there wasn't anything breakable on it."
"I'm not telekinetic," Rodney said, worry furrowing his brow. "I've never..." he trailed off suddenly, remembering the conversation he'd overheard. "That woman, the researcher, she was talking to someone. Something about me developing a mental ability, though it wasn't very strong. They were trying to make their enhanced friends even more enhanced, but it wasn't working." He looked at Beckett, fear in his eyes. "They were going to increase the injections, make them more often... I don't think I could have survived that!"
"Easy, lad, easy," Beckett placed a gentle hand onto his shoulder. "It's okay, we got you out, you're safe."
Rodney tried to get his breathing under control, but panic gripped him. What had they done to him? He didn't want the gills, he certainly didn't want anything else as well.
"Come on, lad, slow breaths. In. Out. In. Out."
"Oh crap," he whispered, but he slowed his breathing, following Beckett's instructions.
"It'll be okay," Beckett reassured him.
"You don't know that," he retorted.
"No, not for certain," Beckett admitted, giving his shoulder a quick squeeze before letting go. "But we'll do everything we can to help you, you have my word on that. We've got their research notes, which will be a great help, and we have access to some of the world's best doctors."
"We have an expert on telekinesis. I'll arrange for him to see you tomorrow. I know this must be difficult, but try to get some rest."
"Fine," he muttered and Beckett left him to sleep. Like he could sleep after that revelation! Damn it, he really didn't need something else to make him more of a freak than he already was. What had he done to deserve this?
He spent the next few hours tossing and turning, worries and fears churning round and round in his mind - with the few snatches of sleep he managed to get disturbed by nightmares.
Chapter 3 Telekinesis by Leesa Perrie
Chapter Three: Telekinesis
John fidgeted in his seat - meetings were a necessary evil, but that didn't mean he had to like them - earning himself a pointed look from Elizabeth. He tried not to feel like a school boy caught not paying attention in class, but failed. So he reverted to the trick he'd used back in school and gave her one his most boyish smiles. Elizabeth's mouth twitched in amusement - mission accomplished - before turning her attention back to the meeting.
"Next on the agenda is Dr McKay. Carson, perhaps you would like to give John, Ronon and Teyla a brief summary of your report," Elizabeth asked.
"Radek is still analysing the data, but from what we know so far they were trying to bioengineer a person whose enhancement was physical into developing a mental enhancement as well. This caused Rodney to develop a form of telekinesis, though we haven't had chance to see how strong it is or how well he can control it."
"Any ideas why they're doing this?" John asked, though he was pretty sure he could guess the answer.
"As you know, the Goa'uld have proved unable to control people with mental abilities, though they can control those with purely physical enhancements. We're assuming the Foundation is trying to combat that danger, should Earth be invaded. It looks like they would move onto giving unenhanced people mental abilities as well, if that's even possible."
"They're trying to protect themselves should a worst case scenario occur," Elizabeth summarised. "Their methods, however, are unacceptable. How is Dr McKay?"
"Physically, he is recovering well. I would release him, but I think it would be best to keep him here for observation a little while longer. I'd also like for him to talk to Dr Heightmeyer. After what he's been through, I'm sure she could be a big help. Though I'm not sure how well that will go down with him, he doesn't seem to like talking about himself."
"I'll talk to him," Elizabeth offered. "Maybe I can get him to see the need to talk to Kate. Though I can't force him as he isn't a member of the Guild. At least, not yet," she added.
"You're thinking of offering him a job here?" John asked, not really surprised. He'd read the reports they had on McKay, enough to realise that the man could be an asset, but also enough to know that he could prove to be a bigger pain in the ass than Kavanagh could be.
"Yes, he's been given clearance and I think he would prove to be very valuable to us. Although his previous employers have referred to him as being arrogant and difficult to work with, they have also admitted that he was truly brilliant in his fields. He has a PhD in astrophysics and another in mechanical engineering, with a Masters in computing."
"Two doctorates seem like overkill to me," John said, before realising that Elizabeth had two as well and smiling sheepishly at her.
"Perhaps he wishes to keep himself busy," Teyla suggested diplomatically.
"Perhaps," Elizabeth agreed dryly, raising an eyebrow at John. "Though I suspect that, in his case, it's probably more to do with proving just how good he is to the rest of the world."
"Wonderful," John muttered. More proof they had another Kavanagh on their hands - though he only had one doctorate. Hmm, it could be interesting to see what happened when McKay and Kavanagh met. Might be fun to watch - but preferably from a safe distance.
"I have spoken to him a few times," Teyla said. "I believe that he wears a mask and underneath he is not so bad. I think he has been hurt and that arrogance and sarcasm are his defence against that happening again."
"Maybe he just needs a friend," Carson suggested.
John shuddered. Well, someone else could have that job, he didn't need to be befriending arrogant geniuses.
"Have you spoken to Carter about him working in the Science Division?" John asked.
"Actually, I've been in talks with General Hammond and the IOA. We're being give a set of labs separate from the SGC and forming an independent Science Division. We'll have access to alien technology, but will be concentrating on items that might prove to be of use in our fight against the Foundation and other such organisations. We're also forming a separate Medical Division as well, with Carson in charge of it. Obviously, both divisions will liaise with their SGC counterparts, but will be under Guild control."
"In other words, they report to you directly and not to General Hammond," John said.
"Yes. I spoke to Radek, but he doesn't wish to be in charge. Apparently, there is far too much paperwork and general hand-holding involved," Elizabeth said with a wry smile. "Though he did agree, reluctantly, to be acting Head of Science until we find someone to fill the position."
John grinned, wondering how much Czech swearing had been muttered during that meeting. Zelenka and McKay might prove to be even more interesting to watch - Zelenka had cut Kavangh down to size on more than one occasion when their paths had met.
"So who's going to be in charge?" he asked.
"Dr McKay, if he agrees. I'm hoping that the position of Head of Science might tempt him into staying."
"That's a gamble, isn't it? We hardly know him and he really doesn't sound like leadership material to me."
"I believe that being responsible for others will help," Teyla said. "There was once one amongst my people who pushed others away, but when she was placed in a position of trust and responsibility as a teacher, she learned to look outside of herself. She even found friendship and love after a time. I am hoping that the same may be the case for Dr McKay."
"It's a risk, but I'm willing to trust Teyla's instincts. Besides, I'm not sure he would be willing to settle for anything less - his last three jobs have ended badly because he didn't like taking orders."
"So, you will have two people who don't follow orders well. McKay and Sheppard," Ronon said, finally entering the conversation and startling John, who had forgotten he was there. How someone of that stature and presence could disappear into the background always amazed him.
"Hey," he protested indignantly. "It's not like you, or Teyla for that matter, always follow orders offworld!"
"And it is good that we do not," Teyla answered him with a teasing smile, "Or you would be dead many times over."
"More true than you'd like to admit," Carson butted in.
And damn it, it was.
"I'm sure I will be able to handle Dr McKay," Elizabeth said confidently.
"So, is that all?" John asked, eager to leave.
"Not quite," Elizabeth said, a glint of mischief in her eyes, knowing full well he wanted to go. "I'd like for you to take one of our scientists with you when you go offworld, to help determine the usefulness of any alien technology you come across. I think that, to start with, you should rotate any scientists that are willing to join your team. Then you can make a decision on who should be your permanent scientist once you've had a chance to see how they cope offworld."
"Sounds doable," John answered, though not entirely thrilled at the idea. "They'll need to have some training first."
"I'm sure you can work that out. I have three volunteers so far - Simpson, Kusanagi and Abrams. I also think it would be good for our medical staff to have some offworld experience."
"Bloody hell," Carson moaned. "Do I have to?"
"I think it would be good to lead by example, don't you? Which is why, should Dr McKay accept the position here, I would strongly encourage him to take a turn as well."
"Don't worry, Doc, we'll take care of you," John said with a grin. Carson looked less than reassured - but then, Carson's loathing of wormhole travel was well known amongst both the Guild and SGC.
"So, any other business?" Elizabeth asked.
John was willing no one to answer, sighing in relief when Elizabeth ended the meeting.
"Wanna spar?" Ronon asked nonchalantly.
"Sure," John replied. It wasn't like he had anything better to do and his stick fighting was improving. Maybe he'd be able to get a few hits in this time - before Ronon wiped the floor with him.
Rodney had just finished his lunch, when Beckett entered, followed by Teyla and a tall man, with glasses and a pony tail.
Beckett smiled at him, though his smile would have been more reassuring if it had reached his eyes, and Rodney began to feel nervous at this unexpected visitor.
"Teyla, you've met of course, and this gentleman is Dr Kavanagh, he is..."
"The foremost authority on telekinesis," Dr Kavanagh cut in. "Which I have been informed has been bio-engineered into you."
Rodney winced at the reminder, before anger at this so-called doctor's tone of voice set in. The man carried on before he could retort, though, which only added to his annoyance.
"I will give you a test that an eight year old with any rudimentary ability can do. It will give me an idea of the strength of your telekinesis, and we can work our way up from there," Dr Kavanagh stated, placing a pencil, a notepad and a glass paperweight on a white plastic tray on the end of his bed.
Rodney suddenly felt nervous - the word 'test' bringing up bad memories. Teyla must have noticed as she came over and sat down on the bed next to him, resting her hand gently on his leg.
"All will be well. We just need to know how much ability you have so that you receive the correct training. Dr Kavanagh only tests, he does not teach," she reassured him.
Kavanagh shot her an irritated look, before continuing.
"Now I want you to concentrate on the pencil, feel it with your mind and then try to roll it."
Rodney tried, his brow furrowed in concentration... but nothing happened.
"Think of your mind like a stream, stretching from your head to the pen, and then when you can feel the pen, reverse the current," Dr Kavanagh instructed impatiently.
Again Rodney tried and again nothing happened.
"Perhaps you are trying too hard, Rodney," Teyla said in her soothing voice. "The mind is more like a gentle breeze that can be turned into a storm, when required."
"What is this? Stream, wind? A nature lesson?" Rodney growled, getting more and more frustrated when the stupid pencil wouldn't move an inch. Why wouldn't it move? It was only a stupid small pencil! Maybe they were wrong. Maybe he wasn't telekinetic after all and the table had fallen over of its own accord. This was supposed to be child's play and yet it wasn't working! He couldn't do it, damn it!
"Don't worry, McKay," a man's drawl came from the doorway, and Rodney realised with a start that they had been joined by Colonel Sheppard. "It doesn't matter if you can't..." Sheppard trailed off, his eyes drawn to the pencil, as it clattered back onto the tray.
Rodney looked at the pencil in surprise, not aware that he had moved it.
"Well, let's see if we can repeat that," Dr Kavanagh's voice cut through the room, as Carson moved over to Sheppard, who was holding a cloth to his left brow.
"I was sparring with Ronon..."
"Ach, no need to say any more. Come on then, let me take a look at it," Beckett said, mild exasperation in his voice as he led Sheppard over to one of the beds on the other side of the infirmary.
Rodney was glad they had moved away as their conversation had been distracting him, but now it had lowered to a quite hum that he could ignore. He concentrated on the pencil again, but no matter how hard he tried, he was unable to duplicate raising it - despite Kavanagh's growing irritation, that only fed Rodney's own annoyance with the whole endeavour.
He was about to tell Kavanagh exactly where he could stick said pencil, when Beckett came back over - having dealt with Sheppard's injury and sent him on his way - and called a halt to the proceedings. Rodney was grateful as he had been developing a nasty headache, as well as starting to feel nauseous - not to mention wanting to hit a certain someone who was supposed to be helping him but wasn't!
Beckett took one look at Rodney and quickly cleared the room, until only the two of them remained.
"Don't worry about it lad. Like all things, it takes time and practise."
Rodney tried to be reassured by the words, but wasn't really.
"You want me to deal with that headache you're trying to hide?" Beckett asked.
"If you want."
Beckett placed his hand onto Rodney's arm, and slowly the headache and nausea went.
"Thanks," he muttered.
"You should probably try to get some sleep."
"Fine," he said, though he doubted he would sleep. He wasn't used to being a failure at something, even if that something was an unwanted ability that had been foisted onto him against his will. Maybe it was for the best? It was bad enough having to hide his gills from people without having to hide something else as well.
He still felt like a failure though, and he hated that.
"I could give you something to help. I know you've been having nightmares."
"No, I'll be okay," Rodney said, though he was tempted to take the offer. But he didn't like the idea of being knocked out by sleeping pills - it would make him vulnerable. And although these people hadn't hurt him, he wasn't willing to trust them that much. At least, not yet.
"Alright, I'll leave you to get some sleep. If you change your mind, just press the call button," Beckett said as he left.
Rodney lay down, pulling the covers up and curling on his side to try and help with the sick feeling. Although the tests had exhausted him - more than he thought they should have - it still took a while for his mind to slow down enough for his body to sleep. Worries and fears about his future plagued him, and it wasn't a big surprise to wake up from a nightmare a short while later.
He just wanted to feel like himself again. He wanted to feel confident again, able to deal with those around him and not afraid of being kidnapped and tortured by unknown enemies - or betrayed by those who seemed to be helping him.
In his life prior to this, he may have been isolated and alone, but he had, at least, felt safe.
He didn't feel safe any more.
Chapter 4 Weird Science by Leesa Perrie
Chapter Four: Weird Science
"How are you feeling, Dr McKay?" Elizabeth asked as he took a seat in her office.
"Fine," was the noncommittal reply, as his eyes darted nervously round the room before settling on her face.
"That's good," she said with a smile, knowing he wasn't fine really. "And your new found ability..."
"You mean the pathetically weak telekinesis that those... those subhuman Neanderthals caused with their painful torture thinly disguised as experiments? I can handle it. It's virtually nonexistent anyway and far easier to hide than gills," he said angrily, but Elizabeth could see the hint of fear in his eyes; one he was desperately trying to hide. For once she didn't regret her lack of empathic ability - she didn't need to feel his emotions when they were displayed so clearly on his face.
"You can't hide anymore."
"I'm sorry to be so blunt, but the Foundation is aware of your enhancement and will try to reacquire you."
"Oh great! What am I supposed to do?" McKay demanded, clearly trying to push the panic down, though not really succeeding. "I can't...I can't go through that..."
"Dr McKay, maybe I shouldn't have been so blunt, but you need to understand the situation. We can offer you a new name, identity and job, but we can't guarantee that the Foundation won't find you."
"Then what? What do I do?" McKay asked, distress creeping into the edge of his voice.
"All of our members have to report in every day, even when on vacation. It has caused a few false alarms, but we'd prefer that than to have a Guild member taken..."
"You want me to join you? Is that it?"
"Yes. I would actually like you to be the head of our new science division."
"Oh." McKay looked surprised. "And if I say no, what then?"
"As a member we can protect you. The Foundation targets people who won't be missed for a few days, as this gives them time to cover their tracks. But if you don't wish to join us then we'll set you up somewhere with a new identity."
"But you can't promise that they won't find me?"
"No. Security is tight, but breaches have been made in the past," she said regretfully.
McKay sighed heavily, rubbing his eyes.
"I don't have much choice, do I?" he said resignedly. "What is this Guild? What do you do, exactly?"
"I need you to sign these non-disclosure papers before we go any further," she said, handing him the forms. "But rest assured, we only have your best interests at heart. We're here to help people with enhancements like you, and myself. I'm a telepath, but without the empathy that some telepaths develop."
"You're a freak like me..." McKay started, before changing tact when she gave him a disapproving look. "I mean, an 'enhanced person'..."
"Dr McKay, is that how you really think of yourself? As a freak?"
She watched as several emotions played across his face, before he looked away from her.
"It's what I am. A freak of nature. It's what everyone calls me when they find out, and rightly so. Call it what you will, but in the end we're all freaks of nature, nothing more." He recited it without feeling, as if it was something he had learned by rote, and that saddened her.
"While it is true that we are a rare occurrence, that doesn't make us freaks. Or would you call someone who was born deaf or blind a freak as well?"
"No, of course not. That's different."
"Is it? How?" she challenged him.
"I...it just is." But he sounded unsure of himself, as if realising for the first time the inconsistencies in his belief.
"Dr McKay... Rodney," the use of his preferred Christian name caught his attention. "You're an intelligent person. Everyone that we talked to says you are a genius..."
"You mean in between all the vitriol about what a jerk I am?"
"Yes," she admitted with a small smile.
"Huh. Jealousy. It makes people say bad things about others. Just because they can't handle someone pointing out their errors, and really, you'd think they'd thank me for it..."
"Yes, well, that as it may be," she said, firmly regaining control of the conversation. "My point is this; you're an intelligent man and I'm sure that someone such as you can overcome any ... dogma you may have believed when it is shown to be flawed."
"I..." His brow furrowed in thought. "Yes, I get your point." Though he still seemed far from convinced. Hopefully in time he'd come to believe it.
"Good. Now, the Guild is set up to deal mainly with the threat of the Foundation. They are a threat to people, both enhanced and not, for reasons that I can't fully explain to you until you sign the non-disclosure document."
"Fine. Let me read it through first and make sure I know what I'm signing away here."
She smiled as he started reading and opened her laptop. She might as well catch up on some of her work while she waited. There were several requisitions from the newly formed divisions that she needed to sign off on, for a start. Though, did the science division really need two Cray computers? Sighing, she drafted an email to Zelenka. She suspected the requisition was part of his plan to convince her that he wasn't the man for the job. Shaking her head, she wondered what else he would try to pull before he believed she had gotten the message.
A little while later, a large sigh caught her attention and she looked up as McKay picked up the pen next to him and signed the document.
"Right. So tell me the rest," he demanded imperiously, despite looking decidedly uneasy.
"Eight years ago the Stargate Program was set up. The Stargate is a device that allows for travel to other worlds via a wormhole..."
"What?" McKay looked at her incredulously. "That's... well, I suppose that is possible, but..."
"I assure you, the Stargate exists. I can take you to see it." Elizabeth checked her watch. "In fact, a team should be heading offworld soon, so you can see it in action." She rose, watching as McKay did likewise, and led him out of her office and down the corridor.
"So, if this is true, does that mean you've encountered little green men?" McKay said snidely, as they walked.
"Well, grey rather than green," she answered him, a smile twitching her lips at his look of surprise. "We have also met some dangerous aliens called the Goa'uld. They're snake-like parasites that inhabit a person, taking control of them."
"That sounds creepy."
"Yes, it is. In fact, it is because of their threat that the Foundation is conducting its experiments. The Goa'uld are unable to inhabit people with mental abilities."
"So, they tortured me to try and protect themselves from these Gourds."
"Goa'uld," she corrected, as they entered the elevator. "But yes, that is the reason, and I'm sorry that we didn't know earlier about your predicament. As yet we are unsure of their long term goals, but we have no doubt that they are out for themselves. Many of the enhanced members we have identified so far have criminal records, so whatever their aim is, it is not for the good of all mankind." The exited the elevator and headed through the corridors to the gateroom, McKay falling quiet as he no doubt digested what she had told him.
Entering the gateroom, she was pleased to see Colonel Carter there. Elizabeth had no doubt that McKay would have a myriad technical questions that she wouldn't be able to answer herself.
"Oh, hi." Carter turned from the computer screen she'd been concentrating on and looked at her, with a smile. "Anything I can help you with?"
"This is Dr McKay. I was wondering if you could explain the stargate to him?"
"Sure. It's about to be dialled, so I can show you it in action and we can go from there."
"I'll leave you in Carter's capable hands then," Elizabeth said. "Could you show him to the new labs when you're done here and ask Dr Zelenka to give him a tour?"
As Elizabeth left, she heard the gate dialling up - and McKay already demanding information.
She hope Sam wouldn't hold this against her.
Radek was busy working when he heard the lab door open and Sam walked in, with a man following her.
"And here is the main science lab," Sam informed the man. "There are three more along the corridor, two of them are clean rooms, so you have to go through the usual procedures..."
"I know, wear those ridiculous white outfits and head gear. I have worked in a lab before," the man said, in a rebuking tone. Sam pulled a face behind the man's back, and then looked to Radek with a tense smile.
"Dr Zelenka, this is Dr McKay, Elizabeth asked me to bring him down when we were done. She'd like you to show him around the labs."
Ah, the man who had been rescued and who Elizabeth wanted as Head of Science. It would be in his own interest for McKay to take the position.
"It would be pleasure," he replied. Sam gave him a relieved smile and left - quite quickly. Not a fan of McKay, then, Radek surmised, turning his attention to the man in question. "As you see we have the latest technology. Some of it is yet to be set up." He indicated some unopened boxes stacked nearby. "But we hope to finish soon."
"Everything looks new, I assume you haven't been here long."
"We are just moving into new labs. Before, we worked in SGC's labs as part of SGC. Now, we will be separate division, working for the Guild and reporting to Dr Weir directly," Radek explained. "It was only announced yesterday. There is still much to do."
"So, are you in charge?"
"At present, yes. We are waiting appointment of Head of Science. I will be glad to let him or her deal with this and return to my own work."
"Dr Weir offered me the job," Rodney said smugly.
"You are yet to accept, then. Perhaps details of our ongoing research will help you to make mind up?" Radek led Rodney over to a laptop and typed into it, his finger flying confidently over the keys. "Yes, here you will find most recent reports from Drs Simpson, Kusangi, Abrams and Gall, as well as from myself. We are still recruiting full science team. I will leave you to look this over while I return to my work. I will be just over here if you have questions."
"Fine." McKay sat down at the laptop and started to read.
Radek hoped that McKay would take the position. The sooner he could return to pure research and engineering, the better - even if McKay seemed overly arrogant.
Ah well, he had worked for many an arrogant man before. He knew well how to deal with them, and how to protect projects from those who refused to accept they might be wrong.
Now, where had he been before being interrupted?
Rodney began skimming through the reports, both amazed at what he was reading about - this technology was way beyond anything he could have imagined - and appalled at the apparent sloppiness of some of the work. Shaking his head, he wondered how no one had been seriously injured or killed yet.
Looking up to share his opinions with - Zelempa, Zilnika? - all comments seized on his lips when he saw Zelenki using telekinesis to rotate a circuit board within a clear plastic box and use a soldering iron on it.
Surprised and, admittedly, somewhat curious, Rodney moved towards Zelnka, who looked up at his approach.
"Sometimes empaths have trouble blocking out emotions, usually when they are ill or overtired. This is similar to a white noise generator, but aimed at blocking emotional 'noise'. Of course, I have yet to test it, and it will need tuning to each person individually. You will find all the details in the research report."
"I have some telekinetic ability," Rodney blurted out, before pausing. When Zelmpa merely looked at him with mild interest, he decided this was a chance to ask some questions. Ones he hadn't wanted to ask their ass of a telekinesis expert. "How are you doing that? Moving two objects at the same time. I can't even move one - well, not intentionally."
Zelinko - damn it, he would need to ask the guy's name again. Why couldn't it be something simple, like Smith or Jones? - looked at Rodney, confused. "It is all a matter of physics. Weight and distance times force - in this case the force required to move the object. The force is supplied by the brain's chemical electro field. Let me show you mathematical equations for telekinesis, perhaps it will help you to understand the ability the Foundation engineered into you."
Rodney looked up in surprise. "You know about that?"
"Yes, I helped to decode data from Foundation computers. As I understand it, they increased the chemical electro field within your brain. I can show you printouts, though I am not medical doctor so cannot explain as well as Carson."
Rodney found himself immersed into a new field of science, one he had not taken any interest in before. Although different, it was also familiar - using terms he had come across in other fields, and equations that he had no problem understanding.
"So, each mental ability has a unique electro field signature, the strength of which varies from person to person," Rodney said at last.
"Yes. Carson believes that the chemicals the Foundation used on you affected the chemicals in your brain. Had they continued with the injections, then your telekinesis would be stronger. According to the last reading Carson took, moving small objects should be within your capabilities."
"Okay," Rodney said. "Let me try again."
It made much more sense to him now - all that talk of winds, streams and such like had sounded like total mumbo jumbo to him and so had only served to confuse him. This, however, was pure science, and that he could understand, easily.
He concentrated on a whiteboard marker pen, that someone had discarded on the desk he was sat at. At first he thought he must have misunderstood - unlikely though that seemed - as nothing happened, but then, slowly and wobbling greatly, the pen lifted a centimetre off the table. Rodney could feel himself starting to shake with the effort, but couldn't stop a triumphant grin cross his face. He had managed to move something of his own accord, at last!
"Telekinesis is like a muscle. It needs exercise to strengthen it, then you can use it for long periods of time. Of course, much of the time it is easier to just pick up object with your hands," Zelinka said with a wry grin. "Also, practise will help your mind to learn instinctively how much force is required to lift something, based on its weight."
"Will you," Rodney's voice stumbled, he wasn't used to asking for help. But he knew he needed it, so sighing deeply, he tried again. "Will you help me learn to gain control?"
"Of course. It will be no problem."
Elizabeth entered the lab, smiling when she saw McKay apparently engrossed in something that Radek was saying. She had great hopes that the two of them would be able to work together, though she knew it could just as easily go the other way. Radek might not be as arrogant as McKay, but he did have his moments. He could also be quite volatile, breaking into Czech swearing regularly, often in annoyance at what he saw as other people's foolishness. But he was good at what he did and quite able to take what he gave - in fact, she suspected he preferred people to bite back - and was not without empathy. The unenhanced kind, that was.
"So, Dr McKay," she asked, interrupting them and gaining herself two scowls of annoyance. Though Radek's soon melted away when he realized who had spoken to them. "Have you decided whether to accept the position?"
"Yes," McKay replied. "I don't think I have much choice other than to accept, what with the Foundation wanting to reacquire me. Besides," he looked round the lab, trying to hide the wonder beneath a look of contempt, "This place looks like it'll fall apart without someone like me to organize it."
Radek rolled his eyes at that, muttering something unflattering in his native tongue.
"I'm glad you've decided to accept," Elizabeth said genuinely. "I'll sort out the necessary paperwork."
"Yes, yes, whatever." McKay waved his hand at her, clearly wanting to get back to his conversation with Radek.
"Well, I'll leave you to it," she answered dryly.
"Good, good, see you later," McKay replied, already turning back to Radek.
Shaking her head, she left them to it. Dr McKay was going to be a handful, she could already tell that.
But she believed he would prove to be worth it.
A/N: This fic was started in January 2008 and languished in my WIP folder most annoyingly! It was originally inspired by 'Living With It' by Tielan, who allowed me to take this in my own direction using her fic as inspiration. She has now added two new chapters to the story, giving it the title 'One of Our Own' - with 'Living With It' becoming Chapter 3. I'm hoping for more! Her storycan be found here: http://archiveofourown.org/works/85289/chapters/115420
This fic was started prior to Thought Reflex posting her wonderful fic, 'Treading Water', but to be safe, I asked her permission to continue with this fic, which was given. Her story can be found here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4085125/1/Treading_Water
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.