The Incidences of The Blippy Dohickey 6: Reminiscing.
Xander had meant to land back in his office but apparently the General *really* wanted to see him. "You summoned, sir?" he quipped.
"No, I had your teacher block you from going or coming back in your office because each time you do, you create a power flux in the lab above you," he said dryly.
"He was here earlier?"
"He did pop in. He nearly scared the crap out of Doctor Jackson by doing so. He look ed at that blank corner of yours, said 'interesting' and let me talk him into blocking that for the very good reason of saving a decent physicist's mental capacity since he was losing it over that power flux."
"I'll apologize. I didn't realize it put off that much power."
"It doesn't. Just enough to make his machine hiccup."
"Oh. Okay. Good to know. Sorry about the trip but he needed someone who understood what living for so long and seeing so many things does to a soul."
"That's fine. I realize that someone who's done what you have is probably not going to be easily understood by the average person."
Xander nodded. "Not likely. It does put a crimp in my dating habits too."
"So he showed up?"
"Mostly to see what I was doing here. When he realized he knew who Daniel was, we went to have a beer and talk about why I was doing this. I pointed out that you guys needed me. He agreed, but thought I should probably have a long vacation. That I looked a bit tired. We had a playful argument and he decided I was being naughty. I agreed and got him back to the box, got Armand.... who may be in Cardiff," he said, considering it. "I hope." He shook his head.
"He decided I was being wrong-minded, I pointed out he was lonely and that's why he came looking to remember. I basically bullied him into taking me this time by setting the machine off to pick up someone else to cheer him up. He started to splutter and complain. I pointed out I'm officially just over seven hundred years old. He's nine hundred and some.
"Yeah, I understood what was going through his head. He threw a fit. We landed anyway and the doctor glared. I stared back, tapping a foot. He sighed and said at least he didn't usually run into my ex's anymore. I told him if he didn't quit moping I was going to kidnap Martha too. He got *so* pissed.
"So we kidnaped Jack, told him it wasn't going to create a paradox because we weren't going to visit ourselves in the twenty-ninth century, and then we took off to cheer him up. He's happier. Jack's happier. The doctor's still probably going to glare at me for being pushy. Probably for many years to come. We talked about what I'll do after I leave here. I told him I had a nice beach picked out, I'd move all my books there and read or surf. I could blip to the nearest club planet whenever I needed to.
"Jack complained that I got to travel and he didn't. I pointed out I fixed his blippy dohickey. The Doc got one of mine but not the other," he said, holding up his arm. "Though he tried really hard and had to have Jack steal the other one." He smiled and held up Jack's band. "So I took his. I also left a note saying I'd give his back when I got mine back since mine's powered differently. And works well, and can even pinpoint down to the hour, unlike his.
"The doctor was very upset that I had created one. I pointed out I needed it to go retrieve all my books since he's the one who turned me into a book nerd. It was a long, good, traveling complaint and teasing session. Jack got him calmed down, settled back into a better mind frame, we hope. Jack'll be back at his post in a few weeks probably. I kinda blipped back on my own since I nearly walked in on them making out again. So it was a good trip." He smiled and turned. "Like I didn't feel you come in."
The Doctor held up Armand. "You forgot your sacred egg."
"No, I figured he was still trying to figure out if Jack was a hermaphrodite or not."
"He was." He smirked. "Bracelet."
"Hell no." He smirked back. "Because I'll do it magically instead." The doctor huffed. Xander stared, smiling still. "I love you like family. Unfortunately even Rose could think up situations where I'd need it."
"She wasn't that bad," he sighed.
"She decided she was queen of the universe until I showed her one of my ex boyfriends."
"Well, yes, but she got tolerable after that."
"Yeah, which was nice. You two made a good couple." He stared him down. "It sucks, Doc. I agree. Not like I'm not looking at the same thing. You can get something. Others do travel."
"You're awfully nosy," he complained.
"Yes, and *who* taught me that?"
"I did it frightfully well I think."
"Quite," he replied in kind, making the doctor smile. "Anyway." He put down the dragon. "I left Jack a note saying he could have his back when I got mine back."
"I have your other one, not him."
"Prove it." The doctor patted himself down. Xander smiled. "Jack's every bit the survivor we all are, Doc. Survival comes with hoarding things that you'll need. In my life I need weapons and ways of escape thanks to the former lovers. And now books."
"I don't like to encourage you to travel around the universe or the time line."
"I'm dealing with ascended," he complained.
The doctor grimaced. "How annoying."
"Exactly! By the way, Atlantis is very pretty."
"I haven't been there in years." He smiled. "Where is it now?"
"Hmm. I might stop in."
"If you do, you'll probably blow the head scientist's mind. They're part of the same project. The wraith are there."
"I bloody hated that experiment!" he complained.
"How do you think I feel since the brother of my former boyfriend made them."
"At least that one hasn't shown up to threaten anyone to get you back."
"Really?" He grimaced. "How is his new incarnation?"
"Not my type. Too gym rat. He wanted to take over the base."
"Ah. Well, the gou'ald are like that as a species."
"Yeah, which is why I'm here. Then, maybe, I'll find someone who might understand a little bit," he said quietly.
The doctor nodded. "Before you build your own Tardis. It's unfair mine listens to you."
"She likes me and Jack and Donna."
"Well, if I could..." He sighed. "I told you she had problems, right? Soaked part of me up?"
"Yeah. Which is why I haven't visited her. I did see Jackie recently." He smiled at that. "She wanted me to spank you or pinch you on the ass."
"I would've swatted you if you had."
Xander moved closer. "You need Jack," he said quietly. "He gets you, the more philosophical sides, and all that, more than anyone else could. Including the times you lose your temper and have to act. He's had a few of those." He stared at him. "He needs you just as much. He's forgotten how to *live*. The same as you have."
"Like you have?"
"I'm picking my reasons but I realize what I'm missing. Remember, I'm common sense man."
"Yes, you usually are." He sighed. "I still don't like letting either of you travel."
"You'd rather I be stuck in something that could kill everyone?"
"No," he admitted. "I don't. With you that's almost certain I know." He scowled at him. "You don't need two."
"Well, yes. I suppose." Xander gave him a hug and he relaxed, hugging him back. "You're still pushy."
"You taught me well, Obi Wan."
The doctor popped him on the head. "I hate that movie. Anakin was a little snot." Xander beamed at him. "Fine. For now I will leave you both able to travel. Make me correct something and I'll ground you both somewhere nasty."
"Nastier than the planet with the sludge geysers?"
"Well, no. I can't do that to anyone." Xander grinned. "Fine. Give me Jack's band." Xander gave it to him. He gave him back his other one. "I took out the power crystal." Xander dug it out of his pocket and held it up. "Figures. Rose did teach you how to pickpocket," he complained.
"It helped me get that poison from the guy who was going to kill you. Again."
"Good point." Xander kissed him, making him smile. "No, I'm not mad at you. Peeved slightly but I realize I turned you this manipulative now and then."
"Slightly. That and being surrounded by girls."
"Probably. What is with that younger sister of hers?"
"Oh, shite," he muttered. "Why?"
"It was handled. Her host is gone."
"I sicced my master's coven on her to mentor her and enforce a shield."
"Excellent work, padawan." Xander grinned at that. "Fine, you're both right, but I have no idea what I need in a new companion."
"I'd offer you Doctor Carter. She's a physicist."
"No, I don't believe she'd probably enjoy it."
"Doctor McKay would love you forever and ever if you took him somewhere to learn a safer power source than a zero point module."
"I can't believe those stupid Lanteans used those dangerous things," he complained.
"I'm trying but unless I take Rodney with me back to Josele I can't help that much. I don't know science stuff."
"I dare say not," the Doctor said firmly. "That's outside human evolution."
"Yeah and I went there by accident, trying to get back to this time zone with Jack's band. At least mine's precise."
"How on earth?"
"I visited all six," he defended. "I learned a shitload, even if I didn't really like Josele most of the time." He brushed his hair back.
"You need a haircut."
"I know. I'll do it soon. I don't know but you need someone fun, who wants to learn. Someone that needs to explore to have that fun. The only one I know right off the top of my head is my team leader though." The Doctor gave him a look. "Sir...."
"Is this going to be a long term thing?" he asked.
"No, he can probably come back within a few months."
"Then I'd leave it up to him." He had him summoned.
Xander waved him in. "C'mere. This is...."
"You're a myth," Kissen said, staring at him in awe.
"No, if I am it's his fault," he said with a nod at Xander. "I keep having to rescue him from his lovers."
"I've seen a few of those." He glared at Xander. "Don't date."
"Shut up," he complained. "I'm not spending the rest of my very long life alone."
The Doctor stared at him. "You figured out what happened to you and Jack both. I thought I knew but you knew I was wrong somehow."
"Yeah, I do. It's an energy warping. Otherwise Rose would be immortal too."
"Oh," he said flatly.
Xander smiled. "Remember Baxter?"
"Quite. Very nice chap. Bit too furry for my tastes though."
"Remember the thing in Baxter's people's temple that they were fighting over?"
"Yes." His face lit up. "Jack touched it later. Baxter had you hiding it."
"It's basically like a contained hellmouth in energy. All in a little ball the size of your fist."
"That's why none of the priests could touch it," he realized. Xander nodded. "So you're...."
"Really need to find out why I draw bad girls and guys. Yeah. Anyway, Kissen, he's bored. He and I get into a lot of quibbles."
"You made me eat slugs."
"They were good slugs," Xander reminded him.
"And it's something you hadn't done before, right?"
"Then why are you complaining about it still?"
"They were coffee flavored *slugs*."
"You had me eating frog parts."
"Good point. They were good." He smirked. "How do you feel about Barcelona?"
"I loved the city but I've only been there on a layover to the Middle East, Doctor."
"He's also a *huge* history buff," Xander said. "He's slightly scientific, has my caffeine habit so you have an excuse to pick up Grootz berries and drop me off some? Please?" The doctor smirked but nodded. "And I think you two will get along great. He and I do."
"I can't see as it'd hurt," he said, looking at him. "You're probably needed to keep him sane."
"He has Jon O'Neill."
"I know that name from somewhere."
"You probably know Jack's name," Xander said dryly. "Since you knew about Daniel."
"Oh, him, yes. Well...." Kissen smirked. "You even look like him. I did have fun with him. He made me do all sorts of odd things. I should warn you about games of hide and seek in native marketplaces." He walked him off. "No blipping, Xander, unless necessary."
"Yes, Doc. Want me to give Jack his bracelet back?"
"Please." He tossed it to him. "Do you have the spare sonic screwdriver?"
"I have two of them downstairs."
"Never mind. You hoard some of the strangest things."
"We disable most of them and lock them in a very secure vault," Landry assured him, getting a happy smile back.
"That's probably wise. Do watch out for what wants to date him. The more they covet the worse they are." He and Kissen disappeared.
Xander looked at the General. "Permission?"
"Go. Come back by in the morning."
"Sure. Armand, wanna go see Jack and his snuggly?" He purred, hopping over to sit on his shoulder. Xander disappeared, reappearing in the hub. "Well, this is very industrial and grungy. I would've at least expected paint."
Jack's head slowly came up. "What're you doing here?" He came out of his office to stare at him.
Xander smiled. "I came to hit on Owen in person." He held up the bracelet. "He's traveling with my team leader."
"You said good things about Kissen." He came down to get the wristband. "He still have yours?"
"Hell no." He smirked. "Mine's *accurate*."
"Mine is if you know how to use it."
"All yours needed was a jumper wire and he couldn't undo it." He stared. "He said he'll paddle us both if we screw something up."
"That's fine. You coming for an apocalypse?"
"Damn I hope not. I'm dealing with Lanteans."
Jack reached up to scratch the dragon's head. "Poor baby. An ex?"
"Yeah. And some of them made psycho experiments like the wraith."
"I've been asked o take someone back to Dragas."
Jack stared at him. "How did *my* band get you back that far?"
"I don't know, I was aiming for about 2001."
"Shit, kid. You really do have bad luck."
"Sometimes." He heard a squawk and a flap of wings. "Don't even think about it, bird. He'll change and bite you back." He looked at Jack again. "I pointed out he wasn't actually alone and he did have someone who understood how lonely being over a hundred was sometimes. So he'll come back sometime. Probably just snatch you off the street during the middle of something."
"How do you know this?"
"Ah. I'll look forward to it," he offered with a smile. "You're still a bastard."
"Probably literally. Not like my mother would've realized." Jack snorted at that, shaking his head. "Anyway." He smirked at the men watching him. "Ah, hotness." He smirked at them.
"He said you're much too wild for me," Ianto said.
Xander snickered. "Sure I am." He looked at Jack. He decided to put it into code. "If and when it does happen that you have to make the most painful choice ever, call. You know you only have to call," he said quietly in a language he knew the boys didn't know. It hadn't been invented yet.
Jack nodded. "Thanks for the warning, kid."
"No one should have to go through what I did with Majera."
Jack shuddered. "I'll call. Or send."
"That'll work too." He kissed him on the cheek then looked at Owen. "Can I steal that one? He'd be much nicer when he poked me than the docs on base. Cuter too."
"No, you can't steal my staff," he complained, giving Xander a shove to the head. "Behave. Go home."
"Martha's coming over later." Xander leered. "I don't want to hear it."
"Fine. Spoil sport. You know where I am, translating away and running off ex's."
"Which one did you run into *there*?"
"I remember hearing about him."
"Now we have Priors."
"Ori?" he mouthed. Xander nodded. "I'm damn sorry."
"Ehh, the other place I could be has wraith and replicators. I'm about to take a sobvernt to them. It'd be *so* much easier."
"Yeah, probably. Too bad that's future tech."
"They're on the city."
"Really?" He hummed. "Then it might not get you in trouble."
"They know. They asked to do a memory review and ignored all of yours."
"Thanks for that."
"You know, if I hadn't been possessed by your spectral image stored in that thing, I wouldn't have loosened up enough to learn anything on Dragas."
"Probably from what I've heard about them," he agreed with a smirk. "Or date Baxter."
"Speaking of, remember the Conedal?"
"Yeah, the little ball."
"It's a hellmouth compressed."
Jack considered that. "But... That's what warped your energy signature.... Oh, that's what did it!" he shouted.
"Yeah. I told the doc and he pouted a bit." He shrugged. "If it was what he thought, Rose would be too."
"That would suck for her, stuck in another realm."
"Yeah, it might. Anyway...." He looked Owen over again.
"I'm only for fun, not for stealing."
"There is a great, long tradition of stealing the best mates," he said smoothly, moving closer. "Taking them back to your clan so they can have the best of the best to help them prosper and grow." Own growled. Xander smiled. "I like that." He shifted closer. Armand sniffed him and leapt over to Jack's head. "Sure, he can dragon sit for a few hours or so. I know a beach where all you can see are waves and the sand is soft enough to sleep on. I have a small cabin there." Owen moaned. "Is that a yes, I'll let you make me scream your name?" he purred. He took Owen with him. He was *definitely* his sort of man.
"The kid needs smoother moves," Jack told Ianto.
"If someone purred at me like that, I might take them up on the offer too," he said dryly. Armand leaned down, purring at him. He smiled. "You're adorable but a bit too tiny for my tastes." He petted him gently. The dragon continued to purr. Jack moved closer so he wouldn't have to reach. "How long are we dragon sitting?"
"Probably not too long since he took him out of time I think." He took a kiss. "You look very staid today."
"It's new." The dragon walked over and let Ianto hold him, cooing at him. "You are very friendly and adoring. The boy must love you." He petted him gently. Jack was growling. He smiled at the beast. "Come on, we'll make him something to settle his stomach."
"I have what I need to settle my stomach." Jack caught him and walked him off to his office, closing the blinds. The dragon waddled out a bit later and went to talk to their pterodactyl. They were distantly related. Jack got his fill of his ...stomach medicine. Ianto looked a lot less proper afterward, which just made him hotter. Maybe the little bastard was right. Giving this up so he wouldn't hurt again would rob him of Ianto. He didn't want to lose him to someone like Xander.
Jon looked at his watch then at the general. "I can't believe Harris is off base, much less late."
"He went to return something earlier."
Xander appeared in a sparkle of light. "Sorry. Forgot what time it was. Had to return Owen." He sat down, putting his bracelet into his pocket. He smiled at Jon. "Kissen is talking and traveling with my old friend."
"The one in the picture?"
"He was lonely," he said quietly.
"I can kinda understand that. So.... how long?"
"Probably within the month."
"That's fine, I can handle this team." Tilla moaned at that. "Not like I don't have all my memories."
"We'll be SG-1, the return," she complained.
Xander smirked. "Not quite. I'm not exactly Daniel. We maybe SG-1 the party years some trips though."
She snorted. "Yeah, that's not going to happen, Xander."
"Oh, come on, you know you *love* meeting some of my ex's."
"No, please no more ex's," she moaned. "Pretty please?"
"Fine." He smirked at Cameron since he was at the end of the table.
"I take it Owen was good?" he asked dryly.
"Very, and gave killer backrubs when you could bribe him into it." He beamed. "I needed one."
The general coughed. "Talk about that in your office, Harris, not at a debriefing. You are going on the training run to an ally who has some technology but not a lot."
"Gotcha, no making them superior weapons," Xander said.
"Please don't and anything you make is now our property, Harris," Landry said. "Coffee's in the corner." Xander got up to get some. "Thank you. Next time dose yourself before you show back up."
"Yes, sir." His phone beeped so he looked at it. "Huh."
Cam stole it to look at the message. "Next time don't leave him so limp and begging right before work. I need him able to pounce on my command, not yours," he said dryly. "Does this one want to destroy the earth?"
"He works in Torchwood."
"Never mind." He tossed it back. "That poor guy."
"Owen's very snarky." He beamed. "I like him."
"Enough," Landry sighed. "This is an off-topic that should not be mentioned in my presence."
Xander shrugged. "Jack knew I was bi. I pointed that out heavily when they showed up for me."
"Daniel said that," Cam agreed. Landry moaned. "Okay, back on topic. These people are a bit above the Genii in tech. They're about as socially retarded as the Genii too."
"Lacking women's rights?"
"Grew out of a dark ages society so yeah."
"That's fine," Xander agreed. "Are we expecting trouble?"
"We hope not. We're going to warn them about the Ori's newest threat being in their section of space. They know there's other planets with life. We get along very well with them usually."
Xander nodded, sipping his coffee. "Okay, so we go, warn them, check on things to see if we need to update the trade agreements." Everyone nodded. "What'm I doing?" He finished his coffee.
"Looking cute so no one tries anything," Jon ordered firmly. "If they come for you, let us know. We know they have a few women who have questionable morals."
"Sure. I can play bait." He smirked. "I'm very good at it."
"I realize that, kid. Get your gear. No ray gun."
"Shoot," Cam muttered.
Xander stuck his tongue out. "I never go anywhere without enough weapons, Jon. You should know that by now." He went down to get his pack. Armand followed. He got himself geared up and came back drinking a can of soda. Jon stared at him. "What?" he asked between gulps. He finished it and tossed it in the recycling can they had in the gateroom for last minute gulping before crossing the gateway.
"Was it that bad?"
"No, it was very good. Such a nice, hot, smartass in a leather jacket." He moaned and shook himself. "He said I could visit sometimes." He grinned. "Shall we?" he asked when the gate whooshed to life.
"Let's go, campers," Jon agreed, putting on his sunglasses.
"Have you been watching CSI: Miami again?" Xander quipped.
"Yup, sure have. Got bored waiting on your exhausted ass."
"It's not that tired. Just like after a good workout." They walked through the gate and came out the other side. "Hi," he said with a smile.
Jon looked around. Mitchell came out after him. "Normal?"
"No. What's wrong? Is there something we can help with?"
"There's a sickness," the old man in front of the group said. "It is not safe."
Xander stepped forward. "I'm a pretty decent field medic. Let me look at it and we can send for a healer?" he asked Jon, who nodded they could do that. Mitchell sent that back too. "Lead me to the sick." The old man smiled and led him off. He walked into the building a few minutes later, walking over to one that was getting a face sponging. "Let me," he offered quietly. She flinched. "I'm a medic, they're sending for a healer." He moved her gently aside, squatting down. "Aww, I know what this is." He patted him on the head. "You need to keep them out of the light," he told them. "If the sores pop around their eyes they can be blinded." They nodded at that. He clicked his earpiece. "Jon, me. Tell them it looks like measles."
"We have had such before but these look different," the woman sponging said.
"There's a few different types of measles. Who was the first case and what did they run into?" She pointed and he went to look. He got a sponge to clean off his face. "You need to boil the rags after they've been used a single time. The puss spreads from it to another one."
"That would be why they got sick after starting to get better," the old man said.
"Probably," Xander agreed. His earpiece came on with a report from Mitchell. "That's fine. Tell her she might need some clean cloths for sponge baths. They're reusing right now. It looks just like it. Sure, I can do that. One of the team leaders asked me to take pictures for the healers." They nodded so he did that. He sent it back. "There, Cam." He listened. "That's wonderful. Yeah, we can do that." He hung up. "Do we have anything like an antiseptic to add to the water? Or even a really strong liquor? Something you would clean infections with?" They shook their heads.
"Cam, no alcohol available." He dug into his medical kit, coming out with something. "Ah." He held up his bottle. He shook it. "This will numb it," he told them and the patient. "It's got a lot of alcohol in it to clean wounds as well. I use it in the field for scratches." He put some on a cotton ball and dabbed it on the sores he could see. One burst but thankfully he had put on gloves. He smiled. "It'll be okay. We'll help. There's a doctor coming." He cleaned up the mess and moved to the next one to help there.
Doctor Lam came in a half hour later. "Xander?"
"I saw that." She came over. "Ambesol?"
"Seventy percent rubbing alcohol and it numbs it so it won't itch. I don't have any calamine."
"Then that's logical." She settled in to treat them. "This is really bad."
"That's what I was thinking. I'm wondering if something's not egging it on." She looked at him. "They said it looks different than their last outbreak," he said quietly.
"It's probably a different strain. Did any visitors come through the ring in two weeks before the first one got sick?"
"No," the old man said. "None for months. We have these epidemics every few years. The fevers start and we set guards on the ring to warn any travelers."
"That's very wise," she agreed.
Xander felt someone's forehead with his wrist. "The fevers aren't so high thankfully, just the pustules."
"I'm going to send some back to be tested, make sure it's measles and not something unexpected," she said. They both nodded at that. "Here," she said when her team came in. "One of you get this back to the lab."
"I will," Xander promised. "I'll be back in about a half hour, let me tell them," he offered the natives.
"All help is appreciated. This is most of our village."
Xander nodded. "We'll do what we can to help." He took the swabs and left them there. He ran into Cam on the trail. "Most of their village is sick."
"One just collapsed."
"I'll take him, get those back to the lab for the docs?"
"I can do that." He let the two soldiers hand the guy to Xander to help him back there. He took it back and sent it through the gate. A while later a paper was delivered. "Shit." He jogged back to the village. "Doc!" She came out. He handed it over.
"That's not good. Figure it out, Mitchell." She went inside, handing it to Xander.
He stared at it. "The Ori?"
"We had one of them visit us almost a month ago," the old man said. "You know of them? They claim they can do miracles."
"They kill people, whole cities, who don't convert," Xander told him simply. "They're false Gods and they're not good people."
He nodded. "We did not believe. They said the ones who converted would be saved. I was sick when I was young so I did not get it because I know I did not convert."
Xander shook his head. "No, they did this so they had something to heal to prove their points." The old man nodded, leaving the building. He looked at the docs. Who all nodded he was right to tell them. He got back to work on his current patient. "What if we released them and gathered the puss on things we can burn?" he asked.
"They'll scar," Doctor Lam told him.
"Better that than having them burst and get into their eyes."
"I'd leave that up to the patient," she said. "No pins."
"I know. No pressure, no pins." He looked at the very pustule ridden one he had. "Up to you."
"Please. I ache and itch."
"I understand." He got to work releasing some of them for him, especially on his face. "When I was younger, we have a disease called chicken pox. It's a lot like this one only you usually get less sores. They're kind of yellowish. They itch *so* much," he told him with a smile. "I had to have mittens tapped over my hands. My parents complained for *days* when they had to take care of it. Eventually one of my friends came to check on me because I hadn't been in school for a few days. They got their parent to come take care of me instead since mine had no idea what to do. She was so good to me. She made me all sorts of soup to drink. She gave me this really nice pink stuff to put on them so they quit itching." He moved the hand away. "Don't scratch."
"Do you have any of this pink medicine?" The doctor tossed over a bottle and a bag of cotton balls. "That is very pink."
"It is but it helps a lot. Also, oatmeal baths. Putting some in the water can soak the puss out and help the itching. You can even use it to wash your hair." He covered the ones he wasn't releasing. The man moaned and shifted but he was happier. Xander got one on the buttcheek that was bothering him and he sighed in pleasure. "I know. Laying for so long sucks. You feel weaker instead of stronger, even when you're getting better." He covered that with the antiseptic cream. "Doc, I have a bed sore starting." She came over to look, pulling out another tube of cream to put on it. "Thanks."
"Welcome." She smiled. "They have to move off their backsides sometimes or they get sores like the people who are bedridden."
The nurse nodded. "I know of such. I have tried."
"It's okay. I'm not criticizing. Just telling you so you know in the future." She smiled and relaxed at that. "Come help." She came to help, learning how to put on the pink liquid and how to gently ease the pustules open if they wanted to.
Xander touched his earpiece. "Shit. Incoming Ori Prior." The docs all groaned. He took off his gloves. The rest of the team had hidden so they wouldn't get into a fight with him. They didn't have the sort of ordinance they'd need to take out a prior. "You guys stay in here." He got up and walked out, leaving his tactical vest and main gun in there with the head doc. It'd make him look less threatening. The prior stared at him when he came into view. "This village has a sickness. You must leave before you are infected."
"Who are you to tell me what to do?" he demanded.
"I'm a field medic. I'm treating these people. Measles sucks that way." The prior sneered and raised his staff. Xander shot it with his backup gun. "I said go. Before you spread the sickness to others."
"The faithful do not get sick."
"Neither do those of us who got the vaccination." He stepped closer. "You are not welcome here."
"They will burn!" he shouted. He raised his slightly warped staff. Xander snorted and took it from him, breaking it and tossing it aside. "How dare you! Heathen!"
Xander yawned. "You're so fucking boring." He poked the guy in the chest. "I am Xander, also know as Tias Diamalan." The man flinched at that name. "I have seen what you and yours do to your converts. The ascended should not accept the Ori." The prior backed up again at a new poke. "You were wrong to sicken these people and I will make sure it does not happen again. Even if I have to pull up something that will destroy the Ori for this. Leave this village and never come back." The prior took another step back.
"I'm waiting," he sneered. The prior roared and tried to rush him. Xander pulled up a weapon and shot him. "I'm feeling merciful so you can bring a message back to your supposed powers. Tell them those of us who know what is truly right have decided to enter this battle. To keep themselves within their borders. It will not be pretty if there is a war. I did learn *much* from my travels." The man gripped his leg, nearly crying. "Those who know the truth would not be expecting a true priest to be hurt that way. Now, leave. Before you offend me and I hand you to something to own you." He got up and limped off. Xander stared. "Tree fucker," he muttered.
"Xander," Doctor Lam said. "What did you call yourself?"
"A name I earned when I was traveling, Doc." He took his vest back and put it on. The prior saw him doing it and whimpered. "I said go!" he shouted. "Before you piss me off some more!" He limped faster. He took his gun back and holstered it, going back in there to help out some more. "Sorry, prior's are fucking morons sometimes. Oops, kids, don't swear like me. It's bad to swear unless you're a warrior and old enough to have earned that right." A few giggled weakly. He got them some water. "Is someone feeding them?"
"We have not had enough energy," the nurse said. "We have given water and what we could."
"I can cook, kinda," Tilla said as she walked in. "You shot him in the thigh?"
"Yeah. I used a name I earned when I was blipped too. He wasn't happy to hear it was me. Can you make broth or soup?"
"I can do that."
"Boil the water," Doctor Lam reminded her.
"We have water stores, doc, just in case that's where it came from." She went out to the town square. She saw a curious people coming up the street. "Halt, the people of this village are ill." They stopped and stared. "We're taking care of them. They have a disease with spots and high fevers."
One stepped forward. "Our village has had the same but many got better faster," he said. "Can we help?"
"We're lending our doctors to them. They might use the help. Otherwise, I'm making them soup." The others went to gather things for her to use. The guys brought her some firewood and one found a huge kettle to cook in. That'd work.
Xander came out of the building and stretched later that night. "Ow." He winced, stretching side to side. He had spent hours squatted down. Doctor Lam smiled at him. "They'll be okay I think."
"They should. The ones that came in to help were warned."
Xander nodded. "What about others around here?"
"Cam's called to tell them I'm sure so they can be warned. So, what was he scared of?"
Xander smiled. "Doc, I fought in many wars when I was gone and I was all over history," he said quietly. "Pre Furling to the future."
"What did it mean?"
"Warrior King." He grinned. "I do lead impressively when necessary."
"But you're tired."
"I am. Which is why I have Jon and them." He beamed at Tilla. "Right?"
"Yes it is." She handed them some soup. "They sent up some ramen noodles to add to it for the later dosings so they get more carbs for energy."
"That'll help," she agreed. She sipped. "Nice job, Major."
"Thank you, Doctor Lam."
Xander gave her a one-armed hug. "You spoil me with real food." He walked off drinking. "Bunk area?"
"Main Council building, Xander." He nodded, going that way to clean up and sleep. "He really is a goofy kid most of the time," she said quietly.
"I realize that. If he has to go into warrior mode, I'm doubting the enemy won't be begging for mercy." She finished her soup and handed back the cup. "Thank you. Let me bunk down. We have a second shift set up." She nodded. Doctor Lam went in to get the local nurse. "You have to rest too. Come on. Let my people handle it for a few hours. Eat and rest." She nodded, going to get something to eat and bathe, then sleep. Doctor Lam found a bedroll saved for her. She laid down, crashing within seconds.
Jon woke Xander up when he had a nightmare, staring at him. "This rep comes from where?" he asked quietly. Xander groaned and got up, taking him outside. "Just a general time frame might help."
"Back when the Ancients were around, and wanting to live, there was a fairly heavy war. There was a precursor to the Ori culture." Jon nodded at that. "They wanted the technology the Lanteans had."
"Okay. So Merlin and all them were attacked?"
"Not just them. The ones on Atlantis too. They really wanted the city. Called it a holy city. I had just been blipped in, was injured in fact, and was being healed off the city by Janus and a few others who wanted to know what had happened to bring me out of time." He stretched then lifted up his shirt, showing a scar. "I showed up with that; it was highly infected and nearly punctured my stomach."
"It looks painful."
"It was." He put his shirt back down, tucking it in. "I won't lie. I did take up with one of them. When they got attacked, I helped. That name comes from the other people's culture. During a battle I noticed they had some slave warriors. Basically chained together and handed short swords." Jon shuddered. "I pointed this out to my lover of the time. He said they didn't have time to worry about that. So that night, I snuck off, freed them, and got them into the battle as real warriors. I led their force of newly freed slaves against them. Half of them couldn't fight but they really hated them and would help anyone who would help them get free. They were just as brutal back then. In the original Book of Origins it talks about the fight being when the Ori were formed and forged into what they later became."
"I've heard that," he admitted. "Nothing in detail though."
"It's taken out of most of the modern ones from what we've heard from their people," Cam said as he joined them. "That was you?"
"That was them. I was arm chair generaling. I told them how to sneak, how to break people out. They freed the rest of the conscripted slaves from the other side. Even if they weren't their people, they agreed to fight together then. When the lines finally broke and ran, they captured a ship and crew. They made them take them back home to free the rest of their people. The Ori fought against them for years before finally subduing and wiping them out."
Jon nodded. "Okay, that explains why he looked like he was ready to piss himself."
"I broke his staff."
"That's nearly impossible to do," Cam said.
"Um, Cam, I am Mr. Impossible sometimes," he said dryly. "And I do have magic. I sucked it out of the staff. It wasn't that hard. They're all low level, barely floating and things."
"Good to know. I want a full report on that war once we leave here."
Xander nodded. "Okay. I can pull up my journal from back then. He's one boyfriend I haven't run into. I almost expected it when I was Atlantis but apparently he was being peeved at me somewhere else. Needless to say, we broke up because I did what was best to drive those people off, not to help the city defend itself. They were fairly big assholes sometimes about their superiority. Called me a barbarian a few times until I pulled out something from far beyond their range of tech. Then scared the crap out of them with magic. Which I'm pretty sure is why the city kept sniffing me with that little probe that came out."
"I noticed each time you did something with your gifts it came out," Jon agreed. "So, they hated you for that?"
"I think they were disappointed that someone like me couldn't see the inherent good. I also think that my boyfriend took some blood samples and I spent some time knocked silly somewhere fairly white. So I'm not sure if they didn't do a full scan on me at the very least."
Jon considered it, looking at Cam. "I want to see that journal. Just us and Landry. It could help."
"It wasn't the Ori then."
"No but the original Ori were ascended during that battle?"
"I think one did. I think the rest just formed their desire to do the same. Then again, I can't see why anyone would want to spend eternity floating around, watching things, going 'I'd do that differently'."
"Daniel said he got to watch a lot of things happen," Jon offered.
"Which is boring. You have to watch, not interact, not talk to people, not dance, sing, play, laugh, any of it. What's the point of it? It's not life. It's a version of hell."
"Maybe that's why some of them started religions," Cam said.
"To amuse themselves? Maybe." Xander shrugged. "Doc and I agreed on that point. They have to be bored."
"I can see that very easily," he agreed. "You okay?"
"You were having nightmares," Cam said quietly.
"I always have nightmares, Cam. Since I was sixteen there's never been a night I haven't had nightmares."
"I get that." He patted him on the arm, seeing him wince. "What happened to that?"
"Buffy hit me on it that day I blipped to see her after getting back from Atlantis. Cracked it a bit and it got strained today."
"You didn't get it checked?" Jon asked.
"Why? It didn't need a cast. I could comfortably do my pack or fire if I needed to. I have kept away from sparring. I took reasonable precautions."
"What if I had needed you to use it?" Jon asked.
"Then I would have and went 'ow' all night."
"You really do need to quit doing that," Jon told him. "You have to take care of yourself for your team, kid."
"Jon, I'm older than you."
"I've got over seven hundred years, Jon. Yeah I am."
"Okay, that's a point. It's sad you never learned what a team was during that time though." He walked him off to talk to him about that stuff. He knew the kid wasn't used to the concept of more than friends and being there beyond what you'd do for anyone in your unit. SG teams were closer and he had to get that.
Cam smiled at their backs. "I knew they'd fit." He went to check on the docs. "Need anything?" he asked quietly when he caught one outside having a smoke.
"No, not yet. You okay?"
"Fine. We woke up to ask Harris how he had made him run."
"He broke his staff and scared the crap out of him. He does it to many Marines on the base," he said dryly. "Half of them think he's one of the Ancients that descended."
"No, and he called their existence boring."
He shook his head. "I can see that but it's a bad indicator."
"He had a few temporal trips."
"I know that but they still think he's one of them."
"He wasn't on Atlantis before that trip."
"That's going to ease that. I'll let that be spread around." He finished up and went back inside.
Cam checked the rest of the town. He had to think about Harris and what he went through. The boy clearly needed someone who could get into his head and calm him down. He doubted anyone on his team would do but someone had to ease that pain he had been carrying around for way too long. Five years or seven hundred and twenty-one years was too long.
Xander walked away from the group, going to his office to grab something. He walked back into the debriefing, handing the General his journal. "Mitchell said to give that to you, General."
"What is it?"
"The Lantean/Cervana war." The general stiffened, staring at him. He shrugged. "Accident, injured. Never been in the city before."
"I can understand that. There's a few accounts of that told in stories and myths."
"Yeah." He smiled. "I know." The general snorted, putting it aside. Xander sat down in the free seat. "Did we find out how they dosed the people?" he asked the scientists.
"Yes, it was put into the water," his team geek Fischer said. "We were able to use a filter to get it out of there. We taught them how to run it and it's helping a lot. The filter runs on solar power, we taught them how to clean the filters every few weeks so they won't have to replace it, and we can check on it whenever we go up to do trade visits."
"Excellent," the general praised. "How are their people, Doctor Lam?"
"They'll heal. This generation will have a lot of scars but their children should gain a natural immunity. Anyone that was pregnant did miscarry because of the measles. You see that on earth too, that's why they get the measles booster." He nodded at that. "Most of the sick ones lived. They lost maybe ten percent of that village. Others that had already caught it fared slightly worse. I'm fairly certain it was engineered to be bad, but not totally fatal to prove the Ori's point."
"Probably," he agreed. "We've heard rumors from the teams going to warn the others around that planet." She grimaced but nodded slightly. "Other than that, anything else I should hear?"
"Did you already hear that Harris shot a prior?" Jon asked.
"I did and I commend him for it." Xander shrugged slightly, looking at his hands. "Maybe they'll be scared of what's in there?"
"The way they recorded it I was like a version of Satan and a boogey man against them stepping out of line. I freed people from the earlier righteous path, which led to the Ori finding the truth path. I know one of their seers wrote that when the battle reappears with ones of our skill, the Ori were going to have to change again. They didn't like it but it's in one of the versions of the Book."
"I had someone look that up for me," General Landry said. "You're right, it does. It doesn't mention you by name."
"No, it calls for warrior kings to reappear." He looked at Cam. "I heard something about Excalibur?"
"Wouldn't that make you a technical king?"
"Yes it does and I am a hell of a warrior. Plus O'Neill." Jon smirked at that. "So you're saying we can capitalize on that."
"Yeah," Xander agreed. "If you pulled it, you're basically the heir to Camelot. Now, if their people agree, I have no idea."
"One hinted that we warriors were just as strong as before," Sam Carter said. "Did you know them?"
"No, I knew Asha."
"Oh, him." She shivered. "I found his works in the database when I was on Atlantis."
"How far beyond a scan did they go?"
"I didn't realize that was you. Appeared in a flash of light, a serious injury infecting your mind. A lost traveler who had compassion beyond what they thought was necessary."
"I freed the slaves they had chained together in battle. Did he mope too? I know a few others have."
"Yup," she said dryly. Landry moaned. "He said he created a probe to catch whatever you could do so if you found the city they could figure it out. That it might be helpful."
"Yeah, it came out to sniff me a few times," Xander admitted.
"Wonderful." She smiled. "That ball in your office started to beep and the spell started to feel wrong from your doorway so we removed it."
"I fixed that when I was in there. Thank you."
"Welcome. Why didn't you give me those books?"
"Their funny math drove you mad?" he guessed.
"Not those. The other one Rodney said he found in your office."
"Blue and green?"
"I'll have to check." He shrugged. "And ask him. "When was he in my office?"
"He's the one who found the ball beeping and tossed it into the hallway. I have no idea how or why he was back."
"Huh. Okay." That raised an interesting question about whether or not he had taken McKay somewhere. Apparently he had. He looked at the general, who looked confused. "Some geeks show up in the damndest of places, sir. I prove that rule."
"Yes you do," he agreed dryly, shaking the thought off. "Anything else of note I should hear?"
"The locals have gathered a planet-wide council to talk about how to handle it if a prior shows up again," Cam told him. "We told them how to defeat one. About the shields some can pull up. About Adria in case she shows up."
"Wonderful. Good work. Doctor, you made sure no one might be contagious? Including the dragon?"
"I didn't scan him but the rest of us aren't, General. I'll do him in a minute."
"That's fine. Dismissed. Downtime today." They left. Xander let her take Armand. He could waddle back when she was done with him. He settled in to read that journal. It wasn't a happy time, though the boy seemed to be happy yet frustrated with his boyfriend of the time. Why was it all his male lovers wanted him back and moped but his female ones were evil?
Xander came back from his latest mission and flopped down on the end of the ramp, looking at the general. "Can I have a vacation on that beach and translate there for a while?"
"Why? Sick of us already?" he asked dryly.
"No. Though I'm going to kill the next person who asks me if I'm an ascended being." A few Marines flinched away at that. He looked around the general at them. "I only screwed one, people." He looked at him again. "You'd think that was stranger than an emperor," he said dryly. "No, I really want a vacation from Adria."
"She showed up?" he demanded, staring at him. "You were supposed to be negotiating."
"I heard and saw the beginning of their battle unit. I got the town cleared. A few wanted to stay. I chewed them a new one and told them exactly why they were going to stay with the people. I went back to monitor and they spotted me. I led them away from the town and to an open clearing. I stood there and she propositioned me. I told he she wasn't evil enough to be one of mine and suggested she talk to some of my ex's. She snarled. I cooed and called her a cute, fluffy puppy."
He smirked. "She's not happy. I think she's a bit confused." He stood up with a groan. "She claims I can't be me. So I teleported across the field and shot her battle unit. She shrieked. Wasn't fond of me. Screw her. Well, no, I have taste so I won't." A few guys laughed. "We were staring at each other. She pulled some power bullshit. I pulled some power bullshit. She tried to float me. I called lightening. She glared, I blew a kiss. I think she wants me more now. She threw stones at me too. Which still hurt like a bitch, but then I gallantly picked her up in her leather outfit and tossed her ass in the river up the road a bit. By about a mile. Could still hear the shriek.
"I walked off cackling past where she was climbing out in wet leather. Told her if she wanted a man like me to quit being such a bitch to the normals. Killing those that don't convert only makes her a bully and no one would sleep with them or anything else. Apparently one of the Ori said she should be looking for an heir for when she ascends." He walked around the general. "I'm going for my tylenol stash then I'll go back there to make sure she's gone."
"I'm sending a bigger team," he ordered. "You go to the infirmary."
"I'm fine," he complained.
"That's not the way this military works, Harris. Infirmary, now."
"Fine." He trudged that way. He walked in. "Doc, I need tylenol. Adria got pissy and threw stones at me."
"What?" the doctor on duty demanded. "Adria? The super Ori prophetess or whatever?"
"Yeah, Doc. Bad girl, I'm a Xander..... She got huffy after I nearly fried her because she was trying to be all tough and bitchy." She stared at him, mouth open. "Doc, I didn't know you were the evil woman type," he said dryly, making her hit him on the shoulder. "Ow! I'm already in pain from her and her hissy! Treat me better or I'll ask you out!"
She huffed off to get him some tylenol. Plus what she needed to scan him. "Shirt off, Harris."
"Yes, dear. I keep hearing this from evil girls. Are you sure you're not one?"
"I can make you believe I am," she assured him. She scanned him, finding the bruises.
Daniel walked in, staring at Xander. "You ran into Adria?"
"I managed to get the village cleared in time. She spotted me reconing her group."
"Okay. Then what happened?"
"I led them away from the village so they wouldn't burn it. I shot her battle troupe. I pissed her off in finest Xander fashion. She tried a jedi trick. I pulled from D&D; I called lightening. She threw rocks at me, which is why I'm here. She threw another 'how dare you thwart my will' fit. I threw her ass in a river. Then I came home cackling."
Daniel patted him on the arm. "Good job, Xander." The doctor glared at him. "He kept her off balance and from attacking."
"He did stupid things to make her lose her temper on purpose."
Xander stared at her. "Yeah. Every woman needs to throw a fit sometimes. It helps more than crying does." She huffed off again. He put on his shirt. "So anyway...."
"We're going. You're staying here."
"Landry wants to see you to debrief."
"Yup." He went up there, shaking his head when he saw his team. "Did I screw up again?" he asked.
"No, we want you somewhere safer."
"I'm one of the few that can go head-to-head with her powers."
"That's why I want you to see if anyone on Atlantis can learn, Xander."
"Sure, I can go stare at the sea," he said dryly. "Any other objectives since that'll take about a day?"
"Translate more of the database. Don't piss off their natives. See if you can do something about the replicators."
"Maybe, but it's future tech." Landry stared at him. "You confiscated it."
"Go get it, brief me on what it does, how it does it, and have McKay duplicate it if it works."
"Yes, sir." He went to find it in his special room of pleasure. He waved at the armory master. "I'm taking the pink thing to Atlantis for McKay."
"That's fine. Pet away." He waved a hand and went back to his paperwork. "We did an inventory earlier so it's unlocked."
"Cool beans." He walked in and found the case, checking it over. They had removed a part for safety reasons so he found it and put it back in the case but not installed. He petted the other cases and walked out, kicking the door shut behind him. He made note of what he took then Xander walked it up to the office. "Why can't we just infect one with a trojan worm?"
"Carter couldn't figure out how," Mitchell said dryly.
"Can't we ask Rodney?"
"Go ahead. If he can, Carter might allow him to flirt again," Mitchell shot back.
"Sure. I'll ask." He put the box on the table in there.
The general came over to look it over. "What's it do?"
"Disrupts all computer pathways. Organic and electronic based systems are both vulnerable."
"Can it be used on people?" the general asked.
"No. Non-carbon based lifeforms. Will that work on the replicators?"
"Probably. Permission to take it to Atlantis granted."
"Cool." He smiled. "Are you sure you don't need me to beat her back?"
"No, we got it," Mitchell promised. "You and yours, hit Atlantis. We want you safe so you can kick her ass when we need you too."
"Okay. Tell her I sent a blown kiss." Mitchell smirked. "She's probably still complaining she's wet from being tossed in the river."
"No dragon?" Cam asked, looking around.
Xander opened the door. "Armand! We're going to see Ronon's hair!" he bellowed. His dragon came skidding around a corner and running for him. "Good boy. I knew you wanted to see him." He looked at the general. "Let me pack." He left to do that and came back with a duffle bag and his usual backpack. Armand jumped up to ride on his back. "Sure, you do that and Jon can carry the weapons."
"That'll work," Jon said as he walked in. "Why did you pack half of everything in your office?"
"How long are we going to be up there?" he countered.
"We can do wash."
"Yay." He shrugged. "So can I." Jon just nodded, grabbing the case. "Anything else we're taking, sir?"
"No. Go. Shoo," he said, waving a hand. "Behave. No annoying that galaxy, boys."
"I'm not like that," Jon complained. "Tell Xander!"
"You're both like that and worse than your older self and Jackson," he said dryly. "Both of you behave!" They nodded and let out a sigh as they walked.
"Remember, we gave them Tilla and Fischer for common sense," Mitchell said dryly. Landry laughed, nodding. He gathered his team, walking down to the gate room once they gathered. "Adria showed up to hit on Xander." Carter moaned. "They traded some power shots. He threw her in a river. Let's go see if she's still pissed off." They grabbed extra weapons and headed out. Adria would hopefully be pouting like most of his ex's.
Xander got out of the beaming area, looking up. "Why can't we put a trojan worm into a replicator?" he asked Rodney since he was staring at them.
"We can't crack their programming so one would work."
"Oh. At all?"
"Damn it. Well, I guess the method of last resort is then the disruptor beam that'll work if they're organic or electrical." He pointed at the case. Rodney smirked. Armand had spotted Teyla and hopped down to go greet her.
"Why are you back?" Woolsey asked.
"They didn't want me to bait Adria the next time. Just throw her in a river directly."
Rodney smirked. "You threw her in a river?"
"She was throwing a Buffy 'eww' fit."
"Ah." He came down to take the weapon. "Is it operational?"
"Chip's out but in there."
"Wonderful. Let's get this to the lab," he ordered. "Did you bring anything else?"
"Not yet," Xander admitted. "Where do you need us beyond the database?"
"We'll find you a spot," he promised. "Sheppard's off at a local thing with the Athosians."
"Cool beans." Armand growled and pounced Ronon, making him laugh. "Be nicer," Xander called. He shook his head. "At least he's not belching and puking this time. Same rooms?"
"No. We'll get them soon." The rest of the team followed. "Fischer, check in with Radek. He could use you."
"I can do that," he agreed.
"Me?" Tilla asked.
"I'm sure we'll find a spot for you, the mini General, and Xander outside of his laptop." Xander smirked at him. "What?"
"Sam has an older version of mine."
"That's cruel to taunt me," he sneered.
Xander snickered. "I might have gotten a spare USB keydrive for you."
"Is that all?"
"It holds eighty gigs." Rodney's face lit up. "And I may have brought something else." Ronon went jogging past, the dragon getting tossed to him. "Need help?" he called.
"Okay." They walked into the labs. "Hi, Radek."
Radek spun, staring at them. "You're back?"
"Yeah." He smiled. "For a bit."
He smiled. "Good! I think I have found something I want to teach."
"I'm stupid about classroom teaching, Radek. I can't learn a thing from a lecture."
Radek nodded. "I can work with that."
"Okay, then you can try." He smiled. Jon put the weapon on a clear table. "New toy."
"Wonderful! Sheppard will quit pouting." He came over. "What is it?"
"Power line disruptor for electronic or organic computer systems."
"Ah!" He hugged him and Xander hugged back.
"Please no more flirting," Rodney complained. "If you want him that much, take him on his own time."
"You never give him a day off," Xander quipped back. He looked at Radek, smiling. "You are adorable."
"I'm much too old for you."
"Not hardly. I like my men a bit smartass." He winked. Radek laughed, walking off shaking his head to look at the weapon. Xander opened his duffle, tossing something at Rodney's head, making him catch it. He pulled out another two cases and put them down and another longer box, putting it aside.
"Did you have to pack geek gear?" Jon asked.
"Yes, I'm among the super geek crew. Sam won't play geek games with me and Daniel is too busy because everyone makes him do their work for them."
"We have lazy geeks?" Jon asked.
Fischer nodded. "Yes we do. Where is Kissen?"
"Traveling with an old friend." Rodney stared at him. "I offered to introduce you."
"Damn." He went back to looking it over. He was nearly ready to coo. He might even sleep with Xander if this thing worked.
John strolled in. "You're back again?" he asked dryly.
"Yeah, the General wanted us out of the way since bright boy there threw Adria in a river," Jon said dryly.
"She was throwing a fit! I was having Buffy flashbacks."
Rodney snickered. "I can see you doing that." He held up the gun.
"Oh, that's shiny," John said, staring at it.
"Replicator Be Gone gun," Jon told him. "We think."
"Hell yeah." He took it to hold, looking it over. "Wonderful." He smiled at Xander. "I love your hosting gifts."
"Oh, I brought more. Including something I found in my closet. My ex's paper journal." Rodney spun to stare at him, mouth slightly open. He pointed. "I never made it to the city back then. Sorry."
"You knew an ancient?"
"I knew a few ancients. I was kinda in one of their battles too. That was before they gave up on life and wanted to ascend though. He wasn't that bad in bed."
John held up a hand. "Don't. Please? I'll have thoughts about the Asgard, who don't have sex organs."
"That's a bad decision in my book too," Xander admitted. He genuflected at the boxes with a huge smile. "Rooms? That way Armand can plan his assault on Ronon's hair."
John snickered. "I'm sure he'll appreciate it. Teyla too." He walked them off, finding them rooms. He got them settled and they all headed back to the lab, but Jon, he went to the gym. John met them back there. One of the other linguists were looking over the fragile scrolls. "Xander, let him do it."
"Sure." He moved over to the weapons design station, looking at the thing they were working on. "Wouldn't it make more sense if you...." He turned it upside down. "Since that's the user end and the shooty end?" He looked at them. They groaned. "And wouldn't that be more sensible if they had increased the barrel size since it's too small to fire the size bullet it calls for?" He looked up at them. They slumped. "If you want it to fire .22's you could do it that way."
"No, we need a higher caliber bullet," one sighed. "Why are you back here, Harris?"
He smiled. "I threw a super Ori into a river."
"Ah," they said in unison and nodded.
"I didn't know we were the stargate program's version of the FBI office in Iowa," one said dryly.
Xander glared. "It's not. You know, I could not translate the rest of the database."
"You do that and I'll paddle you myself," Rodney warned.
Xander blinked his big, brown eyes at him. "Promise?"
"Not you! Them! You two morons!" he started, making them sit and sit down to let him yell at them.
Sheppard shook his head. "Xander, can you give him an alternate idea on that?" he asked politely.
"Of course. You guys know I like you. You're a good big brother." He beamed.
"I like you too, kid." He smiled. "Do that and let them do the translating on these scrolls while we play with the new shiny thing. Fischer, help Radek if Rodney wants you to."
"I already told him that."
"Good. Tilla, want gate room duty for a while?"
"Sure, I can do that. Jon?"
"He's in the gym making Marines sorry."
"Better him than me. I hate it when they sob because a woman just kicked their butts."
"Don't make me suggest we let them spar with Buffy," Xander quipped.
"No thanks." She gave Sheppard a look, getting a smirk back. "Have fun, sir." She went to check in and see what they needed her to do. Guarding, geek support, or telemetry.
John whistled, breaking into Rodney's tirade. "Let's test this baby." Xander came over to insert the chip and beamed at him. "Find me something we can blow up, McKay." He lifted it and walked out following him.
Xander smiled at Fischer. "Need help?"
"Nope. It's real science, Xander."
"Okay." He grabbed a pencil to chew on while he looked it over. Then he drew lightly around the plan. One of them made a protesting noise. "I'll retrace it in a minute." They sulked. Xander looked at them. "Got any others before he yells at you again?" They got him a few more and went on break. Xander shrugged, sitting down to work on things.
"What are you doing in the labs?" someone shouted from the doorway. "You're not science corps, Harris!"
"McKay wanted me to look over the weapons design plans," he said without looking up. "They had problems like inaccurate barrel sizes."
"How would you know?" she sneered.
Xander looked at her. "Because with the right stuff, I can build weapons, woman. What's your problem this time?"
"You're not one of us."
"Then take it up with McKay. He's with Sheppard. I can call if you want."
"Just get out of the labs."
"Shut up, I am having headache!" Radek shouted. "I want them here! You, go do something less whiny!" She growled.
Xander kept himself from purring. "Is she an evil girl, Radek?"
"Unfortunately she is only annoying," he said, glaring at her. He had activated his comm. "Go away!"
"He should not be in the lab! He's not a scientist! He didn't even go to college!"
"And yet one of the biggest math stars currently in the magazines is a guy from India who never went to school and couldn't read," Xander said dryly. "Just because teachers make me bored as shit, like you, doesn't mean I didn't learn anything. I learn best by hands-on methods. Doing it instead of being yammered at by people who have no idea that they aren't important to anyone but themselves." She let out a shriek. "Anything else you want to complain about or can you follow the second-in-command's orders to go away?"
"You're not supposed to be in here!" she shrieked. "Get out of my lab!"
Rodney walked behind her, grabbing her by the hair to walk her off. "Let's discuss this," he ordered snidely. "Harris, back to work for my pleasure."
Xander purred. "Oooh, man of snark!" Fischer burst out cackling, shaking his head.
Radek turned off his comm. "It would help his mind and mood much. We would appreciate it if you would." He got back to work, nudging Fischer before he fell onto the floor from the stool and bruised himself. "Back to work before McKay comes back and yells at the rest of us for enjoying that." They smiled and got back to work. Xander just grinned at him. "You especially. The more you please him, the happier he will be with the rest of us."
"Sure, Radek." He got back to work on the plans. He heard a scream of frustration and went to check on them. "Didn't it work?"
"No," John said.
"It was in the armory. Landry made me give the babies over." He looked it over. "Get me a soldering iron?" Rodney went to get one. Xander fixed the broken line and handed it back with a grin. "Slipped wire." John put it back together and fired it. This time it worked. The running motor stopped with a grinding noise. McKay went to look it over.
"It looks like it should work," he said. He tried, it wouldn't restart. Xander walked off happier. "Steal Andrew's files too, Harris. Make me happier than normal."
"I brought chocolate with me."
"I'll mug you later." He went back over the motor. It wouldn't start but he wasn't sure why. He tore the thing apart, finally finding the fault. He beamed. "That'll work."
"Yes. Or possibly on a ship's drive."
John smiled. "Don't make me beg you to add one to a jumper."
"I'm sure I could sell tape of you begging and make a lot of chocolate money," he said dryly.
"Hell, I'll buy you chocolates," he said dryly.
"Then I suppose I might be able to handle that demand." His comm clicked on again and he heard her screaming some more. He stomped of to grab her. Xander was holding her off the ground so she couldn't take a swing at him. "Who started it?"
"Her. She took a swing at me and I didn't hit her back. I'm only holding her up."
"Thank you. Put her down."
"I can carry her anywhere. It's safer."
"He's groping me!" she shouted.
"I can't hold you up and grope at the same time," Xander told her. "Besides, you're evil enough for my tastes but you're ugly. I only like pretty evil ones." She burst out sobbing. He handed her to Rodney and walked off shaking his head.
Rodney stared at her. "Are you done?" he sneered. She shook her head. "Pity." He walked her to the infirmary. "She was throwing a raging fit at Harris for doing what I told him to, twice. The last time he had to levitate her to keep her from hitting him since he didn't feel like beating her back." Keller groaned at that. "She claimed he was groping even though he said he doesn't have the control to do that. She burst out sobbing when he said he wouldn't touch her anyway because she was evil enough but not pretty enough." She nodded. "And she said she's not done yet."
"I'll sedate her." She got into the medicine cabinet. Rodney glared, arms crossed over his chest until she could stick her with the needle. "There, that should be good. What started her fit?"
"I have Harris looking over some weapons designs." He walked off. "Make her sane or put her out of my misery."
"If she doesn't end up sane, I'll tell Woosley," she decided. She went to warn him. "Do you have a minute?"
"I heard the screaming. Did he grope her?"
"No. He told McKay he can't do it and hold her up."
"Good." He looked at her. "What happened then?"
"She decided to throw a fit because he was doing what McKay wanted in the labs."
"Is it the same one that had the problem with his pet?"
"Her lab partner."
"Is she staying?"
"He ordered me to make her sane or put her down mercifully."
"If she's still raging when she wakes up, she can pack tonight to make the ship tomorrow." She nodded and went back to make sure she was all right. When she woke up, she was still complaining so she delivered her to Woolsey, who listened for ten minutes then told her to pack. She huffed off and threatened to tell the IOA. He shrugged and sent the email himself. He went to find Harris in the mess with the others of his team and SGA-1. "She's going home."
"Thank you. I'd hug you but you might like it."
Woolsey smirked. "Hugs are elemental comfort actions." He walked off.
"Huh?" Xander asked Jon.
Sheppard smiled. "Hugs make you feel good."
"Oh. I guess." He shrugged and stuffed his mouth.
Tilla looked at Jon, who was trying really hard not to react to that. John and McKay were too. Ronon was frowning like he didn't understand and Teyla had that look of 'aww, he needs one' on her face. They'd spar with him later, they knew Xander liked sparring and it would be a good thing for him.
Rodney cornered Xander the next night. "I need to know what they taught you and it didn't come through exactly in a way that I could understand since it came through in their language."
"Jack and Landry denied the request."
"I think they're being short sighted."
Xander sighed. He knew that having Rodney show up in his office out of the blue was a good indication that they had been traveling and had gotten one of his bracelets. "They can send us both to UNIT for this, Rodney."
"They'd send me back to Area 51," he said dryly. "You'd go to UNIT."
"Yay." He sighed. "If I gave in, and I'm not saying I'm not since you're wearing a scary copy of Willow's resolve face, you do know that the teacher will demand sex and servitude. They won't put up with egos. They won't teach you anything unless they think you should know."
Rodney swallowed. "I'm prepared for that."
"So you've had receptive anal sex?"
Rodney sighed. "No."
"Neither had I then." He stared at him. "Yeah, he got pushy. Which is why I don't really like him but I respect him and his mind."
"Can we bring him forward?"
"Oh." He paced a few steps in each direction. "I still think I need to do this."
"And I agree, Atlantis needs safer power alternatives. We're going to run into the same situation no matter what. You're going to be on your back begging for them to teach you something and I'm going to be doing the same thing while expected to control your ego because they'll see it as I gave my teacher a new student." He curled up some. "They weren't sure they wanted to teach me when I showed up but they decided I needed to know and Master Josele was the one who they gave me to." Rodney stared at him. "Yeah, I had to consent, and they were telepathic enough to get the point across. I was confused, scared, and wanted to cling to someone *real* badly when I did that. I was sick as hell too because going that far back is supposed to be impossible. Which was how I did it four times."
Rodney nodded. "I understand that. I can control myself."
"Rodney, be honest. If he tries to teach you something other than you want to know, your temper will start. He'd probably do it to provoke you because they consider egos to be a sign of a flawed mind."
"Oh." He sat down, looking at the boy. "Was it that bad?"
"Not when you like it. After a while I grew to respect him, even if he was crap in bed and a pushy top."
"I saw a lot of that."
"Yeah, exactly." He looked at him. "If I could find a different set of people to bring you to, I'd break that order."
"But that one is too much for either of us to take," he said. Xander nodded. "I can understand that. What about going forward? Or even back to the Furlings?"
"Didn't they use ZPMs?"
"I believe so." He considered it. "What about going ahead?"
"I can't take you too far ahead and you wouldn't be able to look at anything that's going to happen here or anytime around your life."
Rodney looked at him. "Its your life too."
"Technically, I'm kinda going to live a lot longer than you, Rodney. Some of the energy I got touched by warped things." He shifted, letting his knees down so he could cross his legs on the cushion. "I don't know. I'm still trying to figure that out. There's rumors of three places that might work but I have no idea where or when they were." Rodney nodded. "The Doctor didn't either when I asked him, and I did tell him it was to get a safer power supply up here before you guys ended up destroying universes. He agreed that was a noble goal but he had no idea when they were. Not his thing."
"Is there any way to see if his people know?"
"They're all dead, Rodney. There was a war that cost both sides almost all the lives."
"Oh." He considered it. "What did you know of power structures in the future? Or can you get me textbooks that might help?"
Xander nodded. "I did."
"The funny math ones?"
"Those are their textbooks. I struggled my way through it. I can do their math better than ours." He shrugged. "I've also got the ones from when I got my computer. I gave them to you last week on the ship."
"I haven't unpacked that package yet." He smiled. "Let me do that. You tell me if you find evidence on when they were." Xander nodded. "Thank you."
"The same rules might still apply."
"I understand and I'd gladly bark and beg for that information, Xander." He left, going back to his room to unpack that box. Sure enough he had three new textbooks, still wrapped in cellophane, and a huge block of good white chocolate. The kid had spoiled him, it was sweet of him. He settled in with the textbooks. They were *far* beyond what they had now, but maybe.... "Crystal resonance energy?" he muttered as he read, biting on the hunk he had broken off a corner. He moaned. That was good chocolate.
John looked up as one of the scientists walked over to where he was staring outside at the oncoming storm. "Um, Colonel?" she asked quietly. He looked at her. "Um, I don't want to interfere with your relationship with Doctor McKay but you guys got a bit loud last night."
"I'm not dating him," he said bluntly.
"I know the frat regs and don't-ask-don't-tell stuff, Colonel. Most of us don't mind since you apparently put him in a good mood last night, I just wanted to warn you that you two got a bit loud last night." She fled before he could answer.
John sighed, shaking his head. He hated that rumor. He walked toward the cafeteria, finding Xander sleeping on a couch with Armand on the back. "Harris!" he snapped. Xander woke with a start. "Didn't I give you a room?"
"I was watching the stars and thinking. Sorry."
"That's okay. Go clean up, it's breakfast."
"Yes, sir." He went to do that, Armand following at a trot.
John shook his head, going to find Rodney to see who he had gotten loud with. Since apparently it wasn't Xander hitting on him this time. He found him in the mess and sat across from him with his own tray. "I got told you got happy last night?"
"He sent me white chocolate and new textbooks."
"Ah. One of the engineers decided we got loud."
Rodney snorted, shaking his head. "It was excellent white chocolate."
"What's the textbook on?"
"Crystal resonance energy flows." John looked at him. "ZPM energy isn't safe."
"No it's not," he agreed. "If you could find one, could we recalibrate everything?"
"Yes. It'd take a few months but yes."
"Hmm." He ate a bite of breakfast quiche, then shrugged. "Then that's up to you as long as everything would work, it was safer, and logistically sound to upkeep."
"That's what I'm trying to figure out." Xander came in, still with damp hair, and sat beside John. "What does *his* ship run on?"
"Huge crystal that pulses. Why?"
"One of the textbooks was on crystal resonance energy."
"Yes it was."
"Do you know how he calibrated his?"
Xander looked at him. "Do you really want to turn Atlantis into a Tardis? Because Doc would paddle my ass."
"Well, no," he admitted. "But to be able to draw that sort of energy."
"He has to recharge his in a rift now and then. Which means a quick trip to Cardiff every few centuries."
"Can we link it to a rift?"
"Sure, if I create a hellmouth sort of structure."
"No, I don't want that." He considered it. "Are there other things that it could be linked to?"
"A spot of true void maybe. But that can cause a black hole as you know."
Rodney nodded. "It could, yes." He went back to thinking. "I don't know."
"And you know I'm not the science sort, Rodney. I'm sorry, I wish I was."
"I know. I can figure it out with what you do remember. After all, I am a genius for a reason."
Xander smirked. "Much better than I am. I keep protesting that I shouldn't be in the super geek category."
"Xander, you learned three dead languages by the time you graduated high school to help with the research. It took Jackson three years to learn Summerian. Yes you are," John said. "Even before you blipped. As you pointed out to the loud one, schooling doesn't always matter to super geniuses or super geeks." He stuffed his mouth again. "McKay, if you turn this city into a tardis, I will beat you," he promised. "Then him for helping you."
Xander shrugged. "It wouldn't be the first one." Rodney gaped. "He beat me for wanting to play pranks. Decided it was evil." Rodney moaned. "So.... I need to start looking at things in the database about that meeting." He finished up and went to log in and do that. The AI room had a chair he had pulled in last time so he could sit and talk with her.
John looked at Rodney. "Find a *safe* method."
"I'm going to."
"Good!" He finished up and tossed out his tray, going up to do his paperwork. Xander seemed down. He went to find Jon first. "Why is Xander down today?"
"I don't know," he admitted. "I caught him sleeping on the couch but for once he wasn't having a nightmare so I left him there." He glanced around then at him again. "I don't know. I think he's trying to help McKay and is upset with himself because he can't, he's not into science."
"Which I understand. I feel the same way sometimes."
"You don't have advanced knowledge."
"Good point. Did they ever talk about a trip if he can still travel?"
"Landry turned it down and Jack agreed on the basis that it might be too dangerous and lose them both."
"I can agree with that," he decided. "What if they break it?"
"I'm pretty sure Jack realizes it could and might happen. The kid's eager to please since we like him and accept him. Plus he's getting frustrated because he knows that some things need to happen but it'll be hell in the upcoming war if they don't get fixed first."
"I can agree with that. I'd feel the same way."
Jon shrugged. "I don't know how to help them and it's getting frustrating watching them both be frustrated."
"Maybe Radek will come out with a good idea soon. It happens a lot when Rodney's stuck." He went to talk to him. "Radek." He came out of the lab to talk to him. "Rodney and Xander are looking at alternative power sources that're safer."
"It would be appreciated but Xander is not scientist."
"No, he's not. So it's frustrating them both. Xander can't spit it back out and Rodney didn't pick it up from his memories."
"Then the best thing would be to link them like you two were during the crystal nightmare creature thing."
John smiled. "Tell them that. It could help." Radek nodded, going to find Rodney to talk to him. John felt much better even if he did have to do paperwork.
Radek found Rodney muttering into a new textbook. It still had that new textbook smell to it. "What if we linked you two?" he asked. "Like we did during those nightmares?"
Rodney's head popped up, looking at him. "That might be like one of us possessing the other and Xander keeps possessions."
"It wouldn't work anyway," Xander said as he joined them. "Radek, my brain's chemistry isn't fully human anymore." Radek groaned at that. "Not just because of the taint but because of all the traveling I did. Being exposed to that sort of energy changes a body. I got it starting at home because of the dimensional rip in my town all the way through all the traveling I've done." He looked at Rodney. "Beyond that, I'd probably never agree because that would leave you with a direct copy of my brain in yours and yours might explode. Not a whole lot of regular, even genius regular, brains can handle an extra seven hundred years."
"You're miscounting," Rodney said. "You went through seventy centuries, Xander. That's seven thousand."
"Some of it was nearly in the same time zone. Or out of our direct time zone."
"It doesn't mean your body didn't go through it."
"Yeah, but it's depressing to be older than Doc. It's my last sanity saving attempt."
"I can understand that. What he's suggesting isn't that though. It'd basically put one of us into the other's dream state."
"Rodney, I got Jack's memories pretty much the minute I put on the wristband. My mind sucks in other's energy. Nothing we've found can stop that. That means one of us would have copies of the other's full life. Which means I'd finally quit being so math and science stupid."
Rodney sighed. "I understand the reasoning and the wariness," he said patiently. "Can you do this sort of math? Maybe give me hints where it's not going right?"
"It took me nearly three thousand years to learn our math, Rodney. I am math stupid. In the extreme end of math stupid."
"You said you do this other form easier."
"Yeah," he said cautiously.
"So help me through the textbooks."
Xander stared at him. "I can't teach."
"Have you ever tried?" Radek asked.
"No, because I know I can't teach."
"So do the exercises with him, that way you don't lose knowledge," Radek suggested. "Be study friends." He left them to it.
"I guess," Xander offered.
"That would work. The crystal resonance or the older?"
"I'm better at the older. It helped me learn the later ones easier. It's like human math is a stumbling block a lot."
"Then we'll start with the older ones," he said, grabbing some pencils and notebooks to start on them together. He picked the first exercise and pointed. "Start there." Xander zipped through it and beamed. Rodney looked at it sideways. "Now do it slower with all the steps?"
Xander showed him on his paper. Rodney nodded, using those steps to do the next exercise set. "Wow."
Rodney smiled. "It's not often I'm at a disadvantage in matters of math."
"You know, they had a lot of people that showed the same sort of energy warping I have. They told me that once I had learned the native language."
"If I thought it'd help, I'd sit a jumper too close to a star," he said dryly.
"No, I don't think that would help and you'd get a nasty sunburn." He got back to it. He had an idea. But he sighed. The Doctor would beat his ass. Rodney looked at him since he had apparently sighed out loud. "I could, possibly, take you back to the hellmouth before even the Native Americans got there."
Rodney shook his head. "Too dangerous." Xander nodded, relaxing at that. He noticed Xander skipped a chapter. "We're meant to?"
"I have never been able to figure that one out. It's in geometry curves."
Rodney looked it over, building on what he had just learned. "This may be the most helpful chapter," he said. "This is on energy flows." He showed him how it was in their math then how they were describing it in terms that the boy would understand, weapons fire arcs. Xander beamed at him for that and they did that exercise. They were kind enough to give an answer key in the back for that chapter's exercises so they went back over the one that they had both gotten wrong. "Ah! An extra variable that would warp the curve and flow." He showed him and the boy hugged him. "Get off," he said but he was smiling. The boy beamed and they got back into it. They made it through that book by breakfast.
John strolled in with two overly full trays of food. "What are you two doing this time?" he asked, putting the trays on top of the notebooks so they had to eat.
"Food," Xander moaned, digging in. Then he started to write something that hit his mind. He had no idea but it might be important.
John took Rodney's notebook when he held it up. He looked through it. "That looks like flight patterns," he said at the stuff that Rodney had to figure out.
"I had noticed that. It's energy flows," he said between bites.
"It's different values but it looks like resistance formulas." He turned the page and kept going. "This is interesting." He looked at the last few pages then what Xander was doing. "Rodney." He came over to look, taking the pencil to input the numbers as he knew them. Xander shook his head, putting in his own and finishing the problem. Rodney beamed at him and redid it in human numbers, then related it back. "A multiplier formula," John said, patting them both on the back. "Will that help?"
"Tons," Rodney said, beaming at the boy. "Good job." He finished his breakfast on the way to his white board. He got onto an energy formula on how to power a generator, moving up from there would be easiest. He input the one for naqquadah. Then the one for a ZPM, then the new one.
"What about water breaking down ones?" Xander asked.
"That's cold fusion and it's a myth," Rodney said.
"No it's not." Rodney stared at him. Xander shrank down some. "They had big power bubbles on lakes. The undrinkable lakes. It always rained there so people moved away and let them harness it there."
"I'd like a textbook on that."
"Master Josele took me to see them once. I had mentioned hydro electric turbines or wave generators."
"Why did it always rain?" John asked.
"The mist that drifted up had to come down," Xander told him.
Rodney stared at him. "Is there any chance he told you more about that?"
"He tried to explain it to me but that's when he realized I was atomic science stupid."
"Hmm." He handed him a marker. "Draw out what you remember." Xander got up and came over to draw out the stuff he remembered seeing. It was crude but he put in the story that his master told him. Rodney could translate that language easily enough now. "How would they get from that to cold fusion?" he muttered. Xander shrugged. He added little droplets of mist. "You know, that rain might be a natural cooling effect," he admitted. He considered it and started on the cold fusion energy formula with the new math. That made it made more sense to him.
"It hummed," Xander told him suddenly. "I remember the rain hummed. A lot. Loudly. It's what drove wildlife and things away from there."
"Did he say if it was the energy or the metal they used?" Rodney asked.
"No, I didn't ask. I remember it gave me a headache after two hours of it."
"How musically inclined are you?" he asked.
"I like country, some modern pop. They had some really neat xylophone like stuff at one place I went. Rome had a lot of flutes and trumpet like things."
"Modern or older country?" John asked him.
"Older. Pasty is a goddess of misery."
"Yes she was." He patted him on the back. "Was the humming musical and on pitch or off key?"
"All I remember is it felt like my brain was going to melt after two hours. I think it started out on pitch but then it gets to you, ya know?"
Jon leaned in. "Xander, your pet is feeling ignored."
"Sorry, we were doing old culture math stuff to help Rodney."
"That's fine. Ronon said he's in the gym with him." Xander nodded, going to get Armand and cuddle him all the way back to the lab. "McKay, we like him being a language geek."
"We're talking about alternate power supplies for Atlantis. Something safer."
"Might be a handy thing," he decided. He left them alone. He'd nag the kid later if he hadn't slept or ate yet. He had done it to Daniel often enough.
Xander came back cuddling Armand. "You could have helped me do math, silly," he told it as he walked in. Armand nuzzled him so Xander sat down. He ate a bite of breakfast then looked at the board. "Is that helpful?"
"Quite," Rodney promised. "The future math, what sort of relevance does it have? Do I have to use this multiplier formula on that and then another one?"
"I usually took the future math and multiplied by two and a half. I got the right answer by that one most of the time. Again, not on that stuff. Nothing geometric."
"Geometry and the related trigonometry is a different form of math than formula driven things," John said. "One's spatial and one's theoretical really."
"That's odd though since I used to do carpentry," Xander pointed out. He stuffed his mouth again.
"Those you probably learned in a more practical manner," Rodney said, waving that concern off. "Even if you can't do the formula to find an area of a room, you know how to figure it more practically. Trigonometry has more in common with this since it deals with frequency curves and the like."
"You lost me at 'area of a room', Rodney."
Rodney smiled. "That's fine." He got back to work, coming back to get his breakfast to gulp while he wrote. He got the crystal resonance book and did as Xander suggested. The two and a half ratio didn't work but two-point-633445 did. He did it backwards to make sure. Yes that worked wonderfully backward and forward. He added in another generator comparison and found that one much higher in output. "What sort of crystals wold you need to use?" he muttered.
"Theirs looked like fluorite and simple gamma crystals," Xander said. John stared at him. "Like what made the Hulk," he explained. He stuffed his mouth again.
Rodney stared at him. "I remember reading that." He looked up types of crystals. "That one," he said, pointing at it. "Find me one of those, Sheppard. Today."
"Sure," he agreed, going to find him a sample. He had no idea what he was going to do with it.
Xander ate another bite, offering Armand some of the bacon. His dragon nuzzled him. "Sure, I'll eat it. Daddy forgot dinner." His dragon meeped at him. "I know. I'm sorry we didn't snuggle last night." He yawned and finished breakfast. He got really tired suddenly so he sat on the stool in the corner. His dragon curled up around him and it was nice. He wasn't in the way.
Rodney looked over at the first snore, smiling. He got Jon back there. "Put him on the floor," he said quietly. "Then make sure only Radek comes in. It'll wake him if I have to yell at anyone else."
"Sure." Jon moved over, whispering in Xander's ear. "I'm getting you back onto your bedroll, Xander. Rest." The boy hummed and nodded, letting him help him into the actual corner to nap on the floor. Armand purred at him and curled up in the daddy's arms. Jon opened a window because he was going to close a door and Xander slept better in a light breeze. Then he shut them in and stuck a note on the door saying Radek only today. He ran into John carrying a large crystal. "Xander crashed."
"That's fine. They were up all night doing really old math." He handed it in and then closed the door and left them alone. Rodney would gloat if he got it to work. He stationed two Marines outside the door to enforce the 'Radek only' order too. Rodney might destroy them all if he broke his concentration. He had enough power bars stashed in that lab to survive for a few days at the least. If not, he'd beam in food.
Rodney stomped into the office two days later. "This will never work on earth!" he complained.
John looked at him. He was sweaty, hadn't bathed, and his hair was sticking up all over. "Take a shower, a nap, and get back to it," he ordered calmly.
"I can't! I'll never figure it out!"
"Wouldn't each galaxy have different energy waves underneath everything?" he asked. "You told me that sometime in the past when we were talking about why some plants wouldn't thrive even if the soil composition was the same."
Rodney stared at him. "That's a point, and it must have been right if I said it." He considered it, stomping off.
"McKay, shower and nap," he called after him. He called Radek to talk to him. "Radek, John Sheppard. Make McKay and Harris take a rest. Today. Rodney hadn't showered yet." He smiled. "Thank you." He hung up and shook his head. Xander had been translating in there while helping Rodney. Even Armand hadn't wanted to come out last time. This was getting insane.
Rodney snapped that night, looking at Xander. "It keeps leading me back to ZPM energy," he said, sitting on a stool, looking defeated.
"No, it's leading you back to void energy," he corrected. "A live void feed, not a ZPM and destroying another realm's energy." Rodney's head popped up. "Even as it sucks it lets off energy."
"It does," he agreed. "Tremendous amounts that can break down normal things so it's sucked in easier. How would you harness that?" Xander pointed at the crystal then shrugged. "Have you seen it working?"
"No but I remember someone thinking that void energy was the highest source. I argued something like a time vortex was but he said that a void could break a time vortex's pattern so it was stronger."
Rodney blinked. "That is true," he said, looking at his board. "That's almost bordering on the mystical though."
John walked in with Jon. "Boys, shower. Sleep in a bed tonight," he ordered. "Come back to it tomorrow."
"Huh?" Xander asked.
"It's been four days," Jon told him. "You haven't eaten unless we slipped food in front of you. Either of you."
"I've had many power bars."
"If you live on them too long, you get the runs, McKay," John said firmly. "Go to your room, bathe, and sleep. Then eat breakfast and come back to it." They groaned but they knew an order when they heard one. He had the guarding marines march them to their quarters and locked that lab under his lock and authority. They wouldn't be able to get back in there without him opening it. He made sure Xander had his dragon before locking him in his room for the next ten hours. Rodney got locked in his room too. Then the Air Force soldiers walked off to have a drink and complain about super geeks. They really were the most annoying things sometimes.
Xander teleported into Rodney's rooms, waking him up. "We need to go to Ilendil."
"What's in Ilendil?" he asked, sitting up rubbing his eyes. "What time is it?"
"Really early but Ilendil is a unique place that has the largest bookstore ever. They're a very future tech society but they gave up all the things that everyone considers to go with that."
"They're the one that looks like the Renaissance," he said, looking at him. Xander nodded. "You think they'd have books?"
"I know they'd have books and they do both tech and magic. The only problem I have is that the money I have for Ilendil is in my office and I can't blip into my office anymore thanks to my former teacher. I can only hit Landry's office."
"Which means he'd know and might not approve," he said, sighing. "Is there a way around it?"
"Maybe. I'm not real sure. I think so though. And I think it depends on Armand. Get dressed." He teleported back to his room, getting dressed and picking up his dragon to put him into his backpack. Armand grumbled, curling up to go back to sleep. He teleported back, making Rodney grunt since he was pulling on a shirt. "We shouldn't need anything else."
Rodney looked at him. "How do you do that?"
"Magic. Takes a lot of energy."
"Can you teach me that? Just that particular spell or whatever? It'd be damn handy when we're in a cell."
"If you have any gift toward it maybe, but it's not a newbie thing so you'd have to go through all of it."
"Damn. I don't have the time to learn all that." Xander smiled. "Is there a shortcut around it? Like your bracelet?"
"That's a temporal one, not a localized blippy." He took his hands. "Close your eyes, you'll get nauseous." He set it off and they landed a minute later. "Hey, Loay."
"Xander!" the shopkeeper cheered. "You're back!"
"I am." He smiled, nudging Rodney. "This is Rodney. He's trying to teach me higher maths."
"Is he a god?" he asked, looking at Rodney.
"Not hardly, just very good at physics."
"Ah!" He nodded. "We have many books in your field, Sir Rodney."
Xander gave him a gentle nudge to the arm. "All scientists here are sir," he said quietly.
"All right. Xander thinks you have some books that could help us."
"Including on void energy," Xander said.
"Hmm. Those are fairly rare these days."
Xander took off his backpack and smiled at Armand, who was glaring at him. "Be nicer. You'll like Loay." He pulled him out. "My sacred egg hatched."
"Oooh, is that Armand!" He looked him over. "He's a very rare type. No wonder you needed the book on stomach care for them."
"If he eats trees and gets transporter beamed, he gets a tummy ache."
"That's reasonable." He scratched the eye ridges, getting a purr back. "If I could have a scale, that should cover the cost, and I know someone who might come talk to him for another one. Especially tail ones."
Xander looked him over. "He's starting to shed some," he offered. "Would that be okay? I don't want to hurt him."
"That'd be wonderful." He took a picture of the dragon and the scales then let Xander carefully remove them.
"Sorry," Xander said. "I didn't mean to take that one too, Armand. It just stuck to the other ones. What did you get on your scales?" He handed them over. Another picture was taken. "Are those good?"
"Those are wonderful! For this many you can have half the store!" He put them onto a special pad and summoned the scientist he knew, telling him why. He knew Xander very well. Xander got himself a few new books and a graphic novel. Loay got Rodney into the physics sections. They came back when someone walked in. Xander sniffed then tipped his face up, getting a deep, moan inducing kiss. "Sir Tiasl."
"Xander," he said with a smile. "A new teacher?"
"He's been helping me with the math stuff while I'm translating on their project." He smiled. "Rodney, this is Sir Tiasl."
He looked at him, then shook his hand. "A physicist is a precious thing for the world."
"I'm hoping so." He sat down with him to talk about the ZPM issue and looking for something safer. Tiasl agreed that would be a good idea. Rodney told him what he had been able to figure out and the other scientist was pleased, telling him where to start.
"Get him the books on the magic side. They have a lot of math involved too," Xander called. Armand yawned. He petted him. "Hey, Loay, do we have anything on the Ori?" He shook his head. "Or anything on that part of the time stream? Or the pre-Cutva cultures?"
"Many," he admitted. "But they are very rare and very expensive."
Xander looked at him. He petted the dragon. "I'm doing language stuff. We're dealing with the Ori. They have a super prophetess who likes me."
Tiasl looked over. "Xander, I would gladly take you back," he offered.
Xander looked at him. "You never give me backrubs. I need someone who wants to be with *me*, not just my skills."
"I agree, you do deserve that," he praised. He smiled at Rodney. "Are you enjoying him?"
"We're not like that. I'm a coworker. I enjoy his mind since he's translating things for me."
Rodney smiled. "I prefer women anyway."
"Ah. That's more reasonable." He went over the problems with him, including the ones in the magic books.
"That would take a lot to create," Rodney admitted.
"But you'd only have to create one every eon or so," Xander pointed out.
"True, we would. We'd have to do it off the city."
Xander nodded. "We might," he agreed. "Can we?"
"Yes. Easily." He got back to it, smiling as the dragon came over to be nosy. "Hi, Armand." He petted him. Armand sniffed the other man, staring at him.
"You must be the thing that hatched from his sacred egg." He petted him. The dragon gave him a smug look. "You're very pretty."
"Yes he is," Xander agreed. "His name is Armand."
"Welcome to Ilendil, Armand."
"He was shedding some tail scales," Loay told him.
"Wonderful." He smiled and patted it on the head. "Go back to the father." Armand crawled up to sleep on the back of Rodney's chair.
"He loves to nap in my lab as well." He got back to it. "He led me through what he learned with Master Josele."
"That would help." He went over the concept he hadn't seen him use yet, getting a nod. Rodney did another problem to make sure he had it. "Then you can combine that with this one," he said, adding another formula. "Then you do this," he said, adding another one. "That will give you the output you'll need to worry about capturing."
"Which I can do this way?" he guessed, drawing it out.
"You could but you'd need the output end to be curved. Which would depend on which galaxy you're in because it would change."
"Wouldn't it change by solar system really? Each star system is different due to the weight and size of the star. That can shift the power of gravity, time, and the length of rotation," Xander said.
"It would," Tiasl agreed. He smiled at Rodney. "You have taught him well. He didn't have this much gift with science when we were together."
Rodney shrugged. "He's a very special mind that needs nurturing and respect. Most of us he works with respect his mind more."
"How odd. Xander is very suitable as a consort or mate."
Rodney shrugged. "We like him for his translating skills. Usually we groan when we run into his former boyfriends. They seem to want him back in a bad way. You seem to be an exception."
"I would not mind him back. He felt I was more enamored of my studies than him." Xander nodded. "I do mis you, Xander."
Xander smirked. "I miss you too but you still decided to ignore me waiting at home on our anniversary to go do simple math that your assistant had solved six days earlier. Your assistant offered to take me that night."
"I would have beheaded him," he assured him firmly.
"Which is why I didn't take him up on it." Tiasl walked over and took another kiss. Xander licked his lips, smiling at him. "You wanted your math and science more. Some day I'll find someone who wants me more than their work."
"If they are not good to you, you will come home." He kissed him again and walked out of the store.
Xander sighed, looking at his dragon, who meeped quietly. "I know. If he had actually loved me, I might've stayed." He stood up. "We ready, Rodney?"
"I am." He gathered up everything and walked up to the register desk.
Loay looked at them then at Xander's small stack. "You're going to be short." Xander sighed, kissing him. Loay sighed and smiled. "Fine, I will give you a discount. You'd still have to choose. That series is the more expensive one."
"It's sad that comics and graphic novels are so expensive these days." He petted Armand, getting a toenail sliver off. Loay moaned and Xander went to get a few more. "Three?"
"Two and you'll have a bit left."
"Give me a break, Loay. I know how much those are worth."
He moaned. "Yes, that is fine. You will win."
Xander came out from between the rows, staring at him. "Tiasl will kill you."
"Perhaps but you would have offered." Xander stared him down. He swallowed. "You are right about how much they are worth." He leaned on the counter as Xander came back with a few more books and a handful of graphic novels. Plus one under his chin and another under his arm. "Xander," he moaned. "You're going to make me go broke. I won't be able to make any profit."
"You sound like one of my ex-girlfriends," he said dryly. Loay pouted. "You do. You sound just like Anya."
"You told me about her. She sounds like my type of woman. A bit mercenary and fun in bed."
"Now and then," he admitted. "But still. I could be *mean*."
"You could ask Tiasl to buy it for you."
"Then he'd make Rodney late for breakfast wanting some fun."
"Hmm." He counted. "Even with that nail you'd be over budget with those two very expensive ones."
"Graphic novels are what young boys read in our society," Rodney told him. The man gaped. "Comics and graphic novels are considered a young man's reading."
"In ours it is highly revered as both an art form and for those with larger scientists. It's good that you're training your young early."
"We do try but even the common ones read them."
"Interesting." He counted it up again. "That would only let me make twenty gold."
"Better twenty than ten," he offered, putting down another book. "On the smaller power flows."
Loay sighed, but nodded. "Fine. In the name of science." He bagged them up and Xander put Armand back in his pack, letting Rodney get the books for them. He took his hand and they blipped home. Right into an ambush by Sheppard. Xander checked his watch. "It's still four am. Sorry, I didn't mean to break into anything you guys had going on tonight," he said, edging away. "Let me give you guys some privacy."
John grabbed him by the wrist, taking the bracelet. "So, we went where and started a small alarm that got me woke up?"
"Ilendil. It's got a huge bookstore and a large emphasis on science."
John held up the bracelet, looking at it. "Your current blippy thing?"
"Yup. Well, my backup blippy thing." He took it back with a grin. "He got a lot of help from someone and a lot of books on that new power source."
"They consider graphic novels to be a high form of art and for geniuses," Rodney said. "Armand still with you?"
"Yes," Xander said, taking off his pack to let him see. "See, dragon."
"Hi, Armand," John said. He got meeped at and a yawn. "I agree, it's damn early." Xander sighed and held the pack closer to him. "Oh, no, you can walk. That way you don't set off another alarm."
"I don't care. Warn me."
"Thank you! Walk." He walked off shaking his head, then came back to get his books. Then he went back to his room again.
John looked at Rodney. "His team leader can yell at him while yours yells at you for waking him up at 3 am."
"He took me to meet a decent ex-boyfriend of his, who helped me with the void power problem. This one did mope but didn't want to turn evil. He ignored him once too often."
"That's good to know. You still left the city without telling anyone. We might've had an attack or anything that could have needed you."
"Radek would've filled in. It was less than an hour."
"That alarm got up every single ATA carrier."
"I'm sorry about that. I'll find it and shut it off. Now, can I get back to sleep."
John glared. "We'll be talking about this."
"Landry didn't want you to two travel together because we might go missing both of you. There's no telling who or what you could have run into."
"They didn't have any idea about the Ori or the wraith. They were also in another galaxy."
"I don't care!"
"Fine! Now can I finish the sleep you demanded I get earlier!"
"Yes, you can. Then you both get to reappear at breakfast for an ass chewing." He walked off. Jon met him in the hallway. "Xander tucked in?"
"Yup. He pissed you called him on it?"
"Yup. I don't care. There was a reason for that decision...."
"He found the answer to the problem. Even with that damn alarm." He glared. "Can't you turn it off now?" It went off. He sighed. "Thank you!"
John smirked. "We get those a lot and have no idea why half the time." He walked around him. "Breakfast, my office. Both teams."
"You sure you want full teams?"
"Yup. That way we can work out some things." He went back to his own bed. It was much too early for him to be up and aware unless there was an emergency. He ran into Lorne. "Harris took McKay to get some better science texts," he said.
"Wonderful!" He yawned. "Any orders or can I collapse, Colonel?"
"Collapse. I am. If you see them first, team meeting in my office for breakfast, both teams." He went to his own bed.
Lorne smiled, going back to bed too.
Xander walked in last, grabbing another cup of coffee before sitting down. "I had no idea about the alarm."
"According to what I could pull up, it's because you used magic," Fischer told him. "The Lanteans apparently really hated magic."
"It made no sense so probably scared them," Xander said. He took another drink. "Rodney, did we get everything you need?"
"And more than. There's some things that are so theoretical it'll give work for years." Xander got them both more coffee. "Thank you."
"Welcome. I had the sudden thought and didn't think to check the time."
"It happens and it was a good trip." He sipped the coffee and choked. "What is that?"
"The new cook made it," John said, taking it to sip. "Keller to my office with an epi pen ASAP," he called over the comm. "Xander, he's allergic to citrus."
"There's citrus?" He sipped his coffee and handed it to John, who shrugged and shook his head. "So it's his cup."
"I'll find that out." Doctor Keller jogged in and hit Rodney with the epi pen, making him gasp and slowly calm down. "Thank you."
"Welcome. Come on, McKay. You can nap in the infirmary." She helped him up and down the stairs.
John poured the coffee into Xander's cup, finding the rim of the cup had been washed with citrus oil. "Let me trace this back in a few minutes. Harris, what part of 'no you can't bring him anywhere' didn't you get?"
"That was about the ancient cultures trip, not to the bookstore planet in the future where science is revered and they use something like what we were thinking. Plus I had a fairly tolerant, yet sad ex who might buy the books for him."
"You'd use an ex that way?" Tilla asked. "Usually that's a girl thing."
"The man ignored all my plans, plots for his happiness, and all that. If he hadn't ignored me that way then yeah, we might've been happy. He actually almost appreciated me for something other than what my ass gave him."
"TMI,"Jon said dryly. "Please?"
"Whatever." He looked at John. "There was zero risk. I had no idea that they had set up an alarm. Did it go off when I 'ported into his room or just when I left?"
"When you two left. So it wasn't set off by the magic."
"General Landry said that me blipping back to Ilendil the last time set off a minute energy spike in a lab above my office."
"That's probably what did it then," he decided. "It was still dangerous."
"No it wasn't. It wasn't like I took him to a cannibal's island."
"You traveled how far trying to get back home?" John countered.
"That was with Jack's band, not mine. Mine's actually accurate."
"How do you know that?"
"Because I had real super geeks help me build it so I could actually get home. Some of Doc's people before the war."
Jon looked over at him. "Seriously?"
"Yeah. I was in... I wanna say Berlin at the time. I think. Somewhere in Germany being an ass to the Nazis." He shrugged. "I ran into one who was doing the same thing and he agreed the band was screwy thanks to whatever Doc did to it. So he helped me build my own. That way I'd quit interfering in the time line. That was just after I shot a high level German commander."
"Did it create a small paradox or change anything?" John Sheppard asked.
"No. The guy who I was supposedly fell a month earlier in a bar brawl. I was in the town and they all wailed about it until I spoke up and corrected the 'we have to finish our mission and he's the only one who could plan things' part. I pointed out the flaw in his plan. Especially the one where he wasn't sure who his contact was since it was me. So I took his ID and dog tags and handled it. His body got shipped back with a note saying he fell in the process of a mission but his tags were taken to hide his body from the Germans who invaded the town the next day. They would've tortured locals looking for more soldiers. The cops knew and signed off on that note home to his commanders. I also included a note saying that the team was going with his contact to finish it. Which was taking out that commander."
"Good to know. So that's when you met that blonde guy?" Xander nodded. "Even better. So it wasn't dangerous at all?"
"No threat from this ex?"
"No. I might've stayed if he had appreciated me for more than a warm place to park it."
"I get that," he said calmly. "There's plenty of your exes that you should've walked away from for that same reason, Xander." Xander shrugged again but grimaced. "You do deserve better."
"He asked Rodney if we were together and Rodney told him he appreciated me for my mind. He thought it was odd since he was teaching me stuff."
"Plenty of us appreciate you for more than your ass," Tilla told him. "I appreciate your dirty sense of humor." He grinned at that. "So, no threat, nothing?"
"No." John looked at him. "What?"
"No more blipping anywhere without prior notice and hopefully approval. Not off Atlantis. We have no idea if the wraith could pick up the energy signature of you leaving or not."
"We'd be able to tell a wraith that was close enough."
"Yes we hopefully would but we have no idea if other beings around here could be cloaked."
"If they're that bad, I'd probably have seen their females by now," Xander quipped.
"Maybe," John agreed. "But you could have an ascended stalking you too."
"Hey, you see my ex, yell at him for being an ass with an ego the size of a mountain." He stood up. "Anything else?"
"No. Go. No blipping."
"Yes, sir." He snapped off a salute and went to check on Rodney.
"Am I that big a smartass?" Jon asked.
"Yeah, you are," John assured him. "Go calm him down." They went to do that. Teyla looked at him. "What? It's not safe for him to do."
"No, but not why I am concerned. Do you think I could introduce you to nice women?"
"I'm not sure if he'd take a fix-up or not. Ask him. He might like that."
She smiled. "Thank you." She went to talk to him.
"I'll spar with him later," Ronon said. "Make him feel better." He left before more mushy feelings came out about the boy.
John groaned, rubbing his face. Woolsey came up the stairs. "Good morning. I heard we had an alarm last night?"
"Harris took McKay to an off-world bookstore that let him get some books on alternative power supplies."
"Did it have anything on the making of a new ZPM?"
"I don't know but they're also looking at safer alternative power supplies," he said, looking at him. "Ones that won't get us a second Rodney whose world is being destroyed by us making one."
"Oh. That could be a problem."
"Yes it's considered one by all thinking beings. So they've been working on something that's safer. I have to find out who dosed Rodney's coffee cup with citrus oil." He got up and went to check out the video tapes of the morning's goings on.
Xander walked into John's office scowling. "What?"
"It looks like you dosed Rodney's coffee cup, Xander."
"No I didn't!" He let him see the tape. "That's not me. I don't own an Atlantis t-shirt." John stared at him. "Also, do a height comparison. In that room I see into the microwave." John groaned, comparing it. "Also, he's floating." He looked at him. "I was never ascended and shorter."
"Shit. Can they shape shift?"
"Depends on which one you're talking about. Asha!" he bellowed, looking up. A ghostly being appeared. "What the hell are you doing!"
"What are you doing back here?"
"I'm working with them."
"This is our city."
"If you were *alive* it might be. Since you're not, it's an archeological find. That's what you said about Quan-Dil even though there were some natives left who were too primitive for you to want to bother with." The ascended glared. "Wasn't it?"
"It's not the same."
"Because you're a ghost?" he sneered. "Not hardly."
"He is destroying our works."
"I'm going to destroy all of you."
Xander smirked and called up power. "Really? You sure?" The ascended gave him a horrified look. "Yeah, Xander took lessons there too," he said sarcastically. "He's trying to make your former city safe. You do not pretend to be me."
"You are not meant to be one of us."
"I don't want to be one of you. Ascended are pathetic because they float around watching things. I'm sorry, I have a life to live and things I gotta get done before I pass on in a few dozen centuries." Asha gasped, staring at him. "So no, I don't need your pathetic excuse for ghostdom nor do I want to be one of you. You guys were arrogant, stupid, and annoying in life. You didn't give a bit of a damn about your fellow people. Most of the beings around you were considered like science experiments by most of you. Why would anyone want to be one of you? For that matter, if I wanted to ascend and be bored for the rest of eternity, I could do that. Why do I want to?"
"We have power."
"No you don't. You sit on your thumb and let it fuck you while you watch life." Asha floated backward and Xander advanced. "You leave these people alone. They're cleaning up your fuck ups. The same as I am. I can and will find a way to keep all ascended off this city if I must. I'm not the sick puppy I was when I appeared in your garden by accident. Since then I've been in plenty of places and learned a hell of a lot."
"You are still tau'ri."
"No I'm not. Thanks to the traveling and a few other taints, I'm not fully human. Don't believe me, test me." Asha ghosted a hand over him and made a whining noise. "Just because we're doing things your people couldn't and you're jealous does not give you the right to try to kill someone. I will end all the ascended if you come near my friends again. After all *they* appreciate me as more than a cheap piece of ass you got to feel mushy for because you healed an injury," he said snidely. "Now, get off *my* city and John's city and Rodney's city. When you ascended, you gave up all claims to anything of this world. That's part of the deal."
"Only if you're alive," John agreed.
He glared at him. "You are weak and can't control anything."
Xander looked up then smiled at him. He said something in their native language and a beam came down to trap him. "Really? You so sure of that?" He walked off, going to sulk in peace. He hated his ex's. A lot.
John smirked. "Welcome to Atlantis. Did you think pissing him off now was any different than pissing him off then?" Woolsey finished lurking in the doorway. "This is the one who dosed Rodney with citrus oil. He was pretending to be Xander."
"I thought ascended were beyond jealousy."
"So did I. Pity we're wrong."
"He should not be here. He's not one of us and not one of you. Even though you have messed things up."
"We're saving the beings you spread throughout this galaxy from the wraith your people created," John said firmly. "That's not messing things up."
"That is natural selection."
"There won't be any beings but the wraith within a year if we don't stop them. That's not natural selection. That's not caring. You played God and then left it. Did you expect other peoples that found out to not help them?"
"It's not your war."
"It is now. We're here uncovering what you guys did when you were seeding the galaxies. When we uncovered that one trying to eliminate every living thing around here, of course we stepped in. Having seen Xander, you saw what we were like."
"He cannot be both one of you and advanced," he said firmly.
"He was one of us who accidentally traveled. We're mostly like him around here."
"Other ascendeds have met people on the project," Xander said from behind Woolsey. "You should talk to them." He walked in and stared at him. "Did you ever care for me beyond the sex?"
"Of course I did! I could have had anyone."
"Then why try to kill my friends when we're completing what you did not and could not?"
"He is going to change our glorious city!" he said fervently, floating closer to Xander.
Xander nodded. "Because there's no spare ZPM's. Making them are endangering alternate realities off this one. We've had people show up to help stop the process because it was destroying their realm. Wouldn't having a safer, easier power source be better for all, including the city?"
"But that one is a myth!"
"No, it's not. I've been places that had it working." He moved closer. "I'm going to protect these people. All of them. Including the natives that you spread around and left to be food for that misbegotten project that created the wraith." Asha looked down. "I wouldn't stand slavery then, and I won't now. I also won't let you hurt the people here." Asha looked at him. "I don't care what the others want. You guys gave up on life, on all that made you guys special, to float around and complain about things. You lost everything that made your race special. Rodney and the others here are completing things that you had hoped to do. A lot of it to protect our own people since the gou'ald problem and then the Ori."
Asha winced. "The Ori are a pain to all cultures."
"I've seen places where they burned *everyone* because they weren't of their faith!" he shouted. "I'm not going to let my people have that done to them! Since the gou'ald and you guys both seeded galaxies with the offshoot of earth's seed, it's our job to protect them. Now, you can help us or you can get out of the way. And if you *ever* touch one of my people again, I will make sure that no ascended of *any* race can come near this city again."
"You cannot, Xander. You are not that skilled."
Xander smirked. "Really?" He looked up. "AI?"
"The ascended are trying to harm the city, especially the scientists. Is that program ready?"
"Yes, Xander. It is ready," she said. She appeared, looking at him. "Master Asha." She bowed.
He sighed. "He cannot. Tell him he cannot."
"He can," she corrected. "Your own people, especially Master Janus, made sure that no ascended could ever harm the city." He gaped.
"Enact that program to keep all ascended out," Xander said quietly. "Please."
"Yes, Xander." She bowed to him and smiled at Asha. "I am sorry."
"No," he murmured but he was forced to fade out. The forcefield faded. Xander took a deep breath. "Xander, please," he begged.
"You tried to kill someone for making your city great and protecting your works. No. Leave. Before it sets fully." He left. He slumped into a chair. "Thank you, AI."
"You are welcome, Xander. Master Janus said that you were always his favorite vision of what humanity might become."
Xander smiled. "The godly one likes me too." She smiled at him. "How is Rodney McKay?"
"He is resting comfortably by my scan."
He beamed. "Thank you. Did the vegetation manufacturing machine work on the ones I wanted?"
"Yes, all seven are done, Xander." He pouted. "The aging and the making of the last will take more power than is advisable to use, even with that generator powering it." He pulled out something, holding it up. She absorbed it and smiled. "That will do nicely."
"Just for that. I need that back."
"Yes, Xander." She looked toward a wall then handed it back, making him happy. "They are appropriately aged and ready to be cultivated. Is anything else needed?"
"Can you pull up the war with the Cervana for John to read over?"
"Yes, I can." She looked at his computer and it came up.
"Thank you. Have a good rest." She smiled and left.
"I didn't know the AI could manifest in other rooms," John said.
"It takes some extra power and we had to fix a few image projectors. In this case, it was too important to risk. I hooked it into a generator with Radek last week. I figured one would show up since Cordelia showed up trying to tell the generals that I wasn't that good." He stood up. "That's going to make a lot of people happier in a few days. I'll bring Rodney down later to make him feel better." He walked off, going to check on him. Rodney was mostly awake when he got down there. "I got the cultivator working."
"You did?" he asked, still sounding sleepy.
"Yup. It made something to make the group happier. Then you guys can plant them and use it for less frivolous things."
"I'd like that." He got up. "Thank you," he called into the office area. He let Xander lead him to the room off Botany. "It's here?"
"Yup." He smiled. "Isn't that why you put Botany here?"
"Not exactly." He walked in and looked at the new trees and a few bushes. He frowned, walking toward the first one. "Almonds," he said, smiling at it. He moved to the other ones, avoiding the lemon tree. "I know you had to."
"I know you're allergic."
"It's all right. They'll adore that." He moved to the last one and beamed at him. "Is that a hybrid cocoa plant?" Xander smirked and nodded. "You really did spoil us. The generator?"
"Is a bit run down from these seven but we used a weaker generator."
"That's fine. We can figure that out." He looked at the chocolate bush again then back at him. "It needs to be dried, right?"
Xander nodded. "Yeah. Dried, sometimes roasted."
"Hmm." He walked out, locking the door so no one could get into it. "Let's go look that up." Xander walked him back to the lab. "What happened?"
"Asha decided you guys weren't supposed to be here. We had a talk and no ascended can currently get onto the city."
Xander smiled. "Helpful too since Asha pretended to be me."
"Did we tell your ex off?"
"Quite. Including talking about their God complex." Rodney snorted but he looked happier. "I'm sorry."
"It's okay. I know it wasn't you. You like me."
"Yeah, I think of you like a big brother most of the time." They turned a corner. "Did you know Teyla wants to set me up on a date?"
"Maybe they'll be nice."
"That would be nice." They came out on the lab area and a few people glared. "It wasn't me."
"It had to be you," one sneered. "The cameras said so."
"Unfortunately it also showed me three inches shorter and floating off the floor. Have you seen me doing that? Or with the longer hair I had in it?"
"When did you get a haircut?" Rodney asked, looking at it. "It's too short."
"Three days ago."
Lorne walked over. "He's right, it wasn't him. It was something pretending to be him. One of the ascended are mad that McKay had a plan to take care of the power problem."
"Get it right, Major, they wanted you guys to give up because in their arrogance they decided no one could do it better than they could," Xander said dryly.
"True, there was that too," he agreed. "Thankfully he found the way to block them out of the city." The scientists all relaxed. He smiled at Xander. "You and Radek have been doing botany things."
"I got the cultivator to work with a nearly worn out generator," he said with a smirk. "Rodney's going to look up something to use what I had created."
"I'm looking forward to it." He smirked. "Do you need him, McKay? If not, we need him to train the new grunts that're coming in today."
"Ooooh, did I miss that we're supposed to go back today?"
"No. Not today." He nodded. Xander walked with him. "Let me know what I can do to help with the new stuff, McKay."
"I can do that." He walked into his lab. "Radek, pull up that site you were sighing over." Radek smiled at him. "It looks like a good first harvest if we can decide what we're doing with it." They got into the recipes and picked a few. Rodney wouldn't get the lemon one but everyone else would be most happy. They called the cooks to the room and let them harvest, handing them the recipes. They smiled and hauled off their goodies. It was going to be a good dinner for the next few days, and in about a week they'd have Atlantis chocolate.
To part 7
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