Wild Card – Chapter Four

Chapter Four

“Richard and I have two names,” Radek said as soon the door to lab four closed and was locked.

“We have three,” Rodney slid up onto a stool and murmured his thanks when Evan set a cup of coffee in front of him. “Ian Reed, Charles Banks, and Stewart Davis.”

“We agree except for Stewart Davis.”

“Reason?” Evan asked.

“He’s the younger brother of Colonel Paul Davis,” Richard Woolsey said. “His ties to Earth are very strong as a result. Radek and I both believe that the person responsible for this has very few reasons to return to Earth.”

“I know Paul Davis. He’s a good officer. I didn’t realize that Stewart was his little brother.”

“Captain Davis prefers to earn his way and has never been interested in playing up his relationship with his brother. His gene got him into the SGC and eventually here,” Woolsey closed his laptop. “I trust we can keep that bit of information between us?”

“Yes.” Evan nodded and looked once at Rodney who was nodding as he worked on his tablet. “Ian Reed has training in weapons disposal, and has a degree in geology. He would certainly know how to handle naquadah.”

“Banks has been with the SGC for most of his career,” Rodney countered. “He’s been exposed to Asgard, Go’uld, and Ancient tech for years. He did a tour on the Daedalus shortly after we reestablished contact with Earth so he would be familiar with the ship. He also has a degree in biochemistry. And for the record he’s an asshole.”

“If being an asshole was a deciding factor you’d be on the list,” Radek reminded from behind his own coffee cup. “I’d be on the list. Bates would be back on the list. Ronon would be on the list. Sheppard would be the list.”

Rodney smirked. “I’m telling him you said that.”

“I don’t worry. I’m the master of the hot water around here.” Radek put down his cup and turned back to his laptop. “I’ve checked through all the records in biology and in the infirmary and while nothing was ever reported as not received that fits our size and weight requirements – I did flag several items that might have been used as cover.”

“You realize that this means there is someone in the SGC that helped as well?” Rodney rubbed his face in frustration. “I really hope that Sheppard is getting somewhere on his end of things.”

“Did you send him back a response?”

“Yeah.” Rodney grinned. “42.”

Evan laughed and shook his head. “Well, that about sums up our problem.” He checked his watch. “If this mission is like any other he should be getting captured and/or shot at by now especially if there is TRUST involvement.”

“The TRUST has infiltrated high levels of government before. I believe Harding was an operative for the organization and they’ve already proven they aren’t immune to alien influence.” Woolsey closed his laptop as if he suddenly couldn’t stand to look at the contents anymore. “Okay, so I believe the first thing we need to do is start comparing physical inventory with the objects been identified and go from there. At this point, Major, I believe we can bring both Sergeant Bates and Major Stackhouse into the mix.”

“Agreed.” McKay nodded and then paused. “Should we contact the SGC and tell them to launch a rescue mission for Sheppard?”

Lorne grinned. “They wouldn’t believe us. I’m sure they have check-in protocol in place.”

Radek sighed. “We should not let our Colonel off to do missions in places where we can not send reinforcements in a timely fashion.”

Rodney frowned. “Lorne’s right, we would definitely be captured or running for our lives at this point. There is no telling what John is up to without me around to remind him that he’s mortal.”

– – – –

“We received communication from the SGC,” Woolsey said as he slid into his chair. He glanced towards Caldwell briefly and then sighed. “Sheppard’s team didn’t report in so they sent in SG1.”

Rodney snorted. “Great, send the one and only team at the SGC who actually has a higher rate of capture than Sheppard himself. That’s stellar.”

“I’m sure they’ll be fine.” Caldwell shoved a disc across the table. “My list and a copy of the ship manifests for the past two and a half years. I figured it would be best not to send it down in a DataStream just in case we’re being monitored.”

“We’ve probably been monitored since the bomb was discovered. Everyone on the city listened to Cadman and I dismantle the thing. Which at the time didn’t seem like much of a security risk but hindsight is 20/20.” Rodney put the disc into his laptop and started to scroll through the data. “I’ll start a comparison and in the mean time we have Stackhouse and Bates doing a physical inventory in the infirmary. I thought I’d handle Biology personally.”

“Not by yourself,” Evan responded neutrally. “I think it’s best if we are in pairs until this is over.”

“Agreed,” Woolsey said before Rodney could object. “We can’t be too careful, Dr. McKay.”

– – – –

Four hours later they were all meeting in Rodney’s quarters at a dead end. Rodney had his computer running a comparison between city inventory and shipments from the Daedalus but so far, nothing had come of the search.

“I think it’s time we start interviewing people.”

Rodney winced and sighed as Bates started to pace a hole in his floor. He was a little miffed because normally he did the pacing in his own room. “Yeah, because that worked so well last time.” He glanced at Caldwell and flushed. “Sorry.”

Caldwell shook his head. “It’s true. The entire city was so focused on who they wanted to be responsible for the problem that they overlooked a Go’uld – the Go’uld in my body. That isn’t something I’m likely to ever forget.”

“We have a convenient scapegoat up on the Daedalus,” Rodney finally said. “I want it to be him. I really want him to be the person because that means they aren’t still down here manipulating us.”

“Educated guesses aren’t going to cut it you know.” Stackhouse leaned against the wall. “We went that route before – tore down innocent people around us and almost tortured another for information he didn’t have to give. Granted, Dr. Banks is an excellent candidate because of his actions in the infirmary. He could have killed the Major and maybe that was his intention or maybe he was just attempting to safe guard Michael’s experiment.”

“Or maybe he’s just a lazy hack who is jealous that a woman half his age has the job he thinks should have been his,” Evan responded. “There is a personal history between those two and I don’t think Jennifer told us all of it.”

“She said it was the first time he’d lost it front of witnesses and that he’d never gotten physical with her.” Rodney pursed his lips. “Doesn’t mean he hasn’t been undermining her and making her life a living hell. Why the hell does she do that? She suffers in silence when anyone of us would have put a stop to it.”

“You’re no better, Rodney,” Evan murmured and sighed when McKay turned to glare at him. “You don’t tell us when things are shitty for you. You bitch about little things—paper cuts and idiotic scientists but when something is really painful or really difficult for you—you don’t say a fucking thing.”

“Yeah, well if you went to college when you fourteen years old – you’d have learned not to give people stronger than you a window into your weakness.”

“Keller was in medical school at seventeen and in her residency by the time she was twenty,” Woolsey murmured. “I guess the two of you might share a history in that regard. Regardless of the relationship that Keller and Banks had in the past—he does remain a viable suspect in our current circumstances. It would be a little silly to dismiss him because he’s the obvious choice. Sometimes—it’s that simple. Sometimes it is the obvious choice.”

“Agreed.” Caldwell looked toward Evan. “Would you like to take a trip with me, Major?”

Evan offered a small smile. “I’ve always enjoyed field trips, Sir.”

Caldwell stood and clicked his radio. “Daedalus, Major Lorne and I are ready to come aboard.”

– – – –

“I really don’t need an escort.”

Stackhouse snorted. “Yeah, sure, McKay. I’ll let you wander around the city by yourself and when you are maimed or killed—the Major and Colonel Sheppard can take turns killing me. It’ll be great fun for all of us.”

“I can take care of myself. I’ve been going into the field for years,” Rodney sniped as he took a turn and walked into one of the labs that he rarely went into. He normally preferred to make Simpson and Kusanagi come to him. “Simpson, why aren’t you down in the control room working on that console I put on your list this morning? It’s a priority.”

Simpson shot him a look that would have murdered if it were possible. “I finished that task an hour ago, Dr. McKay. I updated my task lists to reflect that. Perhaps if you spent more time working and less time kissing Mr. Woolsey’s ass you’d know that.”

Rodney blinked. “Simpson, are you on crack?”

“I don’t have time for you, Dr. McKay. Why don’t you go bother someone else?”

Rodney exchanged a look with Stackhouse who was staring at the female scientist in shock. “Okay, whatever, I want your ass down in the infirmary right now for a full physical because you are obviously brain damaged because that’s the only thing that can explain you talking to me in such a way. Go immediately or I’ll have you escorted.”

“You’re the only thing wrong with me, McKay.” A look of disgust crossed her face. “I don’t even understand how I’ve managed to put up with you as long as I have. You asshole. It used to be enough, really, that you saved our lives a couple of times a month and now frankly—just once I wish you’d fuck up and put us all out of our misery.”

“Look I realize that things have been difficult since Eliza was killed… but I can’t tolerate this kind of attitude from you Dr. Simpson. Please, go down to the infirmary and speak with Dr. Biro about a sedative and I expect you to go straight to your quarters.”

“Don’t you dare talk about her. It’s your fucking fault that she’s dead. If it had been your team, you would have folded. If they’d been beating someone you loved you would have given us all up to make it stop but she wasn’t. You probably didn’t even fucking know her name until the mission! So, don’t you dare… don’t you fucking…” Simpson took a deep breath and then another. Her eyes widened and her hand fisted in her shirt as she struggled for another breath.

“Oh fuck.” Rodney crossed to the woman, pushed her into a chair, and bent her forward. Then he clicked his radio. “Medical emergency to Lab 21.” He patted the woman’s back. “You need to breathe, Fiona. This is just a panic attack.”

“I fucking hate you,” Simpson gasped out between breaths. “Really.”

“That’s okay because I don’t like you much either. I mean you can’t make coffee for shit and that’s practically a capital offense in McKay-Land.” He rubbed her back in slow circles. “Now, listen to me, she loved you. She loved you more than she loved herself and her last thoughts… her last words were about you.”

“You told me.” Simpson shuddered. “You told me.”

“She told me that you were the light and the love of her life. She told me that nothing was more important to her than your happiness. I promised her I would take care of you, Fiona, and I don’t make such promises lightly. I’ve barely been an asshole to you at all and I do hope you noticed.”

“I don’t need… fucking pity from you, McKay.”

Rodney swung around and forced her to look at him. He held her chin between her fingers. “Look, you little idiot, I don’t pity you. You don’t deserve pity and frankly, I’m pretty much incapable of it. Eliza loved you. You were her everything. And once you’ve been someone else’s everything the last thing you get is pity. What you do get and what you do have is my respect. Because really it’s stupidly brave to fall in love out here. Any idiot can jump from bed to bed – maybe giving past partners a nod in the hallway. Because if you don’t love, it won’t hurt as much when they are gone.”

“Right.” Simpson nodded. “I should’ve just kept it simple, right?”

“No.” Rodney released her. “It’s a risk worth taking and no matter how she died—she died knowing someone loved her and that’s the gift you gave her.”

Simpson closed her eyes. “I need new quarters.”

“You should have asked sooner.” Rodney snapped his fingers at the Biro who was hovering near the door with Stackhouse. “Get in here; she needs something to help her relax and an escort to her quarters.”

He walked away.

“You’re still an asshole!” Simpson called out but her voice was no longer angry.

“And you’re still an idiot—somehow we all manage to get through our day regardless.”

Stackhouse was silent as they started down the hall. “I didn’t know.”

“Yeah, well, frankly homosexual couples on this base don’t really like outing themselves to the military.”

“I’m not like that.” Stackhouse frowned. “I mean how could I be? You think they let any asshole come through the gate to another galaxy. We’re all heavily screened for that kind of bullshit, McKay.”

“Screening isn’t one hundred percent. I mean what if you found out an officer above you was gay. How would you feel about that?”

“I’d be fine with it and anyone that wasn’t fine with it would answer to me or Bates. Neither one of us would tolerate bullshit like that from the enlisted men. They aren’t here to have opinions.” Stackhouse sighed. “That’s fucked up, you know, I mean she’s been grieving all this time and none of us… does she have anyone to talk to about it?”

“Her and Kusanagi are pretty close and I know she’s been seeing the shrink.” Rodney paused and then detoured into a storage closet. “You know something? I’m an idiot.”

“Maybe you’re the one smoking crack because seriously… don’t say shit like that. We all depend on your super brain to survive.”

Rodney waved him off and clicked his radio. “Radek. I ordered an eletronmicroscope last year but I forgot about it until just this minute. Can you confirm its delivery?”

“One minute, Rodney.” Radek paused and hummed. “Yes, the Daedalus delivered it and the shipment was verified by…” Radek sighed. “Dr. Harding. It’s in storage room 7A.”

“Yeah, funny. The spot where it should be is very, very empty.”

– – – –

“Major, I’m glad to see your health as improved.”

Evan raised one eyebrow. “Really? It’s unfortunate for us both that you weren’t more concerned about my health before. Perhaps I could have been spared having a heart attack on the floor of my quarters. It wasn’t the best experience I’ve ever had.”

Banks colored. “I apologize that my error caused you such discomfort. If I could do it over again…”

“Something tells me, Dr. Banks, that you didn’t want to interfere with Michael’s experiment.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I’m talking about the fact that you’ve been off world a hand full of times in the last few years and it seems that every single time Michael was somehow involved. When did he get to you? A man like you wants power – probably as much as he does. Is that how he gained your loyalty? Did he promise you a place in his organization? Did he promise you that he would give you all the power that you deserved?”

“Major, you’re delusional. Perhaps you should still be in the infirmary. Obviously the drug is still affecting you.”

Evan exchanged a look with Caldwell. “Colonel Caldwell thinks you’re a megalomaniac too and he hasn’t been exposed to the Hoffan drug. We spent the last hour going over the sensory logs of the Daedalus. Once we had a name, it was easy for us to investigate your movements on this ship for the past three years. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that you spent a great deal of time with Dr. Wesley Harding on his first trip out here. The sensors have no records for the night the bomb was placed—it’s one of the first things we checked. But that’s no surprise considering Harding’s background in computers.”

“I had no idea what Harding was up, too. I knew him from Earth and he was an interesting person to talk to.”

Evan leaned forward. “Harding is in a hole so deep on Earth that he begs for sunlight. When we ask him about you – he’s going to give you up just on the off chance that he might get a better lunch. That’s how far gone he is.”

Banks paled slightly. “If he’s that far gone… he’ll say anything.”

“As you know, Dr. Banks, we have technology from our allies off-world so that we can tell if someone is being deceptive with us. We’ll get the truth out of him and eventually—once we get you back on Earth we’ll get the truth out of you, too.”

– – – –

“So, we’ve tracked Banks’ activity on the computer system and shortly after Harding left he began downloading all mission reports that related to Dr. Keller and activities off-world.”

“He picked up where Harding left off.”

“It appears so.”

Lorne lay back on the bed. “They got to Harding while he was on Earth and he recruited Banks once he got out here. Maybe even before—maybe Banks and he hooked up on Earth and…”

“It goes in circles, right?” Rodney curled up next to him and closed his eyes. “The best part about Caldwell knowing is that I don’t have to sleep in my room when he’s here.”

Evan laughed. “I was so fucking freaked out I nearly passed out when he referenced knowing about you and me.”

“Does it bother you that apparently my proclivities are so well know that there is actually a policy that deals with it?” Rodney bit down on his lip but laughed a little anyway.

“No, though I am concerned they might keep a list of all the men they know about for future use or whatever. If you leave the program—nothing could stop them from hitting your past partners with charges.”

“Or if I died.”

“Hey, whoa, we don’t discuss that.”

“Right.” Rodney’s fingers clenched in Evan’s t-shirt. “How did your final scan go?”

“Biro says I’m one hundred percent and probably Wraith proof.”

“That’s such a bizarre thing to say.” Rodney sat up and looked over his face. “You know, the first year I was out here—I accepted the fact that I’d probably die out here. It’s not like things are ever a picnic and its one enemy after another. The Wraith are a threat but we aren’t safe from other humans either and really how fucked up is that?”

Evan touched his face. “It’s very fucked up.”

—-

CHAPTER FIVE

Keira Marcos

In my spare time I write fan fiction and lead a cult of cock worshippers on Facebook. It’s not the usual kind of hobby for a “domestic engineer” in her 30’s but we live in a modern world and I like fucking with people’s expectations.

6 Comments:

  1. This is nice, I was wondering around your page and found this. I love Mckay/Lorne pairings and you’ve captured them beautifully from what i’ve read so far. I feel like i’m missing chunks of the story by not reading the previous chapters but i’m kind leery on reading het but I think I might have to just to satisfy my curiosity. Lovely story and beautifully written as always.

  2. Just catching up on my reading and I wanted to present you with the “Best Typo Evar!” award. Looks like what happens to me when I try to switch between WoW and email, hehe. “Rodney frowned. “HHhHhh;kjkjsadfjklsjfe’s right, we would definitely be captured or running for our lives at this point.”

    Love all your stuff, can’t wait for more 🙂

  3. Ha! Fixed. I hate transferring out of Word but I refuse to write in anything else. SIGH.

  4. Updatteeeee!!! I’ve been waiting for-frickin’-ever! *loves this series*

  5. I just got caught up with all of your series currently in progress. Thanks so much – all just wonderful – and with Dark Places – I don’t usually read het but I loved this. And, i always love McLorne! I have a bit of time since I submitted (but am still waiting to defend) my PhD and am only writing one grant and two short reports – if you need a beta. I am great at grammar editing. I can’t and don’t write fiction (too steeped in reality, I’m afraid), but love to read it and would gladly assist with any of your series. Thanks again!

  6. I am loving this whole story. McKay and Lorne are a great couple. Great that you have Sheppard and Lorn agreeing to share their geek. The pairings are wonderful and I like this story, I hope they eventually catch Michael and kick his ass!

Leave a Reply