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Fic: [SGA] Menace of Eternity (PG)

Title: Menace of Eternity
Author: skinscript
Rating: G
Word Count: 5500
Genre: Team!fic
Spoilers: 5.04 Daedalus Variations
Warnings: Angst, Character death
Summary: Rodney McKay never was one for keeping journals. But stuck on a derelict Daedalus, he's inspired by Colonel Sobel's example. Another Rodney McKay reads his experiences.
Posted to: sga_episodefic, atlantisfic, mckay_sheppard


Menace of Eternity



There in his self-created cage
Ah, how safely barred is he
From menace of eternity.

-- Martin Armstrong, from "The Cage"




mckay@ /usr/local ~> cd ~
mckay@ /home/mckay ~> ls
READMENOW AUD MODS
mckay@ /home/mckay ~> cd READMENOW
mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~> ls -la
drwxr-x--x 6 mckay mckay 640 Aug 18 02:16 .
drwxrwsr-x 118 root staff 2928 Jul 8 2007..
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 374 Jul 17 02:16 READMENOW.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 123 May 21 04:22 starlog_May21.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 125 May 23 08:12 starlog_May23.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 212 May 26 12:41 starlog_May26.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 432 Jun 01 09:15 starlog_Jun01.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 110 Jun 07 07:34 starlog_Jun07.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 125 Jun 11 04:54 starlog_Jun11.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 198 Jun 17 22:12 starlog_Jun17.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 342 Jun 22 19:51 starlog_Jun22.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 111 Jun 25 13:26 starlog_Jun25.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 126 Jun 26 20:08 starlog_Jun26.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 342 Jun 30 18:18 starlog_Jun30.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 122 Jul 02 00:59 starlog_Jul02.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 176 Jul 06 04:22 starlog_Jul06.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 143 Jul 07 17:19 starlog_Jul07.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 132 Jul 12 10:07 starlog_Jul12.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 432 Jul 14 10:30 starlog_Jul14.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 321 Jul 15 04:37 starlog_Jul15.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 142 Jul 16 16:49 starlog_Jul16.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 199 Jul 16 21:12 starlog_Jul16b.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 208 Jul 17 13:22 starlog_Jul17.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 mckay mckay 221 Jul 17 15:54 starlog_Jul17b.txt

mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more READMENOW.txt
If you haven't seen a flash yet, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY!!!!!

If you're still reading this, then you were most likely too stupid to leave when you read the first line telling you to run for your life. Or, I suppose, it's moderately possible that you found this too late. In which case, perhaps bad luck is your sin instead.

You're trapped now. Might as well get comfortable.

Everything on the alternate reality drive is in ~/AUD. Good luck.

Quick summary for you: We came onto Daedalus weeks ago after finding her drifting crewless above Atlantis. We got trapped. I've spent the entire time trying to figure out how to get us home, hoping to succeed before we starved.

I failed.



"This is incredible. The ship is totally deserted."

"Ronon, go make sure. Teyla, you're with me to the bridge. Rodney..."

"Yeah, yeah. Engineering. Just don't break anything on the bridge, ok? We might need some of it... Holy shit. What was that?"




mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_May21.txt
May 21, 2008

Another fine mess. This is what we get for assuming that a derelict spaceship would be a reasonably safe place to check out. You'd think we'd never seen Alien.

Instead, we're stuck. According to Colonel Sobel, commander of this version of the Daedalus, they'd been experiencing events for a long time before they gave up and hauled ass off of the ship. Some kind of a quantum alignment drive, capable of shifting universes, though WHY they thought that was a good idea, I have no clue. Colonel Sheppard and Ronon are securing the rest of the ship while Teyla and I scour Colonel Sobel's logs and try to figure out exactly what the hell is going on here.

I guess Sobel inspired me. That or I'm wishing I had my Star Trek DVDs with me.



"So, they somehow figured this was a good idea?"

"Apparently so, yes."

"Why would they do such a thing, Rodney? I do not understand their reasoning."

"It's a weapon. Think about it. Jump away, jump back a few seconds later. Boom."

"That's certainly possible. It would be easy enough to cross-reference your starting point and set the return to be on an automated timer..."

"Yeah, well. Whatever they were thinking, they fucked it up."





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_May23.txt
May 23, 2008

So. We're utterly screwed. The alternate universe drive (AUD) is working exactly as planned, except for the part where people who more properly should be described as barely functioning MONKEYS decided to fuck around with it. Did they break it? Oh, no... that would have been far too intelligent. Instead they souped it up and took out all the brakes. IDIOTS! Actually, I think monkeys would have had more sense of self-preservation.

The only possibility we have is to find a way to drive it back to our original universe and hop off the train. There is a co-ordinate system that the designer provided, that might be leveragable as some sort of basic navigational reference. It utilises fifteen dimension nonlinear maths and invertible quantum space states. Elegant. A life's work.

We figure we have about four weeks of supplies, if we ration. Lovely. Starvation and possibly a long tortuous death lie ahead!



"Four weeks? You can't be serious! What happens if we're past four weeks? What happens if it's half citrus?"

"Then you'll eat from the other half. Jesus, Rodney, you'd think you were already starving or something."

"Well, I am kind of ..."

"McKay."

"Oh, like you weren't thinking it too, Gigantor."

"This argument is unnecessary. I have complete faith that Rodney will discover a solution well before food becomes an issue."

"Yes, he will. Won't you, Rodney?"

"Oh, of course, back to me being Mr. Fixit. No pressure or anything."

"Better get on it, McKay. I'm getting hungry already."





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_May26.txt
May 26, 2008

I've set Teyla to reconstructing the entirety of the Daedalus' crew logs. Colonel Sobel was thorough, but didn't give us what we need to know. Where did the ship start? Where were they trying to go? WHERE IS THE FUCKING OFF SWITCH??

Hopefully the crew logs will fill that in.

Nine jumps so far. No way to tell for sure how long poor old Daedalus has been bouncing around. Time seems to stay consistent one universe to the next, and our normal space absolute position has not changed. It is pretty irritating to be looking down at Atlantis and know it isn't ours.

I've had a chance to verify that the sublights, hyperdrive, and subspace communications are down.

This drive is an absolute marvel. Note: specifications under ~/AUD/spec, test results in ~/AUD/diagnostics. The possibilities of this technology are boundless, absolutely staggering. Unfortunately it is broken in exactly the worst possible way. We seem to be cycling at a gradually increasing rate, currently at just under twelve hours. There is no obvious progression to the actual universes we are jumping through.

Colonel Sheppard and Ronon have started going through the ship compartment by compartment, putting together whatever they can scrounge up. Thank god all of the water recyclers are working. Bad enough to be rationing food. Daedalus at least can provide all the water we need.

I need to focus on this drive, on working out the solution that will get us home.

Hopefully Zelenka hasn't blown it up yet.



".. it's utterly fascinating, the way that space folds at just the right dimensional angle that we can leap whichever way the drive chooses to take us. Of course, the math is incredibly complex, but it's kind of like getting off on just the right offramp, which you choose just as you hit the highway, from among millions of possible offramps. This drive is incredible, I tell you. Heh. Probably my work! Well, not me me, but some other equally brilliant me..."

"McKay."

"Oh, thank the ancestors."

"McKay here."

"We've got visitors. Ronon, get up here. McKay, be prepared."

"Prepared? Prepared? Prepared for what?"

"Sheppard, out."





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jun01.txt
June 1, 2008

Visitors today. Unfriendly ones. Apparently in this universe Atlantis made it to New Lantea, only to be taken by the Genii. They seem to have subordinated gene carriers. It took several hours before they came up to check us out, but it only took ten minutes for us to determine they were hostile.

Daedalus may not be in any shape to move, but she can still fight. Luckily, we jumped out before they could reinforce.

The fight showed up some deficiencies in our capabilities though. Lack of manouverability was a big problem, as was the limited power reserve and manpower. Daedalus is not designed to be fought by four people, no matter how well trained in hand to hand. Even Sheppard doesn't do as well when he's not allowed to actually FLY.

Through some very fancy re-routing of the sublights through the shield arrays we held on. ./MODS for details.

It makes me think that we've been pretty lucky so far.




"We need those fucking shields McKay!"

"I know that! What do you think I'm doing, playing tiddlywinks? There! There! Forget moving, but try the shields again!"

"John..."

"I see it. Forward railgun position firing."

"Direct hit on the foremost jumper. Well done, John."

"Nice shot, Sheppard."

"Oh my god, oh my god."

"There goes the jumper. Sure makes a big bang, doesn't it?"

"John. Jesus..."

"Christ, Rodney, what?"

"The jumper. There were sub-cu transmitters..."

"What?"

"The jumper, the one we just killed..."

"Shut up, Rodney."

"It was you. We just killed you."

"Rodney. Shut. Up."

"God. The Genii must have us all. We have to help them! What can we..."

*flash*

"Oh my god."

"Shut up."





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jun07.txt
June 7, 2008

It's been six days since the Genii attack and all four of us are ready to come out of our skins every damned jump. The forced inactivity is driving Ronon and Sheppard nuts, with Teyla not far behind. They've stripped the portside 302 bay to make a new gym, big enough to run around and beat each other up, and spent three days dismantling and moving the enlisted weight room over. They're up to hours of training every day. Teyla comes by to get some lessons in Daedalus tech, Sheppard drops by for status updates, Ronon comes to stare at me to work faster.

The Genii attack did damage I'll be hard-pressed to fix, especially since without Atlantis recharge capabilities we're down to hours in the Jumper. Our communications array is completely gone.

The AUD is absolutely brilliant. It must be mine, or at least another McKay's. Math has a signature, just like handwriting, and this work is mine. Which makes me wonder again what the hell could I have been thinking. Mentioned it to Sheppard when I stopped at the 'gym' to eat. They all had the same question, only they were looking at ME. Like I know. Then a pat on the back and a "we're counting on you, buddy", and back to punching each other.

I'm focusing on the navigation systems for the drive. At the moment we're in a pretty steady state, jumping at regular intervals. I've found several inefficiencies in the actual systems algorithms -- probably some Zelenka's work -- and I have a model for increasing the rate at which the drive cycles. Once I figure out how to get the control application to properly identify and navigate the multi-verse coordinate model, we should be able to return much faster than we left.




"McKay. Finally came up for air, huh?"

"I got hungry."

"Have you made any progress, Rodney?"

"I'm finding the drive pretty straightforward to reason out. The math is familiar. I'm pretty sure it was designed by another McKay."

"So what the hell were you thinking?"

"Ronon!"

"You're all thinking it."

"Hell, I'm thinking it. Weapon, that's what I was thinking. I'm sure I... HE, damn it. HE wasn't thinking 'I think I'll create an interdimensional juggernaut to drive my other incarnation totally fucking INSANE!"

"Eat, Rodney. It will make you feel better."

"Yeah, while it lasts."

"We're counting on you, buddy. We know you can do it."

"Great. You know, I think I'm going to take this with me, eat down in Engineering. Call me if you need me."





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jun11.txt
June 11, 2008

Ok. I've done the math, and we are totally fucked.

Four weeks of food, stretched to six? Maybe seven, if we suffer.

We've already been out here THREE WEEKS. That means that even if I have my breakthrough on this GODDAMNED AUD nav system right fucking NOW we'll still be out of food before we get home.

I'm going to die here.




"You are not going to die here, Rodney."

"Don't make me any promises you can't keep, Sheppard."

"I'm not going to keep it. You are. You're going to get us out of this. Now get back to work."





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jun17.txt
June 17, 2008

I've set up the initial set of more efficient subroutines on the drive, ready to go. I've also applied the same compression algorithm to the drive's power distribution as I used when I rewrote the databurst data compression routines. Who would have guessed doing my masters on NP completeness and transition modelling would actually come in useful in the real world? Take that, Professor Hauser.

It means that I'll be able to jump us home with decreasing periods between jumps. Given the state of our food, a very good thing. It's good to have something to report to Sheppard as progress. Every damned time I go down to see them it's all stares and glassy eyes.

Of course, if I could just get this multi-verse co-ordinate system in a state recognizable by machine, I could simply configure the drive once and say "make it so". At this point I don't see any other option. We're too many jumps away from our starting point to take any other route. Jumping at random certainly isn't getting us anywhere. Finding our start point and dropping right back into home is the only way to go.

Then I'll blow the drive to pieces just to make it STOP.




"No. You can not have all my C-4."

"Party-pooper."

"Get us home and I'll throw you a party like you've never seen before."

"I wonder... I set the drive to an ever decreasing time period between jumps. What happens as the delta time approaches zero? Do we end up in a state of occupying all universes simultaneously? What would that be like?"

"It's been weeks, McKay. I don't care what it would be like. I care about getting home."

"Please, Rodney. Return to work."





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jun22.txt
June 22, 2008

I hate this fucking drive. It's beautiful and elegant and absolutely brilliant, and I hate it more than... more than anything. More than Kolya. More than CITRUS. If it wasn't for the fact that we need it to get home, I would take every stick of C4 that the team carries and I would just take it out. Hell, I'd take out the whole fucking Daedalus too.

It's so frustrating, to have the solution there in your head and be unable to touch it. I can see it, SEE how the pieces fit, but it simply doesn't model. Not using this gear, not using this tech. Maybe if I were at home

Went to see the team today. They've cut back on the training because of the food situation, have graduated to strategy games. No progress to report, back to work McKay. We need you to get us home.

They blame me.




"Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars?"

"Jesus, Sheppard. You're teaching them *Monopoly*?"

"Needed something to pass the time, McKay. I'm guessing you're not giving us something else to look forward to?"

"Monopoly is a great game. Teaches trading. And stuff."

"Stuff. Well, that's eloquent. Why aren't you beating each other up?"

"Too much energy."

"There is little food left, Rodney. We realised we were simply burning too much energy by working out so much, so we have changed to ... alternatives. You still owe me three hundred dollars, Ronon."

"This game sucks."

"Just fork over the cash, already. Any news, Rodney?"

"No. Well, I've eliminated forty six other potential navigation models..."

"How many are left?"

"Six thousand nine hundred twenty one, in this branch."

"Huh. Sounds like a lot. Fuck. Back in jail."

"It is a 'lot', yes. In the purely technical meaning of 'lot' of course, because we wouldn't want to actually stretch our vocabularies into something even resembling specific-"

"Rodney."

"What?"

"Perhaps you should get back to it, then."





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jun25.txt
June 25, 2008!

Breakthrough!

It was right there all along, right THERE - how is the drive choosing its next jump? Even in the cases of millions of multiverses to choose from the drive must still choose. And it does! It uses such an elegant model, I don't know how I missed




"What the fuck was that? McKay to She..."

"Ronon to the bridge! Get to the guns! McKay! I need shields right fucking now!"

"Right! On it!"





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jun26.txt
June 26, 2008

Attacked. Something new this time. Gelatinous and ugly and flat out disgusting. I had to implement the first set of drive efficiencies to get us away. In doing so I think... I think I corrupted part of the core code. I can't be positive, but I wasn't able to create a backup before I implemented and the drive feels different now. Less stable, more prone to unpredictability.

Yesterday the solution was so simple. The drive was choosing the next universe on a simple linear progression along twelve dimensional space. Why twelve when the drive itself is fifteen? Who the hell knows. The last two jumps don't follow the pattern any more. I can't use the model to determine our starting point. All that work down the drain because some planet-sized ameoba decided we looked tasty.

I need to go tell the others. I need to come up with something completely new.




"Say something. Please."

"It's already been weeks, Rodney. And now you're telling us that all your existing work's been made useless. Just... give me a minute here to digest, ok?"

"Look, I'm sorry, it wasn't on purpose. I just.. I just need to think of something new, that's all."




mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jun30.txt
June 30, 2008

Sheppard suggested reverse. Not a bad idea, except for the issues of no food, no time, and no clear path. Reverse would get us back to Mutant Hungry Amoeba space, but the inversion algorithm beyond that is lost irretrievably. The co-ordinate system is our only chance.




"So, what? Can we throw this thing in reverse, then?"

"Reverse."

"Yeah, reverse. You know, the direction other than forward?"

"Oh, ha ha. It's a little more complicated than that. Plus, the AUD doesn't exactly have a handy dandy stickshift. Finally... we don't have a path to follow."

"We what?"

"We don't have a path to follow. The jump history before the evil amoeba was wiped out with the jump algorithms."

"And that is bad."

"That? Is epically, gigantically, catastrophically bad."




mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jul02.txt
July 2, 2008

I liked it better when I was being ignored.

Ronon's decided to start hanging out in Engineering. He seems to think that staring at me fixedly is going to somehow convince me to work harder. Teyla is going through Colonel Sobel's logs over and over, looking for anything that could possibly help. Sheppard takes turns cajoling and haranguing, like that will help. It's me or nothing, he says, they ALL say. Me or nothing.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.



"Stop. Staring."

"Work, McKay."

"I can't work with you looming over me. Christ. Go away."

"Ronon simply wishes to be available to help, Rodney. Just as I do."

"Yeah, Rodney. We'll help any way we can. We know you can do it."

"Yes, yes, I'm the only hope, I've heard it already."

"Indeed you are, Rodney. I wish we could help more. I did find a crewman log entry detailing the original specifications for the drive coolant systems..."

"Reviewed that two weeks ago. Interesting, but useless."

"Oh. I shall continue..."

"Continue searching, yes yes. Could you search elsewhere? And take Ronon with you?"

"Don't be so hard on them, Rodney. You know they just want to feel like they're helping."

"Hmph."

"We all know how it is though, Rodney. You're the only one who can get us out of this. It's you or nothing. It's you, or we die."




mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jul06.txt
July 06, 2008

Ate one of the last three powerbars in front of Ronon today and practically lost an arm. He decided I was hoarding, convinced the others to search me.

They're all very apologetic. I even understand. I'm hallucinating hamburgers. Hell, I'm hallucinating lemon chicken.

It did lead to an inventory of what's left. We're down to the dregs. There are five meals left. Stretching it out we could make another couple of days.

Crunch time. If I can't get something worked out, we're dead.




"Cough it up, McKay."

"For the last time, I do not have a secret hoard of powerbars! I have ONE, this one, and I have been working on it all day!"

"Oh yeah? Well, I don't believe you."

"So, what? You're going to shoot me now?"

"Put the gun down, Ronon."

"Not until he hands over the food."

"Rodney, let me prove to Ronon you are not carrying anything else."

"What? You want to SEARCH me?"

"Teyla will do it. Go ahead."

"Hey! I didn't agree...hey!"

"He has nothing else."

"Like I SAID."

"Look, we're all a little frazzled here. We just all need some alone time to cool off."

"I am sorry, Rodney."

"Sure. Whatever. Go away. I'm busy."




mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jul07.txt
July 7, 2008

We found food! Well, Teyla found food. In, of all places, the jumper. A box of trail mix, six MRE, and a can of mystery stew.

It could be the difference for us. The difference between life and death.

I never thought so clearly before about the nature of death. Even when the Wraith were at the door and we were on the verge of being overrun with nowhere to go. Even when I was infected with that ridiculous nanovirus. Always before it's had a kind of ... relentless immediacy that has meant I never really got to dwell. Having other people around makes it harder to be distracted by those thoughts. But lately the others have been focusing on keeping themselves busy and staying out of my way.

Now, it takes an effort to push away the awareness of the lurking inevitability of it. Even if we get out of this, even if there is a miracle around the corner, still, eventually it will happen.

I don't want to die. None of us do. Even more, I don't want to die alone.




"I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up, hear me sh- Hello? Is someone there?"




mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jul12.txt
July 12, 2008

I think I'm losing it.

Looking at that? Makes it more real. I'm losing it.

This is bad. This is very bad.




"Look, you have to stop staring at me.

Really. Stop it.

Ok, fine. If you're going to sit there, at least make yourself useful. Hand me that crystal, will you?

Hey! You! Crystal! Hand it over, already.

OK, look! You're really pissing me off here. Stop goddamned staring right-"

"Rodney?"

"Thank god. Will you please tell Forbidding Statue Man here to ... hey! Where'd he go?"

"We are the only ones here, Rodney. Perhaps you should eat."

"..."

"... Come with me. We shall have some dinner."

"He was right there, I swear."





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jul14.txt
July 14, 2008

The others are feeling helpless. Now that they can't work out, and can't scrounge, and have played every game they can remember, they're starting to realise it. The immensity of it. The inevitability.

The beauty is still escaping them, but I see it. It's glorious.




"Rodney, may I speak with you?"

"What? Yeah, yeah, ok. What's up?"

"I wish to explain something. I know I have been distant these last few days, and I want to apologize. It is just that... you are our only hope, Rodney. Should you fail, we will all be lost. I... I am unused to feeling this way, even after so long on Atlantis. Helplessness does not suit me, I fear."

"Ha. Me either."

"It seems not."

"I wouldn't leave you here alone, Teyla. You know that, don't you?"

"Of course. But it means I must broach a painful topic, Rodney. Can you please come to the gym so we can discuss it with the others?"





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jul15.txt
July 15, 2008

Down to the very end of the food. We've stretched as far as we can. Who knew hypoglycaemia would be such a pain in the ass? I have to eat or that'll be it. All we have left is mystery food. It doesn't say citrus. Not in so many words. But I know it's there. I can sense it just waiting for me to be unwary.

Just in case, I've backed up all work on the AUD, made sure I didn't miss anything. It's all there. ~/AUD. I'm close to getting it, I'm sure I am, but the dizziness is all the time now and it's messing with me.

If I don't make it, the others would be left in a derelict reality-hopping spaceship. They'd starve to death, hopeless, HELPLESS. God, I can't even bear to think about it. If I don't make it, no one does.




"It's all we've got left, Rodney. We have to try it."

"It's got artificial flavours, Sheppard. You know what that means."

"It might not! You need to eat, Rodney! I never thought the day would come when you'd be arguing against getting a meal."

"You never tried to feed me poison before, either."

"McKay. Eat the damned food, or I'll make you."

"Rodney, please..."

"Ok, everyone just calm down. Look - when people know they're going to be exposed to an allergen, they take some antihistimanes, right? We'll load you up, and then you can eat. If anything happens, we still have the epipens."

"Oh, lovely. Spoken like someone who's never had to use one. Those things are concentrated evil."

"Eat or I'll use one on you anyway."

"You are not helping."

"He's the only one that can get us out of this. He eats, one way or another."

"Ok, ok! Christ. Fine, I'll eat it. Let me load up on the Benedryl first. Least we can do is try and avoid murdering me by food."





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jul16.txt
July 16, 2008

Yet another brilliant idea down the tubes.

Also, the artificial flavouring? Citrus based. As predicted.




"I thought you said the pills would prevent this?"

"Rodney! Christ! Prop him up a bit!"

"Don't you dare die, McKay. We need you to get us out of here."

"Rodney. Come on, buddy, breathe with me, here. You need to breathe, you hear me? If you go, we're all dead. We can't do it without you."

"I swear, McKay..."

"That's it, buddy. Breathe. Breathe. I've got you."

"Welcome back, Rodney."





mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jul16b.txt
July 16, 2008 cont.

God, I hate adrenaline shots. Vomiting is no more pleasant on an almost empty stomach. Racing heart, hyperventilating. Dizziness. Nausea.

I know they didn't do it to me on purpose. I know it, I do. They're desperate. We're at absolute zero, here... The perfect time for me to spring my fabulous miracle cure out of nowhere and save all our asses. I won't be able to. Once the adrenaline crash comes, that will be it.

There's no miracle coming. There isn't. There isn't. There isn't.

I've failed.




"Hey buddy. What ya doin'?"

"Looking for something."

"We've been through all the stores already. There's nothing else to eat."

"I'm not looking for stuff to eat. I'm looking for alternate power supplies. Aha! Perfect."

"What did you find?"

"This. Come on, we need to find Teyla."




mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jul17.txt
July 17, 2008

I think Ronon will be the hardest. He always said he didn't want to die helpless. I wouldn't want him to be stuck in his biggest fear.

No. Better he go out fighting. It's too bad the allergy attack has left me so weak. I might have offered to help with that. As it is, I'll have to cheat.




"Ronon!"

"What?"

"John and Teyla... something's happened. I need your help."

"Where?"

"There!"

"Sheppard? Teyla!"

"I'm sorry, Ronon."

"McK-"

"This Daedalus packed zats. Smart of them, wasn't it? God, you're heavy. How are you still so heavy? Oh! Sorry about the head, there. You know, at least we're all together. You guys may be unconscious, but it still feels like company, you know? I've, um, turned off the heat. I hear hypothermia is the absolutely best way to die. You just get tired and fall asleep and never wake up.

I wish I could have found a way. I've ... wow, yawning... I've left all my notes on my tablet. I hope the drive burns out before someone else gets caught here.

I know what you're all thinking. You're thinking, I've lost it. Well, I have. Cause, you know, you're unconscious and so you aren't thinking at all, and I'm still talking to you like you're awake! But you're still right. I've lost it. Maybe it's the adrenaline crash, maybe it's the blood sugar talking, but I just couldn't leave you guys to die without me. Like you said, I was your only hope. And I'm done, done, done, done, dead.

I failed. I can't believe I failed. How did I build something like this and not know how to shut it down?

I'm glad we're together. I'm glad you won't have to die alone."




mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>more starlog_Jul17b.txt
July 17, 2008

Final entry.

We're together. It's getting cold, really cold now, and my hands are shaking too much to type much. All my research is here. You can find it at ~/AUD and ~/MODS. I know, I know, I've said it before, but you might not read them all and if you only read this one you need to know where the research is, all right?

All right. Going now. My team needs me.

Good luck. Goodbye.




"Ok. Sleepy now. Goodnight. Sweet dreams, everyone. I'm sorry it came to this. I'm so sorry. I tried, I really did. I swear, I tri-"




mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>cd ..
mckay@ /data/.notes ~>tar -cvvf readthis.tar README/
mckay@ /data/.notes/ ~>cp readthis.tar //alt16/d1/user/mrmckay/
mckay@ /data/.notes/README ~>rlogin alt16
mrmckay@ /user/mrmckay -->chmod 777 ./readthis.tar
mrmckay@ /user/mrmckay -->mail topteam@atlantis.net -s "Mandatory Technical Sessions @ my lab tomorrow 1400hrs"
//atl16/user/mrmckay/readthis.tar
This? Is not going to happen to us. Ever.
Be there.
-R
^D
mrmckay@ /user/mrmckay -->logout
-30-

Comments

( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 2
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eccentricweft
Sep. 20th, 2008 05:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is so painful. Poor Rodney, poor John and Teyla and Ronon. Well done.
skinscript
Sep. 20th, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
I couldn't stop thinking about the other team... how did they end up in the positions they did. Why was Ronon facing the other way? Why was McKay sitting up? Why would they all be in the same place, as if they'd all gone at the same time?

Tragedy.

Thank you!
seekergeek
Sep. 20th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
Yep, that was painful.
skinscript
Sep. 20th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks for coming back after I fixed the link. :)

It hurt to write too, but I think the result was worth it.

Thank you!
goddess47
Sep. 20th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
::sniffle::

This is so very nicely done.... it is easy to forget the 'alternate' teams and what they might have gone through.....
skinscript
Sep. 20th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Now I'm stuck thinking about the Atlantis where the Genii have taken over on New Lantea, and where they've just lost John...
(no subject) - goddess47 - Sep. 20th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
rawa_02
Sep. 20th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
A tad teary-eyed.
Wonderful explanation of that too short scene.
skinscript
Sep. 20th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I haven't decided if their habit of skipping so much in the show is a good thing (woo hoo stuff to write) or a bad thing (I want my on-screen angst)!

sgafan33
Sep. 20th, 2008 10:15 pm (UTC)
Menace of Eternity by skinscript.
I'm see I wasn't the only one who wondered why Rodney was sitting up when the others were lying down. Thanks for filling in the blanks.
skinscript
Sep. 21st, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
Re: Menace of Eternity by skinscript.
You're welcome, and thank you!

I confess, I was immediately captured when watching the ep by how they were arranged and what it all *meant*. It's a good thing it plays here more than once cause I missed a good five minutes just wondering and thinking about it!
sara_wolf
Sep. 21st, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
This was painful. And for most of it, I kept wanting to smack John, Teyla, and Ronon for playing games while telling Rodney to get back to work.
skinscript
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
Thank you, and actually - me too!

I did wonder if they were overboard, but -- I can really see it happening this way. I think it's pretty consistent with how they're written on the show.

It actually is one of my pet peeves that Rodney's learned all this stuff about soldiering despite there being three others, and he's still the only one technical. *laughs and stops before starting a rant*

Thank you! I will take the painful, and the wanting to smack them as a compliment, because it means that it worked. :)
(no subject) - sara_wolf - Sep. 21st, 2008 03:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skinscript - Sep. 23rd, 2008 02:58 am (UTC) - Expand
badwolf36
Sep. 21st, 2008 07:01 am (UTC)
Oh wow. Incredibly painful and very well done. It's nice to see what happened to that alternate team that failed. Thank you so much for sharing!
skinscript
Sep. 23rd, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
Thank you! You're welcome.

I wasn't sure that the format would translate to other people as well as it did in my head, so I'm really glad so many people have liked it and reviewed!
sholio
Sep. 21st, 2008 08:22 am (UTC)
*cries* Oh, team! Knowing what's going to happen to them (as a reader, I mean) is the worst part; even the banter has a sad undertone, knowing how it's all going to end. And, oh, Rodney, being the only one who can fix it and not being able to. *clings to team*
skinscript
Sep. 23rd, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
Yes; I was totally haunted by that dead team. (as also evidenced by 'Perspective'). The other part of the question is - what happened to their Atlantis, who will never get them back? The tragedy here is so much bigger than just a dead team. So sad.

Thank you!
texanfan
Sep. 21st, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
Oh wow. Ever sense that episode I've been obsessed with what happened to the "other" team. the despair running through this is just heart wrenching. Yeah, this, this I believe. Thank you.
skinscript
Sep. 23rd, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
Me too! I'm so glad I'm not the only one.

I have to believe that they started pretty cheerfully and ready for action, and then slowly became drenched in despair.

I'm glad you feel it's believable! Thank you.
skialalia
Sep. 23rd, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
Really, really good read. I particularly like the way you've captured that rather awkward formality of Teyla's, and Rodney's habit of saying in 50 words what could be said in two.

Also, the artificial flavouring? Citrus based. As predicted.

I LOL'ed at this. Somehow you managed to convey the exasperation and fatalism that is soooo Rodney in these short sentences.

My only quibble with this fic is Rodney's use of "fuck" so often. It's just my personal take, but I always thought that if Rodney ever came out with that, it would be because he's simply run out of more descriptive words, not as an adjective (which is more Sheppard's style). Of course, everyone sees them differently, and it in no way takes away from a lovely, painful fic.

Rec-ed!
skinscript
Sep. 23rd, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you! I ran this past my dear ficstalker a whole bunch of times while we played "guess the speaker" so I could be sure I had the voices recognizable. That was fun.

I'm also glad you found the humour funny. I've always found that there is usually a thread of humour in most despair.

On Rodney's swearing - I hear you. At the same time, I could see him resorting to profanity when really frustrated. Sorry it grated; I'm glad you didn't find it detracted too much. :)

Thank you!
khyrra
Sep. 23rd, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
Wow. Really well done, and quite believable(if painfully so). Now that I've read this, I'm surprised I didn't see more fics about the dead AU team. It seems so obvious now. Thanks si much for sharing.
skinscript
Sep. 30th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I too find it painful, but given what happened, there's really no other way for it to be I think.

Have you see others? I'd like to read some.
jayi
May. 30th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
Well, first of all.. I just have to thank you right now. So.. thank you very much for writing this!

Ya know, I just saw this episode a few hours ago, (I'm German, and Germany sucks in all ways with series and TV shows.. and they haven't aired Season 5 yet, don't even know if the will do so in the future.. but I was sick of waiting, so I look them in my freetime in english now, yeah yeah..) anyway, that dead team left me thinking to, I mean with how they were arranged and why that way and why all together in that place and so on.. so I got the idea to check if anyone wrote something to this, or if anyone kept wondering and doing theories on that too.. and I'm so glad I wasn't the only one.. and I found this here.. thank you!

And now.. here goes a big compliment to you! It's amazing how you captured the characters, how well written, how emotional, realistic or believable and well observed this was! My deep respect to you! That was so great, could be from the show itself.. well done, really.. more than that. Just: Wow~ ;]

And now.. I will check if you wrote other fictions I could read.. yeah, you have a new fan, namely, well: Me. Heh~ Thanks again, ne~ ;D
skinscript
May. 31st, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! This story didn't get as much play as I expected, but I really loved writing it because it is just so bleak. I spent some time researching cabin fever and how long it would take to go nuts, because once I realised that Rodney killed them, it just had to be written.

Thank you for reviewing! I'm so glad you liked it.
agdrgn
Jun. 22nd, 2009 05:03 am (UTC)
Fabulous and tragic.
skinscript
Jun. 23rd, 2009 03:11 am (UTC)
Thank you!! This is one of my favourites, so I am glad you like it.
missingwatch
Nov. 24th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
I guess the one thing I don't get is why they didn't just blow the drive in a random universe rather than die...although I suppose mckay going insane might have something to do with that...

anyway, interesting au, thanks for sharing!
skinscript
Dec. 10th, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I don't entirely understand why they didn't either, but it was clear in Daedalus Variations that they didn't. One of the things that's true of the Atlantis team is that they are incredibly stubborn -- maybe they just refused to give up on getting back. I kind of loved the idea of Rodney going slowly insane (a la Shining), so I admit I let some of the logic go there.
(no subject) - missingwatch - Dec. 10th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
danceswithgary
Dec. 8th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
Very well done. *shivers*
skinscript
Dec. 10th, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
Thank you!
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