Spoilers: 5.19 Vegas
Posted to: sga_episodefic, mckay_sheppard
Summary: The site needs to be secured.
Rodney turned away from Woolsey's and Zelenka's eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose briefly. "Still, it's ultimately irrelevant at the moment. We need to go one step at a time. First, we need to secure the site as soon as possible. Where's the footage from the gun cameras?" He turned at the silence from the room, lifted his voice. "I said, where is the footage from the gun cameras?"
"Right, right here, Doctor McKay." Walter waved a set of photographs at him. Rodney winced at the waste of paper and took them, examining each in detail. "And here are the shots from the satellite we tasked to cover," Walter passed him additional pages.
"Next time just send them to my tablet," Rodney told him curtly. "I can do better resolutions than this."
Walter nodded. Rodney continued paging through, stopping at the first satellite shot. He felt his face heat with irritation, fought it back down. "Send them to me now," he said calmly. "I need to get a better look at these."
An instant later a soft chime told him he'd received them. He lifted the tablet, highlighted the area that had caught his attention, and zoomed in. Damn it. DAMN IT. He closed his eyes and worked to get hold of his temper. Instead of shouting, he stepped deliberately over to the phone and lifted the receiver, punching the keys briskly. "Flight deck? This is McKay. We need two choppers immediately, one full platoon for securing a site, the second with a med team."
[We can be in the air in 10.] Control replied promptly.
"Make it 5," Rodney snapped. "We have a man on the ground in bad shape."
[Understood. 5 minutes.] The line went dead.
Rodney started punching the keys again, feeling Zelenka come up on his right and stare at him askance. He gave him a long, cool look before concentrating on the phone.
"Jennifer. You're needed on the flight deck right now. We're sending a helicopter after Sheppard." He flicked his eyes at the screen of his tablet again, felt his lips compress into a tight line. "You have four minutes."
She hung up without answering. Rodney did too, dragging the tablet over and zooming in further, noting the blood on Sheppard's shirt. He bit his lip, zoomed out, and deliberately ignored the way his finger lingered over the man's prone body.
"Why are you so interested in this man, McKay?" Zelenka asked in his usual irritatingly direct way. "It is most unlike you to care."
Rodney pulled his hand away from the tablet and turned to face his colleague, standing to gain the small advantage of height. With Zelenka, he used every edge he could glean. The other man wasn't his equal, far from it, but he was competitive and downright cunning and that made him someone to keep closely at hand. "I don't necessarily care," he said haughtily. "The man just saved our asses. The least we can do is bring him in out of the sun."
Zelenka snorted but moved away. Woolsey took his place. "You think he's alive?" He asked it quietly.
"Yes." Rodney lifted his chin. "I do."
Woolsey nodded. "I do too. There's something about him..." He was watching Rodney closely, staring really. His eyes were narrowed with suspicion. Christ.
"John Sheppard in the other reality had the gene," Rodney told him. "The strongest expression of it they'd seen. If this one does too, we may be able to use him."
"Ah." Woolsey patted him on the shoulder. "Always thinking of the big picture. I wasn't sure for a minute."
Rodney waited for Woolsey to clear the room before picking up his tablet again, hitting the right key combination to update the picture from the satellite. Sheppard lay exactly as he had previously, sprawled loosely. Rodney zoomed in on his face, unfamiliar anxiety boiling in his stomach. Sheppard's eyes were half-open, staring at the sky. The roil in his stomach changed to full blown nausea at the idea he might already be dead. Rodney shifted to live mode on the satellite and stared at the picture, willing Sheppard to move. A finger, a foot. A twitch, damn it. Anything.
John gave a long, slow blink, seeming to look right into Rodney's eyes.
He swallowed hard against the relief he couldn't even explain to himself, caught himself grinning foolishly at the screen of his tablet and set it firmly on the table. His fingers flexed a little with wanting to pick it back up. Instead he went back to the phone, picked it up and dialled rapidly.
"Control? McKay here."
[Choppers have lifted off, Doctor McKay. ETA three minutes.] The airman monitoring control told him deferentially.
"Excellent work," Rodney replied. "Send a tow truck too, pick up Sheppard's car." He smiled despite himself. "He's going to want it when he wakes up."
[Right away, Doctor McKay.]
Rodney hung up and went back to his tablet to keep an eye on Sheppard. After all, the man had just saved all their asses.
The least he could do was watch the rescue.