It'd be Legal in the Pegasus Galaxy

It was a beautiful day in Atlantis, and Major John Sheppard relaxed on the chair he'd dragged out onto the balcony. Looking significantly into the distance was all well and good, but he liked being comfortable doing it.

Truth be told, he was bored. Ford had taken a Jumper over to the mainland, and while he liked the kid, he was conscious of the fact that he was Ford's boss, and his Lieutenant might want some down time.

Teyla had gone with Markham, Stackhouse and one of the botanists; he wasn't sure which, to a planet which, he was assured, boasted nothing but scenery. The people who had once lived there had been agriculturalists, but had been wiped out by the Wraith some time before.

He'd thought of bothering McKay, but the geeks had been unbearably chipper, despite the coffee withdrawal they were going through, because of a chance discovery in one of the Ancient labs. A section of the wall had slid out, revealing what looked to John like a withered popcorn kernel, but, he was informed, was the largest sample of Ununpentium ever discovered.

So he sat and stared at the ocean, which did nothing to deserve the intense scrutiny it was under. Was it too much to ask for one, maybe two Wraith to fight? Almost as soon as he thought it, a dart screamed overhead, and John took it back.

The Wraith dart flickered, and disappeared.

"Sheppard to the Gate room, any unusual radar contacts in the last half hour?"

"Nothing to report Major"

Great. He was losing it, going crazy, nuts, insane, bonzo. He was no longer in possession of his faculties, three fries short of a happy meal…WACKO!

"…although," Grodin continued, "There have been some unusual energy readings coming from one of the balconies."

Huh. Maybe not.

He cast his mind back to all the other times he'd sat in this spot, and tried to figure out if anything looked different. He should pay more attention, he chided himself. It was his job to know this city inside out, but he didn't. Sighing, he realised that unless whatever it was had a neon arrow pointing to it, it was would remain a mystery.

A fluorescent pink arrow popped into existence, as a light bulb went off in Sheppard's head. The Ancient doodad was responding to his thoughts; though what the pink said about him, he wasn't ready to find out.

He picked up the device, and pocketed it. It had definite potential but in his experience, just because it hadn't exploded yet, didn't mean it wouldn't. The script on the side was probably an instruction manual, now all he needed was someone to translate it.

He only really had one choice, and McKay owed him. He'd endured three hours of being handed things and told to turn them on yesterday with good grace, and as close to patience as he could manage with a certain Canadian in the room.

As he entered the lab, McKay tensed and said irritably, "I'm busy. If I'm distracted, there's a possibility the room will explode, taking out the stabilisers and dooming us all to a watery grave."

Sheppard peered over his shoulder.

"You're eating lunch. How could a turkey sandwich blow up the room?"

"I never said it was going to happen," grouched the self-proclaimed genius, "just that it could."

And he'd thought McKay couldn't get weirder. He thought of challenging McKay to find a scenario where his lunch would lead to the destruction of Atlantis, but he'd probably get an answer. This was the guy who built a working model of an A-bomb when he was twelve, after all.

"I found this," he held out the device as a peace offering to McKay who took it, and peered at the writing on the side.

"It appears to be some kind of projection system, a kind of mobile version of the V.R. room, but instead of an interface to recorded information, it responds to neural stimulation, which is fascinating, because potentially you can think of whatever you want and it will generate."

"So we could make a ZPM?"

The device flashed a geometric pattern, and a zero point module sat on the lab bench. Rodney waved a hand through it.

"It's only capable of producing holograms, Major."

Sheppard sighed, "So I guess more popcorn is out?"

"This is a highly sophisticated piece of technology capable of replicating anything you can imagine, and you were going to make popcorn?"

"I would have shared."

McKay despaired.

"You wanna head to the gate room? Teyla and the others should be back soon."

"Sure," Rodney agreed, "but I have to stop off on the way. I promised Emily I'd look in on her experiments while she was off world."

"Emily?"

"Dr Marshall."

"The redhead with the piercing?"

"Dr Marshall is one of the foremost experts on palaeobotany, and is fluent in several languages; as well as being a valued member of the SGC for over five years. She even survived a mission with SG-11."

"But she has red hair, right? And a tongue stud?"

"Yes. She does."

They entered the lab, and Rodney glanced around.

"Looks ok, let's go."

"That's it?" queried Sheppard.

"Nothing's on fire. I'm an astrophysicist. I don't know anything about plants."

"…"

John Sheppard was officially speechless. Rodney McKay admitting ignorance? He considered calling Grodin to see if the world was ending, but decided if that was the case, he'd rather not know.

A vivid scarlet blossom caught his eye.

"Isn't that from the planet we were on last week? How'd she get that?"

McKay mumbled something unintelligible and Sheppard grinned.

"You gave her flowers? That's sweet. I didn't think you had it in you."

"It's hardly romantic," he snapped back, "She's a botanist. It's professional courtesy."

Sheppard let his eyebrow do the talking.

They were saved from further argument when the Stargate activated. The team had already requested an extended stay on the planet, and it soon became clear why, when several heavy looking cases proceeded them through the gate.

"What's going on?" a curious Dr Weir asked the team who looked exhausted.

Teyla gave a tired smile, "I believe we have solved much of the provisioning problem that faced us. Although the people of Talax were destroyed long ago, their crops have endured."

She was interrupted by Dr Marshall, "it's incredible. It's a cereal, similar to teosinte, but with a much higher yield. The potential is enormous."

"It's free too," commented Stackhouse rubbing aching shoulders, "but I don't think I'll be able to move tomorrow."

"What are you calling it?" asked McKay.

"We're going for Zea victus sapor for now, but I need to do more tests."

A handful of the grains were removed for analysis while the rest was dragged towards the kitchens. If Dr Marshall wondered why half of Atlantis' star team was following her towards the labs, she made no comment.

"So what's first?" asked Sheppard, making it clear that he had nothing better to do.

"First, we attempt to discover the affect of temperature on the structure, so I can let the cooks know."

Several grains were placed in a sterile crucible and suspended over a heated surface built into the bench surface. In no time at all, the grains began to shake, and then exploded noisily.

"Popcorn," breathed Sheppard in wonder. They'd eaten the last bag from Earth several weeks ago. Emily Marshall had just made a friend for life.

"More than that," said the botanist in question from her place at a microscope, "this has many of the properties of maize, which means that it's possible to make flour, syrup, oil, and as soon as Zelenka gets his hands on it, alcohol."

"Dr McKay?" a voice came over the radio, "we need you in the lab. Something weird's happening to Element 115"

"It's called Ununpentium," grumbled Rodney as he headed towards the physics lab. Emily took the opportunity to shoo Major Sheppard out of her lab with his hands full of popcorn and the promise of more to come.

Rodney McKay sighed wearily. He'd spent most of the day and night trying to stabilise the Ununpentium from whatever the idiots he worked with had done to it. He was once again grateful to the Ancients and their failsafe devices, since it meant he didn't have to worry about radiation poisoning. Admitting defeat, he headed to the Mess Hall to try and drum up some kind of hot and preferably caffeinated drink.

Walking down the darkened hallway, he paused. Something strange was going on – he could smell Java, but the last of the bean had been used up weeks before. He dismissed the thought as wishful thinking, and seeing the light was still on in Emily Marshall's lab, decided to be friendly.

He opened the door to find an empty lab. There was a pair of shoes by the door, so he assumed Emily was around somewhere.

"Hello?"

A door that he'd never seen before slid open and a voice called out

"I'm in the back, Rodney. Come through."

"You seem unusually cheerful. It's four in the morning."

"Victory is mine."

He was handed a mug, filled with what looked like, smelt like, and in fact was –

"Coffee! How?"

His answer was a hand gesture towards the back wall of the lab which was lined with coffee plants in various stages of development.

"Is that cacao?" He pointed towards the side of the room.

"I've been experimenting with making chocolate, but I can't seem to compensate for the Athosian milk. Apparently there's a reason no-one makes chocolate with goat milk."

She grinned, "I wasn't sure the coffee was going to survive – it doesn't travel well, so I brought some alternative sources of caffeine too. My next unofficial experiment is Pegasus Cola. I figure that even if it doesn't work, the whole thing won't be an entire bust. I've got enough coca in this room to get half the galaxy high."

"Are you suggesting starting a crack ring? Isn't that a little unethical?"

"Says you, Mr 'I steal technology from children.' Besides, it's legal in the Pegasus Galaxy."

References:

SG-1 – Window of Opportunity

Seven Days - The show makes reference to "Element 115" as the fuel for the Sphere. Between July 14 and Aug. 10, 2003, element 115 was discovered by Scientists from the Glenn T. Seaborg Institute and the Chemical Biology and Nuclear Science Division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia (JINR). It has an atomic mass of 295, with 180 neutrons, and isotopes with atomic masses of 287 and 288. The total quantity produced was four atoms. As of 2004, it has not been officially named, but has a provisional designation of Ununpentium. In the periodic table, it appears in the same column as the elements Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Arsenic, Antimony and Bismuth and shares many of their chemical properties

Seven Days is also part of the great cast exchange that seems to occur in Sci-Fi these days. Stackhouse and Zelenka both appeared in the show.

In the early 1900s, a serving of Coca-cola contained up to 60mg of cocaine.