Summary: McKay is having mental problems. The others attempt to help, but more is going on then what they believe. Things take a turn for the worse and someone gets caught up in it. Twists, turns, and suspense.
Placement: Season one, after Sanctuary and before Before I Sleep
Disclaimer: SGA is not mine of course, but the other characters and situations I write about here are.
Farah for the beta!
aka Vilya and of course, Queen Cliffie (I will try to live up to it in this one too!)
Chapter 1- Fade to Black
"McKay, what the hell are you doing?" Major Sheppard had to refrain from yelling as he was extremely annoyed at the sight of Rodney in the lab, typing something or another at his laptop when they were supposed to have left on a mission fifteen minutes earlier.
Rodney looked up and saw John in mission gear, P90 included. "I'm working, what are you doing, walking around dressed like that?"
"I'm trying to get a member of my team ready for our mission to M3R- 436!"
"We don't leave for four more hours, Major." He snipped as he started to type again. What did John do, forget to look at his watch?
"No, we were supposed to have left fifteen minutes ago! Now stop that and get moving."
Rodney looked at his watch, "It's only nine… oh my god it's one fifteen…"
"Yeah that's what I've been trying to tell you. Let's go, I don't have all day." McKay often lost track of time, but this was ridiculous.
He stood up and walked past John towards the door, "Why didn't you page me!" Now he had to hurry up and grab all his gear, the situation was in the least a pain.
John caught up with him in the hall, "I've been paging you for the last ten minutes. I finally got fed up and came to look for you myself."
"I didn't hear anything."
John activated his radio, "McKay." And it came out of Rodney's radio, loud and clear. With a smirk of being right, John said, "It works."
"Apparently. Must have been too engrossed in my work."
"Right." John looked at Rodney, he seemed normal. There was the same chin, same eyes, same face, no visible wounds of any kind, and he was as coherent as he always was. He decided he would have Dr. Beckett check Rodney out when they got back, they were late already.
Teyla and Rodney rushed through the Gate, immediately followed by Ford and Sheppard, who were firing behind them. They all looked like they just escaped from a three-alarm fire, as all their faces were blackened with soot of some sort.
Major Sheppard yelled, "Raise the shield!"
Just as a flare of fire came through, Peter raised the shield, cutting off the flare. The team finally got a chance to breathe and stood there panting and dazed, looking at each other in wonder.
"I thought those things… were a myth." John said as he lowered his P90 and turned from the Gate.
Ford wiped his brow, "Not anymore sir."
Upon hearing their unscheduled return, Elizabeth had left her office and went out to the Control Room. Seeing their state, she ran down the stairs, "What happened?"
Teyla replied, "I believe they called it a dragon."
"Yeah, big, fire-breathing, flying dragon." Rodney attempted to demonstrate the size of it with his arms, "It was huge."
Elizabeth looked at the team who were still trying to catch their breath. "Is that even scientifically possible? Fire breathing?"
"Well obviously! You see the planet has an extremely high platinum content that could be used to ignite a gas in their systems, of course the dragon would have to have the gas, but that shouldn't be a problem given that certain types of bacteria do produce hydrogen, so if they have those in their system, and then they most likely have a sort of reaction chamber in their throats-"
John interrupted Rodney's explanation, "Well, everyone is fine, so it's a done day." He started walking away.
Rodney snapped, "Hold on, you're not getting off that easy. You woke the damn thing up!"
John stopped, turned around, and drawled, "On accident."
Ford agreed with Rodney, "You did step on his tail… sir."
John crossed his arms in defense. "He was camouflaged into the side of cliff face, how was I supposed to know it was a tail?"
"It was a she."
The three male members of the team turned to Teyla and let out "What?" simultaneously.
Rodney added, "How could you tell? When she was flying over, breathing fire down, trying to incinerate us?"
Teyla explained, "She was lying at the front of a cave, guarding her nest."
"So we pissed off a mother dragon." Rodney corrected himself, "Wait, the Major pissed off a mother dragon."
Ford started walking off himself, "At least the father wasn't around."
Elizabeth couldn't believe it, a dragon… well they were in another galaxy. Maybe then the Ancients who went back to Earth brought with them these stories… then who knows what other mythical creatures were just around the corner. "Go up to the infirmary, all of you and have Carson check you out."
Dr. Beckett was sitting at his desk reviewing the stack if files he kept putting off. It had luckily been slow in the infirmary for the past couple days, and then Nurse Carolyn Tomich walked in, her brunette hair tied up in a bun.
"Major Sheppard and his team are back from their mission, they're here.'
"Alright I'm coming." He walked into where the team had sat themselves down and he saw how they looked. Even their clothes had a crispy look to them. "What have you gotten yourselves into now?"
"We ran into a dragon." Ford said, a little too excitedly.
"A dragon! Next thing I know you'll be telling me you found Nessie."
"Nessie?" Teyla asked in slight confusion.
Carson explained, "Loch Ness Monster, also an Earth myth."
"It could be a water dragon." John mentioned as Carson was prodding him.
Carson raised his eyebrow, "Water?"
"Why not? We just ran into a flying one!"
Carson moved on to Ford who said, "I always thought it was a dinosaur, sir."
Rodney was sitting with his arms crossed, "Next thing we know Major Sheppard will wake up a Cyclops."
"He does seem to have an aptitude for waking creatures up." Teyla agreed as Carson was checking her over.
"What if we ran into Elves?" Ford added.
Now it was Rodney's turn to be checked over, "Elves? Like the fat old man's helper elves?"
Ford corrected him, "No, as in Middle Earth Elves that are immortal and are as tall as men."
John chimed in, "Oh I liked those movies."
Rodney snarked, "Never read the books huh Major?"
"No… have you McKay?"
"I glossed through them."
After Carson had finished checking them all out with usual procedures, with a special emphasis on checking for burns, he announced, "You're all free to go." They had faced down a dragon and the only thing they had to show for it was scorched clothing.
"Finally." Rodney hopped off the bed and left hurriedly, followed by Teyla and Aiden, but John stayed behind.
After the rest of his team was out of earshot, John asked what was on his mind, "Doc, I'm worried about McKay, are you sure you didn't find anything wrong with him?"
"Not a thing, why?" He was writing on their charts.
"He was late for the mission today, which by itself wouldn't be unusual, but when I found him he thought it was four hours earlier than it was and he didn't hear the pages."
Carson thought for a moment, "I can't keep him here without a reason. Keep an eye on him and report back to me. I'm sure everything is fine."
"No problem." John left and Carson sighed, hoping there was nothing serious going on.
Rodney headed straight to his lab after bolting out of the infirmary. He needed to think. He could have sworn it was nine o'clock when it was past one. He opened his laptop and by the looks of how little work he did that morning, it couldn't have been one o'clock. He remembered looking at his watch when it was 8:50, and then ten minutes later Major Sheppard walked in. That couldn't have been possible, unless he blacked out…people don't blackout without a reason, something had to happen.
He picked his head up and saw Dr. Radek Zelenka on the other side of the lab, "You were here this morning right?"
"Did you see me leave at all?"
"Did you see which way I turned?"
Rodney left the lab, leaving Radek looking confused, hoping to follow his steps to wherever he had been that morning. He had to have gone somewhere, but why couldn't he remember?
Lost in his thoughts, he didn't notice Peter Grodin passing him in the hallway until the other man spoke up, "Hi Rodney, going back to that new lab you and Zelenka had to bust open yesterday? What are we calling it now, 13B?"
He stopped and turned around, "You saw me go in there?"
Peter narrowed his eyes, "Yeah, this morning, I was taking a walk. Is everything alright?"
As he was walking away he commented, "It's peachy."
Rodney continued to walk until he came to the lab two levels down. It was more like a private office than a lab really. It was small, ten feet by ten feet and kept in the style of the city. A desk was by the far wall, with a built in computer and an attached panel on the top, equipment on the counters, and cabinets. He and Radek had determined it had its own power supply, similar to the Puddle Jumpers. This happened after Rodney inadvertently placed his hand on the panel, received a shock, and they searched for the reason.
Whoever this Ancient was, he had to either be important enough to have his own independent power source, or just that intelligent to sneak one in. He looked around and couldn't find anything different from the day before. This Ancient had also encrypted his computer, requiring a code to access it, which they didn't know and haven't had the time to work on it. There was also a cabinet with a keypad, which they also hadn't been able to open, yet.
He decided not to worry about it. It just happened the once anyway, and he headed back up to do some work.
McKay got up out of bed and opened the drawer to get some clothes. He dressed hurriedly and left his quarters. Walking silently through the dark halls of the Atlantis, he kept an eye out for anyone. What he was doing had to be done secretly, or he would have trouble. It was late at night, so it wasn't a problem though.
He snuck in the infirmary's supply room, taking a handful of hypodermic needles. He then proceeded to the new lab/office they had designated 13B and headed straight to the locked cabinet. He entered a code on the keypad, opening it. It was cold inside and he pulled out two beakers. The 20mL beaker contained a blood red mixture; the 50mL beaker was a third full and contained a deep blue mixture.
Setting them down on the counter, he then pulled out a small still with twisted glass tubing and set it up. He placed the 50mL beaker at the bottom, positioning it so the end of the tube was directly over the beaker. He poured the red mixture into the top of the set up. The red liquid slowly dripped into the blue over the period of half an hour and turned purple. He then put everything back in the refrigerated cabinet and waited for it to set.
After two hours he took out the beaker, the mixture had turned clear, and took the hypodermic needle out of his pocket. He pulled a third of the mixture into the hypodermic and smiled.