He'd always dreamed about being able to heal with a touch. In fact, he wasn't sure which came first: that or the decision to go to medical school. At times he even imagined he could feel the ability pulse beneath his fingertips, ready to use if only he could make the final mental leap. Some days he felt so very close.

Unfortunately he never did develop his wished-for talent. He had to settle for doing things the old-fashioned way. So he threw himself into his studies, working long, hard hours to learn both the art and science of medicine. And if he sometimes bent the rules to follow leaps of intuition, nobody said anything. For his results were often nothing short of miraculous; many patients benefited both from his compassionate care and his genetic research. Once again he felt close to developing the true healer's touch.

Then the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself and he stepped through the Stargate to the lost city of Atlantis. It was there that he saw the first stirrings of failure. Almost half of the Hoffan civilization wiped out because of a drug he helped develop. An elderly woman that he wanted to keep alive against her will. And his crowning achievement: a retrovirus that tried to transform the very nature of a sentient being, a tool that H.G. Wells' Dr. Moreau would have loved.

It was when this virus almost took the life of the man he loved that Carson Beckett realized what truly distinguished a healer's touch from that of a mere technician. The difference lay in knowing when to leave well enough alone.