RATING: T for some really mild language.
SEASON: Third season sometime after The Real World.
MAJOR CHARACTERS: Everyone.
CATEGORY: Pure unadulterated silliness.
SUMMARY: Budget cuts at the SGC have the team feeling a little threatened.
SPOILERS: Anything up to and including The Real World is fair game.
FEEDBACK: Yes, please. I thrive on it and so do the bunnies.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own them else I would have renewed both SGA and SG1.
NOTES: This story is inspired by the recent news that SGA was renewed for a fourth season and SG1 was not picked up for season eleven and the…uh, rather heated discussions I have encountered over rumors that at least one cast member from SG1 will cross over to join the cast of SGA. Really, it's just a bit of harmless parody.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Special thanks, as always, to Koschka for the final once over. Although her edits got flubbed in the saving of the document, so any mistakes are mine.
The Cassandra Effect
Elizabeth entered the conference room, to find her senior staff members and advisors already seated around the table. Sipping her tea as she made her way to her usual seat, she smiled cheerfully, "Good morning."
"Oh, God, she has bad news," Rodney moaned as she settled into her chair. "It's the budget isn't it? You got word back on our budget, didn't you?"
Opening the folder she carried, she looked around at her staff. "As a matter of fact, Rodney, I did receive final approval of our budget. And aside from a few…ancillary cuts," she eyed the scientist meaningfully, "we've been fully funded for next year."
"She means the espresso maker," McKay sighed to Sheppard who was sitting next to him. "I don't care what the ads say; you cannot get decent foam from one of those hand-held jobs."
"It's all in the wrist," the Colonel mumbled back before sitting straighter and addressing the expedition leader. "But… there's something more isn't there?"
With an exhalation of breath, Elizabeth decided she just needed to say it and get it over with. "But… there have been major cuts in the SGC's budget, so that they will be reassigning someone from there to join us here in Atlantis."
"Someone from SG-1?" Sheppard asked as he sat forward in alarm.
"There is that potential, yes," Elizabeth conceded.
"Well, who? Who are they sending over?"
At Rodney's worried demand, Elizabeth raised her hands. "Now, you just need to calm down. They have actually asked that we provide feedback as to who we think would fit in best with our unique dynamic here in Pegasus."
"I vote for Colonel Carter," Teyla provided instantly with a smile.
"Now wait just a minute," McKay insisted. "Why do we need Sam? You already have me to solve all the scientific problems around here."
Teyla crinkled her forehead in confusion. "I thought you would have been pleased to have Samantha Carter around all the time, Rodney."
"Swimming around in my fantasies wearing nothing but her underwear is one thing. Standing around in her uniform sounding smarter than me…even when she is not…is another."
"More importantly she would outrank me," Sheppard interjected. "Just think, she could pull me out of the field and have me filing requisition paperwork in a heartbeat. Then she'd be the one leading the team through the gate. Besides, I would think that you would be threatened by her presence more than anyone, Teyla."
"I am not threatened by Colonel Carter," she shrugged casually.
"I wouldn't be so confident about this if I were you," John gainsaid. "She's smart, attractive, knows how to handle herself in combat situations. Besides, she'd draw attention away from you as the lone woman on the team."
The Athosian rolled her eyes then gestured to the laced top she always wore. "You honestly believe she would draw attention away from me?"
"She has a point," Rodney granted before clearing his throat and looking away when his female teammate glared at his ogling. "Not to mention that we're already overloaded on bad hair styles on this expedition. We add another one and the Daedalus isn't going to have enough cargo space for all the mousse and gel we'll need to haul from Earth."
"Okay, so it sounds like we have a no vote for Colonel Carter." Elizabeth made a note in her paperwork. "How about Daniel Jackson?"
"His hair is kind of dull, if you ask me," Ronon offered.
"And he's all high and might and brooding and soooo moralistic." When Elizabeth raised an eyebrow at Rodney's assessment, he shook his head. "Do you really want someone casting moral aspersions on everything we do? The Wraith are just acting on natural survival instinct when they feed on us humans," he mimicked, "the Asurans are just misunderstood and confused, the Genii just need a hug, blah, blah, blah. Christ, just shoot them already and get it over with. Besides, we have enough smug, ascended, show-offs popping up around here without bringing in one of our own. Not to mention all the space his medical records alone will eat up in the mainframe."
"Rodney does bring up a good point there," Carson concurred. "And he does have a tendency to die. Do you know how much paperwork is involved in reporting a death? Reams of the stuff, let me tell you. And then to have him poof back to life just to do it all over again the next week?" The Scot shook his head in dread at the thought. "It would be maddening."
"Very well," Elizabeth sighed. "That's a no vote for Dr. Jackson. Which brings us to Colonel Mitchell."
"Who?" Sheppard asked in confusion.
"Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell," Elizabeth clarified. "He took over the lead of SG-1 a few years ago."
John sat back with arms crossed across his chest. "Never heard of him."
"He visited Atlantis a few weeks ago, Colonel," Teyla supplied.
"Huh, must have missed him."
"You gave him a lemon to threaten me with."
At Rodney's further explanation, John scrunched his face in thought. "Nope, doesn't ring a bell."
McKay shook his head in exasperation as he continued. "Tall, dark hair, good looking, team lead, a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force and hot-shot pilot…sound familiar now?"
"Yeah, that's me," Sheppard told him pointedly. "So it sounds like this Mitchell guy, whoever he is, would just be redundant, now doesn't it?"
Rodney rolled his eyes before turning back to Elizabeth. "Look, can't we just get that Sgt. Siler? We could use someone that's not afraid of getting zapped by a thousand volts now and again."
Leaning forward excited, John offered, "Or maybe that gate tech Walter. He'd be nice and nonthreatening."
"We already have a gate technician," Rodney scowled. "A very good one."
"You only like him because he's Canadian, Rodney," Carson scoffed.
"It's more than that."
"Oh, yeah, then what's his name?"
McKay bristled even more at Sheppard's challenge. "For a man that can't even remember the name of a person he gave directions on how to properly threaten his supposed best friend and teammate, you don't have a lot of room to question, now do you?"
"Actually, I was wondering about his name myself."
At Teyla's confession, glances were exchanged around the room. When no one spoke and offered the name, Elizabeth scribbled on her papers, 'Note to self, find out name of Canadian gate tech,' before speaking up. "All right then, moving on to Teal'c."
Rodney considered for a few seconds before offering, "He is a pretty big guy."
"I'm a pretty big guy."
As if he hadn't heard Ronon's comment, Sheppard shrugged in thought. "He definitely knows how to handle himself in a fight."
"I know how to handle myself in a fight."
"He does not speak much," Teyla added.
"I'm not much for conversation either," Ronon frowned at Teyla as though she were a traitor.
"And he has that cool gold mark on his forehead."
The Satedan's jaw flinched at Sheppard's comment. "Hey, I have tattoos on my neck. Do you know how painful that is to get a tattoo on your neck?"
McKay scrunched his nose. "Of course there is the hair issue again. Some of his choices have been a little…you know, out there."
"Well, my hair…" When everyone turned to regard him with an expectant look, Ronon sat back in his seat in a sulk. "Never mind."
"Yeah, good idea," John agreed before turning back to his assessment of the Jaffa in question. "And then there are the eyebrows. Is it just me or is he starting to look a little… Spocky?"
McKay nearly spit the coffee he was drinking across the table. "Now there's the ears calling the eyebrows Vulcan if ever I heard it."
"Hey, my ears are just fine." Sheppard's pout was accompanied by an aborted reach for the body part under discussion.
"Yes, they are one of the few things to distinguish you from your evil Mitchell twin."
John smirked maliciously at McKay. "You know, maybe we should have Thor come over. We can never have too many bald, know-it-alls running around."
"And just what is that supposed to mean?"
"It means, Rodney, that your concern with bad hairstyles may just be jealously over the fact that most of us have hair to style in the first place."
Elizabeth stepped in before the two could descend into an all our brawl. "Gentlemen! Let's try to focus here."
"He started it," both men accused simultaneously.
"And I'm ending it," she threatened.
McKay snapped his fingers excitedly as a thought hit him. "Oh, what if they send Landry over to run things?"
Elizabeth forced a smile. "Why would they do something like that?"
"Well, there was that whole thing with the IOC not being happy with your handling of situations. And then your decision regarding the whole Michael incident wasn't your brightest moment."
"McKay," Sheppard warned as he watched Weir's face almost crack under the smile she was forcing herself to maintain.
"And of course you were just infected by a hostile alien presence. Actually that's the second time that's happened, isn't it?"
"McKay," John ground out a little louder then hitched his head meaningfully toward Weir when he finally had the physicist's attention.
At the brittle look he saw there, Rodney backtracked with an uncomfortable grin of his own. "Of course, who among us hasn't had that happen at one time or another?"
As if Landry had never been mentioned, Elizabeth moved on. "So I guess that leaves Vala to consider."
Ronon tilted his head. "I hadn't considered Vala."
However, the suggestion quickly gained Teyla's attention. "What practical purpose would Vala serve here on Atlantis?"
"Well, she's innovative, resourceful," Sheppard offered. "Has a certain street smarts to her."
"And the pigtails are incredibly hot," McKay chimed in.
When the men around the table all nodded their head in agreement, Teyla frowned uncertainly. "I could wear my hair in that style just as easily as she can."
"For that matter, so could Ronon, but the effect wouldn't be the same," Rodney dismissed.
"I am not Ronon."
"You're not Vala, either."
At Sheppard's comment, Teyla's eyes narrowed dangerously. "And just what does that mean?"
"All I'm saying is that it takes a certain type of person to be able to wear pigtails and still come across as kick ass."
"And I am not such a person?"
Sheppard grimaced apologetically. "No, not really."
"I am kick ass," the Athosian grit menacingly, "no matter what hair style I wear."
"It's more than the hair; it's the attitude that goes with it."
Ronon snorted. "I can't believe you two are arguing over hair when I had needles sticking me in the neck for these markings and you're more impressed with a gold lump on a forehead."
"I think being branded on his forehead might have been a little painful for Teal'c, too."
"You know what, McKay? For someone who acts like a splinter is cause for emergency surgery, your opinion about what constitutes painful isn't as valuable as you seem to think it is."
"Hey, I ran through the woods with an arrow in my ass, so I think I know something about pain."
Carson sat and watched as Colonel Sheppard and Teyla bickered about hairstyles and Rodney and Ronon argued about who had the higher pain threshold before finally speaking over them to gain their attention. "Tut, tut, tut. You're all behaving like a bunch of wee babes that have been denied their mum's attention. Are you all forgetting that we received our funding? Our budget was approved for another year. I for one think we should take a moment to be happy before acting like the world is ending. This isn't Armageddon we're talking about here. It's a simple reassignment, not the breaking of the Seventh Seal."
"Oh, easy for you to say, Carson," Rodney spit at the physician. "They haven't had a charismatic medical professional at the SGC since Janet Frasier died."
Carson grinned smugly. "I know."
And now the five of them were screaming at each other. Elizabeth pinched the bridge of her nose and thought, well, I can't say as I'm surprised by the reaction, before finally standing and yelling to be heard above the ruckus. "All right, that is enough!" When everyone sat back in a huff, but silent, she continued. "Carson is right. Whatever happens, we'll deal with it, and we'll make the person…whoever that may be…feel welcome as best we can."
"So, there's no way to avoid this, huh?" John asked with little hope for the answer.
"No, there's no way to avoid it," she sighed as she sat back down. "The SGC's decision will be final and someone will be coming to join us here on Atlantis."
Rodney's head popped up in that decidedly prairie dog manner he had when an idea struck him. "Not if they can't get here they won't."
"Rodney? What are you thinking?" Sheppard was wary while at the same time intrigued.
"We cut off all contact with Earth. Go back to the way it was before we had the ZedPM or the Daedalus."
With a shrug, Sheppard conceded, "It was kind of nice around here without having to deal with Earth all the time. No Caldwell breathing down my neck."
"No switching out scientists right when I get them trained up," Rodney threw in.
"No weekly status report or being second guessed all the time," Elizabeth added dreamily.
"Aye, but no supplies coming in regularly either," Carson reasoned.
"We stock up," McKay informed him. "We still have a few months before this happens, right? We stock up on the essentials during that time…medical supplies, toilet paper, power bars…"
"Chocolate," Teyla requested.
"And hair gel."
Rodney rolled his eyes at Sheppard's addition. "Yes, like I said, all the essentials. Then we fake our deaths again."
"And how do you propose we do that?" Elizabeth inquired with interest.
"Same way we did with the Wraith. We cloak the city then I'll tweak the sensors on the Daedalus so when they come to look for us it looks like we're all dead and Atlantis isn't safe to enter."
"Do you really think this will work?"
At Elizabeth's question Rodney shook his head in disgust. "Please. When has one of my plans not worked?" He turned immediately to his teammates who each had their mouth's open. "That was a rhetorical question."
"All right then, let's do it."
With Elizabeth's approval of the plan they headed out of the conference room. Making their way down the corridor, McKay turned to Sheppard. "You know, the one person we never considered coming was O'Neill."
"You don't think they would really send him do you?" Sheppard asked anxiously.
"Well, he's been away from the action for a few years. Maybe he's bored and wants back in."
"But he out ranks me…really, really outranks me."
"And he has the hair, the kick ass attitude…"
"The blend of biting sarcasm with heart…"
"Women love him; men want to be him…"
John grabbed Rodney's arm and moved him toward his lab a little faster. "You need to fix this, McKay, or we are so screwed."
"You're telling me. All this trouble and I still don't have an espresso maker."