Hi everyone – long time no see:D Here's a new WIP – I'm not quite sure how long it will be, but probably not too long. The title, in case you're wondering, is a line from Macbeth – Act 5, Sc 5, Line 9 in case you want to look it up…

This story is dedicated to SciFan, who is an unfailingly wonderful friend.

Prologue

"Okay, let's try again."

Rodney carefully placed his palms flat on the console of the device, and concentrated, hard.

Turn on… turn on…

The blue lights on the device turned on, flickered and died.

"Aw come on!"

Zelenka sighed. "Like I said, it needs more –"

"It has plenty of power," snapped Rodney, snatching his hand back from the device. "It just needs to be turned on."

"You've been trying for half an hour now, and nothing."

"Not nothing. It lit up, didn't it!?"

Zelenka rolled his eyes but before he could answer the door to the lab slid open and Sheppard walked in, followed by Ronon.

"Hey boys, what's happening?" He said as he strolled into the room, hands in his pockets. Normally, Rodney got annoyed when Sheppard just showed up at his lab, knowing full well that he was spending the day conducting research, but at that moment he was actually pleased to see him.

"Excellent, I was just going to call you," Rodney said, standing up. Sheppard immediately looked suspicious.

"Why?" He asked, sounding it too.

"Come and activate this device," Rodney said, gesturing to the table.

"I don't think that will-"

"Quiet you," said Rodney, turning to glare at Zelenka. Zelenka shrugged and leant back in his chair.

"Fine," he said.

"What is it?" Asked Sheppard, taking another step into the room.

"It's a memory recall device," said Rodney. "There're pages of research in the database, but we only found the thing last week. It could be invaluable for interrogating prisoners, or remembering important details about missions but… well, I can't get it to stay on."

"Is it out of power?"

"Yes."

"No." Rodney shot another glare at Zelenka. "I've managed to get it to come on a couple of times, but never for more than a second. But you'd probably be able to get it working."

Sheppard smirked. "With my supergene?"

Rodney rolled his eyes and declined answering – Sheppard just loved to rub in the fact that his gene was the stronger.

"Will you just activate it already? I'd like to have lunch sometime today."

"That's what we figured," said Sheppard.

"Oh," said Rodney, realising why Sheppard and Ronon were there in the first place. He decided that he didn't mind so much that they'd turned up unannounced.

Sheppard shrugged at Ronon and then walked over to the table. "Okay, what do I do?" He asked, frowning at the device. It was a strange-looking thing – it kind of looked like a huge chalice, with a keyboard-like console in front of it, and two flat pads either side of that.

"Put your hands on the pads," said Rodney, pointing them out to Sheppard.

Sheppard stretched out his hands but pulled them back at the last second. "It's not gonna blow up or anything is it?" He asked. "Give me superpowers that might kill me?"

Rodney rolled his eyes. "No," he said. "All it does is make you remember things clearer. And that will only happen when we program it."

"Okay." Sheppard placed his hands flat on the pads.

There was a moment when nothing happened, but then the lights on the device lit up and it began to emit a faint humming sound. Rodney eyed it suspiciously, waiting for it to die again, but it didn't – it looked like Sheppard's 'supergene' had worked its magic once more.

"Woah," said Sheppard softly.

Rodney shifted his attention to the Colonel and frowned – the look on Sheppard's face made it clear that he was seeing something other than the device in front of him. His jaw was slack and his eyes were wide.

"Are you seeing something?" Rodney asked. "Remembering?"

"You could say that," said Sheppard weakly. He blinked rapidly a couple of times.

Zelenka stood up. "Maybe you should let go," he said.

Rodney nodded. "Yeah that… that's probably a good idea."

Sheppard nodded as well. He started to blink again, over and over, so fast his eyelids looked like a bird's wings. "Yeah, good call," he said. He started to withdraw his hands.

It all happened so fast after that – the sudden blinding brightness of the biggest light on the device, Ronon's yell, the thud as Sheppard was pitched back and hit the floor. Rodney blinked the spots in his eyes away, and the first thing he saw was Sheppard, lying flat on the floor.

He lifted his head slightly, his eyes out of focus, still blinking quickly, but not as quickly as before. His eyes rolled up into his head and his head hit the floor with a thud as he passed out.

TBC