Disclaimer: The situations in this story belong to Alliance Atlantis, CBS, Anthony Zuicker and other entities, and I do not have permission to borrow them. No infringement is intended in any way, and this story is not for profit. The characters are my invention, and if you want to mess with them, you have to ask me first. Any errors are mine, all mine, no you can't have any.
Spoilers: through The Grave Shift
This is the result of an attack by a silly plotbunny. Call it a very, very, very post-ep for The Grave Shift. And many thanks to Cincoflex, who figured out the ending for me!
The clear box glowed slightly, just enough to illuminate what it held. Tom hefted it carefully and peered at the contents. "What...is that?"
Bejon glanced over from where she was dismantling the desk. "No idea."
Tom turned it in his hands. The stasis box was old, probably an early model, but by definition the things were made to last, and what it held seemed to be exactly as it was when it was placed inside. Unfortunately, Tom had never actually seen anything like the contents before. Liquid held inside a clear shape, with something solid in the middle. "It looks...organic."
"Might be." Bejon wrenched at the leg of the desk. "They had all kinds of weirds in here."
"Do you think it's important?" Tom glanced around uneasily. Their mandate was to strip the building of its contents, and all the important stuff was supposed to have been taken out already, but one didn't leave a stasis box to be junked; one removed the contents and kept the box. "I'm going to go see if someone knows what this is for."
"You do that," Bejon said dryly. "Just don't take too long, eh? Plenty more to do here."
Tom ignored that and moved out into the hallway. Various others of his deconstruction team were at work, taking out windows for recycling, stripping wires and cables out of the ceiling, but he homed in on the heavyset figure at the end of the hall.
"Criminal," the man was muttering as Tom neared. "This building is over two hundred years old, it should be preserved."
"It's ugly as the back side of Phobos and severely ecologically unsound," riposted Tom's supervisor, who was checking off items on her private HUD to judge by the wiggle of her fingers and the light on her glasses. "The decision's been made, Councillor."
Tom cleared his throat, and the sheen on Supervisor Gretz's glasses disappeared, revealing sharp dark eyes. "Yes?"
He held up the stasis box. "Found this back in that room." Tom jerked a thumb over his shoulder. "It doesn't look like discard."
The Councillor's eyes widened, and he held out his hands. Tom placed the box into them, more and more curious.
"This has been in that office since...well, as far back as anyone can remember," the big man said, smiling a little. "Nobody knows where it came from any more, but it's tradition that it belongs to the nightshift chief. Each one passes it on to the next upon retirement."
"So why was it still there?" Tom asked logically.
The Councillor shrugged, still looking at the box. "The last chief died just before the crime unit was moved to the new building. Perhaps they forgot to take it with them."
"Perhaps they didn't want it," Supervisor Gretz said, her mouth twisting with distaste. "What is it?"
"It's an unborn pig," the Councillor said, turning the box sideways. "Preserved in some sort of fluid; I couldn't tell you what it is without looking it up." The fluid, held by the stasis, didn't so much as ripple.
"An unborn...that's barbaric," Tom said, swallowing against a small surge of nausea. "Why would anyone keep something like that?"
"I believe it was once a medical practice of some kind," the Councillor said, his voice edged with faint doubt.
"You're the historian," Gretz said. "And I hereby designate that thing your problem."
"The stasis box alone is probably an antique," Tom pointed out.
The Councillor smiled down at the box. "Probably. I'll see about getting it dated." He turned it upside down.
"What's the label say?" Gretz asked, peering at the contents.
"'Property of the Geek Squad'," the Councillor said.
Tom edged away, heading back to help Bejon before she came looking for him with a torque wrench. Behind him he heard Gretz's puzzled voice.
"What's a geek?"