Sheppard paused in the doorway. "Knock, knock," he said.

"Sam, what're these orders, scheduling sessions for my team with Kate? I thought we weren't due up for a while yet?

"Well," Sam said, eying him over her tablet, "there was the slight matter about your most recent mission report."

"What about it?" Sheppard ambled in, spun a chair around, and plunked himself down on it.

"You claimed you met a bear named Winnie-the-Pooh."

Sheppard shrugged. "Well, yeah. 'Course, he said his real name was Edward Bear, but he seemed to like being called Winnie better."

She leaned forward and lowered her voice. "You met a bear."

"Yeah. And his friends. Who were all animals too. I wrote it all up. What's the problem?"


"Ye-ah," Sheppard drawled, his eyebrows crinkling in confusion. "So?"

"You fail to see why I might send your team to speak to Kate Heightmeyer after submitting a report like that?" She held up a hand. "Now, Jennifer assured me that all of your blood work came back clear, so the only explanation is some sort of shared delusion... unless..." but she trailed off.

"Unless what?"

"This is all a test, isn't it? You're pulling my chain, playing the old 'mess with the new commander' game." She smiled. "Okay, I get it now. Very funny, Colonel. Very funny."


"I expected more from you, John, I really did." She shooed him out of the room. "And tell Rodney I'm disappointed in him."

John got up, gave her a long look before shaking his head and heading for the door, letting her words wash over him as he walked away.

"-that the best Rodney could do? Really? That's just-"