When he was in college and played football his head coach was also happened to be his AFROTC commanding officer. At the tail end of a tied game that would send one team to the division playoffs, his coach, Major Beecham pulled him aside and told him to take out the other team's star quarterback. Actually his exact words were, "You take that cocky son of a bitch out of the game. Do you hear me, Cadet? And I mean permanently."
Evan blinked in surprise and said, "Sir?"
"You heard me. That's an order." The Major stood there glaring at Evan, waiting for a response, the challenge evident in his eyes.
It was in the space of those few heartbeats that Even Lorne decided what type of officer and more importantly, what type of man he choose to be. He didn't acknowledge the Major, instead just grabbed his helmet and headed out to the field. He played as tough a game as he could, but refused to play dirty. And it was on the fourth to last play of the still tied game that there was a sickening crack as his wrist was fractured, signaling the end of his football season.
Oddly enough on the very next play, that cocky quarterback's leg was also snapped like a twig in a lucky tackle by one of Evan's fellow Wolverines. And though it thoroughly sucked to be him, it had been a fair hit with no dirty pool involved.
Evan was quiet all the way to the hospital. He was still trying to sort out his own emotions about being ordered to deliberately hurt someone like that. He was becoming a soldier, an officer, and he knew that at some point in his future career he would most likely have to hurt someone. Be it in self-defense, or as a part of some campaign, he knew it would come eventually. But as he cemented together the foundational building blocks of his own morality as the doctor layered wet plaster on his broken wrist, Evan knew that the high moral ground had become his future path.
When they brought him back to the main area of the emergency room there was a familiar figure in the bed next to his- the Buckeye quarterback awaiting his own turn for x-rays and wet plaster.
Evan made eye contact with him and the other guy gave him a grin. Evan nodded and said honestly, "Good game, DiNozzo."
"You too, Lorne. Looks like we're both done for the season."
"Yeah. But there's always next year."
They made small talk until they came and wheeled DiNozzo out for his x-rays. It had been the odd start to a friendship that endured almost eighteen years. He had become a federal agent in Washington and he and Evan swapped emails a few times a year to keep in touch. And every once and a while when they found themselves in the same city, they would go out and have a few beers and relive their college glory days. They especially enjoyed the reminisces of the big game where even though though they kissed their sisters in an historic tie, Evan would always feel like he won because he had made the right choice and disobeyed that order.
Evan set his jaw and inhaled slowly, trying to calm his anger. He knew there was still a air of the Air Force being the "boys club" among many of the older male officers. He didn't share their beliefs. His current CO was an obnoxious Lieutenant Colonel named Maxwell that felt that women belonged at home, preferably barefoot and pregnant, and he lived to make the women under his command miserable.
Sonya Wilder was a young Lieutenant that loved the Air Force and simply wanted to serve her country. She had been transferred to Maxwell's command two months before Evan transferred in. Maxwell made a point of stressing to Evan that they didn't "coddle" the women in his command.
They were on a mission to set up a remote radar station deep along the Afghanistan border. Wilder was struggling with her load and trying to keep up. Evan could see her struggling and when they finally took a rest break he went over to her to see why she was having such a hard time. As it turned out, per Maxwell's orders, she was carrying almost fifty extra pounds of equipment than any of the men. Evan could see that she was exhausted and trying not to cry, and he could see the almost smug look on Maxwell's face.
When their break was up, and they all stood to go, Evan swapped packs with her. Maxwell saw it and ordered him to switch back.
Evan's back was straight, and his voice respectful but unwavering as he replied, "With all due respect, sir, no. This situation isn't right, and I won't ignore it any longer."
Evan expected to be brought up on charges for disobeying an order when they were through with the mission, but those charges were never brought against him and oddly, Maxwell retired three weeks later. Evan never knew it was Wilder that went to bat for him and turned Maxwell in for his abusiveness.
When the call came in from halfway around the world to let him know his father was finally dying, he didn't hesitate and was on the next flight home. Strapped into the belly of a C-130, Evan replayed the last conversation he had had with his father.
His father had broken the news that he had an aggressive form of lung cancer as they sat out in the back yard among his mothers roses and the grotesque statuary she had tried to craft out of scrap metal. The very foundation of Evan's life was shaken to the core- he had always thought the Colonel was indestructible.
The Colonel had looked Evan right in the eye and said, "Now listen, your mother's going to want to call you every little time there's a complication. I don't want you running home every time she calls. Understand? The Air Force needs you at your post, and you're not to come back here until it's time for my funeral. That's an order, Captain."
Through his tears Evan had managed to grit out a, "yes, sir," even though he knew full well it was an order he would never obey. Because while he might be the Colonel, he was still Evan's father.
Evan stood in the hospital room doorway, his go bag on one shoulder and his cover in his hands. He looked at the bed surrounded by machines and i.v. bags hanging. He dropped the bag and went to the bedside. Although the man on the bed was frail and thin and ravaged by the cruelest of diseases, all Evan saw was his dad, the Colonel. He took his father's hand and held it, part of him hoping his dad knew he was there, another part hoping that the Colonel never knew that he had disobeyed his last order.
When he was first assigned to the SGC, he, like all new SGC recruits, heard all the scuttlebutt about SG-1. It would have been easy to chalk up the gossip simply as tall tales that got bigger with each telling. A month or so under the mountain generally dissuaded any thoughts of tall tales or questions about how crazy SG-1 truly was. What also became readily apparent was that there were a number of outside interests that wanted SG-1 gone.
Four months after he started at the SGC Evan was out for a run in his neighborhood when a black limousine screeched to a stop in front of him and an insistent giant of a man with a .9mm in hand indicated he was to get into the car. He did and was surprised to see a United States Senator and a three-star Air Force general awaiting him in the back.
They wanted him to spy on the SGC, more specifically on SG-1. Oh sure, they couched it in words dripping with patriotism and promises of a long and illustrious career if he cooperated, but they really wanted was a mole to dig out all the dirt better off left undisturbed. The bad taste in Evan's mouth grew with every word out of theirs. When the limo stopped in front of his apartment building Evan paused a moment before putting his hand on the door handle. They hadn't given Evan much of a chance to talk before, and didn't now, but he felt he had to say, "Sir, this doesn't feel right."
The general said, "You have your orders, Major, and you'll report directly to me."
Even as the "yes, sir" crossed his lips automatically, Evan knew it was an order he would never obey. And when he got back to his apartment he was greeted by the members of SG-1 congratulating him on his performance. Colonel O'Neill helped Evan remove the microphone and transmitter taped to his torso and Major Carter was on the phone with General Hammond giving him a status report on their surveillance operation. The resulting fallout took down both the senator and the general.
General Hammond had been a friend of Evan's father and had approached Evan about doing the sting. They had coached him on what to say to pique the interest of those that would like to see the command of the SGC in different hands. Evan had carried out his part to the letter.
Evan had been invited to sit in on a debriefing about the situation and he still found himself a little in awe to be sitting around the table with SG-1. They were finishing up and Hammond asked him if he had anything he would like to add. Evan paused a moment before sitting up a little straighter. He locked eyes with Colonel O'Neill and said, "I just want you all to know that even if this hadn't been planned, and they had still approached me, I would never have followed those orders. Not in a million years."
It was O'Neill's single nod even more than Hammond saying, "We know that, Major," that let him know he was believed.
"Don't get too comfortable on Atlantis, Major. That's an order," General Landry had directed, "I have plans for you. Just keep your nose clean and don't let Sheppard's bad habits rub off on you."
Evan knew he was being groomed for something. General Hammond and General O'Neill had both insinuated it, and now so had Landry. It wasn't uncommon for those in charge to guide the careers of those they wanted to replace them some day.
He disobeyed Landry's first order about ten minutes after he arrived on the floating city and fell in love. The city was gorgeous and oddly welcoming, and he knew he had come home. It was the first time he had ever had a posting that he never wanted to leave.
Evan disobeyed Landry's second order after being on the city for a couple of weeks. Sheppard's command style was laid back but solid. Sheppard's men never questioned his orders, and their loyalty was absolute. In the months that followed, Evan was given more and more responsibility on Atlantis and he found himself replicating many of Sheppard's traits as he built a command style all his own.