Title: Five times 100% wasn't enough
Author: Shenandoah Risu
Rating
: PG
Content Flags: none
Spoilers: SGU Season 1 up to "Sabotage"
Summary: Just what it says on the lid.
Characters: Rush, Young, Scott, Eli, Franklin, Camile, Sharon, Brody, Riley, Vanessa
Author's Notes: Written for the 100th prompt series at sg1_five_things.
Disclaimer: I don't own SGU. I wouldn't know what to do with it. Now, Young... Young I'd know what to do with... ;-)
Thanks for reading! FEEDBACK OR REVIEWS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED AND WILL RECEIVE A PERSONAL RESPONSE. ;-)

Five times 100% wasn't enough

He's used to pushing himself to his limits. Working at less than 100% capacity isn't something Nicholas Rush has ever allowed himself to do. So many equations, so many proofs, a riddle inside each riddle, and they've always beckoned him, at times forcing him to sever his ties with reality altogether. Existing 100% in his mind is a perfect state of being for him, where physical limitations never factor into what unexplored realms he happens to investigate.

For when he has to interact with the real world, there's always too much pain, and he feels utterly helpless to alleviate any of it – for anyone, including himself.

And suddenly, so soon after the biggest dream of his life has become his reality, he realizes that it's no longer just him. He let Gloria down – and now he feels it's all happening again – a hundred times over, and he's letting them all down, every single one of them. The Destiny has run out of power, and as they all look to him he knows that there is nothing he can do. All his work, all his effort, his manic search for answers – and he can't make them understand that he can't help them. Giving 100% is not enough – will never be enough.

His thoughts become jumbled, he fights, he tries to push himself – and then everything goes dark as his body shuts down. Unconsciousness claims him before he even hits the ground.

Nicholas Rush's mind has been betrayed by his own body at long last.

oOo

He's been through the kino files twice – all of them. None of them show any clues that either Colonel Young is responsible for Sgt. Spencer's death or that he isn't.

"Are you sure?" Matt's voice is full of despair.

"100%," Eli confirms. "There's nothing there."

He doesn't know what to make of the whole situation. In his heart he doesn't believe Young had anything to do with it, but he also knows that gut feelings don't necessarily mean anything on the Destiny. Nobody is who they seem to be, and Eli never thought the existence of so many shades of gray was even possible.

But Matt is insistent, and so he goes back and starts all over again. His eyes are burning and he's so abysmally tired that he's afraid he might pass out. But he also knows that there's a lot more at stake than his personal comfort: a man is dead, and if there was any chance that he could shed light on the circumstances, he would keep looking.

"It's not enough," he mutters. "I need to be 200% sure."

He decides to look through the raw downloads on his laptop this time.

And minutes later, he finds what he was looking for – and it rattles him to the very core. Knowing what happened feels even worse than not knowing, for once.

oOo

Camile knows she would do whatever it takes to spend time with Sharon, back on Earth. As hard as it is for herself to go on these visits in someone else's body, she cannot even begin to guess what Sharon goes through – how she has to commit to their relationship well over 100%.

And when the opportunity presents itself to spend several weeks on Earth she jumps at it, despite the fact that she will be in a quadriplegic's body. If Sharon can go beyond all expectations, then it's only fair that she should, too.

And so she takes one breath, slowly, the ventilator pushing the air into her lungs, and the moment of panic passes. Another breath. And another. She can do this. She opens her eyes, sees the encouraging smiles directed at her.

And she knows that she would give everything – and so much more – just to be with the love of her life. She'll manage somehow.

oOo

Wearing those ancient spacesuits is bad enough. As soon as Riley is suited up he has to pee. It never fails – no matter how often he goes beforehand. Just putting the darn thing on takes everything he's got.

He enjoys working with Brody, and welding and soldering is easy for him – he's been doing it at home on the farm since kindergarten. He's also very aware of the fact that he's working on the interior hull today, risking his life to fix the power conduits, so that the hare-brained scheme to drain Destiny's power and force her to recharge in a star has some chance at success.

And for a few seconds there the connection works fine, but the second the coolant leak occurs he knows what needs to be done. A tiny little voice screams in the back of his head that what he's about to do is insanely dangerous – coolant gasses and open flames could result in an explosion, but if he doesn't even try they're all dead. And so he pushes Brody out of the way and gets to work.

He sees the tiny spark, then there is a tremendous impact, and then – nothing.

100% still wasn't enough, he thinks, with an odd sense of detachment, and that's all he remembers.

oOo

He wants to scream, wants to warn them, but all he can utter is a gurgling sound in the back of his throat, and with supreme effort he manages to move his legs – one step, even, and he loses control.

"Franklin?"

It's Vanessa James, and she helps him up and props him against a wall, then runs off to find help to get him to the infirmary.

He listens to her explaining the situation, and of course he knows exactly what he needs to do, but he has no way of telling her that.

Perhaps, if he pushes himself harder –

There, his hand moves, and he touches her fingers. She stares at him in shock. He feels the sweat running down his face, but he pushes himself again and he hears his voice – hoarse and shaky.

"The chair."

Moments later, Rush and Young are there, Rush takes his hand, and he nearly passes out from the effort to squeeze it back. And when Young asks him whether he understands what they're asking him to do, he wants to laugh with delight.

Finally, finally, they understand, and he understands, and he manages to nod his head, and seals his fate.

He's back in the chair. The restraints close around him and the contacts touch his temples. Gently, now – he knows how to control them. His eyes find Young's and he wants to tell him that it's all right, that there is no need to feel bad, that it's merely what he wants to do. Going beyond 100% is the easiest thing he's ever done.

"Go," he says.

And he closes his eyes. He's at peace, everything makes sense, and he relaxes as he gives himself up into the system and becomes one with it.

One final push.

Destiny jumps.