A/N: Lots of thanks to my beta The Wishyles! All remaining mistakes are mine!
This story contains one very long German word. Too long for fanfiction(dot)net, I had to insert a space, or fanfiction(dot)net wouldn't have shown the word.
If McKay was honest – and since dishonesty wasn't one of his flaws, he was almost always honest – he had to admit that he sometimes gave his inferiors a hard time. But this, this was just ridiculous!
Okay, so maybe he shouldn't have yelled at half of his staff this morning simply because the last person to leave the labs hadn't turned off the lights. After all, they couldn't know that the green crystal could photosynthesise. Nevertheless, his behaviour didn't justify this childish reaction.
He looked at the items they had salvaged from an Ancient outpost. Some of his scientists had been cleaning and then identifying them. As usual, the scientists wrote up a complete description for the database, labelled the items for faster identification and then put them into storage for further study at a later time. So far so good.
But this time they had written the labels in their native language. It was incredibly inane. Sighing, he weighed a small device in his hands labelled with Japanese symbols. He had no idea what they meant. He put the piece back on the shelf and retrieved another one. Relé de falta de fasa. He was sure it was Spanish, but the meaning? The next bit of machinery which came to his attention had a Cyrillic label. His Russian was a bit rusty, but at least he had an idea that it was something with fuel. When he came to a gadget labelled "Überspannungsschutz steckdosenleiste", he felt a headache coming on.
While walking – or, to be precise – stomping back to the labs, his first thought was to carpet his colleagues. Then he stopped. It would just end up in a vicious circle of him yelling at them and they thinking of petty ways to annoy him and that wouldn't be good for anyone, especially not for him. Maybe – and this was his second thought – he should apologise for yelling at everyone earlier. But he was afraid that would undermine his authority – something he feared almost more than a Wraith attack – and anyway, they had acted stupidly and he wouldn't tolerate their behaviour. Then, he had a third thought.
When McKay entered the labs, he gave his scientists a handout without saying a word. There were no letters on the flier, just several dots and dashes: - ..- .-. .- - .-. -.- .. … -.. .. ..-. ..-. .. -.-. ..- .-.. - . -. - ..- -. …. .-.-.- .-. .-.. . .- … . -.. - -. .-. - - .- -.- . .. - - - .-. . -.-. - - .-. .-.. .. -.-. .- - . -.. - …. .- -. -. . -.-. . -.-. . … … .- .-. -.- .-.-.-
Their confused looks made him smile, but for once he stayed silent, and left the labs in a light-hearted mood.
The next day the labels on all the items were replaced.
* relé de falta de fasa = phase fault relay
* Überspannungsschutz steckdosenleiste= multi-socket-outlet with overvoltage protection
* the Morse code = Our work is difficult enough. Please don't make it more complicated than necessary.