A lot of thanks to my beta reader "The Wishyles"! All remaining mistakes are my fault, not hers!

The forbidden stuff

Today was salad day. It was Woolsey's idea, of course, a bureaucrat's response to the above-average cholesterol levels of the expedition members.

McKay snorted. He thought they had worse problems than cholesterol.

With a shiver he remembered how this morning his team had only just escaped hundreds of half-naked people, armed with spears, chasing them to the stargate. He felt sick when safely back in Atlantis, he saw a spear sticking out of his backpack.

No, he didn't need salad, he needed something… harder.

With the words "I've got things to do" he left his fellow team members.

He knew the rumours. The whispering that stopped as soon as he entered a room. After all as one Atlantis' leaders, none of the scientists would tell him about the less official going on. But he still noticed. There was a place in Atlantis called the "forbidden zone". A place for those who wanted an escape from the daily routine. The place he was looking for.

Aimlessly he wandered in the less populated areas. Then suddenly he saw Jenkins, one of the British chemists. When Jenkins spotted McKay, he stood as if petrified, "Dr McKay?"

McKay hesitated. He was the head scientist with leadership responsibilities. It was his duty to report illegal activities and he was sure Jenkins was involved in whatever it was, maybe even the leader. "Jenkins, I've had had a tough day."

"I heard about it. A spear, wasn't it?"

"Yes, a spear." McKay hoped that Jenkins would offer him something, but the chemist didn't seem to trust him.

"Well, then…" Jenkins started to say.

"I know that you sell it and I want some!" McKay blurted out.

"Oh." For a moment Jenkins didn't say a word, then: "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Don't pretend! Half of Atlantis knows!" McKay considered whether to threat or plead. "You know me. You know I like my… I won't give you away."

Jenkins seemed to weigh up the risks, then nodded, "Okay, come with me. Pay in cash, no credit."

The chemist led his boss to a small, remote lab. When they entered, several pairs of eyes looked at them confused and shocked, but Jenkins calmed them with a gesture.

A Bunsen burner was on a table, next to several petri dishes. The air was full of smoke. McKay stared at the pot hanging over the burner. He felt tense, readying himself to take that first forbidden step. Nevertheless he could hardly wait.

Jenkins took a bottle with a clear fluid and asked: "So, Dr McKay, do you take your fish and chips with or without vinegar?"