Word Count: 8,553
AU. Angst. Crossover
Rodney is kidnapped by bad guys...from another reality.
Set during SG1 season
7, after Jonas has gone home. Redemption
doesn’t occur in my AU – or if it does,
Rodney’s not in it.
Thank you to Jayne Perry for the beta-reading.
A Stolen Scientist
By Leesa Perrie
A town close to
Area 51, Nevada
He looked out of the window of his rented apartment, lost in
thought. It was good to be back in the US again, having
finally been allowed to leave Russia and its naquadah programme in the
hands of someone else after two years of running it. He
really hadn’t wanted to go to Russia in the first place, but
Carter had laid it on thick; the prestige of being in charge of
something that important, the honour of being asked to head the
programme in the first place etc, etc. It wasn’t
exile, she had insisted, knowing that was what it felt like to him, and
then going on to ask who else could she send, as she was too involved
with SG-1 to go herself, and there was no one better to go in her place.
Oh yes, she had laid it on thick, and he had agreed, albeit
reluctantly. And it hadn’t been as bad as he had
feared. He had quite enjoyed the work, if not the people he
worked with, or the food, or the cold, or the country...
He was back now, but not where he wanted to be.
Area 51 was good, it had lots of exciting technology, lots of exciting
research going on, but it wasn’t where he wanted to
be. Something had changed; a feeling had grown within him, of
wanting more, of wanting to work at the SGC itself, to be part of a
team even. That had surprised him, as teams were often
heading into danger, but they also got to see technology up close and
personal, technology that often couldn’t be brought back to
He couldn’t explain it,
this…restlessness. It wasn’t anything to
do with being in Russia, he was sure he would still be feeling like
this if he had never gone there. In fact, he suspected that
agreeing to go to Russia was partly a way of trying to deal with this
growing feeling of wanting more. Perhaps he had hoped that
going to another country would scratch that itch.
Carter didn’t want him working at the SGC. Although
she had more patience with him than most people he had ever met, he
knew he annoyed her. They were like two pieces of sandpaper,
rubbing against each other and causing friction. They could
work together for short periods of time, but long term…it
just wouldn’t work.
He wished Aunt Grace was still alive, but she had been dead three years
or so now. Killed by a drunk driver, and it wasn’t
much consolation that the idiot had killed himself in the accident as
well. Aunt Grace could always help him to work things out
whenever he felt confused or unsure. So could John, but he
was in Afghanistan, which was something he tried not to think about
much; the thought of his cousin being in a combat zone was just too
There was little point in calling his Uncle. They got on
okay, but the now General James Sheppard had never really understood
his nephew, never really got what went on in his head.
Which meant he was on his own with this. There was little
point in wanting what he couldn’t have, so he’d
just have to ignore these feelings until they went away and be
satisfied with what he did had in the meantime. It was as
simple as that, really, when he got down to it.
He stretched and turned away from the view. Wandering into
the kitchen, the almost empty fridge reminded him that he was supposed
to have stopped by a shop on the way home.
Great, just great. He grabbed his car keys and headed back
He was halfway to his car when he was approached by stranger.
“Hey, long time no see,” the guy said cheerfully,
throwing an arm around his shoulders before he had time to react.
“The gang’s waiting for us round the corner, you
coming or not?”
He was about to snap a response when he felt something jab into his
side. Looking down, he saw a gun, hidden from the view of any
passers-by. He closed his mouth, took a breath, and nodded.
“Come on, then,” the guy said, subtlety moving him
around the corner and into a waiting van.
Once inside, two other man grabbed him, securing his hands in front of
him with duct tape, and securing his ankles as well.
“What the hell…who are you, what do you
want?” he snapped at them.
The guy who’d ‘persuaded’ him to join
“You’ll find out in good time, Dr McKay.”
“I demand that you tell me what is going
“Stevens, shut him up,” the guy said, moving to the
front of the van and into the driving seat.
“Sure,” Stevens answered, grabbing a piece of duct
tape and slapping it over Rodney’s mouth, causing him to
glare daggers at his kidnappers, not that any of them seemed to care.
The van moved off and he desperately tried to keep himself
calm. Whatever these guys wanted, they seemed to want him
alive. They probably wanted his knowledge or expertise, or
both. Rogue NID, maybe? He just had to try and keep
his cool and look for a chance to escape, or at the very least, call
for help somehow.
Keep calm? How was he supposed to do that? Visions
of Newman and his not so gentle persuasion filled his mind, but he
pushed the panic down, covering it with irritation.
Twenty minutes or so later, the van pulled to a stop.
“Johnson.” The driver looked into the back of the
van. “Time for our guest to go to sleep.”
Johnson grinned, pulling a syringe from his jacket pocket and preparing
it. Stevens grabbed Rodney’s arm, pushing his shirt
sleeve up. He struggled frantically, but Stevens was too
strong for him. Then Johnson gave him the injection, and
everything faded away.
An hour or so later; an
abandoned building, somewhere in Nevada
When he woke up, feeling groggy and slightly nauseous, he found himself
in a cell, though not alone. At least he had been untied, or
un-taped, perhaps he should say.
“Take it easy, the nausea will fade soon,” the
other occupant of the cell reassured him.
Rodney sat up carefully, very carefully, and tried to focus on his cell
“Who…” he coughed, his throat feeling
dry and scratchy.
“Dr Carson Beckett,” the man replied, grabbing a
bottle of water from a corner of the cell and passing it to
him. “And you are?”
“Dr Rodney McKay,” he replied after taking a
“Ah, I’m a medical doctor.”
Rodney surveyed the cell. Sturdy bars flanked three sides,
with a solid wall on the fourth. The cell was set inside what
looked like a basement, or maybe part of a warehouse.
“Great,” he muttered. “Any idea
who these bozos are and what they want?”
“They claim to be from an alternate universe, as if
I’m supposed to believe that. Apparently, in their
universe, I’m dead. And they’re not happy
about it.” The doctor sounded highly sceptical.
“Seems my alternate self was busy with some important
research when he died, and they have been searching other universes
looking for a suitable me to replace him with. They did
mention trying to replace someone else as well, which I’m
guessing is you.”
“Well, either they’re a bunch of lunatics,
“You don’t really believe they could be telling the
truth, do you?” the Scot asked in surprise.
“Well…” Rodney hedged, not sure how much
to tell him, before sighing. “I shouldn’t tell you
this, it’s classified, but yes, it is possible they are
telling the truth. It wouldn’t be the first time
someone from another universe came to ours, or even vice
“Ach, maybe you’re crazy too.”
“I am not crazy. I work for the US Air Force on
some of their top secret projects. Believe me, alternate
universes exist and travel between them has been known,” he
snapped, unhappy about the crazy remark. He leaned his head
back against the wall he was leaning on. “Of course, my
bosses won’t be pleased I’ve told you
“So why did you?”
“Because if they aren’t crackpots, then you need to
know. If they are, well, who’s going to believe you
if you tell anyone about it, especially after being in the hands of
“Right.” The guy nodded, looking worried but still
unconvinced. “So now that you’re here, if they
really are telling the truth…”
“…then they’ll be getting ready to take
us back with them. Wonderful, just…
“They did say something about some technology they want to
take back with them as well.”
“Any idea what?”
He rubbed his eyes, willing the remains of the groggy feeling
away. He needed to think, to work out an escape.
The medical doctor settled against the wall near to him, much to his
disgust. What, did the guy think they were buddies or
something just because they were in the same cell? Ignoring
this…Car-whatever’s presence, he concentrated on
how to get out of here.
A few hours later; an
abandoned building, Nevada
Two of the guys from the van, the one who had duct taped his mouth,
Stuarts, Stevens or something, and the man that had injected him,
Jones, Johns or whatever, collected Rodney from the cell.
Ignoring his protests and demands for answers, he was guided roughly up
some stairs and into a room that was apparently being used as a
makeshift science lab. He was pushed down into a chair, and
the guy who had driven the van, plus a woman he hadn’t seen
before, entered the room.
“Look, just what do you want?” He was getting
totally fed up with all of this, and the frustration was clear in his
voice. It didn’t help that he’d come up
with a blank on how to get away, and that the Beckwell guy seemed to
want to be friends, which was pissing him off as well.
Couldn’t he get the hints that he wasn’t looking
for a friend?
“We’re sure Dr Beckett has told you about us being
from a different reality, and that we want to take you back with
The woman said, her voice hard and unyielding.
“He thinks you’re crazy.”
“But do you?” she asked.
“Maybe, but probably not, no. How did you get
here?” Inquisitiveness getting the better of him.
“We found two devices that allows us to move between
realities, even to program them to find specific people or places, so
long as they exist in that reality, of course. We came here
for Dr Beckett; we believe the one from this reality is capable of
finishing the work of our own, who died a few months back. As
for you, well, our Dr McKay, along with his team mates, are a problem
for us. And judging from what we have found out about you,
you happen to be smarter than him anyway. So, an exchange
seems like a good idea.”
“Right. Thing is, I’d rather stay in my
own reality, thank you very much.”
“We’re not giving you a choice,” the van
“Of course you’re not,” he muttered
sullenly. “So why aren’t we back in your
reality yet? Even if, as Beckham said, you wanted to take
something else back with you, why haven’t we been sent
through? You’re obviously able to move back and
forth, so why take the risk of us escaping in this universe?”
“The device was damaged,” the woman admitted
unhappily. “But you’re going to fix it for
“No, I think not.”
He crossed his arms over his chest and tilted his chin defiantly.
“You will. If you don’t, then people are
going to die. All four of us are black ops. It will
be easy for us to find and arrange ‘accidents’ for
people, such as your uncle… or maybe we’ll go
after Samantha Carter…” she threatened.
Rodney was quiet while he considered if they could do what they
threatened; looking into the eyes of the van driver and the woman in
front of him, he could tell they were confident in their
abilities. And there was a ruthlessness in them that scared
“Fine. I’ll try.”
“You’ll do more than try,” the
van driver snarled.
“I said I’ll try. If I can fix it, I
will. I may be a genius, but I’m not a miracle
“This is the device,” the woman said, pointing to a
circular ring like object with a handgrip set in the middle, about the
size of a dinner plate. “We’ll be keeping
an eye on you. I suggest you don’t try anything
“I won’t,” he snapped, getting up and
moving over to the device. Grabbing a tool kit on the bench
beside it, he started work. He wouldn’t do anything
stupid, but he would do his damned best to stall the process.
Four days later; an
abandoned building, Nevada.
McKay finally felt he was beginning to understand how the device
– the ‘AR Ring’ as his captors were
calling it – worked, but not how to fix it. It was
a fascinating piece of technology and he was sure he could figure out
how to fix it eventually, maybe even sometime within the next few days,
but had no intention of doing so. He needed to stall, even
though he knew he wasn’t good at lying. His cousin
said he had a terrible poker face and he knew it was true.
Still, he would do what he could and just hope for the best.
Something else he apparently wasn’t good at either.
His cell mate was annoying him a lot. Well, maybe not
annoying as such, but the guy was just too damn friendly towards him,
despite his sarcasm, snide remarks and general slander of the medical
profession and all things Scottish. It was frustrating, and
also kind of refreshing, in a scary way, that this Beck guy
wasn’t put off by his personality, unlike most
people. He hated to admit it to himself, but the doctor was
beginning to get to him. He could see this guy as a friend, a
good one, and that scared the crap out of him. He
friends. It was too risky. The only people he let
his guard down around were his cousin, and to a lesser extent, his
uncle. But this person, he was pushing Rodney’s
barriers down as if they didn’t exist and it had to stop.
Maybe it was just the whole being in a bad situation together
thing. A false friendship born out of being prisoners, or
something. All he knew was that he hoped to get out of this
situation soon, and get as far away from the man as he could, which
wouldn’t be that difficult. It’s not like
any friendship would last once they got out of here. In fact,
he’d probably never see the Scottish pain in the neck again
once they were safe. Which suited him just fine.
There was a noise in the corridor, followed by raised voices.
Sounded like Harrison, the one who’d driven the van, and
Sanchez, the woman in charge. He’d been able to
remember Harrison’s name due to a certain Han Solo actor, and
as for Sanchez, well, he’d been rather hopelessly smitten
with a Jennifer Sanchez in college; not this
reality’s version of the older embittered Sanchez who was
this sad little group’s leader. Though having said
that, Jennifer had slapped him in front of their entire class for no
reason he could determine at the time; or even now, for that
Stevens or Stuarts, he still couldn’t remember which was his
right name, opened the door and put his head out. There was a
whispered conversation, and Stevens returned. Judging from
the silence, the argument had been taken elsewhere.
But he’d managed to catch enough to know that his alternate
self, from their universe, had disappeared along with his team just
before they’d come here and that Harrison believed they
should get rid of him as soon as he fixed the device, whereas Sanchez
believed that their government would capture their McKay soon and it
was worth the risk of keeping him, as in himself, alive.
Apparently, Harrison was afraid of his intelligence and thought
he’d be able to spoil their plans despite their threats to
harm the people he cared about. Nice to know he could inspire
fear even when captured by the bad guys, though he hope this Sanchez
woman could keep her people in line, or else Harrison was going to kill
him as soon as he’d fixed the AR Ring.
As for his counterpart, well, good for him that he’d been
able to escape. They couldn’t do an exchange if
they couldn’t find him, what with that problem of entropic
cascade failure - apparently the AR Ring worked the same way as Quantum
Mirrors did in that respect, meaning that they couldn’t have
two Rodneys in the same universe for very long. So even if he
fixed this right now, they couldn’t risk taking him through
until the other him was found. Not that that would help his
cell mate much.
Well, seeing as he hadn’t worked out how to fix it yet, it
was all a moot point really, and he fully intended to be gone before he
If only he could work out how.
Two days later; briefing
room, Cheyenne Mountain Complex
SG1 were in the conference room, debriefing with General Hammond from
their latest mission-gone-bad, when there was a bright green light in
the corner of the room. When it faded, one Dr McKay was
“Oh, it worked. Good. Not that I really
doubted it would, but…” McKay stopped, and then
“Dr McKay, just what do you think you are doing?”
Hammond asked, less than pleased.
“Oh, just thought I should warn you about a little problem
with alternate realities. I’m not
‘your’ Dr McKay. I’m from
another universe altogether.” The alternate McKay
tilted his head slightly. “After all, from the reports
I’ve read, your McKay doesn’t have a scar down his
right cheek. And if you were to do a blood test, you would
find markers from an unfortunate but temporary Goa’uld
infestation. Something else your McKay has never
experienced. Lucky him.”
“Okay, this is weird,” Jack said.
“He certainly isn’t acting like the McKay I
know,” Sam looked at the alternate version.
“He’s too…friendly, for a
“Hmm, yes, they did report my alternate self to have a
somewhat difficult and abrasive personality. Anyway, I came
here to warn you that, in my universe, we have a military that has,
shall we say, less than ethical methods of defeating its
foes. The Goa’uld have been defeated, but at the
cost of the lives of most of the Jaffa in our galaxy.” McKay
looked truly pained by this. “Not to mention the destruction
of the Tok’ra.”
“What did they do?” Daniel looked appalled.
“Used a symbiote poison and released it on every world with a
stargate that they could, along with some that didn’t have
gates. Fortunately, our SG1 managed to get Teal’c
and about three hundred Jaffa to a safe haven. More recently,
my team and I joined them there.”
“Which doesn’t explain why you’re
here,” Hammond pointed out.
“Yes, well, in my reality a good friend of mine, Dr Carson
Beckett, was working on a way to deal with a new threat we’ve
come against recently, but unfortunately, Carson died a few months
ago,” he stated calmly, though there was a haunted look in
his eyes. “No one has been able to move his research on since
then, and they have been searching alternate realities, looking for a
Carson that could be capable of taking over from ours. We
want to stop them from doing this.”
“And they think they’ve found him in our
reality?” Sam asked.
“Yes. Look, we know that the government would use
Carson’s work to eradicate this new enemy, even though the
serum would turn them into harmless beings. Our Carson found
this out and falsified a lot of his results before he…well,
basically, he went on a suicide mission against orders and got himself
killed,” he paused as his voice broke slightly and he looked
away from them. “He was a brave man.”
“This group, how many are there and how do they, and you for
that matter, travel between realities?” Hammond asked.
“This.” He pointed the circular device he was
holding. “We found two of them sometime ago. They
allow a group of people to travel between universes. They are
designed to return the people to their point of origin when they press
this button,” he said, pointing to one of the buttons on the
surface. “They can be programmed to look for a
specific person or place and take the users to the intended
target. Any universes where the target doesn’t
exist, for whatever reason, are ignored. Once you find a
particular universe of interest, it can be programmed so that you can
move back and forth from it and your own reality as often as you
like. We call it an AR Ring.”
Sam had moved over to examine it, careful not to touch any of the
“They give out a frequency, even when in rest mode.
A frequency you should be able to trace.”
“It should be easy enough to find the frequency of this one
and then the Prometheus could scan for it,” Sam agreed.
“There are four black ops operatives.” He plucked
four photographs from his jacket pocket. “Colonel
Mary Sanchez, Major Lee Harrison, and Corporals Stuart Stevens and Bill
Johnson. Apparently the government decided that the McKay in
this universe would be easier to control than myself and wanted to do
an exchange. The Rings work along the lines of the Quantum
Mirrors and so are susceptible to entropic cascade failure.
My disappearance upset their plans, though I believe they were still
going to grab him and hope they could find me quickly and do the swap
“Do they know you have the second AR Ring?” Jack
“No, they don’t even know that I hacked their
computers and found out what they were planning, as well as accessing
their reports on this reality. Anyway, once you have the
frequency, I’ll return to my own reality to check that that
is still the case. Then return here. I’d
like to be in on the rescue if you wouldn’t mind,”
he said hopefully.
“Why?” Hammond asked suspiciously.
“Because I intend to take Colonel Sanchez and her team back
to my point of origin, along with their AR Ring.
Don’t worry, they won’t be harmed. In
fact, we’ll even let them return to Earth. The AR
Rings, however, will be destroyed. They’re just too
dangerous, even in the right hands.”
“How do we know he is speaking the truth?”
Teal’c asked the others seriously.
“I’m willing to take a lie detector
test,” McKay offered.
The General nodded.
An escort was organised for the alternate McKay to take him for a lie
detector test, while Sam took the AR Ring so that she could determine
the frequency it was emitting.
When the test confirmed their visitor’s tale, he rejoined
them for the planning of the rescue mission.
Several hours earlier;
an abandoned building, Nevada.
Another couple of days had passed since the argument he’d
partly overheard, and he’d made some more progress with the
AR Ring. He was trying to slow things down, but at the same
time he had to appear to be making progress or else his captors would
get suspicious, which really wouldn’t be a good thing.
It was evening now and he was unceremoniously pushed back into the
cell, stumbling, but managing not to fall.
“Neanderthal,” he muttered under his breath.
“Be glad he didn’t hear that,” his cell
mate said, a little too cheerfully for his liking.
Rodney settled on his mattress and leaned back against the wall before
replying grumpily, “You’d think they’d at
least provide a bed each. Sleeping on a thin mattress on the
floor isn’t doing my back any good.”
“Aye, but at least you get out of this cell for more than
just ‘restroom’ visits.”
“Oh, and having to work with these…freaks
isn’t punishment enough for you?”
“How is that coming? You’ve not fixed
their machine yet?” Beckett cast worried eyes in
“No, not yet. I’ve worked out that
there’s not enough power getting through to fully activate
it. I’ve managed to push enough power through for
it to enter a form of stand-by mode, but no more.” He rubbed
his eyes tiredly. “It won’t take long to
fix it completely now and I can only stall for so long.
I’m really not very good at that sort of thing.
Lousy poker face.”
“There’s not much chance anyone is going to find
us, is there? And escape doesn’t look possible
either. I feel like we’re just putting off the
“No, I think we’re pretty well screwed.
Well, you are, at least. Apparently my alternate self has
pulled a disappearing act and I can’t live in their universe
for more than a few days if another version of me is still
around. Until they find him they can’t swap us for
“Well, that’s nice for you,” the
physician said sourly.
“There’s still a small chance someone might find us
and get us out of here, but I wouldn’t hold out much
“Perhaps you could take out your guard…”
“What? Are you serious? Have you seen
these guys? Even that woman looks capable of breaking me in
half like a twig! They’re black ops! I
wouldn’t stand a chance and I have no wish to get pummelled
for anyone. Why don’t you try it?”
“Calm down, for goodness sake.”
“Well, don’t make stupid suggestions and I just
might consider it.”
“It was just a thought.”
“Yes, well, can you keep those kind of thoughts to
“I’ll consider it.”
They lapsed into silence, each lost in their own thoughts.
After a few minutes, McKay sighed deeply.
“Look, there might be a way. It’s a long
shot. A really, really long shot.”
“Better than nothing.”
“Going to share or do I have to guess?”
“Hmm. Well, if I can figure out how to program the
AR Ring, I might be able to use it to our advantage. But it
depends on whether I can override its current programming, and I
don’t even know if that’s possible.
Still, if anyone can figure it out, it’ll be me,”
he said smugly.
“Of course,” his fellow prisoner said wryly,
clearly amused rather than annoyed by his ego, damn him.
Present, an hour after
the mission planning began; briefing room, Cheyenne Mountain Complex.
Once a plan had been devised, Hammond dismissed everyone but SG1 and
their visitor, having further questions for
“You mention another threat that your Dr Beckett was working
to defeat. Can you tell us more about that?”
“From what I have read of your reality, ours appears to be a
few years ahead of yours. It may be that the Rings have
caused the time difference in some way, I don’t
know. But I can’t tell you something that could
alter your timeline. What if something I tell causes you to
make a decision that ends up with Earth being destroyed?”
McKay shook his head. “You can see the
“I can understand your reluctance,” Hammond said
reasonably. “But you must see our side of it
too. Forewarned could be the difference between life or
“Or it could stop you doing something that would later on end
up saving Earth. I can’t risk that, please
don’t ask me to. It’s bad enough we have
people from our Earth trying to take people from yours, bad enough that
I have to be here, without adding to that problem.”
“Very well.” Hammond wasn’t entirely
happy, but decided to move the conversation in another direction after
seeing McKay’s stubborn stance on this.
“What can you tell me about your people?”
“Call it curiosity if you will, but anything you are willing
to tell us could be of potential use to us.”
“Well, as I’ve already said, we have some Jaffa
with us. We also have about eighty military deserters and
about a hundred civilians, mainly scientists. Oh, and a group
of non-Earth humans who are a mix of warriors and farmers.
We’re hoping that the Asgard will be willing to help us with
a problem we have. They love O’Neill, after
all,” he paused, smiling at the present O’Neill and
ignoring the eye roll that elicited. “They cut ties
with Earth after the genocide, but we think they’ll be
willing to help us. We hope so, for the sake of the
Jaffa. They have limited time left; once the symbiotes
mature…well, there won’t be any to replace them so
they’ll die. The children will survive, but not the
adults. We’re trying to gather as many Jaffa
children from the poisoned worlds as we can, but it’s slow
going and dangerous. Is that the sort of thing you want to
know? I can’t see that it is of much help to
“What about names?” Sam asked.
“It would help if we knew who was on your side and who was on
the government’s side.”
“Would it? Just because someone is morally corrupt
in my reality doesn’t mean they are here, or vice
versa. I can tell you that our General Hammond, for instance,
is working with the government, and yet you,” he said,
looking at Hammond directly, “Don’t seem the type
to sanction genocide.”
“No. I see your point,” Hammond agreed.
“Sir, maybe we could help their Jaffa,” Carter
“How?” McKay looked surprised.
“I take a drug called tretonin that allows me to live without
a symbiote,” Teal’c put in.
“Would you be willing to let us have some? That
would…it would save a lot of lives.”
“You won’t give us information on a potential
threat but expect us to share the tretonin with you?” Jack
“Jack.” Daniel was clearly unhappy with his
statement, but O’Neill ignored him.
“Colonel, you would seriously consider holding back
help?” Hammond asked.
“No, sir, it just seems a little…hypocritical,
“You’re right, it is hypocritical.” McKay
surprised them by agreeing. “I’ll mention it to my
fellow leaders when I go back, see if there’s anything we can
tell you that won’t be too dangerous, but I can’t
see us changing our minds on most of it.” He
shrugged. “It’s up to you whether or not
you still wish to give us the tretonin.”
“I’ll authorise a supply for you to take back after
we have rescued our people,” Hammond stated, having decided
it was the right thing to do.
“Thank you.” McKay looked relieved.
“I should go back now, check that the government
don’t know we have the second Ring, or at least, that they
haven’t been able to warn their people here.”
“We move out in five hours. I hope you will be back
The meeting adjourned and Carter led McKay to where the AR Ring was
“You know, when we rescue our McKay tomorrow, it’s
going to be awkward to call you both by the same
He gave a short laugh, grinning widely.
“Yes. Apparently your McKay goes by his middle
name, Rodney. I, ah, guess it’s not considered
feminine here, like back home.”
“Feminine? No, no, it’s definitely a male
“Apparently it did use to be masculine, but not
anymore. Technically it’s both, but most think of
girls when they hear it.” He snorted. “No
idea why my parents insisted on it. Still, I just
don’t tell people, and that’s usually
enough. Well, except when a certain annoying cousin
isn’t spilling the beans, that is.”
Sam grinned, knowing full well how annoying cousins could be at times.
“So what’s your first name? Our McKay has
kept it a secret for some reason.”
It was her turn to laugh briefly, before looking contrite.
“Sorry. It’s just that, well, it seems
your Rodney is our Meredith. That is,” she
clarified, “Meredith is considered by most to be more
feminine than masculine here.”
“Ah, whereas from my reality it is one hundred percent
masculine. So, if I was to ask you to call me Meredith, you
and most everyone else here would find it amusing?”
“I…It probably wouldn’t be a good
“Hmm. Well, that pain in the ass cousin I mentioned
calls me Mer sometimes. But let’s go
with…Ingram. That was the maiden name for my aunt.
She, and my uncle, brought me up since my parents…since I
“What happened to your parents?” Sam
asked. “If you don’t mind telling me,
“They…” he paused, looking
uncomfortable, before deciding to continue. “They
were arrested for drug running. Actually, all things
considered, that was probably one of the best things to happen to
me. Your McKay ended up on the run with his parents until he
was fourteen and they neglected him badly. Eventually they
became addicted to cocaine and were killed in a drug deal that went
bad, and he went to live with his uncle and aunt. Those few
years made the differences between us.”
“I had no idea,” she said, shocked by what Ingram
had told her.
Reaching the lab Sam gave him the AR Ring.
“Okay, I’ll go talk to my people.
I’ll be back later,” he said, activating the Ring
with a jaunty wave.
There was a green light and he was gone.
A little while
later; an abandoned building, Nevada.
It was morning, again, and he was still stuck working for these idiots,
but at least he had a plan now. Not a good plan, but better
than sitting around waiting to either become a slave in their reality
or die at their hands in this one.
Every morning he and the Scottish guy were taken in turns to get
cleaned up, shaved and into clean clothes. Clothes that had
been taken from their respective homes, and that really pissed him off;
that these people had been into his apartment without his
consent. Not that it surprised him that they had, of course.
Still, at least it meant he could wear his own clothes. He
was glad of his long-sleeved t-shirts, not wanting that doctor to see
the scars on his arm and the inevitable questions and pity they were
bound to cause. He really was getting fed up of the attempts
to befriend him; couldn’t the idiot get the message, that he
This morning, his cell mate had cleaned up first and was now waiting
for breakfast, which would be served in their cell once he
returned. With that in mind, he finished shaving and reached
for the clean t-shirt that had been left for him, only to discover it
was one of his very few short-sleeved ones; that he only ever wore when
the temperature soared beyond even his ability to tolerate.
Well, wasn’t that just great.
“Hey, you,” he poked his head out of the bathroom
and spoke to one of the guards, hmm, Harrison, the one who wanted to
kill him. Hmm, well, it wasn’t like he was allowed
to. “Look, get me one of my t-shirt with the long
sleeves. I refuse to wear a short-sleeved one. This
place can get chilly at times.”
Harrison just sneered at him before replying, “Shut up and
“Oh charming,” he muttered, but one look at the
guy’s face was enough to convince him to let it go.
He slipped back into the room and put the t-shirt on.
“Just wonderful.” The Scottish pain in
his neck was going to love this.
He was led back to the cell and sure enough he saw Beckham, Becking
whatever’s eyes glance at his arm in surprise, swiftly
followed by pity. Ignoring him, Rodney sat on his mattress
and awaited food, and coffee.
“So,” his fellow prisoner said casually,
“What happened to your arm?”
He rolled his eyes before snapping, “It’s none of
“Aye, I suppose not. I was just asking.”
“Must have been bad though.”
Damn it, the guy just didn’t know when to give up, did
he? He scowled at Beck-whatever, but looked away quickly,
surprised by the apparently genuine concern he saw there.
“Let’s just say that I’ve been in a
situation not unlike this before. With the stalling and being
held prisoner and all that. At least this lot
haven’t hurt me…yet,” he muttered darkly.
Their food arrived and so conversation dwindled as they ate.
They were then left alone for a short while as his captors saw to
whatever they saw to before coming to drag him down to the lab.
“You manage to reprogram that Ring thing yet?”
“I can’t, it isn’t set up like
that,” he replied testily, frustrated by the
device’s narrow parameters and his inability to widen
“So what now?”
“I finish fixing the AR Ring, use it to go their point of
origin and hope that I can activate it before being captured by anyone
who might be there. I’m hoping that no one is
around, but failing that I just need to flick the dial and move to
another universe. I should be able to return here, though it
might take a few attempts. If I can, then I’ll
materialise in this cell and get you out of here.”
“Sounds risky. Very risky, you sure you can do
this? That you could find your way back to this
“Yes, well, I’m pretty sure I can. I hope
so.” Rodney leaned his head against the wall of the
cell. “I know it’s a lousy plan that
could go terribly, horribly and disastrously wrong, but it’s
all I can think of. Well, other than letting them do what
“Then I guess I’d better wish you luck.”
“If you feel you must.”
Silence descended between them for several minutes, each considering
their desperate situation, before Harrison returned to take Rodney to
Present time; briefing
room, Cheyenne Mountain Complex
SG1 and Hammond had just finished going over a few last minute changes
and the team were about to leave on the mission when
‘Ingram’ McKay popped back into their reality in a
flash of green light.
“Hey. I’m not too late, am I?”
he asked a little anxiously.
“We were just about to leave without you,” Jack
“Oh, well, I’m here now,” he said with a
pleasant smile, looking eager to get on with the rescue.
“Anything to add?” Hammond asked.
“The government know the second AR Ring is missing, but
don’t know who has it. Anyway, they’ve
lost contact with Sanchez and her group. Either something bad
has happened to them or their Ring has malfunctioned.” Ingram
shrugged. “They’re rushing around trying
to find who stole this Ring, but by the time they figure it out
it’ll be too late.”
“Okay, so at least we know that Sanchez and her men
won’t be expecting us,” Jack commented.
“Always good to have surprise on our side.”
The meeting broke up and they left, joining up with a team of marines
before being beamed to an Air Base near to where the Prometheus had
located the other AR Ring signature. There they collected the
gear prepared for them and headed out in a couple of vans.
The rescue operation was a go.
An hour or two later, an
abandoned building, Nevada.
The Ring was almost fixed, but Rodney was stalling because he really
didn’t want to have to put his desperate and hare-brained
plan into action. What he was hoping for though he
didn’t know; it wasn’t like anyone knew where he
was, so no one was coming to his rescue. However, he just
couldn’t handle the thought of going to these
idiots’ universe and potentially being captured
and… well, who knew what would happen to him then.
He figured it wouldn’t be good, whatever it was, unless he
did what they asked… and what he’d seen of their
tactics so far didn’t give him much hope that the people
waiting for him on the other side were good guys which meant he
probably wouldn’t want do whatever they asked of him.
There was just one guard in here with him, and that was Harrison, which
really wasn’t very comforting knowing the guy’s
opinion on keeping him alive. He couldn’t get over
the feeling that one false move, no matter how small, would be all the
excuse the guy would need to shoot him, so he was trying to look
harmless and as if he wasn’t stalling or planning
The sound of gunfire close by made him jump and look at Harrison in
alarm. To his dismay, the goon was pointing the gun straight
at him, the finger on the trigger tense and ready to fire. He
stilled in shock and fear for a moment, only to duck behind the table
as the door to the room blew open, distracting Harrison for a second.
Even so, the bullet only just missed his head as he dropped to the
There was another shot followed by the sounds of people rushing into
the room and he peeked over the table to see two marines scanning the
room for further danger, with a very dead Harrison on the floor.
“Oh crap,” he muttered, rising very slowly with his
hands in the surrender position, flinching as his movement caused the
marines to train their weapons in him. “Oh
crap,” he repeated as he was assessed by the marines as not a
threat and the guns were lowered, “You could have got me
killed!” he accused them, his voice somewhat shriller than he
“You’re welcome,” a voice drawled from
the doorway as O’Neill entered the room.
“What? Oh, right, right, thanks for the rescue, even if you
nearly got me
“Yeah, but you’re not dead.”
O’Neill said dismissively as turned his attention back to the
rescue, radioing in that they had found McKay.
“Um, there’s a guy in a cell…”
“A Dr Beckett, yes, we know. Carter’s
just confirmed that they have him.”
“Oh, good, good. Er, I may have told him more than
I should have…” he faltered for a moment at the
look O’Neill sent his way before defending himself.
“Look, the guy deserved to know what was going
“Whatever. I’ll let Hammond sort that out
“Um, okay… You know that there were four
“Yes, we know. Is that their Ring thing?”
“What? Oh yes, it’s not
working. Well, not at the moment, but I was close to fixing
it. I’ve been stalling…”
“Grab it and come with me,” Jack interrupted him
curtly before giving orders to the marines about the transport of the
prisoners and dead kidnappers to the main area of the warehouse.
“Okay, how did you know about this and why aren’t
we getting out of here?”
“Someone told us about the plot and he’s going to
take the kidnappers back to their universe along with that,”
O’Neill said, pointing to the AR Ring in Rodney’s
hand. “Once back, he’s going to send the
bad guys back to Earth and destroy both of the Rings.”
“Oh. And you trust him?”
“He’s seems okay, like a nicer version of
“A what?” Rodney paused, running the information
through his head. “Oh crap, not my alternate
“Yep, and he’s much easier to deal with.
Maybe we could persuade him to stay instead of
you.” The colonel smirked at Rodney, causing him to
huff in annoyance and glare.
“I thought it was funny.”
“Well it wasn’t,” he muttered darkly.
A few minutes later; an
abandoned building, Nevada.
Coming face to face with his own doppelganger was more of a shock that
he could ever have imagined it to be.
“Hey, Rodney, good to see you’re in one
piece,” his other self told him happily.
“Oh crap, it’s me but on crack,” he
muttered, apparently loudly enough for this counterpart to hear.
“Right,” Ingram drawled. “And
you’re me with an amazing lack of social skills.”
He scowled at that, but was cut off before he could respond.
“We’ve got the second AR Ring,” Jack
said, indicating the item in Rodney’s hand.
“That’s good. Pity about Harrison and
Stevens,” Ingram said, looking at the kidnappers placed
“They had no intention of being taken alive,”
“Rodney,” Sam came over to him.
“Better give the Ring to your alternate self. The
sooner he can get back to his people, the better for all of
“Um, right.” He moved over to his double
and handed him the Ring, just as his erstwhile cell mate entered the
room and came to an abrupt halt at the sight of them.
“Oh bloody hell. Two of them!”
“Carson,” Ingram said, looking shaken before
visibly pulling himself together. “Sorry, I know
you’re not my Carson…I just…I mean, I
thought I was prepared for this…”
“Och, I’m sorry,” Carson said
sadly. “I’d heard I was to replace a
deceased me, but I didn’t really believe it.”
“No, I can imagine not.” Ingram smiled wanly, still
looking unsettled by Carson’s presence.
“Carson was one of my best friends,” he paused,
throwing a quick glance at Rodney and then back to the Scot,
“And I strongly suspect there’s potential in this
reality for the same. Okay, so my other self here
isn’t as easy going as I am, but…”
“Oh crap,” Rodney interrupted quickly, crossing his
arms in annoyance. “Don’t encourage him,
for goodness sake!”
Ingram and Carson exchanged a look full of pure scheming.
“Aye, he’s not the friendliest of people, but
“Oh great, just what I need,” he said in annoyance,
scowling at the two of them.
“And now I think it’s time I went back
home,” Ingram said, making sure he was standing next to the
two unconscious and two dead kidnappers, with the second AR Ring tucked
up under the arm of the hand holding his own Ring.
“You know, you should probably offer Carson here a place in
the Stargate Programme, seeing how the timeline’s pretty well
messed up where that’s concerned anyway. Just a
“I’ll let the appropriate people know,”
Jack replied. “You have the tretonin?”
“Yes, Sam gave it to me at the Air Base. It will
save a lot of lives back home, so thank you.” Ingram smiled
brightly, before giving a quick wave and activating the Ring with a
final, “Goodbye then,” and was gone.
“Bloody hell,” Carson said again in surprise.
“Dr Beckett, if you’ll come with us we’ll
escort you to a nearby Air Base. We have some non-disclosure
papers we need you to sign,” Jack said.
“And possibly a job opportunity to consider.”
“Okay. I’m thinking I haven’t
much choice in the matter anyway.”
“They have some of our clothes here…”
“Aye, they have. It’d be good not to have
to buy new clothes because the military left them here.”
“We’ll make sure they’re brought to the
Air Base,” Jack reassured them, giving the marines orders to
do as such.
As the filed out to the vans the strike team had arrived in, Sam moved
closer to Rodney.
“You okay?” she asked.
“Better now that the bad guys are dealt with.”
“You did good.”
“Yeah, right. No need to patronise me.”
“Actually, I wasn’t,” she retorted a
He sighed, not having meant to piss her off.
“Sorry. I’ll feel better once
we’re out of here…and I can change into a long
sleeved t-shirt,” he muttered the last bit, absently rubbing
the scars on his arm.
“Yeah. I wish I could have healed them
“What? Oh, you did your best, and they’re
better than they would be. I wasn’t
“I know, I know, sorry. Look, there’s
probably a spare jacket in one of the vans. I’ll
make sure you get one.”
“That would be good, thanks.”
One week later;
McKay’s apartment in a town close to Area 51, Nevada.
It was good to be back home, though his apartment was a mess after
being ransacked by the kidnappers. Rodney surveyed the opened
drawers and cupboards with irritation. They could have at
least been neat when stealing clothing and other items, instead of
emptying everything out onto the floor.
He supposed he should be grateful they hadn’t been real
thieves; his computers and other valuables had been pretty much left
alone, and at least he’d be getting back everything that had
been taken. Small comfort when faced with this mess to clean
The debriefing had been amazingly quick, all things
considered. He was glad he hadn’t had to spend much
time around his doppelganger; the guy had sounded far too friendly for
his liking. It had freaked him out, seeing an apparently
nicer version of himself. Made him think about how their
lives must have diverged, which caused him to curse the unfairness of
his own life, because surely his life must have been worse than
Now, he just wanted to get back to his work. Of course, he
would have to have some sessions with the base psychiatrist, but he was
used to all that rigmarole after his time with Newman and knew just how
much and how little he could get away with saying.
The only real blot on his horizon was a certain Scottish doctor who had
been offered a position in the medical research division at Area 51 and
would be starting work there in a month or two’s
time. He really didn’t understand why the guy
wasn’t put off like most normal people by his
attitude. During their imprisonment, he supposed it was a
case of prisoners forming a bond, or not in his case, but afterwards?
It was Ingram’s fault, he was sure of it. Just
because in another reality this Carton person and himself were friends
was no reason to expect it here; and surely the physician
wasn’t that desperate for friends, anyway?
Rodney couldn’t help but suspect the man’s motives.
Not that it would matter as he never went near the medical research
area, so all he had to do was make sure he wasn’t in a public
place, like the canteen, when there was a chance Beckham might be there
as well. Surely it wouldn’t be that hard to avoid
Anyway, he wasn’t going to worry himself about
this. The sooner he got his life back to normal, the better.
With that in mind, he started to sort out his apartment, putting
everything back where it belonged.