Future Imperfect

By Leesa Perrie



“Our worse nightmare come true, in other words,” Elizabeth was reeling herself from the news of what had happened.  “We have to stop it,” there was determination in her voice.  “Your team aren’t scheduled to go to M9E-912 for ??? days…If we warn the people there now, we could help relocate them.  But we have to be sure our people are gone before the Wraith arrive.”


“With precautions, it should be doable,” John agreed.


“Just make sure no one gets captured,” the older McKay said.  “No one wants to live through the future as I’ve seen it. 







“Who is Kerry?  I mean, she’s obviously important to you,” Carson asked, before adding uncertainly. “Is she.. well…your daughter?”


The older McKay smiled softly, looking to where Kerry was sleeping.


“No,” he said, a smug little smile breaking across his features.  “Meet your future daughter, Kerry Jayne Beckett."


“Bloody hell,” Carson swore in shock.


“Bit of a shock?” the older McKay queried, knowing full well it was.


“You could have given me some warning!” Carson narrowed his eyes at the smug look on the older McKay’s face.  “Ach, you did that on purpose.”


The older McKay just shrugged, and Carson pulled himself together.


“So I have a daughter,” he said, with a hint of wonder in his voice.  “What’s she doing hanging around with you, then?”


The smug look dropped from the older McKay’s face, replaced with one of sorrow.


Need to lead into a flashback of Carson and Sam’s death ????



POSS USE SOME OF THIS BIT (need to take out a lot though as Old Rodney is dying):


Rodney hovered a moment, not so willing to leave his older self just yet.  He felt drawn in some way, and could appreciate how Elizabeth had felt drawn to her older self that time.  It was weird, more weird even than his alternate self, Rod, turning up.  This wasn’t another version of him, this was him…from the future, granted, but him none-the-less.


“Pretty freaky, isn’t it?” his older self commented.


“Yes, somewhat.”


Carson was called over by one of his lab techs with results from the blood tests, and left the two Rodneys alone whilst he checked them over.


“I probably know what you are thinking,” his older self said with a smile.  “You’re wondering what happens now.  With me, us.  I mean, I remember hating the idea of Rod staying on Atlantis, and being relieved when he decided to go home.  Worried, but relieved.  And now…”


“And now I have a future version of me, who probably wants to stay here too,” Rodney crossed his arms.  “Assuming that’s what you want, of course.”


“I can’t go back to the future,” and he laughed suddenly, realising what he’s just said.  “Stupid film…pity time doesn’t work like that, though.  I mean, if it did I’d just fade away once the future was changed.”


Rodney rolled his eyes.


“No fading away…you’re stuck here, with memories of events that hopefully won’t happen now.  Like Old Weir didn’t disappear once she had changed things, but hung around for us to find.  I don’t suppose you’d consider going back to Earth?”


“No, you wouldn’t want me to do that.  I think the temptation to see Jeannie would be too much…and I know I need to stay out of that.  She doesn’t need two of us, and you don’t need me getting in the way,” he closed his eyes briefly.  “I made that decision when I came back, to stay away from Jeannie and Madison, to not get in your way, but if I return to Earth…I can’t guarantee I can keep to that.”


“Then I’ll just have to put up with you here,” Rodney sighed.


“I’m sure we can figure something out.  I’m not about to try and replace you on the team, or try and take over your job.  I had my time, and this time is yours.  I know that,” his older self looked to Kerry.  “I’ll try and not replace you in your life here, and you’ll try not to replace me in Kerry’s eyes.  She’s all I have left…”


“I’m not good with kids, well, that is, right now I’m not good with them.  So there’s not much chance of that.”


“It’s amazing what a person can learn to do when he has to.  I learned how to handle a child in my life…and how to survive in a hostile galaxy.  Even learned how to hunt and survive in the wild.  Ronon would be proud of me…real caveman material.”


Rodney grimaced at that, and his older self merely laughed.


“You do what you have to,” he said.  “Especially when you have someone depending on you,” he nodded to Kerry.


“I really hope we can avoid all of that,” Rodney said.  “Living wild sounds…so not fun.  It’s bad enough if we have to camp out on missions.”


“I hope you don’t have to live through what I have,” his older self said seriously.  “I’d forgotten what it was like here and now.  I’ve changed, and I don’t like all of the changes.  I’m tired, worn down…and if it wasn’t for Kerry…I think I would have given up a long time ago, stopped fighting, given up.  We save each other, and I know she keeps me sane.”


“I can’t imagine…” Rodney paused.  “I should be able to, you are me after all, but I can’t.  The thought of my family and friends being dead and Earth lost…I don’t even want to imagine that.”


“You don’t need to, it won’t happen now,” he closed his eyes and leaned back.  “Just one word of advice, from yourself to yourself,” he grinned slightly as that.  “Trust your team, your friends.  I mean, really trust them, one hundred percent.  You can always count on Sheppard, Teyla and Ronon when you need them.  I know that now, but I remember not being so sure of it at times.  I remember how the teasing hurt at times, but I know they never meant to hurt me, they just never got how insecure I was.  Or just how little experience I had with real friendship, let alone family.  But never doubt that when you need their help, they’ll be there for you.  I didn’t realise the depth of their commitment to me until it was too late,” he opened his eyes, and Rodney saw a depth of pain there that scared him more than anything his older self had said so far.  “I should have been more committed to them…but trust has always been a problem, hasn’t it?  You need to work on that.  I know I should have, and wish I had.”


“Something bad happened, something else that you haven’t told us, didn’t it?”


“It doesn’t matter, it won’t happen now, I’m sure of it.  Especially if you listen to my advice;  trust them, completely.  They’re worthy of it.”


“Okay,” Rodney was troubled by this little lecture, worried about what he wasn’t being told.  Yet at the same time, he wanted to get away from his older self; far away.  “I’ll, ah, I’ll let you rest,” he said, turning to leave, and then heading for his lab, looking for something to distract him from his feelings of unease.




Carson returned from checking out the results of the blood tests, to find that Kerry had awoken and was sitting on the bed next to the older McKay, who appeared to be asleep.  She looked up when he approached, curious rather than scared.


“Well, lass, glad to see you’re awake,” he said gently, smiling despite feeling unsure of himself in her presence.  It wasn’t everyday you discovered you had a daughter… let alone under these particular circumstances.  “I’m Carson.”


The girl smiled broadly.


“My dad.  Rodney said you’d be here, alive.”


“Ah, yes.  Um, so…I guess we should try to get to know each other,” he perched on the bed opposite to her.


“Rodney says you’re a good person,” she looked down at her McKay.  “Is he going to be alright?”


“Of course, love.  He just needs to rest.  He’ll be fine, as will you.”


The older McKay stirred at their voices and opened his eyes.


“Hey, Kerry,” he smiled at her, and then looked over to Carson.  “Um, you know, maybe you two should…spend some time together.  Maybe you could show her some of Atlantis…she’d heard so much about this place,” he grinned self-consciously.  “Hopefully I haven’t exaggerated…too much.”


“Please,” Kerry turned pleading eyes to her father.  “I’d like to see it…everything!”


“I guess that will be okay,” he looked at the older McKay.  “You need to rest.  I’ll inform my staff that they’re to make sure you’re not disturbed.”


“Sounds good to me.  And I know I can trust you to look out for Kerry…and vice verse,” he said with a little grin.  “Maybe you could show her the delights of the mess hall.  I should warn you, though, she has this thing about chocolate…if you don’t watch her, she’ll make herself sick with it.”


“Would not,” Kerry replied, and then smirked.  “Though you did that time…”


“I’m sure you must be remembering that incorrectly.  Now, be a good girl for Carson.”


“Yes, Rodney,” she said with a long-suffering tone of voice, and a quick grin.


Carson led Kerry out of the infirmary, stopping with one of his nurses to ask that the older McKay wasn’t disturbed.  He was amazed at the gentle teasing he had seen between Rodney, a man who hardly tolerated kids, and this ten year old girl, who already seemed older than her years.  He sighed at that thought.  It was probably to be expected, though, her seeming older than her age.  She would have had to grown up a lot faster than most kids he suspected, and then with Rodney as her ‘teacher’, who knew what her knowledge and technical skills were.




The afternoon spent showing Kerry around had been enjoyable, as well as eye opening.  It was soon clear that she had at least a basic understanding of how Ancient technology worked, which presumably was down to her Rodney, and that she was full of life.  Energetic didn’t even begin to cover it, and Carson felt exhausted after just a few hours in her company.  She talked very little about her past, but was constantly in awe with Atlantis, and with simple things like constantly available food.


It was as they were heading back to the infirmary that she dropped what felt like a bombshell to Carson.


“Rodney taught me how to fight and use a gun,” Kerry said proudly, but Carson felt like he’d been punched in the gut.  The thought that his daughter, his ten year old daughter, had been taught not just how to fight, but to use a gun as well…he started to get angry, but reined it in.  No point being angry with Kerry, after all.


“He said I needed to know how to defend myself, but he only ever let me hold the handheld Wraith stunner we had.  Wouldn’t even let me use his Zat.  Said he didn’t want me to ever have to kill anyone, and that the stunner was enough.”


Carson remained quiet, letting her chatter on.  He still felt angry at the thought of anyone teaching any kid how to shoot, but he was beginning to understand why Rodney might have done it.  Didn’t mean he had to like it, though.


“Uncle John showed me a lot more about fighting than Rodney did, cause John knew more.  He didn’t like it, but he agreed with Rodney that I needed to be able to defend myself.  He even showed me how to use a P90, though he wouldn’t let me have one.  But that’s okay, I had the stunner if I ever needed it.”


“Wait a minute,” Carson interrupted her.  “I thought Sheppard, John, died when you were six.”


“What?  No, we met him again about a year ago.  He was angry with Rodney.  Said he’d run out on him and the colony.  Anyway, there was a lot of shouting, and then Rodney told me he was leaving and that I would be better off with John.  Only John went after him, and I followed, even though he told me not to.  They had a fight, and John knocked Rodney down…I was scared, but it was okay.  I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but after that, things seemed okay again.  Rodney stayed, and so did John.”


“I see,” Carson said, though he didn’t really.  One thing seemed clear to him, though, and that was that the older McKay hadn’t told them the whole truth.  He had to wonder why, and he also had to wonder what the future Sheppard had meant about Rodney running out on the colony and him.  But Kerry rushed on before he could ask.


“I think it was to do with the nanites that the Asuran gave me when I was six.  That’s why we left the colony.  Rodney says the nanites aren’t dangerous, that they just keep me healthy and make me better with Ancient tech than I should be.  He says they make me special.  He taught me how to control it all though, so I don’t accidentally activate technology or anything, without meaning too.  He says I have to control it, not let it control me, and that I have to be all grown up about it, and not just do something because I think it will be fun.”


“Oh,” and Carson realised that the bombshell about learning to shoot a gun wasn’t a bombshell at all.  The nanites, however, were.  “Okay, let’s get you back to your Rodney, shall we?”  And then I’ll need to talk to Elizabeth, he thought to himself.




Once he had left Kerry with her McKay in the infirmary, telling them to get more rest, he headed to Elizabeth’s office and told her what Kerry had told him about the nanites, and also about the future Sheppard turning up and what Kerry had overheard.


She asked Carson to check for the nanites in Kerry’s blood, and that she would send their Rodney down to help him check if they were a threat, after she had filled him, and Sheppard, in on things.


McKay and himself worked on the nanites, working out what they could about their functions, for most of the night, with no conclusive results.  They had experimented with an EMP, to discover that the nanites appeared to be shielded against the effects of it. 


It was early the next morning that Elizabeth, Carson, Rodney and Sheppard confronted the older McKay, doing so whilst Kerry was entertained by Teyla.


“She told you about the nanites?” the older McKay said, and then sighed.  “I should have known she would.”


“Why didn’t you?” Elizabeth demanded.


“I was afraid you’d send her away.  That you’d be scared of her, and there’s no need to be.  The nanites aren’t dangerous.  They’re keyed to her DNA, so if there was a transference to another person, they would immediately deactivate and break down so that they would be absorbed.  They stay active for about thirty to forty hours outside her body if they are taken as part of a blood or tissues sample, but then, again, they deactivate and break down after that.  There’s no danger to anyone else from them.”


“Where did they come from?” Sheppard asked.


“Kerry and I were captured by a group of Asurans.  I didn’t mention they had turned up in our galaxy as well, did I?  Well, they did, and it was all out battle between them and the Wraith and the Ori for a while, until the Ori wiped them out somehow.  I was doing tests on a weapon we’d found on another planet, and was there on my own.  There was no way I was risking anyone else’s lives with it…it wasn’t the same as the weapon on Doranda, but it had the potential to be uncontrollable.  I was taking things more slowly this time, and had come to the conclusion that activating it would be a very bad idea.  Kerry wasn’t supposed to be there…but she always used to follow me around, asking surprisingly intelligent questions for a six year old,” he grinned slightly, before turning serious again.  “She’d snuck into a box of equipment, and when I found her…I was going to send her back, but the Asurans turned up before I was able to.”


“They didn’t kill you?” Carson asked.


“No.  It wasn’t exactly a fun time, but they kept me alive, and Kerry.  I honestly don’t think they knew what to do with a kid.  They wanted information about…well, anything I knew, really.  They got it, of course, with their mind probes,” he shuddered at the memory.  “Later, one of them helped us to escape.  Like Niam, he wanted to ascend.  So he helped us to get away, coming with us.  Fortunately I had found a way to cut an Asuran off from the subspace frequency that interconnects them, and so he wouldn’t be reprogrammed like Niam was after I removed the aggression from his code.  But there was no way I was taking a replicator back to the colony, no matter how helpful and harmless he might seem.  It took me a few days to persuade him to go it alone, and let Kerry and me return to our people, and during that time Kerry became very ill.  The Asuran made the nanites to heal her, and then went on his way.”


“So, they’re designed to heal?  Nothing else?” Carson prodded.


“Yes, well, except that there was an unexpected side effect.”


“And that would be?” Elizabeth prompted, annoyed at his reticence.


“She has the ATA gene.  Inherited it from Carson, of course, and from her mother, who had the gene artificially.  The upshot being, that she ended up with a gene stronger than Carson’s…more like Sheppard’s, actually.  And then the nanites, somehow, combined with the gene and…well, she has an affinity with Ancient technology that is beyond anything I’ve ever seen before.”


“So she can use the technology better than even Sheppard.  I don’t see the problem,” Elizabeth said.


“She was six years old at the time, and she didn’t have any control.  The colony had some Ancient devices that had been saved from Atlantis, and others that had been found in our own galaxy after Earth fell to the Wraith.  Kerry accidentally activated one of the devices…and it blew up, killing three people,” the older McKay paused, looking away from them, before continuing.  “It was an accident, but everyone was talking about sending Kerry away.  The only place we could send her where she might be reasonably safe was a world that had no real technology.  Crap, it made the Athosians seem technologically advanced!  I didn’t agree with them, but I was overruled…so I took Kerry and left.”


“Just left, like that?” Sheppard asked in annoyance.


“Yeah, just like that.”


“No wonder the future me was pissed when he caught up with you later.”


“Yeah, he had every right to be.  See, the attack I told you about, that I said killed pretty much everyone?  That didn’t happen then.  It happened about two years after I had left, and…if I’d been there, it might never have happened.  You see, Radek came up with an idea to power one of the stargates so that they could go through to the Pegasus galaxy, which was a lot safer now than our own.  But he couldn’t get it to work at first…I was there to help him, and Carter died in the same attack that had killed Carson, so…” he trailed off for a moment, clearly lost in his memories, before taking a deep breath and continuing, not meeting their eyes.  “Sheppard told me that the device Radek was working on was almost complete when the attack happened…a few more days, and they would have been safe, well, safer anyway, back in Pegasus.  If I’d been there, there’s little doubt the device would have been working a lot sooner, and no one would have died.  And it’s not like they would have abandoned Kerry… they would have taken her with them, and then find a safe place for her to stay, a place away from Ancient technology, until she was old enough to not cause any accidents.


“I should have stayed,” there was anguish in his eyes.  “I put my promise to Carson, and one person’s welfare over the welfare of everyone else, even my best friends.  I shouldn’t have left, should have accepted their decision, but I wanted…” he bowed his head.  “I couldn’t let her go.  And she was so bright…and she wanted to learn.  It was a waste, sending her to a primitive world.  A waste of her intellect.  But in the end, it was more simple than that.  Even though I knew I could visit her, it wasn’t enough.  I loved her as if she as my own…” he trailed off.  “I’m sorry.  So sorry.”















Three years later, he path crosses with Shep – Shep tells him about the colony being destroyed and only two others and himself surviving.  The two others join with Ori, but Shep doesn’t and keeps on moving.  Blames R – Dr Z came up with a plan to power a gate and send them back to Pegasus.  With carter dead, and R gone, it takes long time to get idea to work…with R there it would have gone much quicker.  Ori attack before the device to power gate is finished – another three/four weeks and they would have been safe, or safer, in Pegasus – if R had been there, would have arrived even sooner.  Would have collected Kerry and took them with them, hoping Athosians would take her in.


Shep blames R – and R knows he is to blame.  He put one girl, and his promise to her father, above the lives of the colony, and his friends. 


Shep stay with them -  why, and how does he die?


Then R says how he stumbled across the jumper…couldn’t leave her if future didn’t get altered, due to Ori being on that planet.  Kerry would be old enough to decide – origin or death.  He knew she would choose death.  Couldn’t leave her for fear that would happen.  Also, the thought that she might not exist was too much. So brings her with him, sedated in case the ship exploded.


Then need a bit where older R is able to ‘redeem’ himself - goes out in a blaze of glory