Pairing: Beckett McKay
The radio in his ear crackled to life and a voice that he knew he should recognize spoke, “Dr. Zelenka, I need you to look at something in the control room.”
Radek swore under his breath in Czech. Reaching up, he tapped his earpiece, “I do not have time for trivial problems.” He was beginning to understand Rodney a lot better after more than two weeks of running the Science department.
“Yessir, but I really think you should see this.”
Idiot! I miss Peter. I miss Rodney. Damn him! “Fine, I am on my way.”
“Can you tell if it was real or just an anomaly?” Glasses perched on his nose, he looked at the data and then at the man sitting at the console.
“There’s no way to tell without going out there…” The tone in the engineer’s voice left something unsaid. Zelenka, Weir and Sheppard all looked at him, waiting.
“It went on, then off after a few seconds, and didn’t repeat. There’s no sign of it happening before. It could be a malfunction like the city diagnostics indicate, and this could be the first time it’s happened, but I...”
John interrupted, staring intently. “Are you saying that you think someone turned it on then off?”
“It’s possible, Colonel.”
“Rodney.” He turned to Weir, “I’m going after him. I’ll take Teyla, Ronan and Carson with me.” She blinked at his leap of faith, knowing that it could be any of a thousand other alternatives but nodded, wanting him to be right.
“Colonel, wait!” Radek had grabbed his arm before he could start for the door, “If this is Rodney, then he will be gone by now. You will not find him. He is too smart for that.”
“Dammit Radek,” John yelled, “if it’s him why didn’t the sensors pick him up?”
“Rodney is a genius, or do you forget that? If he does not want to be found he will not be found.”
They had all been ignoring the Canadian sitting at the sensor console. “Yes…?” He snapped, angry at himself for being unable to remember the man’s name. He still hadn’t gotten past not seeing Peter sitting there.
“Would Dr. McKay have taken all the sensors offline?”
“Yes, probably, or….” Radek’s finger’s flashed over the keyboard, “Aha!” He pointed at the graph in front of him. “He is feeding back old data.” The young man’s face slumped, then sharpened.
“Power. Power use logs.” Radek looked at him bemused, then caught up. “Yes, yes yes! This is brilliant.” He pushed his glasses up his nose and sat down excitedly at the console beside the other man. They began to pull up the data. “I am such an idiot. I should have thought of this!” He stopped dead, slammed a hand on the metal top of the instrument panel, “Bah, too small…”
“Here, but not there…”
“We need baseline. …”
“No four is better. Yes! Yes! Now today…” The Canadian nodded.
“Filter, like this…” Radek typed in a parameter.
Both men’s fingers flew over the keyboard and graphics flashed past faster than John or Elizabeth could comprehend. “Radek!” They were perched over the console, hyperfocused on the two men.
“The city records all power use. We can look for changes.”
“There, Dr. Z!”
“Yes, and look, this is just today.” Zelenka sat back, rubbed his hands across his face. “It is him or someone else living in that part of the city.” Turning to John he cautioned, “You will take precautions in case of another Wraith. But I believe it is him.” It was the first time in two weeks that any of them had felt a sense of hope. “Bring Rodney back to us, Colonel.”
John was on the radio before he’d taken two steps and 15 minutes later the search team was headed for the nearest transporter. “Colonel” It was Radek on his hear piece. “We have scanned that area again, several times and are seeing no changes after the equipment stopped functioning.”
“What are you saying?”
Carson was linked in with them, “That Rodney might be hurt.” Or dead. Neither said it but both men’s thoughts were eerily similar. And that just pissed John off because what would be the point of coming so close if they couldn’t bring him back safely?
Hopping transporters took them to within a half mile of the bay. Radek directed them from that point until they were standing in front of the open doors. Inside was cloaked in darkness.
“Radek, can you turn the lights on?” They came up and to John’s horror, Rodney was easy to find. He lay unconscious on the floor, a collection of blood, bruises and impossible angles.
John barely had time to process what he was seeing before he heard the panicked Gaelic curses explode from Carson. Then everything was motion and orders. Carson went into doctor mode, ruthlessly pushing down any feelings. This wasn’t the time. “I need a neck brace and backboard.” They cut away the cloth from the grotesquely bent leg and straightened it. The two medics assisting checked for more broken bones and splinted what they found. Carson slipped the cervical collar around Rodney’s neck then started a saline drip.
“We need to get him out of here fast. Colonel.”
John spoke to Radek on the radio.” Is there anything about this room in the database?”
“It looks like it was used to repair jumpers.”
“Then there must be a flight deck nearby. Find it and send a jumper as close as you can get one.”
Five minutes later claxons sounded and the walls at the far end of the bay began to retract. Hovering just outside the opening, 100 feet about the waves, was a puddle jumper. The marine flying it settled it as close as he could and they made short work of loading Rodney into the back
Elizabeth’s voice startled him, “How is he, Carson?”
The doctor was busy inserting an airway and checking for breath sounds. “Not good.”
John laid a hand on the Beckett’s shoulder and squeezed, then settled in at McKay’s head.