Characters: Ancient!John Sheppard, Teyla Emmagen, Aiden Ford, Rodney McKay
Summary: Aiden knows he shouldn't be Atlantis' military commander
Series: drabble #7 of ??? in the Ancient!John 'verse. Part of Locality.
Notes: Another fic I didn't intend to write. Be warned, it made me tear up while writing it.
Note Bene: Yes, yes, I know. Three in one day is insane, but this is what happens when I rewatch SGA. On that note, I'm delaying my SyFy rewatch until I finish "Legati," at least. Also, this one is a grateitious love song to Latin, all of which in translated in context.
Why We Suffer
An Ancient!John Drabble
“In a century or two, or in a millennium, people will live in a new way, a happier way. We won't be there to see it – but it's why we live, why we work. It's why we suffer. We're creating it. That's the purpose of our existance. The only happiness we can know is to work toward that goal.”
Anton Chekhov Three Sisters
29 July, 2004 - Úlairi Orbit, Pegasus
"Est... Cimicem Iratum," Major Sheppard coughs when he finally comes to. He's been drifting out of consciousness for the last fifteen minutes – almost the entire time the jumper's been stuck in the Gate. Out of desperation, he and Teyla are getting ready to try using the meagre contents of their first aide kit to remove the bug attached to the Major's throat.
"Sir? What are you saying? I can't understand you."
"Ci... Cimex Iratus."
"He's saying that it's an angry bug."
Aiden looks up, utterly confounded, at McKay, who's still trying to do, well, whatever it is he's actually doing to retract the drive pods and get them out of this mess. "Why would he be saying that?"
"Don't ask me. His translation matrix has obviously been effected. Maybe so has his mind."
Now normally Aiden would've pointed out at this point that anyone who had thousands of tiny machines implanted in his brain (as Sheppard claims he'd had done as a boy) had quite obviously lost their mind ages ago, but this isn't a normal situation.
"Non." The Ancient says somewhat more strongly, though the words are still forced. "Nomen bestiolae... est Cimicem Iratum."
"Ah. Well. That makes more sense. He's saying that the thing wrapped around his neck is called an Iratus Bug, though I don't see what good that does us."
"In Indicibus... Remedium."
"The way to get it off him is in the Database."
Teyla sighs, relieved, and pats him on the knee. If the Major feels it, he shows no sign. "That is good. Very good."
"Yes," McKay agrees, moving away from the crystals he's been messing around to kneel in front of Sheppard. "Now, Major, listen to me carefully. This is very important: how do we retract the drive pods?"
Sheppard stares blankly at them for a long moment before managing to choke out, "Non compre... comprehendo."
"Well that's just great."
"What?" Aiden asks, not wanting to know how much worse this day has just gotten. He's only just starting to get used to the idea that his new CO is the ten thousand year old Ancient who killed the Expedition's last military commander. Granted, by all accounts Colonel Sumner's death was a mercy killing, but still. That sort of thing is hard to get over.
Plus, if Major Sheppard goes, Aiden himself is the next ranking officer the Expedition has. And while he supposes that's already the case (as Major Sheppard is neither a major or a member of the Atlantis Expedition), Aiden's only twenty-five. Just. He has neither the experience or the rank to lead a contingent like this and everyone knows it. That's why the ranking NCOs got picked to lead Atlantis' other two recon teams, not him. And, sure, it irks, but it's the truth, and he's never had a problem dealing with the truth.
The upside of all of which is Aiden would very much appreciate it if the Major doesn't die on them before they find a way to save themselves. So, perhaps, it's with undo force, he orders McKay to try asking him in Ancient.
"Yeah. Trying. It's not exactly the most user-friendly language ever created. Makes DOS look easy. Let's see here... Quam revocamus machinas aggerum?
"Pons volati..." Sheppard coughs, looking even worse than he had just minutes before, "a sinistra."
McKay shakes his head. "He's completely out of it. He just told me which lever to pull in the cockpit."
"But we can't get to the cockpit."
"Exactly. Thus the he's completely out of it preface."
"Perhaps," Teyla suggests, "if you try again?"
"Yeah... Let's see. Now Major. John. Licinus. Listen. Ausculata. Quam revocamus machinas aggerum... a tergo? Got that? A tergo."
Sheppard gets as far as, "Tertium," before the bug does something that turns the rest of his answer into a choked scream that ends only when he falls back into unconsciousness.
McKay pales dramatically as they sit there, unable to do anything but watch. "Well, that's something at least," the scientist barks without his usual bite a moment later. "It's the third something, so that narrows things down considerably. I'll... I'll get right on that. You should probably let Doctor Beckett know about..." He gestures vaguely at Sheppard.
"Yeah." Aiden says, and, with a glance back at Sheppard, does just that.