Title: untilted drabble #43
Pairing/Charecter(s): Evan Lorne, Radek Zelenka; pre-Lorne/Zelenka,
Warnings/Spoliers: immediately after "Messias" pt 1 in the Ancient!John 'verse
Disclaimer: Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine.
Summary: Good intentions are the most destructive arsenal of all.
Notes: So pt 2 of "Messias" is giving me all sorts of trouble. This was one way I was going to start it, but it didn't work out in the end. But I liked it too much, so....
An Ancient!John Drabble
"Thoughts become weapons. Philosophies are distinct reasons for war. Good intentions are the most destructive arsenal of all."
Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson Dune: The Machine Crusade
"C'mon Doctor Z. No one knows more about Aurora's systems than you. You'd be the perfect Chief Engineer."
Radek pushes his glasses up his nose with one hand and points his fork at Evan with the other. "It is as I told you before, Evan: I came to Atlantis for the research opportunities. If I wanted to play at being explorer, I would have agreed the first three times you asked me to join your gate team."
"Ah, but this time I'm asking you to join Aurora's crew, once we finally get her space-worthy again. The Colonel said I could pick whoever I wanted and I want you, Radek."
"As lovely sentiment as that is, Evan, my place is on Atlantis."
Evan pushes his lunch tray to the far corner of his desk and pulls up one of the warship's schematics on one of the Ancients screen in his office. "You and I both know the SGC will never send us enough personnel to give Rory a full compliment. And even if they did, there'd still be plenty of room for you to conduct your own research between crises, just like now."
"That may be so, but someone must remain here to keep an eye on McKay."
"I thought that was Sheppard's job," Evan smirks.
Radek rolls his eyes at him in return. "To keep McKay from killing himself with work? Yes. To keep the work from killing him? That is my unfortunate job."
"Doctor McKay is a big boy. I'm sure he can take care of himself."
"Obviously you've never spent much time in the cut-throat world of academia. To be honest? I am surprised none of his minions have made serious attempt on his life yet."
"They'd probably be a lot less murderously inclined if you guys, you know, stopped calling them minions," Evan says reasonably before adding, somewhat reservedly, "And I was working on my doctorate at Berkeley before 9/11, so I am a little of familiar with the cut-throat world of academia."
Pushing his glasses up his nose again, Radek looks up from the lunch he's been picking over, clearly surprised by this information. "You were at Berkeley? I did not know this."
"They have an AFROTC program," he shrugs. It's in his file. It's not like he's tried to hide it. Much. "I did a tour as an instructor there. I figured while I was there I might as well do some graduate work."
"I thought the SGC recruited you straight out of Afghanistan."
"They did. I was redeployed to the 4 SOS three days after I submitted the prospectus for my dissertation."
"And you've been ABD ever since?"
"Pretty much, yeah." Evan tries not to let it bother him, that he's everything but a paper - one very long, very important paper - away from graduation, but there's nothing he can do about it, not when battlefields make poor substitutes for research libraries. But Evan joined the Air Force for a reason and it wasn't to sit behind a desk and let other people put their lives on the line for his freedom. If he gets the chance, he'll finish it, but it's not the end of the world if he never can.
Radek frowns. "There are more PhDs on this base than there are in some universities. I am sure that we could manage to put together a thesis committee for you - if," he adds, going a little red, "that is something you still want."
"I have to write the damn thing first. Though," he adds, "I don't think my field's all that well represented in Atlantis' school of math and science."
"Ah. You are soft science major?"
"Philosophy," he admits.
Radek tries valiantly for the better part of a minute to keep a straight face before bursting into laughter. "That is adorable."
"No, it's not." He's a major in the United States Air Force. He's not supposed to be adorable. Not even to the guy he has the universe's worst school-yard crush on. Especially not to him.
"Yes, it is. But I will not hold it against you."
"Whatever you say, Doc."
"I am sorry," Radek says after he manages to catch his breath. "It is just the very last thing I expected for you to say. But you are right, such a subject may be hard to research here, unless you are willing to write your dissertation on Ancient philosophy."
"Yeah. I've thought about that. But two things: one, I don't speak Ancient-" Which is as far as Evan gets before his radio goes off. "This is Lorne."
Doctor Weir is on the other end, asking, "Have you seen Sheppard?" and sounding rather more harassed than usual.
"Not since this morning, but he did radio an hour or so ago to say he was beaming up to Daedalus," he tells her, shaking his head exasperatedly at Radek. The Colonel must be trying to shut paperwork in his direction again.
(Evan really should know better by now, but he'd honestly thought nothing of it when Sheppard had radioed to tell him he was going to Daedalus to see Hermiod, as the two were, for reasons not even Doctor McKay seemed very clear on, friends, and Sheppard always spent a great deal of time with the Asgard whenever Daedalus was in-galaxy. But the extremes the Colonel will go to in order to avoid certain things never ceases to surprise the Major.)
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah. Said he might be up there for a while too. Maybe I can help?"
"What you can do is send some SFs to the mess hall. It seems Colonel Sheppard told the Taranins he was an Ancient before pulling his disappearing act. The way things are going, we'll be lucky if we don't end up with more than a riot on our hands."
"I'm on it."
"Thank you," is Doctor Weir's clipped reply before he hears the double click of a disconnected line.
Evan sighs and rubs his hand across his face.
Radek shakes his head. "This is final straw: we are getting the Colonel an executive assistant on the next Daedalus run."
"The SGC will never approve it."
"You were barely keeping ahead of the paperwork when Captain Cadman was here to help you. But she has been gone for a month now and you are barely treading water. At this rate, you will drown under all of it before we finish repairs to Aurora and then where will we be?"
"Possibly less screwed than we are now," he says, pushing his chair back and heading for the door. "Apparently the Taranins found out about the Colonel being an Ancient."
Radek mutters something in his native language that, from the sound of it, probably would've had his mother washing his mouth out with soap for weeks afterwards had she heard it.
"You can say that again."