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Aberrant: StarGate Atlantis - The 3 steps of becoming bitter [Fic]

Dylan Harvey

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Dylan turned the knob slowly up as he watched the monitors. Once he had assured him self the pieces of the ZPM were quite resistant to shattering he had started performing sonic test on them. He had brought together the four most original, inventive and possibly intelligent reverse engineers the entire planet had ever seen. They were already getting to the point where their days were more brainstorming then experimenting. Dylan was not someone to get discouraged but the weight of this project was starting to come down on him. He had been close to sticking his foot in to the doorway in to this technology, that didn't mean he was any closer to understanding it then any other scientist on Atlantis. What was even worse was the thought that those around him might start seeing him more for his age if he didn't provide something resembling results.

Dylan shook his head sharply and let out a small angry huff at him self for having that thought. He wasn't about to let what other people thought of him effect his work. Only eighteen and he had accomplished almost as much as many of the professionals in their thirties and forties. He turned and compared his notes from earth with the read outs he was getting. They were very different, but why was that? Finally he clicked the machine off and let out a sigh. Maybe it was time for another cup of coffee.

"You know, your never going to figure it out if you can't even think straight." Dylan turned in his chair and looked at Dr. Zelinka in the doorway. Dylan liked the man, he had a sarcasm to him that just made him come off as friendly. He was also a picture of how most people viewed genius. He always seemed only half where he was at any given time and even the most common jokes took him a couple seconds longer to get then anyone else.

"I am starting to wonder if thinking straight isn't the problem." Dylan looked back at his notes. They were very out of date now. "I was up for four days studying for finals when the thought hit me about using compressed minerals to transfer different energies as a alternative to circuitry. We are supposed to be their second evolution and we think nothing like them." Dylan motioned to the laptop he had pretty much randomly downloading bits of the database and translating it then organizing it. At the rate the program was going it might take a couple hundred years to finish.

"I can't even perform a simple search to find information on the main power source of everything the ancients had. I can not begin to reason out how you get to half the technologies they developed, and I don't even know where to start on figuring out how to replicate this module. That's because we approach things in a completely different way then they did. What really doesn't help is that Mckay some days acts like he already knows the answer and is just waiting for us simpletons to figure it out for our selves. I really want to shoot that man."

"Then he would just whine louder. You would never hear the end of it." Dylan rolled his eyes and stood up.

"Alright, I surrender to my peer. I should get some sleep, the insomniac method of logical thought will be a last resort saved for a different week." Before Zelinka could say anything else Dylan powered down the machines and walked out of the lab. Wow, he was in a bad mood. He considered going down to the shooting range and unloading a few clips but then decided right now he would just embarrass himself. The Ithosian, Tayla, had been teaching a form of martial art to people. Then he realized almost no one was up right now to spar with. He walked around the city for a bit as he brooded. Maybe coming to Atlantis hadn't been such a great idea.


"Alright gentlemen, here is what you had me working on. The new graphics card that has one gig of built in ram and can support a heat sink that is almost twice as large and capable as anything you have." Dylan held up the competitors model to the room of board members. Like most of his clients they had hired him in secrecy to give them an edge over the competition. Dylan had only been at this for a year but he had already long given up trying to feel bad about being a part of industrial espionage.

"Yes Mr. Harvey we all know why you were hired. You have had the three weeks you quoted us, now have you come up with anything? We are paying far more for your work then we have for anyone else in the past and we don't like being left out of the loop for so long."

Dylan smiled and leaned back in his chair, trying to appear taller then he actually was. "It just so happens, I slapped together a prototype last night. I will be the first to admit it's not my best work but there is only so much you can get with money these days." Most of the men around the table did not look pleased with his words or his attitude. Then he opened the box in front of him and pulled out his work and their expressions changed. They seemed to grow darker.

One nearly shouted. "That is the very same model we already produce you little punk."

"I disagree." With only a faint sign of care Dylan put the card on the table and slid it down towards them. "If you run some test on it you will find that RAM block in it is 1.5 gigabytes. Not to mention that fan will disperse heat at almost three times the rate that your competitors have managed and I didn't even have to increase its size by a centimeter. That graphics card will quickly become the top brand on the market and you will even be able to undercut your competitors by a good fourteen percent and still make the same profit margins." The eight men all stared at the offered video card suddenly as if it were the holy grail. "Since it looks so remarkably similar to your last model there will be no question that your company designed it. The only real problem with your card was some poor choices on parts and placements of certain wires that didn't allow for the power transfer needed for the stronger fan. So lets talk about my cut in this if you don't mind."

They all muttered to each other for a couple minutes before finally turning back to him. "If what you say is true, two percent."

Dylan bit back the laugh that threatened to come out. "Nine percent, I can get a hell of a lot more then two if I take those same design suggestions to your competitors."

"Four percent."


"Four percent Mr. Harvey and you know that will still net you millions over the next two years, and we will remember how generous you were in taking the deal at four in two years when we need another..."problem" figured out."

Dylan considered for a moment. He had already made enough money to live better then most of the world for the rest of his life. He really did this so he could get his hands on a new challenge, a new technology that he had no idea how it worked and had to figure it out. Still the money wasn't so bad either. "Alright, four percent. Thank you for your time gentlemen. I assume if you need anything else you will be in contact." Once all the paperwork had been filled out Dylan walked out of the building.

"So how does it work?" It was a woman's voice behind him. Dylan wasn't really paranoid but he had just brokered a multi million dollar deal with a company that could suffer a multi billion dollar lawsuit if it came out. He glanced over his shoulder about to say no comment when he saw the speaker. He stopped and turned.

"Aunt Elizabeth? Your looking pretty good. I thought working for the U.N. made you look ten years older, or was that ten pounds heavier?"

Elizabeth Weir smiled at her young relative. It was then that Dylan noticed her escort. Three military, two sergeants and a general. Now he was really getting paranoid. Dylan took a step back as he eyed the four of them. "You aren't here to arrest me are you?"

The general gave him a questioning look and glanced back at the building. "No, I don't think that stealing ideas for video games is really a threat to national safety."

Dylan blinked a couple times. "Ideas for video games? I just handed those guys a graphics card that could be on the verge of allowing three dimensional viewing in both home computers and televisions. Video games aren't even half of it. With the technology in those cards we could be looking at twenty years away being able to not just watch a movie but take part in it."

"Right, that sounds...cool?"

Before Dylan could respond Elizabeth held up her hand. "Actually Dylan I am not here because of any of that. You recently sent a report to a doctor Cavaungh about one of the new technologies that was revealed at a conference last month. Do you remember that?"

Dylan nodded. "It was the theoretical science of today convention. Doctor Cavaungh was demonstrating a new idea for a faster then light drive design. He had decided to take some liberties and use some designs that were on the verge of not even being computer chips anymore. A couple years back I had those theories so I sent him a couple suggestions that I thought would improve his design. He never got back to me on it."

The general shook his head and looked at Elizabeth. "You see, this is the problem with all of them. What ever happened to a simple yes?"

Again Elizabeth seemed to effectively stop the general. "Dylan if you could come with me, we need to talk." He was lead to a car and taken to a military building and in to a conference room. After they went through all the motions and mentions of top secret and national security and finally let Dylan sign all the forms they got down to business. "Your suggestion was correct Dylan. Not only was it correct but it was very close to the real thing."

Dylan frowned slightly at that last comment. She wasn't making any sense. "What do you mean the real thing? Aunt Elizabeth there is no such thing as faster than light travel. Trust me, if there was, I would know about it. Most of the technological breakthroughs going on behind closed doors I am three doors down from trying to copy it."

A folder was dropped down in front of him. "I think you should read that Dylan. After you do, I have an offer for you."

"Now hold on a second here, Elizabeth. I still haven't signed off on this. I agreed to meet with him and I am not yet impressed by this kid." Dylan looked at the general. Sitting there almost as a poster of everything he hated about the military.

"Kid? I will have you know general that I was well on my way to being a officer with a uniform much like that before I learned how to drive. I went to MIT and graduated as Valedictorian at the age of fourteen. I know more about of the technology of this planet then the people who invented it because I have spent so long taking it apart and improving it. I am considered one of the top ten leading minds in theoretical mechanics and, were it not for a few setbacks, would be considered one of the leading doctors in the field right now. So lets drop the kid stuff right here."

The general opened the folder in front of him. "Oh yes, we looked in to you before this meeting. You were on your way to a career in the military. Right up until you turned your back on it when..." Dylan slammed his hand down on the table. He was not about to hear another career military man try to rationalize why Dylan should have no trouble with the military.

"I was eight, general. How would you have handled it?" The older man closed the folder and nodded.

"Probably not much better than you did."

"Gentlemen, lets give him a chance to read the file." Dylan opened the folder in front of him and started to skim over it. It was fourteen pages detailing a device called the Stargate. It was when he reached the schematics that he stopped and went back to the beginning and started reading it word for word. The section on the history of the device was extremely fascinating. When he finished it he looked back up at Weir.

"Am I really supposed to believe this?" She nodded, at which point Dylan opened the folder and read it again. "So why are you showing this to me?"

Elizabeth smiled as if she had just won some victory. "We believe we have discovered how to get to a city built by the same people who built the Stargates. It is in another galaxy, I want you to be a part of the expedition. Your theories on crystal technology are revolutionary. Everyone we have working on this can admit you are on the right track to understanding this technology in a new way. We want to give you the opportunity for some hands on experience."

Dylan had to let it sink in. If it was all true, that meant his theories had been right all along. They had known about this longer than two years. All this time he could have been working on this.

"How long would we be there?"

"Well, that is the thing. It could very well be a one way trip. There is no promise we could come back." Dylan just nodded and then sat there staring down at the folder in front of him. Some of the things written in there he was decades away from figuring out if he ever had. Still, some of it fit his theories. If he said no he may never get the chance to this thing up close.

"Alright, I'm in. Tell me what I need to do aunt Elizabeth."

"For starters, when we are on the expedition you might want to call me Dr. Weir. You are going to have to prove to some people that you are responsible enough for this. I am going to have a tough time as it is convincing Dr. Mckay to let you on his team."

Dylan sat up straight and looked at her with wide eyes. "Mckay?! That hopeless little worm is in charge of the science team on this? I changed my mind, go have fun without me."

"Dylan, I know you two have had your troubles in the past, but you can't let something like that stand in the way of this."

"I can, and I will. I will not work for Mckay, not even for the meaning of life. Put me in a room with him and a gun and he is likely going to need a doctor." Dylan sat back and defiantly crossed his arms. "You say I am so important to this mission, that is too bad. Rodney Mckay destroyed my career. He ruined any chance of me being taken seriously in the scientific community."

"Dylan, that is enough!" Weir's voice rang out sharply, cutting him off. "Alright, I suppose there is one compromise I can make. We can put you in Cavaungh's department. That is the best I can do."

Dylan seethed at the thought of being trapped anywhere with Mckay. Once he had calmed down he again considered this as a scientist. How could he say no? "I can work for Dr. Cavaungh just fine. Just tell me where to go and what to do."


Leaning against the railing and looking out at the sea Dylan felt that anger again. How could anyone, even if they are that conceited, do that to a colleague? Dylan made his way back to his room and laid down in bed. After about an hour of tossing and turning he realized he wasn't going to get any sleep without help. Getting up he went to the crate in the corner of the room and pulled out his one personal item. Sadly he could think of only one person in the entire city that he could really talk to.

"In to the lion's den I go."

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Bates was being a bastard again, switching her shifts up, and she had just finished another night shift. Which were generally quiet save for the subliminal hum of the floating city. Of course, there were exceptions, there were always exceptions, like tonight. Some of the brainiacs apparently thought early morning was the perfect time for experiments, probably because with less people around, they believed they could get away with it. She wasn't even sure how the squint managed to start a fire in the flora lab. Plant set itself on fire - Bullshit!

Having spent the last hour moving plant samples so they wouldn't be 'contaminated' by the fire and smoke, the muscular woman was denied her typical time in the gym. She would have made the time, except she had a midday shift tomorrow and wanted a little sleep. At least Inoae had already gone to bed.

So instead, she decided to unwind with a nice bath. She had traded a precious pack of cigarettes for some quality toiletries - she didn't normally care that much, but the woman's begging was aggravating and it was either that or throw her over the railing, and fuck, she could pamper herself sometimes too. Which was how she found herself basking in the steamy heat of the bathtub, the surface covered by the fragrant, iridescent white of bubbles, a smoke between her lips, a leather flask of Ruus Wine that an Athosian admirer had given her in one hand and in the other, a novel she had smuggled in between her two cartons of cigs.

Tracker's Sin, she read it for the detailed and surprisingly accurate portrayal of hunting and not at all for the explicit sex-scenes. It wasn't her fault it was from Harlequin books. Really.

And then there was a muted but distinct knock at the door.

Câlice de maudit tabarnak! Yse's hard, blue eyes narrowed as she ignored the knock, reading the next line, it was just getting to a good part... The knock came again. Putain de merde! It better not be Bates being an asshole again, I fucking swear!

She dog-eared a page to mark her place then tossed her book aside as she jumped out of the tub. She briskly dried herself off, pulled on a sports-bra and a loose pair of workout pants, then pulled her dark, wet hair back into a loose tail. Still drying herself off, she stalked out of the bathroom and across her spartan quarters, the breeze coming from the open arch to the balcony cool on her wet skin.

Her quarters were large, with a open layout, and a smaller room branching off to the right, which Inoae occupied. She had been assigned the more extensive quarters due to being unofficially put in charge (ie, babysitting) their resident Lantean. Which might have been nice, if she had more stuff to occupy the space.

Her gear was arranged with anal-retentive care and near at hand, a padded mat with some rudimentary weights occupied one stretch of floor, while her limited clothing was scattered about in a variety of states. The clean clothes looked to be carefully packed in duffel bags, while the dirty ones were simply tossed in one of the wide-angled corners. Though it appeared someone had made a cursory attempt at folding them.

With one more look at the dark arch to Inoae's room, ear cocked to listen for any sounds of waking - If the fucker at the door woke her up and I have to endure any cloying clinging at the moment, he's gonna get kicked in the balls - Yseult the door, rapping the crystalline pad next to it. The door hissed open.

Drops of water beading on her broad shoulders and rippling stomach, black hair glistening, Yseult glared at her visitor, icy blue eyes narrowing before widening in surprise at who it was.

"You!" she hissed, emphatic though she kept her voice low. "What do you want?"

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Dylan looked more dead now then when he had woken up from the wraith stunner. He had very defined circles under his eyes and was leaning slightly on one leg which gave him almost a hanging look. Still he smiled when Yseult opened the door.

"I couldn't sleep. Actually I haven't gotten much sleep since the wraith ship. I decided I needed a night cap and I hate capping alone." Dylan held up the fairly large bottle of scotch. "Single malt, 1993. Same vintage we had in Vegas, took me three days and about four thousand dollars to track down this bottle before we came here. They still are only valued at around fourteen hundred but time was short so I had to overpay. So does that earn me a little time?"

Yseult eyed the bottle and finally motioned for him to come in. As Dylan came in to the room Yseult pointed to the balcony. Dylan walked out and found a place to set down two glasses as he opened the bottle. Pouring a decent amount in to each glass he closed the bottle back up and set it down. Handing one glass over to Yseult he raised his up and gave it a whiff before slightly tipping it towards her. "Cheers."

With that he took a long slow drink. With a sigh he turned and looked out at the ocean. "Aliens that suck the life out of you and the bugs who love them. Technology that we can touch and see but never understand. Possibly the worst thing of all is this could be the last bottle of hard liquor we ever have. But at least if it is the last bottle its a damn good one." Downing the rest of his drink he poured him self another glass.

"You know four years ago I had a theory about crystal based technology. I devoted two years to working on nothing but that and preparing to obtain my masters degree and my doctrine. It was going to be the next big breakthrough in technology. I was going to start a whole new era of development that would allow for things like free energy, faster than light travel, communication that was not affected by any weather on earth. The theories were sound, I just needed time, money, and help in my experiments. After two years of almost never going out in the light of day I even convinced a panel to review my thesis and my findings. I was shocked to find out one of the leading minds of the world was leading the panel. I thought I was on my way to a Nobel prize."


Dylan scooted the chair across the room to one terminal that was monitoring one of his experiments. Holding up the tape recorder he started it up.

"Signal input is now up to ninety percent. I managed to boost the signal so that it is near full strength for the two feet it must travel to penetrate the rose quartz. Signal strength on output is...six percent. Signal coherence is up to four point seven percent. I managed to get it up a whole point two percent. I think rose quartz may be a dead end. I have tried nineteen different methods of synthesizing it and this is the strongest signal I have been able to get through it.

If my theory is correct then I need at least a forty percent signal with full coherency to create the resonance that is necessary to have the crystal structure act as a processor. Once I have obtained that it is just a matter of recalibrating the input device so that the crystal can recognize different commands and treat them accordingly. Scratch rose quartz from the list."

Again he pushed him self across the room to another station. "I am having some better results from the third beryl synthetic. Though I can only maintain coherency at a twenty percent signal strength I have managed near full coherency and a output strength of fifteen percent. I will need to examine why beryl does not disperse the signal as randomly as the others. Determining that uniqueness could be the key to finishing my crystal processor. Regardless of the lack of result with the signal it self all experiments have proven that so far no crystal subject suffers from even half the problems of heat stress or wear as metallic medians do. by my calculations this suggest that a fully functioning crystal processor could handle over one hundred gigahertz with even less trouble then the standard four gigahertz processors we currently use." Pushing the chair once more he slid to another station.

"Regrettably the data storage experiments have taken a turn for the worse. Synthetic number 294 also experienced a melt down from the build up of energy. Nine months ago I was thrilled to finally figure out how to trap energy in the crystal but now it seems like nothing I can create or find and withstand the energy for too long. I need to consider going to broader wave storage so that the potential energy is a much lower yield. For now this will greatly limit capacity space but it may just have to be where I have to start. Lets move on to avionics and power storage." One last push brought him to his last station.

"I have managed to create a resonance that has lifted my crystal enhanced fan two centimeters off the ground. Once I get funding for my own lab I will begin work on the prototype combustion model to see if I can create enough resonance to excite molecules to combustion. If this is doable then batteries could be built to replace oil based engines for propelling objects. As to the crystal power storage there has been a great deal of success in storing the power, but with some dangerous side effects. Once power is successfully stored I still can not seem to create a proper regulator to prevent the crystal from exploding when I try to draw the power back out. I am currently stumped on where to go from here on that front. I may not be able to continue down that avenue as long as I am restricted to the campus labs and resources."

Dylan clicked off the recorder and leaned back. Tomorrow was his big day. Soon he would be Dr. Dylan Harvey at the age of sixteen. He would have a nice large staff and state of the art labs. Maybe in a couple more years he could have working prototypes, but that was getting ahead of himself. First he had to convince them he was right. He turned everything off and spent the whole afternoon and evening typing up his results and finalizing his thesis. Once he had printed out all the copies he needed Dylan went down to the local Denny's and had dinner. Almost all of the money he lived off of the last eight years was gone. Once he had his final degrees it wouldn't be long before he was completely broke. There were several job offers waiting for him but he wanted to hold out.

The next morning the first thought in his head was that in less than twelve hours he was going to have everything he had dreamed of for the past two years. As he got ready there was not a hint of worry. He knew he was right and now all that was left was showing his results and convincing them his theories needed more looking in to. Once he was dressed he headed down to the lab and pulled out the new synthetics that had been growing over night. Getting everything set up he begin running the new test while he waited. At ten they all arrived, lead in to the lab by his mechanical engineering professor, Dylan stood and greeted them.

"Thank you for coming doctors. Let me distribute the copies of my thesis so that you can be browsing them as I walk you through what I am doing here." As Dylan handed out the stacks of paper he stopped briefly at Rodney Mckay. This was possibly the Albert Einstein of the current decade. Getting his recognition would send Dylan's reputation sky rocketing. "It is an honor to have you here Dr. Mckay." Quickly moving on once he handed everything out he started up the presentation he had ready.

"As everyone here knows our entire basis of technology is formed on the idea that energy is best transmitted through metallic substances. By changing the properties of the energy we bring about different results on the other end. The only problem is our technology is currently hitting a plateau due to the metallic median. Signals can only travel so far without degradation. Fiber optics and wireless technology have come a long way to replace this median in most day to day activities but both of them are extremely fragile and can not be trusted to replace wiring for certain jobs. With the discovery of plastic and some alloys we have created storage devices and processors that work on the same general principle, but heat and time are quick enemies and even our most advanced micro chips have a half life of only a few years.

Imagine if you had a computer that was as good ten years from now as it is today. It could process up to a hundred times faster and would not even need heat sinks to keep it cool. Optical computers are set to replace many qualities but even they suffer from a three degree increase in temperature. Imagine if we had a device that could store so much direct current energy that you would never need gasoline to propel an object in to space. Planes would operate on batteries the size of a smart car instead of hundreds of gallons of fuel every few hours. My theory is that the grand material that will lead to these breakthroughs, is crystal. If you turn to page fifteen you see how I break down the differences in the structure of crystal against metals that provide the qualities to be a better median for most of the forms of energy we utilize in day to day life. Everything from T.V. signals to automobile engines. Personal computers to ovens. A crystal based technology may even be capable of regulating and transferring the amount of energy required to propel a object up to the light barrier."

Dr. Novak who was one of the head researchers working on optic computers raised her hand and then spoke up when he looked to her. "What makes you think that crystals could really allow for that kind of power regulation? What prevents them from simply shattering from the stress of it?"

"Dr. Novak the majority of stress that our current technology goes through is from the constantly changing temperature. The idea that to preserve life span and efficiency we program it to constantly regulate it self as much as possible. Through my experiments I have found that crystal is not only more resistant to building heat past a certain point it can maintain a constant flow of energy without ever going higher in temperature. Though it would take some work to come up with the right crystal synthetic, we can theoretically create a material that could push a engine anywhere from ten to one thousand miles per hour that will never grow hotter than a couple hundred degrees.

Actually if you all turn to page forty eight I detail that the slowest part of my experiments to date has been creating the synthetics I need. Each time I mix different crystals I have to carefully balance them even on a molecular level to maintain their structure through out the experiment."

Mckay spoke up. "Well, even I have to admit this is quite impressive Harvey. We are going to need a week to go over your findings but it does seem like there might be something to this."


"The longest week of my life. I got my masters and finished everything up. All that was left was to hear back from the panel. Finally they called me in." Dylan took a small sip from his third glass now.


Dylan sat down in the offered seat and faced his peers. Mckay immediately spoke up.

"Well thank you for coming Dylan, but I am afraid I have some bad news. After going over all your test we have determined, there is no hard evidence to support your theories. At first they looked incredible but as we delved deeper we found only a random collection of unrepeatable results that are never going to lead to any real science. It is quite disappointing that you were unable to see the failure of the road you were on a lot sooner then this. Don't be too hard on your self though, its a very easy mistake for a amateur to make. Perhaps in another five or six years you will be ready to come back here with a more sound theory. I think everyone in the room can agree we look forward to that day."


"He really said that to you?"

Dylan nodded. "Word for word, I am never going to forget that arrogant pricks little speech. This was two years ago when he had already been working on the Stargate project. No real science, and amateur mistakes are what he called my theories. Since I have gotten clearance I even learned he took one of my design ideas and incorporated it in to the F-302 space fighters. Now you know why I hate that son of a bitch." Dylan just stood at the railing sipping slowly on his drink as he glared at the sea.

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Matching Harvey drink for drink, Yse let him bitch, considering it a tolerable price for the booze. The Ruus Wine had a nice kick, but was too fruity for her taste and didn't have the smooth burn of the scotch. Leaning back against the railing, she watched him out of the corner of her eye while keeping some of her attention on the archway to Inoae's nook. I don't need her offering to 'prepare the male' for me. Especially not this one.

She hadn't fully realized how smart the barely-a-man was. She'd figured him for just one of those whiz-bang-techie-geeks who had made a bundle designing some computer-thing for other techie-geeks. Not that she cared all that much - Harvey was still an irritating-fuck. She'd been more impressed by his facility with a firearm. Scowling at that thought, she took drained her glass of amber alcohol...

... and grimaced as the taste brought back flashes of the last time she was Vegas. Dammit! She covered up her annoyance with a smirk, holding up her tumbler for a refill. "I wouldn't worry about this being the last booze with bite we'll have." She clinked her glass with his and took another sip, giving a satisfied sigh. "But if you want to shrivel McKay's balls, we can force him to drink the rotgut one of the men is invariably coming up with."

The muscular beauty turned around, leaning her elbows on the railing as she contemplated the night-shrouded and star-sprinkled sea with her accidental husband. "Or there can always be an accidental in the field. Nothing lethal. Maybe a light of maiming. He doesn't need legs, right?" With her casual, off-hand tone, he couldn't determine if she was joking or not. The alcohol might have had something to do with it too.

The silence stretched between them, growing tight, until finally Yseult turned her head, meeting Dylan's eyes. There might not have been any sympathy in her icy eyes, but she didn't seem to be inclined to punch him in the face either. It was a step up.

"Why did you come here, Dylan?"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dylan chuckled quietly, shaking his head he looked back over the ocean.

"Because I wanted to talk, and I wanted to drink. The only two people I know here are you and Aunt Elizabeth, and I didn't feel like speaking with a diplomat right now.

Damn it Yseult, I know the only thing that comes close to making us husband and wife is a piece of paper in another galaxy. I thought maybe there was enough of a human being somewhere in those muscles though to enjoy a good drink with a friend." Finishing off his glass he put it down on the table.

"Perhaps I was wrong."

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"That isn't what I meant." Yseult finished her drink, tossing the glass on the table, which slid across the surface to clink softly against Dylan's glass. "Why'd you come here, to Atlantis? Yeah, yeah, there's all the techie stuff, but there has to be more to it than that. You have family, friends probably, a successful, lucrative career..."

She watched his profile, staring out to sea. Still too young, but still cute too. But that isn't enough for more then a weekend romp. "There's several reasons why I came, but one of the greatest was getting away from you." Her tone wasn't cruel or mean, but it was relentless. "I have a few friends, but other than them, I don't get attached. And you not fucking giving me the divorce is forcing an attachment, however thin. Marriage..."

The muscular woman gave her head a shake and turned to look over the sea. Dylan glanced at her, hearing something in her voice. There was something in her eyes, he couldn't call it vulnerability, wouldn't have dared, but it was a warning. Something from her past had affected her, even if she told herself it didn't.

"The booze is great, Dylan," Yseult admitted, "vent all you like, as long as you don't bitch about me. Otherwise, I might be forced to toss you overboard." She cocked her head, a mild buzz warming her against the cool night air, then glanced at Dylan, her eyes cutting to her bed as a smirk played about her lips. "I can think of better ways to vent..."

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Dylan followed her gaze then shook his head. "Maybe another time, as to family, I have a few relations, most of them distant. I think Weir may actually be the closest relative I have now. Was never really all that in to making friends. Most people I either annoy or intimidate, usually both. I already have enough money, I came because my life was looking so dull I was probably on the road to eating a bullet in ten years.

Everyone needs something to look forward to in the day. I need a challenge, and I have gotten so good at cracking technology it is barely that, but here... There is so much that I might spend my life trying to understand. I could do without the life sucking aliens, but other then that, Atlantis is the greatest challenge out there.

You know before we left I was able to get access to a lot of the files we have on Asgard technology. There is a race that is even more advanced now then the ancients in some fields. Still their technology is based on the same things as the ancients. Earth is near peaking on what it can do with what it has. This is the next stage, the kind of thing that literally makes the stars the limits. I am a physicist with degrees in mechanical engineering and theoretical mechanics, where else could I possibly be once I knew this place existed." He actually smiled, now he was remembering why he had agreed to come. Even if he didn't find the answers he was in the best place to look for them.

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Yseult smiled too, but it was more of a smirk, mocking both Dylan and herself. He came for the tech, but she came for the simplicity, because when you came right down to it, despite all the sci-fi stuff, life out here was more primitive, primal, like the Athosians. And she liked it.

"I just needed a change," Yseult said after a moment of silence and half a glass of scotch. "Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but even when it's different, it's still the same shit over and over. Civvie government wants something done. Military tells them how to do it effectively. Civvie government wants it done their way. Military complies. Shit fucks up. Civvie government bitches and moans, and Military has to go into full waste disposal mode. Then it happens again."

Yseult lit up a cigarette and gestured at the star-speckled sky and gloom-lit sea, glowing orange tip tracing lines in night. "Here... well, we still have Weir, but at least don't have a ten thousand bloody bureaucrats gumming up the works. We have all these planets to explore that aren't littered with the decay and garbage of humans - though now that I think about it, we'll probably find it soon enough - and when we gack people-eating-bug-men, the worst we have to deal with are squints begging us to bring back samples instead of bleeding hearts second guessing with all the fucking wisdom of hindsight if it was really necessary. Fucking politics."

Yseult took a long drag, blowing a stream of grey-blue smoke up in the air, then shrugged. "You see all the high-tech stuff, I see things as more basic and straight forwards. Seems like we both ended up here anyway,"

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Dylan was staring at Yseult like she had just sprouted a second head. "It is more simple and straight forward. The ancients didn't complicate things like we do. I couldn't build one from scratch but... Maybe I can hook up a puddle jumper." Thinking wasn't easy after slamming down that much scotch, but he still had enough active brain cells going the right direction to start formulating a plan.

"Yseult, your brilliant, keep the bottle, it might take a few months, but a ZPM might not be as far out of our reach as we thought." Dylan started making his way to the door, as he walked he muttered figures under his breath.

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