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Aberrant: Stargate Universe - Settling In


Noah Weston

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Noah looked around his new quarters. It was a decent sized room with a double bed, a desk, and a private bathroom and shower. The room was neat and sterile, the furniture functional. Just like you’d find in any American military based across the globe. He sighed and looked at the bags lying just inside the door; all his worldly possessions in 2 military duffels. He briefly wondered how they had managed to round up his gear so fast.

Noah began to unpack and organize his room with military precision; an act of normalcy for the young Marine after the increasingly surreal events of the past couple of months. His recruitment and subsequent betrayal that the hands of the NID, his empowerment by the strange artifact, his torture, the rescue and interrogation by the SGC. Hell the fact that there was an SGC! Traveling through gateways to explore other worlds boggled the young man’s mind.

It took less than 20 minutes for Noah to get everything unpacked and stored away; when he was finished the room looked no different from when he started minus the 2 duffel bags, and he sat on the edge of the bed.

Well now what? he wondered.

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12:00 hours.

The cafeteria was busy and noisy at this time of day. Several of the SG teams were off mission and lounging, enjoying lunch and the companionship of comrades in arms when Noah stepped through the doorway, holding a 3 ring binder under his arm. There was a brief moment of utter silence as most of the room turned and regarded the new arrival; some with interest, some will cool neutrality, others with not a little bit of desire in their eyes, but eventually they went back to their private conversations, the novelty of the “Specialists” seemed to be slowly wearing off, much to Noah’s relief.

Still there were a few lingering stares, enough to make the more than attractive you man feel awkward. He moved quickly to the buffet line, doing his best to ignore the whispers of a small table of female airman he passed. The menu today was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas, some sort of vegetarian looking monstrosity and several other variations of cafeteria food he’d rather leave unidentified.

Meatloaf it is, he thought idly and heaped enough food on his plate to feed 3 healthy marines. “You’re a hungry fella, ain’t ya?” A voice drawled from behind the buffet table. Noah looked up sharply. A man of average build and appearance was standing on the other side of the buffet tables wearing a chef’s coat. He held out his hand the clearly younger Marine. “Corporal Jack Roman,” he said with a smile.

Noah accepted the man’s hand; he always found it best to be good to the people who handled his food. “Lt. Noah Weston,” he responded. “Nice to meet you.”

“Your one of them ‘Specialist’ people right? Don’t let that crowd get to ya,” He gestured to the cafeteria at large. “Everyone still getting’ used to the idea of people with super powers,” He said with a smile. “If ya need anything else, let me know.”

Noah nodded to the friendly cook. “Me too,” He said simply. “And thanks.” He headed off to an isolated table to eat and read through the Operations manual one more time.

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Gwyn happens to be facing the right way and spots the new Specialist arrive, he couldn't be anything else with that pile of food. "Excuse me Major, I'm just going to welcome the new Specialist."

"Very well Jones, see if you can get him to come back over here."

"Sir"

With that Gwyn stands, grabbing his mug of coffee, and makes his agile way through the crowd to the Specialists table.

"Afternoon Lieutenant, mind if I join you? I just wanted to welcome you to the Specialist club." he says in a faintly accented but perfect English, offering the hand which doesn't hold his coffee mug.

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Gwyn shakes the hand and says "Gwyn Jones," before taking the indicated seat.

"So they've had you hidden away for a while, assuming of course that you got changed about the same time as the rest of us. I won't ask why, because knowing this place you won't be allowed to tell me even if you wanted to. Two things I came over for really, one was to reassure you, no matter how freaky you initially thought your new abilities where you will probably find someone here who can do something now that either freaks you more or that you wish that you could do. Secondly, to invite you to come have your lunch with SG-21. They don't bite, although Sergeant Perault probably looks like he does. We currently have two Specialists, myself with a science/engineering background and Doctor Olivia I-J (I always have trouble pronouncing her surnames) whose got a history/archeaology type background, and two military types, Major Caine and Sergeant Perault. So will you join us, or would prefer to just chat here?"

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"Uh..thank you. For the concen I mean," Noah says Wow, this guy's just a bit intense "You're pretty much the first person I've talked to outside of Doctors. I haven't even met my team yet."

He took another bite of food. "I suppose I've been adjusting to the super powers okay. I mean, I'm not crushing everything I pick any more," He smiles at some private memory and then takes a sidelong glance at the table Gwyn came from "I don't know if I'm ready for groups just yet, I'm still trying to get a handle on all these operational procedures."

"So what do you do? I mean, as far as powers go?"

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Gwyn nodded, "That's fine, I can appreciate it is probably a lot suddenly coming into a new Ops area and chain of command etc. We'll just chill here then. Heh, I've jsut spent the morning with most of the team, and have got a meeting with them after lunch so it's not like I'm going to miss them or anything."

"As to my powers, well in addition to a boost in most areas like strength, agility, stamina, and intelligence I got flight and the ability to change my density. If I go denser I get stronger and a bit tougher as a consequence, and if I lower my density I can squeeze or flow under doors and stuff."

He gives a big grin, "The flight's my favorite, but I don't get much chance to use it properly. Just around the gym or pool at night when they are mainly empty or some of the larger storage areas. We went out to a test zone on one occassion and I was clocked at 200km/h, with an altitide ceiling somewhere above 5000m."

"So what weird and wonderful combination did the Ancient device unload on you?"

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Noah smiles slightly at the man's enthusiasm. "Wow, that sounds cool. What does getting..uh, squishy I guess. Yeah, what does that feel like?"

"Me? Sort of boring compared to that. I'm super strong, agile and tough. When I build up even a bit of momentum I can bust though almost anything, I can adapt to any environmental conditions I encounter, I can cling to surfaces like an insect, I can camoflauge like a chameleon and I can umm...seduce people," he flushes noticably in embaressment at that last one and pauses for a moment Should I tell him? It's pretty creepy and I don'treally know this guy. Maybe I should just hold off for now. "Like I said, kind of boring compaired to flying and becoming ooze."

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Gwyn laughs at the name of going 'squishy' but settles down as he continues.

"Strong, agile and tough, sounds similar to Dec, thats Sarge Perault and Major Hawke. Although Dec has got some all round 'vision' and tactical genius stuff going on as well. I don't know what other things the Major might have."

"Whats it feel like going squishy? You know your the first person to ask me that. I suppose because I'm nearly aiways going dense instead. Actually its not unpleasant the few times I've tried it, it's like I collapse into a puddle or anything. I stay normal, but more fluid so I can easily squeeze through places."

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"Huh, so you could squeeze out of prison bars but not through a closed door frame? That is so wierd," Noah shovels yet more food into his mouth yet somehow makes it seem graceful, and somewhat sexy at the same time. As he chewed and swallowed a young female Airman two tables over gave a soft sigh.

"So the superman routine is pretty common around here?"

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Gwyn sips his coffee and gives the woman a raised eyebrow look before continuing, "No, I can squeeze under normal doors, obviously there has to be a gap of some kind, but most doors do have some kind of gap."

"Superman routine? Well, a number of people have above human capable strength, actually it's pretty common among those with a military background. On the other hand I think I'm the only one with flight so far, unless you count Ari. She arrived recently as well, but she is a shapeshifter, so god knows what she could do if she put her mind to it."

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At he mention of shapeshifting Noah's fork stops half way to his mouth. "You serious? Shapeshifting? Like, anyhting she wants? Now I am jealous," He shakes his head and gives Gwyn his 100 watt smile. "So you can squish under doors too? that is gross and cool all at the same time. Do you, like, turn into water or do you just look like a, I don't know, melted person? And what happens to your clothes?

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Gwyn grins back, "Well, I don't know anything about anything, but she did mention something about a sofa so...More like rubber or maybe a water filled Gwyn shaped ballon. My clothes? They go with me, although I can't take much else with me at the moment. It's something I'm working on, along with flying faster and getting the dense toughness even when normal."

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Noah is quiet for a moment as he finishes off his 3 person meal. He seems to be contemplaing something, running something through his head, although Gwyn gets the impression that whatever it is it isn't running very fast.

When he looks back up at Gwyn there is a question in his eyes. "Have you had any combat missions? Any advice on what to expect out there?"

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Gwyn smiles, "No I've only been through the Gate 3 times, and one of those was for a training lecture. The people you want to talk to are Major Caine and Captain Wright, they are the main guys who were already veteran members of SGC before they got exposed to the device. They can give you a better idea of what's out there. Or see if Major Caine will let you join our afternoon meetings, that's when Olivia summarises the reports on a particular system, or culture for the rest of us."

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"Well, what can I say, they have been two very different worlds. The first is a devastated world, a desert with high winds and sand or dust getting everywhere. But we managed to find some valuable information."

Pausing to have some coffee he continues, "The second was a swamp, or at least the area that we arrived at was. This time it was a temple that pre-dated the ancient Eygptians that had been used by the Goa'uld before they found Earth. Nothing much working, but what we found in the way of technology should provide a stepping point of info between us and where the Goa'uld are now."

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"Well my degree says Physics and Electronics, so a bit of science and a bit of engineering, but in case it's necessary all Specialists are expected to fight. Major Caine is making sure we spend enough time sparring and on the range that we all have the basics pretty well down."

Another sip of coffee, "So what was your MOS before you got turned into a scout/sniper."

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Noah pursed his lips, his expression clearly indicating the conversation was heading into unpleasant territory. "I'm Marine trained; Infantry. I attended OCS at Annapolis thanks to my father." his tone is curt, almost official and he is clearly uncomfortable.

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Gwyn grins at him, "Don't let these flyboys get to you, the Marines are a damn good unit. Mind you I'm biased, I spent 4 months teaching a Royal Marine Commando unit, and later on a couple of months doing there All Arms Commando course. Heh, that means I get to wear the British Green Beret when I feel like it. Although being a civilian I don't have to."

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"Oh I loved being in Officer's Mess at the Royal Military College, but I wasn't so keen on the barracks for the All Arms Course. This place is ok though, but then we rate individual quarters being SG team members. Only problem is trying to get my stuff sent over from the UK. It might end up being cheaper and quicker to just buy new stuff."

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"Yeah, the barracks suck. Last thing you wanna hear as your trying to drop off to sleep is some Marine trying to jack off quietly so no one'll notice," Noah genuinely smiles. "You think trying to get your stuff shipped over here is a pain? Try finding double A batteries in the middle of the Iraqi desert."

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"Lieutenant, Jones, may I sit down?" said the stunningly awesome statuesque man with ... if you look up, has bronze oak leaves (major) on the neck of his shirt.

No one objecting, he joins the two men.

"I'm Major Damien Caine, Lt. Weston, and on behalf of SG-21, welcome to the SGC. I understand you've moved past the the 'wow' factor of being a specialist and looking for what comes next. I'm sure you'll find some answers here," he says convincingly.

The man radiated self-assurance and a calming quiet confidence. He looked like what men dreamed a leader would look like. At the same time, he seemed somewhat reserved and friendly.

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As soon Noah's eyes fell on the rank designation, Noah was immediately on is feet, straight backed and snapped into a perfect military salute. The move was graceful and completely natural seeming. He fell back into a standad "at attention" pose, breaking only with a small gesture from the Major.

He took his seat again. Taking a good look at Major Caine for the first time. Strong and Handsome, pick your tounge up off the floor Noah! Jeezus can you be anymore obvious? The man seemed to ooze command and self confidence.

"Thank you sir. Yes sir, Lt. Jones here was just giving me an unoffical SitRep of his experiences with the SGC," He said, his voice still somewhat in that official 'I'm-talking-to-an-officer-of-superior-rank' voice. "He suggested that I speak with you about some of the combat encouters you may have experienced."

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Gwyn leans back in his chair until he is looking up at the two officers, "Sorry Lieutenant, but I'm just a plain Specialist here. Mind you when I was teaching I was seconded with the equivalent rank of Captain. Maybe I should have a word with General O'Neil."

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"Calm down, Weston. No reason to salute in the Mess," he said when the LT. saluted. He grinned at the younger man.

He seems a bit star-struck. Maybe I'm the first commander he's run across. Why is he staring?

"Jones here has less responsibility and a higher pay grade than us ground-pounders," Caine nudges the Specialist. "He has less paperwork, but more tech-stuff to keep up with. You'll find them indispensable on your team."

"You'll find most of what you see to be just like any other assignment. Keep on the ball, follow your training, remember you are in a small, elite team, and you'll do fine."

"Of course, you will need to train hard and long. I recommend Hawke or my Sgt. Perault for that. They can find your training level and put you with the proper sparring partner. There will be tech briefings most days, but you'll need ten percent of that stuff so pay attention. This place is a real education."

"So, when do the rest of us get to see what you can do?" he asked intently.

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"Sorry Sir. I find it's better to err on the side of protocol in most cases," He tore his gaze away from the Major to look at the remains of his meatloaf and mashed potatoes, no longer hungry. "Sorry for staring Sir but you're the first person I've met like me. The super appearance thing I mean."

Noah nodded as the Major related his advice before speaking again. "I have a training session scheduled for the Alpha Site while my team is away on mission But I believe that Major Hawke will be my team leader. From the sound of it I should be in good hands."

"I'm not sure what you mean about what I can do Sir. Do you mean my, uh, abilites?"

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"He's great, for a Marine," beams Caine. "Mind you, he can kick my ass, but I see that as overcoming an accident of birth."

"You are right, of course, to err for caution around a superior officer. I was raised in the Special Forces, were we tend to err on the side of experience. I've never saluted a Sergeant, but I've known a good many Sergeants who never saluted me."

Caine takes a bite and chews.

"Weston sounds familiar. You have any other family in service? My Dad's in service - a Brigadier General, and short on the roster, at the pentagon now, but he's looking for a spot in this Iraq campaign. Likely to get it too. Can't say he's happy with me being in the SGC either."

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"You recognize the name from my father Sir," He said quietly, his face becomming a mask again, no enotion showing. "General Bradley Weston. It's been a while since we've spoken so I don't know much about his career."

He sighed slightly and his voice returns to it's normal volume. "I'd appreciate if that didn't become public knowledge," He looked pointedly at both men at the table.

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Gwyn nods to the young Lt, "You don't have to worry about me, as a Brit I have no interest in your military, hell I don't have any interest in my own countries military. Actually that's not quite true, I'm naturally interested in the personnel here, and perhaps those who might influence us, but that's about it."

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"Actually, he's not likely to have much influence here, Noah. I have no problem with it not getting spread around."

Looking up over his spoon, he adds,

"Just keep up your end of the esprit de corp. We have high standards here and it's up to you to keep them up. If you need help, don't hesitate to ask. We are all in this together."

He sips his soup.

"Specialists especially have something to prove - to make sure we belong ... unless you are a Brit then you can slack off all you want."

His eyes shift comically to Gwyn.

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Gwyn chuckles at the mild jibe, "Yeah, I know Major, but I've told you before I really do need that hour off to meditate once every four days. At least I can actually get some work done while you lot slack off sleeping, or at least in bed, for six to eight hours every single day."

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Caine gives Gwyn an appraising stare then somewhat sadly says,

"I haven't had to sleep since we got back from Abydos. At first I didn't mind. I actually has an hour or two of personal time in the wee hours of the morning. Now I almost miss it - the sleep."

In a less comedic voice to Noah,

"Your life will change. I think the stress of missions will bring out new facets of what you can become. It's a bit offsetting, but also awe-inspiring. You'll see."

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Gwyn nods sadly to Caine, "I'm sorry to hear that Major. On the upside, perhaps we could reschedule our sparring sessions to the middle of the night and make better use of the normal time we spar to do things that require interacting with other people who aren't awake most of the time. Alternatively if you want someone to talk to, or play cards with or whatever if you can't sleep and there's no-one else around then you know where I am."

He turns to face Noah more, "Yeah, we don't know how each of us will develop, but we've been told that it is likely to be along broadly similar lines to the powers we already have. So someone who became fast will get faster and/or more speed related powers. I'll probably get more things to do with density and/or flight as well as boosted physical and mental abilities I guess. It's all a bit wait and see at the moment."

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Noah nodded as the two spoke and he just sat back to absorb their interaction. These guys are friends. I wonder if the rest of the teams are like this? The base does seem a little more lax regarding protocol then any of the others I've been on

"Thnk you for the advice Sir" he said politely to the Major before turning to regard Gwyn again. "That's a good thing to know. I'll have to think about how that will affect me."

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Declan wanted to go work out, so Olivia bid him adieu. She sat alone for another moment before picking up her tray and moving to join her other teammates. "Hey," she said, hovering next to an empty chair. "Mind if I join you gentlemen?"

The new guy was the sexy, but after dealing with Caine and Steve, Olivia was able to keep her tongue in her mouth. These men are going to kill me, she sighed to herself. All these hormones, all the time, can't be healthy.

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Omar and the other senior officers of the SGC had been briefed on protocol regarding the newest recruits. When they encountered them, they were mkae introductions, and politely answer any questions the new recruit had. As he walked down the serving line, his plate piled high with standard Air Force fare, he noticed that some of the other SG members were speaking to a handsome, clean-cut man. Omar headed straight to where the group was sitting.

"Good day everyone." Capt' Khudikias's said to the assembled group. "Sir." he said to the major sitting across from him. His 6'10 frame towered over the rest of the people at the table, when seated, and his massivley wide an muscular frame barely fit into the standard issue plastic chairs of the DFAC.

"Did I hear someone talking about a sparring session?" Omar said offhanded as he carefully adjusting himself in the chair. He was smiling ear to ear.

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"Not me," Olivia said cheerfully, smiling at Captain Khudikias. As always, his physical size made her nervous, but Damien and Gwyn were here, and she didn't feel more than a twinge of nervousness. "Though depending on who is doing the fighting, I wouldn't mind watching. At my fighting level - that is, beginner - I'm sure it would be educational as well as entertaining."

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