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20 January 2010 @ 01:35 pm
Help from Unexpected Places: Misbegotten  
I'm hoping to start getting back in the swing of these. With that in mind, here's the start of Season 3. Enjoy!

previous installments can be found here.


Lorne glanced over his shoulder, slowing as John caught up with him. “Sir.”

“Got your team for Orion?”

“Yessir, we’re just getting ready to leave now.”

“You got Zelenka?”

“Zelenka,” Lorne repeated. “No, he wanted to stay here and finish checking over the systems, make sure the Wraith worm didn’t do any damage.”

“Do me a favor and take him with you.”

“Aye sir. Any particular reason?”

Orion has an operational AI. He’s already working to speed up repairs, but with Zelenka along he’ll be able to work even faster.”

“An AI? What’d you name this one?”

“Ryan,” John told him.

“Ryan from the Orion. Of course you did.”

“That reminds me. Alice?”

Lorne leaned against the wall, watching. It was always fun watching John talk to Alice. Sort of like what he imagined McKay would be if he were invisible.

“I’m Orion’s captain, right?”

“Interim captain, yes,” Alice agreed.

“Shouldn’t I have the destruct codes, then?”

“Are you planning on blowing it up?”

Lorne snickered, turning it into a cough when John glared at him.

“No, Alice, I’m not planning on blowing it up.”

Alice didn’t answer, and he glared. “I’m still your captain.”

“I don’t have the codes. Ryan has them.”

“Why don’t you have them? You’re the fleet commander.”

“No,” she said patiently. “The codes were never stored in my memory. Security. The AIs hold them.”

“Sir?” Lorne said carefully. “Aren’t I going to be captain?”

“It’s a position, not a title,” Alice told him. “Captain is not always the commander. No, wait. It’s a title, not a position.”

Lorne glanced at John, who shrugged. “He is going to be in command, Alice. And he’ll be able to hear Ryan if he needs to.”

Alice was silent for a moment. “Yes. Then Ryan will give him the codes when he takes command.”

“Are you talking to him right now?” John demanded. “I thought you had to be closer!”

“No. When did I say that? I can talk to Ryan at almost half a light year out.”

“You couldn’t talk to Rodney’s ‘Jumper when we were directly above it.”

“Oh, ‘Jumpers. That’s different. They have little to no power. They don’t need it. But I am the cityship, and Orion is a ship of the line.”

Lorne cleared his throat, smiling faintly when John looked up as though surprised. “I’ll go find Zelenka, then.”

“Ryan will give you the codes whenever you’re alone,” Alice told him. “And he knows he may communicate with Zelenka. Please take care of the ship, Evan.”

“I will,” Lorne promised. John nodded dismissal and he headed down towards the labs to find Zelenka.

“Woolsey’s leaving,” Alice said conversationally.

“Is he?” John didn’t look up from his report. “What’d he decide?”

“That Elizabeth should remain as leader of the expedition, and her actions have been correct.”

“Did your formality routines reset when you rebooted?”

“I don’t have formality routines, John.”

“Shame you missed all the excitement.”

“Yes, fighting Hives and turning Wraith into men is just the kind of mission I enjoy.”

“Tell me something.”

“Yes, John?”

“Why do the ‘Jumpers have Alices instead of Ryans?”

“I don’t understand the question.”

“The research stations and city ships have Alices, right?”


“And the warships have Ryans...AIs.”

“Yes. The AIs have much greater control over the ship’s functions than the research programs.”

“Right. The ‘Jumpers are ships. How come they have Alices?”

“Because they’re not designed as warships, John. They’re transports.”

“With weapons.”

Alice snorted. “Yes, a handful of drones. Do you want a Ryan program? The Alices can be upgraded on the Gateships if you want. They already have more control over the ships than I have over the City; it wouldn’t be hard.”

“No!” John paused, studying her. “Can you do that?”

“Yes, if you want. Elizabeth’s coming.”


His door chimed; Alice spread her hands, skipping out of John’s way as he went to answer it. “Elizabeth! What a surprise.”

“Am I interrupting?”

“No, of course not. Come in. Woolsey still here?”

“No, he’s just returned to Earth.” She glanced around the room absently. “He’s recommended that I stay on as leader.”

“Of course he has.” John cleared a chair for her, dropping the folders onto his bed. “Never doubted it.”


“Did you?”

“For a moment, yes. It seemed like everything we touched went wrong.”

“Ah, we had a run of bad luck, that’s all. It happens.”

Elizabeth nodded, rising to her feet again. “Well, I just wanted to tell you that you can stop reigning in that instinct to kill Woolsey. Until the next time.”

John grinned, moving towards the door. “I’m quite proud of myself, actually.”

“Yes, you did very well,” Elizabeth agreed. “Of course, spending all that time on the Hive probably helped.”

“I’d rather be on a Hive.”

“Hmm.” She left, smiling again.

“Woolsey wasn’t that bad,” Alice said thoughtfully.

John picked up his pen to start working on his report again. “He wasn’t questioning your decisions.”

“Yes, but the bulk of my decisions are actually your decisions, so he’d end up talking to you anyway.”

“Yeah, good point.” He sighed. “Tell me again why I’m writing this report on paper?”

“I really don’t know, John. I’m afraid I can’t help with it, either.” She leaned over the desk from the other side, studying it. “Oh, you’re spelt Daedalus wrong right there.”

“What would I do without you,” John said flatly, scratching it out.

“Misspell your reports. And that would be a shame.” Catching the look on his face, she added quickly, “I think I’ll go and see how Zelenka’s doing. He’s very fond of Orion, after spending so much time saving her.”

“That might be an idea,” John agreed. Orion had very nearly been destroyed in the battle despite everything Ryan and Zelenka had done, but she’d scraped through. Her engines were shot again, but Zelenka was confident they could get her up and running.

Alice smiled, vanishing, and he turned back to his report.