Illman (illman) wrote,

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SGA Fic: Mindscape 14-15/15 (FRT-13)


Obstipui, Steterunque Comae Et Vox Faucibus Haesit


Rodney? Something, anything? What do you have?” John was alarmed, sounding almost desperate while he looked as he might fall over any minute.

“Stop looking over my shoulder! What happens if you enter a wrong password?”

John gave him a blank look.

“You get a hint!” Rodney punched the zero button until the device beeped when he hit he it for the eighth time. Eight digits.

“I don’t know. It might just blow up in your face. Have you thought of that? We don’t have time for games, Rodney.” John’s voice was almost shrill.

“Just go,” Rodney yelled. “Run!”

“Not without you.” John nearly lost his balance, but he grabbed Rodney’s upper arm. Rodney resisted, grabbing the remote. He needed just another second. “Run.” Rodney pushed John away. John stumbled out of Beckett’s office, but Rodney didn’t have the time to look after him, even when he heard a heavy thump outside.

Fifteen seconds. Rodney stared at the hologram. The answer had to be there.

9227465. Was that the hint? Rodney had recognized the sequence of course, but which eight-digit number?

14930352, 24157817, 39088169, 63245986, …

Ten seconds.

24157817. Rodney punched in the eight digits. For a terrifying moment, nothing happened, and then the device fell silent and clattered to the floor beneath Carson’s desk. Rodney let out a breath he had been holding and steadied himself on the wall. The immediate threat gone, he suddenly realized how weak he was feeling. The adrenaline rush had given him strength, but was fading fast. Bracing himself at the wall, Rodney stumbled outside.

John hadn’t gotten far. He had dropped a few feet outside the office. Rodney kneeled down to check his pulse, a welcome feeling of relief rushing through him when he found a steady beat. Rodney had many questions about what had happened, but right now, getting help for John and Cadman took precedent.

Rodney dully recalled John’s warning not to trust anyone, but he didn’t have the skills or the training to help Cadman, Sheppard and Dr. Millhouse. Hoping that the bomb was really disabled, Rodney staggered back into Carson’s office and activated the comm. unit.


Elizabeth couldn’t get warm. Despite the heavy blanket draped around her shoulders and knowing that the ambient temperature was within normal parameters, she was shivering. When the Wraith bomb had suddenly fallen off the wall, for a moment, she had thought it would fall down and explode, but it had simply crashed down on the metal floor and nothing had happened. Seconds later, the door had slid open as if nothing had ever happened.

She should be fine, Elizabeth kept telling herself, but it was as if her mind refused to process what had happened. They had come so close to dying.

“Dr. Weir.” Elizabeth looked up to see Teyla standing in front of her holding a steaming cup of tea. “I though you might like a cup of tea.” Teyla smiled warmly.

“Thank you.” Elizabeth gladly accepted. “Is there something else I can help you with?”

“Thank you, but I’m going to be fine. I should be in my office, not here in the infirmary. Carson and Dr. Biro certainly have their hands full at the moment,” Elizabeth replied. She had to admit she was glad about the moment of respite, but she knew it couldn’t last; something horrible had happened in Atlantis. For the moment, a hastily assembled team consisting of men from the regular security detail and military members of the explorations team were patrolling the city in an attempt to find out what had happened and assess the damage. Without the ZPM, they had no sensors allowing them to locate individuals. Elizabeth only hoped that Lieutenant Cadman and Dr. Millhouse had been the only ones attacked by the so-far unknown assailant. The search team had yet to locate the two prime suspects, Lieutenant Shaw and Dr. Lawrence Tiding. However, a Jumper was missing from the bay, and Elizabeth could only presume that Shaw and Tiding might have used to it flee from the City once their plot was accomplished. What exactly their plan had been and who had piloted the Jumper, were among the many unanswered question Elizabeth still had to deal with.

“I was wondering whether you might want to join me to practise with the staves.”

“Now?” The timing seemed odd to Elizabeth. The expedition was in its worst crisis since the attack of the Wraith and she couldn’t do anything about it,

“I think it might help you get some balance back. It has been a troublesome time for all of us. As far as I have heard, it will be some time before we receive news of those affected by the poison. I spoke to one of the assistants, but she said it would be a while. It will be best to take your mind off for a while.”

Elizabeth realized guiltily that she hadn’t even been thinking about John and the others who had been poisoned. She remembered Dr. Biro whizzing past, telling her that they thought the darts Dr. Millhouse and Lieutenant Cadman had been shot with contained the same poison as the bombs and that they were working to find an antidote. Everything that had happened was a bit fuzzy.

“I suppose it couldn’t hurt.” Elizabeth dropped off the blanket and took another sip from her tea.

“I’m sure the exercise will help you feel better. We don’t just train our bodies when we learn to defend ourselves, we also train the mind.”


One of Carson’s assistants had finally chased Rodney out of the infirmary with the relayed ordered to rest in his quarters and reassurances that someone would come and check in on him once there was time. Rodney was glad to be off his feet--for a while, anyways.

Once he had eaten a PowerBar and drunk some orange juice, he started to feel better immediately. The familiar symptoms he had been suffering from hypoglycaemia disappeared quickly. He was still left with a slightly loopy feeling, which he attributed to Carson’s drugs during his stay in the infirmary, but he felt like he was part of the world of the living again.

Rodney was only now starting to realize how close he and John, had come to being blown up. Teyla had shown up while he had been waiting in the infirmary. She had thanked him for disabling the bombs. From what she had said, he had gathered there had been another bomb, one that would have blown up Elizabeth and Carson if it had gone off. Seeing that he wasn’t exactly in prime condition, Teyla had then stopped talking and gotten a medical assistant. Sent to bed, Rodney couldn’t sleep. His physical fatigue wasn’t enough to quiet his mind. There had been no time to ask questions and talk to anyone about what had happened before he had woken up in the infirmary with Sheppard standing next to his bed. Dr. Millhouse had been vague, only telling him that he had suffered from a poisoning, but was being treated successfully with an antidote. That gave rise to all sorts of scenarios. He could have been exposed to a poison in any numbers of ways on a mission. It was a wonder something like that didn’t happen sooner in a strange galaxy. Even in Atlantis, there were many dark and dangerous corners, as the nano-virus incident had shown. They hadn’t come close to exploring the entire City; it would take years. It was pointless, as there were too many possibilities. But he remembered nothing that made sense if he had been poisoned. The central image that kept floating to the front of his mind was one of John lunging at him, grabbing his head with his hands. The memory was so intense that he could feel an echo of pain shoot through his head every time the vision returned.

Rodney was tempted to accept the memory for what it was, even though his work for the Stargate project had instilled in him some caution. It wasn’t like there had never been a false, planted memory, but that left aside, John had no reason to attack Cadman and Dr. Millhouse. The bomb had nearly blown them both up. It would have if Rodney hadn’t figured it out. John hadn’t been able to run away; the poison from the bomb had gotten to him before. He wouldn’t have deliberately have poisoned himself. That made no sense. John had better be all right. He had cracked the password, so he should have saved the day, Rodney thought. Bored and restless in bed, Rodney got back up and headed towards the infirmary.


“You have done quite well, Dr. Weir. Were you able to calm your mind?” Teyla gathered the staves after their sparring round. They had gone light after almost two days of no sleep.

“I’m tired. For once I can think I might actually be able to get some rest.” Elizabeth smiled thankfully. The exercise had helped. Her strength and endurance had been compromised by stress and lack of sleep, but being forced to concentrate on her opponent had helped her put aside her current worries.

“I doubt I’ll get a lot of sleep now, but I need a shower and a few minutes with my eyes closed,” Elizabeth told Teyla. She had been up so long, she wasn’t even sure when she had slept for the last time. In the Pegasus Galaxy she had learned to sleep less and work more than she had ever thought possible, having been an busy, ambitious diplomat before starting to work with the Stargate Program.

“I wish you a restful sleep then,” Teyla said as they parted ways in the corridor. “I shall wait for news on the injured.”

Elizabeth thanked her once again for the workout and went to her quarters.


Two hours later, the head count stood at 123. The search was still progressing, but the entire inhabited area of Atlantis had been searched. Four people were missing: Dr. Radek Zelenka, Dr. Sandra Faraday, Dr. Ian Taylor and Lieutenant Mark Shaw. Two were dead: Corporal Leon Mars and Dr. Markus Tiding. Dr. Tiding had been found dead in his quarters in the process of the search. The cause of his death was so far unknown, but Elizabeth suspected murder. There was a chance that one or more of the others were dead as well, their bodies hidden somewhere within the City. It was yet unknown how the Jumper could have been stolen, as none of the people who were unaccounted for had the ATA gene.

Short-staffed in the aftermath of the bombing, Elizabeth had her first priority assigned to the reinstallation of the ZPM. Dr. Kusanagi, currently their most qualified expert on Ancient technology, was working down in the power core, carefully making sure there had been no other attempt at sabotage.

Meanwhile members of the security detail no longer needed for the search were searching the quarters of all the missing for clues as to their possible involvement. Elizabeth hadn’t yet made an official statement concerning any of the events of the last twenty-four hours, but the rumours of traitors among the expedition were starting to fly wild. It was time that she gave her people the facts, as far as she knew them.


“I want to go.” Rodney had stubbornly planted himself in front of Elizabeth’s desk, arms crossed in front of his desk. The official version had been broadcast half an hour ago, filling Rodney in on some of the events while he had been in the infirmary. The rumour mill was of course rife with details not contained in the official statement, so Rodney had learned that Teyla, Ronon, and Sergeant Edison were about to leave on Jumper II on a mission to find the stolen craft.

“Has Carson even seen you yet?” Elizabeth’s tone made it clear that she was humouring him.

“No, but if I can be sent to my room, I can help look for the Jumper. You need me if you want to get the maximum out of the sensors anyways. There are only so many people on the expedition who know their way around delicate Ancient technology and one of them happens to be missing at the moment.”

“We don’t even know who is aboard the Jumper or if they are still in range. But the computers in the control room haven’t registered any Gate activity since we came back from the search for Colonel Sheppard, so it is possible.”

“I think they might not have been able to dial the Gate from the Jumper, but I could be wrong…”

“You could be wrong?” Elizabeth raised an eyebrow in question.

“I have been wondering how Ford, of all people, figured out how to steal a Jumper without having the gene.”

“And?” Elizabeth asked, playing with a pen.

“I have done some tinkering on a program that creates a sort of remote access to the Ancient systems,” Rodney admitted. He could see it now, how it had all gone wrong. It was alarming how those kinds of revelations were accumulating recently. But hindsight was always 20/20.

There was a moment of silence. “I see. It seems that your work got into the wrong hands. We can’t change what happened now. We will talk about this later.”

“So that means I can go.” Rodney bounced softly. Maybe he had had too much coffee on the way to Elizabeth’s office.

“I didn’t say that. Two days ago we weren’t sure you were ever going to wake up.” Elizabeth paused, an expression of concern on her face. Rodney felt oddly touched at the sentiment. He knew he was vital to the expedition, but as a person, he didn’t rank high on the popularity list.

“You should take it easy, at least until Carson or Dr. Biro can have a look at you.”

“Every minute we waste here in discussion is a minute Zelenka could be disappearing through a Gate to anywhere in this galaxy,” Rodney argued. As much as Zelenka could annoy him at times, he was a decent guy and probably the next best scientist after Rodney.

“I don’t think I can dissuade you.” Elizabeth sighed in defeat. “Get down to the Jumper Bay, I’ll tell them to wait for you.”


Coming Together

Viribus Unitis


By the time the Daedalus arrived six hours later, Elizabeth felt saner and safer than she had in the past three days taken together. A few hours of sleep had done wonders to restore her sanity and the knowledge that the Daedalus was on orbit, ready to protect the City in case of a Wraith attack, did much to restore her confidence, even as she stood in the control room that still bore the signs of the recent explosion. The consoles that had been ripped apart by the explosions were still in a heap of debris as the first group from the Daedalus transported down to the control room.

Colonel Caldwell, Dr. Novak and a young officer Elizabeth recognized but whose name she didn’t remembered appeared in the control room. They cast around startled looks, taking in the scene of destruction.

“We are happy to see you all right, Dr. Weir. We contacted Atlantis on the way, but got no reply, so we got worried. It seems like you’ve been having a few problems. Nothing too serious I hope,” Colonel Caldwell said as he greeted Elizabeth.

“I’m afraid the problem is rather serious. We are very glad the Daedalus is here. We were forced to take the ZPM off-line and would be defenceless in case of an attack.”

Before Caldwell could ask any more questions, Elizabeth stopped him. “I’ll inform everyone shortly. I asked the department heads to meet us in the briefing room.”


The atmosphere in the briefing room was sombre. Dr Beckett, Dr. Biro and Dr. Heightmeyer were hunched over the files in front of them and acknowledged the newcomers with a nod. Dr. Kusanagi was nervously playing with a pen, putting it down, blushing when Dr. Weir and the others came in.

Elizabeth opened the briefing.

“We are facing the biggest threat since the attack of the Wraith. In the last three days, this expedition and its members have been targeted by one or more saboteurs. Currently we have not been able to establish with certainty who the active parties were and what their goals are, but we have found some evidence indicating that at least five individuals are involved. I admit that I have no idea how this could have happened. Everyone underwent strict background checks and psychological exams. How five people could have slipped through the cracks is beyond my imagination.”

“When a group of that size perpetrates violent acts in an organized fashion, then the motive is most likely a social or political one,” Dr. Heightmeyer explained. “I haven’t had that much time to go over their files and this isn’t my specialty, but Lieutenant Shaw strikes me as the most probable leader of the pack. He is the oldest and has the most experience to plan and execute an attack and escape. He is used to giving orders and taking them. He was certainly the best prepared for the situation in Atlantis; he has been in conflict situations before. That is not to say that civilians like Dr. Taylor, Dr. Faraday and Dr. Tiding necessary are less prepared, but some, especially people who have been with the expedition since the beginning, had different expectations of another Galaxy. They didn’t expect a war zone.”

“I can read here that two of your suspects, Dr. Tiding and Corporal Mars, are dead at this point?” Caldwell asked.

“Yes,” Dr. Biro replied. “Corporal Mars was murdered. He was strangled, by someone who knew what they were doing and had a lot of upper body strength. Given the limited number of suspects, Lieutenant Shaw would be my guess. Dr. Tiding’s cause of death was more difficult to determine. I couldn’t rule out death by natural causes, but I strongly suspect he died of an overdose of the same unknown substance we have found in the quarters of all five suspects. Dr. Beckett and I think it might be an antidote for the toxin they used in their bombs. They might have kept it around in case they were accidentally exposed to it.”

“There is really a lot that you don’t know, Dr. Weir. I don’t want to see an officer’s name dragged through the mud because you suspect something. Is there any proof?” Caldwell asked sharply.

“Proof that he murdered two people, tried to blow up this City, kidnapped one of my scientists and stole a Puddle Jumper? No, not so far. But I’m going to get it. I need to find them first. Three of my people are searching for the missing Jumper right now, but we could use the assistance of the Daedalus. It’s a needle in a haystack as it is,” Elizabeth replied acidly.

“The Daedalus and its crew will be happy to help you in this matter. It’s in all our interest to recover the missing Puddle Jumper and its crew as soon as possible,” Caldwell decided. “Meanwhile I have been reading through the report you prepared and noticed the matter of an open inquiry into the shooting of Corporal Mars, now deceased.”

“It is as you say, an open inquiry.”


It was almost midnight, again, and Elizabeth couldn’t even think of going to sleep. She had ordered Ronon, Teyla and Rodney to return to Atlantis despite Rodney’s protests. She had taken confidence in Teyla’s common sense and Ronon’s convincing strength and the two had not failed to drag a completely exhausted McKay back with them. Elizabeth had seen to it that Rodney, after a beeline to the cafeteria, went to the infirmary and then she had to wait for news. She hadn’t needed to wait long before Teyla and Ronon came and silently joined her. Teyla had a cup of Athosian tea in her hand and Ronon was his usual quiet self. So they had started to wait.

At half past ten, the shouting started, and eight minutes later, Dr. Biro came running from the infirmary, the door whooshing shut behind her. Carson followed ten minutes later. Elizabeth knew as soon as she saw him that he came bearing bad news.

“Anita Millhouse died. We tried to help her but we simply don’t know what we are dealing with. I have never seen anything like this before, but that is what we have come here for, haven’t we?” Carson was sad and angry.

“What about the antidote? Does it not work?” Teyla asked.

“We were afraid of giving her too much, after Dr. Tiding died of an overdose. The toxin has some similarities to an Earth toxin called Epibatidine. It causes seizures and paralysis, but it is also works as a painkiller. It is possible that they were poisoned with a drug that was actually used by the Anicents. We should search the database.”

“I’ll get people to help you with that,” Elizabeth promised.

“Without knowing the name of what we are looking for, the search could take very long. At least Dr. Harris and I have managed to analyse the molecule, and that should help us a bit.”

“You are doing everything you can,” Elizabeth reassured him. “If someone can figure this out, you can.”

“How is Dr. McKay?” Teyla got up and asked.

“Rodney is doing fine. I was going to throw him out, but he wouldn’t leave and we had one bed left, so I let him stay. He was about to fall asleep on his feet,” Carson replied.

“When can we see the others?” Teyla asked.

“I don’t known, honestly. We are trying to stabilize them, but it’s going to be a long night. I suggest you all go to bed.”

“I’ll stay and wait,” Ronon grumbled.

“So will I,” Teyla said and nodded.

Elizabeth was torn. She wanted to stay, but she had a letter to write. She hated to write those letters, letters to the parents and families of the people who weren’t going to come back, but it was a part of her job.


The first thing he become aware of was the cold. He couldn’t remeber ever having been this cold before. The cold seemed to seep into his lungs with every breath and seemed to radiate from his bones. He wanted to go back to sleep to escape the permiating cold, but his body wasn’t coperating. Other sensations started drifting in--noise (clattering, footsteps, voices). The voices triggered his memory. He recalled the Jumper; he recalled having been shot, once again. The cold started to make sense. The cold of space would start to drive down the temperature inside the Jumper after the power cut out. It was either the cold or the lack of air that would get them. Either way, it was going to be slow and agonizing. Radek wanted no part of it. He wanted to drift away again, when he felt a warm hand on his.

Radek forced open his eyes and saw a blurred shape hovering over him.

“Dr. Zelenka, we will be reaching Atlantis soon. We’ll transport you straight down to the infirmary.” The woman was talking slowly, as if to a child, and Radek suddenly wondered what was so horribly wrong.

“Is everyone all right?” Radek was surprised how odd his voice sounded.

“Don’t worry, Dr. Zelenka. We’ll take good care of you.” The answer didn’t do much to reassure Radek, but he was too tired and cold to press the issue further.

“I feel cold,” Radek whispered, but the woman was already gone again.

Four Days Later

Elizabeth put her pen down. She had finished the last of the letters to the families of those who wouldn’t be returning to Earth. It had been decided early on that the mortal remains of those who died in the Pegasus Galaxy would remain there. The risk of bringing back a contagion was small, but it was there. There wasn’t much that Elizabeth was able to tell the families, who would have to bury an empty casket. She could only reassure them that their loved-ones had served their country bravely, even if it wasn’t true.

The SGC had ordered she close the files on the five suspected conspirators and conduct no further investigation. Any neccessary action would be decided on Earth. It was an unsatisfactory end. Six people were dead, including anyone who might have been able to tell her what the conspirators were planning. The Daedalus crew had found the errant Puddle Jumper adrift with no power. Everyone aboard, except for Dr. Zelenka had been dead.

Dr. Biro couldn’t say for certain what they had died of, but she suspected they had died of poisoning with the same substance as Dr. Tiding. But suspicions were only that and the official cause of death was undetermined.

Radek, the only potential witness to the events aboard the Jumper, hadn’t been able to add anything. He had yet to submit his report, but Elizabeth had already spoken to him in the infirmary.

The entire events had left a bitter aftertaste. The ZPM was back on-line and the Daedalus was scheduled to leave at the end of the week once the majority of the repairs was completed. Carson’s daily reports led her to believe that Lieutenant Cadman and Colonel Sheppard were on their road to recovery, but she longed for some closure. It all seemed so pointless. For what had Anita Millhouse died? And the other five? Had they been part of a bigger plan, maybe a conspiracy that reached back to Earth? Had they committed suicide when they had found themselves lost with no way out or were they murdered? How it had all come to a head was as mysterious as it had all started with Colonel Sheppard’s mysterious illness and the shooting of Corporal Mars and Major Lorne. Colonel Caldwell had insisted on making a report of the incident, as he saw it as a military matter, but between Carson delaying his questioning of Major Lorne and the fact that Sheppard was still unconscious, Caldwell would have to deal with the matter another time. By then, Elizabeth hoped, she would have time to find an explanation for what had happened.


The infirmary had quieted down in the past four days. Most of the expedition members injured in the explosions were back on duty, or had at least been released to their quarters. Radek had officially been released the day before after having been treated for hypothermia, but he had hardly left. Having gathered his laptop, he had set up shop in the infirmary. Although he was a less likely friend of Sheppard’s and Carson wasn’t even sure he knew Cadman at all, he had said nothing. Ronon and Teyla spent a lot of time visiting as well with Elizabeth and many others, dropping by as they could. It was only Rodney who Carson had not seen since he had stayed overnight in the infirmary. Radek had mumbled something about Rodney being ‘a worse slave driver than ever’ before he had turned back to write on his report.

Carson had gotten two full nights of sleep since the argument with Dr. Biro. He had apologized and she had accepted. He was still tired and overworked, as Atlantis was now one physician short, but he forced himself to get out of the infirmary at the end of his shifts. Laura had a long stream of friends coming to visit, some staying only for a few minutes, others staying until late into the night, reading or telling stories.

His shift was over and Carson was hungry, but when he saw that the chair beside Laura’s bed was empty for a change, he couldn’t resist sitting down for a while. Just a few minutes he told himself. He wasn’t expecting anything when he took Laura’s hand in his. When suddenly her grip tightened around his, Carson startled and he stared at Laura, but she was lying still in bed with her eyes closed, just as she had for the past four days. But Carson had felt her gripping his hand.

“Laura! Laura! Can you hear me? If you can hear me, squeeze my hand.”

A smile spread over Carson’s face when he felt his hand being squeezed softly.


Laura was looking at him with tired eyes, but there was a ghost of a smile in her lips,

“Carson…” She began in a hoarse whisper.

“Shh, don’t talk yet. Your throat was injured.” Laura blinked in alarm and was reaching out a hand, but Carson caught her. “You’re going to be all right. It’s all over.”


The next time Laura woke, she was alone. She vaguely remembered having been awake before but she couldn’t remember anything about it. But being awake now was enough. Everything was a bit fuzzy and blurred around the edges, but she was alive.

She had been convinced she was going do die after the dart had hit her in the throat. She had felt how the poison had spread through her body, how every breath was more difficult than the last and how her legs grew heavier. She had focussed all her remaining energy on getting to the infirmary to find help, to let somebody knew there was an assassin on the loose, but she had failed. Her body had already been numb when she had fallen to the floor; she had hardly felt the impact. Everything had grown cold and dark and she had known she was dying.

The memory sent a shudder through her body, but it was real. She was in the infirmary in a comfortable warm bed, and it seemed like she was going to be all right. Her gaze fell onto the nightstand and she spotted the mass of get-well presents and cards her visitors had left over the past four days.

Someone had apparently managed to get a snapshot of the memorable kiss and pasted it onto a blank greeting card. She opened it and was amazed at the number of people who had signed the card. Some of them she had hardly gotten a chance to know in the time she had been on Atlantis.

“Don’t let McKay see that.” The comment startled her and Laura looked around to see Sheppard looking at her from the next bed at the side. He looked tired and his hair was even more ruffled than usual, but there seemed nothing grievously wrong with her CO.

“Sir, I didn’t notice...”

“Don’t tell Beckett just yet,” Sheppard whispered conspiratorially

“What weren’t you going to tell me?” Beckett came out of his office, no doubt having heard them talk. “Colonel, it is a pleasure to see you awake. How do you feel?”

“Not bad for a guy who was poisoned twice within one week,” Sheppard replied.

“We were almost too late the second time around. You two were both quite lucky. At least now, I can hopefully get my infirmary back, once everyone has reassured themselves that you are really going to be fine. Dr. Zelenka has virtually set up camp in here. Elizabeth finally persuaded him to leave this morning. It was about time for someone to keep an eye on Rodney in the lab.”


John had to stay three more days in the infirmary. Elizabeth had come on the first evening, a thick file under her arm. When she had pulled the privacy curtains behind her, John had known it was something serious.

“John, there is something we need to discuss.” Elizabeth remained standing behind the chair beside John’s bed.

“I figured you would be in pretty soon, though I was hoping I would be spared until I was back on my feet. But at least now, I still have a few sympathy points in the bank once everything hits the ceiling. I guess I have you to thank that I haven’t received any death threats yet.” John fell silent.

“Yes. I…” Elizabeth hesitated. “I think you should read this.” She put the thick file on John’s nightstand.

“What is it?” John looked at Elizabeth. “I don’t remember anything. I wish I did. I have tried to remember, but there’s nothing, just nothing. I wish I could tell you why I did it.”

“You didn’t.” Elizabeth looked away. “That was what I came to tell you.”

“I didn’t? I didn’t do what?” John was yelling.

“You shot Corporal Mars, but that was not what killed him. He was murdered in the infirmary. Someone strangled him in his bed, most likely while he was sedated after surgery.” Elizabeth rushed the words. “You didn’t do it. You were under guard in an isolation room at the time.”

“That’s good. That’s good to know,” John said after a while. “What about the shooting?”

“There will be an investigation, but that’s out of my hands. Caldwell and the Daedalus already left, but they’ll back be in six weeks. Carson is trying to find an explanation for your memory loss and I want you to talk to Kate as well. We will find an explanation of what happened,” Elizabeth promised.

The End (for now)


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