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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:42 pm 
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October 19th, 2014 - 18:15

Carson Beckett sighed as he leaned back, his eyes swimming from having been concentrating too hard on the microscope.

There was no doubt about it: the Ancient gene had several variants, each denoting the relative strength of the abilities conferred upon the person possessing it. However, he had yet to find any markers that would indicate the level of control that the person in question might have. The discovery of the Ancient gene had been seen as a "Holy Grail", of sorts, but, with each new development, Carson found himself having to go hunt for the Grail all over again.

And now, time was running out.

The Atlantis expedition was scheduled to leave within the month, and, with his work taking him between Cheyenne, the Antarctic Base and Washington DC, Carson was feeling more than a little drained. He had so many things to do, and so little time in which to do them. He wasn't even sure whether he would get a chance to head back to Scotland to say goodbye to his mother. That didn't even bear thinking about.

A noise from outside his lab door brought his focus to a sharp pinpoint, and the Scot pushed himself to standing. "Who's there," he called, taking a step out from behind his desk. It wasn't very often that he got disturbed while in his lab, with most of the researchers having far better things to do than to ponder the vagaries of the Ancient gene. "Can I help you?" Better have an idea of who was loitering outside before inviting them in. It wouldn't do to be stuck with someone like the dreadful Kavanaugh, that was for sure.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:02 pm 
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"Dr. Beckett," Sgt. Major Taft came walking around the corner without hesitation. A severe looking man who appeared to be one of those 'faces' the wind carved into the rocky sides of mountains. "You requested a control sample from someone with absolutely no sign of the Ancient gene. Apparently I was the first person the General could find that fit the bill. My orders." He held the folded paper out to Beckett as he got close enough to do so, almost as if presenting evidence to the fact that he had to be there whether he liked it or not. He didn't, for his own mental record.

"Hair, blood, snot, or urine?" Asked while standing ramrod straight but not 'at attention' since he wasn't addressing a military member, let alone an officer. "I'm to provide you with whatever assistance you require."


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:57 pm 
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The last thing that Carson had expected was a visit from a man who looked as though he had been hung out to dry in the air, like jerky. He could be anywhere from thirty to fifty, and, from his bearing alone, it was clear that he was military. He took the proffered papers, scanning them with practiced ease.

"Sergeant Major Taft, it's a pleasure to meet you," he said, giving the man a small, lopsided smile. Carson nodded to one of the chairs dotted around the benches of the laboratory. "Won't you sit down? This won't take long, but it's a little more involved than just getting a sample. Can I get you a cup of tea? Or coffee, if you prefer."

He wasn't quite sure whether the Marine was fully aware of what he had been nominated for, but it would take only a few minutes to explain. He might not be quite so willing once he found out. "Look, laddie," Carson began, before realising the ridiculousness of what he had said. For all he knew, the other man was many years older than he was. He'd have to check his medical records to find out. "This isn't something that you should have been ordered to do. This is strictly voluntary. Anyway, to answer your question, I need a blood sample, but I'd like to explain to you the reasons, before you agree to anything. Do you have a few minutes?"


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:22 pm 
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"A rare response." He greeted in return, and it was more amused sounding than it might seem on the surface. But that was quickly abused by the rest of the little doctor's rambling train of thought. More involved than just getting a sample. That sounded terrible. He sat down as ordered and watched the Scotsman. "Of course it is." That would explain why he'd gotten formal orders. Coffee or tea. "No, thank you. I don't do drugs." Humor as a defense mechanism. Taft hated being in a doctor's office, this was a doctor's torture chamber.

Taft raised a single eyebrow in an expression that tapped right into the part of the human brain that feared teachers, mothers, fathers, and recently fired postmen at being called laddie. Well trained expression. "I was ordered to volunteer," Taft responded as if that followed a completely reasonable and natural progression of thought. He started unbuttoning the over shirt of his BDUs so that he could present his arm. "I have whatever time you need, I am to provide you with whatever you require."


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:51 pm 
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Carson cocked his head slightly. It seemed as though Taft was as humourless as most of the other military men he had ever met, and he just about avoided rolling his eyes. God alone only knew how he was going to handle Atlantis, where at least 60% of the staff were bound to be military. The prospect of living in close proximity with so many who lacked a good sense of humour scared him.

Was the drugs remark supposed to be funny? If it was, it missed the mark. Carson gave a small, strained smile. "I think I can find some decaff..." He glanced around the messy surfaces of the lab. "Somewhere..."

His face took on a pained expression as Taft explained that he was ordered to volunteer, and this time, Carson couldn't prevent the sigh that escaped. "I cannae understand the bloody military sometimes," he muttered. "Look, you don't have to do this if you don't want to." He hadn't missed the small flicker of distaste that had placed further furrows in the Marine's brow when Carson had mentioned that it was more involved than just a blood test.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:19 pm 
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"I don't drink coffee, and the only tea I care for is sweetened on the rocks. You don't have to provide me with comforts, Doctor. I'm used to less than the chair provided." He'd squatted in the dirt more times than he could count, and had been to places that made squatting in the dirt seem not such a bad way to spend a day. Taft found it a bit ludicrous that he was there trying to reassure the physician but he'd always found it ludicrous that he had to take care of people who enjoyed calling themselves his 'superiors' as well. It was all just a part of life at the end of the day.

"We don't always get it either, doc. Fortunately, as an NCO, I'm often assured that I don't have to understand it in order to do my job. So far they've been right." He paused, however, when his orders were countermanded. He looked the Doctor's clothing over for a long moment, checking for rank, and then considered whether this was one of those life or death moments when a doctor could override an officer but quickly decided it wasn't. So that just left whether or not he wanted to do it. That was, unfortunately, an easy answer to come up with. "I want to follow my orders. They aren't bad or illegal orders." He pulled his over shirt the rest of the way off and then rolled up the sleeve of his olive drab standard issue military t-shirt.

"What do you need me to do?"


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:22 pm 
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Carson blinked in surprise. He was used to a certain amount of blunt talk from the military, but this man was more like an automaton than a human being. Given his rank, was this what happened with twenty years of having the humour and humanity drilled out of you? If so, you could stick your military training, as far as he was concerned.

"Well, at least let me get you a glass of water, Sergeant," he offered, holding out one last olive branch in order to try to make some sort of connection. He always felt better when he could make a connection with his patients, no matter how tenuous, but some people were far harder to connect with than others. Sergeant Major David Taft appeared to be as easy to forge a bond with as... a chunk of granite from the slopes of Ben Nevis. Yes. The comparison suited the man perfectly.

Carson suppressed a snort of laughter, failing, and he shook his head. "Should I expect you to demand my clothes, my boots and my motorcycle now," he grinned, shaking his head. He wondered whether the other man would get the joke. Robotic didn't even begin to cover it, and he wondered what Taft was actually like as a man, as opposed to the soldier who stood in front of him, already tugging his shirt off. "Are you no' even interested in what this is for, Sergeant?" Certainly, he would never even consider getting someone involved in his tests and experiments who wasn't fully aware and willing, and damn the military and their orders.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:32 pm 
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"Very well." Water was good, hydrated would make blood drawing go easier. Faster. Faster was good when it came to doctor's office visits. He made an effort to smile in thanks at the offer. The guy was much less professional than Taft had come to expect of research scientists. Certainly far less so than military doctors.

"You got a snappy pair of sunglasses, too? I already got the shotgun." He chuckled, it was a nice weapon but the cycling mechanism tended to stick because of the soft nature of the shells vs the usually hard nature of the bullets the lever action was intended to eject. He'd located and purchased a set of hard shells but they were expensive, had to be reloaded, and were seriously buggy if anything was even slightly off. "You're Dr. Carson Beckett, it stands to reason that what you want blood for is the Ancient Gene that you have been working on. It is a means to control ancient technology. Absolutely vital to the endeavor you're embarking on soon." He didn't have the details, but he was plugged into the flow of men and materials in the SGC, so he could read a campaign when one was on the horizon.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:26 am 
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Water... at least it was something.

The cooler was only a few steps away, and Carson smiled quietly as he filled a paper cup. "The finest H2O that Cheyenne Mountain has to offer," he said, handing the cup over to Taft. The smile on the man's face was tense and taut, a crack in his stony face.

Well, at least Taft got the Terminator reference, and even responded. Score one for the laconic Scot.. However, the verbal diarrhoea about why Taft thought he was here made him sound like a robot again. Carson's first instinct was to tell the man to loosen up, but he decided that wouldn't be the best course of action. Instead, he pulled up a stool and sat facing the Marine.

"If only it was that simple," he said, shaking his head. "As you know, the Ancient gene allows for the control of the Ancient chair in Antarctica, and we've seen other devices over the last few years that could only be triggered by this gene." He twitched up an eyebrow, reaching out for his cooling cup of coffee, and taking a generous slurp. "What I'm trying to do is to replicate that gene, and be able to administer it to people who don't possess it naturally. In theory, they would then be able to use Ancient technology."

No mention of Atlantis: after all, Carson had no idea what the man did or didn't know. He cocked his head to one side, and looked at Taft. The man's posture was rigid and stiff, and it was more than just military bearing. "Are you quite alright, son?"


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:06 pm 
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He sipped at the water and then thanked the Doctor. "Thank you, doctor." He sat there and listened to the Scotsman go through his exposition on the whole ancient gene and Taft couldn't help but wonder if anybody would care if it didn't give them control of ancient tech. It was a little interesting, though beyond his scientific knowledge to really make anything of, that the Ancients had identified a gene unique to themselves and then decided to set up -all- their fun technology to only accept users that carried it. It meant that first, every single ancient had that gene, and second, there was no reason to expect it to ever be bred out. Taft suddenly wondered what the gene itself was for in the greater genetic makeup of the species.

And the doc was trying to figure out a way to fake it. Not a frivolous pursuit, considering the usefulness of the devices it gave access to. "I feel fine, dad. What does the ancient gene do? I mean other than granting use of their favorite toys. Genes do things, or at least the naturally occurring ones that plan on sticking around do things. What does this one do?"


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