The Slow Slide of Indifference: Realization
Nope, not mine, and they never will be. :: sigh ::
Thanks to Ne’i chan for the beta. You are the best, darlin’! Thanks also the Miriel for the inspiration.
It had started out as a slow form of indifference. Slow like all the worst sorts of cancer were slow. You never really saw it until it was too late, but afterwards, the warning signs were all too clear.
Future fic, very (possibly) AU, Later may be NC-17, with McShep in there somewhere.
It had started out as a slow form of indifference. Slow like all the worst sorts of cancer were slow. The type that you never really saw it until it was too late, but after the shock and horror, one whose warning signs had been all too clear.
With the surprise changing of the guard at the SGC, new and sharply different policies were instituted. Suddenly Atlantis was no longer the favored child and the expedition was far down on the priority list for supplies, personnel and contact. Routine requisitions, which had before been filled promptly and generously, were now slow in coming and on the slim side. What new personnel were assigned to the City were the rebels, trouble makers and square pegs not fitting in the SGC’s version of round holes. When the Atlantis expedition called in for their weekly check status reports, the Gateroom tech on the SGC side wasn’t always ready for the data burst causing them to have to resend their report. And while there had been similar problems in the early days after contact had been renewed, the sheer number of them were extremely unusual.
Slowly, widespread notice started to be taken. Some had noticed before others and with notice, came action.
Rodney stared at the computer screen before him, thinking about the newest members of his staff. All three of them. As far as he knew, there were supposed to have been fifteen new science team members aboard the Daedalus, most slated for his team. He knew he had put in for them, had reviewed the personnel files, had talked (briefly) with his counterpart at the SGC about them, and waited for their arrival. This was the second month that the people he had requested had not arrived, and the ones who had shown up were not up to his standards.
In addition, mission essential equipment that had been repeatedly requisitioned was not present on the manifest. And that was worrying. The equipment had been urgently needed for a number of months because it was necessary to repair their Earth based computers. Without that equipment, interfacing with the Ancient data ports and consoles would be more difficult and uncertain, with a lower and slower rate of information exchange from MacGyvered workarounds. And when the next crisis of the week happened, those workarounds could, and likely would, lead to death and disaster for the unlucky bastards using them.
He had seen this pattern unfolding for the last eighteen months and had quietly begun to take steps in case of just this situation. But no matter what his intellect had told him of what lay ahead, he had really hoped he would never have put his contingency plans to use. Rodney knew he was not a people person. He didn’t enjoy watching people go about their daily lives, rarely enjoyed talking to them, and understood their motivations even less. But this? This he understood. This was something that happened to unwelcome projects all over the globe. Slow starving of it resources and qualified personnel until it collapsed in on itself in defeat. Well, not his City, not on his watch.
With a snap, he closed the lid of his laptop and packed it up for easy transport. Looking over at Zelenka, he stated “I’ll be in Elizabeth’s office for the next few hours, Radek. Try to keep the new baboons out of the important systems while I am gone.”
Snorting in agreement, Radek nodded and said “I will. See if you can get missing equipment ordered again? We would not want to have to go to Earth for shopping, yes?” and with that, he turned towards the three new members of the science team and started on the standard orientation lecture.
As Rodney walked out of the main lab, he reached up and toggling his earpiece, said, “Elizabeth? I need to speak with you about some issues that have come up after my review of personnel and equipment from the latest Daedalus run.”
“Rodney! I was just about to call you. John, Carson and Col. Caldwell are here with much the same issues.”
Grimly certain he knew what was going to be the main topic of conversation at this meeting, Rodney sighed and responded with a, “I’ll be right there. And this is going to take a while, Elizabeth. You may want to break out the good coffee.” With that, he was at the main transporter on the lab level and with an absentminded touch of the city map, selected the control tower, right outside the Gateroom for his destination. With his mind on the meeting ahead he didn’t notice the sensation of transport, and walked into the Gateroom, determination crackling with every stride.
Making his way into Elizabeth’s office, he saw the other senior staff members looked as grim as he felt. Seeing that, the faint hope that he had been incorrect, that his abysmal people skills had led him wrong again, died. This was not going to be good.