The expression ‘time has no meaning’ truly meant something here. I lay on my back in the cell with my eyes shut, trying to sleep in human fashion without waiting for reprieve. My natural stone sleeping ability was useless. I was still laying down when two pairs of footsteps approached. I prayed neither of them were McKay. His rapid-fire ability to get under people’s skin, no matter their species, must be legendary.
“So...” Ah. Sheppard. Not one of my favorite people at this point, but better than McKay. “We hear you’ve been to Earth recently. How’d you get there?”
Maintaining my position, I let out an exasperated breath and a smirk. “Well, I could tell you that. Or I could say nothing at all and watch in glee as you both grow mad with frustration just waiting for me to talk.”
Silence hung in the air for a while. I could sense their hushed communication concerning me, but as long as I was a prisoner I would not give them satisfaction until they either, a). released me with the gate, or b.) took me out of the cell and allowed me to help them with whatever’s going on. The latter option was more plausible given that, however indirectly, I held a responsibility to get these people back where they needed to be after the mess I brought in. I swallowed my pride, got up, and said, “Here’s the deal. I’ll tell you what you want to know provided you can answer some of my questions.” Another silent shared glance. “Are we agreed?”
The tall brunette woman, I assumed this to be Elizabeth, nodded. “Yes.”
“Are you from Earth?” Both nod. “Are you from the United States?” Another nod, wary and reluctant. I grinned. “Cool.”
‘Elizabeth’ stepped forward. “My turn. Who are you? What are you? And what do you know about the device you brought on your person?”
Very direct, not really discreet. I guess I can let that go. She’s responsible for an ancient city in someplace I don’t know where. A person’s reticence can only go so far. I raised my arms and shrugged my shoulders. I started, “Okay, my name’s Brooklyn...”
By the time I finished, I felt like keeling over. God only knew how long I had gone without sleep and the feeling was starting to drag on me like a hook reeling in a fish. I know, the analogy is terrible, but at that moment I was dizzy and damn near brain dead with exhaustion.
“...And the next thing I knew, well, your Jamaican friend shot at me and I woke up here,” I finished, ending with a cliché. I hated clichés just as much as forcefields, they tend to grow like weeds but, like I said, I was exhausted to the point of falling asleep standing up. What was wrong with me? Glad you asked. I’ll begin with a not so simple answer. Sunlight, while it doesn’t allow us gargoyles to stay awake past its appearance, revitalizes us, giving us the energy we need to function. Well, that and a hefty amount of meats and breads. Vegetables, occasionally, but we do need the protein to stay strong. Twice of that in Broadway’s case.
To get on with the story, however, it had already been about eighteen hours since I got thrown in here. No food, very little water, and sarcasm my one true friend seeing as how I was graced only with the presence of hapless marines.
Elizabeth and John were speaking in low tones. Granted, my hearing is above par than that of a human’s but, I say again, I was tired. I caught them muttering things like “security risk” and “temporal distortion”, with John gesturing emphatically at me and Elizabeth crossing her arms and frowning a lot in his face.
I became pretty much delirious by that point. Surprised? Not as much as I was, believe me, because all of a sudden I started giggling with my eyes half-closed, my pointer finger/claw to my lips and said, “Shh. Be vewy, vewy quiet.” Elizabeth and John stopped talking and looked at me, her with concern, him with confused wariness. Or at least, that’s what I believed later on. “Mommy and Daddy might heaa you.” My lack of using the letter ‘R’ fully escaped my notice, seeing as I was too busy blacking out again.
I’ve always been...well, mostly coherent when coming to, but the whole experience here seems determined to throw me with a number of random firsts. Only now, as I opened my eyes and ears, I could smell the antiseptic coating my chest, the IV fluid coming out of my arm, and could hear the sound of the type of medical machines I recognized from watching “ER”, and noticed the feel of the straps holding down my wrists. Accompanying all of those was an achingly familiar Scottish brogue. Wait. Scottish, yes. Hudson, no. At precisely that moment, the brogue was busy reaming out my captors.
“I cannae believe any of you. Even you, Elizabeth. You hold this man damn near a day without ANY food or water! I’d fire all of you at once if you were actual doctors!”
“I’ll tell you who’s the real doctor here, you sheep-shearing...”
Oh, great. McKay was here.
“Will you shut up, Rodney? In case you hadn’t noticed, Doc, what we have there isn’t exactly a man!” Sheppard retorted.
“I’M BLOODY AWARE OF THAT FACT, COLONEL!”
Wow, this guy could probably match Goliath in lung-power.
“Who is Goliath?”
I was shocked to see the Elisa duplicate standing to my right. How could anyone be that quiet? I started to reply, but was cut off when the argument proceeded.
“Calm down, Carson.”
“Calm DOWN? Why should I? None of ya were even willin’ to treat th’ Wraith with this sort of indignity!”
I heard John say, grudgingly, “He has a point.”
“Too bloody right I do. Now, if you dinnae mind, I’d like to get back to my patient.” Footsteps came toward me, while mutterings followed them. The doctor came into view shortly. He was kind of stocky, but his face was genial. Save for the metaphorical storm clouds. “’Ello, son. I’m Dr. Carson Beckett, chief of this infirmary.” He shook my left hand, even though I couldn’t reciprocate.
“You don’t seem surprised to see me. Aren’t you going to ask what I am?” I asked.
“Nae. I shouldna have to. Elizabeth filled me in. Plus, I heard many of the tales when I was a lad. Even went to that fortress before Xanatos shipped it to his skyscraper,” the good doctor responded.
My mouth almost went dry. “You’ve been to...”
“Castle Wyvern? Aye.” He grinned. “Dinnae worry. I’m nae one to spread rumors.” The grin faded. “There is another reason ye were brought here from yer cell. Elizabeth asked me to show ye outside.” He turned to the woman on my other side. “Teyla?”
“Help me move his gurney.” He grabbed a hold of the IV as he assisted her moving me. “Towards the balcony, dear.”
As they did, my view of the outside world did little for my piece of mind. Upon hitting the guardrail, I started to shake.
“Are you all right, son?” Beckett whispered. “You recognize it, don’t ye?”
Oh, yes. I may be struck dumb, but my eyes worked just fine.
High above us, Castle Wyvern graced the Scottish sky with its silhouette.