|FBR 2 - "The Trouble With Cephalopods"
||[Jan. 8th, 2007|03:25 pm]
Title: The Trouble With Cephalopods|
Category: SGA, John/Rodney (implied), crack!fic
Prompt: For order_of_chaos - Turn anyone from SGA into a giant squid
John reached out and touched a small, flat disc, rubbing it with his fingers. It didn’t do anything and Zelenka made a noise and wrote something down.
“Now this one.”
A blue pyramid with a hole in the bottom that flushed to a dark scarlet colour when John tapped it. There was a different noise and more writing.
“How long do you need me to do this?” John asked, thinking longingly of the paperwork he’d ducked out on to help Zelenka with his very important work. He’d left Lorne with staff manifests and rotation schedules and his second in command was probably plotting his death.
It was looking like he would die of boredom before Major Lorne got the chance to plot anything too complicated.
“A little while longer.”
“You said that two hours ago,” John pointed out and Radek shrugged, mussing a hand through his hair that was already standing up in every direction.
“My measure of little and yours, very different I think,” he said with a grin and John groaned and let his head smack onto the table. He didn’t even bother to raise it when Radek pushed something rectangular under his fingers.
Right up until pain spiked through his arm.
“What the hell was-?”
“What am I looking at?”
“Is no joke.”
Rodney blinked and then leaned down in front of the small tank that was sitting in the middle of the labs. It was half full of water and what looked at first glance like a small octopus making its way around the bottom, doing laps. It halted when Rodney put his face closer to the tank and put four tentacles up against the glass, suckers pushed flat.
“It doesn’t really… look like a regular octopus,” Rodney noted. It certainly had a round tapered body and eight suckered legs, but also had two large black eyes set forward and was covered in a fine scale, more like a snake.
It also didn’t look completely happy to be in the water.
Rodney put his arm in the tank and the small creature wrapped all eight legs around the proffered appendage. He pulled his arm back out and it shook itself and then commenced to shiver dramatically.
“It's more like a reptile,” Rodney said, using his free hand to gently feel the creature’s skin. He seemed to poke it in a sensitive spot because it let out a squeak and bright orange liquid shot all over Rodney’s arm.
“Okay, gross,” Rodney grunted. “If this really is the Colonel, he’s never hearing the end of this one.”
“It certainly looks like a cephalopod but has characteristics that would make me think it was more closely related to the snake family,” Doctor Anderson, one of the newer biologists, explained. He was watching the small scaled octopus trundle around his desk, corralling it with his hands only when it got too close to one of the edges.
“So he’s okay out of the water?” Rodney asked, worried he might have done the wrong thing.
“Yes, from what I can tell perfectly fine. This is probably a land-dweller we just haven’t seen. Native of Pegasus, it’s evolved in radically different environments. It’s a fascinating little creature. Can I do some tests?”
“No!” Rodney exclaimed, snatching up the wandering octopus. It wrapped its arms around Rodney’s forearm and blinked up at him. “I mean, according to Radek this is… it’s… well, it’s Colonel Sheppard.”
Anderson’s mouth fell open as he watched Rodney bustle out of his office.
In the conference room, the John-octopus was once again trundling around the table. Elizabeth, Teyla, Ronon and Carson watched him with a mixture of horror and fascination.
“How did this happen?” Elizabeth asked, cutting her eyes to Rodney and Radek who were standing off to the side, both looking pained.
“There were a number of Ancient artefacts we had been meaning to test for some time. Colonel Sheppard was activating for me the ones he could. He was touching this when it happened.” Radek held out the small, flat rectangle that had been the last thing John had handled in his human form. He laid it on the table.
“Should you be touching it?” Elizabeth asked, watching Carson edge away from it.
“Does not seem to do anything to me. I… handed it to the Colonel.”
“Nobody could have seen that this would happen,” Rodney cut in, noting how truly depressed Radek looked.
“We should by now,” Elizabeth said, reaching out tentative fingers to nudge John away from her notebook. “Between personal shields that stop you from eating and drinking and large shadow animals kept in Ancient boxes, we really need to revisit our safety protocols.”
“Yes, yes. All well and good to say that now,” Rodney flapped his hands and then pointed at the Ancient device. “The problem is that that thing looks like a paperweight. We’d kept it aside because you never know with Ancient items and obviously…” Rodney flapped his hands again, this time in the direction of John who had come to a halt in front of Ronon and more importantly, the donut Ronon had on a plate on the table.
Ronon looked around the gathered group and then sighed. “Go on,” he said, waving at the donut. John let out a little chirrup and wrapped all eight arms around the donut. There was a flurry of movement and the donut was gone, nothing but a layer of frosting on John’s head to mark its passing.
As the small group watched, John let out something that sounded like a giant burp and then grew.
“Doubled in size,” Anderson said, taking his tape measure away.
“Is that possible?” Rodney spluttered. John had been set down on Anderson’s desk and had managed to get into the stationary drawer. He now had a push-pin wrapped in each tentacle and Anderson had been forced to be very careful when measuring. He’d at first tried to take the push-pins away but had received a nasty puncture to his thumb for his trouble.
John seemed content not to stab people as long as they didn’t try to touch them.
“Not in anything I’ve seen, no. But then, generally speaking, men shouldn’t be able to change into small scaly octopi either.”
“Good point,” Rodney nodded.
“So, we probably shouldn’t feed him then?” Elizabeth prompted and Anderson grimaced.
“Not if his growth is exponential, no,” Anderson agreed. “He’s the size of a small puppy now. I don’t think you want a scaled and seemingly aggressive land-octopus getting any bigger.”
“Gentlemen,” Elizabeth said, turning to Rodney and Radek. “Find a way to fix this.”
“It’s just a chunk of metal,” Rodney snarled, frustrated. He felt a small prick on his arm and looked down, seeing that John was wrapping himself around his forearm while still holding the push-pins. “Drop those or me. Those are your only two choices,” Rodney snapped and John blinked at him, uncurled his tentacles so the brightly coloured pins clattered to the desktop, and then wrapped his tentacles around Rodney’s arm, burying his head in Rodney’s elbow.
“There is some way to activate. We just have to… find it,” Radek sighed, rubbing a fist into his eye. It wasn’t helping that no one would touch the device save him, just in case. He currently had a small screwdriver and was trying to pry it open, although there didn’t appear to be any seams. He was contemplating a blow torch.
Rodney looked back down at John and then really looked at John. “Oh my God, what are you eating?” he demanded, having finally noticed that John was definitely chewing something.
Radek looked up sharply and then at Rodney’s desk. The third drawer was hanging open.
The one where Rodney kept all his powerbars.
There was a trail of wrappers from the desk back to Rodney.
“Oh this isn’t going to be good,” Rodney groaned just as John let out a giant belch.
There was a loud thud and a mournful wail from the other side of the door. Rodney and Radek stood just outside the labs, Radek having only just had time to grab the device before they’d made a run for it. John had grown roughly to the size of an elephant by the time he and Rodney managed to escape and close the door behind them and he’d let out another belch as they’d skidded out.
Now they stood, flanked by Lorne and the security detail and a very harried-looking Elizabeth.
Rodney cringed as the sounds of breaking and more mournful wailing could be heard from inside. Anderson had also come up to see if he could help. He had a tranq gun but as they listened, he looked at it and then Elizabeth.
“I’m not sure this will do anything to something that size,” he said with a grimace and Elizabeth nodded. She looked at the security detail who had all unholstered their weapons but hadn’t raised them and then at Lorne.
“Ma'am?” he said, straightening under her gaze.
“You can’t shoot him. It’s Sheppard!” Rodney protested, catching the look between Lorne and Elizabeth.
“Rodney, if John hugs you the way he was hugging your arm before, he’ll crush you. He’s gotten to a size where he’s dangerous.”
“I know. Just… give us a little more time.”
“Of course,” Elizabeth nodded. “But if he gets out or threatens anybody we’ll… we’ll have to…”
“Okay, okay,” Rodney said, herding Zelenka down the hall. “Just… it won’t come to that.”
“And how was he sitting?”
“Rodney, I’m not sure this will-“
“If you have any better ideas, I’d love to hear them,” Rodney huffed, watching Zelenka. Radek flushed and nodded.
“Okay. He had head on table. I kind of pushed it,” Radek said, putting his own head down and then bringing the device towards his hand. As he pushed it under his own hand, a tiny sliver of metal pushed out and Zelenka yelped, jerking away. As soon as he did the piece slid back into place.
“You opened it!” Rodney exclaimed and Radek let out a shaky laugh.
“And am not little octopus.”
“Okay, do that again.”
There was a large crack down the middle of the lab door and the marines were looking nervous when Rodney and Radek appeared.
“Did you get it?” Elizabeth asked, jogging behind them.
“We think so. We reversed all the settings so it should change him back.”
“Are you sure?”
“Am I ever?” Rodney grinned. “Now, open the door and then get back. It’ll probably have to be touching him.”
One of the marines moved to the wall panel and passed a hand over it. As soon as the doors opened, all eight tentacles shot out and hooked around Rodney, dragging him back into the labs. There was a muffled yelp, a flash of light and then nothing.
Elizabeth poked her head around the doorway and saw Rodney sprawled on the floor, John underneath him.
A human John, sans clothes.
“Can somebody…?” Elizabeth started.
“Right away,” Lorne said, running in the direction of John’s quarters.
“I don’t see what shining a light in my eyes tells you,” John complained, fidgeting on the infirmary bed. He was dressed in BDU pants and a t-shirt that Lorne had gotten from his room and he was getting tired of being poked and prodded by Carson.
“You were a squid laddie. How about you indulge me for just a little while, hmm?”
“Alright,” he sighed, flinching when Carson sneaked the cold stethoscope under his shirt.
“Just when you think you’ve seen everything,” Rodney snorted from a chair beside the bed. John tipped him a glare.
“Avoiding you till we go back to Earth I imagine,” Rodney said.
John watched Carson draw blood and then disappear around the curtain. He looked back at Rodney and raised an eyebrow. “Was I dangerous?” he asked, his tone careful.
“Not more than usual,” Rodney shrugged with a grin.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” John demanded, scowling.
“Well, sometimes it feels like you have eight arms,” he said and John blinked at him and couldn’t help the laugh that escaped.