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Link To Me

by KJC




“Code Red!  Code Red!”


Weir’s voice boomed over the speakers of Atlantis, startling most of the residents out of a deep sleep.


Carson Beckett rolled over in bed and blinked sleepy eyes at the clock at his bedside.


“3 o’ clock in the morning?” he groaned.


“Code Red!  Code Red!” came the insistent call.  The reminder drove him to action.  In a few minutes he was out the door and to his station in the infirmary.  The code meant something bad, he knew.  Code Red meant that everyone had to man their posts, no matter what the reason.  His staff was bleary eyed and half awake, but the tension in the room was growing as various military personnel raced down the hallways outside.


“Dr. Beckett?”  The call from Dr. Elizabeth Weir came through the infirmary com system.


“Yes?” Carson replied.


“I need to see you in my ready room.”


“Oh dear,” Carson muttered under his breath as he exited the infirmary.


“We have incoming darts,” Weir informed him the moment he stepped into the room.  “I’m going to need the use of your Ancient gene.”


“What do you need me to do?”


Weir hesitated, then said, “You’re not going to like this, but . . .”


“But what?”


“If Colonel Sheppard wasn’t off world I would have had him do it.”


“Do what, Elizabeth?”  Carson was feeling nervous.  It wasn’t like Elizabeth to hedge around a topic.


“I . . . I need you to see if you can get the chair working.”




“Unfortunately, it’s the only weapon we have at the moment.  The jumpers that are on base are being renovated, and the others are offworld.  The chair is the only weapon we have, Carson.”


“And you want me to sit in the bloody thing again?”


Weir nodded.


“Don’t you remember what happened last time?  And the time before that?  We don’t get along together.  I don’t think it likes me!”


“It doesn’t matter, Carson.  I need you in that chair, and I need you there now.”


There was no use arguing, and Carson knew it.  He had avoided the chair as long as he could, but he knew in the end, he would always end up back in that room, sitting in the chair, frightened out of his wits at the power beneath him that he could unleash at any given moment.


Weir and a tech crew accompanied him to the now rarely used room, and he had his first glimpse of the chair after several months.


It was the only object in the room, sitting on a podium illuminated with blue light.  At his presence, the room lit up, and the blue lights beneath the chair began to power up.


Weir nodded at him, a reassuring ‘go ahead’ in her eyes.


Tentatively, Carson approached the chair.


“What do you need me to do?” he asked Weir.  He stood on the podium, staring at the chair.


“We just need weapons to take out the darts,” Weir replied.  “That’s all you need to do, Carson.”


“Okay, then,” he muttered.  “Here goes nothing.”


Carson gingerly eased into the chair.  On cue, the podium lights intensified, and he could feel the chair powering up beneath him.  It was a strange connection, really, he thought.  He never felt what the chair was doing and did not understand how it made the connection, but like a snap . . . everything would click together and he and the chair were one.


“Is . . . is it working?” he timidly asked.


“I don’t see any weapons powering up,” one of the technicians informed him.


“Think about the weapons, Carson,” Weir prompted.


“Right . . .”  Carson took a deep breath.  “Okay, chair, let’s do our thing.”


He squeezed his eyes shut and concentrated.  Weapon, weapon, weapon.  Something exploded like light in his mind, and he could see the Ancient weapons in his mind, glowing in an ethereal energy.


“Okay, that’s right,” he said.  “Now let’s do something with them.”


The chair responded, and he opened his eyes to see the scene playing out for him above his head.  Wraith darts were speeding towards Atlantis.  Scouts, he knew, but they could not be allowed to get away with the information they were undoubtedly seeking.  The chair vibrated gently, and then he saw the weapons speeding out of Atlantis towards their targets, decimating them in little fireballs.


“Oh, thank God,” he gasped.  The power of the chair had not left his grip, however, and with his exclamation, another weapon sped out of the city, turned, and lit up one of the towers like a Christmas tree.  It toppled as Carson watched in horror.


“Turn it off!  Turn it off!” he shouted.


The technicians were scrambling.  Weir was shouting.  Carson was hyperventilating.  The chair was purring happily.


“Help!” Carson yelled.


Weir grabbed him and pulled him out the chair.  The lights powered down, and Carson stared at the chair in shock.


Carson, what were you doing?” Weir demanded.


“I didn’t do anything!  I swear!” Carson replied.  “It was an accident.  I told you it doesn’t like me!”


“Ma’am, this has happened before,” one of the technicians said.  “We think you have to have all of your energies concentrated on the task at hand in order for it to work properly.  One little slip of thought and accidents happen.”


“Damage report,” Weir said, turning away.


Calls started coming through, and then Weir turned back to Carson, still staring at the chair.  “Good news.  The tower the weapon hit wasn’t occupied.  It was in a remote part of the city and sectioned off from anything that could have caused damage.”


Carson must have looked despondent, for Weir added, “It’s all right, Carson.  It wasn’t your fault.  You took out the darts.  That’s the important thing.”


“I just can’t wait for Colonel Sheppard to get back so he can do the dangerous stuff,” Carson said.  “I don’t have any control over that bloody thing.  You need to put someone else in that chair.”


Carson, besides Colonel Sheppard, you’re the only one that seems to have any connection with that chair,” Weir replied.  “Maybe it’s because you were the first one to try it out . . . I don’t know.  I think you’re better with the chair than you think.”


“I hope you’re right, Elizabeth,” Carson replied.  “I hope you’re right.”


* * *


It was only a few weeks later that Carson was again summoned to the use of the chair.  McKay and Colonel John Sheppard were standing next to the chair, staring at the podium and deep in thought.


“What’s going on?” Carson inquired.


“The chair doesn’t like me,” Sheppard replied.




“It zapped him,” Rodney offered.




“It hurt,” Sheppard said.  “Let’s see if it works for you.”


“I’m not getting in the bloody thing if it’s going to zap me!” Carson protested.


“I’m still alive,” Sheppard rolled his eyes.


“You can’t make me!” Carson replied.


“Just shut up and get in the chair,” McKay answered, sitting on the floor next to the chair with his computer and other tools scattered around him.


“How do you know it won’t kill me?” Carson asked.


“It won’t,” McKay replied.  “Just get in the chair, Carson.  You don’t need to blow anything up this time, so stop complaining.  We just need to see if it will work for you.”


“I don’t like this,” Carson muttered, easing into the chair and tentatively expecting a blast of zapping light to envelop him.  The lights activated and the chair tilted back, welcoming him.  No zap.


“Huh,” Sheppard mused.  “I must be losing my touch.”


“Okay, can you pull up a map of Atlantis?” McKay asked.


“Why couldn’t you look that up on a computer?” Carson snapped.  He was irritable thinking that he might have gotten zapped quite painfully just because McKay and Sheppard wanted to see if it would work for him.


“Because I’m looking to see if the chair has any connection with the rest of Atlantis’ computer systems,” McKay snapped back.  “Just do as you’re told.”


“You’re treating me like a child!” Carson complained.




“All right!  All right!”  Carson leaned back and took a deep breath, feeling the power pulsing beneath him.  Map? he questioned.


The chair displayed a map of the planet in front of him.


“Not that!” McKay complained.  “A map of Atlantis.”


“I know!” Carson snapped.  “I’m trying!”


Map of the city, he ordered.


The chair correctly displayed the map Rodney had requested, and Carson held his breath, remembering what the technician had said.  Keep it there, he ordered, thinking map thoughts.


“Mmhm,” Rodney muttered to himself, clicking away on his computer.


Sheppard turned to leave, throwing over his shoulder, “Have fun, boys.”


After two minutes, Carson was turning blue, so he took another deep breath and asked, “Are you almost finished?”




“Fine.”  He kept thinking map thoughts, then the thoughts wandered to how boring map thoughts were and he started thinking about the chair.  In response, the chair whirred beneath him, and he jumped, exclaiming, “Did you feel that?”


“No,” McKay looked up, startled, “but I heard it.”


“It came from the chair!” McKay exclaimed.  “I have to get out of here!”


He sat up, but Rodney jumped up and pushed him back into the chair.  “No!  What were you just thinking about?” he asked.


“I was thinking about how much I don’t like this,” Carson replied.  “Let me go!”


“But it did something!” McKay protested.  “Look!  I got a different readout for just a second on my computer.  This could be something important.”


“I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to do your investigating without me,” Carson replied.  “This whole thing is creeping me out.  You know how much I don’t like the chair.”


“But it responds to you!” McKay argued.  “I can sit in it all day and hardly make it do a thing.”


“I think you need to wait until Colonel Sheppard gets back,” Carson said.  “He enjoys this sort of thing much more than I do.”


“I don’t know, Carson . . . It’s like you have some kind of connection with the chair.”


“Well, as of this moment, that connection is terminated for the day,” Carson said as he pushed McKay out of his way and jumped off the podium.


* * *


Strangely enough, it seemed to Carson that no matter what happened, every time they needed the use of the chair, Colonel Sheppard was always absent.  Carson begged the Colonel to stay on Atlantis one day when McKay needed maintenance work on the chair, but Sheppard refused.


“I don’t know if I’m going to get zapped again, and besides, it’s more exciting going off-world than sitting in that chair,” the Colonel protested as he stepped through the Stargate.


“Dr. Beckett, your presence is required on tier five,” the loudspeakers boomed.


“The chair,” he muttered.  “The bloody chair!  I can’t get away from it!”


The use of the chair had seemed to multiply in the past few months.  It used to be special occasions that they would use the chair.  Sometimes they needed it for the sparse weapons they possessed, but most times it was just McKay who wanted to work on the chair.


“I’m getting tired of this, Rodney!” Beckett protested as McKay sat him down in the chair and proceeded to draw up another map.  “I don’t like this!  Why does it always have to be me?”


“I don’t know,” McKay replied.  “Maybe you just have bad timing.”


“Or maybe it’s the chair,” Carson mused.




“It didn’t used to be like this, Rodney,” Beckett continued.  “The first year we were here, I was lucky if I sat in this bloody thing three times.  Now, it seems like every other day I’m here.  What’s so important about this?”


“Just be quiet, Carson.  I’m trying to work.”


The chair hummed happily beneath him.


Beckett decided to do his own investigating after that.  What he found horrified him.


“Dr. Weir!  Elizabeth!” he shouted, running breathlessly down the halls towards Weir’s office.


She appeared in the doorway, perplexed.  “What’s wrong?”


“It’s the chair!” he exclaimed, bursting into the room.  “This might sound crazy, but I think that it . . . it has a consciousness.  For some reason it’s been trying to latch onto me.  That’s why it seems I’m always the one you need to use the thing!  It’s setting me up!”


“What?  That doesn’t make sense.”


“Okay,” Carson put his hands out, a conscious effort to slow himself down.  “The chair . . . it’s alive.”


“How can that be?”  Weir was incredulous.


“I don’t know,” Carson shook his head.  “I did some medical tests and ran a few scans on the chair and . . . I think it’s been using me for something.”


“For what?”


“I don’t know,” Carson replied.  “But don’t you think it’s strange how every time Colonel Sheppard goes off base then for some reason you need the use of the chair?”


“No . . .”




“I think you’re getting a little paranoid, Carson.  This all sounds a little farfetched to me.  When was the last time you slept?”


“Slept?”  Carson drew a blank.


“I thought so.”  Weir turned around and sat down at her desk.  “Now . . . McKay has asked to continue his work on the chair.  I need you to help him.”


“What?  But I just—”


“No arguments, Carson.”


Carson slowly retreated back into the hall and started for tier five.  “The chair,” he muttered.  “The bloody chair.  It’s gotten to Weir, it’s gotten to Rodney . . . What am I going to do?”


On tier five, the chair sat patiently waiting for Beckett, humming softly to itself.