- Character Bashing
- Episode Related
General Hammond sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. ‘Yes, Major Carter. I understand he was rude to you, but I also understand that he’s never even seen a Naquadah generator, let alone could teach the Russians how to build one themselves.’
‘Well, no,’ Sam agreed reluctantly. ‘He hasn’t worked on one, but he boasts about being the most intelligent man on Earth, so he would have been able to work it out pretty quickly.’
Hammond shook his head. ‘The Russians asked for an expert to help them, not a theoretical astrophysicist.’
‘McKay is an expert,’ Carter protested.
‘Only in regards to the Stargate and Ancient technology!’ General Hammond tipped his head to one side. ‘In addition to which, it appears Dr McKay is a high-level Guide. Did you know this?’
‘Rodney McKay a Guide?’ Carter scoffed. ‘No he isn’t. Is that what he told you? He’s lying, sir. There’s no way on Earth McKay’s a Guide.’
‘He is,’ Daniel confirmed in a quiet voice. ‘And he’s also an extremely close friend of Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg. They looked after him when he went to MIT at 14. His parents didn’t want anything more to do with him.’
‘There’s a surprise,’ Carter snapped snidely. ‘What did he do to them?’
‘He didn’t do anything. Neither his mother nor father could accept the fact he’s a Guide and think if the gift should have come to anyone, it should have been Rodney’s sister, not him. That’s why they pretty much cut him off when he went to college.’
‘At 14?’ Hammond asked. ‘What were they thinking?’
‘That McKay is an arrogant little shit who doesn’t deserve a good family?’ Carter suggested and immediately slapped her hand over her mouth.
‘Sam!’ Daniel physically withdrew from her. ‘How can you say such an awful thing?’
Jack O’Neill surveyed her through narrowed eyes then turned to General Hammond. ‘What’s the score, sir? Who told you McKay’s a Guide?’
‘The Pentagon,’ Hammond told him. ‘They’re furious they’ve not only lost the brightest mind of his generation but have also upset the Alpha Sentinel and Guide of North America. Dr Sandburg has requested a review of all the Sentinels and Guides employed by the Stargate Programme and has reserved the right to do the same with the Air Force since Dr McKay’s contract was with them.’
‘Will that have a serious effect on us?’ O’Neill asked.
‘An extremely serious effect. I’d go so far as to say one or two of us might find ourselves officially reprimanded because of it.’
‘Reprimanded?’ Daniel echoed. ‘Are the Pentagon blaming you, sir?
Hammond nodded. ‘I’m in charge of this facility, Dr Jackson. What happens here is, ultimately, my responsibility.’
For the first time since the conversation began Carter had a worried look on her face. ‘Will it affect me as well, sir?’
Hammond inclined his head. ‘The Secretary of the Air Force has requested your full, unredacted file, Major. I’m afraid it’s out of my hands now.’
Carter frowned. ‘What does that mean?’
‘They’re reviewing your entire history here at the SGC, I should think,’ O’Neill told her.
‘What? All of it?’
‘Why? Is there something you’re worried about?’ Daniel asked curiously.
‘Well…not exactly. But some of the stuff we’ve done doesn’t look too good on paper without someone to interpret it.’
There was a knock at the door, and Major Paul Davis entered. General Hammond raised his eyebrows.
‘Major Davis? Were we expecting you?’
‘No, sir.’ Paul Davis entered the room and closed the door carefully behind him. ‘The Prometheus has just beamed me over from the White House. The President is furious that Dr McKay has been forced out of the Stargate Programme and has sent me down to investigate the whole incident of Teal’c being stuck in the Stargate.’
‘But you know what happened, Major,’ Daniel argued. ‘You were here for much of it.’
‘I was with you in Moscow,’ Davis corrected him. ‘The rest I learned secondhand, just as you did. I’ve been ordered to examine all the video footage from while Dr McKay was here since the President isn’t clear on how Colonel Simmons was involved.’
‘He tried to blackmail me into giving him the Goa’uld hand device,’ General Hammond said grimly.
‘And yet it didn’t make you question how and why Dr McKay was brought here, sir,’ Davis said carefully. ‘Not even when Colonel Simmons proved to be a blackmailer. You simply went along with what Major Carter told you.’
A flush rose up Hammond’s face. ‘I…Yes, I did.’
‘And Dr McKay wasn’t given the opportunity to defend himself, and nor was he offered any kind of assistance in returning to Nevada,’ Davis continued. ‘He was forced to fly back on a commercial flight when his contract made it very clear he was always to be provided with a private plane due to his status as a Guide.’
‘He didn’t work for the Air Force by the time he left,’ Carter protested. ‘That’s not our fault.’
‘The President thinks it is.’
‘And we didn’t know he was a Guide,’ O’Neill added.
‘I did.’ Daniel held up his hand.
‘How?’ O’Neill demanded. ‘Also, why?’
‘I read his file,’ Daniel answered, shrugging his shoulders.
‘Then why didn’t you tell us?’ Carter demanded.
‘Because I wasn’t here!’ Daniel snapped back, then sighed. ‘I was on my way to Moscow when McKay arrived, remember?’
‘Paul, what’s going to happen?’ Carter asked in a worried tone. ‘Am I going to be blamed for this? Because it’s not my fault. McKay was rude to me.’
‘I’m afraid that doesn’t give you the right to threaten to send him to Russia,’ Major Davis countered. ‘And I understand that Radek Zelenka also resigned when you tried to make him go in Dr McKay’s place.’
‘What?’ Hammond demanded. ‘Major Carter? When did this happen and why wasn’t I informed?’
Carter flushed. ‘You told me to find someone else to go, sir.’ She shrugged her shoulders. ‘I told Zelenka he’d be going and he swore at me in some Eastern European language then said he was resigning. There wasn’t anything I could do about it.’
‘You could try not threatening a man who grew up in communist Czechoslovakia with being sent to Russia.’ Disapproval coloured Daniel’s tone.
‘I didn’t know he grew up in Czechoslovakia!’ Carter took a deep breath and tried to control herself. ‘I didn’t know he grew up in Czechoslovakia otherwise I wouldn’t have told him that.’
‘You had no right to order him to do anything,’ O’Neill said and studied her with a frown. ‘None of the scientists at Area 51 report to you, Carter. They report to the Chief Scientist.’
‘McKay was the Chief Scientist, and he’s gone,’ Carter said defensively. ‘They report to me now.’
‘No, they don’t,’ Davis and Jackson said simultaneously.
Major Davis nodded to Jackson.
‘They don’t report to you any more than I do,’ Daniel told her. ‘They’re civilians, Sam.’
‘So we’ve lost two important scientists over this whole affair?’ O’Neill clarified. ‘Well, crap! No wonder the Pentagon is pissed.’
‘Can we try and talk to them both?’ General Hammond suggested. ‘If Major Carter and I both apologise?’
Paul Davis shook his head while Carter’s face set in a mutinous scowl. ‘I’ve already reached out to both of them, sir. Neither is willing to return to Area 51. It turns out there’s quite a pattern of systemic bullying there, particularly by the military members of the facility.’
‘What?’ Hammond demanded incredulously. ‘Systemic bullying? Why am I only just hearing about this?’
O’Neill glanced at Carter and took note of her pursed lips. ‘It often occurs when a senior officer is seen to get away with bullying someone. Those junior to her see it as a licence to behave in a similar fashion.’
The specific use of pronoun was not lost on anyone. Both Jackson and Davis turned to look at Carter while Hammond watched her through narrowed eyes. For her part, Carter simply tossed her hair.
‘I’ve not bullied anyone. If they can’t take criticism, that’s their problem.’
‘Major Carter!’ Hammond expostulated. ‘I can’t believe I’m hearing this!’ He rose from his chair, forcing the other officers to follow suit. ‘I’m ordering you to confine yourself to your quarters until I’ve had a full report on what’s been happening at Area 51 as well as what happened while Dr McKay was here at the SGC.’ He gave Carter a cold glance. ‘I suggest you also use that time to find an explanation for your conduct both here and with the staff at Area 51.’ He shook his head. ‘You’re all dismissed!’