Author's Chapter Notes:
Word Count: 1095
Spoilers: "Rising", "Poisoning the Well", "The Storm", "The Eye", "Siege III", "Michael", "Misbegotten"
Originally posted during the sga_flashfic Challenge: Dark Side
Series: Embracing Duality
Notes: Set during "Misbegotten"
Beckett's resistance to the mental interrogation was surprising. Usually, healers such as he were all too easy to break, giving up their secrets without a fight. Michael's unwanted respect for the doctor grew the more the human fought.
Still, he broke, as Michael knew he would. They all did. Yet Beckett's capitulation wasn't tinged with the despair that most humans had. It was resignation and acceptance, as if he were used to someone overcoming his will.
Intrigued, Michael stayed in Beckett's mind after he'd learned the location of the failsafe nuclear device Sheppard had left. This human, with his determination to help the now-human Wraith, to keep them alive when Sheppard and his Satedan watchdog would happily kill them all, intrigued him. Most humans would be happy to kill the Wraith, even when they looked like humans. Beckett wanted to save them.
Pressing further into Beckett's memories, Michael saw a pattern emerge of people forcing him to do things he strongly opposed, or simply ignoring him and doing what they wanted, leaving Beckett to deal with the consequences. It wasn't just the Atlanteans, but other people that the human had called friend. The Atlanteans just did it on a far more frequent basis.
Michael found a memory and frowned. It wasn't surprising to find that Beckett had been involved that virus that made humans poisonous to Wraith. The hive that had culled that planet lost their queen to the poisoned meal, and her consorts had destroyed the planet in revenge.
Beckett hadn't wanted to give the drug to the populace without knowing all the side effects, but the Hoffans had overruled him. Beckett had been left to help clean up the Hoffans mistake when their people started dying.
Michael delved further into memories, seeing McKay force Beckett into doing things he didn't want to do with Ancient technology and a young man called Ford trying to treat Beckett like a warrior, becoming angry when Beckett was not. The same young man nearly killed Beckett in his lust for a drug made of the liquid produced in feeding to keep the food alive. That would explain the mysterious disappearance of one of the Wraith warriors of his hive. He'd become food, in a way, for this Ford. A disgusting thought.
A flash of the same resignation and acceptance that Michael had felt from Beckett surged from a memory, and Michael looked. Sheppard was cajoling Beckett, trying to convince him to do something - trying to get him to agree to the plan to drug Michael again, return him to the human state so he could be exiled with the other Wraith. When Beckett had refused, correctly pointing out that if something happened and Michael reverted, the consequences could be much worse, Sheppard --
Interesting, Michael thought. While Sheppard might not have the mental powers of a Wraith interrogator, he certainly had the ability to bend a subject to his will. In Sheppard's case, he used words and twisted logic, and, in the end, seduction to bring Beckett to his will. Sifting through Beckett's mind, Michael found dozens of other instances where Sheppard had bent Beckett to his will though the same methods. The reasons ranged from trivial matters like what entertainment to watch to the creation of the retrovirus, which was Sheppard's idea.
He was no better than Sheppard, Michael realized, manipulating Beckett into doing his will, ignoring the man's objections. It was a disquieting thought, to be compared to a human in such a way.
Michael was supposed to be better than Sheppard.
Looking down at the half-conscious man restrained on the examining table, Michael felt an unwanted trace of human guilt. Beckett wasn't even fighting him anymore, merely lying there limply, letting Michael do as he wanted. If Michael had wanted to seduce Beckett at this point, he felt sure he wouldn't even need to use his mental tricks. He wouldn't do that, though, because that would put him that much closer to being Sheppard - to being human. A state Michael despised for its weakness.
Still, Michael could take some revenge on Sheppard, frustrate the man the next time he tried to bend Beckett to his will.
Smiling, Michael worked in Beckett's mind, building up his mental defenses against those humans who sought to take advantage of him, giving him the strength to stand his ground. It wouldn't stop others from ignoring Beckett, or not doing what he asked, but interrogation methods and seduction would no longer work on him - unless Beckett wanted to be seduced. Only Wraith interrogators would be able to manipulate Beckett's mind.
Finding the memories of the pleasure Sheppard had wrung from Beckett's body, Michael used them to create a memory of experiencing pleasure so intense, so fulfilling, that the body on the table moaned and responded physically, the scent of human arousal and release filling the tent. Sheppard's future touches would be measured against that memory, and found wanting. Beckett might never realize his ideal lover was a Wraith, but the knowledge that he alone could give Beckett what he now craved was intoxicating to Michael. Perhaps, if he were able to take Beckett with him, he would be able to work on the man, and gain for himself the trust and companionship that Beckett would have freely given to Sheppard. Beckett would be an advantageous worshipper for any Hive to have, given his knowledge of the Atlanteans, but he would be loyal only to Michael. Michael would make sure of that.
Knowing he'd lingered too long, and he had to deactivate the nuclear device before Sheppard could destroy the camp, Michael withdrew from Beckett's mind. The doctor was almost unconscious, and Michael had to resist from giving him a mental nudge into sleep. It was a human reaction, an act of compassion that had no place in a Wraith's life.
Straightening, Michael strode out of the tent. He had his fellow Wraith to protect from humans like Sheppard. And perhaps, he'd be able to save other Wraith from the fate he and those on this planet had suffered. The trace of guilt returned, and Michael buried it under his anger at being turned human against his will. He wondered if he'd ever be able to interrogate someone again without guilt. That would make him less valuable to a Hive, and vulnerable to being fed on by the queen.
Damn Sheppard for making him human. He would be the first person Michael would feed upon once he was fully Wraith, and the taste of Sheppard's death would be sweet.