RSS

Summary: Nicole pinched the bridge of her nose and leaned heavily on the table. "So these Wraiths, I take it there not something you could call the exterminator for." John snorted a harsh almost cold laugh. "I wish," Beckett shook his head. "No Lass, we believe them to evolve from something called the Iratus bug." Sheppard shivered violently and muttered. "I really hate those bugs." Beckett sighed. "Yes, lad we're aware of that." "So you have bug people, sucking the lives out of humans. I feel like I'm in a bad science fiction movie."

Updated: 24 Sep 2011; Published: 21 Sep 2011

Printer
- Text Size +

Author's Chapter Notes:
A/N: Set after season one and two 'The Siege'


First Do No Harm
Chapter One:

Present time
Dr. Nicole Nicholson blinked stupidly as she started across the smooth maple table of CHOPS meeting rooms. Across from her slouched down in her seat looking sick with guilt was her sister. Shaking her head in confusion she eyed the three men at the end of the table.

"Okay," she spoke finally tenting her fingers under her chin. "I'm thrilled you're interested in my research, but what does the US Government and our allies want with a gene therapy for Autism?" she questioned her green eyes crinkling in confusion.

Across from her she caught a smirk on the face of one of Colonel Sheppard, a man probably not much older than herself, mid-thirties at the most, and arched a light brow. General O'Neil's mouth twisted into a wry grin.
"Well for one, we believe your delivery method of a synthetic strand of DNA to replace the mutated strand; can be applied for a different problem." Carson stated diplomatically. Nicole's freckled face scrunched in suspicion.

"Yeah, I'm gonna need more to go on than that."

"Yeah, therein lies the rub," Colonel John Sheppard tugged on his messy brown hair. "Before we do that you're going to need to sign this."

Pushing the paper down the polished table Nicole grabbed it and skimmed the paper with a frown.

"Well Gentleman, it was a pleasure, but until I know the specifics I sign nothing. " She smiled tightly and stood up smoothing her green scrub top and pulling her Phillies scrub cap off her head.
"Sis, give me a call tomorrow we have a lot of catching up to do." She smiled hugging her sister's slumping form.
"Wait, your seriously just going to walk out that door?" John questioned his dark brow furrowed in surprise.
Nicole smiled widely her dimples protruding. "Pretty much, unless you care to tell me the logistics before I put my name on anything binding."
"Well," his nose crinkled. "We can't really tell you until you sign. Top secret and all."
Brenda groaned and slumped down even further in her chair. Nicole snorted. "Well I've had enough 'Top Secret' and 'Need to knows' to last me a life time. So gentleman if you'll excuse me I have patients to check in on." Spinning on her heel she made for the towering gleaming oak doors.
"Wait Major," The voice of General O'Neil called her to a halt.
Nicole froze and glanced over her shoulder. "I'm not a Major anymore General."
Jack grinned. "Well you know what they say once a Marine,"
"Always a Marine, Sir." Nicole replied gruff and shaking with emotion. "I have done my duty for my country; I've knit boys not even old enough to drink back together again. I've even sent some home missing limbs or paralyzed, and those where the lucky ones. I've been forced to operate on Taliban and Alkida operatives because they held information that we needed, never mind that he had just paralyzed the boy in the next bed, and I did it all for my country. On nights like these I can still hear screams echoing over the thunder!" she snapped her eyes narrowed. "I've spilled blood for this country and while it haunts me I don't regret it, but I've done my time, I've watched enough kids get blown to smithereens. I've dealt with need to knows for four years, 'Oh no Major, we can't tell you why you have to save this scum, its need to know' and let me tell you I'm not signing a damn thing without a full report. Now General do you want my help or not?" she demanded sharply her chest heaving and her face resembling a freckled cherry tomato.
"Lass, please." Beckett spoke up looking at her with pleading blue eyes. "I would never try to minimize the horrors you experienced, but you could help save thousands of lives. Please reconsider." He begged for a moment it seemed the battle was won before the former Major shook her head resolutely.
"It's a war isn't it?" Nicole snorted. "No need to answer I've heard this sort of double talk before. But tell me General, Colonel, Doctor, isn't that how every war begins? To save lives? In an all-out desperate attempt for the end to truly make a better life for those we seek to protect." she questioned softly. "When in the end we only take more. I'm sorry Doctor I truly am, but I can't fight another battle or war that I know nothing about. I'm sorry."
"You don't understand the circumstances here." Sheppard spoke up again slinging an arm causally over the back of his chair and pinning her with his piercing haze green gaze. "Don't you agree Lieutenant?" he glanced meaningfully at the slumped woman who was doing her best to disappear.
Surprised she sputtered. "Ugh," with a sigh she shook her head. "I told you this was a bad idea, Sir." She defended ignoring the glare her commanding officer was sending her. "That she would never walk blindly into this type of situation. But, Nikki" she turned her pleading eyes on her sister.
"You have no idea what is at stake here. I personally don't want you to do this. I'd rather you stay here where it's safe." Again she ignored the three irritated looks sent her way. "But I'm asking you to trust me. You know I would never ask you to do something unethical or monstrous." Brenda pointed out turning the full force of her hazel brown eyes on Nicole.
The doctor wavered by the door before slapping the oak door with a growl and stalking back across the room. Snatching the pen off the table she scribbled her name messily across the line and disgruntledly threw the paper back at the Colonel. She plopped down in her seat in a fit of bad temper and arched a mocking eyebrow as if to say 'this better be good'.
Clearing his throat John smoothed out the paper and passed it over to the General shooting the short fuming woman a thankful smile.
"Well enlighten me." She bit out sarcastically.
"Well," O'Neil began. "It all began with the Stargate."
.................
Three hours earlier
The streets of University City, Philadelphia where empty except for the few stragglers that braved the torrential rains of the Nor'easter that was pounding the eastern seaboard. Hurricane force winds whipped through the flimsy trees, branches soared through the air like shrapnel, breaking car windows and littering the roads. Violent claps of thunder rattled the rain slicked windows and lighting flashed through the Philadelphia sky like a brilliant Fourth of July fireworks display. Streets soon became lakes as the storm drains failed and the relentless down pore only strengthened in force. Those with any sense took shelter in one of the numerous restaurants and cafes and if they were lucky enjoyed the end of the Phillies/Diamondbacks game. Safely encased behind the thickly fogged windows of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Nicole Nicholson stood at the third floor nurses' hub bent over a stack of Post-Op charts. The nightshift on CHOP's surgical ICU floor was nail biting for Nicole, as a new addition to the surgical staff fresh off of her latest and last deployment in the Middle East, the quiet nights made her hair stand on end. Back at the base hospital in Kandahar silence was a luxury not afforded to them and she had yet to fully adjust. Besides being in the place she called home, CHOP offered something that had lured her away from Walter Reed and re-enlistment, a research grant. Ever since her eighth grade science fair project on the human genealogy and Autism she had dedicated the next thirteen years of her life to finding a cure.
After following her sister into the Corp out of Medical School her opportunities to work on her research had been few and far between, but lack of research facilities and soldiers in need of medical attention had become more pressing. She was close, that much she knew, she could feel it in her bones the answer to solving this horrible disease was within reach. A disgruntled sigh from head nurse Marcus Tanner interrupted her musings and she glanced up from her chart drumming the tip of her pen on the metal folder. Smirking at him as he reclined backwards in his chair and cradled his steaming hot coffee mug she chuckled as he reverently sniffed the bitter brew.
"Bad night?" she questioned eyeing the man as he drank deeply from his mug.
Marcus corrected with a grunt. "Long night, coffee?" the Texan offered holding up his 'Save a Horse ride a cyclist' mug. A mug she had purchased for him at the latest Cycle for a Cure Alzheimer's event she had participated in a few days prior. Nicole cringed and shook her head.
"Thanks, no never touch the stuff."
He shrugged and leaned back in his chair. "More for me." He added in his thick Texan accent, which made many an intern and nurse drop their panties. She however was not one of them and their bond, in the few months she had been here, was more sibling than romantic. He like the typical older brother scared off more guys than her rapier wit and no-nonsense sense of humor.
Yawning she scribbled her name and the time at the bottom of her last chart before stuffing them away in the bin. Stretching she sighed in relief when her neck and back cracked satisfying pop, for only twenty-six her body cracked more than an eighty year olds or so Marcus delighted in telling her. Pulling her mousy shoulder length brown hair back into a messy ponytail she glanced at the clock as the second hand ticked down. Behind his mug Marcus chuckled.
"Which one of your interns is being punished now?" he enquired his baby blues dancing mischievously. Nicole grinned leaning over the lip of the hub, or as far as her minute stature would allow.
"Dr. Marshall." she snickered. Dr. Elliot Marshall one of her first and sadly not last batch of interns, and while most she could tolerate and even like; Elliot Marshall was not one of them. His arrogance was only surpassed by his condescending tone with both superior's and accomplished nurses alike, To him patients where nothing more than numbers not small children frightened and injured and searching for comfort. Comfort was one thing Marshall never offered to anyone, and it was the one thing that had painted a target on his back. Every resident knew of him and his boasting of skills he did not possess and as far as Nicole was concerned he never would.
Unlike all her other interns Marshall was the only one that neither she nor any attending's had allowed to scrub in. As far as she and anyone else was concerned he would forever be in the gallery until he underwent a personality transplant or at least showed some of the skill he boasted.
"Oh how I loathe that pompous ass. " Her friend very nearly growled.
"True, he is a conceded ass, but take my word when I say I will beat humility into him, even if I have to back over him with a frontend loader." He snorted and lifted his half empty mug up to her in a silent salute.
"So what do you have him doing this time?" Nurse Rhonda Carmichael questioned as she tapped away insistently on her keyboard never looking up.
Her grin was broad and self-satisfied. "The pit."
Rhonda roared with laughter and Marcus chocked on a mouthful of coffee. "The pit, on a Friday night?"
The 'pit' or the ER at CHOP on a Friday night, especially during flu season, was reminiscent of a three ring circus. With half crazed mothers still in their pajamas, vomiting kids, broken bones, concussions, from the beginning of the Peewee football and soccer seasons, and especially during a storm fender benders and sadly much more sever accidents inundated the ER. Interns sanctioned to the ER, especially on a weekend or holiday soon became well versed with insanity in its purest form, and intern either swam or was eaten alive by the horde of frantic parents, which was why it was reserved often to punish the interns that had a near fatal case of ego and give them a swift taste of reality and humility.
Wiping his mouth with a napkin Marcus grimly set aside his cup and mopped up the spilt coffee. His blue eyes ticked up at her and burst into snorting chuckles.
"Oh God, I knew there was a reason I liked you."
Nicole rolled her green eyes and tapped the toe of her sneaker against the polished linoleum. "Let's see how his bedside manner passes with a bunch of frantic mother's and puking infants. Got to love flu season."
Rhonda looked up wistfully clasping her hands dramatically to her pink scrub top. "Oh shall I dare to dream? Or do slugs have a natural immunity to contagions?" Marcus' face took on a dreamy far off stare as he imagined a week without the condescending acidic tongue of Elliot Marshall.
"We're not that lucky." Nicole muttered mournfully putting at the injustice of it all.
"Dr. Nicholson to the ER. Dr. Nicholson to the ER." Nicole groaned and buried her face in her arms her next words muffled by the abrasive material of her lab coat . "Why do I feel every time I punish him, I wind up punishing myself as well?"
Marcus rolled his eyes and shot her a patronizing look. "Because you're trying to give humanity to the Anti-Christ. You had to assume he wouldn't go quietly."
Glaring at her friend she jammed her pen into her ponytail , looped her stethoscope around her neck and took off down the hall at a jog, dreading what hell awaited her in the pit. It was times like this she missed the Corp and cursed her decision to do her four years and bow out. At least there she could have irritants like Elliot Marshall Court-Marshaled.
...............
Exiting the elevator Nicole greeted a group of custodians as they passed her bound for either home or the cafeteria for a midnight snack. Dodging the portable X-Ray machine she entered the chaotic main hub of the ER stopping before the lone Nurse hunched over the computer bay.
"Hi," she glanced down at the woman's ID badge. "Gail, I was paged."
The nurse opened her mouth to answer, but Nicole held her hand up. "I'll save you the trouble what has my intern done?"
Gail shook her head her dark eyes crinkled in irritation. "We have an eight year old male, Bed four, Hunter Matthews struck by a car outside his home. Presented with tenderness in the abdomen, but no rigidity or distention, Dr. Carter ordered a head and abdominal CT, and an abdominal ultrasound, and basic blood panel then he up and disappeared." She sneered her fingers digging harshly into the computer chair. "Mrs. Matthews is frantic. Hunter was just brought back from CT, they found something on the scans, and Dr. Carter told me to book an OR and page you and Dr. Marshall, and to have him prep Hunter and explain the procedure to Mrs. Matthews. I paged him repeatedly he has yet to answer."
Gail eyed her with trepidation as she continued and turned the computer monitor toward her, so she could see the scans for herself. There clear as day she could see the dark pools of blood filling the abdominal cavity.
"How long ago did Hunter come in?" Nicole questioned looking up from the scans.
"Brought in by ambulance not even an hour ago." Nicole sighed and fisted her hair in aggravation.
"OR1 is prepped and ready." Nicole nodded grimily.
"Alright, I need to scrub in could you please page Dr. Montgomery, Hollis, and Roberts. Tell Hollis to prep Hunter and move him up to the OR, have Roberts speak to the mother and if you see Marshall have him meet me in there." She nodded toward the open break room door.
Gail grinned and nodded. "Will do Doctor."
"Oh," Nicole paused twirling clumsily around on her toes and waving a finger in the air. "Feel free to torture him in any way you see fit, but make sure to leave him intact for me." She finished grimily as she stalked away leaving Gail grinning happily behind her.
.............
The home of General George Nicholson and his wife Major Gena Furtek-Nicholson was a modest rancher located in the New Jersey suburbs only twenty minutes away from Philadelphia. It had been the first home her family had purchased outright instead of living on base, and as a teen Lt. Brenda Nicholson- Dillon had come to think of the small three bedroom house as home. After she had chosen to live with her father after her parents divorced she had lived in many places on many bases across Europe and the US. Her sister, Nicole, had been born when her father had been stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. At ten she had been thrilled for a younger sibling to teach and share secrets with. As it turned out however Brenda had not been the one doing the teaching. At only eight years old Nicole had proved to be quite bright. So much so that she had been able to quiz her on her Calculus and chemistry for her final exams.
By fourteen Nicole had begun college of all things. While Brenda had decided to forego further education and instead join the Corps like her father and step-mother had done decades before. When Nicole had chosen medical school, she could not help the sigh of relief that had escaped her. Her sister would be safe in the states in a suburban hospital somewhere, unlike herself who would spend many years in the Middle East.
She however had been wrong on many levels. Upon Nicole's completion of Medical School she had joined the Corp. At the time Brenda had been in a base camp on the middle of the Iraqi desert and unable to appeal to her sister to reconsider. By the time she had arrived back on US soil nearly two years later Nicole had already completed her training and inter program and was being shipped off the Kandahar of all places, to join the surgical staff there.
It seemed fate had plans for the two sisters as Brenda was both married and divorced before her sister's tour was complete. It was then destiny had come knocking on her door in the form of then Colonel Jack O'Neil and the Stargate Program. More specifically the Atlantis Expedition. With her extensive expertise in explosives and tactical combat she had become a much wanted commodity. To top that off she also carried a very rare gene that would come in useful to the expedition, something called the ATA gene or the Ancient gene. It all came down to one choice now and for Brenda it had not been an easy one to walk through the worm hole into the unknown, especially an unknown galaxy. War had been unpredictable enough let alone another world with its own enemies, and probably no way back. But she had done it and now a year after being trapped in the Pegasus Galaxy she was home.
Here to drag her sister down the worm hole with her. One catastrophic mistake and she had opened a door for her sister to be brought into the world of the Wraith and the awe inspiring ancients. Now she was kicking herself for bringing that copy of Nicole's gene therapy research to cure Autism let alone giving it to Dr. Beckett.
Following Lt. Colonel John Sheppard, her commanding officer, and Lt. General Jack O'Neil up the paved driveway she cursed herself and glowered heatedly at the man she now blamed just as much, Dr. Carson Beckett.
"With all due respect, Sirs," she spoke up drawing their group of misfits to a halt in the pouring rain. "This is a mistake."
Jack O'Neil arched a brow and shared a glance with a smirking John Sheppard.
"I understand your reservations Lieutenant, but there is never any harm in asking." He smiled and continued up to the door and pressing the bell before she could protest.
"Relax, Lieutenant who knows your sister just may jump at the chance." Sheppard shrugged with a smug grin. Swallowing a growl she rounded on the sheepish doctor.
"This is not what I intended when I gave you that paper." She snarled.
"I know that love, but the Dr.'s methods are incredibly complex and really quite strange, but fascinating." Carson shifted uncomfortably. "And truth be told she could be a crucial member of my medical team. Not only with the retrovirus."
With an irritated growl she spun sharply on her boot heel and stormed up the stairs to join the Colonel and General. When the door was pulled open and her father came into view she could not muffle the shriek of delight as she leapt past her commanding officers, nearly sending them toppling over the rails, in her haste to hug him.
The George chuckled as he caught his bouncing daughter in a hug. "Welcome home, Jar Head."
"Brenda!" A joyful yet surprised voice chimed from behind the towering Marine General, before she wormed her way into the doorway and snatched the Marine away dragging her into the living room.
"Ah, General O'Neil, fancy seeing you tonight." The elder Marine nodded courteously and gestured for the group to step in. "Come on in before the rain picks up again."
..........
John Sheppard smiled as he accepted the piping hot cup of tea from Major Gena Nicholson, and relaxed back into the velvety plushness that was not afforded to him on the two hour plane ride in business class. Seated in the Nicholson family den that also doubled as the General's office John was surrounded by the vast accomplishments of the General's daughters. Both very different in their accomplishments but equal in the eyes of the father they shared. One a doctor who patched up those injured in war zones and another driving caravans and disarming IEDs. Next to him on a small end table beneath a Tiffany's lamp were three blue and black velvet boxes one was the Navy Cross he knew his lieutenant had earned in the deserts of Afghanistan, the other two were not as prestigious, but still impressive none the less. Nestled beside the Navy Cross was the Silver Star in the middle and on the end a Purple Heart.
On the other side of the table it seemed Brenda was enthralled with the medals as well but her expression, unlike his own, was one of trepidation. General Nicholson's sharp onyx eyes seemed to miss nothing as he watched his eldest daughter.
"Nicole's" he answered his daughter's silent question his eyes flicking to the Purple Heart and Silver Star. Brenda's shoulders sagged and her chin wobbled before she stubbornly clenched it.
"How?" her voice was stiff and harsh.
The General cleared his throat and shifted in his desk chair. "Three months ago at the end of her last deployment in Kandahar she accompanied some of the Army nurses to a women's clinic. On the way they passed a caravan taking heavy fire. They got there just as the insurgents detonated an IED. She and the other nurses took a few injured soldiers' guns and returned fire. The insurgents where killed, but not before Nikki took some shrapnel to the shoulder and the nurses dragged the injured to their Humvee and took them back to the hospital. All five of them including your sister received the Silver Star and Nikki got the Purple Heart for her injury. The miracle was all those men survived simply because a handful of nurses and a doctor showed their true courage." Pride dripped from the General's every word.
John winced in sympathy he knew only too well the horrors of war. He had seen far too much on the blood coated sands of Iraq. To many young kids staring the enemy in the eye and not always coming out on the other side whole or at all. It changed a person more than any non-military could understand. The few times he had been at a base hospital he remembered all too well the smell of coppery blood charred flesh, and bleach. Bandages slapped on in the field tossed on the floor saturated with blood and grime. Puddles of crimson marring the floors and tracked toward the confines of the OR. While the doctors and nurses may not have seen the horrors that he was forced to endure, they had their own brand of hell delivered by chopper or ground. In war no one walked away unscathed, the lucky carried their scars on the inside.
"Thankfully the shrapnel didn't do much damage." The General continued. "She a resident at CHOP now after she decided not to extend her enlistment."
Blinking frantically to keep the tears at bay she accepted instead a cup of tea from her stepmother. Gena gave her stepdaughter a warm comforting squeeze on the shoulder and John's insides clenched in jealousy. He often missed the affection only mother truly knew how to give. Even General Nicholson was a far cry from his old man. He took pride in the small things such as the decade old finger paintings that where neatly framed and hung about the room. There were many trophies lining the shelves each marking a milestone in his children's lives. Something Patrick Sheppard held no affinity for unless they had been David's accomplishments. It was his mother that had hung his math test on the fridge and bought him books by the basket, and had always said he was better than the family business. She had been the only one. Even Nancy, his ex-wife, had always thought him better of the Air Force a fact that had led to the catastrophic meltdown of their marriage.
"No lasting effects I hope." Caron Beckett ever the doctor piped up setting his china saucer on his knee and gazing concernedly at Gena.
Gena smiled genially. "No, only some minor discomfort after performing surgery or lifting anything heavy."
"Well George, I have to say you've raised to remarkable girls." O'Neil grinned taking a swig from the cold beer Gena had brought for the General's. "It's actually why where here."
George clamped his teeth around his cigar. "I gathered you might be. Come to steal yet another one of my kids off to the Stargate Program have you?"
John chocked on his tea, drawing a concerned look from the Scottish man and a firm swat on the back. George grinned setting his cigar in the ash tray and grinning widely. "Ah Colonel didn't know I knew about Atlantis did you?"
Still coughing slightly John shook his head. "Ugh, no sir. After all the project is classified 'Top Secret', Sir."
George chuckled and winked at Jack from behind his large maple desk. "You soon learn Colonel; high level Marines know all and see all that is 'Classified'."
Carson chuckled uneasily and sipped his tea endeavoring to remain as quite as possible to hopefully skim beneath the General's radar. John blinked owlishly drawing an amused chuckled from the older man.
Brenda frowned and rolled her hazel eyes. "Yeah, that was a lose generalization of the speech every guy Nikki or I brought home got. Except you left out the classified part as you polished the Colt."
Gena shook her head in disapproval as she perched herself on the arm of Brenda's chair. O'Neil chuckled and shook his graying head. "Never where one for subtly, Georgie. Take notes Colonel; you're talking to the slickest son of a bitch on the Eastern Seaboard. He's made some of your exploits look like a day at Chuck 'E Cheese."

George smirked for a moment before his jovial face smoothed out into a blank business like mask. "Now Jack, my daughter has had quite the time of late and now she has interns nipping at her heels like teething puppies. I must warn you she is not in the best of moods. Not to mention she hasn't quite gotten over what happened in Kandahar. So tread lightly, Old boy."
He then turned his eyes on Beckett and Sheppard. "I trust that you'll keep my girls out of trouble." He spoke sternly only to sigh when his wife snorted.
"While they are magnets for the strange and dangerous. Keep an eye on them for me."
"Dad," Brenda protested. "I can take care of myself and Nikki might not even want to get involved in this." She finished the last part with a hopeful lit.
George gazed at his eldest daughter solemnly. "She might not yet, but she will."
...................
The moment Brenda entered the swirling emergency room of CHOP, with John Sheppard, General O'Neil, and Beckett on her heels she heard her sister before she saw her; voice snapping and crackling through the corridors like a whip. Parents and children alike paused for a moment as jumbled words broke through the door of the Nurse's break room. A handful of nurses smirked as they went about their duties. The doctors swirling around seemed to pay no never mind to the battle that ragged behind the door as if it was an everyday occurrence. A smile ticked at the corner of her mouth and knowing her sister's temper as she did, she wouldn't be surprised if it was.
"Bloody hell that is one angry woman." Dr. Carson Beckett muttered in his thick Scottish drawl, his blue eyes widening in surprise. Brenda snickered softly under her breath as Colonel Sheppard moved to flag down a passing nurse.
"Excuse me, " he grinned charmingly at the nurse, who unlike those on Atlantis did not blush or stammer incoherently but merely blinked and gazed back at him expectantly.
"Yes?" she asked with a touch of impatience crossing her arms across her Care Bear scrub top her tired eyes crinkled in suspicion. Momentarily stunned by the thinly veiled hostility Sheppard blinked back stupidly before regaining his footing.
"Right...uh, we need a word with Major Nicholson or rather Dr. Nicholson." The nurse snickered softly as the door to the break room at that moment flew open and the doctor in question stormed out, looking much like a tomato with freckles with wisps of metaphorical steam curling from underneath her Phillies surgical cap.
"Grace," Nicole's irritated voice echoed through the halls. "Make sure Dr. Marshall here," she sneered at the man following her. "Takes good care of the parents here make sure they are comfortable, I'll be in Surgical ICU if he gives you any grief. Did Hollis settle him upstairs?" Receiving a positive confirmation she turned to the two interns hovering by the hub.
"Montgomery, find Dr. Perez he needs and intern for surgery. Roberts, man the pit and keep an eye on Marshall." One intern scurried away happily while the other sulked toward the pile of charts and Marshall stewed and glared under the head nurses glower. That said the doctor stormed down the hall toward the elevator.
"Well sir, I would get her for you but I appreciate my limbs where they are, thank you." The nurse quipped and stalked away disappearing behind a curtained off area of bed four.
"Well I'm guessing the angry lass, was your sister." Beckett eyed Brenda with wry smile. The Lieutenant snickered.
"Aye, my Scottish friend. That is former USMC Major Nicole Nicholson. Sure you still want to meet her?" she teased drawing a chuckle from the doctor.
Sheppard sighed and rubbed a hand through his already mussed hair.
"Excuse me," a voice sounds behind him. The young doctor he had seen rushing to do the former Major's bidding started back at him.
"I'm Dr. Montgomery one of Dr. Nicholson's interns. Stella told me you needed to speak with the doctor." He spoke bouncing anxiously on the balls of his feet.
Assuming Stella to be the nurse that Sheppard had spoken with Brenda nodded. "Yes, I'm her sister and this is Dr. Carson Beckett, General O'Neil, and Lt. Colonel Sheppard, we need to speak with her."
The intern relaxed minutely and gave them a wan smile. "Oh, ohm....well... I need to get to the OR, but Surgical ICU is on the third floor." With that the man scurried down the hall.
..........................
Stepping off the elevator on the third floor Brenda could not help but grin as she spotted her sister. Standing on tip-toe to lean over the hub to talk with a tall muscular nurse.
"He just disappeared?" the muscular nurse spat and the female nurse behind him shook her head in disgust.
"I swear," Nicole scowled. "If I find out he was in a supply closet with another intern again...I swear I will make his life a living hell."
"That bastard," the man growled shaking his sandy blonde head. "Leaving an innocent child in the lurch as he bleeds out internally. How did the surgery go?"
Nicole smiled softly. "Pretty well except for the splenectomy. Thankfully I don't see any lasting damage for him."
The man nodded before arching an eyebrow. "And what about you?"
Brenda tensed when her sister winced. "Eh, not too bad. Sour but nothing I can't live with."
The woman at the computer snorted. "Seriously Marcus, what did you expect a Marine to say?"
"Former Marine." Nicole corrected and the man, Marcus, snorted.
"No such thing, kitty cat, no such thing."
"True," Nicole conceded. "Retired marine then."
"Not even sure that applies." General O'Neil piped up shuffling forward. Nicole spun around a look of blatant distrust on her face as to why this unknown man was on her ward in the middle of the night. That is until she saw Brenda lurking in the background and she gave a shriek of surprise and took off at a sprint nearly taking both herself and her sister to the floor. The three men chuckled while the nurses looked on in confusion.
"Bee, where the hell have you been?!" Nicole questioned smartly slapping her sister on her shoulder.
"That is actually why we're here." The Colonel spoke up with a self-deprecating smirk.
Nicole scowled disdainfully at the Colonel. "Oh don't tell me you married HIM?" Before her sister could answer Nicole continued on her diatribe. "Yes, he's hot I'll give you that, but come on! Haven't you learned your lesson about rushing into marriage? Dad nearly killed Kyle Dillon, not that I'm complaining, but come on!"
"Nikki, wait when did you meet Kyle, you know what I don't want to know." Brenda interrupted with a shake of her head. "This is my commanding officer Colonel John Sheppard, and hot seriously?" she asked her sister before gazing at Sheppard and shrugged. "Well he's okay, so not my type." She ignored the slightly insulted look.
"Hey!" Sheppard cried indignantly but he was ignored by both women as O'Neil had a good chuckle at his expense.
"Well Colonel Sheppard, seems you're not bringing "Sexy back'." O'Neil quipped with a toothy grin. Sheppard scowled and pouted slightly.
Green eyes still narrowed Nicole spun around to face the doctor. Who held his hands up and shook his head franticly. "No, lass not me either, in fact none of us."
Shoulders relaxing she cringed and rubbed at her left shoulder. "Well, okay then." She smiled cordially and blushed slightly. "Oh right my manners, my sister Brenda; I think this one id Colonel Sheppard, that's Head Nurse Marcus Tanner, and RN Rhonda Carmichael. As for the other two of them I have no clue."
"General Jack O'Neil," the gray haired man pointed to himself and then toward the dark haired man she had just accused of being her new brother-in-law. "Lt. Colonel John Sheppard, and Dr. Carson Beckett."
Beckett smiled kindly. "Pleasure lass."
"I hate to be rude, but is there somewhere private we could talk?" Jack spoke up eyeing the nurses behind the desk.
"Oh" Nicole jolted in surprise. "Ohm, sure board rooms are empty this time of night. Marcus could you page Dr. Sever to cover for me." At the head nurses' nod Nicole motioned for the group to follow her. "Come with me."
The group navigated the empty corridors of the hospital and the eerily silent stairwells as she led them to the board rooms on the fifth floor. As they passed by the various finger paintings from some of the long term residents of the hospital, and the small leaves, they had cut out from construction paper on art day, where dangling from the ceilings. Passing through the door at the top of the staircase Nicole greeted the nightshift secretary manning the reception desk.
"Hey Magda, I'm going to be using board room two for a bit."
Magda marked the page of her book with her finger and smiled maternally at her. "No, problem sweetie, so far no emergency meetings, so take your time."
"Thanks Magda." Nicole grinned and ushered the motley crew into the warm dark room. Flicking the lights on she closed the door behind her as Magda rejoined the world of Twilight.
"Is this room secure?" Sheppard questioned tossing himself into the closest leather chair and groaning in pleasure.
Nicole scoffed settling down into her own chair and eyed the group warily. "It's a hospital, not the CIA."
....................
Present Time:
"Brenda, just what the hell did you get me into?" Nicole demanded looking at her blushing sister.
"This was never her intention, Lass." Beckett defended the Lieutenant who shot him a weak smile in thanks. "She only meant to give me something to maybe spark an idea. But your ideas of synthetic DNA might just be the answer to our problems with the Wraith."
Nicole crinkled her brow and looked searchingly at Brenda. "What I don't understand is how you got a copy of my research."
Brenda flushed guiltily. "I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get back, and I wanted to take something or a copy of something that had meaning for you. If I had known this would be the result I never would have taken a copy of it."
Nicole pinched the bridge of her nose and leaned heavily on the table. "So these Wraiths, I take it there not something you could call the exterminator for."
John snorted a harsh almost cold laugh. "I wish,"
Beckett shook his head. "No Lass, we believe them to evolve from something called the Iratus bug."
Sheppard shivered violently and muttered. "I really hate those bugs."
Beckett sighed. "Yes, lad we're aware of that."
"So you have bug people, sucking the lives out of humans. I feel like I'm in a bad science fiction movie."
"In a manner of speaking." Beckett agreed.
Nicole sighed flopping back in her chair. "So you want to you me methods, to basically eliminate them as a threat not only to us but all those in the Pegasus Galaxy?" she sighed. "Why do I always get sucked into these weird freaking things?"
Brenda shrugged. "Why fight it?"
Nodding with grim agreement. "Fine, sign me up Doc."