Book One starts here
Book Two - part one is here
From a very early age, Rodney McKay had known that he was destined for greatness. He had always known that he would be a hero and that he would be able to save everyone. He had always assumed that it would be done through the power of his brain – that he would be able to out-think the villains, find the answer through Physics or invert the polarity of the neutron flow… or whatever its real-life equivalent was. He had never, ever, expected to be a hero through being brave.
Suddenly he was viewed in a totally new way and it was very disconcerting. Until a few weeks ago, he had been a despised, hated and abused slave, beaten for amusement and humiliated at every turn. Then he had been given as a bribe to his Master and, suddenly, he had become a real person again. He had a champion, a Master who refused to allow the abuse to continue and who had even stood up to one of his tormentors.
And then he had acquired the ATA gene and picked up a slightly faulty personal shield. There had been some great stuff when his Master had shot him and then thrown him off a balcony in front of Dr Weir, but then it had become obvious that the thing was stuck and he had seen his own end far too clearly. In the end he had had to trust that the shield’s power would last long enough for him to be able to throw the generator through the ‘gate, tempting the black smoke energy monster through the circle into space.
If Rodney was honest, it really had not occurred to him that there was any other way. He had not thought that he could easily lay down his life because he was only a slave. He had not thought that someone else could save all the people who had abused him for so long. He had not even thought that he should save his brain for a time when it would be needed – all he had thought was that there was a shield that only he could use and that he was the only person who could save his Master.
So, suddenly he was a hero. He didn’t feel that he had been brave – after all he had had a shield to protect himself, but people kept smiling at him. His Master had been there when he woke up and had grinned widely at him and Carson had tutted, but smiled broadly. Dr Weir had commended him and even Dr Zelenka had said ‘Well done’ and something else in Czech.
The strangest thing of all was that half of the Marines smiled at him and the other half just ignored his existence. Even Bates appeared to have decided to leave him alone and that, above all else, was the best consequence of all. If he could just get on with his life and devote himself to his Master and Physics (in that order), then his life would be perfect… and it seemed as though he was actually getting his wish.
Something was obviously about to go very, very wrong.
Part 2 is here