A Real Emergency
By Eilidh


 “Gate power readings are steady but the left super conductor is registering transistor fluctuations that are affecting the reconstitution program.  Compensating now.”  Siler’s steady voice reverberated through the control room speaker.  Perched on a mechanical gantry over the left super conductor on the gate, the wily Master Sergeant was head down, butt up in the inner workings of the device. “This would be easier if we had Major Carter’s help.”

Alone with his bagel and hot coffee, Walter looked up and winced.  “Ah, maybe… not.”  SG-1 returned a few hours earlier, bruised and battered, definitely worse for wear, and were currently residing in the infirmary.  “Not gonna happen, Siler.”  Walter licked his fingers, and rising slowly, glanced at the active gate.  “I could shut er’ down.”

With a manful sigh, Siler breathed, “No.” Trusty wrench gleaming in the bluish glow from the event horizon, he muttered. “I can fix this.”  Hand on hips and head tilted he added, “Hell will be a vacation spot if these supplies don’t get to Atlantis this millennium.”

“I don’t think they’ve quite reached crisis stage yet.”

“Yes we have.”  Atlantis Technician Chuck Campbell’s worried voice drifted into Walter’s earpiece.  “Another 12 hours and we’ll have some mighty sick people here.  We need those supplies right away.”

“Siler is working on the problem, Chuck.  There’s a F.R.E.D loaded and ready to go.”

“Zelenka is on his way now, he might be able to help.”

“No Doctor McKay?” 

“He’s off world but aware of the situation.  There’s a jumper outbound to bring them back now, and the infirmary is on standby for emergency cases.  Best we can do until the supplies arrive.”

The emergency on Atlantis was escalating quickly and Walter was seconds away from paging General O’Neill to the SGC to deal with it.

Wrench waving in the air, Siler called out from the gate room, “I’ve compensated for the fluctuations but it creates a feedback loop in the conductor’s power regulators.  We could blow power to the mountain completely.” Grease smeared across his face and shirt, Siler tossed the wrench onto the gantry floor and stood up, “We send anything through the gate now and there’s no telling what will happen.  It’s a wonder SG-1 didn’t arrive back as soup.”

“People are going to suffer horribly if we don’t-,” Walter was interrupted when his headpiece crackled and the tinny voice of Radek Zelka filled his ears.

“SGC this is Zelenka. I am told you are having problems with your Super Conductor?”

“Patching you through to Sergeant Siler now, sir.” 

Sipping his cooling coffee and taking a bit of the bagel, Walter wondered about the chatter of the two techs separated by a galaxy.  “Cool.”  Stretching, and figuring all was under control, he leant back in his chair and plopped his feet on the consol. 0300hrs and while all was not actually well, it wasn’t getting any worse.


“Crap,” Feet down, coffee spat across the monitor and bagel now pasted to the control room window, Walter leapt to his feet. “General O’Neill, I was going to page you but Siler and Zelenka seem to be getting on top of the problem, and SG-1 are recovering in the infirmary so I figure I’d-,”

“Ahht!”  Jack held a hand up putting paid to Walters excuses. “Back it up, and slow it down, Walter.  Its 0300hrs and my degree in Master Sergeant speak is holidaying with my degree in Daniel speak.”

“Sorry, sir.  We have a problem with the reconstitution program within the gate and Sergeant Siler is attempting to fix it.  We dialled Atlantis to send through emergency supplies but-,”

“Emergency? I don’t recall a memo about any emergency, Walter?”  Jack looked perplexed as he gazed out into the control room, a frown creasing his face.

“We don’t send out memos for emergencies, sir.”

“We don’t?  I could have sworn I signed off earlier on a batch of memo’s marked ‘emergency’.  They weren’t this emergency?”

“No sir, they were Emergency Action memos.”

“And this is?”

Walter looked across to the open gate and down at the waiting F.R.E.D. “A crisis, sir.”

“So, what?  You’re downgrading it from an emergency to a crisis now?  And the difference is?”

“There isn’t one, sir.”

“Dumb it down, Sergeant.”

“Atlantis declared an emergency, but we detected a transistor fluctuation problem in one of the super conductors that was affecting the reconstitution program with the gate.”

Jack huffed at Walter. “Could you go any dumber than that?”  he asked, eyes narrowing.

Fighting the desire to roll his eyes, and plastering on his best poker face, Walter pursed his lips, “What ever we send through the gate will end up looking like gloop.”

“See,” Jack shook a finger at him, “that wasn’t hard, was it?”

You have no idea. “No, sir.”

“So, what’s this emergency the pentagon has dragged me in for because the local power supply has exceeded the national average for an entire year in just half an hour?”

Crap, how much is that?

“Coffee.”  Walter almost choked on the word.

“No thanks, I’m good.” 

“No, sir, Coffee was the problem.”

“Coffee?  The emergency was coffee?” 

“Walter, the ‘gates all fixed and good to go!”  Siler’s voiced boomed through the control room one again.

Walter side-stepped the general and opened the radio signal to Atlantis.  “Chuck, supplies are on their way.  Thank Doctor Zelenka for his help.”

“No worries, Walter.  Zelenka said no thanks necessary.  A loose bolt in the transistor casing.  Could have been fixed in seconds had we known what to look for.”

The F.R.E.D rumbled its way up the ramp and with a watery plop was on its way to Atlantis carrying its precious cargo.

“Life and death, eh, Walter?”

Walter smiled. “Infirmary on standby, Colonel Sheppard’s team heading back, and they gave it 12 hours before caffeine withdrawal turned ugly.”

Jack clucked his tongue, “Been there, done that.”

Walter looked across at the general, and taking a sip from his cup, sighed, “A real emergency, sir!”


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