Character(s)/Pairing(s): Nicholas Rush, Vanessa James.
Spoiler(s): the Pilot episode.
Word Count: an even 1,017
Written for atatteredrose.
3. What if Rush has more interest in the Kinos than we see. Who does he look at and why?
5. It's Christmas on Destiny. What does Rush do? (Or another character.)
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters!
ps: thank you, Ladypredator!!
“Why are you here?”
Destiny was still in FTL, so there was no need to go tromping around on new-to-them planets, no matter how helpful Destiny was on the matter. So he was here, and, as it happened, so was she – or vice versa, which was essentially the same, considering that everyone else were clustered in a single room.
“I could ask you the same,” Rush said without looking up. “Everyone is elsewhere celebrating together.”
“’Everyone’ means exactly that – which would make us nobody,” Vanessa James said from where she stood by the doorway, firmly in the room.
“Or it means my statement was false. Congratulations on the logic, Second Lieutenant.”
Meh, that’s nothing on the puzzles we’d do back home. “You don’t like Christmas?”
No I don’t care for the anniversary of my wife’s death. “One could ask you the same.”
She smiled, knowing he wouldn’t turn around and see it, and nobody else would be coming by to catch her at it. “It’s not Christmas yet, in my book.” It isn’t the 6th.
Ah. “You’re one of those who celebrate it on Boxing Day, are you?” I used to know people like you.
Nope. “If it helps, the Christmas bits’ incidental – they’re all just celebrating to keep up morale,” and knows that that’s how Rush thinks.
“Colonel Young should be careful then – should this work, he may find a feedback loop in play.”
Theodokos, did you just make a joke, Rush? I’m gonna need my smelling salts.
“That was a laugh.”
“And? So? Therefore?” James asked, downplaying it.
“Very well. Then why are you here?” Rush asked. If you’d rather not answer one question, then answer the other.
“The alternative was being crushed under a mountain.” Or being taken as a host. Or being burned alive by engines or weapons.
“Not ‘why are you with us?’ Lieutanant,” Rush said, turning around and taking a seat at the base of the console block. “I’m asking you ‘why are you in this room with me?’”
“Your virtue’s safe, doc,” she quipped.
“I know it is.”
“It isn’t in your character to manhandle me.”
Only the way he said it, kept her from rolling her eyes. “Thanks for the praise.”
“You’re welcome. Now, why are you here?”
Again? We need to find you better small talk. “I want to know what you’re doing with the kinos.”
“Yes, I can understand that – Eli’s certainly proven dangerous with them.”
Closing her eyes for a few moments, Vanessa said, “I did not need that mental image.”
Aside from a tiny smile, Rush gave no indication he even heard her statement. “What I’m doing with the kinos is what I’ve been doing with them since I discovered this program.”
“Program?” laying the full weight of a long sentence behind that lone word; she’d had her whole childhood to pick up on how to do that.
“Yes. It seems the Ancients left a code chain in the computers that instruct all kinos which are both online and not in use…” There was no delicate way to put the next part. “Follow and record anyone with the ATA gene sequence.”
“Well none of us are Ancients,” she said. And just watch, you’ll prove me wrong.
“The Ancients inserted the sequence into humans thousands of years ago. On board Destiny, only three have it naturally: Park, Wray, and Greer.”
“Lucky me.” I’d hate to have the kinos following me with and without Eli at the wheel.
Rush wisely said nothing to that.
“And I bet that, when you’re checking to see if your alterations worked, you force yourself to see if anything was taped of them.”
“Really, Lt. James, you’re in danger of succumbing to the same paranoia as your fellow military officers.”
“It’s not paranoia if this ship was built by a bunch of peeping toms.”
“It was a security feature, actually,” Dr. Rush said.
Ex-cuse me? “What?”
“Through the kinos, the ship made sure nothing happened to the Ancients on board.”
“Thought you said there never were any Ancients in here.” Or was that another half-truth and wiggle-room?
“While it was voyaging, there weren’t,” he agreed. “But while it was being built, and for what Destiny was designed for, there were and would have been.”
“And we’re stuck on their ship.”
“Your parents must be so proud.”
“They would, now that you mention it.”
Rush’s eyebrow went up.
“I’m spending the Christmas holiday with an Irishman.”
“I infer from that that it wouldn’t matter which Ireland I hail from?”
Vanessa snorted. “I grew up surrounded by plastic paddies – you’re more authentic by default.”
Nicholas was reasonably sure he’d just been paid a compliment, but the question was whether or not it was a backhanded one - that he, a Scot, was a more authentic Irishman than the descendants of Irishmen and wanna-be-descendants... While he figured that out, he stood up and took a step towards her.
Her eyes reacted, but the remainder of her didn’t let anything show.
“I suspect we would do well to attend the party before Colonel Young sends anyone to find us.”
Or worse, the rumor mill thinks we’re up to something – illegal or illicit. “And you care?”
“I’m hassled and harried quite enough as things stand. Neither of us would enjoy an increase from that amount.”
“Good point,” Lt James said. God that’d be bad beyond words.
When Rush offered her his arm, she shook her head and accepted it, the inside of her elbow against the inside of his elbow. Mom would love you. “So, Dr. Rush,” Vanessa asked. “If you were to one day grow bored enough to use the kinos to spy on someone, who would it be? Purely in a scientific vein and all done very clinically, of course.”
“Not all science is clinical, 2nd Lieutenant,” Rush said, and – was that a Look he gave her? “Besides, I’m of the view that using the kinos is an admission of one’s failures in talking to the woman one is interested in.”