04 May 2005 @ 07:52 pm
Slashy Nominations 116: Speaking in Tongues  
You know you love somebody, be it in a friendly or romantic or familial way, when you can turn to that person and make a comment that appears to all others to be a random assemblage of words, and that person laughs or pats you sympathetically or nods sincerely and offers another random word array that makes total sense to you. At least, that's how I know; private language is perhaps the ultimate symbol of closeness in my world. (This may just be because I don't make much sense most of the time, so I'm really touched when someone actually gets me at all. I still maintain that it works on a more general level, though.)

These stories are all about private language, be it the language of two or the language of one or the language of people stuck in a pocket universe with only their own brilliance and absurdity for company. (And, you know, someday I want to see a story like that for every fandom. Except Sports Night, where I think that's pretty much already true in the canon.)

Words. They're all we have to go on. Given certain fairly inclusive definitions of 'words.'

Best FF That Contains a Reference to The Night of the Hunter. Which Makes Me Wonder if Ray Has Seen the Movie. Or Fraser Has. D R A W N, by serialkarma and lalejandra. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. Isn't it lovely to see two people really communicating? Well, no, not when they're, say, the people behind you in a movie (the woman who repeated words at random from the dialog of Mission: Impossible to her husband with sinus problems, for example) or in line at the supermarket. ("I see where that boy is still on trial." "Isn't it Michael Jackson on trial?" "He's just after the money, you know." "Who?" "The boy. Michael Jackson wouldn't do that. He could do better." "Oh, I don't know. Maybe he did. What I say is, does it matter? They're all like that anyway." And meanwhile you're wondering a) is it contagious, b) will the checker understand if you abandon your half-unloaded groceries and flee the store, and c) why you don't carry a gun. Or at least, that's what you're wondering if you're me.) But it's pretty damn nice when it's Fraser and Kowalski, especially when they're communicating by means of drawing. On each other's skin. With ink. And how they do it is nice, too; Fraser telling a story using his own private, unspoken, unexplained language - because for a man who talks a lot he's not much with the communicating - and Ray keying into it intuitively - because for a detective he's not much with the logic. That's so them. A big part of the appeal of this pairing for me is that it involves two people no one has really listened to. And then they start listening to each other. And if that doesn't just make the tears of joy well up inside...well, you're probably not pre-menstrual, at any rate.

Best FF That Left Me Reaching for the Book on Animal Sounds in Other Languages That I Do in Fact Own. It's Like I Spent Years Preparing to Read This Story! Absurdity Theory, by julad. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/Radek Zalenka. So. If it quacks like a duck, but does not in fact look like a duck, what is it? In this case, two people paying a slightly higher-than-usual price for certain unkind comments. But, hey, if you know stuff, it doesn't matter that you can't talk to others; you can still entertain yourself with a Turing machine or the Theory of Universal Absurdity or lots of sex. This is why everyone needs science. (The sex. Though the entertainment is nice, too.) And everyone also needs this story, although you probably don't need it as much as I did when I first read it, because it was the perfect antidote to an unfortunate vid experience I had last week. Vidders, please: avoid the all talking heads, no action, no meaning blue-light-special vids. But if you're going to make one, for Christ's sake don't center and zoom in on those faces too far. Because you may find that dramatic, but all I see is nostrils. Gigantic, flagrant, unignorable nostrils. ("Nostrilriffic" is not a word I had previously been tempted to coin, but this vid - it needed adjectives as yet undiscovered in the English language.) And when a love song is wailing in the background but huge nostrils are flaring in the foreground, I am in an unhappy place. Or, actually, a seriously happy place and laughing myself sick, but that's probably not where the vid was supposed to take me. Worse, after I watched said vid, I couldn't read SGA without thinking mostly of nostrils, and it was inhibiting my new-fandom love. But then, fortunately, I found this story, which completely derailed the memory of hysterical nostrils via hysterical quacking, and also the honking, and also the Czech. So my love has returned. Healed by the magic of fan fiction!

Best FF That Reminds Us That No Matter How Strange and Illogical Our Own Culture's Marital Customs Are, It Could Always Be Worse. For Example, It Could Involve Parakeets. A Bird in the Hand Gets Tangled in the Sheets, by The Grrrl, aka thegrrrl2002. Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson. You know, for someone whose whole life has been about communication, Daniel's private language is remarkably singular; no one speaks fluent Daniel Jackson. I love this story in part because it proves that that doesn't matter. Jack speaks enough and is patient enough, and the rest of it...works out. (For Daniel and Jack. Probably not so much for the men who had to do whatever-it-was involving birds after they married, which in my opinion goes a long way toward explaining why that particular culture died out. Marriage and birds are not an OTP.) The other reason I love this FF may say more about me than it does about the story, but who am I to shy away from writing down potentially revealing personal information and posting it in a searchable, public medium? I mean, I'm on Livejournal, here; oversharing is the name of the game. So I will not hesitate (except, you know, for all the preliminary verbiage, which is more of an art than an avoidance thing, really) to tell you that this story contains the sweetest and best declaration of love of all time. Really. Actually, it contains two of them, because the response is just as good and sweet and true. This is one of those short pieces I read whenever I'm feeling especially out of touch with the world; it reminds me that it doesn't matter if the world gets me. It only matters if one person cares enough to try. And, lord, the treacle is practically coming out of my ears, now, so we'd best move on to the Batworld, where things just don't get that sweet.

Best FF That Proves That There Are Modes of Attack Even Tim Drake Hasn't Anticipated. I Know, I Know - It's Crazy. But True! Obsessive, by Derry, aka derryderrydown. D.C Universe, Batclan, Batgirl/Robin III. Yet another story I love intensely, and not just because it incorporates both of my favorite Batclan characters. (Nightwing is a close third, though.) What I love is this look at Cass, who I suspect was introduced to the DCU solely so that there'd be one inhabitant harder to understand and write than Batman. (Because, look. I love him as much as the next girl, provided I get to pick who the next girl is, but the man is about one cerebral misfire away from Arkham Asylum. If that.) Cass spent much of her life mute, and she still prefers not to speak. Also, she fights crime. So I don't have much in common with her (I never shut up, and the closest I come to fighting crime is giving dirty looks to vocal movie attendees), but I still relate to the language Cass is speaking in this story. Body language shouldn't be a private language - we all speak it, we all read it - but a lot of the time it seems like it is, because so many people do all their body communication unconsciously. Sadly, I'm not as fluent in it as Cass is (I mean, I can't manipulate anyone with it. Tragically. Because if I could, you can bet world leaders would make a lot more sense.), but I'm more comfortable with that language than any of the other non-verbal ones. And the thing is? Once you start watching it, it really is this easy to read. I love that Derry gets that, and even if her Cass doesn't read bodies the same way I do, I read this again and again because it makes so much sense. I don't know if it will to you, but I don't think it matters. Even if you can't picture the conversations described in here, you should still read it for a look at the world through Batgirl's eyes.
 
 
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Iphiginia Saberhagen: Procurator Generalfanofall on May 4th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
So.

SGA.

What's up with that? I have no idea what the storyline is, who the people are (although I will admit that I at least looked the show up on scifi.com so I could picture these people in my head when they're talking), or what new and horrifying dangers they will experience this week!, but the fic (so far, thanks to you and norah has been pretty good.

I can't have another fandom. Seriously. No.
tried to eat the safe banana: Wombatsthefourthvine on May 4th, 2005 10:53 pm (UTC)
You can, my sweet, and you will. And let's not have any of this "But - I can't! No!" I seem to remember saying that about SN, once upon a time, and you ruthlessly and mercilessly ran me down, captured me, and dragged me, kicking and screaming, into that fandom.

There will be no mercy on you now, for you have shown none to me; I will be recommending SGA until you give it a fair shot. (And let me tell you, 80% of the best FF writers out there are in this fandom right now. You might just as well surrender, girlie.)

Of course, I can't pimp the way you pimp; that would require me to have actually, you know, seen the canon, and it would also require your phenomenal pimpmaster skills. I can offer you vids, if you like - there are a bunch in this fandom, and although many of them are repetitive some are very good (let me know if you want recs) - and a general summary of dubious value, because I haven't got a good handle on the canon details yet.

(Summary will follow in the next comment; it got too big. My hope is that if I post it publicly, people who know the fandom better will correct it, educating us both at the same time.)
tried to eat the safe banana: Wombatsthefourthvine on May 4th, 2005 11:00 pm (UTC)
Summary, Part One (Well, I told you it got big.)

THE PLOT
Once upon a time, there was a thing called a stargate. It took people to other planets with a whooshing noise; in particular, it took people named Jack, Daniel, Sam, and, after some initial exchange of gunfire, Teal'c. These people worked for the SGC, a branch of the American Air Force. They had encounters with the Ancients and their technology, most of which did not go too well for the SGC, although not because of any meanness on the part of the Ancients. They also had encounters with snake parasites called the Goa'uld; those encounters generally didn't go too well for the snakes, despite considerable meanness on their part.

After many adventures, they discovered a big underwater city that had originally (I think) been on Earth, but had been moved to the Pegasus galaxy in a last-ditch effort (by the original inhabitants) to avoid an enemy as bad as the Goa'uld. (In the the Stargate universe, the general rule is that everything, including rocks, trees, and sticks, will eventually try to kill you. The smarter they are, the more it will sting.) This was the lost city of Atlantis, the home of the Ancients.

Jack, who by that time was commanding the SGC (I think - I'm still back-engineering this fandom, so this is all third-hand knowledge), agreed to let a multi-national, mostly civilian group go through to investigate Atlantis. When they got there, they (meaning Rodney McKay) realized they didn't have enough power to go home, and they (meaning John Sheppard) accidentally sent a homing signal to the Wraith. Which were, as it turned out, the enemy that the Ancients were fighting and that they eventually lost to. The Wraith look like goths who've been a very strict diet, and they act like vampires; they "cull" most of the nearby planets on a regular basis.

Exploration teams were formed (the main one in the show is Sheppard, McKay, Ford, and Teyla), integrating science, military, and the local friendlies, who aren't exactly local but are definitely friendly (the Athosians). They face many dangers, including Wraith, Genii (hostiles allied with the Wraith), and Atlantis itself.
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on May 5th, 2005 06:08 am (UTC)
Your summary is sheer brilliance, and quite helpful, too!

I will read. Some. Possibly. Because I think if I spend too much time around Rodney McKay, even the written version, I will strangle someone. My, but he's an arrogant bastard.
tried to eat the safe banana: Freaksthefourthvine on May 5th, 2005 06:48 pm (UTC)
Well, see, I like Rodney. He reminds me of the physicists I grew up around - my father was a Zelenka (although, you know, he's a real physicist, so he could not even repair a toaster without increasing local entropy beyond even theoretical bounds), not a McKay, but we knew a lot of McKays. They're fun.

Because, yes, arrogant, but that's one of the four recognized methods for dealing with being a lot smarter and a lot weirder than everyone else, and being hated for it. You can believe everyone else and hate yourself, too, or you can lie to everyone (including, eventually, yourself) and pretend that you're neither smart nor weird, or you can withdraw from the field of battle and retreat to your private universe, shutting out everyone, or you can decide that the rest of the world is wrong and you're right and never stop fighting about it.

I respect the strength it takes to fight it.

When a person picks the fighting strategy, he ends up a dickhead, at least on the surface - abrasive, tactless, rude, and hard (or impossible) for 99% of the population to be around. But for that other 1% - well, when you get past the massive, towering, crushing bluffs of attitude, you'll find either a McKay (decent, caring human being, no matter what he seems like) or a Kavanagh (total asshole, to the point that even his gluons are total dickwads and none of the quarks want to get near them). And the McKays - well, okay. Maybe my fondness for prickly scientists can't be forced onto other people.

But maybe, just maybe my fondness for this pairing can be. So go to this site and download "SGA - Dumb Things" - the big version, of course. (I also like "One Night in Bangkok," just because there could not be a better song for SGA right now.) It's a vid about McKay and Sheppard, and the thing is - for all that they're so smart, they do seem to spend a fair amount of time doing dumb things. But for good reasons.

Or, you know, really bad ones. Whichever.

Also, if you haven't already, read A Beautiful Lifetime Event, by Shalott, and reflect on the reality that you'll miss these kinds of stories if you stay away from this fandom (or pairing). Because that story? Is just incredible, one of the best I've read in any fandom; it made me inexplicably, insanely joyful for the rest of the day after I finished it.

So, girl, how do you like them now?
Very inconvenient, as now I have no shaving-glass: Ferris Wheels by Dzurladydzurlady on May 5th, 2005 08:48 am (UTC)
Actually, they knew about the power before they left, but they took the gamble that they'd find a ZPM when they got there.
The wraith were awakened when Teyla and several other Athosians and Marines were captured by the Wraith in 'Rising' and Sheppard, Colonel Sumner and some others went to get them back; then they accidentally awakened the Wraith while doing so, and Sumner was killed, leaving John the ranking military officer.

Also, if you have vid recs, I'd love to have them!
tried to eat the safe banana: The world is my fandomthefourthvine on May 5th, 2005 07:03 pm (UTC)
Ah-ha! A person with real canon knowledge! You have revealed yourself, and now you are mine. Or at least, I'm hoping you'll be my answerer-of-questions.

The advance knowledge of the power problem explains much, so that's good to hear. But what was the deal? Why was power such a problem? It's just a wormhole, right? So why couldn't the SGC dial up Atlantis from the other end to bring them home? And why do they have enough power to visit all those other planets the team goes to but not enough to get home?

Vid recs - well, OK, I'll try. I don't have bunches, yet, but I like:
Derry's vids (especially "Dumb Things" and "Hey Boys," and "One Night in Bangkok" is the best SGA song ever), and Mamoru's (especially "You Can't Take That Away From Me," though the effect can get a little nauseating for those prone to motion sickness, and "Falling for the First Time"), and Purpleyin's (I like that she vids under-vidded characters, like Ford and Beckett and Bates). I also have a couple of individual vid recs, if you want them. But keep in mind that I don't know the canon, so these are the vids that are most transparent or useful to a newcomer, not the ones that are most meaningful to a canon fan.
Very inconvenient, as now I have no shaving-glassdzurlady on May 5th, 2005 08:18 pm (UTC)
The reason the trip to Atlantis takes so much more power is that it's an 8 chevron address; it's a bit like the difference between a local call and an overseas call - the overseas call costs more to make. Once in Atlantis, the gate addresses they dial are all local and therefore take less power.

Relevant quotes from 'Rising pt 1':
JACKSON: I've figured the ancients packed up their entire city somewhere between five and ten million years ago.
O'NEILL: In their flying city.
JACKSON: yes.*Jack smirks*.What?
O'NEILL: *Stressing flying* Flying. City.
JACKSON: Well keeping in mind this is the race who built the Stargates. They did everything big.
O'NEILL: So why'd they leave?
JACKSON: Why'd they leave? er...Who knows? We know the Ancients who stayed on Earth were suffering from a plague, er... maybe some of them wanted to start over, seek out new life in a new galaxy. Maybe that's what Ancients do, the point is we know where they went.
O'NEILL: Pegasus
JACKSON: Yes, it’s... it's the name of a dwarf galaxy in the local group.
MCKAY: After all that time is the any hope of actually meeting them?
JACKSON: Who knows, but isn't that reason enough to go?
WEIR: I've been choosing members for this exhibition for months Doctor. I'm not the one who needs convincing *looks at Jack*
O'NEILL: Oh, I'm convinced, have fun.
JACKSON: It's a little more complicated than that...
MCKAY: we need the zed PM to power the Gate
O'NEILL: What?
JACKSON: ZPM. He's Canadian.
O'NEILL: I'm sorry.
MCKAY: The 0 point module General. The ancient power source you recovered from quator kanas and is now powering the outpost's defenses. I've since determined that it generates it's power from vacuum energy derived from a self contained region of subspace time.
O'NEILL: That was a waste of a perfectly good explanation. The answer's no.
[cut for intermediate scenes]
JACKSON: Jack, you know to gate to another Galaxy requires an enormous amount of power.
O'NEILL: Yes I do. Find another way.
JACKSON: There's no other way.
O'NEILL: You think there are more of these Zed things in Atlantis?
JACKSON: Yes and who knows what else we could find. This isn't just some other civilization we're talking about. These are the gate builders.
WEIR: The potential wealth of knowledge and technology. It outweighs anything we've come across since we stepped through the Stargate.
O'NEILL: Well with the amount of power you'll need to make this trek. Odds are it will be one way.
WEIR: Yes we know but the benefit to humanity is far greater than the risk General and it is a risk that every one of my exhibition members are willing to take.

Thanks for the vid recs - I'm not fussed about them being newbie oriented, I like newbie vids too!
Very inconvenient, as now I have no shaving-glass: I used to be sane by Dzurladydzurlady on May 5th, 2005 08:20 pm (UTC)
And then I forgot to credit: quotes taken from this episode transcript.
Very inconvenient, as now I have no shaving-glass: Serious science by queennelldzurlady on May 5th, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC)
And I should specify:
To dial Earth, since it's in another galaxy, would take a ZPM, which is one of the reasons they spend so much time looking for one. (The other is that they don't have enough power to fully operate Atlantis, and they currently have no shield and are vulnerable to Wraith attack). Dialing addresses in the Pegusus galaxy doesn't require a ZPM, though, which is why they do it so often.
Wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey...stuff: perfect day (by lowdownbeat)casapazzo on August 22nd, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
So why couldn't the SGC dial up Atlantis from the other end to bring them home?

Also, in addition to everything else dzurlady said so thoroughly, wormholes are only one-way (for matter, anyway - radio waves can go both ways). You can't travel out through an incoming wormhole.
tried to eat the safe banana: Wombatsthefourthvine on May 4th, 2005 11:16 pm (UTC)
THE CHARACTERS
JOHN SHEPPARD: Major in a disputed branch of the U.S. military. Even less like a real military officer than Jack O'Neill, which must've taken some doing, and which may explain why O'Neill likes him. He never talks about his past, he's charming (if vaguely and sometimes strategically obnoxious) without letting people get close, and he's smart (without a lick of common sense) but underplays it. He's also sarcastic and not at all diplomatic. One of the few who can stand McKay. He likes flying, math, and risk-taking. He is the sole possessor (in the Atlantis crew) of the ATA gene - aka the Ancient gene, a sort of marker used by Atlantis to identify the people who belong there. (The Ancients are actually the progenitors of humans.) This means he can operate city tech. (Other people now have the gene from "gene therapy," which sounds like a dubious scientific proposition to me. But Atlantis still prefers John.) Slashed mostly with McKay, but has a FF reputation as a total slut.

It may help to think of him as Jack with a little Daniel and a lot of sarcasm added.

RODNEY MCKAY: Canadian physicist (sometimes listed as an astrophysicist, but then what is he doing in Atlantis?) who heads the science division. Brilliant, knows it, lives it, loves it. Sarcastic, chock full o' attitude, no hint of tact or people skills. Many people hate him. He's prone to panic attacks, allergic reactions, fainting, and pessimism, which makes his regular bouts of heroism all the more impressive. He likes food, coffee, math, physics, gizmos and gadgetry (he's like an engineer-physicist hybrid, really), Samantha Carter (he worked at the SGC before Atlantis), and problem-solving. He still misses his cat. Slashed mostly with Sheppard, but also Beckett and Zelenka (among others).

Think of him as half Daniel, half Sam, plus a 4XL serving of attitude.

AIDAN(EN) FORD: An American Marine Lieutenant. He seems to be cheerful, helpful, just generally nice. In FF his personality does not come through particularly well; the best analogy I can draw is to Barry (Hyman) as described in the book Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson. This will not help you unless you've read it. (And you should; it's an excellent book, but read Life Among the Savages first.) Not regularly slashed; sometimes paired (mostly as a sub-pairing in a McKay/Sheppard story) with Teyla.

Think of him as a placeholder. I do, and will until I find a story that gives him some personality.

TEYLA EMMAGEN: An Athosian (friendly native(ish)) who specializes in fighting with big sticks; mildly alien in background and behavior. She's the diplomat, linguistic, peace-maker, and pretty girl on the team. She knows all the locals (for many planets around) and has been fighting the Wraith et al for a while, but she still remains true to her roots (as evidenced by her fondness for hand-tooled-looking leather vests). I've read a few good pieces about her, but have not yet obtained a coherent view of her personality. She seems likable, though.

Think of her as three-quarters Teal'c, one-quarter Daniel.

CARSON BECKETT: Scottish physician. Sometimes slashed with McKay (or, more rarely, Sheppard.) He came to Atlantis to do research, but he spends most of his time patching up McKay and Sheppard. He also came up with the (dubious) gene therapy, and he has the ATA patch, as I like to think of it.

RADEK ZELENKA: Rodney's Czech (?) second-in-command. Very intelligent. He's got a sense of humor, a good personality, and a sharp tongue. He's one of the select few who likes Rodney and gets along with him. For some obscure reason, he reminds me of a hobbit. Slashed most often with McKay; it's one of my favorite pairings in this fandom.

ELIZABETH WEIR: The American diplomatic commander of the mission (civilian). All I know about her is that she's regularly paired with Sheppard and she gives the impression (in vids) of being wound tighter than any galactic nucleus ever found or spring ever made. Her whole body is tense all the time. It drives me crazy. As a result, I don't like her much. Also, she doesn't seem to be all that good at her job, though that could just be my prejudice showing.
plus one skeleton: Marfil delurkerdelurker on May 5th, 2005 01:13 am (UTC)
JOHN SHEPPARD: He likes flying, math, and risk-taking. He is the sole possessor (in the Atlantis crew) of the ATA gene
Not quite the sole possessor, but it's the reason he was asked along on the expedition. He'd been exiled to Antarctica after disobeying direct orders (in order to save his team mates) which, combined with his general attitude towards authority, sent him south. He flew Jack down to the Antarctic stargate base. While there he sat in an Ancient command chair and activated it, revealing himself to have the ATA gene. He was consequently asked to come along on the mission, and agreed after flipping a coin. He was originally under Colonel Sumner's command, but Sumner was killed by the Wraith and Sheppard took over.
Sheppard's also fond of ferris wheels, as he tells the Athosians when he first meets them. This is occasionally mentioned in fic.

CARSON BECKETT: Scottish physician. He came to Atlantis to do research, but he spends most of his time patching up McKay and Sheppard. He also came up with the (dubious) gene therapy, and he has the ATA patch, as I like to think of it.
Actually, Beckett has the gene naturally, but his command of it isn't as good as Sheppard's. This is possibly related to the fact that he accidentally fired a missile off when Rodney asked him to sit in the (above mentioned) command chair in Antarctica - he was dubious about Ancient technology beforehand, and firing a missile at the helicopter Sheppard was flying Jack down in didn't really help.
He has a really nice accent and can be a woobie sometimes.

AIDAN(EN) FORD
Also loves explosives, a fact which is mentioned occasionally in fic.

RADEK ZELENKA: Rodney's Czech (?) second-in-command.
He is indeed Czech, and he has a nice accent too.

ELIZABETH WEIR: She doesn't seem to be all that good at her job, though that could just be my prejudice showing.
I've only seen the first part of season one so far, but thus far she has shown no signs of any actual diplomatic skills - in fact, she has anti-diplomatic skills. From what I've heard things don't improve much over the season. Given that she's supposed to be a top diplomat, one can only wonder what the script writers were doing all season. *Sigh*

Some fic in which the fanficcers show up the script writers, not that that's hard:
The fishbowl, by akire_yta
The team returns to Atlantis and encounter a small hiccough in the gateroom. Elizabeth has to get it sorted out. Annoying abbreviation of her name to Liz, but otherwise good.
They Bite (First Contact), by rosewildeirish
Morale around Atlantis isn't so good. Elizabeth can't solve this one on her own, but she's definitely in charge. Nice Beckett here too.
Cathedral by aithine and ophidiae
Atlantis and Elizabeth. Short but wonderful.

There's another good fic out there somewhere, but it remains elusive, much to my frustration.
I remain hopeful that she'll be better written in season 2.
tried to eat the safe banana: Yaythefourthvine on May 5th, 2005 07:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you thank you thank you! I was hoping someone would go through this bit by bit and explain it all properly. And now, of course, I have many questions and comments.

Sheppard's also fond of ferris wheels, as he tells the Athosians when he first meets them. This is occasionally mentioned in fic.

Yes! How could I have forgotten the Ferris wheels? They're mentioned in, like, every other story I read. (And they also formed part of my basis for concluding that Sheppard doesn't reveal personal information or let people past the massive barriers he's constructed around himself; if that's the best thing he can come up with that he likes? The biggest, most revealing personal fact? Um. Either he spent the last twenty years sitting on a mountaintop in the lotus position, or he isn't big with the sharing. All the other things he likes seem to have been revealed during the canon, not said by him, so, you know - way to be open, Major Sheppard.)

Actually, Beckett has the gene naturally, but his command of it isn't as good as Sheppard's. This is possibly related to the fact that he accidentally fired a missile off when Rodney asked him to sit in the (above mentioned) command chair in Antarctica - he was dubious about Ancient technology beforehand, and firing a missile at the helicopter Sheppard was flying Jack down in didn't really help.
He has a really nice accent and can be a woobie sometimes.


Oh, this explains so much! (I take it he doesn't much care for wormhole travel, either?) So is it a confidence thing? Sheppard expects the best, usually, and is pretty confident, so he can command Ancient technology better? Because Carson seems very competent (if you ignore his hideous lack of sterile technique, at least in vids) but not all that confident, at least in the few stories and vids where I've encountered him.

I've only seen the first part of season one so far, but thus far she has shown no signs of any actual diplomatic skills - in fact, she has anti-diplomatic skills. From what I've heard things don't improve much over the season. Given that she's supposed to be a top diplomat, one can only wonder what the script writers were doing all season.

*joyous wriggle*

So it isn't just me, then! Because she seems so - well, you said it best: she's the anti-diplomat. She also seems to me to be the anti-leader. Everyone else comes across in FF and vids as highly competent, and she comes across as just - really tense and weak. She's the least in-command commander I've ever seen.

And yet another round of thanks to you for the Weir-recs, which I will be reading this weekend. She's a really tough character, I think, probably because of that little lapse on the part of the script writers, so a lot of the FF I've read about her has been - well, anyway. I'm very glad to have recs that expand on her canon character.
Very inconvenient, as now I have no shaving-glass: Ferris Wheels by Dzurladydzurlady on May 5th, 2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
Yes! How could I have forgotten the Ferris wheels? They're mentioned in, like, every other story I read.
When I first started reading this fandom, every second story I read revolved around (or at least featured) Ferris Wheels in some way. Literally. (Thus the icon). One day, I'm going to go through my bookmarks and then post a collection to links to sga_noticeboard and ask for contributions.

Also, Rachael Sabotini (wickedwords) just posted a lovely fic about Beckett and the Ancient gene therapy to sga_flashfic called Preparation; and Kylie Lee (kylielee1000) posted Stranded which features the gene therapy extensively, also to sga_flashfic.
plus one skeleton: Marfil delurkerdelurker on May 6th, 2005 05:57 am (UTC)
Thank you thank you thank you! I was hoping someone would go through this bit by bit and explain it all properly. And now, of course, I have many questions and comments.
No problem. :) And please, ask and comment away! I haven't seen all of season 1 yet (1.8 has just shown over here) but I know bits and pieces.


Yes! How could I have forgotten the Ferris wheels? (And they also formed part of my basis for concluding that Sheppard doesn't reveal personal information or let people past the massive barriers he's constructed around himself; if that's the best thing he can come up with that he likes? The biggest, most revealing personal fact? ... All the other things he likes seem to have been revealed during the canon, not said by him, so, you know - way to be open, Major Sheppard.)
Well, in his defense, they'd only just met:
TEYLA: We do not trade with strangers.
SUMNER: Is that a fact.
SHEPPARD: Well then we'll just... we'll have to get to know each other. Me, I like Ferris wheels, college football, anything that goes more than 200 miles per hour.
FORD: (whisper) Sir, that's not going to mean anything to them.
SHEPPARD: (whisper) Feel free to speak up. I'm just trying to break the ice.
- Rising Part 1

On the other hand, he hasn't been terribly revealing so far - but neither has anyone else. *shrugs* Not so much on the character insight on SGA so far, but it's just starting to find its feet, IMO.


Oh, this explains so much! (I take it he doesn't much care for wormhole travel, either?) So is it a confidence thing? Because Carson seems very competent ... but not all that confident, at least in the few stories and vids where I've encountered him.
No, Beckett is not fond of wormhole travel.
McKAY: Nonononono – he just doesn't like going through the Stargate.
SHEPPARD: He's worse than Doctor McCoy.
TEYLA: Who?
SHEPPARD: The TV character that Doctor Beckett plays in real life.
BECKETT: Converting a human body into energy and sending it millions of light years through a wormhole – bloody insanity.
McKAY: C'mon, how often do you get to travel to an alien planet?
BECKETT: I was already on an alien planet!
-Poisoning the well

Beckett's confident when it comes to medical stuff, but not when it comes to Ancient technology.

WEIR: We've only found a hand full of people who are genetically compatible with the ancient technology ... we need every one of them to sit in this chair, including Dr Beckett.
MCKAY: What am I supposed to do? He's afraid of that thing.
WEIR: This chair controls the most powerful weapons known to Humankind. (Small laugh) I'm afraid of the thing. But every time someone sits in it we learn something new about the ancients who built this outpost. Dr Beckett should be proud he's genetically advanced.

(later)
MCKAY: There is nothing to be afraid of.
BECKETT: You don't understand, I break things like this.
- Rising Part 1



So it isn't just me, then! Because she seems so - well, you said it best: she's the anti-diplomat. She also seems to me to be the anti-leader. Everyone else comes across in FF and vids as highly competent, and she comes across as just - really tense and weak. She's the least in-command commander I've ever seen.
I think part of the problem is that the show's not really about her; it's about Sheppard and McKay and Teyla and Ford. She tends to be peripheral. That said, she could be peripheral in a more forceful way. I blame the scriptwriters. (In Underground, which I just watched, she's a a bit more in charge, but she still doesn't really do much. It's tragic, really.) And there's no excuse on the diplomat front. (See: the ep 38 minutes. Tragic.)


And yet another round of thanks to you for the Weir-recs, which I will be reading this weekend. She's a really tough character, I think, probably because of that little lapse on the part of the script writers, so a lot of the FF I've read about her has been - well, anyway. I'm very glad to have recs that expand on her canon character.
I hope you like them. I think she has a lot of potential, but it's just not coming through, which is sad.
Very inconvenient, as now I have no shaving-glassdzurlady on May 6th, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC)
Because Carson seems very competent ... but not all that confident, at least in the few stories and vids where I've encountered him.
Oh, and I almost forgot - he specializes in medical research, not emergency surgery (we assume since he discovered the gene, which points to him being in research, and he undertakes research on the show), yet he becomes Chief Medical Officer , responsible for looking after everyone with limited resources . This is a theme that often appears in fic, as writers explore the stress he must be under and also try to explain the logic in making a researcher Chief Medical Officer in a truma situation. The show is vague about it, and we don't really know what the specialties of the other medical staff there are. The general concensus on why he's Chief Medical Officer appears to be: 1) they weren't expecting the Wraith, so sending a medical researcher to gather information about new technology made sense, and Carson as the discoverer of the gene was the logical choice, and then the Wraith showed up and he's just unlucky; or 2) it's just sloppy writing, what the hell were they thinking.
Six Shirts McWeirderson: Ford: Stargate Atlantisjust_katarin on June 5th, 2005 11:30 am (UTC)
Underground seems to be where she just declares everyone else the winner and that if she can't beat them she should join them. Weir is such a smartass in that episode.
(paraphrase)

Sheppard:we have something they want, they have something we want. I thought that's how negotiation works.
Weir: Yes it is Major. I personally stop short of offering nuclear weapons but that's just me
Ford: They were building them anyway.
Weir: Well if they were building them anyway Leiutenant why didn't you just say so.
plus one skeleton: Marfil delurkerdelurker on May 11th, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC)
There's another good fic out there somewhere, but it remains elusive, much to my frustration.
Hah! I found it. Another sga_flashfic challenge response (the First Night challenge), in which the expedition settles down for the night and in for the duration. Wonderful section in which Elizabeth deals with McKay overworking himself, and the rest is good too.
(Note: each section has a point of view change. I felt it worked. farwing summed it up when she said: "Loved how the pov shifted as an almost physical thing, as a mental shift to go along with the phyical movement of the characters.")

A Million Miles away by Miss Pamela (misspamela).
•• the years oƒ living ∂angerously happy ••: fangirl [belldandy]nightengale on November 10th, 2005 10:35 am (UTC)
agreed after flipping a coin. [...]
Sheppard's also fond of ferris wheels, as he tells the Athosians when he first meets them.


Okay, so, WAY late on the bandwagon here but - HEE! ♥

and to Vine, who I know is seeing this too: RE "not sharing"? OOOH. I *knew* there was somethign like that but I hadn't pinned it down yet and - er. yes.

*is currently downloading episodes one through three, having caved to the black-hole-ness*

It's really all yours (Vine's) and permetaform's faults, for reccing and metaing, respectively, so well. ^_^
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on May 5th, 2005 06:06 am (UTC)
Now that you've explained Rodney McKay, a whole bunch of SG-1 this season makes more sense, too.
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers.thefourthvine on May 5th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC)
*poke* Explain! In what way? Because now I am very curious.
plus one skeleton: Marfil delurkerdelurker on June 4th, 2005 05:40 am (UTC)
It occurs to me that I should also mention this about Elizabeth Weir: she's engaged to a man called Simon, who's still on Earth. She somehow wrangled clearance for him and left him a video explaining that she'd gone to Atlantis, but she still loved him; they are still together (albeit geographically not so much). This means that I am not so much on the Elizabeth shipping. YMMV.