All my life Iíve missed the brass ring when it comes to things I really want. I mean, okay, up until a point, it was fine: brilliant, check; degrees out the ass, check; secret research projects that are any astrophysicistís wet dream, got Ďem - only not quite the way I wanted Ďem.
The American governmentís had their eye on me ever since the atomic bomb episode in sixth grade, and let me tell you, thereís nothing like having a couple of CIA suits grilling your twelve-year-old self to put the fear of a higher being into you. Of course I never let them knew it, just fired back high level snark that left them in the dust; you see, even at twelve, I knew how to use my brains to make the goons feel inferior, and itís a skill Iíve polished since then.
Well, I thought their Ďsecret government researchí was going to be my brass ring, and it was - almost. Working on the mock-up of the stargate in Area 51 was pretty damn interesting, but it wasnít real. Even a theoretical researcher needs something concrete once in a while, right?
Anyway, when I finally got to deal with the real stargate, Iím sure you know what happened, and is it my fault that they didnít like what I was saying? I was telling the truth, not sugar-coating it, and that makes it a hell of a lot easier to take as far as Iím concerned. Say it, deal with it, and go on.
Well, I did, straight to Russia.
Russia really wasnít so bad though; I was the fucking prince of naquadah generators, and they loved me for it, enough so that they almost didnít let me go back to the SGC when they needed me again (of course!). I mean, they knew they would be losing the most brilliant man in the world, so why wouldnít they want to keep me? The gun barrels did hurt though...
So then, saving the world again got me back in their good graces, and thatís what landed me in Antarctica, dealing with the Ancientsí leftover tech.
Another near-miss at the brass ring because, while the stuff was fucking amazing, I didnít have the damned gene required to turn it on.
Universe 3, Rodney McKay 0.
Wait, make that universe 4 because two of the people who had the gene and the most natural access to its use were both goons, Air Force this time, but still goons. So fucking unfair...
Leaving Earth behind was easy. This was my chance, the brass ring all bright and shiny right in front of me: Atlantis, the city of the Ancients on the other end of a wormhole waiting like a banquet set out for me to indulge in.
And then we got here. And found out there was no power. And that we were stuck under water with a collapsing shield. And that there were life-sucking aliens out to kill us all and invade Earth.
Remember what I said about always missing the brass ring?
Only this time, I managed to hold onto it by the tips of my fingers. Okay, maybe it isnít perfect, maybe we donít have a ZPM to power the shield or give us a way back to Earth, and maybe the Wraith are out there gunning for us, but fuck, the things we can learn here...
Iíve got this brass ring and Iím going to hold onto it because itís mine, the good and the bad, even the stuff that makes me want to hide in the corner and scream. Itís mine, the place and even the people. Hell, I think Iíve even made a friend, as improbable as that sounds. Well, Carsonís my friend, but then heís like a big sheepdog, kind to everyone. But Major Sheppard... I thought he was just a goon, but heís got some brains, and he gives back as good as he gets when I go after him.
I like that.
Yeah, I finally got the brass ring, and maybe it wasnít so pristine and shiny, but I like it, and Iíll keep it, tarnish, dings and all.
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