wildforce71: (Mal not lost)
[personal profile] wildforce71
The joke in this part is that the Culture Centre is an invention of [personal profile] jadelyntate's, created for an SGA fic she wrote. Because she likes to visually cast her fics, she had Holly Marie Combs as Nicole, head of the Culture Centre, with all the other Charmed characters playing various people. The only other one mentioned here is her brother, Oliver, 'played' by Drew Fuller, better known to us as Chris Perry Halliwell.

John tapped on the door of Woolsey’s office, leaning in without actually stepping over the threshold. “We may have a problem.”

“What problem?” Woolsey asked.

“Three of the Culture Center crew have aphasia, or something like it. Beckett wants to quarantine all of them, plus anyone who was in the infirmary, plus anyone who may have dropped by Nicole’s office today.”

“That’s likely to be a long list.”

“Yeah. He’s ready to commandeer some of the empty living quarters. He wants to close the City, too; no one in or out, for now.”

“Tell him to go ahead. Any idea what’s causing it?”

John came into the office, perching on the edge of the desk. “Chris’s pendant, far as we can tell. The first victim was the guy working on it, and the next two were his teammates.”

“I thought the pendant was checked?” Woolsey protested.

“Rodney and Carson ran every test we have and a few they made up before they sent it to Nicole. It’s just a hunk of rock on a chain.”

“Apparently not.”

John’s radio beeped, and he reached up to tap it.

“Colonel Sheppard, have you talked to Mr Woolsey yet?” Carson asked.

“Yeah, Carson, you can go ahead. We’re going to call Daedalus and the SGC, tell them not to send anyone over for now.”

Woolsey tapped his own radio. “Unless you need more help.”

“Right now they’d just be more people to get infected. One of my nurses just went down.”

John hissed, straightening up. “Carson, you need bodies?”

“Not right now, thank you.”

“I’m putting guys at the end of the infirmary corridor, alright? Let me know if you need more.”


Woolsey sighed, slowly rising to his feet.

“I’ll call Daedalus if you call the SGC,” John offered.

“Deal. Let’s go.”

Chris and Radek had been moved back to the iso room to make space for the influx of new patients. Teyla came into the iso room with a tray in her hands; Radek glanced up from his computer. Chris was still sleeping.

“Thank you,” Radek murmured.

Teyla passed him the tray, glancing down at Chris. “Have you heard what is happening?”

“Yes, three linguists and a nurse.”

“Two nurses,” Teyla corrected him. “And a Marine who was in the infirmary. And two more of Nicole’s linguists.”

Radek chuckled softly. “Ironic that the linguists are falling sick more quickly. More chance that they would understand the infected.”

“Are you and Chris...?”

“Exposed, I suppose, but no symptoms yet. Although how one would tell, with Chris...”

Teyla smiled wistfully and Radek sat upright, suddenly realizing. “Is Torren...”

“Torren is safe, for now, so long as I do not go near him.”

Radek sighed, smiling sympathetically when she looked up. “He will be well.”

“Yes, I hope so.”

Chris stirred, sitting up. “Where’s Wyatt?”

Radek went back to his computer as he answered; they’d had this conversation several times before. “Wyatt is at home, Chris.”

“I want him,” Chris said.

“I am sure you’ll be home soon, Chris. Are you hungry?”

Chris thought about it before nodding firmly. Teyla began to go through the tray with him.

A little later Teyla stepped back into the infirmary proper. Carson finished up with a Marine and crossed to her.

“How’s the wee lad?” he asked.

“He seems well. He misses his brother.”

“Aye. Well, we can’t let him go home yet, I’m afraid.”

“Luckily, he shows no signs of stars.”

Carson frowned, studying her. “Say it again, love?”

“I said that he table no signs of stars.”

He sighed, rubbing a hand over his face. “Don’t go too far, Teyla.”

She frowned in realization. “It has begun.”

“Aye. I’m sorry.”

“Allow me to help. While I can.”

He nodded, leading her away.

Paige was awake when Coop appeared, scribbling in a notebook. “Hey, Coop,” she said absently. “Phoebe’s upstairs.”

“What are you working on?”

“Spell to get Chris back home when we’re done. Piper keeps destroying them when we’re done.” She put the notebook aside.

“Why’s she do that?” Coop asked.

Paige frowned, studying him. “Did you find something?”

“Where’d you say Phoebe was?” He was already heading for the stairs before she could answer.

“Come back here! Coop!”

Chris and Phoebe were working on a potion, Chris quietly guiding Phoebe. She stopped when Coop came in, crossing to kiss him. Chris shook his head, smiling, and continued with the potion.

Paige sidestepped Coop and Phoebe and joined Chris at the table. “What are you making?”

“Sleeping potion. Mom’s about to reach breaking point and storm the city.”

“Are you using it on her, or for her?”

“Not sure yet.” He grinned at her.

Paige slapped his arm, smiling. “Where is she?”

“Putting Mel to bed.”

Coop and Phoebe came to join them arm in arm. “Chris, you’re sure you don’t remember anything?”

Chris threw his hands up, frustrated. Paige rescued the bottle he’d knocked off the table, taking a discrete step away. “For the last time...”

Coop raised his hands apologetically. “I just wanted to make sure.”

“Why? What’s wrong?” Phoebe asked warily.

“Radek’s been missing for the last five years.”

“He hasn’t been practicing, sure, but...”

“No, he’s been missing. After the Titan’s attack, when the Cupids got sorted out, Radek was due a visit from one of us. But we couldn’t find him. And believe me, we looked.”

“So, what, he’s been hiding out in the Underworld for the last five years? He’s not a demon,” Paige protested.

“I don’t know where he was. But he wasn’t here.”

“He saved me,” Chris insisted.

Someone saved you.” He frowned suddenly. “Someone will save you. Is going to save you?”

Chris waved it off. “If Radek was a demon, he had plenty of time to hurt me. He di...won’t. I came home fine.”

“Yeah, but you’re here. Things are different this time.”

“Sweetie? This isn’t encouraging,” Phoebe said quietly.

“I’m trying to be honest, Phoebe. Radek’s Cupid looked for a year. He wasn’t anywhere on the planet.”

“He wasn’t just blocking himself from you...?” Paige suggested.

“You can’t block love. It finds a way in.”

Chris absently threw the last ingredient into the pot, beginning to draw out the potion. “I really don’t remember Radek doing anything to hurt me.”

“Maybe your Radek didn’t,” Phoebe said gently.

“I don’t think we should tell Piper this,” Paige suggested.

Chris pocketed the bottle, pushing away from the table. “I’ll go.”

“What?” Phoebe said in surprise.

“I’ll go get Mini Me. I should have just gone anyway.”

“Chris, we have no idea where he is!”

“I’ll know. When I get there.”

“Chris, you can’t just...”

Chris orbed out before Paige could finish. She cut herself off, scowling.

Phoebe turned to Coop. “Go with him.”


“Go with him!”

She smacked his arm and he vanished, still looking startled. Paige blinked. “Can he find Chris?”

“Sure. I’m sure. I think.”

She shrugged, turning back to the pot and drawing off more of the potion. Paige sighed, passing her more bottles.

In the iso room Radek was typing frantically at his pad when Chris orbed in. Little Chris, sitting miserably on the bed, perked up.

“Daddy! ... Daddy?”

Radek looked up in surprise. “You are not Leo. Oliver?”

“I’m...Perry,” Chris said after a moment. “Leo couldn’t come.”

“It’s not safe here.”

“Hence why I’m taking him away.”

He looked around, frowning. Radek stood, watching him. “You sense it, yes?”

“What is that?” Chris asked, crossing to the bed.

“Something was released. Something that’s hurting my people.”

“Something Chris did?”

“No. Or, not deliberately. He was...”

He paused when Coop appeared. Little Chris grinned and held out his arms, recognizing him. Coop scooped him up, looking around. “What the hell is that?”

“As far as I can tell, only Chris and myself are unaffected,” Radek told him.

“Unaffected by what?”

“Something Chris released,” Chris said thoughtfully.

“Only because he happened to walk past,” Radek assured them. “Anyone entering that room at any time would have done it.”

“What is it?” Coop asked.

Chris shook his head. “Take Chris home.”

“No, nonono!” Radek scrambled to his feet. “You are infected now, Perry, both of you. You cannot leave.”

Coop started to speak but Chris waved him to silence. “Phoebe and the others know where we are. If we don’t leave they’ll just come looking.”

“No. This...what was released...it began like aphasia, yes? Words all mixed up, no one to understand them? But writing, writing they could still understand, so City still worked. But then writing stopped too, and even gesturing, no one could follow. No one communicates.”

“Tell Leo to keep away,” Coop told Chris.

He nodded, wandering towards one of the walls. Coop turned back to Radek. “Where are we?”

“Military base, code name Atlantis.”

“And where’ve you been for the last five years?”

Radek looked away. “I didn’t tell them about you. I can’t tell you about them.”

“Coop. Done,” Chris said, coming back to join them.

“A Cupid?” Radek said in surprise.

“Who are you?” Chris asked him.

Radek held up a hand, letting it light up. Little Chris laughed, reaching for it, and Coop let him down to the ground. Radek hunkered so he could reach the light.

“A little witch,” he told Chris and Coop. “That is all the power I have.”

The light flickered out when Chris tugged on his arm. Radek picked him up absently, setting him on the bed.

“I knew of the Charmed Ones. I knew of Wyatt. And when I saw a child witch who could orb, I knew there must be another. But this is military base. I could not get him away.”

“What did he release?” Chris asked.

“A machine turned on, and when it turned off there was a pendant. We tested it, I tested it, and there was nothing. But when our linguists looked, the aphasia began.”

“Where’s the pendant now?”

“In the Culture Center. The linguists’ lab.”

“Stay with Chris?” Chris asked Coop.

“What? I can’t...if anyone gets in...”

“I can lock door,” Radek offered. “Keep everyone out...no one can remember how to open it any more.”

“Call me if you need me,” Chris added.

Coop wasn’t happy about it, but he nodded. Radek used his pad to unlock the door, and he and Chris left.

“So, buddy, want to play hide and seek?” Coop suggested. Little Chris laughed, kicking his legs.

Radek led the way down a corridor, Chris keeping a careful eye out around them.

“Where is everyone?”

“We went into lockdown perhaps two hours ago. Everyone was locked into whatever room they were in.”

“Anyone in the...what’d you call it, Culture Center?”

Radek shook his head. “No. The linguists were the first to fall sick. Nicole closed the Center some hours after the first case.”


“Head of the department. She was unaffected last I heard, but communications went out a little while ago.”

“Is it far?”

“No. This way.”

Piper and Paige stood in the kitchen watching Leo, who was concentrating hard. Phoebe sat at the table, waiting.

Leo shook his head. “Chris isn’t listening.”

“Well, go after him!” Piper protested.

“Piper, he told us not to go,” Paige told her. “He must have a reason.”

“He always has reasons! Our whole family is disappearing into that place!”

Leo tried to hug her, but she pushed him off and turned to the counter.

“What did Chris say, Leo?” Phoebe asked.

“They found Little Chris, and Radek, but they need to check something out and we’re not to go after them.”

“What do they need to check out?”

“I don’t know, he wouldn’t say and he’s not listening now. What about Coop?”

“He’s alright. A little worried, I think, but not hurt or anything.”

“Good. That’s good.”

Mel cried upstairs. Piper sighed, turning and leaving without speaking or even looking at the others.

Radek fiddled with his pad. Chris leaned against the wall, watching him.

“You control the whole City from that thing?”

“Not all of it. Just the important bits.”

Chris wandered away a few steps, running one hand over the engravings on the wall. “I don’t remember any of this,” he murmured to himself.

“Why should you?” Radek asked absently, not really listening.

“Nothing. Sorry. Got it yet?”

“Almost. When Nicole locks something, it’s really locked...there.”

The door hissed open, and Chris came back to join him. “And this is...”

“Culture Center. Linguistics and anthropology.”

“All your mysterious artifacts end up here?”

“Artifacts here, machinery in the labs.”

He stepped into the Culture center. The lights were on half; Radek glanced around, heading for a control panel, and after a moment they brightened.

Chris studied the room, eyeing a translation hanging on the wall. “Those look almost like runes.”

“Some languages we encountered seemed to come originally from magical sources. Corrupted through years, of course.”

“And your linguists can read them?” Chris said in surprise. Magical languages were hard enough for him, and he’d spent all his life studying them. Wyatt still couldn’t handle them.

“In places. Nicole is very good. She has an instinct for them.”


Radek headed for one of the offices. Chris continued to wander around, examining the different translations, pictures and signs hanging on the walls.

“Here,” Radek said from behind him.

Chris turned just in time to catch the pendant Radek tossed to him. He immediately dropped it, backing away.

“That is...”

Shaking his head, he backed away a few more steps. Curious, Radek circled him and picked it up; whatever it had done to Chris, it didn’t affect him.

“You don’t feel that?” Chris asked.

“I don’t like holding it, but it does not hurt me.”

“It didn’t hurt me, it just...it’s very angry, and very old. Hold it up?”

Radek obliged, holding it still so Chris could study it.

“That’s the...turn it over, please.”

Radek did so, frowning as the light hit it differently, throwing the carvings on it into sharp relief.

“Cantus,” Chris murmured.

“I’m not familiar...?” Radek said apologetically.

“No, you wouldn’t be. Cantus was a demon, but he vanished centuries ago. I read something about him in Magic School, years ago.”

“They must have found how to imprison him,” Radek said thoughtfully.

“Who must?” Chris asked. Radek frowned, and he shook his head. “Never mind, then. Cantus was the demon of language, as far as I remember.”

“That fits. Can you remember how to defeat...vanquish him?”

“He wasn’t vanquished, he just vanished. Let me talk to Leo. Maybe they can find something.”

He turned away, wandering towards the window. Radek put down the pendant, absently scrubbing his hand against his leg as he watched.


wildforce71: Takeru smiling. Sort of. A bit. (Default)

March 2017


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