Chapter 3 - Flux Capacitor
The energy spike led Elizabeth and Rodney directly to a disused unisex Ancient bathroom, located at the very top of the tower. The first thought that crossed both of their minds was that they’d never seen this many public toilets with privacy screens in the entire city.
Rodney glanced around and grumbled, “I don’t see anything that could give off that amount of radiation, unless you count Colonel Sheppard’s last rectal deposit.”
“Beware of the leopard,” Elizabeth piped up, tapping the left brunette bun thoughtfully.
“What are you talking about?”
She pointed to the sign on one of the lavatory doors. Etched into the chrome shielding were the words “Beware of the Leopard” complete with a diagram of the mentioned animal. The words were signed by someone with the initials DNA. The energy detector in Rodney’s palm hummed insistently when placed near the door.
They glanced at each other. It was now or never. Elizabeth kicked the door in and immediately they shielded their eyes. A strange device was glowing strangely on the back wall of the cubicle. Rodney gasped.
“It’s…” He paused, disbelieving. “It’s a flux capacitor!”
Elizabeth asked curiously, “What’s it doing?”
“I can see that,” she snorted, rolling her eyes.
“You know I never believed it was possible for one to exist. I mean, Back to the Future is highly improbable and ridiculous.”
(At that moment, though they didn’t know it, the Heart of Gold was silently cruising through the system. The Improbability Drive had been regrettably turned on by a descendant of apes who was craving tea.)
“Oh those movies…” Elizabeth’s eyes widened and she exclaimed, “A time machine?!”
At that moment, the toilet facility began to shake uncontrollably. The water in the toilet of this particular cubicle bubbled violently and turned the fetching colour of blood. A man shaped object (which happened to be a man) shot out of the flux capacitor.
Elizabeth chanced in shock, “Janus?”
By the time the crazy Australians had brainwashed the dancers into performing the Spoiler Wave (a devastating dance routine for some of the sensible spoilerphobes of Atlantis), John Sheppard had managed to dart into the corridor outside the mess hall. It wasn’t as bad as that confusing ship shake thing, but a man had to preserve his sanity and who but a spoiler addict can refute that?
He had barely gone a few metres when he met a small, chubby dork dressed up as Elmer Fudd. John opened his mouth to order the strange person to step aside but they held up a hand and hissed, “Shhh, be vewy vewy quiet. I’m hunting werewabbits.”
“Were-Rabbit,” Sheppard corrected impatiently. “There’s a dash in there and it’s an R for rabbit.”
Elmer Fudd pointed ahead and shrieked something that sounded suspiciously like ‘there’s Klingons on the starboard bow!’ Until that moment, John had never believed in the downright strange or he’d never believed that Zelenka’s concoction could cause such hallucinations – in fact, he wasn’t sure exactly which of these were true.
A man-rabbit sprinted past them, throwing garbled pleas for what could only be guessed as help. Of course, we know it’s Czech but the Colonel was tuning it out because he believed it to be a figment of his weirded out imagination.
“I think I’m going to sober up,” John muttered, heading away from the creepy Elmer Fudd fan.
The chubby man shook his head and was again tracking the Zelenka-turned-Were-Rabbit in nanoseconds.
High up in the lavatory spire, the Ancient known as Janus clapped his hands together. He giggled happily as he balanced precariously on the lavatory and slicked back his hair, which looked suspiciously like a mullet. He cleared his throat and pointed at an odd number on the wall – this particular graffiti had gone unnoticed by Elizabeth, Rodney and even the writer until now.
“Ahh, my dear princess and duck,” Janus explained the numbers wistfully. “That was the day I invented time travel. I was dancing on one of the tables in what you would call the mess hall when someone threw a canister of alcohol at me. I woke up under the table without my clothes and next to a goat and that’s when I knew. The flux capacitor!”
“I’m getting a historical documents moment,” Rodney whispered loudly to Elizabeth.
Janus looked delighted. He noted jovially, along with a very scary grin, “You have met the Thermians!”
McKay’s eyes widened. He pinched himself. Still awake. He pinched Elizabeth. She glared. Ok so they were both awake.
“Elizabeth,” he muttered, “what did Dr Fumbles McBunny say that punch was?”
“His special spooky punch,” she supplied, eyes darting between the only exit and the nearest weapon (coincidentally a block of Kryptonite).
Rodney nodded sagely. “Feels like college all over again.”
Elizabeth eyed him sceptically and decided she could pinch him back. She drawled, “Am I to believe you passed the dutchie at college?”
“Contrary to popular belief, I have a wild side,” sniffed Rodney.
“Why would you say that?”
“Because I was in the room across from yours on campus and you never touched the stuff.”
“You knew me from college?”
Janus was staring at both of them with wild eyes then he shrieked, “Pay attention to me!”
But right then the head scientist of Atlantis was trying to interrogate more information out of Elizabeth Weir on her stalking habits in college. Maybe it was the punch, maybe it was the fact that mullets are no longer appreciated as they should be, but this snubbing was taken hard by the visiting time traveller.
“Pay attention to your god!” Janus howled.
“Eh?” said Rodney, throwing a perfectly executed scientist gesture – such an elaborate gesture was mastered by only the most genius people in the universe and was extremely deadly to be on the receiving end of.
Somehow in the midst of this, Rodney hit the flush button.
Janus, screaming and clawing at the air, disappeared down, down, down into the toilet bowl and then to the u-bend which then began dumping him through the pipes. Elizabeth shook her head and sighed, “I thought we talked about you causing untimely demises for people and/or solar systems.”
Rodney pouted. “Are you going to yell at me?”
“No.” She laughed. “Maybe it’s the punch talking, but I want to tear off all of your clothes.”
“Elizabeth!” he cried.
She raised her eyebrows. He amended hastily, “It’s too cold in here.”
“We’ll go to my quarters then.”
“But – but – you don’t want to sleep with Darkwing Duck.”
“As a matter of fact, I’ve always had crushes on Darkwing Duck and Rodney McKay. Now the question remains – do you want to have sex with Princess Leia?”
Rodney grinned goofily.
And far below the spire, Kavanaugh’s Megavolt costume caught onto a strange blinking Ancient device, which then blasted the much detested scientist with electricy. He shrieked and bounced away, hair standing higher than any man’s gelled attempts – including Dr Beckett’s and Colonel Sheppard’s. And that, my friends, is an achievement.