The Only Help You'll Get (You're Gonna Get Right Here)
by Grey Bard
When Teyla met me, she told me that this wasn’t what she’d thought Earth was like. I don’t blame her. This isn’t what I thought Earth was like either, and I was born here.
In retrospect, electing President Stillson wasn’t the best idea ever. Then again, nations have done worse. You know the story, you weren’t in the Pegasus Galaxy for the last five years. I think it says all that needs to be said that I wasn’t surprised. Horrified, but not surprised. After all, people are stupid.
If I could write a letter to the turn of the century, if I could send back word to the world of five or ten years ago, there’s a lot of things I might write. Beware of the one way ticket and hire more air traffic controllers – but people already knew that, and it didn’t do a lick of good. Buy stock in Atkins? Yeah, like money is useful these days. Don’t elect Stillson, he’s more useless than usual? Dude, we had Johnny Smith for that, and we all just thought he was Miss Cleo with a screw loose.
Instead, I think I’d just tell me to convince my girlfriend to come to Colorado with me and not wait a year until the job market looked better. Because seriously, the job market is not an issue anymore. If she had come out to Colorado, she never would have left me for a jailbait Newport girl and subsequently gotten fried along with the rest of Southern California. Not that Marissa the anorexic girlfriend stealing slut was much of a loss, but I really do miss the rest of the state. And my ex.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t have been single when Teyla showed up.
I'm a loner and it's really my preferred state of being, I like not having other people around - until I want them around, which is when I will do strange and spontaneously stupid things to fulfill my cravings for human contact. Like dating my ex or getting involved in a plan to sneak into what used to be NORAD with a really really big bunch of generators and an urban legend. I didn’t really think there was anything to it, but the local spooks who survived the purges told a good story and to be honest, I was bored.
Running “Suaine’s Porn And Fix-it” is not exactly what I got a degree in engineering for, you know? My extracurricular online activities turned out to be a much more useful education. You wouldn’t believe how much some people miss porn. They’ll even settle for the homewritten kind without pictures. Who knew creative writing would be such a useful hobby? Anyway, as I was saying, I was bored.
I was writing some Scully on commission for a guy and I guess the backstory showed off a little too much knowledge for a hobbyist, and so, 5,000 words and a tall tale about aliens later, I got recruited. What can I say? I was bored.
Once we had broken into the mountain and through several layers of containment, we saw it. The holy grail. The door Out. To be honest, we weren’t really sure what to do with it once we got there. It was this giant ring and it had, well, stuff. I don’t know. I’m not a physicist, just a mechanic. We all just stared at it for a bit until the encryption kids finally broke into the mainframe. It still didn’t make a lot of sense, but there was this sort of encrypted “Last Dialed Number” function, so we used that. It burned out the generators in three tenths of a second. We just sort of looked at it for a few minutes.
Sitting under a formerly top secret mountain with sixty five fizzled generators four and a half years after the world ends is sort of a let down, you know? Anti-climactic, though after the… well, you know.
Anyway, there we were, sitting in the candle light, staring at a big honking ring, when suddenly it’s filled with water flushing horizontal at us. Okay. Yeah, yeah. It doesn’t make sense. But it was damn cool, take my word for it. First the ring spat at us, and then it spat some people out. Tall, armed, really hot people in Airforce uniforms in seriously funky fabric. The woman who led them had a gun aimed straight at my throat. She was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. You know, Teyla is almost worth losing the West Coast.
There were introductions and handshakes and a certain amount of Me Tarzan, You Suaine. After a while, they even put their guns down. We had to show them the surface to convince them. I think the red sky did it, though.
So here we are, little teams of “gypsies” wandering into small towns all over the continent and sneaking out useful, well balanced and genetically diverse people who are just as bored as I was. Dr. Weir was a little surprised, but she’s nothing if not humanitarian. When I found out Teyla was volunteering, I obviously signed up for the first team immediately. I’ve never regretted it, especially when we started sharing a sleeping bag.
So what will it be, Mr. Kowalski? Fighting off wandering space vampires and repopulating the species sounds much more interesting than watching Inuvik go to hell, doesn’t it?