tagSci-Fi & FantasyConfirming Carter Bk. 03 Changes Ch. 05

Confirming Carter Bk. 03 Changes Ch. 05

byRibaldWriter©

Tammy, Sheppard and Ronin go to Earth to check on Sheppard's brother, Keller gets a chance to try out the ancient medical systems...and an original character returns...

(-)

Confirming Carter Book Three, Changes

Chapter Five

Interior-Gateroom

0800 Hours

"You check in every two hours." Sam said as she hugged Tammy.

"We agreed on four, we're going to be moving around alot, and may not be able to do it every two hours." Tammy laughed. "We'll be back in eight, but you go ahead and worry, I know I won't be able to stop you."

"Take as much time as you need." Carter said. "You just come home to me, all of you."

She watched as they stepped through the gate, wincing when it shut down behind them.

Interior-SGC, Earth

0800 Hours

"Lady Tammy, it's a pleasure to see you again. I wish it was under more pleasant circumstances." Landry said, smiling broadly as he walked up the ramp to meet them. "Col. Sheppard, and...I'm sorry, but I don't think I ever got your name."

"This is Sir Ronin Dex, Guardian of the Realm, and Head of the Household Guard." Tammy said, smiling at Ronin as she held out her hand to Landry. "My protector in all things."

"It's a pleasure." Landry said, nodding at Ronin as he shook hands with Tammy.

"We have an aircraft waiting for you on the tarmac at Peterson." He told them as he led them down the ramp. He handed Tammy a large envelope and added, "That envelope has cash, credit cards, and two satellite phones with contact numbers for the SGC, the White house, and a team a government lawyers in case you run into any trouble. There's a car waiting for you upstairs."

He smiled as they reached the elevator. "Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"Yes." Tammy smiled. "Start thinking about coming to work for me."

Interior-St. Martins Hospital, San Clemente California

1020 Hours

They were waiting at the nurses station when a tall doctor in green scrubs approached them.

"Col. Sheppard?" He asked, holding out his hand. "I'm Dr. Wilson, your brother's doctor. I'm sorry for making you wait, but I just got out of surgery."

"I'm used to it, doc." Sheppard said. "My fiancée is a surgeon."

"Really?" Wilson asked. "What hospital does she work at? Maybe I've heard of her."

"She's not local." Sheppard said. "What can you tell me about my brother, and can we see him?"

"He's in intensive care at the moment." Wilson said as he turned and started down the corridor. "I'm afraid only family members can go in. Your friends can wait here, or there's..."

"They are family, doc." Sheppard said tightly. "This is our adopted sister, Lady Tammy Ford, and our brother, Sir Ronin Dex. My father...it's a long story."

"We'd like to see David, and hear more about his condition." Tammy said, taking John's hand. "Would you take us to him please?"

"I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that there were other family members." Wilson said. "Only the colonel was listed as a family contact. But Dave rarely talks about his family during his examinations, so I'm not surprised."

He led them down the hall and through a set of double doors. He stopped outside David's room, and they could see him in his bed though the open door. Wilson picked up a chart from a rack on the wall and started flipping through it.

"He regained consciousness briefly following the surgery, but has been in a state of deep sleep since. He's not in a coma, He responds to stimulus, and his brain activity is normal. Basically, he's shut himself down so his body can try to heal itself. It's actually fairly common in patients suffering severe trauma."

"Kelno'reim." Ronin muttered. "I've seen Bra'tac do it."

Wilson glanced at him, then continued.

"We did a double bypass, but that was a life saving effort. We had to restore the flow of blood moving through his heart. That's only going to buy us a few days though. His heart is degrading, and he's going to need a transplant. The problem there is, there are no matching donors on the registry, so we just have to wait for one. Based on the rest of his condition, he's a prime candidate, and is at the top of our list."

"How long before he's in serious danger? Without a transplant, I mean." Tammy asked. She put her hand on John's shoulder, pushing him gently into the room.

"He's in serious danger now, I'm sorry to say." Wilson told her. "There was no sign of this during his last physical, five months ago. And based on what I saw when we did the bypass, his heart is deteriorating rapidly. We're looking at putting him on artificial support in the next seven to ten days."

"Do you have any idea what caused this?" Tammy asked, stepping closer to the doctor and looking down at the chart.

Wilson glanced at her, moving the chart closer to his body, blocking her view.

"Let's take him home." Ronin said quietly. "Jennifer can fix him."

Tammy nodded, then looked at Wilson. "Can he be moved? I mean, can he travel safely?"

"Yes, he's stable enough to travel." Wilson said. "But I don't think you understand what I'm telling you. It doesn't matter where you take him, There are no matching hearts available on the North American registry. We're waiting to hear from Europe and Asia but..."

"I understand what you're saying doctor, I'm a nurse." She told him, holding her hand out for the chart. "But we may have other options that you don't have available. I need you to start whatever paperwork you have to. I'll let you know where we'll be moving him to."

He handed it to her, taken back by her peremptory attitude. He watched as she flipped through it quickly, then handed it back.

"We're going to need copies of that, as well as copies of any testing you've done on him since he was admitted." She told him. "You might as well give us his whole file, our doctor is going to want to see it."

She turned to Ronin. "Tell John what we're going to do, and stay with him."

Ronin nodded and went into the room as she turned and strode down the hall. Wilson caught up to her at the nurses station, stopping when he saw her speaking into a satellite phone.

"I need to speak to the president please." She was saying. "Tell him this is Lady Tammy Ford, of Atlantis."

* * * * *

Tammy stopped Sheppard as he got out of the car and headed for the plane.

"You're not coming with us John." She said as they followed David's gurney toward the plane, then watched it being loaded.

"There's an F-15 in a hanger across the ramp for you and Ronin." She said as she stepped closer and hugged him, then turned and hugged Ronin. "You're cleared to fly supersonic above thirty thousand feet, so get there, do what you have to do, and get back to Cheyenne Mountain. I'll take David to the gate and get him through, and wait for you there."

She smiled as she turned to Ronin.

"You know what to do, Ronin. Don't worry about me, you just look out for John, and make sure you both get back as soon as you can."

"I will." He told her as he watched her jog up the stairs into the plane. "But you be careful. We don't know what can happen here. Keep your shield on, just in case."

"It is." She grinned. "I'm not taking any chances I don't have to."

* * * * *

"There's no room back here." Ronin grumbled as they taxied onto the runway.

"That's the least of your problems." Sheppard said quietly. "It's been a while since I've flown one of these things, and there's no inertial dampeners."

"Whatever." Ronin answered. "Just don't crash."

"I'm just saying..." Sheppard said as he pushed the throttles forward, then kicked in the afterburners.

* * * * *

"Things are worse than we thought, Sam." Tammy said as she unbuckled her seatbelt and stood up, moving over next to David. "John's brother needs a heart transplant, and there are none available."

She paused, listening for a moment, then said. "No, there's no time for that. We're bringing him home with us, Sam. Talk to Jennifer, and tell her to do whatev...yes, that's exactly what I want to do. She said she wan...yes, I'm on my way back to the SGC with him now. We should be there in a little over an hour, tell Jennifer to have her people waiting. I'm going to wait there for John and Ronin, and see if I can do some diplomatic...okay, I'll call you when we get there. I love you too, baby..."

She hung up and tossed the satellite phone on the seat, then leaned over and checked the monitor attached to David's gurney. She made a quick note on the chart, then checked his pulse. She stood looking at him for a moment, then returned to her seat, picked up the phone, and started dialing.

Interior-Infirmary

1210 Hours

"Sam." Jennifer said, looking up at her from her desk. "Are you alright? Have you heard from John? Why didn't you..."

"I should have called, but I wanted to talk to you in person." Sam said as she sat down. "I heard from Tammy. John's brother's condition is worse than they led him to believe. He didn't just have a heart attack, it appears that there's another problem with his heart, and he needs a transplant."

"What kind of problem? Did they give you any..."

"Tammy forwarded his records." Sam told her, sliding a flash drive across the desk. "She knew you'd need them."

Jennifer took the drive and plugged it into her desktop. She scrolled through the records quickly, frowning as she read.

"He suffering from cytodegeneration of the heart." She said, glancing over at Sam. "That's an umbrella term for the progressive loss of structure or function of cells, including death of the cells. It's fairly rare, and usually caused by exposure to an outside agent."

"Are you saying he was poisoned?" Sam asked.

"What?" Jennifer said, looking up from her terminal. "Oh no, nothing that sinister. Considering that there was no sign of this on his last physical five months ago, and given the current condition of his heart, I'd say that this has been going on for at least three months. It was probably caused by something environmental, maybe some sort of exotic mold."

She looked over at Sam. "We need to tell them that they're going to have to go through his home, or anyplace else he frequents after the transplant, or it's just going to happen again, probably affecting other organs as well."

"That's the problem, Jenn." Sam said, looking at her steadily. "There are currently no matching hearts in North America, so they'll have to wait for..."

"They don't have time for that!" Jennifer said, her face going pale. "At the rate his heart is deteriorating, they'll have to put him on artificial support in two, no more than three days. Once that happens, his viability as a candidate for a transplant starts to go down fast."

"They told Tammy seven to ten." Sam said. "But that's why I'm here. You said that you had been going through the ancients procedures on implanting those prosthetics we found and..."

"You want me to..." Jennifer said, then nodded rapidly. "That makes sense, how soon can they get him here?"

"Tammy is on the way back to the SGC with him now. They should be there in a little over an hour."

"Good." Jennifer said, scratching out notes on a piece of paper. "I need Chuck to find me one of the ancient medical centers. Most of the process for implanting these devices is automated, but we need to find the equipment to do it. Here's a list of the files I found on the process. They describe the equipment, so he should be able to use that." She said, sliding the notes over to Sam.

"I'm going to need training on the equipment, but Susan can help me with that." she said to herself as she got up and moved around the desk. She walked over to the door and stepped out into the infirmary. "Listen up everybody, we have an emergency case coming in, and this is what we're going to do."

Sam watched as she spoke quickly to people as they came over to her, then hurried off in different directions. She smiled as she got up, tapping her comm.

"Carter to Chuck..." She said.

Interior-Medical Center Four, Bldg Thirty-Nine, East Pier

1250 Hours

"Dr. Keller, this is Chuck. Respond please." He said as he looked around the surgical suite.

"Go ahead, Chuck." Keller said, stepping away from the teaching machine.

"Yes ma'am. I found your medical center." He told her. "We have power, and I started an auto sterilization procedure that I found in the database. That's going to take about forty minutes to run if I read it right. I sent you the information on it, along with the porter code and a map of the floor this suite is on."

"Thank you, Chuck. I hadn't thought of that." Keller said, glancing over at Susan. "Good thinking, that should save us some time. We're going through the training to implant the heart now, and should be ready in the next half hour or so. Let me know when David gets here, and I'll send someone down for him."

"Yes ma'am, we'll be ready when he gets here. Chuck out."

Interior-SGC, Earth

1330 Hours

One of Jennifer's nurses and a technician were waiting at the foot of the ramp when they wheeled David into the gateroom. The nurse checked the status on the monitors attached to the gurney, and looked over at Tammy.

"He's stable, but we need to get him through the gate so we can prep him for surgery." She said. "Dr. Keller will be ready in a couple hours, but wants us to monitor him until she is."

"That's fine." Tammy said. "He woke up briefly on the plane, and I told him that he was being moved to another hospital. He understood, but wasn't strong enough to talk. He went back to sleep after a few minutes, and his vitals have been steady since we left California."

"I'll tell Dr. Keller." She said as she waved the technician over to help her move the gurney. "His waking up is a good sign."

Landry waved six marines over, then turned and looked up at the control room.

"Dial the gate, and send our IDC, Walter."

Moments later, the gate began dialing, and the vortex burst from it.

The marines carried the gurney up the ramp, sitting it down carefully just short of the event horizon.

"Atlantis advises their shield is down, sir." Walter said over the loudspeaker.

The technician stepped up behind the gurney while the nurse took a position beside it. They passed through the event horizon, and a few seconds later, the gate shut down.

"Do you have somewhere I can do a video conference?" Tammy asked Landry as he led her out of the gateroom. "I have some people I need to touch base with if it's not too much of a problem."

"You can use the conference room. I'll make sure you're not disturbed." Landry said as they went up the stairs and into the room. "Just press star, then six-three, and Walter will connect you to anyone you need."

* * * * *

"Hello, Dr. McKay." Tammy smiled when his face appeared on her laptop.

"Who are you? What do you want? I'm a very busy man, and don't have time fo..."

"And you're still an asshole, I see." She said lightly. "I'm Tammy Ford, queen of Atlantis, Sam's sister queen actually."

McKay just stared at her, so she went on.

"Sam and I were wondering, would you like to come home?" She said.

"After what she did to me? The way they treated me?" He said angrily, then stopped abruptly. He looked over his shoulder, then back at the camera. He leaned closer and said, "When?"

"How soon can you get to Cheyenne Mountain?" She laughed.

* * * * *

"Mr. President, I'd like to thank you for everything you've done for us today." Tammy said as Hayes came up on her screen.

"It was my pleasure, your highness." Hayes said with a smile. "It's a nice change of pace to do something we can see immediate results from, especially when it's a humanitarian effort, like this was."

"Before we go any further, can we drop the titles, and just make it Henry and Tammy?" She asked. "I think we'll get along better, and get more done if we just talk to each other, and leave all the fooforah for later."

"That would be fine, Tammy." Hayes said. "How are things progressing on the coronation? I haven't seen my invitation yet, and I'm going to need to clear my schedule..."

"I have no idea Henry, I'm staying out of it." Tammy laughed. "I'm just going to show up, stand where they tell me, and say what they tell me. But I'll ask Andi to get something out to your people when I get home."

She paused, then pressed a key on her laptop as she looked down at the script she had worked out with Sam and Andi.

"I've given Gen. Landry a gate address where you'll find fifteen three-oh-two's, and ten jumpers. You'll need to send pilots to get them, we don't have any to spare at the moment. You'll have to take the jumpers through the gate, they don't have hyperspace capability."

"I'd suggest sending them to the Alpha site. Mr. President." Landry said, his picture popping up beside Hayes. "We can move them as needed from there."

"I'll leave that up to you general." Hayes said, leaning off to one side, then turning back to them.

"We'd also like to send another ten thousand drones, and a shipment of our gene therapy to a gate address you specify." Tammy said before he could speak again. "We'll be sending information on recent discoveries we've made as soon as we get everything together, including research on prosthetic limbs and organs the ancients developed."

"That's very generous of you, Tammy." Hayes said, leaning back in his chair. He looked to the side, then made a gesture of impatience. "But I'm betting that you're going to want something in return?"

"Of course, Henry. I'm sending you and Gen. Landry a shopping list, mostly drugs, and medical supplies we're not able to produce in Atlantis yet." She said, pressing a key on her laptop. "But the real aim behind it is to give you an incentive to formalize relations with us, so we can begin trade in earnest."

"We're making progress on that, as Dr. Samuels has probably told you." He said. "With the countries that comprised the IOA, India, Japan, the European Union, and the industrialized countries of the Asia pacific, we believe that the organization we're bringing together will represent just over seventy percent of Earth's seven billion inhabitants. We'll be meeting next week to work out the final details, and begin working on treaty items."

"So we can expect it to be several more months before you're even close to being ready." She frowned, glancing down at her notes. "You'll have to forgive me, Henry. I'm not used to dealing with a bureaucracy. The people we've reached out to in Pegasus are eager to deal with us."

"As are we." Hayes said. "But given that the stargate program is..."

"That's your problem, Henry. But with the Goa'uld and Ori threats removed in the Milky Way, and the Wraith much less of a threat in Pegasus, you don't really have any reason to conceal the gate's existence any longer." She said. "I'm not saying that you have to make it public, but with the size of the organization you're talking about putting together, it's going to leak out anyway. You might as well get out ahead of that, and save yourself the headaches."

"Do you have any idea of what would happen if we made the stargate public now?" Hayes asked, his face taking on a grim visage. "The panic, rioting in the streets, mass suicides. The turmoil would destroy the worlds economies, and leave millions dead."

"I think you're overstating things, Henry, and not giving people enough credit." Tammy said, shaking her head. "But while I admit, making the gate public will cause you some problems at first, it will help in solving a host of others, overpopulation being one of them."

"We had considered that possibility." Hayes said. "One of the treaty items we'd request would be human settlements in Pegasus..."

"That's not going to happen, Henry. Pegasus has enough problems without bringing in predatory humans from Earth. Like we told the Tok'Ra, you can have the Milky Way. It's actually safer for you there, considering that you already have the Jaffa and Tok'Ra as allies."

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