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The Human Computer

I have recently been watching Stargate Atlantis, a television series.  Admittedly I have a small crush on the cute Scottish Dr Beckett.  So…I wrote this little piece of fan fiction.

As Dr Elizabeth Weir was sitting in her office translating a new part of the Ancient Database she heard a message come over on her radio headpiece.  “Dr Weir, please report to the new lab we found, something has happened”.  With that, Elizabeth quickly hurried down the north pier to one of the many research labs that her teams had discovered.  When she got there she saw a young girl collapsed on the ground and Dr Carson Beckett and several scientists kneeling over her.

“What happened here?  Who is this?” Elizabeth asked

Dr Rodney Mackay answered “This is Tara.  We brought her on the team because of her startling ability to navigate any computer system given the time.  She is the most fluent in both Ancient and Wraith languages and generally does not need to use the translator.  She was looking on this console to see what this lab was used for when suddenly something, it looked like a beam of light, flew into her head and she collapsed.  I have Dr Zalenka looking in the console right now to see what happened.”

Elizabeth then turned to Carson, “Dr Beckett, do you know what is wrong with her?”

“I’m afraid not Elizabeth.  I am going to have to get her to the infirmary where I can put her under the scanner.” Carson then radioed the infirmary requesting a gurney and other medical equipment so they could transfer Tara.

“Dr Weir, I think I’ve found something.  I will have to try and translate it but it looks like they were researching the human brain.  It is well known that the human brain is the best computer of them all, it would appear they were trying to find a way to incorporate their minds into the city, artificially engineer the telepathic abilities the wraith are capable of.  At the point when they abandoned Atlantis they were only capable of connecting one person to the city…” Dr Zalenka then took another look at his screen in shock, “and it looks like the city’s survival is now dependant on Tara’s survival.  If she goes downhill, the city goes downhill.  Obviously I will need to read into it more, hopefully my initial translation is not correct and this is only temporary.”

Elizabeth answered, “Thank you Dr Zalenka, let me know as soon as you have something.”

Elizabeth and Rodney then hurried their way to the infirmary where Carson had just finished analysing the results of the scan.  He turned to them and said, “It looks like she is 100% healthy, she is reacting like she was hit by a wraith stunner.” Elizabeth then repeated what she had learned from Dr Zalenka and advised that Carson keep a close eye on Tara.  Rodney also added that they needed to keep an eye on the city and whether anything strange occurs.

Suddenly they heard a moan.  They turned to see that Tara was waking up.  At that point the lights in the infirmary suddenly turned off and Tara asked “What happened?”

Elizabeth replied, “Tara, it looks like the lab you were investigating had found a way to incorporate a human’s mind into the city.  We don’t know exactly what you did but we can safely say that your mind is now connected to Atlantis.  You are capable of manipulating any part of the city.  Right now I need you to concentrate on turning the lights back on.

Tara closed her eyes to block out any distractions and concentrated on the lights turning on. Tara had the ATA gene and had learned how to use the Ancient’s technology with her mind.  She assumed it couldn’t be too much different to try and turn the lights on.  With that the lights suddenly turned on again.

Tara then looked at Elizabeth and said, “I’m sorry Dr Weir.  I didn’t expect any of this to happen.  I was looking at a page on the console and saw that there was a button that said ‘integration activation’.  I thought it would take me to an explanation when suddenly I must have collapsed.  I think I am able to manipulate the city’s systems in the same manner ATA works.”

Rodney then noted, “I think at this point you need to concentrate on not activating or deactivating anything.  We don’t know the full affects yet.”

Elizabeth then instructed Carson to keep a close eye on Tara and tell her when anything happened.  Elizabeth and Rodney left the infirmary, and Carson turned to Tara and said, “Well my dear, it looks like you get the lovely honour of my presence.  Would you like something to eat?”

Tara had spent the better part of that day concentrating on not thinking about anything.  She never would have guessed how much work it took.  There was so much of the city that she could now control.  Suddenly it all started becoming too much to handle.  She felt a burning sensation in her back just below her ribcage, and she felt a numbness spreading slowly up her feet and ankles.

At the same time Carson noticed some of the lights flickering on and off, monitors going haywire and equipment starting up.  He then turned around to hear Tara in the next room.

“Dr Beckett!”  She cried out, “Dr, please help.”

Carson ran over to find Tara in a dreadful state. Tara told Carson what was happening. Carson felt, poked and moved her feet around asking if she could feel it.  She couldn’t.  The paralysis was spreading up her shins when Carson got her back under the scanner.  When the scans were complete the paralysis had extended above Tara’s knees.

Carson took one look at the MRI of Tara’s spinal cord and radioed Elizabeth, “Dr Weir please report to the infirmary immediately.”

Elizabeth had been in the lab with Rodney and Dr Zalenka translating the material regarding the research when she got the transmission over her radio.

“What timing, I’ll go and tell Carson and Tara what we found as well,” Elizabeth stated.

She walked into the infirmary to find Tara sobbing and Carson standing over her legs with ice and probes.  He heard Elizabeth behind her and quickly turned round.

Carson, what is going on here?”

“Ahh Elizabeth.  All I can say at this point is that Tara’s brain must have decided there was too much strain trying to keep all of the city’s systems normal.  If you look at this MRI over here you will see that her spinal cord is severing itself, ridding the brain of the responsibility for her lower body. Tara is essentially a T12 complete paraplegic.”

Elizabeth thought for a few seconds then answered, “That is not good…it seems the Ancient’s fears were well founded.”

“What fears?”

“Rodney, Dr Zalenka and I continued translating the notes on the research.  The Ancients never followed through with the experiment because they feared the requirements on the brain would be too much to handle and lower functions would be affected.  It also said that the condition of the person would affect the condition of the city.  I’m not sure what would happen to Atlantis if Tara died but I would not want to find out.”

Carson shook his head, “the poor girl, it seems a terrible way to live, always dependant on the city and so many lives dependant on her.  If what you say is true there are a lot of things that can go fatally wrong.  Her bladder and bowels work reflexively now.  She is prone to pressure sores.  She could get blood clots in her legs.  Any of these things could bring worse problems.”

“Yes and there are a lot of things Tara could unknowingly activate while in that state.  You need to stabilise her and do whatever is necessary to ensure she is capable of the responsibilities which seem to have been bestowed on her.  Who knows, she’d be able to translate the Ancient Database much faster than any of us now.  Maybe she could find where another ZPM is.”

“That’s right, the power of positive thinking. Tara will need a lot of that if she is going to get through this ordeal.  At this point I will request that no one make Tara aware of work related problems.  I want her to focus on recovering.  Who knows how much worse she could get if she were worrying about the city.”

“Good call Carson.  I will advise all personnel who talk with Tara that they are not to say anything that will stress her.  Hopefully we can find a solution to all of this.”

Carson gave Tara a sedative to encourage her to go to sleep. Tara was so worn out it did not take long to work. Tara’s last thought before she went to sleep was whether things would get better.  She was just thankful she had a doctor as cute and capable as Dr Beckett watching over her.  She knew she was in goo

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