Davros's Fanfiction

Chapter Three

September 1999

It was a damn long drive from Sunnydale to Canada and by the time he'd crossed the border Xander really wished that he'd just hopped on a plane. Driving really lost its fun after the couple hundred miles of monotony. If the roads hadn't been good, Xander might just have ended up making some less than ethical use of telekinesis to make them good with the way he was feeling. At least the border guards hadn't been a pain in the ass. That could well have been the last thing they'd ever done if they'd been jobsworths.

By the time he had the base in sight, he was about ready to offer up praises to any passing god for letting him finish the damned journey. The road-trip over the summer had been fun, but, without Faith to keep things interesting, this had just been endless, tedious monotony with nothing to break it.

"Who goes there?" barked the soldier on sentry duty at the base's gate as Xander's car rolled to stop.

"Alexander Harris," said Xander, handing over his passport. "I'm one of the new recruits."

The soldier looked at the passport and then at Xander, and then he disappeared into the gatehouse. A few moments later the sound of muffled conversation filtered out, courtesy of Xander's werewolf hearing. It was hard to tell just what was going on with only one side of the conversation to work from, but it seemed that something strange was going on withb his recruitment. Soon enough the sounds of conversation ended and the soldier came back out of the gatehouse.

"You are to report to the Supreme Commander, General Wilson, immediately," said the soldier. "He can be found in his office, room 118, sub-level 1."

Xander nodded. "Thanks."

And then the gate opened and he pulled into the base. It was astonishingly normal looking for an agency that was devoted to fighting something out of a science-fiction novel, there were no laser-guns or powered armour or anything like that wandering around, just normal soldiers in normal fatigues with normal weapons if they were armed. If he hadn't known what this place really was, he would never have guessed, which was the whole point, he supposed.

The general's office was sparsely furnished with little in the way of personal touches. The only real distinguishing feature was a somewhat old looking colour photograph on the table of a rather mundane looking family. Other than that it was just a generic office with a large table and a few wooden chairs in front of the table, which was overflowing with paperwork. The general himself was a tall, lean man whose face bore considerable evidence of his advancing age. One look in his eyes

"Some interesting things came up in the background check we did on you, Harris," said General Miller, gaining Xander's undivided attention. "I have to admit that I wouldn't have believed them if it wasn't for the security footage of your little trick in the hospital."

"There are quite a few things in my life that a normal person wouldn't believe," said Xander, keeping his face carefully neutral. "You'll have to be more specific."

The general leaned back in his chair and steepled his hands beneath his jawline. "Well, the whole part about demons caught my attention for a start. It's not something a god-fearing man such as myself would expect to find in his inbox."

"I'm surprised you hadn't ran into them before now," said Xander. "I was under the impression that most senior officers had at least an idea of them."

"Well I've managed to avoid them entirely," said the general. "But that's not really important. Mostly, I'm curious about the technology you have in that head of yours. That lightsabre they found in your car boot has the science boys going wild, and they really have no idea how it works at all."

"I have a few interesting things in there," said Xander. "But I thought I was going to be recruited to fight?"

"That's what General Miller wants," said the general. "I disagree. You could kill a whole lot of aliens, yes, but weapons that allow our soldiers to kill lots of aliens - that's what will win this war."

"I'm no scientist," said Xander flatly. "I'm not even vaguely qualified."

"Not yet you're not," said the general. "But we can deal with that. Your published work as Rachel Giles has generated quite a bit of attention, you know. It isn't going to be terribly difficult for us to pull some strings and get you an honorary PhD awarded."

Xander couldn't help but gape. "A what? I don't warrant that at all, general. I didn't even finish high school!"

"Hmm," said the general. "Well according to our reports you have a GED, which is as good as. Anyway, your work in the field proves your abilities. Your average random drop-out wouldn't be making millions of dollars in royalties like you are."

"You might be right," admitted Xander. "But I feel like I should be out there in the field fighting."

"Well we can't always get what we want," said the general. "I think I need to make something clear here before we can continue. When we recruit you as a scientist, it will be as Rachel Giles. Alexander Harris might be a great warrior, but it's Rachel Giles who's known in the field as a young inventor."

"You want what?" asked Xander, not quite sure that he was hearing what was said right.

"Like I said, we don't always get what we want," said the general. "We'd never be able to get a university to give Alexander Harris an honorary degree and the other scientists would become rather hostile if we proposed they work with a nameless teenager who didn't even have the most basic of qualifications in the field."

Xander sighed deeply. This was just bloody typical. Hadn't he spent enough time stuck in his female form already? "Okay," he said. "I see your point. I don't like it one bit, but I see where you're coming from."

"Good," said the general. "I'm sure the science boys will want to talk to you about what you have stored in that brain of yours soon enough, but before they get their hands on you I want to talk about your special abilities."

"Special abilities?" asked Xander. "You mean my being a Jedi?"

"Yes, well, I have a hard time believing that you're something out a Hollywood movie," said the general. "But you certainly seem to have some interesting abilities with the way you managed to kill eight Chryssalids single-handedly in melee combat."

"The Force is my ally," said Xander. "But I don't suppose you'll accept that as an answer. Truthfully, that's a difficult question to answer. It would be like explaining music to the deaf or art to the blind. A demonstration might be best."

The general nodded. "That can be arranged," he said. "I have to admit, I'm curious to see what you're capable of. Anyway, I think we're done here. My secretary will direct you to a room that's been prepared for you to stay in. Your possessions should already be there by now."

Xander nodded and stood up. He almost felt like he should salute, but he wasn't really military so he didn't.

The room was fairly small, as you'd expect from living quarters on a military base. He wasn't an officer, and he wasn't going to rate a whole lot in the way of accommodation, but it was still better than what he'd been expecting in training. At least he had privacy in this room. There wasn't much in the way of furnishings but it was more than adequate for his needs. A bed, a desk, a chair, and set of drawers to keep his possessions in. It was enough.

He slumped down onto the bed and stared up at the ceiling. He was going to be a scientist. A scientist! That was a new one for sure. And a PhD. Jesus. This was just going way outside of his comfort zone, that was for sure. Fighting aliens and killing them, that was easy. That was the sort of thing he'd been doing for years and years and years now and it was something he could handle. The only challenge would have been the fact that he couldn't just deflect their attacks back into their faces with his sabre. This . . . this was something else entirely.

The worst part of it was that he didn't really feel all that qualified to be a scientist type. Yeah, he had a lot of knowledge shoved into his head courtesy of Ethan's little spell, but that didn't make him a scientist really. Revan sure hadn't been a scientist. She'd been far from uneducated, sure, but the equivalent of a couple years of college-level physics classes, maybe, even if they were Star Wars level, doesn't make you a research scientist. And it felt like cheating. He hadn't worked for this knowledge like the other scientists would have, it was just there one day ready for him to use.

"This is insane," he muttered to himself.

Well, if he was going to be a scientist, then he should probably start acting like one. Would have helped if he'd brought his laptop, but he could do without till he got it shipped up. He dug out a pad of writing paper he'd brought along for writing letters home and a pen and the pondered the various things he'd learned back in his youth as a Jedi before finally jotting down a title for the paper he would write: 'The Unified Theory Of Physics'. It wasn't quite true - it only applied to physics in normal dimensional space and not hyperspace - but it wasn't far off. It was strange to think that this theory had came from one of the greatest scientific geniuses in the history of galactic civilisation in the Star Wars dimension but here it could come from . . . him, though he was just regurgitating that work.

It would probably be mind-blowing to the scientists of Earth, but, from his perspective as Revan, it was high-school material for the most part. Anyway, the paper was far too long to write in one sitting regurgitated from memory - and he needed to reconstruct parts of it from first principles anyway as his memory wasn't quite that good - but he got a considerable amount done before fatigue set in and he set it aside for the night.

"So how are we going to play this then?" asked Xander as he eyed the rather average looking Asian man stood at the the other end of the gym area wearing a gi tied together with a black belt.

"Well, I want to see what you can do," said General Wilson from near the room's entrance. "And this seems as good a starting point as any. Jiro here has been studying the martial arts since he could walk and there's not a man in X-COM that can touch him in hand-to-hand combat. I want to see how you hold up against him."

"Oh," said Xander. "Joy. You do realise that I'm not a martial artist, right?"

"You killed eight Chryssalids in melee," said the general. That's close enough by my reckoning."

Xander nodded and assumed a basic Echani stance he'd picked up during the Mandalorian wars. He wasn't lying when he said he wasn't a martial artist but he'd picked up plenty of bits and pieces along the way. Jiro might have assumed a stance but Xander didn't see it in the time between him standing still and the time he launched forward and attacked in a whirlwind of arms and legs.

In all fairness, Xander, thought, this Jiro character was extremely good at what he did. Even a Slayer would have been hard-pressed to keep up with him and his skill was superlative. But to someone who had the Force on their side, his movements were telegraphed well in advance and it wasn't overly difficult to simply weave around his blows and dodge them entirely. The look on Jiro's face was just comical really. He obviously hadn't been expecting this.

Soon enough, Xander tired of the exhibition and decided to end it before Jiro was completely humiliated. He ducked underneath a roundhouse kick and in a flurry of movement he slammed a knee into the martial artist's ribs, doubling him up, before connecting with a precisely calculated right hook that knocked the man down and out without actually causing him to lose consciousness.

"How was that?" asked Xander, not even breathing hard.

Wilson blinked, and then again, before he spoke. "Are you even human?" he asked.

"Of course I'm human!" snapped Xander. "Your agents would have figured out if I wasn't with the amount you dug up on me anyway."

"True enough," said the general, inclining his head slightly in a nod. "You okay there, soldier?"

"Never better, sir," said Jiro in a thick New York accent, wheezing slightly as he caught his breath.

"Didn't think I'd hit you that hard," said Xander, offering his hand to Jiro who gladly took the help to get back up.

"Don't know what you're used to fighting," said Jiro. "But humans take a while to recover after being whacked around like that."

Hmm. Maybe he hadn't calculated his blow as well as he'd thought he had. Oh well. Didn't seem like there'd been much harm done.

"Well, sorry 'bout that," said Xander. "Didn't realise I hit so hard."

Jiro waved it off. "S'alright," he said. "I've had worse knocks in training before."

"That will be all, lieutenant" said the general. "You may return to your normal duties now."

Jiro saluted and then left.

"Well, you can fight," said the general. "But we already knew that. I was hoping to see some of your esoteric abilities."

Xander almost rolled his eyes. "Your wish is my command," he said, before reaching out with the force and lifting a set of weights into the air and lazily floating them around the room.

"Well . . . that's something alright," said the general. "What's the weight limit on that little trick?"

"Technically, there isn't one," said Xander, lowering the weights back to the ground. "But it becomes increasingly difficult to visualise as the object gets larger and more complex."

"So what? A car? A tank? What's your limit," asked the general. "I'm not interested in technicalities."

"Largest thing I've ever lifted was a Basilisk War Droid," said Xander, his mind going back to that battle before he shook it off. "Thing massed a couple hundred tonnes, I'd say."

The general whistled. "Impressive. Don't think any of the aliens can manage even close to that," he said. "Suppose I can't really doubt you after seeing this. A real, live Jedi, huh? That's sure not something I ever expected to see."

"It's something I never expected to see," quipped Xander. "It just kinda happened."

"Hell of a thing to just happen," said the general. "Anyway, I think we're about done here now. I'd appreciate a write-up outlining your abilities but I can't think of anything else."

Time passed quickly after that. Xander wrote a general write-up of his Jedi abilities and handed it over to the general who didn't react much beyond a raised eyebrow, finished his paper, and then mostly just waited for things to move along. Mostly, there wasn't a lot for him to do. He wasn't part of the ground forces or the air forces so he couldn't train with them, and without the qualifications he couldn't take part in any research efforts, even if the research facilities had been present at the training base, which they weren't. He could have wrote more papers up but that was tedious as all get-out and not entirely useful. It was going to be hard enough to get them to except what he'd already written.

On the other hand, there was some entertainment value in watching the new recruits sweating their way through basic training when they passed through the areas of the base compound he was spending his time in. You'd think people would be better prepared before they showed up for training like that but there you go. Apparently the idea that physical fitness would be a requirement had eluded most of them.

Eventually, he was called into the Supreme Commander's office again.

"Well, Harris, we've got the paperwork ready," said the general as soon as Xander sat down in one of the wooden chairs furnishing the office. "You're now the proud possessor of a PhD in Physics from Durham University. Congratulations, Doctor Giles."

"Isn't there supposed to be an award ceremony or something?" asked Xander, somewhat gob-smacked.

"Normally there would be," said the general. "But we don't really have time for that sort of thing. We'd have to fly you over to England and go through all sorts of rigmarole that would waste time we can't afford to lose. You're to report to the X-COM base near Austin, Texas, immediately."

"I'd like some time to swing by Sunnydale to pick up my possessions," said Xander. "I didn't bring my female wardrobe with me, and I'll kinda need it."

"That sounds kinda frivolous to me," said the general. "You can can pick up clothing there in Austin."

Xander almost rolled his eyes. "I packed for boot camp. There's a lot of stuff I would have brought with me if I was going to be working in R&D," he said. Then he sighed, "I could have it shipped through though."

"Well, there you go," said the general. "I'll tell the base to be expecting you. We'll see to having your car transported there."

There really wasn't much left to say to that so Xander collected the paperwork and left. It was all a little surreal really. One minute he's a high-school drop-out and the next he has a doctorate, even if it wasn't a real one. It was quite possibly the most bizarre moment of his life since the time he'd came to after a spell and found that he had breasts.

The flight down to Austin was uneventful barring the morbidly obese man who sat next to him on the plane and took half of Rachel's seat too. That hadn't been very pleasant at all. It truly did baffle Rachel as to how people could get quite that overweight and not collapse in on themselves. Fortunately, she was on the slender side herself and hadn't been crushed up against the wall of the plane. Suffice to say, it had been quite a relief when the plane landed and she got free of that situation.

Fortunately, finding a phone didn't take long. Finding change, on the other hand, took considerably longer. But eventually she keyed in Giles's number and was waiting for him to answer.

"Rupert Giles speaking," he said when the phone was picked up.

"Giles, it's Rachel," said Rachel. She would have said more but he was talking before she could continue.

"Rachel?" he said. "Is something wrong? I thought you'd be acting as Xander."

"There's been a change of plan, Giles," said Rachel. "I'm not being recruited as a soldier anymore."

The sight of relief from Giles was clearly audible.

"Yeah," said Rachel. "Well, I've been recruited as a scientist because of my lightsabre and that stuff I did with batteries. They've even got me awarded a PhD from Durham University."

"They what?" asked Giles, sounding absolutely stunned. "Rachel, that's wonderful! Durham's not the best of universities, but still . . . that's incredible to have a doctorate at your age."

"Well it's not a real PhD, I don't think," said Rachel. "It's honorary. Anyway, I kinda need you to ship my possessions down to the base I'm going to be working on. I need my clothes and my computer."

"If you give me the address I'll see to it," said Giles. "But I thought you were going to be working for these people in your male form?"

"Me too," said Rachel flatly. "But my patents and stuff are under the name Rachel Giles so that's that. I'm beginning to think that the gods are conspiring against me ever getting to live in my male form."

"Hmm, well, I'll see to it," said Giles. "Just give me the address and I'll deal with it first thing in the morning."

Rachel looked at the piece of paper that held her orders and promptly read the address off. "That's it, Giles. Look, I'm on a payphone here, and the money's running low. I'll get in touch again when I have better ways to do so."

"Very well," said Giles. "Do try and be careful, Rachel."

"Aren't I always?"

And with that the call was done. Rachel hefted her duffel and headed off to buy a set of clothes and then find a taxi. Damned if she was gonna walk all that way after that nightmare of a flight.

Rachel passed through base security with a minimum of fuss. She was stopped at the game and challenged to identify herself, which she did, and then she was stopped there to wait for a soldier to come and escort her into the base. That soldier then led her to where she sat now: Commander Miller's office. And boy did he ever look displeased. She didn't think she'd seen someone so pissed since she looked in the mirror after Angelus returned.

"I don't like this one bit," he said. "But we have our orders. You will be treated as an assimilated OF-3, that's the NATO code for the rank of Major. Your place within the Science branch will basically be determined by the head of that department."

He looked like something had died. It was quite amusing really.

"Thanks," said Rachel. "By the way, have they got anything out of my lightsabre?"

"Not that I know of," said the commander. "It's not a major project at the moment, though. Anyway, there are quite a few rules you'll need to follow. The booklet I've given you will explain them but feel free to ask your senior officers if you have any questions. And make sure you've read and understood the evacuation procedures."

"Yes, sir," said Rachel. "Um, do I have to do that whole sir and saluting thing?"

"No," said the commander. "You're a civilian contractor not military. If you'd been recruited like I wanted you to . . . Anyway, do you have any other questions?"

"Can't think of any," said Rachel. "Well, I'd like to know about accommodation."

"You'll get a three room suite to yourself," said the commander. "It's not much but none of us get much more than that in these bases."

Rachel nodded. "That will be more than adequate, thank you."

"Right," said the commander. "Well, there's an orderly waiting outside who'll escort you to your accommodations. The time being what it is, you'll be starting work tomorrow morning. If you're hungry, the mess hall is open 24/7."

The rooms weren't much really. They were small and roughly constructed, the marks where they'd been hollowed out the room from the rocky ground still visible, and they didn't have much in the way of furnishings. Then again, she didn't need much, and as long as she had a bed to sleep in and places to keep her possessions she was pretty much happy, though she had to admit that the idea of sharing a bathroom with strangers didn't appeal overly much. Thankfully, that wouldn't be necessary with this setup. It might not be a luxury 5* setup, but she had a shower and a toilet, and that was good.

Of course she wasn't going to leave the room as bare as it was. Even a Jedi doesn't want to live in a place that's little more than a hole in the wall with nothing to give a touch of home. A few pictures of the gang back in Sunnydale took care of that well enough for her tastes. She wasn't the sort that would go for having flowers and pot pourri and all that garbage strewn really. Some pictures would be more than enough.

As she set a picture of the whole gang of them - Buffy, Willow, and Xander from back before the spell - she both felt and heard her stomach rumble and let out a distinct groaning noise that could only mean that it needed to be filled and soon. She rolled her eyes and headed into her bedroom to change into the clothes she'd just bought. Might as well wear something that actually fits after all.

The mess hall was mostly empty when Rachel sat down with her heaped plate and began to dig in. The food might not exactly be gourmet faire but it was warm and it was filling and she'd never been much more demanding than that as far as food went, especially when she was as hungry she was at just that moment. Going twenty hours without a decent meal just sucked when you had the metabolism she had and she hadn't had much opportunity to pick anything up to take the edge off.

For several minutes she was interrupted in her quest to ingest vast quantities of food before she felt someone settle into the seat next to her and move uncomfortably close to her. She immediately looked up and shot the bulky soldier a withering glare that bounced straight off his walls of ignorance.

"Hey there," he said in an oily tone of voice that she supposed was an attempt to be ingratiating. "You're new here, aren't you?"

"Just got in today," said Rachel in a rather cold tone of voice.

"Well, you know, I could show you around the base," said the soldier. "I know all the good spots."

"Not interested," said Rachel, going back to her food.

"Come on," said the soldier, putting his hand on her shoulder, which drew possibly the coldest glare the world had ever seen from Rachel. "It'll be fun, I promise."

"You don't know when to take no for an answer, do you?" said Rachel while shrugging his hand off.

"You need to loosen up," said the soldier, while he tried to put his hand back on her shoulder. Unfortunately Rachel's attempt to quickly move away from him resulted in his hand landing somewhere a great deal more personal. "Uh . . . "

"You really don't know when to quit it for your own good, do you?" hissed Rachel, her eyes blazing. As she continued to speak, she laced her words with persuasive power , "you like men really. You're going to go tell the commander that you love him. It's a good idea really."

"I like men really," said the soldier dully as he stood up. "I'm going to go tell the commander that I love him."

And then he was gone. Rachel happily returned to her food and dismissed the matter from her mind. The fool would get what he deserved now and sure as hell wouldn't be pestering her ever again if he knew what was good for him. She finished her plate but she was still hungry so she went for a second helping and proceeded to start and demolish that one too.

"For such a slender girl, you sure do eat a lot," said a male voice behind her.

Rachel rolled her eyes and turned around to deliver a scathing remark that died on her lips as she saw who it was. In the end she said, "well, I get a lot of exercise."

"I'm sure you do," said the commander as he sat down opposite from her. "Now would you care to explain the humiliated soldier in my office who just declared his undying love for me?"

"I will not be treated like a piece of meat," said Rachel icily. "Hopefully that fool has now learned his lesson."

"I'd say he has," said the commander. "We don't recruit people dim enough to not get it after something like that. I'm not happy about you using psionics on one of my men though. That's not acceptable."

"I . . . yes, you're right," said Rachel. "And I do apologise. I lost my temper and I should know better than that."

"You're right," said the commander. "You should. Normally I'd make you apologise to the guy, but I'm finding it kinda hard to after getting the story out of him. It's not the first time he's got a bit pushy, either, so I'll let you off with a verbal warning this time. Keep those powers to yourself. Feel free to smack people like him around but no messing with their heads."

"I suppose I can live with that," said Rachel.

The next morning came around quickly and Rachel found herself in the base's lab complex as the other science staff straggled in, most of them looking somewhat less than impressed with the whole concept of being awake this side of noon. She did garner some curious looks but not much more than that as everyone congregated in. Honestly, most of them didn't look awake enough to realise that there was someone new there. Eventually an older man with an ill-maintained, greying goatee and a receding hairline rolled on in wearing an extremely battered looking lab coat and everyone else shut up. Well, for the most part.

"Okay, people," he said. "We've got a new member in our little group today. Come on up, Dr. Rachel Giles."

Rachel stepped up next to him but she really had no idea what he was expecting her to do. "Um, hi," she said in the end.

"Right," he said. "Some of you may have already heard of her, but, for those of you haven't, she's got a couple of published patents on some long-lasting batteries that are in very wide use these days, and she's the lightsabre girl."

Now that got their attention. All eyes were fixed on her at that point and a ripple of conversation passed across the room as the scientists murmured to each other about her.

"Yeah," he said. "She's coming straight in at OF-3 so she'll be in charge of one of our teams. She's been assigned Doctor Thompson's old team and you'll be working on special projects. The brass tell me that she has some real interesting ideas and it'll be her team's job to help get those ideas working."

The mutters that followed that sounded distinctly discontented. Whether it was the rank or the fact that she was getting a virtual free hand was up for debate, though.

"Got anything to say, Dr. Giles?" he asked.

"Not really," she said. "Just that I'm looking forward to getting some of this stuff working, I suppose."

"Well, that's it, people," he said. "Time to get to work. Scram. And get some coffee into you, will you? You all look like the living dead here."

"Long hours, huh?" asked Rachel as the group started to disperse into the various labs and offices linked to the area they were in.

"You wouldn't believe it if you didn't live it, believe me," he said. "Anyway, I'm Doctor Smith. If you have any problems, come to me and I'll try to help."

"Sure thing," said Rachel. "So what's the sitch?"

"Huh?" he asked. "Oh. Your lot will be office 18a now or at least they should be. Never can be sure with this lot. It's just over in the corner there. Good luck. You're probably gonna need it."

And then he wandered whistling tunelessly to himself. Would have been nice if he'd given her some idea what they were expecting from her but she supposed she couldn't have everything.

"So you're the new boss, huh?" asked one of the men who'd been waiting in the office for her. He was a fairly tall guy, taller than Rachel by a fair bit anyway, and he looked as if there was a rotten smell underneath his nose.

"Yeah, that's me," said Rachel. "Who's who here, anyway?"

"Denver Finch," said the guy who'd already been talking. "PhD, Physics, MIT."

"I'm Sarah Baker," said a perky-looking blonde, with a quick wave of her hand. "PhD, Chemical Engineering, Tulane."

"John Wright," said the last, a slightly older looking fellow who was somewhat rotund. "I guess I'm your second here with me being an OF-2. Got my PhD in Physics from Cambridge back in the seventies."

"Right," said Rachel. "So what have you guys been working on up till now, then?"

"Fundamental research into laser weaponry," said John. "Once that was done we moved onto that lightsabre of yours. Haven't quite been able to figure that out yet though."

"I'm kinda curious as to what makes you so qualified to be our boss," said Denver. "You don't even have a real degree from what I've heard."

John stirred as if he was going to tell Denver off but Rachel gestured for him to stay silet. "My qualifications?" she asked. "Well, I built that lightsabre you've been trying to reverse engineer. How's that? I may not have all my pieces of paper lined up right but so what? I've got results and I got them without any real funding or backup."

"And those results could be a fluke," said Denver. "You wouldn't be the first to stumble into something without really being any good at what you're working with."

"That would be a fair point," said Rachel. "Except it's hardly my only project, is it? I have those patents too and judging from the amount of money I've made from them I'd say they were a good bit of work."

"They are," said Sarah. "I was working at IBM when you released them and the company went nuts. If they could have gotten their hands on you, you'd have been hired on the spot."

"Well that's great," said Denver snottily. "So what are we going to be working on now, fearless leader?"

Rachel rolled her eyes and stifled the urge to thump the idiot. "Well, I have something for you all to look over," she said, while pulling the paper she'd written out of the folder she'd been carrying around. "I want to get it checked over before I do anything with it."

And with that she handed it over to John who skimmed the first two pages before dropping the paper down into the table and wandered off muttering about needing coffee, preferably of the Irish variety, before he could deal with it. Denver took just one look at title before spouting off.

"This is ridiculous," he almost shouted. "Scientists have worked for years to try and come up with something like this and you think you've got it just like that? Don't make me laugh."

"You might want to try reading it first, numbnuts," snapped Rachel. "Seriously, were you born stupid or did you have to work to get that way?"

Finch turned a rather amusing shade of purple at that. Before he could say anything, Sarah started flicking through the paper before dropping it back onto the table.

"Okay, that's beyond me," she said. "So what are we going to be working on? It's all a bit mysterious right now with this 'special projects' stuff. Sounds kinda exciting to be honest."

"Well, with you being a chemical engineer, I think we can work on some nifty ideas I have for power cells," said Rachel. "I think we can make some real progress there pretty quick."

"You've got my attention," said Sarah.