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Secrets -- Radek and a Mystery

One of the things that's so odd about writing professionally is the lag time between when I write something and when you read it. Melissa and I are already finished with Secrets, the fifth book in the Legacy series, which won't come out until February! But it's time for a little sneak peek at it, a non-spoilery scene in which William, the new archaeologist, has found something he thinks is important -- though Radek doesn't agree!



Dr. William Lynn was bent over the far end terminal in the upper bank in the control room, a neglected travel mug at his elbow, as he madly typed on his laptop, his eyes never leaving the screen of the Ancient terminal. Radek knew that rapt expression. His mouth tightened.

"What are you doing?" he asked, coming to stand behind him.

"I'm working on the Ancient database," William said, not lifting his eyes from the screen. "Some absolutely fascinating stuff here. The parts you've sent to Earth comprise only…."

"About 12% of the whole, yes. I know that." Radek bent forward. "But what are you working on that is a priority to have one of the control room terminals?"

"I need the full searchable database," William said. "Not just downloaded bits and clunky interfaces. I can perfectly well work in Ancient, and I'm doing so."

"Yes, but what are you working on?" Radek asked again. "I have the watch and I am the Chief of Sciences. If you are using the control room terminals, you should ask me first and tell me what you are doing."

William stopped and looked at him sideways. "Throwing your weight around?"

"I am asking you to courteously inform me in the same way you would anyone else."

William sighed. "I'm trying to find out more about the Ancient installation we found on the island, the one we think was a prison."

"I thought this planet was not mentioned in the database," Radek said.

"It's not. It's not listed in the inhabitable worlds, in the dialing addresses, survey and general geographic reports. Just like thousands of other worlds that don't support human life." William raised one finger, and Radek knew that expression, the one of haring off on a trail that no one else could possibly care about. "But I have found something interesting! Nine hundred years before Atlantis was evacuated, there was a disciplinary hearing conducted, investigating the decisions of a prison administrator who managed to lose 108 high security prisoners in a mass jail break."

Radek frowned. "What happened to him?"

"Nothing. He was dead. He'd been killed in the prison break."

Radek snorted. "And this is important why? I am terribly sorry some poor slob was killed in a prison break, what, eleven thousand years ago? But this is a priority for computer usage?"

"It's about this world," William said, his fingers flying over the screen, paging through the data in Ancient. "I have a feeling," he said.

"You have a feeling." His voice was flat.

"I have a feeling." William lifted his eyes again. "Look, anybody can go through data and any reasonably competent individual can walk around taking pictures of ruins. Dr. Jackson hired me for the SGC because I can put pieces together, make the leaps of intuition. Remember the work I did on Hadrian's Wall?"

"I do," Radek said, and hoped he didn't sound sour. It had involved a full semester of William away from Cambridge, though there had been that lovely Scottish bed and breakfast….

"There are pieces," William said. "I can't quite see how they fit yet, like pot sherds that are still missing. But there are pieces and they fit together. They make something." His eyes met Radek's. "This is what I do. I don't tell you how to do your work."

"You do not," Radek said. He took a deep breath. What harm could it do, really? No one else was clamoring for the terminal. "A prison break eleven thousand years ago?"

"Less a century," William said. "It's a fascinating proceeding. Really interesting to see the examination of witnesses and the presentation of data. I'm almost certain that the prison was the one here. It was clearly somewhere very cold. And at that time this world could have had a Stargate." He scrolled the data again. "This is the account from one of the surviving guards. For some reason one of the officers let a woman out and she let out the others. It's very murky what happened. There was a report of a fire, that the base was filling up with smoke and the ventilation systems had failed, but the investigation found no evidence that there was a fire at all, despite several of the survivors insisting there was. The fire suppression systems were manually engaged, but the automatics didn't cut in. Very strange. Nearly all of the garrison were killed. Those who weren't were the ones who rallied in the hangar bay control room. The prisoners managed to get to the DHD and dial out. They escaped through the Stargate."

Radek frowned at the screen. One line of symbols stood out amid the Ancient writing. "That is a gate address," he said.

William nodded. "That's the address they dialed out to. Of course by the time of the hearing the Ancients had sent law enforcement to that address to recapture them, but they were long gone." He looked up at Radek again. "I've never seen this one before."

"I have," Radek said. "That is the first address we dialed when we came to Atlantis."

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Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
sgawraithfan
Jun. 1st, 2011 03:52 pm (UTC)
The inclusion of facts from the Ancient database bolsters the theory that 108 (the sum of two numbers seen before)must be more than numeric symbolism. :)
jo_graham
Jun. 1st, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
108 prisoners, yes. That's a fact. :) And what do you suppose the address is?
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jo_graham - Jun. 1st, 2011 09:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sgawraithfan - Jun. 1st, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pegasus_jay - Jun. 1st, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo_graham - Jun. 1st, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo_graham - Jun. 1st, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
sgawraithfan
Jun. 1st, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
I also suspect Osprey is responsible for the illusion of a fire. :D
(no subject) - jo_graham - Jun. 1st, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jansma - Jun. 2nd, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo_graham - Jun. 3rd, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
jarodrussell
Jun. 1st, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
108 is also an interesting episode number.
(Deleted comment)
jo_graham
Jun. 1st, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
The end of June. We hope!
(Deleted comment)
draco_stellaris
Jun. 1st, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
108 prisoners? That number seems very familiar. :)

Thanks for sharing this preview! Can't wait to read Screts!
jo_graham
Jun. 1st, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
A very familiar number indeed! On an ice world. Righty.

BTW, is anybody else having a horrible time getting on Gateworld? I can't get on for the life of me.
pegasus_jay
Jun. 1st, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
Gateworld is working fine for me? Too many stargate fans login on at the same time perhaps?
(no subject) - jo_graham - Jun. 1st, 2011 09:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
draco_stellaris
Jun. 1st, 2011 07:44 pm (UTC)
Hah! :D

GateWorld is extremely glitchy at the moment. Bugs all over the place and it's lagging like hell. Many people complain they can't get on and the bugs appear to be random, meaning all kinds of browsers and all kinds of operating systems can become victim. I can log in but I have other annoying glitches to battle with. :(
Greg (the board's software expert) is waiting for the next version of the forum software to be released so he can fix all the glitches.
(no subject) - jo_graham - Jun. 1st, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jansma - Jun. 2nd, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jansma - Jun. 2nd, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jansma - Jun. 2nd, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
mari_luvs_gcfa
Jun. 16th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
Are my slash goggles on way too tight, or does this passage imply that there was/is a relationship between this William guy and Radek? I am intrigued!
jo_graham
Jun. 16th, 2011 10:55 am (UTC)
*whistles innocently off into space*
mari_luvs_gcfa
Jun. 16th, 2011 10:57 am (UTC)
That is my very favorite kind of whistling!
(no subject) - jo_graham - Jun. 16th, 2011 10:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mari_luvs_gcfa - Jun. 16th, 2011 11:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jo_graham - Jun. 16th, 2011 11:37 am (UTC) - Expand
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )