Genre: Um… This is not entirely serious. You have been warned.
Summary: Okay, so I nearly killed John Sheppard. So sue me.
Okay, so I nearly killed John Sheppard. So sue me. It's not that big a deal. Damn near every sentient creature in the Pegasus galaxy has tried to kill John Sheppard at some point. It's like one of those rites of passage that everyone has to go through, like your first kiss or your first beer. They should have a ceremony for it, with a greetings card and a certificate.
Take Aiden Ford, for starters. Stopped Sheppard's heart with that defibrillator thing, then conveniently forgot how to get it started on again. But do they treat him as a murderer? Do they denounce him with pointing finger and nostrils of quivering outrage? No! He goes missing, and they run after him as if he's an ickle wickle lost lamb. And Rodney McKay. Ha! Rodney McKay! Nearly gets Sheppard killed, and destroys an entire solar system, or as near as dammit, but they still seem to like him.
So, as I said, nearly killing John Sheppard really isn't that big a deal. And, besides, he got better.
Huh. I can see you're not convinced. How about this, then – this little fact. Who's dead round here? Yup, that's right: me. Dead, dead, dead. Think of that when you apportion blame. That Sheppard of yours is striding around the galaxy with his heroic jaw and his exclamatory hair, while I, the so-called super-villain, am dead. Makes you think, doesn't it?
Actually, being dead isn't that uncomfortable, at least after the latest renovations. Okay, so the food isn't up the much. It's all healthy eating round here, with no chocolate, and certainly no stronger fare. The constant broccoli's bad enough, but ambrosia… Excuse me while I shudder. Ambrosia! Fifteen calories a tub and ninety-five percent fat free it may be, but the taste… Apparently it's supposed to taste of fairy breath and baby bottoms and clouds and the pink fuzzy light of friendship. Ugh!
Oh, and don't even get me started on the lack of violence. Not that I'm a violent soul, oh no, but sometimes one does need to while away the hours by plotting bloody vengeance against the man who got you killed and the people who malign your name. Well, as weapons go, a harp is pretty crap, and a halo is worse, and that's all we're allowed to lay our hands on, and one day we will get our....
But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes. History. There's this thing about the afterlife, see; you meet all sorts of people. There's this guy – Aristotle, I think, or it could be Marx or perhaps Suetonius. Dead white males look all the same to me, you see, except that some of them prance around in bed sheets while others wear chimneys on their heads. They do all like their beards, too. Excuse me while I shudder. I had a traumatic encounter with a beard when I was a kid. I never quite recovered.
Anyway, this guy – Aristotle or Marx or whoever… Clever guy, whoeever he was, though a bit of a know-it-all, and too fond of his own voice, like somebody else I could mention, who'd fit right in here; in fact, a guy called Newton is drumming his fingers impatiently, waiting for that day. "He dares to set himself up as an equal of me?" he splutters periodically. At least Newton doesn't have a beard, which is something. Anyway, he – the clever guy, I mean, not Newton - told me a little something about history.
That's the thing with the afterlife, you see. You can learn stuff. These clever men and women do so like to impart their wisdom to some newly-dead acolyte, and there are no College fees here. Say you're some poor guy who spent the bright years of your youth looking after your aged mother and sleeping through lessons… After you're run over by a bus at eighteen, you can come here and have a second chance at life, if you'll pardon the joke. Lots of edumacation going here. I intend to have three PhDs in time for Rodney McKay's arrival, just so I can see his face.
But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes. History. Biased sources, in fact. This clever guy with the regrettable beard told me that historians always have to take written evidence with a pinch of salt. All sources are biased, you see, and the people who create the most sources are the rulers and the oppressors, not the oppressed majority, so when you read about the rugged hero going up against the sly savage, chances are the savage would tell a very different tale, if he was given a voice. Believe me, it happens all the time. Take that Tolkien, for example. Took money from the murdering elves and the Gondorian dictatorship and totally rewrote the sorry tale of their extermination of the orcs. I've seen orcs – cuddly fellows who like basket-weaving and flute music. I've also seen a hobbit… Excuse me while I shudder. These guys are mean.
So that's what we're talking about here: biased sources. I'm just going to spin you a little scenario. Your golden boy, John Sheppard, is stranded in the wilderness. He's had nothing to eat in ten days, and his ribs are standing out against his manly torso, and he's heroically staggering around, weaving, swooning. Okay. Got that? Now let's imagine that he see a nice plump bunny rabbit in the distant. He draws his gun and shoots it, then cooks it over a fire.
Do you blame him for acting this way? Well, if you're a vegetarian, you might not be happy about it, but perhaps even you think that it was a lesser evil than your beloved John Sheppard starving to death. Most of you, though, probably think little of it.
Now imagine how the rabbit historians will record such a deed.
Ah, but I can see you shifting in your chair, losing interest. You've condemned me already, and are dismissing everything I say as meaningless babble.
Okay, let's cut to the chase. No more subtlety. I'll tell my story nice and slow.
A couple of years ago, see, I was starving, just like Sheppard in my example. I'd watched my aunts and uncles starve to death. I'd worked my fingers to the bone to provide food for my aged mother. My little brothers every night sobbed and begged me to find them a scrap of food…
Okay, so that part of it was a teensy bit exaggerated, on account of the fact that I don't actually have a mother, not that I know about, anyway, but I think it gives an accurate picture of my starving state and my emotional desperation and the awful vat of angst that I was floundering in.
And then your John Sheppard came running along – practically threw himself onto my plate, as it were. Would Sheppard turn down a cheeseburger that threw itself at him when he was starving? Of course he wouldn't, and neither did I. I bit the cheeseburger the moment it presented itself. Well, actually, I did pause for a fraction of a second, to make sure he didn't have a beard – perhaps in the way that you might check for the presence of mustard – but once I saw that it was safe, I… well, I attached myself to his neck. Who wouldn't have done the same?
Things rapidly became quite unpleasant – worse for me than for him, I'd wager. Ford shot me, and it really hurt, not to mention the fact that it was quite shockingly rude. Did his mother never teach him that it's rude to interrupt someone while they were eating? I damn near choked, and I might have… uh… dug in a little deeper in my agony, but that scream of Sheppard's was entirely put on for effect. I mean, there's no way having his entire life force sucked out through a hole in his neck could hurt. Walking meat doesn't feel pain; that's what I was always taught.
It only got worse after that. Some time later, when I was still just trying to enjoy a meal in peace, they started throwing things at me – iodine, alcohol… stuff like that. Imagine that! What would you say if you went to your favourite restaurant and the waiter started throwing water at you? You'd be quite annoyed. I was. And… And McKay! Imagine how Rodney McKay would react if you started throwing lemons at him during breakfast? When they threw salt and water at me, it was the last straw. I drew myself up the complain to the manager quite emphatically…
He screamed again then. Romantic violin music is a bit overdone in restaurants, but it sure beats what I had to put up with then, I can tell you.
And, really, that was about it. Ford zapped me with electricity, and at that point I really had had enough. I opened my mouth to rebuke him for his rudeness, and suddenly I was flying through the air and being filled with bullets. I think I passed out for a while, because I woke up scared and disorientated… and then there was nothing, just the horrible horrible void of space, which is not something I ever want to think about again.
So now I'm here, dead. Now I'm here, able to look down and see the distorted truth that Sheppard and his minions are putting out about our encounter. I was only trying to stay alive, and somehow they've cast me as the villain.
Life really isn't fair. Eat the wrong thing, and your life can be changed forever. Still, I've made a lot of friends here in the afterlife. There's Acastus and Steve and Bob and sixty Genii and hordes of Wraith, all looking quite fetching in their frilly white frocks. Believe me, we spend a lot of our time talking about John Sheppard and his friends. Oh, and working on embellishments to those harps and halos. One day we will have… Oh, silly me. Did I nearly say "bloody vengeance"? One day we will have justice. It might even make the eternity of ambrosia taste almost as good as a single sip of Sheppard's blood.
Huh. I can see you're not convinced. Still, I have one last question for you. Imagine you got the chance to press your lips to the soft, soft skin of John Sheppard's neck. Would you not be tempted? Think on that before you throw the first stone. Think on that, my friend. Think on that.