By Enola Jones

Chadwick hated mutants. I took great pleasure in keeping him locked away in the brig until he was beamed to the Daedalus.

I went with them and informed Colonel Caldwell personally of the situation Chadwick had caused on Atlantis.

It was a joy to watch his reactions. Doctor McKay's mutant abilities were not public knowledge, and I knew I was taking a huge risk that could easily backfire on me.

But to my delight, after the first flicker of surprise, Caldwell's lips compressed. "Nobody deserves that," he snarled. "Especially not someone who has saved lives on a near-daily basis and who's having to deal with emerging meta-human abilities as well."

"I'm glad you understand," I replied. "Now, if I may be excused ---"


Startled, I sat back down. "Yes, sir?"

"You seem to be taking this rather.... personally. You and Colonel Sheppard both."

I felt my lips thin. "Yes, sir. I care deeply about meta-humans."

"Mind filling me in as to why? For sheer curiosity --- off the record."

"Off the record?"


I studied him, then I took a deep breath. "Both of my guardians were meta-humans. So was Colonel Sheppard's adoptive father."

Caldwell sat back, nodding slowly. "That --- actually makes a lot of sense."

"Sir?" I frowned.

"You. Sheppard. You've always acted like you've shared a past --- though I know for a fact you have never served together."

"Yes, sir." I found myself smiling. "He's about five years older than I am, and he was at the Compound about three years before I arrived." I blinked at his expression. "Sir?"

"The Compound," he repeated. "Was this Compound in California?"

"Yes, sir."

"Malibu Beach, California?"

My jaw dropped. "You, sir?"

"No, not me. But my 2IC and my Head Nurse. Jim Mercola and Lisa Turnbull."

I blinked. "Lisa Turnbull? I always wondered what happened to her. I don't know Jim Mercola --- he was probably before my time there. I got there in 1979."

"He left there in 1977," Caldwell told me. "He tells me often that the five years he was there was the happiest time in his life."

"The decade I was there was definitely the happiest of mine. Five or six of those years, Colonel Sheppard and I were raised as brothers."

"Which explains why you both have rallied around Doctor McKay," Caldwell nodded again. "I know he has ties to the Compound as well."

"Sir, we rallied around him before we knew of his ties," I set him straight. "No one should be alone when their powers manifest. Or after. And we don't leave anyone behind."

"Neither do I," Caldwell said with a rare smile.

I returned it, then frowned deeply. "Sir --- will Chadwick be----"

Caldwell held up a hand. "He is guilty of assault and attempted murder. I can assure you, he will not see freedom for a very long time --- if at all."

"Good," I ground out.

He chuckled. "Dismissed, Major Lorne."

I saluted and headed out of his office. Hermiod returned me to Atlantis, and I sighed deeply as I felt her hum faintly in the back of my mind.

Home at last.

I was glad Caldwell didn't ask if I had any meta-human abilities of my own. John and Rodney and Sergeant Collins from my team were the minority of kids raised in the Compound. Most of us --- including me --- had no powers at all.


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