"That's why we should call it a Gateship," Ford interjected.
"I was getting there!" McKay said as he examined his readings from the planet below them. "As I was saying, it was perfectly designed for travel through the Gate," he finished, glancing hopefully at Sheppard.
"I don't care," Sheppard said. "It's a Puddle Jumper. That's final."
"I don't think you get it," McKay continued. "This ship wasn't originally built for interstellar travel. According to information I've gleaned from the Ancient database, its original purpose was to haul trade goods from planet to planet. It was only when the Wraith were found that the Ancients redesigned the ships with shields and cloaking mechanisms, not to mention the drones."
"McKay," Sheppard sighed. "Give it a rest."
"Look at this cargo area!" McKay said, waving his hands at the back. "This isn't a battle cruiser, Sheppard. This is the minivan of the Pegasus galaxy!"
Ford laughed. "Sir, McKay's got a point."
Sheppard craned his neck to glare at Ford. "You were just as excited to fly in the space minivan as I was, so zip it."
"From what you told me of Earth vehicles, Dr. McKay," Teyla chimed in, "the minivan holds many more people than a Puddle Jumper does."
"Yes, yes, exactly," Rodney said with a smile. "The Gateship was built with trade missions in mind, as I said, thus the need for the cargo space."
Sheppard was beginning to pout. "Can't it be the... Humvee of the Pegasus galaxy?"
"Oh, don't get me wrong, Sheppard," McKay said. "It's still a space ship, and it's still centuries ahead of anything Earth could have put out on its own in the next millenia."
"I understand that the shape of the Puddle Jumper was engineered in such a way as to fit through a Stargate, so as to create minimal drag and resistance when passing through the event horizon," Teyla said, earning a curious glance from McKay. "Yet I still do not see how that has any bearing on how this vessel is to be named. I find "puddle jumper" to be quite agreeable myself."
McKay frowned. "A wormhole is not a puddle, no matter how much it looks like one! The name is scientifically inaccurate!"
"What about space 'gates?" Ford asked. "If they didn't have shields yet, how'd they survive those?"
"They didn't," McKay said, "because the Ancients didn't initially see any 'gates in a planetary orbit. When they did, they thought it would be a good strategy to keep the Wraith from culling worlds. Apparently, that just drove them to build the darts."
"Did you learn all of this in the hologram room?" Sheppard asked.
"That last bit, yes," McKay replied. "The rest was in the database, with the Gateships' maintenance files."
"Any instruction manuals?" Ford asked.
"No, but I did find out about a program we can bring online to auto-pilot the ship without the gene. You know, if there's an emergency and Ford or Teyla has to get us back home." McKay pointedly returned to his readings before adding, "Or you could just teach me how to pilot one."
"I think I'd rather trust the auto-pilot," Sheppard replied.
"Ouch," Ford said. "Would you like something to put on that burn, McKay?"
"You know, maybe if you concede defeat on this naming stuff," Sheppard said peering sideways at McKay, "I might reconsider."
"It sounds like a generous offer," Teyla said.
"Calling it a Puddle Jumper is a scientific inaccuracy," McKay said, holding firm.
"If you don't want to learn to fly..."
McKay took a gulp. "You know, the beautiful thing about a Puddle Jumper is that what it lacks in height and width, it makes up for in length."
Sheppard's mouth twitched into a mischievous smile. "That's what I tried to tell my ex."
Teyla snickered, then attempted to school her expression. Ford looked mildly freaked out.
McKay snorted. "What are you, twelve?"
Sheppard gave him a smirk, then swiveled his chair just enough to prop one boot on the Jumper console.
"Thirteen, actually," he said.
He gave McKay a wink.
McKay shook his head. "I can't take you anywhere."
"Shall we not see if this planet is inhabited?" Teyla asked.
Sheppard raised an eyebrow. "McKay?"
"I have all the readings I need."
"Okay, then," Sheppard replied, pulling his foot off the console. "Let's see who's home."