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Crosswires

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Rodney never meant to touch the control panel but there had been a throbbing inside his head almost begging him to reach out and touch. It was so strong he simply couldn't resist the call, and now he regretted it because all it had brought him was trouble. Sheppard was furious, Teyla exasperated, and Ronon looked like he wanted to space Rodney, and Rodney wasn't sure if the other two would stop him if he tried.

"I can fix it," he insisted, teeth clenched.

"You better," Ronon grumbled, playing with one of his many, many knives.

Sheppard sighed heavily as Rodney stomped to the back of the Puddlejumper. Rodney pulled off the panel hiding some of the control crystal wiring, disregarding more than half of the connections immediately as he had taken time to study the inner workings of the Jumper following the disaster during the first year when the Jumper got stuck in the Stargate. Eventually the others stopped glaring at him and Rodney felt some of the tension leave the Jumper. As he worked he tried to figure out why he had experienced such an overwhelming urge to touch the console. It bugged him because if it had been some warning of impending doom, wanting him to do something before they imploded or exploded, then Sheppard would have received it too. Obviously, he hadn't.

Rodney frowned when he came across a connection that seemed... wrong.

He stopped what he was doing and stared at it, mentally working out what this connection could possibly do in the wrong configuration, barely noticing Sheppard coming up behind him until he felt a light touch on his arm.

"You okay, Rodney?"

He held up a finger to demand silence and for once John didn't push his hand down in irritation, waiting quietly instead. Everything became clear as his mind followed the convoluted path of the crystal technology, realizing this particular crossed wire would cause no problems under normal circumstances but John had been heading towards a gas giant, not too dissimilar to Jupiter in Earth's solar system, though that still didn't answer the question for why the ATA interface had sent an 'action-required' command to Rodney rather than to John.

When Rodney explained after re-routing the bad connection, John went back to the now-working control panel and all the technical information flashed across the HUD.

"HUH!" Rodney exclaimed when he realized this wasn't the only crossed wire.

Several more crystals were misaligned. If John had received the mental warning through the ATA interface then his actions would have been to veer away from the danger, and the crossed wire would have sent them straight into danger, whereas Rodney's touch had caused an emergency shutdown overriding all other commands.

When they reached Atlantis an hour later, Teyla apologized and thanked him as she left the Jumper. Ronon slapped him hard on the back before walking away leaving only John behind.

"Good job, Rodney," he stated before heading off, and Rodney could not help but preen at the ego-stroking until the jumper bay door closed behind John.

"Radek!" he yelled down his radio.

One of Radek's engineers had screwed up on this Jumper. Rodney wasn't going to let a single Jumper out of this bay until they had all been thoroughly checked over, and the idiot replaced or re-trained.

END