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Indistinguishable from Magic?

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"I cannot believe this," Rodney said, hands flying in the air as he attempted to express his rage. "I just-- This is insane." Their captors batted his hands down and tied them behind his back.

John looked skyward and submitted himself to being roped up.

"Not only," Rodney continued, "not only are we being arrested for a crime we didn't commit, we are being arrested for a crime that doesn't exist. There is no such thing as magic!"

John spared a glance for their captors, but they didn't seem to mind Rodney's ranting. The dark haired one with the prominent ears standing with the blond leader kept shooting them curious looks, but he didn't seem to be a threat.

Teyla's calm voice came from somewhere behind him. "Perhaps it is just that what they call magic is what you call science, Rodney."

"That's even more ridiculous," said Rodney. "You can't ban science. Science just is."

"What's that phrase?" said John, thoughtfully. "Any sufficiently advanced technology..."

"Is indistinguishable from magic, yes, yes, but the fact is that here we have a perfectly natural area of study that is being oppressed by the decree of some nobody who calls himself a king."

"Come on, Rodney, it wouldn't be the first time we've been arrested just for walking through the Stargate," said John.

Their escort brought itself to a halt and the leader turned to face them.

"So you do admit to being sorcerers, then," he said.

"What?" said Rodney.

"Did you think we couldn't understand you? That 'nobody' you were so scornful of is my father."

Rodney made a slightly strangled noise.

"We are travelers," said Teyla. "This force you call 'sorcery' is not familiar to us."

"Sorcery is a blight upon the land that must be purged."

"Yes, but what is it?" demanded Rodney.

"The power to bring the inanimate to life; to create fire out of nothing; to turn mud into monsters; to create light out of pitch darkness: that is all sorcery."

"That's impossible," said Rodney, spluttering.

The dark-haired one was looking a little pained.

Naturally, it was then that they were set upon by bandits.

Some hours later, Teyla and Ronon were being presented to the king as the heroes responsible for saving the life of the heir to the throne.

John and Rodney stood against the wall and watched.

"If you'd let me use my gun," John began. The ceremony finished up, and servants began shuffling around bearing goblets and steins.

"If you'd used your gun they would have thought it was magic and you'd be standing up there facing certain death," said Rodney.

The prince's dark-haired servant cleared his throat. John and Rodney both stiffened, not having realised he was so close. "You wouldn't... I mean, Arthur was mostly putting it on for the other knights." He frowned. "I hope. Probably, anyway."

Rodney was making helpless spluttering noises beside John.

"Is that beer?" said John, pointing at the tray in the prince's servant's arms. "Can I have some?"

"Um," said the prince's servant, struggling to get a hand free. "Yes?"

"Merlin, you really are the world's worst manservant," said the prince, walking over to them. "You're supposed to offer drinks to me, not the travelling nobodies."

John and Rodney exchanged a glance.

"We'll go as soon as Teyla and Ronon are able to leave," promised John.

"Are you kidding?" exclaimed Rodney. "I'm not leaving until I find out more about this so-called sorcery."