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Joy to be Claimed, Chapter Two

Author: wild_force71
Fic Title: Joy to be Claimed
Rating: 15s
Fandoms: JF/SG/Heroes




“Do you recognize this symbol?”

Mohinder glanced up, standing to join Nathan at the easel. “I’m sorry?”

“This symbol.” Nathan touched it lightly. “I’m sure I’ve seen it before.”

“No.” Mohinder studied it; a stylised pyramid in a circle, it didn’t resemble anything he knew. “No, I don’t believe so.”

Nathan nodded slowly, still studying it.

“What is it?” Peter asked, still pulling his jumper into place as he joined them.

“Not sure. I know I’ve seen it, though.”

“And that?” Peter jerked his chin towards the floating city.

“If I’d seen that I’d remember. It’s not the kind of thing you forget.”

“No, I suppose not.” He frowned, tracing the edge of a tower.

“Pete?” Nathan said warily.

“No. Nothing.” He shook off whatever it was, looking at Mohinder. “Did you find anything?”

“Yes, maybe.” He went back to the computer, pulling up a screen. “The sequence of junk DNA shows up in a tiny proportion of the population, but not in anyone who has manifested the Meta mutation. Joe Spencer is one of an even smaller proportion who have both, but this sequence seems to override the Meta. It’s almost impossible to detect.”

“This sequence blocks out the Meta mutation?” Peter repeated. “This is a cure?”

“Not a cure. I don’t believe it could be stimulated artificially. But anyone with this sequence will not manifest.”

“What does it do?” Nathan asked.

“Nothing. It has no effect whatsoever on those without Meta. It is only junk.”

“It’s not junk,” Peter said quietly. “It’s important.”

“Important to what?” Nathan asked, watching him.

Peter traced the pyramid shape on the edge of the desk. “Not sure yet. Can you track other people who have this sequence?”

“Yes,” Mohinder agreed slowly.

“What are you expecting to find?” Nathan asked.

“I told you, I don’t know yet. What about this?” He traced the pyramid again.

Nathan sighed, shaking his head. “I don’t know, Pete.”

“Find out.”

“We can’t…”

“Nathan.”

That was it, just his name. Nathan grimaced, glancing at Mohinder, who shrugged.

“Alright. I’ll see what I can find out. Just…wait for me, alright? Don’t go anywhere.” Peter frowned, studying him, and he added, “Every time you fight Sylar you die. Don’t go rushing into this one.”

Peter smiled faintly. “Alright. I’ll be careful.”

“I won’t be long.”

Peter waved him off, going back to lean over Mohinder’s shoulder and watch him run through the Human Genome Project’s database.



John didn’t bother intervening until Rodney had sent his third scientist running for cover. Zelenka was still grimly working away, ignoring Rodney as much as possible, but everyone else had evacuated.

“Having fun?” he asked, leaning against the doorframe.

“They’re even more incompetent than usual. How hard is it to reconfigure this database so the signals stop ghosting?”

“Apparently, quite hard.” John glanced at Zelenka, who rolled his eyes and muttered something in Czech. “Why is it ghosting?”

“We’re combining readings from two sets of sensors, and they don’t quite line up. Everyone’s showing up twice, sometimes in totally random parts of the city.” Rodney scowled at his screen. “It shouldn’t be happening.”

“You can’t track anyone?”

Rodney slammed down his computer. “Did I just say that? I believe I did! Did you want something, or did you just come to annoy me?”

“Just checking in. You’ve broken your own record for sending scientists running. I think most of ‘em volunteered for the next off-world mission, just to get out of here.”

“Yes, well, if they weren’t completely incompetent, we wouldn’t have that problem, would we.”

John glanced at Zelenka again; he quietly shook his head, and John nodded. “Alright. Just try not to totally crush them yet. Get the project done first.”

Rodney waved him off, more or less totally ignoring him, and he headed back out into the city.

“John!” Teyla called from behind him.

“Hey, Teyla.”

Something crashed in the lab, and Rodney and Zelenka’s voices rose in unison. Teyla looked back, surprised, but John ignored it and she hurried to keep up.

“Elizabeth says we have been grounded?”

“Yeah. Something’s going on back on Earth; SGC wants us to stand down for a little while, any of us with the ATA gene.”

“They believe you could be in danger here?”

“They’re not really sure. It might not have anything to do with the gene, they’re just being careful.”

Behind them, something exploded. John winced, walking faster.

“Rodney is…worried?” Teyla suggested.

“Rodney is a little upset,” John agreed. “Best to leave him alone, for now.”

“Do you know how long we will be grounded?”

“No. Hopefully not long.” He considered her. “You want to go home?”

“I would like to see my people, yes.”

“Good idea. Why don’t you see if Ronon wants to go? He doesn’t do so well on stand down.”

Teyla smiled. “I will ask him.”




“I believe I’ve found something,” Mohinder called.

Peter turned from the second painting—Mohinder in the strange lab—and came to join him. “What?”

“A partial list of people with this gene sequence. It’s odd…” He trailed off, studying the screen.

“What’s odd?”

“Hmm? There seems to be a large number of them in California. Statistically improbable.”

“Maybe it’s just that more people in California signed up to the Genome Project. That’s where you’re getting your readings, right?”

“Yes, but it’s still statistically too high for the number of people in the state. Something seems to pull them to that area.”

Peter read through the list. “And they’re all young. Young-ish, anyway.”

“Some of them are older than you, Peter,” Mohinder pointed out mildly. Peter grinned, still scanning the list.

“Several of them are Meta, too, look.” He pointed to the names.

“Yes,” Mohinder agreed. “The proportions of people with both the Meta mutation and this sequence are very high as well.”

“Well, California’s weird,” he said, shrugging. “Have you talked to the Bennets?”

“Butlers,” Mohinder corrected him automatically. “And no. Proportions for Costa Verde are stable, and I’m not eager to bring anyone to the Company’s attention if they’re managing to stay hidden.”

Peter nodded absently, studying the list again. “Angel Grove’s the highest,” he said after a moment.

“But not the most recent. Birth proportions there peaked thirty years ago and dropped back to normal five years later.”

Peter shook his head, still reading. “That’s not…it doesn’t make sense.”

“The newest entry to the database was here.” Mohinder touched the screen. “Ocean Bluff.”

Peter nodded quietly. “It’s pretty far from Indiana.” He sighed, pushing away from the desk. “We still don’t know how Sylar found Joe in the first place.”

Mohinder leaned back. “He painted it.”

Peter blinked. “He…”

“The painting showing Sylar and Joe Spencer was in his style, not yours or Isaac’s.”

Peter got up, moving to study the paintings again. “It doesn’t look like mine,” he admitted, “but it’s so hard to tell.”

Mohinder gestured to the canvases stacked against one wall. “Sylar’s work. The style is quite unmistakable.”

Peter nodded slowly. “Ok. But why? What’s so important about Joe Spencer?”



“I’m not saying he wasn’t pleasant enough, in his own way,” Jack protested. “Little intense, maybe, but a very direct way of solving his problems. But really, was he important enough for all of us to be locked down?”

“Joe was the only person outside the program who both knew about it and had the ATA,” Sam said patiently. “Until we’re sure this wasn’t an attack on the SGC, we need to know where everyone with the gene is.”

“I thought they linked him to some other deaths.” Jack picked up a piece of wire from her desk, flicking it idly.

“Yes. Maybe. We’re looking into it, sir. We just need to…can I have that?”

He surrendered the wire, sighing. “Maybe I should go see Daniel.”

“Daniel’s not on base. He went to get your mail and some clothes.”

“Oh! That was…thoughtful.”

“Yeah. Well, he’s been stuck on base a few times. He knows what it’s like…sir, please put that down.”

Jack glanced down; he’d picked up some kind of Metal something and was spinning it absently. “What is it?”

Sam started to answer, hesitated, and shook her head. “Never mind.”

“Ah, you’re no fun anymore. I’ll go find T.”

“Have fun, sir.”

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
rivulet027
Apr. 6th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
“Every time you fight Sylar you die. Don’t go rushing into this one.”

Great line because you just know Peter will. Wonderfully IC. Your Jack was just so Jack and you nailed Zelenka even while keeping him in the background. Love it!
wild_force71
Apr. 6th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Peter rushes in where everyone fears to tread...I'm glad you liked Jack and especially Zelenka. Jack's very hard for me; I'm no good at that irreverant humour. And I just love Radek. :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )