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Disclaimer: I don’t own anything or anyone to do with Stargate and if I did I certainly wouldn’t be writing fanfic, now would I? This is entirely a creation of my mind, even though I’ve done it in a way that it doesn’t interfere with canon.

AN: So….I might have researched this to death. I’m learning more than I ever wanted to about the Scottish school system. Too bad it’s not going to do me any good. Whatever you do….don’t do the math. I mean it. And no, I’m not above using Darwin for my own personal ends. The title is from Grav, proving once again that she is better at this than I am. The only episodes this links with are The Rising Part 1 and Hide and Seek.

Dedication: To Kate, for everything, and especially for putting up with me while I wrote this.

Summary: It took him a few years to realize that when the whole thing actually went public, he’d probably be remembered as the man that trumped Darwin.

On the Continuation of Species

The downside of a PhD thesis was that it had to be original. When Carson had started his work towards a genetics doctorate, he’d had no idea where it would lead him. He wanted to research genetic markers that passed on a hereditary tendency towards heart disease. He’d known since he was a young child that it ran in his family, and it was one of the things that had originally led him into genetics. His father’s father had died of a heart attack at sixty, which was far too young to have allowed him the chance to ever meet the grandson who would become a doctor. At least one of his uncle’s had also suffered from a heart attack, though he’d recovered, he’d died only a few years later. Carson’s eldest brother, Jamie, had been diagnosed with heart disease when Carson was doing his pre-med and it had only increased his drive to succeed.

He’d used his family as the perfect case study, because his father’s side was rife with heart disease, and as far as he knew, there was no predisposition on his mother’s side. It wasn’t uncommon for doctoral or masters candidates to use their own families for research purposes. Despite his siblings’ lack of interest in his career, they were still willing to be samples in his study.

He’d spent two years researching, uncovering, and finally finding what he was looking for. And then he’d stumbled across something else.

He’d put it aside, decided he would go back to research it further after he finished his thesis. It was four years before he got back to it.

Despite what they or anyone else might think, geneticists didn’t know everything. There were genes that no one had yet identified or if they had, didn’t know what they were for. To stumble across a new one wasn’t all that shocking.

But this particular gene was different. It was in his mother’s DNA, but neither of his mother’s parents were alive, and she’d had no siblings, so he couldn’t trace it back any further than that. And on his father’s side he’d had the same problem, since he only had his siblings and his father’s DNA for reference purposes, there was no way of plotting a baseline through the family line. But it hardly mattered.

Early tests showed the gene was recessive in half of Carson’s siblings, and active in Carson. Which was not unexpected, since the laws of recessive genes stated that two parents with the same recessive gene were likely to pass that recessive gene on to fifty percent of their children, and unlikely, at least in a family of seven, to pass an active gene on to more than one child. Carson had just drawn the lucky straw that it had been him. It was the old law of blue eyes, which he’d also been lucky enough to end up with.

The problem was, that after six months of intensive research, he still hadn’t figured out what the gene did. It seemed to have no purpose. But purpose or not, it was worth publishing his findings. He figured it would spawn other research and maybe someday, someone would figure out what purpose it did serve.

He couldn’t have dreamed that he would be the one, and that the gene would be an evolutionary gift from an alien race that had pre-dated mankind and created human civilization. It took him a few years to realize that when the whole thing actually went public, he’d probably be remembered as the man that trumped Darwin.

As it was, the article attracted the kind of attention he’d have been happy to avoid. When the American Air Force showed up on his doorstep a few months later and announced that he was just the person they were looking for, he’d been disbelieving at first and wary immediately afterwards. He respected the need for a military, but he wasn’t certain he wanted to work for one, and especially one that was not his own country’s. But he caught the flight to Colorado anyway, because the job or what they told him, which wasn’t much, was still bloody interesting.

The revelation that awaited him in the US was shocking. The research that was already done was extraordinary. His coworkers were exceptional and much, much more qualified than he was. But even with all the research they had done, his PhD thesis still delved further. They knew the gene existed, but they hadn’t been able to trace its recessive tendencies through a family, because the only sample they had had no living relatives. Carson was exactly what they needed to continue their research and he was more than happy to provide the assistance they needed.

Ultimately, it was an accident a year later that solved the whole problem. A few pieces of Ancient technology had been shipped over from Area 51 because the scientists there thought they might be medical tech and couldn’t for the life of any of them get them to work. Carson had picked up one that seemed to be some sort of scanning device almost absently. And immediately dropped it in shock when it lit up in his hand. The other three researchers in the room practically fought each other off to get at the device, but by the time one of them actually picked it up, the lights had gone dark and stayed dark. Carson took it back almost as if it was a bomb, and nearly dropped it again when it lit up once more.

And then, suddenly, it all made sense. He’d read the reports about Colonel O’Neill’s penchant for touching things built by the Ancients, and suddenly having them work. No one had really figured out why, and Carson was almost willing to shoot himself for not putting the pieces together sooner.

They found the Colonel an hour later and practically begged him to touch the scanner. It glowed blue instantly. And then, just because he could, he spent the next two days getting everyone on base he could to touch the device, and when he stumbled across two marines that made it glow as soon as they touched it, he’d practically dragged them both down to the infirmary for blood tests.

Then he’d paced for three hours until the results came back. The gene was present and active in both men. He managed not to run out of the med lab laughing in glee, but it was a very near thing.

Thirteen months later he was on a plane to McMurdo, Antarctica and able to study Ancient technology on a grand scale. Over the next three months he discovered that, although the most basic Ancient tech was operated just by touch, the more complicated systems, like the control chair in the Antarctic base, required a mental component that he had to struggle to direct. He could make it light up, on occasion, but it was all he could do. The head scientist on the project, Dr. Rodney McKay spent most of his time appearing in Carson’s lab at all hours of the day and dragging him down to the chair for more experiments.

It was this annoyance, although he understood Rodney’s desperate need to figure the technology out that led him to start experiments into artificially creating the gene in those that didn’t have it. It didn’t take more than a few tests to realize that even if he found a way to engineer a gene therapy it wouldn’t necessarily be successful. As far as he could ascertain the gene must have existed in every culture in the world, because every culture was descended from the Ancients. Probability stated that that it would take in some and not in others, though he had an inkling, and no way to test it, that in anyone with the recessive gene therapy would probably be a success. He only hoped that in those without the recessive gene it might take as well. He tried anyways, because he figured that he might be just lucky enough to get the gene working for Rodney and then he’d be able to continue his research in peace.

The day he finally engineered a viable therapy, Dr. Jackson found the eighth coordinate for Atlantis and the next few weeks descended into a rush of packing and moving and organizing an expedition of over a hundred people for a probably one-way journey. Carson never stopped to contemplate staying behind. He was so very close to completing the research he’d devoted years to, and on the other side of the universe, there would be no FDA to interfere with his tests.

He just promised himself that Rodney McKay would be the first human trial, whatever happened on the other side of the wormhole.


Arómenë © 2007

AN: If you want the back-story, which is fully written out, please follow the link below. If you couldn't care less, then please don’t.

On the Continuation of Species Prologue

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