Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard leaned back in his chair and studied Laura Cadman. On the desk in front of him sat several thick reports marked TOP SECRET. "You do realize how dorky this sounds, right?" he said finally.
She grimaced. "Yes, sir."
"I mean, 'Cadman the Vampire Slayer'? Sounds like that TV show. By the way, if all of this is so hush-hush, why did your people allow a television program about it?"
"Plausible deniability, sir."
"Right. If someone sees a demon or vampire, or if a portal to Hell accidentally opens in the garbage dump, we can just say they were filming an episode."
Sheppard nodded. "I see. Kinda like Wormhole X-Treme does for the Stargate Program."
Sheppard leaned forward and fixed Cadman with a piercing look. "So, why start sharing information now? All of a sudden, your council of Peeping Toms...."
"Uh-huh. According to this report General Landry sent me, your council of Watchers suddenly approached both the British and American governments and wanted to discuss a 'partnership to save the planet.' Why now, after hiding for so long?"
Cadman sighed. "To tell you that, I'm going to have to go into some history. Thousands of years ago, a group of powerful magicians thought it would be a good idea to have someone around who could fight demons, vampires, and other things that go bump in the night. Since then, in every generation, one Slayer is born."
"And that's you."
"In a nutshell. When I die, the power will go to someone else. Anyway, in all that time, it never occurred to anyone to wonder how those magicians were so knowledgeable about evil creatures like vampires. Then the Stargate was discovered."
Sheppard finally got it. "Those magicians were Ancients?"
"We think so," Cadman said. "They had experience dealing with the Wraith. After that, finding and killing demons was child's play."
"Okay, but that still doesn't explain why the Watchers waited until now to break their silence. If they knew about the Stargate when it was first discovered..."
Cadman interrupted. "With all due respect, sir, the American military didn't exactly endear themselves to the Council. A few years back, a clandestine research project – run by the NID – tried to capture and dissect vampire and demon specimens to build a supersoldier. Things didn't work out so well, and the world was almost destroyed again. The Council was rather miffed about that."
"Again?" Sheppard wasn't sure he wanted to know about the other times.
"Not to mention, they tried to nab yours truly." She seemed especially insulted about that.
"So that's how you knew what to look for when the Trust tried to destroy Atlantis. You'd already dealt with the NID in the past."
"Right," said Cadman, looking smug. "The brains behind the research project was a guy named Harry Maybourne. A real prick, I might add."
"I guess I can see why your Council wasn't so eager to share information," Sheppard admitted. "What changed their minds?"
"We... um... sort of had a mole in the Pentagon. When we heard about the Wraith, one of the senior Watchers remembered something he read in one of the earliest known magic scrolls. That's how we put two and two together and figured out who those old magicians were. We figured it was only a matter of time before the Wraith tried to reach Earth." Cadman snorted. "It's amazing the spirit of cooperation that can appear when everyone's asses are on the line."
Sheppard took a deep breath and exhaled loudly. "Well, this is quite a revelation, Lieutenant. It's not every day that you find out your junior officer is some sort of mystical savior. And that brings me to my next point. Why did you join the Marines, anyway? Seems like you were doing a pretty good job on your own."
"It was the only way we could think of to get me to the Pegasus Galaxy; I'm not exactly the science type." Cadman smiled ruefully. "I'm sure Rodney has plenty to say about that."
"No doubt." Sheppard shook his head. "I can't believe I'm having this conversation. So you're a Slayer. Do you have your own personal Watcher that you report to?"
"Yes, I do." Cadman hesitated a minute, then shrugged. "It's Dr. Novak on the Daedalus."
"Novak?" Sheppard gaped at Cadman. "The one who works with the little naked alien? The one who hiccups all the time?"
Cadman grinned. "The same."
"I'll be damned," said Sheppard. "Well. Is there anything else you'd like to tell me?"
"Nope!" she said cheerfully.
"All right. Beat it, then. I have to figure out how best to put you to work." Suddenly Sheppard laughed to himself.
"What is it?"
"I'm beginning to see what it was really like for Rodney when you were stuck in his head. The Chief of Science for the Atlantis expedition, sharing a brain with someone who hunts demons. No wonder he flipped out."
"Think about it from my perspective." Cadman said wryly.
Sheppard smirked. "Oh, yes, and I seem to remember something else from that television show. Does this mean that your boyfriend is a vampire with a soul?"
Cadman's grin was now pure cheekiness. "I'll be sure to tell him you said so. Have fun at your next checkup, sir."