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Christmas Fic: Learning to Think First

Learning to Think First
lkrumwiede’s prompt: LHTF, Dean in a situation where blowing something up makes it worse and he needs to use his brains to fix it. Check the sticky post for chronological order.


Dean woke himself coughing –more like hacking his lungs out. He hadn’t been sick, had he? When he thought ‘lights’ to Atlantis, nothing happened. That woke Dean up in a hurry, but as he jerked upright he became aware of every bone in his body screaming.

He swore as a way to manage the pain. And he remained very still until he could assess the damage. Headache. When he moved his arm (minimal pain in actual arm but he was pretty sure he had some bruised ribs) to check, his fingers found a wetness. It smelled like blood. So concussion. Probably. A headache, definitely.

Had Atlantis been attacked? He didn’t remember her sending him a warning. He tried to move his legs next. Painful, but only bruised and not broken. His boots scrapped on the ground. Not Atlantis. Not ground, he felt around. It was rough and hard, like cheap cement.


Now, he remembered. He had gone off-world with Pacosky’s new team. Pacosky was breaking in a new lieutenant and Dean was breaking in a new pilot. The lieutenant seemed pretty ok, the pilot was the most cautious one Dean had ever seen. Doug Witwer had actually been happy flying transport on Earth, but he had the AT gene and he had crossed O’Neill so he had ended up on Atlantis. Most days he seemed stunned with his surroundings.

The mission had been pretty standard meet-n-greet. The first contact team had already been there and reported people interested in trade. The natives had been interested in trade, right up until Dean had noticed the Enochian etched into some ruins. Dean hadn’t been familiar with the symbols and so out of his pack he dug a paper and pen to write them down. While writing them, the paper caught on fire.

Now, don’t get Dean wrong, he loves fire. Only there was a place and a time for it. In the middle of pre-industrialized village in the Pegasus galaxy was not it. It took considerable work to put out the fire and he ended up stomping on it. Everyone saw. Predictably, the natives rioted and arrested Dean. The Lieutenant had been the talk and talk more type and since they just wanted to arrest Dean and not execute him, she let it happen. She did however give Dean some subtle hand gestures, ordering him to escape if the opportunity arose. Dean could work with that. The ‘jail’ had been pretty standard for Pegasus, if a little clean. It had smelled of dust and not sewer. It hadn’t been used often. Sturdy too; stone walls on three side and bars across the front so that the guards could look in.

Dean had just the concoction for getting out. He waited until the guards and looky-loos were bored and wandered away. Then he put his subtle explosive chemical on the seemingly weakest corner and stepped the furthest back he could get.

He had been expecting a ‘poof’ and the corner to disintegrate. What had happened was a ‘poof’ and then…. Oh. Now Dean remembered. There had been a pulse of a force field and energy of his control explosion was focused inward. Dean had collapsed his jail cell on his head. Pacosky was going to have a field day over this. His boss would have words as well.

Dean needed to get his ass out of this mess and pronto. At least, he didn’t have any natives spying on him. The force field, that was the anomaly. He hadn’t seen a single other piece of Ancient technology… but there had also been the Enochian carvings. Destructive runes. If those runes had destroyed his book on accident, he could believe it destroying a building on purpose in the right (or wrong) hands. The force field had appeared more technology based than magical. So he had both shaman and Ancient elements on this planet.

He was imprisoned by the Ancient presumably. So he sent out the strongest mental message possible to the resident AI. A sort of ‘anybody there?’ He waited and listened. And he waited and listened. He knew that the jumper hadn’t picked up any energy signatures when they had exited the gate, but the prison had to be powered by something, if barely. The speed of the AI depended on the energy available and if there wasn’t enough energy, Dean’s weird AT gene might not be enough to kick start a response, even a slow one.

He felt the nudge of an awakening AI, more of a bear waking from hibernation than the words he was used to fielding from Atlantis.

Trapped, he told the machine. Help, he pleaded.

Shaman the AI identified him.

Well, that could be freedom or a death sentence, but to lie to something in his head would be infinitely worse. Yes.

He waited again. He knew better than to push an AI. It would only go as fast as its programming and energy allowances calculated. Pushing would get him nowhere.

Slowly, ponderously, a door opened in the previously seemly back wall. Dean cheered. Either it was a pre-programmed trap or he was outta here. Either way, it’d be quick. Dean was too injured to jog out of the prison, but using the wall to brace himself, made good time out of the collapsed room and through a hallway to a… SCORE! Hanger bay of ten of what looked like the sleeker, younger, more aggressive sister to the puddlejumpers. Ten fighter jumpers were a coup.

Knowing how finicky jumpers were to his weird AT gene, Dean worried about how these fighter jumpers would react. How much would he have to tinker to get them to work? Did they even have enough stored energy to get them home to Atlantis? Dean checked ‘under the hood.’ Thankfully, he had spent enough time to Zelenka performing maintenance to recognize the pertinent features and these were obviously based off of the jumper design. The energy source was solid and all of the control crystals were intact.

But would it start?

Dean climbed into the two-man cockpit and thought harder than had ever had before. The jumper was there and acknowledged him. It decided to act like a cat and ‘let him have his way now’ with no promises in the future. Dean resigned himself to Sheppard confiscating this particular jumper the moment he brought it to Atlantis, but there were plenty more in the bay. He knew that Carter would be back for them, either through diplomatic or underhanded means. Dean, personally, would not be allowed back on this planet, but someone would with a video camera to capture all of the Enochian carvings in the village and surrounding areas. His boss would insist on it.

He offered a polite goodbye to the AI controlling the prison and lifted off. The automatic docking system kicked in and moved Dean’s craft up and diagonal to a hidden exit. Once in the air, Dean used the fighter jumper’s screen to find where Witwer had landed Atlantis’ jumper. He noticed that Pacosky’s lieutenant was leading the team back to it. Presumably to dial Atlantis and inform them of the situation and possibly get back-up.

Dean grinned and landed next to the jumper. He opened the hatch and unveiled his prize to the rest of the team. “What took you so long?” he called out.

The lieutenant looked impressed. Pacosky rolled his eyes. He also waved his note-taking journal at Dean. “I copied all of the runes that I saw.”


“I’ll give it to you if I can ride with you.” Ooooh. Pacosky wasn’t pleased with the lieutenant’s handling of Dean’s imprisonment. Dean didn’t feel abandoned but Pacosky was more of a girl about those things.

“Deal. Witwer, I’ll follow you home?” It’d be good practice.

“Yes, sir.”

“Lieutenant,” Pacosky nodded to the woman and then climbed into Dean’s backseat. As soon as Dean closed the hatch, John offered his fellow Marine a wet cloth. “The blood in your hair will put a damper on your victory parade.”

Dean accepted the rag and cleaned his face and head. He had at least stopped bleeding. “Carson will find it in the post-mission physical.”

“But at least it’ll slow down the gossip saying that you get hurt every time you step off of Atlantis.”

“I don’t get hurt every time,” Dean grumbled as he followed WItwer off the ground, through the atmosphere and to the space gate.

“Your stats say otherwise,” Pacosky teased. He waited a moment. “I’m glad you survived your stupidity of dumping a prison on your head.”

“Gee, thanks.” That was the comment Dean had been expecting since he had realized his own mistake.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how you spin this in your mission report.”

Dean grinned. Yeah, that might be fun.



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2014 01:04 am (UTC)
I just love this series... I'm so happy to see a bit more! Thanks!
Jan. 20th, 2014 01:12 am (UTC)
lol. I'm glad it's enjoyed. Thanks for telling me.
Jan. 20th, 2014 01:31 am (UTC)
I love it. Dean does actually have a good head on his shoulders. You are a great writer.
Jan. 21st, 2014 10:43 pm (UTC)
you are very welcome, it was a fun prompt to fill
Jan. 20th, 2014 04:23 am (UTC)
Great update, but it does feel like there's more to this snippet (hint, hint). I enjoy stories that demonstrate Dean's intelligence instead of just harping on his brawn (or his ability to take a beating). Yes, he's physically very capable, but I actually think he's the smarter brother, especially in a crisis situation. That's one of the reasons I love this 'verse. Smart, capable, caring, wise-ass Dean. Yup, he's just that awesome.
Jan. 20th, 2014 12:03 pm (UTC)
I totally second everything she said!
Jan. 22nd, 2014 01:21 am (UTC)
laughing at the two of you. Luckily I only write smart dean
Jan. 22nd, 2014 01:45 pm (UTC)
We are the lucky ones
Jan. 20th, 2014 08:38 am (UTC)
O'neill just seems to collect them, he stumbles around ATA carriers every where apparently, maybe that is one of his superpowers.
Why would there be Enochian in the pegasus galaxy?
Jan. 22nd, 2014 01:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's part of my head canon and I wrote it into one of my stories... somewhere.

ANd I might cover the runes someday. Have head canon for that too.
Jan. 20th, 2014 12:03 pm (UTC)
Ohh John Pacosky is one of my favorites in this universe, also I am super glad that Dean managed to find more jumpers for them, though Shepard's reaction to new toys would indeed be awesome and I am sure that one of those might be broken and need Dean's loving touch.

You could give us some more of Dean's Atlantis/Weapons/Aintnoway/ folder goodies, or have MacKay and Sheppard discussing the possible projects
Jan. 22nd, 2014 01:23 am (UTC)
We'll see how the new jumpers fall out.
Jan. 22nd, 2014 01:45 pm (UTC)
that is one of the reasons they might still let Dean leave Atlantis on occasion, he returns with shiny toys
Jan. 20th, 2014 03:12 pm (UTC)
A big oops. I imagine punishment will be having to listen to Rodney go on for hours about not blowing things up with out taking sensor scans of the walls
Jan. 22nd, 2014 01:23 am (UTC)
pretty much... Rodney has an opinion on everything.
Jan. 28th, 2014 04:22 am (UTC)
I so adore smart!Dean! Never underestimate either of the Winchesters for their brain power. Wonderful, thank-you! :)
Feb. 20th, 2014 02:00 am (UTC)
Smart!Dean for the win!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


vi, no words

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