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04 June 2007 @ 08:50 pm
Men of Action  
Title: Men of Action [A late entry for the sga_flashfic doppleganger challenge]
Pairing: Gen
Rating: G
Words: ~2000



This was not what John had expected when his team was asked to pose by the artist's guild on MX-472.

"Look, the joints are fully articulated!" Rodney bent the arm of his at an impossible angle and grinned. "Do you know how much people pay for this kind of detail?"

Teyla looked less pleased. "I am fairly certain my shirt did not show that much... skin," she said tartly.

Ronon looked up from a pile of impossibly tiny, perfectly crafted knives. "I'm missing one."

And John sighed and resisted the urge to run his fingers through his hair. Because his figurine had spiky hair and a lovingly molded black t-shirt, the outline of his dog tags clearly visible, and pants that were a bit too snug across the ass. He looked into the plump, pleased, hopeful face of the Master of the Guild.

"We'll take them all," he said.

***


"Action figures," Elizabeth said blankly, and touched the hair of mini-Ronon with one finger. "You went out to trade and brought back four hundred action figures. Of yourselves."

"Action collectibles," Rodney corrected, plucking mini-Rodney off her desk. "See the detail on the datapad here? This is no crude toy -- this is meant to be displayed, not blown up with a firecracker by some moronic twelve-year-old."

"I am uncomfortable with the level of detail," Teyla put in, arms crossed tightly across her chest.

John grimaced. "Apparently it's a trading tactic on MX-472," he said. "The Grand Lord of Some Planet comes to trade, they make lots of flattering little statues of him, and he's so pleased -- "

"That he grants them favorable terms. I understand that part." Elizabeth's fingers crept dangerously close to mini-John. "What I don't understand is why you brought them all back with you. And no trade agreement."

"They're inaccurate," Ronon growled.

"They are insulting," Teyla added.

"Are you kidding?" Rodney sputtered. "How could we -- do you know long I've wanted -- deserved -- an action figure? Collectible?"

John sighed, again. "They're a security risk," he said. "Remember what happened when all those pictures of us started circulating around the galaxy? I figured that this way, we could make sure they were all destroyed."

***


Which was the plan, at least until they discovered that Satedans believed that statues had souls.

"I can't let you do this," Ronon said, glowering from his protective crouch in front of the crate of figurines.

"Ronon, buddy," John said, and wished that Dr. Heightmeyer hadn't chosen this day in particular to be offworld. "They're just dolls, okay? We even saw how they were made --"

"That was really very clever, with the molds," Rodney commented.

"They have our faces," Ronon insisted, his face frighteningly earnest. "How can you be okay with throwing your face into a fire? And watching it melt?"

If John had thought about it, which he hadn't, his answer would have been: "try not to think about it." It was how he coped with a lot of things.

"It does not have to be fire," Teyla muttered. "There are other ways."

"How about we let the Colonel and Teyla destroy theirs?" Rodney suggested brightly. "Then everyone's happy."

Ronon shook his head. "I took a sacred vow, to protect the faced and voiceless. It would be hypocritical to protect only those made in my likeness."

John tried again. "I realize this is a cultural difference --"

"Your people have sacred statues too," Ronon interrupted. "I asked. Jesus, and Buddha, and Mrs. Butterworth. Would you let someone destroy Mrs. Butterworth?"

"Absolutely not. What?" Rodney said at John's glare. "The science teams would mutiny, and you know it."

"And you don't even know Mrs. Butterworth," Ronon pointed out.

John wondered if Zelenka's still was running again. "Okay, fine. On Sateda, what did you do with an action fig -- sacred statue -- that you didn't want anymore?"

Ronon frowned. "I don't know. My family had a whole room of sacred ancestor figurines. Some were hundreds of years old."

"I do not want anyone else to see these things!" Teyla nearly growled, and John gave up.

"Fine. We won't destroy them, but we'll keep them locked up, okay? So Ronon, they'll be safe, and Teyla, no one will see them, and Rodney, you'll know that there's a hundred little plastic yous in the basement. And I --" John thumped himself in the chest, a little too hard "-- will know that they're not being passed around the galaxy as 3-D "Wanted" posters. Does that sound good? Is everybody happy?"

***


The action figures started showing up around Atlantis two days later.

"I thought you'd taken care of this." Elizabeth's mouth was compressed into a thin line. A mini-version of John's team was seated, cross-legged, around Elizabeth's Athosian candleholder. Mini-Rodney appeared to be roasting marshmallows. Mini-Ronon had a cup of ale in one raised hand, his other arm curved around mini-Teyla. Mini-John was leaning back on his hands; even though the plastic faces were immobile, John thought he looked happy.

John winced. "There was a thing," he said by way of explanation. "With Ronon, I mean -- apparently Satedans believe that bits of a person's soul --"

Elizabeth held up a hand. "I remember my anthropology classes, thank you. So they weren't destroyed."

"No, but they weren't supposed to be going on adventures either." John bent down to look at the tableau, and huh. Where had the little cups of ale come from?

"Atlantis to Colonel Sheppard," Elizabeth said pointedly, and John jerked upright again. "I assume your prior concerns are the same?" she asked.

"Yeah." John nodded. "And Teyla's not going to be happy about this, not at all."

"And speaking of unhappy," Elizabeth said, heading towards the door, "I have to go explain to the quartermaster why we have no new trade agreement for fresh produce. Can I assume that we won't be seeing any more action-figure dioramas?"

"Absolutely," John promised.

***


"You really have to give credit to whoever's doing this," Rodney glared out the mess hall window. Outside, the wind toyed with a mini-team that was rappelling down the glass, suspended on lengths of dental floss. Mini-Ronon had a knife gripped in his teeth; mini-Rodney was grimacing and upside down, hopelessly tangled. "Did you see the one of me in the infirmary?"

"Carson called me about that one last night. You're not behind this, are you?" John cut into his square of oatmeal with slightly more force than necessary. His morning run had been interrupted by the kitchen staff, half of whom had been giggling hysterically, and he'd spent a good hour trying to figure out how to take the damn things down. It hadn't helped that Ronon had followed him, glowering and muttering about sacrilege. "Because if you are, I'd confess now. Teyla might kill you quickly."

Rodney waved his spoon with such emphasis that a blob of blue Jello landed on John's tray. "First of all, why would I sneak around the city, setting up little scenes that make me look like a moron; and secondly, do I look like I have a death wish? She's talking about blood debts for her honor."

"And Ronon keeps talking about cleansing fires. Especially after he found the ones swimming in the main atrium fountain." John gave his best I-am-the- military-commander-dammit glare to a passing cluster of Marines -- was that a chuckle? Maybe he'd send for some G.I. Joes on the next Daedalus run, and see how they liked finding little versions of themselves moonwalking along the Gateroom balcony, or sniffing flowers in the greenhouses, or riding the Ancient vacuums, the ones that trundled like beetles along the halls.

"Maybe we're not thinking about it the right way," Rodney said, digging into his third Jello cup. "Because it's not malicious, not really -- it's sort of cute. Except for the ones that make me look like an idiot."

"You can tell Ronon that, the next time he tells me that we're insulting centuries of Satedan culture and tradition," John grumbled.

Rodney banged his spoon on his tray for emphasis. "No, seriously, we should be methodical about this. Who could have gotten to them in the first place?"

"Someone with the gene," John answered.

"Who might have a grudge against me?" John snorted and Rodney glared. "Shut up. Who can get around the security feeds? Who has the patience to make tiny little swimsuits and rafts and sofas and, huh."

"What?"

"I think I know what's going on," Rodney said abruptly, and bolted from the table.

***


John found Rodney in a cluttered, abandoned lab on the third sublevel, ducking thrown versions of himself.

"What on earth --" he said, before Rodney pulled him bodily behind the scant shelter of a console.

"Shhh!" he hissed. "She's gone completely insane!"

"I have not!" shrieked a female voice from somewhere across the room. A mini-Ronon bounced off the wall behind them.

John blinked. "Is that --?"

"Miko." Rodney nodded. "I put together personal grudge plus Ancient gene plus the Japanese fascination with little cute things --"

"That is a hurtful stereotype!" Peering out from behind the console, John could just see the petite scientist, her cheeks red and her hair pulled out of its braid. He realized with dawning horror that Miko had put the damn action figures everywhere -- sparring on the shelves, straddling the lab dividers, staring at him with their beady little glassy eyes. "I was trying to bring joy!"

"By making humiliating displays of me all over the city?" Rodney demanded. "How, precisely, is that joyful?"

"It made me happy," Miko retorted, and chucked a mini-Teyla, box and all, at Rodney's head. "You are a horrible little plastic man -- let everyone see you as you are! Colonel Sheppard," she said abruptly. "I am sorry to have inconvenienced you. Shall I report to Dr. Weir?"

"Uh, sure," John said, standing warily. When no action figure missiles were forthcoming, he reached for his headset. "Let me call you a security detail first."

Miko's face crumpled. "You do not think I will go?"

Rodney smiled nastily -- apparently she'd struck a nerve. "No, but have you seen Ronon or Teyla lately? He doesn't think you'll get there."

"Thanks, McKay," John sighed, yet again, as Miko slumped against him and burst into tears. "Really, thanks."

***


Rodney looked mournfully at a mini-version of himself, straightening his little arms and legs. "I can't believe she took them all out of the boxes -- they've lost all value as collectibles."

John eyed a mini-John, balanced precariously on his little plastic hands. "Doesn't there need to be a market for them to have value? Or, you know, for people to know who you are?" Mini-John went into the half-full trash bag.

"Einstein has an action figure," Rodney protested. "As soon as the program's declassified, I'm going to be as big as Einstein squared. Theory of relativity my ass."

John stretched to reach a mini-Ronon seated on a high shelf. "Sure, McKay."

Rodney waved a handful of mini-Rodneys at him, their little arms waving. "What, didn't you want to be a G.I. Joe when you were a kid?"

"Nah," John said easily, stooping to grab two mini-Teylas and another mini-Rodney. "There's a reason I joined the Air Force."

"Oh ha, very funny." Rodney paused. "I hear Miko's required to meet with Heightmeyer now, three times a week. And that Ronon's started a pottery workshop."

"That was Elizabeth's suggestion -- she thought it would help with his assimilation of Earth and Satedan cultures, or something like that." John scanned the lab, looking for any stragglers. "I think we got them all."

"Yeah." Rodney lugged his own trash bag to the door. "I wish we could keep some of them," he said almost wistfully. "You have to admit that they were cool."

John frowned. "It took Elizabeth three hours to convince Ronon to let us throw them into the incinerators. Let's not rock the boat, okay?"

"I just don't see what's so wrong about wanting an action figure," Rodney grumbled, as they started down the corridor.

"Maybe Ronon can make you a new one," John suggested, and laughed when Rodney thwacked him in the head.

Tags: , , ,
 
 
Mood: sicksick
 
 
 
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( 76 kernels — Scatter Feed )
ceitieceitie on June 5th, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
So, so cute! I love Ronon being all protective of the action figures, and John saying, "They weren't supposed to go on adventures." and Miko firing action figures at Rodney. *g*
boochickenboochicken on June 6th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
kensiegkensieg on June 6th, 2007 01:40 am (UTC)
Oh Rodney! Shep should give him one for his birthday!
boochickenboochicken on June 6th, 2007 02:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, but what if Ronon found out?
serial contrarianlage_nom_ai on June 6th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
I took a sacred vow, to protect the faced and voiceless. It would be hypocritical to protect only those made in my likeness."

AHAHAHAHAHAHA. This was great.
boochickenboochicken on June 6th, 2007 02:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
irishamberirishamber on June 6th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
Oh! I like this one. very cute.
boochickenboochicken on June 6th, 2007 02:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Anji.anjak_j on June 6th, 2007 02:16 am (UTC)
ZOMG! LOL!

That, is cool.

Rodney wanting to have an action figure of himself and Ronon's beliefs. Bless.

Thanks for sharing.
boochickenboochicken on June 6th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
semielliptical: sga:rodney pointsemielliptical on June 6th, 2007 02:16 am (UTC)
Action figures! Of course Rodney would want one. All of their responses are great, actually, and hilarious. :)
boochickenboochicken on June 6th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
Seriously, who wouldn't? And thanks!
The good kind of bitchy and flippant!: rodney - is mr. fantasticbluebrocade on June 6th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC)
Bwahahaha! I love it.
boochickenboochicken on June 6th, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC)
The 'Bwahahaha' is always a good response. Thanks!
She-who-enamelslillian13 on June 6th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
Bwah-hah-hah-hah-hah!

(Um, where can I order my set?)
boochickenboochicken on June 6th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
(I know! Unfortunately, they were made in limited quantities. But keep an eye out for an upcoming line of Satedan clay ancestor figurines, which can never be thrown away.)
(no subject) - lillian13 on June 6th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - boochicken on June 6th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on June 6th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
Wonderful story^^
boochickenboochicken on June 6th, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
The Alpha Betadiluvian on June 6th, 2007 04:58 am (UTC)
Hee!
boochickenboochicken on June 6th, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
...AND THE HOCKEY MEDIA IS THE SARLACC!: A to Zed [SGA]shihadchick on June 6th, 2007 09:26 am (UTC)
Oh, this cracked me up SO much - I must admit, I was half-expecting the action figures to have come to life a la Toy Story in the middle, but the actual reason is even cooler than that. Great job. *grins hugely*
boochickenboochicken on June 6th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! It was actually inspired by something I did in college -- there was a rocky fountain in our dining hall, so my roommates and I snuck downstairs one night and set up an epic battle of little plastic army men all over it.
yellowvalley: John over Atlantisyellowvalley on June 6th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)
That was a wonderful story! Giggles all around!
boochickenboochicken on June 6th, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks -- I enjoyed writing it!
aunjuneeaunjunee on June 6th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
Cute!
Ok, mini-Rodney, tangled up in the dental floss is perhaps the cutest thing I have ever read. Just thinking of his little grimacing face is making me grin.

Fun story:)
boochickenboochicken on June 8th, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Cute!
Thank you!
wraithfodderwraithfodder on June 7th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
Bwahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
boochickenboochicken on June 8th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC)
That's always a good response -- thanks!
Starrylizard: A - Invunerable (Rodney)starrylizard on June 7th, 2007 04:23 am (UTC)
Aahahaha! This is awesome! They sound heaps better than the real action figures too. :)
boochickenboochicken on June 8th, 2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I've never seen the real action figures *goes to google* And thanks!
wojelahwojelah on June 7th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC)
"Action figures," Elizabeth said blankly, and touched the hair of mini-Ronon with one finger. "You went out to trade and brought back four hundred action figures. Of yourselves."

Dead on. This was -hysterical-.
boochickenboochicken on June 8th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
Heh, thanks!
mangstmangst on June 7th, 2007 05:04 am (UTC)
I love your brain. The action figures having the cookout on Elizabeth's desk was my favorite scene. :)
boochickenboochicken on June 8th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
Ha, thanks!
Sholio: SGA-dorkssholio on June 7th, 2007 10:07 am (UTC)
OMG, this was AWESOME! The comic pacing is great, as things go from embarrassing to more embarrassing, and the little groupings of action figures all over Atlantis just about killed me. Loved it!
boochickenboochicken on June 8th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And your icon is awesome, also.
much hearty grog!: Bad Boystenillypo on June 7th, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, this if just too awesome for words. Miko is my new hero. ;-)
(Anonymous) on June 7th, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
wonderful story
Loved this.... what a marvelous surprise villain. NEVER would have guessed, but it all made sense LOL. Hope there is a sequel, its a long way down to the incinerator
(no subject) - boochicken on June 8th, 2007 04:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Rinnerinkle on June 7th, 2007 11:12 pm (UTC)
Recced by starrylizard

Possibly one of the funniest things ever.
boochickenboochicken on June 8th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
Cool, thanks!
Gunbunny: shep heeburntcopper on June 7th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
I WANT THOSE ACTION FIGURES. I have plans. :steeples fingers: mwhahahahahahahahahahahaha.
boochickenboochicken on June 8th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
Ha, don't we all?
kriadydragon: Shep icon 3kriadydragon on June 8th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)
That was absolutely adorable, and hilarious. Few stories actually make me laugh out loud. Amuse me, but not laugh out loud. This one did.

boochickenboochicken on June 8th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
This comment made my morning -- thank you!
Buttercup: Pricklybbuttercup on June 8th, 2007 09:49 pm (UTC)
A+++ for the best plot idea ever! :o)
boochickenboochicken on June 11th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
Thank you!
infinimato: zelenka blowup dollinfinimato on June 10th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC)
HAHAHAH!! GENIUS!!! and Miko! Nobody ever expects the quiet ones.

Mrs. Butterworth! HAHAHAHAH!!!
boochickenboochicken on June 11th, 2007 01:44 am (UTC)
Thanks!
don't make me use my librarian voicesiegeofangels on June 10th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
THIS IS SO AWESOME. I'm sorry about the--but it's so great! With the little scenes of marshmallow-roasting, and the teeny-tiny plastic knives! Adorable.
boochickenboochicken on June 11th, 2007 01:45 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
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