Big Changes — Chapter 6

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Tony sighed there were more of the emails from Atlantis. Three weeks after receiving the first set, he was still no closer to understanding what they were and why she was sending them to him. At least, Benton and Ray were due back on duty today. Tony had spent the last three weeks organizing the ASF and reviewing the files on crimes that had happened on the City when it was in Pegasus. He also had to investigate some small complaints, like who was helping themselves to other’s snacks in the communal kitchen in Sumner Tower. What a mess that was, but Tony had had discussion with a with a group of enlisted and the snack thefts had stopped. He was pretty sure he knew who was the culprit but if it didn’t start again, he would let it go. The door to the bullpen opened and admitted Benton and Ray in their SGC issued uniforms.

“It is odd,” Benton was saying, “to be both out of and in uniform.”

“You don’t have to tell me, Fraze,” Ray replied, “I haven’t worn a uniform daily in, oh geeze, over a decade.”

“Me either,” Tony chimed in, “I’ve got a closet full of designer suits and no place to wear them.”

Ray pointed at him, “I hate suits, especially designer ones. Reminds me of the Style Pig,”

“Ray!” Benton chastised and Ray waved him away, “So I don’t mind the new duds. At least, these uniforms aren’t too bad unlike those striped pants you usually wear, Fraze.”

“Yes, these are more subdued,” Benton turned to Tony hopefully, “Do you have duties for us?”

Tony nodded, “Yeah, someone needs to coordinate with Sergeant Major Scrivens about security patrols. Fraser, I’ve sent you the email invite to the appointment as well as my questions and concerns. Review that and email me back if you don’t understand anything. Kowalski, I’ve sent you an email about weapons and self-defense training for civilians. The Colonel wants a series of classes offered.” Tony leaned back, “There’s been some resistance from the civilians in having to work with the military on this. He feels if the ASF coordinate civilians to lead the classes we’ll get better participation. You’ll be reviewing personnel records for people to recruit. I, joy of joys, have yet another meeting with Mr. Woolsey.”

Tony stood as Benton and Fraser sat at their respective desks. “There are a lot of emails. Kowalski, focus on finding people to lead the classes the Colonel wants. Recruitment can wait until later. I’ll hopefully be back in about two hours.”

“Sure thing, Director. We’ll be fine. Right, Fraze?”

“I’m sure. Enjoy the meeting,” Benton paused, “ As much as you can.”

“Thanks,” Tony waved as he left the bullpen.

“Oh my,” Benton said. “I have 2033 emails.”

“Really?” Ray said dryly, “I’ve got 2034.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two and half hours later, Tony returned to the bullpen. Next to Kowalski’s desk sat an older man, they both looked up as Tony entered.

“How’d it go, Director?” Kowalski asked.

“Better than expected actually,” Tony replied and held out his hand to the man he didn’t recognize, “Tony DiNozzo.”

“Robbie Lewis,” the man said with an obvious English accent as they shook hands, “Retired DI from Oxford England.”

“Right,” Tony nodded, “One of the people who came up the ideal candidate list.”

“Aye,” he replied with small smile, “And you’re the man who filled that list.”

Tony grimaced, “Don’t remind me. Are you here about working part-time for us?”

“Aye, that I am. I know the Colonel set you the task of training civilians. Ray and I were discussing that.”

“Robbie has been on the City for about 8 months,” Ray said.

Robbie nodded, “Aye, James got hired about two months before Dr. McKay left and I was actually the last person he approved hiring before he left.”

“McKay left?” Ray asked puzzled, “Ain’t he the Head of Science?”

“Aye. It took less than a week for the IOA to get their heads out of their collective arse’s and agree to his terms. Sheppard had to do some training in Canada but they’ve both been back on the City for 7 months now.”

“So you have little more insight than us,” Tony said.

Robbie pursed his lips, “Mayhap, I’m a light switch so I spend most of my on-duty time in the lab with assorted scientists. James and I share an apartment so I get to hear about the people he works with as well. I also have an allotment and have been helping Botany with that project. You’ve been isolated here in Leo Tower and Woolsey’s been taking a lot of your attention.”

“Well, today’s meeting is my last one-on-one. I’m down to the weekly senior staff meeting I’m required to attend. Apparently, I filed enough paperwork to satisfy him. I’m hoping to get out there and visit with people but…” Tony ran his hands through his hair. Robbie and Ray both nodded. They both understood sometimes demands of the job meant you couldn’t always do things the way you wanted.

“The good news is,” Robbie started, “that most of the people Ray has found with the qualifications to teach I know. I’ve agreed to help with the recruitment process.”

“That is good news,” Tony agree, “Now if I could just figure out these emails.”

“You still getting those emails from Atlantis?” Ray asked.

Robbie stared at Tony, “You’re getting emails from the city?”

“Yes and they’re confusing me.”

“Huh, I remember,” Robbie coughed, “Pardon me, I remember James talking about that. He has an artificial gene; I’ve got a natural one. It was right after he got the therapy. If I remember right, Dr. Ozolinsh found a City hierarchy program in the what they believe to be the central computer and it’s like a list of titles. The City was ruled by Triumvirate and, as a joke, someone entered Sheppard as the Magister Militum, or Master of the Military, McKay as the Magister Scientificus, or Master of the Scientists and Woolsey as the Dominus Civitatem, or Governor of the City. Because both Sheppard and McKay are strong gene holders, they started getting emailed reports from the central computer.”

Tony blinked and Ray asked, “What would Tony be? The Master of the Police?”

“I don’t know,” Robbie said, “but James would. Come by for dinner about 1800, Dr. DiNozzo, you can eat with us and talk to him.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next morning had Tony reviewing the emails from Atlantis. Dr. Hathaway had found that Tony’s name had been added as the Praefectus Vigilum, the commander of the Vigiles Urbani which translated as the ‘Watchmen of the City’. From what Dr. Hathaway had said, the central computer, which he stressed is not a true AI, sends reports based on original protocols and had given Tony some hints on how to interpret the emails. Tony had a meeting with Dr. Addams in an hour and he was hoping to make some headway.

An hour later, Nest entered the reception area and Tony was still struggling with the emails. As far as he could tell, they were about some type of genetic research by a Dr. Keller and a Dr. Mills. He got up to answer the door and motioned her in.

“Good morning, Tony,” she smiled at him, “I understand Mr. Woolsey feels you have adjusted enough not to need your hand held any longer.”

Tony snorted, “Thankfully, yes. Did you have a good time shopping?”

“I did,” she said smugly, “I was able to convince all the members of the IOA to contribute to the supply lists. We have enough household goods to outfit housing units for over 15,000 people and long-term storage food for a year.”

Tony blinked at her, “What?”

“Ah, you know I worked in intelligence, right?”

“Yes, SpookyDoc because you used to be a spook.”

“Just so. One of my duties was to do threat assessments.”

Tony nodded and motioned her to continue when she paused, “I’ve done one for the SGC.”

Tony raised his eyebrows, “I take it you have some concerns.”

“You could say that.” She eyed him critically, “I actually have yet to share my findings with anyone. I would like you to review it and give me your feedback.”

“Sure,” Tony replied surprised, “Just send it to me.”

Nest raised an eyebrow as she handed him a flash drive, “I would prefer this not be added to the network. I trust Dr. Chaudhri showed you how to keep files secure.”

Tony took the flash drive and nodded, “This is why you asked to meet with me while Fraser and Kowalski were out of the office.”

“Indeed. I find my analysis of the situation is disturbing. I’ve included all the information I gathered. Some of which I did not use. You can review it yourself before or after you read my report as you choose. Now, is there anything I could help you with? I know you have Mr. Lewis working with Mr. Kowalski in recruiting for the classes John wants.”

Tony leaned back in his chair after he put the flash drive in the secure drawer of his desk. “Yes, Atlantis is sending me emails and I’m having trouble with them. Would you take a look?”

“Of course. As the Prefect of the Vigiles and a gene holder, she recognizes you as a person of authority,” she said as she took the seat Tony offered her. She reviewed several of the emails and then pointed to the screen, “Well, do you see this here?”

“Yes.”

“That indicates this is a recovered but not restored deleted file which explains why it is garbled.”

“Do they all appear to be deleted files?”

“Hmm, yes. This portion here tells you which protocol is sending you these files. I don’t recognize it. I’ll need to get on the network to see which one it is but let’s start the restoration process on these files first. That will take several hours.”

She finished on the computer and picked up her tablet and showed it to Tony, “Now, here is where you find the list of protocols. This one hasn’t been translated yet.”

They both concentrated on the few lines of text on the tablet screen. Tony flinched and Nest inhaled sharply.

“That’s not good,” Tony said.

“No,” Nest agreed, “It’s actually quite naughty.”

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