Title: The Name Game
Alatri ^..^ alatri@att.net
Warnings: none
Feedback: Comments, critiques, suggestions, etc, all welcome. ;-)
Disclaimer: Only mine in my dreams. ;-) This story was written for free entertainment purposes only and may not be reproduced for profit or altered without my permission.

I decided I needed to write more, and was rolling ideas around and realized I've only done one alphabet game for one of the series I write in, so I decided to do one each for all the rest. ^^ That keeps me to a limit too, since the epics get away, but I can't get too out of hand with a 26-sentence story, now can I? ;p (With, as usual, the assorted judicious use of dashes, ellipses, and semi-colons… and thank goodness for McKay's rambling nature… ^^)


The Name Game

"Ah, Ford—now that you're here, we can get started," McKay said as he worked on his laptop without sparing the Lieutenant more than a glance, "I want you to name some things."

"But sir… Major Sheppard gave me specific orders that I wasn't to name anything anymore," Ford protested half-heartedly as he was caught between eagerness and duty.

"Commanding Officer or not, Sheppard only rules on away-missions; *I* rule in the laboratory!"

Delight flashed in warm brown eyes as Ford caught on to McKay's scheme. Eagerly, he assented and assaulted McKay with those same puppy-dog eyes waiting for the stick to be tossed so he could chase it down. Ford looked around the room trying to guess which of the multitude of Ancient gadgets scattered around McKay's laboratory he was to name; there were so many of them…

"GateShip…" McKay muttered as he left his laptop and moved over to one of the work-benches, "I *liked* GateShip, it made perfectly good sense – what the hell is a 'puddle-jumper' anyhow?! Here," McKay picked up a small object that looked vaguely like a flattened transparent octopus with jelly tentacles, "start with this contraption that we've been arguing for days over."

Ickily, it *felt* like jelly too; Ford gulped as he quickly set it down on another bench, asking as he did so, "if you don't mind, sir, what exactly does it do?"

"Juxtaposes molecular properties between substances selected by attaching the sensory-arrays to different things and transferring the essence to…" McKay trailed off as he saw the look of bafflement on Ford's face and switched to a different tack. "Kind-of like putting things next to each other to compare them, only this thing does it on a sub-molecular level in physical state… well, I guess putting things next to each other would be physical too, but normally we would do this sort of thing on a computer and make simulations from it because they're so small, but this does it physically through those," he pointed to the 'tentacles' on the object, "transferring the results in a batch in the middle where we can either examine it directly or pull it out to do tests on."

"Like a sorting tray – where my grandmother puts her beads when she wants to decide which one to use?"

McKay thought about that for a moment, trying to picture it, before he answered, "Close enough."

"Name it a 'Juxtaposing Octopus," Ford grinned.

"Octopus?" McKay asked dubiously as he looked again at the object, and then he laughed as he saw what Ford meant. "Perfect – that's just what we need! Quite simplistic but memorable and descriptive at the same time."

"Really?" Ford asked, a shy smile lighting his face. "Seriously, Ford; you have a gift for this," McKay assured him absent-mindedly as he poked through some other objects. Then he thought of something and turned back with a puzzled frown, asking, "I thought you didn't know what 'juxtaposing' was?"

Under McKay's focus, Ford squirmed a little. Very often, people didn't pay much attention to him, so it was disconcerting to be the subject of the head scientist's praise. "Well, I knew it when you explained it, and since it'll be your people using it, *they'll* know what it means, and I liked the sound of it."

"Xeno-biology is going to love you for that; they've got all these weird classification schemes that make sense to them and nobody else with the inevitable latin-based forms that they're going to want in names…"

"You want me to go to other groups and do this?" Ford was mildly horrified – talking to McKay was one thing, especially as he was part of his team, but other scientists?!

"Zelenka, come and see," McKay gave Ford a wink and grinned as he beckoned the other scientist over, "Ford's named the Juxtaposing Octopus!"