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Story Data

Posted July 14, 2009

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Series: Eureka Moments

Title: Walking Catalyst

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Rating: PG.

Summary: Sooner or later, one had to wonder whether "coincidence" really applied to anything that happened in the vicinity of Jack Carter. 600 words.

Spoilers: Eureka post-3.9 "Welcome Back Carter"

The thought drifted through Henry's mind, as he did a spot review of ex-Sheriff Andy's logic circuits on behalf of a heartily annoyed General Mansfield, that perhaps Andy had uncovered something worthy of deeper consideration when he'd reanalyzed the odds of the gravity well problem in reference to Jack's participation.

Mansfield, like Eva Thorne before him, seemed pretty fixated on the sheer number and severity of the incidents that had occurred since Jack's arrival in Eureka. And it was true, the volume of paperwork referencing all of those near-disasters was a little... intimidating when taken as a whole, and the property destruction following in his wake did occasionally reach John McClane-like levels. Jack's robotic replacement had pointed out the flip side of the coin, though: wherever Jack went, events had a striking tendency to arrange themselves in such a way that whatever was needed to solve the current crisis would be available to his grasp. Not to mention that the actual death count under Jack's tenure had been far lower than for any previous sheriff in the highly experimental company town.

It wasn't a function of raw intelligence; though Jack was by no means dumb, and Henry had a lot of respect for the way his mind worked, he was-- objectively-- the least bright of Eureka's many stars. It couldn't be solely intuition, either; though Jack frequently pieced together seemingly random information to come up with a solution the more scientific residents of the town had trouble seeing from inside their intensive specializations, the way he got that information routinely defied the odds. How many times had the resolution to the latest G.D. problem come from something Jack had seen, or touched, or heard about that very week? Case in point: would Jack have connected Dr. Fielding to the gravity well problem at all if he hadn't just come across his sister having one of the man's "birthing fields" installed in his own house?

Sooner or later, one had to wonder whether "coincidence" really applied to anything that happened in the vicinity of Jack Carter.

Was it possible that Henry's friend was somehow warping probability around him, much as the tensor fields S.A.R.A.H. had helped Dr. Fielding construct had altered the laws of gravity on a localized basis? It would certainly explain much about S.A.R.A.H. herself; no matter how often G.D. examined her code for potentially lethal quirks, she still pulled crazy stunts like this one-- attempting to murder another artificial organism on 'her' family's behalf. It boggled the mind. Could Jack, metaphorically speaking, be a cross between a four-leaved clover and a walking catalyst for Murphy's Law?

...No, no. Henry was sure it really was all just coincidence, no matter how bizarre. Allison would laugh at the very idea, and she'd be right to. Until this last week, there'd been no scientific proof that even gravitons existed; there weren't even any theories about altering the physics of possibility in such a way. That was a little much, even for Eureka.

Henry chuckled to himself and patted Andy's nanopolymer shoulder. "All clear. They should have known when they gave you the ability to make your own decisions-- even limited to extrapolations of observed facts-- that they might not always agree with them. Humans are a pretty self-delusional bunch."

Clearly, in Andy's mind, it was an observed fact that Jack Carter was good at his job; and if that was enough for both the DoD's multibillion dollar defense project and Eureka's mayor, not to mention the terms of the town charter, well. General Mansfield would just have to deal with it.


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