Show and Tell
Summary: Continues on from Consequences. Crossover with Stargate SG-1. The visit to the SGC brings surprises - for everyone. Not all of them are pleasant.Part of A New Direction series.
Disclaimer: Jim, Blair, Simon, et al, and The Sentinel belong to Pet Fly, UPN, and Paramount. Jack and the gang belong to MGM, and the other Stargate Powers That Be. No copyright infringement is intended.
O’Neill whistled softly as he trotted up the stairs and made his way to the apartment’s front door. Lifting his hand to knock, he was a little startled when the door opened before his knuckles made contact.
“You’re early, Jack,” Jim grinned at the surprised look on his friend’s face.
“Tail wind,” O’Neill shrugged and smiled as Ellison stepped back to allow him to enter the apartment. “Has anyone ever told you that it’s kinda weird when you open the door like that?”
“It may have been mentioned once or twice,” Ellison laughed as he followed O’Neill into the living room. “You want a coffee or something?”
“No, I’m good, thanks,” O’Neill shook his head.
“Hey, Jack,” Blair noted with a grin and a bounce as he exited his room carrying a small overnight bag.
“How’s it going, Blair?”
“Pretty good, man, although I’ve got to tell you that I’m hanging out to find out more about this job offer. Are you sure you can’t give me some kind of hint before we get there?”
“And ruin the surprise?” O’Neill asked with a cheeky grin. “Sorry, no can do. So, we good to go?” At the confirming nods from both Ellison and Sandburg, he headed for the door. “Cool.”
Arriving at Cascade Airport, O’Neill led them through the terminal to the area reserved for private aircraft.
“Oh, man, nice ride!” Blair whistled as he caught sight of the small Lear jet with discreet USAF markings.
“Yeah, gives a whole new meaning to ‘company car’, doesn’t it?” O’Neill laughed as he led the way to the open hatch.
The interior of the aircraft wasn’t quite as elegant as might be expected of a civilian executive jet, but it did feature a small, well-appointed dining area, along with several comfortable looking couches, and a section with a table surrounded by four very comfortable looking seats. O’Neill closed the hatch and stowed their bags in a locker after waving them toward the table area. While Jim and Blair seated themselves in the chairs facing toward the front of the aircraft, he opened a briefcase that he’d pulled out of a small cupboard and extracted two bulky folders.
“Strap yourselves in and we’ll be on our way,” he said with a grin as he handed a folder to each man, tossing the briefcase negligently onto one of the empty chairs. “You’ll need to read and sign these before we get to the Springs.”
“Non disclosure?” Jim asked with a knowing look as he opened his folder.
“Oh yeah,” O’Neill smirked as he headed for the cockpit, leaving the door fastened open.
“We’re really doing this, aren’t we?” Blair asked softly as he opened his own folder and began to look through the stack of paperwork it contained, the gravity of the situation abruptly crashing down on him at the sight of the ‘Top Secret’ labelling liberally adorning the papers.
“It’s not too late to change your mind, Chief,” Jim replied quietly, studying his partner intently.
“And never find out what this is all about?” Blair grinned suddenly. “I’d die of curiosity, man!”
The flight was smooth an uneventful. Once they’d achieved their authorised cruising altitude and course, O’Neill had engaged the autopilot and brought out coffee, tea, water, and sandwiches from the well-stocked kitchenette. It had taken a while for Jim and Blair to read through the mass of papers, but both had been reasonably happy to sign once they had. The forms were basic non disclosure agreements, which meant that, once they signed, they agreed that anything they might learn on their trip was not to be discussed with anyone without clearance. The penalties for breaching the agreement were severe, basically amounting to charges of treason.
“Naomi would have a fit if she could see me now!” Blair had laughed nervously as he’d signed.
“Blair’s mother is, ah, somewhat anti-establishment,” Jim told O’Neill with a grin when he saw the puzzled look on the Colonel’s face at Blair’s comment.
“So I take it she wouldn’t exactly be overjoyed if you decide to take the job, since it would mean working with the military,” O’Neill asked with a sly grin.
“Oh, man!” Blair groaned, slumping back into his seat. “If we decide to say yes I am so not looking forward to that conversation!”
“So, now that we’ve signed our lives away, are you going to tell us anything more, or do we still have to wait until we get to Colorado Springs?” Jim asked O’Neill as he handed both folders over.
O’Neill grinned and stowed the folders in the briefcase. “And deprive Daniel of the pleasure he gets from giving his presentation? I tell you, JJ, my life wouldn’t be worth living!”
“Daniel?” Blair asked quickly.
“One of my team,” was all O’Neill would supply, obviously enjoying their frustration. “You’ll meet him in…” he checked his watch, “about forty minutes. We’re almost to Petersen, so if you could stack things in the kitchenette then strap back in, that would be great.”
“You’re still an annoying s.o.b., you know that don’t you, Jack?” Ellison grumbled as he and Blair gathered up the used cups and plates.
“Ya think?” O’Neill laughed as he grabbed a suit bag that had been lying on one of the lounges and headed for the bathroom at the rear of the aircraft. “That’s why we always got along, JJ – like attracts like!”
“He’s got a point, Big Guy’ Blair laughed and ducked the swat that Jim aimed at the back of his head.
Now in full uniform, carrying his hat and the folded suit bag containing the clothes he’d changed out of, O’Neill emerged from the bathroom a few moments later.
“Whoah! Should I salute or something, Jack?” Almost despite himself, Blair was impressed by the large number of ribbons on the left side of O’Neill’s uniform. “You look almost respectable in that outfit!”
“And here I was starting to like you, Sandburg,” O’Neill said with an obviously fake scowl. “Don’t make me have to shoot you!”
Once they landed, O’Neill turned the aircraft over to the ground crew and they transferred to the staff car that was waiting to take them to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. The driver saluted O’Neill and quickly stowed Bair and Jim’s bags in the trunk. O’Neill took the front passenger seat, leaving the back for the others. They chatted easily during the drive, with O’Neill pointing out several of the local sights along the way.
Once they reached the Mountain, O’Neill thanked the driver then led Jim and Blair through the multiple checkpoints.
“Just how deep are we going, Jack?” Jim asked as they boarded a second elevator to continue their descent.
“The briefing room is on level 26,” O’Neill told him as he ran his ID card through a card reader and pressed the appropriate button.
“Cool!” Blair bounced excitedly. “The engineering effort for this place must have been incredible. Do you have any problem with people working this deep? It would be a fascinating study, I mean, has anyone done any work on the on the environmental effects of working in a subterranean complex?”
“Easy, Darwin,” Jim laughed, having seen O’Neill’s eyes start to glaze over when Blair slipped into anthropologist/scientist mode.
“Daniel is so going to like you,” O’Neill grinned, turning to face the doors as the elevator slid to a smooth stop. “Just follow me,” he stepped out through the doors, nodding to the two SFs stationed in the corridor before continuing on his way.
Curious, Jim dialled up his hearing a little, catching snippets of conversations from throughout the complex, but nothing that seemed noteworthy. Dialling back down with a mental shrug he followed O’Neill and Blair through a doorway that he guessed must lead to the briefing room that O’Neill had said was their immediate destination.
The room was large, of an open plan design, with a staircase in one corner, and another, currently closed door next to a window which apparently looked into what looked to be the base commander’s office. There were three people already present in the room. An older man, wearing the uniform of an Air Force Major General, sat at the head of the table, flanked by a younger, bespectacled man with collar-length brown hair, and a blond woman, both wearing blue BDUs without any rank insignia.
The trio stood to greet them as O’Neill led Blair and Jim into the room.
“Major General George Hammond, Major Samantha Carter, Doctor Daniel Jackson, this is former Army Ranger Captain and Cascade, Washington, Police Detective James Ellison, and Doctor Blair Sandburg.” O’Neill made the introductions then handed the folders he’d taken from his briefcase to the General before moving around the table to a position next to Doctor Jackson.
“Welcome, gentlemen,” the twang of Texas was unmistakable in Hammond’s voice. “Please, be seated, and we’ll begin the presentation. Doctor Jackson, if you’d be so kind.”
“Yes, Sir,” Jackson didn’t resume his seat, but moved instead to stand next to a screen erected at the end of the table nearest Jim and Blair, who’d taken seats a few positions away from Major Carter. Turning to face Jim and Blair, he clicked the remote that he’d taken out of his pocket, darkening the lighting and activating the projector that was suspended from the ceiling. “Before I begin, I’d ask that you keep any questions until the end of the presentation. Okay, the best place to begin this presentation is Gaza…”
Blair and Jim had exchanged several wide-eyed glances throughout Doctor Jackson’s presentation. As Jackson headed back to his seat half an hour later, after returning the lighting to its original level and deactivating the projector, Blair turned slightly to Jim.
“Did he say what I thought he said?” he asked, Sentinel soft.
Jim nodded slightly, still trying to assimilate what they’d just heard. It was almost beyond belief, but these people obviously believed in what they’d just been told. Alien parasites. Alien allies. Modified humans used as incubators for the evil parasites. Travel to other worlds. Devices that could revive the dead or prolong life far beyond the expected lifespan. Earth engaged in a war of sorts against aliens who would enslave or destroy all humans.
“Wow! And I thought our secret was cool!” Blair’s very softly voiced comment brought a slight smile to Jim’s face.
“I’m sure you must have many questions,” Hammond said gently, fully aware of the impact of what they’d just been told on the two men, and more than willing to give them time to gather their thoughts. “If I could add to what Doctor Jackson has told you, your main roles, should you decide to join us, would be as members of one of the teams we regularly send offworld to explore, with the ultimate aim of gathering weapons and allies for the war against the Goa’uld. It is also, as Doctor Jackson has indicated, an invaluable opportunity to experience new cultures, some of which originated here on Earth but were transplanted by the Goa’uld and other more benign races like the Asgard.”
Blair opened his mouth to speak, then noticed that Jim had cocked his head to one side, eyes distant as he focussed his hearing on something only he could detect. He seemed to be somewhat agitated. “Jim?”
“What the hell?” Ellison muttered as he rose to his feet, facing the door through which they’d entered, moving instinctively into a position that placed him between Blair and the door even as he opened his senses to try to learn more about what he was hearing. Knowing that Jim was engaging his senses more deeply, Blair reached out and laid a hand lightly on the small of Jim’s back.
“Is something wrong, JJ?” O’Neill asked quietly as the others stared at Ellison in consternation.
“Something…I’ve never heard anything like that before…” Ellison said almost to himself. “And what the hell is that smell?” He turned his head abruptly toward Major Carter. “It’s coming from you, too, although much fainter. I didn’t notice it before.” Until a few moments ago, he’d had everything dialled down except for his hearing during Doctor Jackson’s presentation, trying to determine whether the Doctor was being truthful by using it to monitor his heartbeat and respirations.
Before anyone in the briefing room could react to what Ellison was saying, the door that he’d been staring at opened, and a very large man, with dark skin and a strange golden insignia apparently imbedded in his forehead, entered.
“Forgive my tardiness, General Hammond – ” the newcomer began, but broke off abruptly to when faced with the tableau before him. “Is there a problem, O’Neill?”
Ellison was still standing protectively in front of Sandburg. O’Neill had risen from his seat and had moved to stand within a few feet of Ellison. Hammond, Carter, and Jackson were all standing as well, now, staring at Ellison in shock.
“Ah, not sure, T,” O’Neill shrugged, eyeing Jim warily.
“What are you? And what the hell is that thing in your gut?” Ellison ground the words out, his distaste obvious. “And why do I detect the same scent from you?” he asked Carter abruptly.
“Teal’c is a Jaffa. He was formerly the First Prime to the Goa’uld Apophis, but has renounced Apophis and is now a member of SG-1,” Jackson said carefully, as Teal’c moved cautiously further into the room, taking care to keep a reasonable distance between himself and Ellison.
“Jaffa? That means he has ah, an infant Goa’uld, um…” Blair broke off to stare at Teal’c in horrified amazement. It had been one thing to be told about the Jaffa and the roles they played in service to the Goa’uld, it was another thing entirely to actually meet one…
“In a pouch in his abdomen, yes,” Jackson confirmed as everyone resumed their seats. He’d given Teal’c his seat, and now sat on the other side of O’Neill. “And Major Carter was host for a brief time to a Tok’Ra symbiote. As I mentioned in the presentation, the Tok’Ra and the Goa’uld are physically identical, but ideologically opposed.”
“How did you know that Teal’c was different, Mister Ellison? Or me?” Major Carter asked, eyes wide with curiosity. “And how did you know he was approaching?”
Ellison looked at O’Neill, his unspoken question plain on his face.
“Apart from me, only the General knows anything, JJ – and even then, I only covered the absolute basics with him. I gave you my word, and I kept it,” O’Neill replied steadily, leaving the ball in Jim’s court.
“I guess the cat’s well and truly out of the bag, then,” Ellison sighed and wiped a hand across his face, nodding to Blair to take over. “You tell it so much better, Chief,” he said softly.
Blair took a deep, calming breath. “Okay. In many tribal cultures there were those who were the guardians for the tribes….”
Hammond and the others listened intently as Blair explained about Jim and his enhanced senses.
When Blair had finished speaking, Teal’c turned his head to stare at Ellison, a shocked, awed expression on his face. “Trak’tah!”
“Ah, that means ‘Watchman’,” Jackson was surprised at his team mate’s reaction, but dutifully translated for the others.
“You know about Sentinels, Teal’c?” Blair was startled. “Oh, wow! Does that mean they exist in other cultures, on other planets? This is amazing! Do you know of any planets where there are Sentinels? Maybe we could visit them and compare notes. We could learn so much, Jim!” Blair rattled on as his enthusiasm grew.
“Breathe, Chief. Give Teal’c a chance to answer you, okay?” Jim couldn’t help but smile as Blair virtually bounced with excitement in his chair.
The young anthropologist quietened down and turned expectantly to Teal’c.
“I think we’d all be interested in what you can tell us, Teal’c,” Hammond said encouragingly to the Jaffa.
“I have not personally encountered a Trak’tah – what you call a Sentinel – until now,” he nodded at Ellison in acknowledgement. “Their existence is known to the System Lords, who have decreed that, should a Trak’tah be encountered, they are to be taken alive at all costs. Failing that, they are to be taken immediately to a sarcophagus and revived. To my knowledge, no Trak’tah has ever been taken alive, nor have efforts to use a sarcophagus been successful, since the manner of their deaths has ensured that the condition of their remains leaves them beyond the abilities of the device to revive. In most cases, when faced with capture, the Trak’tah has suicided rather than be taken, although there were occasions where the Trak’tah was unable to do so, due to injury, or having been disarmed. On each of those occasions, the Trak’tah’s companions have succeeded where they themselves had failed. The System Lords’ decree stands to this day, although, as far as I am aware, the last Trak’tah was encountered many years before my birth.”
“Why are they so keen on getting their hands on a Sentinel, Teal’c?” Blair asked quietly, a sick feeling on his stomach.
“A System Lord who had the senses of a Trak’tah at their disposal would have an enormous advantage over the other System Lords,” Teal’c told him calmly. “There is also a legend that such a host would allow the System Lord to access technology that has hitherto been beyond their control.”
“What sort of technology?” Carter leant forward, her eyes alight with curiosity.
“I do not know, Major Carter. There are rumours of a planet on which there is a fortress whose defences may only be successfully negotiated by one blessed with the gifts of a Trak’tah.”
“If we could find this planet – ” Carter turned eagerly to the General.
“I think we’re jumping the gun a little, Major. Neither Mister Ellison nor Doctor Sandburg have indicated that they wish to join us,” Hammond said firmly, but not unkindly.
“Easily fixed, Sir,” O’Neill grinned, turning to face Jim and Blair. “So, guys, what d’you say?”
“I think I’m interested, but I’d really like more time to think about it before I give you my final decision, and I can’t and won’t speak for Blair,” Ellison said slowly, glancing at Sandburg who nodded in agreement.
“How much time do you need, Son?” Hammond asked, pleased that Ellison hadn’t said no, but understanding that he was also asking the man to become a highly prized target if the Goa’uld ever suspected that he was a Sentinel. It was something that he would need to consider carefully before he reached his final decision.
Ellison shrugged, looking to Sandburg for his input.
“Well, uh, how about we meet again tomorrow morning?” Blair said hesitantly, checking that this would be acceptable to Jim, and receiving a slight nod in response. “We should be able to reach some kind of decision by then, I hope.”
“Works for me, Chief,” Ellison agreed.
“Then we will reconvene here at eleven hundred tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ll leave you in the capable hands of SG-1,” Hammond nodded toward O’Neill and his team. “I’m sure they’ll be able to show you around the facility, and answer any questions which you might have. I’m also sure that I don’t need to advise you, SG-1, that nothing discussed here concerning Mister Ellison’s abilities is to be shared with anyone not in this meeting, whether or not he and Doctor Sandburg decide to join us.” Hammond knew his people would guard Ellison’s secret as closely as if it were their own, but he wanted to set the man’s mind at ease and remove any possibility that he would feel coerced to join the SGC in order to protect himself.
“Thank you, Sir,” Ellison said with a small but genuine smile.
After the General had left the briefing room, O’Neill turned to Blair and Jim with a wry smile. “Well, that’s not exactly how I pictured this going.”
“Ya think?” Blair tossed one of O’Neill’s pet phrases back at him with a cheeky grin.
“Watch it, kid,” O’Neill mock growled. “So, d’you two want to see the ‘Gate? Carter can tell you all about how it works.”
“Could we?” Blair started bouncing again. “That would be like, so cool!”
O’Neill shared an amused look with Ellison then gestured for Carter to lead the way to the control room. Ellison fell into step beside O’Neill while Sandburg pounced on Jackson, talking a mile a minute. Teal’c hesitated before following the group. Ellison stopped and turned to face the Jaffa, sensing his unease. O’Neill stopped as well, watching the pair warily, given Ellison’s earlier reaction to the Jaffa.
“I owe you an apology, Teal’c,” Ellison said quietly. “I reacted pretty badly when you came into the room, and I’m sorry. What I felt wasn’t aimed at you personally. I hope you can understand that.”
Teal’c bowed his head slightly. “No apology is required, James Ellison. While the symbiote I carry within is necessary to my survival, I, too, despise both it and all Goa’uld.”
“So, we’re all good, then?” O’Neill asked, looking from one to the other. He’d been concerned that there would be animosity between the two men, and since he considered both to be his friends, it was a relief to see that they appeared to be getting along.
“We’re good,” Ellison nodded.
“Indeed,” Teal’c agreed as the three continued on their way, arriving in the control room to find Carter giving Blair an overview of wormhole physics and the dialling program, with Jackson adding the odd comment about the worlds they’d visited and the people they’d encountered.
Content to leave the scientists to their discussions, O’Neill, Teal’c, and Ellison moved to where they had an uninterrupted view through the armoured glass to the area below.
“That’s the gateroom,” O’Neill waved a hand in the direction of the window, “and obviously, the Stargate.”
Ellison gazed at the large metallic ring in amazement. “And you travel through that to get to other planets?” He was still having a hard time getting his head around the whole ‘other planets’ thing.
“Yep,” O’Neill nodded. “Cool, huh?” he added smugly, acting more like a small boy showing off a particularly cool toy.
“Very,” Ellison grinned, amused at his friend’s attitude. “So, your team is SG-1 –” he broke off suddenly, head cocked slightly, fingers moving to rest lightly on the desk in front of him. “Do you often get earth tremors here?” He was surprised that a military base would be built in a geologically unstable area.
“Tremors? No, we – ”
The vibration that Ellison had heard and felt was now detectable to everyone in the control room and several previously dormant screens flickered to life.
“Incoming wormhole!” Sergeant Harriman announced, fingers flying over the keyboard in front of him. “Unscheduled activation.” He slammed his hand down on the scanner, causing the iris to spin closed over the centre of the gate.
“Source, Sergeant?” O’Neill strode over to stand next to Harriman’s chair just as General Hammond entered the control room.
“PX2-443, Sir,” Harriman responded promptly.
“Damn. SG-2 isn’t due back for another twenty-four hours,” O’Neill said, thinking aloud. “Alert the Infirmary and get a medical team to the gateroom, just in case,” he instructed another Sergeant before turning back to Harriman. “Any IDC yet?”
“Just coming through now,” Harriman studied his screen for a moment longer. “IDC confirmed, Sir, it’s SG-2.”
“Open the iris, Sergeant,” Hammond ordered even as O’Neill bolted for the stairs that led down to the gateroom level, Teal’c and Ellison right behind him.
Carter, Jackson, and Sandburg opted to stay in the control room, eyes fixed on the gate as the iris spun open, revealing the wormhole event horizon.
“Whoah!” Blair’s eyes were wide as he stared at the shimmering blue surface. “Dial down sight just a touch, Jim,” he said softly, “you don’t want to zone on that.”
Ellison glanced up at him as he followed ONeill through the gateroom entrance, a small smile and nod indicating that he’d heard.
The surface of the wormhole was interrupted as four men came stumbling through, accompanied by a strange almost slurping sound.
“Close the iris!” One of the men waved frantically up at the control room window while two of his team mates collapsed on the metal ramp that led to the gate. The fourth man swayed, but managed to grab hold of the railing and remained on his feet.
Even as the iris was closing, O’Neill and the others had reached the ramp, heading for the downed men. Ellison knelt beside them and used his senses to assess their injuries.
“What have we got?” A small woman wearing a white coat over her uniform came into the gateroom, moving deceptively fast, and followed by several men and women bringing gurneys and medical equipment.
“That one has three badly broken ribs, left side, but I don’t think they’ve punctured anything. Broken left arm, badly bruised but not broken left leg. Some internal bleeding on the left side, below the ribs, nothing life threatening at this moment, but he needs attention now,” Ellison rattled off quickly, gesturing toward the man O’Neill was bending over, while using his other hand to maintain pressure on the bleeding wounds in the chest of the man he knelt beside. “This one has two penetrating wounds to the lower right chest that look to have been caused by a knife or spear tip. The right lung is compromised, but hasn’t completely collapsed yet. His right collarbone’s fractured, and his heartbeat is a little off, probably because of a build up of blood around the heart. I’d say he would be the one most urgently in need of assistance of the two.”
The woman stared at him in surprise for a bare instant before flicking a quick glance at O’Neill, who merely nodded in support of Ellison, then turned her attention to her patients. “Okay, you heard the man, get these two to the Infirmary immediately, and alert Doctor Warner to prepare for surgery.” She watched for a moment as her team followed her instructions.
Ellison, O’Neill, Teal’c, and one of the SF’s from the gateroom guard detail helped to get the two men onto the gurneys.
“What about you, Major?” the tiny doctor asked the man who’d yelled for the iris to be closed.
“Just banged up a bit, Doc,” the major said, wincing a little as he made his way unsteadily down the ramp, assisting, and assisted by, the fourth man.
“Me, too, Doc,” the fourth man gasped out. “Taylor and Billings took the brunt of the attack.”
“Okay, but you two are still getting a free ride to the Infirmary,” the doctor said with a slight smile as she waved the rest of her team, with the remaining gurneys, into the gateroom.
“Aw, Doc, we can walk, honest!’ the major protested in a weak voice.
The doctor merely glared at him for a moment as her staff moved the gurneys into position.
“Or maybe not,” the major dropped his gaze and meekly allowed himself to be helped up onto the gurney.
“Wise decision,” O’Neill muttered, drawing a sharp gaze from the doctor.
“Not hurt, Doc!” The lanky Colonel backed up a step, raising his hands defensively. “Haven’t even been offworld for two days!”
Ellison caught the smirk as the doctor turned to follow the gurneys out of the gateroom. “Scared much, Jack?” he asked, teasing O’Neill for his apparent fear of the small female doctor.
“Hell yes!” O’Neill told him with a grin. “C’mon, we’ll get cleaned up then head for the canteen for a coffee before we swing by the Infirmary to find out what happened. You coming, T?”
Carter, Sandburg, and Jackson joined them in the canteen about twenty minutes later.
Blair kept the conversation going with Carter and Jackson, asking myriad questions about topics ranging from wormhole physics to the language drift between two sections of the same culture who’d been separated for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
O’Neill was once again joined by Ellison and Teal’c when he went to the Infirmary to check on the status of the members of SG-2 and find out what had happened. Blair had gone with Carter and Jackson to the archaeologist’s office to continue their discussion rather than crowd the Infirmary and risk the wrath of the somewhat intimidating Doctor Fraiser.
No sooner had O’Neill and the others entered the Infirmary than Doctor Fraiser appeared in the corridor, homing in on a somewhat bemused Ellison.
“You! Exactly who are you? And why are you not working in my Infirmary? I could use a person with your diagnostic skills,” the tiny doctor – who barely came up to Jim’s chest – stood with hands on hips and waited for the answer to her questions.
“Jim Ellison, Doctor Janet Fraiser, CMO for the SGC. JJ’s been offered a position on one of the teams. Hasn’t decided whether he’ll take it or not yet. Teal’c and I are showing him around,” O’Neill once again handled the introductions. “JJ is a former Army Ranger and Police Detective,” he added helpfully.
“Good to meet you, Doctor, and please, call me Jim,” Jim said with a smile, holding out his hand.
“Likewise, Jim. And I’m Janet, unless you try to give me any problems should you ever find yourself a patient under my care,” Fraiser said as she shook his hand, slanting a sharp glance at O’Neill, who responded with wide-eyed innocence.
“I’ll bear that in mind, Janet,” Jim laughed.
“Medic in the Army, then?” Fraiser’s eyes narrowed as she studied Ellison. Ranger medic training was good, but it still didn’t fully explain how accurate his diagnoses of the two more seriously injured members of SG-2 had been.
“Among other things, yes. I’ve kept current since leaving the Army, even sat in on a few courses with the local EMTs over the years,” Jim nodded.
“Okay,” Fraiser nodded. “If you do decide to join the SGC, I’d like you to update your qualifications, and keep them current. It would be good to have your level of skill available for rescue missions.”
“I’ll keep that in mind, thanks Janet,” Jim said with a smile. He already found himself liking the feisty doctor.
“So, how are SG-2, Doc?” O’Neill asked, leaning against the doorframe, hands shoved into the pockets of his trousers.
“Major Ferretti and Sergeant Higgins are pretty bruised and battered, but nothing serious. They’ll be sore and sorry for themselves for a couple of days, but I’ll be discharging them tomorrow morning. Taylor came through surgery to repair the damage from the stab wounds without any complications. We managed to stop the bleeding without any problem, and catch the lung before it could collapse, so that will speed up his recovery considerably. Billings had a lacerated kidney, which we’ve repaired surgically, but no other major issues. They’ll be on sick leave for a while, to give the broken bones time to set, but I’d expect both of them to make full recoveries.”
“That’s good to hear, Doc, thanks,” O’Neill was relieved by the doctor’s report. SG-2 were one of their best teams, and Ferretti was also a personal friend, so it was good to know they’d all be okay, given time. “Has the General debriefed Lou and Higgins yet?”
“He just left,” Fraiser nodded. “I’ll give you five minutes with Major Ferretti, Colonel, then I want him to rest. Understood, Sir?”
“Yes, ma’am,” O’Neill grinned and slipped past her, heading for the curtained cubicle she’d indicated. “Won’t be long,” he told Teal’c and Ellison just before he disappeared behind one of the curtains.
After the visit to the Infirmary, the trio headed for Jackson’s office to join up with the others. O’Neill waited until they’d reached the office before passing on what he’d learned from Ferretti, to save having to go over it twice.
“Hi, Sir, how’re SG-2,” Carter greeted them with a smile when they entered Doctor Jackson’s artefact- and paper-strewn laboratory/office.
“They’re all going to be fine, thankfully. Billings and Taylor came through surgery okay, and Ferretti and Higgins are just a bit the worse for wear – lots of bruises but nothing broken.”
“That’s a relief,” Jackson smiled. “So what happened?”
“Sounds like a power play among the locals,” O’Neill shrugged. “SG-2 got caught in the middle of a small-scale war between two neighbouring villages. They tried to get away, avoid involvement, but it seems someone decided that they’d be the ‘spoils of war’, as it were, and objected to them leaving. Ferretti said the General was going to put the planet on the list of no-go’s, at least for the foreseeable future.”
“I guess that’s for the best,” Jackson sighed. He was always disappointed when a newly encountered culture didn’t end up as a new ally against the Goa’uld.
It was a full afternoon. There was a great deal to see and learn about, and Blair was in anthropology heaven when he and Doctor Jackson discussed their respective Earth-based expeditions, as well as the various peoples Daniel and the others had encountered during their offworld missions.
The six ate a late dinner together in the canteen, then SG-1 escorted Jim and Blair to the VIP quarters they be staying in overnight. Their bags had been placed in their rooms earlier in the day, and there would be an SF stationed outside their doors overnight – standard procedure for dealing with those who were not part of the program. Teal’c lived on base, and the other members of the team had their own homes in Colorado Springs, but all four would be remaining on base that night, and made it clear that Jim and Blair should feel free to call on them if they needed anything, regardless of the time.
By unspoken agreement, Jim and Blair retreated to their respective rooms after having said goodnight to SG-1, They both needed time on their own to absorb the enormity of everything they’d learned during the day, and to give some serious thought to whether or not they each wanted to become a part of the SGC team.
Jim had been expecting the knock on the door connecting the two VIP rooms and had planned accordingly. When he opened the door to allow Blair into his room, he couldn’t help a smug grin when Blair took in the bottles of water, pot of tea, carafe of coffee, mugs, cream, sugar, snacks, and sandwiches already laid out on the small table. Silently congratulating himself on the timing of the order he’d placed through the SF outside his door, Jim ushered Blair over to the table.
“So, I guess you’re ready to discuss this, then?” Blair asked with a laugh, as he dropped into one of the comfortable chairs that had been arranged around the table.
“I guess so,” Jim nodded, taking the other chair.
It was hours later, well into the early hours of the morning, and they were still working through the pros and cons of accepting positions at the SGC.
“I guess it comes down to this, Chief,” Jim leant back in his chair, rubbing his forehead wearily, “I think we can make a difference here, as part of this Command. It feels right, but I can’t and won’t do this without you. If you’re in, so am I. If you’re not, then I’m not either.” He shrugged, too tired to find the words to express himself more eloquently.
“I’m down with that, Big Guy. I think we have an incredible opportunity here to really protect the tribe, the whole human tribe, which is kind of mind boggling, really, but I’d be lying to you, and to myself, if I didn’t tell you that I’m having one hell of a hard time dealing with the fact that if any of the Goa’uld find out about you they’ll come after you with everything they have.”
“I think the good we can do here makes it worth the risk,” Jim said quietly. “And you know I intend to take precautions.”
Blair nodded, feeling slightly ill. They’d discussed this earlier, at length. “And if need be, I’ll keep my promise to you, Jim, I swear, but I’m telling you, you’d better not ever put me in a position where I have to.”
“I’ll do my best, Chief.”
“You’d better, man,” Blair scrubbed tiredly at his face. “So, we’re really going to do this, aren’t we, Jim?”
“Seems very much like it, Chief.”