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Secrets: A Father Goose Tale

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Father Goose Tales". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Just a happy little story about culture clashes, deceit, trickery, dancing girls, snakes, toads, witches and the law of unintended consequences. With beheadings. Featuring Xander, Faith and company, and the friendly folks of SG1.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > General > General: SG-1litmouseFR1822125,49670613189,2982 Apr 0717 Jan 08No

Chapter 11: Dead Goa’uld on Ice

A/N: See Chapt. 1 for disclaimers, warnings, timelines.

Thanks as always for the many kind and stimulating reviews.









Secrets: A Father Goose Tale
A BTVS-SG1 Crossover


Chapter 11: Dead Goa’uld on Ice





Stargate Command, Colorado, October 2007



What is it, airman?” Hammond asked.

“Sir, you asked to be reminded fifty minutes after the envelope was delivered.”

“Right, message received. And the material I asked for?"

The airman handed him a thin file folder. “Sir, they said to tell you they tried everything but the red phone.“

“Thank you, airman. Dismissed.”

Jack watched, as, brow furrowed, Hammond glanced over the pages in the dossier and peered at Harris and Faith again, eyes puzzled.

The couple was arguing quietly, though by listening hard Jack gathered the gist of it; Faith’s cast was due to come off the next day and as far as she was concerned that meant 12:01 am no matter where they were and Harris was insisting she wait at least until they were in a better location. If they were trying to convince him of their lack of fear…. It was working.

Jack smiled to himself as he watched Hammond visibly calm himself, preparing for the ordeal of trying to reason with civilians.

He pulled out a handkerchief, wiped his brow and check his watch and said, “Son, obviously time is running short here. But it’s not too late to stop all this…”

“General,” Harris sighed, “you and I both know it’s way too late. And my terms are non-negotiable.”

“All right, son. You’re right. I do appreciate that you are taking care of the people under your command….”

“No. No one’s under my command. We don’t work that way.”

Hammond stared at him a moment, took a breath, “Be that as it may, are you sure you want to do this? Do you really think the world is ready for this, son? Do you really want to responsible for riots, panic…“

“General, seriously? I can’t imagine even you believe the whole the world is not ready argument. What do you think people are gonna do? Leave? It’s not as if we’re gonna be announcing that the goa’uld have landed at Grover's Mill. I guess there might be a run on toilet paper and canned goods at the Piggly-Wiggly. Somebody somewhere will probably get killed in gunfight over the last can of peaches. But I doubt even the banks would close. I think I know better than most what people can live with … and vampires aside we’ve all been living all our lives with the threat of nuclear annihilation hanging over our heads, the news is full of bombs and other dangers, we are in the midst of a global pandemic … evil aliens would just be one more thing. I mean it will be a serious pain in your ass, you’ll have protestors and wannabees and congressional investigations and international uproar and the People for Ethical Treatment of Bug-eyed Monsters getting naked on your billboards. But I think the world will be okay.”

“Okay,” Jack said, “But what happens when a goa’uld Ha’tak drops by and there’s no one to fight back cause we’re too busy testifying at congressional hearings or off taking kiddies on tours of purple planets.”

Harris laughed, turned to Faith, “We shouldn’t have come. Another twenty-four hours with Renee and they’d have been begging us to take her back. Given us anything we wanted.” He turned back to Jack,

“Yes, I understand that, Colonel. I really do. Only you can save the world. Know the feeling. More than you might believe. But I’m just not buying the idea that you’re the onliest good little boys who can handle the truth. I suppose it could happen, everybody would be too busy fighting over who gets to use the gate and nobody would. Or you’d really, really need to pop over to pxj-555 to pick up some extra naquadah for the bomb to save the world only to find Disney has reserved the gate for the weekend, or the Italians insisted on going to Pxh-888 because the Moopah berries are only ripe for 23 hours every thirty-two years and people booked months in advance… Or maybe we go to war because some tourist wrote “Earth Rulez!” on the sacred shrine of Whackmore the Vicious. Shit could happen.”

“Public knowledge would I suppose make the gate a terrorist target, but we might as well pack it in if we’re going to base all our decisions on what terrorists might do.”

“But beyond the actual security of the base itself, which is after all already in a damn mountain, I really cannot think of any reason why secret military control of the gate inherently makes us safer, but I can go on endlessly on the potential benefits of public knowledge and civilian control. The secrecy makes you weak, Colonel. It makes you vulnerable… to us, to the NID, the more dangerous elements at the Pentagon. Publicity is no guarantee, I guess, but even the worst governments prefer to do their dirty deeds in secret. I have spent a lot of time today reading SG1 mission reports and I don’t doubt you or your team’s personal courage and good intentions. But in the end, it seems, as an institution at least, you fear your fellowman, even your fellow countrymen more than you fear the goa’uld.”

He sighed, raised his arms up and stretched. “And hell, you may be right. We humans can be a scary bunch. I’ve been fighting demons for a long time now, I’ve seen some terrible things, but I’ve never seen a demon do anything so vile that some human somewhere hasn’t done worse. But the point is, General, a big part of me hopes that you hold out and compel us to reveal all. So really, you’re not going to turn me around with a nice friendly chat.”

“If secrecy is so terrible,” Daniel said, “What about yours, shouldn’t you go public about vampires? Shouldn’t people be warned?”

“But we only really have one secret, Dr. Jackson. And that’s the names and addresses of the girls and their watchers, the frontline troops if you will. We can’t hide in a big mountain fortress, we have to be out there, in the streets. A little privacy is reasonable, I think. For what it’s worth, by the way, the information we release will not include anyone’s home address. I know they’ll find you anyway, and I do regret that, but really, my terms are quite reasonable…. But as to vamps and demons, it’s all there, Dr. Jackson, on our game, on a hundred other websites, in books. When you are ready to believe in it, it’s all there for the asking. We have an 800 number for god’s sake. And we sure as hell don’t around threatening to put people in jail if they talk about it…. I suppose I could go on the evening news and dust a vamp. I’ve thought about it, but …. Do you really think that would help? Dr. Fraiser here examined one today and she still doesn’t quite believe it. Would any of you believe it if you saw it on TV?”

“Sir,” an airman said. “Two minutes.”

Hammond stood up then, walked around the table to stand next to Harris. He motioned and an airman brought a telephone on a long cord over and handed it to the general who placed deliberately in front of the one-eyed man.

“Mr. Harris. You’re right. This has gone too far. But stop this now, and we’ll make allowances, ask for leniency. Send that picture out and you may never draw breath as a free man again.”

“When you bring my people to me General,” Harris said, “I’d advise you to keep the vamps in chains and let Renee supervise them. And when I make the call I’ll be doing it on my cell. That’s the blue one.”



Rome, Italy, October, 2007

“5…4…3…2..1… send! Yes! Yes! Yes! Fly my pretties fly fly fly! Yes!”

“We have really got to find her a new boyfriend,” Buffy said.



Psathópyrgos, Greece, July 2007


The line of fires on their sculptured-snake pedestals lining the inner walls of the compound seemed to flicker in time with the music as they filled the night with a warm glow. The gathered crowd clapped and stamped their feet with the beat as the line of lightly clad girls danced in the center circle, displaying themselves for their Lord’s pleasure.

Nikos burned with love. He burned with hate. He wasn’t quite sure which, maybe both, but he was eighteen and he burned.

Hate. He would have to go with hate at the moment as he watched her dance. She had promised to dance only for him.

Dancing for him meant stumbling a little now and then, not too obvious but just enough, dancing for him meant darkening her teeth with just a touch of henna, dancing as Illona was dancing for Petros…. badly.

Eleni’s teeth gleamed like fresh snow in sunshine, she danced smooth and clean as a porpoise in the waves, light as an eagle in a thermal, her young body flushed and full of promise and passion … for the Lord Crius who cared not while Nikos burned.

The Lord Crius lounged on his throne, blonde head pillowed between the lush breasts of another girl who had once danced before him in the flickering light of the fires. His feet resting on the upturned ass of a second, while a third knelt at his side ready to provide any food or drink he might require….

And Eleni had lied. He had known it in his heart. The evenings when they stole away and sneaked into his older brother’s empty apartment and she would satisfy him with her hands or mouth but never….. That was for their wedding night, she’d promised.

She’d lied, it was for the false God Crius… he was a sorcerer, Nikos had to admit, a man of power, all who followed the left-handed serpent had seen him kill with a wave of his hand. But he was no God and Nikos would prove it. He fondled the pistol in his pocket and waited.

If Crius chose Eleni he would die. And then, when she had seen the fallen bleeding body of the man, the old man she had chosen over him, he would stand over her as she knelt in penitence and he would say, “I would have made you my goddess but you would rather be his whore and handmaiden, then be his whore in hell,” and then he would put the gun against her temple…..

There was shouting that drew him from his reverie, Crius had chosen, he’d yawned and pointed and now Eleni was coming forward to kneel at his feet and Nikos pulled the gun free and stepped forward, heart pounding.

There was more shouting now, shrieking, people were pointing….

They came floating through the night air, gliding over the fires, the smoke moving aside to let them pass, Goddesses, one majestic in the oiled and gleaming body of an African warrior, the second ethereal in white robes and long flowing red hair. They landed lightly at Crius’s side as his servants scattered. The African spoke a strange language in an unearthly resonant voice, her eyes glowing with unbanked fires.

At first Crius stood and tried to speak as an equal, his own eyes gleaming, but soon it was clear he was being ordered to do obeisance and was, with weakening resistance, refusing… he swung his deadly left hand toward the black Goddess… she reached out faster than any striking snake and gripped his wrist and Crius screamed, the wailing sound echoing off the compound walls. And then there was the shocked silence as Crius knelt and kissed her sandaled feet.

The white-robed one moved to stand just to the side and back as the African turned to face the cowering people and raised her arms as Crius called out commands for all to kneel and do honor to their new Lord Geb.

Nikos knelt with the others, but felt a tingling, he sat back on his haunches and looked up and saw the red-haired goddess staring at him, glaring at him, and he realized he still held the pistol in his hand. Hurriedly he laid it on ground before him and pulled his hands back. The goddess nodded, the gun turned into a snake and slithered away.

A humbled Crius ordered a feast then, acting as best he could as Generous Host, a posture that fooled no one… but it when it became clear Crius was not going to be killed Nikos slipped away, walking slump-shouldered down a back street toward home. He heard light footsteps running behind him, he turned and saw Eleni following. He turned and stared resolutely forward and ignored her. For a while she kept pace beside him, then he felt her reach out to take his hand, he pulled roughly away. A little later she tried again, walking close beside him, he could smell her perfume, feel the heat of her body. He pulled away a second time, but on the third attempt he let her slide her fingers in between his and hold tight. At the next corner he turned left, toward his brother’s apartment. It was, in a way, his wedding night.



Stargate Command, Colorado, October 2007


“Time,” an airman said, and the silence settled. Jack watched carefully. Still no sign of nerves. Well, they’d probably expected their bluff to be called at least once. Now it was time to see if it was a bluff…

The phone by the General’s seat at the table rang, he moved around and picked it up, said,

“Hammond. Yes… I see. Thank you.” He nodded at the doorway and four Security Police came in. “Put them in chains and separate cells.”

“So, I take it they weren’t bluffing?” Jack said after the pair had been taken away.

“No. I am having the computer boys try to backtrace the mailings but if Carter couldn’t find them … I figure we have twenty minutes to come up with some leverage or we may have to deal.” He suddenly slammed his hand hard down on the table. “And Goddamnit, I really don’t want to have to make deal with that man.” He paused, brought his voice back to normal. He held up and dropped the thin file folder he’d been handed. “I apologize to you both, Major Carter, Dr. Jackson, I’m afraid I never treated your concern about that game with sufficient seriousness, and I'm sorry I didn’t do this sooner. Not, I guess that it makes any real difference. I had the tech boys do a complete search of DOD records on my clearance. And they are in the system. Well, Harris is, and some of the other names you gave me. There are cross reference notes to a black budget project called the Initiative but apparently those files have all been destroyed. And that’s it. So I am open to suggestions.”

“Well,” Jack said, “I do have one really bad idea.”



“Captain Werner,” Jack said, “what can you tell me about slayers?”

“They‘re girls with mystic powers. They scare the shit out of Leticia.”

“Yeah? Speaking of which…nah, never mind. I don’t want to know. Can you … do that fang thing …damn! Yeah, that. So you can control that, huh?”

“It took a little practice, but yes.”

“So. Can you do other stuff. Turn into a bat?”

“Not that I know of. Didn’t really get a manual, Colonel. Bit of a briefing from the girls but, well, there’s not much to it.”

“So, the stake in the heart, all that?”

“So they tell me. I haven’t exactly tested that one. So, did you talk to Hammond about me staying on?”

“No. Not yet. There’s another little crisis that’s come up. So, this meeting you were having. Leticia was snitching on a bunch of other vampires….”

“Yeah. Seemed a bit off to me, but hey, I was the FNG there so… whatthehell.”

“So does the name Xander Harris mean anything to you?”



“Ma’am,” Daniel said, “My name is Daniel Jackson. I … apologize for the accommodations… and well, the whole situation, really. But you do understand that seeing Captain Werner walking around has rather disturbed us.”

“I understand, Mr. Jackson. I have been what I am for so long I forget how strange it was at first. And it’s Leticia, please.”

“And I am Daniel. I don’t mean to be … indelicate but I am something of an historian…..”

The vampire smiled. “I am approaching two hundred years …”

“I see,” Daniel said, trying to hide his disappointment and apparently failing.

“I am sorry. If you are interested in the daily details of frontier life, I can help, but I am sure you know more of ancient history than I do….”

“I didn’t mean to minimize….”

“No offense taken, Daniel. There are… old ones. But they got that way by being very discreet. If you tell me what area you are interested in I might in time be able to arrange an interview. That is of course if you don’t dissect me first.”

“Ancient Egypt, primarily. And I don’t believe we plan to dissect you. In fact, that’s really what I came to ask you about. There is a man here claiming you are in his custody. His name is Xander Harris…..

“Oh!… Oh my….” For a moment the vampire was …atwitter, literally wringing her hands, then slowly calming. “Of course, you took the slayer and the watcher too, didn’t you…… is She with him?”

“You mean Faith?”

“Yes. Well. This is turning into quite the little adventure, isn’t it?”

“You’ve heard of them, then?”

“The One Who Sees and the Dark Slayer? Oh, yes, I’ve heard of them. You could say that.”



Samantha Carter’s stomach twisted as she sat and stared at her computer screen.

There was only enough left of the official records to hint that there had been something there, but out in the wild, as it were, in the stranger nebulas of the internet “The Initiative” seemed to be no secret. There were varying and conflicting accounts but the core story was consistent. Black budget military R&D program in Sunnydale created a monster out of a mix of man, machine and demon, the monster turned on its creators and The Scoobies, which included one Xander Harris, came in and killed the monsters and rescued the remaining personnel.

Less consistent but still persistent were stories that the survivors had been recruited into a totally off the books supersecret monster hunting unit that now roamed the world.

Ridiculous.

“Even more ridiculous then a secret Air Force base with a gate to the galaxy?” an evil voice in the back of her head said softly. But that’s simply physics … well, not simple physics but still science.

Vampires. Demons. The government, her government …. Carter knew full well there were… ruthless, often short-sighted elements in the Pentagon but still … demons?

She didn’t want to believe any of it. But a scientist…. believed in evidence. There was hardly definitive proof… but patterns were starting to appear.



Teal’c stood outside the cell.

“Tell me,” he said, “this eyeshadow you loved. To what were you referring?”

“Dude, you mean that’s natural? Damn. And that thing on your forehead, you just grow that or what?”



They were back in the conference room, Fraiser, who had gone last, was just finishing her report,

“They were all heavily armed men, General, all rendered unconscious and none of them suffered more than a light bruising. I have to assume that whoever did it was quite skilled and could have, if they’d wanted, done a great deal more damage. In fact, Sam’s getting cinnamon in her eye was probably the most serious injury suffered in the incident .”

“Thanks so much for bringing that up, Janet,” Sam said.

“Sorry.”

Hammond glared around the table. “Maybe we should just give the sonofabitch a medal?”

“Well, sir, anyone who is as feared by blood-sucking monsters as he seems to be can’t be all bad,” Jack said. “I mean if we can work with Anise….”

“Sir,” Daniel chimed in, “I understand your concerns, I have personal reasons to want the status quo to be maintained and I have come to respect your leadership, but I must admit, if I had just heard about the stargate I would probably share his views on making it public. As well, I have no idea how much faith to put in the word of a vampire but ... if half of what she says is true Mr. Harris is actually a rather heroic figure.”

“And much as I hate to say it sir, if there’s any truth to the stories about the Initiative, his distaste for military procedure is understandable,” Sam added.

“Well, Teal’c, don’t you want to jump in and tell me how wonderful our blackmailer is?”

“His manner is odd, General Hammond, but he has the scars and the gaze of a warrior. I spent some time speaking with the one called Faith. She is a most impressive female and if he can command the loyalty of one such as she he may indeed be a worthy ally.”

“Ah, T’s in love,” Jack said.

“Sir,” Hammond’s assistant spoke from the doorway of his office, holding up the red phone.

Five minutes later a not particularly happy Hammond returned to the table. “The President has left the decision in my hands. However he made it quite clear he does not want to spend the rest of his administration explaining why the gate was kept secret and arguing with every country in the world about who gets to use it, so… one step at a time. He can see his people. And if you folks can get the stars out of our eyes long enough, maybe we can still discover some way to turn this around.”



With great reluctance Jack handed the cane over to the affably grinning Harris who took it with a nod, gave it a spin and turned the handle and an eight inch steel blade with wood inlays popped out, then retracted as Harris twisted the handle the other way.

Okay, Jack thought, now I really want that cane.

“Mr. Harris,” Hammond said, “I want you to know I am making only this concession…."

“XANDER!” a blonde girl squealed as the conference room door opened. There was brief snapping sound as she ripped the prisoner’s chain harness off and tossed it in the corner and leaped across the room in single bound to land in front of Harris and bounce upwards, her body twisting so she fell back down in position to be caught under her legs and shoulders… which Harris did with a bit of a grunt.

“Kid, you know you’re getting a little big for that move,” he said.

“I missed you,” the girl replied.

“Of course you did. It’s been, what, hours since you saw me last?”

“And you missed me, too, I know.” Then she seemed to levitate out of Harris arms and back onto her feet and she came bounding his way and suddenly Jack found himself the target of two intense blue eyes and an accusing finger. “That man owes me seven dollars,” she said.

“I do not,” Jack said.

“We’d already said we’d go with you. You could have let me finish. Six dollars and seventy-four cents, one Le Monstre Apple.”

“You’d nearly finished it. Couldn’t have been more than fifty cents worth left. Dollar at most.”

“Doesn’t matter. I didn’t get closure and I want a new one.”

“No way.”

“Oh, you’ll pay, mister or you’ll rue the day,” she said and flounced away.

Rue the day? Jack thought. He watched Harris talking briefly with the dark haired woman who in turned introduced him to Leticia who….curtsied. Damn, he thought, trying to remember the last time he’d seen that. The intro to Werner didn’t go as smoothly, as the new vampire had to be pushed forward to make his manners by his … co-sire, a term the captain had explained earlier, although Jack had to wonder, if you were sired by a female vampire did that mean you were dammed?

Somehow, I made a turn somewhere and ended up a long way from Bemidji, Jack thought.

And then an airman came in with a box and the blonde girl descended eagerly then immediately backed up and turned to Harris, complaining, who shook his head and smiled and faced Hammond,

“Please, General,” he said, “lets not play petty games. All of their things was part of the deal.”

“Mr. Harris, you can’t really expect me to give you weapons…..”

“Oh for fuck’s sake.” Faith rose easily out of her wheelchair, reached down and casually ripped the armrest off one of the normal chairs and flung it across the room where it stuck quivering in the wall. “If we’d wanted to hurt you, General, you’d know by all that pain you feel when you’re, you know, hurt. Our weapons are just part of our clothing, if it makes you feel better think of it like giving a lady her jewelry back, yeah?”

Jack unclenched his sphincter and watched the vibrating armrest come slowly to rest. O-----kay, he thought. Cancel the darts tournament.

So, swords by Tiffany’s he thought, watching the airman bring a second box in. Switchblades and stakes by Harry Winston. Sure, why not. In fact there was one rather elaborately carved piece of wood with a central jewel that the silent woman, Jennifer, took charge of, inspecting it like she thought it might have been damaged somehow, but she seemed satisfied it was unharmed.

“Everybody got everything?” Harris asked, then picked up the blue cell phone and opened it, and it came on, much to the watching sergeant’s annoyance and surprise. Jack had a feeling he knew what was going happen next and he carefully watched the smug look slide off Carter’s face as she realized that somehow Harris had gotten a civilian signal in the middle of the mountain.

“Hey there, Dawn’o’time, it’s me, yeah, they caved. Yeah, I know you did, but you got to do one … yeah, he’s pretty pissed… oh, I don’t know, I’m about to try to make nice here… okay, okay.”

Harris turned, held up the phone toward Hammond, there was quick flash.

“So, happy now? No, we’re not finished, just push the next shot back half an hour, but I’ve got a good feeling. So, is the weasel there? …Hey, Wiseman…. No, nothing interesting yet, just your basic windowless maze, offices, conference room sort of thing so far. Yeah, yeah, I’ll give you the highlights when there are any… first we gotta talk about GameXander, how come he doesn’t have any cool stuff…. So, how come he has to be the everyman? … Well, maybe just a cool place to live, like a secret penthouse in the rock and roll hall of…. Okay, okay. But this isn’t over. Later.”

He closed the phone, turned to Hammond, “Okay, General, we’ve got another half hour before I have to call in again. I trust you’ll remind me.”

“I believe we can do that, yes,” Hammond said.

“So, can we see the gate now?” the blonde girl asked.

“Now, that wasn’t part of the deal,” Hammond said.

“And we’re not demanding, we’re just asking,” Harris said, turning to the blonde girl again, “It’s up to General Hammond, ask him. Two blue wets and tremble should get him.”

“Can we go see the gate, Mr. General?” the girl asked.

“Certainly not.”

“Please? We promise not to break it.”

“Young lady, the stargate is very secret, very important piece of complex technology, not a tourist attraction.”

“Please please please? It would be terrible to be this close and not even see it.”

“No.”

“Pleeeeease?” Jack saw her bottom lip begin to tremble. “Please?”

“No.”



They filed into the gateroom and stood silent, looking at one another.

Well, Jack had to admit, it was a little anti-climactic when it wasn’t actually on.

“Oh,” the blonde said. “Well. Can we turn it on…”

Jack stifled a laugh as he saw Hammond start to go red again, but Harris stepped in this time.

“Don’t push it, Renee. Maybe when this is all over we’ll come back and the Colonel will take you for ice cream and pie on a purple planet, okay?”

“Okay.”

The Indian woman was taking an interest though, stepping forward, peering at he symbols on the ring and then stepping back and looking around the room and smiling slightly, clearly seeing something Jack wasn’t.

“Dr. Jackson,” she asked, “the Ancients, the ones who built the stargates, you believe they were human, physically, correct?”

“Yes. Why.”

“I’m just finding the symbology interesting. I mean I was looking at some pictures of the offworld gates earlier … and the control console…. You call it the dial home device, I believe?”

“Yes. And…?”

“Well, it’s a raised area and you touch it in just the right places, and the gate begins to warm up, prepare. And then you push a big red button in the middle and this turns on the gate, which is essentially an opening to a passageway, an orifice …. Well, I suppose it doesn’t actually get moist but it certainly seems to flush and take on a wet appearance, according to the pictures. And you penetrate, you go through this orifice and return to your, if you will Mother Earth. And then of course, once you’re here you’re actually in the earth, in an enclosed space where your environment, the light, the temperature and all maintained for your comfort, where you are fed and protected. Very womblike. And of course your greatest fear is that these phallic objects, these snake-like creatures will penetrate your orifice … all very Freudian. But it’s probably all just coincidence, and I gather most stargates aren’t actually in underground structures like this one, and I’m sure Major Carter has perfectly valid technical reason to explain the design. So, nevermind. Just a thought.”

The silence settled. I didn’t understand a word of that, Jack told himself. Not a word and the next time we go through the gate I won’t think of it at all. Really.

Then Harris spoke, “You see General, we do have at least one thing in common. I didn’t really need to hear that either.”



Back in the conference room Harris asked,

“General, I assume you have some kind monitoring system, video, audio?”

“Of course.”

“I’m going to be a big hypocrite and go all “For your eyes only,” for a little bit, so it might be better if you told your men not to worry if the system went down. Temporarily, maybe fifteen minutes or so?”

“What makes you think….. Nevermind.” Picked up the phone and gave the order and, on Harris head nod asked the airmen on the door to step outside.

Then Jennifer pulled a thimble out of her pocket and waved her hand over it a couple times, the lights wavered for just a second, then she nodded at Harris.

“Renee?” Harris said.

“What…. oh, right? Thank you for letting us see the gate M --- General Hammond.”

“Er… you’re welcome, Renee…… Mr. Harris?”

“These guys are going home and then I’ve got a peace offering and we’ll talk business.”

Oh shit, Jack thought. He wasn’t sure about what, he just had a sinking feeling there was a big oh shit moment coming up and he didn’t have the faintest idea what to do about it.

“No one said anything about anybody leaving,” Hammond insisted.

“I’m not asking for anything from you, General, just a couple more minutes indulgence.”

“I wish to stay,” Captain Werner said.

“Ben….”

“I’m sorry, Leticia, I’ll come back and see you if they’ll let me, but this is my real home. With your permission, General?”

“What?”

“May I stay?”

“You don’t have a choice, Captain.”

“Is that a yes, then?” Harris asked. After a moment Hammond nodded. “Leticia, Jennifer, a word,” they stepped aside, talking in low voices, then Harris turned back to Werner, “You’re sure, Captain?”

“Yes,” Werner said.

“Okay, take a couple steps that way if you would then. Thank you. You guys ready?” he added, lining Renee, Leticia and Jennifer up against the wall. “Good. Wave good-bye to the nice officers.” He stepped back then, took a deep breath and declaimed,

“Ali baba ishkabibble shishkabob, swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo! ” and snapped his fingers and they were simply gone.

Holy shades of Thor, Jack thought. An instinct tugged at his sleeve but he was too surprised to listen, then when he did it was too late, it was like it was happening in slow motion, he saw Harris moving, spinning the cane, he saw the realization on Werner’s’ face, saw the eyes going yellow and the fangs emerging. He saw the blade spring out on the end of the cane and plunge into Werner’s chest and pull back as the Captain …. exploded into a fine cloud of dust.

“Vamps in space,” Harris said, his voice echoing in the ensuing silence. “I don’t think so.”

There was some shouting. After awhile it died down as Harris simply leaned back against the wall waiting patiently for Hammond’s fury to finally run dry.

“He was already dead, General,” Harris said quietly. “Ask Fraiser. And, if it matters, I’m pretty sure I just saved Carter’s life.”

Jack teetered back and forth between rage, as part of him had just seen a fellow Air Force officer killed, and admiration, as part of him had just seen an efficient, ruthless professional kill a monster.

Daniel had his notebook out and was writing furiously, mumbling to himself, Carter had buried herself in her laptop and Fraiser was watching Harris’s every move, sometimes like a cat, other times, like a mouse.

Teal’c was watching Faith use Harris’ everpresent cane to scratch her ankle where it came out of the cast.

Harris took out his phone again again, arranging, he said, for his peace offering.

“Okay, Thiago, you got a lock? Tables about three feet, but you know, aim a little high. Send it.”

We’re getting broken in, Jack thought, only Daniel and Fraiser had jerked back when the two insulated coolers appeared about six inches above the table and dropped. Harris opened the first cooler which actually gave out a cloud of aromatic steam. Harris pulled out a pile of paper plates, and plastic utensils and then began unloading and pulling foil off covered dishes like a kid at Christmas, announcing Anna’s pierogies, Hamsa’s samosa’s, there was potato salad, a waldorf salad, a pile of sandwiches, reubens, philly cheesesteaks, blt’s and ham and cheese, a couple vegetarian things with brie and sprouts.

He set the second cooler on the floor and opened it, Jack could hear the bottles shifting in the ice, and then Harris was laying out a sampling of his wares, God a beer would hit the spot right now, Jack thought.

“We’ve got Harp, we got Amstel, we have a few Moosehead, we got coca-cola, we have a few Hansen’s this and that and we have Jamaican ginger ale, and finally, we have two dead goa’uld on ice,” he finished, hefting two clear containers wherein the aforesaid snakes hung lifeless, floating in a slightly greenish fluid. He made up a plate with a cheesesteak , a couple samosa’s and some salad and slid it down the table to Faith along with one of the beers, then made himself a plate and took a ginger ale, then he picked up an empty plate and set it before Hammond.

“Please General, it’s a peace offering. Help yourself. They won’t eat until you do and the Colonel’s got a line of drool on his chin.”

It was hard but Jack managed not to check. Did smell good though and come to think of it he’d been called away from his dinner and never did get a chance to eat.

Harris sat back down, raised his drink and said, “Peace,” and took a sip.

“Mr. Harris!” Hammond finally burst out. “What the hell do you want!?”

“Oh, didn’t I say? I want SG1. And Dr. Fraiser. Just for a week or two, then you can have them back. Good as new.”

-30-
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