Because of Jon O'Neill's unconventional medical history, there were orders in place that he was supposed to go back to the Cheyenne Mountain infirmary if he ever had some sort of negative health event. If it turned out to have something to do with the Asgard's genetic tampering, the odds were much better that someone there could get him right again compared to any other health care facility on Earth.
So when the helicopter pilot had arrived to take Jon, Dawn, and Stacy off the side of the mountain, he had followed the orders involving one Jon O'Neill and medical emergency evacuations to the letter, never mind that Jon was the least hurt of the three of them. Heck, the scrape along his leg he'd picked up would in no way qualify for anything more than a dab of antiseptic and a band-aid from the first aid kit back at the Skyline campsite.
Now, injuries or no, he found himself back in the Stargate world watching as Dr. Lam walked over to Stacy's bed and began to talk to her about a time line for her broken fibula and cracked tibia to heal. Stacy would physically be okay before too long, and the people here could get her a referral to a civilian psychiatrist in Colorado Springs if she needed that kind of help. Part of him wondered just how well it would go with a shrink for Stacy if she started to talk about the vampires. It would probably go over as well as a talk about alien parasites and Egyptian gods to someone outside of the Stargate loop, he figured, complete with offers to spend some quality time in a nice padded and quiet room.
And speaking of talking about vampires, Jon was still trying to figure out just how he was supposed to warn Stargate Command about them. Jon had seen enough of the creatures they had killed in the picnic area to know that they weren't human. But the way they conveniently turned to dust when they died meant there was no physical evidence of their existence. And when they had waiting for the helicopter to land, Dawn had made it clear that her official story to any authorities was that the people who kidnapped Stacy and Amanda had been a bunch of apparent drug addicts that she and Jon had managed to run off. He guessed he was just going to have to spend the rest of his time at Camp Skyline trying to figure out a way of getting Dawn to go on the record about it all.
"How's Stacy doing?" Dawn asked as she was escorted back to the area where Jack waited. She now had her left hand in a splint, and the irritation visible in her face suggested that Jon probably wouldn't get many answers out of her tonight.
"Her leg will heal. As for the rest of it..."
"I can call up some friends, see if they can find someone in Colorado she can talk to so she doesn't think she'd nuts," Dawn offered.
"That would be good. And how are you doing?"
"I've been better, and I've been worse. Mostly I'm annoyed right now because I've got two broken fingers and something else in my hand really hurts, and they won't give me any of the super-duper Army grade painkillers I know they've got because of the concussion. Plus, I was stupid enough to admit it's my fourth concussion that I'm sure of, so they want me to stay overnight for observation, even though this one's only a Grade I one. Yes, I just love the idea of a night in the hospital when a total stranger's going to come in and poke me and ask me memory questions and talk about whether I need a CAT scan or not."
"Do you want me to stay with you? Familiar face and all?" Jon said, feeling a twinge of anger that someone that young had just admitted to what sounded like a pretty rough past. She was enough of a kid that she couldn't even drink legally yet. And yet the way she moved when she fought suggested she'd been killing vampires for many years.
"Yeah, that would be good," Dawn said, relaxing just enough that Jon could see past the irritation in her eyes. Maybe in part it was hearing about the previous concussions, but Jon thought he got a glance of someone who had seen and fought more than anyone should have to. Then the moment passed, and the two of them were escorted into one of the infirmary's scarce private rooms.
"Hey, they've got a television in here!" Dawn said with a happy squeal as she sat on the bed and reached for the remote.
"Yeah, I wonder if the Twins or Rockies are playing on the coast tonight?" It wasn't quite eleven yet. Maybe he could see the last couple of innings.
"Hey, I'm the sick person here. So I'm the one who should get to pick the channel." Dawn said as she leaned down to untie the laces of her hiking boots. "Aw crap. That's making me feel dizzy, and I need both hands to get the boots off. If you help me, I'll let you watch your stupid baseball."
"No problem," he said, bending down to undo the laces and pull the boot off Dawn's foot. "It's funny how it seems like you get so used to Skyline's no televisions, no computer access policy, but the minute you're back in civilization, you can't wait to watch again."
"Thanks," Dawn said, twisting her now free feet and ankles into a variety of patterns. "Not that I really get to watch prime time television enough to even really know what's on anymore. I usually ended up working swing shift instead. If this would have been the afternoon though, no way would you have pried the remote away from me. Spike got me hooked on Passions back when he used to babysit me, and the addiction's bad enough that I made Andrew send me a subscription to Soap Opera Digest to Skyline once I knew I was going to be there for the summer."
"What kind of job did you have?" And did it tie into vampires somehow?
"I ran a help desk. Still will run a help desk when I get back home."
There was more to that. There had to be. You didn't get that banged up when you were that young unless you were a hockey player, and at one time Dawn had said she had never really played team sports. But before he could probe further, there was a flash in the room.
And a red-haired woman in an emerald green bikini was suddenly standing in the room with them. From the anger in her eyes, the reason for her sudden appearance couldn't be good. Instinctively, he pivoted and stepped back close to Dawn in order to put himself between her and the intruder. The only problem was that the woman was already moving to grab Dawn. As she stepped forward, Jon managed to use one leg to sweep the woman's feet out from under her. She went down, and he rolled on top of her, pinning her shoulders to the ground.
"Who are you?" he demanded. The woman didn't say anything, but the edges of her hair started to bleed from red to black.
"She's a friend," Dawn said from her spot on the bed. "Willow, Jon's a friend too. I promise you that. Now ix-nay on the ower-pay before something blows up in a bad sort of way. We're all happy little friends here. It's just friends we haven't met yet. Jon would you please let go of my friend before she decides she needs to hurt someone?"
"You're a friend of Dawn's?" Jon said, rolling off the woman and offering her a hand so they could pull each other to their feet. As she steadied herself and checked to make sure her swimsuit was still secured, he watched in fascination as her hair went red again. With everything else that had happened, he probably shouldn't be surprised that Dawn had friends with access to teleportation technology.
"Known her since the day anyone first knew her."
"Willow what's the emergency? I know you wouldn't do something that required that much energy unless it was really bad."
"You. You're the emergency." Willow said.
"What do you mean, I'm the emergency?"
"Sophie's been getting some signs that the local Paris vampire population has something big planned for Bastille Day this year. So far nothing concrete, but a whole bunch of hints that something is up. And since you're one of the best people we have when it comes to putting the pieces together, and because she had some stuff that was coming in in Vailshaari and you could translate, she tried to call you and you weren't answering your phone."
"So now I know that you'll come charging to me rescue the very next time I just happen to be camping some place where I'm out of cell reception for a couple of days? Hello, summer camp counselor leading the urban youth of America into wilderness adventures."
Jon heard an alarm go off in the distance. There were security cameras in the infirmary, and Willow's sudden appearance there was too impressive to miss.
"If that was all it was, I never would have come like that, but when I ran a locator spell on you, you showed up as being twenty stories down inside of some sort of top secret military base. What else was I supposed to think? Besides, it's a Tuesday."
"What about it being Tuesday?" Jon asked. Up until that point, he had actually been able to follow the conversation to some degree.
"When Dawn has gotten kidnapped in the past before, forty five percent of the time, it's happened on a Tuesday," Willow said.
"Hey, no fair if you're including the kobolds in the sewers of Akron. They just needed someone to talk to. Totally not a kidnapping."
He was about to ask what a kobold was when the first pair from security charged into the infirmary room. Before he could start to say anything to get everyone calmed down, Willow threw her arm up in the air, and the went crashing up against the far wall of the room, their guns floating in the other direction until they came to a rest of Dawn's bed. A little part of Jon found himself wondering just how Willow had managed to get her hands on that kind of Ancient technology.
"Okay, so we need to clarify right now about whether you're being kidnapped, because if you are, I can't hold the guards for too long and still have enough energy left to get both you and your friend, what was your name again?"
"To get both you and your friend back to Brazil with me."
"So very much not being kidnapped," Dawn said.
"Then why do you look like you've gone the first round with a Fyarl?"
"We ran into a group of sunlight-challenged fake biker guys next campground over. They were trying to do the whole human sacrifices to raise power shebang, but we staked the bad guys and saved the girls, and made the world just a little bit safer for puppies and kittens again. Jon helped me out."
"And your hand?"
"I was trying to block a punch, and he got me in the fingers instead of on the forearm,"
"Okay, I guess I overreacted a little then."
"Do you think much?" Jon couldn't help saying.
"Soldier boys there, if I let you go, do you promise to be good and not try to rush us all?"
"We'll stay over here ma'am. We were sent to make sure you weren't sent to harm the people of Earth in general, or the people in the infirmary in particular," the first one started
"But we need to stay here with you until the General arrives to make sure you don't harm O'Neill or the girl," the other concluded.
"That's fair enough, I guess. We don't need any more overreacting on the day. As for harming the people of Earth, trust me I'm not interested in that right now," Willow said. For the first time, Jon caught a hint of amusement in her eyes as she waved her hands and released the force field she had put on the guards. They slumped for a few seconds, then snapped back to an alert stance.
There was a lengthy pause in the infirmary room while the sirens all around continued to sound an alert. A few minutes later, the phone in the room rang.
"Let me get this one," Jon said.
"Go for it, military brat guy," Dawn said, unintentionally providing an explanation of why he should be the person to pick up the phone. Willow nodded her agreement.
"Jon O'Neill here," he said as he took the receiver.
"Jon, it's General O'Neill. Are you free to talk?"
"I'm definitely free to talk."
"We're all about the talking. Because without talking, there's a whole lot of assumptions that are going to happen, and you know what they says about assumptions, and if you make assumptions, so if you want to have some military mucky-muck in here, I guess it's all for the best," Willow said.
"Did you hear that?" Jon asked. He wasn't sure if he was up to repeating everything.
"Yes. Daniel and I will be right in," Jack said.
The phone line went silent. A few seconds later, the door opened. First through were a fresh set of guards, who took the place of the ones Willow had slammed into the wall. As soon as the old guards made it into the hallway, Jack and Daniel finally entered the room.
"I'm General Jack O'Neill, and this is my associate Daniel Jackson. On behalf of the people of Earth, we welcome you if you come in friendship, and offer you a warning that if you've got anything other than friendly intentions, we are more than capable of defending ourselves against extraterrestrial threat."
"Extraterrestrial threat?" Dawn said as Willow started to laugh hard enough she jiggled.
"Oh gosh you think I'm some sort of space alien? I'm really just a girl from Ipanema," she finally managed as she caught her breath.
"Then how do you explain your sudden appearance in the middle of a secure military facility? There's no technology on Earth capable of that," Daniel said.
"A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do when she thinks someone who's essentially a family member got herself kidnapped by some sort of Initiative-spawned dark side of the US Army and when I'm not sure if there's time to go through the whole proper channels with the good guys in the military to get her back before the bad guys mess with her because there's that whole government bureaucracy thing going on," Willow managed in one breath before finally having to take oxygen in again.
From what he had gotten from Jack, Jon could remember hearing vague rumors of a rogue N.I.D. project called the Initiative that had gone wrong enough to get totally swept under the rug.
"And I've lost you here, haven't I? Guess it's time to pull out the big card, especially since I left all my identification back in Rio. Can you get an outside line on this phone?"
"If I clear it with the switchboard," Jack said.
"Okay, then I want you to call this number at the Pentagon," Willow said, directing Jack to dial a series of numbers that sounded like it would get picked up in some deep basement level of the rings.
"Phone's ringing. Hello, this is General O'Neill at Cheyenne Mountain. I'm with Deep Space Telemetry, and there's someone here that wants to talk to you," Jack said to the person on the other end.
"First thing you need to do is tell them that Dawn Summers from the Ragnarok Group has told you code Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot-Nine-One-One," Dawn said, with a small smile. "Dang, I love that secret code stuff."
Jack followed her instructions, and then the person on the other end of the line said something that made him go just a little bit pale.
"I've been informed that I am now ordered to render any and all aid you and your companion request as quickly as possible. Who are you people? For crying out loud, the last time the Armed Forces issued render any and all aid orders was for officers investigating World War II war crimes charges. Even I've got to go through channels when I want help from outside of Cheyenne Mountain," Jack said.
"I didn't know they were that rare. Riley claimed that it was easier to set it up that way than it was to have to explain after the fact why we kept having to break into German military bases for explosives. I hadn't realized that us being unable to just go buy dynamite in Berlin had some sort of huge implications," Willow said.
"But don't be worried. We only use that power for the really essential stuff. Well that, and the time we got Andrew a ride with the Blue Angels to cheer him up when he got all sulky after 'The Two Towers' didn't win an Oscar for Best Picture," The talk was what Jon had come to expect from Dawn in the past day, an odd mix of California college girl with hints of some sort of much harder life.
"And what essential requests, do you have for me and my people right now?"
"No big. We just want you to talk to Agent Riley Finn. He's better at sorting things out with the military for us than what we can do on our own."
There was more talk between Jack and the person in the Pentagon.
"He says that Agent Finn is currently on a flight that left Nellis Air Force Base fifteen minutes ago. He can either get you radio contact, or ask the pilot to redirect Agent Finn here."
"Send Riley over here. The more people in this mess the better," Dawn said, sounding grumpy again. Jon wondered if her head was still bothering her. Jack went back and forth with the Pentagon guy for a little bit longer before hanging up.
"Your Agent Finn is now on the way."
"In the mean time, is there anything else we can do for you? And I'd love to talk with you about your technology," Daniel said.
"Well, actually one more thing," Willow said, blushing a little bit. "So this afternoon Kennedy and I went to the beach, and then it was like Xander called the minute we walked back into out apartment because he wanted my opinion about whether his new girlfriend was evil or just the victim of some bad circumstances in the past."
"My vote's for misunderstood. Alecia seemed nice enough when I met her, and Xander's so due for the non-evil option," Dawn interrupted.
"And then Sophie called right after Xander did, and I figured, hey drop in here, get Dawn to safety, and then we're right home again, so I figured there's no need to change out of beachwear since I'm not going to be gone long. But now I'm here until Riley comes because I don't want to cause a fuss with any more of the Army,"
"The Air Force," Jack corrected.
"Sorry. I don't want a fuss with the Air Force any more than necessary. And since what passes for modest beach attire in Rio is kind of skank-ho by American military standards, I was wondering if I could, um, borrow some pants and a tee shirt from you folks," Willow finished.
"I think we could do that for you easily enough," Daniel said.