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An Act in Two Parts

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This story is No. 1 in the series "The Phoenix Files". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: It happened on his way home. That had surprised him.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Spike-CenteredHarmMarieFR1321,6640237,80030 Sep 079 Oct 07Yes

Part Two: The Victim

A/N: This is set during after the season 7 episode of Stargate sg-1 Fragile Balance.

An Act in Two Parts

Part Two: The Victim

It happened on his way home. That had surprised him. It was supposed to be a milk-run. An actual milk-run. Jack had been pulling a can of pop out of the fridge when he remembered that he was out of milk. He didn’t want to brave school tomorrow without his usual fruit loops.

School. He was man enough to admit (if only in his own head) that he was miserable. He thought it would be a new adventure, a new mission, to learn and adapt to high school, except…it didn’t end. It was now six months later and he was still here. There was not going to be a rescue at the last minute, no conveniently timed beam-out, no radio call from Teal’c to draw him back to his old life. No one needed him or missed him because they had Him. The original. He wasn’t even real.

Hell, he didn’t even have his own name. His 15 year old identity was for one Carter Jackson, emancipated minor. Of course, he still went by Jack, though hardly anyone called him that. Oh, he had friends…well, acquaintances really, and they weren’t so bad, just teens. They were so wrapped up in their small lives and petty problems that Jack’s 50-year-old brain was ready to zat the lot of them. They had no idea that every day they sat in class, complaining about that quiz in geometry, there was a group of people out There (among the stars) so the world didn’t end.

It was one of the only things keeping Jack sane: the thought that he might someday be able to go back through the gate and make a difference again… to do something worthwhile again.

Jack realized that he’d stopped and been staring at the stars above his head. He sighed before resuming his trip.

It was a beautiful night and the walk, while a little over a mile, was pleasant. The convenience store was quiet at this time of night, so he was in and out with his jug of milk in no time. He made it about 2 blocks before it happened.

He hadn’t thought that his instincts were that rusty, but he didn’t sense them coming. Before he knew it, the two men had dragged him off the street and into the adjoining alley. Milk forgotten, Jack immediately started in on freeing himself. A couple quick moves and they released their hold on him. Getting mugged was so not on his list of things to today. It took half a second to notice their distorted features. Another half second to realize there was no way out.

“Would you look at that, Joe. Looks like we got ourselves a live one.” The one blocking the alley entrance slurred. The ‘man’ was having a hard time talking through his teeth. ‘Joe’ nodded, his feral grin more offsetting than his distorted features.

Before Jack could formulate a sarcastic remark, ‘Joe’ rushed him. Jack quickly side-stepped the rush, hitting the ‘man’ as he passed, causing him to go head first into the wall. The other one, taking advantage of Jack’s distraction, grabbed his throat and squeezed. Jack struggled in the strong grip, the ugly face looming closer. He did the only thing he could think of, and spit in his face.

Jack’s vision flashed, as the pressure increased. Guess he was still great at riling up the enemy. He struggled to take in enough air. The face was close enough now. Raising his right hand, Jack punched him in the face with all his strength.

The grip on his throat was released. He barely had time to inhale before the forgotten ‘Joe’ grabbed him from behind, wrenching his head to the side. And then he was gone. Without his support, Jack collapsed onto his knees, just breathing. He watched as a man with white hair and a trench coat fought off the second attacker with ease. Jack wasn’t jealous. Nope, not at all. Then the trench coat man did something that caused him to vanish. Poof and the ‘man’ was gone.

Jack struggled to his feet. He made it upright before his vision greyed out. He leaned to brace his hands on his knees and focused on breathing through it. The trench coat man’s back was still to him, his shoulders slumped.

“What…was…that.” Jack rasped. The guy whirled around and looked almost surprised to see him there.

“Uh...gang members...on PCP. Yeah. I chased them off.”

Right; and the Gould are all just misunderstood. This guy needed to work on his cover story. Jack stood and cleared his throat.

“That was no gang member.”

The man heaved a sigh, looking resigned. “Just go home, kid. You don't want to know what that was.”

Jack couldn’t stop the flinch at being called a kid. He just couldn’t leave. Something more was going on here. More than a couple of muggers who weren’t muggers. He straightened to his full height, hiding any sign of discomfort, and met the guy’s eyes in a hard stare. Soldier’s eyes, Jack noted, as the man met his gaze head on, weighing him in return.

“Tell me.”

The End

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