One month later, they finally arrived back on earth. After reaching the Supergate, they’d sent a message of the defeat of the Ori. Landry had happily congratulated them.
Three weeks after their arrival, there was an official reception at the SGC. The President and his security as well as the Tok’ra and Asgard had been invited. The podium had been placed in front of the Stargate and the guests had arrived.
President Hayes stepped up to the podium and began his speech, “Due to the deeds of SG-1 the universe is now a safer place. Doctor Pierson’s invention enabled them to defeat the greatest threat, not only to humanity, but to our allies and friends as well. We invited said friends to celebrate this event with us. Please, let us welcome Thor and Heimdall, from the Asgard, as well as Garshaw, Malek and Jacob Carter from the Tok’ra.” Waiting for the applause end Hayes smiled at Jack, who stood beside him. Jack smiled back while waiting for the official part to end.
“Now, there are a few things I wish to say, before we start with the promotions. First of all, I would like to congratulate General O’Neill on his permanent posting at the SGC. We shall miss him at the Pentagon but, as the official Asgard Ambassador, he agreed to stay here. Major General O’Neill, I am happy to award you with the Medal of Honour.” He stepped forward and fastened the award on Jack’s uniform. Jack saluted and stood stiffly. “Many times over, you have risked your life protecting this world, above and beyond the call of duty. Never have you faltered in your step, always aiming to do the right thing. You have earned this medal, son, as a hero among heroes.” After the new applause ebbed away the President took his place again. “Doctor Pierson has not been with us for long. But it is because of his invention, that the Ori were defeated. He freed an entire galaxy from their tyranny and stopped them from extending their reach into ours as well.” Stepping up to Methos he shook his hand, before continuing, “For showing courage and going above and beyond the call of duty I award Doctor Pierson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”
Jack stepped forward and nodded to Methos, “As you all know I’m not really good with speeches. So, to spare us all what could quickly become an embarrassing speech, I’ll cut it short….” Waiting for the laughter to stop he continued, “Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell, please step forward.”
Cameron stepped forward from his place with SG-1 on the other side of the President and went over to Jack. “Even though you’d usually need a few more years as Lieutenant Colonel, your experience in the field gives us enough reason to promote you to Colonel. You’ll stay as leader of SG-1.” Landry stepped up beside Mitchell, and both he and Jack added the new insignia to Mitchell’s uniform. “Congratulations, Colonel Mitchell.” They saluted and, after saluting back, Mitchell took his place back at Teal’c’s side.
“Lieutenant Colonel Carter, please step forward.” As Sam stood before him, Jack smiled at her. “You could do with a few more years yourself, but as for experience in the field, there is no question about that.” After adding Sam’s new insignia he stepped back. “Congratulations Colonel Carter. I would also like to congratulate you on your new posting as Leader of the Atlantis expedition!” Jack and Landry once again changed the insignia, and saluted. She saluted back smartly. The applause took a long time to ebb away. Sam blushed at the attention, while secretly jumping with joy. And yet, she was also sad. ‘You’re going to Atlantis! But what about your friends?’
SG-1 had discussed this beforehand to avoid surprises. Cameron had agreed to look for a new team member while Sam was away. Daniel and Teal’c would stay with the team, while Methos would be placed on the research team.
The President stepped forward once again. “We shouldn’t forget the rest of SG-1. The United States want to extend their gratitude to Doctor Jackson, to the Free Jaffa Teal’c and towards the Tok’ra General Carter. You all have gone above and beyond the call of duty.” He shook their hands and concluded the official part of the reception.
Soldiers and Tok’ra were mingling while the Thor and Heimdall stood with Methos and the President. “We would like to extend our gratitude to you, Doctor Pierson. Due to your research, Heimdall was able to discover that you are the missing link between O’Neill and our evolution.” Thor told him grateful.
As soon as they had arrived on Earth, Methos had given Thor his results for the Asgard problem. Thor had been surprised and overwhelmed. When he’d sent them to Heimdall, he was told that these findings and the samples provided could save the Asgard. The cloning process had been stopped until Methos’ genes could be inserted like he had suggested. While still waiting for the results of the first tests, the Asgard began to believe, that maybe they could survive their own arrogance and greed for immortality.
“As long as it works, I’m happy!” Methos looked fondly at his friend. Turning to Hayes he asked, “Mr. President, I have a favour I would like to ask of you.”
“Sure, doctor. What is it?” Hayes was curious. ‘What could he want? He has the friendship of the Asgard, is family to the Ancients…”
“I would like permission to visit Atlantis sometime. I remember being born there and I’d like to see it again.” He hesitated for a second then continued, “And I would like for General Carter to accompany me.”
That brought the president up short. ‘Is it possible…?’ Thinking back on the time he’d seen the two of them together, he detected the signs of deep feelings between the two men. ‘Methos isn’t in the military…they’re not even human, so there’s nothing that would speak against it.’
Looking at the hopeful look on the Ancients face, and the expectant faces of their Asgard allies, he knew that there could only be one decision. “That shouldn’t be a problem. We’ll have to talk with the Tok’ra about it, as we can’t just send their ambassador to another galaxy. But, otherwise, there should be no problems.”
Relief spread through Methos. ‘I’ll see my home again! And I can share it with my lover… and his daughter.’ Methos grinned as the idea of surprising Sam at her new post. “Thank you, Mr. President. Could we keep it between us for now?”
Seeing the mischievous look in the Ancients’ eyes, the President laughed. It certainly would get interesting in the future, whether on earth or Atlantis.
AN: There will be a sequel coming up in the future.
“The First” will take place on Atlantis and be about the arrival and integration of her new inhabitants.
At this point, I would like to thank my very special beta, Earth Magician, for her unending patience. She worked very hard to correct, not only my spelling and phrasing mistakes, but also to arrange the story into something with context.
Whenever I faltered, she gave me new ideas and informed me of certain facts about Stargate. She was essential for many ideas and their integration, changing certain aspects to make them more fitting.
As I have no clue about the US military or anything concerning it, she was my source of wisdom in that area as well.
Thank you, Earth Magician, for everything you have done to change “The Last” from a boring report into a living and breathing story.