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I'm Telling You, Kid, There's No Such Thing As Mag

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Scooby-Gate Command". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The SGC meets the new owners of the Stargate. Story #2 in the 'Scooby-Gate Command' series, following 'Just The People I Wanted To See – Not!'

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > GeneralGreywizardFR1316,45542712,81225 Sep 1025 Sep 10Yes
Disclaimer: None of it is mine. The Scoobies belong to Crack-Head Joss and ME, and the Stargate people belong to Jonathan Glassner, Brad Wright and MGM, too, I think. Deal with it. I have.

Category: Response to TTH Challenge 3564 ('Some Lines Are Meant To Be Crossed') and a sequel to my response to Challenge 2999 ('Just The People I Wanted To See – Not!').

Summery: The SGC meets the new owners of the Stargate. Story #2 in the 'Scooby-Gate Command' series, following 'Just The People I Wanted To See – Not!'

Timeframe: Approximately eight months after Season Seven's "Chosen" for the Scoobies, and the beginning of Season Two for Stargate SG-1, with the SG timeline unchanged except that the Season One episode, ‘Solitudes,’ never happened and, thus, the existence of the Ancients’ Antarctic Stargate was never discovered. Other Stargate information and history will be massaged as I consider necessary to fit in my own personal universe. This story starts immediately following the conclusion of 'Just The People I Wanted To See – Not!'.

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what's happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: Maybe later if you're good.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: Author’s Note: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

As usual, "word" indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

~~~

Previously, in 'Just The People I Wanted To See – Not!':


Stargate Command
Cheyenne Mountain
Colorado Springs, CO

January 21, 2004
0900 hours Central Time


"While I can certainly understand some of your concerns about the feasibility of turning over responsibility for the Gate to an international group of civilians, Jack, I think you have to evaluate the situation in the context of exactly who it is we would prefer to see have control over an artifact with this level of power," Major-General George Hammond said as he and the SG-1 team waited for Major Paul Davis to escort the group representing 'the Center' (that mysterious and enigmatic group whose head he'd spoken with just a few days ago) down to this level and to the conference room where they'd provide the necessary background on the Stargate program, followed by an actual demonstration of the 'Gate in operation so that the Center's reps could get a real grasp of what the SGC oversaw.

"The President has had nothing but good things to say about this group of people we'll be meeting and, frankly, I would find it difficult, if not outright impossible, to pick someone more likely to abuse the potential for power the Stargate offers its operators than Senator Kinsey and his cohorts," the Air Force general declared, and Colonel Jack O'Neill found his entire team reflexively nodding their heads in agreement with the sentiments his boss was expressing.

"Well, sir, it's not that I really disagree with all that – it's just that I think that we're going to have a problem getting these people the President wants to sell the Gate to, to even begin to understand the level of technology behind its operation in order. You know, in order to let them to use it properly…" Jack paused in his response as the door to the conference room opened.

Major Davis entered, followed closely by a somewhat distinguished- and professorial-looking older man (who evidently had some knowledge of Colorado winters, since he was wearing a tweed jacket and vest over his shirt and tie), along with several younger people he assumed were members of the guy's staff, since they pretty much looked like a bunch of graduate students who'd been grabbed to act as gofers while the older guy and Hammond negotiated.

And despite the fact that both the redhead and the tall brunette walking in after the professor definitely had the focused, semi-crazed look he'd noted Danny had on his face a lot of the time when he was huddled over his books, for the life of him, he couldn’t remember all that many female graduate students who looked even half as hot as the petite blonde or the smirking, self-confident brunette who followed the other two girls in.

Although the wide-eyed, gawking, blond-haired kid tagging along after the two babes was obviously a techno-geek with a capital 'T' and 'G,' no question about that, Jack smirked to himself before barely preventing his jaw dropping halfway to the floor when he saw the tall dark-haired young man who'd followed the geek in and pulled the door closed behind himself, all the while genially complaining about having to carry other people's briefcases for them.

"Or maybe we won't," the Colonel summed up his evaluation as the kid's smile seemed to freeze in place as he looked over the various program personnel seated around the table and his eyes locked with Jack's, exhibiting a surprised, almost deer-in-the headlights expression.

"Oh crap!"

~~~

And now:

"I'm Telling You, Kid, There's No Such Thing As Magic!"


Star Gate Command
Colorado Springs, CO

January 21, 2004
0901 hours Central Time


"Well. Fancy meeting you here," Xander managed to say as he tried to recover from his initial inadvertent reaction, as all of the SGC personnel seated at the conference table rose from their chairs.

He quickly plastered what he hoped would be thought of as a small, confident smile on his face (and more importantly – at least from his personal viewpoint – managed to not break out into a girlish, panicked stutter) a moment after catching sight of the grey-haired officer whom he'd kicked out of Atlantis the previous week giving him an appraising look.

A quick look at the other people gathered around the table showed that two other members of the military's welcoming group, the blonde female captain and the guy who looked sorta like a couple decades younger version of Giles were staring at him in surprised recognition, too, while the massive black guy wearing the Navy watch cap at the far end of the table was also watching him with one of those evaluating gazes that he had seen all of the Slayers give an unknown potential opponent upon first meeting them.

Jack O'Neill nodded his head at the youth's comment and said, "Yeah, how 'bout that! What a surprise!"

Buffy's eyes immediately narrowed in the beginnings of a glare at the grey-haired military guy's semi-sarcastic tone of voice as he spoke to her boyfriend, but she refrained from saying anything for the moment, while General Hammond interrupted before Jack could say anything more.

"Correct me if I'm wrong, Colonel," the General said, his voice clearly indicating that *he* was the one in charge here, "but based on your reaction just now, I would suspect that you've already met at least one member of Dr. Giles' staff, prior to this meeting. Is that correct?"

"Yes, sir, it is," Jack nodded his agreement while still semi-glaring at the guy who'd apparently kicked them out of wherever it was that Loki had been performing his mischief the previous week.

"You see, as it turns out, this guy here," O'Neill indicated Xander with a jerk of his thumb, "is the same guy we met last week when we went out with Thor looking for Loki."

"So, I'm guessing that this Loki guy you're talking about is a friend of Short, Grey and Mostly Silent, who was with you guys?" Xander asked before anyone else could say anything. "You know, the little grey Roswell mini-demon I stuffed into the stasis tube I sent back with you?"

"Loki is *not* a friend of Thor's!" Daniel declared with an indignant frown as he defended their diminutive alien ally. "And the Asgard are most definitely *not* demons!

"All Thor was doing was just trying to help us locate Loki so that we could make sure he wasn't experi–" he said before General Hammond interrupted him.

"I don't think that Dr. Giles and his staff really need to hear about Thor, Loki, the Asgard or any other information which isn't pertinent to the subjects immediately at hand, Dr. Jackson," Hammond stated firmly as he gave Danny a quelling look. As he noticed the various curious, suspicious, displeased, annoyed and/or disapproving expressions on their visitors' faces, the General immediately qualified his previous comment.

"What I meant, Dr. Giles," he quickly amended his words, "was that you don't need to hear about them until everyone present has been properly introduced, and your group has seen the preliminary briefing which Captain Carter has prepared for you, in order to provide you with some vitally necessary background information and explain the significance of everything we've been doing here at SGC for the past year and a half.

"That way, your people will have at least part of the requisite background which will allow them to better understand the developments that led up to the – encounter – last week with Colonel O'Neill's team and one of our allies," the General explained as he looked over at the head of what was most definitely one of the strangest delegations Stargate Command had ever hosted.

"Now then, Dr. Giles," Hammond said, as he simultaneously gave Jack a stern look as he saw his second-in-command open his mouth, making O'Neill quickly shut it again. "Before we proceed any further, I'd like to introduce SGC's flagship gate team.

"This is Colonel Jack O'Neill, Team SG-1's leader, Captain Samantha Carter, the team's science officer, Daniel Jackson, one of our civilian consultants and the SGC's lead linguist, and Teal'c, former First Prime of Apophis and, currently, our primary consultant on Goa'uld military strategies and tactics," he introduced each of the SG-1 team members.

As he spoke, Hammond was simultaneously trying to decipher exactly who – or possibly what – this group of people he'd invited into the base, at the President's suggestion, might be.

SG-1's after-action mission report had stated that they'd been attempting to beam down into what Thor had believed to be an abandoned Ancient base which had been commandeered by Loki to use for his prohibited cloning experiments but their transport beam had been intercepted and redirected to a holding cell, where they had then met the commander of the base. Said commander had then rebuked them for attempting to invade his base before delivering Loki to them, incarcerated in a stasis tube. He had also subsequently warned them against any future attempts at entering his base before then beaming them back up to the Asgard ship.

And according to the minimal amount of information which Thor had provided subsequent to the group's return to Stargate Command and prior to his rapid departure, the Asgard leader believed that the base commander they'd encountered was almost certainly one of the Ancients themselves – the race of beings who were believed to be the unimaginably distant forebears of the human species on Earth.

If that was correct, then that meant that the seemingly young man currently standing opposite SG-1 and himself was an extraterrestrial, albeit a human extraterrestrial – a term that everyone working here at the SGC had become accustomed to over the course of the past year and a half, regardless of how odd that term might sound to outsiders. And something which immediately raised the question about whether the other people in his party were Terran natives or extraterrestrial humans like him.

The possible answers to that particular question then raised countless other questions – such as what were these people doing on Earth if they were extraterrestrials, how did they get here if they hadn't made use of the Stargate, and why exactly had they come here in the first place?

And if these people with their Ancient companion weren't extraterrestrials, then what was their connection to the base commander, how and where did they meet him, and what were their intentions towards both humanity and Earth in general, and towards the United States government in particular?

All of the above had flashed through Hammond's mind in a matter of seconds, and he focused his attention on the introductions that Dr. Giles was currently performing.

***

Jack O'Neill, meanwhile, was checking out all of the visitors with the eye of the professionally paranoid soldier/warrior he was, and he was both puzzled and not the least bit happy with what he was seeing.

Both the head of this 'Center' whom Hammond had called to offer control of the Stargate as well as all of the seeming grad students and/or teaching assistants who'd shown up with him moved with the completely unconscious degree of awareness of their surroundings which indicated each of them realized that their survival depended on noting any seemingly minor changes in the area around them, he'd noted – behavior which was usually only seen in professional soldiers and the very best spies, and something that might not have been as readily apparent if he hadn't been studying all of the group so intently once he'd recognized the Ancient commander who'd arrived with them.

To begin with, the group's mentor, this Dr. Giles, whom the General had invited in for an in-depth explanation of the Stargate program, moved a lot more like someone both wary of and accustomed to the possibility of imminent violence than any professorial type had a right to, Jack had decided after just a few moments of observation.

And although both the redhead and the taller of the two brunettes (who were each obviously some sort of mini-Carter clones, probably intermixed with bits of Danny's DNA thrown in, too, judging by the snippets of conversation he'd overheard them having when they first arrived, he'd quickly decided) didn't give off any soldierly vibes, he'd also noticed that they both moved with a poise and grace he'd normally associated with dancers or some of the people he'd met over the course of his career who'd studied martial arts for years; hell, even the blond-haired techno-geek who had reminded him somewhat of a much younger version of Danny moved with a (relatively speaking) smoothness and grace that seemed out of place with what one might expect from the apparent brainiac geek he appeared to be.

Putting aside for the moment the fact that the youthful-looking commander of the Ancient base they'd so briefly visited reminded him of a slightly smaller, less massive version of Teal'c, another thing which bothered Jack about the group was that he was getting much the same sense of controlled lethality and menace that each of the two men radiated from both the petite blonde – who at first glance looked to be the stereotype of the vacuous college cheerleader – and the only slightly taller brunette biker babe archetype who'd accompanied the group here – something that on the surface seemed clearly ridiculous, but also something that his time in both Special Operations and the Stargate program was telling him was deadly serious.

But what disturbed him the most about the group was the fact that every single one of these people Hammond had invited to visit – from the older tweed-wearing librarian-type professor all the way down to the animated brunette who looked like she probably wasn't even out of her teens yet – all had the same weary expression in their eyes that told O'Neill that they'd seen – and done – things that no one should ever have to witness.

And if there was one thing that Colonel Jonathan J. O'Neill learned over the course of his long and at-times exceedingly nasty career in the U.S. Air Force, it was to *never* ignore his instincts.

***

Teal'c watched the group of visitors that O'Neill's commander, GeneralHammond, had invited to the base with great interest.

From everything the Jaffa had learned from his readings and what he had been told by his companions concerning the Tauri culture, he had not expected to meet with a group of veteran warriors as young as this group plainly was while within the SGC base. It had been Teal'c's understanding that only the most experienced and best qualified members of the various branches of the American military were offered the opportunity and honor of traveling through the Chappa'ai, the Ring of the Ancients, so seeing this group of what were unmistakably experienced and highly-skilled fighters invited into the innermost chambers of the SGC clearly indicated that they must be held in the highest esteem by GeneralHammond's superior, this PresidentHayes that he'd heard them mention.

Each of the newcomers carried themselves with the bearing of a veteran warrior, although the blond-haired youth and the youngest female almost certainly lacked much of the skills and battle-wisdom that their older companions possessed. But the fact that they were obviously accepted as equals by the more experienced members of their team made it plain to him that they were far from novices and were also clearly valued for whatever their own particular skills might be.

When the former First Prime glanced over towards his own teammates, however, their expressions and reactions made it evident that they were responding to the visitors as though they were mere trainees, if that, and that they clearly had not yet recognized the other group's abilities.

The fact that a being the Asgard supreme commander Thor had identified as an Ancient was a valued and integral member of this group, and that both his disposition and temperament appeared to be a near match for O'Neill's, merely ensured that the next few hours would undoubtedly prove to be – quite interesting.

Concealing his amusement at the clearly imminent – Charlie-Foxtrot, he believed was the expression he had heard O'Neill use previously – Teal'c merely nodded his acknowledgement of one warrior to another when the smirking dark-haired female glanced over at him, and settled back to watch the forthcoming fireworks.

~~~

"Well, everyone, please take a seat," Hammond gestured with his left hand to the various chairs placed around the conference table. "If you would, Dr. Giles, please introduce the other members of your party."

Taking advantage of the opportunity to squelch any incipient conflicts General Hammond had offered with his suggestion, Giles quickly nodded and began a more formal introduction of the Scoobies, once everyone was seated.

"As General Hammond has indicated, my name is Rupert Giles, and I am the, uh, the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Anthropological and Sociological Research which is a subsidiary of the Sineya Foundation," Giles began his spiel as he glanced around the table, trying to evaluate the people Hammond had described as his flagship 'gate team. "As our name would indicate, the Center is a group focusing on both anthropological and sociological issues, a-and our primary headquarters is located in Surrey, England, although we maintain additional satellite offices around the world, with our principal center of operations in the United States located in Cleveland, Ohio.

"My associates accompanying me here are Ms. Buffy Summers and Ms. Faith Lehane, who are the Co-Directors of our Personnel Acquisition and Deployment group; Ms. Willow Rosenberg, Director of our Information Acquisition and Compilation Group; Ms. Dawn Summers, Director of our Linguistics Group; Mr. Andrew Wells, Director of our Technology Assimilation and Integration Group; and Mr. Alexander Harris, Director of our Field Equipment Procurement and Deployment Group," Giles continued, indicating each of the Scooby Gang in turn.

"We have, uh, traveled here in response to General Hammond's invitation, which was issued at President Hayes' behest, both to facilitate the transfer of this Stargate device you have been utilizing for approximately the past eighteen months, a-and to prevent a coalition headed up by your Senator Kinsey from confiscating the Stargate and seizing responsibility for the exploration program with which you have been tasked," he stated.

"Would you agree that that is an accurate assessment of the situation to date, General?" Giles inquired as he looked over at Hammond.

"Yes, I would say that that is a fair summary of the situation, Dr. Giles," Hammond nodded.

Taking a moment to glance around the table and gauge SG-1's initial reaction to the Center's team, the general could see O'Neill's mouth twisted in a skeptical grimace, Carter eying each of the youths with an equally doubtful expression, Jackson's forehead furrowed as though he were trying to retrieve an elusive memory as he stared at Dr. Giles, and Teal'c watching everyone present with his usual imperturbability.

Unfortunately, before he could say anything more, Jack decided to throw his two bits into the ring, so to speak.

"Oh for crying out loud, you've gotta be kidding me!!" he declared as he surveyed the Center's six younger representatives with a mixed expression of skepticism, disbelief and annoyance.

"With all due respect, sir," O'Neill said as he turned to address Hammond, "are you seriously telling me that we're going to hand the 'Gate over to Spaceman Spiff here, some librarian and a bunch of kids, most of whom look like they just graduated high school, just 'cause the President suggested them?"

Hammond's face instantly clouded over with an expression of exasperation and displeasure, Danny rolled his eyes in frustration, Sam stared at Jack as though she couldn’t believe he'd actually come out and said that (although it was also quite clear she held much the same opinion) and Teal'c merely continued watching everyone with the same expressionless calm he normally did.

Glancing over at their guests while trying to decide how best he might placate them after hearing Jack's unmistakably insulting comments, Hammond was astonished to see that not only were the Center's representatives not infuriated at O'Neill's comments, but that all of them were either smiling or grinning widely – except for the brunette Dr. Giles had introduced as Faith Lehane, who was wearing an annoyed expression on her face and shaking her head as she pulled her hand out of her pocket and handed what looked to be a twenty dollar bill to the other brunette who'd been introduced as Dawn Summers, who had a rather smug-looking smile on her face.

"Dammit, Little D, if Commander Hot Stuff there coulda just kept his mouth shut for another two minutes, I woulda won," Lehane could be heard complaining as she handed over the money.

"Yeah, but he didn't, Faith," Hammond heard the other young woman answer, as he watched with stunned incredulity Summers smirking triumphantly while she pocketed the money. "I knew for sure that *someone* would say something about us barely being out of high school in the first five minutes.

"I'd guess it has to do with all of them being nearly old enough to retire, or maybe it's just that the old people feel threatened by us being young enough to be their grandchildren," she remarked with a nonchalant shrug of her shoulders.

"Anyway, it's the easiest twenty bucks I've ever made," Dawn grinned as she slipped the money into her own front pants pocket, ignoring the indignant and outraged looks on Jack's, Carter's and Danny's faces and the quickly hidden grin on Hammond's face on hearing her equally dismissive comments regarding SG-1.

"I gotta say, though, Dawnie," Xander declared with his own smirk, "I'm glad that Colonel Geezer there is at least literate enough to reference Calvin and Hobbs.

"I woulda thought he'd reference something he remembered watching in his childhood, like maybe Steamboat Willie or something."

Ignoring both Jack's outraged protest at the clearly impertinent insinuation regarding his age and General Hammond's only partially hidden enjoyment of his subordinate's having to deal with someone who appeared to be almost as annoying as he was, Giles interrupted what could potentially end up as a major league insult-fest.

"Dawn, Xander, do please stop taunting the military people," he directed with a somewhat harried sigh. "And please remember that we are here on official Center business.

"I would prefer to spend the limited time we are present in a more productive fashion – such as learning more about the sequence of events which led to the American Air Force first gaining possession of the Stargate, as well as determining how we might best combine our expertise with that of the SGC here, in order to maximize whatever benefits might be gained from overseeing the use of such a unique piece of equipment," he noted.

Turning to again address Hammond and SG-1, Giles began the somewhat sanitized introduction which the now-expanded Scooby Gang had decided to provide whichever members of the SGC whom they first met, in lieu of the more detailed and accurate explanation typically provided the newly Awakened Slayers and the newly inducted cadre of Watchers when they were initially presented with the existence of the supernatural and the associated darker aspects of life that went with it.

"As you have no doubt already realized," Giles began, "history is basically a series of stories which are, in a significant number of cases throughout the various societies and civilizations our world has seen come into existence, typically based on somewhat distorted reflections of humanity's interaction with various other groups, segments or aspects of society, the majority of which were generally not regarded with any degree of favor, either because of their different behavior or beliefs regarding how they might interact with the majority of human civilizations.

"Now, the Center is an organization whose members are dedicated to, uhm, interacting and dealing with members of some of those same or related groups which still generally do not relate to, or interact amicably with, today's society, shall we say," he went on.

"Unfortunately, in virtually all of the cases in which the Center has become involved, disclosing the truth to the world at large – disseminating information to modern society concerning facets of history which it is simply not ready to deal with – would almost certainly cause widespread disruptions and extreme social upheaval, something which we clearly cannot permit, if the existing social order is to be maintained.

"In fact, without irrefutable evidence confronting them, most of the populace with whom we deal prefer to slough off slough contact with these remnants of history as unfortunate encounters with 'gangs high on PCP' or 'unidentified wild animal attacks' – and generally speaking, we are more than happy to allow them to continue on with their lives under such misapprehensions," Giles stated.

"Based on what little information General Hammond was able to provide to me in the course of our earlier conversations, I would surmise that you and your fellows at this facility have undoubtedly undergone similar experiences," the ex-Watcher hypothesized as he glanced at the various SG-1 members, "although I am confident in stating that I am completely certain that you have not evolved the same methods of dealing with the problems with which you deal as we at the Center have."

"Let me guess," Jack interrupted Giles' spiel, having grown somewhat bored with the Englishman's apparently deliberately vague presentation and wanting to move the agenda to the point where he could hopefully begin grilling these people about how they'd met with the smart-mouthed Ancient they'd brought along with them. "You people use something you call 'magic' to zap the bad guys you allegedly go up against, right?"

Taken by surprise at the colonel's unexpectedly quick grasp of several concepts he'd been heading towards in his discourse, Giles paused for a moment before nodding his head affirmatively.

"Indeed, Colonel, that is completely correct," he agreed. "Magic is, indeed, one of the tools we make use of in the course of our work.

"Although I must admit, given our past experiences with the military, I was of the belief that you would be vehemently opposed to any attempts to get you to even admit the possibility of the existence of magic," Giles noted parenthetically.

"Actually, Dr. Giles," Carter broke into the conversation, "what you and your people call magic is in reality just manifestations of extremely advanced technology. We’ve run across several such instances, ourselves, and each case, what the witnesses had described as magic has turned out to have been technological devices of varying levels of complexity."

"Ehhhnnn! Sorry, but that answer is incorrect, Captain Science Lady. Would you like to try the bonus round for double the values?" Xander instantly chimed in with one of his typically annoying grins, drawing a trifecta of looks of irritation from Giles, O'Neill and Carter at his interruption.

"Look, 'Commander'," – the level of annoyed sarcasm in Jack's voice as he addressed Xander was obvious to everyone present – "I have no idea why you might be trying to make these people here think that whatever gadgets you might have given them to use in whatever it is they've been doing are magic, but I'm not gonna just sit back and let you continue trying to pull the wool over their eyes while there's anything I can do about it!"

"Actually, Corporal Unreal, Xander wasn't the one who first told us about magic," Buffy simultaneously demoted and insulted O'Neill as she glared at him for both his comments and his attitude towards her significant other from her seat at the table next to Xander.

"We found out about that back in our sophomore year of high school, when one of our classmates' mother went on a rampage – and then, the Wicked Witch of the East tried to kill us all, when we were trying to help Amy get her body back!" she informed their skeptically listening audience, her words leading every SGC member present to immediately – and erroneously –assume that Buffy was describing a case of Goa'uld possession.

"Actually, General Hammond," Giles spoke up, interrupting their hosts' semi-justified jumping to conclusions, "I think it necessary to point out that, uh, when considering the members of our group currently present, Xander is not particularly adept at in the practice of magic, nor are Buffy or Faith.

"In point of fact, it is Willow, Dawn and Andrew – and I, myself, to a much more limited extent – who are the individuals who would most commonly be described as 'mages' or 'magic-users,' by the general population," the Center's head confessed to a clearly skeptical and disbelieving O'Neill, Hammond, Carter and, to a lesser extent, Daniel Jackson, while Teal'c merely maintained his impassive façade.

"Yeah, right," Jack snorted derisively. “So, what’s next on this little fantasy trip of yours? We’ve already done the demons shtick. Ooh, I know – how about vampires? The Loch Ness Monster, maybe?”

Sighing, Giles simply shook his head and returned his attention to General Hammond.

"I can see that a practical demonstration of magic will be necessary before we can proceed any further with our discussion," he conceded with a shake of his head. "If you would then, General, please choose either Willow, Dawn or Andrew as the person whom you would prefer to provide that exhibition. While I indicated that I, too, have some minor talent for the arcane, each of the three I have indicated possess a much greater proficiency and degree of control than I have managed to achieve, despite my age and far greater experience with arcane phenomena."

"Very well, Dr. Giles," Hammond nodded, giving the three Scoobies their mentor had designated an evaluating gaze. He was curious to see exactly what sort of demonstration of 'magic' these people could provide, and since this Dr. Giles had indicated that all three possessed at least a minimum level of competence, he decide to see what the seemingly-youngest member of the group was capable of doing.

"I'd like to see what Miss Summers can show us," he said, nodding to the younger brunette.

He and the other member of SGC were somewhat surprised when the girl let out a pleased "Woo-hoo!" and began bouncing in her seat while raising her arms in an apparent victory salute and beaming brightly at her companions.

"If you would, Dawn," Giles directed his request to the clearly exuberant teen, "please provide our hosts with a demonstration of what you are capable of doing – but nothing overly ostentatious or flamboyant, if you would.

"And for heaven's sake," he added a moment later, as memories of some of the various pranks his charges had performed in the past came rushing to mind, "please try to limit your display to what the general public would consider to be good taste."

Seeing the mischievous expression that the younger Summers sister was wearing, Giles murmured a quiet prayer to whatever pantheon of gods might be watching – and, more importantly, inclined to help – that whatever it was Dawn intended would not end up with them being either arrested or deported.

"Okay, Giles, you got it," Dawn nodded her head agreeably as she got up from her seat and moved to the head of the table to stand next to the group's father figure.

"Hmm," she murmured to herself as she took a moment to ponder exactly what she wanted to do to demonstrate to her clearly disbelieving audience that magic really did exist. A moment later, a brilliant grin lit up her face as an idea hit her.

After first rummaging in her shoulder bag for a moment and retrieving various small packets of powder from within its cavernous storage space, the gorgeous brunette combined small samples from several of the small bags in the palm of her left hand, then gently tossed the mixture into the air and in the general direction of their hosts as she began quietly murmuring, "Goddess Hecate, hear my plea! Guide my actions as I demonstrate to these unbelievers thy might, and grant me thy guidance and power to make the alterations I seek!"

The air inside the conference room seemed to shimmer for the briefest of instants, and then General Hammond, Jack, Carter and Daniel stared in stunned disbelief for a moment before loud protests began issuing from their mouths, while Teal'c's eyebrows rose several millimeters, as the various Stargate personnel present reacted to the fact that their skin was now a brilliant blue in color.

"Y'know, Dawnie, if you had changed Captain Science Lady's outfit into a white dress and hat, and you gave Colonel Geezer over there a white beard, a pair of red footie pajama pants and a red hat instead of what they're wearing now, you'd swear that they were Smurfette and Papa Smurf," Xander commented, once he finally managed to take a breath after cackling like a hyena.

He also could not help but notice that Captain Carter was staring at him with an outraged and indignant expression, most likely as a result of hearing him compare her to Smurfette. The Captain was also apparently so outraged that she was unable to actually utter any words, since each time she opened her mouth to say something, she'd pause and then close it again, before repeating the same actions a moment later.

"Ya wanna guess who my favorite Smurf was, guys?" Faith casually asked her fellow Scoobies with a grin, as she looked over the clearly astonished group (except for Teal'c, who continued to look inscrutable) who were alternating between staring at Dawn and staring at themselves with incredulous disbelief mirrored in their eyes.

"I'm pretty sure there was never any Studly Smurf in the cartoons, Faith," Willow informed the Center's Co-Director of Personnel Acquisition and Deployment group with a roll of her eyes, even as she smiled with pleased approval at her apprentice's accomplishment.

"Maybe there wasn't in any of the ones you watched, Sabrina," Faith smirked, but she was interrupted before she could further elucidate on her comment.

"Well, personally, I always liked Brainy Smurf," Dawn declared firmly as she bestowed on Daniel a smile brilliant enough to make Buffy frown slightly and throw a somewhat maternally protective, narrow-eyed glance in the rather flustered archeologist's direction.

"Unlike some people I know," the younger Summers sister then added, "I've always thought smart guys were sexy."

That particular comment elicited an obligatory Category Two Death Glare from Buffy being launched in both her sister's and the aforementioned scientist's direction, something which left Dawn completely unaffected and Daniel looking more than a little perplexed and mystified as he glanced around the room, as though seeking an explanation from his teammates.

Trying to reassert control of the situation before it degenerated further into the chaos which virtually all meetings involving the core group of Scoobies inevitably resulted in, Giles coughed loudly, to regain everyone's attention, and announced, "Thank you for that little demonstration, Dawn. And you may return everyone to their proper color, now," while ignoring the small pout the youngest daughter of his heart gave him as she followed his suggestion and dispelled her earlier magics.

Turning to address General Hammond, Giles then said, "General, I would submit that Dawn's somewhat ad hoc demonstration just now should suffice, at least at this point in time, to establish that we at the Center do not depend on any sort of advanced technology in order to accomplish our goals.

"If you or your personnel would like to witness additional, more structured and detailed demonstrations of the forces available to us," he went on, "I am sure that Willow, Dawn or Andrew would be more than willing to offer you opportunities to do so. However, I would prefer that we not squander valuable time now with further such unnecessary discussions or exhibitions, most especially since President Hayes has indicated that he would prefer to see the Center take control over the Chappa'ai at the earliest possible opportunity."

"You make an excellent point, Dr. Giles," Hammond nodded his agreement, while trying not to think too deeply about what he and his flagship team had just witnessed. "President Hayes ordered us to provide you with a full briefing of everything we have accomplished thus far, so if it is agreeable to you and your staff, I'd suggest that before we engage in any in-depth discussions, you and your people should view the preliminary briefing Captain Carter has prepared for you, in order to get a feel for exactly what it is we've been doing here for the past sixteen months."

Turning to throw a warning glare at his premier team – since it was quite apparent that, with the exception of Teal'c, they were all clearly thrown off their stride by Miss Summers' demonstration of what was clearly some non-technological form of energy control which did not fit into their current world-view – Hammond managed, through sheer force of personality, to muzzle what would have normally been SG-1's vehement storm of questions, denials and demands for explanations of how the young woman had accomplished what she'd quite obviously done.

Seeing no objections to his suggestion, the General turned control of the computer and video projector over to Carter – who was doing her best to pretend that the last two minutes hadn't happened.

And that she didn't see Jack shake his head in a combination of befuddlement and disbelief before then shrugging philosophically and giving her one of his trademark smirks before closing his eyes and leaning back in his chair to grab forty winks as she began her presentation.


FIN

The End

You have reached the end of "I'm Telling You, Kid, There's No Such Thing As Mag". This story is complete.

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