Sam and the Hunt
A/N: See chapter 1 for disclaimer, spoilers, notes on AU, and why Xander has his eye back.
Colonel Samantha Carter, U.S.A.F., was thinking about causing a serious diplomatic incident. Specifically, she was thinking about wringing Anise’s neck when she finally caught up with the Tok’ra. Or maybe ‘accidentally’ shooting her with a zat. Every day, for a couple weeks in a row.
They had been searching for Anise and ‘Xander’ Harris for seven solid hours. It was five in the morning, and she was utterly exhausted. Daniel was making another coffee run, but she really needed some sleep. Granted, she and Daniel had been known to subsist on coffee for a couple days at a time when in the throes of a good research problem, and Teal’c could go for a really long time before he needed sleep, or even kel’no’reem.
It had taken hours of patient cross-sectioning and questioning to find the second bar. Daniel had found it. The ‘Steep Slope,’ a yuppie bar specializing in fancy cocktails and twenty-something waitresses in skimpy outfits. A waitress had recognized the couple. Harris and Anise had walked in – staggered in, according to the waitress – and ordered ‘one of everything with a little wooden umbrella in it.’ Sam had winced just hearing Daniel’s report.
The waitress had told Daniel that the girl spent most of the time sitting in the guy’s lap. Also, she served them four drinks and then cut them off, since the bar had to maintain its liquor license, and they were both pretty smashed. The waitress had tried to call them a taxi, but they had paid her, left her a pretty big tip – which was the real reason she remembered Harris – and then walked out with the girl practically climbing all over the guy as they stepped outside.
Sam had asked Daniel if there was anything else, and his hesitance had been all she needed to know that there was something. However, it had taken some prodding to get Daniel to admit that the waitress had taken a business card out of her cleavage and stuffed it into Daniel’s front pants pocket with a breathy instruction to call her. Sam had managed not to laugh out loud, but there was a suspicious noise from the radio that could have been Teal’c suppressing some laughter.
After that, Sam had gone to work on her GIS system and mapped out a wedge-shaped sector of the city to investigate next. She assumed that Harris and Anise were most likely to continue in the same rough direction they had been going since they left O’Malley’s. That reduced the workload, and it could even turn out to be a rational solution.
The three of them moved onward, checking every place Anise and Harris might have gone. But it was time-consuming and tedious and irritating. She didn’t know how policemen could stand it. She could work on an interesting problem in the lab for days at a time, but asking repetitive questions of really stupid people was making her want to scream with frustration.
While she was checking a dance club with a bar, she got another report from the SGC. The liquid samples from the squirt gun and the supersoaker were water. Plain old tap water. In fact, based on trace impurities and the chlorine level, it was probably plain old tap water straight out of the City of Cleveland municipal system. What was the point of carrying squirt guns around? Was he planning on sneaking up on the Wicked Witch of the West? Why were toys like that in a gymbag with Molotov cocktails and a lethal crossbow?
While she was checking an all-night liquor store, she heard back from the SGC with a report on the metal and wood samples Daniel had prepared. The crossbow bolt was ironwood, and NMRS showed that the tip was a common titanium alloy. The inlays were, as Daniel had guessed, silver and cold-forged iron. Someone had taken the time to look at the iron samples under a high-powered microscope to determine the forging method. Daniel had told her that cold-forged iron was almost unheard of in the last several centuries, since the technique was outdated. So what the hell was Harris doing with cold-forged iron as inlays in his crossbow bolts? The more information she got, the less this made sense.
Sam had found the next stop for Anise and her drunken ‘friend’. It appeared that Sam’s idea of delineating a narrow cone as the target area was paying off. She had walked into “Artie’s”, a sleazy smoke-filled bar with two waitresses in lowcut black minidresses so short that they wouldn’t be able to bend over and serve anyone without showing off what color their panties were. And since they were wearing fishnet hose with those ridiculous heels, there wouldn’t be any hiding of anything from the men behind them.
An annoying guy with a cheap cigar had headed her off and said, “Sorry dollface, we ain’t hirin’ today. Although with those legs, you could prob’ly convince me. In my office. If you know what I mean.”
Sam had refrained from shooting him with the zat in her jacket pocket. Or kicking him in the crotch. Although she was grouchy enough to consider it for a fraction of a second. Instead, she pulled out a picture of Anise and said, “Not applying for a job. Trying to track this bimbo down, since she’s out of the hospital and off her meds.”
The guy leered at the photo and said, “Oh. Her
. Yeah, her and her boytoy were here. Hours ago. Shit, were they drunk. And they wanted drinks with fuckin’ umbrellas in ‘em. Whaddaya think this place is? Some sissy bar for yuppies? Al gave ‘em a couple tequila sunrises and sent ‘em on their way.” Sam turned to leave, but the jerk just had to add, “Nice ass, too. Ya want me ta keep yer number in case Mindi or Bunni quits?”
She had just gritted her teeth and left. She had refined their search cone after that, and they had kept looking. She got yet another report from the SGC, telling her that none of the cab companies had taken fares matching the description of Harris or Anise, and none of the gypsy cabs that they had managed to track down had picked them up either.
Some time later, Daniel called in over the radio, “Sam, there’s an all-night grocery store on the corner here. I’m going to check it out.”
Sam asked, “A grocery store? Why?”
Daniel said one word. “Beer.”
That made as much sense as anything right then. It was going to be dawn soon, and they still hadn’t tracked down Anise, even if she had seemingly drunk the entire town’s quota of tequila sunrises in the last ten hours.
While Sam was checking out an all-night liquor store, Daniel said over the radio, “I got a hit.” She left the liquor store, dashed to the SUV, and drove the block and a half to the grocery store where Daniel was.
Teal’c caught up with her outside the store. He stoutly said, “I have investigated two more bars without success.”
Daniel came out of the store grinning, and walked over to their position. He smirked, “Turns out they didn’t want beer. They were after ice cream. They had a drunken discussion with a clerk. The guy wanted Twinkie flavored ice cream.”
Sam winced, “Twinkie
flavored ice cream?” She remembered the Twinkie wrappers in the pickup and the box of Twinkies back in Harris’s hotel suite. She figured that it had to be him.
Teal’c calmly said, “I was not aware that such an ice cream flavor existed, although the spongecake and cream filling would make an interesting taste treat.”
Sam complained, “Teal’c, don’t tell me you like Twinkies!”
Daniel asked, “How did you even find out about Twinkies?”
Sam was pretty sure of the answer to that one. “Let me guess. Jack.”
“Indeed,” Teal’c nodded. “O’Neill has been instrumental in teaching me the fundamentals of American snack foods. I personally prefer the ‘Little Debbie’ and the ‘Ho-ho’ but there is much to be recommended in the ‘Twinkie’ I believe.”
Daniel said, “They settled for a box of Twinkies, several different pints of Ben and Jerry’s, and some plastic spoons. Harris apparently told the cashier he wasn’t ever coming back to her store until they got Twinkie flavored ice cream. She thought he was really
Sam grabbed her laptop and began working on her GIS program. As she typed, she muttered, “So where did they go next if they didn’t drive, and they were already too drunk to get served anywhere else, and they didn’t take a taxi?”
Daniel muttered, “I hate to say it, but…”
Sam looked in the direction Daniel was looking. She groaned, “Oh no. I don’t even want to think about that.”