Just Another Mission Briefing
Just Another Mission Briefing“Ehem. Doctor. Daniel. Jackson. Your presence is requested in the briefing room. NOW!”
Jack replaced the receiver, cursing his errant archaeologist for being late to the mission briefing. It wasn't like he had any notes to put together and whatever it was Nyan had dragged him out of the infirmary to take a look at could certainly wait until after they were done.
“Colonel, perhaps we should begin without Doctor Jackson,” said General Hammond.
Jack winced. For all the amusement his last intercom announcement had caused, underneath it the general was clearly annoyed.
“Ah, I'm sure he'll be here in just a minute,” Jack replied, wincing at just how horribly lame that sounded.
He looked to Carter and Teal'c. Both were looking at him with approval. Carter looked every bit as nervous about this briefing as Jack felt. Teal'c still looked elated – not even the prospect of having to get through this briefing could apparently dampen his spectacularly good mood. Maybe he should just let the Jaffa handle it. Personally, Jack felt like he needed all the backup he could get. Which included Daniel. If the man ever managed to find his way to gracing them with his presence.
“That's what you've been saying for the past half hour! You've all been rather enigmatic about the results of your mission and I have never seen any of you quite so enthusiastic about getting checked out by Doctor Frasier before giving me any details! Now I want some answers, Colonel. So you'll sit down right now and report with or without Doctor Jackson!”
Jack took a deep breath and sat down.
“Well, I suppose, first of all, I have to report the mission was technically a failure.”
“Er. Yeah. We made contact with the natives: friendly people, very colourful, spoke English. Daniel made friends with the head scribe guy and we got to talk to their town council. Did the usual, told them we wanted to open trade negotiations. They took a really long time to talk it over and then said they weren't interested. So, technically, the mission was a fail-”
Just then the door was thrown open and Daniel rushed into the room.
“Sorry I'm late, guys, but I just had to double-check these reports before I came down.”
Jack tried glaring at Daniel, but the archaeologist wasn't looking at him, so his best glare failed miserably. He cleared his throat to get the man's attention.
“And that just had to be done right this very minute, did it?” Jack asked, not even bothering to try and mask his anger.
Daniel looked up at him and blinked.
“Well, yes, it did,” he said, as though that were obvious. He then lifted a box Jack hadn't noticed in his hands until just now. “I had to be sure of it before I brought it in.”
Jack stared at it, hoping the box might decide to speak up and enlighten him as to his team member's thought process. On second thought, that would likely only lead to a trip into the clutches of Dr. MacKenzie, so the box could definitely stay silent.
“Daniel Jackson, perhaps if you explained the significance of this object, we might understand the necessity of examining it immediately,” said Teal'c.
“You didn't bring this back from P2N 183, did you?” Carter asked with a frown.
“What? Oh, no, SG5 found this on P3K 094 two weeks ago.”
Jack looked at Daniel and then back at the box in his hands. It was pretty box, he supposed, made of a sort of a dull, blue-ish metal with carved geometric designs of some sort along the sides.
“Doctor Jackson,” General Hammond's voice was outwardly calm, but with a very definite warning in it. “Does this artifact have anything to add to your report on the mission you just came back from? Which, by the way, I am still waiting for.”
“Yes, sir, it does.”
Hammond looked at Jack. Jack looked at Carter, then at Teal'c. Both shook their heads, looking equally confused. Jack turned back to the general and lifted his palms upwards as he shrugged. Nope, they had no idea what Daniel was up to. Other than the obvious, which was searching through the folder of papers in his hands.
“Daniel, how exactly does some box SG5 found on whatever planet it was they were visiting have anything to do with P2-whatever it was we were visiting?” Jack asked through gritted teeth.
“Aha!” Daniel exclaimed instead of answering him. He quickly pulled out two sets of papers from his pile and handed one to Carter and the other to the general. “Jack, before I answer that question, I just want you to look at this. Nyan and the others did the dating a second time just to be sure and I double-checked them just now myself. There's also a report from the science department about their results when they got a look at the box.”
Carter raised an eyebrow and started scanning the report. Teal'c leaned in to read over her shoulder. Hammond, meanwhile, glanced down at the papers in his hand and set them down, folding his hands over top of them.
“Why don't you just summarize the results for us, son?” he said, sounding a little less like an annoyed general and a bit more like an indulgent grandfather. Jack breathed a sigh of relief.
“Uh, okay, so both tests showed the box to be just over 5,000 years old. It's made of some sort of metal alloy the science team haven't been able to properly identify, except to say that it's definitely not naquada-based. The top and bottom of the box are two separate pieces.” Daniel lifted the top off the box to demonstrate. “When SG5 retrieved the box originally it had been sealed and, after the initial tests were done, it took the science team about a week to figure out how to unseal it without damaging the box itself. Turns out it was cemented shut with some sort of silicon-based polymer, which the science team has dubbed 'super krazy glue'.”
Carter motioned to the lid and Daniel paused as he handed it over to her. The scientist began looking it over carefully, running her fingers over the edge where it had been glued shut.
“Goauld krazy glue?” Jack asked with a raised eyebrow. Daniel frowned.
“Uh, I highly doubt it. There wasn't evidence of any goauld activity in the area, plus, well I'll get to that in a minute.” He looked to the general. “Incidentally, sir, Sargent Siler's put in a request for the science and engineering teams to try and reverse-engineer this, um, 'super krazy glue'. He thinks it could prove very useful.”
“Not something you want to accidentally glue your fingers together with, though,” Jack commented.
Daniel rolled his eyes.
“While this is all very fascinating, Dr. Jackson, I still fail to see why I'm listening to it instead of hearing your mission report,” said Hammond.
“Right, yes, sorry, I'm just getting to that!” Daniel cleared his throat. “When they finally got the box opened and saw its contents, they redid the dating just in this was some sort of strange Tokra joke-”
“The Tokra joke?” Jack asked.
Daniel shrugged. “Well, if I hadn't just come back from Rapeltraxin I would have done the same thing. I mean, the box, the seal and therefore the contents are 5,000 years old according to the readings.”
“So, what's in the box?” Carter asked.
“Photographs. And a short note. Addressed to me. Oh, and some sort of pamphlet thing for a museum.”
He gently took out the contents of the box and placed them on the table. Jack blinked.
“5,000 year old photos?” Jack asked.
Daniel nodded. “Printed on Kodak paper.” He flipped one over and held it out to show everyone. Sure enough, the light yellow 'Kodak' logo was still visible.
“You said the note was addressed to you?” Carter asked, eyes wide with both surprise and excitement. Daniel nodded. “You don't suppose...”
“That the Doctor wanted to make sure we believed him? I'd say that's a definite 'yes'.”
He handed Jack the photographs. There were three of them. The first one had the Doctor with one arm over Amy's shoulder and another one over Rory's shoulder. Behind them, Jack could see the painting, Mirial, towering over the town. Except the woman in the painting looked somewhat different than she did only hours ago, when SG1 had seen her. For one, the colours looked more faded and a large crack in the cliff severed part of her torso. And even the people milling about in the picture weren't dressed in the colourful, natural-fibre clothes of the natives they'd spoken to this morning.
Jack passed the photo on to the general – out of consideration rather than anything, because he knew it would mean nothing to his superior officer, but he couldn't exactly leave him out.
The next photo had River Song standing with her feet slightly apart and her hands on her hips in front of a large, stone building with roman-style pillars around the front of it after a set of three steps. On the left hand side of the photo Jack saw what looked like it could be a parking lot – although the vehicles parked in it looked more like personal-size goauld cargo ships rather than cars. It took several moments for Jack to realize the significance of the photo, when his eyes finally noticed the carved letters above the building's pillars. It read: Daniel Jackson School of History and Archaeology.
Jack smiled and passed it on to the general, who seemed to be watching his subordinate's reactions to the photos more than he was looking at the photos themselves.
The last photo was one of Amy and Rory holding hands in front of a white marble sculpture of a hand, opened palm up and holding something round and made of glass. Jack had to angle the photo a bit to see the shape clearly. He nearly dropped the photograph when he did, because he recognized that symbol. It was stitched onto his uniform: a circle with the stargate symbol for Earth in the middle. Behind them, there was a large, white building with glass sides, but it was too far away for Jack to see anything clearly.
Suddenly Daniel was holding something in front of his face.
“That last photo makes more sense if you see this along with it,” he said.
Jack took the slim piece of paper from Daniel, frowning when he touched it and realized it wasn't actually paper at all, but rather some sort of very slim, flexible plastic that sort of resembled paper. It was no bigger than the size of a standard letter envelope and a little bit whiter than one. At least it was until Jack touched it and then suddenly there were bold, black letters on it. Jack froze, his eyes widening as he read the ones at the top: The SGC Museum Visitor's Guide. Underneath this title was, once again, the SGC logo and then some very small writing he decided to skip over. On the other side of the pamphlet, was a map of the supposed museum.
He skimmed over the map until one part caught his attention. He blinked at the label. Then a wide, slightly evil grin spread over his face.
“Hey Danny, did you notice they've got a whole room dedicated just to you?” he sing-songed.
“A room?” Carter's head snapped up from where she was studying the specs on the box. “Where? What are you looking at, sir?”
“Right here, in this museum.” Jack held up the pamphlet for all to see the front, before flipping it over and pointing to the room in question. “See, says here: 'Room A: Doctor Daniel Jackson: the Man, who Gave Earth the Stars'.”
Jack watched with glee as Daniel sputtered and then turned a rather endearing shade of red. General Hammond chuckled.
“Alright people, I'm assuming now that this is all done, I can finally get that report,” he said with an amused smile. “Which, I'm also assuming will include an explanation about these photos.”
“Yes sir!” said Jack with a wide grin. “Now that we've got an actual get-out-of-jail-free card from a meeting with good ol' quack MacKenzie, we're ready to tell all. Gotta say, though, general, it's a doozy.”
“So, I've gathered.”
“Um, wait a minute, general, if I may?” Carter quickly said before Jack could start his report. She turned to Daniel. “Daniel, you said there was a note addressed to you in the box, too?”
“Um, yeah, there was,” he said. “I didn't bring it along, because it was written on regular paper, which even being in an airtight metal container has made it a bit brittle, so I didn't want to risk it. It's from the Doctor. Basically it's telling me to make a note in my files that the language spoken on Rapeltraxin is actually a sort of bastardized mix of ancient Greek and Egyptian. Apparently, his ship has some sort of universal translator mechanism, which translated everything the natives were saying directly into our brains and vice versa. Which is why it sounded like they were speaking English.”
Jack snuck a peak at Carter. Yup, her eyes were glowing all right.
“This Doctor is someone you met on the planet?” General Hammond asked.
“Uh, yes sir.”
“Well, then you'd better tell me about him.”
So they did.
And three weeks later, SG1 found themselves wishing they'd never met the Doctor as they discovered River Song had been right and the natives on the swamp planet were extremely
friendly. And hungry. On the bright side, the fish that lived in the swamp were huge, the size of Jack's arm – the smaller ones, anyway. It was simply rather unfortunate they ate people.
Jack never thought he'd go fishing with his P90, but then again, it wasn't like it was the strangest thing he'd ever seen or done.
Thanks to everyone, who took the time to read this! I really hope you found it at least a little bit amusing. Now, please review!