Disclaimer: See Prologue.
'It was with an unexpected press conference at his Washington home this weekend, that Senator Robert Kinsey announced his immediate retirement from politics.
Kinsey, in his speech on Sunday evening, cited failing health and a wish to spend more time with his family as his reason for pulling out of the Presidential race, where he was looking like a strong contender as the future Head of State.
His decision to leave his seat in Florida coming so close to the Primaries has raised many questions as to the real reason behind the announcement, but so far there has been only speculation as to why such a well loved public figure has stepped down so suddenly from public life.
Over his many years in office, Kinsey became a well known figure, not only in the State of Florida, but throughout the United States in his various roles in public service. Few will have forgotten the assassination attempt on his life last year, and it is with some trepidation that we mark his leaving under yet another cloud of mystery and intrigue.'
Feeling like he had more to do with this particular news story than he was entirely comfortable with, Hammond put the paper down on his desk and stared nervously at the rest of the mail that had greeted him that morning on his arrival at work.
He’d first read the report forwarded to him from the FBI that a ‘Riley Finn’ had been seen crossing the border into Mexico accompanied by three other unidentified men, as yet not apprehended, after his unexplained disappearance from an Air Force Base in Southern Colorado.
It was then, as a crawling sensation of ‘guilt by association began’ to inch up his spine that Hammond had caught sight of the headline of “Senator calls it quits,” and had immediately known that the two incidents were connected … connected to a certain Californian red head who was starting work for him that very morning.
From under the paper, Hammond picked up a thick manila envelope and stared at the writing on it. To Major General Hammond. Cheyenne Mountain. Typed of course, he thought to himself, sliding his thumb under the gummed flap.
Inside, he found a hand written note, addressing him by his first name. He was surprised to find that it was an apology of sorts.
I hope you can forgive me for deceiving you but I couldn’t just let him go to his death, he’s a good man, and he saved my life. I’ve made sure no one will link anything to you.
As far as the news in the paper this morning goes I’m sure you can guess that there’s more to it than is being reported – I have ‘Bob’s assurances that all pressure being put on the President concerning the SGC will cease as of your receiving this letter. He has promised to be a good boy from now on.
I regret to inform you that I had a small accident with the artefact that you so generously loaned me; I forgot that three shots from a Zat’nikatel (did I spell that right?) disintegrates … oops. I’ll see what I can do about getting you another one.
Hammond shook his head in utter resignation. He half expected the note to self destruct in his hands. This was definitely the sort of stunt he’d expect Jack to pull if he were trying to get himself court martialed, but from Willow? Shy, polite, gentle Willow? And here she was blatantly admitting what she had done, and expecting him to turn a blind eye.
He sighed, reaching into his top draw for a box of matches. He had the sinking feeling that employing Willow to work in the same country as SG-1 had been a very foolish move on his part. At least his life would be interesting, he commiserated with himself.
Turning the note over as he held the flame to its base, Hammond noticed that there was a short line of writing on the back as well and he quickly snuffed out the flames.
'G, just in case things don’t go smoothly I’m leaving the pictures in your possession – I’m keeping the negatives. W.'
Intrigued, Hammond picked up the envelope again and held it upside down, shaking it so that the remaining contents, previously un-noticed, tipped out into a messy pile all over his desk. Initially thinking his eyes were deceiving him, he picked up the nearest photograph, choking back a hoot of amusement as he realised it was genuine.
Oh yes, life was certainly going to be interesting.
Hammond threw back his head and roared with laughter. He was still chuckling evilly to himself when Sergeant Davis came in to investigate the noise ten minutes later.
A/N: Well, that’s all folks, hope you enjoyed it. I’d like to say a huge thank you to my beta, thecynic, who has kept this story on the straight and narrow. All that remains is for me to say thank you to everyone who took the time to send me a review, especially the regulars – you know who you are!
Thanks for reading. Do send me some feed back if you can find the time, I’d really like to know what you liked (and didn’t like) about the story.