Chapter 17: Welcome to the SGC.
Welcome to the SGC.
After a huge breakfast, Jack and Buffy were told by an aide that they were needed in the General’s Office.
Buffy was just sitting down, when the General said something to cause her mouth to hang open in shock.
“Ms Summers, can you tell me about your murder charge?”
Jack, who was lounging in one of the chairs, sat up straight. Whoa
, he thought.
“You had me investigated?” she asked eying the General in disbelief. How dear he
, she seethed.
“It’s SOP,” he said.
“Standard Operating Procedure,” said Jack.
“I knew that,” she said chagrined.
“We cannot take anyone at face value,” Hammond continued. “We are talking about the military, and we have a lot of secrets,” he said.
“I can’t believe you did that,” said Buffy sharply. “Did you know he was going to do that?” she asked Jack.
“I had an inkling,” he murmured weakly.
“Jack, you could have told me,” she snapped, her lips puckered in annoyance.
“Well, I didn’t know you had a murder charge hanging over your head,” he said, and there was a critical tone to his voice.
With a shrug, Buffy turned towards Hammond. “What do you know?” she demanded.
“Everything,” he said watching her carefully.
Her eyes narrowed. “What do you mean everything?”
“Ms Summers, what do you think everything means?” he asked dryly.
“You can’t mean everything,” she murmured, shaking her head.
“I can assure you,” he continued in a dry tone. “When I said everything, I do mean everything,” he said, his voice holding a hint of challenge.
Jack and Buffy eyed each other, then turned to look at the General.
“You don’t mean…” Buffy said, unwilling to say it aloud.
“That I know that you are a vampire slayer,” Hammond said boldly. “I have been on the phone most of the morning with both Major Davis and the President. And both of them corroborate this story. And you Colonel,” Hammond said turning towards Jack. “When Dr. Jackson asked you directly what a Slayer was, you lied.”
Jack shrugged. “It wasn’t my secret to tell, sir,” he admitted sheepishly. “I have been lying about stuff like this for years that it’s just natural.”
Ignoring Jack for the time being, Hammond had to ask. “Ms. Summers, what is a Vampire Slayer?”
“It is exactly what it sounds like,” she said, eying him cautiously, waiting for him to freak out. Anyone hearing about vampires always declared that they were a myth. “A slayer is a person who kills vampires. Slayers are often young girls that aren’t long-lived, mostly due in part to their line of work. We don’t normally last through our teens, much less adulthood. I was pretty young when I found out that I was different from all of the other girls.” “
How different?” he wondered aloud. Here was a chance to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Reading reports didn’t quite capture that quality of storytelling.
Buffy frowned. “Before I was kidnapped by Ra, I noticed that I was stronger and faster than the average human. I even had superior hearing and an instinct to take up any weapon and know to use it. The most obscure thing can become a weapon in my hands.”
The General nodded, having read all of that in her file. “So vampires really do exist,” he said with awe.
“Yes, and demons, succubae, werewolves, trolls, evil genies, and fairies. This world is made up of many things, and some of them are not human. But it is also rare when the average person notices.”
“The Colonel knows about it,” he said defensively.
“Well, I’m sort of special,” Jack said with a smirk. “But even in the most stretched of the truth, I wouldn’t be considered normal.”
“Amen to that,” Buffy coughed.
Ignoring Buffy, Jack continued. “Plus, I’m over ten thousand years old. And if in that time I never saw an Others before, then I was truly blind.”
“Others?” Hammond queried, testing out the word.
“That’s what I called them,” Jack admitted.
“Why don’t more people know about this stuff?” Hammond asked, gazing from one person to the next.
“Mostly, people don’t want to know,” Buffy admitted wryly. “And part of it was government cover-up, just like the Goa’uld. Everyone that knows that the Goa’uld exist is in part of the government. And there are agencies all over the world that police and monitor the others. In these agencies, we have humans and others working together. Just like anything else, there are good and bad others. Now that you know that they’re others out there, aren’t you going to look at your neighbors a little bit different?”
“There was a time when we suspected our neighbors of being the Unabomber or some other terrorist; now we are wondering about not who they are, but what they are.”
“You are right, Ms. Summers. Now I know all of that, I will be looking at the world differently, and it can’t be helped. We are a suspicious lot,” he admitted. “How about the Slayers? How many are there?”
“Two, which is an anomaly.”
“Why?” he asked curiously.
“I’m not supposed to exist,” she said with a laughing glance. “I’m not the first vampire slayer, and although I was called young, I had a trainer who taught me what to do. And when I was kidnapped by Ra, they needed another Slayer. Slayers weren’t born but were created.”
“By magic,” she said.
“Magic,” he said nonplussed.
“Yes, General Hammond, magic does exist,” she said smiling blandly. “You see the first Slayer was created by a group of men that forced the essence of a demon inside the girl. If that wasn’t magic, I don’t know what else. Regarding the two Slayers… Thinking I was dead, another slayer was called to handle the supernatural force, and when she died, another was called for generations to generations. But see, due to my immortality, I was still alive, but technically I was dead. As an Immortal, I had retained my slayerness, if you want to call it that. So I was a Slayer, but not the Slayer. Over the years, I didn’t want to interfere with the other Slayer’s life, so I went the opposite way from her, which she was the one who always stayed on the hot spots.
The General’s mouth parted to ask a question.
“Before you ask, the hot spots are generally speaking a bed of heavy supernatural activity. So over the years, I continued to hunt vampires, demons, etc., far from the current slayer. But that changed the year that I met Buffy Winters. Buffy Winters was a young cheerleader who had her life mapped out in front of her. She wanted to be a fashion buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue and maybe marry her high school boyfriend. She found out that vampires exist the hard way, when one of her friends was killed. It was happenstance or fate when I chanced upon her killing the vampire in a cemetery in Los Angeles. She was raw; it would probably have taken a lot of training for her to become the best.”
“Height-wise we were the same size, but other than that, we didn’t look alike. She was blond and bubbly, an airhead even. A true Californian. For a couple of days, I watched her to make sure that she could handle herself. I found out that she was an only child; her mother was a single mom and neglectful. Her mother was some major attorney and her father was nonexistent. “
“During that time, a master vampire named Lothos had set up camp in Los Angeles. Lothos had killed many slayers before. That was what he was known for. Lothos the Slayer Killer
, he was called,” she said bitterly. “Anyway, she decided to fight him, but he was too much for her. He was charming and seductive. The old ones usually are. He also had mind control, and he used it on her – she stuck herself with a killing blow with her own stake. I found her a few minutes later,” she added bleakly.
There was five seconds of silence, and Buffy took a deep breath. “At that time, I didn’t know that I was going to change my identity. That came later. I thought her mother needed to know that her daughter was dead, so I went to her house to tell the woman. What I found was the woman having an orgy party. I don’t think she even knew if her impressionable daughter was in the house or not. And it being two in the morning, this mother should know. Watching her, I saw that she didn’t care. No one cared. Even her friends didn’t know she was missing. Everyone was involved in his or her so-called life. I wanted someone to care that this young lady’s life had meaning and that she died for a good cause.”
“Also during that time, Joyce and Hank were having problems in their marriage and they were going through a divorce. Partly it was because of me, so I had moved out. I had colored my hair blond, and from the back, I looked like Buffy Winters enough to be mistaken for her twin. I wanted revenge and Merrick provided that. He mistook me for Buffy, and I told him my name was Summers, not Winters. He trained what he thought was a young, raw slayer, but I didn’t tell him I wasn’t as inept as he thought. I was planning to tell him who I really was when he was killed by Lothos. I was beginning to care for him and now he too was dead by Lothos. It was now war. I hunted Lothos and his fledglings and killed them. At the time, I also had to start a fire in the gymnasium where several of the vampires went to get fresh meat. The school was having a spring fling,” she said with a wry grin.
“The divorce had taken a toll on Joyce, and she needed a break. A fresh start. And here I was, blond and with the name Buffy Summers. I wanted to get away as far from Los Angeles as I could. As I said earlier, maybe fate or happenstance allowed us to choose Sunnydale. Boca de infernio. The Hellmouth. Before I left, I had to threaten Hank into giving Joyce enough money so that she could open the gallery in Sunnydale. Then with his consent, I became creative in creating background info for Joycie and me.”
“Did the other Buffy’s mother find out that her daughter was dead?” asked General Hammond.
“No, but she filed a police report two weeks later when she finally noticed that the food in the fridge hadn’t been eaten.”
“What a selfish woman,” Jack said
“Yes,” Buffy nodded. “She was selfish.”
“What happened to her?”
“I kept track of her even after I moved to Sunnydale. One night coming out of the movies, stray bullets struck her down.”
“Correct me if I’m wrong but wouldn’t there have been another Slayer called when Buffy Winters died?” asked General Hammond thoughtfully.
“Yes, as matter of fact,” Buffy said with a bemused smile, “there was.”
“Who was it?” asked Jack. “And what happened to her?”
“As I stated, I don’t know if it was fate or what… but a couple of weeks after Buffy’s death, there was a new Slayer. And it was freaky the way she died.”
“What happen to her?” asked Hammond.
“Jasmine and her family were taking a tour of small town America when she became a Slayer. At the time, they chose the wrong place to visit, Sunnydale.”
In the meanwhile, I decided that since I was still living my life as Buffy Summers – a student, I would continue my life as the original Buffy would have. I went to school, cultivating friendships and trying to keep my head down. But fate is a funny thing. I didn’t know that, when I chose this town, it was the mouth to hell. Literally. My friends found out that I was a Vampire Slayer, and one fateful day, I had to go battle another master vampire. My friend Xander had followed me because there was a prophecy that stated that I was going to die. The Master was strong and I couldn’t fend him off, so he bit me and threw me into a pool of water. Xander, who didn’t know of my immortality, gave my CPR. But the prophecy wasn’t for me, it was for Jasmine. During that same time while I was technically dead, Jasmine was being killed outside The Bronze fighting for her life. Because of her death a new slayer was called, Kendra,” she said softly. “That’s how they’re two slayers.”
“How did you find out,” Hammond asked confused, “if you weren’t there?”
“Someone who keeps track of the slayers told me,” she admitted. “They were the one that told me that I was needed in Sunnydale.”
After a contemplative moment, Hammond asked again, “How about this murder charge?” He wanted to hear her view of things. In front of him, he had the Sunnydale homicide report; however, from what he now knew of Summers, nothing was as cut and dry as the report made it out to be.
Buffy’s eyes were bleak with pain. It wasn’t something she wanted to remember, but it was hard for her to forget when it was her fault.
Seeing the pain and helplessness in her eyes, Jack said softly, “What happened?”
Buffy sighed. “This is not pretty,” she said. “Remember when Xander said that I had slept with Angelus?”
Seeing a speculative look come over the General’s face, Buffy avoided his gaze. “Jack, this is kinda personal,” she muttered.
“How personal?” he asked, his eyes narrowed.
“Very,” she said, stealing a glance at his face.
Hammond cleared his throat. “I understand you don’t want to air your personal business, Ms Summers, but I guarantee it will stay between the three of us. Go ahead,” he said making a slight gesture.
Buffy took a deep breath. “Okay, what Xander told you about Angelus and me was true.”
“You told me that before,” his eyes following her intently. “Remember?”
She swallowed nervously. “I remember,” she said with a nod. “But that wasn’t the gist of it. When Angelus and I slept together, I didn’t know that the gypsies that had cursed him put a happiness clause in the curse.”
“What?!” he said, eying her in disbelief.
“A happiness clause,” she said bleakly. “When he felt truly happy, the curse was broken. He reverted to his demonic side. He became evil and cruel. He was an embodiment of all evil things. He was planning to suck the world into hell and I had to stop him.”
“How?” he asked softly, seeing that she was tormented by some inner pain.
“I had to kill him,” she said tears running down her face. “After you Jack, I never thought I would love anyone again. Being together working side by side, we became much closer, so naturally we decided to become lovers. I mean, it was the first time since you that…”
“Fifty years?” he said, blinking in shock.
“Fifty years,” she agreed with a solemn nod. “And the first time I decided to have sex, I let out a demon in our world, a demon so evil that the world almost ended.”
“Oh Bella, it’s not your fault,” Jack said rushing to comfort her. He gathered her into his arms swaying back and forth, making soothing noises.
Wiping her tears, Buffy shrugged out of his arms. “Of course it is my fault. Remember when I mentioned the other slayer? I didn’t tell you how she died. I killed her,” she said.
“What?” he said, looking askance at the General.
“Yes,” Buffy said with a mutinous nod. “I‘m guilty of killing her – if Angelus hadn’t followed me to Sunnydale, his Childer, Drusilla and her childe Spike, wouldn’t have followed him; and if I hadn’t slept with Angel bringing out the evilness in him, Drusilla wouldn’t have wanted to score brownie points with her beloved daddy by killing Kendra. So it was my fault,” she cried.
“Ms. Summers,” Hammond said gently, “correct me if I don’t understand. A woman by the name of Drusilla killed Kendra. So why were you blamed?”
“The principal of the school, a toad, named Snyder – he doesn’t like me, and I was seen on the premises shortly after she was killed.”
“It was a misunderstanding then,” he said satisfied that everything seemed clear.
“Yeah,” she said, nodding.
“What happened to these people you named?” he asked curiously.
“They’re not people; they’re vampires,” she admitted.
“You slept with a vampire, but-but,” Hammond said, shocked down to his very soul. “You are a Vampire Slayer. Isn’t it your job to kill them?”
“Don’t judge me,” she snapped.
“But-but,” he sputtered.
“General, please?” Jack said, his brow set in a straight line.
“Okay,” he said placatingly. “What happened to the vampires?” Vampires. Hell,
he thought shaking his heads in disbelief.
“As far as I have heard, Spike and Drusilla are in South America and Angel is still in Sunnydale,” she said.
“What?” Jack cried, his mouth dropping open. “I thought you said you had to kill him?”
She swallowed hard, lifted her chin, and boldly met his gaze. “I did," she said. “You would believe this,” she said with a laugh. But the laughter dwindled to silence when she noticed his serious mien.
“When the curse was lifted, Angel reverted into a crueler Angelus than the person we knew. I believed it at the time, and I still do believe it, that being trapped all these years with a soul caused him to be angry. He was trapped within himself. He couldn’t be free to follow his conscience, so when he got free, he made up for lost time. But his soul was restored to him by Willow, who has been dabbling in magic. But at the time, it was too late because Acathla had opened and only his blood could stop it from opening any further. However several months later, I found him; he was freed from his hell and returned back to Sunnydale.”
“How did that happen?” Jack asked. He wasn’t quite sure what he made of the story. A part of him wanted to comfort Buffy because of the pain she had went through. And the other wanted to curse her for sleeping with Angelus in the first place. Now, he remembered the tension between her and her friends. At first, he had chalked it up to them finding out about Buffy’s immortality, but now that he had thought about it, it was tension that probably lay over from the Angelus situation.
“I’m not sure,” Buffy said with a shrug. “Weird stuff seems to happen in Sunnydale.”
“So that’s how there are two Slayers.” Hammond said to himself with a nod and straightened his uniform. “Ms Summers, I didn’t just call you in here just to open old wounds. What I really wanted to know is can I trust you? The SGC stands for something and we… I wanted to know that the person I will be working with is trustworthy. Ms Summers, I am offering you a job at the SGC.”
“Why?” she asked with a puzzled frown.
“Bella!” Jack admonished.
She turned towards Jack. “I really want to know.”
“Because you are good at what you do, and after reading your file,” General Hammond said, “I noted that there was another Slayer in Sunnydale, isn’t there?”
“Faith,” she said her eyes narrowed warily.
“Faith Lehane,” he said, looking at his notes. “She doesn’t need you to be there, and if she does, you are only a phone call away. And I have the best resources of the United States Air Force at my disposal, so that you can reach them in time, if you so choose.”
“Yes,” she said cautiously.
“So, Bella, what do you think?” Jack asked eagerly. Maybe now Bella will stay in Colorado more than a couple of days
, he thought.
“About what?” she said with a hint of smile. Jack’s eagerness made him sound like a little boy.
“Bella,” he drawled.
“Okay,” she said placating him. “I‘ll take the job.”
“You will!” said Jack beaming, grabbing her to twirl her around the room.
“Welcome to the SGC,” said General Hammond walking around the desk to shake Buffy’s hand.
The door behind them opened and SG-1 and the civilian guests all trooped in. They were just in time to hear General Hammond’s announcement.
“What?!” cried Carter outraged. “What do you mean ‘welcome to the SGC’?”
“Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Summers has given us the honor of working for Stargate Command.”
“But General,” Carter protested. “The information in the files?”
“That has been taken care of,” General Hammond announced sharply.
“But,” she protested again.
The General gave Carter a look. “It has been taken care of, Major,” he said through gritted teeth.
Daniel eyed both the General and Carter speculatively.
“Yes sir,” she said quietly as she walked towards an empty chair. What’s going on here?
she thought bewilderedly. Did she put a spell on him or something?
eying Buffy with suspicion.
“Buffy, are you really going to stay here in Colorado?” asked Willow, worrying her bottom lip.
“Well, yes,” she said managing a tremulous smile. “I’m sorry you guys, but Sunnydale isn’t my home anymore.”
“But what about, you know,” she said, her eyes darting around the room.
Buffy sighed. “It’s Faith’s job now,” she said. “Faith and Angel can take care of everything. I have enough faith in Faith.”
“But…” Willow continued, looking for a plausible explanation for Buffy to stay. “What about Giles – he will be out of a job?”
“He is already out of a job,” Buffy said exasperated. “He was fired remember?”
“I wasn’t fired,” Giles said mildly. “I quit.”
“Fired, quit, same dif,” she said with a negligent shrug. “He’s out of a job.”
“Buffy, they are not the same,” Giles continued in his mild tone. “One is when you leave on your own accord and the other is when someone asks you to leave.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Can we talk about something different?” she fumed.
“Okay,” said the General. “Everyone, please sit down.” He waited until everyone was sitting. “I asked all of you here to find out more about the Ammut situation and how far you have reached in your research.”
“Not very far,” said Daniel. “But with a little more time and effort, we might be able to find this Ammut.”
“Okay, I will leave it to your guys,” Hammond announced. “After an extensive background check on you people, I am able to offer a couple more people jobs here at the SGC.”
“You had us investigated?”
“You had no right to invade our privacy.”
“How about it, Mr. Giles,” Hammond said ignoring the background noise.
“Me?” Giles said blinking with shock. He took off his glasses and started polishing them with his ever-ready handkerchief.
“Yes, you,” Hammond said with a brief grin. “As mentioned, you are out of work, and the information I have tells me that you are the type of person we need here at the SGC. So how about it?”
“Yes, Giles, you would be perfect for this job,” Buffy announced gleefully.
“I never thought to work for the military,” he said with a frown.
“Don’t think about us as the military, but think of us as working for a common cause,” announced Hammond.
“But-but,” he stammered. “My family has always worked for the Council,” he muttered. “I would be the one to break that tradition.”
“Tell the Council to take a flying leap,” Buffy snapped. “If they cared about you, they wouldn’t have fired you,” she said.
“I quit, remember,” he said.
“Whatever,” she drawled. “You always were a rebel, Ripper,” Buffy said.
“I heard that you are having a problem with your work visa,” said the General uncannily.
Giles’ eyes narrowed. “That’s blackmail,” he muttered.
“Did it work?” Hammond asked, eyebrows arched.
“Yes it did, damn it,” said Giles slamming his hands hard on the table.
“Well,” he said aloud. “Welcome me to SGC, with a couple of exceptions: I want to live off base and have my own life; however, I would be available to you for a specific sum for my expertise,” he announced in a ringing tone
“That would depend upon you being available whenever we needed you,” Hammond admitted with a frown, eying him thoughtfully.
“What are you thinking of doing?”
“I have always thought of opening my own occult shop,” said Giles, his eyes alight.
“Occult shop?” asked Carter, shocked that this intelligent man seemed crazy. “Why?”
“It has always been a dream of mind to own a shop.”
“Okay,” she said shrugging with a puzzled frown.
“Welcome to the SGC, Mr. Giles,” said General Hammond. I do hope the others won’t be this stubborn
, he thought. “Now, young Mr. Harris is thinking of joining the Air Force after High School, which will be in a couple of months, and has an eye towards the SGC.”
“Xander,” Willow squealed rushing to give him a hug. “Is this true?”
“It is,” he said quietly. “Someone told me I had to grow up. And I always thought the military would be the perfect place to do that.”
Hammond nodded. “The military will make a man out of you, yet. And you, Ms. Rosenberg, with some college courses under your belt, and with Mr. Osborne of course, you will also make a fine addition to the SGC.”
“I will?” she squeaked.
“You will,” he said firmly. “Major Carter has high hopes for the both of you.”
“You,” asked Willow, looking at the older woman in astonishment.
“I do,” Carter said, smiling a sickly sweet smile.
“Whatever Willow wants, I’ll do it,” said Oz at his loquacious best.
“Good,” Hammond said with nod. “Then that settles it,” he said, turning towards Adam. “How about you, Mr. Pierson?” asked Hammond.
“What is in it for me?” he asked, studying him with a curious intensity.
“How about you get to see the world and fight the Goa’uld,” he said.
“Well,” he said. “That’s good enough for me,” he said with a wink.
“Mr. MacLeod and Mr. Dawson, something tells me if I offered both of you a job, you would turn me down,” he said.
Joe and Mac looked at each as they both came to an internal decision.
“Yes,” they both said.
“There is too much I’m needed here for,” said Duncan.
“Same with me,” said Joe.
“Good, then I made the right decision. So let us get back to business. Dr. Jackson, tell us what you found.”
“I didn’t find much,” he admitted. “We,” he said encompassing everyone. “We did research and we couldn’t find Ammut’s point of entry into the country. If we weren’t talking about the Tok’ra, I would have said that they had made her up. Usually the Goa’uld aren’t that subtle, but this one is nowhere to be found.”
“Yes,” said Adam. “I did my best computer skills and I have found no place where the Goa’uld could be hanging.”
“Maybe we don’t need to find the Goa’uld, maybe we need to find Robert.” Buffy said worrying her bottom lip between her teeth.
“His Watcher!” Joe suddenly shouted.
“What?” said Daniel startled.
“His Watcher, of course,” Buffy said softly.
“Yes,” admitted Joe, looking around at the interested faces. “I own a bar in Seacouver, Washington, if you don’t know that already. But my other sideline job is to watch Immortals. We record and monitor their lives, not interfering in their battles. We must know where our charges are at all times.
“So, Buffy, Jack, where are your Immortal Watchers?” asked Xander.
“We don’t have any,” Buffy said. “And I’m going to keep it that way.” she said.
“Do you know how many Immortals there are?” Daniel asked.
“Hundreds, thousands,” Joe said with a negligent wave. “I’m not sure, but I can call The Watchers’ Society to find out who was Robert Gannon’s Watcher.”
“Good, then it’s a plan?” said Hammond with a dismissive air.
“Wait a minute!” Buffy shouted.
Everyone turned to look at her.
“Does that mean, what I think it means?” she asked.
“What Ms. Summers?” asked Hammond.
“Since I am now working for you guys, I can leave?” she said her eyes alight.
“Well,” General Hammond said with a slight hesitation.
“After I sign your thingy of course,” Buffy said, bouncing up and down in her chair.
“Of course,” he said with a sigh.
“Yeah!” she yelled. “Freedom.” She turned to Jack. “Does that offer still hold, you know the one about your second bedroom?”
“Sure,” he said, his gaze was a soft caress.
“What about us?” Willow asked with a frown. Buffy seems so happy to get away from us,
she thought looking at the happy couple. She seems as if she has forgotten about me. I am her best friend. Darn it.
“They probably gave away our rooms by now.”
“If such is the case, we do have plenty of room,” said General Hammond. “And we do have the resources here, so I do not mind you hanging around,” he said. “Dr. Jackson, we still need you to find where the Goa’uld is hiding and her point of entry into this world.”
“You don’t think she came through the second gate?” Daniel asked quietly.
“What?” said Jack. “You don’t mean the one we gave to the Russians?”
Teal’c raised his eyebrows inquiringly.
“I don’t think the Russians would be that careless. There must be another point of entry,” Hammond said firmly.
“What second gate?” asked Giles looking from one person to another.
There was a long silence, only to be broken by Daniel. “We have a second gate that we sold to the Russians,” he admitted sheepishly.
Buffy shook her head in disbelief. Then a memory flashed and startled her. “Uh.”
“What is it?” said Jack concerned.
“I just remembered something. After Ra vacated the earth, there weren’t just two Chappa’ai that were buried.”
“What?” said General Hammond. He closed his eyes in disbelief. It seemed as if he was getting one shock after another. Can my heart take it
, he wondered.
“Ra left a ship behind. It had a stargate, if someone knew of it and the coordinates, then they could theoretically enter earth.”
“Where is it?”
“How?” demanded the General through gritted teeth. “And why am I hearing this now,” he asked.
“A third gate?” said Carter astonished.
Jack closed his eyes. “The third gate was my responsibility,” he announced. “I buried it in the Amazon. During our retreat from the Goa’uld, we had a couple of options to not let anymore Goa’uld on earth. Adam was the one who buried the gate in the artic, and Isabella buried that one in the desert. We were all sure that no one could ever retrieve it. Our first choice wasn’t just to bury it but to destroy it. But the material it is made out of is practically undestroyable. The third gate was on a Tel’nak ship, and my task was to bury it as far from the others as soon as possible. Since the ship had an invisibility capability, I was able to guide the ship to the Amazon. During my journey there, it was rough, so rough that the ship crashed, but I managed to get away, thinking that the gate was destroyed”.
“Apparently not,” Adam said. “We can’t have you blaming yourself, Jack,” he said. “In hindsight, you should have made sure the ship and the gate were completely destroyed. We all knew that the materials the gates are made of are completely indestructible.”
“Yeah, Jack,” Buffy said commiserating with him. “You cannot blame yourself. Remember I was in charge of the gate in Giza and they found that. And Adam was in charge of the one in the Arctic.”
“I always wondered who buried the gates and why,” said Daniel thoughtfully.
“We didn’t want what happened before to happen again to innocent people. We buried them for our own good.”
“Alright,” said Hammond thoughtfully. “We have a location of where the last gate is supposed to be. And Mr. Dawson will check with his people and find this Robert Gannon. Now you have your assignments, people. You are all dismissed.”
“See you later.”
“General Hammond, may I have a word with you?” said Carter
“Of course Major,” he said with a sigh. She’s not going to let this go,
he thought. “Shut the door on your way out,” he said to the departing group.
“Sir, do you think it is wise having Ms. Summers working here?” She asked in a troubled voice.
“Major Carter, you and I have always had a good working relationship. And when I said let it go, I meant it. I do understand your feelings, but you also have to understand mine. I wouldn’t have asked her to join the SGC if she wasn’t capable. Plus the President wants her to. We don’t say no to the President of the United States. We will be court-martialed for treason if we do. If there is a problem between you and Summers, you have to work it out. Let it go.”
“I cannot have that level of animosity with this job,” he continued, “especially when we all have to work together.”
“It isn’t that I hate her, sir,” she said quietly. “Maybe of what she represents.”
“And what is that, Major?” he said cocking his head curiously.
“The end of a dream sir,” she said softly. “The end of a dream.”
Hammond closed his eyes briefly. “You have to dream a different dream,” he muttered softly. Pasting a bright smile on his face, he said, “I do understand dreams, but you have to work it out between you, the Colonel, and Summers – for all of your sakes.
“Yes sir,” she said quietly and walked to the door, closing it behind her.
General Hammond sat down heavily in his chair and blew a breath.