Chapter 8: Forty minutes earlier.
Chapter 8 Forty minutes earlier.
Buffy watched Jack surreptitiously as he carted her down a long narrow hallway and shoved her into a small room with a table and one chair. A bare bulb illuminated the room.
“Hey!” Buffy protested, as she stumbled over the threshold. “Watch it!”
“What are you doing here?” O’Neill barked, inwardly wincing at his harsh tone.
“What you mean?” asked Buffy eying him warily. “I told you why we were here.”
“Yeah,” he said mockingly. “Because I opened the Stargate.”
“Why else would I be?” she asked defensively.
“I don’t know,” he said, running his hand through his salt and pepper hair. “I never knew what you are thinking. All the years I was married to you, I never knew.”
“Was?” Buffy scowled. “We still are. We never got around that annoying thing called a divorce,” she pointed out.
He sighed heavily. “I am sorry about that.” He cleared his throat. “Are you still with Angelus?” he asked.
“How many times do I have to tell you, I was never with him in the first place,” she snapped.
Jack gave her a look. “You could have fooled me, you ran so fast, you left skid marks when we had that fight.”
Buffy eyes widened incredulously. “Fight?” she said. “You kicked me to the curb.”
“I didn’t,” he protested, with a frown. “That’s not how I remember it.”
“Yes you did. How long have you known me?” she demanded sharply. “You know I don’t take ultimatums lightly. When you asked me to choose between you and Angel, there was no contest. Angel was my friend, but you were my husband, the love of my life. But you became all macho and intractable. So when you said go, I went.”
“I am sorry,” he said, with a wounded look in his eyes. “All this over a misunderstanding,” he moaned. “I never meant everything to go so far. We haven’t seen each other for over fifty years. I mean we had our ups and down, but we always made up.”
“Yes,” said Buffy, her voice hitched. She felt a sharp pain squeezing her heart at the missed opportunity. Maybe she was using the opening of the Chappa’ai as an excuse to see him. Fifty years was a long time, but so was four hundred.
“It was fun, wasn’t it?” he asked, his eyes gentle. “The making up part.”
“Yeah,” she said, smiling with remembrance.
He smiled wistfully. “But no matter how we wish it, time has past and we are not the same two people we once were.”
Her hazel eyes met his gray ones. “Yeah, you could say that again,” she said walking around the room.
“So what’s going on with you life,” he asked, his eyes noting the change time had brought.
“What do you want to know?” she asked as her fingers trailed lovingly up and down on the scarred table. She had to admit to herself that she still found him attractive.
“Why are you here with an unknown immortal, two watchers and three teenagers?” he asked abruptly.
She stiffened at the question. She took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. “Mac is Duncan MacLeod.”
“The Highlander?” he asked curiously.
“I see that you’ve heard of him,” she said wryly
“Everyone’s heard of MacLeod’s exploits. Leon, the lizard kept me up on what else happening in the world, for a fee of course.
“Of course,” Buffy drawled, thinking about the low-level demon, who would do the lowest task just for a scrap attention.
“So,” Jack muttered. “You were telling me about your entourage,” he said nonchalantly. He was eager to know about her and her life. He couldn’t believe all this time Leon knew where Bella was, and he never told him. Wait until he sees him.
“Why do you keep calling it my entourage?” Buffy demanded, hands on her hips. “You make it sound like a dirty word or something.”
Jack sighed loudly. “Look, Bella, I don’t want to fight with you.”
“Then don’t say things that make be mad,” she said.
“You’re always mad,” he muttered under his breath.
“See, that’s what I’m talking about,” she retorted. “Slayer hearing,” she snaps.
“Alright,” he said placating. “Well?”
It was her turn to sigh. “Watchers Joe Dawson, he’s Mac Watcher, and the other is Rupert Giles, a Slayer Watcher, not immortal. He didn’t know I was an immortal until I died in front of the newest Slayer, Faith, and Willow, that’s the red head in the room.”
“In front of them?” Jack asked, wincing in sympathy.
“Yes,” she said with a nod. “How do you know they are Watchers anyway?”
“Maybe I’m out of the game, but I could spot a Watcher a mile off. Damn. Who was it?”
“No one has taken his head as yet,” Jack asked incredulously.
“Apparently not,” she sarcastically. “I was about to do that, when Willow screamed. I allowed myself to be distracted and got a sword in my gut for it.”
“Are you okay?” he asked, clearing away the sudden lump in his throat. Although he knew that she was immortal and a Slayer, just thinking about her being hurt caused a funny feeling in the pit of his stomach.
“I am fine, healed and all that,” she said, showing a taut golden stomach, with only a minute trace of a scar. “See,” she said breathlessly, as his gaze traveled intimately over her body. Buffy’s pulse gave a little surge of lust and panic. Okay, there was no reason to get nervous just that he was looking at her as if he wanted her.
His clean, spicy scent assaulted her senses and her knees buckled. She wanted to cup his face. He looked different she thought. Old. She peered intently in his face. Was that makeup? she wondered. Jack was a handsome man in a craggy sort of way, his face bronze by wind and sun and the set of his chin suggested a stubborn streak, which Buffy could attest to. He had a commanding manner after spending years in the military, but right now, there was a restless energy about his movements as he prowled the room.
“Yeah I see,” Jack said in a warm voice, eying the golden expanse of her stomach. Without a thought, he walked over her to drop to his knees and started peppering butterfly kisses on her stomach. He didn’t know what about this woman drew him. For years, she could tie him up into knots. She wore her honey hair swept up so that it cascaded in waves from a clip, and although she was dressed causally in jeans and t-shirt, she looked lovely.
Buffy closed her eyes and drank in the comfort of his nearness. She cleared her throat, pretending not to be affected.
Jack moaned. He closed his eyes in despair. What I am doing? he asked himself and pull reluctantly away. “I am sorry,” he whispered breathlessly. “I don’t know what got over me,” he said.
“That okay,” said Buffy. Taking a deep, unsteady breath, she stepped back.
“So your friends saw you die,” he asked with a small clearing of his throat.
“Yeah, and they were with me when I woke up. At the time, I couldn’t hide that the fact I was immortal with they thinking I was some sort of demon, then I found out the Chappa’ai was open. I knew you probably had something to do with it. And my friend understandable doesn’t want to let me out of their sight and they wanted to come so here I am,” she said shrugging. She walked a short distance away. Distance, she thought. I need distance. She thought she had gotten over Jack, but that little incident showed her other wise.
“I sort of understood your reasoning,” Jack admits. “But I didn’t open the Stargate. We all agreed to bury it. I never wanted it to open again. As I explained earlier, Danny found a way to open it. I was there on that day. I went through to Abydos. I even brought a small bomb with me, to blow up the Stargate. While on Abydos, we found that Ra had fled there. He had enslaved the people, just as if he did on Earth. But I couldn’t leave them like that. I help brought about a rebellion and while Ra was fleeing I send the nuke right up his ass,” he said chuckling nastily.
“So Ra is really dead,” Buffy asked anxiously.
“Yes, deader than a doornail,” said Jack with a smirk. “But one thing we found out later, that there are more Goa’uld system lords out there to take his place. Like Aphosis, Sokar, and Hathor, just to name a few.”
“Yeah Hathor. She tried to implant me with a Goa’uld,” said Jack shuddering. Realistically he knew several thousands years had passed, but he remembered the feeling of the Goa’uld burrowing into his skin. Sometimes at night, he would wake up drenched in sweat from a nightmare.
“What!” Buffy said, her eyes flashed with fury. “That skanky ho. She always wanted you,” she growled.
“Well she’s dead now,” Jack soothed.
“Good!” she said.
“I’ll be the first to admit that re-opening the Stargate was a stupid idea. But since it was opened, we have been using it to fight the good fight. We travel to other worlds, making alliances and maybe some enemies. It’s good thing,” he said.
“That the first time I’ve heard you called me Buffy,” she said softly, wandering around the dismal room.
“Ah nah, I called you Buffy before,” Jack said wagging his finger at her.
“Yes, but you didn’t mean it,” she said with a sigh. “So this Stargate program you have is a good thing,” she said abruptly.
“Yes it is,” Jack said. He walked towards her and gently guided her into a chair. “Sit down Buffy, and let me tell about the SGC and what we have accomplished.
For the next twenty minutes, Jack preceded to tell Buffy about the Stargate program and the worlds he had been to as part of SG-1. He then concluded that Methos would have loved it.
“Yeah he would have,” Buffy acknowledged. “You know this entire situation reminds me of the story of Pandora’s Box.”
“About curiosity and opening something?” Jack asked frowning. “Yeah I know. I’ve heard several people liken the opening the Stargate program to that of Pandora’s Box. However, I truly believe that unlike Pandora we left more than hope in the box.”
“Do you think so?” asked Buffy skeptically
“I know so,” said Jack adamantly.
“Okay, I guess I have to believe you,” she said thoughtful. She then decided to turn the subject around. “Tell me about your team this SG1.”
Jack heart lightened. He loved to talk about his family. “Danny, Daniel Jackson is a linguist and he speaks several languages.”
“So do you,” Buffy said, with one eyebrow raised.
“Yeah, but that is his field, so I don’t show him up. I am just a dumb soldier who likes astrometry and science fiction movie and Beavis and Butthead and the Simpson’s,” he said mockingly.
“I guess at least one person has to watch it, to keep in on the air,” she said smirking.
“Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Simpson’s has a great writing staff and that Homer Simpson, he’s quiet the character,” Jack said in an amuse tone.
“I believe you,” Buffy said with placating gesture, interrupting what she was sure going to be a long-winded speech on the merits of cartoons.
"Ummh," Jack said, giving her a lopsided grin. “As I was saying, Danny speaks several languages and he also has a PhD in Egyptology, and Major Samantha Carter is a theoretical astrophysicist, and my second. And Murray is___”
"Jack who are you kidding?” said Buffy. “I could tell that ‘Murray’
was different from the moment he walked into the room.”
“Okay, Murray name is Teal’c. He’s a Jaffa.”
“A Jaffa. A Jaffa is genetically altered human who carries a larva Goa’uld in a pouch in their stomach, like a kangaroo. The Goa’uld bred Jaffa to be slaves. And recently there was rebellion on their home planet of Chulak, that’s was how Teal’c came to join SG-1.”
"Do you trust him?”
“With my life,” he said solemnly. “He’ll always have my six, especially in a fight."
"Good, if you trust him, then maybe I will trust him too.”
“We all have been together so long, that I trust them all with my life.
“That's how I felt about the Scooby Gang.”
“Willow, Xander, Oz and maybe Cordelia. Originally, it was Buffy and the slayettes, but Willow decided that we solve mysteries just like the Scoobies in that Saturday morning cartoon.”
“I watched that a time or two,” he admitted with a small grin.
Suddenly there was awkward silence between them. “So,” Buffy said, looking everywhere but him. “I guess we are caught up, with what’s everyone doing.”
“Not quite,” Jack said, shifting in his chair. “We talked about the job, but we never talked about your love life. How's your love life?”
“My love life?” Buffy questioned with a sputter. “How about yours? You think you were the only one getting info from Leon, the lizard. You got married!” she with an anguished wail.
Jack sighed. “It took thirty years before I got over being mad at you,” he admitted. “Then I starting dating, I would sleep with women left and right, but when I met Sara, she was a college student on break, and we started seeing each other. Then she found out she was pregnant. She thought it was mine, and I knew that I would never have any children, so I became husband and daddy in one fell swooped.”
“Did she know about your immortality?”
“No, I didn’t tell her. How can you tell someone that you marry in good faith, that they are going grow old, but you aren’t?”
“So if you hadn’t divorced, would you have told her?”
“Of course I would have, but I never got the chance, after Charlie died my marriage broke apart.”
“I am sorry about Charlie,” Buffy said gazing at him with sympathy.
“Thank you,” said Jack quietly. “For while it hurt, knowing it was my gun that killed my own child, it was hard. I wanted a getaway from everything. But during that time, I was called on the Stargate program because I had asked to go. I even quit the military but they kept recalling me.”
“Yeah, I did twice.”
“But here you are.”
“Mmm here I am,” Jack murmur. “So what about you?”
“Me,” she said surprise.
“I told you about Sara,” Jack said, his eyes narrowed in annoyance.
“What do you really wanted know?” Buffy smiled a wry smile. “Bet it’s about Angelus.”
“Yeah, you would have won that bet,” he said sardonically. “Well?” he said with an inpatient lift of his eyebrows.
Buffy grinned briefly, watching Jack squirm. She turned away from him and gave a deep sigh. “Angelus is a friend,” she said simply. “He will always be. He has been there for me in so many ways. When you and I were together, I honored our marriage vows. When we took others to our beds, it was always with each other’s consent. But I grew lonely and last year was the first and last time, I had been with Angel.” She didn’t want Jack to know about the curse, and how sleeping with Angel had caused him to almost suck the Earth into hell.
“Uh,” he said.
“You don’t believe me,” Buffy snapped, turning around in indignation.
“Of course I believe you,” he protested, holding his hands out placating.
“Okay, but one thing puzzles me,” Jack said frowning.
“One?” Buffy questioned, her eyes narrowed warily.
“Yeah. You said you kept in touch with Leon,” Jack asked.
“Yeah, what about it?” she asked puzzled.
“I’m just puzzled, that’s why. He told you about Sara, but he neglected to mention the Stargate program. We both know it was a secret, but he spilled the bean on everything else. Why not this?”
She shrugged. “What can you expect, he's a demon. Or maybe he has some integrity. But let me tell you this,” she said warningly. “I would have contacted you much earlier than this.”
“I wouldn’t have minded that,” he murmured.
“What?” Buffy asked, gazing at him intently.
“I said I don’t understand why you would bring Watchers and three un-armed teenagers to military facility,” Jack said loudly
“Because they wanted to come,” Buffy said sheepishly.
“You could have said no!” Jack snapped.
“I did,” she said sharply.
“You weren’t stern enough,” Jack admits.
“I guess I was being ruled by my heart not my head,” Buffy said with a sigh. “I felt guilty for not telling them sooner about my self. Then to die and awaken in their presences. Major guiltapalooza here. So to make it up I brought them here.”
“A military Installation,” he question wearily.
“Alright!” she cried, throwing up her hands. “What do you want to hear? That it was stupid idea? It was a stupid idea.”
“Yes! Jack said. “Not only did you comprise us, but also yourself.”
“Look I wasn’t thinking okay,” she said. In a defensive gesture, she folded her arms across her chest. “I was so angry that all thought just went out of my head.”
As Buffy and Jack entered Conference B, she overheard General Hammond speculating on how had she influences her Goa’uld.
“Because I was strong, physically and emotional,” said Buffy walking into the room, with Jack behind her.
Methos walked up Buffy and asked, “Are you okay?” he asked eying both of them.
She nodded, and he brought his arms around to give her a hug. she burrowed in his shoulders for a while inhaling deeply.
Jack eyes narrowed. Was something going on between Methos and Bella? he wondered.
General Hammond cleared his throat, and turned to Jack. “Colonel O’Neill let me guess this right,” he said, his tone coolly disapproving. “I have in this room, three immortals who survived the ocupation of Ra on earth by having their Goa’uld taken out, and one of them is my CO who’s been lying to me all these years.”
General Hammond put his hand in a stop gesture. “Then we have an entourage that consitists of four men and four teenagers who had the audacityto enter a secure facility to confront said CO.”
“I’m not a teenager,” Buffy said.
“Not now miss!” he snapped. “Whoever you are,” said the General Hammond flatly
“Well!” said Buffy taken aback.
“___Colonel, can I asked, how are we going to handle this?” he asked beligelently.
Jack opened his mouth .
“They can sign a nondisclosurestatements,” piped up Carter.
“This is a secure base Major,” said the General sharply. “You cannot let the genie out of the bottle and expect it go back in after tasting freedom.”
“Good analogy sir,” said Carter.
“Suck up,” muttered Jack.
“Did you say something Colonel,” barked the General.
“NOTHING SIR!,” he said, rolling his eyes.
“Colonel,” General Hammond warned. “Don’t try my patience.”
“Yes Sir,” Jack said with a mock salute.
“Pardon me General,” said Giles, ignoring the byplay between Jack and General Hammond. “I understand how to keep a secret. We all do. If we didn’t we wouldn’t be alive today. I can say for all of us that we are willing to sign whatever you want us to sign. We too have secrets. Secrets we don’t want the whole world to know about.”
General Hammond looked thoughtfully at the other man. Mr. Giles reminded him of Daniel, when he first join the SGC, minus the tweed of course. the absent way of talking as if his brain was working over time, the scholorly mein, the polishing of his glass. As the young man had said earlier mini Daniel. “Secrets? What kind of secrets ?”
Buffy sighed and sat down in a chair close to Giles. She needed the comfort and the familiarity of his scent right now.
“What do you know?” asked Jack. ‘What shall I tell him,” he wondered.’
“What more there is to know?” asked Sam, looking at Jack with unspoken pain in her eyes.
“How about Jack being Sean O’Neill,” said Buffy, as a mischievous look came into her eyes.
“Bella!” Jack protested.
There was loud thud, as Daniel slip off his chair.
“Are you okay Daniel Jackson?” asked Teal’c for the second time that day, as he helped Daniel to his chair.
Daniel sat in dazed, his hair mused and eyeglass askew. “I’m okay Teal’c,” he said, waving the other man away. Daniel looked at Jack, with a determined glint into his eyes. “You were Sean O’Neill?” he asked Jack with a disbilieving tone. For the others benefit he said. “Sean O’Neill was a hero of Ireland. When I was in high school, I had to write a book report on somebody famous, and all the good ideas were taken, and the teacher force the Sean O’Neill biography on me.”
“Thanks lot Danny,” Jack said with a frown.
”I didn’t mean it like that,” Daniel said, rolling his eyes in exasperation. “But you’ve got to admit, outside of Ireland no one has heard of Sean O’Neill,” he said. “But I was glad I did. Learning about Sean contributed to Ireland opened my eyes to many other possiblities.”
“I tried,” Jack said. He didn’t start out to make history. What he had tried to do was make his adopted family proud. There was a lot of of pain and sacfrice he had made for history’s sake. But lot people seemed to romantisize history, they forgot the pain and suffering one has go through to, to enable for one to live. The immortals know, he thought looking at each of them.
Teal’c sat in the room and watched and listened while the newcomers talked about a different O’Neill that each of them knew. When he had met O’Neill on Chulak, he knew that he was special. And this converstion confirmed it. “O’Neill what is an immortal?”
“Teal’c buddy,” Jack said sighing. “A immortal is a person that is long lived, never aging.
“So you guys could never died,” asked Carter fascinated.
“Yes we can died, if someone chops off our heads.
“Whoa!” said Daniel taken aback. “That’s barbaric.”
“Well someone has to survive the game,” Jack admits.
“Game?” said General Hammond curiously. “What game?”
“I will try to explain it to you,” said Jack. “Immortals are foundlings. We were born sterile, so I am unable to have children.”
“But Charlie,” Sam interrupt.
“That’s one the reason I married Sara,” Jack said quietly. “When I met Sara, while she was going to the local college and during our courtship she found out that she was pregnant. At first, she thought the baby was mine, but I knew I couldn’t have children. But I always wanted children and I needed to be a parent. You may think living such a long life is great.”
At this, Daniel nodded enthusiastically.
“Seeing history in the making, but it’s not. Being immortal is a curse, and a gift. We have to live; year-by-year watching our friends and love ones grew old, wandering from place to place, never putting done roots, because some one might discover who we really are. Constantly fighting the game. The game,” Jack said depreciating laughter. We have a motto: ‘There can be only One.’
Each immortal fight in the game, for a mythical ‘Prize.’
We don’t even know what this price is or even if does exits. But it is an instinct to fight other immortal until there can be only one.
Willow gasped and every one turned to look at her. She blushed, and hid her face for a few moments. Then she took a deep breath and said, “Are you saying, that only one of you can live?”
“Yeah,” said Adam, his eyes became flat and as unreadable as stone.
“How do you know, when its time to seek this prize,” asked Carter, her eyes shifted from one person to the other.
“Compulsion,” said Jack.
“Instinct,” said Buffy.
“We don’t know,” said MacLeod.
“This is what I believe,” said Adam with a sigh. “If there are two immortals left in the game, they will instinctually seek each out, making sure that only one will get the prize.”
Xander eyes narrowed speculatively on the immortals. “Which one of you,” he said with unwelcome frankness “Are you betting on?”
There was a heavy silence for a few minutes and the four immortal looked at each other and shrugged.
“I don’t think about it,” said Mac, with a vague hint of disapproval.
Buffy shot Xander a withering glance. “Neither do I,” she said. She was annoyed; it was not something she wanted to dwell on.
To change the subject, Giles asked something that had been puzzling him for a while. “Buffy I am wondering were in this game all this time,” he said, with a puzzled expression on his face.
“But I didn’t see any immortal,” he said.
“We are human Giles,” she said sardonically. “We are not going to look any different. However, with the Hellmouth and all I got a reprieve.”
“Hellmouth?” mouth Daniel, with a frown on his face. He made a mental note to bring it up another time.
“So,” said General Hammond, his hand steeple on the table, his eyes wondering from person to the other. “What I am going to do with you?”
Buffy stiffened and sat up straight as she felt the General gaze upon her. “Me,” she squealed. “You are not going to do anything with me,” she babbled. “I am nothing, a nobody. I know about you government types and your secret experiments on aliens.”
The General’s mouth dropped open in shock and Samantha Carter almost choked on her laughter. While Daniel turned purple with his own suppress laughter. Teal’c just sat stoic as always. He did not understand the laughter. He too had heard about the experimentation of alien by the Tau’ri. Didn’t they want to experiment on his Goa’uld larvae when he had first entered the SGC?
“What!” said Jack looking at Buffy in exasperation “What have you being reading?”
“Reading?” she questioned innocently, as a flash of humor crossed her face.
“I can’t believe you could equate Isabella and books,” teased Adam.
Ignoring Adam, Buffy said. “I watch television just like every one else.
The General harrumphed.
Giles rolled his eyes. “Do you see what I have to put up with?” he said to no one in particular.”
“The wife of the O’Neill is correct. Did not the government wanted to experiment on me, during my early days at the SGC?” asked Teal’c.
There was another awkward silence.
“See,” said Buffy, with a hidden grin.
“T buddy,” said Jack annoyed. “It was a one time thing. They didn’t know you as we know you. Did they ask to do that again?”
“No,” he admitted with an incline of his head.
“Ms?” said General Hammond. “What shall I call you?” he asked perplexed. If one O’Neill was bad enough, what will he do with two O’Neill? Oh God, it’s such an overwhelming thought.
Her amusement swiftly died, Buffy took a deep breath. “Call me Ms. Summers,” she said. “Buffy Summers.”
“Still a stupid name,” muttered Jack.
Buffy gave Jack an icy stare and turned to beam a bright smile at the General.
He sucked in his breath. She was a beautiful woman. She look so young, young enough to be one of his grand children, but if she had turn that same smile at unsuspecting men, imagine the things she could have gotten away with. “Oh dear lord,” muttered the General with a sigh. “Ms Summers, as I was saying, what is going to happen to your group? People just can’t barge into a secure military installation, without consequences.”
“Wait one minute!” said Giles staring to get angry. “We didn’t barge. We didn’t use force or coercion, we asked to be let in, and the young man at the gate did it.”
“Well yes,” said General Hammond, pinching the bridge of his nose. “That airman, will get a talking to.”
“Look,” said Buffy concerned. “I didn’t mean to get anyone in trouble.
“That’s okay Ms Summers. The airman is in the military, there are rules he must abide by, and he broke one them.
“But Hammy,” said Buffy with a pout.
“Hammy?” mouth Carter, looking at Daniel.
Daniel turned his face away, trying not to laugh
Jack closed his eyes in despair. Only Bella would have the audacity of calling a United States Air Force General, Hammy.
“Uhh,” said General Hammond, feeling an unwelcome flush on his face.
Suddenly the intercom squawked, "Attention all personnel, unauthorized, Stargate activation."
The General looked at SG1 and nodded. “Excuse me,” he said as he quickly exited the room, with SG1 behind him
“What the____?” said Xander, his mouth dropped open in shock.
“What’s going on here?” asked Joe Dawson, looking at the retreating group in bewilderment.
Inside The SGC gate room, the gate activated and a wormhole was being formed. Solders run towards the gate room, guns in hand.
In conference room B, Buffy was startled, just as like the rest of the group by the SGC personnel abrupt leave taking. Stargate, she thought. Did the voice say the Stargate was being open? The Stargate is another name for the Chappa’ai. She looked around at the people who had come to Colorado to support her. She hesitated briefly before following the other group out the door, with her own group hot on her heals.
In the control room, General Hammond barked, “Close the iris.”
“Closing the iris,” said a technician.
The Technician turned to General Hammond and the SGC personnel and said, “Receiving GDO transmission, sir. It’s the Tok’ra.”
“Open the iris,”” General Hammond said.
“Yes sir,” said the tech, breathing a sigh of relief.
Jack, Sam, Daniel and Teal’c were waiting at the bottom of the ramp as Jacob Carter and Anise walked through the Stargate.
“Dad,” said Carter walking to Jacob to give him a hug.
“Hey they Sam,” Jacob said. “How’s my girl?” smiling into her face.
“Great, “she said grinning, happily. She was always happy to see him. And if he brought a problem that need solving, that was all the better. Right now, she needs to get her mind on the job. She cannot get her mind on the fact that Jack was married and he had being lying to them all these years. Daniel seemed okay with the fact, especially since Jack was the embodiment of living History. She didn’t know what Teal’c thought, even all these years it is hard to read him, but one fact is the General is concerned about the situation. He‘s another person who liked to keep everything close to his vest. But you can see the indecision on his face about the civilian.
Especially since these civilians know about the Stargate, they might be a danger to the program. Nobody knows anything about them, and we can’t take Jack’s word at face value anymore. Didn’t he lie to them all these years? She looked into Jacob face, and thought, that he looked good. A couple years ago, he was dying of cancer, but the Tok’ra, who has symbiotic relationship with their hosts, unlike the Goa’uld, gave Jacob a chance at life, by blending him with a Tok’ra name Selmac. The funny thing was Selmac is a woman. Sometimes she wonders how her Dad feels having to take advice from a woman, even if that woman is parasitic. “But you could have warned us you were coming for a visit.”
“I didn’t know my self until couple of hours ago,” he said with as shrug. “It was a last minute decision.”
“Anise,” Sam said, acknowledging the other person who had accompanied her father.
Anise inclined her head. “It was because of me that Selmac is here,” she intoned.
“George,” Jacob said, grinned briefly and walked forward to greet General Hammond with Sam tucked under his arm. But he stopped abrupt. “George, I didn’t know that you guys are letting civilians have run of the place,” he said, one of his eyebrows rising in question.
“Civilian?” questioned General Hammond; turning around to see the people, he had left one level up in Conference room B behind him in the gate room. The gate room. Hell, he thought. What happened to the guards? He closed his eyes in disbelief and thumped his head on the nearest wall.
Jacob looked at his old friend in shock. “What’s going on here?” he asked in bewilderment.
Jack took one notice of General Hammond and rush to usher the other group away. “Bella,” he chides, irritated. “You shouldn’t be here.
“Yes,” confirmed Daniel rushing to help. “Let us find you a safe place to be.”
Xander gaze sympathetically at the General who continued to pound his head against the wall, and said what everyone was thinking. “Uh oh, I think we broke him.”
“Yeah,” said Daniel, looking at the General askance. “I think you right.” In all his years of working for the SGC, he’d never seen the General lose so much control, even with Jack shenanigans. And Jack could drive a saint to drink.
“Sir?” said Carter. “General Hammond,” she called cautiously, walking towards him. “Are you okay sir?” she asked again.
“George?” said Jacob, gaping in stunned silence. “Are you okay man?”
“Why me?” General Hammond moaned repeatedly. “Why me?”
“Sir,” said Carter, shocked. “I think you need some rest.”
“Yes in indeed General Hammond, I too, think you need to rest,” said Teal’c. He nodded to Sam, and they both escorted the General gently out of the gate room.
Jacob and Anise looked at each, both their face glazes with shock. “What’s going on here?” Jacob demanded. Lack of answers forced them to follow Carter, Teal’c.