Disclaimer: I do not own either BtVS or Stargate: SG-1
BtVS: Post ‘Chosen’
Stargate: Early season two
This story is a stand alone story and is not connected to any of my other fics.
Colonel Jack O’Neill was simultaneously bored, tired and frustrated.
A month a half ago his team had thwarted a Goa’uld invasion and saved Earth. They had proven beyond all doubt the value of the Stargate and the SGC. That should have been a good thing. But, as Jack O’Neill knew from long experience, with every good thing comes some bad stuff.
With the Goa’uld threat firmly established the SGC was undergoing a serious growth spurt. That meant new recruits. Which meant interviewing and evaluating those new recruits. And since Colonel O’Neill was General Hammond’s 2IC and in charge of the off world teams, he got the pleasure of interviewing all the potential field personnel.
So here he was, stuck in some temporary office at the Air Force Academy because half these guys hadn’t been cleared to enter the SGC yet.
So far he had been dealing with the normal assortment of Special Forces types. Good men for the most part. The trouble was in finding those people who could deal with the unexpected and frankly bizarre stuff that was the norm for missions through the Gate.
His job was being made tougher because Hammond wanted to establish another first contact team to take some of the pressure off SG-1. Finding a team leader was proving a difficult task.
O’Neill pulled out the folder for his last interview of the day. A Major Riley Finn. When he opened the file to review it he saw a Post-it note stuck to the first page. He recognized the hand writing, it was from Hammond. It said simply:
“I know this man. He’s good. I want him.”
O’Neill blinked. Who ever this Finn guy was, he’d already impressed Hammond. That told O’Neill almost everything he needed to know. There was another surprise. Finn had already been cleared and fully briefed on the SGC.
In fact, he specifically requested to be assigned to the SGC.
O’Neill began scanning the file.
Finn was picked straight out of basic for a posting to a classified DARPA research project. A couple of months later he was selected for Ranger School. That was odd. The Rangers rarely took in anyone who didn’t have at least five years under their belt and had already proven their commitment to the military.
He finished top of his class and was promoted to 1st Lt after Ranger School and assigned to black ops. Seriously black ops given the redacted file. There was nothing about his posting, assignments, anything for nearly a ten month period. The only notation in the file was that he was promoted to Captain four months into the assignment. Fast track was one thing but making Captain barely two years out of basic was something else entirely.
He took a six month leave and then returned to active duty. He stayed with Special Forces. The file was still heavily redacted. But a lot less so than the previous ten months. O’Neill figured it probably looked a lot like his file did to someone not cleared to know mission details. Of course a person in the know could gleam a lot from what was there and what was left out.
Finn had a slew of decorations including three purple hearts, citations for bravery, meritorious service awards and others. Not as many as O’Neill, of course, but an impressive figure, especially given Finn’s age.
O’Neill spent another few minutes reviewing the file. He raised his eyebrow a few times at a couple of the more interesting details. Before long there was a knock on the door and Major Finn entered.
O’Neill’s first impression of Major Finn was ‘Iowa Farm Boy.’ That was quickly undercut by two things. One the ugly scar across the side of his face and the eyes. Those were the eyes of a combat veteran.
“Take a seat Major,” O’Neill motioned to the chair in front of the desk. Finn calmly took the offered seat.
“Major Finn, this interview is mostly a formality,” O’Neill said. “It says here you’ve already been fully briefed on the SGC.”
“Yes Sir,” Finn answered. “General Hammond briefed my unit on the Stargate just after the program was activated. He also wanted to recruit me for the SGC. At the time I didn’t want to leave my team.”
“You’ve known Hammond for a while?”
“I met him about two years ago when he spent a month reviewing my unit’s operations.”
That would have been right before Hammond was assigned to watch over the mothballed Stargate, O’Neill thought.
“Why was your unit briefed on the Stargate?” O’Neill asked.
“That’s classified Sir,” Finn answered. He seemed to think for second, “Maybe somebody thought there was overlap.”
“We’ve since determined there is none,” Finn said. “Just covering all the bases.”
“Why would anybody think your unit’s activity overlapped with the Stargate?”
“Again Sir, that’s classified,” Finn answered.
O’Neill nodded. He really wanted to know what the kid’s unit had been doing over the last three years. From what little he was cleared to see O’Neill knew they were among the most active special ops teams he had ever seen. They were on near constant deployment. Whatever they did must have been highly specialized because it was clear they were called in to locations where O’Neill knew there were other teams available that could have responded faster.
“So why are you leaving your team now?”
“Most of its classified Sir,” Finn answered. “The short story is things changed a few months back. There’s a new group far better able to deal with the threat we were assigned to handle. We were starting to get in the way so the brass wisely decided to stand down our unit. I was offered a liaison position but turned it down. I can do more good in the field than at a desk. Since I already knew about the SGC I figured this would be a good fit for me.”
That was a sentiment O’Neill understood quite well.
O’Neill glimpsed down at the file again. “It says here you took a six month leave about three years ago.”
“Yes Sir,” Finn answered.
“Can you tell me why?”
“Personal reasons Sir,” came the reply.
Bull, thought O’Neil. Finn took his ‘leave’ ten months after leaving Ranger School. A little over six months after making captain. The period when his file was a virtual blank.
O’Neill shook his head. He knew bureaucratic slight of hand when he saw it. No way in hell Finn got six months leave after such a short time. Something happened during those missing ten months and the kid quit. After a few months somebody convinced him to come back and his time away was reclassed as ‘leave.’
“Why’d you quit?” O’Neill asked.
“I took leave Sir,” Finn answered.
“Don’t lie to me kid,” O’Neill snapped. “Why did you quit?”
Finn paused and looked away for a second.
“It’s classified Sir.”
“For crying out loud, don’t give me that classified crap,” O’Neill said. “Tell me why.”
Finn took a breath and looked O’Neill straight in the eye. “Mission went south. Our CO overstepped her authority and got a lot of people, including herself, killed as a result.”
O’Neill nodded. He had been enough missions like that. “Why’d you come back?”
“Job still needed to be done Sir,” Finn answered. “And, honestly, civilian life wasn’t working out for me. Besides I still had friends on the team.”
O’Neill heard it in the voice. Those weren’t just ‘friends’ they were family. Finn wasn’t the type to leave family behind or without backup if he could do something about it. Good.
“According to your file you married a civilian consultant assigned to your unit about six months after coming back,” O’Neill noted.
“Sam,” Finn said with a nod and a smile. “She’s still works as a civilian specialist with the DOD. Assuming I get this position she’ll be based out of Colorado. She’ll be doing quite a bit of traveling, mostly to England.”
“What’s her specialty?”
“That’s classified Sir,” Finn answered. “All I can say is that she’s acting in a liaison position with our allies.”
“You’ve gotten around quite a bit,” O’Neill noted. Which was an understatement. Even by Special Forces standards Finn’s unit racked up serious frequent flyer miles (nothing compared to SG-1 of course). The portion of the file O’Neill was cleared to see showed the kid as having been in at least 57 different countries and on every continent including Antarctica. Why the hell would a Special Forces team need to go to Antarctica?
Whatever happened down there impressed somebody because it was right after that mission he received his promotion to major.
“My unit went where we were needed Sir,” Finn replied.
O’Neill pursed his lips. The kid was good at keeping his mouth shut. O’Neill gave him points for that. Time to switch tactics, he thought
“Tell me, do you think you can handle Gate travel?”
“I’m use to weird Sir,” Finn answered. “The idea that aliens are out there doesn’t faze me if that’s what you’re worried about.”
‘Overlap,’ ‘Use to weird.’ O’Neill made a mental note to get Hammond to clear him to see Finn’s complete file.
“Pretty confident there kid,” O’Neill said.
Finn shrugged. “I’ve been in some odd situations over that last few years. I’m pretty sure I can be trusted not to freeze up the first time I see a real alien.”
“What kind of odd situations?” O’Neill asked.
“That’s classified Sir,” Finn replied.
“Anything to do with ‘overlap?’”
Finn shrugged. “Like I said Sir, it’s classified.”
Maybe he could throw the kid off a bit, O’Neill thought.
“You know the Goa’uld don’t just kill you,” O’Neill said. “If they get the chance they’ll bore in and take over your body.”
“Do they have fangs?” Finn asked.
Fangs? Where the hell did that question come from?
“No,” O’Neill answered.
“Then it should be a nice change of pace,” Finn said.
O’Neill flipped to another page in the file in front of him. “You’re a qualified hand-to-hand instructor.”
“Your file says you’re an expert with everything from a nine mil Berretta to Javelin anti-tank missiles. You’re also listed as proficient with crossbows, swords, axes, maces and a number of other hand held weapons?”
“Guy never knows what might come in handy Sir. Besides, as I understand it a lot of the planets you visit are fairly primitive. I would assume familiarity with period weapons would be a plus.”
“Only had to use it once in combat Sir,” Finn said. “That was a slightly weirder day than normal.”
“You used a mace in combat?” the sarcasm dripped from O’Neill’s words.
“Nearest weapon at hand,” Finn answered with complete seriousness. “My sword got stuck in a De … in another bad guy’s chest.”
“You were using a sword?”
“Like I said Sir, it was a weird day,” Finn said. “My gun was useless there was a sword on the wall, I used it. When I lost that I grabbed a mace. Managed to hold the bad guys off long enough for my 2IC to get there with the flame thrower.”
“Flame thrower?” This was starting to get a bit ridiculous, thought O’Neill.
“It worked,” Finn said.
“The Jaffa will be shooting at you with lasers and stuff,” O’Neill noted.
“Do any of them shoot paralyzing snot out their noses?”
“Do any of them shoot paralyzing snot out their noses?” Finn repeated.
“What the hell are you talking about?” O’Neill demanded.
“Classified Sir,” Finn replied. “Told you I was use to weird.”
“’Paralyzing snot’ is classified?”
“Yes Sir,” Finn replied. “My apologies for the slip.”
“Don’t mention it,” O’Neill said
There wasn’t any sign the kid was joking with him. His face and voice were dead on serious. And yet he was talking about using a mace in combat and ‘paralyzing snot.’ Was Hammond trying to put one over on him?
“And you expect me to believe this?” O’Neill asked.
“No Sir, I don’t,” Finn replied. “Most of the stuff I’ve done over the last four years you wouldn’t believe. Just like I suspect most of the stuff you’ve done with the SGC would be hard to believe.”
Ok, score one for the kid, O’Neill thought.
Finn seemed to notice that he got something and gave the Colonel a half smile.
Might as well press on, O’Neill thought. “Says here you familiar with Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, Ancient Greek, Sumerian and Mayan?”
“To be honest my Sumerian isn’t very good,” Finn said. “I’ve also picked up a little Arabic along the way along with a couple of other dead languages. I can read, not speak the languages. And I’m not fluent or anything. But I’ve gotten good at spotting warnings or curses.”
O’Neill raised an eyebrow at the comment. “And how did you come by that skill?”
“I picked a lot of it up during my … ‘leave’ Sir,” Finn replied. “I knew some people very familiar with ancient languages. My previous assignment allowed me to expand my skills.”
That left O’Neill puzzled. Other than the SGC he had no idea why any military program would require knowledge of ancient languages. Although he had to admit it would be a very handy talent to have off world.
“How good are you with Egyptian?” O’Neill asked.
“Not very good Sir,” Finn replied. “Like I said, I can usually spot warning signs or curses. But beyond that I need to rely on the experts.”
“You said your previous assignment needed knowledge of ancient languages,” O’Neill said. “Why would a Special Ops team need knowledge of ancient languages.”
“That’s classified Sir,” Finn answered.
Expert with hand held weapons, familiar with ancient languages, what the hell has this kid been doing for the last four years?
Jack O’Neill knew he wasn’t the smartest guy on the planet (between them Carter and Daniel probably took up at least five or six of the top ten slots). Hell he probably wasn’t even in the top million.
But he did have a very good BS detector. He always had a knack for knowing when someone, be it human or alien, was feeding him a line or holding something back. That talent had saved his life more than once over the years. He learned to rely on it. It’s what told him he could trust Teal'c.
The thing was his BS detector wasn’t going off. He knew it should be with what this kid was talking about. But that little instinctive part of himself that told O’Neill who to trust and who to walk away from was saying Finn was on the level.
“Assessment Colonel,” Hammond ordered.
“Reynolds and Baker should make good team leaders Sir,” O’Neill replied. “At least six others should be able to hack it.”
“And Major Finn?”
“Are you pulling my leg with him Sir?” O’Neill asked.
“No son I’m not,” Hammond answered.
“Then assuming his file isn’t complete bull?” O’Neill said. The General gave him a look that said he knew it wasn’t. “I say we give him command of SG-5.”
“The new first contact team.”
“Yes Sir,” O’Neill said.
“I was hopping you would say that Colonel,” Hammond said.
“Sir, his file doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” O’Neill noted. “And he did bring up ‘paralyzing snot’ during the interview.”
Hammond seemed to lose himself in thought for a second. “Faryls, I almost forgot about that briefing.”
“It’s classified son,” Hammond replied.
“You mean he was serious?”
Hammond paused. “Let’s just say that the month I spent reviewing his team’s operations prepared me for all the trouble you and the rest of SG-1 have put me through over the past year. Call the Major and tell him he’s got a job.”
A/N: I don’t know if there’s going to be a sequel to this or not. It’s just that this idea of Jack interviewing Riley for a job has been sitting in my head not letting anything else through for a couple of weeks now. So I had to write it out.