What the Hell was that?
Disclaimer: All characters copyright MGM or Joss Whedon/Twentieth Century Fox/Mutant Enemy. Only the plot is mine. This is a non-profit fan story not intended to infringe the rights of MGM, Showtime, Gekko or Double Secret productions. Nor those of Joss Whedon, Twentieth Century Fox, or Mutant Enemy. Besides I have no money, sueing me would be a waste of time. :)
A/N: Sequel to 'A Sarcophagus in Sunnydale'. I love Xander and Jack.
Xander Harris could not believe his luck. He’d left Sunnydale after graduation, Jack Kerouac under his arm…well, okay on the passenger’s seat, but who was counting. His graduation trip, his first and probably only chance to get completely away from the Hellmouth for three whole months, and what happens? He ends up sitting in what he can’t help but think of as the stockade of a military base in Colorado.
He’d been on the tour of NORAD at Cheyenne Mountain. It wasn’t much of a tour but, still it was home to NORAD and USSPACECOM, so he wasn’t complaining. He knew it was probably geeky as hell but he’d been enjoying it.
He’d been minding his own business, trying to catch up with the tour group after a bathroom break, when a freaky-looking bipedal demon had rushed him from an elevator. Having lived in Sunnydale for as long as he had, and having fought beside the Slayer for the last three years, instinct kicked in before thought and he took the thing to the ground, going down with it.
Next thing he knew the thing had thrown him headfirst into the wall. He managed to take most of the impact on his hands, but still got a pretty good bump on the head. By the time the demon had managed to get to its feet they were both surrounded by black-clad soldiers. The part of Xander’s mind that contained the memories of the Soldier he’d been the Halloween before last was already putting his hands up, having identified the men with guns as Special Forces.
The demon, obviously realizing it was surrounded, made an odd grunting sound and twisted something on its outfit. It took him only a fraction of a second to figure out that the flashing lights were bad and then, men-with-guns be damned, he’d been up and heading for the nearest cover, where the corridor turned a corner. He must have yelled something as he started to move since nobody had shot him and everyone else had dived for cover with him. He couldn’t actually remember that part.
All he remembered was pressing himself against the wall, around the corner from where he’d been thrown. There was a flash of light, the corridor shook, and he heard the telltale wet sounds that marked flesh hitting the wall at high speeds. His last clear memory was of turning to the soldier next to him and asking, “What the hell
In retrospect he thought that last had probably been a mistake. After a quick discussion they’d hauled him through what was left of the thing, loaded him into the elevator, and headed what had felt like miles straight down. All of it was one big blur and he was sure he was missing time.
He’d woken up in this cell, though it was more like he’d pictured solitary confinement to be: reinforced metal door with a slot for a food tray and unresponsive guards outside. After trying to talk them into letting him out and not even getting a twitch, he’d lain down on the bed and begun thinking.
He’d accessed his SoldierBoy memories, trying not to think of the last time he’d had to, and begun sorting through what he could get out of them. He wanted to know what to expect in the near future and what responses were likely to get him out of here the fastest. It was a given that they’d question him. He decided to stick as closely to the truth as possible; only replace demon with guy in a weird mask, probably on PCP. It worked in Sunnydale after all. Xander only hoped it would work as well on these guys.
“…I think he was on PCP or something ‘cause he was pretty strong, you know?”
“You didn’t think there was anything funny about him besides how strong he was?” the uniformed man asked.
“I…I don’t remember anything much except that,” Xander admitted. “I think I hit my head, most of the before and after is a big blur…”
Colonel Jack O’Neill, USAF, leaned against the wall and grinned as he watched Major Davis questioning the teenager who’d been caught in the tail end of their foothold situation. He couldn’t help his expression, though it was getting him funny looks from Sam Carter, his 2IC, and General Hammond, his commanding officer. They were watching the interrogation from the observation room behind the two-way mirror. The kid’s a pro
, the colonel thought with an internal chuckle. The Harris boy was lying through his teeth and Jack was watching everyone but himself buy it. It was a good excuse, hiding behind his head injury like that. Doctor Fraser had done a thorough medical examination of the teen before allowing him to be questioned. His MRI had been clean but she had indicated that Harris had a mild concussion. Enough of one, Jack was betting, that he’d have gotten away with claiming memory loss.
Except that Jack O’Neill knew this particular teenager and had seen the kid shake off being thrown into a wall, get up, and charge back into a fight. Then he’d walked home, on point guard for the group, and secured the house before sitting down and allowing his wounds to be treated. And his friends had seemed equally as tough, reacting to a surprise attack like it was nothing and taking damage of their own in the fight. He was tempted to let Harris get away with it but…he really, really wanted to try to recruit the kid. Especially since it might just bring his friends into the fold as well. They way they operated, they’d have the Goa’uld running in fear in no time. And they’d give Hammond and the Pentagon someone other than SG-1 to complain about. Jack couldn’t just let the opportunity pass him by.
“Colonel O’Neill,” General Hammond interrupted Jack’s thoughts. “Care to tell me what is so funny about this situation?”
“Just thinking happy thoughts, sir,” Jack replied.
“Colonel…” Hammond warned.
“It’s something I think Major Davis should hear as well, sir,” Jack said. “Recommend we wait for him to join us back here. He’s nearly finished anyway.”
George Hammond considered the man in front of him for a moment, then nodded briefly. Beyond the general, Major Samantha Carter had raised her eyebrows at him. He shrugged a wait-and-see and she subsided.
“Sir, recommend we let this kid go,” Major Paul Davis said as he entered the observation room. “He doesn’t remember much and what he does remember he’s managed to justify to himself with a set of perfectly plausible explanations.”
Jack snorted and tried to cover it with a cough. Hammond and Davis both glared at him.
“I would normally agree, Major,” Hammond said. “But Colonel O’Neill claims to have some information to share.”
Carter, Davis and Hammond all turned to Jack for his explanation.
“Normally, I’d agree with you too, Major," the colonel began, "But I’ve met this kid before. He was instrumental in acquiring that sarcophagus Daniel and I brought in last year.”
“The one we still haven’t cracked?” Davis asked. Jack nodded.
“What does that have to do with this, Colonel?” Hammond asked.
“I’ve seen Harris fight, sir,” Jack said. “Being thrown into a wall, concussion or not, isn’t going to wipe his memory.”
“It’s not necessarily the concussion causing it,” Davis said. “People often blank out events that are too traumatic for their conscious minds to deal with. Meeting your first alien, and it throwing you into a wall and then blowing itself up would qualify, I’d think.”
Jack shook his head. “Trust me,” he said. “That kid knows that something less than human attacked him today, he’s not the type to block the bad memories. He’s dealt with worse since he was sixteen, possibly before.”
“Colonel?” Hammond said inquiringly.
“Remember that place that Daniel and I weren’t when we got that sarcophagus?” Jack asked. The general nodded warily.
“Well, that place is the center of weird and dangerous. I’d go into more detail if I thought you’d believe me but, trust me on this one, Harris knows more than he’s telling.”
“If he’s not telling us,” Carter pointed out logically, “he’s probably not going to go around telling anybody else.”
“I don’t think he will,” Jack agreed.
“They why are we still holding him?” Hammond asked.
“I’d like to recruit him, sir.”
---They’d bought it
, Xander thought triumphantly. Hook, line and sinker, that Major Davis guy had bought his concussion story. No need to mention seeing anything out of the ordinary, just claim everything’s a blur.
He was sitting, relaxed, in his chair in the room they’d brought him to be ‘interviewed’ in, and had an insane urge to tilt the chair back on two legs and whistle a jaunty tune. He was already planning where he’d go from here. He’d reached the conclusion that ‘as far from Colorado as possible’ was probably the best idea when the door opened again. He groaned internally because the man that stepped through it was familiar.
“Harris,” the older man said cheerfully. “Fancy meeting you here.”
“Do I know you?” Xander tried, looking blankly at the guy. An ironic look was the only response.
“Drop the act, Harris,” Jack O’Neill advised. “I already told them you were lying.”
“Now why’d you go and do that for?” Xander asked, disappointed. “They were buying it.”
“Alas,” O’Neill said without much sympathy. “Now they don’t.”
Xander sighed. “You know I’m not about to go around telling everyone.”
“I do,” O’Neill acknowledged. “And so does my commanding officer and everyone else involved. And you are free to go, after you sign a non-disclosure agreement.”
Xander shot to his feet, already heading to the door. Halfway there he stopped as it hit him, if they were really just letting him go it would have been Davis telling him that and waving the form under his nose. Jack O’Neill wouldn’t have been involved.
“But…?” the young man prompted, turning on his heel to face the colonel.
“But, since you’re here and all,” O’Neill said with a grin. “I thought I’d offer you a job.”
“Does it have to do with the self-destructing demons running around attacking the tourists?” Xander asked dryly.