STRANGE WEATHER WE’RE HAVING
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own the characters from either show and earn no profit in writing this.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a sequel to my story, ‘For Every Ending.’ I got requests for a follow up and this scene occurred to me. Others may follow but no promises.
While the matter that draws me to the Tau’ri’s alpha site is grave, I admit I am looking forward to again seeing O’Neill and the other members of SG1. I have been given to understand that other allies of Earth will also be in attendance, and I look forward to meeting them. The light associated with transport fades and a familiar, cheerful voice calls out.
“Thor! Buddy, how ya doin’?”
“I am well, O’Neill. It is good to see you again, and you as well Major Carter.” She smiles and makes polite inquiry as to my health as I glance around the chamber. It seems that I am among the last to arrive.
“Ah, where are my manners?” The Tau’ri penchant for rhetorical, sometimes absurd, questions is one of several traits that became a source of amusement for the Asgard, once we understood them. This is not something I have shared with my human friends. “This is Master Bratac of the Free Jaffa.” An elderly Jaffa with the mark of a First Prime of Apophis nodded respectfully. “And this is Jacob Carter. He’s host to Selmak, one of the Tok’ra.”
“A pleasure,” I assure them. The Asgard do not spend as long on pleasantries as do some races, and I have learned that we can seem aloof, even rude at times. There is little need for diplomacy this day, however, and O’Neill has little patience for it at the best of times. I know my next words will not be taken as rudeness. “If no one else is expected, perhaps we can proceed?”
“That’s everyone,” O’Neill confirms. “Okay campers! Follow me and we’ll get started.” He leads the way down a corridor, presumably toward a conference room. En route we pass several Jaffa engaged in assorted tasks.
“O’Neill,” Bratac asked, “who are these Jaffa?”
“Long story,” O’Neill’s tone indicates that it is a subject that troubles him for some reason. “You might say they’re on loan.”
“On loan?” Until this point, I had thought them to be members of the rebel Jaffa contingent. My friend’s words and tone suggest this is not the case.
“Like I said,” he answers with a sigh, “long-” A Tau’ri soldier rounds a bend in the corridor, moving with some haste and comes to a stop, saluting his superior.
“Sorry to interrupt sir. Message from the gate room.” They step apart a bit and the soldier speaks quietly to O’Neill. Asgard hearing is better than most would credit, and the airman’s words are as clear as they are confusing. “The goddess just arrived.”
I have come to recognize many human expressions during my dealings with the species and with SG1 especially. The look that appears on O’Neill’s face at these words is indicative of irritation. It passes after a moment. “Hurricane Fred.” The words come out as a sigh, and are doubtless too low for anyone else to discern. Hearing and understanding, however, are entirely different matters.
“’Hurricane Fred?’ I do not understand, O’Neill. My ship’s sensors detected no such weather patterns.” What this has to do with a purported deity is also beyond me. If the fact that I overheard the words surprises him, he does not show it.
“Not an actual hurricane, Thor.” Major Carter explains in a tone that indicated the subject made her uncomfortable. “Fred is…ah…”
“Part of the same long story as the Jaffa,” O’Neill supplies.
“Is this ‘goddess’ some go’auld you’ve made alliance with?” Bratac asks, sounding displeased despite what is, apparently, an effort at a neutral tone.
“No,” O’Neill makes his species’ gesture of negation. “That would almost be easier. The goddess is-”
“Here,” Major Carter interrupts quietly. Coming toward us is a female human, short by their standards, dressed in a civilian clothing and wearing the corrective eyewear they refer to as ‘glasses.’ O’Neill and Carter both tense at her approach. A simple visual appraisal of her reveals no cause for this unusual behavior, but humans are often odd in their reactions. I consider accessing my ship’s systems for a scan of the female but decide to wait and see if more information is forthcoming.
“Sam,” the female greets Major Carter in a flat uninflected voice. I note that she carries herself with unusual rigidity, back straight and head raised, “O’Neill.” She nods to him, almost as an afterthought. “It is good to see you again.”
“How’ve you been Fred?”
“Well. I have just come from destroying one of Ba’al’s outposts. I wished to pass on the details before -” her attention focuses on General Carter. “Why is this parasite allowed to roam free here?”
“Parasite?” General Carter’s tone indicates more surprise than anger. He is not dressed in a Tok’ra uniform. I surmise that Fred has Naquadah in her blood, allowing her to detect the presence of those with symbionts.
“This is my father, Jacob Carter,” Major Carter interrupts. “He is host to Selmak, a Tok’ra, not a Go’auld.”
“They’re allies,” Major Carter assures her. “They work against the System Lords just as we do.”
“A worm by any other name,” Fred’s tone is dismissive. “It can be easily removed from your parent if you wish.”
The suggestion is not well received by either General Carter or his daughter, but Major Carter conceals her evident alarm well. “That won’t be necessary. Dad chose to be a host. The Tok’ra don’t take unwilling people. That’s what separates them from the Go’auld.”
“As you wish.” The strange woman’s eyes then turn to me, and she tilts her head to one side in a gesture I interpreted as curiosity. “An Asgard.”
“Yes, this is… Wait, you know the Asgard?”
“I knew them when they were young,” Again, her tone is dismissive. “They were always a small gray people, even before their desire for immortality reduced them to this.” The statement is not, I perceive, intended as insult. My experience with aliens, especially the Go’auld, has taught me to judge such things. It seems that Fred does not have enough regard for those around her to believe us worth insulting.
I do not bother to respond to the statement, there seems little point, but General Carter has obviously grown angry. Before he can speak though, a shout from the far end of the corridor draws everyone’s attention. “Illyria! Time to go! Wes is expecting us.” Fred turns to glance at the newcomer and nods once before turning back to Major Carter.
“See that this gets to your superiors. I believe you will find it most interesting.” She passes over a Tau’ri recording device. Her form then shimmers and changes. The civilian clothing gives way to formfitting leather armor. Skin and hair acquire a peculiar blue pigmentation in places. With the change in her appearance comes a change in her manner. “Good to see ya again, Sam. Gotta go.” She has acquired a distinctive accent and speaks in a far warmer tone than she previously used. “See y’all later!” With that, she disappears. The blur in her wake suggests that she accelerated away from us, but I know of no technology that would allow a human to move in such a manner.
“What the hell was that?” Although I would not have phrased the question so, I share General Carter’s confusion regarding the person we have just met.
“That,” O’Neill answers, making a show of looking down at the time-keeping device on his wrist, “was hurricane Fred, and she just set a new record. Insulted everyone in sight in just under a minute.”