Title: Astrophysics for Dummies

Author: Jojo

E-mail: randomleaves@yahoo.co.uk

Rating: G

Category: Well, it's Sam/Jack but mainly humor.


Summary: Er, prepare for really long words...

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 is an original MGM, Greenburg/Anderson, Gekko, Top Secret, Kawoosh! production. Any material relating to Stargate SG-1 is for entertainment only, and is in no way meant as an infringement on copyrights. In other words, I own nadda.

Spoilers: Yes, another Allegiance episode addition. Sorry, the possibilities are seemingly endless...

Status: Complete

A/N: Much thanks to the betas of superb typo-spotting-skills, Emry and Mel, but also thanks to Mel's cousin, Joel, the future theoretical astrophysicist.




Still in full command mode, Jack didn't rest until both the Jaffa and the Tok'ra were settled in for the night. Jacob came along with him, using his influence as host to one of the oldest Tok'ra around to keep the Tok'ra happy. They decided to set up strategically posted guards in threes, one from each alien species just as a precaution. No one seemed to be grumbling any more - the threat of the Ashrak had been enough to unify the three species and people seemed to be getting on.

Jacob and Jack took a quick tour around the facilities, making sure the appropriate doors were locked, windows sealed and no one was wandering around out of bounds. Jacob mockingly admired the temporary buildings, Jack raised his eyebrows and pointedly looked at Jacob's clothes.

No more was said on the subject.

"Where's Sam, do you think?" Jacob asked.

"Probably in the tech room," Jack said with as much studied casualness as he could manage. Knowing his 2IC's whereabouts instinctively wasn't something he wanted to share with said 2IC's father. "If I know anything about Carter, she's got her nose buried in something technical."

Jacob grinned, walking side by side with his daughter's CO as they headed for the tech room. "She was just the same as a kid. Forever taking things apart. We had this clock on the mantelpiece that would never keep time properly. Every couple of weeks, Sam took it apart to try to work out why."

"And? Did she work it out?"

Jacob chuckled. "Turned out Mark had been doing exactly the same thing. Except he'd set the time wrong just to irritate her."

Jack laughed. He'd remember that one. Perhaps if he fixed Carter's clock so it ran fast then she'd actually go home early for a change.

Surprise, surprise, Carter was in the tech room and yes, her nose was buried in the innards of some big... gray.. blinky... wiry... *humming* thing. Should it be humming? Jack immediately wondered. Didn't that mean it was on? Should she be in there when it was on? Wasn't it like putting a fork in a toaster or something? Sara had always told him off for putting forks in the toaster.

He soon realized that the humming wasn't coming from the machine itself, but from whatever it was that Carter was holding in her hand. She drew out of the machine, totally unaware that both her father and her CO were watching her intently, and pressed a couple of buttons on the humming box, frowned. Then dove back into the machine.

Jacob leaned a little towards Jack. "What do you think she's doing?" he whispered.

Jack leaned a little towards Jacob. "Ninety-nine percent of the time I have no idea."

"Apparently being a theoretical astrophysicist means you're good with alien technology," Jacob said. "I'm not sure what that thing is though." He gestured in the general direction of Carter.

"The humming thing?"

"No, the thing she's in. The humming thing's a fault detector."

"So she's fixing the non-humming thing."

"That would be my guess."

They leaned back on their heels for a moment, watching her work. Jack loved to watch her work. It was probably the only time he could do so without getting caught out by her or anyone else. She got so absorbed that her usual soldier instincts were dulled to the point where Apophis could walk though the door (impossible, since he was dead, but then he'd been dead several times already) and she wouldn't even notice. So the fact that her CO was checking her out went completely unnoticed.

Probably not a good idea to do it in front of her father, though, but glancing over at him confirmed Jack's suspicions. Jacob was looking at his daughter with a decidedly proud paternal expression on his face.

Catching him, Jacob smiled. "She's great, isn't she?"

Ooh yeah.

Obviously, he wasn't going to say that one aloud. He settled for something a little more professional sounding. "She's an excellent 2IC, Jacob."

He nodded in a pleased fashion. This was the type of compliment he liked. "I knew she was going to be something special. My little girl could never be anything but miraculous. But this.."

Which brought Jack to a question he'd always wanted to ask. He'd looked up astrophysicist in the dictionary and it brought him no closer to the mystery that was his 2IC. "Ah.. Jacob?"


"What exactly *is* an astrophysicist?"

Jacob turned to look at him, brown eyes suddenly larger. He stared at Jack for a moment - and Jack was seriously worried he was about to get a telling off - and then suddenly grabbed him by the elbow and yanked him a few more meters away from Carter.

"Okay, here's what I know..."

"What *you know*? You don't know?"

"Not exactly..."

Jack grinned. "You don't know what your daughter does for a living?"

"I know what my daughter does for a living. She goes out and saves your ass on a regular basis," he said caustically.

Jack shifted slightly. Okay, he couldn't deny that but, still, it wasn't all Carter all the time. It wasn't like he and Teal'c, and Jonas, just stood around drinking coffee and chatting about world affairs. Sometimes it felt like that, but that wasn't the point. "Go on then."

"I had to learn this off by heart so don't interrupt..."

He opened his mouth to let loose on what was obviously a lecture-like spiel so Jack made sure he got in there first, his voice warm with considerable delight, "You had to learn it off by *heart*?"

"Yeah." Jacob narrowed his eyes at him threateningly. "What? I was a General in the USAF. I went to General-type affairs. People asked my what my daughter did and I had to learn something to tell them that made me sound vaguely intelligent, Jack."

Oh. Made sense. He couldn't count the number of times someone had asked just exactly what Carter was babbling about. Most people didn't view his 2IC's random spouts of seemingly incomprehensible information with the same amount of affection that Jack did. Most people, strangely, wanted to understand what she was talking about instead of just accepting it like he did.

"Okay, go on then."

"Right. I'll have to start from the beginning, so here goes." Then switching into a completely different, very 'chatty' tone, Jacob began, "My daughter? My daughter's an... stop laughing."

Jack was bent over at the waist, hands on his thighs. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, give me a moment."

"I told you I had to learn it off by heart."

He was shaking so bad he had to lower himself onto a conveniently placed table. "Jesus, Jake. That's... the funniest damn thing I've heard in *years*."

Jacob was looking pretty embarrassed. "Selmak thinks it's pretty funny too. I'm so thrilled you two have the same sense of humor."

Maybe he'd done that deliberately but the mention of the parasite currently residing at the back of Jacob's neck completely put a damper on any humor Jack was feeling. He cleared his throat and sat up straight. "Sorry, carry on."

"No more laughing."

"No more laughing." Jack nodded solemnly and resisted the urge to give him a salute.

"Right..." He mouthed quietly to himself for a moment, eyes closed and then suddenly came out with, "... which is the study of physical phenomena that occur in space and stars. There are many areas of astrophysics including astronomy, the study and mapping of star positions and how stars form, particle astrophysics, the study of fundamental and non-fundamental particles released by stars and other stellar phenomena." Jacob opened his eyes suddenly and studied him perceptively. "You've glazed over."

Jack blinked several times in rapid succession. "God, sorry, couldn't help it. I was totally with you until 'the study of' and then... straight over my head."

Jacob nodded understandingly. "Selmak's currently shielding every single piece of knowledge she has about the subject so I can't help you out."

"She can do that?"

"Only when it amuses her."

Jack nearly shuddered. "Funny."

"Real funny," Jake murmured dryly.

"So, um, what about the theoretical bit?"

Jacob sighed. "Oh yeah. Give me a moment. I have to run through all that last bit again. I can't just pick up from the middle."

Patiently, Jack waited while Jacob had an internal conversation with himself.

"... right, right, I'm there." He began his spiel again, "*Theoretical* means that it is the study or modeling of the physical event by application of logic, intuition, and mathematical argument. There are also other kinds, observational and experimental astrophysicists tend to look at things, analyze data and come up with what is happening out in space. Theorists come up with ideas of why and how it is happening, sometimes before it is seen, but usually after it happens. And, finally phenomenologists are a combination of the two, they form a theory and then go look for evidence to support or refute it."

"Pheno...?" Jack shook his head. Seriously - he was no wiser. "So what you're trying to tell me is that Carter's really *really* good at Math?"

Jacob paused. "I guess."

They both looked over at Carter, happily toying inside her machine with her humming device.

"She's great, isn't she?" Jacob said eventually.

"Oh yeah, great," Jack agreed.