"I'm sure you have many questions right now.
"I'm afraid I can only answer a few of them. It's only because of these extenuating circumstances that the President has made an exception to allow you here at all, especially at this time as our country recovers from the multiple disasters that have hit it. It's a miracle in itself that the loss of life is so low." So low, that no death was a direct result of any of the disasters. Except for perhaps two.
General Hammond sighed, and turned to face the occupants within the briefing room. Pete Thornton, still an integral part of the Phoenix Foundation, even blind, sat in the first chair. General Hammond had had the pleasure of meeting the man a very long time ago, and had been pleased to find that Thornton had also remembered him. The two next to him, Captain Kate Murphy, and Detective Tim Riley, were people the General had only just met, but Major Carter's recommendation had gone very high, especially in regards to the events now one month prior.
The trio had just discovered the truth about aliens, and the potential threat they posed to Earth. After which had followed a brief recount of the events surrounding Akh, along with Colonel O'Neill and MacGyver's involvement. By mutual recommendation by those who knew the full extent of the Colonel's and MacGyver's true relationship, the President had decided to have that information sealed, and in turn blamed the peculiar events on Akh, and Gent's alien device. As far as the public was concerned, the reason for the near apocalypse would always be a mystery, and as far as any bureaucrat knew, MacGyver and O'Neill had saved the Earth by taking the device with them through the stargate. Few would ever know the full truth.
"Where is Mac and Colonel O'Neill, now?" Captain Murphy dared to ask after a few minutes of silence had gone by.
Hammond sighed. "We uncovered the gate address of the planet they went to, but the gate can no longer establish contact. Some…friends…we have, reported signs of a nova in that area. I'm afraid they are presumed dead."
Again silence dominated the room. Pete Thornton softly repeating with disbelief, "Dead? Mac?"
Yet before Hammond could say anything, the door opened and MacGyver's son, Sean Malloy had come in, followed closely by Jack Dalton. The two had refused to leave all month, helping greatly in the efforts to stabilize and rebuild the mountain. And while protocol had bade Hammond to keep them out, heart said otherwise, and they had needed as much help as possible. The rest of SG1 had been just as adamant to keep the two there. But then, SG1 hadn't given up hope of Jack's return, even after the Tok'ra had informed them of the destruction of the solar system Jack and MacGyver had gated to.
"Pete!" Malloy cried out as soon as he saw the aging blind man. "Someone said you'd arrived."
Thornton jerked around in his chair towards the man's voice. "Sam?" In the next instant they were embracing each other in a tight hug. "Is it true? About Mac? Is he really gone?" Thornton asked the brown haired man.
"It looks that way," Malloy replied, his voice suddenly thick with emotion. Diverting his eyes, he smiled at Murphy. "Captain Murphy, it's good to see you again."
"You, too, Sam. You've grown," Murphy replied with a smile, but it was obvious she was still in as much shock as Thornton over the news of the loss of their friend.
Hammond cleared his throat, telling them, "I'll give you a few minutes before we continue." With that he stepped outside, but to his surprise, Detective Riley followed him out. Hammond just raised his eyebrows in question.
"May I see Murray and Major Carter, sir?"
It seemed like an odd request to the General, but considering the 'unabridged' report SG1 had made, perhaps not. After a moment to decide, he nodded, replying, "Follow me," before heading for the Control Room. A place he hadn't planed to take the group till they were ready to see the gate itself, but that was where Major Carter would most likely be. While all of SG1 was still technically on medical leave, not one of them had left the mountain, nor had they stayed in the relocated infirmary longer than three days.
The mountain had needed a lot of repairs. And outside help was sparse at best.
At the moment, the Control Room wasn't too crowded. Only Major Carter and two technicians were there, reworking half the systems for the gate. "I'm sure there's something we missed," Major Carter grumbled, looking like she hadn't slept for several days…again.
"Major," George called out, catching her attention.
She looked up, and then spotted Detective Riley. "Detective, when did you get here?"
"Just a little while ago," the man replied with a slight smile.
She returned it for a second, but then somberly asked, "Have you heard about MacGyver and Colonel O'Neill?"
He nodded, but pushing a smile back on his face, made a motion to Carter's arm, still in its cast. "Finally had your arm looked at, uh?"
"That, and a bunch of other things." She ruefully remarked, flinching as she got up off the floor. Seeing his questioning look, she quickly told him, "It's a long story, don't ask."
"A military thing, right?" He remarked with a grin. And then he nodded at the Gate Room below. "Is that it? The stargate?"
"It is," a new voice responded from the doorway.
They turned to find Teal'c standing there. "Murray!" Detective Riley exclaimed with a grin. "So you're an alien? Huh?"
Teal'c inclined his head in the affirmative, but a large smile spread across the jaffa's face. "It is good to see you are well."
"As well as to be expected."
And that was the truth of the matter, Hammond thought. The whole country, and in many respects, the entire world, was 'as well as to be expected.'
The General left the Detective in SG1's care, pleased at the influence the visiting Detective was having. It had been a long and stressful month, and tomorrow would likely top it all. The SGC was having their own ceremony for the two lost heroes that, in the General's opinion, had sacrificed everything to save Earth.
The rest of the day passed quickly and silently, and for the most part in peace as the visitors temporarily joined the staff of the SGC. Later in the day more visitors arrived, coming through the gate below rather than the one above, and all too quickly the day of the funeral was upon them.
It was a somber mood that day as the General walked behind the podium set on the stargate ramp as soon as the wormhole had been established.
Hammond took a deep breath and addressed the gathered group. Not everyone in the SGC could fit into the little room, but they had tried, filling the Gate Room, the overlooking Control Room, and any neighboring halls. Their visiting guests, from Earth, as well as off of Earth, had been given space to the side of the crowded room. Two more Tok'ra had joined Jacob, Skarra had come from Abydos, Thor himself had beamed in, and even the Nox woman, Lya, had come. How they had even known about the tragedy was beyond Hammond's understanding, but he greatly appreciated the Nox's appearance. MacGyver's friends had stood next to the aliens with mild curiosity, but as soon as the ceremony had started, all attention was on the General.
Again, Hammond took a large breath, and then motioned to the waiting SG1, who carried capsules, each containing items that would represent the lost twins. In Hammond's opinion, it wasn't enough, but it was all they could offer.
"We have come here today, to pay respects to two of the most honorable men we have all had the pleasure of knowing." He began as SG1 walked up to the event horizon to toss the canisters in. "Words can not do service for the many great and incredible-"
A flash of white light interrupted Hammond, and out of the light a voice tragically remarked, "Tell me you're not about to throw away my favorite coffee mug!"
When the light faded, they found the twins standing in the middle of the room, looking perfectly fine, although dressed in some rather odd clothing, but much better than when the General had last seen them…and alive!
"You are never going to believe what happened!" One of them remarked. But like the rest of room, the General was still trying to believe they were even there!
"Dad!" Malloy shouted with joy, even while Dr. Jackson cried out, "Jack!" SG1 and MacGyver's close friends descended upon the two twins, only to stop short when they realized they didn't know who was who.
The twins grinned, and simultaneously responded, "I'm Jack, he's Mac" "I'm Mac, he's Jack."
Hearing them, the General was both relieved and worried. Motioning to the Control Room to shut the gate down, Hammond walked down the ramp to the two stray travelers. "Colonel."
The group at the bottom immediately parted for him, and the Colonel promptly replied. "Yes sir. Everything's fine now, sir."
Hammond had trusted those words from the first day he'd met Colonel O'Neill, and subsequently took a breath of relief, before asking, "What happened?"
"Gent's device did work," MacGyver replied with a smile, his arm firmly around his son. "It was too late to stop the nova, and one last bit of luck that saved our lives, but it did work."
He raised an eyebrow in question and the Colonel extrapolated. "A passing Altalerion ship picked us up just in time, but the nova knocked us way out into space when we tried an intro-space jump, a few galaxies out in fact. Took us this long just to get back, but on the plus side, we've made a new ally."
Hammond could see Carter's face light up with curiosity, but there was something he had to know, first. "And your…relationship to each other?"
"Is just like any other normal set of twins."
To reassure him, MacGyver added, "We tested it out the whole way here…extensively."
Now at last Hammond felt as if he could truly relax, but then the Colonel asked, "How have things been on Earth?"
"There's been some major changes, but the country's recovering well, sir," Major Carter replied, but the 'but' on her face would make anyone suspicious.
"What is it?" Jack growled out.
It was Dr. Jackson who finally had the courage to tell him, "In the chaos a month ago, several gas mains broke, including one at your place…sorry Jack, your house burnt down."
The Colonel instantly turned murderous eyes on his brother.
"How is this my fault!" Mac instantly protested.
"It's always your fault, Angus! You burnt my house down the first time! I lost my prized hockey stick in that fire, signed by the coaches of NHL's Original Six!"
MacGyver cringed. "I could probably find them again, and get them to sign a new one for you?" He offered in supplication.
"It wouldn't be the same," Jack grumbled.
But those who knew the Colonel best knew he was placated. Then Major Carter looked curiously at MacGyver and questioned. "Your name is Angus?"
The man cringed, along with his son beside him. "Why do you think I go by Mac?"
Hammond grinned, saying simply, "It's good to have you both back."
"It's good to be back, sir," the Colonel replied, and then inquired looking around, "Did you happen to bring refreshments to this funeral? All the Altalerions eat are protein drinks."
"I thought they were pretty good," MacGyver remarked.
"You would!" Jack retorted.
Hammond grinned. "I'm sure we could find something."
Yes, things were back to normal. Or as normal as they could be, Hammond silently remarked, and then thought better of it. Things were never normal with SG1 around, or, it would seem, with Jack's brother around, either. Did the world ever have a chance?
Author's Note: People asked me several times about where I got the ideas for this fic. Well, most of it sprang from a quantum physics theory this one roommate I had had explained to me one day. For her, quantum physics was a hobby. She was a genius, I am not, so I had to do what every average non-genius could do, I took what I did understand, applied it to the things I knew, and hoped for the best. Overall, I don't think it turned out so bad.
A lot of my inspiration also came from my friends, jokes they'd make, comments they'd all so innocently given, and things I'd seen. For instance, Having Gents use unsuspecting parents-to-be for his experiments was something I'd picked up from The Pretender (and likely a few other shows or books, although the one in my mind at the time The Pretender), the use of 'luck' as something more than just coincidence, came from Escaflowne, Strange Luck, and Pure Luck. Figuring out how to apply it to the quantum physics theory was the hardest part, but well worth the challenge. Oh how I wish I was a Carter:D
Last, but definitely not least! If I didn't have such awesome Beta's, SealRescuer and Dimac, it wouldn't be nearly as polished as it is. You can really tell how much my writing has grown over the last two years, thanks to them. :D