This falls shortly after The RealGate, The Real SG-1 Watches An Episode, and The Real SG-1 and the Spoiler Incident.
Thanks as always to my betas, Monica and Jess.
General Jorge Jamon was able to continue to be perfectly calm and respectful to his superior officer only because of decades of service. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had leaned back in his big leather desk chair, twirling a pencil around in his hand. Jorge was secretly wishing it would fly loose from his grasp and embed itself in the man's backside. That, however, would take a more convoluted path than even the bullet at Dealy Plaza that killed JFK. He switched his fantasies to hitting the man with a zat, between the faded blue eyes.
The military leader said, "Please understand, Jorge, I know that the nation owes a huge debt of gratitude to SG-1 and to Colonel John O'Malley in particular, but I wonder if you're not letting the heroic image forged by Richard Dean Anderson and the others on the television show color your judgment here. That is why we planted the movie and the television show in the first place, to win over the electorate to prepare for the day we go public, but we should be adult enough to be immune to our own propaganda. Frankly, Jorge, I get concerned sometimes that you are beginning to think you are George Hammond and John O'Malley is Jack O'Neill."
"Sir," Jamon gritted out, really on the edge now, "might I point out that Hammond is modeled after me and O'Neill after John, not the other way around. Moving on to your comparison, the men and women of Stargate Command have a much more heroic image to me than anything conjured up on a television show. Colonel O'Malley, along with his team, saved the planet, the whole entire planet, for somewhere between the 3rd and 5th time last week, depending on how narrowly you count. If he'd just saved all of, oh, Poughkepsie, he would be owed a huge reward, but it was the whole planet including Rome, Paris, and Nashville."
"Nashville? Not really in the same league with Paris and Rome is it? I don't want to split hairs with you, Jorge, but I personally only credit O'Malley with one save of the planet and that's with an asterisk," the five star general replied, beginning to sound a little testy. The man was not accustomed to being argued with. "The asterisk is because, arguably, O'Malley caused the entire crisis from which he had to save the planet himself."
"Begging the general's pardon, but we are not talking about baseball statistics here. The President, that's of the United States, not the National League, called Colonel O'Malley and congratulated him personally. He finds O'Malley's request a modest one under the circumstances. And, sir, we really owe O'Malley. He didn't ask for anything at all the previous times – well except for the President throwing out the first puck at that hockey game in Minneapolis."
The senior officer swiveled around to face Jamon, looking at him in a very unfriendly way. "All right, Jorge, I'll sign off on this but, believe me, I'll remember that you put me in this position. I wouldn't advise crossing me again any time in the future."
It took Jamon the entire flight back to Colorado to get over his irritation with his commanding officer. He told himself, "What else could you expect from a man who didn't appreciate country music?" which was calming and permitted him to make allowances for him. The cooling down period required was prolonged due to an unfriendly, statistically improbable, fluke which had resulted in the young woman next to him having just been to some Con at which actors from Stargate had appeared. She kept talking over him to her friend across the aisle. What really frosted Jorge was when she said something about the actor portraying General Hammond, remarking that he really needed to work off that spare tire around his middle. Looking down at his own mid-section which was verging on a six-pack, he wanted to take the woman's virgin daiquiri and pour it over her head.
When he called John into his office to give him the good news, he knew immediately that all of it from the interview with his superior to the plane ride had been worth it. "It's been arranged, John," he said. "They're going to rig the "Get in the Gate Contest" so you win.
John's face split in a wide grin. "Thank you, sir. I don't imagine it was easy to get that approved." He sat quietly for a minute, just grinning and considering what he had ahead of him. He then showed himself to be the true incarnation of the ideal represented by Jack O'Neill as a commander when he very quickly thought of Hil'en, the brawny Jaffa, Dr. David Johnson, the brilliant archeologist/linguist. and Major Marti Parker, astrophysicist and his second in command, who rounded out his team. "What about the requests my team made?"
"We've got the meeting with two stars of classic Star Trek squared away for the universe's only alien Trekkie, Hil'en. We had to tell them he had terminal cancer and this was his dying request but they went for it."
"He's sort of the picture of robust health, isn't he? Won't they get suspicious when they actually meet him?" John asked dubiously.
"They're both so old they probably won't even be able to see him that well any more," Jamon said dismissively.
"What about Marti's request," John asked, still uneasy about the set up for Hil'en but not sure there was anything that could be done about it.
"Ah, Marti's request," Jamon said and they both sat and contemplated what the blonde astrophysicist had requested. "It wasn't going well until the presidential aide dealing with this got a look at a picture of Marti. The man is a hound and all of a sudden he's all for it. So Marti will be flying as the copilot of Air Force One when the president goes to Iceland next week. I understand the presidential aide will be on the flight. I was a little concerned about exposing Marti to the lecher but then I realized I should actually be worrying about the guy. He may be walking funny for a while."
John nodded. He had seen it happen.
"That leaves Dr. Johnson," Jamon said. "Did you try to get him to change his mind about what he's requesting?"
"I've been at him for days," John said. "Could not move him an inch. The man is a cross between a mule and a brick wall."
"There is just no way the actor is going to go for it," Jamon said, hating to disappoint David but also somewhat irritated with him for coming up with such a wild hair proposal.
The phone rang insistently. Jamon ignored it for a while and it went to voice mail. Then it started ringing again and went to voice mail again. Finally, on the third series of rings, Jamon picked it up and barked, "Digame." Realizing belatedly he had lapsed into Spanish, he decided that he was going to give himself a reward and take a week off before the stress caused him to go postal.
It turned out to be a good thing he had answered as a broad smile began to spread across his face. "Terrific. Good work," he congratulated the caller. Hanging up, he told John, "That was our operative on the television show. He was so exited about getting David's request met that he was determined to get me to pick up."
"I don't believe it!" John said. "Did they have to threaten the actor or what?"
"Plausible deniability, John. We'll never know. Maybe they turned the wife, got her to influence him. Hell, anyone with his best interests at heart should be telling him this on their own initiative anyway, at least the beard part."
"May I tell my team the outcomes, sir?" John requested. Jamon happily gave him permission but stopped him before he left the office to deliver a warning.
"You do understand that you are to resist the urge to be helpful and point out errors on the show. For instance, the fact that they had ice crystals on their face from the cold in the wormhole in the beginning but never again. I know you guys wear ski masks going through, YOU know you wear them, but we don't need to share."
"Certainly sir," John agreed, "I don't have any problem with discretion." He put the emphasis on the I and they both sobered for a minute, contemplating Dr. David Johnson, who had a huge problem both with shutting up and with knowing when was not a good time to share. They would have needed a mind wipe of the entire cast and crew if he was the one going to the Stargate SG1 set.
"Go, go, spread the news," Jorge said, shooing John out and immediately picking up the phone to call his wife and tell her to get cruise tickets and to make sure it had NOTHING to do with Stargate SG-1. He had gleaned from his seat partner on the plane, to his horror, that sometimes actors negotiated cruise deals and were along for passengers to meet.
John paused at the door of David's office and lab. The archeologist was bending over a work bench, his long, light brown hair flopping in his eyes, totally focused on a clay tablet in front of him. John cleared his throat very softly. If you interrupted David too abruptly during one of his spells of deep concentration, he had a startle response that could be disastrous. Things flew up in the air or were knocked over. There was often breakage involved. David was not a graceful man.
David peered at John myopically and then pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose. "Oh, hi, John. You hear anything yet from Jamon?"
John walked toward David to be in position to give him a hi-five. He had insisted David master this his first year of the program but liked to keep him in practice. "It's good news. I'm getting in the gate!" They exchanged a satisfactorily executed hi-five. "AND," John added, "You got it all."
David was too stunned for another hi-five. "Dr. Daniel Jackson is shaving off his beard AND growing his hair back out! Now I know my country really loves me."