Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. Please don't sue

2001, Earth, United States, Colorado

To Colonel O Neill's relief, the briefing was pretty much routine. The technicians had figured out most of the side technologies on Captain Jack's gadget in the first few days, but had been unable to identify the function of the central components. Harkness had not been entirely stupid, either. He had disconnected several components when he stashed his craft and even the cream of the Air Force's science and engineering departments could not figure out how to reconnect them.

Jack's newest information about Captain Harkness was met with more than a little incredulity. But this did not stop the team of technicians from extrapolating numerous theories about the technology that they had largely deciphered already. After an hour, Colonel O'Neil left the "experts" to it.

Jack was still uncertain how the two people he had mentioned had caused the nearly one hundred eighty degree turn in Captain Harkness' attitude, not that he was complaining. His prisoner was generally cooperative, only occasionally refusing to give more detailed information, and his cooperation did yield him greater freedom, which he seemed to use to become acquainted with everyone on the base. He seemed particularly interested in Sam, who had started to accompany Jack during the interrogation sessions in order to ask questions about the Captain's ship.

It did not take long before Jack Harkness had Sam wound round his little finger. The third visit, in fact. Unlike Colonel O'Neill, who zoned out every time the techno-babble got too much, Harkness not only seemed able to keep up with Sam, but sometimes he actually got ahead of her. Every time he did this, he would grin innocently and Sam had to struggle to keep up. One thing that Sam did not seem to notice, but what O'Neill did, was that Harkness had his mind on more than just talking shop. It wasn't anything that Jack could put his finger on. Just the little glances here, the ways his grin seemed to widen just that little bit more…

Come to think of it, there was nothing new here. The man had done the same to the nurses the first time around. He seemed to live to flirt.

Despite Harkness' apparent cooperation, the team was still no further in understanding his craft. Eventually, the frustrated Sam pointed out that unless they allowed the Captain access to the device so he could demonstrate its workings, they would never understand it. She did not have to argue too much. Colonel O'Neill and General Hammond, the base commander, were getting just as frustrated with the lack of progress. Hammond was also getting tired of trying to keep the NID away from the prisoner and his ship.

An armed escort brought Harkness into the tech bay. An armed guard had actually become a rarity and alerted the Captain that he was entering a restricted area. Not surprisingly, he took charge immediately, and started issuing instructions and requesting all sorts of tools. No one questioned him until he asked for a small gadget that the technicians had identified as a combination scanner and computer. He stated simply that it was needed to activate the apparatus. Once he had everything he had requested, he stepped towards the mass of components that had once been his "ship." He picked up a large board that was shaped somewhat like a curved trapezoid. One side was entirely flat and covered with something resembling circuitry, although no one had the vaguest idea how to go about accessing it. The other side had four round bulges or knobs set two by two. One of the younger technicians asked jokingly if it were an intergalactic snowboard, to which Harkness merely smiled.

"Everybody wants to know what this does, right?" Harkness asked, a broad smile coming to his face when he saw a few heads nodding in reply. He picked up a number of wires, connected them to the board and then moved away, positioning himself fractionally closer to the door. "Well, this is…" He paused dramatically, obviously enjoying the tension that was building in the room. With a twinkle in his eye, he continued, "A tribophysical waveform macrokinetic extrapolator." he paused again, his grin widening at the sight of the blank faces looking back at him. He winked at the technician who had joked earlier, adding, "Or, in Californian terms, an intergalactic surfboard. Close, but no cigar." He took another step back towards the exit, alerting some of the guards who were already getting suspicious. "On this thing," the Captain went on amiably, "you can program coordinates for anywhere in space and time. Then all you have to do is find a way to get between dimensions, and 'boom' you're there."

Captain Harkness paused again, looking as if he were waiting for applause. O'Neill could see the obvious question of, "But how?" forming on the lips of anyone who had understood even half of that gobbledygook.

Before anyone could actually ask any questions, however, Harkness continued, "But, it does something else, too." He paused to plug in another wire, glancing up at his enthralled audience. "Everybody watching closely?" He then activated something with the scanner gadget that he had attached to his wrist."See, when I do this, it projects a force field so powerful that not even a Dalek death ray can get through. So…" He turned and vanished through the exit, running full pelt down the corridor to the Gateroom. He was halfway there before the thunderstruck guards finally gave chase. The occupants of the room he had just bolted from heard the echoing call of "Bye!" from out in the corridor.

The guards soon learned that shooting at the fleeing figure had no effect. There was indeed a forcefield surrounding him. They might as well be shooting peas at an elephant for all the good it was doing them.

The alert was raised and alarms immediately sounded all over the Base. By the time the crew at the Gate room activated the safeguards, Harkness was already there, having run into a guard on the way and relieved him of his weapons. Armed with this sufficient, if antiquated, firepower, he took one of the Gate crew hostage, coercing the others into opening the Gate.

He stood watching the enormous ring as the men in the control room dialed up his destination. The moment the Gate opened, its center shimmering like a calm pool of water, he released his hostage, saluted the men in the control room and then jumped straight in, apparently unconcerned that the crew had sent him back to the same planet where he had been arrested.

When the SG-1 team followed their escaped prisoner through the Gate to Abydos, they learned the reason for his lack of concern. He was not there…

--

Some time, some place (1998, P2T-112)

Gate surfing was not all that hard once you got the hang of it. In many ways, it was actually safer than the machine Captain Jack had rigged up on Satellite 5. Unfortunately, using just the extrapolator severely limited his search for the Doctor. He could not break out of the vortex on his own and was limited to planets with a functioning Stargate. He could move backward and forward in time, but was seriously restricted when it came to space.

He was forced to abandon the Earth as a future landing site. That Stargate was buried under several thousand tons of rubble in the past and in the hands of the American military in the future. Then there was the fact that he had already escaped from the Americans twice. He doubted they would be all that pleased to see him a third time. Especially after the stunt he just pulled to make his second escape. Ancient Egypt, the one period where the Earth Stargate might be open and available to him, was also not a viable option, as he had no chance of getting to twenty-first century London from there while still alive. And the chances that the Doctor and Rose would ever visit the time period he did find himself in were miniscule at best.

Jack realized that he had to change his strategy. Instead of trying to find the Doctor and Rose somewhere in Real Time, he would try to find them in the space/time vortex. Once inside, time and distance acted differently—actually, they didn't exist in the linear terms. As he had told those on the base, you just jump in at one point and jump out at another. If he could send a signal that the TARDIS could pick up and lock on to, then he had a chance.

Jack considered his options. There were hundreds of civilizations out there that had developed more advanced communications technology than Earth, even the Earth that had built Satellite 5. Dozens more with signaling systems that could function in the interspatial vortex. The trick now, was finding one.

When he arrived as his current location, he believed he had struck gold. The planet was, at this point in time, deserted of intelligent life forms. There were ruins around the Gate from what must have been a highly advanced civilization. Jack found what looked like a communications console among the ruins, and he was happily stripping it of all salvageable components. He looked over the transmitter. It seemed to be intact and he stashed it into the safety of his backpack. Now he was trying to extract the components that would allow voice transmissions. These proved to be more difficult to remove intact, and he found himself wishing he had snagged a toolbox from one of his other destinations. He was finally making some headway when he heard a noise and looked up. What he saw made his eyes grow wide in disbelief.

Oh, no. "Not you again."

Even at this distance, the graying hair and weathered face of Colonel O'Neill were unmistakable, Right! No more lounging around. Time to get the hell out of here. Jack looked around himself, realizing they were probably trying to surround him. Okay, where's the gap? There always is one. He found it and made straight for it. His legs had gotten a lot of exercise during the time he traveled alone, and not just from keeping him on the extrapolator. Not every planet he had landed on was empty of people, and they tended not to be friendly. To ensure that the ruins had indeed been abandoned, he had already explored much of the surrounding territory here. It seemed a good bet that the Stargate team had just arrived, which would give him a sizeable advantage.

Jack was able to avoid the team for about an hour, during which time he fiddled with the transmitter. At least he would be able to send a signal in the vortex.

When Captain Jack finally managed to sneak around his pursuers and get to the Gate, he found it unguarded.

"Sloppy," he said, shaking his head. He activated the Gate, jumped on the extrapolator, and vanished into the vortex.

--

1988, Earth, United States, Montana.

The Doctor was never afraid to take on an alien invasion single-handedly. Most times he would enlist whoever was standing around to help, whether they were willing or not. But sometimes, just occasionally, there was nothing else for it but enlist the help of an honest-to-God government. Although, admittedly, it was usually the other way around. UNIT, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, had been only too happy with the Doctor's assistance. Well…most of the time.

But now, the Doctor required their help. UNIT had gotten stuck in a quagmire of bureaucracy. The American branch was nowhere near as powerful as the European agency, and for what the Doctor wanted, the United States military needed to to be alerted. In Europe, cooperation between UNIT and the respective militaries usually went smoothly. The United States, however, were under the general impression that they could handle intelligence just fine, thanks, and didn't need the UN to do it for them. And to have the UN giving orders to American soldiers on American soil? (Well, the soldiers' response to this was not repeatable in polite company.)

All of this just compounded the problem and meant a lot of frustration for the Doctor. Regeneration might have given him a much younger face and a more flamboyant dress sense, but had done nothing to soften his attitude towards any sort of bureaucracy. It ensured ever more derisive behavior from him and less willingness for cooperation from the officials. Captain Jack, as the apparent American in the Doctor's party, acted as a go-between and had the misfortune to get the full blast of disapproval from both sides. Eventually, finally, everything was taken care of and both sides were happy, more or less. Three squads of troops would guard the area the Doctor had designated. The Doctor and his "associates" would be allowed to go in and do whatever it was that they had to do.

Of course, when they arrived at the scene in the TARDIS, there was yet another batch of high-ranking officers who wanted to know the exact ins and outs of the situation. The Doctor, now entirely fed up with the red tape, repeated his instructions to the officers before striding off, taking Rose with him. Jack wanted to follow as well, but was detained by the commanding officer. After listening to the man's entire tirade, he hurried after the Doctor and Rose, who were already some distance away.

Just when he was catching up, Jack was stopped again. This time by an officer, a Captain by his insignia, and he, too, was fishing for information. Great. Just great, just what I need, more delays. Then the annoyed Captain Jack finally looked at the officer properly, and blinked. He read the Captain's nametag: O'Neill. He looked at the man's face again. He felt the classic Jack Harkness grin blossoming on his face. Captain Jack meets Captain Jack, he thought, his grin growing wider.

So, this is where it started with the Colonel he couldn't seem to shake, Jack realised. The two of them really did seem destined to meet over and over again. Well, old buddy Jack was in for a few surprises in the coming years. Why not impart a bit of good advice? He wrapped an arm around the startled Captain O'Neill's shoulders.

"What you do, Jack…."