Series: New Balance: Year One, Story One (1?)
Category: Gen, Casual, Humor, Team Fic
Pairings&Co: Team (friendship)
Spoilers: Fragile Balance (703), everything till season 7 (included)
Season / Sequel: Season 7, Fragile Balance.
Content Warnings: Language?
Summary: After an eventful ordeal, Mini-Jack is given his team back… sort of. See how they settle…
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The situations and original story are the property of the author. Not to be archived without permission of the author.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. God saw that the light was good and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light 'day,' and the darkness he called 'night.' And there was evening, and there was morning--the first day."
The Bible, Genesis 1:1-5
"So guys, what're you gonna do with us?" Jack asked.
It definitely was the big question everyone was wondering at that point.
(For the ones who missed the whole story, you might need a little reminder if you want to understand the peculiar situation that everyone is uncomfortable with.)
Once upon a time, there was a colonel in the US Air Force who woke up in his bed looking like... a brat. Hence he went to his secret base to report to his more than less austere Commanding Officer and in the same time to complain a LOT about it to his not so sympathetic teammates.
Together they discovered that he in fact had been abducted by little grey alien aboard a spaceship. Then they planned a trap to capture the creature responsible for the fountain-of-youth effect and also for the little not so wanted bonus that his current young body was dying.
The truth once entirely revealed pointed that the colonel had been cloned, badly cloned by a renegade alien for genetic, but entirely vain, experimentation. Then good alien appeared and saved the boy from dying... but at which price?
Brat-colonel discovered it while he tried to begin a new life again... because old demons hunted him down.
Once upon a time, there was a colonel in the US Air Force who woke up in his bed looking like... a brat. Hence he went to his secret base to report to his more than less austere Commanding Officer and in the same time to complain a LOT about it to his not so sympathetic teammates.
He couldn't live with a lie so, confused not to said desperate he took extreme measure to end it all.
Eventually and hopefully, his old or maybe just older teammates found a solution for his impossible condition, since of course: No one is left behind!
So they got to see good alien again and asked for a favour which he agreed. In the end, they gave his team back to the brat by cloning themselves. There are now two SG-1s: the original version and the young version.
And that was the happy if only momentary ending of that endearing story.
(But what's going to happen now? What would they do with them?)
(But what's going to happen now? What would they do with them?)
It was the younger Jack who'd, just then, voiced the inevitable question.
Standing in the gateroom, the young SG-1 freshly arrived by the Stargate from the Asgard Galaxy wasn't exactly comfortable with the situation either.
The teens, waiting for some directions, glanced at their older counterparts: Teal'c, Doctor Jackson and Major Carter next to them, and Colonel O'Neill a little farther. However, knowing that for now, they were under the responsibility of the SGC and thus the SGC CO, they looked all together as one at Major General Hammond who didn't seem to have gotten over his shock. And he wasn't the only one. Lieutenant Colonel Cartwright, current Military Psychiatrist sent by the Pentagon to take care of the "Clone" Case, which had become now the "Clones" Case, was also standing: baffled, confused, thrilled, his mouth still opened.
For a long moment, they stayed in a silence only disturbed by the regular noises of the many machines around.
"I'm hungry!" said Young Jack, suddenly impatient, and with gestures he suggested, "What about 'us' eating while you, old guys, discuss and take decisions over it?"
"Don't you want to have your say in that matter, Jack!" interfered Young Daniel genuinely.
"Indeed, I, for myself, will appreciate to debate on what would be now our fate," added Young Teal'c.
Young Daniel then looked at Young Sam. Either it was by habit or to reassure the unity of their newly reformed group, his expression only showed a sincere concern.
The young girl took a moment, thoughtful, seriously evaluating the situation at stake, computing it until she would come with a valid course of action to follow. It was what she always did and her team expected it of her.
Anyway, Jack interjected, giving his opinion (as he always does but that doesn't surprise you, does it?), and thus diverting the attention off of her.
"As far as I'm concerned, I don't give it a damn. But please Carter, share with us your enlightened opinion!" he commented with false condescending tone.
Both Sam's sighed in reaction at the same moment. Surprised but a smile on their lips they looked at each other curiously sympathizing.
"As far as I can tell, if I might use the same terms as you," Young Sam finally began and carried on, "Nothing will be decided now, here, with or by them." She finally concluded, "I think our fate will be debated somewhere out there by people who don't really want to know about my or your say on the matter."
"Yeah, yeah, you should have said something more straight to the point like 'Let's go eat!'!" retorted Young Jack with mock exasperation.
"Come on guys!" The boy claimed then.
The band of kids didn't hesitate and walked away following their leader, silently recognizing their own helplessness and not wanting to dwell on it.
When they were out of sight, Colonel O'Neill frowned.
"She's frightening," he stated finally (totally disregarding the actions of his own counterpart, talk about self-denial), and then looking at his 2IC, he corrected "... um… You're frightening!"
Carter slightly rolled her eyes and looked at the ceiling in a form of protest but didn't open her mouth. While on their side, Daniel just wore a big smile and Teal'c had his mouth forming the beginning of a satisfied smirk.
Everything seemed good in the best of world… (Are we too hopeful?).
Dossier n° 376-6820
Subject: Jonathan O'Neill (former Colonel USAF)
Notes: The patient in the past was reluctant and resilient, part because of his own history and part because of his training.
- Jonathan, good to see you. Sit down, here...
Aack! It's Jack, not Jonathan, not Jon or least of all Jonnie… call me Jack.
- I see. I wish you would be more cooperative with me this time.
- How do you find your arrangements, are they at your convenience?
- Tell me.
- Tell me the details.
Don't you know?
- Tell me as if I didn't.
You mean like you're sort of dumb or like you didn't do your job well?
- Just tell me!
Where do I start?
- I seem to understand you had to move...
Yes, I lived with an older lady before, Mrs Herm, a widower. And she's still in charge of me but we're four now, she couldn't host all of us. And you know that the point of having the other three is - you know- to be together.
As I understand it, we have the status of war orphan with military parent so we're still being sort of take care of by the Air Force. However we represent a liability to the Stargate Program. And nobody trusts us or maybe they don't trust the people outside... Whatever…
So they decided to put us together in a house in a military base meaning we're guarded all the time but at least we are by ourselves. Our welfare was put in the hands of Mrs Herm who is very nice but all of us are denied to have any kind of independency...
- This part of your new life still seems to bother you...
How can it not? We might look like brats but we're not. We all had worked hard and earned for our life. And now - for crying out loud - we even have to ask for pocket money... It's damned frustrating!
- Um… You said "we" but how do you think the others handle it?
They don't seem to realize what they have done to themselves.
But trust me, they will realize it soon.
- Do you fear that...?
- Um they knew the consequences of their action...
- The Asgard had scrupulously warned them.
- They knew what they did... Unlike you, they chose their fate.
- You should talk to them.
Can I go now?
Conclusions: The patient has recovered from his previous ordeal. He showed more openness until the slip. For further sessions, use more subtlety.
"I can't believe it!" The voice of a young girl resounded from nowhere to be seen.
They were rows and rows of clothes hanging or disposed on shelves all around.
The head of a young Sam appeared suddenly, and looked at a boy carelessly sitting on a chair with his legs on an empty shelf. He seemed particularly engrossed in his Game boy.
"I hate shopping! Why does it happen to me? At least my old self had years to complete her wardrobe... and look at me here... with a body that I don't even know... Which size do you think I..." She glanced at Jack who looked still really focused on his game.
"Sir, why did you come with me? I seem to recall there's an amusement arcade in this mall... And the guys aren't far..." She waited glaring at the boy then sighed before diving in another row.
Jack moved his eyes from the screen once she disappeared. He let himself grin brightly and then he laughed.
"Come on Carter! You're just funny to watch. It's such a shame I can't see both, you and Daniel at the same time," he finally admitted.
Sam appeared again but now to scowl hardly at Jack.
"I was sure of it. You enjoy seeing me miserable!" She retorted spiteful.
Then suddenly something flew at Jack's head. It took him by surprise and the object landed on his face with full speed if not full force. When he looked at it at the reasonable distance of his arm, he realized it was a hat more like a bonnet, purple with pink flowers sewed as decoration. He suddenly wondered if she had been interested by it at first or if she took what was at reach before throwing it at him, but already her voice disturbed his track of mind.
"I hate you! Get away!" Sam shouted, her protest was muffled from the distance and the thick clothes.
He grinned again not really sure why he had that stupid smile plastered on his face. But the fact was that he didn't really want to walk away, however he knew that he should.
"Okay, okay, Carter! I'm going!" he said raising his hands, sign of surrender, but then he added slyly, "And don't forget, have fun!"
He then ran away fearing that something else more heavy and harmful would be thrown at him but nonetheless laughing soundly.
Going through open space and stairs, Jack finally arrived in the male teenage area. It was a really gigantesque shop but he immediately spotted Teal'c and not far away Daniel.
"Hey guys! How is it going?" He said out loud waving his hand to make his presence known while he came near.
The two boys noticed him, each one with different expressions on their face.
"There are such numerous clothes in this place that it makes your choosing time more difficult and very… very long." Teal'c answered unblinking.
"I'm exhausted and it has only been half an hour," Daniel said as he sat down. He almost wore that face he made when people were bothering him and taking him away from a special and exciting translation he was working on, almost because unlike his usual demeanour, Jack could hear a sharp note of distress in his voice.
"Did you try anything?" Jack asked playfully.
"Try? We have to try them?" Daniel retorted freaking.
"Yeah... Sure... to see if they fit..." Jack continued mentally smiling.
"Nooooooo," Daniel whined.
Teal'c was still looking at the shelves when he seemed to recall something.
"How is SamanthaCarter?" He asked.
"She's peachy... just peachy!" He claimed grinning.
Daniel looked at him suspiciously.
"She enjoys this as much as you do, Daniel," he explained smirking.
Hearing that and oblivious to Jack's sadistic tendency, a little spark appeared in the eyes of young Daniel.
"So... let's take a break!" blurted the boy, his tone balancing between enthusiasm and desperation.
Jack considered the proposition looking at Daniel while the boy was begging with big puppy eyes. That was amusing by itself considering but how could he say no to Daniel? (Yeah how can we?)
"Okay, let's go save Sam from her nightmare and go drink something!" He stated leniently.
The three teens went in the female area. When they arrived, many of the girls that were there started to glare at them.
"Um... Do you think what I think they are thinking?" Daniel whispered to Jack, feeling more and more the weight of their gaze on his shoulders while they walked in deeper sections.
Jack glanced at the girls then at Daniel.
"Danny boy, be more explicit, I'm getting old and lost my... flexibility," Jack answered loudly.
"Lower your voice, Jack!" Daniel protested.
"Indeed I do think what you think they are thinking," intervened unexpectedly Teal'c.
Daniel looked, startled, at Teal'c.
"You do?" He sought approval.
"We are not supposed to be here on our own, it is suspicious," Teal'c explained.
Daniel in response thrust his elbow in Jack's ribs.
"Ouch! It hurts!" Jack claimed.
"You should have understood! And stop calling me Danny boy!" Daniel protested.
"But you are a boy now, Danny!" Jack retorted childishly.
"Yeah but so are you. Same age here!" Daniel pursued.
"You know it's not the age that counts, it's the mind...!" Jack said perfectly undisturbed and still unashamedly smiling.
Daniel sighed. He would never win an argument with Jack (never).
"Where was Sam when you left her?" Daniel asked then.
"Somewhere around here but she could have moved!"
"Carter!" called Jack, out loud.
Another elbow was viciously thrust in his ribs again.
"Ouch! You want to kill me?" protested Jack.
"Tsk! Be quiet! We are attracting more attention than we should!" said Daniel.
They looked around and realized that it was actually true.
"The deed is done... We should proceed further," Teal'c commented after a moment of discomfort.
"Sam, where are you?" Daniel called.
Suddenly Jack started to laugh with no apparent reason.
"What are you laughing about?" Daniel glared at him.
"I was just thinking that it would be fun if we called her through the PA. Picture it: 'Lost girl: blond, blue eyes, wearing blue/grey clothes named Samantha Carter is asked by her relatives at the reception. Samantha if you hear us, ask a grown-up to show you the way'," Jack laughed hysterically.
"I do not believe that she would be pleased with us if we performed that course of action," commented Teal'c, raising his right eyebrow.
"You mean that she would kill us," Daniel corrected
"Kill you what for?" A girl's voice spoke.
Jack seeing Sam burst into laugh again bent in half.
"Oh Sam… ah… How did you find us?" said Daniel sheepishly.
"You're not especially discrete, you know!" She moved her chin briefly towards the people around who were still looking at them.
"What's got into him?" She pointed her finger at Jack.
"Nothing!" answered Jack grinning like a fish.
Sam looked at him with a suspicious expression, about to say something but in last resort preferred to follow the 'Don't ask. Don't tell' policy.
"You were looking for me?" She ignored Jack.
"Yeah... We needed a break, what about you?" said Daniel.
"If we could skip all of this, it would be much better. But I can go for a break, sure!" claimed Sam.
The four of them left the shop and thus the many scrutinizing eyes returned to their original interest, now that a bunch of strange kids in army fatigues wasn't distracting their attention anymore.
Later, in a coffeehouse, the four were now sat around a table with drinks in front of them.
"I really would have gone for a beer!" Jack complained playing with his glass, still untouched.
"You know you can't, sir!" Sam reminded him automatically.
"I… I really would have passed on those two gorillas!" Daniel pointed at the two SFs standing outside.
"They have been very discrete since we arrived in this shopping mall, unlike us," Teal'c commented.
Daniel, Sam and Jack threw him a glance and sighed but disregarded his comment all the same.
"I want to go home," Sam eventually claimed after a moment.
"We don't have a home... yet... nor a wardrobe for that matter," Daniel pointed at their attires, Stargate too large BDUs.
"That's why we're here!" Daniel continued.
"I'm fine with these clothes, I don't need others," Sam whined.
Jack once again chuckled genuinely.
"I would have bet that shopping was the dream of every female on Earth!" He spoke his mind.
Sam scowled at him.
"I hope you're not insinuating anything, Sir!" She said harshly.
"For your knowledge, shopping is supposed to be pleasurable, buying a few things there and there... Not an entire wardrobe in one day!" Sam explained.
"Don't tell me you've enjoyed it!" Daniel asked Jack.
"In fact, I didn't have to go through that," Jack said.
"How come?" Sam exclaimed, surprised and whinier than ever.
"I got to a shop and chose just a few things to know my size and have casual clothes for my first days at school. After that I just purchased them on catalogue," Jack spelled out.
"Oh! How... unfair!" retorted Daniel.
"What is a catalogue?" asked Teal'c.
"It's big, thick magazine with many, many pictures of clothes referenced by numbers. You note down the numbers and you purchase them specifying size, colour. After that they are delivered at your house," Sam explained concisely.
She fell silent after that.
"Why can't we do that?" Daniel complained.
"Maybe they thought it would be fun for us. You know, usually, people enjoy having large amount of money to buy everything they want," Jack proposed.
"I think they want us to have all the supplies required for us to settle down quickly and efficiently in our new lodging. It is highly plausible that they are also fitting out the lodging in the perspective of our moving," Teal'c added.
Daniel sighed again and finally swallowed a sup from his Komodo-something coffee. He suddenly made a face.
"Is there a problem with your drink?" Teal'c asked.
"I would have never thought that I will say this one day, but I think this drink is too coffee-like for my new taste buds!" Daniel answered with a doomed face.
Jack should have laughed or at least smiled, but one look at his own drink reminded him of his own issue. He would really have gone for a beer.
They stayed in silence, looking at the crowd outside of the coffeehouse for awhile.
"You haven't said anything, Sam. Are you feeling unwell?" Daniel said then with concern.
He was himself feeling nauseated part because of the coffee, part because of their shopping day and part because of an indescribable dark dread.
Sam looked at him still pensive.
"I think I came up with a plan to get over this wardrobe issue," Sam said softly but confidently.
"Wait here, I'll go search for paper and pen."
She got up and fled away before anyone had time to say anything.
The three boys looked at each other in silence for a short moment.
"She will always surprise me!" Jack commented then.
"Don't you... Um... No never mind!" said Daniel puzzled.
They again stayed silent feeling down.
"A moment ago, what were you about to say, DanielJackson?" Teal'c asked eventually.
Daniel decided to get out of his torpor and tried to get hold on his passing thoughts.
"I'm not really sure," Daniel started still thoughtful.
"But she seems a bit more," he continued.
"Impulsive!" He finished high-spirited.
"Impulsive!" Jack said at the same time.
Daniel looked at Jack.
"She threw something at me earlier," Jack advanced.
Daniel stared at Jack more intensely then.
"In another hand, you seem more... puerile," Daniel finally added.
"Hey! I..." Jack started to protest.
"I was already a lot puerile before," Jack commented childishly.
"I am in an agreement with DanielJackson, you showed a lot of... puerility when we were looking for MajorCarter. And I do not believe that you would have behaved the same way before," confirmed Teal'c.
"Oh! That!" uttered Jack.
Looking at Teal'c, Jack widened his eyes.
"By the way, T, you seem more talkative," Jack made notice.
Teal'c took a moment.
"Indeed!" Teal'c agreed, nodding.
"And I, have I changed?" Daniel asked curious.
Jack looked at him then and bent his head on his right still looking at Daniel. Then he did the same on his left.
"Nope!" Jack answered, his head straight again.
"Indeed not!" Teal'c approved while Daniel frowned not sure how to take it.
Sam came back slightly panting, interrupting their discussion.
"God! I never thought it would be so difficult to find paper and pen. By the way, what a pain, people can be!" She commented in a rush.
The three boys stared at her while she sat down. They were gauging their observation concerning her new behaviour. Oblivious to their inquisitive minds, Sam found herself thirsty and began to drink quietly from her diet soda.
"We're waiting, Carter!" Jack said calmly.
Daniel scowled at him for his reproachful line (mind you, not that Daniel really needs a reason to scowl at Jack or not that Jack really care when he does).
"Yes, sorry, Sir!" Sam instantly apologized.
"Why sorry? I'm just saying that we're waiting for your plan... explanation... scheme... whatever," Jack added.
"Oh!" Sam blurted.
"It was you, sir, who gave me the idea!" Sam started lively.
Jack was puzzled but not particularly surprised. From experience, he knew that everything and anything could inspire one Samantha Carter. And she would always, like now, name her source even when they were totally oblivious and sometimes couldn't even comprehend how they got involved in it. Really puzzled but not surprised, he just had to wait for her to explain more, and that, she did, indeed.
"We were doing things randomly each other in our side. I thought it will be funnier if we all participate together."
"But first we need to know our clothe sizes. So I thought we could go look for a salesperson or a shop assistant. They will take our measurements," she continued.
"When we'll get them, we will take care of one wardrobe at a time. For instance Daniel's one, I will write on the paper what he needs to possess... Ten shirts, six pants, a raincoat, a winter coat, three vests... twenty socks, shoes... etcetera. And we will split to seek items for each category. After that we'll gather, Daniel will try some and we'll choose by voting," she finished uncertain, waiting for their opinion.
Jack didn't flinch but since he wasn't really concerned by the whole circus he didn't mind.
Teal'c bowed his head in approval.
"It seems fine," Daniel smiled finally.
Sam was relieved to hear that.
"It will take more time but I think it will be less... dull," added Sam.
"Will we get to see you try clothes, Carter?" Jack asked then in a sweet tone.
Sam was embarrassed for a moment.
"I'll try to spare you that burden, sir!" She retorted once she found some wit.
"Who said it was a burden... to see you," Jack said then added slyly, "guys... try some clothes?"
Sam chose to ignore not only his smirk but his whole presence.
"But first, there're the underwears..." Sam started.
Jack was drinking his soda at the time perfectly content with his teasing. Of course, he ended up chocking on his drink then spilling... spitting the liquid all other the table and also some on Teal'c who was unfortunately sat in front of him.
"That we first need," Sam carried on then paused shortly when she saw Jack's reaction then she finished, "to take care by ourselves, each one on our own."
Daniel burst into laugh while Sam, unblinking, watched Jack coughed frenetically.
Once he regained his breath, Jack started to blush.
"Sorry, Teal'c!" Jack blurted avoiding looking at Sam.
"There is no harm done, O'Neill, it is perfectly understandable!" Teal'c answered with one corner of his mouth twitching into a smirk while he cleaned himself with a napkin.
Sam getting over her initial shock smiled at the scene then laughed as loud as Daniel.
Their laughs chimed alleviating considerably the mood around the table.
Dossier n° 376-6824
Subject: Murray Teal'c Ronson (former Alien)
Notes: First session with this patient.
- Good morning Teal'c, I'm Doctor Cartwright.
Greetings, Doctor. I haven't forgotten our previous meeting. I hope you are doing well.
- I am. Thank you. Will you sit down, please?
I am familiar with the techniques your kind of doctor use.
- I saw your records. It is said that Dr MacKenzie had previously examined you in this case where you had been brainwashed by the goa'uld Apophis. You had been subjected to an intensive and active therapy for a certain amount of time.
Indeed. It failed.
- It's true. I read that your master, Bra'tac, made you take the rite of Malshuraan. Really interesting process, I might say.
And I was reborn.
- Yeah. What I want to say to you is that you are not undergoing any therapy right now. We are here just to talk and see if you're adapting well to your new situation.
- Okay, Okay. You were the first prime of Apophis, weren't you?
- And you rebelled against your God.
That is correct. He was a false God.
- Sorry, false God, that's true. You devoted your existence to fight the Goa'uld. I'm really wondering how you handle your new situation in regards.
Could you be more precise in the formulation of your enquiry?
- It is delicate. I don't want to disturb you unnecessarily.
I can assure you that if your words would come to upset me, it would be because the seeds of this… misbalance would be sowed in my soul. It would be foolish to make you responsible for my own weakness.
- I see... To say it bluntly... how do you live with the fact that you're not fighting anymore?
I am fighting.
- I don't understand, can you explain it to me?
The other 'me' is fighting.
- But he is not you... you realize that, don't you?
I know that we are two different persons since the cloning. And both of us as one are fighting the Fight that counts where and when it counts... In a way Jack O'Neill expressed it to us not long ago and I will gladly use his perfect phrasing. 'We aren't Goa'uld'.
- I... understand.
Do you want to know about something else, Doctor?
- Um yes... of course. You will soon go to High School, how do you handle it?
I have to admit I am rather perplexed. I have never experienced this before.
- There wasn't a school for Jaffas on Chulac?
Indeed. But I understand that the school system on Earth works really differently. Jaffas are taught by an apprentice course.
- But you did have group lessons...
That is correct.
- What does make you perplexed then?
We were taught to fight, serve... what we need to know to do that. What your children learn at your school seems... pointless.
- (laugh). You aren't wrong.
I do not see how it is funny.
- I will try to explain to you how we work. Basically, what we try to teach to children isn't things or ways, we try to teach them to think and discover things by themselves. For this purpose they need tools like how to read, how to write, how to count. School serves for them to master these tools and experience things. When they become old enough, they then choose their career and "apprentice".
I understand. That is indeed a logic process. Your children are not born with their fate, they have the choice... they are free.
- If you have questions about school or anything else, I advice you either to ask me or ask your friends. Our time for today is finished.
It was an interesting discussion we had. Thank you Doctor.
- It was a pleasure for me too. Good bye Teal'c and see you next time.
Conclusion: Apparently the patient doesn't experience the foreseen problems. He appears to be well with his new condition.
In the quietness of a sunny morning, a small car was moving hurriedly among the light traffic of the average city. Most of the passengers had been silent for some time, staring at the landscape each one drowned in their thoughts while light and shadow played on their skin.
"How much time yet?" blurted impatiently a brown boy who was fidgeting in the back of the car.
"Two minutes less than when you asked two minutes ago!" answered dryly an annoyed boy sat just next to him.
The driver looked at the rear-view mirror to glance at the children but decided not to interfere.
When they had informed her of the present situation, Mrs Herm had thought that it was a bad idea to make these children live by themselves. And thus for all sort of reasons not simply because they were too young, no they needed supervision, a safe and healthy environment - and then - and then there was a girl. However, all those reasons disappeared like ice in a sunny day once she met them. She had already experienced something akin when Jack had come to live under her roof. Of course the military recommendations had been clear enough but it was only now she knew them that she couldn't deny it anymore. They weren't like other children, and that was a euphemism. They radiated a strong aura telling... affirming they were standing on their own, together. That's why she was currently repressing all her maternal instincts like never before. 'No intervention' was now her new motto when they were concerned.
"The map indicates that the military base is placed on the outskirt of the city, we will arrive in a moment," another young boy more imposing by stature commented holding in his lap a large flyer. The black boy, who was sat on the passenger seat, spent a few more minutes looking at it and then quickly stowed it away. He then silently returned his gaze at the road before him.
The fifth passenger of the vehicle didn't bother to step in, though. Her head against the window, she was scrutinizing the buildings, trees, fields, and something beyond. The young girl found herself nostalgically carried away by the familiarity of the situation. How many times in her childhood had she experienced such a trip? And every time, she had taken it silently with a strange and eager level of self-meditation, oblivious to what was around, only projecting in the new environment that always promised to be challenging.
Her overwhelming sense of expectation, however, was something also shared by the other three young occupants of the car, each one expressing it in their own way.
"Jack, could you stop moving like that?" Daniel complained again when he was pushed away by one yank.
"You're crushing me... I need to move my leg," Jack whined panting, result of his laboured struggle.
Daniel grumbled in response.
The driver glanced once again at the rear-view mirror as she had done several times since the beginning of the ride.
"We'll be there soon, kids, try to be patient!" Mrs Herm said calmly.
"Yeah... s'not me... need to... tss," Daniel mumbled trying to stay as far away from Jack as possible, which in fact wasn't possible as they were against each other.
Pissed off but trying to cool down, the boy threw a glance at Sam on his other side, she should have complained likewise or maybe just tried to make Jack comply better but surprisingly the young girl had stayed entirely silent.
Truth was, Daniel thought, she also should have been the one who had to sit in the middle, some sort of buffer between Jack and… well everything else.
But Sam wasn't the kind of person who made request so none of the boys including Daniel at the time had found reason to deny her when she had unusually asked for a place next a window. But now Daniel could think of a million of reasons for her not to and of course all of them pertained to the irritating pest sitting on his left.
Daniel grumbled again as he mentally squashed the consuming urge to ask in turn how long till they would reach their destination. To his relief, they were arriving at the military base and Mrs Herm showed papers in order to get past the security post.
The car eventually stopped in front of a relatively big but rather common house. The air was just a bit fresh, winter still seemed far ahead when the sun was shining so brightly. It was quite early and the neighbourhood was deserted. All in all the weather promised to be indulgent all day long.
Jack was the first one to open his door and in an instant he was standing outside of the car, stretching vigorously his legs. He had been feeling tense all morning and the night before. He wasn't the patient kind of personality (if you ask anybody thus without exception). But the pressure of these last days and this moving was messing with his nerves. So when he found himself locked in a crowded car, it had been the last straw on the camel's back.
He had non-surprisingly become hysterically agitated and had behaved like a pain in the "mik'ta" particularly to Daniel who had the misfortune to be sat next to him on the ride.
The others were soon to follow; they got down calmly and prudently outside of the vehicle while Jack walked ahead towards their new house.
"The moving vans will arrived soon," Mrs Herm drew their attention, "You should visit the house and make some arrangements... between… yourselves.."
Jack stood still for a moment and he glanced at his teammates who were approaching in a solemn silence.
Daniel, after having straightened his clothes, was the first to move in Jack's direction, his cheeks were flushed from emotion. Sam looked dreamy; her hands were deep in her vest pockets while she moved with a confident if slow pace. Last of all, Teal'c wore his usual unblinking face and walked behind his two companions with no sign of urge.
"Hurry up!" Jack cried out impatient but yet waited for them as he took time to look at the house.
When he arrived at Jack's side, Daniel put a hand on his forehead, raised his chin and took a look at the facade while protecting his eyes from the sun. Sam just raised her eyes; her body was bent almost imperceptibly back. She wasn't blinded by the light as she was standing at the other side of Jack, in the shadow. Just behind and towering his companions, Teal'c just squinted and in turn, took a panoramic view of their new two stories house.
In a strange communion, they gazed at what would be their home for now on.
A moment later, Jack moved towards the house. He opened the entrance door which was unlocked (which surprisingly doesn't surprise anybody, what about you?) and was immediately followed by Daniel hanging on his tail.
The first ground was a wide empty space with for only separation a few columns and pillars. It was an almost opened area: just next to the entrance on the left, side by side with a kitchen, there were stairs that went downstairs and upstairs; in the opposite corner, at the very back, stood the only closed room.
The two boys walked in and looked around. There was no furniture, in their place stood many boxes. Soon they were joined by their two remaining comrades; now inside, the four of them still remained silent.
While the boys lingered on the ground floor, the young girl went down in the basement.
After climbing down cautiously the stairs, Sam noticed as expected that the space she currently surveyed was smaller than what should have been from the dimension of the house itself. In fact, the missing space had been fairly attributed to Daniel for storage purpose. To be precise, his share which stood behind the wall at the very back of the laboratory was to be transformed into an impenetrable vault.
Sam looked around the place noticing with a light contentment some panels, machines and computers set in a corner. Even reduced, the portion Sam had at her disposition was amply satisfactory. Nonetheless and thus for a couple of months she would have to make do with computer work and simulation, that and supervising the construction. Things, altogether, promised to be going smoothly.
Sam left the basement to find Teal'c, alone, looking thoroughly at a spot on the left wall.
"Hey Teal'c!" Sam greeted her friend, "What are you doing?"
The tall boy was gazing at the area giving view to the veranda and the garden. He remained silent for a moment then answered.
"This place would provide an efficient and practical physical work-area."
Sam glanced at the spot in question.
"You're perfectly right," Sam commented and added, "But I think that Colonel O'Neill would rather appoint it as the playground though."
Sam smiled as Teal'c bowed his head in sign of approval.
"Where are the guys?" she pursued interrogative.
"They are upstairs."
"I bet they raced for the best room," Sam smirked.
She and Teal'c then moved towards the stairs.
The two boys were arguing in a seemingly endless battle of "yes" and "no". Daniel stubbornly threw his "no" to Jack who was stubbornly defending his "yes" (not a particularly unusual situation if you knew them long enough but a bit of a reversal position since usually it is Jack who is the irrecoverable denier).
"You can't," said Daniel not budging.
"Why can I not?" whined Jack, "First to arrive, first to choose!".
"You should know why," Daniel snapped.
"Yeah, it's the best room, the biggest albeit not by much, it also has the best view; and the most important, it has its own bathroom. But why can't I have it and you can?" argued the other boy in response.
"I've never said I wanted it," retorted Daniel.
Jack was taken aback and he frowned in reaction.
"Of course, Sam should have it," Daniel continued with his merciless logic.
Jack was about to protest when it suddenly hit him.
"Oh!" Jack blurted.
"Okay then I take the room across!" said Jack.
"Nope, you won't," Daniel denied him again shaking his head.
Jack glared at him.
"What now?" he asked in a black threatening voice.
"Already claimed!" Daniel smiled guiltlessly.
"It's not as if there was your stamp on the door," scoffed Jack playing dirty.
"Nope, I admit it but there's my name on it," Daniel widened his smile.
Jack approached the door and indeed he could read "Daniel Jackson" written across the door.
"Wha..Ha..! Damn it!"
It was the moment Sam and Teal'c chose to appear on the top of the stairs. They had, of course, heard the entire argument while taking a far too exaggerated amount of time going upstairs.
Jack threw at them a glance, growled but ignored them altogether.
He went further on the corridor and turned to his right.
"That room is mine or should I carve my name on the door!" he bellowed finally with a vicious glare at his amused teammates.
Dossier n° 376-6823
Subject: Daniel Jackson (former PhD in Archaeology, Linguistics, Anthropology...)
Notes: First session with this patient.
Literal transcription: Doctor Cartwright.
- Daniel, glad to see you. Sit down, please.
I'm a bit uncomfortable. We have to do this once every two weeks, is that correct?
- It is part of the dispositions taken. You have to understand that it's never happened before and…
I am not surprised to hear that. But it seems a bit overdone, we aren't unstable individuals...
- Your records...
Don't talk about these events. Mackenzie was wrong, each time. I can assure you my sanity is perfectly fine.
- After what happened with Jon…
Wrong. You treated him wrong. It was your fault if things turned wrong.
- Daniel, listen to me.
We are fine.
- You represent a breach of security and the government just wants to play safe with you. The others understand and accept it.
- Besides, I am not here to watch or spy on you. I understand that the situation you're living is extraordinary and that can upset you at a point or another. I am here to support you through it.
Sorry. I don't like being monitored like that.
- You aren't, I promise you. However I can see you're stressed.
Um I am - that's true.
- Are you anxious over your decision to clone yourself?
No. Of course not... Okay maybe... but it's not the decision, it's the changes.
- Your young age? Your moving?
No, not the age... no, living with the others is fine... the usual.
- You're obviously hiding something.
I... I'm stressed over the school thing.
- Can you explain it to me?
I'm nervous about going to school.
My parents were my private tutors for my early grades. Though I went to school for a certain amount of time after their death, I am dreading it. It isn't my best memories.
- Everything will be alright. You are at another period of your life. You will see things differently.
Yeah, yeah. And I have friends too.
- You have your teammates with you.
- The session is already over. You can see it wasn't this hard.
No, it wasn't. Thank you, Doctor.
Conclusion: At start the patient seemed reluctant but his behaviour relaxed rapidly. He seems to be someone who confides easily.
They came to the school a little earlier to visit the buildings. They hadn't got the time before with everything that had been going on. So the morning of their first day, they found themselves in the school grounds.
Jack gently volunteered to be the tour guide and showed them the surroundings.
Previously, Jack had arrived near the school year's beginning so he hadn't had to start high school in the middle of kids who were already too familiar with one another. However, it had only taken a month for his psyche to utterly cry for help. And so one night, he had just cracked and drunk, he had gone to Carter's house. It was that famous night and that famous story that had brought all of them here.
Jack had always been good with kids, young kids to be precise. But during his time at school, he hadn't got closed to anybody. And part of the reason had been that he had felt himself so different, so alien, so out of it all - unable to bend, unable to blend. Nonetheless, after almost three weeks leave from school, he was feeling enthusiastic, just happy, as he was briefing his team again. Jack even found himself commenting on their professors and classes.
All in all, they spent a pleasurable time under Jack's guidance.
It had been previously decided and settled that they would all be in the same class. As for special classes and courses, they hadn't yet reached a compromise; their taste and habit were too different one from another.The tour took a longer time than anticipated. When they arrived to the classroom for their first lesson, most of the chairs were occupied. And then the bell rang and they immediately dispatched in the room; Sam went in the back and sat next to a window; Jack dragged Teal'c towards two free tables next to each other. So Daniel, the last one to react, ended up in the only empty chair on the first row feeling tricked, somehow.
The teacher, a young woman, was already there and was settling on the desk.
"Good morning, everyone!" She greeted.
"Good morning, Ma'am!" The class said in return.
She was now facing the students with a smile.
"As you can see, the class has welcomed a few new heads!" She looked warmly at Daniel whose heart began to pump more quickly (no, no… he doesn't have a crush on her just a sense of foreboding catastrophe).
"Also one of your classmates has returned from his long absence due to illness!" she smiled at Jack and he smiled at her likewise.
"Glad to be back, Mrs Gallant!" The boy answered.
"Glad to see you back!" She reciprocated. She didn't know the details concerning his absence (and she will never know) but seeing the change in the child's overall expression and demeanour was enough information for her to rejoice over his return.
"My name is Sylvia Gallant and I am your Literature Professor! Please..." She invited Daniel to stand up and join her by reaching her hand.
Daniel shyly complied and turned to his new classmates.
He wasn't the clumsy and bad dressed boy of his childhood anymore. His clothes reflected his own taste and confidence even if the jeans had been picked by Jack, the sweater by Sam, and his socks had been chosen by Teal'c
"Hi my name is Daniel Jackson! Glad to meet you all!" Daniel nervously greeted his brand new class… in his brand new high school… in his brand new life. A lot of 'brand new' for a guy who was highly uneasy with changes (changes that doesn't imply adopting the way of life of desert indigenes).
As he had said to Doctor Cartwright, he had never gone to regular school till the death of his parents and when he had, he had lived the experience really badly and not just school. Then because he had been some kind of passionate genius in his area, he had directly jumped at young age to a special course of studies where he had spent pretty much the rest of his life. So now he was standing around kids at their most arrogant period, feeling intimidated as if he hadn't spent the last years communicating with other alien species.
He wasn't in a state of mind to fully get the irony of the situation but he was conscious of it.
By habit, he raised his finger to push up his glasses but found empty air and his forehead instead. He didn't wear glasses. His current new eyes hadn't been worn out by intense and long hours of reading books. So his sight was perfect. However Sam had told him that his eyes were likely to deteriorate into myopia again because of genetics and he should nonetheless see an ophthalmologist to prevent it. Truth was he was missing his glasses.
"Present yourself with a few words, please," the teacher said then.
He looked at the grownup for more direction.
"Where do you come from?" she suggested.
"Um," he was baffled; he tried to look for support from some of his classmates.
First, Jack, the brown boy who was making an 'okay' sign to him, then to a big black guy, another new student who only moved his eyebrow...
Desperately, Daniel got on his toes to try to get visual contact with another kid who happened to be a girl, the last new student. She was mimicking words with her mouth that looked strangely like "it's classified" to him in his state of panic.
Daniel looked again at the teacher, tongue tied, bulging eyes. He glanced at the class a last time before his imminent death of whatever you die when you have nothing to say and that it embarrassed the hell of you.
He then noticed that Jack had written "Minnesota" on his notebook and was waving it shamelessly. Teal'c next to him had copied his action but had written, "Earth" in what looked like goa'uld.
Daniel glared furiously at both of them. They weren't helping... at all.
A hand rose up in the back and the teacher reacted.
Sam stood up and Daniel thought that she was definitely a salvaging angel.
"I think Daniel doesn't know how to understand your question!" the blond angel said.
"The truth is he travels a lot!" Sam hinted.
"That's right!" he jolted.
Sam sat back on her chair.
"Lately I had been in… Egypt. My parents were archaeologist, they're... deceased now. But I used to accompany them during all their expeditions. Archaeology became as turn my own passion. I wish... I wish to apologize for my odd behaviour at times. It's been a long time since I've been in school," Daniel continued more confidently.
The class seemed to warm up at his lines; smiles and interested face finally ended up reassuring Daniel and he was relaxed when he sat down on his chair.
Next student presentation was Sam's, mainly because she had intervened to help Daniel.
She rose up and walked quietly to the front of the class. Most of the kids looked at her with curiosity wondering what kind of relationship the two of them shared and if she had parents who were archaeologists too. Some others just sized her up as they had done with Daniel.
She was wearing a dress. It wasn't really unusual when she was outside of work. Really. But shamefully it was the result of a bet... more like a dare to be truthful. She mentally sighed; she would have opted for something a lot more casual and neutral. Plus this dress wasn't really fashionable, too long and too loose. It wasn't the best first impression she could have made: a well-behaved and old-fashioned girl. Whatever... Happen what may!
"Hello, I'm Sam Carter!" she began a bit hastily.
"Hmm Sam because my father wanted a son!" she tried joking nervously.
The whole class laughed. That one always scored and she eased.
"But it's short for Samantha. My father is in the Air Force and when I was y-..." she stopped herself.
"Younger... I mean until now, I travelled with him following his postings," she pursued.
She looked at the students who were glaring at her expecting something more.
"I met Daniel in Egypt if that's what you want to know," she added smiling.
She'd met him in Abydos but it was some sort of Ancient Egypt so that wasn't a plain lie.
"What else to say? My hobby is Astrophysics... and I wish to build a system that would allow humans to travel and explore the entire universe."
She smiled big time when looking at her teammates knowingly.
"That's pretty all," she ended before returning to her chair.
Altogether, Sam made a good first impression as the boys found her pretty and the girls non-threatening.
Then it was Teal'c's turn. The black teen was tall and imposing. His impassive face always disconcerted the people who met him. Following Jack's tutelage, he was wearing really loose and flashy sportswear, his friend explaining him that it would be more suitable... while himself hadn't understood the use of such clothes. Large clothes could be easily grasped and lacked of what SamanthaCarter had called aerodynamic. And shiny colour clothes were really easily spotted. Jack had grinned looking at his attire and Teal'c had silently complied.
"Greetings! It is a special honour for me to be at your side. The name that was giving to me when I was born is Teal'c..." Teal'c started calmly.
The tall boy glanced at the class and saw Jack doing circle signs with his hand, he frowned slightly but pursued.
"... Murray Teal'c. My last name is Ronson. My home... town is named Chulac, it is very far from here," he paused then continued, "I have also met DanielJackson and SamanthaCarter... in… Egypt?"
He searched for his friends' approval and found it.
"In my culture, men are raised to serve and fight. But it is freedom I cherish and protect above all. Please, treat me well!" Teal'c ended and returned to his chair quietly oblivious to the stunning eyes of his new classmates, after all his teammates had just smiled at him.
After the silence that followed, the teacher spoke.
"I hope everyone will welcome warmly these three new students. Now we have to begin the lesson. Open your book at page 67."
Dossier n° 376-6822
Subject: Samantha Carter (former Major USAF, PhD in Astrophysics, Engineering, Informatics...)
Notes: First session with this patient.
Literal transcription: Colonel.
- Samantha, welcome.
I know you have to give up the rank but just call me Sam, please.
- Okay, Sam. How are you doing?
- I have to admit I don't really know what to ask you, Sam.
Don't worry about that. I'm… open. It sometimes disturbs people whose job is digging out secrets. They don't know what to ask first.
- It's a good picture of the situation (small laugh).
Anyway I am fine. It had been a bit of a chaos up till now but it seems everything has settled down. The house is big for the four of us, and I inherited of the basement for my lab by the way. Otherwise, there were few arguments about which room's whose. Nothing new, truth is they haven't changed, I mean Daniel and the... Colonel. Of course Teal'c is true to himself, calm incarnated.
- I can see you haven't changed certain habit yet.
Yeah. (Chuckle). I have difficulty with that one. I heard that it requires about five weeks to really get rid of an old habit. But I can't even imagine it could be otherwise.
- You see him as your commanding officer.
Yes... and no. I mean it's not him. I'm still seeing myself as an officer.
You know, I don't mind not being called Major, because there was already a lot of persons who didn't called me that way. But this habit of ranks and sirs and following orders... duty, regulations. It's part of me, it's me.
- I understand.
But I can call him Jack at times.
- You did and you can.
I guess it's just a habit that I can change.
- Oh! I have an unexpected appointment, I have to end this session a bit sooner. Of course if you have further questions...
I didn't expect it to be so short even considering your quick departure.
- You aren't here to pass a psychological examination, you know.
That's what I read, but I didn't think it would be the case.
- I won't lie to you. It is true that I have taken a great interest in your case and I intend to study it. The dynamic of your team, your reaction to this situation, it is fascinating.
We are not lab rats. The others won't take it well if they are monitored.
- I promise you that it is not the case. Your privacy is totally respected. These sessions will be the only measures taken in that perspective.
We will see.
- See you next time, Sam.
Conclusions: It was with surprise particularly delicate. This session enlightened a whole new point of view of the group dynamics. Apprehending these individuals will reveal to be more difficult than ever.
The bell rang announcing the end of the morning classes.
During the breaks between their different lessons, teens like bees came to question the new students.
Jack kept himself away from these interrogation sessions. He however noticed with no surprise that Daniel was the most popular one, mostly because girls at this age were like vulture around a piece of meat and they saw him as a lamb. Their curiosity being satisfied and surely the realization that Daniel wasn't the alpha male type more like the geek type, most of them went away. On their part, Sam handled the excess attention with scary professionalism (it is inherent to her, just like breathing) and Teal'c even in his young disposition could make you think twice before opening your mouth (that just with a look).
But as a matter of fact, all of them played the safe card of distance and reserve; not letting people come too closed.
Jack was up and ready to run out like usual but he noticed that his friends weren't as fast nor as hurried as he.
Teal'c was still perplexed about all the schooling process and was hesitant when packing his belongings. He was lost in his thoughts planning to later ask a bunch of new questions to his teammates.
So Jack chose to go see what Sam was doing.
Now that he was near, he took a look above her shoulder. She was underlining titles on her notes with a red pen.
"What are you doing Carter?" Jack asked.
"Taking notes, what does it look like?" Sam answered innocently.
Once finished and satisfied she closed the notebook.
"Yeah that too I don't understand... but the point is it's not a report... you don't need to do the pretty things...," he retorted to her.
"The fact that you don't use correct templates on YOUR reports, sir, doesn't mean they are not useful!" Sam stated back defensively.
A few heads turned to their way. The two of them froze.
"Why don't you go and see what Daniel is doing... while I pack up... We will discuss this later, okay?" She pursued lower and began to do as she said.
He frowned but not knowing what he could add, he complied.
Daniel wasn't ready yet but it was because a few girls had been around him, possibly harassing him.
When Jack approached him, he made big gestures with his arms.
"Get away, girls! Let him breathe, will you?"
They went away giggling and leaving the four of them, at last, alone in the empty classroom.
Now that he was closer, he could see that like Sam, Daniel had taken detailed notes, even more detailed than Sam but really messy or was it just his awful writing?
"So what does it feel like being back to school?" Jack asked.
Daniel wasn't at rest packing his things. He started to stutter something then stop, searching to better express his current feelings.
"You know, there's this myth that tells the story of a shepherd, named Paris," he said when his mind suddenly gripped on something satisfying, "One day two goddesses came to him. They told him he was the son of a king, and made him discover all of the luxuries that constituted the life of a royal prince," Daniel paused then rushed in a typically Daniel style, "It was a totally different world than the one he knew. Then they asked him who the most beautiful woman on Earth was. He, exhilarated by opulence and tempted by the goddesses chose Helen as mate," he sort of concluded then asked Jack, "And you know how it ended up?"
Jack once more found himself bewildered by Daniel's rhetoric not that he had paid an excessive attention to his friend's speech; mostly it went entirely above his head. No it was just…
"The Trojan War!" answered Sam in their back.
"Hmm... Hey what was my question again?" Jack ignored her answer and insisted on what he thought was important.
"I assume that what Doctor Jackson meant is..." Teal'c started.
"I know, I know. To sum up, he feels uncomfortable with all the attention, the entire girls-and-school package!"
"Never mind!" Jack blurted before adding, "Besides there's something we need to discuss!"
"What are you concerned about, O'Neill?" asked Teal'c.
"Isn't it obvious?" Jack looked at Teal'c who didn't move one muscle.
"Carter, explain it to him, will you?" Jack said.
"What the colonel is concerned about is the way we address to each other," explained Sam.
"Oh!" Daniel made.
"Oh? That's all you have to say?" Jack reacted rudely.
"Hey, I'm not the one who has this problem here, I call you by your first name, all of you!" said Daniel.
"He is right, sir!" Sam added.
Jack scowled at her.
"With all respect, we really can't do anything about that. The more we'll try, the more it will sound weird if we slip and we will slip," Sam said after a bit of thinking.
"It can pass as nicknames for now and with time, we'll be able to change our habits," Daniel commented.
"Yes, right now, I'm not really confident in calling you, neither O'Neill...," Sam frowned.
"Nor Jack!" she made a face.
Jack was about to protest.
"Hey, should I recall you, you're the one who 'carters' me around!" Sam cut him off.
"I wouldn't mind calling you Sam," Jack protested nonetheless.
"I'm not sure you know what you're talking about, Jack!" Sam stressed on his first name.
He looked at her intensely.
"Okay, Okay, you're right...," he finally surrendered.
"Jack here, will as we all know, always 'carters' me around. And me using the military etiquette can be explained as a private joke considering my father is a General," explained Sam.
After a pause Sam added.
"Teal'c is Teal'c. So it isn't a new problem."
"As for 'Doctor Jackson', it already sounds like a real nickname," said Sam.
She looked at each boy but Daniel tensed.
Daniel was troubled with one thought that had been haunting him since their moving.
"Daniel?" Sam probed.
"I was thinking that apart from being all together, one of the opportunities in the current situation is to allow us to do things differently, to begin anew...," Daniel started.
He definitely got everyone's attention with his words.
"But how can we do that if we don't change?" Daniel retorted with anguish his voice.
"You know that it applies to you too!" commented Jack accusingly.
The boy looked at him quizzically.
"Look at your books at home or your..." Jack pursued before being cut.
"... My room, I know. That's when I first thought of it! And I do agree that we are all fruits in the same basket!" Daniel interjected.
They all looked at each other thoughtfully.
"Indeed..." Teal'c started before stopping.
The black teenager realized that the argument in question pertained to other matters than just how they address to each other. To speak the truth, Teal'c hadn't felt the necessity to adjust his formal addressing; this particular habit was so mingled in the kernel of his psyche, linked to core ideas such as respect, honor, duty that he never even thought to wonder about its real purpose or current utility. And he sure didn't know if he wanted to begin to question it now… though he completely understood and even agreed in his way with Daniel's call.
And that was the reason they were unable to say their mind. While they did understood and agree in theory, they couldn't help themselves rejecting it, sensing they couldn't adhere and make 'tabula rasa' not even in part as they felt they didn't want to relinquish even an inch of who they were.
Eventually, Jack reacted (Jack always the bravest or just the bull-headed one).
"Nah! Am way too 'old' ta change," he claimed.
Daniel scowled at him with a fierce gaze but soon Sam stepped in.
"I hate throwing the stone at you, Daniel. But I have to agree with the... colonel. I… I don't intend to change. We know what's going on out there," she pointed her finger at the sky, "We have to comply here, sure, and make the better of this situation. But I… I intend to… fight the 'Fight' and I will prepare myself in consequence."
Teal'c nodded, Jack seemed to approve. But Daniel wasn't entirely convinced.
"But I trust you all... I mean I trust them, the others, to do what they have to. And I'm confident they will manage without us. We don't have to be involved anymore...," said Daniel in defence.
"I'm not sure you realize our situation here," Sam protested and continued, "Can you really believe that you can push away all your memories, the people you met and cared about, your own sense of purpose... just like that?"
She couldn't stop herself to voice her inner turmoil and retorted acutely, "No matter how many regrets you possess, don't you think, right now, that you are who you are, who you're supposed to be?"
"But I understand that with your past records, you are more likely to choose this kind of alternative," Sam added lower, so low that it was barely heard.
"What do you mean?" asked Daniel a bit confused.
Sam glanced heavily at Jack and Teal'c, but then kept her head bowed avoiding looking at Daniel.
"When you ascended," answered Jack with a sigh in her place.
"You just did that, of course you didn't really have that much of a choice but still, you pushed us away and took another path," he concluded.
Daniel was a bit shocked by this near- accusation.
"Don't take it like a reproach," intervened finally Sam, "What I mean is we can't make or apply the same decision for ourselves, we are who we are. And, Daniel, you… you're not someone to become... you have nothing to prove to us, to yourself... to anybody for that matter."
"You know, Danny boy, if you expect Teal'c to get a decent sense of humour for a change, I think you ask the impossible," added Jack playfully, trying to change the mood.
A look at Teal'c and Daniel saw that he approved what the others said. Sam and Jack had come to a conclusion that the black boy hadn't reached by himself but which had anchored deeper and deeper in his soul as the words had flowed. Teal'c could do nothing but embrace their position.
For a moment, nobody broke the mild silence which reflected their disturbed but quieter turmoil.
"Teal'c will always be a former jaffa," Sam finally commented in a peaceful tone, "I supposed that Jack," she insisted oddly, "and I will always be military officers."
"As for you and I, we'll always be scientist," she made her final point.
The tension in Daniel's face and composure eventually deflated.
"You're right. There're things that aren't meant to change," Daniel said softly.
Then he smiled and the heavy mood disappeared immediately.
"And others that can be change. For now guys, try to get rid of that bad naming habit," Daniel told them gently scolding.
"I will work on this issue and I will overcome this problem, I assure you, Daniel," Teal'c promised fairly.
Some habits were nothing but habits, Teal'c said to himself.
"Same, no problem!" claimed Jack.
"Sure," agreed Sam.
Though the two of them had never protested against this precise point in the first place, their words weighed heavily in their minds. Jack knew that whatever he had stated, life would change him, irremediably. For Sam, her agreement rang a gloomy bell and she wasn't sure she was quite ready to face what was to come.
"Ok, buddies, let's go eat!" claimed Jack.
They got out of the classroom into the racket that was a High School corridor, once again united against what the world would throw at them.
Dossier n° 376-6821, 376-6822, 376-6823, 376-6824
Jonathon O'Neill (former Colonel USAF)
Samantha Carter (former Major USAF, PhD in Astrophysics, Engineering, Informatics...)
Daniel Jackson (former PhD in Archaeology, Linguistics, Anthropology...)
Murray Teal'c Ronson (former Alien)
Notes: After the first sessions with the patients, the need to see them as a group and in a group was reinforced for all sorts of reasons. The most obvious one is to subdue a face to face between O'Neill and the rest of his team. But after the discussion with Carter, it was evident that the behaviour of each of these individuals will only make sense if placed in their context meaning placed in continuity with their group dynamic.
The previous observations showed that they do work like a wolf pack.
An evolved, advanced and civilized pack but which primal dynamic stays basic.
I spent a great amount of time reading reports and watching tapes. And I came to draw a few patterns.
Let's begin with a simple example, a currently meaningful sample of their dynamics: their positions when presented to people they don't yet know or to people that threatens them.
x x Daniel x Sam
x x x x x Jack
x x Daniel
x x x x Sam
x x Daniel
x x x Jack
x x x x Sam
x x Jack
x x Daniel
x x x x Jack
Those patterns were extrapolated from the observations made. They aren't fixed and usually change depending of the circumstance. Nonetheless they appear to be the skeleton of the team.
They reveal that:
O'Neill is the unquestionable and unquestioned leader.
Teal'c is always the one who look at their backs. He is also the one whose responsibility is simply to watch.
Jackson is always in the middle. He is the one they're all cautious about.
Carter is the one who is specially charged to protect and support the leader.
But it isn't as simple.
For instance, O'Neill will always leave Jackson more space and overture while he nonetheless keeps an eye on him. Doing that, he will always present his back to Carter.
You might understand it like O'Neill recognizes Jackson as a possible beta male who needs to be watched or as a young male who needs to be encouraged. Or that O'Neill tries to shield Carter, a weaker female. Or maybe ignore Carter because she is a submissive female.
You would be wrong.
The core of their dynamic resides in the trust and knowledge they have for and in each other.
Presenting one's back to someone else in an unknown even dangerous situation shows a total trust in the other person. Turning so to leave overture to someone behind shows an obvious protectiveness.
However Jackson isn't the weak link, here. On the contrary, he is what the team considers its Ace card.
Moreover Carter isn't just O'Neill's shadow, she is the brain.
Teal'c isn't just the follower, he is the guardian.
And finally, O'Neill isn't the absolute leader: he is the team's spokesman.
When it comes to two of them, the dynamic keeps the same spirit.
O'Neill will be in the front line.
Teal'c will be in the back line.
Carter and Jackson when they are only the two of them will stand on the same level.
This dynamic emerges automatically and affects their behaviour all the time.
In that light, this is what appeared from the first sessions:
Jack said few but showed his leader's responsibilities to look at his team.
Teal'c said few but was showing interest in understanding what he sees.
Daniel said much, part genuine concern about their situation then sincere reactions when it comes to his feelings.
Sam said much but mainly voiced the position of the team considering their welfare.
If you know how to watch, you can easily put away their personal remarks even if they are sincere and meaningful. What you see when you gather their individual sessions, selecting the elements concerning only their team, is so much revealing, it makes so much sense. Each one of them states unconsciously the position, claim... complaint of the entity that they formed.
It is both so simple and means so much. It doesn't have the depth or the excellence of an ultimate revelation, nothing extraordinary. But the way it naturally, unconsciously flows and merges up from these latent dynamic currents is incontrovertibly unique.
Their behaviours acquire a whole different perspective when you look at them as an entity.
Watching them together will surely be most interesting.
Literal transcription: - Good morning.
Sam: Good morning, Sir!
Daniel: Good morning Doctor.
- Come in, all of you.
- Sit down, please! As you can see, today, we will have a group session...
Daniel: May I ask you if there's a particular reason to that?
- Oh, do you have some reservation?
Daniel: Of course n... y... Okay I have no idea.
Sam: It's a bit unexpected, sir, so we just want to know why. Will you tell us?
Jack: It's obvious! Butchers playing surgeons with people's brain. Might I say bloody work?
Teal'c: You are making an analogy, Jack. I do not understand it however. Doctor Cartwright is nor a butcher nor that kind of doctor.
Jack: Yeah! Whatever!
Daniel: Jack doesn't think highly of psychologist, let's not say military psychiatrist, Murray. He thinks they play with people's mind and doesn't care about the state they leave them.
Sam: He had bad experiences with some of them.
Teal'c: I see.
Jack: Whatever! He just wants to play with our minds till we spit some kind of pattern that he can use to support whatever theory he has concerning us... And I dare you to say otherwise.
Teal'c: I see.
Jack: So Doc, what's up?
- I just thought it makes a lot of sense to see you together. You're a cohesive and closed team. It would have been stupid to disregard this factor.
Jack: He's good! Quite impressive diverted answer that was!- You haven't answered my question by the way. Do you have reservation?
Daniel: The situation is complicated and you know it. I suppose that in theory we aren't opposed to these group gatherings. But you can't expect that manipulating us will make us happy about it. There's a big potential of harm, here.
Sam: We are private persons who respect each other privacy. I don't think putting us in this kind of um...
Sam: Thanks, Teal'c.
Teal'c: You're welcome, Sam.
Daniel: What Sam wanted to say is that this kind of confrontation won't help us. It only serves you.
Jack: See! My team's brilliant.
Jack: We aren't pawns in your chess game. So quit it!
- I... I apologize. I suppose I... I didn't mean it like that.
Jack: What do you want from us?
Daniel: At least for today.
Jack: Of course for today, what did you think I was thinking? That he had an ulterior motive like sucking our soul out and draining our body?
Daniel: It sounded a bit overly dramatic, that's all!
Jack: It didn't!
Daniel: Did too!
Jack: Did not!Sam: Um... Guys! It's not the time to... You know.
Teal'c: Please, Doctor, you should pursue!
- Of course... I had few worries about how you, all of you, will react to the changes of the last weeks. So I planned just to ask you how you handle the pressure. Teal'c, how do you find school?
Teal'c: Our previous discussion was really helpful. I am still perplexed about a lot of things. First, I have never lived among the Tau'ri before... because of my symbiote.
Daniel: But I thought your symbiote was removed.
Teal'c: That is correct. I was depending on tretonin after the ambush on Kresh'taa.
Sam: It wasn't that long ago. Murray hadn't got the time yet to move out of the base.
Jack: Plus, he's never requested it.
Teal'c: The idea has never come to my mind but it is certain I would have requested it sooner or later.
- By the way how are you handling things since the loss of your symbiote, Teal'c?
Teal'c: I had what you might call an Epiphany, not long before the cloning. I am fine. It is also a good thing that I am not depending on any drug now. And school is definitely interesting.
- It is a lot of changes in a short amount of time for you Teal'c and if you say that everything's fine, I believe you. But you're all in a similar situation. Daniel, how was that first day at school?
Daniel: (laugh) Absolutely scary! I was mortified... but... an angel saved me.
Sam: Stop with that!
Daniel: (laugh) Sam's the angel.
Jack: Tsssk Another guy who fall for that cliché. You won't believe how many men she has seduced with this card!
Sam: (sigh) Tell me Doctor, why is he doing that now? If I didn't know better, I would think he is picking a fight.
Daniel: (big laugh)
Sam: You can laugh all you want but the next time "they" harass you... you will be on your own… dear!
Sam: And Jack, be careful of what you pick, you might have it!
Teal'c: They have been behaving in a slightly different way since the cloning. Do we have to fear they had been altered during the process?
Jack: For crying out loud!
Sam (at the same time): Teal'c!
Daniel (at the same time): Stop joking!
Daniel: You know the doctor will take you seriously.
Jack: T, how many times I have to repeat, you have to give a clue that you're kidding otherwise it isn't funny at all.
Teal'c: Was I joking?
Sam: Okay, Murray, you have a point. But as you know, we are clones. Of course we have been altered, you more than anyone. However I suppose you were talking about our minds.
Daniel: Our dynamic has in fact changed. But it is to be expected.
Jack: Yep! No need to worry. The doctor will confirm it, won't you Doc?
- It isn't surprising, no. And it doesn't mean that something is wrong. But I might say, Teal'c, that what you are concerned about is only the effects of what we call... hormones.
- It is a biological substance exuded...
Sam: Teal'c knows about it, sir!
Teal'c: Thank you, Doctor. I see now.
Sam: Could we talk about something else? I would be really pained if one of my teammates died of embarrassment.- I'm glad that you had overcome your anxiety issue towards school, Daniel. Anyway I can see that you are behaving more... friendly...
Daniel: I'd rather say childishly.
Sam: I presume it is because of the situation, living together, school... and the lack of "regulations".
Teal'c: It is also possible that the loss of the impeding threat and this new perspective of life had released lighter behaviours that had always been there.
- I concur, Teal'c, you are right. Um… Jack, do you have anything to add?
Jack: I don't know what you want me to say. Why would I have something to say? They were clear enough.
Daniel: It is odd that even Teal'c talks more than you, Jack.
Jack: I have nothing to say, Doc.
Daniel: He can do that for a long, long period of time. So better move to another topic.
- Okay! Sam, how is school?
Sam: Um, what do you mean?
- You weren't particularly enthusiastic about it, or particularly anxious, might I say. I thought that maybe it would be boring for you.
Sam: It isn't boring... I suppose.
Sam: I'm really doing it seriously. Attending to classes, participating, taking notes...
Jack: Really pretty detailed notes!
Sam: As I said, I do it seriously but it is true that it isn't challenging. Nonetheless I believe it'll be fine. I already had approval to continue my works. On wormhole physics, naquada applications and every technology I had already encountered.
Jack: You did?
Sam: Yes, same as Daniel.
Jack: Daniel? You too?
Daniel: Of course.
Jack: Why haven't you told me?
Sam: Well, I guess it was pretty obvious...
Daniel: Did you notice there were a lab and a library in our new house?
Teal'c: I came to that conclusion, myself. It is not a surprise to see both of our scientists pursue their works.
- Please continue, Sam?
Sam: So I was saying that I did have approval to continue my works and I always wanted to do some research and write. I guess I have enough time now.
I've already started to compile data and report. But I'm waiting for my lab to be ready... there're lots of security protocols that need to be implemented. Some standard procedures like airtight closure, airing, soundproofing, electrical and wave protection. Of course I would add some personal designed conception. I think of an anaerobic work area and also a system for liquid air... Unfortunately I will be restricted on 'alien' materials, which at some point will obviously be de... Sorry, you don't need those details... do you?
In conclusion, I'm fine and school is... enjoyable.
Jack: Thank you Carter! Very interesting! Glad... you stopped.
Sam: You're welcome, Sir!
Jack: So Danny too will keep on working. I have a question however.
Daniel: On what I'm supposed to work on?
Jack: Of course... not.
Daniel: Yeah it would have been shocking.
Sam: (small chuckle) Yep.
Jack: Okay, okay. My question is for the two of you.
Sam: Please, ask.
Daniel: We're listening.
Jack: Will you be paid for that?
Sam: Pertinent question.
Daniel: Delicate answer.
Jack: How so? It's either yes or no.
Sam: You know our situation. We are underage. We can't effectively touch whatever money we can earn.
Daniel: It is delicate. We have at our disposition a special account to purchase materials, documents, anything we need... I wouldn't be able to do research studies without this financial support.
Sam: Materials are really high cost particularly in my area of expertise. And in Daniel's, artefacts can't even be bought only burrowed. It's the contacts, the relationships that are the most important. They also provide us with that.
Jack: So no, huh?
Jack: Just admit it. You work for free, just for prestige... for the good of humanity!
Teal'c: I do not see it is a bad thing, Jack.
Daniel: I never was interested in money.
Sam: I was in the army, it speaks for itself.
- Jack, I see that you are still fixed on that financial dependency issue.
Sam: You know, he isn't the only one concerned about it. We are like prisoners. More or less willing. In fact we're treated worse than prisoners on parole.
Daniel: Um... Might I recall you how women were treated in past civilisations and still are now in many cultures? They weren't inevitably locked out or beat up. But in all these cultures, they were dependant on their father, their brothers, or their husband to do anything. They always needed to refer to a man. It is some kind of vicious slavery.
Jack: And I was the one overly dramatic?
Daniel: It is an analogy. But you have to admit there're some resemblances.
Teal'c: I understand and share the same concern. As an alien, I had not really got the opportunity to experience the um…full use of getting a salary. But not having the liberty to live as one want but according to someone else's rules, by mind programming, by genetic manipulation or by any kind of restriction is a situation that I had faced under Goa'uld hands. Considering that it is evident that we would have obeyed willingly, for my part as for my companions, I cannot stop being concerned about it.
- I see.
- I guess you're right. The government, I included, we are using you, trying to control you, manipulate you without regards for your free will. It is what we do. If it had been only you Jack, the situation wouldn't be the same. But you brought back another SG-1.
Your minds are one valuable thing. But you, as a team, you are priceless. Do you realize how many things all of you have done for us these past years? Sure they want to use you.
It is how it works.
In another hand, I hope you realize that even as clones, the situation is that if anyone of you requests anything to the president, he would feel obliged to grant it.
It is pretty funny to state it, but you're not treated as prisoner... you're just treated as... child. And until your body shows otherwise, unfortunately it won't change because legally you don't have that freedom.
- Consider yourself at the beginning of a new life...
I took the idea of clones of the entire SG-1 from "Monkey Screaming" by SGCBear which didn't really inspire me but which I vaguely based my series on. Since we are in 'fanficdom', it's ridiculous to point out I'm stealing characters and plot since I'm already stealing them big time which isn't an excuse to do so, of course .
I'm just considering this fic as another version of a same theme. Anyway, truth is SGCBear's fic wasn't at all what decided me to write this series, I've first read (and loved) it ages ago.
What I like in fanfic is essentially the team's dynamic and of course the characters. But most of all, on TV, SG-1 is changing/ has changed (for the better or the worse).
So this new series of mine is especially dedicated to SG-1 as we used to know them (or more correctly as I imagine they were).
That said; I have to warn you that English isn't my first language and the stories still need to be 'betaed'. Any volunteers are welcomed!
I tried to make Teal'c as formal as he is supposed to be, Daniel fast mouth and academic, Sam logic and scientist, Jack informal and the Doctor professional. I apologize if it didn't sound exactly right. It's totally coming from a lack of command of language on my part.
NB: Okay now, there is this sentence in my fic that I didn't explain because it isn't from me but directly from SGCBear. It's when Teal'c says "We are not Goa'uld". You should go read her fic if only to know how deep and meaningful that only sentence is. I don't linger on it because it's not mine to stage or explain. You don't need it to enjoy the fic but still, I couldn't decide to remove it, even if it's patented, copyrighted, trademarked and has SGCBear's stamp on it. I apologize a thousand times. I really didn't want to steal it, I'm not even borrowing it and giving it back afterwards (kinda)… it's a tribute… really, I swear! Don't lynch me!