Turnabout is Fair Play
Author: Neiths Arrow
Spoilers: Everything up to Season 7
Pairing: Hint of J/S
Category: Action-Adventure / AU / Humor
Summary: The SGC has an interesting visitor and must thwart the efforts of an old foe.
Disclaimer: The following characters are fictitious. They, in no way, make a statement about any real persons – especially since I have made up the names, histories, interests, personalities, and experiences (fictional 'facts) to suit my needs (as authors tend to do). Any similarity to real persons is just that – a similarity. The personalities are based on characteristics of people in Stargateland. I don't own those characters by the way. I am not profiting from this story in any financial way. Please do not post this story without my consent.
Author's Note: I want to thank Diane for her work as a beta – not only did she correct my grammatical errors, but she gave me the confidence and encouragement to complete this story, which started in May 2005. Any negative feedback is strictly mine to bear, but I'll gladly share any positive feedback (hint).
Scene 1 – The cyclist
After cresting the hill, the cyclist pulled over to the roadside for a short break in the shade of pine trees. He pulled his road bicycle off the shoulder, sat on a felled log, and released a reverent sigh. The stillness of the forest sank into his being. Various bird sounds and the rustle of brush interrupted the whisper-quiet sound of wind through overhead branches as unseen forest critters went about their business. He needed this break before continuing to train for the upcoming endurance trial. He had already trained for three months and the event was in a couple of days. If only his knee would hold out. He stared at the surgery scars and fingered them absently. Despite various injuries, he was determined to remain active. This extended vacation was about to end and he was due to return to work two days after the event. He had no current injuries that would affect his performance; he was healthy and ready for this endurance trial. With determination, the tall man got up, returned to the road, and began pedaling to his destination.
Scene 2 – Thor's visit
The gateroom at the SGC was bustling with activity. Ten minutes before SG-1 was due to depart on another mission, two SG teams busied the gate with their unscheduled arrival. Severe planetary weather changes had caused their return. Medical personnel assembled at the gate to assess the returning teams. The teams' hastily gathered survey equipment also cluttered the gateroom. Sergeant Siler was in the middle of organizing a crew to remove the clutter while the medical team escorted both the injured and their teammates to the infirmary. After the last piece of equipment went out the door, Colonel Jack O'Neill, team leader of SG-1, led his team from the observation deck to the gateroom below. Just as he was about to give the command to dial the coordinates for their destination, a column of glowing light appeared at the top of the ramp. A small, greyish figure appeared.
"Thor, buddy! To what do we owe this honor?" O'Neill smirked as he called out to the little grey alien.
The Asgard Supreme Commander walked awkwardly down the ramp to look up at his friend. "O'Neill. The Asgard again need your assistance."
Major Carter broke the stunned silence around the conference table. "You mean Loki escaped from your custody and is planning to steal Colonel O'Neill's DNA again?"
"Yes, Major Carter. I believe that is what I just said." Thor's enormous eyes blinked at the intense faces around the table.
Daniel pursed his lips thoughtfully, "But I thought you had modified Jack's DNA so it couldn't be duplicated?"
"Yeah! What he said." O'Neill rubbed the top of his head vigorously in aggravation. "There isn't going to be another kid running around saying he's me . . . is there?"
Thor took the question seriously. "No. Loki knows it would not be beneficial to abduct O'Neill from this reality. He is planning to harvest DNA from O'Neill in an alternate reality."
Hammond piped in, "Couldn't you just alter that DNA as well?"
After a quick glance at Thor, Carter hesitantly supplied, "Sir, . . . there are an infinite number of realities. The Asgard couldn't possibly change all the . . . O'Neills out there."
"That is correct Major Carter. However, we are not concerned with the infinite number of realities. We already know which reality will be used. We have placed a permanent tracking device on Loki and were alerted to his destination through a . . . reality interface detector."
Carter's eyes rose in excitement, "You mean you have the ability to pass the barrier between realities in order to . . ."
"I hate to interrupt your information extravaganza Carter, . . ." O'Neill looked pointedly at her, "but we do have a deadline as Thor mentioned earlier." He punctuated his reminder with raised eyebrows.
"Yes, O'Neill. Apparently, the alternate O'Neill, or O'Neill A, is to be kidnapped during a specific five of your Earth days. Because we do not want to risk his capture, you O'Neill will need to take his place and be abducted by Loki instead. At that time, we will be alerted and will return Loki to captivity. We have a short time to convince the alternate O'Neill to help us."
"Why would he not do so of his free will?" Teal'c boomed in puzzlement.
Thor suddenly cocked his head to listen to some silent communication. He raised his eye ridges and got to his feet. "We must get to the gateroom quickly. He will be here soon."
"Who will be here soon?" Hammond demanded to Thor's retreating back. Hammond shook his head in resignation at his loss of control. "Dismissed." The room quickly emptied after the alien as he ambled down to the gateroom. The General followed the group at a slower pace.
After they assembled in the gateroom, Thor calmly asked the observers to keep the entire ramp area clear. "There is a brief window of opportunity to bring him into this reality. Unfortunately, he is currently traveling at a high speed." This announcement was met with puzzlement.
Once again, a column of light appeared in the gateroom, but it was centered at the base of the ramp near the observation window. Suddenly, a bicyclist clad in peridot and black appeared captured by the light. He suddenly accelerated as his tires made contact with the floor. The observers stood back while he sped up the ramp. They could see the cyclist frantically apply his brakes. But, due to his speed, he flew through the circle of the gate and disappeared to the floor on the other side with a loud crash. The onlookers heard shouts of surprise and pain as they raced up the ramp. "Damn it, damn it! Oh Gawd!" The cyclist was rocking on the floor clutching his gashed knee between both hands; his feet were still solidly clipped into the bicycle pedals. "So much for no injuries. My doc is so gonna kill me."
Teal'c was the first one on the scene. "O'Neill. Are you injured."
The cyclist removed his sunglasses to look up incredulously at the brown face. The tone of his voice was sarcastic. "Do I look injured?" He frowned before shifting his brown-eyed gaze from the observers to the surrounding room, then to the backside of the gate. "What am I doing here? I was just on the road." His face went white as he looked up searchingly. "Did I hit my head? Maybe I don't remember. Are we in the middle of shooting. . . ?"
Teal'c abruptly reassured the new arrival, "We are not shooting anyone, O'Neill. We do not have weapons."
After glaring at Teal'c, the newcomer cautiously unclipped his feet from the pedals, gingerly extracted himself from the crash scene, and removed his helmet. "Very funny." After looking down at his bicycle, he groaned. "My bike! I was planning to use this one for the event!" The front, carbon-fiber fork was hopelessly broken and part of the front rim was bent perpendicular to the rest of the tire.
Thor pushed his way through the tall legs at the top of the ramp. "Do not worry O'Neill A. I will repair your vehicle as well as your knee." He jumped down to the stunned man and raised his palm, which was imbedded with a clear crystal. A white light emanated from the crystal and engulfed the bicycle; the warped fork and rim straightened while the flattened tire magically re-inflated. As the glow moved over the man, his leg wound closed and he looked up in wonder.
"The pain's gone! What? How?" O'Neill A moved over to the little alien. He ran his hand magically and symbolically over Thor's head without touching him. He walked behind Thor while methodically dragging his feet, and then he stared at Daniel Jackson intently. "Thor, where are we?"
Thor responded from behind, "We are at Stargate Command on your home planet."
While continuing to stare at Daniel, O'Neill A exclaimed, "How'd you throw your voice like that?"
Daniel looked at the empty space to his immediate left and right. Then he placed the palm of his hand against his chest. "Are you talking to me . . . uh, Jack?"
"Oh! For crying out loud. Will ya tell the man what's going on?" O'Neill stepped to the front of the crowd and sat in front of the cyclist while dangling his feet off the back edge of the Stargate platform.
The cyclist stood and stared at the man who possessed identical facial features. After a stunned pause, he smirked, "Oh, you're good. Where'd they find you?" His face broke into a big, uncharacteristic grin. "OK. You guys got me. Ya got me good. The joke's over now. How did you do . . ." he gestured around the room ". . . this? How did you get me here?"
O'Neill grabbed his counterpart by the shoulders and looked at him intently. "I know this is hard to believe, but you are now in an alternate reality. We aren't the people you know. This isn't your . . ." He pointed to the gate over their heads ". . . Stargate."
"I'll say." O'Neill A looked at his counterpart's face closely. "Uhm! Did you have plastic surgery? Or is it makeup?"
O'Neill kept his hands on the newcomer's shoulders, but turned his head to the side and growled, "Thor, can ya help us out here?"
Thor again raised his hand to the cyclist and enveloped his head in a glowing light. By the time the light stopped, O'Neill A had his eyebrows raised. He backed away from the Colonel, and his mouth dropped open in astonishment. "Oh my God! I need to sit down." He looked behind him and chose to lean against the wall instead. "Oh my God!"
"You said that already." Jack mumbled.
The cyclist grinned widely at the comment. "Colonel O'Neill, of course. Thor, Daniel Jackson, Samantha Carter." He saw O'Neill flinch. With a devilish look he said, "Don't worry. We're not interested in each other in my reality . . . not like when you met the Samantha with long hair."
Major Carter looked puzzled. "How can you know about that? . . . sir. Thor, did you transfer information about . . .? But . . . ." She trailed off – her eyes widened in thought. She pondered whether this O'Neill had visitors from the same alternate reality. But how could that Samantha have visited more than one reality? And if so, what were the odds that she would have visited the same reality as this new O'Neill? The possibilities were so mind boggling that she snapped her mouth closed and remained silent. Attention focused back on the visitor when it became apparent she had no further commentary.
"Oh, I know a lot about all of you." O'Neill A responded smugly.
"Indeed?" Teal'c raised his eyebrow and tilted his head questioningly.
"People, let's discuss this in a more private atmosphere. Colonel, would you escort . . . our guest to temporary quarters? Get him more . . . comfortable clothing, and then bring him to the conference room." The observers wondered if Hammond meant more 'comfortable' for the guest or for the observers; the tight cycling clothing left nothing to the imagination. Carter quickly wiped the grin off her face when her CO caught her staring at the thin, shimmery layer of cycling clothing on his double's body – it was apparent he was not wearing underwear. Daniel had one eyebrow raised at O'Neill's expense, but looked the other way when confronted by said Colonel.
Teal'c raised his head in stoic indifference.
The cyclist responded, "General Hammond, my name is…" But he was speaking to Hammond's rapidly retreating back, so he shrugged his shoulders without continuing the sentence.
Scene 3 – Not in the military
After letting the cyclist get more comfortable in some borrowed military clothing, they all assembled in the conference room. The guest O'Neill started walking toward his usual seat, but turned away after a glare from the native O'Neill and sat next to Major Carter instead. He pulled his chair back and looked under the table. "Hmm. Your table is in one solid piece."
Jack responded sarcastically, "Duh!"
Hammond pressed his lips together and glared at the Colonel in disapproval. "Let's get on with this, people."
Daniel looked over to O'Neill A, "What do we call you?"
Hammond at the same time asked, "What is your rank?"
The cyclist responded with a soft, nasal tone. "I'm not in the military, you can just call me…"
Major Carter spontaneously interrupted, "You're not in the military? Sir? Uh!" She looked rapidly from her CO to the newcomer and stopped in puzzlement.
The guest smiled in amusement. "No, I'm not. And please just call me . . . . Hey!" He turned startled, but intelligent eyes toward Carter, "What about entropic cascade failure? Will I have to go through that?"
Thor interrupted, "I have modified your physiology to avoid this experience. You will not be affected for five of your Earth days."
The guest nodded and visibly relaxed.
O'Neill impatiently tapped his fingers on the table in frustration and suspicion. "You say you aren't in the military. Yet you know about alternate realities and tropical …" He circled his flattened hand toward Major Carter.
"…entropic cascade failure, sir."
"What she said."
Their guest slightly clenched his jaw and with a deeper, gentler voice replied, "In my reality, I'm a scientist."
There were gasps of disbelief around the table. Thor raised an eyebrow, and O'Neill sat back with a horrified look on his face. The only one who didn't react was Daniel. He leveled a calm glare and said, "Jack 'A' . . . Hmmm! Somehow appropriate. You um . . . lie just like our Jack. So, what do you really do?" Daniel had become an expert on reading when his friend was being untruthful. Ever since Jack's undercover NID mission to recover stolen, alien technology, Daniel had studied his friend to prevent being fooled – or hurt – again.
O'Neill 'A' responded with a sideways smirk and then a good-natured laugh. "Hey, can ya blame me? You really are pretty sharp, Dr. Jackson."
Daniel raised a hand and grinned – already liking the man who looked like his best friend. "Please, just call me Daniel."
"You can call me Roc, as in Roc Flanders - actually, Rocco Flanders."
Samantha raised her eyebrows and asked the question that was on everyone's mind, "Your name isn't O'Neill?"
Flanders shook his head with a smile.
Colonel O'Neill turned to the Asgard Commander, "Thor, why do you call him O'Neill 'A'?"
The Asgard Supreme Commander looked stunned by the question as if the answer was obvious. "The 'A' is an abbreviated form of the term 'alternate.' Does not O'Neill use one-letter abbreviations rather than the full word when speaking? For instance, he has been observed shortening the name 'Teal'c' to 'T.' Did I not use this form of communication correctly, O'Neill?" He had the worried look of a tourist who has committed a faux pas but is not sure of the seriousness of the error.
O'Neill's face softened with a look typically reserved for children. "That was great, Thor. Ya just need to give us a little warning when you go all Earther on us." He paused to let the little alien absorb this information before asking, "But why did you call him O'Neill? His last name is Flanders."
Roc looked toward Thor and gave him a nod to proceed. "Colonel O'Neill, he is known as both Flanders and O'Neill." They all turned puzzled looks toward Roc.
The real O'Neill asked slowly and with the patience of a crouched tiger, "Would you care to explain?"
The guest looked around at the expectant faces. "Okaaayyy, but you aren't going to like this." He paused for effect. "I'm an actor on a television show called …"
Teal'c interrupted with a deep, disgusted tone, "Wormhole Extreme."
Roc gave a big, toothy grin as he shook his head, "…called Stargate SG-1."