DANNY PHANTOM / STARGATE SG-1
SUMMARY: With the SGC's work in space exploration, NASA decides to send a representative. Who is Captain Fenton? What secrets is he hiding? And why is he afraid of General Hammond? (DP/SG-1 Xover)
NOTE: This chapter alludes to the events in the Danny Phantom episode "Double Cross My Heart". You do not need to see this episode before hand, but it might be a good idea to read over the episode recap on the DP Wikia. Especially the second to last paragraph.
Calling in a Favor
"… and I'm sorry to hear that, but as commander of this base, I have the final say on who goes through that Gate. Captain Fenton is injured. He's in no condition to . . ." General Hammond paused, frowning at the opposite wall as he listened to the person on the other side of the phone. "The President? I don't really think that's appropriate. If you're so concerned with getting a man off-world I'm sure there is someone else with clearance who . . ."
There was a loud knock on the door and, not waiting for a response, O'Neill slid inside and flopped into the opposite chair. On seeing that his CO was busy, he distracted himself by grabbing a pen off the desk and flipping it between his fingers. Hammond knew him well enough that Jack didn't even pretend to not be eavesdropping.
"No, I'm not sure that I understand. But unless you do get me direct orders from the President, then I'm not letting Fenton go anywhere except back home. Yes, you can quote me on that. Fenton won't go off-world until he's waited at least a month and is back in fighting condition. That's the end of it.
". . . Good evening to you too."
The General sighed as he put phone down in the receiver just a little harder than he had to. When a quick glance at Jack saw him playing with one of his pens, he leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes.
"And what can I do for you, Colonel?"
"Aaww. The turkeys in Washington giving you trouble again?"
"Whoever sent Fenton here carries some weight. They're not taking 'no' for an answer." The General sat up and sent a mild glare at the phone. "Unfortunately, they're starting to learn that I have friends too. Unless they can get all the way to the President, they won't get anywhere."
"Sucks to be them."
Hammond let out a snort of amusement. "I suppose. Now Colonel, any reason you're in my office?"
"Maybe." Jack paused as a slip of his fingers caused the pen to spin off and hit a wall. He stared at where it rested on the floor, debating whether to pick it up or just get a new one. "See, Fenton is starting to monopolize the base rumor mill."
"I hadn't noticed." Hammond replied dryly.
"Right." Jack tore his eyes away from the pen. "Well, I hate to ask, but no one seems to know what's up with this guy, and if you have a history with him-"
"Jack." The General cut him off. "I really don't think-"
"It's not like I don't have clearance. Come on! You won't even look at the guy." Jack swept his arm out to indicate the base around them. "Whatever's between you two is creating tension for the rest of the base. No matter your personal feelings, sir, this is going too far. You gotta give me something."
Hammond let those words hang in the air for a minute, taking the time to scrutinize the man across from him. Jack met his gaze and neither of them so much as flinched when the base intercom buzzed to life with an announcement regarding flu vaccinations.
The General sighed.
"Frankly, Colonel, I don't see that it's anything you need to concern yourself with."
"Sir," O'Neill took a second to take a deep breath and plant his feet firmly on the floor. "Sir, as second in command of this base, I have to respectfully disagree."
"My previous interactions with Fenton have no bearing on the work he's doing now."
"And yet you're still avoiding him at all costs." Jack sat up straight. "Whatever happened, neither of you got over it. Either work it out, let it drop, or get rid of the guy. Or did you really think you could keep this up for the next couple of months?"
Hammond glanced away for a minute. He let out a long exhale, his shoulders drooping with a resigned weariness. "I thought that I might . . . I had hoped I wouldn't be seeing much of him."
"That might have worked, sir, if you hadn't been so obvious about avoiding him." Jack picked up another pen to play with. "You wouldn't have even seen that much of him. To be honest, I'm not sure why you made such a big deal of it."
"Jack," Hammond said quietly, his hands starting to fist on the desktop. "You need to let this drop. This was covered up for a reason . . ."
"Then I'm calling in a favor." Jack said. "Anything you want, but you have to tell me something so we can take care of the problem. Because, from where I stand, it's tearing both of you apart. And I need to know what can take two good officers and reduce them both to hiding from each other and throwing fits whenever the subject comes up."
"Why did you react when you saw Fenton?"
There was a brief contest of wills. But Jack was made of pure stubbornness, and Hammond had the pallor that showed he was already worn out and close to total exhaustion. He was the first to look away.
"I . . . I never expected to see him again." Hammond admitted. "I was so shocked . . ."
"I checked his records." Jack said.
Hammond eyed him critically.
"Alright, so Carter was the one that pulled the files. " Jack allowed. "Still, by the time he joined up you weren't in any place where you could have run into him."
"He was a civilian, when we first met. He was . . . he was . . ." Hammond stood out of the chair and turned away completely, hands forming futile fists at his sides. "I'm not proud of what I did, Jack. Out of everything that I've done for our country, this . . ."
Jack frowned and slowly put back then pen. "He saw something?" He guessed. "Or some sort of collateral damage, maybe?"
"I'm afraid it's even worse." Hammond seemed to shrink into himself even further, leaning on the bookcase for support. "He . . . We . . ."
He had to take a minute to find the right words.
"You have to understand that, at the time, our group had nearly a blank check on resources. We had developed a new kind of air-to-surface missile specifically to . . ." He shook his head slightly. "We told the nearest airbase that we wanted fighters and we got them within a couple of hours."
Jack blinked, visibly taken aback.
"We had too much power. I realize that now. But at the time, with the enemy we were facing, we weren't even sure what we had would be enough. It had been rushed through testing so that we could get it out onto the field. It was supposed to be relatively harmless to . . . civilians."
"I don't . . ."
"It released a certain kind of chemical." Hammond explained, choosing his words very carefully. "In small doses, it wouldn't harm humans, we were told, but could still work against . . . our enemy's weapons. We didn't have much training with it; we just had orders. Our primary target favored populated areas, but coordinates came in, of an area far enough outside the town, and a confirmed sighting of . . ."
Hammond paused to take a breath and give his tensed shoulders a slight shake.
"We knew our primary target had been operating in the city under a disguise. It took us a while, but we finally came up with a likely suspect. He was finally in the open, with only minimal civilians in the area."
"Yeah, sure you betcha." Jack interrupted. "But an airstrike? General, there aren't words to describe how overkill that is."
"We couldn't evacuate the area without alerting him, and a ground assault . . . He was good," He shook his head. "Damn good at getting away. We couldn't pin him. We didn't even have a chance. The brass were terrified of him, and if we even had a chance we had to at least try."
"So you saw it as a big chance to finish him off. With an airstrike." Jack sat back, his expression grew cold. "When he was within range of civilians. Tell me you didn't."
Hammond didn't say anything, but his hands clenched and relaxed in a cycle that spoke volumes.
"No." Jack breathed the word out, his disbelief and denial hanging in the air. His shock only lasted a moment by being overtaken by rage. "They wouldn't . . . Damn it! And you just followed the order? Just like that?"
Hammond didn't respond.
"Bastards. I know it happens. Hell, I was in Black Ops. My hands aren't clean either, but . . . an airstrike on U.S. citizens? Shit."
Silence hung in the air for a moment as both men fought their own internal battles.
"As I said, the weapon was specifically designed to … there were no deaths." Hammond finally managed. "There was … some of the civilians were injured, a few critically, but they all recovered. There was significant collateral damage to the site, but nothing that couldn't be repaired. We . . . we had been wrong about the suspect. He wasn't our target, just a boy in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"A boy? You seriously thought . . ." Jack had to take a second to stomp down on the rage. "It was Fenton, wasn't it? Your suspect."
"No. He was eliminated early on." Hammond shook his head as he finally eased himself back into his seat. "But the suspect had been seen with him and his friends. They were some of the civilians in the area. His friends had only minor injuries, Fenton was treated for second degree burns."
"And how, exactly, did he manage to recognize you?"
Hammond sighed. "His parents were subject matter experts. We met briefly then. And later, some of our conflicts with the target were rather ... public. Even if most of the citizens were good at getting out of the way."
"Ah." Jack frowned at for a minute. He let out a slow, deliberate breath. "Damn."
Hammond nodded. He kept his back to his desk, pretending to study the items on his bookcase instead.
"You … I'm going to need some time to think about that, sir."
"Right." Jack very deliberately set the pen back down on the desk, before standing. "Well, this has been fun."
He reached for the door, but then paused as he grabbed the handle.
Hammond hazarded a quick glance in his direction. "Was there something else, Colonel?"
"Carter mentioned . . . There was a group called the GIW. Someone went to a lot of trouble to bury any info on them six feet under."
"Good." Hammond smiled grimly. "The GIW wasn't quite the NID, but I'll be glad to see even their memory disappear."
Jack didn't say anything.
"If that is all, Colonel, then you're dismissed."
Jack spared one more glance backwards before leaving Hammond's office. He didn't know, yet, what he'd be sharing with the rest of his team. The General had told him the details in confidence, and he was already probably violating non-disclosure agreements by doing so. Plus, if what he learned had shaken even Jack's confidence in his CO, it could completely disillusion bleeding hearts like Daniel and Janet.
No, Jack thought, maybe it would be best if he kept the details to himself.
A/N: I told you this wasn't dead. Really. This chapter was a bit ... darker, I guess, than I thought it would be. But, honestly, it's hard to mix DP, which lightheartedly shows scenes of screaming crowds and major property damage, with SG-1, where characters end up injured or dead pretty regularly. I chose to make this a bit more serious so that it would fit in better with Stargate canon.
Hope the chapter was worth the wait.