"I have absolutely no idea."
"Carson, that's not what I want to hear."
"I'm sorry Elizabeth," Carson sighed. "They are four incredibly healthy twelve-year-olds with no explanation as to how they got that way."
Elizabeth put her head in her hands. "There's nothing wrong with them?"
Carson shrugged. "There's an unusual radiation signature on them, but it's not harmful."
"Could that be responsible for them being younger?" she asked hopefully.
Carson pondered it. "I don't know of anything that can reverse time, but…I have read of something similar to this."
Elizabeth looked up from her hands. "When?"
"The SGC medical files. A clone was made of General O'Neill that didn't progress past a teenager."
"You think they're clones?" she asked incredulously.
He shrugged. "I'm just saying it's possible."
"Would you like me to tell them?" Carson asked.
She shook her head. "No, I'll tell them. You keep working on this. I want an answer. I will not accept them staying like this."
She knocked on the door. She had already been to the others' rooms, but she had put this one off till last.
"Come in," John said from deep inside his room.
Elizabeth took a deep breath before entering.
"Elizabeth," he said, rising to greet her.
She stayed just inside the room and he stayed next to his bed.
"It's not good news is it?" he asked.
She shook her head. "We don't know what's wrong John, I'm sorry. Carson and Radek are still working on it but…"
"We're stuck this way for awhile," he finished for her.
John took a step toward her and she involuntarily took a step back. "I'm sorry John," she said with a sigh. "Look, I should go. I'll make sure to keep you updated."
John smiled, and for a second Elizabeth could see the John she knew in that pre-pubescent face. "Yeah ok. I'll just be around."
Elizabeth nodded and then slipped out the door into the hall. She went to her balcony, their balcony. It was all too weird. Just a week ago she had been standing on this balcony with him, the way she often did, his arms wrapped around her. Their relationship had only just begun, and what was she supposed to do now? She couldn't well date a pre-teen.
She shook her head to clear it. It'll be ok, she told herself. Carson will figure something out and get us out of this mess.
He has to, another part of her said, or you're going to jail.