Notes: Argh! This story suddenly popped into my head while reading 25 Random Things by KrisK - I got up to the word "Cake!" and a plot-bunny jumped me.
Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate (we all know who does), but I do own a copy of the computer game Portal. But Valve own Portal.
Setting: SGC, perhaps some time around the present, which means Jack is visiting. But that's not really important as it's not really relevant to the story!
Alert: Spoilers for Portal. (Currently, for test chamber 9. Did you know that Portal levels 1-11 are available free, from Valve? Simply Google for: portal first slice
And now, the story!
"Carter! What do you think you're doing?" Jack demanded upon seeing her working at a computer in her lab.
"Sir?" Sam was confused, as she wasn't aware of doing anything wrong.
"You're supposed to be taking a break, Carter."
"I am. Sir," she replied, still devoting much of her attention to the screen which Jack could see.
"That means you shouldn't be doing any work, in case you didn't realise," Jack reminded her.
"I'm playing a game," she explained, still concentrating on what she was doing.
Jack was suddenly far more interested, and walked around to room so he could see. "Sweet! It that some kind of space gun?"
"No Sir, it's the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device," Sam informed him.
"Sorry Sir. It's Portal Gun," she simplified.
Sam smiled widely at the chance to explain. "When I shoot it at a wall or other suitable flat solid surface, it forms an ad-hoc quantum bridge, allowing bidirectional transportation of both light and matter."
"And in English that means what?"
"It's like the Stargate, but people can walk through both ways and it's smaller. Also, instead of needing a ring of naquadah and a dialing computer, I can move the ends of the portal by shooting at the walls. Or the floor or ceiling. And you can see through, see?"
Jack watched as Sam demonstrated. "That's... visually confusing. How can you tell which way is up?"
"It's the opposite of the direction you fall, Sir," Sam explained a little cheekily.
"Right, how could I forget? So, you walk through the blue end, and come out the orange end?"
"Yes, or in the orange and out the blue. But the orange end is up on a platform that I can only reach by first walking through the blue end."
"Can't you put the orange end wherever you like?" Jack wondered.
"No, only the blue one at the moment. I think I may be able to upgrade the Portal gun later in the game to be able to shoot orange as well as blue. Earlier in the game, I could only walk through portals that were made for me."
Jack decided that made enough sense, for now. "Okay... but what's with the Goa'uld force field? This is too much like your job to be a game, with the mini-Stargates and force fields," Jack told her off.
"It's an Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grille."
"Like for my barbeque?"
"No, it disintegrates objects to stop me from removing them from the testing area, or into a room it doesn't want me to take them into. It also closes the portal." Sam picked up a cube and carried it through the field as a demonstration.
"So it's like a zat gun. Neat and it even drops a replacement cube for you! But what's the giant cube for?"
Sam turned her character around and pointed. "I need to drop it on that button to hold the door open so I can leave the room."
"But the button's on the other side of the... box zapper! You're clearly stuck," Jack declared.
At that point the computer apologetically interjected, "No one will blame you for giving up. In fact, quitting at this point is a perfectly reasonable response."
"See, even the computer agrees with me!" Jack said triumphantly.
"It's trying to trick me. I can actually take the cube into the other end if one portal is in each room," Sam pointed out.
"But the orange end is out of reach!"
Sam fired the blue portal and carried the cube through to the raised platform. "Not if I leave the cube up here, Sir."
"Sneaky, Carter, very sneaky. But I think you've played enough: you should find something to do that doesn't look like a Goa'uld funhouse."
"Do you have anything in mind, Sir?"
"You could join me in the comissary. I here there's cake," Jack tempted.
"I'll just finish this level," Sam promised.
"No, Carter, you should..."
"Quit now and cake will be served, immediately," the computer interjected. Sam gaped at the screen.
Jack looked smug. "Can't argue with that!"