"Whoa! A shooting star!" Ben Tennyson cried, seeing the burning object streak across the sky.
As it crashed into the forest, he raced over to find it. Instead, all he found was a deep crater, some footprints, and the sound of a car speeding away.
Co-written by Akino Ame and Shaun Garin
General Hank Landry was a patient man, patient enough to put up with leading Stargate Command at any rate. But there were times he was tempted to break his façade and palm his face, and this was one of them.
"Let me get this straight," he said. "You're telling me that Dr. Jackson got another alien device stuck to his wrist?"
"Yes, sir," Lt. Col. Sam Carter replied. "Dr. Lee is looking at him now. It looks like some kind of repository for alien DNA, and he believes it could be extremely valuable."
"And it's been twelve hours since he got the device, and he hasn't passed out, sir," Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell added.
"Teal'c?" Landry asked.
"It is nothing that I have come across," the Jaffa warrior answered. "There is nothing similar to it among Jaffa or Goa'uld technology."
"Sir, we believe it's a creation by an entirely new species, one we've never had contact with," Sam said. "With your permission, we'd like to track down the creators. There's so much we can learn from this device."
"Of course, when we figure out just how to find them," Cam added.
"Permission granted," Landry answered. "The IOA will raise a stink about it, but…"
"General Landry, sir?" came Dr. Lee's voice over the intercom.
"What is it, Lee?" Landry asked.
"We need you to report to the lab. Dr. Jackson's on fire!"
Sure enough, when they hurried over to the lab where Lee had been studying Daniel and the bizarre device, there was a humanoid being of fire standing in the center of the room, with flame-retardant foam all over the floor around him. It hadn't done a thing to his body.
"Daniel?" Sam checked.
"I hate this thing!" the alien shouted.
Between the two of them, it took Jack and Cam one night, six beers, and fourteen comic books to come up with codenames for Daniel's aliens.
Daniel looked at the list in amazement at his friends' creativity. But it wasn't a good kind of amazement.
"Heatblast? Grey Matter? These sound like names a kid would come up with."
"Not yet they don't," Jack said. "Cam, mind if I change the spelling on one of yours?"
"Go right ahead, sir," Cam answered.
Jack tore the list out of Daniel's hands and scratched out the name Accelerate, replacing it with XLR8. He then handed it back to Daniel and said, "Now it's something a kid would come up with. L33t spelling and all."
For the umpteenth time since he'd gotten the strange device, Daniel palmed his face. "Jack, I can't use these names. They're ridiculous! How are we supposed to fill out the reports? No one's going to know what they mean."
"Well, that's why we went for names that described the powers," Cam said. "It's a lot easier than saying, 'Jackson turned into the firey guy and fought off the Prior.'"
"And we don't know what any of these species are called," Sam reminded him. "We don't even know if any of them created that device or if it was a collective effort among those ten."
Daniel sighed. Finally, fed up, Jack said, "All right, for any new aliens that get added to that thing, we'll do it your way. You happy?"
Sure enough, later that summer when Daniel added three new aliens to the watch, Landry was forced to ask him to let Jack and Cam name the aliens again because it was a lot more descriptive than going with Daniel-Wolf, Daniel-Mummy, and Daniel-Viktor.
Jack had been called to New York for a conference with the U.N. When the city began reporting strange power fluctuations, he called in SG-1 just in case it was something related to any one of their numerous enemies. What they hadn't expected was to find a street kid named Kevin, who had powers allowing him to absorb energy from any electronic device. He'd managed to get a little taste of the watch's bio-energy and began throwing fireballs before they figured out a way to stop him.
"So now what do we do with him?" Sam asked. Currently, Teal'c was holding Kevin by the back of his shirt. It was like being stuck to a brick wall—no amount of struggling could break him free, and Teal'c didn't seem to feel a thing.
"I don't know what we can do," Daniel confessed. He had his arms crossed so the watch was out of Kevin's reach. "Technically, what he's done is criminal, but no juvenile hall is going to be able to hold him. And when the IOA finds out about his powers, they'll only want to study him."
"And we can't let him go either, or he'll just get in even more trouble," Cam agreed.
"Right," Daniel answered. "And I really don't like the idea of leaving him out on the streets again anyway. I'm just not sure foster care is going to be any good for him."
Jack had been unusually silent the whole time. Finally, he said, "Or I could take him in."
The entire team turned to look at him in surprise, and even Kevin gave him a look that clearly said, "Are you shitting me?"
Of the whole team, Daniel was the one who knew Jack best. He'd gone with him to Abydos the first time and had learned about Charlie. So he was the one who asked, "Jack, are you sure?"
"Yeah," he answered. His tone was casual, but SG-1 knew that a lot of thought had gone into it. "I think it's time I move on now, you know? Besides, it's either me or the IOA."
"And they did such a wonderful job with Khalek," Cam grumbled.
"Forgetting Khalek for now," Jack continued, "he needs a dad to keep him on the straight and narrow. Or close enough to it at least."
And once again, Kevin tried to tear himself free of Teal'c's grip, only ripping his clothes for all his efforts. Angrily, he spat out, "I don't need a father! And Mom obviously thought I was good enough to be on my own anyhow."
Daniel and Cam suddenly traded looks, surprised at the hair-trigger that had set off. But Jack simply answered, "Look, Kevin—can I call you that?" Ignoring the glare the boy gave him, he continued, "We get to deal with aliens on a regular basis. You play nice, be a good student or whatever passes for it these days, and I'll let you enlist for blowing up aliens." He paused as Kevin seemed to consider it. Then he couldn't help but add, "And possibly Daniel too."
Daniel gave him a flat look. "Thanks, Jack."
Monday: Diamondhead spotted in Denver, dealing with Vilgax.
Tuesday: XLR8 briefly spotted in several areas around Washington state, trying to track down Ba'al's bomb.
Wednesday: Upgrade possibly sighted while dealing with a runaway Replicator. Security breach being investigated.
Thursday: Offworld mission. No problems reported.
Friday: SG-1 sat in the briefing room to discuss the issues, with Daniel holding a very large cup of coffee.
"There is absolutely no way we can keep this a secret," Sam declared. "Between all the enemies we had before Daniel got the watch and the new ones we've just made, we can't keep out of the public."
Daniel gulped down some coffee. "I can try and keep from using it against Ba'al or any of the other hostiles we're used to, but Vilgax is too openly aggressive. It's all I can do to keep him out of public areas."
"And on top of all that, it looks like the Trust might be teaming up with those Forever Knights," Cam added.
"Keeping this thing a secret is getting harder all the time," Daniel said. "And if word gets out about the watch, how much longer can we keep the Stargate Program a secret?"
"I understand your concerns," Landry answered. "Fortunately, we may have a solution. As you know, to maintain a cover story for the Stargate Program and keep anyone from taking it seriously, we joined forces with Martin Lloyd and the crew of Wormhole X-Treme! to release as much misinformation as we possibly could."
SG-1 stared. Blinking, Sam asked, "Are you saying that we can pass all this off as a publicity stunt for a new show?"
Landry pressed a button on his intercom and said, "Send him in." Moments later, an unfamiliar man walked in, carrying several folders.
"SG-1, I'd like you to meet Tim Dean. He's got a pilot for a children's cartoon he'd like to talk to you about, called Super Alien Hero Buddy Adventures."
"So let me get this straight," Cam said. "Your boss creates this all-powerful device and tries to send it to a retired space-cop for safekeeping. It ends up on Jackson here, and you get worried that we're too irresponsible with it. So you go and build yourself a second Omnitrix, get stuck looking like Jackson, try and get his, and you still think we're the irresponsible ones?"
Albedo snorted and crossed his arms. It looked bizarre to be coming from an exact duplicate of Daniel, and they started to think that the former Galvan had only been a kid before his experiment.
"Why do you need Daniel's Omnitrix, anyway?" Sam asked. "With all the technology we've gotten from the Asgard and the Tok'ra, I'm sure we could figure out some way to repair yours."
Albedo shook his head. "No, the technology is far too advanced for anyone other than a Galvan."
"Well, you're stuck as a human for now until either we figure something out or your boss finds you," Daniel pointed out.
Albedo paled. "This human body is unbearable! While the brain is fairly impressive for such a primitive race, it's nowhere near compensation for the fact that I find myself repeatedly dying!"
There was a pause. Finally, Teal'c nodded and said, "Indeed, Daniel Jackson does make a habit of that."
"Hold up a second," Cam said as the first of the other SG-1 teams headed into the 'Gate.
His counterpart rolled his eyes. "Don't tell me. You're going to make us go back in our underwear."
"Well, I could," Cam replied. "But I've got another idea." He handed him the power core to Albedo's Omnitrix. "That thing's powerful enough to maintain a database of every alien in the Milky Way and transform you into one. The transformation part's broken, but the power core still works. Hopefully, it'll be enough to help until you guys find another ZPM."
The other Cam took the core and looked back at him in surprise. Their Daniel blinked, as did their Sam.
"You'd do this for us, after everything we put you guys through?" the other Cam asked.
"Well, like I said," Cam answered. "No goatees, so you had a reason for it other than just being evil. You just shoulda known there's always another way."
His twin looked stunned, but finally, he nodded and put the power core in a pocket of his uniform. As he started to walk toward the 'Gate, he stopped and turned.
"By the way, when the time comes? Cut the green one."
Cam looked on in confusion as they walked through the 'Gate. But he really didn't have time to wonder about that. There were still tons of teams to send back home.
"You're a Plumber then?"
Cam gave everyone a look. "Is this like some kind of universal running gag?" To which everyone shrugged.
"Sorry," apologized the alien woman who definitely wasn't one of the usual human-transport descendants from long ago. Not with that glowing aura around her and radioactive pink skin. Not to mention the hair tentacles. "You four just remind me of Max Tennyson."
"Aaaand there's that name again," droned Daniel. "We should really keep a running tally of who knows this Max guy."
"Wait, isn't Max the name of the man we keep running into back on Earth? The one with the RV and the two kids?" inquired Sam.
The alien woman gave them a surprised look. "Oh you DO know my husband!"
Cam spit-taked. Fortunately for the sake of negotiations, he was facing away when he did it.
You could practically hear the collective sigh of relief from the entire universe. It was five minutes from the end of everything, and Rodney managed to deactivate the Omnitrix's self-destruct.
"That," Daniel breathed, "was cutting it close."
"I'll say!" an unfamiliar voice cut in.
Lights like Asgard beams shone in the Gate Room. When they faded, a Galvan—older-looking than Grey Matter—was standing in front of the Stargate. He spared a moment to look at the 'Gate.
"Alteran technology," he recognized. "Never reliable. Always something wrong with it. I'm guessing you planned to destroy the Omnitrix with the ejected vortex when it stalled."
"That's correct," Sam answered from the Control Room. Then, feeling it was only right, she added, "Sir."
The Galvan pointed his staff at Rodney threateningly, and Daniel immediately reached for his gun.
"Don't bother," the Galvan insisted. "Always with the weapons. No matter what technology you find, you always think of destructive purposes for it."
Slowly, Daniel lowered his gun. Inside the Control Room, Landry and SG-1 stared, stunned.
"…I guess it's pointless to mention the unscheduled offworld activation, sir," Walter said. The look Landry gave him could have burnt a Prior.
"I'm sorry," Daniel finally said. "But who are you?"
"Azmuth of the Galvan," their visitor answered. "The genius behind the Omnitrix." Turning to Rodney, he yelled, "And you've been misusing it! The Omnitrix was originally created for peaceful purposes, and you've turned it into a weapon. I knew it was a mistake to try and send it to Tennyson, but the Plumbers convinced me it would be safer in his hands than anyone else's. Then I find out the transport was attacked en route and the Omnitrix was ejected on Earth. I tried to convince myself it was safe here on a backwater Level 2 planet, but sure enough, I find you've been abusing it all this time!"
"Actually," Rodney cut in quickly, "he's the one who's been misusing it." He pointed at Daniel, who gave him an incredulous look.
Azmuth blinked, then turned to Daniel. "You're the one who found the Omnitrix?"
"Yes," Daniel answered, too shocked to do anything but answer truthfully. "I was on vacation and saw what looked like a meteorite impact near my campsite. Thinking it might be Goa'uld or Ori related, I wanted to make sure everything was safe. But when I got close to the crater, that thing—" He pointed at the Omnitrix on Rodney's wrist— "leapt out and latched onto my wrist."
Azmuth blinked again. "You had the Omnitrix."
"Then what's he doing with it?" He pointed at Rodney.
Daniel sighed. "That is a very long story."
"General Landry, sir?" Daniel said, knocking on the opened office door. "I need to talk to you."
Landry motioned for him to take a seat. When he did, Landry asked, "What's on your mind?"
"Sir, you know that we think we know who Max Tennyson is," Daniel started.
"Former Army man, now retired from both that and the galactic police agency, the Plumbers," Landry said.
"And a sixty-year-old grandfather taking his two young grandkids on a cross-country road trip," Daniel finished.
Landry gave Daniel a serious look. "And you believe this may be an issue."
"Yes," Daniel confessed reluctantly. "This thing—" He held up his arm and pointed at the Omnitrix— "is nothing but trouble. Azmuth said it himself. I can't in good faith give it to someone whose ten-year-old grandchildren will only become targets for Vilgax the minute the device changes hands."
"You do know what this means, Dr. Jackson," Landry pointed out, and Daniel nodded reluctantly.
"Yes," he sighed. "I'm stuck with it."
Eon stalked through the corridors of Stargate Command. No matter what the humans tried, they would not prevent him from getting to Daniel Jackson. It was inevitable.
"So, you're still after the man," observed Paradox. The timewalker strolled out of the cafeteria with a cup of blue Jell-O in hand. Eating a spoonful, he remarked, "I hope Col. Carter doesn't mind that I took some of her dessert. She has good taste, but then, great minds think alike."
Eon smirked. "Another attempt to protect Daniel? Even if you manage to stop me now, I will only find him later. You have failed."
"Well, running after the wrong person will do that to you," Paradox admitted with a shrug. "I could have sworn that the Omnitrix would arc towards Ben Tennyson. Oh well. In any case, I'm not here to stop you. I'm just here to watch the show."
"Giving up so easily?" Eon asked. "After defying me for two centuries?"
Paradox shrugged again, then took another bite of Jell-O. "You should find the Hands in the Gate Room, along with Dr. Jackson. Have fun." And with a flash of blue light, the timewalker and the Jell-O were gone.
Meanwhile, in the Gate Room, Daniel was tense. He hated being bait. He really hated that it involved sitting in a forklift with the Hands of Armageddon in front of the Stargate, but it was the only guaranteed way they'd get Eon there.
There was a distortion in the air near the door. Daniel turned to see twisting darkness and Eon appearing.
That was when Cam came out from behind the forklift and opened fire. Eon held up his hands and stopped the bullets before they could reach him, then fired energy spheres toward Cam.
"Hate it when he does that," Cam muttered. As Daniel clambered out of the forklift, he shouted, "Go on, Jackson! I got you covered!"
He threw a small amount of C-4 at Eon, who hit it with another energy sphere. When it exploded, Cam used the confusion to get in the forklift in Daniel's place and drive the Hands right through the 'Gate.
"Okay, good to know," he said. "Bullets don't work. C-4 does."
The Gatebuster they'd set up on the other end was waiting, and Cam readied the remote to switch to the next pre-detonation mode. But just as he got the Hands close enough, he saw a Prior. And when he turned around, he saw a very pissed off Eon behind him.
"Aw hell!" Cam shouted.
The rest of SG-1 stood at the 'Gate in worry.
"He should have been back by now," Sam said. "Something must have happened."
"I knew this plan of his was stupid!" Daniel shouted. "And I can't go after him because if Eon's still there, he'll only possess me."
The 'Gate suddenly activated, and everyone held up their guns, shielding Daniel. It didn't take long for Cam to come running through, shouting, "Close it, close it, close it!" The iris slammed shut immediately, and the 'Gate shut down.
Cam collapsed in a heap on the ramp. "That was cutting it close."
"What happened?" Sam asked.
"Damn Prior showed up," he answered. "Turned into a Mexican standoff between him and Eon. While they were busy, I used the DHD and turned off the safeties on the bomb. With any luck, the bomb and the Hands wiped both of them out."
"Along with the Hands as well," Teal'c added.
"Exactly," Cam agreed.
"Well, the 'Gate on the other side definitely looks like it's been destroyed," Landry said over the intercom. "And the Asgard ships in the vicinity are sending us images of a massive crater on the planet's surface."
"Any sign of Eon?" Daniel asked.
"Oh, he won't be bothering you again," interrupted a voice. It took a moment for SG-1 to realize time had frozen around them. They turned in alarm to see a scientist strolling toward them.
"…Is that my Jell-O?" Sam asked in confusion.
"Sorry for raiding your fridge," the scientist answered. "But I've got a terrible sweet tooth, and I ran out of gumballs on my last mission. And before you ask—because I already know you're going to—you can call me Paradox."
The members of SG-1 looked at each other. Finally, as their leader, Cam gave their official word:
"I hate time travel."
Tetrax gave XLR8 a discreet point to their left, and the Hero of the Omnitrix sped off to follow the distress signal. Neither one of them could wait until they left Incarcecon; they wouldn't have been here at all if not for the SGC distress signal.
"Why am I not surprised?" XLR8 asked when he saw the woman in the cloak staying close to a Chimera Sui Generis.
"Oh, well, nice to see you too, Daniel," Vala answered. "No 'Hi, how are you? Are you okay after running into Vilgax?' Well, just so you know, I'm doing just fine."
XLR8 rubbed between his eyes. The migraine was starting early. Fortunately for Daniel's continued sanity, Tetrax made his way over, and he stared at Vala in shock.
"Oh, did you replace me on the team already, Daniel?" she teased.
XLR8 sighed. "Vala Mal Doran, meet Tetrax Shard. Tetrax, Vala. Can we go now?"
"Just a second," Vala answered. "First off…"
"How did you survive this place?" Tetrax asked. "The criminals here would eat you alive—and that's if you're lucky."
"Well, if you really must know…" Vala started.
"Ah-ah!" XLR8 interrupted, holding up a hand to cut her off. "No time for stories."
"He's right," Tetrax agreed. "We need to get back to the Resolute before anyone discovers us."
"Then I hope this goes better than some of Daniel's other rescues," Vala said. "It would be nice not to get shot at for once."
"Yeah," XLR8 answered dryly. "So, can we go now?"
"Sounds good to me," Vala answered. "How about you, Myaxx? I promise Earth isn't all that bad."
The Chimera Sui Generis next to her snorted. "Anywhere's better than being trapped here."
"…I'm sorry, what?" XLR8 asked.
"Oh, didn't I introduce you?" Vala asked, mockingly sweet. "Daniel, Myaxx. Myaxx, Daniel. She helped create that fancy watch of yours."
"But will Azmuth share the credit? No," Myaxx complained.
"Oh no, another one," Daniel muttered under his breath. Putting up with Albedo's complaining about Azmuth was bad enough, not to mention having actually dealt with the Galvan. He didn't need another fired assistant's whining to live with. "Vala…"
"Well, Daniel, if you'd just waited a second to let me explain things, then we wouldn't be having this discussion, now would we?"
Daniel stormed into the dial up booth as the miniature Grey Matter, looking PO'ed. Walter gave the tiny Galvan a sympathetic look and a Tylenol large enough to be considered a Galvan bagel. "Rough night?"
"The worst," replied the tiny voice of Grey Matter. "I woke up this morning and found Vala in my room."
"Kinky." Walter shut up when Daniel gave him a death glare worthy of Eon.
"With a hacksaw."
"… Wait, what?"
Daniel drained a cup of joe big as he was and burped contently. "She tried to hacksaw my arm off to get to the Omnitrix."
"Wouldn't that be considered a security breach?"
"No," replied Daniel sourly. "Not when General Landry thought it was hilarious and Myaxx said she would fix it."
It was time to put the plan into action. As the others opened fire on Vilgax, keeping him distracted, Daniel raised his arm.
"Copy, change default," he whispered into the Omnitrix. There was a flash, and then he rotated the dial to Wildmutt.
Immediately, the rest of the team stopped firing. Before Vilgax could counterattack, a snarling and growling Wildmutt charged into him. He scored one bite before Vilgax threw him off, almost sending him flying into Sam. Very quickly, Daniel switched to human form and removed the Omnitrix.
"Your turn," he told Sam, handing it to her.
"Got it," she answered, holding her hand over the emblem and letting it pick up her DNA. She then whispered, "Integrate," and put it on, rapidly morphing to Diamondhead.
"Whatever made you believe you would stand a better chance as a human than with the Omnitrix, Jackson?" Vilgax asked.
Daniel opened fire, but Vilgax charged through the bullets with his arms raised, intending to crush the archeologist. As he brought his arms down to crush Daniel, Diamondhead created a crystal barrier between them. Daniel took the opportunity to get away as Vilgax smashed through the barrier, but Diamondhead opened fire on him with her crystal shards.
"Just what are you playing at?" Vilgax demanded before getting thrown to the side. He turned to see Vala wielding a ribbon device while Teal'c took fire with his two P-90s.
While Vilgax was once again distracted, Cam raced over to Sam, who switched to human form and removed the Omnitrix with the same frantic speed Daniel had. Cam placed his hand on the Omnitrix and whispered, "Integrate."
Vilgax managed to duck the next blast Vala unleashed on him, and he made ready to attack her when Fourarms grabbed him.
"Now, I don't know about you, but I was taught to treat a lady with respect," Fourarms said, his voice carrying Cam's Southern accent.
"Thank you, Cameron," Vala said with a smile.
"Anytime, Vala," Fourarms answered, and Vilgax promptly decked him, sending him flying. Fourarms crashed into a tree, rubbing his jaw where he'd been punched. "Now that is just impolite."
"A distracted warrior is a dead warrior," Vilgax said.
"Well, thanks for the advice, but I was talking to the lady," Fourarms answered, clapping his hands together. The force of it created a shockwave that sent Vilgax flying, giving Fourarms ample opportunity to get up. "It's called being a gentleman." He then clasped both sets of hands together and smacked Vilgax in the head.
With Vilgax disoriented, Vala came over to Cam, who followed suit with Daniel and Sam and quickly shifted to human form and removed the Omnitrix. Before handing it over, he asked, "Now you're sure you got this down?"
"If all of you can handle it..." she pointed out, and Cam shrugged before handing her the Omnitrix. She placed her hand over the emblem and whispered, "Remove naquadah impurities. Integrate." She then grinned at Cam, slapped the Omnitrix onto her wrist, and morphed into Way Big, punching Vilgax into the ground. "How was that?"
Cam raised his hands in surrender. "Okay, you proved me wrong. I'm man enough to admit it."
Vala shifted back to human form and removed the Omnitrix, calling out, "Muscles, it's your turn!"
She tossed the watch to Teal'c, who deftly caught it, allowing it to scan his DNA again. He then quietly said, "Copy. Isolate genetic similarities. Integrate."
By this point, Vilgax was pissed. He came rushing at Teal'c, ready to attack, but the Jaffa put on the Omnitrix and changed to Cannonbolt, rolling out of the way. Changing directions quickly, he slammed into Vilgax's side, throwing him to the ground.
"Daniel Jackson!" Teal'c shouted, shifting back to Jaffa form.
This was a clearly a trap, and Vilgax was not about to fall for it. As Daniel ran over to retrieve the Omnitrix from Teal'c, Vilgax attacked the Jaffa, who strained to hold him off. Sam, Cam, and Vala froze, unwilling to shoot with Teal'c in the line of fire. Daniel stopped in his tracks, wavering slightly.
"Do it now!" Teal'c insisted.
The "while I can still fight him" went unsaid, but Daniel understood anyway. Knowing he only had one shot at this, he raced to Teal'c and placed his hand on the Omnitrix. It came off at his touch, and Daniel did what would come to be widely regarded as the single stupidest thing in all of Tau'ri history.
He put the Omnitrix on Vilgax's wrist.
There was a sudden flash of green, and Vilgax shouted, "What?" before his body began to shrink and lose its great strength. Seconds later, a human stood where the most dangerous criminal in the galaxy had been—a human with physical features drawn from all five members of SG-1.
"What is the meaning of this?" Vilgax demanded as Teal'c easily restrained him and Daniel removed the Omnitrix.
"Omnitrix, restore original default and delete new human sample," Daniel said smugly.
"Default restored and sample deleted," the Omnitrix alerted. "Shutting down to reboot."
And smirking at the furious human Vilgax, Daniel slapped the Omnitrix back on his wrist where it belonged.
Later, when they were debriefing back at SGC, Magister Ghilil stared at them in shock.
"But how?" he asked. "Vilgax is—was—the greatest threat in the Milky Way. He's destroyed entire planets, and the Plumbers have been unsuccessful in capturing him for years. How did you defeat him so easily?"
"Well, sir, we put everything we learned from Albedo to the test," Sam explained. "We knew that the Omnitrix keeps someone trapped in its default setting if their original species isn't in the current DNA rotation. And thanks to Azmuth, we learned how to change the default setting to change users in case anything happened to Daniel, not to mention the DNA repair function. It was just a matter of setting up a copy of Daniel's DNA in the rotation and using the DNA repair to splice in the rest of our DNA, including the remnant codes of unmodified human DNA in Teal'c's Jaffa DNA. The rest was just a matter of timing—changing back to our original forms before removing the Omnitrix so we didn't get stuck in the new default."
"Goodbye and good riddance," Daniel said, to emphatic nods.
Seeing that Ghilil was still giving them a dumbfounded stare, Cam said, "Sir, I'm going to take it that you've never seen The Emperor's New Groove." When that confused look was fixed on him, he added, "To sum it all up, big bad Yzma turns herself into a helpless little kitty at the end. We pretty much did the same."
Teal'c cocked his head. "I have not seen this movie, Col. Mitchell."
"Oh," Cam said. "Sorry 'bout spoiling the end for you."
The Omnitrix had recalibrated, leaving Daniel with ten brand new aliens, which meant it was time for Jack and Cam to come up with new names.
They sat at Jack's kitchen table with a case of beer and a large stack of comic books between them. Each man had a legal pad where they wrote down potential names for the new aliens.
"Okay, this one's a bust," Cam said, putting down a collection of Blue Beetle. Jack smirked. "You'd think the resemblance between this guy and one of the aliens would work."
"Little thing called copyright, Cameron," Jack said. He scribbled down another name on his notepad. "What I want to know is whose brilliant idea it was to combine all those powers in the new guys. I don't care what Danny says about them being existing species in the galaxy. Azmuth did this to be a pain in the ass."
"And that's why Myaxx and Albedo joined us," Cam answered. He reached for another comic. "Your kid home? It's awful quiet in here."
"Too quiet," Jack agreed. "Kevin?"
"What?" came the annoyed call from his son's bedroom.
"You doing your homework?"
"Good," Jack answered. A little quieter, he said, "Had me worried there for a second. I try to leave all the brains at work."
Cam looked at his notepad and the million scratched out names on it. He still couldn't think of anything for the ice-powered, ghost/moth-like alien. "What about Absolute Zero?" he finally asked.
Jack gave him a look. Cam nodded and scratched out the name. "Didn't think so. Too boring." He set down his pen and rubbed his eyes. "You know, at this rate, maybe we should get a kid to name them."
Jack shook his head. "Kevin thinks the whole thing's lame to begin with. We'll just do the best we can and put in a requisition."
It took until five a.m. for them to come up with ten suitable names for the new aliens. The rest of SG-1 agreed they were stretching the bounds of their creativity. Still, they couldn't agree it justified the requisition sent to the Pentagon for more beer and better comic books.
Hex stared in horror as he held his staff out and nothing happened.
"How did you defeat my magic?" he demanded.
Daniel transformed back to human form. "First off, there's no such thing as magic."
"Second," Sam continued, "we used an anti-Prior device to nullify your powers. It was just a matter of Echo Echo finding the right frequency."
"Making your little toys completely useless," Cam agreed, taking Hex's staff.
"Useless is right," Vala agreed, flipping through Charmcaster's spellbook. "This is all Ancient to me."
Daniel peered at it over her shoulder before taking it from her. "Wait a second, this is Ancient." He looked at Charmcaster. "You can read this?"
The teen glared. "Of course I can."
With a sudden look of dawning realization, the members of SG-1 looked at each other.
"Do you think we can trust her?" Sam asked.
"She is older than Kevin was," Teal'c reminded them.
"And he was on the streets trying to survive," Cam added. "It's not exactly the same."
"But still, given this, can we really look a gift horse in the mouth?" Daniel asked.
"Perhaps we can arrange some sort of deal," Teal'c suggested.
"What are you talking about?" Charmcaster asked, getting annoyed.
Vala rolled her eyes and threw up her hands in impatience. "Well, if none of you are going to ask, then I will." Looking at Charmcaster, she said, "We have a deal for you. If you promise to work with us instead of wreaking havoc, we'll set you free."
"Not much of an incentive," Charmcaster pointed out. "I might find a way to break out."
Vala grinned. "A little attitude—I like that. All right, how about this: You work for us in-between treasure hunts across the galaxy."
Charmcaster blinked. "Treasure. You're trusting me with treasure. Across the galaxy?"
"Vala…" Daniel warned.
"Well, I'd be leading those trips, of course, considering it's my ship," Vala continued, completely ignoring Daniel. "We'll split the profits 60-40, negotiable when you get older. Any Ancient texts, you get to keep."
"What?" Daniel cried.
"It's a deal," Charmcaster said at the same time.
Smirking, Vala shook hands with Charmcaster on it, all the while Daniel sputtered in shock.
"YOU. BLEW. UP. PLUTO?"
Rodney held up his hands, waving in an attempt to placate a newly reborn, quite naked, Daniel Jackson. "In my defense, we were TRYING to stave off an alien invasion!"
"THAT'S NOT AN EXCUSE! GIVE ME THAT!" Tagging the Omnitrix with his own DNA, it popped off Rodney's wrist and reset itself for Daniel. Putting it on and taking the towel offered by a not-quite-looking Dr. Weir, Daniel said, "Coffee."
Once Daniel had been properly fed, watered and most importantly clothed, Rodney explained. "Well, um, the Incursians…"
"STOP." Daniel looked at the others. "The INCURSIANS? Why didn't the deep space monitoring network locate them?"
"They came through the Supergate," replied Weir. "And as far as we can tell, went BACK through it in order to flee the terrible wrath that is Dr. McKay with the Omnitrix."
"Which resulted in blowing up Pluto," groaned Daniel.
"I thought it was funny," put in John, getting a look from the peeved archeologist. "Go on."
"In any case, to make a point, I fast-talked Bellicus and Serena…"
"WAIT, HOLD ON." Daniel felt his headache strength TRIPLE. "You USED Alien X?"
"I couldn't use anything else right then!" protested Rodney. "We had a very serious situation in which I made a prompt, tactical decision."
"And you fast-talked them into…?"
"Um… blowing up a couple of uninhabited planets. To make a point!" Silence. "It wasn't even in our GALAXY!"
Daniel looked at his coffee. "I need something stronger."
The Stargate activated inside the Achilles, vaporizing a hole in its hull. Ba'al stepped out, joined by some of his Jaffa guards…
…And SG-1 appeared from behind some crates and opened fire.
"Well, so much for Ba'al's failsafe," Daniel said after they'd managed to kill Ba'al and the Jaffa.
"Yes, well, I think it's time for us to go back to your time," Paradox said, checking his pocketwatch. "Col. Mitchell's grandfather should be down here any moment, and we don't need to cause yet another flux in the timestream."
"Speaking of my family," Cam said, "mind if we make a pit stop to 1969?" The rest of the team struggled to hold back laughter. "What? I just want to be sure about 30185!"
When Daniel started complaining about blackouts and waking up in bizarre places, SGC took it seriously. They wasted no time in taking him off active duty and isolating him in medical. And when they determined that his memory issues weren't the result of a symbiote, they began a rigorous series of physical and psychological tests.
Carolyn looked over Daniel's latest blood tests. The last one had reported an abnormality in his hormones, including an unusually low concentration of testosterone. Wanting to double check, she did a complete run on his hormone concentrations. What she found resulted in a very rare instance of the doctor swearing in the middle of the lab.
"Pregnancy hormones?" Sam asked in shock. Daniel was too busy staring in complete horror to say anything. "How is that even possible?"
Carolyn raised her hands in surrender. "I ran the tests three times. Each time, the same results."
"…So Daniel's been knocked up," Cam summarized, earning a glare from the aforementioned pregnant archeologist.
"I guess that would explain why he's been acting so…motherly lately," Sam realized.
"How could this happen?" Landry asked.
"Well, considering we've had several reports of Big Chill being spotted during his blackouts, my best guess is that that's the cause," Carolyn theorized. Giving an apologetic look to Myaxx, she added, "Myaxx might have obtained a DNA sample from a pregnant Necrofriggian, or maybe asexual reproduction is a normal part of Big Chill's life cycle. As Daniel continued using the form, the pregnancy continued until finally his human body had to compensate for it. We might have to check everyone who wore the Omnitrix since it recalibrated."
"Which means all of SG-1," Landry sighed. "Among others. We'll have to bring Albedo back from the Alpha Site and notify Atlantis. Mr. Woolsey isn't going to be happy to hear he has to send back Dr. McKay for a pregnancy test."
"Everybody else will find it funny, though," Cam snickered.
"You know, you have to get tested too," Daniel pointed out. He sighed and pulled off his glasses, rubbing the bridge of his nose. He was getting a migraine, and there was no way they were going to let him take medicine for it. "How do I turn this off?"
"I don't know," Carolyn confessed. "And I don't recommend taking off the Omnitrix—we have no idea if those eggs will leave your body, not to mention what might happen to you if they're not ejected. The only safe way I know of to get those eggs out of you…is for you to do it naturally."
Being told he was pregnant was one thing. Being told it was because of the Omnitrix was worse. Being told he had an alien pregnancy and he was going to have to give birth was another thing entirely. Daniel slammed his head onto the table, cursing out the Omnitrix in Ancient.
"Azmuth did this on purpose," he muttered.
"That's pretty much his speed," Myaxx agreed.
"Well, look at it this way," Cam suggested. "Congratulations on being a mommy."
That was it. In an amazing feat of athleticism and rage, Daniel leapt over the table to try and strangle Cam.
John stood as Landry, Daniel, and Cam entered the briefing room, and Landry motioned for him to be seated.
"Col. Sheppard, Dr. McKay, this must be urgent if you took the long trip from Atlantis," he noticed.
"Your report said you discovered another alternate universe," Cam said, and when Daniel gave him a look, he shrugged. The Atlantis reports were interesting, and he enjoyed reading them.
"Yeah, where I hadn't joined the Stargate Program and Rodney led the Atlantis Expedition," John answered.
"We had a fascinating discussion with my alternate regarding the differences of our worlds and several of the divergences," Rodney added.
"Dr. McKay, just cut to the chase," Landry ordered. "What was so important you needed to tell us in person?"
"I was getting to that," Rodney answered. "The topic of the Omnitrix came up, and my alternate was surprised that I'd heard of it when even he hadn't gotten the clearance until a few years ago."
"Turns out in his world, SGC never found the Omnitrix," John summarized. "Ben Tennyson did."
There was an abrupt silence as Landry, Daniel, and Cam stared at them in shock.
"Ben Tennyson?" Landry asked.
"As in Max Tennyson's grandson?" Daniel added.
"Short, hyperactive, fights with his cousin, gets beat up by the school bully Ben Tennyson?" Cam asked.
"Yeah," John answered. "That Ben Tennyson."
All eyes fell on Daniel, who looked at the Omnitrix in surprise. Suddenly, the years of complaining about it seemed moot in comparison with the trouble it had undoubtedly brought that kid.
Daniel sat in debriefing with Ronon and Teyla, having just completed a mission with them. When SGC had found young women reduced to a zombie-like state after their energy had been fed on by a half-alien with very addictive powers, they'd wasted no time in calling Atlantis for help. Due to having the most experience with the Wraith, Ronon and Teyla were sent.
"Unfortunately, we couldn't catch Morningstar," Daniel said, taking a sip of coffee to fight the exhaustion that came with energy drain. "I was knocked out half of the fight when his powers canceled out the Omnitrix."
"So he's still out there somewhere," Landry realized. Daniel nodded reluctantly.
"I don't think he'll be preying on any more innocent girls," Teyla assured him.
Landry looked at her in surprise. "How can you be so sure?"
"While Daniel was still unconscious, I had a talk with Michael," Teyla answered, stressing the young man's first name and the coincidence that there was a Wraith by that name they'd dealt with in the past.
Daniel blinked, then gave Teyla and Ronon a bit of a worried look. "What did you say, exactly?"
"That's not important," Teyla insisted.
"He won't be a problem anymore," Ronon added. The look on his face clearly said, "And I helped hide the body!"
Daniel and Landry gave each other a look. The Atlantis team was known for having to resort to more brutal measures, as the Pegasus Galaxy was a brutal place. But now, they were starting to pity Morningstar.
Half a decade since he'd been stranded among the Tau'ri, and there were still things about them that Albedo didn't understand.
Namely, their obsession with fire and explosives. Fire was the most sacred image to the Ori, so the Ancients had imbued their hidden children in the Milky Way with a cultural fear of flames and eternal burning. And yet, Tau'ri culture included fire in so many of their celebrations. The dawning of a new year or the celebration of a national day of independence was considered due cause for launching explosives into the night sky. Even for quieter gatherings, Tau'ri valued the tradition of sitting around a campfire. Albedo had made the mistake of asking General O'Neill about it, and he'd gotten a two-word answer that didn't help dispel his lingering image of humans as primitive and barbaric: "Fire good."
And it was that childish love of explosions that was causing a problem here, as Col. Mitchell threatened to detonate the C-4.
"Give me that!" Albedo shouted with all the authority and aggravation of Dr. Jackson taking the Omnitrix back from Dr. McKay after yet another transfer.
"Albedo, what are you doing?" Daniel asked as the human Galvan threw aside the detonator, took his completed translator, and calmly walked over to the dragon. "You don't have a weapon—you'll be killed!"
"I have better," Albedo answered, holding up the translator. He'd been sure to emblazon it with the symbol of the Omnitrix, galactically recognized for peace. Upon seeing this, the dragon quieted and settled down.
As SG-1 stared in shock behind him, Albedo smirked. "We come in peace."
It didn't take long to replace the dragon's broken translator, and SG-1 radioed back to let everyone know that the situation was under control and they needed a team to round up the Forever Knights. Meanwhile, Albedo took the opportunity to have a conversation with a nonhuman who wasn't Myaxx for a change.
"I don't understand how anyone can choose to remain in a form like that," the dragon said.
"Oh, believe me, it's not by choice," Albedo explained. Quickly, he ran through his experiment with his own Omnitrix, and the SGC's numerous experiments over the years to try and restore his original form, culminating in him becoming a white-haired, brown-eyed doppelganger of Daniel. "After the last experiment with the Omnitrix created a bio-energy feedback loop that damaged this form—as evidenced by the lack of pigmentation in my hair and the shift in iris color—I decided not to risk using it again. I will just have to search for another method to restore my original form. As it is, I have been living among the humans at Stargate Command for the past five Earth years."
The dragon growled in annoyance. "Try spending a thousand as the humans' prisoner."
Albedo shook his head. "You have my sympathy."
It was just an ordinary day at Stargate Command. SG-1 checked back from their latest mission with nothing drastic to report, and no one was due for another mission for a while, giving Cam plenty of time for a break. He'd decided to spend it reading a mission report when the intercom buzzed.
"General Mitchell? We need you to come down to Albedo's lab. We've got a situation."
Situation. No alarms, so nothing had blown up—nothing important at least. Cam set down the folder and pressed the intercom button. "What is it? Don't tell me he and Myaxx are at each other's throats again."
It had been twenty years since Daniel had found the Omnitrix, and by now, Stargate Command was used to all of the chaos it brought. Albedo, now returned to his original form, had a lab a few floors down where he experimented with some of the more delicate equipment the SG teams brought back. Myaxx ran her own experiments in another lab down the hall. Unfortunately, the labs had to be custom-built to accommodate for their very different body sizes, and the proximity often led to explosive arguments.
"No, it's SG-10, sir."
Cam sighed. "I'll be right there."
In the years since, SG-1 had moved on to bigger and better things. When it came time for Cam to be promoted to Brigadier General (the fourth such attempt, and he'd run out of excuses to get out of it), he only accepted on the terms that he be allowed to go on some missions and that he'd have access to all the reports he wanted (including the mysterious 30185, which turned out to be a lot less interesting than the others led him to believe). Sam had long since been promoted to Brigadier General and then Major General, and she was now on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Jack had retired to Minnesota and his lake, which once again had no fish, and he complained about it often enough to Landry when he visited. Teal'c was still mostly active, but he spent most of his time on Dakara as a leader with the Free Jaffa Nation. Vala had managed to make it rich during one of her adventures, and she was spending the rest of her days in luxury, while dropping by on Earth every now and again to annoy the hell out of Daniel. And Daniel had all but retired, pulling out the Omnitrix only when it was necessary, but for the most part studying and translating Ancient lore in his office. A new SG-1 had been chosen a long time ago, but they never could quite live up to their predecessors, and they weren't exactly the go-to team for everything.
No, that distinction went to the new SG-10, two of the members of which were frozen to the wall outside Albedo's lab.
"Thank you, Jackson," Cam said as Big Chill reverted to human form.
"No problem," Daniel answered. "We did warn them, after all."
"Yep," Cam agreed, looking up at Lt. Col. Ben Tennyson and Major Kevin O'Neill. "The next time you two got in a fight, we were going to leave you attached to a wall in a public area in the base for everyone to see." Then looking over at Kevin, he added, "And your dad is going to laugh his ass off when he finds out about this, O'Neill."
Shivering, Kevin managed to answer, "Bite me, sir."
Daniel and Cam exchanged raised eyebrows. Maybe Kevin was adopted, but "like father, like son" definitely applied here. Meanwhile, Ben had put his head back, staring at the ceiling and undoubtedly thinking about how much his cousin was going to yell at him after this.
"Come to think of it, where are Gwen and Charmcaster?" Daniel asked.
"Mess hall," Ben answered, his voice fairly calm despite the circumstances. In fact, it sounded more resigned than anything—resigned to the lectures he was going to get from Gwen. "They decided to get lunch when we started fighting."
"That's right, it's roast beef today," Cam remembered. "Guess we'll have to save you some."
"Cheer up, guys," Daniel said, smirking. "When you thaw out and the hypothermia wears off, I'm sure Albedo and Myaxx will be perfectly willing to get your help with some of their experiments."
Ben and Kevin stared in horror.
"You wouldn't," Kevin said.
"They would," Ben answered.
"We would," Cam and Daniel affirmed.
As Ben and Kevin began fruitlessly trying to escape the ice that had completely entrapped their bodies, Daniel and Cam headed back to their offices. The sound of snickering behind them indicated that someone had just found the two SG-10 members, and the new form of disciplinary action at SGC was working like a charm. Others took a brief look before going about their business.
It was just another ordinary day at Stargate Command.