Summary: Why is it that the one person in Eureka that Jack Carter relates to the most is the town's biggest mystery?
Fandoms: Eureka Season 1 episode 2, SG1 Season 8, Fragile Balance
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I made no money. This is all in fun.
Word Count: 1400+
Rating: Still PG, there's not even swearing in this.
A/N: No one is more surprised than I am at this little continuation. Consider this a thank-you for making 'Fishing' my most reviewed story. A story almost double the original length is a nice thank you, right?
Jack Carter ignored the greeting; most people in Eureka referred to Jack as 'Sherriff' when they wanted his attention. He glanced around looking for Henry. The genius was one of many in town, but this one had asked to meet Jack at Café Diem for breakfast.
But the voice was persistent and firmer this time. "Carter."
Jack turned as saw everyone looking in the direction of young Jack Hadden, mystery extraordinaire. Hadden was ignoring all but Jack, who he was motioning to come over to him with his index finger. There was something about the teen's insistent and firm gaze that reminded Jack of a Quantico trainer that he had never dared to disobey. Jack put a smile on his face and walked over.
Hadden pointed to the seat across the table from him. "Sit."
Jack sat. "Hey, Jack," he finally said.
Hadden waved to Vincent. The chef promptly brought over two coffees and two pieces of pie. Hadden started eating his cheerfully. He waited two bites before motioning for Jack to do the same.
"What are you doing today?" Hadden asked.
"I was supposed to have breakfast with Henry, but…"
Hadden rolled his eyes. "He had a breakthrough on his engine. He rushed out of here fifteen minutes ago muttering about things that no one else understood."
Jack raised an eyebrow at Hadden and Hadden grinned back. "Okay, so most of the other people understood a lot of it, but it wouldn't have happened in a normal coffee shop."
"So you're free for the day?" Hadden asked.
"Yeah. Looks like."
"I've got to go up to the firing range. Wanna come?"
Jack frowned. "Where is the firing range? I've been meaning to ask but Jo's been evasive."
"It's at GD." Hadden waved a hand about unconcerned. "Since you now have a permit to use the armory, it's about time you got to practice."
"You know that I'm not allowed anywhere in Section 5, right?"
"Consider me your hall pass."
"So you mean that I actually get to fire some of the weapons in the armory?" Jack asked with a bit of a grin. "Some of those can do some serious damage."
"Hence using the range at GD. It's special."
Meaning that it could withstand the damage that those dangerous weapons could cause. "I'm game if you think that no one will have a problem with me in Section 5."
Hadden finished his pie and reached for his coffee, black. "Finish your pie. We have a lot to go over."
Jack enjoyed his pie. He actually enjoyed the trip immensely. Hadden didn't mind him driving and could enthusiastically discuss sports and he liked about hockey in particular. No one else in town really cared, as they were too high-minded and concerned with 'important,' brainy things. Jack had walked around Global Dynamics with Stark and Allison and Henry, but never had he seen such respect from the military members of the facility as he did when walking with Jack Hadden. The marines snapped to as soon as he came in sight and stood a parade rest when Hadden negligently saluted in return. Once the teen was confirmed as being whoever he claimed to be, no one challenged the sheriff's presence in Section 5.
Hadden did quickly usher Jack by a lot of dangerous looking machinery quickly, but Jack wouldn't have been able to guess at the purpose, so it was a moot point. He respected his guide enough to not ask questions. The pair went down several flights of stairs and entered into the empty firing range.
Hadden threw a smile over his shoulder. "Good, we've got the place to our self. We'll need more than goggles and earplugs for a lot of this stuff. It's all stored in the locker." The locker was locked as expected, but Hadden had the key on his keychain- right next to his house key.
Jack found Hadden to be a knowledgeable, patient and fun teacher. He knew his weapons and the instances for which each would be useful. He walked Jack, step by step, through the shortcomings of each one. He could accurately compare it to the more conventional guns of the outside world. He was also a crack shot, easily an expert no matter which weapon was in his hand. By the end, Jack smelled of gunpowder and ozone, he was sweaty and his hands, arms and shoulders ached from the recoil and the firing stance. His butt was sore from the one time he hadn't braced the way that Hadden had suggested and had landed ten feet away on his back. Despite all that, Jack thoroughly enjoyed the day. He had learned more in the one morning than he had learned in the weeks and weeks of studying for the armory test. Jack felt that he could ace that stupid test right now.
Then Hadden brought out another gun suitcase. When he opened it, Jack saw a gun that seemed like it could be for a .50 caliber bullet.
"We don't have this in the armory," he mentioned.
"Nope." Hadden smiled at the gun, almost proud. "Not yet. It's new."
"What is it called?"
Jack had to laugh. "No Atomizer 4000?"
"What's so different about this one?"
Hadden smirked and then pushed a button on the side of the range stall. A live rabbit sprinted across the firing range. It was the first time that they used a live target. Hadden took aim and fired, and of course, hit what he was aiming at. Some sort of electrical current flared out of the gun. Jack wasn't sure what, because he was still fumbling with his goggles. It was against protocol to fire a weapon when all the people in the range weren't protected.
"I wasn't ready," he yelled to Hadden.
Hadden shrugged. "This is one of the safest ones for the user. Come on." Jack followed the teen onto the firing range after flipping the button that warned anyone coming into the range not to shoot. The rabbit was lying on its side, still breathing.
"Knocked it out?" Jack guessed.
Hadden nodded. Then he shot it again. The rabbit stopped breathing. Hadden knelt to make sure that it didn't have a pulse. Then he stood back and shot it again. Despite all that he had seen today, Jack's mouth dropped open.
The rabbit was no more. There wasn't a single speck of dust to even suggest that the rabbit had ever been.
Hadden grinned and for a moment he resembled his physical age. "Nice way to dispose of evidence, eh?"
Jack blinked. "Yes." He paused for a moment. "So when do we get one in the armory?"
Hadden shrugged. "Production is slow and this one is mine. But should you suddenly acquire one, remember that one shot stuns, two kills and three disintegrates."
"Trust me, that's one thing I won't be forgetting."
Hadden looked around, to ensure that everything was locked up as it should be. He didn't lock up the Zat-gun, but put it in a shoulder holster under his baggy shirt.
"I'm going to have to ask Jo about permits to carry concealed weapons," Jack said evenly.
Hadden answered just as evenly. "I have one." With one last sweep of the room, Hadden waved them towards the bathroom to wash up and then towards the elevator. "It's time for lunch and Vincent promised that he'd had fresh baked cake."
"Cake is good," Jack responded.
Hadden smiled and led the way out of Section 5. "I knew there was a reason I liked you. How do you feel about jello?"
Jack laughed and declared that orange was his favorite. As he and Hadden debated the various pros and cons of jello, Jack realized that Hadden was lonely and wanted a friend. In some ways, he was a normal kid in an abnormal place. He had too many secrets and too much maturity and too many experiences to relate to those his own age. (Jack was seriously reconsidering what Jack Hadden's real age could be.) Hadden was also young looking and had immense amount of power over men and women light-years smarter than him and twenty to fifty years older.
Any way the future went, Jack Carter would enjoy being Jack Hadden's friend.
"So fishing next?" Jack asked the 'teen.' Might as well make the day even better.
From the huge grin on Hadden's face, Jack had definitely asked the right question.
Author's note: If you don't know, Plinking is slang for going to a firing range and shooting at targets. I realized that not everyone knows that off the top of their heads. And no rabbits were harmed in the making of this story, but Jack had to make sure that each part of the Zat adaptation worked in real life.