Title: Why We Don't Touch Mysterious Alien Eggs
Setting: Anytime pre-season 8, but obviously not 6
Author's Notes: This is another story that was sitting abandoned for over a year. Personally I love stories that involve children, new children or SG-1 members as children. I know there are lots of them out there... but this one's mine! I think I have about seven or eight chapters' worth done already, once I go through and start splitting it up. I will try to finish this up this summer. I hope you enjoy, and thank you for reading.
Colonel Jack O'Neill glanced at his watch for the tenth time that hour. His team was due back from their "uneventful exploratory mission" in five minutes now… but he had plenty of experience with SG-1 over the past seven years - most of it under his own command of course - with just how dangerous those apparently peaceful missions could turn. Plus, he had missed his three best friends on the forty-eight hour trip and had to live through them vicariously these days, as he was still recovering from knee surgery and Janet hadn't given him the all-clear to go back into the field yet. He felt she was being entirely unreasonable about this. After all, he had argued before the rest of his team had left on this very mission, himself at 80 percent was still nothing to sneeze at. She hadn't been impressed by his argument or his lack of modesty and he'd remained benched… benched and bored.
Glad that Hammond had at least agreed not to send his team anywhere inhabited or otherwise remotely dangerous without him, he went to the control room to meet his team on their way in, hoping they'd all be walking through the gate uninjured. He nodded a greeting to General Hammond, who was waiting to greet the returning team as well. Right on schedule, the wormhole engaged, the iris went up automatically, Walter alerted him and the rest of the base to the incoming wormhole from his chair by the window, SG-1's signal was received, the iris opened, and his team given the signal to come through.
The MALP they'd taken preceded them, and it was more than a little muddy. Jack heard Hammond groan as it left a trail of mud on the ramp and several chunks of dried clumps of mud were shaken loose off of it as well. His team followed, not quite as muddy but definitely less than squeaky clean, his 2IC, Major Sam Carter, steering the MALP by remote and smiling at him at once to indicate all had gone well. Apparently she was unaware of the smudge of mud on her left cheek.
Wanting to contain the mess as much as possible, Jack hurried to the gate room to meet them and got there just as they finished piling their packs and weapons on the MALP. Daniel was trying to brush caking mud off his pants, and as Jack approached he saw the younger man make a move to wipe his boots off on the edge of the ramp. "Ack! Don't even think about it, Danny!" Jack ordered sharply.
Daniel froze with his leg partly raised and lowered it reluctantly after seeing the look on Jack's face.
"Major, give me a good reason why I shouldn't be having the nice SF's in the hall go bring you three mops and buckets to clean up the mess you just made of our lovely gate room," Jack said, knowing she would understand that he wasn't really serious in the unusual way he'd phrased his request for a quick mission report. He heard Hammond join him, and saw that he looked similarly curious about their messy state.
"Well, sir, we did find several interesting things… including of course the fact that it rained all night long and made our trek back to the gate much muddier than we normally like. Daniel found plenty of historical writings on the ruins 20 clicks from the gate, and I found something that could be useful."
"Weapons?" he asked hopefully.
"I…I'm not sure yet, sir. It's some sort of technology but I couldn't get it open in the field, and I want to run it through the mass spec…"
Jack held up a hand. "Okay, save the geek report for later."
"Yes, please do, Major," Hammond interrupted, taking over. "All of you report to the infirmary for your post-ops, then get clean before you debrief me."
"So, in other words, debrief yourselves before you debrief the General," Jack contributed, earning a quickly-stifled laugh from his 2IC, an eye-roll from Daniel, and a look of impatience from Hammond. Teal'c pretended not to have heard the remark at all.
After the General was a few yards away from them, Daniel muttered, "Boy, you're in a good mood today, Jack."
"Indeed," Teal'c agreed.
An hour later, he and his team were gathered around the conference table waiting for the General to join them. Daniel was attempting to fill the silence by telling Jack every boring detail of what he had missed, launching into an explanation of the ruins he had already begun deciphering. Jack listened enough to know that Daniel hadn't actually made much progress and decided to wait for the condensed, final version. Tuning the archaeologist out, he focused on his coffee instead.
"Great, Spacemonkey," Jack interrupted after letting Daniel ramble for a good ten minutes. "Now it's Carter's turn. What's in the bag, Carter, new doohickey?" he asked, indicating the duffel bag she'd brought in with her, which was now resting at her feet.
She reached for the bag eagerly; clearly she'd been itching to show him whatever was inside.
"Yes, sir. I haven't had time to run any more tests on it yet, obviously, but I thought you'd like to see…" she pulled out what looked like a giant egg.
Slightly larger than an ostrich egg, it looked like it was made out of gold. It appeared to have a hinge of some sort, as a seam ran all around it, making it look like the world's biggest Easter egg. "Wow, I'd hate the bird that laid that baby to bullseye my truck!"
Carter gave a smile and was about to answer when Daniel interrupted, exclaimed, "Hey! It's a Triwizard clue!"
Everyone stared at him blankly. Daniel looked sheepish and explained, "I didn't see it before; I was busy with the artifacts and Teal'c was helping Sam… it just… it looks like the clue for the second Triwizard task, that's all."
Jack turned to his 2IC for an explanation, but it was Teal'c who answered. "He is referring to 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,' O'Neill."
"Er… right," Jack said after a moment of digesting this news. After all, while there probably weren't a whole lot of books Daniel hadn't read, Jack found it harder to picture the mighty Jaffa warrior staying up late at night to read Harry Potter. Then again, the man did love his Star Wars… "Well… assuming that's not what it actually is, Carter, any ideas?"
"Plenty! It was giving off some faint energy readings, sort of like when your laptop is hibernating, sir, and I can't get it open, so it might have some sort of electromagnetic lock or…"
"Okay. Why don't you fill me in after you get a chance to play with it," O'Neill concluded.
She nodded and reached for the carafe to refill her coffee mug. They sat in silence for a few minutes before Daniel suggested quietly, "Still, it couldn't hurt to try taking a bath with it, Sam."
Jack was just about to head home for the night. There was just one more thing he needed to do before he left… kick out his two favorite geeks. He would have bet anything the two were still where they'd been last time he'd seen them - heads huddled over the golden egg thing in Carter's office, poking and prodding at it with various things while Carter used Daniel for a sounding board of ideas and Daniel offered suggestions for how it could fit in with the purpose of the building he had been exploring on the planet.
He would also be very surprised if the two of them weren't well on their way to drinking their weight in coffee for the evening as well.
Personally, he had some doubts as to the usefulness of the device. It looked weird, sure, but he couldn't fathom why anyone would make anything potentially invaluable to Earth's defenses, or offenses, or anything else in between, shaped like an egg of all things. His first instinct - that maybe it was just their alien equivalent of a football or something - was looking more and more appealing to him as he headed down the familiar corridor to his 2IC's lab.
"Okay, campers, it's way past your bedtimes!" he declared as he entered, clapping his hands together loudly before he realized there was nobody in the lab.
The egg thing lay on the work table in the middle of the room. And it was open, a mess of wires and crystals poking out of it, some of which were decidedly alien, some of which definitely belonged to his missing Second.
As he went around the table to see if she'd left any indication of where they might have gone on her laptop, which was open a foot away from the egg, his foot nudged something on the floor. He looked down in surprise, then groaned as his heart rate doubled.
They still had their heads huddled together, all right. Only they appeared to be sound asleep on the floor. And, he concluded as he bent over to look at them more closely in the dimly lit room. They couldn't have been past the age of kindergarten.