1. The Wordsmith
"You didn't actually see anything that was on the screen, did you Lieutenant?" Dr. Fraiser asked as she closed her office door, shutting off the noise and commotion of the crowded infirmary.
The lieutenant, whose previous posting had been at the base hospital, crawled out from under the desk where he'd been re-connecting a power cable, brushed the dust off his knees, and wisely answered, "Of course not, m'am." He'd been assigned to the SGC long enough to know that if he happened to notice the chief medical officer was editing medical reports on a stand-alone laptop, using a custom thesaurus to wordsmith phrases such as 'SG-1's mandatory participation in extra-planetary engenderment rituals', it was a smart idea to pretend otherwise. "Your system just needed a swift kick in the pants. I managed to save your file before I rebooted," he told her.
Still, he made a note to schedule some time with the Doc to show her how to encrypt and backup her files on the network. He'd hate to see all her creativity go to waste the next time her system hung.
2. The Writer
"It's not mine. Really." Dr. Lee was clearly flustered. He crossed the length of the small laboratory in a few quick steps, tapping his chin in a nervous staccato with his index finger.
"No, sir. Of course not." Sergeant Engels watched him pace.
"I have no idea where it came from, actually. No… no… that's not true. There's a pretty good chance – a high probability, in fact – that it was on one of the disks I got at the conference. Not that it came from the conference, mind you. It probably got mixed in by accident. With all the handouts."
"I'm sure that's it, sir." Engels slid the toner cartridge back into place and shut the door. She picked up her screwdriver and the stack of mutilated papers she'd just rescued from the bowels of the printer, but Dr. Lee snatched the pages from her hands.
"I'll take those," he said as he straightened the edges of the pile. "To put in the recycling bin. Over here."
Engels just nodded and packed up her tools. She wasn't going to argue with the man.
"So?" Huang asked when Engels dumped the handful of broken printer parts onto the work bench. "Is it him?"
"Totally. His beta copy jammed up the printer."
"And," Engels leaned back against the workbench and crossed her arms, "He grabbed it before I read very far, but it looks like a sequel to that one where Dr. Levant and Colonel Danning are stranded and have to share a tent."
Huang grinned as she turned to her computer and pulled up a webpage. "Awesome. As long as there's no talking Dalmatians in this one."
3. Ancient Easter Eggs
Dr. Perry came up with the idea and talked Dr. Caine into writing the actual code. They had to be sneaky though, because while Mary claimed not to know a whit about computers, she was a keen observer with a terrible poker face. She'd always known when Amanda was up to something. And while Mary would never rat her out, Nicholas had once mentioned that he could always tell what kind of day she was having by how close Mary was hovering. Amanda didn't want anything spoiling the joke.
The plan was simple, really. A small modification to the character configuration file, an extra puzzle sequence, and just enough clues to lead a dedicated gamer on a chase. She just never foresaw that the code changes would make it past the beta release.
It was rare for Eli to let his laptop leave his quarters these days. Having his own computer was a luxury on board Destiny, one that he was not going to easily share. Not when it contained the backup copies of each crew member's Kino message home. If anything were to happen to those…
But this was too good to keep to himself.
"So you think you're supposed to head right, right?" he looked up at Dr. Park who was leaning over his shoulder to see the screen. "But if you actually translate this symbol here," he touched the screen, "it's telling you that you should head left." He moved his avatar along the computer generated hallway.
"Wait, I thought this whole thing was an online game?" Lisa asked. "How'd you get a copy?"
"One of the IT guys on the Hammond gave it to me when they got me the laptop. He said I might want it as a souvenir."
Lisa snorted. "Some souvenir."
"Yeah, well. Just wait." Eli brought the avatar to a stop and hit a few keys, which brought up a new puzzle. A couple more clicks of the mouse solved the puzzle. The screen went dark.
Eli held up a finger. "Wait for it."
The screen came back up again, only this time the avatar was different. It was skinnier and its hair was longer. The vest, though, was the clincher.
"Rush?" Lisa laughed.
Lisa and Eli looked up from the laptop. Dr. Rush was watching them from the control room doorway.
"Dr. Rush… " Lisa stammered. She elbowed Eli in the side.
"We were just... Uh... " Eli fumbled.
"What have we here?" Rush looked at the screen over Eli's shoulder. Lisa held her breath, while Eli looked like he was wishing they would drop out of FTL right any time now.
Rush surprised them both. "Good one," he chuckled.
"What?" Eli squeaked. He looked at Lisa, but she shook her head and shrugged.
Rush took a step back, nodded as he pointed at the screen, and said, "Mandy."
As he went over to his own console on the other side of the room, Eli was sure he could hear him mutter something that sounded an awful lot like 'Little Miss Brilliant strikes again'.
4. Intergalactic e-Bay
Teal'c stood peering over Vala's shoulder at the computer screen. "That is not wise Vala Mal Doran."
Vala, pigtails flipping smartly, turned and asked, "And why not? None of this belongs to the SGC. It was all in my possession long before I'd ever crossed paths with the Tau'ri. In fact, this lot here," she stabbed at the monitor hard enough to make the liquid crystal ripple, "is from a cache that Jacek bought from a Lucian contact named Varro."
Teal'c raised his customary eyebrow.
"Well, maybe not 'bought'. More like traded." Teal'c still didn't look like he was quite buying it. "Pilfered, if you will. Regardless, it's better if it's sold off and as far away from Earth as possible." She stared up at Teal'c, willing him to see the logic in her plan.
"As I said," Teal'c repeated, "That is not wise- "
Vala sighed theatrically.
"-because Fedex does not ship to P4X-775."
"Oh." Vala's shoulders slumped as she scrolled through the impressive list of bids. "I was wondering how this was going to work with that whole pay your pal thingie."
Teal'c started towards the office door. "Perhaps Master Bra'tac will be able to drop off your package on his way back from visiting Ry'ac and Kar'yn," he said over his shoulder. "I will speak to him on your behalf."
"You think he'd do that for me?"
Teal'c paused."As you said, it is in the planet's best interest." He did not add that Bra'tac had already contacted him to ask him to hold a certain shipment of his own until his next visit to Earth. It seemed that, in the wake of Goa'uld defeat, the trade business was booming.
5. The Hardware Geek
"It's working just fine sir," Ramirez said. "I really can't see anything wrong." He shut down the laptop and unplugged the power cable.
"You're sure?" O'Neill asked. "I mean, really, really sure? There's no lethal radiation leaking from it? No gravitational- " he twirled a finger in some vague direction, "- field-thingies?"
"No sir." Ramirez frowned. "Why would there be?"
O'Neill picked up the laptop. "No reason."
He must not have sounded like he was convinced because O'Neill added, "You just never know when you borrow something from Carter's lab."
The laptop might as well have grown fangs and winked at Ramirez for how quickly he backed away from it. "Was that wise, sir?" He'd had been in Carter's lab a few times. It scared him. The things that woman could do with a circuit board, a soldering iron, and a handful of high yield explosives terrified him. He always made a point to grab the assignments which kept him as far away from her lab as possible. He didn't want to be the one to accidentally bump a switch or trip over a cable and set off some device that triggered the base's self-destruct.
"Look, I was getting my ass kicked at World of Warcraft because this piece of junk," he waved the laptop, "is slower than Dr. Lee's briefings. She's got so many of those chip-doodads lying around that she won't notice one is missing."
Ramirez didn't see the point in reminding the Colonel that one chip-doodad was not necessarily the same as the next. The laptop worked. The base was not going to explode - not in the next five minutes, anyhow. And if O'Neill winning a game or two of World of Warcraft kept his hands off Major Carter's hardware, Ramirez was happy to look the other way.
When he got back to the IT shop, Ramirez quietly bumped the Colonel to the top of the list for a new computer, then checked through the queue to see if there were any calls from the guys up at NORAD. He liked the idea of being much closer to the exit.