I'd like to apologize to everyone who's read this story for the long delay in updating. Unfortunately, between dealing with a serious illness and other domestic concerns, I hadn't had either the energy or, frankly speaking, the desire to write. Thankfully, my health is improving and I'm getting back into the swing of things. After reading through the story, I realized there were tons of problems and so I've decided to revise and revamp it from square one. I hope everyone likes the Mk. 2 version and again, my apologies and I'll try to be more diligent about updating. Thank you.
THAT 70's GATE
"Grab Rodriguez and make for the Gate! I'll cover you!" A petite figure wearing dark green BDU's called out as she popped out from her hiding spot behind a large rock to fire a quick burst from her assault rifle.
"Not without you, Major!" A dark-skinned man also dressed in BDUs, wearing the insignia of an Air Force sergeant shouted back as he and another teammate supported their wounded comrade between them.
"Go!" The raven haired major ordered as she dived for cover behind a rock, just avoiding the super-heated plasma bolt passing overhead. "I'll be right behind you!"
"Dial home device activated." One of the men shouted as the Stargate's wormhole opened with a sudden whoosh. "Stargate opened."
"Move it!" The major ordered as her team staggered through the gate. Then, after laying down a final burst of fire, a smirk crossed the major's lips as two of the Goauld Khepri's best Jaffa warriors crumpled to the grown. Plasma bolts filling the air, the tiny leader of SG-4 ran towards the stargate as fast as her feet could carry her, diving into the blue, almost placid opening as one of the bolts struck her leg. Ignoring the searing pain, the major barely hung on to consciousness as she rematerialized on the other side of the gate where she finally allowed herself to lapse into unconsciousness, barely hearing the frantic call, "Medic!"
The unconscious major dreamed she was a teenager again living in her hometown of Point Place, Wisconsin standing on the other side of a familiar door as she overheard two of her friends arguing.
"I can't tonight, Eric. You know I have to babysit my sister."
"Crap, Donna! " A whiny voice that Jackie immediately recognized as belonging to Eric Forman responded. " That means we'll have to listen to Jackie all night!"
"It's not that bad, Eric." Donna Pinciotti's contralto voice responded with a mixture of sympathy and amusement.
"Yes it is!" Eric whined.
As she continued to eavesdrop, Jackie heard other sounds: Hyde snickering in amusement as Michael Kelso, her first love, chortled gleefully, not saying a word in her defense. Steeling herself, Jackie wiped the tears of disappointment as she reached for the door knob and, plastering a fake smile on her face, called out with false cheer as she opened the door,
"Brain waves are spiking, Dr. Frazier!" An air force nurse called out as Dr. Frazier rushed to the injured major's bedside.
"Side effect from her time in Eris's sarcophagus a few years back." The doctor quickly diagnosed.
She's in REM cycle now. Increase her painkiller dosage by .5 cc. She should settle down soon enough."
"The increased dosage is doing the trick, Doctor." The nurse responded. "Her brain waves are returning to normal."
"Good." Dr. Frasier sighed in relief, "Continue monitoring and let me know if there are any other changes."
"Donna? Where's your sister?" Jackie inquired as she glanced into the room opposite her friend's.
"Sister? What are you talking about, Jackie? You know I don't have a sister." A confused Donna responded and then teased, "Have you been into Hyde's stash without him knowing about it?"
"No! Of course not!' Jackie replied and then said, "I know it sounds weird, but for some reason, I thought you had a sister."
"Sometimes I wish I did" Donna confessed somewhat ruefully, "But then see all the stuff that Eric has to put up with Laurie...oops...sorry, Jackie..." The tall redhead apologized, "I didn't mean to bring up bad memories..."
"Don't worry about it, Donna..." Jackie replied magnanimously, "All that's in the past. Now that me and Michael are back together again, nothing is going to tear us apart. We're going to be together forever."
"Yeah...right..." Donna responded, rolling her eyes, "You just hold on to that thought."
Her eyes fluttering as she awoke, the major sighed and exhaled rapidly as Doctor Frazier rushed to her bedside.
"It's all right." The doctor said in a comforting voice as she gently settled her injured patient back in bed. "Bad dream, Jackie?"
"Maybe...I don't know..." Major Jackie Burckhardt responded, " Some images...I remember...from my past. The others though...colors and shapes..."
"Probably lingering aftereffects from your time in the sarcophagus a few years ago." Doctor Frazier surmised as she made a few notes in her patient's chart. I'm going to recommend that you see Doctor Edwards again for few sessions."
"So...I'm back to being Ms. Psycho, huh?" Jackie quipped, flashing a brief, shaky smile.
"No. Not at all." Doctor Frazier responded in an assuring tone. "They're probably just ghost images. What you're going through is not at all uncommon with others who have had lengthy experiences in Goaul'd sarcophagi." Shaking her head, the doctor declared, "Those sarcophagi are capable of preserving and even taking years off your life, but the price..."
"Yeah." Jackie agreed, nodding her head, "Way too high."
Smiling down at her patient, Dr. Frasier declared as she made some notes on her tablet, "Otherwise, Jackie...you're ready to be discharged. I'm putting you on limited duty status for a few days until you've seen Doctor Edwards and we'll go on from there."
"What about my men?" Jackie then asked.
"Sergeant Rodriguez'll be here for another day or two and then same for him—limited duty for a couple of days. The others are just fine." Doctor Frazier then put on a look of mock sternness. "Now...as for you. You've got the rest of the night here and then I want you out of my infirmary. Go home, get some rest, then on Monday, you'll be cleared for full duty."
"Thanks Doc." Jackie grinned as she slipped back into bed and quickly fell asleep.
Following Doctor Frasier's orders, Jackie returned to her Colorado Springs apartment and, after slipping into comfortable sweats, sank into her couch as she turned on the TV. As she drifted into a state of half-sleep, images once again raced through her mind with one vision in particular stood out over all the others.
Raising her right hand in a signal to halt, Jackie, her M-16 cradled in her arms, entered the chamber. Gasping, she saw Eric, Donna, a strange little girl whom she didn't recognize, Laurie, Stephen, Fez, and Michael all enclosed in glass cocoons, a blue viscous semi-gaseous fluid slowly filling each of the tubes imprisoning them, slowly consuming them as it did so.
Gasping, Jackie shot up out of the couch. Quickly picking up the phone and hitting the speed dial, Jackie sighed in relief as she heard the familiar voice on the other end..
"Hey Donna..." Jackie stammered, "It's me...Jackie..."
"Jackie?" A surprised Donna exclaimed, "How are you doing? How's Colorado? Is something wrong?"
"I'm ok..." Jackie replied quickly and then asked, "How's everything your way? How are Eric and the others?"
"Eric's fine." A mystified Donna responded. "He's still teaching high school but looking forward to retirement soon." Then, after a moment's pause, she continued tentatively, "Kitty's not doing so well...We put her in hospice care last week. The doctors think she's only got a few more weeks—a month at the most."
"I'm sorry." Jackie whispered as she heard the bad news.
"Yeah. Her memory's mostly gone now because of the Alzheimer's—every now and again she'll recognize Eric or me, but that's it. Hyde came in to visit her a couple days ago and she didn't even recognize him. Ever since Red and Dad passed on..." Donna choked back a sob and then continued, "Anyway, I'm trying to round up as much of the old gang as possible so that she can...well...you know. I contacted Michael and Hyde, and even managed to get Joanne, but I'm having problems with Fez. For some reason or other, Homeland Security has him on a watch list..."
Shaking her head, Jackie quickly responded, "I'll see what I can do. I can't guarantee anything." She cautioned, "But I know people who know people and I think they can swing it where he can get a visa to come into the country. Also, I've got more than a few days leave banked, so give me a few days to clear everything with the brass and I'll be there."
"That's great!" Donna exclaimed. "I'll see you in a few days."
"Great! Tell Eric I said Hi and to behave himself."
"Will do. Bye!"
Hanging up the phone, Jackie glanced at the clock on the wall. "Time to get ready for work." She said to no one in particular as she made her way to the bathroom for her ritual morning shower. "First...see how the team's doing..." she remarked to herself as she planned out her day, "And then my appointment with Doc Edwards followed by lunch with Daniel and then a meeting with General O'Neill." Turning on her shower, the petite major paused for a moment as she tried to figure out why the general would want to see her. Top secret mission? Possible...but not likely. Generally SG-1 got the juicy assignments. Butt chewing? Better not be. Jackie frowned as she replayed the events of the last mission in her mind. That mission was FUBARed from the beginning. If the higher-ups try to pin this on my team...Gritting her teeth, Jackie grumbled as she stepped into the shower, "Well...whatever it's about, I'll find out soon enough."
"So...how's your day been so far, Jackie?"
Smiling as she regarded the man sitting across from her, Jackie replied, "Not bad, Daniel. Team's recovering nicely and my session with Doc Edwards seemed to have gone ok. He only 'Hmmmmed' twice during the entire interview. What about you? How're you holding up?"
"Same old...same old." Doctor Daniel Jackson, answered back, flashing a boyish grin. "I've been keeping busy with some old manuscripts we found on our last mission."
"What about Sam?" Jackie inquired, "She still at that conference?"
"Yeah." Daniel nodded his head. "She's due back tomorrow and then I think we're heading back out. What about you?"
"Don't know." Jackie answered back. "Depends on what the Old Man says."
"Don't worry about Jack." Daniel chuckled. "His bark is worse than his bite. He knows what happened out there wasn't your fault. Stuff happens—you know that. So...what have you got planned? SG-4 going out again?"
"Not right away." Jackie replied as she finished her iced tea. "Rodriguez is still on limited duty." Sighing, she remarked in a wistful tone, "I'm hoping the general will let me take some leave."
"Everything ok back at home?" Daniel asked as a look of concern crossed his features. " I remember you telling me about your friend's mother—that she's in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's."
"Yeah." Jackie sighed as she nodded her head. "Donna says that Kitty doesn't have much longer. I'm hoping to be able to see her."
"Don't worry, Jackie." Daniel replied with a warm smile, "Unless there's something urgent, I'm sure Jack'll let you go. Family's very important to him."
"Thanks, Daniel. Well..." She remarked as she glanced at the clock on the wall, "I better get going or the General really will have something to yell about."
"Yeah...you don't want to keep him waiting." Dr. Jackson laughed. "I'll see you later."
Entering the General's office, Major Burckhardt came to attention and saluted. "Sir?"
"At ease, Major." General Jack O'Neill responded as he returned Jackie's salute. "How are you and your team feeling?"
"Fine, Sir." Jackie responded.
"Good." The general exclaimed as he pulled a pair of envelopes, one large and one small, from a desk drawer. "Have a seat, Major." General O'Neill requested.
"Thank you, Sir." Jackie responded as she sat down.
"First..." The general said, "You're not here for a butt chewing. What happened on PX-395 was not your fault—or your team's fault. Understand?" Taking the dark-haired major's head nod as an affirmative, Jack continued, "You got yourself and your people out in one piece and you provided some valuable intel on Khepri and Eris. Even though we've beaten most of the System Lords, those two and others like them have been pains in our backside for too long."
"I also know it's personal between you and Eris...I know what she did to you and that there's nothing you'd like more than to get some payback. Believe me...I know exactly what you're going through." General O'Neill remarked sympathetically as he remembered his confrontations with Apophis and a few other System Lords. "But you kept your head. You did a good job keeping your cool out there."
"Thank you, Sir."
"So..." General O'Neill exclaimed as he rose to his feet, "Unless there's something else..."
"There is, Sir." Jackie responded. Taking the general's slight nod of his head as a signal to continue, the major began hesitatingly, "Sir...I was wondering. Doc Frasier still wants to keep my team on limited duty status for at least another week and...well...I've got several weeks worth of leave accumulated...and...I don't know if you've heard...but my best friend's mother isn't doing too well...she doesn't have much longer."
"And you want to see her." Jack finished, nodding his head approvingly. "Of course, you can go. But...before you take you take off..." The general requested, "Could you do a quick favor for us? We're testing a variation on the Asgard transporter..." General O'Neill explained and then, seeing the skeptical look on the younger officer's face, he quickly added, "It's safe, Major. I promise your atoms won't be scattered all over the place. It's also part of the favor. I need someone to attend a Top-Secret conference at Davis-Monthan Air Base dealing with possible counters to Anubis' super-warriors." Exhaling deeply, Jack confided, "Those mothers are murdering us. Colonel Carter's come up with some ideas, but she's still at that conference in Juneau..."
"Yeah...Doctor Jackson was telling me about that." Jackie replied, "Of course, I'll do it, Sir."
"Great!" General O'Neill exclaimed. "Thor will transport you up to his ship in...three hours...that should give you enough time to get changed out of those BDU's and into your Class-As. You also might want to carry a second uniform with you. The conference will take a couple of days and then you're free to go on leave. Here..." He said as he handed the two envelopes in his hand to Jackie. "Open the smaller one once you beam down to the surface—it'll have further instructions for you."
Looking down at the envelopes, Jackie saw that they were both marked, 'Top-Secret'.
"That's right, Major." The general's smile was now gone. "Don't open them until you're supposed to. That's a direct order."
"Yes, Sir." A confused Jackie responded as she clutched the envelopes in her hand.
"You'll understand when you get there, Major." General O'Neill declared in a fatherly voice. Dismissed, Major. Go and get packed."
Once he was sure that Major Burckhardt had left the Gate Room, General O'Neill pressed a button. A few moments later, both Daniel Jackson and Colonel Samantha Carter entered the office. "Well...here we go again." Jack sighed as he motioned for his two friends and former teammates to sit down. "Hopefully this time she'll be able to break the time loop."
"The last time helped a lot, Sir." Dr. Jackson replied, "We were able to pin down the disturbance as emanating from Point Place. But...do you think she'll be able to deal with it?"
"Doctor Frasier believes that her memories of what happened during that time are beginning to resurface." Colonel Carter stated, "Janice thinks that her time in the sarcophagus while Eris was torturing her began to break down the walls that she'd built in her mind. Her latest experience seems to have broken those walls down even more. Hopefully, this time she'll be able to put all the pieces together."
"She's the only one who can get this job done." Jack declared. "She was there at the time. It has to be her. She'll do it."
"I hope so, Sir." Samantha interjected, "We don't know how many more chances we're going to get with these time loops."
"Well..." Jack exclaimed as he picked up his cap, "It's all on her now."
Returning to her apartment, Jackie quickly changed into her Air Force blues and then packed her gear, slipping an extra uniform into its traveling case. "Let's see...spare uniform, I-Pad, I-Phone...check." She remarked as she slipped the tablet and smartphone into her purse. "That should do it." As she finished packing, she heard her doorbell ring. Seeing Doctor Frasier through the peephole, Jackie smiled as she opened the door. "Hi Doc! Come to see me off?"
"I was on my way to pick up Cassandra from school." The doctor explained, "And I figured I'd stop over to see how you were doing and to say goodbye. So...how long you going to be gone?"
"A couple of weeks." Jackie replied as she noticed the doctor's attention directed to the photographs hanging over the fireplace. "The old gang." Jackie said with a warm smile as she placed names with pictures. The balding man is Red." Laughing, she remarked, "Always ready to give you a foot in the ass or a hug."
Laughing, Doc Frasier asked as she pointed to the stout man wearing an Afro standing next to Red, "Who's he."
"That's Bob. Donna's father." Jackie laughed. "That man told the worst jokes and did the worst Tom Jone's impression. He took our picture when Kitty and Red pinned my lieutenant's bars on me..."
U.S. Air Force Academy—the past.
"Here she comes! You got the camera, Bob?"
"Right here, Red." Bob Pinciotti replied, flashing a big grin as he held up the 35mm camera in his hand.
" Make sure you take a good picture." Red commanded, " Ready, Kitty?" He asked, turning to his wife.
"Sure am!" A bubbly Kitty Forman answered back.
As the newly graduated cadet approached, the Forman patriarch's smile grew even brighter. "Congratulations, Jackie, you made it! But...there's a problem." His face taking on a stern expression, he declared in a gruff voice as he regarded the young woman wearing her Air Force blue uniform, "You're out of uniform. We've got to do something about that." His severe expression then took on a smile as he opened a small jewelry case to reveal a pair of gold second lieutenant's bars, "Kitty?"
Smiling, Kitty took one of the bars as Red took the other, then, the pair took their places on either side of the young officer, pinning the gold bars to her shoulders while Bob took their picture.
Stepping back as Bob handed the camera back to Kitty as Red carried out a flawless about-face. Then both ex-servicemen, simultaneously, came to attention and raised their right arms to their foreheads, giving the lieutenant her first salute as a commissioned officer.
Tears rolling down her cheeks, Jackie snapped to attention and returned the men's salute with a crisp salute of her own and then after completing the military ritual, she rushed into Kitty's arms.
"We're so proud of you, Jackie!" Kitty sobbed as the two women hugged.
And that's..." Jackie said, choking back a sob, "Kitty..."
"She's the one..."
"Yeah." Jackie nodded her head. "She was always there for us when we needed a kind word or a shoulder to cry on."
"Who are the others?"
"The dark haired guy's Fez." Jackie said, her lips turning up into a fond smile. "We roomed together for a while before I went to the Academy. Even dated for a bit—but it didn't work out." She shook her head as her lips turned up in a warm smile, "He was funny and sweet and well...a really great guy..." She confessed, "It's just that...I wasn't ready. Just like I wasn't ready with the others. The other guy, the younger guy with the 'Fro...that's Hyde. We...were an item for a while too—before Fez. Almost got married until we both screwed it up." Laughing, she jibed, "As you can see, I don't have much luck with love."
"It'll happen, Jackie." Doctor Frazier commiserated.
"It's all right." Jackie remarked with chuckle, "It doesn't bother me now. Anyway..." She sighed, Hyde didn't care too much for my decision to join the Air Force. We haven't talked much since."
Forman House: 1980
Letter in hand and broad grin on her face, Jackie dashed into the Forman's living room where Red, Hyde, Kelso, and Bob were watching the football game. "I did it!" Jackie squealed with delight as she held the letter up. "I got in!"
"Got in where?" Kelso replied with a boyish grin, "Playboy?"
"Yeah." Hyde snorted, "She's the next Miss January."
Just then, a cheer sounded from the television as Red grumbled, "Dammit, you made me miss the Packers scoring a touchdown. Probably be the only one they score in the game too." Turning his full attention to Jackie, the Forman patriarch growled, "What did you do, now?"
"I got in!" Jackie repeated, her enthusiasm undimmed as she handed Red the letter. "I got this a few minutes ago."
His eyes immediately catching the Air Force crest on the letterhead, Red carefully read the letter, his eyes growing wider. "Well, I'll be..." A note of both surprise and pride began to creep into the older man's voice. "How long have you been planning this? I didn't even know..."
"No one did." Jackie replied, the smile still plastered on her face. "I didn't want anyone else to know..."
"Know what?" Bob interjected as he eyed the letter curiously. Taking Jackie's nod of her head as assent, Red passed the letter on to Bob who then read it, his eyes also widening in surprise. "Well, I'll be a monkey's..."
"We already know you are, Bob." Red jibed. "Now let the other dumbasses read it."
As Kelso read the letter, he remarked cluelessly, "I don't understand..."
"Nothing new there." Red grumbled as Hyde took the note.
As he read the letter, a strange expression overtook the rebellious Hyde. "How could you do something so stupid, Jackie? How could you sell yourself out like that?"
"Hey!" Red growled as he moved protectively towards Jackie.
"It's my choice, Stephen!" Jackie declared defensively.
"And it's a good choice." Red stated as he placed himself between Hyde and a defiant Jackie. Addressing the young men in the room, he growled, "At least she's decided to do something with her life!" Turning to Jackie, his lips turned up into a warm smile, "Did you tell your parents?"
"I told my Mom." Jackie replied, shaking her head, "She was into her third martini and eyeing the pool boy. I don't think my news even registered with her. As for Dad...he's...out of town trying to get back on his feet after being paroled. I haven't been able to reach him yet."
"Well..." Red said consolingly as he placed a paternal hand on Jackie's shoulder, "If there's anything Kitty and I can do for you, just let us know."
"We're going to miss you, Jackie." Kelso said adding, "What about Fez?"
"Yeah..." Jackie replied, nodding her head once, "I'm going to have to find some way to tell him." Turning her gaze toward Hyde, Jackie gave him a pleading look, "Are we ok?"
"I don't know." Stephen grumbled as he left the room.
"He'll get over it." Kelso consoled, "I think it's neat. So..." He asked with a goofy grin on his face, "They gonna let you fly a jet?"
"I don't know." Jackie laughed, "We'll see."
"Well..." Doc Frasier said consolingly, "He still must have had some warm feelings for you since he showed up for your graduation.
"Maybe." Jackie conceded, "Doesn't matter though. That was a long time ago. We both made our choices."
"The couple in this picture must be Eric and Donna." Doctor Frasier surmised , quickly changing the subject. "They look good together."
"Yeah." Jackie chuckled, "Those two broke up and got back together so often that we ended up keeping a running pool going as to when they would break up and then make up."
"Did you win?"
"A couple of times." Jackie grinned, "So did Red."
"So...who's the other one. The guy with the..."
"Doofy grin?" Jackie chuckled. "That's Kelso. He's a long story for another time."
"Understood." Doc Frasier responded and then inquired, "So...what happened to everyone?"
"Well..." Jackie sighed, "You know about Kitty.. Red left us a decade ago. His heart finally gave out on him. Bob went next—prostate cancer took him away at almost the same time that Midge, his first and last wife, went from breast cancer. Eric and Donna are still living in Point Place and Kelso's in Chicago with his wife—I can't believe they're still married. Fez...well...I'm working on getting him here to see Kitty and as for Hyde..." Jackie simply shook her head. "Donna said that he came by to see Kitty, but I have no idea what he's doing now.
Looking at her watch, Doc Frasier said her goodbyes, "Well...I better get going now. Thor's supposed to be picking you up anytime now and I've got to pick up Cassie. Take care and let me know how things go."
"Will do." Jackie smiled back as she felt the faint electrical charge that indicated that the Asgard had begun their transport sequence. "Looks like my ride's here." She exclaimed as she took a deep breath and exhaled before saying a silent prayer as the blue beam took her and her belongings.
Rematerializing on the Asgard ship, Jackie couldn't help but gasp as she gazed down on its diminutive grey commander. While she had seen Thor a couple of times at Stargate Command, she had never interacted with him. Somewhat hesitatingly, she stammered, "Hello, Thor..."
"Greetings, Major Burckhardt." The alien answered back. "We will be ready to transport you back down to the surface in one Earth minute."
"That's quick." Jackie remarked as the little gray alien seemed to ignore her.
"We have reached our destination." The Asgard Supreme Commander declared. "Prepare for transport."
"Bye..." Jackie uttered as she suddenly found herself on a sidewalk. Looking around, Jackie shook her head, muttering. "I think you messed up your coordinates, Thor. This isn't Davis-Monthan." Clutching her skirt as what looked, much to Jackie's surprise, to be a mint condition late 70s Pontiac Trans-Am whizzed by her, Jackie, after muttering a string of curses at the driver, remarked to herself, "Damn. Whoever owns that car did a good job restoring it. It looks almost brand new."
Her eyes following the Trans-Am as it turned into a parking lot, Jackie's mouth opened wide as she gasped in disbelief, "No! That's impossible! The Hub! It was torn down in the late 80s. There's a Starbucks there now." Feeling the envelopes in her hands, Jackie remembered what General O'Neill had told her. Opening the first envelope, she read the note enclosed inside.
Major Burckhardt, here's the situation in a nutshell. You are indeed in Point Place in the year 1978. Somehow or other we've been caught in a time loop. Colonel Carter thinks that it might be due to the Asgard transport beam that we've been testing interacting with whatever was happening during that time. Doctor Frasier thinks that a lot of your bad dreams might come from this disturbance as well. We need you to find out what's going on and deal with it. We'll try to help you out anyway we can from our end here, but you've got point on this. In the big envelope you'll find proper identification, money, credit cards, and anything else we can think of to help you out. Yes, Major...the credit cards do come with a limit, so don't blow them on one of your legendary shopping sprees.
General Jack O'Neill
Opening the big envelope, Jackie nodded her head in satisfaction as she spied the 70s era military ID, drivers' license, money, and Visa and Mastercard. Putting the items in her purse, the major waited for what seemed like a lifetime as she pondered her situation. Finally, almost as if she was drawn by some mystical force, Jackie, after adjusting her cap, walked towards her old hangout. Reaching the entrance, she paused as she heard the voices inside. Her heart racing, Major Jackie Burckhardt took a deep breath as she opened the door to her past.