Just a short little thing I wrote while thinking about SGD and pondering the question- why didn't the SGC ever develop any sort of armour?

"What's that?" Colonel Jack O'Neill asked, entering the lab without knocking. A blond woman dressed in standard SGC fatigues sat in front of a laptop, eyes glued to the screen.

Major Samantha Carter, PhD, looked up at him. "Just a little something I'm working on, sir," she replied dismissively.

"Well, duh," her superior officer said. "I know that. What does it do?"

Assuming correctly that he was talking about the picture on her computer screen, Carter turned the laptop toward the man. The main focus was a wireframe rendering of a person- a very blocky person with an oddly shaped head. Also on the screen were several figures and equations O'Neill couldn't understand, and a few pictures. One he recognized as a character from a game one of the other scientists played a lot.

A lightbulb went off in Jack's head. "You're designing... armour?"

"Exactly, sir," Sam replied enthusiastically. "As you know, our tactical vests do not provide any protection against staff weapons whatsoever. The same goes for commercially available ballistic vests and military plate carriers. It goes without saying why it would be a nice to have something that will stop one of those, sir."

"Can we actually make something like that?" Jack asked, excited.

"We have all the elements we need, sir," she replied. "Personal shields from the Goa'uld. The Kull armour and it's energy absorption technology. Those two put together form the defensive layer- it'll stop basically anything. My hypothetical suit is quite heavy, though, so add in a powered exoskeleton currently in development. Now the soldier is super strong and incredibly fast. A miniaturized naquadah generator can power the whole works."

"So why don't we build it already?"

"Unfortunately, sir, it's not that easy. We've been unable to reverse-engineer either the personal shield or the Kull absorption technology so far. The powered exoskeleton is years away with conventional technology, and nobody's ever miniaturized a naquadah generator or even tried."

"I have faith in you, Carter, you and your egghead buddies."

Major Carter shook her head. "I'm not sure if the payoff is worth it. Sir, this is a multi-billion dollar project. It would be like engineering Prometheus all over again."

"That complex?" Carter nodded. "So, it's this or another starship."

"You might say that, sir. And with Anubis on his way to Earth-"

"We need a way to defend the planet. Daedalus is the right choice, I'm not going to argue that, sir."

"You're preaching to the choir," O'Neill assured her. "Still, a man can dream."

"Well, sir, I did come up with something." She rummaged in a a drawer and handed Colonel O'Neill a small flat rectangle made of a slippery black material.

The Colonel's face fell. "It's a piece of black plastic."

"Actually, sir, it's a highly advanced ceramic composite material," Carter explained. That would be fun to say ten times really fast. "It needs testing, of course, but I think it can stop a staff blast. Best part, sir, is that it just slips into our tactical vests."

"I fail to see how this plastic piece of junk can compare to a suit of powered armour." Seeing the look on Carter's face, he added. "Not that there's anything wrong with this plastic piece of junk."

"We can start cranking those out within a month, and outfit all our teams quickly. And they're much, much cheaper. A full-body suit like the one I was describing would cost well over a million dollars."

"I thought you said they would be as expensive as a starship."

"That's a million dollars each, sir, not including development costs."

"I would still rather have the powered armour."

"So would I, sir, but this is the best we've got."

"Well, I suppose it's better than nothing." O'Neill tossed the plate back. "Don't be late for the briefing."

"Don't worry, sir, I'll be out of here within the hour."

"That's what I like to hear," Colonel O'Neill replied as he left the room.

Two Hours Later

"Back to the gate!" Colonel O'Neill ordered, firing his P90 wildly into the pursuing Jaffa. This was not good. Thankfully, the Kull were too slow to catch up, or they would already be dead. Even still, the barrage of staff weapon fire was not something to laugh at.

It wasn't that far. Major Carter fired her own P90, taking a Jaffa down in a hail of bullets. She dashed past the others to the DHD, then provided covering fire.

"Daniel, dial it up!" O'Neill yelled. He continued to fire until his weapon locked back on an empty magazine, then hastily swapped in a new one. A staff blast hit the ground less than a metre from his feet. He didn't flinch. No time to flinch.

Daniel knew there was no time to dial the SGC and send the iris code. It would endanger more people in the SGC anyway. Each SG team member memorized several "mostly safe" addresses before they left on a mission. He quickly punched in one of them, then hammered the centre dome.

The stargate roared to life, characteristic kawoosh nearly removing Daniel's head. "Teal'c, Carter, covering fire!" O'Neill shouted. He grabbed Daniel and they ran into the event horizon. The other two peppered the rapidly advancing horde of Jaffa with staff weapon and P90 fire.

Spurred on by the now halved strength of SG-1, the Jaffa resumed their assault with greater intensity. As staff blasts poured toward them, Teal'c and Carter retreated from the relatively safe position behind the DHD through the stargate. One staff blast came so close to Carter's leg that it charred the fabric of her BDU pants. Seconds later, they were through, and the gate shut down.

It had been a close call, and they had nearly lost everything. Again. Just another day at the SGC.

See if you can guess which game the picture is from, and where SGD would have diverged.