Scriber's Note: Thanks to the two people who've put me on your favourites list. Cheers! Thanks also for your reviews guys. Hope you like this next instalment!
I keep forgetting those pesky disclaimers, but I don't own Stargate, never have, never will. (Boo hoo). The characters are not my rightful property, I just borrowed them. I promise I'll return them in the same shape I found them.
Window Panes: Pane Six
General Hammond leaned back in his chair, the fingers of one hand tapping a beat on the armrest. He stared silently at the man in front of him, pondering the information he had just heard. Finally he stirred, sitting forward and resting his hands on his desk.
"Thank you Teal'c. Dismissed."
Teal'c turned and strode through the General's doorway, a small pang of guilt blossoming in his consciousness. He hadn't wanted to give away the Colonel's activities during previous loops, but the General was persuasive. At least he hadn't given away the more sensitive indiscretions. The silent Jaffa decided to make amends and warn Colonel O'Neill that General Hammond was fully aware of the situation. What sort of restitution the General had in mind did not bear thinking about.
The loudspeaker suddenly clicked on and General Hammond's voice rang out over the base.
"Prepare for War Games, training situation Alpha-Six-Zero. All teams report. War Games commence in one hour."
Jack eyed Teal'c with an angry glare. "You know anything about this?"
Teal'c merely shrugged, unaffected by the surly Colonel.
"C'mon. Let's see what he's up to."
The two men hurried to the equipment room, quickly gathered the supplies needed for the Games and joined the ranks headed topside. Alpha-Six-Zero situations were held outdoors and soon soldiers of every rank filled the forest.
Jack jogged up to where General Hammond stood with the senior officers and Stargate Team leaders. "Orders sir?"
Hammond kept the smile from his face as he addressed his officers. "We've planted a device that must be retrieved in two hours time. SG-2,5 and 7 will guard the location while SG-1,6,8 and 10 will attempt to retrieve it. SG-3 will provide cover. You know the rules men, move out!"
Jack ran towards his team, already flicking hand signals at them to move them further into the trees. They met up around a twisted root, crouching down to talk. "We need to locate and retrieve a device. It's heavily guarded and we're up against 4 other teams. Let's go."
SG-1 made their way through the forest, all the while tracking the movements of the other teams. Jack was determined to find the device first and prove his team to be the best. He was also aware that Hammond had something planned, which made him doubly alert as he crawled through the undergrowth. Carter was behind him while Daniel brought up the rear. He'd sent Teal'c on ahead to reconnoitre and track down the location of the target.
An hour passed and SG-1 got closer to their target, Teal'c was back with the team and explaining to Jack the size and layout of the security force.
"They've got to be guarding that device, too many men for a simple decoy."
They were lying on their stomachs on a small slope over looking a valley. They could see guards patrolling the perimeter, a small contingent in the bowl. Jack held the binoculars to his eyes and trained it on the leader. Daniel and Carter kept watch both behind and in front, but so far no one had approached their location.
"Anyone else out there?"
"I do not see any other team O'Neill. I believe we are the first to discover the location."
"How do you want to do this Jack?" Daniel asked, knowing they were outnumbered.
"We'll have to sneak attack, pick them off the perimeter one by one. We can't let them know we're here until we've evened the odds."
Jack tucked the binoculars into his pocket and gave the signal to move out. With his hands he deployed his team around the valley, giving them each a chance to take out their targets.
Little did Jack know what the General really had planned…
Carter met up with Daniel as soon as they were out of the Colonel's sights.
"You sure about this?"
"Well, from what I hear he deserves it. Besides, we'll never get a chance like this again. Where's your sense of fun Carter?"
"I have a sense of fun, I just see no point in it when we won't remember it."
"To quote General Hammond 'as long as Jack remembers that's all I need.'" Daniel grinned at Sam's disgusted expression.
"I still don't see the point, but orders are orders." Of course Carter would never admit just how much she would enjoy this. Word had spread around the base of Jack's water gun stunt on a previous loop and the General had agreed to allow base personnel a chance at payback. All they had to do now was get Jack into position.
Daniel clicked his radio on. "Optimus calling Grimlock, come back?" As Daniel radioed the Colonel he wondered who had come up with the code names. He felt a little silly when Jack radioed back. "Grimlock here, status Optimus?"
"Megatron is down repeat, Megatron is down." Daniel winked at Carter…uhh...Megatron.
"Acknowledged Optimus, Megatron is down. Remain on target; I'll take over Megatron's position. Over."
"Acknowledged. Over and out." Daniel picked up his weapon and smiled at Carter. "Well, show's on."
Jack crouched low in the foliage, slowly moving forwards to the target location. So far the guards had not been alerted and a tricky bit of terrain was all that was keeping him from victory. He decided he'd have to reveal himself and hope that his all out run kept the guards from sighting him in their weapons. He knew Daniel and Teal'c were out there and was counting on them to cover his mad dash.
He sprung from hiding and let out a loud yell, legs pumping as he ran towards the cluster of guards.
Suddenly he stopped in his tracks. All around him soldiers rose from the forest floor, completely surrounding him, weapons targeting him.
"Whoa…" Jack slowly turned around. It seemed the entire base was ringed around him, and he cursed himself for not seeing the General's setup.
"Hammond?" He yelled.
"Colonel O'Neill." The General stepped out of the circle and approached Jack. He was dressed in camouflage and had his own weapon pointed at the Colonel.
Jack slowly bent and put his rifle on the ground, then put his hands in the air as he straightened.
"Colonel O'Neill you are charged and found guilty with deliberately breaking regulations and taking advantage of a critical situation. READY!"
The General backed away.
Jack half opened his mouth to plead with his CO, then realized he probably deserved this.
The sound of gunfire filled the clearing as each soldier opened fire. Carter was grinning wildly as she fired and she could hear the sound of Daniel laughing. General Hammond was firing hard and even Teal'c had a small smile on his face as he aimed for Jack's face.
When the rounds were finished and the soldiers had run out of ammunition the clearing fell silent. The air was still and the birds had ceased their singing long ago. One brave crow cawed in the distance, breaking the silence.
All eyes were on Jack as he stood, staggering, struggling to keep his feet. There wasn't a piece of him left unpainted, the green, yellow and red mixed to cover him in a garish display. The paint dripped off his hat, his hands, even his eyelashes. He finally fell to one knee leaving a smear of red on the grass.
From the quiet rang out the sound of someone clapping. Another joined in, then another and soon all the base personnel were cheering and applauding. The soldiers closest to the General saluted him, then returned to their wild celebration. It wasn't everyday you were ordered to shoot as much paint as you could on a superior officer, it was the chance of a lifetime and the soldiers loved it.
"Colonel O'Neill." General Hammond's voice rang out over the cheers. "You have hereby been punished for your actions." He looked at his watch.
"See you next loop."
"Haha…" Jack laughed sarcastically as the world turned white around him.