Hi everyone, I just want you to know this is a reimagining of a previous fic I started that kind of flopped. I didn't do enough character development for James, so it just wasn't that good. So I started over here, giving him some actual character development before tossing him into the fray. So yes, it is going to be a little while before SG-1 shows up.
Part 1: Mentor
Chapter 1: Discovered
February 21st, 2000, Colorado Springs, Colorado
A small seven-year old James Parker worked silently in a corner away from the other children, trying to appear innocent by playing with simple blocks. He made sure not to make the structure of the blocks to complex or above average and to hang under the radar… to make sure he wasn't noticed as abnormally intelligent.
His parents had told him to do so. If he was noticed, they were sure he'd be abused by others. They wanted him to have a normal childhood not shaped by his intelligence. As it was, they were very aware that the child was a genius.
As he pretended to play with the blocks, he simultaneously worked on highly complex math problems in his head. He made sure to keep attention on his surroundings. He had never fit in well with the other children, but he was relatively good at blending in.
James found it funny that his parents had wanted him to have a normal childhood… but by forcing him to hide his intelligence from others; they had also forced him to isolate himself from other people. He thought this was alright though, as he enjoyed being alone.
He just wished he could study more complex subjects here instead of self-study at his home. The alphabet and basic math were incredibly quaint to him. He liked to use his hands, to create things with his intelligence… but he couldn't here. He felt incredibly stuffed in and trapped in this world he didn't want to be a part of.
But, at the same time, he realized the intelligence of his parent's judgment. It was mandatory that he hide his intelligence from others, because as they said it would be abused. His massive intelligence would no doubt be taken interest in across the nation, and James didn't want the attention, or to have his life consistently directed by others who claimed to help him.
He would be basically suffocated in the world around him. He liked observing the world, changing it, and being a part of it. But he wanted to be able to make his own choices about how he fit in with it, instead of being forced to turn wheels may not want to turn.
So he kept up the charade, no matter how trapped he felt here in this school. Acting like he wasn't thinking on levels far beyond that of his teachers had become second nature to him. When it was done and he was home, he would be able to study and work on the things he wanted to.
5 Years Later
He sat bored through his history class, in the back and out of sight as usual. He mildly paid attention to what was being taught even though he already knew the contents of what was being told. History was his least favorite subject. He thought it foolish to put so much concentration on the past when the future was so much more important.
He gazed out the window and observed nature. It was winter, and snow coated the outside. James liked snow. He liked how each one was completely different from another. He liked thinking about the individual chemical reactions that created each one. He liked thinking about how everything there could be quantified and explained by science and ingenuity, and how no matter what, there would always be more to discover.
He was glad he had his mind, the one place where he didn't have to keep up the charade. Just because he had to act like the average twelve year-old didn't mean he had to think like one. As the bell rung, he stood and gazed about as the room emptied. He gathered his belongings and travelled to the door silently.
"James." His teacher called. He turned to her.
"Yes Miss Tuesday?" He inquired.
"I urge you to pay more attention in class, I'm sure you'd be able to produce above average grades in tests if you just applied yourself." She said.
"I'll try miss." He said as he turned and left.
He could ace those tests she spoke of, but he deliberately sabotaged himself. He made sure he didn't appear either incredibly stupid or incredibly smart. It was yet another method of flying under the radar.
He turned his thoughts to his next class, it was his favorite. It was computer science; they had thought it smart to expose the students to computer technology this year. It was all grades, not just sixth, which was the one he belonged to.
He didn't like it because of the subject matter, he liked it because it was the one place in the school he could be himself. He thumbed around the USB Thumb Drive in his pocket. It contained plenty of custom macros and programs he had created and coded himself. Initially in the class, he would have to play a high-stakes game to keep what he was doing hidden.
He had had to choose the perfect time to hack into the schools network so he would have enough time to make things look normal again before his teacher or one of his fellow students walked by. Also, every time he chose to mess with the other children's computers or do anything else nefarious he had to time perfectly so they didn't see.
The contents of the flash drive made this easy.
He had programs specifically designed to hack into the schools network and set up his hacked workstation access in a heartbeat. Whenever he was doing something, he could easily press a single button and look perfectly innocent as whatever they were supposed to be doing popped up.
He had hacked all of the lesson plans from his teacher's computers, and had come up with exactly what that button press would bring up on every day all year. He smiled as he thought of how he would mess with the other students today.
As he entered the room, the first thing he noticed was that the teacher was letting someone else sit at his desk as he stood to the side.
The man looked simple enough. He was casually dressed with plain glasses. But James could tell there was something special about him, even if he did not know what. He could not recall anything in the lesson plans about a visitor, yet he was not getting up, so James guessed he was here to stay.
He wondered what the man could be here for, and who he could possibly be. Either way, he sat at his usual seat in the back of the room, and everyone sat away from him. He casually plucked the flash drive from his pocket and slid it into the port as he powered on his computer.
After the class was entirely seated, he ran his programs and was into the schools network with administrative privileges in no time. He also ran a program that kept him anonymous from the rest of the network. If anyone checked on his internal school account, it would still look like he was a normal member on the network with no special privileges.
This was because the anonymity program kept his original account logged in through any available empty terminal in the room while simultaneously logged in with administrative privileges on his current terminal via an account that could not be detected by other computers on the network. In addition, the terminal outputted signals matching their current assignment, so if anyone decided to look at what he was doing, they would see the current assignment being played out.
On days where the assignments were not normal, the anonymity program would allow him to set up other tasks for it to do depending on whatever new tasks they were supposed to be working on. In addition, he could switch which one he was controlling on his current terminal on a whim.
With the administrative privileges, he could spy on what everyone else was doing as well as access private files on the home drives of every registered account on the computers network. He could also seize control of computers that were logged in, upload programs and such, and access files on any terminals that were powered on.
Private computers weren't even safe, as he could hack into any one of them in a matter of minutes as long as it was connected to the network. He smiled as he thought over today's possibilities, and wondered who the man could possibly be.
He got his answer as his teacher began to speak.
"Hello class." Mister Woodwark said.
"Hello Mister Woodwark." The class responded.
"As you can see class, we have a guest here today." Mister Woodwark said. "His name is Doctor Andrew Laskin; he works up in Cheyenne Mountain. He's a Theoretical Astrophysicist working for the Air Force."
What the? Why would a Theoretical Astrophysicist be working at NORAD? James wondered. They only track missiles… but this guy would be perfect for extremely high-level research.
As the rest of the class greeted the Doctor, and he responded in kind, James was already on a web browser and going to Google. He had quickly pulled up everything the internet had on the good doctor. He had graduated with a PhD in Theoretical Astrophysics from MIT. He also had a PhD in Computer Science and a Master's in Web Design.
He supposed the doctor could be working on NORAD's computers, but then why would he have been introduced by their teacher as a Theoretical Astrophysicist first and foremost? That appeared far too suspicious.
James decided he needed to know more.
He quickly pulled up the United States Air Force's official website and found an extraneous program on his flash drive. James had found that most official websites had backdoors that could be accessed by official personnel that led to the stuff the people who maintained the website don't want you to see. He had invented this program to find them.
He ran the program and found a few backdoors. They were heavily encrypted, James expected no less from the military, and were coupled with heavy identification details. He spent the next few minutes cracking code so he could infiltrate the Air Force's network beyond this point.
As he did this, Doctor Laskin opened and powered on his laptop computer and hooked it into a network jack. James caught this on the edge of his eye.
Then, without even touching the computer he had set up, he stood and began talking to the class about computers and how they work. James found it incredibly suspicious how the Doctor had just turned his computer on for nothing, but kept working. He quickly noticed that both the Doctor and the teacher seemed to be intentionally ignoring him to as he drummed away at his keyboard.
He didn't like it, but he kept on working regardless.
After several minutes of work, he finally managed to infiltrate the system with Air Force Brigadier General level status. He quickly piggybacked off the Air Force's network to Cheyenne Mountain's internal network. As he entered NORAD's systems, he noticed something rather odd. There was another completely separate network from NORAD.
With a cursory investigation, he found that this network was located far below NORAD. On floors of the complex that James knew weren't supposed to exist. His curiosity was piqued, and he checked the systems.
He was quickly blocked with the highest level encryption that James had ever encountered. He scanned thousands of line of computer code with his eyes with complete astonishment. Whatever they had down there, it was something they really wanted to keep secret. He ignored it though, and he proceeded into NORAD's systems to find what he really wanted.
He got into personnel files with little effort, and searched them for Doctor Andrew Laskin. The search function returned no results. He raised an eyebrow and tried again, nothing.
Just as James thought, this Doctor couldn't be working for NORAD. The Air Force was meticulous with their records, if the Doctor was working there, his name would be in the personnel files. But it was nowhere to be seen. He thought back to the other network. He connected the dots and assumed that the Doctor was working on whatever was down there. Something about all this didn't fit. If he was working on some top secret project for the Air Force, what was he doing here giving a lecture to a bunch of sixth-graders?
Wouldn't he have more important duties?
James suddenly remembered the Doctor's computer. He looked up. It was still on and still hooked in to the computers network.
If there was anything to find out about a person, then it was on their personal computers. He switched gears, closing the web browser and scanning the ID's of all of the computers in the room until he found an ID that was clearly out of place. Usually computer ID's were numbers or simple names. But his was just one word. Hello in big capital letters.
Who names their computer… "Hello"? James thought. He ignored it and accessed the computer through the network.
It was protected by powerful encryption, even stronger then what he'd found on the Air Force's website. But nowhere near as powerful as what he had seen in the Cheyenne Mountain complex, which would take him months of hard work to crack.
He got to work, and as class neared its end, he finally broke in. He scanned the hard drive, and was completely baffled.
The computer was entirely empty other than a barebones operating system and simple applications. But, there was one text file on the computer's main user's desktop. It was only a few kilobytes, so it could only be one line.
He opened it, and found he was right. But it also scared him, he almost leapt out of his chair in horror, and as it was, his entire face drained of blood. Because the words it said were… "Hello James Parker, we need to talk."
He looked up at the Doctor horrified, and for the first time, the Doctor looked at him, and he winked.