A/n: So, I have been asked to do another SG1 story. my first was a one shot called Vigil in case you want to look it up. This will be my first attempt at an actual story line. for these guys at least. no idea how fast this will flow, nor how long it will end up being. I can tell you there will be Danny Whumping, Jack will be snarky and Sam and Teal'c will deal with everything in their usual stoic fashion; and Hammond will probably develop an ulcer by the time I am through with him. Everything else is subject to revision.
One of Those Days
The hallways under Cheyenne Mountain bustled just like every other day. Which day it was didn't matter. Like most Military installations, there was no such thing as weekends or holidays. Especially for the people of Stargate Command. Not only did they have to deal with East Coast Time for the Brass at the Pentagon, and GMT for the IOC , they also had umpteen different planetary time zones to contend with at any given moment, Once, an enterprising group of individuals( none of whom have confessed as yet) changed all the world time zone clocks in General Hammond's conference room from such pedantic locations as Zurich and Moscow to the current Tok'ra homeworld, the Asgaard home planet and Ba'al's current base. It took a week before someone noticed. They left it as is.
The quiet humming that permeated the Mountain was interrupted with a forceful explosion of temper. "What do you mean you can't find him?!" Sgts. Siler and Harriman, who had been companionably walking down the corridor discussing their lunch plans( it was meatloaf day) stopped short at the the slightly open door to Hammond's office and unabashedly stayed to listen to the temper tantrum. Col. John 'Jack' O'Neill was legendary when it came to tirades, especially when it concerned his Team. "I take a well deserved fishing break over a few paltry days and you lose Daniel?!"
Hammond tried unsuccessfully to calm the irate man. "It wasn't quite that simple, Jack." Hammond sighed patiently, wishing yet again that he had gone ahead and retired anyway, despite having the command of his dreams dangled in front of him like a carrot. "SG-6 found something on P3X-919 and needed his expertise. He was in their sight the whole time until the storm came."
"Are you telling me that they let a little weather interfere with their duty to keep the civilians safe?!" Jack's voice grew dangerously guttural. He would never be openly disrespectful to Hammond, having far too much admiration for the man, but he took the boundaries around the Superior/Junior Officer relationship and stretched them to damn near breaking point. Any other CO would have court martialed him a dozen times already.
"Jack, will you just listen for half a second!" Hammond's patience was wearing thin, as he could barely get a word in edgewise to explain. "The storm consisted of fireballs and other phenomenon no one has seen before," he continued. " Major Murphy lost 2 members of his Team to burns before they could get out. Daniel was too far from the Gate to get back without being hit himself so he said he'd take shelter in a nearby cave." He took a deep breath before continuing, silently daring Jack to interrupt him. Wisely, the man said nothing more.
"We sent a MALP back in a few hours later and a drone as well. As soon as the storm cleared, Murphy himself led the retrieval team. There was no sign of Jackson at either the cave or at the artifact he was examining. And yes, Teal'c and Col. Carter went as well." When it came down to it, Jack really truly trusted no one but his own people. And maybe Dr. Frasier.
Jack plopped unceremoniously into the chair positioned across from Hammond's desk. Back at work 15 minutes and already he was exhausted. At least this was mental exhaustion, not physical, which is why he had been ordered in no uncertain terms to go fishing by the short brunette who ran the Infirmary like her own private country. "So what's the plan?" he was calmer now, but still worried.
"We have inquiries out to the Tok'ra and the Asgaard. Just in case they 'borrowed' him." Hammond couldn't repress a snort. Their 'allies' had a tendency to do that a lot. "We also have done a more thorough sweep of the planet and the surrounding space just in case the storm was not natural."
"Whose region of space is it? Ba'al's?" O'Neill was slightly obsessed with taking Ba'al down for a variety of reasons. But mostly because of the torture he had endured at the G'ould's hands. Torture he never would have survived if it weren't for an at the time Ascended Daniel Jackson's moral support. Hammond shook his head.
"We have no idea if the territory is claimed by any System Lord, or the Lucian Alliance or any body else for that matter. " Hammond sighed again. Every time somebody was lost, hurt or worse he took it personally. But none more so than Daniel Jackson. It could easily be argued that there would not be a Stargate Program without his singlehandedly deciphering the symbols on the gate.. If ever there was a planetary hero that no one ever heard of, it was the shy, studious archeologist. And he was not alone in his feelings. The rest of SG-1 would browbeat him mercilessly until he agreed to let them be part of whatever rescue attempt there would be. It was the mark of a good CO to let them think that they got away with as much as they did. He had already slated O'Neill, Carter and Teal'c as the leads. Only they knew Jackson well enough to find him. If he could be found.
"Col. Carter has already begun analyzing the data gathered by the MALP and drone. She's in her lab. I expect a preliminary report by the end of the day." Hammond dismissed O'Neill then by pointedly picking up the phone on his desk and waiting until Jack stood before dialing. Jack nearly ran over Harriman and Siler, who had not budged at all the entire time. Suddenly Walter became very interested in the contents of his clipboard while Siler remembered he was carrying a wrench the size of a three year old back to the equipment room. Jack spared them the full effect of his glare, knowing they were just as concerned over Daniel as he was. With a curt nod he sent them scurrying on their way as he briskly made his way towards the lab that Lt Col Samantha 'Sam' Carter had long ago commandeered for her own purposes. He reflected as he wandered about the corridors, unconsciously walking the brightly painted stripe that led to the research areas as if he was doing a sobriety test. He ignored any and all greetings along the way in his singleminded purpose.
He heard Teal'c's deep, soothing voice before he turned the corner and entered the lab. "You must have nourishment, Col. Carter." he intoned, always formal even after all these years amongst the Tau'ri.
"Not while Daniel's out there, Teal'c." the blond Air Force officer protested. "I'll be fine with just coffee."
"Teal'c's right, Carter" Jack said. "You'll think better on a full stomach. And you can bring me up to speed while we eat." Sam had jumped at the sound of her CO's voice and aborted the automatic salute that threatened to betray her. She had never quite gotten around to relaxing in his presence, professionally or otherwise.
"Sir!" she gulped. "Welcome back."
"Indeed, O'Neill, it is good to see you back at Stargate Command." Teal'c added his own welcome. He too, was always rigid and formal around the grizzled officer , but he seemed more relaxed about it. At least, as relaxed as a Jaffa got...
"Time's a wastin', Kids. I'm buying. It's Meatloaf Day!" even now Jack tried to keep the spirits of the rest of SG-1 up. Along the way, they ran into Major Murphy, who was peremptorily ordered to join them for lunch as well. He dared not beg off. He was new to the SGC, only been there about 6 months and a team leader for about half that time. One of the first things everybody learned was Thou Shalt Not Push Col. Jack O'Neill's Buttons. And the biggest transgression? Allowing Daniel Jackson to get so much as a paper cut while on your watch. If you were so foolish as to let that happen, you were persona non grata and in the dog house for the duration. It was an experience you wouldn't wish on anyone. Except maybe Ba'al. Or Ni'irti.
As everyone spoke around mouthfuls of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans, Jack was swiftly brought up to speed. He listened, asked a few clarifying questions here and there, but mostly just let them speak, bouncing ideas and theories off each other. The facts, as they were, were pretty sparse.
Major Murphy and SG-6 had been dispatched to P3X-919 as part of the SGC's ongoing mission to find and exploit alien technology to aid in the defense of the planet against extraterrestrial threat. Addresses were culled from various sources as well as a program devised to randomly dial out in the hopes of getting a hit. This particular address had come from a repository of addresses found at a gathering place for the four advanced races, the Nox, Asgaard, Ancients and Furlings. In the many years the SGC had been in business they had many dealings with the two middle races, one with the Nox who had politely but firmly told the Taur'i to grow up a little more before they tried to play again, and of the Furlings, there had been no sign. And no one seemed all that interested in looking for them or answering any questions about the elusive fourth race.
SG-6's resident 'geek'(read.. scientist not military) had nearly dropped dead of a heart attack when she saw the carvings that graced the walls of the small structure located a good two miles from the Gate. She immediately recognized Ancient, but wanted Daniel's input on what she swore was Nox and maybe Furling as well. Some of the top linguists of the planet had been searching for a Rosetta Stone for Alien Races to no avail. Marilyn Rodgers hoped that this could be at least a starting point. She had excitedly radioed for Daniel, sending video to entice him out of his dusty office where he seldom left except to go through the Gate in search of dusty artifacts. He was immediately intrigued and had her continue to take as much video as she possibly could and he'd be right there.
They'd spent the rest of the day and half of the next taking pictures, rubbings and notes. At one point, the memory card on the camera was full and Dr Rodgers went back to the Gate to get a replacement having not had any spares with her. Daniel barely acknowledged her telling him she would be right back.
From that point, details got fuzzy. Dr Rodgers never made it back to the Gate as as she was about halfway back, "The skies caught on fire" as Murphy put it. At O'Neill's questioning look, the young officer just shrugged. "Can't explain it any other way, Sir. It was like the atmosphere exploded. Got hard to breathe and these fireballs just came hurling at us from nowhere. Like a meteor strike."
"Only the planet is nowhere near a meteor belt, nor was there anything like an active volcano nearby to explain it." Carter chimed in, biting her lower lip in consternation.
Murphy continued the tale. "I radioed for everyone to get back to the Gate. Reynolds never answered. Jackson said he was stuck and there was a cave just a few feet away he was going to head for. Donovan and Bellows were already at the Gate by then when a fireball took out Bellows;" here he stopped, shuddering at the memory of the young Corporal on fire and his screams of pain. He took a deep breath to steady his nerves before continuing. "Donovan tried to smother the flames, but it was too late. He's in the Infirmary himself, second and third degree burns. I got off easy." the man continued bitterly. "Only first and second degree burns on my back and arms." indeed, one arm was bandaged and in a sling and Jack just now realized that he was wearing a decidedly non regulation hospital scrub top over his ACU bottoms.
Sam took up the tale after placing a sympathetic hand on Murphy's uninjured arm. "The first time we sent another MALP through, the storm was still going on. It lasted maybe 4 hours total. When it looked as if it was over we sent the drone to do a fly over. It found Reynolds' body about halfway back to the Gate, she looked like one of the Vesuvius victims." Sam also shuddered lightly before continuing. "but Daniel never answered attempts to radio him and when the go ahead was given for a search, we found nothing at the cave or the building. No equipment, no nothing."
"So basically what you are saying is, we got squat as far as leads go." the pronouncement was delivered in a flat tone that shocked even Sam Carter.
"Y..yes Sir." she acknowledged softly.
Suddenly Jack leaned forward. "We've done more with less before. We'll find him, Carter." The Colonel was confident but not cocky. Daniel had beat the odds so many times before, he had no reason to think this time was any different. (Hang in there, Space Monkey. We're comin'.)
A/n: I do confess to being a little rusty so minor details may be off. you can decide for yourselves when this takes place. but in my universe, Frasier never dies. that's the only liberty I admit to taking from canon. so far.