I love punny titles; I do. This is the first chapter in what may turn out to be a long series about SG-1 in the Star Trek universe that I fully intend to continue. It seemed perfect to me, so here I am. It's been an incredibly long time since I watched a lot of TNG episodes, so some of those characters may be a little odd... Also, toward the end of this I got impatient and rushed it. SG-1 would be some time in season 4, early 2000s shortly after "Crossroads." And, for TNG, this particular part takes place in season 2.
Comments/reviews would be incredibly appreciated and I hope the story is as enjoyable to read as it was to write!
None of this is owned by me and all that stuff.
Chapter 1: Manual Override
Typical day in the life, Jack thought. Too bad, because the last three planets they'd gone to were perfect examples of Daniel Jackson's favorite type of mission. It wasn't that Jack didn't like the odd mission when they weren't fleeing from some trigger-happy Goa'uld, but he also would have liked to have a little less culture-exploring and more weapons-getting. That was what the program was for, wasn't it?
That was something Daniel didn't seem to understand. He was always asking Jack if he comprehended the impact of whatever culture they had just run into… Daniel didn't know that not only did Jack not care to comprehend the impact, or whatever; Jack just didn't care to comprehend the question. In fact, Jack's favorite question was becoming a sarcastic rasp of "What?"
But that wasn't all in response to Daniel's intellectual mutterings. Major Samantha Carter spoke in complex scientific riddles that Jack couldn't have cared less about. Smiling and nodding worked well when she was on a rampage of technical explanations. She already knew that Jack had no clue what she was saying and really didn't want to know, but she would rarely draw out his ignorance on whatever subject she was currently expounding upon, and didn't seem to care when she knew that Jack simply wasn't listening. Daniel, on the other hand, did.
Daniel Jackson's office was just ahead on the left, where he was, no doubt, preparing for a mission that promised to tax their resident ancient languages and cultures expert to his threshold. Jack hovered in indecision in the hallway outside his office when he saw the doctor hunched over a pair of notebooks, feverishly scribbling in one with the pen in his hand. Jack hadn't a clue what purpose the pencil clenched in his teeth served. He seemed to be transcribing something from one notebook to the other as he glanced between them.
Jack stood there for several seconds, wondering if Daniel had even noticed that he was not the only Tau'ri on Earth. He routinely forgot things like that, locked in his own little world of ancient cultures and languages. Increasingly, lately... Jack thought it was best to ignore it and wait for it to go away. Yeah, Jack thought to himself. Because that always works. But it wasn't like he was going to talk to Daniel about it, either.
He recalled Daniel giving surplus details about the aliens that lived on the planet P-029T: something about Latin, Ancients… Something-or-other that Jack chose to ignore. No matter how many times Daniel explained it, Jack would either not understand or not care. It was a relationship that had worked for them for about four years now, more or less, and Jack wasn't anxious to change it now. Whatever the case, mention of aliens of any kind notoriously meant either trouble or apathy. It was a big universe and, unfortunately, everyone was out for themselves. It was a tough place to be for a little species like those that called the planet Earth home.
The aliens on P-029T had no technology that would be useful in defense against the Goa'uld, making this an expedition with the express purpose of quenching a thirst for cultural knowledge which Jack did not share. He would have requested to sit this one out in favor of a fishing trip, but that request had never worked for him before. Jack could only hold out hope that this mission would be at least a little interesting.
"Can I help you, Jack?" Daniel asked, squeezing a glance up between looking at his two books.
Jack whipped his wrist out of his sleeve and consulted his watch. Ten minutes until departure. He looked at Daniel, who seemed barely ready to leave. "We're out of here in ten minutes," he informed him with a tinge of sarcasm coloring his voice. He wandered into the office and fiddled with a small but important-looking artifact with a tag attached to it. Jack didn't look at it, but tossed it from one hand to the other with the express purpose of annoying Daniel.
Daniel leaned over his desk and snatched the artifact from the air. "Please," he said, setting it down carefully and looking at it critically. Then he looked back up at Jack and answered flippantly, "I know." He was annoyed. Jack's work was done. Jack lazed toward the gateroom, taking just enough time to see Daniel scramble out of his office and down the concrete hallway. Seeing Daniel Jackson in a panic was entertaining, indeed. Sometimes the only entertainment Jack got out of this place.
Picking up his P-90 and backpack on the way, Jack supposed he might get to the gateroom before anyone else. Besides Teal'c, of course. Teal'c was always punctual and prepared. Teal'c always took up residence at the foot of the ramp to the Stargate fifteen to twenty minutes before they had to go, his staff weapon gripped before him with both hands. He stared at the Stargate in what might have been construed as silent reverence and awe. That was, however, how he looked at almost everything.
Teal'c nodded at Jack, his customary greeting. "O'Neill."
"Teal'c," Jack said back. That was the extent of most of their conversations, even though Jack had counted Teal'c among his friends for many years now. Teal'c made for great inside information on their archenemies, the Goa'uld, but he was not one for small talk. But that was one of the things Jack really liked about him. Jack could talk about nothing all he wanted, and Teal'c would never bother to stop him. "See that sky today?" he asked.
Teal'c looked at Jack, a clearly disinterested twist in his eyebrow. "I did not," he answered. Teal'c, having a Goa'uld in a pouch in his stomach and that strange gold emblem over his eyes, lived in the mountain. He rarely stepped outside, not even if to go to the secluded fishing spot that Jack called his own.
The blast door to the control room was wide open, revealing only three people on the other side. Walter, the guy who called out the chevrons, sat in his chair looking at a computer screen. Jack sometimes wondered if that was all that he did, but never asked because he knew he would end up regretting it. There were two other scientist-types in white lab coats looking at the board of switches and gadgets in the back of the room. Then General Hammond walked into the control room and started talking to Walter.
Jack was distracted until Sam ambled into the gateroom, pulling a green cap onto her head. "Hey, guys," she said with a smile.
"Major Carter," Teal'c said, nodding at Sam the same way he had to Jack.
"Major Carter," Jack mimicked, nodding, too.
A glance at the clock on the wall of the gateroom indicated that Daniel had all of two minutes to get there before someone would get annoyed. Namely, General Hammond. It seemed like Daniel was always late, or, at least, Jack didn't notice when he was on time. "Colonel O'Neill?" General Hammond asked over the microphone from the control room. "Where is Doctor Jackson?"
"He's coming, sir," Jack informed him with a trite smile.
As if on cue, Daniel Jackson ran in through the blast door, put on his little hat, and stood next to Teal'c. And there it was, the signature to a masterpiece. Jack, Sam, and Teal'c exchanged glances, and then looked up at the General. He looked rather annoyed at Daniel, but he knew two things: first, Daniel could not be replaced today; and second, Jack simply wouldn't let the general replace Daniel. Ever.
Jack smiled and swung about to watch the gate's red chevrons pop in and out, lighting up like a weird Christmas tree. Jack couldn't wait to get this mission over with. The briefing had revealed that the aliens seemed to be stuck in technological loop, not getting any more or less advanced for hundreds of years. To Jack, that meant even if they were friendly, they had nothing to offer in the way of defense technology. On the other hand, Daniel and Sam found this "technological loop" extremely interesting for some reason.
Walter shouted out chevrons encoded and the final one was "locked." Probably just to switch it up, Jack wondered. The general wished them luck and they headed up the ramp to cross the galaxy in a single step. Jack turned to offer the general one last slack salute before going after his team. It seemed to last only a few seconds as brilliant blue light in swirling blackness rushing by him before he stepped out on the other side. A moment later, Jack was inhaling the alien atmosphere that smelled peculiarly like downtown Colorado Springs.
That was when he saw the rest of his team, looking around at the strange brown walls with geometric shapes arranged artistically over them. In the center of the room, instead of the familiar dial-home-device, there was a circular panel of various glowing triangles of three colors. As if that were not odd enough, they were greeted—or, rather, not greeted—by three natives, only one of which appeared entirely human.
One of them, an average-sized person that looked human, with the exceptions of yellow-tinted pasty skin and amber eyes, turned to the bald human in red and black pajamas and said, "That was not… manual override."
Jack would have been extremely interested in whatever conversation might have followed, except that Daniel had already started introducing them. "I'm Daniel, this is Sam, that's Teal'c and…" Jack decided to only half-listen while taking a closer look at his surroundings. That was when he saw it… or, rather, did not see it.
There was no Stargate. A door-shaped portal hovered in mid-air, cycling through various landscapes, none of which were their gate room on Earth. "Daniel?" he said, turning around and looking at the lack of enormous ring in the room which was obviously too small to accommodate one anyway. "Daniel."
"And this is Jack. We're from..."
Daniel looked at Jack for a moment, maybe surprised or irritated, and finally turned around. "Oh…"
Teal'c and Sam followed suit, Teal'c looking as confused as possible and Sam swearing.
"Stargate…?" the man in pajamas whispered to the one with yellow eyes.
Jack whirled around to see a third native, though this was like no native of anywhere Jack had ever seen. His strange forehead spoke of either a ridged skull or odd bunching of cartilage underneath. He pointed some type of device at them, his eyes hovering on Teal'c with skepticism. Teal'c had lowered his staff to fire. "Where did they come from?" the big man asked.
"Colonel O'Neill?" Teal'c asked.
"I don't know, Mr. Worf, just… stay calm," the man in red-and-black answered.
"What he said, Teal'c… Captain?" Jack said, looking over his shoulder at the bald man and smug that, at least on Earth in the Air Force, he outranked him. "I'm Colonel Jack O'Neill. We're from Earth."
"Earth?" the captain repeated, looking at his yellow-eyed friend. "Data, how is this possible?"
"That's what I want to know," Jack said to Daniel. "Where is the Stargate?" Receiving no answer: not a good indication. "Sam? Captain? Anyone?"
"Here!" Daniel said, waving one hand at the picture-door and running the other through his hair. He laughed nervously. "This is the 'Gate." He hesitated a moment and then added, "This is impossible."
"They could be Iconian," the captain observed. "Data?"
"No record survives of the appearance of an Iconian, Captain, merely legends and hearsay," the one with amber eyes, Data, explained. "However, these costumes appear to be from Earth… early twenty-first century United States military uniforms, sir. But I am unfamiliar with any organization from that time-frame with the acronym SG-1."
"There is no time Captain," Mr. Worf insisted before Jack could put his two cents in about how SG-1 was supposed to be a secret and what did he mean early twenty-first century. "The Romulans…!"
"Romulan?" Daniel interrupted. Jack shot him a look that clearly said not now, but Daniel apparently read it as Jack begging to have it explained what Romulans were. "Well, Romulus and Remus were figures in Roman mythology, twins raised by wolves, but…"
"Yes, they were," the captain said, raising an eyebrow at Daniel. "You're interested in Earth's history?"
Daniel laughed nervously again and admitted, "I'm an archaeologist."
"Really?" The captain sounded ultimately pleased. "And do you know what this is? The gateway?" he asked, motioning at the non-Stargate as it continued to cycle through its landscapes. Still, none of them were home… "You called it a Stargate?"
"Excuse me, Captain?" Jack interrupted. The man in red-and-black looked at him with raised eyebrows, but Jack had already turned his attention back to Daniel. "Do you want to tell me what is going on here?"
Daniel shook his head. "I really don't know, Jack; I really don't know."
"Well, we cannot leave you here," the captain said then, and turned to Data. Weird name, Jack thought momentarily before refocusing all of his energies onto the conversation at hand. "Data, have you been able to decipher these panels?" he asked, laying a hand on what looked like a table in front of him.
Daniel leaned in for a closer look and then looked at Jack. Jack could only assume that Daniel hadn't the slightest idea what they were. Which meant, like their dear Mr. Worf over there, that this place was obviously not Earth-based in any way. Data looked down and started pushing random buttons and, for a moment, Jack started to like Data. And then he started spewing some kind of techno-babble that sounded a lot like Sam, but less pretty.
"I believe I have gained access to the underground power source that powers this room," Data reported.
"Let me take a look…" Daniel went to stand next to Data and chuckled when he saw. "My god, Jack, it's Ancient. A weird… weird, convoluted version of Ancient, but it's still—this is Ancient." Jack was sometimes surprised that Daniel could get a sentence out straight when he was excited…
"You can read this?" the captain asked.
"No, no, not exactly," Daniel answered. "Well, sort of. What—don't touch that!" As he spoke, Data manipulated the controls before him, pressing buttons at random again, while Daniel tried to stop him. But, apparently, too late. A bolt of blue energy struck out from the center console, straight into Data's head and Daniel's chest.
Daniel was flung back against the wall behind him, while Data froze like a statue and collapsed.
"Daniel!" Sam yelped, and ran to his side. Teal'c leveled his staff weapon at the offending ball of electricity at the center of the console.
"What the hell just happened?" Jack demanded while the captain and Mr. Worf tended to Data. When he didn't get an immediate answer, he followed Sam to check on Daniel, even though it didn't look good. Why always Daniel? But, then again, in the past, a sarcophagus had always been handy…
"I don't know what that did to him, sir," Sam said, attempting to steady her voice from the sudden rush of adrenaline. She checked his neck for a pulse and then cleared some of his hair away from his forehead, even though Jack wasn't sure what purpose that served. "He's alive, but not responding."
"We must return him to Dr. Frasier for medical treatment," Teal'c said.
"Yeah, well, if you could suggest a way to do that, Teal'c, I'd be more than happy to."
He turned to their companions just in time to hear Data stammer, "Blue-amber-amber-red."
"And the override sequence for the launch doors?" the captain prodded, to which Data said "blue" three times. The captain looked at Mr. Worf. "I hope that wasn't a stutter. Mr. Worf, you must get Data and our guests through the gateway to the Enterprise. I will launch the probes and override the launch bay and come through afterward."
"But Captain!" Mr. Worf objected.
"Yeah, Captain," Jack agreed. "We can't go through this thing to anywhere but home, you got that?"
"This place must be destroyed," the captain said. Jack was too shocked to respond. "The malfunctions this technology is causing to my ship could destroy it at any moment, and this place must not be allowed to fall into Romulan hands." He sighed as he looked around. "Though it is a shame. I would have liked the opportunity to study it more."
"Study it?" Jack repeated, and then his mind suddenly came back to him. "You can't destroy it! This is our only way home."
"The location you came from has not cycled through again," Mr. Worf reported. He had put Data on his back and was standing before the gateway. "You have no choice but to follow. The Enterprise is almost here."
"But what about Daniel?" Jack asked them both, the sinking feeling of defeat settling in the pit of his stomach.
"We have doctors that are more than capable of helping him," the captain assured him. "Now, go."
Teal'c shouldered Daniel. "We have limited options, O'Neill."
Jack fingered his gun and then nodded to Carter to follow Mr. Worf. Teal'c was right. Who knew how bad Daniel was, and they would need him to figure out how to dial the damn thing anyway. Seeing as Daniel was out-of-commission and every conscious person in the place knew about as much as Jack did about what was going on, the chances of them getting home at all were slim.
Now none. Because the captain was going to destroy it.
The gateway's picture changed again, this time to a beige and tope place with people wandering about back and forth dressed in the same uniforms as the captain, Mr. Worf, and Data. "Here!" Worf announced, and stepped through. Teal'c went next, then Sam. Jack, with one final look at the captain and then at the gate, went in after.
It was nothing really like gate-travel. The universe didn't seem to shake, and there was nothing to look at during the travel-time. In fact, the shock in the different smells and the temperature was almost enough to knock him off of his feet. In addition, the ground beneath him seemed to be moving somehow. He took a moment to regard his feet and make sure they were steady beneath him before looking up.
He found a bearded man in black and red pajamas like the captain staring at him. "Mr. Worf. Who…? What is this?"
"It would take too long to explain," Mr. Worf sighed.
"I see," the man said, scrutinizing each of Jack's team in turn.
"One of them requires medical attention and I must get Data to engineering," he said, plodding away in the direction, Jack assumed, of engineering. He disappeared through a door, leaving Jack, Sam, and Teal'c staring at a bunch of people in colorful pajamas who were, in turn, staring back at them.
"Well," the bearded man said, turning to them after a moment. "Welcome to the Enterprise."