- Attempted Rape
- Character Bashing
- Action Adventure
- Episode Related
‘Give me one good reason why we should keep you on our payroll?’ the man in the pale-grey suit asked Robert Kinsey, who shifted uneasily on the uncomfortable, straight-backed chair. ‘You got yourself fired as Vice President in January, even though that bastard Hayes allowed you to claim you were stepping down due to a family illness. Then in February, there was the shit storm with Colson even though you told us you had it all in hand, and fuck knows where they’ve got him stashed now. You promised everything would change with Samantha Carter working with us, but all we’ve had out of her are a few crappy bits of broken Ancient technology and a couple of Zat guns – which we already had plenty of. When’s she going to start earning her money?’
‘I…she says she’s got some plans for us which we should be able to make some money from once we register the patent,’ Kinsey offered hopefully.
‘Not good enough,’ a large man in blue pinstripes told him. ‘If she can’t deliver anything within the next two weeks, we’re calling off the operation you promised her, and she might have to disappear.’
Kinsey’s heartbeat increased as he read between the lines of the threat to Carter: if she had to ‘disappear’, he would too.
‘I’ll speak to her again and try to stress the urgency of our situation to her,’ Kinsey said, his outward demeanour perfectly calm. A feral grin from the third- thus far -silent associate, a Sentinel, suggested he knew Kinsey wasn’t as calm as he was trying to pretend he was.
‘What about progress on Beckett’s research?’ the pale-grey suited man asked.
‘He… he hasn’t gotten any further than the last time you had a report from him,’ Kinsey admitted.
‘And have you mentioned how…unhappy we are about that?’
‘I tried to get a message to him, but Weir won’t let me speak to him directly. I think she’s concerned about losing her position of influence over the situation if he and I can speak directly to each other.’
‘She doesn’t have any influence over the situation,’ Pin-stripes said firmly. ‘As soon as she lost the confidence of Hayes she was of little use to us. It was your responsibility to make sure she knew that.’
‘She doesn’t understand how her work at the SGC could be considered anything but good,’ Kinsey tried to explain.
‘Even though the Chiefs of Staff had to step in to end the work to rule nonsense?’
Robert Kinsey had been an important man in US political circles for many years. He was beyond angry that he was reduced to begging to be allowed to even stay in the same room as the top table, let alone have a seat at it, but he had never seen the type of arrogance Elizabeth Weir employed on a daily basis. The mutiny of both the scientists and military personnel at the SGC under her leadership would be spoken of for years to come by those read into the programme. She had upset everyone there, from Walter Harriman to the women who cleaned the lavatories, to the point where a work to rule was instigated. Weir didn’t appear to notice that on one particular occasion there wasn’t even anyone on security detail as she hadn’t bothered to complete the duty rosters. Since Jack O’Neill was playing at being a popsicle in Antarctica and his XO, Colonel David Norris, was in the infirmary recovering from appendicitis, there was no one of sufficient rank to show her what needed to be done, and as she refused to ask for assistance or offer thanks and accept it if someone happened to offer it to her, many jobs remained undone and responsibilities ignored.
The fault, in the first place, was with President Hayes. Why he thought a diplomat -and especially one with a hatred of the military machine – was a suitable choice to run a top secret military base, no one understood. After the Joint Chiefs made it clear that Weir had to go, Hayes pretty much ignored the SGC. Kinsey – strictly in his head – considered the man a buffoon as he genuinely appeared to believe if he pretended it wasn’t there, it wasn’t. Since the Chiefs arranged for Weir to be shifted to the newly discovered Antarctic Outpost, Hayes lost interest in anything about or connected with the SGC or Area 51. The result was, naturally, that over the past three months the base had no oversight other than George Hammond who had already proved himself to be fallible when a pretty face was involved. O’Neill – once the Asgard had restored him – began to send Major Anne Teldy to DC with any requests he needed to make to Hammond as well as to deliver the extremely scant reports that were made on an irregular basis.
It was only the personal integrity of O’Neill that kept the Trust from waltzing into Cheyenne Mountain and helping themselves to whatever they wanted, or from offering large sums of money to someone else to do it for them.
‘You need to rethink your strategy with regards to Carter,’ Pale-Grey suit told him. ‘We expect results in time for our next meeting two weeks from today.’
Kinsey waited for any more information to be given, but Pale-Grey suit frowned at him.
‘Why are you still here, Kinsey? Go!’
Kinsey stumbled to his feet. ‘I…Yes, sir.’ He hurried out of the darkened room promising himself he would have his revenge on the people like Pale-Grey suit who forgot precisely to whom he was speaking.
‘John Sheppard has bonded with Rodney McKay?’ Jack O’Neill repeated, stunned by this news.
Dr Janet Fraiser nodded. ‘To be honest, I didn’t even recognise McKay at first. You remember he had that air of superciliousness?’
O’Neill opened his mouth to remind her he’d never actually met the good Doctor, but Fraiser continued without letting him speak.
‘He exuded this air of overwhelming condescension that he was allowing you to breathe the same air as him. It made me want to slap him, especially when you consider what he did to poor Sam.’
O’Neill was disturbed at the expression of hatred in her eyes and held up a hand. ‘Whoa. Slow down, Dr Fraiser. McKay did nothing to Captain Carter. She brought everything that happened to her upon herself.’
Fraiser pursed her lips. ‘That’s not what she says, General O’Neill, and I know who I believe. Regardless, McKay has changed. He looks much fitter, for a start, nowhere near as pale as he used to be, and he appeared…happy, even. And that in itself made me suspicious. Something is going on with him, General. I don’t know what it is as John Sheppard never let me get close enough to examine him, but something’s going on there.’
‘Maybe it’s because he’s bonded with his Sentinel?’
‘And that’s suspicious. I mean, who in their right mind would want to bond with Rodney McKay?’
‘I think we’re getting off the subject here, Doc. You were sent to tell Colonel Sheppard he has an exceedingly rare gene and to invite him to come to the SGC for a discussion. Did he agree to come?’
Fraiser’s facial expression could have soured milk. ‘I didn’t get a chance to speak to him alone.’
‘Well, obviously he wouldn’t see you without his Guide, but since McKay is already read into the programme, you could have discussed it with them both. We didn’t discover the ATA gene until recently so McKay wouldn’t have any idea about that, but I’m sure he would have helped Sheppard understand the importance of what we’re doing here. He might even have agreed to rejoin the programme himself.’
‘No, sir, you don’t understand,’ Fraiser told him. ‘I wasn’t able to say anything to Colonel Sheppard as he refused to see me without his entire entourage.’
Fraiser’s lip curled. ‘I requested a private meeting with him at Bethesda Naval Hospital following an appointment he had with the medic in charge of his treatment there. He refused to see me without McKay, his father, and the Alpha Prime Sentinel and Guide of North America, although why he thought they’d be interested in him, I have no idea. I wasn’t prepared to either wait until Colonel Ellison and Dr Sandburg were available or to discuss confidential information with people who don’t have permission to know about the programme.’
Jack rubbed his face with his hands. ‘Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg are, to all intents and purposes, Rodney McKay’s family. They became his guardians after he went to Northwestern University at the age of 14 although I don’t know the reasons behind that. Since we know Sheppard only came online in Afghanistan a few weeks ago, we can assume his and McKay’s bonding is pretty new and Ellison and Sandburg no doubt went to Virginia to get to know McKay’s new in-laws. Ellison and Sandburg are read into the programme, and we’ve been trying to get Patrick Sheppard on board for the last couple of years so there would have been no problem about reading him in too.’
‘I wasn’t to know any of that.’
‘But you could have called me, and I would have explained it all to you.’ Jack sighed at the stubborn expression on her face. ‘When you say you requested a meeting with him, exactly how did you phrase it?’
Bingo! he thought to himself as Fraiser flushed. ‘You ordered him to meet you, didn’t you.’ It wasn’t a question. ‘Better tell me the whole story, Major. The whole story. How did you contact him initially?’
‘I wrote to him.’
‘And what did you say in the letter?’
She shrugged. ‘Just that I needed to have a meeting with him about some blood test results. I wasn’t going to go into too much detail as we had no idea who’d see the letter.’
‘And at Bethesda?’
‘I sent a Corpsman to wait for him after he’d been to see his doctor.’
‘You sent a Corpsman? And told him to say what, exactly?’
Fraiser looked away. ‘I told him to bring Sheppard to me and to make sure he was alone.’
Jack narrowed his eyes. ‘Why did you think he might not be alone? You said you didn’t know he was bonded to McKay at that point.’
‘I…I thought he might have someone with him.’
‘Try again, Major.’
‘It’s the truth, and I resent the implication that I’m lying!’ Fraiser snapped. ‘I knew he’d been injured in Afghanistan and was seeing his medic for a check up on how his injuries were healing. It was very likely he’d come to the hospital with someone, especially as I knew he wasn’t able to drive yet.’
Something about this felt wrong, Jack decided. ‘How did you know he wasn’t able to drive.’
Fraiser bit her lip and didn’t reply.
‘I…it was obvious his injuries were severe as he was in the hospital for several weeks after his return. I just assumed he wouldn’t be able to drive.’
Jack stared at her, but Fraiser refused to meet his eyes. He sighed, picked up the base telephone and dialled the Infirmary. ‘Dr Biro? Can you come up to my office, please? And bring the portable scanner with you.’
There was a pause, and then Biro’s voice came over the line. I’ll be right with you, sir.
Janet Fraiser’s colour rose again. ‘I’m not infected with a Goa’uld, General,’ she snapped.
‘Then why won’t you tell me the truth about what happened in Virginia? I sent you to speak to Sheppard as I thought you’d be able to answer any questions he might have about his ATA gene and, quite frankly, Irina Biro has a lousy bedside manner.’
‘That’s because I’m used to my patients not being able to talk back,’ Biro said cheerfully as she opened his office door.
‘I didn’t hear your knock,’ Jack said, glaring at her.
‘And that’s because I didn’t bother.’ She grinned at him then turned to look at Janet Fraiser. ‘Tip your head forward, please, Dr Fraiser.’
‘I do not have a Goa’uld!’ Fraiser told her in a low, angry tone.
‘Ah, but you would say that, wouldn’t you? Tip your head forward, Janet, so I can see for myself.’ With exceedingly bad grace Fraiser submitted to the scan and huffed indignantly when Biro checked her initial results twice.
‘100% human,’ Biro told Jack with a grin. ‘Anything else you want me for? Any dead bodies you want me to take a look at while I’m here?’
Despite the seriousness of the situation, Jack couldn’t help grinning back at her. ‘Not at the moment, doc, but the way things are going today, there might well be later on.’
‘You know where to find me, then.’ With a cheery wave, Biro left the office, and Jack sat back in his seat.
‘Where did you get your information from? You’re not carrying a passenger so you must be doing whatever it is you’re doing voluntarily. Are you working for the NID?’
‘I’m not working for anyone!’
‘I can soon find out, you know.’
‘There isn’t anything to find out.’
Jack picked up his phone again and dialled a different number. ‘Dr Novak? I’d like you to check incoming calls to the Infirmary over the last seven, no. Make that fourteen days. I’m looking for calls from off-base to Janet Fraiser. If you can’t find anything significant, can you have a look at her home telephone records and anything else you can think of?’
Yes, sir, but what am I looking for?
‘I don’t quite know as yet. I’m hoping something will jump out at you.’
Okay, sir, I’ll do what I can.
Jack replaced the receiver, his eyes still on Fraiser. ‘What happened, Janet? If you’re having financial problems you could have come to me, we’ve known each other for years. Is it something else? Surely you know you can trust me?’
Fraiser stood up. ‘If you’re quite finished with me, General, I need to return to the Infirmary now.’
‘I’m not finished with you, Major Fraiser. Sit down, and that’s an order!’
Janet huffed and retook her seat. ‘I don’t know what else I can tell you. I didn’t see Sheppard or McKay, and I’m certainly not working for anyone other than the USAF which my bank accounts will tell you if you search them which is probably going to be the next thing you ask Novak to do.’
‘You didn’t see Sheppard or McKay?’
‘I’ve just said that!’
‘Then how do you know how much Rodney McKay has changed since you last saw him?’
‘Want to start again, Major Fraiser?’
‘So what did she say then?’ Daniel Jackson asked, looking at his friend over the rim of his coffee cup.
‘She didn’t. She refused to say anything to me,’ Jack told him.
‘And I had her put into the Brig until she’s ready to talk to me. I wanted your thoughts on it all, Danny. Have I missed something? Did I ask the wrong questions?’
Jackson shook his head. ‘Not from what you’ve said. You sent her to Virginia with one purpose – to tell Colonel Sheppard about his exceedingly strong ATA gene and to invite him to visit the SGC to discuss it further.’
‘That’s two things.’
Daniel narrowed his eyes. ‘Do you want my help or not?’
Jack held up his hands. ‘Sorry, sorry, my mistake. Yes, I do want your help, hell, I need your help, Danny. I just don’t know what to do next.’
Daniel took a sip of his coffee and looked thoughtful. ‘What’s your gut telling you? That Fraiser’s working for someone else?’
‘I…No. I don’t think so, but someone’s either been feeding her information, or she’s not telling me the truth about what happened in Virginia.’
‘Well, that’s easy enough to solve. Do you want me to call John Sheppard myself and ask him, or would you rather I reached out to Rodney McKay first?’
‘Would McKay take your call?’
‘I don’t see why not. He and I didn’t have any issues between us, and I only held back from calling him after he left two years ago because the Pentagon ordered us to. They didn’t want anyone else muddying the waters when they were trying to sweet-talk him into returning.’
Jack nodded. ‘Then yes, call him and ask what went on earlier in the week.’
Daniel turned to his computer and looked up the number for Sheppard Industries in Virginia. He glanced over to his friend. ‘I’d rather do this without you listening in, and he might not be there anyway. I’ll call you in your office if I get any answers.’
Jack watched him for a moment then stood up. ‘Okay, but it’s pretty urgent. I can’t keep our Chief Medical Officer in the Brig for too long.’
Daniel made shooing motions with his hand. ‘Go away, Jack. I know how important this is and I can handle it. Close the door behind yourself.’
As Jack left – carefully closing the door after him – Daniel dialled the number for Sheppard Industries R&D. He gave his name to several people before a voice he recognised came on the line.
‘Dr McKay, Rodney. How are you?’
I’m fine, thank you, but I doubt you called me just to ask that. What do you want, Dr Jackson?
Cringing at the abrupt tone, Daniel tried again. ‘Look, Ro—Dr McKay. I know you have little reason to give the SGC any help, but I wanted to ask you what happened earlier in the week when Janet Fraiser paid you a visit. There’s no catch,’ he added hurriedly. ‘We have some information for Colonel Sheppard Janet was supposed to deliver but…What exactly happened when she spoke to you?’
There was a long pause, but the absence of a dialling tone told Daniel McKay was still on the line.
‘If it helps, Rodney, I was appalled by what happened two years ago. I didn’t contact you at the time because we were ordered not to, but I did want to reach out and apologise for Sam Carter’s behaviour. You know not everyone here thinks as she did, does.’
That’s the problem, though, Dr Jackson. I don’t know. My experience with the SGC wasn’t unusual for the scientists based…in Nevada. We were treated like dirt by almost everyone at the SGC proper and I know several scientists who had their work stolen by you people and were then fired when they complained. Since no-one could talk about where they’d been working, it meant further employment was tough to find. I was lucky that SI had already contacted me to offer me a post and didn’t care if I had gaps in my employment history or could provide no references. Many of the others weren’t as lucky, and no one did anything to help them.
‘I…I don’t know what to say. I can’t apologise enough although I’m aware that doesn’t help those who were fired. If…If you could send me a list of all those who were affected by Sam— by Captain Carter’s actions, I can try and see if there’s anything I can do.’
It’s a little late for that don’t you think? And why should I put myself out for you? Have a look at anyone who she fired. It’s as good a place as any to start. Now, I’m a busy man, so I’ll say it again. What do you want?
Thinking rapidly, Daniel decided to cut straight to the chase. ‘What happened when Dr Fraiser saw you and Colonel Sheppard earlier in the week?’
Nothing happened since she didn’t see us. She wanted to see John alone at the hospital, and he refused. She sent another letter saying she wanted to see him but only on his own and he threw it in the bin. That was it.
‘I…I really don’t want to discuss it over an unsecured line but would you and Colonel Sheppard be willing to meet with General O’Neill and me?’
Not unless Jim and Blair, and Patrick Sheppard can be present. And you’ll have to come here. I don’t trust you enough to agree to go to the SGC.
Daniel cringed again. ‘I’m happy with those you mentioned being present. Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg are read into the programme, and we’ve been trying to get Patrick Sheppard to work with us for years so it’ll be no problem reading him in if he’s happy to sign an NDA.’
He’ll probably want to have his lawyer look it over, so you’d better send it ahead. Will John need to sign one?
‘Yes, probably. I’ll send copies for both of them. Will you call me when they’re happy with the agreements, please? Then Jack and I will arrange a time to come to Virginia to see you.’
‘Thank you, Rodney. I appreciate your time and for agreeing to meet with Jack and myself.’
Only if Patrick is happy with the NDA, if he’s not, then none of us will agree to see you.
‘Fair enough. I’ll get them sent off right away. See you soon, Rodney.’
There was a click on the line which told Daniel Rodney had hung up, but he grinned to himself anyway and dialled Jack’s office. ‘You need to send two copies of the NDA to Virginia for John and Patrick Sheppard to have their lawyers look over and then, hopefully, to sign.’
‘Rodney agreed on their behalf subject to their lawyers’ acceptance of the NDAs and as long as it’s only you and I going to see them in Virginia.’
Why wouldn’t they come here?
‘Rodney said he doesn’t trust us enough to come to the SGC.’
Why? What does he think we’ll do to him?
‘Oh, I don’t know, Jack. Maybe order him to board a plane for Siberia?’
Ouch. Okay, fair enough. What did he say about Fraiser?
‘That they didn’t see her. She wouldn’t see him other than on his own, so he put the letter she sent in the bin.’
So she never actually met him?
‘Was never even in the same room as far as I can tell.’
So how did she know McKay was looking much fitter than he used to? She said she almost didn’t recognise him.
‘I have no idea, Jack. Why don’t you ask her again?’
Mmm. Okay. Want to have dinner together?
‘I can’t. I’m seeing Evan again.’
The pair of you are becoming quite an item.
And I think it’s cute, that’s all.
Daniel scowled at the phone as he considered Jack’s comments. He was enjoying Evan’s company, that was all. Would it lead anywhere? Who knew, although he suspected several books on the possible outcome were running in the Mountain and had been since their first date. He wasn’t particularly happy about conducting a burgeoning relationship in full view of the whole of the SGC, and he knew Evan wasn’t either but, unless they wanted to keep it secret, they had little choice. He could do without Jack’s teasing, though, gentle as it was at the moment. He shook his head to clear it and bent over his books again. There was an interesting hint about King Arthur which would bear a little further research…
When do you think you’ll have something for me?
Sam Carter glared at her cell phone and sighed. This was the third phone call from Robert Kinsey in as many days, and she was considering blocking his number. That, however, would undoubtedly also cut off the few thousand dollars a month retainer which was paid into the private bank account she had in the Cayman Islands, opened several years previously. It made sense to have access to money Uncle Sam knew nothing about and had come in very handy when Kinsey arranged for regular payments to be made to her when they began their ‘arrangement’ and which was augmented by additional fees when she supplied useful technology to him.
It was becoming increasingly difficult to smuggle alien tech out of Area 51, however, and more difficult still to provide accurate plans for particular items as she initially promised Kinsey she could. Not being in charge of the facility was frustrating enough without the additional oversight she was given on the orders of Dr Christopher McKenzie. Because of this, she wasn’t able to make use of the AutoCAD as she had originally intended, and without having scientists she could browbeat into doing what she told them, she had to do much of the work herself, something she hadn’t appreciated initially.
It was, of course, all the fault of Rodney McKay but even the revenge on him she’d promised herself was dependent on the amount and quality of technology she could pass to Kinsey, which simply wasn’t fair. Until McKay came along and ruined her life, she was a successful and much admired senior member of the SGC with access to ideas of those subordinate to herself which she could either pass off as her own or pass onto her contacts at the DOD – for a suitable remuneration, of course. Now? Now she could barely go to the bathroom without someone questioning her movements and demanding to search her purse, and she was sure that the SFs hadn’t believed her when they’d discovered several items from the Ma’chello collection in her briefcase she told them she’d forgotten she put there. It simply wasn’t fair, and she fully intended they would learn exactly who they were messing with when she regained her rightful position at the SGC.
For the moment, however, she sighed and lifted the cell from where it lay in her lap. ‘Soon, although you have to stop calling me.’ Sudden inspiration hit her. ‘I was just about to collect something when you disturbed me, and now my window of opportunity has gone. I’ll call you when I have something to report otherwise I’m going to be forced to make a complaint about you harassing me and preventing me from doing what I’m paid to do.’ There, that should be vague enough for anyone listening but clear enough to put the blame on Kinsey.
On the other end of the line, Kinsey was silent for a moment. Very well, Major—I mean Captain Carter. I’ll wait to hear from you. As soon as I receive what I asked for, I’ll set the other wheels in motion.
Sam scowled, but she had no option but to accept the delay. ‘I’ll be in touch as soon as I can.’ She clicked the cell off and was tempted to throw it across the tiny lab she’d been given, but since it opened into Dr McKenzie’s much larger lab, she refrained. She was too close now to risk questions being asked.
‘You wanted to see me, lass?’
‘Where are we on the ATA Gene research, Carson?’ Dr Weir sat back in her chair and surveyed her head of Genetics.
Beckett sighed. ‘I told you last week I can’t do anything more until we get fresh samples of blood.’
‘You’ve already had eight samples.’
‘And I told you that I was unable to use four of them as they hadn’t been stored properly to come out here. The blood samples needed to be stored in liquid nitrogen to make sure they’re in a perfect state for me to use as it takes so bloody long to get them out to this godforsaken place.’
‘As soon as I knew that I ordered them to be frozen for shipment.’ Weir scowled at him. ‘Since the hospital didn’t even know the samples were being taken from Sheppard, we couldn’t exactly demand they stored them correctly. You know that.’
Beckett shrugged. ‘That’s not my problem. I need workable samples of this chappy’s blood in order to do any useful research. I don’t care how you get hold of it, but I can’t do anything unless you do. Ideally, I’d like to have him here in Antarctica then I’ll have access to as much blood as I need as often as I want it. Why can’t you arrange that?’
Elizabeth Weir was aware she’d left her integrity so far behind her she couldn’t even remember when she’d lost it, but Carson Beckett’s cool suggestion of kidnapping and human experimentation quite took her breath away.
‘If we do ever manage to get the Atlantis Expedition off the ground we’ll need this man with us, especially if I haven’t managed to crack the gene therapy by then,’ Beckett told her, sublimely unaware of her misgivings towards him. ‘Wouldn’t it be better to get him out here as soon as possible?’
‘Until Daniel Jackson manages to discover the location and gate address for Atlantis we won’t be going anywhere. Your experimentation is only possible here because Antarctica doesn’t fall under FDA regulations.’
‘So if Jackson finds the gate address we can go? That could happen at any moment. I need to prepare my department to be ready to pack up as soon as we get the word.’
Weir held up a hand. ‘Hold on, Dr Beckett. Even if Daniel Jackson does discover the dialling address, it’ll be weeks before we’re ready to leave. We need to fully staff the Expedition for a start. There’s only a handful of us here at the moment, and I want at least a hundred scientists on staff. You can begin to make a list of anyone you’d be interested in recruiting, though.’
‘I already have Jenny Keller who’s very good and listens to what I tell her. A couple of lab technicians would be useful, though.’
‘And what about the medical staff?’
Beckett looked puzzled. ‘What about them?’
‘Dr Beckett, you will be head of the Medical team.’
Beckett shook his head. ‘No. I don’t think I’d want to do that. I’d rather stick with my research. It’s far more interesting than treating warts and boils.’
Weir pinched the bridge of her nose. ‘Carson, I need you as head medic; otherwise, your research may well fall under the purview of someone who…doesn’t understand its importance and may well ask questions about its legitimacy.’
‘Why would they do that? Surely it’s obvious how important it is. Without an active ATA gene, no Ancient equipment can be used, and since Atlantis is an entire city of Ancient equipment, we obviously need to have gene holders on the expedition to actually use it. And since it’s so rare, we’ll need my gene therapy to create gene holders. I’ve tried using my own gene to create a therapy from, but it just isn’t strong enough. This chap you found in Germany has the strongest gene possible without him actually being an Ancient himself, although I suppose it’s possible he is an Ancient.’
Weir’s head snapped up so fast she almost gave herself a headache. ‘He could be an Ancient? How could that be possible?’
Beckett shrugged. ‘SG1 have met a couple of de-ascended Ancients in their time. This man’s gene is so strong it’s possible he’s a de-ascended Ancient himself although no one thought to take blood samples from the ones SG1 met, so we’ve nothing to compare his blood to.’
Elizabeth Weir tapped her lips with a finger. ‘And your work would progress much faster if you had the source of the blood on hand?’
Carson nodded, his eyes sparkling.
‘You may go now, Dr Beckett. I need to make a phone call.’
‘May I speak to General West, please?’
Who should I say is calling?
‘Major Samantha Carter, daughter of the late General Jacob Carter.’
There was a pause before line clicked again. Sam? How lovely to hear from you. I’m sorry about your father. He was a good friend and an even better General.
‘He was, sir. I miss him terribly.’
I’m sure you do, Sam. Now, how can I help you?
‘I was hoping—’ Sam allowed her voice to break as though overcome with emotion. ‘I’m sorry, sir. It’s been so difficult since Dad passed away and as no one here knew him, they just don’t understand how difficult it is for me to carry on as though nothing’s happened.’ She blew her nose with maximum effect. ‘I’ve always been very careful to make sure no one knew who my father was. I wanted to earn promotion by myself, not through him, but since his death, everyone here knows who I am and…there’s been quite a bit of jealousy, to be frank, General. I didn’t want to have to do this, but things have got so bad…’ She took a deep breath and made sure it broke a little again. ‘I was hoping you might agree to help me find a new posting as you were such a good friend of my father.’
Of course, my dear. I’ll do anything I can to help, you know that, but can your present CO not help you? Where are you based at present?
‘I’m at a top secret facility, but my current CO is one of the people who’s become jealous of the high regard so many people held my father in. There have been some ugly rumours about me going around the base, and certain information in them could only have come from him. I was even moved away from the main base of operations to a minor base, and he had me removed from my own science projects although I suspect some of the other scientific staff colluded with him over that. You can see why I’m so desperate to leave, sir.’
This is preposterous, Sam! I’m ashamed to wear the same uniform as he does and I fully understand why you won’t give me his name, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to overcome your natural disinclination to land anyone else in trouble, my dear, and give me his name. Would you like to return to your former position? Because I’m sure I can arrange for that to happen if you wish.
Sam scowled at the phone. That wasn’t what she wanted though she did see a way to turn it to her advantage. ‘I…I’d rather not be in his command at all, General West. His…personal interest in me was most uncomfortable, and the last time he came to my lab, and I was alone…’ She let the sentence hang and smiled at the sharp intake of breath at the end of the phone line. ‘I’d really prefer to leave his command altogether if at all possible.’
I fully understand, Samantha, and you have my word I’ll do my best to have you transferred as soon as possible. Now, give me a few details, so I know how to contact you.
Carter grinned to herself. It was almost too easy. ‘Of course, General West. You can reach me on…