By John Gallacher

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All Stargate SG-1 characters are the property of MGM Ltd/ Double Secret Productions/ Gekko Film Corp. Team SG-999 characters are based on real people (you all know who you are…!)
This story is meant to be a homage to all things Stargate and does not supersede any copyright.


Down time.

In other words, a break, time off, not quite a vacation.

However you chose to define it, it meant taking it easy with hopefully no unexpected surprises thrown in for good measure.

In the SG-999 lounge and bunk area, rest was the word of choice today. "Extended holiday leave and pay" came the close second. Several team members were already there relaxing. 1st Lt. Jim Johnson and Sgt. Paul Muir were enjoying the peace and quiet when the entrance of other team members abruptly shattered it. This was achieved by Col. Nick Procter slamming open the door with a face of total exhaustion. By this we mean that he did not open said door with his face. Behind him was Major Catherine Stevely who managed to stagger in a fashion that made people question how she was able to stagger; let alone why she was staggering in the first place. Close behind was CWO John Gallacher who had managed to convince Dr. Janet Fraiser that he wasn’t a zombie, although the evidence wasn’t conclusive to the medical community. Irn Bru’tak strolled in with the kind of energy that you would have if you had just strolled to the bottom of your back yard and back. 2nd Lt. Steve Martin, Capt. Alexander "Xander" McEwan and 2nd Lt. Brian Craig careened rather lopsided through the door, arms around each other’s shoulders in a vain effort to stop each other from falling down. The three gave up the effort once past the doorframe and collapsed into a heap that many would have believed to be an upgrade to Spaghetti Junction. Catherine stopped at the arm of one of the sofas and then nose-dived into the sofas cushions.

"Mmmuumm ummimah!" she mumbled through one of the cushions, which was later translated to be "I’m knackered!"

John managed to shuffle to the bunks, which connected to the lounge at the back.

"Wake me up when something interesting happens or if we get invaded." he groaned.

Nick slumped into one of the armchairs, with all the grace of King Kong falling from the Empire State Building.

"God, what a mission! First rescue SG-11 and 12, fight off Anubis’ troops, stop Baal from being pals with Apothis and get the hell out of there without getting our heads blown off from the Death Glider Air Force that the Tok’Ra "forgot" to tell us about. Now that’s what I call exhausting." said Nick with all the energy he could muster and there wasn’t all that much left to muster in the first place.

Catherine by this time had managed to turn her face out of the cushion not because it might have suffocated her eventually but she had decided that this position wasn’t all that comfortable for any real length of time.

"Yeah, and then John spots a cunatah." she exclaimed.

Jim frowned. "A what?"

Catherine sat up although that was precious energy expended.

"We found one on P3X- 972. It kinda looks like an otter, but with fangs. Real nasty thing. Anyway we were coming back in the buggy back to the gate when we find one blocking the road. We were going to drive around it when "David Attenborough"", She motioned her thumb in Johns direction, "decides he wants to calm it down, gets out and goes to it."

Bru’tak continued the story. "Indeed. Chief Gallacher approaches the creature, which is growling and hissing with anger. He sits down in front of it and hums to it. Within a few minutes it is calmed and in Chief Gallachers arms."

"I got the whole thing on tape if you wanna see it." exclaimed Xander waving a camcorder.

"Anyway," said Catherine taking up the story. " He wants to take it home with him and call the thing Ollie. Thank God for quarantine procedures or he would have had the thing through the gate with him."

It was true. It wasn’t the first time that Gallacher had to be told that the SGC was a military base and not a nature reserve.

The mood was broken by a burst of unstoppable sobbing. Everyone turned to the corner of the room where several small figures sat on the table playing poker. It was of course the mascots of SG-999. These figures were Scooby, the GTB (Gun-Toting Bear) who is famous for several lightning raids on the SGC’s chocolate stores, Roswell, the Asgard and Westland Lysander, half ape, half aviator and half nice guy. (He was also rubbish at arithmetic.) Presently it was Scooby who was wailing like a banshee. Roswell sat grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat. Lysander simply shook his head as if he were ashamed to be in such company.

"C’mon, Scooby. Pay up. It’s not my fault that you taught Roswell how to play poker. You knew that he’s a fast learner." called Nick, trying not to get too involved.

Scooby wiped a large tear from his eye as though he was at a funeral to see Roswell stretch out a hand with his fingers waving in a "come on" fashion. Reluctantly, he handed over a 200g bar of Dairy Milk over to the Asgard. His last one for rainy days, although many speculated that Scooby thought that he was in a tropical rain forest if his consumption was anything to go by. Roswell beamed merrily. (An Asgard with a grin that would shame Dr. Phlox from Enterprise really has to be seen to be believed.) Thor always said that Roswell’s sense of humour would get him into trouble one day and it did. The day he met SG-999!

Catherine sighed. She knew that she would be up all night trying to calm him down. No rest for the wicked… obviously that means us she thought.

Capt. Jimmy " Maltman" McPaul glided into the room at that point.

"Hi guys." he grinned.

At once everyone turned and replied, "Jimmy!" ala Norman from Cheers. Odd that, he always made everyone do that, even the Jaffa on P3X-775 did it!

He looked at everyone in the room. "How’d the mission go?"

But Paul shook his head. "Don’t ask! Whatever you do DON’T ask!!"

Jimmy could see from the fatigue that asking would be a stupid thing to do.

"OK, but where’s John?"

As if on cue, a sound like Darth Vader snoring erupted from the bunkroom followed by a loud parr-raapp.

"You had to ask, didn’t you" snapped Jim.

"Don’t be too hard on him." said Xander, finally getting off the floor. " Siler tells me that without John’s help, they’d never be able to properly adjust those large suspension springs that the base was built on, or test the ventilation system protocols."

A high-pitched squeak followed by the smell of rotten eggs took their cue at that point. Obviously the protocols weren’t working in the bunkroom because a rather horrified chief came belting out of the room faster than a supernova or Scooby with a bar of chocolate.

"Jeez, it’s rotten in there!" he squealed.

But everyone looked at him with a look of no sympathy that said "Well, you did it to yourself." Well, it was true. Anyone who happily devours baked bean and pepperoni pizzas and doesn’t accept the consequences deserves all they get. It was so bad that it forced Bru’tak to draw his zat pistol and aimed it at John, but Brian jumped in front of him at much risk to himself, both from the gun and the smell.

"Don’t! You’ll cause an explosion if you fire!"

Fortunately, the extractors switched themselves onto full power at that point. The danger was over… for now!

"I thought you liked explosions, Brian." said Steve moving over to one of the tables to set up his laptop.

Brian nodded. "Yeah, usually. But not if I’m within the blast zone or within a combustible material."

Jimmy coughed politely. "So, did Apothis appreciate you turning up?"

"I very much doubt it. Not since what Col. Procter did to him the last time." said Bru’tak in his usual monotone. But he said it in such a way that you could almost translate a hidden snigger.

"How..? What did you do..?" spluttered Jimmy. This was obviously a mission he missed.

It was Steve who filled in the blanks.

"Oh, just painted him green and dumped him in Ibrox on the 12th of July."

"How did he escape?" asked Paul.

"We’re not sure," continued Nick, "but he didn’t help himself at all when he said to the crowd "I am your god. You will bow to me.""

Jimmy frowned. "Isn’t that a bit sadistic even by your standards, Nick?"

Xander stood up all indignant. (Not bad considering the effort to move at all.)

"That’s what I said. But noo-oo! Nobody listens to McEwan."

"Sorry, did you say something?" asked John.

The reply came as a vase squarely aimed at John’s head. John went out like a light. Catherine groaned.

"If you’ve killed him and we have to put him into another sarcophagus, so help me I am going to kill you stone ginger."

By now Steve had a rather glazed look on his face. Some might say that was his natural expression but those who did often ended up in the infirmary with broken bones, usually in their faces.

"What are you watching, Steve?" asked Brian. Bad move. If Steve is looking at his computer, asking him what he was looking at is considered stupid. But Steve waved everyone who was capable of moving over. Those who could and did stepped over John who was at this moment lying in the centre of the room unconscious. Very much his natural tendency!! The group huddled at the screen. The sound of grunts, groans and screams of "Yes, yes!" and "Give it to me, baby!" just added to the disbelief.

Nick blinked. "Er… just who is doing what to who?"

The scene was very reminiscent of the "Snow White and the Seven Pakmara" scene from Crusade. Only the stunned looks on their faces were more… puzzled! Fortunately it was Jim who broke the silence.

"Hey, Jimmy. I nearly forgot. Heres one you’ll never get."

He handed him a small hip flask. This was a small bet that the team had for Jimmy, guess the whisky since he was the whisky connoisseur. He uncorked the flask and sniffed at it. After a small pause he sipped the contents. He then concentrated hard. For long moments, nothing happened. Then he smiled broadly.

"25 year old McFarleys. Small private distillery in a Mr. McFarley’s house in the Outer Hebrides. Stored under the stairs next to the cold-water tank in an oak cask, made from a forest managed near Leicester. Do you want to know where the barrels steel straps were made?"

The "forget it" wave from Jim told him that he was right… as usual.

"Who is the new gate technician I saw when we returned?" asked Bru’tak.

Paul turned his head to answer.

"Not sure myself. He seems OK. Only problem, him and the regular tech almost came to blows over who was going to say "Chevron One, engaged." first.

Now there was a picture to behold. The regular tech having an all out scrap with the new boy and Hammond trying to be the referee for all purposes.

Paul and Jim looked at each other and grinned like hyenas. Both had that exact same image at exactly the same time. It wasn’t surprising though. When the pair filled out the application forms to join the SGC, under the section for "current occupation", they had filled in "professional drunks and professional perverts; full card carrying holders of Perverts And Alcoholics Secret Society of Outsized Upturned Tumblers" or PASSOUT as it commonly known. This meant that they got discounts at every Haddows and Victoria Wine store as well as every back street adult store.

Brian was still looking at Steve’s laptop with that "What the…?" expression on his face. Well, everyone assumed that he was. He was still facing the screen at the time. Those glasses of his made it hard to tell. He could be asleep and no one would know until he snored on account that they were polarised with holographic eyeballs on them. They still made Daniel Jackson jump, more so since his return from ascension since he had forgotten about him. Everyone still remembered that first reunion and still remember the sight and sound of Daniel screaming and running down the corridor in the opposite direction. Steve was staring at the screen with a glazed expression on his face. (For the purposes of description, "glazed" was the best we could come up with.)

"You know, Steve, you are really sick and weird, watching all this stuff all the time." Brian’s voice was full of exasperation.

"I know!" came the crazed monotone answer.

Paul at this time was considering other more important things. He turned to Nick.

"Hey, Nick. You know that sign that says, "Scooby bites ankles"?* Well I was wondering; how did that come about?"

Nick smiled.

"You weren’t with us at that point. Cath, myself, Bru’tak and Sleeping Beauty here were trapped by a group of Jaffa on P4X-684. We all thought that we were goners for sure. So I give Scooby a last piece of oh-ah-lay," he pointed at Scooby who was still sulking for losing at Poker and didn’t want the bear to hear the "C" word. "Anyway I get an idea and tell him that the reason that they wear tough leg armour was because that’s where they keep their stash."

"So what happened?" asked Paul

Bru’tak stepped forward.

"The end was swift, extremely painful and extremely noisy."

"Lets just say that no sarcophagus and Goa’uld symbiote could put all the pieces back together. No matter how hard they tried." said Nick, gleefully remembering that day.

The phone rang and it was Xander who answered it.

"Treble Nine Rest Room… Yes, Sir… The whole team is here… Right, I’ll tell them… We’ll be there."

"Who was that?" asked Jimmy.

"That was General Hammond. We’ve to report to the briefing room. It’s for debrief.

Everyone groaned. They’d just gotten back and already the general wanted a report. Couldn’t he have waited until they had rested? Grudgingly they all stood up and exited. Steve closed down the laptop. Bru’tak grabbed John by the ankle and dragged him out of the door with him on account that the CWO was still unconscious. They knew he wasn’t dead as he groaned as his head thumped the doorframe as he left. Everyone was glad that no sarcophagus was needed to revive him… this time. Being revived was like waking up after sleeping; it takes the brain a while to remember where it is and what it was doing at the time. The same is true about a sarcophagus. Sometimes the revived gets clues about their demise when they reawaken. Such as the time John woke up after the revival process and knew how he had died due to the fact that the team had forgotten to remove the staff weapon from his impaled chest.

When the team had left, the room was filled with an eerie silence for a long time. The kind of silence that precede an attack. Then there was a snigger and a small tuft of fur made a bolt for the door carrying a 200g bar of chocolate. Roswell had forgotten his winnings and Scooby was taking advantage of the situation.

Some things never change.