What We Did During Our Summer Vacation
"What We Did During Our Summer Vacation"
Disclaimer: All Stargate SG-1 characters are the property of MGM Ltd./Double Secret Productions/Gekko Film Corp.
Team SG-999 characters are based upon real people (you all know who you are…), however certain changes have been made for the purposes of dramatic license and/or humour.
General Hammond’s granddaughters, Tessa and Kayla, are named after Brad Wright’s children.
The mysterious Captain Jack Hunter of the 75th Ranger Regiment US Army is an original character created by yours truly…
Author’s Notes: The following story is a work of fiction.
"Fiction" is described in most dictionaries as being made-up stories about made-up people. That’s basically what we have here.
More or less.
Any similarities in this story to real-life people is just one of those things.
This story is intended merely as a good natured mickey take of all things Stargate SG-1, and not meant to be taken at all seriously in any way, shape, or form.
The numerals 999 (as in SG-999) should be spoken as "treble nine", not "nine, nine, nine".
Summary: Ever wondered what really happened to Saddam Hussein’s henchmen and the infamous disappearing Weapons of Mass Destruction?
Rating: PG–13 (Occasional strong language.)
Timeframe: Late summer 2003, shortly after the "official" end of Gulf War II and several months to a year after the events of "The Milk Run". Early season 7 of Stargate SG-1, after "Chimera" but before "Heroes (Pts. I & II)".
To the writers, the cast members and the various nutters on the production crew at MGM Ltd./ Double Secret Productions/ Gekko Film Corp and at Bridge Studios for making Stargate SG-1 in the first place. Without them this story would not have been possible.
To the mad buggers behind fanfiction.net – who’s stories got me thinking "I can do better than that…"
And an especially large THANK YOU! to Nick Procter, Catherine Stevely, John Gallacher, and the rest of The Unusual Suspects for general inspiration and basically being such a great bunch of friends.
This one’s for the cheese…
"What We Did During Our Summer Vacation"
Brute Force & Ignorance!
"Another Day at the Office"
Major General George Hammond strode through the corridors of the SGC, heading for his office.
Things had been rather quiet lately, no sign of crop circles, no Goa’uld attacks, no off-world incursions, a few injuries to members of some SG teams – the odd sprained ankle, insect stings, minor burns, small animal bites etc. nothing serious, little stuff.
That being the case, he’d decided to take a weekend off, see his granddaughters, recharge the batteries and so on before returning to the business of protecting the Earth from the threat of alien invasion. He’d left Col. O’Neill in command, and had been rather relieved to find the mountain still in one piece when he returned.
Strangely, the girls (Tessa, 10 and her little sister Kayla, 5) had been very giggly all weekend, holding whispered conversations with each other, as if they were in on some big secret.
Everything appeared to be normal, or as normal as the SGC got. But several curious things struck the General. Everyone he met was either smiling or chuckling, and in the case of Dr. Janet Frasier – curled up into a ball on a bed in the infirmary, giggling uncontrollably.
Hmm – perhaps she’d accidentally gotten a lungful of Nitrous Oxide while performing some dental work?
Another odd thing was that several people he passed in the corridors were humming or singing to themselves – "…Bad boys, bad boys. Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you…" – after a few moments thought, the General recognised it as being the theme music from a popular television programme, Cops.
Obviously the episode that had gone out last night had been rather well-liked, judging from the reactions of his subordinates. He didn’t watch Cops, he was happy watching the History Channel or CNN, or just reading a good book.
He settled into his office chair, took a hefty belt of his morning coffee, put the matter out of his mind, and prepared to make a start on the mountain of paperwork and mail that had appeared as if by magic over the course of the weekend.
There was the usual stuff – personnel transfers and equipment requisitions to endorse, preliminary mission reports to read, leave requests to sign off on, and expenses claims to either approve or deny.
Col. O’Neill asking for field trials of the FN Herstal F2000 assault rifle. Approved.
Maj. Carter pleading for an improved handheld sensor (apparently Capt. Hunter’s sophisticated equipment had made her a teeny bit jealous). Likewise approved.
Dr. Frasier requesting next weekend off to spend with Cassandra, due to it being the teenager’s birthday (no doubt a card would be doing the rounds at some point) etc. etc. and so on, and so forth, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
One or two Air Force memos detailing recent promotions and retirements etc.
Then came an odd one – Col. Procter of the SG-999 Tactical Rescue Unit had put in a claim form for Miscellaneous Expenses costing $70, with an attached receipt for an identical amount from a Simon’s Digital & Video Services based at an address in downtown Colorado Springs.
The name rang a bell, they were a combined video duplication service and digital photography specialist if he remembered right.
But the questions remained, what in the world did Col. Procter want with a video duplication store? What was he up to that required $70 worth of their services? And more to the point, the General thought, did he really want to know the answer?
Hammond put the document to one side for the moment, he’d come back to it later, and got on with the rest of the paperwork.
Sgt. Siler requesting a larger wrench.
"Another one?! What does he do with the blasted things? Eat them?"
The monthly SG-999 ammunition request, all twenty, single spaced, A4 pages of it. Hammond sighed, SG-999 went through more ammo on one assignment than any other four SG teams put together – including SG-1.
"Next thing I know, they’ll be asking for a couple of field artillery pieces…" he muttered, darkly. He cast one or two hasty glances about to make sure no one had heard him – he was alone, good.
Best not to mention it to anyone, it might give Col. Procter’s people ideas…
A short memo from Dr. Daniel Jackson – begging not to be sent to the SG-999 Command Post – "Where fools rush in, and angels suddenly realise they have a prior appointment…" – again, ever.
Hammond chuckled softly to himself, Col. Procter’s unit had certainly knocked the wind out of the young archaeologist’s sails, that was for sure.
And so it continued, approve this request, deny that one, ask that another be modified slightly and resubmitted next time.
Picking up the phone, he called through to his secretary, "Is that all the mail that came while I was away?"
"Yessir. That’s all. Was there something in particular you were expecting?"
"No, no – not really." Said Hammond, sounding faintly disappointed, "Thank you Airman."
After ploughing through a particularly long and involved claim form for SG-999’s monthly food requirements – "Will Staff Sgt. Martin ever learn to spell? Referring to Anubis as Anbus was bad enough, but I can assure him that potato is not spelled with an E at the end…" – Hammond glanced at his watch and was rather surprised to discover that two hours had passed. Not only that, but he’d cleared his desk of all the paperwork – except for one item – the mysterious $70 worth of Miscellaneous Expenses from Col. Procter.
He pondered the matter for a moment or two, reached a conclusion. He picked up the phone again, punched the button to connect him with the Gateroom Technician.
"Sgt. Davis? Could you check on the current whereabouts of Col. Procter for me, please?"
"Yessir. Just a moment…" a brief pause, the sound of fingers tapping away on a computer keyboard, "Col. Procter is on the base, sir."
"Picking up or dropping off?"
What Hammond meant was that SG-999’s C.O. was either picking up new recruits for his unit, or dropping off some casualties to the infirmary. Something that happened on a fairly regular basis.
"Neither sir. Currently he’s in guest quarters, waiting for the results of his annual physical exam."
"Hmm… I see… Have him report to my office, ASAP."
"Yes General. Right away."
"Very well, Sgt. Davis. Thank you."
A few minutes later, there was a knock on Hammond’s office door.
"Enter." Growled he.
Col. Nick W. "Nuke ‘Em Till They Glow" Procter marched smartly to the General’s desk, slammed to a halt, snapped to attention and threw off a razor sharp salute.
"Sir! Col. Nick Procter reporting, as ordered, sir!"
"Good morning, Colonel. At ease… How did your physical go?"
"Passed with flying colours, thank you for asking, sir. Dr. Frasier thinks I should cut down on the curries a wee bit, but…" he shrugged.
"I keep telling her, sir. I’m from Scotland – land of the deep fried Mars Bar, home of Irn Bru, and presided over by Saint Cirrhosis of the Sacred Swally. Scots have Kevlar lined stomachs and Teflon coated livers. Is there something I can assist you with, sir?"
"Yes, you can." Hammond passed Col. Procter the expenses form, "Would you mind explaining what your Miscellaneous Expenses here actually are?"
A long moment of silence from the burly Colonel, "Ah – I had a feeling this would come back an’ bite me in the arse at some point… This is going to take some time to clear up, General."
"I don’t have any pressing engagements, Colonel. Do you?"
"No, sir – not at the moment – but… I don’t really want to be away from my team for too long – as I’m sure you’re no doubt aware, they tend to break things…"
"Yes. They do, don’t they?"
Hammond opened a desk drawer, produced a document running to several pages – "This is your bar bill from O’Malley’s Bar and Grill, for the SG-999 Christmas night out last year…"
"Ohh yes, I remember. A good time was had by all… We paid that, didn’t we? In cash, with a generous tip for the bar staff for putting up with us till three in the morning as I recall…"
Hammond produced a further document, this one about as thick as an average paperback book.
"This, however, is the estimate for repairs at O’Malley’s Bar and Grill after the SG-999 Christmas night out…"
"We did apologise afterwards, sir." Replied Col. Procter, "Major Stevely and I eventually had to pry Staff Sgt. Martin of that poor waitress with a crowbar, gag and handcuff him, and lock him in one of the Humvee’s to keep him out of further trouble."
"It’s just as well Sgt. Martin’s sexual proclivities are well known to the local Police Department…" muttered Hammond, paging through the document, apparently looking for something specific.
"Yes sir, there was that unfortunate incident with Sgt. Martin, the night vision goggles, and the University of Colorado sorority house… When the patrol officers eventually found him, he was sitting in a tree, was smiling beatifically, and all he could say was, quote – Pillow fighting-mmm…"
Hammond shuddered at the memory, "Perhaps it was for the best that Sgt. Martin was due back at your command post the following morning. Possibly he could be assigned off-world – permanently…?"
"Sir? Have you ever tired Sgt. Martin’s cooking?"
"No, can’t say as I have – good, is it?"
"Put this way – Staff Sgt. Martin’s culinary expertise is the only reason we put up with his little – personality quirks, sir. We have reason to believe he’s been taking cookery lessons from Sgt. 1st Class Marvin F. Hinton of the G.I. Joe team, sir."
"I see…" Hammond flipped over to the next page, "Now then – we come to the business of Capt. Coyle being mistaken for a lapdancer at the Denver Police Department’s Detective’s Christmas party next door…"
Col. Procter groaned, "Sir, be fair – Shirley Coyle’s our resident wild child and party animal."
"Yes. I know. I think that the sight of Capt. Coyle wearing nothing but a pink diamante thong and a smile, while singing Santa Baby at the top of her lungs, is a sight that Detective Shanahan will take with him to his grave…"
"To be perfectly honest, sir…" said Nick, "I think that the Detective only played along as far as he did, was because in his mildly inebriated state, he initially mistook her for Major Carter. There is a precedent, sir."
"Yessir, that business back at the Alpha Site when SG-1 were captured by that Goa’uld raiding party? The Jaffa First Prime thought that Shirley was Major Carter because all he had to go on was a brief physical description."
"I suppose in that case, one blonde looked pretty much like another…"
"Yessir. However, I am reliably informed that Major Carter is a natural blonde, whereas Capt. Coyle is a peroxide blonde."
"I – see…" Hammond repeated. He made a decision not to ask Col. Procter exactly how he knew that Maj. Carter was a natural blonde, and moved on to the next page, "Capt. McPaul drinking the bar’s entire supply of single malts – in an hour?"
"Yessir. Jimmy wandered off at about one in the morning in search of more drink, and that was the last we saw of him until the end of January."
The General smiled briefly, "Well, he turned up on my doorstep shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day with several large bottles of a particularly fine single malt and kindly explained to me the old Scots custom of First Foot… My grandchildren thought him to be very entertaining – like a cross between a court jester and – what’s the name of that Scottish comedian? Billy something…?"
"Billy Connolly, sir… Well, that clears up the mystery of the disappearing Jimmy…" Nick shook his head, "The party was quite a night, sir. I don’t think I’ll ever forget Bru’Tak getting himself a drink at the bar…" he beetled his brow in a fair imitation of his team mate, "Pint of dry cider – kree!!"
Hammond leafed through the document again, stopping dead at one particular item.
"The pool table?" he said flatly, "One of your people broke the pool table?"
"One of your people broke the pool table – in half?" the General continued.
"Ah – yes – sir."
Hammond wasn’t finished, "One of your people broke the pool table, in half – with their head?"
Col. Procter paused for a moment, before answering, "So I’m led to believe, sir, yes. I didn’t personally witness the event you speak of, sir, but I am reliably informed that a member of my team did indeed head-butt the pool table with such force that it broke into two sections…" he looked as if he was about to explain further, but Hammond waved him into silence.
"No, no, don’t tell me. The less I know, the more I can disavow any knowledge of your actions to the likes of Senator Kinsey."
"You only have to say the word, sir, and my team and I can make Kinsey go away – for good…" suggested Col. Procter, casually.
Hammond mulled the notion over for a second or two, "Don’t think I’m not sorely tempted Colonel…" he stuffed the bar bill and estimate for repairs back in the drawer.
"Well, as Captain Hunter is fond of saying, sir – Politics is showbusiness for ugly people…"
The General quirked a brief, fleeting smile, then grew serious again, "As I understand it, your entire team has had a lifetime ban placed upon them by the management of O’Malley’s. Is this true?"
"Yes, sir. Although we’re allowed back in under special circumstances."
"Groups of no larger than four, and a three drink maximum."
"And I thought that the SG-1 nights out were rowdy. But they’re a Sunday School picnic compared to your people… At least SG-1 aren’t barred from Disneyland…"
"Ah, we’re back to Staff Sgt. Martin, are we, sir?"
Hammond closed his eyes, "What did he do…?" he sighed.
Retirement was sounding like a really good option right about now – before the antics of Col. Procter’s pack of gun-toting lunatics gave him either his first heart attack or a stroke.
It wasn’t for nothing that Col. O’Neill occasionally referred to Nick as That Procter Maniac…
"Well, as I’m sure you’re aware, sir, the actresses who play the female characters in Disneyland – Snow White, Cinderella and so on – receive a wee bit more in their pay packets each month compared to their male colleagues… It’s a – well, there’s no other way to put it – a grope allowance… If you see what I mean, sir."
"Ah… Hazardous duty pay?"
"Yes, sir. That being the case, Staff Sgt. Martin was firmly escorted from the premises by a brace of burly security types for propositioning Snow White, Princess Jasmine, the Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Pocahontas, and…"
"And?" prompted the General.
"And – Minnie Mouse…"
"What?" roared Hammond, "Minnie Mouse?!? Has that boy no shame? Is nothing sacred to him?"
A moment or two’s reflection from Col. Procter, "We don’t think so, sir. No. If you’ll recall, his collection of the more – shall we say – esoteric side of pornography, is rather extensive, grows exponentially by the day, and is on the verge of developing a half-life of its own."
"Which would explain why it’s delivered in sealed, lead lined, containers covered with biohazard stickers…?"
"Precisely, sir. The number of places we can go as a group is getting severely limited. We were banned from the Universal Studios Tour a couple of months ago…"
"Might I enquire why?" said the General, although he had a feeling he’d regret it later.
"They didn’t find it particularly amusing when we asked for Babs… Or when Sgt. Major Johnston and his Tunnel Rats got into the underground service tunnels, and somehow managed to hotwire the drinking fountains to suddenly start spewing out draught Guinness." Answered Col. Procter.
"How many drinking fountains?"
"All of ‘em, sir."
"All of them?"
"Yessir, all of them. Every drinking fountain throughout the entire park, every drinking fountain in the employees break rooms, even in the executive bathrooms…"
There was only one thing Hammond could say in response, "Good grief…"
Col. Procter continued, "But I think the final straw was when Bru’Tak leapt out of the tour bus and started throttling Jaws with his bare hands. I’m told you can still see the finger marks in the animatronic shark’s rubber skin…"
"I was wondering why Irn Bru’Tak was wearing a necklace of sharks teeth…" Hammond muttered. "Why not take your squad to see the Bronco’s play?" he suggested, changing the subject, "I’m told they’re doing particularly well this season…"
Nick shook his head, "I really don’t think so sir. Considering we’ve just been discussing Staff Sgt. Martin and his raging hormones, do you really want to see the chaos he’d cause if let loose among two dozen or so buxom blonde cheerleaders?"
"Mmph, I suppose not, no…" the General muttered to himself. He picked up the mysterious expenses form that had started the whole business, "However, we’re getting somewhat off topic here. For what reason, Colonel, did you require $70 worth of services from Simon’s Digital & Video Services?"
"Perhaps it would be better if I showed you, sir… If you’d care to join me in the Conference Room, I shall attempt to explain…"
Hammond stood, "Very well, Col. Procter. But I’m warning you, this had better be good…"
"Oh it is General, it’s very good…" the other officer replied.
"That remains to be seen, Colonel."
"Yes, sir. You remember when you took the Prometheus out for spaceworthiness trials for two weeks during the summer, and you left Col. O’Neill in command at the SGC?"
"Well, it’s like this you see – Jack owed me a couple of favours…"
Gen. Hammond began to get a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach, the Gods alone knew what kind of "favours" Jack O’Neill might owe Col. Procter…
Hammond took his usual seat at the head of the Briefing Room table, swivelled his chair so he could see the screen properly, and adopted a go-on-I’m-waiting expression.
Col. Procter extracted a slimline CD case from a pocket of his BDU trousers, opened it and slipped the disc into the DVD player hooked up to the screen.
"I should clarify, sir." he explained, "That this is only a rough-cut, a 90% completed work in progress if you will…" He picked up the remote control, took a seat (out of arms reach of the General, just in case).
"That all depends upon what this is, Colonel. Wouldn’t you say?" growled Hammond.
"Yes sir. We were hoping to keep it a secret for a little while longer, but…" he shrugged, hit the play button.
On the screen, a five second sound and vision synchronisation countdown – then a blank screen for a couple of seconds followed by the SGC logo, accompanied musically by the 20th Century Fox fanfare played on a kazoo…
Col. Procter smiled nervously, "We may have to change the music, in case their lawyers complain…"
Another blank screen for a couple of seconds, then the Cops theme music kicked in –
"…Bad boys, bad boys. Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you…?"
This was accompanied by what looked like video footage of SG-999 on patrol, then an animated graphic in the style of a rubber stamp thumped onto the screen –
– it read in large, blood red, block capitals.
Then the voice-over began – "Grunts is filmed on location with the men and women of Team SG-999. All suspects are guilty – until proven innocent. Otherwise they would not be suspects."
Hammond frowned, "Is that…?"
"Teal’c, yessir." Replied Col. Procter.
The scene changed to an establishing shot of a desert somewhere. Sand, sand and still more sand as far as the eye could see.
Then a caption in the bottom left corner of the screen: 0715hrs, Iraq, somewhere near Basra.
Next, a jerky hand-held shot of perhaps eight or ten troops in desert camouflage fatigues, sitting in the back of an open topped Humvee as it motored along, bumping over the occasional small sand dune etc.
The camera’s attention then centred on a flag streaming out from the vehicle’s radio antenna – a grinning Skull & Crossbones with a generic Goa’uld symbol in the middle of the forehead, SG-999’s Latin motto Aegrescit Medendo – The Cure is Worse Than the Disease – printed along the bottom edge, while above the skull was what Hammond guessed was the team’s Mission Statement – "We Ain’t ‘Fraid of No Goa’uld!".
The video camera then focused itself on one particular individual, manning the swivel mounted .50 cal machine gun – "Well, I’ve been with SG-999 for about three years now…"
Another caption: Chief Warrant Officer John J. Gallacher AKA "The Mad Cackler".
"…It’s not exactly what you would call an easy job. If I’d wanted something easy, I’d’ve joined the tourist industry an’ probably ended up working at Loch Lomond Shores or something stupid like that…"
"Yeah, you’d be spending your days with your hand stuffed up the arse of a otter glove-puppet…" said a voice from off screen. The camera turned to face the speaker, a caption identifying him as – Staff Sgt. Steven D. Martin AKA "Monkey Boy" AKA "Codename Casanova" AKA "Ol’ H.J.".
He looked directly into the camera, waved and grinned, "Hello mum! Look, I’m on the telly!"
From the front passenger seat of the Humvee, a voice enquired, "Hey, um, Steve? When do want your book back?"
The camera turned it attention to a familiar looking, bespectacled individual bundled up in a regulation US military issue flak vest and Kevlar helmet. Another caption loudly proclaimed him to be: Dr. Daniel Jackson AKA "The Baby Faced Sex Fiend".
(Gen. Hammond: "Ah, I wondered where Dr. Jackson had got to while I was away." Col. Procter: "Yessir, we um – borrowed – him for a couple of weeks. For reasons that will become apparent shortly, we needed a trained linguist…" Gen. Hammond: "He seems very – reluctant – to talk about his time with your unit for some peculiar reason…")
Sgt. Martin was saying, "The Karma Sutra Cook Book? Keep it as long as you like Doc, I’m sure it’ll come in handy one of these days…"
The driver of the vehicle growled, "When you and Dr. Jackson are quite finished, Sgt. Martin…" Again, the camera panned round to reveal the speaker.
Caption: Capt. Jack A. Hunter, U.S. Army Rangers, Callsign: "Broadsword" – Special Guest Star.
"Sorry sir…" apologised Sgt. Martin from off-screen.
"Good." Now Hunter addressed the camera directly, "For the benefit of those who’ve just joined us, I’m here in Iraq with Team SG-999. Technically, the guys are supposed to be on two weeks down-time. But, they kinda got a little – restless – after just a couple of days doing nothing…"
The Ranger officer drove casually, leaning back in the seat, one hand on the wheel, the other punctuating his speech with a large cigar.
"It was either this or go blind looking at Steve’s porn …" muttered Mr. Gallacher from the rear of the Humvee. He broke into a quick impression of Blythe, the blind forger from The Great Escape – "Let me come with you, I can see, really I can…"
The other as yet unidentified occupants of the Humvee, grinned and sniggered.
Dr. Jackson shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
Capt. Hunter pretended not to notice.
(Hammond: "Is Sgt. Martin’s pornography collection really that bad?" Col. Procter: "Worse, sir. It’s not that they’re illegal or anything, just… Weird… Some of the pictures, you’re not quite sure who’s doing what to whom and with which… You may recall several members of personnel wearing neck braces recently…")
"Hey!" Sgt. Martin protested, "There’s nothing wrong with my art collection…"
"Excuse me? Art? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?" said Hunter around a mouthful of cigar, "You listen to yer ol’ Uncle Jack Mes Enfants – speaking as someone who’s happily married and plans to remain so for the foreseeable future, pictures of naked women displaying their most intimate areas in livin’ colour an’ full gynaecological close-up, may be nice to look at…"
Some murmurs of agreement from the guys in the back of the vehicle.
"…But in my opinion, the real thing is infinitely more varied and enjoyable… Just you wait an’ see, Bubba, one of these days the right girl’s gonna come along an’ make an honest man outta you… And on that day, we will all sit back, look smug and laugh… Here endeth the lesson."
Sgt. Martin snorted his disdain.
(Gen. Hammond: "Col. Procter, I would take it as personal favour if you would keep Sgt. Martin away from my granddaughters when they grow up." Col. Procter: "Yessir." Gen. Hammond: "Far, far away – on another planet for example…" Col. Procter: "Certainly, sir. Any preference?")
"Well, I think they’re very…" Dr. Jackson appeared to struggle for an appropriate word, "…educational."
Capt. Hunter favoured his front seat passenger with a raised eyebrow and a puff of cigar smoke, "Educational?" he repeated.
"Yeah. Educational." Daniel nodded, batting the smoke away with a hand.
A derisive grunt and another cloud of cigar fumes from Capt. Hunter, "Look, kid – it was only after a consultation with Dr. Frasier, a second opinion from Nick, an’ a third from Catherine, that we discovered the things going on in Fun with Fruit & Veg III: Return of the Parsnip were actually anatomically possible… I think you need to get out more – get you set up on a date with a nice girl or something…"
"Like Shirley for example?" Dr. Jackson suggested, innocently.
Hunter almost lost control of the vehicle, nearly inhaled his cigar.
"What?!" he choked out, "Bubba, Shirley Coyle would eat you for breakfast an’ spit out the bones…"
Daniel grinned shyly, signed wistfully, "I know…"
(Gen. Hammond: "What is it about Dr. Jackson that women find so attractive?" Col. Procter: "Possibly it’s a combination of the youthful good looks, his education and his glasses. We think he brings out the mothering instinct in certain women, sir." Gen. Hammond: "Capt. Coyle for example?" Col. Procter: "Good Lord no sir, Shirley just wants to rip off his clothes and have her wicked way with him on the spot…").
On screen, Capt. Hunter was saying, "By the way, Steve, whatever happened to that pen-friend of yours? What was the name again – oh yeah, Miriam. The one who had a little surprise for you?"
Staff Sgt. Martin grumbled a few choice word to himself, and retreated into an uncomfortable silence.
(Gen. Hammond: "Miriam?" Col. Procter: "Well, you see – Staff Sgt. Martin had been corresponding with an individual who he thought was a rather attractive young lady. It was only after being sent a rather – intimate – photograph, that Sgt. Martin discovered she was in fact a he – a transsexual waiting for the final cut, if you follow my drift, sir. I’m surprised you didn’t hear the screaming…" Gen. Hammond: "So, that’s what the noise was…")
"Anyhoo – as I was saying before the cheap seats interrupted me – we’re here in Iraq helping out when and where we can. Some of the SG-999 Medical section are assisting the folks at 202 Field Hospital just outside Baghdad, while I was asked – practically at gunpoint I might add – to ride herd on this gang of reprobates…"
A ragged cheer from the occupants of the back of the Humvee.
"…While we R.V. with Col Procter and some of the Security Element."
The video presentation continued at some length.
Despite his earlier misgivings, Gen. Hammond found himself chuckling at the adventures of Stargate Command’s Tactical Rescue Unit as they scared the bejeesus out of the hapless Iraqi ground forces.
Case in point – while the Security Element of SG-999 laid down some covering fire to keep a well entrenched group of Saddam supporting die-hards in a bunker from escaping, one occupant of the Humvee – Sgt. Major Jim Johnston AKA "Gollum’s Stunt Double" – crawled on his belly toward a ventilation duct.
Hammond sat bolt upright, "Is he carrying a flame-thrower! Col. Procter I knew some of your people were a little on the vicious side and short on sympathy for their opponents when it came to combat, but I draw the line at using a flame-thrower…!"
Nick paused the video, "Sir. I…"
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t convene a Court Martial on the spot, Colonel!" blazed the General.
SG-999’s C.O. sighed, "Technically, sir – yes. The equipment Sgt. Major Johnston’s carrying was originally a flame-thrower. But it’s been heavily modified by Capt. McEwan to fire a different substance, sir."
Hammond’s temper subsided, slightly, "Oh? What’s in it? Quick setting riot foam?"
"No sir. Liquid chocolate…"
A horrible suspicion began to percolate its way through General Hammond’s mind – "Oh dear…"
The show resumed.
"Keep watching, sir – this is the best part…"
On the screen, Sgt. Major Johnston completed his creeping, with an evil laugh and a "Tongs ya bas! Youse arsehole’s are all feckin’ claimed!", he stuck the business end of his modified flame-thrower down the small ventilation pipe that stuck up above the sand, and pulled the trigger.
A gout of liquefied chocolate spewed forth from the nozzle and into the bunker.
Gooey howls of outrage could be heard from the fortification’s occupants.
Back in the Humvee, Dr. Jackson picked up the microphone connected to the vehicle’s P.A. system, in his other hand was a small card with perhaps a dozen or so words printed on it.
He turned in his seat to face Capt. Hunter – "Jack, do I really have to do this?"
"You volunteered for this Danny boy, remember?"
"Yeah – but…"
"You said you wanted a change of scenery. You said you were fed up sitting in your lab back at the SGC. You said you wanted to do something different."
Dr. Jackson looked profoundly uncomfortable – "I know, but… This wasn’t quite what I had in mind… I thought you guys were just going paintballing or something."
Hunter muttered a few choice invectives, "Just read the damn card…"
Daniel blinked, stuck a finger in one ear and wiggled it around once or twice –
"That’s strange…" he said, "I could’ve sworn I just heard Jack O’Neill’s voice – coming out of your mouth…"
Hunter glowered at the young archaeologist, "Do as you’re told or get left behind."
"Yessir." Daniel cleared his throat, keyed the Mic and read the words on the card in fluent Arabic.
Subtitles popped up along the bottom of the screen – LAY DOWN YOUR WEAPONS AND SURRENDER, OR WE SEND THE BEAR IN AFTER YOU.
Gen. Hammond was incredulous, "The bear? You doused them in chocolate and threatened to set Scoobie on them? Isn’t that a gross violation of the Geneva Convention, Colonel?"
Team SG-999’s senior mascot, Scoobie – AKA Scoobie the Gun-Toting Bear – (a living breathing, four inch tall teddy bear with a an attitude the size of Jupiter) had a passion for chocolate, often leading him to run up people’s legs and snatch it out of their hand in mid bite.
"Possibly, sir, possibly…" said Nick, "The Geneva Convention isn’t exactly what you’d call light bedtime reading."
"Hmm, I suppose not no. How did the Iraqis find out about him anyway?"
"We had a C-130 doing flyovers the previous night and some of my people in the back mass air-dropping leaflets, sir."
The phone rang – "Hammond. Good morning Major. Yes, he’s here, one moment." He passed the phone to Nick, "For you Colonel, your XO."
"Thank you sir. Procter, go ahead. What’s up Catherine? Yeah – okay – good. Everyone’s ready? Excellent… With you in a couple of minutes…"
The video presentation concluded with a set of end credits, painstakingly written out in several different sets of handwriting, and another voiceover from Teal’c – "Grunts is a Brute Force & Ignorance Production."
Nick retrieved the DVD, placed it back in its case, "What do you think, sir?"
Hammond shook his head, chuckled to himself, "You’re all mad."
"Yessir, we know."
"It’s no wonder that your original unit didn’t want you back…"
Nick grinned broadly, "Thank you sir."
"That wasn’t a compliment Colonel."
"Yessir, I know."
"All Is Revealed…"
Without warning, alarms started blaring – "Unscheduled off-world activation! Incoming wormhole!"
Hammond cursed. He leapt to his feet, raced down to the control room with Col. Procter following closely.
"Status!" the General barked.
"Incoming traveller, sir. No further details as yet." Reported Sgt. Davis.
"Close the Iris." Ordered Hammond.
The iris shuttered closed, a squad of Marines double-timed into the Gateroom and took up defensive positions covering the Stargate.
Several moments of tense silence, then – "Sir? Receiving IDC signal – it’s Master Bra’tac."
"Very well." Hammond breathed a sigh of relief. He picked up a PA Mic, "Open the Iris. Security detail stand down."
Col. Procter glanced at his watch, "Hmm, he’s early…"
Down in the Gateroom, Jaffa Master Bra’tac strode through the Stargate and down the ramp, his short cape flaring like the wings of some predatory bird, his Staff-Weapon held loosely at trail-arms, grinning broadly through his bristling salt ‘n’ pepper beard. Accompanying him were his former pupil, Teal’c, and his young kinsman Irn Bru’Tak.
"Hammond of Texas! Procter of Scotland!" boomed Bra’tac, "I would have speech with you both…"
Nick and the General made their way down to the Gateroom.
"Master Bra’tac, it’s always a pleasure to see you." said Hammond warmly.
"And I you, my friend."
The two clasped hands in a warriors grip.
"Is there something specific you wanted to speak about, Master Bra’tac? Or are you just here for a goodwill visit?"
"Colonel Procter asked that Teal’c, Bru’Tak and I attend a special – ceremony – in your honour…"
"Ceremony? I don’t recall any ceremonies scheduled for today?" Hammond turned to Col. Procter, "What’s going on?"
Nick grinned one of his trademark evil grins, "Bear with me for just a moment, sir." He turned and looked up at Sgt. Davis in the control room, "Norman?"
"Is everyone ready?"
"Good man – hit it!"
On cue, the twin sets of blast door either side of the Gateroom slid open to reveal – on one side Col. O’Neill, Major Carter, Dr. Jackson, and Jacob Carter, on the other side Major Stevely, Capt. McEwan, and C/WO Gallacher escorting Gen. Hammond’s two granddaughters.
Bringing up the rear was Staff Sgt. Steven Martin, pushing a large trolley upon which stood the biggest, gooiest , most chocolatey birthday cake the SGC’s mess-hall crew had ever seen.
The two children squealed with delight and rushed into their grandfather’s arms – "Happy birthday Gran’pa!" they yelled, hugging him tight, showering him with kisses, and thrusting a pile of birthday cards into his hands.
Col. Procter pulled a set of pitch-pipes from a shirt pocket – "All together now!" – pheep…
As one the assembled SG team members, grandchildren, control room staff, Master Bra’tac, Teal’c, Bru’Tak and even the squad of Marines burst into song – "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear General Hammond – happy birthday to you…"
Concluding with a solemn bass rumbled chorused – "And many more…" from Teal’c and Bru’Tak.
Hammond laughed, "So this is what all the secrecy was about."
"Sorry for the deception sir." grinned Nick, "But it was the only way we could organise this surprise party."
He drew his survival knife, passed it to Hammond, "Would you care to cut the cake, sir?"
The General eyed said cake suspiciously, "Please tell me Capt. Coyle isn’t going to suddenly burst out of that thing wearing a Bunny-girl costume?"
Nick chuckled, "Sorry to disappoint you sir, but Shirley’s back at the SG-999 Command Post makin’ sure the rest of the kids behave. She sends her best wishes though."
Suddenly, something small and furry leapt from the top of the Stargate.
"Scoobie, no!" shouted Major Stevely – but the four inch tall whirling dervish of a bear ignored her.
With a growly cry of "Banzaiiii!" Scoobie launched himself at the cake, landing with a resounding and messy splat.
"Save the General!" Nick bellowed, as he O’Neill bundled Hammond to the floor, saving him from getting covered in chocolate like the rest of the group.
Daniel had received most of the blast, while Majors Carter and Stevely hid behind him for cover (both thinking the same thing – asking Dr. Jackson if they could lick him clean), he removed his chocolate coated glasses – looking not unlike a panda – blinked once or twice, "Uh – what just happened?"
O’Neill plucked a piece of chocolate icing off his young colleague’s shoulder, "At a guess, I’d say we’ve been Scoobie-fied." He looked over at his opposite number, "Whad’ya say Nick, Plan B?"
Nick nodded wearily, "Plan B… Steve? Break out the back-up cake…"
Hammond glanced over to where the cake was quickly being demolished by SG-999’s strange mascot, "Oh well, at least Scoobie’s happy…"
"Yessir. Now – if only we can persuade him to tell us where he put Saddam’s nuclear weapons…"