Disclaimer: I don't own them - wish I did.
A/N1: Thanks to all those who sent wonderful reveiws and/or words of support throughout this entire series - I would answer each review one at a time... if only I could figure out how to do it. I've been too busy writing to stop and figure it out - I hope that you don't mind, and thank you to all.
A/N2:A brief synopsis so far: The 'Threads' Communication Series:
story one - Mark and Carter have a conversation on the phone
story two - Mark and Jack have a conversation on the phone
story three - a Jack and Sam e-mail conversation with very unusual consequences
story four - Carter receives a concussion when she interrupts a meeting between Jack, the VP (Kinsey), et all. She then spends time in ICU while Jack anxiously waits for her to wake up. It's hard to have a face-to-face chat with an unconscious person.
story five - Carter learns secrets - from Mark and Daniel, and from Jack - and on a side note, someone is trying to kill her - but who?
story six - codes, letters, and more secrets
story seven - What every man dreams of, but rarely gets - a cliché in the making
story eight - Sometimes it's what isn't said that's important
now, on with the series...
CNN Special Report:
Good evening - I'm Julia Donovan, of Inside
Access, now on special assignment to President Hayes. Today
an astonishing event occurred at the newly renovated Carnegie
Conference Center in downtown Washington DC. But before we show
you the events of this afternoon, and join several of the key
players at the Carnegie Conference Center site, President Hayes
wishes to have a word with our viewers. I take you now to star
reporter, Michael Sinclair, outside the White House.
The CNN TV image shifted to show a young man dressed in the
typical black suit that denoted the average American reporter.
He smiled politely into the camera, and was carrying a portable
Thank you, Julia. There's not much for me to say
except to introduce Henry Hayes, the President of the Unites
The shot instantly flipped to that of the interior of the White House, the Press Conference room, empty now save for one person - President Hayes. He raised a face wearing the most serious expression many of his countrymen had ever seen the man wear for a public address. Now that face rose a minute fraction when the camera focused on him standing, still and mute behind his typical Press podium. After a reflective moment, he spoke.
Thank you, Mr. Sinclair, Hayes said, sounding tired
when he said it. But then he visibly gathered his energy
together and began again, an earnest note now peppering his
Ladies and Gentlemen of America, I know that what we
have to show you today will be shocking to some, upsetting to
most, and scary to all. The fact that your government has known
about the events leading up to this afternoon's incident must
seem equally as appalling to you. But let me assure you that
this is no joke, and to prove it, I will say right now that you
have this government's most sincere apology for not trusting you
with this information at a sooner date. We have no excuse other
than that my administration was not the one to decide to keep the
Stargate Program, and anything linked to it, designated as 'top
secret.' But know that we did choose to continue such a
designation and for that we... no, I... humbly
Hayes paused, and the silence was deafening, but he did
nothing to soften it, as if he wanted to pay a penance for
choosing to do what he had done. At last, he took a deep breath,
We can only apologize profusely, like I said,
but know that my administration, and those presidents before me
who also knew of the existence of the previously top secret
Stargate Program, had very good reasons for that secrecy -
without the added security of silence, the men and women who
daily risked their lives for the Stargate Program, and for you,
could not have done their jobs as amazingly well as they did,
under what were, and still are, astronomically poor conditions.
I, for one, have been impressed over and over again at the
determination of these Stargate Program individuals ever since
learning of this program, and am thankful that I can finally
share this information with you so that you too can be amazed at
the sacrifices that these men and women go through for your
continued peace and security. We owe them our unending
Now however, I ask you to remain calm as you become aware
of what's been happening in the top secret command that's located
under NORAD at Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
It's very important that you do not use this afternoon's incident
as an excuse to riot. Nothing would please the enemies of Planet
Earth more than to induce chaos. Now more than ever we need to
employ the control that I know every American has, as well as
show a love and continued respect for this planet.
And yes, I mean the planet - not just the country,
but the entire world. Earth has made enemies over the last years
that you know nothing about, but that necessary ignorance stops
now. Personally, I'm confident that you are up for what could be
the fight of our lives.
Again, please remain calm. These events are even now
being handled by the proper people. By 'proper people' I mean
the groups of individuals who have been fighting for your
continued safety for several years - they're good at what they
do, and they know what they're doing. Trust them, I implore you.
They will continue to do the right thing, as they've quietly been
doing for years.
Now that his speech of 'doom and gloom' was over, Hayes'
grave expression lightened a notch as he went on.
to be an American at this moment, and proud to be a citizen of
Planet Earth. We have much to celebrate, and much to be thankful
for. Again, I urge you to remain calm, and to watch these events
in their entirety before growing too horrified at what you are
about to learn. We need level heads and strong convictions to
rule us for the duration of this emergency, and we must avoid
hysterics at all costs. There is much to learn from these
individuals of the Stargate Program. Trust them. And trust
me... please. If nothing else, trust Planet Earth - she
needs you, now more then ever.
The camera faded from President Hayes' gray face to focus once more on the unknown Michael Sinclair standing outside The White House. For a 'star reporter' he wasn't easily recognizable, even now, in this strange new status as White House correspondent. His little-known visage stared solemnly back at the camera as he went on with his report.
Michael blinked, gave his head a shake, then, behaving as if
the President's words had had an obvious emotional effect on him,
tried a halfhearted smile.
I wish I had something to add
after that speech, but all my words would simply seem trite at
this point. So all I can do is to gracefully bow out. Back to
you, Julia, Michael intoned.
The next shot showed an unsmiling Julia Donovan again.
Thank you, Michael. And now, we'll show you the video that
was taken this afternoon, at 1:15 PM, at the Carnegie Conference
Center, where the ribbon cutting ceremony had just taken place,
and will then take you directly to the site outside the
Conference Center. The film crew from WGNB in Washington was
able to capture this entire scene on video, and are still at the
site, filming the aftermath of these startling events.
The picture faded, to be replaced by one that was obviously taken outside. A crowd had gathered around a building entrance, facing the doors to the refurbished Carnegie Conference Center. They were all clearly waiting for the appearance of some VIP who was just as obviously not showing himself to his or her admirers.
Then, when it seemed as if the crowd had gathered under false pretenses, Vice President Kinsey appeared at the Conference Center doors that were held open for him to walk through, his right arm up in greeting as the crowd began to cheer. The noise of applause accompanied the cheers, and the man smiled his thanks at his reception.
He held out both his hands for silence, and a moment later
the crowd complied. Still smiling, his right hand now gripped
the edge of a portable podium while his left delved into his suit
coat pocket and remained there. He continued to smile, and then
smiled some more.
Thank you, he finally said.
President himself couldn't have hoped to receive a nicer
reception after this ribbon ceremony that I was lucky enough to
attend. Thank goodness for Vice presidential duties! he
The crowd was a very appreciative audience, laughing at his comment, and listening avidly to his next words.
Had I known that the duties of the Vice President were to
be so pleasant, such as opening this wonderful conference center,
where your elected officials can now meet in comfort knowing that
their own security is paramount, I would have run for the term
prior to this as well!
The crowd laughed once more as one person. Just as the noise was beginning to die down once more, and Vice President Kinsey seemed to gather himself to launch again into more speech, two people, a man and a woman clearly together according to the tight clasp they each held on the other's hand, approached from further down the sidewalk. They were both laughing, joking, obviously having a good time together, and the man was mockingly patting his stomach, indicating that they were talking about food, probably that they had shared a late lunch and were now on their way back to wherever they worked. One camera caught their image at the edge of its viewing capabilities as the couple paused under a tree near the front of the crowd where an unseen microphone had been set up on a stand tall enough to place it in the tree's lower branches in the film crew's attempts to capture crowd respons to Kinsey's speech that afternoon. As the couple drew closer to the gathering and stopped under the tree, it was clear that they were both wondering what was going on to incite such a crowd to be standing still on a hot sidewalk in the hot sun during the middle of a mundane working day.
Now that they had paused to also listen to the Vice President, the details about the couple coalesced more firmly in the camera's viewing lens. The woman was dressed as a civilian in jeans, a t-shirt, and a blazer, and she wore a pair of glasses. Her companion, however, was clearly military, according to the 'I have no meetings today, let's celebrate' BDUs he currently wore. The sight was nothing new, however - military dress was almost common in the nation's capitol, and incited no curious expressions beyond the 'who are you?' glances thrown their way.
The breath that Kinsey had paused in order to take gave the
woman the opportunity to speak. The crowd was silent after
Kinsey's previous words that had been meant to be nothing but a
meaningless, though encouraging, comment. Now, she released the
man's hand only to slowly place her arresting hand on her
companion's arm. Then, with a horrified look on her face, she
carefully leaned towards him to whisper into his ear the words,
My God Sir, Kinsey... he's a Goa'uld! The surprise of
such a discovery, whatever it meant, must have been an unusual
one for her to uncover. Her shock at the discovery was
Unfortunately, for all her quiet precautions while speaking to her companion, she was unaware of the presence of the film crew's powerful microphone placed near the tree's copious bottom branches. What they got instead of the hoped-for crowd reaction to Kinsey's speech was the woman's plaintive whisper to her 'friend' and his response back to her.
The man's voice was as low as the woman's.
about that, Carter?
I'm certain of it, Sir, she whisper-talked back to
What should we do? There are too many people here to
just openly accuse Kinsey of having a symbiote.
Affirmative, the man whispered back.
But the man was suddenly arrested to silence in mid-thought as he became aware of everyone in the crowd now staring straight at him and his companion - a woman who was clearly not from a simple civilian background. It wasn't clear yet that she was military as well as her 'friend,' but it was a good guess, especially since she had just called the man 'Sir.'
He continued to stare at the crowd as all the gathered people continued to stare back at him, at the woman at his side, then at the suddenly frowning Kinsey still standing behind his podium, apparently upstaged by the couple's appearance, and their subsequant whispered conversation.
Something was definitely different about the atmosphere of the public gathering now. It seemed as if the air had frozen for just a second after the woman's unknowingly amplified announcement. All the gathered people had heard everything that had been said by the man and the woman, and were now caught in a web of reaction to the surprising words. The fact that very few in the gathered crowd even knew what the woman was talking about had little effect beyond the confusion seen on most of the faces staring at them.
That confusion was evident as, very slowly, a young teenage
woman at the other side of the gathered crowd stared straight at
the military man and his companion, and abruptly shouted an
inquiry at them,
What's a... a Goold?
The man blanched. How could she know about that? Then he shot a glance to the stand that thrust the heretofore hidden microphone into the lower branches of the tree he and Carter had paused beside. Suddenly, a look of understanding crossed the man's face just as the teenage girl's question died into the silent air. Horrified that he and his 'friend-who-was-clearly-more-than-a-friend' had just been somehow overheard by the general populace, the military man caught his 'friend's' eye. They looked at each other, and it was as if they reached the same regretful conclusion at the same time.
Whether they wanted it to or not, the entire Stargate Program, and all that went with it, had just gone from 'top secret' to 'public information' at the recent inquiry made so innocently by what was, basically, a kid.
Well, so be it. As the crowd's attention was arrested by the military man and his companion, Kinsey took the opportunity to scrabble through his left suit coat pocket as if he were searching for something specific. The bulk in the pocket, which the man could now see as Kinsey stepped back from the podium, matched that of the hidden shape of a Goa'uld wrist device. If so, then the crowd, them included, was in a lot more trouble than accidentally 'outing' the Program.
In what seemed like slow motion to those watching, the military man reached under the outer coat of his uniform, and pulled a wicked looking handgun from a concealed holster, and pointed it directly at the Vice President.
Kinsey barked a short laugh at the unexpected situation. A
known and loved politician, held at gunpoint by an anonymous and
unknown military man? Who really held all the cards in this
scenario, and knew it? Kinsey froze, but now had a smile
twisting his lips to genuine amusement.
Are these theatrics truly necessary?
The man with the gun seemed unimpressed by the gesture or
the words. In fact, he ignored them both to speak to his
You're sure about this, right,
Carter? he again ascertained while gazing intently at Kinsey.
We've been in contact with Kinsey several times over the years
and you've never claimed this before.
Simultaneously realizing what was going on just as the man
had realized the circumstances of the situation, the woman had
also drawn a gun, and had instantly flipped until her back was to
the military man. She gave a terse shrug with her voice, and
said in normal tones,
I don't understand it either, Sir, but
I'm certain of it now - Kinsey is definitely a Goa'uld! I can
feel it! There was no use hiding what was already out and in
the open - there were more important things happening right now
that superseded security issues, even top secret ones.
You know - that's good enough for me, the man
mumbled, his words still picked up and broadcast over the
gathered crowd by the microphone hidden among the branches over
his head. He gripped his gun tighter, still aiming at Kinsey.
Care to explain, Mr. Vice President, Sir? came his
harsh, mocking challenge.
By now, the crowd had reacted to the sight of two seemingly innocent people holding guns in their hands, and had begun screaming, pushing, and shoving in their haste to get away from the action set to go off like a time bomb before them. Only Kinsey seemed to take this apparent threat to his personal safety in stride.
The Vice President gave a light, disarming laugh to
accompany his tiny smile of amusement.
O'Neill, he said,
shaking his head as if he thought this O'Neill person was a
naughty child who he had caught misbehaving.
I should have
known. Only your particular brand of paranoia could throw this
delightful public appearance into such chaos.
Carter? the man said again, ignoring Kinsey a second
time, his voice as tense as his grip on his weapon.
Still positive, Sir, the woman replied in a voice
that was as tense as the man's.
I can't explain any of this
any better than you can, but he's definitely a Goa'uld... and we
have potential hostiles at three and five o'clock - I'm on
The two Secret Service men assigned to stay with the VP who were currently trying to outflank the two (hopefully) unsuspecting vigilantes froze where they stood beside a limousine parked on the street.
Meanwhile, the military man stepped forward, still aiming
his weapon unwaveringly in his taut hand.
Care to explain
this, Kinsey? the man demanded.
You know Carter - she
wouldn't say something like this if she didn't have evidence to
back her up - now start talking.
But Kinsey laughed again.
Sure I know her, O'Neill, just
like I know you. We've had several dealings with each other over
the years. Then his expression hardened.
But that does
not give either of you the right to terrorize these
O'Neill cut him off.
Oh spare the rhetoric, you
blowhard. Now, what's in your left pocket? he asked. When
Kinsey simply remained where he was and didn't answer the
question, O'Neill repeated,
What's in the pocket, Kinsey?
The Vice President didn't reply again, and seemed to be sizing up
the situation. Finally, O'Neill gave a slight concession.
Fine. Prove to me that you're telling the truth, and Carter's
gone nuts from some space-faring virus - take your left hand out
of your pocket and make us both look like idiots.
The exchange stalled the action for a minute, giving those in the crowd time to come to grips with the sight of a man, holding a gun, pointed at someone who looked like their Vice President. Yet it was unclear just what was happening, since Kinsey had already been asked twice to reveal the contents of his pocket, and had so far refused. There was some reason for the fact that the VP still had something hidden in his suit pocket... hidden for reasons of national security, hidden for reasons known only to him... whatever the reason, something was clearly going on here that was beyond the crowd's understanding. What way the crowd's sensibilities next leaned was again up to the way Kinsey reacted to the gunman's authoritative tone.
But again Kinsey didn't move at O'Neill's demand - until something relatively small and round went flying through the air, heading directly for Carter and O'Neill's position on the sidewalk.
The fact that the crowd again reacted with screams and shoves alerted the gunman a second later to the tossed silver ball rapidly approaching. O'Neill took one look at the device aimed for him, and with a jerk, centered his weapon on the ball, and calmly fired. His aim was true, the bullet entering the ball just as it began it's descent into the crowd. The ball blew into a million tiny silver pieces, but by the time those pieces had started to rain down on the crowd below, O'Neill had re-sighted back onto the Vice President.
Unfortunately, that split second where O'Neill's attention was off him was all that Kinsey needed. With a flash of sunlight off of metal, he whipped his left hand out of his coat pocket and brought it forward, showing the orange glow of the predicted wrist device - the power of an invisible force field in the palm of Kinsey's hand.
In one swift, decisive move, the VP shoved O'Neill back with his hand, sending the military man flying backwards into the crowd. His hand still outraised, he walked directly to Carter, who, with her back turned on the unfolding scene, was unaware of the danger. Kinsey's eyes flashed with a strange inner glow, and a suddenly malevolent laugh rolled over her as the Vice President grabbed hold of Carter's arm and gave her a hard yank until she was facing him.
Samantha Carter, he rumbled, his voice low and deep
in abruptly new and alien tones.
You are simply the most
difficult person to kill... and you must die, you know. His
tone was conversational, yet oily in all its nonchalance.
can we successfully infiltrate and destroy your primitive planet
if you can 'feel' us at our every turn? No, you must go, and
this time I'll see to it personally. I thank my loyal Jaffa for
throwing a hand grenade, distracting O'Neill long enough to give
me yet another precious opportunity to finish what I started with
you in the hospital.
He raised his hand, but the motion was stopped when Carter's gun suddenly went off with a horrendous bang, straight into the man's... alien's... stomach.
Kinsey's otherwise amused expression instantly grew more
An unwise move, he barked at her.
course you must know that I'm wearing what your primitive people
call a 'bullet proof vest' - a ridiculous safety precaution, and
an uncomfortable one, but one that often proves very useful.
Then he pushed a button on the top of his hand, and an energy
shield bathed him in a yellow glow for just a moment.
Thankfully, I have my own safety measures in place, ones that
you can do nothing about. His voice angrier yet, he grabbed
Carter again by the arm, nearly jerking her off her feet.
Each time that you again trouble me with that silly instrument
of yours that you call a weapon, my Jaffa have orders to kill an
innocent person pulled at random from the crowd. He chuckled
that same evil laugh again, letting the sound roll maliciously
throughout the area.
So please, resist me. And with
that, he activated his wrist device once more, and another
glowing yellow light emitted from the circle centered in his
palm, the force of the energy of his device forcing Carter to
look at it and at him as he smiled in glee.
It wasn't long before the woman known as Carter dropped to her knees on the pavement. The expression on her face twisted from 'horrified' to 'painfilled' as she continued to helplessly stare at Kinsey, and the Vice President went on to laugh pleasantly at the terror he was causing. He actually looked like he was enjoying himself. And the camera crew recorded everything on tape in all its gory detail.
Samantha Carter was already wilting under the directed glare if the energy put at Kinsey's command. She was bowed almost double now, clearly fighting whatever the energy beam was doing to her mind, but also clearly losing the battle she was embroiled in. No one stepped forward to help her - the second anyone attempted to intervene, the Secret Service men cum really scary thugs that Kinsey had brought with him to the ribbon cutting ceremony shot into the crowd. So far, two innocent bystanders had fallen to the cement under their feet at the hands of the 'Service' men and their guns.
Suddenly, forgotten, O'Neill's voice lilted through the
I just got her, you bastard. I'm not letting
her go like this! And he threw a small, shiny object towards
Kinsey with the force of a truly desperate man.
The pocket knife was small, but it embedded itself right in the middle of Kinsey's palm device with enough energy to jerk his hand back at the forceful act of revenge. Immediately, the glowing energy of the shield and whatever he'd been doing to her mind faded, and Kinsey... or whatever he was... released Carter with an audible grinding pop. An instant later, O'Neill's gun roared as Carter wilted to the pavement, lying unmoving in the spot where she'd fallen, as if she had simply gone asleep in midbreath.
Contrarily, Kinsey spun, obviously shot in his leg, as blood began spurting onto the cement in a gruesome flow of red. But the man remained on his feet, seemingly unaffected by the lead that had just blown a hole through his calf muscle.
O'Neill cautiously strode forward as Kinsey gave a guttural
growl in his direction. O'Neill ignored him except to continue
to train his gun on the politician. He ordered on a yell to the
few particularly prescient concealed carry members in the crowd
who had now pulled their own weapons on the 'Service' men who had
recently shot the bystanders,
Keep your guns aimed at those
other men - shoot them if they so much as move.
The O'Neill man leaned down and with groping fingers, felt
for a pulse at his companion's throat. The instant he found one,
he transferred his hand to his own trouser pocket, then pulled
out a strange, oddly shaped, smooth stone. The next thing he did
was right out of a twisted Star Trek episode: he harshly
spoke into it in hurried tones,
Thor, I need your help! Beam
Carter directly to one of your medical pods...
Without any form of spoken agreement, the Carter woman simply disappeared in a flash of white light.
The crowd gasped and screamed, and Kinsey let out a guttural
laugh as a result. He seemed pleased again with what had
So, the Asgard are here to help the poor little
Earthers attempt to thwart what can only become a successful
Goa'uld invasion of your pathetic little planet! And his
face drew into a hateful sneer.
But I warn you that not even
the Asgard can...
No, I warn you! O'Neill yelled, standing with
deliberate movements, as if he were used to having people
suddenly disappear on him. The crowd reacted to the way that
Carter had vanished far more than O'Neill did, and he had been
much closer in proximity to the woman.
Now the military man looked as if he didn't care about
anything but the target before him.
If anything happens to
her, I guarantee that you will pay, Kinsey! Nothing will
make me happier!
But kill me and you kill the host, O'Neill, Kinsey
spoke in a now smug voice.
Host? O'Neill seemed to be the only person in attendance
who knew what the man... not Human... thing... was talking about.
I don't care! he yelled, his voice snapping with waspish
If you hurt her...
Suddenly a gun belonging to some random person in the crowd went off with another roar. One of the 'Secret Service Men' who were obviously not there to make sure that no harm befell an elected official of the United States gave a grunt, then spiraled back into the street. Another shot brought down a second Service Man as he tried to circle around behind O'Neill in order to bring him down.
The crowd screamed again, and backed away another step, but
O'Neill didn't even flinch at the noise.
was all he yelled into the melee that broke out around him. He
didn't take his eyes from Kinsey for a second.
The Vice President goaded at O'Neill, still sneering.
You care about the host, he reminded.
You don't have
it in you to kill him.
I have it in me - just give me a reason! O'Neill
I dare ya!
At that moment a muffled voice issued from the stone again
shoved back into O'Neill's pocket.
O'Neill - Colonel Carter
will recover, given time, came the melodious disembodied
voice. Predictably, the crowd reacted again, muttering among
themselves as the voice continued,
I registered the discharge
of several weapons in your immediate area - do you require
O'Neill once again dug the stone from his pocket and spoke
Stay tuned, Thor - we may need your help, but right
now, things are under control.
Kinsey chuckled a laugh at O'Neill's words, a laugh that
turned into an amused bark.
Things are not 'under control,'
O'Neill, not now! If all goes to plan, they never will be again,
at least not for you or for your puny little planet!
O'Neill assumed that the man... alien... was speaking again about the mythical 'invasion' that he had earlier mentioned.
An invasion of Earth? This Goa'uld plot must have been in the works for quite some time if Kinsey was now so confident as to its success.
But what Kinsey had obviously not counted on was the interference to his plans of one Jack O'Neill. No one was going to invade his planet, not if he had anything to say about it!
At Kinsey's gloating words, O'Neill squeezed the trigger on his handgun a second time, and another bullet joined the first, but this time the piece of lead lodged in the target's shoulder. However, the shot only seemed to incite the VP to further amusement.
Go ahead! Kinsey gloated.
Waste your precious
ammunition! It won't do you any good!
O'Neill's eyes narrowed.
Explain! he hollered,
knowing how the Goa'uld loved gloating... Kinsey wouldn't be able
to help bragging about his 'plans,' giving important information
away at the same time, as long as O'Neill was listening.
True to form, Kinsey's part joyful laugh was at odds to
O'Neill's apparent anger.
This is an invasion, you
simpleminded pathetic Human, he said.
By now my people
will have taken control of this entire pathetic planet.
Without wasting energy on the man before him... on the
not-man before him... O'Neill again spoke into his... voice
Thor, did you hear?
I am on it, O'Neill, came the assurance through the
'rock.' And with those words, at the same time that O'Neill
dropped his 'rock' into his pocket again, beams of white light
seemed to rain down from the sky. Within seconds, several
people, including the Secret Service Men, disappeared into the
Simultaneously, O'Neill repeatedly fired his weapon, aiming at any part of Kinsey that wouldn't be protected by his 'primitive Human safety measure.' Kinsey jerked with each shot, but remained standing for an inhumanly long amount of time. Then he slowly sank to the pavement, his hand reaching for what was obviously a weapon hidden under his suit coat. He pulled out what looked like a coiled silver... phallic... weapon of some kind, but he never got the chance to activate the strange, spacy gun as O'Neill continued to fire, even after it was clear that Kinsey was dead.
O'Neill fired one last shot directly into the back of Kinsey's neck where his spine met his head. A tiny white scar glistened in the sunlight for just a moment, then Kinsey's eyes glowed one last time, and the man finally stilled, bleeding onto the pavement while O'Neill very calmly pressed a button on the side of his gun, lowered the empty magazine from the weapon, reached again to his holster, then replaced the spent magazine, which he heedlessly dropped to the cement, and pushed a new, 'full' magazine into his gun. He shoved the magazine 'home,' but didn't cock the weapon. He held it at the ready as, scarcely breathing now, he moved toward the still man... alien... thing.
O'Neill, came the melodious voice again out of the
rock inside the pocket. O'Neill hurried to retrieve the
communication instrument once again.
I was registering
another symbiote in your immediate area, but now I am not showing
anything of the sort anywhere near you. Once again, do you
require further assistance?
For the first time since the encounter had begun, O'Neill
seemed to take a deep breath.
Thanks, buddy, but no. Things
are fine down here, thanks to you. I owe you... I owe you a
bunch. He wiped before unnoticed sweat from his forehead,
but still clutched at his pistol.
The invisible voice assured,
Once again, she will make a
full recovery from the Naquedah Poisoning.
You know, someday I'll have to have you explain the idea
of 'Naquedah Poisoning' to me, O'Neill calmly intoned. His
mein of calm was belied by the shaking in his hands.
you sure that Carter..?
Would you like to come up and check for yourself? the
patient voice cut in.
You are most welcome on my ship - Just
'give the word,' as you Humans say.
But O'Neill gave a shake of his head.
No, I have too
much to do here, but thanks for the offer. Just... He
seemed to second guess his decision then, but remained firm at
the last moment.
Just... take care of her for me, he said
at last in a far more tender voice than he'd used thus far.
I will, O'Neill. Daniel Jackson, out. And
the voice disappeared.
O'Neill simply muttered at hearing the name of Thor's
That is just so weird. He replaced the talking
'rock' into his pocket one last time, and drew out another
device. The cell phone he now held in his hand looked almost
alien after all that had already happened that afternoon.
O'Neill pushed a button that must have been 'speed dial,'
for it was only a second later that he spoke in a no-nonsense,
demanding tone into the cell phone,
It's O'Neill - get me the
President. Another second later, he muttered,
President, Sir, General O'Neill here. Codeword: Gryffindor.
That was all he said just prior to snapping the cell phone
closed. He turned to one of the bemused film crew who was
standing nearby, and gave a slight grimacing smile.
thunk? The President is a Harry Potter fan.
O'Neill opened his cell phone again and dialed the three
numbers that denoted an emergency situation.
he asked... more demanded... into the phone. Then he said,
Presidential order - we have wounded that must be seen to
immediately - Codeword: Sledghammer. We're on the sidewalk on
Carnegie Street, outside the new conference center. Step on
it. Then he very calmly walked over to one of the two
civilians who had been shot by the 'Secret Service' thugs that
had belonged to Kinsey.
O'Neill knelt down, and his knees popped in spite of their
treatment in Ba'al's 'royal' sarcophagus years earlier.
trained in basic first aid, he told the surrounding people.
What have we got here?
She's been shot, General O'Neill, Sir, gulped the
young teenage girl who had spoken earlier.
I can see that, O'Neill attempted to joke as he
looked at the victim first, then at the obviously terrified
teenager he was speaking to.
Hey, you're doing great, he
told the girl in an encouraging voice.
You make an excellent
assistant. What's your name?
Um... The girl looked as if she was having trouble
remembering something as simple as her name, but she pushed her
rattled demeanor aside, seemingly determined to get her emotions
My name's... um... Kelli, Sir. Kelli
O'Neill smiled more encouragement when she gave her name.
Okay... Kelli, he calmly said.
But Kelli broke in to insist,
I've done what I can to
stop the bleeding...
You did everything just fine, O'Neill assured. He
stared down at the woman who'd been shot, who now stared back at
him, fear and pain glazing her eyes as she lay unmoving on the
sidewalk. O'Neill spoke distinctly to her as she tried hard not
I've already called for an ambulance, and they're on
their way - they have orders to come immediately here in case an
incident like this was to ever happen. While we wait, I'm going
to take a look at your wound, see if there's anything I can do
that will make you a bit more comfortable.
The woman nodded, and the next thing she knew, was reclining on a General's folded BDU overshirt stuffed behind her head. O'Neill then peeled off the teenager's makeshift bandage, and peered at the woman's bullet wound.
Clean shot, straight through the leg, O'Neill
muttered. He looked around, further muttering,
Damn, wish I
had a medkit with me. He then pulled another knife from his
left trouser pocket and proceeded to cut off the bottom of his
BDU pant leg, just above his black military boot. When he had
what he deemed was a long enough strip of material, he yanked off
his t-shirt and cut off both short sleeves. Then he replaced the
shirt, now minus the sleeves, and shoved the folded, temporary
black bandages made from sleeve material onto both the woman's
wounds. After wrapping the material he had stripped away from
his pants around the wounds, he quickly bound it all together and
tied it all off.
After giving the bandage one last tug, O'Neill gave a jerky
smile that was oddly comforting. He said to his 'patient,'
That should hold until the real paramedics get here. You'll
be in pain for awhile, but you'll live. Look at me - been shot
twenty-two times, and so far, still kicking.
The woman attempted to smile at the semi-joke that O'Neill
had made, and tried to lie still as the General rose.
the other wounded civilian? he asked as he climbed creakily
to his feet, the remains of his black t-shirt flapping in the
Over here! shouted more of the gathered crowd, who
parted so that O'Neill could walk to the man lying on the
sidewalk. He was bleeding from an arm wound that looked nasty
even to the more seasoned General.
Okay, O'Neill said as he leaned down again beside
this second victim.
Has anybody tried to stop the
I did, said another man.
But I don't have
anything with me to...
Nevermind, O'Neill said. Then he quickly unlaced his
right boot and yanked it off, pulling off the sock that was
underneath. He folded it, then pressed the knitted material onto
I bet this is a bit smelly, but the odor may keep
you from falling unconscious, O'Neill joked to the man with
the arm wound that he was currently treating. He turned from the
semi-smiling man lying on the cement sidewalk to the other man
standing beside him who had just spoken.
Wow, the man said, now clearly impressed by what he
I would have never thought to use a sock like
O'Neill gave a lift of his lips in a grimacing half smile.
You get used to using whatever's at hand when you're in the
field, he explained in simple detail.
But he was clearly too distracted to give more information.
He again addressed the man standing beside him.
Will you hold
this for a minute? he calmly asked, indicating his
As the other man's fingers clasped down on the sock that was quickly turning red with blood, O'Neill first replaced his combat boot, then without bothering to take the time to lace it together, cut another strip of material from his lacerated pant leg. He wrapped it around the wounded man's arm, sock and all, and was beginning to tie the whole contrived bandage together when the man who had helped him spoke again.
Is that woman... that girl... the one who was with you
and who disappeared in that light..?
O'Neill gave a grimacing smile.
Colonel Carter, he
said, filling in the other man.
Carter, right, the man said. Then he went on to ask,
Who was she? Not a civilian, like she was dressed, I'll
guess. And is she gonna be ok?
O'Neill gave another sick sort of grin.
like I am - I was her CO for years. Now, she's my fiancé.
Thor... a little gray buddy of mine... he has her. I trust Thor
like I trust Carter - if he says she'll be fine, then I believe
him. He spoke with such resounding conviction that no one in
the crowd questioned such firm beliefs.
She's your fiancé? asked another interested observer
in the crowd.
And she was helping you? That's so
romantic! the anonymous woman gushed.
O'Neill really did give a grimace this time.
really, he said, negating the murmur that was rolling through
We were just doing her jobs, he insisted.
That was so brave of her to try to shoot that...
whatever... the Vice President....
He wasn't the Vice President, O'Neill declared. The
wounded man he had recently been administering to had finally
fainted. Jack dispassionately noted this detail as he continued
to talk about what Kinsey had become.
looked like Kinsey, certainly, but I assure you, that
thing was just using Kinsey's scruffy political look to
take you all in while his kind quietly invaded our planet - the
damn jerk. O'Neill couldn't quite restrain his heated
opinion at the end of his explanation.
Hard to kill, those
Goa'uld, but it can be done if you know what to look for.
O'Neill then got creakily to his feet again, and the man
beside him then pointed his blood-reddened fingers to Kinsey's
barely visible neck.
Was that why you shot him in the back of
O'Neill gave a brief nod, then instructed,
your hands on my pants. Then wash them as soon as you can - you
never know what's in other people's blood, and no use you getting
sick from helping a poor Joe on the street. Then he glanced
up and over the crowd until he spotted the teenager... Kelli was
You... Kelli... person... damn, you're younger than
my ward... you need to wash your hands, too, soon, or...
Already did it, Kelli stated in quicker understanding
of what needed to be done than O'Neill or anybody else had given
her credit for.
And you have a ward?
Yeah, O'Neill uncomfortably said - he had always
hated talking about himself. Still, he went on, doing his best
to put Kelli, as well as everyone in the crowd, more at ease.
Yeah... uh... at UC... University of Colorado. O'Neill
rephrased just as another black limousine pulled up to the curb,
accompanied by a retinue of other vehicles.
Looks like the
President's here, O'Neill joked, noting the plethora of
vehicles that made up the approaching retinue.
O'Neill was right. President Hayes vaulted out of the limo and onto the sidewalk, his natural inertia carrying him into the crowd.
Jack! he called as he walked up to the General, and
his own Secret Service men did their best to control the
surrounding crowd. Though there wasn't much they needed to do:
the crowd stayed far away from any Secret Service Man, memories
of Kinsey's men obviously coming to their minds. The President
Jack, I leave you alone for a day, and you go and
publicly uncover the most top secret set of information in the
world. He gave a rueful shake of his head.
How am I
supposed to do damage control for something like this?
He swept his arms around him to indicate the chaotic scene he had
General Jack O'Neill gave him one of his sort-of sick
You don't contain, he suggested.
way we can really keep a lid on this, anyway, what with cell
phone camera's, and Yahoo.com, and Internet news sites, and a
film crew from the evening news filming the entire scene. He
pointed over the crowd, indicating the film crew.
getting this? he called in a joshing voice.
Need us to
talk louder, or anything? He turned so that he was facing
the other way.
Carter was telling me just at lunch today that
this is my good side... he began to say.
Was Colonel Carter here as well? Hayes abruptly
demanded to know.
Yes, we were coming back from lunch
after a doctor's appointment that she had when we ran into...
this. And he waved, taking in the sidewalk scene of
Carter's on Thor's ship right now, recovering from...
some kind of poisoning...
How in God's name did Thor get here? Hayes wanted to
know. He spoke as if this 'Thor' character was a well known
Jack gave a nod of his head, and wiped his dirty hands on
his pants one more time.
I called him about two months ago.
Someone tried to knock Carter off when she was in the hospital
for that concussion she had - know why she had it now, he
said, thinking of Kinsey's thugs.
Anyway, Thor's been hiding
in orbit in his cloaked ship, just waiting to help us out if we
ever needed it. I knew that whoever gave Carter that poisoning
would show himself sooner or later. And he pointed at the
dead, bleeding Kinsey.
And there he is.
President Hayes gave a slightly sickened twist of his lips
as he gazed at what he thought had been his vice president, but
only gently chastised the man beside him,
Don't you think I
should have known about the Thor-in-the-hiding-ship thing,
But Jack shook his head.
Didn't know who I could trust,
Sir, including you. For all I knew, you'd been compromised.
Sorry for keeping you in the dark, but only Thor knew what I was
doing. Hated using Carter as bait like that, but... If I know
her, she already has all this figured out, anyway. She is
a genius, you know.
She's also his, said a woman, and pointed a finger at
Jack grimaced again.
I knew I should have kept that
quiet, he said almost to himself.
The eyebrows belonging to the President shifted high to meet
his receding hairline.
That's a new development, he
Not grimacing now, focusing instead on the 'new
development,' as the President had called it, Jack did give a
true smile this time, as if he fully embraced that 'new
Yeah, well, he said in slightly embarrassed
We waited for years to not be in the same chain of
command anymore, and... you know... things were quick. Then
Nine years quick.
Hayes gave a deep, breathy sigh as he regarded the General.
There's the possibility that some among the Joint Chiefs will
still see you both as being in the same chain of command, he
You at HWS and her at the SGC, under you.
I'm not her direct CO anymore, Jack instantly argued.
Hayes raised his hands in a placating gesture.
I know, I
know, he said.
I'm just warning you. Then he put a
calming hand on Jack's black, ratty t-shirted back, and ordered,
Now, why don't you get cleaned up, then tell me what happened
here, and what we should do about it.
The General gave a bark.
Do? he rhetorically
I'll tell you what we should do: get that old SGC
video documentary out of mothballs and play it so these people
can see what the heck's been going on. Then show this
afternoon's goings-on - which we nicely have recorded on video
thanks to a diligent film crew. And he nodded in the
direction of the crew.
Then - next guess - start explaining...
a lot. And he sent another wry grin towards the US
Hayes wasn't unaware of what Jack was suggesting.
advice, he deadpanned.
But I can't say that I want to do
that, he remarked.
With all due respect, Mr. President, Jack tiredly
I don't think that this time you have much of a
Continued in Invasion 'Threads' Part II
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