"Yes Mr President.thank you sir."
General Hammond placed the phone back in its cradle. This was never something he'd expected to happen. Not sending out SG teams in no way limited the risk to earth; he'd been under the impression that had already been proved.
He could however understand why the Tok'ra's proposal was appealing. It was getting harder and harder for him to stand back and watch as teams went out and came back a member short, or with unimaginable injuries.
Sighing he stood up and walked down the stairs into the control room, surveying the on duty personnel as they went about their jobs. He wished he could tell them that the rumours currently circulating the SGC were false, but all he could do now was make sure his people were treated properly in the forthcoming round of reassignments.
"Sergeant Davis, send a message through to the Tok'ra..tell them a decision has been reached."
Watching his daughter pace, he wished he could do or say something that would comfort her, something that would make her understand why he and George had to go along with the wishes of the Tok'ra High Council and the US Government, even though they personally disagreed with the idea of all but closing the Tau'ri Stargate down.
"Try seeing it from their point of view, Sam," he suggested, trying to be helpful. "The President and Joint Chiefs are concerned that so many people are dying and not a lot is being achieved. They get the best of both worlds if they get the benefit of having a Stargate programme without the danger, which is what the Tok'ra are offering. I know you don't trust the High Council but I promise you, honey, I'll make sure whatever information we gather is passed on to the SGC. I won't sit back and let all suffer. This is my home, too, remember?"
"A home you won't get to visit if the SGC is closed down," Sam countered, her tone scathing, gaze heated as she stared at him. "Did you consider that, Dad? This doesn't just mean the end of SG-1, it means the end of us. How am I supposed to see you when I'm reassigned to Washington and you're on the other side of the galaxy? How am I going to know if something's happened to you, how am I supposed to help?"
His own expression softening, Jacob put himself in the path of her pacing, reaching out to draw his daughter into his arms. "I'll do everything I can to keep in touch, Sammy. And the SGC isn't being closed down completely. There'll still be a skeleton staff. I'll still be able to come through, I'm sure, then I'll come and visit you wherever you're assigned. I won't let this come between us, Sam. We got through the cancer together and everything else. We'll survive this, I promise."
Lifting a hand to wipe angrily at her eyes, Sam let herself melt in her father's embrace. "I love you, Dad. I don't want to lose you."
"You won't, honey," even as he made the promise, his heart broke in two, knowing it would be nearly impossible to keep. "I promise, we'll see each other again."
"General, we can't just give up and let this happen!" Jack stood and began to pace the General's office.
"Son there's nothing more we can do. The President has made his decision, now I have my orders as does the rest of this facility..."
Jack stopped pacing. "Sir?"
"Most SGC personnel will be reassigned except for a skeletal crew which will man the base and relay messages from the Tok'ra."
"What about SG-1?"
"Dr Jackson and Major Carter have been assigned to Area 51. There will be a lot for them to do there."
Jack slumped down into a chair arched his hands together. "There's a lot for them to do here...what about Teal'c?"
"He will be sent through the Stargate to join Master Bra'tac."
Jack nodded and dropped his head into his hands briefly before sitting up again. "And what does the Air force think I should do now?"
Hammond sighed and - imitating Jack - dropped into his own chair. "You have the choice between teaching at the Academy." he paused and took in Jack's expression of disbelief. ".or retirement."
He watched as Jack stood up slowly and stalked out of the room. He really couldn't blame him.
It was unbelievable. The Tok'ra and the US government, deciding it was time the SGC pulled out of actively fighting the Goa'uld and allowing the Tok'ra to fight on their behalf. *Trusting* the Tok'ra to do what was in Earth's best interests, to share everything they learnt...
It was ridiculous.
The three men looked at each other where they stood in the locker room.
"We can't let this happen, Jack," Daniel said eventually, breaking the tense atmosphere that had fallen over them. "We can't let them decide our futures for us...we have to keep fighting..."
"I know, Daniel, but I can't see how..." Letting his voice trail off, Jack shrugged and shoved his hands deeply into his pockets. He was still trying to accept - and believe - that General Hammond and Jacob had agreed to the plans so willingly. If they were fighting it, maybe he'd feel encouraged to. As it was...it was as though they'd been defeated without having a chance to do anything at all.
Teal'c stood with his shoulders squared, his head held at a determined angle. "I will request to leave for Cimmeria. I am sure they will allow me to contact the Asgard and ask them to find me a suitable planet from where I can rejoin the fight." He looked at Daniel and Jack with what could only be described as sadness in his eyes. "I will miss you, my friends, but my place is not here. Not if I cannot help my people in their fight against the Goa'uld."
Jack stared at him, a myriad of emotions crossing over his face at his Jaffa friend's words. Sadness, regret, thoughtfulness, hope. "That...that's actually not a bad idea, Teal'c." He glanced quickly at Daniel, grinning at the interest in the archaeologist's eyes. "What do you say, Daniel? Think Carter would be up for it?"
"I don't know, Jack...leaving Earth..." Daniel shook his head as if to try and make a decision. "We'd be leaving a lot of people we care about..."
"People who'll probably die unless we go out there and do something about it," Jack countered, his eyebrow raised. "Are you in or are you out? I can't - won't - force you or Carter into going if you really want to stay."
His expression one of consideration, Daniel mulled over the words slowly, taking him time. Eventually, he sighed in resignation and nodded. "I'm in. I promised Kasuf I'd get justice for Sha're and I will, at all costs."
"Good." His jaw tightening with purpose, Jack turned on his heel and made for the locker room door. "Get your things together and wait in the Gateroom. I'll see Carter and if she's coming, we'll join you in ten minutes."
Teal'c and Daniel had no choice but to follow his order, the last he'd give them as official leader of SG-1.
Entering the control room, Jack spotted Carter easily, enclosed in the corner with her father and General Hammond not more than a metre away, almost as if they were purposely blocking her from sight.
Blocking her from him and the influence of her teammates.
His hands clenched in his pockets, he strode over to them determinedly. "No one puts Carter in the corner!"
Jack pulled Sam up from the computer terminal and began to lead her out of the room much to Jacob and Hammond's amazement.
"Colonel O'Neill," General Hammond started, his face turning a darker shade of pink, "what in God's name are you.."
A glare from the Colonel silenced him. Stunned that his subordinate dared to act so obviously against him, the General realised with a sinking heart what was going on.
A decision had been made. One he wasn't going to like.
"Sir, is this really a good idea?" Sam bit her bottom lip and watched as Jack added the last few things to her pack. She was still a little unsure of whether his plan would work but didn't have any better ideas.
"Sure Carter..." He replied as he helped her into her pack. "When am I ever wrong?"
Jack smiled at her smugly before taking her hand again and guiding her out of the door and towards the Gate room where the rest of SG-1 stood waiting.
"Hey Sam...ready to go?"
Daniel smiled at her and she couldn't help but smile back at him before glancing up at the control room, where her father and General Hammond were still standing, having made no room to stop her.
She turned back to Jack and nodded, indicating she was ready as he squeezed her hand. Together, SG-1 made their way up the ramp and though the Stargate. Each looking forward to seeing what was on the other side.