" ... so after asking some more questions, I finally figured it out. The Hailanese ancestors were brought to P30 J81 by a more advance race. Now, we know it's not the Ghould as they didn't seem to recognized Teal'c and no evidence of naquada mining in the past. And it's not the Asgards, because the Asgards usually put a communication and an anti-Ghould devices like in Cimmera. Xian let me read some of their scrolls from their library and then I discover something. It was the Ancients who brought them there, what the purpose of this I don't know yet. But I suspect that they wanted to study humans, because the Hailanese culture hasn't been altered in any way, it's really close to the Chinese culture in earth. I think the Hailanese ancestors didn't even know that they had moved to other planet. As far as they concerned they were chosen by the Phoenix to guard her palace, for them it was a great honor."
Wow, I still wondered how Daniel managed to say so much in the space of 5 minutes. Come to think of it, Carter can do pretty much the same thing. Must be the scientists thing. Got to ask them about it someday.
"Doctor Jackson, are you saying that the Phoenix is an Ancient and she or he somehow tricked the Hailanese into moving to other planet?" Hammond asks. Yep, we're back in the SGC and having a debriefing right now.
"No General, what's more likely happened is that the Ancient used the legend and then asked some people to take care of the Phoenix palace, Boru. Now, I think that they just want to study the ancient Chinese in more depth by isolating them in P30 J81. The story that was told in the ceremony might have been manufactured so that it was more believable."
The story is a lie? Should've known, it's too sad anyway. "Daniel, are you saying that the whole thing was a big hoax?"
"Well, I don't know yet. It could be true, well, who knows? I mean, even here on earth, we don't even know if Phoenix or even Dragon does exist." He's rambling now. "What I'm saying is I don't think the Ancient had a bad intention towards the Hailanese."
"Well Jack, the Asgards didn't actually being honest to the people of their protected planets, doesn't mean that they have an ill intentions towards them."
"True." I must admit that he's right.
"History aside, Doctor Jackson, do you think the Hailanese would be willing to have a treaty with us? The sample Major Carter brought back shows an abundant amount of naquada. From the story you've told me, they don't even have a use for it."
"I believe they will General. With your permission Sir, I wish to be the liaison between us and them. I believe we could learn much more about the Ancients from the Hailanese, Sir."
"I take that into consideration. Anything else?" No one says anything. "No? Then you're dismissed." With that the General gets up from his chair and goes to his office.
I look around the room, Daniel's collecting his papers, Teal'c is still sitting in his chair while Carter is scribbling something in her notes. Ah, Carter, Sam, after we had our little talk we let our guards down when we're alone. I like that, hopefully nobody noticed anything different about us.
"Commissary, anyone? I don't know about you guys, but hearing one of Daniel's lecture is always making me hungry." Well, that produces a glare from Daniel, a giggle from Carter and an expressionless facial expression from Teal'c. Nothing new.
"I'm sorry Sir, but I have to skip this one. I have a meeting with Major Wagner, he wants to know more about the naquada reactor."
"Wagner? He's the new guy, isn't he?"
Hmm, I remember him. Just joined us last month, there's something about him that I don't like. He always gives me this hatred look like I've killed his favorite pet or something.
"Yes, he's our new explosive expert."
She started to get up from her chair, taking her notes with her.
"Hey Carter, be careful with him."
She raises her eyebrows, "Sir?"
"There's something not right about that guy. Just be careful OK?"
I've asked General Hammond to do some background check on him, the result should be here in a few days. His resume is brilliant but it's just too good to be true, even Carter's resume is not that great. Hammond doesn't trust this guy as well, but some stupid politicians in Washington insisted that he should be in the SGC, more reasons not to trust him.
She clearly confused but I know that she trusts me, "I will, Sir. See you guys around."
And then she's off to see Wagner.
"Hey Jack, what's wrong with this new guys anyway?"
"I don't know, call it a gut feeling. What do you think, Teal'c?"
"I also feel the same O'Neill." Teal'c shows a concern face.
It's not good, when people do what we're doing, they have to trust the people they're working with.
"Anyway Jack, I also have something to do in my lab. Oh yeah, can you come to my house for dinner around 7 tonight? I got something that I want to show you." Daniel's preparing to leave the room.
"Yeah, OK. Do you want me to bring the drinks?"
"No, no, I got everything, just be on time. See you at seven."
So, another member of my team decided that work is more interesting than the commissary food. Mmm, got to talk to the Chef, see if he could make the foods more appealing.
"So Teal'c, buddy. Shall we go get something to eat?"
"I am afraid that I cannot accompany you, O'Neill. I have to perform my Kel'no'reem." Of course he has to.
So, I'm here, alone, in the commissary. Just me and my pie ... and my blue Jell-O ... and my coffee ... oh yeah and don't forget Carter's mineral report on the P30 J81. On the contrary to popular belief in SGC, I do read my team's report carefully, a good leader have to know all the facts before he went for a mission, no matter how insignificant the facts are. Who started the rumors anyway? I just wish that Daniel and Carter would cut the slack over their scientific mumbo-jumbo in their reports.
"Colonel ... may we join you?"
I look up to see the owner of that sweet, sweet voice. She's standing in front of me, holding a tray. Damn, Wagner's next to her, also holding a tray.
"Hey Carter, Wagner, take a seat."
Carter sits just right in front of me, Wagner's beside her. Why does he have to tag along? I want to be alone with her.
"Where's Daniel and Teal'c?" I noticed that she has a red Jell-O instead of blue one.
"Oh, the usual. Daniel got rocks to take care of and Teal'c had a compulsion to burn some candles. How's your lecture on the naquada reactor going?"
She gives me her genuine smile, "It's going well Sir. Major Wagner has some ideas on how to channel some of the power generated by the reactor core into the conductors by reducing the amount of polarization of the ... "
I clear my throat. "Carter ... I've got everything I wanted to know after you said 'it's going well.'"
"Of course, Sir. Sorry, I just got carried away."
"Never mind. So, Wagner. What do you think of SGC so far?"
I don't like this guy, but I have to play nice. Who knows I could get something out from him.
"It's been good so far Sir."
He's a good actor, he acts normally, but his eyes betrayed his action.
"Do you know which team you'll be joining?"
"General Hammond said that I should familiarize myself first with some alien technologies before he can put me into any team, Sir." Not a talkative guy, I notice.
"Okay." Time to change the topic of conversation. "So Carter, the Chef runs out of blue Jell-O, huh?"
"Yes, Sir. Apparently, a Colonel, who had been sitting here in the commissary for the last 3 hours, ordered him to hand in the last blue Jell-O which had my name on it." She gives me an accusing glare.
"Really. Do you want me to talk to this Colonel about your blue Jell-O?"
My expression is anything but innocent.
"What's so special about the blue Jell-O, Major Carter? I think they all taste the same."
Yikes, Wagner shows interest in Carter. As long as it's not a romantic one I'll be fine with it.
"Oh, it's nothing. I just like taste better."
"Blue is her color." I provide the answer.
She rolls her eyes. "It's not, Sir."
"So, what's your color, Major?"
Wagner clearly interested in her. Better not getting any ideas there Wagner, she's mine and I'm watching you.
She has this wondering look in her face. "It's red."
Was it because of our visit to Hailan? I always though that blue is her color.
Still with her wondering look, she smiles. "Red is always reminded me to my first love. God, I still remember the first time I saw him. I was eighteen."
I guess my ego got the better of me. Hmm, I never heard about this, well, I guess it's true that you can always learn something new about someone you love every day.
"He so sexy, so well-built, so ... charming." And then she sighs, "Too bad we're only together for a year. God, I still miss him."
I'm getting jealous now. Does she ever think about me like that? WILL she ever think about me that way?
Her expression is saddened.
"Car accident. Mark, my brother ... borrowed him one day and he managed to smash Al to a wall."
Huh? My brain need to process that little bit of information for a while.
"Carter, WHAT is your first love anyway?"
She smiles evilly, "Of course 1970's Volvo 164, Sir. A shinny classic red Volvo and oh what a car he's been. He got 6-cylinders, 2978 cc, in line, overhead valves, and 4-speed manual with electrical overdrive. Named him Al, short from Albert, after Albert Einstein, my dad bought him for me as my birthday present. After that, I always had a thing for red, it's my lucky color."
I winced at that, I guess I deserved it. I took her blue Jell-O after all.
Wagner seems amused with all this and then he asks, "Do you prefer car to man, Major Carter?"
Yes Carter, I want to see how you answered this. Which one do you prefer?
She looks at me for a moment, obviously thinking a smart ass answer. "Well, I was very young at that moment. Al was the best boyfriend I could ever have."
Really? So Carter, you don't think that I could be a better boyfriend than your car huh?
She adds quickly after I glared at her, "But now, everything different. I've found man can give more ... varieties to my life." Nice save Carter, but not good enough.
"What kind of varieties Carter?" You won't get away easily girl.
She glares back at me, her eyes saying 'do you really want to know?' Uh oh.
"Let see, shall we. You got the arguments, the denials, the fighting, oh yeah and don't forget all the lies that they told you. And that is just for a starter."
I need to make my escape now. A.s.a.p.
"Uhm, I need to go and finished my paperwork. See you around Carter, Wagner."
I get up quickly, but not quick enough to flee from the commissary.
"Colonel, make sure you REALLY finished your paperwork this time."
Damn, I need to think of new reason to get away from things, this one is getting old. So I answer her in the only way I can.
"Yeah sure you betcha."
- to be continue -