History in the Making
Kalvin liked the annual field trip to the Museum of Science
History because, hey, what ten year old didn’t like to get out of school? But
he did wish they could skip past all the boring history and get to the good
stuff. Who cared about the evolution of the personal transportation device? He
was dieing to get to the eleventh floor, that’s where the story of the Stargate
and SG-1 started.
This was pretty much the only bright spot in his day. The other kids made fun of him for being younger, for having an old-fashioned name and for the old style vehicle that his dad dove. It didn’t even fly. Kalvin lived to hear about his heroes, the three Generals: O’Neill, Carter-O’Neill, and Mitchell, Dr. Daniel Jackson, and Teal’c. When he grew up, he was going to join the Interplanetary Air Force and save the universe just like them.
But first, he had to make it though educational level seven.
He perked up a bit as the tour guide headed to the escalators, and used his smaller size to squeeze in between his classmates and get to the front of the line. The escalators rose so that the first thing they saw was a recast Stargate that spanned the entryway. Kalvin got shivers as the passed beneath it and craned his head up to look at it from every angle.
“And here we begin the era on the Stargate, which eventually affected nearly every aspect of twenty-first century life,” the tour guide began, but Kalvin tuned her out, he had the opening speech memorized.
They scooted passed the initial uncovering of the Stargate and its move to Cheyenne Mountain, without much fuss. Their first stop was at a larger-than-life portrait of Dr. Jackson and his wife Shau’ri, holding hands on a planet that looked much like Earth’s ancient Egypt.
Daniel was okay, he was one of the original team members after all, but he wasn’t Kalvin’s favorite. Daniel died too often, and he wasn’t a pilot either because back in those days some people had to wear tiny panes of glass over their eyes to see right and they couldn’t join the Air Force. Sometimes, he wondered how they’d ever managed with such low technology.
The early years of SG-1 were full of action and adventure, fighting the Goa’uld and struggling to free the Jaffa and make alliances with the Asguard and Tok’ra. Kalvin had books and videos documenting their missions, posters and pictures plastered over his walls, and breakfast cereal in his kitchen distributor. His favorite out of his collection were the small models of the original 302 spaceship that hung from his ceiling.
Still, the early years weren’t Kalvin’s favorite part. Generally, those stories also always focused on the Colonel O’Neill and Major Carter’s relationship and Daniel’s lost love and many deaths. That was fine for girls, but he wanted to hear about spaceships, explosions, and fighting.
He looked at all the pictures, and relics on the walls, listening with half an ear as his classmates asked stupid questions that he’d known the answer to years ago. Really, everyone who knew anything knew why the Jaffa needed a larval Goa’uld.
“And here,” the guide said stopping in front of a three dimensional panoramic view of the gate room and four figures wearing the SGC uniform, “we have the third incarnation of SG-1, Lieutenant Colonels Mitchell and Carter, Dr. Daniel Jackson, and Teal’c of the Tau’ri. They were the shining warriors of the light standing between the Milky Way and complete destruction by the Ori.”
* * * *
The Universe hated him, Cameron decided as he stared up at the slate gray sky. His back was going to kill him later, and the marching band parading through his head didn’t feel much better. His tac-vest twisted around him, pulling at his arms and neck; P-90 poking in all the wrong places. All in all his eighty-ninth trip through the Stargate was not turning out so well.
“Mitchell!” Sam yelled from somewhere above and behind him, her voice echoing down the little ravine that Cameron managed to find with his ass.
He craned his neck back and squinted up at the rest of SG-1 who were slowly making their way down to him, sliding carefully and not careening down backward. Cameron decided that he’d just chalk it up to a style choice on his part, and lack of imagination on theirs.
Then he imagined Teal’c in a tutu dancing down to save him, and gagged a little vowing to wait until the other man was out of the showers before he went in.
“Colonel, say something if you can hear us,” Jackson called, and being the closest to Cameron made it to him first and knelt down, hands reaching out to check for a pulse and cradle Cameron’s head trying to meet his eyes.
“Something,” Cameron mumbled, flicking his tongue out to lick at his dry lips, tasting dirt, and a little blood. He tried to focus on Daniel but he couldn’t decide which one of the three to stay with. “Also, I think I may be slightly concussed.”
About that time, Sam and Teal’c reached the bottom and jogged to the other side next to him. Sam started waving her fingers at his face mumbling something about pupil dilation. Teal’c stood to one side and Cameron would have sworn that he was smirking except that he didn’t think Jaffa smirked.
Cameron struggled up to a sitting position, shrugging off Sam’s helping hand, as if he didn’t already feel stupid enough. “I just tripped a little bit,” he said blinking rapidly and pressing the palm of one hand against the back of his head.
“We are relieved you are unharmed, Colonel Mitchell,” Teal’c said dipping his head at Cameron and taking a step back.
“Your concern is overwhelming there, big guy,” Cameron replied and gangly tried to get to his feet, his arms and legs not quite wanting to cooperate with each other. He made it finally, and immediately flopped over into Jackson who just barely managed to catch and steady them before they both went toppling over together.
Daniel’s body was solid under his, more so than Cameron would have thought weeks ago before he’d met the man again and was just reading mission reports. In his experience, linguists were hardly ever buffer than he was. The world was still spinning around him, so if he leaned a little into Daniel’s bulk he thought that was pretty understandable.
“Whoa, there,” Daniel said easing Cameron back down to the ground and crouched beside him to keep a hand on his shoulder. “Just take it easy for a minute.”
“’S fine, y’all’s fault anyway,” Cameron slurred hoping that he wasn’t about to throw up the most excellent brunch of yak cheese and raw vegetables that the villagers had just fed them.
Teal’c folded his arms in front of his chest and asked, “How did you come by that conclusion?”
“Come on, you’re back there finishing each other’s sentences and talking about things and people that weren’t in any mission report I ever read,” Cameron said, the words escaping his mouth in a half whine half rant with absolutely no permission from his brain. “You definitely weren’t speaking my brand of American; I was just trying to get your attention.”
“And you chose to do so by jogging backward and falling over the side of a canyon?”
Teal’c was definitely smirking at him this time.
“So that wasn’t really part of my plan,” Cameron answered, most of the nausea lifting so he could finally look up at the rest of ‘his’ team. Sam wasn’t bothering to hide her smile, and Daniel had an amused glint in both his eyes.
Squeezing his shoulder, Daniel snorted and stood back up, “Next time why don’t you just try asking what we’re talking about?”
“Oh sure, be all reasonable on me,” Cameron groused, realizing how much he sounded like a spoiled child. He tried to stand again, and this time made it, only rocking back on his heels slightly. “Alright enough of the ‘Cameron-the-Ass’ show, let’s get back on the road.”
“Sure,” Sam agreed, her hair blowing in the wind and her nose scrunched up, “but Cam, I think you fell in something.”
Cameron twisted his head and body around and there on the back of his right leg was an enormous brown stain. He sighed, it just never went his way, “Well, sh-”
* * * *
“SG-1 is so boring,” a voice interrupted from the back of the crowd of children. The shrill pitch sent the hair on the back of Kalvin’s neck to stand on end. “Can’t we just skip past to the Atlantis expedition?”
“They are not boring!” he yelled back, whirling around, no way he wasn’t going to defend his heroes to the likes of her. Her name was Sky’lander and she was his arch nemesis. “There wouldn’t even be an Atlantis expedition without SG-1!”
Sky’lander just flipped her hair and tilted her head so she could her nose at him, “That just means they were made obsolete!”
Their classmates just bounced their heads back and forth between the two combatants, used, by now, to their bickering. Kalvin’s blood was boiling, “You only like Atlantis better because you think Colonel Sheppard is breedable!”
“I only like Atlantis better because SG-1 nukes!”
“Children!” the classes teacher interrupted, a large
“No ma’am,” they both repeated in unison, though Kalvin glared at Sky’lander and she stuck her tongue out at him.
“No they didn’t.”
* * * *
Enough is enough, Cameron thought turning smartly on his toes and glaring. “If you two don’t shut up right now, I swear I’m turning this car around and no one gets any ice cream!”
“Daniel would just get it all over the upholstery anyway,” Sam said, her voice an angry growl as she glared over at Jackson who rolled his eyes in response.
“If the next words out of your mouth are ‘she started it’, I will not be held responsible for my actions,” Cameron glared a little more, and then satisfied by their dropped heads that he’d sufficiently cowed them turned back around to fall into step next to Teal’c.
The civilization on this planet was actually a little further away from the Stargate than most, and they’d already been walking for over an hour. It was a nice day, and Cameron had just wanted to enjoy a day out from under the mountain with his team who were slowly becoming friends.
Of course, that was not to be.
Daniel had straggled into the gate room seconds before they were scheduled to leave, so there hadn’t been any time for small talk, but the second they stepped through the event horizon the bickering started. Cameron had turned to Teal’c, his eyes wide as Daniel and Sam went after each other, with a viciousness that he thought only siblings were capable of reaching.
Teal’c had only shrugged and taken point.
At first, he’d tried to ignore it and concentrate on the surroundings, but by the time their volume had grown so that wildlife was scattering in front of them, he was about ready to blow up. They were like overgrown children, and he itched to take them over his knee and spank the tar out of them until they promised to be good.
He was pretty sure there was something in the regs against that though.
“I said I was sorry,” Daniel said quietly, and Cameron stifled a sigh, waiting to see if this would clear the air or not. The ‘Wonder Twins’ had not been sparking well today.
“And I’ve told you a thousand times not to bring your coffee into my lab when I’m working,” Sam replied, dashing Cameron’s hopes. “I lost hours of research that I’ll have to do all over again.”
“I’ll help you redo it,” Daniel offers earnestly, and even if Cameron couldn’t see Daniel’s face, he knew it was twisted up into that faithful puppy dog expression. “C’mon Sam, forgive me?”
Sam doesn’t say anything, but the atmosphere behind him suddenly lightened, and Cameron feels the tension in his shoulder relax a bit. Nobody ever told him that being the leader of SG-1 would require so much babysitting.
* * * *
Kalvin resolutely turned his back to Sky’lander. What did girls know about saving the galaxy anyway? He was never going to get married, General Mitchell didn’t and Dr. Jackson never remarried. They got to keep having adventures even after O’Neill and Carter’s wedding, which had been an adventure all on its own with an entire book series devoted to it.
Nope, girls had space parasites.
The guide gestured to the other wall, where a large screen took up most of the available space. A montage of images and some short footage of SG-1 played out with the theme melody that had been commissioned for the one hundredth anniversary of the defeat of the Ori playing in the background. Kalvin had every beat memorized, and played it so often that he’d already worn out two copies and drove his parents crazy.
“SG-1 was the front line against the Ori incursion,” the guide said, her patently cheery voice rising above the children’s murmurs. She paused the video at a particularly heroic pose of the team standing on the ramp up to the gate, “standing ready to defend Earth. It was only by their intelligence, strength, and wit that our galaxy did not fall into the worship of false gods.”
* * * *
Merlin was one sick bastard, Cameron thought swinging away from one of the particularly vicious mutant animals. Death by zombie chickens wasn’t particularly heroic, though he would have been the first to laugh his ass off if this had been a Monty Python skit. Holographic knights he could do, puzzle traps in a shrinking room was okay, parasites that made them sleepy - whatever, but why did it have to be giant carnivorous fowl?
“Cameron! You okay?” Daniel yelled from where he was still safely ensconced in the glorified tree house that they’d just been exploring.
“I’d be happier if you dropped that chick’s unconscious body out the window to distract these things,” Cameron yelled back up, swinging again until he could get his other leg more firmly entangled in the vines to take the strain off his knee.
“It was an accident!” Vala screeched her voice carrying over the incessant clucking. “It’s not like I meant too!”
Cameron fought the urge to roll his eyes, sucked in a breath, and curled up trying to grab a hold of one of the overhanging branches. His face was already red, and he could feel the blood rushing through his head. If he got out of this one, he swore he was going to spend more time in the gym.
Things had been going so well too. They’d gated to an address that Daniel had found in the writings of Merlin’s library, looking for more intel for the anti-Ori weapon. A path led to the tree house which they climbed and found more records of a Myrddin Wylt, who Daniel said was one of Merlin’s pseudonyms.
Then the Vala Effect had taken over. Something shiny had caught her eye, and made Cameron a casualty of her greed and Merlin’s entirely unprecedented paranoia. Booby traps had been released and before Cameron could say ‘Bob’s your uncle’ he was out the window and they were surrounded by wild animals who belonged in a zoo made by Steven King.
“Hold on! I’m coming to get you.”
“No, stay up there where it’s safe!” Cameron yelled twisting around so he could glare at Daniel, only to find the other man already dangling out of the open window held at the feet by Teal’c’s strong grasp.
Of course, that was the moment that the alien chickens decided to rush the supports en mass. The jolt to the suspensions of the tree house, jerked wildly to the left and Teal’c lost his hold. Daniel screamed and crashed into Cameron tearing the vines and landing in a heap of arms and legs in the muddy ground.
Cameron grunted as Daniel stuck his elbow into the middle of Cameron’s chest so he could scramble up to his feet. The percussive sounds of a P-90 and the sizzle of a Zat gun blasted at Cameron’s ears as he hastily got to his feet. Instinctively, he put his back to Daniel’s, watching as the area between them and the chickens shrank by the second, undeterred by the gunfire.
Clumsily, Cameron felt around behind him until he had Daniel’s wrist in his hand, and then shut his eyes, turning his head to the side sure that he was about to be pecked to death. He just hoped that he’d end up in whatever pleasant afterlife Lieutenant Colonels went to, when they didn’t kill unnecessarily, blow up third world countries, or sleep with every hooker to cross their paths.
Okay, so there had been a hooker, but it was only that one time and it had only been half of the bar they’d destroyed.
The shout rang out, and Cameron carefully opened his eyes, glancing around to see the chickens frozen in place less than a yard away from them. He squinted up at the window that Vala was now leaning against.
“Now that, boys, is how a rescue is pulled off,” Vala grinned, lifting her arms above her head in victory. “I’ll accept your gratitude in Earth currency or sexual favors.”
Cameron shook his head, smirking over at Daniel, before he let go of Daniel’s wrist and laughed up at Vala flipping her the bird.
* * * *
“So,” the tour guide said, her smile wide, “What do you kids think it was like to be a member of SG-1?”
Kalvin wisely kept his mouth shut, having learned after the last tour guide told his parents that he was willfully trying to ruin their story to keep his less popular ideas to himself. No one ever talked about how many people died or were tortured throughout SG-1’s existence. Even the fact that Mitchell and Jackson had disappeared rather then died wasn’t often talked about.
“That’s right!” she said, beaming at the schoolchildren. “I’m sure that there was never a dull moment under
* * * *
Watching the paint peel would have been much more enjoyable if they’d used any color besides a puke shade somewhere between grey, green, and pink. Cameron sighed again, kicking his leg to set his chair to spinning again, watching the ceiling tiles rotate as he moved in a slow circle.
He’d been sitting here for fifteen minutes now, staring at a blank mission report on his laptop. Really, it would only be the work of a few minutes to fill it out, but he just couldn’t get past And then tumbleweed blew past… without sighing and hitting the backspace button until the cursor blinked at him in a most forlorn manner.
His back popped as Cameron stood up and lifted his arms over his head in a full body stretch, rolling his head from side to side, as he idly scratched at his stomach. He started walking before he’d really decided where to go, feet tracing the familiar path left from his office, down a flight of stairs, and then to the right hallway until he stood in front of Daniel’s door.
Tapping lightly, the door swung silently open and Cameron shrugged, pushing it the rest of the way back and stepping inside. The place was its usual mess with relics and ancient tomes spread about on every available flat surface. Daniel had his head down on the desk; arms sprawled on either side while his face smooshed on an open notebook, the ink bleeding onto his skin.
Cameron grinned wickedly; finally, here was some entertainment. He crossed the room quickly and silently and moved all the half full coffee cups strewn about out of harm’s way. Then he picked up a large and rather modern textbook from the back of Daniel’s shelf, and hefted the weight between his hands.
Paybacks are a bitch, Jackson, he thought taking the final step behind Daniel. “Time to wake up, Sunshine,” he whispered, bringing the open book as close to Daniel’s head as he could and quickly snapped it shut, the loud thump echoing across the small room.
Daniel didn’t even stir.
Sighing, and crestfallen Cameron put the book down where he’d found it. He made his way back to the door and flicked the overhead lights off, wondering what Teal’c was doing.
In the soft glow of the computer screen, Daniel smiled lifting his head just enough so that if anyone had been in the room, they could have seen the Ancient word for ‘secret’ printed perfectly and backward across the top of his left cheek.
* * * *
Some people thought that they had ascended together, risen to a higher plane of existence for the final time. Kalvin didn’t think so, though, from all the stories, he couldn’t imagine Dr. Jackson going back. Or, for that matter, the other Ancients letting him in after what SG-1 ended up doing to stop the Ori.
“And that concludes our tour of the SG-1 era,” the guide said as she flagged them past her and into a recreated area of the
General Mitchell didn’t seem like the Ascending type either, Kalvin thought ignoring the “oos” and “ahs” around him. He was never going too, that was for sure. The Universities devoted to helping people find the path to a higher plane was just not in any sort of future that Kalvin saw for himself. He felt kinda sorry for the people who couldn’t find anything to live for.
No, he thought that Mitchell and Jackson must have started a new adventure with the blessing of the rest of SG-1. Why else wouldn’t O’Neill, Carter, and Teal’c have gone looking for them when they disappeared? For all Kalvin knew and was willing to believe, Cameron and Daniel were still out there somewhere, and he could run into them if he flew far enough and fast enough.
The tour moved on, and Kalvin took one last look over his shoulder before he too walked away.
** The End **
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