I'm not particularly surprised when I see Dr. Jackson emerge from that elevator. I have been fearing for a while that Blair's check into the man's background was likely to have raised some red flags but still this is one instance in which being right does not make me feel better.
On a positive note this will almost certainly force Blair's hand in terms of coming to a decision and that is important seeing how he's been agonizing over what to do for a while now... but other than that it means we are in trouble.
Military attention is one thing we most definitely don't want and the fact is that both of Dr. Jackson's companions scream 'military' and more. If I had to make a bet I'd say that the man is probably Colonel O'Neill. That is the most logical explanation though the woman is a bit of an enigma, but now the question is what are we supposed to do about any of this?
It is not just that they are obviously military, it is also the fact that, if the way they move is anything to go by, then they most definitely don't spend their days stargazing no matter what kind of cover story they want to try and sell us. They are a combat unit that is used to being deployed together, a combat unit that is used to having to rely on each other for their survival... and I do mean all three of them, even if Dr. Jackson has obviously had less formal training than either one of his companions.
Well, there is nothing we can do about it, not now. That's the thought that goes through my mind as I see them head straight for Simon's office. I am curious about what is being said in there however about fifteen seconds after the door is closed I reluctantly dial down my hearing. Just like clockwork, Simon's familiar words "Ellison! Sandburg! My office! NOW!" echo across the bullpen. I look at my partner and I can see that he is nervous, hopefully nervous enough not to try and remind Simon of the importance of using verbs when he bellows.
"Gentlemen, these are Colonel O'Neill, Major Carter and Dr. Jackson, now would you mind telling me what you've managed to get yourselves into this time?" he asks glaring at us with all his might.
"What do you mean?" asks Sandburg with his most innocent expression. If it were just Simon I think he'd have a shot at getting away with it but these people are not going to fall for any diversionary tactics and I know it.
"Cut the bull," says O'Neill. "Care to tell me why the sudden interest in Dr Jackson?"
I can see that Sandburg is staring at his brother and I put my hand on his shoulder. He has been trying to imagine what meeting the man was going to be like for a while now but somehow I don't think this is a scenario he has ever really considered, still, it can't be helped and that means we will have no choice but to deal with it.
"With all due respect, sir, that's personal," I say, trying to divert attention away from my guide.
"Not when it affects one of my men," he growls.
One of his men? I'm not sure if the Colonel is aware of his slip but I can see that Sandburg did catch it. What can I say, my little guppy has grown into an amazing detective and very little gets past him. Knowing that there's just one way to solve this I turn to my partner and ask, "is it back at the loft?"
"Yes," he mutters.
"Could you go get it?" I say, not bothering to clear it with Simon who is still glaring at me but who I trust not to say anything... not right now.
"Wouldn't it be easier for us to go back home?" asks Blair sounding hopeful and I most definitely understand. He doesn't want to do this here, unfortunately he is not going to have a choice in the matter. Right now these people are as likely to follow us as we are to follow them.
"Not now, chief, sorry. You know how it goes. We are not going anywhere with them and they are not going anywhere with us," I say, making sure they hear me. I'm not following the script, I'm not playing along with any sort of cloak and dagger bull and with a bit of luck that will throw them off, at least a little. What can I say, knowing what's going on --or at least some of it-- does have its advantages.
As Sandburg heads out the door I hear him muttering something about "damned PMS" under his breath, it is not quite a whisper and it is loud enough for everyone in the room to have heard it so I ask, "PMS, chief?"
"Well, excuse my dyslexia. I meant SMP, as in standard military paranoia," he growls, causing the Colonel to look like he just swallowed a lemon while Major Carter and Dr. Jackson are apparently trying to keep themselves from laughing at my partner's antics. Their reaction is enough to enable me to lower my initial assessment of our current threat level, though not by much.
I can see that Sandburg is still not happy about having to do this with so many strangers around but I know he understands. I just hope this encounter won't end up in disaster. I know how much Blair wants this and while he was willing to consider the possibility of not meeting his brother just to stay away from the military, now that the man is here not saying anything is killing him... and to make matters worse we still don't have a clue as to how Dr. Jackson is going to react to any of it.
As soon as Sandburg is gone, Simon kicks us out of his office and he orders me to escort our 'guests' on a fascinating tour of the Cascade PD. I can tell they are about as thrilled with the prospect as I am --and if the glint in Simon's eyes is anything to go by he is well aware of that fact-- but there is nothing we can do about it and we all know it. Well, if nothing else it will give me a chance to observe them and maybe find some answers.
Sandburg and I have been trying to avoid military attention for years but they are here now and there is nothing we can do to change that. That means that we need as much information as we can possibly get. The good news is that nothing in the files we've been able to get would seem to suggest that the project these people are involved with is directly connected with any of those groups that would represent the biggest threat to our safety. The bad news is that we still have a million unanswered questions so the fact that we havent uncovered a direct connection doesnt necessarily mean there isnt one... and then theres also the fact that while --as far as we know-- they are not directly affiliated with those groups, some things would seem to hint at the possibility that they have at least come into contact with them in the past and we have no details whatsoever regarding the nature of that contact.
Knowing that right now it's time for me to collect the evidence rather than to try and come up with a theory I focus my attention back on my three companions. They are an unlikely group, that's for sure, and I can't help but wonder what could possibly have brought them together. I know Dr. Jackson is an archeologist and Colonel O'Neill is a covert ops specialist, the question that remains is who is Major Carter and what role does she have to play in it... whatever it happens to be.
I shake my head at the realization that, for better or for worse, it is definitely beginning to look like another beautiful day in the Sandburg zone.