And Now There's Two of Them?
"So, detective, would you mind telling me why I have representatives of the Air Force dropping in unannounced and why I've been effectively evicted from my own office?" asks Simon, sounding anything but happy.
"Sorry about that, sir, and the one word answer would be 'Naomi'," I say, knowing that he'll understand. We've been visited by hurricane Naomi often enough to know what to expect.
"Why am I not surprised? he asks with a resigned sigh. What did she do now and what the hell was that all about?"
"Well, Simon, about ten days ago Sandburg got a letter from his mother. It seems that for whatever reason she finally decided to fill him in on his father's identity... no real explanations for her change of heart on that one given."
"Sounds like Naomi alright, but what does that have to do with the Air Force. It's not exactly the kind of people I would expect her to be associating with."
"It's not. Turns out that Blair's father died over thirty years ago but he does have an older half-brother."
"Let me guess, Dr. Jackson?" he asks, putting the pieces together.
"And the Air Force?"
"I'm not really sure why they came here but apparently Jackson's been working for them for years. If I had to guess I'd say that when Sandburg started looking into his brother's background he must have set off some alarms somewhere, am I right?" I ask, turning my attention to Colonel O'Neill.
"Yes. Of course we never thought that the reason behind this whole thing could possibly be that Daniel had a baby brother... the search looked more like someone was interested in him professionally," he says.
"That was actually my fault. Sandburg wasn't sure whether or not Jackson would want him to contact him in the first place. It was driving him crazy so I suggested that he look into his background to try and see whether or not his presence would be too disruptive in his brother's life... if they had enough in common that they could reasonably expect to get along. We had no idea that he worked for the Air Force, if we had..."
"So the question is what are we going to do now?" interrupts the Colonel.
"Well, I guess that will probably be mostly up to Jackson, though I can tell you that Blair will want to get to know him," I say.
"And Daniel is going to want to get to know his brother, no question about that... and seeing how as long as Daniel's here we are not going anywhere I'm guessing that means we are stuck with each other."
"Probably," I admit.
"So, what can you tell us about Sandburg?" he asks.
"He has a good heart, he is tougher than anyone would give him credit for, you hurt him and you'll find yourself dealing with me," I say, making absolutely sure that he understands just what I mean. "Other than that, he is bright, maybe even too bright, don't get him started on anything he is passionate about or you'll never hear the end of it, he loves long words and has more energy than the Energizer Bunny. He is also a confirmed trouble magnet so beware of falling anvils whenever he is around, what about Jackson?"
"Basically the same thing... especially the part about him being too smart for his own good and a trouble magnet. In our experience, if it can possibly happen it's certainly bound to happen to Dannyboy and if it can't, well, then chances are that it still will."
"Sounds like Sandburg alright. The man was even pronounced dead once! He's been shot, stabbed, drugged, drowned, poisoned, kidnapped and held hostage more times than I care to remember. By now we are on a first name basis with the entire staff of Cascade General and that does include the maternity ward."
"Oh boy, and now there's two of them? Do you have any idea of what that could possibly mean?" asks the Colonel, sounding more than a little horrified at the thought.
"How bad is yours?" I ask with a sinking feeling.
"As bad if not worse than Sandburg going by the sound of things. I swear sometimes we should just put a bell on him, seeing how he keeps getting himself 'misplaced'. What are you thinking, Carter?" asks the Colonel, suddenly realizing that his Major is being a little too quiet and seems to be lost in thought.
"Well, sir, going by what you are saying I was sort of wondering whether now that they are together their ability to get in trouble will increase arithmetically, exponentially or if, with a bit of luck, it will cancel itself out."
"I don't know, to be perfectly honest I'm not sure I want to know, though I thought you knew better than to expect us to get lucky when it comes to anything having to do with Daniel. Let's just say that if I had to place a bet on it, I'd bet on a worst case scenario."
"Sucker's bet, sir?"
"Of course, Major, what else did you expect?"
"Okay, sir, but what are we going to do about this? The fact is that it usually takes three of us to try to keep Daniel relatively in one piece, now that there's two of them, and going with a worst case scenario in which their ability to get in trouble increases exponentially, then I feel I must warn you that there's just no way we could possibly hope to pull it off. There's not enough of us here, not by a long shot and..."
"You are thinking too much, Carter... again... but do you really think it's going to get that bad? I mean, how much trouble could a couple of archeologists manage to get themselves into anyway?"
"Well, sir, I'd say that if we take Daniel as our basic reference then the answer to that question would probably be 'quite a lot'. And Blair is actually an anthropologist, not an archeologist."
"Whatever, he is still some sort of 'ologist' so don't get technical on me. The question is how sure are you of your figures 'cos if you're right then we are in trouble here."
"As I said, sir, from a mathematical perspective that would be the most likely scenario based on the information that is currently available to me and assuming that their ability to find trouble increases exponentially. Of course there are also other variables that must be..."
"Forget it... and the good news is? There's got to be some good news somewhere."
"I guess the good news would be that there's two of them rather than three or four, sir."
"I guess that's something," mutters O'Neill, sounding far from convinced.
I listen to what she is saying carefully and I look at the Colonel, keeping an eye on his reactions, on the interaction between the two of them, hoping that it will provide me with at least some answers. If the Major's words are anything to go by then she really is a scientist, someone who could reasonably be expected to be working on something having to do with deep space telemetry, unlike either one of her companions, and that adds another piece to the puzzle that is the unusual set of skills that is to be found within this particular group. I really wish Sandburg were here, I wish we could discuss this but it's going to have to wait. There are more pressing matters right now. We'll have time to try and figure this one out later.
Right now my top priority is to make sure that my partner is safe and with that in mind I tune out the conversation that is going on around me and I focus instead on the one that is currently taking place in Simons office.