Watching and Listening
I've got to say that of all the scenarios we never considered when we left the mountain this morning this was certainly high on the list. We were ready to find someone looking into Daniel's theories, someone who was about to stumble into one of this country's best kept secrets. We were also ready to find someone with some sort of really dark and nefarious purpose but we were definitely not ready for what was waiting for us here.
We were ready to face someone who could pose a serious threat to the SGC and we were determined to neutralize that threat by whatever means necessary before it could inflict any sort of damage. That was what we were expecting... that or for this whole thing to be some sort of ploy by one of about a dozen different agencies that have been trying to get their fingers in on the SGC for a while. The thing is that there were a number of possible scenarios we had seriously contemplated and we had devised a number of possible plans to handle what we believed to be every conceivable contingency... with the believed in 'what we believed' being the operative word. The point is that we missed our mark by about a mile and instead of finding ourselves facing a potential threat Carter and I have found ourselves killing time in the break room of a police department and wondering how could we possibly have been so wrong...
We were ready for a number of things that could possibly have been waiting for us here in Cascade but we weren't ready for the revelation that Daniel apparently has a little brother, the product of a one night stand his father had with a woman Daniel had never even heard of. When compared to everything we deal with on a regular basis it sounds so mundane and yet here we are, cooped up in a break room with a detective and a police captain, trying to maintain the pretense of making small talk while we are itching to be in there with our archeologist, making sure that he is fine... well at least I know I'm itching to be in there and I suspect that Carter feels the same way.
The funny thing is that I'm not questioning whether this whole story is true or not. The kid may not look that much like Daniel but then again they are half brothers, not long lost twins so I guess that's to be expected and there is enough of a family resemblance, especially in their eyes, that the whole thing actually makes sense. Still the things that seem most alike between the two of them are not the most obvious ones. Their similarities are not the ones that are easily defined but rather something that is far more subtle... and those similarities are definitely there and there's no denying that. Call it an instinct but I'm certain that what that letter says is nothing but the truth... and that means we are going to have no choice but to get to know both the kid and Detective Ellison who currently seems to be... listening?
Now that is an interesting twist. I try to focus on the sounds around me, trying to figure out what's caught his attention but no matter how hard I try there doesn't seem to be anything there other than the ordinary sounds one would normally associate with a police department, or almost with any office for that matter, and even those sounds are muffled by the closed door. I turn and look at Carter only to find that she too seems to be studying the detective and then I remember what she told me about the kid's dissertation... a dissertation about a man with heightened senses.
I try to go over what I remember of the whole story in my mind, trying to add this little tidbit to the information I had before I walked into this building. It wasn't just that Sandburg had claimed to have found a man with heightened senses, it was that he had actually given that man a name: Jim Ellison... and if what Carter suspects --and the good detective's record suggests-- is correct, if the kid didn't fake his diss at all, then it would be possible for the detective to be keeping an ear on what's going on in that office.
Can he really hear what Sandburg and Daniel are saying right now without using some sort of parabolic mic or other such equipment? It seems impossible but then again what do I know. The thing is that when Carter mentioned heightened senses I never really pictured something like this but the more I think about it the more likely that explanation becomes for what I'm seeing here.
The special forces part of my brain can't help but go over the evidence and think of the things a man with senses heightened to such a degree would be able to accomplish in the field... either at the SGC or elsewhere. I know that is not why we are here, that's not why we came... we came here to find if we had a leak, if somehow someone had managed to put two and two together and yet it seems that we've found so much more.
The problem is that while I'm almost drooling just thinking of the things Ellison would be able to accomplish if I could find some way to talk him into joining us, the fact remains that there's nothing I can do about it and I know it. My hands are tied because after all the SGC is supposed to be a secret so I can't just come out and ask him outright if he's interested. Besides, this whole thing is far more complicated than that. What he could do at the SGC is just the tip of the iceberg. As far as I'm concerned there's also the fact that this whole situation is terribly unjust. I'm not happy at the thought that Daniel is alone in the captain's office trying to get to know his brand new brother, I wish I could be there to make sure he's fine and now all of a sudden I discover that the detective is cheating by listening in on them... can we say not fair?
He is the one who suggested we give Sandburg and Daniel 'some privacy' in the first place! Well if he wanted them to have some privacy then he shouldn't be listening in... or if he's going to be eavesdropping anyway then the least he could do is share. It's not just his friend who is trying to get to know his new brother... it's my geek in there too! And the worst part is that I know I can't say anything about it simply because I'm not supposed to know anything about it in the first place. Even after all these years sometimes I still really hate playing these games... whether they are necessary or not... and as much as it pains me to admit it I have to say that chances are that this time around they actually are necessary.
The thing is that if what I suspect is right then there is a very good reason why Ellison is trying to keep a low profile --even if his record as the best detective ever in the history of Washington State would seem to suggest that he's failing miserably in that regard-- and while I know that what someone like him would be able to do for the SGC would make him invaluable, I also know that if other parties were to learn of his existence then the damage he could be forced to inflict would be truly devastating. That is not a chance I'm prepared to take and that means I have to be careful not to reveal his secret, not to make any moves that could possibly leave him exposed. That means I have to stay put unless I see some sort of evidence that we may be heading for trouble here, and up until now I haven't seen anything to suggest that so I keep my tongue, my curiosity and my knowledge to myself... and for the record that's not an easy thing for me to do under the circumstances.
From what I've read about Detective Ellison I know he is basically a good man who's gone through hell. I can't imagine what I would have done if the Air Force had forgotten me in the middle of nowhere for a year and a half like the Army forgot him, I was left with enough bitterness after four months in Iraq, though of course at least he wasn't a prisoner at the time and that may have made all the difference. The thing is that even though he is a good man that doesn't mean he is invulnerable and I know several parties who would most definitely be interested in a man of his abilities... parties that wouldn't hesitate to break him to their will if need be by whatever means necessary to turn him into a tool they could use to their advantage.
I shake my head as I realize that I must be slipping. I forgot that Ellison is more than just a detective, I forgot that his training basically mirrors my own and that means I'm in trouble 'cos I've been staring at him for long enough to have drawn his attention. That's not a good sign though luckily he doesn't say anything about it. Those games I mentioned earlier, those games I don't necessarily enjoy playing? Those games have already begun and there's nothing I can do about that now. It is a twisted game we are playing here, one I've played countless times before. I know and he knows I know but he can acknowledge that he knows what I know without also acknowledging the truth of what I know.
And here I thought that, after years of traveling to other worlds, our little trip to Cascade would probably turn out to be dull by comparison.