Down the Rabbit Hole
We have been in this elevator for what feels like hours and the truth is that I'm more than a little nervous. What can I say, ever since my encounter with Galileo, elevators have been one thing I've tried to avoid whenever possible and this one is worse than most... or maybe it's just my imagination. It's just that it seems to go so deep into the earth, that it goes down instead of up and that it hardly ever stops. I think maybe that's what's bothering me the most. With most elevators you stop every couple of floors, people get in and out but here that is just not happening all that often and even when the elevator does stop, even when the doors do open, they open to endless gray corridors that are almost completely devoid of identifying features... do I even have to say that I find this environment to be totally unnatural?
Of course, in addition to that there's also Jim for me to worry about. I can see that he is struggling to keep his senses dialed down as I told him to do and yes, I do realize how hard that must be for him but the fact that I understand how he feels does nothing to change the fact that right now that's the safest thing he can do. Once we reach the SGC we'll see what the situation really is and work on each one of his senses separately but until we can 'recalibrate' them to compensate for this unnatural environment we have no choice but to be extremely careful. Simply put, keeping Jim's senses dialed down is a must if we want to minimize the risk that he will zone out on some unexpected stimulus.
Yes, these people know he is a sentinel --or they will be told soon enough-- but I seriously doubt they understand what that means, what it entails. They may be aware of the advantages his senses afford him but I don't think they understand just how easily those same senses can be turned into a liability, how vulnerable they can make him and that is where the danger lies... and I suspect those limitations are going to turn out to be far more dangerous here than they ever were back in Cascade.
Sure, in Cascade those limitations did represent a bit of a problem at times but the truth is that even in the worst of cases they were more a nag than a threat. Back there Jim's senses could be controlled, for the most part, without really endangering his life or the lives of those around him... I suspect that here that will no longer be the case.
The thing is that, even though back in Cascade Jim sometimes relied on his senses to chase down a criminal, that was the exception rather than the norm. Back when he was a detective Jim used his senses mostly to analyze crime scenes and that meant that the risks were kept to a minimum. Crime scenes may have been deeply disturbing at times but they were usually safe and --more often than not-- the criminals were long gone by the time we got there. That meant that, for the most part, Jim was using his senses in an environment in which he could afford to zone out without really jeopardizing his life.
Okay, so maybe that wasn't always the case, but the bottom line is that --for the most part-- past crime scenes are likely to be safer than current or future battlefields. Yes, Jim's senses may keep a team safely away from an ambush and in that regard they may well turn out to be invaluable but at the same time they may also render him incredibly vulnerable at the worst of times and that is not something I'm sure we'll ever be able to overcome.
Right now that's my primary concern. I mean, I know there must be a solution, I know that, throughout history, sentinels have successfully operated in environments that were far less predictable than the ones Jim and I are used to dealing with. I know historically sentinels have performed their duties as scouts and watchmen under all kinds of circumstances, tracking the movement of both game and enemies but the problem is that the guides' handbook was lost a long time ago and I really don't have a clue as to how am I supposed to handle this situation. What I do know is that trying to reinvent the wheel while on a moving vehicle is not the best of ideas... unfortunately I may well find myself with no choice but to do just that.