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Cam Balinsky stepped off the elevator. The briefing for SG-13's mission had been routine. No surprises…nothing exciting had shown up in the MALP images. It was just a standard recon. It had been a surprise however, to have Casey Jackson sitting in on the briefing. She'd seemed upset, but reported that she couldn't 'see' anything that could be a problem for the team.
SG-13 wasn't scheduled to leave until later in the day. Hopefully after lunch. The last time they'd left before lunch, they'd found themselves in a village, trying desperately to convince the locals they weren't demons from hell. It had taken the full day to finally get through to the leaders, and only then had the negotiations regarding the naquadah they'd found begun. He'd been starving by the time the team had returned to base. And damned grumpy because of it, as he recalled. He reminded himself that there had been no sign of life anywhere near the Stargate. Chances were slim that they'd find anything, much less villagers - which meant that the team would probably be home in time for dinner.
A loud crash caught his attention…and the sound seemed to have come from one of the storage rooms. He stepped into the nearest room to find four men…none of whom he recognized…staring at the small box that was now on the floor, the contents - broken pottery pieces, spread out at the feet of a short, dark-haired man.
"Sorry about that," Bregman said, immediately noting the presence of the newcomer. "I bumped into this crate-"
Cam smiled, waved a hand dismissively. "Don't worry about it. This is stuff we haven't catalogued yet…so everything is sort of in the way right now."
Bregman had knelt down, was gathering the shards of terra cotta. "So, where did these come from?"
He walked over, crouched down and looked at the box. "P3X 474," Cam replied. He helped gather the pottery shards.
"Oh. Where's that?"
"Not a clue," the archaeologist replied cheekily. "You'd have to ask Walter to locate the coordinates."
"Ah," Bregman said. He held his hand out. "I'm Emmett Bregman. This is my posse, James and Shep. And Tom, our tour guide."
His smile went wider. He'd promised Daniel he'd 'intercept' the journalist, and the man had conveniently made their introduction painless. He nodded amiably at the men who had been introduced. "Doctor Cameron Balinsky."
"So, you're a doctor of…?"
"And, as Doctor Jackson is busy at the moment, he's asked me to show you around," Cam said cheerfully. Hoping that Bregman would be agreeable.
Bregman brightened considerably. "That's great!"
So far so good! The guy actually seems pleased to talk to me! "So, have they told you how the SGC came to be?" Cam inquired. The pieces of pottery back in the box, the lid on tightly, Cam stood up.
"Yeah, but I'd like to get someone on film explaining that. Would you mind?" Bregman asked, rising as well.
"Not at all."
Looking around the crowded room, the journalist frowned slightly. "Is there somewhere we could go…maybe somewhere a few of these artifacts are sitting out? It would look great for the background," he explained.
"There's a crate of stuff being examined in the work room," Cam said.
"Let's go!" Bregman said, motioning with one arm that Cam should take the lead. Following closely, he glanced over his shoulder, and gave his crew a satisfied smirk. No doubt talking to a civilian would be much easier than interviewing the military personnel of the SGC…
A A A A A A
Determined to keep her best friend away from the visiting camera crew, telling herself that she was protecting the petite doctor, Casey plopped down on the stool beside Janet's desk. "So, what are your plans for the day?"
"Well, I have a memo from General Hammond that the film crew will be taking a look at the infirmary at some point today," Janet replied.
"Oh, joy. Maybe I can find a way to get you out of it," Casey said, hoping she sounded casual. There was no way she wanted her best friend to know that she was a risk to SG-1. It would break Janet's heart, the seer told herself, if she knew that she'd been responsible for exposing our immortality.
"I don't mind," Janet smiled.
"I have to give an interview," Casey said. She frowned slightly as the conversation, which had taken place as soon as she and Daniel had set foot on level eighteen after the morning briefing, played again in her mind. "From what Craig Nichols just told us, I'll have to be damned careful what I say."
"Why is that?" Janet asked curiously.
"Well, according to Craig, this Emmett Bregman showed up at MIT, he was
supposedly doing a documentary on scientific myths. Turned out to be more of an
exposé on some of the lesser known research that was going on. Apparently this
Bregman humiliated one of Craig's friends on camera."
"That sounds awful," Janet said. The last thing she needed was to be caught on film saying the wrong thing!
"Well, Craig said that he took about two hours worth of film of his friend explaining one of his own research projects. Then cut and spliced it together with misleading questions…turned everything around and stood it on its ear," Casey finished. "I figure the less I say, the less the little bastard has to work with."
Janet shook her head. "That's all we need, someone to turn what we're doing here into some secret military operation doing unspeakable things." She glanced sideways at her companion. "Any helpful little tidbits of info on this?"
Casey started slightly. Took a deep breath. "Just that avoiding this guy seems to be in our best interest…for the whole SGC." She glanced around, noted that Doctor Werner was on duty. "Cam Balinsky is going to head Bregman off as much as possible, so that Daniel doesn't have to deal with him. I dunno, maybe it would be best if the heads of the departments weren't 'caught' on film. Gives us more deniability if this thing does ever see the light of day."
"Maybe," Janet said, frowning slightly. "I could talk to Cliff…Doctor Werner," she explained at Casey's questioning look. "Maybe he'd be willing to do the interview."
"That's a great idea!" Casey responded enthusiastically. Chastised herself silently. Seeming too eager to keep Bregman away from her would only make Janet curious as to why. "He's been here as long as you have."
"Longer," Janet replied. "He should actually be CMO. But the Air Force wanted an officer in the position."
"Well, he'll be able to tell Bregman about the infirmary, and not being CMO, when…or if…Bregman twists things around, as CMO you can challenge what he says," Casey said carefully.
"Guess I'll go see what Sam's doing," Casey sighed, rising to her feet when one of the medics brought a stack of folders for Janet's inspection.
"Not working on the database today?"
"Avoiding level eighteen for now. If I can avoid being interviewed, I'm going to do it!" the seer declared.
Janet giggled softly. "It seems General O'Neill has been a very bad influence on you."
"Yeah, Daniel says that, too," Casey grinned mischievously. "Lunch later?"
"I'll be there," Casey promised. She fluttered her fingers in a wave, then scurried out the door.
Janet smiled and shook her head. To get Casey Jackson on camera, Bregman would have to catch up with her first!
A A A A A A
"So, Doctor Jackson figured out exactly what the Stargate was, and how it worked, in two weeks?" Bregman asked incredulously.
Cam nodded. "After some of the brightest minds in the field had already been working on it for nearly seven months. You have to understand, Daniel was actually years ahead of the rest of the archaeological community. He already knew…well, at that time he simply extrapolated…the true purpose of the pyramids. He has this way of seeing things from a different angle than everyone else."
"I've read about him," Bregman said. "He's been called both brilliant and misled. I'm assuming the misled part refers to his 'crazy' theory about the pyramids."
"I think all geniuses are labeled that way," Cam smiled.
"You're saying that Doctor Jackson is a genius?" The question was rife with disbelief.
"I think he is," Cam replied easily. "So do most of the people who work with him. He's able to take the smallest amounts of information, add that to what he knows mythologically about a 'god' from here on Earth, and come up with an accurate portrait of the Goa'uld."
"From what I've read, they're all basically the same…egotistical, self-serving, and determined to rule the galaxy," Bregman countered, obviously not impressed with Doctor Jackson's alleged brilliance.
"That's true," Cam allowed with a chuckle. "However, each one has a distinct personality; each one has his or her own aspirations, and his or her own ideas of what's valuable. One might prize anything made of gold, while another sees gold objects as mere trinkets, and believes that technology…of any sort, is to be diligently sought out. Knowing these individual 'quirks' can put us in a position to use that information against them. You have to know your enemy to be able to defeat him…or her."
Bregman sifted through his notes. "You're assigned to an SG team, aren't you?"
"Yes. SG-13. Headed by Colonel Dave Dixon," Cam said. "He's a good man. Bosworth and Wells are great guys, too."
"Do all SG teams have an archaeologist assigned to them?" Bregman asked, genuinely curious.
"No. Some have botanists, or anthropologists, or geologists assigned to them. Some teams are wholly military. Some of the scientists here at the SGC are military. Two of our geologists are Army," Cam explained. "Missions are assigned based on the 'specialty' of the team."
"So, with you being an archaeologist, SG-13 is assigned missions that would most likely result in archaeological finds?"
"In theory, yes. The mandate for the SGC is to find technology and weapons that can help us defeat the Goa'uld. We're lucky enough that General Hammond understands that there are other finds that are equally important. That helping the people we meet out there, who for the most part are related to us…taken from Earth thousands of years ago by the Goa'uld to serve as slaves…is also just as important," Cam said.
"If you could tell everyone watching this about the SGC, what would you say?"
Cam shifted in his chair. "What would I say…personally, or as a member of the SGC?"
"Either. Both," Bregman replied, eager to get as much from Doctor Balinsky as possible.
"Well, personally, I'm glad the SGC is here. Thankful that the men and women who serve here are willing to put their lives on the line daily to protect our home-world from the threat of the Goa'uld. As a contributing member of the SGC, I’m proud of what we've accomplished, the discoveries that have been made, and the fact that already there are medical and technical advances in the private sector that have their origins in what we found out there," Cam said.
"And…cut! That's very nice…in fact that's great," Bregman grinned. "That was just what I needed!" He rose to his feet, offering his hand.
Cam shook it, then glance at his watch. "I'm heading down to the commissary now. Gonna grab some lunch before I leave."
"Oh, going on a mission?" Bregman asked.
"Look, could I join you? For lunch, I mean," the journalist explained, noting the look of surprise, followed quickly by a shuttered look of refusal. "You could tell me about this mission."
"You're welcome to join me. But I can't tell you anything. It's classified."
"I understand. Maybe you could just explain what it is exactly that you do on missions."
"I think that would be okay," Cam admitted.
"Good! I am kinda hungry, now that I think about it," Bregman grinned. "I was too excited to eat breakfast this morning."
Cam grinned in return. "I couldn't eat for two days, waiting to hear back from Daniel about the job here."
Bregman motioned to the cameraman. The red light on the back of the instrument began to glow again. "Really? You didn't mention how you came to work here."
"Well, I'd met Daniel at the Oriental Institute in Chicago. We were working on different projects at the time. I was actually just starting my undergrad studies there. He already had two of his doctorates, was finishing his third. I'd read his work, and actually referenced one of his papers in one of my own theses," Cam explained. "I managed to wrangle an introduction through a mutual friend. He was a great guy…shy, unassuming. Brilliant, but so damned modest about it."
"So you hit it off?"
"Well, yeah, I guess so," Cam shrugged. "Like I said, we were working on different projects. I was also working on my minor in geology at the time. So I'd gone to Arizona to do a bit of on-site work. By the time I returned to Chicago, Daniel had left."
"You must have done something to impress him, something that made him recommend you for the job," Bregman pushed.
Cam chuckled. "My archaeological 'specialty' is the Sumerian civilization. Daniel needed someone with that particular knowledge. He knew me, called me and offered me a job, without telling me a damned thing about it. I'd already heard all of the rumors-" He broke off. "I won't go into that."
Bregman nodded. "That's okay, I'm not interested in Doctor Jackson's rather…fanciful…theory, or his 'fall from grace' as the result of that stand."
With a nod, Cam took a deep breath, then continued. "When he first showed me the Stargate, I thought it was an elaborate joke. Then I went through it for my training. It all became very real. I can't imagine doing anything but this. I wouldn't want to be anywhere but right here."
"You guys go grab some lunch," Bregman said, turning to Shep and James. He caught site of the liaison, standing quietly in the corner. "Is that okay, Tom? Is it okay if they grab lunch?"
"I'll have some myself," Colonel Rundell replied, offering an uneasy smile. He'd already formed an opinion…and not a positive one…of Bregman. Who continued to reinforce that opinion at every turn. Condescending jerk, he huffed silently.
Bregman followed the tall, redheaded archaeologist into the commissary, and was immediately aware of the fact that his presence had been noted. It seemed that no one wanted to make eye contact with him. Probably afraid he'd pounce on them, and start asking questions, he thought irritably.
"Fastest rumor mill in the west," Cam chuckled, also seeing the looks, and the obvious way those around them were trying to watch without seeming to do so. "Casey…er…Casey Jackson, Daniel's wife, says if she sneezes on one level, everyone in the whole place will yell out 'god bless you'."
The journalist chuckled. "So it's a safe bet that everyone knows who I am, and why I'm here?"
"Without a doubt," Cam nodded. "Just don't take it personally if they don't want to talk to you. Especially the military guys. They're all good men, every one of them. It's just that part of the job is keeping this a secret."
"Well, something this…big…can't remain a secret forever," Bregman argued.
"No one around here thinks it will. But we all have hope that when it is revealed, it will be done in a way that won't cause widespread panic." Cam took a sandwich, picked up a bowl of fruit as well, and glanced over at the shorter man. "It would be nice if the people involved were recognized for the job they do…are doing, rather than demonized for working in a secret military installation," he added quietly.
Bregman didn't reply. If he had his way, the documentary he was making today would be aired by the end of the year. He was going to pull every string he could to that end. As to how the personnel were viewed, that would depend on how much they were willing to say…explain…on camera, wouldn't it?
Forcing his attention back to matters at hand, Bregman appraised the offered lunch items with a critical eye. He'd been on military bases before…and the commissary was the same as he'd seen in other places. He picked out a sandwich, then filled a mug from the tall urn that sat on a separate table. Followed Cam to a table in the corner. "Aren't you worried that your colleagues will think you're colluding with me?" The comment was only partially teasing.
Cam laughed. "To be honest, they're all probably wondering how I got stuck with you, and at the same time thanking their lucky stars it wasn't them."
The twinkle in the young archaeologist's eyes had Bregman chuckling as well. "I can tell you admire the people you work with."
Nodding, Cam wiped his mouth with a napkin; finished chewing the bite of sandwich he'd taken before speaking. "The best of the best work here, Mr. Bregman."
"Call me Emmett," the journalist said immediately.
"Emmett, you'll never find a greater bunch of people," Cam continued. "The most brilliant minds in their fields are here. These people are…they're amazing. And believe it or not, we don't have a lot of egos here. We're all working for the same goal…to save Earth…and to make life on Earth better for our entire civilization."
"Those are rather lofty goals," Bregman replied, not unkindly.
"Maybe. Sometimes…sometimes it feels as if this entire place is…I dunno…" Cam shrugged slightly. "Sometimes it's like we're blessed. Like…well…like we're here because this is exactly where we're supposed to be, doing exactly what we're destined to do. I know, that sounds a bit crazy. Egocentric, maybe. It's not, trust me. But when we…well, usually SG-1…pull off another miracle, it's as if the gods themselves are standing right beside us."
Bregman noted the wonder in his companion's eyes. That Balinsky was proud of what he did, proud of the SGC, was obvious. For one moment the thought that the Nazi's had been proud of their work flashed through his brain. He shoved it away. This, he believed, was very different. He was still certain that the Stargate and the Stargate Program needed to be revealed; that the taxpayers footing the bill for the place had every right to know what their money was being spent on. But talking to Cam Balinsky, a civilian archaeologist at the secret SGC, had him beginning to wonder if every penny was indeed justified.
Casey pushed the door open. She immediately recognized the journalist, who sat eating with Cam. Feelings of dread and fear washed over her. Backing out as quickly as possible, she nearly ran over Janet.
"Ya know what? I am so in the mood for a nice thick, strawberry shake. And a bag of Sonic onion rings," the seer said quickly.
Janet raised an eyebrow. "Is something wrong?"
For one brief moment she was tempted to tell Janet everything she'd seen. Although, much to her chagrin, she still wasn't able to clearly interpret everything she'd been shown. There was still a dark cloud around someone. The only real bit of information she'd been able to glean from the download was that the person was close to Janet. She frowned as the thought passed through her mind. No, not close…near. Someone near Janet is going to be…hurt? Goddess don't let it be worse than that!
"Casey, what's the matter?" Janet asked gently.
Tears filled green eyes. "I had a download," she said softly. "Someone is in danger, and I can't see who it is."
Instinctively Janet understood that Casey would hold herself singularly responsible for anything that happened…anything of the negative nature, that was. "I think a shake and onion rings sound good. Let's get out of here for awhile." The relief visible on the young seer's face made her determined to make their lunch together off-base as long as possible.
Grabbing her cellphone, Casey pressed number one and waited impatiently for him to answer. "Hey, Stud Muffin! Janet and I are going to make a run to Sonic. Want me to bring anything back for you?"
In his office, Daniel sat back, wiped a hand over his jaw. He knew that Casey was steadfast in her belief that 'protecting' Janet from being interviewed was in their best interest. He still thought the doctor should be told the truth. And nothing he said was going to deter his Wife. "Thanks, Angel, but I'll just grab something later. I'm almost finished translating the notes I brought back from that temple, and I'm hoping to catch Sam to talk to her about some of the references. I figure she might have an idea or two about the location of this city from the clues given."
He grinned. "Positive. Have fun."
"We will. Love you."
"Love you, too, Angel."
Casey flipped her phone closed. "The man is obsessed," she said, shaking her head. "He said he's almost finished translating those notes-"
"The notes he took while he was Kali's lo'taur?" Janet interrupted. During the 'team breaks' during the day, the archaeologist had talked non-stop about the discovery, even begrudgingly admitting that without Kali's 'interference', there was the chance that no one from the SGC would have found that particular temple.
"The very same. Only Daniel could be captured, and still manage to take extensive notes in an old temple," the seer muttered.
Janet chuckled. "I don't think Kali could have stopped him, even if she'd wanted to."
"Probably not," Casey grinned. "When that man is determined to do something, nothing and no one can stand in his way."
"So are you going to eat a hamburger, too?" Janet asked casually as she slid her ID card through the reader.
She glanced sideways at her friend. "I didn't even lose a full pound," Casey said.
"You just didn't eat, or barely ate, the entire time Daniel was gone," Janet countered softy.
"How about I order one and eat what I can?"
"I'll accept that," Janet said. She realized that if Casey took more than three bites of the burger, she should consider it a minor miracle.
A A A A A A
Deciding it would be better to do her interview and get it over, Sam had located the film crew, and told Bregman she had a few minutes for him. She did her best not to fidget in the chair while the Airman…Shep, she'd heard Bregman call him…clipped a small microphone to her shirt.
"Don't worry about it," Bregman said, nodding at Shep. "He only looks unprofessional." The weak smile in return wasn't quite what he was hoping for.
Colonel Carter was the first of the officers contacted to be interviewed to actually show up. He wanted the lieutenant colonel as relaxed as possible. Experience had taught him that it would be much easier to get answers to his questions if she wasn't nervous. With luck, he could get a good interview, and the lovely lady would pass the word that he wasn't some sort of ogre. Bregman smiled at her. "You know, Colonel, General Hammond warned me that people might be a little less than enthusiastic about all of this. I have to admit, so far, no one seems inclined to talk to me."
"I think you might be sensing reluctance from people around here to put themselves on a pedestal. I mean, we are just doing our jobs," Sam replied. She glanced at Shep, who was still adjusting the microphone.
"Just a job?" Bregman said incredulously. The 'job' these people did, if the mission reports he'd read were accurate, (and according to President Hayes, they were) was impressive at the very least. "Well, I consider it my job to put you on a pedestal, 'cause this job looks to me to be nothing short of extraordinary. And from what I read of your file, the same can be said about you personally."
Sam's cheeks turned pink. "See, now I'm blushing."
"So you are. Then we should start. It'll look good on camera. All right. Let's go, guy," Bregman said, making shooing motions at Shep, then settled himself in the chair just behind the camera. He smiled at Sam. "Are you ready?"
Shifting slightly on the stool she'd been offered, Sam cleared her throat. "No."
Meter in hand, James moved toward the colonel, taking readings for the amount of light now shining on the blonde.
"What are you doing?" Bregman demanded. "We don't need a light meter, the woman is glowing. Let's get rolling."
Hurrying back to where the camera waited, mounted on the tripod, James started the film. "We're rolling."
"Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter, meet the six and a half billion people of the planet Earth."
Sam looked at the camera, felt herself overcome by a severe case of insecurity. "Hi," she said shyly.
"So, Colonel Carter, what do you do here at the SGC?" Bregman asked.
"I'm an astrophysicist," Sam replied nervously.
Bregman smiled. "That's your specialty?"
"I was told that you almost single-handedly wrote the computer program that operates the dialing system for the Stargate," Bregman said.
"I was just part of the team who wrote that program," Sam corrected, color rising in her cheeks again. "It's a complex program with hundreds of thousands of lines of code. It took us months to come up with the dialing system."
"I understand that it wasn't until Doctor Jackson had discovered the actual function of the Stargate that your project on the dialing system began."
Sam nodded. "His input was the catalyst for that particular project. We managed to write that program in just under three months."
"Now, correct me if I have this wrong," Bregman said, glancing up from his notes. "The 'DHD'…the device that the Ancients built that dials the Stargate, the device that the SGC doesn't have…had built-in safety features, correct?"
"Correct," Sam replied. She had a bad feeling about just where the question was going to lead.
"Those safety protocols aren't in your dialing program, are they?"
I knew it, she thought irritably. "Not exactly, although the program does contain several dozen subroutines that take in account what we've learned. The original program had emergency shut-down instructions in the event of an emergency."
"But, if I understand computer programming, only the emergencies that you and the others were aware of, or could think of, right?"
"Well, at the time we weren't aware of the full scope of the Stargate system. When we wrote the original program, we knew of only two gates, the one we had, and the one on Abydos. We didn't know that there were literally thousands of Stargates."
"So, when the Stargate Program was started, no one really knew what they were doing, or what they were getting into…getting us, meaning Earth, into," Bregman said.
"I suppose we knew as much about what we were doing as Columbus did when he set sail to find an alternate route to India."
"Yeah," Bregman chuckled dryly, "look how that turned out."
"I don't think any explorer or inventor ever knew exactly what he or she was doing in the first stages of their work. But isn't it lucky for us that there are individuals who see a challenge, and rise to meet it? If it weren't for those stalwart individuals, we'd all still be living in caves, shivering in the cold from lack of fire," Sam shot back coldly. "And lucky for us Doctor Jackson did figure out the Stargate, and lucky for us that we did start up the Stargate Program. It's prevented the Earth from being conquered by several Goa'uld."
She's pissed, he thought. Better back off a bit. Bregman glanced at his notes. "I understand that you and General O'Neill were recently married."
Sam smiled…warm, genuine happiness lighting her face. "Yes, we were."
"Isn't that against regulations? I mean, he's your commanding officer."
"We were given permission," Sam responded quietly.
"I see. Who gave you permission to ignore the rules that the rest of those in the military have to live by?"
The flare of anger in Sam's sapphire blue eyes was obvious to everyone in the room, and certainly noted by the camera. "The President of the United States. Former president," she added, realizing she had and Jack been given the…freedom…to acknowledge their feelings just over two years prior. "President Miller signed the Presidential Order."
"Apparently saving the entire planet a time or two was worth a bit of…leniency," she quipped impetuously.
Bregman frowned. "I've read the reports about the meteor incident-"
That incident had happened several years earlier. Apparently Bregman hadn't been given access to all of the SGC mission reports, and it seemed not the most recent. "I'm sure you have. We…meaning SG-1, flew a barely working al'kesh to that asteroid. When it seemed that we weren't going to be able to change the trajectory enough, we decided to detonate the nuclear device in order to destroy it. To save every life on Earth. To do that, we had to remain on the asteroid…which meant that we willingly chose to sacrifice our lives."
"Obviously that didn't happen," Bregman pointed out.
"Daniel and I were able to come up with another plan," Sam responded. Memories of the mission filled her mind. She could still hear the barely suppressed panic in Jack's voice…
"Carter, I can see my house!"
"We managed to save Earth and stay alive," Sam said proudly.
"Lucky for you," Bregman smiled.
"Lucky for Earth, Mr. Bregman," Sam said coolly.
"Call me Emmett," Bregman replied automatically. "I'll admit, something like that is worth a little…bonus. Still, isn't it against regulations to even allow such…feelings…to even start? Under…um…well…under 'normal' circumstances, wouldn't one of you have been required to request a transfer or something, to prevent any such relationship from developing?"
Sam rolled her eyes impatiently. "Jack and I didn't set out to fall in love with each other."
"Is it just a result of working together so closely, for so many years, under such…harrowing…circumstances?" Bregman asked.
"If that's all it was, the attraction would have faded as soon as the non-frat rules were rescinded for the SGC," Sam said coolly.
Bregman immediately jumped on that tidbit of information. "So, it wasn't just you and General O'Neill who are being given permission to break the rules," he mused. "Just how did you go about asking for this…'special consideration'?"
"You'd have to talk to former President Miller, but from what I understand, Casey Jackson was instrumental in getting that 'special consideration' for everyone here at the SGC. As she pointed out, the SGC is unique. There isn't a military installation in the world that faces what we face every day. There isn't a military installation in the world where the personnel are as close…emotionally…as they are here. The SGC is…" Sam frowned, searching for the right word.
"Special?" Bregman prompted.
"Unique," she said pointedly.
"I suppose it is. Does being married to your commanding officer change anything when you're on a mission?"
"Of course not," Sam said immediately, only slightly defensive. "When we're on a mission, we aren't 'Jack and Sam'. We're General O'Neill and Lieutenant Colonel Carter, members of SG-1."
"I see," Bregman replied. "What about Doctor and Missus Jackson?"
"What about them?"
"Are they still 'Doctor and Missus' on missions?"
Sam smiled sweetly. "They're civilians. So, it really doesn't matter. When SG-1 is on a mission, all members of the team are focused on the mission."
"Of course they are," Bregman said condescendingly.
The smirk on Sam's face should have been a warning to the journalist. "Of course, it's because of how close we are…the members of SG-1 that is…that we're able to pull off a lot of the 'miracles' we've managed."
Bregman sat forward slightly. "How so?"
Sam shrugged. "We don't have to take even a second to wonder what our teammates are doing, how they're reacting to the situation. It's all…instinctive. Jack and Daniel…er…General O'Neill and Doctor Jackson - well, all of us to a certain extent, but specifically those two - can hold an entire conversation with just a couple of glances. I can look at Teal'c, and he knows what I'm going to do…or Daniel can look at me, and I 'get' his message."
"Are all of the SG teams as…close?"
"Yes, they are," Sam said. "Although so far, SG-1 is the only team that has a married couple...well, two now…as members."
"I'd think that would create problems in the heat of battle."
"You've obviously never been in the 'heat of battle'," Sam retorted. "When we're in the 'heat of battle', we're not thinking about anything but what we're doing."
"Since you and the general are so newly married, I'll ask about Doctor Jackson and his wife. They've never been fighting, and had that fight interfere with what the team is doing?"
Sam laughed softly. "You don't know Daniel and Casey. They don't fight."
Bregman raised an eyebrow in disbelief. "Never?"
"Well, if they do, it's never here," Sam said firmly.
"Uh huh," Bregman said, obviously not at all convinced.
"Colonel Carter to Science Lab One. Colonel Carter to Science Lab One."
Sam barely bit back her sigh of relief. She had no idea which of her teammates had come through for her, but no doubt one of them was responsible for the call echoing through the corridors. She rose, pulling the microphone from her shirt. "Duty calls," she smiled brightly.
"General Hammond said you'd show us the control room," Bregman said, standing as well.
"I'll let you know when I have the time," Sam tossed over her shoulder, disappearing through the door.
He watched as the colonel nearly ran through the door. He had the interview. It certainly wasn't what he'd hoped for, Bregman thought moodily. But it was a start.
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