<< Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>
Heroes and Jellybeans
SGC Heroes…SG-1/Dr. Daniel M. Jackson and Casey R. Jackson
by Alan Brady
Not every interview can be entertaining. Or even enjoyable. But this time I lucked out. I was able to sit down and talk to two real heroes, Dr. Daniel Jackson and his wife Casey. The real deal. Not that you could tell it by listening to them. They say they’re just doing their job. They do their job, they do it well, and for that we should all be eternally grateful. Earth remains Goa’uld free because of these people. We can all sleep better at night knowing that this couple, and the other members of SG-1, are on the job.
Arriving at the SGC Gamma was…interesting. I had never made a trip ‘off-world’, and if I have my way, I won’t be doing it again. It’s just almost more than the mind can comprehend. The journey began right here on Terra Firma, good old planet Earth. The group of us, reporters and photographers, met up at the SGC, or Stargate Command, which is in the belly of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We were escorted into the ‘gate room’, where a giant ring waited. There is simply no way to describe the overwhelming sense of grandeur, the mind-blowing sights and sounds that accompany the Stargate ‘opening’, or staring at an honest to goodness 'event horizon'. We were led up a ramp, and after a few seconds of cold and disorientation and flashing light, we walked back down another ramp. In a different ‘gate room’. We were met by the liaison for our visit, a young woman named Becca Porter. Becca, by the way, is an Immortal. We wouldn’t have known that if she hadn’t told us.
I met the Jacksons in the conference room of the SGC on Gamma. SG-1 are still somewhat publicity shy, probably due to so many years of working in secrecy. So there were a few moments of strained silence once the introductions were over. President MacLeod, a very charming man, ‘assigned’ each of the members of SG-1 a reporter and photographer. Like I said, I got lucky. Now I’m not saying that Gen. Jack O’Neill and his lovely wife, Col. Dr. Samantha Carter O’Neill aren’t great folks. They are, I know because I was able to chat with them for a few minutes. Nor am I saying that I wouldn’t have found it interesting to interview Teal'c of Chulak, the Jaffa. I’m just saying that I think the Jacksons are probably the nicest people I have ever met, and I was delighted to get to spend some time getting to know them.
I told them that I didn’t want to be in the way, and that Cory (Masterson, one of the best photographers in the business) and I would just follow them around. When I asked Dr. Jackson about Gamma’s Archaeology Center, he was more than happy to show me the facility. The number of artifacts that this building houses is staggering. Daniel showed me how they were categorized and set up for examination, and if need be, translation. To say that the man loves his job is an understatement. He was as excited as a kid in a toy store as he showed me all of the ‘finds’ that have been made. After a lengthy and fascinating tour, he said that he really needed to return to his office and deal with all the messages that had come in from the day before, and that there was a translation that needed to be finished for an upcoming ‘mission’. So back down the elevator we went.
Casey Jackson was sitting at his desk when we arrived back ‘in the mountain’. I guess I should point out here that Gamma’s SGC is buried in a mountain the same as ours. Anyway, she stood up to greet us, and flashed a smile that could light up a major city. If Helen of Troy had a face that could launch a thousand ships, then Casey Jackson has a face, and a smile, that could launch a million of ‘em! She explained to me that she was her husband’s assistant, and did all the paperwork that he didn’t like. She teased him about SRF’s, military jargon for Standard Requisition Forms, then told me about the daily work reports, mission reports, and the other myriad of paperwork that is involved. Each mission generates at least a dozen reports, which are studied, filed and kept on site for future reference. This job isn’t just waltzing through the Stargate to another world. Ask Daniel Jackson, and he’ll tell you that part is the easiest.
The first thing I noticed as they settled down to work is how much they love one another. Whenever Casey moved, Daniel knew about it. If he moved, she knew it. They didn’t even have to look at one another, but you could tell that they knew exactly where the other was, what they were doing, the entire time. Twice I saw Casey take a folder to Daniel, put it into his waiting hand, not a word said. These two were ‘in sync’! Then there was simply the way that they looked at one another. As if no one else existed…anywhere. During a question and answer session in which all of the reporters were allowed access to SG-1, I watched them. I watched Daniel when his wife was talking. Pride, love, admiration, all things that were bright in his eyes as he watched her. I watched Casey when her husband was talking. Same thing. Her eyes reflected her love, her pride, her admiration. There is so much love between them it’s almost tangible!
When I made arrangements to visit their home, and conduct an in-depth interview, I had no idea that I would be invited to a meal of the best lasagna I have ever eaten. I learned that Casey Jackson is not only a member of SG-1, but she’s a great cook. Daniel showed me a gift that she had wrapped for a friend. I have never seen such intricate bows, all which she made herself. She’s quite a talented lady. She also has the most wicked sense of humor I’ve run across in a long time. She kept us laughing the entire time we sat together. Many of my questions were met with answers that had Cory and I rolling on the floor. I only wish I could include all of those questions and answers in this article. Rest assured that is one tape that I will be keeping! Daniel told me that her sense of humor never fails her, no matter the situation.
She was quite eager to list all of Daniel’s accreditation and abilities. He has a Ph.D. in Archaeology, a Ph.D in Philology, and a Masters degree in Anthropology. According to her, he speaks thirty-five languages, ten of which are alien, and reads sixty-five, twenty-three of which are alien. While her face and eyes lit up as she told of his talents, Daniel blushed and lowered his head. She reacted in the same way when Daniel told me that she has a strong psychic gift that allows her to sense danger. She has, he told me, saved the lives of SG-1, and every other SG team on several occasions. He also told me that she is the first to ‘sacrifice’ herself in order to protect any mortal teammates. Both of these heroes are talented people, and both refreshingly modest about those impressive abilities.
The most important thing to both of the Jacksons however, are their children; Emily Rose, age two-and-a-half, and Daniel Nicholas, aged seven months. Emily looks just like her beautiful mother, except for her eyes, which are blue, just like her father’s. Nicholas, as they call their son, is the spitting image of his father. Casey beams proudly whenever the children are near, and Daniel looks as if he is totally, happily amazed that this family belongs to him.
When I began asking about the missions that they went on, the dangers that they faced, neither seemed to understand that to me, to others like me right here on Earth, and here in the good old U.S. of A., what they do everyday is nothing short of heroic. They view what they do as a job, an important one, but a job. They continually reiterated that they were just a part of a team, and that it was the team that deserved the credit, not the individual members.
When it came time for the photo session, I was exposed to that team camaraderie. Anyone listening to them, or watching them, knew in an instant that these people worked together like a well-oiled machine. You won’t find any ‘glory-hounds’ among this group either. Gen. O’Neill insisted that several photos be taken of the entire ‘gang’, which meant every SG team, and the three Marine teams assigned to Gamma, and that they be included in the article about the SGC. You’ll notice that we did just that. (That article is located on page 93.)
These people are true heroes, in every sense of the word. The definition of hero is this: A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life. I can think of no others who have done more to earn this title than Dr. Daniel Jackson and his lovely wife, Casey.
For me, the best things in the world are interviewing real heroes, and jellybeans. I was lucky, I found both on Gamma.
AB: I'd like to thank both of you for allowing us to come into your home and talk to you. I know that your schedule keeps you busy, and that your 'down time' is valuable to you.
DJ: You're welcome.
CJ: You're welcome, Alan.
AB: I'd like to start off by asking each of you what it's like to be a part of SG-1.
DJ: I'm not sure I understand what you're asking.
AB: SG-1 has earned a reputation as being one of the premier SG teams in any of the existing SGC's. How does it feel to be a part of that?
DJ: (Shrugs) I guess it feels good. We just go out and do our job, do the best that we can.
CJ: Like Daniel said, we do our job. We're good at what we do, but that's only because the team has been together for so long. I'm the 'new kid on the block'; Daniel, Sam, and Jack were on the team from its inception. Teal'c joined them shortly thereafter, they actually met him on their first mission together. I didn’t enter the picture until several years later.
AB: Was it hard to become a part of the team?
CJ: Not really, they were all great to me. Although I was intimidated by them at first.
DJ: (Surprised) I never knew that!
CJ: (Smiles at him) Everybody kept telling me how lucky I was to be on the flagship team for the SGC. There were a few people who were a little ticked off that I was put on the team, and not someone with more experience.
DJ: (Frowning) I didn't know that either.
CJ: (Smiles, pats his leg) You had other things on your mind, I guess.
AB: What things were on your mind, Daniel, or do you remember?
DJ: (Smiles) Getting her married to me. I had to convince her that it was a good idea.
AB: (Laughs) Usually it's the woman trying to convince the man! What held you back, Casey?
CJ: (Blushing) I didn't feel…good enough…for him. He's brilliant, a genius. I'm just… average.
DJ: (Rolls his eyes) We've had this discussion before. There isn't anything 'average' about her. She's amazing!
AB: I have to agree with Daniel on this one, Casey. Anyone who can cook like you do, wrap gifts like you do - which has to be some sort of art form, by the way - not to mention that you're a beautiful woman, cannot be considered average.
CJ: (Blushing) Thanks.
AB: So, Casey, what finally convinced you to marry Daniel?
CJ: (Giggles) He proposed. He would talk about getting married, or say that he thought we should get married, but he never came out and asked me to marry him.
AB: (Laughs) We've all heard the story about how Daniel proposed to you. What is one thing from that night that you'll never forget?
CJ: The look in his eyes when he got down on one knee and held that ring up to me. His eyes were so full of love, it just blew me away.
AB: Daniel, what is one thing from that night that you'll never forget?
DJ: I don't think I'll ever forget any of that night. I guess the one thing that always comes to mind first is how beautiful she was when she walked into that room.
AB: Okay, I'm going to 'shift gears' here. How does it feel to have what you do public knowledge, after so many years of secrecy?
DJ: I'm glad that people know what's going on. I've thought from the very beginning that the people of Earth had a right to know what was happening. I understood the reasoning behind keeping it a secret, I just didn't agree with it. I think it would have been easier on the public if they had known from the beginning.
CJ: I'm happy that finally Daniel's theories have been proven correct to the entire world, not just the members of the SGC.
AB: Tell me, Daniel, how does it feel to be vindicated in the eyes of the scientific and collegial community? I understand you have written several papers, which have now been published.
DJ: I have to admit it feels good. To finally be able to say, yes, I was right! It also makes me feel that what I’m doing has merit now that I can share with the rest of the world, or worlds, the amazing discoveries we have made thanks to the Stargate.
AB: You’ve both done several interviews before this, so most of the world knows how you came to be a part of the SGC, how you met, etc. What is one thing that the world doesn’t know about you? Casey?
CJ: (Giggles) Anything the world doesn’t know about me is probably best left that way.
AB: Come on, just one little thing. Anything.
DJ: (Grinning) She hates grocery shopping.
CJ: (Rolls eyes) I don’t hate it. I just don’t like it.
AB: Why not?
CJ: It’s always such an effort to even get to the store…get the kids ready, get them in their car-seats, then into the grocery cart, then I get to try and keep Emily from ‘helping’ by adding things to the cart that she grabs off of the shelf.
AB: (Laughs) I’m sure every mother in America can relate to that.
CJ: Yeah, well if any of them have any hints on how to make it easier, tell them to email me!
AB: I hear that you like to shop online.
DJ: (Cracks up laughing)
CJ: Keep laughing, you haven’t seen this month’s credit card bill yet. (Grins) I do enjoy shopping online. I can shop in my sweats whenever it’s convenient for me, no hassles, no pushy sales clerks. And I can find great deals online.
AB: Daniel, does she really shop and spend that much?
DJ: We tease her a lot, but she really doesn’t spend that much. She can find anything you need, though. Name it, she can find it.
AB: I’ve always wanted a pair of those socks with batteries in them that keep your feet warm.
CJ: Hunting socks. Try Cabella’s, or Sportsman’s World. Either one will have them.
AB: I’m impressed. Okay, here’s one about Daniel. I’ve been told that he can get ‘lost’ in his work. Is that true?
CJ: (Rolls eyes) And how! When he’s in the middle of a project, this house could fall down around his ears and he’d never notice. I don’t dare let him baby-sit if I know he’s going to be working. You should ask him about the time he watched Emily when I was pregnant with Nicholas and went to Langara to go shopping.
AB: Okay, Daniel, tell me about that.
DJ: (Looks slightly embarrassed) Let’s just say that Emmie and I had a bad day and leave it at that.
CJ: (Giggles hysterically)
AB: Okay, Daniel what is one thing about you that the world doesn’t know?
DJ: I don’t know…I have a real caffeine addiction. Can’t get started without a cup of coffee.
CJ: Everybody knows that, sweetheart. We might have to have that coffee mug surgically removed from your hand.
DJ: (Grins) Then I have no idea.
AB: Casey, what’s one thing about Daniel that absolutely drives you crazy?
CJ: (Giggles) Crazy bad, or crazy good?
AB: (Laughs) Crazy bad.
CJ: One thing, huh? Okay, he never puts his socks in the hamper. He just tosses them in the general direction and calls it good enough.
AB: (Laughing) Okay, Daniel, what is one thing about Casey that absolutely drives you crazy? Crazy bad.
DJ: We have a dresser between pedestal sinks in our bathroom. She has at least a dozen bottles of lotion there, plus her jewelry box, of which half the stuff is on the dresser, then there’s all of her make-up, her blow dryer, her curling iron. I have to hunt for my razor every morning.
AB: So will this cause any…discussions…when I leave?
CJ: (Giggles) Nope. We learned a long time ago that if those are the worst things we can complain about, we’re lucky. And it’s not that hard to find his razor.
DJ: It is too, took me five minutes to find it this morning. (Reaches out and takes her hand, grins at her) We’ve been through some things that have put all the petty annoyances in perspective. To be honest, I’d miss the clutter if it were gone. That clutter means that she’s here, and safe.
CJ: Exactly. Those socks on the floor mean that Daniel is home, safe and sound.
AB: That’s an amazing way to look at things. Okay, Casey, name one thing about Daniel that you love.
CJ: Only one thing? Lord, this could take me awhile! His eyes. I have always loved his eyes.
AB: Daniel, name one thing you love about Casey.
DJ: Her smile. It can light up a room.
AB: Casey, if you could change one thing about Daniel, what would it be?
CJ: (Shaking head) I wouldn’t change a single thing about him. I love him just exactly the way he is.
AB: Daniel? If you could change one thing about Casey, what would it be?
DJ: There isn’t anything about her I would change. To change one thing would change who she is. I love her just the way she is.
AB: Wow, that’s impressive. I’d like to talk about your children if I may. Daniel, I understand that you have some midwifery skills, and delivered both of your children. Tell me about that.
DJ: I don’t know if I can put into words what it was like to be the first person to hold my children. When Emily slid into my hands, it was like time stood still…I just couldn’t seem to wrap my mind around the fact that the beautiful baby girl in my hands was my daughter. It was the same when Nicholas was born, here was my son!
AB: Casey, I understand that delivery was difficult for you. How did it help having Daniel deliver your babies?
CJ: I don’t know if I could have made it through delivery without him. I concentrated on his voice, and felt his touch; which calmed me, helped me focus. It also helped knowing that he would be the first person to hold our babies.
AB: How do you deal with being working parents?
CJ: I guess like everybody else who works. We spend as much quality time with the kids as we can. Every night we have snuggle time. We eat breakfast together every morning. When we’re not here, I know that my parents are eating breakfast with them, and having snuggle time.
AB: Snuggle time?
DJ: (Smiles) It started when Emily was a baby. We would sit together and hold her. As she got older, we did it at bedtime. I tell her stories, or Casey sings to her, sometimes both.
AB: There’s a portrait in your dining room, a sketch, of Daniel holding Casey, who is holding Emily. Is that what you’re talking about?
CJ: (nods) Daniel holds me, I hold the babies. It’s the most amazing feeling in the world.
DJ: It is amazing. I sit and hold my family; it just doesn’t get any better than that.
AB: When you’re on a mission, do you think it’s harder working together because you’re married?
DJ: I think it’s easier. We know each other well enough that we can anticipate what the other is going to do in any given situation. Of course, SG-1 has been together so long that we all know each other that well.
CJ: I agree with Daniel, it makes it easier for me…I know what he’s going to do, so I can plan my moves accordingly. Like he said, we all know one another well enough to be able to do that.
AB: Give me an example
CJ: Okay, this just pops into the top of my head. We were on an al'kesh-
CJ: Goa’uld space ship…midrange bomber…sometimes a cruiser.
AB: Oh, okay. Go on, please.
CJ: We were on an al'kesh. Objective was to download all the info we could, plant a computer virus and get off. Sam is our gizmo and computer expert, so she and Jack headed for the control room where the computers were, Jack would watch her back while she worked her magic. Daniel and I provided cover for them, and kept the transport rings under our control, and Teal'c went to the engine room to plant the virus on the computers there. When Teal'c was surprised by a patrol of Jaffa, he radioed to us. We knew exactly what route he would choose, and that he would take out any Jaffa that crossed his path. I started towards him, taking down Jaffa, so that he could get back to the rings without being trapped from behind. Daniel radioed Sam and Jack, so that they knew that we had been detected, and we held the corridors that they needed to get down. I knew exactly where Daniel would be, knew exactly where he would fire. I was able to concentrate on a different area without having to stop and think about it, or ask him where he was going.
DJ: It gets pretty hairy at times, but being able to act without thinking about it saves time, and seconds count when you’re under fire.
AB: Are all of your missions that…intense?
CJ: (Laughs) No, thank goodness. The best missions are when we meet new people, make new friends.
AB: I know that both of you are Immortal. Is it still difficult to see one another wounded, or killed, in battle?
DJ: Oh, yeah! My heart stops beating every time Case is hit or goes down, and doesn’t start beating again until she’s up and moving.
CJ: (Nodding) It breaks my heart every time he’s hurt; he might heal quickly, or reanimate, but it still hurts like hell.
AB: I know that your missions are classified, so I won’t ask for particulars, but what are some of the funniest things that have happened to you on missions?
CJ: (Giggling hysterically) PX7 219!
DJ: (Rolls his eyes, blushes brightly)
AB: I take it that something happened to Daniel?
CJ: Oh, did it ever! We had been investigating ruins for about two days, there was no sign of life anywhere. Daniel was… (begins giggling) he had had several cups of coffee, so he was off in the bushes…(more giggling)…and he sort of winds up peeing right on a group of hunters who had been watching us. The leader of the tribe was one of those hunters!
AB: (Laughing) Not the best way to start out relations with new people!
CJ: The chieftain was really nice about it. I have my theories on why.
AB: Care to share those theories?
CJ: (Giggles) Nope!
AB: Okay Daniel, surely there is something that has happened to Casey that was funny.
DJ: (Grins) Well, there was the time that we came across a group of prehistoric hunter- gatherers.
CJ: Don’t go there, Daniel.
DJ: (with a wider grin) They were impressed, Angel. Okay, what about the other day, when you were on point, and fell into a well…a carefully marked well?
CJ: (rolls eyes) Carefully marked if you read Sumerian…which I don’t!
DJ: We had to lower Sam down, holding onto her legs, so that she could grab Case. Then we pulled them both up. It was working great until Case slid right out of her shirt…Sam had hold of her arms, with the shirt sleeves, unfortunately Case didn’t have a good grip on Sam. Then she totally freaked out when Sam found a spider on her. She can face down Goa’uld and their Jaffa, but a spider sends her into hysterics!
AB: (Laughs) Obviously you managed to get her out of the well.
DJ: (Laughing) Yeah eventually. We sort of left her there until she calmed down, she was pretty mad at us for laughing at her.
AB: Okay, one more question. Do you think we'll win the war against the Goa'uld?
CJ: Absolutely. We've already taken a dozen or so of them out, not just minor system lords, either. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen. With the Jaffa Rebellion, we're sure to win.
DJ: I agree that it won't happen overnight. We may never get rid of all of them, but we can certainly see to it that they can't enslave anyone. We'll definitely keep Earth and the SGC colonies and our allies Goa'uld free.
AB: Daniel, Casey, it’s been a pleasure talking to you. I certainly appreciate the time you have given us today. Thank you from a grateful world for the job that you do. God bless you both.
CJ: Thank you.
<< Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>