Title: Monkey Screaming
Email: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Warnings: mild language
Pairing: implied Sam/Jack UST
Spoilers: Broca Divide, 100 Days, Fragile Balance
Summary: Identity is a fragile balance between will and experience. Jack's clone may have lost the war.
Author Notes: TACP stands for Tactical Air Control Party. These are Air Force officers assigned to army units to act as liasons with Air Force assets.They are the only Air Force officers authorized to wear a black beret and could conceivably receive training by Special Forces(Army) personel in addition to Special Operations(USAF) training. Because Special Forces training was mentioned several times in the show and because of the black beret worn by Kurt Russell in the movie, I assumed that part of O'Neill's background included time as TACP with a Ranger unit. The credo "Never leave a man behind" is an intrinsic part of the written Ranger Code.
I added a couple of events to Broca Divide based on Dr. Fraiser's comment that Jack had been more violent than the others.
If you haven't seen Fragile Balance yet, a renegade Asgard made a clone of Jack without his permission. The clone had all his memories and everyone thought he was Jack initially. Due to a marker placed in his DNA by Thor, Jack's clone did not age as he was supposed to and presented as a 15 year old. Additionally, his body was breaking down due to the inept cloning methods used by the Asgard scientist Loki. Prior to Selmak realizing he was a clone, the Tok'ra offered to place him in stasis until a cure could be found and the clone ran away after ripping up at Jacob. After discovering what had happened, SG1 used the clone to capture Loki and when Thor arrived, he fixed the clone's genetic breakdown at Jack's request. The clone is last seen as Jack drops him off at highschool. The clone declares that from then on, he and Jack are different people, and agrees not to contact Jack unless he needs something. As the clone walks toward the school, Jack looks disturbed, then drives away.
Somehow, he had thought it would be different.
That he could do this. Be this. Be somebody different.
Be somebody who could live without the people he would kill for, die for, and for whom he would even take a snake in the head. Jon's hand shook as he lifted the beer high enough to swallow and stared blankly in surprise when the colors ran together. Heat burned across his face and he realized with astonishment and futile rage that he was crying. Crying! Like the child he looked. Jack O'Neill never cried. Not emotional tears. You had to think about the pain in order to cry, and Jack was too well trained for that to happen. Often.
There had been times in his life when he had wished he could.
Damn them to hell.
The crash of the bottle against the pavement of her driveway had him freezing in reflex. A dog barked somewhere off to his left, but apparently her neighbours were stone-deaf. Good thing Carter knew hand-to-hand. She'd be raped, murdered, and three days dead before anyone on this street thought to wonder about the newspapers. None of which meant anything to the non-person he had become. He grabbed blindly for the bike he had left lying under the hedge. He had not even bothered to hide the sucker. Kid's bike on the lawn of the typical suburban home. Nothing strange about that. Nothing strange at all.
By the look on her face she wanted to take the word back. Hell, for all he knew, she was regretting opening her front door.
He closed his eyes and imagined himself smiling at her casually. Saying 'It's Jonathon now, Carter'. Instead he found himself weaving as he watched her, unable to force the words past his throat and wanting nothing more than to get down on his knees, rest his head against her, and plead with her. Promise her anything. Just to have her call him Jack. Once. That was all he needed. Just...once. Instead, he knew his eyes were going flat. He'd seen it happen himself, a lifetime ago. In the hallway mirror the day Sara signed the papers and walked out the front door. The day he was screaming inside and he could not say the words. Now, he was dying inside, and he still could not speak.
That's what they had called it.
It had saved his life in Iraq. It had saved his sanity on Ba'al's ship, kept him alive on Edora, and allowed him to treat his 2IC like the soldier they both needed her to be. Once apon a time, it had been a good thing. Mostly.
"What are you doing here?"
He should go. He needed to go. Now. Only there was nowhere to go. She was the one he trusted to have the answers. She had been the one to know that asteroid was too damn close, and the decay rate of Naquadah, and she had been the one who had known why...
His mind shied from that last thought, but the action loosened his throat. He gave her the only acceptable words he had. A cry for help. A plea for a solution. Words he was allowed to say.
"Carter, am I real?"
She stared at him as though waiting for the punchline. Then she looked at the shattered glass on the asphalt.
"It's an easy enough question for someone like you. I mean - you'd tell me the truth right? I can still trust you that far, can't I?"
Her eyes widened and he thought he heard her breath something that sounded like,"Dear God." Unfortunately the only gods in his future had glowing eyes. Then again, that was a thought. Maybe he should look up Ba'al. See how the old boy was doing.
Maybe the bastard could get it right this time.
His legs went AWOL and decided unilaterally that he needed to sit down. As he stared at the grass-nice bright green grass he sure as hell knew she did not have the time to weed and feed- he started to laugh. He meant to laugh. Hard to tell with all the tears watering the lawn.
"I should have taken option four, Carter." He smiled blindly in her direction, then nodded resolutely," Yeah. Option four."
He did not resist as she managed to haul his ass to his feet and manouvered him inside the house. Her neighbours were still conspicuously absent, but he figured having this conversation indoors was better than trying to remember what he could and could not say in the wide open. She dropped him on the sofa and abandoned him in order to disappear into the kitchen, presumably for coffee. God. He should not be here. He needed to go. Before he said something. Before...
He pulled one of her sofa pillows into his lap and ran his fingers over the embroidery. Sara had had pillows like these. The kind that were about as useful as a three-legged MALP. He caught a whiff of perfume as he flipped the thing over in his hands and found himself drawing it towards his face in some sort of involuntary reflex. He caught himself before he could embarrass himself by having her discover him sniffing her pillows like a dog. For all he knew, it wasn't even her perfume. He had never noticed her wearing it.
He drew the pillow into his body and wrapped his arms around it.
She came back into the room and silently set a cup of coffee on the table. For one horrified moment he thought he was going to start crying again. It was actual, real, live coffee. Not hot chocolate. Not some herbal substitute. Coffee fixed just the way he liked it. He stared into the mug, mesmerized by the thought that it was not really his preferences she cared about. But maybe he could pretend.
The sound of a low knock at the door should have had him shooting to his feet in alarm. Her only solution to the security risk he presented in this state was to call the SGC. He could not find it in himself to care. Five seconds later Jon wished his instincts had been sharper as the door closed and the last person he ever wanted to see walked in the front door. Jack O'Neill stared across the room, eyes expressionless and Jon glared at Carter.
"You didn't have to call him. I'd have left if you asked."
From the look on her face, she had never considered otherwise. Jon snorted. Of course she hadn't. From her point of view, he was a skinny fifteen year old kid. She would not even need her weapon. Not that he would ever let himself get into such a situation with her. Way too much potential for humiliation from his point of view. That damn virus of the Touched had provided plenty of grist for his stock of private fantasies over the years and his adolescent body was likely to react far too obviously. He would be damned if he'd give her one more reason to look at him with uncomfortable pity.
A second knock at the door had Carter glancing at Jack in surprise. With a sinking feeling, Jon waited for the inevitable. Yep, his day could not get any worse. He leaned back against the back of the sofa as he discovered his pride was not as whipped as he thought. He took a quick gulp of too hot coffee and glared at them mutinously.
His team. His family.
He should have known the minute Carter had grabbed the beer from his hands, back when she had still thought he was him. Only younger.
He was just the copy.
"You knew, didn't you? On the ship."
Jack did not pretend to be surprised by the question.
Too bad Jon had not been thinking about what being the copy meant.
"That's why you hesitated."
Guess that was not the surprise it could have been. That was what he did, afterall. Jumped in with both feet trying to help and realizing five minutes later that maybe he had just made things worse. It should have been enough - knowing that he still had the SGC waiting for him. That SG-1 was still alive, somewhere. Hell, his knees and his age should have broken up the team within the year anyway. Kan'an and Ba'al, ironically, had added years to his field status. But his body was still on a clock. He had honestly thought he could do it. Rebuild another life for himself. He just had not realized...and now he knew what was wrong with him. The knowledge loosened something inside.
Brown eyes met his unflinching, for once with no sign of laughter.
"I'm not going to make it, am I?"
There was a short silence. Then, "No. Probably not."
Another silence and then the explosion.
"Jack, what the hell do you think you are doing?"
Daniel. Of course.
"Are you sure that was wise, O'Neill?"
He did not mean to, but Jon found himself turning his head sideways towards Carter. Habit, he supposed. Unfortunately, she did not even see the problem. He rested his cheek against the pillow and felt his attention drifting away. Felt the emotions spinning off into familiar paths where nothing and no one could touch him. He let their familiar voices surround him, the inevitable pain for that luxury accepted as a fair price to pay for the moment.
"That is the most irresponsible...I can't believe you said that."
"He would have known if I'd lied to him, Daniel."
"Well, you didn't have to tell him that it was okay to give up!"
"He needs help, Jack."
He should not have come here. Oh god, he had been so wrong. The pain was not the only price. Thor...Thor should have warned them. Opening his eyes he saw Daniel squaring off for round two. So familiar. So...Danny. He wanted to smile at the familiarity of the argument and the strength of the anger spiralling out of nowhere terrified him. Daniel was pleading with Jack. Pleading with Jack to help someone who was not Jack. Just the copy.
They had lied to him. He had rebuilt his life on false promises - again. Built himself on a foundation of lies. Christ - you would think he'd learn. Never leave a man behind. They had fooled him into thinking they believed that. Would live up to it. He had let his guard down and they had thrown him away. He was just the copy. Just a copy and god he didn't want to hate them for the things they could not help. They had chosen Jack. But he was Jack and it hurtithurtithurt. Movement shattered his runaway thoughts and he reacted to her hand reaching for him without thinking.
"Don't touch me!"
He was half over the back of the sofa before Teal'c drew the hidden zat gun from beneath his shirt. It might have been all right if she had not moved again. If she had not shifted protectively toward the other Jack, gaze suspicious. He threw his entire body into the attempted blow, knowing it would never reach her. He had a heartbreakingly close look at shocked blue eyes before fire exploded along his nerves and his body collapsed in agony. Then she was on her knees beside him and he found that he could still remember how to push the pain away. Maybe even far enough away that he could do what he needed to do.
"I won't become Goa'uld."
It was a weakness, this need to explain. As was his need to apologize. He should not say anything. Let her believe he had simply snapped. But the pain and betrayal that blossomed on her face as he wrapped his hands around her throat clawed out an instinctive response. No matter how many ways she betrayed him, he could not betray her. He would not. Time froze and he whispered softly, " I never lied." Then he tightened fingers that were too weak to do any real damage before a second zat blast would end the problem forever.
His only thought as the back of his head exploded in pain was that it did not hurt as much as he had expected.
"SG-1." Hammond acknowledged," Thank-you for coming."
Despite clean clothes, hair that was still slightly damp at the ends, and bruises that were at least two days old, they could have come straight from the field. Identically dressed in black t-shirts and casual blues they possessed an overwound alertness that clashed with the exhaustion in their faces. Even the Jaffa looked worn, something the reports Lt. Colonel Harper had read suggested that the rest of the team must be damn near ready to keel over.
Harper watched as the team filed past silently and headed for their seats. He waited. As instructed, MacKenzie had picked up the folders in front of him as soon as the team had entered. As a result, none of them thought to look in the far corner until they turned to sit down. Harper mentally gave himself five points for accurately predicting which side of the table O'Neill would chose. The result was that the Colonel spotted him first.
Harper watched with interest as O'Neill recognized first his uniform, then his specialty. Harper had been prepared for any reaction ranging from hostility to a complete refusal to acknowledge his presence. Colonel O'Neill already had his hand on his chair when he spotted Harper. As he pulled the chair away from the table, then gestured for his 2IC to take the seat, Harper wryly considered the fact that people weren't hatched from textbooks.
Major Carter turned her head to look at her commanding officer only to twist her body to follow her head as she tracked his gaze to the man in the corner. Harper found himself being studied by critical blue eyes as she completed the half-turn and sat gracefully, apparently unfazed by being singled out as female. Both Dr. Jackson and the Jaffa froze halfway into their chairs, watching her. As Major Carter settled herself, they straightened and looked towards O'Neill.
Dr. Jackson had to lean around Teal'c to get a good look at Harper. "Oh, hello."
It wasn't a greeting.
"You said you were thirsty, Danny. Bring enough back for the rest of the class would you?"
Jackson shot Harper another glance, then obediently padded off towards the beverage table. In the meantime, Major Carter wordlessly handed O'Neill one of the four folders she had accepted from MacKenzie.
O'Neill smiled at the Jaffa tightly, "Teal'c?"
A single file folder hit the table in front of the chair Dr. Jackson had claimed for his own. Without a word, the Jaffa calmly took Jackson's chair and all three team members watched as Dr. Jackson placed glasses of ice water in front of them. General Hammond accepted his glass with a curious look towards O'Neill while MacKenzie regarded the last glass with a resigned expression. Jackson had politely placed the tray where it was sitting within easy reach, but he had failed to offer the glass to the psychiatrist directly. Nor was Jackson's failure to prepare one for Harper due to a lack of glasses. There were another half dozen next to the coffee-maker.
Jackson ignored the fact that Teal'c had stolen his seat and grabbed the chair next to him. He then joined his teammates as they regarded Harper with excrutiatingly polite attention. The move naturally drew both General Hammond's and MacKenzie's attention down room. It was with a mild sense of shock and rueful amusement that Harper realized he was now the sole focus of the gathering. Deciding that he could afford to blink first Harper mentally rearranged his approach to the meeting,then drew a breath to ask Hammond's permission to start the briefing. O'Neill jerked his head toward Major Carter, effectively cutting Harper off.
Harper blinked again as the Major acknowledged O'Neill's look, then turned her gaze toward one of the SFs silently arrayed by the beverage table.
The SF snapped to attention. "Ma'am?'
Major Carter moved her eyes meaningfully to the beverage table, then tipped her head toward Harper. The SF blinked, then stepped forward until he could see the Lt. Colonel.
"Sir? Would you care for something to drink?"
MacKenzie sighed. "Colonel O'Neill, this is quite unnecessary."
O'Neill smiled brightly,"Oh I so disagree. And it's fun. Aren't you having fun?"
He looked across the table. "Daniel?"
"I always find you amusing, Sir."
Six sets of eyes blinked and Daniel coughed as O'Neill eyed his 2IC for an extra long second. O'Neill grinned and spun in his chair until he faced Harper, challenge high in his eyes.
No, not challenge.
Harper was not getting his hands on this team without a fight. A fairly cohesive fight, Harper thought as he considered the people staring him down. The fact that they had backed their CO was not unusual. He had dealt with far too many special ops teams for that to surprise him anymore.The banter designed to alienate and exclude was familiar, and even General Hammond's waiting silence was not entirely unexpected. Hammond had a reputation for letting his people run at the far end of the leash.
Harper had a feeling the somersaults were fairly spectacular when Colonel O'Neill ran out of chain.
General Hammond decided that O'Neill had made his point."Jack, this is Lt. Colonel Harper. He's taking over for Dr. Hubert."
Major Carter looked up sharply and Harper wondered how much of Jon's file she had read. For that matter, he wondered how much she knew about Colonel O'Neill.
"Sir? Is there a problem?"
O'Neill sighed and rubbed his forehead," He's an army shrink, Carter. Psychological warfare specialist."
Harper realized two things at once. First, that whether they knew about O'Neill's past or not, his team knew enough to understand the implications of an army psychologist overseeing a case for the USAF. Second, Jon had left out a few things. Not unusual, but Harper was mildly surprised that he had managed to hide this. O'Neill not only knew his team would get the point, he was comfortable with it. Given what little about Jack O'Neill he had been able to discover, this complicated things.
Maybe too much.
Harper decided to answer the Major's question himself,"He's severely depressed, borderline dissociative, and violent. Given his training and his knowledge of the Stargate program, he's not only a security risk, he's dangerous."
O'Neill's eyes narrowed slowly while Dr. Jackson frowned. The archaeologist glanced at O'Neill before looking at Harper with a puzzled expression on his face,"Violent? You mean self-destructive?"
Harper paused as both Teal'c and Major Carter looked at him, from their body language obviously expecting him to confirm the correction. He kept his face blank as he shook his head slowly. Alarm was on both their faces as they turned to MacKenzie.
"What are you doing to him?" The cold accusation came from Major Carter.
MacKenzie looked affronted,"You were the one he attacked, Major. I should think you would be more concerned about what he could do to the rest of us."
Daniel whipped his head up," So...what? You're treating him like a dangerous animal? We all know how well that worked the last time." The disgust on Jackson's face was echoed by his teammates - even O'Neill.
Harper leaned forward slightly, trying to convey polite professional interest. "I'm sorry, Dr Jackson. To what incident are you referring?"
The slight flush that tinged Jackson's cheeks and the darting glance toward Major Carter were significant, Harper was convinced of it. Significant of what? He decided to try some blunt honestly.
"Look, you don't have to trust me...but not only do I truly want to help Jon, I'm his last hope. I was brought in because the army was responsible for some of Colonel O'Neill's earlier...training. It was thought that conventional treatment might be misinterpreting some of his responses - especially with the Colonel so recently recovering from imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Goa'uld. Personally, I think they're right, but I'm having an extremely difficult time getting Jon to cooperate."
Hammond sighed and O'Neill threw him a slightly apologetic shrug before looking at all his teammates looking at him. He let out an explosive sigh."All right. All right. For crying out loud." He glared at Mackenzie,"Show him the tape."
MacKenzie looked blank,"Which one?"
O'Neill gaped and Teal'c pinned MacKenzie with a distainful air,"I believe O'Neill is referring to the incident with the virus of the Touched."
General Hammond nodded, then ordered an SF to retrieve the tape and file from Dr. Frasier. As they waited for the Sergeant to return, Jackson and Major Carter set up the TV and VCR while Harper stared at the Stargate through the observation window. The reflection in the plexiglass showed O'Neill staring down at his hands, shoulders hunched. He looked up once as Major Carter returned to her seat and shrugged a response to whatever question was in her eyes.
Harper was beginning to get a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. The news that the young clone might not be the borderline psychopath everyone thought he was should have been good news. The fact that this team was cohesive enough to unilaterally question Mackenzie's initial diagnosis meant there was a good chance they were right. Unfortunately, if Mackenzie had been trying to do what Harper was beginning to think he had done, he was not sure there was a solution.
Not if he had failed this miserably.
"How much contact have you had with the clone since he was introduced to his new identity?" He forced himself to ask the question casually.
Daniel shot an accusative look at General Hammond, Dr. Mackenzie, and O'Neill. "We were told it would be better if we didn't have any contact at all. We volunteered, but Jack said that Jon would have a hard enough time accepting his new life without us reminding him of his old one." From the anger resonating in his voice, Dr. Jackson had not agreed.
"What would it have hurt, Jack?" Jackson burst out.
O'Neill's eyes went flat and Harper half expected him to order the other man to leave it alone. It was a shock when O'Neill's voice emerged, low and rough,"It would have hurt, Daniel. His only chance was a clean break." His hand, which had been tracing idle circles on the desk, began a staccato tapping.
Jackson's expression softened slightly, but remained obstinate,"We could have at least been there for him, Jack."
O'Neill laughed bitterly,"Then what Danny boy? Would you have gone to a movie? Talked about girls? Hey I know, he could explain his latest plans to join the hockey team and lust after 15 year old girls just old enough to be dating his dead son. Or maybe he could wonder how the hell he was supposed to survive three years of popping zits while the Goa'uld advance and hopefully the planet will still be here by the time he's tall enough to fly the X302 again. Oh yeah, great times, Daniel. You think he would have wanted you to see that? Any of you?"
Carter looked at him quietly,"We would not have abandoned you, Sir. Not if it had really been you."
"But he is me, Carter. That's the problem. There's two of me, and only one of you."
Harper's head snapped up in surprise, just in time to see O'Neill sweep his hand out to take in the entire team. Jesus, that had been unexpected. For a moment he had thought...
Mackenzie had a slightly speculative look on his face, but Hammond appeared unperturbed. Harper's thoughts ground to a halt as one possibility he had not considered reared its head. Seven years on the same team yet Hammond had made no move reassign either of them. In fact, he had gone out of his way to keep all of them together. It had not seriously occurred to Harper that something like this might be part of the problem.
"What did Jon mean when he said that he never lied?"
He asked the question bluntly. It had been in the report they had filed and it had been bugging him. Watching their faces now, he looked for traces of a relationship that might not be noted in the official record.
"I believe he was referring to the fact that O'Neill does not leave his people behind." Harper turned his head to look at the Jaffa as Teal'c answered. Daniel looked startled, then leaned forward and grabbed the lead.
"You think he thought we abandoned him?"
Teal'c tilted his head,"Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that there is no way for us to rescue him, Daniel Jackson."
There were currents in the undercurrents and Harper wondered if Mackenzie noticed that neither of the two military officers had answered. Don't ask, don't tell, Harper thought wryly. He had a feeling if he asked the question again, General Hammond might just answer and then they really would have a problem. But it was an important part of the puzzle.
He had the records from O'Neill's time in Mental Health after his four months in Iraq. His psychiatrist had noted that O'Neill was remarkably resilient, continually expressing the belief that he had known his team would be coming back for him. Considering that O'Neill had never forgiven Cromwell - a man he had considered a personal friend - Harper considered it a textbook case of displaced anger. Cromwell instead of the USAF. To admit that his team had left him behind would be akin to admitting no one was coming to rescue him. Given the level of his anger toward Cromwell, Jack O'Neill had needed all the hope he could get just to survive.
With the SGC teams essentially cut off from all outside assistance, it was not surprising that O'Neill had made the Ranger Code an integral part of his belief system. With his wife and son gone, it was all he had left. The Air Force Officer had worn the black beret of a TACP for enough years that the Ranger belief system would have become his own. Added to the foundation already constructed as a rescue specialist in Vietnam, his years doing Combat Search and Rescue with the USAF Special Tactics teams, and Harper had a pretty good idea that Colonel Jack O'Neill had rebuilt his entire personality around his team and that mantra.
Jon had lost both the minute he discovered he was a clone, and if Major Carter was more than his 2IC, he had lost her as well. Harper felt his heart sink and O'Neill's willingness to go along with Mackenzie's insanity became crystal clear. It was not a matter of trying to induce an identity freeze, it was a question of trying to salvage one already in progress. With everything that defined who he was stripped away, Jon needed to replace that identity with a new one. Given his training, both O'Neills had obviously felt that removing SG1 entirely was the only solution.
Obviously, they had been wrong.
Before Harper could persue that line of thought, the SF arrived with a box of tapes. A quick glance at the accompanying file summary showed that the SGC had been infected with an alien parasitic virus that had increased hormone production - particularly testosterone - at the same time stimulating the primitive portions of the brain. In short, the humans of the base had been regressed to the instincts and responses of their primate ancestors. A fascinating concept he thought as the first tape began.
Pieced together from security footage from the base cameras, it opened with a montage of the early violent outbreaks and the results. This was followed by a closer comparison of the behaviour of individual personel. A suspician was confirmed when he flipped through the file and found that this tape had been made specifically to get Dr. MacKenzie's opinion on their behaviour. According to the index, the rest of the tapes were dedicated to individuals, tagged with appropriate references for their files.
As he read the statements made by the people involved in each violent confrontation, he began to wonder about the multiple patterns he was seeing emerging. He rewatched the introductory video twice more. SG1 answered a couple of questions with practiced ease, but otherwise remained silent. When he had Mackenzie pull the tapes specific to SG1 and SG3, O'Neill suggested that the rest of them be allowed to take a bathroom break. Harper nodded his agreement to Hammond, but requested that they only take an hour, that he had some questions for them.
When they returned bearing snacks, he waited until they were seated before hammering them with a series of questions. Did they know this guard personally? That guard? Were any of their interactions different with this person than with that person. Considering that they were trying to recall specifics from seven years ago, they reacted with less frustration than he would have forgiven. In fact, every member of the team was being as helpful and honest as they could be, even to the point of personal embarassment.
"He smelled wrong."
Major Carter was slightly flushed but met his eyes fimly as she explained why she had turned on one of the guards when he had attempted to help Dr. Frasier give her another shot. Up until that point she had been thrashing about on the bed and from the camera angle, she was reacting to something other than the changes taking over her body. Harper scanned the bloodwork from that hour and frowned thoughtfully. Given her hormone levels and the time she had spent in this state, he would go even money she was literally frustrated to the point of actual physical pain. With her heightened sense response, he was not surprised she attacked anyone, he was more concerned with why she had attacked only this guard.
He watched again as something she could hear in the hall caused her to redouble her efforts to escape. The reaction had begun almost three hours earlier, according to the time stamp, and every time she heard it, even unconscious, she reacted to it. Awake, she went nuts. It took two viewing before he correlated the timestamps and realized she was reacting to O'Neill howling his head off. When he asked if there was a sound clip, Daniel raised both eyebrows but dug one out of the computer system. When he heard it, Harper felt his own eyebrows lift in surprise.
Given that Captain Carter's testosterone levels had practically spiked off the charts each time she heard O'Neill, he was a bit disgusted with MacKenzie. The man had obviously focused on the fact she was sexually aroused as part of her physiological response - and being kept there as a secondary response to the testosterone spike- but Harper could have whacked him over the head with the pattern that was emerging.
On the TV screen, Captain Carter managed to free herself, ignoring Dr. Frasier as she darted forward with a needle, and pretty much trying to climb over the guards until two of them grabbed her and held her down. The first, pinning her arms to her hips was ignored. The second, a Sergeant, had her by the shoulders and was leaning against her in a position of dominance. Considering that he was a well-built and good looking young male, there should have been at least a moment of interest on her part given her condition. Nada. Instead she snaked her head around and fastened her teeth into his bicep and tried to tear off his arm. No primate love bite, this was a serious attempt to inflict damage and her rage exploded as he tightened his grip. Kicking free of the other two, she attacked.
Colonel O'Neill viciously attacked the same guard not ten minutes later.
The first time Dr. Frasier had visited O'Neill, he had sniffed at her with animal thoroughness, embarassing the hell out of both the doctor and the two Marines with her. Considering that he never tried to do the same with the Marines, Mackenzie had assumed it had to do with the fact she was female. Harper wanted to whack him over the head for that one just on general principal. Man had no business dealing with special operations teams. Not with that mentality.
He turned off the tapes and assembled his notes before him. While Hammond and MacKenzie were interested in what he was about to say, SG1 was intent. As he looked at O'Neill he saw what he had missed the first time. The man was leaning back slightly, the angle of his chair placing the Major directly at his back. Maybe Harper needed that whack upside the head he had been mentally prescibing MacKenzie. He had seen O'Neill's little gesture with the chair as a way of protecting her from the threat Harper represented. He was partly right, but he had made the mistake of seeing the woman first. O'Neill had reacted instinctively, and his reflex had placed his 2IC at his back. In a reversal of that impulse, moving Dr. Jackson forward had placed him between Harper and Teal'c. It also made it possible for O'Neill to see Jackson's face, so Harper was not completely sure which motive had dominated. Regardless, the ease with which he manipulated his team as an extension of his own body told Harper what he needed to know.
He steepled his hands for a moment, then spoke to the room," First, the diagnosis that Colonel O'Neill was somehow more violent that the other patients is bullshit."
He could almost feel the collective judgement of SG1 swing in his favour. As Harper looked at the assessing brown eyes of Colonel O'Neill, Harper realized that he had been right. This had been another test. One he had passed apparently. So far. Dr. Frasier had received permission to be present for this part of the briefing and reacted with defensive anger.
"I assure you Colonel, I did not authorize those levels of tranquilizers on a whim."
Harper shrugged,"I'm quite certain you reacted the best way you knew how with the information you were given. However, as this impacts directly on a similiar problem that affects a current patient of mine, I can't afford to be tactful. The fact is, I don't know if my diagnoses would have been any different at the time. However, after viewing these tapes, I can say with absolute certainty that not only was Colonel O'Neill not any more disposed to violence than the others, he probably would have been the least violent of all your patients if you had not penned him up away from his team."
Daniel began to look uncomfortable,"Um...Dr...Colonel..."
Harper held up his hand. "I'm not saying you had any choice. Given that you and Teal'c were unaffected and the likely consequences had you contained O'Neill and Major Carter together, I'm aware you did not. What I'm trying to say is that the violence was not inherent in O'Neill himself, but in the situation." He paused as he tried to decide what was the best approach to take with this group. He shrugged again," Due to a host of reasons, the social dynamics of SG1 more closely resemble that of a tribal society than a modern military field unit. Given the extremely high levels of trust demanded and fostered by Colonel O'Neill, SG1 was already operating on an emotional level very similiar to that of a wolf pack or other similiar social structure."
Dr. Frasier was shaking her head slowly,"I can see your point regarding their preexisting emotional state, Colonel, but the fact is, that Colonel O'Neill attacked Daniel even before the virus had taken complete control. His violent outbreaks only got worse."
"He did not attack Dr. Jackson."
"Excuse me?" Frasier's voice shot up the scale.
Daniel hunched his shoulders slightly,"I told you at the time he didn't hurt me."
Frasier turned on him,"Daniel! You were bleeding."
"I bit my lip when I fell. " Daniel looked at her,"Come on Doc, you remember what it was like. SG3 had already tried to kill each other - or us. Jack got in at least three blows before they pulled him off me. You think I would have been standing if he was serious. He pulled his punches, Janet."
Harper nodded agreement,"In primitive terms, he was disciplining a younger male who had stepped out of line. Fast response, shocking, and ultimately more sound and fury than anything else. He was not trying to hurt him. Nor was he trying to hurt you. Actually, that little scuffle later was him trying to protect you."
At this, three pairs of eyes turned to O'Neill in surprise. The Colonel himself just looked confused.
"I thought I was...er", his voice trailed of as blood darkened his cheekbones and Dr. Fraiser flushed bright red.
Harper sighed," Regardless of how it may have looked, you were not making advances toward the doctor. One of the side effects of the virus was a heightened sense of smell. Dr. Fraiser had recently been in the company of all three members of your team, in particular Captain Carter. From the tape, you paid extreme attention to Dr. Fraiser's hands and the arms of her lab coat. If you check the timestamp, you'll find she was sedating Captain Carter not five minutes earlier. To be blunt, you weren't smelling Dr. Fraiser...you were smelling them." His gesture took in SG1." Unfortunately for you, when the Marines misunderstood, you reacted to defend the Doctor." Harper glanced at his notes to allow them time to absorb that revelation," Except for one other exception, when you attacked the guards, you weren't attacking so much as trying to escape. They got in the way. The exception was Sergeant Gantry who had already been marked by Captain Carter. You put him in the infirmary I believe."
Dr Fraiser chewed her lip thoughtfully as she looked at Daniel.
Harper shifted his notes around,"Emotions like fear and anger have a distinctive odor. Given Captain Carter's emotional state when she attacked him, he was literally marked with her scent - and the fact that she was angry and fighting at the time. From your body language, I assume that is what triggered your attack on him. Regardless of how it may have looked, it wasn't random."
Which had worried O'Neill more than he wanted to admit given the way he suddenly relaxed.
"As for all the screaming - that was the most obvious clue. In primates, screaming is very rarely aggressive - and definately not the sort of response you would expect from an alpha male being aggressive. It is most often used by a less dominant primate when attacked to show submissiveness. It is however, also used quite often when a primate is seperated from his family unit and perceives there to be an immediate and hostile threat. It's a gathering cry and in most primates invokes an immediate need to go to the one doing the screaming. Curiously, primates seem to be able to recognize the difference between the screams of immediate family members and those of non-related primates. Only those immediately related tend to respond."
Daniel looked curious,"So Jack was screaming for help?"
O'Neill opened his mouth to answer, then shut it again.
Teal'c lifted an eyebrow,"We did respond most rapidly when we heard him cry out Daniel Jackson."
Daniel chewed on his lip thoughtfully,"I knew it was Jack." He said finally.
"As did I."
Harper tapped the file,"So did Captain Carter. Her testosterone levels spiked every time she heard him and at these levels, this was definately a threat response. As far as I can tell, she was the only one in the infirmary to have this reaction."
O'Neill looked up as all three of his team members looked at him. "What? I was worried about you."
Daniel and Major Carter grinned while Teal'c raised both eyebrows. Harper ignored the bonding moment and focused on Dr. Fraiser. She was shaking her head and pouring over the opened file in front of her. She growled suddenly and grabbed the remote. Turning on the tape she rewound it until she found the scene she wanted. It was a clip showing Colonel O'Neill screaming at the door of his cell. The camera captured the door opening and O'Neil lunging for the opening. Even with the poor quality, it was obvious he was only trying to push past his two teammates and was clearly heading for the hallway. When his friends grabbed him, he never even swung at them. He just screamed demandingly for something he obviously expected them to give him. Frasier hit the pause button.
"I can't believe I missed this." Her voice was angry.
"I was not aware that USAF doctors studied primate behaviour."
She glared at him,"We knew it was primate based. I had access to the research."
Harper shrugged," But you did not have the time. " Personally, he thought Mackenzie was the one who had dropped the ball. Even given SG1's unusual social dynamics, the oddities of their behaviour when compared to the others should have been given more attention. The man had made far too many assumptions based on gender. He could blame the Air Force for that one. Institutionally, the military just was not comfortable with the concept that humans were sexually motivated creatures. Don't ask, don't tell. Easier to slap an 'alien influence' label on anything resembling sexual behaviour than to risk looking to closely
The problem with that attitude was that it completely ignored the homosocial bonds that special mission teams were built apon. Bah. The fact that O'Neill had thumped Dr. Jackson over Captain Carter was beside the point. It could just have easily been over a piece of fruit or a toy. Mackenzie's institutional discomfort had caused him to miss the point entirely. If it had continued much longer, O'Neill might have killed someone trying to get back to his team.
He definately would have killed someone trying to get back to Captain Carter.
"Does this affect your treatment of the clone, Colonel Harper?"
Teal'c had finally asked the one question he did not want to answer. Harper stared at his hands for a long moment.
Dr. Jackson shifted in his seat impatiently before leaning forward,"Was this a cry for help? Is that it?" He looked expectantly at O'Neill, as if confident the other man had a solution.
Harper wanted to close his eyes. Instead, he saw Major Carter glance at a wordless O'Neill and lean forward far enough to draw Jackson's eyes.
"He said he did not want to become Goa'uld, Daniel."
She shifted a bit uncomfortably as Daniel and Teal'c both turned to her. Her eyes flicked once toward Mackenzie, then returned to her team. "Genetic memory has...disadvantages."
Teal'c straightened and looked ahead,"They are born with a desire for power like that possessed by their parents."
Carter hesitated."Not exactly." She took a deep breath and avoided looking at O'Neill as she continued,"They are born with the desire for the SAME power they possessed as their parents."
No one spoke and her eyes held the beginnings of something haunted.
O'Neill suddenly spoke, his voice harsh,"That little adoption ceremony we saw on Chulak was the Goa'uld version of reprogramming, Daniel." He grimanced as Jackson reacted with confusion,"Take away everything familiar, throw someone into a state of mental confusion and identity shock. It's called identity freeze. Once the subject is off-balance and defenseless you start feeding them new rules. You reward them for good behaviour, foster emotional ties with people around them and then punish those people if the subject resists. Cult programming 101."
Daniel was studying O'Neill with an odd look on his face,"You think that is what Apophis was doing?"
O'Neill shrugged,"Can't see how else they survive. Shock the kids by taking them out of the familiar environment away from anyone they would recognize or feel any connection towards. Give them adoptive parents and new lives until a stable personality emerges. Then reward them with a little power and the possibility of advancement back to System Lord. Makes sense to me."
Both of Teal'c's eyebrows went north,"Indeed, O'Neill."
Daniel swallowed and looked at his teammates with irritation,"Why didn't any of you say anything?"
O'Neill looked a bit surprised,"I thought it was obvious."
Jackson muttered something uncomplimentary about the military mindset, then a serious expression crept across his face as he looked at O'Neill. "So this is what you were trying to do with Jon? Reprogram him?"
The tone held a faint hint of accusation, but Harper thought it was more for the fact Dr Jackson had been left out of the loop. O'Neill shrugged agreement.
"So ...this was just a temporary setback or something?" Jackson's eyes widened as none of his teammates responded. "Jack?"
O'Neill just lowered his eyes to his hands and shook his head.
Harper winced at the pain in the young man's eyes as he turned to look at him entreatingly.
"There's something you can do, right? Drug therapy? Move him offworld? Hell...give him a job teaching pilots how to fly the 302? Right?' He turned back to O'Neill,"Right?"
Working with civillians sucked. Not because they could not do the job, but because when there was nothing you could do, they still made you explain why. Harper realized that he had learned everything he had come here to learn and discovered more than he wanted. He looked at the archaeologist sadly.
"Colonel O'Neill's personal history makes that...unlikely."
After that, there was nothing else to say.
The only problem with the meds, was that they eventually wore off.
Listening to the muted sounds outside his door, Jon realized that he had not been dreaming of hell, he was in hell.
Somewhere in the building, a man was screaming and Jon wondered how long it would be before he joined him. He stared at the ceiling and contemplated whether he cared enough to call for a nurse to tell him him what time it was. He decided he was better off not knowing. At least then, he could pretend. Pretend that this time it would not be another trip down to see Hubert or Harper or whatever headshrinker they foisted on him. It was getting harder to remember what not to say to them. He decided that this time he was going to pretend it was all a mistake. That he was really from an alternate reality and any minute Carter was going to come up with a way to send him home.
The unexpected voice nearly sent him off the bed in panic. "What are you doing here?"
Daniel stretched as he fumbled for his glasses and sat up in the chair beside the bed. "Nice to see you too, Jack."
"It's Jon." he responded sullenly.
Daniel twisted his lips wryly,"So I've been told. However, I figure if you had really been serious about this whole new identity thing you would chosen something different. You may have fooled Harper, Jack, but I know you better than that. Good job by the way. That could not have been easy."
Jon sighed. "What do you want, Daniel?"
Daniel pinned him with the same penetrating stare that always made him want to squirm. Damn civilian.
"I want to know why you thought something this assinine would work. I mean, it has Jack O'Neill written all over it, but why in the hell did you actually think it would work? Or did you?"
"Thought I could do it. Worked once before." Jon muttered. Instantly he regretted the urge to defend himself.
Daniel leaned forward, eyes intent. "When? Iraq?"
Jesus. As if. "Edora, Daniel."
Daniel sat back in surprise.
Jon let the memories roll over him," I didn't even know if you had made it through the Gate. I...knew that Carter would wait as long as she could. God, Daniel. Everything was just gone. SG1, the SGC...me. It was so hard to fight...and part of me didn't want to."
Jon hesitated, then nodded,"It...she surprised me. I never thought..."
When he could not finish the thought, Daniel answered for him. "You never thought you could be those things again."
It was not a question.
Seeing the memories of Shau're in Daniel's eyes, Jon nodded jerkily. Admitting this to Harper would have been impossible. Listening to someone who had no idea what he had gone through tell him that it was time to move on made him want to hit something. Daniel already knew, he had seen Jack at his worst, and he had been there himself.
Daniel frowned slightly, then looked at him - for the first time reflecting the man Jon was, not the boy everyone else thought they saw. "What went wrong this time?"
Jon smiled a bit awkwardly,"Carter changed the laws of physics and found me." His short laugh was rueful, pained and accepting. "I made a choice, Daniel. I discovered I couldn't take it back."
He wondered if there was any way for Daniel to understand.
"If you are captured, they can take everything, Daniel. Everything but the one thing they can't...here." He touched his fingers to his chest lightly. "We don't leave our people behind."
Daniel recognized the words, but he still did not understand the meaning. Not really.
"The only thing that keeps me going is knowing I've got to get my team home. That you're depending on me to come back for you if you go down. That you'll come back for me. It's not trust, Daniel. It's faith. I...betrayed you once on Edora. I lost that faith and I hurt Laira in the process. I hurt Carter. I made a choice in Ba'al's prison, Daniel. It wasn't just that I'd have to watch if I got all glowy. You know me. Never was much for the rules. The truth is that if I went with you just to survive, I would be betraying that faith a second time. Couldn't do that to her twice. Made a choice. Knew I might run out of time...was the chance I had to take. No other choice."
The drugs were making him loopy. He tried to see if he had gotten through, but Daniel's face was an inscrutable mask. He felt himself start to fade.
"Lost you once. Damn Hathor. Almost gave them everything they wanted to know. Never even tried to resist. Hurt too much. I couldn't do it again. Couldn't go to sleep and wake up knowing she was probably dead. Apologize to Jacob for me will you? Wasn't mad at him. Just couldn't lose you like that again. Thought Carter would find another option. Joke's on me, I guess. Sorry...so sorry..."
Jon felt Daniel's hand wrap around his as he faded into the darkness.
Daniel found Teal'c in the cafeteria.
They had been taking turns sitting with Jon waiting until the drugs wore off. Harper had protested. Jack had wanted to protest. Sam had surprised Daniel when she told them that she would have to catch up with them later. Later was now running on three days and Daniel was getting pissed. Even Teal'c professed himself to be confused regarding Major Carter.
"Did he awaken, Daniel Jackson?"
Daniel rubbed his hands over his face in an unconscious imitation of Jack and sat down heavily.
Teal'c's expression never changed. Right from the beginning, Daniel had wondered just what he thought about Jon. He had seemed to easily relegate the clone to status of copy and Daniel had remembered his grim opinion in the alternate reality that only their reality mattered. He had wondered if the Jaffa could extend his friendship to the clone, knowing as he did, the Jaffa's deathgrip on what he perceived as reality. Jack was Jack and the clone was ...not.
Surprisingly, after the meeting with Harper, it had been Teal'c who had sought out Daniel.
Not so surprisingly, it had been the effect of the clone's fate on his Tau'ri friends that had concerned him, not the clone himself.
With his experience with the Goa'uld, it had never occured to him that the Tau'ri would not be aware of the inherent dangers of the cloning process. The problem in its Goa'uld incarnation was one that Jaffa grew up navigating. Jaffa in the service of a System Lord's children walked a perilous path. In the same way he would not have formed any connection with one of Apophis' children to avoid the appearance of divided loyalties, Teal'c would never consider forming a connection with Jon.
Unfortunately for him, the rest of SG1 was not so lucky.
Jon's fate was tearing Daniel apart. He had gone into that room expecting to chew Jack out for taking the easy way out, for giving up. Again. Now he found that the solution was beyond his comprehension. Jon was literally killing himself because his team had left him behind. He could not move on, because he had made his faith in his team a core aspect of his personality. Listening to Jon apologize, Daniel had finally understood what Jack had known all along. SG1's betrayal had been the only thing strong enough to shatter the central personality, to free Jon to rebuild himself anew. Only he could not release his own faith in his team long enough to accomplish it. It made sense in a twisted military way. That faith had been constructed with every particle of Jack's stubborn will specifically to prevent what they were trying to accomplish. It was ironic in a horrifyingly sick sense of the word.
As Jack said, there were two of him, and only one SG1.
Daniel's coffee hit the floor with a crash.
It took him two days to steal the long range communication device. Another 12 hours to receive a reply. He would have asked Sam if he had lost his mind, only she was off on some cross-state motorcycle ride trying to 'clear her head.' Jack had admitted that they had gotten into a rip-roaring argument about the fate of the clone and she had requested leave. Hammond had granted it before Jack could protest and she was gone.
Teal'c became suspicious when he discovered Daniel filling out his own request for leave. He locked the door and stood against it.
"What are you planning Daniel Jackson?"
Daniel glared,"I'm doing what needs to be done. Don't try to stop me."
Teal'c considered the paperwork on the desk and looked up,"I believe I will accompany you."
Daniel laughed a bit wildly,"You don't even know what I'm planning to do."
Teal'c raised an eyebrow,"Will it help the clone of O'Neill?"
Daniel paused as he considered carefully. There were no guarantees. He really needed Sam, and she was not here. Maybe she could follow later.
"I don't know." He said finally."But it's the only thing I can think of that might make a difference."
"Then I know all I need to know. I will accompany you." Teal'c found another copy of the request form and filled it out. The two of them looked at each other for a moment, then Teal'c lifted a brow. "What is the next part of your plan?"
Daniel shifted, a bit embarassed."Actually, I don't know. They were supposed to be here al..."
White light flared.
As the spots faded, Daniel and Teal'c found themselves staring at a blond teenager wearing a suspiciously familiar expression.
"What the hell do you two think you are doing?"
"Jack, for god's sake, will you sit down!"
Jack froze, looked at his aggravated commanding officer, then heaved a huge sigh and sat down.
Jon never looked up. Harper swore the drugs were more or less out of his system, but his eyes were slightly glazed and if being back at the SGC meant anything to him he was hiding it well. Jack was not happy to see him here in the first place, but a message had come through the Stargate six hours before requesting that he be present when the Asgard reactivated the Gate in...
Jack checked his watch. 12 minutes.
He popped out of his chair and started pacing again. Hammond sighed but let him be. Worrying about the Asgard kept him from worrying about his team. Sam was two days overdue to return and Daniel and Teal'c were still among the missing. Their written requests for leave had been located in Dr. Jackson's office, but no trace of the two men had been found. Worse, no record of them leaving the base was found. The circumstances were more than suspicious, but Jack was in the dark. If SG1 was up to something, O'Neill would have expected to be part of it.
Possibly it was as simple as it seemed. The fate of the clone had prompted the need for some serious soul-searching. While Daniel and Teal'c had only stated the need for some peace and quiet, Carter had been devastated when she realized exactly why the clone was breaking down emotionally. Jack was not sure if it was the fact that she had not realized the extreme reaction Jon would have, or if she was blaming herself for not finding a better solution. Not that Jack could see one. Aging the clone closer to his own real age might have helped, but Thor had explained sadly that due to his marker, it was not possible.
So...nothing to be done except survive it.
Looking at the clone now, Jack flinched. He knew why Jon had thought it was possible. Hell, he knew why it had failed. Unfortunately, that knowledge did not come with any special insight into a solution. One thing was certain, the way they had been going was not it. Jack tightened his lips grimly. Jon was not going back to the hospital. Not even if Jack had to enforce that fact at the end of a zat. Maybe put him in charge of the Alpha site for a while? He'd talk to Hammond after he found out what the Asgard wanted.
As if the thought had conjured them, the alarms went off.
Jack was at the observation window before the Stargate started dialling. Hammond joined him just as the wormhole activated and Harper gasped as the event horizon flared. When the lights darkened and the iris remained open, Jack was prepared for Thor or someone similiar to step from the Gate. It took him a minute to realize that the three figures stepping onto the ramp were human.
He was on his way to the Embarkation Room before he remembered that he should have asked permission. Hell with it. Hammond would forgive him. The guards covering the Gate were more than a bit confused. They knew who they were seeing, but they also knew they were supposed to already be here on Earth. To their credit, they kept the guns raised until Jack waved them down. The muzzles had wavered a bit, though. Before he could demand that Carter tell him what the hell was going on, three more figures stepped from the event horizon.
Carter halted at the foot of the ramp and regarded him soberly. He tore his eyes from the impossibility behind her and met her gaze in disbelief. She never flinched. The sheer magnitude of the choice she had made refused to sink in. He shifted his gaze to the two men standing behind her.
Daniel smiled uneasily,"Hi, Jack."
Jack returned his dumbstruck gaze to Carter and unglued his tongue."What have you done?" He honestly meant it to come out louder than a raspy whisper. "Jesus, what have you done?"
She stood firm and answered clearly,"We don't leave our people behind."
Jack laughed a bit wildly. Spinning around he found Harper and Hammond staring down into the Gateroom, one in confusion, the other with horrified fascination.
"Sir, could you send Jon to the Gateroom? I believe there are some people here to see him."
Harper still did not get it. No reason why he should. This is what he got when Carter got desperate for a solution. Mackay was right. She was insane. An artist, perhaps. But definately, certifiably, insane. Hell, what was he doing, springing it on the kid like this? Except he wasn't a kid, was he? And his team was waiting for him.
Pointing to the door, he silently ordered the defense team to leave the room. The last of the soldiers cleared the door just as Jon stepped inside and the Stargate shut down. He stared uncomprehendingly at the three figures standing quietly on the ramp behind SG1. Jack did not think he understood at first. All three teenagers were dressed in patchless versions of SGC fatigues and were of an identical age. The young Teal'c lacked the gold brand of Apophis and if it was not for the fact they were patently a couple years underdeveloped, they could have been any recent graduates of the Academy. The smile the brown-haired boy at Carter's shoulder gave him was pure Daniel, however.
Wordlessly, Daniel and Teal'c - the older versions - moved out of the Gateroom. Jack knew they would watch from the observation room, but the gesture was appreciated. Carter might have done the same except he needed her in case Jon did not handle this...well. Her eyelids flickered as he silently ordered her to stay put, but otherwise did not react.
Young Teal'c cocked his head."Do you not recognize us O'Neill?"
Jon started to shake his head, then he started to shake. Jack felt his nerves begin to twitch nervously as the young Carter approached Jon slowly. She did not flinch as his eyes sought hers, but she did not reach out to touch him.
"Option four, Sir." she told him seriously.
Jon shook his head violently, in denial. "What have you done? Do you know what you have done?"
Daniel looked annoyed,"Course we did, Jack. The Asgard made sure of that."
Jon looked dazed,"Why?"
Teal'c tilted his head thoughtfully, deliberately misinterpreting the question. "I believe they wished to make sure we understood the consequenses of what we did."
Jon started suddenly and waved his arms wildly,"Do you have any idea what you've done to yourselves? What this means?"
Carter shrugged," We're willing to battle the Goa'uld with you, Sir. We have died with you. Highschool should be a snap."
Jon glared at her," Carter..."
She looked him in the eye.
"We don't leave our people behind, Jack."