Daniel was busy jotting down some notes on an artifact that SG-16 had just brought back when Jack came in.
"I talked to Hammond," he said. "He's going to issue a base-wide order to speak to no one about your abilities throughout the time that the film crew is here."
"That's good. I really don't want news of what I can do making it into that documentary. Can you imagine what my life would be like if it did and that thing was ever aired?"
"Yeah. It doesn't paint a pretty picture. You'd have every kook out there on your doorstep."
"Not to mention all of the people who'd want me to find lost loved ones."
"And it worries me what certain other countries might do to get their hands on that kind of power. All of which makes me wonder why you agreed to let those guys at Area 51 experiment on your DNA."
Daniel stared at his friend. "What do you think they're going to do with it? They're not a bunch of mad scientists over there, you know."
"Oh, I wouldn't be so sure of that."
"Jack, if it wasn't for the people at Area 51, a lot of the technology we now have wouldn't exist. They've been instrumental in adapting Goa'uld technology to work with ours."
"Oh, I know that. Those aren't the guys I'm worrying about. It's the ones like that Doctor Fairview and this new guy that give me the heebie-jeebies, the ones who mess around with genes and your brain matter."
"Well, Doctor Holt is hoping that they'll be able to figure out exactly why this happened, and that's something I'd like to know."
"How come you want to know so badly now? When Morrison, Rice and Fairview showed up, you said that you wouldn't undergo any of their tests to find out. And you said the same thing to Anise when she and Jacob came calling."
"Jack, there are two big differences between now and then. One is that Doctor Holt is going to be running tests on my DNA, not me. I won't be subjected to a thousand tests and experiments. Only my DNA will. The other difference is that, back then, I didn't know the extent of how different I am. Don't you think that I might want to know why and how this happened?"
"Yes, I can understand why you'd want to know, Daniel. In your position, I would, too. I just hope this Doctor Holt doesn't have any ulterior motives."
As luck would have it, Colonel Bray had ended up on Daniel's list.
"Doctor Jackson," the man said a little stiffly as the archeologist came up to him.
"Colonel Bray. I'm sure that you've received General Hammond's orders not to say anything about my psychic abilities during the time that the film crew is at the SGC."
"We just wanted to make sure that everyone understood that they shouldn't talk to anyone about them while the film crew is here. We don't want to take the chance that something will be overheard."
"Good." Daniel paused. "Um . . . I'm sorry if I came on a bit too strongly yesterday. I'd just gotten some news that upset me, and I guess I vented a little on you."
The colonel stared at him, clearly shocked by Daniel's apology.
"I do need to say something, though," the archeologist continued. "Like the rest of the scientists and other civilians here, I've had to deal with your . . . less than pleasant attitude toward us, and I never quite understood why you have that attitude. I can understand why some people would think that only military personnel should be on SG teams, but you target just about everyone who isn't military, whether they are on an SG team or not. Why?"
Still surprised by the apology, Bray took a while to answer. "I believe that the SGC should be a strictly military operation. Civilians have no place here."
"And you think that gives you the right to be rude to them? Colonel, are you aware that many of the civilians here are doing jobs that they are better qualified for than any available military personnel? For instance, Doctor Weisman is fluent in eleven spoken languages and can read an additional six dead languages. He is a brilliant linguist who graduated with honors from Cornell University. There aren't many people in the military with those kinds of credentials. Every man and woman here, whether they are military or not, is here because they are the best person for the job they are doing. And in regards to the civilian members of SG teams, they have contributed equally as much to our ongoing mission as anyone here who's in the Marines or the Air Force. They have fought against the Goa'uld, sometimes sacrificing their lives in the process. Three of the people who died at the Alpha Site were scientists. They could have run, but, instead, they picked up weapons and tried to hold back Anubis' drones so that others could get away. Not counting the year that I was . . . away, I've been a member of SG-1 for going on six years, and I'd like to think that, during that time, I've managed to contribute something to the program and save a few lives. All of us are in this fight together, Colonel Bray. I think you should remember that the next time you talk to one of the civilians on this base. We're not your enemy, the Goa'uld are."
Having nothing more to say, Daniel turned and left, hoping that his words would do some good.
Jack was heading for the commissary when he spied Ferretti up ahead.
"Hey, Lou!" he called.
"Jack! How's it going?"
"Oh, could be better, could be worse. Same as usual."
"I hear you. So, I heard about this gag order about Daniel."
"Yes, I need to talk to you about that," Jack said. "You need to be careful while that film crew is here, Lou. I know that one of your favorite topics of discussion is Daniel's new abilities and how you knew him back when he was just a long-haired geek who didn't know how to get us home, but you have to cool it with that talk. We can't take the chance that someone on the film crew will overhear you. Now, from what I've been told, the two men who will be with him are both military, so they'll follow whatever orders they've been given, but this Emmett Bregman is a snoopy journalist, and if he gets wind of this thing with Daniel. . . ."
Ferretti held up a hand. "Say no more, Jack. I'll keep quiet about Daniel. Not a word about him will pass my lips while Bregman is here. You know, since this whole thing with Daniel started, you and I haven't really had a chance to sit down and talk about it."
"Well, as it so happens, I was just about to get some lunch. Care to join me?"
The two men got their food and sat down at the table that was farthest from everyone else.
"I can imagine that this stuff with Daniel and his abilities has been quite an adjustment for you," Ferretti said, "what with him being on your team and all."
"You can say that again. Between you and me, it can be pretty darn spooky, and I sometimes have a hard time accepting the fact that it's really Daniel doing that stuff."
"Personally, I'd love to have someone on my team who could do what he can. It certainly would reduce the risk factor."
"Yes, but there is a risk involved in him using those abilities. He nearly killed himself when he blew up that Al'Kesh, and you didn't see how much pain he was in when he caught and held that Stargate. He was in agony, Lou. And he overdid it again during this whole thing at the Alpha Site. Sooner or later, I'm afraid that he's really going to push himself too far and end up brain damaged or dead."
"I had no idea it was that serious," Ferretti responded. "We knew that there are limits to what Daniel can do, and we knew that he'd hurt himself blowing up that Al'Kesh, but I didn't know that he could actually kill himself doing this stuff."
"Yeah, well, I think about it all the time."
Ferretti was quiet for a long moment. "He's changed since this happened, Jack. We've all seen it."
"I know. The funny thing is that I don't think Daniel's even aware of it."
"I talked to Captain Drake. When the alert was given that Goa'uld ships had entered orbit, he and some of the others at the Alpha Site started gearing up for battle. He said that Daniel came running up to them and told them not to try fighting the drones since it would be useless. He told them to use the rocket launchers against the ships and get everyone through the gate. Drake said that Daniel giving orders to a bunch of marines and airmen surprised the hell out of him, but he didn't even consider going against them, no more than he'd go against an order from a superior officer. I've talked to some of the others who were there, people who saw Daniel do all that stuff with the Al'Kesh, the bombs, and the drones. Some of them said that they hardly recognized him."
Jack poked at his food. "I know. You should have seen him fight that Jaffa. Not a man on this base would have stood a chance against him. And when he stood before all those Jaffa afterwards and talked with them, there was this air about him, like a four-star talking to an army."
Ferretti shook his head. "You know, back when I first met him, and even when we were reunited with him on Abydos, I'd never have guessed that he'd turn out like this. The guy's as stubborn as a cantankerous mule, but he never struck me as the leader type."
"At times, I would have agreed with you, but you're not the one who had to go toe-to-toe with him in a battle of wills more times than I can count. And you're not the one who had to deal with him going off and doing what he wanted to against your orders or behind your back. I might be in command of SG-1, but that never stopped Daniel from saying to hell with my orders and doing what he felt was right. He might not have been what we'd call a leader all these years on SG-1, but he sure wasn't a follower either. This whole thing with his abilities didn't create something new in him, Lou, I think it just brought out something that was already there."
Ferretti gave a nod. "He scared the crap out of Colonel Bray yesterday."
"Oh, yeah. Bray was being his usual charming self and tearing into the linguist who translated that tablet, the one that was supposed to have led SG-20 safely through the maze. Well, Daniel showed up, and, boy, was he ever pissed at Bray, or at least that's what the guy who saw the whole thing told me. Daniel let Bray know that what happened on the mission wasn't the linguist's fault, then told him in no uncertain terms that he was not to ever again verbally attack someone on Daniel's staff. According to the guy I talked to, it wasn't so much what Daniel said to Bray. His words were actually quite mild, considering. It was the way he said it and the look on his face."
"Damn. I wish I'd seen that. I've been itching to do something about Bray for a long time now. The guy's an ass."
"Yeah, well, now that Daniel's put the fear of God into him, he'll probably be a lot more polite to the civilians here."
Ferretti looked down at his plate and began fidgeting, a sure sign that he had something to say but didn't know how to say it.
"Spit it out, Ferretti," Jack ordered.
The man met his eyes. "The guys have been making bets on when Daniel will be offered the command of an SG team."
Jack was so shocked by the announcement that he almost missed what Ferretti said next.
"Quite a few of them have said that, if he is given command of a team, they want to be on it." Ferretti studied Jack's expression. "I'm guessing by the look on your face that you hadn't heard this."
"No. No, I hadn't."
"Can you really blame them, Jack? The casualty list for SG team members goes up by leaps and bounds every year. The guys figure that being on a team Daniel commanded would dramatically increase their chances of survival."
Jack had to admit that Ferretti was right. "No, I can't blame them."
"Of course I told them that it would never happen, that Daniel wouldn't leave SG-1."
Deep in thought, Jack didn't respond.
The two men finished their lunch and parted company. Jack continued talking to people about keeping quiet about Daniel, though his mind was no longer on that task. If Daniel was offered command of a team, would he take it? It would give him the opportunity to do things the way he thought they should be done. No more butting heads with military-minded colonels while on missions. No more having to sneak behind said military-minded colonel's back to do what he thought was right. No more having to do things against his better judgment because that same military-minded colonel wouldn't listen to his advice and insisted on doing things his own way.
Several months ago, the idea of Daniel commanding his own SG team would have seemed pretty unlikely, unless that team was strictly for archeological exploration. Several years ago, it would have seemed ludicrous. But now. . . . Jack had to admit that Daniel would be a damn fine commander. After all these years on SG-1, he knew all the ins and outs of military operations, he could fire a sidearm and a P-90 with the best of them, and he could definitely handle himself in a tough situation. With his psychic abilities, he could protect his men better than any other SG team commander could. And he was brilliant, smart enough that he could figure out ways to fulfill their mission objective. The one possible stumbling block, Daniel's ability to lead, was no longer an issue. Jack had no doubt that the archeologist could take command. But would he want to command? Jack didn't fail to notice that, when the Jaffa asked if Daniel would lead them into battle against the Goa'uld, he had said that he would stand beside them, not lead them. Was that simply because he was trying to make a point that it wasn't his place to lead the Jaffa or was it because he doesn't want to lead? Jack had to admit that he hoped it was the latter. He didn't want to lose Daniel from SG-1.
At a little before four o'clock, Jack went to Daniel's office to meet up with his team. Only Daniel was there when he arrived.
Daniel looked up from whatever it was that he'd been writing. "Hey. So, how'd you do?"
"Pretty good. I talked to a ton of people."
"Me too. I spoke to just about everyone, all except two. I'm hoping that I'll have a chance to talk to them in the morning before Bregman arrives, along with the people who have come back on duty."
"I think we just about have all our bases covered with this."
"I hope so." Daniel searched Jack's face. "Is something wrong?"
"I had lunch with Ferretti, and we got to talking about some things. He told me that—"
Jack didn't get a chance to finish, for, just then, Sam walked in, followed a moment later by Teal'c.
"Well, I talked to all but three people on my list," the major announced.
"I was successful in speaking to everyone who was on my list except for one individual," Teal'c stated.
"I talked to all but two on mine," Daniel said.
"And there were three on mine," Jack told them.
"So, we got everyone except for nine people, plus the ones who will be back on duty tomorrow," Sam said. "That's pretty good, better than I expected. We can probably manage to talk to the majority of everyone else first thing in the morning."
"All right, now that that's taken care of, we need to decide what we're going to do about these interviews this Bregman guy is going to want with us."
"Do what, for instance?" Daniel asked Jack. "He's here by the president's order."
"Yes, but that doesn't mean that we have to make it easy for the guy. Me, personally, I'm going to make myself as hard to catch as I can."
"I, too, have no desire to speak with this man," Teal'c said.
"What about you two?" Jack asked his youngest teammates.
"Well, sir, since I'm the most qualified to explain certain things about the technology of the Stargate and the dialing program, I doubt that I could avoid speaking with him," Sam explained.
"I can't say that I'm thrilled about this whole thing, but I'll talk to him as long as he doesn't get too personal," Daniel answered. "It's definitely going to be interesting."