Incidents Series Part 10: The Captain Horton Incident
by Maureen Thayer
Categories: Drama, Friendship, Angst
Content Warning: Mild Profanity
Author's Note: This is the 10th fanfic in the Incidents Series. I would highly recommend that you read the previous parts before this one, if you have not already done so, in order to understand the plot.
This story is told from Teal'c's point of view.
It had come to my attention that Daniel Jackson was in need of my assistance.
At fifteen years of age, if my young teammate was a Jaffa in the service of a Goa'uld, he would now be performing minor duties for his master as he was intensively trained to eventually take his place as a warrior in that Goa'uld's army. As a human, Daniel Jackson is not required to do such things. From what I have learned about the culture of this country, most youths his age are required to do little more than attend school and perform basic chores at home.
Daniel Jackson, however, is not an ordinary boy. Because he is regaining memories of his original schooling, it would not be necessary for him to receive any additional schooling, except what is required to keep him current with knowledge and events of the present, yet he chooses to spend hours each day gaining new knowledge from the Internet and from individuals on this base. Major Carter has taught him a great deal in her fields of expertise and talks often about how brilliant Daniel Jackson's mind is and how quickly he learns.
I, too, have become Daniel Jackson's teacher. From me he has learned the Goa'uld language, both written and spoken. We often hold conversations in that language. I have also taught him the history of my people, as well as many things about the Goa'uld. I have continued to train him in various forms of martial arts practiced by the Jaffa. He is quite adept, something I had not anticipated since the adult Daniel Jackson had no desire to learn such things. I can only assume that his opinion has been altered due to the fact that he is maturing in a military environment.
I have great pride in Daniel Jackson. The reasons are not limited to the things of which I have already spoken. He displays wisdom and maturity well beyond his years. He is courteous and respectful to every individual he meets, a thing that O'Neill says is exceedingly rare among teenaged boys. The compassion and desire to help others that he possessed as an adult is still present within him.
I must confess that, in many ways, I have come to look upon Daniel Jackson as a son. I do not believe that these feelings will remain once he has matured to the age he was before he was transformed into a child, but, for the present, my desire to protect him from all manner of harm is equal in power to that which I feel for my son, Rya'c.
On the morning that Daniel Jackson reached the age of fifteen, he was given permission by General Hammond to begin working for a limited amount of time each day performing translations for the Linguistics Department, a decision that greatly pleased my young teammate. However, when, that afternoon, he came to my quarters so that I might continue his education on the Goa'uld, I noticed that he appeared troubled and distracted, his attention clearly not upon what I was attempting to teach him.
"Is there a problem, Daniel Jackson?" I asked.
"No, I'm okay," he replied rather hastily. The fact that he did not meet my eyes led me to believe that he was not being entirely truthful.
"If it is something that you do not wish others to know, I will speak of it to no one."
Daniel Jackson looked at me. "It's nothing, really. I just had kind of a . . . run-in with somebody."
From what I knew of the English language, a "run-in" referred to an altercation or quarrel. I was aware that Daniel Jackson often tended to understate the seriousness of things that have happened to him, and I was concerned that this incident may have been more serious than he was claiming it to be.
"What was the reason for this . . . run-in?" I asked.
Daniel Jackson shook his head. "It's nothing, Teal'c. Just forget I said anything."
I chose not to press Daniel Jackson further, and we resumed the lesson. His statement preyed upon my mind, however, and I made the decision to seek the truth about the "run-in."
Because I had said that I would speak to no one about it, I could not ask others if they knew of any difficulty Daniel Jackson was having with someone at the SGC. Therefore, my only course of action was to "keep my ear to the ground," as O'Neill would say.
As I traveled through the base the remainder of that day, I listened closely to the conversations of people around me. I normally pay little attention to the gossip that takes place at the SGC because I consider it to be distasteful, but I knew it was possible that I might garner clues from the gossip that would lead me to discovering with whom it was that Daniel Jackson had his altercation.
I did not learn anything that day, but I did the next morning. I was nearing one of the
laboratories when I heard two civilian scientists in conversation.
"You should tell somebody, Wendell," said the female scientist. "Daniel shouldn't be treated like that."
"Tell who? General Hammond? I can't really be sure of what I heard. Maybe I got it wrong. And I don't want Captain Horton coming after me. Some of those Marines scare the crap out of me."
"You are such a coward, Wendell. If it was me, I'd go straight to the general and tell him."
"Then why don't you?" the man named Wendell asked in a defensive tone of voice.
"Because I'm not the one who overheard it. It would just be hearsay coming from me. Don't you ever watch any lawyer shows?"
Captain Horton was a Marine who had recently been transferred to the SGC. From what I had been told, his military record was exemplary, though his temperament was not one that encouraged friendship.
I made an oath that, if Captain Horton was treating Daniel Jackson in a way that he should not, I would put a stop to it. In order to gain a better understanding of the situation, I decided that the first step should be to observe what would transpire when Daniel Jackson and Captain Horton were in the same room.
Based upon Captain Horton's duty schedule, I determined that the time he and Daniel Jackson would most likely be in the same place was in the commissary at lunchtime. To assure that such would be the case, I invited Daniel Jackson to join me for the midday meal at a time that would coincide with Captain Horton's lunch break.
My young teammate and I were talking pleasantly over our meal when Captain Horton entered the commissary. When Daniel Jackson saw him, his relaxed demeanor changed dramatically. He stopped speaking, and his gaze remained fixed upon his meal. His body grew tense.
I turned my attention to Captain Horton. The man's gaze had gone to Daniel Jackson. There was a look of displeasure on his face. He then turned away and walked to the counter to get his lunch.
There could be no doubt that Captain Horton was the source of Daniel Jackson's distress. I knew that the next step would be to learn the exact nature and severity of the problem. Unfortunately, to do so it would be necessary for me to observe Daniel Jackson and Captain Horton together in a private setting.
Captain Horton's duties for the day were primarily on Level 20, which was also where Sergeant Siler often worked. I was aware that the sergeant had offered to give Daniel Jackson a tour of the laboratories and manufacturing services on that level, and I decided that this would be a favorable time for him to extend the invitation again.
Sergeant Siler was quite puzzled by my request that he invite Daniel Jackson to meet him in a specific room on Level 20 for the promised tour. His puzzlement increased when I also requested that he not be present on Level 20 at the time that Daniel Jackson was due to arrive and that he make certain that Captain Horton would be in that room, but no one else. He nevertheless did as I asked, not questioning my motives.
At the proper time, I went to Level 20 and took a position in a location that would enable me to watch Daniel Jackson and Captain Horton without being seen. I had been in that place for no more than ten minutes when Daniel Jackson entered. He looked around the room, most likely searching for Sergeant Siler. He had been there mere seconds when Captain Horton arrived.
"What the hell are you doing here?" the captain asked.
Daniel Jackson had taken a hasty step backwards upon seeing the man. "I-I. . . . Sergeant Siler asked me to come down so that he could show me around."
"Well, then you're just going to have to tell him that something came up, and you can't do it today."
Captain Horton strode up to Daniel Jackson in a threatening manner, interrupting his objection. I tensed, prepared to defend my teammate if it became necessary.
"You just don't get the message, do you?" the captain said. "I don't like kids, especially teenagers. They're a bunch of hooligans and troublemakers that think they can get away with anything. I don't care about who you are or the reason why you're this age. As far as I'm concerned, until you're an adult again, you shouldn't be allowed on this base. You should have been taken someplace else until you grew up."
Captain Horton took another step closer to Daniel Jackson. "I thought I made it clear that I wanted you to stay out of my sight. If you see me, you're to turn around and go in the opposite direction." He thrust his finger against Daniel Jackson's chest. "You got that?"
Daniel Jackson's gaze was upon the floor, his shoulders hunched, arms wrapped around his own body. The look upon his face was one that I had seen before: when he was regaining the memories of the foster father who physically abused him.
Fury burned deep in my heart. The desire to kill Captain Horton rose within me. If this was Chulak, he would already lay dead at my feet.
Saying nothing, Daniel Jackson quickly left the room. The time had come for me to confront Captain Horton.
I saw surprise and alarm on the captain's face when I stepped from my hiding place.
"T-Teal'c! What are you—"
His voice choked to a halt as I grasped his throat and yanked him close to me. His eyes were wide with fear as he gazed into mine.
"Daniel Jackson is my teammate and my friend," I said. "He is worthy of the greatest respect and honor. For your words and actions against him I would quite happily kill you where you stand. I will, instead, give you one opportunity to make amends to him and save your life. You will immediately find him and apologize. After that, you will go to General Hammond and request a transfer from Stargate Command. If you do not do these things, you will not live long enough to threaten Daniel Jackson again."
I forcefully pushed Captain Horton away from me, causing him to stumble and fall. He quickly rose to his feet and fled the room. I did not doubt that he would do as I had commanded.
I went to my quarters. I had been there for two hours when a knock came upon my door. I told the person to enter, and the door opened to reveal O'Neill. He came into the room.
"Okay, Teal'c. What's going on with Daniel and Captain Horton? I had an interesting conversation with Siler a while ago. When I found him standing around twiddling his thumbs and looking at his watch, I was intrigued, so I asked him what was up. He told me that, for some reason, you wanted Daniel and Horton to both be on Level 20 at the same time, apparently with no one else around. And just a few minutes ago, I found out from Hammond that Horton quite suddenly and unexpectedly requested a transfer out of the SGC. He appeared quite desperate to get the transfer. So, now, I want to know what's going on. Are you going to tell me or do I have to ask Daniel?"
I did not wish for Daniel Jackson to know of my actions, so I had no choice but to tell O'Neill what he wanted to know.
"I am going to hang that bastard out to dry," O'Neill declared afterwards, his eyes filled with rage.
"Did General Hammond agree to give Captain Horton the transfer?"
"Yes, but that's not good enough for me. He terrorized a fifteen-year-old boy. He terrorized Daniel. A man like that is not fit to wear the uniform. Who knows what he may have done in the past to some poor kid who crossed paths with him? If he'd ever actually tried to hurt Daniel, Daniel could have defended himself, but another child wouldn't have that advantage. We need to talk to Hammond about this."
O'Neill and I went to speak with General Hammond, who was alarmed and infuriated by what we told him.
"I'll see to it that an investigation is started," he said. "I will delay the transfer for a couple of days. I don't want Captain Horton going anywhere right now."
"Sir, you know that an investigation through official channels could take a while," O'Neill responded.
"What would you suggest?"
"I still have some contacts from my days in Special Ops and Black Ops, people who have access to a lot of information and can get access to a lot more."
"Very well, Colonel. See what these contacts of yours can find out. In the meantime, I will get an official investigation started."
An hour later, I was returning to my quarters when I decided to visit Daniel Jackson. Upon entering his office, I observed him staring at his computer with a frown on his face. He noticed my presence and turned to me.
"Good afternoon, Daniel Jackson," I greeted. "You appear to be troubled by something."
"Um . . . yeah. Do you remember me telling you yesterday that I had a run-in with somebody?"
"Well, he suddenly came here and apologized to me, right out of the blue. And, a few minutes ago, I overheard that he's being transferred out, which is pretty weird since he was just transferred here a couple of weeks ago."
I did not immediately respond, not wishing to feign ignorance as to the cause of Captain Horton's sudden actions.
Daniel Jackson's eyes searched mine intently. "It was you, wasn't it. You found out what he did and did something to him."
"I merely impressed upon him my great displeasure over his actions and suggested that a transfer would be in his best interests."
"Did you beat him up?"
"I did not."
"He showed a lot more restraint than I would have," said the voice of O'Neill. Daniel Jackson and I turned to see him standing in the doorway. He stepped further into the room, his gaze upon Daniel Jackson.
"Why didn't you tell us, Daniel?" he asked. "You should have said something."
Daniel Jackson's gaze fell to the top of his desk. "I'm not a little kid anymore, Jack."
"I know that, Daniel, but that guy had no business doing and saying what he did. I don't care what issues he has with teenagers. He didn't have the right to push you around like that. I know you can take care of yourself, but his conduct was unbecoming an officer and needs to be addressed. You know, it is possible that you're not the only kid he's pushed around."
Daniel Jackson gave a sigh. "I'm sorry. I just. . . . He made me think of. . . ."
"Voss?" O'Neill inquired with a gentle tone, speaking the name of Daniel Jackson's abusive foster father.
Daniel Jackson nodded, his eyes remaining downcast. "They don't look anything alike. It was the . . . the look in Captain Horton's eyes and what he said. When Mister Voss was in a bad mood, he'd tell me to go to my room and say that he didn't want to lay eyes on me."
I heard O'Neill curse softly. He walked up to Daniel Jackson and laid a hand upon the youth's shoulder.
"I'm sorry, Daniel. It's not going to happen again. We've launched an investigation to see if there's a chance that Horton hurt or terrorized some other kid. If he did, he'll be brought up on charges. Regardless, he's not going to be a part of the program anymore, and, if I have my way, he'll be kicked out of the service."
Major Carter appeared in the doorway.
"What's going on?" she asked. "First, I hear rumors that Horton is transferring back out, then I find out from one of the scientists that he was bullying Daniel."
"Ah, gotta love the base grapevine," O'Neill remarked.
"Then it's true?" Major Carter looked at Daniel Jackson, anger now upon her face. "What did he do to you?"
O'Neill, Daniel Jackson and I told Major Carter what had transpired.
"That bastard!" she exclaimed. "What right did he think he had to push Daniel around like that?"
"Good question," O'Neill responded. "Whatever the reason, if this gets around base, Horton will find himself in a lot of trouble. He's going to be a very unpopular person."
O'Neill's statement proved to be correct. News of Captain Horton's actions against Daniel Jackson rapidly spread throughout the base and resulted in extremely hostile feelings toward the captain. The following day, I had the pleasure of witnessing one altercation between him and two other men, one of whom was Lieutenant Colonel Ferretti.
"You're a real piece of work, Horton," Colonel Ferretti said. "You get your jollies out of pushing kids around? You're not worthy of even breathing the same air as Daniel. Even at fifteen, he's ten times the man you are."
The other man, a Marine named Captain Gonzales, stepped up to within a few inches of Captain Horton.
"How'd you like it if people started pushing you around?" He shoved Captain Horton lightly.
"You know, if it wouldn't land me in the brig, I'd deck you right here," Colonel Ferretti declared. "Instead, I'm going to give you a piece of advice. You stay clear of Daniel. If you see him, you turn and go in the opposite direction. I don't want you within twenty feet of him. You got that?"
A smile came to my face at the irony that some of the words Colonel Ferretti used were nearly identical to those spoken by Captain Horton to Daniel Jackson.
As Captain Horton walked away, the anger I saw upon his face concerned me. It was likely that he would blame Daniel Jackson for this situation. Though, with Daniel Jackson's telekinetic power, he had the ability to defend himself against attack, I decided that I should discuss my concerns with my other teammates.
I searched for O'Neill and Major Carter and found them both in the commissary.
"Hey, Teal'c," O'Neill greeted. "Pull up a chair. Carter and I were just talking about the troubles that poor Captain Horton seems to be having. You should have seen what happened when he came in here a while ago. I swear that the temperature dropped at least ten degrees. Dixon was in here at the time, and, by the look on his face, I'd say he was exercising an extreme act of will not to knock Horton across the room."
"Indeed, O'Neill. I, too, have witnessed acts of hostility toward Captain Horton. Colonel Ferretti was quite vociferous in expressing his displeasure."
O'Neill smiled. "Yeah, I bet he was."
Major Carter was smiling as well. "I heard that someone slipped Horton a laxative sometime last night. He spent a good part of the morning in the bathroom."
"My money's on Fraiser," O'Neill said.
Major Carter shook her head. "I can't picture Janet doing something like that. There are a couple of her nurses, though, who would."
"Horton will be lucky if he gets out of here with his skin still intact."
I expressed my concerns regarding the captain.
"You don't think he'd actually be stupid enough to try anything, do you?" Major Carter asked.
O'Neill was frowning. "If he got mad enough? I don't know. He wasn't acting all that bright when he decided to pick on Daniel in the first place. He knew that Daniel wasn't going to be a kid for much longer. What did he think would happen once Daniel reached adulthood? Did he think Daniel would just brush it off and not say or do anything?" O'Neill rose to his feet. "I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to keep an eye on things until Horton is out of here."
We made our way to Daniel Jackson's office. We had just turned the corner when we heard a disturbance in the room. We then witnessed Captain Horton being hurled through the air to strike with great force against the wall across from the entrance to Daniel Jackson's office. We hurried forward, Major Carter attending to the captain as O'Neill and I entered the office. Daniel Jackson was staring with wide eyes at the captain's unconscious form.
"Daniel, what did he do?" O'Neill asked, concern in his voice.
"He was yelling at me, saying that all the trouble he was in was because I didn't keep my mouth shut. He thought that I was the one who told everyone what he did. He came at me, and I-I just reacted. All I could see in my mind was Mister Voss coming at me, and. . . ." His voice halted, and he drew in a deep breath. "I didn't mean to push him that hard."
Major Carter entered. "He's out cold. I think he may have a concussion. His right arm is broken. A medical team is on the way."
Daniel Jackson's expression became one of guilt and regret. "I didn't mean to hurt him."
O'Neill laid a hand upon his shoulder. "Hey. Don't you dare feel sorry for him, Daniel. If it hadn't been for your abilities, he might have seriously hurt you."
Doctor Fraiser arrived with a team. Upon examining Captain Horton she confirmed Major Carter's suspicions. The captain was taken to the infirmary.
"Once he gets out of there, he'll be sent straight to the brig," O'Neill stated. "If it was up to me, he'd be there until his teeth start falling out from old age."
The next day, Captain Horton was released from the infirmary and placed in the brig. I made the decision to talk to him.
"Your belief that Daniel Jackson revealed your actions to the personnel is incorrect," I told him. "When he first admitted to me that he had an altercation with someone, he refused to tell me more or with whom he had the altercation. I sought to discover the truth and learned from another source that you were the person I was seeking. I arranged for the meeting between you and Daniel Jackson on Level 20 so that I could observe your interaction. Daniel Jackson was unaware of this at the time. I can only assume that the rest of the personnel learned of your actions through what is called the 'grapevine'."
I stepped closer to the cell. "The situation you now find yourself in is of your own making. The blame is yours alone. Seeking to harm Daniel Jackson was foolhardy. You are fortunate that you were not more seriously injured. He could quite easily have killed you if he so desired."
I closed the final distance to the bars of the cell. "Yesterday, I spared your life and gave you a warning. I now give you another. You will never again seek to bring harm to Daniel Jackson in any way. If you do so, I will kill you in a manner that will cause great pain. This I swear."
I left the brig and went in search of O'Neill. I found him and my other teammates in Daniel Jackson's office.
"Hey, T," O'Neill greeted. "We've got some news. One of my old buddies in Special Ops called. He did some checking and found out that, before he joined the Marines, Horton was accused of hitting a sixteen-year-old boy who vandalized his car. There were no witnesses, and the kid had a prior record for vandalism and petty theft, so it never even went to court. There was another incident a few years ago. Horton was on leave with a couple of his buddies. A seventeen-year-old on a skateboard clipped Horton, and he went ballistic, yanked the kid right off the skateboard and started screaming at him. Horton's buddies stepped in and stopped it from going any further."
"The official investigation is digging even deeper into his past now," Major Carter said. "For obvious reasons, Daniel can't testify against Horton in court, and all the details about what happened here can't be released, but General Hammond said that he's going to make sure that, one way or another, Horton gets some jail time for what he did. If it turns out that he assaulted other kids, they'll be able to charge him with those crimes as well."
There was great satisfaction on O'Neill's face. "His career in the military is history. He's being dishonorably discharged."
"Why do you think he hates kids so much?" Daniel Jackson asked.
"Who knows? Maybe it has something to do with that first kid. Whatever the reason, he picked on the wrong kid when he picked on you."
"Daniel, if something like this ever happens again, you need to tell us," Major Carter said. "We're your teammates and your friends. You're not supposed to deal with things like that all alone."
"I know. It's just that, when Mister Voss was abusing me, I felt like I couldn't tell anyone, and Captain Horton kind of made me feel the same way."
Major Carter rubbed his back. "It's all right. Just don't do it again, okay?"
"Okay." Daniel Jackson's gaze went to each of us. "Thank you."
"There's no need to thank us, Daniel," O'Neill responded. "As I recall you saying to me not very long ago, that's what friends do."
"Indeed," said I. "You have many friends in this place, Daniel Jackson."
He smiled at me. "Yeah, I do, the best friends that I could ever have."
THE END . . . until Part 11.