Incidents Series Part 7: The Area 51 Incident
by Maureen Thayer
Categories: Humor, Friendship
Content Warning: Mild Profanity
Author's Note: This is the 7th 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 Sam's point of view.
Colonel O'Neill was not at all happy. Neither was I, and if I didn't know Teal'c as well as I do, that scowl on his face would have scared me.
The president had given into the wishes of certain people and ordered that Daniel be taken to Area 51 for a series of tests to determine what was going on inside his head and how strong his abilities were. I don't think the president would have been amused by the . . . colorfully descriptive phrases that the colonel said about him.
Being nearly eleven years old, Daniel was a lot more curious than nervous when we told him. We were the ones who were nervous and worried.
Watching Daniel over the past month, going from a little four-year-old to his present age has been an incredible experience for me. It's such a shame that his parents died when he was so young. They missed out on so much. I feel privileged to be able to watch my teammate and one of the best friends I've ever had gradually mature into the man that I know he'll become.
The previous couple of days had been rough for all of us. Daniel had begun regaining the memories of his time in the home of Suzanne and Stanley Voss, the man who physically abused Daniel. The memory of the first blow, the first time an adult had ever struck him in anger, left Daniel reeling. As the hours progressed and he remembered more blows, we all saw a look come into his eyes that broke our hearts. No child should have that look.
The colonel spent a lot of time playing with Daniel and, sometimes, just holding him, talking to him, trying to lessen the emotional scars that were forming. I did the same. I lost track of how many times I told Daniel that we loved him and would never let anyone hurt him like that man did.
Thinking that it might help Daniel to feel less like he was a victim and more empowered, Teal'c began teaching him a form of martial arts that Jaffa teach to their young sons. Daniel wasn't interested in learning at first, but as the memories kept coming, he sought Teal'c out, and the lessons began.
Then came the memories of the day Voss put Daniel in the hospital. We found out why it happened. Voss had been drinking and started hurting another foster child, who was two years younger than Daniel. Daniel tried to defend his foster sibling, and Voss went ballistic. He might have killed Daniel if Suzanne hadn't stepped in and clocked the man over the head with a heavy paperweight.
It tore me apart watching Daniel as he regained those horrid, traumatic memories. I wished that I could blot them out of his mind, shelter him from the ugliness. But it showed us something: how strong Daniel is on the inside. A lot of kids after going through something like that, especially coming so close on the heels of his recent kidnapping, would have withdrawn into a shell, grown shy and fearful, but not Daniel. He tapped into that core of strength inside him and weathered it all. Daniel always had a great capacity to bounce back from physical trauma of all kinds, including torture, and I wondered if this had been the start of it, if this event had psychologically toughened him to withstand such things.
Things were going well the day we got bad news about Area 51, Daniel now recalling the memories of his next foster parents, who were kind and patient. Even so, when Hammond told us that Daniel was going to have to go there, we requested that it be delayed for a couple of days, both to give Daniel more time to get past the memories of the child abuse and because he would be eleven years old by then. The general agreed.
Two days later, we made the trip to Nevada. At the secret base out in the desert, Daniel curiously asked questions about what they did there. We told him about projects like the F-302 and other technology that had come out of there.
Doctor Harvey Talbert was the kind of scientist I despise, pushy, arrogant, and full of himself. He was equally as unpleasant as Rodney McKay, if not more so, which I hadn't thought was possible. He talked down to Daniel like he was a five-year-old.
"You're far too young to understand the significance of your abilities," Talbert said haughtily. "Though many people claim to possess psychic powers, it's usually a bunch of bunk. With the exception of that unique situation with Mister Quinn, up until now, we have had no proven, documented cases of humans exhibiting advanced paranormal abilities."
"That depends on what you call proof," Daniel responded. "There are cultures throughout history that have recorded cases of people with special powers. A lot of tribal cultures passed on stories about their shamans, wise women, witch doctors and other people like that, which included them doing things that ordinary people wouldn't be able to do. Just because some scientist didn't see it and conduct a bunch of tests doesn't mean it wasn't real."
Talbert flushed, obviously not happy with having an eleven-year-old rebut his statement. He was even more displeased when he saw the smiles that were on mine, the colonel's and Teal'c's faces.
"Let's get the tests started," he said testily.
We were taken to a room with several computers and some other equipment. Daniel was put in a chair and had electrodes attached to his head.
Talbert took a seat at a bank of monitors. "All right, I want you to telekinetically lift something."
"What do you want me to lift?" Daniel asked.
"I don't care," Talbert snapped. "Anything."
The scientist shouted in surprise and nearly fell out of his chair as it lifted into the air.
"Put me down!" he yelled.
"You said anything," Daniel reminded him.
"I didn't mean me! Now, put me the hell down!"
"Hey!" Colonel O'Neill said sharply. "Watch your language. There's a child in the room." He said it with an amused smile in his eyes. I was fighting not to laugh out loud. I think that perhaps Daniel had developed a dislike for Doctor Talbert. The poor man.
Daniel lowered the chair and its contents back to the floor. Straightened his lab coat, Talbert studied the monitors and the readouts they displayed.
"Interesting," he murmured. "Lift something else and move it about the room."
Daniel selected the man's coffee cup – pipping hot coffee and all. Before Talbert could object, Daniel had it spinning around in a circle near the ceiling. After a few seconds, he put it back on the table.
"Didn't spill even one drop," he declared with a big smile. "It might be cool enough for you to drink now."
I had to choke back another laugh. The colonel was grinning now, and Teal'c was wearing that smirk we'd seen on rare occasions.
Talbert gave Daniel a heated glare, which didn't seem to phase him at all. The man then appeared to regain control of his temper.
"When you were kidnapped, your fear greatly increased the power of your abilities," he said to Daniel. "According to the report, using them that much caused you to get a headache and become nauseous. Do you feel anything like that now?"
Daniel shook his head. "I've been practicing. It doesn't bother me so much now anymore."
We already knew about this. At first, we hadn't wanted him to do any practicing, but then we decided that it would be a good idea. The danger that he would be kidnapped again was still present, so having Daniel gain proficiency with his abilities might be a wise precaution.
"I see." Talbert jotted something down on his notepad. "Have you tested the limits of your abilities?"
"No, I've been afraid to."
"I'd like you to do so now."
Daniel frowned. "I don't think I should."
"I agree," said Colonel O'Neill.
"So do I," I said. "You don't have sufficient safeguards in place."
"I'm certain he isn't going to blow up the room, Major," Talbert countered. "I'm merely going to have him lift increasingly heavier weights to see how much he can handle."
The man got on the phone and talked to someone. A couple of minutes later, two large carts were wheeled in with lead blocks of various sizes, ranging from a hundred pounds to one thousand pounds in increments of a hundred pounds.
"All right. We already know that you can lift at least a hundred and eighty pounds," Talbert said, "which is the weight of me and the chair, so try three hundred."
Daniel looked over at the weights. After a moment, the three-hundred-pound one slowly began to rise. Talbert had him hold it for a full minute before putting it down. Next came the four-hundred-pound one. After that, five hundred, then six hundred. I was almost holding my breath, eager to see how much weight Daniel could pick up.
He struggled with the seven-hundred-pound weight and could only hold it for a few seconds. Colonel O'Neill was immediately at Daniel's side.
"Danny, are you all right?" he asked. He'd probably seen the frown of pain on Daniel's face that I'd noticed.
"My head hurts."
The colonel turned to Talbert. "Okay, that's enough."
"We're not done yet, Colonel."
"I don't care. I'm not letting you push Daniel into hurting himself."
Talbert sighed. "Very well. He can rest until his headache goes away. I will not try to make him lift anything heavier."
I wanted to tell Talbert to go jump in a lake, but we were under orders to allow him to complete his tests unless Daniel's heath was clearly at risk.
In the VIP suite that had been assigned for our use, we made Daniel lie down on one of the beds and relax, though he insisted that he didn't feel that bad. The colonel, Teal'c and I then went out into the hall.
"I don't like this one damn bit," the colonel declared. "I have half a mind to take Danny home right now."
"I feel the same way, sir," I said, "but we're under orders."
"Yeah, well, if Daniel gets another headache, I'm pulling the plug and telling everyone that these stupid tests aren't important enough to put him through pain and that the president should be ashamed of himself for putting a child through something like this."
It took only a few minutes for Daniel's headache to go away, but we stayed in the room for a full hour.
Talbert's next test was to see how many objects Daniel could keep airborne at the same time. A table was brought in with various items on it.
Up until now, the most Daniel had lifted at the same time while practicing his abilities was ten objects. He hadn't tried more than that.
Within a matter of seconds, ten of the items were hovering several feet above the table, then two more joined them, followed by another two, and so on. Soon, Daniel had all twenty-five items floating a few feet from the ceiling.
That's when disaster struck.
There was a loud crash from outside the room. It badly startled Daniel, and he lost control. The objects he'd been holding aloft went flying all over the place. Teal'c, the colonel and I hit the deck as things smashed into computers, equipment . . . and the fire sprinkler on the ceiling. The head of the sprinkler was knocked off, and water started spraying everywhere. Several pieces of equipment shorted out, sparks flying. Talbert, who'd been beaned in the head by an electric pencil sharpener, shrieked in horror from where he was sitting on the floor.
"No, no, no!"
People came running in, saw what was happening, and hurried away to turn off the water.
We got to our feet and looked at all the destruction. Over half the computers and equipment in the room had either been damaged by flying objects or shorted out from the water. The most amazing – and seemingly impossible – sight was a computer monitor impaled by an umbrella.
As the water stopped, Colonel O'Neill, the smallest of smirks on his face, said, "Oops."
"My equipment! My computers! They're all ruined!" Talbert wailed.
"Well, not all of them," I said. "I'm sure you can salvage some things."
Daniel's eyes beneath his dripping hair were wide and full of dismay. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to."
"Get out!" Talbert screamed. "Get out and don't ever come back!"
Colonel O'Neill laid a hand on Daniel's shoulder, and we sauntered out of the room. We went to our quarters, dried off and changed clothes, then packed up our stuff and got out of there.
"I really didn't mean to do that," Daniel said on the flight home. He looked a little upset.
"We know that, Daniel," the colonel responded. "It was an accident. Don't feel bad about it." I heard him mutter under his breath, "The guy had it coming."
Daniel was silent for a moment. "Who's Mister Quinn?"
I shared a look with my other teammates. "Um, somebody who worked at the SGC for a while," I replied. We quickly changed the subject, keeping Daniel occupied the rest of the way home.
Since we were back a full day ahead of schedule it was no surprise that Hammond called us to the briefing room to find out why. We left Daniel in his room, figuring it would be better if he wasn't there.
"There was a bit of an accident, sir," the colonel explained.
"An accident?" Hammond inquired.
"Yes, sir. During one of the tests, Daniel got startled, and a few things in the room ended up a bit . . . banged up."
"Shorted out," I added.
"Destroyed," Teal'c stated.
The general paused before saying, "I see. I trust that there were no injuries."
Colonel O'Neill's mouth quirked upward. "Oh, I should imagine that electric pencil sharpener didn't do Talbert's head any good, but, judging by the volume of his screams of rage, I'd say he wasn't badly injured."
"Will they be asking Daniel to resume the tests on another day?"
"Uh, noooo, I don't think that will be happening any time soon, sir," I replied.
"Maybe when hell freezes over," the colonel remarked.
Hammond looked slightly amused. "Very well. I'm sure you're as glad as I am that this is in the past. Hopefully, this will be the end of it."
As we waited for the elevator to arrive, the colonel, Teal'c and I all looked at each other. After about five seconds, identical smiles came to our faces.
"That was so sweet," Colonel O'Neill said.
"Indeed," Teal'c agreed. "It was quite satisfying."
"I think Doctor Talbert was close to popping an artery," I remarked.
The colonel nodded. "That'll teach him for treating our boy like that. And we also learned a valuable life lesson."
"What's that, sir?"
"Never, never startle Daniel when he's doing his psychic juggling act. It could be hazardous to one's health."
THE END . . . until Part 8.