Tallying the Score
by Maureen Thayer
Content Warning: Mild Profanity
Spoilers:Original Stargate movie, The Nox, Fire and Water, Need, Holiday, The Light, Meridian, Reckoning Pt. 2
Author's Notes: Be sure to read the note at the end.
Sergeant Luis Martinez carried his tray to one of the tables in the commissary and sat down. This was only his third day at the SGC, and he still had a lot of learning to do, but he was so excited just to be there. He hoped that, someday, he'd be put on an SG team and go through the Stargate. He knew that it was dangerous duty, but how much more dangerous could it be than serving in Iraq these days, the place he'd served before coming here?
Luis had been eating for a few minutes when his attention was drawn to the conversation between two men at the next table.
"I'm telling you, Reed, General O'Neill's got Jackson beat."
Jackson? Ah, that had to be Doctor Daniel Jackson, the man who figured out the Stargate. Even in just the short time he'd been there, Luis had heard a lot about the archeologist.
"Uh uh. No way, Hicks. Doctor J is still the undefeated champion," the other man, who was apparently named Reed, responded.
Undefeated champion? Of what? They sure couldn't be talking about boxing.
"Okay, then let's count 'em," Hicks said challengingly. "If I win, you buy the beers the next time we go to O'Malley's. If you win, I buy."
"You're on," Reed agreed. "First time, the first mission to Abydos, staff weapon blast saving the General's bacon, which also gives him the distinction of being the first."
"So, he was the first. Big deal."
Staff weapon blast? Luis had been briefed on the Jaffa and their staff weapons. He knew that those weapons could inflict a lot of damage to the human body. Could they be talking about injuries sustained in the line of duty?
"Second time, the Nox," Reed said.
"Yeah, but that's also one of the General's," Hick countered. "Colonel Carter got it that time, too."
"I know that. Number three, that fishy guy, Nem."
Hicks held up his finger. "Ah, ah, ah. That wasn't real. The memories were fake, planted by the fishy guy."
Fake memories? What were they talking about? Fake memories of what?
"Yeah, okay. You got me there," Reed admitted. "Hmm, let's see. Okay, there was that time in the Naquadah mines."
"What? You mean the sarcophagus thing? Where do you figure that one?"
"Hey, the guy had half a ton of rocks fall on him!"
"Nope, you can't count it since we don't know for sure. That Shyla chick could have gotten him to the sarcophagus in time."
Luis frowned. Okay, that makes no sense. If they were counting injuries, why not count having a bunch of rocks fall on you? That would mess a person up really bad. Gotten him to the sarcophagus in time for what?
"Fine. Then the next one was that whole body-switching thing with Ma'chello."
"He wasn't in his own body at the time."
"But it was his consciousness and his soul, if you believe in that sort of thing."
Hicks appeared to ponder that for a while. "Okay, I'll give you that one, but only out of the goodness of my heart."
"Gee, how very generous of you," Reed said sarcastically.
Luis was getting progressively more confused by the moment. He wasn't so sure now that they were tallying up injuries.
"What's next?" Hicks asked.
"Umm, I think Jackson went a solid two years before the next time. That was a record for him, if you don't count the year he was ascended."
"Yeah, he spaces them out," Hicks said. Then he grinned. "The general got all but one of his within a couple of days."
"What is this, a race or something?"
"If it was, there would be no contest."
"But it isn't, so wipe the grin off your face. You haven't won yet. Number four, the addiction to that weird light at the Goa'uld pleasure palace."
Okay, maybe they weren't just talking about injuries, but also illnesses and other physical traumas. If so, it was amazing that Doctor Jackson went two whole years without something happening to him, given how dangerous many missions are. Perhaps they were only talking about times when he nearly died.
Luis turned his attention back to the men just in time to see Reed's expression change, becoming very sober.
"Kelowna," he said softly.
Hicks' face was also dead serious. "Yeah. That was a real bad one."
The two men were silent for a few seconds, then Reed said, "Which leads us up to this last time with Replicator Carter. That was a nasty one, too. So, all together, that's six," he grinned broadly, "which beats the general."
"Damn, you're right," Hicks admitted reluctantly. "I thought for sure the general had him beat."
Luis finally decided he just had to know what they were talking about. "Um, excuse me." The two men turned to him. "I, uh . . . couldn't help but overhear your conversation, and I was wondering what you were talking about. Were you counting injuries and illnesses?"
The two men laughed.
"Hell, no," said Hicks. "If we were counting all the times Doctor Jackson's been hurt, or gotten sick, or had something else like that happen to him, we'd be here half the day."
"Likewise with General O'Neill," Reed added.
Luis' confusion and curiosity escalated. "Then what were you talking about?"
"Oh, we were counting how many times Doctor Jackson has died," Reed replied casually.
Luis' mouth dropped open, eyes widening. "D-died? You mean, like in . . . dead?"
"You usually are dead when you die, aren't you?" Hick said, grinning.
"B-b-but . . . six times? Doctor Jackson has died six time?"
"Yep," Reed confirmed, "that is if you count cardiac arrests that last more than three or four seconds. He holds the record to date, though General O'Neill's not far behind. Actually, neither is Colonel Carter. Teal'c has only died twice so far. As for everyone else, the first time was usually the last, though there have been times when the doctors managed to bring someone back."
Still in shock, Luis said nothing.
"Well, I gotta get back to work," Hicks said.
"Me too," Reed responded. "So, you want to get together at O'Malley's tomorrow?" He smiled smugly. "Remember, you're buying."
"I doubt you'll let me forget."
The two men got up and walked off, leaving a stunned Luis in their wake. The sergeant blinked a couple of times, then looked down at his tray of barely eaten food, not so sure that he wanted to go through the Stargate after all. A guy could get killed out there . . . again, and again, and again. . . .
In case you're wondering, the incident Hicks was referring to when he said that Jack got all his deaths except one at the same time was Abyss. We don't know for sure how many times Jack actually died in that episode. The initial staff weapon blast when he was captured may or may not have been fatal. There was the incident with the knives, which was apparently fatal. The acid torture was not fatal. The third torture incident we know of may or may not have been fatal. There were apparently other torture sessions that happened in between the ones we did see, but we don't know how many or if they ended in death. So, for the sake of this story, Jack was killed in Abyss less than five times.
By the way, I did not count what happened in Message in a Bottle. Jack's heart was stopped for only a few seconds.