Home | Links | Contact Me | The Stories
Saramund's Shipfix
NOT Candid Camera

The first thing that entered my mind was `Mother of God!`   The second was `Brake!`. Luckily, the two thoughts occurred so closely together that I hit the pedal quickly enough to stop before hittingit.  Whatever it was.  The brakes squealed, the truck fish-tailed wildly, but still it managed to shudder to a stop just before impact.  I turned the engine off and breathed a deep sigh of relief.  The truck was only a few months old, and the last thing I needed was to damage it.  Considering how much I`d spent on purchasing the damn thing, getting it repaired was not something I wanted to have to do.


The day had started out fairly well.  I`d gone to work early to get some reports written up before the masses arrived, and because of my early arrival, I managed to get out of the office well before the rush of homeward bound travellers.  Being a Friday, I`d already packed the trunk with my overnight bag and sneakers and after leaving work, I`d filled up the truck with gas and headed out of town, mind already on my destination.  A lovely small cabin several hours drive from home, in the middle of nowhere.  My brothers and I had bought the cabin several years ago, and we all took turns staying there.  Every now and then we`d all turn up families in tow and have a big family weekend.  Today it was just going to be me and the cabin.  And silence.  Blessed silence.  That is, of course, untilit had dropped down in front of my truck.


I clicked open my door and stepped down onto the tarmac, propping my sunnies on my head as I did so.  The engine ticked slowly in the heat and that, plus a few crickets in a nearby field were the only sounds I could make out. I was on a back road, a long way from anything you could possibly consider civilisation and considering the way I`d slapped on the anchors a few seconds before, that was probably a good thing.  No one following within two feet of my truck, meant no one ploughing into the rear of my truck when I`d braked so heavily.  I walked slowly around the front fender of the truck, my feet echoing slightly as my boots hit the ground.  As I peered around, I caught sight ofit again, and gasped in shock.


It was about four feet tall, long and thin with spindly limbs and a large bulbous head.  It was grey, a sickly shiny grey that leant itself to frailty.  And it`s eyes.  They were huge in the bulbous head, large round black eyes that blinked slowly, staring back at me.  I blinked back, dumbfounded.  I was staring into the eyes of an alien.


An alien.


Mother of God.


I cast a quick look around, searching for some sort of television crew, or wires, or something that would explain thiscreatures presence to me.  But there was nothing.  Just an open field on one side and a dam on the other.  And the crickets were still chirping.  Or maybe it wasn`t crickets?  Maybe it was this (gulp) alien trying to talk to me, and it`s language was the cricket noise?

            `Umhello?`  I found my voice, even though it was slightly raspy with shock.  The (eek) alien blinked at me again, and cocked it`s head to the side as if confused or puzzled.  It took a step forward suddenly and without even have instructed my legs to do so, I took a step back.  Six feet was more than close enough.  I put up my hands to stop it getting any closer, and it immediately stopped moving. Except for those blinking eyes.


We stood staring at each other for several minutes, long enough for me to notice that the alien breathed at about the same rate as I did, (I could see it`s chest rising and falling as it presumably drew breath), and that we both seemed to be as nervous as each other.

            `I am Odin.`  It suddenly said.  I squealed, much to my own embarrassment, and jumped back several feet.  It had spoken in English.  And the crickets hadn`t stopped their chorus.  So the cricket noise wasn`t it`s language?

            `Uh, hi.  I`m Simone.`  I said after several minutes of deep breaths and calming mantras.  A few discreet pinches to my own palm helped greatly to convince myself that I wasn`t dreaming.

            `You are Tau`ri.`  Odin said immediately after I`d introduced myself.  I frowned.

            `No, I`m Simone.  I don`t know anyone called Towry.`  I winced, waiting for a blast from some laser gun or something for my insolent reply.  Both of my brothers had always said my mouth was too big and ran away far too often for my own safety.  To which I more often than not replied that it took one to know one.  Infantile, I admit.  But it shut them up every time.

            `You are Tau`ri.  I am on Earth.  This is correct.`  It wasn`t a question.  The alien had said the three statements as fact.  Considering I was making first contact with an alien race, I decided the last thing I was going to do was argue with the guy(gal? Person? dude?  What did you call an alien?).  `You will take me to Cheyenne Mountain.`  Odin commanded. 

            `Ahh where?`

            `Cheyenne Mountain.  To the SGC.  You know of these places?`  The little alien was starting to sound worried and annoyed at the same time.

            `Ahh, no.  Actually I don`t.  But I`m sure I can find something on them in my map.  I have it in the ..`  I gestured to the cabin of my truck, feeling a little overwhelmed.  Maybe I could call Gary or Don?  Get them to come out here?  They were only a few hours drive from here.  Then they could deal with this alien and I could collapse in a quivering heap on the floor, in a foetal position.  That sounded good right about now.

            `There is no need.  You have a remote conversation device, do you not?`  Odin asked, and I got the feeling he was staring at my chest.  I started to shift uncomfortably when I suddenly figured out what he meant.  My cell phone, which was in my jacket pocket. 

            `A cell?  Sure.  But I don`toh, yeah look, reception.  Must have installed another tower around here recently.`  I looked at the bars on my phone, all five blinking happily away, indicating perfect service.

            `You will Call Colonel Jack O`Neill with two `l`s and inform him of my presence.`  Odin commanded.  And suddenly, alien or no alien, I`d had enough.  My father and older brothers had ordered my around all my life, and I`d made a vow several years ago to not allow that any more.

            `Now hang on a minute, fella.`  I groused, angrily.  `First off, I`m no-one`s secretary or girl-Friday.  Secondly, in this country there is such a thing as being polite and saying please when you ask for a favour.  And thirdly, I am not going to ring up some military freak and tell him that I`ve got some...` I searched for the right phrase, `visitor that needs to see him.  Do you have idea what they`d do to someone like you if the officials ever got wind that you`re here?`  I shuddered, mental flashes from the thousands of alien-invasion movies that I`d watched throughout my life skittering across my inner-eye.

            `Please, member of the Tau`ri.  I wish to converse with Colonel Jack O`Neill.  It is imperative that you contact him using your remote conversation device.`  The alien sounded rather distressed, which tugged on my sympathy.  I dialled the operator and asked for Jack O`Neill.  The operator came back with several options.  I turned back to Odin.

            `Do you know where he lives?  How he spells his name. Oh, wait.  You said two l`s, right?`  I gave the operator that much, then put my palm over the receiver when Odin spoke again.

            `Colonel Jack O`Neill resides in Colorado Springs, America.`  I nodded, biting back a smile at his formality.  I gave the information to the operator, who then patched me through.

            `O`Neill.`  The man on the other end of the line barked at me.  I raised an eyebrow in surprise.  This was his home number, yet he still answered this brusquely?  Not a man I`d like to meet.

            `Hi.  Is this Colonel Jack O`Neill, Colorado Springs?`  I asked, staring back at Odin, while part of my brain did a little hysterical dance.  I was actually placing a call to some Military Officer, for a little grey alien guy in the middle of nowhere, on my cell phone.  And people say life in the country was boring.

            `Yes.  Who`s speaking?`

            `Oh.  My name is Simone Wilkins.  I`m from Yakima, Washington.  I..umGod, this is so hard to say.  Colonel O`Neill, I have a person here who asked me to contact you.`

            `A person?`

            `Well, kind of.`  I replied, glancing at Odin, who was listening to my half of the conversation avidly.  `His name is Odin.  He mentioned Cheyenne Mountain and the SGC, then asked to talk to you.  Does this make any sense to you?`  I refused to admit, especially over the phone, that the guy I was talking about, (and by now I`d mentally assigned a gender to the alien to make it easier on my poor psyche), was not `of this world`.

            `Odin?`  Colonel O`Neill repeated, and I heard his voice change tone.  I felt his attention, now solely focused on me, even through the phone connection.


            `Is hedifferent to your ordinary Washington resident?`

            `Yes.`  I got another giddy rush.  I was speaking coded messages to a Military Officer.  It was like being in a movie or television show.  I got suddenly suspicious and took another quick look around the area, again looking for a hidden camera or microphone.  I`d seen too many Candid Camera shows not to be suspicious.

            `Where is he?  Where are you?`  So Colonel O`Neill called Odin `he`.  Maybe my gender assignment was correct after all.

            `I`m on Den Beste Road, about an hour out of Yakima.  And he`s standing on the road in front of me.`

            `He`s what?  For God`s sake, woman, get him out of sight!` I heard the panic in his voice, and reacted to it immediately, forgetting the aforementioned vow to no longer obey commands.

            `Odin, Colonel O`Neill has asked that you remain out of sight.  Perhaps you should get in the truck while I talk to him?`  I was oddly formal with the alien, for some reason.  Through the cell, I could hear Colonel O`Neill muttering to himself, but decided to block out his words.  I had a feeling I didn`t want to know what he was saying.  Odin climbed awkwardly into the passenger side of my truck, his small frame dwarfed by the large vehicle.

            `Very well, member of the Tau`ri.  Please request that Colonel O`Neill retrieve me as soon as possible.  Inform him that I am without transport and stranded on this planet.  My vessel, the Carter, has been destroyed by Anubis, and I am the only survivor, and currently without any means of returning home.`  I nodded, not even trying to understand what he was saying. 

            `Um, he says that he`s stuck here and wants you to pick him up ASAP.  Something about Carter being destroyed by a new bus and he`s the only one left.`  There was a few moments silence while the man on the other end processed this.

            `Okay.  What`s your cell number?`  Colonel O`Neill asked me.  I rattled it off to him.  `Right.  Hang tight.  I want you to get out of sight, off the road.  Find a logging road or something like that and use it.  I don`t want anyone to stop and help you.  You can probably guess that this is beyond top secret.  I`ll call you back in a few minutes.  O`Neill out.`  And he hung up on me.  I pulled the phone away from my ear, staring at it in surprise.  Colonel O`Neill was obviously very used to having his commands obeyed.  In this situation, I decided that he was someone I actually did want to obey.  So I got in the drivers seat, started the now cool engine and pulled over to the side of the road before getting my map out and quickly scanning the area.  I found a small (read dirt) road a few miles up the road, and decided that that would make the best place for us to pull off.  I put the truck back in gear and started up the road.

            `Ahh, Odin, we`re going to have to,` I searched for some sort of explanation that he would likely understand `relocate to a rendezvous point for Colonel O`Neill.  It`ll only take us a few minutes.  But I need you to stay low.  Colonel O`Neill wants you to stay out of sight.`

            `I understand, member of the Tau`ri.  I thank you for your co-operation.`

            `My name is Simone Wilkins.  Not member of the towry.`

            `Of course, Simone Wilkins.  I will remain hidden.`  And with that, he crouched in the foot space before the passenger seat, curling up his thin arms and legs and resting his head against the padded door.  After a few minutes silence, I couldn`t help it.  I was curious.

            `So you`re an alien, huh?`

            `I am a member of the Asgard High Council.`  He replied importantly.

            `Cool.  What`s that?`

            `The Asgard are a race of intelligent beings that endeavour to make this galaxy safe from Goa`uld invasion.  We currently have a protection arrangement with your world, arranged through my son, Thor.  He and Colonel O`Neill are close friends.`

            `You mean other.. Asgard have visited Earth before?`  I was dumbfounded and only just remembered to pay some attention to the road I was on, still searching for the dirt side road.

            `Many Asgard have visited before.  We have a routine inspection of your progress which is carried out every six of your months.`

            `You are kidding, right?`  I shot him a quick look, then gently eased on the brakes and turned into the dirt access road I`d been looking for.  `You guys are up there looking at us, studying us?  Hey, one of your guys didn`t crash in Roswell, did you?`

            `No.  The first time one of our ships descended past your orbit was less than ten of your years ago.  Before that we had remained undetected by your somewhat primitive technology.`

            `Oh, right.`  I may have sounded somewhat sceptical, but forgive me.  I don`t like it when people talk down to me.  I finally pulled to a stop, several hundred metres away from the hard-topped road, well out of sight.  Within seconds, my cell rang again.  All I can say is that Colonel O`Neill must be psychic.

            `Hello?`  I answered, shooting Odin another look.

            `Simone Wilkins?`  A voice replied.  It wasn`t Colonel O`Neill.

            `Who is this?`

            `My name is Major Samantha Carter.  I`m a colleague of Colonel O`Neill.  You have an.. individual called Odin in your presence, yes?`

            `I`m sorry, Major Carter, but I won`t talk to anyone but Colonel O`Neill.`  I replied, suddenly suspicious.  I didn`t know this person from Eve, and aside from having the same surname as the whatever that had been destroyed, there was no other reason to trust her.

            `If that is Major Samantha Carter, you may speak to her.`  Odin piped up from his side of the truck.  Okay, no other reason to trust her except for this alien`s word.

            `Ms Wilkins?`  I heard Major Carter call down the line.  I turned my attention back to the conversation and cleared my throat.

            `Sorry.  Yes, Major, I do have an individual in my company called Odin.`

            `Good.  Keep him with you.  Right now we`re assembling a pick up team that will be with you very shortly.  We`re triangulating your position using your cell-phone signal, so please do not move from your current area.  We should have a team out to pick you both up within the hour.`

            `Whoa!  Pick us both up?  I don`t think so, Major!`  I denied.  I had a whole weekend planned.  And it didn`t include little grey aliens and military operations.

            `I`m sorry, Ms Wilkins.  I understand this is an inconvenience for you, but you must understand that we can`t simply let you wander out into the general public with this knowledge in your possession.`

            `And you expect me, after that little threat, to hang around?`  I was incredulous.  I was being threatened by the military.  Me!  This was just unbelievable.  Up until twenty minutes ago, the most unusual thing I`d done in my whole live was dye my hair pink for a `p` party.  Now I was harbouring an alien in my front seat and dealing with threats from some military Major.

            `Ms Wilkins, you must understand that not only are we serious about you not leaving your current position, but to disobey this order is tantamount to treason.  I`m sure that the last thing you want to do is commit an act of treason.  I promise that once everything is sorted out, we will release you to go back to your job with the Research Institute and you can continue to visit your cabin with your brothers Don and Gary.`  The Major sounded very calm, very reassuring and immovable.  The fact that they knew where I worked, that I owned a cabin with my brothers, as well as their names and had found this information out in very little time told me just how serious these people were.  I gave in.  Graciously, of course.

            `Sure, fine.  Whatever.  Just hurry up, I need a drink.`  I replied. 

            `Thank you, Ms Wilkins.  Like I said, just stay where you are, keep Odin out of sight and we`ll have a team to you within the next forty-five minutes.  They`ve been dispatched now and are on their way.  I will see you soon.`

            `Major!`  I called out, grabbing her attention.


            `What happened to Colonel O`Neill?`

            `He`s been detained speaking to the President and our Commanding Officer.  But upon your arrival, both he and I will be there to greet you both.  Until then, Ms Wilkins.`  And the Major hung up.  I clicked my phone shut and shot a look at Odin, who had climbed back into his seat, his short legs hanging off the end and making him look remarkably like a little child in an adult`s chair.

            `They`re on their way.`  I told him.  He nodded in reply, too busy looking at the `gadgets` on my dashboard to reply.  I shifted uncomfortably, imagining the fantastical space-ship he must be used to, and how quaint my new truck must look to him.  He said nothing, however, just continued to look around him.

            `Hey, um Do you, like need to eat or drink something?  I mean, who knows how long you were standing out there on the road before I came along.`

            `I require no sustenance, thank you Simone Wilkins.`  Odin replied, then went silent again.  I took the hint and sat next to him, staring out at the darkening sky, my mind trying to process everything that had happened to me in the last half an hour.




The lights in the distance were the first clue that we`d been found.  Then of course, when the lights rose up well beyond the ground, I realised that the lights probably belonged to a helicopter or small plane.  Maybe even a space-ship?  At that point I was ready and willing to expect anything.  It ended up being a very reassuring helicopter that eased onto the ground a few hundred feet away from my truck, in the middle of a larger area of clear space further up the road.  Several figures got out and jogged towards us, crouched down to avoid the blades.  When they reached my truck, I wound down my window and stared at them.  Odin (much to his displeasure) was crouched down once again in the passenger foot space, with a blanket covering him.  I had no idea if these people had been sent by Colonel O`Neill or not, and until I knew, I wasn`t going let just anyone see Odin.

            `Ms Wilkins?`  The guy outside my window yelled.  I nodded, frowning against the wind.

            `I`m Captain Saunders.  Ma`am we need both you and Odin to come with us.`  The Captain opened the door and forcibly assisted me out of the truck.  I turned back to see his friend uncover Odin and help him from his side of the truck.  A small part of my mind noted that he was treated much gentler than I was.  The Captain was all for leading me straight to the helicopter, but I rebelled and reached back in, grabbing for my keys and reaching to the back seat to grab my overnight bag.  I wound up my window and closed my door, locking the truck.  I may be 100 miles from anywhere on the middle of an access road, but my truck was new.  And I wasn`t going to lose it.  I followed the Captain back to the helicopter, ducking low as we approached.  He helped me into the belly of the beast and helped me do up my seat-belt.  I know my eyes were as wide as dinner plates as the helicopter took off, and I peered out one of the windows like a child.


It was my first time (and probably only) in a helicopter.  I was fascinated.  Until Captain Saunders handed me a set of ear muffs and indicated that I was to put them on.  After I did so, I discovered that I could talk to him, and the rest of the men in the helicopter.

            `Ms Wilkins, we`re heading towards a rendezvous point where Colonel O`Neill and Major Carter are waiting for both yourself and Odin.  The Air Force is sorry for the inconvenience we`ve caused you, but this is a matter of national and international security.  If we can just ask for your patience for a little longer?`  He had a nice calming voice.  I smiled and nodded back at him.  I glanced at Odin, who sat in his seat, his legs swinging freely, unable to reach the ground.  He looked a little paler than before, and I swear I could see whites around the edges of his eyes.  I leant over and tapped gently on his knee.  He turned his attention to me and blinked slowly.

            `Are you alright, Odin?`  I asked.  Somehow, after the last hour in his company, I felt like we were, if not friends, and least associates.  And I felt a certain amount of attachment to him.  A flash of memory popped into my head, of me returning home one afternoon as a child, carrying a small puppy that I`d found abandoned next to the near-by river.  I`d looked up at my mother and asked plaintively if I could keep him.  Somehow, I doubt that Colonel O`Neill would let me keep Odin for my very own.  Mores the pity.  Although I don`t think Odin would appreciate being compared to a pet dog. 


Within half an hour, we had reached our destination.  Captain Saunders had informed me through the headphones that we were descending and I glanced out to see a brightly lit airstrip and what appeared to be several vehicles, parked close to it.  Within seconds, the helicopter had landed and the doors were slid open. 


I ran in that same crouched position away from the helicopter, following Captain Saunders and Odin as they trotted towards the waiting group of people.  I looked at the group as I slowed to a walk.  An older man with grey hair stood in front of the rest of them, and was greeting Odin with a large grin.  Directly behind him were three other people, all dressed in the same uniform as the older man.  Olive Green military uniforms I have no idea what they`re called, but they look comfortable and baggy.  Kind of.  One was female, I could see that even in the dark. Her blond hair shone in the lights from the vehicles and airstrip.  The other two were male, of about the same age.  The shorter one had glasses and the most intense eyes I`ve ever seen.  And the second male was massive.  In every single sense of the word.  He looked to be at least six foot something (and that was in the upper reaches of `something`) and his shoulders looked about three foot wide. His neck was thicker than my thigh, and his thighs.  A woman could drool over those thighs. 


I surreptitiously wiped my lips, checking for offending liquid and finding none, stepped forward.  I finally got the attention of the first man, who looked at me for a second, frowned, then nodded his head suddenly, as if realising something.

            `Ms Wilkins.`  He said to me.  I nodded.  `I`m Colonel Jack O`Neill.  This is my team, Major Carter, Daniel and Teal`c.`  So the blond was the one who`d subtly threatened me on the phone.  The guy with the glasses was Daniel and the god of all men was called Teal`c.  What a strange name.  I shrugged internally.  His parents were probably hippies.

            `Hi.  Nice to meet you.`  I replied, then almost laughed.  Here we were, exchanging pleasantries, when there was an alien (AN ALIEN) standing in our midst.  My world has gone beyond bizarre.  `Does someone want to fill me in on why I almost ran over an ALIEN?`  I finally asked the question I`d been thinking since this whole thing started.

            `Because he was standing in the middle of the road?` Colonel O`Neill answered facetiously.  I scowled at him.  Major Carter smoothly stepped in front of him and scowled at him as well.  I swear it was the same face.  That made me feel almost normal again.

            `Odin was actually out on assignment for the Asgard High Council.  He had a bit of an accident and was trying to make his way here for repairs when his ship was destroyed.  He managed toah beam himself off-ship before it exploded but unfortunately because of the magnitude of the blast, he was sent off-course, so to speak, and ended up in front of your vehicle without any means of communicating with either his own race or with us.`  Major Carter said all this as if ships exploding and people being beamed around the universe happened every day.  I said as much to her.  She covered her mouth and coughed, and I swear it was just her covering a smile.

            `Actually, Ms Wilkins, it pretty much does.`  The man called Daniel replied to my observation.  I cocked an eyebrow at him in disbelief.  He laughed at me.  I scowled back.  He shut up, but not before shooting a look at Teal`c.  I`d just missed something then, but I had no idea what it was.  I felt someone touch my hand, and looked down to see Odin standing beside me.

            `Simone Wilkins, I would like to thank you for your assistance in returning me to my people.  The Asgard will not forget such a favour.  If you have need of us, please do not hesitate to contact Colonel O`Neill and he will provide communication with me.`  And with that, the little Alien disappeared.  I staggered back, absolutely speechless.  He literally disappeared in a bright light.  I waved my hand through the space where he had been, then shot a look at the four people standing around me.

            `What in blazes just happened then?`  I demanded. 

            `Thor probably just arrived in the system and beamed him aboard.`  Colonel O`Neill explained, looking up into the night sky.  `They do that a lot.`  This guy was very strange.  Don would call it scatter-brained.

            `Do what a lot?`  There were so many questions, so many things I wanted to know.

            `Ahh..  Beam people away without notice.`  Colonel O`Neill suddenly turned serious, and I shifted uncomfortably.  `Now, Ms Wilkins.  Because of this incident, you have been made privy to a secret that only a few people outside of our administration know.  The question is, what are we going to do with you?`

            `What?  Hang on a second, buddy.  What do you mean, what are you going to do with me.  You`re going to let me go, that`s what!`  All of a sudden I was getting scared.  These four people were the only ones around.  The helicopter had left a few minutes ago, without my even noticing.  Now it was just these four people and me.  In a field in the middle of nowhere.  I swallowed past the sudden lump in my throat.

            `Jack.`  Daniel chided the Colonel, stepping forward with his hand stretched out.  `It`s okay Ms Wilkins, nothing is going to happen to you.  We don`t operate like that.  We`re the good guys, really.`

            `Speak for yourself.`  Colonel O`Neill grumbled.  Somehow, that made me feel better.  Guys who were going to kill you didn`t make jokes.  Did they?

            `O`Neill, you will desist in making veiled threats at Ms Wilkins.`






The god of all men had a voice like liquid velvet.  I felt my knees go weak.  I cleared my throat and got a hold of myself quickly enough to see Colonel O`Neill cast a quick, shocked glance at the big black man before nodding his head.

            `I`m sorry, Ms Wilkins.  Sometime`s his humour is a little juvenile.`  Major Carter apologised for the Colonel, who I could have sworn flushed.

            `That`s okay.  I have a nephew who`s seven. I`m used to it.`  I smiled evilly at the Colonel and preened when I heard Daniel and Major Carter cough back chuckles.  Teal`c smiled slightly.  I got the impression that the man didn`t often laugh.

            `Hey!  Seriously, Ms Wilkins, we need to be sure that this secret remains just that.  What would you suggest?  That we let an unknown person out into the world with Top Secret information, on her word alone?  Would you?` Colonel O`Neill brushed his hand through his hair, raking it into an even messier `do`.

            `Well, no.  But you can trust me.  Besides, who would believe me?  I mean, this sort of thing never happens, except on television shows!  Besides, I`m an American Citizen.  Major Carter said something about treason?  I`m not about to go out an yell to everyone that there are aliens in our midst-` all four of them suddenly tensed, but again I got the feeling I was missing something, so continued anyway `- and that they`re small and grey and can beam about the universe.  I`d be committed so fast that I wouldn`t have time to pack.`  There was silence after my little speech.  Enough silence to make me very uncomfortable.  Despite their protestations that they weren`t the `bad guys`, they were Military and therefore Government.  I could be packed off somewhere very `peaceful` and there would be nothing ANY one could do to help me.

            `Jack, it`s a good idea.`  Daniel said out of the blue. 

            `Daniel.  No.`  Jack replied. It felt like I`d walked in to the middle of a conversation, but I`d been here for a while now, and they definitely hadn`t been talking before now.

            `It makes sense.  And that way, we`d be killing two birds with one stone.`

            `Killing?`  My voice squeaked out, involuntary. Daniel shot me a look from behind his glasses, and I could see him running back through what he`d just said.

            `So to speak.`  He clarified.  `Ms Wilkins, what is it you do for a living?`

            `I assimilate migrants into American culture.  People from third world countries, refugees mostly.  I also assist in placement programs for the refugees, and help skill assess and train them.`  I frowned.  `Why?`

            `Daniel.  I said no.`  Colonel O`Neill replied.

            `Jack.  Why not?  It`s perfect.`

            `Because she`s a civilian!`

            `So`m I.  So`s Teal`c, when you get down to it.  All of my staff are.  Half of Sam`s. Hell, pretty much half of the SGC are civilian.`  Daniel was a civilian?  And Teal`c?  What, or rather who were these guys?

            `Colonel, it would make sense.`  Major Carter urged softly.

            `I concur.`  Teal`c said, sending me a look that I couldn`t read.  Colonel O`Neill grunted, sending me a sour look.  I stared back at him, completely clueless about the conversation.  What had my work got to do with Aliens?

            `Fine.  I`ll clear it with George.  Carter, you can start explaining.`  And with that order, the Colonel waved himself away from us and towards the vehicles still parked behind us.  I watched him go, then turned back to face Major Carter.  She cleared her throat, and began to speak.

            `Ms Wilkins, we have a story to tell you.  It will sound even more like a movie than what you have recently experienced, but believe me when I say that it`s all true.  In 1928, in a archaeological dig in Giza, a large round artefact was found...`




`Hey, Simone!`  Daniel yelled as he dashed into my office.

            `Daniel, you`re back!`  I cried, jumping out of my chair to give him a huge hug.  He returned it, grinning.  `How was the trip?`

            `Terrible!  We got captured again, and had to escape through some of those convenient air conditioning tunnels the goa`uld are so fond of.  Jack got muddy, Sam got wet and Teal`c well he got grumpy.  I think he`s missing someone.`  Daniel teased me.  I thumped him on the shoulder, then looked behind him at the blank space.

            `He`s still with the Doc, getting checked out.  I beat them both back to the Infirmary, so I was released before them.`  Daniel grinned at me, then started walking backwards.  `Oh, and we found eleven more refugees for you to place.`

            `Eleven!`  I groaned.  I was snowed under as it was, dealing with the villagers from PC7 832, and then SG-1 goes out and finds more for me.  Sometimes, I regret saying yes to this role.  Refugee placement for displaced aliens sounds glamorous and exotic, right?  Well it isn`t.  I don`t think I`ve seen anything but the grey walls of my office - aside from the walls of the mess - for the last five days.  I actually fell asleep here two days ago and woke up with a crick in my neck and a lovely indentation of the keyboard on my cheek.  Since then, I`d made a point to actually leave and go home for some sleep.

            `How about lunch at 1330?`  Daniel offered as he backed out of my office.  I nodded, grinning.  `Cool, I can tell you about the latest Sam and Jack development.`

            `What!`  I cried out, stunned.  `There was development?`

            `Big time.  Well, for them, anyway.`  Daniel looked out of the door, then back at me.  `My time`s up.  See you at 1330.`  He disappeared and in his place stood Teal`c.  I smiled giddily.  Two years, I`d known this man, and he still made my knees weak. 

            `We have returned.`  Teal`c announced unnecessarily.  I didn`t care.  I loved his voice.  Hell, I`ll be honest.  I loved him.  From the gold emblem on his forehead to the goa`uld in his stomach.  It was just my luck that the guy returned the feelings.  I walked into his arms and welcomed him home.

            `Eleven of them?` I complained, grinning.  He kissed me, then withdrew his head to grin down at me.  He smiled a lot more these days.  So did I. 




Stargate SG-1 Fanfiction