TITLE: Help Wanted - Apply Within
CATEGORY: Attempted humor
SPOILERS: Quite a few
SEASON/SEQUEL: 6th, post Shadow Play
CONTENT WARNINGS: None
SUMMARY: A return to Kelowna prompts Jonas to make one adjustment and the Universe to make another.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Stargate SG-1. Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only. No money has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This little plot bunny was running around my head just begging to be written. Since it wasn't going to leave me alone until I did write it, well, here it is. Lems is the brave, courageous soul that betas these rampant plot bunnies. Thank you!
Mission Codename: HELP WANTED
Planet designation: P2S-4C3
Planet Name: Kelowna
Technological Status: Earth: mid-1940's comparable
Culture: Three major countries in conflict; persistent state of war in existence
Contact/Liaison: Valis, First Minister; Jonas Quinn, former Minister of Ethics, currently member SG-1
Mission: Respond to request for help from Kelownan government. Send SG-1 to assess situation and report condition of Kelownan people.
Change was coming. There was a difference in the cosmic fabric of the universe, a ripple in the continuum. Most ignored it, but one could not. The change affected him personally. He stopped, listened, and then determinedly directed himself to the source of the difference...it wasn't a difference. It was the universe resetting itself to its proper order. All was returning to its original state.
Jonas looked around the Kelownan gate room or at least what remained of it. The debris and rubble left after a series of enemy bombing runs had reduced the once pristine room into shambles. Gaping holes in the walls now greeted visitors, and Jonas despaired at the sight.
"Must be the maid’s week off," Jack commented, his gun held at the ready. “Or maybe the interior decorator’s?” There was no one there -- no guards, no scientists, no one. How could the main government building be empty? It was the most heavily guarded structure on the planet. The disturbing question was why would anyone in the Kelownan government leave the Stargate unprotected?
"Sir?" Carter indicated the door. "There may be people on the other levels."
"It would be unwise to leave the Stargate unguarded," Teal'c added. "The Kelownans are now aware of the Goa'uld. Would they not have taken precautions?"
Jack kicked a small rock across the floor. "Don't ask me. The Kelownans haven't exactly shown me that they're all that intelligent. Lab rats may be smarter."
Jonas tried to ignore O'Neill's sarcasm. Since the colonel would never forgive the Kelownan government's actions against Doctor Jackson, he took every available opportunity to voice his opinion. "Colonel, there's got to be a good reason that no one's here. The Stargate is as important to them as it is to you."
Jack took a last look around. "Yeah, right. Let's take a look around. Carter, you and Teal'c head right. Jonas and I'll go left. Let's see what we can find."
General Hammond's desk was usually clean, but once a quarter, it was practically buried under paperwork. The general had the unfortunate duty of looking over quarterly reports, reading and signing them. This was one of the more tedious jobs of being a general, but it was a job that had to be done.
He had deliberately placed the largest pile of papers on the far side of the desk. SG-1's reports were, to say the least, the most interesting, but they were also the ones the Joint Chiefs questioned the most. Every report SG-1 sent in was read, re-read and dissected line by line, but the financial concerns for Earth's first team were always called into question. The costs of building naquada generators, particle beam generators and other items consisting of words with too many syllables added up, and he was the one that had to look at the bottom line.
Just as he was about to reach over and pull the pile to him, a gentle gust of wind blew across his desk, waving the papers slightly.
He made a mental note to have the maintenance crew check the ventilation system as he started reading through the massive pile.
There were brief notes found in some of the minister’s offices. Some of the officials had held out long enough to leave diaries behind with minute-by-minute reports of the onslaught. Kelowna had lost its war. The refugees had deserted the cities for the less destroyed areas of the countryside, and the survivors were in a pitiful state of existence. They were forced to scavenge for food and hunt for basic necessities. The Kelownan military leaders had been found and executed, the scientists killed in their laboratories and most of the government ministers taken prisoner. The remaining population was living on the scraps they could find.
As the SG-1 team left the confines of the city and started making their way into the surrounding areas, they were met by one of the city's former citizens. He was tall and thin, too thin for it to be his natural physical condition. At one time, he was a minor city official. Now, he was the chosen spokesperson of the refugees.
"Minister Greenlee?" Jonas ran up to the man the moment he saw him. "What happened?"
"Hello, Jonas. I didn't realize you had returned. We don't stay in the cities anymore. It's not safe." His voice was rough and hoarse.
“We didn’t run into any trouble,” Jonas pointed out.
“No, there’s no one in the city, but the buildings are too damaged to be considered safe.”
"What happened?" Jack asked before Jonas could respond.
"I don't know the full story," was Greenlee's answer. "The bombs started falling. We don't know whose they were. They seemed to come from all directions and the attacks lasted for days. When it was over with, the ground troops marched in. Some of us escaped here. We didn't know until weeks after the occupying forces left exactly how bad it was.”
“That’s the same information we found back in the city,” Jonas told him quietly.
"Do you know who contacted Earth?" Sam asked him.
Minister Greenlee's smile was a sad one. "I wasn't aware that Earth had been contacted. Given the nature of diplomatic relations after your last visit, I wouldn't have thought anyone would ask you for help."
Teal'c saw movement in the trees nearby. He watched the distance until the vague movement became people. More survivors began venturing toward them. "How many survivors are here?" he asked.
"Hundreds. Maybe over one thousand." Greenlee looked at Sam and Teal'c then Jack. "We have nothing to offer you, Colonel. We have no naquadria. We think the scientists hid it somewhere, but we don't know where. Is there any way you could help us?"
"Yeah," Jack said without hesitation. "I think we can do something."
"Colonel," Jonas spoke up as more refugees came closer. Their clothes were in tatters, their eyes sunken from hunger. "I may be able to help, too."
He walked through the hallways with a steady gait and a small metal sign in his hands. The personnel saw him as he passed by. They stared at him, astonished, as they let him pass unhindered. No one stopped him. No one questioned him. No one could believe what they were seeing...who they were seeing.
He walked determinedly to the general's office, remembering to knock before he heard the familiar, "Enter." As he strolled into the room, he saw the general's face twist in surprise, then recognition.
He handed the general the sign he was carrying, saying, "I saw this outside and thought I'd apply."
SG-1 walked through the Stargate and into the gate room on Earth, but only three members were returning. Jonas Quinn was absent.
Hammond was waiting at the bottom of the ramp for them. He was almost smiling. "Welcome back, SG-1."
As Jack saw his commanding officer's non-surprised expression at the missing team member, he said, "Sir, the Kelownans have practically been wiped out by one of the other countries. They need medical supplies and food. Only a few of the minor officials survived the attack, so Jonas is going to stay behind and help them rebuild. I guess getting a degree in ethics must count for something on his planet. Either that or it's that whole big fish-little pond problem."
"So I've been told," Hammond agreed.
"Sir?" Carter didn't understand why Hammond was behaving in such an unconcerned manner. "Jonas won't be coming back, at least not on a permanent basis if he ever returns at all."
"Which means we're a 3-person team again," Jack almost crowed. "Personally, General, I'd like to keep it that way."
Hammond smiled. "I know you do, Jack, but I was forewarned about Mr. Quinn's decision, and I've already lined up a fourth for your team."
"I do not understand, General Hammond." Now Teal'c was confused. That was never a good sign. "We have not contacted the SGC or reported the events that transpired on Kelowna. How did the information reach Earth?"
"That will be explained to you shortly, Teal'c. For now, Colonel, I've put the fourth member of your team in your office. I would like you to meet him before you report to the infirmary."
Jack was quickly becoming confused. "Before, sir?" That wasn't proper procedure.
"It's all right, Colonel. In fact, I insist. Meanwhile, I'll make arrangements for emergency supplies and a medical team to go to Kelowna."
Orders were orders, so Jack led his team to his office. Sitting at the colonel's desk with his back to the door was a man with short brownish hair and wearing a cream colored sweater. He was also playing a computer hockey game on the colonel's computer.
The game was simple. One team with red uniforms and the other with green pitched on a battlefield of cyber-ice. At the moment, the newest member of the team was playing against the computer and winning.
Jack put down his gun and pulled a second chair around to his computer. He would ask questions later. At the moment, he had a hockey game to play. "I'll be green, you be red."
Daniel tossed Jack the second set of controls. "You'll be green with envy when I beat you."
"Think you can?" Jack smirked as he reset the game for two players.
"Care to make a bet on this?"
"Winner buys the loser a pizza?"
"You're on. Just remember, I don't like pineapples on my pizza."
"You remember I don't like anchovies on mine."
The new game began with Daniel and Jack trying to outwit each other and Sam and Teal'c playing the part of backseat hockey players giving advice from behind.
Hammond and Janet Fraiser looked in on the battling duo as the laughs and the suggestions became louder.
"Sir," Janet whispered, "they really need to have their post-mission exams, and I'm going to have to run dozens of tests on Daniel before --"
"I know, Doctor, but I think we can allow them one game, don't you? Besides, it's good to have all the kids back together again."
As Janet returned to watching the happy group, Hammond glanced down at the Help Wanted sign Daniel had handed him earlier. Yes, it was good to have all his kids back under one roof.
And the universe smiled to itself as everything returned to its proper order.
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