<<Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>
Upon return to the SGC, Jessie was taken to the infirmary and Janet was given a summary of the events on the Prometheus. She initiated a full battery of tests and scans, trying to see if she could isolate any anomalies. General Hammond was given a brief run down of events leading up to the activation of the weapon, as well as what transpired afterwards. Only after Janet had completed her analysis did they hold a meeting in the main briefing room.
Hammond glanced around the table before beginning. "Now that everyone is here, can somebody tell me what the hell happened up there?"
Janet set down her notes. "Well, from my end, I’ve got the results back from the tests. Aside from two things, Jessie is perfectly healthy."
"And those two things are?" Hammond asked.
"Her blood sugar was on the low side, but has stabilized and risen back to within normal limits. From what Daniel and Jack told me, I would guess the energy pulse that went through Jessie caused the drop in her blood sugar. Whether it actually took the energy from Jessie directly, or if it was just her body coping with the phenomenon itself I’m not sure."
Janet rose and activated the overhead, displaying a scan.
"The second thing out of the ordinary is this. This is a slide of Jessie’s blood. What you see there," she said, pointing to a portion of the display, "are nanites. I’m fairly certain they created the elaborate tattoo across her back during the battle. It faded as the nanites deactivated."
"Was the tattoo a form of communication?"
Daniel pulled out his note pad. "It appeared to be more of a summary of the actual battle that had transpired. Basically it translated into the coordinates where the battle took place, individual ships that were neutralized by the weapon…just think of it as a computer print out, but in a different format."
"Are these mites anything like cooties?" Jack asked facetiously.
Janet’s mouth twitched. "No, Sir, she’s not contagious."
"How did these nanites end up in her blood?" Hammond asked.
"We think we’ve figured that out," Daniel said. "Casey and I went back through the temple records. If you remember the first meeting we had with Jacob about Tanoa and the Kootenay, they were focused on finding the power of Tu-mata-uenga, which they thought was Tu-kai-taua, or the Destroyer of Armies."
Casey joined in. "Tu-mata-uenga was the ‘god’ known by six names, which were supposedly characteristics he displayed in battle. It was only later that we realized Tu-kai-taua was actually a weapon he used. Since this was what the Goa’uld were after, we had focused our attention on translating its location, and how to assemble it. However, given what happened this afternoon, parts of the translation now make a lot more sense."
Daniel nodded. "In the translation of the Destroyer, it talks about the invincibility of the ‘focus of activation’. The description almost sounded like a type of armor, and we assumed it was referring to the weapon. We now think the weapon is using Jessie as a focal point to direct its energy through. That would explain why Dr. Carmichael couldn’t inject her—the weapon imparted that ‘armor’ to Jessie, at least for the short term after its activation, through the nanites."
"And those came from…"
"Kaitsenko, though I don’t think it was intentional. I doubt he had any idea how the whole thing worked."
Jack ran his hand over his face. "I’m confused, Daniel."
Daniel changed the display on the screen. "Those are the godsticks the Kootenay have. In Maori mythology the godsticks represent individual gods, which just happen to have the same names as the six characteristics of Tu-mata-uenga. We know that one of the characteristics, Tu-kai-taua, is a weapon."
Cam spoke up. "You said the godstick Janet pulled out of Jessie was the one they used to represent Tu-kai-taua."
"Exactly. The Kootenay used those godsticks in a ritual to pick their highest-ranking warriors, the Nadako, and only those who survive the ritual attained that honor. We think that centuries ago, the Nadako were used as the focal point for the weapons, because of their strength."
"And whatever godstick was used, that designated which weapon they would be the focal point for." Cam reached over and took Jessie’s hand in his. "Since Jessie survived the Tu-kai-taua godstick, she’s become the focal point, or interface, for that weapon."
Daniel nodded. "Exactly. The nanites come from the godsticks. If Kaitsenko had used a different godstick, she wouldn’t be able to interface with the Destroyer weapon."
"So that means there are other weapons out there, but they won’t operate without a person having those particular nanites," Hammond said.
"That’s what we think, yes Sir."
"Dr. Fraiser, can the nanites in Dr. Watson’s blood be transferred to someone else?"
She shook her head. "No Sir. I’ve done some tests. They are active in her blood sample, but when they come in contact with blood other than hers, they disintegrate."
"I want you to see if they can be transferred to some other medium. While technology such as this would be a huge asset to us, I am not comfortable having a person as an interface, especially given the toll it takes on the body."
"Dr. Jackson, have you come across references to the other weapons in those translations?"
"As far as location, no Sir."
"And you don’t believe the Kootenay are aware of the link between the godsticks and the weapons?"
"No Sir. For some unknown reason the weapons, or at least the Destroyer, was disassembled and well hidden. The rituals have continued, but the true reason behind them has been lost to the Kootenay."
"Dr. Fraiser, are these nanites a danger to Dr. Watson?"
"Not from what I can tell, Sir. They appear to have one function only, and that is to interface with the weapon."
Sam added, "We’ve removed the power source from the weapon to prevent any further activation. My theory is that the weapon activated when Jessie perceived a threat, and the nanites transmitted that information directly to the weapon."
Hammond was quiet for a moment before he continued. "For the time being, all references to these nanites and Dr. Watson’s role in the functionality of the weapon are to remain off official record. That information in the wrong hands could pose a threat to Dr. Watson. No one is to discuss this with anyone besides those present right now. Dr. Fraiser, keep me updated on your research. Dr. Jackson, let me know if you come across any other relevant information. Dismissed."
General Hammond left the room as the others stood and gathered their things. Jack made his way over to Jessie.
"You doing okay, Watson?"
Jessie looked at him with an arched eyebrow. "You mean besides my ‘cooties’, Sir?"
"Sorry." His expression said otherwise.
"Uh-huh. I’m okay. It helped once Janet figured out what was going on, and Daniel and Casey discovered how I became connected with the weapon."
"Yeah, well, I’m hoping Janet figures out how to transfer those cooties to something else." Jack ran his hand over his upper arm. "When those things are active, you’ve got a hell of a grip. It’s gonna be a while before these bruises fade."
‘Oooo, Jack, you ought to know better…’ Jessie started walking towards the door, making sure she was ahead of everyone who remained. Reaching the doorway, she turned and looked at Sam and Casey. "Ya know, here you go and swallow for the guy, and all he can do is complain about the bruises."
There was absolute silence as she stepped into the hall, before Jack roared, "WATSON!"
The sound of Sam and Casey’s busting out laughing soon followed, just before Cam came around the corner, mouthing the word, ‘Run!’
"Sorry Sir," she hollered back at Jack as she began jogging down the hall, "I couldn’t resist!"
The next few days progressed uneventfully, and Jessie suffered no untoward aftereffects from the nanite activation. Janet continued on with her experiments, while Daniel, Casey and Jessie worked with the rest of the records. Jessie seemed to be dealing well with the recent turn of events, so Cam decided to continue on with his plans.
After making sure Jessie was going to be occupied for a few hours at work, Cam grabbed his to-do list and started running errands. Luckily traffic was light, and it didn’t take him long before he was pulling into the parking lot of The Desert Rose, the dance studio where Jessie, Casey and Sam had taken lessons.
The bell jingled as he opened the door, and a few seconds later an older woman, her silver hair pulled back into a simple ponytail, walked into the room.
"May I help you?"
She nodded, and Cam extended his hand. "I’m Colonel Cameron Mitchell. We spoke on the phone the other day."
Giving him a warm smile, she grasped his hand in greeting. "Ah, yes, Jessie’s ami. Please, call me Colette."
"Call me Cam," he replied.
"I did some checking, and I think there are a few things I can offer along the lines of what you are looking for. Please, have a seat."
Half an hour later Cam left The Desert Rose, marking one item off his list. After that, it didn’t take him long to find DIY Publishing. Making sure he had his envelope, he walked in and struck up a conversation with the young woman behind the counter. Handing her the envelope, he checked off on the order form exactly what he wanted. Other than an appreciative smile, the young woman made no comment about his somewhat unusual request, giving him his receipt with the delivery date circled.
With the second item marked off his list, he pulled out his cell phone, dialing the number of an old friend. It was answered after the second ring.
"Paul? It’s Cam Mitchell. How you doing? Yeah, I hear you there, buddy. How’s Belinda doing? That’s good to hear. Listen, got a couple of questions for you. Do you still have that vacation house up in the mountains up here? Uh huh. Does that offer still stand for me being able to use it for a weekend? Great. I’m thinking about three weeks from now, but I’ll have to get back with you on that just to be sure. I’m waiting on a couple of things to be delivered. Yeah, you could say that." Cam laughed out loud. "You’ll be one of the first to know if that happens. I promise. Okay. I’ll give you a call when I’ve got everything lined up. Sure. And Paul? Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it. You too. Later."
Slipping his cell phone back into his pocket, Cam headed back to the base. Now it was only a matter of time, waiting for everything to fall into place.
Three weeks later
Jessie awoke Thursday morning to the sound of a lawn mower. Thinking that Bertie had sent Joe over to do the lawn, she rolled out of bed and reluctantly headed to the shower. She still had a little over an hour before she had to be at work for a meeting. With a three-day weekend coming up, she had made sure to tie up most of the loose ends at work so she could devote some time to working on the house and yard.
Spending just enough time in the bathroom to get cleaned up, she put on a pair of khaki cargo pants and a black T-shirt, brushing her hair and pulling it into a ponytail. Going into the kitchen, she flipped the switch on the coffee maker, glancing out the window as she did so. Eyes widening, she took in the scene through the glass. Joe had either been working out, and had figured how to turn back time twenty plus years, or the guy mowing her lawn wasn’t Bertie’s yard guy.
Moving to her sliding glass door, she couldn’t help the groan she let out. Out in her backyard, using the lawn mower she had been planning on doing a tune-up on tomorrow, was Cam—no shirt, and worn, faded blue jeans. She watched the morning sunlight reflect off the shifting muscles in his shoulders as he pushed the mower over the last few patches of shaggy grass.
Dragging her eyes away from him, she looked at the patio and noticed his
T-shirt draped across the back of one of the chairs, her tool box open, and the
old spark plug, air filter and a container of used oil from the mower sitting
next to it.
A grin spread across her face, and she stood there for a few more seconds, enjoying the view of his bare back and nicely curved ass before she went and fixed two mugs of coffee. She opened the back door and made her way over to him just as he shut off the lawn mower.
"Somebody’s been busy this morning."
Cam grinned as he turned, accepting the steaming mug of coffee before leaning in and giving her a lingering kiss.
There were no words to describe what the purr of his voice did to her, especially when combined with his scent and the smell of freshly mown grass.
"What are you doing sneaking in and playing with my lawn mower?"
He chuckled as he kissed her again, then took a sip of his coffee.
"Just doing my good deed for the day."
Unable to resist, she reached up and brushed her fingers across his chest, feeling the hair tickle her fingertips.
"In more ways than one," she murmured.
Jessie arched an eyebrow. "Well, not only do you tune up my mower, and then mow the grass, you sure do provide a fine sight to look at first thing in the morning." She glanced to her right and raised her cup in greeting. "And not just for myself."
Cam looked across the yard and saw Bertie sitting on her back porch, chair turned towards Jessie’s yard. She had a coffee cup in hand, feet propped up and a mischievous smile. He raised his hand and waved, a sheepish grin on his face.
Jessie laughed out loud, and then said teasingly, "Is that a blush I see on your face?"
Taking her by the hand, Cam moved towards the house. "I just didn’t want to get my shirt dirty."
"Uh huh. If Bertie were a few years younger, I’d definitely have to keep an eye on her. She’d be over here trying to steal you away."
Cam’s laughter sounded across the yard as they stepped into the house.
"So, what are you doing here working on the yard this early in the morning?"
Cam shrugged, a twinkle in his eye. "I knew you were planning on doing it tomorrow, and since I want you to enjoy the time off, I figured I’d come over and knock it out for you. Besides, you said Casey and Sam were coming over this evening. It’ll give you a chance to enjoy yourselves, sit down and talk, without having to worry about getting up early in the morning."
Walking over to him, she put her arms around his waist. "I’d enjoy the time off even more if you were around. Are you sure you’ve got to go?"
He kissed her softly, wrapping his arms around her. "Yeah. Just some stuff I need to take care of. I’ll be back by Sunday."
"Ummm." She kissed him again. "That’s a bummer. We don’t get three-day weekends very often."
Cam grinned. "I promise, I’ll make it up to you."
Jessie smiled back, enjoying the feel of his body pressed against hers. "I’ve got to get going, or I’m gonna be late for work."
"You sure? I’m pretty certain your boss would let it slide."
"You’re terrible," she said as she swatted his backside playfully.
"Yeah, but you love me anyway."
Jessie grew serious for a moment, looking him in the eye. "Yeah, I do."
Cam stole one more kiss before letting her go so she could get her keys. "So what time are Sam and Casey getting here?"
"They’re coming over after work. Instead of going out, we’re just going to hang here and unwind."
He walked her to the door. "I’m going to finish putting the tools up and wait for the mower to cool down before I put it away, so I’ll lock up."
Jessie checked to make sure she had everything she needed. Taking a moment, she turned and slid her arms around his neck, pulling him close. She brushed her lips slowly against his, tugging on the fullness of his lower lip, before parting his lips and caressing his tongue with her own. It was so tempting to just take his hand and pull him back into the bedroom, but she knew she had to be at that meeting. She leaned back with a sigh. "See you Sunday."
Heading out the door, she missed the mischievous look that crossed Cam’s face. "See you later, Jessie."
<<Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>