Title: The Prometheus Effect
Fandom: SGA, SG1
Warnings: Canon Typical
Summary: Daniel gets a chance to go out to Atlantis on the Prometheus. He’s going to grab that opportunity with both hands!
“He wants to go, Jack, and you need to let him,” George informed his friend gently.
“Just because he wants to go, doesn’t mean that he should go,” Jack snapped.
George could hear the chair Jack was sitting in protest as he moved within its grasp. If he knew his friend at all, he was rocking back and forth in an effort to not get up and pace. He was giving it another ten minutes before Jack slapped the speakerphone on and started to walk around the office to try to work his mood off.
“Jack, he wanted to go when the expedition left and he’s been pressing the whole program to move faster. To the point where the Prometheus has been finished a month early,” George reminded.
“I know,” Jack sounded resigned. “But I can’t go.”
George rolled his eyes as he tried to hold onto his patience. “Jack, he’s a grown man, he can go on a mission without you.”
“And the last time he went out on a mission on his own, he got into trouble up to his baby blue eyes,” Jack said. “The policy SG1 came up with was that Jackson isn’t to go out on a mission without at least one of us. Carter is at Area 51, Teal’c is on Dakara, and I’m here at the SGC.”
“He’s a grown man, Jack. Seriously, you’re acting like he’s never gone off-world and is a complete novice at the whole process.” George shook his head at the level of stubbornness Jack was displaying. “He’s more experienced than a good 40% of the officers under your command and you’re acting like he’s a green tyro.”
“I’m acting like he matters,” Jack snapped. “Also, Daniel can get distracted while walking down the hallway at the SGC. What do you think will happen on Atlantis?”
“I think he’ll help them in their search for the information we need to defeat the Replicators and the remnants of the Goa’uld,” George reminded Jack, voice even. “That’s our current mission and we need to remember that.”
“I know we need to deal with them, George,” Jack said before he took a deep breath. “And Anubis is still out there, haunting us. But letting him go doesn’t sit well.”
“But Atlantis needs him more than the SGC does, Jack,” George said. “He’s trained dozens of people, both civilian and military to understand the Goa’uld language and each of the languages he speaks has been covered by at least two other people.”
“I know, damn it,” Jack sounded resigned. “But letting him go doesn’t sit well with me.”
“So, hurry up and get the Daedalus done and follow us,” George taunted his friend.
“And who is going to take my place? Because right now, we have Carter, Dixon, Reynolds, and a few others, but I don’t know that I would leave any of them in charge of the SGC,” Jack said. “And none of them are up for promotion.”
“So we’d be looking into bringing a new General into command the SGC?” George asked. He pulled a legal pad his way and started jotting down notes. Jack was right, they were short senior officers who were in a position to take command of the base. “Got any suggestions on how to grow our own officers?”
“Yeah, get the ships we need, finished,” Jack said. “We’ve been growing our officer corps, but none of them have reached the level we need. Colonels and Lt. Colonels can do in a pinch, but we’ve been run by a general since we started and I doubt we’re going to change that.”
“I know the President has agreed to that,” George said. He cleared his throat and offered up a suggestion. “Do you think we can get away with having more than one general on-site?”
“No, it would be too confusing, George,” Jack said. There was a beeping noise and George could hear Jack walking around his office. Checking his watch, he saw it had been seven minutes since he had marked the time. He pulled a bar of chocolate out of his desk and set it beside his notepad as a reward. “Most of our colonels need command experience, both small teams and running a base.”
“So what? Start rotating the colonels we think would be good in the hot seat through various teams and where for the base commands?” George asked.
“Well, we’ve got an Alpha Site,” Jack offered.
“And we need a Beta Site along with someplace for science experiments,” George offered as he wrote down the suggestions. “So that’s three base commands and the small teams… Can we rotate them up?”
“Rotate them up?” Jack asked. He was obviously on the far end of his office and his voice was slightly fainter than it had been. “You mean move them onto the first contact teams?”
“Yes,” George confirmed. “Command of a team is a good learning experience, but the real pressure cooker is first contact, as you well know.”
“I do know,” Jack admitted. “And their exposure to working with civilians goes up as they move up the ladder of the teams.”
“And if they can’t work with a dedicated civilian on their team, they sure aren’t going to be able to work with them in the SGC,” George reminded him. “We’ve run into several officers with that problem.”
Jack sighed. “And most of them were escorted out of the SGC as quickly as we could manage it.”
“I know, I signed off on most of those transfers,” George said. “So, back on topic… I’m going to call Jackson and let him know that I want on the Prometheus with me when we launch.”
“Fine,” Jack sounded resigned now. “Just, don’t lose him.”
“He’ll be fine, Jack,” George promised.
“He’d better be,” Jack said before he hung up the phone.
George hung up his phone and shook his head. Jack was not taking the idea of Jackson leaving well.
“You want me to what?” Daniel asked as he sat back in his office chair.
“I want you with me when I go to Atlantis,” General Hammond said again. “You’re the best we have regarding the Ancients and their culture.”
“But not their technology,” Daniel warned. He had to remind the general of that fact because he wasn’t that tech-driven.
“That’s fine, Dr. Jackson,” Hammond said soothingly. “Atlantis has plenty of people who can use their tech, so we aren’t relying on you for that.”
“Do we know that they need our help?” Daniel asked.
“No,” Hammond said after several heartbeats. “But there was a change in the guard at the IOA and they released the supply list for the expedition. They were vastly undersupplied and will be coming to the end of their stored foods in the next two months. We want to get there before that timeline ends.”
Daniel shook his head at that. “Is that the only reason we’re going?”
“No,” Hammond admitted. “We need to know what they’ve found and if they can’t call us, we need to go by ship.”
“It’s at least six weeks to get us out there,” Daniel remembered.
“The Prometheus has engines that should get us there in four weeks,” Hammond explained. “I’m planning on stuffing her as full of supplies as I can.”
“Have we talked to the Asgard about using their tech to store supplies without taking up masses of room?” Daniel asked.
“The Asgard can do that?” Hammond asked.
“Well, we saw them doing something similar when we first met the Asgard at Thor’s Hammer,” Daniel reminded. “The technology is certainly possible and they’ve shared with us before. And it’s also not a weapon, so I can’t see them objecting to it.”
“We can put the request in with the SGC to see if they can acquire it,” Hammond said slowly. He sounded like he was thinking the whole idea through. “That’s a very good idea, Dr. Jackson. I don’t know that we’ll be able to get it in time for our departure, but we can certainly try.”
“Alright,” Daniel was silent for several seconds and then nodded. “How much room do I have?”
“Not nearly enough to cover the contents of your office,” Hammond informed him. He sounded amused and Daniel couldn’t blame him. Looking around the space he shrugged. He was a packrat.
“I figured, sir, but I still need to know the volume,” Daniel said. “I think the SGC still has some of the footlockers that we used for the expedition. How many of those do I have?”
“I would expect one personal and two or three professional. Bringing books might not be the best idea,” Hammond reminded. “And I don’t remember the expedition taking anyone with your skill sets.”
“Oh, they did,” Daniel said. “But most of them went as linguists first and anthropologists or archeologists second. Or even third depending on their degrees. Sumner has never been thrilled with the soft sciences.”
“Even he has to admit that your specialties have come through for us, time and again,” Hammond protested.
“Sumner was very unimpressed with anything civilian when he was introduced to the SGC,” Daniel warned. “And I’m not sure that he will have gotten any better while on Atlantis.”
“Well, we will certainly find out,” Hammond said. “You have a week to get things together, Dr. Jackson. I’ll see you then.”
“Yes, sir,” Daniel confirmed. He sat for several seconds before he got up. There was no way that General Hammond hadn’t gone through Jack before he had called him. He was well aware of the proprietary nature of SG1’s regard for him when it came to anyone else getting their hands on him. He needed to talk to Jack before he did anything else.
The trip down to Jack’s office was easy and Daniel barely noticed the people he passed. No one got in his way and he was grateful for the respite. Walking into the antechamber he looked at Jack’s admin. “Is he in?”
“Yes, sir, he is,” Marcus said. “He’s…”
“I’m pretty sure I know what he is,” Daniel admitted. “Go get coffee.”
Marcus closed down his computer and nodded. “Yes, sir!”
Daniel waited as the man headed out and then closed the outer door. He was very certain that there would be yelling and no one needed to hear Jack losing his shit. Walking into the office, he raised an eyebrow at his best friend. “General Hammond called me.”
“I know. He said he would,” Jack muttered. He was sitting on the couch in his office, clutching a coffee cup. He raised it in salute before taking a sip. “Looks like you’re going to Atlantis.”
“Please tell me that’s not booze,” Daniel requested as he went to check out Jack’s coffee maker. The pot was full and from the beans beside it, Jack had made his current favorite. He poured himself a cup and then held out the pot in an offer to his best friend. “Do you want that topped off?”
“Please,” Jack requested as he held out his cup. “And no, as much as I wish it held whiskey, there’s no way I can justify it.”
“It’s not the end of the world for me to go to Atlantis,” Daniel said. He settled into place on the couch next to Jack and sipped at his coffee.
“I’m not going to be able to follow you, Daniel. None of us are,” Jack explained.
Daniel tried not to choke on his coffee as he processed that. “You do know that I can work with other people, right?”
“Oh, we’re aware,” Jack admitted. “But it seems like every time you’ve gone out without us, you come back fucked up. And that’s just not acceptable.”
“Jack, I’ve been going through the gate for years. I’m certainly competent, you wouldn’t let me off-world after our first adventures without making certain of that,” Daniel protested. The argument they were having came up every time he tried to leave the SGC on a mission without SG1 and it had gotten old years before. That they rehashing it now meant that Jack was clutching at straws.
“I know,” Jack said. He turned to look at Daniel and set the coffee cup on the table before them. “I know you’re competent. I know that you can take care of yourself and anyone in your immediate area. But just because I let them put stars on my shoulders doesn’t mean that I don’t worry about you.”
Jack waved a hand as if to push the sentiment off. “Maybe. But it still sticks in my craw that none of us will be able to go with you.”
“You’re going to have to let me go sometime,” Daniel said.
“No, I’m pretty sure that I could have kept you here until we had better access between Earth and Atlantis,” Jack said. He raised an eyebrow when Daniel huffed. “Don’t even, Danny. You’re going to be at least four weeks away by ship if not longer and there’s no communication between Atlantis and Earth right now. If you get in trouble out there, we’ve got no way to know.”
“Okay, so the objections aren’t just that I’ll be out of reach,” Daniel summed up.
“No, it’s not just that,” Jack snapped. He pulled in a deep breath and held it before blowing it out. Daniel recognized one of Teal’c’s meditation tricks and didn’t say a word at Jack using them. “If I’d had my way, we wouldn’t have let the Atlantis Expedition leave until the Prometheus had been finished and gone through a shakedown cruise. As it is, this is going to be the proof-of-concept mission for all of our ships.”
“That seems… Short-sighted,” Daniel allowed.
“Ya think?” Jack demanded before he got up and started to pace the office. “I got overruled when I put that forth. I also got overruled on just about everything I suggested regarding the expedition. I don’t know what you’re walking into, but you need to be aware that it might not be good.”
Daniel thought that over and blinked once as he made a connection. “Jack? Could this unease be traced back to the Ancient download you got from the head grabber?”
“I have no damn idea,” Jack admitted. “I know that Thor said he ‘removed’ the knowledge from me, but I don’t see how he could have.”
“What do you mean?” Daniel asked.
“Wait one,” Jack requested. He went over to the wall behind his desk and pushed aside one of the flags to access the wall behind. Built into the wall of the mountain was a safe and Jack was entering a combination into it with ease. When it popped open, he pulled out a machine that Daniel was very familiar with. Same had made them for SG1 and each of them used the little devices to clear their homes and offices on a regular basis.
“Remind me to mail my harvest to Sam?” Daniel requested as he watched Jack scan his office.
“She’s going to get mine too. You wouldn’t believe the number of these little things I’ve found in my home and car. If I was any more paranoid, you could start calling me Harry,” Jack muttered as he started dropping listening devices in a baggie. He found four in his search. “For fucks sake, I ran this thing yesterday.”
“Any idea how they are getting in?” Daniel asked.
“I’m pretty sure it’s the cleaning crew. I’m tempted to fire them all and have Siler and his people take over,” Jack bitched. “Is Marcus out there?”
“No, I sent him off so he wouldn’t hear you yell,” Daniel admitted.
“Gee, thanks, Danny,” Jack muttered as he walked out after sealing the bag up. Daniel could hear the door open and Jack handing the listening devices to Walter. “Walter already has your batch in a box for Sam,” Jack reported as he walked back in.
“I need to get him some cookies,” Daniel mused.
“He wants chocolate chips this time,” Jack informed him as he settled into place. “Okay, getting back to the thing with Thor… He didn’t remove the knowledge Danny, he just moved it out of active use.”
Daniel felt everything in his head grind to a halt at that. “What?”
“Danny, I’ve had the download twice, there’s no way to remove it.”
“Holy shit,” Daniel muttered before pressing his fingers to his eyes. “How come it hasn’t eaten your brain?”
“Basically, it’s like a hard drive in my mind that’s been disconnected. It’s there and I know it is, but I can’t use the information it contains,” Jack explained.
“I’m going to call bullshit on not having access to it,” Daniel muttered as he tried to make sense of things. “You’ve got something if the Atlantis mission is giving you fits.”
Jack snorted once and took the time to think about it. “Maybe that’s leftovers from when I had had active access to the knowledge?”
Daniel let his hands fall and stared at Jack. “Right. I’ll accept that until we get something else to explain what’s going on. Is there anything I can do to make things better?”
“Go armed, stay armed, and remember that whatever is in Pegasus caused the Ancients to run back here?” Jack directed. “The Ancients left Earth because of a plague and it was a damn nasty one. They came back here because they had no other choice. As far as we’ve been able to determine, they didn’t know if Earth was going to be habitable and they still came. Something caused them to run and that makes me uneasy.”
“Did you share this with General Hammond?” Daniel asked as he filed away the scenario Jack had brought up. It was a damn good point and one he hadn’t bothered to consider. Why would anyone come back to a plague-infested world if they didn’t have to?
“Oh, he knows,” Jack admitted. “And a good chunk of the supplies Prometheus is carrying is armament. As heavy a caliber as I can get away with loading. Along with some extra troops.”
“Are you replacing Sumner? Or Weir?” Daniel asked as he continued to think things over.
“Not so far, but George certainly can if needs be,” Jack reminded him. “And if things are that bad, I expect that he will.”
“Me too,” Daniel confirmed. “Okay, so I’m going to need to change some things I want to bring then.”
“Any personal arms will be outside of your weight limits, Danny. George already agreed to that,” Jack said.
“Oh, I figured that,” he said. Daniel looked at Jack and shrugged. “I want to bring a sword.”
“Can you use one?” Jack asked.
“Well enough,” Daniel admitted. “And maybe a halberd.”
“Okay, why the antique weaponry?” Jack asked.
“I…don’t know,” Daniel admitted. He rarely talked about his time ascended and how it had changed him. He was much more militant than he had been before he joined the glowclub has Jack liked to call them.