Killing The Cat
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer - MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them. I don't.

Spoilers for 'Hathor', 'In The Line of Duty', 'Divide and Conquer', 'Entity', 'Metamorphosis' and 'Disclosure'. This is pretty much a longer version of a drabble I wrote as a 'Disclosure' episode addition titled 'This Is Supposed To Be A Top Secret Facility'. Sandy wasn't very happy with me ;) Not quite sure this fits your 'terms' dear, but it is what came out.

Oh, it was my decision not to give the Ambassadors any names. I like the anonymity it gives them...

Use of {} indicate flashbacks (itís not a clip show Ė itís a clip fic!).

*

"Who are this 'SG-1' we keep hearing so much about?"

George paused at the British Ambassador's question. Neither he nor Major Davis had gone into a detailed description of exactly who SG-1 were; they were both well aware that a certain someone would like nothing more than to turn them to his advanta-

"Yes General," Kinsey interrupted, no doubt beginning to do just that. "Why don't we tell these good people about exactly who comprises America's - and the Earth's - flagship team?" Flicking open one of the many folders laid before him, he began speaking as if reading from the material inside, though it was plainly clear to George that he really had no need to. "SG-1 currently has four members. They are: two aliens, one scientist, as well as a Colonel who had to be hauled out of retirement for the job, and who also has something of a history. Those acts on *official record* include kidnapping, and two counts of direct insubordination to a US Senator."

The watching Ambassadors seemed appropriately concerned.

"Referring to yourself, Senator," Davis pointed out from in front of the screen.

George smiled internally. The boy was learning. But by no means did it make him the least bit happier about what Kinsey was attempting to do.

"Yes," Kinsey confirmed, vaguely uncomfortable.

George got to the plate, trying to wreak some damage control. "Both Teal'c and Jonas Quinn - the 'aliens' Senator Kinsey has spoken of - have long since proven their loyalty to Earth and our mission to defend ourselves against the Goa'uld. In fact, Jonas Quinn is not an alien at all..."

{"You're not human."

"Oh I'm human," Jonas responded to Niirti's question, knowing how she'd made the mistaken assumption. He looked towards Agar deliberately. "I'm just not from Earth. A Goa'uld such as yourself took my ancestors from Earth thousands of years ago, and enslaved them."

Niirti didn't seem particularly concerned at the discovery, almost sighing happily as she spoke. "Sadly it was not I."}

"As for Teal'c," He couldn't really talk his way out of this one. "While essentially human,"

"*Essentially* *human*?" Kinsey scoffed.

"Yes, Senator," George informed him. "While he does have a larval form of the Goa'uld inside his body - where it can do no harm," He hastily added at the wide-eyed expressions suddenly facing him. "It has been proven that many Jaffa start out as normal humans, who have been manipulated by the Goa'uld for their own purposes. For example, Colonel O'Neill himself has even become one - albeit temporarily..."

{Jack gasped, agony ripping through his body until it focused on his stomach. He wanted to move, break away, but he couldn't; his body wasn't even obeying the most basic impulse - to survive.

She continued to purr into his ear, though he was barely aware of her voice. "You will enjoy the health and long life that comes with being..."

She released him.

He all but exploded away from her: body impacting against the wall behind him as he began to slide down it. Horrified, with shaking hands, he stared at the cross now imbedded in his stomach.

"Hathor's first new Jaffa."}

"This is supposed to reassure them?"

"The point is," George was all but ignoring Kinsey now. "Aside from the hole in his stomach, Teal'c is just the same as the rest of us. As for what the Senator terms 'a scientist', Samantha Carter is not only a leader in the field of theoretical astrophysics and our outright expert on the Stargate, but she is also a Major in the US Air Force. She is an exemplary officer, and one I feel personally privileged to have worked with."

"Should we mention the Tok'ra? Or the entity?"

Why did he even bother asking the question? It was obvious he was going to continue regardless. "Senator?"

His finger thrust down towards the paperwork, landing with a soft 'thud'. "On at least two different occasions, Major Carter has been 'possessed' or taken over by some kind of alien life form, due *only* to her own negligence."

Something inside him burned. "Senator, you can feel free to express your opinion of me and the way I run the SGC, but I will *not* have you insulting the people who work for me. In the first of the instances you refer to, Major Carter was trying to save a man's *life*,"

{Sam moved rapidly: breathing, pushing, breathing, pushing. He was dying, but she'd be damned if she was going to let him slip away. She hadn't travelled to this planet just to see these people die.

The cacophony around her was madness: screams, explosions, hollered orders from Colonel O'Neill. She ignored all of it, even the threat to her own life, moving her head down to try to breathe life back into the man again.

Breathe, breathe-

It happened in one instant.

Squeaking, sliding, revulsion, an instinctive urge to choke, falling away from what she now knew was a dead body, something blackening her mind...

And Sam was gone.}

George glanced around at his observers. "A worthy goal, I think you'll agree. And in the second instance, she was simply trying to communicate with the entity."

"Which promptly hijacked her body."

{Jack watched as Fraiser and the Fraiserettes worked frantically over Carter's bod-

Carter. Just Carter.

He felt helpless, raising his hand, lowering it again: unable to do anything that'd *help*.

Fraiser barked orders, and he tried to feel some reassurance from the fact that at least Carter was under the care of the best of the best. They cut open her top, attached the sensors that'd give them readings, and then-

The defibrillators.

He knew that couldn't be good. In his mind they only came out in the worst possible situations.

And then Fraiser paused. Said something about 'sinus rhythm'. "Sir?"

He took a half step forward, wanting to help, not wanting to get in the way. "What? What is it?"

"These readings match those that were inside the computer in the first place." She turned towards him, shocked. "It's inside her."}

"There was absolutely no way we could have anticipated that happening."

"Which is my *point*, General." Sighing, the Senator's posture became just a little less hostile as he sat further back in his seat - though George liked to think it was because his back was giving out. "You have no way of really knowing anything every time you activate that damn thing. What kind of disaster or disease you could be bringing back with you. What consequences it could have for the entire planet."

"So what do you suggest, Senator? We shut up shop? Stick our heads in the sand? We have no way of knowing what's going to happen *tomorrow* - we could get hit by a bus, have a heart attack, accidentally interrupt some kid with a gun robbing a liquor store - and yet we still get up every day. We don't stay in bed hiding from the world; we go out into it, we work, interact, live, *explore*. What's the point in life if we don't *live*?"

Sighing heavily, Kinsey simply opened another folder. "And then we have Colonel Jack O'Neill..."

Well, at least he hadn't been able to think up a comeback. "Though Colonel O'Neill's methods can sometimes seem unorthodox, he has done nothing but fight for the safety of-"

"Believe it or not, General Hammond, Colonel O'Neill's methods are not what concern me the most."

George found that *incredibly* hard to believe. "They're not?"

It was Major Davis who spoke up, causing George - and everyone else - to stare at him. "Uh, sirs. If I can draw your attention back to the screen, I can show you blueprints of-"

Kinsey wasn't having it. "Approximately two and a half years ago, the SGC was compromised by brainwashed assassins for the Goa'uld who didn't even know they were *working* for the Goa'uld, isn't that correct?"

Ah. Suddenly he understood why Davis had been trying to change the subject. "Yes, it is. But thankfully all of these assassins were identified and restrained before they were able to cause serious harm to anyone."

"Well that's not quite correct, is it General? They all either committed suicide, or were killed, causing quite serious 'harm' to them."

George's teeth ground together. "Unfortunately, yes."

"And that's not all," Again with the pointlessness of looking through the folder. He already knew this information far too well. "One of Earth's allies, the Tok'ra, had a device that enabled you to identify these assassins. As a security measure everyone on the base was screened...and both Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter were shown to be these unwittingly brainwashed assassins known us..." He made a great deal of searching for the name. "...za'tarc's."

The Chinese Ambassador snorted. "Two people from your 'flagship' team? There is obviously a huge failing in your security."

"Neither of my officers were actually these za'tarc's."

"They weren't?" The French representative asked. "I don't understand."

George stared down at his hands. How in the hell did things get so *complicated*? "At a very basic level, the machine acts as a kind of lie detector. However, it's so sophisticated that if a za'tarc - who, remember, doesn't even know they *are* a za'tarc - were questioned about the time that they were brainwashed, the machine would know that the cover story they were programmed with wasn't the truth."

"So..." The British Ambassador was frowning enough for all three of them. "If I'm understanding you correctly General, if they really weren't these...za'tarc people, your two officers had to be lying about something."

Kinsey saved him the bother of needing to reply. "You hit the nail right on the head, Mr Ambassador. And of course, when the fact that they were lying made it look as if they were assassins, the truth about what really happened had to come out..."

{"Sir, you gotta get out of here."

Yeah, like *that* was gonna happened without her. He stalked towards the wall, looking for something to work with, his hand moving up to his face as he thought. "So do you."

Eyeing the torch on the wall - thankfully, it wasn't lit - he grabbed hold, yanking it free. As it turned out he yanked it free rather too hard; it wasn't attached to anything, merely resting so it slid out easily.

Stepping back with the surprising release of energy, he stumbled, before finding his footing again. What had to be an access panel for the force shield controls was a few feet lower on the wall (he'd seen enough of them hanging around Carter), and he began whacking the door of the panel with the thick end of the torch. He may have known nothing about how to deactivate that kind of stuff, but Carter could talk him through it.

Footsteps.

He jumped up from his half-crouching position, briefly ceasing his attempts at the familiar 'clunk' of Jaffa movement. Dammit! Even if the ship didn't blow as planned, she'd still be stuck on the other side of the force shield with at least one Jaffa and no way to defend herself.

He was *not* going to watch her die.

He renewed his efforts, pounding, thrashing directly against the force shield with the torch. The corridor, the floor, her face - everything flashed blue as he struck it again and again, trying to make *something* give.

"Sir!"

"I know, I know!" He did know but he didn't want to; he wasn't leaving her behind, *nobody* got left behind, the Jaffa getting closer, him bending away from the force shield to attack the panel, this time with the handle; making something crack, shatter-

"Sir, just *go*!"

Something broke.

"NO!"}

Sighing, George glanced across at his only ally.

Davis looked at him sadly. He wasn't surprised. But then, anyone who'd read all of the SGC mission reports wouldn't be surprised. Though George hadn't been there personally for the 'revelation' (something that, unfortunately, hadn't been particularly shocking for him either when he did discover it), what both Jack and Major Carter had been forced to admit had become a matter of official record. He played it down as much as he could - there was no way in hell they'd ever let it interfere with the job - but it was still there. And in Kinsey's eyes, that was more than enough.

Speak of the devil...

"In Colonel O'Neill's own words," He picked up a sheet of paper, looking over it. "He cares about Major Carter 'a lot more than I'm supposed to'. She reciprocated. I don't know about the rest of you, but the fact that the leader and second in command of our flagship team can't even keep their feelings under control does not leave me brimming with confidence. How do we know that either one of them wouldn't become a liability to the team, should the other become injured or killed whilst on a mission?"

Finally, *finally*, George felt a small glimmer of hope. "Obviously you haven't paid as close attention to all of the SGC mission reports as you have to that one, Senator. You've already mentioned the entity, but it seems you've forgotten how the incident was resolved..."

{He turned the corner to see her backing away from two armed SF's. Shifting to face him in the corridor, she - it - surprised the hell out of him when it lifted her arms, and tendrils of...electricity? Some kind of energy shot up towards the ceiling, spreading to the base.

There was no way that could be a good thing, and knowing he had to do whatever it took to ensure the safety of the SGC and the people there, he lifted his zat and fired.

Nothing happened.

Well, not *nothing*. She paused for a while, but only temporarily; after a few seconds she continued her assault.

Jack watched her, stunned. He'd counted on the zat gun doing its job; of her crumpling to the floor, maybe even having forced that thing out of her; and yeah, she'd complain about a headache or maybe even the fact that he shot her later, but she'd be okay.

But it hadn't happened. Nothing had changed; it was still attacking the base and he had no other choice.

No other choice.

He stared at her from his end of the zat gun: defiant, unemotional. It was so *not* Carter that he was prompted into action.

She was already dead. She was already dead. She was already dead.

He fired.}

Chekov, who up until now had remained studiously quiet - and embarrassingly for George, completely forgotten - chose that moment to speak up. "He killed her. To me, gentlemen, that does not sound like a man who allows his feelings to interfere with his work."

Had it not been for the fact that Kinsey probably would have ended up using it against him, George could have kissed the man.

And then Davis joined in. "In fact, if these feelings really do exist, then exactly how much did he personally sacrifice to ensure the safety of this planet?"

The British Ambassador nodded. "You may have a point..."

At least it was something. "All the members of SG-1 and the SGC have put their lives on the line time and time again to defend the Earth. Their own lives, each other's - it doesn't matter. Whatever it takes, they get the job done. As for these 'feelings'..." He deliberately looked towards Kinsey. "...did you choose your wife, Senator? Did you decide she was going to be the one you were going to fall in love with? Because the last time I checked, it doesn't quite work that way." He addressed everyone in the room. "It may not always be the most appropriate outcome, but it happens. And it *may* be there, but perhaps despite even their own wishes, Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter are nothing more than friends with an excellent working relationship."

Nobody said anything. Not even Kinsey.

Eventually... "On to the next subject at hand..."

George closed his eyes, knowing Davis was smiling. One battle down. Countless more to go.

~FINIS

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