Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Disclaimer: I definitely don't own these characters or have any right to do what I'm doing to them... but I don't make a cent off this so please don't sue me!
Summary: Jack likes his vacations. Assuming he can actually get one.
Author's Notes: I wrote this for Kai as a gift for coming in first in my song guessing competition. The reference to jam is an old Highlander joke. It just sort of fell out when I was writing and I just couldn't help myself.
As Daniel sneezed again, Jack rolled his eyes. "Bless," he called over his shoulder. He needed to concentrate on getting up the sand dune to the gate. His foot sunk into the soft sand with his next step and he closed his eyes tightly as a small wind blew sand in his face. He heard Daniel winding up for another sneeze and knew it wasn't coincidence that it followed the breeze. As Jack made it up onto the plateau, he turned around to see Daniel bend practically in half with another sneeze. Jack tipped his sunglasses up towards his forehead. Then he rubbed both eyes simultaneously with his thumb and forefinger, ending with a rub and pinch at the bridge of his nose. "Carter?" he called out blindly, eyes closed. "Do you still have your notebook out?"
She didn't, but pulled it out as soon as Teal'c had given her a hand up for the last step of the climb. "Right here," she said, clicking the ballpoint.
"Good." He opened his eyes, glancing around at his team for a moment, then seeing beyond them. Apart from the gate and DHD here at the top of the plateau, there was nothing but sand as far as the eye could see. "Then make a note to say I'm sick and tired of all these desert explorations. Someone's got to adapt a MALP to get through deep sand because this..." He gestured to the vast wasteland around him just as Daniel sneezed again. Jack sighed. "Bless," he said kindly. Then to Sam, "You get the point."
"I get it," Sam said, grinning. She flashed him the pad where, in large block letters, she had written: SAND=ANNOYED JACK. Teal'c dialed home and Sam pulled out the remote. Daniel sniffled and gave Jack a smile, then whipped out his handkerchief again and sneezed into it yet again. Teal'c led the way back to Earth, Sam followed, and Jack put his arm around Daniel, guiding him to go through before stepping through himself.
"-elcome home, SG-1." Jack heard General Hammond's voice echo through the gateroom, though it sounded a bit edgier than normal.
Jack pulled off his sunglasses and slid them over the collar of his shirt. "Thank you, Sir." He rubbed the back of his neck. "Ah, how is home holding up?"
"Minor problem with a survey sample that got out of hand..." Jack saw Teal'c raise one eyebrow skeptically. "But it's nothing that would require your expertise. SG-1, you four are officially off duty and on vacation as soon as you complete post-mission procedures. And, ah, avoid the upper floors if you can." Daniel gave another sneeze and they all headed out of the gateroom, noticing that the halls seemed much colder than usual and the only lights shining were the backup ones.
Jack shivered and blinked at the florescent orange lights, almost wishing to be back a PQX-899 with its blaring hot sun. However, what he had planned certainly topped a deserted desert. It had taken far too long to get the other members of SG-1 to agree to go on fishing trip with him. But he had the cabin rented and he had the truck packed. He had their words that this time they would come with and try to enjoy themselves and, this time around, he had also gotten those promises in writing. They were taped to the inside of his tackle box. It wasn't as though he was forcing them to go on a proper vacation with him, goodness knew they saw enough of each other without having to spend their off time together as well. It was simply that he wanted to share the joys of waking up at dawn to sit on a riverbed and roasting marshmallows over a camp stove with his friends. And they certainly deserved a break as well.
Jack scribbled report notes as he sat on a bed in the infirmary, waiting to be examined. Thanks to an extra half dose of medication, Daniel's sneezes seemed to be in check now but the room was hardly silent.
There was some problem and concern hung in the air as doctors and assistants in their white lab coats walked briskly from one side of the room to the other, not paying the members of SG-1 much attention at all. "Be right with you!" one said off-handedly to them as she hurried past with her arms full of test tubes and Petri dishes. Jack glanced over at Teal'c who raised an eyebrow.
It was another five minutes before one of the doctors came over for their post-mission check-up's. Jack went last, as usual, but as each left he reminded his teammates that they were hitting the road at 14-hundred and he would accept no excuses.
"I'm going to go see what this is all about," Sam said, as she stood up to leave after her exam showed she checked out fine. They both eyed a doctor who sped past them with a large, steaming cooler.
"You do that," Jack said, nodding. "But you still need to be ready to ship out this afternoon."
"Yes, Sir," she said, with a nod and a smile that meant she was still willing to go so long as nothing more important came up on base.
Jack sat back on the bed, folding his hands behind his head, arms bent at the elbows. He had to wait another twenty minutes before one of the doctors finally came by to check him out and the examination took less than five minutes. "You've got a slight temperature," the doctor said, dropping the disposable cover on the thermometer into the trash beside the bed. "But you say you feel fine?"
Jack nodded, buttoning up his shirt. "Probably just all that time out in the sun."
The doctor scribbled something on his clipboard then unclipped it and stuck it in a folder. "That's certainly a possibility. Just stop by if you feel any worse. Don't want to take any chances." He chuckled and gently hit the folder against Jack's arm. "You're free to go."
Jack had not heard sweeter words in a long time. He headed down the hall to the lockers to change. There was enough time for a nice, relaxing shower and to get some food before they left. Not that he doubted they would catch enough fish for meals, of course, but just because he had some time to kill.
The shower was, as expected, very nice. He almost hated to leave it behind in search of food. But he had a nice discussion with one of the SG teams in charge of stellar cartography about the equation Sam had put together a few months before regarding the probability of various systems and planets to contain gates. The conversation went longer than his sandwich and chips lasted, and his attention span was not nearly long enough. His attention wandered.
Jack looked up from his empty plate, looking confused.
One of the men was smirking. "For the last five minutes you've been looking like you were going to sneeze. Thought I'd head it off before it started."
"How thoughtful. I'll have to remember that one next time I'm around Daniel." He sniffed and let the breath out slowly. "But there's no need. I wasn't going to sneeze."
Jack nodded and seized his tray. "Really. But I'd better be going." He wished them luck with their projects and said he'd see them around. They said the same and he headed out, dumping his trash along the way. The hallway was still dark, and he thought about going to find Sam to ask about the situation on base.
But first he checked to make sure the coast was clear, then buried his nose in the crook of his arm. "HEHShoo! AhhKShooo!" He sniffed hard and rubbed his nose against his sleeve before carrying on.
His shoe slid as he took a step. And he steadied himself with a hand against the wall. It felt slimy and cold to the touch and he pulled his hand back at once, startled. He stared at the wall, finding it was covered with a layer of green something. It felt warm on his hand and knew that could not be a good sign.
"Sir?" Coincidentally, Sam was walking down the hallway, a file in one hand and a small machine cradled in her arms.
"Did you see this?" Jack asked, gesturing at the walls.
"Sure," she said, looking down at the papers in her arms. "It's--"
"It's kind of sticky and warm," he finished.
Her head snapped up. "Wait- you didn't touch it did you?"
"Yes, but just for a second..."
Jack watched as Sam raced over to the emergency alarm and slammed her hand down on the button to turn it on. As the siren wailed and the lights flashed, Jack rolled his eyes. "What is this stuff, Carter?"
"It's a mold SG-8 picked up on PFX-323. Relatively innocuous expect for its quick rate of growth. They've developed a spray that slows it down and stops its growth, at least for a while. But they haven't been able to get rid of it completely yet."
Wearing a black tank top and carrying his staff, Teal'c came jogging down the hallway. "What is the emergency?" he asked. He looked about, then his gaze rested upon Jack. "You did not touch it, did you, O'Neill?"
Jack sighed. "No one warned me."
Teal'c's eyebrow rose again. "By now you should know not to touch strange substances."
Before Jack could reply with something inappropriate, Sam spoke again. "We're sorry, Sir. We didn't realize it had spread to this part of the base already." She looked up. "It must be coming down through the ducts."
Feeling quite overwhelmed, Jack wasn't surprised when a medical team descended upon him several seconds later. They scrubbed his hand then swept him off to the infirmary. Finding himself sitting once again on one of the nice white beds, Jack sighed.
Daniel passed by, almost too absorbed by a stack of papers he was reading that he nearly missed Jack. Daniel groaned when he saw him. "Let me guess: you touched the mold?"
"How does everyone know about this except for me?" Jack asked, feeling somewhat overwhelmed and lost. It felt like they'd only just returned from PQX-899 and already the rest of his team seemed absorbed with this situation.
"Don't worry," Dr. Janet Fraser told him as she approached with a tray of instruments. She slipped a plaster cover on a thermometer and eased it into Jack's mouth and under his tongue at once. "You'll have plenty of opportunity to get caught up as you're on base quarantine."
"Quarantine!" Jack exclaimed.
"A number of personnel who have come in contact with the mold have had severe reactions to it. We haven't lost anyone yet, thankfully, but I'm afraid you'll need to stay on base for regular observation."
Thoughts of the planned vacation sped through Jack's head. He had never wanted to get away more than he did at the moment. He wanted to be in a remote lake-side cabin upstate, far away from cell phones and emergencies and mold... not stuck on base during his vacation time, being observed by a bunch of doctors for-- "How long do I need to be here?"
"Two hours, to be safe, assuming the best. Most people who had reactions did so in the first twenty minutes. But it's taken a few up to two hours to show symptoms. So better safe than sorry."
"Just two hours," Jack repeated, doing the calculations in his head. "That would leave me about a half an hour from our departure time," he said with a smile. "I can still make the trip."
"Assuming that you don't show any signs of a reaction." She clicked her pen-sized flashlight on.
The second the light hit his eyes, Jack felt the intense urge to sneeze. He tried to hold it back until Dr. Fraser had finished with him, but only made it as far as the pause between her checking his eyes and his mouth. "hah-hah-Choo! HuhShoo!" He muttered an apology and, even though the other three members of SG-1 were right there, no one said anything about the sneezes if they noticed them. Dr. Fraser made no mention of it, either, but she did note his slightly elevated temperature. She also handed him a tissue.
"Mmm," she nodded. "Paralysis."
"Oh," Jack said, nodding back. "Is that all?" She smiled and finished up without incident.
"Two hours, huh?" he asked, rubbing the back of his neck as he stood up after passing the examination with flying colors. "If anyone needs me, I'll be napping in preparation for our long drive."
Jack gave them all a smile as he headed to bed. The room he kept on base was relatively sparse. Apart from clothes and a few possessions, it was pretty much filled with books he'd consulted once or twice and papers he'd been meaning to get around to reading. There was also a single bed up against one wall. He was asleep the second he his head hit the pillow.
He woke exactly two hours later to knocks on the door. Jack opened his eyes and blinked at his wristwatch. He sat up and did a quick self-evaluation. He did not feel remotely paralyzed. He did, however, feel cold and tired and somewhat stuffed-up. He held a fist up to his face. "hahh... ahh-AHHChoo! HahhShooo! Hahhh..." The knocking continued. He looked up at the door for a moment, then snapped forward. "hahhShuhhh!"
Jack rubbed at his nose, sniffed hard. Deciding that it was not possible for him to be sick now of all times, Jack pulled the door open. The rest of SG-1 stood there, out of uniform and looking curious. "How is your hand, O'Neill?" asked Teal'c.
Jack raised it and wiggled his fingers. "Stick shift? No problem." He grinned. And then he yawned.
"You know, if you want to postpone this trip for a day or two, they probably wouldn't say no to a few extra hands around base, Sir," Sam said.
"Uh-uh," Jack said, with a shake of his head. If he gave them a day or two, knowing the way SG-1 worked, they would take a week easily. And they were all in need of vacation, whether they knew it or not. "We're going. And we're going to have a good time. Don't make me order you." They all smiled or chuckled, not knowing how close to an honest threat that was. "Now, is everybody ready?" Whether they were or not, they'd agreed to this vacation and Jack wasn't about to let them out of it for anything now. Following Jack's lead, they headed to the elevator.
Jack took his eyes off the road briefly to glance back over his shoulder at Daniel. "Yeah?"
"Ah, do you maybe want a Kleenex?"
Jack resisted the sudden urge to sniff and rub at his nose. "No," he replied rather curly. "I'm fine. But th-thanks. Huhhh-hahh-AHShuhh!" The sneeze was quick, and he had stayed in control of the vehicle.
In the rearview mirror, he saw Daniel and Teal'c exchange a look, and Jack groaned to himself. Now he couldn't help but sniffle and rub his nose with the side of his hand. If this continued much longer, he suspected they might gang up on him and make him turn the car back around. His hopes rose as they passed a sign for the lake. Just another fifteen minutes and they'd be there.
Fifteen turned to thirty as there was a small accident blocking one lane of the road and cars were forced to take turns going in one direction then the other. As they passed by, it looked like someone had run into a deer. They windshield was smashed, the front was dented, and the airbag had deployed.
Despite taking his hand off the wheel to rub his nose frequently, Jack drove more cautiously after that. Dusk had turned into darkness but chances were that deer were still around.
Though it was dark when they reached the rental cabin, Jack had no trouble locating it. Everyone filed out of the SUV and grabbed as much of their luggage and provisions as could be carried. Teal'c took Jack's bag momentarily as they waited for Jack to unlock the door. Then they all filed inside. "Sniff! There are two bedrooms and a couch out here that I'm happy to crash on. Sniff! Sniff! I figured Sam should get a room to herself. Sniff!"
"Sounds good," Daniel said, clearly not referring to how Jack sounded. He peered into the bedrooms to see a queen-sized bed in one and two singles in the other. "But I really don't mind the couch. Sure you don't want a bed, Jack?"
"I told you I'm fine," he insisted, tossing his duffle onto the couch. "Though I could use a beer." He grabbed one out of the six-pack they'd brought with them. Then he squatted down in front of the fireplace and began stacking wood in it for a fire.
The cabin was quaint but certainly large enough for the four of them. Apart from the two bedrooms, large enough to hold beds and dressers, there was a separate bathroom and a kitchen with modern appliances and a walk-in pantry. But the main living room was the largest part of the cabin by far. There were wall-to-wall bookcases and across from that was a giant fireplace. Two couches and several armchairs sat in the middle, surrounding the fireplace with a beautiful albeit generic picture of the lake hanging over the mantle.
"I suggest we unpack and then go to bed," Teal'c said.
Sam was already unpacking the groceries they'd brought and stocking the refrigerator. Daniel, momentarily distracted by the sea of books that had come along with the place, sorted their bags into the proper rooms and set their equipment off to the side, up against a wall. Teal'c helped Jack with the fire. "Wish you'd brought your staff weapon," Jack remarked as he stared at the small flame that was devouring the balled-up newspaper and kindling but avoiding the larger logs. "A blast or two and we'd have had this thing in the bag."
"I am not allowed to take it off the base, O'Neill," Teal'c replied reasonably.
Jack nodded, not bothering to explain it was a joke. Luckily, the flames rose. He sat back rubbing his hands together, enjoying the warmth. Teal'c nodded approvingly. "I believe I will retire now," he said, standing. "Goodnight."
"Night," he said with a wave. He wished the others the same as they headed off to bed as well. Then he found a few blankets along with the towels beneath the sink in the bathroom and he made up the couch for himself. He fell onto it with a relieved sigh, sinking into the soft, squishy cushions and the thick blankets.
"huhhh-hahhh-Chshhhhh! hahhhChushhhh! Sniff!" Jack pulled himself up again. He headed back to the bathroom and rummaged around beneath the sink until he found a small tissue box. He ripped it open and pulled a tissue out from the top. Another sprung up in place afterwards, and he took that one as well to blow his nose into. It was a little louder than he'd wanted, to he quickly shut the door before bunching up the tissues and blowing again.
When he headed back to the couch, he took the box with him and dropped it on the floor beside the couch for when he needed it again. He wasn't about to admit he was sick. If he did, they'd all do that logic thing they do so well and there would be no more vacation. He wasn't going to get this far into the vacation only to head back home now. So he wasn't sick. But if he were, he was certain rest would do him some good. Jack wrapped up tightly in the blankets and did his very best to fall asleep before he could sneeze again.
"O'Neill, did you not just finish telling us that we needed to be quiet in order to catch fish?"
After the sneezes, Jack rubbed his running nose on his cuff and nodded. He looked over at Teal'c who raised an eyebrow. "Oh, don't give me the eyebrow," Jack said. He checked the bait at the end of his line, then cast out again. It fell with a plop into the lake, sending small, concentric circles of ripples out towards the other lines. They were spaced about three feet apart from each other as all four members of SG-1 sat on the bank and waited for the fish to start biting.
They had intended to start fishing very early in the morning, but it had taken longer than expected to explain the intricacies to everyone, and Daniel's line continually got tangled. After a bit of trial and error, and instruction interspersed with sneezes, they'd moved on from lesson to practice.
Apart from them, the spot was deserted. The lake, surrounded by a forest, was full of bends and there was not even another cabin in sight, let alone other people. The morning sunlight streamed down upon them through the branches of the trees. Though it felt warm upon his face, Jack still felt colder than he thought he should, reasonably.
"hahh-HAHShooo!" He sneezed into the side of his hand, then scrubbed his finger against his nose. He glanced around at everyone, obviously staring at him. "I'm fine," he insisted. Then he turned his attention back towards the lake and gave a deep, hearty sigh. "How's everyone else doing? Relaxing, isn't this?" A few nods answered. Out of the four of them, Jack probably felt the least relaxed. He was chilled and his nose kept tickling. It was all he could do to rub most of the tickles away before they could strike.
"I don't know about the rest of you," said Daniel, skeptically looking at Jack. "But I'm getting hungry."
"Hungry?" said Jack, checking his watch to be sure he had not blacked out the morning. "We had breakfast less than an hour ago! I can still taste the fruit loops."
"Actually," said Sam, catching on. "I'm a little hungry, too. Maybe we should take a break."
All eyes were on Teal'c. He hesitated for a moment, his face like stone. Then, "I am indeed hungry," he said. "Famished."
Having been outvoted, Jack sighed. "Let's stay out at least until one of us gets a tug on the line." They were shaking their heads. He sniffed. "A bite?" They were silent. "A nibble?" More shaking. "All right all ready," he caved. "We'll go inside and have something to eat."
Jack sat down on the couch, amidst the mess of blankets he hadn't bothered folding that morning. Sam took the other couch, Teal'c took the chair, and Daniel headed into the kitchen. He rooted around in the fridge and cupboards for a few moments, then he poked his head out. "We forgot to buy bread."
Jack groaned to himself. From the way they had all kept their coats on, he'd been expecting something like this. Of course, he hadn't taken his off, either, but that was because he was still cold.
"And jam. It's hard to have trout and jam without the jam part of it."
Jack covered his face with his palm. "And why would we eat that anyway?"
But no one was listening to Jack as Daniel grabbed the keys off the table and asked who wanted to accompany him on the drive down to the general store they'd passed on their way up. Naturally, Sam leapt at the chance and Teal'c needed a firm look in order to understand. Then he pulled his hat on and over the symbol on his forehead.
Jack waited a good minute after they were gone before retrieving the box of tissues he'd stashed under the couch. He thought about making another fire, but decided it was too much trouble. So, instead, he wrapped up in the blankets.
"hahh!" He pulled a few tissues out of the box. He paused. He sniffled. And he pitched forward. "hahhHAHSHOO! HuhhhhChoo! hahhhShooo!" Glad to be alone, he blew his nose without bothering to duck into the bathroom. Then he rested his head against the back of the couch. All signs pointed towards the fact that he was sick. If others looked or sounded or felt the way he did, he'd have sworn they were sick. But this was vacation. Jack didn't get sick on vacation. That wasn't allowed. Naps, on the other hand, were.
Jack woke a little short of lunch as he heard the sound of the SUV's engine cutting off and doors slamming closed. He shrugged off the blankets and hid the tissues beneath, but not before giving his nose a good blow. "Hey," he said around clearing his throat when they entered. "Got everything you needed?" What he needed, apparently, was to cough, but he held it back.
"We did," Daniel said with a nod. He stood beside the couch, on its far end, and set the grocery bags down on the arm. Then he dug through it. "Bread... jam..." He took the items out one at a time and handed them to Sam. "Potato chips... salsa..."
Jack pressed a fist to his lips and tried to cough subtly. But one cough turned into twenty. And he was bent over at the waist, shaking with coughs before he knew what was happening. When he opened his eyes, he found a small bottle of orange Gatorade dangling in front of his face, courtesy of Daniel. "What's this?" he asked, taking it.
"I have been informed that these colored beverages are almost as good as colored gelatin."
"Which..." Daniel reached into the bag again, "We picked up, as well." He pulled out a package of six cups of bright lime green. "Just in case."
"We also got some... other items," Sam said, taking the more innocuous items to the kitchen.
Daniel silently took out a box of Kleenex and some cold medicine. Jack rolled his eyes. "Why--"
"You are most obviously ill, O'Neill," Teal'c told him.
"I'm not," Jack said, raising a finger and shaking it slightly.
Daniel flipped the box over and scanned the back. Murmuring, "Take one pill every six-to-eight hours as needed to relieve symptoms."
"What symp... hahh..." He rubbed his nose. "hahhh-Shuhhh! Sniff! What symptoms?"
Teal'c stared at Jack, cocked his head, and raised an eyebrow.
"I'm on vacation!" Jack exclaimed. "I'm not sick! Sniff!" He rubbed the side of his hand under his nose.
"Okay, okay," Daniel said, motioning for Jack to calm down. "Let's work with a hypothetical then. If, in theory, one of us were to have a cold... then that person could take some cold medicine like, oh, say, this stuff right here, and then would not have to cut his or her vacation short in order to return home."
Jack's hand slowed in its rubbings. "Six-to-eight hours you say?" He lunged forward and reached over with his other hand to grab the package. He poked a pill out from the foil pack and washed it down with a gulp of Gatorade. "Well, then, I'll be good until dinnertime. So if you'll all excuse me..." He stood, stretched, then went for his fishing rod.
"I will accompany you." Teal'c made the call on his own, but Jack had no problem with it. The walk to the edge of the lake took a minute, maybe two. But it took Jack nearly five to get settled. He selected a nice spot on the slope on which to sit and then he had to get his rod ready and hook baited. This was made more difficult by the fact that he continued to sneeze.
"hahhhh-Shuhhh! ahhhChuhhh!" He rubbed miserably at his nose. Fishing around in his pocket, he found a tissue that wasn't completely useless and blew his nose.
"Did you not take the pill, O'Neill?" Jack looked over at Teal'c and nodded. "Then you will start feeling better very soon."
Teal'c, and his logic, were probably right this time, and it was rather comforting to hear. "Thanks," Jack said, giving him a smile. Teal'c nodded back then they both cast out into the lake. Jack watched the water in a calm, meditative sort of way. He occasionally sneezed, but he fell asleep before very long, ready to wake if and when he felt a tug on the line.
"O'Neill... we need your help. Please wake up."
Sleepy and wanting to go right back to sleep, Jack lifted a hand and waved dismissively. He thought he recognized the voice. "Go 'way, Daniel," he said groggily. "Sleeping."
"I am not Daniel."
Confused, and failing to fall asleep again, Jack opened his eyes. An Asgard stood beside him, and Teal'c was just behind him. Both were looking at him. Jack rubbed his face and coughed, waking himself up. "Of course you're not," Jack said, blinking. What's wrong, Thor?"
"I require your assistance in a most urgent matter."
Jack sighed. "Of course you do." He shivered and pointed towards the cabin with his thumb. "Let's head inside."
It was a slow but short walk, and Jack cleared his throat before calling Sam and Daniel over. "Guys, we've got company." He grabbed the tissues off the couch and coughed into a handful of them until everyone was assembled in the main room. Jack took his seat on the couch again.
Thor stood in the center. "There is a planet in a nearby quadrant of the galaxy under Asgard protection," he explained. "Our resources are almost entirely devoted to stopping the replicators, but we detected Goa'uld activity on the planet. I managed to eliminate the threat, however I could not respond as quickly as I would have liked. The people are in a state of disarray after the incident."
"Well why can't you..." Jack's eyes closed and his breath caught. He fought against it for a moment, looking desperately over towards Sam and Daniel. Then he pressed tissues to his nose. "HAHChoo! HuhhhhChoo!" He bent in half, shoulders rising with coughs. "hahhhShooo!" And more sneezes.
Sam took over for him. "I think what he's trying to ask is why you aren't able to help them."
Thor's head gave a small nod. "Their civilization was sent into chaos thanks to the Goa'uld occupation. Beliefs were challenged, systems of government fell. It is important that they repair it themselves, and I greatly fear the presence of an outsider such as myself would do much more harm than good."
"Okay..." Daniel cocked his head. "So how would we be able to help? We would be outsiders, too."
"They are humanoid," Thor explained. "Many feel the Goa'uld was a false God but they are suffering a crisis of faith as well. And as your planet suffered similarly under a Goa'uld, you will be able to explain it to them as I could not."
"So you deed us to go," Jack said. He grumbled, tapping his fingers against his thigh, and blew his nose. With a deep breath, "You need us to go to the planet and talk to these people."
Jack sighed. "Right. Should have guessed. This vacation was pretty much doomed from the start." He massaged his temples with thumb and forefinger.
"Sir? Whether you'll admit it or not, you're not well..."
Jack nodded. "It's just a head cold, Carter. I've worked under worse conditions. Sniff! At least I've got a choice about it this time." He leaned forward with his hands on his thighs and pushed himself up out of his seat. "All right. Let's saddle up and ship out and see if we can't get this straightened out. Everyone on board?" Agreeing, the others rose to their feet as well. "Good. The sooner we finish there, the sooner we can get back here. Wouldn't want all that jam to go to waste, would we? Besides..." All five were absorbed in a white light and, an instant later, found themselves standing in the control room back on base. The technicians all jumped and stared at them. Jack smiled. "I left my car in the woods," he said with a shrug.