Why an Astrophysicist?
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Category: Thoughts
Season: Season 5
Pairing: none
Rating: PG
Warnings: adult themes, minor language
Summary: Jack, Daniel and Teal'c discuss their fellow team member.

Why An Astrophysicist?

Cheyenne Mountain Briefing Room:

The sound of Carter's shrill voice was still echoing down the corridors as the three men removed their earplugs.

"Life around here sure has gotten a lot better since you thought of using these gizmos, Daniel," Jack said, pulling the object from his ear.

"Indeed. It has become far more pleasant, now that we have a means of blocking MajorCarter's most annoying voice," Teal'c intoned.

"Aw, thanks. It's nothing, just a little trick I picked up when I had that part-time job cleaning the hyena pens at the Chicago City Zoo," Daniel said, practically blushing.

"Christ, I'd like to strangle her when she gets going. I don't know what's worse, her shrieking or spouting endless technobabble," Jack said.

"Sure, Dannyboy here can get kinda tedious when he's in full lecture mode, but at least he's talking about people, so I can understand what he's saying, and sometimes it's even kinda interesting. MajorDoctor Technobabble, on the other hand, has gotta be the most boring person I ever met. I tell ya, if she weren't George's goddaughter, I woulda shoved a sock in her pie hole a loooong time ago," Jack said.

"Gee, thanks," Daniel said dryly. "I know what you mean, though. Once I made the mistake of asking her the time."

"DanielJackson, why was that a mistake?" Teal'c inquired.

"Because instead of looking at her wristwatch and telling me the time like a normal person, she FIRST had to tell me how to make a watch," Daniel said.

"Brutal," Jack commiserated.

"Tell me something, Jack," Daniel said, a puzzled frown creasing his forehead. "Why exactly did you pick Sam for the second mission to Abydos? I mean, Earth had been attacked by men armed with extremely advanced weapons; an Air Force officer had been kidnapped and you had no idea what you were going to find on Abydos. For all you knew, Ra had come back. So what the hell were you thinking, bringing along a Doctor of Theoretical Astrophysics with you on a military mission?"

Jack looked at Daniel. "Hell, Daniel, I didn't `pick' her, Hammond foisted her off on me. Over my objections, I may add," he said sardonically.

"What objections?" said Daniel.

"Her complete lack of combat experience for one," Jack responded.

"I don't understand. I thought Sam logged over 100 hours in the air during the Gulf War," Daniel asked.

"This cannot be true," Teal'c said. "I have studied the military history of the Tauri most extensively, and the Gulf War ended in 1991. If my research has been correct, your government did not allow females to fly combat aircraft until 1993."

"You're right on the money, big guy," Jack said. "No, I don't know where Carter was in `91, but she sure the hell wasn't flying A-10s over Baghdad."

"Then how DID she make it on the team?" Daniel asked again. "I could never figure out why the Air Force assigned someone who can whip up superweapons in jig time to a field unit. Am I the only one who's noticed that the only thing she does on most off-world missions is gather soil samples? Any idiot could do that," Daniel said with a brief glance at Jack.

Jack shot Daniel a contemptuous look. "Her father's a general, pal, how do you think she got on the team. It sure wasn't for her combat experience, diplomatic skills or general usefulness."

"I see," Daniel said, "well that clears THAT up".

"Indeed," Teal'c said. "O'Neill, am I correct in assuming that nepotism also the reason that although MajorCarter has behaved in a most unprofessional manner on numerous occasions, and her gross incompetence has caused untold suffering on other worlds, she is still a member of the SGC?"

"Yeah. When I think of all the times she's disobeyed direct orders, and treated me, her CO, with outright contempt. And another thing, I'm sick and tired of her acting like I'm some kind of dummy," Jack bitched. "I DO have a master's degree, for crying out loud, and I speak four languages. Sheesh, when I think of the boneheaded stunts she's pulled over the years," Jack said, shaking his head.

"Like what?" Daniel asked.

"Like that time we nearly froze to death in Antarctica because it didn't occur to the `Visionary Genius' to TRY ANOTHER GATE ADDRESS instead of jumping to the conclusion that the DHD was faulty and wasting four freaking days messing with it. Christ, if I hadn't been out of my mind with pain I would have dragged myself over to the DHD and dialed up the Land of Light, broken leg or not. Good save, by the way," Jack said, smiling at Daniel.

"Good times," Daniel said.

"Remember the time she gave Linea, a convicted criminal and self-confessed murderer a tutorial in the SGC computer system and let her escape," Jack said. "Oh yeah, THAT was real smart. How many people died as a result?"

"God knows what the final body count was, and I really didn't appreciate becoming the love interest of the `Destroyer of Worlds' either," Daniel said.

"Maybourne's still pissed about that "couldn't you stop being stupid for one day" crack. Okay, Harry can be pigheaded at times, but still, what the hell was MAJOR Carter doing speaking to COLONEL Maybourne like that? I don't care what the circumstances are, you just don't talk to a superior officer like that," Jack said.

"She was pretty rude to General Bauer too, as I recall," Daniel said.

"Indeed," Teal'c said. "I have noticed MajorCarter's impoliteness to superior officers on numerous occasions as well."

"Get this, Carter's been bitching about getting her own command," Jack said. "She thinks that her `stellar performance' with the Aeschen proves she's ready."

"O'Neill, did you not praise her?" Teal'c asked.

"Buddy, that was BEFORE I found out the she'd sent the code to open the iris, KNOWING that the Aeschen were aiming a bioweapon straight at the SGC. Sure, she managed to land a split second before the launch, and we were able to close the iris in time, but, my god, it was close. A couple of seconds later and everyone on earth would have been infected. And don't get me started on the way she left Joe Faxon, a civilian under her care, behind to face god knows what torture at the hands of those bastards," Jack said, his face flushing with anger. "Damnit, we DON'T leave our people behind. But, hey, she managed to save her own ass and that's what counts."

"The Black Widow strikes again," Daniel quipped.

"Talking about The Black Widow, you guys remember her fiancee, Jonas?" Jack asked.

"You mean Mr. `I'm a God'?" Daniel asked. "I'll never forget that mission."

"Me neither. First Carter point blank refuses to go back to the SGC and get reinforcements, leaving the five of us to handle 500 of them. Then she turns herself in to the ex, all the while claiming she can handle the situation. After that boneheaded move, she has the drop on the guy, wusses out, and because of that several more people got barbecued," Jack said. "Christ, she could have shot him in the leg or something. If you and Teal'c hadn't figured out how that gizmo worked, we all would have been toast. Thanks again, by the way."

"It was nothing," Daniel said modestly. "Hey, did I ever tell you about the time I shot up the tank full of baby goa'ulds; Sam suddenly turned into a liberal and lectured me about the sanctity of life. Claimed I was no better than a goa'uld."

"You're kidding," Jack said, incredulous. "She was upset because you offed a bunch of snakes?"

"No I'm not kidding. I guess the 100+ people I spared from becoming hosts were less important than a batch of goa'uld larva. Excuse me for putting my own species first," Daniel said, shaking his head.

"Or how about harboring that Nylon guy," Jack said.

"Orlin," Daniel and Teal'c chorused.

"Whatever. What really stuck in my craw was her attitude that I should apologize for doing my job, or am I NOT supposed to inform my CO when a member of my team is visited at home by an alien?" Jack said.

"The behavior you exhibited was most professional, O'Neill," Teal'c said. "MajorCarter's petulance was not."

"Hey, I try," Jack shrugged.

"Uh, Jack, pardon me if this is none of my business, but weren't you supposed to be in love with Sam for a while there?" Daniel asked.

Jack aimed another killer glare at his companion. "Danny, name one time, just one, before that Zantac thingy scrambled my brains, when I showed ANY romantic interest in Carter?"

Daniel honestly couldn't come up with a single incident. In fact, when he thought about the subject, he recalled that Jack had been both incredulous and uncomfortable after hearing that he and Sam had been engaged in the alternate reality. He also vividly recalled Jack's discomfort when the second AU Sam had visited the SGC. That Sam had clung to the poor Colonel like a leach, oblivious to his embarrassment. Come to think of it, Jack hadn't wasted any time moving in with Laira when he was stranded on Edora. Hardly the action of a man secretly pining for his 2IC.

"Sure, tall blondes are my type, you met Sara, but the only thing I ever felt for Carter was a mild attraction, and believe me, that died the first time she let loose with the technobabble," Jack continued. "Anyway, do I look dumb enough to throw away a 30 year career for a piece of tail? Believe me, nobody's THAT cute."

"True," Daniel agreed. "Do you remember the time we visited the Mongol world?"

"Of course," Jack said.

"Is it standard procedure for captured personnel to mouth off to some big, mean, violent warlord who's holding them hostage and then encourage the guy's teenaged daughter to elope, knowing full well that if the girl gets caught, she'll face the death penalty?" Daniel asked sarcastically.

"Uh, no," Jack said, matching Daniel's sarcasm.

"Does MajorCarter still believe that she was victorious?" Teal'c asked.

"Apparently," Daniel said. "I guess it never crossed her mind that Turghan might have thrown the fight to save his beloved daughter. No, she still thinks she won it fair and square, despite the fact that the guy outweighed her by about 100 pounds, most of it solid muscle."

"There's no substitute for muscle," Jack agreed. "I don't care how much training you have. Just when did she do all this training anyway? During her years in the physics lab?"

"Beats me. It was probably when she did all that combat flying," Daniel said.

"Enough about Carter. Let's go back to my place for pizza," Jack said.

"Sounds good," said Daniel.

"It indeed would be most pleasurable," said Teal'c.

"Come on then, let's blow this popstand," Jack said.

The End.