A Day May Be Too Long

“Jack!”

“What? You want me to explain this to you… again?”

Daniel frowned, gaze darting from side to side as he tried to remember some long forgotten conversation. “Again? I don’t remember you trying to explain this the first time… if there ever was a first time.”

“Oh, there was and I have. You just don’t remember.”

“Or you never explained it to me to begin with and this is just your way of having fun at my expense. You know it’s not funny.”

“I don’t know about that,” Jack chuffed in a know-it-all way. “Hey, how about we put this down to you having another AO moment?”

“AO?”

“Yeah, you know how it goes: AO comes after BO.”

Daniel’s frown deepened even more as he stared at the object in his hand and then back up at Jack. “Body odor? Seriously?”

“Body… what? No, Daniel… BO is Before Oma and AO is…”

“Yeah, yeah, I get it. Lame, Jack, real lame.”

“Hey!” Jack quipped, “No knocking the acronym challenged! It’s not like I had a whole heap of options to choose from.”

“The obvious would have been acceptable, I guess. You know—BD and AD—before death and after death.”

“Not funny,” Jack whispered coolly, his suddenly sour expression catching Daniel unaware.

“Sorry, I guess some people use humor to mask emotion. I just never figured you for that kind of person."

Jack brushed off the conversation with a shrug. “So, it’s like I said; a rock is a rock is a rock.”

“Or in this case an artifact. Now I know this conversation is old.”

“You remember?”

“No, but your apathy is a telling factor. This,” he said holding up the rock, “is an early Native American arrow head. You can tell by the angle of the cuts used to shape the rock and hone the point.”

“As compared to being a shard from a larger rock that fell from a height and split open? All looks the same to me.”

“And this is why I’m the archaeologist and you shoot people. Look, we chose this world because it fell within a local cluster of planets where artifacts common to those of the Native American Indians of Earth have been found.”

“Well, it looks like a rock to me. Heck, barely an antique.”

“Artifact!”

“Same difference!”

“No, no it’s not. An antique is a collectable or rare item of at least one hundred years of age. This arrowhead is probably a thousand years old at least and of no intrinsic value to anyone except archaeologists and cultural historians.”

Jack plucked the arrowhead out of Daniel’s hand and held it up in front of his face, turning it from side to side. “Yeah, definitely a rock… maybe an antique.”

“Jack!”

~oOo~

“Major Carter?”

“Yeah, Teal’c, I can hear them.”

Sam picked up another arrowhead and placed it in a specimen container, taking a moment to look over her should at the colonel and Daniel. Daniel looked positively flustered--hands waving animatedly in the air as he tried to make his point--but the colonel was barbed and ready to pounce with his repertoire of ready-rehearsed witty one-liners. The smile she could see him trying to smother was infectious.

“This mission is slated to last just one day, is it not?”

“It is,” she said with a sympathetic sigh. "A day may be too long."

~oOo~

“Did you know that in some countries an object over fifty years can also be considered antique? The hundred year rule can be quite flexible depending upon historical context.”

“Really?” Jack kicked at the ground and toed the loose rocks with his boot; his most refined archaeological skill. “Fifty years, you say?”

“Yep. I’m considering having you carbon dated when we get home. Pretty sure there’s a museum out there interested in obtaining another old fossil.”
.

“Hey!”

The End

 

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