~Repercussions~~Repercussions~

Irony was well and truly alive in Jack’s little corner of the universe.  Cosmic giddiness reigned over decency and common sense, in a way that left him both confused and fairly pissed off. 

He clenched his fist, tucking the fingers in tightly behind his thumb to stop them from strumming on the General’s desk top and earning him an accusatory stare that would undoubtedly be followed up with mutterings of insubordination from his CO.  Jack knew the threat would be idle, but the hard stare Hammond was throwing him brokered no response… even though he was going to give it.

“Of all the lame-”

“Colonel!”

Jack groaned for effect as he tipped his head back and let out a long held breath.  “Is there anything you can do, sir?  Pull in a marker? Call up a friend in high places?  The President?”

“I can’t do that, Jack, and you know it.  He broke under interrogation and later admitted to giving away classified information to the enemy.  In anyone’s book that makes him a liability in the field.”

“Circumstances-”

Hammond puffed out his chest and shook his head sourly.  “It doesn’t matter that the enemy ended up dead and the information never made it any further than the rebel cell involved, he’s already given a statement of fact and implicated himself.  Let’s be clear here, Jack.”

“What, clearer than denying we sent two civilians into a hot zone without any back-up whatsoever, and with no means of defending themselves? General,” Jack waved a hand in the air, “all due respect to your fine decision making skills, but it was the wrong call to make.”

“Careful, Colonel,” Hammond warned, “The process that led to Dr. Jackson and Dr. Lee being sent to Central America on their own came from further up the chain.”

For a moment there – and Jack was being perfectly honest with himself – this all smelt of Hammond shirking the onus of command and passing the proverbial buck onto someone else.  He couldn’t blame him as it clearly negated any responsibility for a mission that went horribly south, and placed it onto shoulders that could more easily carry the failure.  But was it a failure?  They had the device and both Daniel and Lee were back at the mountain – albeit more than a little worse for wear – and with the help of the Tok’ra, they’d hopefully soon have a way to defeat Anubis’ super soldiers. 

But not everyone came out of this mission smelling like roses.

“I asked for back-up on this one, Jack, but the Joint Chiefs shut me down.  Either Jackson and Lee came home with the device…”

“They were expendable,” Jack said deadpan.  “That’s it, isn’t it?  They didn’t want to stir the hornets nest if a serving member was caught by rebels on an unsanctioned mission.  Keeping the peace with the Honduras and Nicaraguan governments was worth more than the price of two scientists.”

Hammond’s lack of answer and expressionless face when presented with the truth was all the answer Jack needed.

“So, what?  Lee gets to take an early retirement or spend his last working years in some backwater job because the Pentagon wouldn’t spring for back-up for fear of a little international embarrassment if I’d been caught?  Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong or have IQs just dropped slightly in Washington?”

“What happened behind the scenes isn’t up for a critique here, Jack.  Dr. Lee broke under interrogation and I don’t need to show you Dr. Fraiser’s medical report on Dr. Jackson’s physical condition to tell you exactly what the repercussions were.”

He didn’t, and Jack already knew how it had gone down for Daniel.  No way would he have fed the fire that Lee had already started, just the opposite – that stubborn Jackson streak would have reared its ugly head and dug in its claws.  Only this time, Daniel hadn’t been squaring off against a System Lord. No, he’d been staring down at one of his own kind and on his own planet.  The physical pain would heal but what about the mental?

“So, what do we do, sir?”

“My hands are tied.  The Pentagon is treating Dr. Lee as they would if he’d been a member of the defense force.”

“By tossing him out on his ear?”

“By offering him alternative employment options. Quite frankly, I’m not too sure the good doctor won’t take up the offer considering what he’s just been through.”

Without dragging out his ‘been there done that’ T-shirt on the pros and cons of being a POW, Jack could well understand if Bill Lee chose the quiet life of a sedentary job well away from the SGC.  He wasn’t particularly fond of the scientist, and spilling his guts to his captors hadn’t exactly elevated the man’s status in his eyes, but with no field training, and especially no interrogation training, Bill Lee had been sent blind into enemy territory.

Shifting in his chair, Jack leaned one elbow on the armrest and rested his head in his hands, giving the General a long stare. 

“Since we’re playing the blame game here, sir, I’m gonna throw out a suggestion for you to consider.”

“I get the feeling I’m not going to like this, am I?”

Well,” Jack drawled out, wincing, “It’s not a matter of like, but more a case of tossing duty of care squarely back at those responsible.”

“I’m listening.”

“Daniel has been a part of a first contact team since the formation of SG-1 and, despite his status as a civilian; he’s been afforded the same levels of combat and field training given to our front line troops.”

“He’s not the only one, Jack.”

“True,” Jack conceded, “and while Daniel didn’t receive most of his training till after he’d completed several missions with SG-1, he did successfully complete and meet all the requirements expected of him.”

“Your point?” 

“Dr. Lee hasn’t.” Jack let his words hang in the air for a moment before pressing on.  “He’s never been certified for off world missions either as part of a scientific or SG team.  The man spends his time locked up in some lab on level lord-knows-what doing whatever it is he does and we just pull him out and set him down in Honduras hoping for the best.  So, while Daniel can reasonably – and I emphasise ‘reasonably’ - look after himself if he’s caught and interrogated, Dr. Lee doesn’t have the same skills or necessary training to cope.”

Hammond caught on quickly, a small smile tugging at his lips.  “Well done, son.  I think you may have just saved a man’s career.”

~oOo~

“Hey,” Jack whispered as he slid into a chair by Daniel’s beside.  “You sleeping in there?”

Daniel opened one eye, squinted against the harsh light of the infirmary and groaned. “Aren’t you supposed to be with the headmaster?”

“Done that.”

Dragging in a ragged breath, Daniel eased himself up the bed, wincing as the pillow supporting his injured leg, rubbed as he moved. 

“Need a hand?” Jack asked, slipping a hand under Daniel’s arm pit and propping him up.

“I’m fine, it’s just the…” Daniel waved absently at his leg, “It hurts when I move.”

 “Bullets generally do that.”

“Do what?”

“Hurt,” Jack frowned at his response and quickly added, “You know, when you get shot by one.  They hurt.”

As if on cue, Daniel doubled over in the bed and clutched his leg.  “Crap!”

“Cramp?”

Teeth bared, Daniel hissed, “Been having them all day.”

“From the dehydration, I’d expect.”

Rubbing away at the tense muscles, Daniel’s pinched expression softened as the cramp abated slowly.  “With all the fluids Janet’s been pumping into me, you’d think a cramp would be the least of my issues.”

Jack coughed. “Ah, talking about issues…”

“This doesn’t sound good.” With the spasm gone, Daniel leaned back against his pillows and pulled the covers up.  “I take it the meeting with Hammond didn’t go so well.”

Jack winced.  “You could say that.”

“And?”

“And… the brass want Lee drummed from the SGC and shuffled off to some no security job counting paper clips.”

“What! Why?”

“Shh,” Jack crowed, looking about the infirmary to see if Daniel’s outburst had caught anyone’s attention.  “Keep it down.  You wanna get me chucked out by Fraiser?”

“This is all because he talked, isn’t it?” Daniel continued on, heedless of Jack’s request for silence.  “Of all the lame-”

“That’s what I said!”

“Huh?”

“I said: of all the… never mind.  Anyway, I’ve fixed it.”

“You-you have?”

Jack shuffled his chair closer to the bed, resting his hands on the side rail.  “Look, Lee may not be my favorite person and yes, the guy did talk under interrogation, but he also went into this mission without the proper training.  Training, I might add, that is given to all civilian members placed in off world teams.”

“But he didn’t go off world.”

“No, he didn’t. But this was a mission unofficially ‘sanctioned’ – note I’m using the term loosely – by the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs, which means Lee shouldn’t have gone on it in the first place.  He didn’t have the combat training to cope if he was caught, and when he was caught, well… you know the rest.”

Jack caught the pained expression on Daniel’s face and the hand that rubbed reflexively across his chest over burns hidden by his blue scrubs.  His own discovery of the hut they’d conducted the interrogations in and the devices they’d used had made his blood run cold.  One look from Daniel as they waited for Air Rescue to arrive had put paid to any discussions about what exactly had occurred until they were safe on home soil. 

Pushing the thought away, Jack tossed out his hand.  “Anyway,” he said almost as an afterthought. “The General is throwing this whole incident with Dr. Lee back at the Joint Chiefs, but he doesn’t think they’ll carry through with their dismissal threat.  There is one other thing though.”

“Should I be worried?”

“You personally?  No, but the rest of your department, Carter’s too, should be.  I’ve implemented combat and interrogation training for all SGC civilians whether they’re assigned to active teams or not.”

“Ouch,” said Daniel with a mocking wince.  “There’s going to be a lot of people unhappy about this.”

“They don’t submit, they don’t serve.  It’s as easy as that.  Both you and Lee were placed in a bad situation without back-up.  You’ve had the training, know how to deal with this type of crap.  I know you don’t like it, but getting caught comes with the job and it’s always at the back of our minds. It’s not something we can adequately prepare for and know one hundred percent what to do when the time comes, but it’s the very least this unit can do to protect its members by making sure everyone has had some level of training.”

“Does Bill know?”

“About which part?”

Daniel shrugged. “All of it, I guess.  I know he’s wearing the guilt of breaking under interrogation on his sleeve, and he’s been waiting to see if there are any repercussions.  He’s a good guy, Jack.  Don’t string this out by making him wait.”

“Until Hammond has finished with the Joint Chiefs, there’s not much I can do.  I can’t go mouthing off to the Doc while there’s a possibility they won’t buy our reasoning and still demand he’s released from the SGC.”

Daniel gave him a concessionary nod.  “Okay.”

“Good.”  Jack slapped his thigh and made to stand.  “Oh, and by the way, we’ve heard from Carter and Teal’c.  They’re two days away at hyperspeed.”

“Everything okay?”

“Carter mentioned some minor injuries but the mission was apparently a success.”

“Two days, huh.”  Daniel rubbed his leg again and yawned.  “I’ll be out of here by then.”

“Sure,” Jack waved over his shoulder.  “Get some rest, Daniel.”

 

The End

Irony was well and truly alive in Jack’s little corner of the universe.  Cosmic giddiness reigned over decency and common sense, in a way that left him both confused and fairly pissed off. 

He clenched his fist, tucking the fingers in tightly behind his thumb to stop them from strumming on the General’s desk top and earning him an accusatory stare that would undoubtedly be followed up with mutterings of insubordination from his CO.  Jack knew the threat would be idle, but the hard stare Hammond was throwing him brokered no response… even though he was going to give it.

“Of all the lame-”

“Colonel!”

Jack groaned for effect as he tipped his head back and let out a long held breath.  “Is there anything you can do, sir?  Pull in a marker? Call up a friend in high places?  The President?”

“I can’t do that, Jack, and you know it.  He broke under interrogation and later admitted to giving away classified information to the enemy.  In anyone’s book that makes him a liability in the field.”

“Circumstances-”

Hammond puffed out his chest and shook his head sourly.  “It doesn’t matter that the enemy ended up dead and the information never made it any further than the rebel cell involved, he’s already given a statement of fact and implicated himself.  Let’s be clear here, Jack.”

“What, clearer than denying we sent two civilians into a hot zone without any back-up whatsoever, and with no means of defending themselves? General,” Jack waved a hand in the air, “all due respect to your fine decision making skills, but it was the wrong call to make.”

“Careful, Colonel,” Hammond warned, “The process that led to Dr. Jackson and Dr. Lee being sent to Central America on their own came from further up the chain.”

For a moment there – and Jack was being perfectly honest with himself – this all smelt of Hammond shirking the onus of command and passing the proverbial buck onto someone else.  He couldn’t blame him as it clearly negated any responsibility for a mission that went horribly south, and placed it onto shoulders that could more easily carry the failure.  But was it a failure?  They had the device and both Daniel and Lee were back at the mountain – albeit more than a little worse for wear – and with the help of the Tok’ra, they’d hopefully soon have a way to defeat Anubis’ super soldiers. 

But not everyone came out of this mission smelling like roses.

“I asked for back-up on this one, Jack, but the Joint Chiefs shut me down.  Either Jackson and Lee came home with the device…”

“They were expendable,” Jack said deadpan.  “That’s it, isn’t it?  They didn’t want to stir the hornets nest if a serving member was caught by rebels on an unsanctioned mission.  Keeping the peace with the Honduras and Nicaraguan governments was worth more than the price of two scientists.”

Hammond’s lack of answer and expressionless face when presented with the truth was all the answer Jack needed.

“So, what?  Lee gets to take an early retirement or spend his last working years in some backwater job because the Pentagon wouldn’t spring for back-up for fear of a little international embarrassment if I’d been caught?  Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong or have IQs just dropped slightly in Washington?”

“What happened behind the scenes isn’t up for a critique here, Jack.  Dr. Lee broke under interrogation and I don’t need to show you Dr. Fraiser’s medical report on Dr. Jackson’s physical condition to tell you exactly what the repercussions were.”

He didn’t, and Jack already knew how it had gone down for Daniel.  No way would he have fed the fire that Lee had already started, just the opposite – that stubborn Jackson streak would have reared its ugly head and dug in its claws.  Only this time, Daniel hadn’t been squaring off against a System Lord. No, he’d been staring down at one of his own kind and on his own planet.  The physical pain would heal but what about the mental?

“So, what do we do, sir?”

“My hands are tied.  The Pentagon is treating Dr. Lee as they would if he’d been a member of the defense force.”

“By tossing him out on his ear?”

“By offering him alternative employment options. Quite frankly, I’m not too sure the good doctor won’t take up the offer considering what he’s just been through.”

Without dragging out his ‘been there done that’ T-shirt on the pros and cons of being a POW, Jack could well understand if Bill Lee chose the quiet life of a sedentary job well away from the SGC.  He wasn’t particularly fond of the scientist, and spilling his guts to his captors hadn’t exactly elevated the man’s status in his eyes, but with no field training, and especially no interrogation training, Bill Lee had been sent blind into enemy territory.

Shifting in his chair, Jack leaned one elbow on the armrest and rested his head in his hands, giving the General a long stare. 

“Since we’re playing the blame game here, sir, I’m gonna throw out a suggestion for you to consider.”

“I get the feeling I’m not going to like this, am I?”

Well,” Jack drawled out, wincing, “It’s not a matter of like, but more a case of tossing duty of care squarely back at those responsible.”

“I’m listening.”

“Daniel has been a part of a first contact team since the formation of SG-1 and, despite his status as a civilian; he’s been afforded the same levels of combat and field training given to our front line troops.”

“He’s not the only one, Jack.”

“True,” Jack conceded, “and while Daniel didn’t receive most of his training till after he’d completed several missions with SG-1, he did successfully complete and meet all the requirements expected of him.”

“Your point?” 

“Dr. Lee hasn’t.” Jack let his words hang in the air for a moment before pressing on.  “He’s never been certified for off world missions either as part of a scientific or SG team.  The man spends his time locked up in some lab on level lord-knows-what doing whatever it is he does and we just pull him out and set him down in Honduras hoping for the best.  So, while Daniel can reasonably – and I emphasise ‘reasonably’ - look after himself if he’s caught and interrogated, Dr. Lee doesn’t have the same skills or necessary training to cope.”

Hammond caught on quickly, a small smile tugging at his lips.  “Well done, son.  I think you may have just saved a man’s career.”

~oOo~

“Hey,” Jack whispered as he slid into a chair by Daniel’s beside.  “You sleeping in there?”

Daniel opened one eye, squinted against the harsh light of the infirmary and groaned. “Aren’t you supposed to be with the headmaster?”

“Done that.”

Dragging in a ragged breath, Daniel eased himself up the bed, wincing as the pillow supporting his injured leg, rubbed as he moved. 

“Need a hand?” Jack asked, slipping a hand under Daniel’s arm pit and propping him up.

“I’m fine, it’s just the…” Daniel waved absently at his leg, “It hurts when I move.”

 “Bullets generally do that.”

“Do what?”

“Hurt,” Jack frowned at his response and quickly added, “You know, when you get shot by one.  They hurt.”

As if on cue, Daniel doubled over in the bed and clutched his leg.  “Crap!”

“Cramp?”

Teeth bared, Daniel hissed, “Been having them all day.”

“From the dehydration, I’d expect.”

Rubbing away at the tense muscles, Daniel’s pinched expression softened as the cramp abated slowly.  “With all the fluids Janet’s been pumping into me, you’d think a cramp would be the least of my issues.”

Jack coughed. “Ah, talking about issues…”

“This doesn’t sound good.” With the spasm gone, Daniel leaned back against his pillows and pulled the covers up.  “I take it the meeting with Hammond didn’t go so well.”

Jack winced.  “You could say that.”

“And?”

“And… the brass want Lee drummed from the SGC and shuffled off to some no security job counting paper clips.”

“What! Why?”

“Shh,” Jack crowed, looking about the infirmary to see if Daniel’s outburst had caught anyone’s attention.  “Keep it down.  You wanna get me chucked out by Fraiser?”

“This is all because he talked, isn’t it?” Daniel continued on, heedless of Jack’s request for silence.  “Of all the lame-”

“That’s what I said!”

“Huh?”

“I said: of all the… never mind.  Anyway, I’ve fixed it.”

“You-you have?”

Jack shuffled his chair closer to the bed, resting his hands on the side rail.  “Look, Lee may not be my favorite person and yes, the guy did talk under interrogation, but he also went into this mission without the proper training.  Training, I might add, that is given to all civilian members placed in off world teams.”

“But he didn’t go off world.”

“No, he didn’t. But this was a mission unofficially ‘sanctioned’ – note I’m using the term loosely – by the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs, which means Lee shouldn’t have gone on it in the first place.  He didn’t have the combat training to cope if he was caught, and when he was caught, well… you know the rest.”

Jack caught the pained expression on Daniel’s face and the hand that rubbed reflexively across his chest over burns hidden by his blue scrubs.  His own discovery of the hut they’d conducted the interrogations in and the devices they’d used had made his blood run cold.  One look from Daniel as they waited for Air Rescue to arrive had put paid to any discussions about what exactly had occurred until they were safe on home soil. 

Pushing the thought away, Jack tossed out his hand.  “Anyway,” he said almost as an afterthought. “The General is throwing this whole incident with Dr. Lee back at the Joint Chiefs, but he doesn’t think they’ll carry through with their dismissal threat.  There is one other thing though.”

“Should I be worried?”

“You personally?  No, but the rest of your department, Carter’s too, should be.  I’ve implemented combat and interrogation training for all SGC civilians whether they’re assigned to active teams or not.”

“Ouch,” said Daniel with a mocking wince.  “There’s going to be a lot of people unhappy about this.”

“They don’t submit, they don’t serve.  It’s as easy as that.  Both you and Lee were placed in a bad situation without back-up.  You’ve had the training, know how to deal with this type of crap.  I know you don’t like it, but getting caught comes with the job and it’s always at the back of our minds. It’s not something we can adequately prepare for and know one hundred percent what to do when the time comes, but it’s the very least this unit can do to protect its members by making sure everyone has had some level of training.”

“Does Bill know?”

“About which part?”

Daniel shrugged. “All of it, I guess.  I know he’s wearing the guilt of breaking under interrogation on his sleeve, and he’s been waiting to see if there are any repercussions.  He’s a good guy, Jack.  Don’t string this out by making him wait.”

“Until Hammond has finished with the Joint Chiefs, there’s not much I can do.  I can’t go mouthing off to the Doc while there’s a possibility they won’t buy our reasoning and still demand he’s released from the SGC.”

Daniel gave him a concessionary nod.  “Okay.”

“Good.”  Jack slapped his thigh and made to stand.  “Oh, and by the way, we’ve heard from Carter and Teal’c.  They’re two days away at hyperspeed.”

“Everything okay?”

“Carter mentioned some minor injuries but the mission was apparently a success.”

“Two days, huh.”  Daniel rubbed his leg again and yawned.  “I’ll be out of here by then.”

“Sure,” Jack waved over his shoulder.  “Get some rest, Daniel.”

 

The End

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