Sara gave one of the first smiles that she actually meant in several months. It helped knowing that she wasn't alone in this fight; she at least had one person she could talk to; Audie. "Thanks Audie, you... you really know how to encourage someone." Sara said.

Just then her radio went off;

=^= SG's one through four, please report to the briefing room. I say again, SG's one through four, please report to the briefing room. =^= Sighing, Sara stood up from where she had been sitting. Once again; duty calls.

"After you." Sara said to Audie.

=^= SG's one through four, please report to the briefing room. I say again, SG's one through four, please report to the briefing room. =^=
James had barely began eating his lunch when the announcement was heard... God damn it, if there was one thing he hated in the SGC it was the constant interruptions at the most inappropriate moments. He stood there for a few moments, staring at his beloved Macaroni and Cheese... Damn, it had to be at that specific moment... Well, sucks for him that he had skipped breakfast... Dismissing the rain of thoughts, he concentrated on the task ahead. A moment later, he was standing up and on his way to the briefing room.

Tom stood there for a moment while Roo found a seat. Tom tended to wait for the other members of his team to arrive, but given the numbers in the room he didn't want to feel like an idiot standing there on his own. Choosing a chair half way down the table, he pulled it out and sat down. In these type of meeting, he always felt that the teams should sit in numerical order. He was close enough to hear, but far away enough to allow SG-1 and 2 to sit down. He was sitting diagonally from Roo.

"Hey when we get chance, we should discus training techniques." he said, finding a comfier seating position. "It would good to have someone to bounce ideas off. Although I'm with SG-3 now, I do lend a hand every now and then." He added.

Tom began to ponder why this meeting was happening. He believed SG-1 and 3 were still not fit enough to go out on anything major. Perhaps that was why all four teams were called. One with Two and Three with Four perhaps. "You would have thought Eddings should have mentioned this when he dishing out the ranks." Tom said to anyone listening. He didn't quite understand Eddings yet. He hadn't chosen to either. He was hoping Asid would have been back in charge by now and things would have returned to normal. He had temporary COs in the past and found it a waste of time if they were leaving in a couple of months.

Audie sighed and rolled her eyes. "What is they say? No rest for the wicked?" She stood and walked along with Sara to the briefing room. "I hope it's not anything too dreadful. It would be nice for a change to meet some nice, interesting people who don't want to kill us." She laughed and shook her head.

General Mitchell glanced at the Stargate as he passed, still in his early 50s he sometimes hated how fast he'd climbed the ranks. He and Sam had complained to each other about missing the days where they actually did something other then long term planning and paperwork. Speaking of paperwork he looked at the portfolio in his hand and headed for the briefing room.

Inside were Generals Mjolnir and Eddings, Oberst Levi and the Russian Romanova who was sitting at the far end of the table from the other three with her heels resting on the edge of the table. Mitchell entered and the two Americans and the German stood to attention, and Natalya rolled her eyes and got to her feet a moment later.

"Generals, Oberst." He said taking the seat at the center of the table. "I'll keep this quick." He said opening the portfolio, he removed two boxes and slide one across the table to the two Americans, "Congratulations, Major General Mjolnir and Major General Eddings."

Asid and David paused, meeting each other eyes, before glancing back at General Mitchell. "Major General?" Asid asked, quietly. "I'm still trying to accept being a brigadier general." David Eddings just snorted. "Why in hell am I being promoted?"

"Most likely to ensure an American stays in charge of this Command." Spoke Romanova from where she had resumed her seat at the opposite end. "I mean you're down to only commanding three of the major commands with Homeworld Command." She said in a sarcastic tone.

"Ah, Major General Romanova, how lovely for you to join us." Mitchell said ignoring her comments. "I don't think introductions have been made, Major General Natalya Romanova of the Russian Air Force who has been appointed the new Deputy Commander for Stargate Command. Oberst Christian Levi will be the Chief of Staff. General Mjolnir will remain the official commander but while on medical restriction Eddings will remain Acting Commander."

The Russian officer simply looked over the three men at the other end of the table. "I am familiar with their files." She retorted.

"I'm glad someone is." Asid muttered, rubbing at the socket of his eye with a fingertip. "Some damned fool won't let me access mine."

David just folded his hands, glancing at General Mitchell. "General Mitchell, I'd assess that my colleague, General Mjolnir, would be ready to re-assume command within the next few weeks, sir." He glanced up at Asid's irate snort.

"If you'll excuse me, General." Asid said, quietly. "I'd rather not listen in on my colleague." He tossed the word out with a tone of frustration.

Mitchell raised an eyebrow but nodded and waited while one the Generals left. "Anyway, other then that try to play nice, with the Program gone public there are a lot more eyes on us then there use to be." The four star Air Force General said getting to his feet. "Generals, Oberst." He said with a final nod and turned for the door.

Romanova looked at the German officer and gave a small nod before leaving the room. Levi watched her leave before turning to the Marine, "I'd keep an eye on her sir, she had quite the reputation, and it's well earned."

Asid Mjolnir & Nolan Etearna

Nolan walked to Asid's office as it'd taken him about an hour to do. He hadn't interfaced with this man in years--what if he didn't remember him? Or hated him? Unlikely as it might have been, it was a constant and ever-present fear. He gently knocked on the door of Asid's office, adjusting his uniform.

Asid, having arrived at his temporary office, glanced up from the desk where he'd set the box containing his new stars. "Come in." He called, rubbing at his eyes, before beginning to unpin the old stars so he could attach the new ones.

"General." Nolan stepped inside, saluting. "I've come to have a private conversation, if that's possible, Sir." Nolan took a moment to soak in the office, all the artifacts and various paraphernalia present in his mind--he was there for the acquiring of nearly half of it.

Which was absolutely none, as it was all in locked cabinets in his "old" office to which Asid wouldn't access, feeling no connection to most of it. "Alright, Colonel, I'm all ears." Asid said, as he finished buttoning on his new stars.

"Audie is worried about you." Nolan said, his hand slowly returning to his side, as he glanced the General over thoughtfully. He acted... cold. Again. But Nolan was used to that, now.

Asid rubbed at his eyes. "Frak." He murmured, glancing at Nolan, before leaning back in his seat. "Why, Nolan?"

"Because she knows that you'll have to rediscover your feelings for her." Nolan said, simply. He just watched Asid... almost feeling like he was dealing with a child--but he kept that under wraps, for now.

Asid just slammed his fist on his desk, in frustration, before he put his elbows on the desk and leaned his hands against his head, trying not to get agitated. "I kind of already have." He muttered out loud. "Which doesn't help that I kinda get pushed away... though I can't say I blame her. I'm effectively a stranger to everyone, now..."

Nolan just stayed silent for a moment, wanting so badly to backhand him, to say that he needed to be stronger--but Asid probably knew that. Nolan rubbed his neck. "Nobody can say you're not trying, Sir."

"Damned right, I know I can be pretty freakin' trying on the nerves." Asid muttered, a half-jest. "I just have so many people, so many things I used to know, or I'm expected to know, certain ways I'm expected to act, to talk... and people look at me with pity, or frustration, and it's just... so damned irritating."

Nolan's mouth quirked, and he nodded. "I know what you mean. I was separated from mainstream society--what, ten years? I come back and am more or less ignored. Especially by you. And even so, I've never once looked at you as anything but a powerful person."

"Nolan, just because I don't have much to say doesn't mean you're ignored." Asid said, quietly, rubbing at his eyes. "Or maybe it something said that alienated me. I don't know. I don't care." He grumbled, quietly. "I know that first mission out I had, during the post-mission briefing you kinda alienated me."

"...I can see I'm not the one who should be talking." Nolan said, softly, as he saluted. "With your permission, Sir."

"Nolan." Asid said, quietly. "I'm sorry, that was a low-blow on my part. I'm sorry, I'm just... frustrated with everything. Alright? I'm sorry, I'm taking it out on you, and I don't intend to." He returned the salute, belatedly, his mind still sort of out of it.

"You know what, Sir? It's alright. I'll just do what I do as a soldier. Shut up, and let the people who should be taking care of it, take care of it." He said, in a soft tone. He was badly hurt, and angry, and he didn't want to blow up at anyone--especially not Asid. He turned for the door.

"Nolan." Asid said, quietly. "Sit down. Please." He sighed, softly, and let his head fall off his hands to collide with the desk. "Ow. Note to self: Don't do that. Second note to self: Quit jumping down everyone's throat. Note to Nolan: I'm sorry, I'm just... I want to make it up to you, however frickin' badly I treated you. Didn't intend to."

Nolan turned, and sat himself calmly down, shaking his head. "This isn't about me, making anything up to me, anything like that. The damage is done, and I'd like to move past that. I'm not here for whatever drama there is between us, but because you apparently want someone to help you adjust to the present day. If you'd like, I can help."

"I'd like that." Asid said, earnestly. "I'm just... I'm stuck, in some ways." He glanced up, with a sigh. "We'd best get to the briefing room though."

"Of course." Nolan stood, heading for the door... but something in him said nothing had changed, really... but he'd do his best. That's what a soldier does.

David Eddings

David paused, watching as all the SG teams stepped into the briefing room, Asid and Nolan almost the last ones to show up. "Alright, ladies and gentlemen, since we have some minor team changes, I thought you might all want to be here. Major Cafferey, you're now the SG-2 commander, with Captain Eastlyn as your XO. Major Lowrey, you're the SG-3 XO, effective now. Major Craig, you're SG-1's XO, under Colonel Jones. Captain Troy, you're being transferred to SG-1. Staff Sergeant Rehnold, you're now on SG-2 as well." He paused, taking a breath. "Senior Chief Petty Officer Mjolnir, you're now the NCOIC of the SGC, as RSM Beehan was transferred. And we have a new XO, who you'll need to get to know, as the lovely Major General Romanova." He let out a sigh, seeing what else needed to be said. "Oh, and you can all congratulate Major General Mjolnir on his promotion." He carefully ignored Asid's pointed scowl.

Jake sat near the end of the table looking up towards the newly promoted Generals. He glanced over at the Russian General leaning against the wall. He'd heard of Romanova before, and was surprised to see her posted to the SGC, the Russian's usually kept her out of the more public eye of the Program.

He listen to Edding outline the staffing changes, team three taking a new XO but remaining the same otherwise. His mind drifted to the email he'd been reading before arriving at the meeting. He'd been offered a posting aboard the USS Ares, and he was considering it. He loved being on a team and part of the SG program, but he also had to admit his attraction to his CO was hampering his performance. Even a few hours ago when he'd been on the range he'd only score a 97, still an impressive score but it meant shit compared to his track record of perfect scores.

Hearing the General continue with the meeting he turned his focus on the Marine and paid attention.

Sam had started the car and wheel spun it as she headed for the car park exit. She quickly glanced at Ant with a cheeky smile. She slowed down as they came to the main gate. The guard at the gate looked down into the car. Once he knew who it was, he began to open the barrier. His phone rang and once he had put it back down he ran to the car "Sir, Doctor." He said nodding to them. "SG teams 1 through 4 have been called to the briefing room." The barrier was fully up by now. Sam looked at Anthony. "I'm not putting it on hold again." She said sternly before turning back to the guard. "Tell them we have already left." She told him before speeding off.

Anthony at first was shocked at Sam, but the shocked face quickly turned into a wide smile. "You could get into a lot of trouble for that y'know. If he tells General Eddings... Well, it'll be goodbye Stargate Command, hello McMurdo."

"Speak for yourself." She said with a grin. "I'm a civvie." Changing gear, she moved quicker down the road. "I'm driving, so just blame it on me." Inside she was a little worried, but hoped her father still loved her enough to pull some political strings with friends in high places. "So how far is this place then?" She asked, changing the subject.

"Good point, I got kidnapped by a Doctor! Only a couple of miles, turn right here." Gesturing to the turn off the road. "What do you think the General wanted us for?"

Sam shrugged her shoulders as she turned the wheel. “Who knows?” She straightened the wheel. “Some mission they can do with out us.” She added, shrugging once more. After the few miles, Sam could see a building ahead. “Is that it?”

"Yeah, I guess. Why do I still feel like an FNG here?" He took a moment to look at the building and the name of it, "Yep, that's it."

Sam looked at him funny for a moment before getting what he meant. “Perhaps.” She began as she pulled into the car park. “It’s because the teams have changed a lot since you arrived. New people turning up, old ones leaving...” She paused for a moment as she pulled into a space. “...or dying.” Unbuckling her seat belt, she climbed out. “But let’s not dwell on those things; we are here to enjoy ourselves.” She said with a cheery smile.

"Yeah, you're right. Off base, no need to think about it." He walked up and opened the door, "Ladies first." he gestured her in.

“Why thank you.” She said as she glided in. The lights seamed a bit dim and looked as if it hadn’t seen a lick of paint in 20 years, but Sam didn’t mind. “Hmm, cosy.” She whispered to herself.

Anthony followed her inside, and it seemed a bit gloomy. Hearing the room buzz with chatter, he stepped inside, only to have everyone look round and stare at them, in complete silence. Noticing, he raised his eyebrows and whispered into Sams ear "Doesn't seem like we're welco--" but he was stopped halfway through by a tall, grey-haired Irish man behind the bar "As long as you ain't no Yank, you're welcome in here!" he shouted in a cheerful voice. Anthony finished his sentence with a little, "-Never mind."

Sam let out a little sigh. “Okay then.” She said, trying to sound as English as she could. Most of the people she had worked with over that past few years had been American, so she had picked up a slight twang. “Where do you want to sit then?” She turned to Ant as she spoke.

"How about over there...?" Pointing to a table in the corner with a seat on either side.

Sam swaned over, her dress rising slightly as she moved. Sam stopped by the table smiling, waiting for Anthony to pull out the chair, and once she was sitting down, he asked "You wanna drink?"

Sam pondered for a moment. “Coke with a slice of lemon, no ice.” She turned to face the center of the table, to see a menu. Opening it up, there wasn’t a huge selection. It was mainly pub grub. There wasn’t a huge amount she liked, but found a few things she did like. She argued in her head what she would have.

Anthony walked up to the bar and waited for the Irish barman to come back over, "Hi, can I have a two cokes with lemon, one with ice, one without." "Sure thing, pal. Names Paddy." He started pouring the drinks, "Not seen you round here before? Just moved in?" "Err, you could say that. Been here a few months now, I'm in the British Army." That pissed him off. Paddy slammed the glass into the counter, smashing with cuts appearing all over his hand. "You bastards shot my dad! Get out! Now!" Anthony looked a bit shocked at what was happening. "Sir, if it helps, I myself have never been to Ireland. I'm sure its a great place. Can we just sit here and have a drink, a meal and some laughs?" "No, ya bloody well can't! Get out!"

Sam seeing the commotion grabbed her bag and headed over to the bar. “Sir please, He wasn’t even in the army when that happened.” Sam was hoping, given the age of the man, he was referring to the time know as ‘The Troubles’. She hadn’t heard of any problems in the last few years and with her father’s job, she quiet often heard her dad’s conversations on the matter. Looking at the man’s hand she spoke. “Sir, I’m a Doctor. Let me have a look at it.” He snatched it away. “I can look after me self.” He snarled. “Now get out before I throw you out.” Shouted, pointing at the door, blood dripping on the bar.

He glanced at Sam, raising one of his eyebrows, he put his wallet back in his coat pocket, and took two steps before looking back at Paddy, "I'm sorry, Paddy. I know what it's like to lose someone to war." Looking down at the floor, he continued walking, softly pushing the door open with his foot and opening the car door. He started thinking of his father and Ashley in Afghanistan. He visualized what it must of been like. Granted, Anthony had seen his fair share of death, especially in the Special Forces, behind enemy lines in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. But the image was stuck in his head. The Land Rover bursting into flames. All four men dying. A tear started running down his face, as he punched the dashboard in the car, making a slight dent in the material. If only they could see me now.

Sam seeing it was hopeless followed Ant outside, who was already in the car. Jumping in the car, Sam looked over to him, and then noticed the dent. “Don’t take it personally.” She said, leaning over and giving him a hug. Pulling away after a moment, she looked him in the eyes. “Come on, we can grab something from the mess and head back to mine.” She said with a smile.

"Ok, I'm really sorry. After all this time, and I end up wrecking it anyway. I'll drive back, I could do with breaking some speed limits." Saying that, he turned the ignition on, and slammed his foot on the pedal, and sped down the vacated road. Looking down at the speedometer in the dark was so easy, it was just a luminous green line that was just about to move over the 100 line he had only been going for about five seconds. "If only the Land Rovers in Afghanistan would go this fast!"

Sam smiled a nervous smile. She wasn’t sure if he was okay. She grabbed the handle in the door for a moment. Not because she was scared, but because she was excited. “Land Rovers doing a ton, now that would be interesting.” She laughed. After awhile, she noticed the turning for the SGC. “You better slow down a bit.”

He drifted round the corner, heading straight towards the main gate. Snapping back to reality, he eased his brakes on. The same guard was on the gate "Having fun, sir?" "Yeah, I am, Staff Sergeant. Feel like opening the gate?" The Staff Sergeant looked a bit concerned and glanced at Sam, "I can make it an order if it makes you feel any better?" -- The Sergeant entered the booth and flicked the switch, and the barrier raised. Anthony nodded his head, "Thank you." and drove off. "Straight to the mess hall?"

“Sounds like a plan!” She smiled as Anthony pulled away from the gate.

Anthony pulled up in front of the Mess Hall block, and quickly got out of the car and opened the door for Sam, and pretended to act professional, "Doctor Ford..."

Sam put out a hand for Ant to help her out. “Thank you Major Lowrey.” She said, sounding posh. “Our dinner a waits.” She said, motioning her hand towards the door.

"This time, we are not gonna leave!" he laughed the previous episode off as they entered the empty mess hall, minus the sailor in NWU's scrubbing the floors - probably went AWOL for a day or something. "So, what kind of cardboard do you want tonight?" glancing at Sam.

Sam giggled “Anything” She said, grabbing a tray and moving along the counter. “Anything you fancy?” She asked with a cheeky grin.

"Well, I'd prefer food. But looks like we're stuck with this." and laughed, until he noticed the Sergeant who was assigned Mess Officer who looked like he took major offense, "I'm joking, it's better than the British army food."

Sam grabbed a couple of things as they moved along. “I think this will do me.” She said as she pulled her tray away. “You ready?” she asked as she moved closer to the door.

"Yeah... So after all this time, and we end up going to the same place we eat 3 times a day..." he started sitting down at the closest table.

Sam laughed. “It’s better than having your head kicked in.” She said as she began eating. “You know what, it’s not that bad today.”

"Yeah, I guess..." Anthony started eating but the sailor drew his attention from the corner of Anthony's eye, "Oi, Seaman, get outta here, ain't gonna get no cleaner." "But, my Sergeant will kill me." he pleaded with the Major, "Oh yeah? Well he won't kill me, so if he has a problem with it, tell him to come see me." The sailor grinned and saluted "Yes sir!" and ran outside.

Sam leaned over the table slightly. "And what was that for?" She asked, pretending to be stupid.

"Oh, I just love having sailors scrubbing the floor while I'm on a date." he answered in a sarcastic voice, but in a funny way so she wouldn't take offense.

Still leaning over the table, Sam grabbed Anthony’s collar and dragged him closer. She immediately went for the lips, locking hers with his. She remained in the kiss for only a moment, it seamed like ages. Finally, she pulled away, smiling and looking into Ant’s eyes. “It also means we can do that.”

Anthony was gobsmacked for a second, and his face probably showed it. "Wow..." he started giggling as if he was still in school. "Remind me to come to the mess hall late at night with ya!" and started giggling again.

With out saying a word, Sam pulled him in again. A bit more slowly this time, with more passion. She wanted to hold it in that kiss forever, but it wouldn’t be so as the internal communication system sounded off. “Doctor Ford to recovery ward. I repeat, Doctor Ford to recovery ward. She slumped her self back into the chair.

“So much for that.” She said with a bit of anger. Getting a quick sip of her drink, she got up to leave the room. Quickly running back she grabbed Ant’s chin and pulled his face in her direction. Give him another quick kiss, she smiled and dashed out of the room.

Tom chatted idly as the others walked in. He nodded to Miller as he took his seat. Soon enough Nolan entered the room with General Mjolnir. He suddenly noticed the extra star. Bravo, He thought to himself. When Eddings announced the changes, Tom looked around the room for Anthony. But couldn't sight him any where. On top of that, he couldn't see Dr Ford either. What are they up to? He thought to himself. He didn't recognize the "newbie" in the group, but then again, he couldn't say that he new many Russians anyway.

The was nothing he felt he add to the meeting so just sat there. He twiddled his thumbs slightly. He suddenly noticed the time. He stood at attention at looked at Nolan and the 3 Generals. "Sirs, Ma'am. If there isn't anything else, may I be excused?" He asked. "I have medical." He quickly looked at his watch again. "Five minutes ago." Once he had permission, he hot footed it to the infirmary.

Once arriving, he looked for the Doctor who would be doing his medical. Find him he jogged over and stopped behind him. "Sorry I'm late doc, was stuck in a meeting." The doctor slowly spun round. "Hmm, indeed Captain. Take a seat." He said, pointing to the bed behind him. "I wont be a moment." While the doctor disappeared out of the room for a moment, Tom took a seat. He dangled his legs over the side, swinging them back and forth. Suddenly he noticed Dr. Ford enter the room wear what he wouldn't consider 'duty uniform'. "Seemed an odd thing to wear to work." He called across the room. Sam looked up from the chart she was reading to see who was calling. Noticing Smith, she walked over. "Well Tom, no it isn't. But you don't tend to go to work in the middle of a date either." She replied in an annoyed tone before turning to walk away. "You know the General might be a bit peed off you and Lowrey didn't attend the meeting."

Sam ignored this for a moment and walked away. Suddenly stopping, she spun round quickly. "Why? Was it important?" She asked. "Well, yes and no." He said, tilting his head slightly. "It was just to say that Sara is your CO and Ant's my XO and all that jazz." He said doing jazz hands. Suddenly Tom's doctor re-entered the room. Spying Ford he walked up to her. "Dr. Ford, unless you intend to do his yourself, leave the Captain to me and get on with your own duties." Sam just gave him a glare. She sighed and nodded at Tom before walking off. Pulling the curtain round them, the doctor turn to Tom. "Now Captain, if you wouldn't mind stripping down to your underwear."

David just nodded at Smith, watching him rush off... likely not wanting to anger the pint-sized tyrannical gods that were the medical staff... present briefing room company excluded! After a moment, he glanced up as a guard walked to his side, and proceeded to speak softly, informing him of Lowrey's & Ford's abrupt departure. With a sigh, David rubbed at his eyes. "Everyone, you're dismissed." He said, wearily. "Mjolnir, Romanova, y' might want to get to know each other." He paused. "Sorry, General Mjolnir, not Chief." He gave a slight grin at the poor couple.

Adam sat in his office that he was still getting used to even though he had been using it for a few months now. He had been stuck with the job of British Intelligence Liaison so thus got an office at the Stargate Atrium. He had a report on his desk from the Chief Intelligence officer but had not got round to reading it. He just sat in his chair and thought to himself. Thought how he missed being out in the field. Thought how he was missing the action. Thought how he had been stuck behind a desk.

Well, he was in this job so he was going to do it till the best of his abilities as if anything it was a promotion and maybe, just maybe he would get a field job soon. That or maybe a job back in London.

Nolan leaned against the wall, thoughtful after his man-to-man with Asid. In fact, he was disappointed. He'd felt like very little had been done, and it was killing him a little inside.

What was it the monks had said? He thought to himself, tugging on his chin. "Exercise power as responsibility dictates?" His eyes flicked to Miller. His best fighter and most consistent on his team, Dolly aside, and he'd hardly said a word to the guy. After the briefing was finished, he tapped Miller on the shoulder.

"Warrant," Nolan said, softly. "Care for a drink? I'd like to talk with you, privately."

"Sure, sir." Jake said following the Colonels lead.

Nolan gestured him into his office, grabbing himself an espresso from a small machine where an Officer's bar might generally be. He sat down behind his desk, sipping his drink as he glanced Miller over, frowning a bit. He'd wished he'd talked to him earlier.

"Please sit, Warrant Officer." Nolan said, sitting up in a lotus-position. "I'm sorry if you seem ignored. I've actually been handling a lot of personal and team-based issues lately. I want to thank you for being a good sport, and doing nothing but your job. If it seems like I'm not noticing you, that's wrong." He said, honestly. "In fact, it's more because you've been doing the best you can--which is more than enough. You've been a breath of fresh air in this team, Warrant Officer, and it's a pleasure to have you."

"Thank you sir." Jake said leaning against the wall still hover near the door. "I understand how busy the paper work can be especially with the higher rate of turn over team seem to be having." He added, it was rare for one of the front line teams to go more then a few months without changes to their manifest, sometimes someone would be assigned while the team was already deployed and by the time the return already replaced. He suspected the IOA had a part in that, with the program now public there was a lot more jockeying for top positions with everyone country wanting their share, whether or not they had experience personnel to take them on.

"Paperwork hardly factors into it. That's the easy part, Miller, and I'm more considerate of my teammates. But I've never had to be, with you, you've always done your job, and I've never been more grateful." He rubbed his neck. "Which is why I've been concerned, recently. I've been asking the Range Master how everyone's been doing with their scores, and yours have been dropping. Is there something wrong, Warrant Officer?" Nolan took another sip of coffee, as he finished his sentence.

Miller took a breath before responding, trying to think of his words carefully, he had never been the best at communicating his intentions, and someone like Nolan was much more adept at reading the unspoken then most. "I've just had a lot on my mind lately, a few job offers, mostly within the Program, one with my old Ranger unit, another in the private sector. Some other personnel shit, I get it sorted and ensure I'm ready for duty sir, but if you'd prefer to bench me until my scores improve I understand."

Nolan watched Jake, his brow lowering in a concerned manner. "Miller, do I seem like I'm going to kick you off the team or let you sit out because you're human? I'm not going to be lax, no, but as an adult I expect that if you need time for yourself, you'll be man enough to come up to me and say so. That aside, if there's anything you need to talk about, then I'm here." Nolan leaned forwards, staring Jake in the eyes. "As both of us have had services that are, officially and unofficially above and beyond the call of duty, I know what it's like to have a lot on your mind. And while the other person will never, never know what to say to fix it, whatever it is feels good to talk about."

Jake was tempted to roll his eyes but really didn't think it would help, he never understood the whole 'man up' attitude, despite it having a long standing especially in the military. "Thank you for the offer sir, but I don't need to talk about." He replied, the last person he want to talk about it with was his crush, it was stupid and he needed to get over it. Besides it's not like Nolan had ever given any inclination as far as reciprocating. Not to mention it common knowledge around base that his heart still belong the Asid, at least as far as the scuttlebut went.

Nolan sat back again, rubbing his forehead. "I've noticed you staring at me, quite a lot, Warrant Officer." Nolan said, at first hesitant to bring this up... but he really was confused. "That's why I brought you here. If you want to talk. And if you don't," He gestured behind Miller. "There's the door."

Jake was pretty sure he made an audible groan, he knew he wasn't exactly discrete but had hoped it wasn't that obvious, his eye's quickly glanced at the door, he considered it, it would be easier but it was always a cowards way out and that was one thing he wasn't. "I'm sorry sir, I know it was inappropriate and unprofessional but we can't exactly control who were attracted to."

Nolan stared at Jake, silent for two brief moments, before he spoke. "Who? Or do... you mean...?" Nolan fell silent again... only to find his cheeks warming in a heavy blush, a smile uncontrollably coming across his face. He suddenly felt very stupid and unsure of how to act, stumbling a bit on incoherent words before he took a breath. "Jake, you... I..." He made hand-motions, as if trying to fill in words that wouldn't come out. "Uhm... as for 'inappropriate'... there's... that... yes, but... I don't--Please help me out here." Nolan asked, his eyes seeming alight with happiness... and flattery. "Are... you serious?"

"Ya, pretty serious, hence the awkward staring, not sleeping properly, considering a transfer." Jake said, suddenly feeling very warm and very uncomfortable.

Nolan just shook his head, trying to cast off a bit of his flattered expression before he smiled. "Jake," Nolan said, "I'm flattered... and honestly, I think you should stay. You're too valuable to my team, and as a person. As for personal relationships.... you handle that how you want to. But know that... professionalism aside... your feelings are anything but unreturned." He said, softly. "...So... do me a favor, and get some sleep?" Nolan opened his drawer, tossing him some sleeping pills.

Jake gave a small nod and turned for door. A few minutes later he was standing in his quarters and realized pills or not he couldn't sleep right now. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and quickly emailed the base motor pool before grabbing a duffle bag and throwing a few things in it. When he reached the main gate the black SUV was already waiting and an airman quickly vacated the drivers seat. The warrant got in, tossed his bag on the passengers seat and drove for town.

  • Warrant Officer Jacob "Jake" Miller, United States Army
    • Team Member, SG-3
    • Bar, Denver, Colorado, United States
  • May 21st, 2011
    • April 30th, 2024

Jake stared at the beer bottle in front of him. He'd gotten into the car and just drove, it was the better part of an hour before he realized he was almost in Denver. He drove into the city and found a hotel with a bar, got a room and had been drinking ever since. He had long since stopped ordering the bartender simply bringing another bottle over as his current one emptied. Sitting at the end of the bar he probably hadn't so much as looked up in over an hour.

Thinking, it was all he could do. He wasn't even sure what he was doing there. Of all the ways admitting to Nolan how he felt could have gone it was certainly one of the better ones, but now he was torn. He doubted any sort of relationship would ever arise from his apparently not single-sided attraction. The best he could probably hope for would be friends and team mates. But could he really ignore how he felt and separate the his feelings from his job. He could never forgive himself if he ever fracked up a mission or someone got hurt because he wasn't focused.

When had he become so emotional, he was trained to be professional, to compartmentalize and until now he'd always been successful at it. Maybe it was the SGC, it was more then a military posting it was a family. More then one internal relationship had developed over the year, in fact most Program personnel married within. Maybe it was just one of those jobs where you have to do it to get it, and understand the demands it puts on a person.

He accepted the fresh bottle of beer and took another long drink. His eyes where getting heavy and he'd probably had enough a few hours ago. Regardless he kept drinking, trying to sort out what to do next.

Asid stared down at the gate, resting hiss chin on his chest. He stood on the top balcony, three stories above the gate room floor, seated precariously on the railing. "I, a stranger, and afraid," He murmured. "In a world I never made. Oh, how I wish that were true." He turned his head, slowly, to glance as the sound of boots rattled the balcony, General Eddings just nodding to him, as he leaned, delicately, against the railing.

"Mjolnir." David said, by way of greeting. "Thinking about your responsibilities? Quoting Housman?" He said, with only partially-mock gravity.

"Something like that, an' yeah, Housman." Asid said, looking away from David towards the security checkpoint on the first sub-level, then up at the skylight, so many feet overhead.

"You realize you're going to be forced back into command, in the next couple of weeks." David said, all levity dropping from him, as he spoke in a rush, to get the dreaded words out.

"Yeah, I know." Asid said, staring at the floor, so many feet below, with an amused smile.

"You know there was nothing you could've done about Faith." David said, heavily, taking a guess as to what was on his colleagues mind.

"You don't have to remind me." Asid snapped, half under his breath. "But no parent should lose a child like that, before the child ever has a chance to live. Though, seeing the world as it is now, perhaps it was a mercy." He shook his head, after a moment. "No, no. It wasn't. Gah, I just hope Audie's alright, and Nolan's alright, and everyone I ever knew is alright... they're my only connection with this world."

"Then change that. Get to know the people who'll be under you." David said, quietly. "They're good people. Well trained, well educated. They're people you can rely on, and be proud of."

Asid snorted. "Yeah, but can they rely on me? Or trust me?" He shivered, slightly, but whether it was from the AC chilling the bunker, or something else, David couldn't quite tell.

"That's up to you." David said, quietly.

Arthur Malone

Arthur sat in his office, slowly going over the months of footage he'd captured. He watched a clinically dry panover of the memorial service as two more names were added to the SGC's memorial, a voiceover playing in the background. "In the twenty-seven years since the program's inception, there have been twenty-two thousand, two-hundred confirmed deaths, and countless more missing, captured, or permamently injured. We are here today to add another dozen to this wall..." He watched the camera zoom in on General Eddings, who paused for a moment. "These newly fallen are..." He went on to read the newly fallen. Arthur quietly lifted a microphone, as he added a voiceover. "Today, Brigadier General David Eddings, United States Marine Corps-" He paused the recording, to stare bleakly at the screen. He rewound, and began again. "Recently, Major General David Eddings, of the United States Marine Corps-" He paused, looking up at his doorway, as someone knocked.

Mission #18.5: "Cooldown"
Chapter #1: "Hot Days" | Chapter #2: "Standing in the Sun" | Chapter #3: "Maybe Then Someday" | Chapter #4: "Beyond"