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“General O’Neill? This is Colonel Denton Roberts from McMurdo base, Antarctica. There is a small problem you should know about.” The dour voice on the other end of the line announced. Jack glared first at his receiver and then at the mountains of paperwork on his desk. His first, not very professional reaction was to ask why he should be bothered with a ‘small’ problem that would, without a doubt, add to his paperwork, but he bit back on the words and instead grunted a ‘report’. Roberts wasn’t part of the SGC, he just knew enough to mainly ignore the men stationed there not under his command and the unusual comings and goings as long as the paperwork was in order.
“Our new NCIS agent on base got involved in a situation between one of our Marine guards and one of the scientists from your research base.”
“Whom did he piss of to get that assignment?” Jack groaned and silently cursed at whoever decided that fucking McMurdo needed a NCIS on base agent for the handful of marines that were officially posted there.
There was silence at the other end of the line but then Roberts decided to stiffly answer Jack’s mostly rhetorical question. “Director Vance of NCIS, according to the transfer papers. But back to the problem. Apparently Sgt. Veigh asked the agent to help him. One of your scientists tried to blackmail my man. According to the agent, one Anthony DiNozzo, Veigh feared that his word wouldn’t have as much weight as that of a doctor and they decided to set the blackmailer up before coming to me.”
Jack rubbed his brow and leant back in his chair. “And why are you phoning me instead of NCIS?”
“I am sorry, sir, but I was instructed to contact you with anything … peculiar.” Roberts sounded as if he had swallowed something nasty. “DiNozzo taped the final meeting between my Sergeant and Doctor Sybil Hummer and then tried to arrest the blackmailer. Your doctor wanted Veigh to smuggle a device back stateside or she would accuse my man of trying to rape her.”
That made some kind of twisted sense. Someone not involved in the program would have a far better chance at smuggling something out than the men and women working at the Antarctic outpost. “Go on.”
“When confronted Hummer resisted arrest and tried to destroy the small spherical device by throwing it against a wall. DiNozzo caught it. It began to … glow.”
Yeah, that was peculiar enough, all right. Jack opened his mouth but before he could say something the Colonel spoke up again.
“And now we have a nearly catatonic NCIS agent on our hands who clings to the device so hard we would have to break his fingers to separate him from it. One of your other scientists, a Dr. Bergman, said it would be a bad idea to sedate him and to contact you immediately.”
Jack could hear muffled talking in the background. He couldn’t understand much but he identified one of the speakers. “Give the phone to Bergman and leave her alone in the room” It was a secure line, there shouldn’t be any problems.
More rustling and then a slightly accented voice greeted him. “Sir?”
“Uhm. Sir, I think it would be best if we could transport Agent DiNozzo back to the mountain to help him. I think it would need your, ah, attention to sort it out correctly.”
Translation, they needed his ATA gene. O’Neill carefully voiced his question. “Do you know what it does, how dangerous it is and how fast we should act?” Experience had taught him to heed Murphy’s law. Whatever could go wrong was very, very likely to really go wrong in the most spectacular way possible whenever the SGC was involved. He didn’t want the agent to develop into a tentacle monster, blow up or whatever else in transit.
“It was labeled as a gene activator.” Bergman answered.
“It activated his ATA gene?” That wouldn’t be too bad. They could always use new ATA gene carriers, even if O’Neill didn’t know what he should do with a Navy cop.
The scientist coughed. “No, he had that already in abundance, it seems. You need a strong gene to activate the device. Something else. He is developing rashes all over his body and seems sensitive to light and sound, so….”
Jack O’Neill groaned. How would he explain THIS to the Sentinel council? “Don’t let anyone else touch the damn thing and ship him to me ASAP.”