Title: Silicon Knights
Season: Post S10
Spoilers: Ori storyarc
Summary: Jack oversees SG-1's latest project against the Ori.
Word Count: 2483
A/N: Sadly, it's not my tightest story thematically, but it was good fun. Thanks to beanpot for the beta.
Disclaimer: Stargate, Stargate SG-1 and all of its characters, titles, names, and back-story are the property of MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Productions, SciFi Channel, and Showtime/Viacom. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be printed anywhere without the sole permission of the author. Realize this is for entertainment purposes only; no financial gain or profit has been gained from this fiction. This story is not meant to be an infringement on the rights of the above-mentioned establishments
He just knew this was going to be better than Monty Python.
Jack relaxed into the chair that sat on the sidelines of the training room, quietly observing SG-1 as they took their positions. Mitchell, Vala, Daniel, and Teal'c stood single file, all holding swords in their hands, though acting remarkably well behaved for the occasion. Carter, on the other hand, fidgeted in front of them, rocking back and forth on her heels, while clutching a remote that Jack guessed controlled the pedestal behind her.
Jack glanced down at his watch. He wondered just how long this would take before everything went to hell in a hand basket.
He heard a shuffling. Jack glanced up and saw the five of them staring at him.
He waved his hand. "Go on, Carter."
She nodded. "As you know, I've been working extensively on refitting the holographic technology we've acquired." Carter glanced behind her, pointing the remote to the pedestal as if they hadn't already guessed its function. "I've altered the Ancient programming found in Glastonbury and Camelot and spliced it with Asgard hologram technology to create a simulation that we can use for hands-on practice in the event we have to engage the Ori crusaders on enemy turf."
Jack glanced over to the rest of SG-1. Daniel had taken to wiggling the blade in front of his face, testing its integrity, while Mitchell clutched his sword with the kind of anticipation that made him look like a five year old. At least Teal'c held it together, standing with the smug smile he'd perfected over the years.
Vala clacked her gum.
"As you know, you're holding a blunted fighting stick," Carter continued. "The hologram simulates the look, feel, and sound of a sword." She paused, grabbing the stick-sword by her feet, and turned to the pedestal, hitting it with a clang. She smiled.
Daniel frowned and brought the sword to his face to inspect it. He dipped it down and eyed Carter with suspicion. "So, they hurt?"
Vala leaned into Daniel, bringing her arm around his shoulder, and dangled her own sword behind him. "They can't be all that bad if they're only holograms." She eyed it once more before flicking her wrist and giving Daniel a good smack on the ass.
"Ow!" He jumped and stumbled forward, non-discretely reaching behind his back.
Mitchell let out a loud laugh. "Authentic."
Daniel shot Mitchell a quick glare and rubbed the small of his back. "Vala!"
"What?" Vala blinked. Without a pause, she turned and smiled at Carter. "Fabulous work."
Carter gave an uneasy smile. "They may sting a bit."
Daniel glared at her, but had enough sense not to say a word. Though, Jack had the sneaking suspicion that those little suckers had the potential to pack an even greater punch if Carter tuned them right.
"Are you up for demonstration, sir?"
Jack gave her a half-shrug. "That's why I'm here."
She nodded and raised her eyebrows as she addressed the rest of SG-1. "Any volunteers?"
Mitchell immediately stepped forward. "Okay, so who wants a piece of me?"
Jack said nothing as he watched Mitchell wait for his combatant. He already knew how this was going to end. Daniel was too busy eyeing Vala, making sure she didn't try any sneak attacks. Vala kept nudging Teal'c in the back, urging him toward Mitchell. Carter stood in front of them, having already abandoned her sword, which she had placed back on the ground by her feet.
Finally, Teal'c stepped forward. "I shall engage you in combat, Colonel Mitchell."
Jack grinned. "Oh, this should be good."
Mitchell and Teal'c stepped forward and assumed battle stances. Jack could tell Mitchell had done this before, though Jack could also tell Teal'c was going to give him a run for his money. The two circled each other, swords drawn, waiting for the right opportunity. Mitchell lost patience and struck first, cutting through the air. Teal'c sidestepped and swung out, nearly connecting with Mitchell's back, but Mitchell was quick and dropped to his knees. He rolled and jumped up, bringing his sword to connect with Teal'c's.
Jack arched his eyebrows. Either they'd been practicing, or they'd been breaking out the scifi movies again.
Whatever got the job done, he supposed, but he couldn't help but notice more than half of SG-1 were doing squat.
He cleared his throat and stared at Daniel.
Daniel bristled. "What?"
"Oh, you know what."
"You just want to see me fall."
Jack put his hand to his heart, but his lips curled into a smile. "Me? Never."
Daniel rolled his eyes, but to his credit, took a step forward. "You know, swordsmanship is an entirely different art than hand-to-hand. It takes a lot of skill and practice and a certain finesse."
Jack motioned with his hand for Daniel to get on with it. "I know."
"And it's not the same as shooting a gun."
"For cryin' out loud," Jack muttered. "I know, Daniel."
After taking a deep breath, Daniel slid into a defensive position. "Okay, I—"
Vala wasted no time. She came at him in a rush, leaping at Daniel in a way that reminded Jack of a cross between a skilled veteran and a crazed Halloween psycho. The two clashed, each one struggling to stay dominant, while hopping, slashing, and muttering with each hit.
Jack said nothing as he watched the alternating sloppiness of Daniel and Vala compared to the sheer coordinated aggression coming from Teal'c and Mitchell. With a sigh, he leaned his elbow on the arm of the chair and rested his chin in the palm of his hand.
He was spending his weekend watching people play make believe. Perfect.
He surveyed the room, passing the dueling foursome, his gaze settling on Carter's sword. "I fail to see you join in the fun, Carter."
She gave another uneasy smile. "Supervising."
Of course she was.
Jack glanced at his watch before he turned to Carter and pointed to the pedestal. She gave him a nod and shut it down. Teal'c and Mitchell stopped and stared at their swords-now-sticks, whereas Daniel and Vala had abandoned their sword fighting altogether and had taken to pummeling the living crap out of each other. When the room fell quiet, they stopped and brushed themselves off.
"Aw, hey," Mitchell said. "I was winning."
Teal'c arched his eyebrow. "I do not believe that is the case, Colonel Mitchell."
Jack fought to roll his eyes. If they ever were to engage the Ori followers looking like this, they were screwed.
"Now, here's a thought," Jack said. "Why don't we just shoot them?"
Daniel went to open his mouth, but Jack raised his hand. "Don't. None of this cultural stuff."
"I didn't say anything."
"But you were thinking it," Jack said.
Daniel's face pruned in that way whenever he was about to leap into an argument, so Jack decided he should just cut to the chase. "Look," he said. "This isn't going to get us anywhere. We all know the Ori crusaders rely on those energy-stick things." He turned to Carter. "Can't you whip up one of those? Or at least something that's going to pack a punch?"
Carter's face darkened. "General Landry gave me full authority to oversee this project."
"I know. I gave him the authority to do so." Jack glanced at the sticks and sighed. "Carter, we need something more realistic here."
"Actually," Daniel said, "it might be more realistic if we were wearing armor."
Jack scowled. "Don't give her ideas."
Carter stopped and seemed to ponder the suggestion, but then shook her head. "Sir, you know as well as I do that it's imperative to know the enemy."
"And the societies that we've encountered have a strong leaning toward feudalism," Daniel added quickly. "Sword fighting is part of their culture."
"I've witnessed many of their techniques," Vala said. "If we can master their own skills, we could undermine their capabilities."
Dammit. He knew Carter and Daniel would tag-team him. He hadn't expected Vala to jump on board with them.
"All right, then," Jack said. "Show me what you can do."
"General O'Neill's right," Mitchell said. "Enough with the child's play. Let's up these babies and fight like real men." When Carter and Vala stirred, he coughed. "And ladies," he added.
"I believe you have had sufficient fun for today, Colonel Mitchell."
"Come on. I'm an ol' pro." He swept the stick in a large, melodramatic arc. "I took on knights in both Glastonbury and Camelot."
"Yeah, and we all know how that went," Daniel muttered.
Mitchell gave him a pointed look before he raised his stick. "Come on, Sam. Bring it up. Me and Teal'c. Right now."
Jack gave Carter the okay with a nod of his head. With a pop, the simulation started again. Mitchell inhaled and exhaled, shrugged his shoulders, and settled into the ready position. When Teal'c moved to strike, Mitchell countered, their swords colliding with a loud ring. Mitchell jumped back and assumed a middle posture while Teal'c came in with his sword raised.
For a second, Jack thought Mitchell was going to strike Teal'c right in the abdomen. But Teal'c was a crafty one, and ducked, leaning back and sweeping his sword upward.
Mitchell broke the graceful arc and pushed down. The swords kept the two immobile, locked as they used their own might to fight for dominance. Teal'c had the obvious advantage and quickly overpowered Mitchell with his strength. Breathless, Mitchell stumbled back, his eyes widening when he saw Teal'c sweeping the sword like a weed whacker, cutting back and forth, one hand behind his back.
"Oh, come on!" Mitchell shouted.
Parry, thrust. Parry, thrust. Teal'c continued to herd Mitchell backwards, leaving him to rely on his quickness and agility. Jack could have sworn he'd seen this movie before.
As they battled, he vaguely wondered if all that Sodan training that Mitchell went through would be of any use in a direct confrontation with the Ori followers.
Teal'c hit him square in the chest.
The rest of SG-1 watched Mitchell go down with a thump. Quickly, Carter shut down the simulation and trotted to his side, checking his vitals.
"He'll be okay," she called out. "He's just stunned."
Teal'c lifted his head, smiling as Mitchell shook off the shock. "You have been defeated."
"Don't go all Star Wars on me." Mitchell wiped his mouth. "You just got lucky."
"Seems to me you could use some of that luck," Vala said.
"No comments from the peanut gallery," Mitchell muttered.
Jack grabbed Mitchell's hand and pulled him to his feet. "Well, that was fun. I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up for quality entertainment."
Carter grinned. "That's great, sir. Why don't you come try?"
"I'm trying to quit, thanks."
"I think you're chicken," Daniel said.
Jack raised his eyebrows. "And I think you're never going back to Atlantis."
That wiped the smugness of Daniel's face. Though as amusing as toying with Daniel was, it wasn't going to win any battles with the Ori or help them engage with their crusaders. So far, all Carter had been able to show him was that SG-1 could play with pretend swords, and they weren't even good at it. Jack wasn't about to continue to authorize funding for a project that could get them all killed.
"While this has been entertaining, I can't give my approval on a project that doesn't have any potential." Jack rose from the chair and started toward the door. "Call me when you have something."
He stopped and looked back. Carter intercepted him and plastered her hand against the door.
"I'm sorry, Carter. As much as I'd love to let you and everyone else play mad scientist, I can't. I have a job to do."
"I understand. But you haven't even tried." She looked back at the pedestal. "Before you make a decision, you should at least try it."
He glanced at the rest of SG-1. They all remained silent as they waited for his answer. While none of them spoke in Carter's defense, he could tell where their loyalties lied.
Jack sighed. "Fine. What do I do?"
Carter jogged back to the pedestal, grabbed her stick, and hurried back to his side. "Just treat the stick like a sword. I can calibrate the settings to have you fight a holographic knight, or you could duel with one of us."
He shot a look over at the team again. Teal'c was grinning, holding his sword to his chest.
Jack grabbed her stick. "I'll fight the knight."
Sam dug out her remote, tapped a few buttons, and before long the image of an impressive black knight stood in front of him. The knight positioned himself to a battle ready pose, almost taunting Jack to get over there and be done with it.
"I can set it to a low frequency," Carter said.
He shot her a quick glare. "I can handle it." Jack took slow, deliberate steps toward the knight.
Besides, it couldn't be that hard. The thing was just a hologram.
Jack said nothing as the medical staff wheeled him out of the training room on a stretcher. In between the looming faces of his old team, he saw a few confused airmen watch him as he was swept away to the infirmary. Probably wondering what SG-1 had done this time.
"I'm really sorry, sir," Carter said, hovering over him. "I should have made sure it was on a lower setting."
Jack waved her away. It's not like he needed that leg anyway.
"I'm sure you'll get feeling back." Vala grimaced. "Eventually."
"And if anything, now you know Sam's project packed that 'punch' you were searching for."
Jack turned his head. "Why thank you, Daniel. Your concern overwhelms me."
Daniel cringed, but came to give him a pat on the shoulder anyway. Not that Jack could feel his shoulder, but it was the thought that counted. Though, the odd stares he kept receiving made Jack believe he could do without the five-team escort.
Make that six.
"Ah, just the man I've been looking for." Landry grinned down at Jack. "You've seen Carter's latest project, I take it."
"I knew you'd like it," Landry said.
"Like is such a strong word." He winced. "Here's an idea. Make me some combat swords that pack a punch like that and we'll talk."
"You mean like fancy laser swords?" Mitchell asked.
"Yeah, something like that." He groaned, noting the infirmary loomed ahead. He had so not missed that place.
He could already see the doctors were waiting to bring him inside. Ready to poke him, no doubt. As they prepared to steer him in, he turned his head and caught Teal'c's eye.
"Hey, T. Those lightsabers of yours?" He grinned. "You might just get them after all."