"Why did you not report their presence immediately?" Kinsey demanded. "It was only luck that I heard about it at all!"
"I wouldn't call it luck," O'Neill mumbled.
"What is he doing here?" Daniel asked.
"I could ask you the same. I was informed you had been killed." Kinsey turned to Reynolds. "What is this? Were I lied to or - are you sure they're not infiltrators?"
"They are who they say they are, but how they came to be here is a rather long story," Reynolds said. "And I do apologize for not contacting you immediately, but I needed to ascertain their identity before involving any civilians."
"I want an explanation!" Kinsey insisted hotly.
O'Neill and Teal'c both looked as if they wanted to kill Kinsey, and Sam did not look much friendlier. Jacob|Selmak mostly looked confused and irritated. Daniel decided it was better to defuse the situation immediately.
"We'll give you a summary," Daniel promised and began to explain.
"You're from another reality!" Kinsey exclaimed.
"Timeline," Sam said, getting tired of correcting people.
"And you arrived in a spaceship, which you have parked outside. Don't you think that sounds just a little convenient and suspicious?" Kinsey asked.
"We didn't change the timeline with the cargo ship! We used it to travel through space!" Daniel exclaimed. "And most recently we just flew in it here on Earth."
"That is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard!" Kinsey said. "Admit it - you're imposters, sent here to spy on us, or maybe even brainwash us and make us betray our country."
O'Neill scoffed. "Come on! Spy on you? Betray your country? Why would we want to do that? It's not like you have anything anyone want."
"Mister Kinsey, please relax. I know these people, and I'm sure we can trust them, whatever universe they are from," Reynolds said, patiently.
"I think you are naive, and I want them to be guarded at all times," Kinsey said, before he left the room.
Reynolds took them to the mess hall where they got something to eat. Stargate Command was low on supplies, but they were lucky - it was the one day of the week where real food was served, and not MREs.
After eating potatoes with a meat stew, they were all in a much better mood, all things considered. They had also gotten a bath and clean BDUs, so as long as they did not pay too much attention to the small number of personnel or the almost complete lack of familiar faces, it was almost possible to pretend everything was normal.
Reynolds was one of only four people on the base they recognized, but many of their friends had been among those who went to the alpha site.
O'Neill threw a glance at the two guards who followed them everywhere. "Do you really have to obey Kinsey?"
"I know about your history with the man, but believe it or not - more than half the people here are loyal to him."
O'Neill gave him a strange look. "How did that happen?"
"Many of them arrived here with him, and they hope he will be able to save them. Get them to the alpha site."
"No offence, but without a power source you won't be able to dial the Stargate," Jacob said.
"I know. We just have to find one." Reynolds gave them a small smile. "Which probably isn't going to happen, but you can hope, right? Anyway, there's plenty of vacant rooms. Do you want your old ones - or do you prefer VIP rooms?"
Daniel yawned. "Sure. My old room sounds good to me."
Sam had been quiet for some time, clearly thinking about something. "You mentioned parts of the Moon had been destroyed. Is it visible to the naked eye?"
Reynolds nodded. "It is. The Moon got a real hard push, and it looks as if it's gotten closer as well. If you want we can go topside and look."
"I would like that," Sam said. "Did it affect the trajectory?"
"So would I," Daniel added.
"Let's go, then - and yes, from what we have been able to tell, the trajectory is not only closer, but also more asymmetrical," Reynolds told them.
"Yep, it's a deathstar all right," O'Neill said, looking unhappily at the Moon.
"There is a strong resemblance," Teal'c agreed. "Most peculiar."
"It is too bad we can't study the effects more closely," Sam said. "Dad, what kind of scanners does the teltac have?"
"Sam, I'm not sure that's what we want to spend the time on."
Daniel shook his head. "Right now I'm just really glad we've got that Furling device so we can undo this."
Next day they had another meeting with Kinsey, which he had arranged.
"Major Carter. That spaceship you mentioned yesterday, it must have a lot of power to be able to fly across the universe," Kinsey observed.
"Um, yeah, it does," Sam answered warily, not sure what he was up to.
"Could it power the Stargate?"
"Well, theoretically I guess it could, but..."
"In fact you are sure it can, aren't you? See, I talked to some of my people, and they promise me that they can get the Stargate up and running in no time using your spaceship. Curious that you forget to mention this detail!"
"That's not going to happen!" O'Neill insisted. "We need it."
"You need it? What about the people here on this base? With the energy from that spaceship we could open the Stargate and send the rest to the alpha site, saving them!"
"I, I can see what you mean, but you know what? It's not going to matter, because we change the timeline and then none of this has happened," Daniel said. "Right, Sam?"
"My God! You just admitted to planning to kill us all!" Kinsey got a strangely triumphant look on his face. "Arrest them, all of them! Guards!"
"Now wait just one damn minute..." O'Neill exclaimed as the two guards raised their weapons. Moments later the door was opened from the outside to allow two more guards entry.
Soon SG-1 and Jacob|Selmak were lead off to a holding cell.
"I am going to kill Kinsey!" O'Neill said.
"I am amenable to assist you," Teal'c told him.
"We should have brought our weapons!" O'Neill grumbled. He shook his head. "Who could have guessed that the highest ranking surviving member of the US government would be him!"
"We're screwed," Daniel said, morosely.
"We've been in worse situations," Sam said, trying to cheer him up.
"When? Not only are we locked up, but we're on an Earth that's a frozen snowball, circled by a, a deathstar!" Daniel said. "And we've got no way to change that without the Furling device."
"What concerns me most is that Kinsey - or someone else - might accidentally change the settings and activate it. Then not only will the timeline change randomly, but we will no longer know it has done so," Jacob pointed out.
"Could you just not talk like that?" O'Neill said, a pained expression on his face.
"It is clear we must escape as soon as possible." Teal'c walked to the door and began examining it.
He ran his fingers along the edge of the door, attempting to find somewhere he could get his fingers in and get enough leverage to pull at the door. Giving up on that, he tried putting his shoulder against the door. Nothing had any effect, and it did not budge.
Giving up for now, Teal'c returned to sit beside O'Neill. He had only just done so when they heard someone outside the door.
Moments later, the door opened and Reynolds stood in the doorway. He quickly looked from side to side to make sure no one was in the corridor, then entered, closing the door after him.
"Reynolds! Get us out of here," O'Neill insisted, getting up.
He shook his head. "Sorry, I can't, but I can give you this." He removed the Furling cube from a bag he was carrying. "This is what you use to change the timeline?"
"Yes! And please be careful with that thing - it doesn't take much to set it off," O'Neill said.
Reynolds handed the device to him. "I gather it can't be any worse than it is."
"You're not concerned that the timeline will change and the life you know will be replaced by something else? That you won't remember this life?" Sam asked.
"No, if I understood you correct before, then it wasn't until a few weeks ago that the timeline was exactly the same as the one you're from. Which I gather is the real one?"
"As far as we know, yes," Jacob said.
Reynolds nodded. "Then that is good enough for me." He looked at O'Neill. "Whatever you do, you should do so quickly. Kinsey doesn't like you and he doesn't trust you. Or me. He would do what it takes to get me replaced."
"We'll make the change happens as soon as possible," O'Neill assured him. "And thanks."