Rascals - Chapter 16


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"Could I have a little help, please?" Anise asked, trying to crawl up on the large chair. She slid down again, her too-large dress not helping.

O'Neill sighed and lifted her up, putting her down on the chair, then pushing it up to the table.

"Thank you." She took out a Tok'ra hand-held computer and typed a few commands on it, then put it down on the table.

"If everyone is ready, I'd like to start the meeting." Hammond said. 

Doctor Fraiser and several SGC scientists were there as well, together with the Tok'ra. Everyone nodded they were ready.

Anise and the other Tok'ra scientists began going through what they had found, as well as the contents of the extra texts they had gotten translated before the device had been activated.

At least, only Anise and Freya had been affected this time. She had been the only one in the laboratory when the machine activated, though Malek had been in the room outside. This meant the device had a relatively short range.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.

"Enter!" Hammond said.

A soldier stood outside, together with a little dark-haired girl, carrying a large fluffy white rabbit and clutching a piece of paper.

"Sir, she insisted on attending the meeting." He looked apologetic.

"I am Garshaw of Belote. Grand Councillor of the Tok'ra! It is my right to par...participate!" She demanded.

Hammond sighed. "Why not! Come in!"

Garshaw smiled and walked up to him, presenting him with a drawing.

"Thank you. This is for you to show my...appreciation...and because your office is boring."

Hammond heard several of the people present attempt to suppress a giggle. He ignored them and looked at the picture. It showed a field with several rabbits, one of them munching on a carrot. There was also a girl with dark hair and a very pink dress. He smiled.

"Thank you, Garshaw. This will look nice on my wall."

She smiled back at him and turned to the others. She noticed Malek. "You may continue your explanations."

With a slight bow to Garshaw, Malek - and Anise - continued their recounts of what had been found.

They had confirmed the machine was not meant to work in reverse, though they had now learned enough about it to be fairly certain it was possible to reverse the effect. The Tok'ra would continue their study, but they would be more careful this time.

The Tok'ra also had learned a little more about the history of the people who had built the machine. The damage to their DNA, which had prevented them from procreating, had been caused by a weapon - apparently fired by themselves during a war between two or more factions on their world.

Eventually their scientists had succeeded, and the damage had been repaired. Not long after they had been attacked by the Goa'uld. Since they had become dedicated to pacifism after their near-extinction, they had few weapons. They had made the decision to flee, and seemed to have succeeded. However, if they were still out there, no one knew where.

Presumably, the Goa'uld who had conquered the planet had been the one to seal the laboratory and add the inscriptions - likely after someone had suffered the effects of the device.

"General Hammond." Garshaw suddenly called out.

"Yes, what is it?"

"Can I play with this red device?" She lifted the receiver. "It is pretty."

"Put that down!"

Garshaw quickly did, scared. "Sorry!"

"It's just...it's a telephone. A communications device. That one is used specifically to call the president of this country." Hammond explained.

"Oh..." Garshaw looked thoughtful. "Can Mister Fluffy and I call him? We would like to greet him."

"I don't think that would be a good idea."

"Please?"

"Can I have a rabbit like Garshaw's?" Anise suddenly asked.

It was all starting to get on O'Neill's nerves!

Jacob had chewed him out for not looking after the kids and letting them drink alcohol. Then he had been forced to clean up the VIP quarters. He still had a nagging guilty feeling over leaving Daniel and the others alone on P3X-739. He was in charge and so he felt her was responsible to some degree...and now all the Tok'ra were being difficult and there did not seem to be any signs of progress in their research.

Besides, he had slept badly tonight, since his leg hurt from all the walking in the shopping mall yesterday.
Somehow that was worse than walking on the softer ground of alien planets. All of a sudden, it just became too much for him.

"Can't you damn snakes just shut up for a moment so we can get on with the debrief? Some of us would like to get out of here today!"

"I'm not a snake!" Garshaw said, immediately beginning to cry.

Anise started sniffling as well, and Freya took over control. She kicked O'Neill under the table. "Don't make them cry! Bad Jack O'Neill!"

O'Neill stared at her for a moment, then looked at Hammond, who seemed to be displeased.

"Colonel, please give some more thought to your words before you say them."

O'Neill shook his head, looking a bit bashful. Whatever else he felt about the Tok'ra, the children were not to blame for being children, and behaving that way. "Sorry. All of this...it was just getting to me..." He looked at Garshaw and then Freya. "I'm sorry. Really. I didn't mean it."

"Thank you!" Garshaw jumped from her chair and over to him, throwing her arms around the part of him she could reach.



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