Rascals - Chapter 6


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O'Neill hurried through the door to the infirmary, having been called there by Janet.

"You say their memories are back? That's great! Maybe it's all starting to reverse?" O'Neill said, wishfully.

"I'm sorry, but no. I gave them a quick check-up. Their memories are back, but there are no changes otherwise. The amnesia was probably just a temporary side-effect of the process - or perhaps it was because the machine wasn't originally designed to work on humans - or symbiotes."

O'Neill looked unhappy. "Well, at least we'll find out how this mess happened."

He went straight to the children. They were sitting on the floor and playing some sort of game. Strange - since they no longer had amnesia. He heard them giggle.

"So, I hear your memories are back. I thought we'd do a quick debriefing - before Hammond's back." He checked his watch, then, with some difficulty, sat down on the floor, stretching one of his legs out in front of him.

"Yep. What do you wanna know, Colonel?" Sam asked, a serious expression on her face.

"What do you think I wanna know? What happened?" He indicated her and the other children. "What caused this?"

"What this?" Garshaw demanded.

"You guys becoming kids, of course!" He looked at them, exasperated.

"Daniel touched something he shouldn't have!" Martouf said. "Lantash told him not to!"

"Did not!" Daniel defended himself.

"Did too!" Sam said. "It's always you!"

"OK. I guess I did." Daniel giggled.

"I need to pee." Sam suddenly announced.

"I'm hungry!" Lantash countered. He and Martouf must have switched control without anyone noticing.

"Doctor Fraiser!" O'Neill shouted, panicking a little.

"Yes, what's wrong now?" She came running.

"They're still kids! I mean, their behaving that way, too! You said their memories were back!"

"And so they are, but mentally they're still children. Treat them that way."

O'Neill sighed. "I'll try." He shook his head. "Could you take Carter to the bathroom while I get Daniel to tell me what he did this time?"

"Sir?"

He turned to look, and saw Garshaw.

"Yes? What is it?"

"Can I have some ice cream. Please, Colo-nel O'Neill?"

"I want ice cream too!" Lantash proclaimed. "Samantha says it's great!"

"No."

"Pleeeease?" Garshaw begged.

"No! Shut up! I need to talk to Daniel and I can't think with your incessant nagging!"

Garshaw started wailing. "You hate me!" She sobbed. "You do!"

"That wasn't nice." Daniel told him, Lantash immediately agreeing.

O'Neill moaned in a low voice, closing his eyes and hiding his face in his hands. Why did this have to happen to him? How could he possibly have done anything to deserve it? Teal'c, of course, had snuck off on some sort of training session or perhaps to kel'no'reem, or whatever. Next time he would not get away so easily.

"Garshaw..." He sighed. "No, I don't hate you! I..." He shook his head.

Garshaw sniffled a little. "You do not hate me?"

"No, of course not." He awkwardly patted her on the head.

Garshaw smiled a little, wiping away a few tears as she crawled up in O'Neill's lap.

He sighed, but let her. He thought for a moment about how strange this all was. She was a former Goa'uld and a current resistance leader for crying out loud! He looked down at her, accepting that for now she was just a little girl, needing comfort. He gently stroked her hair and she stopped sniffling. He decided she was actually a really cute kid.

He decided to take the time when all of them seemed calm, to ask some more about what happened on the mission. However, he decided to take a more friendly approach this time.

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Hammond entered the room, followed by Teal'c and two guards. He stopped just inside the door and looked at the curious scenery for a moment.

O'Neill was sitting on the floor, with a little dark-haired girl in his lap. Beside him stood two small boys, both with blond hair. One of them was gently patting O'Neill on the arm, obviously trying to cheer him up, while the other looked at Hammond with concern.

"Colonel - so this is where you're hiding!" Hammond looked around the place, spotting Janet returning with a blond-haired girl, the same age as the other children in the room. "What is going on here? Teal'c told me you had had an...incident. Would you care to enlighten me?"

"Well..." O'Neill looked uncomfortable. "Um, yeah. We had...a...ah, minor mishap..." He got up as quickly as he could, while letting Garshaw down gently. She did not let go of him and hid behind his legs, peeking out at Hammond.

"You've got to be a bit more clear than that! Who are these kids - and where's the rest of SG-1?" Hammond sounded irritated. "And the Tok'ra just contacted us, wondering where their people are and why they haven't reported in. You know anything about that? The Tok'ra council is missing their Grand Councillor and they're getting impatient."

O'Neill took a deep breath "They're all here. Carter and Daniel, Martouf..." He indicated the three children standing beside him. And this is Garshaw..." He gently pulled the girl in front of him."

"...of Belote." The little girl added, shyly. "I'm the most hunted - and feared Tok'ra of all time!" She announced, meekly.

Hammond stared at her, unbelieving, for several more moments before it registered in his brain that the girl had spoken with the flanged voice symbiotes often used - though it sounded strange in the child's voice.

"Hi, General!" Sam waved at him, before she hid her face against Martouf's shoulder and giggled.

"Ah...care to comment on that, Colonel?" He looked hard at O'Neill. "Is this supposed to be some sort of joke?"

"No joke. Unfortunately. This really is Garshaw of Belote...and the others are Carter, Daniel, and Martouf." O'Neill looked miserable.

"What happened?" Hammond demanded, exasperated. Why did these things always happen to SG-1? True, this time apparently two Tok'ra were affected as well. "You shrunk the Grand Councillor of the Tok'ra? And you're calling that a 'small mishap'!" Hammond looked like he needed to sit down. "Why haven't you informed the Tok'ra?"

"We....uh, were kinda hoping the effect might be temporary, sir."

"Temporary?" Hammond shook his head, disbelieving. "How did it happen? It's not the Asgard's doing, is it?"

"No, we don't think it has anything to do with the Asgard."

"Daniel touched something he shouldn't have!" Sam said. "Sir!" She quickly added, saluting Hammond.

Hammond looked at the two blond boys. When he studied them a little closer, he noticed features he recognized in the older versions, and believed he could tell which one was Daniel.

"How was I to know it'd do this?" Daniel said.

Hammond closed his eyes for a moment, shaking his head slowly. He opened them again and looked at Janet.

"Doctor Fraiser, could the effect be temporary?" 

"I'm afraid that's unlikely. It very much looks like the only thing that'll bring them back to normal is time. They'll have to grow up all over again - unless we can somehow figure out how to get the device that did this to work in reverse."

"Which 'device' is this?"

"As near as I've been able to tell, they got the door to the lab on P3X-739 opened. They went inside and started examining the place, finding some sort of big honkin' alien machine. Daniel told me he may have...uh...fiddled with the controls of it, and apparently it activated, doing this." O'Neill explained, realising how vague it all sounded.

"You don't know anything else about this device?"

"I have no idea! When Teal'c and I entered the lab, Carter, Daniel, Martouf, and Garshaw were lying on the floor, unconscious - and they were kids. We didn't really think about anything, except getting them back here."

"I understand. We'll send a team to check it out. However, first we should debrief and make sure we have all the information...and Colonel? You're contacting the Tok'ra immediately afterwards."

"Yes, sir..." O'Neill managed to look even more unhappy.

"Do not worry. I shall accompany you and explain!" Garshaw said.

"No, I think you'd better stay here." O'Neill preferred explaining things first, instead of just confronting their allies with a 6 year old Garshaw.

"OK, people. Debrief in 30 minutes. " Hammond turned to leave.

"I'm still hungry!" Lantash informed them.

The others loudly repeated the same, and Janet had a hard time keeping from laughing when she saw the faces of O'Neill and the others.

"OK, Colonel. Debrief in an hour...or make that an hour and a half. Take those children to the mess hall. You help him, Teal'c." Hammond left, not waiting to hear their answers.

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