Tuesday - 15th August (afternoon)
As Daniel tucked into the ham and pickle sandwiches, and a second mug of coffee, Harry briefed him on his investigations.
"I'm pretty sure Jackson skipped out just before 08.00 when the security shift changes. There're two guards on duty in the A.P. Chamber at all times, day and night. Now there was a power outage between 07.51 - 07.59, knocking out both the surveillance and computer systems thus keeping no record of comings and goings during that period."
"Isn't there a back-up, a - a failsafe, for when that happens?"
"Funny you should ask that," Harry said. "Yes there is - two, in fact. Both of them went down. Together. Isn't that interesting? So Beckford, who claimed to have no expert knowledge of such things, sent de Groot, who has, off to the security control room to check it out. Beckford said he'd be ok on his own because there was no traffic scheduled through the A.P. before 09.00. That, at least was true."
"The timing would certainly fit in with our mission. We left at 09.00 - well, 09.05 actually," Daniel grimaced. "It took us about an hour from the 'Gate to the town - maybe more, because we made a detour through the woods because Teal'c thought he heard something. Actually, he thought we were being followed... "
"Maybe he was right."
"Ye-es. More than likely in fact, now I come to think about it. Once we reached the town, it must've been another forty to forty five minutes before I got zatted and ended up here."
"Hm, assuming we're in the same time-frame which, given that it's the same planet, is usually the case, that would fit in. Your arrival was timed at 10.56. You - as the attempted fugitive were zatted immediately on your arrival which knocked you out for quite a while."
"I was very lucky there," Daniel observed. "I think I told you I'd already been zatted and two hits close together usually kills?"
"Yes, you did. I guess it took him a while to change clothes with you. Anyway, once you started to come round, they sedated you and carted you off to the lock-up to await my convenience." Harry gave a wry grin. "But back to today. Beckford signed out at 12.00 at the end of his morning shift, and instead of going to the staff canteen for lunch like he usually does, he left the building. We tried to track him down, but he's disappeared. Not that that, on its own is particularly damning - there could've been a family emergency."
"Wouldn't he have notified someone if that were the case?"
"Maybe, but that's a minor point. The major one is that, when we did a little background checking, it turns out that two hundred grand made a temporary appearance in his bank account. It appeared around midnight and was withdrawn in cash at 12.27. CCTV footage shows him leaving the bank with a briefcase and a holdall. He then went to an office down the road, didn't come out - not from the front door anyway - and hasn't been seen since. Turns out, he'd converted most of the cash into bearer bonds for easier transportation. Isn't that interesting!"
"Isn't it illegal?" Daniel asked.
"It should be, but no it's not - not here. Not yet anyway."
Daniel shrugged. "Any chance of another coffee? Pretty please?"
Harry chuckled. "Well, since you ask so nicely... Meanwhile, you might like to look through these," he said, passing Daniel a large brown envelope. "They're screen captures of allocosms which look something like your drawing. There's about a hundred."
A lot of them, Daniel discarded at first glance as he went through them, putting the rest into two piles - possibles and highly possibles. He was down to the last two when Harry came back with two mugs of coffee.
"I thought I'd join you," he smiled. "How're you doing?"
"Nearly done," Daniel said, tossing out the penultimate one. He was about to put the last one on the possibles pile when something caught his eye. "And I think we're in luck. This is the one."
"Well, not definitely, but almost certainly. See here - on that side table - there's a rectangular shape that's a slightly different color - probably an indentation in the layer of dust and another mark next to it."
"And that's the table that I put my notebook and flashlight on..."
S.G.-1 returned in almost total silence to the S.G.C. to regroup and decide on their next move. As Sam drove, the three contemplated the mess they were in and how to get out of it.
Jack had mastered his anger and his face now wore a blank closed-off expression. He was thinking that in his guilt-fueled haste to apprehend Daniel's well, abductor wasn't far off the mark - he'd developed tunnel vision and failed to think through all the possibilities. Had failed Daniel. Again...
Hammond was waiting for them in the briefing room, having been apprized of their arrival from the guard on the surface. He was looking more than usually grim. When he'd heard all their reports, he asked for suggestions.
"I think we're going to have to go back to P6X-312," Jack said. He regarded the rest of his team, the team he hadn't taken nearly enough care of lately. "Carter, it is possible that you can find the universe where Daniel's being held?"
"Possible sir, yes, but not certain, and that's assuming he is being held against his will."
"Oh come on! If he isn't holed up in some jail charged with this other guy's crimes, then he would've come home by now." He paused. "Wouldn't he?" There was a pleading note in his voice at that.
Jack felt guilt turning his insides into knots. Apparently it showed. Sam took pity on him.
"He probably doesn't have his G.D.O. on him."
"So. He coulda gone somewhere else - the Land of Light - Cimmeria," Jack pointed out refusing the get-out clause.
Sam sighed. He was right, of course.
"Still, it looks like it's your best bet," Hammond mused. "There's another problem though. Wouldn't we need to requisition the control unit from Area 51. That could take a while despite pulling a few strings"
Jack groaned at his oversight. "I'm an idiot, sir. Daniel said there was a control unit with the Quantum Mirror."
Sam nodded. "That would certainly help. Assuming the other Daniel didn't bring it with him." She took in her C.O.'s downcast expression. "And you're not the only idiot - err, sir," she went on. "I never once considered what else he might have brought with him."
"Never mind that. What do you mean about what this other guy might've brought with him?"
"Well, he fitted in almost seamlessly with the rest of us. His reality must be on a par with our own technologically."
"And?" Jack wanted to know where exactly she was taking this.
"He may have something like those mimic devices the aliens used when we had that foothold situation last year."
"Or a personal cloaking device," Teal'c suggested helpfully.
Jack's heart sank even further. "So the haystack just got a whole lot bigger..."
Sam's mind searched around frantically for some means of lifting the cloud of gloom that had settled on them. And found it.
"Sir, once we've gotten Daniel back, the other guy will have to give himself up."
Jack looked nonplused.
"Entropic cascade failure," she grinned.
"There cannot be two versions of one person in the same reality," Teal'c smiled.
Hammond caught on. "And as our Daniel belongs in our reality "
"The other one will start to fall apart, sir," Jack smiled. "So P6X-312 it is then."
"I think that's probably your best shot, Colonel. I suggest you leave at 0600 tomorrow," Hammond said.
Jack look concerned. "General?"
"You - and your team - need rest," Hammond said pointedly. "There could be a welcoming committee waiting for you, or rather the rogue Dr. Jackson. I don't want any more of my people being taken out by janitors..."
"Could I suggest a compromise, sirs?"
"Go on, Major."
"If we leave now, we'd reach the town by around 1530 to 1600 hours. That would give us plenty of daylight time to recce the area around the main building. There are plenty of defensible sites. If there's no one there, we could bivouac and get an early start tomorrow."
Hammond thought about it. "Very well, S.G.-1, you have a go."
Daniel had partially shaved and donned the uniform Harry had brought. The fit was a little baggy round the waist, but the belt took care of that. It was a better fit than his B.D.U. at least. The peaked cap shaded his eyes , and with the natty tache and goatee hiding his lower face, the average man in the street wouldn't give him a second look.
"If you can manage without your glasses, I suggest you take them off when we get to the Mall. Jackson usually wears contacts but he does wear glasses from time to time, and the frames are very similar."
"Ok. Just stay where I can see you," Daniel grinned as he followed Harry out of the apartment block and across the parking lot to Harry's car. "I take it you'll be coming through with me to arrest my other self?"
"That's the plan, yes. I have a warrant for his arrest here," Harry said, patting the buttoned pocket in his jacket.
"We'll have to be fairly quick about finding him then."
"Entropic cascade failure, no?"
"Ah, thank's for reminding me. We'll have to stop off in the A.P. Trade Office to pick up a P.B.G."
"A Pea-brane Generator, I think it's called. It's a little doohickey that Dr. MacKay invented to get around that problem."
"Wow! Sam's really gonna want to meet him! Oh, and that's another thing. Do you know if anything was taken from me when I was first... arrested?"
"Yes, a little gizmo like a T.V. remote control but with two pairs of straps to fasten it to my wrist."
"Not there. I went through all the personal effects before I interviewed you the first time. Everything checked out as belonging to the native species. Is it important?"
"We'd be better with it than without it. It identifies us as S.G.-1 - my team - so they know to open the iris. Going through with the iris closed is... terminal."
"But we can go to one of our allies' worlds and they'll get word through to the S.G.C."
"So we're ok then?"
Maybourne gave him a sideways look. "Terminal?"
"Very. Splatted like a bug on your windshield - or something like that. Don't worry. It won't happen."
"I hope that isn't famous last words," Harry said looking a little concerned. "I kinda like being three dimensional."
Daniel followed Harry down into the A.P. Chamber in the basement of the West Organization Tower, and up to the check-out desk and turnstile.
"Afternoon, Robinson," Harry said cheerfully. Daniel kept his head down, eyes fixed on Harry's feet, to reveal as little of his face as possible.
"Back here again, Mr. Maybourne, sir?" quipped the young man whose uniform indicated that he was one of the security detail. "I'll be thinking you can't bear to tear yourself away!"
"Yes, well, maybe not for much longer. I got lucky. If this lead pans out, I may be able to collar Jackson."
"Aren't you taking any back-up?"
"Well of course." Harry jerked his thumb over his shoulder at Daniel.
"Just one guy?"
"Yeah," Harry nodded towards Daniel. "This is Officer MacNab. I'm lucky to get him. He just transferred in from California. Ex-Seal."
"Wow!" Robinson was impressed. So was Daniel, but for a different reason.
Five minutes later, paperwork duly completed, Harry and Daniel stepped through into ALC-24090114. As they did so, each put out an arm to hold the other back from trampling on any evidence, and laughed. Daniel took out the small flashlight which came with the uniform and squatted down for a closer look at the scuff marks in the dust and detritus of centuries.
"So what do you think?"
"I think this is it. There's a lot of recent disturbance and I think that pair of parallel drag marks were probably made by my heels." He looked at the side table. "Those are about the size of my notebook and my own flashlight too."
The pair moved further into the store room.
"Well, I think that clinches it," Daniel said, pointing to the floor near the doorway. "Those are definitely the tracks of military boots. Notice the deep tread? And there are two sets - Jack's and mine. Judging by the wear pattern, those are mine."
Another set of tracks, which entered but did not leave the room, drew Harry's attention.
"Well, well, well... Now I'm certain we got the right place." He pointed to the clear marks on the tiled floor. "There couldn't be two people coming through here recently wearing signature Louis Voulez loafers... could there?"
"It's not impossible, but very highly unlikely," Daniel agreed, looking at the very distinctive footprints.
Harry almost hugged Daniel. "Well done, Daniel! You did it!" he beamed.
Chatting companionably, they followed the tracks to the entrance hall where two more sets of tracks could be seen. Judging by their sizes, they belonged to Sam and Teal'c.
"So now what?" Harry asked as they made their way to the main entrance.
"Now you get your hands in the air, and don't try anything funny."
"Jack!" Daniel exclaimed, then took in the P90 pointing straight at him.
"I said get your hands up," O'Neill said coldly.
Shocked, Daniel did so. "Jack? It's me Daniel. Don't let the beard fool y "
"When I want you to talk, I tell you. Carter! Teal'c!" Sam and Teal'c appeared, also battle ready. "'Cuff 'em."
"Maybe we were wrong after all," Harry muttered as Teal'c pulled his arms behind him and slipped plastic zip cuffs round his wrists. "Are you sure this is the right allocosm?"
"Pretty sure," Daniel muttered back with a scowl at Jack, "except Colonel Grumpy's turned into Colonel Grumpier."
Sam, fastening his hands behind him, inhaled sharply. "Daniel?"
"No, I'm the tooth fairy," Daniel snapped as the restraints tightened round his wrists.
She came around to look at him, concern in her eyes.
"Sorry, Sam. It's been a rough couple of days."
"Shut up, Jackson. Ok folks, let's get these two back to the S.G.C."
"Been rough for us too," Sam murmured.
"That'll do, Carter. Talk all you want when we get back."
Daniel cleared his throat. "First, Harry, I'd just like to apologize for my Commanding Officer and his boorish behavior."
That caught O'Neill's attention. He gave Daniel a long, hard look. Turning away, he said more quietly, "Moving out now."
"That's the bear with the sore head, I take it?" Harry asked conversationally.
"That's the one," Daniel nodded, grimacing. He got another suspicious look from O'Neill, but no comment as he led the team down the shallow steps of the perron.
"Knees playing you up, O'Neill?" Harry asked provocatively.
Jack stopped suddenly, mid-stride. Didn't turn round. Resisted temptation. Carried on walking.
It was brisk silent march back to the S.G.C., yet it seemed to take forever. Jack was taking point along with his constant companion, Guilt. The two prisoners came next followed by Sam and Teal'c. Jack was strung out as taut as he'd ever been. His brooding presence cast a gloomier cloud over the damp and gloomy world.
He and the remains of S.G.-1 had been checking out the ruins surrounding the main building for some twenty minutes before making tracks for the storage room. They were just mounting the perron steps when they'd heard sounds from within and took up station on either side of the huge entrance. His spirits had soared with relief when he heard Daniel's voice approaching. Then came Maybourne's voice, and his spirits had plummeted again. No way would Daniel willingly consort with that rogue! Yet they seemed positively chummy. This gave him pause.
What if this wasn't S.G.-1's Daniel after all, but another renegade fugitive from justice? Couldn't afford to make the same mistake twice. Equally couldn't just walk away if it really was their Daniel. Had to take them into custody and sort it out back at the S.G.C.
Guilt had reminded him that the whole damn' mess was all his fault, so what had he done? Treated Daniel to a display of alpha male aggression like it wasn't his fault at all but Daniel's the victim in all this most likely. Yeah, that's right - blame the victim.
Daniel's disparaging response had hit him two ways. It had stuck the knife in, reminding him of his failings. It had also given him cause to hope that this was indeed the genuine article. The pissy geek who had baited many a Bad Guy certainly wouldn't hesitate to take verbal potshots at him too.
Now, he couldn't wait to get back home to sort things out once and for all even if his knees were complaining. Retribution? He remembered that Maybourne had made a snide comment about his knees. Did that mean that his own alter-ego had the same little A.C.L. problem, or had Daniel been talking about him? He wasn't quite sure how he felt about that idea.
Hammond, as usual, was waiting to greet the returnees in the 'Gate Room. His face registered surprise at Maybourne's appearance on the ramp and even more at Daniel in restraints.
"I'd like these two placed in a holding cell, sir, pending further discussion."
"A holding cell? Doctor Jackson?"
"Yes sir. I'll explain in the debriefing."
"Well, if you're sure," Hammond said, not looking convinced.
"Yes, sir. I'm quite certain."
"Very well, Colonel." He nodded to the S.F.s closest to the prisoners. Surprisingly, Daniel had nothing to say as he and Harry were escorted out of the 'Gate Room and up to Level 16. Harry also remained silent after an exchange of glances with Daniel. If he was ok with this, then so was Harry.
"Kind of a role reversal," Daniel commented wryly, rubbing his wrists to restore circulation..
Harry chuckled. "I'm kinda surprised they put us both in the same cell."
"Oh I don't know. Note the security cameras. They probably reckon they'll learn more from our conversation."
"Actually, I'm rather more surprised that they locked us up at all, although... They didn't seem exactly pleased to see us, did they?"
"I can guess why," Daniel said. "In the first place, that's Jack's standard knee-jerk reaction to the very mention of your name - well, not your name obviously, seeing as he's never met you "
"Hey, I hope I don't end up on Death Row in my evil twin's stead!"
"Don't worry. I won't let them."
"You're assuming someone will pay attention to you."
"Have a little trust, Harry."
"I do trust you, Daniel. It's the others..."
"Seriously, Jack's one of the most honest, honorable and loyal guys you're ever likely to meet."
"So, not like the home grown variety then?"
Daniel laughed. "Not at all, from what you've said about him. And I couldn't wish to work for a better man than General Hammond."
"Seems like he's a good guy on both sides of the A.P."
"Balances out the two Kinseys, I guess."
There was a short silence as Harry mulled this over. "I can understand your O'Neill's not being overjoyed at seeing me, but I don't see why he was so shitty with you - pain notwithstanding."
"I think I can guess. They've realized I've been switched and my evil twin's given them the slip."
"Don't worry. I told you. He can't have gotten off world, much less to another universe. The fact that Jack, Sam and Teal'c came specifically to that particular building on P6X-312 indicates that they realized where the switch was made and hence came looking for me."
"But can you be certain there weren't four of them when they left the... erm... S.G.C.?"
"Well, given that nothing in life is certain - except death and taxes - yes, I'm pretty sure. There would be no reason for a first contact team to revisit a world under normal circumstances. It does happen sometimes - usually somewhere we've screwed up and gone back to try and put things right," Daniel explained, grimacing. "I'm thinking he's seeing this as another one of S.G.-1's screw-ups, and having failed to spot one doppelgänger, figures it could happen again. Hence he had us hauled back in chains - in a manner of speaking."
"Hm, I guess. I certainly fell for the switch in the first instance."
"Yes, and you're waaay smarter than Jack!" Daniel exclaimed, grinning up at the security camera.
The debriefing was brief. Everyone wanted to know if the person currently detained at the S.G.C.'s pleasure was the real Dr. Daniel Jackson or another ringer. Debriefing over, Hammond called up to the monitoring station for the earliest transcripts taken from the holding cell while Daniel was taken, under guard, to an adjacent interview room.
There was a smothered snort of laughter from Sam as she reached the end of what had been transcribed so far.
Jack's head shot up. "What?"
"Erm, just something Daniel said."
Jack noticed Hammond's mouth twitch a little and went to the final line in his own copy. "No way! No way is Maybourne smarter that me!" he said, aggrieved.
"No sir, but it is very Daniel, isn't it? Especially when he's ticked off."
"And especially with you, O'Neill."
"Well, it's about time Jazzer!" Daniel snapped as Jack entered the interview room.
"Apparently that's a kind of pet name that my alter ego calls your alter ego. You're a crooked accountant, by the way."
"Just thought you'd be interested. Oh, silly me. Of course you wouldn't."
This interview was not going the way it was supposed to.
"What have you done with my alter ego, by the way?" Daniel leaned back in his chair. His smug, knowing look made Jack wonder if he'd picked up some sort of mind reading ability while he'd been away.
"We're talking about you, Jackson, the one currently in custody."
"Ah. So you have lost him then? Thought so. Harry is not going to be pleased."
"And you can leave Maybourne out of this too!"
"Oh, I'd rather not, Jack. He pretty much saved my life..."
And then The Guilt kicked in, reminding him of his promise to himself to make things right with Daniel - and Hammond's instruction to him to do so, once they'd recovered Dr. Jackson. If this was he...?
"The thing is, Jackson... Daniel... we don't know who you are. You could be another cuckoo in our nest."
"But I'm not, and deep down you know that. In spite of the beard."
"I have to be sure."
"Ok, well that shouldn't be too difficult."
Jack gave him a sharp look, but this time he didn't seem to be sniping at him. "First things first. How about coffee?"
Oh well, if it would help. Jack summoned one of the S.F.s at the door and gave an order. At the mention of the word, 'commissary' however, Daniel jerked forward.
"Oh no. None of that - that alter-coffee! If you want me to talk," Daniel growled, putting on a Jimmy Cagney accent, "it's gotta be the real thing."
Jack sent an unbelieving scowl his way.
"It's ok, you don't have to go into the Springs for it, er, Gifford, isn't it? There's a newly opened pack of java in the bottom drawer of my desk - filed under 'J'..." Daniel said with a beguiling smile at the S.F.
Jack surrendered to force majeure. No one dared to come between Daniel and his coffee, not even Jack. "Go," he said with a dismissive wave, "make coffee. And," with a look at Daniel that said 'checkmate,' "make that two mugs."
"Hey! That's my be "
"I know," Jack said, retrieving his cocky smugness.
Daniel chuckled. "My caffeine habit was the clincher with Harry too Now don't look like that, Jack. This Harry is no more like ours than I'm a criminal mastermind. In fact he's an investigator with their Serious Crimes Investigation Department - kind of like an F.B.I. agent. He has a warrant for the arrest of the other Dr. Jackson who is something of a godfather of crime, and I wouldn't have been able to get into their A.P. Chamber and back through the Quantum Mirror without him."
Jack looked thoughtful. "So what's he planning to arrest - um - the other you for?"
"The murder of George Hammond."
Jack's eyes bugged out. "Shit! We figured he was up to no good, but murdering General Hammond?!"
"Ah, he wasn't a general. It was totally a commercial venture. He was Chairman of the Stargate Trading Corporation. You Jazzer, that is - were after his job. How did you tumble to the fact that I wasn't - er, me?"
"I didn't," Jack admitted, feeling Guilt nipping at his heels again. "Sam did. Your boots gave him blisters - bad blisters actually. She worked out that there had to have been a different pair of feet wearing them. Plus he kept calling her 'Sammy.'"
"Ah. That's another thing I have to thank Harry for. He referred to you by your nickname when he was interrogating me. Stopped me giving myself away when I was 'rescued.' I guess that caused Paul Davis his death. Lost Teal'c his leg too." Daniel looked sad.
"Yeah. 'Cept he was a lawyer, not military. Look, would you find it easier if I just wrote a report on what happened?"
"Sounds like it would make interesting reading."
Daniel gave a melancholy little snort. "If you mean 'interesting' in the manner of the Chinese curse, then yes. Very."
Jack pondered a moment. "It's probably a good idea in more ways than one. However, I still have to ask you a few questions for confirmation purposes "
"I don't have a sister, Jack," Daniel said, eyes twinkling, "and if I did, I wouldn't let you near her..."
"Wha " Then the penny dropped. "Machello!" he chortled. Waving at the security camera and pointing at Daniel, he gave a broad grin. "It is our Daniel!" He could have hugged him. "Um, sorry for the less than welcoming... welcome, by the way."
Daniel shrugged. "I guess you had to be certain..."
"Ok," Jack went on, back in business mode again, "then next on the agenda is laying Doctor Evil by the heels." A galling thought came to mind. "Oh, and that's another thing," he said, looking distinctly sheepish, "he's also made off with fifty grand from your bank account."
"You know, you really ought to think about investing your money somewhere where you'll get a better return than you do from a bank."
Daniel shot him a suspicious look. "Are you sure you're not an accountant manqué?"
S.G.-1, General Hammond and S.C.I. Maybourne convened in the briefing room. To save time, Hammond had sent to the commissary for food to be sent down. He wanted this matter resolving in the shortest possible time.
"It seems that the most pressing matter right now is the recovery of the alien Doctor Jackson," Hammond began. "Agent Maybourne, as you know him best, perhaps you would start the ball rolling?"
"Thank you, sir. Firstly, I think we need to try to put ourselves into Jackson's shoes."
"We'd get blisters," Jack muttered and got a stony look from Hammond. "Sorry. Pray continue, Agent Maybourne."
"Well, in the first instance, Daniel was a little disoriented because, while some place names are the same in both allocosms - er, universes - names like Colorado Springs and Denver for instance - some are not. My country is the United States of Lakota, not America."
"Lakota is a Sioux word, meaning 'Allies,'" Daniel put in.
Harry smiled in surprise. "Yes it is," he nodded. "I don't think Jackson will be thrown by this for long though. He's led a First Contact team on a regular basis for four or five years now and, unlike Daniel here, Jackson has explored beyond the A.P. or Stargate headquarters while on missions. He's also a very smart guy used to thinking on his feet."
"I hope he has Daniel's sense of self-preservation too, then," Jack commented drily."
Harry looked a question.
"He hasn't got one."
"That would be a major difference then," Harry said as Daniel scowled at Jack. "When Daniel was arrested on my world, Jackson's henchmen immediately co-ordinated a rescue."
"Didn't work terribly well, though, did it?" Daniel said.
"That was probably because it was you, not him."
"You let me live! Despite his disinclination to do his own killing, he would probably have shot me, dumped me into the ravine, pushed the getaway car to the side of the passing point and driven off in my car. As it was, they needn't have bothered because he'd obviously ear-marked ALC-24090114 "
"P6X-312," Daniel added.
" as a bolt-hole for if the worst came to the worst. The way he tried to insinuate himself into your team shows what an opportunistic bastard he is. Right now, he has enough money to hide out and lie low for a few weeks, or months even. During that time, he'll be doing research about this world as Daniel apparently did about mine," Harry smiled. "When he figures his disappearance has become a footnote in history, he'll move on, probably to another country, and start afresh."
"Any idea where he might hide out?" Jack asked.
"Now we have Daniel back, I suggest we contact all the local hospitals," Sam suggested. "He's not going to be feeling too good once entropic cascade f "
"It won't, Sam," Daniel interrupted. He opened his shirt to display the P.B.G. "He'll most likely be wearing one of these which will prevent that happening."
"Oh wow!" Sam breathed, her eyes wide with desire, "Did the other me make them?"
"It was a Dr. MacKay on my world," Harry said apologetically.
"I have to meet him!"
"You'd probably be disappointed, Sam. My opposite number's a... a cryptologist, so there's no guaranteeing that our Doctor MacKay, if there is one, isn't a botanist or an oceanographer or something. But now you at least know it can be done and once we catch Dr. Jackson, maybe Harry will let you keep this one to play with?"
"I think that can probably be arranged," Harry smiled, "or you could come to my world and discuss it with him. He's a very obliging guy."
"Meanwhile, people, could we get back on track please?"
"Sorry, sir," came from Sam and Harry in unison.
"Do you have any thoughts about places Dr. Jackson might head for, Agent Maybourne?" Hammond continued.
Harry thought for a moment. "He has a large apartment in the Barbican - er, Citadel Mall? I doubt that would be an option here. I think someone said Jackson had been in Daniel's apartment. Could he have found any information there relating to any other property - a holiday home maybe?"
"I doubt it," Daniel said, "given I don't have any other property except my apartment. Unless I mentioned Jack's cabin in "
" Minimacha?" Harry asked.
"Not... quite," Daniel replied as Jack's jaw dropped, "but suspiciously close."
"The bastard had better stay away from there!" Jack growled.
"Would he not avoid places which he might expect to be of interest to his pursuers?" Teal'c asked.
"That's a good point, Teal'c," Harry conceded. "Though he probably hasn't traveled that far in the time he left the Springs. Assuming he has, which is likely."
"Nevertheless, I will ask the local police department to check that the place is secure and has no unauthorized visitors," Hammond said.
"Thank you, sir."
"Or indeed any visitors," Harry warned. "Jackson is more than capable of talking his way out of that. He'll have any unwary cop believing that it's his cabin and he asked the police to keep an eye on the place."
"Not if you fax them my photograph," Jack pointed out.
"Ah. He'll no doubt think of that then," Harry said glumly.
"I'll still take that precaution though," Hammond reassured Jack. "Unfortunately, we don't seem to be any further forward."
"Well, on the plus side, we know Doctor Evil is trapped on this planet, assuming you've already contacted the N.I.D., sir?" Jack said. Hammond nodded. "So, in the first instance, I suggest we have an A.P.B. put out for him."
"Saying what, Jack? Obviously we can't tell the truth, so we'd need a cover story."
"Erm... That he's suspected of fraud? And he's gone on the run?"
"I don't think that conveys the right sense of urgency, sir."
"Oh. Then how about, he's an escaped psychopath?"
"Jack?!" Daniel looked horrified.
"He has my face...! I don't want to risk getting shot whenever I'm outside the mountain."
"And even when the A.P.B.'s been cancelled, there's always a chance that some young cop on the make will remember my face and think I've escaped again..."
"All right, you've made your point. Don't over-egg it," Jack scowled.
"I have an idea, sir," Sam said to Hammond.
"Go on, Major."
"We use television. We supply them with an 'artist's representation' of Daniel - ah! let me finish, Daniel - and we tell them that he's been in a traumatic accident at work which caused him to lose his memory. He walked out of the hospital where he was being treated, and he has to be returned safely as soon as possible. Also, he's confused and... and disturbed, and may lash out when cornered, but must be returned unharmed."
She looked to Daniel for a response. He didn't give a flat out negative, so had to be considering the matter.
"We may also," Teal'c suggested, " give a false name - David Johnson perhaps - and say that he believes his name to be Dr. Daniel Jackson, a colleague with whom he was working at the time of the accident and who bears a strong resemblance to him."
Jack gave him a long hard look. "Who knew you could be so devious, T?"
Teal'c' returned the look, his expression pitched somewhere between offended and smug.
"Very well, people. It's been a very long and tiring day, so I suggest you all get some much needed rest while we wait and see what transpires. I'm requesting that you make use of the V.I.P. rooms. That way we'll know who's where..."