Oh, and may become slashy at a later date, although for now I'm working on a GEN principle. There's not much more here than the initial set-up, and not even the full thing of that. I just wanted to get the factual information I'd learned down first, and I'll build the story from there.
The Stargate burst into life, the titanium iris swirled open as a valid IDC signal was received, and a moment later SG-1 came calmly strolling through.
"Honey, I'm home!" Jack drawled, shouldering his P-90 and waving a non-chalant salute as the welcoming party of armed marines gradually stood down.
General Hammond ignored his second-in-command's usual antics and nodded towards the team. "How did it go, Colonel?"
"Just dandy, General. A walk in the park. Nice planet we got there, too. Funky purple skies, lots of trees, mountains, waterfalls, more trees, not a sign of the Goa'uld... and did I mention the trees?" He duly reported, a tad too jauntily, but Hammond was used to his ways by now.
O'Neill gestured behind him at his teammates. "Daniel found some nice rocks to play with, Carter had a ball digging in the dirt, and I taught Teal'c how to fish." Jack grinned broadly. "Now that's my kind of mission, sir," he added cheerfully.
"Very good, Colonel," George smiled indulgently, glad to have his best team home for once without incident. "Debriefing in one hour."
"Yes, sir," the colonel saluted smartly.
SG-1 began to make their way out of the gateroom, heading for the showers and then the infirmary for the standard post-mission examination. General Hammond reached out quickly to snag Dr. Jackson's sleeve as he walked by. The archeologist looked at him in surprise.
"The Joint Chiefs have finally approved your request for additional personnel, Dr. Jackson," George explained, smiling kindly at the startled linguist. "If you could prepare a list of scientists you'd like to have recruited, we can see about getting some of them clearance."
Daniel smiled brilliantly. "Thank you, General. It'll be a big help to get some more assistance. My department has a huge backlog of artefacts just awaiting classification and translation. We've really needed more people here at home working on the things we bring back."
George laid a compassionate hand on the earnest man's shoulder. "Thankfully, son, the Pentagon finally agrees with you."
"So what'll it be tonight, Jack? Chinese or Italian?"
Jack flipped him the bird without even pulling his head out of the refrigerator. Daniel laughed.
"Aha!" Jack exclaimed triumphantly, stepping back to reveal the fruits of his successful foraging mission. He waved the plate with two defrosted steaks under Daniel's nose and smirked. "Oh, ye of little faith," he mocked. "Tonight, my dear Dr. Jackson, we dine like kings! You get the potatoes going while I go barbecue these babies."
"Yes, sir!" Daniel chuckled at the order and offered his own one-fingered salute. But he crossed to the pantry and dug out the bag of potatoes, and set about washing and peeling them.
"So, Daniel," Jack called from the back porch, where he was already happily tending a nicely roaring flame on the gas grill.
"You thought about who you're gonna try and recruit for the SGC, yet?"
Daniel dumped the cut and peeled potatoes into a pot of boiling water. "Some. I know I'd like to get Drs. Marsters and Linden; they've done some great work with charting paleontological gene flow continuity to support theories of diverse regional cross-pollinization. I'd also like to recruit Dr. Nicholas Chevalier, if I can. His theories on the covert development of close-knit, esoteric societies in suppressed cultures might come in handy for many of the peoples we encounter." His task taken care of for the time being, Daniel went to the door of the kitchen and leaned against the frame to watch Jack lord over the Holy Smokin' Barbecue.
Jack looked at him blankly, waving his spatula as if to say "huh?".
Daniel rolled his eyes, not believing his dumb-act for a moment, but played along. "Dr. Chevalier has proposed that suppressed cultures -- like say on a Goa'uld dominated world -- might respond by developing a sub-set culture that operates in secret, more or less, to maintain a natural societal environment. A covert survival tactic for societies, if you will," he added wryly, putting the concept into words he knew Jack would appreciate.
"Ah," Jack nodded complacently. "Cool."
"Right," Daniel grinned. "There's also a promising new linguist I'm looking to hire. Although he might be more difficult to get clearance for, as I'm not entirely sure he's an American citizen."
Jack slanted him a look. "Where's he from?"
"He's Welsh by birth, actually. But I'm pretty sure I've read about him teaching in an American university out west somewhere, so he'll probably have a Green Card at least. Maybe even dual citizenship, I don't know. Point is, he's reputed to be absolutely brilliant at not only learning new languges, but deciphering ancient dead ones. He's been asked to work on the Voynich Manuscript, for example."
"The what what?"
"The Voynich Manuscript. No one knows the exact origins of the manuscript, but it is believed to have been written between 15th- and 17th-century. European, based on the drawings. Only it's written in a language or code that no one has ever been able to figure, with a mysterious, unknown alphabet that has defied all attempts at translation."
Jack grinned at Daniel's excited tone as he described the manuscript as if were the linguistical Holy Grail or something. And perhaps, to him, it was.
"Wanted to have a go at it yourself, didya?" he teased.
Daniel nodded enthusiastically. "Oh, god, yes! That would've been wonderful! Unfortunately, my expertise is in slightly more ancient languages than the Voynich Manuscript is reckoned to be, so I never really got the chance to get a good look at it. And I've never dealt with encrypted text. Dr. Adam Pierson, however, specializes in European languages from the Middle Ages and the various encryption codes utilized in those days. If anyone could make heads or tails of the Voynich Manuscript, it'd be him."
"Folks talked in riddles back then?" Jack asked, curious.
"More than you'd imagine," Daniel nodded. "With the political, social and religious climate of the Middle Ages, it was often safer to pass information through coded texts than it was to be more forthright. Many valuable documents were encrypted, though often with less complex cipher keys than the Voynich Manuscript -- if it is an encrypted text, instead of just written in a heretofore undiscovered language. Unfortunately, the Voynich Manuscript is the only example of such an alphabet that's ever been found, so it can't be cross-referenced."
"Oh," Jack blinked. He held out the plate of freshly cooked steaks, grilled to perfection, before him like a talisman. "Steaks are done," he said.
Daniel took the plate and headed back into the kitchen as Jack shut down the barbecue. "Great. I'll check on the vegetables."
Silence reigned for a minute as both men went about their tasks, then Daniel's voice drifted outside.
"Hey, Jack? Do you have any salad?"
Endnote: The Voynich Manuscript, and everything I said about it, is real and true to the best of my knowledge. Facts about it were retrieved from here. The rest of the anthro-babble in here is based on actual concepts retained from my Introductory Anthropology courses at Uni. So it sounds good (and some of it is even true! :P) but you probably can't tell the difference. ::snerk::
EDIT: I've figured out where I want this sucker to go now, and it's staying GEN. Still crossing over with Highlander, but only Methos -- it's mainly a Stargate fic. And while Jack will be taking a central role, it will not become another "Jack and Methos Show". Daniel and the rest of SG-1 will get plenty of showing. This I promise you. ::pinky swears::