Disclaimers and other info in part 1.
By sheer force of will, she managed not to gape in shock. It was huge.
"Amazing, isn't it?"
She turned at the sound of a relatively unfamiliar voice--and reflexively came to attention.
General O'Neill made a disgusted sound and rolled his eyes. "Marines," he muttered. "At ease, Colonel. Have a seat, will ya?"
"Thank you, sir."
"You're not under my command, Colonel. Call me Jack." Mac bit back a smile. This man wasn't like any CO she'd ever had.
"Yes, sir." As she had expected, he sighed and shook his head, but didn't argue.
"So Carter and Daniel filled you in about the SGC?"
This time, she did smile. "I have the feeling they barely scratched the surface, General, but yes, they told me what you do here."
"Let me guess--you laughed at first."
"Maybe a little, sir."
"Jack." He smiled, and Mac was caught off-guard by the man's charm. Though her two escorts had told her about their CO, they hadn't mentioned that.
"Mac." He raised an eyebrow.
"Mac it is. But only if you call me Jack." He waggled a finger playfully, and she laughed.
"Sure... Jack." It was odd, calling a general by his first name, but she was sure she'd get used to it.
Footsteps on the metal staircase announced the arrival of SG-1. Mac stood in respect.
"Have a seat, everyone." Jack sat up straight in his chair, and Mac realized why they had made this man a general. He had a focused intensity about him that said he'd get the job done, and he'd get it done right. "Colonel, you know Carter and Daniel. This is Teal'c, the last member of SG-1."
Mac smiled at the Jaffa. "It's nice to meet you, Teal'c." The large man nodded solemnly at her in greeting.
"So, Carter, Daniel, what's the situation here?"
"Well, sir, it seems that the NID succeeded in their experiments after all," Carter started.
"Not so much succeeded as exacerbated the problem," Daniel jumped in.
"We think they manipulated the subjects' genes using some kind of experimental gene therapy. Colonel MacKenzie, having already experienced documented psychic phenomena, was a prime target. If they could find out what caused her... ESP, for lack of a better word, then they could create that or boost it in others." Carter ended her explanation with an apologetic look for the Colonel.
"But how did they manage it? I mean, I would've known if I had been stolen away and experimented on," Mac interjected.
Daniel took up the explanation. "We think they had an operative inside Bethesda. You know, Colonel, for a JAG lawyer, you and your friends spend a lot of time in hospital beds."
Jack, Carter, and Teal'c looked at Daniel incredulously. Actually, Jack and Sam were incredulous; Teal'c merely gazed at him, eyebrow raised.
"You're one to talk, Danny," Jack said, shaking his head. "How many times have you died over the past eight years, again? Let's ignore the number of trips you've made to the infirmary for almost-fatal injuries--or even paper cuts." Mac exchanged a look with Sam, and the two women laughed softly.
"Anyway..." Daniel said, flushing, "it would have been simple for an operative to pose as a doctor or nurse, inject you with... whatever it was, and just stand back and wait for results."
Mac frowned. "Well, that gives me a lot of faith in our government. Not to mention the medical profession," she snapped sarcastically.
"Hey, don't shoot the messenger," Jack said, raising his hands in innocence. "We just thought you should know what's happening to you."
She sighed. "I apologize for my last remark. I was out of line."
"Nah. You're just pissed off that you were used as a lab rat. It's understandable, believe me." Jack looked at her intently. "How did you know about the SGC, Mac?" he asked.
She smiled wryly. "Like I told Colonel Carter and Dr. Jackson--NID experiments." Mac could tell he was waiting for more. She shifted uncomfortably. It was her turn to look at Carter in apology. "I've been having... dreams. About... you, Colonel."
"Me?" The other woman's blue eyes glanced at her quizzically.
"Yes. I've been... well, the dreams have been from your point of view, at least."
"You... um..." Carter stammered, and almost blushed. Mac took pity on her.
"No, I haven't been able to see your thoughts. I just experienced what you did. I didn't interact with my--your--surroundings, and I stayed myself the entire time." She shook her head. "I didn't even realize that I was... you... until a few days ago."
"That's how you knew our names," Daniel said.
"Yes." She decided not to mention the fact that he had been in nearly every dream-vision she'd had of Colonel Carter.
"And these visions only occur when you are sleeping?" a deep voice asked. Mac had been wondering if Teal'c would ever speak.
"I had one when I was conscious, but... well, it didn't work too well. I... passed out."
Teal'c nodded. "Perhaps Colonel MacKenzie's physiology is incapable of controlling the double consciousness of Colonel Carter and herself."
"It would make sense. I mean, people aren't meant to have more than one person in their heads--Goa'ulds and downloaded personalities notwithstanding." Daniel smiled slightly, and Jack and Carter smirked at the inside joke.
"But why me?" Carter wondered aloud. "I mean, out of all of the people on this planet--not to mention other ones--why me? I mean, no offense, Colonel, but I didn't even know you existed before a few days ago."
Mac shrugged. "I have no idea, Colonel--"
"Okay, can we stop this 'Colonel, Colonel' bit?" Jack interrupted. "It's making my head spin."
Daniel rolled his eyes, Carter hid a smile, and Teal'c raised an eyebrow. That eyebrow was very expressive. Mac smirked. "Aye, aye, General."
Jack sighed. "Continue, Mac."
"As I was saying, I don't know why I was dreaming about Colonel Carter. Usually, I dream about people that have I've interacted with--or at least know exist," she concluded, thinking about the Aiken case.
The briefing room was silent for a moment. "Then maybe you and Carter should get to know each other a little better," Jack declared. "It was nice talking with you folks, but I need to go do some paperwork now to explain why we've brought another person into the loop."
"You never know, sir," Carter said with a straight face, "with all we get up to, we could use the services of a JAG lawyer."
Jack's face lit up. "Good point, Carter." His face fell as he looked toward his office. "Here goes. Oh--dismissed."