“You wanted to see me, sir?” Jack rapped quietly on General Hammond’s door, waiting for the eventual invitation. He was still bouncing on his heels in sheer joy for finally being released from the wretched timeloop. No more Latin, no more convincing everyone they’re not crazy, no more Daniel asking frustrating questions, and thank heavens for no more fruitloops, no matter how much he normally enjoyed them.
“Yes, Jack, please come in! Take a seat!” George was in his normal mood, maybe just a little happier, as far as Jack could tell. Maybe General Hammond was having a good day. Jack certainly was having an amazing day. “I am hoping you might be able to help me out with a mystery, Jack.”
“Oh, and what might this mystery be?” Jack tilted his head slightly to the side, deep inside he was grinning madly.
“We found these posted in the commissary while you and SG-1 were on P4X-639, along with a betting sheet to which was the better…” George paused momentarily and coughed in modesty, “specimen.” He tossed over the two black and white photocopies and Jack had to hide the wince of recognition as he took a good and close look at his and Tealc’s unclothed behinds. It’s a really good thing I removed that platoon tatoo a few years ago. “Naturally, I cannot condone this sort of behavior by any of the personnel under my command. We have yet to identify to whom those…” George paused again, “butts belong, but I was hoping you may have noticed in previous timeloops who the perpetrators might be.”
Jack feined looking confused, a skill he had honed and perfected in the past several years. “I don’t understand, sir.”
George contemplated the colonel for a moment. “Major Carter informed me that since this action is most likely not a direct effect of the timeloop, it should have occurred in every loop. As you and Teal’c are the only ones who can remember past timeloops, I was hoping that you might have witnessed who put the pictures up in the commissary.”
“Right!” Jack felt caught in the lie, and was thankful for the way out. “Sorry, sir, but Teal’c and I were a bit preoccupied with Daniel during each loop learning and remembering the translation of the ruins. We didn’t see a thing, General.” Jack gave a smug smile at the answer.
“Very well then, Colonel, I’ll leave you to your mission report! You’re dismissed!” George smiled at Jack while he gathered together the photocopies off the desk and shoved them in a folder. Jack smiled back in relief that he had not been caught in the act. He honestly hadn’t expected the most recent trip to P4X-639 to work and relied on the expectation that his prank would be destroyed with the new timeloop, but at least now he had the very satisfactory answer to the ultimate question as he took one last glance at the betting sheet.
Jack was already half-way out the door when General Hammond stopped him. “By the way, Jack, was it you or Teal’c who broke the glass on the Xerox machine?”
Before he realized the question, Jack answered truthfully. “Teal’c, sir!”