Inspired by the way Twilight’s Mike Newton is constantly treated like crap for absolutely no reason, as well as SG-1’s seventh season episode “Fragile Balance.” I actually wrote this piece back in November, but dithered about whether to expand it from the one scene or not. Coming back to it the day after Christmas made me realize it’s just fine as-is, with plenty of room for reader imagination to take over. Written for the TwiSpiteFic comm on LJ.
General George S. Hammond of Stargate Command, deep in a sublevel of the Cheyenne Mountain facility, was putting the finishing touches on his paperwork. At a knock upon his office door, he gave a quick flourish to his signature and placed the newly-signed form in a bland manila folder. Quickly tucking the folder in his desk drawer, he drawled in his usual Texan twang, “Come on in.”
The door swung open to reveal a teenage boy in the cliched “rebel without a clue” look, complete with faded blue jeans and beat-up leather jacket. His blonde hair was artfully tousled and held in place with some fancy gel that probably cost a king’s ransom, and his eyes held the familiar glint of mischief. Despite having a five-star general in front of him and a beefy guard swinging the door open for him, the boy merely shoved his fists into his jacket pockets and skulked to a spot on the floor directly in front of Hammond’s desk. The lift of his chin indicated only as much deferment as a known troublemaker might give his school principal.
Ah, so he had changed some. It had been some time since the SGC had given this minature Jack O’Neill a new name and settled him into a small, nondescript town. He looked none the worse for wear, and had even gained a little weight and sprouted a few more inches. Not bad for a teenaged clone that had been so frail and near death a few short months before.
“General Hammond,” the boy greeted. Despite the hands in his pockets, the boy’s posture was ramrod straight. “What’s the word?”
Straight to the point without dilly-dallying in niceties; yet another O’Neill trait that had been duplicated in the boy.
Hammond frowned. “Well, the jury’s out on your report.” When the boy opened his mouth to protest, the general held his hand up in a placating gesture. “I don’t like it any better than you do. It smacks of Goa’uld business to me too. But I can’t move on this until I’ve got enough evidence to satisfy the president and the joint chiefs.”
The boy’s expression was supercilious at this, but Hammond didn’t blame him. If one of the SGC teams were up to their eyeballs in suspected Goa’uld activity, Hammond would be outraged at his superiors’ indifference too. But, unfortunately, the word of one civilian teenager with mid-level security clearance wasn’t enough to sway those who needed to listen.
The boy’s tone was dripping with thinly veiled anger. “General, the kids on the reservation have bulked up in a matter of days! No Earth steroids can manage that! And then there’s that freaky Cullen family, whose skin turns a sunlit day into a Studio 54 rave! If that isn’t suspicious, I don’t knowwhat is!”
Hammond bit back a chuckle. He had to remain professional, even if the kid wasn’t. And the bizarre and provocative descriptions — which had been left out in the dry report the boy had written — were certainly amusing. If he didn’t know any better, Hammond would have thought the kid was pulling his leg. But Jack O’Neill — both the full-grown original and the not-yet-legal carbon copy — was always honest to a fault. Even if his lack of adhering to protocol and orders alike got him into quite a bit of trouble. He was good at ferretting out the truth. That kind of thing you didn’t always find… especially in someone so young.
Hammond pulled out his copy of the kid’s report from a file cabinet. “You said here that a young woman by the name of Isabella Swan seems to be at the epicenter of this activity.” When the boy nodded, Hammond replied, “You think you can get closer to her, son? Find out how much she knows?”
The boy’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. Hammond could all but see the Yes! A real assignment! bouncing about in the boy’s brain. “Sure thing, George,” he replied impudently. “Should be easy to go all puppy-love for Bella. After all, I am a teenager… and she is kinda hot.”
Hammond nodded, the hint of a smile gracing his lips. “Good. Contact me if you find out anything more, Ja…” He cleared his throat, and quickly corrected himself. It would be better to refer to him by his assumed name, before a Who’s on first? scenario could develop. “Mike.”
The boy grinned, obviously satisfied. “Will do.” He sauntered out the door with that so very familiar O’Neill swagger. ‘Mike Newton’ pivoted and gave a mock salute on his way out. “See ya ’round, General.”
Hammond sighed. He had his hands full enough with one Jack O’Neill; why did Fate decide to saddle him with two? But no matter; the boy had given them information they would not have had otherwise. If the Goa’uld had, perhaps, dropped some of their experiments in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, it was best to know before their endgame was accomplished.
He frowned as he pulled out an empty form and began to write his recommendation. Yes, the sooner they knew what was behind this weird activity, the better.
Fun Fact: The movie version of Mike Newton and the teenage O’Neill clone are played by the same actor, Michael Welch.