Red Flags Flying
As soon as I see the look on Carter's face I can tell she is worried about something. Having never been one for pleasantries I decide to cut to the chase.
"What is it?"
"I'm not sure, sir. It could be nothing but... there's someone who's been trying to access Daniel's records and it seems to be more in-depth than the average search, though it doesn't go anywhere near as deep as a serious hacker would either, it's just somewhere in between. The thing is that no matter how I look at it, there's something here that just doesn't add up."
"Could you try and be a little more specific than that?"
"Well, sir, I traced the search back to its source. It is originating in the Cascade PD in Washington, in Major Crimes to be accurate. The question is why would a law enforcement agency back in Washington be looking into Daniel's past... and the material they seemed to be trying to locate is not the kind of material one would expect a law enforcement agency to focus on to begin with. In fact at first I assumed that it probably was originating from one of the local colleges. The skill level at least was consistent with what I would have expected if that had been the case.
"The thing is that having someone take a serious interest in Daniel's theories, really looking into them rather than laughing them off, is not something we want. Thats what prompted me to trace it in the first place. The problem is that the origin of the search doesn't really seem to make much sense and the way in which the investigation has been conducted is too sloppy for the usual suspects. If I had to try and guess I'd say that, whoever is behind this, wasn't looking for the SGC seeing how at first he or she left a trail a mile wide. It's as if they had had no idea as to what it was that they were getting into, however once they realized that they were entering areas where they really shouldn't be the search didn't stop, it just became a lot less obvious and more insidious."
"So what you are saying is...?"
"That there's someone out there who is looking into Daniel's background and theories from the Cascade PD, paying far more attention to them than I'm comfortable with and I'd really like to know why."
"Are you sure this someone is going to be a problem or could there be any other options... hopefully some that are snake free and don't involve mortal peril?" I ask, understanding Carter's unease but realizing that there doesn't seem to be anything particularly deadly about the situation either... at least not for the time being.
"I'm not sure, sir. As I said, at first none of this seemed to make much sense."
"At first? So is it safe to assume that you've managed to come up with an explanation since then?"
"Well, this is where things get even more complicated, sir, and please keep in mind that this is pure speculation, but when I traced the search back to the Cascade PD I was baffled so I decided to do a search of my own and I came back with a couple of interesting files... one in particular."
"Do you have a suspect, Carter?"
"I'm not sure but I think so, sir."
"Care to share with the class?"
"A few years ago there was a minor scandal back in Cascade. Nothing earth shattering really, just an anthropology student named Blair Sandburg who had faked his diss. It was something about a man with heightened senses and some other such nonsense... or so it seemed."
"Or so it seemed?"
"Yes, sir. This is where things get interesting. Almost as soon as the story broke Sandburg stepped forward and admitted to the fraud, basically destroying his own career in the process. Up until that point things seemed reasonable enough and the theory itself was so far-fetched that no one really questioned him when he said he'd lied... but if his dissertation was a fraud then none of the things that happened afterwards make any sense.
"You see, he claimed to have found a man with heightened senses, a sentinel as he called him, a man that was basically a walking crime lab, a man whose senses were so powerful that they were all but impossible for him to control."
"And this connects with our mystery search on Daniel exactly how?"
"I'm getting to that, sir. This man, this alleged sentinel, was a Detective James Ellison with the Cascade PD, Major Crimes to be accurate. He was Cop of the Year two years running and..."
"Did you just say James Ellison?"
"You know him?"
"I may know of him. If he is who I think he is, he was covert ops."
"He is, sir. I checked his record."
"And what else did you find out?"
"Well, as I said, that's where things get interesting. After Mr. Sandburg acknowledged his own paper as a fraud he was offered a job as a detective with the Cascade PD."
"Let me guess, in Major Crimes?"
"And as Detective Ellison's partner, sir."
"But why would the Cascade PD take in a fraud as a detective, for crying out loud? That doesn't make any sense at all!"
"Well, there's no apparent explanation, no one ever really questioned it. It was kept hushed at first but by the time Sandburg was done going through the academy and jumping through the necessary hoops the media had moved on and the scandal had been all but forgotten... or it had been forgotten everywhere except in academic circles where chances are he will never be forgiven.
"The problem is that while Sandburg's original claim could easily be dismissed as nothing but fantasy, the truth is that I've been going over it a little more carefully and I've found that his research and his sources were solid enough. Legends of 'sentinels' have indeed been around for a very long time and the man's work was nothing short of amazing... besides, while demonstrating the existence of a living sentinel would have been a master coup, the information he had been able to gather from different sources should have been more than enough for him to be awarded that Ph.D. so there was no real reason for him to lie about it in the first place. In addition to that the idea that he would fake his dissertation seems to be totally out of character from what Ive been able to find. He was a wiz kid who was admitted to college when he was sixteen even though he had a rather unorthodox past that didn't exactly make for a solid academic background. His mother was a teenaged hippy, his father is listed as unknown, and he spent the first sixteen years of his life traveling all over creation."
"That sounds familiar... well, except for the teenaged hippy mother part."
"Yes, sir. The thing is that when all those elements are taken into account then the whole story of that fraud doesn't add up, not really. I've read some of his papers and he is brilliant, in fact I'd say he may be a little too bright for his own good..."
"Like someone else we know? Are you saying that you don't think his dissertation was a fraud?"
"Well, common sense would dictate that it was, but a careful look at the facts pretty much knocks the wind out of that theory. Detective Ellison's record is incredible... a little too incredible if he isn't a sentinel... and that would explain why the PD took Sandburg in even though he was a self-confessed fraud. The thing is that if Sandburg is not a fraud and he has taken an interest in Daniel's theories we could all end up in trouble. He is not someone who will be discouraged by the fact that the theories seem absurd and are bound to be dismissed out of hand by the academic establishment. He is not someone who will spouse or reject a theory based on any possible professional accolades or rejections. And as for his claims that his own work was a fraud, well, it sounds far-fetched enough but let's just say that after having seen the gate in action I am not going to be too quick to dismiss the possibility that there may actually be such a thing as a sentinel out there."
"But even if he were to take Daniel's theories seriously no one would believe him, right? I mean, once a fraud, always a fraud?"
"Yes, sir, but..."
"But you'd feel a lot more comfortable if you could be sure of just where we stand on this?"
"Yes, sir. If I'm right we may be looking at someone who could possibly put two and two together and actually come up with four here."
"I see. So, if I can get the General to give us a couple of days, how would you feel about a little field trip? I hear Washington is beautiful this time of the year."
Author's note: okay, this is obviously several years post TSbBS in "The Sentinel" (in fact it takes place just about now) but timeline wise it will remain ambiguous as far as Stargate goes. I don't care what they say, I like my SGC with Hammond in charge, Fraiser in the infirmary and Jack, Sam, Daniel and Teal'c as SG-1, so consider it AU... it doesn't really matter anyway.