So Few Choices
I'm wondering if maybe I should throw SG-1 in the brig just on the general principle but somehow I don't think it's worth the effort... and it's not like pulling my hair out is much of an option either.
I know blaming them for this particular mess is not entirely fair but one has to wonder how they manage. I mean, what are the odds that Dr. Jackson's younger brother would turn out to be a detective who is partnered with a former covert ops specialist with a pretty big secret of his own, to say nothing of the fact that --just like his brother-- the kid entered college at the age of sixteen to study anthropology and ended up finding himself basically banned from academic circles for daring to embrace a rather farfetched theory that actually turned out to be correct? On a second thought I'm not sure I want to know, meaning that I better make sure not to ask that question while Major Carter is within a mile of this mountain.
Of course, regardless of the odds and of whether or not I want to know about them, the fact remains that I'm going to have no choice but to deal with the fallout from this one and that brings me to the question of what on earth am I supposed to do with the ticking time bomb SG-1 just dropped on my lap. I know I should be used to this kind of situations by now but the truth is that I'm not... especially not when the situations in question are confined to this world. Those are my biggest headaches... and with this job that is saying something.
The fact is that this is one mess that goes a lot deeper than the average off-world-related SG-1 crisis and it is also bound to be far trickier to deal with. Off-world-related crisis I can handle, those the President and the Chiefs know require 'creative' solutions that don't always mesh with standard military policy, so they are more or less willing to turn a blind eye to the scores of regulations that SG-1 usually leaves in its wake, twisted beyond all recognition, but this? This situation is entirely earth-bound and as such it is a situation they would normally expect to be handled by the book. The problem is that I don't think SG-1 ever heard of 'the book' and that is where things are likely to get complicated. Honestly, you'd think that doing things by the book wouldn't be quite so difficult when you've got a linguist involved but no... I swear that Dr. Jackson's title does nothing but lure you into a false sense of security in that regard.
Now, I'm not denying that part of the problem is that at times the book doesn't work any better here on earth than it does out there --as SG-1's latest escapade proves-- but still that doesn't make my life any easier... at least not in the short term, though the long term may well turn out to be a different story. A 'sentinel', that's something I never even imagined could possibly exist here on our own world, and right under our very noses... and the fact that it exists at all represents an unexpected challenge, not to mention an unexpected opportunity. Yes, getting Ellison and Sandburg on board probably won't be easy but --if I can pull it off at all-- recruiting those two could well turn out to be a major coup... and that makes it all that much clearer to me why Ellison made such an unusual request in the first place.
Even now just thinking of what someone like Ellison could contribute off-world is mind-boggling and almost without realizing it I find myself regretting the fact that there's only one sentinel we can possibly hope to recruit... and that the fact that there's only one sentinel means that there's only one team he can be assigned to, because --if what I've been told about his senses is anything to go by-- then he would be invaluable to us. For years we've been struggling to increase the range of our sensors in hopes of offering our people better protection when they step through the gate, that's been a constant concern but even after all these years the fact remains that even our best scanners are limited at best, providing us with only a partial picture that all too often turns out to be misleading... not to mention that, given that the gate is not exactly stealthy when it engages, any potential enemy waiting for us on the other side has plenty of time to take cover.
I've lost track of just how many times my teams have walked straight into an ambush by now and even though I know a sentinel's help would do nothing to improve those scanners, the fact is that ambushes would become far more difficult for our enemies to pull off... and the possibility of getting a sentinel is only half the story here.
In addition to someone who can help us overcome our scanners' shortcomings --at least when it comes to one team-- we could also get someone who sounds like a potential second for our linguistics department, someone who could both lighten the workload of Dr. Jackson and complement his skills. That's something we've been looking for for a while with very little success... now If only making it happen were something that could be achieved with anything short of an executive order. Unfortunately that seems to be the only option available to us right now and, to make matters worse, Colonel O'Neill has already warned me that the clock is ticking on this particular opportunity.
The thing is that, even though I'm not happy about it, I can definitely understand their reluctance and Ellison's refusal to return to military duty. That leaves me with very little choice so, rather hesitantly, I reach for the red phone and hope that the president will be in a good mood, if he's not, well, then throwing SG-1 in the brig just on the general principle certainly remains a viable proposition... especially because pulling my hair out is not an option.