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It was late August, and time for the children to begin school again. Since they were not exactly normal children, and since they did know many things already, they were going through the curriculum at a higher speed than normal. This meant they would be starting seventh grade already, even if they were only ten years old.

"I hope we get some great books!" Sam said, looking enthusiastic. "I always look forward to getting the books for a new class, don't you, guys?"

"Yes, for some classes," Martouf agreed. He frowned. "Lantash says it is a waste of resources to have textbooks for school in physical books. We should use a reading tablet with all the material. It's much easier to search in anyway."

"That's what he said last time we got new books too. I don't think they understand... but I do agree," Sam told him.

"Physical books are nice too. They have a great... uh, feel to them," Freya insisted.

"Yes, I remember you like them. Or maybe it's Jolinar who knew." Sam shrugged. "Dad said they had hired another teacher, in addition to Jennifer. Ap-parently she's not quali-fied to teach all classes we have to take."

"Why not?" Martouf wondered.

"Like what classes?" Daniel asked.

"Mostly science stuff, I think... and maybe some history or social things?" Sam suggested.

"I really hope the new teacher is as nice as Jennifer!" Freya said, sounding worried.

"We'll soon see - school starts tomorrow!" Daniel reminded the others.

"Hi, kids! Welcome back to a new school year!" Jennifer said, smiling at them. She nodded at the woman standing beside her. "This is Joan Richardson. She'll be your science teacher."

The children looked at the newcomer. A woman at around 30, with short black hair and dark brown skin. She was a bit taller than Jennifer, but slimmer.

"Hi, Joan!" Sam waved enthusiastically at her with both hands. "Did they warn you about us?"

"Warn me about you?" Joan frowned. "What do you mean?"

"Hello, Joan!" Freya said.

Jennifer got a worried expression. "Miss Richardson got delayed, and only arrived five minutes ago. I don't know how much information she's got yet."

"Call me Joan," Joan said, smiling. "I talked to a General O'Neill, in Washington. I... was given a non-disclosure agreement to sign, which I did, but I didn't actually read it. I figured it was just because I was going to work on an Air Force base - which I actually found a bit strange. I was told that I would teach six children, four of which were foreigners, but that they had been here for four years, and spoke excellent English. Nothing about why it had to happen on the base, but I'm assuming their parents are important people, who perhaps have enemies, so the children needs to be protected."

Jennifer hid her face in her hands. "General O'Neill did the same thing to me! I think he enjoys it!"

"Did what?" Joan asked, getting a confused expression.

"You're pretty!" Daniel told Joan. "Uh... I mean, welcome!"

Martouf raised his hand.

"Yes, Martouf?" Jennifer said, looking pained.

"May Lantash speak, or is he supposed to remained hidden? Oh, and welcome, Joan!"

Jennifer sighed deeply. "Yes, he can speak, but I think I need to give Joan an update so we don't scare her away. You nearly did when General O'Neill pulled that stunt on me!"

"What do you mean?" Joan asked.

"You're going to think I'm crazy, but... this high security installation contains an alien device in the basement - used to travel to other planet. Four of the six kids you'll teach are aliens - and they're all here now. All six of them. Two of them are symbiotic creatures, inside the others. Yeah, I know it sounds insane..."

Joan had been staring at her with increasing disbelief on her face. She slowly shook her head. "This is crazy! You're crazy!"

Martouf bowed his head, giving Lantash control.

"No, she is not. My name is Lantash, and I'm a Tok'ra symbiote." He rose. "Welcome to Stargate Command, Joan!" He flashed his eyes, then made a small bow, like the Tok'ra usually do when they greet people.

Joan made a gasp, and stared at him in shock.

"The new teacher got some shock!" Sam observed.

"At least she didn't run away. I wonder if Jack does it on purpose because he likes messing with people?" Daniel wondered.

"Maybe - anyway, Jennifer will explain it all. She ex-perienced the same," Martouf said.

"Let us play 'Guess the Object'?" Anise suggested. "Since we got off from school early."

Sam shrugged. "Okay, I'm in!"

"Me too," Daniel said.

Martouf nodded. "And me. Who begins?"

"I do - since it was my idea," Anise insisted. She got a thoughtful expression. "Hmmm..."

"Animal, plant, or mineral?" Sam asked.

"Animal - I think," Anise said.

"Is it alive, and not a plant?" Sam asked, trying to help.


"But what if it's a fungus? What do they belong to?" Martouf wondered.

"Let's just say they are plants." Daniel suggested.

"That would be wrong. Bio-logically," Sam told him. "So we should ask... animal, plant, fungus, or mineral."

"What if it's silicon-based and alive?" Daniel asked.

"We don't know anything silicon-based that's alive - except in sci-fi. Maybe we should have an 'other' category for things from movies and such," Sam said.

"I don't think the Tok'ra have met any silicon-based lifeforms..." Martouf looked thoughtful. "Wait... I think the Goa'uld found some..."

"There's the crystalline lifeforms we met back in 1997," Daniel reminded Sam. "They had been attacked by the Goa'uld, so that's probably the ones you've heard of, Martouf."

Martouf nodded. "Probably."

"Right. Then we need an extra category, maybe 'other lifeforms'?" Sam suggested.

"Or we could put them under 'mineral'," Anise said.

"No, we should make another category - also for other stuff, like books and movies," Sam insisted.

"Okay, so 'animal, plant, fungus, other lifeforms, mineral, and other'? Would that cover everything?" Martouf wondered.

"That's not technically correct either, because 'animal' or 'plant' or 'fungus' doesn't say it's carbon-based."

"Then let's just say that's implied!" Daniel exclaimed.

"That would work, because with the one ex-ception you mentioned, everything alive we know of is carbon-based," Martouf said.

"Okay - with those categories, which one is your object, Anise?"

"Animal," she said with determination.

"Does it have feathers?" Sam asked.

"No. Not naturally, at least."

"Fur?" Martouf wondered.

"Not really... well some. More, sometimes. It varies, actually."

"You're only supposed to answer 'yes' or 'no'," Daniel reminded her.

"Well that does not cover it!" Anise exclaimed.

"Did we see the animal in the Zoo when we were there last time?" Sam asked.


"Does it eat meat?" Martouf asked.


"It's a tiger!" Daniel guessed.


"A lion," Sam tried.


"Is it a snake of some kind?" Martouf asked.


"Snakes doesn't have fur!" Sam told him.

"I know!" Martouf insisted.

"Why did you ask the question, then?" Daniel wondered.

"Because Anise said it was only sometimes! Okay... so I made an error, okay?" Martouf looked unhappy. He dipped his head and let Lantash fore.

"It's a wolf," Lantash guessed.


"None of those fits the 'only fur sometimes'," Sam said.

Daniel rolled his eyes. "It's a human!"

"Yes!" Anise answered, grinning.

"That's cheating! There were no humans in cages or behind fences at the Zoo!" Lantash insisted.

"True, but I did not say they were!" Anise got an expression of superiority on her face.

"It's my turn now. It's an animal," Daniel said.

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