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4. To Washington

"This is what we will travel in?" Martouf asked, frowning.

"Yes, since the Prometheus isn't an option, this is the fastest way of getting to Washington," Sam said.

Martouf nodded. "How long will it take?"

"Just under 3 ½ hours," O'Neill said.

"What?! How can it take that long! Did you not say it was only about 1600 of your miles?" Martouf asked. "That would only take a few minutes in a teltac."

"Yes, but a teltac flies quite fast even in the atmosphere. This isn't a spaceship, just a planetary transport vessel," Sam said, smiling at his confusion.

"This vessel is intended for transporting cargo?" Freya asked, looking at the vehicles securely fastened to the ramp in the middle of the plane.

"Yes - and soldiers. Cargo and troop transport. This one's transporting some jeeps and other stuff and we just hitch a ride," O'Neill said. He pulled several small packets of earplugs out of a pocket and handed them out. "Here - you'll want to wear these. It gets noisy."

"Noisy?" Martouf asked.

"Not as bad as some of the older planes, like the Hercules," O'Neill said. He smiled.

"There are seats all along the sides, as you can see," Sam explained. "We should sit down before the plane takes off. It can be a little shaky."

"Shaky?" Freya asked, a worried look on her face.

"What do you mean?" Martouf quickly sat down in the nearest seat and managed to strap himself in the same way he had just seen Sam and O'Neill do.

"Tau'ri aircraft do not have any kind of inertial dampeners," Teal'c explained, as he too, sat down and fastened his seat belt.

When Daniel did that as well, Freya copied them and leaned back in the seat. Moments later, the back loading hatch was closed, the engines started, and the plane started to move.

"When we return, I will suggest to the Tok'ra high council that a teltac be provided to you for planetary transport. This-" Martouf waved in the direction of the airplane they had just stepped out of. "Is both slow and noisy."

"And cold," Freya added, shuddering a little.

"Aren't you happy you're wearing BDUs then, instead of that - whatever it was - you were wearing before?" O'Neill asked, grinning.

She gave him a dirty look. "This," She touched the green uniform. "It is offensive." She smiled a little. "But I will admit it is warmer than my Tok'ra uniform."

"You have a different definition of uniform. Here we use that to mean identical - or at least mostly identical - clothing," Daniel said. "I have noticed your uniforms are somewhat individual, but still similar, except for yours."

Freya nodded and explained as they walked to the nearby building, "Only those who are operatives or sometimes do guard duty are required to wear the uniforms, and not even always. They are meant to resemble what people wear on the worlds we visit, which is another reason they should not look too 'new',"

"Because the people on many worlds are poor. I understand," Daniel said.

"I am not on guard duty, nor do I work as an operative, so I wear clothing adapted to my own preferences - and inspired by what I wore on my homeworld," Freya explained.

"Yeah, let's not talk about 'homeworlds'," O'Neill reminded them as they entered the building and sat down to wait for their ride. "Someone could hear us."

"Are we going to the NCIS now?" Sam asked. "I mean, with the time difference and all, it's almost 7PM."

"Yes, I know. Hammond called ahead, and apparently someone called Gibbs said they would still be there - and he also sounded less than enthused at us arriving," O'Neill said.

"Well, I guess I can understand that. We're kind of stepping on their toes here, aren't we?" Daniel asked.

"It's a matter of national security and related to a deeply confidential project. That's taking precedence."

"Yeah, but they don't know that - and we can't really tell them why."

O'Neill sighed. "I suppose you're right." He looked towards the two Tok'ra, then Teal'c, then Sam and Daniel. He lowered his voice, "Remember; no talking about things related to the Stargate project or aliens, or anything offworld. And no flashing of eyes or funky distorted voices. In fact, if the guys at NCIS suggests there is anything alien to the Jaffa or the artefact or whatever, then you are to do your best to dissuade them. Understood?"

"Understood," Martouf said.

"How should we explain the Jaffa?" Sam asked.

"Hammond asked some of the higher-ups about that. Our orders are to say they are the result of genetic engineering performed by a rogue division of Russian military intelligence," O'Neill said.

"Do you really think they would believe that? Something like that is far outside of what our scientists can do," Sam pointed out.

"You know that, but hopefully they don't. Besides, we don't know what scientists in other countries are playing around with," O'Neill said. "In any case - those are our orders."

"Colonel Jack O'Neill, US Air Force," O'Neill said, holding out his ID towards Gibbs.

"Gibbs, NCIS. General Hammond sent you here to take custody of my prisoners and evidence?"

"Eh, yeah." O'Neill nodded, briefly hoping this would be simpler than he had feared. "If you could just..."

"Listen, flyboy, I don't care who you are! I'm in charge of this investigation, and until I've cleared things up, nothing leaves my jurisdiction."

"Flyboy?" O'Neill stared at the other man. "It's not your jurisdiction anymore! We're taking over. National security. Sailor!"

"Okay, maybe, maybe we should... you know, just sit down and talk this over?" Daniel suggested.

"Or maybe we could work together? How's that for an idea?" Kate said, as she entered the squad room followed by Tony and McGee.

"Sorry. No can do. As I told your boss here a moment ago, it's a matter of national security," O'Neill said.

"National security? Really?" Tony snorted. "The men with the freaky snakes in the gut or the ancient artefact? I'm Anthony DiNozzo, by the way. Call me Tony." He grinned widely at first Freya/Anise, then Sam. "Hello, Ladies."

Kate rolled her eyes at the way he looked at the women. "Just ignore him."

"Ignore me?" Tony asked, offended.

"Greetings, I am Freya." She smiled at him and made a small bow, then turned to Kate and smiled at her too.

"Kate. That's McGee." She pointed. "We all work for Gibbs."

"I am Teal'c," Teal'c said, inclining his head politely.

"I am Martouf... Lantash." He made the small half-bow with his hands held loosely under his chest, in the traditional Tok'ra greeting.

"Major Samantha Carter."

"Uh, Doctor Daniel Jackson."

"That's an unusual group you've got there," Gibbs said. "What have we gotten ourselves involved in?"

"I really can't tell you, it's highly classified. Freya and Martouf are foreign specialists, brought in to help us. So, you see, it's better you let us handle it," O'Neill said.

Tony had taken a few steps back and whispered to McGee, "I wonder what her specialty is!" He nodded in the direction of Freya.

Kate was about to say something acidic, but Freya spoke before she had time to do so, "Apart from having extraordinarily good hearing, I am an expert on archaeology and history, as well as general science."

Kate grinned, pleased, while Tony got a somewhat bashful expression.

Gibbs grinned as well. "Suits you, DiNozzo." He turned to O'Neill, serious again. "You haven't given me one good reason why I should even include you in this investigation."

"Hello? National Security?" O'Neill said, offended.

"Also, you got an order from General Hammond to hand over the Ja... the prisoners and the artefacts," Daniel said.

"I do not take orders from an Air Force general!" Gibbs exclaimed.

"Could you please call, uh," Daniel hesitated.

"The Secretary of the Navy. We'll wait," O'Neill said, sitting down on the nearest chair.

Shortly after, Gibbs returned. "We're working together, but I am in charge. Now let me hear why this is so damn important to you!"

"The people you've got in custody - you've noticed they have some unusual characteristics..." O'Neill began.

"No shit! They've got a pouch with a parasite in!" Gibbs exclaimed.

"Exactly. They were created by scientists working for a rogue wing of the Russian Military Intelligence agency," he said, cringing at the ridiculous explanation.

"Aha." Gibbs looked at him, clearly not believing it. "Sure it doesn't have anything to do with that unknown element my people found in both the Egyptian artefact and in those parasites?!"


"Do you want to know what I think? I think that someone in the Air Force has been involved in something shady and they are the ones behind the experiments my prisoners have been exposed to."

"That's ridiculous!" O'Neill said.

"Is it?" Gibbs challenged.

"Maybe we should focus on what else we know," Daniel suggested. "We've been contacted by, ah, someone who was involved in the robbery and who is insisting we hand over the artefact or she will detonate a large bomb."

"Daniel..." O'Neill warned.

"We have a bomb-threat? Why didn't you say so immediately!" Gibbs exclaimed.

O'Neill sighed. "She's calling herself 'Selkhet' and works for a... crime lord who wants the artefact. If she doesn't get it in 3 days, she's going to detonate a huge-ass bomb she's got hidden somewhere."

"Could she be the mystery woman in the surveillance videos?" Tony wondered.

"Do you know how this 'Selkhet' looks?" Gibbs asked.

"Yes," Martouf said.

"Show them the videos," Gibbs ordered.

After watching the surveillance videos and recognizing Selkhet, SG-1 and the Tok'ra had spent a couple hours together with the NCIS team, getting updated on the case, before retiring to a hotel near the Navy Yard.

Next day, they went early to the NCIS headquarters, to continue working on the case. The plan was to let Teal'c interrogate the Jaffa, followed by the Tok'ra doing the same.

"You eat a very different breakfast than the Tok'ra," Freya said. "It can not be good for you."

"No talk about the Tok'ra, remember?" O'Neill warned, irritated.

"How can you drink this 'coffee'?" Martouf asked.

"It's an acquired taste," Sam told him, smiling.

"All right. While Teal'c and I interrogate the two Jaffa, the rest of you go see if you can get your hands on the artefact. That's our priority," O'Neill said.

"You're saying you know about this element!?" Abby exclaimed.

"Well - yeah," Sam said.

"There goes my Nobel prize:" Abby pouted. "I don't understand how I've missed the announcement."

"Ah, because there hasn't been one," Sam admitted. "Everything related to the element is confidential, so we'll have to ask you to sign a non-disclosure agreement."

"A non-disclosure agreement?" She suddenly smiled. "Cool! Not as cool as a Nobel prize, of course, but still cool."

"Great." Sam smiled.

"When I've signed it, will you tell me what it is? I mean, it has to be naturally occurring, since the ancient Egyptians had it, or-" She got excited. "Is this proof of aliens?"

"There are no aliens," Freya said, remembering what they had been told to say.

"It occurs naturally," Sam said quickly.

"Just not on this planet," Martouf told her, instantly regretting the slip.

"Not on this planet?" Abby wondered. "Then how...?"

Sam sighed. "It's... rare here on Earth, but it is found. In some places." She sent Martouf and Freya warning looks. "It's much more common on some asteroids. Like one we discovered a couple years ago."

"So you're saying the artefact is most likely made out of something from a meteorite that crashed on Earth?" Abby asked. "Awesome!"

"Where did you procure the clothing you are wearing?" Freya suddenly asked. "It is most unusual. I would like something similar."

"Nice, isn't it?" Abby smiled and twirled around before them, showing off her black lace stockings with bats, her long black boots, and her short black skirt with metal studs and her matching black shirt.

"It's, eh, very unusual," Daniel said.

"Do you think you could help me find something similar? I was made to wear this!" Freya indicated her green BDUs. "They did not appreciate the leather dress I had sown myself."

"People can be so tiresome!" Abby said. She smiled at her. "I promise you, we'll go get you something better as soon as we're finished with this meeting."

""Ah, I don't think..." Sam began.

"Don't be so boring! Why do you military people always have to be like that?" Abby wondered.

"Boring?" Sam repeated, a look of disbelief on her face.

"Perhaps we should continue with the topic of the meeting," Martouf said quickly.

"Right." Sam sighed. "Miss Sciuto, you said..."


"Abby, you said you had the artefact here, can we see it?" Sam asked, patiently.

"Sure!" Abby went over to fetch it, then suddenly stopped. "But it can't leave this room, understood?"

"Well, you got them to say something. A little bit, anyway," Tony said, when Teal'c exited the interrogation room and joined Tony and O'Neill outside. "Even if most of it was some sort of weird insults."

"It was to be expected. My former master was an enemy of theirs. As well, in my culture, betraying your master is considered... blasphemy," Teal'c said.

"Uh, not sure that's the word you're going for there." Tony grinned. "I mean, it's not like they're gods or anything."

"He just meant it's the worst you can do," O'Neill quickly said.

Tony nodded. "So, what culture is that? Yours and those guys in there?"

"Somewhere in the Middle East," O'Neill said, before Teal'c had time to talk. "Where is secret. We don't want anyone to know we're working with... the resistance."

"Wow, everything about you guys is secret!" Tony shook his head. "Anyway, it was a pretty impressive interrogation. I'd have been intimidated enough to say anything - and I am used to Gibbs! For a moment there I was afraid Teal'c would kill them!"

"He wouldn't do that. Would you?" O'Neill asked, not completely sure.

"I would not. General Hammond warned me it would cause too many problems."

"Right." Tony laughed a little nervously. He spotted a couple of the guards. "Take the prisoners back to their cells."

"Sergeant Peterson from Metro PD arrived a few moments ago and asked if he could interrogate them," one of the guards said.

"Oh. Well, I guess that's okay. I just needs to clear it with Gibbs."

"The Sergeant told me he spoke to him a moment before, and that it was all right, as long as he shared all he learned with you guys."

"In that case, just let him in there," Tony told him.

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