~ 2005 ~
He wasn’t surprised to see her sitting in the bar. To be honest, Dr Daniel Jackson was amazed that there weren’t more recruits sitting at the bar with her. After all, everything she, and the rest of the recruits, thought they knew about the universe had been shattered into a million pieces.
She was allowed a little freak out time.
It was why the recruits had two days off before they began the final phase of their training. It usually took them that long to sober up and deal with everything they learned.
Daniel tried to imagine what it would be like for her. It would be almost impossible to believe that the special project, she had spent the last two years training for, was for a program where they would travel to other planets on a regular basis though the Stargate.
The Stargate was an alien device found in Giza, Egypt in 1923, by an archaeologist named Dr Langford. Until ten years ago, the United States Air Force had no idea what it was – until Daniel deciphered it. The device was exactly what it sounded like, a gate that allowed them to travel between worlds in a matter of seconds.
There were thousands of Stargates scattered all over known, and unknown, galaxies and had been for millions of years. The discovery of the Stargate was, as far as Daniel was concerned, the most important archaeological find in Earth’s history.
It changed lives completely – like the life of the Lieutenant trying to deal with what she learned with large amounts of alcohol.
It wasn’t an uncommon reaction.
Daniel watched as she raised the glass, with shaking hands, and drank the amber liquid in one hit.
The recruits often reacted in four ways. The main was utter disbelief that could only be dispelled when they saw the Stargate in action, others took it in stride, some freaked out a little, while others freaked out a lot.
After seeing the way she handled the news at the base, Daniel had put her in the third group. She had been a little pale, and he had heard her throwing up in the ladies room, but after that she had been fine.
Better than fine. She had asked more questions than any of the other recruits, and managed to impress all of them, including Colonel Jack O’Neill, by the way she conducted herself.
Daniel wondered as he watched her down another drink, of what he guessed to be scotch, if he had misjudged her. Daniel could see her reflection in the glass behind the bar – her face was pale and haunted.
Was she group four?
Daniel hoped not.
If she was, Jack was going to be so disappointed.
Group four recruits rarely made it into the program. Some people just couldn’t handle knowing the truth, and if they didn’t resign from the training program before their final, off-world, evaluation they failed miserably. Often by self-sabotage.
Jack had been keeping his eye on Lieutenant Rosenberg since she graduated from the Academy. She was a dream officer. Followed the rules to the letter, she was a brilliant pilot, she was also very capable in hand to hand combat – anything the Air Force gave her, she went after it with a passion that bordered on obsession. It was like she was afraid to fail and worked harder than anyone to make sure she didn’t. At least, that’s what one of her instructors had told them.
Jack wanted to recruit Lieutenant Rosenberg for one of the SGC Search and Rescue teams.
Search and Rescue was what she was best at.
Jack raved about it incessantly. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t find. Jack and some other SGC team leaders had tried to outsmart her on a couple of exercises. But they never could. It was the first time Daniel had seen Jack involve himself in the training process before the final stage.
Jack was convinced she had a sixth sense or something, especially when it came to nature. Her instincts were incredibly accurate and someone like Rosenberg would be perfect for the S & R teams.
There were now forty-eight SG teams that traveled to other worlds and they were constantly getting into trouble off-world. Two years ago the first Search and Rescue team had been formed for the specific purpose of getting in and out without too much bloodshed.
SG-1, the Stargate team Daniel was a member of, had been saved by one and all of the S & R teams over the last two years.
The Lieutenant would be a real asset to the Stargate Command.
If she stayed.
Daniel had seen the same the expression, she now wore, on other recruits who never returned to the SGC after finding out the truth. Maybe Daniel’s lecture on the Stargate and the Goa’uld had been too much? It was the first time he had actually briefed recruits, usually it was Sam or Jack.
But Major Samantha Carter was off-world with Teal’c at the new training facility preparing their tests. Jack and Major Charles Kawalsky left after the briefing was over and would return in time to take the eight officers for their last assessment.
Daniel was staying on Earth to finish a translation.
Which, by all rights, he should be doing right now. Not staring at one of their hopefuls in the doorway of one of Colorado Springs most popular bars. Fact was, after talking about the Goa’uld all day, he felt the need to get away.
So did Lieutenant Rosenberg.
Daniel took a step towards the bar. He should leave her alone. He was probably the last person she wanted to see, but there was something in her desolate expression that drew him to her. Being alone was the last thing she needed.
He’d talk to her.
If she told him that she wanted to be alone, he would leave.
The Lieutenant didn’t even notice him when he sat on the stool next to her. She wasn’t really paying attention to anything except the napkin she was tearing apart and her drink.
This talking thing was going to be a little harder than he anticipated. And it wasn’t just her not noticing him. Up this close she looked worse. Seeing her expression in the mirror behind the bar hadn’t done it justice.
She was completely devastated.
Daniel cleared his throat as Lieutenant Rosenberg took a sip of her drink.
Finally, she noticed him.
And she was surprised to see the man who had spent most of the day telling her alien were real. Daniel could tell.
It was hard to miss when she spat her drink all over him.
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