Sometimes I think to myself, This is it... This is going to be the day we have a nice, sane, boring mission.
Except, my team and I will almost never have a "normal mission" like SG-4 or SG-8. Why? Because we're an SG-Odd, and SG-Odds are doomed.
I blame it on SG-1.
SG-Evens? They get normal missions: routine surveys, guarding scientists, you name it. Yeah, they've had their fair share of troubles—black holes, blown up Tok'ra bases, and run-ins with Goa'uld gene-splicers—but if you compare the Evens' scorecard to that of the Odds? No competition, especially since SG-1's the oddest of the Odds.
And then there's SG-3. My team. The Marines, oo-rah! and all that. Except there's the tiny little fact that I'm not actually a Marine. No, really! I have a few sets of Air Force blues hanging in my closet that all promise one Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Reynolds is actually a flyboy, not a Jarhead.
The first time I met SG-1, I knew they were trouble. The good guys, sure, but trouble. I was working security at Area 51 when they came looking for an alien artifact they were certain had been stored there without going through the proper chain of custody. Not on my watch, it wasn't, and I told them so.
Only it turns out they were right, I was wrong, and a change in rank and transfer to a very cold and unpleasant base seemed to be in my future for the lapse in security. Only the transfer didn't come until after I'd finished my master's degree, and it was to Cheyenne Mountain as a lieutenant colonel, not McMurdo as a captain.
I'm still not sure how that happened.
So, after all the routine training and what-not, I was given my own command: SG-16. An Even. Nice, sane, boring missions. All I had to do was keep the scientists on my team in one piece—and occasionally got to dust off my bachelors degree in computer science—and it was a cakewalk. The most excitement my team ever had was when we went to Velona to study a powerful alien weapon—a big honkin' space gun, to use Colonel O'Neill's terminology—and Major Carter and her not-so-imaginary boyfriend dropped in for a visit.
Well, after I killed the guy when he attempted to interfere (and as it turned out, he had good reason to interfere), I was expecting that transfer to McMurdo again. Apparently I excel at failing upwards, since my transfer came in a few months later: to SG-3.
It was about this time that I realized my ability to own up to my own mistakes was precisely what was getting me my promotions. Turns out, General Hammond liked officers who were willing to take it on the chin for screwing up every now and then. When you're as good at making a mess of things as I am, you'd better get used to 'fessing up.
Or maybe they were just trying to get rid of me for good, since SG-3 had gone through more team leaders than any other team. The founding team leader was Makepeace, but a family medical crisis took him out of the picture for several months, so Warren took over. Makepeace came back, Warren moved to SG-2, and Makepeace got himself arrested for treason. A whole string of commanders followed after that: Hoeker (medical retirement), Wade (KIA), Washington (retired), Castleman (transferred), Keplinger (medical retirement), Blake (KIA), Lawrence (KIA), Bishop (transferred), and finally Deckard (KIA).
Counting Makepeace's stints separately, that makes me lucky number thirteen. Yay.
Since SG-3's primary function is first-contact and reconaissance, we never know what we're stepping into when we go off into the wild blue yonder (told you I was a flyboy). Sometimes it's nothing exciting, but most of the time, we're definitely an Odd. But as "interesting" as things get when we're out on our own, it's nothing compared to what we get up to when we're fulfilling our secondary function: backup.
See, when the SG-3 Marines (and their flyboy colonel) get called in as backup, it usually means a hairy situation has developed for one of the Odds. More often than not, it's SG-1 that's in hot water.
Have I mentioned how much trouble they are? I mean, they're all great people, but SG-1 epitomizes the plight of the Odds. A walk in the park becomes a search-and-rescue operation, a simple recon results in galactic imperilment, and a follow-up with a known friendly turns into an all-out war with a System Lord's army. These people are trouble.
So here I am, eyeing my Marines, hoping today's joint mission with SG-teams 1 and 5 doesn't turn into a blood-bath. The very fact that General Hammond sent two Odds as backup for what SG-1 presented as a simple recon of some Ancient ruins has me thinking the good general is expecting trouble to show up.
"Sir!" Bosco shouts, interrupting my internal musings.
Here it starts, I sigh to myself. Taking a step forward, I spot motion in the trees and ready my weapon in case it's a hostile.
Hostile? No. Trouble? Definitely.
SG-1's long-lost archaeologist just stares at me in confusion, maybe trying to figure out why a flyboy is on SG-3. Or maybe, since he's not wearing his glasses, he just can't tell who I am. Or maybe he doesn't know who he is, since he stammers out that his name is "Arrom".
"Arrom? Uh, sorry, you just look... eerily like a man named Daniel Jackson," I answer, looking him up and down. Despite the native garb, he still looks like Jackson. "You sure you're not him?"
"I don't know who I am," he answers, crossing his arms over his chest and looking at the ground self-consciously. "I don't remember anything before two moons ago."
Oh, yeah, this is definitely Doctor Jackson. I thought earlier that Hammond was expecting trouble to show up, and whaddya know: Trouble himself has arrived.
"Sir?" Penhall begins, "SG-1... they're not going to believe this."
I snort. "Sure they will, Captain... they're Odds."
Penhall gives me a look like I've lost my mind, and he might not be wrong. Still, I've read enough reports to know that the extraordinary is ordinary for our flagship team.
Boring missions are so overrated.