1. Start me up.*** *** *** *** Tijdlijnen. Timelines.
"Can I talk to major Garland Briggs please?" colonel O'Neill sighed. He had been trying to contact Briggs for half an hour now but without success. The air force sergeant on the other side of the line seemed to hesitate for a moment but finally said: "Sir, I just got word major Briggs won't be available for the rest of the week. Air force business sir."
"Oh, well, tell the major his cousin George sends his regards and his thanks for facilitating our stay in this hotel." Resigned he hung up the phone in the hotel lobby.
Jim Kirk smiled and said: "Universal bureaucracy."
Jack smirked and said: "Yeah... But look at the bright side captain. Our base of operations here is this wonderful Great Northern Hotel. By the way Jim, Could you please explain to me again why we are here? This is not a normal place for operations such as these." Kirk shrugged and answered: "I'm not completely sure myself. Shortly before we arrived here I was transported into some kind of vision. I was in a great white space and a strange man started to talk to me. He said that restoration of the timeline of the Federation was good for Bajor and that he, being the Emissary of the Prophets, would see to it that we would succeed. He told me to make sure we got to this place and that we were to wait for 'an old friend' of mine. For the life of me, I don't know what he meant by that. Then he asked if he could get my autograph again. This triggered some memory for me. I think that man once served as a lieutenant on board my ship once during the Tribble crises, but I'm just not sure. Anyway, a moment later I was where I was before I got into that vision." Jack grinned: "In our line of business anything can happen Jim."
Kirk asked: "Have our 'guests' settled in?" Jack nodded and said: "Oh, yeah, Khan and his eighty fellow 'supermen' are being locked in their rooms and their memories are being treated by our doctors. From here they'll be injected back into the places they belong in this world so they can go about their historical business and cause World War III. Our SG teams are guarding them constantly. Good thing this hotel is almost completely booked by the US Air force of your universe. And a good thing too some things are the same as in ours."
Kirk smiled melancholic: "Thank you colonel. It is a sad thing, but it has to be done."
Kirk and O'Neill were interrupted by the sound of an acoustic guitar in the lobby. When they looked they saw a man in his mid thirties sitting there, playing for a small number of guests and employees of the hotel. After a few cords the men also started to sing: "Nobody knows what it's like to be the bad man, to be the sad man, behind blue eyes."
Jack grinned. "An oldie." Kirk looked puzzled but didn't ask further. There were more pressing issues than ancient music. To his amusement his first officer Spock seemed fascinated by the musician. Maybe he wanted to pick up some pointers for the next time he would play the Vulcan harp. Spock, like Kirk, wore an outfit of the US Air Force, including a cap. This was very convenient on account of his Vulcan ears of course. First Contact with Vulcans was still some 70 years in the future. Due to his age Kirk wore a general's uniform.
One of the guests listening shook his head and murmured: "I still prefer The King myself." He waved towards a hotel employee and asked: "Hi, I almost couldn't get in. Why is this hotel so full of Air Force personnel? What's going on here?" The young red headed woman looked at him and asked: "Agent Bryson? It has been a while!" The guest looked puzzled. "I've never heard of an agent named Bryson. My name is agent Mulder and I'm investigating rumors of certain sightings in these woods. Also I've heard stories about people being possessed."
Kirk and O'Neill looked at each other and simultaneously looked the other way in a manner as devoid of suspicion as possible. A snoop was the last thing they could use.
Kirk whispered: "People possessed, manipulated. We've dealt with these things before." O'Neill nodded: "Yeah, we as well captain. Seldom pleasant. Could it be that something like that is going on here?" Kirk shook his head: "Maybe, but I think not. What are the odds of that happening again?"
Jack O'Neill asked: "Interesting case?" Jim nodded solemnly and said: "During my first five year mission as captain of the Enterprise we encountered an entity called Redjack." O'Neill smiled and said: "Ah, a Jack. Nice to hear. "Jim smirked."Not really colonel. It was none other than the being responsible for the murders attributed to a killer known to Earth's nineteenth century as 'Jack the Ripper'."
Jack's jaw dropped. A little loud he asked: "The Ripper?"
The man playing guitar suddenly stopped and absent minded he asked: "Yes?" When he saw people staring at him quizzically he quickly pretended to have said nothing and continued to play.
The man that had called himself Mulder however had decided he wanted to know more and he walked towards Kirk and O'Neill.
He smiled and said: "Hello, general, colonel. I'm with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and I would like to ask you some questions." Kirk turned away and let O'Neill do the talking. It was his century after all and he knew Jack well enough to trust him."
Jovially Jack said: "Sure! What can we do for the bureau agent Mulder?" Then he lifted his finger and continued: "But I must remind you that no information can be given that can jeopardize National security. You know. The classified stuff that makes us feel important."
Mulder sighed. He knew he would be stone walled again. But still he tried. "Colonel, what are all these air force personnel doing here? Is it tied to government experiments involving manipulating people?" Jack's face turned to stone: "Sorry agent. Why we're here is classified. It has nothing to do with manipulation of the public." With these words he turned his back to Mulder and ignored him.
What he couldn't ignore however was the beautiful black haired woman that wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him passionately. The moment he could breathe again he said slightly panicking: "Penny Parker?" Penny smiled at him and said: "Hi Jack, good to you again." Jack again stammered: "Penny Parker?" Kirk smiled. He was familiar with this type of encounter. Only most of his old flames were blonde. Politely he asked: "Jack, I take it this is Penny Parker. Could you please introduce us?" Jack snapped out of his shock and said: "Jim, this is Penny Parker. Penny, this is, eh, general Kirk, an old friend of mine." Penny smiled at Kirk and said: "Pleased to meet you general. Sorry for the interruption, but it has been a while since I saw Jack. I just had to meet and greet." Jim smiled again and said: "That's quite alright Miss Parker. It's always good to meet an old friend."
Penny Parker turned to Jack again and said: "I've some great news! I'm involved now with a wonderful man. I think you would approve of him. His name is Jim Ellison and he is strong and sensitive at the same time. I swear I think he can almost hear my thoughts sometimes. To think I almost got involved with a crazy thumbless plumber that's always busy chasing some poor pretender and he even turned out to be my cousin's long lost half brother."
Jack had calmed down and smiled: "It's good to hear that Penny." With some regret in his voice he said: "Please excuse us now, we have air force business to attend to."
Penny smiled back and said: "No problem Jack, I have some business here too. Agent Mulder here is here on account of me." Jack swallowed hard but bit back his words when he saw Penny winking at him.
Penny Parker grabbed Mulder's arm and dragged him off. Jack and Jim could hear her say: "Good thing I met you here agent Mulder. Another cousin of mine, Chloe Sullivan, thinks she will want to become a journalist when she grows up and she's interested in strange phenomena. I heard you're the great expert in this field and I was wondering if she could interview you some day." Bewildered by the verbal hurricane Mulder was powerless to escape her grasp. Moments later they were out of the lobby.
Jack O'Neill smiled again. Penny Parker. A mixed blessing sometimes. Today a good blessing indeed.
Jim remarked: "I see you have some interesting friends as well colonel." Jack, still smiling, said: "What would we be without them."
Changing the subject he asked: "When might your old friend arrive?"
Jim shook his head. "I have absolutely no idea Jack."
Again they were interrupted. This time not by a beautiful young woman, but sadly by an old acquaintance of Kirk. Out of nowhere Trelane popped up.
Kirk's face turned pale. Annoyed he said: "Please don't tell me you're the one that the Emissary told me about?" Frustrated Trelane answered: "I'm certainly not captain Kirk! Are you behind this? Did you tell my parents I misbehaved again? Because if you did I will sentence you all to death. To death! You hear me? To death!"
Jack's mouth fell open. "Err... Jim?"
Jim sighed. "Colonel O'Neill, meet Trelane. A little boy with great powers. We've tangled before. If his parents hadn't intervened he would have killed me and my crew."
Jack cocked his head. "I think I like my old acquaintances better." Kirk shook his head: "I do have better ones. I assure you."
To Trelane he said: "Trelane, what's the game here? Are you responsible for this mess? If so, I hope your parents will give you a good spanking and ground you for the next couple of centuries."
Trelane stamped his foot and screamed: "Yes, I did it! But now I don't have my powers! It must have been you Kirk that told my parents, and if not..." He suddenly paled. "O, no... It must have been..." Kirk was becoming frustrated now. "What Trelane? Speak!" He grabbed the squire of Gothos by his shoulders and shook him violently.
Trelane stepped back out of Kirk's reach and stumbled over his own feet. Landing on his tailbone he started to cry like a little boy.
Kirk sighed. "I don't think we're going to get any information out of him this way. Maybe Spock can perform a mind meld. That's a form of telepathy were his mind comes into contact with the mind of Trelane. Maybe that way we'll learn the truth."
The man who had been playing guitar in the lobby rolled his eyes and said with a crisp British accent with a hint of Cockney: "O, for crying out loud. There are much simpler ways to make him talk fly boys."
Violently he grabbed Trelane's left ear and yanked him up with brute force.
With a grin and most definite cockney accent he said: "Talk now you ponce. What sort of demon are you? What do you want?"
Trelane screamed: "Kirk, safe me! Safe me! I will tell you anything. Remove this brute!"
Kirk, slightly amused, turned to 'the brute' and said: "I think that's quite enough mister. Who are you?"
The Brit answered: "I'm Giles, general. I sometimes dabble in stuff of a supernatural nature."
Spock, who had admired his guitar play, joined them and said: "There is no such thing as the super natural. Since everything that is, is part of nature, it is illogical to say it is above nature. Even people that create a certain technology must obey the laws of nature. They have no choice in the matter. If however a technology is advanced enough...."
Kirk cut him short. "Save the lectures for later Mister Spock. I think our old friend Trelane was about to 'sing'."
Trelane swallowed hard and looked at the group of people surrounding him. He had to think of something quick. He had no intention of telling them anything. The brute! He might be able to use him against the others. If he could pull of Spock's cap his ears would show. This would draw Giles's attention towards the Vulcan, and maybe, just maybe...
Rupert Giles noticed Trelane's expression change and strengthened his grip. Dryly he remarked: "I think not. Behave and I'll let you keep your ear."
Kirk had folded his arms and glared at the squire. "Well...?"
Trelane sighed: "Okay captain Kirk. I'll talk. But he won't be pleased. His name is..."
Suddenly he vanished in a short flash of white light.
Jack cried our: "I hate when that happens. Transport beam right? But it doesn't look like the Asgard one."
Spock raised an eyebrow. "Asgard?"
Jack shrugged: "Little grey guys. Allies from another galaxy." Kirk was impressed. "Inter galactic travel. Even with warp drive that would take centuries." Jack smiled: "Yeah, you gotta love those guys." He added: "But we still know squad about what's going on with this Trelane guy. Is he responsible for what happened here and who took him out of our custody."
Giles, slightly annoyed for loosing his 'prey' sniffed and said: "What is going on here? You are no ordinary air force personnel. That much is obvious."
O'Neill turned to him and said: "Thank you for your contribution mister Giles. I'm sure Trelane would have told us everything, but now we'll handle this by our selves. Again, thank you, and goodbye." With those words he turned his back on Giles.
Giles decided there would not be any further information forthcoming and continued towards his room in the hotel. When he saw nobody was watching he allowed himself a little smile.
Kirk sighed and said: "We're back to square one. And still waiting for 'an old friend.'"
Suddenly the waiting was over.
A strange alien sound started to fill the air. Kirk thanked providence only SGC and Starfleet personnel were present now. The explaining he would have to do if people saw what was about to appear... Could it be? Could it be him?
An even stranger light began to appear, some two meters above ground and underneath it a very Earthly shape began to take form.
Colonel O'Neill started to blink. "Err, Jim, what's that?"
Jim Kirk smirked and asked: "Why Jack, don't you know a classic British Police Call Box when you see one?"
The moment the big blue box had solidified a tall skinny man with a short hair cut stepped out, followed by a pretty young blonde girl with a radiant smile. With an impish grin the newcomer asked: "Need a ride?"
Giles entered his room and saw Q sitting in a chair. The godlike alien got up and smiled. 'Well done Ripper!" Giles grinned and asked: "I take it Trelane learned his lesson?"
Q nodded and said: "Indeed. The moment he slips up again, so I told him, I'll strip him of his powers again and send him straight to you. I owe you one Rupert."
With that Q disappeared in a flash of light.
3. Sympathy for the Devil.*** *** *** *** Tijdlijnen. Timelines.