Bull of the Woods by Debi C
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Category: General
Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Smarm, Team
Rated: Teen
Warnings: Adult Themes, Language, Non-Consensual Sex Acts, Sexual Situations, Violence
Series: None
Summary: Sexual Harassment rears its ugly head in StarGate Command

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Story Notes:
This is an older story I just found again. Hope you don't mind it showing up here.
Colonel Jack O’Neill was sitting in the commissary, quietly eating his oatmeal, drinking his second cup of coffee and reading the morning newspaper. He expected his team to show up anytime. They had a debriefing with the General this morning at 0900. Carter had been in her lab earlier and when Daniel showed up from home they would get Teal’c and meet him here.
At the sound of a loud voice, he looked towards the doorway of the Commissary that led into the food serving line. Jack saw a large Marine Lieutenant Colonel striding his way from the coffee pot carrying a large cup of coffee. O’Neill watched in amazement at the man literally kicked a chair out of the way and headed towards him. When he got to Jack‘s table, the man stopped in front of it. "I’m looking for John McNeill, an Air Force type with birds on his shoulder."
"Well, I don’t know about any McNeill, but I’m Jack O’Neill. One oh, two ells." Jack unfolded himself from his chair and stood up to meet the giant. He was a few years younger than O’Neill, maybe a inch taller and almost as wide as Teal’c, but Jack thought a lot of the size was due more to the size of the man’s girt than his shoulders. "Who’s looking for him?" He replied affably
"Why, I’m Bad Bob Bowers" The man reached out a large calloused hand to shake Jacks. "I’m replacing that no good S.O.B., Makepeace that the Marine Corps accidentally sent instead of a real man." Bowers sneered as he said the name then pointed at Jack’s chair. "Sit yourself down there, Colonel. Don’t stand on my account." The big officer then pulled a chair away from the table, turned it backwards and straddled it, slopping coffee on the floor.
Jack settled back in his own chair and watched the newcomer carefully, sipping his own cup of coffee. "Well, welcome to the SGC. Have you been in Colorado long?" O’Neill hadn’t liked Makepeace, but he had been a good man to have at your back. He had just taken a wrong turn somewhere and for some reason Bowers’ opinion of the ex SG3 leader irritated him.
"Not lately, no." Bowers replied in a twangy southern accent. "My Uncle’s used to bring us boys up Mule deer hunting every couple a years. But after combat killing unarmed bambis didn’t seem much fun." He looked over at Jack. "I put in for a bear license when I got this assignment, just have to wait and see if I can get it."
"Well," Jack said mildly, over his coffee cup rim. "If you’re replacing Robert Makepeace as a team leader, you’ll have all the ‘big game’ hunting you can stand." He nodded. "And it shoots back."
"Big game hunting at it’s best, hey. I like it." Bowers grinned ingratiatingly.
"So if I am who you’re looking for, what can I do for you?" Jack determinedly put on his friendly face; the man was after all, a fellow officer and he would be working with him.
"Well, that little bitty Air Force Security type up there at the gate said you were the bull in these here woods and Hammond’s big stick." His smile turned into a wolfish grin. "I just wanted you to know that I’m in town so’s we don’t mark on each other’s trees, so to speak."
"Then I guess I am who you’re looking for." Jack nodded. He saw the rest of SG1 coming through the doorway and heading for the food line. "If you want to stay a minute, there’s the rest of my team. I’ll introduce you."
"Well, that’d be real nice, McNeill." The man said affably. As usual, Carter was in the lead. She was talking over her shoulder to the two men that were following her. Teal’c, second in line, was nodding at her as they went through the serving line and Daniel was dragging along several feet to the rear, already nursing a cup of coffee in a paper coffee cup marked Starbucks. After getting served, the three proceeded over to the table with their trays.
As they arrived, Jack introduced them each by name. "This is Major Sam Carter, she’s my second in command." The tall slender blond woman reached across the table to shake his hand; Teal’c, my good right hand man." The large black Jaffa warrior nodded and raised an eyebrow. "And Doctor Daniel Jackson, linguist, archeologist and general all round, uh, expert." The slender light haired academic saluted him with his fresh cup of coffee. O‘Neill introduced the Marine. "Lt Col Bob Bowers." Then Jack added. "He‘s going to be with SG3."
"Well, now...So this is the great SG1." Bowers grinned charmingly at the three as they sat down. "Pardon me, but you all don’t look as scary as all that I‘ve heard about you." He leaned back in the plastic and chrome chair until O’Neill thought it would crack under the pressure.
Daniel was on his third cup of the morning and was beginning to take an interest in his surroundings. He glanced from Bowers to O‘Neill. "Scary? Scary. Jack, is that in my job description?" The young man remarked affably.
"It’s covered under the ‘other duties as required’ category." Jack replied dryly.
"Remind me of that next time my contract is up for negotiation." Daniel kept a straight face. "I want to be sure that my pay reflects that." O’Neill suppressed a grin. For the first three months Daniel had ‘worked’ at SGC he hadn’t even realized that he was getting paid or cared for that matter.
"Oh yea. Carter, take a note." Jack remarked casually to the female Major.
"A note, Sir?" Carter looked confused for a moment at his instructions, then got the inference. O’Neill winked at her. She looked down at her plate of scrambled eggs to keep from laughing.
Teal’c watched the Marine LC as he stood up and tried to stretch to his full height over him. "I will remind you Danieljackson and you will help me with my ‘contract’ also."
"Of course, Teal’c. I’ll be happy to." Daniel gazed up at the big man as Bowers towered over him standing mere inches from Jackson. "Oh, going so soon?" He remarked mildly.
"Yep, I got to go roust me some jarheads, find out where they are and what they been doing without a CO." Bowers looked down on the civilian and shook his head. "A platoon of Marines without a CO is like a snake without a head, whipping around spilling all the wrong blood. See ya later, McNeill." He waved an irreverent salute at them, turned on his heel and strode off through a crowd of lab techs scattering them in all directions as he left.
"Who the hell is that, Jack?" Daniel finally managed to get out, trying not to laugh until Bowers left the room.
"That is Makepeace’s replacement." O’Neill replied, watching the flock of scientists reform and head for the coffee maker. "He came looking for me to ‘mark his ‘territory’ whatever the hell that means." By the look in his eyes, Daniel knew Jack knew exactly what that meant.
"This must be a mistake." Carter interjected as she waived a piece of toast. "That man can’t be a real Marine, he’s got a worse John Wayne imitation than yours, Sir."
"O’Neill." Teal’c spoke, keeping his eyes on the Marine as long as he could see him. "While Colonel Makepeace was not an easy man to like and was subverted by Maybourne, he was not the fool that this man appears to be."
"Well, maybe it’s just introduction nerves." The Colonel replied, also looking after the disturbing individual. "I don’t know the guy. He may make really bad first impressions. Anyway, we probably won’t see much of him except in briefings. So what’s going on with you guys this morning?" The subject changed to other things and ‘Bad Bob’ was relegated to the group’s collective unconscious.
Bowers headed for his newly assigned office. So that was the infamous SG1. He’d been expecting a lot more. The Colonel himself was not impressive; going gray, skinnier than he’d expected. Now, the big black guy looked like he could hold his own. Must be a foreigner though with that fancy tattoo. The blond gal was a looker all right and rumor had it she had it bad for the old man. Must be a power thing, not satisfied to stay home and have kids for a real man. Now that boy, he was a purty as the gal, what the hell was he doing here much less on the Numero Uno squad. Must be the Colonel’s fancy boy. Yea, it’d be easy to make points around here, just like ole Uncle Bob had told him. Take advantage of their weaknesses and turn it to your advantage.
Several days of paperwork, and office duties had pushed BBB almost completely out of O’Neill’s mind. Then a busy schedule that included a SGC team chief meeting brought him right back into focus. Jack had stopped before the meeting to check his distribution box and refresh his cup of coffee. He nodded at Eileen, Hammond’s plump civilian secretary, and was skimming through some memos that he hadn’t seen before. Suddenly the door to the inner briefing room slammed open, bouncing off the genuine imitation maple paneling in the office. O’Neill pulled the middle-aged woman out of harm’s way as two uniformed men rushed out, shouting at the top of their lungs about personnel, procedures, hostiles and confrontations.
Major General George Hammond entered from the exterior office door, threw his hat in the corner and continued forward with all due speed. "WHAT THA SAM HILL’S GOING ON IN HERE! BREAK IT UP! AND I MEAN NOW, GODDAMNIT!" The two ‘junior’ officers, a Major in the Air Force and a Marine Lieutenant Colonel jumped back in a sad attempt at attention. O’Neill had to admire his boss’ style, while George wasn’t the biggest man in the room he was undisputedly the pit bull on top. He didn’t start fights, but he definitely stopped them.
He looked at the two men in question: Lt Col ‘Bad Bob’ Bowers, SG3 and Major Louis Ferretti, SG2. O’Neill watched the face of Ferretti with interest. The Major had been on of the original team to go through The Stargate, first in ‘94 when Daniel had opened it then again in ‘95 when they had reopened the gate and brought the Archeologist home with them. The Major met his eyes for a moment then went stone-faced when the General continued.
General Hammond was talking again. "Just what in hell’s name is going on here? Major Ferretti?" He demanded looking at the Air Force Officer.
Ferretti looked up at the far ceiling. "Sir. Nothing is going on, Sir."
Hammond stepped up into the smaller officer’s face. "I come into my office, hear two of my officers engaged in a verbal disturbance and you tell me it’s nothing?"
"Yes, Sir." Ferretti repeated. "It was nothing."
General Hammond turned to Lieutenant Colonel Bowers. "Do you also state that this is ‘nothing’ Colonel?"
Bowers was looking at another corner of the ceiling. "Sir, Yes Sir. It was nothing, Sir. Just a discussion."
"Well, in my office and during my meetings, discussions are carried out at a decent volume and with respect to the other officers. Not at the top of your voices or at the cost of military office furniture, is that understood?" The two men nodded. "Very well, everyone take your seats so we can get down to business."
Chastened, the two men and the rest of the team leaders filed back into the briefing room. Hammond glanced at O’Neill when the room had cleared. "Jack, do you know what started this?" He nodded to Eileen and she smiled gratefully at him and returned to her desk.
O’Neill, still holding his cup of coffee, shook his head. "No Sir. I’d just gotten here and was checking my inbox. I haven’t a clue."
The General nodded. "Well, let’s get started then." And led the way into the briefing room. After the meeting adjourned, the team leaders left the area rather hurriedly. No one stayed and talked over coffee as usual as if the earlier scene had discomfited them all. Hammond looked over at his second. "Jack, I would really like to know what precipitated that kind of outburst from the Major." He watched O’Neill as he got to his feet.
"I would too." O’Neill nodded as he gathered up his notes. "Louis Ferretti is a reserved man, not at all prone to scenes like that. Bad Bob must have really pissed him off."
"Bad Bob?" Hammond questioned, looking at him in confusion. "Did you say ‘Bad Bob’?"
"That’s how he introduced himself down in the commissary a few days ago." Jack explained. "I was waiting on my team when he waltzes over and introduces himself as Bad Bob. At first I thought it was a put on, but now I’m not so sure." O’Neill shook his head thinking back to the interplay that had occurred at the time.
"What did the rest of SG1 think of him?" General Hammond asked.
"Carter couldn’t believe him, Daniel thinks he’s a jerk and Teal’c just plain doesn’t like him." Jack paused. "And I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him."
Hammond frowned at his primary team’s assessment. "Well, if he is unreliable, we need to know sooner than later." Hammond headed towards his private entrance back to his office. "We don’t need any internal problems here; we have a full enough plate as it is." He gave O’Neill a searching look. "Why don’t you check him out and give me your...opinion."
"Yes, Sir." Later that day Jack O’Neill stuck his head in Jackson’s office doorway. He‘d been in the immediate vicinity of Daniel‘s office and he had wanted to get a clearer picture of Danny‘s take on Bowers. "Yo. Anybody home?" Jackson was no where to be seen. The Colonel let himself in the rest of the way. "Daniel?" No answer. Jack wandered over to Daniel’s desk and looked at several folders that were lying out. He walked over and helped himself to a cup of coffee. He looked around the room again and finally left, pulling the door softly shut behind himself.
Ten minutes later, Dr. Daniel Jackson stepped through the doorway, turned, shut the door and locked it. He went over to the coffeepot and poured the last cup of coffee for himself and sat down at his desk. The young archeologist was holding the cup in both hands and it was still shaking. He took a sip of the lukewarm liquid and finally had to set the cup down as it was threatening to slosh over the cup’s rim and on to some documents. He took a deep, shaky breath and blew the air out of his mouth, trying to regain his composure. Daniel propped his elbow up on the cluttered desk then leaned his forehead against the heel of his hand. He then rubbed it back and forth, up and down trying to quiet his emotions. Finally he lay his palms down on the desktop and pressed his head against them, closing his eyes tightly. He had never been so angry or so frightened at anytime in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Well, not true. He had, but there had been good reasons before: aliens, black holes, Machello’s inventions. Now, he couldn’t blame it on any of these. Now, it was just another human being. He had thought briefly about going to Jack with this, but he had decided to try to handle it himself.
He had handled these ‘situations’ before, with varying degrees of success. In one of his foster homes, in college, and once in the field on a dig, and he had never been sure what had precipitated them. Well, in some cultures at least, this was an accepted occurrence, a release of sorts, for a strict sexual and moral code where women were kept away from unattached males. But here in the stratified atmosphere of a military base... Well, maybe it was more common than he had realized. His only real contact with military personnel had been with Jack O’Neill, a real man’s man and Samantha Carter, his adopted ’sister’.
He had heard of the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ ruling when it had first come out in the 90s but he had assumed that it had included ‘don’t make advances and don’t harass’. Homosexuals and bisexuals were not relegated to any race, creed or color so of course they would exist in the military ranks. He just really hadn’t expected to be waylaid in the men’s room and not by this particular individual. And when he had tried to say no, politely, the physical ‘contact’ that had resulted had bordered on an assault. This was a clear case of harassment. Well, he’d leave it be for now. If he did tell Jack, he was sure that his friend would overreact. He didn’t want to start any problem.
Bad Bob Bowers looked at himself in the mirror. Not too bad for a man his age. Course he wasn’t a pretty boy like that damn Air Farce Bird Colonel. That McNeill had probably spent his early years as an aide-de-camp slash dog-robber to some old General. He didn’t see any South East Asia ribbons on McNeill’s set of colors. Just a few Desert Stormers but that hadn’t been a real man’s war. Hell, even that little blond chick Major had some of them. And that civilian...who was he kidding? That boy probably didn’t know how to hold a real gun. If fact, rumor had it McNeill wouldn’t even let him carry a long gun. Made him tote a little 9-MM pop gun. Oh yea, he was probably ole Jack’s favorite. Now that big, black guy. Yea, now he looked tough, at least. He’d have to watch him. Maybe he was worth a bullet. Bowers smiled at that particular fantasy.
But he just hated officers like that Bird. They kept real men like him from making rank. Just like his Uncle had always told him. There’s them that makes the rules and them that breaks the rules and you got to break them to make them. He’d worked long and hard to get to a cushy assignment like this one. But he wanted the top spot. No sir, ole Bob wouldn’t take second seat to no pretty boy Air Farce Officer. He’d take it as Big Dog on the heap, and he knew just how to pull the Colonel’s strings. Hit him in his ‘team’, his ‘kids’, his ‘sweet pieces’. He smiled at himself in the mirror. "Yea, he knew just how to do that all right. He’d all ready stirred the pot and made the moves, now to see if that s.o.b. had the balls to stand up to him--mano y mano.
Several hours later, Jack had just sat down at his desk and picked up a report from SG 11, the Science Team, when a hard fast knocking on his door brought him up straight in his chair. Before he could get up, Sam Carter came in. Well, stomped in was more like it. He looked up at her red face.
"What’s wrong, Carter?" He was worried now. His second-in-command was not one for emotional outbursts.
"Sir. I want to report Sexual Harassment." The Major sounded furious.
He stood up. "On who and by whom?" Obviously something had happened and he didn’t like the sound of it at all.
"On me and by your friend Bad Bowers!" She replied angrily.
"Whoa, Major. Calm down." He’d been right, he didn’t like it. "First of all, he’s NOT my friend. Second of all, when and where? Thirdly, is he still alive?" She definitely had Jack’s attention now.
"Well," She started, sounding a little calmer. "First of all, Good. Second, in the elevator a few minutes ago and third, yes, unfortunately. I decided that my killing a Lieutenant Colonel could have repercussions on my career."
"Sit down." He took a deep breath to calm himself and motioned her to the chair in the corner of his office. He turned to face her. "Not if you have proof." He started slowly. "Did anyone witness this?"
"No Sir." She replied, also more calmly. "It would be my word against his." She sat down and leaned forward, elbows on her knees. "That’s why I came to you right away."
He nodded at her. "You know your word is all I need, but to press charges it would be nice to have a little more."
"I know, but he’s smarter than he looks." She grimaced, shifting back in her chair.
"He’d have to be." O’Neill commented dryly. "So, tell me what happened." He got up and went to the table against the wall that held his coffee maker, poured her a cup of coffee from his Mr. Coffee, and then he warmed up his own. He handed the new cup to her, then pulled his chair out from behind his desk and sat in front of her.
She took a drink of the coffee, then began. "Well, I got in the elevator a little bit ago. He followed right behind me. Then he started talking about, you know, just stuff. His new team, their training, whatever. I was only sort of listening. Then he put his hand on my shoulder and asked me how it felt to be the only ‘girl on an all-male team‘." She shook her head as if she still couldn’t believe it had happened. "I said something about us all being professional military and he...laughed. Said working with ‘a pro’ was always a pleasure." She grimaced at his terminology, then continued. "I stepped away and he slid his hand down and grabbed my arm. He said that you had all the ‘sweet pieces’ on your team and he envied you." She looked at O’Neill. "That doesn’t sound like much now, does it? But in the elevator..."
Jack took a sip of coffee and watched her expression change from anger to one of frustration. He spoke to her in a calming tone. "Carter, a lot of things...words, can be said and when it’s out of context it can sound totally different than when it was actually said. His tone of voice, the expression on his face, all comes into play. You read him correctly I think. But to look at the words as just words, well...it’s not a lot and it is just your word against his." He stopped and thought a minute. "Here’s what I want you to do. Write a statement. Say exactly what you just said to me. Sign and date it, then I’ll sign and date it. I’ll keep it on file and if anything happens again then we’ll go to Hammond." He saw her start to protest and raised his hand. "I know. It sucks, but let’s do this by the book and if anything else happens then we have documentation. If any other woman says anything to you, that if he tried it with anyone else, bring her to me and we’ll build a case against him."
Carter looked at him with frustration in her eyes and started to protest. "But...he laid hands on me!"
"Look, Carter." Jack ran his hand through his unruly hair. "The next time he touches you...he’s yours, go for it. I’ll back you to the limit. Hell, I’ll take him down myself. But what he did today...well, I’ve touched you more than that." He reminded her gently. "So has Daniel and Teal’c and you didn’t object to us doing it."
She made sighed and shook her head at him. "But you guys are different! You’re my team. We’ve seen each other sick as dogs, naked, and bleeding." Sam stopped and took a breath. "You’re my family. Nobody else can get away with it but you."
"I know." He replied softly with understanding. "I know. But he doesn’t know." O’Neill reached over and took her hand. "I want to get the bastard that messed with you, but we’ve got to get our ducks in line. Okay, trust me on this."
"Yea, I do." She squeezed his hand back. "Maybe I am overreacting."
"And maybe you’re not. Write me that statement. We’ll do this right so Hammond has something to stand on when he needs to. Okay?"
"Okay. I’ll go write it now and have it for you by this afternoon." She stood up to go.
"Good. We’ll get this straightened out. I’ll go talk to Hammond and give him a heads up." He watched her go to the door. "Don’t worry Carter, we‘ll take care of it."
"Thank you, Sir." She smiled a small smile at him and walked out the door. Late that evening, Bob Bowers sat in his pickup truck and watched O’Neill and Carter walk to their respective vehicles. They stopped and talked for a moment at the woman’s small grey foreign car. Then the long-tall-drink-of-water Colonel walked over to his big Ford pickup and got in. They drove off at the same time. ‘Not very smart, McNeill. Any hound dog can figure out that you’re going to the same place‘. Bowers continued to sit in his Chevy truck for another half an hour as if waiting for someone, then he drove off down the mountain.
The next day, Jack was in his office just finishing up a report he’d been working on since he’d gotten in early that morning when someone knocked on his office door. He called for them to enter, and Louis Ferretti slid inside. As the Major came over to O’Neill’s desk, the Colonel stood up and came around the desk to meet his old friend. "Louis, what can I do for you?"
"Sir, we need to talk." Ferretti seemed tense and upset, his face set in unfamiliar lines of distress.
Concerned, O’Neill pointed him to the same chair that Carter had occupied earlier. "So sit, talk. Want some coffee?"
The younger man settled into the chair looking nervously around Jack's office. "No, thanks, Colonel. I’ll pass for now."
Jack poured himself another cup, pulled his chair out from behind the desk again and sat down across from his old team member, his interest piqued. "What can I do for you?"
Ferretti went right to the point. "Colonel, have you seen Daniel this morning?"
"No, I’ve been busy with paperwork since I got here. I went by his office yesterday afternoon, but he wasn’t there." O’Neill looked curiously at Ferretti. "Why?"
The Major looked a little embarrassed. "Look, maybe this is none of my business, but I would have thought that Daniel would have come to you already."
"About what?" Louis definitely had his interest now. Jack set his coffee cup down on the edge of his desk and leaned forward. "Come on Ferretti, give. What’s going on?"
Louis took a deep breath and leaned forward in the chair. "Yesterday afternoon I was in the men’s room, in a stall. I saw Daniel come in and go over to the urinal."
"So?" Jack asked, "If you were in the stall, how did you know it was Daniel?"
"He was wearing those ugly Chukka boots of his." Ferretti shook his head disparagingly. "The ones he says are so comfortable. I saw the boots when he walked by."
Jack smiled in agreement. Those brown, suede, crepe soled chukkas were some ugly boots. But Jackson loved wearing them on the hard concrete floors of the SGC complex. "Okay, then what?"
"Then someone else came in." The Major's expression changed to one of disgust. "It was that damned Bowers character. He went over to Daniel and said something to him. Well, Daniel finishes and heads over to the sinks and was washing his hands. The bastard followed him over." O’Neill nodded, following it in his mind‘s eye. "Well, he--Bowers said something about, I dunno, the old man, size mattering and being on the bottom. Daniel politely says "No, sorry". and turns to leave. Then I hear him being slammed up against the wall. Well, I get finished as quick as I can and come out of the stall. That son-of-a-bitch has Daniel up against the wall with his hands all over him, leaning on him. Anyway, when I come out, Bowers turns him loose and Daniel’s got that deer-in-the-headlights look on his face. I ask him if he’s okay. He looks over at me, nods his head and books out the door."
"What did Bowers say?" O’Neill was getting madder the more he heard. This assault on his second team-member was getting a little too personal.
"He just looks at me and makes some sarcastic comment about civilians and their ‘usefulness in the field‘." Ferretti said, shaking his head. "Colonel, I swear I wanted to punch him out right there, but after yesterday morning... Well, I know what that would have looked like, so I head out the door to look for Daniel to see if he‘s all right. But I can’t find him. He didn’t sign out, so he’s still here in the mountain somewhere, but his office is locked." He shrugged. "I figure if anyone can find him and get him to talk you can. Colonel, he looked really shook up."
"Yea, I can imagine." O’Neill was definitely mad now, but he couldn’t run off half cocked any more than Ferretti could. He thought a minute. "Look, Ferretti. Thanks for coming to me with this. I’ll go find Daniel for lunch and we’ll get this squared away." Then he looked searchingly at his old friend. "What was that about in the General’s office the other morning, anyway?"
"Colonel, that rat-bastard put his moves on Lieutenant Sheila Martin last week." He replied, referring to the newly assigned female member of SG2. "I told her I’d take care of it and talk to him. I tried Monday morning before the briefing began, but he denied everything. Then he had the nerve to call her a GI slut in the briefing room, to my face no less." Ferretti shook his head. "I reacted bad, and it got heated real quick." He looked up at his old commander. "She’s a good kid Colonel, right out of college, and she’s going to make a fine officer. I’ll be damned if I let some stupid jarhead ruin her attitude about the military. We need people like her, like Jackson. You know what I mean?"
O’Neill nodded. The Lieutenant was cut from the same material as Carter and Daniel, way smarter then their old warhorse team chiefs. Quality people, good people, too good to be screwed with. "I know Lou. Look do me a favor." At Ferretti‘s nod, Jack continued. "Have Martin write a statement on this incident." The other man looked at him curiously. "I have my reasons." O’Neill assured his friend. "Then you sign and date it too." He thought a moment. "And will you write one up on the latrine incident."
"Can do easy, Colonel. You’ll have it by the end of the day." Ferretti nodded as he got up to leave. "You gonna go find Daniel?"
O’Neill had gotten up too. "You bet, Ferretti. Oh, and thanks a lot. It’ll get it taken care of, trust me."
Ferretti nodded. "With my life, Colonel, and with my team."
Jack smiled at him and nodded, all ready deep in thought.
O’Neill knew that the SGC--well in theory the military--worked as a well-oiled machine. It was at it’s best when all members trusted and respected each other. With this trust, each member could perform their duties to their fullest ability because they knew their teammates would support and assist them. When you threw in prejudice, envy, hate or fear of each other the individuals would be unable to perform up to their potential. In a Command like the SGC, when any mistakes could be life threatening, it was doubly important. That was why SG1 was a success. Each of them knew that their teammates would go to the limit for them. There was no holding back because of their differences, weaknesses or strengths. They all knew that in a pinch, the others would come to their assistance.
To throw Sexual Harassment into the mix at the SGC would be fatal. If the man was stupid enough to approach Carter or Daniel for god’s sake, then no one was safe. The ‘Sweet Pieces’ comment was both revealing about Bowers and meant as a challenge directed at him, the leader of that team. It showed the way the man thought and it also telegraphed his distain for them. Jack knew he had to act and act swiftly before someone got hurt. But he needed the documentation to successfully push for the man’s dismissal. Jack knew that he had to have solid proof to get rid of a decorated Marine officer and it had to be more than one scared Lieutenant or one angry Major. And it was up to him to get that proof. He got up and headed out his door. If anyone could find Daniel Jackson, it was him.
Two hours later, Colonel O’Neill was still looking for the evasive Archeologist. Ferretti had said that Daniel hadn’t been in his office yesterday afternoon when he went to look in on him. A call to the front desk revealed that Jackson had never signed out last night so he must have spent the night in his office on the couch or maybe even worked straight through on some project. But a brief check had showed that Daniel’s door was locked. Jack checked the dining hall, Carter’s lab and office, Janet’s office, Teal’cs room and was now headed back to Jackson’s office. If Daniel wasn’t there by now, he’d have to head down to the basement.
But when he reached the office door he could see the light was now on under the door. He knocked, then tried the doorknob. It was locked. He knocked again. "Daniel, open the door. It’s Jack, I know you’re in there."
After a few minutes, he heard the door latch being unlocked and the door opened up in front of him. O’Neill pushed it open, entered and closed it, locking the door behind him. He then followed Daniel into the office and over to the couch where the younger man had retreated. The younger man sat on one end of the couch while Jack, reading his friend’s ‘don’t touch me’ self-hugging body language took the other end. He sat back and watched Daniel silently for a long while looking closely at his friend.
"Uh, Jack, don’t take this wrong, but why are you here?" Daniel finally asked his friend after a couple of minutes had passed. He watched O’Neill suspiciously as the older man had casually sat down on his end of the couch and began to inspect him for cracks, warts and bumps.
O‘Neill noticed his friend looked tired as if he hadn’t slept much if at all. Daniel’s hair was uncombed, he had dark circles under his reddened eyes and there may have been a bruise on the pale face. "Did you stay here all night?" Jack asked. When the younger man nodded his answer to Jack’s question, O’Neill decided to cut to the chase. "Ferretti came to my office a little while ago and told me I needed to talk to you." He watched Daniel’s face as the different emotions ran across it. ‘Oh, no Danny. No secrets today.’ He thought.
"Oh, he did, did he?" Daniel sounded...different, subdued. "Well, I guess he thought he was helping."
"Sounded like he did help yesterday afternoon from the way he told it." Jack pushed his friend a little. "What do you say?"
"Well, he did break up a situation." Jackson flushed red and nodded, uncomfortable with the subject. "I don’t think I was in any real danger, but..." He let the sentence die.
"You can never tell, Danny. Guys like that are hard to predict." Jack shook his head. "What exactly happened in there?" He held the younger man’s eyes with his gaze, willing his friend to tell him. "Come on, the truth."
Daniel looked at him with tired eyes. "Nothing that hasn’t happened before, Jack." He sighed. "I’ve handled it before; I can do it again." He squeezed himself farther back into the couch cushions.
"Yea, if you call hiding in your office and hoping it’ll go away handling it" Jack spoke evenly. "But you shouldn’t have to handle it. That’s my job, to be sure that you or Carter or anyone else won’t have to ‘handle’ it." O’Neill extended his hand to Daniel. When there was no response, he laid it casually on the top of the cushions.
But he had gotten Daniel’s attention. "Sam?" Jackson looked suspiciously at O’Neill. "What does Sam have to do with it?" He demanded.
"Well" Jack stretched, popped his neck and leaned back on the couch. "This is confidential, but last evening she came to my office and made a statement against Lieutenant Colonel Bowers. She’s alleging that he sexually harassed her in the elevator. He made some inappropriate comments to her then laid hands on her." He looked at Daniel, gauging his reaction, waiting.
Daniel sat up a little straighter and made a face like he’d just swallowed something bitter. "What are you going to do about it?" He demanded, starting to look a little mad.
Jack leaned forward and clasped his hands between his knees. "Well, my first reaction was to check out Teal'c’s staff weapon and use him for a little target practice. Then I thought it would be more entertaining to try him hand to hand." He paused for effect, watching Daniel. "But in the long run, Carter and I agreed that she should write a statement and I’d start a file."
His reaction was expected but startling in its vehemence. "A statement! A file? Start a fucking file? Jack, what the hell’s wrong with you?" Daniel stood up angrily and walked across the room, running a hand through his short brown hair. "A file!" He said the word like an epithet.
"Daniel, calm down." Jack kept his voice placid. He’d hit a nerve all right. "He didn’t hurt her, he didn’t grope her. He just said some inappropriate things to her." Jack watched the young man pace back and forth in the small space between his desk and his workbench. "We still have the option to rip his heart out if he ever touches her again or...anyone else for that matter."
"You said he laid hands on her." Daniel returned savagely.
"He put his hand on her shoulder, and then he grabbed her arm." O’Neill said quietly. "One incident that amounts to her word against his. Why? What aren’t you telling me?" He pressed, just as calmly. " What did he say to you? What happened yesterday afternoon?" Jack waited, willing his friend. ‘This is it, tell me Danny, please.’
Daniel looked at him sharply. "Me?"
"Yea, Ferretti said that he had a ‘encounter’ with you too." He tilted his head slightly. "That something happened in the latrine." Jack reminded him gently.
Daniel stood against the far wall, his head down and arms wrapped around his chest in his classic ‘don’t touch me’ stance for several minutes. He finally looked over at Jack, chewing on his lower lip, still thinking. "I guess you’d want me to write a statement too?" Daniel’s voice sounded hollow.
O’Neill pursed his lips and nodded. "Yea, I’m thinking that would be best." He tried to sound non-judgmental.
"Would I have to testify against him?" The question came out too quickly and answered Jack’s unasked question.
"If it went to Court-Martial, you might." O’Neill answered honestly.
"I really don’t want to do that." Daniel looked down at the floor again.
Jack sighed and looked over at his friend. "I understand that, but if he got an Article 15 punishment only your statement would be used." Then he shook his head, "but I can’t guarantee that to you."
"Who’d see it then?" Daniel was still studying the gray tiled floor.
"I’d take it to Hammond, with Carter’s." He offered. "And anyone else's who wrote one. And then they, the statements would go to the legal office for punitive action."
Daniel’s looked up, expression changing like he couldn‘t believe it. "There’s more than just Sam and me?"
Jack nodded. "At least one more." He replied evenly.
"Another woman though, right?" Daniel’s self-contempt was screaming at O’Neill.
Again Jack nodded, wanting to remain calm and supportive, trying to figure out this last reaction.
Jackson sighed and leaned back on the bookshelves lining the wall. "I’m the only guy, right?" He shook his head in despair. "What is it, Jack? Why me? Do I put out the wrong signals or what? What’s wrong with me?" Pleading for comprehension.
Jack smiled at him and snorted. "Daniel, do you even own a mirror?" He looked searchingly at his friend.
"So you’re telling me I ‘look’ gay? What the hell does that mean anyway?" Jackson demanded angrily.
"No Daniel," O’Neill replied calmly. "I did not say that." Though he wanted to go over to his friend, he decided that the young man needed his space at this moment and forced himself to stay on the couch. He tried to keep his voice calm as he spoke. "Face it. You’re a good-looking guy. You’re always going to attract attention. Add to it that you’re smart, funny, nice...and on SG1. You’re an attractive package all around." Jack raised his index finger for emphasis. "Now, remember. Sex to some people is not about love; sometimes it’s about lust and sometimes it’s about control. This is the guy who was talking about marking his territory the first time we met him." Jackson nodded, recalling the conversation in the dining hall. Jack continued. "He came looking for me because I’m and I quote ‘the bull of the woods and Hammond’s big stick’."
"So, you think that this is about, what...threatening your position?" Daniel watched O’Neill curiously.
"No, not my ‘position’. He’s threatening people that I care about. He’s wanting to ‘mark the territory’." Jack decided to speak plainly to his friend. "I think this guy is just sick enough to want to play Alpha Male games to prove that he’s better than everyone else... at least to anyone else that he thinks he needs to prove himself too, like his own team...to me...to Hammond." He motioned Daniel back to the couch. "Don’t take this lightly, Danny." Jack said warningly. "This guy is perfectly capable of hurting someone. It’s my job to protect not only my team, but also everyone in the SGC. You and Carter may be capable of dealing with it, but a young second lieutenant isn’t.
Daniel came over and sat down, closer to O’Neill this time, as if he needed Jack‘s presence. "The other person is Ferretti’s new team member, isn‘t she?"
Jack nodded. "She’s a nice kid, right out of college. She doesn’t need his crap."
Daniel looked away from Jack, concentrating on a framed poster of the Sphinx hanging on the far wall of his office. It had been a birthday present from Sam last year. The red print underneath asked, "Do you know the answer to my riddle?". They had both laughed and assured the Sphinx that they did. "What do you want me to do?" He asked in a quiet voice.
Jack watched him watch the picture. "Tell me what happened. Then we’ll decide if that statement is needed."
Daniel and the Sphinx both took a deep breath. "I went into the men’s room and used the urinal. As I was finishing, Bowers came in and over to where I was. He made some stupid comment that I ignored and I went to wash my hands."
Jack stopped him. "What did he say to you?" He needed to hear the details.
"I don’t know exactly." Daniel shook his head and looked down at his clasped hands. "Something like... Something about you... well, McNeill...and size counting...It was so stupid I really didn’t listen, I was trying to get out of there... away from him. Then he followed me over to the sink and kept talking...about the Marines teaching him not to pee on his hands and the Air Force having to wash their hands cause they don‘t. It was so weird." He looked at Jack and shook his head. "Anyway, I start to leave and he suddenly grabbed my arm and said, "McNeill isn’t so young anymore. Why are you putting up with an old man?" I tried to jerk away from him but he spun me around and pushed me up against the wall. I told him to let go. He said "You ought to try a younger guy, sweetheart. You might like the bottom better." Then he started mauling me. I was trying to get away then I heard the stall door slam open and Ferretti comes out. Bowers let go of me and I broke free." Daniel looked over at O‘Neill, embarrassed. "I ran...I ran and left Lou to clean up my mess."
O’Neill shook his head, looking closely at his friend. Daniel’s face was flushed red. "It wasn’t your fault and it wasn’t your mess. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. You did nothing wrong. He did. Ferretti just happened to be in the right place at the right time." He reached over and put his hand on his friend’s shoulder. "He’s worried about you, and he’s worried about Lieutenant Martin. She didn’t do anything wrong either, and neither did Carter. It’s him, Danny. It’s Bowers’ fault. And he needs to be stopped before he hurts someone."
Daniel turned and looked back at him. Jack tightened his hand on the younger man’s shoulder. "I’d like you to write that statement. Then we can go to Hammond." The younger man nodded then dropped his eyes. "I know what you’re thinking, Danny. It won’t look that way. Hammond’s not stupid. He knows you."
The blue eyes met brown ones. "I hope not. I never...I‘m not..."
"I know that, Daniel and so does George. Trust me on this."
Daniel responded quietly. "I do, Jack. I do"
Early the following morning, Colonel O’Neill presented himself at Major General Hammond’s office. Eileen, the secretary, looked up at him in surprise. "Hello, Colonel. How can I help you this morning?" She noticed the folders in his hand.
"Is the General in?" He replied. "I have to speak to him on a matter of some urgency."
This was the most formal she had ever recalled seeing the normally brash officer. He was wearing a freshly laundered uniform and his demeanor was as stiff as his starched BDUs. "Yes, Colonel. He is. I’ll tell him you’re here." The middle-aged woman picked up the phone and dialed the intercom. "Sir, Colonel O’Neill is here and he says it’s important." She paused for a moment. "Yes, sir." She hung up the phone and motioned for him to go. "He says for you to come right in Colonel."
He nodded his thanks and bestowed a small smile on her as he pushed the door open.
Hammond was sitting behind the desk, reviewing some reports and finishing his first cup of coffee. "Morning, Jack. What can I do for you?" He sensed a formality in his senior officer that was unusual for O’Neill. The General got up and refilled his coffee cup. "Want one?"
"Maybe later, sir." The Colonel stayed at attention.
Hammond looked at his friend and subordinate. He went back to his desk, took his seat and gave O‘Neill his undivided attention. "Very well, Colonel. At ease. What’s on your mind and please sit down."
O‘Neill acquiesced and sat in the leather-covered chair across from Hammond‘s desk. Then he spoke. "Sir, Monday morning we witnessed a display of temper amongst your officers in the briefing room. You asked me to find out what the problem was. I did so, and I am disturbed by my findings concerning an officer assigned here at SGC." He leaned forward and lay the folders down on the large desk in front of Hammond. "It appears that one of our team leaders has been sexually harassing and, in one case, assaulting at least two junior officers and a civilian that is assigned here. No one has been injured yet, but if these actions continue there will be unfortunate results."
"Those are pretty strong accusations, Colonel." Hammond looked both shocked and angry at his words. He indicated the folders. "What’s in here?"
"Three statements from the victims, one statement from a witness and my own statement regarding these occurrences." O’Neill looked at his commander. "Two of the victims are on my team sir; the other is on SG2. That was what precipitated the disturbance. Major Ferretti was...upset, as am I."
Hammond looked at the folders with distaste. "You’re telling me that Lt Col Bowers; a Marine officer, is the accused?"
"Yes, Sir. I am." O’Neill continued. "Sir, I brought this to you because I am unable to be impartial in this matter, as two of the victims are my close associates and friends. I do not doubt their veracity in this matter."
Hammond looked sharply at Jack at his statement. "Did you say two members of your team?"
"Yes, sir. Major Carter and Doctor Jackson. Second Lieutenant Martin of SG2 was the third victim."
The General didn’t miss the altered inflection in Jack’s voice, nor the Colonel’s hands clenching into fists on the chair’s arms. Obviously, Lt Col Bowers was not aware of where he was treading. Hammond knew O’Neill took Bowers threats and actions seriously and personally. He also knew that his Second in Command would have liked to have taken care of this matter himself, but Jack O’Neill knew his own temper. The Colonel knew that his actions would have reflected badly on the SGC. Hammond appreciated the trust that O‘Neill was showing him by turning this over to him. "Colonel, I assure you that this matter will be taken care of promptly. Please have these people available to me for the rest of the day, and of course yourself also. You are dismissed."
"Yes sir, thank you." The Colonel stood up, came to attention, saluted, made an about face and left the room, closing the door behind himself.
Hammond dialed the intercom to his secretary’s desk. "Eileen, hold all my calls." He said and hung up the phone. He then opened the folder and started reading the signed and dated statements of his people.
Jack left the General’s office and went directly to Major Louis Ferretti’s office. He knocked once and then entered at his friend’s acknowledgement. Louis watched from behind his desk as O’Neill stalked in and sat down in the room’s second chair.
"I took it to General Hammond." The senior officer stated, then sat staring at the floor by Lou’s desk.
Ferretti leaned back in his chair and looked at his friend. "So, soon? You just got Martin’s statement last night."
"Yea, well. I got Carter’s last night too and Daniel’s this morning. I thought they were enough to start with. If we beat the bushes, I figure we’ll get one or two more."
The Major shook his head in disbelief. "Carter too? This guy is nuts."
"Yea, it’s a good thing she wasn’t armed." Jack smiled at him mirthlessly. "Or maybe not, it would have solved SGC’s problem quickly and inexpensively."
Ferretti nodded. "What did Daniel have to say?"
"Well, he was embarrassed." Jack replied. "But when he found out about Carter and Martin, well I used them to get him to write his statement up too."
"Why was he embarrassed, for God’s sake? He didn’t do anything wrong." Ferretti looked at Jack in amazement.
"That’s Daniel for you, the world falls on him and he asks what it was that he did wrong." O’Neill played with his pen. "He’s a little sensitive about not being a macho type. I think he’s been hit on before and doesn’t want people to get the wrong idea."
The Major nodded. He’d known Jackson for over six years and was well aware of the scientist’s seeming unwillingness to defend himself. The funny part was, if it was anyone else, the young man would leap to their defense without counting the cost to himself. "So what’s next kee-mo-sabe?"
"Well, Tonto." Jack got up and flashed a grin at his old teamie. "You and Martin need to hang loose around here until Hammond calls to talk to you. I’m going to turn over some rocks and see if the new dog in town has peed on any more trees. I’d appreciate it if you’d keep your ear to the ground too."
"Okay, I’ll holler if I see any more trains coming." He grinned at O‘Neill. "Colonel, we’ve got to stop talking like this, we’ll scare the children."
"Nah, just keeps them on their toes." O’Neill waived at Ferretti as he left the office. His next stop would be the Infirmary. If there were any news in the wind, Doc Fraiser would have heard it by now. Jack O’Neill was pissed. There was nothing more frustrating or irritating to him than his inability to take direct action against a threat. He’d been keeping his temper under firm check during this whole episode involving Lieutenant Colonel Bob Bowers but it was really beginning to grate on him. Damn it, five years ago he would have called the man out to the parking lot, taken off his rank and beaten him within an inch of his jarhead life. But things weren’t so simple anymore. The days of settling these things with his fists were behind him. There was too much at stake here at the Mountain, any slip ups on his part would bring the wrath of Senator Kinsey and his ilk down on himself, General Hammond and the whole Stargate program. And he knew that this would have to be resolved soon or he, Ferretti, Teal’c or some other team leader would finally blow up and kill the son-of-a-bitch. Or get killed in the attempt.
He had no doubt that Bowers knew exactly what he was doing but the days of strong arm politics in the military, of going out behind the barracks and settling just who was the baddest dog in the yard was long gone. The future belonged to the whiz kids, the smartest man on the block, not the biggest, strongest, or the meanest. People like Bowers, and himself he admitted, were anachronisms in the military of today. His main role now was to guide and protect people like Carter, Jackson and Martin from people like himself so that they could stay focused and complete their mission. The mission to save Earth and mankind from the snakes. That was what mattered now.
Colonel O’Neill had apparently wandered into the infirmary with no goal in mind. That was the first thing that had given Major Janet Fraiser a hint that he wanted something. A man like Jack O’Neill didn’t ‘wander’ anywhere. He always knew where he was and why he was there. She didn’t know if it was a learned thing, or one that was part of his basic make up. It was the reason that he was who he was. She nodded to him as she finished treating the young man who happened to be sitting on her exam table. After she completed stitching up the Airman First Class‘s cut forehead; she turned him over to her nurse. Then she faced the lion that had come into her lair. "Good morning, Colonel." She smiled at him. "What can I do for you today?"
He had the good grace to look sheepish. "Oh, just a little information."
She glanced up cautiously at him through her dark eyelashes. "As you know, Sir. Even though I’m military, patient confidentiality is very high on my list of important things." She turned and led the way back to her office.
He followed her gratefully into the cubicle. "I assure you doctor, I above all people here, appreciate your stand on confidentiality." He pushed the door closed and pulled a chrome and plastic chair out of the corner and over closer to her desk.
Janet slid in behind her desk and faced him with hands clasped in front of her. "What type of information are you looking for?"
"Look, Doc. As a Colonel, General Hammond’s Second In Command and as a team chief here at SGC I am also responsible for the confidentiality of my subordinates." He took a deep breath, then continued. "It has been brought to my attention that there is an individual on base committing Sexual Harassment and possibly assaulting our personnel." He watched her expression change and knew he’d gotten her attention. He continued. "The General has asked me to investigate these allegations. If I find any proof to support these charges, we will take the proper steps to correct the situation. That’s what I need from you. Has there been any unusual injuries reported, or anyone saying anything to you?"
She looked over at him and leaned back in her chair. "An assault? Have I seen this person for treatment?"
He shook his head. "No, it was assault by contact, no physical injuries resulted." O’Neill frowned in thought. "But it was used as a means to coerce, and I don’t like it one damn bit."
Janet looked thoughtfully at him as she considered what he said. Her patient, A1C Fredericks had asked for her not to say anything, but she hadn’t actually promised him yet. "Colonel, I won’t discuss anything that was told to me in confidence but there has been at least one suspicious injury today." She indicated the door. "That young man I was treating when you came in with a story about falling and hitting his head on a doorframe. If so, that doorframe had better be removed."
Jack turned to look at the closed door that separated her office from the exam room. "Door frame hum." He turned to see her expressionless face. "Dangerous doorframes are a pet peeve of mine. I think I’ll ask him about it...later today." He nodded. "Thanks Doc, I owe you one."
She looked at him grimly and nodded. When O’Neill left the office he noticed the young man was no longer there.
Teal’c was not happy. One couldn’t tell it by looking at him but he knew that something was amiss with his team. Majorcarter and Danieljackson were both remaining in their respective offices entirely too much. Normally, they were both easy to locate by their voices echoing through the hallways of the SGC. But the last few days had remained ominously quiet. They both seemed to be avoiding the dining facility and the gymnasium. O’Neill was also uncharacteristically taciturn. The Jaffa knew that he had been busy with some unusual paperwork and closeted in his office. There had also been rumors of unscheduled visits to General Hammond’s office. He could sense that something was, as O’Neill would say, up. It involved his teammates and friends; and Teal’c was determined to discover what it was.
As he approached O’Neill’s office the door was open and he could see his team leader hunched over his desk doing paperwork. The Jaffa stood in the doorway, waiting to be invited in. After a few seconds, the Colonel noticed him and waived him to enter.
"What’s up, Teal’c?" Jack greeted his friend, as he laid down his paperwork and indicated his extra chair.
"I have in fact come here to ask you that question, O‘Neill." The big man sat down in the ‘guest chair’. "I have noticed that both Majorcarter and Danieljackson have spent much time in their offices and avoiding gathering places. I would like to know why."
The Colonel shifted in his chair and played with the black plastic pen he was holding. "You’re right on, Teal’c. They have been." He grimaced in thought, his emotions playing across his features. "There is an individual on the base that has ‘approached’ them in an unpleasant personal manner. They are staying in their offices to avoid him." The gray haired officer looked up at his team member.
"Are they afraid of this person?" The big warrior had tensed at this information.
"I’m not sure that afraid of is a good term." Jack sighed. "They are avoiding him to prevent the unpleasantness from reoccurring."
"That is why you and General Hammond have been meeting alone in his office?"
"Yes. That’s why." O’Neill nodded. "I’m waiting for another person to give me information that I will also take to the General and we will then take steps to remove him and prevent this from happening again to anyone else."
"Cannot you and I take these steps?" Teal’c asked him.
"Yea, well, we could." Jack smiled at his friend. "But...what you and I would do might not be a ‘good’ thing. We might get too emotional and do something we’d regret later."
Teal’c thought a moment. "I would not regret protecting our teammates."
"No." Jack smiled dangerously. "No, I wouldn’t either. But General Hammond wouldn’t like it if we accidentally permanently damaged anyone here." He shook his head regretfully. "It causes too much paperwork."
The big man looked suspiciously at O’Neill. "Paperwork?"
"Yea, you know...paperwork." The Colonel waived his hands over his paper-covered desk. He could tell his teammate didn’t ‘get’ it. "Look, Teal’c. If we were to injure or kill him, it would cause an investigation...questions. That would lead to information being spread around, some uncomfortable questions that Hammond, you and I would have to answer. It’s just better to let things take their course." He thought for a minute. "But, it wouldn’t hurt if you watched Carter and Daniel. You know, kept an eye on them; kept them out of harms way."
Teal’c knew that O’Neill was right. The Taur'i had their ways. And though they may seem to be circuitous to him, he had agreed to abide by their rules while he remained here. "I will guard them, O’Neill. No further harm shall come to them here."
The Colonel nodded, fiddling with his writing utensil. "I’d like that, Teal’c. That way I can concentrate on this stuff." He indicated the documents. "Just don’t let them know, we know, okay?"
Teal’c seeing where this was leading nodded. "I will not, O’Neill. I will merely be...’lonely’ this week."
"Good idea. I’ll try to be more ‘lonely’ too." Jack smiled at his team member. "We’ll both be lonely. They can’t stand us being lonely."
"Very well, O’Neill. I will go be ‘lonely’ now."
"Okay." Jack smiled as Teal’c left his office. "Have fun annoying the kids." Then he bent back over his paperwork.
Bowers was wondering what was going on. He hadn’t heard nor seen McNeill, and he knew that something should have been coming at him by now. Course you couldn’t all ways tell about some people. Maybe he was too old or stupid to figure it out. Maybe that boy hadn’t told him about what had happened. Bowers thought for sure after that stinking Ferretti had seen what had happened in the john that he would have reported him. Course all that Eye’talian had done after he put his moves on that cute little second lieuy of his was ‘talk’ to him. Didn’t even tell the General what was going on. Now that Major Carter, she had enough spunk that he had thought she was fixing to try to take him on her own. That had almost been a mistake, but she hadn’t said anything either evidently. Well, he justa keep on pushing. He’d find out who the bull was soon enough.
The next day found O’Neill down at the mechanics shop. This is where the equipment that they used off planet was maintained. It was staffed primarily by enlisted personnel and he really didn’t get down here often enough. He knew Daniel and Carter were in and out, checking on their specialized equipment and working with the mechanics to ensure their availability and calibration. MSgt Seiler, the NCOIC, saw him as he walked in the door.
"Can I help you Colonel O’Neill?" The tall bespectacled NCO came forward.
"Yea, I’m looking for an A1C Fredericks. Is he here?" Jack looked around at the various pieces of equipment. He noticed a UAV with burn marks scorching it’s tail fins. He remembered how the aircraft had gotten that mark from their last mission.
"Yes, Sir, I think he’s over by the FRED." Seiler motioned to another area where the motorized sled was partially disassembled. There was a pair of green clad legs with combat boots sticking out from under the chassis. He led O’Neill over and they leaned over to look under the vehicle.
O’Neill could just see the lower torso lying on the roller pallet with various tools balanced on the young man’s abdomen. Seiler raised his voice slightly. "John? Fredericks, you asleep under there?"
The sled rolled backward exposing the youngster‘s head and shoulders. "No, Sarge, I’m almost done here." When he saw Colonel O’Neill, the young man started to scramble up off of the floor.
"Whoa there, at ease." Jack raised his hand to prevent any precipitous movement. He looked over at the Sergeant. "Is there a place that we can talk quietly?"
Seiler reached down and grasped Frederick’s hand, helping him to get to his feet. "Sure, Sir. My office is just over there." He indicated a doorway on the far side of the room. "Help yourself." O’Neill nodded and the Airman flushed under the Colonel’s scrutiny. "You been causing trouble?" Siler asked the youngster.
O’Neill shook his head and grinned at the curious Sergeant. "No, he’s not in trouble. I just need to borrow him for a while." He turned to the young man and nodded him over to the office. The young man started that way, looking suspiciously over his shoulder at the two older men. "Actually Seiler, I need a favor from him; I’ll have your troop back in a few minutes."
"Okay, sir. No problem. I’ll just see what this needs to be finished." Nodding at the Colonel, he got down on the sled and crawled up under the recalcitrant piece of machinery.
Once in the office, O’Neill closed the door on the two of them. He motioned for Fredericks to sit down. Unconsciously he took the same body posture that Hammond would have with him. "You are not in trouble, you are not under suspicion and nothing is wrong...with you. Understood?"
The young airman nodded uneasily. Jack took a moment to look him over. About nineteen years of age, black hair, blue eyes and bearing an uncanny resemblance to Tom Cruz. He had a purplish lump on his head and a band-aid covering stitches on his forehead. He could easily see where this kid would attract attention and not all of it would be good. "How’s the head?"
"It’s okay, sir. Really." The boy blushed again under the Colonel’s scrutiny.
"Funny, Doctor Jackson used those very same words to me just the other day."
"Is Daniel...Doctor Jackson all right, sir?" Fredericks looked up sharply, concern plainly written on his face.
"Yea, he’s okay. A little shook up, but he’ll live." O’Neill pulled Seiler’s chair out from behind the desk. "Why? Do you know what happened to him?"
"Uh, no sir. I hadn’t heard anything about him being hurt. I haven‘t seen him this week." The boy started to nervously run a greasy hand through his hair, but caught himself. O’Neill pulled a paper towel off a roll that was sitting on the desk and handed it to him. "Doctor Jackson is a real nice guy."
Jack smiled. "Yea, Daniel is a good guy. John, I’m a little concerned about what’s going on around here." He leaned forward on the chair playing with a large monkey wrench that was lying next to the roll of towels. "I’m hearing rumors and I want, no I need to get this mess straightened out." He looked up into a pair of blue eyes that rivaled Danny’s. "How’d you get hurt son?"
The mechanic dropped his eyes to stare at the floor. "I uh, fell against a door, Sir."
"Really?" O’Neill sat back and dropped the wrench on the desk. "Funny, that’s what Daniel said too." He looked directly at the young Airman sitting in front of him. "Then I found out that someone had slammed him up against the wall in the men’s room." Fredericks was staring at the wrench that he had just put down. "I tell you what; I won’t lie to you, you don’t lie to me, okay?" The youngster nodded and shifted his eyes up to meet the Colonel’s. He went for it, seeing that he’d made a point. "What really happened?"
Fredericks bit his lower lip and took a deep breath. "I was working late. Everybody else had left for the day. That new Marine officer, the LC, he came in and asked if the MALP was gonna be ready for today, Thursday. Said they would be going on a mission soon and he wanted everything to go right. I said it was fixed and ready to go."
He stopped for a moment then continued. "Then he asked me if I was ready to go. I said I had to get the FRED ready for SG6 to take their stuff with them next week. He said that I had plenty of time and he had other plans for us. He pulled out a metal bottle, a silver thing." O’Neill nodded, encouraging him to continue. "He wanted me to take a drink. I said I wasn’t old enough...I’m only twenty. He laughed and said I was plenty old enough. Then he tried to touch me, grab me. I backed away from him and yelled..."
His voice caught and he took a deep breath. Jack didn’t rush him, just nodded acceptance. "But there wasn’t anybody around." Fredericks stood up and walked to the door. He stuck his hands in his pockets and stared down at the floor. "He grabbed me by the arms and pushed me against the door. He tried...he tried to kiss me, I think. But I kneed him in the balls and shoved him away. I slipped and fell sorta." He shook his head. "I really did hit my head on the doorknob. When I came too, he had me down on the floor. Had his hands all over me and his tongue down my throat. I sorta, kinda gagged on him." Fredericks looked like he was going to throw up again, right there. "He got all pissed off and slapped me. He wiped his mouth with his hand and said if I ever told anybody, he’d get me good. That my career would be over cause I was queer and I was asking for it." He looked over at where O’Neill was sitting. "I’m not sir. Really! I guess I did it now, didn’t I?"
"No, John. You did the right thing. I only wish you had told someone earlier." O’Neill got up and came to stand by the young man. "Look, this guy had done things like this to several other people. I’m going to make sure he doesn’t do it to anyone else." He reached over and put a gentle hand on Fredericks’ shoulder. "Don’t worry. No one else will hurt you. Understand?"
"Yea, uh yes sir. I do...Sgt Siler made me go to the clinic yesterday morning, Dr. Fraiser said it was confidential." He looked up at O’Neill with wide eyes."
Jack shook his head. "The Doc didn’t tell me anything. She just said you hit your head on a door." He smiled gently at the young man standing in front of him. "Remember I work with Daniel Jackson. I know all about doors and buckets and things that hit people in the head." John Fredericks smiled shyly back at the Colonel‘s comment. "Don’t worry about it." O’Neill reassured him again. "But I do need a favor."
Fredericks nodded. "What‘s that, Sir?"
"I’d like you to write me a statement. Just put down what you just said to me. Then, sign it and date it." He squeezed the airman’s shoulder again. "Okay? Will you do it?"
The resolute blue eyes met O’Neill’s brown ones. "Yes sir. Did he hurt anybody else?"
Jack sighed and shook his head. "You were to only one that had to see the Doc. But there were three others that he made... contact with. We’ve got to stop him, John. And I need your help to do it. Okay?"
"Okay, sir." He smiled up at the Colonel. "Daniel says you’re a good guy. I trust you."
"Yea, Danny’s pretty special himself." He smiled back. "But don’t tell him I said that. It’ll ruin my image as a hard ass."

Daniel had returned from the dining hall where he, Carter and Teal‘c had eaten lunch together.. The large warrior had been insistent about their all going together for some reason, so the two scientists had finally given in and three of them had gone to the Commissary. The Colonel had another meeting with the General so had not been available to eat with them but the three friends had enjoyed the meal and each other‘s company. Afterwards, Teal’c and Sam had escorted Daniel to his doorway. He had a funny feeling that they hadn’t left until he had been safely ‘tucked into’ his room. Then Teal’c had accompanied Sam to her office. Wondering about it all, Daniel went back in to his desk to start working on a translation.
But now he was looking for a folder that he needed. He was sure that he had left it on his desk. In fact the last time he had seen it was when Jack had come in this morning to say hi, steal a cup of coffee and not-to-covertly check on him. While he knew that his friend would not intentionally take things out of his office he wondered if perhaps the older man had accidentally picked it up along with some other folders he had been carrying.
Well, he needed it if he wanted to finish the translation of the inscriptions from 2p369 by this afternoon. And since SG11 was going back tomorrow, he needed to get it done today. Daniel got up, ran his hand through his hair and started out of his office to the nearest elevator heading down towards Officers country. Then he could go by Sam’s and see if he could snag some of those homemade cookies she had told him about.
When he got to the elevator he was chagrined to find a ‘work in progress’ sign in front of the doors. That meant that he could go all the way back down the hall to the other elevator they had used earlier or just use the stairwell that was around the corner. Since Sam’s office was only one floor up, it would be simpler just to walk up the flight of stairs and see her first. He pushed open the door and started up the staircase; his crepe soled chukka boots making squishing noises on the bare concrete. As he climbed the stairs he heard some odd sounds echoing up the concrete stairwell. They were coming from one of the floors below him, some voices and some rustling noises. He stopped to listen. Then he heard what sounded like the tearing of cloth. This was punctuated by a slapping sound and a sharp cry of pain.
He turned and started down the stairs. A little voice mentioned to him that he might want to get someone to help him investigate the sounds, but then again it might be nothing but a romantic interlude between two SGC personnel. He could check it out then, if it was nothing, he could fade away before whoever it was even knew he had been there.
But as he approached a landing several floors down, he realized he recognized at least one of the voices. It was Bowers! And there was another one, a woman’s. What the hell was the man playing at now? Daniel picked up speed and went down the last two levels at a jog. As he swung around the last corner of the stairwell, he found the Marine LC holding a frightened looking female Army Private by her shoulders and pushing her back against the steel handrail. She looked about twenty, tiny and small boned, her brown hair disheveled and her uniform top was torn. The man looked up at him, an ugly expression snarled across his face. Unhesitatingly, Daniel grabbed him by the arm, breaking his hold on the young woman. "Stop it, Bowers. What do you think you’re doing?"
The big man turned loose of the girl and came around with his other hand, cuffing him on the side of his head with an open palm, knocking the younger man back against the concrete stair steps. The woman retreated into the corner, pulling her torn uniform shirt back to cover herself. Bowers turned and started closing on Jackson.
"So what have we here?" The large Marine was panting a little, whether from exertion or excitement, Daniel wasn’t certain. "McNeill’s pretty boy grown some cajones? Or did you miss me?"
Daniel tried to get to his feet but before he could, the Lieutenant Colonel grabbed his left ankle and pulled him down onto the stairs again. Jackson looked past his attacker and called to the woman. "Go get Jack! Colonel O’Neill! Get some help!"
"What for boy? I don’t need his help. I can take care of you all by myself." Bowers laughed, grabbed up higher and caught Daniel’s leg by his calf muscle. Jackson responded by trying to kick the Marine in the knee or groin with the other leg but his angle was wrong. He punched the bigger man in the face but he couldn’t get enough swinging room to inflict much damage.
Meanwhile Army Private Amy Rice had pulled her wits about herself and had fled down the remaining stairs and out the door into the hallway. She was calling for help, but there didn’t seem to be anyone around in these lower office levels.
Daniel knew that he would be no match for Bowers in a close quarter’s fight. The man outweighed him by a good fifty pounds and for all of Jack’s hand to hand training, there was no comparison in their fighting skills. He was hoping for some quick relief but quick had better hurry up. The man was rapidly overpowering him. During the struggle, Daniel’s felt a hard object in his shirt pocket, a Cross ballpoint pen. He managed to get one hand to it, pulled the steel-jacketed instrument out of his pocket and stabbed his attacker as hard as he could with it. The sharp point of the pen actually penetrated the uniform shirt that his assailant was wearing and scraped down the large man’s ribcage. Bowers pulled back with a curse. Taking the available room, the archeologist pulled one leg up to his chest and was able to push the enraged Officer off of him for a moment.
Jack O’Neill was in the General’s office after giving Hammond A1C Frederick’s written statement on what had happened in the maintenance shop. It was the final document that was needed and they had been reviewing the other witnesses’ statements, documentation and Hammond’s recommendations before turning it over to the Peterson Field legal office. As Jack had gotten up to leave, the two officers heard a woman’s voice calling for help in the hallway. They both quickly headed for the door. Rice was running down the hallway, pushing open the office doors, yelling for someone, anyone to come out and help her rescuer. Finally, she was met with success at an office door by the Two-Star General she knew to be Hammond and a tall, gray haired colonel. Hammond had opened the door to find the young female Army Private banging on it. He caught her by the shoulders, to stop her and hold her up. "Young woman. What’s wrong? What’s going on? She was extremely upset and almost in tears, her green uniform blouse torn.
She was pointed at the door at the end of the hall. "They’re fighting.... In the stairwell... Someone help him!" The Colonel pushed past them and ran towards the stairs.
"Who’s fighting?" Hammond asked her as she tried to regain her control in front of a senior officer.
Amy Rice was holding on to her composure and blouse by a thread. "A great big Marine and a civilian guy!" She was trying not to cry, to be able to talk. "He grabbed me and he was too big. And this civilian guy saw us he and pulled him off me...and they started fighting... help him please!"
The General pushed her into his office out of his way and followed his Second in Command towards the stairwell.
Teal’c had escorted both Daniel Jackson and Major Carter to the dining hall where they had eaten lunch and then back to their respective offices. The two had left Daniel Jackson at his door and continued on to her office laboratory. They had stopped in the hall talking and Teal’c had just stated that he was returning to his quarters when the Jaffa heard a familiar noise, the sounds of battle. He turned to the partially opened stairwell door at the opposite end of the hallway identifying it as the source. Teal‘c sprinted to the door and opened it, taking the stairs down two at a time. Carter was following right behind him.
Once Daniel had managed to get back on his feet, he was determined to make as good a fight as he could. His lessons with Jack had a least taught him how to duck more successfully and even get in a few good punches, his hard-earned muscle standing him in good stead. But Bowers was much bigger and Daniel knew if he was tagged by one blow from the ham- sized fists, he would be a goner for sure. So he feinted and backed away trying to keep distance between them until help arrived. Finally the bigger man in frustration snagged him by an arm and threw him against the corner of the handrail. Daniel thought he felt a rib crack and the ensuing pain knocked the breath out of him. Bowers then grabbed him by the shirt collar with one hand and slammed him head first into the corner. Jackson blearily turned to face his enemy, trying to keep his feet under him.
The Marine moved quickly and wrapped both his hands around the younger man’s throat, slamming him back against the wall, off the floor and held Jackson helpless as he strangled him.
When O’Neill had followed Hammond into the hallway and heard what the young woman had said, he pushed past the Army Private and ran towards the indicated stairwell. He pulled open the door and took the upwards flight of steps two at a time towards the sound of a fight. As he made his way up the concrete staircase towards the next level, he could catch glimpses of two bodies caught up in a violent struggle. Then he heard a grunt of pain and the sound of contact as a body hit against the cinderblock wall. Running up the last few stairs, he turned the corner to see Bowers holding Daniel up against the wall by this throat, the younger man’s bloodied face turning an alarming shade of blue.
Jack O’Neill grabbed the big man by the shoulder and spun him around, punching him directly in the face with a hard right cross. Bowers’ expression was one of savage surprise, but the blow did little except snap his head back. The big man dropped Daniel, who collapsed in the corner of the stairwell and turned on O‘Neill. Identifying his new opponent as a more dangerous one, Bad Bob reached down into his boot and pulled out the knife he had secreted there. Bowers lunged forward intending to skewer the smaller man with the blade. The Colonel, recognizing the new threat, backed down the flight of steps, leading the assailant away from Jackson and motioning Hammond to step back out of the doorway. As Jack backed out into the office hallway he could hear the General on the phone in the background calling for Security Forces to report to the Command Level.
The two combatants started the circle dance of a knife fight. O’Neill reached down to his boot, then cursed to himself. Since he was not scheduled to go off world, he had left his own boot knife in his desk. The big Marine took a cut at him with his blade but Jack shifted back out of his reach. They continued their cat and mouse play for several moments. Bowers made a quick sideways move and managed to catch Jack on the forearm, slicing through the heavy cotton BDU shirt and into the muscle. Jack ignored the pain, concentrating on his assailant’s movements and trying to judge the big man’s skill and tactics: a feint to draw him out, an attempt to engage the man without further injury to himself and then a tactical retreat in front of a superior force. As he moved around to face the doorway, Jack could see Teal’c coming out of the stairwell behind him.
The Jaffa hesitated a moment in the door, gauging the situation, but the timing was awkward, for now Bowers forced O’Neill around to block Teal’c, lunging forward to drive the knife home. Jack skipped back, avoiding the knife, continuing to look for an opening.
Hammond got off the phone to the SF office and reached into his desk drawer for his old service revolver. He turned and walked out into the hallway and shouted at the two combatants. "Marine, Stand Down! That’s an order!" He then leveled his pistol at the two fighting men.
O’Neill could hear Hammond shouting at them both, but couldn‘t spare the time to pay attention to what he was saying. He caught a glimpse of the General behind him but was concentrating on the knife in front of him. Suddenly, a single gunshot rang out and Bowers straightened upright, a surprised look on his face as a bloody hole appeared in his upper chest. Jack could smell the gunpowder in the air and his ears rang with the loud report in the confined area. Bowers hesitated, a surprised expression on his face, then fell forward like an oak tree, slamming face first into the carpeted floor. Behind Jack, Major General George Hammond stood, holding a 38-caliber colt revolver in his hand, the smoking barrel now pointing up at the ceiling.
O’Neill stood breathing hard, holding a hand over the bleeding knife wound on his arm. He felt Hammond come over and take hold of his good arm in support. "Jack, are you all right, son?"
He turned and nodded his thanks to the General, O’Neill had an impulse to reply, ‘Yes Dad’ but turned it into a "Yes Sir" instead. Then looked back to Teal’c who was standing over Bowers‘ prone body. "Daniel?"
"He is injured; O’Neill, but he will recover." The big man had come forward to O’Neill and was now gripping Jack’s injured arm, tearing the uniform’s sleeve to examine his knife wound. Jack took a deep breath, just relieved that the fight was over. He looked down at the General as Hammond, who had left his side, knelt next to his unconscious assailant.
Hammond looked up and behind Jack and Teal’c to motion the Security Forces and the Medical team into the hallway. The Warrior turned Jack back to see Daniel being helped down the stairwell by Carter. His face was bloody and he was going to have a spectacular black eye and bruised face but he was still able to walk under his own power.
Daniel was looking worriedly at Jack, seeing the blood stained shirt. O’Neill returned the look with a relieved grin. "How ya doin’ Daniel?"
Jackson smiled at him crookedly through a bloody nose, rubbing his throat, and croaked. "Ribs. You?"
"Little cut, no problem." A medical technician moved over to him and was examining his arm.
"Sir, you’re going to need some stitches." He stated. Jack nodded absently to the Corpsman, then he watched a gurney appear and Bowers being loaded on to it.
O’Neill indicated the activity. "Is he still alive?"
"Yes, Sir." Satisfied with O’Neill‘s condition, the Med Tech went to Jackson to start checking on him examining his face and neck.
A Security Forces airman had pulled two chairs out of the office area. Hammond indicated one to O’Neill. "Here, Jack sit down a minute." Carter then helped Jackson over to the other so he could be examined more comfortably. She and the Med Tech pushed the civilian down into it and helped him remove his shirt so the Corpsman could assess Daniel’s injuries.
The Major then turned and looked carefully at her Base Commander. "General are you all right?"
"I’m fine, Major." General Hammond, looking a little pale, shook his head. "I just haven’t had to shoot one of my own officers in a while. Takes the wind right out of the old sails."
"I can imagine, Sir." She replied dryly. She glanced around and saw Rice standing pale faced by the door. "Private, can you get us some coffee?"
"Oh, yes m’am." The younger woman had been standing silently watching the activity, not knowing what to do. She immediately headed back into the office area and returned in a few moments with several cups in her hands. "I’m sorry, I should have thought..."
Jack smiled up at her taking the steaming cup from her hand. "Thanks. I don’t think we’ve been formally introduced. Colonel Jack O’Neill."
The attractive young woman smiled nervously down at him. "Private Amy Rice, Very pleased to meet you. I uh, just PCS’d into the SGC last week. I don’t know a lot of people yet."
Hammond looked a little distressed as he took a cup from her. "We don’t normally welcome newcomers like this, Private. Are you sure you’re all right?"
Carter had glanced over at Daniel, still in the care of the medical technician and came over to look at the girl critically. "I think you’re going to have a shiner. Did he hit you?"
She bit her lip and tried not to lose her composure in all the friendly attention. "He...he slapped me, ma’m. But if he..." she looked over at Jackson who was being fitted with a cervical collar and put protestingly on a second gurney. "If he hadn’t shown up when he did I don’t know what would have happened."
Carter nodded and smiled gently at her. "That’s Dr. Daniel Jackson, I’m Major Sam Carter." She glanced over at Colonel O’Neill. "Why don’t we go to the infirmary and get you checked out, Amy. I think the Colonel needs to go too or Dr. Fraiser will put out an APB on him."
Jack made a face at her but nodded. "Yea, I’ll walk before I’m given a taxi ride I don’t want." Teal’c stepped in closer and grasped his good arm when O’Neill got onto his feet. Jack glanced up at him. "Ooops." He was a little light headed; the adrenaline rush from the fight was draining away and his arm ‘was‘ beginning to hurt.
"Indeed. I will escort you O’Neill." The Jaffa Warrior was insistent. "It will do you no good to fall down at this time."
Jack grinned crookedly at his supportive friend. "Okay, talked me into it."
Hammond nodded and surveyed the bloodstained carpet. "Go on and get tended to, everyone. I’ll get someone down here to clean up this mess, and then I can start working on the legal mess."
Down in the infirmary, Dr. Fraiser was already treating Daniel’s battered face. Lt Col Bowers had been whisked to surgery by Dr. Warner. At Jack’s concerned look towards Jackson, she smiled back at him. "Not too bad, Colonel. A black eye, some bad bruising on the neck, maybe a slight concussion." She smiled fondly back at Jackson. "Nose doesn’t even appear to be broken."
Daniel raised his hand and touched the offending nose gingerly. "Fees broke."
She shook her head at him. "An ice pack will do wonders for it, Daniel. The eye is much worse."
"Tanks, I tink."
"Now, into bed with you." Before he could protest she added. "Concussion equals bed, you know that."
"Mide be a conncusson." He groused as Fraiser pointed him to the ward, but was led away by a nurse in spite of his protestations.
Then she turned to O’Neill. "Now let’s see about this arm."
The following day, Major General George Hammond was escorting Marine Brigadier General Edward Simpson to the infirmary. There Lt Col Robert Bowers was being readied for transport to the Hospital at Peterson Field in Colorado Springs. The two men had read all the statements that Colonel O’Neill had submitted to Hammond the day before. Hammond had added his own report and that of Private First Class Rice to the pile. The completed file would be turned over to the Legal Office that afternoon. General Simpson was in support of the actions taken and would recommend Article 15 action and early retirement for the Marine officer. Hammond could have pressed for more severe actions but since his shot had done quite a bit of damage to the man physically, he was loath to push for the maximum punishment for a previously highly decorated officer. Colonel O’Neill and Dr. Jackson had both declined to press charges and as they had received the most severe injuries, no one else seemed interested in filing charges either.
When they reached the infirmary, Hammond took Simpson over to introduce him to Jackson who was on bed rest for one more day and O’Neill, who was sitting next to his friend in the wardroom having the bandage changed on his wounded arm.
"You know O’Neill if you don’t like the Marines; you don’t have to go to such extreme measures to get rid of them." Simpson advised him.
"Sir," O’Neill replied. "I like the Marines fine. I liked Colonel Makepeace, he‘s a good man to have on your side. I was really sorry that he had gotten in over his head with that other situation.
The Marine senior officer shook his head sadly. "This is very unfortunate. Colonel Bowers is a good field officer. He’d had some discipline problems several years ago, but I’d hoped that he had learned his lessons and changed his ways. He was promoted several years ago for his actions during the southeastern Europe conflict.
General Hammond nodded. "I’d read his records before approving his assignment, I just don’t understand what he thought he was going to accomplish by his actions here.
O’Neill made a face as Dr. Fraiser tightened his bandage. "Well, I’ve known men like him before." He paused. "Bowers had a Bull in a China Shop Syndrome. He kept barging in where he wasn’t wanted and didn‘t know how to act when he got there." He shook his head.
Daniel spoke up from his bed. "Jack, I thought it was the ‘Bull In the Woods’ problem?’
"Yea, the only problem was he went after the wrong Bull." O’Neill glanced from Simpson to Hammond. "He didn’t realize who the real big bull was."
Simpson watched the two men quizzically. "I don’t understand. What do you mean?"
O’Neill replied. "Bad Bob Bowers came looking for me on the theory that I was it, but he was wrong. I’m only the big stick." He smiled at his General. "The only Bull of the Woods on this Mountain is Hammond of Texas.

Chapter End Notes:
I apologize to all Marines. I just took the Makepeace betrayal and used it as a vehicle to bring this guy in.
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