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Jack's Dilemma

By Ravenhawk

Humor / Scifi

Chapter 1

Jack O'Neill sat staring at the computer screen, a bemused expression on his face. "Carter?"

"Yes, sir?"

"What's a 'beta'?"

"It's a fish, sir."

"Fish type?"

"Uh, yes sir. It's a type of fish."

"No, no. Do fish type?"

//////////////////
you sure you want to mention 'fish', Jack and Sam are Air Force, you know
//////////////////

"No, sir. At least none that I know of. And even Air Force personnel have fish tanks, sir." She replied, wondering 'Where did that voice come from?' "Sir, did you hear anything?"

"Well, the beta's on this list thingie type, and what are you talking about?"

"Uh, nothing sir. List thingie? And didn't you mention 'fish'?"

"Yeah, when this conversation started. You flipping on me, Carter?"

//////////////////
love it when Major Carter starts to act paranoid -VBEG-
//////////////////

"Oh, no, sir. You were saying something about a 'list thingie'?" She looked nervously around her for the mysterious all-knowing voice.

"Yeah, these, these writers. They all appear to have something called 'betas' which help them."

"Oh. They must mean proof-readers, sir. You know, they catch spelling and grammar errors, that sort of thing. Why?"

//////////////////
don't forget checking for continuity, some readers remember every little itsy bitsy detail - something you writers oughtta try :-D
//////////////////

'Damn it,' Carter thought, 'there's that voice again.'

"Well, it appears some of the writers are encouraged to do something called 'whumping' by their betas. Like here where Daniel gets hit on the head with an anvel."

//////////////////
anvil, not anvel - spell check it woman! we've had this talk before
//////////////////

"Anvil, sir?" She twisted her head trying to be casual as she looked for the source of the voice.

//////////////////
not an anvil, too corny, try, uh, let's see, sledge hammer, yeah, that's good, sledge hammer
uh - wait - sledge hammer? Where the heck is a sledge hammer going to come
from in the middle of SGC? How about a big chunk of cement falling from the
ceiling

//////////////////

"Did I say anvil, no, I meant sledg..., uh, chunk of the ceiling. Yeah, that's what it says. Carter, are you all right? Anyhow, then Teal'c ... Daniel, what happened to your head?"

"Ouch, don't know. I'm coming around the corner and this knot appears. Hurts too."

"A knot appears, and you've run into nothing?" Jack replied sceptically.

"I know it sounds crazy, but it just happened."

"Ah ha." Jack gave him a strange look, then turned back to Carter.

//////////////////
the knot probably ought to be bleeding, makes for better whumps
//////////////////

"What the..."

"Now what, Daniel?"

"My head's bleeding! It wasn't a minute ago."

Jack handed him a handkerchief. "Here, staunch the flow with that. It's not deep, you won't die."

//////////////////
maybe you should have him pass out here, Jack could worry longer
//////////////////

"Sir, are you hear..."

"Jack, I don't feel so good."

"Danny, you're looking awfully pale."

//////////////////
on second thought, it may be too soon to really hurt him - drat, I'm ready for the comfort part.
//////////////////

"Daniel, your colour's back. You okay?"

"Never felt better, except for the knot."

//////////////////
don't forget to put blood in his eyes
//////////////////

Carter's eyes widened as the blood from Daniel's 'knot' began to run into his eyes.

"Jeez, now the bleeding's bad again."

//////////////////
hmmm, maybe too much blood. just a little - okay, what'cha think?
//////////////////

"You were saying something about Teal'c when I came in?" Daniel absently wiped the drops of blood from his face. Carter, meantime, had turned a unique shade of grey.

"Oh, yeah, well these Beta readers had suggested that Teal'c break his hand by ..."

"Don't say it, sir!"

"... punching out a wall. Why not, Carter?"

A roar caused all three to come to their feet. "What the..."

Teal'c rounded the corner, clutching his hand, and looking confused.

//////////////////
oooh, he looks soooo cute when he's confused
//////////////////

Carter groaned.

Jack shot her a look, the turned back to Teal'c. "What happened?"

///////////////////
Sheez, woman, do a read through before hitting send. it's THEN not THE
//////////////////

"I hit the wall."

"Excuse me."

"The wall, I hit it."

"Why?" Jack was looking at the Jaffa like he'd lost his mind.

Teal'c looked even more confused. "I do not know."

"Ah ha. You don't know..."

"Sir, I think..."

//////////////////
oh, good, Carter's thinking. that should get Jack riled.
//////////////////

"I really hate it when you do that, Carter."

"Uh, what sir?"

"Think."

//////////////////
told ya
//////////////////

"Would you shut up?"

Jack's eyebrow's arched. "Excuse me?"

"Not you, sir. The voice."

"Voice. What voice?"

//////////////////
yeah, what voice?
//////////////////

Carter glanced around, eyes widening with shock. "Why, that voice, sir?"

"I didn't hear anything. Daniel, Teal'c?"

//////////////////
you haven't forgotten Teal'c's hand, have ya?
//////////////////

"That voice?"

"I don't hear anything."

"Daniel!"

"Nor do I, O'Neill, I must see Doctor Lam to heal my hand."

"Right. Go ahead. Carter, are you ok?"

"Yes, sir. No, sir. I..I'm not sure, sir."

"Oh. Which is it? The screen says..."

"Noooooooo. Don't read it."

"...that you've started suffering from delusions. You know, pink elephants and stuff."

//////////////////
not elephants, that's something else. Try 'hearing voices', yeah, that'll work
//////////////////

"No, wait. That's voices. You're hearing voices."

"I am not."

"Sam, you just said..."

"No, I didn't. I didn't say anything."

"Colonel Carter. You certainly did."

"When?"

//////////////////
Is this where she breaks his nose?
//////////////////

"NO, IT'S NOT!!!" Carter started backing for the door.

"Huh?"

"General don't read anymore of that screen!!" She disappeared into the hall.

"Ouch!"

"Jack, your nose is bleeding."

"Ya think?"

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