Hide and Seek
“Frozen in Time 2 ” by Starr
Part 3: “Hide and Seek”
Half way to the Utah border
The UAV monitor started to beep and Carter asked what is was. Cole looked at it and it said seismic activity. He got on the radio, “Major Lee, put the pedal to the metal and everyone else stop!” Cole hit the gas and they heard a cracking sound. Major Lee and Lt. Silvers made it clear but the truck that Cole and Sam were in didn’t. The truck started going backwards. Cole hit the clutch and brake and put it into low gear. He tried going forward but the back tires were just spinning. Carter got out to take a look.
She radioed, “Sir, there’s about a 30-foot gap in the road and it’s about 25 feet deep. A jeep and a humvee have fallen in so if the truck goes.”
He radioed back, “We’re not losing this truck.” Lt. Silvers got out of the humvee and Major Lee turned it around. Cole got on the radio and told Reese to get the people out, the ones that went over. He also told her to just get them out and forget about any equipment. He put on the emergency brake and waited for Reese to radio him back. In the meantime, Lt. Silvers released the cable on the humvee pulled it to the truck and hooked it around the front.
After Reese radioed him and said that it was clear, he signaled Major Lee. They stepped on the gas at the same time and finally got the truck free. Cole drove about 20 feet ahead and got out to check for damage.
Reese came over the radio, “Sir, what are our orders, Sir?” Cole radioed back and said to wait a minute. He and Sam got back into the truck and he was looking at the UAV monitor and adjusting it.
He radioed Reese, “There’s a road about one mile behind you. Go back and follow it south until you can cross. Then head back to our position. Use the UAV so you can see where you are going, we can launch another one. There’s a road ahead of us about half a mile. We’ll get on it and drive about 100 yards to get off this road. We’ll wait for you at that location. I’m turning on the homing signal so use the remote to find us. Get back here ASAP and by any means necessary. Do you copy? Over.”
Reese radioed back, “Copy that, Sir, over and out.”
Cole asked, “Major Lee, did you copy that?”
“Yes, Sir, heading for the road,” Major Lee answered. Cole and Sam followed behind them. Once they reached their destination, they got out and put the covers on the truck and humvee. Cole said, “This might take a while so get comfortable and take turns sleeping so one of you can listen for the radio.”
He went to the back of the truck and got some blankets. He gave two to Major Lee and brought back the other two for Carter and himself. He said, “Looks like it’s starting to snow.” He didn’t have enough time to think about it before but he then wondered to himself ‘why didn’t the UAV pick up the seismic activity sooner’. That’s when Carter started asking questions.
Carter asked, “Sir, What is it like in your reality?” He told her to drop the sir and said that it was a lot like this one. She was fishing for any information she could get. “You’ve obviously become more advanced than we are.”
He replied, “Just a few things in technology.” She was wondering about something that she had found out before. “Dr. Frasier told me that you had the virus and that she is using your blood to find a vaccine/cure, so why did you tell me that you didn’t have a fever?” He didn’t say anything for a couple of minutes.
“I know that you must have a lot of questions and at this point and I see no reason not to tell you.” He paused. He knew this would be the first time that he actually told someone about this and it was going against his orders. “ For some unknown reason, something is affecting our reality so they asked for volunteers to start going on missions. Starr has a list and is still working on it. If she gets a chance, like in this case, she goes to the next reality and scouts things out. She gives me a countdown watch and when it reaches zero, we need to be at the mirror at Nellis to go to the next assigned reality until we find the ‘special mission’ that I told you about.”
She corrected him by saying, “You really didn’t go into much detail about your ‘special mission’.” He paused, thinking that this was going to take a while. “I’ll tell you what I know. The ‘powers that be’ in our reality sent us on these missions and didn’t tell us what we are looking for, just that we will know it when we saw it. I’m almost positive that Starr knows what it is and I think that I know, but Reese and Jamison don’t have a clue.”
He paused and Sam didn’t think that he was going to tell her anything else. She smiled and stated, “You’re not going to tell me, are you?”
He replied, “It’s just a theory and I could be wrong.” Hoping that he would continue, “You can tell me anyway. I’d like to know your theory.”
He started stretching as if his back was hurting but he finally spoke.“What I know so far, is that this is the tenth mission that we have been on and people know us but our counterparts aren’t anywhere to be found. I think that we are looking for ourselves or at least what is happening hopefully we can either stop it or reverse it.”
She didn’t want him to stop but had to say, “Alternate realities are infinite.” He laughed, “I know, this might take a long time if not forever.” He anticipated her next question and said, “We were told to go to each reality and help with whatever we can do without making drastic changes and not to leave our footprints all over the place, if you know what I mean. I’ve never had to explain this to anyone before so I’m trying to gather my thoughts and tell you things that make sense even if they don’t make sense.”
He continued, “Before we left, we were told that we would be able to come back to our reality, sit in on the mission reports and briefings for the next mission but that all changed. After our first mission, Starr told us that things had changed and that she would be the only one going back to our reality to check in and if we didn’t show up at the mirror at the end of a mission, we would be considered MIA and they would send other volunteers to take our place. I don’t think that they have other volunteers, cause I know for a fact that Sgt. Jamison did not volunteer for this.”
Sam asked, “What do you think happened?”
He reached for the med-kit and took out some aspirins and said what he had been keeping to himself a long time, “Maybe our reality doesn’t exist anymore.” He showed her a list that he had been keeping with names of SGC personnel. “I have Reese compile a list every reality that we go to. Does anyone look familiar?”
Sam looked at the list a few minutes, “Lots of the people look familiar.” He told her to look at two specific names, one which Sgt. Walter Davis.
She said, “I know him, he works in the control room at the SGC.” Cole knew the answer to his next question, “When was the last time you saw him?”
Sam thought back and replied with disbelief, “I can’t believe it. He works every day in the control room but I haven’t seen him in three months.”
Cole noticed her disbelief, “We’ve been going on missions for three months. Amongst the list of missing, Sgt. Davis is never there and as far as anyone knows, he was among the first to go missing in our reality.”
He asked, “Does any of this make sense to you?” She said, “I think so, Sir.” He muttered, “Then can you explain it to me?”
He finally took the aspirins that he was holding and she asked, “Still not feeling well?”
“I’ve had better days.” He gulping down water with the aspirins and remarked that he hadn’t slept in three to four days. She suggested that he should get some sleep before the rest of the convoy meets up with them. He told her to keep an eye out and listen for Reese on the radio. He took the list of missing people from her although he had the impression that she would have liked to look at it some more. He leaned back and closed his eyes. He finally felt how much he missed sleeping.
“Sir, I just have one more question. Can we keep this equipment on? Won’t it run down the battery?” Cole didn’t open his eyes. He just smiled. The kind of smile that says ‘I would just love to tell you but I think you can figure that out yourself’. “Right, Sir, sorry about that.”
He fell asleep.
The convoy: Still in Colorado
Reese was having trouble with the mountain terrain. They had to drive all over the place to try and make it back to the rendevous point. At one point the UAV started beeping again. She looked and it showed that there was air activity. She got on the radio and told everyone to stop and told Jamison, “We got death gliders at your 10 o’clock.” There was no way to outrun them. Jamison knew where all the ‘op’ equipment was since he did an inventory check at Colonel Younger’s orders when they first arrived before getting to the SGC.
Dr. Frasier and Dr. Lisa Pierce were in the back of the transport truck that Jamison was driving and it had advanced state of the art(op) medical equipment in it and they were still trying to find a vaccine/cure, but not advanced enough to keep them from using it. It just ran faster than anything they had seen before.
Jamison and Lt. Price got out of the transport truck and went to the back. Jamison and Price grabbed two foot lockers and Jamison and saw Dr. Frasier and Dr. Pierce, “Excuse me, Doctor, doctor,” acknowledging both of them. They took two ‘op’ rocket launchers out and Jamison started putting five rockets in one of them.
Lt. Price looked at him strangely and asked, “What are you doing? You can only put in one at a time.”
Jamison knew that it was ‘op’ equipment but didn’t know what to say. He didn’t have the experience that Colonel Younger and Captain Reese had in making up excuses and cover stories.
He meekly said, “You can with these, Sir.” Lt. Price followed his lead and put five in his launcher.
There were twenty death gliders and Lt. Price looked over at Jamison with a ‘what now’ look. He wasn’t sure about this new rocket launcher that he had never seen before. Jamison told him to just point and shoot.
And shoot, they did. They blasted the first ten out of the sky and reloaded. Jamison always loved a good fire fight and was so excited he yelled out, “I love a parade!” He looked at Lt. Price and realizing that he was in the company of an officer, he added, “Sir.” They blasted the last ten gliders and he gave the all clear sign to Captain Reese. Reese let out a sigh of relief as she thought that they had bought the farm for sure on that situation. She radioed, “Let’s get moving. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover.”
(Back at the rendevous point)
Night had come and gone and still no word from Captain Reese. Cole finally woke up and it was almost 1500 Hrs. He couldn’t believe that he had slept that long and Sam had no real reason to wake him. She was out of the truck talking with Major Lee and Lt. Silvers. Cole got out to stretch his legs and went over to them. Major Lee said, “Sir, We found some coffee in a thermos in the back.” He poured Cole a cup. Cole thought to himself, ‘Ok, Starr, you did one thing right’. He sure needed his cup of coffee.
Sam said, “We’ve had no word from the convoy and we’ve tried to make radio contact with no luck.” Cole had not woken up completely but said, “Maybe they ran into some trouble. Let’s launch the other UAV and Major Lee, take the covers off. They don’t work in the daytime anyway.”
Cole and Sam went to the back of the truck and brought out the other UAV. “It’s so light and small,” Sam remarked with surprise.
Cole replied, “And soon it will be so light and small and in the air.” Sam laughed. He was happy to see that she was at least feeling all right. They took it over to the UAV launcher on the humvee cause they didn’t feel like climbing on top of the transport truck to use that one.
Once they had it set up, Cole and Sam got back into the truck. Cole figured that since they hadn’t heard from Reese yet, he had time to explain some of the features of the UAV and monitor to Sam. He launched it and it went straight up. That took Sam by surprise. He told her that it can be launched forward or straight up. He showed her how to work the controls on the monitor.
She said, “It’s just like using a joystick to operate the UAV.” He continued to show her more features on the monitor said that she could play with the UAV while he was busy.
She asked, “What will happen if I lose control? I don’t want to crash it.” As he got out his papers and maps, he told her that it didn’t matter if it was on automatic or manual. It would sense if it was about to hit something and it would take immediate action to avoid a collision. He explained that it worked in a similar fashion as Air Force One. If you fire a missile at Air Force One, the plane will take immediate action and maneuver to avoid getting hit. She began playing with it.
Cole checked his papers and maps and figured that Reese could be as much as three hours away barring any trouble. He took control of the UAV and sent it in the direction of where he thought the convoy should be and had the UAV send out a signal to make contact with the UAV that Reese was using. They both looked at the monitor and couldn’t believe that the seismic disturbance was so wide spread.
He told Sam about what he had thought earlier about the UAV not picking up on the seismic activity sooner than it had and that it should have given them enough warning to avoid any disaster. From the terrain and the distance that Reese and the convoy had to travel, they knew that they were in for a long wait. Cole was worried since it was daytime but he saw that Reese and the others were still on the move.
Two hours later, Reese came over the radio. “Colonel, do you copy? Over.” Cole had stepped out to get some more coffee so Sam answered, “Copy, Captain Reese, over.”
Cole got back in the truck and heard Reese say, “Major Carter, we are about two hours away from your position, over.”
Sam handed the mic to Cole and he radioed, “About time Reese. We’ve been waiting forever and the daytime has not made it any warmer. Did you run into any trouble? Over.”
Reese radioed, “Nothing we couldn’t handle, Sir, over.” Cole said, “We’re waiting so step on it, will you? Over.” Reese answered, “Consider it stepped on, Sir, over and out.” Cole laughed and turned to Sam. “Now all we need is a deck of cards.”
Two hours later, Reese came over the radio again. “Colonel, this is Reese. We are about 2 miles away. Do you copy? Over.”
Cole replied, “Copy that Reese. We’ll put out the welcome mat, over and out.”
They got out of the truck and Major Lee and Lt. Silvers got out of the humvee to wait for them. As the convoy approached, Cole turned to Sam, “Whatever you do, don’t tell Reese or Jamison what I told you, Ok?” She replied, “Yes, Sir.”
The convoy stopped in front of them and everyone got out of the vehicles. Cole was about to order everyone back in to get under way but stopped when he saw Dr. Frasier walking up to them. She looked tired but extremely happy. She told them that they had found a vaccine/cure and had given it to everyone especially the sick. She said to Cole, “Sir, I can’t believe the remarkable medical equipment you have in the last transport. It would have taken us a lot longer if we didn’t have that equipment.”
Jamison hadn’t told Cole about the medical equipment, just that there were medical supplies and medical equipment wasn’t on the list that Starr had given him. He could only say, “Yeah, remarkable technology these days. They are always coming out with better stuff. Am I still asleep?”
He pointed to some of the patients that were near death and were now up and walking around. Frasier said that it not only took a short time to come up with a vaccine/cure, the medicine seems to be working faster than she had ever seen before. Dr. Pierce came over and gave shots of the vaccine to Cole, Sam, Major Lee and Lt. Silvers.
Cole whispered to Sam, “Think you can get me some of the vaccine?” She nodded yes and went over to get some. She returned with it in a small carrying case. Small enough for Cole to fit into his pocket. “If I may ask, Sir. What do you plan to do with it?” The only answer he gave her was, “I’ll tell you later.”
He wanted to get under way but Dr. Frasier told him that they needed a break and hadn’t had anything to eat. Cole asked, “How long?” She replied, “About 30 minutes, Sir.” Cole agreed and told Reese to start handing out the food that was in one of the trucks. Reese told him that she had gotten a hypo with the vaccine so she could give Starr an injection when they saw her.
Jamison came running over to Cole. He was so excited and said, “Sir, we shot down twenty death gliders on the way here.”
Cole patted him on the back and said, “You always love that kind of stuff, good job. Would you mind getting the small ‘op’ cans of gasoline out and put it in the vehicles? I don’t think I brought my gas credit card with me.”
Jamison was so excited that he got a ‘good job’ from Cole, “Yes, Sir, right away, Sir.” And he took off to get the job done. Sam was standing there and heard all of it and smiled. “He’s just a kid, isn’t he, Sir?”
Cole looked a little sad at that moment and replied, “Yeah, he’s just a kid with a new wife back home.” Cole walked off to be by himself and Sam could tell that he wanted to be left alone for a while and figured that all three of them were homesick.
As darkness approached, Cole let everyone know that it was time to head out. He told Major Lee to turn the humvee around and he was going to turn the truck around so they could head back to the Interstate. They finally got under way and it was getting so dark they had to use the ‘op’ goggles again. They were close to the Utah border when Captain Reese turned to Captain Wright, who had been riding in the second transport truck with her and said, “I’m so glad that the patients we are carrying are fine now and glad that we haven’t run into anymore trouble.” Captain Wright agreed.
Reese thought that something was out to get her cause every time she said something positive, something bad always seemed happened. The UAV monitor started beeping.
Cole came over the radio, “Everyone pull off to the side and cut your engines off.” Reese shook her head and muttered to herself, ‘yeah, it happens every time!’.
Sam looked at the monitor and then looked at Cole. “It says ground activity. Does that mean there are Jaffas up ahead?”
Cole put his arms across the steering wheel and laid his head on top of them. He muttered to himself, “When will this madness end?” He sat back up, “It could be a number of things.” He still didn’t know why the first UAV didn’t warn them with enough time to avoid the seismic activity so he wasn’t taking any changes. He radioed Reese to confirm the ground activity. Reese confirmed it but couldn’t make out any details except that it was about one mile ahead which Cole confirmed with his monitor.
He radioed back. “Everyone stay in the vehicles.” He turned to Sam, “It could be some people looking for safety but we need to check it out. Feel like going on a field trip?” She only replied by nodding her head and got out of the truck with her M16. He got out too, with his weapon and saw that Major Lee and Lt. Silvers were looking back at them. He motioned for them to get out of the humvee. Cole and Sam walked up to them and Cole said, “Let’s go.”
Everyone, to say the least, was exhausted from the last few days. They didn’t run the mile but walked briskly and as quietly as possible. Cole motioned for them to get down. On the other side of the road, he saw Jaffas but they were about 100 feet from the road.
Major Lee gave his opinion,“It looks like they are having a party.”
Cole jokingly replied, “Gee, how can you tell?” Sam was confused. She thought that Cole had replied in a joking manner to Major Lee. She mentioned that the Jaffas were too far away. Major Lee and Lt. Silvers had plenty of time on their hands waiting for the convoy and learned how to work the ‘op’ goggles. Sam didn’t since she was so busy playing with the new toy, the ‘op’ UAV.
Cole tapped her goggles, “Carter, turn this lever.” She did and now she could see the Jaffas up close. In amazement she muttered to herself, “Cool, it changes to binoculars.” Cole knew the answer to his next question, “Anyone up for crashing a party?” Lee and Silvers shook their heads no and Carter responded, “Not really, Sir.”
“Good,” Cole replied. He took a mental picture of what he saw. “Let’s head back.”
On the way back to the convoy and out of ear shot of the Jaffas, Cole radioed, “Reese, get covers on all the vehicles. We’ve got Jaffas up here. We’re heading back and then we’ll move out.” Reese knew exactly what he was talking about. “Yes, Sir, “she radioed back. “I’ll have it done by the time you get here.”
Sam again found herself confused. She thought they were going to use the covers to hide until the coast was clear. She was in for several big surprises. They got back in the truck and Cole started adjusting the UAV with the monitor.
“Sir,” Sam said in a confused voice, “What are you doing and what are we going to do?”
Cole didn’t answer right away but finally spoke up, “Do you see these two dark areas on the monitor?”
“Yes, Sir,”still sounding confused.
He informed her of his plan. “One is a glider and the other is some thing, perhaps a cargo ship. I’m trying to decide which one will make a better target for a diversion.” Sam stated that the both looked close enough together and if one gets hit, the other will probably blow up as well even though see had no idea what he had in mind.
He radioed Reese. “I’m taking control over your UAV.” He switched over his monitor and started inputting coordinates. He wasn’t really talking to Sam but said out loud, “Switching UAV to manual control, leaving on stealth mode and running silent mode and locking onto the target, setting explosive.”
With that last part, Sam inquired, “Sir, setting explosive?”
Cole knew that he didn’t tell her everything that the UAV could do. “Yeah, it has an explosive device attached to it.” He wanted to get under way and he offered no other explanation at that time. He radioed. “Okay, everyone move back out on the road and try to keep it less than 35 mph. The convoy was finally back under way. They weren’t very far from the Jaffas when curiosity got the best of Sam, “Sir, I know with the covers at night, they can’t see us but can they hear us?”
Cole smiled, “Not if you keep quiet.” She gave a little smiled not knowing if he was joking or not. “Sir, I mean, can they hear the trucks?”
He finally decided to give her a short whispered detail of what he was doing, “The cover only work at night and it’s night, so we’re in luck. They can’t see us without ‘op’ goggles. However, the cover doesn’t reduce the sound very much so I’m creating a diversion. Just watch.” He took the running silent mode off the UAV and maneuvered it to fly around the Jaffas.
Both he and Sam wanted to laugh but didn’t. He did smile though while watching the confusion by the Jaffas. “Like trying to find a big mosquito.” They were passing them and Cole asked, “Carter, care to do the honors?” She nodded.
He said,“Just press that red button on the monitor that says target.” She pressed it and the UAV headed directly for the glider and blew it up with the cargo ship.
He said, “Excellent.” Then he radioed, “Ok, people, pick up the pace.” They started driving with the covers on for another 2 miles.
He stopped the truck and everyone followed his lead. They got out and took the covers off and got back in. As they were driving, Carter said, “Ok, here’s a stupid question. Why can’t we drive with the covers on all the time?”
He laughed, “That’s not a stupid question. Right now they are working on that in our reality but in the meantime, the covers will get too hot from the engines and will burn up.
Sam seemed pleased and happy that he had decided to tell her about where they were from when they were back at the SGC. She knew that he would have to come up with a lot of cover stories with all the ‘op’ equipment they were using and she realized that is probably why he decided to tell her.
To Be Continued...