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I wrote a Five Six Things, which is posted here for Part 1,
her for Part 2, here for Part 3 on sg1_five_things. It was just slightly more than twice the comment length limit.

Those who want it all in one convenient chunk can read it here. In the version here, I have corrected an error and put the six times in correct chronological order. I also cleared up one word redundancy (a constant problem I need to be vigilant against as I write). On the entries at The Pentangular Gate they are in their original, more dramatically effective order, and I (gasp!) use a word twice in one sentence. You makes your pick and takes your chances, I guess. The Pentangular Gate order is the order in which they originally occurred to me, the order here is what happens when the little purse-mouthed nit-picker of an editor in my brain says "They're all in chronological order except for that one! Fix it! Fix it! Fix it NOW!" Sigh.

Title: Six Times General Hammond Almost Retired Before He Did
Seasons: One through Seven
Spoilers: Well, that would give away some of my choices.
Warnings: There is an illegal sixth thing! The rules have been bent! The boundaries have been transgressed! Civilization is imperiled! AAAAAAAAAH!
Synopsis: SG-1 seems to bring out the best and the worst in everybody, and George Hammond is no exception.
Disclaimer: If you come after me for a bit of fic in which I made no permanent alterations to the characters, which profiteth me not, except as much as I receive reviews, well then I retire - just like Jack O'Neill! Not having his stamina, I don't think I'd last a whole year before I came back though.






Six Times General Hammond Almost Retired Before He Did



Author's Note: There were six times, that's what George told me, and I'm sticking to it!



1.

George Hammond looked down at the body of the alien being on the slab of the SGC's morgue. He could not see the face, because Doctor Warner had taken care to shroud all of the body but the strange inhuman pouch that was the thing that Hammond had been brought down to see. Aliens in the morgue. A young woman under his command seized, now a P.O.W., on an alien world. He understood that there were many women these days who strove for equality within the Air Force, and who were agitating for women to be allowed to serve in combat positions, and that day was coming, but with the Stargate project being mothballed, this particular young airman had been assigned on the assumption that she was in a non-combat posting. Hammond thought about the letters he would have to write. He thought about the secret war that was to come, a battle where Earth's very survival could hang in the balance. George Hammond had been in the Air Force all his adult life, and he knew war and he knew secrets. In war young men died, and the generals who sent them off to do so were stained forever with their blood. George had done his bit for his nation. Wasn't his soul stained enough already? It was time to retire and have the time to spoil his grandchildren. But first he needed to get to the bottom of a falsified report and write some difficult letters. He finished up with Dr. Warner, and made his way down to his office to await the arrival of one Col. Jonathan O'Neill (ret.).

The moment he got his first glimpse of Jack O'Neill, rumpled and deliberately at ease peering around the door to his office, those retirement plans went right out the window. He'd seen that face before, looking just the same, although the tousled hair had been a bit grayer, back in 1969. George Hammond was damned if he was going to retire before he got to the bottom of that little mystery.


2.

Hammond stared at Dr. Fraiser's report on his desk. The male members of SG-1 had left his office, but their vehement words still ringing in his head, Dr. Jackson's cautious but impassioned optimism, and Jack's bitter distrust, Teal'c's dispassionate fatalism. He should be thinking of the strategic choices before him, creating his Plan A, his Plan B, a whole squadron of plans and eventualities, but that was not what he did. He might have been a general in the Air Force, but before he was a general, he was a man, a human being, and before he could bend his mind to the matter at hand, he remembered Jacob Carter's little flaxen haired daughter, chasing her brother and both the Hammond girls around their backyard in a game of tag, full of joy and life, the very picture of why George did the work he did. Such youth, such beauty, such joy, lost to a Goa'uld. George was weary. It was an ugly universe that could allow such a terrible eventuality. He really, really wanted to retire, to walk away and leave it to someone else to write that letter to Jacob, that letter that would inflict a devastating blow on a man still reeling from the cruel death of his beloved wife, a letter that would never be able to reveal to a grieving father the full measure of her contribution to her country and her world, and the true and enduring nature of her loss. He wondered for years whether he would have done it, whether he would have taken the cowards way out and retired to avoid writing that letter, but before he could make his final decision, events had overtaken him, and Captain Carter was recovering in the infirmary, pale, listless, but Tok'ra-free, surrounded by the rest of SG-1, all united in their determination to see her through to full recovery.


3.

It had been 3 weeks, and still no SG-1. Teams came, and teams left, but there was no unscheduled incoming wormhole with SG-1's code. George Hammond knew where they had gone, and he'd given Sam Carter the data she'd need to get them home, but the fact remained that although he had certain knowledge of where they had gone, he had no certainty that his note would successfully lead them home. SG-1 were no longer the strangers they had been back at the start of Hammond's career. They had told him the truth, back in that transport van. They knew him. They were friends. They were the flagship team, and the soul of this command, and an incalculable loss. The Pentagon had given him one more week, and then he would be ordered to change their status to K.I.A. George knew if he turned a corner and ran into a 70 year old Samantha Carter, he would never be able to look her in the eye if he had to tell her that he had done that. He'd retire before he declared SG-1 dead this way.

Klaxons sounded

“Unscheduled incoming wormhole!” came Sgt. Harriman's voice through the intercom.

George's heart swelled with hope and anticipation. He couldn't wait to yank Jack O'Neill's chain about the interest he would owe him. That missing money had been a lot on a lieutenant's salary, and damn hard to explain to his pregnant wife!


4.

A gloom hung over the entire SGC as Daniel Jackson lay dying of radiation. Such a filthy way to go. Such a terrible reward for his heroism. SG-1 had survived every challenge, had won every battle, had saved the Earth again and again, and it had come to this. George had had enough. Time to retire.

He would have, too, if Jack O'Neill hadn't talked him out of it. He insisted that Dr. Jackson was not gone, that he was continuing his quest for knowledge in a different form, and Daniel had chosen his own path. He only had Jack's word on this, but Daniel had left no body, and Jack's word was a rock-solid thing. There were apparently more things on Heaven and Earth than were in George Hammond's original philosophy.


5.

Janet Fraiser had spread the Tok'ra tunic out on his desk and pointed to all the various different rips, tears, and holes, and explained how many of them represented individually fatal wounds. Dr. Fraiser couldn't definitively say how many times Jack had been tortured to death, and Jack O'Neill, suffering the further torments of sarcophagus withdrawal was not letting that information past his lips anymore than he had let information about the SGC past his lips while in the clutches of Ba'al.

Oh, Jack! What have I done to you? I deliberately sent the one person I knew you could not refuse to beg you to agree to take a Tok'ra. I trusted you to them because I trust my old friend, Jacob. I'm a sentimental old fool, and you've paid the price for that.

Still, he owed it to Jack O'Neill to make his apologies face to face, to look the man in the eye and make the only amends he could. Then he'd resign.

When that time had come, Jack was having none of it. Yes his stay Chez Ba'al had been... unpleasant. You're taking understatement to new extremes, Jack! The Tok'ra were slimy, unreliable, cowardly bastards... well, except for Selmack and maybe Lantash. Still, he was here, alive, and kicking. He'd made his own choices, and taken his own chances, and he wanted George Hammond and his shiny shoes there at the helm to give him the faith that if he was ever in such dire straits again, the SGC would make damn sure he wasn't left behind.

George still felt the prick of his guilt, but Jack had a point. If he resigned, there was no guarantee that the next guy would go to the mat for his people like George had, like he knew he would continue to do. He would stay.


6.

The entire gate system was screwed up, and worse, it looked like it would fall into the control of a Goa'uld. People were stranded, his people. The entire galaxy, and probably beyond, was affected. Someone would need to step up and take responsibility for this fiasco, and if he was lucky, by taking full responsibility and taking retirement, George hoped he might get out of this with his full pension, and avoid becoming a toll on his daughters. He didn't want the money that should have gone to paying for his grandchildren's college educations being wasted on feeding and housing a man who had been foolish enough not to see the handwriting on the wall the moment that screw-up Felger had walked through the gate to the Cheyenne Mountain complex. He'd give it just a little while longer, because Jack O'Neill and Teal'c were the wild cards to trump all wild cards, and Sam Carter was one of the galaxy's most nimble brains, and if there was the slightest possibility that George would get a chance to personally wring Dr. Felger's feckless neck, then he, George Hammond, wanted to be there to do it.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
rdamel
Aug. 23rd, 2012 02:54 am (UTC)
All good stories, thanks for sharing. I still miss General Hammond!

Thanks for sharing.

Melissa M.
thothmes
Aug. 23rd, 2012 05:34 pm (UTC)
I do too. It's one of the wonderful things about a show that gets as long a run as SG-1 did. The writers get a chance to turn the cardboard characters that inhabit the back ground of the show into fully fleshed-out well-rounded characters.

I love to write George Hammond. He's such a delightful mix of the hard-nosed, wily, principled general, and the big teddy bear of a man that we all know him to be underneath.

rdamel
Aug. 24th, 2012 01:39 pm (UTC)
George is a good one, all right. And I just looked it up and realized our beloved Don Davis has been gone for 4 years. He'll live on in Stargate, thankfully, every time I get out my dvds.

Melissa M.
lolmac
Aug. 23rd, 2012 01:01 pm (UTC)
for now, squeeing
*hugs you and Hammond and the story and SG-1 and you like whoah* YES!!!!!

More coherent remarks later. *G*
thothmes
Aug. 23rd, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
Re: for now, squeeing
Oooooh! Squee-age! I luuuuv squee-age!

Thank you.
wanderingsmith
Aug. 23rd, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
Poor george, lolsigh. Being the responsible one who knows and feels the pull of duty to be there for those who need you... :) god work

..doubled 'he' hiding in first story, ;)
thothmes
Aug. 23rd, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
He-he! I found it and removed it. Thank you.

And yeah, it's not easy being George. It's my theory that it's so hard being George that it drove Jack off to D.C. to avoid it!
wanderingsmith
Aug. 24th, 2012 01:00 am (UTC)
I don't know... frying pans and fires come to mind. though at least DC it would a little less personal, fewer memories chained to each decision
thothmes
Aug. 24th, 2012 01:45 am (UTC)
The worry would be more after the fact than in-the-moment, and I think that Jack is ambitious enough (although he'd vehemently deny it, the way he denies having his hand in the cookie jar, when you saw him do it) that the second star would have been quite a draw. Jack likes control, and the move to D.C. would give him more control too. Besides, I'm betting Hammond asked him personally, and Jack finds it impossible to turn a friend down when it doesn't violate his code of honor. Unless it's Daniel. Then all bets are off! ;)
wanderingsmith
Aug. 24th, 2012 02:36 am (UTC)
dead-of-night what-ifs, yeah.

Hammond asked him personally
yeah, that's almost certain.. even if was wordless.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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