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Link To Me

by KJC

 

July 13, 2004

 

 

“Military guy?” the driver asked the young man entering the bus.

 

The young man looked at him with a panicked look on his face, then a light seemed to go off.  “Yeah.  Yeah, I guess you might say that.”

 

“Get in,” the bus driver jerked his thumb back towards the inside of the bus, and the young man climbed inside, dressed in military camouflage pants with a black t-shirt neatly tucked in the waistband.  A pair of dog tags hung around his neck, and closely cropped hair confirmed to the bus driver that this man had to be one of the Air Force men from Cheyenne Mountain.

 

He didn’t think much about the young man, forgetting the event as soon as the bus started driving.  Bus drivers saw lots of people.

 

* * *

 

Jack stuck his head in the doorway of General Hammond’s office.  The General was on his phone, nodding, a frown creasing his forehead.  He looked up, saw Jack, and waved him in.

 

“I see,” the General said into the phone.  “Get some people on him right away.”

 

He hung up the phone and looked at Jack.

 

“I’ve brought our reports from SG-1’s last mission,” Jack said, handing the General a stack of papers.  Jack could not help but notice that Major Samantha Carter and Jonas Quinn’s reports were the longest.  Teal’c’s, as always, was quite short, and Jack’s was only slightly longer than the Jaffa’s.

 

“Thank you Colonel,” General Hammond sighed, reaching for the stack.  “Colonel, sit down a moment.”

 

Jack paused as he started to turn to the door and looked back at the General, a question on his face.  “Yes, sir?”

 

“Colonel, do you know what would possess Mr. Quinn to leave the base without notifying anyone?”

 

Jack cocked his head and raised an eyebrow.  Jonas left the base?  Do we have him under lockdown or something, sir?”

 

“No,” General Hammond sighed again, then continued, “Jonas stole a Humvee and did not talk to anyone about why he was leaving.  He knows that in order to leave the base he has to check out, and he did not do that.  Being a civilian from another planet, I’m having some people track him down right now.”

 

Jack stood.  “Alright, sir.  I’ll see what Carter, Teal’c, and I come up with.”

 

The General observed Jack shaking his head as he left the room, muttering to himself, “Why would Jonas . . .”  Whatever the Colonel was questioning, it faded as he made his way down the corridor.

 

* * *

 

“So Jonas just took off?” Sam asked in disbelief.

 

“Yep.  The General says he stole a Humvee, too.”

 

“Colonel, that isn’t like him.”

 

“I know it isn’t.  Did we run across any strange things on our last mission that would cause him to . . . um, fly the coop?”

 

“Not that I can recollect, sir.”

 

Teal’c?  Did Jonas say anything to you?”

 

The Jaffa tilted his head and replied, “He said nothing, O’Neill.  He only mentioned to me that he required rest.”

 

“I’ll run over the video surveillance,” Sam said.  “Maybe we’ll see something that will help us out.”

 

“Do that,” Jack ordered.

 

* * *

 

What they saw on the video surveillance cameras surprised them.  They saw Jonas walking down several hallways in Stargate Command, doing his regular business, visiting labs and his own office, and then suddenly he took an erratic line towards the entrance of the base.  When he got to the checkout point, he stealthily took out two of the guards, knocking them out with a spare rifle, and made his way past the checkpoint.  On his way to the main doors, he took out a dozen more men, sneaking up behind them and dispatching them all with a blow to the head.  He was silent and quick.

 

Jack could tell that reading the base’s military files seemed to show through in Jonas’ abilities.  Jonas read about military tactics, and he used that information against the Air Force men guarding the entrance.

 

When he reached the bay just inside the doors of the base, he took some keys from the board and climbed into one of the Humvees.  He then drove out of the base.

 

Outside, the cameras showed him driving rather rapidly past the final checkpoint guards, who yelled at him to stop, then opened fire as he blasted through the gate.  The Humvee took the gate out rather easily, and the rifles proved to be lacking when it came to taking out the vehicle.  Various cameras positioned down the mountainside showed Jonas making his way down the mountain with several more Humvees chasing him.  The cameras could not show how Jonas lost the other Humvees, however, as their surveillance only covered the Air Force territory.

 

“The General said about an hour later he lost them in the traffic,” Jack informed the remainder of his team.  “What I can’t believe is how fast he could just walk out of there and our boys couldn’t do anything about it.”

 

“That is strange, sir,” Sam mused.

 

“So now we need to track him down,” Jack said.  “That might take a while.”

 

“Actually, sir, it won’t.”  Sam swung the chair she had been sitting in over to a computer and began typing.  “All of our vehicles have a global positioning system in them.  We can track every move Jonas will make.”

 

“Oh.”

 

Sam hid a grin.  “Just a minute, sir.”  She scanned the screen in front of her, then said, “He’s making his way west.  Looks like he’s on highway 31.”

 

“Let’s go, people,” Jack ordered.

 

* * *

 

Jonas was forced to leave the Humvee at a gas station when he realized he did not have enough money to get the truck gas.  The Humvee had only taken him a few hundred miles.  He did have enough money, however, to take a bus.

 

It took a long time for the bus to get to its destination, and Jonas sat thinking about various subjects, wondering why he could not keep his mind on things that he wanted to mull over.  He noted people’s reactions to his casual uniform.  Some reacted in anger, some in distrust, some in respect.  This indeed was a strange country.  There were many things here for Jonas to think about.  For now, however, he needed to run.

 

* * *

 

“Oh yeah.  I remember him.  Said he was from the Air Force base.  Chipper young fella.  A little too bright in the eyes, though.”

 

“Did he say where he was going?” Jack asked the gas station attendant.

 

“Nope.  Just wanted us to hold onto his vehicle for you guys.”  The gas attendant yawned, then added, “Oh yeah.  He wanted to know where the buses were going.  I think he took the one headed to New Mexico.  Does that help?”

 

Carter?” Jack looked at the Major.

 

“I’ll need to know which bus line he took,” Sam told the bus attendant.

 

“Sure thing.”

 

In a few moments, they were back on the road.

 

“Sir, I just don’t get it.”

 

“Get what, Carter?”

 

Jack had taken Sam and Teal’c with him in one of the Suburbans from the base.  He suggested they dress in their military fatigues in order to get a quicker response from people as to Jonas’ whereabouts.  So far, it was working.  They had made it to the border of Colorado and found the missing Humvee.

 

“I just don’t understand why Jonas would take off and not tell us where he was going.  So far, it seems as though he knows we were going to follow him, but he’s still trying to cover his tracks.”

 

“Indeed, it is most unusual,” Teal’c commented from the back seat.  Jonas Quinn did not seem to be acting strangely up until the moment he left the base.”

 

Jack frowned, trying to remember his last conversation with Jonas.

 

Carter,” he said, “Do you remember that last planet we were on?”

 

“Yes sir.  PCX-326.”

 

“Yeah . . . Weren’t those people a little . . . off?”

 

“They had suffered from an extreme naquadria radiation that hit their planet centuries ago,” Sam replied.  “I don’t think that Jonas would have been infected since what they suffered from was a genetic illness.  We performed tests just to make sure and even went through quarantine when we got back.  I am one hundred percent certain that our last mission has nothing to do with Jonas’ sudden obsession to leave the base.”

 

Jack drove in silence for a while, thinking.  “One of those guys tried to get through the Stargate when we left,” he voiced aloud.

 

“We were able to subdue him, sir,” Sam replied.  “The gate deactivated before he could get through.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

The rest of the trip until their next stop was completed in silence.

 

At the place designated as Jonas’ first bus stop, they were informed that he had jumped buses.  Now, he was heading for Arizona.

 

“For cryin’ out loud,” Jack exclaimed, exasperated.  “It doesn’t look like we’re going back home tonight.”

 

* * *

 

Jonas was slightly pleased when he saw that the rest of his team had not discovered him yet.  It had now been two days since his escape from the base, and he had made it to Arizona.  He had little money left, and so now took to the streets, heading further south.  He made it through a few towns before night fell.

 

The historian was walking down an old, narrow street in a small town when he saw a large black truck drive by.  Instantly, his blood ran cold, and he fell back into the shadows, pressing his back against a rough stone wall.  He realized he had no weapon.

 

Silently, Jonas began making his way in the opposite direction the car had gone, and froze when he heard the truck stop, and a car door slammed.

 

Jonas!”

 

It was Jack.

 

Jonas crouched, looking wildly around, then ran towards a nearby alley.  He heard other voices calling his name, and realized that Sam and Teal’c must have accompanied the Colonel.

 

At that moment, Teal’c rounded the corner of the alley and spotted Jonas.

 

Jonas Quinn,” he said evenly.

 

Jonas bolted.

 

Teal’c was surprisingly fast for his build.  In a few seconds, he had tackled Jonas and pinned him against the ground.  Jonas struggled beneath him, eyes wild.

 

Jonas Quinn,” Teal’c said, “I will not hurt you.”

 

Jack and Sam, hearing the commotion, ran up to the pair.  As soon as Jonas saw them, he seemed to relax.

 

“I wondered how long it’d take you to find me, Colonel,” he grinned.

 

“What?”

 

Teal’c seemed assured that Jonas would not try to escape, and helped the younger man to his feet.

 

“Don’t you remember that little conversation we had after we left PCX-326?”

 

Sam frowned at the flushed look on Jonas’ face and touched his forehead.  Jonas, you’re burning up.”

 

“No I’m not,” he protested.

 

Then Jonas swayed, and Teal’c caught him.

 

“Maybe I . . . am a little . . .” Jonas muttered faintly before passing out.

 

* * *

 

“So what’s wrong with him, Doc?” Jack asked Dr. Frasier.

 

“Not what you’ve been expecting, Colonel,” Janet smiled.  She looked at Jonas, who sat on the edge of one of the Infirmary beds, a flushed look on his face.  Sam and Teal’c stood behind the Colonel.

 

“He had a common virus,” Janet explained.  “Since his body has not yet adapted to many of the viruses and bacteria our planet carries, he had it a little worse than the average person.  It caused his temperature to climb so high that he became delusional.  Apparently, he had an obsession about the last conversation he had with you, Colonel.  That’s why he escaped the base.”  She looked at Jonas and pushed him back onto the bed.  “You need to get plenty of rest, young man,” she ordered.  “Drink lots of fluids and take those pills I prescribed.”

 

Jack, Sam and Teal’c left the infirmary together, and Sam edged her way up next to Jack.

 

“Sir?” she questioned.

 

Jack paused, then said, “Yeah?”

 

“What was your last conversation with Jonas?”

 

Jack cleared his throat and looked slightly nervous.  “Well, err . . . I um, I bet him that if an alien ever got onto this base, it couldn’t get out.”  He noticed the grin starting to form on Sam’s face, then protested, “I never thought he’d actually take me up on it!”