tagSci-Fi & FantasyConfirming Carter Bk. 04 Expansion Ch. 03

Confirming Carter Bk. 04 Expansion Ch. 03

byRibaldWriter©

Interior-Kitchen

0410

The comm on the wall chirped as Carter sat at the kitchen table, slowly adding sugar to her coffee. She ignored it, as she'd been doing for the last five minutes.

A moment later, she heard the elevator doors open, then Cisco stepped into the kitchen.

"Are you alright colonel?" He asked, looking around the room. He saw the telemetry bracelet sitting on the table and nodded, then reached up and tapped the comm on his ear.

"This is Cisco, all units stand down." He said quietly. "I'm with the colonel, and she's fine. There must be a problem with the system. We'll get someone to check it in the morning. Notify the senior staff that we have an all clear."

He listened for a moment, then took his comm off and put it in his pocket.

"Thank you Cisco." Carter said as she picked up her coffee cup and took a sip.

"I'll let you get back to what you were doing..." He said as he turned toward the door.

"Stay with me...please?" She said, glancing up at him.

"Of course." He said, then walked over and got a cup off a peg and poured a cup of coffee. He looked over at the table, then walked over and topped off her cup.

"I just got that the way I wanted it." She said, watching him as he came over and sat down in Tammy's place

"Well, now you'll have something to do with your hands." He said as he scooped sugar into his cup, then added cream. He looked over at her as he said, "Do you mind if I ask why you disabled the monitoring system?"

"I didn't disable it." She smiled, looking down at the table. "I just turned off the PC it runs on."

"Effectively disabling it." He smiled. "No one really noticed that until you took off your bracelet. Did you know that alarms go off in OPs, the infirmary, the medbay downstairs, and both Dr. Samuels and Dr. Keller's quarters when those things stop sending information?"

"I knew something happened, I just didn't know what." She said as she dipped her spoon into the sugar bowl, then sprinkled sugar into her coffee.

"When those alarms go off, the infirmary is put on alert, the senior staff is notified, and half the marines in the city surround this building in full combat rig. Twenty jumpers take to the air around this building, the first ones are onsite in less than thirty seconds, and any warships in orbit go on red alert."

"Wow, all that just cuz I couldn't sleep." She looked over at him as she went on. "If there was that much of a fuss, why are you the only one here Cisco?"

"Actually, there are twenty people downstairs clamoring to come up here, but Dr. Samuels thought it would be better if I came up alone. She reviewed the video from last night, and she asked me to come up and check on you." He said as he took a sip of his coffee. "She thought you might have done something like this without realizing what would happen."

"I'm glad she sent you Cisco." She said, laying her hand over his. "I couldn't have faced Ronin."

They sat quietly for a few minutes before Sam spoke again

"Why do you do this Cisco?" She asked. "Put up with two temperamental women, and all the headaches we cause you?"

"That's easy." He said with a chuckle. "I love you."

"Oh god." She groaned, dropping her head into her hands. "I knew this was going to..."

"Get over yourself Samantha." He laughed as he got up and refilled his coffee cup. He went on as he sat down again. "I love Tammy just as much, but there's one thing I love more than both of you."

"What's that?" She asked.

"This city you've given us." He said as he got up, picking up his cup and walking over to the windows.

"There's more than fifty thousand people out there, people that a couple of months ago, were fighting for their lives, trying to figure out how they were going to survive." He said as he looked out over the city. "This city is a beacon of hope for this galaxy, and I'm allowed to be part of, to help shape that galaxy as we try to make it better."

"I didn't know you were such a romantic." Sam said softly as she came over to stand beside him. She put her arm around his waist and laid her head on his shoulder as they looked out over the city.

"It's my parents fault." He laughed. "My dad brings my Mom flowers everyday, he picks them himself in the spring and summer. She puts little love notes in his lunch, or in his wallet. He keeps them in a box under his bed. They have a true fairy tale romance."

"She's going to be okay." He said after a moment. "She understands why you were angry, and she's forgiven you for how you showed it."

"I know." She whispered, tears running down her cheeks.

(-)

"Cisco left fifteen minutes ago." Tammy said as Sam slipped into bed. "What took you so long to come back?"

"I was just thinking." Sam said as she rolled over facing her.

"They all feel the way he does you know." Tammy said softly. "Not just the people we see everyday, but all of them, all of our people."

"I know." Sam said, rolling over onto her back and looking up at the ceiling. "I just wish there was some way we could show them how we feel about them."

"There is." Tammy said, reaching out and taking her hand. "We keep doing what we're doing, and we tell them how much they mean too us."

(-)

Interior-Kitchen

0705

"Tammy, Sam...wake up!" Geraan said as he got up on the bed and started shaking Tammy. "Wake up! We want you to eat breakfast with us."

Sam opened her eyes, smiling when she saw Phinnar standing beside the bed. She held her hand out to him, and he smiled as he scrambled up onto the bed.

"How is the finest pilot in the galaxy this morning?" She asked as she hugged him to her. "Did you sleep well?"

He nodded, then rolled over so he was facing her.

"Master Bra'tac snores, and Gen. O'Neill farts in his sleep." He said. "I like sleeping here better."

"Do I fart in my sleep?" She asked, trying not to laugh.

"No, you and Tammy look like angels when you sleep." He said, laying his head on her shoulder.

"Geraan, Phinnar...come out of there this instant." Bra'tac said from the door. "Your breakfast is on the table, and is getting cold."

"I'll bring Phinnar out with me if that's okay." Sam said, looking over her shoulder and smiling as she watched Geraan scramble off the bed. "I just want to hug him a little longer."

"Is that okay with you Phinnar?" She asked, looking down at him.

He nodded, then rolled over so his back was to her. He pulled her arm around him, smiling as he closed his eyes.

"Why do you get the quiet, calm one, and I get the loud, obnoxious one?" Tammy laughed as she walked around the bed heading for the bathroom.

"What happened to your butt Tammy?" Phinnar asked, sitting up in the bed. "It's all red!"

Tammy looked over her shoulder, smiling when she saw how red her asscheeks were. She turned and looked at Phinnar as she said, "I was bad, so the queen spanked me."

"No she didn't, she loves you!" He said.

"Yes, she does Phinnar." She said gently. "But sometimes, you need to show the people you love how much you love them by spanking them. That's what the queen did for me."

"You've never spanked me." He said, looking back at Sam. "Don't you love me?"

"Of course we love you, my little man." Sam laughed, wrapping her arms around him and hugging him to her. "We don't spank you because you haven't given us a reason to."

"Do you want to get in the shower with me Phinnar?" Tammy asked as she pulled an outfit from her closet.

"No." He said shaking his head. He looked down at Sam as he said, "I want to go eat breakfast. Is that okay?"

"That's fine." Sam smiled, watching him slide off the bed and run toward the door. "Tell Master Bra'tac we'll be with him in a few minutes."

"Do you want to get in the shower with me?" Tammy asked as she watched her move over to the side of the bed and stand up.

"Is it okay if I say no?" Sam asked, walking toward her slowly. "I'm kind of hungry too..."

"That's fine, I'm just going to rinse off anyway." Tammy said. She put her arms around her and pulled her closer. "But you have to kiss me before you go."

"I was going to do that anyway." Sam smiled as she pressed her lips to Tammy's. She smiled as Tammy kissed her hungrily.

"Huh uh...you are not getting me back into bed or in the shower with you." She laughed as she eased away, taking a step back. "I really want to get something to eat Tammy."

"Okay, I see how you are." Tammy said as she turned and walked into the bathroom. "First you physically abuse me, then you don't make love to me before we go to sleep, and now you don't want me..."

"So we're good?" Sam laughed as she looked at the bathroom door.

"We're good." Tammy laughed. "Now go stuff your face and order me whatever you get."

(-)

Interior-Kitchen

0730

Sam stopped at the comm unit as she walked into the kitchen and hit the button for the guard station.

"Would you ask Cisco and Ronin to come to the residence when they get a chance?" She said when they answered. "We'll be in the kitchen. Tell them to just come on up."

"What happened to Master Bra'tac and the boys Andi?" She asked, glancing over at her.

"Bra'tac was upset that they woke you up, ignoring his instructions not to." Andi smiled. "He took them back over to his quarters to eat their breakfast."

Carter laughed, shaking her head as she hit the RS button on the comm.

"Your order please?" A woman's voice answered immediately.

"I'd like biscuits and gravy with extra gravy on the side, scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon, hashbrowns...and throw in some fruit, it doesn't matter what kind."

"Is this order for one of the queens?" The woman asked.

"The order is for both of us, but does that really matter?" Sam laughed.

"Yes maam, it does. Lady Tammy or Dr. Samuels usually order, and they have specific requirements for your meals. We'll have everything ready in ten minutes."

"Thank you." She said, then closed the connection.

"Andi, what did that woman mean when she said that you had specific requirements for our meals?" She asked as she went over to the cabinet and got two glasses, then filled hers with ice and grabbed two cokes from the fridge. She sat them on the table, then filled the other glass from the tap and sat it in front of Tammy's seat.

"She meant that you both like your food cooked differently." Samuels smiled. "You like your eggs firm, with alot of cheese, Tammy likes hers runny with just a sprinkle of cheese on them. You like your hashbrowns underdone with cheese and onions mixed in, while Tammy likes hers crisp, almost burned on both sides. With ketchup, she hates it when they forget the ketchup."

"We have ketchup in the refrigerator...don't we?" Sam asked as she sat down.

"Yes Sam, the refrigerator is completely stocked with condiments, sliced meats for sandwiches, things like that, but Tammy prefers her ketchup at room temperature, so she doesn't get hot and cold in the same bite."

"I like hot and cold in the same bite." Sam laughed as she poured coke into her glass.

"We know Sam. That's why the kitchen has a thirty page book outlining exactly how each of you likes things prepared and served."

"You're kidding me, right?" Sam asked, staring at Samuels. "You can't be seri..."

"Oh god, did you have to tell her about the book Andi?" Tammy laughed as she came into the kitchen. She turned and grinned at Sam as she said, "You're a fucking queen for god's sake, so you get special treatment. Deal with it."

"You shut up. You did this because you didn't want to cook for me any more."

"I didn't do it, she did." Tammy laughed, pointing at Samuels. "And the only reason she did it is she doesn't like washing dishes. I like cooking for you. I just bitch about it when people are around because I like to watch how you react."

"So what do you ladies have planned for today?" Samuels asked, changing the subject. "I have a list of..."

"We're going out into the city." Tammy said, then took a sip of water. "We want to see what our people are doing. We want to talk to them..."

"You're going to need to give us a list of places you want to see, then give us a couple of hours to..." Cisco began as he stepped into the kitchen.

"No, we'll take our security detail with us." Sam said, turning to look at him. "We'll have our shields on."

"You can come with us if you want." Tammy said. She pointed at a sheaf of papers in his hand and asked, "What do you have there Cisco? Is that for us?"

"It's the report for the drill this morning." He said as he sat it down in front of Sam.

"Is that what we're calling it?" Sam asked, looking up at him.

"Yes Sam." Samuels said. "Officially, you notified Cisco and I at 0350 that you wanted to run a drill on our emergency response systems."

"Okay, so how did they do?" Tammy asked.

"The results are listed by department." Cisco said. "The failures are listed on the last two pages."

Tammy pulled the report over in front of her and flipped to the end.

"The video system was offline for eighteen minutes before anyone noticed." She read. "And the only reason they noticed is because the alarm for Sam's bracelet went off."

"The first jumper wasn't in the air for more than four minutes, when it's supposed to be onsite in thirty seconds or less, the infirmary didn't..."

She looked up at Cisco, glaring at him.

"Please tell me I'm reading this wrong Cisco..." She said as she read from the report. "The infirmary had none of Col. Carter's blood type on hand at the time the alarm sounded. It took more than eight minutes to transfer two pints from the medbay in the residence, and another sixteen minutes to transfer an additional six pints from the active med center on the east pier."

"No, you're reading that correctly." He said, meeting her gaze.

"We have the same blood type, Cisco." She told him, shaking her head as she kept reading. "If both of us were injured and needed blood, one of us would be dead right now."

Ronin stepped into the room and backed up against the cabinets.

"Your food is here." He said as a woman pushed a cart into the room and started putting plates on the table. She was finished in seconds, and backed the cart out quickly.

"What do you think of all this Ronin?" Sam asked, turning to look at him.

"We have some things we need to fix." He said, stepping over and taking a piece of bacon from her plate.

"Would you like some eggs, maybe a biscuit?" She asked, turning back to her plate.

"No, this is fine." He said as he picked up a strawberry. He turned it in his hand, then looked over at Cisco as he held it up. "What is this?"

"It's a strawberry, you'll like it." Cisco said, then turned back to Sam.

"This is the first time we've had a full scale alert of any kind since you took power." He said. "We're not making excuses, everything that went wrong is listed in the report, and we're going to get them corrected."

"As far as the blood supply, if either of you is injured, you'll be taken immediately to the medbay in this building, where there was blood on hand if it was needed. If the situation called for it, you would be transferred to the infirmary, or more likely, the med center on the east pier, since its better equipped, and a blood supply would be transferred as needed to one of those locations while you were enroute."

Carter got up and stepped over in front of Cisco.

"Thank you for checking on me this morning." She said, then kissed him on the cheek.

She looked over at Tammy as she walked toward the door.

"I'm done eating." She said. "I'm going to go get our shields and my tablet. I might want to take some pictures."

"That's a good idea, get mine too." Tammy said as she got to her feet.

She waited until Sam was out of sight, then turned toward Cisco and Ronin.

"You fucked up, and everyone involved in what happened last night fucked up." She said as she looked back and forth between them. "Get with the senior staff and review your report. I want a drill at least once a week until you get this right. I want that failures page to be blank. Do you understand me?"

"Yes maam." Cisco said.

Ronin nodded as he sat down and pulled the plate of fruit over and picked up another strawberry.

"We're leaving if you're coming with us. We'll wear our shields and have comms if you don't, so it's not a problem."

"We need to get started on this, so make sure you turn your shields on before you leave the building." Cisco said.

"Call their team leads and have them check the shields." Ronin said after Tammy left the room, then pulled her plate over in front of him.

(-)

Interior-North Pier

0830

The first stop they made was to one of Daniel's schools. Sam had called him and asked if they could drop by, and he told them to feel free.

"Hi, do you mind if we interrupt for a few minutes?" Sam asked the teacher as she stepped into a classroom.

"No, of course." The woman said quickly. "We'd be honored my queens."

"I'm sorry, I didn't get your name." Sam said as she held out her hand.

"Lor...Lorrel." The woman sputtered as she stared at Sam's hand, then took it in both of hers, shaking it vigorously.

"Can you tell me about your class, and what lesson were you covering Lorrel?" Sam asked.

"These children are all five, six and seven year olds. And we're studying English...I'm sorry, but I don't know how to address you..."

"You can call me colonel, and this is Tammy."

"Boy, do I feel sorry for you." Tammy said as she stepped to the front of the classroom. "English is one of the hardest languages to learn on my homeworld. But if you learn it well, it makes it easier to learn other languages."

She looked around the room, and the children just stared back at her.

"You do know who me and my friend are don't you?" She asked.

"You're the queens!" They shouted as a group.

"That's right. And do you know what the queen's job is?"

"You run the city."

"You kill the Wraith."

"You help people."

"Good answers." Tammy laughed as she walked over and sat on the desk. "And the best part is, they're all right."

"Does anyone know what I did before I became a queen?" She asked, looking around the room. She smiled when they all shook their heads. "I was a nurse. Does anyone know what a nurse does?"

"A nurse helps people get better when they're sick." She said, not waiting for them to answer. "I loved being a nurse, because I like helping people."

"Why did you become a queen if you like helping people so much." A girl in the back asked.

"Good question." Tammy laughed. "There are two parts to the answer. My friend Sam was queen first, and she asked me if I would help her, because its a really hard job. The other reason I became a queen is, now I can help lots of people, and not just one at a time."

She reached over and grabbed Sam by her vest and pulled her over in front of her.

"This is my sister queen Sam." She said, smiling at the kids. "Her full title is Col. Samantha Carter, Queen of Atlantis. She's the reason we can all live like we do in Atlantis."

"But do you want to know something?" Tammy asked, leaning out around her.

"What?" The children shouted.

"She didn't want to be a queen. She just wanted to be a regular person like the rest of us." Tammy told them. "Because she had just fought a war with some really bad people who were abusing the people that lived in the city."

"Like the Wraith?" A boy in the front row asked.

"Worse than the Wraith, these were really mean people from Earth called the IOA, and they did terrible things to the people that lived in Atlantis."

She slid off the desk and stood next to Sam.

"There were only a thousand of us then, that's probably fewer people than the worlds you grew up on." She went on, dropping to her knees. "But after she led us in our fight to defeat the evil IOA, we got down on our knees and begged her to be our queen."

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