Summary: All they could do was wait... and not give up hope.
Word count: 725
Characters: Walter Harriman, General George Hammond
Era: General team
Author's notes: For the Quantum Mirror Soup challenge. Many thanks to a patient fignewton for her hard work!
Excerpt: It was almost always a fractional part of SG-1 that came through their Mirror. Most often only one, sometimes two. Never four.
Walter had long ago set up his own security system on that room. He had heard the arguments, not that he was deliberately listening, but he knew General Hammond would never allow the Mirror to be destroyed. There were two guards on duty at any time, but Walter had his own video feed that he could keep an eye on.
So Walter watched, and waited.
It was almost always a fractional part of SG-1 that came through their Mirror. Most often only one, sometimes two. Never four.
It was like they were drawn to this world, this reality. Daniel came most often, with hope in his eyes, searching for Colonel O'Neill or Major Carter. Sometimes, he was searching for Jack... or Sam. Occasionally, he looked for himself, but that was rarer.
Walter would watch as Dr. Jackson would beg for help for himself, help for his team, help for his world. General Hammond would guide the not-theirs Dr. Jackson away from the Mirror for coffee and a meal, to listen and do what little he could. Occasionally, the General would be able to provide information or small resources, but he most often sent Dr. Jackson away empty handed.
When it was Colonel O'Neill, it was easier -- and harder. Walter had listened one day as General Hammond explained their own reality to a variation of the Colonel. Colonel O'Neill understood military decisions, and ruefully accepted what little help or information there was to be had. There was more coffee, and almost always a request for pie, but there was little else they could do.
Colonel O'Neill would sigh, then straighten to offer a crisp salute to General Hammond. He would quietly leave without looking back.
Teal'c came, but only once. Walter knew there were many realities where SG-1 never met Teal'c, or never convinced him to help them. They were able to provide this Teal'c with information about tretonin, to give him a chance to free the Jaffa from the symbiotes.
Teal'c was one of the few times someone left with good news.
One time, it was Colonel Carter and Major O'Neill. General Hammond didn't act too surprised, but Walter heard him stumble over those ranks more than once.
They couldn't help them, either.
Very rarely, it would be someone not from SG-1, or even the SGC. Those visitors would be held at the point of a zat -- less danger of doing damage to the Mirror if there were no bullets -- and quickly convinced to move on. Or zatted once and pushed back through the Mirror, to be someone elses problem.
General Hammond didn't let anyone stay more than a couple of hours. Some travelers knew of the Cascade Effect but many did not. The General would lay out the dangers of staying too long, and had developed a deft skill in guiding a traveler back through the Mirror in a relatively short time.
Travelers who came through injured would be assisted to the infirmary. One time, the Major Carter that stumbled through the Mirror was badly injured, and they all watched helplessly as she died before she could tell them anything.
Others were efficiently patched up, provided needed drugs, and sent on their way.
For their SG-1 had walked through the Mirror -- and had never came back. Dr. Jackson had unearthed a clue to defeating the Goa'uld, and had convinced Colonel O'Neill that he could find what they needed. SG-1 had geared up, and Walter had watched as the four team mates walked not through the Stargate, but through the Quantum Mirror.
In the two years since, there had been too many not-their SG-1 team members. Many talked about wandering through dimensions in search of a new home, wanting to escape from the horrors of their original dimension. A few were in search of their own true homes, hoping to find it on their next walk through the Mirror.
General Hammond sent them all on, to go elsewhere.
He held out hope that his SG-1 would find their way home, and he was 'saving their places' for them. As a result, no alternate versions of the team could stay long enough to realize that the Cascade Effect would never kick in.
So they played host to a multitude of variations of SG-1 -- and they waited for their own team to finally come home.
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