||General Hank Landry put the phone back into its cradle; having lost half of his hearing he was sure to General Jack O'Neill's protests that "they are not dead. They are NEVER dead!" and having to repeat that in fact there was no indication otherwise that they were alive to be found by Cam and the others who had joined in searching the forest and plains just outside the village. He racked a hand through his hair, getting up to make his next difficult call - informing General George Hammond.
"Walter, dial up the Prometheus," he said coming beside Sergeant Walter Harriman. The man nodded and started the dialing sequence that would connect them.
"Sam invented that you know," Vala's voice said, cutting into the silence. Landry turned and nodded. He knew that most of the equipment - or the technology at least - was designed by Colonel Samantha Carter.
"She was a brilliant mind. She and Dr. Jackson together brought this program well into the 21st century. I think they brought us into the 23rd in most of the uses of technology they have been gathering over the past 10 years," Landry paused. "Walter, do we have a connection?"
"General Hammond? This is General Landry. I am sorry to be the one to tell you but..."
Cam sat unmoving at the table. He stared ahead, into his lunch, a variety pack of mush. Teal'c sat across from him and was also unmoving and quite stoic. They had watched as people came in and out of the commissary, each offering condolences and asking when the memorial service was. Cam did not want to think that there would even have to be a memorial service. Surely Colonel Carter and Jackson would be coming through anytime. Each unscheduled activation - which they all were since all SG teams had been recalled - Cam would hurry to the phone and call the control room. Each time Walter would answer and tell him it was not the rest of his team.
Vala had left for her room about an hour before and Cam was wondering what she was thinking about. It had to be hard on her to suddenly not have Daniel around to tease and Sam not to bicker with. She had been quieter and did not really comment when Cam tried to make light jokes.
"I guess we have a memorial to put together," Cam said into his plate. He looked up to Teal'c and wondered if the Jaffa would ever convey human like emotions. Of course not, he's not human, he reminded himself, picking at his food.
"Indeed," came the reply.
They got up and placed their trays on the small table by the kitchen and left. They really did not know where they were going; only Cam had a small office that had at one point been General O'Neill's when he was the head of SG-1. They found themselves standing at the doorway to Sam's lab, looking at the back of a man who was already standing inside.
"You know, I really never thought they would amount to the great fighters they turned out to be," the man said. Cam instantly knew it was O'Neill as he leaned forward, the light catching his graying hair. "She was a scientist - never had much use for them - and he was this brilliant man who managed to survive a year in harsh conditions, off world. I spent hours with them training them, testing them, making sure they could defend themselves. Carter I never really worried about; having level three combat training already she could wipe me on the floor if she wanted to. It was always Daniel's raw potential that I worked on the most.
"We have been in tougher situations, been down for the count many times. I never thought it would suddenly end like this," Jack turned and faced Cam and Teal'c. "I never thought all this gray hair they both caused me would suddenly be still on me when they died. They can't be dead. I know them too well. Daniel would have done some glowey thing and gotten Carter in on it. Carter would have thought her way out of it. I'm sure they are hiding in some thicket, embarrassed that they lost their shirts in the heat of the battle. I'm sure it's a plant." He looked away and added quietly, "They have to be alive."
Cam walked over to Jack, and stood for a moment. Without another hesitation, he hugged the man who was the first leader of the greatest group of people he ever commanded himself. Jack wrapped his arms around him in return. Pulling back, Cam barely had enough time to step back before almost being crushed by Teal'c�s all encompassing embrace of both of them.
"I could not find anything that suggested they were still out there. For our sanity we need to have a memorial service. If it turns out I am wrong, and they really are alive, I'm sure they would love to have another memorial service in their honor to add to the list of past ones," Cam said lightly.
"You're right," Jack said at last. "Daniel would get a kick out of us doing another memorial - I think his fourth or fifth by now - and would enjoy showing us how wrong we were - again."
Two days later all the SGC personnel who could fit in the Gate room packed the room, lining the control room, and watched from the observation window in the briefing room. Hammond had beamed back, Jack helped prepare the service and took Cassie under his wing, Cam traded stories with Vala and comforted Carolyn, and Teal'c had contacted as many Jaffa and Tok'ra contacts they had left. They stood beside each other as Landry mounted the ramp and made his way up to the podium.
"Today we mourn the loss of two wonderful scientists, Dr. Daniel Jackson who opened the Stargate and Colonel Samantha Carter, who turned the Gate on for all these years. I only knew them for two years, so I will turn it over to their first commander, General George Hammond," Landry stepped aside while Hammond came to stand in his place.
"Thank you Hank. Dr. Jackson and Colonel Carter were very vital to this program, both drawing on their diverse backgrounds to make this better than anyone imagined. Because of both of their contributions, we have been able to travel to thousands of different planets, meet thousands of new allies, and yes, meet - and beat - our share of bad guys.
"I know I missed them when I stepped aside to let General Jack O'Neill take the reins, but this cuts further. I know I have thought the whole team was dead numerous times, only to have them stubbornly come back home; this makes each MIA seem like nothing. I know we each have our memories that we now hold fiercely too and we will never let go of them in our hearts. So, for them, we must continue doing what they loved best," General Hammond said, pausing.
"Drink coffee and research!" Jack offered from where he was standing, breaking into Hammond's pause. Hammond broke into a wide grin and chuckled.
"Yes, we must keep the coffee mugs ready and the research going," Hammond nodded. "Jack, I think you want your turn. Come on up, son."
"Thank you Sir," Jack said, straightening his jacket. "Indeed we must keep it going but I was thinking more along the lines of traveling and always seeking the secrets of the universe. Never lose the curiosity that led a young man to come down to the mountain from a rather sparse lecture hall, and a spunky woman from the Pentagon to take on this cranky old soldier. I told her I never liked scientists - which also included Daniel - but they both seemed to worm their way deep in my heart.
"They were not the first people I have commanded, but they damn well were the best. They worked as a team, contributing to our success on difficult missions. They fought together side by side, sometimes making me worry about them even more when they got into their own science land, and somehow it is fitting that they died together. I only wish I was there dead too," Jack wiped a tear away. "They were damn fine soldiers, both were damn fine friends, collogues and above all were my reason to live when I had none, and my family in hard times. They were loved, by all of you, by their commanding officers, and by all the species we came into contact with. I loved them as my friends, my family, as my son and my daughter. Forever will I miss them. Thank you."
He stepped aside, still wiping the tears from his eyes. The audience also had tears and sniffling could be heard in the silence. The silence was met by the sudden kawoosh of the Gate activating and slowly Generals Hammond, Landry, and O'Neill and with Teal'c and Cam following, brought the two wreaths to the event horizon and with whispers of a last 'good-bye friends', they let them travel to the closest Stargate standing near where Abydos once was. As they saluted one last time, the wormhole disengaged, and the SGC all wondered what they would do now that two of the greatest minds were no longer with them.