MacGyver dropped into one of the briefing-room chairs, crossed his legs, and pulled a piece of string out of his pocket. He'd have about a half-hour wait before the computer finished the diagnostics Major Sam Carter was running to check if his help was still needed to fix it.
He liked visiting Stargate Command. For a military base, it was quiet and informal (except in emergencies) and he had friends who would stop by to chat if they heard he was here. Maybe Siler the maintenance guy would even find time to swap job-related horror stories with him again.
When the door opened, he said "Hi" without looking up from the bowline he'd just capsized. His ears told him within two guesses who had entered the room, so he wasn't too surprised to hear an uncannily familiar voice ask, "So, what's your velocizompire plan?"
"My what?" MacGyver finished untying his knot and put the string away before looking up. "Nice to see you, by the way."
"Ya, sure, you betcha." Jack O'Neill flopped into an empty chair and put his boots up on the table. "C'mon, Mac—what's your plan for the velocizompire apocalypse?"
"Better not let people hear you using words that size," MacGyver warned. "They might figure out how smart you really are." His mind was racing-he was certain the word velocizompire existed only on one website, a limited-access site he'd never imagined Jack would join. Better make sure they were thinking of the same thing... "What's a velocizompire anyway?"
"It's a cross between a velociraptor, a zombie, and a vampire. What are you gonna do when they come to get you?"
Yeah-they were on the same wavelength all right. "Do I have to have a plan?" Mac parried. "I like to go into these things with an open mind, you know."
"Mac, everybody has to have a plan for the velocizompire acoppalix... What?"
"Jack, you're not drunk or something, are you?" It was meant as a joke, teasing him for mixing up the word; Jack wasn't really acting drunk. He was always this silly, in Mac's experience.
Jack sat up straight, bringing both feet down to the floor with a thump. "No, I'm not," he snapped, his brown eyes angry. "I don't drink on duty. And you have no business suggesting-"
MacGyver swallowed. "You're right, Jack, I shouldn't have said it. I'm sorry. I-"
"It's just tricky to say. Try it yourself." Jack's eyes were twinkling again, and MacGyver knew his accidental rudeness was forgiven and forgotten.
"I'll pass. How about we get to work on this anti-velocizompire plan?" He was curious to see how much Jack would borrow from the discussions he'd obviously read.
"You won't let me just shoot them, I suppose?"
"No." MacGyver's jaw tightened. "I don't get how you can still... after... Never mind." He leaned back a little, running a hand through his shaggy blond hair. "Uhh... shouldn't we try to capture them alive?" he improvised. "After all, uh... zombies are practically perpetual motion machines-put a few on treadmills, and they could help solve the world energy crisis."
"This, from the guy who thinks nuclear power is unacceptably dangerous?"
"Hey, I was trapped in a nuclear waste chamber that one time-"
"So, what? You'll have to be cornered by zombies before you'll admit killing them is a good idea? They're not even really alive-don't be so squeamish!"
"Okay. Suppose I do agree we should kill the zombies. Velocizompires," MacGyver corrected himself. "How do you think we should do that, apart from shooting them?"
Teal'c had entered the briefing room silently, unnoticed by the two strategists. "MacGyver," he said. "MajorCarter is ready for you."
"I'll be right there, Teal'c. Coming, Jack?"
As the trio strode down the corridors, Teal'c asked curiously, "Why were you discussing the destruction of antique bicycles?"
Both men were used to the big Jaffa's occasional misunderstandings of Earth culture. Neither one burst out laughing at the question, though Jack blurted "What?" at the same time MacGyver repeated "Antique bicycles?"
"Was not the velocizompire an early form of two-wheeled transportation?"
"You're thinking of a velocipede, Teal'c," MacGyver explained. "We were talking about how to stop undead dinosaurs."
Teal'c still looked puzzled, but he didn't ask about undead.
"Right," Jack said. "The first line of defense, of course, is closing the iris. In a worst-case scenario-"
"Wait, wait, wait," MacGyver interrupted. "This whole plan is based on velocizompires coming through the Stargate?"
"Why not? Zombies were originally a Goa'uld invention, after all."
"Teal'c, do you believe that?"
"I do not know. However, O'Neill has spent many hours discussing this possibility with DanielJackson."
"In other words, trying to convince him it's true?"
"In a worst-case scenario," Jack repeated firmly as they entered Carter's lab, "if the velocizompires got out of the mountain, we could lure them to Yellowstone and nuke it. The ones that survived the nuke would be killed in the pyroclastic flow."
"Y'know," MacGyver mused, "it'd be more ecologically responsible to evacuate Seattle, lure the velocizompires there, and fire-bomb Mount Rainier. That way-"
"Teal'c?" Carter gave Teal'c her most mischievous smile. "Did these two run into any trouble on the way here?"
"They did not." Teal'c raised one eyebrow, observing Jack and MacGyver with a detached interest. "Do they appear to you to have done so?"
"They're both talking like MacGyver," Carter said.
"I am not!"
Still pretending to address Teal'c, Carter asked, "Since when does the Colonel use terms like pyroclastic flow?"
MacGyver considered for a second-should he answer that question? Jack was a past master of creative retribution. Still...
I know I'm right, he decided. Even if he tells them my first name, the look on his face'll be worth it. "I warned you about using big words," he told Jack. "People figure things out. How long have you known how to knit, anyway?"