One moment there were three people standing by the grave and the next there were only two.

While Jessi was blinking away the effects of the brilliant white light that had lit up the area and trying to figure out where Jack had gone, she heard Mac bellow "Thor!"

A moment later the cemetery around her washed out, only to be replaced by a hauntingly familiar space ship. The next thing she noticed was the incensed voice of General Jack O'Neill.

"... can't just keep beaming people up whenever you feel like it!" Jack shouted, obviously in the middle of a rant. Gesturing to Jessi, he added "Especially civilians!"

"I did not beam her or your clone aboard," Thor protested.

"Then how did they get here?" Jack demanded.

"Uh, I think I did that," Mac admitted.

Jack's eyes narrowed dangerously. "And how, pray tell, did you manage to do that, Jon?"

"I sort of hacked into Thor's ship," he answered. "With my mind."

"What?" Jack cried.

"It is theoretically possible, O'Neill," Thor stated. "The Asgard have some degree of control over our ships telepathically. It is derived from the Ancients' control interface. I believe that is how MacGyver was able to access the beaming controls, though I am as shocked as you that he was able to exhibit such powers."

"How come I can't do that?" Jack whined.

"I am unsure," Thor replied.

Jack let out a huff. "Well, since I'm here, what was it that you wanted from me?"

"Actually, I was going to ask if I could speak with MacGyver and his partner," Thor responded. "Since they brought themselves, I will return you to the surface."

Before Jack could voice his protest, he was gone, leaving Mac, Jessi and Thor alone on the command deck.

"So, what's up, buddy?" Mac asked.

"Who is your companion?" Thor questioned.

"Ah, sorry," Mac apologized. "Thor, this is Jessi. Jessi, this is Thor, Supreme Commander of the Asgard fleet and one of our best allies."

"It is a pleasure to meet you, Jessi," Thor stated.

"Uh, yeah, uh, you too," Jessi said, breaking the shocked stupor she'd been in the entire time she'd been on the ship.

"Now, tell me how you were able to access my ship," Thor demanded.

"Well, it seems that Jack and I still have all of the knowledge of the Ancients buried in my subconscious," Mac said.

"Of this I am aware," Thor stated. "There was no way to remove the information imparted to you by the Ancient repository. We merely disabled access by the conscious mind."

"Well, for the last 6 weeks, Jessi and I have been rebuilding the connections," Mac explained.

"That is not possible," Thor said in shock. "There is no technology on Earth capable of such a thing."

"Well, obviously it is possible, since we've been doing it," Jessi shot back. "And we didn't use any technology. We did it using my control over the body on a cellular level and by affecting minor alterations on a genetic level."

Thor pressed a few buttons on the console in front of him. "This is amazing. My initial scan revealed that you were an advanced human. That is the reason I wished to speak with you. However, the detailed scan I have just performed exceeds anything I have ever seen from an Earthling."

Jessi turned to smirk at Mac. "Ha! I told you I was more advanced!" she gloated.

Not to be outdone, Mac asked Thor to scan him as well. The results caused Thor to gasp.

"Your results show a similar level of development to Jessi," he said in awe. "Since the time of your cloning you have progressed in ways that should have taken many generations. You now more closely resemble an Ancient than even the most advanced humans."

"Sweet!" Mac and Jessi said at the same time.

"It is indeed very exciting," Thor agreed. "I have also found that Jessi possesses the genetic makeup to activate the technology of the Ancients. Do you know what this means?"

"She can use the chair or fly one of those Gateships?" Mac remarked.

"While that is true, the implications are much greater," Thor replied. "A child produced with your combined attributes could provide the missing link to solve our genetic degradation. Your offspring would be able to handle an Asgard consciousness as well as be able to access pieces of our technology that we have been unable to use for millennia!"

"Whoa! Hold on there, buddy!" Mac shouted as he turned to look at Jessi. Her face displayed a rapid series of emotions; shock, intrigue, excitement, anticipation, fear, and finally wistfulness.

"We're not even dating yet!" Mac protested. "And I think we're a bit young to be having kids."

"I was given to understand that the act of procreation was quite enjoyable for your species. Is it not a favorite pastime and form of recreation among your people?" Thor asked in confusion.

Mac coughed. "Um, yeah, it is, but there's a lot more to it than that."

"And as interested as I am, and I really, really am interested, I don't think I'm ready to be pregnant right now," Jessi added. "And I don't think I will be any time in the near future."

"If the discomfort and inconvenience of being pregnant is your objection, there are a number of solutions that we can offer," Thor cajoled. "We could enclose you in a reverse time dilation field so that your life on Earth would not be interrupted by the gestation process. Or we could create and grow the child artificially in a lab."

"I know it's been a long time since the Asgard have been able to reproduce, but having children is also a lot of responsibility, and it's best when the parents are in a loving, stable, committed relationship," Mac explained, trying to get Thor to understand.

He turned to look in Jessi's eyes as he continued. "After today, I think I've finally accepted the idea of a relationship. But I want to take it slowly. And I'd like to start by taking you to Homecoming, if you're interested."

Jessi's face split into a huge smile as she listened to Mac. She gave him a nod before throwing her arms around him in a bone-crushing hug.

Mac turned in her arms to face Thor again. "If everything goes well, maybe we'll be able to help you some time in the future. Just not right now."

Thor interrupted their embrace. "I understand your reluctance, but this is extremely important to the Asgard. A solution must be found very soon to our problem or it will be too late. I am afraid we do not have time to wait for you to age and become ready. We cannot afford to risk the possibility that you may never reproduce on your own."

"You've got computers that scanned us, right?" Jessi asked.

"We do," Thor responded.

"Well, why can't you just use our scan results to run simulations on how our children would turn out?" she inquired.

Thor frowned. He took a few moments to think about the proposed solution. "I had not considered that. I will have to return with a scientific research vessel, but with our most detailed scans, I believe I can do as you suggest. It may not produce the results that we desire or exactly the same results as a natural conception, but we will attempt it first."

Mac gave a sigh of relief. "Great! With that settled, I think it's about time-"

Before he could finish his sentence, he and Jessi vanished.

~'`^`'~-,._.,-~'`^`'~-,._.,-~'`^`'~

Published 12-07-08