Irresistible Force Meet Immovable Object

Admiral Jiggs Starke stared into the face of his enemy, eyes unblinking, mouth set in a grim line. He wasn't giving in and he'd be damned if he was going to leave with less than total victory this time; not to the likes of this, this 'Zoomie'!

Major General Jack O'Neill's face might as well have been hewn from stone. This was the face that had stared down System Lords and no 'Bubblehead' was going to get the best of him!

The Defense Secretary and his aid shared a look, mentally shaking their heads even as the theme to 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' played in their brains as they watched the two old bulls lock horns.

"Jack", the Defense Secretary said, "Admiral Starke has a point. The base is completely surrounded by water and there is already a substantial Naval contingent stationed there."

"Marines," barked the General, before adding "Sir". "It's hardly what I'd call a 'Naval' contingent.

"You do know the etymology behind the word 'marine' don't you General?" 'Thank you Harry,' he thought, 'all those times you've gone off on a long winded and wordy explanation of something that's caught your interest is paying off; 'etymology'', Jiggs snorted to himself, that'll annoy the old warhorse!

The barest tick registered on Jack O'Neill's face, so, that's the way Starke wanted to play it eh? Well, one did not survive years and many long, looong boring mission camping trips with Dr. Daniel Jackson and Colonel Samantha Carter without learning a few things.

The Defense Secretary mentally 'face palmed' and sighed quietly. He hated these meetings. He'd been through at least three of them since O'Neill had become the main contact for the Stargate program after Hammond had retired. The Air Force and the Navy had been butting heads for years. Frankly he blamed Star Trek for giving the Navy the idea that they would be the first line of defense in space rather than the Air Force. Damn the Enterprise!

"I'm sure the Marine's would be thrilled to hear that they're a 'contingent' of the Navy," O'Neill said dryly. "I can hardly wait to hear Jimmy's reaction to that bit of news." *

Jiggs narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth but whatever he was going to say was interrupted, thankfully, by a Defense Secretary desperately wishing for an aspirin or a drink, maybe both.

"Gentlemen, please. General O'Neill what exactly is the Air Force's issue with the Navy having more personnel on the base?"

"Sir, due to the nature of the mission and the characteristics of the enemy we face in this location, not to mention that salt water is 'anathema'," Ha! Take that Salty! "To this particular species, I fail to see the need to have more Naval personnel other than Corpsmen, and of course, The Marines, on the base, Sir. The Navy is already providing as much support as they can Sir, I'm sure." Jack mentally crowed, 'Check.'

The Secretary frowned and turned to Starke, eyebrows raised, "Admiral?"

"So if I understand the gist of the General's argument, he doesn't believe that the Navy has anything further to offer the Air Force in this location?" Starke inquired innocently.

Jack's felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up; what was the old goat up to, he sounded entirely too reasonable and if there was one thing Jack knew after several years of locking horns with Jiggs Starke, reasonable was not his one of his more outstanding traits.

"I propose that the Navy send some personnel to the base who are, I believe you'll agree Mr. Secretary, uniquely suited to scoping out the situation and recommending whether the Navy could enhance this particular mission's operating parameters." Jiggs moved in for the kill.

The Secretary looked interested.

"Admiral Nelson and his Command Crew are uniquely qualified for this Sir. I think we can all agree that if anyone could be counted on to give a fair and impartial report on this matter it would be Nelson Sir. And, of course, being a Nobel Prize Winning Scientist, I certainly don't foresee him having any problems communicating with the 'natives' so to speak and I'm sure he'd love to see Atlantis." Jiggs' grin would have made a Great White proud. "Check and Mate", he crowed silently.

"Crap," O'Neill thought gloomily as he watched the Secretary give a relieved looking smile and nod; "Avast ye Matey! Strike your colors and prepare to be boarded."