Elvis Has Left The Building





ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

"What do you read, DanielJackson?" Teal'c asked as he settled next to him on the log in front of the fire.

Daniel tilted the tiny book so that Teal'c could see. "It's a collection of Shakespeare's sonnets."

"I see." Teal'c's gaze became distant as he raised his head. "Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage / Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit," he recited flawlessly.

"Wow." Daniel adjusted his glasses and his opinion of Teal'c.* "You've memorized Shakespeare's sonnets?"

"I have."

"Which ones?"

"All of them." Smiling minutely as Daniel's jaw dropped open, Teal'c explained. "In my culture all of our history is recorded in the songs and poems we recite at the banquet table and around the fire. Every Jaffa has a facility with poetry. It is his duty to his people."

Leaning into the firelight, Jack tossed another log into the pit. When the log had stopped popping and spitting sparks, he said, "Okay, so give us some Jaffa poetry, T."

"Love poetry," Sam specified, sliding off of her own log onto the grass and holding her hands close to the fire. "I want to know what Jaffa love poetry sounds like."

Rising solemnly, Teal'c bowed his acquiescence. "I will attempt to translate some lines from the 'Hoarfrost on The Staffweapon' cycle of poems, first recited after the battle of Anect'aum in the first days of the Water Moon." Tilting his head to look up at the stars, he recited:

"My weapon forgotten at your door,
Silenced by winter's breath
Within, I am warmed by yours
War still sharp as frost on my skin...."

Falling silent, he sat down heavily beside Daniel again.

"That's beautiful," Sam said softly after a long silence.

"This was Dray'auc's favourite passage. I used to sing it to her in the days before our son was born, when her back was aching." His eyes glittered in the firelight.

Sam smiled. "I bet Ry'ac was a beautiful baby."

Teal'c took a long time to answer. "He was nearly a year old when I first saw him. I was with the army of Apophis." He didn't need to add that he was busy killing fathers and sons when his own son was born.

Clearing his throat, Daniel asked, "How does it end? The poem I mean."

"Your body is the forge that tempers me. / Your breath feeds this fire."


+++


Jack's shadow wavered across the nylon of the tent and then his body in the doorway blocked out the glow of the dying fire. "Daniel, c'mon out."

"Why?"

"Because it's cleared up and you can see my constellation."

"Which one?"

"Stick Minor."

"Oh, well, that's worth getting out of this nice, warm sleeping bag for."

Jack's silence settled into the tent like cold water. "Suit yourself." Then he was gone.

Pulling the sleeping bag up over his head, Daniel lay still until breathing his own breath got annoying. Then he threw back the covers with a sigh and sat up to put on his boots.

Outside, Teal'c was pacing the perimeter of the camp, his staff weapon aimed at the sky. He pointed the way before Daniel had to ask. Passing by Sam's tent, Daniel could hear her laughing softly in her sleep and he wondered what kind of jokes an astrophysicist dreamed of. Smiling, he ducked low under the branches, their broad leaves tipping a patter of dew onto his jacket.

Jack wasn't far away, lying propped on his elbows in a clearing. Around him, the forest was dark and silent, and above him, twin crescent moons aimed their horns at the band of the Milky Way. The stars and moons were so bright that they cast Daniel's shadow behind him, a wavering thing ghosting along at his heels.

Settling down against a tree, Daniel asked, "Okay, which one is it? Stick Minor?"

Silence.

"C'mon." Daniel stretched out a leg and prodded Jack with the toe of his boot, cajoling. "Show me."

After a moment, Jack sighed dramatically and raised his arm, pointing. "There. See those four in a row, just below the moon? The first one's just at the tip of that tallest tree, there."

"And Stick Major?"

"Already set." Jack's hand fell again, but this time he grasped Daniel's boot at the ankle and gave it a little shake before letting it go.

"Hmm. It looks different. Longer or something."

"That's because we're on a different planet." Turning to look at him, Jack shook his head. "How can you even tell? You don't even have your glasses on."

Shrugging, Daniel touched his breast pocket, where the glasses were tucked away. "It's more beautiful without them."

"You too." Ducking his head, Jack looked away, justly embarrassed. "That was pure cheese," he groaned, making Daniel laugh.

"What put you in such a romantic mood?"

Jack shrugged. "Dunno. Jaffa love poetry maybe."

"'War still sharp as frost--'"

"'Your breath--'"

Sitting up, Jack swiveled around so he was facing Daniel. He stretched out one leg along Daniel's, his boot heel at Daniel's hip, and pulled Daniel's foot up close so it was resting on Jack's inner thigh. Then, his head bowed low, he began to work at the laces of Daniel's boot. As Daniel always tied his laces in double bows, it took Jack a minute to get the first knot undone, his fingers pale in his half-gloves as he pried and pulled with his fingernails.

"What are you doing?" Daniel asked.

"Untying your laces."

"Why are you untying my laces?"

"Because I want to undress you, but we've got rules about that kind of thing." Jack's voice was matter-of-fact. He didn't look up.

Daniel's mouth was suddenly a little dry. "Soooo, this is some kind of displacement activity?"

"If you say so."

Jack pulled on the lace and the bow unraveled. Working his finger into Daniel's boot between the laces and the tongue, he gently loosened the crossings. Then, he pulled again, the lace making a soft rasping sound as it passed through the eyelet and came free. Daniel could feel the faint shivering of it through the leather of his boot.

"Huh," Daniel said, a bemused huff of breath. "That feels… way sexier than it has a right to."

Chuckling softly, Jack loosened more crossings and pulled the other side of the lace free, and then the first again, and so on, and each time, the lace made a soft whisper against Daniel's skin, like a breath in his ear, a voice heard from within the gentle, dark places of sleep. He leaned his head back against the rough bark of the tree and watched the moons floating above a wispy bank of clouds and thought again about all the small things and big things that would never be the same now that he'd stumbled into life-with-Jack.

Jack had made it all the way to the last crossing on Daniel's toe, when the woods erupted with noise and something huge and black burst out of the underbrush. It pounded past them, blocking out the sky and the moons, its huge head and something that looked like grasping hands looming over them. Then, with a snort of breath that Daniel felt, hot and gamey, against his face, the animal was gone.

Daniel sat up straighter, inadvertently jamming his boot into a soft part of Jack's anatomy. Jack yelped something not so romantic and swatted his foot away. "Sorry! Sorry sorry," Daniel apologized. "That sure was a… was a big… dog?"

"Put your glasses on, Daniel," Jack growled through clenched teeth.

As Daniel was fumbling in his pocket, the forest on the far side of the clearing flared with orange light. The deep concussion of a staff blast threw dirt and grass up around them.

"Shit!" Jack hissed and scrambled to his feet, Daniel right behind him. "Move!" Jack ordered in a harsh whisper, pushing him toward the cover of the trees.

One boot tangled in the laces of the other, Daniel tripped and went down on his face in the grass, just as a staff blast seared through the space he'd occupied half a second before. Rolling onto his back, he looked up at Jack, who was crouched over him, scanning the dark, shifting shadows of the forest. "Your kink just saved my life," Daniel said.

"You can pay me back later," Jack answered magnanimously as he dragged Daniel to his feet. "We gotta go."


+++


General Hammond made it to the Control Room in time to hear Colonel O'Neill's voice rattling with static over the radio.

"--G-1-niner! Open the barn doors! We're coming in hot!"

Hammond keyed the com system and ordered in the defense teams. "Open the iris."

Fifteen heavily-armed Marines stormed into the Gateroom as the iris wheeled open. Immediately, two staff blasts in quick succession tore holes--more holes--in the Gateroom wall, just below the Control Room window. Sergeant Davis slammed his hand down on the big, red blast door button and the steel shutters groaned into place, blocking the view. Hammond stepped back to watch on the monitors over his head as the defense teams lined up on either side of the ramp, out of the line of fire. Three more blasts, and no SG-1. Hammond was weighing the options when something came through the 'gate.

"What the--?"

It was big. Very big. About as long as a Toyota truck and probably half again as tall, with long, knobby-kneed legs and a rack of antlers that had to be five feet from tip to tip. It stood on the ramp, its silky brown coat glowing softly in the lights, and turned its heavy head to look over its shoulder, then swung back with a snort and surveyed the room.

Major Zwickey turned and looked up at the camera, his face clearly asking whether they should shoot it. Hammond keyed the mic. again. "Hold your fire, Major. And… just keep clear of it."

The animal twitched its shoulder, causing the Marines closest to it to snap their M-15s up to their eyes again, but it didn't seem to be too interested in making trouble. That is, until SG-1 came barreling through the event horizon. Then, once Daniel had bounced off of the moose's hindquarters, things got hairy.

As though it had been hit with a cattle prod, the moose leapt off of the ramp and began to tear around the Gateroom, Marines scattering from its path like seagulls from a golden retriever on the beach. Daniel was on his back on the ramp, Major Carter crouching beside him, the colonel straddling him, waving his arms and shouting "shoo moose!" every time the animal made a move to climb up toward them again. Teal'c stood his ground beside them as if fending off rampant moose were one of the more mundane aspects of his job description. Wheeling, the moose took out three Marines with its antlers before careening into the blast doors, sideswiping a MALP, and coming to a panting standstill in the middle of the room.

Then Teal'c shot it.

At first, the zat seemed to have no effect. Then, after a couple of seconds, the moose's knees buckled and it slumped forward in slow motion, ending with its head resting comfortably on the bottom step of the ramp.

By the time Hammond walked into the Gateroom, Daniel was on his feet--he was missing a boot, the general noticed--and the colonel was standing over the moose with a deep frown aimed at Teal'c.

"You zatted my moose."

"It was the most efficacious course of action," Teal'c responded, raising his eyes and looking over O'Neill's head in that Jaffa-warrior-immovable-object's-always-right kind of way.

"No," the colonel objected. "No, Daniel could've--"

Daniel stopped brushing himself off and looked accusingly at them both. "What? What could Daniel have…?"

"Talked it down."

"I don't speak moose, Jack."

Major Carter didn't laugh right out loud. But of course, she never did.

Hammond cut in before O'Neill could say what he was opening his mouth to say. "Colonel O'Neill, what is this?"

"It's a moose, sir," O'Neill answered, gesturing grandly.

"Guess that makes you the squirrel," Daniel muttered the colonel, and then waved at Teal'c and Major Carter. "You know Boris and Natasha." Then he became very interested in the colour of the moose's half-closed eyes.

"I can see it's a moose," Hammond said, ignoring him. "What is it doing in my Gateroom?"

"Same as us, sir. Running from the Goa'uld."


+++


They couldn't send it back. When they redialed and the MALP poked its nose through on the other side, the staff blasts started up again.

It took eight Marines, a utility trailer and a small tractor to get the unconscious moose into one of the storage facilities on level 15.

Hammond wasn't happy. As he stood beside the general outside the store room, Jack could actually see him composing his report to the Pentagon in his head. The report in which he would be requesting special services for the purposes of assessing the condition and meeting the--please, God, let it be short-term--needs of one alien moose.

"Can't we send it to, I dunno, a zoo or something?" Jack asked.

Dr. Bergman, a xenobiologist and therefore the unlucky woman in charge of visiting moose from other planets, shook her head, dislodging the glasses that were perched in her curly grey hair. She put them on before objecting, "No, no. That's not possible. We can't put an alien animal into indigenous populations. Who knows what kind of parasites or pests it could be carrying? No." She folded her arms for emphasis. "It has to go home. Where it came from."

"Well, that's not possible." Jack folded his arms for emphasis. "That place is crawling with Jaffa who want to kill him."

Inside the storeroom, Elvis, as Jack had decided to call him, snorted derisively, fogging the window completely with an impressive spray of moose-snot.

"General," Bergman said, "I have a specialist coming in tonight. We just have to keep the moose comfortable until the Jaffa go away and we can send him home."

"Is that all, Doctor?" Hammond asked, and Bergman nodded before realizing that this was a rhetorical question. Hammond fixed Jack with a baleful glare. "I want you to sit on that 'gate and to get that moose out of my mountain A.S.A.P. Is that clear, colonel?"

"Crystal, sir."

Elvis snorted again and went to sulk in the corner of the storeroom.


+++


"So, you're a moose expert?"

"I'm Swedish." Dr. Vershen smiled a wide smile with his wide mouth on his wide, sunburned face and winked a small, pale blue eye at Daniel as he snapped on his rubber gloves.

"Right. Good. That's… good." Daniel's eyebrows went way up and then way down into a frown and then he turned abruptly and followed them out of the room.

When Daniel came back an hour later, Dr. Vershen was talking a blue streak as he ran his hands over the moose's shiny coat. Jack was bouncing a little in time to the rhythm of his speech.

"What's he doing?" Daniel asked.

"Talking Swedish."

"The moose understands Swedish?"

"Apparently."

Elvis made a small, contented chortling sound and winked at Daniel with one large brown eye.

"Do you speak Swedish?" Jack asked.

"Not if I can help it."

"That's a shame," he said, making Daniel's eyebrows go way up and then way down into a frown. "Very soothing," Jack clarified, and went back to bouncing.

Daniel went to find some aspirin.


+++


The next day, Jack arrived at the mountain with some extra spring in his step. There was still no dice as far as sending Elvis back home, and Jack had apples: one for him and one for Elvis.

"Moooshee! I'm ho-ome," Jack called in his best Ricky Ricardo voice as he sidled up to the store room door and peered through the window. "Um, Airman?"

"Sir?"

"Where's the moose?"

"In the storeroom sir?" The airman had a nervous expression in his face, like he wasn't sure if he should be laughing with the funny colonel or planning his new career in the food service industry.

"Not in the storeroom." Jack glowered impatiently while the airman swiped his card to open the door. Walking into the room, Jack spread his arms wide. "No moose." He turned to the airman, who was hovering by the door, clutching his P-90 like he was expecting the moose to leap out from behind that small toolbox in the corner and kill them both, and asked politely, "Where is he?"

"He didn't come by me, sir."

"Are you on crack?"

"No sir!"

"Narcoleptic?"

"No. Sir."

"A member of PETA, Greenpeace, something like that?"

"Sir?"

Jack leaned close. "Where's the damn moose?"

The airman's eyes roamed around the room, stopping briefly at the air vent up near the ceiling before stuttering back to meet Jack's. "Maybe…?"

"Never. Mind," Jack growled.


+++


They looked everywhere. Jack even kneeled down and looked under all of the beds in the infirmary, just in case.

"Did you see a moose in here?" he asked Frasier.

"No, but I saw two chimps and a zebra playing rummy in the mess hall." The look on Jack's face turned her grin upside down. She suddenly got very interested in shining her penlight in Siler's eye, even though it was his thumb that was bleeding.

As they were making a repeat sweep of level 15, Jack finally managed to decipher what Daniel had been sing-songing half under his breath for the last five minutes:

"Heeeeeeeere, mooshee, mooshee, moosheeeeee." Daniel stopped mid-mooshee when Jack whirled on him with an index finger in jabbing position. "What?" he asked innocently.

"Do you think that is going to help?" Jack demanded very calmly.

"Do you think it could hurt?" Daniel asked back in the exact same tone.

Jack shook his head and walked away.

"Maybe if I said it in Swedish?"


+++


"A sweep with TERs and infra-red scanners also produced no results," Teal'c reported.

"So we're pretty sure it's not phase-shifted or something. At least we don't think so," Carter added. "And so…."

She didn't look like she wanted to spell it out, so Jack stepped up and did it for her. "And so… it seems that Elvis has left the building."

"We looked at the security tapes," Carter said, picking up her remote and fast-forwarding to the key moment. In one frame, the moose was there, staring directly into the camera. The next frame, the moose was gone. "And," she hesitated, visibly torn between her commitment to thoroughness and her sense of the absurd, "we even checked the tapes for the elevators and the, uh, well, the access shafts." A small, apologetic smile struggled onto her face and then gave up and went away. "We can say for sure that it didn't leave level 15 by any of the usual means." She sat back down at the conference table and switched off the monitor with its image of a huge moose face glaring downright peevishly back at them.

Hammond ran a hand over his bald head and then sighed almost imperceptibly. Jack could see him writing his report already. The report that would inform his superiors that he'd lost a moose--an alien, possibly invisible moose--inside or--God forbid--outside the mountain.

"I'm sure it's not an evil moose," Jack offered helpfully. "I mean, the Goa'uld were shooting at it. That's an enemy of my enemy…" Hammond wasn't looking consoled. "…kind of thing," Jack finished lamely and looked at his hands.

"Find the damn moose, Colonel," Hammond ordered in that quiet, scary voice, like the one Jack saved for the occasional tete-a-tete with snakeheads. That voice. Jack went to find the moose.


+++


They started with the woods on the mountain, tromping through knee-deep snow under steel grey skies. The wind was blowing. It was cold. After four hours, Jack started to consider a new career in the food service industry.

But it wasn't until he heard Teal'c's echoing, baritone "Heeeeeere, mooshee, mooshee, mooshee!" that Jack seriously started to worry.

After five hours, when Jack was making a list of his least favourite Marines to assign to the evening moose-seeking shift, Carter's voice erupted from his radio.

"We've got tracks, sir. Teal'c says they're definitely moose."

Jack wrapped his hand around the cold apple in his pocket and headed off in their direction, Daniel at his heels. They found Carter at the top of a small rise. She pointed silently as they climbed up to meet her.

The tracks passed between two aspen trees. Jack measured the space between them with his hands. The trees were about a foot apart.

"Huh," Jack said.

He followed the tracks down the other side of the hill to where they ended next to Teal'c in a clearing of pristine, unmarked snow.

"The tracks end here," Teal'c pointed out.

"Thank you," Jack said.

"You are welcome, O'Neill," Teal'c replied placidly.

Beside Jack, Daniel was looking up at the sky, his mouth hanging open thoughtfully.

Jack elbowed him. "That's reindeer, Daniel, not moose."

Daniel raised his hands in a shrug that was half defensive, half resigned, and observed that his feet were cold, and that this was probably because his bootlaces were tied too tightly.

"Later," Jack mouthed at him and turned to Carter and Teal'c, who were now also looking thoughtfully at the sky.

"Something tells me," Jack said, "that this is not your average moose."


+++


"This is not your average moose," Selmac told him.

"Yeah, we got that. It's a stealth moose."

Selmac's chuckle segued neatly into Jacob's with only a small hiccup for the hand-off. "Actually, we think it's a teleporter, only nobody's been able to get close enough to see it in action until now."

"That would explain how it got out of the store room," Carter said, looking relieved to have a reasonable--if somewhat esoteric--explanation for the great escape. Jack could see her mentally drawing a satisfying X through the image of a two tonne moose climbing the ladder inside the auxiliary access shaft.

"This also explains why the Goa'uld were pursuing the animal on P7A 155," Teal'c continued.

"You got it," Jacob confirmed. "Thoth has had hunting teams spread across half the sector looking for this thing. You guys just got lucky. Or the moose did."

"And where there's a Thoth, there's an Anubis," Carter said, looking grim.

"Anubis." Jack made the name sound like a dirty word, the kind associated with bodily fluids and bad manners.

"Teleportation would be a very nice addition to the skills of a super soldier." Jacob's face mirrored his daughter's. "Thoth will slice your moose into ever smaller cubes until he finds what makes it work. We should get our hands on this moose before the Goa'uld do."

Jack sat forward, hands folded neatly, a sure sign that he was going to be contrary. "Maybe nobody should 'get their hands' on him, d'ya think? I mean, maybe he just wants to find a nice forest somewhere and be a moose."

"Well," Jacob said, looking just a tiny bit smug. "Maybe your friendly neighbourhood Tok'ra just happen to know some nice people called the Nox. And maybe the Nox have a nice little place where moose can live and be invisible and maybe not become part of an invincible Goa'uld army that will teleport all over the place and kick our non-teleporting asses."

"Maybe that's a cool plan," Jack approved.

"Maybe," Hammond interjected testily, "you should find the damn moose."


+++


Jack stayed in the woods until he lost all the feeling in his feet. And then he stayed longer. Teal'c stuck it out the whole time, but Carter packed it in around 2 a.m., Daniel half an hour later when he sneezed his glasses into the snow and had to go back to his office to find his spare pair. He sat down at his desk for "just two minutes" and woke up at 6 a.m. with a Post-it on his forehead from General Hammond ordering him to drive Jack home.

Jack slouched despondently in the passenger seat with his knees propped on the dash and ate breakfast. "You want some?" he offered.

"I'm philosophically opposed to cheese in a can," Daniel said.

"Suit yourself." Jack upended the spray can over his mouth, filled up, and crammed a salteen in after. "Ishsnot bad," he added, spraying cracker crumbs as far as the windshield. He was refilling when Daniel slammed on the brakes and shouted, "Look at that!" Turning to look, Jack sprayed cheese in his ear.

"I rest my case," Daniel said smugly, but Jack wasn't listening. He was already out on the road, dodging cars and a lady with a dog and a couple with a baby stroller.

As he got to the other side of the road where Fountain Creek was burbling by under a choppy layer of ice, he threw his arms wide and shouted, "Elvis! You never call! You never write!"

Elvis, now known as "The Moose of Colorado Springs"**, stopped posing roguishly for the KKTV Channel 11 news crew and turned to watch Jack detour around three kids in identical pink parkas and a woman mounting her own camera, complete with a telephoto lens, on a tripod. Daniel caught up with him just as a Teal'c-Plus-sized state trooper stepped into their path.

"You can't go any closer, sirs," the trooper said, his thumbs casually hooked in his holster. "That's a wild animal, there."

Sidestepping him, Jack objected, "Naw, he's a teddy bear. A sweet-heart."

The trooper stood in front of them again.

"Really," Jack protested, "he's an old friend of ours."

"You are not authorized to approach him," the trooper informed them.

"Actually," Daniel interjected, "we are… authorized."

"Right," Jack pitched in. "He's a--"

"We're, uh--"

"--moose whisperers." Jack could see Daniel's face reflected in the trooper's mirrored sunglasses. It was wearing that pained, clenched-teeth, eyebrows-furrowed expression he got when things weren't going well and he was saving Jack's punishment for later. "Look," Jack said impatiently, pulling out his I.D. "We're Air Force. This is classified. National security, yadda yadda." The trooper did not look impressed. "You can call the Pentagon to confirm. I got 'em on speed dial."

The trooper called the Pentagon to confirm. Elvis turned so that the pale January sunlight caught his best side. The Channel 11 news guy went on and on about how strange it was for a moose to wander as far as the Front Range cities. The three kids in identical pink parkas looked for stones to throw. The woman with the zoom lens camera told Daniel that she was going to put her pictures up on the web so that, someday, somebody in, say, Canada, could look them up and be inspired by the tale of wonder and maybe write a story or something and then Daniel pretty much stopped listening because geeky internet people kind of freaked him out.

Finally, the trooper gave Jack back his phone and waved them on. "Your funeral," he said flatly and went to go give the three kids in identical pink parkas three identical tickets for throwing stones at an ungulant.

Sidling up to Elvis, Jack offered the by-now battered apple as a gesture of goodwill. Elvis was uninspired, but he didn't run away.

"Look, Elvis," Jack began a little uncertainly, putting the apple down on the snow and backing up a step. "I know there was some crazy talk about sending you back to that Jaffa-infested planet, with the explosions and the certain death and everything, and maybe you decided to, y'know, zap yourself into a better situation. Hey, who wouldn't? But we've worked that all out now and we've got these nice… short… nice and short people who say they can protect you, so…" He pointed northward. Elvis turned to look. "Whaddaya say you just wander up over that hill there onto the Air Force Academy grounds and we'll put you in a nice, comfy truck and take you to visit our pals?"

"Oh, good," Daniel muttered. "For a second there I thought we were going to stuff him in the back of my Subaru."

Elvis looked blankly at Jack, one ear turned toward him and the other toward the Channel 11 news guy. Jack felt like he was experiencing the moose equivalent of call-waiting. Elvis took a step toward the news van.

"Wait! C'mon. You know you can't stay here. You know that." Elvis took another step. "Daniel, tell him."

"Tell him what?"

"Tell him what I just told him, only, you know."

Daniel's face solidified in the stubborn expression. He looked at the ground. "No. Way." He said.

"Daniel."

"It's a moose, Jack. Not in my job description."

Elvis took another step. In desperation, Jack leaned his mouth close to Daniel's ear and said in the filthiest voice he could muster, "Laces."

Daniel's eyes snapped up. He opened his mouth and let forth a bouncing stream of Swedish. The moose came back. Daniel continued with the Swedish until both of the moose's ears were facing their direction. Then, at last, Elvis tossed his head, turned and headed over the rise toward the Air Force Academy.

"Sweet," Jack said with a grin.

"You'd damn well better be," Daniel warned him.


+++


Jacob turned and waved from the event horizon. "We'll keep an eye on him. And we'll let you know what we figure out from the blood samples and the MRIs."

"Sure you will," Jack said, bouncing a little with his hands in his pockets. "See ya, Elvis," he called.

"See ya, Elvis," Daniel called in Swedish, then turned to Jack and said, also in Swedish, "My boots are tied way too tightly and I think I need some help with these pesky knots."

Jack, who understood no Swedish but was fluent in Daniel, nodded and suppressed a grin.

On the ramp, Elvis hesitated long enough to toss his head and snort a disgusting spray of moose-snot by way of good-bye, then stepped through the 'gate and was gone.

Jack looked a bit crestfallen for a moment. Then, brightening, he said, "Y'know, a moose once bit my sister."

"Really? I didn’t' know you had a sister."

"Carter, you're pathetic." Jack walked away, head shaking slowly in disappointment.

Sam looked at Daniel, who smiled a pitying smile and followed Jack. Even Teal'c looked smugly superior as he strode out of the Gateroom.

"What?" she shouted after them. "You guys knew he had a sister?"



*This is an example of the rhetorical figure, zeugma. This footnote is dedicated to Widget. Blame her.

**To learn more about "The Moose of Colorado Springs," see http://www.imagesofcolorado.com/moose.html Thank you to Katie M for providing the link. This footnote is also dedicated to Widget, so blame her again.


THE END or, THANK THE GODS IT'S OVER



Notes:  This story is for Barkley. I blame the abundant absurdities on those who suggested them; I asked and you stepped up. But for the monster spawned, well, only I can take the blame for that. :-) My apologies to moose and the Swedes. My thanks to everybody who played with me. Tra la!

Feedback welcomed at troyswann@yahoo.ca.

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