UKPlay by Fiery Fred
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Category: General
Genres: Challenge, Humor
Rated: All Ages
Warnings: None
Series: None
Summary: I wrote this in 2000, basically SG-1 goes to England. And there's a lot of singing. It was a challenge response.

The challenge was:
1. A member of SG-1 must have a part time job outside the SGC.
2. A character, possibly one of the major characters, but also possibly one of the bit players who appear in one episode then are never seen again, lets face it that's far more interesting don't you think, must perform a musical number. This can be by any artist *except* for Tom Jones.
3. Teal'c must display an interest and/or talent in one of the following areas; Ballet, Gymnastics, Taxidermy, Macramé, Arson.
4. There must be a minor (no more than one paragraph) crossover with one of the following shows; The Drew Carey Show, Seven Days, ER, Jonathon Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Are You Being Served Extra points if this crossover is so obscure it has to pointed out to fellow viewers of the show in question. Anyone unfamiliar with all of the above shows may substitute Seinfeld. Everyone must have seen that at some point. It's a last resort though I don't want Kramer popping up in every story.
5. Someone must call out, in these exact words "Phonecall for Mr Horrible!"
6. And finally, no X-Files references!

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Carter sat there looking at the letter she'd just received. It had created a horrible dilemma. The opportunity it presented was fantastic, but she was supposed to be going to P3X-M14. She could hardly postpone a Stargate mission, however much she wanted to. At least, that's what she thought. When O'Neill found the letter in her locker (she never really got to the bottom of what he was DOING in her locker) he had rather different ideas. He didn't see a problem, he saw an opportunity. An opportunity for a holiday.

General Hammond took some persuading, but everything worked out perfectly in the end. SG-1 were to accompany Carter on her journey. They were all due some leave, and no important missions were pending. O'Neill had explained the educational aspects of the mission, such as the visit to the British Museum. It would be an invaluable experience. He wasn't being at all sarcastic when he suggested that. It was a miracle that he'd been able to keep a straight face. One small problem was that Jackson actually thought they would be going to the museum, but he'd deal with that later. He could tie him to a chair in the hotel if all else failed.

As they flew over the Atlantic ocean, Carter explained exactly what she was going to England for. She had a part-time job helping with the European Mars Probe. Exactly how she got this job was a mystery, although not as much of a mystery as what O'Neill had been doing in her locker on that fateful day. For the short time that SG-1 would be in England, she would be unable to visit any of the sites and sounds. Not that she minded. Whatever O'Neill got up to when he was playing tourist, it was probably embarrassing. The other two wouldn't be much fun either: Teal'c had a million questions about ordinary situations, and Jackson could bore people to tears when he went into lecture mode. No, Carter probably had the best deal.

The flight was uneventful, although Teal'c smelt interesting after trying to wear everything (not only the socks, blindfold and ear-plugs, but all of the weird stuff that was in the bottles and tubs) that had been inside his Virgin Atlantic first-class goodie bag. They touched down at Heathrow, and made their way into London on the Heathrow Express. They got to their hotel, and they slept like logs.

O'Neill woke up to find three tickets slipped underneath his door. He'd slept late, and Carter had gone off to play hours ago. The tickets seemed to be for something called "Nightfever". What that was, he had no idea. After getting dressed, he met the others for a late breakfast.

"Carter left us these," O'Neill said, waving the tickets in the air.

"Oh." Jackson didn't sound too excited. "What are they?" he asked politely.

"I have absolutely no idea. Knowing Carter it's probably some sort of astrophysics thing that'll go right over our heads. I mean, your heads." O'Neill tried to look knowledgeable. "She left a note too."

They read it. It said, "In Camden Town, I'll meet you by the underground, in Camden Town, we'll walk there as the sun goes down. Sing up tourist."

"I think she might be losing what's left of her mind," muttered O'Neill.

And so, that afternoon, O'Neill, Jackson and Teal'c found themselves at a television studio. They filed into a gaudily decorated room, which had the audience all round the edge and two teams (and the presenter) seated in the middle. The audience was separated into male and female sections. The two sides looked ready to go to war...

As the show started, they realised that it was definitely not anything to do with astrophysics. The presenter, a smooth sort of fellow wearing a pin-striped suit, conferred with a monkey (wearing a fez) and chose songs. There were two teams, one male, one female, that sang these songs in a karaoke fashion. And the special guest scored their efforts.

In the middle of the show a telephone started to ring from underneath the presenter's desk.

The presenter answered it, "'Ello, 'ello, 'ello," he said, before explaining to the audience, "It's the Police".

That had to be one of the worst music-based jokes that O'Neill had ever heard. And he'd heard far more than he would have liked. Basically, he felt completely out of place. Just about everyone in the audience was at least ten years younger than him. Teal'c didn't really have a clue what was going on, and couldn't possibly know any of the songs. Jackson, however, seemed to be enjoying himself.

Soon it was time for the two people who wandered amongst the audience getting their song suggestions to choose contestants for the audience participation round. The two people looked like they'd be right at home in teen soaps. To his horror, O'Neill realised the young lady was heading straight towards him! "It's okay," he thought, "They're only picking the handsome young men, all three of us should be safe." To his relief she stopped. In front of Jackson.

"Would you be willing to sing us a song?" she asked.

"Sure!" Jackson replied enthusiastically.

"Have you come a long way to be here tonight?"

"Yeah! I'm from Colorado!"

"Wow. Okay, if you'd like to go up to the front..."

Teal'c was frowning. But he generally frowned, so that didn't mean anything. O'Neill was a little disappointed that she'd thought Jackson was worth choosing. He wasn't THAT good looking. And he probably couldn't sing. Not that anyone ever remembered Jackson singing.

Once three men had been chosen to make complete and utter fools out of themselves, the music started. Moving slowly to the music, Jackson looked like a complete natural! As long as he knew the song, this might not be too bad. The mad drumming continued as the guitar riffs kicked in...

Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo!
I got my head shaved, by a jumbo jet,
It wasn't easy, but nothing is, no.
Woo-hoo! When I feel heavy metal!
Woo-hoo! And I'm pins and I'm needles!
Woo-hoo! When I lie and I'm easy,
All of the time I'm never sure why I need ya,
'Cos I need ya...

I got my head done, when I was young,
It's not my problem, it's not my problem.

Woo-hoo! When I feel heavy metal!
Woo-hoo! And I'm pins and I'm needles!
Woo-hoo! When I lie and I'm easy,
All of the time I'm never sure why I need ya,
'Cos I need ya...

Yeah yeah! Yeah yeah! Yeah yeah! Oh yeah...

During the song's finale, Jackson had started to jump up and down and shake his hair around (like rock stars tend to do). He was extremely impressive. Even O'Neill had to admit that he'd rarely seen such an exquisite karaoke performance. The other two men had performed much as men usually do when faced with karaoke: they sounded like tone deaf elephants with bronchitis.

Everyone waited to hear who the winner would be. It HAD to be Jackson, didn't it?

But no, they chose the little guy on the end with the snazzy silk shirt! Could it be that Jackson's lumberjack style checked shirt had cost him the victory?

Teal'c couldn't understand the result. He stood there and simmered quietly for a few moments, before roaring with anger.

"Daniel Jackson is clearly the winner!"

A few other people in the crowd murmured that they agreed.

The presenter talked over the dissent, trying to carry on. But Teal'c was not going to be ignored. He produced a blow-torch from his jacket, and pointed it at O'Neill's head.

"If you do not change the result, I will set fire to this man's head."

O'Neill elbowed Teal'c, "What on Earth do you think you're doing?"

"Do not worry, Colonel O'Neill."

Teal'c walked out into the centre of the studio, gripping O'Neill's arm tightly. The blow-torch was still pointed at his head.

"Change the result, or I will flame his head."

O'Neill whispered desperately, "Teal'c!!!!"

Everyone present was stunned into silence, watching Teal'c's every move. The presenter raised his hand in the way that most people do when confronted with a man armed with a blow-torch. The sort of "please stop, you maniac" gesture that very rarely works.

It didn't work. Teal'c flamed O'Neill's head. Remarkably, the flame ran all around the baseball cap, causing it to disintegrate without damaging O'Neill! He seemed to have a real talent.

Things were not going well. Security guards were slowly surrounding the area, closing in on Teal'c and O'Neill. Jackson joined them, and they stood together in the centre of the room.

"Now what?" O'Neill whispered.

"Now we die," said Teal'c.

"That's a bit extreme, Teal'c," answered O'Neill.

"I will endeavour to orchestrate our escape, O'Neill."

"Okay," said Jackson, "Just hurry up, will you?"

Teal'c stepped forward and grabbed the presenter, and started to walk forward with the blow-torch pointed at his head. The security guards allowed him past, and walking quickly they soon emerged onto the streets of London. Just outside the studios was a red double-decker London bus. The driver had stopped to pick up some sandwiches (as bus drivers so often do), so the bus was ripe for the taking.

The conductor had joined the bus driver in his quest for sandwiches, so the bus hi-jacking was simple. They stepped onto the back of the bus, past the pole and the spiral staircase that led upstairs. They walked to the front where the driver's seat was. This was where they realised they had a problem. There wasn't anyone to drive the bus.

Teal'c wasn't about to give up so easily. He could see security personnel converging on their position. He sat the presenter down, and waved his blow-torch at the somewhat startled passengers. Most of them settled further down into their seats, hiding behind their newspapers and turning their walkmans up. They had the typical commuter attitude that whatever happened they weren't getting involved.

The only person that was looking at the proceedings with interest was a rather scruffy looking person wearing a duffle coat. Pointing his weapon at the man, Teal'c gestured for him to drive the bus.

"I've never driven a double decker bus before," he said.

"You've never driven a BUS before," the woman accompanying him said. "You've only driven a CAR once." She pushed past the hi-jackers, "I'll do it."

Sitting in the driver's seat, she sighed. After crunching a few gears, they were on their way.

Jackson started to apologise to the unfortunate presenter.

"Look, I'm really sorry about my friend. He's finding things are a little too... alien... over here."

"I can see that," the man answered.

"What's your name?" asked O'Neill, looking up from an intense study of the remains of his hat.

"Um, Graham," said Graham.

Teal'c stood at the front of the bus, holding onto the metal pole that ran from the ceiling to the floor. He looked incredibly grim. More so than usual.

"Where are we going?" shouted Graham, over the roar of the engine.

Teal'c frowned, before walking over to the driver, and whispering. Then he answered, "Camden Town."

Graham smiled. "In Camden Town, I'll meet you by the Underground, in Camden Town, we'll walk there as the sun goes down?"

"How did you know that?" said O'Neill and Jackson at the same time.

"It's a song," said Graham.

"I suppose you'd know a lot of lyrics, being a karaoke show presenter," said Jackson.


Breaking the uncomfortable silence (well, comparative silence, there's still the engine and the general noise of the city to take into consideration), Graham's mobile phone started to ring.

Graham answered it. This time, it really WAS the police.

"The police want me to say that this is a phone call for Mr. Horrible, first name Ima."

"Ima Horrible?" said Teal'c.

"You're a horrible what?" asked O'Neill, before laughing so hard he fell off of the interestingly upholstered seat.

Teal'c failed to see the humour in the situation. The police had hung up by the time he was handed the phone.

"So," said O'Neill between giggles, "The cops aren't taking this rescue operation too seriously then?"

"No, it doesn't seem like it, does it?" said Graham. "You do know this is absolute madness, don't you?" He turned to Jackson, "If it's any consolation, I thought you were the best. It's just the pop-monkey didn't like your shirt."

"Oh," said Jackson, sadly looking down at his shirt. "Maybe you could give me some fashion advice?" he asked hopefully.

"Well, if we can get past the hi-jacker/hostage situation we're in now, I don't see why not."

"Stop!" Teal'c commanded.

The bus skidded to a halt.

"Major Carter is awaiting our arrival," he said.

"Sweet," said O'Neill.

They all got up and made their way to the back of the bus, and disembarked onto the pavement.

Presumably anxious to get as far away from the nutters as possible, the bus moved away. Mysteriously, it was followed by two other red double-decker buses with the same number.

Carter looked at the group rather worriedly, wondering what sort of mischief they'd managed to get caught up in. Then she saw Graham, and her eyes lit up.

"I never expected you to bring him back with you!" she exclaimed.

The young man that was accompanying her joined in, "Hey, Suggs, just the man we need!"

"Always a pleasure, Mr. All bran," said Graham.

Carter gestured that the others should follow, before walking off arm-in-arm with the two Englishmen.

"I'm confused..." said Jackson.

"Yeah, well don't look at me," O'Neill replied.

"I believe I have an explanation, O'Neill," said Teal'c.

"You have an explanation? I can't wait to hear this, Mr. Horrible burning my hat person."

"I apologise for the demise of your head-gear, O'Neill. Permit me to purchase a new hat that meets with your specifications."

Jackson pointed at a stall on the pavement, "Get one of those hats, Teal'c, the big material top hats with the Union Jacks on."

O'Neill gave Jackson an icy stare.

"The explanation is simple," Teal'c continued. "Major Carter left us a note that contained the lyrics from a song by Suggs, aka Graham McPherson. Graham McPherson is the lead singer of Madness. He is also the presenter of the karaoke game show entitled "Nightfever". This led me to suspect that things were not as they appeared to be."

"You can say that again," said O'Neill.

"Things were not as they appeared to be," repeated Teal'c.

"I didn't mean it, Teal'c."

"Major Carter arranged for Daniel Jackson to be chosen."

"I KNEW there had to be an explanation," O'Neill spluttered.

"However, I do not think Major Carter expected me to take Graham McPherson captive."

"No, I shouldn't think so, Teal'c," said Jackson. "I was a little surprised at that myself."

"It is also apparent that Major Carter has not seen fit to reveal her true purpose within the European Space Programme."

"And that purpose is...?" prompted O'Neill.

"She is helping Damon Albarn, the lead singer from Blur, create the song that will be broadcast back from Mars."

"Aaah," said O'Neill. "There's one thing I don't quite understand. How do you know all this?"

"My symbiont does not allow me to suffer from jet-lag. I spent many hours this morning analysing music television," said Teal'c. "I believe I am now extremely knowledgeable in the field of music."

"Aaah," said O'Neill, once more.

"If you would allow me to demonstrate..."

Some time later, O'Neill was heard to remark, "Now we know why there are no karaoke bars on Chulak." It was a mean comment, but fair in the circumstances.

The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one they say,
The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, but still they come...
A million to one, but it might just work...

This story is dedicated to the European Mars Probe, which is to be controlled from Leicester University. May its Blur song be fantastic, and may the probe achieve considerably more success than NASA's more recent attempts!
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