Do you remember the smiley tour guide in the episode 2010 who said SG-1 wasn't her “personal favorite” SG team? Yeah, her.
Daniel coughed to get the attention of the guide sitting at the front desk. She'd finished her peppy little tour, complete with pictures, and was now taking a turn at the information kiosk.
“Yes, sir? Did you have a question about the tour?” She tilted her head and gave him a syrupy sweet smile.
“I hope I'm not bothering you,” he said, pulling the brim of his hat down on the odd chance that she'd recognize him, “but I did have a question about something you said in the 'gate, um... embarkation room.”
She nodded for him to continue.
“You mentioned that SG-1 wasn't your 'personal favorite' SG team,” he mimicked her air quotes with his fingers. “Do you mind if I ask why?”
“Certainly, sir. I'm always glad to help people learn about the original SG teams.” She reached behind her for a team photo that Daniel recognized and plunked it down on the counter between them. “Now, sir, I want you to really look at this picture. Really look at it.”
Daniel squinted and concentrated. He didn't think the picture was particularly unique. It showed SG-1 in the 'gateroom posing for a picture, not something that happened very often, but nothing remarkable. It could have been after a mission-- a successful mission, he guessed, since everybody looked tired, dirty, and cat-in-the-cream pleased with themselves. Sam was a major with a cocky grin and dirt-smudged face. Jack's hair was gray; his sunglasses hung on chord around his neck and he had his P90 tucked in close to his body. His own hair was short underneath the boonie, and he held a camcorder in his hand. Teal'c looked like Teal'c, as regal as only Teal'c could look. So a few years into the program, then.
“What do you see?” The guide's voice startled him. She had leaned in until she her face was next to his.
He straightened up. “Well, I see Jack, Sam, Teal'c--” He covered his mistake with another cough. “I mean I see Colonel Jack O'Neill, Major Samantha Carter, Doctor Daniel Jackson, and Teal'c, the four original members of SG-1.”
“Exactly,” she said, obviously pleased with his powers of perception.
“Well, really, sir, how could this be the premier team? Look at them.”
Despite himself, Daniel got a little defensive. “Why couldn't they be? I've heard they were smart, resourceful, hard-working,” he struggled for adjectives, “innovative, dedicated, clever, brave, strong, imaginative...” He thought he might be overdoing in a bit with the last few, but he didn't like the woman's condescending attitude.
“That's what they say,” she said, grabbing the picture and moving it away, “but how could one team do all the things they say they did?” The first “they” had air quotes around it.
“They say?” Daniel needed some clarification of vague pronouns.
“Supposedly, according to the archives, this team saved the world over and over again. They did everything but invent the light bulb, and I'm sure someone's working on adding that.”
“That might be a little extreme,” Daniel muttered.
“Samantha Carter was supposed to be the world's brightest astrophysicist.”
“She is,” Daniel agreed. “I mean, so I've heard.”
“Would they really have put her on an SG team if she was that smart? Of course not,” she finished before Daniel could object. “And Colonel O'Neill, he's not even standing at attention.” She tapped the glass frame. “How could he be a respected Air Force officer? All of the other pictures have officers at attention, or at least standing up straight. It's just not possible he was leader of an elite team.”
“You know, Jack's a good--”
She plowed on, not hearing him. “Obviously a PR job by someone. The only one I might believe was extraordinary is this one here.” She pointed at the picture, a distracted look on her face. “He's rather ruggedly handsome, in a quiet, reserved sort of way.”
“This one?” Daniel repeated. “You mean the one in the boonie on the end?”
“Him? No, no, not him,” the woman scoffed. “I mean the one with the gold emblem-- and all those muscles.” She gazed until she remembered the man standing in front of her. “If you like that kind of thing. Some people do, don't you think?”
Daniel wasn't sure if he was supposed to answer that so he wisely stayed silent until he could change the subject. “And the one at the end?” He didn't know if he wanted to know her opinion of the one at the end.
“The one at the end,” she whispered, “died four or five times.”
“Really? Four or five, you say?”
“Really.” She gave a sharp nod of her head. “Not.”
“Not?” Daniel pulled off his hat and ran his fingers through his hair, feeling a headache starting to throb behind his eyes. Talking to this woman was like playing ping pong on a slanted table. You never knew which way the ball was going to bounce.
“Not,” she insisted. “Of course not. How could one person die four or five times? And how can they,” the air quotes were back, “not know if it's four or five?”
“Good point,” Daniel conceded, “but maybe they just thought he was dead once when he really wasn't. He could have been left on a ship, maybe, or even on a planet. Actually, I think that might have happened more than once that they thought he was dead.” He sputtered to a stop when he saw the narrow-eyed glare he was getting from behind the desk.
“I'm a history buff,” he explained hurriedly, “and I've always been interested in the history of the Stargate. Of course who isn't interested in the history of the Stargate? Like you,” he said, desperately attempting flattery, “you're obviously interested in the history of the Stargate?”
Her glare seemed to spur him on. “They're they quintessential team, right? The perfect combination of brains and brawn, ingenuity and talent, yin and yang?” He almost added flotsam and jetsam but restrained himself in time. How had he gotten himself into this mess anyway? “The only team with its original members intact, isn't that right?” He stuck his hat back on his head.
She didn't reply and Daniel did his best to look innocently interested. She pointedly removed the photo from the counter and put it behind her on a small shelf with pictures of other SG teams on sale for only $29.99 each. “Well, when you put it that way....” With a dismissive nod of her head, she sat back down. "But still not my personal favorite SG team."
“Oh, look,” Daniel said as he sidled away, glad for an opportunity to escape, “my friends are waiting for me by the 'gateroom... embarkation room... Over there.” He resisted the temptation to use air quotes as he saw Jack and Sam come down the stairs from the briefing room. "I'd better go."
“And we're walking,” Jack said softly as he swung into step beside Daniel in the busy hallway. He pushed the button for the elevator.
Sam asked, “What were you doing back there, anyway? You look a little flushed.”
“I, uh, had a question for the tour guide.”
“Missed out on the pictures, didcha? Needed a souvenir?”
“No, I can't say as I want a picture right now.”
“So?” Sam elbowed him.
“I wanted to know why SG-1 wasn't her personal favorite...” Daniel stuffed his hands in his pockets “...SG team.”
“The woman has no couth, no taste, and obviously no sense humor,” Jack scoffed. “How could she not love SG-1? I might go buy a picture,” he added, “so I can have you all sign it. I'll put it on my mantle at the cabin.”
“If we make it through this tour...” Sam said the word “tour”; Daniel heard the word “mission” “...I'll be glad to autograph it for you, sir.”
“Sure, Jack, I'll autograph it if you like.”
“No, Daniel, I want to know if we're ready to go. I think we got everything we came for.” He patted his pocket. “The garage door should work now. Might need to change the batteries, though.”
The elevator pinged and the door opened. Daniel stepped in, Sam and Jack right behind him. “You know, if SG-1 is not her favorite team, why do we,” he stopped himself, aware of the people within earshot, “why do they keep saving the world?” He found himself pushed to the back of the elevator as a family with a group of children piled in. He ignored them chanting “kawoosh” as they waved their arms around to make a Stargate puddle.
“I've asked myself this question over and over again,” Jack said. “Why, oh why?”
“Did you come up with an answer, sir, for the history books?”
“If we re-write history,” Daniel muttered.
Jack shrugged. “Fame, fortune, cake.”
“Cake?” Daniel crossed his arms, a difficult task in such a tight space. “That's the best you can do?”
“Hey, you went and asked why we... why they...” this time Jack did use air quotes and almost punched Sam in the nose “...weren't her favorite team.”
“In other words, you don't know,” Daniel said smugly.
“Not a clue," Jack conceded. "But we're about to find out if they can do it again.”
The children kawooshed again, and elevator door swished shut.