Poker Faces – General Jack Year Three - Part Four
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).
"I see your Hershey Bar and raise you two zplotels."
"What do you mean, no, O'Neill? A zplotel is worth at least one and a half of your
Hershey Bars. What is the problem?"
"The problem is that zplotels leave my mouth tasting like I've just licked the back end
of an animal. No way do I want to win one"
"Having never licked the back end of one of your animals, I bow to your obviously
much more intimidate knowledge of the subject and withdraw my bet. Would half a
tormk be acceptable?"
I nodded, and Supreme Commander Thor reached into the seemingly bottomless
magical bag he had placed next to his chair and brought out the object in question - a
rectangle of orange that tasted remarkably pleasant - especially compared to a zplotel.
I shuddered inwardly, the bitter cloying flavour still lingering in my mouth even after
Speaking of which . . .
I popped the top off another Guinness and filled the small glass sitting on the coffee
table before taking a long drink, shuddering at the taste. Zplotels and beer don't mix
but my theory was if I had enough of the latter I'd forget that fact.
Thor wrapped his spidery fingers around his glass, lifted it and took a delicate sip. He
nodded his head in appreciation, ignoring my indignant glare. It wasn't fair that he
could still enjoy a drink while I suffered.
I looked at my cards again, debating whether or not to raise. Full house, queens high -
a good hand, but there was a lot riding on this. The table was loaded with our stakes -
chocolate bars mingling with primary colored geometric shapes, an apple pie and
several objects I was still bewildered about even after a detailed explanation from the
I lifted one - a silver disk - and caught a glimpse of my reflection in its shiny surface.
Turning it slightly, I smiled as my face elongated and squished like in one of those
"I have more of those."
I looked up at Thor's words to find him staring at me with his large eyes, his mouth
twisted slightly in a tiny smile.
Okay - I'd found the mirrors, where were the beads and blankets? And did I want to
resell Manhattan to our alien allies?
I slapped the nice, bright, shiny object back down on the table. "I see your tormk.
What have you got?"
Thor carefully placed each card down, starting with a ten of hearts and going right on
up to the ace and left me staring at a royal flush.
There was no doubt he had taken my poker lessons to heart. I watched the pie
vanishing into the dark interior of the deep black bag and sighed. I had been looking
forward to eating that. Mrs O'Reilly down the road made it especially for me. She had
called me in as I was jogging past this morning and handed the still warm culinary
delight over, with strict instructions to eat it while it was fresh.
I thanked her and headed home, my mouth watering at the delicious aroma wafting up
I had been looking forward to that pie.
Now all I had was the taste of nasty alien goo in my mouth and a stomach that felt
like its throat had been cut.
I took another incredulous look at the cards lying face up on the table and threw mine
down, straightening them into a neat pile along with the others.
"You hungry?" I didn't wait for his answer, continuing on. "Let's get pizza."
Thor nodded, picking up his beer and taking another tiny mouthful, rolling it around
in his mouth before swallowing. "I only ask you refrain from ordering one with
I stopped and thought for a moment. Had there been an unfortunate jalapeno incident
that threatened Tau'ri/Asgard relations? I came up with nothing, not even recalling
jalapenos even figuring in a conversation.
I've never seen an embarrassed Asgard before. He looked down. Looked up. Took
another drink. Looked down again.
"Thor, why can't I have jalapenos on my pizza?"
He finally looked me in the eye. "You spoke of the taste of licking of animals. I am
afraid the peppers have a similar effect on your breath, O'Neill."
I couldn't believe it. "Are you telling me I have bad breath?" I tried to surreptitiously
puff into my hand, taking a sniff.
He nodded. "I am. The smell lingers in my olfactory organ for several cycles."
"Sort of like zplotels in the mouth, then?" I smiled an evil smile. "And here I am with
a particular hankering for jalapenos on my pizza."
My smile got more evil.
"Can we come to some arrangement? What will you require to change your mind,
I made a show of thinking, standing and staring vaguely at the fireplace. "Um," I
muttered, as if considering, "I'm not sure. I did have to give back the O'Neill II"
"General Hammond would not be happy to hear you have won another spacecraft."
I spun and gave my good grey buddy an incredulous and hurt look. "You'd tell him?"
"It may slip out when I am in discussions with the general and your President."
Thor had been spending way too much time with me.
I continued to look upset. "I'm hurt that you think so little of me, Commander Thor. I
have no intention of asking for my spaceship back." I emphasised the word 'my' and
watched him flinch a little.
He stood and came to stand beside me, his cool, bony hand reaching up to touch mine.
"I apologise, Jack, it was wrong of me. You can have whatever you want on your
"Tell you what." I barely managed to stop myself from glancing hungrily towards his
bag. "How about you pay for the pizzas? That way you can pick the toppings."
He looked puzzled. "I am agreeable, but how will I pay? I do not have Earth
The bait was taken and I began to reel in the line.
"If you give me one of the items you won in the last game, I'll pay the delivery boy
and we'll call it quits."
He nodded in understanding. "Ah, I comprehend." His long limbs snaked over to the
bag, his body following. He bent and began to pull a variety of items from its interior.
"Perhaps some of the chocolate bars?"
I shook my head, my mouth already watering. "The pie." It came out almost as a gasp
and for a second I thought I'd ruined the whole thing when Thor's head came up and
he gave me an appraising stare. Then he reached into the bag once again and pulled
out the apple pie. It looked none the worse for its imprisonment with the beads,
mirrors and blankets we younger races like to admire so much.
I took it from his hands, hurrying it into the kitchen before he could change his mind,
allowing myself a broad grin as soon as I was out of his sight.
His voice drifted in from the living room. "I have decided on the type of pizza I wish
you to order for us, O'Neill."
I was still smiling as I pulled a beer from the fridge and headed back into the next
room. I carefully negotiated the couple of steps down to the living room, making sure
not to jar my still slightly tender knee and headed for the phone.
"What will it be, Buddy?"
"A pineapple and anchovy pizza, with an extra topping of tofu."
I swear he was smirking.
I groaned, not quite sure who had won that round.
These poker nights of ours were getting more interesting by the week.