How is he?
Vala, I’m sorry.
No, it’s not, she sighed, it wasn’t the same, something is different than before. He’s right about that, but he’s just, gone. That’s the best way to describe it, gone.
I know, Sam sighed out, standing to walk to the cabinet in the corner of her office, opening the door and removing a bottle of wine, but I’ve been thinking, about trying a different approach.
Daniel, well, sorry Vala but other than Shar’e, he’s never had much of a personal life. His life is his work, and I think that’s what we need to help him get back to.
But that’s all he does anymore, work, day in and day out. I’m not even sure if he’s eating anymore, and he’s lost weight.
I know, so I’m thinking about hiring him an assistant.
Sorta, Bill worked for us, but that wasn’t an official arrangement. And I’m not trying to replace the work Bill was trying to do for us, with the Destiny, Sam sighed out, pouring two glasses, we can never replace Bill but we can give Daniel an assistant. I can’t promote him and Woolsey doesn’t want to give him any sort of civilization title, but I do have the right to make him the official department head, he’s really been it for years anyway, and hire him some help. See if we can jump start something by getting him working again, stop blaming himself for things that we not his fault and that he cannot change.
Did you have someone in mind?
Sam shook her head.
No, but I was thinking about starting with Smithsonian candidates. I have some contacts there, see who is applying to the ancient studies department, if there is anyone that speaks close to as many languages as he does. If not there, I can call Cambridge, see if I can find someone over there, I don’t know.
Vala frowned for a moment, sipping the wine before choking on it, swallowing quickly before waving her hand in front of her face.
What? Sam asked, confused, Vala nodding as she thrust up a finger.
I was playing around the other day, on the internet. Cameron was showing how to use Google and how your creepy ass government tracks what we search.
Do I even wanna know?
We looked him up, found nothing, he’s boring, looked up Jack, did you know he had a son…
Yes, Sam shut her down quickly, anyway.
Sorry, but I got curious and looked up Daniel. I found that book he wrote, that one in his office? And there was this woman, dressed like some badass, who wrote a review on it. Called him a nutcase and was making fun of him. It was hilarious.
Sam made a face.
No, it’s just, Vala started, shaking her head, he makes me feel like an idiot sometimes, it was refreshing to see someone put him in his place, even if it was just on the damn internet.
I understand, but you do know that a lot of reviews and comments online are not to be taken seriously, especially the ones that are, well, like that.
It wasn’t on one of those shopping sites or anything, she was some professor somewhere, it was for her students. Some school in a place called New Orleans.
Yeah, doctor something. She had real credentials and everything, list of things she’d done.
Sam shook her head.
PLEASE don’t show him, no matter how mad you get at him. The last thing I need is, well, just no, please.
I won’t, I won’t, even if he deserves it, Vala replied, chugging down the glass and standing, I’m gonna hit the gym.
Yeah, I might do the same soon, just want to make a few phone calls first.
Vala turned to leave, pausing at the door for a moment.
You think it’d work? You think he’ll, I dunno, be Daniel again.
I can’t say, but it’s worth a try. Worst case, we find a competent person that can work at Area 51, god knows they need all the competent help they can get.
Nodding, Vala tapped the door frame lightly headed to the gym.
Sitting at her desk, Sam took another sip of the wine, before reaching for the phone, dialing.
Hello, Smithsonian Institution.
Yes, Joyce Bedi please.
Yes ma’am, may I tell her who’s calling.
Thank you, please hold.
Sam sat for a moment, wondering if Joyce would even remember her, when her kind voice was on the other line faster than she expected.
A call from the Colonel in Colorado! Samantha, how are you?
Fantastic Joyce, how are you? I see that you were promoted.
Senior Historian, the woman agreed, makes me feel old. How’s things out west?
We’ve moved operations, actually, to DC.
You’re here? How? I was certain the Pentagon was closing all research operations in and around the capital.
Long story, very long story, but well, that’s why I’m calling. We’re looking to hire a research assistant, to help with antiquities, you know we’ve had to send in a lot of researchers and historians out to war zones before things are lost forever.
Don’t I know it, the woman agreed, I’m thankful for anything that can be salvaged.
Do you have anyone in mind? Someone that applied for a position you would be willing to let us snipe?
Did they move you to HR?
Sam laughed, flushing a bit at her answer.
General, she corrected, I’m the general, and I run the research institution now.
Congratulations, general, Joyce laughed, and as such you get to hand pick your staff.
Precisely, which is why I’m calling in this little favor.
No problem at all, let me pull up some files, there was a pause, a few clicks at a keyboard, and mutters before she was back, Any particular area of expertise?
Archaeology, Egyptian, Middle Eastern, Near East, even Early European, but something in the Ancient Cultures.
Huh, you’re in luck, we’re in the process of filling the assistant curator position at the museum of Natural History right now.
Luck? Sam laughed, tapping her pen, Sounds like I’d be in for a fight for the best.
Not necessarily, Joyce grumbled, making a few pen taps of her own, you know how it is, the boy’s club. They’ll fill a quota before they’ll read a resume.
Sam chuckled, knowing that to be all too true.
Ok, anyone you wanna pass along. Someone that was really good but didn’t meet the quota.
Let me see the notes, I didn’t review these applications, the department did but let me see…
Sam waited, letting her look when there was another grumble on the line.
See, like listen to this one, Joyce began to read, reason given for not hiring was lack of advanced research experience.
Well that sounds like a valid reason…
No, it’s because the poor woman worked at a community college. Her publication list is amazing, and she created a program to let college students mentor high school students in history to raise scores on state standardized tests, took students aboard, things community college professors don’t do, but NOOOO if she doesn’t come from Harvard, they won’t even read the rest.
Huh, other than that how does she look.
Claims here to speak about a dozen languages, graduated honors from Tulane, Near East, Greece, Roman and Early Christian…
Not Egypt but close, any others?
There was another pause, Joyce clicking around, searching for a moment.
Not anyone I would pass on. Most of these you can actually feel the ego oozing out of them. Not sure what is wrong with people anymore, they act like getting a PhD makes them a god.
Sam laughed, grabbing her pen to at least check out this one lead, which may take her to another.
Fair enough, do you mind giving me the name of that woman then. The one you were talking about earlier.
Sure, it’s Rowan, Dr. Adrienne M. from New Orleans, Louisiana.
Yeah, taught at Delgado Community College, I can fax you the resume if you can give me your top secret number.
Of course, Sam laughed, scanning to find that number, I need to dig it up but I’ll email it to you as soon as I do.
And I’ll send it on.
Thank you Joyce, really, and if you can think of anyone else.
I’ll send it on, the woman answered, It’s great to talk to you Samantha, it really is. We need to have lunch sometime.
Definitely, as long as I can skip Pentagon cafeteria food that would be great.
Agreed, I know a few places. Give that resume a look over once you get it and let me know.
Thanks, I appreciate it. Take care.
And Sam hung up the phone, pulling up her new contact information on her computer. The fax number was an odd one, an 877 number that she would never remember, and she forwarded it on quickly, staring at the screen as she awaited an answer.
Frowning, no fax yet, Sam opened up Google, typing in Daniel’s name, the name of his book and New Orleans.
Ass Kickin History
A blog by Dr. Adrienne Rowan
Delgado Community College
New Orleans, LA
And there it was, a review of Daniel’s book, a quick skim proving that it was everything that Vala said it was, hilarious, this Dr. Rowan standing dressed like a female Indiana Jones in front of the Coliseum.
What are the odds?? Sam muttered as the fax machine fired up, the general reaching over to snag the pages.