Because an alien doesn't have reproductive organs doesn't mean he can't, and won't, have sex. I found that out the hard way.
SG-1 cheated death on a weekly basis. Sometimes it came close. Too close. As I left the infirmary, I reflected on how tired I was about it all. The Goau'ld. The politics. The desperate race for technology. I felt tired about sending my men into the unknown, while I remained in the safety of my office.
Well, you know what they say. Be careful what you wish for.
My body buzzed. I felt all my particles fly upwards in a disordered fashion, with my consciousness hurrying behind. When the tingling sensation stopped, I was in orbit around Earth.
Between me and the void of space, stood the solidity of an Asgard vessel. The short alien standing before me looked like any other Asgard: grey, slim and naked. I often wondered how Jack could tell them apart. I took a wild guess. "Thor. I'm pleased to see you."
"Hammond." Thor blinked. His huge, soft eyes looked wet like if they had been welling with tears. The skin where his chin would have been, had Asgard been fitted with such an implement, was quivering. I couldn't read Thor's expressions as well as I can nowadays, so I didn't understand that he was on the verge of crying. I only knew he was troubled.
He walked to a porthole. I followed him.
Now, you see, I am Air Force material as much as your next Jonathan O'Neill, but this particular sight always has me out of breath.
We both gawked at Earth, so pale and lost in the dark universe.
When I regained my speech, I asked: "Why did you invite me on your vessel?"
"Sometimes there is only one person with whom you can share your thoughts."
Had the alien met Shifu? For a split second I wished Daniel Jackson was here to translate this gibberish. Then I looked below, and I felt the urge to place my hands on Thor's fragile shoulders.
"I learned what happened to SG-1," he said.
"They are safe now."
"I cannot say the same about my men."
"You lost a team?"
"A whole ship." He sighed. He turned around, slowly, until he faced my belly. "I know you can feel it too."
"The weight of responsibility."
This hit me hard. I stepped back. I stumbled to a block, which I decided was a computer of some sort, and sat on it.
"Do you feel exhausted?" he asked.
"Everyday. I'm weary. I send them to their death. I hate it, and yet I know it's the right thing to do. Some of them are merely kids." I sniggered. "I feel so old, all of them are like kids to me."
Thor approached. Now that I wasn't standing anymore, he could look into my eyes without craning his neck. "We could help each other. Not as ambassadors of foreign worlds. Not as aliens. But as sentient, loving beings."
I thought I had only imagined the quizzical words, and the flirtatious tone on which they had been pronounced. I was desperate for understanding. I needed the comfort. It was all too easy to place an intent that only existed in my mind into someone so different.
All my doubts were lifted when he opened the side of the box I was sitting on, and took a blinking device out of it that I could only describe as a strap-on penis.
When, much later, I was beamed down back to Earth, Thor's last words were still ringing in my ears: "Electrical stimulation can do wonders on an old body."
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