SG-1 FIC: Patterns of Destiny Title: Patterns of Destiny Summary: After the events of "Continuum" - Cameron Mitchell lived a long and charmed life. Warning: Major character death, but maybe not... Author's Notes: Written for the Cameron Mitchell Alphabet Soup Anthology sponsored by sg_fignewton. Special thanks go to lolmac for the super fantastic beta on this story!!
Patterns of Destiny
History used to be important to Cameron Mitchell. His whole world was shaped by past events that played out in the books he had to study in school. Christopher Columbus, John Hancock, Adolph Hitler and Theodore Roosevelt were just a few of the names he remembered - all people who played a part in the historical flows of time. But now, as he stood on the threshold of a new era, history seemed to be a moot point. Some of it hadn't even happened yet.
He stared at the bombers that lined the tarmac, waiting his turn to take a spin, wondering at the irony of his life. He was a still a fighter, no doubt about that, but on a whole different level. Where before he was fighting aliens and soaring through the galaxy, now he was reduced to flying bombers preparing for a war only he knew was coming.
Things could be worse, he told himself for what seemed like the thousandth time. Ba'al could have succeeded in his plan to change history. Cam smiled grimly at that thought. That was a great victory in his mind. Ten years of his life spent preparing for that moment and revenge really was a sweet feeling, especially after wiping the arrogant smirk off the Goa'uld's face just before he put a bullet in his brain.
The last of the Ba'al's was dead, but Cam was now trapped here in a past that he had no wish to be a part of. He sent a half-hearted salute to his friend Ben who then took off down the runway, engines roaring as the bomber lifted its nose toward the heavens.
History be damned, Cam thought, as a thrill of adrenalin rushed through him. The bombers were antiquated compared to what he was used to flying, but at least he was still flying. Can't beat that.
He watched, his eyes squinting as sunlight shone through the sunglasses he wore, until Ben was out of sight. Being a part of the past sometimes had its advantages, Cam thought with a grin. His friend talked occasionally about his son, George, and even though he could never come right out and tell him, Cam would always have one up on Ben Hammond.
Cam learned to get past the feelings of displacement. He survived the Second World War, getting through the worst of it with the same determination that saw him through the skirmish in the Arctic airspace when SG-1 found that outpost. He blended into the past by dressing the part, talking the talk and working hard to earn a living in an era that demanded that the men be the breadwinners.
But sometimes at night, when the wind whistled through the trees outside his bedroom window, he would remember everything he left behind - his friends, family and even the modern devices he had taken for granted when he lived in that faraway time. And sometimes he wondered what his parents were doing at that moment, even going so far as visiting the family in Kansas once, awkward as that was. He never went back, settling instead in California, where the land by the coast was still cheap and the vastness of the ocean reminded him of the galaxy he used to navigate.
And always, history rolled past, leaving its imprint on Cam, who watched events unfold with impassioned eyes, knowing the outcome yet keeping silent for fear of being labeled insane. Frustration ate at him sometimes, but he knew from experience the reaction he would get, so he kept silent, taking comfort in knowing that he wouldn't be able to change history no matter how hard he tried.
That thought sometimes helped him to cope with the past he found himself in.
Life had been good to Cameron Mitchell and retirement suited him well. He sat on a lawn chair with a glass of lemonade in his hand and stared out at the ocean as a breeze sailed past. A lifetime of chances and here he sat in a home that was paid for, a loving wife that put up with him for over twenty years, two grown sons and several grandkids who loved to come over to hear his "fairy tales" of traveling past the stars through a portal. The stories kept him grounded in a reality that was once his, even if he did elaborate far too much to keep the interest of the young.
He was alone for the moment, save for the sun, the wind, the ocean and the seagulls that flocked on the beach looking for stray breadcrumbs. Cam watched them flounce about, his thoughts still on his life an how he ended up here in the California sunshine, far from the Kansas farmlands of his youth. He thought of his parents, as he often did on his birthday, and wondered if they were at the hospital yet. He looked at his watch, then shook his head with a grin. What did it matter? History never let him down before, it wouldn't now.
He ran his fingers through his hair, gray mixed in with the brown, and leaned his head back to look up at the sky. How he wished he were flying right then. A pang in his chest made him frown, but panic set in as the pang turned into a burning pain that seemed to sear across his entire body.
"Mary!" he called out in anguish. Not now, he thought. Not today of all days. "Mary," he said, this time in a near whisper. The pain was crushing him, and he turned his eyes once more to the skies, understanding in a flash that this was meant to be and he knew without looking at his watch what the time was.
He died under the California sun, hundreds of miles from a small Kansas town where an infant screamed in protest as the doctor cut the umbilical cord that was his lifeline while in the womb. The nurse bathed him and wrapped him tightly in a blanket, shushing him as she carried him to the waiting room where his father paced in anticipation of the arrival.
"It's a boy," the nurse said. She smiled softly at the baby's father. "You have a son."
"A boy," Frank Mitchell said with awe. He held out his arms and smiled at his son while the nurse helped him to cradle the baby. He looked up to thank her silently, then back at his baby, admiring the soft hair and the frown lines that marred his forehead. "Cameron," Frank told the nurse proudly. "His name's Cameron." She nodded with a smile, but it was apparent that Frank Mitchell didn't even notice. He was back to staring at the child in his arms, thinking of all the things he would teach his boy.
And so it begins again, a never ending cycle that transpires across time, leaving traces of history as it overlaps and twists throughout Cam's lifetime. From the infant nestled in his father's arms to the old man sitting in a lawn chair overlooking the sea, life rambles on. A constant pattern that will always be Cameron Mitchell.