…to the way things might have been.
Colonel Jack O’Neill is a complicated man. I think we all know that. But we never learned quite as much about him as we might have if the series had taken more opportunities to look at him through the eyes of those who’d known him since before the creation of the SGC. Had he survived beyond the first few episodes, Charlie Kawalsky might well have served as a lens through whom to examine O’Neill. So might Lou Ferretti, if the showrunners had opted to utilize him properly.
In my mind, however, there is one character in particular who would have made the perfect foil for Jack, the best reflection by which to know him better: Colonel Frank Cromwell. We only saw him once, and his presence offered a tantalizing glimpse at a past that Jack never really said much about to anyone. In Season Two’s A Matter of Time, we got just a hint at the strength of a friendship. During the penultimate scene, when Jack and Frank are suspended over the wormhole’s gravity well, I believe we saw forgiveness. Just before Jack lost Frank, I truly think he had forgiven his old friend.
What if that loss was not forever?
Jack O’Neill’s one-time best friend had sacrificed himself while helping Jack save Earth from a black hole. But was he really gone?
The past be damned; Jack wasn’t about to leave Frank Cromwell behind if he could help it.
Lost on a planet in rebellion against the Goa’uld, and with no knowledge of the gate address for Earth, Cromwell finds unexpected allies while waiting for the chance to go home. But he is unprepared for a shocking discovery that will take him on an odyssey that no one could have anticipated.
Book One: All That We Leave Behind Follow Colonel Frank Cromwell’s experiences on the other side of the Stargate, and SG-1’s search to find him.
Book Two: By Honor Bound What happens when you get a second chance? Jack O’Neill has his best friend back home where he belongs. Frank is a changed man after his journey, but Jack’s own journey of healing has just begun.
Book Three: Undying Just when you think you’re right where you belong, you sometimes find the last missing piece of yourself.
By Honor Bound is built upon a framework provided by A Matter of Time and additionally inspired by the works of fan authors Flora and Gallagater, collected here in the anthology A Light In Dark Places. I can but stand upon the shoulders of giants. Many thanks to you, dear ladies.
I. A Light In Dark Places During the attempted Goa’uld invasion of The Serpent’s Lair/Within the Serpent’s Grasp, nobody outside the SGC had any idea of the threat facing Earth. Or did they? At Christmas of 1998, stationed in Germany and preparing for war in Kosovo, Frank Cromwell hears some strange rumors, and wonders what kind of trouble Jack has gotten himself into this time. Plus memories of a happier Christmas, a brave teddy bear, and why it’s NOT a good idea to drive across the Rocky Mountains in a snowstorm.
II. All Go Down Together “Sometimes in combat, you get two seconds to make the call. Sometimes you make the wrong call. And then you have to live with that for the rest of your life.” How did Frank Cromwell’s team wind up being the ones sent in when the SGC dropped out of contact with the rest of the world?
III. What Love Remains Sara never really got any explanation of the events of Cold Lazarus. And when an old friend of Jack’s shows up unexpectedly, she is determined to get some answers.
Bonus story: So Builds An Absolute Trust In 1986, Jack O’Neill and Frank Cromwell run into some trouble when Frank is wounded on a top secret mission to Nicaragua and Jack is captured by government forces. And that’s just the beginning of their problems…