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* TITLE: Setting Up House Part 1: You Can't Go Home Again
* AUTHOR: Redbyrd
* EMAIL: redbyrd (at) mindspring (dot) com
* RATING: PG
* CATEGORY: Humor, drama, h/c, Missing scene
* SUMMARY: (Series) In the beginning, the Air Force was closing down the Stargate part of Cheyenne Mountain and Daniel was ostensibly dead; six months later we have the SGC in full operation. A series of missing scenes from Season 1 on how they got there. (Part 1) Daniel has only been away from Earth for a year. How can it feel so alien to come back?
* SPOILERS: COTG
* AUTHOR'S NOTES: Okay, okay! I wonder about this stuff! I'm a completist, I can' t help it. This series is dedicated to the charming, good-looking and intelligent readers who told me they thought Marking Time was too short :). --Regarding languages: I have *never* liked any of the justifications for English being spoken on other planets. My assumption is that the show portrays stuff in English for dramatic purposes, but the offworld characters are mostly actually speaking something like Abydonian Egyptian, and anybody connected with the Stargate Program learns to speak some amount of it. It's not a complete fix, but it can be bent to cover most of the logical inconsistencies in the canon. Anyway, for the purposes of this story, that's my take, so I've tried to stay internally consistent.
The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.
Daniel stumbled shivering out of the wormhole side by side with Captain Carter at the head of Ferretti's stretcher. He noticed that going through holding onto the stretcher seemed to stabilize them, as they all arrived upright and on their feet. He stepped back to let the medical team work, scrubbed frozen tears from his cheeks and wiped the frost off his glasses. The rasp of metal-on-metal behind them startled him into looking at the gate as a sort of metal cover irised shut.
The place hadn't changed much, except to get darker and emptier. Daniel was pretty sure that there had been a lot more equipment and people around the gate when he had left all those months ago. At the base of the metal ramp, a bald man in uniform was telling O'Neill that the shield would stop the aliens from penetrating the Earth stargate and the colonel was explaining about the attack. Daniel went down to introduce himself. "General, hi. Daniel Jackson. We've never met. Um, I'd like to be on the team that goes after them."
Hammond looked at his outstretched hand with distaste. "You're not in any position to make demands, Jackson." He looked away from Daniel and strode up the ramp toward his injured officers.
Daniel watched him go and looked helplessly at Jack. "What's his problem?"
"He's pissed off about his people getting injured, which I can relate to. And he's not thrilled with anybody from the first Abydos team right now because we didn't destroy the gate and then lied about it." O'Neill said.
Daniel didn't think that this new general could blame him for reopening the Abydos gate more than he did himself.
"He isn't being unreasonable," O'Neill continued. "Remember, he doesn't know yet that the stargate can go other places. He still thinks the aliens came through from Abydos." The medical crew had done whatever they could for the two remaining soldiers, and they were being carried through the large doors. O'Neill followed them, and Daniel, for lack of anything better to do, followed him.
He was surprised to realize that he remembered the layout of the base, though he hadn't visited the infirmary the last time he was here. The infirmary staff seemed quite startled to actually have patients, and several of the people who were assisting seemed to be guards with field medical training. Daniel gathered by listening that the base normally had only a nurse or paramedic-trained corpsman on duty. The only reason that there were so many medical people around now is that they had been brought in from some other base to conduct an autopsy on a dead alien, killed in the prior attack. Daniel found somewhere to stand back out of the way.
One of the air force officers had been dead when they carried him through the door. His chest had been burned half away by a staff weapon blast. Daniel felt a reminiscent tingle in his side as he remembered being hit in nearly the same place by one of Ra's guards last year. O'Neill had disappeared somewhere when at last he heard the news that Ferretti seemed to be stable, but the other man had died in surgery. The doctor continued to give the other officer, Samuels, details on Ferretti's condition, but Daniel slumped against the wall unhearing, remembering the feel of young Bolah going slack in his arms. How many more deaths were there going to be?
As the doctor finished, the officer turned and looked at Daniel, as if only then noticing him. "Who are you?"
"Daniel Jackson," he replied, wondering what he should do now. He was a bit startled when Samuels recognized his name.
"You're Dr. Jackson?" Samuels said incredulously, looking as if he had smelled something bad. Well, Daniel thought- given that hot and cold running water was not a feature of homes on Abydos- perhaps he had. "What are you doing here?"
Well, that was a fairly stupid question. What did it look like he was doing? Daniel stifled his irritation and said, "I wanted to hear how Major Ferretti was doing. Is there somewhere else I should be right now?"
Samuels glanced around at the doctor. "Find this man something else to wear, and throw him into a shower. The general won't want him wandering around the base in a bathrobe." He walked out.
Daniel glared after him, then turned to see a nearly identical expression on the young doctor's face. He said apologetically. "Um, you don't really have to- if you could sort of point me in the direction of some place to wash up-"
The young man was oriental, perhaps of Japanese or half-Japanese descent, Daniel thought. His accent was as American as Daniel's own. "He's an ass." He looked at Daniel. "Ah if you wouldn't mind-"
Amused despite his desperate anxiety, Daniel said, "I won't repeat that."
"I'm Dr.Nimzicki," the man said. "And you're -Dr. Jackson?" He looked rather dubiously at Daniel's attire.
"Yeah." Daniel said. "Doctor of archeology, not medicine."
Nimzicki's dubious expression didn't change.
"I just came back from -." Daniel stopped, realizing how insane his explanation for being here would sound.
"From the other planet." Nimzicki nodded. "-but why the clothes?"
At least the doctor already knew about the stargate. Daniel heaved a mental sigh of relief. "It's a desert. This is what people wear," he said.
"Oh." Nimzicki still looked puzzled. "I didn't realize - I thought you were only going for a few hours-."
Daniel suddenly realized why he was puzzled. "The team was there for a few hours. I went out with the first team, last year. I've been living on Abydos for months."
Nimzicki's eyes went wide. "You spent months on another planet? By yourself?"
"No, with the natives." Daniel felt a certain defensiveness about his adopted home. "There's a city only a few miles from the gate. Not large by your standards. About five thousand people."
"Wow." Nimzicki looked impressed. "Even so, that's- well, amazing."
Daniel smiled faintly. "Yeah. It is pretty amazing."
Nimzicki shook his head. "But I don't see any suitcases, so you probably do need a change of clothes- and ah-"
"A shower." Daniel supplied. "I did miss those. You don't realize how much water you use until you have to carry it all by hand."
Nimzicki laughed. "I think we can help you out there." He asked for Daniel's sizes and sent an airman to supply for clothes.
"I did have some stuff when I was here last, but they probably tossed it all out when I didn't come back." Daniel looked ruefully at his comfortable sandals. "I guess these aren't going to impress the general."
Nimzicki smiled. "Not to mention that it was snowing when I came in this morning."
"Snowing?" Daniel was startled, then he remembered. "Crap. Colorado. It does snow here, doesn't it?"
The young man seemed in no special hurry to be somewhere else, so Daniel asked. "Um, someone was saying earlier that there aren't normally a lot of medical staff here, but this looks surprisingly well-equipped."
Nimzicki laughed. "Yeah, surprised me too. I'm actually assigned to the Academy hospital-" he saw Daniel's brow wrinkle slightly. "That's the Air Force Academy- it's here in Colorado Springs." Daniel nodded and he continued. "Apparently they set up this place anticipating that there was going to be a full-fledged space exploration program going on out of this facility. Then they found that the stargate only goes to one other planet."
Daniel shook his head. "That's not true."
Nimzicki's eyes widened. "It's not?"
Daniel shrugged. "No. The other aliens didn't come from Abydos, they came from somewhere else." He hesitated, wondering how much he should say.
Nimzicki didn't seem to notice the hesitation. "Anyway, I guess they gave up on trying to make it work and were closing this place down. Half the equipment here was on pallets getting ready to be moved out when I got here. We took it down and hooked it all back up. I bet the hospitals that were due to receive it start screaming bloody murder when it doesn't arrive, especially if it's months more before they release it-"
The airman came back with a pile of clothes, and Nimzicki said, "Here, Doctor- there's a shower down this way." Nimzicki showed Daniel to a shower adjoining the infirmary. He gave Daniel a friendly look, "Ah, maybe you wouldn't mind telling me about the other planet sometime?"
Daniel nodded, understanding perfectly the man's lively curiosity. "Sure." Nimzicki grinned and hustled off, while Daniel shut the first shuttable door he'd touched in over a year. He adjusted the water temperature in the shower, then stripped down. He saw motion out of the corner of his eye, and turned his head sharply before he realized that it was a mirror. Something else he hadn't seen in over a year.
He looked at his own reflection, feeling like he was staring at a stranger, though he couldn't see any enormous differences. Straight hair, still fair. Not as light as it had been when he lived in California- on Abydos the hot sun forced you to keep your head covered most of the time. More muscle in the shoulders- well everywhere really. He hadn't been in bad shape when he'd left, but a year in a primitive environment had forced him to do more hard physical work than even an archeologist was accustomed to. He didn't seem any older or more experienced to look at him. He felt like all the thing he'd seen and done should be somehow etched across his skin, the distance between the two planets he'd lived on visible in his eyes. He shivered and got under the shower. Colorado was too damned chilly to stand around like Narcissus, entranced by your own reflection.
Daniel stood under the hot water for close to half an hour, reveling in feeling warm. Either the Abydonian robes weren't quite up to the cool temperature of the underground base, or he was just not acclimated to the the American idea of room temperature right now. When he emerged, he found that the coveralls they'd given him were overly large, but everything else fit tolerably well. He pulled his journal out of the deep pocket in his robes and stuffed it inside the coveralls. The robe and sandals he gathered up, along with the knife and small tools he normally carried in his pockets.
Nimzicki had vanished, and no one seemed to know who Daniel was or where he was supposed to go, if anywhere. He couldn't even leave this floor of the complex- he didn't have a keycard for the elevator. He found an out-of-the-way place to leave his Abydonian clothes until he could figure out how to get laundry done. He fingered the neatly mended sleeve that Sha're had fixed after he had caught it on a rock, then laid the robe gently down. He would find her. He would.
He walked back down a hall that he was pretty sure led in the direction of the stargate, his aimless steps slowing until he finally stopped and leaned against a wall. He was tired. He should find if there was somewhere he could sleep, or something. In a minute. He wasn't sure how long he stood there, his mind blank when he heard a soft step behind him.
It was so hard to believe that he was back on Earth. Daniel turned over restlessly in the strange bed. Seeing Jack again was very strange. They'd only known one another for less than three weeks, over a year ago. Two weeks of being barely acquainted, and four days of breathtaking excitement and mind-numbing terror on Abydos. At the end of it, they'd achieved a sort mutual respect and understanding, something he thought he must have imagined when Jack had stepped back through the gate and brushed by him wordlessly to greet Skaara. And yet, they had talked easily this evening, like old friends catching up on one another's lives after a trivial separation. Of course it had been an *intense* four days... He'd often looked into the night sky on Abydos, trying to pick out Earth's sun, hoping that Jack had really broken the despair that had gripped him when they had first met. How horrible for him, to have come home ready to try and fight for his marriage only to find his wife had given up. His wife--
Daniel turned over again and buried his face in the pillow. How could he be unable to relax? Possibly he shouldn't have had that coffee on the way down to Jack's place, but that was hours ago. He tried to figure out how long he'd been awake. They'd set out for the map room right after the evening meal on Abydos. Then after spending hours there, they had returned to the stargate only to find the chaotic aftermath of the alien attack. He had no idea how many hours had passed in between getting back and following Jack out of the base. He'd been startled to look at the clock at Jack's and see it was only 10 pm, but he'd been going for most of an Abydos day and O'Neill and his team had arrived in the morning by Colorado time. He would have thought that having been up for forty-plus hours he'd be able to sleep, but his thoughts kept chasing themselves in circles.
//The sun beat heavily down on his shoulders and the dry gritty taste in his mouth wouldn't go away. He stood on the stone ramp holding the alien weapon pointed at the three soldiers before him. Shoot them, or Ra would kill them and everyone else they had met. He looked around the crowd frantically for Skaara but the boy was nowhere to be seen. Ra stood behind him, old-young face hidden behind a golden mask.
No options, no choice. He raised the staff weapon and fired again and again. The three soldiers fell, the smell of burnt flesh filling the air and red blood soaking into the sands. Now the guards were marching Khusef, Skaara and Sha're forward. He looked away from his wife's pleading eyes and turned to face Ra. "Kill them in the name of your god," Ra ordered. "You should never have reopened the stargate."//
Daniel sat bolt upright with a gasp, shaking and drenched in sweat, his heart hammering wildly. For an instant, the darkness was more frightening than any dream, then he saw the blurry rectangle of light and remembered. Colorado. Jack O'Neill's spare room. He wrapped his arms around himself to try and stop the shaking. He'd had the nightmare about shooting the three soldiers on the ramp before, though not recently. The additional victims and the ending were new, if not especially mysterious. And waking to an almost equally nightmarish reality made it all worse.
The light outside was brightening and Daniel groped for his glasses and the clothes he had worn the night before. He had a sudden desire to stand in the light. The house was still and silent, so he crept quietly downstairs, and went out onto the deck. The new military-issue boots crunched on the traces of snow on the deck. He wrapped his arms about himself, shivering. Jack had cranked the heat in his truck on the drive in last night, but he was going to need a coat. The snowy yard was still in shadow, giving it a bleak and lifeless look. Daniel wondered what the date was- sometime in January, most likely. He wasn't absolutely sure how long he'd been on Abydos, but he thought it was over a year Earth-time, and it had been late fall when he left.
As the day advanced, the eastern sky turned a rosy shade of pink and the snowcapped peaks of the Rocky Mountains were streaked with gold where the morning sun was already reaching them. Daniel was shivering, but didn't want to go in. It was amazingly beautiful and so alien Daniel thought he might as well be seeing it for the first time instead of returning to the planet where he had spent the first thirty years of his life. And now he was back for at least a year. How was he going to do this? He'd been gone only one day, and already he missed his adopted family fiercely.
"You're gonna freeze out here without a coat." Daniel started so violently he nearly fell off the deck. "Sorry." O'Neill said. "You looked a million miles aw-" he broke off.
Daniel regained his equilibrium and replied wryly. "A little further than that." His breath frosted in the air. He saw that O'Neill's hair was standing up in wet spikes and realized that he must already have showered. "Just give me five minutes-"
"No hurry." Jack said, leading the way inside. "Grab a shower and I'll get us some breakfast."
"I don't need anything." Daniel said.
"I do." Jack told him. "And I'd just as soon use up some of the stuff in the fridge. I have a feeling that things are about to get busy." He led the way back into the kitchen. "Oh, and for future reference. Walk around normally if you get up in the middle of the night. Trying to sneak will wake me up faster than anything."
"Sorry." At least Jack didn't seem especially upset. Daniel tried to remember meeting him a year ago. He was probably, ugh, a morning person.
"It's okay, kid."
Daniel forgot the hour and gave the colonel an annoyed look. "Jack, exactly how old do you think I am?"
O'Neill gave him an amused look. "Not very."
"Seriously, how old?" he insisted.
He shrugged. "I don't remember, I suppose it's in your records. You were a prodigy, right? So twenty-four, twenty-five."
Daniel sighed. "I swear, someday this is going to have to be useful. No... how long's it been since I left for Abydos?"
"Fifteen months." O'Neill replied.
That was about what Daniel figured, but it was good to know. "I'm thirty-one." Daniel explained patiently.
"So I shouldn't call you 'kid'?"
"It's certainly not going to help me get General Hammond- or anyone else- to take me seriously." Daniel reflected morosely that he was going to have to get used to people underestimating him on sight again. In Nagada, everyone had known the blue-eyed stranger and treated him with a deference that was embarrassing in the other direction. He'd almost forgotten how people on Earth had always taken him as being much younger and more inexperienced than he really was. At thirty, he'd still been carded regularly.
Jack appeared to consider that. "Fair enough." He started for the kitchen and then changed course. "Oh, and I almost forgot. I have something for you."
Daniel followed him into the hall and watched him pull down a folding staircase from the ceiling and vanish up it. After a moment of rummaging, he passed down a pair of familiar-looking suitcases and came back down. Daniel was clutching the second case, almost bowled over in surprise. "These- these are mine. You kept them?"
Jack said, "Well, the military couldn't find any next of kin, so I kind of appropriated them. I figured I might get the chance to give them back someday." He grinned at Daniel's stunned expression, and patted his shoulder. "Go shower."
Daniel went back into the spare room and opened the suitcases, finding that his few clothes had been washed and neatly packed away, padding the books and photographs against damage. Even his wallet was there. He checked and found twenty-three dollars and change, the Illinois driver's license he'd never bothered to change when he moved from Chicago to LA, plus the military ID that they'd issued him last year. His own comb, razor, toothbrush. His eyes stung and he blinked hard. Going from not even owning the clothes he had worn here last night to having two suitcases full of his own stuff was surprisingly affecting. He was especially grateful to swap his broken and inexpertly mended glasses for his spare pair, still nestled in their hard-shelled case.
He ran a gentle finger over the framed pictures, closed a hand on the spine of the journal he had filled just before he left for Colorado. Oddly appropos that the last entry had been about leaving California, and his current journal started with his introduction to the Stargate program. He was going to need a new one. On Abydos, he'd taken care to write small, and fit two lines or more into every line of the notebook, covering the page from spine to margin. Even so, he was only a couple of pages from completely filling it, and had all but stopped writing over the last couple of months while he worked out a solution for the lack of paper. He was grateful beyond words that he'd had it with him when they left. He'd brought it to the map room in case he wanted to consult the notes in it, and it had been safely stowed inside his robe when he'd taken the return wormhole to earth.
He sorted out the least scruffy of his clothes. No sweaters unfortunately, he hadn't brought them to California. His winter stuff was probably all still with the boxes he had shipped to Robert for storage when he moved to LA. He picked out a pair of long-sleeved shirts he could wear one over the other and went to shower.
Daniel finally stopped shivering under the hot water, and scurried downstairs in his socks. With the snow on the ground outside, he figured he should probably wear the boots the military had given him instead of shoes. Jack had scrambled some eggs and made toast. Daniel helped himself to coffee and was about to protest again that he never ate breakfast when he realized that he hadn't had anything to eat since the evening meal on Abydos an unknown number of hours before. He took the plate with a mumbled, "Thanks," and ate so fast it was a wonder he didn't give himself indigestion.
Jack gave him an amused look, but didn't try to chat, for which Daniel was grateful. Mornings had never really been his thing. When they finished, Jack dumped the dishes into the dishwasher, and headed for the door. Daniel put his boots on, and followed. Jack frowned, "Don't you have a coat?"
Daniel shrugged. "I had a raincoat somewhere, but I probably left in on a coatrack in Cheyenne Mountain over a year ago. It's okay, you can turn the heat up and I'll deal with it later." He suddenly realized that even if they got Sha're and Skaara back today, he was committed to a year on earth. Twenty-three dollars wasn't much, but maybe there was a thrift shop or Salvation Army store somewhere. And the government ought to owe him some money. After all, he had translated that coverstone, hadn't he? Thinking about money was one of those things he had never missed on Abydos.
Jack shook his head and reached into the closet, "Nah, you about froze coming down here last night. Borrow this for now." He passed Daniel a heavy brown leather jacket.
"Uh, thanks." Daniel accepted the jacket and slid it on, grateful for the warmth. It was long in the sleeves, but since he didn't have gloves either, that was just as well.
The waiting was finally over. Ferretti had regained consciousness following surgery, given them the coordinates. Hammond drew O'Neill aside. "Colonel, it looks like you have a rescue mission to run." Daniel opened his mouth to resume his plea to be included, when Jack met his eyes and shook his head minutely, lifting one finger in a 'wait a minute' gesture. Daniel choked down the words and nailed his feet to the floor, almost vibrating in place as Jack lowered his voice and said something to Hammond. The General looked over at Daniel, then back at Jack and shook his head. Jack took a half-step closer to Hammond and spoke rapidly in a low tone. Daniel strained his ears, but he couldn't make out a word of it. After what seemed like eternity, but could only have been a couple of minutes, Jack motioned Daniel forward.
General Hammond looked searchingly at Daniel. "Colonel O'Neill seems to think that you will be of some use to him in the field." His expression seemed to say that the general hadn't quite decided what to think of Daniel yet. Or maybe that he was wondering whether the colonel had lost his mind. Behind him, Jack had turned his hand palm down and lowered it in in a motion that clearly said, "careful, go softly".
Daniel had made his emotional plea earlier. Jack seemed to be indicating he needed to use logic now. He summoned his most capable professorial voice. "General, I've lived offworld for over a year. Nearly everything we know about the aliens comes from the research I did on Abydos. I speak their language-"
"Excuse me?" General Hammond asked.
Daniel blinked. "Well, Ra spoke the same language as the people on Abydos. Chances are good these other aliens will also speak that language or something similar. If they do, I can talk to them."
Hammond's eyebrows went up and he looked at Jack. "Colonel, I don't recall reading about this in your-- report." 'Your inaccurate, incomplete and increasingly unsatisfactory report.' His tone implied.
Jack shrugged. "At the time, sir, Ra was dead, we didn't know there were any other aliens out there, and Daniel was staying on Abydos. I didn't deliberately leave it out; it just didn't seem important. It was thanks to Daniel that we knew Ra was planning to send the bomb back to Earth."
There was an unspoken subtext there, that Jack had put as little detail about Daniel in the report as possible, to avoid questions that he couldn't truthfully answer. Daniel could hear it clearly, and he suspected the general did as well. Daniel wondered guiltily how much it had cost Jack to tell those lies that had bought Daniel his chance for a new life. Even on their short aquaintance, he was pretty sure Jack was never going to tell him.
"Hmm." Hammond turned back to Daniel thoughtfully. "All right, Doctor. You can go along for this one."
Daniel felt a flood of relief, but kept his composure and said, "Thank you, sir," in a fair imitation of the military respect Hammond received from the officers around him.
Daniel followed Jack to the 'gear-up' room and took the pile of green clothing the sergeant sorted out for him. Okay then, same fatigues as Jack was wearing, but with an added jacket and equipment vest. It was a different style from the one he had taken to Abydos last year, but the principle was similar. He changed quickly in the adjoining locker room, then rejoined the others, zipping the jacket with a shiver. The mountain still felt cold to him. There were military style patches on the sleeve. He glanced at one upside down, then looked over at Captain Carter's sleeve. Earth floated in a field of stars. Superimposed on it was the stargate symbol for earth. He shook his head. She glanced at him. "What?"
He pointed to the patch. "Fast work on somebody's part. Didn't they only announce the formation of these teams today?"
Carter laughed. "Yes and no. After Colonel O'Neill came back from Abydos last year, the plans for the SGC were drawn up. One of the techs instigated a patch design contest and supply had a few dozen made up. They actually sent me one at the Pentagon because of my prior work on the project. Everyone was sure that we'd start finding new worlds any day. But when four months went by and we'd dialed hundreds of worlds and nothing happened, they decided to shut the project down. The patches were probably put into storage. I expect that when the general announced the new command, the supply clerk dug them out of a back room somewhere."
Daniel said, "Good grief. Do they never throw anything away?"
The captain looked amused. "Never. I expect that when the president asked for a proposal on how the SGC would be organized, than General Hammond had them pull the old Stargate exploratory team proposal out of a file, glanced through it, possibly made a few changes or additions and then sent it off."
It had never occurred to Daniel that the military would be so- economical- but he supposed with the amount of paper that they seemed to like to generate, it made sense that they would store things for future use. The gear even included a wristwatch. Daniel buckled it on and said, "I wonder if I can keep this until I get a new one.. mine died a few months after I got to Abydos." He turned over the tangle of straps that were the last item in his pile, trying to figure out what they were.
"I'm sure it would be fine." She told him. She plucked the straps out of his hands and separated them into a series of loops. "This way." She said. "It's for a holster, we'll get those from the armory-" she nodded at the next room over. She paused and gave him a dubious look. "Er, have you ever used a gun?"
Daniel said, "Yeah, sure."
She was still looking skeptical, so he elaborated. "I used one in the fight against Ra last year. And before that, sometimes we had them on digs, in case there were dangerous animals. There was a dig in the Yucatan where we had a lot of trouble with snakes. Don't worry, I know which end the bullets go in." He'd even fired an automatic weapon a few times. The first mission to Abydos had abandoned a lot of hardware on the planet. Their assault force had run out of ammunition during the battle against Ra, but Daniel, Skaara and his friends had found more when they dug out site of the American camp. The amount of ammunition they had found had astounded Daniel. He'd taken the time to try out one of the automatic weapons himself, finding the safety catch, and reminding Skaara and the other boys of the basic gun safety lessons Kawalsky and Ferretti had given them during the brief rebellion.
Carter smiled. "Sorry. A lot of people never have used one."
Daniel smiled back. "Yeah, well, I'm not going to make any outrageous claims about my accuracy. And frankly, unless something goes badly wrong, I'm not planning to use it at all-- I'll leave that to the professionals." He hadn't bothered to carry a gun on Abydos. The competition for the guns was too great and there wasn't really enough ammunition for the kind of practice that he'd have needed to get actually good with them. Not that he had that much interest in any case. There were few dangers on Abydos that a gun was any protection from. At least until they'd reopened the gate.
"Good plan." Jack came up behind them and checked to see they were ready. "Daniel, those straps go- "
"I got it." Daniel hastily put the harness on. In the armory, Jack showed him the fastenings for the pistol and then ran him through a thirty-second orientation making sure he knew how to load it, unload it, take the safety catch on and off.
Jack scowled. "I really should have taken you up to the range this morning."
Daniel said. "I didn't get even this much instruction last year. And like I said, I'm going to leave shooting to other people if I can."
Jack nodded reluctantly. "It will have to do."
Then they were standing in front of the gate. Daniel barely noticed the awesome whoosh of the stargate opening. He was too busy wondering what they would find beyond. Kawalsky and his team led the way into the wormhole, the ones who were taking their first trip looking a bit wary and uncertain. Daniel followed them, stepping through the cool shimmer of the event horizon without hesitation. With any luck, they'd be coming back with Sha're and Skaara.
Daniel emerged from the wormhole stumbling but managed to regain his balance before he crashed to a halt on the ramp. Sam was standing at the bottom of the ramp with the refugees gathered around her and a bunch of rather confused-looking SFs not knowing where to point their weapons. He walked down to join her. "They behind you?" she asked.
Daniel replied, "I hope so." He'd almost balked at walking through the gate without Jack and Kawalsky, but common sense told him there was nothing more he could have done except get in their way.
Another refugee, a large man, came out of the wormhole and the soldiers immediately jumped forward with weapons aimed. Sam yelled, "Whoa!" and she and Daniel both called "Hold your fire! Hold your fire!" in unison.
"They're with us." Carter added.
Teal'c stepped out of the wormhole. The soldiers tensed but Sam walked up the ramp deliberately blocking their line of fire, and Teal'c gravely and ceremoniously lowered his staff weapon and handed it to her in surrender.
O'Neill, Kawalsky and Casey stumbled through the wormhole, Casey collapsing on the ramp as Jack and Kawalsky tried to lower him gently.
Sam yelled, "Now! Lock it up! Lock it up!"
From the control room, Sergeant Harriman said, "Closing iris!" The iris slid shut and three heavy thuds were heard as bodies impacted the iris. The wormhole shut down and Harriman announced, "Wormhole disengaged." The iris reopened.
Kawalsky yelled for a medic, even as the corpman ran up the ramp with Carter behind him. O'Neill said, "You got him?" as he relinquished Casey to his care.
The refugees flooded up the ramp to embrace their rescuers, and Daniel hastily ducked behind Carter and O'Neill to avoid the group hug. He could feel himself starting to shake from reaction, now that the adrenaline from the firefight was wearing off. He was a bit surprised that it wasn't worse. People trying to seriously kill him was the sort of thing that ought to be profoundly disturbing. Though he hadn't fallen apart before, after or during the fight against Ra. Actually this wasn't even his second battle, but his third, if you counted their escape from Ra and counterattack separately. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, and took a deep breath.
Hammond followed them up the ramp, rather nonplussed by the sudden invasion. The general was forced to stand aside as the rest of the medical team brought a stretcher up the ramp and loaded Casey onto it.
General Hammond turned to Jack. "Colonel O'Neill? Care to explain?"
Carter broke in, "Um, we can use the Stargate to send these people home, sir."
Hammond looked suspiciously at Teal'c and pointed. "What's *he* doing here?"
O'Neill moved up the ramp to stand beside the Jaffa. "General Hammond. This is Teal'c. He helped us."
"Do you know what he is?" Hammond asked him incredulously.
O'Neill said, "Yes, sir. I do. He's the man who saved our lives. And if you accept my recommendation, sir, he'll join SG-1."
Daniel and Carter exchanged a surprised look. Inviting Teal'c to come back to Earth with them was a no-brainer, but putting him on SG-1? Daniel supposed after a moment that it made a weird kind of sense. Teal'c was bound to know more about the Goa'uld than anyone else they could find. His help could be invaluable. Still, Daniel hoped Jack knew what he was doing.
General Hammond said, "That decision may not be up to you."
They had to stand back again as Casey was carried off to the infirmary.
O'Neill turned back to ask Kawalsky if he was okay, then turned back to the general.
Hammond said, "Colonel O'Neill, Major Kawalsky, the sure-to-be-very-interesting debriefing for SG units 1 and 2 will be at 0730."
O'Neill said, "Yes, sir."
Hammond and Samuels followed after the refugees, who were being led to the infirmary. Daniel found with some relief he'd stopped trembling and turned back to look at the gate. Sha're was gone, they'd failed to get her back. "She's out there somewhere, Jack."
He said, "I know. So's Skaara."
Daniel asked, "So what do we do?" He felt lost. They didn't have any idea where she'd gone.
"We find them." Jack patted Daniel comfortingly on the shoulder and they headed down toward the ramp after the others. Daniel was reassured by the colonel's certainty. Jack wouldn't sound that confident if they didn't have a real chance.
The colonel turned to look at his nascent team. "Everyone okay?"
"Fine, sir." Carter responded immediately.
"I am well." Teal'c said. For the first time, Daniel registered the incongruity of the Jaffa speaking English. He was going to have to ask him about that.
"Daniel?" Jack was looking at him. "You took at pretty good hit there yesterday."
"Oh, I'm fine." Daniel assured him hastily. He was somewhat battered and bruised, had a sizeable lump on his head and a bastard of a headache, but that was only to be expected. Nothing like the one he'd had on Abydos after Ra had used the same sort of alien gadget on him there. He added it to the list of the questions he'd have to ask Teal'c.
Jack nodded, "Uh huh. Right, you were unconscious for what, fourteen hours yesterday? Better check in at the infirmary and let them look you over."
"Okay." Daniel thought the infirmary was likely to be busy enough, but he'd certainly be going there. Someone was going to have to translate for the refugees.
Go on to sequel: Part 2: The Enemy of My Enemy
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