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* TITLE: Setting Up House Part 2: The Enemy of My Enemy
* AUTHOR: Redbyrd
* EMAIL: redbyrd (at) mindspring (dot) com
* RATING: PG
* CATEGORY: Humor, drama, h/c, missing scene
* SUMMARY: 'Daniel found it hard to sit facing the man who had taken his wife from him, but he was determined. They needed what Teal'c knew.'
* SPOILERS: Enemy Within
* AUTHOR'S NOTES: More of the burning questions of the hour addressed.. what happened in the debrief.. when did Samuels leave..and who decided how Teal'c's name was spelled in English? Again, I'm retconning the language issue because English-speaking aliens Just Don't Make Sense. It gets beaten to death in this part of the story. After this, I'll occasionally kick it to be sure it's dead, then go back to ignoring it.
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 gave up on sleep after an hour or so of wakefulness. He was as stiff and sore as he could ever remember being. An hour of immobility had let all his bruises and sore muscles stiffen up. Probably the result of hitting the wall after the alien- the Goa'uld- he reminded himself, had hit him. He'd stayed in the infirmary for a short while, translating for the refugees from Chulak, then had been commandeered by Samuels and an intelligence officer who wanted to interview each of the refugees before they were sent home. Daniel had noted that several of them had remembered partial gate coordinates, raising his hopes that they would be able to follow Sha're and Skaara to wherever Apophis had taken them.
Then they'd had repeated alerts, as the goa'uld tried to breach the gate. He'd rushed to the control room with the others the first several times but had eventually realized that the iris was indeed holding, and begun to dismiss it as commonplace.
It was only when he rolled out of the bunk that he remembered that he'd never asked them to look at the bump on his head. He padded into the bathroom without disturbing the man asleep on the other side of the room and peered at his pupils in the mirror. They were both the same size. The headache had diminished and he wasn't seeing double or anything so he probably wasn't concussed. No need to bother the doctors. He did wish he could sleep, but clearly that wasn't going to happen so he might as well try to get something done.
He found his way back to the commissary. It was deserted at this hour, but the coffee machines were apparently left to run all night. He poured himself a cup and found a seat where he could lean against a wall. He took a big swallow of the steaming liquid and let the heat warm him from the inside out. The unaccustomed hit of caffeine made him feel less fuzzy than he had in hours. He remembered how he'd rationed the last of the coffee the Air Force had abandoned on Abydos. The boys had eaten the instant meals with his blessing, but they'd universally condemned the coffee, so unlike the sweet tea they were used to. Even rationed it had only lasted Daniel a month.
He smiled faintly, remembering the face Sha're had made when she had tasted it.
//"It is so bitter!" she had said.
"A lot of people prefer it with milk and sugar," he told her.
"That would help," she said tartly. "It would taste less like 'coffee'."//
The smile faded as he remembered her as she had been on Chulak. She hadn't even known him. She had protected Apophis, standing in front of him when Jack raised his weapon. Skaara had even attacked Jack. It seemed like there was nothing left of the people they had been. And now they were gone again and he had no idea where. How was he ever going to find them? And would the Air Force even let him? Daniel closed his eyes, sipped more coffee and forced himself to break it down logically, as he would any complex task.
His best chance of finding them was to continue to work with the Air Force. They were planning to explore through the gate. Working for the military had never been his first, second or third choice of occupation; he'd only taken Catherine's job offer last time because he was broke. Well, broke and curious. Daniel blinked hard. If he'd been able to leave well enough alone, Sha're wouldn't have been taken. But it was his curiosity that led him to Abydos and Sha're to begin with... He turned his thoughts resolutely back to the problem. The Air Force wasn't ideal, but for the time being their goals were compatible with his. That meant staying on General Hammond's good side, and making himself as useful as possible. Jack was willing to help, and had already championed him to Hammond in addition to the the debt Daniel still owed him for telling the Air Force the Abydos gate had been destroyed. With his help there was a good chance Daniel would be able to stay here while he searched.
So at least he wouldn't have to do this alone. Where to look was going to be the next question. They had a partial gate address. They could compare that with the addresses from the map room on Abydos. But there was no guarantee that Apophis' destination was listed there. Perhaps Teal'c would have some ideas. Daniel made a mental note of this latest in what was turning into a lengthy list of questions for the Jaffa. Information was going to be important. Right now it was the only tool he had.
He refilled his cup and wandered around until he found an office that appeared to be unused and spent the rest of the night writing down everything he could remember about Chulak and the Goa'uld. He was going to need to know everything he could about these creatures if he was ever going to get Sha're and Skaara back. The underground base seemed even colder in the quiet hours of the morning and he retrieved the coat that Jack had lent him. The jacket that was part of the uniform had been covered with splotches of blood by the time they'd evacuated the refugees and he'd had to dump it in the biohazard bag in the infirmary. Vaguely, he wondered if he couldn't get a change of clothes. He'd been wearing these for over a day.
He really should talk to Teal'c. He felt a simmering anger toward the big Jaffa. If only he had changed sides a little sooner-- Daniel cut off the train of thought. If Teal'c hadn't changed sides, they'd all be dead. Period. No more hope, nothing. And the Jaffa were themselves enslaved, not just brainwashed but biologically dependant on the Goa'uld if he understood the relationship correctly. It made it all the more impressive that Teal'c had managed to resist. He froze with his coffee cup in his hand. Actually, Teal'c might have given up more than they realized. He needed the symbiote to live. Daniel wondered how long it would take the symbiote to mature.
"Hey." Daniel blinked and looked up to see Jack standing in the door. In the distance,they could hear the alarms blaring as the Goa'uld made yet another attempt to breach the iris.
"Whatcha doing?" Jack picked up a stapler from the desk, turned it over, opened it.
"Writing down what I remember about Chulak." Daniel watched in fascination. "You came to find out if I have staples?"
"Huh?" Jack put the stapler down. "No, I came to see if you want to go to breakfast."
"Not especially, if you want to know the truth." Daniel said. "I don't really do breakfast. I'll join you for some coffee though." He picked up the heavy ceramic cup he'd found the night before and reluctantly left the somewhat overlarge coat on the chair out of a vague sense that he shouldn't wear it with the uniform pants. They started for the commissary.
Jack said, "So, Daniel, if you're already writing the report on Chulak, maybe you can answer a question for me."
"Sure. Uh, what's the question?" Daniel asked a little warily. He was discovering that underneath all the grimness of the Jack O'Neill he had first known, there was a decidedly warped, even goofy, sense of humor.
Jack gave him a mock serious look. "How do you spell 'Teal'c'?"
Daniel kept a straight face. "t-e-a-l-apostrophe-c".
There was a moment of silence. "l-apostrophe-c? Daniel, why-y-y?" he drawled.
Daniel said. "Because that's how he pronounced it. Not Tealk but Teal'c." He emphasized the difference slightly, but he wasn't sure that Jack could hear it. He added, "There's no pronunciation difference between the 'ea' and the 'ee' but I thought it looked better."
The older man shook his head as they collected trays, "I had to ask."
When he smelled the food Daniel realized having been up for four or five hours already, he probably could eat something and grabbed a bowl of hot cereal to go with his coffee. Jack raised an eyebrow. "Changed my mind," he mumbled. "What did you mean, writing the report? I was just making some notes."
O'Neill selected a plateful of eggs and a danish. "This is the government we're talking about, Daniel. The stargate's not going to open until the stack of paperwork is high enough to bury the gate. There'll be a post-mission debrief and a report every time we go through."
"Ah." Daniel made a mental note to find an example of the kind of thing they were expected to turn in as he chose a table strategically near the coffee and sat down.
Jack took a seat across from him and said, "So, about your training."
"What?" Daniel asked.
"If you're going to stay on a military team," Jack said, "You're going to need some training. Physical conditioning, firearms."
He looked up, his spoon frozen in the bowl. "General Hammond is letting me stay on the team?"
Jack shrugged, "He hasn't given the final okay, but I think so. It hasn't escaped anybody that you were right about the aliens pretending to be gods, and taking over human bodies. Not to mention discovering the addresses for the stargate network."
Daniel had the distinct impression that if anyone did seem inclined to overlook it, Jack was going to remind them. Repeatedly. "Uh, thanks."
Jack shrugged it off and returned to the original subject. "Anyway, you need training-"
Daniel said, "Okay."
Jack raised an eyebrow. "Okay? You don't have a problem with that?"
Daniel said dryly. "I'm not stupid, Jack. I don't expect that going up and asking the goa'uld nicely to give Sha're and Skaara back is going to work. I realize that I was fairly useless on Chulak." He gave O'Neill a determined look. "I'll do whatever it takes to stay on the team."
Daniel had no intention of letting Jack down. He had already started memorizing the stargate symbols- he was bitterly ashamed to remember how he had delayed their escape from Chulak by not being able to instantly produce the coordinates to dial home. And suppose he had lost the notebook along with his other equipment when they had been captured? He was never going to rely solely on paper for that again.
Jack said, "Daniel-" he hesitated. "Good. I'll set up some training times and let you know." He got up. "Don't forget, debrief at 0730."
Jack related the bulk of the story in the debrief, with Kawalsky and Warren putting in a few comments toward the end. "What is this weapon that the gould used on you?" Hammond asked.
Jack shook his head, "I don't know, sir, it looked like a metal ribbon wound around his hand, with a jewel in the palm. Apophis used it on Daniel in the feasting hall and then Skaara used one that looked the same on me at the gate. It threw me back, I don't know, fifteen or twenty feet." He glanced at Carter, "Captain Carter, any idea what that was?"
She shook her head in bewilderment, "No idea, sir. I can't even begin to speculate on how it works without more data."
"It didn't work the same as Ra's." Daniel remembered aloud.
They all turned to stare at him. "Ra had one of these devices?" Hammond asked Jack.
Jack shrugged, "I don't remember. The guy dripped jewelry, I might not have noticed." He looked at Daniel. "You saw him use it?"
Daniel said, "Yeah, you weren't there. It was when I was bringing Sha're back down to the gate room. Ra caught us and used that, um, ribbon device thing on me. "
Jack was staring at him. "You didn't think this was worth mentioning at the time?"
Daniel met his eyes a little impatiently, "We'd just blown him up, Jack. It didn't seem relevant." Daniel noticed a faint twitch of Hammond's lips as Daniel used almost the same excuse to Jack as Jack had to Hammond two days ago.
Carter broke in. "So what did Ra's device do, Dr. Jackson?"
Daniel looked from Jack to Carter. "Ah, it hurt." The weapon had made him think his brain was melting in fire. He'd never felt anything like it. The relief when the rings had sprang up around him and he had been whisked away was exquisite. And he'd been so busy immediately afterward- not to mention euphoric with victory and the miracle of he and Sha're still being alive- he'd had no time to think about the agonizing headache that had remained. Jack was looking impatient. "I guess it probably could have killed me if we hadn't been interrupted. But it didn't throw me across the room. It just gave me a hell of a headache."
"How do you know they weren't different devices?" she asked.
He shrugged. "I don't. But it looked similar and the alien technology is certainly advanced enough to create a single device with different functions."
Hammond looked from Daniel back to Jack. "Colonel, first there were the blast-staffs, and now there's this ribbon device. This is the second time I've heard about a piece of alien technology only after we've encountered it the more than once. I want you, Dr. Jackson and Major Kawalsky to sit down and put together a report on every piece of technology you saw on that first mission-- whether you think it's relevant or not."
"Yes, sir." Jack replied as the general rose and the others rose with him, Daniel half a second behind. He, Kawalsky and Daniel sat back down as the others filed out.
Carter remained standing but didn't move. "Colonel, permission to sit in? If you're going to be talking about the alien technology, I'd like to hear it. "
Jack nodded to her. "Sure, sit down." He turned to the other two. "I'm not all that sure what more there is, but we should talk it through." He glanced at Daniel. "Especially you, Daniel- you saw a bunch of stuff the rest of us didn't."
"Why is that?" Captain Carter asked curiously.
Daniel didn't really want to tell the whole Abydos story right now. "I was the only one who spoke the language, so I got to stay upstairs and chat while Jack, Kawalsky and Ferretti spent the night in the dungeon."
"The dungeon?" Carter's eyebrows went up.
"Big cell, chest deep icy water, dead guys floating around." Jack said. "Yeah, I'd call it a dungeon." Kawalsky nodded agreement, a grim expression passing over his face as he remembered the night they'd spent in captivity.
"So, what did we see?" Daniel asked.
Kawalsky said, "The death gliders." He scribbled a note on his pad while Carter did the same.
Carter mouthed, 'Death gliders?' but didn't question it aloud.
"Like the one Kawalsky shot down on Chulak," Daniel told her. "They're called udajeets."
Kawalsky and Jack looked at one another, shaking their heads. "Death gliders," they said in unison.
Daniel rolled his eyes and could see Carter stifle a smile.
Jack added, "They seem to be specialized for air to ground attacks." Kawalsky agreed and added a few observations of his own.
They noted down staff weapons and the weapon Jack had dubbed a ribbon device. "And that healing box thing." Jack reminded Daniel.
"Yeah." Daniel glanced at the others. "A sarcophagus. You put an injured person in it, and it healed them. Even a dead person."
Carter looked at him, "Dead? You're not serious."
Daniel said with a flicker of irritation, "Yes, I am." Blue eyes met blue. "Sha're was shot and killed during the fight against Ra. I took her up, put her in the sarcophagus, and a few minutes later, she was completely healed. Brought back to life."
"And so were you." Jack said. He exchanged a wry look with Kawalsky and told Carter, "We weren't actually lying when we reported Daniel had been killed, Captain."
Carter looked at the three of them like they were pulling her leg. "You were shot in the fight too?" she asked Daniel.
Daniel shook his head. "Not then, earlier. One of the serpent guards killed me when Jack and I were brought before Ra." He was a bit surprised at how matter of fact he made it sound. Truth was, it had all happened so fast he really hadn't felt much. He looked at the captain's skeptical expression.
Carter said. "That's impossible. Dead is dead. I mean, okay, maybe you were severely injured, and looked dead, maybe your heart even stopped for a minute-"
"Captain." O'Neill said sharply. "I've seen dead. Daniel was dead. The blast staff went all the way through- well, nobody could have survived an injury like that."
Daniel noted Jack's grim expression. Just as well he had not been conscious to see it himself. It must have been pretty gruesome. Daniel looked at Carter. "I think we're going to have to accept that our definitions of what is or is not possible are going to change when faced with alien technology."
After a moment she nodded. Daniel shrugged. "And that leaves the pyramid ship itself." He described it in detail, layout, decoration, the artifacts he had observed, the ring-transporter, occasionally waiting for Carter and Kawalsky to catch up in note-taking.
Kawalsky was looking a bit startled, "Geez Doc, you sure remember it well."
Daniel blinked. "I reread my notes last night." He looked at their uncomprehending expressions. "I wrote it down. At the time, I mean." He shrugged. "Archeologist. Recording and analyzing a culture's artifacts is what I do."
Carter turned to Jack and Kawalsky. "Anything to add?"
Kawalsky said, "Naw. I didn't see any of that stuff. Dungeon, remember." Jack nodded agreement. Kawalsky gathered up his notes. "I'll run this by you two before I submit it to the general."
After the review of alien-tech-we-have-seen with Jack and the others, Daniel went down to the holding cell and told the guards, "I'd like to see Teal'c." the two young SFs looked uncertainly at one another and the senior one looked at his unmarked fatigues for some kind of identification.
"And you are?"
Daniel looked him in the eye. "Dr. Daniel Jackson, SG-1."
That seemed to do the trick and the man unlocked the door and let Daniel in. In a plain coverall instead of his imposing armor, the enormous Jaffa looked only slightly smaller. "Hello." Daniel greeted him in Abydonian.
Teal'c inclined his head. He seemed calm but regarded Daniel with a trace of apprehension. Daniel sat down. "I'm Daniel Jackson."
Teal'c said. "The woman on Chulak who became host to Ammonet. She was your- mate?"
"My wife." Daniel corrected. "Her name is Sha're."
"I-" The large man seemed uncertain. "You know that it was I who took her from her home-"
"Yes-" Daniel said
"And chose her to be a host for the queen?" Teal'c finished.
Daniel froze in his chair, feeling like he'd been doused in icewater. "No, not exactly."
Teal'c bowed his head. "I will accept your judgment," he said. "I ask only that I may lend whatever aid I can to the defeat of the Goa'uld."
Daniel stared at him, his hands curling involuntarily into fists. General Hammond had identified Teal'c as the man who had led the attack through the stargate and kidnapped the female sergeant from the base. That Teal'c had been the one to kidnap Sha're and Skaara he had guessed. That he had chosen Sha're for- he found his voice, though it sounded husky and unfamiliar. "Why? Why did you choose Sha're?"
Teal'c was looking back at him resolutely. He wore his natural dignity as a cloak. "She was beautiful and strong. I thought her likely to be accepted. A rejected host would be killed."
"The hosts that were not chosen were ordered killed anyway," he pointed out.
Teal'c said. "Not always. Those not selected to be hosts were sometimes kept as slaves."
Daniel's expression probably told him that he didn't find that a particularly mitigating circumstance.
Teal'c said. "It does not excuse my guilt."
Daniel looked at him, his face immobile, and tried to think around his anger. Information was his only tool. They needed the Jaffa, needed what he knew if they were ever to have any hope of getting Sha're and Skaara back. But this man had sent Sha're into living death. If only he had changed sides a little sooner... Why had he changed sides?
"Why did you help us?" he asked in a frozen tone.
Teal'c met his eyes with a slight flinch. Daniel wondered what he saw in them. The Jaffa seemed to struggle for words. "I.. could no longer.." He stopped. "I have served Apophis for many years. At first I believed as I was taught and worshiped him."
Daniel said, "He is not a god."
"No," Teal'c said. "I have known that now for some time. But he has power. And I could see nothing.. could think of no way to change things." He looked at Daniel intently. "Until I met your people. You did not believe in Apophis. Your people are free. The boy told me that you freed his people from Ra. Is that true?"
"Not exactly," Daniel said. "They rebelled and drove Ra from Abydos. They set themselves free. We only killed him."
"So the boy said," Teal'c nodded sharply, a gleam of eager hope lighting his dark countenance. "If his people can be freed from one Goa'uld, than perhaps mine can be freed from others. And if I cannot accomplish this.. at least I will do no more shameful deeds in the service of a false god." The revulsion in his tone sounded genuine to Daniel and for an instant, he caught a glimpse of Teal'c's life. Forced to worship and obey, to kidnap and murder innocents.
It would be so easy to hate him for what he had done to Sha're and Skaara. And yet..and yet...if he was telling the truth, he had had no more choice than the Abydonians had in laboring in the mine. He had only bided his time until he saw a chance to make a difference. Daniel certainly had reservations about working with Teal'c. But Jack wanted him on SG-1. According to his own testimony, he'd tried to save some of the humans the Goa'uld had chosen, even if it was only to become slaves. And he'd saved the people from Earth, fired on his own troops and given up his entire life for no promise of personal gain. It ought to be enough, but it wasn't. Daniel needed something more. "The Goa'uld have enslaved your people, haven't they? Just as they do humans?"
Teal'c was showing a trace of puzzlement but answered his question readily. "The Jaffa are the foremost servants of the Goa'uld," he said. "It is their strength that forms the basis for much of the Goa'ulds' power."
"And suppose you had refused to carry out their orders?" Daniel asked. "What would have happened to you then?"
"I would have been tortured and killed," said Teal'c. "But that does not excuse my actions."
"And you're going to help us to get them back?" Daniel asked. It wasn't really a question.
Teal'c seemed expressionless, but Daniel thought he could hear a note of weariness and regret in his voice. "I do not know if they can ever be restored to their former selves. It is said that nothing of the host survives."
Daniel's gaze narrowed. "Are you going to help us to get them back?" He watched Teal'c closely, looking for some sign of the commitment he needed to see there.
Teal'c met his eyes, and his voice deepened with sincerity. "I will do anything in my power to restore them to you, I swear it."
It still didn't feel like enough to quell his deep anger, even mixed as it was with dawning compassion, but Daniel forced his hands to unclench. He nodded curtly and changed the subject. "You speak some English. How did you learn it?"
"Your tongue, the ones the others here speak?" Teal'c asked. He looked a bit surprised that they were not speaking further of Sha're but answered straightforwardly. "I learned some of it from the woman whom we took from this base, more from your..wife and brother. I do not understand very much."
"If you learned as much as you have in a few days," Daniel said, "You'll pick it up quickly. I will teach you. And I want you to teach me to speak Goa'uld." Time to start earning his keep. Learning a new language was something he could do, and probably faster than just about anyone else the Air Force could find. Daniel found it hard to sit facing the man who had taken his wife from him, but he was determined. They needed what Teal'c knew. 'Whatever it takes.'
"I will share my knowledge freely," Teal'c said.
"Then let's begin." Daniel said. He quickly discovered that Teal'c had learned an impressive amount from the sergeant, and he picked up vocabulary quickly. Daniel rarely had to repeat anything. And his ear was as good as Daniel's own. His wife and brother-in-law had never lost their Abydonian accents, but Teal'c's pronounciation was crisp and clear.
After a couple of hours of drilling English, they switched to Goa'uld. Daniel scribbled notes and was at last able to force his anger at Teal'c and his anxiety for Sha're and Skaara to the back of his mind as he concentrated all his attention on acquiring basic vocabulary. Teal'c was an unskilled instructor in languages but he had a sharp intelligence, and he adopted the same techniques that Daniel had just demonstrated in the English lessons. The rhythm of teaching and learning was soothing and familiar. Much of Daniel's discomfort with Teal'c eased as he focused on the task of absorbing a new language.
Daniel chose common subjects to discuss and was already speaking in short sentences when they moved to the subject of food. When he asked what Jaffa eat, his stomach let out a large rumble and Daniel realized that he was starving. He looked at the time and saw that it was far past lunch. "Are you hungry?" he asked in Goa'uld.
Teal'c started to outline appropriate responses to the question, and Daniel switched to Abydonian and said, "No, actually I was asking- are you hungry? Have they given you anything to eat?"
"No, they have not." Teal'c replied. "I would like to eat."
Daniel said, "Wait, I'll be right back."
Teal'c looked at the guards and back at Daniel. "It seems I have little choice."
Daniel decided to explain rhetorical remarks another time and made his way up to the commissary where he hurriedly assembled a tray of sandwiches and returned to the holding area. The SFs looked at him a bit oddly but made no argument. He explained what the food was to Teal'c. None of it seemed to be a problem until they got to the coffee. Teal'c tasted it cautiously. An expression of extreme distaste crossed his face. "This is a popular drink on your world?"
"Very." Daniel said.
Teal'c tried another sip and looked sharply at Daniel. "My symbiote is reacting with agitation. Does this contain some kind of drug?"
Daniel said, "No, not at all." Teal'c was studying him closely but seemed to accept his sincerity. After a moment Daniel realized what it could be. "Unless, um, could it be the caffeine?"
"I do not know that word." Not surprising since Daniel had substituted the English word for the nonexistant Abydonian.
"A mild stimulant that is naturally present in a lot of our beverages," Daniel said.
"That could be," Teal'c said.
Daniel went on, "Um. You'll have to be careful to avoid it completely. No coffee, tea. Some sodas and oh- chocolate. Though soda and chocolate don't have much caffeine- if you can tolerate it in small amounts you can try them."
Teal'c looked a bit suspicious. "If they all taste similar to coffee, I will not mind avoiding them."
Daniel was startled into a fleeting smile, "They don't- the flavors are quite a bit different." He looked at his watch. "I need to see what's going on downstairs. I'll be back later."
Teal'c nodded then watched in bemusement as Daniel dumped Teal'c's barely touched coffee into his own cup, picked up a half sandwich and kicked the door to let the SFs know he wanted to leave.
Jack stopped him coming out of the holding area. "I see you were talking with Teal'c."
Daniel swallowed the mouthful of sandwich he'd taken. "He's teaching me Goa'uld. I'm teaching him English." Daniel said. "It seems the Jaffa speak Goa'uld and many also know the human slaves' language, which is a variant of the ancient Egyptian dialect I learned on Abydos. That's good news, because it means we'll be able to communicate on most of the Goa'uld worlds. It's very interesting- I think the longevity of the Goa'uld has kept the pronunciation of the language from drifting, in much the same way that recording technology has stabilized the drift of English pronunciation-"
Jack was studying him closely. "Are you going to be okay working with him?"
"I'm going to have to be, aren't I?" Daniel said a bit evasively.
"That's not what I asked." Jack said.
Daniel sighed. "I can't pretend that I'm happy with what he's done. But he was a slave. As much a victim as Sha're is. I can work with him." It might make his stomach churn to look across the table at him, but Daniel could see they needed him. Besides, Daniel had never backed away from doing anything because it was difficult.
Jack nodded, and to his surprise let it drop there. "Okay. Captain Carter has set up a briefing for the new SGC personnel on the workings of the stargate. Would you please give her a hand?"
Daniel nodded. "Sure. Hey--"
Jack turned back, "Yeah?"
"I've been meaning to ask. Um, should I be calling you colonel? I mean on base?" Daniel thought that Jack would probably have said something, but figured he should make the offer.
Jack gave him a sharp look and then half-smiled, "Nah, coming from you it would just sound weird."
Daniel wasn't quite sure what to make of that, but said, "Ah, okay then."
Jack continued. "Besides, if you called me Colonel, I'd have to call you Dr. Jackson. It seems like a lot of work." He waved him toward the elevator. "Briefing room, Daniel. Carter's waiting."
"Right," Daniel turned toward the briefing room, feeling obscurely comforted that Jack didn't want to go back to formal address. It made him feel like he had a friend.
Mostly, it turned out, the captain wanted him to talk about the wall of inscriptions on Abydos and the gate controls, which she had had only a short time to study. Daniel reviewed the tape she had shot on Abydos and they printed off some representative frames. Carter scowled at them.
"If I had a little more time- and it wasn't classified to death- I'd run upstairs to NORAD and get some clear prints made of these. We'll have to get a decent color printer down here."
"Or a slide projector or something." Daniel said. "For today, you can just use the white board." He glanced over the materials they had hastily prepared. "You know, there's something that's been bothering me. When we first dialed the gate last year, Catherine told me that Abydos was in another galaxy. But you said that Earth and Abydos are close together."
She laughed, "Oh, that was a software glitch. You have to realize, we have absolutely no way of telling ourselves what the gate is doing. Everything we know about the destination comes from a datastream that the gate itself provides. Your trip to Abydos was only the second time the gate had been successfully dialed. Until then, we had no data to work with. The first location we came up with for Abydos was completely ludicrous, but until we had data there was absolutely no way to calibrate our program."
"So we really are staying in the same galaxy."
"Oh, yes," she assured him.
Daniel thought about her explanation for a moment. "You only had data on two wormholes before this week, didn't you? The first time we dialed, and then when the mission went back."
"And when Colonel O'Neill returned from Abydos," she nodded. "But incoming wormholes don't provide near as much information. We've pretty much concluded that we can't tell where an incoming wormhole is originating."
"I gathered that. But with only two datasets wasn't it hard to do your calibration in the first place?" Daniel asked.
Carter shrugged. "Well, we'll probably be refining our interpretations for years, and it certainly would have helped to have had more data but I, uh, we managed."
Daniel watched her turn a little pink and decided that the first pronoun had probably been more accurate. And she'd worked on the team that built the dialing computer in the first place. It reinforced his first impression that she was very bright. She looked at her watch and then started sorting her notes neatly. "We're on in five." The first couple of Air Force personnel came in before she was done, and the last man walked in a full sixty seconds before the meeting was due to start. A university classroom it wasn't, Daniel thought.
Captain Carter started the briefing by introducing the two of them, and let Daniel tell them about the stargate. The newest people, those hastily assigned since their return from Chulak, were clearly dubious about the whole going-to-other-planets concept, but the serious and attentive expressions on the faces of the veterans of the last mission kept them still. Then there was the stargate itself, visible through the window of the briefing room. The two-story stone ring had its own imposing credibility.
As Daniel talked, Carter sketched out the same visual he had used over a year ago in this very room to explain stargate addresses to General West and his officers. "-and the seventh symbol is the point of origin. The stargate was originally designed to work with a control device. They never found one for the stargate on earth, but the one for the gate on Abydos was stored in a chamber near the stargate. We restored it to its intended position and it worked perfectly." He turned back from the sketch he had made of the device on the white board, and used the laser pointer to briefly flash on the print Carter had pinned up on the corner of the board. "So the device should be on every planet we find. I studied the one on Abydos for months. It's sort of like a.."
Captain Carter suggested, "Telephone." She'd told him before the meeting that the controller had already been dubbed a "dial-home device", which the military mania for abbreviations had already shortened to "DHD."
Daniel nodded, "I like that. In order to get back home, all you have to do is dial Earth." He turned to pace back across the room as he would have at the front of a lecture hall. "Which is.." he was distracted by movement in the gate room. He let his mouth run on autopilot for a moment "..which is what we're all here to talk about so.." That was Kawalsky. What on earth was he doing? "...what is Major Kawalsky doing in the embarkation room?"
Carter took one look and said, "Page Colonel O'Neill and General Hammond to the embarkation room, now!"
She turned and ran for the stairs leading down to the gate room, Daniel at her heels.
Kawalsky was standing on the ramp, staring at the stargate and ignored Carter and Daniel when they said his name. O'Neill and Hammond got there quickly. "Charlie?" Jack said.
Daniel thought he saw a trace of awareness shiver across him at the sound of Jack's voice. "Major Kawalsky?" Daniel asked again.
Kawalsky turned around, looking dazed. "Jack? What am I doing here?"
O'Neill turned to Hammond. "I'll walk him down to the infirmary, sir."
Carter and Daniel returned to finish their briefing. When they were done, they walked together to the commissary for some coffee and then back to the elevator.
The captain said, "I'm gonna drop by the Control room. By the silence around here, it seems as if the Goa'ulds have finally given up." She gave Daniel a penetrating look. "When was the last time you slept?
Daniel replied honestly, "I don't know."
She looked understanding, "Doesn't help when the whole base goes on alert every two hours."
Daniel shook his head, "No it's not that, it's just that my mind races and I can't stop thinking about Sha're, where she is, what she's become-" he broke off. Captain-Doctor Carter didn't need to hear all that.
"But you can't stay awake forever," she pointed out.
Daniel smiled faintly and joked, "I can try," and lifted his cup of coffee. She gave him a reproving look and he decided that possibly he really had been running long enough on fumes. "No, you're right, I'll meet you at the next briefing."
She nodded and patted his arm as she left. Daniel blinked. The military seemed to be very hands-on. First Jack and now Carter. He'd seldom felt his personal space was being violated on Abydos, despite the Abydonians' disconcerting desire to touch his odd light-colored hair. The culture of the place was very close to what he remembered from his childhood in Egypt. He had felt comfortable there from the moment they entered Nagada, the spices in the air taking him straight back to memories of the only place on Earth he'd ever felt at home. He'd fallen in love with the city and the people.
In the first weeks, Sha're had anxiously asked him almost daily if he missed his home and he'd truthfully assured her that Nagada was more like his home than any of the cities full of technological wonders he described for Skaara. When Kasuf patted his arm it felt like welcome, like family. He'd felt his eyes sting with tears the first time Kasuf had gripped his shoulder and called him, 'my good son'.
On a military base underneath a mountain a thousand light-years from home, Captain Carter's casual touch felt more like an invasion of privacy. He'd found himself reverting to a more American idea of personal space the moment he'd walked out of the gate. In the infirmary, he'd felt the jostling of strangers as an intrusion. Funny that he minded it less from Jack. Perhaps it was because he'd known him longer.
He opened the door as quietly as he could, and didn't turn on the light. People were on duty at all hours of the day and night here and he thought he could see a dark form in the upper bunk already, getting some badly needed sleep. He put the coffee down on the table and sat on the bottom bunk, reaching for his bootlaces. A hand dropped down from the top bunk and Daniel waited for it to be withdrawn. But it stayed there and he realized that the only sounds he could hear were the hum of the ventilation and the faint tread of boots in the hall. No sound of breathing from the upper bunk.
He got up and switched on the light. He was right, the man on the top bunk wasn't breathing, and from the bruises on his throat, hadn't for some time. Daniel recognized the friendly young doctor he'd met his first night back from Abydos. Nimzicki, that was his name. Another alarm blared in the distance. Daniel wondered absently if the Goa'uld were trying to attack again, but didn't take his eyes off the dead man. Now what? He should probably make sure the man wasn't still alive, though by the look of him, he was far beyond help.
Daniel felt for a pulse anyway, but didn't find one. The man's skin was cool and the marks on his throat suggested he'd been strangled. Daniel wondered what the procedure was for reporting a murder. In some part of his mind, he thought that possibly he should be getting excited about this, but really, he was too tired.
He picked up the phone and tried to call the control room. He was rather surprised to find there was no answer. Wasn't it supposed to be manned around the clock? He tried the infirmary next and there was no answer there, either. That was strange. He automatically picked up his coffee cup again as he went down to see what was going on.
He got to the elevator in time to hear it stop below his floor with a jolt and the emergency alarm ring. The general came up as he was wondering what was going on. Hammond asked, "What the-?"
Daniel told him, "Someone inside the elevator hit the emergency stop."
"Get those doors opened," Hammond yelled and a couple of airmen started trying to pry them open as Jack arrived from the stairwell at a run.
"Get 'em open." O'Neill said.
They pried open the doors, and found Kawalsky, bending over the still form of Captain Carter. "Well, it's about time. Give me a hand here," Kawalsky said.
"Charlie, what the hell's going on here?" O'Neill demanded.
Kawalsky looked at him with a troubled expression. "I don't have a clue, Colonel, but she's hurt bad. We have to get her to the infirmary."
They brought her out of the elevator and waited for the medical team.
Daniel approached the general and O'Neill, "Um, sir, Jack?"
"Not now, Dr. Jackson," the general cut him off in a manner that was almost Jack-like while Jack simply ignored him, watching the medical team load Carter on a gurney and wheel her away, a pair of SFs escorting Kawalsky after them.
"I found a body," he persisted.
That got their attention. "A what?" Jack asked.
"A dead body." Daniel repeated. "In the bunkroom. One of the medical staff, Dr. Nimzicki. I think he was strangled."
Jack looked at the general. "General, Warner said he was supposed to be on duty, but we couldn't find him when I took Kawalsky down earlier. "
The general shook his head wearily and picked up the phone. "Security," He waited for a moment. "A body has been reported in one of the bunkrooms." He gave the room number and waited again. "Carry on." He turned to Daniel. "The security team will take care of it."
Daniel nodded, and as soon as the general's attention was off him, went down to the infirmary.
The small medical team seemed to be stretched way beyond capacity, and no one tried to stop Daniel from wandering in. Major Ferretti was gone. Daniel vaguely remembered Jack saying something about him having been transferred to another hospital. Captain Carter seemed already to have been looked at, she was asleep or unconscious on a bed in the second room he looked in. Daniel picked up the chart at the end of the bed and glanced over it. If he was reading the nearly illegible scrawls right, she had been knocked out but there was no serious damage.
She stirred slightly. Daniel moved a chair down to sit beside her. "Hey," he said as her eyes fluttered open. "How do you feel?"
She swallowed. "Like someone rammed my head into a wall. What happened?"
"Someone rammed your head into a wall," he told her. "You don't remember?"
Her eyes unfocused for a moment. "Kawalsky. He was trying to dial Chulak." She looked at Daniel. "His eyes glowed."
When he left Captain Carter, Jack and the general were in the infirmary with Teal'c and Kawalsky and the men guarding the door didn't want to let him in. He waited outside until the general came striding out, looking pissed off. A few minutes later, Teal'c emerged, led by the two guards.
"What's going on?" Daniel asked him.
"Major Kawalsky has become infested with a Goa'uld." Teal'c said. The guards looked at one another and shrugged, waiting while Teal'c and Daniel talked.
"I know." Daniel said. "How is he?"
"The Goa'uld struggles to master his body. It is immature, but it will win unless your Dr. Warner can remove it," Teal'c said.
Daniel pictured Kawalsky staring at him with the arrogance that Skaara and Sha're had displayed. "Do you think it will work?" he asked.
"I do not know," Teal'c admitted. "Jaffa are healed by their symbiotes. They have no need of medicine as you know it."
Jack came out of the infirmary with Warner. "There you are. Follow me. General Hammond wants us in the briefing room."
They walked through the halls of the base, the guards keeping an eye on Teal'c but not otherwise intruding. O'Neill waved them off at the stairs and told them to wait there. Teal'c followed O'Neill up the stairs, and into the briefing room. He glanced at Daniel as they crossed to the table. Daniel pulled out a chair and waved Teal'c to the one beside him. Jack sat down across the table as Warner and Carter came in, followed by Kennedy and his aide.
Once they were all seated, Hammond came in. The military officers rose as he entered. "As you were people. In light of the day's events, Colonel Kennedy has chosen to make certain recommendations to my superiors that I want to share with all of you. Colonel Kennedy?"
Daniel listened with increasing horror as Kennedy proposed leaving the Goa'uld in Kawalsky. He wanted to cheer when Carter asked with a distinct lack of military respect, "I'm sorry, what was your point?"
"If we proceed with this operation, Major Kawalsky will have died in vain," Kennedy said. Daniel wondered if Kawalsky's opinion counted for anything.
"And if we don't?" Carter asked. "Well let's consider that for a moment. These infant Goa'uld's, they're so young, so fragile in their larval state that they require a.. I'm sorry what was it you called yourself?" He gave Teal'c a look that Daniel found hard to analyze. Contemptuous? Disbelieving?
"Jaffa," Teal'c replied calmly.
"For want of a better translation, a what? Incubator?" Daniel recognized the look with a shock of familiarity. Kennedy regarded Teal'c as a thing. A problem to be solved, not a person. It was a look he was all too familiar with from his childhood. "How is it they are so intelligent?" Kennedy continued.
"A Goa'uld is born with all the knowledge of all Goa'uld's that came before it," Teal'c answered, his English simple but clear and grammatical.
"Genetic memory," Daniel clarified. "That's amazing." That explained how Sha're and Skaara had seemed to turn into different people as soon as they had been implanted.
"Yes it is. All the knowledge of the Goa'uld. I just want you all to think on that before we just throw it away," Kennedy suggested.
Daniel couldn't believe Kennedy was serious. What about Kawalsky? Jack said, "I've thought about it. You thought about it? I think we've all thought about it. Any more thinking to be done?" Daniel shook his head with the others, feeling slightly relieved. Jack wouldn't let Kawalsky down.
"Colonel," Hammond restrained O'Neill, but the anger in his expression wasn't for the colonel's interruption.
"Imagine if we could convince that Goa'uld to share that knowledge," Kennedy forged on, oblivious to the utter revulsion of the others around the table.
"A Goa'uld would not willingly share," Teal'c said certainly.
Daniel jumped in to support him. "Teal'c is right. To them, we're nothing." He looked at the general. "Less than nothing, I mean think about it, they've taken on the roles of our ancient gods. What does that tell you?"
The general gave him a tiny nod and Daniel knew his point had struck home.
"All right," Kennedy persisted. "What if we just studied it? How much could we learn from that? What if we just faced up to the fact that Major Kawalsky's slim chances of survival and realise that the greatest enemy mankind may ever face has just been delivered right to our doorstep. Even if we let it return through the Stargate as a gesture of good faith. How much could...?"
That was when Hammond blew up. "Just what kind of an officer are you Colonel?!"
"Sir?" Kennedy actually looked surprised.
"As long as there is a snowball's chance in hell that my officer will come out of this procedure alive, we'll go ahead with it." Hammond's tone allowed no compromise.
"With respect General, I feel I should take this to my superiors," Kennedy insisted, not backing down. I thought General outranked Colonel, Daniel thought.
Hammond wasn't the slightest bit impressed. "Me, I'll probably just call the President and get approval right from the horse's mouth."
Daniel saw Carter concealing a smile. She'd evidently had no doubt as to Hammond's reaction to that suggestion. He wondered if she'd served under him before. Jack was less smug but certainly pleased.
Hammond was giving Kennedy a smile with very little humor in it at all. "But sure, you go right ahead Colonel. Talk to your superiors. In the meantime people, let's get the job done." He rose, this time only Warner, Carter and O'Neill respectfully standing as he walked out.
Warner looked at Teal'c. "Uh, Teal'c, I have a couple of questions."
"I will share my knowledge freely," Teal'c said. "So I have sworn."
"Don't you have some superiors to call?" Jack asked Kennedy in a tone that Daniel could only describe as rude.
Kennedy rose and walked out, his aide following him.
Warner continued, "We're going to have to anaesthetize Kawalsky for the operation, and ideally we need something that will affect the Goa'uld as well."
Teal'c's brow wrinkled slightly as Warner used words that he had never heard and he glanced uncertainly at Daniel, who said in Abydonian. "Anaesthetize means to put him to sleep, so he won't move or feel pain while the Goa'uld is removed."
"Ah," Teal'c said and looked back at Warner. "You wish to try this on my symbiote."
Jack's eyes widened. "What?" His gaze went to Daniel. "I don't know what Daniel just said to you, Teal'c but that isn't it at all."
"Daniel Jackson explained what 'anaesthetize' means, nothing more," Teal'c said.
"I wouldn't have suggested that," Daniel said.
"Why not?" Teal'c looked surprised. "Will this not help Major Kawalsky?"
"We're not going to kill you to help Kawalsky, Teal'c," Jack said. "That's not our way."
"Actually, Colonel, it would be helpful," Warner said.
"What?" Jack repeated.
"I hadn't thought of actually making trials but if Teal'c is willing, testing the anaesthetics on him, in careful dosages, of course, could materially increase Kawalsky's chances," Warner said. "I think we can do it with no harm to Teal'c."
Teal'c inclined his head to Warner. "Tell me what I must do," he said.
Carter and Daniel took adjoining seats in the observation window over the infirmary as Dr. Warner began the operation to remove the Goa'uld from Kawalsky. Daniel had watched as they tried the first few anaesthetics on Teal'c and his symbiote in the infirmary. He'd left once it was clear that he wouldn't be needed to translate. He'd been unwillingly impressed by Teal'c's stoic cooperation with the doctors and was conscious of a growing sympathy toward the Jaffa and his precarious situation.
Hammond left about half an hour into the operation, checking back in periodically. Teal'c stood alone and motionless in front of the observation window.
Jack also excused himself early on, "I think I'm going to take a break."
"Oh," Daniel glanced away from the operation going on below. "For coffee?"
The colonel looked a little queasy. "Naw, I was thinking of doing some paperwork or something. Why?"
Daniel lost interest and his gaze went back to Warner. "I was going to ask you to bring some back."
Jack gave him an exasperated look, "Daniel, don't you find that a little, well, gross?"
Daniel didn't look away. Warner was using some sort of device to hold the incision open. "No, it's fascinating. Do you know even twenty years ago, this sort of operation would have been impractical because-"
Jack appeared frankly horrified. "No, and I really didn't want to. Call me when it's over." Despite this, he had in fact checked back in frequently himself.
Carter watched them both with some amusement. She seemed to have a stronger stomach than Jack did, but refused any coffee of her own when Daniel finally tore himself away to get more.
When he returned, she gave him a searching look. "How much sleep did you get?"
He gave her a sheepish look. "Well, when I went to the bunkroom, there was this dead body-"
"That was hours ago," Sam pointed out.
Daniel shrugged. "I went back later but security has it cordoned off, and what with Kawalsky and all-"
"Why don't you go get some sleep now, Dan- um, Dr. Jackson?" She suggested.
Daniel gave her a tired smile, "Daniel's fine, Dr. Carter."
She smiled back. "Then you should call me Sam. About that sleep?"
Daniel gave her a stubborn look. "Sam, I really need to be here."
She said, "Being here won't make a difference."
"I'll find someplace to take a nap afterward." Daniel said.
They watched in silence for a while. Sam said, "At least it's going well."
Daniel said, "That's fantastic. If we can reverse what's happened to the Major, then there's still a chance for Sha're."
She gave him a sympathetic look, "Let's hope."
Jack had been allowed to see Kawalsky immediately after surgery, but no one else. Daniel had checked the bunk room and found it still taped off by the security team. He thought of trying to get another bunk assignment, then had shrugged and retreated to 'his' office and put his head down on the desk. He woke with a cramp in his neck, but enough energy to track down a shower and a change of clothes.
He went looking for Jack, whom he found coming down from the briefing room, looking annoyed. "Hey," Daniel said.
"Daniel." Jack glanced at him. "Sounds like we're about to get rid of Kennedy, thank heavens. And he's going to be taking Samuels with him."
"He is?" Daniel asked.
"Well, technically, he's being transferred to the Pentagon." Jack gave him an amused look. "Just between you and me, I think he's been getting on Hammond's nerves."
"Oh," Daniel said. He was a little relieved to find that he wasn't the only one who thought the man was an ass. Well, that young doctor had, too.. he remembered. Nimzicki, the poor guy. "Where are we going?" he asked, realizing that he'd fallen into step with the colonel.
"I was just going to see Kawalsky," Jack said. "He'll be glad to hear the news about Kennedy as well."
Daniel wrinkled his nose. "I can't believe he actually suggested that we leave that thing in him." He'd been nearly as surprised to find himself supporting Teal'c. But based on everything he had learned about the aliens, Kennedy was dreaming if he thought they would ever cooperate willingly with humans. "I take it Warner is packing up an order of dead Goa'uld to go instead?"
Jack laughed, "Yeah, I think so." As they reached Kawalsky's bedside, Jack turned the grin on his friend. "So, Charlie, they tell me your stereo's safe for now."
"Thank god." Kawalsky said hoarsely. "You'd probably play opera on it. The speakers would melt."
"You just don't know what good music is." Jack defended vigorously.
"Right." Kawalsky started to nod, than visibly changed his mind. "I always figured that it might make more sense if I understood Italian-"
"Actually, speaking Italian doesn't make much difference." Daniel put in helpfully. Jack gave him a mock glare, and he returned an innocent look.
Kawalsky smiled. "At least I've been officially pronounced snake-free."
Jack shuddered. "Glad to hear it, buddy. That was pretty scary."
Kawalsky's smile faded and a haunted look passed over his face. Daniel said, "Anyway, Colonel Kennedy's probably going to want to take it with him so if you want to see it once before...."
"Are you talking about that thing in my head?" Kawalsky demanded in a tone of revulsion.
O'Neill replied drily, "Daniel thinks it's fascinating."
Daniel thought that possibly seeing the dead Goa'uld would prove cathartic. "No, I just thought you might want to see it."
Evidently, Kawalsky didn't agree. "Nooo, thanks."
Captain Carter- Sam- came in. "Hey, I just heard. They're shipping Teal'c out to Langley. Kennedy's taking him with him."
O'Neill said, "What?"
Daniel was shocked. How was he supposed to learn Goa'uld if they moved Teal'c? "What for?"
"Study. That's Kennedy's word." Carter's tone was grim.
O'Neill was angry, "Right. Like a damn lab rat. Apparently Kennedy's ethics are selective." His head turned in the direction of Hammond's office, and he was already moving toward the door. Daniel followed.
"I can't believe they seriously mean to lock Teal'c away." Daniel said. "He's only started teaching me Goa'uld. Even if they won't allow him on an SG team, we need to have him here." He thought of the Jaffa, patiently assisting them to try anesthetics on his larval Goa'uld. If the creature had died, Teal'c would have as well.
O'Neill led him by half a stride. "Military intelligence." He said it like a curse word.
When they tracked down the general in his office, Kennedy and Hammond were both there. Jack walked through the open door without knocking.
"Colonel O'Neill-" Hammond said.
"Sir, I hear that Colonel Kennedy is planning to take Teal'c with him." Jack said.
Kennedy replied, "Those are my orders."
"Your orders," Jack said, "are a crock of shit."
Daniel saw the flicker of amusement on Hammond's face at Jack's irreverence. Hammond hadn't hidden his dislike of Kennedy in the earlier meeting, and it looked like he found Jack's attitude more entertaining than offensive. That was a good thing, Daniel thought. If Hammond were more like West, he suspected that Jack's sense of humor could get him into a lot of trouble.
The colonel turned to Hammond. "General, you know I wanted Teal'c on a field team, but if that isn't possible, than we need Teal'c here as a source of intelligence. " O'Neill said.
"He's started teaching me Goa'uld." Daniel put in. "We need to have people who can speak it on field teams. How are we going to do that if you lock him away?"
"Colonel, Doctor-" Hammond looked harrassed. A blare of sirens interrupted him and his aide stuck her head in the door.
"General, it's Major Kawalsky."
O'Neill and Teal'c turned back down the ramp, stepping out of the way of the medical team that had come for Kawalsky's body. Daniel leaned his forehead against the window of the briefing room. He had run down the stairs to the gate room while Jack and Hammond were canceling the auto-destruct, but when they finally got the blast doors open, Kawalsky was already dead.
Daniel returned upstairs to the out-of-the-way vantage point after Jack brushed by him to join Teal'c. One Goa'uld invasion, two more dead. Probably they had been lucky, he thought numbly. If it hadn't been for Teal'c... He shook the pot of coffee and found it empty. The one in the control room was probably full. He sat down in one of the chairs and put his head down on the table. He'd just sit down for a minute and then go see-
//His boots crunched on the traces of snow on Jack's deck. He clutched his coat more tightly about himself, shivering. The snowy yard was still in shadow, giving it a bleak and lifeless look. 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. 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 twenty-nine years of his life.
Behind him, he heard the distinct click-crackle of a staff weapon charging. Daniel started so violently he nearly fell off the deck. He turned to see Jack with the weapon leveled at him. "You should never have opened the stargate." His eyes flashed white and his hand moved on the staff.
Daniel flung himself backward with all his strength, yelling, "Jack, no!"//
Daniel was falling, tangled up in the chair, as he flung himself away from Jack. The chair slowed an instant before it hit the floor and then Teal'c set it down with surprising gentleness. Daniel blinked blurrily up at him, one arm still flung up defensively as Jack leaned down and held out his glasses. "Whoa, Daniel. Sorry to startle you."
Daniel took the glasses, hands shaking, and put them on, seeing that he was surrounded by Jack, Teal'c, Captain Carter and, his heart sank, the general. "Um, sorry, I just sat down for a minute- I must have fallen asleep." He wondered if he'd been yelling aloud and felt a flush crawling up his neck. He untangled himself from the chair and got up awkwardly, Jack and Teal'c both reaching down to help. He stuffed his hands in his pockets to to conceal the caffeine-induced tremors and glanced from Jack to General. "Uh, am I in this meeting?"
Jack asked, "Daniel, when's the last time you slept?"
Daniel motioned to the table. "Before that?" Jack gave him a 'duh' look.
Daniel took his glasses off again and polished them. "Um, a while."
Sam spoke up. "Not since before Chulak, I think, sir."
Daniel gave her an annoyed look for ratting him out. "I took a nap after Kawalsky got out of surgery. And I slept on Chulak."
Jack looked at him sternly. "That was unconscious, not sleeping, and if you slept after Kawalsky's surgery, it couldn't have been for long . That was all the rest you've had?"
Daniel said a bit defensively, "I tried, but I found Dr. Nimzicki's body in my quarters.."
General Hammond intervened. "It's been a long couple of days for everyone. Why don't you all get some rest? We'll debrief at 1100 tomorrow. "
Go back to prequel: Part 1: You Can't Go Home Again
Go on to sequel: Part 3: Whatever it Takes
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