Stargate Horizons



The room echoed with Daniel's anguished cry.  Gasping, he flung himself upright.  His chest heaving, he sat, shaking, on the bed.

"God," he whispered raggedly, dropping his head into his trembling hands.  He remained that way for a long time.

This was not the first time that Daniel had dreamed about the death of one or more of his teammates.  Such dreams had begun plaguing him not long after he joined the Stargate Program, and every one of them had left him shaken.  But this one had been worse than most because it had seemed so real.  He had actually felt the heat of the explosion and smelled the fire.  Worst of all, he had felt Sam die, sensed her life being snuffed out in a single awful moment.

Knowing that there was no way he was going to get back to sleep any time soon, not even with biofeedback, Daniel got up.  He put his shoes on and left the room.  After wandering for a few minutes, Daniel realized that his wanderings had taken him in the direction of Sam's lab.  He stopped just inside the doorway and watched her silently.  She was studying an odd-looking device, her face a picture of concentration.

All at once, the image of Sam being blown to bits superimposed itself over the real-life scene.  Daniel's gut twisted, a heartrending pain ripping through his chest.

Some small sound must have left his lips, for Sam's head jerked around in his direction.

"Daniel?  Daniel, what's wrong?"  She quickly strode toward him, grabbing his arm at the sight of his pale face.

Daniel blinked several times, dispelling the nightmare image.  "Nothing.  It's nothing," he said.

"Daniel, you looked like you were going to pass out there for a second.  Are you sick?"

"No, I'm fine."  He took a deep, unsteady breath.

Sam's expression hardened.  "Sorry, Daniel, but I'm not buying that, not this time.  Now, tell me what's wrong."

Daniel let out a sigh.  "It's nothing.  I just . . . I had a nightmare, that's all."

"A nightmare?"

"Yeah.  You know how I'm prone to them.  This was just one of the really bad ones."

Sam led Daniel to a chair and sat down with him.  "Want to talk about it?"

"Not really."

Sam just kept watching him, her lovely blue eyes full of compassion.  Finally, the archeologist gave in.

"We were on a mission," he explained.  "We were being chased by a bunch of Jaffa across a meadow.  I made it to the gate, but you guys were still a ways from it.  Then, all of a sudden, there was this Al'Kesh.  It started dropping its bombs, and. . . ."


Daniel looked into Sam's eyes.  "And you died."

Sam paused a heartbeat.  "Oh."

Daniel ran a hand over his face.  "When I saw you standing there, I flashed back to the dream, and it . . . shook me."

Sam rubbed Daniel's arm soothingly, studying his face closely.  "Daniel, are you doing okay?"

"Yeah, I'm just a little shaky, that's all.  It'll pass."

"I'm not just talking about the nightmare, Daniel; I'm talking about everything.  I can't even imagine how hard all of this must be on you, how overwhelming it is."

Daniel's first instinct was to minimize his feelings, to say that he was handling it.  But then he looked into Sam's eyes, seeing how much she cared and wanted to help.  He knew that if there was anyone in the universe that he could freely talk to about this, it was her.

"I've always rolled with the punches," he said in a low voice.  "Ever since my parents died, I learned to adapt to the things that happened in my life and move on.  It wasn't always easy, but I did it.  Losing Sha're was hard.  It took a long time for me to really adjust to that.  There have been times when I've wondered if it was all worth it, if it wouldn't be better just to give up.  I pretty much did after Kelowna."

"No, you didn't, Daniel," Sam insisted.  "You were faced with either death or living the rest of your life as a cripple.  Choosing to ascend instead was definitely the better choice.  Faced with that choice, I'd have done the same thing.  You thought that you'd be able to help as an ascended being, didn't you?  All that power used to fight against the Goa'uld and other evil.  How could you not choose ascension over the alternative?"

Daniel stared into her eyes.  "I almost didn't, Sam."


"I almost decided just to let myself die.  I was so tired, Sam.  I thought that my whole life had been a failure and that I wasn't worthy of ascension."

Sam's face filled with shock and disbelief.  "Daniel, how could you possibly think that, you of all people?"

"I'd lost so much, Sam, and it seemed that, no matter how hard I tried to make a difference, I was falling back two steps for every step forward.  I blamed myself for Sha're's death and so many other things.  It just seemed like there had been a lot more failures in my life than successes."

"Daniel, that isn't true," Sam said in a distressed voice.  "You have done so, so much, accomplished so many things.  We all owe our lives to you more than once.  The whole planet does, not to mention other civilizations."

"I know, Sam.  I realize now that what I was thinking back then was wrong.  I was just so tired of it all, and I was hurting so much.  I wanted it to be over."

Daniel's words had really upset Sam.  She'd had no idea that he felt that way back then.  If she'd had any clue, she would have knocked some sense into him, shown him how very important he was, not only to the Earth and the SGC, but also to her, Jack, Teal'c, and all his other friends.

Sam grabbed hold of her friend's hand.  "Daniel. . . ."

He gave her hand a squeeze.  "It's okay, Sam.  Like I said, I don't feel that way anymore.  Even though I don't remember most of it, ascension taught me a valuable lesson, about life and about myself.  Actually, it taught me more than one.  As it turns out, I may have to pass on one of those lessons to some other people soon."

"What do you mean?"

"General Hammond is pretty sure that some people are going to insist that I be removed from SG-1 because I'm too valuable to risk on off-world missions."

Though Sam had already known that there was a chance Daniel might be removed from SG-1, hearing it spoken drove home the distressing reality of that fact.  "What are you going to do if that happens?"

"Try to convince them that they're making a mistake.  That's all I can do.  If I can't be out there, using these abilities to help others, then what's the point?"  Daniel's eyes slid away from hers.  "I just hope. . . ."


"I hope that I'm . . . grown up enough to handle this kind of power."  Daniel's gaze returned to Sam.  "Do you remember when Shifu gave me that dream?"

"Daniel, this isn't the same thing.  You were under the influence of the Goa'uld genetic memories in that dream.  It was the memories that changed you, made you do those things, not the power that you gained."

"I know, but it still brings up the question.  The Nox, the Tollans and, in the beginning, the Asgard all believed that the human race is too primitive to be given the power that comes with advanced technology, especially weapons technology.  Thinking about the way things are here on Earth, you can't blame them for believing that.  So far, we've done a pretty good job with the advanced technology that we've gotten hold of."  Daniel smiled slightly.  "We haven't blown up Earth with it yet."  The smile vanished.  "But that's only because, with the exception of those rogue members of the NID, we've managed to keep that technology out of the hands of people who shouldn't have it."  Daniel got up and walked away a couple of paces.  "But this.  I'm not sure that any human should have this kind of power.  It . . . scares me."

Sam rose to her feet and went to Daniel.  She moved around to face him.  His eyes would not meet hers.

"Daniel, I understand what you're saying, and I definitely understand why you feel that way, but there's something that you need to know.  If I could pick one human being on Earth, one human in this entire galaxy to give this power to, it would be you."

Shocked, Daniel's head came up, his eyes meeting hers, searching deeply for the truth of her statement.

"You are grown up enough to handle that power, Daniel.  I don't doubt that for a second."

Sam's words caused a warm glow to kindle deep inside him.  Her faith and trust in him and the kind of person he was meant a lot to him.

"Thanks, Sam," he murmured, knowing those two words weren't enough to express his gratitude.

Sam wrapped her arms around him.  Daniel returned the hug, not wanting to let go.  He needed this.  As much as he liked to think of himself as an independent man, he needed the love that he had here with his friends, and it was tearing him apart that he might lose it all.

Quite a while passed before the two friends parted.  Seeing the tiredness in Daniel's eyes, Sam said, "You should try to get some more sleep."

He gave a little laugh.  "That didn't work so well when I tried before.  I'm afraid of repeating the process."

"You can't stay up all night."

"No, I know that, but maybe if I get tired enough, I can fall asleep without the biofeedback."

"You were using biofeedback to put yourself to sleep?"

"Yes.  Eliza showed me how.  I can lower my brainwave pattern to the level it is during sleep, and it puts me right out."

"But you had a nightmare this time."

"Yeah.  I didn't even make it into the delta frequency.  I apparently fell asleep before I finished the process."

"Because you're tired, Daniel.  I know that you couldn't have gotten much sleep these past couple of days, not with everything that's happening."

Daniel knew that she was right.  He was just afraid of having another nightmare like the last one.  Ironically, the biofeedback was supposed to have helped him with the nightmares, not cause more of them.

"Maybe I will get something from Janet to help me sleep," he said.

"That sounds like a good idea."

"I guess I'll see you later, then."

"Okay.  I hope you get some sleep."

Daniel headed to the infirmary.  Janet was instantly concerned when he asked her for a sleeping pill, but she accepted his explanation that he hadn't been sleeping well because of stress.

Deciding that he should probably eat something first, Daniel went to the commissary.  As he ate his dinner, he watched the men and women around him.  Most of them were people he knew.  Some he considered to be friends.  How many of them would still be his friends after they found out about what he could do?

Back in his quarters, Daniel took the pill, then read a book as he waited for it to take effect.  Finally, he began to grow drowsy and laid down.  He was asleep within a few minutes.

Daniel's eyes opened blearily.  He looked at the clock beside the bed and was surprised to see 7:15 on its readout.  He'd slept for nine straight hours.  Daniel couldn't remember the last time he'd slept that long.

Forcing the cobwebs out of his brain, Daniel stumbled out of bed and to the bathroom.  He remembered now why he hated taking sleeping pills.  They always left him with a drugged, muzzy feeling that took hours – or several cups of coffee – to completely dispel.

A long shower and three cups of coffee later, Daniel was feeling relatively clear-headed.  He was just finishing breakfast when he received an order to come to General Hammond's office.  When he arrived there, he found that the general was not alone.  Three other men were there, two in military uniform, the other in civilian clothing.

"Doctor Jackson, this is Colonel Morrison," Hammond gestured toward the eldest of the three men, "Major Rice, and Doctor Fairview.  Colonel Morrison is from the Pentagon, Major Rice works for the NID and Doctor Fairview is stationed at Area 51."

The three men were staring at Daniel with varying expressions.  The colonel was studying him with a suspicious look, the NID man's face bore an expression that couldn't be called anything but calculating, and the scientist was openly curious.

"Shall we take this to the briefing room, Gentleman?" Hammond asked.

The five of them were just sitting down at the table when Jack came into the briefing room.

"Colonel O'Neill, you were not called to this meeting," Hammond said.

"I know, sir, but, as Daniel's C.O., I thought I should be here."

The general was just about to ask Jack to leave but then saw the plea in Daniel's eyes.

"Very well, Colonel.  Please take a seat."

Jack took the seat beside Daniel and was briefly introduced to the visitors.

"Doctor Jackson, General Hammond has submitted a report about you that, quite frankly, sounds like something out of science fiction," Colonel Morrison said.

"Well, considering that we're sitting just a few yards away from something that many people would say the same thing about, I should think that you'd be open-minded enough to accept the general's report as the truth," Daniel responded.

Morrison frowned severely.  "That may be so, Doctor, but I still have to wonder how this suddenly came to be.  You have never in the past exhibited any kind of . . . psychic abilities," his gaze narrowed slightly, "unless you have been hiding your possession of such abilities."

"I haven't been hiding anything, Colonel.  This all happened very suddenly.  You've probably read a complete file on me, so you know that some . . . things have happened to me over the past year and a half."

The colonel looked in a file folder he had before him.  "Yes.  You were exposed to a fatal dose of radiation and 'ascended' to a higher plane of existence.  Is that right?"


"And how exactly does that work?"

"My physical body died and was transformed into a form of life that exists as pure energy.  My consciousness remained intact in that new form."

"And, in this new form, you had the same power as the beings called the Ancients?"  The new question had come from Major Rice.

"That's right," Daniel replied.  "I could do the whole nine yards, start fires, make lightning shoot out of the sky, and move things without touching them."

"But you were returned to human form," said Morrison.

"Yep.  I broke the rules and got kicked out of the club."

The colonel looked at another piece of paper.  "According to the medical report, you were found to be completely human, no abnormalities."

"Nothing that could be detected, but we all know that there are lots of things medical instruments can't detect."

"Yet, according to Doctor Fraiser's report, she did detect a difference in the tests she just gave you.  Can you explain that?"

"No, I can't.  I can only guess that it has something to do with what happened on Tuesday."

"Tuesday?  Ah, yes.  You claim that you lit and extinguished a candle psychically and caused a . . . fork to fly across the room after having a dream about the Ancient called Oma Desala."

Daniel remained silent, figuring that there was no reason to respond.

"Doctor Jackson, I'd like to know more about what happened on your last mission," Rice said.  "The planet. . . ."

"P2Q-353," Daniel interjected.

"P2Q-353 hadn't shown any signs of recent Goa'uld activity, right?"

"None at all.  The ruins had been abandoned for quite some time.  Neither the MALP nor the UAV detected signs of Goa'uld or Jaffa being anywhere near the Stargate or the ruins."

"So, you were not prepared for the attack."

Daniel glanced at Jack.  "No."

"According to the reports filed by you and your teammates, the fighting was quite intense, intense enough that there was some serious question as to whether or not any of you would survive.  Is that also true?"

Daniel wondered where the man was going with his line of questioning.  "Yes, it was pretty bad."

"Which means that you were able to launch a psychic attack under extreme battle conditions."

Mystery solved.  Rice wanted to know if Daniel could use his abilities when things got hot.  "I managed," he said shortly.

Rice waved his hand at the report.  "You managed quite well, according to this.  You took out at least six Jaffa with your first attack and sent the rest running with your second."

Daniel tensed at the way the NID man talked about the incident, as if he was quite pleased and impressed that Daniel had caused six men to burn to death.  The archeologist felt someone touch him, and he turned to see Jack looking at him, the man's firm, steadying hand on his shoulder.  Daniel gave him a tiny smile of gratitude.

"Maybe you'd like an up close and personal demonstration right now, Major," Jack said, smiling nastily, "to see how well Daniel 'manages' when no one is shooting at him.  I bet he could really light your fire."

It was Colonel Morrison who responded to Jack's remark rather than Major Rice.  "Actually, Colonel O'Neill, we will want a demonstration of Doctor Jackson's abilities."

"I'd really rather not," Daniel told him.

"Doctor Jackson, we must determine the validity of these statements."

"Why?  This isn't a job interview, Colonel.  I'm not applying for a new position or asking for a raise.  I really don't want these new abilities of mine to change anything, except maybe make it possible for me to help the SGC and my team even more than I do now."

Doctor Fairview's eyebrows rose in surprise.  "You can't possibly want to stay on an SG team now."

Daniel looked at him.  "As a matter of fact, I do.  I have no desire to leave SG-1."

"But that would be such a waste, beneath your talents!"

Jack glared at him.  "Excuse me?  If it wasn't for the SG teams, your ass would have been fried by the Goa'uld years ago.  Out there on missions is exactly where someone with Daniel's talents should be, defending Earth and other human-inhabited planets from the Goa'uld and all those other nasty critters."

"Whether or not Doctor Jackson remains on SG-1 is an issue that will be decided later," Colonel Morrison said sternly.  "Right now, I must insist that verification of his abilities be made."

Daniel's eyes narrowed.  "Fine.  You want verification?  You got it."

"Daniel?  Don't do something stupid," Jack warned under his breath.

The archeologist didn't reply.  Instead, he just stared down at the table.  For a few seconds nothing happened, then, all at once, the table and everything on it started shaking.  Startled, everyone except Daniel moved away from it.  They watched, open-mouthed, as the big conference table slowly lifted into the air about a foot, hovered there for several seconds, then lowered back down to settle in its former spot.  The linguist looked around at everyone and saw varying expressions of surprise and amazement.

"So, was that verification enough?" he asked.  "Or would you like me to blow something up, too?"

"That was extraordinary!" exclaimed Fairview.  He started babbling on about gravity, air molecules, and the principles involved in influencing a solid mass without any kind of detectable force.  He was shut up by Colonel Morrison.

"I would like to know how you did that, Doctor Jackson," the colonel then said, staring at the archeologist with a hard, no-nonsense expression.

"So would I," Daniel told him, "but that's something I can't answer.  I really have no idea how I do these things."

"And that is something we intend to find out," Major Rice said, looking at Daniel like he intended to dissect him right then and there.

"Oh, I don't think so," Jack stated, his protective instincts on full alert, "not if it involves treating Daniel like some kind of guinea pig.  What does it matter how he does it?  What's important is that he can and that his ability will be a big help to the SGC and SG-1."

"We need to find out how Doctor Jackson is able to do this.  A study of the process and his brain could give us clues on how to create this ability in others," Doctor Fairview said.


Everyone looked at Daniel, who was wearing an expression that Jack knew well, the one that said he'd dug in his heels and wasn't going to budge.

"I won't submit to any tests performed by you or anyone else in Area 51, or the NID, or anyplace else outside of the SGC," he said.

Colonel Morrison's face hardened even more.  "Doctor Jackson, you are a government employee who—"

"Who still has free will and lives in a free country," Daniel interrupted.  "I may be a government employee who is working for the military, but that doesn't mean I have no say in what I will and will not submit to.  Legally, you cannot force me to undergo any tests or examinations unless it's a matter of national security or some issue of safety.  This afternoon at 12:30, I am scheduled to undergo some tests performed by Doctor Eliza White, and those are the only tests I will agree to, except any others that Doctor Fraiser may need to do."

Colonel Morrison scanned the file he had.  "Doctor White is. . . ."

"The biofeedback therapist who was brought in to treat the SGC personnel," Hammond told him.

Fairview snorted.  "A biofeedback therapist?  What good would that do?"

Daniel focused a stare on him.  "Well, if you read the report I gave to General Hammond, you'd know that there is a connection between the biofeedback and what I can do.  It's because of the biofeedback that I learned of this."

"All right, we will all wait for the results of the tests that Doctor White will be performing," General Hammond said.  "Until then, no other decisions will be made."

"General. . . ." Major Rice began to object.

Hammond fixed a glare upon him.  "That is my final decision, Major."

The NID man paused a second, then, "Yes, sir."


Daniel immediately got up from the table and escaped.  Jack was right behind him, wondering how much worse this day was going to get.

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