Stargate Horizons


Daniel strode down the hall, not stopping until he'd reached the elevator.  He punched the up button a bit harder than necessary.

"Hey.  You okay?" Jack asked.

"Yeah.  Just a little angry.  I knew that things would probably go like that, but I still don't like it."

The two men went to Daniel's office.  Jack put in a call to Sam and Teal'c, who showed up a few minutes later.

"So, how did it go?" Sam asked.  Then she got a good look at Daniel's expression.  "Not so good, huh?"

"Oh, it could have been worse," Daniel told her.  "At least I'm not being shipped off to Area 51 yet."

"But he did demonstrate the aerodynamic properties of the conference table," Jack informed Sam and Teal'c.  An icy glare from Daniel wiped the little smile off his face.

"I was not aware that conference tables were aerodynamically sound," the Jaffa intoned.

That remark managed to bring the slightest of smiles to Daniel's face.  Unfortunately, it didn't last long.  He gave a sigh and sat in his chair.  "There were representatives from the Pentagon, NID and Area 51.  As expected, the guy from NID wants me to undergo a bunch of tests.  They're probably all going to watch the tests Eliza does this afternoon.  Until then, everything's been put on hold."

"Would you like us to be there, too, Daniel?" Sam asked gently.

"It would be nice to have the support," Daniel admitted.

"Then you've got it," Jack said.

Daniel's teammates stayed with him the remainder of the morning.  Though he wasn't at all hungry, they all insisted that he eat some lunch.  They headed directly from the commissary to the infirmary.

Hammond, Morrison, Rice and Fairview were already in the observation room when SG-1 arrived.  Janet was in the isolation room with Eliza.  A brief introduction was made between the Jaffa and the therapist since they had never met before.  Seeing Eliza's curiosity about Teal'c, Jack decided to have a little fun with her.

"He's an alien," he remarked in an off-hand manner.

Eliza blinked in surprise, her eyes widening a little.

"I . . . see," she said.

Amused by the look on her face, Jack glanced at Daniel.  Seeing the nervous tension in the archeologist's body, the colonel's levity faded.  He requested that he, Sam and Teal'c be allowed to remain in the room rather than going up to the observation room.  Since it was okay with Daniel, Eliza and Janet agreed but made the three SG-1 team members move back well out of the way.

Eliza came up to Daniel, smiling gently.  "All right, Daniel.  I know that you're probably pretty nervous about this."

Daniel tried to return the smile but failed.  "A bit."

"Well, try not to worry.  Would you like to do some relaxation exercises first?"

"No, I'd rather get right to it."


Eliza hooked Daniel up to the biofeedback equipment so that all of his physiological responses could be measured, including heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, skin temperature and, of course, brainwaves.

"All right, I've set up some objects over there for you to use in the test," she said.

Daniel looked over at the table Eliza had indicated.  On it sat an empty glass, a block of metal, a lantern and a piece of cloth sitting on a metal tray.

"Any time you're ready, Daniel," the therapist told him.  "I want you to lift the block of metal off the table first."

Taking a few deep breaths, Daniel tried to calm himself.  He focused his attention on the block and went through the procedure of slowing his brainwaves.  He willed the metal block to lift off the table.  It responded immediately.

"Can you bring it to me, Daniel?" Eliza asked.

With the archeologist's guidance, the block floated across the room and landed gently into the hand that Eliza held out.

"Perfect."  The therapist recorded some notes, as did Janet.  "Okay, next, please light the lantern."  A couple of seconds later, the lantern's wick ignited.  The two doctors jotted down some more things.

"How are you feeling, Daniel?" Janet asked.


"No headache or other discomfort?"


"That's good," Eliza said.  "Do you think that you can break the glass?"

Daniel looked at the glass in question.  Up till now, he had only moved objects.  He'd never tried to crush or break something.  Staring at the glass, he pictured it breaking and willed it to happen.  Instantly, the glass shattered into a thousand pieces, bits of glass raining across the table and floor.

"Very good, Daniel.  Okay, last test.  I want you to ignite that piece of cloth."  A moment later, it burst into flames.

Daniel let his brainwaves speed up to a normal beta frequency, glad that the tests were over.

Using a fire extinguisher, which Janet handed to him, Jack put out the burning cloth before the smoke detectors went off.

"Are you still okay?" the doctor asked Daniel.

"Yeah, I feel fine."  He looked at Eliza.  "So, what did you find out?"

"Well, your EEG did drop down to seven point zero hertz to start with, but it didn't stay there."

Daniel looked at her in surprise.  "It didn't?"

"No.  When you moved the metal block, the frequency remained at seven point zero, but each time you lit a fire there was a sharp, extreme spike in your EEG."

"What about when I broke the glass?"

"Another spike."

"So, what does that mean?"

"It leads me to believe that the seven point zero frequency is only needed for you to gain access to wherever it is that this power is coming from.  For some things, like moving objects, that frequency remains the best one at which to operate, but for . . . more destructive actions, a much higher frequency is needed.  Some biofeedback tests have shown that extremely high frequencies, from one hundred twenty to five hundred hertz, can tap into psychic abilities such as telekinesis and transmutation, which is the process of changing matter to another form."

"Your heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration were also affected, Daniel," Janet told him.  "All three dropped significantly as you lowered your EEG, but both your heart rate and blood pressure increased each time you did something, a small increase when you moved the metal block, a bigger increase when you lit the lantern.  Breaking the glass made them go up even higher, and igniting the cloth resulted in the greatest increase, much more than anything else."

"And what does all that mean?" Jack asked.

"It means that the more energy it takes to do something, the more stress it puts on Daniel's body."

"Why would igniting that piece of cloth take so much more energy?"

"Because it wasn't as flammable," Sam replied, realizing the answer.

Eliza nodded.  "We treated the cloth with a flame retardant."

"Okay, now I don't pretend to be any kind of scientist, but flame retardant means that it won't burn easily if exposed to fire, right?" Jack asked.

"Yes," Sam confirmed.

"But it wasn't even exposed to a fire, so how did it catch fire?"

An expression of realization spread over Sam's face.  "He's right.  I can't believe I didn't think of this before.  A fire isn't going to light spontaneously.  You have to have an external stimulus, some kind of catalyst.  There are three components needed for ignition and combustion to occur: oxygen, fuel to feed the fire, and a heat source to bring the fuel up to ignition temperature.  Now, normally, to light the wick of that lantern, you would expose it to an already lit flame.  But there was no flame, which means that it was ignited in another way."  Sam walked over to the lantern.  "You see, everything has a flashpoint, a temperature at which it will burst into flames.  My guess is that Daniel somehow superheated the air around the wick, bringing it to the wick's flashpoint."  She walked over to the burned cloth.  She removed it from the tray and examined the tray carefully.  "With the exception of the scorch marks from the fire, this tray shows no signs of having been exposed to extreme heat, so, if Daniel did superheat the air, he made it just hot enough to ignite the cloth but not so hot that it melted the metal of the tray.  But then there's the question of how Daniel made those fireballs.  I would really love to do some tests, set up some sensors to find out exactly what's happening when Daniel causes something to ignite."

Suddenly realizing what she was saying, Sam looked at the archeologist.  "I'm so sorry, Daniel.  I didn't mean to make you feel like a science experiment."

Daniel gave her a smile.  "That's okay, Sam.  I understand."  And he did.  Sam was just being herself, getting excited by the science of the whole thing.  He certainly couldn't blame her for that.  If this wasn't something so personal, he'd be very curious about the science of it, too.

"All right, I think that's enough for now," General Hammond said.  Startled, everyone in the isolation room looked up at him.  They'd almost forgotten about the people who were up in the observation room.  Jack studied the expressions on the faces of the three visitors.  Colonel Morrison was looking at Daniel with keen interest mixed with a big dose of uneasiness.  Doctor Fairview's face was filled with the gleam of excitement.  As for Major Rice, there was no doubt of what he was thinking.  He wanted control of Daniel and the power Daniel possessed, and he was going to try his level best to get his hands on them.  Of the three men, Jack guessed that Rice would cause the biggest problem.

"Doctor Jackson, please meet us in the briefing room in half an hour," Hammond said.

"Yes, sir."

The four men in the observation room left.  Daniel turned to his teammates and the two doctors.  "Anyone want to take bets on who's going to argue the loudest on which department I should be turned over to?"

"No need to bet.  I already know," Jack replied.  "It'll be me and General Hammond, arguing that you're going to stay right here at the SGC."

"And I will back that up," Janet said.  "These tests indicate that using those abilities does cause a physiological reaction in your body.  Now, the reactions I just witnessed were not in any way dangerous, but it is possible that a more extreme use of your abilities would cause a strain great enough to put you at risk.  Without a lot more extensive testing, I could not allow you to be put in a situation where you would be asked to use your abilities on a regular basis or in an extreme manner."

"Well, then, Doc, I'd say that you'd better come along with me and Daniel when we go beard the lion."

"There is one more thing," Eliza said.  "I am almost positive that Daniel's ascension played some part in this.  I am not an expert in psychic phenomena, but, from what I know, human beings who display abilities such as telekinesis are not able to harness it so reliably.  It is very hit and miss.  Sometimes, they can manage to bend a spoon, other times they can't, and it generally takes a great deal of time and concentration to do something.  Daniel appears to have complete mastery of what he can do and is able to do it quickly and easily."

"So, if it was Daniel's ascension that enabled him to do these things, then there probably wouldn't be any way that we'd have the science to recreate it in others," Sam concluded.

"I doubt that would keep the NID and Area 51 from trying," Jack responded.

Hammond, Morrison, Rice and Fairview were already in the briefing room when Daniel, Jack and Janet arrived, and by the look on everyone's faces, the conversation that had been going on had not been a pleasant one.  The general in particular looked angry.

"That was a rather impressive show you put on, Doctor Jackson," Colonel Morrison said.

"Yes, it was," Rice agreed, "though I was hoping for something a bit more spectacular."

"So sorry to disappoint you," Daniel responded with his usual mild sarcasm.

Rice gave him a smile that made Daniel think of a shark.  "Not at all, Doctor.  I'm sure that we'll get the chance to see a bigger and better demonstration soon enough."

"And what demonstration might that be?" Jack asked.

"As I was just telling General Hammond, it would be in the best interests of Earth for Doctor Jackson to undergo an extensive series of tests and examinations to see what the limitations of his abilities are and to find out how they work.  It would make the most sense for the NID to be in charge of those tests and that they be conducted at Area 51."

"And as I was saying, the DOD should be in charge of it since Doctor Jackson will most likely be transferred to that department so that his skills can be used in the defense of this country," Morrison stated emphatically.

"Pardon me, Colonel, but the DOD couldn't possibly make full use of Doctor Jackson's unique and valuable talents," Rice shot back.

"Gentlemen, I don't care which of you can better use Doctor Jackson's abilities," Janet stated firmly.  "I cannot and will not allow the kind of testing that you're talking about.  From what I saw, it is possible that, if Daniel uses his abilities too frequently or in too extreme a manner, it could harm him physically."

"Let us worry about that, Doctor Fraiser," Rice said.  "We'll take all necessary precautions to keep Doctor Jackson in good health."

"Yeah, right," Jack said, "I believe that about as much as I believe that there's a human heart in that chest cavity of yours."

Rice ignored Jack's remark and continued insisting that Daniel should be transferred to Area 51, while Morrison kept pushing for Daniel to be turned over to the DOD.  At the same time, Jack and Hammond were stating that he should remain at the SGC, while Janet was interjecting her opinion, mentioning what Eliza White had said.

And so the arguing went on.  At the center of it all, Daniel sat in silence.  Nobody noticed that he was not participating in the discussion, though they really should have.  They also didn't notice when, after a few minutes, he closed his eyes and grew still.  What happened next did capture their attention, however.  The conversation came to an abrupt halt when a small fireball around two feet in diameter suddenly burst to life in the air above their heads.  It hung there in the air, seemingly defying the laws of physics, for several seconds before dissipating.

Everyone's eyes went to the man who had created the fire.

"My apologies, General," Daniel said.  He looked at the three men who sat across from him.  "Now that I have your attention, I have one word to say.  I said it at the last meeting, but I guess you just weren't listening.  No.  No, I will not submit to any of your tests.  No, I will not accept a transfer to the DOD, the NID or any other department.  No, I will not allow myself to be treated like a lab rat, and I will not let my fate be decided for me!"

He took a deep breath.  "For six and a half years I have lived and died fighting to protect the people of Earth and other worlds against the things that are out there."  He pointed toward the ceiling.  "My teammates and I have saved this entire planet more than once and have provided Earth with technology centuries ahead of our time, technology that will continue to protect us in the years ahead.  We've found medicines that may one day cure illnesses and save still more lives.  We have forged alliances with the most powerful allies that any country on Earth has ever known.  And we have done all those things from right here, at the SGC.  So, don't tell me that my abilities would be of better use working for the DOD or the NID or anywhere else.  They belong right here, with the SGC and with SG-1."

"Hear!  Hear!" Jack said loudly, almost clapping.

"Doctor Jackson, you remaining on SG-1 is not an option," Morrison stated emphatically.  "As you have said, you have died doing your job, more than once, if I remember your file correctly.  The level of danger working on an SG team is too high.  You could very easily be killed and all your skills lost.  That is not acceptable.  And then there is the danger that you could be captured, taken as a host and your abilities used against us.  You are a valuable asset to this country that must be protected, Doctor Jackson, and remaining here on Earth, in a protected environment, is the best way to assure that."

"A protected environment?" Jack repeated.  "What you mean is a damn prison."

"He would be given every comfort and convenience."

"Except my freedom," Daniel said.  "This is the same thing you people were going to do with the Tollans when they were brought here.  No matter how attractive you make it look it would still be a prison.  A gilded cage, regardless of how pretty, is still a cage.  That is not acceptable."

"You have no alternative, Doctor Jackson," Morrison insisted.

Daniel stared at the man coldly.  "Now, that's where you're wrong, Colonel."  He rose to his feet.  "I've already given you my answer on this.  You three can continue arguing all you like.  It's not going to do you any good."  Daniel turned to Hammond.  "If you will excuse me, General, I have work to get back to."  Not waiting to be dismissed, he walked out of the room.

A knock on his door jarred Daniel from his thoughts, which were not on the document that he'd been trying to translate for the past hour.  The door opened to reveal General Hammond.

"General?" Daniel questioned, surprised that the man had come there instead of calling Daniel to his office.  The archeologist began to stand.

"Don't get up, Doctor Jackson," Hammond said.  He came further into the room, shutting the door behind him.  "I owe you an apology, Son.  What took place in the briefing room never should have happened.  Colonel Morrison and Major Rice showed an appalling lack of consideration for you.  They both clearly forgot that it is your life and that you have some say in deciding your own future.  I told them and Doctor Fairview that I would be speaking directly to the president about this and that my recommendations to him would be that you remain with the SGC and in your position on SG-1.  I just got off the phone doing that very thing."


"And the president wishes to speak with you personally.  He has a great many questions and concerns."

Daniel nodded.  "When do I leave?"

"Tomorrow morning.  There will be a special military transport waiting for you at eight.  You are scheduled to meet the president at 1:30.  Colonel O'Neill has already requested that he be allowed to go with you, and I have agreed."

Daniel got up and wandered over to the bookshelf that held his field journals.  "What do you think the president will say, General?" he asked, looking at the books that were a written record of his life since joining the program.

"I can't say, Doctor Jackson, but I do know that he is a fair man who knows how important you are to the SGC and who  has great respect for you and everything you've done for this planet."  General Hammond walked up to the younger man.  "Doctor Jackson . . . Daniel."  He waited for the archeologist to look at him.  "I want you to know that, whatever you choose to do, whatever decisions you feel that you have to make, I will support you in any way that I can."

Daniel searched the eyes of the man he had come to respect deeply and think of as a friend.  "Thank you, sir."

After the general had gone, Daniel returned to his chair, but he did not return to work.  It wasn't long before Jack showed up.

"Did Hammond talk to you?" the colonel asked.

"Yes.  I guess we're going to be taking a little trip."

"Uh huh.  Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll be serving those cute little sandwiches for lunch at the White House."

Daniel frowned.  "Lunch?  My appointment with the president isn't until 1:30."

Jack started to fidget.  "Um . . . yeah.  Well, you see, we're going directly from the airport to the White House."

"Why?"  Daniel watched the way that his friend was acting, and, all at once, he knew the answer.  "They don't want me wandering free around DC, do they.  Why?  Are they afraid I'll do something or that something will happen to me?"  When Jack didn't answer, Daniel added, "Or maybe both?"

"They just want to take precautions, Daniel, that's all.  You're a . . . valuable natural resource.  Not that you weren't before.  You and Carter should both have been listed as national treasures years ago."

"But, now, I'm even more valuable, huh.  So valuable that everyone wants to lock me up in a vault somewhere."

"Give it time, Daniel," Jack said.  "Everyone's just acting like the owners of a brand new car that they want to keep safe."

"So . . . what?  Once I get a scratch or ding they'll stop locking me up in the garage every night and won't worry anymore about putting the rain cover on or taking up two spaces at the grocery store?"

Jack scrubbed a hand through his hair and sat down.  "I don't like this any better than you do, Daniel.  If I'd had any idea this was going to happen, I would have kept what you did on that planet a secret.  Nobody would have had to know about what you can do except the four of us."

Daniel let out a sigh.  "I'm sorry.  I know that you, Sam and Teal'c don't like this either.  Thanks for coming with me tomorrow."

"Hey, think nothing of it.  I just love visiting the White House.  Last time, I even got to meet the First Lady."

"I'm going to need some clothes from my place.  I don't have a suit here.  I assume they're not going to let me off base even to do that."

"Um, no.  Sorry.  I can get whatever you need, Daniel.  Just make me a list."

"Are we staying overnight or heading back right away?"

"We'll be flying back after the appointment."

Daniel jotted down a few things and gave the list to Jack.  He watched his friend leave, wondering if he would ever be allowed to go home again.

Next Chapter

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