Stargate Horizons


Jack called Sam to let her know that they were on their way.  He then turned to his best friend.

"Daniel. . . ."

"Don't, Jack.  There's really nothing you can say that I don't already know.  I knew it might turn out this way.  We just have to accept it."

"Daniel, don't give up.  Yeah, okay, so the president has taken you off SG-1 for now, but there's a pretty good chance that things are going to happen that will show him how much we really need you out there."

Daniel looked at his friend.  "Jack, you managed without me for a year.  You can do so again."

"But, back then, we weren't fighting against Goa'uld supersoldiers that can't be killed by anything we've thrown at them.  During most of that year, we also weren't dealing with a half-ascended Goa'uld with Ancient knowledge who stands a good chance of taking over the entire galaxy, and we weren't looking for a lost city that could save the entire human race on Earth from extinction, a city that you may be the only person in the whole galaxy who can find!"

Having nothing to say, Daniel turned his gaze to the view out the side window.

"The president is making a huge mistake, and he will figure that out," Jack continued.  Receiving no reply from the archeologist, he fell silent.

It wasn't hard for Sam and Teal'c to tell that things didn't go well when they saw their teammates.  Jack and Daniel waited until they were on the plane before telling them what the president's decision was.

An ache growing in her chest, Sam looked at Daniel.  His eyes were downcast, focused on the floor.

"This is so wrong," she said.  "I can't believe that the president doesn't realize how big a mistake he's making."

"Well, thanks to Morrison and Rice, he's so worried about what might happen to Daniel that he's not looking at the big picture, namely, what very likely will happen because Daniel's not out there with us," Jack stated angrily.

"Is there any chance at all that he'll change his mind, sir?"

"Maybe, if it becomes obvious that we need Daniel out there with us.  Heck, the first time we run across some language on a mission that nobody else can translate, and we get into trouble because of it, it might make him start to think twice.  Then there's Daniel's unnerving ability to talk to people and other various creatures and get them to play nice.  I don't even want to think about what would have happened if he hadn't been there to handle that situation with the Unas."

"So, I guess we just have to be patient," Sam concluded sadly, hoping that the colonel was right.

Jack had a thought.  "There is another possibility as well.  We'll be getting a new president in a few months.  Maybe he'll see the wisdom of Daniel being put back on SG-1."

"That's a long time to wait, sir.  A lot could happen in those months."

Daniel lifted his head and met Teal'c's eyes.  A silent message passed between them.  Daniel knew that he couldn't just wait and hope for the off chance that the president would change his mind or that the new president would reverse this one's decision.  The longer he delayed, the lower his chances would be that he'd be able to do what he now knew he must.  He had to leave Earth.  Once he was through the gate, he could continue fighting against the Goa'uld.  Alone, he probably wouldn't have much of a chance, but with Teal'c at his side, they just might be able to survive and accomplish something, especially since, with Teal'c as his companion, they could get help from Master Bra'tac and the other rebel Jaffa.  Perhaps even the Tok'ra might help them occasionally once Daniel made it clear that there was no way they'd get him back to Earth.  He felt sure that Jacob would respect his decision.

Daniel knew something else as well.  They couldn't tell Jack and Sam what they were going to do.  If the two Air Force officers aided in the escape, they could be court-martialed.  No, this would have to be done without their knowledge and help.  Daniel knew that both Jack and Sam would be furious when they found out what Daniel and Teal'c had done behind their backs, but there was no other choice.

Daniel really thought about what he was going to do.  If, before gaining these abilities, he'd been taken off the team, he would have been upset about it, but he'd have accepted the decision and done his best to help as much as possible in his position as just a consultant.  But everything was different now.  These new abilities would give him the power to do so much more, to help in ways that he never could before.  Being just a consultant would be tantamount to throwing those abilities away and turning his back on what they could achieve.

The flight back to Colorado Springs seemed twice as long as the trip to DC had been.  Nobody was in the mood for conversation, and the cabin of the sleek jet was heavy with silence most of the way.

As soon as they got back to the SGC, Hammond called them into his office.  The news they gave him saddened him.  Though he was glad that the president had chosen not to transfer Daniel to the NID or DOD, he was very sorry that the archeologist was no longer going to be on SG-1.  Jack made no secret of the fact that he strongly disagreed with the president's decision, and, though he didn't say so aloud, Hammond had to agree with the colonel.  Daniel's talents on SG-1 were invaluable, and he wasn't just thinking of the man's new abilities.  The linguist's many other skills and his vast storehouse of knowledge had proven to be a great asset time and time again.  They had saved lives and salvaged missions more than once.  But the president had spoken, and they were all duty-bound to obey.  That, however, didn't mean that he couldn't talk to the president one last time and attempt to change the man's mind.  That he did tell SG-1.

After being dismissed, Daniel and his now former teammates went to his office.

"So, what now?" Sam asked.

"Now, we wait to see if Hammond can change the president's mind," Jack replied.

"And if he can't, then that's it, isn't it.  Daniel's off the team."

Nobody responded to her statement.

It was an hour and a half later that Hammond let SG-1 know that he was unsuccessful in changing the president's mind.  He told them that he would not make any formal announcements until the morning.  Surprisingly, no one on base had found out about Daniel's paranormal abilities yet, though rumors were flying regarding the meeting with Morrison, Rice and Fairview and the flight to DC.  Daniel was grateful for the failure of the base grapevine.  It would make everything easier.

Daniel asked his teammates to leave him alone for a while.  Respecting his wishes, they left.  Before Teal'c headed out the door, Daniel caught his eyes.  The Jaffa understood the unspoken message.

"I will be in my quarters performing Kel'no'reem, if anyone should wish to speak with me," he said.  Then he left with Jack and Sam.  As he had stated, he went to his room and made preparations for Kel'no'reem.  He was lighting the last candle when Daniel arrived.

"You wished to speak with me in private, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c said, not phrasing it as a question.

"Yeah.  Teal'c, I can't stay here as just a consultant.  There was a time when I could have done so, but not anymore, not when I know that I can do more if I leave the SGC and go through the Stargate."

"Then I will go with you, as I have said."

Daniel searched the Jaffa's eyes.  "Are you sure, Teal'c?  Once we leave, there's a good chance that we'll never be able to come back."

"I am certain."

The archeologist gave him a smile that held no humor, only gratitude.  "It will be good to have you with me."

"Will we be informing O'Neill and Major Carter of our departure?"

"No.  If anyone thinks that they had a part in this, they could be court-martialed.  It's better that they don't know.  Then they won't get into trouble."

The Jaffa gave a nod of agreement.  "When are we to leave?"

"Tonight.  I figure that after midnight would be best.  There's less activity around here."

"We will need weapons."

"Yes.  I can get us into the armory, but we'll need to move fast after that."

"What of the Stargate?"

"Well, the second I start the dialing sequence, somebody's probably going to hear it.  I've got the correct authorization code, so the alarm won't go off, but it's not exactly quiet when it dials up.  And then there are the guards in the gate room and the people in the control room to deal with.  That time of night, there will be only two people on duty in the control room, so that won't be a problem.  The guards are another issue.  I may have no choice but to use my abilities."

"What if someone comes and stops the dialing sequence?"

"Then I'll find out if I can dial it manually."

"Very well.  I will come to your office at 0100."

Daniel nodded and left.  He returned to his office and sat at his desk.  There was something he needed to do, but he didn't know how he was going to do it.  He had to say goodbye to Jack and Sam.  Years ago, in the dream that Sha're sent him, he was able to bid his friends farewell with only a little sorrow, the pain of losing Sha're overshadowing everything else.  When, two and a half years later, he again said goodbye to Jack before beginning his life as an ascended being, it hurt a lot, but the distance that had grown between them made it easier than it would have been otherwise.  He never had the chance to say goodbye to Sam and Teal'c on that occasion.  But, now. . . .  These months that he'd spent with his team since returning to human form had been great.  Things hadn't been all smooth sailing between them, but he had felt closer to them than he had in that last year or so before he ascended.  This time, having to say goodbye was going to hurt so much more.  Perhaps it was just as well that he wasn't going to be doing it face to face.

Picking up a pencil and a large notepad, Daniel got busy writing what might be the last words he would say to the people who had become two of the closest friends he'd ever had.

Daniel and Teal'c approached the monitoring station.  To be sure that no one would see what they were doing and give the alarm, the two men knew that they had to incapacitate the person who was on duty watching the monitors.

It was Teal'c who went into the room.

"Good evening, Sergeant Miller," he greeted the man in the chair.

"Hello, Teal'c.  I wouldn't call it evening anymore.  It's after 0100.  What are you doing wandering around at this time of night?"

"I must ask for your forgiveness."

"Huh?  What on Earth for?"

In answer, Teal'c grabbed the man by the neck and quickly rendered him unconscious without harming him.  He and Daniel tied Miller to his chair with duct tape, not wanting to take the chance that the guy would regain consciousness too soon.

The first step in their plan accomplished, Daniel and Teal'c headed for the main armory, which was on the same level as the Stargate.  As always, there was a guard on duty.  This time, it was Daniel who approached.  He saw that it was Captain Gary Hopkins, with whom he had a casual friendship.

"Hey, Gary.  How's it going?" he asked.

"Oh, all right, Doctor J.  Another late night for you?"

"Yeah, I'm afraid so.  Uh, I really hate to do this, Gary, but. . . ."  Daniel's sentence was finished with a hard blow to the man's jaw.  The captain went down and lay still, which surprised Daniel.  He was expecting more of a fight.  After tying the guard up, Daniel and Teal'c raided the armory.  The archeologist grabbed a sidearm, a zat, a P-90 and as much ammo as he could stuff into his pockets and backpack.  The Jaffa took the same things, as well as his staff weapon.  In addition, they took some grenades, both the standard kind and a couple of the Goa'uld shock grenades that the SGC had managed to get their hands on.  Completing their armament were two combat knives and their vests.

Now would come the tricky part.  Making sure that nobody was around, Daniel and Teal'c snuck into the control room.  As Daniel had said, only two men were on duty.  They stared at the linguist and the Jaffa, seeing that the two SG-1 team members appeared to be outfitted for a mission.

"Doctor Jackson?  Teal'c?  What's going on?" one of the men asked in confusion.  "There are no missions on the schedule."

"Yeah.  Um, this is sort of an unofficial mission," Daniel told them.  "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to ask you to move away from the dialing computer."

The two men exchanged glances.

"What?  What's this all about?" the second man asked.

"We don't have time to explain.  Please move away from the computers, and please don't try to set off the alarm."

Realizing that this was not a joke, the two men wisely moved away from the computers, not willing to go up against two members of the SG team that had become legendary in the SGC.  Apologizing again, Daniel tied one of the men up while Teal'c did likewise with the other one.  Daniel then started the dialing sequence.  He and Teal'c hurried down to the gate room, the blast doors closing after them.

"Doctor Jackson, Teal'c.  What's happening?" asked one of the men on guard duty in the gate room.

"I'm really sorry we have to do this, but. . . ."

Daniel's words were followed by zat blasts from him and Teal'c.  Taken by surprise, most of the men went down before they even managed to lift their weapons.  Two did, however, and Daniel was forced to use his abilities to pull the guns out of their grasp.  A second later, the last two guards fell, having been zatted by Teal'c.

The silence that followed was broken by an unexpected voice.

"Did you really think that we wouldn't figure out what you were planning?"

Daniel and Teal'c looked up to see Jack and Sam in the control room.  It was Jack who had spoken.

Just then, the wormhole connected, but Daniel kept his eyes on his two teammates.

"How did you know?" he asked.

"I saw the look you sent Teal'c's way and knew that something was up.  So did Carter.  We followed you to his room and overheard what you said.  Daniel, we understand why you're doing this, but you should have waited.  We might have figured something out."

"Jack, I'm banned from ever going through the gate again by order of the president.  What could you have figured out?  We had to do this now in case something made it impossible for us to do it later."

"And so you were just going to leave without saying goodbye?"  That had come from Sam, who was clearly very upset.

"I'm sorry, Sam.  I didn't want you and Jack to get into trouble.  I thought that this was the best way.  I wrote you and Jack each a letter.  They're on my desk.  I know that's not the same, but it's all that I could do."

"We could stop you, you know," Jack stated.

"No, you can't, Jack, and you know it.  Please don't try."

The two men stared at each other over the distance that separated them.  It was the colonel who backed down.  Daniel was right, and he knew it.  If Jack tried to stop them, the archeologist would use his abilities, and Jack didn't want to force his friend into doing that.  Besides, as he had said, he understood why Daniel was doing this.  He just wished that he could go with them.  But, like on so many other occasions, his sense of duty to the Air Force would not let him do what he wanted to do.

"We're going to miss you," Sam said, trying very hard not to cry.

"I'm going to miss you, too, Sam," Daniel responded, a catch in his throat.  God, this was even harder than he'd thought it would be.  "You take care of yourself, all right?  You too, Jack."

Taking one last look at their friends, Daniel and Teal'c headed up the ramp.

"Daniel!" Jack called.

Inches from the event horizon, Daniel turned to look up at the man who had become one of his best friends in the world.

"Remember the two weeks we all spent beside that poppy field?" Jack asked.  "I hope that, someday, we can do that again."

Daniel paused a moment, then nodded.  With a final glance at Sam, he then stepped through the Stargate with Teal'c.

"You just stood there and let them go?!" Colonel Morrison roared at Jack and Sam.  The three of them, along with General Hammond and Major Rice, were in the briefing room.

"Morrison, you've seen for yourself what Daniel can do," Jack responded.  "How would we have stopped them?  Shoot them?  They'd already taken out all the guards.  If Carter had shut down the dialing sequence, Daniel would have dialed out manually, and you can bet that we wouldn't have been able to get those blast doors open."

"And how do we know that you weren't in on their plan?" Major Rice asked.

"You don't, unless you accept my word when I say that Carter and I played no part in this."

"You had no idea that they were planning to leave?"

"Daniel had told us that, if he was forced to work for the NID or the DOD, he'd leave Earth and perhaps join one of our allies so that he could keep fighting the Goa'uld."  Okay, so that wasn't really a lie.  Daniel had said that.  Jack was just not mentioning that he and Carter had also overheard Daniel and Teal'c's plan to leave last night.

"And you didn't report that to anyone?" asked Colonel Morrison.

"No, I didn't.  Why should I?  As it turned out, Daniel wasn't transferred, so what he said then didn't matter."

"But if you had reported what he said, we might have been prepared for this and put a stop to it."

"Okay, first off, I would never betray Daniel's trust like that.  Second, if I had told anyone and you had tried to stop him, someone might have gotten hurt."

"Do you know where they went?" Rice asked, still suspicious.

"According to the dialing computer, Doctor Jackson and Teal'c went to P3X-797, which we also call the Land of Light," Hammond answered.  "However, they would not have remained there for long.  They very likely headed somewhere else immediately, before they could be pursued."

"And you have no way of tracking them?" asked Morrison.

"No.  We don't have the capability of determining where they went from there," Sam replied.

"You said that Doctor Jackson spoke of joining one of our allies.  Which one?"

"He said something about joining the Tok'ra, but I'm betting that he changed his mind," Jack answered.

"Nevertheless, we need to send the Tok'ra a message and tell them that, if Doctor Jackson and Teal'c do come in contact with them, they are to apprehend them and return them to us."

Sam stared at the man.  "Apprehend them?  You mean imprison them and force them to return here."

"Doctor Jackson is an Earth citizen and an employee of the U.S. military who left this planet without permission.  We have the right to demand that he be returned."

"Doctor Jackson may be a citizen of Earth, but he is no longer an employee of the military," General Hammond told everyone.  He lifted a letter that had been sitting on the table before him.  "I found this on my desk when I got here.  It's his resignation."

"That makes no difference at all," Morrison insisted.  "He was under presidential orders to remain on Earth.  That alone is grounds for having him arrested."

"And what good would it do to have Daniel locked up in jail somewhere?" Jack asked.  Then he thought of something.  "Oh, wait.  I know.  You plan on blackmailing him, either go to work for you or spend the rest of his life in jail."

Morrison didn't respond, confirming Jack's guess.

"You people really are something else, aren't you," Sam said, her anger growing out of control.  "Daniel is out there somewhere, putting his life on the line so that he can continue fighting for Earth and every human being in the galaxy, and you're mad that you lost the chance to get your hands on him.  How petty and selfish can you get?"

"That is enough, Major," Morrison snapped.  "I don't allow subordinates to show such disrespect."

"Then I'll back up what she said and add a bit more," Jack said.  "You two are either utterly blind about what's really at stake here or are too stupid and short-sighted to see past what you want.  Daniel did exactly what he knew he had to do.  You and the president forced him to choose between two options that were both unacceptable to him, either allow himself to become a lab test subject and then be used to do things that were against his code of ethics or be stuck here at the SGC as a consultant with no power to really help in the way he needs to, the way that he alone now has the ability to help.  Daniel chose a third option, one that would let him continue doing what he has spent most of the last six and a half years doing: fighting the Goa'uld and helping people whenever he could.  And I have to say that I am damn proud of him."

Scowling, Morrison turned to Hammond.  "General, what do you intend to do to get Doctor Jackson back?"

"I will contact the Tok'ra and tell them to be on the lookout for him and Teal'c, and, of course, all SG teams will be under orders to watch out for them.  However, I will not make demands of the Tok'ra that they capture Doctor Jackson and Teal'c and return them to us.  I will merely tell the Tok'ra to speak with them and try to encourage them to return.  I will also not risk an injury to my men, Doctor Jackson or Teal'c by ordering the SG teams to forcefully apprehend them.  They are not criminals, and I will not let them be treated as such."

The colonel's frown deepened.  "Be assured, General, that you will receive orders from the president to instruct both the Tok'ra and all SG team members to apprehend Doctor Jackson and Teal'c."  He got to his feet and stormed out of the briefing room.  Major Rice left immediately afterwards.

Hammond gave a deep sigh and rubbed a hand over his bald pate.  Then he focused a stare on Jack.  "Colonel, I'm asking you straight.  Did you know that Doctor Jackson and Teal'c were going to do this?"

"I'd rather not answer that, sir."

"You just did.  This is a real mess, Jack.  I'm going to have a dozen people breathing down my neck, not the least of which will be the president."

"Sir, are you saying that you don't believe Daniel did the right thing?" Sam asked.

"No, Major, I'm not saying that.  I understand why he did it, and I admire him for his courage and determination.  But that isn't going to make my job any easier over the next few days.  Now, if you will excuse me, I need to call the president and talk with him before Morrison does."

The general left the briefing room and went to his office.  He sat behind his desk and picked up an envelope with his name handwritten on it.  The envelope contained a personal letter to him from Daniel.  It had been left on his desk along with the archeologist's letter of resignation.

Hammond took out the letter and read it for the second time.

Dear General Hammond,

By the time you read this, I will be gone.  I hope you can understand why I chose to leave.  When I was ascended, I learned what it was like to sit on the sidelines, unable to help, and I can't live like that again.  I know that, as a consultant for the SGC, I would still be performing an important function, but it wouldn't be enough.  I need to be out there, using my knowledge and abilities to help people and to fight the Goa'uld.  I had originally planned to go alone if I was forced to do this, but Teal'c has chosen to go with me because he felt that he needed to do so.

I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I have come to admire and respect you and how great an honor it has been to be under your command.  You are a good and honest man who never failed to give me support and who had the patience to listen to my moralistic ranting and long-winded briefing presentations.  I can't tell you how much that has meant to me.  There were times that you believed in me when most others wouldn't have, and you showed me respect by listening to my side of an issue and by taking it into consideration when making a decision.  You rarely let your military side blind you to what was the right thing to do, something that I know is not shared by everyone in the military.

Thank you for everything, sir.  I hope that, someday, we'll meet again.

Daniel Jackson

Hammond placed the letter back in the envelope and put it in the drawer that contained a few other personal belongings.

"I'm going to miss you, Daniel," the general said quietly.  "I pray that we will meet again someday."

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