Stargate Horizons


Daniel and Teal'c stood before a huge field of orange flowers.

"You are certain that this is the correct place and day, Daniel Jackson?" the Jaffa asked.

"Positive.  On our mission here a few years ago, Jack said that the flowers reminded him of opium poppies.  He joked that a hell of a lot of people could get high on that many flowers.  That mission lasted only three days, yet, in the gate room, as you and I were leaving, Jack made a comment about us being here for two weeks.  I realized that he was telling us to meet him here in two weeks."

"Master Bra'tac's message confirms that O'Neill wishes to meet with us."

"Yeah.  Something must be going on."

Just then, Daniel and Teal'c both turned in the direction of the Stargate, the Jaffa because he had heard someone approaching, the archeologist because he had suddenly sensed that they had company.  The two men ducked into their hiding place and waited.  A short while later, two figures came into view, and they recognized Jack and Sam.  They waited for their former teammates to get a little closer, then left their hiding place.  Jack and Sam instantly froze upon seeing them.

"Hey, guys," Daniel said quietly, trying not to smile too broadly

"Daniel!" Sam shouted.  In the next instant, she was hugging the linguist so tightly that he was afraid she'd break a rib.  Not really caring if she did, Daniel returned the hug.

As if suddenly realizing that she was making a spectacle of herself, Sam pulled back.  She gave Teal'c a much quicker and less enthusiastic hug.  Jack then stepped forward with a huge grin and, much to Daniel's surprise, embraced him heartily.  The colonel then gave Teal'c a brief hug.

"It's so good to see you guys," Sam said, grinning like an idiot.  "We've really missed you."

"We've missed you, too, Sam," Daniel told her.  His eyes went to Jack.  "Both of you."

"So, how are you doing?" Jack asked, watching Daniel for any sign that he was sick or hurt.  The archeologist appeared to be fine.

"We are well, O'Neill," Teal'c answered.

"It's been an interesting two weeks," Daniel added.

Jack snorted.  "Yeah, I bet."

"So, we got your message that you really needed to talk with us.  Does this have something to do with the incident with SG-3 a week ago?"

"Partly.  You impressed the hell out of Reynolds, Daniel.  The SGC is really buzzing with the news.  Hammond was quick to let the president know about it.  They've been talking a lot, and the general thinks that the president is on the verge of reversing his decision and letting you rejoin SG-1.  He probably already would have done so if it wasn't for the people who are firmly against it."

"What about what Teal'c and I did?"

"Don't worry, Daniel.  You won't be brought up on any charges.  Hammond already got that promise from the president."

"Well, that's a relief."

"Everyone really wants you back, Daniel," Sam told him.

"Yeah, especially the archeology and linguistics departments," Jack said.  "They're all pulling their hair out."

"Janet misses you."

"And the Marines miss Teal'c.  They miss their repeated and rather stupid attempts to beat him at hand-to-hand."

Daniel gave a sigh.  "You guys know that I want to go back, that we both do, but until I can be certain that I've got my place back on SG-1, I can't return to Earth."

"We know, Daniel," Sam said.  "We just wanted to let you know how things are going."

"Speaking of that, where are the two new members of SG-1?"

"There aren't any," Jack told him.  "Hammond agreed that, since there was a better chance of getting you back on SG-1 in the not too distant future, I could hold off for a while longer in picking replacements.  He's probably also thinking about what happened last time."

"Last time?"

"Before the colonel finally chose Jonas, we went through nine replacements for you back when you ascended, Daniel," Sam informed him.

Jack shrugged.  "None of them were up to my standards."

Daniel's eyebrow lifted.  "Not big enough pains in the ass?"

"Something like that."

"In truth, one replacement resulted in a pain in O'Neill's knee," Teal'c remarked with a straight face.

Jack grimaced.  "Don't remind me."

Daniel hid his smile.  It was great to be with all of them again.  The thought that it was only temporary quickly dimmed his happiness, though.

"So, tell us all about what you guys have been up to," Jack said, as he took a seat on the ground.  Everyone else followed suit.

For the next couple of hours, Daniel and Teal'c filled Sam and Jack in on what they'd been doing since leaving Earth.  Much to the linguist's embarrassment, Teal'c went into great detail about their meeting with the rebel Jaffa, though he was kind enough not to include the fact that Daniel had to strip down to his underwear.  Jack was extremely impressed by the demonstration that Daniel had given the Jaffa and wished that he'd been there to see it, just as he wished that he'd seen his friend's rescue of SG-3.

"We've explored several ruins with Ancient writing," Daniel said, deliberately changing the subject, "but none of them gave any indication of being the lost city, and we found no reference to it."  He handed Sam a couple sheets of paper.  "Those are the addresses that we went to and notes on what we found there."

"Still writing mission reports, Daniel?" Jack asked in amusement.  "I guess that shouldn't surprise me since you always seemed to like paperwork."

"I just wanted to keep a record of where we'd been and what was there," Daniel explained.  "We may no longer be with the SGC, but, in a way, Teal'c and I are still on an SG team."

"Indeed," the Jaffa agreed.

"We're doing all we can to get you back on our SG team, Daniel," Jack said, all levity gone.

A brief period of silence followed the colonel's statement.  It was broken when Sam asked Daniel how he was doing.

"I'm doing okay," he replied.  "It's just been a bit of an adjustment."

"Colonel Reynolds said that you looked like you were hurt or sick," Jack said, focusing an intense gaze on the archeologist.

"I just overdid it a bit with the pyrotechnics when we helped out SG-3.  That's all," Daniel assured him.

It didn't take a genius to know that the linguist was minimizing how he had felt, as he always did.

"You should have a doctor take a look at you," Sam told him in concern.

"I'm fine, Sam," he insisted.  "The headache never lasts for more than a few minutes."

Jack immediately picked up on something.  "Wait a minute.  This has happened more than once?"

Daniel paused.  "You already knew that I got a headache when I made those fireballs on P2Q-353."


Daniel's next pause was a bit longer.  "And . . . I sort of got a headache when I did the demonstration for the Jaffa."

"Sort of?  In other words, your head felt like it was going to explode, right?"

"I wouldn't quite put it that way.  The incident with SG-3 was . . . worse."

Jack's faced hardened into a severe frown.  "Okay, that's it.  We're taking you to a doctor."

"Jack, in case you didn't already know this, doctors with relatively advanced medical knowledge are kind of in short supply out here.  So, unless Janet can make a house call, I'm kind of out of luck."

"You could go to Hebridan," Sam suggested.

"Hebridan?  That's Warrick's planet, right?" Jack asked.

Sam nodded.  "Their other technology is more advanced than ours, so I should think that the same would be true for their medical knowledge and technology."

"Right.  So, we take Daniel to Hebridan."

"No," Daniel said firmly.


The archeologist looked at the colonel.  "Jack, I can't be running off to a doctor every time I get a headache.  Except for when I use my abilities to do something pretty big, I'm just fine.  It's probably something like when you overuse a muscle and it's sore afterward.  I just have to try and avoid blowing up too many things."

Neither Jack nor Sam were happy about Daniel's refusal to go to a doctor, but there wasn't anything they could do about it.

The linguist asked about how things were going at the SGC.

"Oh, you know how it is," Jack replied.  "SG teams go out, get shot at by Jaffa, get saved by a pyrokenetic archeologist, come back just a bit worse for wear.  Same old, same old."

Sam squashed her smile.  "Pyrokenetic, sir?"

"Hey, I, might not be a big fan, but I do watch science fiction on occasion.  Loved that movie about the little kid who kept incinerating things."

"Drew Barrymore never melted a staff weapon after being forced to strip to her shorts," Daniel muttered.  He immediately wanted to bite his own tongue out.  He cringed, just waiting for it to come.  It didn't take long.

"Strip to her shorts?" Jack inquired mildly, intense curiosity on his face.  "Is there something you'd like to tell us, Daniel?"

"No, not really.  But I suppose I'm going to anyway."


Daniel heaved a big sigh.  "The rebel Jaffa wanted to be sure that I wasn't using some kind of Goa'uld device, and the only way that they could be sure was for me to . . . undress . . . in front of them."

A big smile began to blossom across Sam's face, but she quickly halted it.  She could just imagine how mortified Daniel had been.  Despite the fact that he was a very good-looking man in great physical shape, he tended to be shy about exposing his body.

Unlike Sam, Jack didn't have the tact to hide his smile.  "Boxers or briefs that day, Danny Boy?"

Daniel put a rein on his irritation.  "Briefs."

"Hope it was a warm day."

"As a matter of fact, it was about eighty degrees in the shade, so that was not a problem."

"That's good.  Wouldn't have wanted you to come up short in front of the Jaffa."

The snort of laughter that escaped Sam's mouth made Daniel flush.  She shot him a look of apology.

Daniel's irritation escaped his control.  "Yes, you would know about that from personal experience, wouldn't you, Jack," he said, giving the older man a fake smile.  "I seem to recall an incident with some angry natives and a rather chilly lake, only you weren't wearing either boxers or briefs at the time . . . or anything else, for that matter."

Jack immediately lost his smile.  The giggle that Sam inadvertently let out resulted in her being subjected to a scorching glare.

Teal'c opened his mouth to say something, but Jack held up a finger.

"Ah!  Don't you say one word.  Not a word."

Wisely, the Jaffa closed his mouth.

"Come on, T.  Let's go patrol the area or something," Jack said, getting to his feet.

Daniel's mouth twitched into a smile as he watched the two men leave.  He turned back to Sam to see a smile on her face that was both happy and sad.

"I've really missed you," she said.

"I've missed you, too, Sam," Daniel responded, his voice gentle but full of emotion.

"Tell me how you've been, Daniel, honestly."

The archeologist shrugged faintly.  "All right, I guess, all things considered.  I . . . worry about things."

"What things?"

"About you and Jack, how things are going with you.  I worry that something will happen to you, and I won't be there to help.  I wonder if I'm on a fool's errand, if I can really hope to make a difference out here without the help of the SGC.  I worry that I'm going to get Teal'c killed one of these days."

Sam wasn't sure what to say in response to Daniel's confession, so she settled for taking his hand in hers.

"I have faith in you, Daniel," she finally said.  "So does the colonel.  But we worry about you, too.  This whole thing is driving him nuts.  And he's furious at the president for his decision."

"The president made what he thought was the right decision, Sam.  I can understand his reasoning."

"But he wasn't looking at the whole picture, Daniel.  Yes, okay, so there is a danger that you could be captured by the Goa'uld and made into a host, and, yes, you could be killed and all your abilities lost, but the good that you could do on SG-1 far outweighs those dangers.  Look at what you did for SG-3.  You saved all their lives, Daniel.  Four good men would have been dead if you hadn't been there to help them.  The next time, it could be SG-1."

Daniel's stomach clenched at that thought.  It was his biggest fear, that something would happen to Sam and Jack because he wasn't there to help.

A feeling of unease abruptly skittered down Daniel's spine.  His gaze went off into the woods.

"Daniel, what's wrong?"

The archeologist frowned.  "I just. . . .  I don't know.  Probably just my imagination."  He got up.  "Let's go find Jack and Teal'c."

The two scientists headed in the direction that their companions had gone, an unexplainable feeling of dread and urgency slowly growing within Daniel.

"Okay, Teal'c, give it to me straight.  What's this business with Daniel's headaches?" Jack asked the Jaffa.

"I was quite concerned for Daniel Jackson after he dealt with the Jaffa who were attacking SG-3.  He looked ill and in great pain for several moments, and the sunlight appeared to cause discomfort to his eyes."

"You mean like what happens with a migraine?"

Teal'c nodded, having seen commercials on television for that ailment.

"How many times has that happened?"

"Twice.  As he said, he was also negatively affected by the demonstration he made for the rebel Jaffa."

"Do you think that we need to knock him out and cart him off to a doctor?"

"Such an action would make Daniel Jackson extremely angry."

"I don't give a damn if it does.  He can kill us all later, after he's been taken to a doctor."

"I believe that Daniel Jackson may be correct when he likened this to overusing a muscle.  It may be that, in time, his mind and body will grow more accustomed to this power, and he will no longer suffer after using it."

"I hope you're right, Teal'c."  Jack paused.  "So, he was really impressive when he put on the show for the rebel Jaffa, huh?"

"Indeed he was, O'Neill.  If I had not known Daniel Jackson before that moment, I may have thought as some of the other Jaffa did, that he was as a god.  I believe that many of the Jaffa who were there that day would quite willingly follow Daniel Jackson into battle.  If they had seen what he did to aid SG-3, I am certain they would."

"Daniel leading an army of Jaffa.  Wow, that's a concept.  He's certainly become the hot topic around the Jaffa watercooler."

"What do you mean by this?"

"The Tok'ra have been hearing talk about some great and powerful ally who has joined the Jaffa.  No details, but we guessed that they were talking about Daniel.  After you told us about the show he put on for them, I was sure of it."

Teal'c frowned.  "This is disturbing news.  Daniel Jackson requested that word of him not be spread among the Jaffa for fear that the Goa'uld would learn of him.  The Jaffa swore that they would say nothing."

"Well, something must have slipped out."  Jack's concern for Daniel went up another notch.  "I never thought about the Goa'uld and what they'd do if they found out about him.  We need to get Daniel back to the safety of the SGC.  He's too vulnerable out here without Earth backing him up."

"He will not willingly return to Earth without a promise that he has his place back on SG-1."

"Yeah, I know, which means that we need to work even harder on making that happen."

At that moment, the subject of their conversation came into view, along with Sam.  The two scientists, seeing Jack and Teal'c, headed for them.  Daniel could feel something inside his boot that was jabbing him in the foot and stopped to get it out, telling Sam to go on ahead.  He had just finished putting his boot back on and was getting to his feet when an overpowering feeling of danger slammed into him.  His eyes went to the others.  Sam had just reached the colonel and Teal'c.

"Jack!" Daniel cried in warning.  An instant later, the blast from a staff weapon went streaking past his three friends.  They spun around to see a large force of Jaffa erupt from the trees.  They immediately opened fire on the Jaffa and started running toward Daniel.

"Go, Daniel!  Get to the gate!" Jack yelled.  Then he turned and fired off his P-90, hitting several Jaffa.

Daniel spun around and took off for the gate, running as fast as he could.  He hoped that he wasn't making a mistake by going for the DHD instead of attempting a repeat of what he did for SG-3.  The difference between now and then was that these Jaffa were much farther away, far enough that he, Sam, Jack and Teal'c had a chance to make it through the gate, a chance SG-3 hadn't had.  That difference made up Daniel's mind.  Getting the gate activated took top priority.  Then he could worry about helping to stop the Jaffa.

At last, Daniel reached the Stargate.  He could hear the sound of staff weapons and P-90s being fired but couldn't spare the time to see what was happening.  He reached for the first glyph of Earth's address, then stopped.  He couldn't dial Earth.  He had no G.D.O. to send the code for opening the iris.  Daniel glanced over his shoulder and saw his teammates in the distance, trying to run and shoot at the same time.  Would there be enough time for Jack or Sam to stop and send the code?  But where else could they go?  The gate at the Alpha Site had no iris, which meant that they wouldn't be able to stop the Jaffa from coming through after them.

Knowing that there was no other option, Daniel began dialing the address for Earth.  If necessary, he could hold the Jaffa off long enough for Sam or Jack to send the code and for all of them to get through the gate.  He didn't let himself think about what would happen to him once he was back on Earth.  It didn't matter compared to Jack, Sam and Teal'c's safety.

Daniel was pressing the fourth symbol when something made him turn around.  Jack and Teal'c were about thirty yards away.  Sam was a few yards further back, firing her P-90.

A sudden, sickening feeling of deja vu hit Daniel.  He'd seen this before.  An instant later, the feeling blossomed into horror as an Al'Kesh attack bomber came into view and swooped downward, aiming straight for Jack, Sam and Teal'c.

"No!" Daniel screamed, knowing without doubt that the nightmare he'd had all those nights ago was coming to life and that, if something wasn't done, Sam was going to die.

In desperation, Daniel's mind focused on the Al'Kesh.  With the speed of thought, he reached for the power inside him and hit the ship with everything he had.  A deafening roar shook the meadow as the Al'Kesh was ripped apart in a tremendous explosion.

Blinding pain blazed like fire through Daniel's brain.  With a single choked cry, he clutched at his head.  Then a red-streaked blackness rose up around him, and he fell headlong into it, never hearing the frantic cry of his friends.

Next Chapter

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