Stargate Horizons


Where the hell had these Jaffa come from?  That was the thought running through Jack's mind as he, Sam and Teal'c ran like crazy toward the Stargate.  He could see that Daniel had just made it to the DHD.  The colonel turned and fired off a few more rounds into the Jaffa, who were quickly gaining on them.  Sam did likewise, expending the last of the ammo in her clip.  As they ran, she ejected the clip and slammed in a new one, then turned and fired again.

Suddenly, things got a whole lot worse when an Al'Kesh appeared and sped toward their position.  Doubling their speed, Sam and the others made a mad dash for the gate.

In the distance, they heard Daniel scream a horrified "No!"  They looked up to see the Al'Kesh swooping down upon them like a bird of prey.

And then, without warning, the ship blew apart in a mighty explosion, as if a bomb had gone off inside it.  The fiery wreckage plummeted to the ground right into the midst of the advancing Jaffa.  Not pausing to ponder on the source of their salvation, Jack, Sam and Teal'c spun back around toward the Stargate – just in time to see Daniel collapse bonelessly to the ground and lay still.

"Daniel!" Jack and Sam cried.  They covered the rest of the distance with Teal'c and fell to their knees beside their friend.  There was no sign of an injury, but his face was chalk-white, and he was unconscious.

"Carter!  Finish dialing the gate!" Jack commanded, pulling Daniel's dead weight up into his arms in preparation of carrying him.

Sam scrambled to her feet and finished dialing Earth's address.  The instant that the gate activated, she sent the code that would not only open the iris but also inform the SGC that they were under fire.  With Teal'c's help, Jack heaved Daniel up over his shoulders and ran with the others through the Stargate.

"Shut the iris!" Jack yelled frantically, ducking as a staff weapon blast shot out of the wormhole and slammed into the wall across the room.  The iris closed, protecting them from further blasts.

Jack laid Daniel's unmoving body on the ramp and checked for a pulse, breathing a sigh of relief that there still was one.

His expression mirroring his shock and concern, Hammond came forward.

"Colonel O'Neill, what happened?  Is Doctor Jackson injured?"

"We were attacked by Jaffa, sir.  I don't know what happened to Daniel.  He just collapsed."

A few moments later, a medical team came rushing in, led by Janet.  She hurried forward, checking the archeologist.  Not bothering to ask what had happened, she had him put on the gurney.

Daniel was quickly taken to the infirmary.  On the way, Janet asked what happened to him.  All the others could tell her was how he suddenly collapsed.  Once they got to the infirmary, the doctor refused to let the others in, ordering them to stay out in the hall.

After a few minutes, Hammond joined them and asked again what had happened.  Jack and Sam gave an abbreviated rundown of the day's events.

"And Daniel just dropped, like he'd been shot," Jack finished.  "We grabbed him and brought him through."

"What destroyed the Al'Kesh?" the general asked.

"We don't know, sir."

Sam gasped.  "Oh my God," she whispered.  The others all stared at her to see an expression of horrified realization on her face.  "The dream."

"What?  What dream?" Jack asked.

Sam looked at him.  "A while ago, Daniel had a nightmare about a mission going bad.  He told me that we were all being chased by Jaffa.  Then an Al'Kesh came, and . . . and I died.  My God.  It was his dream, Colonel.  What happened on that planet was Daniel's dream coming true.  He must have realized it and knew what was going to happen.  He stopped the ship."

Jack stared at her in disbelief.  "Are you saying that Daniel blew up the ship?"

"He knew that if he didn't, I'd be killed."  Tears filled her eyes.  "He saved my life, but it was too much for him.  His mind couldn't handle him using that much power."

Everyone fell silent, overwhelmed by the thought of what Daniel had done.

"I think that Daniel sensed something was wrong before the attack," Sam murmured after a couple of minutes.  "He acted like something was bothering him."

Janet came out, halting any further discussion on the subject.

"How is he?" Jack asked.

"He's being taken for a CT scan.  I'm almost certain that he suffered some kind of trauma to his brain.  None of you have any idea how this happened?"

Sam explained her beliefs to the doctor.  Jack and Teal'c told Janet about the severe, migraine-like headaches Daniel had suffered on the two occasions when he used his abilities to a higher degree.

Janet frowned in concern.  "I was afraid of this.  The human mind is not accustomed to using that kind of power.  There's no telling what kind of damage was done to Daniel's brain when he blew up that ship."

"How long will it be before you know if he'll be okay?" Sam asked, getting scared.

"The CT scan should give us some idea of what's going on.  I may have to do an MRI as well, depending on the damage.  Even then, I might not be able to give you an answer on if he'll be all right."  She looked at Jack, Sam and Teal'c.  "You need to have your post-mission physicals.  Go do that, then take care of your debriefing.  As soon as I know something, I'll let you know."

Janet left to accompany Daniel to the CT scanner.  The members of SG-1 went into the infirmary as Hammond returned to his office.

In the debriefing, everyone went into more detail on what happened.

"Frankly, I am finding this a little hard to believe," the general said.

"I know what you mean, sir," Jack said.  "I knew that Daniel packed quite a punch, but you should have seen it, sir.  That ship was totally destroyed."

The general turned to Sam.  "Are you positive that the dream Doctor Jackson had was a vision of the events on P8R-978?"

"Yes, sir, I'm almost certain of it.  He didn't give me a lot of details, but what Daniel did tell me matches what happened.  That Al'Kesh was heading straight for us.  If it had started dropping its bombs. . . ."  Sam shuddered inwardly at the thought, knowing that, if it hadn't been for Daniel, she'd have been blown to bits.  "Daniel knew what was going to happen, sir, and he destroyed the ship to prevent it."

Janet came into the briefing room.

"What have you found out, Doctor?" Hammond asked.

"As I suspected, Daniel did suffer some kind of trauma to his brain," Janet announced.  "There is some minor bleeding into the brain tissue, but I'm very hopeful that it will stop soon and will not require surgery."

"What happened to him, Janet?" Sam asked.

"I'm afraid that I don't know for sure.  In regards to the bleeding, Daniel didn't receive a head injury, so I can only assume that some of the small arteries in his brain ruptured.  There are a lot of things that could cause that, one being high blood pressure.  Since Daniel doesn't suffer from hypertension, something may have caused a sudden increase in the cerebral blood flow, resulting in the arteries rupturing from the pressure.  The thing that worries me the most is that intracerebral hemorrhaging alone generally isn't going to drop someone in their tracks like you described.  A massive stroke can—"

"A stroke?!" Jack exclaimed, feeling sick at the thought of Daniel suffering a stroke and what it would mean for him.

"There's no indication that Daniel suffered a stroke, Colonel, even though intracerebral hemorrhaging can cause one.  However, something traumatic did happen inside Daniel's brain that resulted in the arteries rupturing.  There is no clear sign of brain damage, but I can't rule it out for sure until he awakens, and we can run some tests on him.  Until then, it's just a matter of waiting for him to wake up."

"Thank you, Doctor Fraiser," Hammond said.  He looked around at the worried faces.  "That's enough for now, people.  Why don't you go clean up.  Then, if the doctor will allow it, visit with Doctor Jackson."

Everyone rose to their feet and filed out of the room.  Sam, Jack and Teal'c wanted to go straight to the infirmary, but Janet insisted that they shower and change first.  They did so with lightning speed, then headed straight to their friend's bedside.  Daniel was still unconscious and was hooked up to several pieces of equipment, including an EEG.

Sam went to the head of the bed, her hand reaching out to stroke Daniel's hair.  Though she knew it was silly, she felt guilty.  Daniel was lying in that bed because of his effort to save her life.  In the military, you were expected to risk your life for a teammate during a battle, sometimes even sacrifice it for them, but knowing that didn't make it any easier when a teammate was seriously injured or killed saving your life.  She knew that, technically, Daniel was no longer her teammate, but, in her heart, he still was.  He was also her best friend, which made it a hundred times worse.

"You know that you're not responsible for this, right?" Jack asked quietly.

"Yes, I know.  But I still feel. . . ."



Jack looked down at the man lying on the bed.  "On that first mission, when Daniel took that staff weapon blast that was meant for me, I felt pretty guilty.  The difference was that I had good reason to feel that way.  I was stupid enough to think that I could take on Ra and all his guards alone.  Actually, I don't know what I was thinking.  I was not in a good frame of mind back then.  Daniel died because of my idiocy, and, as I sat there all that night with what was left of my team, I had plenty of time to think about it."  A tiny smile curved his lips.  "He really surprised me.  I had thought that he was just some long-haired, klutzy dweeb.  I've never been so wrong about anyone in my life."  Jack met Sam's eyes.  "Daniel always puts other people's lives before his own.  We've all seen that way more than once.  That's just the way he is.  I don't know if he knew that blowing up that ship might seriously harm or even kill him, but, regardless of whether or not he did, it wouldn't have made a difference."

"I know."

A slight noise drew their attention to the occupant of the bed.  Jack, Sam and Teal'c watched as Daniel stirred, his eyelids fluttering.

"Sam," he mumbled.

Sam took hold of his hand.  "I'm right here, Daniel.  I'm okay.  We're all okay.  You saved me."

Daniel's eyes blinked open.  A slightly unfocused gaze turned to them, sliding over Jack and Teal'c before coming to rest on Sam.

"The bombs," he whispered.

"Shh.  It's okay, Daniel," Sam murmured soothingly.  "You stopped the ship before it had a chance to drop any bombs.  None of us were hurt except for you.  You're back at the SGC, in the infirmary."

It took a moment for the meaning of that to sink in.  When it did, Daniel closed his eyes and sighed.  "Then I'm trapped here."

"No, Daniel, you're not," Jack told him.  "After what just happened, you'd better believe that I'm going to get you back on SG-1.  This proves yet again how important it is to have you on an SG team, not stuck here on Earth.  And if the president can't see that, then he's not smart enough to lead a marching band, let alone this country."

Daniel's lips twitched upward.  "Just don't let him hear you say that.  He might take offense."

"Ya think?"

Janet came up to Daniel's bed.  "Hello, Daniel.  I'd say welcome back, but this isn't the way that I wanted to see you return to us."

"But it isn't much of a surprise, is it," Daniel responded.

Janet smiled down at him.  "No, it isn't, I'm afraid."  She sobered.  "How are you feeling?"

"My head hurts, and I'm a little nauseous.  I feel kind of . . . fuzzy."

"All those things are understandable, considering what happened."

"What did happen?  I guess I must have overdone it a bit."

"Just a bit.  Luckily, I don't think you did any permanent damage.  You've got some minor bleeding into your brain tissue from some ruptured arteries, but I haven't found any other damage.  I do need to do some mental and physical tests, though, to make sure everything is working properly inside that head of yours.  Do you feel up to that?"

Daniel nodded slightly.

Trying to dispel the feeling that his brain was stuffed with cotton, Daniel answered Janet's questions and followed her commands as well as he could, but he was so sleepy that it was a major struggle to remain awake and focused.  At last, Janet told him to get some rest.  Almost immediately, he was out.

"So?" Jack inquired.

"Well, he seems to be okay," the doctor answered.  "He's definitely not a hundred percent, but I didn't expect him to be this soon.  Some of that is caused by the bleeding in his brain and should clear up shortly.  I'll test him again once he's awake and more alert.  For right now, he needs sleep."  She looked at them.  "And all of you need rest, not to mention something to eat."  Her expression firmed into that determined doctor look they all knew well.  "Consider that doctor's orders."

After arguing to no avail, Jack, Sam and Teal'c reluctantly went to the commissary.

A young lieutenant came up to their table.  "How's Doctor Jackson doing, sirs, ma'am?"

"The doc thinks he's going to be all right," Jack replied.

"That's great, sir.  Um, some of us were wondering. . . .  Colonel, is it true that he blew up an Al'Kesh?"

Jack stared at him in surprise.  "How did you hear about that?"

"It's a rumor going around the base, sir.  I don't know where it started."

Jack was amazed at how fast news sometimes traveled on base.  He wondered if he should deny the rumor or confirm it.  Daniel's actions would be in the official report, so it would be pretty pointless to deny it.

"Yes, it's true," he said.

"Really?  Wow.  That's . . . wow."

"Yeah, that about sums it up."

Realizing that he was acting like an awestruck teenager in front of a superior officer, the young man abruptly straightened his posture.

"Sorry, sir.  It's just amazing that he could do that.  I mean, you kind of expect aliens to be able to do stuff like that, but Doctor Jackson's not an alien, not anymore, that is.  Uh . . . uh, I mean, he was never really an alien, just sort of . . . not . . . human."  His voice trailed off helplessly.

Forcing his face to remain straight, Jack said, "Actually, he was an alien.  But don't say that to his face.  He might not like it."

"No, sir!  Of course not, sir!  I have great respect for Doctor Jackson.  I would never do anything to insult him, sir."

Jack felt his poker face beginning to crack.  "You're excused, Lieutenant."

"Yes, sir."  The young man turned smartly and left.

"God, I don't think I was ever that young," Jack muttered.  He chuckled.  "It looks like Daniel might have to deal with a bit of hero worship on base.  He'll be so thrilled."

Sam smiled, knowing what the colonel meant.  Daniel would not be comfortable with people treating him like some kind of superhero.

"Sir, do you really think that the president will let Daniel rejoin SG-1?" she asked.

"Well, he'd be pretty stupid not to, don't you think?  Daniel's needed out there with us."

"Indeed he is," Teal'c agreed.

"Hello again, Daniel."

Daniel turned to see a familiar figure.  "Oma.  I'm guessing that you're aware of what's going on with me.  Did you know this was going to happen?"

"The future is never clear.  It is as the dunes of the desert, ever shifting and changing."

"But you did know that I had this ability, didn't you.  That wasn't just a dream I had before.  You really did come to me.  So, could I always do these things or was something changed because of my ascension?"

"The mind is only limited by what it is willing to believe.  If it is set free, it can soar like the eagle.  Yet the eagle can fly no higher than its mortal body will allow, though its heart may seek to fly higher."

"In other words, all humans have the potential for paranormal abilities, but the extent of those abilities is limited by our physical capacities.  That still doesn't answer my question, Oma."

"The smallest spark can create a mighty inferno."  Oma gave Daniel one of her gentle smiles.  "You were changed by your time with us.  The spark was lit within you and was fed when you reached that place in your mind that you found before on Kheb."

"Then it was the biofeedback that started all of this.  If I hadn't gone through those sessions, would I have stayed ignorant of this?"

"The sun cannot remain hidden forever.  Sooner or later, the clouds will break to reveal its light."

"I'll take that as a no.  So, one way or another, this would have happened.  Then tell me, Oma.  What am I supposed to do about it?  Is there some grand scheme in all of this or do I just keep doing what I think I should?"

"You have already chosen the path you will walk upon.  You must be true to your nature, Daniel, as you always were.  It will guide your steps.  Do not let others choose that path for you.  Your strength lies in your ability to see and accept what others cannot or will not and in your willingness to stand against the wind and try to turn it even though it tears and batters you.  If you hold your course, the answers you seek will be revealed to you."

Oma started to walk away, then she paused and turned back to face Daniel.  "When the teacher fails to accept that which the student knows, then it is up to the student to become the teacher.  You must be the teacher, Daniel."

The darkness around Daniel and Oma began to brighten into a hazy light that encompassed everything.  Oma faded away into the light with a final smile.

Daniel's eyes blinked open.  The familiar sight of the SGC infirmary met his gaze.

"Well, it's about time."

Daniel turned to the speaker.  Jack gave him a little smile.

"I was beginning to think that you were going to sleep around the clock," he said.

"What time is it?  How long have I been out?"

"It's 0400, and you've been asleep for over twelve hours.  Doc said it was the best thing for you, but I was still beginning to think that you'd gone into a coma or something.  You slept right through the second CT scan they did a little while ago.  So, how are you feeling?"

"Better.  What are you doing here at four o'clock in the morning?"

"Had nothing better to do."

"You know, most people prefer sleeping at this time of night."

"You were doing enough of that for both of us.  I did make Carter and Teal'c go to bed, though, and I think that the doc's sacked out on the couch in her office.  I guess I should wake her."

"No, don't.  Let her sleep."  Daniel studied Jack's face, wondering if he should mention his conversation with Oma.  Oh, why not?  "I got a final answer to one of my questions."

"Which one?"

"These things I can do are a result of my ascension."

"How did you find out for sure?"

"Oma told me."

Jack paused a moment.  "You mean that just now you were. . . ."

"Uh huh."

"Does Oma often play a role in your dreams, Daniel?  Not that I have anything against that, mind you.  I've had my share of dreams about fascinating women.  But I think this one might be just a bit old for you."

Daniel cocked an eyebrow.  "Don't believe in dating older women, Jack?"

"No, not really, especially at my age.  I prefer my dates to still have all of their own teeth."

"Well, don't worry.  I have no immediate plans to date a several-million-year-old woman, or however old she is."

"Glad to hear it.  So, what else did she tell you?"

"That I need to do what I think is the right thing and not let others control me, and that it's time for me to be a teacher rather than a student."

"Really?  So, who ya gonna teach?"

"I haven't figured that part out yet."

"Ah.  Well, I can think of a few blockheads who need to learn a lesson or two, namely, the people responsible for you being taken off SG-1."

"Yeah, about that.  Any word yet from the president?"

"He's supposed to call Hammond this morning."

"If he still says no. . . ."

"Then, one way or another, we'll get off Earth."

Daniel stared at Jack.  "We?"

"We," Jack confirmed.

Daniel searched the older man's eyes questioningly.  What he saw there surprised and humbled him.  Jack was willing to give up his career to keep his team together.

Sam came into view and walked up to the bed.  "That includes all of us, Daniel," she said.

"But you'd both be giving up everything."

"Not everything, Daniel, not what's most important," Jack stated with conviction.

Sam nodded.  "We'd still be fighting the Goa'uld and protecting Earth from them.  And we'd be doing it together."

Daniel's head ducked, overwhelmed by Jack and Sam's gesture of friendship.  It gave him the strongest sense of belonging that he could ever remember feeling since the death of his parents.

"Well, Daniel, since you're apparently not going to slip into a coma any time soon, I'm going to get a couple of hours of shuteye," Jack said.  "Carter, you going to keep Drew Barrymore here company for a while?"

Sam smiled.  "That's the plan, sir."

"All right, see you later."  Jack headed out the door with a jaunty wave, leaving Daniel and Sam in the otherwise deserted infirmary.

Next Chapter

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