Major Stevenson came up to SG-1, Janet and the other two teams as they stepped out of the Stargate.
"Report, Major," Jack ordered, scanning the area.
"We're secure for now, sir. We took out three Jaffa. The rest are attacking Major Dixon's position, which is less than two klicks to the north. Colonel Reynolds and Perkins went to back them up."
"All right. Stay here at the gate. Hopefully, this won't take long."
"Major, do you know where Airman Wells is?" Janet asked.
"No, ma'am, not exactly. All I know is that the others are covering him."
"Okay, let's head out," Jack commanded.
SG-1 and the others headed in the direction of SG-13 and the rest of SG-3. They hadn't been traveling very long when the sound of ground fighting and attacking ships came to their ears.
"Crap," Jack cursed. "That sounds like a hell of a lot more than six Jaffa."
They increased their pace and soon came upon a scene out of hell. There were Jaffa, Al'Kesh and gliders everywhere. Jack fired off orders to everyone. Spying Colonel Reynolds, they found out from him where Airman Wells was. Two members of SG-5 went on ahead with orders to clear the way for Daniel and Janet then return. As the others headed into battle, the doctor and the archeologist took off for Wells' position. They were almost there when the two members of SG-5 who had gone ahead of them radioed that the way was clear. Daniel and Janet passed the men running back toward the fighting as they hurried up to the injured Wells and his teammate, Airman Bosworth.
Janet and Daniel began attending to Wells as Bosworth ascended the incline so that he could cover them from the ridge.
"I'm Doctor Janet Fraiser. Can you hear me?" the doctor asked the injured man, who was lying on his stomach, the staff weapon wound in his back covered by a bloody cloth.
"Yeah," Wells gasped. "Hurts so bad. I can't move. I can't feel my legs. I think it went right through me."
"What's your name?" Daniel asked him.
"Senior Airman Wells, Simon Wells. Am I gonna die?"
"Not if I have anything to do with it," Janet replied. Addressing Daniel, she said, "Okay, we need to roll him over and stop the bleeding. Okay? Simon, you hanging in there?" A moan of pain was her answer. "Okay, easy. All right, on three. One . . . two . . . three."
Simon screamed as Daniel and Janet turn him onto his back.
"I'm Daniel Jackson," Daniel said to Simon, who was gasping and panting in pain.
"I know. I know. SG-1."
Daniel shared a look with Janet. The expression on her face told him that the young airman was seriously hurt. "Okay, you're gonna be fine," he said to Simon, trying to sound convincing.
"Son of a bitch. He came out of nowhere! Shot me in the back."
"Let's talk about something else right now, Simon. Uh . . . what's going on at home right now?"
"M-my wife . . . is pregnant."
"Yeah? That your, uh, that your first? Congratulations."
Simon screamed as Janet clamped off a bleeder.
"That's good. At least you felt that," the doctor said, hopeful that her patient wasn't permanently paralyzed.
At that moment, a voice came over the radio. "Colonel O'Neill! Our position's being compromised! We're not gonna be able to hold the gate for long!"
Jack's reply was barely understandable, his radio transmission breaking up. "It doesn't matter we're not gonna be able to hold this position for that long."
Janet grabbed her radio, keying the microphone. "Colonel? I need more time to stabilize this patient. He can't be moved yet."
"You can't help me! Leave me!" Simon cried. "Doctor Jackson, you should go help them. They need you."
"Nobody is going anywhere," Janet told him.
"God. I can't believe I'm not gonna see my son!"
Trying to keep the young man's mind off his desperate situation, Daniel quickly said, "Ok, just stay focused, stay focused. . . ."
A sudden vision halted Daniel's voice. As if he was witnessing it with his own eyes, he saw Jack rise from his position behind a boulder and run out into the open. There was a flash of light, striking with deadly accuracy, and Jack fell to the ground to lie unmoving.
"Jack!" Daniel cried. He grabbed his radio. "Jack, don't move! Stay at your position! Jack!"
Even as Daniel spoke the words, he already knew it was too late. He felt it as his friend was felled by the staff weapon blast.
"Oh, God. Jack's been hit."
"What?!" Janet cried. "How bad?"
"God, I don't know! I should have stayed with them. How could I have been so wrong? Why didn't I see this?"
Janet grasped his arm. "Daniel, you can't think about that right now. We have to get Simon stabilized. Then we can all get out of here."
Daniel closed his eyes tightly for a second, then turned his attention back to the matter at hand, trying not to think about the fact that one of his best friends might be dead.
The fighting was growing more intense by the second. Major Stevenson had just radioed that their position at the gate was being compromised. If they didn't get out of there soon, none of them would make it. Sam heard Colonel O'Neill radio back to Stevenson that they weren't going to be able to hold their own position, then Janet's voice came over the radio, saying that her patient couldn't be moved yet.
Sam knew that Jack was right. Their position was being overrun. "Sir, we gotta fall back!" she called to him as she continued firing at the oncoming Jaffa.
Just then, one of the other SG team members used a grenade launcher on a small group of Jaffa. A moment later, Sam thought she heard Daniel's voice over the radio, his transmission badly garbled.
"Jack . . . move! Stay . . . your . . . ition! Jack!"
Sam turned just in time to see the colonel rise to his feet and run out into the open. He'd taken only a couple of steps when a staff weapon blast struck him in the lower chest.
"Sir!" Sam cried. She leapt to her feet and rushed to his side. Knowing that she had to get him out of the line of fire, she grasped him under the armpits and dragged him with all her strength back behind the boulder where Dixon was.
"How is he?" the SG-13 commander asked, looking down at Jack.
Sam felt for a pulse, breathing a sigh of relief as she found one. "He's alive, but I don't know how badly he's hurt. Sir, we've got to get out of here!"
Daniel's fear for Jack was competing with his anger at himself. Why hadn't his abilities warned him about Jack in time to do something about it? Why had he felt such an overwhelming feeling of dread about Janet but not Jack? Yet again, Daniel cursed the unreliability of his precognitive abilities.
A cry of pain from Simon drew Daniel's attention back to what was happening.
"God, I don't want to die before I see my baby!"
"Simon! Simon!" Janet yelled. "Look at me. You are not going to die, okay? I did not come all the way out here for nothing. . . ."
Janet's voice faded into the background as Daniel was suddenly hit by a violent series of images, coming so fast that he could barely register them. He saw Janet's body flung to the ground, a smoking hole in her chest, dead eyes staring vacantly up into the sky. He saw Sam crying tears of terrible sorrow, then standing on the Stargate ramp, speaking to everyone there about Janet's sacrifice and all the people who were alive because of her. He saw a flag-draped casket, Cassie weeping before it.
As the vision came to an end, Daniel screamed Janet's name. He flung himself at her, knocking her to the ground. At the same instant, there was the sound of a staff weapon being fired. Daniel felt the heat of the blast pass mere inches above him. Then he heard a P-90 being fired.
"I got him!" Bosworth yelled. "You're clear."
"Janet, are you okay?" Daniel asked anxiously.
"Yes, I'm all right. What about you?"
As they sat upright, their eyes met for a long moment.
"Thank you, Daniel," Janet said, knowing that he had probably just saved her life.
The archeologist gave her a nod and a small smile, not letting her see that he was shaking. Pushing aside the knowledge of how close Janet came to dying, Daniel helped her finish stabilizing Simon. They pulled the folding stretcher out of Janet's pack and got Simon onto it. Radioing that they were on their way, Daniel and Janet lifted the stretcher and hurried in the direction of the Stargate as Bosworth covered them.
Daniel's senses were on full alert, especially his sixth sense. He knew that the forces from Earth were in trouble and that something had to be done to stop the Jaffa and those ships.
As they got close to the fighting, he came to a halt. "Put him down, Janet," he instructed, looking at her over his shoulder.
The doctor gazed at him, seeing the expression on his face. She nodded, and they lowered Simon to the ground.
"What's wrong?" Simon asked, twisting his head about.
"Nothing's wrong, Simon," Daniel replied. "I'm just going to help out a little."
Turning toward the battle, Daniel strode forward as he gathered his power. A moment later, fire erupted from nothingness and rushed at several Jaffa, who fled before its fury. Small, yet deadly balls of flame appeared and struck like staff weapon blasts, felling three Jaffa at once. Two more were hurled thirty feet through the air. Sheets of fire blazed toward another group of Jaffa, sending them fleeing for their lives.
"Dan'yar!" screamed one Jaffa. Hearing that cry, most of the remaining Jaffa turned and ran. The few that were left died quickly, brought down by P-90's and Teal'c's staff weapon.
Daniel's gaze rose to the ships above them, which were still attacking. He targeted the engine of one of the gliders, picking the precise moment to hit it. The engine blew up, sending the ship careening out of control – and right into an Al'Kesh. Both ships exploded in a spectacular fireball.
"Holy shit," murmured Bosworth, his mouth falling open.
Though she remained silent, Janet agreed with the sentiment. This was the first time that she had witnessed Daniel using his power like this, and it left her with a feeling of awe. She had known what he was capable of, but to actually see it with her own eyes really drove home how amazing his power was.
Apparently, the pilots of the other gilders and Al'Kesh decided that getting the hell out of there would be a good idea, for they suddenly turned and fled.
"Wow," Simon whispered.
"You said it, buddy," Bosworth responded.
Ignoring the pain in his head, Daniel cast his gaze about. He caught sight of Sam and Teal'c and knew that they were with Jack. The archeologist looked over at Janet.
"Janet, I need to check on Jack."
The doctor nodded. "Go. I'll be there in a minute."
Daniel immediately ran to his teammates. His heart jumped up into his throat as he saw Jack lying still on the ground, Sam and Teal'c kneeling beside him.
"Sam?" Daniel inquired fearfully.
"He's alive, Daniel," she told him. "The new vest insert kept the blast from penetrating, but I don't know if there are any internal injuries. We need to get him to the infirmary. Where's Janet?"
"Here!" Janet called as she came running up.
"How's Airman Wells?"
"Stable. He's being taken to the gate. I think he's going to make it, though I'm not sure about spinal damage."
Janet turned her attention to Jack, checking his pulse and pupils. With Daniel's help, she got the vest off the colonel and began examining the area where he was hit, palpating gently.
"I'm not finding any overt evidence of internal hemorrhaging," she announced, "but that doesn't mean that there isn't any. Let's get him on a stretcher and back home."
Less than half an hour later, they were all back through the gate. Janet went off with her patients to the infirmary. There had been several other injuries, but nothing severe. Considering how badly outnumbered the forces from Earth had been, they'd gotten very lucky. Daniel was the only one who really knew exactly how lucky.
Hammond asked for a brief report, then let Sam, Daniel, Teal'c and Simon's teammates go to the infirmary, telling them that the debriefing could wait a couple of hours.
Janet was far too busy to answer their questions when they arrived, so the five of them went to a separate part of the infirmary and got their post-mission exams, which were performed by a couple of the medics. Doctor Balinsky, SG-13's archeologist, joined them to wait for word on his teammate.
"You're a real handy man to have in a fight, Jackson," Colonel Dixon commented. "We'd probably have taken care of those Jaffa within a couple of minutes if you'd been with us instead of with Fraiser."
"I was where I needed to be," Daniel responded in a very quiet voice.
Sam looked at him closely. "Daniel? Did something happen?"
"Doctor Fraiser was almost hit," Bosworth replied. "A Jaffa must have slipped past you guys. If it hadn't been for Doctor Jackson, he would have gotten the doc."
Sam kept her eyes on Daniel, who was staring at the floor. "Did you see something, Daniel?"
The archeologist drew in a deep breath. "Yeah. Yeah, I did." He looked at her. "I'd rather not talk about it now, Sam."
She gave him an understanding smile. "Okay."
They had all just completed their post-mission exams when Janet came up to them.
"Airman Wells is still in surgery, but Doctor Warner believes that he'll make a full recovery. As for Colonel O'Neill, he's going to be very sore for a while, but he'll be just fine."
Everyone smiled in relief.
"Can we see Jack?" Daniel asked.
"He's sleeping, and I'd rather that he isn't disturbed. I've had him put in a private room so that he won't be bothered, namely by Mister Bregman, whom I should imagine will be showing up here pretty soon. You can see the colonel in a few hours. In the meantime, I'd suggest that you all go take a nice hot shower and get some rest yourself. Daniel? I'd like you to stay a moment, please."
As the others left, Daniel sat back down on the bed, figuring that Janet was going to ask how bad his headache was. His guess was correct.
"How bad is it this time?" she questioned.
"Not so bad. I've definitely had worse."
Janet flashed her penlight into his eyes, which made him flinch and jerk away.
"Still a little sensitive to light, I see."
"Ya think?" Daniel responded, squinting in pain.
"Okay, I'll spare you the CT this time since I'm guessing that you managed to avoid doing any real damage, but I'm giving you an order to get some rest. You are not to stay on base all night, got it? I want you to go home."
Daniel gave a nod, not wanting to argue.
Janet got Daniel some pain medication and a glass of water and handed them to him. She watched as he swallowed the pills.
"Daniel, I want to thank you again for what you did," she said.
"I just wish that I'd known sooner. That was way too close. I don't know why I didn't sense that Jaffa's presence."
"Daniel, you're mind was on Colonel O'Neill and what was happening. It's perfectly understandable that you didn't notice the Jaffa. Regardless, you saved my life. I probably would have died out there today if it wasn't for you."
Daniel met her eyes. "You did die, Janet," he said in an emotion-filled voice. "I saw you lying there on the ground, dead. I saw your memorial service, and your casket, and Cassie crying. . . ." He closed his eyes, trying to blot out the terrible images. When he opened them, he saw that Janet's face had gone white. She looked deeply shaken. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have told you."
"No. No, it's . . . it's okay." Janet's breathed in deeply, regaining her composure. She laid her hand on his arm. "It didn't happen, Daniel, thanks to you. That's what matters."
The archeologist nodded. "Yes. That's what matters."
"Oh, and, by the way, considering this most recent use of your abilities, I'd recommend that you give Casper a rest."
Daniel looked at Janet and saw a little smile playing around the corners of her mouth. "I guess I should have known that you'd find out. No lecture on the frivolous use of my abilities?"
"No, not this time. From what I understand, it wasn't completely frivolous. You're lucky, though, that Mister Bregman doesn't have a weak heart. Now, go on. Get out of here. I've got patients to attend to, one of which is a certain colonel who will probably be very cranky when he wakes up."
Daniel turned away, thinking about the empty spot that would have been left in his life if he had not yet again managed to change the course of history. As unreliable as it was, his ability to see the future was a power that saved lives. It had saved Sam's life, the lives of who knew how many people at the Alpha Site, and, now, Janet's. And, with his other abilities, he had saved lives as well and would continue to do so whenever he was able.
Finally accepting once and for all that these abilities weren't the curse he had thought they were, Daniel left the infirmary, a smile on his face.
From what Emmett Bregman had heard – which really wasn't much – there had nearly been a catastrophe today. There had been several injuries, at least one of them serious, but, from what he could gather, nobody had died. He'd caught a small snatch of conversation, something about Doctor Jackson and fire, but the two men who were talking stopped abruptly when they saw him and quickly left.
Thinking about Doctor Jackson, Bregman had found it interesting that, during the entire time that the archeologist had been gone, he had not been plagued by the so-called poltergeist. He had to wonder why.
Though he hadn't had any incidents recently, he'd heard plenty of stories about the ghost. It seemed that a lot of the SGC personnel had their own tales to tell. Too bad they hadn't been this chatty when he was asking them about their views on the Stargate Program.
Bregman was presently on his way to the infirmary, hoping that he'd get some questions answered.
"Well, hello there, Mister Bregman," greeted Ferretti, who had been walking in the opposite direction. "How's it been going?"
"Actually, quite well lately," the journalist replied. "In fact, I was just thinking about that."
"Yes. Your Casper hasn't been bothering me recently. In fact, I haven't had any trouble since shortly before Doctor Jackson left on that mission. Why do you suppose that is?"
Ferretti shrugged. "Oh, that's because Daniel was off-world. Whenever he goes on a mission, Casper hangs out in the control room until he comes back. Like I said, it's very fond of him."
"So, you're saying that, now that Doctor Jackson has returned, everything is going to start up again?"
"Maybe, maybe not. Casper might be done having his fun." Ferretti grinned. "I guess we'll see."
Bregman was within sight of the infirmary when he saw Daniel leaving it. The journalist noticed immediately that there was dried blood on the archeologist's hands.
The smile that had been on Daniel's face vanished upon seeing Bregman. 'Great. This is all I need right now.'
"I heard that there was a serious firefight on your mission. There were some injuries?"
"I'm sorry, Mister Bregman, but I don't have time to discuss it right now. I've got to get cleaned up and go to the debriefing."
"Yes. Cleaned up. Is that . . . is that blood on your hands?"
Daniel looked down at his hands, noticing for the first time that Airman Wells' blood was on them.
"Was one of your team injured?" Bregman asked.
"Mister Bregman, you know that I can't discuss anything that's—"
"Ongoing activity. Yes, I know, and I'm getting more than a little tired of hearing that. From the beginning, I've been stonewalled by just about everyone I've talked to here and been prevented from filming anything that would give life to this documentary. You people are out there risking your lives for us, and that's what I want to show the world in this documentary. All these secrets, keeping secrets from the press, will only result in lies and innuendo. Is that what you want? Is that what any of you want? One of the things that makes this country great is our constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press because it gives us the right to tell the American public the truth, not government-created propaganda. I know that none of you want me here, but I am here, and I am going to make this documentary the best that I am able. Yes, I think that the Stargate should be made public. I believe that the American people and all the rest of the world should know of the amazing things that happen here every day and of the people who make them happen. That doesn't make me an enemy."
Daniel paused, absorbing Bregman's words. He had to admit that the man did have a few valid points.
"Jack was hit, but he's going to be all right," Daniel told the journalist.
"Is that his blood?"
Daniel looked at his hands again. "No. It's someone else's. I can't give you his name."
"All right. There were no fatalities?"
"No. Everyone made it back."
"Good, good. Can you tell me what happened?"
"No. I'm sorry. You'll have to wait until General Hammond okays it."
Bregman nodded. "Very well. Thank you for at least telling me something, Doctor Jackson. I hope that Colonel O'Neill will make a full recovery."
"Thanks. Now, I really have to go."
"Yes, of course."
Daniel turned away.
"Oh. One more thing, Doctor Jackson."
Daniel looked back over his shoulder at the man. "Yes?"
"I really am sorry for what I did earlier. You were right. I was being overzealous, and I stepped over the line. I just want you to know that."
Daniel gave him a nod and continued on his way. Just before turning the corner, he focused his power one last time on the journalist. The startled little yelp coming from that direction told him that he'd hit is target. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw Bregman rubbing his butt.
Hiding his smile, Daniel headed to the elevator, putting Casper the Ghost to rest.