Stargate Horizons


Everyone sat around the briefing room, their attention focused on a single individual.  That individual was Daniel Jackson.  Daniel was trying very hard to ignore the stares, his gaze focused on the table before him.

"Doctor Jackson, can you tell us what happened to you during the time that you were unconscious?" General Hammond asked quietly.  "The boy said that he was teaching you."

"Um . . . yeah, he was teaching me, all right," Daniel murmured.

There was something off about Daniel's voice, which made Jack look at him more closely.  Yep, there was definitely something bothering the guy, and he was trying not to show it.

"Exactly what was he teaching you?" the general prompted.

The archeologist finally lifted his head.  His expression was schooled into a calm mask.  "That the Goa'uld knowledge he carries is too dangerous to be revealed."

"How did he do that?" the Tok'ra Aldwin asked.

"By giving that knowledge to me."

Everyone else at the table sat up straight.

"You have the knowledge of the Goa'uld?" Sam asked excitedly.

Daniel shook his head.  "No, not anymore.  I had a dream, and, in that dream, I had the knowledge.  But it's gone now.  I can't remember anything about any of the weapons or devices that I built."

"What kind of weapons and devices?" Jack asked.

"Ones that the Goa'uld don't have.  Well, some of them were."

That made everyone's interest peak even higher.  "Are you certain of this, Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c queried.

"Positive.  If they did, we wouldn't stand a chance against them, and they'd have been using the things on each other all this time."

"For instance?" Aldwin asked.

"For instance, a device that can easily render a Stargate inactive and another device that is capable of detecting approaching Goa'uld ships thousands of light years away and has weapons that can penetrate Goa'uld shields and destroy motherships."

"Cool," Jack remarked.  "I'd sure love to have a few of those babies."

"Because of those 'babies', Jack, Earth was on the verge of starting a global nuclear war," Daniel told him, his voice hard.

"Oh.  I guess that is kind of a drawback."

"What do you mean, Doctor Jackson?" Hammond asked.

Daniel waved his hand dismissively.  "It doesn't matter right now.  The point is that the knowledge I had in that dream, the knowledge that's hidden in Shifu's mind, is a lot more than the knowledge that any Goa'uld consciously has."

Hammond frowned.  "How is that possible?"

"Shifu is the child of two Goa'uld hosts," Aldwin responded thoughtfully.  "It is possible that he possesses memories and knowledge that the Goa'uld are unable to access from their own minds.  It may be that the blending of the genetic material from two hosts results in those buried memories being brought to the surface in the mind of the resulting child."

Daniel nodded.  "In the vision Sha're sent me, she told me that a Harcesis would have all of the secrets, all of the knowledge of the Goa'uld.  This is the reason why Apophis fathered a Harcesis despite it being forbidden and why he and the other System Lords were so determined to find Shifu.  A Goa'uld inside Shifu's body would have all that knowledge and would have the power to defeat all the other Goa'uld."

"That is not a warm, comforting thought, Daniel," Jack said.

The archeologist turned to him.  "Don't worry, Jack.  Shifu is safe.  He is in no danger of being made a host.  Of that I am certain."

"Yeah, I guess it would be kind of tough for a snake to get inside someone's body when there is no body to get into."

"But this only confirms that we are the ones who should have control of that knowledge," Aldwin said.  "It would give us the ability to destroy the Goa'uld once and for all."

Daniel shook his head.  "It's too dangerous."

The Tok'ra stared at him.  "Doctor Jackson, I appreciate your opinion, but, in the right hands—"

"No," Daniel interrupted.  "It's a Pandora's box that has to stay closed."

Aldwin frowned in puzzlement.  "Pandora's box?"

"It's from Greek mythology.  Epimetheus, the first human created by the god Zeus, had Hades, the god of the underworld, bind inside a box the sprites of disease, hunger, hopelessness, cruelty, and every other terrible thing.  Sometime later, the box was given into the care of Pandora, the first human woman.  She was warned not to open the box, that there would be terrible consequences if she did.  But the lure of the box and Pandora's curiosity were too great, and she opened it, releasing all of those terrible things into the world.  The knowledge that Shifu has is like that box.  Once it was opened, nothing but evil would come of it, and we would never be able to put that evil back in the box."

"Daniel, I hate to say anything contrary to what you're saying, but hope was also in Pandora's box," Sam pointed out gently.

"Yes, but, though hope could make the pain that Pandora had release into the world easier to bear, it could not erase what had been done.  It would have been far better for the box to never have been opened.  You may all think that the knowledge Shifu has is our best hope for defeating the Goa'uld, but it's not worth the danger of what could happen if that knowledge is released.  You have no idea of the evil that comes with it."

Aldwin shook his head.  "I am afraid that I don't agree with your assessment, Doctor Jackson."  He turned to General Hammond.  "General, though Doctor Jackson has no conscious memory of the knowledge the Harcesis gave him, it is possible that the memory recall device could unearth those memories.  I'd like to—"

"No!" Daniel said forcefully.  Jack looked at him and saw fear in the archeologist's eyes.  Daniel got to his feet, the tension in his body clear to see.  "I will not submit to that."

Ignoring Daniel's body language, Aldwin calmly remarked, "Doctor Jackson, I would think that you, above all people, would wish us to have weapons that could defeat the ones who are responsible for the loss of your wife."

Daniel's eyes blazed with fury, pinning the Tok'ra to his seat.  Jack almost cringed at the look on the linguist's face, happy that he was not the target of Daniel's wrath.

"Don't you dare throw what happened to my wife in my face!" Daniel shouted.  "You aren't listening to me!  The Goa'uld knowledge is evil, and it can bring nothing but pain, horror and death.  It will corrupt the soul of anyone who has it.  Why do you think that Oma made Shifu forget?  She knew that he must never have that knowledge.  She knew what it would do."  Daniel straightened.  "Nothing you say or do will make me change my mind.  Shifu is out of your reach, and whatever Goa'uld memories may be locked up inside my head are going to stay there."

Without another word, Daniel spun around and strode out of the room.  A heavy silence followed his departure.  The Tok'ra was the first to break it.

"General Hammond, I must insist—"

"Give it up, Aldwin," Jack said.  "You heard Daniel.  You are not going to go digging around in his memories, so just forget it."

Ignoring him, the Tok'ra turned back to Hammond.  "You are Doctor Jackson's superior, are you not?  You can order him to submit to the memory recall."

The general's eyes narrowed.  "There's something you need to understand about the way we do things around here, Aldwin.  Doctor Jackson may be under my command, but that does not make him a slave.  He has the right to refuse to do something that he feels is wrong.  Even if he was in the military, our laws would give him the right to refuse to obey an order that was unlawful or blatantly immoral.  It is clear that Doctor Jackson has a very good reason to believe that retrieving the Goa'uld knowledge would be disastrous, and I have learned over the years to listen to and respect his opinions and beliefs, especially since he's been right far more often than he has been wrong.  Doctor Jackson has given us his answer, and I intend to abide by it."

Clearly not happy with the general's decision, Aldwin rose to his feet.  "I will be speaking to the Tok'ra High Council about these things.  It is likely that we will be contacting you again concerning them."

Everyone there knew what the Tok'ra was saying, which was that the High Council probably wouldn't want to take no for an answer and would try to make Daniel and Hammond change their minds.

"Yeah, well, give a message to Jacob for us, will you?" Jack said.  "And tell him to pass it on to your High Council.  The message is, 'when hell freezes over.'  He'll understand what that means."

Frowning, Aldwin left the room.

"Thank you for taking Daniel's side, sir," Jack said to his C.O.

"It wasn't a hard decision to make, Colonel, not after seeing how determined he was not to submit to the memory recall device and listening to his reasons why.  I would hazard a guess that, in that dream the boy gave him, Doctor Jackson saw very clearly the danger inherent in the Goa'uld knowledge."

"Yeah.  I think I need to talk to him about that."

"Don't push him too hard, Jack," Hammond advised.  "It's obvious that, whatever he saw in that dream, it disturbed him a great deal.  I am going to want a complete report from him, though.  I think it may be necessary to get the Tok'ra off our backs and to keep certain individuals in our government from also insisting on the memory recall."

"Yes, sir."

The general dismissed SG-1 and returned to his office.

"Are you going to talk to Daniel now, sir?" Sam asked Jack as they left the briefing room.

"Yeah, I think I should.  He was pretty upset, and I want to assure him that nobody is going to force him to go through with that memory recall thing."

Sam nodded.  "What do you think Shifu showed him in that dream?"

"I don't know, but, whatever it was, it must have been really bad.  He was scared, Carter.  I saw it in his eyes when Aldwin talked about that memory recall device.  It takes a hell of a lot to scare Daniel that much."

"Tell him that we're on his side and will back him up, okay?"

Jack gave her a small smile.  "I will."

Jack headed for Daniel's office, hoping that the archeologist hadn't left the base.  When he got there, he stopped just inside the doorway.  Daniel was sitting at the desk, staring off at something across the room, though Jack was certain that, whatever it was, Daniel wasn't really seeing it.  His gaze was unfocused, his expression both pensive and deeply troubled.

"Hey, Daniel," Jack finally said.

Startled, Daniel swung his head around and stared at Jack.  "Oh.  Um, hi, Jack."

Jack came the rest of the way into the room.  "You okay?"

"I don't know.  That all depends on what was decided after I left the debriefing.  I meant what I said, Jack, and I am not going to change my mind.  I will not submit to the use of the memory recall device, even if I have to quit the SGC."

"That isn't going to be necessary, Daniel.  We're all on your side in this, including Hammond.  The Tok'ra can whine and complain all they want to, but it won't do them any good."

"And what about the people in our government who think that getting weapons is worth any cost we might have to pay?"

"We'll work it out, Daniel.  Don't you worry."

Daniel's gaze dropped to his desk.  He picked up a pen and just stared at it.  Jack settled in a chair, waiting for him to speak when he was ready.  It was a full minute before the younger man broke the silence.

"Do you think of yourself as a good person, Jack?" he asked quietly.

Surprised by the question, Jack did not reply for a moment.  "That's a rather loaded question, Daniel."

The archeologist looked at him.  "Why?"

Faced with the clear blue gaze of his friend, Jack felt a little uncomfortable.  How could he answer that question?

"Because, though I'd like to think that, as a whole, I am a good person, I know that I've done a lot of things that belie that belief."

"But you always did those things thinking that they were the right thing to do, that you were doing what needed to be done to help or protect others."

Jack shook his head.  "No, Daniel, not always.  You know that I was in Black Ops.  I had to do some things then that I knew weren't morally right.  But I was under orders, and I knew that my superiors believed that the orders they gave me were necessary for the sake of our country.  That didn't stop me from questioning whether or not it was really necessary or just the easiest or most expedient way to solve a problem.  I'm not proud of those things that I did, and I know that, if my soul was being weighed, they would be on the wrong side of the scale."

Jack's statement made Daniel think of Sha're's funeral.  He wondered if Jack was thinking the same thing when he said it.

"Do you think that I'm a good person?" Daniel asked in a low voice.

"Well, now, that's an easy one, Daniel," Jack said confidently.  "Absolutely."

Daniel's gaze returned to that undefined spot across the room.  "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely," he murmured.

Jack's brow creased in puzzlement.  "What?"

Daniel let out a little sigh.  "I always thought of myself as a good person.  I always wanted to believe that, in a tough situation, I'd do what was right.  Since I opened the Stargate, I've done some things that I never thought I would.  I've taken lives.  I've learned how to . . . to hate."  He turned back to Jack.  "Do you know that, before Apophis came to Abydos and took Sha're, I never hated anyone?  Oh, there were people that I strongly disliked, some that I would have loved to give a black eye, but I never actually hated anyone.  I didn't even hate Ra, not really."  His eyes fell to the top of the desk.  "Shifu told me that Sha're would be proud of me.  I'm not so sure of that."

Jack's puzzlement was growing, along with a feeling of deep concern.  "Daniel, what happened in that dream?"

"It was a real wake-up call, Jack.  I found out that I'm not as strong as I thought I was.  I saw myself as something that . . . that makes me sick."

Jack could see the torment in Daniel's eyes.  "You want to talk about it?" he asked gently.

There was a long pause, then, "Shifu said that Oma taught him that the true nature of a man is decided in the battle between his conscious mind and the desires of the subconscious and that the evil in Shifu's subconscious was too strong to resist, that the only way to win the battle was to deny it.  In other words, never allow the battle to happen at all."

Jack remembered the boy saying that when he was hooked up to the Zatarc detector.  "Oma must be so proud.  Sounds like she turned the kid into a mini version of herself."

Unsmiling, Daniel continued.  "I didn't listen to him.  I didn't understand what he was trying to tell me."

"Which was?"

"In the dream, Shifu didn't just give me the Goa'uld's knowledge of weapons and other technology.  He gave me everything, their entire genetic memory."

Jack was starting to get a bad feeling, but he remained silent.

"It is because of their genetic memory that all Goa'uld are born evil, Jack.  Do you understand what that means?"

"Yeah, I think I do," Jack replied softly, the bad feeling growing.

"At first, I was only consciously remembering bits and pieces, but I think that, subconsciously, it was affecting me right from the start.  In time, I remembered more and more.  Thousands and thousands of years of evil, and hatred, and a lust for power.  It was all there in my head.  It . . . changed me."  Daniel looked at Jack with haunted eyes.  "I became a Goa'uld, Jack.  I didn't have a symbiote inside me, but I became a Goa'uld.  And I didn't even try to fight it.  I let it happen.  I did . . . I did some awful things, without conscience or remorse.  I deliberately sent Teal'c on a mission that I knew would get him killed.  I had Sam thrown in prison and labeled a nutcase because she figured out what I was doing."

"And me?"

"Well, you got off light.  I simply forced you into a situation where you had to try to kill me, then let you watch me blow up Moscow."

"Moscow, huh?"

"Gone in about five seconds.  No residual radiation, by the way.  I made sure of that.  After all, I wanted there to be something left of the Earth so that I could conquer it."

Jack looked at Daniel closely.  The archeologist's voice was almost conversational, like he was discussing the weather or something.  But his eyes . . . his eyes were dark with pain, with the memory of seeing himself turned into a monster.


"I didn't fight it, Jack," Daniel said, his voice starting to tremble.  "I let it control me.  I let it turn me into something equally as evil as the Goa'uld.  I thought I'd be stronger than that."

Jack looked at his friend intently.  "Daniel, listen to me.  What did Shifu say?  He said that the evil in his subconscious, the evil that's in the Goa'uld genetic memory, was too strong for even him to fight even though he was raised by that Oma person, who sounds like she's a pretty smart lady and a good role model to boot."

"I know, but—"

"But nothing.  Daniel, you are a good person.  Hell, you've got more integrity and a stronger code of ethics than any human being I've ever met.  I should know considering how many times that morality of yours has been a major pain in the ass.  Okay, so, in that dream, you were overwhelmed by all that evil and it took control of you.  You know what that tells me?  It tells me that Shifu was right not to give us that knowledge, because if someone like you couldn't overcome that evil, then nobody could."  Jack leaned forward.  "Daniel, do you think that you'd ever have done those things if you weren't being affected by the genetic memories?"

"No!" Daniel exclaimed, just the thought of doing things like that making him feel like vomiting.

"That's right, you wouldn't, because that evil was not something that is inside you."

"I know that, Jack.  I just feel ashamed that I wasn't strong enough to fight it, that I let it happen."

"Did you?"

Daniel looked at him questioningly.

"Did you really let it happen?"

"I didn't put up a fight."

"So, what were you thinking while you were doing all those things?  Were you thinking, 'Gosh, I know that this is really wrong, but I don't care'?"

"I-I, uh . . . no.  I didn't even think about the fact that it was wrong.  It never entered my mind.  I felt like it was the way it should be, that the power was rightfully mine and that everything I did was justified.  I believed that it was what I wanted all along."

"And, now that you're in your right mind, do you still feel that way?"

"No!  Of course not!"

Jack nodded shortly.  "Daniel, you said it yourself.  You became a Goa'uld, and we all know that the Goa'uld have no conscience.  They've bought into their own story that they're gods and think they have the right to do whatever they please to get what they want.  You had thousands of years worth of those thoughts and beliefs in your head.  It's no surprise that it overwrote your own personality and turned you into one of them.  Even the pope himself would have been taken over by it."

Daniel's gaze had returned to the desktop, his brow knit in thought.

"You're not weak, Daniel, not by a longshot.  I doubt that there's a human being in the universe who could be given that knowledge and not be corrupted by it."

A look of gratitude filled Daniel's face as he lifted it to look at Jack.  "Thank, Jack."

"You're welcome."  The colonel paused.  "Um, I know that this is not something you want a lot of people to know about, Daniel, but the general needs you to write a report on your experience.  He thinks it could help convince the Tok'ra and anyone else that you're right about the Goa'uld knowledge being too dangerous."

Daniel thought about that for a moment, then nodded.  "Maybe it will.  Okay, I'll work on the report now."

Jack got up and headed for the door.  He paused before going through and looked at Daniel over his shoulder.  "Daniel?  Shifu was right about something else.  Sha're would be proud of you.  Don't ever doubt that."  Then he left.

Daniel stared at the empty doorway for a while, a tiny smile on his face.  Then he turned to his computer, booted it up, and began working on his report.

Next Chapter

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