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Half an hour later, SG's 1, 3 and 5 stepped through onto the planet.  Jack ordered Reynolds to set up a defense perimeter and hold the gate with his men and SG-5.  SG-1 then went to the monument, which was visible a short distance away.

Once they arrived, they spent hours visually searching every foot of the structure that they could reach for some sign of a repository, but found nothing.  There appeared to be no interior to the monument, no doors or openings of any kind, and the repository had not come popping out of the wall anywhere.  Thinking that it might be in one of the other structures in the area, they had investigated them as well, but still found nothing.  Jack had begun to think that Daniel was wrong about there being a repository on the planet, but the archeologist was positive he was not mistaken and decided to see if he could find a clue in the writing on the colonnade.  He'd been at it for about fifteen minutes when Jack spoke up.

"You know, we've searched this place up and down."

"I know," Daniel responded.

"We could have Goa'uld on our collective asses any minute now."

Daniel poked his head round one of the columns and looked at him.  "I know."  He resumed reading, and, at last, found something.  "According to the text on this column, it's inside."

"Inside you say."  Jack rose to his feet and walked toward Daniel.  "Well, let me tell you, my friend.  There is no 'inside'.  There's just a whole lotta outside."  He swept his arm outward, gesturing at the scenery.

Daniel did not lift his eyes from his notes.  "I know."

Sam ran a scanner over a part of the wall opposite from the column Daniel was reading.  "I'm getting some strange readings coming from here."

A second later, Daniel figured it out.  "If I'm right. . . ."  He pressed a symbol on the column, then another one.

The familiar shape of a repository abruptly appeared out of the wall right in front of Sam, who jumped back, as did Jack.

"Look out," Jack warned.

Daniel turned to look at the device.  "Eureka," he murmured.

Jack got on the radio and contacted Reynolds, telling him that they found something.  He and the rest of his team then just stared at the repository, none of them wanting to get any closer to it.

"Now we just have to figure out how to get this thing out of the wall," Sam said.

Not surprisingly, it was Daniel who chose to be the first one to approach the device.  As he drew close to it, the repository extended out of the wall further and lit up, causing Daniel to quickly move back.

"Damn," Jack cursed.

Sam grabbed Daniel's arm.  "Careful."

"All right, one more time.  Why are we doing this?  Why?" Jack wanted to know, thinking that they all needed to have their heads examined – and not by that thing on the wall.

All at once, Daniel's gaze jerked upward toward the ceiling.  "Uh oh."

"Uh oh?  What 'uh oh'?" Jack asked.

"We've got company."

Not even two seconds had passed when Reynold's voice came over the radio.  "SG-1, we have incoming."

Moments after that, two death gliders became visible, heading straight toward the monument, the weapons of the lead glider firing.  They passed overhead, preparing to make another run.

"All right, let's go," Jack ordered, moving to the edge of the monument in preparation to make a run for the gate.

"Jack, we can't just leave," Daniel told him.

"Daniel," Jack said, not in the mood to hear it.

"We must not allow this device to fall into the hands of Anubis," Teal'c stated.

Not at all happy with the delay, Jack said, "Fine."  He strode back to the repository and affixed an explosives pack to the wall beside it.

"Jack!" Daniel yelled in objection.

"Sir, he's right," Sam told the colonel.  "If we destroy it, we lose our only chance to find the location of the Lost City."

"O'Neill," Teal'c called, drawing their attention.  They all looked to see an Al'Kesh bearing down on them.

"Ah, crap!" Jack cursed.  "All right, then, what?" he asked Daniel and Sam, wanting to know what they were all supposed to do.

His gaze focused on the ground, the thought went through Daniel's mind that there was only one alternative.  One of them would have to interface with the repository.  Knowing that he might be condemning himself to death yet also knowing that he might be the one with the best chance for survival, Daniel chose himself.

Decision made, the archeologist rushed toward the device.  Yet, as fast as he moved, Jack moved equally as fast and grabbed hold of him, trying to push him back.

In the instant of contact, a scene flashed through Daniel's mind of his friend interfacing with the device.  It was immediately followed by an image of a dying Jack losing consciousness as he succumbed to the damage being wrought by the download.

Realizing what the vision was telling him, Daniel's will hardened.  'No, not this time.'

Using his telekinetic ability to give him more strength, Daniel pushed Jack aside and covered the rest of the distance to the repository.  He ripped off his glasses and thrust his head toward the glowing opening.

Horrified, Daniel's teammates watched as the device grabbed hold of him.

"Daniel!" Jack and Sam cried.

Powerless to stop what was happening, Daniel's teammates stood witness as the archeologist, held captive by the device, was forcefully given all of the knowledge of the Ancients.  Only when the Al'Kesh flew by, its bombs coming dangerously close, did their attention waver from their friend.

Long moments later, the device released Daniel.  His teammates leapt forward as he fell to the ground.

"Daniel Jackson!" Teal'c exclaimed.

"Dammit, Daniel," Jack cursed under his breath.  He looked at his other teammates.  "We have to get him out of here and back to the base."

Jack and Teal'c got the barely conscious archeologist to his feet and half-dragged him away from the monument, heading back toward the gate.

"Carter, blow that damn thing to hell," the colonel said through his teeth.

"Yes, sir," she responded, all too happy to comply.  She pulled out a remote and, the moment they were far enough away, hit the button.  The sound of an explosion heralded the destruction of the repository.

"SG-1?  Where the hell are you guys?" Reynolds demanded to know.  "We can't hold out for long."

"We're heading back to the gate now, Colonel," Sam told him.

Moving as quickly as they could, SG-1 headed toward the gate, Jack and Teal'c still supporting a semi-conscious Daniel.

As they approached the Stargate, Reynolds and one of the other men hurried forward.

"What happened?" the colonel asked.

"No time to explain," Jack answered.  There would be time for that later.

Just then, Daniel regained full consciousness.  "What . . . what happened?" he asked, confused.

Jack was about to tear into him when a shout of warning from Sam made everyone turn.  One of the gliders was heading straight toward them.

"Go, go, go!" Jack yelled.

Everyone dashed to the gate.  SG-1 hurried through first, SG's 3 and 5 following on their heels.

Hammond was waiting at the bottom of the ramp.  "What happened?" he asked.

"Ummm. . . ." Daniel began, not quite knowing how to break the news.

"Didn't quite go according to plan, sir," Jack stated, clearly not at all happy.

"We need to get Daniel to the infirmary," Sam told the general.

"I'm afraid I did it this time, sir," Daniel said.

It took a moment for Hammond to realize what the archeologist's statement meant.  When it did, a feeling of dread filled him.  He watched as the three SG teams left the gate room, only just then noticing that one of the men was limping and being helped by another.

Knowing that there was nothing more he could do at the moment, the general headed to his office, wondering what they were all going to do now.

On the way to the infirmary, Daniel's teammates didn't say a word, but they didn't have to.  He knew that they weren't happy about what he'd done.  That was especially true for Jack, who was fairly radiating anger.  Knowing that now was not the time to explain his actions, Daniel kept silent.

Unfortunately, the silence ended once they got to the infirmary and Janet was told what happened.

Ordering the archeologist to go to one of the exam tables, she told the rest of SG-1 and the other uninjured SG team members to go get their post-mission physicals.  The man who had been hurt was taken over to another exam table.

Daniel sat in silence, waiting for Janet to come over and give him a piece of her mind.  He didn't have long to wait.

"Would you mind telling me what you thought you were doing?" she asked.

The archeologist sighed.  "I had no choice, Janet.  There was no time to remove the repository, and if we destroyed it without getting the knowledge, I knew that our only hope of finding the Lost City would likely be gone."

Janet shook her head.  "You still shouldn't have done it, Daniel.  Frankly, I'm surprised that Colonel O'Neill didn't stop you."

"Oh, he tried, but. . . ."


"But I forced the issue," Daniel finished in a low voice.

Janet stared at him closely.  "What aren't you saying, Daniel?"

The archeologist shook his head.  "Let's just say that I realized it was going to be a choice of him or me, and I chose me."

"You mean that, if you hadn't done it, the colonel would have?"

Daniel sighed again.  "Yeah."

Janet fell silent.  She then got busy with the exam, not the least bit surprised that Daniel had made the decision he did.

"How the hell did this happen?"  Hammond asked Jack, Sam and Teal'c as he came into the briefing room.

"It wasn't an accident, sir," Sam told him.

"He did it deliberately," Jack growled.

"In order to access the knowledge of the Ancients," Teal'c stated.

Sam decided that, in defense of Daniel's actions, she needed to explain the situation.  "We were afraid that we'd never get another shot at finding the Lost City, and I guess Daniel thought it was the only option.  We know from experience that the Ancient knowledge will essentially overwrite his brain.  He was probably hoping . . . we're all hoping that, during the transformation process, he'll become aware of the information we're looking for."

"And then it will overwhelm his nervous system, and Doctor Jackson will—"

The entrance of Daniel into the room halted Hammond's voice.

"Die," the archeologist finished calmly.  After a slight pause, he added, "Maybe."

"You should be in the infirmary, Daniel," Sam said, not even attempting to hide how upset she was.

Daniel gazed at her.  "Why, Sam?  We've all got a pretty good idea what's going to happen over the next few days.  What would be the point in spending that time in the infirmary?"

Sam's eyes fell from his.  She didn't want him to see her anguish.

"Yeah, and we'd all like to know what the hell you were thinking when you stuck your head in that thing!" Jack shouted.  He was upset and scared, and, as usual, he was expressing it with anger.

"I didn't think there was another choice, Jack," Daniel told him.  "Finding the Lost City is too important to throw away a chance like that.  Besides. . . ."

"Besides what, Doctor Jackson?" Hammond asked gently.

"Okay, we know that, according to Thor, I am genetically closer to being like the Ancients than any other human being.  We also know that my brain has been physically mutated in such a way that it makes it possible for me to do all these things I can do.  On top of that, I am apparently able to control Ancient technology.  Taking all that into consideration, it might be possible that I'm more equipped to handle the download."

A look of realization and hope dawned across Sam's face.  "You may be right, Daniel.  I didn't even think of that.  Your present physiology might enable you to handle that massive amount of data."

"So, what does this mean, that Daniel won't start spouting off words in Ancient and doing crazy things?" Jack asked, afraid to get his hopes up.

"I don't know, sir.  It's still going to be difficult for his brain to assimilate and make sense of that much information coming that quickly.  He may still have trouble keeping it under control."

"Uh huh."  Jack turned back to Daniel.  "Which leads us to another very important question.  Who the hell is going to translate if you go Ancient?"

"Well, unlike you, Jack, I will actually understand most of what I'm saying when I say it," the linguist replied.  "So, in the beginning, I can translate for myself.  If I get to the point where I can no longer speak or even write English, I have been teaching Ancient to some of the people on my staff.  None of them are very proficient yet, but then I don't even know what some spoken words in Ancient mean, and I'm the number one expert on the planet.  My knowledge of the spoken language has been pieced together from what I know of Medieval Latin, what I learned from you when you had the Ancients' knowledge, and from sketchy memories of the language from when I was ascended.  There are still a lot of holes."

Daniel turned to the general.  "Sir, if you don't mind, I'd like to take the weekend off.  There are some things I want to take care of."

"Of course, Son," Hammond responded in a gentle voice.  "You take all the time you need."

"Thank you, sir.  I'll be back Monday morning.  Now, if you will excuse me, there are a couple of projects I want to finish before I go home."

Hammond nodded.  "Dismissed."

Daniel went to his office, knowing it was only a matter of time before one or more of his teammates would show up.  His money was on Jack being the first.

It was too bad that he hadn't actually made a bet with someone since, if he had, he'd have won.  Not ten minutes later, Jack came walking in.  The colonel made a big production of shutting the door.

"Uh oh," Daniel said, knowing what that meant.

Jack glared at him.  "Uh oh is right."  Then he exploded.  "Dammit, Daniel!  Of all the stupid, harebrained, impulsive, foolhardy things you've done, I think this just about tops them all!  I don't care if you thought that this was our only chance to find the Lost City.  I don't care if you thought that there was some chance you might actually be able to survive this.  You had no business doing what you did!"

"And you would have?"

Daniel's question caught Jack by surprise.  "What?"

"I saw what would have happened if I hadn't interfaced with the repository, Jack.  I saw you do it."

That doused Jack's anger.  "I stuck my head in that thing?"

Daniel nodded.

Jack stared at him.  "That's why you pushed me out of the way and did it even after I tried to stop you.  You saw that, if you didn't do it, I would have."

Daniel said nothing, merely looking into his friend's eyes.

"You should have let me be the one," Jack said.

"And let you die instead of me?  I told you before, Jack.  I would never want that.  I would never allow it to happen if I could stop it.  We both know that, if it had been you, unless we could get hold of the Asgard, you would have died.  With me, maybe I'll have a better chance."

Jack met his gaze.  "And what if it doesn't work out?"

"If this enables us to find the Lost City and gets us the weapons we need to protect Earth and defeat the Goa'uld once and for all, it will be worth it."

"Maybe to Earth, Daniel, but not to us," Jack told him quietly.  "Not to me."

Daniel's gaze dropped from his.  "Jack. . . ."

"I know, Daniel.  You did what you have always done, chosen yourself to be the one to pay the price, to make the sacrifice.  But I'm not willing to accept that sacrifice.  I don't care what I have to do, but, one way or another, I'm going to fix this, even if I have to hijack the damn Prometheus and go planet to planet looking for the Asgard."

Daniel smiled a little at that.  "You'd need someone to help you fly it."

"True.  Got anyone in mind?"

"I wouldn't mind a little vacation touring the galaxy.  It wouldn't be the same as a tropical beach, but it might be nice."

"You got it.  Carter and Teal'c can come along, too.  We'll make it a team get-together."

"Sounds good."

The two men grew quiet.

"I've, uh . . . I've got some things I need to get done," Daniel said after a moment.

"Okay."  There was a pause.  "You, um . . . need any help with anything?"

Surprised at the question, Daniel looked at Jack.  "No, but thank you for asking.  I just have some work to finish, a couple of translations."

"Oh.  Okay.  Well, I'll . . . I guess I'll see you later, then."


After Jack left, Daniel attempted to get busy on the translations.  It wasn't long before Sam came to see him.

"Daniel, I. . . ."  Her voice trailed off helplessly.  She just didn't know what to say.

Daniel gave her a tender smile.  "I know, Sam."  His smile got a little bigger.  "Don't give up on me yet.  I've managed to pull quite a few lives out of my hat so far.  This could be Number Six.  Or is it seven?  I'm beginning to lose count."

Sam choked on a little laugh, wiping away a tear that was threatening to fall.  "You're right.  Judging by your track record, we haven't a thing to worry about."


They both fell silent.

"It should have been me," Sam finally said.

"No!  God, don't say that, Sam," Daniel exclaimed, upset that she would even think that.

"But it's true.  Between the two of us, you are needed here so much more than I am."

Daniel was getting angry now.  "Even if that were true, which it isn't, I don't give a damn.  I don't care who would be considered more valuable to the Stargate Program or to Earth.  Your life, Jack's, Teal'c, the lives of any of my friends have always been and will always be more important to me than my own, and that's all that matters to me."  He looked at her intently.  "Sam, if I hadn't done it, it would have been Jack who did."

Sam blinked in surprise.  "What?"

"I saw it.  Jack would have interfaced with the repository."

"Then you did it to save him?"

"Partly, but I'd already decided that I needed to be the one to do it."

"Because of this whole thing with the genetic advancement?"

"Yes.  Well . . . sort of."

Sam stared at him intently.  "You'd have done it regardless, wouldn't you, even if you were just like the rest of us."

"Like I said, Sam.  We had no other choice.  We couldn't afford to lose that knowledge.  You know that as well as I do.  You even said so on the planet."

Yes, she had said so, but she was now wishing she hadn't.  She was wishing that she'd told Jack to go ahead and blow the damn thing up.  Now, with Daniel's possible death looming before them, she realized that she shouldn't have given up on the hope that they'd find the Lost City some other way.  That repository hadn't been their only hope.  Given a little more time, Daniel might have figured out where it was or one of the SG teams might have stumbled across it or some reference to it.

"Yes, but I was wrong," she said.  "We might have found the Lost City some other way.  If things had happened differently, we might not have even known about that repository.  It was mere chance that that planet was picked for a mission when it was.  If it had been a couple of days later. . . ."

"If it had been a couple of days later, Anubis would have gotten the information, and we'd all be in very big trouble," Daniel pointed out.

Sam said nothing, knowing that he was right.

"I don't regret what I did, Sam," Daniel told her.  "No matter what happens, if we find the Lost City, I will know that I made the right decision."

Sam stared at the floor, trying not to think about what finding the Lost City might cost them.  She heard Daniel get to his feet.  A moment later, she found herself in his arms.  She immediately wrapped her own arms around his waist and held on tight.  She drew in a deep breath of his scent, taking in the essence of him, feeling the warm, solid, living presence of him.  In a few days, she might lose this forever.  Oh, God.

Sam drew away, suddenly needing to escape, to be alone.

"I-I-I, um . . . I'll see you later, okay?" she stammered, fighting with all her might to hold back the tears.

Daniel nodded.

Seconds later, Sam was out of the office and rushing down the hallway.  She headed straight for the stairs, knowing she couldn't wait for the elevator.  Down to her quarters she went, locking the door behind her.  She sat down on the bed and stared at the wall across the room as the tears began to fall.  A sob rose up in her throat and she let it come.

Soon, Sam was huddled on the bed, crying uncontrollably as she finally accepted the truth, a truth that she had blinded herself to all these months – the truth that she had fallen utterly in love with her best friend.

The episode Lost City was incorrect in stating that a couple of days passed before Jack began speaking Ancient the first time the knowledge of the Ancients was downloaded into his brain. The truth is that, in The Fifth Race, Jack began speaking Ancient no more than a few hours later.  However, for the purposes of this story, I am ignoring the fact that Lost City was wrong about the timeline and going with what it said.

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