HomeNews & InfoFan FictionMessage BoardLinksEmail


Daniel, Jack and Teal'c had been dividing their attention between watching the viewscreen showing the Replicator data and keeping an eye on the human-form Replicator.  All at once, a barely recognizable image became visible on the screen.  All three men realized what it was at the same time.

"Zoom in!" Jack said.

Thor zoomed in on the image of Sam's face encased by Replicator blocks.

"Sam," Daniel murmured, relieved to see the physical evidence of what his senses had been telling him.

"Can you pinpoint her location?" Jack asked Thor.

An aerial view of a forest came on the screen.

"She is within a small Replicator structure on the planet.  It is some distance outside the colony, near a rich vein of Neutronium," Thor said.

"They must be using it to create more human Replicators," Teal'c surmised.

"So, how did they keep from getting blown up with the ship?" Jack asked.

"At least one of the human Replicators must have separated from the main ship with Major Carter prior to exiting hyperspace."

Daniel's sixth sense sent a warning to him a mere second before the image on the viewscreen went black.  The Replicator inside the chamber opened its eyes.  Daniel, Teal'c and Jack quickly stepped away from the chamber, the colonel and the Jaffa raising their weapons.  The Replicator turned its head and stared at them.  The three humans watched as the damage on its body vanished.

"Beam it out!" Jack yelled.

An Asgard beam enveloped the Replicator, but nothing happened.

"I am trying," Thor said.  "It has made itself resistant."

The beam disappeared, and virtually all the lights on the ship went out.

"It has breached the internal barrier and interfaced with my ship's computer."

The chamber opened, and the Replicator climbed out.  Jack and Teal'c opened fire on it, but the damage wrought by the bullets disappeared within seconds, the Replicator completely unfazed.

Focusing his power, Daniel attacked it as he had the other Replicators.  They all watched as it began to come apart.  Then it suddenly gathered back together, as if some force was binding the individual pieces together.  His will hardening, Daniel struck with greater force, hurling enough power at it to bring down a death glider.  The Replicator was torn apart.  But, within seconds, it became whole again.

Realizing in horror that he could not stop it this way, Daniel was preparing to attempt fire when, suddenly, the Replicator disintegrated.

Blinking in surprise, the archeologist turned to see that Jack had the weapon Daniel had created.

"Thought it was worth a try," the colonel said.

The ship's lights all came back on.

"You were correct about the weapon, Doctor Jackson," Thor said.  "It seems to have permanently disrupted all communication between the individual cells."

"Great," Jack said.  "So, you think you can figure it out now?"

"Indeed I can, O'Neill."  Thor studied a schematic of the device.  "Now that I have seen it in use and have collected data on its effects, I believe that I will be able to modify a larger version to broadcast a disruption wave over all of Orilla."

"Thor, we have to get Sam," Daniel said.  His head was killing him, and he could tell that he'd definitely overdone it, but all he cared about at that moment was rescuing Sam.

"I cannot transport you inside the Replicator structure on the planet.  Their defenses prevent it.  But I can get you close."

"Close is good," Jack said.

Thor pushed a device across the control console to Jack.  "Take this so we may communicate."

Moments later, the three members of SG-1 were on the planet.  The second they got there, Daniel's senses told him where Sam was.  His teammates followed as he headed unerringly toward her.

Suddenly, a swarm of Replicators began attacking.  As Jack disintegrated them with the Ancient weapon and Teal'c blasted them with his shotgun, Daniel destroyed them with his mind, ignoring his steadily worsening headache.

"Stop!" cried a voice behind SG-1.  They all turned to see a human Replicator Jack and Teal'c did recognize.  The other Replicators hurried up the slope that Fifth stood upon.

"If you harm me or any more of my brethren, I assure you, Major Carter will die instantly."

"What have you done with her?  Why did you take her?" Daniel asked angrily.

Fifth met the gaze of the man he knew Sam loved.  It filled him with anger that she cared so much for this human, yet felt nothing for him.  Why could she not love him like that?  Perhaps if this human was dead, she would come to love him in time.

Sensing his desire, the other Replicators began to move forward, but Fifth stopped them.  If they attacked the humans, many of them would die, and he could not let that happen.

Not answering Daniel's question, Fifth turned and left.

"Jack, we have to get Sam," Daniel said.

"I know, but you heard him.  If we attack any more Replicators, they'll kill her.  I need to contact Thor."

Jack pulled the communicator out of his pocket and spoke into it.  "Thor.  It's Colonel O'Neill."

"O'Neill.  I have successfully modified my ship to emit a massive destruction wave."

"Excellent.  I knew you could do it."

"The weapon is fifty percent charged.  If this works, SG-1 will have saved the Asgard once again."

"I'm real happy for you.  I'm extremely proud, but we've got a little bit of a problem down here.  Fifth detected our approach, and he claims he can kill Carter, instantly."

"O'Neill. . . ."

"Hey, I know what you're gonna to say.  Her life was already sacrificed, and you've got your whole planet to worry about—"

"Jack," Daniel interrupted.

"But I've got problems, too," Jack continued.  He glanced over his shoulder at Daniel.  "Hang on a second," he said into the communicator.  "What?" he asked the archeologist.

It wasn't necessary for Daniel to answer the question, for, just then, Jack heard it: the sound of a whole lot of Replicators approaching.

"This could be very bad," Daniel commented.

Thousands of Replicators became visible, far more than the three men could ever hope to kill.  Prepared to destroy as many as they could before they died, they were shocked when the Replicators moved right past them, actually diverting around them.

"What are they doing?" Daniel asked.

"Looks like they're running away," Jack replied.  He spoke into the communicator.  "Thor, are you ready yet?"

"What is happening, O'Neill?"

"They're retreating."

"You must stop them, O'Neill.  The weapon is not yet ready.  They cannot be allowed to escape."

Daniel met Jack's eyes.  He knew that, if they attacked the Replicators, Sam might die.  But he also knew something else.  Sam would not want them to sacrifice the safety of the Asgard to save her.  She would want them to save Thor's people.  Though it ripped a hole in Daniel's heart to know that his actions might kill the woman he loved, he knew that there could be only one decision.

Seeing this in Daniel's eyes, Jack gave him a small nod, then the three men took off after the Replicators.  They killed hundreds, leaving in their wake the shattered remnants of Replicator bodies.  But, as they already knew, they could not kill them all.  There were far too many.

Sam's presence was still strong in Daniel's mind, and he knew that, as long as it was still there, there was hope.  But the fear remained that, at any moment, the feeling of her life force would vanish forever.

The three men ran into a small clearing and saw what looked like a gigantic parody of some nightmarish spider.  The Replicators were fleeing into in, their bodies merging into its form.  The humans realized that it was a ship created from Replicators.

"Can you disable it, Daniel?" Jack asked.

The archeologist shook his head.  "A regular ship I might be able to, but not that."  He gazed at the ship.  "Jack, Sam's in there."

Sam glared at Fifth.  He had abruptly reappeared, telling her that they had to leave.  Apparently thanks to Daniel, the Asgard had a weapon against the Replicators, one that would destroy all the Replicators on the planet.

Fifth had also told her that Daniel, Jack and Teal'c were on the planet, killing Replicators, despite the fact that he'd warned them that he would kill Sam if they didn't stop.

"Then why don't you kill me?" she asked.  "You know why my friends won't stop just to save me?"

There was an expression of puzzlement on Fifth's face.  "No."

"Because they know, when it comes right down to it, I would rather be dead than be trapped like this forever.  No matter what you feel for me, I will never love you back.  Kill me if you want, but if you have even one shred of humanity in you and you really, truly love me, you'll let me go."

Daniel, Jack and Teal'c watched helplessly as the ship lifted off the ground, its legs tucking underneath its body as it rose into the air and flew away.

High above Orilla on Thor's ship, the weapon, at last fully charged, was activated.  All over the planet, every Replicator that had been unable to escape was instantly disintegrated.

"O'Neill, the weapon worked," Thor announced.  "Reports from the colony say all the remaining Replicators have been neutralized.  While the ship did escape, at least we have an effective means of fighting them now."

"Jack, Sam still here," Daniel said excitedly.

"Then let's go find her."

The three men took off, Daniel in the lead.

"O'Neill.  I am detecting a fourth life sign in your immediate vicinity," Thor said.

"Daniel's way ahead of you, Thor," Jack told him as he kept running, trying to keep up with the archeologist.

The sight of Sam lying on the ground sent both joy and fear through Daniel.  And then he saw her turn over and start to sit up, and the fear vanished.  Seconds later, she was in his arms, being held so tightly that she might have complained if it didn't feel so good to be there.

Daniel was trembling, trying very hard not to cry.  Sam could feel the shaking of his body.  She looked up at Jack questioningly.

"We all thought you were dead, Sam," he told her softly.

That was all she needed to know.  She wrapped her arms around Daniel.  "I'm okay, Daniel.  I'm all right."

He lifted tear-bright eyes to her, scanning her face intently.  He cupped her cheek and brought his lips to hers in a long kiss touched with all the grief, fear and desperation he had suffered.

Pressing his face against the crook of her neck, he whispered, "I love you."

"I love you, too," Sam murmured back to him.  No matter how much Fifth might have thought he loved her, this was something he could never truly understand.

As Daniel got to his feet with Sam, he swayed slight.  The major grabbed hold of him.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I've just been overdoing it a bit."

"A bit?" Jack repeated sarcastically.  "I think he wiped out several hundred Replicators all by himself, and I don't want to think about how much power he threw at that human Replicator."

"You killed a human Replicator?" Sam asked Daniel in surprise.

The archeologist shook his head.  "I tried, but it just kept reforming, even though I threw enough at it to bring down a glider."

"I knew it!" Jack exclaimed.  "Dammit, Daniel.  You should have known better than to keep using your abilities after that.  You should have just shot the ones down here on the planet."

"I knew that I could kill more the other way.  And please don't yell.  It hurts my head."

"Jeez, I'm sorry," Jack apologized contritely.  He could see now that the light was bothering Daniel's eyes and that he looked a little pale.

Jack pulled the communicator out of his pocket.  "Thor, we've got Carter.  Can you beam us up?"

Two seconds later, they were on the bridge of the Asgard's ship.

Jack pointed a finger at Daniel  "You.  Go lay down."  He gestured at the low table that was still on the bridge.

"Yes, Mother," Daniel responded, walking over to the table with Sam.

"Is Doctor Jackson ill?" Thor asked.

"He overdid it with the psychic stuff.  He can only do so much before it starts doing a number on his grey matter."

"Yes, that is understandable.  The human brain is not designed to use power of that magnitude, not even one as advanced as Doctor Jackson's.  However, I believe I can ease his discomfort."

A soft beam of light ran over Daniel's head where he lay on the table.  Once it was gone, the archeologist blinked a few times in surprise.

"Wow.  I wish we had something like that back at the SGC," he said, sitting up.

"How do you feel now, Doctor Jackson?" Thor asked.

"Fine, no pain at all.  Thanks."

"You are welcome."

"Any chance you might have a spare one of those doohickeys around that you'd be willing to let us have?" Jack asked.  "It sure would give me peace of mind to know that every time Daniel overdoes it, he'll be all better with the push of a button."

"What I did may have eliminated his pain, O'Neill, but it is not something that should be used on a regular basis.  The human brain is very delicate and should be treated with care."

"Yeah, well, tell him that." Jack jerked his thumb at Daniel.

Daniel let out a sigh, choosing to ignore the older man.  He got off the table and walked with Sam over to the others, an arm around her waist.  He was having a hard time keeping himself from touching her to make sure she was really there.

"The Asgard owe you a great deal for your help, Doctor Jackson," Thor said, "and we believe that you can help us even more.  I did not mention this before because my primary concern was the Replicators, but our scientists have studied your DNA and examined the data from the scan I did of you when we last met, and they believe that there is a good chance you are the key to solving our problem with our genetic degradation."

"Wow.  That's great news, Thor," Sam said.

"It sure is," Jack agreed.  "So, what do you need?  More bits and pieces of Daniel?"

"We will need more DNA samples, as well as more extensive scans," Thor answered.

"Whatever you need I'll be happy to give," the archeologist told him.

"Thank you, Doctor Jackson.  If you are willing, we can attend to this now."

"Sure, why not?"

A while later, Thor had all the scans and DNA samples they needed, which were transported to the scientists on Orilla.  Like what had been done with Jack, Thor also placed a marker in Daniel's DNA to prevent any attempts at genetic manipulation.

The Asgard took SG-1 back to Earth, thanking them again for all their help.

General Hammond couldn't say that he was surprised when his premier SG team suddenly appeared in the briefing room.  He'd gotten used to things like that.

"Hey, General," Jack greeted, waving at him through the window that separated them.  "Miss us?"

Hammond came out into the briefing room.  "Can I assume that your mission to aid the Asgard is completed?"

"Yep.  Daniel gave them a cool new weapon, we whacked a whole bunch of bugs, and, to top it all off, the Asgard got what they needed to solve there little gene problem, also thanks to Daniel."

"It sounds like it'll be quite an interesting debriefing, Colonel.  Why don't you and your team go for your post-mission check-ups, get cleaned up, then come back here and tell me all about it."

"Yes, sir."

As SG-1 walked into the infirmary, Daniel didn't even give Janet a chance to open her mouth.

"Yes, I used my abilities, yes, I used them too much, and, no, I don't need any scans or tests.  Thor took care of it," he said, then sat on an exam table.

Janet just stood still for a few seconds, blinking, as Daniel's teammates smirked in amusement.

"Okay.  Then I guess we can skip this and you can go," she said.

"Great."  Daniel jumped off the table and started past her.

"Not so fast, Mister."

"Damn.  Almost made it," the archeologist muttered.

"Go and sit back down."

With a sigh, Daniel returned to the table.

"Now, someone please give me a more detailed explanation," Janet requested.

The doctor got the story from Daniel, Jack and Teal'c about how the archeologist was obliterating Replicators right and left and tried to kill a human Replicator.  When, in the telling, Janet found out that Sam had been the captive of another human Replicator for a while, she ordered the major to make herself comfortable on another exam table.

"We'll get to you in a minute," Janet told her.  She turned back to Daniel.  "So, how bad was it?"

"I've felt a lot worse," Daniel replied.  "This couldn't compare to when I blew up the Al'Kesh or lifted the Stargate or when I did all that stuff at the Alpha Site."

Just then, a thought hit Jack, and he cursed.  "Daniel, we don't know if all that Ancient knowledge in your head is still where it's supposed to be.  We didn't think to ask Thor."

"What?" Janet questioned sharply.  "What are you talking about?"

"Thor merged my mind with the ship's computer so that I could access the knowledge in my subconscious," Daniel explained.  "There was some danger that it could make it start to leak into my conscious mind again.  After Sam was taken, and then we got so busy with the Replicators, I forgot all about it."

Janet immediately hauled Daniel off for a PET scan.  The other members of SG-1 were given their exams by one of the other doctors.

"Well?" Jack asked when Daniel and Janet returned.

"He appears to be okay," the doctor replied, "though the scan did show some changes from before.  I can't be sure what it means."

"Is there any chance that it's going to start leaking into his conscious mind again?" Sam asked, getting worried.

"To be honest, I don't know.  All we can do is keep a close eye on him for the next few days.  If he starts exhibiting any symptoms, then we can begin to worry."

"Well, at least, this time, Thor will probably come when we call," Jack remarked, "especially since Daniel saved all the Asgards' cute little grey butts."

The debriefing was pretty interesting, Daniel, Jack and Teal'c reporting what happened with them, while Sam – who had gotten a clean bill of health – told everyone what happened to her.  She did not include all the details of the illusion Fifth had created, only saying that he was trying to make her believe that she and Daniel had quit the SGC and were together on a dig in Egypt.

"How could he have hoped to maintain that illusion?" Daniel wondered.  "Even if you'd believed it was real to begin with, sooner or later, he would have screwed up.  You've never been to Luxor, so you don't know what it looks like."

"No, but I have been to Cairo," Sam answered.  "We flew into there when we were going after Osiris.  I guess he figured that he could take bits and pieces of what I saw in Cairo and create Luxor from them.  He probably thought that, since I've never been there, I wouldn't know the difference.  But you're right that he could not have kept it up forever.  Eventually, I'd have discovered the deception.  I don't really think that Fifth was thinking all that far ahead.  I'm pretty sure that the whole illusion thing was a sudden idea of his.  He did not plan it out."

"I have to say that the idea of a Replicator being in love with you is just so wrong on so many levels," Jack stated.  He then quickly added, "Not to say that he didn't have good reason to fall for you.  It's just that he's, well, you know. . . ."  His voice trailed off as Daniel and Sam stared at him.  He turned to Hammond  "Shall we continue?"

Hammond almost smiled.  "Excellent idea, Colonel."

The debriefing continued.  Jack and Teal'c said nothing about Daniel's emotional breakdown, for which the archeologist was very grateful.  When Jack got to the point in the narrative where they made the decision to go after the Replicators despite Fifth's warning, Daniel had his gaze glued to the tabletop.

"We figured that Carter wouldn't want us to endanger the Asgard to save her," Jack said quietly, his eyes going to Daniel, then to Sam.

"You're right, I wouldn't," she responded.  "And I figured that you guys would know that I'd rather be dead than live as Fifth's prisoner for the rest of my life."  She looked at Daniel, who was sitting beside her, still staring at the table.  She laid her hand over his.  After a moment, he turned his hand upward and clasped hers.  His eyes lifted to meet hers, and she saw the pain in them.  She knew that this was something they needed to talk about once they were alone.

The debriefing was concluded shortly after that.

"I have some information that all of you may be interested in," Hammond announced, "particularly you, Doctor Jackson.  While you were gone, a tentative agreement was reached with the other governments about the Ancient outpost in Antarctica.  A team of scientists from many of the nations will be flying out there day after tomorrow to continue studying the technology and the records found there.  Doctor Weir will be supervising the research project."

Daniel was delighted with the news.  "That's great.  So . . . now that it's all settled—"  His statement was halted by the general's raised hand.

"I know what you're going to request, Doctor Jackson," Hammond said.  "Permission grated for you to go to Antarctica.  Your skill with the Ancients' language and unique knowledge of their race will make you an invaluable asset to the project.  You are scheduled to fly out Tuesday morning."

"Sir, permission to—" Sam started to say, but she, too, was interrupted.

"And so are you, Major," Hammond told her.

Sam gave him a smile.  "Thank you, sir."

Unlike Daniel and Sam, Jack was not the least bit happy.  He was going to lose half his team for who knew how long.

"Uh, sir.  Not that I don't agree that Daniel and Carter would be a big help over there, but how long is this going to take?" he asked.

"I'm afraid I can't answer that, Colonel," Hammond replied.  "However, I understand that Doctor Jackson and Major Carter will eventually have to get back to their duties here.  Let's just see how things go over there."

Jack sighed silently.  "Yes, sir."

"If you wish, Colonel, you may accompany them.  I couldn't allow you to stay as long, but I think we could do without you for a week or so."

Jack wasn't sure he liked the idea of going to Antarctica again.  Neither visit to that continent had been a pleasant experience for him.  "I'll consider it, sir."

Hammond dismissed everyone with the exception of Jack, whom he asked to come to his office.

"Sit down, Jack," Hammond instructed as the two men entered his office.  The general settled in his own chair.  "I have no intention of asking something that would violate Doctor Jackson's privacy, but I need to know how he handled what happened on this mission.  You said that all of you believed that Major Carter was dead."

"Yes, sir.  Daniel was . . . very upset, and with good reason.  He loves Carter very much.  Even so, he managed to pull himself together and do what needed to be done.  I know that a lot of guys wouldn't have been able to do that."

"And what about the decision to attack the Replicators after Fifth's threat?  Did he pose an objection?"

"No, sir, he didn't.  He knew what had to be done and what Carter would want us to do, even though I know it just about killed him to do something that might result in her death.  General, when I decided to let both Daniel and Carter stay on SG-1, I was confident that they could handle it.  What happened today proves that my faith in them was well founded.  I'm not saying that something else isn't going to happen that will change my mind, but I am proud of the way Daniel handled this situation."

"Thank you, Colonel.  That's all I needed to know."

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

HomeNews & InfoFan FictionMessage BoardLinksEmail
Stargate-Horizons.com Home Page   |   Site Map of Stargate-Horizons.com