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Not surprisingly, Jack's first week as base commander was more than a little hectic for him.  If he had thought that there was a lot of paperwork to do as a colonel and 2IC of Stargate Command, it was nothing compared to what he now had as the SGC's commander.  It seemed like all he ever did was paperwork.  He could barely see the top of his desk.  He was just glad that there were no crises that he had to deal with as well.

There was one order of business that was a matter of choice, however, rather than necessity.  Jack had been talking to several people, attempting to get permission for Teal'c to live off-base.  Now that the Jaffa no longer had a symbiote and the scar of his pouch was gone, Jack could see no reason why Teal'c couldn't live off-base.  Unfortunately, most of those whom he'd talked to didn't agree.  They had all kinds of concerns about things that could happen.  But Jack was determined to succeed, which he finally did.

As soon as Jack ended the conversation that had finally given him what he was seeking, he went in search of Teal'c to give him the good news.  He found the Jaffa, as well as the other two members of SG-1, in the gym.

"It's really frustrating," Daniel was saying as he did arm curls.  Sam was a few feet away on another bench, doing the same.

"What's really frustrating?" Jack asked as he came up to them.

"Oh, I was just talking to Sam about the situation on Tegalus.  Everything appears to be at a stalemate.  The Caledonians are demanding information and access to the Stargate that Rand isn't willing to give them, and Rand is being rather unreasonable in what they'll allow Caledonia to have.  The situation is getting pretty tense over there."

"Which does not give me any warm, fuzzy feelings about letting you go back over there."

"Well, I'm still hoping that this will be resolved, and the two sides can come to an agreement."  Daniel glanced up and down at Jack.  "I'm guessing by how you're dressed that you're not here to work out."

"Nope."  Jack smiled.  "I've got some good news for Teal'c."

"News, sir?" Sam inquired.  "About what?"

"Come on.  Join me while I tell him."

The three of them went over to Teal'c.

"Hey, good buddy.  Have I got some news for you," Jack said.  "How'd you like to finally get out of that tiny room on Level 25 and have a place of your own?"

"You got permission for Teal'c to live off-base?" Sam asked, surprised and delighted.

Jack smiled more broadly.  "I sure did.  It took some doing, but I finally got everyone to say yes."

Teal'c had a pleased expression on his face.  "This is indeed good news, O'Neill.  Thank you."

"No thanks necessary, big guy.  Now that there's no physical reason for you to live on the base, it's time that we all really show our trust in you.  It's the least we can do for all you've done for Earth."

"This is great, Teal'c," Daniel said.  "You'll have to start shopping for an apartment."

"I will begin my search for one this evening."

"We can help with that," Jack told him.

"Jack, judging by how you were when I was house hunting, the last thing Teal'c needs is to have you picking suitable apartments for him," Daniel responded.

"Hey!  I wasn't that bad."

"Need I remind you that you dismissed one house simply because the back porch wasn't big enough to put more than two lawn chairs on it?"

"Well, what if we'd all come over to visit you and wanted to sit out on the back porch?  We couldn't have done it."

"Well, since apartments generally don't have back porches, I don't think that would be a factor in choosing one," Sam pointed out.

"I would prefer to search for an apartment on my own," Teal'c stated.

"Fine.  Just don't come crying to me when you end up getting one in a bad neighborhood," Jack groused.

"Rest assured that I will not, O'Neill."

That evening, Teal'c began apartment hunting.  Daniel gave him some tips on where the nicer areas in town were and what a reasonable rent would be for a one bedroom apartment.  Other than that, Teal'c was alone in choosing a place.  As it so happened, there was a good selection of apartments presently available, so it didn't take long to find one, a nice one bedroom on the second floor of a newer building in an area of town that, while not the best, at least had a fairly low crime rate.  Teal'c's impressive – and completely fake – credit record made getting the apartment easy.

Since Teal'c didn't own any furniture, nor much of anything else for that matter, it was necessary for him to go shopping.  Daniel volunteered to go along and help with the shopping, and everyone helped get the stuff into the apartment.  Then came moving Teal'c out of his quarters at the SGC, which didn't take long, there not being much to pack.

"Looks good," Sam said, looking about.  "Kind of barren, but a few wall decorations will take care of that."

"Just don't go all Martha Stewart on us, okay?" Jack requested.

"You need not fear such a thing, O'Neill," the Jaffa assured him.

To celebrate Teal'c's new place, the four friends went out to dinner that evening.  For the first few days after Jack's promotion, Sam had a tendency to treat him differently than she had before, being a little more formal around him, but the new general made it clear that he was having none of that, and things were now back to the way they were before.  As they enjoyed their meal and chatted about this and that, they could almost forget that Jack was no longer a member of SG-1.  The truth was that, even though he was no longer a teammate, in many ways, he would always be part of the team.  Jack knew that his heart would always be with SG-1 and that Daniel, Sam and Teal'c would always be his family, no matter where the road ahead might lead him.

The next day, Daniel received a message from Commander Gareth that the meeting with the Caledonians was finally going to take place the next day, which pleased the archeologist, who was eager to help mend a few fences between the two countries.  Unfortunately, things did not go as well as Daniel had hoped at the meeting.

SG-1 went back to the SGC right after the meeting.  Daniel gathered everything he knew about the people of Rand and Caledonia for the debriefing.

"So, how did it go?" Jack asked.

"Not so well, actually.  My time with the Caledonian representatives was severely limited by the Rand security forces.  Apparently, Gareth had national security concerns, mainly that we'd tell the Caledonians too much about the Stargate."

"Judging by what I already knew, that doesn't really surprise me."

"Me neither."  Daniel turned to the image that was on the screen, a representation of the two world powers of Tegalus.  "The Rand Protectorate and the Caledonian Federation have been locked in a state of cold war for decades.  Each nation has enough weapons to wipe each other off the face of the planet."

"Sounds depressingly familiar," Sam said, thinking of the cold war that the United States had with the U.S.S.R. for so long.

"There's actually a third element which has me a little more concerned, uh, a group of religious fundamentalists led by a man named Soren.  Now, these people think that all life on the planet was created by ancient gods and that these gods will someday return and reward them for their faith."

Sam didn't like where this was going.  "And, by coming through the Stargate, we confirmed their beliefs."

Daniel gave a little nod.  "Because the gate was activated in a public place, the Rand government has been unable to prevent the rumors from spreading.  Now, before we made contact with them, these people were considered zealots who took the ancient texts too literally.  The gate being activated has given them all they need to prove that they were right all along.  Their numbers will grow."

"That's terrible," Jack said a bit flippantly.  "And yet not our problem."

Before Daniel had a chance to reply, Jack's watch beeped, reminding him of an appointment.  "Oops.  Sorry, guys.  Duty calls."  He got to his feet.  "Dismissed, everyone."

Daniel followed Jack out of the room.  "Jack, you have to let me go back," he said.

"If what you say is true, things are going to get a little out of hand over there."

"Yes, because of us.  If we hadn't chosen to pay them a little visit—"

"They'd be far better off," Jack interrupted.  "I know.  Daniel, we're always stickin' our collective noses where they don't belong.  It's what we do."

"I could help them understand what they're facing, make them see it's not the end of the world," Daniel told him.  "If we leave now, who knows what could happen?"

Jack stopped walking and faced Daniel.

"We have to help them," the archeologist insisted.  "You know that."

Jack's instincts were telling him to say no, that things could turn ugly over there, but he also knew that, yet again, Daniel was right.  Since it was Earth's contact with Tegalus that resulted in this, they did have some responsibility in trying to fix it.

"Regular contact, no exceptions.  The second things start getting a little squirrelly. . . ."

"Thank you."  Daniel began walking away, anxious to get started as soon as possible.

"Daniel," Jack called, causing the archeologist to stop and turn around.  The general wagged a finger at him.  "Squirrelly."

Daniel nodded.  "Squirrelly."

The next day, SG-1 gated back to Tegalus.  Daniel spent that day and the fifteen days that followed doing what he could to heal the relationship between the two countries.  Unfortunately, he was severely limited as to what he could do.  He was only allowed to meet with the Caledonians one more time, who were getting impatient with Rand's slowness in giving them information about the Stargate.  In all fairness to Rand, Daniel knew that part of the reason for that second thing was that their scientists were trying to study and understand all the scientific information themselves before passing it on to others, which made sense from their point of view.  As for not letting Caledonia freely speak to SG-1, that could be blamed solely on politics and distrust between the nations.

On the fourth trip back to Tegalus, only Daniel and Teal'c went, Sam staying behind because of a sudden technical crisis going on at Area 51 that she needed to help with.

When they got there, they found out that the situation with the fundamentalists had gotten a lot worse.  Daniel and Teal'c were taken to an underground bunker.  As Teal'c remained above, Daniel went with Jared Kane down into the bunker.   In several places, he noticed six round lights in a metal box attached to the wall.  A blue light was lit in each location.

"What's the purpose of the lights?" Daniel asked Kane.

"Each color represents the military state of affairs and what our alert status is.  Yellow represents a low threat level and is the color we're usually at."

They passed beyond a metal door and continued down a corridor.

"And what does blue mean?" the archeologist asked.

"It's the second to highest level of military alert status.  There's been civil unrest in several urban centers across the country.  Over a dozen municipalities have fallen into the hands of Soren's troops.  Our forces are in the process of pacifying those areas as we speak."


"Reclaiming our cities from the hands of religious madmen."

"So, civil unrest means you go to blue."

"Under normal circumstances, no.  Unfortunately, the situation has caused other problems."

They had stopped in front of a heavy metal door mounted in a circular track.  The door opened to reveal a small round chamber on the other side, making Daniel realize that it wasn't a door at all.  It was actually the wall of the chamber, which had only one opening.   As they stepped into the chamber, the wall continued to turn, that opening moving around the circumference of the chamber until an entrance was revealed on the opposite side of where they'd entered.

The two men stepped out into some kind of control room, which appeared to be fully staffed and quite busy.

Daniel was beginning to get an uneasy feeling.  "What's going on?"

"We were forced to heighten our alert status to match that of the Caledonians."

'Oh, wonderful,' was the thought that went through Daniel's mind.  He saw Commander Gareth across the room, apparently talking to someone over the communications system.

"And I promise you, we will share this technology with you once we fully understand it," he said.

"You mean once you've assessed its advantages to your national security," responded a voice over the speaker, one that Daniel recognized as Minister Treydan, the leader of Caledonia.  "You've refused to allow our scientists access to the Great Ring.  You've limited our access to the offworlders.  We do not feel as much a part of this great discovery as you do."

"And had the Ring been activated on Caledonian soil, you would have done no differently.  Minister Treydan, I am simply asking your government for patience.  Stand down your high alert. We will do the same."

"Typically, you trust your people too much Commander.  Caledonia has been under strict martial law since news of the offworlders' arrival began to spread.  Our domestic security remains intact."

"The citizens of this world are not children.  They just need time to come to terms with this information," Gareth insisted.

"Soren and his followers have already seized control of more than a dozen of your cities.  Your people are panicked, and your country is on the verge of collapse.  I urge you to deal with the situation in a swift and decisive manner.  Should control of the Rand Protectorate fall into Soren's hands, we'll consider it an act of war."

The dead silence over the speaker signaled the end of the conversation.  With a sigh, Gareth turned toward Daniel and walked over to him.

"How did this happen?" the archeologist asked him.  "When I was here last time, the situation was holding fairly steady."

"Soren's troops struck quickly and unexpectedly.  We can only assume that they have been planning this for several weeks.  If we were dealing with them alone, I have confidence that the situation would be resolved without a lot of difficulty, but, as you see, this has caused Caledonia to put themselves on high alert.  They fear that the fundamentalists will seize control of Rand, though I can assure you that will not happen."

"So, what are you going to do?"

"We will deal with Soren and his troops.  Once they are dealt with, calm will be restored."

"Is there anything at all that I can do to help?" Daniel asked.

"We appreciate your efforts to help us, Doctor Jackson, but there is not a great deal that you can do in regards to these zealots that follow Soren.  They do not listen to anyone, their beliefs blinding them to all reason."

Daniel's mind thought frantically for something that he could do.  "Okay, I know more than a little about these so-called gods that the fundamentalists worship, and I can tell you that, if they knew the truth, they wouldn't be so eager to see those gods return.  It's possible that I might be able to come up with something that will make them see the truth.  But I'm going to need more information on their beliefs, on your religious history and what their beliefs are founded upon."

"The ancient text should give you much of what you need," Gareth told him, "and there are history books that delve into the myths and legends of that time."

Daniel was now glad that he'd taken the time to learn Rand's written language.  "Good.  Where can I find this stuff?"

"The main library would have them," Kane replied.  "I can have someone take you there."

"Thank you."

Daniel and Teal'c were taken to the library, where the archeologist spent the next several hours pouring over any the book he could find that had information on the religion of the fundamentalists and the mythology of the "gods" that some on the planet believed were their creators.  Daniel, of course, knew that those gods were actually the Goa'uld, who had brought the ancestors of these people here thousands of years ago.  He was attempting to find out exactly which Goa'uld had been responsible, hoping that it was one the SGC had a hand in killing.

Unfortunately, the name of the "god" or "gods" did not appear anywhere, possibly for the same reason that the name of God was not in many versions of Earth's bible.  So, there was no way to know which Goa'uld had been the one to populate this planet.

But Daniel did find out a lot of other valuable information, not enough yet to do any good, however.

"Teal'c, I need to stay."  He waved his hand at the pile of books.  "There is so much information here, and I have to believe that something is going to give me the key to solving this problem with the fundamentalists."

"In my experience, I have seen that, when a faith is strong, it takes a great deal to destroy it.  Sometimes, such a thing is not possible."

"I know.  We have people somewhat Soren on Earth, and nothing you say to them will ever change their minds.  But we have an advantage in this situation.  We know that their gods are false, and we have proof of it.  But I can't blindly go and tell them that without familiarizing myself with the details of their beliefs.  I have to stay here and learn everything I can."

"Then I shall remain as well."

"You don't have to.  You can't help me here."

"That is true, but I would not return to Earth, leaving you here.  O'Neill would not be pleased."

"You do have a point.  Okay, since we may be here for a few days, we're going to need someplace to stay.  And the SGC is going to have to be updated."

"I will find us lodging and contact the SGC."

When Jack found out about the situation on Tegalus, his first reaction was to order Daniel and Teal'c to return to Earth.

"I do not believe that Daniel Jackson will be willing to return, O'Neill," the Jaffa told him.  "He is determined to aid these people."

Jack let out a sigh.  "Yeah, that's what I figured.  I suppose that whacking him over the head with a heavy object and carrying his ass back though the gate isn't an option."

"I do not believe so."

"All right.  I'll give him a few days, but if the situation gets any worse, I want you to haul him back here.  Tell him that he's totally ignoring my warning about what he's supposed to do if things getting squirrelly."

"I will give him your message.  Will Colonel Carter be joining us?"

"Not right now.  She had to go to Area 51 to deal with the trouble over there personally.  Don't know yet when she'll be back.  Do you want me to send another SG team as backup?"

"No, I do not believe that will be necessary.  We are presently in no danger."

For the next several days, Daniel read every book and scrap of information he could find on the religious beliefs of the fundamentalists, as well as their history and lifestyle, making use of his knowledge and skills as an anthropologist to put together an accurate picture of the people he would be dealing with.

The situation with Soren's troops remained mostly at a deadlock.  Soren hadn't gained any ground, but neither had Rand's military succeeded in regaining control of the cities that were under the fundamentalists' control.  Daniel's sixth sense was warning him that something was in the wind, but repeated questions to Gareth were always answered with assurances that the situation was being dealt with.

Both Rand and Caledonia were still in their high alert status and most likely would remain so until the Rand military had regained full control of their country.

Daniel and Teal'c had been on Tegalus for five days when Sam returned from Nevada

"How are things at Area 51?" Daniel asked her through the gate connection during his scheduled check-in.

"We finally got it all straightened out, thank goodness.  So, how is the situation over there?"

"On the surface, pretty much the same as it's been since the high alert went into effect."

Both Sam and Jack, who was standing beside her, heard the doubt in the archeologist's voice.

"But?" the general inquired.

"But I have a feeling that something's up."

"A feeling as in. . . ."  Jack let the question hang.  They watched Daniel glance about to see if anyone was within hearing distance.

"Yes," he replied softly, confirming that his "feeling" was psychic in nature.

"Daniel," Jack began with that note in his voice that told the archeologist he wasn't happy.

"I know what you're going to say, Jack, and I'm not prepared to give up yet.  In fact, I think I might have a plan that will resolve this.  Do you remember when we encountered that group of human servants of Apophis' who were training to infiltrate Earth's forces?"

"I doubt that I'll ever forget."

"They were certain that Apophis was a god, but when we showed them that footage of him when he was dying, they lost faith."

"And you think that showing that footage to Soren and his men will have the same effect?" Sam asked.

"No, not exactly.  Even if Soren does know Apophis' name, he wouldn't know what Apophis looks like.  But I think that we could put together enough taped footage that will put serious doubts in the minds of at least some of these fundamentalists, maybe enough to shake things up a bit and give the Rand military the edge it needs to overpower them.  I suggested it to Gareth, and he agreed to broadcast any video we made over their television."

Sam nodded.  "It could work.  At least it's worth a try."

"I need Teal'c to go back to Earth.  I want him to record a statement about the Goa'uld."

"Leaving you there alone?  I don't think so," Jack instantly responded.

"Jack, you and I both know that, if trouble does start, I have a distinct advantage over everyone else on this planet," Daniel said in a low voice.

"That advantage isn't going to help you if Caledonia starts lobbing nukes at Rand."

"They don't have nukes."

"Whatever.  The point is that you aren't going to be able to stop several hundred missiles."

"And Teal'c will?  What's the difference, Jack?  If war does break out, having Teal'c here isn't going to make any difference.  But what he records on that video might, and it may keep that war from happening."

"I'll come through the gate, Daniel, then Teal'c can come back here," Sam said.  She knew that, if there was a war, she wouldn't be of much help either, but at least Daniel wouldn't be there alone.

"Actually, I was kind of hoping that you'd take charge of putting the video together, Sam.  I'd trust you to figure out what would be the best things to put in it.  And, um . . . I was hoping that you'd say something about your experience with Jolinar, how she took complete control of you against your will.  Of course, you'd have to fudge a little, not say anything about her being a Tok'ra and giving her life for you.  I'd also like to include stuff about Sha're and Sarah, but I don't want to leave here."  There was a brief pause.  "Teal'c is going to talk about Sha're for me."

"I'm still not liking this, Daniel," Jack told him.

"I know, and I appreciate the concern, Jack.  Really I do.  But we're talking about billions of lives here.  If you get enough people working on the video, it shouldn't take more than a day or two to put together.  We're not trying for an Academy Award.  Judging by how things have been going here, I don't think that anything's going to change in the next two days."

Jack thought about it for several long seconds.  "Okay, Daniel.  Two days.  We'll get that video done and get it to you.  But after it's aired, I want you back here.  You got it?  If that video doesn't work, probably nothing will."


After Teal'c had left and the gate shut down, Daniel returned to his studies.  Taking a break at noon, he attempted to find out the reason for the warning of his sixth sense by taking a peek into the future.  He had a vision of battles going on between Rand's military and men he assumed were Soren's, one in particular in a location that appeared to be on the coast.  Then there was a confusing jumble of images that had Daniel even more worried.  Unfortunately, like so many times in the past, the vision was too confusing and incomplete to really tell him what was going to happen.  He decided to try again tomorrow, hoping that he would see more.

The next morning, Daniel went to the Stargate for his daily check-in.  He reported that everything appeared to be the same as the day before.

It was on the way back from the museum that his 'spidey sense' abruptly kicked in with a vengeance, telling him that whatever it had been warning him of was suddenly a lot more urgent.

Knowing that he had to try to again to find out what was going on, Daniel found a secluded place to sit in a city park and closed his eyes, casting his vision once again into the future.  Moments later, he was bombarded by images of terrible destruction, buildings blasted into rubble, torn and bloodied bodies buried in the wreckage.  The dead were everywhere, entire cities destroyed.  And at the heart of it all, there was the image of a man's face, a smile of triumph and satisfaction on his lips.

With a choked gasp, Daniel snapped out of the vision.  He leapt to his feet and hurried out of the park.  Getting a ride in a vehicle that was somewhat like a taxi on Earth, Daniel went to the bunker, his mind on the vision he'd just had.  Something was going to cause Rand and Caledonia to go to war, and it was going to happen very soon.

Daniel couldn't get out of his mind the face in his vision.  He knew that face, seen it in a photograph.  It was the face of Soren, the leader of the fundamentalists.  The archeologist's sixth sense was telling him that Soren was going to have something to do with what he saw happen.

Once he got to the bunker, Daniel went straight to the control room.  He headed for Gareth.

"I need to speak with you in private, Commander Gareth.  It's urgent."

The man studied his face for a moment, then nodded.  "All right.  Come with me to my office."

The two men went to the office, Gareth taking a seat behind his desk.

"I have good reason to believe that something is going to happen very soon that will launch a war between you and Caledonia."

Gareth stared at him in surprise.  "And how could you possibly know that, Doctor Jackson?"

Daniel paused, not knowing what to say.  Would the man believe him if he told the truth?  Probably not.

"All I can say is that I got the information from a very reliable source.  It leads me to believe that Soren is going to have something to do with it, but I don't know what.  Is there anything at all, something you haven't told me, that might indicate that Soren is planning another strike?"

Gareth shook his head.  "The bulk of Soren's troops are trapped within the cities that are under their control.  We have those cities surrounded.  They're not getting out."

"Are you sure that's the majority of his troops?  From what I read, there are several fundamentalist factions with thousands of members.  Isn't it possible that there is a large force in hiding, waiting for the perfect moment to strike?"

"The various factions don't get along much better than we get along with the fundamentalists as a whole.  Their differing viewpoints and interpretation of the ancient text keep them at odds.  It's unlikely that Soren would be able to unite them all."

"And if he could?"

Gareth was silent for a long moment.  "I appreciate your concern, Doctor Jackson, but I truly do not see that happening."

"Please, Gareth.  I know that I'm right.  You have to believe me," Daniel pleaded.

There was a knock on the door, and a man poked his head in.  "Sir, there is a call for you from Councillor Fresen."

"I'm sorry, Doctor Jackson, but I must take this call."

Knowing that the man wasn't going to listen to him at that moment, Daniel left the office.  He went up to the surface.  The feeling of impending disaster was growing heavier, oppressive, telling him that he was running out of time.  He thought about going back to the Stargate, leaving the people of Tegalus to their fate, but how could he do that if there was still some chance that he could stop this from happening?

Since gaining his abilities, there had been only a few times when Daniel felt helpless, powerless to do anything.  Now, he had that feeling again, and he knew that, if he failed to do something this time, countless millions would die.

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