Stargate Horizons


Doctor Daniel Jackson stared at the papers in his hands.  A few weeks ago he made the decision to reveal to General Hammond and his team the events that he had kept secret from everyone for nearly three years, to tell them about the day that an alien device sent him back in time over two thousand years.  Since then, missions and other things had kept him from sitting down and writing the report that he knew General Hammond would want.  He'd finally taken the time to do it last night.  Now that the report was actually printed and in his hands, however, he was beginning to wonder if this was such a good idea.

Sitting down at his desk, Daniel began to think of the pros and cons, starting with the cons.  A lot of people would probably be very mad at him for keeping this a secret for so long.  Okay, so what would they do to him?  Fire him?  That would be a little extreme.  He might receive a formal reprimand, but that was probably about all – well, that is unless some jackass showed up, demanding to know what other valuable secrets he was hiding because of some ulterior motive or sympathies he had toward the Goa'uld, like what happened with Colonel Simmons two years ago.

Grimacing, Daniel moved on.  His teammates would be unhappy that he didn't tell them, especially Jack.  He could probably smooth that over by explaining the reason why.  That reason, though, was the biggest con of all.  Based upon the reports he'd read of the things that went on while he was ascended, there were clearly still people out there who were involved in the stuff that started with the rogue NID activities.  There were likely still individuals high up in the government involved, as well as some military personnel.  The big difference, however, was that they'd been cleared out of the SGC and the NID.  They no longer had access to a Stargate, especially now that Stargate Command had the only one left on Earth.  As long as the time device wasn't brought back to Earth, it would be safe from their grasp.  But would he be able to convince the powers that be that it was safer to keep it off-world?

Daniel moved on to the pros.  He thought of the planet to which Egeria moved the human population of Estrania.  If the civilization had survived, it could be quite technologically advanced by now.  It could prove to be a valuable ally.  And then there were the Ancient ruins on the planet.  If they were still there, they really needed to be checked out more thoroughly, especially now that the SGC was searching for the Lost City.

Those were both great reasons for revealing what happened, but there was another reason that was more personal.  He wanted to tell his friends and everyone else about Egeria.  He wanted them to know about the amazing woman who earned his respect, admiration and friendship.  This was something he'd always wanted them to know, but since he regained the memory of appearing to her while he was ascended, the desire had grown.  He wanted to tell them about the things she did, the ways that she rejected the evil of her species.  She deserved that.

Looking back down at the report he'd typed up, which was now lying on the desk, Daniel weighed all the reasons to talk against the reasons to keep silent.  At one point, he picked up the papers and turned to the shredder.  He then paused, eyes returning yet again to the report.  A full minute later, he turned back around, put the report in a folder, and picked up the phone.  He talked to General Hammond's aide and requested a meeting with the general and all the members of SG-1.  He waited a moment as the aide talked to the general.  When the man got back on the phone, he said that the meeting would be scheduled for an hour from then.

An hour later, all of the requested people were in the briefing room, their eyes upon Daniel, expressions of curiosity on more than one face.

"So, Daniel.  Why are we here?" Jack asked.  He noticed that a VCR had been set up.  "Are we gonna watch a movie?  You should have told me.  I'd have brought some popcorn."

Ignoring Jack's remark, Daniel said, "This has to do with a mission we went on three years ago.  Do you guys recall the city we found with ancient Roman architecture that looked like it was destroyed in an aerial attack?"

Sam nodded.  "We all wondered what Goa'uld lived there."

"I know who lived there.  It was Egeria."

"Wow.  Really?"

"Egeria," Jack said.  "That name sounds really familiar.  Hey, isn't she the Goa'uld queen that made the Tok'ra?"

Daniel looked at him.  "Yes, that's her.  You met her last year on Pangar."

"If it was Egeria who lived there, it is no surprise that the city was destroyed," Teal'c remarked.

"Yeah, the other Goa'uld must have been pretty ticked off at her," Sam said.

"So, you couldn't just tell us this in a memo or something?" Jack asked.  Then he had a thought.  "Daniel, if this is about going back there, you can forget it.  I'm not going to go hunting through a bunch of crumbling ruins, looking for something to help you learn more about the Tok'ras' mother."

"No, Jack, that's not why I called this meeting.  I called it to tell you what happened to me on that mission."

General Hammond frowned slightly.  "Are you saying that something happened that you did not report?"

"Oh, yeah.  Putting it bluntly, I got sent back in time over two thousand years."

The responses to Daniel's statement were blank stares.

"You got sent back in time," Jack repeated.


"Two thousand years."


Jack paused for a heartbeat.  "Meet any interesting people?"

"As a matter of fact, I did."

Sam shook her head.  "Daniel, that's impossible."

"Why?  We've traveled through time before and have encountered a device that was a time travel machine.  Granted, the thing the Ancients built didn't work very well, but it did send people back in time."

"Yes, I know that, but, obviously, this must have happened while we were in the furling ruins, and I was scanning them the whole time I was in them.  If such a device had activated, the massive energy output would have been picked up by my scanner."

"Ah.  Well, the reason why it wasn't is that, before the thing went off, it trapped me in a sealed room that was apparently shielded.  My radio signal couldn't get out."

"Daniel," Jack said.  "It's not that I don't believe you. . . ."

"But you don't believe me," Daniel finished.  "I suspected that you wouldn't, which is why I filmed this while I was there."

The archeologist turned to the VCR and pushed the play button on the remote.  His teammates and General Hammond were stunned to see videos of what looked like a well-populated ancient Roman city, complete with people in Roman garb.  Daniel's voice could be heard on the tape, explaining what each structure was.  After a while, the video showed one that struck a familiar chord.

"And here, Jack," said the recorded voice, "is the temple you didn't want me going into because you were afraid it would come tumbling down around my ears.  As you can see, it is now completely whole and undamaged."

"My God," Sam murmured.  "You really did go back in time."  She looked at the archeologist.  "Why didn't you tell us?"

"I'll get to that later.  While I was there, I was captured by some Jaffa and taken before Egeria, who, unfortunately, was still a Goa'uld at the time."

"Oh, boy.  She hadn't gone over to the Tok'ra way of thinking?"

"No.  I was captured because I'd gone into the temple without an offering, which was considered a great offense.  Egeria spared my life, but sentenced me to a year of slavery."

Daniel went on to briefly recount the things that happened after that, describing how he and Egeria gradually became friends.

"I can't believe you became friends with a Goa'uld," Jack said.

"She wasn't an ordinary Goa'uld, Jack.  She was the future mother of the Tok'ra.  Even from the beginning, I could see how different she was.  Do you honestly think that a regular Goa'uld, upon finding a human with devices more advanced than any human should have, wouldn't have tortured them to find out where they got the stuff?"

"Daniel Jackson is correct," Teal'c stated.  "A Goa'uld would be most interested to know from where such devices came."

Daniel continued his narrative, right up to the point where Egeria told him that she considered him to be one of the only true friends she'd ever had.

"And that's when I decided to start guiding her toward becoming a Tok'ra," he announced.

"Whoa," Jack said.  "Let me get this straight.  You decided to start talking to a Goa'uld about letting its host have back control of the body?"

"Well, no, of course not, not right away.  I couldn't just jump into that part of it.  I had to start slowly, first encourage her to talk with her host."

"And did it even occur to you that such a thing could get you killed?"  There was now an edge of anger in the colonel's voice.

"Actually, it did, and, yes, I knew that you'd think I was nuts, Jack, but I figured that getting Egeria to go Tok'ra would be the only way to get her to release me from slavery sooner.  I really didn't want to be a slave for some fifteen Earth months.  Besides, I had reason to believe that it was going to start happening very soon anyway, so I figured that it wouldn't hurt to get the ball rolling."

"Did you succeed, Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c asked, amazed at what his teammate had set out to do.

"I did."

Sam blinked.  "You turned Egeria?"

Daniel nodded.  "It didn't take nearly as long as I'd thought it would."  He filled them in on some of the things that happened and a little of what he said to nudge Egeria in the right direction, being careful not to reveal that he'd told her about the efforts of his "people" against the Goa'uld since he knew that Jack would blow a gasket.  He also steered well clear of Egeria wanting to use his "code of life" and what eventually happened between them.  That was one thing he did not want them to know.  If they found out that his DNA had been used for the first few broods of Tok'ra, Jack would never let him live it down.

"This is incredible!" Sam exclaimed.  "You're actually the person responsible for Egeria creating the Tok'ra.  Well, at least you are in this version of history."

"Um, actually, it happened the same way last time, too.  You see, several months before I went back in time, I'd gone through the Tok'ra historical records to learn about Egeria and the start of the Tok'ra movement.  When I got back from my little unscheduled trip through time, I was curious to see if there were any differences, so, when we went to the Tok'ra base about that mission two weeks later, I checked the records.  Something I found made me realize that I didn't change history after all.  I repeated it, just like what happened when we went back in time to 1969.  Now, at one point, there had to be a beginning of the . . . the loop, like you and I talked about after that trip back to 1969, but there's no way to know how many times this has repeated."

Jack had a grimace on his face.  "Don't talk about time loops, Daniel.  They are so not a pleasant subject for me."


"This loop isn't like the one you and Teal'c experienced, sir," Sam explained.  "You could call it more of an opened-ended loop.  We're not all trapped inside it, doomed to repeat the same events over and over—"

"Carter!" Jack snapped.  "What did I just say about ixnay on imetay oopslay?!"

Sam's expression became apologetic.  "Sorry, sir."

General Hammond spoke up.  "Doctor Jackson, I am amazed at what you've just told us.  It is thanks to you that we gained a valuable ally in our fight against the Goa'uld."

Daniel shook his head.  "All I did was nudge Egeria in the right direction.  She is the one we really have to thank."

"Now, regarding the device that sent you back in time."

"Um, yeah.  I knew we'd get to that eventually."

Daniel went on to tell them about the device, how it worked, the sensor that shut it down in the presence of Goa'uld symbiotes, how it sent him back in time, then returned him to this time.

"If I hadn't been able to learn more about the Furling language, I'd never have gotten home," he concluded.

"Amazing," Sam said, her eyes alight with interest.  "The level of technology required to build something like that is mind-boggling."

Jack had a frown on his face.  "Okay, Daniel.  Now, you get to tell us why you didn't tell us."

"I didn't tell you because I was afraid the rogue NID would get their hands on it."

That sobered everyone.

Daniel continued.  "It hadn't really been all that long since all that stuff with them stealing alien technology came to a head, and we all knew that there were more of them out there.  If they'd found out about that thing, they'd have been pretty eager to get hold of it."

"Indeed," Teal'c agreed.  "With such power, they could have altered history to remove the threat of the Goa'uld to Earth."

"Doing something like that could have been disastrous," Sam countered.  "There's no telling what ramifications there would have been to making huge changes like that to the timeline."

"You know, Carter, based upon what we saw, I don't think they'd have cared," Jack remarked.  "They struck me as having a case of tunnel vision when it came to protecting Earth from the Goa'uld."

Daniel nodded.  "My guess is that they'd have gotten rid of the gates, both of them.  If we never went through the Stargate, and the Goa'uld couldn't come here through the gate, chances are that we'd have been safe from the Goa'uld, or at least until some day in the future when they came calling by ship.  If I was them, I'd have gotten rid of the Giza gate sometime between when it was found and when it was shipped here.  As for the one in Antarctica, they could have gotten rid of it at any time.  Actually, I take it back.  Based on what we know now, they'd probably have kept one of the gates for their own use, to get all the high-tech goodies they could find.  Regardless, it would have kept us from stumbling upon the Goa'uld and making Earth a target."

"I'd say you're right about that," Sam agreed.  "They'd probably have figured that there wouldn't be any negative impact to Earth, only positive ones."

"And to hell with the rest of the galaxy," Jack said.

"Except that, without our interference, Anubis would probably have eventually taken over the galaxy," Daniel pointed out.  "Then it would have only been a matter of time before he came to Earth to check us out.  Of course, none of us knew about Anubis back then."

Jack focused his attention on the archeologist.  "So, that time travel doohickey is still sitting there on that planet, just waiting for someone to stumble across it?"

"Well . . . sort of."

"Sort of?"

"Jacob and I made sure it couldn't be used."

"Wait a minute.  You wouldn't tell us about the thing because of the NID threat, but you told the Tok'ra with their abysmal track record of spies in their ranks?"

"No, not the Tok'ra, Jack, just Jacob.  He and Selmak agreed that it would be best if the rest of the Tok'ra didn't know.  That translation job that Jacob said he wanted me for was actually a cover for us going to Estrania.  We disabled the device in a way that would make it impossible for anyone to use it."

"Why didn't you just destroy it?" Sam asked.

"We thought about it, but what if something really horrible happened in the future, like Earth being attacked and decimated by the Goa'uld?  I couldn't destroy the only means we'd have to undo something like that."

"I can understand why you would be hesitant to destroy it," General Hammond said.  "However, we now have a decision to make on what to do about this."

Daniel frowned.  "Only Jacob and I know what we did with the part we removed.  I really think it should stay that way.  It's safer."

"And what if, God forbid, something should happen to both of you?"

"Well, the odds of both of us dying at the same time would be pretty remote, unless it was on some mission we were on together.  If something ever happens to one of us, then the other could share the secret location with someone else."

"Though I tend to agree with your reasoning, Doctor Jackson, I am not the one who will be making the decision.  That will be up to the president."

"So, why did you finally decide to tell us?" Sam asked.

"As you know, after the stuff that happened on Erebus, I started going through the mission reports for the things that went on while I was ascended.  I was pretty surprised when I read the one about what happened on Pangar, specifically your discovery that Egeria wasn't killed by Ra after all.  I was wishing that I'd been there so that I could have talked to her.  And then I discovered that I was there."

"You were with us on that mission?" Jack questioned.  "Just how much did you hang around us while you were all glowy, Daniel?"

"That I don't know.  I just know that, while you were on Pangar, I visited Egeria.  After I remembered that, I decided that it was time for me to tell you guys about what happened, but we kind of got busy with other things, and it sort of got put on hold.  Now that you know, there's a planet that I'm really hoping we can visit.  Egeria and I went there.  There are some Ancient ruins that I think we need to check out more thoroughly, especially now that we're searching for the Lost City.  Also, it's the planet that Egeria evacuated all her human subjects to before she went off to Earth to try and halt the taking of humans from there.  Now, according to Selmak, the people were instructed to bury the gate. . . ."

"But that doesn't mean they did or that it stayed buried," Sam finished.

"Right.  It would be amazing if the civilization has survived all this time.  Just think how far they may have advanced after two thousand years of being untouched by the Goa'uld."

"If they were untouched.  We can't know that for sure."

"Not unless we go there."

Hammond gave a brief nod.  "All right.  The first order of business is to fill in the president.  Doctor Jackson, I realize that your full report on this will take quite some time to write, so I'd like you to write a preliminary one that focuses on the important points so that I can get something off to the president as soon as possible."

Daniel handed him the folder.  "Already done.  I wrote it last night.  There's not much in there that I haven't already told you.  And, yeah, you're right.  The full report will take quite a while."  He paused.  "Sir, I know that my opinion isn't going to hold any weight with the president, but I really think that it would be a bad idea to bring the entire device here.  There are still people out there who were involved in that whole thing with the NID, and I'm betting that they would love to get their hands on that device.  Off-world, it's safe from them."

"You are right, of course," the general agreed, "and I will pass on your concerns, which I share.  That is the best that I can do."

As SG-1 began filing out of the room, Daniel suddenly thought of something.  Turning around, he went up to Hammond.

"Sir, can I talk to you privately?"

The SGC commander looked at him closely.  "Certainly.  Let's go into my office."

Ignoring the curious looks his teammates gave him, Daniel followed the man inside.  The general shut the door, then went to his chair, indicating that Daniel should take a seat as well.

"Do you have something more to add, Doctor?"

"Uh . . . it's about the full report, sir.  There is one pretty important part of that whole thing that I didn't tell you, something that I would really prefer not putting in the report."

"Which is?"

Daniel took a deep breath.  "I'm the one who provided the, um, DNA for the first several batches of Tok'ra."

Hammond stared at him in great surprise.  Then it occurred to him why the archeologist wouldn't want this to become common knowledge.  If the DNA was obtained in the same way that Hathor got a sample, it would be a very private and emotionally touchy thing to reveal in an official report.

"I see.  Since that is a personal detail that has no relevance to the issue regarding the time travel device, I see no reason why it would need to be included in your report."

Daniel breathed a sigh of relief.  "Thank you, sir."

Daniel really wasn't surprised to find his teammates in his office when he got there.  It also was no surprise that the first one who spoke was Jack.

"So, you had a little vacation back in . . . what year was it?"

"I can't give you an exact date, but it was early in the first century B.C."

"How long were you there?" Sam asked.

"One hundred and seventy-five Earth days."

"You know exactly?"

"I had my watch, so it was easy to keep track.  Also, though Estrania's months and years are longer, the days are pretty much the same length as Earth's."

The astrophysicist shook her head.  "This is really quite amazing.  I mean, I know that we all went back in time to 1969, but that was just thirty years, and we were there just a matter of days.  You went back over two thousand years and spent almost six months there.  That must have been an incredible experience, especially getting to meet Egeria."

Daniel smiled slightly.  "Yeah, it was pretty amazing.  I met a lot of great people, made some really good friends."

"Including a Goa'uld," Jack remarked, making a face.

"Yes, Jack, a Goa'uld who somehow managed to rise above the corrupting influence of her genetic knowledge, then also found a way to negate the negative effects of the sarcophagus, though it resulted in unending pain."

Sam sat up straight.  "She was using the sarcophagus to stay young?"

"Yeah.  I forgot to mention that part in the meeting."  He explained the whole thing to them.

"She was a woman of great strength," Teal'c stated.

"Yes, she was."

"It's really too bad that the formula for that drug died with her," Sam said.  "It might have been possible to perfect it.  Then we'd have a cure for the negative effects of sarcophagus use.  Just think of what that would mean."

"Yeah, okay, so maybe she wasn't so bad," Jack admitted reluctantly.  "But she was still a Goa'uld, and there is no way that I'd ever have trusted her."

"Then I guess it's a really good thing that it was me who went back in time and not you," Daniel shot back.  "I'm not saying that she was perfect.  Even toward the end of my time there, she could be hard and unforgiving, and she was still haughty at times.  But then, considering her . . . parentage, that isn't a surprise.  But she was also a woman who rejected the evil of her own species and fought to do what she could to free humanity.  I think that makes her deserving of a little respect, don't you?"

Jack studied the anger in Daniel's eyes and realized that this was quite personal for him.  The colonel began to wonder how close he and Egeria really got.

"You didn't fall for her, did you?"

"Sir!" Sam exclaimed in objection, thinking that the question was completely inappropriate.

Daniel's gaze had fallen to his desktop.  "No, I didn't fall for her, Jack," he replied in a low voice.  "I was still very much in love with Sha're."

Jack winced internally, now regretting the question.  He did not ask the logical next question.  Did Egeria fall for him?  Based upon Daniel's track record for collecting the hearts of alien women, Jack wouldn't be surprised if she did.

All at once, like a lightning strike, Jack realized something.  "It was you!  That statue I found was of you!"

Daniel let out a low groan.  'Oh, God.  Please, not this.'

Jack was now grinning.  "So, did Egeria have it made or did you catch the eye of some sculptor?  Did you have fun posing for it?  Now that you're working out more and have added some bulk, the body is a lot closer to being accurate than it was back then."

Daniel subjected him to a heated glare.  "I did not pose for it, Jack.  I didn't even know it was being made until I saw it.  It was so not my idea to have the garden entrance crowned with statues of me!"

Three seconds after the words were out of his mouth, Daniel knew he was going to regret them.  Two seconds after that, he was proven right.

"Statues?" Jack inquired.  "As in plural?  Garden entrance?  Oh, we must hear more about this, Doctor Jackson."

"And I must decline to say another word," Daniel responded.

"Uh uh.  It's too late to plead the fifth."

Daniel's response was to cross his arms and just stare at Jack with a stony expression.  The colonel knew that expression all too well.

"Fine," he finally sighed.  "But I'm going to get it out of you one of these days."

The archeologist gave him a fake smile.  "Good luck on that."

Sam was battling not to laugh.  Though she would dearly love to know the whole story, she could just imagine how embarrassing it must have been for her modest friend.

"So, what do you think the president will say?" she asked, deciding that a change of subject would be good.

"I'm really hoping that he'll say to leave everything as it is," Daniel replied, "but I suspect that he won't."

"Yeah, that's what I figure.  He would have a good point, though, about bringing the main device back here.  You may have disabled it, but that wouldn't stop someone from taking it.  There's also the danger that it could be destroyed if those ruins ever collapsed."

Daniel nodded.  "I suppose that bringing that part back here would be okay, but I really think that the part Jacob and I removed needs to stay where it is."

"And you're sure it's safe wherever that is?" Jack asked.

"Pretty sure.  Even if someone took it, it would probably be worthless by itself."  The archeologist sighed.  "But I'll very likely be ordered to reveal where it is.  I could still refuse, but then I'd probably lose my job.  I don't know.  Maybe I should have just kept quiet."

Daniel was on pins and needles for the rest of the afternoon, waiting for word to come back on the decision.  That evening, he decided to remain on base so that he'd be here if the president called with his decision early in the morning.

That night in his quarters, Daniel rewatched the videos he'd taken on Estrania.  As he viewed the playback, his mind was filled with memories of the months he spent there.  He thought about the things he did, the friend he made.  A lot of bad things happened during those months of his life, but so did a lot of good things, the best of all being that he met Egeria.  Even if he had not chosen to guide her toward being a Tok'ra and had simply waited out his year of servitude, he believed that he'd still have been happy that he got the chance to meet her.

A knock on the door drew Daniel's gaze from the TV.  After pausing the playback, he called for the person to come in and was surprised to see that it was Sam.

"Hey," she said.  "I heard that you were staying here tonight.  I'm on my way home and decided to stop and say good night."  She saw what was on the TV screen and came forward.  "It still blows my mind that you were there.  I bet it blew Dad's and Selmak's minds, too."

"Oh, yeah.  Selmak was totally stunned."  His eyes went to the image frozen on the screen.  "The Goa'uld are very arrogant and prideful about their territories, but they'll turn right around and destroy entire star systems under their rule to keep them out of the hands of a rival Goa'uld.  Ba'al did that very thing once.  But Egeria truly loved what she created on Estrania.  She loved that city.  It must have been so hard for her to make that decision to come to Earth when she knew that it would probably result in Estrania being destroyed.  She spent years preparing a home off-world for her people so that they wouldn't pay the price of her actions."

Sam settled on the edge of the bed.  "You really came to respect her."

"Yes, I did.  How could I not?"  He paused.  "I'm glad that I got to talk to her before she died.  There was something I failed to tell her before I left that I really should have, and that gave me the opportunity to say it."

There was a quality to Daniel's voice and a look on his face that made Sam suspect that there was something between him and Egeria that he hadn't revealed.  She was sure that he hadn't lied when he said that he didn't fall in love with Egeria, but how did the woman feel about him?

Sam thought about what Egeria had done merely because of what Daniel said to her.  Yes, obviously, she was quite different all along from other Goa'uld, but, based upon what Daniel said in the meeting, her conversion from Goa'uld to Tok'ra must have happened quite quickly, within a couple of months from the time he started nudging her in that direction.  That was an extraordinary turnaround for a woman who'd spent two thousand years being a Goa'uld.

There was no doubt that Daniel had an amazing talent for making people change their minds about things, to change the way people felt.  He was a natural born diplomat and peacemaker.  He did it with Chaka and with the Unas population on P3X-403, and those were just two examples.  He'd changed her, the way she felt about things, looked at things.  Yet, could even his extraordinary gift for doing such things have so completely turned Egeria around in so short a time?  Maybe it could have.  But maybe something else was at work, too.

"Was she in love with you?" Sam blurted out, speaking what she had been thinking.  Suddenly realizing what she'd said, she clamped her hand over her mouth.  "Oh, I'm so sorry!  That just came blurting out.  Forget I asked.  It is totally not my business."

Daniel was staring at the floor.  He gave a little sigh and murmured, "Yes."

"Oh."  Seeing the look on his face, Sam quickly said, "Daniel, you don't have to say any more."

"No, it's all right.  If there's anyone I can talk to about things like this, it's you.  I know you'd listen and understand . . . unlike Jack, who would just make crass remarks about me leaving a trail of broken hearts across the galaxy, and, now, across time."  Daniel's gaze went across the room.  "I had no idea she felt that way until I was just about hit over the head with it.  I was totally blown away."  He almost smiled.  "At the time, I was thinking that, when I set out to convert her, her falling in love with me was so not part of my plan."

A fleeting smile crossed Sam's lips.  "What did you say to her when you found out?"

Daniel's gaze was now back on the floor.  "Something stupid.  She knew that I didn't feel the same, that I still loved Sha're.  I told her that if I'd met her at a later time in my life, I might have fallen in love with her."

"And was that true?"

"I honestly don't know.  Right up to the time I ascended, I was still not over Sha're's death."

"And now?"

Daniel thought about how he felt now.  A part of him would always love Sha're, but he no longer ached for her as he did back then.  Though losing her still hurt, he'd finally come to terms with it.  If he'd gone back in time now instead of three years ago, could he have fallen in love with Egeria?

"Yeah, I think maybe I could have fallen for her if I met her now," he answered.  "But it's really just as well that I didn't feel that way back then.  It would have just about killed me to leave her, if I had.  I would have been so tempted to stay, even knowing that I couldn't."

Daniel got up and walked across the room, head bowed, hands in his pockets.  As Sam watched him, a thought suddenly hit her right smack between the eyes.  To create the Tok'ra symbiotes, Egeria would have needed DNA from a human donor.  If she was in love with Daniel, would she have been willing to have sex with another man to get the DNA?  Could it be that Daniel's part in the creation of the Tok'ra was not limited to guiding Egeria to that way of thinking?

'Oh, boy.'

If this was true, it would mean that Selmak, the Tok'ra inside her own father, might have Daniel's DNA within him.  Wow.

But she could be wrong about this, and she certainly wasn't going to ask him.  That would be stepping way over the line.

She got to her feet.  "It's getting late.  I should let you get some sleep.  I'll see you in the morning, all right?"

Daniel turned to her.  "Um, don't tell anyone about what I said, okay?  Jack would just be insufferable about it, and, well, it's really something I'd rather stay between us."

"I won't tell anyone.  I promise.  It'll be our secret."

"Thanks, Sam.  And thank you for listening."

"Hey, that's what friends do.  If you ever feel like talking again, I have a listening ear all ready and waiting at any time."  Her tone became more serious.  "I do mean that, Daniel.  Any time, day or night."

Daniel gave her a little smile of gratitude and nodded.  He watched as she left the room, then, with a little sigh, he began getting ready for bed.

Next Chapter

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