Title: Cold Fire Author: Sylvia AKA SiviB E-mail: sivib626@airmail.net Rating: PG Pairing: None Category: gen, angst Date: July 7, 2001 Status: Complete Content Warning: Jack Whumping (all mental) and gratuitous quoting of Robert Frost Spoilers: Into the Fire Summary: Into the Fire MS, from the goa'uld's POV. Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the sole property of Stargate (II) Productions, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no copyright infringement is intended. Archive: Go for it. Just ask first. Author's Note: Please send feedback. Positive or negative.

Cold Fire By Sylvia

Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To know that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. Robert Frost, "Fire and Ice"

My time approaches. My Jaffa tenses around me and I can hear the purr of Our Mother's voice. Her soft hand lets in light and cold. She grasps me and draws me forth into the bright world. "We ask, who shall be host to our new friend?" Three stand before us. My Host is among them.

It is too cold, too bright. I hiss in displeasure and writhe in Our Mother's warm grasp. Our Mother speaks again and I wrap myself around her soft arm, tasting the air. I long for the warmth and dark and freedom my Host will provide.

This first hates Our Mother. He is cold to her and I like him not. I hiss at him, tasting his fear and disgust. Choose another.

The second reeks of Tok'ra. Our Mother speaks to her, but my attention is drawn to the third. I yearn toward him, pulling against Our Mother's grasp to be nearer.

"It seems that our friend has chosen." I hiss agreement, kissing the air with darts of my mandibles.

"What, the gray doesn't bother you?" he asks. I am not fooled, though. The disgust this one feels is as great or greater than the first. But he is a warrior, strong of limb, and not altogether unlike my Jaffa. I will choose him. "All right. Fine. Let's do it." His voice strokes over my hide and I prepare for the Joining. "Just please, I beg of you, not the back of the neck. I've got some problems back.."

I have risen to strike but my Chosen wrenches me from Our Mother and energy flicks over me and I am flying, gliding, fleeing from the brightcoldpainfear to a corner, still cold but darker until warm hands lift me and I am within my Jaffa once again.

Our Host will pay for this, when I am Joined with him.

Our Mother comes again and births me into the bright cold. I coil around her wrist tightly, and seek my Chosen. He lies before me and the time is at hand. The warrior's warmth calls to me. "Oh, God. No." He knows me for his God already and asks for mercy.

"And when you awaken from the Joining, you will kneel and pledge your loyalty to us." Our Mother releases me and I burrow into the home awaiting me. The dark surrounds me as I writhe in more deeply. I am drawn to the place where I will find control and complete the Joining.

I feel my Host struggle and I still him, playing his nervous system like a lyre. Darkness and warmth surround me now and I twine myself around my Host's spinal column.

Jack. The name of my host is Jack O'Neill. Thoughts come to me now and I seek the hooks I will use to draw his will to my control.

I look for the name of the god of his worship; my new name. Jack flees before me, throwing dark curtains of nonsense at me as I probe. I find no name, then thousands, then a phrase; "I Am." Nonsense. Enough. Naming is later. Now is the will.

Such meat I find. So many tools ready for my use, to bring my Host low. Time loses meaning during the Joining; moments stretch into infinity as the battle rages. I glide through Jack's memories, releasing locks and unbarring doors as I go.

Each lock undone, each door opened is pain to him and soon I am surrounded by screams in the silent dark. Jack relives the memories one by one, real as the day they happened. I promise my host, I will take away the pain. He will know peace, if only he stops this foolish struggle. Blessed forgetfulness will be his once again. I will close the doors.

One last door. Jack stands before it, disheveled and bloodied, barring the way. We have revisited many places, he and I, and relived times past. He wears tan fatigues, tattered and filthy, and his wrists are torn from his struggles. He gathers his strength, his back to the door, and braces his arms on the lintel. Sunlight streaks in through a window, illuminating a pleasant hallway, a dusty plant, a child's drawing. "Not here."

I brush him aside, opening the door to see a boy. A boy with a gun.

"It doesn't have to happen, Jack. I will save Charlie. All you have to do is let go."

He grows pale, watching his son lift the gun to examine it, curiosity and fear of discovery writ large on the child's face. "This has already happened. Nothing you do can change what has already happened."

"You can stop this, Jack. Let go."

He looks up, his eyes cold and dead. In the hours we have been Within, he has screamed, wept, cursed, and railed against me. Now he is quiet.

There is thunder in the distance, echoing as the boy accidentally thumbs off the safety. It grows and growls in the pervasive stillness of the empty house.

It is not thunder. It is a word. Murmured from Jack's mind, it echoes before it is even spoken and reverberates through me, shaking me and deafening me as it drowns out even the sharp crack of the gun's firing.

"No."

The denial is total, the rejection uncompromising. The room fades and the doors all swing shut with a resounding crash, leaving us in darkness. I feel my strong coils begin to slip from their perch. The dark is turning cold. This host is unsuitable, Our Mother. The cold of Jack's eyes push me away even as his body turns cold around me.

I begin withdrawing, my fluid movements slowed as warmth is leached from me.

Cold now. Cold creeping into Jack. Into me. Too cold, Mother. Help me. Moth..

End