Disclaimer: I am making squat from this story and own no rights to Stargate SG-1 etc, etc.


"Oh God!" Carter stood still as a statue; the Zat she carried hung loosely in her fingers.  Her hands were trembling and her blue eyes wide with shock – horrified at the terrible act she had moments earlier committed.  I had no choice the Major told herself if I hadn't then we would all be dead that thought stuck in her confused mind but it didn't make the pain any more unbearable.  If she had not killed the Colonel then he would be the killer.  Carter dropped the weapon and it fell to the dirty floor, mud splashed as the Zat impacted the ground.

"Major Carter?" she could hear Teal'c calling her name and his voice sounded so far away, she didn't reply.  He and Daniel had been outside the cave in which she now stood when it had happened "Major Carter?" Sam heard the Jaffa again but instead of answering his persistent calls she walked forward.  It seemed as though she were moving ever so slowly as if some invisible force held her back.  But eventually Carter was stood next to the still form of O'Neill.  She dropped to her knees beside him and pressed her fingers to his neck, checking for the pulse that she would never feel.  It was a pointless action and Sam knew it – one shot knocked a target out, two killed and three disintegrated.  Maybe I should shoot a third time Carter thought that way I won't have to see his dead body and I can pretend this never happened.

She couldn't though, for one thing the Zat was no longer in her hand and secondly she couldn't convince herself Jack was alive, because what had happened was all too real to try and imagine it never occurred. 

They had arrived on the planet, designated PX4 484, three hours prior to the 'incident'.  At first glance it closely resembled the planet that Jonas Hanson, her ex, had gone crazy on.  Ironic actually as she had almost killed Jonas on that mission, almost however wasn't a word that could be used in this situation.  An hour into this mission they had come across some strange plants, more like corn in a huge field actually and in order to reach the temple that the UAV had shown, they had to cross the field.  When they had emerged on the other side they found a golden powder on their skin, it had come from the 'corn' when their hands had brushed against it.  All members had washed their hands in the lake when they reached it and set up camp before carrying on to explore the temple and the surrounding area.  An hour or so into the exploration and O'Neill and Carter had walked a little further away from the temple, leaving Teal'c to keep a watch over Daniel in case unwanted company arrived.

After walking around for a while they crossed another 'corn field' but thought nothing of it, later on Carter had noticed her CO acting a little strangely, agitated and grumpy but shrugged it off, thinking it must just be the extreme heat that was getting to him.  They had come upon the cave and stayed in there for around half an hour, having found some etchings on the wall and Carter had begun copying them down to show Daniel when they returned to camp.  Every five minutes the Colonel told her to hurry up and she kept on replying "just a minute Sir, there's just a few more left."  But then Jack had snapped, his patience had apparently worn thin.  Sam had packed up and told him that they could go but he ignored her and began shouting, acting crazy and out of control.  She had tried to calm him down, told him over and over that they could go now but he just wouldn't listen to her.  Carter had started to walk past him, to try and get outside but he had pushed her back and taken his Zat and aimed it at her.  The Major had frozen; training had prepared her for a variety of situations but nothing such as this. 

She had tried to reason with him but her pleas fell on deaf ears, she had dodged out of the way as he fired once.  Many more times after that she had averted being shot by her CO, her friends Zat.  But then she had shot him, O'Neill had gone down and Carter had felt relieved, thought that it would be okay to leave him there whilst she got help.  She hadn't expected him to rise up and grab her, then aim the Zat at her head.  She didn't know who this man was but it certainly wasn't the man that she knew and cared for, in that moment that Carter looked into his eyes she knew he would shoot her there and then.  He had given her no choice and she had shot him again, both team members had gone down.  Only Jack stayed where he had fallen. 

Sam stayed on her knees next to O'Neill, not moving, believing she was in some warped dream.  The more she watched him the harder it was to remain in control, unshed tears burned behind her eyes and an aching lump formed in her throat "I'm so sorry" she whispered.  It was then that she noticed his eyes were still open, they weren't the cold eyes of a killer anymore.  They were the same warm brown orbs that she had seen every day, no Carter thought.  From what she could now see, in his lifeless eyes, he had come to his senses maybe seconds before she shot him for a second time.  He watched me kill him and he didn't know why was the thought that now travelled through her mind.  Carter closed his eyes I don't want him to see me like this she let out a humourless laugh but it sounded more like a sob he wasn't going to be seeing anything anymore.

"Sam?" that was Daniel, his voice sounded closer than Teal'c's had minutes earlier.  He was coming into the cave.  She could hear his footsteps now coming closer and closer and closer until "Oh no, no, no what happened?" he ran towards them, his boots making a sludgy sound as he moved "Teal'c!" he shouted loudly, his voice echoing in the cave.

Carter next heard Teal'c, his heavy boots making the same sound as Daniel's had, he laid his staff weapon on the ground, his usually stoic face was now questioning and both men looked in her direction "Major Carter what occurred here?"

"I had to" she whispered.  Carter wasn't even sure they had heard her until, what seemed like years later, Daniel replied.

"Why?" was the single question he asked, and when Sam finally looked up she knew Teal'c had been about to ask the same question.

What was she supposed to tell them?  That the man they admired and trusted with their lives, the friend that was more like a family member to them, had turned on her like a madman and tried to kill her?  "He…something happened to him, the Colonel he…it might have been the corn, he had powder on his hand and we don't know what it is so that might have been the reason he started acting different…" Carter stopped, she wasn't sure she was making much sense.  Everything was clearing up in her head but she couldn't put what she wanted to say into words, not without crying everything out anyway.

"You do not make sense Major Carter" Teal'c said as his glance moved from O'Neill and back to Carter.

"I know…I, he just went crazy and I couldn't calm him down!" her voice rose slightly; they shouldn't still be in the cave.  That place had a cool and eerie feeling about it now and she wanted to leave ASAP "we need to get him back to the SGC, we can't keep him in here."  Carter stood and walked outside, the air seemed to be suffocating her known and she breathed slowly and steadily.  She couldn't break down, had to be strong for the team.  Tears could wait but right now they had to bring their leader home.

To be continued…