Author's Note: Some people have been asking about certain characters from Stargate: SG-1. I just wanted to say that this begins as a very dark story. 4 of the major characters within the SGC are dead. I don't want to say who right here, because I want you to find out through the story. It's all explained in chapter to I promise. ~Cheeky.


General Peterson looked at the man sitting in the mess hall. His booted
feet rested on the table and were crossed at the ankles. He was reading
a thin-looking report and sipping a cup of coffee every now and then.

His close-cropped hair had gone silver, but his face was still handsome
and relatively unlined – despite the painful looking scar that ran down
the left side of his face. He was lean, but well muscled and there was
no extra ounce of fat on him. In fact, he looked as if he could use a
good meal or two.

Many of the other personnel in the mess hall kept glancing furtively at
the man, as if they expected him to do something strange at any moment.
The room was subdued and almost everyone spoke in low voices or whispers.
Just like it was when any member of SG-1 was nearby – but the man seemed
oblivious. But General Peterson couldn't blame them. Jack and his team
lived on the edge – and they even made him nervous.

Squaring his shoulders, and before he was spotted hovering in the
shadows, the General walked into the hall. Eyes turned to watch him, but
he resolutely walked up to the man. "Colonel O'Neill?" he said.

Colonel Jack O'Neill looked up from the report he was reading and waited
expectantly. He hardly said a word anymore. The General stifled the
urge to swallow nervously, as those cold brown eyes bore into his. They
seemed to hold a coldness from inside that froze the blood, and a pain so
immense you could not bare to look into them for long. But the scariest
part of that stare was the way they were almost soulless, as if the man
behind them was dead.

General Peterson had met the Colonel once, many years ago, just before
the Gulf War. Back then, the Colonel had been a man with a sarcastic
sense of humor and an uncanny way of seeing right to the core of people.
The man in front of him now was almost completely different from the one
he had met. The Colonel no longer shared his sarcastic wit, nor did he
share much at all. He was cold and unfeeling and deadly. As if the only
thing he felt was pain.

"You have a briefing at 0800 hours tomorrow." The General said, jerking
himself back to the present. "Make sure your team is there."

Jack nodded once, and returned to the report. The General turned and
walked out of the mess hall. He never expected more than a nod from the
Colonel. He just wondered – and not for the first time – how it was that
his team seemed to know what he wanted without him saying anything.

* * *

Jack soon gave up reading the report in the hall. There was nothing in it he didn't already know. He felt everyone's eyes on him as he left the hall, and heard a sigh of relief follow him out. He knew they were scared of him; that they found him arrogant and cold, unfeeling. But he didn't care. He was cold and unfeeling – because inside he was dead.

His world was filled with pain. Inside him was an emptiness that could never be filled and a pain that could never be dulled. The only thing that made it bearable was his friendship with Daniel. It was the one thing that hadn't been taken from him. Daniel understood his pain – because he felt it himself.

Just like him, Daniel's world was filled with pain. He had known loss just like Jack. He knew what the emptiness and pain felt like. He understood. And that was one thing that kept him living.

Jack entered a large room towards the back of the SGC. It was a plain room, with drab green walls and a concrete floor. His team had covered most of the floor with a large black mat that was soft enough to train on, and various pieces of gym equipment dotted the room. Two large punching bags hung in the back corners.

But the room was as impersonal as a hospital corridor. The room was empty of everything that made it more than just a room. That made it somewhere to live. Jack liked it better that way, and so did the rest of his team. There were only two exceptions to this: the metal cabinet on the right wall that contained almost every weapon that you could imagine, and the words scrawled in black above the door. "Death is just an illusion."

Jack's teammates were scattered around the room, doing what they always did when they were waiting for the next mission: training. Daniel was on the bench press, his shoulder-length brown hair tied back in its usual ponytail. His black singlet stuck to his muscular body, and his skin shone with sweat.

A petite woman with short, spiky white hair was doing sit-ups on the mat. She, too, wore a black singlet and the earring in her right ear glinted in the dull light. Her skin was tanned, making her white hair even more shocking, and her silver eyes were narrowed in concentration.

The final member of Jack's team was at the back of the room, working with one of the bags. Riley was dressed like all the others in green BDU's, except she was barefoot and only wore a sports bra instead of a singlet. Her dark red hair hung down her back in a long plait, and she glanced at Jack with her piercing green eyes once, before returning to the bag.

The room was filled with the familiar smell of sweat and stale air. Loud thumps from the bag, the odd clink of metal on metal and an occasional grunt were the only sounds. Jack dumped the report next to a stack of files near the door, as Daniel sat up on the bench press. "When?" he asked.

"0800 hours." Jack replied as he took of his jacket, revealing his black T- shirt.

Daniel nodded, and grabbed his towel and water bottle from the floor. He watched Jack while he dried his face. Then he walked to the back of the room and began wrapping his fists in black cloth. When he was done, he began working with the other punching bag, his thumps acting like a counter point to Riley's.

Jack found an empty spot on the mat and began to stretch. He was just beginning a series of one armed push ups when another man entered the room. The man wore dusty brown clothes that looked alien in the middle of the SGC. And they were, because they were not from Earth.

"Jack." The man said. "The General said I'd find you here."

Jack looked up at the man, but continued his push ups. "Jacob." He greeted.

Jacob Cater, the Tok'ra companion of Selmac and former Air Force General studied him. "You're not eating." He said.

Jack grunted. "Nothing to eat." He replied.

Jacob nodded at Jack's cryptic answer. He knew SG-1 had just got back from an extended mission on a rather barren planet. He also knew they had run into a Goa'uld patrol, but that wasn't what he was worried about. Jack seemed to get leaner every time Jacob saw him. He never ate or slept unless he absolutely had to. But then neither did the rest of the team.

Jacob shook his head, and let the subject drop for now. He would make sure Jack ate something later. "I'll be staying for the briefing, and then coming with you through the gate." He said.

"The base?" Daniel asked from the corner.

"No." Jacob said. "An uninhabited planet. The rest of my team will be waiting there to meet you. We'll go from there to the base."

Daniel nodded. The base was a small Goa'uld encampment in a nearby system that one of the System Lords wanted to turn into a permanent base. The Tok'ra wanted to stop him. It was a dangerous task, which was why SG-1 would be leading the charge. SG-1 were the team you sent in if the odds were bad – mainly because they didn't care if they lived or died.

Jacob watched in silence as SG-1 continued to train. A minute later he turned and walked away, pain reflected in his eyes. He knew how Jack felt; how they all felt. And if it wasn't for Selmac and the Tok'ra, he knew he would be just like them – dead on the inside.