Jack and Daniel stepped through the gate and on to the ramp close behind Teal'c and Sam. They continued their conversation as if they had not just travelled several million miles to arrive here.
'…and not even a decent rock to study,' Daniel was saying.
'Artefact,' Jack corrected absently.
General Hammond shot an inquisitive look in their direction then turned his attention to the matter at hand.
'Report.' He requested.
'It was a washout sir. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.' Major Carter informed him.
'Thank you, Major. Colonel, anything to add?'
'No sir. Like the Major said, nothing there to keep us any longer.'
'Very well, debrief in one hour,' and they were dismissed for their post-mission check ups and a shower.
SG1 were in the briefing room waiting for General Hammond's arrival. Sam, alternating between shuffling the papers in front of her and drumming her fingers on the table, glanced at her team-mates. Daniel, trying hard to stifle a yawn, was checking through his notes, Teal'c had his eyes closed and Jack was sitting patiently, waiting for the arrival of the General.
'Sorry to keep you,' General Hammond said as he took his seat at the head of the table. 'So, what have we got?'
'There were a number of rock formations that we came across which I believe the UAV pictures showed as buildings or the remains of a civilisation. I took some soil samples, just to make sure there was nothing that we could use but…' Sam paused as she realised the General's attention had turned to Teal'c. Daniel, breaking off from one of his yawns, nudged the Jaffa in the ribs.
Teal'c started and sat up straight, looking around the room as if he had merely been concentrating on what was being said. General Hammond, knowing that it was highly unlikely that the Jaffa had actually been asleep, turned back to the debriefing.
'The soil samples only showed minute trace elements of minerals, barely enough to keep the plant life going on the planet. I don't think that we'll find a viable source of power there, sir.'
'Thank you Colonel,' General Hammond tried to conceal his surprise. He knew the level of interest Colonel O'Neill usually showed regarding this type of mission and could not understand his sudden interest in the mineralogy content of the soil of the planet. 'Doctor Jackson - anything to report?'
Daniel stifled another yawn and turned tired, bleary eyes towards the General. 'Uh, not really General. There were a lot of trees though.' Shoving his hands into the pocket of his jacket, Daniel pulled out a stone and began tossing it from one hand to the other without paying attention to what it was he was playing with and was startled when Jack snatched it from his hand.
'Hey, that's mine!' Daniel protested.
'You obviously don't understand the importance of this artefact,' Jack informed him and began studying the item in question closely.
'It's just a rock for crying out loud,' Daniel returned, slumping back in his chair as his hands went back into his pockets.
'Actually, if you look closely you can see there are cuneiform markings on this.' Jack closed one eye as he tried to get a closer look at the rock. 'I would imagine it's part of a much bigger tablet, there are marks where it appears to have been sheared off from the original.' Looking expectantly at General Hammond, Jack continued with 'Sir, I think this planet is worth another look. We didn't find anyone but if we can find the rest of this tablet it could contain some valuable information.'
'With all due respect, sir,' Sam butted in, 'I don't think it would be worth the effort. All we saw were trees, I don't think we'll find anything else there.' She tried to stifle a yawn, unsuccessfully.
General Hammond, his suspicions having been roused the minute SG1 had returned, was extremely concerned now, something was very wrong with his premier team. Standing up to make his point, he thumped the table, bringing back the attention of SG1 who had started to bicker amongst themselves.
'Would someone care to explain to me what the hell is going on?' He spoke in his most authoritative voice.
Teal'c, sitting up abruptly, his eyes flying open responded with 'To what are you referring General Hammond?'
'Teal'c, you fell asleep in a debriefing, Colonel O'Neill is discussing archaeology and mineralogy, Dr Jackson appears to have no interest in archaeology and you all look like you're about to fall asleep at any moment. Doesn't anyone have a problem with this picture?' Hammond finished, looking around for answers.
He was rewarded only with blank looks and more stifled yawns.
'Something obviously happened to you on your last mission. I want you all to report to the infirmary for further tests and you are to remain there until further notice. Is that understood?' Receiving nods of assent this time, General Hammond hoped that they could be trusted to get themselves to the infirmary, he really didn't want to put them through the indignity of being escorted by SF's. Watching them leave, he was on the phone to Dr Fraiser the moment he was alone.
Sergeant Siler waited for the elevator car to arrive. He'd had a busy day and was now on his way to what he hoped was his last call before heading home. The control room had reported a malfunction in the air conditioning, and the duty officers were sitting wrapped in coats and blankets while the temperature seemed to plummet even further.
Starting to become impatient, he was relieved when the elevator finally arrived and the door opened. Stepping forward to enter, he pulled back suddenly, not quite believing what he was seeing.
Four bodies were slumped in the four corners of the elevator.
Without hesitation, Siler grabbed the emergency phone next to the elevator while keeping the doors open to prevent it from moving. Yelling a request for immediate assistance, he slammed the phone down and went to check on the conditions of SG1.
Moving first to Colonel O'Neill he was relieved to find a slow but steady pulse, checking out the others he became more puzzled. If he didn't know any better, he would have sworn they were just asleep. Dr Jackson, when he felt Siler trying to find his pulse, began mumbling something in a foreign language, and that sounded very much like the beginnings of a snore coming from Colonel O'Neill.
Hearing footsteps running towards his position, Siler went out to greet the medics, reporting his findings to them, relieved to have someone else take over.
General Hammond paced up and down in Dr Fraiser's office. He had received an urgent call from Sergeant Siler shortly after SG1 had left him, reporting the way he had found them in the elevator and that the medics had had to move them to the infirmary on gurneys.
Dr Fraiser, looking concerned, joined the General a short time later.
'Report,' Hammond snapped briskly.
'Well, sir, from my initial examination of them I would say they're sleeping.' Dr Fraiser looked and sounded puzzled.
'Sleeping?' The General sounded incredulous.
'Yes sir. They appear to have entered a state of deep REM sleep and are dreaming. I have been unable to wake them, however, and I am concerned as to what is causing this.'
'They were exhibiting some unusual behaviour in the debriefing which is why I sent them to the infirmary. From what Sergeant Siler tells me, once they got in the elevator they sat down and went to sleep. When will you be able to tell me more?' Hammond asked.
'I'm going to carry out a series of blood tests and scans, then hopefully I'll have more of an idea of what we're dealing with.'
'Very well, Doctor. Keep me informed.' Hammond left Dr Fraiser to her work.
SG1 remained asleep until late the following morning. All their life signs were stable and showed nothing untoward. Other than the fact that they had all fallen asleep at the same time and that they could not be woken, they appeared to be in normal health.
General Hammond had returned to the infirmary, concerned at the lack of information coming his way. As he made his way to the beds where his sleeping team were he watched as all four of them sat up, looking around them with bewildered expressions on their faces and he was greeted with a number of exclamations:
'For crying out loud…'
'How did we…'
Dr Fraiser, becoming aware they had woken at last hurried towards them.
'Doc, what are we doing here, for crying out loud?' A voice demanded.
'Dr Jackson,' Dr Fraiser looked startled at the greeting. She could have sworn that was Colonel O'Neill asking that question. 'Uh…there was an incident and you were brought here. You all fell asleep yesterday afternoon and have been sleeping ever since.'
'Then why do I feel so tired still?' Teal'c queried.
'I'm not sure, but I do have the results of the MRI's I took while you were asleep and they make for some interesting reading.'
'Doctor, is there any reason that SG1 need to remain in the infirmary?' Hammond asked.
'Not really, sir, although I'd like to keep them restricted to base for the time being.'
'Very well. SG1, report to the briefing room in thirty minutes, Dr Fraiser I want you there too.'
Taking only enough time to grab something to eat, shower quickly and get dressed, SG1 met up in the briefing room where General Hammond and Dr Fraiser were awaiting their arrival.
Taking their seats, Dr Fraiser advised them of her findings.
'The scans I took all show an identical, additional brain pattern. I don't know what's causing it, but that may explain the reason you have all been behaving a little - out of character.'
'SG1, I need you to think very carefully about what happened on yesterday's mission.'
'Yesterday?' Sam looked puzzled. 'But we didn't go anywhere yesterday.'
The other members of the team nodded their agreement with this statement. Hammond decided to try a different approach.
'What is the last thing you do remember?'
'Uh…we had breakfast in the mess hall yesterday morning. I had fruit loops.' Jack informed them.
'As did I.' Teal'c added.
'And me,' from Daniel.
'Me too,' Sam joined in.
'Uh, folks, I was with you at breakfast yesterday and I know that Colonel O'Neill was the only one to have fruit loops.' Janet informed them.
Ignoring this put down, SG1 continued with their own agenda, returning to the comment that Dr Fraiser had made regarding the additional brain pattern.
'So, what did you mean about us acting out of character?' Daniel asked.
'Well, the additional brain waves are identical and seem to be connecting you in some way.'
'So you're saying we're being controlled with some kind of thought control device?' Jack asked.
'Sweet!' Sam exclaimed.
'Sir, I think we need to return to that planet, or at least send a UAV through to establish the extent of any threat to us,' Daniel addressed Jack and General Hammond.
'Perhaps we should try to establish communications with them before we go in shooting. There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation for what is going on,' Teal'c suggested.
'And I'd really like to see if I can find out any more about that tablet we brought back - the partial inscription I've translated so far makes me think we could learn a lot if we could find the rest of the tablet this came from,' Jack enthused.
'Or we could just go in, shoot 'em all and bring back whatever it was that they used.' Was Sam's contribution. 'We could get the Tok'ra to figure it out - it's about time we had some payback from them.'
Throughout this exchange, Hammond and Dr Fraiser looked at each of the members of SG1 and each other as the erratic behaviour continued and appeared to become more out of control. Allowing the situation to continue for a while longer to enable them to fully evaluate the extent of the problem, they listened as Teal'c, who had been looking thoughtful asked a question.
'Does the device enable us to read each others minds, Janet?'
'I don't think so, I'm pretty sure…' Janet's voice tailed off as Sam interrupted her and answered the question instead.
'Well, let's find out. What am I thinking about now?'
'Hockey,' Jack responded immediately.
'How did you know that?' Sam asked, not sounding particularly bothered that her CO had told her what she was thinking.
'It's what I was thinking,' came the reply.
'Me too,' added Teal'c.
'As am I,' Daniel agreed as well.
'Well in that case,' Sam said, standing up, 'Let's go watch some.'
'Major Carter,' Hammond interrupted the exchange, 'Aren't you forgetting something?'
'Oh yeah,' Sam spoke as if she hadn't just committed an act of insubordination. 'Permission to go home and watch some hockey, sir.' Sam threw him a sloppy salute and was half way to the door with the other members of SG1 standing up and moving to follow her when they were brought up short by Hammond speaking loudly and with as much authority as he could muster.
'SG1, take your seats now!' As soon as they were seated, he continued in a more normal tone of voice, confident that he now had their attention. 'I'm afraid I cannot allow you to leave the base until this situation is resolved. You are to co-operate with Dr Fraiser although I am not restricting you to the infirmary. Dismissed.'
Watching them leave, Dr Fraiser and General Hammond looked at each other, concern in their eyes. They were both fond of all of the members of SG1 and were finding this quite difficult to deal with.
Dr Fraiser was sitting in the control room surveying the scene in front of her. She had been monitoring the actions of SG1 for several hours and was nearly ready to pull them back into the infirmary for further MRI's.
At the moment, Sam was running a diagnostic on the 'gate computer, under the careful scrutiny of Sergeant Siler who had been detailed to ensure that no damage was caused. Sam had assistance from another source however: Teal'c was working with Sam and it appeared that they were getting through their work much more quickly than should have been the case. Teal'c was a complete novice as far as computers were concerned yet he seemed to know exactly what to do without being told.
Seeing Siler glance in her direction, she realised that the diagnostic was completed and decided it was time for them to finish up here and go with her.
'Ok, Sam, Teal'c. I'd like you to report to the infirmary now, please.'
'But…' Sam began to protest but was interrupted by Teal'c.
'C'mon Doc, we were going to overhaul the computer core. Sam is of the opinion that it is not running at full capacity. We will be able to assist the SGC operate more efficiently once we have completed this task.' Teal'c looked at her, a bland expression on his face as he tilted his head enquiringly to one side.
'I'm sorry, but that will have to wait. I want you in the infirmary now.' Dr Fraiser, concerned they were not going to co-operate, was relieved when with a very ungracious acceptance of the order, they both stood up and made their way to the elevator.
Having seen these two safely to their destination, Janet's next port of call was to Daniel's lab where she had left Colonel O'Neill and Dr Jackson cataloguing some artefacts brought back by SG9 from their last mission. On arrival, she noted not much had changed since she had left them alone earlier.
Colonel O'Neill was busy scribbling away in Dr Jackson's notebook as he studied a statuette closely, using an eyeglass to help him get a more detailed look at the object in his hand. As he worked he kept up a running commentary for Dr Jackson's benefit, detailing everything he had discovered so far about the artefact. Dr Jackson on the other hand, had appeared to tune Colonel O'Neill out altogether and was playing games on his computer. Dr Fraiser wasn't even aware Dr Jackson possessed any computer games and suspected that the game he was so intent on actually belonged to the Colonel. She was brought back to earth by an exclamation from Daniel.
'Got you, you sucker! Hey, Jack, I beat your high score. Now who's the geek.' And he promptly stood up, snatched the artefact away from the Colonel and proceeded to do a celebratory dance around the lab, being brought to an abrupt stand still when he came face to face with a startled Dr Fraiser.
'Janet, hi! I didn't see you come in.'
'So I gather.' Dr Fraiser paused, then turned to the Colonel. 'So, how's it going Colonel?'
'Pretty well actually. I've got half this stuff catalogued already, another six or so hours should see it finished. I just need to get some more coffee. Anyone else want some?'
Daniel perked up at the sound of coffee and nodded his assent, but then Janet stepped in.
'Sorry guys, I need you in the infirmary right now.' Judging by the reaction she had received from Teal'c and Sam, she used the tone of voice that had sixteen stone marines quivering in their boots and was glad to see it worked, on Daniel anyway.
'Yes ma'am,' came his unexpected response.
'Can't I just have a little while longer. I mean, there's nothing wrong with me and I'd really like to get this finished before…'
'No, Colonel. Infirmary. Now.'
Looking a little like a sulky schoolboy having his favourite toy confiscated he reluctantly followed Daniel from the room and headed for the infirmary, Janet following closely behind as she shook her head in despair.
Dr Fraiser was with General Hammond, informing him of the results of the latest scans.
'The second brain pattern appears to be getting more pronounced, which would explain why the behaviour of SG1 is becoming more erratic. I think we need to consider getting help from the Tok'ra or contacting the planet they visited to try to find out what is going on. My main concern is that if this second pattern continues to get stronger as it is doing, SG1 will lose all their individuality and in the long term…' Her voice trailed off, her fears going unspoken.
'Very well, Doctor. I'll try and contact the planet to see what help they can offer. In the mean time, what are your recommendations?'
'Well, they appear to be working pretty efficiently at the moment. It may not be a bad idea if…' Dr Fraiser was cut off by the sound of the klaxons alerting them to an unscheduled off-world activation, followed closely by a request for medics in the 'gate room.
General Hammond and Dr Fraiser wasted no more time in heading to the 'gate room to meet whatever new problems were coming their way.
SG1 were sitting on two of the beds in the infirmary, Jack and Daniel on one, Teal'c and Sam sitting opposite them on another.
'I'm bored.' Daniel announced.
'As am I.'
Came the chorus from the others.
'What do you want to do?' Jack asked.
'Why don't we go back to your place and watch some hockey.' Sam suggested, her eyes glinting with enthusiasm for the game she normally couldn't bear to watch.
This was greeted with all round approval, but then Jack spoke up.
'Yeah, but Dr Fraiser said we were to stay here and we should really do what the doctor says shouldn't we?'
'We'll only be gone a short time, no-one will even miss us,' Sam tried to convince him.
'Well, ok then.'
Without needing further encouragement, they were on their feet and in the elevator on their way to the surface before anyone thought any more of it.
Jack and Daniel were sitting on the couch, Sam and Teal'c were occupying a couple of armchairs. All were holding a bottle of beer and there were a number of empty bottles scattered around the room.
As Jack raised his bottle to his lips, the others mirrored his actions, each taking a gulp of the drink before resuming their study of the game on the television in front of them.
'So…anyone hungry?' Daniel asked.
'As am I.' Were the responses greeting him.
Picking up the phone, Daniel ordered in the pizza he instinctively knew they would all want - mushroom, pepperoni, anchovy, chillies and extra cheese.
A few moments later, the same order was placed first by Sam, followed by Jack five minutes later and finally Teal'c.
Sitting back smiling at each other, happy now that food was on its way, they continued to watch the game. The scene was bizarre, no one felt the need to speak or to cheer on Jack's team. Whenever their team scored a goal, they would merely look at each other and nod, acknowledging the way they were thinking and feeling.
After fifteen minutes the doorbell rang and Daniel went to pay for the pizza that had arrived. They were all happily munching on the pizza when the doorbell rang again. This time Sam got up, paid for the pizza and started handing it around to the others. Jack and Teal'c in turn also did the same when the doorbell rang on subsequent occasions.
Teal'c however did not return with the latest offering of pizza. General Hammond and several SF's followed him.
'Colonel O'Neill, you were given an order not to leave the base. I would not have authorised this little excursion of yours.'
'But sir,' Sam interrupted the General in mid flow. 'We really wanted to watch the hockey - there isn't any harm in that is there?'
'Yeah, we didn't think anyone would miss us - we were coming back after the game. Honest.' Jack looked appealingly at the General.
'Want some pizza?' Teal'c offered one of the boxes to Hammond and the SF's.
'Beer?' Daniel offered.
Both were refused by the new arrivals, instead General Hammond glared at the errant team and issued his orders.
'You are to return to base immediately, I'm afraid I must insist you be accompanied back as it appears whatever is going on with you all is affecting your judgement. You are to report to the briefing room immediately on your arrival.' Turning around abruptly, Hammond was at the door when the fourth pizza arrived, Teal'c looming up behind him to pay the delivery boy clutched the pizza to himself protectively, glaring at Hammond as if daring him to say or do anything.
Shaking his head in frustration and concern, Hammond left SG1 to the SF's, with strict instructions to call for backup the moment any of them showed signs of non-cooperation.
*So far, so good* General Hammond thought to himself as he surveyed the scene in front of him. SG1 had returned to the base with no fuss and were now sitting around the table in the briefing room. Taking a deep breath, he gathered his thoughts together and spoke.
'It is apparent that what you experienced on your last mission is affecting your behaviour and I can no longer allow you the freedom you had previously.' He looked around, relieved when he didn't receive any negative responses back. 'I'm restricting you to the quarantine rooms next to the infirmary where Dr Fraiser will be able to keep any eye on you. You will not be able to leave those rooms without an escort. Is that understood?'
'As crystal,' Sam informed him, then added as an afterthought, 'Sir.'
'Yes sir,' Jack saluted smartly as though he were a cadet rather than the seasoned officer he was.
'Okey-dokey,' from Teal'c
'But can't I…' General Hammond cut Daniel's comment short.
'NO! Now, if there are no further questions? Dismissed.'
General Hammond watched them leave the room like school children on report, their tails tucked firmly between their legs as the SF's who had brought them back from Jack's house escorted them. Heaving another big sigh - he seemed to be doing that an awful lot these days - he decided it was time he sought help. The situation was getting worse and he fully expected Dr Fraiser's next report to bring him even worse news.
Several hours had passed with SG1 sitting around in silence. They had talked to begin with but had soon stopped when they realised none of them had anything new to say and they seemed to know what was to be said before it was spoken. They had had further scans and blood tests but no one had been near them for some time.
The sound of footsteps in the corridor caught their attention, the footsteps pausing outside their room, then the door opened.
'General Hammond has requested your presence in the briefing room,' the SF announced, standing to one side to allow them to exit the room and follow another guard towards the elevator. The first SF brought up their rear, to make sure no one tried to slip away.
As they neared the briefing room they could hear voices, they made their way up the staircase from the control room then Daniel, who was in the lead, stopped dead at what he saw.
Two men were talking to General Hammond. Two men who seemed vaguely familiar and caused a shiver of fear to run up and down his spine.
Daniel's alertness and fear was transmitted in an instant to his team-mates and without further pause, they had turned around, pushed the SF who was now ahead of them along with them, and reached the control room again. Moving too quickly for anyone to stop them in their unexpected dash for freedom, they were out of the room and heading for the elevator.
The elevator had just arrived at their level, and they scrambled inside, Sam punching for another floor and the doors closed just as their pursuers reached them.
Daniel, taking charge of the situation, issued his orders.
'We can't let them take us alive. We have to stop them and we need to split up, make it harder for them to find us.'
The doors opened just then and without needing further instructions, Teal'c and Sam exited, leaving Jack and Daniel to get off at another floor.
In their headlong dash for freedom and to call someone outside for help, Teal'c and Sam were not aware of the danger until it was too late. Racing around a corner they ran into the arms of an SF patrol making their way to the elevator once it had been determined which floor it had stopped at.
Unwilling to give up without a fight, and wanting to give their team mates as much help as possible in their escape, they went on the offensive. There were four of them and they could hear footsteps running towards them and coming up behind them as other patrols became aware of the struggle going on. Three out of the four men in the first patrol were taken care of by the time a further eight guards converged on their position.
Three were needed to hold Teal'c down long enough to 'cuff him, while Sam was secured fairly quickly in spite of her struggling and biting the hand of one of the men who had tried to restrain her.
Realising that they had done as much as they could, they threw conspiratorial glances at each other as they heard one of the guards radioing that they had caught and secured two members of SG1 but there was no sign of Dr Jackson and Colonel O'Neill.
Daniel and Jack were crouched in a storage room, concealed behind a pile of boxes containing stationery supplies. They had heard footsteps running past in the corridor, the sound of voices shouting and relaying information over their radios.
Now all had appeared to have gone quiet and they decided it was time to try to make a break for it, to alert someone on the outside that they had a foothold situation.
Daniel opened the door a crack, motioning for Jack to stay where he was until he had determined whether it was safe. Seeing no sign of movement, he cautiously opened the door further, then looked to Jack indicating the coast was now clear.
Scurrying quickly in the direction of the elevator, they paused as they came to a corner.
Damn! Daniel swore under his breath, two SF's were positioned there, obviously guarding the elevator and keeping an eye out for them. A crackling on their radio caught their attention and Daniel, wasting no more time tore around the corner, punched one of the guards on the jaw, rendering him unconscious while Jack was grappling with the other one. After a few moments both were lying helpless on the floor and they were able to regroup.
'Ok,' Daniel spoke firmly. 'It sounds like they've got Teal'c and Sam. It's down to us. The nearest secure phone line is in General Hammond's office, but we'll never make it there without getting caught. We need to reach the surface and raise the alarm another way. Agreed?'
Jack nodded his assent, finding his brain just couldn't seem to cope with all these tactical decisions. He didn't know how Daniel managed to think of all this in just a few seconds - he really was good at all this stuff.
It seemed like hours before they reached the surface - it was a long way to climb and they had needed to take several breaks on the way. Gasping for breath and with sweat pouring down their faces, Daniel cautiously popped the hatch at the top of the tunnel they were in. A quick glance round determined that no-one was in sight, so taking a deep breath, he climbed out, did a rapid survey of the area then turned around to help Jack out.
Standing up to make a run for the trees where they would be concealed and be able to keep themselves hidden, they were startled by voices.
'I've got them sir, they've just exited from Tunnel Bravo.'
Guns were aimed in their direction, ordering them to stand down and to surrender. Looking wildly around them for some way to escape, they realised they had been well and truly caught and that they would have to play along, at least for the time being and try to find another way to raise the alarm at the first opportunity.
Meekly bowing their heads in surrender, they allowed themselves to be searched for weapons before being escorted back to the Bravo elevator for a more sedate ride back to the SGC. As the doors to the elevator slowly opened, Daniel decided it wouldn't hurt to make one last attempt for freedom while they were topside. Glancing at the SF's on either side of him, he quickly dug his elbow into the soft part of the stomach of one of them then swiftly followed it with a chop of his hand to the back of the neck. Jack followed his team-mate's lead, elbowing one of his escorts in the ribs and trying to make a break for it in the confusion. Another patrol heading for their position arrived in time to secure Jack's hands behind his back and get him into the elevator, his face pushed up against the wall.
Daniel was faring slightly better having taken down three of the guards trying to restrain him, just as he thought he would be able to make good his escape after all, he felt a sharp blow to the side of his head and everything went black.
'Sorry Dr Jackson, Colonel O'Neill,' the voice spoke behind them, 'General Hammond said we had to get you back using whatever means necessary.'
Daniel came round a few minutes later wondering what on earth had hit him and feeling the beginnings of a blinding headache. Trying to sit up, he realised his hands were behind his back and were secured with handcuffs. Taking a few moments to get his bearings, he remembered what had happened immediately before he was knocked out. Glaring ungraciously at the guards helping him to his feet he allowed himself to be taken into the elevator where Jack was waiting.
All too soon they arrived in the briefing room where they could see Dr Fraiser with General Hammond in his office, along with the two aliens. Sam and Teal'c were already there, waiting for their arrival.
Daniel glanced at Sam with an unspoken question in his eyes, only to receive a brief shake of the head that told him they had been unsuccessful in raising the alarm. Sitting down in the seat he had been taken to, Daniel tried to think about what their next course of action should be, while maintaining a watchful eye on the proceedings.
Janet, having been summoned out of the office by one of their escorts, hurried to check Daniel over. General Hammond had considered it better he be checked over here unless there was a severe enough injury to warrant a visit to the infirmary.
'You'll do,' Dr Fraiser informed Daniel, who was still 'cuffed. 'You'll probably have a headache for a day or two. Here.' She popped a couple of aspirin in his mouth, followed by a few mouthfuls of water from a glass held carefully for him to drink from. 'Are the restraints really necessary?' She asked. The others had all been released and were sitting sullenly as they watched the proceedings.
'Dr Jackson has been extremely uncooperative, I'm not sure that he can be trusted not to try something else if we let him go.' She was informed. General Hammond emerged from his office, followed by the two aliens and overheard the conversation.
'Dr Jackson,' Daniel looked warily at General Hammond. 'Can I trust you not to injure any of my men or try to leave?'
Daniel thought carefully about this one, part of him wanted to scream NO! I'm getting out of here the first chance I get, the other part telling him he should co-operate. Seeing the indecision in his face, Dr Fraiser stepped in.
'Daniel, you're under the influence of an alien technology, it's affecting your perspective. We need to put it right or it is going to kill you. We're trying to help you.'
Looking from the Doctor to the two aliens, his eyes still held that wariness, a readiness to spring into action.
Sighing to himself, General Hammond sat down and tried to explain further.
'When you 'gated to P1J 59S the people there were under attack from the goa'uld. What they call their Guardians, who protect them from such attacks, had been killed instantaneously and there was no one to take their place. When you came through and heard their story, you agreed to help them out and were fitted into the device that enables the four Guardians to work in harmony and make use of the planetary defences. Unfortunately, due to the differences in your physiology there were some unforeseen side effects.' Hammond looked at Daniel and the others to see how they were taking this. Daniel was listening intently, the scientific part of his mind beginning to assert itself again, the others were also taking it all in. 'Once the danger was eliminated, you all passed out and were taken to one of their medical facilities. Their facility was a little more basic than you are accustomed to and when you came around none of you were able to think very clearly. Dr Jackson was convinced you were being held captive and when their medics arrived to check on your progress, he attacked them and helped the rest of you make your escape.'
'And you believe all this?' Daniel's voice was a little sceptical.
'Dr Fraiser has carried out the same scans as she did on yourselves and there are a lot of differences in the formation and structure of their neural pathways, which would indicate that they would not be able to sustain or even establish the necessary interactive harmony required.'
'General Hammond, if I may?' One of the aliens stepped forward and spoke tentatively, unsure as to how his interruption would be received and wary of the people who had previously helped them but now seemed to be unable to control their actions or responses.
Hammond glanced at the faces of his team, seeing that three of them were prepared to listen and were sitting in a reasonably relaxed manner. Daniel still had an extremely distrustful look on his face and he decided that at least for the time being, his restraints should remain in place. Nodding at the one who had spoken, he invited the aliens to sit down and to speak.
'The Guardians have protected our planet for as long as we can remember. Always there were more than enough of our people to provide for it. The Guardians require four minds to be joined in unison in order to work but through the ages as the attacks from the unholy ones became less frequent, the number of people with the ability has lessened. Our last four Guardians were killed before the machine could activate and we had no others who were ready to take their place.' He looked around, relieved that all four were now listening, the one they called Dr Jackson, who had listened to them when they first arrived and persuaded the one in charge to help them was no longer looking as if he was ready to commit an act of violence.
'We have a number of children who we think will be able to become Guardians, but as yet they are too young. Your Major Carter was able to study the Guardian chamber and informed us that you would be able to help us. You agreed to do so, and it worked in the usual way. The inner self of the unholy ones were rendered helpless and we were able to send them to the place of no return to join the others of their kind.' Looking apologetic now, he continued. 'What we were not able to see at the time of your joining was that you are different from our Guardians and the joining affected you in ways we have not seen since the beginning.'
'Can the affects be reversed?' Dr Fraiser asked, concern in her eyes as she surveyed the team in question. They were sitting in the same manner, arms behind their backs mirroring Daniel's restrained posture.
'I believe so. This happened at times in the very beginning but they will need to return to the Guardian chamber for this to be done.'
Daniel had had enough of this. He had listened patiently up until now and had started to believe what he was being told, but now caution was kicking back in again as he spoke.
'You want us to go back to this planet and get back in some kind of mind altering machine?'
'That is what we are proposing to do, yes.' General Hammond replied
'When hell freezes over, sir,' Teal'c informed him.
'You have got to be kidding.' Sam added.
'Not a snowball's chance in hell.' Daniel said emphatically.
'What happens to them now though?' Jack surprised them all with his question, if General Hammond hadn't been looking at Jack when he spoke the words he would have sworn it was Dr Jackson speaking. 'I mean, they've lost all ability to defend themselves. The next time the goa'uld come knocking they'll be toast.' Jack finished up, sounding a little more like himself.
'We have discussed that, Colonel. Once this process has been reversed, the Craynans will bury their 'gate until such time as their people's abilities have been restored. It will take time but it will happen.' Hammond glanced at Dr Fraiser for further clarification.
'I took a sample of their blood and studied their brain scans closely. I believe the necessary genes and neural pathways are there, but they need to be developed which will take several generations of hard work.' She looked into the faces of SG1. 'I have here your most recent scan results. As you can see,' she indicated several areas in each of the four films, 'This additional neural pathway you all have is becoming more dominant. In a few days, it will completely take over your ability to think and act independently. Within a week the process will be irreversible and shortly after that happens you will all lapse into comas until your bodies cease to function.' Looking closely at each of them, she was pretty sure she had managed to get through to them.
'So - our only chance of not becoming cabbages is to have our brains fried again?' Daniel asked.
'That's not quite the way I would have put it, but basically, yes.'
Daniel glanced at the others, Jack spoke up.
'Daniel, I really think they're telling us the truth.' He glanced around at Dr Fraiser, General Hammond and the two visitors. 'I don't think you told us your names did you?' Jack addressed the visitors.
'I am Dagar, my companion is Fleral. We are sorry for what has happened to you. It was never our intention that you would be hurt when you offered to help us defend our world.' Dagar looked towards Daniel, feeling that this was the one who stood in the way of them being able to rectify the damage that had been caused. 'We want to help you, to reverse the damage that has been done. Will you allow us to do this?'
Daniel still hesitated, he could feel his friends giving in and believing what they had been told, but he just could not bring himself to do the same. Frowning to himself, he tried to think clearly beyond the pounding going on inside his skull. Everyone in the room was looking at him, saw him waver, his face relax as though he were about to agree, then his face hardened and he sat up straighter.
For a moment it looked as if he was going to speak up in protest, instead, taking a quick glance around him, he realised the SF's had fallen back to one side of the room and a route to the stairwell down to the control room had opened up. Despite the fact his hands were still secured behind his back, his instincts drove him to action. The others might be fooled, but he knew that he had a planet to save and to do that he had to find a way to escape, sitting listening to a pack of lies from the people he should be able to trust did not figure in his plans.
Getting to his feet abruptly, knocking his chair away from him and into the path of the advancing SF's he was almost at the top of the stairs before he felt an arm around his chest, halting him in his progress. He struggled, trying to get free but whoever was holding him was a lot stronger and soon this one person was replaced by two of the SF's, who stood holding him securely, looking to General Hammond for instructions while Jack took his seat again. Daniel glared at Jack for betraying him, then turned his attention to Hammond who was standing in front of him now.
'Dr Jackson, your behaviour is inexcusable,' he barked out. 'I am ordering you to co-operate and to return to the planet for the necessary treatment. Do I make myself clear?' Hammond was hoping that Daniel's newly acquired military traits would over-ride his suspicion and normal tendency to argue that he was a civilian and didn't have to obey the order.
His strategy appeared to work, Daniel slumped his shoulders in defeat and mumbled a 'Yes sir,' before allowing himself to be taken back to his seat.
'You have a go,' General Hammond's voice came through from the control room as the event horizon settled. SG12 and Dr Fraiser were accompanying SG1 on their return trip.
Instinctively, Daniel moved to go through, only to be held back by Dr Fraiser who insisted that SG12 should go first. Reluctantly he allowed the other team to precede him.
Following them through, the members of SG1 all came out with their own typically Jack-style comment.
'To Oz,' from Daniel.
'Follow the yellow brick road,' from Sam.
'We're off to see the wizard, ' from Teal'c, and
'May the force be with you,' from Jack. Dr Fraiser gave him a strange look, but none of the others seemed to think his comment odd so she merely shook her head. This whole incident was odd, and this was just a very small part of the strange things that had taken place recently.
As soon as they arrived at the hall of the Guardians, Janet and SG12 checked the equipment out thoroughly, to be as sure as possible that they were doing the right thing.
Meanwhile Jack was wandering around the room, studying the writing on the walls and pillars, exclaiming that if only he could translate it he was sure they could learn a lot from this culture and their history. Daniel, looking bored, nevertheless followed SG12 and Janet, listening carefully to what they were saying while maintaining a close watch on Jack. The moment he saw his friend reach out to touch something he was at his side, placing a restraining hand on his arm to stop him.
'For crying out loud, how many times have I told you not to touch,' Daniel snapped at the other man.
Looking a little sheepish, Jack responded with, 'It's not dangerous, Daniel, how am I ever going to learn anything if you never let me get a decent look at anything?'
Before Daniel could open his mouth to say anything further, Janet approached them, amusement in her eyes.
'Gentlemen, Sam and Teal'c are already hooked up, if you've finished your little discussion, perhaps you'd like to join them?'
'You're absolutely certain this thing isn't going to scramble anything up?' Daniel was still sceptical.
'All that will happen is that you are going to be back to normal afterwards, trust me.' Janet smiled at him, biting back the comment that formed in her mind that his brain was already way more scrambled than it should be and that she would be relieved to have them all back to normal.
Reluctantly accepting that he had to do this, he allowed himself to be connected up and after a few moments everything went black.
Daniel woke to the sound of voices. He could hear the rest of his team and Janet's voice. Must be in the infirmary then - what he couldn't figure out was why?
He groaned and opened his eyes, his hand flying to his head as he realised he had one humdinger of a headache. Must have hit his head somewhere and he had concussion - that would explain the infirmary, but he still couldn't figure out where he had been when he had received the injury.
'What happened…' his voice trailed off as Janet flashed the ever present penlight in his eyes. Just that one quick glance told him he wasn't in the infirmary.
'Hey, Danny,' Jack spoke cheerfully as he sat on the bed next to him. 'Nice of you to join us.'
Throwing a black look in his direction, Janet turned back to her patient. 'What's the last thing you remember?'
'Uh, we were on a mission, we couldn't find anything of interest and we headed back to the gate - that's about it I'm afraid.' He glanced at his team-mates who were all smirking at him. 'What?'
'It appears that we were all affected by some alien doo-hickey which we volunteered to be connected up to and we saved this planet. What the nice aliens didn't tell us was that there was a possibility of side effects. We've all spent the last three days behaving…' he hesitated a moment.
'Nuts?' Sam offered.
'Oddly?' Teal'c suggested.
'Crazy?' Daniel put in.
'…a little out of character,' Jack finished up. Janet rolled her eyes at this exchange. This particular side effect would take a day or two to wear off, she'd been warned.
'So,' Jack was speaking to Janet as they headed back to the 'gate after they had said their farewells to Dagar and Fleral, 'What did we get up to while we were under this alien influence?'
'Are you sure you want to know the answer to that one Colonel?'
'Why wouldn't I?'
'Well - let me see,' Janet paused for a moment, trying to think up the incidents that would cause most discomfort to SG1. With a wicked grin on her face, she resumed speaking. 'For starters, Teal'c fell asleep in the debriefing.' Teal'c, stoic as ever, merely raised his eyebrows, although Jack was convinced that if he'd had paler skin he would be red with embarrassment. 'Then you all went AWOL to go and watch hockey at the Colonel's house.'
They all stared at Jack, before Janet continued, 'That was your idea Sam. Then Colonel O'Neill helped Dr Jackson catalogue the artefacts SG9 brought back from their last mission. Or rather, Colonel O'Neill catalogued them while Dr Jackson played games on his computer.' Jack and Daniel looked at each other, Jack was the more uncomfortable of the two as Daniel felt he had gotten off rather lightly.
'You don't get off that easily Dr Jackson,' Janet grinned even more widely now, making sure the rest of SG1 were paying full attention. 'You got it into your head that there was a foothold situation at the SGC and went all Commando on us - you caused a few minor injuries to a number of men and I've got a couple of SF's still in the infirmary with concussion - in fact you had to remain restrained throughout General Hammond's briefing on the cause of your behaviour and he had to order you to come back through.'
At that point they reached the 'gate where SG12 were waiting, the 'gate activated and ready for them. With one last glance at the, for now anyway, subdued SG1, she stepped through the 'gate, leaving them to gather what was left of their self-respect before following her.
Hope you enjoyed it - feedback always appreciated.
DISCLAIMER:The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-1, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-1 Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.