Wisest One

Author: Sands of Vulcan

Email:

Series: T O S / Stargate Crossover / AU

Rating: PG

Character Code: Saavik, Ezri Dax, Sam Carter, Jacob Carter

Summary: The fate of the Trill is jeopardized by the actions of Saavik and Ezri. An AU Stargate since they make Trek jokes all the time, but I ignored that. Written for the fest.

Disclaimer: Star Trek is copyrighted by Paramount/Viacom. I do not own any of their characters. Stargate Sg-1 is copyrighted by MGM, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Film. This is not for profit.

Archive: Fine, but let me know where.

Despite having her arms wrenched tightly behind her, Saavik's prisoner struggled violently. Without the Vulcan's acute hearing, she could not hear the distant sound of the marching feet that approached them. Saavik yanked her close, and clamped one hand tightly over her mouth while at the same time pulling her down into the underbrush. The woman's eyes swung around in an attempt to see the person who had captured her.

The marching feet were closing upon them. If Saavik could not calm the woman, her struggles would give them away. Taking a chance, Saavik released her hold on the woman and spun her quickly so that their faces were inches away. At the same time she mouthed one single command

"SILENCE."

The woman's eyes grew large, but her surprise at Saavik's Vulcan appearance did not escape her lips. She pulled away from Saavik, but her struggling ceased. As the approaching footsteps became audible to the woman, she froze, not even breathing. Saavik saw the fear and the questions in her eyes, and now face to face Saavik knew without a doubt that this was indeed "Sam". Worse, this was exactly the woman pictured in the mission briefing notes that Saavik had been given; slender, five feet nine inches tall, short blond hair and blue eyes. This was definitely Major Samantha Carter of Stargate Command's SG-1 team. Saavik nodded silently in confirmation, as if to say that she too had no wish to be discovered by the armored troopers that passed so near them.

Saavik had seen what those same troops were capable of only days before when she and Ezri Dax had been the first in centuries to step through an operable Stargate. They had surprised a man as he operated something called a Dial Home Device or DHD in Saavik's pre-mission briefing notes. His eyes grew wide as he watched them emerge. Then Saavik saw the cause of the fear, as approaching troopers lashed out with long staffs which shot bolts of energy until one found its target in the man's back. He went down in agony. Saavik and Ezri immediately drew their phasers and laid down a protective stun, causing the assailants to fall in their tracks.

They moved to the DHD. Ezri moved to the man's side. "Belay that lieutenant," ordered Saavik. "Dial out, now. This is obviously not Trill."

Ezri did not move. "We can't just leave him! It's our fault he's injured. He was trying to dial out, but we had the gate in use. If we hadn't, he'd have gotten away from them."

"Dial, lieutenant." As Ezri saw Saavik kneel beside the man, she moved to the DHD to dial the coordinates for the Trill homeworld.

"I am not without compassion, Lieutenant, but I have seen wounds of this severity before. He will not live more than a few minutes." Saavik had had a long career. She had partaken in many bloody battles on the way to the Captaincy, and lost many people that she cared for, including Torias whose symbiont, Dax, now resided in the woman accompanying her.

"Then we should take him with us," said Ezri as she dialed in the last of the seven characters of her homeworld's address. Saavik nodded as Ezri placed her palm on the crystal in the middle of the circular dialing device.

"What happened?" asked Ezri.

"Nothing happened, lieutenant."

"But I know I did it right. Where's the wormhole?"

"There is no time to discuss it," said Saavik. "Help me." Saavik bent to pick up the wounded man as Ezri came to help. Nodding towards the underbrush, Saavik moved quickly to hide. She waited for Ezri's less sensitive hearing to pick up what she had already heard, the march of approaching feet. Silently she motioned for Ezri to help her move the injured man to safety.

They hid for several hours in a cleft in some rocks hidden in the planet's foliage. Saavik's hearing assured her that their pursuers were not near; thankfully, for the man had began to moan a name in his sleep. He appeared to be in reasonably good shape for a middle-aged humanoid, but Saavik doubted that would even help him live.

"Sam," he called over and over until finally his eyes opened weakly. When he saw Saavik and Ezri's appearance, he stopped speaking.

Ezri looked to Saavik, who nodded that it was safe to speak.

"You're safe. We won't hurt you."

The man gave no response.

Ezri continued, "It was our first time through that device. We thought we were going to my homeworld, but instead we're..." Ezri cast her eye around the crevice, "we're here, wherever that is."

"You couldn't have come at a worse time," the man responded.

He looked upon her with pleading eyes, "Find her," he begged. "Find Sam. She has to get back. It's very importa..."

Saavik reached to the man's neck and found his pulse weak. Already her suspicions about their situation were beginning to solidify.

"That's who he was asking for," said Ezri. "Sam."

"Lieutenant," began Saavik. "You were selected for this mission because have knowledge of the applications of the Stargate from the memories of Torias Dax."

"Yes, I do, but if you're about to ask if I know what has happened, all I can say is that I'm sorry. Torias formulated an idea about how the Stargate found on Trill was meant to be used, but his experimentation was shut down by Starfleet before he could delve into the theories involved. When my people found another Stargate on their colony world, I had a feeling they would contact me to find out what I could remember, or rather, Dax had the feeling. There's not really a difference. I never thought they'd actually send us through the thing or I'd have tried a lot harder to remember."

Saavik watched as Ezri cast her eyes at the injured man. Her uniform was covered in his blood, and she looked despondently at Saavik.

"I wish Julian were here."

"Dr. Bashir is not here. Nor is it likely that he could repair the damage done to this man.

Starfleet had good reason for shutting the Stargate experiments down. Torias agreed or he wouldn't have allowed it. I am forbidden to tell you the specifics of this mission. For the time being, the logical course of action would be to find 'Sam'".

As Sam gazed down at her, Saavik's attention was returned to the time at hand. She motioned to Sam in Starfleet Battle Language. The silent hand signals were derived from those used by the military on Earth long ago. Follow me, Saavik motioned. Maintain silence, she added. Sam's nodded in response, adding more evidence to support Saavik's suspicions.

Sam followed as Saavik wound her way back towards the hiding place. Saavik had grown up on an abandoned Romulan colony. She had learned early in life to hunt and not be seen. She could travel soundlessly and quickly even in the Starfleet boots she now wore. To Saavik's ear, Sam made considerably more noise and occasionally fell behind. Saavik waited silently for her, watching as Sam, her weapon at the ready, checked periodically behind for pursuers. Saavik admired her diligence. This was someone she would want on her own crew.

Arriving at last to the cleft in the rocks, Saavik motioned the Terran woman inside.

Sam motioned the Vulcan in first, and Saavik's eyebrow shot up. She had thought that Sam was only guarding their back, but she now realized that Major Carter was just as prepared to use the weapon on her.

As Saavik entered, she turned toward the entrance and saw Sam's stricken face.

"Dad," Sam cried. Her weapon raised, she gave a warning glance to Ezri to move away.

"Dad," Sam repeated softly, but her father lay quietly. Ezri reached reflexively for Sam's shoulder to reassure her and at her touch, Sam's eyes widened in fear.

Saavik and Ezri both stepped back defensively as Sam's weapon swung on Ezri.

"You're Goa'uld!" Sam exclaimed.

Ezri looked to Saavik in surprise.

"No," said Ezri.

"Don't lie!" yelled Sam. "I felt it inside you. What do you want?!"

Saavik saw the stress on Sam's face. She knew that Carter would not withdraw the weapon unless she received an explanation.

"My name is Saavik. Your target is Ezri, and her symbiont's name is Dax. They exist in a truly symbiotic relationship. Dax is not Goal'ud. Ezri is fully capable of control."

"It's true," reassured Ezri.

Some of the tension left Sam's face, but Saavik could see that she was not convinced; her weapon still faced Ezri.

"You're certainly not human. Are you Tok'ra?" asked Sam.

"I don't know that word," said Ezri. "I'm..."

Saavik cut her short with a look. At this point there was nothing Saavik could do about the fact that Sam had seen their differences. Ezri's obvious spots around her face, and Saavik's darker Vulcan skin, slightly slanted eyebrows and pointed Vulcan ears. She decided to offer as little information as possible.

"If you're not Goa'uld then who are you?" demanded Sam.

"Sam," said her father, "put down the weapon." His voice was barely a whisper. "They carried me all the way here. If they were Goa'uld, I would know."

"Dad?" questioned Sam.

"It's alright, Sam."

She lowered her weapon, and moved to her father's side.

"Excuse us," said Saavik as she motioned Ezri out of the shelter. Once they were far enough away, Ezri's questions flowed.

"Who are the Goal'ud? What's a Tok'ra?"

"I am unfamiliar with the term Tok'ra. I do know something of the Goa'uld. Starfleet has salvaged a minimal amount of records from a project called Stargate run by the United States Air Force. In the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Earth fought a secret battle with a symbiont life-form called the Goa'uld. The Goa'uld took humans as unwilling hosts."

Saavik noticed Ezri grimace in a way that suggested she would be sick.

"Lieutenant? Are you..."

"I'm fine, it's just that..."

"Ah, yes, I ask forgiveness. I am aware of the situation surrounding your own joining."

It was true. Ezri had been the only Trill available to save Dax after the loss of his last host. Ezri had never in her life wished to be joined with a symbiont. She had not even reported to have the customary symbiosis evaluation on her twelfth birthday. In fact, in a way, she had joined Starfleet to get away from the pressures her family imposed on her to submit to the evaluation. But when she had been faced with the situation of being the only Trill available to save a symbiont who had been a valuable and trusted Starfleet officer, she found that duty forced her into submission. It had taken years to come to terms with the fact that she had been backed into being a host for Dax.

"Lieutenant?"

"Yes, sir."

"May I continue?" asked Saavik. Recovering, Ezri nodded.

"Eventually, the Goa'uld were defeated. Sometime later, all the known Stargates ceased to function. Starfleet believes that beings known as The Ancients disabled them. They had hoped that operating the two newly discovered gates would attract the attention of the Ancients, and that we could convince them to allow us to use the gates again."

"Why did they make Torias mothball the Stargate discovered on Trill?"

"No other working Stargates were known to exist until the Trill found the one on their colony world. Starfleet felt it important to keep that gate secret until another could be found. If the Stargates could be reactivated, they would be a great asset to the Federation, but they could also be a danger. In the wrong hands, a Stargate could be used as a tool by our enemies. We are uncertain how many working gates exist and if the Romulans or Klingons have found any."

"So if these people are still fighting the Goa'uld, then are we..."

"Yes, lieutenant, I believe we are in the past. Somehow the gate did not function as Torias anticipated. In fact, I believe that we may not have gone anywhere, but instead just moved temporally. Did you notice the layout of the surrounding area as we passed through the gate?"

"Yes, everything seemed to waver for a second. For a second I thought that the gate hadn't even worked, until I saw the man and the intact DHD."

Saavik nodded. That had been her interpretation as well. The most immediate difference she saw was that the damaged DHD, which she had patched together on the Trill colony world, was now intact.

Saavik heard movement and motioned Ezri back to the cave. Sam stood at the entrance.

"He's asleep again." said Sam. "He says that you cared for him before you found me," she said to Ezri. "Thanks."

Ezri smiled and nodded. "I wish I could do more. I'm so sorry. If we hadn't come through the gate..."

"There is still something you could do for me," said Sam.

"What?" asked Ezri.

"Help me get back through the gate. I have to go now. It's very important. One of you can stay here with my dad. He says that he will heal if he is not moved. The other one of you can help me get through the gate."

Saavik's concern about altering even more events in the past was growing. Even now she suspected that their interference had something to do with their inability to establish an outgoing wormhole.

"The gate is heavily guarded," she answered.

"That weapon you used knocked me out cold. I was running for the gate behind the Jaffa. If you hadn't been in the way, I would have had a clean shot at them. Whatever you used knocked out everyone in a hundred meter radius including me. I am from a planet called Earth. We would be interested in a weapon like that. Perhaps we have some technology that you would accept in trade."

Saavik's concern was growing. She did not believe that the man's injuries could be healed even with proper medical care. She knew that had affected at least that much change already, but she had to know how to return to their proper time.

"Our people are explorers. We are interested in the gate technology. What are its capabilities? What is its range? Are there related temporal effects?"

"If I answer those questions, then you'll help me get through the gate and share the weapons technology with me?"

Saavik knew that she could not possibly share the phaser specifications with the woman and countered instead with, "I would have to ask my superiors about the weapons, but I will help you through the gate."

"And one of you will stay with my Dad and get him through when he's well?"

"He will not live."

Ezri winced, but Saavik thought it important to state the truth.

"He believes that he will," said Sam. "He has a symbiont inside of him. Even now it is healing him."

Curious, Saavik and Ezri reentered the cleft and examined the man's wound.

"It does look better," said Ezri to Saavik. To Sam she added, "He has a symbiont, but you said you were from Earth."

"I am. My name is Major Samantha Carter. His name is General Jacob Carter. He was dying of cancer when he agreed to join with the symbiont and help to fight the Goa'uld. The symbiont cured his cancer, and now they share his body"

"Then this symbiont is not Goal'ud?" asked Ezri.

"No," explained Sam, "he is Tok'ra, the Goal'ud resistance. His name is Selmak."

Suddenly Ezri turned white and fell back from Jacob. Believing that she would faint, Saavik reached for her. Ezri turned her eyes to Saavik.

"He can't die here. We have to save him. No," she cried. "What have we done?"

Sam looked puzzled by Ezri's reaction. "If you don't help me through that gate soon, other Tok'ra will die." Reaching into her pocket, she retrieved a vial of liquid.

"This is the antidote to a bioweapon that the Goal'ud have released among the Tok'ra. I have to get it to them, and you have to help me."

"He is the Oldest and Wisest." muttered an ashen Ezri.

Saavik raised an eyebrow at the statement, but Sam smiled.

"He tells everyone that. Don't take him seriously."

Ezri motioned Saavik toward the entrance of the cleft. As Saavik moved to follow, Sam sidestepped her, and blocked the entrance. Her weapon raised, she looked prepared to stop them. "You're not going anywhere. You've as much as admitted that this is your fault, now, I have to get this antidote through the gate! Which one of you is going with me?"

"I believe you offered to first give me the information I requested."

"Alright. When my father comes back through the gate alive, I'll give you the information you want. That way we both have something the other wants."

"Unacceptable. I need to know now."

"Why?" insisted Sam.

Saavik took her time. She knew that she must phrase her words thoughtfully. The Major Samantha Carter whose name appeared in the salvaged documents on the Stargate program, would not be easily misled.

"When we tried to dial home before, we were unable to establish a wormhole."

Sam seemed to be considering Saavik's statement. Then her eyes narrowed as she realized the timeframe of their attempt.

"You were going to leave him! I can't believe that I almost left one of you alone with him. Drop your weapons! Now!"

Saavik heard desperation in the woman's voice. She nodded to Ezri and slowly they laid their phasers on the ground before them. Without taking her eyes or her weapon away from them, Sam kicked the phasers out of their reach.

"No, not at all!" said Ezri. "We were going to take him with us to get him help. We had no way of knowing that he would survive as long as he has. We wouldn't just let him die."

"And I'm supposed to believe you?"

"We carried him here. I cared for him as best as I could while Saavik went to find you. He told you that I took good care of him. We didn't just leave him to die."

Saavik noticed an almost imperceptible shift in Sam's posture. Saavik had not anticipated that Ezri's skills as a counselor would be needed on this mission. This was one of the benefits of working with the Trill. Saavik had experienced it before when working with Torias Dax. The Trill who hosted the symbionts lived their own short lives, but the symbionts lived multiple lives through them. Each joining brought new experiences that were passed on to the new host. Dax had been joined with many including a scientist, a soldier, and now a counselor. Not only was Torias Dax' knowledge integral to this mission, Ezri's might now be the more valuable influence.

Saavik waited, sensing Ezri wasn't done. Ezri's focused glance toward Saavik indicated that she wasn't. "It's as necessary for us to keep Jacob Selmak alive as it is to you."

"Carter," Sam corrected. "Jacob Carter."

"That's right," Ezri apologized. "Selmak is his symbiont."

The emphasis clicked in Saavik's mind. Ezri hadn't made a mistake.

She had used the Trill practice of the symbiont's name being the host's

surname deliberately. As deliberately as she stressed the word necessary

earlier. That, combined with her earlier exclamation of the Oldest and

Wisest, was a message to Saavik. Jacob Carter and his joined symbiont

were vital to the Trill.

Sam spoke as she moved for the phasers on the floor. "You had a problem with the gate?"

Saavik tightened, in preparation for keeping the phaser from Sam, but Sam was an experienced soldier. She noticed, and shook her head at Saavik to let her know that she shouldn't try. Saavik backed away, as she began to reason out how to dissuade Carter from taking the phaser and going to the gate herself. Saavik did not believe that Sam would leave her father.

"I can not allow you to take that. The technology is classified."

"As I see it," answered Sam, "you aren't in a position to stop me."

"No, but we are in a position to help your father," said Ezri.

"There are only two things that I can think of that could have caused you to miss your destination. Either a strong energy burst discharged close to the gate while you were going through, in which case you would probably end up at the next closest gate..." Sam waited for Saavik to assimilate this.

"Not likely, "answered Saavik. There were only two known working gates, and Saavik believed that the only reason they worked was that the DHDs had been so badly damaged, the Ancients had considered them inoperable.

"Or," continued Sam, "There was a gravitational flux nearby as you went through the gate. But that would send you through time and you would probably realize that by now. Besides, the DHD has fail safes to prevent that scenario."

"A gravitational flux? Influenced by solar activity?"

"Solar flares?" countered Sam.

Without reaction, Saavik recalled the misgivings she had expressed to her Stargate team. The Trill colony world on which they had found the second gate had a highly unstable magnetic field. This left the planet subject to the effect of its Sun's solar activity. And it had been Saavik herself who had patched together the damaged DHD, whose fail safes had they been working, would have prevented this. Saavik now realized that to get the information she needed, some acknowledgment would have to be given. It was most probable that Sam had already deduced what had happened, and even more probable that there was now no way home.

"The DHD was damaged. I... repaired it."

Sam smiled a knowing smile as she finally lowered her weapon. "I did that too."

Ezri understood Sam's expression instantly. "This has happened to you, hasn't it."

"Classified," smiled Sam again.

"Major, purely theoretically of course, is there a way to reverse the temporal effect of the gate."

"Gate activation timed to coincide with a solar flare, on the opposite side of the sun from the first flare, seems to reverse the direction of the temporal displacement, but not necessarily with the same magnitude."

"Meaning that the traveler could end up displaced in the future instead of the past."

"Yes, and I'm afraid that I haven't quite figured that one out yet. We don't have the technology yet to predict flares with the proper accuracy, let alone predict intensity, which is most likely proportional to the magnitude of the displacement."

"But should the technology exist to predict the flares and their magnitude, the temporally displacement could be countered."

Sam nodded. "Look, we have to go."

Saavik bent slowly, her eyes on Sam, and retrieved the phaser. She turned to Ezri, making eye contact. "Remain with him. You know what to do."

Saavik certainly hoped that Ezri did, and that she had not missed the glance to Ezri's tricorder, still on the floor beside Jacob. Ezri's nod was telling.

As Jacob rested, Ezri scanned the recorded data in the tricorder for the events before their gate travel. Saavik had set the tricorder to record all the minutia that a Vulcan would consider important. It took a while just to find what Saavik must have been asking her to look for. Solar activity tables did indicate a flare at exactly the same time as they had entered the gate. Much of the data had been interrupted as they went through. As best she could, calling on Torias' scientific knowledge, Ezri deduced the flare's magnitude. Finding a spot for the tricorder in the sun outside the cave, Ezri again began to record the data that they would need to make their predictions, and returned to watch over Jacob.

"Where is Sam?"

Ezri jumped at the voice. It was deeper than Jacob's and startled her. "Why are you... you're Selmak, aren't you?"

"Yes. I must know where Sam is."

"It's alright," Ezri reassured. "She has gone to take the antidote through to your people. Saavik will make sure that she gets through the gate."

Jacob relaxed. "Thank you. Too many lives have been lost already."

Ezri smiled. "I've never heard a symbiont speak directly."

"It bothers you?"

Ezri considered his question. Every time that she believed she had come to terms with her own joining, some new experience cast it in a different light. On this one mission, she had depended on skill from at least three of Dax past lives.

"No," she answered. "I am honored to speak with you, Selmak. You have no idea how much. You are the oldest and wisest."

Selmak laughed deeply, resulting in a cough. "Jacob was delirious, wasn't he?"

"Just a little. Are you recovered?"

Jacob shook his head. "I am tired. I will sleep now."

Saavik approached the cave cautiously, to find a sleeping Jacob and feel a phaser in her back. Ezri smiled as Saavik turned and she handed Saavik the tricorder.

"This time frame is very near. Will Jacob be recovered, Lieutenant?"

"Yes, I think so. Is Sam through?"

Saavik nodded and took Ezri's elbow and pulled her away from the cave entrance. "Explain."

"On Trill the symbiont Jacob hosts is called the Oldest and Wisest, but her name was Selmak."

"Her name?"

"Symbionts don't really have a sex, but on Trill those that produce young are referred to in the feminine.

"She was the first of us. She came hundreds of years ago, to a society that was tearing itself apart with war. Thousands were starving and homeless. A dying Trill received the first of her children. Soon more Trill offered themselves as hosts, and gradually as her children spread among the population, their wisdom changed Trill. The wars stopped as hosts rose to power. Medical advances achieved through Selmak's knowledge saved millions. Because the first of her children inherited her wisdom, hosts were capable of much more than an unjoined Trill. Soon parents began to beg for their children to be joined, and the symbiont commission was begun. Trill would have destroyed itself without her."

Saavik watched Ezri's tears fall. "Haven't you figured it out?! Restoring the timeline has nothing to do with Sam and everything to do with her father. We killed them all. That's why we can't get through. Trill society doesn't exist. Dax never discovered the gate. And Trill never discovered the colony."

"We have to get him back alive," Ezri added adamantly.

"It will be more difficult the next time. The gate will be heavily guarded."

"But there will be three of us this time."

Saavik whirled to find Jacob standing in the opening of the cave.

"How much of that did you hear?" asked Ezri.

"I didn't hear anything," smiled Jacob. "But I think it's time I got back. I have a lot to do."

Saavik was certain that he had overheard, but equally certain that he understood why he should not have.

"We should go now. Before the Jaffa have a chance to reinforce the gate."

"Yes, Sir, "smiled Ezri.

Saavik was unsure of General Carter's reaction as he surveyed the scene in front of him.

"Holy Hannah," he exclaimed.

"All these guys out cold with only two of those," he said, pointing at Saavik's phaser.

"Yes, there are considerably more than when I helped Sam through before." From a distance Saavik heard the roar of what could only be fighter ships. The gate had been reinforced.

Jacob had seen of the ships in the distance and was running for the gate. "You go first," he yelled.

"No," said Ezri. "You have to go through first."

Jacob grabbed Ezri. "Watch," he yelled as he dialed seven characters. "Dial this sequence if you can't get through. It's a planet that the Goa'uld don't know of, you'll be safe there. Just don't let them see the address and whatever you do, don't let them have those weapons." As he spoke the watery blue event horizon of the wormhole formed in the ring of the Stargate.

He turned addressed Saavik. "Thanks, and Good Luck."

As soon as the wormhole died away, Ezri began the dialing sequence for Trill. Explosions blazed dangerously close to them from the oncoming fighters. Saavik consulted the tricorder for the correct timing.

"Now," she commanded. Ezri responded by pushing the crystal in the middle of the DHD. Ezri appeared to be holding her breath.

The wormhole shot out from the gate as the event horizon solidified.

"Run," shouted Saavik. Both she and Ezri ran bolts of energy on their heels, for the gate. A blast erupted near Saavik who was trailing Ezri, and sent her sprawling at the base of the gate.

"Alright," Ezri shouted. Saavik nodded as Ezri helped her up.

"Then let's go home," she said.