A/N: This story takes place after It's Great to Be Eight? but is not a sequel, just another adventure! It was hard to let go of little Sam but we have to move on! There have been other stories that encompass the basic idea of this one, but I am planning on taking this in a different direction from anything I have seen. I hope you give it a chance and let me know what you think! Chapters 1 & 2 will be posted concurrently.
Chapter 1 – Looking in the Mirror
Major Samantha Carter walked briskly down the corridors at the SGC. She was due for a briefing in 20 minutes and just gotten out of a rather heated meeting with a conglomeration of scientists stationed here on level 12. Their entire existence seemed to be based on the desire to trip her up and dispel many of her already proven theories. She sighed to herself as she made her way down the deserted corridor: sometimes she wondered why she even bothered to appear at these meetings. It was always the same thing; arguments, stubbornness and bullishness. It didn't help matters that she was the only female scientist present today. Usually, she had at least some back up from the liked-minded, albeit small minority, gender to which she belonged. Jay Felger, her other stalwart supporter in all things scientific, had been absent as well, leaving Sam to hold fast to assertions that she was, indeed, correct about their latest questioning.
There had also been an ungodly amount of time spent on questions pertaining to her recent transformation into an eight year old. Sam, who had spent a week in the body of her eight year old self, was tired of talking about that particular adventure and just wanted to get on with things. Others couldn't seem to let it go and it was starting to wear on her nerves.
Giving herself a mental shake, Sam continued to make her way to the elevators up ahead. It was time for her to concentrate on the briefing at hand. SG-1 was due for an upcoming mission to meet a new people and hopefully gain new allies in their continued fight against the Goa'uld. An earlier mission by SG-5 had looked promising as far as the people of P6X-995 were concerned. They were slightly more technologically advanced than Earth and seemed willing to negotiate and share information. Eagerness to attend the briefing about this new mission and the chance to investigate new technology caused Sam to quicken her pace even more.
Sam was several meters from the elevator when a bright light coming from beneath a nearby storage room door caught her off guard. She looked around to see if any other SGC personnel were nearby. Seeing no one, she walked quickly to the door and pressed her ear against it, listening for any strange sounds emanating from the room beyond. Hearing nothing, Sam tried the door. It was locked, like most storage rooms on the upper levels of the complex. Sam took out her card and swiped it through security clearance. Although she was a Major, she wasn't given access to all rooms. She was, however granted access to every room on Level 12 as it was mainly a scientific research floor. Nothing that was done in the name of science at the SGC was done without Major Carter's knowledge.
Sam slowly opened the door and looked around without stepping inside. This particular storage room was one of the larger ones on base. It was approximately 12 feet wide by 20 feet deep. Metal shelving graced the outer walls of the room with one unit running the length of the middle, providing ample storage space for the myriad items that were brought back from off-world for further study. From the back of the cavernous room, a blue light continued to glow, drawing Sam further into its depths.
She cautiously approached the middle row of shelving. Bracing her hand against the unit for support, Sam slowly peered around the unit and let her gaze sweep the back of the room. Drawing back with a gasp of surprise, she reached blindly for a weapon she knew she didn't have. When working on base, Sam rarely, if ever, had an accessible weapon. The soldier in her looked around the shelves for anything that could serve as a potential weapon. Eyeing a short, blunt, heavy object hanging off the end of the shelf behind her, Sam reached up on tiptoes and carefully took it down. She grasped it firmly in her hand, took a deep breath and rounded the corner of the shelves.
She hadn't been imagining it. There, in the back of the room, glowing with a brilliant light, stood the Quantum mirror. She stepped cautiously toward it, watching its rippling surface as it showed a room that looked like it could be the clone of the one she was in now, except for the fact that the door behind the room in the mirror stood ajar, and she could see what looked like bullet holes in the wall beyond.
Sam mentally shook herself for the second time in the last five minutes. This couldn't be! she thought to herself. The Quantum mirror was supposed to have been destroyed over 4 years ago! What was it doing sitting up here in a storage room on level 12, where it could be seen by any scientist who happened to enter the storage room?
Sam was shaken from her musings by what appeared next in the mirror. She stepped back quickly into the shadows of the shelving as a cloaked figure appeared in the room. The figure looked furtively behind itself before closing the door of the alternate reality room. It then moved toward the mirror, its bulky figure moving slowly but with a sense of urgency that Sam could feel from her side. She clutched her improvised weapon in her hands as the figure came closer to the mirror. It seemed to study the room that had appeared before it, closed its eyes as if in prayer, and reached out a tentative, pale hand that Sam could easily tell was female.
The woman drew her hand back and looked behind her quickly as if she had heard a sound coming from beyond the closed door. She then turned back to the mirror with a determined look on her face, bent to pick up a case of some sort, then placed her hand on the smooth surface of the mirror. In an instant, the cloaked figure of the woman was standing in the supply room with Sam. Clutching her weapon tighter in her hand, Sam took a step out from the shadows of the shelving unit.
The woman before her gave a sharp intake of breath, then surprised by Sam by saying, "Thank God it's you! Is it safe here? Have Anubis's forces attacked yet?"
Sam was stunned with this woman's familiarity with her as well as with the mention of Anubis. She was getting a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach. Not releasing her grip on the weapon, she stated, "Who are you and where did you come from?"
The woman stepped a bit closer and muttered, "Oh, sorry. I forgot about the cloak." Reaching up with one hand, she slid the hood of the cloak off her head to reveal shoulder length blond hair, vibrant blue eyes, and a face that Sam saw every morning when she looked in the mirror. "Sorry to appear like this out of the blue Samantha, but I need your help," and she gave Sam a look of utter desperation.
Sam was momentarily stunned speechless. She had seen an alternate version of herself before, even worked with her on a project several years ago, but she hadn't expected this to occur ever again. She blinked several times before automatically responding. "I usually go by Sam."
The other Sam wrinkled her nose at that. "I've never liked being called Sam. I prefer Samantha." She shifted the bundle beneath her cloak, then looked again into Sam's eyes. Her voice was filled with determination as she said, "Will you help me? I've tried dozens of other alternate realities, all to no avail. Is it safe here?" she reiterated her question from before.
Gathering her wits, Sam replied, "Yes, it's safe here. If by safe you mean are we under attack by any system lords. They haven't directly tried to attack Earth for quite a while. I take it that's not the case for you?"
"No," Samantha shook her head sadly. "We came under attack a week ago. Anubis has focused his attack on Colorado for the time being. There is something that he desperately wants. I can't let him get it, that's why I've come here. Please Sam, you have to help me."
"I'll help in any way I can, but I can't come back with you or send help without talking to General Hammond. Maybe you should come with me? I was just on my way to a briefing. We could…"
"No, I don't have time for that! I have to get back before anyone notices that I'm gone. I have check in with Jack and let him know if I succeeded or not. I don't need you or anyone to come back with me, I just need you to take care of something for me; keep it safe," Samantha pleaded, with tears in her eyes.
Sam was slightly surprised by this Samantha referring to her CO as Jack, but kept her comments to herself. She thought of the ramifications if she offered to help this version of herself without consulting her superior officers. Seeing the desperate look in the woman's eyes, Sam made a quick, intuitive decision. "OK, I'll help you. But you have to tell me what it is you need kept safe from Anubis and if it's something that could be dangerous to us. I need some answers."
Samantha sniffed and quickly swiped at her eyes with the edge of her cloak. "Thank you,' she whispered. She set down the bag she had been carrying and reached to untie the edges of the billowing cloak. Samantha slowly opened the cloak. Sam gasped in surprise to see what had been hidden underneath its voluminous folds. A baby boy, not more than a year old, peered out at her from his resting place inside a sling strapped to his mother. The bright blue eyes regarded her thoughtfully for a moment, then closed as he popped a thumb into his mouth and went back to sleep.