Title: Emotional Motives of a Bug
Spoilers: Anything involving Replicators. Including Unnatural Selection, New Order 1 & 2, Gemini.
Season: Up to Gemini, then AU.
Content Warnings: None
Summary: Sam is kidnapped by her Replicator counterpart, whose motives might not be what you would expect.
Rating: Suitable for all.
Disclaimer: I do not own SG-1. Stamps foot and tosses hair childishly.
Archive: SJFic - Yes. Anywhere else - Yes.
Author's Note: Please feedback me, I'm greedy.
Sam was alone in her bedroom when the brilliant light engulfed her. When she reappeared on board a ship she was first surprised, then shocked.
It wasn't the Asgaard.
In front of her stood… herself.
"Hello, Sam." Her replicator double said, her voice sounding slightly flat.
"What's going on?" Sam asked, feeling the stupidity of the question even as it left her mouth.
"I have been doing some thinking since I last saw you. And I have come to a decision."
Sam felt replicator blocks surround her, holding her in place.
"What do you want with me?" Sam asked.
"I want to show you what I have discovered. Then I will destroy you."
RepliCarter advanced on Sam, raising her hand to her counterpart's forehead.
The phone was ringing.
Jack recognised the sound, but couldn't quite work out why it was important to him.
But since it did not stop, and there was no way he could sleep through it, try as he might, he woke himself up enough to grab it and answer it.
"Sir, its Sergeant Harriman."
"Walter, why are you calling me at-" Jack glanced at his bedside clock. "Three AM? That's zero-three-hundred, Walter. Three in the morning. Am I being clear?" Jack's tone dripped sarcasm.
"Colonel Carter has disappeared, sir." Walter said.
"I'll be there in fifteen minutes. Have Daniel and Teal'c in my office." Jack was suddenly awake. Very awake.
Walter's automatic General-Protection circuits kicked in. "Sir, you live half an hour away from the base you can't possibly-"
"Fifteen minutes, Walter." Jack said, hanging up.
Twenty-minutes later Jack, Daniel and Teal'c were in Jack's office at the SGC, and had been caught up on the current facts.
"The neighbours said they saw a bright flash of light, coming from the vicinity of Colonel Carter's bedroom, two nights ago." Walter finished, closing his notebook.
"Two nights ago?" Jack repeated.
"Has nobody tried to contact ColonelCarter in the intervening time?" Teal'c asked.
Both Jack and Daniel shook their heads.
"What about Pete?" Jack asked.
"We called him to find out if Colonel Carter was with him. She's not. There were several messages from him on Colonel Carter's answering machine. Both Colonel Carter's car and her motorbike are present at her home."
"It's like when she was kidnapped all over again." Daniel muttered, remembering that none of them had noticed Sam's absence for two days that time, too. "Lucky we rarely get more than two days' downtime at once, huh?"
"Walter?" Jack asked.
"How did you discover that Carter was missing at oh three hundred this morning?"
"There was a problem with the gate. Siler called her house, but got no answer there or on her cell. We sent a car over and found her place empty."
Jack was sitting back in his chair, thinking.
"Jack?" Daniel prompted.
"Bright lights." Jack said. Daniel nodded.
When Walter continued to look confused, Teal'c supplied. "O'Neill and DanielJackson are thinking that perhaps the Asgaard have taken ColonelCarter, as they have in the past."
Jack shook his head dismissively. "Nah. This isn't their style. They usually at least let us know after they've done whatever they're gonna do."
Both Daniel and Teal'c nodded.
"Sir," Walter began. "If not the Asgaard, then who?"
"I don't know." Jack admitted. "Daniel, call Thor will ya? Tell him I want to see him ASAP. Tell him why."
Daniel nodded and left the room with Walter. Teal'c and Jack sat in silence, trying to work out who could have Sam.
Tears streamed down Sam's face.
She had no idea how long she had been held here by her replicator double. No idea when, or if, rescue would come. As far as she could work out there was no way her team knew where she was.
RepliCarter had picked up on this fear immediately. She was playing on it now, her hand inside Sam's head, manipulating her fears in order to cripple her.
Taking her friends away from her. Daniel, Teal'c, Jack.
Exposed in her mind, Sam was forced confront her feelings for the General. And his feelings for her.
When RepliCarter spoke, her tone was a confusing blend of pity and distaste. "You allowed petty rules and petty human emotions to stop you from having what you wanted. To stop you attaining the power you could have wielded. I will not do the same."
Again the replicator began her assault on Sam's mind.
Over five hours after Daniel had contacted Thor, the Asgaard supreme commander managed to put in an appearance.
As Jack blinked in the afterglow of the Asgaard transportation beam that had deposited the small alien in his office, Thor said, "O'Neill, I came as quickly as I could. I have bad news for you."
Jack sighed. "I thought you were gonna say that. Lemme call Daniel and Teal'c in here."
Once the two remaining members of SG-1 were seated in the General's office, Jack motioned for the little grey alien to begin.
"As you suspected, the Asgaard had nothing to do with Colonel Carter's disappearance. Knowing this, on my way here I scanned your solar system for any ship that would be capable of kidnapping Colonel Carter in the circumstances you described."
"And?" Jack prompted.
The Asgaard hesitated. If he was prone to such things he would have heaved a huge sigh. "I found a replicator ship." He told his friends. "I scanned it and - "
"Lemme guess," Jack cut him off, "RepliCarter?"
"RepliCarter?" Thor questioned.
Daniel and Teal'c were also giving Jack odd looks.
"The… thing… Fifth made that looks like Carter. RepliCarter." Jack said defensively.
Thor nodded his large head. "My scans reported both a human-form replicator on board, and Colonel Carter."
"Damn." Daniel said softly.
"What can we do?" Teal'c asked.
"I still have the disruptor technology."
"She's immune." Jack said.
"I believe I can recalibrate it to make it effective. Of course, it will only work once," Thor told them.
"Of course." Jack said.
"Once I have used it on the replicator ship they will be able to recalibrate themselves rendering it useless once more."
"It's… kind of a plan." Jack said.
"Unfortunately, RepliCarter," Thor said, giving O'Neill a look when he said the name, "detected my scan, and has shielded herself and Colonel Carter from my scanning technology. The plan would require a new element to enter the room containing Colonel Carter."
"I'll do it." Jack said, before the other two had a chance to open their mouths.
"It would be dangerous, O'Neill." Thor told him.
"I know that." Jack said, in a tone that brooked no argument.
Thor inclined his head.
"Why only block herself and Sam?" Daniel asked. "Why didn't she – it – block the whole ship out of your scans?"
"I would hypothesise that the human-form-replicator was only seeking to prevent me from 'beaming' Colonel Carter from her ship." Thor said.
"What assurance do we have that she will not simply do the same to O'Neill?" Teal'c asked.
"If you can distract her for long enough for me to recalibrate both the disruptor and my transporter technology, this plan should work." Thor said, sounding less than happy with the plan himself.
The four of them looked at each other for a moment. Then Jack said, "It's all we've got. Let's do it."
When the replicator blocks released Sam she crumpled to the ground. The latest onslaught had been too much.
The floor was cold and her thin pyjamas did nothing to warm her. Sam shivered.
"I will kill you, Sam. You should not have underestimated me." RepliCarter advanced on Sam menacingly.
"Well, she can't take all the blame for that one." The voice came from the doorway, it was Jack.
He was dressed in BDUs, his P-90 slung across his chest.
"General?" Sam said, shocked at his arrival.
"You finally came to see me." RepliCarter smiled, sounding genuinely pleased at Jack's arrival. She did not turn to face the newcomer.
"You can watch as I kill her."
"No? She has hurt you. I know."
"I won't let you kill Carter."
"Oh yes." RepliCarter seemed to be remembering something. "'I would rather die myself, than lose Carter.' That's what you said, isn't it? But you cannot stop me." RepliCarter stated flatly. "I will kill her and keep you."
"You really think I would stay here? With you? Are you nuts?" Jack asked scornfully.
"Why would you not? I am her."
"You're a bug." Jack said. "What do you want with me?"
RepliCarter smiled at Sam. "She knows."
"Carter?" Jack asked.
Sam remained silent and looked at her feet. Jack frowned at her.
"Even now you cannot say. You are so weak." RepliCarter smiled at her counterpart, a flat expression that lacked the original's mirth.
"Hey! Bug Girl." Jack called her attention back to him.
"I will deal with you presently, Jack." RepliCarter said. "First I must deal with Sam."
Behind her Jack raised his P-90 and fired a shot into her back. She turned to face him, anger clouding her features.
"You know how I hate to wait." Jack said, by way of explanation.
"You think you could kill me?" RepliCarter asked, amusement in her tone. Her body appeared to ripple as she healed herself.
Jack shrugged. "I don't know if it could kill you," he said, gesturing with the P-90, "but it can slow you down some."
"That isn't what I meant. Do you really think you could kill me, Jack? I am her."
"No," Jack replied evenly, "you're not her."
"I could be, for you." RepliCarter said, advancing on him.
"I think I'll pass." Jack said, raising his rifle to aim at her chest.
RepliCarter took another step towards him. Behind her, Sam got to her feet finally. Still weak from the attack, she leaned against the replicator blocks that comprised the wall.
As RepliCarter reached out her hand to touch him, Jack fired again, still using the weapon on single shot.
Rage consumed the replicator's face. One of her arms changed into a long blade. She moved to stab Jack, but hesitated at the last minute.
"You can't do it, can you?" Sam asked from behind her. "I saw it, in your mind, the first time we met. Fifth took you to the gateroom. You killed Daniel and Siler. But you couldn't kill him," she nodded in Jack's direction, "not at first."
"I did kill him."
"No you didn't. You killed something Fifth created. It wasn't real. But he is."
Jack was watching the interchange, trying to figure out a way to disable the replicators and get Carter out of here.
"I can kill him."
"No, you can't. This is the real deal. All your senses are telling you so, aren't they? You can see him, smell him, feel him, hear him, almost taste him. You won't kill him. You're as incapable of that as I would be."
"Jack…" RepliCarter said, sounding confused and afraid.
"Yes. He's Jack. And he will destroy you." Sam said her voice hardening.
"He wont. You wont, will you?" RepliCarter said, turning back to face Jack.
"Let her go." He replied.
"My brethren will seize this galaxy. We will rule."
"You won't." Sam said.
"Why not? Just because you were too weak to take the power, just because you-"
"That's not why." Sam said, cutting her double off.
"Then why?" RepliCarter was gathering her strength once more, her softly-spoken arrogance returning.
"Because you'll have to kill him to do it." Sam said.
"No." RepliCarter said.
"Not coping too well with the petty human emotions, are you?" Sam taunted her double.
Jack remained silent, watching the interplay.
"I can create a double of him, another like me." RepliCarter said.
"It would never be him, though, and you know it."
"Uh, Carter," Jack said, calling both of their attention to him. "Not that I'm not loving this whole, 'I'm great' thing… but can we get outta here? Bug girl here is creepin' me out."
"You will not leave." RepliCarter said.
"Yes we will." Inside Jack was praying that he'd afforded Thor enough time to complete his calculations or whatever the hell he was doing.
RepliCarter began walking closer to Jack, her movements predatory. She stopped inches away from Jack's chest. "You are up to something, Jack."
"Aw, you know me, RepliCarter. I'm always up to somethin'."
"RepliCarter?" She repeated. "I like that. Very funny, Jack." RepliCarter closed the difference between them.
"Back off bug girl." He said, pushing her back slightly.
"You hate me, don't you Jack? I can change that; I can show you how it could be." She raised her hand to his forehead.
"Uh uh." Jack shook his head, batting her hand away. "No way you're gettin' in my head."
"Why are you being so difficult? We could have everything." RepliCarter sounded plaintive in a way that Sam never was.
"Bite me, Bug."
"I'd love to, Jack."
Jack shuddered. "That's just wrong on so many levels."
"If you will not comply, I have no choice but to continue." RepliCarter said, turning back towards Sam.
Finally, the little radio in Jack's ear buzzed. "O'Neill, I have recalibrated the disruptor. I am ready to transport-"
Jack interrupted his little grey friend speaking to the room at large, knowing Thor would hear him. "Carter first."
"O'Neill, if you can move closer to Colonel Carter I can transport you both."
"Carter first." Jack repeated.
Sam looked at him in confusion.
But RepliCarter had detected the transmission, if not its content. She rounded on Jack. "You are transmitting, Jack." She accused.
As the brilliant flash of an Asgaard beam filled the room, and Sam disappeared, Jack smiled at the replicator. "Yep."
On board The Daniel Jackson, Sam was staring around her in disbelief.
"Thor, what's going on?" She asked.
But the Asgaard was busy trying to locate Jack and beam him out.
Daniel answered her. "You didn't think Jack came alone, did you?"
"Why are you not beaming O'Neill up?" Teal'c asked the Supreme Commander.
"I cannot. The human form replicator is shielding the room they are in." Thor replied. "This is why O'Neill demanded that Colonel Carter be beamed up first."
"There must be something we can do?" Daniel asked, staring at the screen which, up until a moment ago, had been broadcasting Jack's signal.
"There is not. I warned you that this might happen." Thor said sadly.
"Send me back." Sam said quietly.
"What?" Daniel asked.
"Send me back down."
"No." Thor told her.
"She could be killing him!"
"Sending you back would achieve nothing." Thor said.
"What is wrong with you?" Sam asked, looking from Daniel to Teal'c to Thor.
Surprisingly, it was Thor who reacted first. "Colonel Carter." He snapped. Sam found herself staring at the Asgaard. "O'Neill is my friend. I would not allow him to stay there if I had a choice."
Seeing the same sentiments reflected in both Daniel's and Teal'c's faces, Sam hung her head. "I'm sorry." She said softly. "Its just, she… This is my fault."
Suddenly O'Neill's voice erupted from the speakers. "Thor, buddy, y'know any time you feel like beaming me out is good for me."
All four of his friends looked up at the tracking screen. Suddenly the blinking dot that represented Jack reappeared.
Thor immediately activated the transportation device, and O'Neill appeared in the centre of the room.
"Should I destroy the replicator vessel?" Thor asked.
"Why isn't she trying to get away?" Daniel asked.
"She doesn't want to." Jack replied, quietly.
"What? Why?" Daniel spun to look at his friend.
Jack ignored him for a moment. "Thor. Do it."
Thor nodded and engaged the disruptor. They watched the energy wave engulf the replicator ship, completely destroying it.
"Why did she not try to escape?" Teal'c asked.
It was Sam who replied. "She thought she could have everything she wanted, both as a replicator, and a human being. She believed the human part would be the easiest to attain." Sam's voice was soft and her eyes never left Jack's. "In reality, it was the one thing she could never have."
"What?" Daniel asked, bewildered.
"She put her hand in my head." Jack said quietly, addressing Sam, who nodded her understanding.
"Uh… guys?" Daniel was still lost.
"It is really quite simple, DanielJackson." Teal'c said.
"It is?" Daniel asked, turning to his friend.
Teal'c inclined his head. "Indeed. The part of the replicator that had ColonelCarter's human feelings wanted O'Neill by her side, in a way that she felt ColonelCarter had always denied herself."
Sam blushed and looked at her feet.
Teal'c continued. "When looked into O'Neill's mind, she saw his revulsion for everything she was. The part of her that was ColonelCarter could not live with this."
Realisation dawned on Daniel's face. "Sam's humanity overrode the replicator's…" he searched for the word, "programming?"
Sam nodded, still staring at her bare feet.
"Carter?" Jack called her attention.
She looked up and met his gaze. "Sir?"
"You gonna be okay?"
Daniel and Teal'c decided to give them some privacy, and went to stand over by Thor, where they were at a respectful distance, but could still hear absolutely everything.
Sam hesitated before answering Jack. "No, sir."
"No? She's gone, now Carter. And the last of the bugs have gone with her. No more replicators."
Sam smiled weakly. "It's not that." She told him.
"She was right about me. I'm too afraid to make the changes I need to be happy."
Jack cocked his head to one side inquisitively. "So… what?" He asked.
She looked up at him and smiled, the same dazzling smile that always made his breath catch in his throat. "Things are gonna change." She told him, making him grin back at her.
Their moment was interrupted by Thor loudly saying to Daniel and Teal'c, "I believe the saying is "It is about time!" Causing Daniel to erupt into transports of laughter and Teal'c to grin so widely Sam and Jack were worried about the safety of the top of his head.
Jack turned back to Sam. "So…" he began, "fishing?"
She grinned at him. "Oh yeah."
"Nice outfit, Carter." Jack said, smirking at her pyjamas.
"Shut up, sir."
In another part of the galaxy, a small pod came to a halt. As the hours passed, it began to grow. Inside, the human-form replicator resembling Sam Carter stood back from her newest creation.