Chapter 28: Connections

Jonas struggled to move, and managed to stand and avoid being sliced in two just in time. He staggered on his feet, swaying dangerously, while the creature prepared for another strike.

"Wait!" Jonas yelled, stopping the creature.

"What?" The shadow snarled.

"I said wait, please." Jonas replied.

He thought that if he could stall the creature a few moments longer, someone would realize that he was trapped inside the room with no way out. His eyes darted to the soldiers on the floor. A gun lay next to each one. If he could just get one of the weapons, it'd be enough to stun the creature.

The guns flew out of reach. "You think I don't know what you're planning? Don't forget, I'm inside you." The thing growled.

It was true. Jonas felt the creature's presence boiling within. He saw what the creature saw, and felt what it felt. There had to be a way to get it out! He'd shown increased mental abilities before, perhaps he could fight off the invasion of his mind. He'd tried it before without success, but who was to say that it wouldn't work this time?

He was pretty much finished. He had to try something. Maybe he could at least help Colonel O'Neill. The minds of both Jonas and the walking shadow were connected, one had access to the other's thoughts. Jonas had to try and worm his way into the shadow's mind, and search for the mark reversal on his own. It was the only way he could see himself being of any help at all.

Eyes are the windows to the soul. Jonas recalled the saying, and wondered if it would be of any help. He wasn't trying to get into the creature's soul, but the mind was the closest thing to it. He had to look the thing in the eyes, as much as he hated to, he had to. He knew that the moment his eyes locked with the other's he'd freeze in place and be helpless. He didn't want to take the chance, but he knew it was necessary.

Gathering all the courage he could, he looked the shadow in the eyes, glowing red locked on Jonas's gaze. Jonas instantly felt himself freezing, felt himself getting lost in the curse that had been tailing him ever since the first attack. He was overcome by a wash of fiery pain that lanced through his entire body, and he knew he'd been struck again. Seconds later he hit the floor, but did not move his eyes from the creature's.

Terrifying images flashed through his mind, smells, sounds, emotions. He was overcome by all of it. He dug deeper into the creature's mind, but did not find what he was searching for. He now realized that the creature had stopped attacking, he struggled to stand and planted his feet in a wide stance. He kept his eyes focused on his target.

Horrific flashes plagued him, trying to get him to let go of the hold he had on the creature's mind. The shadow was struggling against him, and he was struggling against it, two minds locked in heated battle.

A little further. There! He had what he was looking for, at the same instant he grasped the cure, the lights flickered back on, the creature howled in pain, and Jonas felt his entire body erupt in the same pain the creature was feeling. He was still connected with the shadow, and the creature was suffering, therefore, Jonas suffered. Jonas yelled out in shock, felt his head explode in agony, and tried desperately to sever the connection he had created.

Minutes dragged on, and Jonas still hadn't been able to free himself. The walking shadow had fallen to the ground, screaming in pain, and Jonas saw grey smoke coiling from it. The link had to be broken, and it had to be done as soon as possible! The creature was fading, but still kept a firm grasp on Jonas's consciousness, pulling him under as it died away.

Closed doors around the gate room opened, and he heard frightened calls of many people. Still he remained standing, ignoring everything except breaking the connection. He had what he needed. He didn't have to be here any longer. He struggled against the weakening grip on his consciousness that was coming from the creature.

A split second later, he felt the connection snap. It staggered him off balance and he stumbled back. The shadow creature fell in a wisp of smoke and vanished, leaving nothing behind, Jonas saw all of this, and it caused his stomach to turn over. A harsh wind rushed at him, and churned around the gate room, vanishing into nothing but a memory. Jonas relaxed, he had what he needed. He fell forward, felt his hands connect with the floor in a futile attempt to stop himself, and passed over into darkness.

The doors had opened, and Hammond looked down to see Jonas and the shadow standing mere feet away from each other, and Jonas's face was screwed into a look of pure concentration, and he was visibly struggling.

Grey smoke drifted from the creature, and Hammond thought he could see the light literally cooking the thing. It yelled, then Jonas yelled, three minutes passed, and Hammond saw Jonas stagger back away from the fallen creature. A cloud of smoke erupted from where the creature had just been, followed by a strong wind that slashed through the gate room.

When the wind passed, Hammond saw a look of surprised alarm come over Jonas, and the young man fell forward. His hands did nothing to slow him down, and he hit the floor with a dull thud. Hammond's breath caught in his throat and he ran to the open gate room, where he made his way over to Jonas, who was lost in unconsciousness.

Hammond kept a touch on Jonas's neck to feel the pulse fluttering feebly beneath his fingers and shouted to the nearest airman to call doctor Fraser to the gate room. He inclined Jonas's head, and sawthe young man'sface had gone pale. A thick sheen of perspiration covered Jonas's face and neck.

Fraser rushed into the gate room, followed by two medical personnel pushing a stretcher. She dropped next to Hammond and cast an urgent glance over Jonas's pale form.

"What happened?" Fraser asked, checking vitals.

"I don't exactly know, but I do know the walking shadow is dead." Hammond said, allowing Jonas to be lifted from under his touch and taken to the infirmary.

"Are you okay, Sir?" Fraser asked.

"I'm fine, go and see to Jonas." Hammond replied, getting up from his kneeling position.

Fraser nodded and hurried out after the medical team.

"Jonas? Are you with me?" Came Fraser's soft voice from a distance. Jonas groaned, his entire body hurt.

"Good. Open your eyes." Fraser ordered gently.

Jonas pushed himself to open his eyes, and hissed loudly as pain bloomed in his head from the intense light.

"Jonas?" Fraser asked.

"Headache." Jonas replied.

"That's understandable, you fought that thing off in a battle of mental strength. Your body is probably exhausted."

"It's gone, right?" Jonas questioned.

"Yeah, it's gone. Sam and Sergeant Siler got the power back on just in time by the looks of it, the creature turned to fog before it got the chance to finish you off. Jonas, you were losing miserably." Fraser said, her mouth turning into a smile.

"Tell me about it. I'll have to thank Sergeant Siler and Major Carter next time I see them." Jonas stated, then a thought flashed through his mind, and he drew in a startled breath.

"What is it?" Fraser asked, watching Jonas critically.

"I know how to help Colonel O'Neill. It's so simple. I can't believe I hadn't thought of it before." Jonas replied, puzzled at his lack of judgement.

"How?" Fraser asked quickly.

"Just combine my blood with the creature's and separate the parts that Colonel O'Neill's body is likely to reject." Jonas replied.

"How will combining your blood with the creature's create a cure?" Fraser asked.

"I don't know, but it will. Trust me. I saw it when I was searching the shadow's memories. You combine his blood with the blood of a marked survivor and separate the bad parts. It'll work, trust me." Jonas said.

"If you insist." Fraser sighed and prepared a needle to draw blood from Jonas's arm.

It took her a good half hour, maybe more to get the serum finished. It was probably longer, Jonas didn't know, he'd lost track of time.

"I've got it as good as can be expected." Fraser finally said.

Jonas watched anxiously as Fraser slid the needle into O'Neill's arm and injected the contents into him. Within seconds there was a marked change in the Colonel's status, his heart rate increased to a near fatal rate, while his blood pressure went through the roof. His face flushed with fever, and he began to cough.

Fraser was on him in seconds, she did what she could, and just as she was preparing to administer an electric shock to the Colonel, his signs leveled off and dropped to near-perfect. The older man moaned in his sleep and lifted his eyelids to look blearily around.

"It was an almost instant effect. Good work, Jonas." Fraser said, but when she got no reply, she turned quickly to where Jonas had dropped into sleep. She was convinced it was sleep because of the steady breathing and even rise and fall of Jonas's chest.

"You're both going to be fine. If you do what I say and rest." Fraser replied before Jack even got the chance to speak.

Jonas was sitting alone at a table in the mess hall. He hadn't felt the presence of the creature since he felt the connection being broken. Since then, he'd felt no after effects of his connection, and his injuries were healing up nicely.

The rest of SG-1 had left moments earlier, leaving Jonas to finish his meal. Jonas didn't mind though, he much preferred being alone at the moment. He was glad just to get the time to relax and recover from the last mission into the unknown.

Hurried footsteps were heard coming to his table.

"There's still something I don't get." Came Jack's voice, the Colonel was nearly back to himself, and he hadn't stopped drilling Jonas about what had happened since he woke up.

Jonas sighed, a smile creeping to his face. "What now, Colonel?" Jonas asked in a friendly way.

"How come the bullets had an effect on that thing, when light was really its weakness?" Jack asked.

Jonas chuckled to himself. "The light from the gun when it was fired, stunned it momentarily. It wasn't the bullets at all, although, I'm sure they helped keep the creature down." Jonas replied. He was getting used to getting questions such as this from O'Neill by now.

"Oh, yeah. I knew that." Jack grinned.

"Sure, Colonel." Jonas mumbled to himself.

"How are the villagers adjusting?" Jack asked casually.

"They're fine, and getting to enjoy the night life rather well. We've been invited to spend a night of music and festivities with them. They're all very grateful for our help in vanquishing the walking shadow." Jonas replied.

"A party? Great, when is it?" O'Neill asked eagerly.

"Tomorrow night. General Hammond is supposed to call a meeting later to inform us about it." Jonas said.

"Then how do you know about it now?" Jack asked.

Jonas recalled General Hammond informing him of the plans while O'Neill wasn't present. Jonas smiled easily and said, with hints of irony: "It pays to have connections."

Jack eyed him suspiciously for a few moments, but shrugged and walked off with a farewell.

The End

A/N: Okay so that was it, I hope I answered all unanswered questions. Leave me your thoughts and tell me how you thought the story turned out. Sorry if this chapter seemed rushed, it was the only wayI could fit everything in and hopefully cover all the basics. Let me know what you think!