Another Life - by sueKay
Season - 1
Catagory - Romance/Angst
Pairing - S/J
Notes- shippy...with some twists...prepare to be confused! Work in Progress
That was it!
"I got it." Dr Samantha Carter said quietly to herself.
"I mean…I…I got it…I know what this is!"
Catherine Littlefield walked slowly to the bottom of the step ladders, and peered up at the young woman.
"Samantha…Myself, Ernest and the best Egyptologists in the world have been working on these glyphs for years…I don't think you've found what we're looking fo-"
"No…Catherine…These aren't glyphs…at least not ones of a spoken language…look."
Samantha pointed to one of the symbols on the cartouche, then to an article on Walter Davis's newspaper.
"This is the constellation Orion…That's what all these glyphs are…Star constellations!"
Catherine clutched at her amulet necklace, a large grin breaking out on her time-worn features.
"You did it."
Samantha felt her heart flutter…she'd done it…She could open the portal.
Samantha paced the length of the briefing room she plaited sections of her hair in an effort to calm down. She was never comfortable around military personnel, so sitting in a briefing room with a lot of Air Force brass was not her idea of a good time. Catherine came up behind her, clapping a hand on her shoulder.
"Don't worry Samantha…don't worry at all."
"I'm sure it'll go alright it's just…I'm not comfortable with the Military."
"Are any of us?"
"You've gotta wonder."
There was a sound of shuffling feet, and Samantha turned round to see the small frame of Ernest Littlefield enter the draughty room.
Sam walked forward, embracing the old man in a hug.
"How are you?"
"Fine…I hear that you've figured out how to turn that portal on."
"Yes…We've identified all of the symbols and we think we can establish a lock on a location 80 light years away."
"That's amazing…I've not been so excited since the forties when I had that little brush with an event horizon!" Ernest chuckled.
"I remember it well…that was a close call." Catherine smiled wryly. "As long as you don't have a close brush with this one!"
Samantha once again heard footfall in the room. This time, it was several people, in tell tale military issue boots or over-shiny shoes.
An officer briskly walked up to Samantha as the room filled up.
"Doctor Carter…General West."
Samantha found herself staring up the nostrils of a tall, moustached man. He had an air of authority around him, and was obviously in no mood for chit chat. He was all business.
"Doctor Carter…I understand that you've solved the riddle of the hieroglyphs."
"Yes General West Sir…but they were never heiroglyphs…just glyphs."
The room went silent. General West was never corrected by anyone, especially not civilian researchers.
"Can we get on with this please." He gruffed, taking a seat at the table.
Samantha felt her face flush, and not wanting to stand with everyone scrutinising her, sat down, handing out the small bundle of files and star maps that she and Catherine had hurriedly produced. She glanced up briefly at Colonel Jonathan O'Neill, a stoic and abrupt man if ever she'd met one. Stubborn as hell too…As far as she knew, General West was not a smoker, but rather than not lighting up, Colonel O'Neill stood in the far corner of the room, puffing away.
"As you know…we have turned on the portal only once…in the forties. But the portal was not kept open long enough for anyone to go through…With out capacitor and generators, creating a stable window should not be a problem. Since we have deciphered the glyphs, we now also have a destination to go to."
Samantha stood up, pen in hand, and drew the symbols of the cartouche on the white board. She quickly circled the last one and said.
"This is the symbol for this planet…we can disregard this one as the point of origin. The other six plot a point in space."
She quickly drew a cube with a dot in each side, before joining up the dots to show a single point.
"This is a planet 80 light years away, and we think we can go there."
General West looked towards Colonel O'Neill. "Put a team together."
The Colonel for his part gave a sharp nod, before leaving the room, letting the door slam behind him. General West gave a sigh leaning back on his chair.
"Thank you for your work Dr Carter…We'll be keeping you around here though…we could use some more of yourscientific expertise."
"Thank you sir."
The control room was buzzing. A combination of military personnel and civilians monitored the Dialling computer, Samantha's biggest achievment. A team in the Embarkation room readied a probe that was to be sent to the destination, designated P01 04A.
"This place has never been so busy." Catherine remarked.
"I know…the military must love us right now."
"I don't think Colonel O'Neill's too impressed." She whispered.
Samantha looked over at the Colonel. His normal piercing gaze was miles away, and he wore a sneer on his face.
"Poor guy." Catherine remarked.
"Oh…nothing you need know about."
General West's appearance in the crowded room signalled a change in the atmosphere, as he gave the order to start the dialling sequence.
Walter Davis input the co-ordinates, and the dialling sequence started.
Chevrons one through five locked perfectly, but a lot of turbulence and noise accompanied Chevron six.
"Remind me to invent intertial dampeners!" Samantha shouted to Catherine above the din, earning a chuckle from the scientist.
"Chevron seven locked!"
A gigantic plume of 'water' emerged from the portal, and everyone in the control room took a flinching step back.
Everyone went silent, waiting with baited breath for whatever was going to happen.
"Su-weet!" Colonel O'Neill said.
Samantha rolled her eyes…she had limited patience with military men.
The probe trundled up the ramp, inch by inch, before being engulfed in the blue shimmer of the portal's glow.
"Probe en-route to destination…arriving in four, three, two-"
The monitors danced to life as a wash of orangey hues came through.
"We're receiving probe telemetry."
General West stepped forward. "Turn the probe's camera back towards the device."
Walter did just that, and immediately they realised that going to the planet may be a bigger obstacle than they thought.
"That symbol's not on our device." Catherine said quietly.
Suddenly, the portal shut off, leaving the base in darkness.
"General sir…please…we HAVE to go ahead with this!"
"Dr. Carter…We have no guarantee of finding a way back…we'd have to work out how to operate their portal THEN which symbols to input."
"General…we discovered our device with the cartouche…It HAS to be the same through on the other side…please…we have to try."
Samantha felt the presence of Colonel O'Neill behind her.
"It's your call." He said simply.
"Okay Dr. Carter…If you think you can figure out the portal…you're on…Colonel…assemble as team."
The next morning, a large group of military officers stood in the embarkation room. Samantha noticed some familiar faces. Major Charles Kawalsky, Captain Ferretti, Johnson and a few others.
"Hey Sam!" Kawalsky shouted.
Samantha cringed…she hated being called Sam.
"Hello Charlie…looking forward to this?"
"Yeah…I guess…how far is 80 light years?"
"Pretty far." Samantha responded with a knowing grin.
"I'm sure…Jack!" Charlie smiled and walked towards Colonel O'Neill's position.
"Jack?" I though he was called Jonathan?
"Is there a problem Doctor?" The Colonel responded icily.
"No sir…no not at all."
"There'd better not be…I'm not in the mood for people like you."
With that, 'Jack' stalked away slowly, glaring at Samantha.
"I'm sorry about him Sam…He's had a rough time of it." Kawalsky explained.
"No need for him to be sexist!"
"He's not sexist…He just…has a big problem with Scientists."
Samantha folded her arms and turned to Charlie.
"What? Is he dealing with inadequacy issues in the cerebrum?"
Charlie raised an eyebrow. "Huh?"
Sam rolled her eyes, and her helmet moved forward, obscuring her vision. "He's…he's a little I dunno…"
"I'd phrase it more delicately than that but…well…yes."
Samantha felt the ground beneath her feet shake, and an announcement came over the tannoy.
"Personnel evacuate the embarkation room…incoming traveller!"
Sam turned to Kawalsky, "What!"
Fleeting moments later, the expedition team were racing along a corridor, heading for the lift, while airmen and marines ran in the opposite direction. Sam heard the sounds of guns firing but the sickly feeling in her stomach was quelled by fear, as the sounds of energy weapons echoed down the corridors. A strange distorted voice could be heard in the distance.
"Jaffa Kree! Lo nek!"
The lighting overheard exploded, and the klaxon tone changed. Momentarily, more Marines poured down the corridors, passing the huddled group. Samantha found herself pinned between the wall and Colonel O'Neill. Kawalsky and Ferretti on either side.
"Sir! Why aren't we going in?" Ferretti asked above the noise.
"Because if we get captured, whoever those hostiles are will learn what we know, and we can't risk the death of civilians!"
"But I can't sit here while ET kills everyone back there!"
With that, Ferretti ran off heading back towards the embarkation room.
"Lou!" Charlie got up to run after his friend, but O'Neill's hand caught his shoulder.
"Stay put Charlie…that's an order!"
There was a large explosion, and the overhead lighting exploded. Samantha flinched as sparks landed on her fair skin and hair, causing a stinging sensation. When she looked up, Colonel O'Neill was gone. Charlie had an arm wrapped around her, and was shielding her from everything that was going on. The sound of her heartbeat filled her ears and her breathing became loud and shallow…She'd never been so terrified. The booming voice was heard again.
"Teal'c Kree no mel ak to'nak."
Sam heard a sound. A woman screaming.
More screaming followed, as the unknown assailants tipped the scales, taking out a lot of officers with a volley of weapons fire. Suddenly, the firing ceased as they heard the tell-tale 'kawoosh' of a wormhole being formed.
"Jaffa! Kree." The voice said, before the sound of the wormhole disengaging was heard.
"Get a medical team in here now!" she heard Colonel O'Neill shouting from the embarkation room.
Samantha knew basic first aid, so she got up and ran to where the Colonel was. Kawalsky and Johnson followed. She wasn't prepared for the sight that met her eyes.
The embarkation room was littered with dead bodies. Hideous burns covering them. A few alien bodies were present too, lying near the portal. A few airmen were tending to some of the injured, but the vast bulk of the defence team were dead….slaughtered. Charlie picked up his pace heading to where Colonel was sitting. He was cradling someone in his arms. Samantha followed Charlie to his position.
"Lou…god no!" He choked.
Colonel O'Neill had a haunting, blank expression on his face. Samantha recognised it as shock. She risked looking down to the prone form in his arms.
It was Lou Ferretti.
"Charlie…I'm sorry." O'Neill said quietly, letting Charlie go to his friend.
"Oh god…" Samantha trailed off. In all her life, she'd never seen anyone die, let alone be killed in a such a horrific way as what she's seen. Ferretti had a huge gaping wound in his chest, it's edges cauterised by extreme heat. Sam felt the bile rise in her throat, and turned away, tears obscuring her vision. She looked up to the control room to see how everyone up there was faring…
The bullet-proof glass was shattered, the blast doors jammed halfway down. Not a soul was stirring up there, and then Sam noticed the bodies. Sgts Mahoney, Beakie and Andrews. Lieutenant Kelly. Captain Riceman...and General West.
"Oh for cryin out…" An emotional Colonel O'Neill appeared next to her. He wiped a tear from his eye and gritted his teeth.
Moments later, a medical team arrived, and quickly picked up the injured. Some more SFs appeared and began removing the bodies. Then slowly but surely, some higher ranking officers appeared.
"Colonel O'Neill sir." Major O'Donnell came to a crisp salute.
"At ease Major."
The young woman stood at ease before continuing, "General Vidrine has instructed me to inform you that the mission is scrubbed, and that you are to assume command of this base until a replacement for General West is found."
"Thank you, Major."
General Vidrine entered the room, a rare look of shock and bewilderment on his face. He came over to Samantha, clapping a hand around her shoulder.
"Dr. Carter…Are you alright?"
Samantha heard the question, but had trouble responding.
"We'd better get you up to the infirmary."
Colonel O'Neill came up to the General. "Sir…As far as I can report…Lieutenant Lamond has been kidnapped by the hostiles…we should mount a rescue--"
"Negative…Once we've learned what we can from the alien corpses, that portal is getting shipped back to Creek Mountain…it's to be sealed and buried."
General Vidrine hurriedly left the room, unwilling to get involved in an argument. Colonel O'Neill followed, leaving Samantha alone in the room.
How could they just seal and bury the portal? Why?
Despite her current daze and confusion, Samantha now knew what she had to do. She had to make sure they used the portal again. But convincing Jonathan 'Jack' O'Neill to dissobey a direct order would be a little bit tougher…