It took him two days to steal the long range communication device. Another 12 hours to receive a reply. He would have asked Sam if he had lost his mind, only she was off on some cross-state motorcycle ride trying to 'clear her head.' Jack had admitted that they had gotten into a rip-roaring argument about the fate of the clone and she had requested leave. Hammond had granted it before Jack could protest and she was gone.
Teal'c became suspicious when he discovered Daniel filling out his own request for leave. He locked the door and stood against it.
"What are you planning Daniel Jackson?"
Daniel glared,"I'm doing what needs to be done. Don't try to stop me."
Teal'c considered the paperwork on the desk and looked up,"I believe I will accompany you."
Daniel laughed a bit wildly,"You don't even know what I'm planning to do."
Teal'c raised an eyebrow,"Will it help the clone of O'Neill?"
Daniel paused as he considered carefully. There were no guarantees. He really needed Sam, and she was not here. Maybe she could follow later.
"I don't know." He said finally."But it's the only thing I can think of that might make a difference."
"Then I know all I need to know. I will accompany you." Teal'c found another copy of the request form and filled it out. The two of them looked at each other for a moment, then Teal'c lifted a brow. "What is the next part of your plan?"
Daniel shifted, a bit embarassed."Actually, I don't know. They were supposed to be here al..."
White light flared.
As the spots faded, Daniel and Teal'c found themselves staring at a blond teenager wearing a suspiciously familiar expression.
"What the hell do you two think you are doing?"
"Jack, for god's sake, will you sit down!"
Jack froze, looked at his aggravated commanding officer, then heaved a huge sigh and sat down.
Jon never looked up. Harper swore the drugs were more or less out of his system, but his eyes were slightly glazed and if being back at the SGC meant anything to him he was hiding it well. Jack was not happy to see him here in the first place, but a message had come through the Stargate six hours before requesting that he be present when the Asgard reactivated the Gate in...
Jack checked his watch. 12 minutes.
He popped out of his chair and started pacing again. Hammond sighed but let him be. Worrying about the Asgard kept him from worrying about his team. Sam was two days overdue to return and Daniel and Teal'c were still among the missing. Their written requests for leave had been located in Dr. Jackson's office, but no trace of the two men had been found. Worse, no record of them leaving the base was found. The circumstances were more than suspicious, but Jack was in the dark. If SG1 was up to something, O'Neill would have expected to be part of it.
Possibly it was as simple as it seemed. The fate of the clone had prompted the need for some serious soul-searching. While Daniel and Teal'c had only stated the need for some peace and quiet, Carter had been devastated when she realized exactly why the clone was breaking down emotionally. Jack was not sure if it was the fact that she had not realized the extreme reaction Jon would have, or if she was blaming herself for not finding a better solution. Not that Jack could see one. Aging the clone closer to his own real age might have helped, but Thor had explained sadly that due to his marker, it was not possible.
So...nothing to be done except survive it.
Looking at the clone now, Jack flinched. He knew why Jon had thought it was possible. Hell, he knew why it had failed. Unfortunately, that knowledge did not come with any special insight into a solution. One thing was certain, the way they had been going was not it. Jack tightened his lips grimly. Jon was not going back to the hospital. Not even if Jack had to enforce that fact at the end of a zat. Maybe put him in charge of the Alpha site for a while? He'd talk to Hammond after he found out what the Asgard wanted.
As if the thought had conjured them, the alarms went off.
Jack was at the observation window before the Stargate started spinning. Hammond joined him just as the wormhole activated and Harper gasped as the event horizon flared. When the lights darkened and the iris remained open, Jack was prepared for Thor or someone similiar to step from the Gate. It took him a minute to realize that the three figures stepping onto the ramp were human.
He was on his way to the Embarkation Room before he remembered that he should have asked permission. Hell with it. Hammond would forgive him. The guards covering the Gate were more than a bit confused. They knew who they were seeing, but they also knew these people were supposed to already be here on Earth. To their credit, they kept the guns raised until Jack waved them down. The muzzles had wavered a bit, though. Before he could demand that Carter tell him what the hell was going on, three more figures stepped from the event horizon.
Carter halted at the foot of the ramp and regarded him soberly. He tore his eyes from the impossibility behind her and met her gaze in disbelief. She never flinched. The sheer magnitude of the choice she had made refused to sink in. He shifted his gaze to the two men standing behind her.
Daniel smiled uneasily,"Hi, Jack."
Jack returned his dumbstruck gaze to Carter and unglued his tongue."What have you done?" He honestly meant it to come out louder than a raspy whisper. "Jesus, what have you done?"
She stood firm and answered clearly,"We don't leave our people behind."
Jack laughed a bit wildly. Spinning around he found Harper and Hammond staring down into the Gateroom, one in confusion, the other with horrified fascination.
"Sir, could you send Jon to the Gateroom? I believe there are some people here to see him."
Harper still did not get it. No reason why he should. This is what happened when Carter got desperate for a solution. Mackay was right. She was insane. An artist, perhaps. But definately, certifiably, insane. Hell, what was he doing, springing it on the kid like this? Except he wasn't a kid, was he? And his team was waiting for him.
Pointing to the door, he silently ordered the defense team to leave the room. The last of the soldiers cleared the door just as Jon stepped inside and the Stargate shut down. He stared uncomprehendingly at the three figures standing quietly on the ramp behind SG1. Jack did not think he understood at first. All three teenagers were dressed in patchless versions of SGC fatigues and were of an identical age. The young Teal'c lacked the gold brand of Apophis and if it was not for the fact they were patently a couple years underdeveloped, they could have been any recent graduates of the Academy. The smile the brown-haired boy at Carter's shoulder gave him was pure Daniel, however.
Wordlessly, Daniel and Teal'c - the older versions - moved out of the Gateroom. Jack knew they would watch from the observation room, but the gesture was appreciated. Carter might have done the same except he needed her in case Jon did not handle this...well. Her eyelids flickered as he silently ordered her to stay put, but otherwise did not react.
Young Teal'c cocked his head."Do you not recognize us O'Neill?"
Jon started to shake his head, then he started to shake. Jack felt his nerves begin to twitch nervously as the young Carter approached Jon slowly. She did not flinch as his eyes sought hers, but she did not reach out to touch him.
"Option four, Sir." she told him seriously.
Jon shook his head violently, in denial. "What have you done? Do you know what you have done?"
Daniel looked annoyed,"Course we did, Jack. The Asgard made sure of that."
Jon looked dazed,"Why?"
Teal'c tilted his head thoughtfully, deliberately misinterpreting the question. "I believe they wished to make sure we understood the consequenses of what we did."
Jon started suddenly and waved his arms wildly,"Do you have any idea what you've done to yourselves? What this means?"
Carter shrugged," We're willing to battle the Goa'uld with you, Sir. We have died with you. Highschool should be a snap."
Jon glared at her," Carter..."
She looked him in the eye.
"We don't leave our people behind, Jack."