Two days later, Daniel was just about at his wit's end. The entire base knew that he'd beaten a Jaffa in hand-to-hand combat, but most of them didn't know the details on how he'd accomplished it. Because of this, his image on base had grown substantially, particularly among the marines, who kept giving him slaps on the back and little congratulatory smiles. It was more than a little disconcerting for the modest archeologist, who really wished that people would stop making a big deal out of everything.
He was presently on his way to a meeting that General Hammond had called. Daniel had no idea what it was about and hoped that some new crisis hadn't arisen.
Daniel caught sight of Sam ahead of him and hurried a little to catch up with her.
"Hi. So, do you know what this meeting is about?"
"Not a clue. My spidey sense isn't tingling, so maybe it's nothing bad."
Sam stared at him. "'Spidey sense'?"
"Ah, yes. That's Jack's newest name for my ability to sense that something's about to happen."
Sam thought about the comparison. "You do have to admit that it fits, Daniel. It is a lot like Spiderman."
"Oh, pleeeease don't encourage him, Sam," Daniel pleaded. "If I wasn't such a nice guy, I really think that I'd have strangled him by now."
Sam's smile got bigger. "It's only because you are a nice guy that the colonel knows he can get away with it, Daniel."
"Yeah, well, there are all levels of 'nice', and I'm beginning to think that maybe Jack will cool it if he goes to get in his truck some morning and finds that the engine is sitting up in a tree in his backyard."
A startled burst of laughter erupted from Sam. She looked at Daniel with wide eyes. "You wouldn't . . . would you?"
"I'm seriously considering it. As Jack told me, I'm no saint, and I can be pushed just so far. It's largely due to him and his bragging that I've got almost the entire population of marines on base just about worshiping the ground I walk on."
Sam laughed softly. "Poor Daniel," she commiserated.
The archeologist shot her a glare. "Yes, I know you probably think it's funny, too."
Sam tried to curb her smile, but couldn't quite succeed. "Okay, so I admit that I am enjoying the idea that a man who has three PhD's and spent a good part of his life saddled with names like 'geek', 'dweeb' and 'four-eyes' is now an object of worship to an entire base full of tough, testosterone-driven marines."
Daniel stopped walking, which made Sam stop as well. His expression thoughtful, he mulled over that for a few seconds.
"You know, putting it that way, it is kind of funny, isn't it," he said at last, smiling.
The two friends laughed and resumed their walk to the briefing room. Jack and Teal'c were already there when they arrived. Hammond came in a few seconds later.
"Yesterday, the president informed me that he has decided to have a documentary about the Stargate Program filmed," the general told them.
"What?!" three voices exclaimed at the same time. Daniel, Sam and Jack all glanced at each other. It was Sam who continued.
"Sir, has the president chosen to make the program known to the public?"
"No, he has not. This documentary will be filmed in secret and will not be aired unless a day comes that the program does become public knowledge."
"Then what's the purpose of it?" Jack asked.
"As you are all aware, this administration is virtually over. Very soon, a new president will be elected."
"Ah, I get it. The president wants to get this done before he leaves office so that he won't look so bad if the population does find out about the Stargate. He's been keeping an awfully big secret from the American people for close to seven years, eight years, if you count from the day the gate was first reopened and we duked it out with Ra. That's his entire time in office."
"I wouldn't put it exactly that way, Colonel, but that is the gist of it."
"So, we're going to have a film crew here?" Daniel asked.
Hammond gave a nod. "They will arrive on Sunday."
"How much are they going to be told?"
The tension in Daniel's voice made the general suspect that the archeologist was concerned about something, and he was pretty sure he knew what it was.
"Don't worry, Doctor Jackson. The president and I had a talk about this, and we agreed that, for your sake, not to mention your safety, your paranormal abilities will not be revealed to those who film this documentary. All references to those abilities will be deleted from the copies of the reports we give to them."
Daniel visibly relaxed. "Thank you, sir."
"What about everything else?" Jack questioned. "Are they going to have full access to the gate and everything?"
"No, Colonel, they will not," Hammond replied. "I will not have them interfering with the operations of this base or threatening the security of any ongoing missions or the safety of the people here. I have my orders from the president, and I will follow them to the letter . . . but only to the letter."
"Now, the reason why I chose to tell all of you about this first is that you are SG-1, our first SG team, and, as such, this . . ." Hammond glanced down at the papers before him, "Emmett Bregman will no doubt want to interview all of you."
"Oh, joy," Jack grumbled.
Sam thought of something. "Sir--"
She never got the chance to finish her sentence, for, just then, the familiar sight of an Asgard beam lit the room, and Thor appeared.
"Thor, buddy!" Jack exclaimed. "How nice of you to drop in."
"It is good to see you as well, O'Neill," said the little grey alien. "The Asgard received your request for aid in finding a new planet for your Alpha Site. We were saddened to hear of the attack on the old location. We will, of course, give you what information we can on suitable planets."
"Thank you, Thor," General Hammond said. "That will be greatly appreciated."
"I am here regarding another matter as well," Thor told them. "We have recently learned about an individual who is apparently working with the rebel Jaffa against the Goa'uld. It is said that he is also an ally of Earth. What do you know of this Dan'yar?"
Daniel let out a loud groan, dropping his head onto his crossed arm. "Oh, I really don't need this," he mumbled pathetically.
"Is there a problem, Doctor Jackson?" Thor asked, puzzled.
An enormous grin plastered on his face, Jack got up and walked over to Thor, placing his hand on the Asgard's shoulder.
"Thor, old buddy, old pal. Have I got a surprise for you. It is my great, great, great pleasure to introduce you to the mighty, the powerful Dan'yar." He gestured at Daniel with a big flourish.
Jack considered himself lucky that he wasn't instantly turned to ash by the glare that Daniel subjected him to when the archeologist lifted his head. In fact, was it his imagination or did it suddenly get warmer in here?
"I do not understand," Thor said. "Doctor Jackson is Dan'yar?"
"Yep, he sure is," Jack replied, still beaming. "The great Dan'yar is our own unassuming Danny Boy. Ain't that a trip?" Okay, now he was certain it was getting hotter in here.
"But we have heard that this Dan'yar possesses very powerful psychic abilities, beyond what any human has ever demonstrated."
"Oh, don't we know it, Thor," Jack crowed, still ignoring the warning signs. "You should see Daniel here in action. Why, he'd blow your little socks right o--"
"Jack!" Daniel snapped.
The colonel looked at him. "Yes, Daniel?"
"Tell me something. Are you feeling a bit warm right now?" The man's expression gave Daniel his answer. "Would you like to feel even warmer?"
Uh oh. "I should shut up?" Jack asked.
"That might be wise."
"I can do that."
Sam was trying with all her might not to laugh, Teal'c had an actual smile on his face, and Hammond appeared more amused than any of them had ever seen. Thor just looked utterly confused.
Daniel turned his attention to the Asgard. "What Jack is trying to say in his own unique way is that, yes, I am Dan'yar, and probably most of what you've heard is true."
"But how is this possible?"
"Well, it turns out that I wasn't returned to human form quite the same as I was before I ascended."
As briefly as possible, the archeologist filled the Asgard in on what had been going on since he discovered his abilities.
"This should not be possible," Thor said. "Your ascension and return to human form could not entirely account for such an extreme evolutionary advancement."
"It couldn't?" Daniel, Sam and Jack all said simultaneously.
"There would have to have been a preexisting genetic anomaly present in order for the transformation to take place."
"But wouldn't you have known about that already?" Jack asked. "You knew that I was advanced."
"We only scanned your DNA, O'Neill, because the knowledge of the Ancients was downloaded into your brain. We would have had no reason to do so otherwise, and such a reason has never occurred for Doctor Jackson."
"You mean that I might be like Jack?" Daniel asked.
"From what you have told me, I believe that you may be much higher up on the evolutionary chain than O'Neill."
"Well, that's not fair," Jack said. "I liked being more advanced."
"With your permission, I would like to scan your DNA, as well as the structure of your brain," Thor said to Daniel.
"Can Carter, Teal'c and I come, too?" Jack asked the Asgard.
SG-1 got to their feet. A moment later, they were on Thor's ship.
"Please stand there," the Asgard instructed the archeologist, pointing to a particular spot. Daniel did so, and a beam of light illuminated him for a few seconds.
"I am finished with the scan, Doctor Jackson," Thor said.
Daniel came over to where the Asgard was standing in front of a console. His teammates joined him.
"This is extraordinary," Thor said, and no one could mistake his tone as anything but excitement.
"Then he is advanced like me?" Jack asked.
"No, these results are different from what we found in your DNA, O'Neill. We discovered that you possess a very specific genetic anomaly, one that we had never encountered before. Doctor Jackson's scan is showing something entirely different," Thor looked at the archeologist, "and, in one way, it is something that we have seen before."
"What are you saying?" Sam asked.
"Doctor Jackson's genetic makeup is displaying many similarities to that of the Ancients prior to their ascension."
The announcement left everyone staring at him in stunned silence. Daniel suddenly felt like he needed to sit down.
"Daniel's an Ancient?" Sam asked in a hushed voice.
"No," Thor replied. "Physically and genetically, he is not at that level of advancement, but he is much closer to it than I could ever have thought possible."
"Then the Ancients could do all the things I can even before they ascended?" Daniel asked in surprise.
"No, they could not, and that is another way in which you are different from them. The scan of your brain indicates that several areas not normally used by humans have become fully active."
"That's what our doctors discovered," Sam said. "You see, it is believed by some people on Earth that all humans have a potential for psychic abilities, but that we can't normally access those parts of the brain."
Thor's head dipped slightly. "Such a belief is true. Humans do have a latent potential for what you call psychic abilities, but it is largely undeveloped and unusable. In time, as your race evolves, such abilities will become available to you. The Ancients evolved substantially in this regard, which is the reason why they possessed certain abilities."
"Like the power to heal others," Daniel said, having read how the Ancient found frozen in Antarctica healed almost everyone who became ill from the plague.
Thor nodded. "Yes. But, in studying these scans, Doctor Jackson, it is evident that there is a very noticeable increase in the development of the areas of your brain from which such abilities originate, far beyond what you would likely see in any normal human even millions of years from now. What has happened to you is far more than just an evolutionary advancement. It is a physical mutation."
Okay, now Daniel really needed to sit down. Since there were no chairs available, he leaned heavily against the console instead. "So, what are you saying?" he asked, his distress evident in his voice, "that I'm not entirely human anymore?"
"Technically, you are still human, but, in many ways, you are what the human race may be in the distant future if your species learns the secret of successfully manipulating and mutating the development of your brains."
Concerned by the look on Daniel's face, Sam touching his arm. "Daniel? Are you okay?" Sam realized the stupidity of the question as soon as she asked it. Did he look okay?
"No, not really," the archeologist replied, "but I guess this is just one more surprise added to my life." He lifted his head and gave her a forced smile.
Sam gave Daniel's hand a squeeze and looked at Thor. "So, what is all of this going to mean for him?" she asked.
"I am unsure of how your leaders will react to this news," Thor replied, "but, for Doctor Jackson's protection, we will safeguard his genetic code by placing a marker in his DNA, just as we did with O'Neill, which will prevent any kind of genetic manipulation. However, this is something that I would not want to do yet. In studying these readings, I believe it is possible that his DNA is the key to solving our problem with genetic degradation."
"Okay, now that's really unfair," Jack whined. "I'm not advanced enough to help you out with you little cloning problem, but Daniel is?"
Daniel rolled his eyes at Jack's remark. "Okay, so if my genetic code is what you need, what does that mean? Do you need to take some samples of my DNA?"
"DNA samples will not be needed at this time. I will give this data I gathered from the scan to our scientists. If they believe that there is hope, we would be most appreciative if you would allow us to take a sample of your DNA for study."
"Why don't you go ahead and take the sample now? You must have a way of preserving it."
"I did not wish to ask for a sample unless it became necessary."
"Go ahead and take it, Thor," Daniel told him. "I don't mind. And it'll save you a trip to come get it later."
"Thank you, Doctor Jackson. I will take you to the ship's lab now."
Thor and Daniel vanished in a flash of light. They were only gone for a couple of minutes.
"Well, that was fast," Jack said.
"Actually, sir, it doesn't take long to get a DNA sample," Sam responded. "It's really quite easy."
"Ah, so Daniel isn't missing any body parts now?"
"No, Jack, all my body parts are still right where they're supposed to be," Daniel replied. He turned to Thor. "What about the information on suitable planets for our new Alpha Site?"
"I will download coordinates and any other information you will need into your computers. There are a number of planets that your Prometheus could reach within several days that may be suitable for your purposes."
"Thanks," Sam said.
Jack looked around. "So, Thor. Is this a new ship? It looks new."
"Indeed it is, O'Neill. It is one of our newest and most advanced designs."
"Sweet. Soooo . . . did you by chance name it the O'Neill?" There was a hopeful smile on the colonel's face.
"There was already an Asgard ship named the O'Neill."
"Well, yes, I know that."
"It was destroyed."
"Yes, I know that, too. You and Carter blew it up on its maiden voyage. But there was more than one Enterprise on Star Trek. There was a whole slew of them. I think that the O'Neill II would have a nice ring to it."
"We did not consider naming another ship after you, O'Neill. I will bring this up at the next council meeting."
"Thanks. That would be nice of you."
"So, what did you name this ship?" Sam asked.
Thor looked at Daniel. "The Daniel Jackson."
"Okay, now that's really, really not fa. . . ."
". . . ir." Jack's exclamation was completed in the briefing room, which they had all suddenly found themselves back in.
"Hey, now, that was just plain rude, Thor!" Jack yelled up at the ceiling.
"Why in the world would they name a ship after me?" Daniel asked, utterly perplexed.
"Well, Daniel, you do have a knack for surviving through an awful lot," Sam replied. "Maybe the Asgard figured that, if they named a ship after you, it would inherit that ability and manage to . . ." a tiny smile flitted across her face, "survive longer than the O'Neill did."
"Oh, very funny, Carter," Jack groused. "You should take it on the road." He looked at Daniel. "You know, I'm beginning to think that the Asgard like you better than me now. You're more genetically advanced, your DNA might be just what they need, and they've named their newest ship after you. I think I'm jealous."
"Cheer up, Jack," Daniel responded. "I may have an Asgard ship named after me, but remember that they named one after you first."
A pleased smile lit Jack's feature. "Yeah, you're right. They did." He became serious. "I really didn't mean what I said about them naming a ship after you, you know. I'm glad that the Asgard appreciate all the things you've done for them."
By the time SG-1 had finished reporting to Hammond, the information from Thor had come through and was being looked over. There were several good possibilities for the new location of the Alpha Site. It would be up to the crew of the Prometheus to explore each planet and find the best one. Once they chose a location, they would set up the Stargate from the old Alpha Site, along with a DHD taken from someplace that no longer needed it. Once that was completed, crews would go through and begin construction of the new base.
The following day, Daniel went to the infirmary at Janet's request. She led him into her office.
"I read the report on what Thor said about you, Daniel," she told him. "So, how do you feel about that?"
"I'm . . . not really sure," Daniel admitted. "Kind of numb, I guess. A little . . . disconcerted." He saw the doctor's expression. "Okay, more than a little. I've just found out that, not only have I been bumped up the evolutionary tree hundreds of thousands of years, perhaps even millions of years, my brain has also been mutated into something that's no longer fully human. How should I feel?"
"Well, if I were you, I'd be in shock. But, Daniel, Thor was right when he said that you are still human. One of the doctors that I went to medical school with became a geneticist, and one of his fields of research is gene manipulation. He has mutated the genes of hundreds of frogs and other lower life forms, yet, no matter how much he mutates them, those frogs are still frogs. They don't become another form of life. Regardless of how your brain has been physically mutated, you are definitely still human. Even Ayiana, the Ancient we found, was basically human."
"In my mind, I know that you're right, Janet, but it's still upsetting."
A nurse knocked on the door and told Janet that someone had just come in with what appeared to be a sprained wrist. The doctor thanked her and rose to her feet, as did Daniel.
"Remember, Daniel. If you ever need to talk to someone about this, I'm right here," she said.
"Thanks, Janet. I appreciate that."
The doctor gave his arm a little squeeze. At the contact, a sudden chill slid down Daniel's spine, causing him to stiffen.
"Daniel? Is something wrong?"
"I . . . don't know." The archeologist looked at the doctor closely. "If it wasn't for my experiences of the past few months, I'd say it was just my imagination, but . . . take extra care, all right?"
Janet frowned. "Daniel, what are you saying?"
"I'm saying that I have one of those bad feelings again, Janet, and it has something to do with you. So, just be really careful, okay?"
Janet was silent for a long moment. "Okay, Daniel. I'll be careful."
Daniel left the infirmary, the feeling clinging to him that something was going to happen soon, something terrible, something he may not have the power to stop, no matter how hard he tried.
To be continued.
Okay, that's it for this part. Thanks to everyone who gave me reviews.