The Quiet Life
DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This was written for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the authors. Not to be archived without permission of the author.
RATING: Adult, contains swearing and violence
SEQUEL: Across the Divide, Across the Divide: touch and go, Across the Divide: Acquaintances in the dark, Across the Divide: A walk in the woods, Rope Bridges, Crossing Over
AUTHORS NOTES: Huge, and I really do mean huge, thanks to Meg who foolishly offered to beta for me and has done such a wonderful job. Be warned that this is an AU and will make absolutely no sense unless you've read the Across the Divide series, Rope Bridges and Crossing Over. Apologies for time lag between this part and the last part, what can I say except I'm very, very lazy. Thank you to everyone who sent feedback, it's much appreciated and I hope you enjoy the fic.
Time and pain did not mix well. Pain dragged time to eternity, made days heavy with unspent minutes. Sam glared at the ceiling and rolled over onto her right. There were no windows in her room, there were no pictures, and there wasn't even an interesting paint job. The beep of her heart monitor was a familiar background noise by now, as was the burble of voices beyond her door.
Sam was a patient in the infirmary in the SGC for 5 weeks now. She still couldn't recall her arrival, although she was told she was conscious at the time. She cringed to think of what she might have said, but her memory never coughed up any answers. Her first 2 weeks came to her in dribs and drabs. She remembered being told she had undergone surgery in Alaska to help stop the bleeding from the gunshot wound in her leg.
She remembered a petite doctor reeling off a laundry list of injuries. The only ones that stuck were broken ribs, mainly because she was reminded of them every time she inhaled, and something about bruising. Her first days were fuzzy from painkillers and hours spent sleeping. At the time she didn't know it, but it would turn out that these days would be the best. The drugs kept her wrapped in cotton wool so that her mind floated free from her body and kept her nightmares at bay. As she was slowly weaned off her painkillers, her nights were filled with dark figures, harsh words, and pain. She relived her torture over and over, until sleep became an enemy to wage war against every night.
Nightmares were not the only thing disturbing Sam's rest. As she lay on her hard infirmary bed she became increasingly aware of her surroundings. When she had been in too much pain to open her eyes, the comings and goings around went un-noticed. However, as time passed, and she was awake for longer each day, she could not ignore the people around her. Especially when she was a curiosity to them, something to stare at and study as they waited for their medical exams. And after the curiosity wore off the hostility began. At first it was whispered words under their breath, but soon it escalated, voices raised about normal just to make sure she wouldn't miss what was said.
"Another NID agent arrested today, what I wouldn't give to have an hour alone in a room with them."
"Nothing worse then a traitor, if you ask me, I have more respect for the crap I wipe off my shoes."
It became so bad that the diminutive, domineering doctor moved her to a private room, away from prying eyes and harsh words. In a way it was a reprieve, but it also completed her isolation. She had plenty of time to recuperate, far too much time in fact. In the NID she would be given half the time to recover physically, and probably less than a week before paperwork would be placed on her lap.
In the small quiet room, out of the way, Sam was slowly but surely going insane. The only reason she hadn't dived off that cliff yet was her occasional visits from the members of SG-1. For some reason beyond her comprehension, Jack O'Neill took her on as a pet project. He dropped in on her with girly magazines and base gossip about people she didn't know. His team came with him sometimes, Doctor Daniel Jackson and Teal'c. Jackson even dropped by on his own once. He was bright eyed and bushy tailed so to speak and seemed to take great joy in picking her brain with regards to the Ancients. She gave him anything she had, grateful for the human interaction. Teal'c was, as far as Sam could tell, the strong and silent type. She didn't pick up a hint of hostility from him, which was more then she could say for the other personnel on base.
As friendly as SG-1 were, they still had jobs to do which frequently involved going off world for a number of days. Sam could go days where her only conversation was the yes/no answer to 'are you feeling better today?', 'can I get you anything?'.
It turns out the worst combination was time, pain and boredom. It was worse than any torture the NID had ever inflicted on her.
"Well that wasn't really what I was hoping for." Daniel shouted about the din.
"Ya think?" Jack growled as he ducked another blast.
"We must return to Earth before the inhabitants seize control of the gate." Teal'c ignored their bickering, slightly more preoccupied with the men firing on them.
Daniel burrowed through his pockets, "They took my GDO."
"It's alright I have one." Jack popped his head above their cover to count the number of men firing at them.
"I count 3."
"There are 4, O'Neill." Teal'c corrected him.
"Really?" Jack was surprised.
"The fourth is hidden behind the pillar to our right."
Jack didn't bother checking, he knew better then to question Teal'c.
"You think we could Zat them without getting hit?"
"I believe so O'Neill."
"Good. I'll take left, you take right."
Teal'c nodded in agreement.
"Hey." Daniel said affronted. "What about me?"
"I think you've done enough for one day Daniel." Jack muttered before pushing himself up with his zat raised.
"Colonel, you're back early." General Hammond stood at the end of the metal ramp leading to the gate and scanned the expressions on the faces of his front line team.
"There was a slight hiccup." Jack pulled the cap off his head and ran his fingers through his head.
"Hiccup." The General echoed, confused.
"The local inhabitants fired upon us." Teal'c informed him.
"I thought the locals were friendly."
"Yeah, well, so did we." Jack said ruefully, "Daniel insulted them."
"I didn't insult them Jack." Daniel glared at him and then turned to the General. "They were asking me about my GDO and how it worked, and then about our level of technology. I couldn't really answer their question and they got a bit… annoyed."
"Annoyed?" Jack scrunched his cap in his hand. "They shot at us Daniel!"
"That's all I did Jack I swear, they just over reacted."
The General interrupted before Jack could get in his next insult. "Should we be worried about this?"
"The civilisation did appear to posses advanced technology." Teal'c answered him.
"Yeah but they stole it all." Jack added.
"Excuse me?" The General didn't like the sound of that.
"From the little time we spent there we think that they might have actually stolen all the technology." Daniel explained further.
"Since they now have possession of a GDO I believe it would be wise to change the iris codes." Teal'c added.
General Hammond nodded, "We'll debrief in an hour. I believe Doctor Fraiser is waiting for you." He dismissed them before disappearing off to his office.
"So how's Carter today, Doc?" Jack asked as he hopped off the infirmary bed.
Janet Fraiser stood before him scribbling something in his file. Daniel and Teal'c stood by the door waiting for him.
"Hum." Janet mumbled without looking up.
"Hey Doc, how's about a little eye contact?"
Janet raised her eyes without lifting her head and glared at Jack. Since Jack had been on the receiving end of Janet's glare for about 3 years now, he was unfazed.
The Doctor sighed heavily and flicked the medical file shut.
"She's doing well Colonel. The phyiso says she's making good progress and she should be back to full strength in the next 3 weeks or so."
Jack grinned at her, "Thanks Doc, tell her I'll call in on her later today."
"We're going to be late Jack." Daniel complained from the doorway, causing Jack to roll his eyes to heaven and causing Janet to repress a smile.
It was two hours since the commotion in the infirmary. Sam had snuck out of her bed and through a crack in the door saw the arrival of an injured SG team. She wasn't sure what had happened to them, but it didn't appear life threatening. It was enough to keep the staff busy though, which was just what Sam wanted.
As best as she could figure, it was about 3 o'clock in the morning, which hopefully meant that the base would be pretty quiet. The ideal time for her to breakout. She was beyond bored of her stuffy little room with no one to talk to and nothing to do. She knew that SG1 had returned from their mission today because she had heard their friendly banter but they hadn't come to visit her. She was disappointed but not surprised. She was nothing to these people, and she had learned long ago never to expect much from anyone.
She flicked off her heart monitor and unhooked the few remaining leads from her body. Sliding her feet to the ground, she paused for a moment as the shock of the cold concert floor passed through her feet. She padded quietly to her door and opened it slowly. There was one nurse doing paper work at the staff desk, and Doctor Fraiser was at the far end of the infirmary checking on her new patients. They no longer bothered to check on Sam at night, confident that she wouldn't suddenly die in her sleep.
She waited until Fraiser had her back turned to Sam and the door to study a medical chart before she squeezed her body through the smallest gap possible in the door. It clicked quietly shut behind her. She froze and held her breath, but her entrance into the room went unnoticed. She moved for the exit, glad her feet were bare and silent. The nurse at the desk was humming badly as Sam slid around the corner and out of the room. As soon as she was clear, she jogged down the corridor. Her leg protested at the sudden movement of her long time idle limb, but it was a dull ache that Sam could easily handle.
Now all she had to do was figure out where she was going. She gingerly took the next left she came to and wandered down the corridor until she heard the low hum of a computer from a door left ajar. She stopped and listened for voices within but when it remained silent she stuck her head around the door. The room was dark but for a desk light glowing dimly and a screen saver flitting across a monitor. Sam slipped into the room and shut the door behind her.
She sat down and clicked the mouse to bring the computer back to life. She quickly pulled up a plan of the base and memorised the route she'd have to take. Now knowing where she had to go she moved confidently from the room.
Sam was almost there, blood was pumping loudly in her ears and her senses were on high alert, as she grew closer to her destination. Knowing that she didn't have a swipe card to even access the elevator, and even if she did she would undoubtedly meet someone in the elevator, she had just climbed up 4 floors by metal ladder.
She stilled as two guards wandered idly by the end of the corridor too engrossed in their conversation to notice Sam. She waited until quiet descended again and then moved as quickly as her leg would allow down the corridor. Hoping her memory was still up to scratch after her many idle weeks she took the first left, third right and then the last door at the end of the corridor.
The swing door opened on silent hinges and Sam stepped through. She groped blindly along the walls for a few minutes before her fingers found the light switch. The fluorescent lights flicked and then hummed into life. Before Sam was the main locker room of the SGC. Lockers lined both walls, with wooden benches running parallel to the lockers. Sam ran her fingers along the name plates stuck to each metal door. She pulled one open at random and inspected the contents. A shaving kit was haphazardly discarded on the top self, it's contents spilling out of the bag. A picture of a smiling brunette holding a baby was taped to the inside of the door.
A jacket was hung up, and a pair of brown boots and jeans were dumped under it. A canvas bag lay half buried in the corner of the locker and Sam dragged it out. She unzipped it to find a pair of grey USAF sweats and a black T-shirt. She picked up the T-shirt and pushed the material to her nose, happy to find that they gym gear was in fact clean. She quickly dragged her infirmary issue scrubs off and pulled on the sweats. The soft cotton felt good on her skin and the T-shirt felt far more substantial then the thin green top she was forced to wear.
Sam rolled the waistband of the sweats up a number of times until she was satisfied that she wouldn't trip over the ends. She returned to the bag to find a pair of sneakers 2 sizes too big for her and a can of deodorant. No socks. Wiggling her cold toes on the concert floor before she had another quick look through the locker but still no socks. She would have to do without, besides her feet by now where so numb she could barely feel the cold. Violating one person's privacy was enough for her in one day, so she left the rest of the lockers untouched and headed for another door that led out of the locker room.
She made sure to flick the lights back off before she pushed the door open and entered another dark room.
Teal'c grew tired of his pursuit of sleep and pushed himself up and off his narrow cot. Although he no longer had a larva and therefore needed sleep he could still function on far less hours in the land of nod then than humans. The attack on them today had driven his adrenaline levels up, but their hasty retreat through the Stargate left him with no release.
He would go to the gym, he decided, and use up his excess energy before he was called on duty again. There was 2 hours before his new day started, plenty of time to burn energy, shower and grab something to eat. He changed into his gym gear and began his familiar route to the gym.
The base was still quiet, with minimal staff covering their posts. Teal'c liked this time, twilight in the base. He had grown accustomed to the hustle and bustle of the Tau'ri but he still favoured the quiet his people carried out their lives in.
Teal'c paused as he pushed open the door to the gym surprised that the lights were on. The dull thud of a punch bag being hit was the only noise in the room. It was not unusual to find SGC personnel doing strange things at strange hours but it wasn't that common either.
Teal'c dropped his towel and water bottle by the door and headed in the direction of the punch bag to investigate. Samantha Carter was attacking the bag with some fever. She moved stiffly obviously favouring her un-injured leg, but her punches were sharp, strong and fused with the intensity of emotion. He watched her move around the bag, jabbing at it constantly, her breathing regular, her actions controlled.
He was impressed by her strength and control, more so since he knew of her injuries. He also knew that she probably shouldn't be exercising so vigorously so soon after her near death experience.
Her head snapped around, her hands still mid punch. He raised his eyebrow and waited for a response from her, she stared back. Silence descended and Teal'c, for once, decided to be the first to speak.
"I was unaware Janet Fraiser released you from the infirmary."
"Well she's unaware of it, too." She replied, dropping her hands to her side and turning to face him.
Teal'c was amused but didn't express it,
"Perhaps she would be more inclined to release you if she believed you would not over exert yourself."
"Point taken." Carter moved away from the punch bag and stooped to pick up a water bottle.
"Perhaps you would like to join me for coffee in the canteen." Teal'c offered. His workout could wait.
She paused, surprised by his offer but also wary of it.
"It will be quiet at this hour, we will be undisturbed." He reassured her silent fears.
She nodded once, "Thank you, I'd appreciate the company."
They travelled through the SGC in silence, neither speaking until they were seated in the farthest corner of the canteen. There were two people serving in the canteen and one very tired looking scientist slumped over a report and cold cup of coffee.
"Have you given much thought to Colonel O'Neill's offer?" Teal'c asked her.
"You mean joining the SGC." Sam muttered before taking a soothing sip of her piping hot coffee.
She shrugged, "I can't see it happening really."
"Colonel O'Neill seems most confident that you will accept." Teal'c revealed.
"Well I don't think I'm all that welcome around these parts." She added gruffly.
Teal'c raised an eyebrow in query,
"Folks haven't been all that welcoming. I don't think they appreciate my former employers."
They lapsed back into silence, Teal'c mulling over her words.
"When I arrived here," Teal'c began slowly still uneasy with revealing emotions after all these years, "many treated with me with distrust. In time I gained their trust, I believe given time they will accept you, and that you will prove to them you deserve their trust."
"What makes you so sure I'm worth all this, that I won't betray you all?" Sam eyed him, her stare inquisitive.
"Your actions have proven your loyalty and valour." Teal'c pointed out as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"And what about my past actions, you don't think I'll be judged on those?"
"I too carried out many dark deeds in my past. Actions that you carry out against your will do not reflect on who you are, your recent actions, however, were of your own making, they are a true reflection of the person that you are, Samantha Carter."
Sam grinned at him, "Didn't have you down as a philosopher Teal'c, or is it a Jaffa trait?"
Sam finished her coffee with reluctance still holding her cup soaking up its dying heat.
"If you do not remain in the SGC, where would you go?"
"Not sure really, I can't go anywhere on Earth, too many people wanting me dead." She stared off into the middle distance, a frown creasing her forehead. "I won't ever see my family again," she smiled weakly and with no warmth, "it's probably for the best."
"I too miss my family, but I fight for their freedom, for their safety."
"You must make them proud." Sam's eyes were focused on him once more.
Teal'c nodded once at her kind words, "Perhaps you could live off world," Teal'c suggested, "It is most unlikely that the NID could harm you there."
"You know that's not a bad idea."
Jack rubbed the palm of his hand into his still sleep-blurred eyes and headed to the canteen on automatic pilot. He glanced at his watch and scowled at the time. 06:30. That gave him half an hour to grab something to eat and some coffee before meeting Hammond for his oh so early briefing.
He grabbed some toast and a large mug of coffee in the quiet canteen and was surprised to find Teal'c already seated at a far table and even more surprised to see who was seated opposite him.
He dropped his tray heavily on the table the pair were sitting at, and dropped himself even more ungraciously onto the chair next to Teal'c.
"I didn't know you'd gained your freedom." He spoke to Carter before taking a large bite of his toast.
"Jail break." She informed him.
He grinned at her, "Janet will punish you for that." He chuckled, familiar with Janet's punishments for defying her rule.
"I'm sure I've survived worse." She replied deadpan.
Jack squirmed, a little uncomfortable, not knowing whether she was joking or not, he quickly changed the subject.
"So what are you two hens gossiping about?"
"We were discussing Samantha Carter's plans for the future." Teal'c answered him.
Jack stared at him before taking another bite of his toast, "Didn't know you were a guidance counsellor T."
Teal'c raised his 'confused' eyebrow at Jack but he didn't get time to answer.
"Teal'c was telling me you guys have an Alpha site. I was wondering if they could do with another scientist out there." Sam spoke studying him for his reaction.
"I thought you might hang out here with us." Jack was surprised by this turn around; he just presumed Carter would stay at the SGC.
"You mean stay trapped on base for the rest of my life, never seeing daylight." Her joke coloured with the truth.
"Well I wouldn't go that far…" Jack began to argue but Sam was hearing none of it.
"If I stay, I'll never be able to go anywhere freely without worrying about my safety, which leaves me stuck on this base. I can't say that I find the offer all that attractive."
"Well I suppose I could speak to the General about it but I really think…" Jack was cut off again but, this time it was by the base alarm going off.
"Unscheduled off world activation." Walter's voice boomed over the loudspeaker accompanied by a flashing red light.
"We better go see what that's about?" Jack waved to the loudspeaker on the wall while rising to his feet.
"Go, I'll go face Janet." Carter rose too, and watched with some amusement as Jack tried to hurry from the room without spilling his coffee.
Jack made it to the control room with minimal spillage, which left him feeling smug. Teal'c thankfully was more focused,
"What appears to the problem?" He asked Walter.
"We're receiving a signal from P3XY221"
That got Jack's attention, "As in the planet full of thieves we just got back from."
"Well I'll be…"
"What kind of signal are they transmitting?" Teal'c spoke over Jack."
"To tell the truth I don't know, I've never seen anything like it. We're analysing it now but it appears to be a multi layer signal."
"I don't care what kind of signal it is Walter, it's bad news if it's from that immoral dump, shut the gate down."
"Yes sir." The gate died as Walter spoke his last word, which caused the man to blink.
"That seemed quicker than usual." Jack looked down at Walter in confusion.
"I didn't do that sir."
"If you didn't do that, who did." Jack asked ominously.
The lights flickered above them causing all three men to look up.
"I do not believe that that is of human origin." Both men looked at Teal'c and then at the computer screen he was studying.
"What the hell is that?" Jack's voice rose as he saw the unfamiliar script quickly scrolling down all the computer screens in the control room.
"The computer isn't responding to any commands sir." Walter's voice wavered unhappy with giving O'Neill bad news.
"Stop it." Jack commanded.
"But sir the computers aren't…" Walter looked up at him helplessly.
"Pull the plug, Walter. I don't want what ever the hell that is spreading."
"Yes sir." Walter mumbled suitably chastised.
The screens blanked as the power was flicked off.
"I want to know what the hell that was and what the hell it was trying to do!" Jack commanded, his voice still raised.
Jack tapped lightly on the wooden door, wary of disturbing a harassed looking General. The man waved him inside and onto the chair opposite him while he finished his phone call.
The General hung up the phone heavily and looked at the Jack grimly.
"I take it that there's no good news sir."
The General leaned back in his chair and stretched out his back.
"Nothing new, I'm afraid, Colonel. I authorised the techs in the IT department to start up one of the base computers but so far they can't find a trace of any foreign script or programming." He finished with a frown.
"So, what now sir?" Jack asked, somewhat flummoxed.
The General's frown deepened, "I'm unhappy with reactivating the base computers but I've been ordered to continue with base operations as normal."
"Pressure from above." Jack surmised.
"They feel that since we have yet to find any trace of the signal within the computers we should allow our off world teams to return and work on the computers in the meantime." General clarified.
"Maybe, but there's no way to find out what this signal has done without turning on the computers in the entire base and we can't keep our men off-world indefinitely." The General finished defeated.
"I guess sir."
The General returned to the paperwork on his desk and Jack stood acknowledging the silent dismissal.
"Sir." Jack paused at the door and turned back to the stressed General. "Can I make a suggestion?"
The General cocked his head, unused to the Colonel asking before he made any comment.
"Maybe we should let Carter look at it?"
"She did design and write most of the computer programmes used in the gate room." Jack pointed out.
"You trust her Colonel."
"Yes sir." came his quick response.
"Well then I'll leave this matter in your hands Colonel."
Jack nodded and left the room.
A tense uneasy hour had passed without event since the base went back on-line. The collective breath of the base was still held but some of the stress was ebbing away.
"Carter." Jack's head appeared around her door. "Been looking for you."
"My punishment for my escape was a particularly long physical." She explained her absence away.
"Ah." He stepped into her room, "Did she use her big needles?"
Sam unconsciously rubbed her hip, which had acted as Janet's pincushion, "Something like that." She winced at the memory.
She handed him a plastic bag, "Could you bring these back to the gym locker room for me and thank who ever I stole them from for me."
"Actually," Jack took the offered bag, "I was wondering if you would do something for us, consider it repayment for the use of the facilities."
"Does it mean I get to leave this room?" She asked hopefully.
"Well, no." Jack felt cruel at the look of disappointment that flashed across her face, "but you do get a computer."
That perked her up.
"We received some strange signal about an hour ago but we can't figure out where it went or what it did."
"That…" she paused looking for the right words, "sounds worrying."
"Since you pretty much made the control room I thought maybe you could figure it out."
"At the moment I'd do anything for a bit of stimulation." Sam spoke without thought and then quickly corrected herself when she saw Jack's eyebrow raised and a grin tug at his lips.
"Intellectual, I mean, intellectual stimulation."
"Right." Jack smoothed his smile, "I'll get someone to send down a laptop, I'm sure it'll keep you stimulated." He was delighted to see her cheeks flush. Who knew the hard-bitten, ex-NID officer was prone to blushing.
Jack nodded and left her to it, heading to the canteen, coffee and some long over due reports that had to be read.
Jack flicked closed his fifth report and doodled idly in his note pad. He eyed the remains of the cold coffee in the mug next to him and debated getting a refill. He had managed to down 3 cups in the past 2 hours but it was the only thing keeping him awake reading damn reports. It didn't help that he was preoccupied. He was waiting for the other shoe to drop since they received that signal which left him in an uneasy state. Something had to come from it, why else would you send a signal through to another world.
The red light above the door flashed into life, accompanied by the all too familiar call,
"Unscheduled off world activation."
Jack briefly dropped his head onto the plastic tabletop and cursed to himself, he hated it when he was right.
Teal'c and General Hammond were already present in the control room when he arrived, both peering ominously at the Stargate, the iris firmly closed.
"What is it?" He asked no one in particular.
"It's P3XY221 again, sir." Walter spoke eyes still glued to his computer screen.
"No sir, we're not receiving a transmission of any kind."
The men returned their focus to the Stargate and waited. Minutes ticked by, the gate remained active but all else was still.
"What are they doing?" Jack spoke more to himself then the room.
"Ah sir." Walter spoke hesitantly.
The General turned to him, "it appears that the computers are no longer responding."
All attention in the room was suddenly pinpointed on Walter.
"What?" Jack snapped.
"Well…" but the man never got to finish his sentence as the blast doors within the gate room slid shut.
"If we can't work the computers who's doing that?" Jack snapped.
"Perhaps the signal we received was a virus that is now in control of the computer systems." Teal'c surmised succinctly.
"Damn it." Jack growled.
The iris slid open and men began to pour through the gate, all heavily armed.
"Seal the base and declare a red alert." The General ordered immediately.
The lights above them flickered before dying. It took a couple of seconds for the emergency lighting to kick in and fill the base with an eerie green light.
"As far as I can tell sir, they've access to all our major systems. Control of the doors, lighting, the gate and we're unable to activate the self destruct."
"You think." Jack asked exasperated.
"It's the best I can do since I can't really get full access to the computers sir." Walter stuttered.
"We need to regain control of this base. Colonel I want you to post men at all exits on this floor. No one is getting out of this base, understood." The General spoke, the voice of authority.
The blast door slid closed across the glass in the control room leaving the men inside blind to what their uninvited guest were doing.
Jack turned and caught the nearest Major next to him.
"I want the power pulled to the gate. I don't want them bringing anything else through the gate."
The man turned without question.
"The people of P3XY221 are more technologically advanced, we must proceed with caution." Teal'c warned.
"Understood." The General nodded and headed for his office, he hoped the phone system was still working.
"With me, Teal'c." Jack called as he hurried from the room.
Both men hurried to the nearest source of weapons, Jack shouting orders as they went, gathering the men he needed together.
Teal'c passed out guns and walkie-talkies from the weaponry as Jack formulated a plan.
"I'll set up a barricade at the eastern blast door, you take the west."
Teal'c nodded in agreement as he strapped a zat to his legs.
"What's going on?" Daniel appeared along side them, flushed from the run from his lab, twitchy from the adrenaline rushing through his body.
"The thieves from P3XY221 have decided to make a house call."
"But, how?" Daniel asked flabbergast.
"It would appear that the signal they sent today has infected the base computers. They are now under their control."
"Oh." Daniel frowned deeply, "That's bad."
"That's a mild way of putting it Daniel."
"Well what can I do to help?"
"Grab a gun and follow me Daniel." Jack told him dismissively.
"What of Samantha Carter?" Teal'c asked.
"What about her?" Jack asked confused.
"She may be of some assistance with regaining control of the computer systems." Teal'c pointed out.
"I'll get her." Daniel automatically volunteered, "You two are better on the front line.
"Here." Jack handed him a walkie-talkie and a zat, "stay in contact." Daniel nodded, shoved the radio into his vest pocket and hurried in the direction of infirmary.
"You know what you have to do T. You 3," Jack pointed at the men before him, "with me."
He moved off to the corridor on his right, leaving Teal'c and the others behind him. They moved swiftly through the dimly light corridors, deserted of people as they all took up their emergency posts. Jack focused intently on the route before him. The half-light, half dark of the base irritated his eyes. They were coming close to the gate room now, and Jack slowed their progress, checking carefully around each corner before travelling future.
A strange noise caught Jack's attention, he raised his hand, the men behind him instantly stopping and dropping down to a squat. Jack listened intently, he was sure he heard something.
The wall to the right of Jack exploded into a cloud of dust as it was hit by an energy blast. The blast knocked Jack onto his side as the spot he'd just occupied was hit by two more shots.
"Take cover." He yelled as he hurriedly back pedalled down the corridor and into and enclave.
Three men dressed in navy ran across the mouth of the corridor and took up defensive position. Three more appeared on the opposite side. All of them began to fire.
"Open fire." Ordered Jack and the air was quickly filed with the bitter smell of gunpowder and hiss of bullets.
A cry went out from one of the men behind Jack and he turned to see the man on his back, bleeding from his shoulder. He was quickly dragged to safety and Jack turned back to the attackers.
He pulled his radio from his jacket pocket and clicked it on.
He let off a volley of bullets and waited for a response.
"O'Neill, we are under fire." Teal'c responded his voice loud and clear over gunfire.
"Same here Teal'c, looks like they move faster then we thought." Jack ducked as a blast hit directly over his head.
Damn it, he muttered to himself.
"We're going to have pull back."
"I believe that would be wise O'Neill."
"I'll meet you at the elevator Teal'c and we'll set up barricade."
"Fall back." Jack shouted over his shoulder before he fired again and retreated.
Daniel edged along the corridors; pleased he had almost reached his final destination. He hated wandering around the SGC in this lighting, talk about making the place creepy. Combined with the fact that there wasn't a sinner to be seen, it just made Daniel think of every cheesy horror movie he'd ever seen. The geeks always got killed in horror movies.
Daniel screamed in a very undignified manner as Janet Fraiser appeared out of the infirmary doorway. He tried to cover it up by coughing but Janet didn't look like she was buying it.
"Do you know what's going on?"
"Armed men are after getting through the Stargate, something to do with that signal we were sent earlier today."
"That doesn't sound too good."
"No, it's probably best if you stay here, any injuries will probably be sent your way." Janet nodded and then went back into the infirmary with Daniel hot on her heels.
"So what brings you here?" She asked him.
"Jack sent me to talk to Carter. She might be able to help out with the computers."
"She's still in her room if you want to speak with her." She nodded to the adjoining room to the infirmary.
The harsh call from the door caused Daniel to spin around. In the doorway were two of the base personal, one carrying the other. Blood was smeared across both their uniforms but it was hard to tell which was bleeding.
"Bruce got hit in the shoulder, he's bleeding fairly badly." The man who had called out informed them.
Janet and her staff flew into action, extracting the wounded man from the grip of the other.
"What happened?" Daniel asked.
"The intruders have moved further into the base then expected. We came under fire and had to retreat. Colonel O'Neill is setting up a barricade at the elevators to prevent them from progressing to any other floor."
The soldier reloaded his gun and turned to go,
"Colonel O'Neill told me to tell you when he gave you a radio he expected you to turn it on not use it as an accessory, Doctor."
Daniel winced and dug the radio out of his pocket,
"Right, thank you." He flicked the radio on. When he looked back up the solider was already gone.
"Jack, can you read me."
"Daniel." Jack's unhappy tone filtered back to Daniel, "Damn it Daniel keep your radio on, that's the whole point of the damn things."
"Alright Jack, I know." Daniel answered agitated by his own stupidity. "What's the situation?"
"We're holding the elevators but it's not much good if these guys can over ride the security and get access to the stairs. We have to get the computers back. What did Carter say?" In the background Daniel could make out the rattle of gunfire and exchange of harsh words.
"I haven't actually spoken to her yet." Daniel replied sheepishly.
"Daniel.." the low rumble to Jack's voice warned Daniel of an out burst so he interjected.
"I'm on my way now; I'll let you know what she says." He quickly flicked the radio off and hoped that Jack would be too distracted to remember it later.
He headed for Sam's room and tapped lightly on the door,
"Yeah." A female voice called out.
Daniel entered the room to find Samantha Carter sitting cross-legged on her infirmary bed studying a laptop. She had managed to find another pair of sweats and a T-shirt although she remained bare foot.
"I guess you heard about the attack."
"Invasion you mean." She glanced up briefly from the computer screen.
"It's not quite that bad."
"I heard, you don't miss much with the nurses around here."
"I thought you might be out fighting." Daniel edged closer and tried to see what she was doing on the computer.
"And give someone a good excuse to shoot me, I don't think so." She added ruefully.
"I was just wondering if you managed to figure anything out about the signal."
"Not much to tell the truth, I'd need to gain access to the base computers really." She flicked the laptop shut and looked at Daniel curiously. "I take it the signal is somehow connected to the unwanted party on base."
"It seems it was some kind of virus. It must have synchronised their technology with ours and they now have control of all the computers on base including the self destruct."
Sam whistled lightly, "So you're in some serious trouble." She stated the obvious. "I could probably help with the computers, at least regain control of some of it but I'd need to get to the control room."
"Right." Daniel nodded unsure about what to do next; deciding to pass the decision on he flicked his radio back on.
"Jack." He spoke into it but static was his only reply, "Jack." he tried again.
"What?" Jack snapped.
"We need to get to the control room." Daniel waited a second for Jack to answer.
"Jack I said we need…"
"I heard you the first time Daniel, it's not going to happen."
"No buts Daniel's we've lost control of the gate room, you'll just have to think of something else." There was shouting in the background and an ominous thud.
"Get back to me when you have more Daniel." This time it was Jack's turn to flick his radio off to end the conversion.
"Well." He looked hopefully at Sam.
She slid off the bed and wrinkled her nose as her feet touched the cold floor.
"Well what, we're still going to the control room."
"But you heard Jack." Daniel protested, "There's no way for us to get there, we aren't even properly armed, I only have a zat."
Carter picked up a CD disk from the bed and slid it into her waistband, pulling her t-shirt down to cover it.
"What's that?" Daniel asked suspiciously.
"A computer program I've been working on." She answered a little too vaguely for Daniel's liking but she spoke before he could question her further. (I am a little confused about who is talking in the next sentence – Sam or Daniel?)
"So how are we going to get to the control room?" Sam asked.
"We're not, if Jack says it's over run…" She snorted dismissively at his words.
"You have to learn to think outside the box a bit more Daniel."
She brushed by him and out of the room.
"Control room is to the left, isn't it?"
"Yeah but…" she didn't hang around to hear the rest of the sentence.
"Can I ask how exactly you intend on getting to the control room?" Daniel asked as he jogged behind her.
"We're going to get captured?" She answered absentmindedly as she poked her head around a corner.
"What?" Daniel asked stopping abruptly.
"Shush." She waved an arm at him.
"You can't seriously…"
An energy blast sizzled by, missing Sam by an inch; it was quickly followed by 3 more shots.
"Damn it." Sam hissed and flattened her back against the wall.
"I guess that's the bad guys." She turned to look at Daniel, "You can either play along or stay here."
She didn't really give Daniel time to respond before she rounded the corner her arms held in the air.
"Hold your fire." She shouted and then ducked as another shot flew by her. "I said hold you fire." She shouted louder this time, "I'm unarmed."
Alarm pinged through Daniel's body sticking him to the spot. Silence descended as the shots stopped and Daniel held his breath.
"I can help you." Sam's voice echoed slightly in the corridor.
Panic was beginning to make Daniel feel a bit sick. The dull thud of a pair of boots on concrete now filled the silence, each footfall making Daniel wince, as they grew closer.
Taking his fear by the horns so to speak he crouched low and glanced around the corner. Sam stood, arms still raised, in the corridor. A fair-haired man invading her personal space, his nose almost touching her face, a gun hanging ominously from his fingertips.
"And why would you do that?" He asked in a low menacing voice.
"Because I'm being held as a prisoner here, doesn't do much for building loyalty." She turned and held eye contact with the man.
"And I suppose I'm just supposed to believe that." Neither moved an inch.
"You want proof. There's an armed man hiding around the corner behind me."
Daniel's heart flipped and started a steady dive towards his toes. What the hell was she doing? What the hell was he doing? She probably had this planned all along. What idiotic, naïve, half brained dimwit would trust someone who worked for the NID? Their whole purpose in life was to pretty much destroy the people he worked for.
"Is that right?" The man took a small step back, still in Sam's personal space but not quite so much in her face.
He nodded to one of the men behind him who broke off and trotted to the end of the corridor. Daniel slid his back up the wall until he stood tall and readied himself to fight. He raised his zat and as soon as he saw the tip of a boot appearing he swung around. He fired but his hand was hit and he missed badly. A heavy blow to his stomach caused him to drop the zat and collapse to his knees wheezing. He was dragged by the scruff of his neck to join Carter.
She looked down on him with cold hard eyes briefly before turning back to the man in charge.
"Happy now?" She challenged.
He glared at her, still obviously torn. She turned back to Daniel who was rearranging the glasses on his face and gave him a smile that could freeze California.
"It's going to be fun watching your little base crumble." Daniel desperately scanned her face for any sign that this was a game, that it was some ploy that he was being too slow to understand. All he saw was his own worried face reflected back at him.
"You didn't honestly believe I was going to sit around in your infirmary for the rest of my life, did you? "
Daniel screwed up his courage and his bubbling anger.
"You lying bitch." He spat at her.
He was thrown to the floor as her fist connected solidly with his jaw. Carter took a menacing step towards him but a hand pushed her back.
"Enough." She was ordered, "There'll be time for this later, what is it exactly that you can do to help us?" He drew Sam's attention away from Daniel.
"I can help you get out of this base. You gained control of the primary computers but it wouldn't be for long. The entire base has a secondary emergency system that they'll switch to."
"Really." The fair-haired man sounded far from convinced, "If that were true why haven't they switched to it already."
"I presume you've gained control of the control room." She asked with a raised eyebrow. Continuing on when he nodded, "The system is harder to access from outside the control room, it's probably taking them some time to get in on line."
"And you just happen to be able to stop this. How convenient."
"You think they keep ordinary criminals prisoner in a secret high security base. I'm here because I designed, programmed and installed most of the technology on this base. I'm here because they know how much damage I can do to them and they like to keep their beady eyes on me."
"And why wouldn't they just kill you?"
"Because they're soft hearted fools. I however, don't suffer fools gladly."
He stared at her for a long minute more before turning back to his men.
"Restrain him." He pointed at Daniel.
He clamped his hand around Sam's arm but she didn't even flinch, "Move back to the control room." He ordered before setting a brisk pace for the group.
"Where the hell is Daniel?" Jack asked Teal'c irritated that he couldn't raise the man in question on his radio.
"I believe he was last seen in the infirmary." Teal'c replied placidly.
"That was 20 minutes ago he should have gotten back to me by now."
A fresh assault began on their make shift blockade but it didn't distract Jack from his rant.
"I swear if he got himself captured and I have to save his sorry ass again there'll be hell to pay."
Teal'c simply raised an eyebrow before popping his head above their cover and expertly zatting one of the attackers. He crouched back down beside Jack who was still muttering in displeasure.
"Perhaps he is working on a solution with Samantha Carter." He suggested reasonably.
"Come on Teal'c, you're telling me there's a fire fight on and Daniel won't manage to get injured or captured."
An energy blast hit the wall above then sending a shower of dust down on them.
"Perhaps his luck is changing."
"Yeah and I'm Dorothy."
The first thing Daniel noticed when he woke up was that the cold concrete his head was on felt a bit sticky. He peeled his cheek off the floor and focused on the pair of boots not 4 inches from his nose.
At some point during the trip to the control room Daniel made a lame ass attempt at escaping and had gotten zatted for his efforts. Someone must have had the dubious task of carrying him the rest of the way.
"Well." A harsh male voice barked and Daniel hauled himself up to see what was going on.
"I'm trying to bypass their security measures which would be a lot easier if I wasn't interrupted every second with inane questions." Daniel recognised Sam Carter's voice, her tone as harsh as the one directed at her.
Daniel picked his miraculously unbroken glasses off the ground and slid them up his nose. He was definitely in the control room, he remember Sam saying something about helping bypass a secondary computer system but if there was such a thing on base it was news to him.
There were 5 men in the room. Two posted on each door and another, the one who had captured them, standing next to Carter at one of the computers. The computer screens above showed footage from various security cameras around the base. There appeared to be a number of men stuck in the elevator, another couple hemmed in near one of the armouries and another showing the barricade set up by the elevators.
It looked like everything from tables and chairs to sandbags were piled up outside the elevator doors. How they had managed that Daniel couldn't begin to guess. What was more worrying however was the footage of the men creeping out of one of the access hatches on the floor above them, the intruders were spreading.
"Sir." The man attached to the pair of boots that Daniel's nose was so nearly intimate with spoke. "He's awake."
The man next to Carter directed his attention away from her and onto Daniel.
"How important is he?" He spoke to Sam without looking at her.
"What?" she snapped as her fingers tapped furiously on the keyboard.
Daniel had to hand it to her, she had balls. She was totally un-intimidated by this man even though he was technically holding them and the base hostage.
"Is he worth keeping alive as a hostage?"
Sam turned her head briefly to look at Daniel as though she had forgotten what other prisoners were in the room.
"Yes, he's the leading archaeologist on base." Daniel saw something flash in her eyes but it was too quick for him to read it.
"Ah yes, Doctor Jackson wasn't it." The man took a step towards him, "we met when you paid my planet a little visit." He took another step towards him.
Daniel's attention however wasn't on the approaching man it was on Samantha Carter who was very subtly sliding the CD from the waistband of her sweats.
"You must have been part of the welcoming committee who shot at us." Daniel replied trying to buy some time, hoping that he could trust Carter, that Jack's instincts about her were right.
He pulled himself to his feet and tried not to wobble too much. Sam opened the disk drive on the computer and inserted the disk.
"We were quite willing to trade technology with you, there was no reason to attack."
"Where's the fun in that?" He took another step towards Daniel.
"It's not too late you know, I could talk to the General, I'm sure he'd still be willing to trade."
"You mean that bald man we have trapped in his own office."
Daniel gulped he didn't realise that they had the General, the entire situation was a lot worse then he thought.
Carter was working furiously away on the computer, her fingers moving even quicker, programs being opened and shut in seconds.
"Are you done yet?" The man whipped around, his attention flicking from Daniel like a ping-pong ball.
"Nearly." Sam tapped a few more keys before turning to face him an impish grin on her face.
"Done!" She declared.
"Sir!" One of the men guarding the exits called out sounding panicked. "The doors are shutting." Dimly the sound of mental on mental could be heard as the blast doors shut.
"Go open it." The man in charge roared causing both soldiers to scurry forward, "What have you done?" He was on Sam in seconds, back handing her across the cheek, sending her flying.
He moved towards her but Sam swept her long legs around and under his causing him to land heavily on the hard ground.
"Sir." The guards at the door next to Daniel raised their weapons and took aim but Daniel lashed out.
He lunged at the man closest to him causing his gun to go off, hitting his fellow gun toting friend square in the chest.
As Daniel grappled with him on the floor Sam pulled herself quickly to her feet and disarmed her attacker.
"You alright Daniel?" She called out.
Daniel managed roll on top of guard and was quietly satisfied when his first punch stunned the man and his second blow knocked him unconscious. He knew working out with Teal'c in the gym would pay off.
"I'm good." He wheezed, slightly breathless from his tussle. Daniel once again pushed himself to his feet and wondered how much more time he would spend on the floor today.
Sam offered him her hand and helped to pull him to his feet.
"You know you really had me going there for a minute." He told her, steadying himself with a hand on her shoulder.
"In another universe I must be an actress."
"Did you have to hit me?" Daniel whined.
"It was more authentic if I hit you Daniel."
He scowled a little glumly at her, "but I am sorry that I had to do it." She added hastily. A groan escaped from the fair haired man on the ground and Sam turned to him, gun raised.
"You better go see if the General's alright." She nodded in the direction of his office, never taking her eyes off the man before her.
Daniel limped slightly from the room, rubbing his elbow. Throwing yourself at another man and the ground was a bad idea; Daniel grumbled to himself, he was going to have an interesting bruise in the morning. Daniel found General Hammond gagged and bound to his chair in his office. He seemed otherwise uninjured and extremely grateful to see Daniel.
"Did you hear that?" Jack turned to Teal'c.
"Of what do you speak?" Teal'c asked him confused.
"Do you hear a phone ringing?" Jack asked, puzzlement lining his face.
Both men stilled and listened past the shouts of the men and occasional gunfire.
"There. Did you hear it?"
"Indeed." Teal'c confirmed.
"Where the hell is that coming from?"
"I believe it is coming from Major Swanson's office." Teal'c answered.
Jack stared at him blankly,
"There." Teal'c pointed to a door 5 meters from them, it's door hanging from the hinges.
"Right, I knew that." Jack bluffed.
The ringing continued.
"Perhaps you should answer it O'Neill." Teal'c suggested when neither of them moved.
"I don't like talking on the phone." Jack answered huffily.
Teal'c stared at him,
"Alright, alright, give me some cover fire will you."
Teal'c nodded and raised his zat.
"On three. One, two, three."
Jack leapt over the table he was hidden behind and sprinted for the door. Once inside he propped the door back up as best as he could on it's busted hinges and approached the ringing phone.
Cautiously, picking it up as though it might bite him, he placed the earpiece gingerly to his ear.
"O'Neill." Jack blinked in surprise.
"We've regained control of the base computers."
"Yes. Daniel and I. I've locked down all blast doors to restrict movement of your unwelcome guests."
"I hate to be the fly in your ointment Carter but won't that restrict our movement too." Jack pointed out.
"Your swipe cards should be working again."
"Ah." Jack nodded although no one could see him.
"They managed to make it to the next floor as well so I've closed the doors there too."
"Well… that's good, good work Carter." Jack added awkwardly.
"I've got to go, I have to talk to the General," She continued on, "By the way there's a man sneaking up on your position."
"What?" Jack asked startled, turning on heel and raising his gun.
"You guys have a serious amount of cameras in this place." Carter added, more to herself than him, "Best of luck anyway." She said before abruptly hanging up, damn woman had worse etiquette on the phone then Daniel did on the radio.
Sam winced again and glared at Doctor Fraser.
"Don't look at me like that, I finally manage to get you in working order and you go gallivanting off to save the base and injure yourself again." The petite Doctor scolded her.
Sam rolled her eyes to heaven and wondered how anyone got anything done on base with such a mother hen looking after them.
"It's a cut Doc, it'll heal in a couple of days."
Janet stepped back and continued to glare at her,
"It'll heal when I say it'll heal and you're not getting out of the infirmary sooner then that." She declared before continuing onto her next patient.
Sam stared at her retreating back in confusion, what the hell did that mean. She tried to frown but quickly abandoned the facial expression when it caused an acute pain to dart up the side of her face. She gingerly touched her bruised cheek and cut lip, she wouldn't be winning any beauty competitions for a while. She hated when men backhanded her, there was something intrinsically sexist about it.
"Hey Carter, how's the face?" Jack O'Neill appeared at the end of her bed, flanked by Daniel Jackson and Teal'c.
Daniel shot Jack a look and complemented her before she could tear a strip off O'Neill for his not so subtle comment.
"You look better, not so much…"
"Blood." She finished for him with a smile.
Daniel had over reacted after returning with the General; automatically presuming one of her older serious injuries had reappeared, when he noticed the bloods on her t-shirt.
"Yeah." Daniel ducked his head in embarrassment and Jack glanced between the two, lost by their strange exchange.
"I see Doc Fraser kicked you out of your private room." He changed the subject to one he could understand.
"Yeah, others need it more."
It was a day since the infiltration of the base came to a hasty end and Sam had 4 well-wishers to her bed before SG-1 made their appearance. These were people who only days before would barely make eye contact with her coming to check on her health. Just goes to show how saving one base can change attitudes.
"How's the clean up going?" She asked instead thinking it better not to look a gift horse in the month. If people were being nice to her she wasn't going to question it.
"All the men have been returned to their home world." Teal'c answered.
"More then they deserve." Jack muttered darkly.
"Aren't you worried they'll attack again?" Sam asked in surprise.
"Not really." Daniel seemed quite pleased with himself. "We've rigged their gate so they can't travel off world any more."
"I didn't know you could do that." Sam was puzzled.
"Actually we used their own technology against them, you see they have…"
"Ah…" Jack raised his hand, "I don't want to hear this conversation again Daniel."
He turned back to Sam, "Good to see you're still alive and kicking Carter now if you'll excuse us we have to do the rounds, can't visit one bed ridden patient without visiting them all."
"A Colonel's work is never done." Sam teased.
"Couldn't have said it better myself. I'll see you later Carter." Jack turned away and greeted a man on the opposite side of the room whose leg was in plaster, Daniel following in his wake.
Teal'c however hung back and moved around to the side of Sam's bed.
"I am most pleased to see you are well Samantha Carter." He told her
She couldn't help it; she blushed lightly at his serious and sincere tone.
"Thank you Teal'c."
"It would appear you have now gained the trust of many within the SGC." Sam blinked, surprised by the turn of the conversation.
"Have you given further thought to living off-world?"
"Well the General pretty much ok'd me moving to the Alpha site."
"I believe it would be a great loss to the SGC if you were to leave. Perhaps now you have changed the minds of those on base they will change yours and you will stay."
Sam stared down at her fingers, unwilling to hold Teal'cs steady gaze.
"I don't know Teal'c, it might still be better if I leave."
"As you wish Samantha Carter." He nodded his head solemnly, "may you have a speedy recovery." Sam smiled at him weakly before he left to join the rest of his team.
Sam arrived in the gate room to find Jack, Daniel and Teal'c waiting at the foot of the ramp.
Jack grinned at her, "Thought you'd never make it, Carter." Behind him the first chevron on the gate glowed red.
"Sorry I'm a bit late." She apologised absently as she adjusted the strap on her bag, "Forgot to bring something."
"Ignore him." Daniel spoke quietly to her so that Jack couldn't hear, "He's got this whole 'must be there 2 hours earlier then it starts' military thing."
"What was that Daniel?" Jack asked.
Daniel smiled at him the picture of innocence, "Nothing Jack."
Jack scowled at him not falling for it for a minute. Behind him the sixth chevron locked.
Teal'c stood next to Sam his eye focused on the ever-miraculous gate.
"I do not believe you will regret your decision." He spoke to her softly.
"I'm not so sure about that Teal'c" Sam held her breath as the gate burst into life, awed as ever by its beauty.
Above them General Hammond's voice came over the com.
"Sg-1 you have a go."
Jack turned back to grin at Sam, "You gotta like the sound of that." He exclaimed to her.
Sam glanced between the friendly faces of her new team, "It's growing on me."
Jack saluted somewhat sloppily to General Hammond before leading his team up the ramp.
Sam made one finally adjustment to her pack before starting up the ramp to another world and who knew what else.