Disclaimer – Stargate is owned by MGM and so on.
Important note – No character deaths! I couldn't do that.
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Robert Denver's POV –
When the explosion ripped through the SGC, I was in the canteen, eating my lunch. Yes, it was only half eleven, but I had been up since half five o'clock this morning, checking on an experiment I had running.
It was loud enough to make all of us in the canteen jump, and someone dropped a tray. It clattered on the floor in the silence. There is always a silence after explosion; for a few moments, at least.
That seemed to set everyone off. All the military personnel leapt to their feet and raced out. The rest of us – scientists, technicians, various other people – slowly stood up, confused.
Within… well, within a few seconds, really, the only people left in the canteen were civilians like myself, and I stared round at them.
I knew just over half of them well, and the rest of them by name, at least. They all had on a look of quiet confusion, and were speculating wildly about what had happened. They obviously didn't want to go anywhere without knowing what was going on. We had all had experience of what the Goa'uld weapons can do to a person, and didn't want to get in the way.
After a second or so of silence, General Hammond's voice came over the speaker system. "Attention, all personnel. There has been a small explosion, but everyone should remain calm. Major Carter's scientists and technicians should report to me, as should SG-1."
That was me. I stood on a chair, and spoke in a loud voice, catching people's attention. "Right, you heard the man. Get back to doing whatever you were doing." I hate talking in front of big crowds – or even small crowds – but sometimes it's necessary.
Another man, Jeffery Howers, and I walked quickly out of the canteen. We both work in Major Carter's lab. He's a good friend of mine.
As we walked along the corridors, we compared experiments. Neither of us had anything explosive on the go, nor – as far as we knew – neither did Major Carter and Phillip Anderson, the other scientist.
By the time we reached the laboratory, there were signs of an explosion all along the corridors, with singe and soot marks all over the walls. We also caught a glimpse of Janet Frasier wheeling Phillip quickly away on a gurney. His head was bloody, but we couldn't see any lower than that because of the sheet covering the rest of his body.
A second gurney rolled past, as we watched several soldiers moving in and out of the room. Major Carter was lying on it, pale and small, blood dripping from a cut on her cheek. She looked so fragile, I felt a jolt in my stomach. Usually she is so brave, so fearless, that it seems like she is invincible. It is hard to realise that, perhaps, she is not.
One of the nurses, a pretty little thing, came up to us. I think her name was Fiona. "You're the technicians?"
I almost took offence at being called a technician, but then realised that more important things were at stake, and nodded. "Major Carter is alive, but injured. She will live. As for Phillip Anderson… he received the brunt of the explosion. He was killed outright. I'm sorry."
Jeffery and me stood in silence for a few moments, then he thanked the woman and she moved away.
I swore, and shook my head. Jeffery scrubbed at his face and stepped forwards. "We'd better check out the damage, or Major Carter will have our hides for not rescuing the experiments we can."
I nodded and followed him. Doing things helps distract you from your grief, at least for a little while.
It was hard stepping into that lab. And not just because of all the debris. There was blood on the ground and walls. Not much of it, but just enough to make me feel queasy. I've never been good with blood.
One airman was still in there, spraying things with a fire extinguisher. Apart from that, they had all left, so Jeffery and me could have a little peace.
You can see where Carter and Phillip were standing – there are gaps in the debris, and blood on the ground.
One – I assumed it to be Major Carter's – was behind a desk, and there's less debris behind it. She must have been sheltered from the blast, which is why she's still alive.
The second – probably Phillip's – was just next to a desk with the most severe burn marks. There is a large patch of blood on the wall, which I had not noticed before. He must have been blown backwards by the blast, then hit the wall head first, which was why his head was all bloody when we saw him.
I pointed it out, and the soldier nodded, then left us, giving us a warning about residual heat. Does he think we're stupid?
Once Jeffery and I had had time to look around at the mess, a second soldier came over to us. "General Hammond wants a word in the debriefing room."
Thank you, uh…" I squinted at his name tag. "…Davis. We'll be along soon."
He left, and after a moment or two of silent contemplation, we followed.
Once we had entered the debriefing room, General Hammond turned to face us, a look of anger upon his face. "What the hell happened? What caused that explosion?"
I managed to stutter out that we didn't know. That man terrifies me sometimes. He just has that look on his face; the one where you know that the next move you make could be the last thing you ever do.
He asked me what I meant. Isn't it obvious? We don't know why the explosion happened, it just… did.
After I had explained this, Hammond asked me for any reason I could think of, any at all, that might have caused the explosion.
I gave him a list of things, but something that violent would probably have been caused by a very small molecule hydrocarbon, possibly burnt with a reactive metal. Major Carter should be able to help us on that – she's good with elements and things. Well, that was if it hadn't been just a bomb.
Once I had finished, he stood in silence. We all knew that none of us that worked in that lab would be stupid enough to put two such reactive substances together. It was either a stupid accident or… or deliberate sabotage.
None of us voiced our thoughts. They were too terrible to think about. Any attempts of sabotage are incredibly dangerous for us and for our work, a matter of national security.
As we stood there, thinking over the prospect of a security breach, General Hammond's pager beeped. He pulled it up off his belt, and looked at it. I could just make out the words. "O'Neill. Can't come, staying with Carter. Sorry, sir."
The fierce look on the General's face softened slightly. I think he has a soft spot for O'Neill and Carter. They're his best officers, yes, but also good friends of his.
He dismissed us, thinking to himself, and Jeffery and I made our way to the coffee machine for a wake up potion before we went to see Carter. We would only get in the way if we turned up in the infirmary right now, and it was better than standing round doing nothing.
Jack O'Neill's POV –
When I got the news of Carter being injured, I just had time for a single, silent moment of icy cold fear, before I was up and running for the infirmary.
I'm used to her getting hurt – hell, I'm used to everyone getting hurt – but it never gets any easier, feeling that I can't do anything. I've seen Daniel die, Teal'c with a staff wound that almost killed him, and Sam on the brink of death, so many times. Too many times.
Each time they get hurt, I think, "This is it, this is the end," but it hasn't been, so far. For Daniel, he has died, more times than any normal person can ever want to. Each time, we stuck him in a sarcophagus, or got the Tok'ra to help us out, and saved him.
I can hope that we don't get hurt off world, but one of us – or more – always does, no matter how hard we try to avoid it.
By the time I reached the infirmary, I was terrified that she wouldn't survive this – an injury suffered deep inside our home territory.
Janet reassured me as I hopped from one foot to the other, unable to stand still. She told me that Carter was alright, that the explosion was an accident, and that it had nothing to do with the Goa'uld.
After a few minutes of my threats, and then my reduction to grovelling, she finally let me through to see Sam, with a warning that she might fall asleep because of the painkillers she had been given.
Carter had stitches in one cheek, covering a cut, there was a bandage wrapped all the way up her left arm, and she looked tired and in pain, her face drawn and tight. "Carter? You feeling better?"
"No you're not. Or at least, not much. Burns hurt. Don't be afraid to admit it."
"No, then, sir. Sorry. Force of habit." I know what she means. Lying about the extent of your pain to make others around you feel better. Yeah, I know what that's like. " Do… do you know how Phillip Anderson is? He was there as well, but I don't see him here." I think she knew then that he was dead, but didn't want to admit it.
"I'll ask Janet." After a quick word with Janet, I returned. "He… he died. I'm sorry, Sam."
She shut her eyes. A tear fell slowly from one eye, but as it trickled into the stitched up cut on her cheek she flinched. "I liked him. I really liked him. And he's dead. And I didn't do anything to stop the explosion, just hid out of the way, and I could have helped him, but I didn't and he died–"
I interrupted her. "No. You couldn't have done anything. It was an accident."
"But I smelt it, I should have realised that no one would use hexane in an experiment without telling me, I should have known that something was wrong!"
"Calm down, Carter, else I'll have to get Frasier to give you a sedative, and I don't really want to do that. What do you mean by not using hexane? What is it?"
"Sorry, sir. Hexane is a hydrocarbon, with a formula of C6H14. It's made from crude oil. It's highly flammable, and when sodium or potassium or any reactive metal is in close contact with it when it is lit, then there will be an explosion. Even on it's own, when it is lit, there is a burst of flame, enough to give quite bad burns, but with the metal, it's pretty much deadly."
I think I got most of that. Or at least enough to make sense. "Right… so you think that the explosion was no accident? That someone set it on purpose?"
"I don't know what I'm saying, sir, but that seems close enough."
"Hm… I'll warn General Hammond." I pulled out my pager, and sent another quick message to Hammond. Pagers are so useful.
As I finished typing, I heard the door open and Daniel rushed in, his hair all a mess, his eyes red and sore from being over used with less than usual sleep, and he cried, "Sorry! I was distracted, and I didn't hear anything, and I only got told when someone came in to get me, I'm sorry. Are you all right, Sam?"
Carter and me exchanged glances, and sighed heavily in unison. "What?" Daniel asked us, confused.
"Nothing, Daniel. I'm fine, just a couple of burns."
"Do they hurt much?"
"Not really, Janet dosed me up on painkillers."
"Oh good. Uh, do you want me to contact Jacob? If you were hurt, he might want to know."
"No, unless Janet wants him to come here to use the healing device. There's no use in worrying him about it. It's not much, I'm fine. Just… tell the General what I thought." She yawned.
"Not keeping you up, are we, Sam?"
"Sorry. I'm just tired. I think Janet gave me something…" We could see that she was fighting to stay awake, and I stood up as if to leave.
"Get some rest, Carter. You won't heal up well, otherwise."
"Yes sir." Carter rolled over onto her right side, and her eyes closed. The heart rate monitor showed that her heartbeat dropped slightly. I think that meant that she was asleep.
With a sigh, I sat back down again. Daniel hadn't moved from his seat. He knew that we were going to stay, even if we had made Carter think otherwise. SG-1 stick together.
Teal'c would have been there too, but he was off world, with Ry'ac. Quality father-son time.
As Daniel and me sat there in silence, both thinking quietly, Janet came up to us. "I know she says it's only a few burns and cuts, but I didn't want to tell her anything too bad."
"There's worse? How much worse?"
"Oh, nothing life threatening. She inhaled a lot of smoke, but I'm sure Jacob will be able to sort that out. The burns on her arm are quite deep, but should heal up in time, without causing any scars. The cut on her cheek only looks bad; it isn't actually that awful. However, she has some lacerations on her back that might be painful for a few weeks, as we move our backs a lot."
"She was mainly sheltered from the blast by a desk, which happened to be in the way. If it hadn't been, she would have died. She got away lucky. She should be up and about in a couple of days, but she won't be able to use that arm too well for the next few weeks, and she'll be off duty for a while with the wounds to her back. However, there won't be any lasting damage, and you'll have your Major Carter back as soon as possible, Colonel."
"Thanks, Janet." I gave her a warm smile, and she walked away. Off to play with a medical doohickey, probably. Or to torture some poor sod with needles.
I looked at Daniel. "You like her, don't you?"
He blushed. "Like who?"
He blushed more. "No."
I grinned. "See, I know you like Janet. But you just denied it. Therefore, as you denied the main way you're currently thinking of liking her, you must like her like her, instead of just liking her."
"Jack, that made absolutely no sense."
"Ah, you know it does."
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
There was silence. I left it at that. Well… almost did.
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