Title: Amended Orders
Status: complete…sequel may follow
Category: Angst, Crossover (Farscape/Stargate SG-1)
Spoilers: Nothing major
Season/Sequel info: Premiere ep for Farscape. Post season 3 for SG-1.
Archive: Heliopolis and RedBeards all others ask.
Content Warnings: none
Summary: Response to challenge #211 at Heliopolis…although probably not exactly what you'd expect.
Disclaimer: Stargate Sg-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. Farscape and its characters are the property of Henson, SciFi, Henson, Sci-Fi, O'Bannon &etc. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author
"Major Carter, there's a call coming through for you. He says his name is DK?" said her assistant, an eager young
lieutenant fresh out of the Academy.
Sam Carter immediately picked up the phone. "Hey, DK! How'd it go?" she asked wanting to know about the experiment her friend John Crichton was conducting on a mission with IASA.
"He's gone, Sam," sobbed DK. "There was an accident. A radiation wave hit in the middle of the experiment. We can't find any trace of him."
"What?!?" she shouted startling the others in the lab. Even as Sam listened to DK describe what had happened her mind was processing the data and coming to an awful conclusion. "Send me all the data you have DK. Right now!"
"I can't do that, Sam. I don't have the authority. IASA has classified the accident," DK responded.
"Don't worry about that, just get the data together. I'll get you the authorization. Give me your number. I'll call you when I have it," she said grabbing pen and paper. Writing down the number quickly, Sam hung up on DK before dialing another. "I need to see General Hammond, right now!" she barked in her most commanding voice before sprinting out of the lab towards the general's office. 'Please be alive, John! Please let me be right.'
"Alright, what's so important we had to postpone SG-5's debriefing?" asked General Hammond impatiently. He watched as Major Carter crossed to the bank of televisions along one wall and tuned it to CNN coverage of what was already being called 'The Farscape Tragedy.'
"This, Sir" she said. "I need you to get me authorization to see the Farscape data. Now sir!"
"Major, I think IASA has quite enough on their plate now without me making such a request," replied Hammond.
"Sir, from what DK, Crichton's research partner, told me on the phone, I think he actually created a stable wormhole. He could be alive sir! I need that data, sir. Using the data we have from the Stargate, I might be able to extrapolate where it sent him," Sam explained quickly afraid to let the General interrupt her. "He's got 24 hours worth of oxygen on board the capsule. If I'm right, one of our allies may be able to reach him."
Hammond nodded at her explanation. "I'll get you the data."
"Hello?" said DK as he answered the phone in his office where he'd retreated to grieve in private for his friend.
"DK. An Air Force courier will be there in less than an hour to pick up that copy of the data. You got it ready?" DK heard Sam Carter ask.
"Yeah" replied DK. Fortunately, DK was too numb with grief to even wonder why Sam felt she needed the data so quickly. So Sam didn't have to try to avoid any questions that she couldn't answer.
The courier had arrived with the Farscape data 2 hours ago. It was obvious to Major Carter from her first viewing of the telemetry that she'd been right about what had happened to Commander Crichton. Her hopes for his survival vanished in front of her eyes when she saw where the computer analysis of his trajectory placed the wormhole's exit point. 'Jesus, John! How are we going to get to you all the way out there?' Carter thought briefly before her mind began working through all the possibilities. She picked up the phone to request another meeting with General Hammond before going to locate the rest of her team.
"Sir, I know where he's at, but we have no 'Gate coordinates in the vicinity. Request permission to contact our allies?" reported Carter. "Time is a factor, sir. He's got 12 hours worth of oxygen left at this point."
"Request granted. However, most of our teams are off-world or off-base. You and Teal'c will contact the To'kra. We'll send Dr. Jackson with whoever we can scrounge up to contact the Tollan," order General Hammond, after a moment of contemplation.
"I suppose that leaves me to contact the Asguard," asked Colonel O'Neill.
"But they like you, sir," teased Carter, which earned her one of the Colonel's trademark smirks.
"Gear up people, you leave in 15 minutes."
"Sammy! What brings you to visit your old man?" asked General Jacob Carter.
"Is there someplace we can talk privately, Dad?" Jacob could tell from the tone in which she asked that something was wrong, and the smile fell from his face. Something told him this was more than an official visit, as if he were personally touched by whatever was going on.
"What's going on Sam? Is it Mark?"
"No, it's John. There's been a…complication with his Farscape experiment. Do the To'kra have any ships in this area of space?" Sam handed him the coordinates her computer analysis had given her.
"John?" Jacob looked down at the coordinates Sam had handed him while his thoughts turned to the young man who was like a second son to him. 'We have no ships in that area, Jacob. We've never even explored that galaxy,' Selmak told her host without even having to consult the data console in the corner of the room. 'I'm sorry.'
Jacob relayed what Selmak had told him to Sam and Teal'c. "Are you telling me John is there? How?"
"A radiation wave hit in the middle of the Farscape experiment. It somehow created a wormhole right in John's path. He went through it. I've analyzed the data. This is where it took him." Carter paused to check her watch. "He's got 11 hours worth of oxygen left, Dad. Colonel O'Neill has gone to the Asguard, and Daniel and SG-7 went to contact the Tollan for help."
"I'm going back with you. Jack will need someone with him," Jacob decided ignoring the silent protest of his symbiote. 'This is about family, Selmak. Deal with it.'
"I'm sorry O'Neill. We have no ships to spare, and none are close enough to reach this Commander Crichton in time. Our war against the replicators continues to go badly, O'Neill. The only aid I can give you is all the information the Asguard have regarding this area of space," offered Thor. "It is very little. We know it is ruled by a group known as Peacekeepers."
"Doesn't sound too bad," said Colonel O'Neill.
"They are a violently xenophobic military organization reminiscent of the Nazis of your last world war."
"Ok. That sounds bad."
"However, the Peacekeepers are controlled by a race of beings known as Sebacian. Their outward appearance closely matches that of Humans. Your Commander Crichton could easily 'blend in', I believe is the term. This data storage device contains all the information the Asguard possess pertaining to that region. I hope this information helps you retrieve your lost astronaut. Now you must go, Colonel. I must rejoin the battle with the replicators in this quandrant." Thor handed the device over to Colonel O'Neill and then transferred his guest back to SGC Command.
"I'm sorry Dr. Jackson. We have no ships that could reach him in time. However, there is an experimental probe we could send. I'm afraid there's not much the probe could do when it got there but gather data," explained Narim.
"But at least that would tell us what happened to him! Could the probe monitor Earth radio frequencies?" asked Jackson.
"Then we have to try." Dr. Jackson and SG-7 waited impatiently while the probe was launched and traveled to the coordinates Sam had given them. The images the probe sent back when it arrived seemed bleak. Debris floated gently in front of the Tollan 'camera' mounted at the front of the probe.
"The debris is not of Earth origin. There are traces of elements and metals that are not found on Earth," reported the Tollan scientist who was busily working the probes controls.
"Then Crichton could still be alive out there?" Jackson wondered.
"Monitor this frequency for transmissions, please. Captain Dexter can you have one of your people go back through the 'Gate and report what we've learned."
Two hours later when Captain Dexter returned with the rest of SG-1, the Tollan probe had still found no sign of the Farscape module or Commander Crichton. Jacob Carter had elected to stay behind on Earth. He was already on his way to his friend Jack Crichton's side. Hoping to comfort him in his grief at the apparent death of his son. All they could do was sit and watch as the Tollan scientist continued to use the probes sensors to try to find some trace of Crichton or his module.
"Maybe someone picked him up?" offered Dr. Jackson.
"From what Thor was able to tell me, this is NOT an area where you want to get picked up. Its run by a group called the Peacekeepers. Sounds like they'd give the Gou'ld a run for their money in the nasty alien contest. On the up side, Thor did say that Crichton would be able to blend in. Somethin' wrong, Carter?" asked O'Neill noticing the look on her face as he described what he'd learned.
"John and I grew up together, sir. He's the one who got me interested in astrophysics. Our dads were stationed in Washington at the same time. It was just after Mom died. Colonel Crichton had just lost his wife, too. I guess we formed a sort of informal support group. Our dads would go get drunk together trying to forget their pain. They'd leave John, his sisters, Mark, and I home with a baby-sitter. We got kinda…close."
"So he was…what…your first love?" guessed Daniel.
Sam could only nod as she looked up at them with tears slipping down her face.
"Dad even hoped we'd get together when we grew up, but John and I ended up being more brother/sister than romantic. It was Mark that ended up marrying a Crichton. Laura is John's sister," Sam explained of her sister-in-law. "He asked me to rejoin the Farscape project again last year. I turned him down, and I couldn't even tell him why." O'Neill sat down next to her and put his arm around her shoulders comforting her the best he could. Ruthlessly burying the flash of jealousy he'd felt when she'd confirmed Daniel's guess. 'It was a long time ago. She was just a kid then, and it's not like she's mine now. She's my 2IC. We can't even date, for God's sake!' Jack thought as he held Sam while she cried.
"What do you mean, rejoin the project?" asked Jackson.
"Ten years ago, when we were both at MIT working on our doctorates, I was part of their project. Our thesis' had a lot in common, which is not surprising considering we'd been working on our theories together since high school."
"High school? You really are a geek, Carter," teased O'Neill. His comment earned him a tired smile from his 2IC, just as he'd hoped. "Time to rest, Major. You haven't slept in over 2 days. Not since before we left for PX1-498. Daniel and I'll come get you if we hear anything." O'Neill pulled his tired major to her feet and led her to the quarters they'd been assigned. Dropping onto the waiting bed, Sam didn't even feel her commanding officer remove her boots, as he would have once done for his son before tucking a blanket around her. She was already drifting into exhausted dreams of the past...
"Sam, Mark. Meet Colonel Crichton and his son, John. And these two young ladies are Mary and Laura, John's sisters. The Colonel and I are going out tonight, and John, Mary, and Laura will be staying with you and Mrs. Spiel," explained her father on his way out the door. "Be good."
Sam remembered that at first she'd thought she'd be stuck playing with the much younger Mary and Laura, but then John had noticed the star chart she was holding. When she'd informed him she was going to go up to the hill above the house to stargaze, he'd asked to come with her, and it was Mark that was stuck with Mary and Laura that night.
Sam rolled over in her sleep and her dream shifted...
"Ok, Sammy. Get a little closer to John. Stand up straight. Say cheese!" instructed her dad as he snapped photos of John and Sam in their formal prom attire.
"Now remember. Home by two o'clock, no exception. Have fun, and no booze!" ordered John's father as he too took photos of the teenagers.
John just rolled his eyes, causing Sam to giggle. "Sure, Dad. We know." Sam remembered dancing with John in their high school gymnasium before leaving the party to get a little drunk at a friend's after-prom party. They'd made it home before two, barely, and if their dads had known they'd been drinking neither of them let on.
The dream shifted again...
"They've accepted our Farscape proposal, Sam! DK and I have been given the green light on our slingshot experiment. Come with me, Sam," begged John. "I know it's your dream too."
"No, John. You didn't want to make it on your father's coat tails, and I don't want to make it on yours. I may have helped with the original idea, but it's DK's and your project now. If I get into IASA, it will be by my own work," Sam told him. "Besides. I'm enjoying what I'm doing now for the Air Force. It's incredible, John!"
"Working at the Pentagon? Come on, Sam. Borrrring!"
Because of security, she couldn't tell him her real assignment at the Pentagon was researching an alien artifact found in the desert outside Giza. Besides he'd never believe her anyway. "My enlistment will be up in another year. I'll think about joining you then, but I'm needed here now."
Apophis had come through the gate a mere 3 weeks before her enlistment was up...
"What do you mean you're not resigning?" screamed John.
"I've been given a new assignment. Deep space radar telemetry. It's what I want to do, John. You and DK will be fine without me."
"I just don't get it, Sam. Space was your dream for so long, why are you letting it slip away?"
"I'm not letting it slip away, John! I've just found it in a different way than you."
Sam's dream shifted yet again, but this wasn't another memory...
Sam sat in the control room at the SGC working on yet another upgrade to the computers controlling the 'Gate when it was activated from off-world by SG-4.
Sgt Anders shouted as he emerged through the Stargate, "Look who we found!" The rest of his team followed him through the 'Gate along with someone who hadn't left with them. It was John.
Sam launched herself into John's arms as she entered the 'Gate room. "We've been looking for you for so long, John. I was beginning to give up hope," she admitted holding him tight.
"We are grateful that the Tau'ri care so much for their lost comrade," he replied in a voice not his own. Sam pulled away to stare in horror at the glowing yellow eyes of the man who was closer to her than her own brother.
"NOOOO!!!!" Sam screamed as she woke.
"Sam!" cried O'Neill running into the room to see what had caused her to scream. Her heart was pounding like a jackhammer in her chest, and all she could do was cling to her commanding officer for comfort. "It's alright, Sam. It was just a nightmare. Shhh," he soothed her quietly.
"I dreamed he'd been taken over by a goa'uld," Sam told him. There was no need to tell O'Neill who 'he' was. 'I will not be jealous!' O'Neill ordered himself firmly. 'Sam needs me to be strong for her right now.'
"Don't even think it, Sam. We'll find him. Somehow, we'll find him."
"I feel so guilty," she admitted as she pulled away slightly from their forbidden embrace.
"Because I was just so glad it wasn't you," she told him as she wrapped her arms loosely around his waist. "Don't ever leave me, Jack. I know we have to wait until I'm not under your chain of command. It's hard, but we can do that. Just...don't let anything happen to yourself until then. Promise me!"
"I promise, Sam" he whispered as he pulled her head down to rest on his shoulder. "I'll be waiting when we're free of the regs."
"We're getting a signal on the frequency you specified, Dr. Jackson," Narim told them as he enter the quarters they'd been assigned during their stay.
"Well let's hear it," ordered O'Neill leading the way to the Tollan laboratory.
"My name is John Crichton…radiation wave hit… shot through a wormhole. Now I'm lost…the universe, on a ship, a living ship…strange alien…Help me. Listen please! ...anybody out there ... hear me? I'm being hunted by an insane ...tary commander…doing everything I can! I'm just looking for a way home!"
"John! That's John. He's alive," shouted Sam happily.
"I'm afraid the probe doesn't have the capability to transmit on this frequency," reported Narim sadly. As they watched the Tollan scientist made adjustments on the probe's instruments, clearing up the signal.
"I doubt you'll ever hear this transmission, Dad, but I had to try. Hey Dad, you know those rattlers in the stomach we talked about? Well I got 'em now, but I'm going to try to find my way home, Dad. Try not to worry about me too much. This is John Crichton signing off."
"Well at least we know he's alive," said Daniel. "Now how do we rescue him?"
"We don't. At least not right away," grimly replied Colonel O'Neill. "He's on a ship. That means he's moving around. Rescuing a moving target in unknown territory is not going to be easy."
Colonel Jack Crichton kept himself from wincing as the first of the three volleys of gunfire rang out. He stood at attention as his years in the military had trained him.
"The two Air Force officers standing with the Crichton family are General Jacob Carter and his daughter, Major Samantha Carter. Our sources tell us that the 2 families were very close while the children were growing up. The major was apparently Commander Crichton's first love and one of his sister's is married to her brother," reported the perky anchorwoman for CNN.
"We're told the Carter's are taking Crichton's father away to an undisclosed location, probably an Air Force base, where he can get away from the press. There's a rumor that a more private military memorial will take place at this location. His sisters have elected not to go with the Carters, but are instead going to a separate undisclosed location."
"Jacob, I'm really not up to this right now. I appreciate that you wanted to get me away from the press, and that you want to hold this memorial for John. But can't it wait until tomorrow?"
"Actually no it can't. I'm sort of UA right now. I need to get back, and I want to be part of this. I know this is going to be hard for you, but it's important, Jack." Jack could only nod and follow his friend and the young woman he thought of as a daughter as they led him to a second set of elevators.
"Wait a minute. We're on a USAF base. How the hell can you be UA?"
"I don't really work for the Air Force anymore. My work is more…."
"Covert" supplied Sam as her father seemed at a loss for words.
"That's as good a description as I can think of." They rode in silence down to the 28th floor. Jack realized they were very deep inside the mountain. 'What's going on here? What the hell are you into Jacob…and what does Sam have to do with it for God's sake?' He followed his friend out of the elevator and down the corridor to a small conference room where several people were waiting for them.
"Colonel Crichton. Welcome to the SGC. My name is George Hammond, commander of this project. This is Colonel O'Neill, my second in command. He is also the commanding officer of Sam's team. This is Dr. Daniel Jackson and Teal'c the other 2 members of SG-1."
'What the hell are 2 civilians doing on a project this secret?' wondered Jack. The big man, Teal'c, had a military bearing about him, but Hammond hadn't introduced him by his rank or his last name for that matter, not to mention that very non-regulation tattoo on his forehead.
"What we're about to tell you is the most classified secret in the United States government. I don't think I have to tell you that you cannot reveal what you're about to learn to anyone. Major, why don't you explain the Stargate to Colonel Crichton." Jack listened in amazement as they laid the whole thing out to him. Sam described finding the Stargate in Egypt, then Dr. Jackson took over the explanation. He told of translating the Stargate and the first mission to Abydos. At this point Colonel O'Neill took up the story as he spoke of the invasion of Apophis and the formation of the SGC. General Hammond explained the purpose and mission of the SGC.
"Why are you telling me this insane story? You expect me to believe we've made contact with aliens. They've invaded Earth and been repelled? I can't believe you'd do this today of all days, Jacob!"
"Jack. I have one of those aliens inside me! Her name is Selmak."
"Show him Junior, Teal'c," calmly requested Colonel O'Neill ending the argument.
Jack watched the huge man, whom the others had called a Jaffa, stand and lift his t-shirt to reveal an opening shaped like an X in his stomach.
"What the hell is that?" shouted Jack as he abruptly stood back from the table and the snake-like creature emerging from Teal'c's abdomen. After listening to their explanation yet again, he couldn't deny the truth sitting before him. "And you have one of those things in your head, Jacob?"
"Yeah. I was dying of cancer. Sam came to me and gave me pretty much the same explanation we're giving you. And then they gave me a choice…I chose to live."
"That still doesn't explain why you're telling me this? How many regulations are you breaking?"
"None, Major Carter and her father, helped me convince the President that you had the right to know. It wasn't very hard to persuade him. I believe his Chief of Staff served with you at one time? There's more we need to tell you though, Colonel," responded General Hammond. "Your son is alive, sir."
"As soon as DK described the accident, I knew what had happened. John somehow created a wormhole just like the Stargate. I used the computers here at the SGC to compute his trajectory. Once we knew where the wormhole had taken him we contacted our allies," explained Sam.
"Unfortunately, none of them had a ship capable of reaching him either," continued Dr. Jackson. "The Tollan had a probe that could make it though. This is what the probe sent back." Dr. Jackson turned on the screen built into the far wall. It showed a debris field in space.
"You tell me that my son is alive and then you show me this?"
"Umm…yes well. The Tollan tell us that debris isn't from Earth, so we waited. Two days later the probe picked up this transmission." Again the screen came to life, this time playing John's transmission, his message to his father.
"So now what? How do we help him? You say our allies can't reach him, and they're much more advanced technologically than we are, I assume," Jack asked. He was afraid to hope. He'd buried his son today as a hero in front of millions of television viewers. Now they were telling him his son wasn't dead, and that he couldn't tell anyone about it.
"Colonel, if you'll come with us," asked General Hammond.
Standing in front of the Stargate were several rows of military personnel in full dress uniform and a few civilians in suits or dresses. Jack Crichton could see, not only the familiar Air Force uniform he'd worn for most of his adult life, but also marine, army, and navy personnel. He watched as Colonel O'Neill and his team filled in the empty spaces at the front of the formation. As if it had been planned in advanced the gathered personnel snapped to attention en masse.
"Colonel Crichton, these are the SG teams that travel through the Stargate," explained General Hammond. "By order of the President of the United States and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I am hereby amending the standing orders of all SG teams. From now on, using the information the Asguard provided Colonel O'Neill, we will begin searching the area of space known as 'Peacekeeper Territory' for any and all signs of astronaut John Crichton Jr. Bring him home people." This was of course, not the only change to their orders. The Peacekeepers had to be investigated as potential allies or enemies, but the rest would wait.
"Sir, yes, sir!" shouted the assembled SG teams.
"Attention!" commanded Colonel O'Neill. As one unit, the assembled SG personnel brought their arms up to salute. Jack Crichton stared at them for several minutes before it dawned on him that they were saluting him as proxy for John. He returned their salute, the tears once again streaming down his face as he looked into the faces of the men and women arrayed in front of him. Their eyes saying as much as the shouted response to their commanding officer that they would bring John home. It wouldn't be easy, and it wouldn't happen right away. But the people standing before him wouldn't give up.
"SG-2, we're briefing on your next mission in 20 minutes. SG-4 you have 1 hour to get your gear together for P2X-229, and SG-8, Dr. Frasier wants you back down in the infirmary to finish your post mission physical," ordered General Hammond. The last statement was met with groans from the team in question, but they dutifully headed for the door. "Everyone else, dismissed."
With that life at the SGC went on.
"Uncle Jack, we'd like to speak with you for a minute in the general's office," Sam informed him. "Dad will be leaving with SG-4, he'll gate to his next assignment for the To'kra from their destination."
"Colonel Crichton, it's up to you, but I've been authorized to offer you a position here at the SGC," General Hammond told him.
"Me? I appreciate you wanting to help me stay in the loop concerning John's search, but what good would I be here?"
"Uncle Jack, you understand the science behind the 'Gate. John and I have talked to you enough about our various theories over the years for me to know that. I spend a great deal of time off-world, and I don't really have a lot of time for all the research that needs to be done. A lot of the people I have working for me in the labs are...well a little too enthusiastic at times. We could use someone with more...."
"Caution with technology you don't understand" supplied Jacob, another salvo in an obviously long-standing argument.
"...life experience to help oversee the labs," continued Sam pretending not to hear her father at all.
"The President also believes you would make an excellent ambassador to our allies," General Hammond offered.
"There's plenty of work to be done here, Colonel," said O'Neill. "We could use someone with your political savvy as well...we've made some enemies in Congress. Senator Kinsey in particular."
"You mean you've made us some enemies in Congress," accused Dr. Jackson.
"You didn't exactly help, Danny boy."
"What do you say, Colonel? How'd you like to get back into the business of space exploration?"
"Where do I sign up?"
To Be continued?