A/N – This is set some where in the earlier seasons, not really at any specific time. I just wanted to write my own random little season, complete with its own bad guys :P My first Stargate fic, so please R&R. Update 1/7/07 – Made a few changes to chapter one, though nothing major.
Part I: Infection
At first glance P3X-427 appeared to be home to a very advanced race, but when SG-1 stepped into the long hall that seemed to serve as a gate room, they could all tell something was wrong.
"There aren't any people." Daniel commented, looking out the huge plate glass windows to the deserted streets beyond.
Jack rolled his eyes. "Oh really? I hadn't noticed." Daniel scowled, but they all continued on out of the building.
As they walked through the city, which was huge, they found no signs of life save for a few indigenous squirrel-like animals. Finally they came upon a tall, white building with some writing above the double doors in the front.
Squinting up at them, Daniel said, "They look like Asgard runes…I think they say 'hospital' or something along those lines."
"Well," Jack said. "Why don't we check it out? May be there's someone in there who can give us some answers."
They held their weapons up. Daniel reached out and pushed a green button next to the doors, they slid open, and SG-1 entered the building.
The first hallway they went down was just as deserted as the rest of the city. Sam opened the first door they came to, and gasped as they stepped through.
It looked like too many people had come to the hospital and they'd had to stick them anywhere. People lay on beds along the walls, and in the middle of the room…but they were all dead, they're eyes open, glassy, and staring.
"Oh god…" Sam said again, backing up. "Sir, we should get out of here." They all backed out of the room and shut the door.
"Right." Jack frowned. "Now what?"
"Sir, it looks like these people all died from some sort of disease," Sam said. " And, judging by the fact their bodies haven't began to decay yet, it happened pretty recently. I think we should leave and come back with proper protection."
"What if there're some survivors?" Daniel asked. "Don't you think we should try to help them?"
Jack was looking around the hallway. "I like Major Carter's idea better. Let's come back here with some HAZMAT suits and then we can see what we can do. C'mon, lets get back to the stargate."
They turned and left the hospital rather quickly. They were walking back along the streets when Sam made a noise and slapped at her neck. Jack turned around raising an eyebrow.
"Something wrong, Carter?"
Sam was looking at her fingers. "Nothing, Sir, I just thought something landed on me."
"Doc Fraiser can look at you when we get back."
Janet found nothing wrong with any of them when they got back, though Hammond wanted them to wait a while before returning to the planet.
Sam was up late one night in her lab working on a new project with naquadah reactors. She'd already been through several cups of coffee, but was beginning to feel the effects of fatigue setting in. A sharp pain shot through her head. She put her hands over her face, pushing the heels of her palms against her eyes. 'I should really be getting to bed…' she thought glumly.
Jack, meanwhile, was passing when he saw Sam sitting in her lab with her face in her hands.
"Carter, you ok?" he asked, stepping into the room.
"Yes sir." Sam said, not looking up.
"Yeah, I…" Sam's voice trailed off as she finally did look up at Jack. She suddenly began blinking furiously, then reached up and rubbed her hands over her eyes. "Sir, no…actually…" her voice trailed off again, and when she spoke her voice was quiet and shaky. "Sir, I can't see."
"What?!" Jack rushed over to Sam and put a hand on her shoulder.
"My vision was swimming a minute ago and now it's gone!"
"Ok ok," Jack said slowly. "Just calm down." He took Sam's face in his hands and peered closely at her eyes. "Your eyes just look a little red. Come on, let's take you down to Doc Fraiser."
Jack put a hand under Sam's arm and helped her to her feet. She put an arm around his shoulder as they walked out of the room and down the hallway. Rounding a corner, Jack accidentally led Sam right into Daniel, who stumbled, almost dropping the papers he was holding.
"Oh, sorry Sam."
Sam turned her face towards him. "Daniel?"
"What's wrong?" Daniel asked.
"Ahh…" Jack grimaced. "Carter can't see anything."
"What?" Daniel looked alarmed. "Why? How?"
"If I knew do you think I'd look so worried?" Sam asked. She tightened her arm around Jack's shoulders. "Sir, I'd like to get down to the infirmary."
"Here, I'll help." Daniel put an arm around Sam as well, and the three of them walked down to the infirmary.
Janet looked up as they entered and Jack and Daniel got Sam over to one of the beds.
"What's the matter?" Janet asked, hurrying over.
"Carter mysteriously went blind." Jack said, putting one hand on his hip and keeping the other protectively on Sam's shoulder.
Janet raised an eyebrow, but immediately began examining Sam's eyes. "What were you doing?"
"I was just working in my lab…" Sam said.
"Did something get in your eyes? A chemical? Some dust from something?"
"No," Sam shook her head. "My vision started swimming, I thought I was just tired. I put my hands over my face, then Colonel O'Neill came in to see if I was alright, I looked up at him and all I could see were indistinct shapes, and then it all went black."
"Well, I don't see anything wrong with your eyes, the area around them is a bit red…"
"I was rubbing them."
"Yeah, that's understandable." Janet flipped over a page on her clipboard and wrote something down. "I'm going to take a blood test, then probably do an MRI. I'll be back in a minute." She turned and hurried off towards the other end of the infirmary.
"Uhmm…" Daniel gestured down at his papers. "I was sort of in the middle of something…"
"It's ok, Daniel." Sam said. "I'll be fine."
"I'll stay." Jack said. "But if you want to stop by Hammond's office, Daniel, and tell him, that would be great."
"Sure." Daniel nodded. "Hope you get better, Sam."
Sam smiled. "Thanks."
A couple hours later Jack, Daniel, Janet, Teal'c and Hammond all sat in the briefing room.
"So have you figured out what's wrong with Major Carter?" Hammond asked.
"Well," Janet consulted her notes. "Sam's got a strain of bacteria in her blood, which has spread to her brain and has apparently shut down her visual cortex."
Hammond frowned. "Do you recognize the bacteria? Is it something you can cure?"
"It's not something I've ever seen before." Janet replied, shaking her head.
"Sam couldn't have gotten it on P3X-427," Daniel said. "You checked us when we got back, there wasn't anything wrong."
"That's what I thought at first as well." Janet sighed heavily. "But…I examined the bacteria, and it multiplies very quickly. Sam may have had only one small microbe in her blood, and I would have had a one in a million chance of picking it up. In the time since I tested her the bacteria has spread a great deal."
"So what does this bacteria do, exactly?" Jack asked, his brow furrowed. "Besides shutting down her visual…whatever."
Janet shrugged. "I'm not sure. I'm planning on doing another MRI, but I'm guessing that it's going to spread to other parts of her brain, maybe shutting down all the sensory regions. And then…"
"And then…probably shut down the rest of the brain."
Jack sighed. "So it's killing her."
Janet gave Jack a worried look. "I can't be positive, but that's what it looks like."
"Wait," Hammond said suddenly. "If this bacteria is so dangerous, shouldn't Major Carter be put in quarantine?"
"Sir," Janet said. "Judging from the tests I ran, the bacteria is only transferable by blood. It attaches itself to the blood cells in order to get to the brain. You can't catch it by being near the person, or even by exchanging any bodily fluids other then blood."
"So we don't have to worry about anyone else catching it?"
At that moment, however, the phone rang. It was one of the nurses, calling Janet back down to the infirmary. She and Jack hurried down to find Sam sitting up in her bed, looking upset.
"I think my sense of smells going," she said.
"Are you sure?" Jack asked, sitting on the edge of her bed and putting a hand on her arm.
"I can't explain it, Sir," Sam said, turning her head towards him slightly out of habit. "It's like when you have a stuffy nose, except my nose isn't stuffy."
"Here," Janet had a small metal tube in one hand. When she opened it Jack made a disgusted noise and held his nose. Janet held the tube under Sam's face. "Can you smell that?"
Sam shook her head. "No… I can't. Not at all."
"For the rest of us who can smell, would you mind putting the lid back on that, Doc?" Jack asked, his nose wrinkled.
Janet closed the tube and waved her hand to dissipate the smell. "Well, I guess that proves my hypothesis."
"And what's that?" Sam asked.
"You're going to loose all your senses." Janet said. "I've got people working on the bacteria, but they haven't found anything yet."
Sam looked worried, so Jack put his arm around her shoulders. "Don't worry, Carter. We'll work something out. Maybe I should go have a word with your dad and the Tok'ra or something."
"That actually might not be a bad idea," Janet said. "They may know how to deal with this…or at least have technology better suited to finding a cure."
Jack stood up. "I'll go talk to Hammond."
"Sir…" Sam began, but stopped.
Jack looked down at her. "What?"
Jack returned to the infirmary a few hours later, dressed in his BDU's. Janet was anxiously looking over the results from the latest tests.
"Sam's hearing is going, then probably her taste will go, and then her touch." She told Jack.
Jack walked over and sat down next to Sam. "Carter?"
Sam jumped. "Sir? Sorry, I didn't hear you."
"It's ok," Jack said quietly.
Jack sighed, leaning closer to Sam. "I said, it's ok."
"Oh right." Sam nodded.
Jack reached over and took Sam's hand in his. "How are you feeling? Besides not being able to smell or see."
"To tell you the truth, Sir," Sam said. "I'm terrified."
"I know." Jack gently squeezed her hand. "Look, Carter, I'm going to talk to the Tok'ra. If they can't help…I…I'll go to the Asgard, and the Nox if I have to to find a cure for you. I won't give up."
"Thank you, Sir." Sam said.
"Um, Carter, there was something else." Jack said. He leaned over so his mouth was next to Sam's ear, not just so she could hear him, but so that they couldn't be overheard by anyone else. "There's something I wanted to tell you…just on the off chance this mission of mine doesn't work. Not that it won't but you know…anyway I'm just –"
"Sir," Sam's voice was soft. "I can't hear you."
Jack sighed heavily. He reached up and put one hand on the back of Sam's head, turning her face towards him.
"Sir…?" Sam said questioningly, even though she knew that if Jack answered, she wouldn't be able to hear him.
Jack responded by leaning in and kissing Sam lightly on her lips. When he pulled away he could see tears running down her cheeks. Jack lightly brushed them away with his thumb.
"Good luck, sir." Sam whispered, her voice choked.
Jack stood then turned and walked out of the infirmary
Jacob seemed surprised when SG-1 arrived at the Tok'ra hiding place with out Sam.
"What's wrong?" he asked almost immediately.
"Sam's in a bit of trouble," Daniel said.
Jacob's eyes flashed. "What sort of trouble?"
"She's got this nasty infection," Jack explained. "That's…slowly taking out parts of her brain. Right now she can't see hear or smell. We don't know what it's going to do to her eventually, but Doc Fraiser thinks it might…it might kill her."
"Oh no…" Jacob said, putting his hands over his face. "Oh no…"
"Yeah." Jack ran one hand through his hair. "Anyway, we were kind of hoping that your people would have something that could help her."
"I don't know," Jacob said, letting his hands fall to his sides. "I wish I could say…"
"Could we talk to Selmak, maybe?" Daniel asked. "He might know if there's something."
Jacob nodded, looking down. When he looked back up again it was Selmak who spoke. "I have never heard of a disease like this before. It sounds as though it's systematically attacking her from the inside, which means it's intelligent…or it at least has something programmed into it."
"I don't care whether it's intelligent or not," Jack snapped. "I just want to know if you can help us…her."
"Of course." Selmak gave Jack an apologetic look. "Unfortunately I cannot think of anything that would help this specifically. We have many antibiotics that are more advanced then those you would possess, but as to whether or not they will work…"
"We can try." Jack said. "Where can we get some?"
"Incoming wormhole, sir, it's SG-1."
Hammond stepped forward, looking through the window to the activated stargate. "Open the iris."
SG-1 stepped through, along with Jacob who was carrying a large black case. Hammond hurried down to the gate room to meet them.
"Did they have something?"
"Well…" Jack shrugged. "They have some stuff that might help, but they're not sure."
Hammond nodded. "It won't hurt to try."
"How's she doing?" Jacob asked as they made their way through the halls to the observation room Sam was in.
"See for yourself." Hammond said, gesturing for the airmen to open the door.
Sam was laying on her back on the bed, her hands resting at her sides. One of her hands held on to something.
"What's that?" Jack asked.
"It's something one of the lieutenants rigged up." Janet said, walking over. "It communicates Morse code through a series of pulses. It's the only way we can talk to Sam."
Jacob walked over to the table next to Sam's bed. Picking up the small controller for the Morse code device, he keyed in a message.
"Dad?" Sam said, sitting up.
"What's up with her voice?" Jack asked, watching as Jacob hugged Sam.
Janet looked over at Jack. "Well she can't hear herself. If you've noticed, deaf people who can talk have that slightly muted tone. So what did you find?"
"I brought some Tok'ra antibiotics," Jacob said, simultaneously keying the message to Sam. "Selmak says we can't be sure if they'll work…we've never heard of anything like this before."
Janet was examining the contents of the case. "Selmak will have to show me how to use these."
"Of course." Selmak said, walking over to the case and removing several brightly colored tubes.
"Janet!" Sam said suddenly in a panicked tone.
Janet hurried over to the Morse code controller, keying something in.
Sam's voice shook as she spoke. "I can't feel my feet."
Janet keyed something else in, then looked up and spoke to the others in the room. "She lost her sense of taste while you all were gone. It'll take her a while to loose her sense of touch completely, but…What I'm really worried about is when she looses control of involuntary body functions like breathing or the beating of her heart…"
"We must hurry then." Selmak said.
Jack, Daniel, and Teal'c watched from outside the observation window while Selmak and Janet worked on administering the antibiotics to Sam. Forty-five minutes later Janet looked up to Jack and shook her head, before coming out to talk to them.
"Selmak said that if the medicine was successful, we would have seen results by now." She said despairingly.
Jack scowled. "Ok…on to plan B."
"What's that?" Daniel asked.
"How much time does Major Carter have?" Teal'c asked.
Janet shrugged. "Not much. Sam said she's lost feeling in her lower legs and hands. I put the Morse code receiver against her inner elbow, but we won't be able to communicate with her very much longer. So far her internal workings seem to be fine. And from the monitoring of her brain, I can tell that she'd be perfectly fine physically if the bacteria were gone."
"Well…" Jack sighed. "Keep an eye on her. Do whatever you need to to keep her alive until we get back."
Janet smiled. "You don't have to tell me that."
"Right." Jack turned to Daniel and Teal'c. "Let's go talk to Hammond."
In the briefing room, Hammond sat at the long table with the remaining members of SG-1. "I don't know if I like the idea of us running to our more advanced allies anytime we're stuck with a problem that we have difficulty solving."
"With all due respect, General," Jack said. "This isn't just 'a problem' this is Major Carter's life we're talking about."
"We don't know that for sure."
"We have a pretty damn good idea!"
Hammond sighed. "If you can get in contact with the Asgard, then go ahead. But don't do anything that's going to risk your safety."
"What?" Jack frowned.
"Colonel, I know that your diplomatic skills aren't exactly perfect." Hammond said. "Especially when you're faced with a distressing situation. You've gotten on the Asgard's bad side before."
"I'll let Daniel do the talking." Jack promised.
"Good." Hammond nodded. "Permission granted to go see the Asgard."
A few long hours and several bargaining sessions later, Daniel, Teal'c and Jack stood in a room with several members of the Asgard high council.
"What may we do for you?" one asked.
"One of our team members, Major Samantha Carter, has been infected with a bacterial disease that we can't deal with…" Daniel said. He proceeded to explain the effects of the bacteria to the Asgard, who listened quietly, then spoke among themselves for a moment.
"We cannot help you." The one who had spoken before said bluntly.
Jack stepped forward. "What?"
"We have far more pressing matters to deal with," the Asgard said. "And also, it would be a breach of the Goa'uld Asgard treaty to help you."
"Oh, for crying out loud!" Jack said waving his hand impatiently. "I'm not taking that treaty bull crap again. We're not asking you to help advance our race unnaturally, we're asking for you to save our friend."
"Giving you the means to save Major Carter would be considered, by the Goa'uld, to be advancing your race."
"God damn!" Jack cried, throwing his hands up in the air. "You're just going to let those snake-heads dictate the terms of the treaty to you?"
"Jack-!" Daniel said warningly.
Jack glared at Daniel. "No! I'm sick of hearing people say that they can't do anything to help Carter!" he pointed accusingly at the Asgard. "You know you have the ability to help her. You could probably do it with a snap of your fingers, and yet you won't!"
"Would you risk the safety of hundreds of planets to save the life of one of your friends?" one Asgard asked.
Jack glared at them. "You know what?" he muttered under his breath. "Go to hell." He turned and walked out of the room. Daniel gave the Asgard an apologetic look.
"What is our next course of action?" Teal'c asked as they sat outside Sam's observation room.
Jack stood by the window, staring down with a worried look on his face. They'd returned to find Sam unable to use any of her senses. Indeed it looked like she was in a coma, except that her eyes were open and blinked, and occasionally she would move ever so slightly. Janet was rushing around, looking at blood samples, conducting tests, and monitoring Sam's vital signs. Jacob had been sitting with Sam most of the time, but a few minutes ago he'd been called away by the Tok'ra.
"What about the Nox?" Daniel suggested. "They can heal just about anything."
"Yeah, well, how are we supposed to get in touch with them?" Jack asked, turning around. "Didn't we tell them to bury their gate?"
"If I remember correctly," Teal'c said. "They have unburied it after prompting by the Tollan."
"Great. Let's go."
It took a little convincing to get Hammond to let them go, as he was beginning to get tired of them going to everyone in the galaxy. But finally he did give in and allow them to travel back to the Nox home world of P3X-774.
"Lya?" Jack called after they'd stepped out of the stargate. "Anybody? Hello? We could use a little help here!"
They waited. Minutes passed. Jack became more impatient and began kicking the ground with the toe of his boot. Suddenly there was a noise behind them and they turned to see the serene Lya standing there.
"Greetings." She said.
"Hey." Jack walked over. "Look, we need your help." He jumped as several other Nox appeared around Lya, watching SG-1 curiously.
"What may we do for you?" Lya asked, a faint smile playing over her lips.
"Look," Jack said. "Our friend, Major Carter, is very sick. She picked up some bacteria that's taking over her brain. We can't help her, and we think she's dying. We've talked to the Tok'ra and the Asgard, and neither of them can or will help us. Please. We just need one of you to come back to Earth and help save her."
The Nox exchanged a few meaningful looks before Lya spoke. "Perhaps, if the great races of the Tok'ra and the Asgard will not help you, they have good reason."
"Well," Daniel said. "The Tok'ra would help, they just can't. And the Asgard feel it would be a breech of their treaty with the Goa'uld to do so."
The Nox still all seemed doubtful. A male stepped forward. "Perhaps the Tau'ri need to learn that sometimes sacrifices must be made, and that sometimes the effort required is too great to prevent them."
Jack stared at them disbelievingly. "But you can help her! I thought you believed in helping everyone! Don't you people have any feelings at all?" The Nox gave each other confused looks.
"Yes, of course we understand feelings," the male said, sounding slightly offended.
"Good." Jack scowled. "Then maybe you understand what it's like to care about someone so much you'll do anything to help them." At this, Daniel raised his eyebrows and looked at Teal'c, who merely stared stonily back.
Lya stepped forward, saying gently, "I can see that you care about Major Carter very much. And I also see that it does not seem such a great task for me to help her. I will come with you."
"Thank you!" Jack said, looking relieved in an almost annoyed way.
Lya turned to the other nox and nodded slowly. The rest of them vanished and Lya followed SG-1 back to the stargate.
"How long has she been in there with Sam?" Daniel asked, walking over to where Jack stood by the observation window that looked down on Lya and Sam.
"Hours." Jack replied.
"What's she doing? Doesn't she just have to get rid of the virus and be done with it?"
"I don't know, and frankly, as long as she's helping Carter, I don't care."
They were both silent for a while longer. Jack watched Lya working on Sam, the nox stood with her eyes closed and her hands held out over Sam's prone form. A faint glow issued from under Lya's hands, but other then that, nothing else.
"Um, Jack?" Daniel said quietly. "Can I ask you something?"
"What did you mean, back on P3X-774, about caring about someone so much that you'd do anything to help them?"
Jack rolled his eyes. "What do you think I meant?"
"Well, I don't know." Daniel shrugged. "I just thought that maybe…"
"I don't know what you're talking about, Daniel."
Lya looked up at them then and smiled, then beckoned with one hand. Daniel and Jack hurried down into the room.
"I have removed the bacteria." Lya said. She pointed to a rack of test tubes. "They are in those, should your own healers wish to study them."
"Why didn't you just destroy them?" Jack asked, frowning.
Lya smiled faintly. "They are very intelligent."
"They're bacteria!" Jack cried.
"They're more then you think." Lya clasped her hands before her. "It will be a great advantage to you to learn of their ways."
Jack shook his head. "Yeah yeah, whatever. How's Carter?"
"She is resting now, but when she awakes she will be fully recovered."
"Good." Jack sighed. "And thank you, again."
"Look," Daniel said. "If there's anything you need that we can give you…"
"I require no payment for my services." Lya told them.
"No I just meant…a token of our thanks."
Lya smiled again. "Your words are enough. Now may I return?"
"Yeah, of course." Jack said. "Daniel?"
Daniel raised an eyebrow. "Right. Come on, Lya, I'll take you back to the gate room."
A few minutes after Daniel and Lya left, Janet entered.
"How's Sam doing?"
Jack pulled a chair over to Sam's bed and sat down. "Well, Lya said she'll be fine once she wakes up. Oh, and the bacteria's in those test tubes over there."
Janet bent to examine the test tubes. "Wow. How did she remove them?"
Janet went and bent over Sam, gently opening her eyelids and shining a light into her eyes. "Well, her pupils are dilating, that's a good sign." Sam shifted, mumbling something. Janet turned the light off and put a hand on Sam's cheek. "Sam?"
"Janet?" Sam's voice was weak, but as she opened her eyes it was obvious they were working.
"How are you feeling?"
Sam was looking around the room now. "Better." She turned and saw Jack sitting next to her. "It's good to see you again, sir."
"Yeah I bet it is." Jack said. "Glad to see you're ok."
Sam struggled into a sitting position, but she winced and put a hand to her head. Janet quickly adjusted the pillows so Sam could lean against them. "Your brains been out of function so long," Janet said. "I'm sure you'll have a headache for a little while. I can go find you some pain killers if you want."
"Yeah, that'd be great."
Janet smiled and left the room.
"So, sir, you obviously found a cure." Sam said, turning to Jack.
"Yep," Jack nodded. "The nox were the only ones capable and willing to help you."
"I'll have to thank them."
"Sir," Sam began quietly.
Jack leaned in a little closer. "What?"
"Before you left, when you were saying goodbye to me…" her voice trailed off, but Jack knew exactly what she was talking about.
"Look, Carter, no one has to know. I just…I thought I was going to loose you."
Sam looked up at him, something strange showing in her eyes. "I understand."
Jack found he didn't trust himself to say anything else, so he patted Sam on the shoulder then stood, mumbling something about going to report to Hammond. With that he turned, and left the room.
To Be Continued…