A/N: Written for a Sam and Jack fic-a-thon assignment. The story takes place during season 8, shortly after Jack has taken command of the SGC. (Hannah, hope you're reading, didn't know where to send it.)
BY ANY OTHER NAME
CHAPTER ONE: THE BEGINNING
It started innocently enough.
It was Brigadier General Jack O'Neill's fourth week as the leader of the SGC when Jacob Carter traveled through the stargate with an urgent request. Yet one more request for help from the Tok'ra.
"Jacob! Long time, no see," O'Neill called as he welcomed his unexpected Tok'ra visitor. "Carter's been wondering when you'd be dropping by for a visit."
"This isn't a social call, Jack," Jacob said impatiently. "Is Sam available? What we have to discuss depends on her."
"Okay, so down to business. I can do that," Jack replied, quickly abandoning the friendly banter. Why don't they ever come just to say hello? He wondered. Signaling Sergeant Harriman on the observation deck, Jack instructed the man to have SG1 and Dr. Frasier paged to the briefing room immediately.
It was clear Jacob wanted to proceed without delay; Jack pushed himself to keep up with the energized older man's stride. Whatever was going on here, from Jacob's mood, it was big and probably more than a little dangerous. And for some reason, it involved placing Carter center stage.
Considering the pace Jacob set, Jack wasn't surprised they were the first to arrive at the briefing room. Once the two had taken their seats, Jack began, "So Jacob, nobody with you this time? What's the deal?"
Jacob bowed his head silently and when his eyes met Jack's once again, it was the deep, stern voiced of Selmac that answered.
"As you know, General O'Neill, it has been some time since I have enjoyed the full trust of the Tok'ra High Council. Presently, I represent a small minority of the leadership who continue to see the Tauri as integral to the eventual defeat of the Goa'uld," he explained.
"And I am grateful for your faith in us," O'Neill replied glibly. But why the visit and where, oh where, are your customary companions?"
"It seems I am one of the few who believes in the potential of this mission," Selmac replied simply.
"I don't like the sound of that," Jack said. "What's so important and what's it got to do with Carter?"
On cue, Sam arrived, flanked by Teal'c and Daniel.
"Excuse the delay, Sir," the Lt. Colonel said apologetically. "I needed to shut down an experiment I was running."
"Carter, we have a visitor," Jack said, gesturing towards Jacob who'd been sitting with his back towards the door.
"Dad!" she said with surprise, as Jacob slowly and deliberately stood up to embrace her.
"Sam, how are you?" the concerned father asked, holding her at arm's length, as if examining her.
"I'm good, Dad. Better now that you're here," she answered with a smile.
"Hate to break up the Carter family reunion," Jack said. "But Jacob says he's here on urgent business, so let's get to it."
"Yes, Sir," Sam snapped, immediately pulling away and taking her seat. Daniel and Teal'c were also seated, as Janet Frasier entered the room as unobtrusively as possible.
"We've stumbled upon what could be the perfect opportunity to stop Anubis' super soldiers," Jacob began. "We … I need your help, more specifically, your help, Sam."
Sam looked at her father with clear interest and more than a little curiosity. "Really? We're already working on the energy weapon. Have the Tok'ra found another approach?"
"Actually we have. It has to do with interrupting the reanimation process," Jacob said. "We're going to prevent the creation of more soldiers and poison the ones already in service."
"And how do you think we can do that?" Daniel asked skeptically.
"Took the words right out of my mouth, Daniel," Jack added.
"It seems Anubis has been looking for a Goa'uld scientist to oversee research and development. I'm told he had his last director killed for insubordination. We're going to fill the position."
"I do not know any Goa'uld scientists to recommend for the position, Jacob Carter," Teal'c said.
"Neither do I, Teal'c," Jacob said, turning to look at his daughter. "But I do know a brilliant scientist perfectly suited for the job."
"Jacob… in case you haven't noticed, Carter isn't a Goa'uld," Jack said, hoping he was stating the obvious.
Sam shot her commanding officer a look he'd seen before, respectfully asking he back down until she got more information. "Dad, exactly what did you have in mind?"
"You'd go in undercover as the newly assigned Goa'uld scientist in charge of the project. Selmac's preliminary research indicates that between the protein marker you carry and the naquadah in your bloodstream, we can make this work."
"Still, I can't pass as Goa'uld, Dad. You know that."
"You'll need one or two upgrades, courtesy of Anise actually," Jacob said.
"There's a name I was hoping never to hear again," Jack quipped, his eye twitching with remembered pain.
"She's made some important advances, Jack," Jacob said, responding to the General's obvious skepticism. "One of them is a protein supplement which will temporarily boost the amount of naquadah in Sam's blood allowing her to be perceived as carrying a symbiote while in fact she is not. Once the supplement is administered, we'll fit her with contacts and that voice amplification set up you like so much. The Goa'uld won't know the difference."
"Dad, SG1's not exactly strangers to Anubis or his associates. Certainly, one of the Jaffa will recognize me," Sam protested.
"That's where some special effects come in, Sam," Jacob said with half a smile. "I wouldn't ask you to do this if I didn't think it would make a difference. This may be the break we need."
Jack could tell Sam wanted this assignment; between her natural curiosity and the fact her father was the one asking, it was a forgone conclusion. But that didn't make the idea sit any better with him.
"Alright, Jacob, let me get this straight. We send Carter in, made up to be this Goa'uld scientist. Even if Anubis and his boys buy it, what's to stop them from figuring out what's going on when their overgrown robots start keeling over?"
"Nothing, Jack. They'll trace it back to Sam. Selmac and I are hoping before that happens enough damage will have been done to effectively destroy the reanimation process for the foreseeable future."
"And what about Colonel Carter?" Teal'c asked.
"That's what the extraction team is for; if you authorize the plan, Jack, I'd recommend an SG team infiltrate the local population and be ready on a moment's notice to pull her out of there.
"And physically, Jacob, what effect will boosting the naquadah in her system have?" Janet asked, voicing her own concern for her patient and her friend.
"Anise has assured Selmac, there will be no long lasting effects. The increased levels will only persist while the protein compound is administered. Then everything will return to normal," Jacob said, turning once more to look at his daughter. "Sam, you're not saying much. What are you thinking?"
"Dad, it's just that Anise hasn't been very reliable in the past. If I'm going to do this, I'll need to check her calculations, especially about the reanimation poison," Sam said.
As Jacob blinked deliberately, it was once more Selmac who spoke. "Believe me Samantha, Anise has been tireless in her work on this particular formula. She understands as do I, how critical it is to the success of this operation. We would not ask for your help in this if the situation were not desperate. Anubis' army has overrun several planets already. Any hope for a Free Jaffa nation is pointless when faced with this enemy, and the Tok'ra are no match for them. And the Tauri will soon be their target. You are our best hope."
"Carter?" Jack said, waiting with some trepidation for his second's response.
"I'd like to do it, Sir. If the formulas work like Selmac thinks they will, we've got a decent chance of making a difference. Let me check Anise's data and I can tell you more."
As Jack was ready to agree and dismiss the team for further consideration, Jacob interrupted, "There's not a lot of time, Sam. If this is going to work, we need to get you in there before they find another replacement."
"An hour, Dad, give me an hour," she said.
True to her word, Sam spent the next hour holed up in her lab, checking and rechecking the information Anise had sent. Though she'd love to have more time, from her cursory review, the plan had a fairly good chance of success. Assuming she wasn't discovered prematurely, the genetically altered symbiote poison might indeed counteract the effects of the reanimation process.
Calling her father with her preliminary findings, she was surprised to see him waiting at the door of the lab, ready to escort her to the infirmary. The rest, as they say, is history.
No more than two hours following Jacob Carter's unexpected arrival, the man himself appeared unannounced at the door to General O'Neill's office. He was accompanied by the petite Chief Medical Officer and a second woman Jack was unable to place. Of tall and stately bearing, this stranger had long black tresses that flowed freely around her shoulders, nearly reaching her waist. With piercing green eyes and a heavily tanned complexion, the woman was exotically beautiful. That is, until her eyes flashed and she smiled.
"My name is Diana, Sir," she answered.
"Roman goddess of the hunt," Daniel supplied sotto voice.
This is so not a good idea, Jack thought.
A/N: What do you think? After the Alone series, it was difficult to write a piece where Sam and Jack were once again Carter and Sir.
Promise, the next chapter will have more action and less talk
Please review and let me know if you're interested in seeing the rest of the story!