Freeze Frame

NOTE from the PHOENIX: This is another mix of science fiction and medical fact. I just want to state right now, for the record, there are no alternate universe characters invovled here.

Chapter One

"Open the iris!" Jack ordered. "Get a medical team down there!"

Ten minutes ago Jack had been prepared to go home, have a beer, order some Chinese, watch some hockey. A minute ago a message had come through the Gate after an unscheduled opening. It had born Teal'c's ID number and it simply coded for 'emergency'. Seconds after the heavy metal iris slid open Teal'c stepped out of the pool of blue and white light.

Teal'c carried Sam and Daniel, each of them supported by one of his strong arms. There was no blood, but they were both unconscious. He waited patiently as the medical team came up the ramp and took them away from him.

"Teal'c, what the hell happened?"

"I am unsure. We had yet to make contact with the inhabitants since they live a good distance from the Gate. After a day of walking the sun began to set before we reached our destination, so we made camp. In the morning they would not wake."

"You carried them both back that whole distance?"

"I could not leave them there helpless, and I was unsure if their condition would worsen if I simply waited for you to initiate radio contact."

"I'm not saying you did the wrong thing, Teal'c. I'm just impressed."

Teal'c graced Jack with a shallow bow. Having as much information as he was going to get Jack made his way to the infirmary. Teal'c followed and was quickly asked to be placed through a standard off-world physical.

While they were checking Teal'c out Jack wandered over to where Daniel and Sam had been laid out. Heart monitors and EEG machines were already chirping out a normal rhythm. Dr. Brightman busied herself with various checks before standing back for a moment with a look of confusion.

"Well?" Jack asked impatiently.

"No signs of trauma yet, Sir. They are both at the very least: stable. We'll need to run a..."

Dr. Brightman was interrupted as Daniel suddenly stirred. Jack rushed over and helped him sit up. As though he'd been woken early for school Daniel rubbed his eyes. When he fully opened them he stared unblinkingly at Jack.

"H...hello?"

"Hey there." Jack smiled. "How are you feeling?"

Daniel looked completely disoriented. Now fully awake his eyes darted around the room, absorbing every feature. Jack cleared his throat to get his attention. Daniel jerked in fright. He turned to face Jack, but kept his eyes down cast.

"Are you alright?"

"My head hurts a little."

"Well that's to be expected...I guess."

"My...my name is Daniel, Daniel Jackson."

"Uh..." Jack said intelligently.

"What's your name?"

Jack paused and looked to Dr. Brightman. She was just as confused as he was. Daniel started to fidget as though he wanted to demand an answer, but didn't feel like he had the right to. With a sinking feeling in his stomach Jack answered.

"I'm Jack, Jack O'Neill. General actually."

Daniel just nodded and looked around again. Jack just watched his friend as he tried to figure out his surroundings. He looked uneasy, but not afraid.

"Daniel?"

"Where...where are my parents?"

"Your parents?" Jack repeated in shock.

"I...I must have lost them." Daniel admitted sheepishly. "Will you help me find them? I'm sure they are worried about me."

"I'm worried about you." Jack said seriously.

"Do I know you?"

Jack didn't get a chance to respond. Sam groaned in pain and forced herself to sit up. With her back to Jack and Daniel she looked around. Jack walked around to the other side of the bed to face her. She furrowed her brow for a second, but then she smiled.

"Hello, Sir."

"Carter?" Jack asked

"Yes."

"Do you know where you are?"

"The infirmary at the SGC." Sam answered instantly. "I don't quite remember what happened, but I feel like I got hit over the head."

"I feel the same way." Daniel said meekly.

The look of shock that spread across Sam's face made Jack's already tense stomach twist painfully. She turned around slowly to face Daniel. He smiled shyly at her before looking around some more.

"Daniel?" Sam asked as though she didn't believe it. "Daniel!"

Suddenly full of excitement Sam got up out of the bed and rushed over to him. Daniel looked around for an escape, but found none. Sam reached out and put her hands on his shoulders to convince herself that he was real. Daniel stiffened in fright.

"Daniel?" Sam asked concerned.

"Please don't hurt me."

"No, no of course not." Sam pulled her hands away. "I can't believe you came back to us. This is incredible."

"Please, stay away from me."

"You don't remember me, do you?" Sam asked sadly as she took a step back.

Daniel weld his eyes shut and shook his head. Jack and Dr. Brightman were speechless as they watched the bizarre exchange. Tears slipped down Daniel's face as his fear grew. Alarmed Sam looked to Jack for guidance.

"Please," Daniel whimpered "where are my parents? I want to go home."

Concerned Sam stepped closer once again. This time Daniel reacted violently and pushed her away with surprising force. Jack managed to catch her before she fell. Realizing he'd done something wrong Daniel scrambled off the other side of the bed and tried to bolt.

"Airmen!" Jack barked.

The men that stood outside the infirmary doors reacted instantly and came in to take control of the situation. Daniel yelped in surprise and tried for the other door, however Teal'c calmly stepped into his path. When he ended up backed into the corner he lashed out at the Airmen without skill. They easily captured him.

"Mom! Dad!" Daniel cried at the top of his lungs. "Help me!"

"Doc! Do something!"

"Yes, Sir."

Dr. Brightman pushed past one of the stunned nurses and drew a syringe of sedative. Daniel's azure eyes widened in terror at the sight of the injection. He fought tactlessly against the men holding him. Unable to free himself he continued to call out to his long since dead family for help.

The sedative worked quickly and soon Daniel was struggling to keep his eyes open. Thick tears caught in his lashes and tumbled down his cheeks as he lost consciousness. Dr. Brightman instructed that he immediately be taken for a CAT scan.

"Teal'c, can you help them with Daniel?"

Teal'c nodded and took the sleeping archeologist from the Airmen. Jack took a deep breath and tried to figure out what had just happened. Sam had sat back down on the bed. She looked completely uninterested in the unusual events. Jack sat down on the bed opposite of her. Once again she gave him an odd look.

"Carter?"

"Has your hair always been that colour?"

"What colour?"

"Silver."

"Um...no."

"Oh, okay."

Jack studied Sam for a long minute. His mind raced to recall if this was the anniversary of some horrible practical joke that he had played on them in the past. He was hoping that they were just taking the phrase 'revenge is a dish best served cold' to a new level. However Sam showed no signs of mischief or mirth.

"Carter, what happened to you and Daniel?"

"Daniel?" Sam asked in confusion. "Daniel's dead, Sir."

"What?"

"Sir, what's going on?"

"I have no idea." Jack admitted. "You said Daniel's dead?"

"Of course. I mean I guess I should really say Ascended."

"Carter...you just saw Daniel."

"I did?" Sam asked and looked around. "I suppose I did, I mean he's only been gone for a few months."

"No, like a minute ago."

"I don't think I did."

Jack was left completely speechless. It was like she had totally forgotten the fact that Daniel had just been forcibly taken from the room. Sam looked at Dr. Brightman and then around the room.

"Sir?"

"Yes?" Jack answered distractedly.

"Where's Janet?"

"Janet? Dr. Frasier?"

"Of course. Who else? Where is she? She can tell you that Daniel's dead and that I'm alright."

"Carter, Janet died years ago."

"No, I just saw her this morning." Sam said confidently. "Are you sure you're feeling alright, Colonel?"

"Colonel?" Jack repeated.

Jack stared at Sam, she stared back at him in return. They both wore the same expression, and they both thought the other had lost their minds. Jack got up slowly and walked over to the remaining Airman.

"Take her to medical quarantine."

"Sir?" Sam asked fearfully. "What's going on? What's wrong?"

"I don't know...but we're going to figure it out."