Summary: SG 1 and friends embark on a mind twisting journey through time and space in hopes of restoring the reality they fought to save.
A/N: Based very loosely on spoilers for upcoming films and SGA season 4, this story takes place after the Ark of Truth and before Sam Carter is assigned to Atlantis.
Chap 1: Circle of Life
Clean up was not Sam Carter's idea of fun. Kicking alien butt, piloting cutting edge spacecraft and quality time with a certain Air Force general, now those things, they were fun. But clean up, whether in a kitchen or on a battle field, had never been one of her favorite tasks.
Of course life couldn't always be fun. As if to prove that point, SG1 had been dispatched to P5X-299 on the ultimate clean up mission. Only two days earlier, the allied fleet had successfully vanquished the combined forces of the remaining Ori and their minions. The pitched battle took place on and above the desert landscape of P5X-299. Many lives had been lost, yet the results were more than they had hoped. Finally, the greatest threat to the security of the known universe had been defeated. All that was left was the final confirmation of victory. They couldn't risk any surviving priors or Ori themselves hiding on this remote backwater planet. Their mission was clean up, pure and simple.
One way or another, this would be Sam's final mission as a member of SG1. She had mixed feelings about the momentous occasion. There was talk of a pending assignment to the Pegasus galaxy. As much as that possibility tickled her imagination and thrilled her sense of adventure, she dreaded the thought of separation from her new husband. What's more, she knew how much she'd miss her teammates. She had to talk with someone, hear what they thought about the Atlantis offer. Of course she'd already talked it to death with Jack, but he refused to limit her choices in any way, assuring her he'd support whatever she decided.
So, last night, before the mission, she spilled the beans about everything to Vala and the guys. She spilled all the beans, or just about.
Once the team recovered from the shock of learning Sam was married to Jack O'Neill, they'd been supportive, congratulating her profusely and wondering why they hadn't been included in the ceremony. Then the friends pulled together, looking at the pros and cons of the Atlantis assignment. As always, Sam was glad she'd taken them into her confidence.
Cam Mitchell walked through the extensive debris field that was now P5X-299. Christened "Purgatory" by Daniel Jackson, the planet had been the focus of the team's attention for the last four months. In planning for the recent final battle, they'd mapped every square inch of terrain by satellite surveillance, while Sam, Dr. Lee and their team had done everything possible to demystify the unsettling magnetic forces surrounding the abandoned world. Abandoned that was, until the Ori had chosen it as their final hideout.
"Looks like we got 'em," Cam announced as he kicked yet another Ori artifact out of his way. "They're not looking so hallowed right about now."
"Indeed they are not," Teal'c confirmed. Although many of the bodies of the Ori followers had been vaporized in the battle, others remained strewn across the battlefield. Cam's flippant attitude aside, it was a somber sight to behold.
"I can hardly believe its over," Daniel said. "After all this time, everything that's happened, we won."
"You were expecting to lose?" Vala questioned, stopping to regard her paramour with a jaundiced eye.
"No, of course not," Daniel replied. "But I didn't expect such a decisive victory either. We've totally wiped them out."
"You almost sound sorry," Sam observed, stopping her forward motion to join the conversation. "You know it couldn't end any other way."
"You're right," he replied quickly. "I just wonder what they could have taught us, if…"
"Those miserable excuses for Ancients wouldn't have taught us anything, Jackson," Cam replied impatiently. "Get over it, they got what they deserved."
"Okay," Sam said, stopping in her tracks and holding up a hand of warning. "Enough. This place is getting to all of us. I say we finish our sweep of the area and get the hell out of here." The last thing Sam wanted was to see her team needlessly sniping at each other. Walking amidst death had a way of making even the most professional military types anxious and irritable.
"No argument here," Cam replied.
"Indeed," Teal'c concurred.
Within the hour, SG1 had completed their reconnaissance. Satisfied that all signs of the Ori stronghold had been wiped out, they headed towards the gate, more than ready to take their leave of Purgatory.
"Dial it up, Daniel," Cam ordered.
"With pleasure," Daniel replied, more than ready to be rid of this place of death.
Sam watched as the archeologist began to move toward the DHD. She felt the relief that came with imminent escape from this nightmare planet. With any luck, she'd be with Jack by tomorrow morning and the next part of their lives could begin. As it was she had yet another surprise for him; she could only hope he'd be happy about it as she was. Then they could make a decision about Atlantis.
Before Daniel could enter the first glyph, everything came to a screeching halt. While Sam watched, Daniel's forward movement ceased. Everything ceased. Unable to turn her head, Sam felt her breath catch in her chest. Slowly rising panic was fueled by the pulsating roar assailing her on all sides. As the figures of her friends lost cohesion before her eyes, the world went black.
In the next moment, Samantha Carter was wiping sleep for her eyes.
Where am I? She wondered. I was on Purgatory. Sam's mind raced to fight the specter of sleep and make sense of what had happened.
Sitting up in an all too comfortable bed, she scanned her surroundings. On one level, the warm, inviting bedroom she now occupied was familiar. Her favorite colors, her down comforter, her bedclothes. Still, it wasn't right. No sign she shared this room with anyone else, no sign of Jack.
Had she been dreaming? Was she dreaming now?
Where am I?
A/N: Couldn't resist one more story. Hope it grabs your interest. You know I love reviews! Please tell me what you think.