Born from my love of AU Geeky Sam stories, I wanted to explore a Sam who was non-military but still kick-ass. Dr Samatha Carter is recruited, unwillingly, years into the Stargate program to solve the mystery of who tried to sabotage the Stargate.

My first Stargate fanfic. Comments and reviews are appreciated. The title is from an Emily Dickinson poem.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

"God damn GPS! Daniel where are we? " Jack O'Neill slammed his hand on the wheel of the rental car in frustration. They had arrived in Boston almost two hours ago and what should have been a short ride to the campus of MIT was taking twice as long.

"I do not know Boston, Jack. Just follow the signs." Making a hurried turn Jack kept hastily looking from the GPS display to the road.

"Jack, you're driving down a one way street."

"I know that Daniel"

"But you are driving in the wrong direction."

"Shit!" Jack exclaimed, having turned his eyes back on the road to see the oncoming sedan. Breaking hard he heard a grunt from Daniel as the younger man was thrown forward.

"Jack, just pull in there. The map says the auditorium is just around this next block. We can walk from here."

They had caught the red-eye from Colorado Springs to Boston after only one day of downtime from their latest, stress filled mission. Jack should be a little happier with the circumstances. It was only a few hours after they returned from PX7-998 that a malfunction in the gate stranded ten SG teams off-world. The geeks at the mountain were at a complete loss as to the problem. All diagnostics came up clear. There was no explainable reason for the gate system's inability to dial in or out without causing a calamitous discharge of energy on the other side and disengage the wormhole.

General Hammond had ordered Jack and Daniel to Boston to investigate a professor at the Mass. Institute of Technology who was presenting a computer program that theorizes the possibility of creating a stable wormhole. The government took interest in these types of developments, especially when said theory is actually very close to the understood science of the Stargate. The men were to join Colonel Simmons, who was flying up from Washington, with the mission to invite the doctor back to Cheyenne. The hope being that this genius, who somehow independently came up with a theory that explains the science of how the Stargate works, could help to solve the current crisis. So here they were, lost in the labyrinth of Boston.

"We were supposed to be there over an hour ago, Daniel. Hopefully Simmons made it." Jack huffed as the two men made their way up the causeway which led to the lecture hall. He hadn't much time to review the report on this Dr. Carter. Daniel filled him in on most of the scientist's background. Master from Stanford and Doctorate from MIT, Dr. Sam Carter was a rising star in the theoretical physics community, but had come under scrutiny and ridicule for some revolutionary theories. Jack couldn't help but laugh and jab Daniel about finding a kindred spirit in this misfit amongst the geeks, having been in the same situation years ago with his theories on the construction of the pyramids. He was still the black sheep of the archeology community since the truth and proof of his theory was the best kept secret of the US Air Force.

As they entered, they were greeted with only a spattering of attendees but it appeared to be a lively crowd since at the moment a ripple of laughter was sweeping through the cavernous auditorium.

"Dr Carter, what you are suggesting is simple not supported by all accepted understanding of the physics."

The hall was darken with only ambient light from the ceiling, the towering screen at the front of the room glowing with an image of geometric diagram. Jack could tell the speaker was located at the bottom of the stairs, seeing his portly shadow in the low-lighting. He scanned the area in front of the screen searching for the recipient of the tirade, finding the dark outline of a figure at the podium.

"Dr. Stern, I appreciate that my proposal is a distinct departure from the accepted theories but if you would take the opportunity to review the section on the energy concentration you will find that when the.."

"Dr. Carter I will not waste my valuable time reviewing an obviously flawed theory. I can not give credence to a theory so lacking in scientific acumen and one based solely on personal hubris."

"Lights please." A third voice yelled out. With that the hall lit up. Jack could finally make out the back of the irate speaker. The challenger continued.

"It is a disservice to this institution that Dr Carter has taken up its resources in pursuit of such a ridiculous theory." With that the man turned and stormed up the stairs heading directly to Jack and Daniel. Reaching the top of the stairs the man stopped beside the men, turned and snorted one last blow of disgust before departing through the door, slamming heavily on the handle.

From the podium came a firm female voice, "Thank you for attending. While Dr. Stern is obviously not inclined to appreciate a new theory in our understanding of wormhole science, I hope this presentation has offered a new direction of thought and will inspire others in their scientific pursuits." The only response was polite applause. The woman at the podium bowed her head and quietly shuffled an assortment of papers obviously in an effort of to ignore the lack of enthusiasm.

"So," Jack says, turning to Colonel Simmons who had risen from one of back row seats to join them, "we miss much?"

"Just a crucifixion." Simmons replied. As the remaining attendees filtered past them the three men made their way down to the front. Jack could just make out the low conversation between the woman and a young man who looked as if he shopped at the same Geeks-R-Us store as Daniel.

"Dr. Carter, it was an excellent presentation."

"You're being kind George." The tall blond replied to the young man assisting her with the computer connected to the projector. "Unfortunately I think you should start kissing up to Dr. Marcus for another TA position. Stern is the head of the tenure review board. I doubt I will be here next semester." As the men came up a few feet short of the two, a third stepped up to the pair.

"Dr. Carter, I am sorry Dr. Stern was so publicly dismissive to your theory." the voice was the same that called for the lights.

"No need to apologize Ned. Dr. Stern has been gunning for me since I declined his invitation to join his quantum particle think tank."

George chuckled and muttered, "That and when you accidentally," emphasized with air quotes, "poured you drink on him at the faculty mixer last year when he groped you."

"Now George," she towering blond turned to her left, "Doc Sterno simply failed to appreciate the most basic understanding of causality."

Jack snorted loudly, Doc Sterno, at least she has a sense of humor, even if she is an egg-head, he thought. The three colleagues seemed to take no notice of the three men standing a few feet from them. Jack quickly appraised the renowned Doctor Samantha Carter. She was exactly what he had expected. Sure she was dressed in a conservative dull gray suit with a skirt that went down well past her knees. The cream colored blouse she wore underneath was buttoned to the collar with a delicate silver broach clipped to the collar. She wore a hideous pair of black framed glassed that did nothing for her delicate features. Her blond hair was brushed up in an untidy bun. Yep, he thought, Daniel with XX chromosomes.

As if a veil had been lifted to reveal the eavesdroppers, the lights-on man turned to men.

"Gentlemen, the Q and A has concluded. Dr Carter is not taking any further questions."

Simmons took the lead and stepped to the group.

"Forgive the intrusion, I am Major Simmons, United States Air Force, this is Colonel O'Neill and Dr. Jackson. We would like to speak to Dr Carter in private."

George took a protective step in front of Dr. Carter, as she took an appraising sweep of the group of men, especially the tall officer with silvery hair and pair of deep brown eyes. Settling a hand on George's forearm she gently nudged him aside and stepped towards the men.

She knew these men, not them specifically, but their type. Nearly twenty years ago a major from the Air Force approached her shortly before her graduation from Stanford with an invitation to join as a commissioned officer. With a father in the military he expected the line, "to serve your country," would work to convince her. She'll never forget her father's parting word in a letter, in lieu of attending her graduation, "I hope you understand what you have given up..."

She never regretted her decision, professionally at least.

"You can make an appointment through my office. Call the university's switchboa-"

"Miss, what we have to discuss will not wait." Jack interrupted.


"Excuse me?"

Daniel heard the whistle of the oncoming train wreck and quickly jumped in to avert the disaster.

"Doctor Carter," stressing the honorific, "we would appreciate you allowing us to speak to you. We are here on an important matter. It's really quite important, it's.."

Noticing the woman's frustrated look, Daniel wordlessly begged for an assist.

"A matter of national security." Simmons finished for him. "If we could please go somewhere we could speak in private."

George and Ned turned to Samantha in uncertainty. Taking a moment, she considered the option of tossing the group out. Then the thought struck her. She was likely be to out of a job tomorrow.

"Alright, there's a conference room beyond that door." She point to her left. "Wait for me there while I finish up here."

"Thank you Dr. Carter." Simmons nodded and turned to usher the others in the direction of room.

Once they were through the door George turned to Samantha, "What is going on? What does the Air Force want with you?"

"That's what I will find out. Please finish packing up. I'll meet you at my office in a half hour."

It was longer than a half hour that George waited. In fact he had fallen asleep in one of the chairs in front of her desk before she returned hours later, bursting through the door.

"Dr. Carter, wha..what took you so long? What are you doing?"

"Have to go George. I'm on a flight in less than an hour." She replied without looking up as she methodically gathered papers and attempted to shove her laptop into a bag.

"A flight? Where? What's going on?"

She finished her packing and shoved a set of keys into his hand.

"I need you to take care of a few things. I don't know how long I will be gone. Those are the keys to my apartment. Please take care of my cat and whatever else."

"Your cat? Doc, Sam! What is going on?"

"I." she hesitated. "George, I can't tell you much, just, it's important."

"Okay, but can you tell me where you are going?"

"Colorado Springs."

"Colorado? What the hell is in Colorado?"

Stopping in front of the open door, she had a strange, determined look, "Deep-space telemetry." With that she turned and left a stunned George.