Broken Wings (sequel to Wings) Part 1
Summary: Sam's missing
Parts: Part 1/19
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Archive: Yes, please
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters do not belong to me in any way (darn it!). They belong officially to MGM, Gekko Productions, and Double Secret Productions. No profit will be made on this piece. It was a labor of love.
She was dreaming she was in an old bi-plane, flying high in the clouds, and the joy of it took her breath away. She turned her head to smile at her co-pilot, who looked very much like a certain commanding officer of hers, then she was falling, falling, and awoke with a gasp.
"Geez, baby, I'm sorry! Dammit!" Pete had shaken her awake, and she found herself on her sofa, a book clutched to her chest, still wearing the dress she'd worn at her birthday party the night before.
Pete ran a harried hand through his hair. "I am so sorry, hon. I went in and waited for you, and I must have fallen asleep on the bed." He plopped down on the couch next to her. "And I had plans for us, too." He was almost pouting. "Now there's only time for me to take a quick shower and get back to Denver. Dammit!"
Sam smiled and put a hand on his arm. "Don't worry about it. We were both tired after the party. After all, I fell asleep here." When that didn't seem to cheer him up much, she added, "You can make it up to me next weekend, okay?"
He glanced at her sadly. "Well, okay, I guess it'll have to wait, but I can still give you your present." He held out his hand and gave her a small, wrapped box.
Sam took it. It looked suspiciously like a jeweler's box. Her eyes widened. "Pete…?" If this was what she thought it was, it was waaaayyy too soon.
Pete grinned. "It's not what you think. Not that 'what you think' might not be coming in the very near future, but not this time."
Sam smiled, somewhat relieved. She opened the box to find a gold pendant in the shape of a heart with a small ruby in the middle. Surrounding the ruby were four small diamonds. She held up the gold chain to admire it.
"Pete, it's beautiful!" She leaned over and kissed him.
"Here, let me put it on you." He took the pendant and looped the chain around her neck. Sam put a hand to it and turned back to him.
"Thank you. I love it." She kissed him and he leaned in, cupping the back of her head to deepen the kiss. After a moment, Pete groaned and broke free.
"Dammit, dammit, dammit! Honey, I gotta go." His eyes and voice were pleading.
Sam sighed. "I know. Go take your shower." Grumbling, Pete heaved himself off the sofa and stomped into the bedroom.
Jack reached down onto the console for the Styrofoam cup of coffee, and took a long gulp. It was 6:20, just enough time to make it to the mountain, having taken a detour to the closest gas station/convenience store first.
His phone rang and he grabbed the ear piece, placing it in his ear before checking the caller ID. Smiling, he answered by saying smoothly, "And did we have a good birthday?"
"We did," there was a definite smile in her voice. "Thank you for my gift, by the way. I love it."
"You're very welcome."
"One of the best gifts of all."
"I have to say your's and Pete's were my favorite, although everyone's gifts were great."
His eyebrows rose above the level of his sunglasses. Gee, he rated up there with the boyfriend? "Wow, that's high praise. If only I'd known how much you like old junk."
"It's NOT old junk and you know it." She sounded like he'd insulted her first born.
He grinned. "Well, I have to admit, I thought it was pretty cool, and I hoped you'd like it, too. Glad you did."
"It was VERY cool."
"Hey, you on your way in?" He wondered if 'lover boy' had delayed her this morning.
"Just leaving the house."
"See you there."
The Gate billowed open. As soon as it settled into the smooth event horizon, Sam burst through and ran down the ramp, Jack in hot pursuit.
"Carter!" She didn't even pause. "Carter!" Once again, she kept moving as if something or someone was after her.
"Dammit, Carter, STOP! That's a direct order!" He bellowed.
She stopped in her tracks, her fists clenched at her sides, but refused to turn and look at him.
Daniel and Teal'c emerged from the Gate, holding a young Tok'ra between them. Several other, heavily armed Tok'ra followed.
"Infirmary. NOW!" Jack's voice rang against the walls.
"Jack…" Daniel began. O'Neill held up a hand, and Daniel fell silent looking toward Sam.
She nodded and he barely heard her quiet "yes, sir."
"Colonel, what's going on?" General Hammond demanded.
Jack kept an eye on Carter, making sure she headed in the direction of the infirmary, before answering.
"It was Ba'al, sir. He ambushed us a day after we arrived. He took us all prisoner, then took Carter and Jalen," He gestured behind him at the young Tok'ra. "They were away from us for two days." His mouth tightened at the memory. "When they were brought back to us, they were both pretty shaken, but not many injuries. Neither one has told us what happened. If it weren't for the Tok'ra , I don't know how we'd have ever gotten out of there."
"He got away, too, sir, I'm sorry to say. No telling what he did to them while he had them."
"Well, from your past experience with Ba'al, can we assume they were subjected to some kind of torture?"
"I don't doubt it, sir. He really gets his jollies from torture. But why Carter? Why Jalen?" They never touched the rest of us, just those two. Why?"
The General turned toward the general direction Carter had gone, then looked back at Jack. "It's possible he would have gotten around to the rest of you eventually, but only Major Carter or Jalen can tell us what happened to them."
"Gone? What do you mean, gone?" Jack's voice rose several decibels, and the new doctor, Dr. Martin, blinked several times before replying. Martin was a small, round man who was balding and wore horn-rimmed glasses, almost a bookend for Dr. Lee.
"Her physical wounds were minor, there was no indication of sexual assault, so I had no reason to keep her here, Colonel. Dr. McKenzie felt that her request to sleep in her own home tonight was not unreasonable. He told her to be back first thing in the morning and he would talk with her further."
"You did read the report? You do realize what she's been through?" He'd moved closer to the doctor, so that now he was towering over him menacingly. Ba'al could have done anything to Sam, put her in the sarcophagus and no trace of it would be evident later.
"Ye…Yes, Colonel, but as I say, Dr. McKenzie felt it would do her some good to get away from the base for the night."
"McKenzie's a damned idiot."
Jack knew Sam well enough to know she'd probably kept a tight lid on anything that might interest McKenzie in order to get off the mountain. He opened his mouth to royally chew their new physician's ass, then decided better of it. It would do no good to point out that it would have to be a cold day in hell before Janet Fraiser would have allowed Sam to step one foot outside the infirmary after what she'd been through, but Janet, rest her, was not here. He glared one more time at Martin, which triggered a new round of blinking, and left.
Striding down the corridor on the way to his office, he pulled his cell from his pocket and hit the speed dial. Carter's phone rang three times before the answering machine kicked in. He listened to the message and the prerequisite beep before saying,"Carter, if you're there, pick up." Nothing. "Carter, it's O'Neill. Pick up." He was just about to hang up when he heard the click.
"Yes, sir?" Her voice was slightly muffled, from crying or sleep he couldn't tell.
He had been going to tell her in no uncertain terms that she had no business leaving the mountain, had scared the hell out of him, but instead said softly, "Hey, Sam. You okay?"
There was a slight pause before she replied shakily, "I'm fine, sir."
"Mmm," he grunted. I would have been happier if you'd stayed here in the infirmary awhile, you know."
"Dr. McKenzie released me for the night. Besides, I…couldn't. It was too much like…"
"Oh. Yeah." The place Ba'al had held them had been underground as well. "Well, McKenzie's got you off rotation for the next few days. Listen, if you need anything, or want to talk…"
"Really, sir, I just want to sleep."
He nodded. "Okay. Understandable. You have my number, though, if you want…"
"Yes, sir. Thank you."
"No matter what time it is, day or night, just call, okay?"
"I…I will, sir. Thanks."
He'd reached his office and threw the phone on the desk, dropping into his chair. He ran a hand over his face wearily. What a mess. They'd gone to rendezvous with a Tok'ra cell who had new information on Anubis, and fell right into a trap. They'd met up with Jalen, who was to lead them to the Tok'ra, and then all hell had broken loose. Ba'al's men had been tipped off and were waiting for them.
Once they'd been taken down into an old re-opened Tok'ra tunnel, they were all thrown into a room with a force field over the door. Ba'al himself had appeared and Jack had not been able to suppress the shudder that had gone through him at the sight. Ba'al had smiled.
"Ah yes, O'Neill, I remember you. You made an intriguing plaything. It might be amusing to take up where we left off, but that will have to wait. I have something else in mind today." He quickly indicated Sam and Jalen to his men. "Those two, bring them to me." He then swept from the room.
"No!" Jack tried to stop them from taking Sam. "Take me instead. Ba'al and I are old friends." As he said this he tried to keep himself between the men and Sam, but got himself zatted in the process. When he was finally able to move, Sam and Jalen were gone.
What followed was two days of hell, imagining what Ba'al was doing to them. Jack was nearly out of his mind at the thought that Sam was going through any of what he'd experienced at Ba'al's hands. Daniel and Teal'c were obviously worried, too. They kept looking as far down the corridor where Sam and Jalen had been taken as they could, then looking to him. He couldn't let on to any of what he was feeling. If Ba'al had any idea of his feelings for Sam, they could use it against her and it would just make it worse.
He tried to keep a tight reign on his emotions, but when the guards finally dragged the semi-conscious bodies of Sam and Jalen back and dropped them onto the floor of the alcove directly across from the others, he couldn't help calling out "Sam!" in a ragged voice.
Jalen had fainted and was lying motionless on the floor, Sam had fallen with her back to them, but Jack could see she was shaking.
"Sam, Sam talk to me." He heard the pleading note in his voice. Dammit, they'd put her where he couldn't get to her. She didn't move or acknowledge the others, but he thought he heard her sniffle.
"Sam, are you okay?" Daniel called out softly. No response.
Suddenly she was up on all fours and crawling toward the far corner of the alcove, where she began to vomit. They could hear her retching and sobbing, and Jack called out to her again.
"Sam, Sam…it's going to be okay." His voice sounded odd even to him. Daniel had squatted down on the floor and was holding his folded arms over his bowed head. Jack looked to Teal'c and saw tears in his eyes. They all felt helpless to do anything for her, and despite what he told her, Jack knew it was certainly NOT going to be okay, especially as he recalled the guards words as they left:
"We will begin again soon."
Soon her sobs faded, and the retching stopped, mostly due to the fact that she had nothing left to expel from her body. She was breathing heavily and had lowered herself to the floor again with her back to the others. She was still shaking, and had her arms wrapped around herself.
"Sam…" he called out once again, but she refused to acknowledge him. Soon her breathing slowed and he didn't know if she slept or had fainted like Jalen.
They heard footsteps and he was sure it was the guards coming to take Sam and Jalen again. He frantically tried to think of a way to stop them, but he was helpless against the force field over the doorway.
To his very great relief he saw three heavily-armed Tok'ra coming around the corner, and the sound of weapons fire down the hall. It was the contingent of Tok'ra they had originally set out to meet, coming to their rescue.
Their leader, Arden, deactivated the force fields to both cells, and gestured to them. "You must get to the Stargate as quickly as possible. We will hold them off as long as we can."
Sam was on her feet, her face white as chalk. As soon as they were released Jack, Daniel and Teal'c all went to her immediately. She shook her head, backing away, her hand up as if to fend them off, her voice wretched as she cried out,
"Don't touch me."
At the sound of her voice the three men stopped in their tracks. Sam brushed past all of them and ran from the room.
"Carter! Carter wait!" Jack called after her, but she was running toward the entrance as fast as she could run. He ran after her, but she was already through and running for the gate.
Sighing, he leaned back in his chair. He should have made sure she stayed in the infirmary. When she ran, she wasn't just trying to get to the gate quickly, there was an edge of hysteria to it. She was running from what had happened to her, running from them, her teammates as well.
He picked up his stapler and threw it as hard as he could against the opposite wall, where it exploded into several pieces and fell to the floor. It was his responsibility to protect her, to protect his team, and look what had happened. He'd had a bad feeling from the moment they stepped through the gate, but had ignored it. He'd let his team down, had let her down, and look what had happened.
He got up and grabbed his jacket. He suddenly had the same desire Sam had. To get the hell off the mountain.
It was the next morning, and he'd had no sleep at all. He alternated between replaying the events of the mission in his head, and picking up the phone to call Sam. He always put it back down because he didn't want to wake her if she had finally managed to get some sleep. He knew from personal experience that after what she'd been through you either couldn't sleep at all, or slept like the dead. He hoped she was sleeping.
He was holding the phone in his hand when it rang. He immediately answered by saying, "Sam?"
"No, sorry Jack, it's Daniel. I just wanted to know if you've heard from her. I didn't want to call and wake her up."
Jack sighed heavily. "No, Daniel, I haven't heard from Sam. I was going to call her later."
"Yeah, me too." There was a small awkward silence, then Daniel said, "How are you doing?"
"Me?" Jack was definitely surprised by the question.
"Oh, I'm just peachy, Daniel. Having to stand by while one of my people is tortured just does wonders for me, you know?" His tone was more acerbic than usual.
"Er, yeah…bad night, eh?"
Jack sighed. "Yeah, you could say that."
"Me, too. No sleep at all."
"Join the club."
"Teal'c called earlier. He said he's 'troubled', too."
"Yeah." Jack ran a weary hand over his face. "Troubled is putting it mildly."
"Listen, if you hear from Sam…"
"I'll let you know."
As he hung up, someone started pounding on his front door. He opened it to find Pete Shanahan pacing back and forth. He turned and glared at Jack.
"O'Neill." His voice shook with repressed emotion.
"Pete. What are you doing here?"
"Is she here?"
"Sam? No, she's not." What was going on?
Pete made to shove past Jack into the house, shouting, "Sam!"
Jack blocked his entrance with his arm. "What the hell are you doing? I said she's not here."
Pete laced his fingers behind his head. "Oh God, I don't know where else to look." He sounded desperate.
Jack grabbed his arm and turned him to face him. "Sam's gone? What happened?" When Pete didn't immediately answer, Jack shook him. "Pete, what's happened to Sam?"
"I, I was on my way here to stay for the weekend and she calls me on my cell. She was…God, I don't know what she was, I've never heard anyone cry like that. She told me not to come, she told me she didn't want me here, but she was freaking out about something. I couldn't just turn around and go home after that, you know? So, I got to her house… she had trashed the living room, and was sitting in a corner crying. I tried to approach her and she got up and gave me a pretty good shove, telling me she'd told me not to come, that she didn't want me there. I tried to reason with her, but she ran out of the house, got on her bike and just left."
Jack's grip tightened on Pete's arm. "How long ago was this?"
Pete ran a hand over his face. "God, I don't know. Late last night. I looked all over for her, then I thought I should go back and wait for her, you know? That was early this morning."
"And?" All the alarm bells were going off in Jack's head.
"Her bike was back in the garage, her car was gone and the house was locked up tight. She left me this." Pete handed him a small box. Jack opened it to find a gold pendant with a small ruby in the middle. Taped to the inside of the box was a note that said, "Good-bye, Pete. Don't try to find me," in Sam's neat handwriting. If possible, Jack's expression grew even more grim.
"She took her car?"
Jack turned and went back into the house, leaving Pete to follow or not as he chose. He grabbed the phone and hit a speed dial button. "Yeah, it's O'Neill. I want you to track a GPS for me. It's Carter's. You have it on file." He waited until he got the answer. "You're sure. Is it moving? Thanks."
He hung up and hit speed dial again. "Sam, it's O'Neill. Pick up. Sam, where are you going? Talk to me." Getting no answer he hung up and turned to Pete.
"Her car's on the 25 heading north. Any idea where she could be going?"
Pete shook his head. "No, no. What's going on? Did something happen to her this week?"
O'Neill's mouth tightened. "Yeah, you could say that." He told Pete as much as he could without getting into classified territory.
When he finished Pete muttered, "Jesus. We gotta find her."
Jack nodded. "We will."
He went with Pete back to Sam's house. It didn't take him long to pick the lock on the front door, and what he found inside shocked him, although Pete had told him Sam had 'trashed' the living room. Pieces of porcelain from broken lamps were scattered across the floor, books, papers, chairs all strewn around the room. He went immediately to her desk, opened a middle drawer and pulled a holster from within. It was empty.
"She took her sidearm."
Pete looked both surprised and appalled. "Why would she do that? She wouldn't…?"
Jack gave him a grim look before heading for the bedroom. Clothes were strewn across the bed, and the dresser drawers were hanging open, their contents spilling out.
"Looks like she packed some things before she went."
"But where would she go?"
Jack shook his head. "I have no idea."
Pete thought for a moment. "Maybe she's going to Mark's."
Jack shook his head. "She's not headed in that direction."
Jack's cell phone rang, and he answered immediately.
"Colonel, we have a situation here you need to be aware of." It was General Hammond.
"I have a situation of my own here, General." He quickly explained.
General Hammond sighed loudly. "Jack, as I told you once before, we have no jurisdiction away from the mountain."
"Yes, General, and as I asked you once before, we can still look, can't we?
"Yes, Jack, and you need to make this your top priority."
"It already is, sir."
"I know that, son, but there's another need for urgency in this matter."
"Yes. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but Jalen, the Tok'ra who was tortured with Major Carter, went berserk this morning when the gate activated for the return of SG13, and started raving that he wouldn't go back. He got a gun away from one of the guards and shot himself in the head with it before anyone could stop him."