Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate or any of the characters you recognize. I'm just borrowing them for entertainment. There is no monetary gain and no copyright infringement intended. The lines of dialog you recognize are from the show, the rest you don't recognize are from me.
AN: I have been having a bit of trouble with a couple of chapters on this one. It is my first time having to incorporate a few episodes and try to keep everything in a specific timeline I didn't create. I intend to post once a week like I did with Continuum Interrupted for those of you that followed that one, but I wanted to be up front that this one is not finished. Interrupted wasn't finished either and the pressure to make sure I kept to the schedule kept me writing through the parts that didn't come as easily so I am going with that theory that doing so will do the same thing here. I never missed a weekly post and sometimes got an extra in. Hopefully I will do that here as well. Thank you as always Gategirl7 for all your help, support and awesome beta powers.
Reflections in Time
Chapter 1 - Sacrifices
Lt Colonel Samantha Carter set the self destruct. The tears that coursed down her face obscured her vision slightly, but she couldn't afford to waste even a millisecond of the time that General Jack O'Neill had bought for her with his death. The price had been too high for both of them. Typing in both his code and hers, she waited until the computer confirmed countdown and then set about overriding the timer. There were a lot of fail safes in place to keep anyone from doing what she was doing, but, then again, she wasn't just anyone. Within moments the timer was set to three minutes. That would be time enough to get to the storeroom.
Sam was running on automatic as she picked up her weapon and hit the control room stairs. Jack and she were going to go through the mirror. That had become the plan. When the replicators had started pouring through the gate earlier that morning, they'd quickly figured out there was no way to stop them. RepliCarter had figured out a way to send a signal through that disabled the iris control. The bugs poured through the gate at such an alarming rate, they quickly overwhelmed the base. Sam had figured out how to override her evil copy's command and the iris was now closed, but there was an overwhelming number of creatures already on base. There was no way to destroy all of them before they reached the surface without destroying the base itself.
Teal'c and Daniel had taken the survivors and fought their way to the surface. Stopping the bugs was the only thing that mattered. After they'd reached the surface, the two SG1 members along with the SGC survivors were tasked with holding the line until Sam and Jack could blow the base. As good as Teal'c and Daniel were, their task was almost impossible. The replicators were pushing for the surface faster than anyone could stop them. Even attempts to blow the exits hadn't been successful.
Jack and Sam had stayed behind. Their goal was just as impossible. They were to get to the computer and set the self destruct, making sure the bugs did not override the command. That was why Jack had to relent and not send her to the surface. No one could guarantee they could stop the bugs from disabling the self destruct, but she was the best chance they had. Not that it would have been any safer at the surface. Teal'c and Daniel were just as likely to be overwhelmed by the bugs as she and Jack.
At the very last minute before the base was destroyed, she and her general were going to use the gate and escape. They had Asgard communication stones with them to call for a ride home. That was their crazy plan. "We've had crazier, Carter," Jack's voice still rang in her head. But as always it had gone terribly wrong, more wrong than she could ever remember a plan going.
Sam forced her focus back on her surroundings. Bugs were everywhere. Thank God they were mostly concentrating on getting to the self destruct or getting outside. She knew she hadn't left them time for either. She wasn't sure she had time for her own desperate escape attempt and she wasn't sure she cared. Jack had ordered her to do whatever she had to. He'd ordered her to live right before he'd blown himself and all the bugs threatening to overwhelm her and the control room to hell. He'd bought her the time to blow the mountain and maybe escape. She knew she owed it to him to try even as her heart twisted in her chest at the thought of living without him, without her friends, maybe without her world.
As Sam raced around the corner leading to the supply room the Quantum Mirror was stored in, she skidded to a halt and brought her P90 to bear on the replicators swarming the door. "The mirror," she whispered. Had they devoured it? As she concentrated fire on the bugs they gave ground. She was able to slip in the door of the storeroom. The mirror was damaged. It had been chewed on. "Damn bugs," she cursed, reaching for the mirror remote control and hoping that it still functioned.
Sam was relieved when the mirror came on. Its shiny surface was a bit cloudy. She wasn't sure if the device would still function, but by her watch she had barely 15 seconds to spare. She switched through the realities, but in most of them the mirror was in storage. It was going to be a blind jump. Damn. She didn't have any choice. As she watched the mirror's surface something caught her eye. It was a box labeled with her name.
She wasn't superstitious at all, but it seemed as good a way as any to pick her location. At the sound of the bugs chewing through the door to the store room, she tossed a grenade behind her to make sure they couldn't follow her and touched the shimmering surface of the ancient device. Her hand made contact with the surface of the mirror just as her watch signaled that time was up. For just a moment she was surprised not to feel the normal tingle of the mirror. It was on, but she felt nothing and she was still standing on her side of the mirror.
"Broken," she said to no one in particular. "Guess I don't have to live without you after all, Jack." Sam attempted to lift her hand from the surface, but in that split second she felt a shockwave hit her. She wasn't sure if it was the grenade or the SGC detonating from within. The next thing Sam knew she was flying through the air the short distance to the mirror. She felt the impact with the mirror's surface but instead of the crush of deceleration, or the tingle of passing into an alternate reality, she felt as if she was being torn apart. There was intense pain and then pressure like she was being funneled into a space way too small for her body. She was dimly aware of being colder than she had ever been. She felt unable to open her eyes. It was like her body did not exist. She fought to feel something physical, something real. Was she dead? Was this all there was to death, the analytical part of her mind ask just before darkness enveloped her.
"Daniel," Colonel Jack O'Neill called for the umpteenth time. He wished they'd never set foot on P3R-233. If his resident archeologist had just listened to him when he'd ordered them back to the gate all would be well. "Anything, Captain?" he asked as he caught sight of his 2IC coming out of the room she'd dubbed the souvenir shop.
"No sir," she came to a halt in front of him. He could tell she was upset. She was young. At first he hadn't been thrilled that she'd been stuck on his team without his approval, but in the past year he'd come to not only respect her knowledge, but her blossoming skills as a soldier. She was turning into a fine 2IC and would only continue to get better with time. "I only left him for a moment, Colonel," she started. "He was putting something in his backpack but he was right behind me." He knew she blamed herself.
"You didn't do anything wrong, Captain." He reassured her. "This isn't the first time Daniel has disappeared on us." But it was going to be the last. As soon as they found him safe he was going to kill the young man with his bare hands. He watched her search his face for a moment before she nodded her acceptance. Their little team had been through a lot this first year, but they were really gelling. Yep, there was a lot of potential in the young officer he'd taken under his wing. He continued to be impressed by her at each turn. Now if he could just get the image of her in the skimpy little tank top tackling him in the locker room out of his mind they'd do fine. Jack sighed as she turned toward Teal'c. It hadn't been that long since their adventures in the Land of Light, he was sure the desire her actions had kindled in him would fade back to normal given time. Yeah right, he mentally rolled his eyes at his own train of thought.
"The Goa'uld symbol that says danger," she questioned, "could it have something to do with Daniel's disappearance?" She'd moved to the object in question and was studying it. Jack moved behind her to study it as well.
"I do not believe so, Captain Carter," Teal'c supplied. He came around to stand beside her. "As I informed Colonel O'Neill, it warns of danger, but the danger is what you would call radioactivity. It is a warning that this planet's atmosphere is no longer safe." They all turned to survey the room one more time, each lost in their own thoughts. They'd been over every inch of the building they were in. The young scientist would have had to pass them to get out of the only exit so he wasn't outside.
A shout from the area he'd dubbed the souvenir shop brought them all to attention and had them running before it had even faded. Jack took the scene in the moment he stepped through the door. The mirror looking thing was shimmering, it hadn't been when he'd searched the room minutes ago. Daniel was on the floor in front of the device holding his bloody arm with the other hand, writhing in pain.
"Daniel!" Jack exclaimed, bending over the younger man to assess his injuries. "What the hell is this?
"It appears to be caused by a staff weapon." Teal'c declaration only confirmed what he had been thinking. Jack looked at the wound in confusion, before reaching out to take the paper that Daniel was clutching. The paper had blood smeared on it and appeared to be a Stargate address.
"This looks like a Stargate address," Sam said, echoing his own thoughts as she looked at the paper in his hands. Where the hell had the man gotten the wound and the address, where had he been? Jack hated riddles, but here was not the place to solve them. He'd get his team safe, and then they would figure out what had happened. "Alright, let's get him back to Earth."
Daniel turned intense, fear filled eyes on him. "No Jack! We're all in very big trouble! They're coming. They're coming." His words were full of fear. Jack turned to the other two members of SG1 to see their reactions. Carter's reaction nearly made his heart stop. She was looking at the mirror thing which had started to pulse. Her skin was actually pulsing with it, turning flushed then pale, then flush again. That went on for only a split second, before her scream of pain sent him surging to his feet. The mirror pulsed one more time and a beam of what looked like streaks of blue lightening flashed across its surface. The alien device shut itself off and the young Captain lost consciousness. She'd have crumbled to the ground if he hadn't stood up just in time to catch her.