WE HAVE A SITUATION
By Lorraine Anderson
Note: Takes place in Season 7, sometime after the episode "Lifeboat"
Daniel scooted forward and peered out of the cleft in the cliff wall. A shot missed his head by inches. Jack slapped at him. "What did I tell you?"
"But…" He caught sight of Jack's eyes. His own eyes must look like Jack's – a little lost. "Sorry. I do know better. I just forgot." While the gaps in Daniel's memory were filling in fast after his descension, there were still some memories that escaped him. And hosting all of those… refugees… in his mind hadn't helped things. He lifted his gun. "But… a gun?"
Jack's eyes turned hard. "It's either us or them."
"You don't act like you know."
Daniel just about turned around to face him, but with an effort, kept his eyes forward. "Jack, don't go commando on me right now."
"We need to survive," Jack said lowly, "and those are two trained killers out there."
"I realize that." He raised his gun. "I just wish I had a zat." He looked down out his gun distastefully. "If I hit in the wrong place with this, the effects might be permanent."
"But if you do need to shoot…." Jack said.
"I will, of course," Daniel said. "But…"
"It's not your fault."
Daniel grinned ruefully. "Are you sure? I think I must have touched the wall," he said, trying to defuse some of the tension. He chuckled without humor.
Jack nodded. "Sure. You touched something. Now. Be quiet."
"Why? They know we're here."
"But we don't know where they are."
Daniel nodded. Jack had a point. After all, Jack was very good at what he did, or else he – or anybody else on his team – wouldn't be alive today.
But must be his fault.
He hadn't actually touched anything, but he had read the inscription – the warning – but he was a tiny bit too late. By the time he realized what he was reading, the other two were gone, disappeared into the temple. It was all he could do to convince Jack what was probably happening inside, but when he mentioned Nirrti, he saw comprehension come gradually to Jack's eyes.
So they hid.
Then they saw Sam and Teal'c burst out of the temple, shooting at the wall where they had been. Jack turned to Daniel in confirmation, and they slipped silently into the woods toward the Stargate.
Daniel dialed swiftly. The Stargate lit up, then set off an alarm that had to have been heard for miles. They sprinted off into the woods again.
"No outgoing wormhole," Daniel had panted.
"Noticed," Jack had said, running beside him. He looked sideways, and then pulled Daniel into the woods. He started creeping. Daniel had followed, and Jack led him to base of the cliff, a couple of miles away. He had found this cave – okay, this cleft in the wall – about a mile down from where they emerged from the woods.
"Do you have a watch?" Jack said, beside him in the cave.
Daniel blinked. "Don't you have a watch?"
"Forgot to put it on today. After all, this was supposed to be a walk in the park."
Daniel winced at Sam's description of this mission. They had all been tired after the last mission, and the MALP had shown some interesting inscriptions on the wall. Next time, maybe they should send the MALP and he'd stay on the base.
But Janet didn't think that was good, psychologically, and neither did the current psychologist – what was his name? So the team had gone on this mission.
They should have just went into town, drinking.
He looked at his watch. "It's about time for check in."
"I hope we're close enough to the Stargate."
The walkie-talkie crackled. Jack grabbed it. "SG-1, what is your status?" said General Hammond.
"Sir," Jack broke in. "We have a situation."
"What is your situation, Colonel?"
"Major Carter and Teal'c have gone rogue."
Daniel could almost see the General's face. "We will send assistance."
"General Hammond," Teal'c's calm tones came out of the speaker. "We believe that Colonel O'Neill and Daniel Jackson have ingested a… hallucinogen." Daniel could almost see Sam feeding him the word. "They have hidden from us."
"Because," Jack said calmly. "You were shooting at us." He didn't let up on the on button, therefore blocking Teal'c from refuting him.
Daniel gestured at him desperately. McKay, he mouthed.
Really? Jack mouthed back. Daniel nodded.
Jack looked at him skeptically. "Sir, I request technical backup. I can't believe I'm doing this, but since he is on base, I request Rodney McKay. Summer sunset." He finally let up on the button.
"Summer sunset?" Daniel whispered.
"My code with the General for one hour. None of you know that."
"Until now," Daniel said.
"Sir," Sam's voice said. "I can handle this."
"Be advised," Jack said immediately, "that we cannot dial out. We believe that whatever is in possession of Major Carter and Teal'c has blocked outgoing traffic on the Stargate. I know Rodney is a civilian and a Canadian national and a pain in the ass, but he's the best scientist we have on base."
"Major, Colonel, I am sending Dr. McKay through with Marine backup."
Daniel could hear Mackey sputtering in the background. He would love to be a fly on the wall for this argument. He wondered if the base covered Rodney-sized Depends, and he grinned suddenly.
"One request," General Hammond continued. "I would like to hear Daniel."
Daniel grabbed his radio. "Hi, General."
Daniel could see Jack mouth, "Hi, General?" and closed his eyes.
"Anything you would like to add, son?"
"Yes, sir. Get Lee onto the translations on the wall. I believe this will verify everything that Jack said."
"Will do. Hammond out."
Silence. "You will not defeat us, Colonel O'Neill," Teal'c said.
"Not planning on it, buddy," O'Neill said. "We just need to get you back to normal."
"Sir," Sam said, her voice threatening. "You will surrender. Nirrti is the true God. She will not let this trespass stand."
Daniel looked at Jack, who looked back, his eyebrows raised. "You forget that she's dead, so I don't think so, Major." Jack emphasized the "Major." He took his thumb off of the walkie-talkie.
"Yes, Daniel," Jack said. "I caught the 'sir', too."
"So whatever has control of them hasn't rewritten their minds."
"You're reading a lot in one 'sir,'" Jack muttered. "But I am wondering." He looked out into the forest. "What, exactly, did that wall say? And why did I request McKay?"
"Oh." Daniel had forgotten that he hadn't told anything to Jack in their flight from the temple. "It was a warning to other Goa'ulds. The temple was the repository of one of Nirrti's failed experimental laboratories. I can't be sure how old this one is, but I would suggest at least a thousand years." He stopped. "Anyway, she was looking for a way to control the Jaffa completely."
"Like the stuff used Hathor used on us. And the stuff used to brainwash Teal'c's son."
"And the stuff Seth used on us. Nish'ta. Along the same lines, I gather, but it's a computer option rather than a liquid or a gas."
"So we need McKay. But why just Sam and Teal'c…?"
"It works on anybody who has naquada in his or her blood."
"Yes. That includes the Goa'uld."
Jack frowned. "I'm surprised she didn't use it to have the other Goa'uld take a short leap off of a tall cliff."
Daniel shrugged. "Maybe she figured that allies were safer than making hard-to-control zombies. Maybe the computer was a little stronger than she thought. I also believe that her plan may have turned on her in it's zeal to keep her safe. My guess is that she somehow got away and used non-implanted Jaffa to erect the wall."
Jack sighed. "Even dead, she's coming back to haunt us."
"Yeah." Daniel shifted uneasily in the cleft. He had been standing still for quite a while, and bits and pieces of him were starting to go to sleep.
"You know," Jack said, then stopped.
"Yeah?" Daniel waited.
"I really gotta pee."
"Oh." Well, he did, too, but he was expecting something more relevant.
"And," Jack said, "much as I don't care for McKay, he does know his way around these machines. We either need to distract Carter and Teal'c when our guys come through, or we need to capture them."
"Or cause a diversion, so that Rodney can pull the plug."
"Right. If the plug can be pulled."
"Pessimist. Cover me," Jack said, and he moved cautiously out of the cleft. "I don't think they followed us."
"Big assumption," Daniel muttered.
"I know that Teal'c can outwait a foe forever," Jack said. "But he's generally in his right mind when he does so."
"And," Daniel mused. "The machine probably has only a limited distance that it works in. After all, Nirrti escaped to live another day."
"So, you think we're beyond the limit? But why wouldn't they follow?" Jack said, scanning the tree line.
"What's the point of a machine that controls people when they revert whenever they get past the limit? It probably draws them back like a cat to catnip. She was probably planning on developing a pocket version." Daniel kept an eye on the forest line as he moved out of the hole.
"You think? Well," Jack drawled, "since we don't know the range, I'd still like you to watch my six while I pee."
Daniel snorted. "I'll watch the forest." He waited, and then when Jack seemed done, he grunted. "My turn."
When he was finished, he turned back to Jack. "What now?"
"Now – we create a diversion."
Daniel looked around. "How? Set off some C4? I'm not sure they'd come running to check on us." He rethought that. "Although they might come to see if we've been killed." He shook his head. "But they would know that you were careful about C4."
Jack grunted. "Exactly. But they both know that you have just come back, still have gaps in your memory, and still suck at being a soldier."
Daniel snorted. "I'm not a soldier."
"Right. They might think that you've blown yourself up and come and investigate."
"Both of them?" Daniel shook his head.
"Of course not. My guess is that one of them is sticking to whatever is in the temple."
"A computer, like I said. I think."
"You think McKay can re-program it?"
"I think McKay is smarter than Nirrti, yes."
"And he has the ego to match the Goa'uld." Jack started moving off. "Enough talk. Our group is probably getting set to come through the gate. We need to give them that diversion." He set off back toward the Stargate, slipping back into the woods. Daniel followed as best he could, swearing under his breath. Sometimes, Jack didn't think things through…
On the other hand, he's kept them alive for years now.
Daniel stopped thinking for a while and concentrated on following Jack. After a while, Daniel realized that Jack had gone out of sight. He looked around – where was Jack? Suddenly, Jack emerged back through the brush. "Come on."
Five minutes later, Daniel found himself looking through brush at the Temple. Both Teal'c and Sam seemed to have frozen on either side of the door, like statues – or like guards.
Jack motioned them down to the ground. He pointed at the Stargate, and Daniel nodded. They were to wait. He pointed at Daniel's watch. Daniel showed him. Jack looked surprised, then pushed the trigger to the C4.
The explosion rocked the ground. Daniel jumped, then raised his eyebrows. This was a distraction? It sounded like Jack blew up the whole continent.
Sam and Teal'c didn't look at each other. Sam stayed at her guard post, moving to center door, and Teal'c ran off to the explosion. A minute later, the Stargate spun. She moved forward…
And Jack ran and caught her from behind. Instantly, she attempted to turn, but he was too strong. She threw Jack over her shoulder to the ground.
Jack was instantly up, circling her.
Damn, Daniel wished he had his zat.
Jack ducked one way, then the other. Sam rushed him…
A zat blast came out of nowhere. She collapsed.
Daniel turned. A phalanx of soldiers had come through the Stargate, and at the head was Major Lorne.
"Good job, Major," Jack said, after check Sam to make sure she was out. "Lorne, right?"
"Teal'c is still out there –" A staff blast hit the ground beside the Stargate, and someone squealed like a girl. Immediately, Lorne raised his zat. Teal'c was roaring towards the temple. Lorne shot, and he dropped.
"You brought restraints?" Jack said.
"Get them on Teal'c, now, and transport them back through…"
"No!" Daniel said.
"Jack, you know how Nirrti works. Taking them away from here could be fatal. Besides, no dial-out, remember?"
"Oh. Yeah. Maybe we should get McKay on that problem first."
"Besides, it wouldn't hurt to keep them here. After all, how will we know if the computer has been turned off?" He looked around. "Where's McKay?"
One of the Marines pulled Rodney from behind the Stargate. "Are they through fighting?" McKay said.
"Yes, Doctor," said a Marine.
He got up and brushed himself off. He was in ill fitting fatigues with a maple leaf emblem safety pinned to his shoulder. "Who's the idiot who brought me to this dangerous planet?!"
Jack strode up. "That would be Colonel Idiot to you. Remember me? One of the whack jobs?"
Rodney stared up at Jack. "How dare you kidnap me to this planet!"
Jack stared at him. "You are at Stargate Command at the sufferance of the United States Government. I think you can earn your pay every once in a while."
Rodney's voice rose. "By getting me blown up?"
"Rodney," Daniel said, walking up. "At least you're surrounded by eight marines. I usually only get three."
"Yeah, but…" his voice was still in an upper register. "You're an archeologist!"
"I'm the one who figured out the symbols to the Stargate," Daniel shrugged.
"Look, MacKay," Jack said. "Daniel here thinks there's a computer in there controlling my friends here." Daniel blinked at Jack's syntax. "And besides, you have to fix the Stargate before you can go back."
MacKay looked around, then caught sight of the unconscious blonde. "Sam?"
"Yeah, she's one of them."
MacKay looked like he deflated. "They didn't tell me who was involved." He blinked at Jack. "That makes this a little harder. I was hoping for her help."
"Can you fix it?"
MacKay screwed up his face. "How can I know until I look at it?"
"You might need some translation." Jack pulled Daniel forward.
"I have learned a little Goa'uld…" he looked at Sam, "but I am having trouble with some of the…" He suddenly stopped and looked at the door he was about to walk into. "Is it safe in there?"
"You don't have any naquada in your blood, right?" Daniel said.
Lorne motioned to himself. "We'll take point."
"Oh. Good." McKay said.
Daniel glanced back at Jack and smiled slightly. He wondered if Jack was getting a refresher course in "irritating civilian scientists." At the look on Jack's face, he suspected he was.
"And I guess I will need Daniel. I really need to learn Goa'uld. And Ancient," McKay muttered. "Okay, but don't get in the way."
"Keep me posted," Jack said, looking over at the bound Teal'c.
The two scientists followed close behind the Marines. Beyond the temple doors was a stone corridor. It branched to the left, then, abruptly, into a set of open doors leading into a darkened room. Lorne and his companion entered the room cautiously. The lights came up, and they dropped to a crouch, scanning the large room.
Daniel looked around, then looked at Rodney. Rodney's eyes were focused on a large screen at the end of the room. "That looks like the bad boy, over there," he said loudly, then started to walk towards it.
Daniel pulled at his arm. "No, Rodney."
"Alien planet. Evil bad guys. Don't touch."
"Well, that didn't exactly help Sam, did it?" He pointed at a keyboard, where obviously a layer of dust had been wiped off.
"Oh." So it wasn't his fault; this time Sam had touched something.
"Yeah, oh. Now, if you guys are through being paranoid, let me do my work."
Daniel grinned, and caught the eye of Lorne, who grinned back. "The lab seems safe," he said.
McKay moved over to the computer. "Hmmm…."
Eight hours later, McKay was still hunched over the computer. Daniel was sitting on the floor across the room, and the Marines had been in and out a dozen times. Jack had been pacing the floor, stopping to look at Daniel who had raised his palms in a "I don't know." Finally, he approached McKay. "How much longer?"
"I don't know," McKay snapped. "It's not exactly like reprogramming your – " he looked at Jack. "- your Pong game."
"I never had a Pong game," Jack muttered.
"I figured," McKay muttered back.
Jack glanced at Daniel and looked puzzled. Daniel grinned and raised his hands. "I'm going out to check on Teal'c and Carter," Jack said.
Daniel got up. "I'm coming with you." Lorne waved at the two of them.
As they got out to the entrance, Daniel took in the scene. Teal'c and Sam were trussed up and were on separate rocks. Janet looked up, tired. "Is it going to be much longer? Their systems are getting very stressed. Their BP is up, their heart rate is up, and I haven't seen either of them sleep yet."
"The guardians of Nirrti," Teal'c intoned, "do not sleep."
Jack rolled his eyes. "How many times do I have to remind you…"
Daniel snorted. "Jack, it's not going to do any good. He's controlled by a computer."
"Nirrti is our all," Sam said.
"You said the same thing about Seth," Jack said, referring to the Goa'uld that tried to recruit SG-1.
"Too bad an electrical shock can't solve this."
"Hmmm," Jack said.
"Don't you dare," Janet said, spreading herself in front of them.
"I wasn't serious," Jack said.
"I am," Sam said, spreading her arms, standing up, and grabbing Janet.
Daniel gaped. How had she gotten loose? After seeing her raw wrists, Daniel suspected that she had been working on pulling her hands through the restraints for a little while. How had someone not noticed? He suspected Jack would have some hard words later.
"Colonel?" Janet said. Even Daniel could tell that the hold that Sam had on Janet couldn't be good. It looked as if she could snap Janet's neck at any minute.
Jack looked the two of them up and down. "Did it ever occur to you that you're surrounded?"
Sam looked around. "That means nothing to me." She started pulling Janet toward the temple. "I shall take you to Nirrti."
Jack made a motion. Sam turned at him. "Do not imagine that I am not serious."
"Now, what is it about evil that makes people from talking normally?" Jack muttered.
Sam started pulling Janet to the entrance. "Make damn sure that Teal'c is secure," Jack whispered to the nearest Marine, and he and Daniel followed at a distance.
"Major Carter!" they heard Lorne say. "What are you…?" Lorne fell silent.
"Get away from there," Sam growled.
"Sam," McKay said. "Don't you remember me?"
"Get away from the computer," she repeated.
"But I'm trying to help you," McKay pleaded.
"Get away or I'll kill…"
Daniel got to the door and yelled "Hey!"
Distracted, Sam lost her grip of Janet, and Janet twisted away. At the same time, Rodney looked inspired and punched away at the computer. Sam rushed toward him, and the two of them ended up on the ground, with Sam on top.
They lay motionless for a second. Then Sam shook her head and said, "Rodney?"
"What am I…" she looked at her wrists. "How did I…?"
"Now, kids, I leave you alone for a second," Jack drawled, "and you start fooling around."
"Sir!" Sam got off the ground quickly and blushed.
"McKay," Jack said. "So glad you stopped that program in time."
McKay shook his head and looked at the computer, vexed. "But I didn't. Damn it."
"Then how," Daniel said, moving towards the computer, "did you." He started reading, then started laughing.
"What?" Jack said.
Daniel, still laughing, pointed at the screen.
"For those of us who don't speak Goa'uld?" Jack prompted.
"He did a search and replace!"
"He just substituted naquadah with silicon!"
Sam had been looking at the screen. "This program is designed to control someone with silicon in their blood." She paled. "You said it was to control naquadah…" Her voice trailed off as realization dawned.
"Yes," Jack drawled. "You and Teal'c."
"I'm so sorry, sir."
"Nothing to be sorry about. Gave Daniel here a good workout."
"If apologies are over," McKay said, "I would suggest that we get everybody off of this planet."
"Because I'm not sure how long my change is going to hold."
Janet grabbed Sam. "Let's get you back home so that I can look at you properly. Besides, I understand you have a Stargate to fix." She led Sam out.
"Did that! First thing," McKay said. "It was a program fix."
"But," Jack said, following McKay. "What's so funny about silicon?"
"Silicon is fine – if you're a Horta."
Jack opened his mouth, then closed it. "Oh."
Daniel chuckled. "Let's get out of here." McKay was already out of the temple, and Daniel laughed again.
"Yeah, before any homicidal Horta come out of the ground," Jack muttered. "You know," he continued. "The next time we go on vacation, I'm going to suggest Disneyland."
"I'm with you," Daniel said. They walked out of the temple. "Of course, with out luck, there'll probably be a homicidal maniac in the Small World ride…"
"I am not going through the Small World ride…"
"What," said Teal'c, getting up and rubbing his wrists, "is a Small World ride?"