<<Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>
When Two Hearts Collide
Jack led the way to the first of the corridors. He glanced at Casey. "Any ideas where to go?"
She nodded. "We have to go up two levels. Down the corridor, then to the right."
He nodded in acknowledgement. "Let's go, kids." He took the lead. Waved Sam, Casey, and Daniel past him. Followed Teal'c past the three as they held position. The team leap-frogged toward the elevator, all of them hyper-alert as they moved through the alien facility.
Like the elevators of the SGC, access codes were required to make the lift operate. Sam popped open the control panel, managed to override the protocols and forced the doors to open.
"No way to know what we're walking into, and we have to stay alive long enough to save these fools," Jack said softly. "Sam, Casey, go low. Teal'c, you and Daniel go high. I'll take the middle."
They arranged themselves so that if they needed to open fire as soon as the doors were open, they could do so. By going 'low', Sam and Casey would take out the nearest threats. Teal'c and Daniel would fire at those the farthest away. Jack would take out anyone else. The doors opened. Four guards lined the corridor. Were down in seconds.
The five slipped down the corridor, well aware that their presence had probably been detected by now. The hallway that led to the room that they needed to be in had two guards. The men were down before they had a chance to register that there were intruders.
The door they went through took them into an observation room. Behind a thick, glass wall seven dignitaries and five scientists were watching with intense interest as five other scientists worked in a 'clean room'. They were shocked when Jack led SG-1 into the room.
"Okay, folks, you need to get the hell out of here, and as far away as you can. Tell the guys down there to get-" Jack started; Daniel was translating quickly.
Alarms began to whine around them. The scientists in the clean room reacted to the alarms with obvious panic, one racing toward a door and through it before anyone else could move.
"Get out!" Jack yelled. "GET OUT!"
The door between the observation room and the clean room had automatically locked. Daniel fired his 9mil at the glass window, he and Teal'c dove through the glass. They helped the five scientists back through the broken window, Jack pushed them through the door and into the corridor, behind the others who still stood there, stunned at what was happening.
Sam was already working at one of the keyboards. "Daniel, read this to me!"
He sat down beside her. Began to translate as quickly as he could.
"I can't shut it down!"
Casey had watched Daniel in her 'vision'. Knew what had to be done. Before she could move, he'd already raced to the apparatus that held the radioactive core, and had pulled it from the device. He laid it with care onto the table beside him.
"We have to get all of the doors sealed!" Sam raced to the door closest to her; Teal'c, Jack, and Casey ran to make sure the other doors were closed and locked.
"Guess that's it, huh?" Daniel asked shakily, staring at his hands.
Casey ran toward him.
"Don't…" he said, starting to back away.
"It doesn't matter, Daniel, we're all dead," she replied softly.
He pulled her into his arms, still holding his hands out, not touching her with them. Could feel a slight burning in the skin of his palms.
"We have to keep these doors locked," Jack said, pointing to the doors on three sides of the room. "Nobody is going to be able to come in here."
"I've cut off circulation," Sam reported. "With luck, none of the radiation will be able to leak through. From what I've seen so far, this room has been well shielded."
Each door had locking mechanisms and key-code pads. The zat'nik'tels rendered them useless, and served to seal the doors closed.
Jack looked around. "Little anti-climactic, isn't it?"
In shock, the reality of the situation settling into their brains, the team gathered in the middle of the room. Sat down on the floor. Already the effects of the radiation were beginning to be felt.
"How long?" Daniel asked softly.
Sam shook her head. "I'm not sure. With no fresh air supply, we'll eventually asphyxiate. I'm not sure about the radiation."
They sat in silence for several minutes, listening to the alarm that still screamed above them.
"Wish we could hear what they're saying," Daniel said. "I know that they're well aware of what just happened."
Sam nodded. "The scientists who were in here know what happened."
"They knew what was going to happen before it did," Casey said softly. "They understood that there was no chance for this experiment to work. Not one of them had the courage to stand up to their leaders."
"Makes you wonder what kind of threats were involved, to keep them working on something they knew was going to fail," Jack mused.
"Makes you wonder what they were willing to die for," Daniel said softly.
Casey looked at her friends. "Well, might as well play some poker," she said. Trying to keep the quaver out of her voice.
The members of SG-1 grinned. "Might just as well," Jack agreed.
"I wonder what they'll think, when they can safely come back in here, to find us sitting around, cards in our hands," Casey said, shuffling the deck.
"That we're a damned brave team of people," Jack replied.
"Damned brave," Casey whispered. She turned her head, buried her face against Daniel's shoulder. Willed herself not to cry.
After two hours they could all feel more of the affects of the radiation. They were all suffering nosebleeds. Even their eyes were beginning to bleed slightly. Daniel and Casey had cuddled together, gently holding one another. Soft words of love passed between them. Jack and Sam had done the same thing, their whispers letting the others know things that needed to be said, that they'd wanted to say, were finally being voiced. Teal'c began to sing an ancient warrior's song of death, one that told of bravery and the journey to enlightenment. His teammates move closer to him, until the five were sitting as close as they could get to one another. Three hours later, SG-1 was unconscious, as the quality of the air continued to deteriorate. Six hours later, the flagship team of the SGC of Earth was dead.
A A A A A A
When the Chappa'ai came to life, First Minister Hale knew who it would be. He'd seen the patches on the uniforms that the people who had burst into the observation room had been wearing. The design matched the markings on the machine. He was livid that those who had escaped the building, Jonas Quinn among them, and been quick to let all and sundry know that aliens from another world had risked their lives, sacrificed their lives, to save Kelowna. Jonas Quinn had even had the audacity to tell the waiting reporters that if the core hadn't been removed from the device, the resulting explosion would have destroyed the city, and most of the continent it sat on.
"I am speaking for General Hammond of the Stargate Command, planet Earth. He says, 'I would like to know the status of my people'." Daniel had been quick to pick up the language, using recordings of the first attempts of communication. One other linguist in the mountain was learning to speak Kelownan as well. That man was standing beside General Hammond, ready to translate both ways.
Hale snorted loudly. "They are dead. They tried to sabotage our work-"
"First Minister, that is a load of crap and you know it! I just sent five of the best damned people the SGC has to their deaths in an attempt to save your planet! Don't waste my time with your propaganda and lies! I will be sending a team through the 'gate in order to retrieve the MALP…the robotic machine we've been communicating through. If you're smart, you'll level that building to the ground, and bury it. From what I understand, the radiation levels will remain quite high for some time. You owe those five amazing people your life!"
The First Minister was aware that the translator was having a difficult time keeping up with the man he was speaking for. He could hear the general's angry voice. He was also well aware of the fact that this General Hammond was correct. He had hoped that these new found 'friends' would assist them in their war against Andari and Terania. Without a doubt this incident would…hamper…negotiations.
"When my people have returned with our MALP, the 'gate will close behind them. And the address for your planet will be removed from the dialing computer. I just wish to god that had been done when we first learned of your desire to create weapons of mass destruction."
Curiosity won out. "Why didn't you? Why send your people to die?"
"Because they saved the millions of innocent people on your planet who didn't deserve to die because of the idiots who call themselves leaders. Not one of us could sit back and let that happen. SG-1 is the team that was selected."
General Hammond wiped his hand over his face. He still didn't understand why SG-1, the very best team that the SGC had, was the team that 'needed' to go. God forgive him, it would have been easier to send one of the other teams. He gave the signal, and the Marine team that had been waiting at the base of the ramp ran forward.
Hale stepped back as the heavily armed men came through the Chappa'ai. He watched as the event horizon collapsed. Two of the men maintained guarding positions, a third tended to the machine, and the fourth hurried toward the dialing device. When the 'whoosh' of light and power filled the room, he felt the beginnings of fear. This was a very advanced race, their equipment was evidence of that fact. And the Kelownans…he…had just angered them. He could only hope that they wouldn't decide to retaliate for the deaths of their people.
Security cameras showed that the five aliens had died in close proximity to one another, sitting on the floor as closely as possible. There was no doubt that those people had been friends as well as teammates. Surely that camaraderie was prevalent throughout this 'SGC'. He closed his eyes. What had they…what had he…done?
A A A A A A
Jonas stared at the monitor. The bodies were horribly burned, the horrifying effects of the radiation visible to all. "They died to save us. They didn't even know us, but they sacrificed their lives anyway. Why?" he asked softly.
Cianya Drelock shook her head. "I do not know why. When Doctor Jackson tried to negotiate to stop Hale and his minions from continuing with the experiments, he'd mentioned that they had a seer who was able to see what was going on, what was about to happen. I have heard of those with such…gifts, although I must admit that I never believed in them. However, had they not been aware of what we were doing, had they not known where to go, had they not arrived in time…" She shuddered.
"We owe the Tau'ri of Earth a great debt," Jonas said softly.
"Yes, we do."
"And those who have died must not be forgotten."
"We do not know their names," Cianya pointed out.
"But we could ask," the young man replied.
She nodded. "Do so. Under my authority as the Second Prime Minister."
With a nod, Jonas hurried to where the Chappa'ai stood silently.
A A A A A A
Miss Eloise stood beside the woman who had been her spirit guide for nearly eighty years. Felt the excitement that seemed to pour off her. "This is a great moment," she said softly.
The woman turned to face the white haired woman, the Tau'ri who had such a powerful gift. Almost as powerful as The Chosen's Beloved. "Yes it is," she said softly. "Come, we must make ready for them.
The large room was completely white. Five stone slabs of pure white marble waited, side by side in the center of the space.
"How long must we wait?" Miss Eloise asked.
"Until those who have been saved no longer watch the room so closely. What we do, we do because they have earned the gift. Because He has been The Chosen since the beginning of time. Their hearts are entwined…cannot be separated. Thus, they cannot be separated. That they followed the advice that we whispered to Casey, without so much as a single question, that they willingly sacrificed their lives for those who were strangers must not go unnoticed. But we do not wish our…visit…to be recorded."
The old woman nodded. Willed the morbid curious to turn away and leave the dead in peace.
A A A A A A
George Hammond hated this part of his job. Without bodies to bury, it was difficult to believe that SG-1 wasn't going to just come waltzing through the 'gate at any moment. He'd wanted to demand that the Kelownans return the bodies of the heroes, but Dr. Fraiser had warned him that the amount of radiation the team had been exposed to could pose a threat to those who worked in the mountain. As well as the fact that it was probably best to remember them as they were, and not see what would most likely be rather grisly corpses.
He began to fill out the death certificates. Had to stop and wipe the tears from his eyes. These were more than just names. More than just five people who worked under him, for him. They were…had been…friends. The fact that Casey hadn't even worked for the SGC long enough to get all of her paperwork turned in, to get her on the payroll, although he would see to it that her pay was retroactive to the day she arrived in the mountain…she'd saved this reality from one hell of a threat…he shook his head. He was tired. He was going to go home. Have a drink or two. Maybe, just maybe, he could face this tomorrow.
A A A A A A
Janet poured herself a drink. It just wasn't fair! She'd lost her best friend…best friends. Daniel had been happy, really happy for the first time since she'd met him. Casey had finally found someone who loved her, who would spoil her and take care of her and be there for her. Sam had told her some of what had been in the letter the Sam Carter from the other reality had written. It had kept that hope alive that someday…someday soon…she and Jack would be together. And those two belonged together as much as Casey and Daniel did. And then there was Teal'c. Tears slid down her cheeks. Why hadn't she ever told him how she felt about him …how much she admired him, how his strong silent presence was so reassuring when she was patching up Jack or Sam or Daniel, or all of them? Why hadn't she ever told him that he was a good friend? She looked at the phone. How often did chances to say the things that should be said, needed to be said, go untaken, because of excuses…too busy…not the right time…not the right place…fear of rejection…too damned scared to admit feelings in the first place?
With a sigh, she stood up, went to the kitchen. Cassie was just coming in the back door. She forced a smile. "So, did the home team take the night?"
"Hardly. The guys just couldn't get it together. It wasn't so much that Denver has a better team…" the young woman's voice faded off. "Mom, is something wrong?"
It was impossible to hold back the tears. "I'm afraid so, sweetie," Janet said, gulping for air when the sobs began to come, wracking her diminutive frame. She gripped the edge of the counter until her knuckles turned white.
"Should I call Sam…or Daniel?" Cassie asked worriedly.
Janet shook her head. "I wish you could, Cassie."
Cassandra Fraiser was a bright teenager. She knew immediately that something was wrong…horribly wrong. "What's going on?"
"SG-1 went on a mission today. To save an entire planet from disaster. They knew what was going to happen…"
"Because of that woman who just showed up?"
She smiled. Suspected that Cassie was jealous of Casey…because her daughter had a major crush on a certain sandy-blond haired, blue-eyed archaeologist. "Partly. She could…'see'… that something terrible was going to happen, and that millions of innocent lives would be lost. You know Colonel O'Neill. He couldn't just sit back and let it happen. Neither could Sam or Daniel or Teal'c. Or Casey."
"But if she hadn't been here, and hadn't told them, they wouldn't have gone-" Cassie started, her brown eyes blazing with anger.
"No, Cassie," Janet said firmly. "If Casey hadn't been here, they still would have gone. And Daniel certainly would have died, and it's possible that the rest of the team would have been held prisoner. Casey saw that as well. Believe me, she didn't want Daniel going on that mission, she didn't want any of the team going, she didn't want to go. But sometimes we have to make sacrifices, no matter how painful."
"She's dead too?"
"Yes, she is."
Cassie thought about this. "Did she really make Daniel happy?"
"I've never seen him happier. Have you ever heard him whistling?"
The teenager shook her head.
"Evidently he's been doing a lot of that lately. It's a rotten deal that they only had a few days together. But at least they had that," Janet said softly.
"So now I'll never get to meet this woman," Cassie said. "If she hadn't come along, I know that Daniel would have-" she broke off, her cheeks rosy with embarrassment.
"Cassie, Daniel thought of you like a daughter," Janet said softly. "That never would have changed, no matter how old you get. Casey is the first woman in his life he ever fell so deeply in love with. Be happy for him, and for her. She suffered a very abusive childhood. Daniel was healing the hurts in her heart, just as she was healing his. They were meant to be together."
"But if she'd never come here-"
"Daniel would be dead, and Colonel O'Neill and Sam and Teal'c would be dead as well, or being held prisoner on that planet."
It took a few minutes for her to understand that no matter what approach she took to the situation, Daniel's death was the only constant. Tears filled her eyes. "I loved him."
Janet wrapped her arms around her daughter. "I know you did, sweetie. And he loved you, just not the way you wanted him to. They all loved you, Cassie. Very much."
"What happens now?"
"We have to notify Jack's next of kin. I think he has a sister, there was a rather nasty family...dispute...years ago, and he hasn't seen her since."
"Jack wouldn't do that…just turn away from his sister like that," Cassie objected.
"I know, honey. He didn't…she did. Anyway, Sam's brother and father will be notified. General Hammond will see to it that Rya'c is told of his father's death."
"What about Daniel?"
"He had several sets of foster parents. As far as we know, there isn't anyone to tell."
"Her family will be notified, I'm sure. And 'she' has a name. It's Casey."
"I don't suppose you noticed that he picked a woman whose name is so similar to mine. He was just going to bide his time with her. Until I'm legal," Cassie said, smugly confident. "Then he'd have gotten rid of her. I just know that was what he was going to do."
"Cassandra Fraiser, stop it right now! I am not going to let you delude yourself into thinking that Daniel Jackson saw you as anything other than the little Hankan girl we saved from Nirrti. I'm sorry that you'll never get to meet Casey, she was an amazing woman. And Daniel was so in love with her he couldn't see straight. She was just as in love with him."
"That's not true!" Cassie cried, tears rolling down her cheeks. "He loved me! There was magic whenever we were in a room together! He told me I was beautiful!"
"You are beautiful, Cassie, and I'm not denying that Daniel loved you. He just didn't love you like that! You're still a little girl to him, probably always will be! There was no magic, honey, I'm sorry. Just a really bad schoolgirl crush."
She pulled away from her mother, ran up the stairs, slammed her bedroom door.
Janet dropped onto a chair near the table that sat against one wall of the kitchen. She'd known that Cassie had a crush on Daniel. Who had been totally oblivious. She'd never wanted to hurt her daughter…crush her tender heart and ego, but she had to face the truth. And no doubt Cassie would continue to hold Casey responsible for his death. Even though she'd died as well. Janet shook her head. "What am I going to do without you?" she asked of no one. "I need you…all of you." She folded her arms on the table, lowered her head and again gave in to the sobs of pain.
<<Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>