Actions

Work Header

Stargate SG-1

Chapter Text

SG-1: Children of the Gods - Part 1

A car pulled up the driveway of the modest two-story home and two Air Force officers got out. The first officer went to the door and knocked while the second moved around to the side of the house. 

"Sir, there's a ladder over here." The second officer called.

The first officer nodded and climbed up the ladder, stopping on the top second bar. "Colonel Jack O'Neill?" He asked. "Major Eva Lorne?"

On the roof, a man in his early forties stood dressed in a black shirt, a black leather jacket and tanned slacks tucked into black boots. He was bent over a telescope aimed at the star-studded might sky above, looking at it through the eyepiece. Across from him was his goddaughter, a young woman in her late twenties, barefoot and dressed in a pair of black Gitana flare trousers and a Corsetta top with flared sleeves*. Her knee-length raven hair was held back with a rubber band at her shoulder-blades while she focused on the canvas resting on an easel in front of her, a paint palette in one hand with a paintbrush in the other.

Beside her, in a portable baby cradle, slept a small 4-month old baby girl. She was snugly wrapped and covered with a handmade blanket and had a light pink hat covering her head.

"Retired." The man, Colonel Johnathan 'Jack' O'Neill, said without looking up from his telescope.

"On extended leave." His goddaughter, Major Evangeline 'Eva' Lorne added, also not looking up from her easel. Unlike Jack, who spoke with a distinctly American accent that carried traces of his upbringing in Chicago, Eva spoke with a decidedly Welsh accent, gained from the years she had spent in a Welsh boarding school.

"I'm Major Samuels." The officer informed them, slightly uncomfortable from the tree branch digging into his back. 

"Air Force?" Jack asked, still not looking up.

"Yup." Eva chirped before the Major could respond, not looking up from her artwork.

"I'm the General's Executive Officer." Major Samuels explained, waving a branch from his face.

"Want a little piece of advice, Major?" Jack asked, fiddling with the dial on the telescope. "Get re-assed to NASA. That's where all the action's gonna be. Out there."  

Samuels nodded though Jack couldn’t see it. "I'm, uh, under orders to bring the two of you to see General Hammond, sir." He said.

"Never heard of him." Jack replied.

"He replaced General West." Eva spoke up, tucking her brush behind her ear and using her freed hand to rock the cradle a few times to resume its swinging. "I told you about him, remember? He's on his last tour."

"How do you know that?" Jack asked her, bewildered.

Eva just smiled at him sweetly before turning back to her painting.

"He says it's important." Samuels added, bringing the duo back to the topic. "Has to do with the Stargate."

Jack blinked and turned to look at Samuels, Eva following suit. Their interest was definitely piqued as they had been told the entire project had been all but scrubbed.

"Give us five minutes." Eva said, putting her brush in water and packing up her paints and easel as Jack packed his telescope. "I need to change and get Dahlia’s bag." She said.

"I'm sorry Major, there is no time for you to change." Samuels told her, not looking at all sorry before climbing down the ladder.

Eva raised an eyebrow and turned to Jack. "I don't suppose you'll let me change in the car?" She asked him.

"With Samuels and his friend in the car as well?" Jack asked sarcastically. "Not a chance in hell."

"Of course not." Eva said sarcastically, carefully picking her sleeping baby up from the cradle without waking her.

They carefully climbed down the ladder, Eva being ever mindful of the sleeping infant nestled in the crook of her arm. Reaching the bottom, Jack went to his truck and removed the baby seat.

“Strap this in properly.” He said, handing the seat to Samuels. “We’ll be right out.”

Samuels took the seat gingerly, looking completely confused but before he could say anything, Jack turned and entered the house. Inside, he found Eva slipping on a black leather jacket*, a pair of 4" high heeled pumps* on her feet and her hair in a high pony. Jack grabbed Dahlia’s diaper bag filled with baby supplies and exited the house with his goddaughter and granddaughter, locking up behind them. They got in the back seat of the officers’ car, Eva buckling Dahlia into her seat between them both as Samuels’ companion began to drive.

The trip was spent in silence except for the occasional mumble and breathy sigh emitted by Dahlia in her sleep. Eva quickly fell asleep herself, leaning against the window.

Jack woke her up with a brief shake of her arm as they drove through the gates of the Cheyenne Mountain Military Complex, her military training still deeply ingrained in her even though she had been on leave for the past year. They got out of the car, Jack removing the baby seat and the diaper bag before the airman and Samuels drove off, heading towards the Mountain’s parking garage.

“You can leave the baby seat with security.” An officer said, joining the pair of them at the door. He led them in before stopping at a junction a few paces from the door and gestured to the Airman sitting behind a desk, with full view of the corridors and the entrance.

“Thank you.” Eva said, smiling at the Airman as Jack set the baby seat on the floor. She passed the diaper bag to Jack and crouched on the floor, carefully taking Dahlia out of her seat. “Shh. Shh.” She crooned softly when the infant began to squirm and moan at the movement. “It’s okay, baby. It’s okay.” Eva nestled Dahlia in the crook of her arm, rocking her gently and within seconds, she fell to sleep once more.

“Good to go?” The officer asked patiently.

Eva smiled and nodded in response. The officer ushered the pair inside the elevator he was holding open and pressed the button for Sub-Level 9. The doors closed and they descended into the mountain, Eva and Jack leaning against the back of the elevator with tired sighs.

A few minutes later, the doors opened, and their guide led them out and down the corridor.

"Tag team number nine to sub-level two, vent shaft twenty-four." A voice announced over the intercom.

They walked through the halls for several minutes, Eva covering her periodic yawns with her free hand, until they got to another elevator. There was an officer sitting at the desk set up in front of it. Recognizing the sign in sheets on the table, neither Jack nor Eva needed to be told what they needed to do.

"We have to take a second elevator the rest of the way, sir, ma'am." Their guide said once they had signed in and turned to him. He took an ID badge out of his inner pocket and swiped it in the card slot next to the elevator. "It's a long way down."

"Yeah, I know." Jack said as he adjusted the strap of the diaper bag on his shoulder.

"We've been here before." Eva added, looking around, noticing the differences, or lack thereof, from the last time they were here, one year earlier. 

"Ah. Of course." The officer said somewhat sheepishly at the reminder, as he let the two guests enter the elevator before him. Once they were inside, he pressed the necessary button to take them to where they needed to go. 

As they went further down, Jack leaned against the back of the elevator. Eva leaned against him, absently adjusting Dahlia’s blanket around her to keep her warm against the slight chill that clung to the mountain.

Reaching their desired level, Jack, Eva and the officer stepped off the elevator and found Samuels waiting at the end of the hall. "This way, sir, ma'am." He said, indicating with an arm. 

He took over as their guide, while the officer took over Samuels' position, leading them through several corridors. Eva had her free hand tucked into the crook of Jack’s arm as they walked through the maze-like corridors until Samuels stopped in front of one particular door. He raptly knocked twice.

"Come." A voice called from within.

"General Hammond." Samuels said as he opened the door and held it. "Colonel Jack O'Neill and Major Eva Lorne."

"Retired." Jack said to him as him and Eva walked inside.

"On extended leave." Eva said, as Samuels closed the door.

"I can see that." The General said, looking at them and noticing their casual clothing, Eva’s in particular. "Me, I'm on my last tour. Time to start getting my thoughts together, maybe write a book. You ever think about writing about your exploits in the line of duty, Colonel, Major?"

"I've thought about it." Eva replied, adjusting the blanket around her daughter.

"But then we'd have to shoot anyone that actually read it." Jack added sarcastically.

Hammond looked at Jack with a raised eyebrow.

"He meant that as a joke, sir." Eva supplied helpfully.

"Most of my work the last ten years was classified." Jack explained. “As was Eva’s, though not for quite as long.”

"Yes, of course." Hammond said, nodding. 

"Major Samuels mentioned something about the Stargate." Jack said, bringing them all to why they had been dragged to the mountain so late at night.

"Down to business. I can do that." Hammond said, nodding, getting out of his chair, "This way."

Samuels opened the door and held it as the General led the pair out of his office. Jack and Eva exchanged confused looks and shrugged, following Hammond and Samuels through the winding corridors until they reached a pair of double doors. Samuels opened one of the doors and held it, allowing Hammond, Eva and Jack to enter before walking himself and letting it close behind them.

They were in one of the base’s many labs, this one filled with cold, steel tables and various types of equipment. The air held a clinical, sterile feel to it.

“This way sir, ma’am.” The lone scientist in the lab said, beckoning the recent arrivals to follow him.

He led them to a table that had a sheet covering it. The most notable thing about that particular table was that there was a figure under the sheet. The scientist removed the sheet, revealing a large tanned man with a strange symbol on his forehead and an 'X'-like slit on his stomach.

"Anyone you know, Colonel, Major?" Hammond asked, looking at Eva and Jack.

"They're not human." The scientist added.

"Ya think?" Jack asked sarcastically as Eva gently traced the slits on the man's stomach with her free hand.

"What are these?" She asked, peering at the man's stomach.

"Best we can tell," the scientist said, as Jack leaned forward slightly for a closer look. "These slits are actually a pouch, similar to that found on a marsupial."

"Like a kangaroo." Samuels chipped in helpfully. 

"We haven't done an autopsy yet." The scientist informed them as Eva put her hand back down. She elegantly hopped up on an empty table, Dahlia still blissfully asleep in her arms.

"These people, or aliens, whatever you want to call them..." Hammond spoke up, bringing their attention to him. "Came through...killed four of my people and kidnapped another...using advanced weapons."

"Weapons, sir." Jack repeated, looking at the older man.

An Airman picked up a staff and handed it to Hammond, who gave it to Jack.

"We can't...figure out how they operate." Samuels said.

Jack fiddled with it for a few seconds, pressed a button that caused the tip to open slightly with a slight crackle of energy. Another press, and the weapon sealed up again.

"Seen one before, I take it?" Hammond asked, though it was more like a statement.

"Yes, sir." Jack replied, handing it back. "But there are no creatures like this on Abydos. Those people were human. They were from Earth."

"Ra brought them there thousands of years ago." Eva continued.

"I know all about that." Hammond said, nodding. "But your report said this Ra was, in fact, some kind of alien that lived inside a human body."

"Yeah, his eyes glowed." Jack said. "That was our first clue."

Hammond sighed and turned to face Jack and Eva. "Are you sure he's dead, Colonel?" He asked seriously.

"Unless he could survive a tactical nuclear blown up in his face..." Jack replied. "I'm positive."

"Why?" Eva asked curiously, slowly getting off the table she was sitting on. She walked towards Jack and stood next to him, gently tightening her hold on the baby.

"Colonel, Major," Hammond sighed, looking away briefly before looking back at them. "These people, or ...whatever they are... were guarding another man who retreated back through the Stargate. I got a good look at his eyes, Colonel, Major. They glowed."

"That's impossible!" Eva cried out, looking at Jack in terror. He nodded silently in agreement, pulling his goddaughter and granddaughter in for a hug.

Out of the entire team, it had taken her the longest to recover from what they had seen and been through, the dying and later being revived and then the pregnancy complications that arose as a result of it.

As if sensing the fear in her mother, Dahlia woke up and began screaming. Eva tried to calm the baby but wasn’t very successful as Dahlia continued to cry in response to her mother’s heightened emotions. Jack gently took Dahlia from Eva and held her with one arm, while wrapping the other around the young mother.

Turning to a concerned looking Hammond, Jack said, "She'll be okay. Can you give us a few minutes?"

"Of course." Hammond said, ushering everyone out of the Infirmary to give the two some privacy. He turned back to Jack, "Colonel, if you want, I can hold the baby while you help the Major."

Jack looked between a terrified Eva and a crying Dahlia and nodded, gently handing the baby to the older man, along with a soother from the diaper bag. The General smiled gently at the two before turning and leaving the infirmary as well.

Jack wrapped his arms around Eva and rubbed her back comfortingly, whispering sweet nothings into her ear. Eva gripped his shirt tightly, curling her dainty hands into fists around the fabric as she struggled to regain control of her breathing and her emotions. All she could think of was the memory of being shot and then revived in the sarcophagus, the memory of being told of the complications surrounding her pregnancy and the certifiable hell she had been through to give birth to her sweet baby girl.

Slowly, Jack’s gentle words pierced through her haze, calming her from her terrified state. Eva pulled back from him, not needing to say anything as he could see her gratefulness in her large, expressive electric blue eyes.

“I’m right here.” He said softly, pressing a gentle kiss to her forehead.

“I know, Uncle Jack.” She replied. “I know.”

“You good?”

Eva nodded, wiping her face; she was taken aback slightly at the tears she felt, unaware that she had been crying. Taking a refreshing breath, she cleared away the traces of her breakdown and leaned into Jack as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders. They walked out of the lab and joined Hammond and Samuels in the hallway, Jack holding Eva closely, the firm grip grounding her in the present.

"Are you all right?" Hammond asked her, concerned.

"Yes, sir." Eva replied, her eyes still slightly red. "Thank you for giving me the privacy."

"It's no problem." He said gently as he handed the now quiet baby back to her mother "Shall we continue?"

“Yes, sir.” Jack replied with a nod, still holding Eva close. She held Dahlia against her shoulder, letting the infant see their surroundings; the blanket the infant had been swaddled in was loosened, revealing the light pink sleeper she was wearing as well as the mitts that covered her tiny had and prevented her from scratching herself.

Hammond nodded and they began walking through the corridors once more, Jack rubbing Eva's back periodically.

"How do you feel about the Stargate Mission itself, after all this time, Colonel, Major?" He asked after walking in silence for several minutes.

"How do you mean?" Jack asked, as Eva cocked her head to the side.

"Well, it's been over a year." Hammond replied, as they turned a corner and he entered his office.

"Well, sir, I..." Jack started, trailing off as he turned the corner as well and saw someone that he recognized through an open door that an Airman closed. "Was that...?"

"Kawalsky and Ferretti, yes." Hammond confirmed, continuing. "They were under yours and Lorne's command on the first Stargate mission." He sat in his chair, resting his elbows on the table and touching his fingertips together. "Tell me about Daniel Jackson, Colonel, Major."

"Why are they questioning our men?" Eva asked, ignoring the question for the moment, as she and Jack entered the office. They looked through the window into the large room on the other side with a briefing table in the middle, Kawalsky and Ferretti sitting on one side while the remaining chairs remained empty.

On the first mission, though Jack and Eva were both in command positions; Jack and CO and Eva as XO. The team respected her as a person, her combat skills notwithstanding, since they had known her since she was a child and had been the ones to teach her many of her skills. Though the downside to that was, they often still saw her as the little girl who would chase butterflies and pick flowers for them when they were injured.

"They are not your men anymore, Colonel. You retired. And you, Major, are currently on extended leave." Hammond reminded them. "Daniel Jackson."

"You read the report?" Eva asked, turning to the General.

"Yes." Hammond replied. 

"It's all there." Jack said, knowing that Eva wouldn't answer since it was a lie and she couldn't tell a lie to save her life. 

"Is it?" Samuels asked.

Jack and Eva looked between the Major and the General before turning to the General.

"What's this all about, General?" Jack asked, subconsciously holding his goddaughter and granddaughter closer.

"You didn't like Daniel Jackson, did you Colonel?" Hammond asked, looking up at the retired Colonel from behind his desk.

"Daniel was a scientist." Jack replied in way of explanation. "He sneezed a lot. Basically, he was a geek, sir."

"So, Colonel, basically, you didn't have a lot of time for him." Samuels summarized.

"I didn't say that." Jack snapped, glaring at him. "He also saved, not only my life, but my goddaughter’s and her unborn child's lives as well and found the way home for us and our men. A little thing like that makes a person grow on you. Know what I mean?"

Eva put a soothing hand on his arm, which he squeezed in response. She hadn't known she was pregnant at the time of the mission, not even experiencing any of the symptoms, aside from tiredness, until after they got to Abydos, when the nausea had begun. While on the planet, all of them just assumed that her nausea and tiredness, along with the few other symptoms she was experiencing at the time, where due to the Gate travel; her menstrual cycle wasn’t regular like most women, so it hadn’t even occurred to her to take not of it when she missed a few. But when they got back to Earth and went through the post-mission physicals, Eva learned that she was pregnant, and that it was extremely high risk due to having died and then revived via sarcophagus. Thankfully, she hadn't been dead long enough for any damage to be done to the fetus, but it had been a very close call, one that still gave her nightmares on occasion.

"According to the mission brief..." Hammond spoke up, breaking the glaring match between the two men. Jack, Eva and Samuels looked at him. "Your orders were to go through the Stargate to detect any possible threat to Earth, and, if found... to detonate a nuclear device and destroy the Gate on the other side."

"Yes." Jack said, as him and Eva nodded.

"But that's not what you did, is it?" Samuels pointed out.

"Not right away." Eva replied. 

"Ra's forces overpowered my team... and took the weapon before I could arm it." Jack continued.

"But, with Dr. Jackson's help, you eventually regained control... and did in fact detonate the weapon, yes?"

"Yes." The two echoed.

"So, to the best of your knowledge, Daniel Jackson...and everyone else you knew on Abydos, is dead, correct?" Hammond summarized.

"That's correct." Jack said as Eva nodded in agreement.

"Good. Then you won't mind if I authorize a go-ahead on our plan." Hammond said, as he stood up and walked out of the office, followed by Samuels.

Jack and Eva exchanged worried looks and looked out the window to the room where Major Charles Kawalsky and Major Louis Ferretti were. Kawalsky looked back at them, just as worried.

"This is not good." Eva said softly as she held Dahlia close.

Jack nodded in agreement before they left the office and caught up with the General and Samuels.

"This quartz material the Stargates are made of..." Hammond commented as they walked down the corridor. "Must be tough if it can withstand a Mark 3."

"Well, we sent a robot probe through after we got back, sir." Jack replied, holding Eva's free hand, which she was squeezing firmly, the only sign of her worry. "It was flattened on the other end." They reached a door which an Airman opened using a key card. 

"Obviously, the Abydos Stargate had been buried in the rubble." Eva added.

"But somehow it got un-buried." Hammond said as they walked inside the large room that housed the Stargate.

On the ramp in front of the Stargate, there was a large nuclear weapon that a technician was fiddling with.

Eva and Jack stopped short when they saw it. They stared in shock, beginning to get the idea of what the plan was.

"Oh, my God." Jack breathed in shock.

"Oh, Great Hera!" Eva exclaimed, just as shocked.

Dahlia whimpered, and Eva began rubbing the baby's head to calm her as she stared with wide eyes. The technician armed the device, setting the timer for forty minutes and twenty seconds.

"You're sending another bomb?" Jack asked, still shocked as he slowly turned to look at the General.

"Mark five this time." Hammond replied, looking at them. "If these creatures did reopen the Abydos Gate, we intend to reseal it for good." He turned back to watch the technician work on the weapon.

Jack and Eva looked at each other and Jack swallowed, knowing that what he was about to do could put him and Eva in a lot of trouble. "General..." He spoke up. "You can't do that."

"Countdown's already started." Hammond told them with a small smile walking up to the ramp He turned back to the pair, adding pointedly, "Unless either of you have something to add." 

They didn't say anything, silently weighing the options, though already knowing what they were going to do. They looked at one another before walking up to the General.

"General Hammond, sir?" Jack said softly, almost regretfully. Hammond turned to them. "I regret to inform you that our report was not entirely accurate." Jack said formally.

"You didn't detonate the bomb." Hammond guessed.

"No, we did detonate the bomb, sir, and it was aboard Ra's spacecraft, so it did kill him a eliminate the risk to Earth." Eva said, looking up at the older man.

"However?" Samuels asked patronizingly, walking to them.

"However…” Jack continued, glaring at Samuels, "Ra's ship was in orbit above the planet at the time. Neither the Gate nor anything else on the planet was destroyed."

"Daniel Jackson is alive and living with the people on Abydos." Eva added softly.

"You violated direct orders. Why?" Hammond asked angrily.

Dahlia was startled awake and began screaming. Eva adjusted her hold and began trying to calm her.

"Because the people of Abydos are no threat to us. They deserve to be left alone." Jack explained, more softly so as not to further distress the baby.

"That's not up to you!" Hammond shouted angrily, ignoring the screaming infant.

"With all due respect, sir," Jack said loudly, wanting to get his point across as well as be heard over Dahlia's screaming. "If we had come back here and reported that the Gate on the other side was still intact, we would've sent another bomb. Just like you were about to." 

Eva put a hand on Jack's arm in an effort to calm him as she tried to calm her daughter as well. It took a few minutes, but Dahlia eventually stopped screaming, settling for hiccupping and sniffling as her tears streamed down her face.

"It wasn't necessary to let those people die, sir." Eva said gently, looking up at the older man, trying to plead to the man that had children and grandchildren.

"The threat from Ra was gone." Jack said more calmly.

"What about the probe we sent through?" Samuels asked. "It was crushed instantly."

"After we came home, Daniel buried the Gate in rocks." Jack said with a sigh. "Making our return or anyone else's impossible."

"Well, those four bodies lying in the Infirmary say otherwise, Airman." Hammond pointed out. Jack and Eva sighed, feeling the weight of their decision. He looked long and hard at the both, seeing the weight reflected in their expressive eyes. Hammond sighed and turned to the technician. "We'll send the bomb through on schedule." He said.

"General, you can't do that!" Jack and Eva shouted desperately. Dahlia whimpered, sensing their desperation.

"Oh, I can't?" Hammond asked loudly, turning back to them.

"There are innocent people on that planet!" They cried out, again in unison.

"There are innocent people here!" Hammond said back loudly. "I have my orders too, Colonel, Major. I obey mine. Take Colonel O'Neill and Major Lorne to the holding room. Let's give them some time to think about things, while I decide what to do with them." Hammond clenched his jaw and walked away.

"Sergeant..." Samuels said to a pair of guards as he walked behind the General

The two guards came forward and led Jack and Eva out of the room. All four of them were silent, the only sounds being made by Dahlia’s occasional whimpering.

“In here, sir, ma’am.” One of the guards said, opening the door to a room.

Jack and Eva entered without a fuss, hearing the door close behind them; they didn’t need to look through the barred window to know that the guards had taken up positions on either side of the door.

Kawalsky, who was lounging on the bottom bunk of the bed, jumped to his feet and saluted crisply. "Colonel O’Neill, sir. Major Lorne." He said respectfully; even though he and Eva were the same rank, she had attained the rank of Major before him, so he saluted her out of respect to her.

"I'm retired, Kawalsky. Lose the salute." Jack said exasperatedly.

Kawalsky dropped his hand and shook the retired colonel's hand, smiling.

"I'm on leave, you can salute once I am back on duty." Eva added, smiling at the older man as she gently placed Dahlia on the bed, opening the blanket completely to give her room to play and turned to him.

"Star, you look amazing." Kawalsky laughed as he hugged her tightly, lifting her up off the ground for a moment, drawing a delighted laugh from her. He set her back down and turned to the bed, his arms still around the tiny woman and looked at the beaming infant. "Wow, Dahlia's gotten so big." He commented in wonder.

"Well, it has been a month since you last saw her." Eva pointed out, smiling and looking up at the man.

"True." He agreed, turned to Jack with his arm still around Eva's waist, "Me and Ferretti didn't tell 'em anything."

"I appreciate that." Jack said, smiling as Kawalsky let Eva go and they turned serious.

"Hey, those kids on Abydos saved my life, too" Kawalsky commented, gesturing for the two to take a seat.

"Yeah, the kids." Jack said, as the two men sat across each other at the small table. Eva sat on the bed next to her daughter, one leg curled under her other thigh while Dahlia played with her toes.

"They're the whole reason we kept it a secret." Kawalsky said, folding his hands on the table. "Right?"

"Yeah." Jack said, smiling and patting the man's hands reassuringly.

"That one kid idolized you two. Remember him?" Kawalsky spoke up, after a moment. "Weird name...What was it?"

"Skaara." Jack replied softly.

"Right." He said with a chuckle. "Remember how he was always saluting you Colonel?" He mock saluted as he spoke with a smile before turning to Eva, "and calling you by Daniel's nickname for you?"

"Yeah." Jack said, nodding before continuing softly. "My kid used to do that when he was little. Skaara kinda reminded me of him."

"Oh, man, Colonel...!" Kawalsky said, surprised. "We went through that whole mission together. I never even knew you had a son."

"He died. Just before the Abydos mission." Eva said quietly, getting off the bed and moving to stand between Jack's legs, hugging him gently.

"I'm sorry, sir. I had no idea." Kawalsky said sorrowfully.

Jack smiled softly and put his arm around Eva's waist, holding her to him. They were drawn from their conversation by the sound of the door opening. Turning, they saw General Hammond enter the room and Kawalsky jumped up immediately, standing at attention, while Jack stood up more slowly, his hand still around Eva's waist.

"How many people did you say are on Abydos?" the General asked them, though looking at Jack.

"That we saw, maybe five thousand." Jack replied.

At his response, the General looked down and sighed. Jack, Eva and Kawalsky exchanged looks, wondering what was going on.

"Does this mean you're reconsidering sending the bomb, sir?" Eva prodded gently, her hopefulness clear on her face.

"It means, I am open to suggestions." Hammond corrected.

"General." Jack started, letting go of Eva. He walked forward and stopped in front of the General. "Let me take a team through that Gate. We'll find out who those aliens are. Kawalsky, Eva and I have been there before. We know the lay of the land, we know the people-"

"You think you do." Hammond interrupted. "Jackson could be dead. You don't know what you'd be walking in to."

"Sir, there is one way to find out." Jack said softly.

Kawalsky had a half smile on his face.

"Right." Hammond said, nodding. "We'll have the prototype probe shipped from MIT."

"General, we don't need that probe." Jack said, turning to the table.

"We don't?" Kawalsky repeated, losing his smile.

"Nope." Eva said, popping the 'p' and smiling brightly. She could see where her godfather was going with this.

"This'll do." Jack said, grabbing a box of tissues from the table and the diaper bag from the bed before walking out the door

Eva, who had picked Dahlia up along with her blanket while Jack had been speaking, followed after her godfather. Hammond and Kawalsky followed, looking completely confused.

Jack led the way to the Control Room and told Sergeant Harriman to dial Abydos. The Sergeant looked confused but, after getting a nod from Hammond, did as he was told, calling out each chevron as it was encoded. There was a general hum of sound filling the room as the technicians’ voices blended together as they worked in unison, waiting for a stable wormhole to establish within the Stargate.

"Chevron Four, encoded!"

"Care to explain this concept?" Hammond asked, turning to Jack and Eva, while Samuels looked at them as if they had three heads. Each.

"Chevron Five, encoded!"

"Jackson has allergies." Jack replied in explanation, waving the box.

"I get it." Kawalsky said in realization, a smile on his face as he nodded.

"He'll know this came from Uncle Jack, and not from someone..." Eva said, turning to the General. "With all due respect, sir, like yourself." She finished sheepishly.

Major Samuels and General Hammond looked at each other.

"Chevron Six, encoded!"

Jack went down to the Embarkation Room as the seventh chevron locked.

"Chevron Seven...locked!"

The Stargate activated and a wormhole formed, stabilizing after a few seconds. Jack walked up the ramp and tossed the box of tissues into the event horizon.

"The, um, object, should reach final destination in five seconds." Sergeant Harriman said, looking at his computer. "Four, three, two, one. TRACKING." The Stargate shutdown. "The object should now be through the Abydos Stargate."

"Now what?" Hammond asked.

"Now, we wait." Jack said, coming back into the Control Room and standing next to Eva.

"If Daniel's still there, he'll know what the message means." Eva said, changing her hold on Dahlia so that the baby could see better without straining her neck.

"What if the aliens get it?" Samuels asked, looking at the two of them.

"Well," Jack replied, in a sarcastically serious voice. "They could be blowing their noses right now."

"They could be planning an attack!" Samuels cried out, turning to face the two.

"Oh, come on, Major." Eva said, "Let Uncle Jack be the cynic around here, okay?"

Jack retaliated by poking her in the ribs, making her squirm and giggle softly. "Sir, this could take some time." He said, turning to the General.

The General nodded and left, followed by Samuels. Kawalsky paused long enough to pat Jack on the arm before following them while Eva, carrying Dahlia, brought up the rear with the retired colonel. Hammond led them into the Briefing Room for them to wait in and Eva gently placed Dahlia on the table, cushioned against the hard surface by her blanket. Dahlia babbled incoherently around the soother Eva put in her mouth, happily playing with her toes.

Slowly, the room began to fill with a handful Air Force officers, all of whom Eva acknowledged by name and rank as they entered. The officers began talking quietly, standing in small groups and mingling with each other.

Time passed slowly while they waited, Eva caught up with the officers, giving them a look that promised pain if they so much as thought about looking anywhere but her face; she had removed her leather jacket, leaving her in the Corsetta top and the Gitana flare trousers. Eventually, she took off her pumps and curled up in one of the chairs to nurse Dahlia, with the blanket providing them some privacy. Once fed and burped, Jack took Dahlia and played with her while Eva untied her hair, letting it fall in loose curls around her, before slowly dozing off in her chair.

Eva was startled awake by the table shaking when the Gate began dialing remotely. She jumped up and hurried to the large window overlooking the Embarkation Room, absently noticing the rest doing the same. They all watched with anticipation as the Gate established a stable wormhole before Hammond, Samuels, Kawalsky, Jack, with Dahlia in his arms, and Eva hurried down to the Embarkation Room. The five of them, and one infant, waited with the security personnel, watching. Eva lightly bouncing on the balls of her feet, the stone floors were cold, and she hadn't put her heels back on nor had she grabbed them when they ran out of the Briefing Room.

They weren't waiting longer than a few minutes when something was thrown back through the Gate. Jack handed Dahlia to Eva before walking up the ramp and picking it up, rubbing one side to clear it of the gathered dust. He stood up and they saw it was an empty tissue box. He walked back down the ramp, smiling slightly, and threw the box at Samuels who caught it. He read the message, showing it to General Hammond. Eva took the box from him and looked at the message. 

THANKS, SEND MORE

"Permission to take a team through the Stargate, sir?" Jack asked Hammond.

"Assuming I get the President's authorization..." Hammond said. "The mission briefing will be at 0800 hours. Colonel, Major, consider yourselves recalled and back to active duty."

With that, the General left with Samuels following behind him. Kawalsky smiled and shook Jack's hand before hugging Eva. Jack slung an arm around Kawalsky’s shoulder and the other around Eva's waist as they left the Embarkation Room.

And then the mountain altogether.

Once they got home, Eva called her sister, who also lived in Colorado with her fiancé, and asked if she could baby-sit. She explained that she was being called to active duty and was being sent on a mission, the brief scheduled for the next morning, and didn't know when she would be back. At the older woman's agreement, they spoke for a while longer, catching up before saying their good-byes and hanging up.

~*~

The next morning, Jack and Eva got dressed in their dress blues (Eva putting her hair into a swept up braided bun*) and dropped Dahlia off with Eva's sister before going to Cheyenne Mountain. They went through security, both immensely thankful they had the foresight to leave the house early and made their way to the Briefing Room.

Entering, Jack greeted those that were there before going to the large window and looking out over the Embarkation Room. Eva smiled and gave her own greetings before joining her godfather. It was only a few minutes before General Hammond entered the room.

"Atten-hut!" Samuels called.

As one, they all saluted.

"Gentlemen, Lady, take your seats." Hammond said, taking his own at the head of the table. They did as they were told, Eva taking the one directly across from Hammond and beside Jack, who was still standing. Hammond turned to Samuels and asked, "Where's Captain Carter?"

"Just arriving, sir."

"Carter?" Jack asked, looking up from his folder. Eva looked up as well and smiled.

"I'm assigning Sam Carter to this mission." Hammond replied.

"I'd prefer to put together my own team, sir." Jack said, taking a pen out of his pocket.

"Not on this mission. Sorry." Hammond said regretfully. "Carter's our expert on the Stargate."

"Where's he transferring from?" Jack asked, leaning to write in his folder. Eva held back a giggle at the question, knowing that Jack, Kawalsky and Ferretti were going to be in for a surprise.

"She is transferring from the Pentagon." A female voice said from the door.

Jack looked up at the door where a figure stood, shadowed. She walked forward, coming to stand by the table next to Eva, revealing a tall, pretty woman with short blonde hair and blue eyes.

"I take it you're Colonel O’Neill." She said, before saluting and continuing, "Captain Samantha Carter reporting, sir."

Jack returned the salute.

"But, of course, you go by ‘Sam’." Kawalsky said sarcastically, looking up at the pretty blonde.

"You don't have to worry, Major." Sam replied, scoffing. "I played with dolls when I was a kid."

"GI Joe?"

"No, Major Matt Mason."

"Oh..." Kawalsky nodded, before turning to Ferretti who was next to him, "Who?"

"Major Mat Mason. Astronaut doll." Ferretti replied with a smirk before turning to Sam. "Did you have that cool little backpack that made him fly?"

Eva started laughing, making them look at her.

"Hello Samantha." Eva said, laughing lightly and turning to look up at the still standing blonde. "It's good to see you again."

"You too, Eva." She replied, smiling at the tiny woman dwarfed by the large chair.

"You know her, Eva?" Jack asked, looking between the two women. An action that was mirrored by the others except for Hammond.

"Yup." Eva replied, popping the 'p' and looking up at him. "We occasionally saw each other whenever I was in Washington."

"Let's get started." Hammond said, bringing them all back on topic and called across the table. "Colonel?"

"Thank you." Jack said as Sam took her seat next to Eva. "Those of you on your first trip through the Gate... you should be prepared for what to expect."

"I've practically memorized your report from the first mission." Sam spoke up, looking up at Jack. "I'd like to think I've been preparing for this all my life."

Jack just looked at her, not blinking.

"I think what the Colonel is saying is..." Kawalsky said patronizingly. "Have you ever pulled out of a simulated bombing run at in an F-16 at 8-plus G's?"

"Yes." Sam replied, nodding and looking at him, unimpressed.

Kawalsky looked at her for a moment, stumped. He glanced briefly at Jack, who was still staring at Sam and playing with his pen, before turning back to Sam. "Well, it's way worse than that." He said.

Ferretti snorted softly, looking at Sam. "By the time you get to the other side, you're frozen stiff." He told her. "Like you've just been through a blizzard. Naked."

“Been there, done that.” Eva chirped with a shrug.

“Don’t remind me.” Jack muttered.

"The effect is a result of the compression your molecules undergo during the millisecond it's required for reconstitution." Sam said, unimpressed as she looked at Kawalsky and Ferretti.

"Oh, here we go." Jack groaned. "Another scientist."

"Hey!" Eva cried out, affronted. "I am a scientist."

"Yes, but you're my scientist." Jack replied, turning to her and adding, "And you're also my daughter." He turned to Hammond. "General, please."

"Theoretical Astrophysicist." Sam said, looking up at Jack.

"Which means?" Jack asked, looking at her.

"Which means, she's smarter than you are, Uncle Jack." Eva replied.

"Especially in matters related to the Stargate." Hammond added.

"And that she's been studying the theoretical properties of Stargate travel, though she has yet to experience it personally." Eva finished.

Kawalsky chuckled but turned it to a cough at a look from Jack.

"Colonel, I was studying the Gate technology for two years, before Daniel Jackson made it work, and before you three went through. I should have gone through then." Sam said, before adding for firmly, "Sir, you and your men," she glanced at Kawalsky and Ferretti, "might as well accept the fact that I am going through this time."

Jack nodded and said, "Well, with all due respect, Doctor, I..."

"It is appropriate to refer to a person by their rank, not their salutation." Sam interrupted him. "You should call me Captain, not Doctor."

"Captain Carter's assignment to this unit is not an option, it's an order." Hammond put in firmly, leaning back in his chair and watching how Sam held herself against the group of older men.

"I'm an Air Force Officer, just like you are, Colonel." Sam said to Jack with a slight challenging note to her voice. "And just because my reproductive organs are on the inside instead of the outside, doesn't mean I can't handle whatever you can handle."

After Sam finished talking there was silence, broken only by a few awkward coughs coming from some of the officers. Eva giggled, unable to help herself when she saw the looks on their faces.

"Oh, this has nothing to do with you being a woman," Jack said, taking his seat across from her and looking at her. "I like women. I've just got a little problem with scientists."

Like everyone else, Eva had been watching the banter between the two like one would watch a tennis match. She hadn't seen Jack have this much fun in a long time. Eva smiled, her electric blue eyes sparkling.

"Colonel, I logged over 100 hours in enemy air space during the Gulf War." Sam said, "Is that tough enough for you? Or are we going to have to arm-wrestle?"

Everyone looked at Jack, who just smirked, playing with his pen. Eva was still giggling at their expressions; it had been the same whenever she beat them during their sparring sessions.

Samuels coughed, bringing their attention to him. "I hate to throw a damper on your enthusiasm..." He said. "But I still say that the safest, most logical way to deal with this is to bury the Stargate, just like the Ancient Egyptians did. Make it impossible for the aliens to return. It's the only way to eliminate the threat."

"Except it won't work." Jack objected, leaning against the table, shaking his head.

"It worked before." Hammond pointed out.

"They know what we are now." Eva said seriously, sitting up and leaning forward slightly. "They know how far we've come. We're a threat to them now and they know it."

"They've got ships, General." Jack added. "Ra had one as big as the great pyramids. They don't need the Stargate to get here. They can do it the old-fashioned way."

"It'll just take a little longer." Eva put in.

"Exactly." Jack said, nodding. "Now, with all due respect to Mr... Glass-is-half-empty over here..." Sam and Eva hid their smiles at the dirty look Samuels gave Jack. "Don't you think maybe we should use the Stargate to do a little reconnaissance before they decide to come back? Again?"

They all turned to the General, waiting for his response. Hammond looked at Samuels who looked back. Hammond let out a breath. "I'll give you exactly 24 hours to either return or send a message through." He said finally. "No Kleenex boxes, please."  He stood up. "Otherwise, we'll assume the worst and send a bomb through."

"Understood." Jack said, as they all stood as well.

He turned to Sam and smiled before holding out his arm to Eva. She took it with a smile and the pair left the Briefing Room with the rest of their team members in tow. Jack and Eva led the way to the locker rooms where their Battle Dress Uniforms were along with their supply packs.

Entering, they each found their individual uniforms by lockers labeled with their names and they began to change. Sam hesitated for a few minutes, but seeing Eva already changing, as well as the men, she changed as well.

Out of courtesy, they kept their backs turned to each other.

"Uncle Jack." Eva said, as she finished tying her shoes.

"Hmm?" Jack asked, tying his as well.

"Can you unpin my hair, please? I don't want to go through the gate with it pinned up like this."

"How do you want it?" He asked, turning to her.

"A braid." Eva replied. "I can have tucked into my helmet."

"Okay, stand on the bench." He said, taking a hairbrush from his bag.

She did as he told her and stood. With expert hands, he unpinned the bun and removed the rubber bands and bobby pins, before brushing the long hair through a few times.

"Wow," Sam gasped, looking at Eva's hair. "Your hair is so long. And so dark. It almost looks navy blue."

"I know. It's actually raven black." Eva replied, bending backward slightly so that Jack could brush the top of her head. She smiled slightly at the other woman when she straightened up again, "To tell you the truth, Uncle Jack likes the long hair. He loves playing with it." Eva said in a stage whisper, winking at Sam.

She pouted playfully when Jack tapped the back of the brush against her head before he began deftly braiding it into a five-strand French braid*. Sam laughed at her expression. Jack tied it off and handed Eva a helmet, which she put on and tucked her braid into, before turning so that he could strap her large sack to her back.

“Okay, you’re set.” Jack said.

Eva grinned and nimbly jumped off the bench, moving to the door to wait for the others. Her short height of 4"8 making it impossible for her to actually help them put the large sacks on their backs.

Once all seven of them were ready, they left the locker room and were met by Hammond and Samuels at the end of the corridor. They followed pair to the Embarkation Room, seeing the Stargate active and the wormhole already established. They grouped at the ramp and turned to the General.

"Try to follow orders this time, Colonel." He said looking at Jack in particular.

"Sir?" Jack asked with an innocent expression on his face.

"This time, you bring Daniel Jackson back. Is that clear?"

"Yes, sir." Jack replied dutifully. Hammond and Samuels saluted to him, which he returned. "Move out!" Jack ordered, turning back to the team.

Four of the seven went up the ramp and through the gate one after the other, leaving Eva, Sam and Jack at the foot.

"Captain..." Jack started, looking at Sam.

She had been staring at the Gate open-mouthed. "Don't worry, Colonel." Sam said, regaining her bearings. "I won't let you down."

"Good." He said, before adding as he walked up the ramp with Eva. "I was going to say, 'ladies first'."

"You know." Sam commented. "You really will like me once you get to know me."

"Oh, I adore you already, Captain." Jack said sarcastically.

 "My God!" Sam exclaimed as they stopped at the event horizon. "Look at this!" She gestured with her hand. "The energy the Gate must release to create a stable wormhole! It's... It's..."

"Astronomical?" Eva supplied, smiling up at the blonde on Jack's other side.

"To use exactly the right word, yes." Sam said, smiling. She reached out and touched the event horizon, "You can actually see the fluctuations in the event horizon."

Jack sighed and leaned over, pushing the blonde through the Gate.

"Uncle Jack!" Eva cried out in shock, looking up at her godfather.

"What?" He exclaimed. "She was taking too long!"

"That doesn't mean you push her!"

"What does it matter?" He cried out, exasperated. "It's likely going to spit us out on the other end anyway."

"Oh, never mind." Eva sighed, "Let's go."

She took his outstretched hand and walked through the Gate; both wondered what would greet them on the other side.

~*~

Thankfully, Jack's prediction of being spit out didn't come true, though they had frost covering their cheeks and fingers. All of them put their bags down and began slowly advancing down the steps, their MP5's at the ready. Out of the corner of her eye, Eva noticed Sam kneeling over one of the stone slabs, probably feeling the normal nausea. She saw Jack talk to her for a moment before he continued his advance, so she continued doing her job, and advanced in formation.

Eva absently noticed a fire/cooking pit, along with what looked like a large gathering area that was left in a hurry. It also looked as if it was a meeting room of some-sort.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw movement and turned towards it, only to find an MP5 pointed right back at her. From the clicking sounds all around the room, she got the feeling that she wasn't the only one with an MP5 or other kind of machine gun aimed at the face. A quick glance around told her she was right.

"Cha'hali!" A male voice shouted urgently. A man jumped out in front of the two groups, waving his arms in the air, effectively preventing either side from shooting, lest the man in the middle be shot as well. It was Dr. Daniel Jackson, the man Jack and Eva had been sent to find, their friend who had chosen to stay behind the last time they were on Abydos. "Cha'hali." Daniel repeated, "Lower your guns." Whether he was talking to the locals or to the team was anybody’s guess, but everyone did so and lowered their weapons. "Hello, Jack, Sitara." He looked around as he continued awkwardly, "Uh, welcome back."

Jack walked towards Daniel slowly, before passing right by him, bumping his shoulder as he walked to a trio of young men behind Daniel. The young man in the front saluted, which Jack returned with a smile.

"Skaara." He said, lowering his hand.

"O'Neill." Skaara replied with a smile as the two hugged for the first time in over a year. "I did not think to be seeing you again." He exclaimed once they separated.

"Daniel, how you doing?" Jack asked, turning to the archaeologist.

"Uh, good.” Daniel replied. “You?"

"Much better, now that I see everybody's okay."

Eva removed her helmet, letting down her braid, and walked forward, hugging Daniel in greeting.

"Hey Sitara." The tall archaeologist said, releasing her. "How are you doing?"

"I'm good, you?"

"Good." Daniel smiled down at her, before asking softly with a slight worried frown, "Where you able to find out why you were sick last time?"

"Yes, actually." She replied, "It turns out I was pregnant. I had a baby girl. I named her Dahlia."

Daniel looked at her with wide eyes as she smiled at him. He had once told her that Dahlia had been his mother's middle name. Eva smiled up at him, hugging him again before letting go and joining Jack and Skaara while Kawalsky and Ferretti greeted Jack.

"Skaara." She said, hugging him.

"Sitara." He replied.

"By Zeus, you've gotten so tall!" Eva exclaimed with a slight pout. And it was true. The last time they were there, she was a few inches taller than Skaara, now he was about a full head taller than her.

"Eva, almost everyone is taller than you." Jack said to her, in a long-suffering tone.

"I know, doesn't mean I have to like it." Eva said, still pouting.

Skaara looked at Jack, confused. He looked back and silently told him to wait.

"I'll give you mint chocolate ice cream when we get back." Jack said to her.

"Okay," She replied, perking up and smiling radiantly.

 Eva saw a young, dark haired woman peek out from beneath a curtain.

"Shaa're..." Daniel said, holding a hand out to her, "Don't be shy."

She smiled shyly and walked to Daniel, who put his arm around her. Jack and Eva walked to her.

"Hi." Jack said, holding out a hand. She looked at Daniel and after he nodded, shook Jack's hand. "Good to see you again."

"Hello, Sha're." Eva said gently, "It is good to see you again."

Sha're looked up at Daniel and, after receiving a nod, reached out and hugged the smaller woman. Eva looked surprised for a moment at the unexpected gesture from the usually shy woman before smiling and returning the hug.

"So," Daniel said, looking at the two. "I figured it was only a matter of time before you guys had to tell the truth about us still being here."

"Yup." Eva said, looking up at him and folding her hands on her P-90.

"Why the militia?" Jack asked, looking around, "Has something else come through?"

"No, just taking precautions." Daniel replied, smiling. "Why?"

"Amazing. This is..." Sam said from behind Daniel as Jack was about to reply. "...what was missing from the dig at Giza." Daniel turned around as Sam unbuckled her helmet and removed it. "This is how they controlled it. It took us 15 years and three supercomputers to MacGyver a system for the Gate on Earth."

Daniel looked at Jack in confusion, who mimed falling asleep.

"Captain?" Jack called.

"Look how small it is." Sam continued excitedly, not hearing Jack.

"Captain!" Jack called louder, making her jump and turn around, looking at Jack, who indicated toward Daniel with his head.

"Oh, right. Excuse me." Sam said, turning to look at Daniel. She smiled as held out her hand and said, "Dr. Jackson, I presume." Daniel shook her hand as she continued, "I'm Doctor Samantha Carter."

"Don't you want to be called 'Captain'?" Jack snarked, leaning against the wall.

Sam looked at him, losing her smile.

"What's going on Jack, Sitara?" Daniel asked them, suspiciously.

Jack looked at Skaara, who looked up at the older man, before taking a deep breath. "Six hostile aliens came through the Stargate on Earth. Four people are dead, one's missing." He revealed.

"One of them looked like Ra, Daniel." Kawalsky added as he Ferretti turned to look at the archaeologist.

"Well, they didn't come from here." Daniel replied, "I mean, the boys take shifts guarding it 36 hours a day, every day. We'd know if they came through here."

"Well, they came from somewhere, Daniel." Eva pointed out.

"I'm gonna have to look around." Jack said gently, yet firmly as he straightened up from the wall.

"I-I think I can help you find out who it was..." Daniel said slowly. "...but, uh, it's gonna have to wait till this sandstorm is over." He paused before continuing, "We were about to have our evening meal. Why don't you join us?"

"Great!" Eva spoke up before Jack could even open his mouth. "I'm starving!"

"You just ate!" One of the first timers, Michaels, exclaimed, looking at her.

"So? I eat a lot, and I have a very fast metabolism." Eva replied, looking up at him with wide electric blue eyes.

"Where does it all go?" He asked, waving a hand at her tiny frame as well as referring to her toned, athletic, hourglass figure. "You're not eating for two anymore."

"Swimming, running, skating, fighting, dancing." Eva replied. "Among other things. I burn off the calories almost as fast as I consume them, and it's not like I eat junk food and fast food all the time. I do eat healthy. And technically, I am eating for two. I do nurse Dahlia."

"I guess we're staying for dinner." Jack said as the two continued bantering, looking at Daniel with an expression of long-suffering exasperation

Daniel chuckled lightly. Eva and Michaels stopped their bantering a few minutes later and the team helped the Abydonians set up for the meal before taking seats. The food supplies that they brought with them was unpacked and shared just as the Abydonians shared their food. Daniel, Sha're, the team and the elders sat around in a large circle, while the rest stood, surrounding them in one large group.

"Benna wah. Everybody, try this." Daniel said, handing out some food to the travelers.

"This, too." Skaara said, holding two long cups in his hands, handing one to Jack and the other to one of his friends.

"What's this?" Jack asked, nodding to the cup and slowly taking it.

"Drink." Skaara said.

Jack sniffed it and looked up, raising an eyebrow. "Moonshine?" He asked incredulously.

"Moon...shine?" Skaara repeated, confused.

"Yeah, moonshine." Jack said, nodding. "As in booze. Uh...Daniel, what are you teaching these kids?" Jack asked the archaeologist, who didn't reply but raised his eyebrow at Skaara.

"Try it." Skaara said, smiling.

Jack glanced at Sam and Eva seated on either side of him. Both women just smiled at him encouragingly. "All right." He said, sniffing the cup again. "Skaara's moonshine." He looked up and continued, "I'll give it a little shot." Jack cautiously took a small sip, everyone watching him, before spluttering. "Oh...God!" He rasped, turning his head to the side as he coughed.

Everyone started laughing. Eva rubbed his back, laughing as well and handing him a canteen of water. She was the only one not drinking as she was breast-feeding Dahlia, not to mention she never really liked drinking alcohol all that much to begin with, aside from the occasional glass of wine or champagne. 

"Smooth, very smooth." Jack gasped, his eyes slightly watery from the strength of the drink.

"Moonshine!" Skaara exclaimed, laughing.

"Your little soldiers are all grown up, Colonel." Kawalsky said around a mouthful of food, raising a cup of moonshine to take a sip.

"Yeah, I'm so proud." Jack replied, sarcastically, giving the moonshine cup to Sam. "Whoa...!"

"O'Neill..." Skaara said, taking something out of his pocket. Jack looked up at the young man standing slightly behind Eva. "Your lighter." Skaara said, holding out the pocket lighter that Jack had given him the last time they were here.

Jack cleared his throat lightly and shook his head. "No. It's yours." He said gently, "I gave that to you to keep. Remember?"

Skaara looked at Jack and held the lighter in his fist. "Thank you." He said emotionally.

Jack nodded and Skaara turned around and gently shouldered his way through the crowd behind him.

"He's never let that out of his sight, the whole time you were gone." Daniel said softly, looking at Jack.

"Yeah?" Jack asked, glancing at the other man, before returning to his plate of food.

"So, this...this man who looked like Ra, he must've come through another Stargate." Daniel said, louder.

Jack, Eva and Sam looked at the man in confusion.

"What other Gate?" Eva asked.

"A Stargate?" Jack asked.

"The Stargate only goes here." Sam added.

"No. No." Daniel said, smiling and shaking his head. "I think you're wrong about that."

"I was there." Sam insisted, "We ran hundreds of permutations."

"But you didn't have what you need." Daniel said, chewing on a bite of food.

"Daniel, what are you taking about?" Jack asked, turning so he could face the man.

"Daniel, the storm has passed." Skaara said, coming back before Daniel could reply.

"I'll show you." Daniel said instead, standing and saying something quietly to his wife.

"Bonni wai?" Sha’re asked, standing up as well.

"I won't be long." He promised, kissing her forehead as she put her arms around him.

She pulled him in for a deep kiss, causing everyone to whistle, laugh and catcall. "Goodbye, my Daniel." She said when they parted to her dazed husband.

"Bye." he replied a few seconds later, licking his lips and turning around.

Jack and Sam stood up, as did Kawalsky.

"Hold the fort." Kawalsky said to Ferretti, as the three of them turned to make their way through the crowd.

"Yes, sir."

"Have fun!" Eva called, causing Jack to turn back. "You're coming with us." He said, raising an eyebrow at her. Eva looked up at him and cocked her head. "I am not letting you out of my sight." He replied to her silent question. "Your mother said, in no uncertain terms, that if anything happens to you, she will kill me with a spoon."

"Why not a fork?" Daniel asked, looking back at them. "Wouldn't it be more effective?"

Jack glared at him as Eva stood up and joined them, looping her arm through her godfather’s.

"No, Mummy says it's too predictable." Eva said, as they left the large room. "So's a knife, for that matter." She turned to look between Jack and Kawalsky as she continued, "I don't get why you guys are so terrified of Mummy. She's harmless."

"The fact that she knows 18 different ways to kill someone with a paper-clip is a good enough reason to be terrified of her." Kawalsky remarked, tugging on the end of Eva's braid playfully.

"Seriously?" Sam asked surprised as she looked between Kawalsky and Jack.

"Yeah." Kawalsky replied before falling silent, as they reached the entrance of the pyramid at put their shades on to protect their eyes from the sun. "Boy, can't say I missed this place." Kawalsky muttered as they looked at the plains of sand stretched out in front of them.

"Come on." Daniel said as he began walking down the steps.

"This is just incredible." Sam said in amazement as the rest of them followed.

Daniel led them across the desert to another pyramid about twenty minutes away from the Gate. Entering, the four members of the team turned on their flashlights while Daniel and the Abydonians lit torches.

"So, I-I figured there had to be more to this place, so, I started exploring." Daniel said, leading the way to a large cavern with a flame lit in the middle of the room. "Um, just the area around the town and the pyramid at first. Then after about a month, I found this place." He turned around slightly to glance at Sam. "Uh, Captain Doctor, you're gonna love this."

Sam walked in the room, shining her flashlight and gasped. "Oh, my God, this is amazing!" She looked around as the rest of them joined her and Daniel around one of the circular torches, "This is the archaeological find of the century."

Directly across from the doorway, on the wall, was a large symbol of Ra, with large statues forming a sort-of path. The walls were covered with cartouches of glyphs.

"Daniel, you had the chance to translate this yet?" Jack asked as he, Eva, and Daniel walked to one of the walls.

"I think so." Daniel replied, somewhat uncertain.

"What does it say?" Eva asked, touching some of the symbols on the wall.

"Oh, well, uh...it doesn't say anything." Daniel replied, looking up at the wall briefly before turning to them. "Actually, it's...sort of a chart," he gestured to the wall with his hand, "more of a... a map."

"Of?" Jack prodded, making Daniel look at him.

"Well, I haven't analyzed all of it yet," Daniel replied, turning to gesture to the other walls as he continued, "I mean, look at it,..." Jack and Eva turned as well, "it would take my whole life."

"Well, Daniel, we don't have that long." Jack said, "What's it a map of?"

"Well, the cartouches are separated into groupings, each attached to the others with a series of lines. And each grouping of glyphs has 7 symbols." Daniel explained leadingly. "So, you can see where this is going, of course."

"Tell us anyway." Jack said, not having a clue.

"All the symbols are on the Stargate in the Abydos chamber." Daniel started, walking around the room as he talked and gestured to different areas on the walls and the ceiling. "I've also charted some of them in the Abydos night sky... or at least, pretty close."

"You're saying that this might be a map of the galaxy?" Eva asked, looking at the archaeologist in shock.

"Actually, a map of a vast network of Stargates all across the galaxy." Daniel corrected, nodding at her.

"Great Zeus." Eva breathed, walking around and looking at the cartouches again.

"I don't think that can be, Doctor." Sam objected, walking up to Jack's side.

"Why not?" Daniel asked, looking at her, along with everyone else.

"Well, because after Colonel O'Neill, Eva and their team came back, my team tried hundreds of symbol permutations using Earth as the Point of Origin and it never worked." Sam explained.

"Well, I tried the same here and it didn't work either." Daniel admitted. "But I figured the destinations I tried were either destroyed or buried. But, um, some of them, somewhere, must still exist." Daniel finished.

"I don't think so." Sam said, shaking her head.

"Wait, then where did our Ra look-alike come from?" Eva asked.

Everyone looked at her before turning, as one, to Sam, who stammered for a second before falling silent, clearly not having an answer.

"Look, I won't pretend to know anything about Astrophysics, but couldn't the planets change?" Daniel asked, walking to one of the cartouches. "I mean, uh, drift apart or something like that... to throw this map off?"

"I knew I'd like you." Sam said, smiling at the man as she walked to stand in front of him.

"You-you mean I'm right?" Daniel asked, surprised.

"According to the Expanding-Universe Model, all bodies in the universe are constantly moving further apart." Sam started, as Eva joined them.

"So, in the thousands of years since the Stargates were built..." Daniel continued.

"All the co-ordinates could've changed." Sam finished.

"So, why does it still work between Abydos and Earth?" Daniel asked.

"Abydos might be the closest planet to Earth in the network." Eva supplied, following along with the conversation that basically went over everyone else's heads. "And the closer they are..."

"The less the difference in relative position due to expansion." Sam continued. "The further away, the greater the difference."

"And in a few thousand more years, it won't work between Abydos and Earth either." Eva added.

"Unless you can adjust for the displacement." Daniel pointed out.

"Right. Now, with this map as a base," Sam said, glancing around, "that should be easy."

"All we have to do is correct for Doppler shift." Eva put in, smiling and getting as excited as Sam.

"Then, I should be able to make a computer model that will predict the adjustments necessary to get the Gate working again." Sam finished excitedly.

She, Eva and Daniel grinned at each other.

"Okay, so what did we just figure out?" Kawalsky asked, bringing the excited trio's attention to the pair that became lost right after the three-way dialogue began.

"Any civilization advanced enough to build this Gate network would be able to compensate for 50,000 years of stellar drift." Sam explained, walking towards them slightly.

Seeing the still lost expressions on their faces, Eva translated, "The Stargates can go other places."

"Ah." Jack said, as he and Kawalsky nodded in understanding.

"The aliens could've come from anywhere." Sam said, mostly to herself, but still loud enough for the rest to hear her.

"Then how do we find our missing officer?" Eva asked softly, worry for the missing Sergeant over-taking her excitement.

"I have no idea." Sam replied, looking at the smaller woman.

"Okay, Eva start recording everything you can. Some of this might come in handy." Jack ordered and receiving a nod from the younger woman.

Eva took out her camera, taking photos and videos of the cartouches to take back to Earth.

She had just finished and put her camera back in her pocket when one of Skaara's friends ran in, shouting in a combination of native and English. It took a few tries, but Daniel was able to get him to calm down enough to slowly explain. What he said had them all grabbing their weapons and running out of the cavern and then the pyramid entirely, heading back to the pyramid that housed the Stargate.

The fear in the young man's eyes and voice was burned in Eva's memory.

~*~

They ran into the large chamber and saw people lying on the ground, while others knelt over them.

"Sha're!" Daniel shouted, looking around when there was no reply.

Eva went to one of the first-time officers and checked his pulse. "Michaels is dead." She said when she didn't get a pulse, before doing the same with another.

Seeing Sam still with Ferretti, she went and knelt next to them. Eva took bandages out of her vest and began applying pressure to the wounds. "Here, hold these down while I get more bandages." She said to Sam, who did as she was told. Eva got up and went to Michaels and removed the field bandages from his vest. She went back to Ferretti and began tying them around the wounds. The entire time, he was mumbling. "Samantha, keep track of what he's saying. It could be important." Eva ordered.

As she worked, she heard Kawalsky's voice. "What's going on Daniel?" He demanded. "Could there be another Ra?"

"How the hell should I know?" Daniel replied disparagingly. "I should've left the barricade up. This is all my fault."

"Uncle Jack, Ferretti need proper medical attention, now!" Eva called out to Jack, who was checking if the other officer was alive.

"Go! Help him!" Daniel shouted, from where he was kneeling and checking on an Abydonian. "I can send you back."

"You're coming with us this time, Daniel." Jack said loudly. "I've got orders."

"I don't care about your orders, Colonel." Daniel retorted. "My wife is out there. So is Skaara."

"And the only way we're gonna get 'em back is for you to come home with us!" Jack exclaimed. "Ferretti might've seen those co-ordinates. Eva, do you have the video and photos?"

"Yeah, I have everything we need from the cartouches." Eva replied, not looking up, "But not enough to help Ferretti. We need to get him back, NOW!" Ferretti passed out as Eva looked up at Sam, "Did you get what he had been saying?"

"Not much, unfortunately." She replied, shaking her head.

Eva nodded in understanding as she finished tying the bandages, hearing Daniel call out and speak to the Abydonians.

"Ni-ya! Ni-ya..."

She stood up and turned to see Daniel being surrounded by those he called family for the past year. All were in tears and had looks of sorrow on their faces.

"After we go through the Chapaa-ai, you have to bury it like we did before, and then leave this place." Daniel told them tearfully.

"You come back?" One of Skaara's friends asked.

"No. I can't. Nobody can. That's what I'm telling you. Not for a... a long time." Daniel replied. "Now, as soon as we're gone, I want you to close it, bury it. Put a big, heavy cover stone over it. Nothing good could ever come through this Gate. Do you understand me?" He finished in a loud voice.

"You came through it, Daniel." The young man said, his voice filled with sorrow.

Eva went to Jack, who put an arm around her.

"Do you remember the story I told you?" Daniel asked after a few minutes of silence following the statement. "How the Ancient Egyptians back on Earth cut themselves off from Ra? Well, that is exactly what you have to do. Then, in 1 year, 1 year from this day, you take the cover stone away. I will try to bring Sha're home with me on that day. But if I don't make it back, if I don't...if I don't return, then you must bury the Gate again forever. Joa qua?" Daniel had tears streaming down his face by then as he continued, "You tell Sha're's father 'in one year'."

The young man who made the statement hugged Daniel, followed by the rest of the Abydonians present. They rubbed his hair and held him, knowing thay won't see him for a year, or maybe not at all. Eva hid her head in Jack's chest, unable to watch her friend say good-bye to the people who had taken him in when he decided to stay with them, the people who were his family.

Finally, Daniel removed himself from the crowd and walked to the DHD and began dialing Earth.

As soon as the wormhole established and stabilized, Eva and Jack half-carried Ferretti through while Sam and Daniel followed dragging the bodies of the three dead officers

"Get the medic!" Jack yelled as soon as he emerged on the other side of the Gate. "Get the medic!"

He and Eva gently put Ferretti on the ramp as Sam and Daniel emerged behind them with the three dead officers.

"Close the iris! Close the iris!" Samuels cried out.

Eva, Jack, Daniel and Sam looked up when they heard a sound by the Gate. There was a large barrier right in front of the Event Horizon of the Gate.

"Wormhole disengaged." Sergeant Harriman announced over the speaker.

"What the hell's that, sir?" Jack asked, walking down the ramp.

Eva looked at Hammond from where she was kneeling next to Ferretti and applying pressure to the now soaked bandages.

"That's our insurance against any more surprises." Hammond replied, as the medics came up the ramp. "It's pure titanium. Hopefully impenetrable." Eva helped the medics get Ferretti onto the stretcher, following until the edge of the ramp before stopping in front of Hammond and Jack. "What happened, Colonel, Major?" Hammond asked, looking between Jack and Eva.

"Base camp was hit while we were on recon, sir." Jack replied.

"The same hostiles that attacked us?" Hammond asked.

"That's a fair guess." Eva said softly, trying and failing to wipe Ferretti's blood off her hands. She also had his blood on her face where she had rubbed her cheek with the back of her hand and in her hair from when her braid had fallen into the puddle of the red liquid.

"Daniel's wife and one of our kids was kidnapped." Jack continued.

"Your kids?" Hammond asked, confused.

"From the previous mission, sir." Jack explained as he picked Eva up and held her, not for the first time thankful she was small enough to be carried with her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. She wrapped her arms around her his neck tightly, resting her cheek on his shoulder.

"General, hi," Daniel said, coming to Hammond and holding out his hand. "Daniel Jackson. We've never met. Um, I'd like to be on the team that goes after them."

"You're not in any position to make demands, Jackson." Hammond replied angrily as he walked up the ramp to the dead officers.

"General Hammond, sir?" Jack called out.

"Yes, Colonel?" Hammond asked, turning around.

"Permission to leave, sir?" He asked, putting a hand on Eva's back, silently indicating why he wanted to leave.

"Granted. Dismissed."

Jack nodded and left, followed by Daniel. 

~*~

Several hours later, after their post-mission physicals and the debriefing, Jack carried Eva to the locker room. Without letting her go, he turned on the shower to a slight cool temperature before removing both their boots and standing with her under the spray, still fully clothed. 

"I'm okay now, Uncle Jack." Eva said, after a few minutes.

"You sure?" He asked, putting her gently down on her feet. At her nod, he kissed her forehead gently and left the shower stall, pausing just outside the curtain and turning to her. "I love you." He said.

"I love you too." Eva said back, giving him a small smile, though Jack could see it didn't entirely reach her eyes.

He nodded and left her to shower before going to another stall to do the same.

"Uncle Jack, I'm going to go check on Ferretti." Eva's voice came through the curtain as he was just standing under the hot spray, hoping to release some of the tension.

"You're done showering already?!" Jack asked back, surprise coloring his voice. Eva was known to take long showers, especially because of how long her hair was.

"I just did a quick wash with soap and shampoo." Eva replied. "I'm too worried about Ferretti right now to actually enjoy my shower."

"Alright, don't wander off. Stay in the Infirmary." Jack replied, "I'll come get you."

"Okay." She replied, and he heard her leave.

He turned back and stood under the spray for a while longer, just letting the hot water ease his muscles, before turning the shower off and getting out. He quickly toweled off before changing into a black shirt, tan trousers and black running shoes. He grabbed his black leather jacket and left the locker room, going to the Infirmary, where his goddaughter and his teammate were.

Links:

*Eva 1st outfit - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/163888873918209643/

*Eva leather jacket - https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/32158584817397722/

*Eva shoes - https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/474566879483323899/

*Eva hairstyle for the briefing - https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/474566879470546401/

*Eva hairstyle for the mission - https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/474566879469222823/

Chapter Text

SG-1: Children of the Gods - Part 2

Jack walked through the silent corridors until he got to the Infirmary. He quietly opened the doors and saw Ferretti lying on one of the beds, covered in bandages. Kawalsky was sitting in a chair beside the bed with a cup of coffee in one hand and a newspaper in the other, dozing slightly while Eva was curled up on the bed between Ferretti's feet, fast asleep with her head gently resting on the man's uninjured leg. Her long hair was open and spread out around her like a silken raven-black curtain.

Jack turned and went to talk to the doctor for a few minutes before returning. He walked up to the foot of the bed and stood by it, gently running his fingers through Eva's open hair. "Doc says he's gonna make it." Jack said after a few minutes.

Kawalsky's eyes snapped open and he looked at Jack. "Yes, sir." He said, nodding.

"You gonna stay here all night?"

"Yes, sir."

Jack nodded, putting his jacket on before bending slightly to pick Eva up. She moaned but fell back to sleep after he rubbed her back slightly. Jack was extremely grateful she was wearing the same thing she had worn when they were first called to the mountain a few days earlier and not one of her miniskirts. Kawalsky stood and grabbed her high heeled pumps and gave them to Jack, who nodded and left with a final word of goodbye.

He walked through the corridors until he reached the elevator. He was about to enter when he noticed Daniel leaning against one of the pillars. Frowning, he walked up to the younger man and saw him looking ahead and lost in thought.

"Hey." Jack said softly, getting the other man's attention.

Daniel looked at Jack, inclining his head slightly, not saying anything for a few moments. "They don't know what to do with me." He said finally, his voice quiet. "And I don't know what to do with myself."

Jack didn't reply, only taking in a deep breath as he looked around, unsure of how to help his friend. If Eva were awake, she would've done or said something that would help Daniel, but Jack didn't know what to do. Finally, he decided to do what Eva would most likely do, all the while hoping it would help.

"C'mon." He said, patting the other man's arm and gesturing with his free hand. "Let's get outta here." He said, as he walked back down the hall to the elevator.

Daniel took a few seconds before following. They went up to the surface, where Jack put Eva in the back of his truck, before getting in on the passenger side and gesturing to Daniel to get in as well. Once set, Jack drove to his home after making a detour to pick Dahlia up, the ride spent with Daniel filling him in on what had happened after they left Abydos the first time, occasionally being interrupted by the soft sounds of Eva's, and later Dahlia's, breathing and shuffling as they slept.

Reaching the modest, out of the way, home, Jack and Daniel got out of the truck. Jack woke Eva up while Daniel picked up Dahlia's baby seat and carried her to the door. Jack walked with Eva to the door, the woman slowly waking up, and he unlocked and opened the door, letting Daniel carry the sleeping baby inside.

"Let me get Eva settled and I'll come back and get Dahlia." Jack said softly. "If she gets fussy, her soother is in the seat by her head. Just let her suck on it, she'll calm down."

"I can bring her up, if you don't mind." Daniel said, though nodding to Jack's words.

"She gets fussy when transferring between carrier and crib, but if she's awake in the morning, you can." Jack replied, looking apologetic.

Daniel nodded in understanding, and Jack went upstairs to Eva's room. He got the woman changed in a modest set of pajamas before going back down and getting Dahlia. He went back into Eva’s room and gently transferred Dahlia to the crib, rocking her while doing so, and turned on the mobile above it, letting soothing music and lights play through the speaker.

He double checked that both were okay before grabbing the baby monitor and leaving the room, keeping the door slightly ajar to allow sound and light inside. He went back downstairs and saw that Daniel was standing in front of the fireplace, looking at the photos and portraits on the mantle and the walls; the prominent ones were of Charlie, Eva and Dahlia – the most important people in his life – while there were a few of his own childhood, his parents and Eva’s parents. While Daniel was occupied with the pictures, Jack went to the fridge and grabbed two bottles of beer, going back to the living room. He entered just as Daniel sneezed into his handkerchief.

"Nice catch." Jack said, holding out one of the beer bottles to Daniel.

"Thank you. Sorry." He replied, as he wiped his nose. "Gate travel always seems to make my allergies..." He sneezed again before putting his handkerchief in his pocket. "Sorry." He took the bottle from Jack and opened it.

"So," Jack started as he opened his bottle and sat on the couch. "You were saying."

"Anyway, um..." Daniel started again. "As soon as you were gone, they realized they were free. I mean, Abydos was their world for the taking."

"Had a little party, did you?" Jack asked, slightly sarcastic.

"Oh, yeah. Big, big party." Daniel replied, chuckling lightly before continuing. "They treated me like their savior. It was, um..." Daniel paused, looking for the right word. "...embarrassing." He decided.

"It's amazing you turned out so normal." Jack commented, deadpanned, looking at him.

"Well, if it wasn't for Sha're, I probably..." Daniel started, before stopping and falling silent. Jack looked at his bottle, quiet. "She was the complete opposite of everyone else." Daniel said finally as he took a seat on the single sofa. "She practically fell to the floor, laughing every time I tried to do some chore they all took for granted." He continued, a faraway look on his face as he spoke. "Like, um, grinding yaphetta flour." He looked at Jack. "I mean, have you ever tried to-to grind your own flour?"

"I'm trying to kick the flour thing." Jack replied sarcastically.

Daniel chuckled. "This is going straight to my head." He commented, raising his bottle and taking a swig. "What time is it anyway? I must have Gate-lag or something."

"Daniel, for crying out loud, you've had one beer." Jack said gently, looking at the other man. "You're a cheaper date then my wife was."

"Yes," Daniel said, looking around. "When am I going to meet your wife?"

"Oh," Jack remarked, "probably...uh," he let out a short breath and shook his head lightly as he finished his sentence, looking at Daniel. "Never." At Daniel's look, he elaborated. "After we came back from Abydos the first time... she'd already left."

"I'm sorry." Daniel said sincerely, looking away for a moment before turning back.

"Yeah. So was I." Jack fell silent for a few moments before continuing, "I think in her heart, she forgave me for what happened to our kid. She just...couldn't forget."

"And what about you?"

"I'm the opposite. I'll never forgive myself. But sometimes, I can forget. Sometimes." Jack whispered, taking a swig of his beer.

"I guess that would explain why you are more protective of Sitara now than you were before." Daniel commented softly.

"In a way." Jack said, agreeing. "It's more to do with what Eva had went through after we got back."

"What do you mean?"

"You remember how she broke up with her boyfriend just before we left?"

"Yeah."

"Well, after we got back and we found out Eva was pregnant, she wanted to talk to him. Explain to him that she was pregnant, but if he didn't want to be a part of their life, that was fine, she just thought he deserved to know. One of the scientists, Dr. Meyers, went with her since the doctor didn't want her to be alone, especially if the guy didn't take the news well. Long story short, he insulted her and implied that she slept around. Anyway, he walked away from them and we haven't heard from him since." Jack had stood up halfway through and began pacing, his voice quiet but still filled with anger. "It was a few days later, she had been having severe pains and when I took her to the doctor at Cheyenne, he said that Eva was in serious danger of losing the baby. She had to be on complete bed rest for the entire duration of her pregnancy. I retired not long after that, and Eva moved in with me here since Henry and Alexandra were in Washington, so I could help her through her pregnancy. Even with all the precautions we took, following all the orders the doctor gave us, it was a very long and hard pregnancy. Eva nearly lost the baby three more times, and then once again during her delivery. The entire family practically moved in, including John and Cameron, two of her friends, after the second time she nearly miscarried. She went into premature labor in the beginning of her eighth month and they both nearly died that time."

Jack sat back down, his anger drained out of him as he continued speaking, leaving only the pain and anguish. Daniel just watching his friend with shock and sorrow on his face.

"Oh, my God, Jack" Daniel breathed softly.

"And the funny thing is," Jack said sardonically, playing with his now empty bottle. "She never let me, and Sara lose touch with each other, despite being divorced. She was going through hell, and she still made sure we divorced amicably."

"She is one amazing woman." Daniel said softly, as he finished his beer.

Jack nodded and they fell silent, just lost in their memories, both good and bad. Finally, after about an hour, they said their good-nights and got ready to sleep. Jack set up his own room for Daniel and slept in Eva's room with her and Dahlia. Not a very uncommon thing since they often ended up in each other’s' rooms due to nightmares or simply falling asleep after a 3 a.m. wakeup call from Dahlia.

~*~

The next morning, the three were woken up by Dahlia's crying. Eva picked her up and began to nurse while the two men got showered and dressed, Jack in his dress uniform and Daniel in a fresh pair of clothes that once belonged to Jack, and made breakfast. Once Dahlia had been fed, Eva gave her to Jack and went to shower and dress as well, putting on her dress uniform and tying her hair into the same swept up braided bun as a few days earlier. After a quick breakfast, they dropped Dahlia with Eva's sister, Caroline, and went to the mountain for their briefing.

They gathered in the Briefing Room and waited for General Hammond to enter. They didn't have to wait long. Major Samuels opened the door to General Hammond's office and stepped out.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, General Hammond." He announced, standing at parade rest.

Everyone except Daniel saluted to Hammond, which he returned as he walked to his seat. "People, what is spoken of in this room is classified CSI top secret." He began without preamble, taking his seat at the head of the table. "Colonel, what do we know about these hostiles we didn't yesterday?" He asked, looking at Jack.

"Not a hell of a lot, General." Jack replied, taking his seat between Eva and Daniel. "The Abydon boys who survived the attack on the base camp thought it was Ra."

"I thought he was dead, gentlemen. Which is it?" Hammond asked.

"Oh, he's dead. He's definitely dead." Daniel said. "I mean, uh, the bomb...I mean, he's gotta be dead, right?" He aimed the question at the end to Eva and Jack.

"Then who’s coming through the Stargate?" Hammond asked pointedly.

"The Gods." Daniel replied, with a look on his face that said he had a theory.

"What?" Hammond asked disbelievingly, as they all turned to look at the archaeologist with similar expressions.

"Not as in 'God' God." Daniel said as he hurried on to explain. "Ra played a god, the Sun God. He borrowed the religion and culture of the Ancient Egyptians he brought through the Gate, and then he used it to enslave them. He wanted the people of Abydos to think he was the only one."

"So you're saying Ra's not the last of his race, after all?" Sam asked, looking at the man beside her.

"Maybe he's got a brother - Ray." Kawalsky chipped in sarcastically.

"That's what we need." Jack muttered, playing with his pen.

"Wait a minute." Eva spoke up, stalling the sarcasm and mutterings. "According to the legend, Ra's race was dying. He survived by taking over the body of his human host, an Egyptian boy. Who’s to say more of his kind couldn’t have done the same thing? I mean, this could happen anytime, anywhere, there's a Gate. I mean, this could be happening right now." She finished and looked at all of them.

"Colonel, Major, you two have had the most experience in fighting this hostile." Hammond said, looking at the pair sitting next to him. "Assuming you have to defend yourselves in the field, are you two up to it?"

Jack and Eva were quiet for a moment, pondering the question before looking up.

"We beat 'em once." Jack said, and Eva nodded in agreement.

"I'll take that as a maybe." Hammond said, turning to Sam. "Captain Carter, you're confident that the Stargate will take us where we want to go with this new information?"

"Well, they're feeding the revised co-ordinates into the targeting computer right now. It'll take time to calculate, but it should spit out two or three destinations a month." Sam replied, looking at Hammond as she spoke.

"People," Hammond said, folding his hands on the table and looking at all of them, "Let's not fool ourselves here. This thing is both vast and dangerous. We are in so far over our heads, we can barely see daylight. We would all be much better off if the Stargate had been left in the ground."

"With respect, sir..." Sam spoke up, making him look at her, "we can't bury our heads in the sand. I mean, think of how much we could learn. Think of what we could bring back."

"What you could bring back is precisely what I'm afraid of, Captain." Hammond said, looking at her. "However, the President of the United States happens to agree with you." Sam looked back in surprise, "In the event that your theories pan out, he has ordered the formation of nine teams, whose duties will be to perform reconnaissance, determine threats..." Jack, Eva and a few others sat up straighter and exchanged looks, "and if possible, to make peaceful contact with the peoples of these worlds. Now, these teams will operate on a covert, top-secret basis. No one will know of their existence except the President and the Joint Chiefs." He looked at Jack, "Colonel O’Neill..."

"Sir?"

"Your team will be designated SG-1. The team will consist of yourself, Major Lorne, Captain Carter..."

"And me?" Daniel asked, making Hammond look at him.

"Doctor Jackson, we need you to work as a consultant with the other SG teams from here. Your expertise in ancient cultures and languages are far too valuable-"

"No." Daniel interrupted. He had been nodding along with what the General was saying before finally cutting him off. "Um, look, uh, I mean I know this is your decision... but I just... I-I really have to be on their team." Daniel looked at Hammond determinedly. The older man looked between Jack and Daniel. "My wife is out there, General. I need to go." Daniel said, his tone just barely above all out pleading.

"I'll take that under consideration." Hammond replied to him before turning to Kawalsky on the other side of the table, "Major Kawalsky, you will head SG-2."

"I will?" Kawalsky repeated, surprised.

"Colonel O'Neill and Major Lorne keep telling me it's about time you had a command." Hammond said to him, who turned to look at Jack and Eva in shock.

"I had a moment of weakness." Jack explained with a smile.

Eva lightly tapped Jack's arm and looked at Kawalsky with a smile, "You deserve it."

Kawalsky smiled back in happiness as an Airman entered and handed a note to Samuels, who read it. "Ferretti's conscious, sir." He said, looking at Hammond.

Jack and Eva pushed back from their seats and ran out the door.

"Dismissed." Hammond said, allowing the rest to do the same.

Kawalsky, Daniel and Sam ran out, quickly catching up with Jack and Eva. They slowed down as they reached the Infirmary and walked in with purposeful strides. They saw Ferretti leaning on his side so that he could look at a laptop with his good eye, using his uninjured hand to type something out on it. There was an orderly standing next to the bed, helping him.

"I'll take over." Sam said to the orderly, who nodded and moved aside. "Thanks." She turned to look at what Ferretti was looking at. She squeezed his hand.

Eva moved to stand on the other side, while Kawalsky stood by Sam, as Jack and Daniel stood at the foot of the bed.

"Ferretti..." Jack started, his voice serious. "I know you're probably not feeling so hot..." Ferretti looked at him with his good eye as he went back to typing something with his good hand, "...but we need something from you."

Ferretti gasped as he reached to press a key that was a bit further away.

"Looks like he's way ahead of you, Colonel." Sam said, looking at the screen.

Jack moved to stand by Sam, who shifted slightly to give the man room to look at the screen. Ferretti was looking at a video playback of the Stargate and was searching for the symbols he saw the aliens use. He slowly input the symbols, until he input the last one he saw, the seventh one.

"You saw all seven symbols?" Jack asked, looking at Ferretti, along with the rest of them. "This is where they went?" Ferretti leaned back slightly as he let his arm drop and looked at Jack. "You sure?"

"Mmmm." Ferretti mumbled/ groaned in response as he lost consciousness once again.

Jack sighed and gently patted Ferretti's hand before turning around to leave. "I'm gonna go tell General Hammond what we've got, so he can authorize our mission." He told them.

Getting nods of understanding, Jack left. Eva and Daniel perched on either side of Ferretti's bed, Kawalsky coming behind Eva and gently putting his arms around her. She sank into them, letting the older man silently give her some comfort while they watched their friend breathe, showing that he was alive. Eva reached out and took Daniel's hand, gently squeezing it to give him some comfort. He smiled at her and didn't let go.

Sam looked between them, watching the interactions and familiarity between the group who had been through the impossible together and survived. She had seen it happen before, team members who were as different as night and day coming together due to shared experiences even after a rocky start.

No one spoke, waiting in silence for Jack to return.

They weren't waiting long before Jack came back in. "We're good to go." He said. "Gear up."

They nodded and stood up to leave, Eva turning to kiss Ferretti's cheek before leaving the infirmary.

The members of SG-1 and SG-2 met up in the locker room and changed in silence, their backs to each other to offer some measure of privacy. Once they were ready in the olive green BDU’s they had been given for the mission, they strapped on their gear and exited the locker room, meeting Samuels just outside the door and he walked with them to the Embarkation Room.

"Colonel, Major, I'd like to remind you both that rescuing Dr. Jackson's wife is a secondary objective." Samuels said to Jack, who was fixed his helmet. "In the event you fail to notify base camp within 24 hours..." Samuels fiddled with a transmitter he held, "SG-2 will scrub the mission and return without you."

"Understood." Jack said sarcastically.

"Understood." Eva said as well, though without the sarcasm. She gave her MP5 to Sam to hold while she tucked her braid into her helmet to keep it out of her way.

"Not gonna happen, Colonel, Star." Kawalsky said from behind the two. Jack and Samuels glanced at him as he continued, "SG-2 won't leave without you."

"All right." Samuels said, going back to pressing a few buttons on the transmitter, "Let's confirm transmitter codes." Sam moved to walk beside Jack and Eva since she had the transmitter, passing the MP5 back to the younger woman at the same time. "Remember, only the right code will open the iris. And if you lose your transmitter, you cannot get home." Samuels warned.

"Understood, sir." Sam said as she fiddled with the transmitter attached to her wrist.

They entered the Embarkation Room just as the wormhole was engaged.

"SG-1 and SG-2," Hammond said over the speaker from the Control Room, making the two teams look up, "...if you do not return in 24 hours... your remote transmitter codes will be locked out... and the iris will be sealed permanently. At that point, there will be no return. Is that understood?"

"Yes, sir." Jack replied for all of them, saluting to the General. Lowering his hand, he turned to the other seven. "Let's move out!"

As the room door sealed shut, SG-1 and SG-2 began walking to and up the ramp towards the Event Horizon.

"Kinda wish I was going with you." Samuels said to Kawalsky as they walked to the ramp.

"Yeah?" Kawalsky asked, looking at him. "I'm kinda glad you're staying behind." Grinning, he walked up the ramp and joined the rest of the group. "All right. Let's go boys." He said, as Jack and Eva walked up the ramp.

The two teams stood on either side of the Field Remote Expeditionary Device (F.R.E.D.) as it was remotely sent through the Gate. As soon as it was through, the two teams followed as well, Jack holding Eva as close as he could with their gear.

It turned out to be a rather smart move since the Gate none too gently spat them out on the other side. Jack curled around Eva to protect her as much as possible as they rolled down the steps and came to a stop in front of the dialing device.

"Oh, Hera." Eva groaned, standing and bending backward, sighing when she heard a satisfying crack. “We have got to do something about these exits.”

The others slowly got up as well, groaning and commenting on the brutal trip as the wormhole disengaged.

"Dammit, it's cold." Kawalsky muttered, clenching his fists in an attempt to regain warmth in his hands.

Daniel removed his frosted glasses and wiped them on his sleeve before putting them back on again. Sam, Jack and Eva looked around at their surroundings.

"Okay, people, let's get the gear out." Jack called as he walked away from the Gate. "Let's move!"

"Be on guard." Eva added, more out of habit than actual necessity.

Daniel sneezed as they followed Jack. "Does anybody have a Kleenex?" He asked.

"Here." Eva said, handing a handkerchief to the other man.

 He thanked her, and they split up to scout the area while Daniel worked on figuring out how to align the Gate to get back with Eva keeping guard.

"It must be some sort of ceremonial place." Daniel said after a while, his small notebook in hand as he took notes. "The Gate has to be an integral part of their spiritual culture." He gestured around at the stones surrounding the Gate as Jack came up to them. "This place was built for worshipers."

"Well, let's just try to be outta here before the worshipees show up, huh?" Jack said as he turned to the dialing device. "You figure out yet how to align this Gate to get back home?"

"Yeah." Daniel replied, "The device is the same as the one on Abydos." He pointed to a symbol on the device, "This symbol represents-"

"You brief Kawalsky's team yet?" Jack interrupted.

"Yes. This symbol rep-" Daniel replied as he continued, only to be cut off by Jack.

"Good job." He said, patting the linguist’s arm and walking to meet Kawalsky.

Daniel had a frustrated expression on his face as Eva mouthed 'Sorry' to him and joined the two older officers.

"We'll have to set camp where there's better cover." Kawalsky informed them.

A younger officer, Warren, came up to the three of them. "Sirs, ma'am, I found what looks like a trail on the mountain." He informed them. "Looks like it's seen traffic in the last couple of days."

Jack nodded as Sam came up to them. "Thank you, Airman." Jack said to him before turning to Sam as the airman left, "Carter?"

"I set up a line of claymores along that ridge" She said, gesturing to a ridge not far from their position. "At ten-meter intervals."

"Sound about right, Kawalsky?" Jack asked as he walked away.

"Yeah. That'll work." He replied, slightly sarcastic as Sam walked away as well.

Eva shook her head at their antics and went to F.R.E.D. where they had kept all of their gear. Double checking that everything was put back in place, the joint team moved out, heading over the ridge to find a place to set camp. Kawalsky took point while Casey remote controlled F.R.E.D, Sam and Eva walking on one side with Jack and Daniel on the other, the rest bringing up the rear.

Sam and Eva spoke quietly, catching up with each other as Sam informed Eva of everything she had missed after leaving Washington following her last visit. It was mostly gossip, but the sort that was crucial to know when maneuvering the political and social elite circles of DC.

After about twenty minutes of walking, Kawalsky stopped. "This looks like a good spot right up here." He said, pointing to place right in front of them, at the foot of a small hill.

They stopped and SG-1 separated from SG-2.

"If we're not back in 20 hours..." Jack started as he looked at his watch.

"Yeah, we come rescue your sorry asses." Kawalsky finished.

"Negative." Jack replied, turning to him. "You'll go back through the Gate with the combination Daniel gave you before the iris is locked so you can't go back."

"Yes, sir." Kawalsky replied, nodding but not looking very happy. But he understood the reasoning and despite his personal opinions of leaving his people behind, he didn’t argue.

He saluted Jack whop returned it with a smile.

"Hold down the fort." Eva said, smiling up at him and saluting as well.

"Pick me up a T-shirt." Kawalsky replied back, smiling as he returned the salute.

SG-2 watched as SG-1 turned and walked down the trail through the forest. They watched until the team was out of sight before turning to F.R.E.D and beginning the task of setting up camp and the more difficult one. Waiting.

SG-1 walked in silence for a while before Sam spoke up. "So, Dr. Jackson, tell me more about Sha're." She said as they turned a bend. "How did you meet?"

"Sha're? Well, she's, uh..." Daniel started. "Uh..."

"She was a gift." Jack spoke up from slightly ahead of the two.

"She was actually." Daniel continued. "A gift from the elders of Abydos the first time we were there."

"And you accepted?!" Sam asked, looking at Daniel scandalized.

"Hold up." Jack said, before Daniel could respond, stopping and holding up a hand.

Eva, who was walking behind Jack, moved to stand beside him. They looked down and saw a group of people walking through the trees.

"What?" Daniel asked, as Jack walked backward into the cover of trees beside them and Sam pulled Daniel by his sleeve.

They crouched in the brush, weapons locked and ready in case they were needed. The group were men, all carrying staffs and wearing some sort of robes with pointed hood-like caps that went to their shoulders.

"All right, Captain," Jack said to Sam, who was on his right next to Eva. "Take a position 50 yards..." He looked to his left and saw that Daniel wasn't there. Eva looked around and saw Daniel walking down the trail to the men. She tapped Jack on the arm and pointed. "Oh, for crying out loud!" Jack muttered as Daniel stopped in front of the men.

"Hi." The Archaeologist said in greeting, raising his hands.

"That man has not changed." Jack muttered as he, Eva and Sam came out of hiding and stood behind Daniel defensively with their MP5s aimed at the group of men.

"Uh, w-w-we just came through the Stargate." Daniel said to them, receiving confused looks. "Uh, the, uh... Chapaa-ai..." He offered, shrugging.

"Chapaa-ai!" The man in front repeated in fear as they knelt down.

"No, please don't do that." Daniel muttered.

"Friends of yours?" Jack asked making Daniel look back at them.

"Unless we want to give ourselves a really bad reputation..." Daniel started, walking back to them and gently lowering Sam and Jack's guns as he spoke. "I just think we should avoid shooting the first people we meet on a new planet." Eva lowered hers as well, seeing Daniel's point. Daniel glanced back at the men and saw that those that had looked up quickly looked back to the ground again. "Oh, please, you don't have to do this." Daniel groaned as he moved to them and gently brought the first man to his feet.

The man pulled back his hood, revealing a black symbol on his forehead in the shape of a coiled serpent inside a circle and an almost full circle surrounding the first. He looked at Daniel.

"Chula a lazla?" He asked, nodding his head.

"Lazla...?" Daniel repeated. The man glanced at the rest of them before looking back at Daniel. "Choose..." Daniel said quietly before speaking up. "They wanna know if we're here to choose." He looked back at them.

Jack just waved his hand in a 'sure-whatever' motion.

"Uh, sure." Daniel said, nodding and looking back at the native. "Uh, we can choose. Choosing...choosing is good."  Daniel turned back to the team. "It's a derivation of Arabic combined with..."

"Yeah, yeah. All right, whatever." Jack interrupted, waving his hand. "Just ask 'em to take us to the nearest village or town."

Daniel looked at the men for a moment before walking to them and stopping in front of the first one, the one standing.

"Uh, would you take us to, um, uh... uh, uh..." Daniel stammered a bit. "Um...Arush." Daniel made a hand gesture of a house as he repeated, "Arush."

"Yah." The man replied, nodding. "Alla. Chulak." The rest of the men stood and parted, while the first one waved with a hand, gesturing for the team to follow. "Chulak." He repeated.

"Chulak, eh?" Jack said as he walked forward, with the rest falling into step behind him.

The men bowed as the team passed and brought up the rear. As they walked, Daniel continued trying to communicate, learning more and more about the specific dialect that the men used and explained to his teammates. Jack listened with half-an-ear, paying more attention to their surroundings while Sam and Eva listened with rapt attention; despite the women listening to Daniel, they continued to keep an eye on their surroundings, ready in case of an attack.

It was a good forty minutes or so before they finally stopped walking.

"Chulak." Their guide said, pointing to a rising city in the distance before he continued walking.

"Chulak. S-sounds good." Daniel muttered, slightly nervous.

"I hear it's nice this time of year." Jack said flippantly, causing Eva to roll her eyes.

The resumed walking until they reached the town. The natives led them inside a large temple to a room filled with people laughing. There was food laid out at a table were many were sitting and soft music playing.

They entered the room and stopped in the doorway, taking in the room. It was Egyptian themed, with drapes hanging from the high ceiling, cushions that the people were sitting on at the low table, and torches in corners.

When the occupants of the room saw them, they all stopped what they were doing and stared. They watched as the team entered the room fully, stopping at the top of two steps that led down into the hall.

"Atuhara a lazla." Their guide announced to the people, gesturing to the team.

Daniel, who was behind Jack's left shoulder, moved forward and down the steps. Jack, Eva and Sam followed, slightly more cautious. The people in the room watched their every move as they came to the low table. At the occupants’ gesturing, the team sat down beside each other at the open end of the table, Daniel on one corner, followed by Eva and Jack with Sam on the other corner. Sam, Daniel and Eva removed their helmets before settling on the cushioned seats, keeping them in their lap or on their side.

"Why are they treating us like this?" Sam asked quietly, leaning toward Jack slightly as he removed his helmet as well.

"They think we're gods." Daniel replied, just as quietly.

Sam picked up the cup in front of her and looked inside, sniffing curiously before putting it back on the table.

"OK. We're gods." Jack said.

"Now what?" Eva asked.

"I have no idea." Daniel replied, glancing up when a large pitcher was placed in front of them. A man blew in to a large curved horn he was carrying, causing everyone to prostrate. Daniel did followed suit. "When in Rome." Daniel said in way of explanation at the confused looks he got from his team.

Sam and Eva prostrated as well, Jack let out a sigh before doing the same, though he peeked over the table and watched what was happening. At the sounds of marching feet, Daniel and Eva peeked over the table as well. There were a group of people dressed in identical grey-toned armor and helmets in the shape of serpents marching in, followed by a man dressed in Egyptian style clothes shaded in gold tones and a woman in a long white and silver Egyptian dress with a veil over her face. Those in grey stood at attention as the man in gold and the woman entered.

"Behold!" The man said, his voice having an echo-like tone. He stood in front of the woman and lifted her veil. "Your Queen." He said, standing to her side and revealing the woman’s features to the room at large.

It was Sha're.

"Sha're?" Daniel asked in shock.

Eva gasped in stunned shock.

Jack and Sam looked up as well. Daniel stood and was about to run to her when the man spoke, causing Daniel to look at him.

"Kneel before your Queen."

Daniel looked at Sha're, who looked back with no recognition in her eyes. It was as if she was looking at a stranger.

"Sha're, it's me." Daniel pleaded to his wife, walking forward slightly.

Her eyes glowed in response, as the man beside her threw his arm out and a wave was emitted from a device wrapped around it. It threw Daniel up and against a wall.

"Aargh!" He groaned as he slid down the wall.

Jack, Eva and Sam stood, cocking their guns and aiming them at the man. Sha're stood in front of him as a shield. The three froze, unable to get a clear shot without hitting Sha're as well. One of the people dressed in grey came up behind them and hit them on the head with the staff weapon.

They went down like a ton of bricks.

~*~

Eva came to with a gasp, her head in Jack's lap.

"Easy sweetie. Easy." Jack said gently, helping her sit up.

"What happened?" She asked, rubbing her head.

"We were knocked unconscious and brought here. It's been hours."

Eva opened her eyes and looked around. They were in some sort of large cell filled with people. A little further away, she saw Sam and Daniel still unconscious.

"How long since you came to?" Eva asked, looking back at Jack.

"Not very long." He replied. "I checked on Daniel and Carter before I sat with you when you showed signs of regaining consciousness."

Eva nodded as Jack gently helped her up. "I'm going to see if I can get a way out of here." Jack said. "You going to be okay?"

Eva nodded, and Jack kissed her forehead before going to one of the walls, looking for a way out. Eva went over to Sam and Daniel, sitting between them. It wasn't long before Sam groaned as she came to, rubbing her head.

"Easy Samantha, take it slow." Eva said, helping the older blonde sit up. "We were knocked out, probably by one of the people in the grey armor."

"How long have we been here?" Sam asked, looking around.

"Several hours. Uncle Jack is looking around and Daniel is still unconscious." Eva replied. Sam nodded and rubbed her head, trying to alleviate the headache that had formed. "Don't try to stand up just yet." Eva said softly, seeing the older woman move to stand. "Stay with Daniel, I'm going to go find Uncle Jack and let him know you're awake."

Sam nodded as Eva stood up and walked into the crowd, disappearing between the mass of bodies within seconds. It didn't take long for her to find him, and she quickly made her way to him.

"Look who I found." Jack said.

Skaara peeked out from behind the colonel, a smile forming on his face when he saw Eva. “Sitara.” He said softly, moving to her and wrapping his arms around her in a hug.

Eva returned the embrace wholeheartedly, thankful he was still alive. She pulled away from the hug and looked at Jack, moving to his side.

"Did you tell him about-" She began in a quiet whisper.

"Yeah, I did." Jack replied, nodding.

Eva nodded and turned back to Skaara. "Are you okay?" She asked, looking up at him.

Skaara nodded in reply, his previous smile at seeing her fading into an expression of worry for his sister and themselves.

Eva reached out and took his hand, holding it comfortingly as Skaara interlocked their fingers. Eva turned to Jack. "Did you find anything?" She asked him.

"Nothing yet." He replied, shaking his head. "But from what we could gather, these people are from different worlds."

"What are they all here for?" Eva asked.

"Maybe to be hosts for the aliens?" Jack guessed, shrugging helplessly. "We're going to continue looking." Jack lightly tapped Skaara's shoulder and gestured for him to come as well. "Eva, stay put with Carter and Daniel. I want to be able to find you if I have to."

Eva nodded and, gently extracting her fingers from Skaara’s hold, she left the two men and rejoined Sam. She sighed as she sat down next to the blonde woman and began humming quietly while they waited for Daniel to wake up.

"Eva?" Sam asked after a while.

"Hmm?" Eva replied, looking at her.

Sam opened her mouth to say something before closing it again, hesitant.

"What is it?" Eva asked gently, turning to face the woman properly.

"Please don't take this the wrong way, but why is the Colonel so protective of you?" Sam asked still hesitant, unsure of how her question would be received. "I mean, you are both in the military, wouldn't he trust you are able to take care of yourself? After all, you are one of the best fighters. And it can't just be because he's terrified of what your mother would do to him."

Eva smiled and stared, unseeing, up at the ceiling. She was quiet for a few minutes.

"You said you had memorized the report from our first mission to Abydos." Eva began. At Sam's nod, Eva continued, "So you know how I had been sick, and how we just thought it was the Gate travel." Sam nodded again. "When we got back, we found out I was pregnant. It was extremely high risk, made even more so by the fact that I had died and been brought back. Thankfully, I hadn't been dead long enough for the baby to die as well, but the damage to me was done. Over the course of my pregnancy, I nearly miscarried my daughter three more times before I went into premature labor in the beginning of my eighth month. I was in labor for 42 hours before I had dilated enough to push. I was about to start pushing when I had to stop because the baby was in distress, and when the doctors did an ultrasound, they found that the umbilical cord had wrapped around her head multiple times. They had to give me a Caesarean, and they couldn't give me any anesthetics because it was too late."

"You mean you were-" Sam asked, staring at Eva with wide eyes. The blonde’s blue orbs were swimming with unshed tears.

"Able to feel as they cut me open and removed my baby? Yes. And I was also hemorrhaging severely. The baby was in the clear as soon as they had removed the umbilical cord from around her neck, but I was still in serious danger of dying. It was an extremely close call, and after another 10 hours, I was declared stable and in the clear as well. Uncle Jack’s protectiveness has nothing to do with my ability to take care of myself, to defend myself, but everything to do with the fact that in a span of just over two days, he nearly lost me and Dahlia several times. And that was only when I was in labor and not counting the times I nearly miscarried her."

 "Oh, my God." Sam breathed.

Eva smiled at her and gently patted her hand. "It'll just take some time before Uncle Jack is able to trust himself to let me out of his sight." She said gently to the blonde.

There was a low groan from beside them, ending the conversation.

"Daniel...Daniel..." Sam said, kneeling next to him as he regained consciousness.

"Oh...Sha're." Daniel gasped as his eyes snapped open.

"Whoa. Easy." Sam said, putting a hand on his chest. "You've been unconscious for hours."

"No," Daniel said, as he got up. "I saw her."

"I know." Eva replied, kneeling next to Sam. "We all did."

"I saw Sha're." Daniel insisted as he stood up with Sam's help. "She was..." He trailed off as he finally noticed where they were and the amount of people that filled the large, stone cell.

"Uh, well, if there's a way outta here, I haven't found it yet." Jack said as he came up to them through the crowd. He put an arm around Eva and gestured with his thumb behind him as he continued, "But, look what I did find."

"Daniel?" Skaara called as he came through the crowd. He came up to Daniel and pulled him into a hug asking, "You're OK?"

"I think so." Daniel replied, hugging back tightly. The brothers-in-law pulled back and Daniel coughed, beginning to sway.

"Easy, big guy." Jack said as they helped Daniel sit on a stone behind him. "Welcome back to the land of the conscious."

"O'Neill told me about Sha're." Skaara said, kneeling in front of his sister's husband.

"Jack. Sitara. Help me." Daniel said, turning to them with a desperate look on his face. "We can find her again."

"Daniel… don't." Jack said, cutting him off. He shook his head slightly, his eyes filled with sympathy for the younger man as Daniel sighed. "If we can't find a way outta here, the mission's a bust anyway." Jack continued as Eva knelt next to Skaara, by Jack's leg.

"They seal the Gate in just over 90 minutes." Eva informed Sam and Daniel.

"C'mon Skaara, let's find a way outta here." Jack said as he reached out to pat Skaara's arm only for it to be grabbed by one of the guards. "Ow!" He cried out as his arm was squeezed.

Eva jumped up but was held back by Skaara before she could make a move towards the guard.

"What is this?" The guard asked, referring to Jack's watch.

"It's a watch." Jack gasped, his wrist still held in a firm grip.

The helmet opened, revealing a black bald man with the same symbol on his forehead as the men the team had met on the road, only in gold. The man knelt slightly to get a closer look at it.

"This is not Goa'uld technology." He said in a deep voice. He looked at Jack. "Where are you from?"

"Earth." Jack replied, looking back at him. Jack paused for a moment before he continued flippantly, "Chicago, if you want to be specific..."

"Your words mean nothing." The man interrupted before repeating, "Where are you from?"

"Uh, excuse me..." Daniel spoke up, kneeling on the ground. Jack and the guard turned to look at Daniel as he drew a symbol in the dirt. "This is where we're from." Daniel said looking up at the man, once he finished drawing the dot on top of the triangle.

Sam, Skaara and Eva looked at the guard as well, Eva still being held back by Skaara. The man used his staff to draw a line over the symbol, erasing it, before closing his helmet again. He stepped back and left the cell they were in.

"That was weird." Eva commented as Skaara let her go.

"Yeah." Jack agreed, before turning to Skaara. "Let's find a way outta here."

Skaara nodded and the two men left. Sam, Daniel and Eva sat in silence, each lost in thought.

Jack came back a few minutes later. "There's a window that looks like it shows outside. It might be a way out." He said, gesturing to one of the walls. "But it's too high up for us to see through and the bricks don't give enough purchase to climb. There's a ledge under it, but it's too small for anyone to stand on."

"Let me try." Eva said, standing. "I am flexible enough to balance on one foot, and if I fall, you'll be able to catch me."

"Okay" Jack agreed slowly. "But how are you going to get up? The last time you tree-climbed me, you were eight. And like I said, the bricks don't give enough purchase to climb."

"I have an idea." Eva replied as she began removing her tac-vest, jacket, shirt, boots and trousers, leaving her in a black sleeveless body top and her black boy-shorts. She put her braid into a large knot at the base of her neck.

"What are you doing?" Sam asked in confusion. She wasn’t the only one, Skaara and Daniel looking just as confused while adamantly not looking at the young, pretty Major.

"You'll see." Eva replied before turning to Jack. "Remember when I was doing acrobatic gymnastics?"

"Yeah." Jack replied slowly before his eyes widened in recognition. "You mean..."

"Yup." Eva chirped, popping the 'p'.

"I'm lost." Sam said.

"Me too." Daniel said.

Skaara cocked his head to the side, his expression showing he was just as lost.

"You'll see." Eva said, glancing at them. "Just hold on to my clothes. I do not fancy having to walk through the cold in my underwear."

Eva and Jack walked to the wall, stopping a few feet away from it before turning to face each other about a foot apart. Eva took a step towards him and Jack lifted her up by the waist, lifting her in the air where she flipped and landed on his hands, which were resting on his shoulders. He slowly walked to the window, turning so his back was to it and Eva could see.

"A little higher." She called down, prompting Jack to slowly lift his arms up so that they were straight. "That's perfect. Give me a minute." He held Eva there so she could see if it was a way out. It wasn't. There were flat bars crisscrossed through it. She tugged on it to see if it would give but it didn't. "Okay." Eva said. "Let me down."

Jack walked forward a little and Eva launched herself off his hands, somersaulted in the air before landing gracefully on her feet a foot away, in the exact same place she started.

"Well?" Jack asked.

"Sorry." Eva replied, shaking her head sadly. "It's extremely small and it has flat bars crossed through it. We'd need a welding torch to cut through it and someone even smaller than me to get through."

Jack sighed and nodded. "Okay, go put your clothes back on." He said. "Stay with Sam and Daniel."

Eva nodded and kissed his cheek before going to Sam and Daniel, both of whom were staring at her in shock and surprise. "What?" She asked, grabbing her trousers and putting them on before putting on her boots as well.

"That was amazing." Sam breathed. "How long have you been practicing gymnastics?"

"All my life." Eva replied, putting on her shirt, jacket and tac-vest, leaving them unzipped as she sat next to Daniel on the rock to tie her boot-laces. "I was a National Gymnast when I was a teenager until I fell during one of my routines and fractured my spine. After surgery and PT, I am still able to do gymnastics, but just not at a National or Olympic level."

"Wow." Daniel breathed. Eva never ceased to amaze him. Shaking his head, he turned back to look at Sam. "So, what were you going to say about earlier?"

"Yeah, I was going to say Ra isn't dead after all." The blonde said.

"No, it wasn't Ra." Daniel objected, leaning against the wall. "It was Apophis."

"Who?" Sam asked with a frown

"Um, it's from Egyptian mythology." Daniel started.

"Ra was the sun god, who ruled the day." Eva continued as she zipped her jacket and tac-vest. "Apophis was the serpent god, Ra's rival who ruled the night."

"It's right out of 'The Book of the Dead'." Daniel finished with a small shake of his head. "They're living it."

"Well, that would explain the behavior of those men who helped us earlier, and why they thought we were gods." Sam said.

Daniel and Eva nodded. They were startled out of their conversation when the gate sealing them in the cell was opened. They stood up as Skaara and Jack joined them. The group of six watched as the guards entered, walking down the steps and stopping. The guard the team and Skaara encountered a short time earlier stood on the step behind the line of guards.

"Shaka ha!" He called out loudly. "Kree hol mel, Goa'uld!"

"What'd he say?" Jack asked Skaara in a whisper.

"They're going to choose." Skaara replied, just as quietly.

"Choose what?" Sam asked, looking at him.

"Who will be the children of the gods." Skaara replied.

Eva slipped her tiny hand into Skaara's bigger one, and he squeezed it gently as they watched. A large palanquin was carried in and set down before the top step.

"Jaffa!" A voice called out as Apophis got out of the palanquin. He looked at the group of assembled prisoners for a moment before turning back and helping someone else out. Sha're.

"Sha're." Daniel breathed as she glanced around, her eyes holding no emotion. "Jack, help me, please." Daniel pleaded as he moved to go forward, only to be held back by Sam and Jack holding on to each arm.

"Daniel! Don't!" Jack said, holding tight as the guards made a path through the prisoners, looking at them as if inspecting.

The guard from earlier stood at one of the walls. "Benna!" He shouted. "Ya wan, ya daru! Kneel before your masters!"

The squad men that had carried the palanquin, dressed differently from the guards, began making their way through them, forcing those that were still standing to kneel. Some of the people cried out as they were forced to their knees. One of them came to the team, forcing them down as well. As Jack knelt, they saw the guard look to the side and nod.

"Skaara, Eva..." Jack said, looking up at them.

The two knelt as well, Skaara tightening his grip on Eva's hand, as they watched. They saw a couple come down the stairs, looking through the prisoners, inspecting them.

"Benna! Ya wan, ya daru!" The guard yelled again. "Choose."

One young boy was carried and brought to a couple. The boy was crying and struggling against the grip. The male reached up and held the boy's jaw, inspecting it for a moment.

"No." He said, waving his hand dismissively.

The boy was thrown down as another was selected and taken to be inspected. Eva looked at the guard they had met, the only one not wearing a helmet, and frowned. The slight expression on his face, almost imperceptible, spoke of how it pained him to do what he was doing. To stand by and watch as innocent people were taken.

"Uncle Jack." Eva whispered, "The guard from earlier, look at his face."

"I see it." Jack replied, him and Sam still holding onto Daniel's arms.

The couple made their choice and left as another pair took their turn. Skaara and Daniel had their gaze fixed on Sha're, Skaara squeezing Eva's hand tightly. Eva put her other hand on his arm, seeing the anger on his face. She didn't say anything.

Suddenly Daniel yanked his arm free from Jack and reached out to grab the new male's arm.

"Daniel!" Jack cried reaching out.

The guards closed ranks around them, staff weapons open and ready to fire at a moment's notice. Jack froze, along with Sam, Eva and Skaara. Daniel was held back by the arms by two of the palanquin bearers.

"This one's passionate." The male said, looking at Daniel.

"How much would I remember if you chose me?" Daniel asked desperately.

"Daniel, what are you doing?" Jack asked, getting an almost nudge by a staff weapon, the end crackling with energy in warning.

"Something of the host must survive." Daniel said, tears falling down his face as he was thrown back into Jack and Skaara.

Out of the corner of their eyes, they saw the guard gently shake his head sadly.

"We choose..." The male chooser said. "Him." He pointed at Skaara.

"Na-nay! Na-nay!" Skaara yelled, as he was forcibly picked up, his hand being yanked from Eva's. "O'Neill! Sitara!"

"Skaara!" They yelled in unison, moving to get up, only to get the staff weapons pointed at them.

"Sitara! O'Neill! Sitara! O'Neill!" Skaara yelled as he was carried form the cell.

"Skaara!" Jack and Eva yelled standing.

They were smacked with the head of a staff weapon and thrown back.

"O'Neill! Sitara!" Skaara kept yelling until they could no longer hear him.

Jack and Eva slowly got to their knees, feeling helpless as they could only watch. The palanquin bearers took their places on either side of the palanquin and the guards formed ranks in front of Apophis and Sha're.

"Kill the rest." Apophis said dismissively.

At the order, everyone began screaming in fear and trying to run. The team stood up and saw as Sha're entered the palanquin followed by Apophis and were carried from the cell, followed by a few guards, before the doors sealed shut. The rest of the guards began advancing, while the strongest of the prisoners herded the rest towards the sides of the cell in an effort to protect them. The guard with his helmet down advanced as well, walking towards the others.

"We can save these people!" Jack yelled suddenly.

The guard turned and aimed his weapon at Jack. Eva moved to stand beside him.

"Help us!" Eva yelled, looking at the guard. He turned his weapon on her.

The guard looked at them, holding their gazes for a long moment.

"Help us." Eva repeated, this time softly. “Please.”

"Many have said that." The guard said.

Eva and Jack's shoulders dropped, believing there was no hope. Jack put his arm around Eva. The guard suddenly turned and fired his staff at one of the guards, who fell back with a groan.

"But you are the first I believe could do it." The guard said, turning and tossing his weapon to Jack, who caught it expertly.

The guards began firing at the prisoners, killing them. Jack retaliated by firing back and killing one. The guard who helped them grabbed a fallen staff, firing against his former comrades as well. Eva picked up another fallen staff and fired as well, nimbly dodging any blasts that came her way. The guards that still stood continued firing at the prisoners until they were killed one after another by Eva, Jack or the guard who was helping them.

Finally, the last guard inside the cell was killed. Eva, Jack and the defector guard turned to the guards that were standing outside of the cell, watching. Seeing that the fighters were looking at them, their weapons at the ready, they ran.

Jack and Eva turned to the prisoners that were huddled in a large group by the far wall.

"Get out of the way!" Eva yelled, gesturing to the side with her arm.

They all ran to the side as she and Jack aimed and fired at the wall, creating a hole leading outside. Jack ran to the created opening, Sam following, and looked out. Seeing that the coast was clear, he turned back to everyone inside.

"Come on, let's move!" Jack yelled, waving everyone to the hole.

"Come on, Come on!" Sam yelled as she got out and stood by the opening, making sure they got through.

"Come on!" Eva yelled, herding the stragglers to the opening.

"Move! Move!" Sam called as the prisoners ran out. "Come on! Go! There you go! Go!"

Eva helped Daniel up and he stood opposite Jack herding the prisoners through. She saw the guard who helped them remove his front plate and drop it on the ground as he slowly came down the steps, looking at the dead guards. She couldn't even begin to imagine what he was feeling.

"You gonna be OK?" Jack asked Daniel as they herded the last of the prisoners through.

Daniel nodded and went through the hole, Jack patting him on the back in reassurance. He nudged Eva through the hole before getting out as well. They turned back and looked inside.

"Hey! C'mon!" Jack yelled, waving at the guard.

The guard stopped and stood, looking at Jack and Eva. "I have nowhere to go." He said softly, his eyes filled with sorrow.

"For this, you can stay at our place!" Jack yelled. "Let's go!"

Seeing the indecision on the guards’ face, Eva went back in and gently took the large man's hand, tugging lightly to get him to move. He took one last look at the dead guards before letting Eva pull him to the hole. Eva went through first before he followed.

"What's your name?" She asked him as he stepped out.

"Teal'c." He replied.

"Teal'c, where will they take Skaara?" Jack asked as they ran down the hill and joined the rest of the now escaped prisoners.

"The boy." Eva added.

"To the Stargate. After they've selected hosts for their children... they will return home."

The group ran, helping each other. SG-1 and Teal'c made their way through to the front of the column of escapees.

"We've got less than an hour." Jack informed them, looking at his watch. "How we doing?"

"We lost a few when we got to the forest." Sam replied.

"They will be hunted down and killed." Teal'c informed them. He continued as Sam and Eva whipped around to stare at him. "Anyone who does not exist to serve the gods is their enemy."

"And that makes you...?" Jack asked, trailing off.

"I am a Jaffa. Bred to serve, that they may live." Teal'c replied.

"I-I don't understand." Daniel said.

“Yeah, me neither.” Eva agreed, cocking her head to the side.

Teal'c stopped, making everyone else stop as well. He pulled aside his chain-mail and revealed the same slit that Jack and Eva had seen on the dead man in the SGC’s lab. From within the slit, a serpentine-like creature slithered partway out. Sam, Eva and some of the escapees that could see what was going on screamed and jumped back. Sam held back some of the prisoners while Daniel pulled Eva into his arms, away from Teal'c as she was the closest to him.

"What the hell's that?" Jack asked, horror and disgust filling his tone.

"'Tis an infant Goa'uld. The larval form of the gods." Teal'c replied calmly, not at all surprised or fazed by the reaction he received. "I have carried one since I was a child. As all Jaffa carry one." He resumed walking, followed by the rest. Daniel let Eva go and she moved to walk by Jack.

"Get it out of there." Jack said, taking Eva's hand and holding it.

"In exchange for carrying the infant Goa'uld until maturity, a Jaffa receives perfect health and long life. If I were to remove it, I would eventually die." Teal’c explained.

"Yeah, well, if I were you," Jack said. "I'd take my chances."

As the column of escapees neared the Gate, they saw a Death Glider in the air as well as a ship that flew to a hovering stop above the Gate and dialing device. 

 "All right. Come on, people!" Jack said, turning back to the column of people behind him. "Let's go!"

He began waving them over while Sam and Daniel herded everyone along. The escapees didn't need very much encouragement to move as fast as they could. Jack and Eva went to Teal'c, who was watching the ship as it hovered.

"The boy you seek is no longer who he was." Teal'c warned, turning to look at them seriously.

"I don't wanna hear that." Jack said, refusing to believe the large man, as he walked away.

Eva let out a breath and looked up at Teal'c. "Skaara means a lot to us." She told him, as they followed Jack.

The Jaffa nodded simply in understanding. They began running down the trail towards the Gate, catching up with Jack, Sam and Daniel at the head of the column. As they ran, the glider flew overhead, charging their weapons.

"Take cover!" Jack yelled in warning, seconds before the weapons fired, hitting a spot that had just been cleared. 

The glider fired again, and the people screamed as they ducked and ran for cover. A few people were hit with the blasts as Eva ducked another one, falling flat, face-first on the ground.  The glider flew toward the mountain before U-turning and coming back towards them. Eva stood up, grabbing the staff weapon she had taken from the cell and knelt on one knee next to Jack and Teal'c. She took aim and fired at the glider's underbelly just as it charged weapons in preparation to fire. The three simultaneous blasts did nothing as the glider weapons fired another dual round of blasts.

Screams filled the air amid the sound of weapons blasts as everyone either succeeded in avoiding the blasts or weren’t as lucky and were thrown to the ground. Mixed in were the sounds of what Eva assumed to be swearing in multiple native tongues. The glider flew overhead again, firing round after round of energy blasts, leaving Teal’c, Jack and Eva unable to get a shot in without being hit themselves in the process.

"Uncle Jack/Colonel, we're sitting ducks here!" Eva and Sam cried out at the same time, as they were thrown on their backs from the last round.

As the glider flew toward a mountain and made another U-turn, Jack, Eva and Teal'c took kneeling positions once more and fired off repeated blasts from the staff weapons. The blasts either missed or had no effect as it got closer to them. 

From behind them, a rocket was launched and managed to hit the glider, blowing it up. The people cheered as they hurriedly got back to their feet, ignoring the aches and [ains that filled their bodies. The team looked up in confusion before Jack turned to follow the path the rocket had taken, seeing SG-2 on the hill behind them.

"Kawalsky..." Jack breathed, pointing him out to Sam and Eva, who turned and looked as well.

"That man has incredible timing." Eva remarked as the three members on the hill stood.

"Yes!" The three SG-2 members cheered, raising their hands in cheer.

Jack, Eva and Sam responded by raising a fist in the air.

"Come on, folks!" Jack called as they turned and waved the refugees over.

"Come on, people!" Sam called as she headed up the rocky slope of the hill.

"Up the hill!" Eva added, turning and heading up the hill at a careful run as well, followed by Teal'c, with Jack and Sam on either side of her.

SG-2 stood and helped by pulling the people up the hill and pointed them in the direction to go.

"Great shot!" Jack said as Kawalsky pulled him up to a slightly flatter surface near the top.

"Great timing!" Eva added as Jack helped her up before they turned to Kawalsky.

"How many are there?" Jack asked.

"A dozen." Kawalsky replied. "Maybe more. They're headed back through the Gate."

"What about Skaara?" Eva asked before Jack could.

Kawalsky paused for a moment before replying, "He's with them." Jack and Eva turned and headed up the rest of the hill.  "Colonel, Star, we don't have much time before they lock us out." Kawalsky reminded him as he followed Jack and Eva. The pair ignored the reminder and went up as fast as possible. "Warren! Casey!" Kawalsky called to his team members. "On my right!"

The two did as ordered and took sniper positions at the top of the hill as Jack, Eva and Sam reached the top. They stopped and looked out below, seeing a group in front of the active Stargate. Among them was Skaara.

"No..." Jack breathed, echoed by Eva. "No."

Both, god-father and god-daughter ran down the hill.

"Colonel! Sir!"

"Major!"

"Eva!"

The two ignored the calls and continued running down, fast but still careful.

"Skaara!" Jack yelled, running across the field.

At the Event Horizon, Skaara turned, as did the two people on either side of him. Skaara walked back down the steps toward the dialing device. Jack and Eva stopped running and breathed heavily.

"Skaara..." Eva breathed out, panting.

Skaara smiled slightly before his eyes glowed and he put out his hand, revealing it to be adorned with the device that had thrown Daniel into the wall the previous day. The device was activated, throwing Jack and Eva back several feet before they landed on their backs with dual groans. Skaara turned around and went back to the Gate as Jack and Eva lifted their heads and slowly got up. Skaara went through the Gate, followed by two others and a pair of guards before the Gate deactivated and shut down.

"He's been taken as a host." Eva breathed out, the tears in her eyes being held back by sheer will power alone and the fact that they were not out of the woods yet, both literally and figuratively. 

Kawalsky, Daniel and Sam caught up to them, skidding to a stop.

"Did you see the symbols?" Daniel asked them, panting.

They shook their heads. Daniel sighed as Jack tried to comprehend what had just happened. Eva slipped her hand in his and he squeezed it, drawing what comfort he could from the younger woman's presence. 

"Sir, we've got movement in the trees. A lot of movement in the trees." Casey called into his radio from where he and Warren were on look out. "We got hostiles, sir! Hostiles closing in!"

"Okay, people!" Kawalsky called to the refugees after he received the message. "We're going on a little field trip!" He turned to Daniel. "Daniel, you get busy on that Stargate. We got company." Daniel took a deep breath and nodded before going to the dialing device as Kawalsky turned to Sam. "Captain, arm your claymores. Me, Casey and Warren'll be the last men out."

"Negative." Jack called, shaking out of his stupor, causing Sam to turn to him. "That's my job." Jack turned and picked up his hat, putting it on as he continued, "Captain, help Daniel. Once you've sent the signal, I want you to go through, tell 'em we're bringing company." He took the staff weapon from Teal'c and turned to Eva. "Eva, you're going with Carter."

Eva wanted to argue, wanted to say that she could help fight, but decided against it and nodded her understanding of the orders. There had already been far too many close calls in the last 24 hours and Jack was holding on by a thread. She knew that once they were safely back on Earth, he wasn't going to let her out of his sight for at least a few days.

The three of them led the way to the Gate, Daniel at the very front as they called out to the people following.

"Come on!"

"Move!"

“Quickly, now!”

Daniel, Sam and Eva stopped at the dialing device in front of the Gate, Daniel looking through his small notebook while Sam got ready to send the remote transmitter code. Eva stood with her back to them, gun cocked and ready to fire when needed. The group of refugees ran towards them, staying as close together as possible, while Kawalsky ducked behind one of the raised stones by the Gate.

"Warren, give me an update!" He called into his radio.

"Looks like a whole battalion, sir." Warren replied promptly. "200 yards and closing."

Kawalsky dug out the triggers for the claymores, holding them in his hands and waiting for the right moment to let them blow.

"Doctor Jackson?" Sam asked urgently, looking at the archaeologist.

"I got it. I got it." Daniel said, still flipping through the book. "I know I have it here."

"Come on!" Sam snapped urgently as Daniel began searching his pockets.

"Sir, we got hostiles coming through the trees!" Warren's voice echoed through the radio.

"Daniel, we're running out of time." Eva called.

Just as she finished speaking, they heard the sound of weapon blasts and gunfire. She aimed her weapon at the hilltop, ready to fire at a moment’s notice. 

"Daniel!" Jack called from Daniel's other side.

"Here!" Daniel said, holding up a piece of paper and chuckling it as he opened it.

"Go, go!" Sam called, shoving him lightly, reminding him of the urgency.

Daniel began dialing and Sam held out her arm, ready to submit the code. Eva stood closer to them, ready to turn and run through as soon as the iris was opened. There were the sounds of the weapons blasts as well as gunfire from the other side of the hill.

"We can't hold 'em, sir." Came the urgent cry from the radios, warning them to be ready to face the hostiles.

"Send the signal as soon as it opens, Captain." Daniel ordered, dialing.

"Pull 'em out!" Jack ordered Kawalsky, as he and Teal'c took positions behind some raised stones.

"Fall back! Fall back!" Kawalsky called into his radio.

Daniel hit the large red button in the middle of the device, activating the Gate. As soon as the Event Horizon was established, Sam began inputting her code, sending the signal through.

"Is it working?" Daniel asked, looking at her.

"Uh, well, let's hope so." Sam replied, "If not, Eva and I'll be the first to know." As she ran towards the Gate, she called to Eva, "Let's go."

Eva turned and ran to the Gate, running through right after Sam.

~*~

The two women ended up somersaulting through the wormhole and onto the ramp. They groaned as the security personnel aimed their weapons at the Gate as two other people came somersaulting through. Hearing the clicking of the guns, they quickly stood up, raising their hands in a 'wait' gesture.

"Hold your fire!" Sam cried out.

"They're refugees!" Eva added as she helped them up.

"I hope you know what you're doing Captain, Major." Hammond called through the speaker in the Control Room.

"So do we." Eva muttered to herself, though Sam heard and nodded her agreement as more refugees came barreling through in one's, two's and three's. 

The two women helped each of them up once they were through, sending them down the ramp. Once the last of the refugees were through, they went down the ramp as well, standing behind the security personnel, holding some of the younger ones that were shaking in terror. 

Daniel tumbled through and ran down the ramp, meeting them.

"They behind you?" Sam asked softly.

"Oh, I hope so." Daniel replied, looking at her briefly before putting an arm around Eva and the young refugee that as clinging to her.

As they waited, Eva prayed to all the Greek deities she believed in for the rest to come through. 

After a few tense moments, the last refugee, this one quite large and intimidating, came through and stopped on the ramp, causing the personnel to aim at him.

"Whoa! Hold your fire! Hold your fire! They're with us!" Sam, Daniel and Eva yelled together as Teal'c also came through and stopped on the ramp as well.

Sam and Eva went up the ramp to meet them. Teal'c gently handed his staff weapon to Sam, who took it with an encouraging smile. 

"Are they behind you?" Eva asked, looking up at him with worry.

"Indeed, they are." He replied. "They should be here momentarily."

Eva nodded and turned to the Gate, absently reaching out and clutching Teal'c's hand. Less than a minute later, the remaining three members came through and landed hard on their butts, groaning.

"Now!" Sam yelled, looking back at the Control Room. "Lock it up!"

"Closing iris!" Sergeant Harriman said in response, as the iris closed, sealing the Gate from any further incoming travelers. "Wormhole disengaged." He called as they heard the Stargate shut down, before reopening the iris and revealing the wall behind it.

"Medic! Medic!" Daniel called, as two ran up and attended to the injured officer.

"You got him?" Jack asked Kawalsky.

"Yeah, I got him." He replied. "Thanks."

A few of the refugees ran up the ramp to the large man, pulling him in for a hug.

"Hold on there." Warren said to Casey. "Get these people back."

The refugees turned to the team and began hugging them and thanking them in their various languages. They smiled uncomfortably as they tried edging their way through to make room for the medics, not making much progress.

"We gotta help these people. Please." One of the medics called out, trying to get through the mass of people as Hammond, Samuels and a group of airmen cautiously came up the ramp.

The airmen physically made a path through the group as Hammond met SG-1 by the Gate. He looked around, speechless.

"Let's go. Man down." The medics called, making their way up the ramp. "Stand back! Stand back!" They reached Casey and lifted him onto a stretcher. "Let's get him into the infirmary. Get him inside." They carried him down the ramp and out of the Embarkation Room.

"Colonel O'Neill. Major Lorne." Hammond called, getting the two to turn and look at the older man. "Care to explain?" He asked, a completely confused look on his face.

"Um, we can use the Stargate to send these people home, sir." Sam supplied, from beside Jack.

"What's he doing here?" Hammond asked, gesturing to Teal'c.

They looked back at Teal'c, Eva and Jack moving to stand on either side of the tall Jaffa.

"General Hammond." Jack said, "This is Teal'c. He can help us."

“He’s our new friend.” Eva added with a bright smile.

"Do you know what he is?" Hammond demanded to know.

"Yes, sir. We do." Eva replied, nodding. Her smile faded as her expression became serious. "He is the man who saved our lives."

"And, if you accept my recommendation, sir..." Jack continued, "He'll join SG-1."

Teal'c, Sam and Daniel looked at Jack in surprise. Eva smiled widely, her electric blue eyes glittering brightly.

"Yay!" She cried out happily, in a fit of child-like enthusiasm.

"That decision may not be up to you." Hammond said unable to keep the small smile at Eva’s reaction off his face.

"Oh." Eva said, deflating and pouting.

"Stand back." Samuels called as Hammond turned and went back down the ramp.

Kawalsky groaned, causing Jack and Eva to look back.

"Kawalsky, you all right?" Jack asked.

"Yeah, I'm good." He replied, slowly getting to his feet.

Eva moved to help him, letting go once he was stable on his feet.

"Colonel O'Neill, Major Lorne, Major Kawalsky..." Hammond called, making them look at him. "This sure-to-be very interesting debriefing for SG units one and two will be at 0730."

"Yes, sir." Jack said, as Hammond turned and walked out of the room.

"All right," Samuels called to the room at large. "Let's get these people situated." He gestured for them to follow him as he walked out of the room behind Hammond.

Daniel looked back at the Stargate. "She's out there somewhere, Jack, Sitara." He said, making them and Teal'c and Sam look back as well.

"I know." Jack replied.

"As is Skaara." Eva added in agreement.

"So, what do we do?" Daniel asked, looking at the two of them.

"We find 'em." Jack replied, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, patting Daniel's shoulder and walking down the ramp, pulling Eva along with him.

Sam and Teal'c followed, as did Daniel a few seconds later, leaving Kawalsky the last one in the room. As he walked down the ramp, no one saw his eyes glow, like a Goa'uld's.

Chapter Text

SG-1: The Enemy Within

Jack, Eva, Sam, Daniel and Kawalsky were in the Control Room with Hammond, the men standing while Eva perched on one of the ledges with her knee-length braid curled in a coil behind her and Sam leaned against the table beside her.

It had been a few days since SG-1 and SG-2 returned from Chulak with the refugees and as Eva had suspected, Jack hadn't let her out of his sight whenever they were at the Base. He was slightly relaxed when they were at home, though that had more to do with the fact that they were helping Daniel readjust to living on Earth and their house being much, much smaller than Cheyenne Mountain.

"Gentlemen, these planets, designated P3575 and P3A577," Hammond said, using a pointer to point to two dots on a map of planets created on a glass window, "have been submitted by Captain Carter's team as possible destinations for your next missions." He turned to them as he continued, "SG units 1 and 2 will operate concurrently."

"You know," Jack spoke up, turning to Kawalsky, who looked back at him. "I'm kinda partial to P3575 if you don't mind taking P3A577."

"No, I'll take 577." Kawalsky said seriously.

"I'm not married to it." Jack reassured him, patting the other man's arm lightly.

Sam and Eva watched the by-play, giggling softly.

"No, no it's okay." Kawalsky insisted.

"I wanna be fair about it," Jack said, "How 'bout we flip for it?"

"How about you go where I tell you." Hammond broke in, sternly. "As far as I'm concerned-"

"Alert!" Sergeant Harriman called from behind them as the Gate start dialing. "Inbound traveler! Repeat, inbound traveler."

They all turned to the glass over-looking the Embarkation Room.

"Damn, those Goa’uld's are persistent." Kawalsky muttered.

“I’d be impressed if it weren’t so annoying.” Eva admitted exasperatedly in her lilting Welsh tones.

"I think we pissed them off." Jack said mock seriously, nodding.

"Closing the iris." Harriman said as Hammond walked to the window over-looking the Gate.

As the iris closed, the security personnel took their positions around the Embarkation Room, aiming their guns at the sealed Gate. Up in the Control Room, the occupants looked at the screen that showed the incoming and outgoing data of the Gate.

It showed the warning of an unknown traveler.

"Alert!" Hammond called into the mic as the other five people joined him, "All defense teams stand by..." He turned to Harriman, "set the base auto destruct countdown at 3 minutes." He ordered in a quieter voice, though everyone knew of the protocol.

Harriman did so, setting the destruct countdown on his computer screen. Everyone watched and waited as the Gate finished dialing and the wormhole was established. As soon as it was, they began hearing a series of banging against the sealed iris, accompanied by flashes of light reflecting off the wall behind the Gate.

Eva winced with each one, hopping off her perch and leaning against Jack, who put an arm around her and held her close. The others winced as well, as the banging continued.

"We're not going anywhere as long as the Goa'uld's keep up these attacks." Kawalsky commented, gesturing through the window.

"They can't keep this up forever." Daniel said realistically before asking, "Can they?"

There was a louder bang, accompanied by a bigger flash.

"Whoa!" Jack exclaimed with a wince, holding Eva tighter to him.

"Well, once they realize our Gate is impenetrable, they should give just up." Sam stated optimistically.

"A part of me just wants to let 'em through." Kawalsky said. "Give 'em the fight they're lookin' for."

There were two more bangs and corresponding flashes before the Gate shut down.

"Radiation team, move in." Harriman called into the mic after he looked at his computer.

The team did as they were ordered to, taking readings of the Gate and the surrounding area.

"Well, there gotta be worse ways to go, I suppose." Jack commented, rubbing Eva's back.

"You don't think the Goa'uld's are sending people through, do you?" Daniel asked, shock coloring his voice.

Jack shrugged in response.

"Be like bugs on a windshield." Eva commented, lifting her head from Jack's arm. "On second thought, that might hurt." She muttered thoughtfully.

"Team reports all clear, sir." Harriman said, seeing the thumbs up sign that the radiation team gave.

"All right, stand down from alert," Hammond called into the mic before turning to Harriman and saying quietly, "and abort the countdown."

Harriman did as ordered, typing in his command and aborting the countdown as the defense teams relaxed and the doors were opened. Kawalsky groaned and rubbed the back of his neck.

"Kawalsky, what's the matter?" Jack asked, seeing the other man wince.

"Headache." he replied, putting his hand down, "Took a fistful of aspirin, but nothin' helps."

"Get down to the Infirmary." Jack ordered. "Get it checked out. Go on."

"Sir, I think I'll do that." Kawalsky said to Jack, nodding before turning to Hammond, "Sir, with your permission?"

Hammond turned and the two saluted to each other. "By all means, Major. I need you to lead your team to P3575." He said.

As Kawalsky passed Jack on his way out, the two smirked at each other. The Gate began dialing again.

"Inbound traveler! Inbound traveler!" Harriman called as the defense teams retook their positions.

"Reset the countdown." Hammond ordered. 

"Here we go again." Eva sighed, turning so her back was against Jack's chest and leaning against him.

"All defense teams, remain in position." Hammond ordered as the Gate finished dialing and the wormhole was established, and the banging began again.

"So, this iris is gonna hold, right?" Daniel asked, turning to Sam.

"Pure titanium. Less than three micrometers from the Event Horizon." Sam replied. "It won't even allow matter to fully reintegrate."

"So, this iris is gonna hold, right?" Jack asked, repeating the question.

"If it doesn't, the fail-safe device will detonate, the whole mountain will vaporize, and we’ll all be too dead to worry about it." Eva chirped cheerfully, leaning to the side so she could look at Jack from his arms.

"Ah, good. I feel much better." Jack said sarcastically.

They turned to watch the Gate as the banging and flashes continued. Eventually, Eva retook her perch on the ledge and picked up a stack of papers, going through each sheet, making notes and signing them before moving to the next.

“What are you doing?” Daniel asked curiously after about ten minutes. “You can’t already have paperwork; you’ve only been on two missions.”

“I finished those reports ages ago.” Eva said, glancing up at him before returning to her work. “These are the Base’s supply and equipment shipments. Food, BDU’s, weapons, medical and science equipment. That sort of thing.”

“We get the stuff shipped in?” Jack asked, surprised.

“Where did you think it all comes from?” Sam asked, looking at him with a raised eyebrow.

Jack just shrugged; he hadn’t really given it much thought. Eva and Daniel shook their heads exasperatedly, the pretty Major continuing her work. The sounds of the Gate being bombarded continued as did the flashes of light reflecting off the wall behind it.

“Here you are sir.” Eva said five minutes later, hopping off her perch. She walked up to Hammond and handed him the stack of papers she had been working on. “The shipment orders for the coming week.”

“Thank you, Major.” Hammond said smiling at her.

“All that is for a week?” Jack asked incredulously, looking at the thick stack of papers in the General’s hands. Daniel and Sam had similar shocked expressions on their faces.

“Yes, it is.” Hammond replied with a sigh.

The bangs stopped and the Gate shutdown, the iris opening once more.

“Wormhole disengaged.” Harriman announced.

Hammond bent over the mic. “Radiation team, move in.” He ordered, though by that point, it wasn’t entirely necessary for him to say so – the team had already begun to move in as soon as the Stargate shut down.

“I’ll be in my office if anyone needs me.” Eva said with a tired sigh, rubbing the bridge of her nose. “Sir?” She asked, looking at Hammond.

“Dismissed.” Hammond said, nodding at her before turning back to the window overlooking the Gate and watching the radiation team work.

“Seriously how much more work do you have?” Jack asked exasperatedly, his tone bordering on a whine. “It’s our down time before we leave for our mission!”

“I have a company to run.” Eva reminded him as they walked out of the Control Room. “I don’t get down time.”

“I thought that was a ‘Mom’-thing.” Daniel remarked.

“It’s also a ‘CEO’-thing.” Eva said playfully, her electric blue eyes glittering with mirth.

The team reached a junction and split up, Eva and Jack going in one direction while Sam and Daniel went in the other, heading towards the Commissary to get some food. Eva and Jack entered her office, a rather small space that had a table with two chairs in front of it and another behind it and two filing cabinets side-by-side against one wall. Her certifications and awards hung on the wall behind her desk along with a few framed photographs while a few photos were on the table. The table also had three stacks of files neatly piled on it, the work Eva needed to complete.

Jack sighed and sat in a slouch on one of the chairs in front of the desk while Eva removed her BDU jacket and took her own seat behind the table. She picked up one file and opened it, beginning to read through its contents and make notes wherever needed before signing at the bottom. She set it to the side, making a new pile, and reached for another file before proceeding to do the same thing.

It continued for a while, in between Eva making and answering phone calls with surety and professionalism. While Eva worked, Jack dozed in his chair, his feet propped up on the other one and his hands folded over his chest.

A knock on the door broke the silence and startled Jack awake.

Eva looked up to see a female Airman standing in the open doorway. “Yes, Sergeant Miller?” She asked.

“General Hammond would like to see Colonel O’Neill.” Miller said.

“All right. Come on, Eva.” Jack said, getting to his feet and stretching. “Did he say what it’s about?”

“No, sir. Just to tell you that it’s bad news if you asked.” Miller replied.

Jack nodded. He and Eva walked out of the office and followed the Airman through the corridors.

“I take it the silence means that the Goa’uld have stopped the bombardment for the moment?” Eva asked.

“Yes, ma’am.” The Airman replied, nodding. “The radiation team is using this chance to take a break before they have to go back to work if there’s another one.”

“What about you?” Eva asked her. “You’ve been on duty since dawn, have you taken a break yet? Aside from just drinking coffee?”

“Yes, ma’am. I have.” Miller replied with a smile. “I had just finished my lunch and was resuming my post in the Briefing Room when General Hammond asked me to get the Colonel.”

“Good.” Eva said, nodding.

They reached a junction and split up, Miller going towards the Briefing Room while Jack and Eva headed towards Hammond’s office. Reaching it, Jack knocked on the closed door and waited for a response.

"Come." The General called from within only a few seconds later.

Eva leaned against the wall to wait while Jack opened the door and went inside. He closed the door behind him and stood at parade rest in front of Hammond's desk.

"I can understand how Kawalsky feels." Hammond began, sighing. "This job gives me a headache too."

"Uh-huh." Jack replied, "What's the bad news General?"

"Not much for small talk are you, Colonel?"

"How was your weekend? Get any fishing in?" Jack asked sarcastically before adding more seriously, "Eva's waiting for me in the hall."

Hammond nodded in understanding and his expression became serious. "I'm rejecting your request to have Teal'c join SG-1." He said. "Wasn't my choice. A Colonel Kennedy is en-route from the Pentagon right now. He'll be asking your friend some questions."

"What kinda questions?"

"What we're up against. Troop strength, weapons, technology."

"I'd like to know the answers to those questions too, sir. But after they're done asking them-'"

"There'll be more questions." Hammond interrupted. "Possibly tests... After all, he's carrying the larval form of a hostile, a very formidable enemy, inside his body."

"What kind of tests are we talking about?" Jack asked suspiciously, a slight frown marring his handsome features.

"Maybe you haven't noticed Colonel." Hammond said, letting out a deep breath, "But he is the first alien species we've actually run into. You don't think that qualifies him as a subject of scientific interest?"

"A subject?" Jack repeated disbelievingly.

"He is what he is Colonel." Hammond replied matter-of-factually.

"With all due respect sir, I don't think he saved the lives of my team or came over to our side so he could become a damn guinea pig for US military intelligence." Jack said with anger, taking a few steps forward.

"Back up Colonel." Hammond ordered firmly. Jack did so. "He switched sides once. Are you 100% positive he won't switch back?"

"Yes, sir." Jack replied firmly.

"Well, you are alone in that assertion." Hammond told him bluntly. "Colonel Kennedy arrives within the hour. I promise Teal'c will be treated with the utmost dignity and respect for as long as he remains a guest of this facility." Jack nodded sarcastically. "Beyond that, I can't promise a damn thing. Dismissed Colonel."

Jack nodded slightly as he walked out, barely refraining from slamming the door behind him. Eva jumped up when she saw him.

"What is it? What did he want to talk to you about?" She asked, seeing the anger on the older man's face.

"My request for Teal'c to join SG-1 has been denied." Jack replied, putting his arm around her as they began walking.

"What? Did the General say why?"

"It wasn't his choice. A Colonel Kennedy is on his way to question Teal'c. He'll be here within the hour."

"Wait, did you say Colonel Kennedy?" Eva asked him, shock coloring her voice as she stopped and looked up at him.

"Yeah." Jack replied, turning to her. "Do you know him?" Jack asked, not entirely surprised by the possibility that she might.

"Sort of. We met just after the first Abydos mission last year. It was right before I was put on complete bed rest, at a cocktail party Mummy and Daddy had at the Manor in Washington. I don't know what it was about him, but he just set me on edge." Eva replied. "Although, that might have had to do with the fact that he didn't quite see me as a person, rather as a piece of arse." She added as an afterthought.

"He what?" Jack asked her with a raised eyebrow.

"It was nothing I couldn't handle." Eva reassured him. "He just tends to have a hard time seeing people as...well, people." She looked at Jack worriedly. "He might not even see Teal'c as a living being because he isn't human nor from Earth."

"Hammond reassured me that as long as Teal'c is a guest of this facility, he will be treated with respect and dignity." Jack told her gently, putting his arm back around her. "I know it isn't much in terms of reassuring you, but he is still in command of this facility."

"Yeah, okay." Eva sighed, nodding before she looked around. "This isn't the way to the Commissary, where are we going?"

"We're going to go see Teal'c."

"Okay."

They walked for a short while longer, taking a series of twists and turns, before they reached a door with two Airmen on guard duty in front of it.

At Jack's nod, an Airman opened the door and let them in, closing it behind them. Inside, Teal'c was standing in the middle of the room, wearing in a grey jumpsuit and facing the opposite wall.

"Hey," Jack said softly as they stood by the door. "Are we interrupting anything?"

"Yes." The Jaffa replied bluntly, his back to them and eyes closed.

Jack nodded lightly.

"Why don't we come back?" Eva asked, turning towards the door slightly.

"The people from Chulak?" Teal'c asked, not facing them or opening his eyes.

"We sent the last of them through the Gate just before the Goa'uld started knocking at the door." Jack replied.

"Good." Teal'c said, opening his eyes.

"Thanks to you." Eva added, smiling at the large man's back.

"So," Jack asked, letting out a breath as he moved closer to Teal'c. "How long do you think they'll keep it up?"

Teal'c put his hands on his hips, turning his head to the side towards Jack and Eva. "One, perhaps two, more attempts." He replied. "They will believe their weapons will have destroyed you. They will not send warriors through for some time to make sure of your destruction."

"Well, they'll be in for a surprise." Eva chirped up cheerfully as she sat cross-legged on the table, letting her braid hang off the edge.

"Your iris will be closed." Teal'c said. Jack and Eva nodded in confirmation. "They will be crushed."

"Surprise." Jack said cheerfully, bringing his shoulders up in a half-shrug.

There was an awkward silence that filled the room for a few minutes before Teal'c spoke up. "Am I a prisoner?" He asked.

"Ahh, yeah." Jack replied honestly, letting out a breath.

"I understand." Teal'c said.

"We're not exactly living up to your expectations of us, are we?" Jack asked softly as he pulled out a chair and sat down, resting his elbow on Eva's thigh. "You see, Teal'c, we've been living alone in our little corner of the galaxy for quite a while, and I think..." Jack paused for a moment before continuing, "the people we work for just need time to get to know you a little better. I mean, your knowledge of the Goa'uld’s alone makes them a little curious."

Teal'c looked at them, his expression blank. "I will give that knowledge freely." He told them.

"We know you will, Teal’c, and we'll put it to good use." Eva said reassuringly as she nodded.

"I will pledge my allegiance to this world." Teal'c said.

"I'm just not sure that'll ever be enough for them to trust you." Jack said gently, leaning his elbows on his knees as he spoke. "To be honest with ya, I think they're scared of ya." Jack waved his hands in emphasis as he spoke, dropping them when he ended his sentence.

Teal'c turned back to look at the wall. "I understand." He said.

"You must be used to that by now, huh?" Eva asked quietly, looking up at the man.

Teal'c looked back at the two. "I am a Jaffa. I have served as a warrior for your enemy. I have carried your enemy within me." He stated matter-of-factly.

"Yeah." Jack said softly, looking at the floor. "Well, it's kind of a human thing." He looked back up at Teal'c, his voice becoming disparaging. "We tend to be afraid of things we don't know."

"Why are Eva O'Neill not afraid?" Teal'c retorted back, joining both their names into one.

"Teal'c..." Eva said. "We saw you stand up to a God. A God you had been raised to believe in. You refused to kill. We saw you make that decision. Even before that, I could see you wanted to do something to help those people."

"Yes." Teal'c said, looking back at the wall.

"In that moment, I learned everything I needed to know everything I needed to know to trust you." Jack continued.

"If I had killed you both then," Teal'c said, looking at them, "I would not be here now."

"Neither would we." Jack refuted, standing up and putting the chair back in its place.

"I will prove my allegiance, Eva O'Neill." Teal'c told them firmly as Eva jumped off the table and landed lightly on her feet.

"Teal'c, I sincerely wish you didn't have to." Eva said, taking Teal'c's hand and squeezing it gently.

"When I do? You will show me this world?" He asked.

"Oh, you bet." They both replied in unison as Eva let go of Teal'c's hand.

"Just not all at once though." Jack remarked, patting his shoulder as Eva knocked on the door. "It's big."

An Airman opened the door and let the pair out before closing it gently again. Eva shot the two Airmen on duty a smile before looping her arm through Jack’s and they walked towards the Commissary.

"I wonder how Kawalsky's doing." Eva commented aloud.

"After we eat, we can go see." Jack said told her.

"Great." She replied cheerfully.

As they walked, they made small talk, talking about the upcoming wedding and the plans.

"Hold on, I want to check in with Caroline. I want to see how Dahlia's doing." Eva said as they reached the Commissary. 

"I'll grab some food and wait for you." Jack told her.

"Okay." Eva agreed, leaning up and kissing his cheek.

He entered the Commissary while Eva turned to the wall-phone that hung right outside the door. Picking it up, she dialed her sister's number. She waited as the phone rang, twirling the cord around her finger. She wasn't waiting long before there was a response.

"Hello?" A voice asked from the other end.

"Hello, Caroline? It's Eva." Eva said, perking up at her sister's voice.

"Eva! How are you? Is everything okay?" Caroline's voice was surprised before it took on a tone of worry.

"Yeah. Everything is fine. I just wanted to check in and see how Dahlia's doing." Eva reassured her sister and explained the reason for her call.

"She's doing good. I just put her down to sleep." Caroline replied with a slight laugh. "Do you know when you're gonna be home?"

"I'm not sure." Eva replied. "We got on shift, so it might be a while, but if things do change, I'll let you know."

"Alright, I love you."

"I love you too," Eva replied back. "Kiss Dahlia for me please and give my love to Dave."

"I will, bye."

"Bye." Eva waited until her sister hung up before doing the same.

She sighed and leaned against the wall for a few minutes. She didn't realize how difficult it would be to be back on active duty and be without Dahlia for so long. She hadn't been away from the baby for longer than a few hours at the most until she and Jack had been recalled for the second mission to Abydos. 

With another sigh, Eva pushed herself off the wall and went inside the Commissary for some much-needed food. She quickly found her godfather sitting at one of the tables with two trays of food in front of him. She smiled and made her way over.

"Hey, how is she?" Jack asked softly, with a smile as Eva sat down across from him.

"She's good." Eva replied. "Caroline just put her to sleep."

"How are you doing?" Jack asked, peering at her.

"I'm hanging on." Eva replied honestly, her hands clenched into fists on the table. "I didn't realize how difficult it was going to be, and it's only been a few days."

"We'll get through this, together." Jack said softly, putting his hand on hers, squeezing it gently. "It won't be easy, but at least we have family who are able to look after her and understand even if we can't tell them everything."

"Yeah, you're right." Eva replied, looking at him and smiling softly. She turned to the tray in front of her and saw that Jack had gotten her a Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and steamed corn, along with a bottle of juice. She noticed that he had gotten the same for himself as well. "Thank you." She said to him and he nodded in response as they began eating. 

In between bites, they spoke about random things, from the wedding to who was going to be doing the grocery shopping.

They had just cleared their trays and put them in the wash bin, when there was a voice over the speakers.

"Paging General Hammond and Colonel O'Neill to the Embarkation Room! Repeat, paging General Hammond and Colonel O'Neill to the Embarkation Room!"

Jack and Eva looked at each other and ran to the Embarkation Room, joined by General Hammond a few corridors away. The three of them slowed to a walked as they entered the Embarkation Room and found Kawalsky standing on the ramp, facing the Stargate. Sam and Daniel were standing right behind him, both looking concerned and cautious. 

"Charlie?" Jack asked, as he and Eva jumped on to the ramp and stood beside Sam.

"Major Kawalsky?" Daniel asked cautiously from behind Kawalsky.

Charlie turned slowly and looked at them in confusion. "Jack? Star?" He asked, the confusion echoing in his voice. Jack moved to stand in front of Kawalsky, looking at his friend with concern. "What am I doing here?" Kawalsky asked, the confusion in his voice and on his face giving way to fear.

"I was just about to ask you that." Eva spoke up from Jack's side. She had moved when she heard the fear in Charlie's voice. 

"I don't know." Kawalsky replied, worry mingling with the fear as both emotions became more pronounced. 

"Come on." Jack said gently. "Let's get you to the Infirmary to get checked out."

He put his arm around Kawalsky and gently began guiding him down the ramp. Eva took the man's hand and held it; she knew from past experience that it would help the officers when they wanted to keep a brave face but needed a way to express the fear they were feeling.

"Sir, with your permission?" Eva asked, turning to Hammond when they got off the ramp.

"Dismissed." Hammond said, nodding.

Jack and Eva nodded and turned, leading their friend to the Infirmary. They walked in silence, Kawalsky squeezing Eva's hand the entire time and when they entered the sterile and clinical room, they found it to be empty with the doctor on-call, Dr. Nimzicki, nowhere in sight. They guided Kawalsky to a bed, and he sat down on the edge, rubbing his forehead and eyes in pain and exhaustion. Jack began pacing while Eva climbed onto the bed and knelt behind Kawalsky, massaging his temples to try and ease some of the tension. It helped only slightly, though he wasn't quite as tense.

Jack stalked to the doorway and looked out. "Hey, we got a sick man here!" He said, gesturing inside the room. He sighed in frustration when there was no answering response. "Where the hell is he?" He asked.

"Was the doctor here before?" Eva asked softly, as Kawalsky rubbed his eyes again while she massaged his temples.

Jack walked back inside, rubbing his face.

"I don't remember." Kawalsky replied despondently.

The doctor walked in then, his strides large and purposeful.

"You're not on call today." Eva remarked, frowning lightly.

"I know. Dr. Nimzicki was supposed to be but he's not answering any of his pages." The doctor said, moving to stand in front of Kawalsky and shake his hand. "Dr. Warner, Chief Surgeon. What's the problem?" He asked.

"Headache..." Kawalsky replied, ending the handshake and gesturing to his head as Eva stopped massaging and moved to sit beside him. 

"Little more than a headache, Doc." Jack put in, leaning forward with his hands on the bed and giving Kawalsky a look. "He just had a blackout."

Dr. Warner looked through the file in his hands, as he glanced at Kawalsky. "Hmm. We'll do an MRI right away." He said. "See what's going on in there." He turned and walked away.

Jack patted Kawalsky's shoulder before following the doctor. "Take care of him, Doc. We need him." Jack said softly. Doctor Warner nodded in understanding and walked away. Jack stood in the doorway and turned back to Eva. "Do you want to stay here, or do you want to come with me to Teal'c's questioning?" He asked her. "Colonel Kennedy should already be here."

"I'll stay here with Charlie." Eva replied after a few moments of indecision.

"Star, you don't have to stay." Kawalsky protested, knowing that she was torn between supporting an old friend and supporting a new one.

"Uncle Jack is going to be with Teal'c, so he'll have a friend in his corner." Eva replied to both men, though looking at Kawalsky. "Right now, you need a friend in your corner as well."

"All right." Jack said, before coming back in and standing in front of Eva, bending slightly so he was eye-level with her. "Stay here or in the observation booth during the tests. I want to be able to find you again easily. I am still terrified to let you out of my sight, so please stay where I can easily find you." His voice had taken on a pleading tone by the time he finished speaking.

Eva looked at him and smiled, before hugging him tightly. "I understand." She replied, letting go. "Now go, Teal'c needs a friend and I'll be here with Charlie and Dr. Warren."

Jack nodded and left, pausing at the door to look back once more before he exited the Infirmary entirely.

"He really is terrified something's gonna happen to you, isn't he?" Kawalsky asked as she settled against him while they waited for Dr. Warren to return after setting up the MRI machine.

"Yeah." Eva replied softly.

"Well, I don't blame him." He said, leaning back on the bed and pulling Eva down so she was resting her head on his chest. "After that mission in '82 that went to hell, it was your strength that helped us, even if you were only a kid at the time."

"I didn't understand what was happening." Eva said, remembering the mission he was talking about. "All I knew was that not all of you came back and you were in shock. I just did what any kid would've done. I held on and didn't let go."

"Sweetie, not many kids would do that." Kawalsky told her. "Hell, not many adults would, either."

Before Eva could respond, likely to object the pessimistic view, Dr. Warner came in. "The MRI machine is set and ready. If you would follow me." He told them before turning around and going further into the Infirmary.

The two officers looked at each other and shrugged. They got off the bed and followed the doctor, Kawalsky carrying Eva in a piggy-back, her peals of laughter echoing out through the halls to the amusement of the Airmen on guard duty.

Reaching the room where the MRI machine was set up, Kawalsky dropped Eva in the viewing booth with Dr. Warner before lying down on the bed.

"Okay, let's see what we've got." Dr. Warner said, pressing a few keys on his keyboard, making the bed enter the large medical machine. 

The two looked at the screen and everything seemed normal.

"Wait," Eva spoke up, pointing at the neck of the skeletal structure on the screen. "What's that?"

"Hmmm, I don't know." Dr. Warner replied. "Let me clear up the image." He did so, magnifying the frame a few times. 

When the image became clear, they gasped in shock and looked at each other. There, attached to Kawalsky's spinal cord, was a Goa'uld symbiote.

Dr. Warner looked through the glass at the officer lying in the machine. "All right," He said calmly, standing up.

Eva looked up at him with worry and fear. He put a finger to his lips, indicating for her to remain quiet, and put a reassuring hand on her shoulder before entering the main area. He walked up to the officer as he was being brought out of the machine.

"Major Kawalsky?" The doctor said gently, a hand on the man's arm. "We're all done here, but I'm taking you off active duty as of now."

There was no response from the Major as he stared straight ahead. It was strange reaction as any time an officer is told they were being taken off active duty, they would immediately begin questioning the one who made the decision. sometimes even arguing. Only a small handful of officers would accept the decision and Major Charlie Kawalsky was not among them.

"Major?" Dr. Warner probed.

Kawalsky turned to look at him, his eyes glowing. Eva, looking through the glass from the viewing booth, gasped and clamped a hand over her mouth to keep any more sound from escaping as she stared wide-eyed at the figure of her friend. Dr. Warner walked backwards to the wall and pressed the panic button. 

Immediately the Klaxons began to sound as the page was called across the base.

"Security to the Infirmary...Security to the Infirmary." The automated voice immediately began blaring through the mountain

The Goa'uld looked up at the klaxon before taking Dr. Warner by the neck and raising him into the air.

"Run...Eva." The doctor gasped. "Run."

The Goa'uld tossed him into the wall behind the doctor, causing him to slide down and crumple in a heap. Eva ran out of the Infirmary and through the corridors, heading towards the Briefing Room where Jack and Teal'c were supposed to be. As she ran, she prayed that Dr. Warner was still alive and that they would be able to save Kawalsky. She nearly lost him once, she wasn't about to lose him again. 

She was near the Briefing Room when she literally ran into Jack.

"Eva!" He shouted in surprise before his face took one of worry when he saw her fear-filled eyes. "What's wrong?"

Before she was able to say anything, Sam's voice came over the intercom.

"Emergency in the Control Room! Emergen-" Her voice was cut off with a grunt.

Jack and Eva ran to the Control Room and saw Kawalsky holding Sam to him, a hand covering her mouth. 

"Kawalsky!" Jack exclaimed loudly. 

"Charlie!" Eva yelled.

The Goa'uld walked himself and Sam backwards to the stairs before forcing the woman in front of him and going out of the Control Room and into the hallway. Jack and Eva ran after him and saw that he was again holding Sam in a hostage-hold, using the woman as a shield.

"Don't shoot!" Jack yelled to the Defense teams that approached, guns aimed and ready.

"Put it down, don't shoot." Eva repeated, gently lowering the gun of an Airman she was passing. "Don't shoot. Check on Dr. Warner in the Infirmary. He might be hurt." 

The Airman nodded and broke away from the group, heading towards the Infirmary. The rest of them continued running after Sam and the Goa'uld, the Defense teams holding their guns ready. The Goa'uld backed himself and Sam into an elevator and the doors closed just as Jack reached it. He tried to pry the doors apart but was seconds too late.

Jack and Eva left the elevator and ran back down the corridors. They ran up the stairs to sub-level 11 where the elevators had to be switched in order to leave the mountain. As they reached, they saw Daniel standing outside it. General Hammond along with a handful of Airmen walked up to it.

"What the..." Hammond started.

"Someone inside the elevator hit the emergency stop." Daniel explained. 

"Get those doors open!" Hammond ordered, as they began hearing shouting from inside the elevator.

The doors were slowly pried apart, Jack and Eva helping by pulling on a door each.

"Get 'em open." Jack said just as they were completely pulled open.

Once the doors were open, they saw Sam unconscious against a corner and Kawalsky's figure kneeling over her.

"Well, it's about time. Gimme a hand here." The man said, sounding exactly like Kawalsky.

"Charlie, what the hell's going on?" Jack demanded, grabbing the man by the arm and hauling him up as Eva went to check Sam's pulse.

"I don't have a clue, Colonel, but she's hurt bad." Kawalsky replied, looking worried. "We have to get her to the Infirmary."

"He's right, Uncle Jack. She needs more help than I can give." Eva said, looking up at the two men. She looked out through the open elevator doors and yelled, "Get a Med team in here! NOW!"

Two Airmen ran to do as ordered, as Kawalsky looked at Jack. "What happened?" He asked. "The last thing I remember is being in the MRI machine."

Before anyone could say anything, the Airmen returned with Dr. Warner and a Med team.

"Dr. Warner!" Eva said, looking at the other man as he knelt next to her. "You're all right. Thank the Gods." She breathed in relief.

"Yeah, just a slight bruise." He whispered back reassuringly, smiling. "And before you say anything, you did the right thing, running when I told you."

Eva nodded and helped the team get Sam onto a stretcher before she was wheeled out of the elevator. Eva and Jack followed them, walking on either side of Kawalsky; it was partly to comfort their friend and partly as a precaution should he attack.

They split up at a junction, the medical team taking Sam to the Infirmary while Jack, Eva and the Defense team escorted Kawalsky to one of the Isolation Rooms. Dr. Warner joined them a few minutes later with the copy of the MRI report, Daniel and Hammond entering behind him. He went straight to the computer and loaded the disk, pulling up the report on the screen as Jack, Eva, Daniel and Hammond crowded around him.

Behind them, a pair of orderlies strapped an unresisting Kawalsky to a rotating platform on a large wheel. They made sure the straps were unyielding, Kawalsky himself asking for them to be as tight as possible. The orderlies agreed after getting an agreeing nod from Dr. Warner, doing as asked and also rotating the platform to a 90º angle so that he was relatively upright.

Once the report was on the screen, Dr. Warner pointed to it with his pen. "The parasite's wrapped around his spine." He informed them.  

Jack whistled lowly, exchanging a worried look with Hammond. Eva glanced back at Kawalsky and crossed the room, going to him with Jack and Daniel following her. The three of them stopped in front of the restrained man, their hearts wrenching at the fear so clear on his face. 

"It's a... it's a Goa'uld." Jack told Kawalsky softly. "Probably an infant."

"They think that the reason it hasn't been able to take you over completely is because it is not mature yet." Daniel explained.

"It's what's been causing your blackouts." Jack added, putting an arm around Eva's waist.

"What are you saying?" Kawalsky asked fearfully. "I got one of those parasites in me?"

Jack nodded in response.

"How the hell does that happen?" Kawalsky asked frightened.

"We were hoping you could tell us." Eva said softly, speaking up for the first time since the elevator. "You didn't feel it happening?"

Kawalsky scoffed as tears filled his eyes. "No." He said, shaking his head as much as he could in his restraints. 

"When was the first time you blacked out?" Daniel asked.

There was a brief pause as Charlie thought back. "I was here..." He said after a moment, breathing heavily. "We had just come back through from Chulak. I thought it was just from coming back through the Stargate. We were helping that kid, Casey was his name. It was a sharp..." Kawalsky gasped, his eyes gowing wide and his breathing becoming heavy. "...oh god Jack...I thought I wrenched my neck..." Jack looked down for a moment before looking back at Kawalsky. "Anyway, Casey, he was all right, they took him outta there." Kawalsky shook his head again as much as he could before looking at Jack and Eva. "Oh god Jack, Star, you gotta help me. You gotta get this thing outta me." 

"That's the plan." Jack told him reassuringly.

They were quiet for a few minutes, Eva gently running her fingers over Charlie's face that was visible.

"When I was out..." He said quietly. "Did I hurt anybody?"

He looked at them with such fear that Daniel and Eva looked at Jack, unsure of how to respond and seeking guidance from the elder man.

"There's one man dead. A few more hurt." Jack replied after a few seconds. He didn't specify who it was that got hurt or was killed, knowing that Kawalsky didn't need the what-if's playing on his mind.

"Oh...God." Kwalsky gasped, closing his eyes in horror as the tears fell. 

"Captain Carter's gonna be all right." Daniel said, hoping to ease some of the man's guilt. "I was just gonna go check on her actually."

"Oh I didn't mean to..." Kawalsky started, shaking his head.

"No, she doesn't blame you." Daniel said firmly.

"You're not responsible Charlie." Jack added, just as firm. "It's not your fault."

"It's that bloody thing that's inside of you that’s at fault." Eva added as Kawalsky closed his eyes briefly before opening them again. "As soon as they know how to do it, they'll cut it out of you." She promised.

"Right now, you gotta fight it." Jack said firmly. 

"I don't mind telling you, this is scaring me big time." Kawalsky gasped, his tears falling freely now.

"I know." Eva replied softly, as she continued to stroke the man's cheek gently. "Do you want me to stop?" She asked when he closed his eyes.

"No, don't stop. It's giving me something to focus on other than the pain and the thing inside me." He replied softly.

She smiled slightly, her own eyes slowly filling with tears, as she continued her ministrations.

"I'm gonna go check on Captain Carter." Daniel said softly, kissing Eva's head before he left.

"I'm going to go see Teal'c with General Hammond and Colonel Kennedy." Jack said, squeezing Eva's waist lightly before letting go. "Do you want to stay?"

"Yes, please." Eva replied softly.

Jack nodded and kissed her head before leaving with Hammond, joined by Colonel Kennedy.

"Eva, can you sing something for me please?" Kawalsky gasped out it pain.

"Sure." She replied, with a tearful smile. "What do you want me to sing?"

"That one you sang when you were little..." He replied with a gasp. "...the one about being free."

"Anol Shalom?"

"Yeah."

Eva smiled and began to sing, her high lilt echoing through the room.

"Anol shalom
Anol sheh lay konnud de ne um {shaddai
Flavum
Nom de leesh
Ham de nam um das
La um de
Flavne...

We de ze zu bu
We de sooo a ru
Un va-a pesh a lay
Un vi-i bee
Un da la pech ni sa
Un di-i lay na day
Un ma la pech a nay
mee di nu ku

(Fast tempo, 4 times)
La la da pa da le na da na
Ve va da pa da le na la dumda

Anol shalom
Anol sheh ley kon-nud de ne um.
Flavum.
Flavum.
M-ai shondol-lee
Flavu... {Live on...
Lof flesh lay
Nof ne
Nom de lis
Ham de num um dass
La um de
Flavne..
Flay
Shom de nomm
Ma-lun des
Dwondi.
Dwwoondi
Alas sharum du koos
Shaley koot-tum."

She had just sung the last note when Kawalsky began thrashing in pain and groaning. "Get Hammond." He gasped.

Eva nodded and ran out of the room as fast as she could. She ran through the corridors before literally running into Jack, Hammond and Teal'c. 

"What is it Major?" Hammond asked as Jack steadied her before they continued walking.

"Charlie...I mean Major Kawalsky's asking for you." She said facing him as she walked backwards.

"Do you know why?" Hammond asked.

Eva shook her head. "He was thrashing in pain. He was barely able to get a word out." She informed them.

Hammond nodded and the four increased their pace until they reached the room and entered at a sedate pace.

"Charlie, we got General Hammond for you." Jack said, as they came to stand around the head of the bed. Eva and Hammond stood where Kawalsky could see them, Eva reaching out to hold his hand.

"General, please." The restrained man gasped pleadingly, looking at Hammond. "You gotta tell them to do something. The pain is too much."

"We are, Major." Hammond said reassuringly. "You just have to hold on."

"No. Don't you give me that good soldier crap, General!" Kawalsky yelled, moving his hand around so he was holding onto Eva's hand and squeezing it tightly. "You order them to cut this damn thing outta me!"

"Teal'c says if they do that you might die!" Jack said loudly from behind Eva.

"I don't care!"

"Look Charlie." Jack said, softly this time as Kawalsky closed his eyes, tears slipping down into the mat. "They want to talk to it."

"What! What the hell is there to talk about?" Kawlasky cried out, squeezing Eva's hand tightly.

Eva nodded her agreement with Charlie's question. What the hell was there to talk about?

"We must offer it life to save yours." Teal'c said, answering the question.

"No!" Kawalsky objected loudly. "No! I want you to kill it!"

"We must talk to the Goa'uld within you." Teal'c said firmly.

"Jack, please help me, Jack!" Kawalsky pleaded.

"Charlie, just let them do their job will ya?" Jack yelled angrily.

"No! Don't let them do this, Jack! I want you to kill it!" Kawalsky yelled.

"His heart rate is doubled." Dr. Warner told them. He had been monitoring Kawalsky's vital signs since they began talking to him.

"Kill it! Kill it! Kill it! Kill it! Kill it!" Kawalsky yelled repeatedly, sobbing, as Teal'c came to stand beside Hammond, just behind Eva. "Kill it! Kill it! Kill it! Kill it! Kill it!" The longer Kawalsky repeated, the more he began sobbing.

Suddenly, Kawalsky began to seize up, the monitor beeping rapidly for a few seconds before it evened out and he looked at them with hate. 

It wasn’t Charlie Kawalsky anymore, but the Goa’uld that had taken him as a host.

"Nemeth Kree!" The Goa'uld said, "I won't speak to the traitor." He looked at Hammond. "You are their leader?"

At the change in voice at demeanor, Jack grabbed Eva by the waist and pulled her away, wrenching her hand from the man's grip and shielding her with his arms.

"I am." Hammond said nodding, as Jack moved back slightly with Eva in his arms.

"Speak." The Goa'uld ordered.

"I am General George Hammond of the United States Air Force. Commander -in-Chief of the SGC. And you are?" Hammond said as the rest of them looked on.

"Interested only in returning through the Stargate. Now!"

"You are in no position to make demands." Hammond said. "I have a proposition..."

"Release me now or I will destroy you!"

"You leave this man's body, we will allow you and send you back through the Stargate in your natural form." Hammond said.

"This body is mine!" The Goa'uld said, raising his head in a superior manner.

"No, it is not!" Eva screamed, leaning forward as much as she could while in Jack's firm grip. "That body is Charlie's! You get out of him!"

"If you are unwilling to leave, we will be forced to surgically..." Hammond said before the Goa'uld tore through one of the wrist restraints.

"Teal'c!" Jack yelled as the Jaffa grabbed the wrist and tried to hold it down. "Hold him!"

Jack let go of Eva and helped Teal'c and Dr. Warner try and hold the struggling man down as well.

"Release me now or I will destroy you!" The Goa'uld ordered to Hammond, struggling against the grip of the Jaffa and Colonel. 

"Do not attempt to escape!" Hammond ordered him loudly. 

"I command you!" The Goa'uld yelled.

"We will open fire!" Hammond said to him before looking up at Jack. "Colonel, stand aside!"

Hammond moved out of the way as several Airmen entered the room with their guns ready. 

"Release me..." The Goa'uld said.

Eva looked at the face of her friend as the Airmen took aim right behind him. The man looked at Jack and Eva and the eyes that were filled with hate suddenly cleared and were filled with horror.

"Don't shoot!" Kawalsky cried, looking back.

"Don't shoot!" Eva and Jack echoed, looking at the airmen.

"Hold you fire!" Hammond ordered them.

"Oh, oh God!" Kawalsky gasped, leaning his head against his arm.

"It's all right, son." Hammond called out to him. "I won't put you through that again."

"Oh Jack." Kawalsky cried, despaired. "What'd I do?"

"Nothing," Jack replied with a gasp. He rested his hand on Kawalsky’s shoulder comfortingly. "You just got a little mouthy. Nothing serious."

Kawalsky began sobbing as Eva moved to rub his hand arm soothingly. When she moved her hand to his wrist, he moved to grab it and she let him, letting her hand stay in his grasp and using her other one to run through his hair gently.

"Dr. Warner..." Hammond said, making the doctor turn and face him. "I want to know the minute that godforsaken thing is out of my officer. Is that clear?"

"Yes, sir." Dr. Warner replied, nodding.

"This conversation is over." Hammond said, and the two went separate ways.

~*~

An hour later, an Airman came into the room and told Jack and Eva that they were needed in the Briefing Room. They nodded and turned to Kawalsky.

"We'll be back shortly." Jack said softly. "You hang in there, 'kay?"

Kawalsky nodded as Eva reached up on her tiptoes and kissed his cheek lightly before she and Jack left. They walked quietly through the corridors until they reached to the Briefing Room and entered. Inside, they found Sam, Dr. Warner, Colonel Kennedy, his assistant, Teal'c and Daniel already seated. Taking their seats next to Sam, Jack grasped Eva's hand once they were settled in the comfortable leather chairs. They only had to wait a few more minutes before General Hammond entered the room through his office.

"As you were people." He said as the military members rose to stand in respect, sitting down as well. "In light of the day's events, Colonel Kennedy has chosen to make certain recommendations to my superiors that I want to share with all of you." He turned to the Colonel sitting on the opposite end of the table. "Colonel Kennedy?"

"I know that many of you have served with Major Kawalsky..." Kennedy started, "so please forgive me if what I'm about to suggest appears in anyway callous." He glanced around the table. "But I believe surgical removal of the parasite may be a mistake." He said.

Before the visiting Colonel could continue any further, Jack spoke up, "General, this is a waste of time Kawalsky does not have."

"Dr. Warner," Kennedy said, making the medical doctor in question turn to look at him. "What are Major Kawalsky's chances of surviving the procedure?"

"10… 12% at most." The man replied honestly.

"And the parasite?" Kennedy asked before looking at Jack. "It is an intelligent being after all, isn't it, Colonel? I believe I first read that in your report. "

"The parasite itself would not survive the procedure." Dr. Warner said, replying to the earlier question and effectively keeping Jack from retorting back to Kennedy.

"So," Kennedy said in summary, looking around at them. "We're faced with destroying one life in the hopeless attempt to save another. You see the ethical dilemma?"

"No, I don't." Jack said, looking along the table at the other Colonel.

"Neither do I." Eva agreed.

Around the table, the Stargate personnel all nodded in agreement. Teal’c also nodded his own agreement, though it was more because he didn’t really understand why there was a debate occurring into whether or not an attempt should be made to save the suffering Major’s life.

"My team and I are completely prepared to perform the procedure, sir." Dr. Warner said, looking at Hammond seriously. "We'll do our best."

Hammond looked at Dr. Warner with a considering nod.

"Of course, you will, Doctor." Kennedy said to the man in a slightly patronizing tone. "Please don't misunderstand. We all wish the invading parasite in Major Kawalsky's body could be safely removed." He turned back to the rest of the table. "But the facts are the facts."

"I'm sorry, what was your point?" Sam asked, looking at the man with barely concealed disdain.

"If we proceed with this operation, Major Kawalsky will have died in vain." Kennedy replied, looking at her.

"And if we don't?" Sam asked him.

"Well let's consider that for a moment." Kennedy started, making Hammond and Eva frown slightly at the man. "These infant Goa'uld’s, if they're so young, so fragile in their larval state, that they require a... uh..." he turned to Teal'c, "...I'm sorry, what was it you called yourself?"

"Jaffa." Teal'c replied, looking at him with an expressionless face.

"For want of a better translation, a what? An incubator?" Kennedy continued. "How is it that they're so intelligent?"

Jack and Eva sighed and exchanged looks, briefly glancing at Hammond before turning back to Kennedy.

"A Goa'uld is born with all the knowledge of all Goa'uld’s that came before it." Teal'c replied, with the same expressionless mask on his face.

"Genetic memory." Daniel supplied. "That's amazing." He added flippantly.

"Yes, it is." Kennedy said, choosing to ignore the tone for the moment. "All the knowledge of the Goa'uld’s." He paused for a moment, looking at all of them, before continuing, "I just want you all to think on that before we just throw it away."

There was a second-long pause.

"I've thought about it." Jack said. He looked at Daniel, Sam and Eva. "You've thought about it?" He asked them., "I think we've all thought about it." He continued at the nods he received from his teammates. He raised his voice slightly, looking around the table. "Anymore thinking to be done?"

"Colonel." Hammond said, stemming Jack's pending rant.

"Imagine if we could convince this Goa'uld to share that knowledge..." Kennedy began again, only to be cut off by Teal'c.

"A Goa'uld would not willingly share."

"Teal'c is right." Daniel added. "To them, we're nothing. Less than nothing. I mean, think about it, they've taken on the roles of our ancient gods." He turned to Kennedy. "What does that tell you?" He asked the visiting Colonel who was rapidly pissing everyone off.

"All right." Kennedy conceded before changing his track. "What if we just studied it? How much could we learn from that?" Eva’s frown deepened and she leaned against the table. "What if we just faced up to the fact that Major Kawalsky's slim chances of survival and realize that the greatest enemy mankind may ever face has just been delivered to our doorstep." Kennedy continued as many around the table began to show varying degrees of frustration and disgust at what he was saying. "Even if we let it return through the Stargate as a gesture of good faith. How much could we-?"

"Just what kind of an officer are you, Colonel?" Hammond interrupted loudly, looking at the man across from him with disgust.

"Sir." Kenned replied, sitting up straighter.

"As long as there is snowball's chance in hell that my officer will come out of this procedure alive, we'll go ahead with it." Hammond continued loudly, anger now on his face as well.

"With respect, General, I feel I should take this to my superiors." Kennedy replied loudly, a sliver of a threat in his tone.

"Well..." Hammond said with a hint of a laugh as he continued with a small smile, "Me. I'll probably just call the President and get approval right from the horse's mouth." Jack, Sam, and Eva had to hide their smiles while Daniel didn’t even bother. "But sure, you go right ahead Colonel. Talk to your superiors." He turned to the rest of them. "In the meantime people, let's get the job done."

Hammond stood up, causing Sam and Dr. Warner to jump at attention while Jack and Eva rose more slowly. Hammond left the room and Kennedy sighed in defeat as the rest of them left as well, heading off in different directions.

Jack, Eva and Teal'c grouped together, the two officers walking with the Jaffa to his quarters when Dr. Warner ran up to them.

"Can I have a word with you, Teal'c?" The medical man asked once he had caught his breath.

Teal'c inclined his head in agreement. Jack and Eva moved to the side to give them some privacy.

"How are you holding up?" Jack asked Eva, looking down at the woman leaning against the wall.

"I'm terrified." She replied honestly. "I pray that we can save him, but we know the odds. We've overcome impossible odds before, but this is...so..." She was unable to continue as tears welled up in her eyes again.

Jack sighed and pulled her close, holding her in a hug. They stayed quiet, except for Jack whispering soothing words to her, until she stopped shaking. He wiped her eyes with the pads of his thumbs and lightly tugged on her braid. She scowled at him in response and he smiled at her.

They were broken out of their little bubble when they heard Dr. Warner speak a little louder. "Okay Teal'c. I will see you in the Infirmary. Thank you." The doctor smiled and turned around, walking down the hall to the Infirmary.

"What was that about?" Eva asked, her voice still slightly shaky. "Are you alright?"

"I am well Eva Lorne."  The large Jaffa replied, inclining his head slightly. "Dr. Warner merely wished to ask for my assistance concerning the Goa'uld that has taken your friend as host."

"Oh? What kind of assistance?" Jack asked, holding Eva close as they began walking again, this time going towards the Infirmary.

"The doctor wished to know if I was willing to submit myself to tests in order to see which of your drugs would be effective with the symbiote."

"Oh." Jack replied, nodding slightly. "And you are willingly agreeing?" He asked, wanting to be sure.

"Indeed I am."

Eva looked up at the man and smiled, unable to do more without tearing up again.

The rest of the walk was spent in silence, and when they reached the Infirmary, Teal'c went to the doctor and his team of nurses. Jack and Eva walked to Kawalsky, who was curled in an almost fetal position and restrained on a bed not too far away.

Jack grabbed a chair and sat backwards on it, resting his arms on the back while Eva sat on the bed, gently resting Kawalsky's elbows on her lap. Kawalsky reached up and grabbed the end of her braid, holding it in between his hands, folded under his cheek. Eva shifted slightly so he wouldn't be yanking her hair.

They sat quietly, Eva running her hand over the older man's upper arm in a gentle gesture. Across the room, they could hear Dr. Warner begin testing different anesthetics on Teal'c's symbiote.

"Little Star?" Kawalsky rasped out, coughing slightly.

"Hmm?"

"Can you..." He coughed. "Can you sing, please?" He rasped, coughing again.

Eva nodded and began singing, her lilting soprano voice helping Kawalsky focus on something other than the pain he was in.

"Who can say where the road goes, 
Where the day flows, only time? 
And who can say if your love grows, 
As your heart chose, only time? 

Dee dah day, dee dah day, dee dah day
Dee dah doe day doe, dee doe day doe

Who can say why your heart sighs, 
As your live flies, only time? 
And who can say why your heart cries 
when your love lies, only time? 

Dee dah day, dee dah day, dee dah day
Dee dah doe day doe, dee doe day doe

Who can say when the roads meet, 
That love might be, in your heart? 
and who can say when the day sleeps, 
and the night keeps all your heart? 
Night keeps all your heart.... 

Dee dah dah, dee dah dah 
Dee dah dah, dee dah dah

Who can say if your love grows, 
As your heart chose, only time? 
And who can say where the road goes 
Where the day flows, only time? 

Who knows? Only time 
Who knows? Only time"

She fell silent after the last note, continuing her gentle ministrations over Kawalsky's arm and back, her braid still held tightly in his hands.

They remained silent for a time, only the sounds of Dr. Warner conducting his tests and speaking with Teal'c filling the room.

"Nurse, you can stop his IV and release the patient." The doctor said after a while, turning to them. "We'll go with this one." He left the Infirmary, presumably to inform the General and the others that they were ready to proceed.

"They're getting ready." Jack informed Kawalsky, leaning on his arms against the back of his chair.

"It's about time." Kawalsky rasped.

"How's the pain?" Eva asked softly, shifting slightly so one leg was curled under her bum and the other hanging of the bed.

"Maybe I'm just getting used to it." He replied tiredly. "Listen Jack, Star, if doesn't work..."

"Hey, come on," Jack interrupted him. "It's a cake walk."

"It hurts to talk." The bed-ridden man rasped in a whisper; his voice filled with exhaustion. "Will you shut up for a second?"

Jack gave a 'sure, fine' gesture with his hand, resting his chin on his folded arms.

"I wanna be cremated." Kawalsky said seriously, opening his eyes to look at them as much as possible to convey his seriousness. "I don't want there to be nay part of that thing left inside me. You both make sure, all right?"

Jack hid his face in his arms for a moment before looking back at him. Eva sighed and didn't reply. "Look, can we not talk about this?" Jack asked tiredly.

"When am I going to talk about it, Jack?" Kawalsky asked in response. "This could be my last conversation."

"Oh, for Zeus’ sake." Eva exclaimed in a whisper, squeezing his arm gently. "It's not your last conversation."

"Hey, I spoke to the Doc, he told me the odds." Kawalsky rasped, refuting their weak optimism. "Don't give me any crap."

"All right." Eva acquiesced. "But when this works and you're back, I reserve the right to say, 'I told you so' about this not being your last conversation."

"Okay, it's our last conversation." Jack said, giving a 'sure, fine' gesture again.

"You're gonna be off on some planet anyway." Kawalsky whispered, his eyes fluttering closed.

"Yeah, P3A575" Jack said deadpanned.

"Whatever." Kawalsky sighed deeply. "This was gonna be my first real command. I was looking forward to it."

"You still can, Charlie." Jack said reassuringly, looking at the man.

Kawalsky scoffed. "They got me all tied up here." He replied, shrugging lightly with one shoulder. "Give me your hands." Eva and Jack did so, and Kawalsky took them between his, the end of Eva's braid still clutched as well. "I want you to know, no matter what happens," Kawalsky said, holding the hands and the braid as tight as he could, "it was an honor to serve with you both, sir, ma'am."

Jack took a breath as he looked at his best friend. "Listen, uh..." He said after a moment. "I gotta ask you something. It's not easy for me."

"We're friends." Kawalsky whispered in reply.

Jack nodded in agreement and paused for a moment. "If you don't make it..." Jack asked before pausing again. "Can I have your stereo?" It was said in such a serious tone and with such a serious look on his face that Kawalsky let out a short laugh before coughing. Eva began giggling uncontrollably. "What?" Jack asked, a hint of a smile around his mouth.

"It hurts to laugh." Kawalsky replied, coughing slightly.

Jack out his other arm on top of Charlie's, patting it lightly. "You all right?" He asked, becoming serious.

Kawalsky nodded "Uh-huh, never better." He said.

Jack patted his hand again and they fell silent, Eva humming as she continued to rub Kawalsky's arm in reassurance.

It wasn't long before Dr. Warner, his surgical team and a pair of Airmen returned to take Kawalsky the Operating Room for the procedure. Jack squeezed his shoulder in reassurance and Eva kissed his cheek before jumping off the bed.

"I love you Charlie." She said softly to him.

"Love you too, Little Star." Kawalsky replied as he was wheeled out of the Infirmary. 

Jack and Eva held on to his hands until they reached the Operating Room and they parted ways, Eva kissing his cheek one last time. With a deep breath, they went up the stairs to the Observation Booth as the medical team prepped Kawalsky for the procedure.

As an additional precaution, however much each and every one of them prayed it wasn’t needed, several Airmen took up positions on the walkways overhead.

As soon as Kawalsky was strapped to the table on his front and the team was ready to begin, the took up positions around their patient.

"I've held back on the use of anesthetic until it can be administered to both patient and creature simultaneously." Dr. Warner said, both for his recordings and for the observers. "Major Kawalsky, we're going to begin the operation. Are you ready?" He asked.

"I wanna say something." He replied. He raised his voice slightly so it could be heard, "General Hammond, sir."

"I'm here, son." Hammond replied into the microphone.

"If this doesn't work, I want you to give the order." Kawalsky said. "I wanna wake up as me or not at all."

Hammond tapped his fingers against the table, not saying anything. "You have my word, son." He promised finally.

"Little Star?" Kawalsky called.

"Yes?" Eva replied into the microphone in front of her, managing to keep the tremble out of her voice.

"Can you sing? At least until I'm out?" He asked.

"Sure." Eva replied, "Anything in particular?"

"That lullaby... the one you would sing whenever we were in the hospital and too wired to sleep." Kawalsky replied. "I want the last thing I hear to be your song."

"Okay." Eva said, her voice slightly shaky.

As the surgical team began, Eva began to sing, hoping and praying that this wouldn't be the last time.

"Lavender’s blue, dilly, dilly,

Lavender’s green.

When I am king, dilly, dilly,

You shall be queen.

Who told you so, dilly, dilly,

Who told you so?

‘twas my own heart, dilly, dilly,

That told me so.

Call up your men, dilly, dilly,

Set them to work.

Some to the plough, dilly, dilly,

Some to the fork.

Some to make hay, dilly, dilly,

Some to cut corn.

While you and I, dilly, dilly,

Keep ourselves warm.

The nurse injected the anesthetic, but Eva kept singing. She knew it might take some time for the drug to take effect, and she wanted to make sure that the last thing Charlie heard was her singing, just like he had wanted.

Lavender’s blue, dilly, dilly,

Lavender’s green.

If you love me, dilly, dilly,

I will love you

Let the birds sing, dilly, dilly,

And the lambs play.

We shall be safe, dilly, dilly,

Out of harm’s way

I love to dance, dilly, dilly,

I love to sing.

When I am queen, dilly, dilly,

You shall be my king.

Who told me so, dilly, dilly,

Who told me so?

I told myself so, dilly, dilly,

I told me so.”

Dr. Warner made the first incision and a nurse started the clock.

~*~

The next hour passed slowly. Eva, Jack, Daniel and Sam alternated between pacing and watching the team as they worked.

"Sitara," Daniel called softly, stopping Eva as she paced. She turned to look at him, as he stood and moved to stand in front of her. Daniel put his hands on her shoulders and knelt slightly to look into her eyes. "It'll be okay."

Eva nodded mutely, unable to give a response. She was usually the positive one, counteracting Jack's cynicism, but right now, she just couldn't bring herself to be so. Daniel sighed and pulled her into a hug, holding her tightly as she clutched his shirt, silent tears staining it. Daniel moved to sit back on his seat, Eva in his lap as he gently rubbed her back in an effort to sooth her.

"Separating primary ganglia attaching the parasite to the spinal cord now." Dr. Warner commented, twenty minutes later. Eva looked up from Daniel's chest and gazed through the window into the Operating Room below. "It's coming away more easily than I'd hoped. Must be the anesthetic."

"At least it's going well." Sam said softly, making Eva and Daniel look at her.

"That's fantastic." Eva said, looking at the older woman.

"Yeah," Daniel agreed. "If we can reverse what's happened to the Major, then there's still a chance for Sha're."

"And Skaara." Eva added.

"Let's hope." Sam said quietly, turning back to the window.

"The ganglia are still constricting periodically." Dr. Warner said. "Obviously, there still seems to be some sign of life in the symbiote. I don't know how." He held his hand out. "Scissors." One of his nurses handed him the scissors. He looked at the monitor that was showing a live X-Ray of Kawalsky's spinal column. "There are thin filaments extending up and into the brain." He looked back at his team. "I am going to sever them." Dr. Warner began to do exactly that when Kawalsky began seizing. "Hold him still!" The nurses held Kawalsky down as the Airmen turned their weapons and aimed at him in precaution.

"What's happening?" Hammond called into the mic as the rest stood up and peered into the room below.

Kawalsky stopped seizing and lay still.

"I don't know, sir." Dr. Warner replied, pausing as he spoke. "I don't think it was anything I did. I'd like to proceed."

Jack and Eva looked at the General as he spoke into the mic, "How much longer?"

"Almost there." Dr. Warner replied as he resumed the operation. "Almost." He said as he handed a tool to a nurse and accepted another.

In the Observation Booth above, the observers watched and waited with bated breath.

"I'm...taking it out… now." The doctor said as a nurse held a metal basin out to him. A few seconds later, the doctor removed a snake-like creature from the Major's back. "I think we did it." He called as he dropped the creature into the basin.

They all gave sighs of relief at the doctor's words.

"Well done everyone." Hammond called into the mic.

The nurse turned and showed the observers the basin with the dead symbiote inside it. Eva smiled wide as she squeezed Daniel in a tight hug that was returned with just as much ferocity.

"Thank the Gods." Eva breathed as Daniel let her go and took her hand in his.

The medical team proceeded to transfer Kawalsky back to the Infirmary for post-op.

~*~

Jack and Eva stood by Kawalsky's bed with Dr. Warner as he began showing signs of waking up.

"That's right Dorothy." Jack said softly, leaning over the bed. "It was all a dream."

Kawalsky’s deep brown eyes fluttered for several seconds until they opened fully.

"Can you move your fingers?" Dr. Warner asked him. They turned to looked at Kawalsky’s hands as he wiggled his fingers. "Toes?" They looked at his feet as he wiggled his toes.

"Hey." Jack said happily, with a wide grin on his face as Eva climbed onto the bed and sat on the edge.

"Congratulations Major." Dr. Warner said with a smile. "You've already exceeded my wildest expectations." He smiled at them and left, presumably to inform Hammond that he was awake.

Jack moved to stand by the head of the bed as Kawalsky began making motions with his hands in an effort to speak.

"What is it?" Eva asked with concern.

"Thirsty." He rasped hoarsely.

"Here." Jack said, picking up the lidded glass of water and holding it to the other man's lips, letting him suck through the straw. Kawalsky took a gulp and immediately began coughing. "Easy big fella." Jack said as he put the cup back on the table. "You're not drinking for two anymore."

"Yeah." Eva agreed, smiling. "Only I am."

"And I do not envy you." Jack said, looking at his goddaughter. "Being present for the 3 a.m. wake-up calls are one thing, having to actually feed the baby is something I am very happy to leave to you, unless it is through a bottle."

"I made it." Kawalsky rasped, his tone filled with wonder and surprise.

"See. I told you. Piece of cake." Jack said, smiling turning back to him.

“I told you so.” Eva said in a sing-song voice, grinning at Kawalsky. Her large, electric blue eyes sparkled with joy, her entire face practically glowing.

Daniel came into he Infirmary and joined them by the bed. "Congratulations." He said to Kawalsky with a soft smile. He squeezed the prone man's shoulder gently as he passed him and stood next to Jack.

"Thanks." Kawalsky said, his voice slowly getting stronger. "I can't believe I made it."

"I think all of us can agree on that, even Miss. Optimist here." Jack said, tugging Eva's ear playfully when he said, 'Miss. Optimist'.

"Anyway," Daniel said, "Colonel Kennedy's probably gonna want to take it with him. So if you want to see it once before..."

"Are you talking about that thing in my head?" Charlie asked.

"Daniel thinks it's fascinating." Jack told him.

"No," Daniel said glancing at Jack before looking back at Kawalsky. "I just thought you might wanna see it."

"Noooo," Kawalsky disagreed, emphasizing his rejection of the idea. "Thanks."

Sam walked into the Infirmary and stood behind Daniel. "Hey, I just heard." She said, "They're shipping Teal'c out to Langley. Kennedy's taking him with him."

"What?"

"What for?"

"Why?"

The responses from Jack, Daniel and Eva mixed together while Kawalsky leaned up to look at Sam with a frown on his face.

"Study." The blonde replied, shrugging her shoulders lightly. At their looks, she continued, "That's Kennedy's word."

"Right. Like a damn lab rat." Jack snarled angrily as he began stalking out of the Infirmary followed by Daniel. "Apparently, Kennedy's ethics are selective." At the door, Jack turned back, saying to Eva, "Stay here. I want to be able to find you."

Eva nodded and waved at them.

After they left, Kawalsky turned to Sam, sitting up slightly against the pillows. "Listen, in case the Colonel can't talk him out of it, I'd like a minute alone with Teal'c before they ship him out." Kawalsky said. Sam nodded in understanding. "He helped get me through this. I gotta thank him." Kawalsky explained.

He held out his hand slightly and Sam took it, holding it in a firm shake. "Okay, I think that can be arranged." She said softy, patting him on the shoulder before leaving to do as he requested.

Eva and Kawalsky sat in silence while they waited for Teal'c. She shifted on the bed, moving to face Kawalsky and sit cross-legged between his legs.

"I was so scared." Eva said softly after a few minutes of silence.

Kawalsky looked at her and sat up over the blankets, his legs bent so that he could hold the younger woman close. "I know." He said softly, rubbing her back gently. "I was too. I was so scared that I might hurt you." He pulled back and looked at her, "It's gonna be okay. That thing is outta me and I am myself again." Kawalsky said reassuringly.

Eva nodded and smiled as Kawalsky gently wiped away the stray tears from her cheeks. At the sound of the door opening, they turned to see Teal'c enter, flanked by two Airmen.

"Hey," Kawalsky said with smile. "Come on over here." He held out his hand. "I wanna shake hands with the man who helped save my life." Teal'c hesitated for a moment before moving forward, followed by the Airmen.  Teal'c grasped the extended hand in a firm shake. Eva smiled brightly at them and hopped off the bed. "I'd like a minute alone with my friend." Kawalsky said, looking at the Airmen. At their hesitation, he continued, "I'll make it an order, does that make you feel better?"

The Airmen looked at each other and moved back to leave the room.

"I am going to see if Uncle Jack has made any progress with changing Colonel Kennedy's mind about the transfer." Eva said, leaning up to kiss both their cheeks. She turned and followed the Airmen out. As they took up posts on either side of the doors, Eva turned to them, "Do you want anything from the commissary? I can make a stop if you do." She offered.

"No ma'am, thank you."

"Okay, I'll be back in a bit." She chirped and headed down the corridor.

There was a near skip in her graceful steps as she walked towards Hammond’s office and a bright smile on her face. Eva could feel her heart filled with hope at the realization that they could save Skaara and Sha’re. Even the prospect of searching for the pair in the vast galaxy didn’t seem so daunting an endeavor anymore.

Eva entered Hammond's office to see Jack arguing with the older man.

"...born on this particular planet, he doesn't have any rights anymore, is that it?" Jack asked angrily, barely holding back his frustration.

The smile on Eva’s face faded as she listened to her godfather’s words. She was able to piece together what he was talking about even though she walked in near the end of his statement.

 "Colonel, I have done everything I can." Hammond said apologetically, not at all fazed by the younger man's anger. "It is out of my hands."

The klaxon alarms began blaring sending everyone on alert.

"What's going on?" Eva asked before running out of the office.

She ran down to the Control Room, followed by Jack and Hammond. All three of them skidded to a stop inside the room and saw the blast doors were down. At the control counter, Sergeant Harriman was cradling his right arm.

"What?" Jack asked, going to the computer.

"He set the co-ordinates for Chulak." The sergeant gasped in reply.

Eva went to him and began prodding the arm, checking the type of injury. Harriman hissed in pain, clenching his teeth together to keep from crying out.

"He set the auto-destruct sequence on the fail-safe device." Hammond informed them.

"How'd he have the code?" Jack asked as Eva grabbed the first-aid kit that was mounted on one of the walls.

"I don't know, but I need two ranking officers to override and you're it." Hammond said, looking at Jack before they bent over the keyboards and began typing in their codes.

"All right. That did it." Jack said, as the destruct sequence was aborted. "Open the blast doors." He said.

Eva, having finished splinting the sergeants' arm until he could get to the Infirmary, stood up and entered the command into the computer. She looked up as the blast doors opened, revealing Teal'c and Kawalsky. Both men were struggling for dominance on the ramp, right in front of the event horizon of the activated Stargate.

"Teal'c! Hold him there!" Jack yelled into the mic. As Teal'c did so, Jack yelled to Harriman, "Shut it down!" He looked at Teal'c for a moment, waiting, "Now!" Harriman did as ordered, severing the connection.

Eva stood, staring at Kawalsky, frozen in shocked silence and horror, seeing the life leave his eyes. Shaking herself out of her stupor, she ran out of the Control Room, followed by Jack and an Airman. The three of them ran into the Embarkation Room and up the ramp, coming to a stop next to Teal'c. They looked down at the body of their friend and saw a small piece of the symbiote that remained fall on the ground beneath them. It writhed for a second before falling still, dying.

Eva gasped and knelt down next to Kawalsky, absently noticing that Teal'c and Jack had done the same.

"He was your friend." Teal'c said softly as Eva closed Kawalsky's eyes. Tears filled the young woman’s eyes and spilled over, streaming down her cheeks.

"Our friend died on the table." Jack replied softly before standing up.

He picked up an un-resisting Eva and left the Embarkation Room, followed by the Airmen and Teal'c. In the corridor, Jack turned and headed towards the locker room and once inside, he set her down on the bench.

Eva stared straight ahead, her eyes wide and unseeing of anything around her as tears streamed down her fair face. All she could see was the moment Kawalsky’s life left his body, the scene playing over and over in her mind.

Jack went into one of the shower stalls and turned on the water, making sure it was warm, but with enough cold to help Eva regain her bearings.

While waiting for the water to adjust, he went to his goddaughter and untied her hair. He also removed most of her clothing, leaving her in a black body top and boy shorts. He removed his own clothes, leaving him in a black tank top and his boxers. He picked her up and stood under the shower, letting the spray jolt her back.

A few minutes later, Eva lifted her head and looked at him. "The way he spoke to me when we were in the Infirmary," she started as she looked at him. "It was as if it was Charlie speaking, not the symbiote."

"I know." Jack said softly, holding her close as the water sprayed down on them.

They stayed silent, each lost in their own thoughts. Neither were under the illusion that they could've done things differently. They had absolutely no idea what they were dealing with, so there was no way they could play the 'what-if' game, however it didn't stop them from wishing they could've saved Charlie.

After some time, Eva left the shower stall and went to her locker, grabbing her toiletries as well as Jack's. She handed his to him and went into another stall, setting up the water to a medium warm and removed her soaked tank top and shorts. She absently noticed Jack adding his own to the pile just outside the shower stalls.

Eva went through her routine, shampooing and conditioning her hair long before soaping up her body and rinsing everything off. She stayed under the water spray for a while longer to make sure all the soap and conditioner was off before grabbing a towel, wrapping it around her lithe body and getting out of the stall. She noticed that Jack had finished his shower as well and was putting on his civilian clothes, consisting of tan cargo pants tucked onto black boots, a brown belt, black long-sleeved shirt and his black leather jacket.

Eva put on a pair of black dark wash skinny jeans, a tan cap-sleeved shirt and black 5" ankle boots*. She left her hair open, letting it tumble down her back to dry in their natural curls. With a smile, they put their wet clothes in the laundry hamper and walked out, Jack putting his arm around Eva and holding her close.

At the elevator, they were joined by Daniel who was staying with them. With a final wave to guards on duty, they left the mountain. Making a quick stop to pick Dahlia up from Caroline, Eva, Jack and Daniel heading home for a night of much needed rest. They had a mission scheduled for the morning.

~*~

The next morning, Jack, Eva, Daniel and Sam stood on the ramp in the Embarkation Room, each of them dressed in full BDU tactical gear (Eva's hair in a braid). They waited impatiently for the green light to proceed through the active Stargate.

"Colonel O'Neill, is SG-1 ready to ship out?" Hammond asked walking into the Embarkation Room.

"We are sir." Jack replied, as he and Eva got off the ramp and faced him.

"Then you have a go for a standard recon mission to P3575." Hammond said.

"Yes, sir." Jack said as the door to the Room opened, revealing Teal'c in full BDU tactical gear and carrying his staff weapon in one hand and his helmet in the other.

"Reporting as ordered." Teal'c said, coming to stand in front of Hammond.

"Sir..." Jack said, leaning towards the Jaffa. "It's ‘sir’."

Teal'c glanced at Jack before turning back to Hammond, "sir." He corrected himself.

"Welcome aboard son." Hammond said with a smile.

Eva looped her hand through Teal'c's arm and the three walked up the ramp, joining Sam and Daniel.

"The MALP reports conditions on the planet are favorable." Sam reported as they moved to stand next to each other in a line. Daniel was on one end, with Sam, Jack, Eva and then Teal'c on the other. Eva still had her arm looped through Teal'c's.

"Well?" Jack said, looking at Teal'c with a smile.

Jack walked forward, followed a second later by Teal'c and Eva, then Sam and Daniel, as they went through the Stargate to another planet far away.

Links:

*Eva civilian outfit - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/474566879471443374/

Chapter Text

SG-1: Emancipation

Sam exited the wormhole and watched as it shut down before walking down the steps and joining the rest of SG-1. Jack looked at her briefly before going back to looking around. The area they were in was covered in green grass and had large forests surrounding the area.

"What a mess." Daniel said, looking around. He was referring to the abundance of ruins to go along with the green grass and forests.

"This temple was destroyed long ago." Teal'c said, holding his staff weapon at a rest.

"Let's get a move on before we meet somebody who remembers why." Jack said, putting on his shades and taking hold of Eva's hand.

They nodded and began walking, Jack not letting go of Eva. He was still not willing to let the woman out of his sight while they were off world, unless absolutely necessary or if she was with one of their team members. They walked in silence, taking note of the lack of any sign of civilization of any kind.

After a few miles, they stopped and Jack looked through his binoculars, wanting to see ahead for any possible danger before actually going anywhere.

"There's no sign of human life." Daniel commented, as the rest of them looked around as well.

"This could be some forbidden zone." Teal'c pointed out as Jack lowered his binoculars.

In the distance, there was the sound of barking.

"Wait," Sam said. "I hear something."

"Me too." Eva agreed. The two women paused for a moment, cocking their heads to the side as they listened. "It sounds like...dogs."

Jack held up his binoculars, looking through them again. He saw a young boy with long hair and dressed in exotic clothing running, looking behind him as he ran. It was only a few seconds before his pursuers came into view. It was a pair of dogs, like Sam and Eva had heard.

"Ahhh! Ahhhh!" The boy screamed. "Help!"

Jack lowered his binoculars and the team walked forwards with the intent of helping the young man. The dogs growled as the stood on their hind legs and pawed at the boy as he unsuccessfully tried to fight them off.

"No! Ahhh! Help!" He screamed as he tried to fight. The two dogs were soon joined by two more. As they joined in, the boy fell to his hands and knees, unable to stand against the onslaught.

Eva fired her side arm in the air as they ran towards the boy. At the sound of the shots, the boy looked around wildly.

"Hey, get outta here!" Jack yelled as Eva fired her side arm once more.

The dogs turned tail and ran. The boy turned to them as Teal'c, Sam and Eva ran after the dogs. Jack and Daniel came to a stop in front of the boy.

Sam, Eva and Teal'c ran for a few miles before stopping.

"I don't see them anymore." Sam said, looking around.

"I do not see them either." Teal'c said.

"Let's head back." Eva suggested, looking up at her teammates.

They nodded and made their way back, not quite running but close. As they neared Jack, Daniel and the young boy, they heard him speak.

"Never before have we met anyone from that far away.” He was saying. “You will be doubly welcome in my father's camp."

"This is Teal'c." Daniel said, gesturing to the Jaffa when they came to stop behind the young boy. "And this is Dr. Carter and Dr. Lorne."

"The dogs are gone." Teal'c informed them.

"For now." Sam added, making the boy turn around in shock, taking in her appearance.

"So, who's this?" Eva asked with a gentle smile, making the boy look at her with the same shock and take in her appearance as well.

He ducked his head and backed away from the two women, moving to stand partly behind Jack. "These are women." He hissed to the older man though Eva and Sam still heard. The expression on his face was one of almost horror.

"Oh yeah." Jack agreed, nodding as he glanced at the two.

 Sam and Eva exchanged looks.

"What? Do we have something growing out of our noses or...?" Sam began, walking forward.

The boy didn't turn to look at them, in fact moving further behind Jack in an attempt to get away from Sam. Daniel came to stand by Sam and Eva.

"He looks really upset." Daniel said softly.

"Well, we're about to get really upset!" Eva said, a very put off look on her face.

"It must be some sort of cultural thing." Daniel added soothingly, putting a hand on her shoulder.

Sam and Eva exchanged looks and walked forward, coming to a stop next to Jack and the boy. 

"No!" The boy cried out, raising his hand in an attempt to hide their faces from his view. "I cannot look at you." He turned his head away.

"Okay, now I am hurt." Sam muttered. Eva nodded in agreement. 

Before anything else could be said or done, the sound of horses approaching reached them. They looked towards the sound and saw three horses with riders at the top of the hill.

"Abu!" One called.

The boy, Abu, looked back at Eva and Sam for a brief second before turning to Jack. "You must take them." Abu said desperately. "You must take them and go! Go!"

Teal'c and Daniel moved to stand on either side of Jack, Eva and Sam. Jack shifted so he was standing closer to Eva, adjusting his grip on his MP-5.

The riders came closer, and Eva could see that all three were male with Asian-like features. Abu walked towards them, coming to a stop right in front of the horses. "Raga. Raga." He said, raising one hand in a fist. "These people, they are from the Sea of Ogada."

"Two are women?" One said with contempt in his tone.

"Yes." Abu replied.

"Colonel, I think these people are Mongols." Daniel remarked, looking between the locals.

"Is this good news?" Jack asked, glancing at him.

"Daniel, find out what I did wrong, so I can fix it." Sam said.

"Yeah, me too." Eva added.

One of the riders got off the horse purposefully, looking at Eva and Sam with contempt.

"No, no, no." Abu said, trying to physically hold the taller man back as he reached to his side. "Let them go."

"He's right." Daniel said, moving forward with his hand up in a calming gesture. "We'll just take them with us and go."

The other man looked between Abu and Daniel for a moment before shoving the Archaeologist back and drawing a long sword. One rider drew his sword as well while the other notched his bow and aimed it at them. Teal’c adjusted his hold on his staff weapon, ready to fire. Sam and Eva also adjusted their grips on their weapons, waiting for the slightest hint from the locals intending to fire.

Jack raised his side-arm, firing into the air. The sound of the gunshots frightened the locals, and they moved back slightly. He lowered it and smiled at them, waving it slightly.

"Shavadai!" Came a call from the top of the hill.

Everyone looked up and saw another rider coming down towards them. The rider, this one older than the other three, came to a stop next to the two that had drawn their weapons. Abu went to him.

"My son," the elder man said, looking down at the young boy as they clasped hands, "When you did not return, I feared you were dead."

"I would be in a dog's stomach now," Abu revealed before turning to the team, who were still on guard, "But for these." He pointed to them.

The older man looked at them for a moment before turning to his riders. "Is this any way to greet a stranger?" He demanded.

"Those two are women." The rider who shoved Daniel said, pointing to Eva and Sam.

"Observant bunch." Jack muttered sarcastically, looking at Sam and Eva briefly.

"Father," Abu said imploringly, "They come from the Sea of Ogada. They do not know our ways."

"Law is law." The older man replied to his son before turning to the team. "What manner of weapon is that?" He asked, looking at their weapons.

 "It's a firearm." Eva replied.

"It shoots like your bow shoots an arrow." Sam added in explanation.

 "She speaks," the older man growled, "She dies." He turned to his riders, "Sut."

"No! No!" Abu cried out as the riders and the team armed their weapons. "They saved my life!"

There was a brief pause before the older man spoke. "Women," he started, turning to his riders, "saved a life. Theirs cannot be taken." He turned to the team, "Now, you are my guests. If you will travel this country, you must learn our ways."

"I'm thinking we should just go back while we're ahead." Sam said, looking between the team.

"If we learn their customs, we'll be okay." Daniel said, disagreeing with her.

"It's an incredible opportunity to study an ancient culture up close." Eva added, looping her arm through his.

"Okay, fine." Jack sighed, readjusting his hold on his firearm. "I just hope your curiosity doesn't come back to bite us in the ass."

"Us too, Uncle Jack." Eva said, gesturing to herself and Daniel, as they began walking. "Us too."

Daniel nodded his agreement.

They walked in silence for a time, Sam and Eva opting not to tempt fate just to satisfy their own curiosity while Daniel looked around at their surroundings with eager eyes. The three scientists were in the middle of the group between two of the riders, Daniel and Eva still arm-in-arm, while Jack, Teal’c and Abu were in front leading Abu's father's horse, with the last rider bringing up the rear.

By the time they reached a large camp, filled with brightly colored tents and partitions, Daniel and Eva had removed their helmets. Eva had received a few raised eyebrows at the length of her hair when her thick braid was released from the helmet and fell down her back to her knees.

"They found Abu!" One of the people in the camp called.

Abu raised his arm and waved.

"Abu, Abu!" They called as many of them began cheering.

Eva noticed that there were only males out in the open.

A woman wearing a light green dress and a pink head dress and veil came out from behind one of the curtains of a large cordoned off area.

"Mother." Abu said, as he embraced her.

Several other women, all similarly dressed in veils and headdresses came out from behind the curtain, cheering as well. Abu's mother came and tugged on Sam and Eva's hands, leading them inside the largest tent. When the woman entered the tent, she removed her veil and began setting out cushions on the ground.

"This is unbelievable." Daniel said, looking around the large tent as he, Jack and Teal’c entered. "Uh, the Mongols who settled in Persian China adapted to the local customs.” He explained. “But there was one tribe, the Chagatai, that kept the traditional life of the Steppe-Nomad. Maybe these Shavadai are their descendants." He paused before adding with a slight laugh, "I mean, this could literally belong to Genghis Khan. It's a living exhibit of a way of life that's been extinct for over 900 years."

Abu's father entered the tent with Abu behind him. "Ah." The old man said with a smile as he removed his cap and gave it to his wife. "Please sit, now we may talk." He began removing his heavy fur coat.

"Uh, good." Sam started, removing her helmet, as she sat down on one of the cushions, "'Cause I still don't understand what happened out there."

"Yeah," Jack added, sitting down as well and pulling Eva to sit next to him, "Me neither."

"Among our people," the old man started. "It is death for a woman to show her face in public."

"Or to wear the clothes of a man." Abu added, looking at Sam and Eva.

Eva and Sam looked at the two with raised eyebrows before exchanging looks.

"That explains quite a bit." Eva remarked

"The old laws weigh heavily." The Chieftain began as he sat at a raised seat in front of them, Abu sitting on the floor by his side. "It is well you both saved Abu from the dogs. It gave me a way to prevent your death."

"Uh, thank you for that." Sam said with a small smile. Eva nodded her agreement.

"Soon, the old laws, and the old ways, will no longer serve us." The Chieftain said with a smile. "Trade will one day replace war. This is the future. We have strongest, fastest horses and camels. The finest wool..."

"And medicines." Abu added looking up at his father before turning to the team and continuing, "Drugs of unheard-of power."

"Oh, we've got some pretty swell drugs of our own." Jack remarked with a smile.

"Colonel, a lot of breakthroughs in medicine are coming out of the mountains and the-the jungles." Sam said looking at him.

"We should really see what they have." Eva added, looking up at him as well before groaning slightly, rubbing her chest slightly.

"Eva, what is it? What's wrong?" Jack asked, turning to her with a small frown.

"Really full." She muttered, gesturing to her chest. 

"Oh." Jack and Daniel gave sounds of acknowledgement while Teal'c raised an eyebrow and Sam looked at them in confusion.

"I don't understand." The pretty blonde said, looking between the three. The Chieftain, his son and his wife looked between them with frowns, wondering what was going on.

"I'm breastfeeding Dahlia." Eva explained, wincing slightly. "So, my breasts incredibly full right now, with no way to release the milk since the baby is at home and I am here."

Sam nodded in acknowledgement as Abu frowned in confusion. "Your husband allows you to travel when you have a child at home?" He asked in surprise, looking at the smaller woman.

"I don't have a husband." Eva replied.

"Was he lost to you in battle?" The Chieftain asked in sympathy.

"No. Her child's father walked away from them when he learned she was carrying his child." Daniel said, purposefully speaking with slightly vague terms.

His response received looks of shock from their Shavadai hosts. 

"That is almost unheard of with the Shavadai." The Chieftain said heavily. "It is a great joy when a man is to be a father."

"Not everyone sees it that way." Eva said quietly, rubbing her chest through her BDU's. "Anyway, as I was saying, we should see what kind of medicines have, Uncle Jack."

Jack nodded making Abu smile as the Chieftain's wife whispered to her husband, who nodded and turned to the visitors.

"I will show you." Abu said with pride as he stood. "Follow me."

When Eva and Sam moved to stand up and follow Abu, the Chieftain spoke up. "I'm afraid you cannot go until you are properly attired." He said.

"Properly attired?" Sam repeated incredulously, eyebrows raised.

"We should probably do what they want." Eva said, making Sam look at her.

"Um, anthropologists do it all the time." Daniel added, making Sam look at him. "They dress and live as the people they are studying."

"Well, I'm not an Anthropologist." Sam pointed out.

"You are today." Jack said to Sam with a wide smile as he stood up, clapping her on the shoulder.

"And I am an Anthropologist." Eva pointed out, raising her hand as she stood up as well. "Forensic Anthropologist really, but still an Anthropologist."

Sam just groaned as she stood up.

The Chieftain turned to Eva and said, "My wife says she may have a manner with which to help ease some of your pain."

"Really?" Eva asked, looking at the woman with a bright smile. "Thank you."

The woman smiled in response as Jack asked in a slightly concerned tone, "Will this method include the drugs that Abu was talking about?"

The woman shook her head, not saying a word to the intimidating man. Jack nodded as they walked out, the Chieftain's wife (her veil back in place) guided Sam and Eva towards the large cordoned off area that they had seen when they first entered the camp. She led the two inside and the other women crowded around them.

The local women brought Eva and Sam a dress, headdress and veil each before the Chieftain’s wife led them to another tent, just as brightly colored and lit as the others.

“Use this to help with the pain.” The Shavadai woman said to Eva, handing her a towel.

Eva looked at her curiously and took the towel finding it to be damp and very warm. “What am I supposed to do?” She asked.

“Place it on your chest when it is bare.” The woman replied. “The warmth will help. The pain happens when the milk cannot be given.”

Eva nodded in understanding and the Shavadai woman left. Once they were alone, the two Air Force officers began removing their gear and BDU’s, Eva placing the warm towel on her bare chest after she removed her bra.

Eva let out a sigh as the ache in her chest rescinded slightly. “Oh, that feels good.” She breathed with a small smile.

Sam laughed at her expression, slipping on the many layers of her dress. Eva made a face at her, keeping the towel on her chest for several minutes. When it started to cool, she removed it and put her bra back on, changing into the dress that had been given to her.

"Okay, how the hell are we supposed to breathe in these?" Sam asked in irritation as she buttoned up the outer layer of her dress.

"Have you ever worn a corset?" Eva asked, untying her braid and brushing it through with the travel brush she kept in her bag. "The ones that are meant for regular wear, not the lingerie ones."

"No." Sam replied, putting her headdress on. "Have you?"

"Yup." Eva chirped, as she made a series of knots in her hair. "High school drama classes; every year we were required to do at least two Shakespeare plays."

"Ouch. Two a year, that's rough." Sam said, wincing in sympathy and adjusting her headdress so it stayed in place. "Okay, done."

"Tell me about it, and I am done, too." Eva said, lowering her hands and revealing the elaborate, yet practical, up-do* she had tied her long, thick locks into. She put her headdress on, completing the look. The only jewelry she wore aside from the headdress was the gold braided ring* on her right thumb. The ring was something she had worn all her life, the only thing she had aside from the newborn's clothes she had been wearing and the blanket she had been wrapped in when her parents found her as a newborn infant only a few days old.

“Hey, have you had any luck with the search for a Nanny/ Housekeeper?” Sam asked, looking at her.

“Plenty of hits but no luck.” Eva replied. “But I am adamantly not going to start getting frantic for another 5 months.” The two women laughed lightly as Eva continued, “I’m getting plenty of responses, but there's the fact that it’s not just us the candidate would need to be able to fit in with that's the issue. He or she would have to be able to handle the crazy hours, the secrecy and the intensive background checks.” Eva let out a frustrated breath. “And that’s just the beginning.”

“Isn't that the truth." Sam muttered in sympathy.

Just then, Abu led Jack, Daniel and Teal'c into the tent, drawing the attention of the two women. When they entered, they stopped short at the sight of the two beautiful women.

"Daniel," Sam said, irritation in her voice once more, once she caught sight of the Archaeologist. "Find me an Anthropologist that dresses like this and I will eat this headdress." She gestured to the headdress she wore.

"An Anthropologist who isn't me." Eva added, standing next to her.

The three male members of SG-1 looked at Sam and Eva, who were standing before them in bright blue and emerald green native dresses respectively, and beaded silver headdresses with white, silk veils hanging to the side. The dresses looked more like outfits for special occasions rather than for everyday wear. Daniel's mouth dropped open while Jack smirked and Teal'c just looked… appreciative.

"You are..." Abu said breathlessly, looking at Eva and Sam with a slight smile and walking forward a few steps, "The most beautiful women I have ever seen."

Eva looked at him in surprise, her mouth opening and closing with no sound coming out as Sam raised her eyebrow. At their expressions, Abu blinked, his expression turning thoughtful as he left the tent, leaving SG-1 alone. Jack watched him leave with a raised eyebrow, walking towards Eva. 

"Apparently he does not get out much." Eva said with a small smile, gesturing towards the tent flap that Abu just left through.

"Well," Jack said, smiling down at her, "You do look beautiful." He kissed her cheek.

"Yeah, you definitely do." Daniel added. "Both of you do."

"Are you okay?" Jack asked Eva with concern. "Were you able to at least lessen the pain?"

"Yes, I'm alright." Eva replied with a nod, smiling at her over-protective godfather.

"I thought you were pumping the milk?" Daniel asked with a frown. "You know, so Caroline would be able to feed Dahlia when she got hungry. And us as well to give you a chance to rest."

"I do. I spent half of last night just pumping the milk when I wasn't walking around with Dahlia." Eva replied, turning to the Archaeologist. "But unfortunately, it isn't a long-term solution."

"It's a supply and demand thing." Jack remarked, looking at Daniel. He remembered how it had been with Sara when Charlie was an infant. "Eva's the supply and Dahlia's the demand."

"Pretty much." Eva agreed, nodding. Seeing Sam's uncomfortable expression, she turned to the pretty blonde. "Samantha, you okay?"

"I will not wear this thing over my face." Sam said, holding the veil across her face for a moment before dropping it, "I don't care how much embroidery it has on it. And this dress, or whatever it's called," she made a slow circle before turning back to the men and continuing, "I mean, I can't move, I can't walk." She flapped her arms helplessly.

"I don't know," Jack said, turning to her and taking off his cap. "It... It kind of works for me." He smiled as Eva elbowed him in the ribs.

Sam put her hands on her hips and glared at him, looking like she was ready to kick him where it hurt.

"It's-It's you. It's..." Daniel stammered, looking at the blonde as well. He glanced at Jack before looking back at her, "It's definitely you."

Sam turned her glare onto Daniel, shutting him up. Eva began giggling at the helpless looks on the Archaeologist's face.

"Have you found out anything about Abu's medicines?" The raven-haired Major asked with a giggle, changing the subject and saving the poor men from the beautiful blonde's ire.

"Uh, uh, well yeah," Daniel said, pushing his glasses up his nose. "The good news is, uh you were right, Sam. One of Abu's plants seem to work as an anesthetic. We're taking some home to get it, uh, a-analyzed."

"All things considered, Samantha," Jack said, looking at her. "If we have to come back here, it might be better if we bring an all-male team. No offense." Jack smiled at her.

"Well," Sam replied, her irritation clear in her voice. "In view of the fact that you three get to go to this party tonight while Eva and I get to stay in this yurt that smells like rancid yak butter, none taken."

"Well, at least I'll be able to get a night of sleep that actually consists of sleep." Eva said, punctuating her statement with a large yawn that wasn't quite covered by her hand. Lowering her hand, she explained, "Dahlia has been keeping me up all night and I can't drink coffee. Not that I've been able to stand the taste of it since I got pregnant."

"I guess we'll just have to hope for better luck next time." Sam sighed.

There was the sound of loud cheering from outside.

"We're, uh, gonna go." Daniel said. He kissed Eva's cheek before following Teal'c out of the tent.

Jack kissed Eva's cheek as well and turned to Sam, "You gonna be all right?"

"Still doubting me?" Sam asked, before smiling. "I haven't been afraid of the dark since I was two."

"Look after her?" Jack asked, losing his playful demeanor.

"Of course, sir." Sam replied, becoming serious as well.

"Uncle Jack, we'll be fine. We're going to be in here all night." Eva said, yawning again, "Go. Have fun. Tell us all about it."

"Okay. Okay." Jack said, walking to the flap. Just before leaving, he turned back and said to Sam, "You look great." He smiled once more before leaving.

Eva hid a small smile. She sighed and flopped back into the pillows as much as she could in her dress. Her action was mimicked by Sam. They both stretched out on the bedding, getting comfortable.

"Eva, why does Dr. Jackson call you that name?" Sam asked after a while, turning to her side and looking curiously at the younger woman.

"You mean 'Sitara'?" Eva asked, turning onto her side as well.

"Yeah. And what does it mean?"

"It means 'Star'. He gave me that name on the first Abydos mission." Eva replied sleepily. "He noticed that the other team members often called me 'Little Star' or 'Star' and asked about it, so I told him that it was my call-sign. After a while, Skaara also adopted it as well."

Sam nodded and they fell silent, listening to the sounds of the party outside the tent. Eva sighed, turning to her back and closing her eyes. She was utterly exhausted; Dahlia was colicky and had been up all night for the past week. She, Daniel and Jack had been taking turns walking around the house with her, but the fact remained that the baby was calmer with her mother than with her grandfather or uncle. Jack and Daniel had mostly taken turns with the baby so that Eva could get a few hours of sleep, however interrupted it was. 

At the same time, Eva was also in the process of looking for a Live-In Nanny/ Housekeeper who would be able to look after Dahlia while she was at work and off-world. It was something she was hoping to have in place before Caroline’s wedding, which was thankfully still 6 months away – not that Caroline was in a very thankful mood. She was all but in complete ‘Bridezilla’ mode, utterly frantic with all the preparations, that it was taking all of them every ounce of control not to shoot or injure the woman.

It wasn't long before Eva's exhaustion caught up to her and she fell asleep to the noise of the cheering, chanting and drumbeats outside. Sam fell asleep not long after her.

~*~

Eva's eyes snapped open when she felt the dagger press against her throat. She turned over and reached for her MP5 next to her, but a hand pressed against hers, stilling her movement. When another hand covered her mouth, she bit into it. There were hands holding her down as she struggled against her captors. She was pushed into a seating position, and she saw that a dagger was at Sam's throat, the older woman's eyes wide as she tried to find a way out of this situation.

"Fight, and I will kill her." A voice hissed to them both. They could still hear the sounds of the party going on outside, so any noise they made would not be heard.

The two stopped struggling and Sam let her hands be bound as well as be gagged and tied. Her captor turned to Eva and knocked her out with the hilt of his dagger before carrying Sam out of the tent and putting her on a horse. He got on another horse and rode out of the encampment, leading the horse Sam was riding.

They rode off into the darkness of the forest, leaving behind an unconscious Eva, and when the abduction would be discovered, a furious Colonel.

~*~

Eva groaned as she slowly regained consciousness, hearing faint voices that sounded vaguely like Jack and Daniel. A large hand gently rested on her shoulder and a voice slowly pierced through the fog that clouded her mind.

“…sy, Sitara, ea…” The voice that sounded like Daniel’s crooned softly as large hands helped her sit upright.

"Mmm. Wha-?" Eva groaned before her eyes snapped open and she looked around frantically. "Samantha, where's Samantha?" She asked in a panic.

"She's missing." Daniel replied, shooting a warning look to Jack who looked ready to hit something. "No one's seen her since last night. Do you know what happened? Do you remember anything?"

"Not much." She replied, putting a hand to her throbbing head. She absently noticed that she wasn’t wearing her headdress. "We were both asleep when someone came inside and tried to take us. We both fought, but he held a dagger to us and said if either of us struggled he would kill the other. Then he after tied Samantha's hands and gagged her, he knocked me out. That's the last thing I remember."

"Do you know who it was that took her?" Jack asked, his worry barely contained.

"No." She relied softly, looking up at the older man. "I'm sorry, Uncle Jack."

"Alright, find Teal'c." Jack said to Daniel, who stood up. "I want everyone geared up and ready to move out in 15 minutes."

"Okay, let me talk to Moughal first." Daniel said, as Sam also stood up, her hand still on her throbbing head. "This might be another misunderstanding, cultural differences."

"The hell with culture." Jack replied, looking at him. "A member of my team has been neutralized. That's a hostile act."

"How is it you come up with the worst-case scenario?" Daniel asked, getting momentarily side-tracked.

"I practice." Jack replied, turning to leave the tent when Teal'c walked in with Moughal.

"I found fresh hoof prints leading out of the camp." he glanced at Eva, seeing her awake and alert.

"That's great." Eva said, walking towards them unsteadily and stopping in front of Teal'c.

"The horse should be identifiable." Teal'c informed them. "One of the hooves was splayed."

"The horse belongs to my son," Moughal said. "He is also missing."

"Okay, dad," Jack said, looking towards the elderly Chieftain. "What's going on here?"

The Chieftain shrugged, before speaking, "I am as ignorant as you."

"I don't think so." Jack said before the man could say anything else. "No, he took a member of my team, I want to know why." The fury in his eyes clear for all to see, even if his face held his professional mask.

"Among the Shavadai," Mughal started, sighing. "Women are valued highly for trade. Foreign women, most of all."

"He wants to trade my friend!" Eva exclaimed angrily, glaring up at the Chieftain with a fierce look in her eyes.

Daniel put a calming hand on the young woman's shoulder as he turned to Teal'c. "Can you help track them?" He asked.

"Now that I know what to look for, I believe so." Teal'c replied, looking at the two scientists.

Eva nodded and gathered her BDU's to change into. There was no way she was traipsing about on a horse wearing the dress she had been given, regardless of how accomplished a rider she was and how well she could move in the confining garments. Like Jack had said – the hell with culture.

"If Abu gives her up peacefully, no one will get hurt." Daniel said to the Chieftain, who looked between the members of the team with worry. "Right?" Daniel directed the confirmation to Jack who still looked ready to punch something, or rather someone.

"We'll do our best." Jack said reluctantly, looking towards the elder man.

"I will give you horses and guide you myself." Moughal said, "My son has betrayed me as well as you." He left the tent after he finished speaking.

"Give me a few minutes to change and I'll be right behind you." Eva said, gesturing to her clothes.

Jack and Daniel nodded before turning to leave the tent as well, followed by Teal'c.

~*~

Nearly two hours later, Teal'c stopped by a stream and knelt on the ground, examining the path. Jack and Eva kneeling next to him.

"They stopped here." Teal'c informed them.

"To rest the horses, and so must we. For two marks." Moughal said from atop his horse.

He and Daniel got off their horses and the five sat down to eat.

"If we do not find them," Moughal said from beside Daniel as they ate. "I will pay whatever you ask for the loss of Carter."

Jack glared at the older Chieftain and opened his mouth to retort as Eva put a gentle hand on the Colonel's arm.

"We can't do that." Daniel said, before Jack could say anything. "We don't… own our women."

"Truly?" Moughal asked in surprise.

"Yes, um..." Daniel glanced at his teammates who had resumed eating, Eva's hand still on Jack's arm. "And we heard… stories about Shavadai women… That once they were free. Some were even warriors, fought with their husband in battles." He turned to Jack and explained, "Um…Mongol women might have been the legendary Amazons…"

"Shhh." Moughal cautioned the Archaeologist. "We do not speak of it. The laws for women were made to protect and hide them from the demons, who brought us to this place."

"Demons?" Teal'c asked.

"It is only in legend, and long time ago; in the dawn of our time." Moughal replied.

"If the demons are gone, why haven't the laws been changed?" Eva asked.

"Some say they will return. I think it is an excuse for my men to have their way. Among the Shavadai, even the lowliest man is chief among his women." Moughal replied.

"Is that why you only have one wife? To… set a kind of example?" Daniel asked.

"My people see it as a weakness." Moughal said sadly.

"Because you love her?" Eva asked, a knowing look in her large eyes.

Moughal turned quickly to look at Eva, then slowly smiled. Eva smiled back at him.

"‘Love is... what makes a weak man brave, and a king step off his throne’." Jack said, looking up at the sky. At the silence that followed his words, he looked back at the group and saw them all looking at him in surprise.

"Colonel, where did you hear this?" Moughal asked, looking at him in surprise.

"Something Eva had said a long time ago." Jack replied softly, putting his arm around the woman in question and glancing at Daniel as he continued, "In another life."

"She told me the same thing on Abydos right before you guys went back through the Gate." Daniel said, smiling softly. "Remember, Eva? The rest of it went, ‘Good times, bad times. Easy times, rough times’.”

‘It comes in an instant and lasts three days after forever. That's what love is’." Eva finished with a smile, a faraway look in her eyes. Feeling the Chieftain’s gaze on her, she looked at him. “What is it?” She asked.

“Your child’s father, did you love him?” Moughal asked curiously. “Your wise words, they speak of one who has loved.”

“I did.” Eva replied honestly. “I do, actually. I still love him despite him leaving me and his hurtful words.” She glanced at Jack whose fists were tightly curled and his jaw clenched. “It angers Uncle Jack.”

“I always knew that bastard wasn’t good for you.” Jack growled. “But as much as I hate him, he’s the reason we have Dahlia.”

“For all that he hurt me, he made me stronger.” Eva said softly. “Even with everything I went through giving birth to Dahlia.” She looked at Moughal, noticing the curious look on his face. “I nearly died giving birth to her.” She explained.

“I see.” The Chieftain said softly, nodding. “This is among the reasons you are protective of your daughter, is it not, Colonel.” Moughal stated rather than asked, looking at Jack.

The Colonel only nodded in response, his tight fists slowly uncurling. Instead, he wrapped his arm around Eva’s shoulders and held her close, keenly aware of how close he had come to losing her again.

The group fell silent as they finished eating and once the horses had been fed and watered as well, they resumed their trek as Teal'c followed Abu and Sam's trail. They rode through the woods for nearly two more hours before they reached the border of the forest where there was another village camp. Each of them silently got off their horses and crept up to the edge, hiding at the edge of the woods as they watched the village.

"The tracks lead directly there." Teal'c said, pointing to the village.

"Who owns the place?" Jack asked.

"An enemy. A man who kills for pleasure." Moughal replied before looking at the strangely clad visitors and adding, "This is very bad."

"Well then, we'll go in and get her tonight." Jack said.

"If we attack, there will be war. And Turghan is allied with 22 clans. When he fights, he takes no prisoners." Moughal informed them heavily.

"You mean they'd kill all of you?" Daniel asked incredulously, a frown on his face at the thought.

"Yes." Moughal replied gravely. “If you will wait until morning, I will go and request a trade. He cannot refuse."

"But what’ll happen to Samantha tonight if we wait?" Eva asked, looking at the elderly Chieftain.

Moughal looked away, unable to look at them. "Turghan will partake in his newest purchase." He revealed.

"Oh, there is not a chance in Hades I am going to let that happen." Eva said firmly, Jack gently squeezing her shoulder in reassurance.

"In our land, if a man wants a woman, she can say no." Daniel explained gently.

"No one refuses Turghan, and lives." Moughal said.

"Then we go now." Was Jack's response to Moughal's words as they rose to their feet. "Eva, stay here with the horses. I don't think shooting the guy if he decides he wants you is going to help us."

Eva nodded in understanding, moving back slightly so that she was entirely hidden by the trees. Jack kissed her forehead before the four men walked into the village. She heard a man call out for them to stop as they were surrounded by men pointing their weapons at them. She watched Moughal say something to one of the men, likely the Chieftain, Turghan, before they were led inside a yurt. To the side, a fire started on one of the hangings that separated the women's enclosure from the men. There were several yells as the men frantically yanked down the burning fabric and put the fire out.

In the midst of the chaos, a young girl dressed in gray with a black head covering and veil slipped out from the enclosure and ran into the forest. Eva raised an eyebrow at the sight of the young girl running and shrugged her shoulders, turning back to look at the village through the foliage. If the men of the village were anything like she thought from what she had learned from Moughal, then she didn't blame the girl for running.

A few minutes later, she heard the sound of gunshots and groaned as the villagers jumped at the sudden sound.

"Uncle Jack, please don't have shot anyone." She whispered pleadingly as she watched the villagers look towards the yurt that the guests were in.

Less than a minute later, Turghan exited the yurt followed by Jack, Teal'c and Moughal. 

"Eva, come in."  Came Jack's voice over the radio.

"I hear you." She replied.

"We got her."  He said happily.

"I'll bring the horses." Eva replied, grabbing the reigns and walking out of the forest before climbing onto her horse.

She rode into the village, seeing Turghan surrounded by his people with a pistol in his hand, pointed at the sky. Eva raised her eyebrow at Jack who shrugged as they got on their horses, Sam's wrist bound in front of her. Eva reached out to remove the binding when Moughal stopped her.

"Wait until we leave the village." He told her, and she nodded reluctantly.

Turghan fired the gun into the air, making the people yelp and cower in fear. Turghan cheered and his men joined him in a ragged chorus.

"All right, there are only five more rounds in that clip, time to go." Jack said quietly to them as he urged his horse forwards. The rest of them followed, Sam last in line with Eva at the front next to Jack as they rode into the forest.

They rode until night fell, stopping only to remove the ropes around Sam's wrists. When the sky became dark, they dismounted and made camp. Eva gave Sam a package with a smile on her face and told the older woman that they were her BDU’s. Sam went behind a tree to change as Daniel got a fire going and Jack got the food out.

They had just sat down, Eva between Daniel and Jack, when Sam came out from behind the tree, dressed in her BDU's and looking very happy.

"What a relief." The blonde said as she sat down beside Moughal, smiling at her teammates. "I have never been so happy to see you guys."

"Oh, sure you have! Remember that time on P3X-595?" Jack asked her as she began to lose her smile and Eva nudged Jack. "You drank that stuff that made you take off..."

Sam cleared her throat, cutting Jack off as she said, "We won't get into that right now." Daniel and Eva looked at Jack, who smirked and looked away. Sam turned to Moughal and smiled as she said, "Moughal, I want to thank you for your help." 

Moughal looked sober as he said quietly as he looked up at the sky, "We'll leave at first light."

Sam glanced up as well before looking back at the elderly man and saying, "I don't blame you for what Abu did. I don't blame him either, now."

"He is suffering the madness, as I did when I was young." Moughal replied, his shoulders weighed down heavily as if by a great burden.

Sam frowned in confusion, looking at her teammates.

"It's what they call love." Eva explained helpfully.

"Ah, got it." Sam said with a nod as Moughal stared into the fire.

One by one, they fell asleep, Eva curled in Jack's arms after removing their jackets and zipping the vests back up over their black short-sleeved shirts.

~*~

The next morning, Teal'c was on guard duty while the rest slept. At the sound of hoof-beats approaching the camp, everyone except Daniel were awake and standing in an instant, alert and weapons ready. Sam frowned when she saw Abu ride in on his own.

"Please, you must help me." The boy pleaded as he got off his horse and looked at them.

"What happened? Where's Nya?" Sam asked as Daniel woke up and was instantly alert, getting to his feet and standing up.

“She came to me, just like the wind said she would.” Abu explained, fear and worry clear on his face. “But before we could make our way, her father caught us. Now, if you do not help me, she will be stoned to death.” Everyone looked at him with horrified expressions. Abu sighed, his hand curling into a fist as he muttered, “Curse me for the madness. Better to have left her to marry Chimakka.”

“I would not see anything I cared for go to Chimakka.” Moughal told his son firmly, moving to stand by him and put a weathered hand on the young boy’s shoulder.

“Can I get a little clarification here? Her own father ordered her stoned to death… is that right?” Jack asked, looking between the father and son duo.

“Because she broke the law of the land.” Abu said, his voice trembling with fear for the one he loved.

“Turghan is compelled to uphold the law, even more if it applies to his own. He must rule by example.” Moughal finished, looking very grave.

“Wow, this guy sounds like quite the gentleman.” Eva muttered sarcastically.

“Tell me about it.” Daniel replied, standing on the younger woman’s right.

“We have to go back, now!” Sam exclaimed, her eyes wide and filled with fear for the sweet young girl.

“Negative.” Jack said firmly.

“She can’t be any more than 16 or 17!” Sam argued.

“Captain, if we go in there and try and get that little girl out, we could be starting a war on this planet.” Jack tried to explain as Sam shook her head at him.

“Since when are you a politician, Colonel?” Sam asked him angrily, picking up her weapon.

“Easy, Samantha.” Eva said calmly, reaching out and placing a gentle hand on the angry woman’s shoulder.

“'De Opresso Liber’. ‘To free from oppression’, Special Forces motto.” Sam continued passionately.

“I know what it is.” Jack snapped back. “That’s our world. This is theirs.”

“Do we have the right to interfere with their customs or… reinterpret their laws?” Daniel asked from an ethical and cultural standpoint, putting his glasses on having taken them off before sleeping.

“Yes!” Sam cried passionately. “Maybe you guys aren't getting this, but they're about to kill this teenage girl. Simply for being in love with this boy!” She gestured towards Abu’s general direction.

“Please, use your weapons, and free her.” Abu pleaded, looking at them with desperation.

“The Colonel is right.” Moughal said softly. He turned to Abu, gently making the boy look at him as well as he continued, “It would mean war, Abu. My son, you must…choose, between one woman, and your people.”

Abu shook his head in despair, looking at the ground as his shoulders slumped. “I cannot.” He said as Moughal hugged him, his weathered and aged face troubled.

“Neither can I.” Sam said, making Moughal look at her. “Nya broke the law because of me. I can't leave her here to die.”

“But if it is one life, or many…” Teal’c said, trailing off. While he felt sympathy for Abu, he was looking at the situation from a perspective that would benefit the whole, rather than the individual. In this case, the lives of the tribe over the life of one girl, no matter how young.

“Wait,” Eva said, a frown on her face as she looked at Sam. “What do you mean that Nya broke the law because of you?”

“I was the one who convinced her to leave. To meet Abu.” Sam said, letting out a deep sigh. “She was hesitant, afraid of her father, but I convinced her to go.”

“Uncle Jack,” Eva started, looking at her godfather, who rolled his eyes in exasperation.

“If there’s a way, without starting a war, then I’ll consider it.” Jack said reluctantly, knowing Eva wouldn’t let the matter drop.

“Moughal, what about using the old laws?” Daniel suggested thoughtfully, turning to Moughal. “Is there a way that we can…?”

“Yes. Yes, if we fight with law, Turghan cannot make war.” Abu said, his eyes lighting with hope. He turned to his father, pleading, “Father, please. Think, remember…there must be a law.”

Moughal frowned, concentrating on trying to remember as he stared into space. “There is one.” He said after a few moments.

He explained his idea and Jack nodded in agreement. With quick and efficient movements, they broke camp and mounted their horses, riding hard through the forest towards Turghan’s camp. They reached just as Turghan gave the order for Nya to be stoned.

Eva’s heart broke as she heard the women cry out for the girl. One woman, whom Eva assumed to be Nya’s mother, was being held by another woman. When the order was given, Nya turned her head away, her eyes screwed tightly shut in fear.

“Do not!” Moughal ordered as he led their small group into the village.

As soon as Turghan’s men saw the Shavadai Chieftain, they dropped their stones and drew their swords with sneers twisting their faces.

“You have no say here, Shavadai.” Turghan spat as Moughal came into his line of sight.

“A stoning may be challenged." Abu said, the sound of his voice causing Nya to look up at him. “By another Chieftain.”

“There is no such law.” Turghan sneered at him.

“There is.” Moughal said as he removed his hat and handed it to Abu. He stepped up in front of Turghan, looking up at the taller man as he continued, “In the Song of Arkhan-tyr. The Spirits will strengthen the Hand of the Just.”

“I will not fight a cripple.” Turghan spat.

“You must.” Moughal insisted firmly.

“You insult my honor by implying that I would engage in such a slaughter.” Turghan replied with a sneer as Sam and Eva exchanged looks. “You will lose, and my daughter will still die. So, unless there is another Chieftain who will challenge my decision…”

Sam stepped around Abu, pulling off her helmet and holding it under her arm. “I challenge it.” She said, looking up at the man who bought her.

At her announcement, the village women exchanged hopeful glances while Jack didn’t look surprised at all.

“You?” Turghan sneered at her. “You plague me.”

“Then fight.” Sam told him, a taunt echoing slightly in her voice. “Here’s your chance to shut me up once and for all.”

Turghan’s eyes roamed over the small group before landing on Moughal. The elderly Chieftain smiled encouragingly at him. “I will abide by the wisdom of the Spirits.” Turghan announced finally after several seconds of almost tense silence. “Let them decide justly.”

Sam nodded in agreement.

Once it was seen that the two agreed to the challenge, SG-1, Abu and Moughal were led towards the middle of the encampment. They were in a position that they could be seen by the entire village and Nya, who was still bound.

Jack and Eva stood with Sam, slightly in front of the rest of their group. Turghan’s men stood around the visitors, guarding them.

“So, when your back’s up against the wall, and there’s no tomorrow, just take it one day at a time,” Jack said, his arms folded over his P-90 as Sam unstrapped her gun holsters and her guns. “And remember, the bigger they are… et cetera.” He waved a hand in Turghan’s general direction.

“You don’t think I can win.” Sam said with a scoff as she handed her guns to Eva.

“Sure, I do.” Jack replied, sounding almost affronted that she would think otherwise. “I assume you’ve had at least some basic hand-to-hand training.”

“Yeah.” Sam replied, nodding.

“Level 3, advanced.” Eva added, having been the one that taught the basic hand-to-hand training.

“You’ll do fine.” Jack told Sam with an impressed look on his face, patting her on the back.

She rolled her eyes at him, shaking her head in exasperation and approached Turghan, who was waiting with his back to her. He turned around to face her and gave her a look that was a combination between a sneer and a glare. Moughal stepped up towards Eva and Jack, who were watching Sam.

She raised her hands in front of her, taking a boxing stance in front of him.

“So, just out of curiosity, how do the Spirits determine who wins?” Jack asked Moughal.

Moughal looked at Jack for a moment before looking back to where Sam and Turghan were, replying softly, “It is a fight to the death.”

“Death?” Eva repeated in surprise.

Her and Jack’s heads whipped around to look at Sam while Moughal looked between Eva and Jack in surprise. He hadn't known that they had no idea what the challenge meant.

Glaring at Sam, Turghan unsheathed a large curved blade, glinting in the sunlight. Astonished, Sam glanced back at the team.

“Hey, no one said anything about…” Jack started, moving forward. At the movement, Turghan’s men suddenly whipped out a variety of knives, holding them against the team’s throats. “…knives.” Jack finished, his Adam’s apple bobbing as he felt the cool blade against his neck.

In reaction to her team being held at knifepoint, Sam pulled an 8” blade from a holster on her thigh, holding it up in her curled fist. For a moment, that felt like hours to the spectators, the combatant looked at each other before Turghan made the first move, swinging the blade at Sam’s head. With a quick move, Sam dodged the swing, somersaulting back to her feet. He swung the blade at her again, repeatedly, only for her stay just out of its deadly reach. Both of them were quick and agile, and for several tense seconds Sam could only duck and dodge the swipes of Turghan’s blade.

The team watched, still at knifepoint, barely blinking and each praying Sam would emerge as the victor, not wanting to lose her. As he watched, Jack surreptitiously fingered his rifle. Eva's eyes darted around at Turghan's men, making note where each one was and what weapons they were carrying.

Sam dodged another swipe of Turghan’s blade, this time taking the opportunity to slice him across the ribs. She pivoted on the balls of her feet, moving away from Turghan. He stumbled back, his hand on his ribs. Moving the hand away and looking at it, he saw his palm smeared with his blood. He growled angrily, glaring at Sam as Turghan’s people mutter in astonishment. Turghan charged back at Sam, attacking with an increased fury. He swung his blade at her, and she dodged backwards, avoiding the knife.

Seeing that he couldn’t land any blows targeting her upper body, Turghan crouched and aimed a swipe at her legs. Sam jumped up to avoid the hit, but he was already upright by then and swung his curled fist at her head, sending her to the ground. She landed on her back with a groan and her eyes widened as she saw Turghan above her, bringing the knife down at her. She rolled to the side, avoiding the blade and it landed in the tree branch that was under her. Still on her side, Sam kicked him in the thigh, causing him to grunt and double over. She swung her other leg around, kicking him on the side of his head before kicking him again in his face. He stumbled backwards, doubled over and Sam regained her feet, standing in a defensive stance.

Turghan raised his arm, the knife in his hand, and brought it down above her head. Sam crossed her own arms above her head with a grunt, blocking the man’s blow. With his arm caught between hers, she maneuvered him slightly so that he was open and kicked him in the ribs before forcefully bending him over, keeping a tight grip on his weapon hand. With a push on his shoulder joint, she disarmed him – the pressure on his joint sent a wave of pain down his arm and caused him to let go of the knife. she flipped him onto his back and held her knife to his throat, panting as she glared at him with blue eyes darkened with anger.

Nya ran up to Sam as quickly as she could with her arms still bound behind her.

“Carter, do not kill him.” The girl pleaded.

“I don’t want to.” Sam told her, panting slightly.

“You have won.” Nya said. “I am free to go with Abu.”

“I want to hear it from you.” Sam told Turghan.

Abu moved to stand by his father, watching with bated breath.

“She’s free to go.” Turghan said grudgingly.

“And the Shavadai?” Sam asked.

“By law, there can be no war between us.” He replied, glaring at her.

“And me?” She asked. He sneered at her but didn’t reply. She pressed the knife harder against his throat. “And me?”

“You have won. You are also free to go.” Turghan replied through clenched teeth, still glaring at her.

Panting, Sam pulled the knife away from his throat and stood up, sheathing the knife and turning to face Jack and Eva. They looked at the men holding the knives to their throats and gently pushed them away. The men made no arguments as they walked away, joining their people. Jack smiled at Sam as Eva handed Sam’s weapons to Jack and ran forward, throwing her arms around Sam in a tight hug.

Sam laughed and wrapped her arms around the tiny woman’s waist, returning the hug. Sam picked Eva up and spun her around, drawing peals of laughter from the younger woman. Hearing the almost musical laughter, Sam laughed as well as she let Eva go, putting an arm around the raven-haired woman’s shoulders as they walked back to their team. Daniel and Jack watched the two of them with small smiles and the corner of Teal’c’s mouth was twitched upwards slightly, indicating his own amusement at their antics.

~*~

A few hours later, SG-1 found themselves back at Moughal’s camp, their gear and weapons strapped to their bodies as they stood in front of Moughal, Abu, Nya and Abu’s mother. Both Sam and Eva sported beautiful smiles on their faces as they saw how happy Abu and Nya looked, even though the girl still had her veil covering her face.

“You will not stay for the wedding?” Moughal asked them, seeing them ready to leave.

“Ahh, a 6-day wedding.” Jack said removing his shades looking at Moughal with a regretful expression. “You know, we really should get back.”

Eva glanced up at Jack with a raised eyebrow before looking back at Moughal.

“It is a joyous time!” Abu said, wrapping his arm around Nya and holding her close.

“But we all wish you and Nya many years of happiness,” Daniel said sincerely as they all nodded in agreement, “and many sons too.” Eva and Sam looked at Daniel and elbowed him in the ribs on either side. “And daughters!” He hastily added, seeing the glares that were sent his way by the two fierce women.

Sam and Eva both smiled, looking completely innocent. The expression had Daniel and Jack biting back a shiver; both men were well aware of what Eva was capable of (Jack more so than Daniel, obviously) and they shuddered to think what the tiny spitfire could teach Sam.

Not noticing the exchange, Abu and Nya smiled at each other as Moughal smiled and nodded. With a nod towards the kind Chieftain, they turned and began heading out of the camp.

“All Shavadai, be free!” Moughal called loudly as SG-1 walked away.

At the cheering and clapping that followed the call, the team turned and looked back at the village. To their extreme astonishment, the cloth barrier that separated the women from the rest of the village had been taken down and the women were seen without their veils in public.

“They look so happy.” Eva said softly, referring to the women who were smiling and clapping.

And they were, as for the first time in longer than any of the Shavadai could remember, the women were able to stand in public without their veils and without fear of repercussion.

Nya and Abu’s mother removed their veils, standing proud beside Abu and the Chieftain.

“It is how you will be remembered, Carter.” Moughal told the beautiful blonde.

Sam grinned as her teammates looked at her with pride. With the smiles still on their faces, they turned and walked out of the village, Nya and Abu watching them leave with smiles of their own and their arms wrapped around each other.

They walked in silence for a while, Jack once again having a hold of Eva’s hand. The young woman had her head cocked to the side, listening to the birds and the local wildlife sing their songs and taking in the beautiful scenery absently wishing that she had brought her sketchbook with her.

“So, what were some of the hits you got for the Nanny/ Housekeeper position?” Sam asked, drawing Eva’s attention to her.

“Well, one candidate refused to do any housework. Another refused to work over night.” Eva started, listing some of the candidates her, Daniel and Jack had interviewed over the past few weeks.

“One candidate took one look at Eva and proclaimed that there was no way she was going to work for a woman who worked alongside men.” Jack added.

“She was an elderly woman who was set in her ways.” Eva pointed out.

"One lasted long enough for us to tell her that our job was dangerous before she ran out."  Daniel added. "She didn't give any of us a chance to tell her that she wouldn’t be in any more danger than the average person."

“Then there was one refused to have the background checks done,” Jack continued. “Not even the preliminary ones that we have to do before submitting the names for the complete checks by the Air Force.”

“And these had just been last week’s candidates.” Eva said with a groan, suddenly realizing the daunting task she had set for herself.

“I wish you the best of luck.” Sam said laughing. “So, you think this new anesthesia will be a miracle drug on Earth?” She asked, her laughter slowing into giggles.

“If it is, someone else will probably get the credit.” Eva replied as they approached the Stargate. “We can never say where it actually came from.”

“Not that anyone would believe it.” Daniel added. “Except for the nut jobs and the conspiracy theorists.”

“Damn. Guess I'm going to have to cancel that Oprah interview.” Jack said sarcastically

“Uncle Jack.” Eva said with a sigh, rolling her eyes.

“What is an Oprah?” Teal’c asked.

Links:

*Eva hairstyle - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/306174474649772558/

*Eva ring - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/474566879472058704/

Chapter Text

SG-1: The Broca Divide

Eva sat in the Briefing Room with the rest of SG-1, seated on one side of the briefing table; she was at the end closest to the head of the table, followed by Jack, Sam, Daniel and finally Teal’c on the other end. Across the table sat Colonel Makepeace and Lieutenant Johnson of SG-3 while the remaining two members of their team stood at parade rest with their caps under their arms behind them. Except for Teal’c and Daniel, who were wearing olive green BDU’s, they were all wearing their dress uniforms, Eva having her long raven blue-black hair tied back into a simple and elegant twisted bun at the back of her head* and her gold braided ring on her right thumb.

“When we completed interviews of all the refugees you brought back from Chu'lak, ten of them identified the final four symbols the Goa'uld’s used to escape through the Chu'lak Stargate. When we disregard the last one as point of origin that leaves three to work with.” Hammond said, pacing the width of the table. He cued the computer screen behind him to display the glyphs. “Captain Carter's computer model has thus far extrapolated only one set of symbols from the Abydos cartouche that contains these three glyphs.”

“Let me guess… that’s where we’re going.” Jack said, slightly sarcastically.

“Very good, Colonel.” Hammond said with a small smile on his jovial face, nodding.

“Thank you, sir. I pride myself on my deductive reasoning skills.” Jack replied.

Sam and Eva, who had been looking at the mission briefs in front of them, looked at him with raised eyebrows at his comment.

“Maybe you can use those deductive reasoning skills when you go shopping at the Farmer’s Market.” Eva remarked in her cultured Welsh lilt.

“Okay, so the tomatoes I got had to be used immediately. How was I supposed to know? The vendor said that they were good!” Jack exclaimed defensively, referring to an incident that had occurred the previous weekend at the Farmer’s Market.

Among the groceries, Jack had gotten a bag of tomatoes that had to be used immediately to keep from going bad – while indeed fresh, they had been picked by the farmer a few days before being sold at the market. As Eva hadn’t had the intention of cooking that day, she didn’t find out until two days later when she was taking advantage of being home to make some easy meals that could be frozen and re-heated. Thankfully, she was able to still make use of the tomatoes so they didn’t go to waste, creating a nice tomato paste that could be used in a variety of dishes.

“He was a vendor! It’s his job to sell his produce!” Eva exclaimed, looking up at him in irritation.

“She is right, you know.” Daniel told Jack helpfully.

Jack shot him a dirty look over Sam’s head. “Says the man who decided to stay home.” He snarked.

“I was helping Eva weed through the Nanny/ Housekeeper applicants.” Daniel replied defensively.

“How is that going by the way?” Sam asked, leaning around Jack to look at Eva. “Any good hits yet?”

“Hits, yes. Good ones, not so much. But Cameron called and said his cousin is looking for a job.” Eva replied. “He sent me the CV and it looks promising. His cousin, Adam, not only has a degree in childcare, but in business as well. He also has a Doctorate in ancient languages and history, and even some medical training. I left a message with him to get in touch to let me know if he’s still available.”

“Really?” Daniel asked, looking at her impressed.

“Yeah, Cam called just after you took Dahlia for a walk around the house.” She replied as the Archaeologist nodded.

“You might actually get help running the company as well as help taking care of Dahlia.” Sam said.

“Remind me again why we need a Nanny for Dahlia?” Jack asked, looking at her. “I mean, Caroline and Dave look after her while we’re on duty and at home, you have Daniel and me to help at home. And David is running the company.”

“Caroline and Dave are getting married in a few months. You both work the same crazy hours I do. And David can’t run the company by himself, he’s told me so himself. And I don’t blame him; he is used to having to do part of the work, not all of it.” Eva replied in an exasperated tone. She had been explaining the same thing since she brought up the idea to at least have help with Dahlia, not only to Jack, but the rest of their family as well.

Jack nodded in understanding.

“Can we get back to the topic at hand, please?” Hammond asked, looking at them with an expression that said it was not a request.

“Yes, sir.”

“Sorry, sir.”

“In one hour, you will go through the Gate to the planet represented by these symbols. It has been designated P3X-797.” Hammond said, resuming his pacing of the table width.

As the General spoke, Johnson glanced at Teal’c. He didn’t trust the alien, no matter what Colonel O’Neill and Eva had said.

“Couldn't we call this planet something that's a little easier to remember?” Daniel asked.

“Ah, it's based on a binary code the computer uses for extrapolation.” Sam explained, looking at the handsome Archeologist next to her.

“Which makes it much easier to remember.” Jack muttered sarcastically.

Sam shot him a sarcastic smile in response as Hammond resumed speaking once more.

“We sent a MALP probe through thirty minutes ago. Atmosphere is breathable, no detectable radiation and temperature approximately 40º Fahrenheit.” Hammond cut in before another bickering match could begin.

“May we see the video playback, sir?” Eva asked.

“There is no playback.” Hammond said quietly after a pause, looking at them.

“Why no playback?” Jack asked, surprised. It was standard procedure to have a video taken by the MALP so that the departing team(s) could have at least some idea of what they should expect.

“It appears to be very dark where the Gate resides on this planet.” Hammond replied.

“Well, the MALP probe has lights on it, doesn’t it?” Sam asked, more to Eva than anyone else.

“Yes, it does.” Eva replied with a frown, turning to Hammond with a frown on her beautiful face.

“We think they were broken during transport through the Gate.” Hammond said.

“What?!” Eva exclaimed in shock.

“This is crazy! We don’t know what could be waiting for us when we come through.” Daniel said, looking worried.

“Don't you worry, boys. That's why the SG-3 Marines are coming with.” Makepeace said in his deep voice. “You can count on us to watch your backsides.”

“Actually, it's more my front side I was worried about.” Daniel said completely serious, looking at Makepeace.

Makepeace raised his eyebrows at Daniel as Sam rolled her eyes, a small smile playing at her lips.

“I’m more worried about the probe’s lights breaking.” Eva said, looking slightly troubled. “I had run the diagnostics when servicing them just yesterday, everything was in working order.”

“If you have the chance, you can have a look when you get there.” Hammond told the youngest member of the Stargate Program. Eva nodded, and Hammond looked at them, “Dismissed.”

The officers stood and saluted before filing out of the Briefing Room. The two teams headed to the locker room to change into their mission gear, an olive-green set of BDU’s and tac-vests.

“We’ll meet you guys in the Gate Room.” Makepeace said as soon as he was ready, his team similarly geared up.

Jack nodded absently, focused on braiding Eva’s hair into a 5-strand French braid. The remaining members of SG-3 followed Makepeace out, all of them carrying a large bag on their backs.

“Okay, done.” Jack said, stepping back and putting the hair brush away. “You have the travel brush?” He asked Eva as she coiled her braid and tucked it into her helmet.

“Yup.” Eva chirped, jumping off the bench. Teal’c helped her secure her bag on her back, making sure she was balanced properly before stepping back. “It’s in the bag somewhere along with spare light bulbs for the MALP, flares and glowsticks. And my tool kit, of course.”

“Go, I’ll catch up with you.” Daniel said, emerging from the bathroom and going to his locker.

“All right, let’s move out.” Jack said walking out of the locker room.

Eva followed and quickly fell into step beside him while Sam walked behind them and Teal’c brought up the rear; all of them had their weapons in hand, the three officers with their P-90’s clipped to their tac-vests and Teal’c carrying his staff weapon. Her Nokia mobile phone rang, and she looked surprised, wondering who would be calling her personal line when she was at work.

Digging the phone out of her BDU pocket, she answered it with a crisp, “Lorne.”

“Dr. Lorne? This is Adam Pierson, Cam Mitchell’s cousin. I got your message regarding childcare for your daughter.” A European accented male voice said on the other end.

“Yes, of course, Dr. Pierson.” Eva said, removing her helmet so that she could properly hold the phone to her ear. “Are you still interested and available?”

“Yes, I am.” Adam replied. “That’s actually why I was calling.”

“That’s great.” Eva said with a smile. “I am actually on duty at the moment, and I have no idea when I am going to be available to conduct an interview. What times are you available off-hand?”

“I am a bit flexible with my timings at the moment. As I’m sure Cam told you, I’m currently working as a free-lance translator/ researcher, so I pretty much make my own schedule.” Adam replied honestly.

“That’s amazing. I can’t remember the last time my schedule was so flexible.” Eva joked, laughing.

Adam laughed as well. “Well, since I have a flexible schedule, maybe when you’re free we can talk. Set up a time to meet then?” He suggested. “I can’t guarantee that I’d be able to meet immediately, but maybe we can set up a tentative meeting.”

“That would be good.” Eva agreed, nodding to Jack as he gestured to her to hurry and end the call. She understood the urgency as she could faintly hear one of the technicians announcing as the first chevron encoded. “I have to go. I’ll call you when I’m off duty? There are also some other things I would like to discuss with you.”

“Yes, sure.” Adam replied, adding with humor in his voice, “Should I say, ‘have fun’? Or should I say, ‘be safe’?”

“Either. Both.” Eva replied with a laugh.

“Have fun and be safe.” Adam said, laughing. “Bye.”

“Bye.”

She hung up the phone and let out a sigh of relief. Sam had an amused smile on her face while Jack looked at her curiously. Teal’c had his eyebrow raised.

“Chevron 2, encoded!” One of the technicians on duty announced, the call echoing over the PA system.

 “What?” She asked looking at them, not understanding the looks being given to her. “That was Cam’s cousin, the one I just told you about. He’s interested in the position, but I can’t very well leave right now.”

“Okay.” Jack said, looking slightly disbelieving.

“Do you flirt with all your applicants?” Sam asked bluntly. The amused smile still spread across her face.

“Chevron 3, encoded.”

“I was not flirting with him.” Eva replied, looking shocked that the older woman would even suggest such a thing as she used her card to open the bulkhead doors to the Gate Room.

“Chevron 4, encoded!”

“You were so flirting.” Jack and Sam said in unison as they entered the busy room and joined SG-3 by the ramp.

“Indeed.” Teal’c said in agreement.

“Chevron 5, encoded!” The technician called as the four entered and made their way towards the Gate ramp, Daniel rushing in behind them.

“Who was flirting?” He asked, coming to a stop in front of Eva and Jack, zipping up his tac-vest.

“Eva. And you’re late; put these on.” Jack said, handing him a pair of night vision goggles.

“Doesn’t look like my prescription.” Daniel said, holding the googles up and looking at them. “Flirting with who?”

Chevron 6, encoded!”

“Cam’s cousin, Adam. And I was not flirting with him!” Eva exclaimed, putting her helmet back on her head and buckling it, tucking her braid inside.

“You totally were.” Sam said before turning to Daniel and explaining, “Thermal night vision goggles. And the applicant she was telling us about earlier.”

“Hey, here’s a question.” Jack said. “Why doesn’t the MALP have a set of these?”

Sam grinned as Eva laughed.

“Chevron 7, locked.” The technician called out and the Gate activated before the conversation could return to Eva and her conversation with her potential Nanny/ Housekeeper.

“SG-1 and SG-3 you have a go! Repeat, you have a go!” Hammond announced to them from the Control Room.

“Okay, we'll take point.” Makepeace said, pushing his way through Jack and Eva.

“Ah.” Jack put a hand on Makepeace’s shoulder, stopping him as he continued, “We'll go through first. You watch our lovely backsides, remember?”

“Have it your way, flyboy.” Makepeace said as Jack led his team up the ramp.

“Are you out of your mind?” Daniel asked quietly, moving forwards do that he was walking beside Jack.

“If Skaara or Sha're are on the other side, those jarheads'll open fire as soon as they see the light of their eyes… if you know what I mean. You want that?” Jack said, stopping and turning to the Archaeologist. Sam, Teal’c and Eva stopped as well, listening to Jack’s response. Daniel looked at Jack for a moment before gesturing towards the open Gate. Jack nodded and called out to Makepeace, “Give us ten count, then come on down!”

Jack turned and continued up the Gate, stopping at the event horizon and holding his hand out to Eva. She smiled at took his hand, the two stepping through at the same time. Directly behind them, Sam, Daniel and Teal’c stepped through as well.

Once they were through, Makepeace led his team up the ramp, stopping at the event horizon and taking off his rifle, holding it in his hand with the very end of it in the fluctuating whirlpool.

“One-one thousand. Two-one thousand…” He began counting, rolling his eyes.

~*~

Jack and Eva emerged from the Gate, followed by Sam, Daniel and Teal’c, and were met with complete darkness. They slowly and cautiously walked down the steps in front of the Gate and to the MALP that was a foot away from the DHD. Eva knelt next to the probe and saw large rocks covering the light fixtures. She removed them and noticed that shattered bulbs.

“Fan out.” Jack whispered, receiving nods. “Eva, stay next to me.”

Eva nodded as they all put on their night-vision goggles. Turning them on, everything was bathed in shades of green. The team slowly began walking away from the probe, their weapons ready to be used. Hearing the sound of branches being stepped on, Eva turned towards it and saw people running through the underbrush in different, hiding behind the trees and behind logs that were on the ground.

A large figure came at Eva with a roar, holding a stick up. She turned to face it, swinging her rifle so that it struck the figure on the side of the head and into unconsciousness. She glanced around, seeing that the rest of her team was also being attacked by large figures carrying sticks. A small group of figures came at Eva with their sticks raised, roaring just as SG-3 came through the still active wormhole.

“Fire!” Makepeace yelled. The marines opened fire above SG-1’s heads, aiming particularly towards the figure that had a large rock in his hands and was ready to use it to crush the flagship team. At the sudden noise, the attackers ran off. “I’m real glad it was you who took point!” Makepeace said as Jack stood up with a slight groan, removing his goggles.

“So are we Robert, so are we.” Eva said sarcastically to him before turning to Jack, “You okay, Uncle Jack?”

“Yeah, honey, I’m okay. You?”

“I’m good. Everyone else?”

“I think so.” Sam said.

“What were those things?” Daniel asked, slightly disoriented from the attack.

“I haven’t the slightest clue.” Eva chirped cheerfully. Jack knelt down next to the body of one of the dead attackers and gently brushed the hair away from its face. “He looks human.” Eva said thoughtfully, removing her goggles and looking over her god-father’s shoulder. “But with a handful of prehistoric qualities.” She gestured to the features as she continued, “The large brow ridge, the-”

“Eva, let’s get going before they show up again.” Jack said, cutting her off as he stood up. “Not that I’m not loving the direction towards the anthropology lecture you were heading to.”

“Sure, you were, Uncle Jack.” Eva sassed in a whisper before falling silent, both of them putting their goggles back on as the two teams walked through the dense forest – SG-3 taking point.

They walked for a few minutes in silence until a low roar echoed through the trees, causing them to stop. They turned towards the sound, seeing something that almost looked like a fire through a gap in the trees.

Jack moved forwards slightly, putting a hand on Makepeace’s shoulder, getting the other Colonel’s attention. Jack gestured him forward and he nodded in understanding.

“Johnson!” Makepeace called in a slightly loud whisper, gesturing to his team to follow him.

Once they were out of sight, Jack quietly led his team towards the fire. They removed their night vision goggles, Daniel putting his glasses back on, and stopped by an underbrush. They hid in the foliage as they spied on their attackers.

“Daniel, Eva, what are they?” Jack asked, glancing at them.

Eva and Daniel crouched down on either side of him as they looked out at the campsite.

“Well, they don't look completely Homo sapien. Ah, the larger brow ridge would imply Homo erectus.” Daniel started.

Around the fire, the beings were growling to each other, almost as if they were bickering.

“But they don’t have canine teeth.” Eva countered, not looking away from the campsite. “They could be Australopithecus.”

“But the brow ridge would be less prominent.” Daniel countered.

“You two don’t know, do you?” Jack asked, looking between the two.

“No.” They replied in unison, shaking their heads.

“Why does that one female look different?” Sam asked crouched between Eva and Teal’c. Daniel and Eva looked to where Sam was looking and saw a young-looking female clinging to a tree, looking at the rest with fear. “She looks more human.” Sam observed,

“Good point.” Eva said.

One of the males reached out to the young female, grabbing her as she struggled against the grip. The male was joined by two others as she continued to struggle.

“We have to stop them!” Sam hissed.

“That’s how prehistoric males had sex. Forcibly.” Eva said, causing the older woman to look at her. The males were beginning to tear at the females clothing. Eva absently reached out to grab Jack’s hand, squeezing it tightly as she continued her explanation, “The strongest male gets to mate, that’s survival of the fittest.”

“Well, I call it rape and I think we should stop it!” Sam hissed, starting to get up.

“Samantha, you’re not the only one who believes that!” Eva hissed, looking at the older blonde with a haunted look in her large electric blue eyes.

The look in the tiny Major’s eyes stopped Sam in her tracks as Jack gestured for her to get back down, hissing, “Carter!”

Confused at the haunted look in Eva’s eyes, Sam crouched just as rocks began flying at the primitives. They grunted in pain as the rocks hit them, standing up and running away.

“Okay, where are those rocks coming from?” Daniel asked, looking around.

“There!” Eva said, gesturing with her free hand toward a group of figures dressed head to toe in white.

“Makepeace!” Jack hissed to the marine Colonel who had come up behind them as they were spying on the primitives. “You and your men take a wide left flank. We'll take the right. Go.” Makepeace nodded and moved away on silent feet. Jack turned to his teammates. “Let’s go.” He whispered.

Quickly and quietly getting to their feet, SG-1 moved through the trees toward the people in white. They reached the group just as the SG-3 marines held their rifles up and aimed at the white-dressed locals.

“All right, hold your fire!” Jack ordered, running up to them.

“Lower your weapons!” Daniel yelled as he stopped beside Jack.

“They could be Goa’uld’s.” One of the marine’s pointed out.

“Just keep them covered.” Jack ordered stepping up to a figure in white, looking beneath the fabric at the neck. The person made no move to get away or fight against the inspection. “There’s no entry scar.” He declared, lowering the fabric and looking at the marines. “They’re not Goa’uld’s. Lower your weapons kids.” He walked back towards his team. “Any idea what they are?” Jack asked Daniel and Eva

Two of the white-robed figures exchanged looks and nodded at each other. In a smooth motion, the group knelt down in front of the team, the one in front lowering the cloth covering his face.

Daniel and Eva didn’t reply, looking instead at the kneeling group in front of them.

“My Lord, we are the Untouched. I am High Councilor Tuplo.” One of the robed figures, the leader, said, glancing up at them.

Sam and Teal’c exchanged looks as Eva raised her delicately arched eyebrow.

“We are pleased the Gods have deemed us worthy of a return visit.” The figure beside Councilor Tuplo, a female, said.

“Gods.” Jack repeated.

” Ah… only the Gods come through the Stargate. I think they're talking about us.” Daniel said quietly. “We should probably start getting used to this kind of treatment.”

“Oh, for Hera’s sake, we’re not Gods.” Eva said exasperatedly, stepping forward and holding her hand out towards the kneeling figures. “Please, get up.”

“C’mon.” Jack said, helping another figure to their feet.

“Please.” Daniel said as they helped the Councilor’s people to their feet.

“Perhaps they wish us to treat them as mortals. A test?” The female suggested quietly to Councilor Tuplo.

“Please.” Councilor Tuplo said, turning to the team. “Let us take you to the Land of Light.”

He began walking away and Jack shrugged, taking Eva’s hand and following the robed figures. Daniel and Sam exchanged looks and shrugged as well, following suit with Teal’c behind them. Makepeace sighed, rolling his eyes and followed, his team behind him. Tuplo and his people gathered the sobbing female that had been held by the primitives before leading the two SG teams back through the forest, each carrying a lantern to light the way.

As they walked through the forest and came to the edge, it was as if they were entering another room. The sun was shining brightly, and Eva could hear the distinct sounds of birds singing.

“He had said we were going to the Land of Light, yeah?” Eva asked Sam, who was walking next to her. Jack was on Eva’s other side, holding his god-daughter’s hand tightly in his, knowing she was still haunted by the scene they had witnessed earlier between the young female and the primitive males.

“Yeah.” Sam said slowly, nodding her head.

“Why do I get the feeling that the place we just left is known as the ‘Land of the Dark’ or something similar?” Eva asked, glancing back at the dark forest.

“You might be right, Sitara.” Daniel said, walking behind them.

They stopped at the edge of the cliff and looked out ahead. In front of them lay a magnificent city, the architecture styled similar to Minoan times on Earth.

“Wow.” Jack breathed, looking out at the city.

“Tell me about it.” Eva breathed, just as mesmerized.

The joint teams were led through the city and into a Minoan style temple. The young girl was placed on a dais between the statues of two bulls facing one another. She curled up in a fetal position on her side, sobbing quietly.

While Tuplo and his people proceeded further into the temple, the two SG teams stood by the entrance. They removed the bulk of their gear, the helmets and the packs, though they left their tac-vests and side-arms on.

“Love what they’ve done with the place.” Jack said, kneeling while Eva tended to the cut above his eye.

“I was going to do my living room like this, but… it didn't go with my other stuff.” Sam said.

“Looks Minoan.” Daniel commented. “Sitara, what do you think? Minoan?”

“Definitely.” The beautiful Major agreed, looking around after she put her medical supplies away. Jack reached up to touch his eye. “Uncle Jack, do not touch your eye.” She ordered over her shoulder, not turning away from the architecture she was looking at.

Jack pouted at his god-daughter’s back as Tuplo returned with his people, now dressed splendidly.

“Welcome. Please come. Sit.” Tuplo said to them.

He led his people to one side of the table that was in the middle of the room while Jack led his team, stopping on the other side. Makepeace and SG-3 stood guard in the doorway. The natives stood in front of the chairs, gesturing to the guests to sit, waiting until they sat before sitting down themselves.

“Is she alright?” Sam asked, gesturing towards the sobbing girl on the dais. She was sitting between Daniel and Eva.

“I do hope.” Tuplo said, looking at the girl before turning back to Sam. “She… is my daughter.”

“What is her name?” Eva asked, sitting beside Jack with Sam on her other side.

“She is called Melosha." Tuplo replied. "I can only hope we rescued her in time from the hands of the Touched. We must now wait to see if she has been cursed by them.”

“The creatures that took her - what are they, exactly?” Jack asked, sitting at one end of the table with Eva next to him.

“They are the Touched. They were unfortunate enough to be cursed by the Hilk'sha.” Tuplo replied, looking resigned.

“Hilk’sha.” Daniel repeated slowly. “There’s a word like that on Abydos.” He turned towards Tuplo, asking, “Is that ‘Gods of the Earth’?”

“Gods of the Underworld.” Teal’c corrected. “Evil Gods.”

“The Hilk'sha needed only to touch the unfortunate among us and they would become possessed. Pure evil, like wild animals.” Leedora explained.

“So these… ‘Touched’ people used to live here, with you?” Jack asked.

“They were us… until they changed.” Tuplo said. “They became too dangerous and we were forced to banish them to the Land of the Dark.”

“Looks like you were right about the name.” Sam muttered to Eva, who nodded.

“And where are these evil Gods now?” Jack asked, ignoring the by-play between the two women beside him.

“Oh, they do not show themselves. We know only of their presence because of their actions.” Leedora replied matter-of-factly.

“When was the last time the good Gods came around?” Jack continued his questioning.

“Well, if you are not them, then it has been at least…” Leedora glanced at Tuplo with a thoughtful frown before turning back to the Colonel. “…a generation.”

“A generation.” Jack repeated, nodding and pursing his lips. “Okay… um…” He glanced at the team before turning back to the Untouched. “Will you excuse us for a moment?” Jack, Eva and Sam moved to stand up and the Untouched started to as well. “Ah, no… please, no.” The Untouched stood, watching him and he muttered, “Never mind.” Sam gestured to Daniel and Teal’c to follow and they stood up as well, following Jack as he led them towards the stairs. “Sounds like the Goa’uld’s aren’t here and haven’t been for some time.” Jack said quietly, turning to face them.

“That is my assessment as well.” Teal’c said in his deep voice.

“Daniel? Eva? Carter?” Jack asked, looking at the three.

“I agree.” Daniel replied.

“Me too.” Eva nodded.

“Yeah.” Sam said.

“In that case, gear up. We'll move out in fifteen minutes.” Jack ordered.

Daniel, Sam and Eva glanced at each other momentarily in surprise before looking back at Jack.

“Wait a minute. Move out?” Daniel asked.

“Yeah.” Jack said, nodding. “Back to the Stargate. Back to Earth. Terra Firma. Home. You've heard of it?”

“W-uh, well we should stay awhile longer and study the society.” Daniel said. “Learn how they've evolved from Minoan culture.”

“Daniel’s right, Uncle Jack.” Eva said, making the man look at her with a raised eyebrow. “I mean, see those statues over there – those are bulls.” She gestured towards the bulls that Melosha was curled between. “The bull is all throughout Minoan culture on Earth, but we never really knew why.”

“You’re trying to avoid your meeting with your Board of Directors that’s scheduled for tomorrow, aren’t you?” Jack asked Eva knowingly.

“Big time.” Eva agreed, her shoulder slumping ever so slightly.

She was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company (Marshall Consolidated) that primarily dealt with the fashion, art and media industry; recently taking over the making and production of the SGC’s BDU’s and protective gear as well as taking care of any media-related issues since the Program was launched a few weeks earlier. Her company also had a large number of subsidiaries that the military, primarily the Air Force, contracted work out to, from renovations and construction to equipment research, design and production. The company had been in her family for generations. Her grandmother, Mikayla Marshall, nee Lorne, ran the company for years alongside her husband before stepping down in order to spend their remaining years with their family, handing the reigns to Eva. It was given to her instead of Caroline because of the latter's pending marriage to the heir of Sheppard Corporations, David ‘Dave’ Sheppard, causing potential conflict of interest between the two completely different companies.

“Look, both of you.” Jack said to his best-friend and his goddaughter. “I'm a big fan of all this stuff. But art appreciation, and avoiding your Board of Directors, is not what this mission is about. Get your gear together.”

Sam and Eva watched as he and Teal’c walked off to get their gear before turning and looking at Daniel. The handsome Archaeologist didn’t look happy at all. Sam and Eva weren’t either, though they were slightly more adept at keeping it hidden.

“What’s the Board meeting about?” Sam asked Eva as they moved to follow Jack’s orders.

“They’re mostly upset that they can’t know what it is I’m doing at Cheyenne and David being the one who is handling most of the day-to-day running of the company, even though he doesn’t have a fancy Business degree like the rest of them do. I mean, David was the one to help me get up to speed with the operations and the work that needed to be done, he was the one who essentially ran the company while I was on bed-rest when I was pregnant and when I was on Abydos the first time. But he doesn’t have the fancy degree, so it is difficult for him to get the Board to listen to him. The employees and everyone else listen to him despite not having the degree, which irritates the hell out of the Board.” Eva replied with a sigh. “And there is the fact that the base renovations are being done by one of the company subsidiaries.”

“But isn’t that a good thing?” Daniel asked, momentarily distracted from his indignation at not being able to study the fascinating culture. “It would mean the possibility of repeat business.”

“Technically, yes.” Eva replied as they joined Jack, Teal’c and SG-3 at the entrance and began making their way out of the temple. “But the Air Force isn’t paying what they usually would pay to any other contracting company.”

“Why not?” Sam asked confused.

She, Daniel and Eva were walking beside each other while Jack and Teal’c took point and SG-3 brought up the rear.

“Because I am a USAF officer, an agreement was made between my Board of Directors and the Air Force brass when I took over the company. Whenever needed, and whenever possible, the Air Force would contract out work that needs to be done to Marshall Consolidated. And rather than paying the full amount of the cost, they would pay 50% - 75%.” Eva explained as they walked through the Land of Light towards the Land of the Dark were the Stargate was. “It was mostly to avoid any conflict of interest, since there are some people who would see it as me being paid more than others in the military. Which I find to be completely absurd, but that’s life.”

“And with the cost of the renovations, the supplies and paying the workers their wages, as well as ensuring their health and safety agreements, there is a very little profit margin for the company.” Sam said in realization.

“Basically.” Eva said with a sardonic smile. She sighed and looked up at the sky as they walked, adjusted the pack on her back. “It shouldn’t matter, especially since the company is doing incredibly well anyway, but that’s just the way the Board members see it. Always in terms of profitability and gain.”

“They also do relief work and compassionate aid.” Jack pointed out, turning his head slightly to talk to the trio.

“Yeah, but only after I nag them, and threaten them to do it without their blessing.” Eva replied.

“Okay, that’s what I’m having trouble wrapping my head around.” An SG-3 marine, Judson, said from behind them.

“Around what?” Eva asked, turning around to look at him, walking backwards with Sam and Daniel keeping a hand on her arms to keep her from falling.

“You’re a mother, a CEO, and the Base’s Quartermaster. At the same time, you play Personal Assistant/ Administrative Aide to General Hammond.” Judson started, looking at her with amazement. “You take care of almost all the menial tasks around the base that no one likes to do, from laundry to paperwork, you make sure we’re all fed and caffeinated while making sure to keep track of allergies and other dietary restrictions. Among at least a million other things.”

In the front, Teal’c raised an eyebrow, the outward expression of his own amazement as he listened to what the Tau’ri were saying about the tiny slip of a woman who had befriended him without prejudice. With his own eyes, Teal’c had seen the woman’s hard-working nature, as well as her friendly and outgoing personality. It was what drew him to her, what made him want to protect her; the innocence with which she looked at everyone, despite the shadows of pain that were hidden deep in her large eyes, barely ever seen by those unaware of its existence.

And you’re designing a large wardrobe for the Base so that we wouldn’t have to worry about clothes if we end up staying at the mountain for longer than we would initially plan.” Sam added. “Plus handling the designing of the renovations to the mountain.”

“How do you manage it all?” Makepeace asked, looking down at the tiny Major in front of him through his goggles.

“I don’t know, to be honest. I never thought of it like that.” Eva admitted honestly.

“Sitara, only you could possibly not know how you manage to handle a million things in one day. And being a mother covers at least ¾ of those million things.” Daniel said, shaking his head.

Eva just shrugged and the rest of the trip to the Gate was spent in silence. Daniel dialed Earth and once the wormhole was established, Judson entered his iris code to signal the SGC of their incoming arrival. One after another, the two teams stepped through and emerged on Earth a few seconds later, walking down the ramp and coming to a stop at the bulkhead door as Hammond entered.

“Find anything?” He asked the two teams in greeting.

“Uh, no sir.” Jack replied.

“Yes sir.” Daniel argued, making the General turn and look at him. “Uh, actually sir, we found a whole hell of a lot, sir.”

Hammond turned to Jack, with a questioning eyebrow raised.

“Some beautiful décor, nice folks. Nothing of strategic importance, sir.” Jack said to the unasked question.

“All right, get cleaned up. Mission debrief in half an hour.” Hammond said.

“Yes, sir.” Jack said, nodding in understanding.

Hammond turned and walked out, followed by the two teams at a slightly slower pace. At the door, Eva turned and saw Daniel hadn’t moved, a frustrated look on his face.

“Come on, Daniel.” She said softly, walking up to him and taking his hand, gently tugging him towards the door and out of the room.

“Your god-father drives me crazy.” Daniel said to her after a few minutes, as they walked through the corridors to the Armory to drop off their gear.

“Believe me, you’re not the only one.” Eva said reassuringly.

After dropping their gear and weapons in the armory, going through their post-mission physicals and changing into fresh BDU’s, SG-1 and SG-3 met up again in the Briefing Room; Eva had her hair tied up into a ‘tuck and wrap’ bun at the back of her head* instead of leaving it in a braid. Just as they did during their briefing a few hours earlier, SG-3 and SG-1 sat on opposite sides of the table, waiting for Hammond to join them.

“I'm sorry sir, I know I'm a guest at this party, but I have to protest.” Daniel said, standing up from his chair as soon as Hammond entered the room from his office.

“Let me guess, Doctor. This is the science versus military discussion again?” Hammond asked, sitting down at the head of the table between Makepeace and Jack.

“Well…yes. This mission was a perfect example of my argument. We should have stayed on that planet longer.” Daniel said, tapping the table with his fingers as he spoke to emphasize his point.

“It was the perfect opportunity to study Minoan culture.” Eva agreed looking at Hammond, sitting between Sam and Jack.

“Not to mention primitive man.” Sam added.

“This really isn't necessary, Doctors, I've already -” Hammond started, leaning back in his chair and looking at the three scientists.

“Sir, would you let me finish, please?” Daniel cut in passionately, looking at the General. Hammond sighed and nodded, knowing that they weren’t going to get anywhere until Daniel finished making his argument. “Okay, um, the people on the dark side are pre-Stone Age, but the people on the light side are clearly from the Bronze Age, so what better opportunity to study the Broca Divide?”

“The what?” Jack asked, yawning. “Excuse me.” He added at the glares he received from Daniel and Eva.

“The Broca Divide.” Eva repeated. “Pierre Paul Broca was a 19th-Century Anthropologist. He founded…” Johnson, who was sitting at the table next to Makepeace, glared at Teal’c. Teal’c, sensing the looks, raised his eyebrow at the marine. “…modern craniometry, to study craniums and brains and to compare the divide in intelligence between early species of mankind.”

“Fascinating.” Jack said sarcastically, looking at her. He turned to Hammond asking, “Should I start the debriefing, sir?”

“Well, that would be a good idea, Colonel.” Hammond replied.

“Now just - just wait a minute.” Daniel broke in passionately before Jack could start the debriefing.

“Dr. Jackson you're wasting your breath, you've already won the argument.” Hammond told the archaeologist.

“But I have to insist that you… w— wha— wha— what? I've already won?” Daniel, who had begun to continue his argument trailed off, stammering when the General’s words sunk in. He looked at the older man in surprise.

“The President agrees with you.” Hammond told Daniel, nodding. He turned to the team as a whole and continued, “He's asked that we evaluate the scientific and cultural value of each mission from now on.”

“Oh, for crying out loud.” Jack groaned, rolling his eyes and running the bride of his nose.

“He has.” Daniel said faintly, completely astonished.

Hammond nodded.

“That’s great.” Sam said with a smile.

“For us.” Eva said with a laugh, looking at Daniel and Sam. “Uncle Jack, not so much.” She gestured to the Colonel sitting beside her, who had his eyes closed and was rubbing the bridge of his nose.

Johnson jumped up suddenly, leaping over the table and attacked Teal’c. “Wonder how that thing in your gut would like its neck ripped in half.” He snarled angrily, a glare on his face as he fisted the collar of Teal’c’s shirt in his hand.

“Please release me, Lieutenant Johnson.” Teal’c said calmly.

“Johnson! Let him go!” Makepeace ordered loudly, jumping up and looking at the marine.

“Not until the Goa'uld apologizes.” Johnson snarled, still glaring at Teal’c.

“Lieutenant Johnson take your seat now.” Hammond ordered, standing up.

“No!” Johnson screamed, swinging his free fist at Teal’c.

At the swing, Sam and Eva jumped up as well, watching in shock. Teal’c blocked the punch easily without even a flinch. The former First Prime stood up and subdued Johnson with ease, pressing him against the table on his front. Johnson panted and growled softly through clenched teeth.

“General, I would prefer not to hurt this man.” Teal’c told Hammond.

Hammond nodded as two Security officers ran in, pulling Johnson up from the table and holding him tightly. Hammond walked around the table and stopped in front of Johnson; the marine’s arms were cuffed behind his back, struggling against the tight hold the two Security officers had on him.

“What is your problem, marine?” Hammond asked incredulously. Johnson only groaned, foaming at the mouth as he slowly stooped struggling. The General turned to the security officers. “Take him to the Infirmary, tell them to keep him in restraints and check him out.” He ordered.

“Yes, sir.” They said in unison.

“Be careful.” Eva called to their retreating backs, worry etched clear across her beautiful features.

Hammond, SG-1 and the remainder of SG-3 watched in worried silence as the officers took Johnson away.

“Let’s return to the debrief.” Hammond said, going back to his seat.

Jack nodded and the rest of them retook their seats as well.

~*~

After they finished the debrief and Hammond dismissed them, the two SG teams went their separate ways, SG-3 to the Infirmary to see how Johnson was, while SG-1 went to write up their reports.

In her office, Eva called Adam after writing up her After-Action Report. She sat behind her small desk, her BDU jacket draped over the back leaving her in her olive-green trousers and black sleeveless muscle shirt. She began working on the paperwork regarding the coming week’s produce and supply shipments for the Base while waiting for the call to connect, the phone on speaker.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Dr. Pierson?” Eva said, picking up the phone and putting it to her ear. “It’s Dr. Lorne.”

“Yes, Dr. Lorne.” She heard some shuffling on the other end as well as voices. “Are you off duty?”

“Not quite.” Eva replied. “But if you have time, I can conduct a preliminary interview over the phone.”

“Sure, that would be great.” Adam replied happily.

There was the sound of a crash and a curse, along with someone yelling in what sounded like a Scottish accent.

“Is everything okay?” Eva asked, concerned. “Are you sure now is a good time?”

“Yes, everything is fine. Some friends of mine are visiting.” Adam replied. “Hold on, I’m going to another room.” Eva waited for a few seconds before Adam said, “Okay, I’m on the other side of the house. Hopefully their noise won’t interfere.”

“Okay.” Eva said with a laugh, pulling the file that had his CV in front of her and opening it. “Cam said that you have a background in business as well as childcare. You also have medical training.”

Yes, I do.” Adam confirmed.

“And you know that this is a Live-In position?”

“Yes.”

“There will be times when I am called to work in the middle of the night. There will be times where I am going to be gone for days, and the only communication is via third party, like an Airman. Sometimes there may even be no communication at all.”

“I understand.”

“Okay, that’s good.”

“You had said there was some other things you wanted to discuss. Or is this what it was?”

“As you know, I am also the CEO of Marshall Consolidated. I am looking for someone to help my secretary run the company. Neither of you would be in any sort of managerial position, more along the lines that you would work together to run the company while I’m on duty. I would still have the final say in any and all decisions, but the two of you would take care of the day-to-day operations.”

“Okay.” Adam said slowly, sounding slightly confused.

“I am trying to ask if you would agree to help him as well as take care of Dahlia.” Eva said. “If you say no, it would have no impact on you being hired for childcare.”

“Can I think about it?” Adam asked after a few minutes of silence. “I had applied for the childcare because my cousin said you were looking for someone and that you were a good person whom he trusted. I don’t know if I can do both.” There was a pause for a moment. “Does that mean I’m hired to take care of your daughter?”

“Aside from the background check that is being done and you having to meet Dahlia, yes, you are” Eva replied with a smile. “And please, take some time to think about the business position.”

“Thank you.” He said, sounding incredibly happy and slightly nervous. “I should warn you, that I have no idea how to cook.”

“No problem.” Eva said with a laugh. “I’ll either try to teach you or I’ll take care of the cooking.”

“Good luck with teaching me.” Adam said with a laugh. “I have a friend whose been trying for years. Not to mention my aunt’s own attempts.”

“I’m up for a challenge.” Eva said with a smile before becoming serious. “I want you to know that I live with my god-father and a friend of ours, Daniel, who recently moved back to America. Will that be a problem?”

“Well, I knew about you living with your god-father. Cam had told me a little about your past, mostly when ranting out of worry while you were pregnant. I don’t mind, although will I be having my own area, or will I be sharing with someone?”

“You will have your own area.” Eva said reassuringly. “We are in the process of moving to a larger house. It will have a fully furnished basement apartment that we can keep as your personal quarters, with all the respect given to your privacy. At the moment though, if you were to start before the move, then you would be sharing with Daniel. The second spare room is being used as storage for everything that’s already packed.”

“Great.” Adam said with a laugh. “I really wouldn’t mind sharing quarters.”

“Trust me, before long you’ll be wanting your own space.” Eva told him deadpanned as an Airman knocked on her door. She waved him in and said to Adam, “One moment, Dr. Pierson.” She turned to the Airman, who stopped in front of her desk in parade rest. “Yes, Airman?”

“Here are the reports from Dr.’s Carter and Jackson and Colonel O’Neill.” He said, gently putting a small stack of files on her desk. He glanced at the phone that was held against her chest to muffle the sound coming from their end. “Captain Carter and Dr. Jackson are running the diagnostics. The malfunctioned probe is with them.”

He reached out and picked up a pencil and the sticky-note pad that was on the edge of her desk, writing something down before turning the pad to her.

They’re in the Embarkation Room.’ He wrote. ‘The MALP that you brought back is there as well.

“Thank you, Airman.” Eva said, nodding her understanding to the verbal and written information. “You can go. Have you eaten?”

“I was just about to go to the Commissary, Ma’am.” He said with a smile and Eva nodded in understanding. The Airman saluted and left as Eva put the phone back to her ear.

“You have to get back to work?” Adam asked knowingly.

“Yes, I do.” Eva replied.

“Have fun. And thank you.” Adam said.

“It isn’t an entirely done deal, doctor.” Eva reminded him.

“I know but thank you for considering me.”

“Your welcome.” Eva replied. “I’ll get back to you, hopefully within the week.”

“Okay, bye.”

“Bye.”

Eva hung up the phone and stood up, walking out of her small office, leaving her jacket on the chair. She headed towards the Gate Room where Sam and Daniel were running the diagnostics on the Gate. As she passed the Airmen on duty, she spent a few minutes talking to them, ensuring that they had taken breaks and had eaten.

Reaching the Gate Room, she swiped her card and let herself in. Inside, she found Daniel holding a clipboard and Sam holding a scanner up to the Gate, working together to run the diagnostics on the giant ring.

“Hey, Sitara.” Daniel greeted, glancing at her briefly before looking up at Sam, who was standing on a ladder next to the Gate.

“Hey, Eva.” Sam greeted with a smile before turning back to her equipment.

“Hey.” Eva replied with a smile, going to the MALP that was parked beside the Gate ramp and crouching next to it. “How is it coming?”

“It’s coming.” Sam said. “Everything seems to be looking okay with the Gate.”

“That’s good.” Eva said, accepting the equipment kit from a scientist and beginning to look at the light fixtures on the probe.

“What do you think that was all about with Johnson?” Daniel asked curiously, wanting their opinion on the uncharacteristic behavior.

“Beats me.” Sam replied, looking back at her equipment. “Maybe he was drunk.”

“I don't know.” Daniel said thoughtfully. “Didn't quite seem like inebriation. What do you think, Sitara?”

“I don’t think it was inebriation.” Eva said with a slight frown, standing up from her crouch and looking up at them. Despite Daniel being on the ground while Sam was on the ladder, they were both taller than her. “Lieutenant Johnson isn’t the kind of marine to drink while on duty. Even before joining the Program, he never drank while on-duty. Now, it is more imperative than ever to ensure clear states of mind, what with not knowing what we’ll encounter when we go through. Or even when we arrive here for work every day. There’s also the fact that even when we’re off shift, we’re technically on-call 24/7.” She added.

“Good point.” Sam said looking at her. The sounds of fighting drew their attention and the three scientists glanced up to the Briefing Room. They saw two men fighting with each other. “What the…?” Sam said with wide eyes.

“What in Hera’s name...?” Eva muttered as the two men fell through the glass window with a crash.

The personnel in the Gate Room below could only watch in shock as the two men fell at least 20 feet, landing amid the shattered glass on the ground below.

“What the hell’s going on?” An Airman asked in alarm, running into the room.

Daniel and Eva ran to the two men while Sam ran to the phone mounted nearby to call for help.

“I don’t know!” A technician replied, looking completely shaken. “I didn’t see anything!”

Eva checked the vitals of both men while Daniel looked at her apprehensively.

“We need medics, section C stat! Two men down!” Sam said frantically before slamming the phone down and glancing back at Eva and Daniel.

Eva shook her head sadly when she felt no pulse or breath from one of the two marine’s, closing his lifeless eyes. She turned to the other and checked for life signs. “He still has a pulse!” Eva called in relief, feeling a faint but thread pulse.

Sam scratched her neck as the medical team ran in. Daniel and Eva moved back to give the team room to work, confirming Eva’s findings as they lifted the two men onto stretchers and carried them out. Sam followed them out, suddenly feeling incredibly hot.

Eva sighed and gathered her equipment, returning to the diagnostic she was running on the MALP while Daniel returned to his own work. As worried as she was about Johnson and the two marines, her priority was making sure that the MALPs were in proper working condition before being sent through the Gate again.

She and Daniel worked in silence, only breaking it when she needed him to hand her a piece of equipment.

“Okay, that should do it.” Eva said, breaking the silence they were working in and getting to her feet. She packed up the equipment she was using and looked at Daniel. “I’m going to go to the Infirmary to talk to Janet. I need her confirmation of the death before I contact the marine’s family.”

“You don’t need to do it, Sitara.” Daniel said softly, looking down at the compassionate woman in front of him. “Janet can do it, so can General Hammond. It isn’t your responsibility.”

“They already have enough to do.” Eva said shaking her head. “If I can ease their burdens even a little, then I will gladly do so.”

“And who eases yours?” Daniel asked back, frowning at her. “Who eases the burdens that you take from everyone else?”

As much as Daniel loved Eva, as much as he saw her as his best friend and the light that shone at the end of a dark tunnel, he couldn’t understand how she could carry all of their burdens on her delicate shoulders. Their burdens as well as the dozens of things that she did for them every single day alongside being a mother to Dahlia.

“Haven’t you realized Daniel?” Eva asked with a soft smile that lit up her face. “You help me carry my burdens and responsibilities. You, Uncle Jack, Sam, Teal’c, Caroline, our entire family. You are what helps me stay strong, so I may do what I can to help you be the same.”

Daniel shook his head at her words and smiled. Never in a million years would he have thought of that as her response. Not being able to say anything to her words, he simply closed the distance between them and kissed her forehead lovingly, expressing without words just how much she meant to him.

Eva smiled up at him and moved away, gathering the equipment kit and leaving the Gate Room. She returned the kit to the storage locker down the corridor from the Gate Room before making her way to the infirmary to speak with Janet Fraiser, the base’s Chief Medical Officer.

Entering the sterile Infirmary, she was shocked to see Sam on one of the beds, struggling against the restraints tying her down while a pair of orderlies held her firmly.

“Keep her from hurting herself until the sedatives take effect.” Janet told the orderlies and receiving nods of agreement.

“What happened?” Eva asked in alarm, looking at Jack who was standing a few feet away from Sam’s bed.

“Carter attacked me.” Jack replied, his arms crossed across his chest.

“Attacked you?” Eva repeated incredulously, shock marring her fair features.

“More like she tried to seduce him.” Janet explained, joining the pair.

Eva raised her eyebrow in surprise, looking between her godfather and the blonde woman being restrained on the bed. “Is this similar to what Lieutenant Johnson has?” She asked Janet.

“Oh, I'd say so.” Janet replied. “And the other members of the team. This is the strangest thing I've ever seen. C'mon, take a look.” She walked out of the Infirmary with Jack and Eva following behind her. The doctor led them to a nearby corridor filled with doors along one side of the wall, an Airman standing guard at each door. “As you know, we've converted DEFCON 1 living compartments from when this place was a missile silo into isolation chambers. You never know what you're going to bring back through the Stargate.” She stopped in front of one of the doors and opened the observation panel, revealing Johnson inside. “Notice the swelling of the brow ridge?” Eva and Jack nodded, Eva standing on her tiptoes so she could see through the grated panel. “Some are even developing new follicle growth.”

“Do you have any idea what’s causing it?” Eva asked, looking at Janet.

“Wish I knew.” Janet replied with a sigh. “I've got calls in to every specialist in the service.”

“But you have got one hand tied behind your back because of the need-to-know classification of the Stargate Project.” Eva said knowingly.

“Exactly.” Janet said, closing the observation panel and leading them to another door. “And whatever this is, it’s spreading. We got two more in an hour later.” Jack opened the observation panel and peered in with Eva. Inside, Makepeace was punching and kicking the wall. Blood stained his curled fists and the stone were his hits had landed. “I've never seen a behavioral disorder like this. All the victims are acting like animals.” Janet said as Makepeace moved away from the wall and turned over the bed frame, roaring.

“And you think Samantha has the same thing?” Eva asked, looking away from Makepeace and turning to Janet.

“Mm hmm, behavior fits.” Janet replied, nodding. Jack closed the observation panel and the three of them walked back down the corridor. “All the victims are behaving like primitives. Most female, low-level primates tend to choose their sexual partners according to who would give them the strongest offspring. The leaders of a pack or tribe are usually the prime choice.”

“You should be flattered, Uncle Jack.” Eva said, looking up at the much taller man with a cheeky grin on her face.

“Oh yeah…I'm honored.” Jack muttered sarcastically, scratching the back of his neck.

Eva giggled at his expression before turning to Janet, looking at the pretty brunette doctor. “What about the marines that were brought to you from the Gate Room a little while ago?” Eva asked, her happy expression fading into one of sorrow. “I know one did not survive the fall, but the other one?”

“He didn’t make it either.” Janet replied softly, her heart aching at the fallen expression on the younger woman’s face.

Jack wrapped his arm around Eva and held her close, rubbing her back sympathetically.

“I’ll speak with General Hammond about what to tell their families.” Eva said with a sad sigh. “Can you give me the full report of their cause of death? I’d like to avoid having to lie as much as possible. Especially considering I’m spectacularly terrible at it.”

“Yeah, definitely. I’ll send it to your office as soon as I finish my reports.” Janet replied with a nod. She looked at the younger woman with a gentle expression. “You don’t need to take this on your shoulders, Eva.”

“Janet, you carry all of our lives in your hands, let me help you carry this.” Eva said, determination swimming in her large electric blue eyes.

Janet sighed and nodded her head before the three parted ways, the doctor returning to the infirmary while Jack and Eva headed in the opposite direction.

“I’m going to give Caroline a call, see how Dahlia’s doing.” Eva said after a few moments of walking in silence, his arm around her.

“Eva, Dahlia’s fine.” Jack said with a sigh, keeping a firm grip around her shoulders. “You know you can’t keep calling to see how she is. Caroline is completely capable of taking care of and protecting her.”

“I know. I just…” Eva said, trailing off with a wistful sigh.

“You miss your daughter.” Jack finished sympathetically. “I know you do, and it’s completely normal to feel that way. But you also have to trust that our family can be there for Dahlia when you are at work.”

“Did you feel this way when Charlie was born? Miss him every moment he wasn’t in your sight?” Eva asked curiously, letting him guide her away from the corridor that led to her office. “Feel this restless need to always know how he is?”

“Not exactly.” Jack replied truthfully, his mind wandering back to when Charlie was born and the months that followed. “I did miss him when I was away, but I knew your Aunt was with him always.”

“Just as Dahlia has our entire family with her, always.” Eva said softly, leaning into Jack’s embrace as they walked through the endless maze of corridors.

“Exactly.” Jack said softly, kissing the top of Eva’s raven-blue head.

Reaching a junction in the corridors, Eva pulled out of Jack’s arms. “I’m going to go to the Commissary to get coffee for the Gate technicians.” Eva explained. “It’s been quite a few hours since they had their caffeine fix.”

Jack chuckled and nodded. “Get me a cup too?” He asked, looking hopefully at his Welsh-raised goddaughter.

“Sure.” Eva said with a laugh before turning to a pair of Airmen that were on duty. “Have you had food and drink yet?”

“Not yet, ma’am.” One of the Airmen replied honestly. “We’re scheduled for shift change in about half-an-hour.”

Jack kissed Eva’s head and nodded to the Airmen before heading down one corridor, going towards the Control Room.

“Okay.” Eva said with a nod. “Make sure you eat once you are off duty.”

Receiving nods of agreement, she turned and headed down the corridor in the opposite direction from Jack. Eva hummed softly to herself as she made her way to the Commissary, acknowledging the Airmen on duty as she passed them as well as the other officers she came across.

She entered the Commissary a few minutes later, going towards the kitchen area and greeting the staff. They acknowledged her briefly before focusing on their duties and leaving the young Major to do as she pleased so long as she didn’t get in their way, as had become their standing agreement.

Unfazed by the lukewarm greeting, she went to the row of coffee machines and began working her magic, brewing the different types of coffee the Gate technicians liked and pouring them out. She didn’t put in any additional sugar, milk or cream since each person would add their own themselves if they wanted to. Setting the cups on the tray, she called out her thanks to the kitchen staff, getting acknowledging responses in return, and left the Commissary.

Eva made her way through the corridors to the Control Room carrying the tray carefully so as not to spill any of the steaming beverage. All the while, she eyed the coffee longingly, remembering how she had been addicted to the drink before she had gotten pregnant. During her pregnancy, she had been forbidden to drink any caffeine, and after she gave birth and was given the all-clear by the doctor to have the occasional cup while she breastfed Dahlia, she was dismayed to learn that she could barely stand the taste of it.

She shook herself from her petulant thoughts and entered the Control Room. “I brought coffee.” Eva announced, getting calls of relief from the handful of technicians on duty.

Jack watched her hand out the cups, absently scratching his shoulder. He smiled at her in thanks when she handed him her cup, taking a grateful sip of the liquid gold beverage.

“Sitara! Jack!” Daniel called, entering the Control Room and catching sight of them. “There you two are. Thanks, Sitara.” He added, accepting the mug of coffee from Eva as he continued speaking. “Got on the internet to do a little research on Australopithecus and,” He caught sight of the scratches on Jack’s shoulder. “Wow…What happened to you?”

“He got into a wrestling match with Samantha.” Eva replied, putting the now empty tray on the table and looking up at her friend.

“Why?” Daniel asked slowly, looking between Eva and Jack.

“I guess she's got whatever Johnson got.” Jack replied with a frown, absently scratching his shoulder. “I had to drag her off to the infirmary.”

“What, she start a fight with you like Johnson did with Teal'c?” Daniel asked concernedly.

“No, she uh…” Jack started, trailing off uncomfortably.

“She tried to seduce him.” Eva said, fighting back a grin at the uncomfortable look on Jack’s face.

“Oh.” Daniel said looking at Eva dumbfounded before looking at Jack. “You… poor man.”

“No, it wasn't like that.” Jack said, noticing Daniel’s tone of voice. “She was like a wild animal, she was nuts.”

“Well, is she all right?” Daniel asked in concern.

“She’s in the infirmary. Janet had her sedated and in restraints when we were there.” Eva replied, a look of concern on her face as well for her friend’s well-being. “She might still be there, or she might have been moved to one of the Isolation Rooms.”

“I should go see her.” Daniel said, giving his research files to Eva.

“Why?” Jack asked suspiciously.

“What do you mean ‘why’?” Daniel asked, confused. “Because I care about her.”

He turned to walk away when Jack suddenly grabbed him, a dark expression on his face.

“Uncle Jack!” Eva exclaimed in alarm, wondering what had gotten into the older man.

“You care about her?” Jack repeated in a quiet growl, not hearing Eva’s alarmed voice. “What does that mean?”

“Uncle Jack! Let go of him!” Eva said firmly, dropping the files she was holding to the ground.

The technicians in the room looked at the three SG-1 members, each wondering what had gotten into the two men and why Eva looked alarmed.

“It means I care about her, she's my friend.” Daniel said. “Now let go!” He tried to pull out of Jack’s hold but found the grip to be too tight.

“She's not yours to care about.” Jack growled.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Daniel asked, confused at Jack’s sudden change in behavior.

“I'm talking about Samantha. You just stay away from her, okay?” Jack said firmly.

Eva’s eyes widened as realization dawned on her fair features. Jack was affected by whatever it was that had affected Johnson, Makepeace, Sam and the others. “Uncle Jack, maybe you should come with me to the Infirmary.” Eva suggested calmly, though her heart was racing rapidly as she tried to diffuse the tension between the two best friends. “Daniel will stay away from Samantha, right Daniel?” She looked at Daniel, silently pleading with him to go along with what she was saying.

“Yeah, okay. No problem.” Daniel agreed. “Just let go of me and…” Jack tightened his grip on Daniel’s arm. “Let go of my arm!”

Jack pulled his fist back and punched Daniel in the face, sending the younger man flying back into a shelf. It crashed to the floor and Daniel looked up, dazed from the sudden blow. Jack moved towards him with his fists raised and a dark expression settling over his features.

“Get security!” Eva ordered Harriman, grabbing the coffee tray she had been using and moving towards Jack.

Harriman ran to the door. “Security! Get in here!” He shouted.

“I am so sorry about this Uncle Jack.” Eva said with apologetically as she brought the tray down hard over the back of the older man’s head, knocking him out cold. A security officer and Harriman picked Jack up by the arms and hauled him out of the Control Room, getting no resistance from the unconscious man. Eva turned to Daniel, helping him back to his feet. “Are you okay, Daniel?” She asked, looking up at the bespectacled man and wiping the trickle of blood from his face.

“Yeah, I’m okay.” Daniel replied, gazing after Jack.

“Come on, let’s get to the infirmary.” Eva said softly, picking up the now dented silver tray. “Before you start complaining, Uncle Jack went bonkers after Samantha tried to seduce him. If it’s some sort of virus, it could be transmitted through close contact or exchange.”

“Like blood.” Daniel concluded, touching the corner of his mouth though it was no longer bloody.

“Yeah.” Eva said, nodding. “I’m going to get checked as well. Uncle Jack kissed me a few times on my head, I'd rather be safe than sorry. Especially because of Dahlia. I don’t want to take the chance of her getting infected when I nurse her.”

Daniel nodded in understanding, knowing that it was best to get checked out for Dahlia’s sake if nothing else. Jack was already affected by whatever it was, the last thing they wanted was for the baby’s mother and uncle to get infected as well when they could have taken steps to try and prevent it.

They went to the Infirmary and were joined by Teal’c, who had heard what happened and decided to take the same precautionary measures as Eva and Daniel, for much the same reason – Dahlia. Just because Teal’c wasn’t allowed to go off base didn’t mean that he didn’t see Dahlia on occasion whenever Eva brought her to the mountain. There was also the fact that his symbiote or his own Jaffa physiology may be of some help.

Janet, upon hearing Daniel’s encounter with Jack’s fist, wasted no time in agreeing to check the pair and Teal’c out, asking an orderly to draw blood samples.

“Dr. Fraiser, what is going on here?” Hammond asked in a no-nonsense tone. He had come straight to the Infirmary after seeing an unconscious Jack hauled down the corridor past his office.

“We've managed to isolate an organism in the victims' bloodstreams.” Janet said.

Eva, Daniel and Teal’c sat on the infirmary beds, Teal’c on one while Eva and Daniel on another, as an orderly drew blood samples from their arms.

“Organism?” Hammond repeated with a frown. “Like a parasite or something?”

“More like a-a parasitical virus. And from what I can tell it seems to feed on aleenes and colenes.” Janet replied

“The body’s natural chemical transmitters?” Eva asked with a frown, swinging her legs back and forth over the edge of the bed.

“Yeah.” Janet replied, nodding. “And that includes the neurotransmitters. As they're depleted, all but the most primitive parts of the brain seem to just… shut down.”

“That why they act like animals?” Hammond asked.

"Actually, the organism seems to release a hormone that stimulates the primitive regions of the brain that are normally dormant.” Janet said. “I-I have never seen anything like this on Earth.”

“Exactly. ‘On Earth’.” Daniel said in realization, hopping off the bed.

“That would explain the Touched.” Eva said, also coming to the same conclusion as Daniel.

“Beg your pardon?” Hammond said, looking at the two in confusion.

“That's what the primitives were called on P3X-797.” Teal’c explained, catching on to what Eva and Daniel were talking about. “The Touched.”

“But I think, given recent events,” Daniel said with a sigh, glancing at the bed Sam was restrained to. “I think it’s safe to say they aren't born primitive; they must have this very contagious disease. And we came in contact with them, isn't that special?” He finished off dryly.

“So, the question is: Why haven't you, Eva and Mr. Teal'c come down with the symptoms?” Janet asked.

“Um, Mr. Teal'c's—Teal’c’s symbiote probably protects him.” Daniel suggested.

“That would be likely.” Teal’c agreed, giving a minute nod.

“I’m on a pharmacy of medications right now, including post-natal medications.” Eva pointed out. “Pretty much anything that could have possibly helped me carry Dahlia to term, I was on while I was pregnant, and now I’m on the follow-up post-natal versions of those medications. Plus, all the medications I was on before I got pregnant.” She shrugged. “Maybe one of them give me some sort of immunity.”

“And you, Dr. Jackson?” Janet asked, looking at Daniel.

“Well, that beats me. You're the doctor, Doctor.” Daniel said with a shrug and a small smile on his handsome features. “Uh, maybe I have a natural immunity. Or, like Sitara, my medications give me an immunity.”

“Perhaps you both will develop symptoms later.” Teal’c said.

“Thank you for the moral support, Teal’c.” Daniel said dryly, looking at the Jaffa. “That makes me feel much better.”

"He might have a point." Eva said thoughtfully. "We may not have an immunity, but our medications may just protect us a little longer than the others."

“I am checking each of your blood for the presence of the organism, and I would bet that you both have it.” Janet said firmly, looking at the three SG-1 members before looking at Hammond. “This appears to be highly contagious.”

“Are you saying we could have brought a new plague to this planet?” Hammond asked incredulously.

“Yes sir, that's exactly what I'm saying.” Janet said quietly.

“Oh, my Gods.” Eva said quietly, her eyes wide at the confirmation of the one thing none of them wanted to think about.

“Well that's it. I'm ordering this mountain sealed off. No one comes in or goes out until we get a handle on this thing.” Hammond said firmly.

He turned on his heel and walked out of the infirmary. Eva wrapped her arms around herself, worry clear on her face. Daniel moved towards the bed and wrapped his arms around her, holding her close.

"Dahlia is safe, Sitara." Daniel said softly, rubbing her back soothingly. He knew what was causing Eva's fear and worry. "None of us have seen her since we got back, and this virus began spreading. She's safe and healthy with Caroline."

A loud, harsh scream pierced the air, drawing Eva out of her fear- and worry-filled thoughts. She, Daniel, Janet and Teal’c ran out of the infirmary and followed the sound of the scream.

“Containment team three to sublevel 28.” A voice called over the speakers.

They followed the scream to one of the Isolation Rooms, ‘IS-19’. Teal’c glanced back at Daniel, Eva and Janet before sliding the observation panel open. Inside, Jack screamed again, the same harsh, loud scream as before, and slammed against the door.

“Uncle Jack.” Eva whimpered, clutching Daniel’s arm as tears filled her eyes.

Jack screamed again and kept slamming himself against the door.

“He is going to damage himself.” Teal’c said.

While the Jaffa’s tone seemed matter of fact, his eyes showed the sympathy and compassion he felt for the man and young woman who had shown him that there was hope. The pair who had given him hope that they could defeat the Goa’uld that had enslaved his people.

“I've been pumping him with sedatives to control him, but they wear off fast.” Janet said, turning to an orderly who handed her a syringe. “Help me give him some more. Let's go, go!”

An Airman opened the door and braced himself to catch Jack as he tried to leave the Isolation Room. Teal’c and Daniel helped the Airman hold a struggling and screaming Jack back while Janet injected him with the sedative. Jack slowly collapsed against the bunk as the sedative took hold, his hand reaching out to Eva just before he went completely limp. Eva bit back a sob as she traced his altered features with a gentle finger.

“Don’t worry Uncle Jack, we’ll find a way to heal you. All of you.” She said, her voice filled with promise and determination.

“We don’t even know what this is, Eva.” The Airman said softly, putting a gentle hand on Eva’s shoulder.

Eva was one of the only people on the base that was called by her first name rather than by her rank or salutation, by her own request. Normally, when a person achieved the status of ‘youngest USAF officer in decades’, they would be proud of their achievement, especially if said achiever was a woman. However, Eva was the opposite. Being the daughter of a former CIA operative-turned-current CIA Director and a US Senator as well as the goddaughter of an Air Force Colonel tended to set her apart from her peers. As such, she found her rank and salutation to be one more thing that set her apart from the rest, regardless of how much she deserved it and how hard she had worked for it.

“I know.” Eva said quietly. “But I have hope. I won’t give that up, not for anything.”

“Then let’s get started.” Janet said determinedly. “You, Daniel and Teal’c seemed to be the ones that have gone the longest without showing any symptoms, so maybe there is something in your blood work that could give us an answer.”

“I’ll call Caroline.” Daniel said. “Let her know that we’re going to be here for a while, and we don’t know when we’ll be home.”

Eva nodded, not looking away from Jack’s almost peaceful expression. Seeing that she was had no intention of moving for the moment, the Airman, Daniel, Teal’c and Janet walked out of the Isolation Room and locked the door behind them.

“Keep an eye on them.” Janet ordered the Airman as he retook his guard position outside the door. “As soon as Colonel O’Neill begins showing signs of waking, get Eva out of the room. Even if you have to drag her.”

“Yes, ma’am.” The Airman replied, looking almost afraid of the idea of having to drag Eva out of the room.

Inside the Isolation Room, Eva began humming under her breath, still running her fingers gently over Jack’s features. Slowly, the humming turned into a song, her musical voice gentle and lilting.

“May it be an evening star

Shines down upon you

May it be as darkness falls

Your heart will be true

You walk a lonely road

Oh, how far you are from home...”

Unknown to the beautiful young Major, all those that had been infected by the contagion slowly stopped their animalistic behaviors and listened to the musical voice that echoed from IS-19.

“Mornie utulie

Believe and you will find your way

Mornie alantie

A promise lives within you now”

In his office, General Hammond answered a call from the President. With a heavy heart, he informed the President of their situation and what should be done to protect the people of their beloved planet.

As he gently put the red phone back in its cradle, he sighed heavily and closed his eyes, letting the faint strains of Eva’s song wash over him and give him hope that maybe they would survive the newest mess they were in.

“May it be the shadows call

Will fly away

May it be your journey on

To light the day

When the night is overcome

You may rise to find the sun”

Janet worked quickly and carefully, running every test she could think of on the blood samples she had taken from Eva, Daniel and Teal’c. As she heard the strains of Eva’s song, she felt hope bloom inside her that they could find a way to help the people that were affected, on Earth and on P3X-797.

“Mornie utulie

Believe and you will find your way

Mornie alantie

A promise lives within you now…”

The Airmen on guard duty in front of the Isolation Rooms could only watch in surprise as the affected personnel seemed to relax from their agitated states. They looked towards IS-19 where the song was coming from, each of them knowing that Eva was the one singing and like always, was completely unaware of the affect she was having on everyone.

Major Evangeline Lorne was giving hope to everyone on the base with a simple song, a song that she was singing for her godfather, the same way he had often sang to her when she was in pain or afraid.

“A promise lives within you now…”

Janet opened the observation panel of IS-19 and looked inside, seeing Eva still sitting beside Jack. Though her song had ended, she continued to hum as Jack subconsciously leaned into her gentle touch.

“Eva.” Janet called through the grating. Eva turned and looked up at the older woman. “I have the blood work results.”

Eva nodded and kissed Jack’s cheek lightly before getting to her feet. The Airman opened the door for her, and she quickly walked out, letting the door close behind her.

“What did you find?” Eva asked as she and Janet made their way to the infirmary.

“You, Daniel and Teal’c seem to have no sign of the organism in your systems.” Janet replied.

“That’s great.” Eva said with a sigh of relief. “Now we just need to isolate why we’re immune to it, then you can create an antidote.”

“Exactly.” Janet said as they walked into the infirmary and headed towards Daniel and Teal’c.

“Hey, Sitara. How are you holding up?” Daniel asked softly, opening his arms and drawing the younger woman into a warm embrace.

“As well as can be expected.” Eva replied, savoring he warmth and strength of the arms that held her. “Did you speak with Caroline?”

“Yeah, she just wants us to call her before we leave the base, whenever that happens, so she can get Dahlia ready to go home.” Daniel replied.

Eva nodded and sighed, resting her head against the scientist’s broad chest. They watched as Sam moaned restlessly and tugged against her restraints. An orderly wheeled the blonde’s bed out of the infirmary, taking her to an Isolation Room so that the infirmary could be used for those that were still uninfected. Hammond walked in, pausing for a moment and gazing after the orderly wheeling the bed out. The elderly General had sorrow and helplessness warring on his normally jovial face, so completely out of his depth.

“Good news, General.” Janet called to the older man when she saw him.

“Could use some of that around now.” Hammond commented as he schooled his features into a mask of professionalism. He joined the small group of four. “What is it?”

“For one thing, Eva’s singing seems to have a calming effect on those who are infected.”

“Which I find to be a completely absurd notion, by the way.” Eva said.

“Secondly, her, Daniel and Teal’c don't appear to have the organism in their system.” Janet continued, ignoring Eva’s comment like the three men did. “Now, if we can just isolate why they've been able to resist it.”

“Perhaps we should ask the Untouched how they avoid contracting the disease.” Teal’c suggested.

“It’s possible that they know something that we don’t.” Eva added, turning to look at Hammond and Janet while still ensconced in Daniel’s arms.

“I could use a blood sample from one of the uninfected.” Janet said, hope blooming on her face. “Maybe they have something in their systems to protect them, something we can synthesize to create an antidote.”

Hammond rubbed the bridge of his nose, torn between sending more people to the very planet that the disease had come from and the possibility of that very place providing them with a key component that could help them.

“All right.” Hammond said finally, turning to the three members of SG-1. “Any of you know how to draw blood?”

Daniel and Teal’c looked at Hammond blankly, neither having the first clue about drawing blood.

“I do.” Eva said, raising her hand.

“As much as I would like you to stay here so you can sing Eva, you three go through in half an hour. Gear up.”

Hammond turned and walked away, heading back out of the infirmary.

"W—w—w—wait! Wait!” Daniel stammered, causing Hammond to turn and look back at them. “Just the…three of us?”

“You're immune!” Hammond said. “I don't know anyone else who is!”

Daniel watched him go with a worried expression on his face.

“Come on. Let’s gear up.” Eva said, pulling away from Daniel’s arms and making her way out of the infirmary.

Daniel and Teal’c followed, the Archaeologist still looking worried at the prospect of going onto the planet with only Teal’c and Eva. Quickly gearing up (Eva leaving her hair in the bun) and getting the required equipment from Janet, they made their way to the Gate Room. Entering through the massive bulkhead doors, Eva saw that the Gate was already active, just waiting for the three travelers to step through.

Walking up to the ramp, Daniel sneezed as his allergies flared up.

“Bless you.” Eva said automatically.

“Thank you.” Daniel said, his tone still apprehensive at the prospect of only the three of them going on the mission.

“Do not worry, Daniel Jackson.” Teal’c said calmly, leading the way up the ramp and to the Stargate. “The Touched are frightened by your loud, Earth weapons. We can easily subdue them.”

“That’s easy for you to say.” Daniel muttered. “You have combat experience, I don’t.”

Teal’c stepped through the Gate followed by Daniel and Eva. Stepping down from the raised platform the Gate rested on and putting on their thermal night vison goggles, the three of them began walking down the path, each of them keeping firm grips on their MP-5s.

“I can always teach you how to fight.” Eva suggested as they walked, looking up at the older man with a decidedly sweet expression on her face.

“And get my ass kicked repeatedly, I don’t think so.” Daniel retorted.

He vividly remembered seeing Eva ‘teach’ several officers who had thought she would make an easy target because of her tiny size. She had quickly and efficiently showed them that she had rightly earned her rank of Major and position on SG-1, despite her young age, by going against all of them at the same time and subduing them within a few minutes.

“Your choice.” Eva said with a shrug. “But you do know that sooner or later, the combat training will become mandatory.”

“I’ll keep hoping for later.” Daniel muttered as something caught his eye. He put his arms out and stopped Teal’c and Eva from going any further. “Teal’c, Sitara.” Daniel called, switching on the flashlight that hung at his hip. He cautiously moved towards the body that had caught his attention, laying on the side of the path.

“It's Melosha.” Eva said, crouching beside the unconscious woman and checking her vitals. “She's alive.

“It appears she is afflicted.” Teal’c said.

“So they just dump her out here?” Daniel asked, taking out his glasses and putting them on while Eva checked Melosha over.

“We dump them in a small room.” Teal’c reminded Daniel.

“To protect them.” Daniel said, watching as Eva gently ran her hands over Melosha’s body, checking for any injuries.

“To protect everyone else.” Teal’c corrected. “There is little difference.”

“Teal’c has a point Daniel.” Eva said with a sigh, hating the idea just as much as Daniel did.

“I know.” Daniel said. “They’re like lepers. The Dark Side’s a leper colony.”

“That’s an apt description.” Eva muttered.

“What is a leper?” Teal’c asked curiously.

“Oh, my God, never mind. We have to help her.” Daniel said, pulling a blanket out of his pack and covering Melosha with it. He looked at Teal’c who made no indication of assisting. “Are you planning on helping me?”

“It is a long journey. We should leave her.” Teal’c said, scanning their surroundings.

“No.” Daniel said firmly as he got to his feet, Eva helping his adjust his hold on Melosha. "Now let’s go.”

They turned to resume their trek when they were surrounded by the Touched. Eva and Teal’c fired their weapons in the air, the sound of the bullets frightening the primitive minds of the Touched. Daniel turned and saw more of the Touched coming towards them from behind.

“Teal’c! Sitara!” Daniel yelled, tightening his hold on Melosha.

“Fire your weapon. It will frighten them off.” Teal’c said, he and Eva firing their own guns into the air again.

For several minutes, they fired their weapons, the sound filling the air and echoing off the trees. Finally, the last of the Touched ran off in fear and it was only then that Eva and Teal’c lowered their guns.

“Daniel?” Eva called, turning around. “Daniel!” She screamed when she found him gone.

“Daniel Jackson!” Teal’c shouted, looking around their surrounding area for the missing Archaeologist.

“Oh, Hera.” Eva said softly, bending down and picking up Daniel’s glasses that had fallen to the ground. “Teal’c, they’ve got him.” She said fearfully, looking up at the gentle giant Jaffa.

“Come, Eva Lorne, we mustn’t despair.” Teal’c said calmly, holding his hand out to the tiny woman. She took the offered limb and let him pull her to her feet. “We must get the sample for Doctor Fraiser.”

“You’re right. Let’s go.” Eva said, tucking Daniel’s glasses into her vest pocket. “The sooner we get the sample, the sooner we can get the hell off this planet.”

“Indeed.” Teal’c said in agreement as they resumed their trek through the Land of Dark.

The next hour was spent walking in silence, Teal’c keeping a firm hold on Eva’s hand, the younger woman drawing comfort from the gentle giant. Leaving the Land of Dark, scaring off any of the Touched that came their way, they crossed through into the Land of Light. It was another hour before they finally reached the temple-like home of the Untouched.

Entering the temple, Teal’c and Eva made their way to the large chamber they had been in before. Tuplo and Leedora met them along with a group of the Untouched, all of them smiling gently and welcomingly.

“Welcome back, my lord, my lady.” The High Councilor said while his wife bowed her head respectfully. “Where are your friends?”

“Our friends are ill because of this place.” Teal’c said bluntly.

“They have joined the Touched.” Leedora said in alarmed resignation.

“They were cursed by the Hilk'sha.” Tuplo said sympathetically.

“It’s not a curse, Councilor.” Eva said, looking up at the older man. “It’s a disease. Our friend, Daniel, is lost in the Land of Dark.”

“You must help us retrieve him.” Teal’c said firmly.

“Why? So he can give you the curse?” Tuplo asked. “So he can give all of us the curse? No, no! He is better off where he is.” Tuplo insisted.

“He has an immunity to the disease.” Eva explained. “He is not cursed.”

“Then by now, he is gone.” Tuplo said softly, his eyes haunted.

“Councilor, Daniel had your daughter with him.” Eva said, hoping the knowledge would urge the man to help them.

“Melosha… is dead.” Tuplo said gravely.

“No, she is out there.” Teal’c refuted. “On the dark side, we have seen her. Help us retrieve her and our friend.”

“She is among the Touched.” Tuplo said quietly, his heartbreak evident in his voice. “She can no longer… function amongst us. Therefore, she is dead!”

“She is not dead.” Teal’c insisted, unable to understand why the man refused to believe his daughter was alive.

“If I believed otherwise, do you not think I would help my own daughter?” Tuplo asked, looking at Teal’c with heartbroken and haunted eyes.

“Many of us have loved ones among the Touched.” Leedora said, drawing Eva and Teal’c’s attention. Her voice, much like Tuplo’s, was filled with heartbreak and sorrow. “My own father is there, but we accept that we cannot help them. Therefore, they are dead to us.”

“How can you be so without heart?” Teal’c asked Leedora.

Teal’c, who had seen the kindness and compassion from Eva and Jack as well as other members of the Stargate Program, was unable to understand how the humans of this planet could be so callous and heartless towards their own kin.

Eva, who had grown up on Earth and was acutely aware of where Leedora and Tuplo were coming from, put a gentle hand on Teal’c’s arm.

“Teal’c, sometimes, it’s easier for people to believe their loved ones are dead than to accept that they can never be seen again.” Eva said softly, her large eyes filled with sympathy for Tuplo and Leedora. “It isn’t a nice thought, or even a happy thought, but it’s what helps them bear the burden of their knowledge.”

“That is so.” Leedora said softly, her eyes filled with pain.

“I must ask you to leave.” Tuplo said firmly, though he wondered how it was that Eva understood their pain, the woman with the large and seemingly innocent eyes that held a shadowed pain.

“If you will not help us find our friend, then we must have a sample of your blood.” Teal’c said bluntly.

“Our blood?!” Leedora repeated in horrified shock.

Eva face-palmed at the complete lack of tact Teal’c had used. “You should have let me do the asking.” Eva muttered.

“Blood is our lifeforce.” Tuplo argued.

“Councilor Tuplo, it is a small amount that may help us find a way to break the curse.” Eva said gently before Teal’c could say anything. “A small amount that would cause you absolutely no harm.”

“I cannot abide these… ones… in my presence any longer.” Leedora said angrily, Eva’s attempts to calm the pair having absolutely no effect.

She turned and stalked off. Eva winced, realizing that she, herself, could have used a bit more tact.

“You are not welcome here.” Tuplo said firmly. “When we return, I expect to find you both gone.” He turned and walked away, the rest of the Untouched following him out of the room.

“That could’ve gone better.” Eva muttered.

“Indeed.” Teal’c said in agreement.

He turned and looked towards the guards that were still on duty at the entrance contemplatively. Eva followed his line of sight and saw the guards as well, the guards that were among the Untouched. The two remaining SG-1 team members walked towards the entrance calmly and stopped beside the guards. Before either could react or sound an alarm, Teal’c and Eva knocked them out.

“I am so sorry about this.” Eva said apologetically, kneeling next to one of the guards and taking out the needle and vial.

Teal’c watched carefully, taking note of how Eva was quickly and efficiently drawing the unconscious man’s blood. Once the blood was drawn, he watched as she carefully sealed the vial to prevent contamination before tucking the vial into her vest pocket and wrapping the used needle in a piece of cloth before tucking it away as well.

“Let’s go.” Eva said getting to her feet. She glanced down at the unconscious guards and winced. “I do not envy the migraines they’re going to have.” She muttered.

Teal’c raised an eyebrow at the comment but didn’t say anything as the two left the temple.

~*~

Returning to Earth, they wasted no time in rushing to the Infirmary where Janet was most likely to be.

“All personnel, be advised that the mountain is now under a Code 5 lockdown. The mountain is now under a Code 5 lockdown.” A voice announced over the PA system.

They entered the infirmary and stopped short, icy tendrils of shock and dread creeping down their spines at what they saw – Janet tending to Sam with a nurse aiding her. The blonde Captain was still restrained to her bed, but now had long, white bandages wrapped around her abdomen.

“Janet, what happened?” Eva asked, drawing the older woman’s attention to them.

The doctor looked up at Eva’s voice and smiled in relief when she saw the younger woman and Teal’c. She gestured to the nurse to continue tending to Sam and stepped around the bed, making her way to them.

“Thank God your back.” Janet said, the relief in her tone matching the relief on her face.

“What happened to Captain Carter?” Teal’c asked, repeating Eva’s question. His and Eva’s eyes didn’t move from Sam’s prone form.

“She was stabbed by her roommate.” Janet replied, momentarily forgetting to sensor her words.

“What?” Eva exclaimed, whipping her head around to look up at the older woman in shock and alarm.

“Don’t worry. It’s superficial.” Janet said quickly, putting a reassuring hand on both Eva and Teal’c’s arms. “She’s going to be okay.” She led Eva and Teal’c away from Sam’s bed. “We’ve run out of space; we’ve had to start doubling up on the Iso-rooms.”

“We have retrieved the blood sample you requested.” Teal’c said as Eva took the vial from her pocket and handed it to Janet.

“Good work, Mr. Teal’c, Eva.” Janet said, a glimmer of hope shinning in her eyes as she looked at the vial.

“Janet, how’s Uncle Jack?” Eva asked, her worry coming back to the forefront of her mind.

“He’s the same, though slightly more coherent than the rest.” Janet said truthfully, leading the way to the nearest lab so she could run tests on the sample. “Enough sedative seems to knock back the primitive mind, so I was able to speak with him for a few minutes.”

“What did he say?” Eva asked, concern and hope warring on her features.

“Once I explained what was happening to him, he asked me to experiment on him.” Janet said reluctantly. “It’s the closest I’ve been able to get to consent, but I would prefer if you would give consent as well.”

“Because I’m his next-of-kin.” Eva said. She sighed, torn between allowing it and refusing adamantly. “When you spoke to him, when he asked you experiment on him, did he seem like himself?”

“As much as he could be, yes.” Janet replied truthfully. “I tried to refuse, but he was adamant that I use him.”

“Then do it.” Eva said with a reluctant sigh. “You said it yourself Janet, Uncle Jack has been the only one who was able to give any kind of consent, and he’s also the only one with next-of-kin that knows about the Program.”

“Okay.” Janet said softly, nodding. “I’ll run the tests on the sample and let you know what I find. Go and see him, he had said your name before the sedative kicked in completely.”

Eva nodded and turned on her heel, walking out of the lab with Teal’c by her side. Janet watched them go until they were out of sight before turning to the equipment on the table and running her scans.

Eva and Teal’c walked to the Isolation Rooms and went to IS-19, Jack’s Iso-room. The Airman on duty looked at Eva sympathetically and opened the door for her and Teal’c.

“Uncle Jack.” Eva said as she entered the darkened room.

Jack grunted and looked up, curled against the wall farthest from the door. “Eva.” He said slowly. “Teal’c.”

“Yes, Uncle Jack.” Eva said softly, crouching in front of him. “It’s Teal’c and I.”

“I am afraid I lost Daniel Jackson on the dark side of the planet.” Teal’c admitted softly, crouching down in front of Jack as well. Jack looked down, the words filling him with sorrow though he didn’t fully understand it. “I am sorry.”

“We will get Daniel back, Uncle Jack.” Eva said, her voice filled with promise. “Somehow, someway, we will.”

Teal’c helped Jack stand up and moved him to the bunk, sitting him down. Teal’c and Eva sat on either side of him, Jack holding Eva’s tiny hand in his larger one; his grip was remarkably gentle, as though he didn’t want to hurt her.

The door opened suddenly, and the Airman let Janet in, the doctor walking with a purposeful stride. “Colonel O'Neill, I think I might have something.” She said, her voice filled with hope and excitement as she grabbed a chair and sat down in front of the three SG-1 members. “I was examining the blood sample that Eva and Mr. Teal'c brought me, then it hit me. There was very little histamine in it.” Jack, Eva and Teal’c looked at her in confusion, wondering where she was going with her explanation. “If the people on that planet are human as you say, they have to have a histamine in their blood.”

“How does this help us?” Teal’c asked, still confused.

“Well as I said before, this microbe is a histamine-lytic – it feeds on histamine.” Janet explained. “The Untouched have no histamine in their bodies so the organism couldn't survive in them.”

“I do not understand.” Teal’c said. “It is the Untouched that become the Touched.”

"He’s right.” Eva said with a frown. “If they don’t have any histamine in their systems, then why would they change?”

“Because only some of them have this low histamine level.” Janet said thoughtfully. “Which means there is probably a-a naturally occurring antihistamine in their diets. The ones who don't eat it eventually contract the organism.”

“But you, Daniel and I have acute rhinitis caused by severe allergies.” Eva said in realization, excitement brightening her features just as it had Janet’s.

Jack and Teal’c looked at Eva and Janet in confusion, neither understanding the words or the reason for the excitement.

“Explain.” Teal’c said.

“Janet takes strong anti-histamines every day, as did Daniel.” Eva explained. “Mine aren’t as strong, but combined with all the other medications I take, it results in me having very little histamine. The microbe has nothing to feed on in our bodies, so it would just starve. Just like in the Untouched.”

“Does this mean you have a cure, Dr. Fraiser?” Teal’c asked.

“We have to try mega doses of chloropheniramine maleate on someone and see if it works.” Janet said, holding up a syringe filled with a dark colored liquid.

“Me.” Jack grunted, squeezing Eva’s hand.

“I thought you might say that.” Janet said knowingly. “Now the dose required to completely clear the body of histamine for a long enough time could be harmful.” She said in warning. Jack nodded in understanding. “You're sure?”

Jack nodded again and Janet looked at Eva in confirmation. Eva looked at Jack for a long moment, the older man looking back at her.

“Do it, Janet.” Eva said finally, looking at the older woman. “It’s what Uncle Jack wants.” Janet nodded and stood up from the chair. She injected the contents of the syringe in his IV-line while Eva attached it to his arm. “Now all we can do is wait.” Eva said with a heavy sigh.

The chemical began working its way into Jack’s system and his eyes began to droop.

“You better lock him up again.” Janet told Teal’c. “Just to be on the safe side.”

Teal’c nodded in understanding. He gently laid Jack down on the bed and Eva covered him with the blanket, tucking him in and kissing his forehead gently.

“You’ll be okay, Uncle Jack. I love you.” Eva whispered softly to him before getting to her feet.

Teal’c, Eva and Janet left the Iso-room and the Airman closed and locked the door. Janet squeezed Eva’s arm reassuringly before turning and heading back to the infirmary. Teal’c and Eva removed their gear, an Airman taking them back to the Armory. Teal’c sat on the floor in front of the Iso-room and began meditating while Eva leaned back against the wall.

“Eva?” An Airman on duty called softly.

“Yes?”

“Can you sing again?” He asked hopefully. He was only about a year or two older than Eva herself, and his worry and fear was not as masked as the rest of those on duty.

Eva smiled at him and began to sing, her melodic voice once again echoing through the halls of the mountain.

“Let me sail, let me sail, let the Orinoco flow,

Let me reach, let me beach on the shores of Tripoli.

Let me sail, let me sail, let me crash upon your shore,

Let me reach, let me beach far beyond the Yellow Sea.

Sail away, sail away, sail away. Sail away, sail away, sail away

Sail away, sail away, sail away. Sail away, sail away, sail away

From Bissau to Palau - in the shade of Avalon,

From Fiji to Tiree and the Isles of Ebony,

From Peru to Cebu- feel the power of Babylon,

From Bali to Cali - far beneath the Coral Sea.

Sail away, sail away, sail away. Sail away, sail away, sail away

Sail away, sail away, sail away. Sail away, sail away, sail away

From the North to the South, Ebudae into Khartoum,

From the deep sea of Clouds to the Island of the Moon,

Carry me on the waves to the lands I've never been,

Carry me on the waves to the lands I've never seen.

We can sail, we can sail... With the Orinoco flow

We can sail, we can sail... sail away, sail away, sail away

We can steer, we can near with Rob Dickins at the wheel,

We can sigh, say goodbye Ross and his dependencies

We can sail, we can sail... sail away. Sail away, sail away

We can reach we can beach, on the shores of Tripoli

We can sail, we can sail... sail away, sail away, sail away”

Like the last time she had sang, only a few hours earlier, the music calmed the infected personnel from their agitated states. The song also gave hope to the rest, who were unable to do anything except watch as their friends and colleagues reverted to primitive states.

Teal’c listened to the song as he meditated, letting the beautiful music wash over him. He had quickly realized, soon after he met her and came to Earth, that Eva didn’t know the power she had over everyone.

It wasn’t just her beautiful singing that brought hope and calmed the victims of the disease, rather it was the emotions she poured into her song that did so. She poured all her hope and love for her friends and family, for Jack, Sam, Daniel and everyone on the base, into her song. That was what gave the song its power to calm the agitated victims and fill the rest with hope.

Teal’c had seen Eva’s remarkable ability to still see the wonder and beauty of the world that surrounded her, a world that was filled with darkness and war. She had the ability to see the good in people, regardless of their past and the terrible deeds they had committed, and Teal’c prayed that she would never lose that innocence. He was well aware of how desirable she would be to the Goa’uld. Her beauty, innocence and light would be like a drug to the false Gods, and he vowed that he would do whatever it took to protect her.

From Bali to Cali - far beneath the Coral Sea.

We can sail, we can sail... sail away, sail away, sail away

From Bissau to Palau - in the shade of Avalon,

We can sail, we can sail... sail away, sail away, sail away

We can reach, we can beach far beyond the Yellow Sea.

We can sail, we can sail... Sail away, sail away, sail away

From Peru to Cebu- feel the power of Babylon,

We can sail, we can sail... Sail away, sail away, sail away

We can sail, we can sail... Sail away, sail away, sail away

Sail away, sail away, sail away

Sail away, sail away, sail away

Sail away, sail away, sail away.”

Eva finished singing the last note and fell silent, the echoes of the song resonating through the stone corridors.

“Thank you.” The Airman said softly, his face cleared of the worry and stress that had plagued him.

“You’re welcome.” Eva said softly, a gentle smile on her face as she rested her head back against the stone wall.

“Eva! Doc! Open the door!” Jack yelled from inside the room, his voice back to normal as he banged on the door. “Teal'c!”

“Uncle Jack?” Eva called hopefully.

Teal’c got to his feet and opened the observation panel, revealing a once again normal-looking Jack O’Neill. “Colonel O’Neill?” Teal’c asked cautiously, keeping Eva behind his large frame just to be safe.

“Lucy, I'm ho-ome!” Jack said in a sing-song voice with a grin on his face, mimicking Ricky Ricardo.

“I am not Lucy.” Teal’c said with a raised eyebrow, not understanding the reference.

“I know that.” Jack said, rolling his eyes. “It was a reference to an old TV—never mind, open the door!”

“I will summon the doctor.” Teal’c said, turning away.

“No, no, c'mon I'm fine.” Jack said. “I’m back to being myself. Just open up.”

“I cannot be certain you are back to being yourself. You referred to me as ‘Lucy’." Teal’c said, taking the reference seriously.

At the Jaffa’s words, Eva, who had a hand clamped over her mouth to keep her giggles from escaping, burst into peals of laughter. The sound filled the air as Teal’c looked at her in confusion and Jack groaned in exasperation.

“What is so amusing, Eva Lorne?” Teal’c asked.

Eva gasped for breath, tears streaming down her face as she slowly stopped laughing.

“Oh for crying out loud, will you just open the door?” Jack asked exasperatedly. Teal’c looked between Jack and Eva for a moment before opening the door. “This stuff works.” Jack said, walking out of the room and lifting Eva into his arms, hugging her tightly. Eva returned the hug with just as much vigor, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck and her legs around his waist as he held her. “Let’s go find Doc.” He said, pulling back slightly from Eva but not letting her go.

Jack turned and walked down the corridor, Eva still in his arms with Teal’c following close behind.

~*~

An hour later, SG-1 and SG-3, cured of the disease and back to normal, were gearing up while waiting for the Gate to finish the dial-up sequence.

“Chevron three, encoded.”  Harriman announced over the intercom.

Hammond stood in the Control Room behind the technicians working at the computers, watching the dial-up sequence and buttoning up his dress uniform. The fresh suit was given to him by Eva, neatly pressed and ironed, as soon as he had been cured of the disease.

“Chevron four encoded.”

“Eva and I have loaded the guns with tranquilizer darts filled with chloropheniramine.” Janet said to the two teams. “Now a direct hit on a Touched man or woman should knock them out long enough in order to starve the disease.” She smiled at the officers. “Good luck.”

“Chevron five encoded.”

“Thanks, Doc.” Jack said, smiling back at the shorter woman.

Of the two teams, he was the only one not wearing a helmet. Instead, he was wearing an olive-green cap that matched his BDU’s. Eva had once again kept her hair in the ‘tuck and wrap’ bun, with the helmet covering her dark tresses.

“So we're going to try and tranq all the Touched?” Sam asked as Janet walked away.

“Chevron six encoded.”

“Just the ones that get in the way of us finding Daniel. Leave the rest for the Untouched.” Jack replied.

“Uncle Jack, do you really think he’s still alive?” Eva asked.

“Chevron seven, locked.”

Jack looked at the Gate as the sequence was completed and the wormhole engaged.

“Let’s find out.” Jack said, holding his hand out to Eva.

She took his hand and the pair led the way up the ramp and through the active Stargate. Stepping out onto the dark side of P3X-797, they found a campsite of the Touched a short distance from the Gate. Among the group of the Touched was Daniel, who had been infected as well.

“Guess the antihistamine wore off.” Sam muttered, nodding to where Daniel was sitting with Melosha.

Jack turned to the group and made rapid hand gestures, signaling to everyone to open fire on the Touched. Everyone did as ordered and seconds later, all of the Touched except Daniel and Melosha were unconscious from the tranquilizer darts.

“Daniel, you dog.” Jack said dryly as he and the rest of SG-1 walked up to him. “Keep this up, you'll have a girl on every planet.”

“Let me give him the injection.” Eva said, rolling her eyes and pulling out a syringe filled with the chloropheniramine drug.

Eva stepped towards Daniel, holding the syringe up. Daniel growled at her and tried to jump her but was shot with a well-aimed dart from Jack, Melosha being shot with one from Sam.

“Sorry, Space Monkey, but you’re not hurting my little girl.” Jack said as the dart took effect.

Daniel and Melosha fell backward and twitched for several seconds before falling limp, the drug working its way through their systems.

“Now what?” Eva asked, looking at Jack.

“Now, we go see the Untouched.” Jack said. “Teal’c.”

Teal’c nodded and lifted Daniel, effortlessly holding the unconscious man over his shoulders. The two teams trekked through the forest, carefully avoiding any limbs of the unconscious Touched, and made their way out of the Land of Dark and into the Land of Light.

Reaching the temple and emtering, they were met by Tuplo and the rest of the Untouched.

“What are you doing?” Tuplo asked angrily, seeing Daniel draped over Teal’c’s shoulders.

“You must not bring the Touched among us! Leave now!” Leedora ordered.

“Just hear us out, please?” Jack asked.

“We’ve found a cure, and we can bring Melosha back to you.” Eva said, hoping the news of Melosha would convince Tuplo to listen to them.

“And your father.” Teal’c added, looking at Leedora.

Leedora and Tuplo exchanged looks, both hopeful but also reluctant to hope.

“Put him in the isolation circle.” Tuplo said finally. “We will hear you.”

Teal’c carried Daniel to the raised dais where Melosha had been placed during their first visit. The guards, both of whom were the same ones that Teal’c and Eva had knocked out, blocked the Jaffa’s path.

“I get the feeling they remember that Teal’c and I knocked them out earlier.” Eva muttered with a wince.

“Why did you do that?” Sam asked in surprise.

“We needed a blood sample.” Eva said quietly.

“Let him pass.” Tuplo said to the guards, not hearing the quiet by-play.

The guards obeyed and let Teal’c through. The Jaffa gently laid Daniel down, resting his head on the pillows before sitting down on the step below the dais.

“If you are not Gods, then how did you destroy the curse?” Tuplo asked as he paced behind the Untouched that sat at the banquet table.

“As we've been saying, Tuplo, it's not a curse. It's a disease.” Jack said as he and Sam sat on the other side of the banquet table.

“A sickness.” Eva explained, pacing behind Jack and Sam.

“Jack! Sitara!” Daniel groaned.

“Daniel.” Eva sighed in relief, rushing towards him.

“There’s our boy.” Jack said.

Jack and Sam got and followed Eva, joining Teal’c at the dais. Daniel sat up slowly, rubbing his head and blinking blearily.

“Where are we?” He asked, rubbing his head.

“The light side of P3X-797.” Teal’c replied as Eva handed Daniel his glasses.

“I thought we were going to give it a better name.” Daniel muttered with a groan, putting the glasses on.

“He's back.” Jack said with a smile. “He's normal.”

“Yes, he is.” Eva said with a bright grin, wrapping Daniel in a tight hug. She looked at him sternly, though her eyes were filled with laughter. “And you are not leaving my sight, Mister.”

“That, I can live with.” Daniel said with a laugh, wrapping his arm around Eva’s waist and returning her hug.

“Explain.” Leedora said faintly, her eyes wide in shock.

“We know how to ‘lift the curse’.” Sam said, using the Untouched’s own words rather than getting into the explanation of how it was a parasitical virus.

“How?” Tuplo asked in amazement. “If you are not Gods.”

“Come with us and we’ll show you.” Eva said, getting to her feet.

Tuplo and Leedora exchanged looks before looking back at Daniel, the Archaeologist now on his feet though his arms were still wrapped around Eva.

“Very well.” Tuplo said. “Show us.”

The two SG teams and the Untouched walked out of the temple, Eva keeping her arms wrapped firmly around Daniel’s waist while he had his own wrapped around her shoulders. As they walked through the Land of Light, Jack glanced at Eva and Daniel and smiled softly when he saw them walking closely together with their arms around each other.

Jack knew most people would find it strange how tactile Eva was with the people she cared about, but that was one of the things he hoped she would never lose. It was the part of her that freely and openly showed her emotions, not letting her years as an Air Force officer and Black-Ops operative darken her spirit, despite all the things she had seen and been through. He also knew that it was Eva’s warmth and love that was helping Daniel stay strong after losing Sha’re to the Goa’uld and with each day that passed without finding her and Skaara.

Jack was drawn out of his thoughts when they reached the dividing line between the Light and Dark Lands of the planet. They all waited apprehensively, those from the Land of Light anxious and nervous, their gazes firmly at the woodland tree line.

Slowly, the Touched began to emerge from the dark woods, each one cured of the disease that had plagued them.

“Father!” Leedora cried out when she saw an older man. She ran to him, crying freely and hugged him tightly. Tuplo saw Melosha and ran to her, drawing her into a tight hug, both laughing and crying at the same time.

Eva smiled brightly and rested her head on Daniel’s chest, watching as the Untouched reunited with the ones that had been cured. She knew that Daniel, Sam, Jack and Teal’c didn’t believe that the Touched had been cursed, but Eva believed they had been. She didn't believe the virus was the curse, rather it was the inability for them to be with the ones they loved.

Eva watched as Tuplo and Melosha walked up to Jack and kneeled before him.

“You have done it, my lord. Thank you.” Tuplo said with reverence and gratitude.

“We'll teach you how to take care of the rest.” Jack said as he helped Tuplo and Melosha to their feet.

With a final glance at the reunion, SG-1 and SG-3 turned and began walking away, heading towards the woods where the Gate would take them home.

“What’s the smile for, Sitara?” Daniel asked, seeing the gentle smile that graced Eva’s beautiful features.

“They have their happy ending.” Eva said softly, the smile never wavering from her face.

“Yeah, they do.” Daniel agreed, kissing Eva’s head gently.

Daniel knew that no matter the outcome of his search for Sha’re and Skaara, he would be able to stay strong as long as he had Eva’s friendship and love. His best friend. His star.

Links:

*Eva 1st hairstyle - https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/474566879478100753/

*Eva 2nd hairstyle - https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/474566879477812613/

Chapter Text

SG-1: The First Commandment

Eva stood next to Sam and Daniel, F.R.E.D parked in front of them with their packs tied to it. She looked up when she saw Teal’c exit the active wormhole, followed by Jack before the Gate deactivated.

“For a planet with a U.V. radiation as high as this one's supposed to have, the plant life seems to be doing remarkably well.” Eva commented in her lilting Welsh tones as she poured some sunscreen into her palm before handing the tube to Sam.

Eva had her long hair tied back in a braid that reached her knees, interwoven with an olive-green ribbon matching her BDU’s, a slimmer braid over the top of her head like a headband*. Her hair was covered by an olive-green bandanna, tied at the nape of her neck beneath her braid, except for the single tendril on either side of her head that framed her face. Like always, she had her gold braided ring on her right thumb.

“Apparently, Abydos was the exception, not the rule, as far as trees are concerned.” Sam said as she squeezed some of the sunscreen into her palm before passing the tube to Daniel.

“Well, that makes sense.” Daniel said, rubbing some of the lotion on his face. He had his clip-on shade glasses perched on his nose and like Eva, he had a bandanna covering his hair. “I mean, in order for a planet to support human life, there must be some form of carbon-based vegetation, right?”

“Yes.” Eva said in confirmation, nodding her head.

“It is no accident.” Teal’c informed them, passing the sunscreen tube to Jack without using it, his symbiote protecting him from the harmful UV rays. “Many Stargate worlds were terra-formed by the Goa'uld centuries ago.”

“Okay, let's take a quick look around the Gate before we move out and find SG-9.” Jack said, rubbing the sunscreen into his skin while Eva packed the tube away once more.

“I don't know, this Stargate is literally out in the middle of nowhere.” Daniel commented, following Jack away from the Gate. “I doubt it plays an active role in anybody's culture.”

“I was just thinking that.” Eva said, quickly catching up to him.

Sam looked uneasily up at the trees, tugging a pair of black gloves on.

“Is there a problem, Dr. Carter?” Teal’c asked, stopping next to the blonde when he saw her uneasy expression.

“No birds.” Sam replied, glancing around the treetops.

Sam walked away, following behind Daniel, Eva and Jack. Teal’c glanced up, realizing the truth in Sam’s words when he noticed the distinct lack of animal noise. He walked away from the Gate, following behind the rest of the team while the treetops provided them with sporadic shade from the brightly burning sun.

After a few minutes of walking, Eva glanced around and noticed that something was amiss. “Where’s Daniel?” She asked, seeing that their Archaeologist was nowhere in sight.

“Not again.” Jack groaned, also realizing that Daniel was missing. He looked at Eva, an exasperated expression on his face. “Honestly, I don’t know who’s worse. You or Daniel!” Before Eva could retort, he continued, “Stay here with Carter and Teal’c. I’ll go find him.”

Eva nodded and Jack stalked off, grumbling under his breath about curious scientists and goddaughters.

Eva giggled to herself. “I wonder what he’ll be like when Dahlia gets older.” She wondered out loud.

“However he is, it sure will be funny to watch.” Sam commented, a smile on her face.

“Indeed.” Teal’c said in agreement.

Eva’s radio crackled to life and Jack’s voice filtered through it. “Eva. You, Teal’c and Carter get back to the Stargate.” He ordered without preamble. “We found Connor, but he’s going to need water and some of your lotion to help with his sunburn.”

“Okay. We’re on our way, Uncle Jack.” Eva said into the radio before looking at Teal’c and Sam. “Come on, let’s get back to the Gate.”

They both nodded and Eva turned on her heel, leading the way with Sam and Teal’c a few steps behind her. The feisty raven-haired Major wondered what Connor’s condition was and hoped he was okay. She also wondered why no one had come through the Gate after SG-9’s remote signal had been sent through.

These thoughts swirled around her mind as they reached the Gate, seeing no sign of Daniel, Jack or Connor. Eva went to F.R.E.D and rummaged through her pack, pulling out a water canteen and a tube of Aloe Vera lotion that would help with sunburn. She had just closed her pack when Daniel and Jack joined them, carrying Connor between them.

“Laurence.” Eva breathed with wide eyes, seeing the Lieutenant barely conscious.

“Hey Eva.” Connor said groggily.

“Quickly, set him down.” Eva said, pointing to the Stargate platform.

Jack and Daniel obeyed, carrying Conner between them and laid him down on the platform, letting him rest his head against Sam’s leg. Eva handed the canteen of water to Sam and she carefully coaxed the man to drink small sips. Sam kept a firm hold of the canteen, preventing Connor from trying to drink too much at one time and choke while Eva checked the sunburn lesions on his face and arms.

She carefully applied the cool Aloe Vera lotion to the sunburns, rubbing the lotion into the skin with gentle, soothing motions. “Uncle Jack, in my pack there’s a small tube of cucumber lotion. Get it for me, please.” Eva said, not looking away from her ‘patient’.

Jack nodded though it wasn’t seen by the younger woman and rummaged through the pack, finding the mentioned tube.

“And to think, you thought she was crazy for bringing these lotions with her.” Daniel commented as Jack handed the small tube to Eva.

“Yeah, yeah. The lotions are coming in handy.” Jack muttered, rolling his eyes. He would be the first to admit that Eva’s homemade, organic products were incredibly useful.

Eva, with her unique understanding of nature, had also created her own organic make-up and beauty products that she would use on the rare occasions she wore makeup. However, when they were packing for their current mission, Jack hadn’t seen the need for her to bring the lotions and mentioned it to her – something that he was clearly wrong about as he watched her work her magic on the Lieutenant.

Once Eva had finished rubbing the Aloe Vera into his skin, she applied the cucumber lotion, spreading liberal amounts of the cool, thick substance into the man’s dark skin. She then wrapped the burns with clean, cool cloth bandages to keep them from getting infected.

“All right, Connor, what's going on?” Jack asked when Connor stopped drinking from the water canteen. Eva looked at the lesions covering the man’s face and carefully applied the Aloe Vera lotion to the skin. “Command received your signal six hours ago, and no one came through. Why?”

“Hanson.” Connor replied, his voice much smoother and stronger than it had been when Daniel and Jack first encountered him.

“Where is he?” Sam asked. “We need to talk to-”

“No!” Connor cried out, interrupting her. “Don’t!”

“Why, Laurence?” Eva asked gently, though she didn’t look away from where she was applying the lotion to his neck. Connor’s eyes widened and he jumped up, startling her. “Laurence!” Eva exclaimed as she fell backward onto the ground, landing on her bum.

“Frakes. He…” Connor started, trailing off and running down the path.

“Laurence!” Eva yelled, shooting to her feet and running after him with the rest of SG-1.

Connor didn’t go very far, stopping a short distance away from the Gate. He bent down on the ground beside a pile of ash, bits of bone mixed into the pile. Sorrow filled him and he closed his eyes; he knew what the pile was.

“Laurence?” Eva called softly when she and the rest of her team caught up with the Lieutenant.

Connor didn’t say anything. Instead, he picked up a pair of dog-tags that were buried in the pile of ash. Eva’s eyes widened and she bent down across from him, looking at the dog-tags that he held.

“They belong to Thomas.” Eva said softly, using Lieutenant Frakes’ first name.

“Connor, I need to know what happened.” Jack said gently, though the command was clear in his voice.

“Permission to speak freely about a superior officer, sir.” Connor requested, looking up at the superior standing above him.

“Yeah, go ahead.” Jack said, wondering what Connor wanted to say that made him ask to speak freely.

Eva noticed the haunted look in Connor’s eyes, the eyes that were usually filled with warmth and laughter were now filled with sorrow and pain. She reached out and took his hand, giving him silent support.

Connor glanced at Eva and squeezed her hand, drawing strength from her as he looked up at Jack. “He's lost it, he's out of control.” Connor said bluntly.

“Captain Hanson?” Sam asked.

“Maybe it was the sun.” Connor said, shrugging. “The, uh, radiation…”

“Wait, are-are you saying that the sun did this to Frakes?” Daniel asked in disbelief, gesturing to the pile of ash and bone on the ground.

“It can’t be.” Eva argued, shaking her head. “It doesn’t matter how hot this planet gets, there is no way the sun could render a person to ash and bone. If this was caused by the sun, there wouldn’t be any bone fragments.”

“She’s right, sir.” Connor said, squeezing Eva’s hand. “Captain Hanson did that to Frakes.”

“What?” Sam and Eva asked in unison, staring at the Lieutenant in shock.

“For trying to get back through the Gate.” Connor said, his jaw clenched as he barely managed to hold back his anger and used Eva’s grip as a crutch.

“I don’t buy that.” Jack said, finding the story to be too far-fetched, even for them.

“Sir, we were trying to warn Command about what's really going on.” Connor said, looking at Jack, honesty clear in his dark eyes. “The people here…they believe he's their god!”

“Because you came through the Stargate.” Teal’c stated.

“That would make sense.” Eva said. “We’ve been seen as gods by the locals as well.”

“No, no. You don't get it.” Connor said, shaking his head and despair filling his voice. “Hanson believes it too.”

Eva, Daniel, Sam and Teal’s stared at Connor for a moment, stunned into silence.

“Carter? Eva?” Jack said finally, walking a few steps away from Connor. The two women followed and stopped in front of him. Jack pulled off his sunglasses and rubbed his eyes. “I want you both to take Connor back through the Stargate. Report to General Hammond what's happened here.”

“No, sir.” Sam said obstinately while Eva raised her eyebrow at the older man.

"‘No, sir’?" Jack repeated incredulously.

“If you're going after Captain Hanson, I should go with you.” Sam said adamantly. “I can get to him.”

“Samantha’s right, Uncle Jack.” Eva said.

“Look, Eva, Captain.” Jack said testily. “Either we're bringing him back to face a court martial, or not. I think all three of us know what the 'not' means.”

“I know him, Colonel.” Sam insisted.

“Yeah, that would be the problem, wouldn't it?” Jack said pointedly, referring to Sam and Hanson’s shared past.

“I gave back the ring because I know him.” Sam said.

“Uncle Jack, Samantha knows how Jonas thinks, how he operates.” Eva said, seeing Sam’s perspective.

“How he likes to play God?” Jack asked with a raised eyebrow.

“I don't understand how that could happen any more than you do. But if SG-1 is going after him, then I am going with you.” Sam said adamantly.

“As am I.” Eva said, looking up at Jack with determination swimming in her eyes. “You send me home, I’m just going to turn around and come straight back.”

“Don’t I know it.” Jack muttered.

“Wait a minute. No. You–You–You can't do that.” Connor interrupted, hearing the tail-end of the conversation. “There are hundreds, probably thousands of them. He's-He's their god. They'll die for him; they'll kill for him in a heartbeat.”

“That's not your problem.” Jack said, looking at Connor. “Now, I need someone to report back to the General, and that is you.”

“No, sir.” Connor said, standing tall and staring straight into Jack’s eyes.

"‘No, sir’?" Jack repeated, incredulous once again. He turned to look at Eva. “Does it say ‘Colonel’ anywhere on my uniform?”

“I know the planet, the situation. I think it's suicide.” Connor admitted. “But if you're going, I'm going, sir.”

“But you are not physically able.” Teal’c pointed out.

“Frakes was my friend.” Connor said in explanation.

“This isn’t about revenge.” Sam told Connor.

“Maybe not for you, Samantha.” Eva said softly while Connor looked at the blonde with haunted eyes.

Sam looked at Connor for a second before looking away, unable to bare the sight of the raw pain in the man’s eyes. Connor brushed past her and Jack, stopping when Eva took his hand. He let the smaller woman hold his hand lightly, drawing comfort from her.

“We’ve got to move now.” Connor said, turning to look at the five members of SG-1. “In daylight.”

“Well, we’re off to see the wizard.” Jack said with a sigh.

“Hope you packed lots of sunblock, Eva.” Connor remarked, looking down at the tiny woman holding his hand. “And your special, organic creams.”

“Well, we're mostly under cover.” Daniel pointed out, gesturing to the trees that blocked most of the direct sunlight.

“The probe's data indicated that shade, even heavy cloud cover won't protect us.” Sam said.

“Basically, it can be pouring rain and we'll still burn.” Eva explained.

“They’re right.” Connor said, looking at the other three men.

“Then why on Earth are we travelling during the day?” Jack asked exasperatedly.

“We're not on Earth.” Connor reminded the older man. “People here live in caves. I think they used to be mines; they only come out at night. They're probably still after me, sir.”

Jack nodded in understanding registering Connor’s warning. “To Oz.” He said flippantly, continuing the earlier ‘Wizard of Oz’ reference and putting his shades back over his eyes. “Eva, you’re not going anywhere on your own.”

“I know, I know.” Eva said over her shoulder, rolling her eyes as Connor led them through the woods. “I am to stay with one of you at all times because you’re terrified of what Mummy would do to you if anything happens to me.”

“Exactly.” Jack said, nodding.

Jack was well aware of the stereotype that surrounded military men - none of them would admit that a woman terrified them. However, Jack was acutely aware of just what Alexandra Hayes was capable of, and that was without taking into account her years as a CIA operative before she became the Director.

Alexandra Hayed didn’t make threats. No, she made promises.

~*~

They walked until night fell before making camp. Sam built a fire while Eva prepared the MRE’s. Connor and Daniel set up the tents while Teal’c and Jack secured the perimeter.

Once the tents were pitched up, Daniel sat on a log in front of the fire and accepted the steel bowl of food Eva handed him. “This tastes like chicken.” He said after taking a spoonful of the food.

“So what’s wrong with that?” Sam asked, sitting down next to him and prodding the logs beneath the burning fire.

“It’s macaroni and cheese.” Daniel replied.

Sam winced sympathetically while Eva giggled. “Hey, how’s Adam doing with Dahlia?” Sam asked Eva, looking at the younger woman curiously.

“He’s doing really well.” Eva said with a smile. “And he’s also agreed to help David with running the company while I’m at work.”

“You must be relieved.” Sam commented.

“Oh, you have no idea.” Eva said. “With Adam’s business qualifications, the Board can’t undermine him.”

“Are you going to try and get permission for Adam to know about the Program?” Connor asked, joining them and sitting next to Sam.

“I’ve spoken with General Hammond about it.” Eva admitted. “He does see the benefit of Adam knowing, not only because of Dahlia but because he can also keep my Board of Governors at bay. However, he has to consider what is best for all of us under his command, rather than just me.”

“Well, Adam is skilled with languages, just like I am.” Daniel commented. “Better than me, in fact. He could be attached to the Program as a civilian consultant, working with the linguists on Earth instead of going off-world. And with his medical training he could help the medical staff as well.

“We’ll see how it plays out.” Eva said. “I’m just happy that David has help running the company and we’ve got someone we can trust looking after Dahlia while we’re working. As far as I’m concerned, Adam also being told about the Program would be beneficial, but not something that is needed. There are plenty of people on the Base who are managing their relationships and families without telling them about the Program.”

“You do know that a lot of those people you are referring to are having difficulties maintaining their relationships, right?” Jack asked as he and Teal’c joined them around the fire.

Jack sat down next to Eva while Teal’c sat next to Connor.

“I know. But I have hope that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.” Eva said optimistically.

“Everything happens for a reason.” Daniel said softly, repeating something she had told him when they were on Abydos for the first time.

Connor gazed at Eva, watching as the firelight danced over her features and made her face glow. While Eva held firmly to her beliefs, including the spiritual, Connor, like many others in the military, had slowly lost his belief in the divine as time passed. However, he hoped that Eva was right this time, that everything did happen for a reason and that they would be able to stop whatever Hanson had planned. His ears echoed with Frakes’ screams as he burned to death and his eyes were imprinted with the image of the madness in Hanson’s eyes.

“So, Connor, any, uh, indigenous lions, tigers, or bears I should lie awake worrying about?” Sam asked, drawing Connor out of his thoughts.

“The plant life's all that seems to live very long in the sun.” Connor replied, looking at her.

“Sitara, aren’t the SG teams made up of well-trained professionals?” Daniel asked, looking at Eva in confusion.

“They are.” Eva replied. “Believe me, General Hammond and the Joint Chiefs were very specific about what they want in the SG team members. Not just the team members, but all the Program personnel, military and civilian.”

Weeding through the list of candidates and selecting those that would be the best possible fit for SG teams and Base personnel was among the million things that Eva took care of regarding the running of Stargate Command. There were times where Eva honestly could not say what color her desk was, with the number of files that constantly covered its surface.

While making the hiring selections was one of her responsibilities, she had asked Hammond to make the decision regarding Adam because of her personal connection to him, regardless if it was a purely professional personal connection.

“Well, when we first met the cave dwellers, they immediately bowed down to us. Thought we were gods.” Connor began explaining.

“Like Sitara said earlier, that’s a fairly common phenomenon.” Daniel said. “I mean… uh… it happens.”

“We just take it in stride and tell the native that we are not gods.” Eva said. “Repeatedly.”

“Except Hanson didn't deny it.” Connor informed the team. “Told us it might be safer if we allowed them to think he was a god for a while. Said it was the… system of government they needed to retake their world.”

“And… you were okay with that?” Daniel asked slowly.

“Frakes was our Anthropologist.” Connor said, rubbing his forehead tiredly. “He agreed with Hanson that it might be safer. But the longer we stayed here, the stronger they believed. In our fourth or fifth week here, a young child wandered out of the caves.” He shook his head and stared into the fire, his mind reliving the memory he was recounting. “Must have gotten lost. Hanson went out after him. He was gone for two full days before he came back, carrying the child, barely alive, in his arms.”

“The cave dwellers must have loved him for that.” Sam commented.

“Yeah, they did.” Connor confirmed. “He wasn't sane after that.”

“Do you mean that the sun was what sent Jonas over the edge?” Eva asked with a frown.

“It wasn't any one thing.” Connor said with a frustrated sigh. “If it was, me and Frakes, we could have seen it coming. Done something about it, before…”

“Before what?” Teal’c asked, speaking up for the first time since they sat down.

“There were a few cave dwellers who…got the idea that Hanson was just a man like they were… thanks to… Frakes and I.” Connor admitted quietly. “He had them tied to stakes and left out in direct sunlight. If they lived seven days, they were allowed back in the caves.”

“A number of significant biblical events took place over the course of seven days.” Daniel said softly.

“By then they were blind.” Connor said, staring into the fire though he wasn’t seeing the flames, he was seeing the poor, innocent people that had been left out in the sunlight. “Giant bleeding burns all over them. Just took them a little longer to die. Personally, I'd rather eat a bullet.”

“Oh, Hera.” Eva breathed in horror, her eyes wide. She stared at the older man, completely stricken.

She wasn’t the only one. Daniel, Sam, Teal’c and Jack also stared at the Lieutenant, just as stricken as the youngest member of their team.

“I’ll take first watch.” Jack said after several minutes, breaking the silence that had fallen over them.

No one replied, each of them still stunned by Connor’s story.

Eventually, Eva stood up and grabbed a pallet from one of the tents. She said her good nights to the team and lay on her pallet, staring up at the night sky, barely visible through the tree cover. Her mind was still filled with Connor’s words, the horrifying story he had told them about one of their own.

She slowly fell asleep, her last thoughts of her sweet daughter at home on Earth with Adam.

~*~

A few hours later, Eva was shaken awake by Jack.

“We’ve got company, sweet girl.” Jack said quietly.

She shot to her feet, instantly alert. Teal’c was already looking around into the darkness of the forest with keen eyes and Eva stepped towards him, staying in the larger man’s shadow. Jack moved passed her and shook Daniel’s shoulder.

“Let's go.” The Colonel whispered. “We've got company.”

“Are you sure?” Daniel asked in a whisper, looking at the older man blearily.

An arrow shot through the dark and hit the tree trunk beside Daniel’s head. Daniel and Jack looked at it for a heartbeat.

“Pretty sure.” Jack said.

The cave dwellers moved through the trees, setting off the perimeter alarms and lights in the process. The two sides shot their projectile weapons – the dwellers shooting darts while the SGC humans fired their guns.

Teal’c waited and watched carefully, Eva firing her MP5 from beside him. After several long seconds, the large Jaffa shot his staff weapon at a tree, setting it on fire. The alarms stopped ringing and the cave dwellers ran off, seemingly frightened.

“It appears they are gone.” Teal’c said calmly, lowering his staff weapon.

“Yeah.” Jack said with a frown. He looked at Eva. “You okay?” He asked her.

“Yeah, I’m all right.” Eva replied. She looked towards the blonde Captain. “Samantha?”

“I’m good.” Sam replied.

“Daniel?” Eva asked, looking towards the Archaeologist.

“Here.” Daniel called.

“Laurence?” Eva called, looking where she had last seen Connor.

There was no answer nor was he in the spot he had been. Eva looked at Jack, her eyes wide with worry and fear.

“Connor?” Daniel called, looking around their campsite.

“Lieutenant Connor?” Teal’c called.

“They took him.” Eva said softly, her voice filled with worry.

~*~

After a night of fitful sleep and very little rest, SG-1 packed up their campsite and began their trek through the woods. With Teal’c leading the way, they followed the tracks left by the cave dwellers the previous night.

“I wonder why they left us alive after taking Laurence.” Eva mused out loud, walking between Sam and Daniel. Jack was behind them, keeping guard on their woodland surroundings.

“Well, they were probably just instructed just to… take Connor.” Daniel theorized. “Send us a message that Hanson is in control.”

“Sounds familiar.” Sam muttered.

“Which part?” Daniel asked, glancing at the blonde over Eva’s head.

“He likes control.” Sam said.

“What did you see in him?” Eva asked, looking up at the older woman curiously.

“I dunno.” Sam said, grimacing. “I guess I've always had a soft spot for the lunatic fringe. He was… he was charming.”

“Charming is good.” Eva chirped optimistically.

“I don't know.” Sam said, sighing. “I should be more surprised by this than I am, but I'm not. You know, he had this in him, Eva, Daniel. Too many years of Black Ops.”

“Well, that's typical of our government's evaluation of soldiers.” Daniel muttered, glancing back at Jack. The Colonel didn’t acknowledge if he’d been listening to the conversation. “The crazier they are, the more extreme the situation they seem to be put into.”

Eva frowned thoughtfully before silently agreeing.  She had seen it happen herself, when she had been a child and when she had joined the Black Ops units.

“I can't really…” Sam started before trailing off. “He wasn't happy when I broke off the engagement, but he seemed like he'd really pulled himself together when we met up at Stargate Command.”

“I thought so as well.” Eva said, the only one of the team that had met Hanson before he joined the SGC.

“Apparently not.” Daniel muttered.

Teal’c raised a hand, silently stopping the group from going any further. He glanced back at them and put a finger to his lips, motioning them to fall silent. Jack walked around Daniel and stopped beside Teal’c.

“What’ve you got, Teal’c?” Jack asked quietly.

“This way.” Teal’c replied, gesturing to a narrow path in the trees.

The five of them followed the path until it came out at the top of a cliff, overseeing the building of a temple. They paused and crouched at the edge of the cliff, watching the workers below.

There were hundreds of people toiling, breaking rocks, moving boulders and clearing away rubble.

“The road out of the valley, toward the mountain.” Teal’c said, tossing Jack a pair of binoculars.

Jack looked through the binoculars in the direction Teal’c had pointed out. He bit back a colorful swear when he saw four men tied to stakes in the center of the workers, three were natives while the fourth was Connor.

All four were sunburned and the natives had their heads hanging down against their chests. Connor looked exhausted but was still alive, the bandages that Eva had wrapped around his sunburns nowhere in sight.

Jack sighed and shook his head morosely. “I’ll be back in 30 minutes.” He said, tossing the binoculars back to Teal’c.

“If you are thinking about rescuing Conner…” Teal’c started, catching the binoculars and looking at Jack.

“Not yet.” Jack interrupted. He put his shades on and looked at Sam. “Captain? When the time comes, I'll need your help to get in the front door.”

“I'm prepared for that, sir.” Sam said, nodding.

Jack got to his feet and took off through the woods behind them. Teal’c turned back to the site below and looked through the binoculars.

“There will be none left to worship him if this continues.” Teal’c said, handing the binoculars to Eva.

“They’re like Abraham.” Daniel commented while Eva looked through the binoculars.

Sam and Teal’c looked at him, puzzled.

“Who was Abraham?” Teal’c asked, looking at Daniel.

“A Biblical figure.” The Archaeologist replied. “He was believed to be the father of Man.”

“God tested his faith by instructing him to make a great sacrifice.” Eva continued, lowering the binoculars and handing them to Sam. “His son, Isaac.”

“Did he sacrifice his son?” Teal’c asked, frowning.

“He gave it a good shot before an angel stopped him.” Daniel said, nodding. “At the last minute.”

Sam looked through the binoculars and saw one of the workers fall. Several men tried to catch him before they were seen but it was too late, Baker had seen him fall. He strode towards the fallen man and his friends.

“Get up!” Baker shouted at the fallen man.

“He worked straight through the night.” A cave dweller protested. “He needs rest.”

“Shut up.” Baker shouted at the cave dweller before leaning in close to the fallen man. “Do I need to make an example? Do I?” He shouted. The native cringed at the shout and at the words. Baker swung back his rifle and hit the worker several times, the boy crying out in pain and flinching away with each hit.

“Hey.” Sam said, handing the binoculars to Teal’c. “Look over there.” She pointed to where Baker was beating the native and Teal’c looked as requested. Sam rose to her feet, slinging her gun strap over her shoulder.

“Whoa. Where are you going?” Daniel asked, looking at the blonde.

“I can't just stay here and watch him beat that man to death.” Sam argued.

“You will be captured.” Teal’c warned, lowering his binoculars and looking at her.

“Uh-huh.” Sam said, nodding.

“And you think that’s a plan?” Daniel asked incredulously.

“Daniel, I can get to Hanson.” Sam explained. “That's what the Colonel was talking about.”

“I don’t think Uncle Jack meant getting captured, Samantha.” Eva pointed out.

“Can you at least wait until he gets back?” Daniel asked, nodding in agreement to Eva’s statement.

“The man could be dead by then.” Sam said. She turned and took off through the woods.

Daniel, Eva and Teal’c turned back to look at the workers below.

“We should have stopped her.” Daniel said.

“You would have failed.” Eva said bluntly.

“Indeed.” Teal’c said in agreement.

“Yeah, you have a point.” Daniel said with a sigh.

Teal’c looked through the binoculars, focusing on Baker who was still beating the young native. He watched as Sam came up behind Baker, pulled the gun away before punching him in the face. Baker fell to the ground from the force of the blow.

“Well, that was refreshing.” Sam said cheerfully.

“Nice.” Eva said, whistling appreciatively at the impressive blow the blonde had landed on the Lieutenant.

Jack ran down the path and rejoined Eva, Daniel and Teal’c.

“Eva, Connor looks bad.” Jack said. “There's two guards be…” He trailed off when he saw Daniel, Teal’c and Eva weren’t paying attention to what he was saying. He followed their gaze and sighed exasperatedly.

Sam, meanwhile, raised her hands in surrender and removed her rifle. Baker got to his feet and took the weapon.

“Daniel.” Jack said questioningly.

Daniel wordlessly motioned to Sam who was being escorted away by Baker and a pair of natives. He opened his mouth to try and explain, but no sound or words came out; the Archaeologist was completely speechless.

“Samantha’s idea is probably our only way in without a firefight.” Eva pointed out.

“Yeah, you’ve got a point.” Jack said, sighing. “All right, we're going to have to get one of them alone. Talk to him.”

“They could give us away.” Teal’c said.

“Maybe not.” Daniel said, looking through the binoculars. He saw the young man who had been beaten by Baker stumble away from the work site. “Maybe not. And I think I have just the candidate.”

“Who?” Eva asked.

“The boy who had been beaten by Baker just now.” Daniel replied, lowering the binoculars. “He just stumbled away from the work site.”

“Then let’s go find him.” Jack said.

“Did you notice if he had any bruising?” Eva asked Daniel as they away from the bluff that overlooked the work site.

“Yeah, I think he did.” Daniel said, frowning thoughtfully.

“Why do you ask?” Jack asked curiously.

“He’ll most likely go to a river or a stream then.” Eva said logically. “They may be cave dwellers, but they would have quickly learned the importance of keeping wounds clean. If only to avoid getting sick.” She turned to Teal’c. “Can you tell if there’s a water source nearby?” She asked.

“There is.” Teal’c replied, nodding. He led the three humans through the woods to a stream nearby.

Sure enough, the young native was crouched on the bank and splashing water on his face.

“Nice work.” Jack whispered to Eva, a proud look on his face.

“Thank you.” Eva whispered back happily.

Over the next five minutes, they had snuck up on the native, frightened the life out of him and sent him cowering near a bush in fright.

“My name is Jamala.” He said whimpering fearfully. “Jamala. Please don't kill me. Please don't…”

“It’s okay, sweetie. We won’t hurt you.” Eva said soothingly, pitching her voice to match the soft tone she had often used with Dahlia when she was scared.

“Jonas said that you would come.” Jamala whimpered, panting heavily. “Devils with power like him; here to destroy us.”

“No! No, we're not devils.” Daniel said, pulling off his shades and revealing his beautiful blue eyes. “We’re people just like yourself. We’re uh… I’m Daniel,” he gestured to each of them in turn and mentioned their names, “this is Eva, Jack and he’s Teal’c.”

“Hello!” Eva said cheerfully, smiling gently.

“Hi.” Jack said, smiling as well.

Jamala looked at the two of them nervously before looking at Teal’c. The Jaffa looked back with a blank look on his face, a single eyebrow raised.

“Is he a Jaffa?” Jamala asked in a whisper, his eyes wide and never leaving Teal’c’s massive figure.

“Yes, he is.” Eva replied honestly.

“Oh, don’t kill me!” Jamala exclaimed, once again becoming fearful, trying to scramble further back towards the tree behind him.

“No, no, it’s okay.” Eva said hurriedly, trying to calm the terrified local down. “Teal’c isn’t going to hurt you, he’s a friend.”

Jamala looked at her in disbelief before turning the disbelieving look on Teal’c. Daniel got to his feet and moved towards Teal’c, putting his arm around the massive Jaffa’s shoulder.

“See?” Daniel said to Jamala with a gentle smile. He turned to Teal’c, saying, “Smile, look friendly.”

Teal’c raised his lips in an attempt to smile. Unfortunately, it ended up looking more like a snarl.

“You’re going to have to work on that a little bit.” Jack said dryly, looking up at the Jaffa from where he was crouched beside Eva.

 “How do know that he is Jaffa?” Eva asked, turning back to Jamala. “Have you seen a Jaffa before?”

“No.” Jamala replied, shaking his head. “Just stories from when I was a young boy. Long ago.” He looked towards Jack. “He is a servant of the Old Gods, yes?”

“Well, yes and no.” Jack replied. “He’s from another place.” He gestured to Eva, Daniel and himself. “So are we.”

“Another place?” Jamala repeated questioningly.

“Earth.” Jack explained. “It’s way, way out there. Where we’re from. Jonas, too. See, he's not a god, he's just a man. A crazy man, granted but-”

“Okay, okay.” Daniel said, interrupting Jack. “Jonas is bad.”

Jamala scuttled backwards once more, terror etched across his features as he glanced around, as though Jonas could hear what they were saying. Daniel rolled his eyes in exasperation, rubbing his forehead.

“It’s all right, it’s all right.” Eva said gently, keeping her tone soft so as not to frighten the young man any further. “Jonas can’t hear you. He can’t hurt you.”

“But he will if you and your people continue to believe in him and follow him.” Daniel said.

“No, he will save us!” Jamala argued.

“By laboring you in the sun until extinction?” Teal’c asked, incredulous and disbelieving.

“If we finish the temple, Jonas will make the sky orange.” Jamala explained. Teal’c, Daniel, Jack and Eva exchanged looks, wondering what he meant. “It will be safe to come out in the light. There will be no more sickness.” Jamala told them.

“The sky, orange?” Eva asked, a delicate eyebrow raised in disbelief.

“The sky.” Jamala agreed, pointing up at the sky above the tree cover. “Up there.”

“Sweetie, we know what the sky is.” Eva said. “But why would Jonas promise to turn the sky orange?”

“When the sky is orange, it’s good. There’s no more sickness.” Jamala explained.

“And Jonas can make the sky orange?” Teal’c asked.

“Yes, he can.” Jamala said, nodding.

“How do you know that he can?” Eva asked, a frown on her face.

“He says he can.” Jamala said simply.

“Do you know what he’s talking about?’ Jack asked Teal’c.

“I believe so.” Teal’c replied. Jack looked at Teal’c for a moment before looking at Jamala. The boy looked between the team members, hesitation and worry clear on his face. “I will need paper and a pen.” He said.

“I have my notepad in my bag, back at the campsite.” Eva told him. Teal’c nodded and Eva turned to Jamala, looking at his wounds. “Your wounds need to be cleaned properly, Jamala. I have some cream that will help prevent an infection.”

Jamala, though not understanding everything she had said, nodded in response, realizing that she wanted to help him.

“All right, let’s get going.” Jack said.

Eva and Jamala rose to their feet and the group trekked through the forest once again, heading towards the campsite. As they walked, Jack explained an idea he had that could help him infiltrate the worksite and free Conner. Eva argued on the dangers of the plan if Jonas or Baker discovered him, but ultimately agreed that it really was their best option. Especially since none of them had any better ideas.

Reaching their campsite, Jack and Jamala switched clothes while Eva rummaged through her bag and pulled out a pen, a notepad and her antibacterial cream. She handed the pen and notepad to Teal’c who immediately sat down on a fallen log and began drawing.

Jamala and Jack emerged from the tent, wearing each other’s clothes (Jack wearing a pair of light-colored pants as well) and Eva immediately pulled the native boy to the side. With gentle hands, she cleaned his wounds and began applying the antibacterial cream.

Daniel sat next to Teal’c and looked at the drawing. “What is it?” He asked curiously.

Eva glanced at the drawing for a moment before turning back to Jamala, continuing to apply the antibacterial cream to keep the wounds from getting infected.

“It is something I have seen the Goa’uld’s use.” Teal’c explained. “It creates an energy force high in the air.

“As protection from radiation?” Eva asked, not looking away from her task. “Like this planet’s sun?”

“The device I saw appeared to turn the sky orange.” Teal’c said.

“The cave paintings tell of this.” Jamala said, shifting slightly so he could look at the drawing without hindering Eva from her task. “They show this symbol.”

“Have you ever actually seen one of these things he’s talking about?” Jack asked, looking at Jamala.

The boy nodded in response, wincing when Eva touched the particularly tender bruise above his eyebrow.

“Sorry.” Eva said apologetically, gently rubbing the cream on the bruise.

“Where?” Daniel asked.

“In his cave.” Jamala replied quietly.

“That settles the plan, then.” Jack said with finality, digging through Eva’s bag and pulling out her organic makeup kit. “Eva, I need you to make me look like one of the natives.”

Eva sighed quietly and nodded in response. “I’m done.” She said softly to Jamala. “Be careful with the wounds for a few days, keep them clean and you should be okay.”

“You have my thanks.” Jamala told her gratefully.

Eva smiled at him, the expression reaching her eyes for a brief moment before fading away. Jamala moved away from her and joined Teal’c on the log while Jack took his spot in front of Eva. He handed her the makeup kit and the brushes, and she began her task of making him look like a native.

“I don’t like this, Uncle Jack.” Eva said quietly, using a fan brush to dust some sandy and dirt camouflage-toned powders over his face to give him a grimy and dirt look.

“Me neither.” Daniel said, standing behind her and nodding in agreement.

“Sweetheart, you said it yourself, Conner will die if he’s left out there another day.” Jack reminded the young woman gently. He looked up at Eva’s prodding so she could apply the makeup to his neck.

“We also have to do something about Captain Carter.” Daniel said, sighing heavily.

“But if Teal’c can turn on the device, we could really undermine Jonas’ power.” Eva said, clearly torn between trying to help a man she had seen as a friend and stopping him from hurting anymore innocent people. She rubbed some of the powder on her hands before running her fingers through Jack’s hair, making it disheveled and dirty.

“There is a problem with you plan, Eva-Lorne.” Teal’c said, glancing at her over his shoulder.

“Please, tell me you can turn it on.” Eva said, looking at the Jaffa while Jack wrapped a cloth around his head that was similar to the natives’ head covering.

“I can turn it on.” Teal’c said reassuringly. “But there must be two.”

“What are you talking about?” Daniel asked, frowning in confusion.

“The shield technology involves a force field being bounced back and forth between two devices.” Teal’c explained.

“I have only seen one, in his cave.” Jamala told them softly.

“Hanson may not know he needs a second device.” Daniel said thoughtfully as Jack checked his sidearm before turning it behind his back in the waistband on his trousers.

“This is the valley.” Teal’c said, turning back to the notepad and drawing a line of triangles along both lengths of the paper to represent the surrounding mountains. “Here is the Stargate.” He drew a circle to represent the Gate between the lines at one end of the paper and a building at the other end of the paper. He pointed at the building. “Here is the temple.” He said.

“Good drawing.” Jamala said, sounding impressed at the Jaffa’s skill.

“Thank you.” Teal’c said. “However, Eva-Lorne is much more skilled then me.” Jamala glanced at Eva who was packing away the makeup and the supplies they were no longer using. “Where was the first device found?” Jamala looked back at the drawing and pointed to a spot near the Stargate and Teal’c marked it with an ‘x’. “Then the second device is…”

Teal’c drew a small ‘x’ and circled it near the drawing of the temple across the valley. He proceeded to draw an arc joining the two ‘x’ marks, making a shield over the valley.

“You’re assuming the Goa’ulds just shut them down and left them in place.” Jack pointed out, getting to his feet and looking at the drawing over Teal’c’s shoulder.

“That is correct.” Teal’c confirmed.

“I’m sorry Teal, but your calculations could be way off.” Jack said, looking apologetically at the Jaffa. “Conner doesn’t have time for us to be wrong.” He straightened up, everyone looking at him as he continued, “I’ll go after him. You try and find that second device. I’ll try to meet you back here.”

“Be careful, Uncle Jack.” Eva said, hugging Jack tightly.

“You too, baby.” Jack replied, kissing her forehead before stepping away from her. He looked at Daniel and Teal’c, watching as the two men put reassuring hands on Eva’s shoulders. “Look after her?”

“You can count on us, Jack.” Daniel said reassuringly.

Jack nodded and took a final glance at Eva before turning and hurrying through the trees.

“Let’s go find the other device.” Eva said, turning away from the trees Jack disappeared through.

Jamala nodded and turned in the opposite direction, leading them through the woods in the general direction of the Stargate. No one spoke and by the time they reached the location Jamala had pointed out on the crude map Teal’c had drawn, the sun was high in the sky.

Looking around the clearing, all they found was a temple in ruins, the stone platform covered in moss, grass, leaves and debris.

“This place is like where the other one was found on the far side of the temple.” Jamala said, walking up the steps and standing in the middle of the platform.

Daniel walked up the steps and crouched on the platform, brushing away some of the debris, leaves and moss.

“Agh, this is like solid rock.” Daniel groaned, examining the crevices in the stone. “We’ll never be able to get through this.”

Eva frowned and stepped onto the platform. She crouched beside Daniel and began examining the stone. “I wonder…” She said thoughtfully, a frown on her face. She looked up at Teal’c, “Teal’c, can you pass me your staff weapon, please?” Teal’c raised his eyebrow but gently tossed the weapon across the short distance to the young Major. Eva caught it expertly and tapped the bottom against the stone. “I thought so.” She said, grinning up at the three men who were looking at her in confusion.

“What is it, Sitara?” Daniel asked.

“You may want to step back.” Eva said in lieu of an actual reply.

Jamala and Daniel rose to their feet and stepped off the platform, watching with Teal’c as Eva climbed onto a stone boulder at the edge of the platform. She carefully aimed the tip of the staff weapon at the stone and fired a single blast into the ground.

A large, perfectly circular hole formed in the stone floor as a result of the blow.

“The stone floor was hollow.” Eva said cheerfully, sealing the staff weapon closed before tossing it back at Teal’c.

She gracefully jumped off the boulder she was on and stepped up to the edge of the hole. Daniel ran up the stairs and stood beside her, Teal’c and Jamala following suit.

The four of them looked into the hole before Daniel looked at Eva with amazement written across his face. “Have I mentioned I love you recently?” He asked.

“Not today, you haven’t.” Eva replied cheekily.

“I love you.” Daniel said promptly, kissing her temple before looking back into the hole. “Now I just hope this thing still functions.”

“I think we all do.” Eva replied, looking down into the hole as well.

Inside the hole was the shield device they had been searching for.

Jamala separated from them and headed back towards the worksite to find out what had occurred over the past few hours while Teal’c and Daniel worked together to pull the device out of the hole and onto the forest floor, Eva staying back since her tiny height wouldn’t be of much help. As soon as the device was set on the ground, Eva stepped up and cleared away the debris and leaves that covered it.

“Will it work?” Daniel asked curiously.

“I do not know.” Teal’c replied.

“Your guess is as good as mine.” Eva said, agreeing with Teal’c.

Jamala ran up to them, skidding to a stop just before he could run into the shield device.

“Jamala, what is it?” Eva asked, looking at the native worriedly.

“Everyone is being forced to gather at the Circle of the Gods.” He replied, panting.

“The Stargate.” Daniel translated.

“I have a bad feeling.” Eva said, looking worried.

“As do I.” Teal’c admitted.

“Me too.” Daniel admitted.

~*~

Eva hid behind a tree, Daniel behind another one across from her, both listening to Jonas as he spoke to the natives who were circled around the Stargate. The Gate itself was titled, lying flat on the ground with the steps making an improvised stage that Jonas was standing on, addressing the natives with the shield device beside him. Jack and Conner were kneeling on a makeshift stone plank that led to the Stargate, their hands tied in front of them. Eva could see Baker standing behind the two bound men, a gun in his hand.

“… ‘the sun hath stood still in the heavens, and hastened not to go down about a whole day. I have the power to help, and to cast down. But fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.’” Jonas recited, crossing towards the DHD where Sam was standing, her hands tied in front of her. “Today, we will bury the doorway that brings forth demons who threaten to undo us. But first… I will send those evil undoers who have already invaded our world.” He pointed at Jack and Conner who exchanged looks. “Back to the hell from whence they came.” He turned to the DHD and began dialing a sequence. Once he pressed the last symbol, he turned back to the people. “Fear not, for I the lord your god, control the gateway to the underworld.”

Jonas turned to the DHD and pressed the red crystal in the middle, activating the Gate. The wormhole engaged and the natives jumped in surprise. Their surprise turned to fear as the event horizon shot upwards like a tower of water before settling in the stone ring.

From behind the tree, Eva could see Sam staring at the Stargate with betrayal written across her face. The blonde turned to Jonas, whispering something to him, the betrayal turning to anger. Jonas whispered back, looking completely unconcerned, before stepping back onto the improvised stage and looking back at the natives.

“I am the lord your god; there is nothing I cannot do. No one is greater than I. No one is more powerful than I.” Jonas called before turning to Baker. “Throw them in.” He ordered.

In response, Baker pushed Jack and Conner towards the edge of the stone plank. They stopped at the edge and looked down into the wormhole, both knowing that without the iris code, they wouldn’t be able to exit the wormhole on the other side.

Daniel and Eva looked at each other, knowing that they had to do some thing or Jack and Conner were going to die.

‘You ready?’ Eva mouthed to Daniel, nodding towards Jonas.

Taking a breath, Daniel nodded and darted out from behind the tree, jumping onto a large rock so he could oversee the crowd. “Wait!” He shouted, his hands in the air. “Stop!”

Baker turned his gun onto Daniel, getting ready to fire when Jamal, on cue from Eva, darted out from the tree he was hiding behind and shot him with Teal’c’s staff weapon.

“Back away!” The boy called, pointing the staff weapon warningly at Jonas.

Jonas stepped forward, pulling his sidearm out and aiming it at Jamala. Sam jumped and kicked the gun out of his hands, earning herself a backhand across the face from the man in response. Sam fell to the ground and Jonas turned to her, ready to hit her again when Jamala fired the staff weapon again. The shot missed Jonas, but did draw his attention away from Sam.

Eva darted out from behind the tree and stepped onto the stone plank beside Jack and Conner.

“Listen to me, all of you.” Eva called, standing slightly in front of Jack and Conner, discretely handing the Colonel her pocketknife. “No matter what Jonas has shown you or done for you, he is not a God.”

“Don’t listen to her!” Jonas yelled. “They are demons, agents of the Devil! I am your savior!”

“We’re not demons, for cryin’ out loud!” Jack yelled exasperatedly, using the pocketknife Eva had slipped him to cut through the ropes binding his hands.

“This…” Daniel started, jumping off the ground, picking up Baker’s gun and jumping back onto the rock in a swift motion. “This… this is not magical power.” He unlatched the magazine, making the clip fall to the ground. “It’s called a gun, and it’s a machine.”

“Do as I say or you will all die!” Jonas shouted.

“Do as he says and you will die!” Jack countered, discretely passing the pocketknife to Conner.

“Do not betray me; after all I have done for you!” Jonas shouted. “I promised you I would bring you out of the caves, into the light. Today I fulfill that promise.” He moved towards the shield device. “Behold…the magical power that belongs to your god!” He looked at the crowd and pointed to himself. “I give you the sun.” He turned the device on, sending up a stream of reddish-orange energy into the air. “I give you the world!”

Everyone looked up, the natives cowering at the sight of the stream of energy. However, it only streamed upwards and provided a pretty light show, doing absolutely nothing else.

Jonas moved towards Sam and crouched beside her jerking her vest and whispering harshly to her. Sam retorted back and Jonas forcibly moved her towards the device, intending for her to fix whatever was wrong with it.

“It is a machine.” Eva said, seeing her chance to get the natives out from under Jonas’ manipulation. “I can make it work, and so can you, just like Jamala can fire that staff. Now I’ll show you how.” She glanced at Jonas, who was holding Sam in front of him like a shield. “There are two devices. And both must be turned on for the shield to work. Watch.”

Eva glanced at Jamala and gave him a small nod. Jamala nodded back and aimed the staff weapon in the air, firing off a single shot.

A second later, another stream of reddish-orange was sent into the air from the other side of the valley, sent up by Teal’c. Everyone watched as the two streams of light arched towards each other and hooked like a rainbow. A large orange dome formed around the valley, bathing everyone in a soft reddish-orange light.

“That is beautiful.” Eva breathed, looking up at the orange-looking sky.

Jonas grabbed Sam and began pulling her towards the still active Stargate, his strength overpowering her. Jack, seeing it, pushed Conner out of the way and tackled Jonas. Both men and Sam toppled off the platform and onto the ground.

The natives, angry with Jonas for what he had done to them, surged around the three, carefully moving Sam and Jack out of the way before attacking Jonas. Jack wrapped his arm around Sam and held her as the natives picked Jonas up and carried him towards the Gate, tossing him into the active wormhole without any hesitation.

Sam gasped in shock, tears of sorrow filling her eyes as she turned away from the Gate, burying her head into Jack’s chest. She knew that the iris code hadn’t been sent. Jonas was dead.

Jack helped her to her feet, gently rubbing her back. He tried to tell himself that it was similar to the way that he would comfort Eva or Caroline, but there was a part of him that knew it was different. The emotions he was feeling when he held Sam were nothing like the ones he felt whenever he held Eva or Caroline. He pushed the feelings aside, knowing that nothing could come of it due to the regulations that were in place for a reason.

Eva jumped off the rock she was on and darted towards Sam and Jack, wrapping her arms around the older woman while Jack adjusted his arm so that he could hold both women.

~*~

An hour later, SG-1 stood by the Stargate, once again upright through the combined efforts of the natives and the SG members. Eva remote controlled F.R.E.D towards the stairs before stepping towards the machine, double checking to ensure they had all their supplies and equipment with them. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Jamala, back in his own clothes, and some of the other natives hovering nearby, watching with keen eyes.

“Uh, I think we’re ready.” Sam said, walking up to Jack and standing beside him.

“Think we should tell them to bury the Gate after we’re gone?” Jack asked thoughtfully, looking at the pretty blonde.

“Teal’c seems to think the Goa’uld’s won’t be back.” Sam said in response.

“Maybe we should come back and check on these guys.” Daniel suggested, walking up to the pair and stopping in front of them.

“I think we’ve done enough, don’t you?” Sam asked, her tone clearly expressing how shaken she was over the events of the past 2 days.

Daniel looked at her for a moment, seeing the sorrow in her eyes, and nodded in agreement before walking away.

“Something else on your mind?” Jack asked, recognizing the turmoil on the blonde’s face.

“I had the chance to end this, Colonel.” Sam admitted softly. “He literally asked me to do it.”

“Killing is no badge of honor, Captain.” Jack said, his own eyes becoming haunted as he remembered the lives that he had taken over the past several years.

“I know.” Sam said softly, though not sounding entirely convinced.

“Look, I’m no expert on this thing, especially since I’m not exactly religious and my god-daughter’s Greek, not Christian.” Jack said, sighing as he held up Jonas’ Bible. “But I generally remember one commandment, I think it’s the First.”

"'I am the Lord your God, and you shall take no other Gods before me?’" Sam recited curiously.

“Okay, it’s not the first one.” Jack amended, making a slight face. “I’m talking about the ‘No Killing’ one.” He became serious and looked at Sam. “No matter what the reason, every time you break it, you take one step closer to Hanson.” He sighed softly and glanced over at Eva, who was with Daniel, Teal’c and the locals, smiling brightly. “And I’ll tell you something that I told Eva when she had killed someone for the first time. The moment killing stops effecting you is when you need to worry.”

“Thanks.” Sam said, nodding and giving the older man a small smile.

Jack smiled back and handed her the Bible before walking towards where Eva was.

“Hey Uncle Jack.” Eva greeted when the older man reached them, wrapping his arm around her waist. “Is Samantha okay?”

“She’ll be fine.” Jack replied, knowing that the younger woman will be, in time. He turned to Jamala. “So, you gonna be alright?”

“Yes.” Jamala nodded, reaching out to shake Jack’s hand firmly. He looked at the team, Sam joining them and shooting Eva a reassuring smile. “The world outside the caves… it’s very big, yes?”

“Oh, Jamala, it is bigger than you can possibly imagine.” Eva replied with a bright smile, a knowing twinkle in her electric blue eyes.

“Time to go home.” Daniel said, shaking Jamala’s hand before turning to the DHD and dialing Earth’s address.

Sam shook Jamala’s hand and stepped up beside Daniel, ready to transmit the iris code.

“Goodbye, Jamala.” Eva said, smiling gently and hugging the man.

“Goodbye, Eva.” Jamala said, returning the hug before letting her go.

Eva waved at the locals before joining the rest of the team and Conner by the DHD, watching as Sam transmitted the iris code. One after another, the six SG-team members stepped through the Gate and emerged on the other side on Earth.

“Welcome home, SG-1, Lieutenant Conner.” Hammond said, entering the Gate Room and looking at the team and Conner. “Where is the rest of SG-9?”

“It’s a long story, Sir.” Eva replied, her bright smile fading as a tired look crossed her face. “And it’s not entirely pleasant.”

“I see.” Hammond said, nodding. “Debrief in 2 hours, take your time showering and getting your physicals.”

“Yes, Sir.” Daniel said, looking forward to the idea of a hot shower. “Thank you, Sir.”

Conner remote controlled F.R.E.D. down the ramp, SG-1 on either side of the machine. Leaving the machine with the scientists and removing their weapons to be cataloged and returned to the Armory, they grabbed their bags and headed out of the Gate Room.

“And Eva.” Hammond called just as Eva was walking out of the Gate Room.

“Yes, Sir?” Eva asked, turning in the doorway to look up at the General who was still standing by the ramp.

“I have made a decision regarding Dr. Pierson knowing about the Program.” Hammond said, walking towards the Major and stopping in front of her.

Eva looked up at him, curious as to what his decision was. As she had told the others the previous night, it didn’t particularly matter to her whether Adam was allowed to know about the Program or not. She saw the benefit of him knowing, and at the same time she also saw why it was likely Hammond wouldn’t allow him to be told; Adam was a civilian, even if he was working for an Air Force Officer.

Hearing the question, Teal’c, Jack, Sam and Conner also stopped in their tracks and turned to the General, each one curious to what the decision would be.

“I have decided that you may tell him about the Program.” The General said, completely aware of everyone in the vicinity listening to him and not even bothering to hide the fact that they were eavesdropping. Eva’s life was often a hot topic of discussion among the base personnel, from her managing to run the base and her company to maintaining her personal relationships with friends and family off base.

“Really?” Eva asked, looking surprised. She had honestly thought that Hammond would refuse, at least for the time being as their program was still relatively new.

“Yes, really.” Hammond replied, laughing lightly at her stunned expression. He gestured to her to continue down the corridor and walked with her, the rest of SG-1 and Conner walking in front of them and listening closely. “Having Adam know about the Program could also help him keep your Board of Governors from asking too many questions about us and finding out about us before we’re ready for the truth to come out.”

“Sir, thank you.” Eva said, smiling up at the jovial man and hugging him tightly. “Thank you so much.”

“You’re welcome, Eva.” Hammond said, chuckling as he returned the hug.

In front of them, SG-1 and Conner laughed as well, shooting Eva fond smiles over their shoulders.

Links:

*Eva hairstyle (Drizella from Once Upon A Time – Season 7 flashback sequence) - https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/474566879480197571/