Title: The Price of Our Legacy
Genre: A/U, A/A, Drama, HU, H/C, ANGST
Summary: My version of events after Evolution Part One. Part One: The Search- Can Daniel hang on long enough for Jack to save him? Part Two: The Rescue- Jack has found Daniel, but is he too late? Part Three: The Race- Daniel’s alive, but can Jack keep him that way as they race for their lives? Part Four: The End- How hard is it really, to get one archaeologist home alive?
DISCLAIMER: All characters and property of Stargate SG-1 belong to MGM/UA, World Gekko Corp. and Double Secret Productions. This fan fiction was created solely for entertainment and no money was made from it. Also, no copyright or trademark infringement was intended. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. Any other characters, the storyline and the actual story are the property of the author. Any songs or quotes are also not mine. I’m just using their beauty for entertainment.
“Brotherhood is the very price and condition of man’s survival.”
-Carlos P. Romulo
Part 1- The Search
He watched it as it crept from the shadows, body ready, eyes fixed on its prey. Curled on his side, Daniel dare not move. Breath held firm in his aching chest, he stared as it inched closer. He had hoped the fierce pounding of his heart would scare it off.
No such luck.
And so another inch was swallowed in the distance between. Daniel saw the look in its eyes and knew it was ready to strike.
And he wondered…does it know?
Does it have any idea where it’s about to procure its lunch from? Does this four legged, scaly little beast know that it is currently in the fast food line at a very heavily guarded, underground, guerrilla operation?
…a very heavily guarded, underground, guerrilla operation that just happened to be holding him ransom?
Daniel jumped at its strike and watched in disgust as it munched on the unfortunate fly that had lingered on his forehead for a millisecond too long.
That was the third time Daniel’s body had been used as the local reptilian’s own personal hunting grounds. And that was only today. He thought briefly that he should instill a cover charge.
The first couple he had shooed away, but now he lacked both care and strength. He could only hope he didn’t get a tongue in the eye.
His head hurt. His side hurt. His chest hurt…hell even his big toe hurt. The only part of his body, Daniel considered, that wasn’t racked with pain were his eyelashes. On second thought, everything hurt
After watching the lizard saunter off, full and content, Daniel closed his eyes against the sudden unwelcome feeling of emptiness.
Where the hell was Jack anyway? How long has it been? Four? Five days? Shouldn’t he have saved Daniel’s sorry ass by now? How much longer was he going to have to hold up this illusion that everything was going to be okay?
That it could be worse.
How much longer…before the mask slipped?
He was so tired. And with exhaustion came delirium.
It was ironic.
Even if he did survive this and Jack just happened to show up in time to save the day, cape and all, Jack was going to kill him. Of course, not before he gave him his, “How to not get captured by the bad guys every time you step from my view,” speech—which would then quickly be followed by, “Not one grey hair Daniel! Not one before I met you!” followed by a rub of the head (I really hate that) and a quick embrace where as Jack will dub him with yet another colorful nickname. “Jungle monkey” or “Jungle boy,” he bet.
God help me.
Hmm? Maybe I’ll just stay here with the lizards and the bugs and the power-driven to- quick-to-flog madman. Actually, come to think of it, “Jungle boy” kinda has a ring to it.
Maybe he could fashion a note around one of the lizards’ neck and tell it to go find Jack.
Damnit Daniel. ack thought for the fiftieth time since the news of his ill-fortuned archeologist left the General’s mouth. He knew it wasn’t Daniel’s fault (this time anyway), damn rebels, but he could do nothing more than focus on Daniel and it was easier being mad at him then worrying.
What was it with his wayward scientist anyway? Did trouble look for him or did it always just know where he was?
I bet trouble bookmarked Daniel a long time ago.
Okay, so yes. Daniel could be an incredible pain in the ass. His mind must have had to compensate for being so damn brilliant, which is why Daniel was born with no common sense.
// “Daniel, don’t touch anything. Daniel, stay close. Daniel…Daniel? Damnit, Daniel, I told you not to get too close to the big scary village people with clubs!”//
His curiosity out-ranked self-preservation every time. It unnerved Jack sometimes, seeing how Daniel always put himself last on the list of concerns. But it wasn’t always Daniel Jack was cursing. More like Murphy... or his Law anyway. Pain and unspeakable tragedy seemed to follow Daniel around like a lost puppy. A puppy with really, really big sharp teeth that would start gnawing on Daniel’s heart every time it got a whiff of happiness in the linguist’s path.
You’d think being a linguist he’d be able to communicate with the puppy o’ trouble and tell it to, “Get! Go home! Go wreak havoc on someone else’s life for once.” Especially since he’s the one who admitted to having “more successful conversations with dogs.” But knowing Daniel, he’d just feel bad—that everybody had their own form of…um…puppy and he’d just tend to his heart like everybody else did. Jack, however, had never known anybody with a puppy like Daniel’s.
Anybody in Daniel’s position would have shot the damn puppy by now if not themselves.
But that was the problem wasn’t it?
…or was it?
Daniel had an almost unhealthy ability to deal. He accepted all the pain in his life because he looked at it as his human right, er, curse to be…uh, cursed.
Anyway, digressing here…
Dannyboy will be okay. He’s always okay. Even when he’s dead, he miraculously turns out to be okay
He has to be okay.
Daniel couldn’t breathe. His lungs were on fire and his head was going to explode. Or was it the other way around?
Not that it mattered.
/‘Come to Central America, witness the beauty, find an ancient alien artifact, get kidnapped and tortured to death/’ he really had to start reading the brochure’s fine print. Right now he’d choose Apophis’ nasty ass over, “Mr. Beats me a lot.” At least Apophis had an agenda, a purpose. (Destroy earth, seek revenge, win “Worst False God of the Year” award, yadda, yadda, yadda).
This guy had nothing! He didn’t demand information from him, not even about the artifact (not that he’d give it anyway). He didn’t even want to make him into a creature of the night…or …universe.
The only significant thing that seemed to be on this guy’s agenda was pain. Daniel’s pain.
7a.m. Beat Daniel.
8a.m. Demand ransom.
10a.m. Beat Daniel.
12 Noon. Lunch.
1p.m. Beat Daniel.
2p.m. Cancel anger management meeting.
4p.m. Find something new to beat Daniel with.
5pm. Invite mom over for roasted lizard
8pm. Try nifty new torture device on Daniel.
He had nothing to work with here! It was almost as if the guy was possessed and he bet, no, he knew it had something to do with that artifact.
Madness and addiction, he remembered telling Dr. Lee that right before…
If only he could have gotten a better look at it…read some of the inscription. He could figure out how to turn it off…or …whatever. If he could just get to it
Actually, at this point, he’d be happy if he could just open his eyes. But even if he could get past the nausea and dizziness, he didn’t think the swelling would allow it.
Jack? Where the hell are you?
Carter and Teal’c are out saving the universe …again. And here he was saving Daniel…again. History sure does have a habit of repeating itself.
Not that he minded.
One might say that his universe would cease to exist if he didn’t get a certain archeologist back in one solid, breathing piece ….and he might be inclined to agree…maybe…probably…yeah okay it’s one big honkin’ definitely.
But so help him if that gets out.
He already gets smirks left and right for his sometimes overprotective and fatherly-like relationship he has with Dannyboy. But who could blame him?
For cryin out loud, have you ever once looked into those big blue eyes?
Jack ran his hands down his face as the pilot asked him to prepare for landing.
I can’t lose him again. I won’t. Losing one son was enough. Losing a surrogate one again and again… Jack shuddered at the thought.
Just hang on Daniel, I’m coming.
Just hang on Daniel, I’m coming.
Daniel licked his lips, though it was pointless because his tongue was just as dry.
He swore he had heard him. But reaching out his arm he was greeted by only bugs and…bugs. Oh great…now I’m hallucinating, he thought as he laid his searching arm over his eyes.
It was about time for another… “session” and with each one passing Daniel grew weaker, not only in body but in spirit. The illusion was slipping and reality was moving in with a vengeance. He wouldn’t give up, but he wasn’t sure there would be anything left to save by the time help found him. He wasn’t sure how long it would be before he gave out.
A harsh round of coughing ended his mental declaration and tremors ran through his body. Although contrary to the popular belief of his happy little host and helpers, it was not out of fear that his body trembled, but as a reminder of the exhaustion and pain that his mind had been trying so desperately to elude
“Decisions determine destiny”
Alone. Chasing the rising sun, Jack drove down a narrow dirt road to the first of two destinations.
The first, being a village.
The second, being Daniel.
His eyes watched the road, but did not see it. His weary heart let his mind wander to another place, another time…
// “Sometimes you can only do so much Daniel. Go so far. And as painful as it is to recognize that line, it’s even harder to come back from beyond it empty-handed.”
“That may be true, Jack. And I’m sorry… but I’d rather test the boundaries of the impossible, than live by them. I couldn’t live with myself otherwise, Jack.” His eyes pleaded for understanding. “Knowing that something else could have been done, if only I looked a little harder, went a little further. And I think you know where I’m coming from Jack…”
“Yeah, Daniel, maybe I do. Maybe I do.”//
…and he did. Jack understood where he was coming from. He fought with the same unremitting determination when it came to his team. But Daniel didn’t even know these people.
There was a big, cosmic, stormy thing-a-ma-jig coming straight for them, which would wipe out their whole civilization. But did they heed their warning? Nooooo. Would they agree to relocate? Of course not.
They had spent an entire day trying to convince the Suebaris that they would die if they didn’t evacuate the planet, but they were too afraid to leave all they had ever known behind.
Even with death knocking on their doors?
Anyhoo, it was the Enkarans all over again. This time though, only Daniel had the power to save them. He did his best and if they didn’t get out of there pronto the Suebaris weren’t going to be the only ones meeting their makers. Still, Daniel insisted on trying one more time to get through to them…to get them to understand.
...and that’s when it hit Jack. About time eh?
Daniel was never going to change.
Covered in mud, standing out in the freezing wind and rain with certain death nipping at their heels… he realized, then and there, that Daniel Jackson was never going to change…And he decided he didn’t want him to. He would forever be the geeky archeologist who surpasses the unexpected and goes far beyond the impossible to help those in need.
No…Jack didn’t want him to change, because if he did, he would lose his best friend. His best friend fought with a passion Jack had come to realize he would never truly be able understand. His best friend lived and breathe with compassion of such, that no soul who has been through as much as he, should ever posses.
Jack had witnessed him willingly put his hand in the flame, countless times, to help others.
Like the world didn’t burn him enough.
Still, he sacrificed.
Gave when he had nothing left to give.
Struggled through battles, whose war had already been lost.
His best friend never gave up…and that’s what Jack held onto as the road bounced him out of his reverie and back into the merciless jungle.
Daniel now lay on his side after finally winning a round of “catch your breath.” Head pillowed on his arm, he tried to control the tremors as he thought back to a time when pain wasn’t constantly knocking on his door and letting itself in.
Abydos instantly flooded his mind.
He had cursed the only happiness he had ever known since his parents’ death with curiosity.
By unburying that damn gate.
Perhaps it’s true then, perhaps he does deserve this. Not only did he destroy his life, but countless others…Abydos no longer existed because of him. He thought he’d be able to help more by being ascended. The only thing he accomplished was getting his naked ass thrown out of Angels 101.
No fallen angel was he though. He was more like a…regurgitated archeologist.
Now a beaten, regurgitated archeologist.
Damn it’s hot. Hot and …buggy. Bugs. Bugs Bunny!
Hey, what kind of name is that, anyway? Were his parents like entomologists or something? Jack thought, as he walked through the village, looking for his contact and thanking his unfailing ability to distract himself with senseless thoughts in the most inappropriate and stressful times.
That’s who supposedly knows where Daniel and Dr. Lee were being held. A friend of a friend of a friend of Jack’s—who has allegedly been down here on official business for the past twenty-eight months.
Sounded a bit too long, but whatever. Jack didn’t really care who this guy was or what his “story” was, just as long as he could help get his scientist or, actually, scientists back. Jack mentally apologized to Dr. Lee.
It wasn’t that he didn’t like the guy. Jack just kinda…forgot about him. Actually he had a nasty habit of forgetting about a lot of things when his archeologist was, so to speak, “staring down the wrong end of a barrel,” “up the creek without a paddle,” “going the wrong way on a one way street,” having jumped off a cliff, to, as usual, build his wings on the way down, only to realize that he left his duct tape in his other pants.
And Jack was rewarded with another gray hair every time.
Against normal ransom protocol, due to the extreme sensitivity of the situation (that being the kidnapper possibly had, not only two employees of the biggest kept secret in the world, but a powerful alien device in his possession), the money was put together immediately and an exchange was planned (unbeknownst to the Nicaraguan Government.)
Jack wanted to be there, but Hammond thought it would be best for him to stand down and wait until after the exchange to meet up with the scientists…to meet up with Daniel.
Best for who?
As pissed as Jack was for being ordered not to go get his teammate out of what was most likely a Godforsaken hell, it was nowhere near the rage he felt when he had learned that the kidnappers never showed up for the exchange. He wanted to vomit when he thought of the possible reason behind their absence.
They had nothing left to barter
Instead of getting up close and personal with the porcelain god, he went berserk. Yelling and cursing in a fashion that would make Sokar himself blush. And that’s when Jack decided to switch to Plan B. HIS PLAN B. This involved him, his P-90 and death to anyone that got in his way
Not that he shared that bit of information with the General.
Not that the General didn’t know.
“Get our boys back,” is what he told Jack before he stormed out of the building. And damnit that was just what he was going to do.
“The biggest thing in today’s sorrow is the memory of yesterday’s joy.”
- Kahbil Gibran
//She laughed under the moonlight and he lost his breath in the stars that twinkled in her eyes. He will stay with this woman forever. He will live for the sole purpose of loving her for the rest of his days. His happiness was seeing her smile. His completion was loving her in a way and strength he never knew possible. Sometimes he was at a loss for words when looking upon her face. Yet she was every language he had ever learned, every horizon he’d been witness to and every sunset he has ever gazed upon. She was everything he had ever accomplished in his life, everything he had ever looked upon in his life and thought of as beautiful. She was his past, present and future. She was his wife. His love. The rightful and only owner of his heart and soul. She was Sha’uri. And with a sudden agonizing jolt, Daniel remembered that she was dead. //
He awoke with a start and a replenished age-old sorrow. Quickly, he wiped away the tears and memories that ran down his face, paying little attention or care to the wounds that already took up residency there. His hands trembled in the task and he cursed them. How was he supposed to put on a brave and in-control front when his own body wouldn’t comply? It had been so many years since she had died—even more since he had lost her…and still his soul ached for her’s, reached out for her’s, mourned for her’s.
It was nagging at him like a kid who wanted ice cream. He just couldn’t put his finger on it.
Jack mentally kicked himself. It was right there. Just outside his grasp. If he could just…The Mummy! That’s it!
The guy walking towards him, whom he presumed to be none other than Cornelius Wallas, looked just like that guy from that movie Daniel made him watch. “The Mummy.” Daniel insisted that he watch it—said how wonderful it was and then picked it apart like a piece of moldy bread. Even, Jack noticed, the non-moldy parts of bread were mercilessly scrutinized. He supposed for Daniel it was just a blasty time with archeology fun.
Of course, that’s neither here nor there. Although, his guide did look like he just got finished sucking a few poor saps dry.
Mmm… I wonder if he has an unnatural fear of cats?
It was so long ago, but the memory was clear enough in Daniel’s mind to be yesterday…
//The pleasant mixture of food, candles and pine filled the air and he breathed it in deeply, while feelings of anticipation and pure content filled his heart.
his is where he needed to be…this is where he wanted to be.
With his friends on Christmas.
He only wished he could share this moment with Sha’uri.
Jack had ordered…or, invited, everyone over on Christmas Eve so that he could “spread his holiday cheer.” Daniel had realized that it was the first Christmas since Charlie’s death that Jack had allowed himself to indulge in the “spirit” of Christmas. And Daniel himself had to admit to never having “embraced” the holiday hoo-ha. So, risking his heart growing 3 times today, he accepted Jack’s order…er…offer.
Wrapping paper littered the floor as if a permanent replacement for the carpet and Daniel smiled. It had been a long time since he had felt so…at home.
Christmas music filtered through the soft musings of his friends and Daniel closed his eyes to the sweet lullaby.
He opened them again to see Jack extending a package towards him. “You forgot one.”
Daniel took the package and eyed his friend suspiciously. “I already got a present from you Jack…and forever I will cherish my very own Apophis-Bobble-Head.”
“That was just to warm you up!” he hollered over his shoulder as he walked back into the kitchen to get his drink. “This is your real present.”
Daniel eyed the package. It wasn’t like the rest. Red, green and fancy ribbon didn’t conceal its contents. Instead, simple brown paper and twine did the job. Daniel’s heart swelled at the simple gesture. He was never one for shiny looking new things…he studied the past and though occasionally dull, he sought comfort in its simplicity. Until now, he never thought Jack had understood that…or for that matter, appreciated it.
Carefully releasing his gift from its confines, Daniel’s eyes welled with tears. It was beautiful. And suddenly, “eloquent in its simplicity” held a whole new meaning.
The cover was a solid piece of oak with, “Daniel’s Family” carved in its center. Various hieroglyphics repetitiously bordered the cover, translating into, “Courage, Love, and Family.”
The binding was another solid piece of oak, along with the hinges that held it all together. Daniel marveled at the craftsmanship. He had seen a lot of miraculous things in his life, but still couldn’t get over how something so simple, so beautiful could also be so…well, functional. It was beyond his capabilities, he knew that.
“I made it,” Jack said sitting down on the coffee table in front of him.
Daniel’s eyes went wide. “Wow, really?” He couldn’t hide his surprise. “Wow, Jack…it’s beautif…Jaaack!” Raising his eyebrows, Daniel looked up to study his friend. “You didn’t make this,” he said matter-of-factly with a grin threatening to let itself be seen.
“What?!” Jack had the nerve to act shocked. “Did the ‘Made in Taiwan’ sticker give it away?” he asked, turning the book over in the archeologist’s hand in search of the dead give away.
“Uh…no… but the price tag did,” Daniel offered, and held up his sleeve to reveal the traitor that had clung to him.
“Aw…geez…damnit! Give me that!” Jack grabbed the ever elusive party crasher. “I thought you said you took it off, Carter?”
“I did, sir. The one on the inside, anyway. I didn’t think there’d be two,” she winced. “Sorry.”
Everyone was snickering. Including Teal’c, which, before now Daniel had thought was anatomically impossible.
“I bought the book and had a professional carve it…but it doesn’t matter anyway because what I made…er…” Jack paused and looked back at two of his teammates. “…what we made is inside.” After watching his friend trace the carvings for yet another whole minute Jack couldn’t take it anymore. “So, Daniel, are you gonna marry the cover or open it?”
Without looking up, Daniel hesitantly opened the book and whatever his reaction may have been, caught in his throat. Inside, the pages were made up of thick parchment paper, with the edges worn and dyed to make them look graced with age. Pictures filled the pages and although most of them couldn’t date back to more than a few years ago, each one held an antique appearance that complimented the pages they resided on. Poems and writings danced around the collages in English, Abydonian and where his parents graced, hieroglyphics.
The photographs ranged from holiday and birthday parties, to parties celebrating a victory of a close, but safe return. From pictures of him sleeping at his desk (Hey!), to the few he had of his parents. There were even pictures from his first mission to Abydos.
With his thumb, Daniel lightly caressed the image of him and his wife while tears threatened release. Somebody had taken a picture of their last kiss before the demon claimed her soul along with his. Why didn’t he stay? Why didn’t she go with him? Why did he pick that precise moment to go show off his discovery of the Cartouche Room?
Abydonian filled the pages around their picture. Daniel wasn’t going to read it, but an irrational need enveloped him, especially since time had barely whispered by since he had buried his love and said his final farewells to hope.
Tracing the language that made him fall in love with his wife, Daniel could no longer hold back the tears that rushed to the surface on the wings of memories. It was part of a poem; an Ancient Egyptian poem he recited to his wife after they had defeated Ra. Jack must have gotten it from Kasuf.
“Your hand is in my hand, my body trembles with joy,
y heart is exalted because we walk together.”
He didn’t know what to say, so Jack spoke for him. “Carter did most of the writings with help from Teal’c on the Abydonian and SG-3’s archeologist with the hieroglyphics. I gathered up all the pictures and had them manipulated to look old.” Pausing a moment with concern, Jack leaned in to get a better look at Daniel and realized that his archeologist was truly and actually speechless. “I was just as surprised to find this one Daniel,” he added, placing a hand over the one that still held the Abydonian princess.
After getting over the initial shock and nostalgia, the rest of the night had passed as a peaceful dream. They played games, which, Cassie mostly won and Jack mostly cheated at and ate until they could barely move. //
Realizing now, as the hut enveloped him once again and Christmas music was replaced by the monotonous droning of insects, Daniel couldn’t remember saying “thank you” to any of them. He was so lost in the pages and then Janet and Cassie had come...God, add that to the list of things he needed to do when he got back—including scrubbing off the permanent marker that’s been on his forehead for the better part of his life reading, “Open for torturing.”
“Even a drowning man will clutch at a straw.”
Jack decided immediately that he liked the guy. He got straight to the point. No song and dance.
Cornelius walked right up to him, introduced himself and told him that he was certain that one of his scientists was dead.
So he might as well of walked right up to him, introduced himself and stabbed him IN THE HEART TEN TIMES.
It would have been less painful.
He would have been able to recover quicker.
But now that it was said and done and he was bleeding to death, Jack decided that it wasn’t Daniel.
It couldn’t be.
He’d know it.
His internal “DID-AR” (Daniel is Dead –Again Radar) would be going bonkers by now. Okay. So, yes, his “DIT-AR” (Daniel in Trouble-Again Radar) was in danger of blowing up, but “DID-AR” has been dormant for a couple of months now.
Wow…is that a record? Congrats to Daniel…he finally gets a star for staying alive for an extended period of time. And Jack was gonna make sure it made it to his refrigerator
“Excuse me?” Jack asked as he was pulled from his reverie.
“Handez Fernandez is who took your men, Colonel,” Cornelius said, bending over to pull something from his pack.
“Ouch. With a name like that it kinda makes it easier to understand why a guy would…” Jack’s words fell silent as a picture from a high-powered camera was brought up before him; revealing a very weary, battered and way too-bloodied Daniel, kneeling next to a very dead Dr. Lee.
He remembered that he had played it cool, balancing on the fine line of submissive and defiant.
Sarcastic yet obedient, he would wait for help. He knew it would come.
Daniel knew he would come.
He was quickly coming to the end of his, Survival Instincts Manual and he didn’t want to wait around long enough to get sucked into the last chapter.
The man would not listen to reason, or threats for that matter and Daniel was running out of time. It was not that he didn’t have faith in his team. He knew they would come. But would they come in time?
Beaten into submission, he waited.
He wanted to scream for help, for Jack, until his throat failed him. But he knew that would only succeed in adding fuel to his captors’ already searing mirth.
So, he waited. Choiceless.
// “Many prisoners talk as you do. ‘My friends will come and save me.’ Gives them hope.” //
Choiceless, but not hopeless.
Jack placed the picture in his pocket painfully against his heart. Knowing that Daniel was alive, but still in that bastards grasp, was like putting a simple band-aid on after open heart surgery and being asked to sing and dance to, “If you’re happy and you know it…”
Fear and anger battled fiercely within him. He could not remember ever wanting…needing so badly to end a life and save another at the same time. It tore at him thoroughly, as did the look on Daniel’s face in that picture.
To the outsider, just a weary, battered and bloodied archeologist would have been seen. To an overprotective friend and commander…hope.
After checking their gear and maps, Jack and Cornelius set out to catch a miracle by its wings. They may be fools, but they were not blind fools. They knew what they were walking into, and they knew the odds of them walking back out were not in their favor. And they didn’t care, at least Jack didn’t. If he was going to die, he was not going to do it with his back turned on his best friend.
Walking through the village, Jack’s hand tightened on his P-90. He figured the villagers were used to seeing automatic weapons saunter through their homes, and he doubted any of Handez’s goons would be out looking for him (especially since they’re the ones that didn’t show up for the exchange) but, still, he was ready…for anything. And anybody that came near him could see the same.
Reaching the tree line Jack shifted his pack and noticed its heaviness with both pride and sorrow…
//She moved with an efficiency anyone would admire. No movement was wasted. Every thought put into action before it even reached her mind.
It was her job to care for people—treat them for their wounds and send them on their way. From fending off a common cold, to hand to hand combat with the grim reaper, she did her job…and she did it well; carrying it out with a mask of profession.
Even when she stood over Daniel, as he took his last breath, and Jack had asked her to let him go, her mask barely faltered. And he knew that holding it in place was the only thing that kept her from falling apart.
So, surprised wouldn’t even come close to describing what he felt, when he stumbled upon a scene in the infirmary…
The entire place was in chaos. Staff was running back and forth, heeding Janet’s orders as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Sure you might be thinking, and…so…therefore? That’s their job, that’s her job. And…you got me there. But, in the center of the pandemonium was no injured member of the elite SGC. Nope. Instead lay a single pack, MY pack that was growing fatter by the seconds.
“Doc? What’s going on? What is all this?” he asked, slowly raising his eyebrows.
“Oh, Colonel, I’m glad you’re here,” she hurried towards him while dishing out a list of items she wanted S.T.A.T., to every person she crossed paths with.
“I’m putting together some extra medical supplies in case you need them for Daniel,” she said, turning her head and grabbing a nurse when she remembered something else. “Meagan, don’t forget Doctor Jackson’s anti-histamine medication, his last shot is probably wearing off by now.”
“Yes, Doctor,” confirmed that the order would be followed.
Realizing, but not believing what was happening, Jack gently grabbed her by the shoulders and brought her to face him. Speaking firmly to snap her out of it, “Janet.”
He could tell she was struggling. She couldn’t look at him, instead her sight rested on her feet. “He’d be more comfortable, sir, if he had his…”
“Janet,” he tried again, gentler this time to get her to look at him.
Her eyes darted now from her toes to his chest and back. “Permission to speak freely, sir?”
“Janet,” though it was barely above a whisper, it was enough to break the mask that had been holding back her emotions for over seven years.
“We just got him back, sir,” she cried.
“I know,” was all he could say as he pulled her into his embrace. “I know.”
“We just got him back…”//
Never had he seen Janet without her professional mask. Sure, there had been the rare occurrences when only her closest friends could detect a slip, and even fewer occasions, where he swore it hung by a thread. But never in all the years she’d worked there, in all the years he’d known her, had her mask lay crumbled at her feet—unchecked and completely forgotten, drowning in her own tears.
“Remember that pain has this most excellent quality: if prolonged, it cannot be severe, and if severe it cannot be prolonged.”
It really couldn’t, could it?
Get any worse, that is.
Ok. So, yes…he could die…but right now…right now, he was ashamed to admit that he wanted to put out that Welcome mat a long time ago. When Dr. Lee…when he had gotten pulled from his grasp and drug out of the hut…Daniel knew…they both knew that he was going to be the “example."
Then something happened. It wasn’t about the money anymore. It didn’t seem to be about anything anymore.
Just pain and pleasure.
Daniel’s pain and his sadistic pleasure.
Daniel could almost sense a power growing within Handez (or as he liked to call him, “Handy-whip”). No matter what he used the outcome was the same; a pain so deep, he feared his body might break in half with every strike made against him. It was getting to the point that if Daniel saw him walk in with a wet noodle he might actually cringe.
Though recently he had come to realize that the Telchak Device was intensifying his pain—go fig—and that “Handy-whip” was literally feeding off of it…the insight was far from useful and his captor’s power was quickly becoming unbearable.
He was so cold and…bloody, he thought, as he managed to crack an eye open and survey himself
Is that all my blood?
That can’t be good.
The air inside the hut was thick, clinging to the roof of his mouth as he had no other choice but to breathe it in. Sweat met with blood and soaked into the earth. The smell assaulted him and carried its own memento of pain and torture.
A moan escaped his clenched teeth as he tried to sit up and escaped again when he was unsuccessful. It took all he had to suck in the stale atmosphere—pain encompassing his chest with each agonizing breath.
Suddenly a new pain latched onto him like a symbiote to its host, coursing through his body searching for relief but finding none. And if Daniel’s eyes weren’t shut so tightly against it, he would have seen “Handy-whip” standing over him with an ominous grin on his face and the artifact in his hands.
Luckily, before his eyes could have been pried open to witness his captor’s glee, his pain turned into oblivion and he found himself floating in its ignorance.
The last chapter.
He had no pain here.
No cares as to what kind of mutilation was being done to his body this time. Just ignorant bliss. He wondered for a second what he did to deserve this… reprieve. But quickly and selfishly decided that he didn’t care. There was only one thing he was worried about now.
No doubt trekking across a jungle to save him, only to end up blaming himself for the rest of his life for not making it in time.
I’m so sorry Jack, I tried…I tried.
I’m so sorry Jack, I tried…I tried.
Stopping in his tracks, Jack turned around to see if the mummy, er...Cornelius had heard that too, but by the way he was swatting at those terminator bugs, he took a wild guess that he hadn’t.
Great. There goes another screw that’s been holding my mind precariously together since I met Daniel.
Unless, of course, this was some weird, telepathic (he never would have thought that unless he was truly going insane) farewell from Daniel, which, in that case…
I don’t think so, Dannyboy! I’m not donating half my blood to Central America’s own personal blood bank on wings, so that I can bring home ‘linguist o’ rigor mortis’!
Just hang on Daniel, damnit. Just hang on, I’m coming…I’m coming.
Jack didn’t fully understand why he was yelling at Daniel in his mind…nor did he care to analyze his mental state (he was never much of a Freud fan). He did, however, quicken his pace as he tried to quell the sickening feeling that came over him.
Damnit Daniel, just hang on. I’m coming. I’m coming.
He was hearing voices again. Jack’s to be precise—telling him to, “hang on.”
Hang on to what?
There’s nothing here, Jack.
There’s nothing left.
The darkness was his mercy and he bathed in it. He couldn’t remember that last time he had felt so good. So free. Even when he was ascended there where restrictions. But here. Now. He felt he could do anything.
It was so peaceful.
Stars danced around him as if they had been pulled straight from the night—playfully tugging at his hair and tickling him from his head to his toes.
Where the blood no longer soiled.
Where the pain no longer ached.
They wanted him to follow.
And so he did.