TITLE: The Dynamic Of Sacrifice

AUTHOR: Pheral

EMAIL: kamilshka@hotmail.com

STORY STATUS: Completed

SEQUEL/SERIES INFO: N/A

SEASON: Four

SPOILERS: None

CATEGORIES: Hurt/Comfort, POV, Angst

PAIRINGS: None

Content Level: 13+

CONTENT WARNINGS: Some violence.

SUMMARY: An examination of the thoughts of each team member in a horrible situation.

ARCHIVE PERMISSIONS: ThePointOfOrigin site, Helio, JackFic site

DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Productions, this story is for fun (though I donít think Jack enjoyed himself) and I sure as hell didnít get any money. No copyright infringement is intended and you canít post this story anywhere else without asking me first damnit!! But Iíll probably say yes anyway, so go ahead and chance your luck kiddo.

FILE SIZE: 35KB

AUTHORS COMMENTS: This is my first POV attempt, thanks to Ruth for encouraging me to have a go and then liking the results!

The Dynamic Of Sacrifice

Jack

No damnit! You get over here, donít you dare lay a hand on Danny!

ĎHey fish-face, what are you, a wimp?í he probably doesnít even know what that word means but, hell, itís caught his attention,

ĎCanít face the leader of the group? Have to pick on the team? Come over here and face a challenge sissy-boy.í

God Daniel looks scared, that alien is nearly two times his size leaning over him, casting a shadow over the poor civilian. I canít let him have that innocence to play with; I canít let him destroy what makes Daniel such a good counterweight to my cynicism. He always presumes the best, seeing the good side of things with youthful optimism. I know that he has his pains deep inside but they havenít been blown open yet, he still has his defences, his beliefs. Mine are long gone. I watched them spiral away in some deep dark hole in a far away country. Rather like this dark hole actually.

ĎThatís it you ugly brute Ė itís me you want to prove yourself with, I can take anything you can dole out, just you try it.í

I really hope these aliens know the meaning of goading because itís the only way I have of protecting my team when Iím tied like this Ė arms tight behind me bound around a pole, legs tied the same.

The alienís changing direction, and he nearly comes towards me but his eye is caught by Carter who is tied beside me, and he raises his club to her face slowly.

ĎOh thatís right, take the easy way out, canít face a man can you?!í

I really hope my voice isnít as shaky as it feels, trying to summon confidence in a situation such as this is harder than it sounds. It helps to have my team here though, gives me reason to be strong. I canít let them see me falter, they need their anchor and I need them thinking of ways to get us out of this pitiful situation. The brute finally takes an exasperated step towards me and I hear Carterís despairing voice, ĎSir?í

ĎCan it, Major.í I command, momentarily afraid that the alien will go back to her. But no, heís had enough of my cajoling and steps up close to me. I can feel his putrid breath and see the anger in his eyes, well thatís right fella, thereís more words where they came from, Ďstarting to feel like a man are you? I wouldnít count on it lasting.í

When he finally swings that club and hits me I hear Daniel gasp and chains clank noisily. I hardly feel my own pain Ė itís on a level that Iíve traversed by now, it no longer matters. All my senses are concentrated on my team and their sounds. Even my cracking bones donít obliterate the sound of Carter taking another breath, and another - something that it is my job to ensure she carries on doing for a good while yet.

The pain dulls slightly and I sense the alien shifting, his eyes roaming to my team,

ĎYou call that pain?í I manage to choke out, in as annoying a voice as I can muster, ĎIíve had far worse Ė youíre pathetic.í

I clench my teeth as he rises to the bait again and I thank my stars that I am able to talk, goad, taunt. Given that power I can control any situation and it doesnít matter how I am restrained or held, my mind and mouth are always free and I can think and say what I like. And I do. And it might make things worse for me, but it sure makes things better for my team and that is my whole purpose here and now.

Daniel

It sickens me that I hang here and let Jack claim the alienís attention. Sickens me that I canít do the same for him, but thereís a paralysing fear stifling my brain and my mouth as the figure looms above me and a large part of my subconscious would do anything to escape unhurt. I cringe every time Jack spits out another goading sentence Ė I know heís trying to attract the alien but I still wince as their eyes finally meet. Relief wars with distress and anger as I watch our captor head for my friend. I donít think Iíll ever understand Jackís sacrificial nature. How can a man be so ready to give himself for others? There was a time when he was ready to give up his life for nothing and I am sure this is better than then, but I still find it unfathomable.

Tealíc and Sam understand it more than I do I think, although Iím sure they canít fully comprehend how it manages it so well. Jack confuses my senses and perceptions; there is a part of him that drives me up the wall Ė a childish, sarcastic, badly behaved part of him that pesters me incessantly. And then thereís his serious side, more serious than his jokes would have you believe, and I think thatís why he is so confusing. There are things in that dark part of him that have to be given sharp relief by his childish mischief Ė it cannot be touched by darkness it seems, itís impervious and stops him from becoming like the people that have given him this pain in the first place.

I know Iíll probably never know whatís so evil that lies in his past, in his soul, and Iím pretty sure I donít want to. But I catch glimpses every now and then, and now as the alien moves towards him I see his eyes go dull. I guess his endurance comes from his ability to play hide and seek with his mind, he only lets the animals that plague him get to the things that he wants them to get to. So he has the ultimate control. Still, my fears are more grounded in reality and I feel my guilt flare as he receives a jarring blow from the club. I know my ego would have me believe I could sacrifice myself for him, and perhaps in a split second decision I could Ė god knowsí Iíd try Ė but my mind feels weak and afraid. It shames me sometimes to feel so human when Jack seems to be able to be so un-human. And now is one of those times, as I watch him suffer for me, and do nothing to intercede.

Carter

I know that to talk is stupid but it comes out unbidden, ĎSir?í

I know it might ruin his distraction technique but I canít help but do something, and Iím almost relieved when he tells met to Ďcan ití. Perhaps I just need to know that Iíve done enough to make him order me to stop, and then I can feel good about myself. In that way I suppose Colonel OíNeill is more alone than I can ever imagine. It is his sole responsibility to take the fall for all of us and he knows it. It is his purpose on this team to make sure that in a situation such as this we escape mentally and physically unscathed. Perhaps he doesnít realize how harshly we empathize with his pain, but then, what choice does he have?

That side of the military saddens me sometimes, to know that a man like OíNeill gave up his choices long ago to some un-seeable power. He gave his life to the air force, to do with as they will, and it makes me sick that their decisions have led him to this place. A place where he is forced to bring punishment upon himself for no other reason that it being his job.

But perhaps I donít give him enough credit when I think like that, because for all the control he seems to have vanquished, he harbors so much more. He controls this alien now so fiercely that I believe none of us will get hurt except the Colonel. Surely that control is stronger than any other he can hold? Perhaps. But for all this thinking we are still here and we are still caught, and he is still being beaten closer and closer to death in order to protect his team.

Tealíc

Suddenly there is an explosion of noise and I watch OíNeill fall limp as the alien stops his incessant torture. I recognize the sounds of a rescue in progress and my heart takes a leap. There is a scuffle of activity and panic during which I feel all of SG1ís energies concentrated on our leader. When we are finally liberated I fell proud for OíNeill; he has once again proven his ability to lead, proven his unabounding strength. I know far more than many Tauíri about what lies beyond their planet, and I believe OíNeill knows as much as I. His acceptance when confronted by pain is startling and I find it amazing and somewhat inspiring that a man can be so strong and yet so gentle. His responsibility is not without feeling and I have been told that this is what it is to be Ďhumaní. If so, OíNeill truly does his species justice.

I watch Major Carter and Daniel Jackson gravitate towards him as we are released by SG2 and I join them in instantly surrounding his battered body. He is awake and I recognize that fierce protective nature burning in his eyes. I cannot, and never wish to, know how devastating it must have been for a man with such an overpowering sense of responsibility to lose his son in the manner that he did. It seems that many of OíNeillís greatest strengths and traits ultimately lead him to suffer, and I see him suffer now as I try to carry him as gently as I can to the Stargate. I feel him relax in my arms and I know that we share a common warriorís heart that allows him to accept my help graciously.

I do not pretend to understand many of earthís rituals or the behaviors of its humans, but there is a part of OíNeill that I recognize very well. It is not good and it is not healthy, but it completes his Ďselfí and it protects his team Ė something that gives him small comfort I believe. I hope he is comforted now as I carry him through the Stargate, and I realize when I see Doctor Frasier and General Hammond that many around OíNeill appreciate him far more than he could ever appreciate himself. Perhaps this is how he survives, he has sacrificed his own self value to enable him to do his job, and his team takes up that task instead Ė recovering him from pain and caring for him when he cannot care for himself. Indeed, it is clear that SG1 would have not survived many times without OíNeillís sacrifices, and in turn OíNeill would not survive these sacrifices without SG1.