Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).
Title: Dream Completed
Category: Major Whump - Major Character death
(Warning: Author's notes: This honestly is a dream I had. No lie. I wanted so badly to write the rest of the story but I could never make it as good as my dream. Plus if you think about it you can tell that it's all been done before... in other ways... to other people... Nothing new under the sun. Still - It was so good, I wanted to share it. And hey - if you think you can write the rest of it, be my guest, just be sure to send it to me!!!)
Okay - It took a while, but I managed to write something I feel is true to the original idea created by my subconscious. (Sounds rather pretentious doesn't it?)
It really wrote itself after awhile... It's more intense than I would normally like, but, well... The first section is my dream and then it goes on.
By the way, this would be set sometime in season 7, only with Jack the way he used to be...
The prison was like so many others. Two rows of small rooms made of bars with metal grating covering the top. Dank, cold, lit by torches, but, as the Colonel would say, nothing was electrified, and there was a window...
The Jaffa had thrown Sam in with Jack. Daniel was across the narrow space dividing the rows of cells. Teal'c had been in the cell next to them, but they had taken him away hours ago.
Sam once more went over the events of the morning in her mind, trying to make some sense of it all. Daniel had seen what looked like evidence of a civilization on the UAV footage so they were here to determine if anyone was still around.
The Colonel had taken point as they left the gate. There had been no sign of Goa'uld activity, and as usual he was in a hurry to get there and get done. As a result, she had allowed more space than usual between them.
She had looked up from the rocky trail to make sure he wasn't getting too far ahead and realized he wasn't alone. A woman dressed in robes so white they seemed to glow was talking to him. She touched him for a moment, and then Sam saw her give him something. Sam heard Teal'c and Daniel hurrying up behind her and she looked down to make sure she didn't trip as she picked up her pace. When she looked up again, the woman was gone.
The Colonel had a slightly bemused expression on his face when they joined him a moment later. "See what you miss if you fall behind?" The comment was directed especially at Daniel. "They aren't Ancient, but they do have some things in common. Here," he tossed a beautiful crystal as big as an orange if oddly shaped at Daniel, "You can play with this for awhile."
Then without another word he strode on, leaving them to look at each other and the crystal.
"Did that woman disappear?" Daniel asked.
"What?" Carter asked.
Teal'c only nodded as they looked after the Colonel, wondering about his cryptic comments.
Carter was torn from her thoughts as the door to their prison scraped open. Teal'c was dragged, unconscious, through the space between the cells. It gave the other members of SG-1 ample time to inventory his injuries. They became grave as they all came to the same conclusion. It was obvious, he had been tortured.
As Teal'c's wrists were locked into the manacles suspended from the ceiling of his cell, Jack moved to his own door. He taunted the Jaffa, "I'm supposed to go first y'know! You idiots have no idea what you're doing! You tell your ... snakehead ... I'm next, `kay? Geez!" He turned towards the Goa'uld `camera' mounted high in a corner of the room, "I'm next!" The Jaffa ignored him and were gone before he had finished.
Meanwhile Sam was staring through the bars at what she truly feared were her friend's last moments. Teal'c's injuries were extensive. He had been badly beaten, as evidenced by the many deep cuts and swellings on his face and body. But most concerning was a horrific wound on his back, low and to the side. It bled freely, running down his thigh and dripping onto the stones below. He did not show any signs of awakening. The Colonel came to stand next to her. His whole being radiated anger, frustration, and, if Carter was right, grief. Daniel stood silently against his bars across the way.
Jack seemed to make a decision, turned and reached through the bars towards Daniel, holding out his hand, stretching as far as he could. Without words, Daniel produced the crystal. How he had managed to hide it from the Jaffa was a mystery, but he now handed it across to Jack.
Jack held the crystal up and looked into it. It was shaped somewhat like a mushroom. It had a sharp `stem' which he pointed upwards. Jack spoke several words in a language Sam had never heard before and she was sure the Colonel hadn't either, so she was all the more surprised when Daniel spoke.
"Why did you put the numbers at the end?"
Apparently, the Colonel had spoken something to the crystal which Daniel understood, but was puzzled by.
If Sam was surprised by the fact that the Colonel knew this alien language, and even more so by the fact that he was speaking to a crystal, what happened next shocked her.
The Colonel reached carefully through the bars towards Teal'c's limp body. He readjusted a more firm hold on the `head' of the crystal and forcefully jammed the point into the wound on Teal'c's back.
Teal'c grunted. Carter started forward, unsure of how to react to this new turn of events. Daniel was silent, watching.
Sam stopped, fascinated. As she watched, the wounds Teal'c bore began to disappear only to reappear on the Colonel who still held onto the crystal.
Cuts and bruises appeared on his body in exactly the same positions they had occupied on Teal'c a moment before. As the blood began to trickle and bruises bloomed, the only other change in the Colonel was a tightness that appeared around his eyes as the pain must have grown.
As for Teal'c he immediately showed signs of awakening. Finally, the Colonel's legs sagged as the awful wound transferred itself from Teal'c's back to his.
Teal'c was now fully awake, but he seemed mesmerized as O'Neill locked eyes with him. They stared at each other, unblinking, for a long moment until, finally, Jack collapsed. Carter caught and lowered him gently, unconscious, to the floor.
She looked up at her friend now standing, whole and strong on the other side of the bars. "Teal'c?"
The man she questioned stared down at his friend, his brother, who now lay bleeding on the floor. He spoke softly, as if to himself, "He took even the memory... I know that it happened, but I cannot remember it happening to me."
Sam knelt at the Colonel's side, doing her best to tend his wounds without so much as a band-aid. What chance did Jack have? Teal'c, even without Junior, was more resilient than any of them, and they had thought these wounds would be the end of him.
Suddenly the room was filled with light. The woman appeared. There were definite similarities to Oma Desala, but this was something different. She was of another race, perhaps, but not an ascended being. As Sam stared up at her she reached through the cloud of light that surrounded her and held out towards Sam a Goa'uld healing device. She seemed confident that Sam would be able to use it. "He will heal with the crystal. But he may need your help, Samantha Carter."
Sam took the device and put it on. The pool of blood in which Jack lay was growing rapidly. She closed her eyes and held out her hand. The woman in white put her hand on Sam's shoulder briefly before disappearing again.
The healing device glowed gently and the pool of blood stopped growing. When Sam finally sat back, exhausted, Jack seemed to be sleeping comfortably.
"Sam?" Daniel asked with concern.
She didn't open her eyes, "He's a little better. That's all I can do."
She opened her eyes and looked up at Teal'c. He held out the crystal. She took it and tucked it in the crook of Jack's arm. She felt it grow warm before she drew her hand away. Then she turned toward Daniel, "What was that language?! Who..."
They had no chance to discuss the unlikely turn of events before the Jaffa returned. They opened the door of her cell, three staff weapons trained on her heart. One Jaffa reached her and tore the healing device from her hand. Then they slammed her cell shut and turned to Daniel's. He fought, but they had no difficulty dragging him away. As the echoes of Daniel's voice faded, Sam looked across at Teal'c, down at Jack, and then glared up at the lens in the wall. She slid down the bars and sat. This was not good.
Hours had passed. Sam was watching the Colonel breathe. The injuries had now completely faded, the crystal had healed him. She had paced every inch of their cell, trying to find some weakness. The obvious escape was the window, but that was several feet above the grating. And she had no way to create enough leverage to pull a section of grating down.
Still chained to the ceiling, Teal'c waited patiently in his cell. Neither one spoke, for if they did they would have to discuss Daniel, and they didn't want to go there.
Without warning, the Colonel's brown eyes flew open and he sat straight up. The crystal clattered to the floor forgotten. His eyes darted around searching, he seemed disoriented.
"Colonel?" Sam asked tentatively.
"I am here, O'Neill."
Jack visibly relaxed once he had assured himself that Teal'c was indeed whole and uninjured. He stood and began to prowl.
"Colonel?" Sam asked more forcefully, "What..."
"Carter." The Colonel spoke to himself and continued his visual search, "Daniel. Daniel?" He scooped up the crystal and strode to the bars, searching Daniel's cell, "Daniel!"
Sam joined Jack at the bars, "He's gone, Sir, the Jaffa took him three hours ago."
He turned to look at her. He took her gently by the shoulders, and spoke softly, "Sam..."
She watched many thoughts pass behind his eyes. There were obviously things he wanted to tell her, but he seemed to decide against it.
Truth was he knew what was coming. He had the benefits of Teal'c's memories, unpleasant as they were, and the knowledge the woman had passed to him when they touched. This race was like the Ancients in that they had the ability to dump large amounts of information instantly into his brain. He really wished that would quit happening.
The crystal was being tested. He was being tested. Daniel would come back with a different, probably more severe set of injuries than Teal'c. He hated to think of what was happening to Daniel right at that moment. And if - when, he amended, he cured Daniel the Goa'uld would take Carter, and she would kill her; slowly. Of that he was certain. It would be the ultimate test. But telling her about it wouldn't change anything. With a glance up at the lens in the wall, he turned and crossed to where Teal'c stood,
"Teal'c, we'll have to be able to get into Daniel's cell. I can't reach him from here."
Teal'c did not answer; merely inclined his head and Sam realized he had been doing a much better job than she had of figuring a way out. He grabbed hold of the chains connecting his manacles to the ceiling and swung himself up forcefully enough to kick a section of grating up - off the top of his cell. The section he aimed for lay across the bars they shared. So when it moved off its bolts, it created a hole in the top of both cells.
Jack grinned at Teal'c and climbed the bars and out through the top. He knew he wouldn't be stopped, this was what she wanted. He jumped across to the grating covering Daniel's cell and used the crystal to lever up another section. He laid it gently back in place and crossed back to his own cell. He had just set that grate loosely back in place when an unconscious Daniel was dumped back into his cell.
As soon as the Jaffa were out of sight, Jack was back across, lowering himself into Daniel's cell. He knelt next to the prone form. This time there were very few visible injuries.
"Colonel? What happened?" Sam called across, unable to determine from her position, the extent of Daniel's injuries, or if he was even alive.
The Colonel gently turned Daniel onto his back so they could all see a terrible burn on his forehead from a hand device. "He's alive, barely."
"Can you help him?" Sam asked.
He didn't answer, didn't seem to hear. He spoke softly to the crystal once more. He touched the point gently to the burn. Sam gasped as it seemed to slowly disappear into Daniel's skull.
Jack held the crystal now with both hands, his own forehead drenched in sweat as it slowly bloomed into the awful burn that was fading from Daniel.
It was terrible to watch helplessly as Jack willfully put himself in such intense pain. Sam pushed her forehead against the coolness of the bars, Teal'c's jaw worked endlessly. The Colonel finally gave the muffled groan he had tried so hard to suppress. Carter jerked her head up just in time to see him collapse, once more unconscious.
Daniel's eyes slowly opened and he stared for a moment at the ceiling. Then his eyes slid closed and he spoke to Sam and Teal'c, "Jack?"
He had his answer when neither of them spoke.
"Daniel, what do they want?" Carter spoke with growing desperation, "Who's doing this?"
He slowly sat up and scrubbed his face with his hands, "Jack took the memories again... I'll try." Then he reached over to where Jack lay and placed the crystal on his chest, crossing his arms over it to hold it in place. He stopped and stared for a moment at Jack's burn, then leaned against the bars and hugged himself.
"DanielJackson, do they not want knowledge of the crystal?"
Apparently Teal'c had been studying on his own missing memories.
"Yes, yes, I think they do."
Carter became animated, "Then that's why - That's why they're doing this - they want to see what the crystal can do, and we've been giving them all the answers..."
"Seshat!" Daniel interrupted.
"The goddess of writing and temple libraries... She's the one doing this. I couldn't remember..." The words tumbled over each other in their haste to get out of Daniel. "Seshat has knowledge of the natives and their crystals, but has been unable to capture one in order to study their technology."
"But she could capture us..." Carter was disgusted.
"We lack the ability to vanish into air. MajorCarter, it is only this skill that has saved the natives."
"We just have to get out of here."
"Finally someone gets to the point." A weak voice came from behind Daniel.
The Colonel chuckled softly and struggled to sit up. Daniel was there instantly helping him into a sitting position against the bars. The burn was gone, once more the crystal had healed him, but he was still very weak.
"Carter's right. We gotta get out of here and quick. The Jaffa won't stay away much longer and we really," he took a breath, "*really* have to be gone before they get back. In case you haven't noticed, Seshy is watching, so we gotta move. Daniel, help me up. Teal'c, open the door if you would please..."
He put up a hand to stop Carter's protest before she could speak, "Yeah, Carter, I probably should, but somebody's got to get you kids out of here."
Teal'c kicked the grating off again. Jack gestured to the loose grating above him, that Daniel was unaware of, having been unconscious when Jack had joined him. Daniel climbed up and slid it to the side, then helped Jack climb up. In actuality he all but pulled Jack through the hole as the Colonel could do little to help himself. "How much of that cake did you have before we left?" Daniel grunted with the effort. Jack gave him a grin and then eyed the distance he would have to jump. They had to reach the window.
"Carter!" Jack warned her as he tossed the crystal. She was already climbing into Teal'c's cell to free him from the chains. She tried to get leverage to pry the manacles off using the crystal but was unsuccessful.
It did, however, serve as the distraction Jack had intended, as Daniel was the only one who saw his ungraceful flop across the gap. Daniel grabbed his arm and dragged him onto the grating to complete the crossing. He had no trouble dropping into Teal'c's cell.
"Sorry, Sir," Carter handed him the crystal.
"Nah, ya see, there's a trick to it..." Jack tried to downplay the fact that only he could make the crystal work as he took the point of the crystal and forced it into the lock. It once more became warm and both manacles sprung open. "See?"
Carter just looked at him and lifted herself out of the cell to join Daniel.
Jack halfheartedly returned her sarcasm as he lifted his hands for the two of them to pull him through. His concern for her was distracting. Teal'c was right behind him and they crossed to the window.
It was at this moment the Jaffa reappeared. "They're early - I hate that!" Jack said under his breath as they scrambled to the window, dodging blast after blast from the staff weapons below. Teal'c already had the window open.
"Carter, go!" Jack shouted. She spared him half a second's glance as he rarely sent her out of harm's way first. But then dove through the small opening, curling her body automatically for whatever impact awaited her outside. She had a brief, but welcome glimpse of a large body of water before she was submerged. Then she heard one, two and three splashes as her teammates joined her before she could clear the surface.
Her first thought was to get the Colonel to the surface. She wasn't sure, in his weakened condition that he'd be able to reach air, much less tread water. But before she could find him she was grabbed from below and pulled deeper into the water. No amount of struggling could break the hold on her ankle. Her lungs screamed for air, but the water continued to get darker as she was pulled deeper. She felt herself losing consciousness. Her last thought was hope that the others had fared better.
When she awoke she was all but dry. She was lying on a soft cushion. Daniel was sleeping still on a cushion across the room. Teal'c stood, staring out a window. She sat up.
"Teal'c? Where's the Colonel?"
"They have taken him, I know not where. We are not imprisoned. However, I felt it prudent to remain with you and DanielJackson until you had awakened. The natives who pulled us from the lake seemed very knowledgeable of O'Neill's condition. He was comfortable with them." This last information told her volumes as Teal'c had known it would.
"He was awake?" She was surprised he was not affected by the water as she and Daniel had been.
"The crystal, apparently, has many abilities. While he is still extremely weak, it protected him from the effects of oxygen deprivation."
Carter nodded and got up to prowl the room.
"Carter! Teal'c!" Jack sauntered into the room looking like he didn't have a care in the world. "Daniel still sleeping? Typical!"
"We're outta here, Major!"
Carter looked at him in surprise.
"I'll debrief you later. Now we go. C'mon Danny boy, upsy daisy!"
"Sir, I really think..."
The split second look that Jack threw her would have silenced the most hardened soldier. Whatever he was saying, he was coldly furious. She didn't think she had never seen him angrier, and that was saying something. She followed him out of the caves, back towards the Stargate.
He hated this. No, hate wasn't strong enough a word. What was worse than hate? No matter what he said, the natives wouldn't believe what he told them about the Goa'uld. They wanted things to stay as they were. They were happy with the situation! The Goa'uld couldn't catch them, couldn't hurt them. They honestly thought if they ignored the problem it would go away, and of all the clichs he hated, that was one of the worst. So his team would be sacrificed. The thought of it brought back the rage he could barely contain. `Let Seshat do what she wanted, with the crystal he would cure them.' But then what? Did they even care what would happen after?
Less than an hour later they were at the gate. Daniel was dialing. No one had said a word since they left the native's secret caves by the lake. The Colonel's simmering anger had prevented it. He strode so purposefully on his long legs that Carter and Daniel almost had to jog to keep up. He knew there was no real point in reaching the gate, it was all a ruse. His anger slowly began to be replaced by regret and sadness for what was about to happen. He watched as his second sent the GDO code and Teal'c moved up to the puddle ready to step through. Jack stood at the foot of the steps. It appeared he had no intention of moving any further. As they all turned to question him, he looked at each of them in turn, his gaze finally resting on Sam. "I'm sorry," was all he said. And they knew no more.
Daniel awoke back in his cell. "What the? Jack? Teal'c? Sam?" He slowly got to his feet, feeling like he had been hit by a freight train. The first thing he noticed was that the grating was gone, and so was the window. It had been filled in with something like cement. He wondered if they could break through it, but the point was moot since, without the grating to stand on, the window was effectively out of reach.
Teal'c was back in his cell sitting, now, on the floor. Jack was also back in his cell but he was pacing like an animal, a very frustrated and angry animal.
"Ja-ack?" Daniel asked carefully.
The only response was for Jack to slam his fist into the wall.
"O'Neill is reluctant to communicate" was Teal'c's admission of his own frustration at trying to get anything out of Jack.
"Teal'c? Where's Sam?"
Teal'c only looked at him in response.
"She's dead." Jack spoke for the first time in hours, causing both his teammates to stare at him. Then he turned and slammed his fist into the wall again, and again.
"Jack! That won't help Sam."
"No. But it makes me feel better." He turned and glared at Daniel.
Daniel knew this ground. Jack would rail at him until he had worked out a solution and Daniel knew what was going on in his head. It wasn't particularly fun, but the two men had been here before.
"Y'know that choiceless feeling that I love? I got it in spades!" He prowled the extent of the cell. "I did everything I could to get us out of here before this, and they throw us back without so much as an apology. Saving their sorry butts - that's what they're doing. Why do we bother?" he shouted, "Why do we bother with other cultures? More advanced societies? These wonderful people with so much to offer. What do they offer us? Squat! And how do they feel about what we offer them?" Jack was sarcasm personified, "Throw off Goa'uld domination? Kill a snakehead? They've got other ideas, and my team has to suffer for it. My team! Teal'c - you're tortured. Daniel - hand device. Oh, that's fun isn't it? Carter will... IS getting both and more. Seshat will make her last as long as possible and then kill her. Not for revenge. Not to get her to talk. No, just because she enjoys causing pain." He paused; his voice became a whisper, "Just to see what I can do."
Finally Jack was running out of steam. He stood next to the bars in the corner closest to the entrance, his shoulders slumped. He looked like a tired old man instead of the dangerous soldier he was.
"Teal'c. How long?"
"It is approaching six hours."
Jack spoke softly to himself shaking his head, "Ah, Carter. Most special ops soldiers I served with could learn a thing or two from you."
He could hardly stand it. Knowing that she was fighting, struggling to stay alive, bleeding, in pain, suffering, just so Seshat could see the full extent of the crystal's capabilities.
"Jack? Why are the natives..."
"Because they're cowards." Jack turned on him and spat the word as if it were the worst insult conceivable, which, for Jack, perhaps it was. "They won't face Seshat. They're hoping I'll fail. Then maybe she'll leave. But she won't. I couldn't make them understand that. And Carter is suffering for it."
Jack's admission of failure caught Daniel, "It's not you're fault, Jack. They'd do it no matter what you said."
Jack's glare at Daniel was interrupted by the doors being dragged open and Sam's body being tossed down the stairs. With the grating gone, the Jaffa did not come any closer, they slammed the doors shut leaving the team in silence.
All three men were over the bars in record time, but Jack was there first. He took Sam's body in his arms. Her wounds and injuries were horrific. Each one designed to cause maximum pain without killing her. But the staff wound to her chest... Daniel couldn't help gagging a little at the horrible smell of burned flesh.
As he held her, Jack gently brushed debris from her face and hair. Daniel realized he had been cataloging all Carter's wounds because they would soon be his own. Then Jack leaned down and brushed her lips with his own, softly. He held her close as he pulled the crystal from his shirt.
"Daniel," he spoke gruffly,without looking up, "if this works, put the crystal directly into my chest - deep as you can."
At this point, Teal'c rose and pulled Daniel with him. Leaving Jack and Sam alone together. Jack spoke almost lovingly to the crystal and then pressed it deeper and deeper into the wound in the center of Sam's chest.
What Teal'c and Daniel witnessed that day they would never speak of again. Their mission reports merely stated that all Major Carter's wounds and injuries transferred themselves to Colonel O'Neill. That was all, and that was what happened.
When it was over, Sam lay still. She was sleeping peacefully, uninjured, with no memory of what had gone before.
Jack was dead.
Daniel and Teal'c returned to his side. Teal'c handed a shocked Daniel the crystal and nodded towards Jack. Daniel took the crystal and slowly forced it deeper and deeper into the wound. When it would go no further, he sat back, abhorred by his own actions.
The crystal began to glow brightly - too brightly to look at directly. It sent glowing tendrils out to Jack's head and heart. It then sent a tendril to Sam who stirred in response as if dreaming.
Teal'c moved to the door. He would not allow the process to be interrupted if he could stop it. No Jaffa would cross that threshold while his brother was being healed.
No one noticed the glowing woman when she reappeared. She stood in the corner looking very sad.
The glow finally faded when Jack's body spasmed and he took a first breath, and then another. When Jack was breathing normally, she stepped forward. "Daniel, Teal'c, I do not agree with my sisters. They wish this all to go away. Colonel O'Neill is right. It won't. Please tell him: I will convince them. Don't forget about us..."
She raised her arms which were covered with crystal jewelry, and the sight of their cells faded just as the Jaffa flooded through the door.
The cells were replaced by the Stargate and Daniel was immediately up and dialing. Teal'c sent the GDO code and lifted Carter into his arms.
Jack opened his eyes and looked tiredly up at Daniel. "Carter?" he croaked. Daniel answered as he tried to raise him, "She's fine, Jack. You did it." Jack's eyes started to slide closed. "C'mon Jack, wake up, It's time to go home. Sam and Teal'c are waiting." Jack managed to gather his legs under him and allowed Daniel to drape his arm over his shoulders.
Teal'c paused and looked back until he was sure Daniel and Jack would manage. Then he disappeared.
Just before they crossed the event horizon Jack stopped and turned, looking out over this world that could hold such promise if only... He reached into his shirt and pulled out the crystal which was now blackened, burnt and covered with cracks. He let it drop and watched as it clattered down the steps and shattered.
"Arissa get us out?"
"If you mean that glowing woman, then yes. She said we should come back, that she would convince them."
Jack nodded thoughtfully as he stared out over the landscape. Then Daniel helped him turn to face the puddle. He removed his arm from Daniel's support, took a deep breath, squared his shoulders and went home.
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