Spoilers/Timeline: This is an AU version of S03E06 – Point of View
A/N: Written for the sam_janet_fthon. Special thanks to k_icker for the beta.
“Major! Come on!” the blonde yelled.
“We got to go back for the general!” Kawalsky exclaimed, hesitating.
“I can’t shut it down. I won’t find this window again. We have to go now!”
Kawalsky threw a grenade down the hall and they both reached out to touch the mirror. Sooner than either of them could form the thought that they’re in a new universe, the grenade went off and the mirror went black.
“You sure this is the right one to go to,” the major asked.
“Anywhere’s better than the alternative,” Dr. Carter responded as she took a couple of steps and tripped a security sensor.
“I guess we’ll see about that.”
Armed SFs swarmed the area.
“Drop your weapons! Do it now!”
They did so reluctantly.
“I’m Dr. Samantha Carter from the SGA. This is Major Kawalsky. We need to speak to your commander.”
She wanted to smash the damn phone for rudely ringing only a couple of hours after she’d gotten to sleep. She reached out and brought her hand down on the cordless phone, a little harder than necessary, and picked it up.
“Doctor? I need you to report to the base, immediately.”
She came immediately awake at the sound of General Hammond’s voice. “Yes, sir.”
The phone clicked off before she could even think of asking a question. Captain Janet Fraiser, the Chief Medical Officer of the SGC, got up and dressed. Before leaving, she opened the door to her daughter’s room. Cassie was sound asleep.
Downstairs, Janet grabbed her purse and walked out of the house. Before getting into her car, she knocked on the neighbor’s door. After only a minute the door opened.
“I’m sorry to wake you, Mrs. Beckett. But I’ve been called into the base.”
“Oh, dear. I hope it’s nothing too serious.”
“Of course, dear. Go. I’ll stay with Cassandra.” Mrs. Beckett stepped out onto her porch, closing the door behind her. She walked down the porch steps with Janet and over to the Fraiser home. She waved to Janet as she got into her car and then entered the house.
Janet entered the general’s office. “Reporting as ordered, sir.”
“Thank you for coming in, Doctor.”
“What can I do for you, sir?”
He stood and came out from behind his desk. “Come with me.”
When the general opened the door to a conference room, Janet’s eyes widened. She looked at the general. “Sir?”
“This is Dr. Samantha Carter and Major Kawalsky. They say they’re from an alternate reality. I need you to verify they are who they say they are.”
Janet did what she could to put her two patients at ease. But there was definitely a lot of tension in Dr. Carter. No matter what Janet tried, the blonde simply wouldn’t speak beyond the minimum number of words required to answer her questions.
Dr. Carter was having some difficulty dealing with things. Despite the fact that it was her theories she’d proven correct by using the quantum mirror, she felt a little out of her element. In her reality, Janet, Jack, Walter, and so many others, were dead. It was good to see Janet alive and well, but at the same time, it was more than a little disconcerting.
Colonel Jack O’Neill had also received a call from the general.
“So, what’s the big emer–” The sight of Carter with long hair threw him as he walked into the infirmary. “Whoa! What happened to you?”
“Jack?” Since when did Carter call him by his first name?
“It’s me. It’s Samantha.”
“I never expected this variation. You’re alive… just like Janet.”
Kawalsky entered and smiled at Jack’s expression. “Don’t feel so bad, Colonel. Everybody around here is telling me the same thing.”
“Kawalsky?” Jack knew he was seeing things.
“In a manner of speaking,” said General Hammond.
Janet entered. “Actually, in a manner of fact, sir. This is Major Charles Kawalsky in almost every physical respect: his blood work, his dental records–”
“But I’m not supposed to be alive in this reality any more than you or Doc are in mine.” The major looked at Dr. Carter. “Sorry, Samantha.”
“It’s not the same here,” she said softly.
“Does anyone want to let me know what the hell is going on here? Anyone?” Jack demanded.
General Hammond was the one to answer him. “They appeared a few hours ago in a Nellis high security lockup.”
“That quantum mirror you got locked up at Area 51? You guys never figured out how to use it?” asked Kawalsky.
“Is he talking about that alternate reality thing Daniel futzed with on 233?”
“Who’s Daniel?” the major asked.
“We can’t be followed if that’s what you’re worried about. We brought the remote through with us,” Dr. Carter said.
“I’ve ordered the device sent here under heavy guard,” Hammond stated.
“Where we come from, the Goa’ulds just took over the world, Colonel,” Kawalsky explained.
All of SG-1 had been called in. After the general tried to explain the situation, as he understood it, he turned on a video made at Nellis of an officer interviewing Dr. Carter.
“Look, I’ve told you this. Now let me talk to someone from the SGA,” Dr. Carter insisted.
“SGA? There is no such organization.”
“Well, then you call it something else. The Stargate Project. Stargate Command.”
“The stargate. What do you know about the stargate?”
“What do I know?! Everything! We’ve been through this!”
“Well, let’s go through it again.”
“Oh, for crying out loud! It’s a big round thing. It takes you to other planets. I made it work four years ago and we have been exploring the galaxy ever since. That is, up until yesterday, when the Goa’uld came and started taking over every major city from orbit and making slaves of the population.”
General Hammond paused the tape.
“Oh, my god. This is too weird,” exclaimed Sam.
“Yeah. How about that hair?” O’Neill quipped unnecessarily.
“She claims to have travelled from an alternate universe in the same manner Dr. Jackson experienced a year ago,” Hammond explained.
“Well this can’t be the Dr. Carter I met in the alternate reality. She’s… dead.”
“Alright, uh, just to clarify… this Carter is from an alternate alternate reality?” Jack asked.
Daniel nodded, “Apparently.”
“Anybody else have a problem with that?”
“Which reality is actually real?” Teal’c asked.
“She explains it,” the general said and restarted the video.
“Look, I know this is hard for you to understand. But, according to quantum theory, for every possible universe, there are an infinite number of variations, diverging at every choice we make like forks in a road.”
Hammond again paused the tape.
Sam perked up. “She’s right.”
“You just agreed with yourself,” Jack said.
“No, actually Major Carter agreed with Dr. Carter,” Daniel pointed out. “She never joined the military in her reality.”
Jack looked at him. “Fork in the road stuff?”
“Alright, so it’s possible there’s an alternate version of myself out there that actually understands what the hell you’re talking about?”
“They’ve asked to be debriefed,” said Hammond. “I’d like you all to participate.” He turned to the SF at the door. “Show them in.”
Dr. Carter and Major Kawalsky entered. Kawalsky didn’t react well to Teal’c’s presence.
“What the hell is he doing here?!”
“Kawalsky!” Jack tried to calm his friend.
“He’s a member of SG-1,” Daniel calmly informed him.
“Who the hell are you?”
“Oh, um, I’m Daniel Jackson – also a member of SG-1.”
“Have a seat, Major,” the general ordered.
Kawalsky sat on the opposite side of the table to Teal’c, next to Daniel. As Kawalsky took a seat, Dr. Carter noticed Sam.
“Nice… hair,” she said hesitantly.
“Uh, Air Force.”
“I can’t imagine that – going military.”
“Wow. I can’t imagine not.”
Dr. Carter also took a seat and the general got things started.
“First of all, I would like to say we know what you’ve been through. Dr. Jackson experienced a similar alternate reality some time ago on a mission to P3X-233.”
“Well, that’s where we found our quantum mirror as well,” said Dr. Carter.
“Fortunately for us, Dr. Jackson was able to return with some intelligence that enabled SG-1 to stop the Goa’uld attack here on Earth.”
“Nice. That goes a long way to explaining why yours was only one of a handful of alternate realities that looked like it hadn’t been overrun by the Goa’uld.”
“Actually, it’s probably the very differences that set our universes apart from yours that have contributed to our survival,” Sam pointed out. “Daniel’s participation in the Stargate Program, Teal’c’s change of heart, the fact that I joined the military–”
“You think that your being in the Air Force could have made that big a difference?” Dr. Carter snapped at Sam.
“No. I just said it made a contribution.”
“And therefore I didn’t?!”
“Ladies. Sams… we’re all in this reality together,” Jack pointed out, trying to calm things a bit.
The general nodded. “What we need to know is where you intend to go from here.”
Dr. Carter, obviously still a bit upset, answered. “Our Beta site was instructed to bury their stargate the moment the last man stepped through. And our own world is under Goa’uld control, so we can’t go back.”
“We want to stay,” Kawalsky said, cutting to the chase.
“That is… if we’re wanted. We just left behind everyone we know, everyone we ever cared about. If you’re not going to give us a second chance, I don’t know any of you.”
“That’s it exactly,” said Jack. “You don’t know any of us. And we don’t know you. For all we know you could be her evil twin,” he said pointing at Sam. “But then we’d be dealing with clichés, and you know how I feel about those. No, actually, you know how I feel about those,” he said once again pointing at Sam. In his own clumsy way Jack had actually made a valid point.
“Okay, I’ll speak with my superiors and make a determination. For now, you’ll be assigned temporary accommodations. Take them to A3 quarters,” Hammond ordered.
Sam walked Dr. Carter to her quarters. “Listen, I didn’t mean to offend you back there.”
“Look, Major, I’m the one dealing with the inadequacy issues here. Just forget about it.”
“We knew the Goa’uld were coming for six months. I couldn’t think of a way to stop them. You did.” Dr. Carter dejectedly walked into her assigned room.
“I’ll be just outside if you need me, ma’am,” the female SF standing at the door to her quarters said.
“Of course you will.”
The SF closed the door.
Inside the room Dr. Carter sat on the bed and took a photograph out of her pocket. After tenderly caressing it with her fingertips she set it on the nightstand. It was a wedding picture.
Jack sat in a chair waiting as General Hammond fielded an important phone call.
“Yes, sir. I understand, sir… Thank you, sir.” Hammond hung up the phone and looked at the colonel. “They can stay.”
“That was quick.”
“Too quick. God knows what we’re getting into.”
“Well the combined IQ points of Earth might go up a few points having two Carters around.”
The general didn’t smile.
“I take it you figure there’s a down side.”
“It just doesn’t sit right. Some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.” He sighed. “Nonetheless, I’ve been encouraged to find a way to incorporate them into this command.”
“Okay. In the meantime, do you want me to have them informed?”
There was a knock on the door before it opened.
“Just put it on the table and close the door on your way out,” Dr. Carter said without turning and looking.
“I’m sorry? Put what on the table?” Sam asked.
Dr. Carter turned. “Major. I’m sorry. Come in. Your… your Dr. Fraiser keeps insisting that I eat something.”
“Ah. Well, she’s your Dr. Fraiser now, too,” Sam said with a smile. “You’re in. They said yes.”
A look of profound look sadness crossed Dr. Carter’s face before she managed to school her features into something more neutral. “That’s good.”
“Yeah. I can see you’re overjoyed.”
“I just never expected this. It’s so hard.”
“Uh, look… I can’t even begin to know what you’ve been through. I know you’ve lost a lot–”
“I lost her. I watched her die, Major. Three days ago, trying to defend the mountain. And here she is, alive and safe in this perfect world, and you don’t even–” She stopped abruptly and turned away to hide her tears.
“I don’t what?”
“You don’t even see her that way, do you?”
Sam noticed the pictured on the nightstand. All the pieces suddenly fell into place. “I take it, where you’re from, you and Janet were…”
Dr. Carter turned to face Sam. “This makes you uncomfortable.”
“No, no, not at all. I just…”
There was another knock on the door. The female SF opened the door, holding a tray with a meal on it.
“Ma’am?” She saw Sam. “Sorry, Major. I… I didn’t realize–”
“Just put it on the table, Airman,” Sam ordered.
“Close the door on your way out.”
The SF set the tray down, left, and shut the door behind her.
“I haven’t had a hot meal in forever,” Dr. Carter said with some wistfulness. “It was a couple of weeks ago. We were celebrating our first anniversary. We got the call that the Goa’uld ships had been spotted entering our solar system. We just left everything. I blew out the candles and Janet turned off the oven and we just left. They didn’t hit Colorado Springs from orbit like most of the big cities, so the table must still be set.”
Sam didn’t know what to say. She moved towards the door. “Listen, um, I should probably–”
“Please,” she pleaded. “And call me Samantha.”
“Look… you’re dealing with a loss right now that I can’t begin… What I mean is, maybe I’m not the right person to help you.”
“Who do you suggest I turn to? Your Dr. Fraiser?!” She took a couple of breaths in an effort to calm herself a little as she sat on the edge of the bed. “Look, I know you well enough to know you don’t have a clue what to say. But you don’t have to say anything.”
Sam sat next to the distraught woman and put her arm around her shoulder. “I’m sorry.”
“God, I miss her!”
Sometime later, Sam exited Dr. Carter’s quarters. She had a lot on her mind. Samantha had told her about how she and the Janet of her universe had been attracted to each other from the very beginning. But due to Janet being in the military they’d had to be careful. Eventually, after saving the world more than once, Janet had petitioned the White House for dispensation, paving the way for them to be able not only to be publically open with their relationship, but also to eventually get married.
She didn’t notice Colonel O’Neill as she stepped away from Samantha’s quarters.
She looked up and saw O’Neill. “Sir. General Hammond told me the news. I took the liberty of informing Dr. Carter.”
Jack nodded. “I just left Kawalsky. I thought I’d drop in on Dr. Carter, see how she’s doing.”
“She’s fine. I think she’d rather be left alone at the moment, sir. I’d wait until tomorrow.”
“Oh. Okay.” Jack sounded a little wounded. He couldn’t do anything about his attraction to his 21C, but Dr. Carter was a civilian. And she was still Carter… wasn’t, she?
“Well, good night, sir.” She turned to leave.
“Yes, sir?” Sam turned back.
“How are you doing with this… twin thing?”
“Do you have a couple of hours?”
“Okay,” he replied with uncertainty.
“That was the answer.”
“Good night, sir.” Sam walked away.
“Good night, Major.” O’Neill stood and stared at Dr. Carter’s closed door.
Sam entered the infirmary. She’d rushed from home as soon as she’d been called. She saw Janet standing next the bed Samantha was lying in.
“What is it? What’s happening?” Sam asked.
“Dr. Carter had gone into some sort of convulsive shock. I don’t know the cause and I don’t know how to stop it,” Janet said. Janet’s professionalism allowed her to appear composed to most observers, but Sam knew her well enough to hear the distress in her calm voice.
Dr. Carter went into a short-lived seizure.
“Easy.” Janet tried to comfort her, what little she could, with her gentle touch and voice.
“Not medical. Temporal. Entropic cascade failure,” explained Dr. Carter.
“On the cellular level?” asked Sam.
“Yes. I thought it would take years not days.”
“So it’s a side effect of travel through the quantum mirror.”
“Then why don’t I have it?” Kawalsky asked as he and O’Neill arrived.
“I’m guessing Dr. Carter has it because I’m here. The increased entropy generated by both of us existing in the same reality might theoretically be causing the temporal distortion.”
“Not theoretical anymore,” Dr. Carter pointed out.
“Okay, so then how do I treat this?” Janet asked.
“You can’t,” Dr. Carter said.
“The more time passes the worse it should get,” Sam added.
“So I’m going to die here.”
“You’re not going to die,” Jack insisted.
“Carter,” he snapped to shut her up.
“Well, the only way is if we send her back.”
It was obvious no one was happy with the answer Sam gave.
Kawalsky pointed out the obvious. “If she goes back, the Goa’uld will kill her.”
General Hammond and SG-1 were once again gathered in the conference room.
“Think about it,” Daniel said earnestly. “Billions of people enslaved. I just can’t help but feel that in the grand scheme of things, we owe them. Besides the only way to really help Dr. Carter is to stop the Goa’uld in her reality and save whatever’s left.”
“How do you suggest we do that Dr. Jackson?” the general asked. “The resources of their entire world couldn’t defend against the Goa’uld.”
“What about the resources of our world?”
“What do we have that they don’t?” Sam asked.
“Our fate. We made contact with the Asgard.”
Jack didn’t understand. “So?”
“So if Dr. Carter can make contact with the Asgard in her reality, maybe their Asgard will be willing to help them.”
“And just how do you propose we raise the Asgard, in their reality?” Jack asked.
“Okay, we still have the dialing program that took you to the Asgard home planet, right?”
Sam understood and got excited. “Which we could download to a removable hard drive. But that still won’t do it. Remember, in order to dial the Asgard home world Colonel O’Neill had to build a generator to transfer extra energy to the gate’s capacitors. I can’t get it to work again. Apparently, it was designed to work only once.”
“Assuming Major Carter can figure it out, once in her reality it will be difficult to get Dr. Carter to the stargate without the Goa’uld detecting and stopping her,” Teal’c pointed out.
Kawalsky stepped into the briefing room. “That’s where I come in. Permission to join the briefing, sir?”
Hammond gave permission with a nod and indicated for him to sit down.
“I’ll get her to the stargate. What? You think I’m going to let her go alone? She’s one of my best friends – I was in her wedding.”
Jack’s head jerked up at that. He looked at Sam, trying to divine if she’d known Dr. Carter was married. Sam refused to meet his gaze.
“You’ll need someone to hook up the power generator,” he finally said, obviously volunteering for the mission.
“And download the dialing program,” Sam added.
“You will also require my assistance,” Teal’c stated.
Kawalsky shook his head. “We can handle this,” he said, declining the Jaffa’s offer of assistance.
“No, Teal’c has a point,” Daniel said. “You said yourself that Teal’c led the assault on the mountain in your reality. Couldn’t we use something like that to our advantage?
“Quite the military mind, Daniel Jackson,” Jack quipped with a smile.
“No, sir. I’m sorry. Teal’c can’t go anymore than I can – entropic cascade failure. If I go, there will still be two of me in one reality. And the same will be true with Teal’c.
But Teal’c disagreed. “Dr. Carter did not become ill during her first 48 hours. If our mission is not completed during that time, it is most likely that we will be dead.”
“Good point. Are you okay with all this, sir?” Jack asked.
“If you feel confident you can pull this off, I have no objections. However, on your return, I want that quantum mirror destroyed.”
“Okay, well this is all well and good, but none of us are going anywhere unless we get that Asgard generator working again,” Daniel pointed out.
“Okay. Carter, download the program to the removable whatever-it-is and meet me and yourself in the lab,” O’Neill ordered.
Samantha was with Sam in her lab, examining the generator O’Neill had constructed while he had the Ancient repository in his brain.
“Well this is incredible. If the Asgard could design this to give the gate extra juice then they’re just the little green men we’re looking for.”
“They’re grey actually. Roswell grey to be exact,” Jack said as he entered.
“And actually, it was information from another race, the Ancients, that had been downloaded into the colonel’s mind that allowed him to build it. I had a hard time trying to figure out how this worked the first time let alone make it work again.”
“If it’s powered by the energy module of a staff weapon, why doesn’t it–”
“Blow up? My best guess is the device creates a modulated dampening field around the liquefied naquadah cell.”
“Which controls the energy transfer to the capacitor. So maybe the modulation is thrown out of whack each time it’s activated.”
“That’s exactly what I thought!” exclaimed Sam. “But how do you even begin to recalibrate a field that you can’t generate in the first place?”
O’Neill had gotten lost in the enthusiastic back and forth of the two blondes. “Hey, hey, hey, hey! Are you Carters going to be able to figure this out?
“We’ll figure it out,” they responded in unison.
Samantha suddenly cried out as she went into another convulsive shock.
“We have to figure it out,” Sam said with determination.
Jack nodded and left them alone.
As they continued to work Samantha paused and sat down.
Sam looked at her. “What’s wrong? Are you feeling sick?”
“I’m fine.” Samantha let out a rueful huff. “At least as fine as I can be under the circumstances.” She took a slow deep breath. “Sam, we need to talk.”
Bright blue eyes met equally blue eyes. “What about?”
“What about him.”
“You and he… aren’t…”
“No! No, no.”
“Have you thought about it?”
“No. Of course not.”
“It’s obvious he’s attracted to you.”
“I respect him, and trust him, but… No, I couldn’t possibly.”
Samantha nodded. “Alright. Then let me ask you this: What about Janet?”
“What do you mean?”
“Sam, she’s in love with you.”
Sam’s jaw dropped. “B-but she’s never… How do you know?”
“It’s obvious if you know what to look for. And it’s why I know you’re in love with her, too.” She smiled gently and continued before Sam could object. “Don’t even try to deny it. I know you pretty well, maybe better than you know yourself.”
Sam dropped her eyes, unable to hold Samantha’s gaze.
“Sam, it just about killed me to lose my Janet.” She swallowed. “But I have to tell you, even if I knew ahead of time what was going to happen, I’d do it all over again. There’s no way I would give up the time we had together, no matter how short.” Samantha stood and moved to stand next to Sam. “Don’t miss out on the best thing in your life, Sam. Life’s too short.” She paused for a beat. “Talk to her – you won’t regret it.”
While the two astrophysicists worked to get the alien generator working again, Major Kawalsky taught Daniel how to work the controller for the quantum mirror.
“There. See? You probably turned it the wrong way. Since this device should be in a storage closet in my reality, dial it the other way.”
Daniel dialed until he came across a corridor with Jaffa in it.
“Change it! Change it! Change it!”
Daniel changed it to an empty hall.
“Okay. Closer. What you want to do is dial it in smaller increments.”
Finally Sam and Samantha got the generator to work. So, Samantha, Kawalsky, Jack, and Daniel gathered around the quantum mirror. Teal’c arrived wearing his Serpent Guard uniform.
Samantha gave him the once over. “Yep, that’s right. Looks like him.
“I am not fond of wearing this uniform again,” Teal’c said with some distaste.
“Well, I’m not too fond of seeing you wear it,” Kawalsky agreed.
Daniel got everyone back on track. “I’ve searched through all the descriptions of realities close to ours and this has to be it. It’s the only one matching your description.”
Kawalsky looked at the scene in the mirror and nodded. “Yeah.”
Sam entered. She and Samantha moved a few steps away for a little privacy and spoke quietly together.
“Wish I could go.”
“Same here. But you don’t want to go through a cascade tremor, believe me. We made a good team, Major.”
“Yeah, we did, Doctor.”
“Plus your hair’s kind of grown on me. Pardon the pun.” Samantha gave her twin a small smile, which Sam returned.
“You’d better go.”
“I lost her… but you still have her. Promise me you’ll talk to Janet.”
“I will… I promise.”
They both dabbed at their eyes as they parted.
Samantha rejoined the others.
“Okay, on three,” ordered O’Neill. “One… two… three…”
They all touched the mirror at the same time and were transported to the other side, into the other reality. Sam waited until the mirror went dark – turned off by Daniel – before she left. She turned and stepped into the corridor… and headed to the infirmary.
Janet was sitting at her desk trying to do some paperwork. The past two or three days had really knocked her off center. Though she wore her professional mask at work, her daughter knew immediately something was up. Cassie, showing a maturity beyond her years, simply let her mother know she was there and kept her company in the silence of Janet’s confusion. She even made breakfast for Janet both mornings after Janet restlessly tossed and turned each night.
What had thrown the doctor, was a conversation she’d had with Major Kawalsky.
“Major? Could I talk with you?”
“Sure, Doc,” he replied with a warm smile.
They went into her office.
“What can I do for you, Doc?”
“I have a question for you.”
“Have I done something to offend or upset Dr. Carter?”
He was clearly surprised by her question.
“I ask, because I haven’t been able to get two words more than necessary out of her, and she’s been avoiding me. She’s clearly uncomfortable by my presence.”
“Don’t take it personally, Doctor,” he said in a sympathetic tone. “I’m actually a little surprised no one told you…”
“Told me what?”
He took a deep breath. “In our reality, Samantha and… your counterpart were married – a year ago earlier this month.”
Janet’s eyebrows climbed to her hairline. “Married?”
“That was possible in your reality?”
“Actually, no. But Doc had saved the world a few times and parlayed that into a White House dispensation.” He paused. “Three days before we came here, O’Neill, Ferretti, Makepeace and countless others… including Doc, were killed when the Goa’uld attacked the mountain.”
Janet closed her eyes. “That explains a lot,” she said softly.
Kawalsky waited until Janet opened her eyes again. “So tell me… why haven’t you told Major Carter how you feel about her?” he asked gently. He chuckled at her deer in the headlights expression.
“Don’t worry, you’re not obvious. But I’ve watched Samantha and Doc together for over three years. I recognized the look in your eyes whenever Major Carter is around.”
She was distinctly uncomfortable, but for some reason answered. “That kind of relationship could mean a court martial. And even if I did say something, it doesn’t mean she–”
“She does, Doc. Trust me, she does,” he said.
Since that conversation, Janet had been pensive and unable to sleep.
On the other side of the mirror, the team quickly laid a trap for that universe’s Teal’c. Teal’c gave his counterpart exactly one chance to change sides before calmly killing him.
“The idea was to zat him!” Jack exclaimed.
“As I said, O’Neill, ours is the only reality of consequence,” Teal’c responded in a no nonsense tone that revealed his unquestioning belief of what was right.
With the First Prime out of the way, Teal’c was able to take his place and enact their plan.
“Okay. Daniel, it’s going to take some time to dial in the right reality in the mirror, so go ahead and get started. Kawalsky and I will get the generator in place. Teal’c, get Dr. Carter to the gate.”
“I can be of help getting you guys to the gate room,” Kawalsky insisted.
Jack smacked him in the arm. “Come on. Carter couldn’t be safer than with Teal’c. Let’s go.” They left.
Taking Samantha ‘prisoner,’ Teal’c led her from the room. When they arrived in the control room Apophis and a couple of Jaffa were torturing General Hammond. He was trying to obtain the address of the Beta site from the general.
He turned toward them.
“Teal’c. Who do we have here?”
“They were captured attempting to escape, my lord.”
“This one will not tell us the glyphs for the planet where they’ve sent their leaders. Get it out of him. Or get it out of her.”
“Yes, my lord.”
Apophis left with two of his Serpent Guards. That left two other Jaffa in attendance for Teal’c to take care of.
“Attend to our lord. I will take care of these. Kree, Jaffa!”
They bowed and left.
“You might as well kill me,” the general spat out defiantly, though a bit weakly.
“I would never do such a thing, General Hammond.”
The general looked at Teal’c in shock.
“It’s okay. You’re not hallucinating. He’s from an alternate reality.”
“So that mirror thing worked?”
“Yeah. But don’t worry; I won’t say ‘I told you so.'”
“We should have tried it a long time ago, Doctor.”
As Dr. Carter untied the general, Teal’c noticed a monitor showing a Goa’uld pyramid ship descending over the mountain. “They have landed on the mountain.”
“There’s still a chance we can stop them, General. We’re going to attempt to contact a race of aliens that they have in their reality. Enemies of the Goa’uld.”
Janet’s head came up at the knock on her office door.
Sam entered. “Hey, Janet.”
“Hey, Sam.” Janet couldn’t help but smile. “Is the team on its way?”
Sam nodded. “Yeah.” She paused for a couple of beats. “Can we talk?”
“Sure.” She indicated Sam should have a seat.
Nervous, Sam sat on the couch. She’d promised Samantha she’d talk to Janet, but sitting there, actually faced with Janet… She wasn’t sure how to start.
Janet watched her best friend sit on the couch, concern beginning to creep into her as she took in the blonde’s demeanor. Sam was clearly nervous, but why would she be so uncomfortable talking to her? They confided in each other all the time and could talk about anything. They had no secrets… well, just the one. Janet got up from her chair and moved to sit next to Sam on the couch.
“What is it, Sam?” she asked warmly.
Sam took a deep breath and slowly let it out. “It’s been strange… meeting myself from another reality.”
Janet relaxed a little. She’d wondered how long it was going to take Sam to talk about it. Anytime Sam had been asked about ‘her twin’ she’d brushed off any and all concerns. Janet was glad she was finally willing to talk about it.
“I can only imagine. It’s been a little strange to see another you walking around here…” Janet smiled, “especially with that long hair.”
Sam chuckled. “Yeah. I never would have pictured myself with long hair.”
Janet reached up and brushed her fingers through the blonde’s bangs. “I prefer it short.”
Sam smiled. “Yeah?”
“Janet, did you get much of a chance to talk to her?”
“You mean Dr. Carter?”
“Not really. Since there wasn’t anything I could do to treat her…”
Sam heard the frustration in Janet’s voice. She reached over and put her hand on the doctor’s hand. “It’s okay, Janet. She’ll be fine now that she’s back in her own universe.”
“If she isn’t killed.”
“I have faith in SG-1,” she said with confidence. “Anyway, working with Samantha I had a couple of interesting conversations with her. Did you know she was married?”
“I’d heard that.”
“Did you hear who she was married to?”
Janet silently nodded.
Sam didn’t know what to say. She could leave it alone… or push forward and see if Samantha had been right. She took a settling breath and looked away from her best friend. “According to Samantha, they were very happy together.” She chickened out and said nothing further.
Janet watched the blonde for a few moments in silence. Then she finally made a decision. She spoke softly but clearly. “I have no doubt my counterpart considered herself a very lucky woman.” She waited until Sam looked at her again. “I know I would.”
“Yes, I would.”
They held each other’s gaze, seeing, for the first time, their feelings reflected in the other’s eyes. They were drawn towards each other until their lips met in a soft kiss. Arms came up and wrapped around each other as their kiss deepened. Tongues dances, breath was shared, and sighs exchanged.
They both jumped when there was a knock on Janet’s office door. Janet placed a hand over her pounding heart and drew in a couple of quick breaths. Sam, suddenly on the far opposite end of couch, also took a couple of breaths to slow her own pounding heart. Their eyes met and both broke out in laughter.
There was another knock.
“Come in,” Janet called.
Samantha was sitting at the computer and quickly typing in commands. “Okay, now.”
Teal’c inserted the hard drive they’d brought with them.
“I hope your Jack is good enough to get the transformer on line.”
Only a few moments later, the gate started to dial from the program they’d loaded.
“It appears that he is,” Teal’c replied. “You must prepare to go through the gate, Dr. Carter.”
Samantha stood up and kissed Teal’c on the cheek. “Thank you, Teal’c.”
The eighth chevron lock and the gate activated. The activation, of course, alerted Jaffa in the area and they came rushing in. General Hammond was already on his knees with his hands behind his head so as not give away the charade.
“Jaffa! Kree hol mel! Hol mel, Jaffa!” Teal’c called out, in order to stop them from shooting Dr. Carter.
She took advantage of their momentary confusion and ran for the gate. She dove through, ducking staff weapon fire. The wormhole disengaged as soon as she was through.
Apophis entered just in time to see her escape. “Teal’c, why do you betray me?”
Teal’c remained silent.
After Jack and Kawalsky had gotten the generator hooked up, they headed back to the storage room where the mirror and Daniel were. Unfortunately, there were also half a dozen Jaffa lying in wait for them. The men, taken prisoner, were led back to the control room where Apophis had them placed on their knees next to the general. They were lined up shoulder to shoulder.
Apophis pinned Jack with a glare. “My First Prime killed you before my very eyes.”
“I’m feeling much better, thanks.”
He glared at Teal’c. “What magic is this?”
Teal’c remained silent, refusing to answer him.
Daniel spoke up, “You should know better than anyone, there’s no such thing as magic.”
“Trey lan tonik.”
A Jaffa stood directly behind Hammond and raised his zat, aiming at the back of his head.
“I will ask you one more time. How could you have risen from the dead without a sarcophagus?”
When Jack uncharacteristically remained silent, Apophis nodded at the Jaffa, who shot Hammond with the zat. Hammond crumbled to the floor unconscious.
“I’m guessing the second shot kills in this world too, huh?” Jack muttered to Kawalsky.
“Tell me what I want to know!”
“Hey, I’d love to. But I don’t understand it myself.” Jack pointed at Daniel. “He does.”
Daniel’s eyes widened. “Okay, I’ll, uh… I’ll give it a try. Um, you see, at every point in time, there are infinite possibilities. A parallel reality exists for each possibility, so there are literally infinite branches.”
Apophis gave a nod and the Jaffa shot Hammond a second time with the zat – killing him.
“NO!” Kawalsky yelled. “You–” He’d started to get up but a Jaffa behind him grabbed him and kept him in place.
“Tell me where you come from.”
Daniel sighed. “From an alternate reality.”
Jack couldn’t resist adding, “One in which, by the way, you’re dead.”
The Jaffa that had killed Hammond, shot Daniel with a zat.
“He told you everything he knows!” Kawalsky yelled.
The Jaffa raised his zat again, ready to give Daniel the second shot, when another Jaffa came running in.
“My lord. Tel kol, Apophis. Kree no tel, Reenlokia!” He pointed at the monitor above their heads. The inner ring of the gate started to spin and a blip was seen heading towards the mountain on the screen of the monitor.
“Mel tok nee!” ordered Apophis. Most of the Jaffa immediately left except for a couple of Serpent Guards. Apophis raised his hand, activating the ribbon device. Before he could use it on anyone he disappeared in an Asgard transporter beam.
“Okay, I’m guessing–” Kawalsky started.
“Asgard,” O’Neill answered him as he helped a barely conscious Daniel up from the floor.
The gate activated and many of the Jaffa ran through it. The gate deactivated before they all could escape.
In the control room, the men watched the Goa’uld ship take off from the top of the mountain on the monitor screen. They also saw an Asgard ship descending. The entire mountain shook and the body of that reality’s Hammond was beamed away.
“It appears Dr. Carter was successful,” Teal’c observed, breaking his silence.
Samantha suddenly appeared, in an Asgard transporter beam. She was bubbling over with excitement. “I met the Asgard.”
“We guessed that,” Jack quipped.
Another Asgard transported beam deposited General Hammond – alive and well. Samantha bounced into his arms, hugging him and kissing his cheek.
Jack smiled. “Love those guys.”
The door to Janet’s office opened and one of her nurses stuck her head in. “Sorry to bother you, but the general said he wanted a medical team stationed at the mirror, just in case.”
“Thank you, Lieutenant.”
The nurse closed the door and Janet looked at Sam. “To be continued later?” she asked with a mischievous smile.
Sam grinned. “Absolutely.”
General Hammond, Janet and Sam were waiting on the other side of the mirror while Daniel, Teal’c and Jack said their goodbyes to Dr. Carter and Major Kawalsky.
“Colonel, it’s been a pleasure to serve with you… again.”
They saluted each other. Kawalsky then turned to salute Teal’c and Daniel and then left. O’Neill turned to Samantha. He opened his mouth to say something, but she spoke before he did.
“I can’t thank you all enough for what you’ve done.”
“We aim to please,” Jack replied.
“Your world is facing a difficult time – dealing with the losses. But with the Asgard on your side, you’re also at the brink of wondrous things,” Daniel said.
Samantha nodded. She then looked at Jack again. “After everything you’ve done, I’m hesitant to ask for anything more.”
Samantha glanced over the colonel’s shoulder and through the mirror. “Is there any way I could speak with Dr. Fraiser?”
Jack’s eyes widened, but it was Daniel that spoke. “You really shouldn’t go back to our reality, the quantum–”
“I know.” She sighed. “I know.”
“Is there a message I can give the doc?” Jack asked.
“It’s uh… it’s private, confidential.”
Daniel patted Jack’s shoulder. “Janet is a doctor, Jack.”
Jack was clearly torn but finally nodded. “I can’t order her to come over here, but I’ll let her know you want to talk to her.”
The three men of SG-1 turned, put their hands on the mirror, and were immediately back in their own reality. Jack looked at General Hammond. “Mission accomplished, sir.”
“Well done, Jack. Debrief in an hour.”
“Yes, sir.” He looked at Janet. “Dr. Carter requested the opportunity to speak with you, Doc. You’re under no obligation; it’s not an order.”
Janet was surprised. Dr. Carter hadn’t wanted to even be around her while she’d been at the SGC.
“She did say it was confidential, Janet,” Daniel said gently.
Janet nodded. “I’ll go talk to her.”
“You want us to wait?”
“No. Go on to the infirmary for physicals. Sam’s here.”
Daniel handed the controller to Sam and the three men left.
“I’ll be right here if you need anything, Janet.”
“I know. Thanks, Sam.” Janet placed her hand on the mirror was transported to the other reality.
“Thank you for coming. I appreciate it.”
Janet turned to face the blonde. “What did you want to talk about?”
Samantha dropped her gaze and shifted uneasily. “First off, to apologize. I was rude to you while I was in your reality.”
“I didn’t take it as rudeness. It just made me wonder why you were uncomfortable around me.”
“About that…” She looked up at the doctor. “It wasn’t you; it was her… my Janet.” She swallowed the lump that formed in her throat. “My wife,” she said softly.
Janet closed the small distance between them and gently wiped an errant tear away from Samantha’s cheek. “I know. It’s okay.”
Janet’s understanding and tenderness was all it took to break the dam. Samantha broke down crying. Janet didn’t hesitate to take her in her arms and comfort her. She pulled herself together after a couple of minutes and pulled back out of Janet’s embrace.
Wiping her face she looked at Janet. “Thank you. But that’s not why I asked you here.”
“It’s about your Sam. I’ve seen the way you two are with each other. I know you love her.”
Janet smiled. “Yes, I do.”
“You should tell her.”
“Actually, we’ve already talked about it… or least started to. We obviously need to talk some more.”
“Good. I’m glad.”
They shared a smile.
“Is there anything else you wanted to talk about?”
“No, that’s it. But…”
“It’s hard to say goodbye.” Samantha’s voice cracked.
Janet stepped up and hugged her. “It’s okay, Samantha. Take care of yourself. And thank you.” She kissed her cheek before letting her go.
“Stay safe, Janet – for her sake.”
With that, Janet turned and placed her hand on the mirror. Back in her own reality, she waved goodbye before Sam turned off the mirror.
“So, what did she have to say,” Sam asked as they walked down the corridor.
“She just wanted to make sure you and I talked.”
Sam nodded. “She made me promise to talk to you. I guess she was just making sure by talking to you.”
Janet looked at Sam. “Come home with me tonight, so we can continue our talk.”
Sam smiled. “I’ll be there.”