Night of the Zombies
Category: Slash, Drama, Missing Scene/Epilogue, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Size: 45kb, short story
Written: April 26-29, May 1,20-21, June 5, 2009
Summary: SG-1 travels to a very strange town where they uncover an eerie secret that could destroy Earth.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
1) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better: Ali, Becca, Navi, Adrienne!
Night of the Zombies
Along with General Hammond, Jack, Teal'c, and Jonas Quinn were seated
at the oblong table in the briefing room, having just listened to their
“So this Lemming guy ...” Jack began.
“Flemming, Sir,” Sam corrected. “Doctor Richard Flemming. He's a biologist, from...”
“I got it, Carter,” the colonel interrupted. “He's a genetic guru who made corn and cotton.”
“Actually, he developed hybrid strains of disease resistant corn and cotton,” the major corrected.
“Whatever,” Jack replied, his hands flexing a bit on the table. “This Flemming is missing, and that matters to us ... why?”
“Because he works for Immunitech, Adrian Conrad's company,” Sam answered. “They scaled back their operations and moved from Phoenix to Steveston ...”
“Steve owns a town?” Jack quipped with raised eyebrows and the most innocent expression he could feign.
“Who is Steve?” Teal'c questioned, playing along with Jack just because he felt like it.
Hammond let out a small grunt-like sound that was just loud enough to get his displeasure at the distracting conversation across. When he looked from Jack to Sam, it was clear he wanted to focus on the serious topic at hand.
“Steveston is on the coast of Oregon,” Sam informed her immediate CO.
“When did they make the move?” Jonas questioned, glancing at Jack, Sam, and finally Teal'c, realizing from their subtle and somewhat smirk-filled expressions that the three were sharing some kind of inside joke that he wasn't a part of.
“Several months ago, after Conrad was taken into custody,” Sam responded, getting back to business.
“This obviously warrants further investigation,” Hammond stated. “You'll leave at 1400 hours,” he ordered, getting up and heading for his office.
“Uh, General,” Jack called out as he stood up. Waiting a second for his commanding officer to turn around, he asked, “What about Daniel?”
“If he gets back before you return, I'll have him join you.”
“Couldn't we wait?” Jack asked hopefully. “SG-1 is always at its best with Daniel along, Sir.”
Hammond saw the plea in Jack's eyes as they darted towards Jonas Quinn, an unpopular fellow to the colonel. Though a bit sympathetic, that was just too bad for his second-in-command. He had other concerns right now that took priority over Jack's dislike of the Kelownan and his need to have Daniel at his side all the time.
“You'll have to do your best without him,” the major general stated sternly. “Dismissed.”
“But, Sir, we *need* Daniel.”
“I'm sure you can get along without Doctor Jackson for one mission, Colonel. *Dismissed*,” the general added, this time with a tone and glare that told Jack the discussion was over.
With Hammond almost in his office and looking a bit like a wounded puppy dog, Jack paused only to glare resentfully at Jonas before exiting the meeting room.
“He really doesn't like me,” Jonas sighed as stood up.
“O'Neill misses DanielJackson. He does not do well without him,” Teal'c responded as he approached the other alien.
“Just try not to smile so much,” Sam advised with a small smile of her own. “Let's get some lunch.”
Late that afternoon, the flagship team arrived in Steveston.
“You're right,” Jack told his 2IC as he zipped up his jacket.
“About what, Sir?”
“It's coastal,” the colonel mused about the chilly town on the Oregon coast.
“Did you believe SamanthaCarter had lied to you, O'Neill?” Teal'c inquired, his face stern, completely hiding his amusement over the situation.
Jack looked over at Sam, who had turned away to hide her smile.
“I'll be back,” the colonel advised the others without responding to the Jaffa's question.
After surveying the town, Jack introduced himself to Sheriff Knox in the hopes of finding out more information about Flemming's case.
“Have a seat, Colonel,” Knox invited.
Jack began to sit down, but a box of delights quickly caught his attention.
“Ah, can I have one of those?”
“Help yourself,” the sheriff replied, watching as Jack picked out a glazed donut and began to return to the chair, only he stopped and went back, retrieving a sprinkled cake donut that he wrapped up and put into one of his pockets. “For later,” he said before taking his seat. “About Flemming ...” he prompted.
“We found his car in a ditch outside of town. It's pretty badly smashed up, but there was no sign of him,” Knox informed the Air Force officer.
After further discussion, Jack requested, “My team would like to take a look at Flemming's lab.”
Knox shook his head as he responded, “There was a fire last night at Immunitech. The place was gutted.”
“Great,” Jack sighed while standing. “I'll be in touch.” He started to leave, but returned for one more donut, this one a ladyfinger. “For breakfast,” he quipped before leaving.
“Lucy, I'm home!” Jack chimed upon entering the motel room that Sam had acquired.
“There is no one named Lucy here, O'Neill,” Teal'c replied.
“Come on, T, you remember? Lucy!” Jack groaned from the lack of response and beckoned, “Didn't we go through this back in the caveman days?” He paused and repeated, “Lucy?” Finally, he turned away from the Jaffa, waving his hand in frustration. “I miss Daniel,” he bemoaned off-handedly.
Jonas looked over at Teal'c, who seemed to have a smug smile on his face. Apparently, this was another of SG-1's games, though he didn't really understand it.
“What'd you find out?” Jonas asked the colonel.
“The local constabulary found Flemming's car in a ditch on the outskirts of town,” Jack informed his team as he sat down in a chair.
“Colonel, we should ...”
“The good sheriff doesn't want us looking it over,” Jack interrupted with a curious expression. “He claims it was just accident.”
“Perhaps it was,” Teal'c offered, standing with his hands behind his back as he looked at his commanding officer.
“Maybe, but I think he just doesn't want us stepping on his toes,” Jack surmised. “He did say Flemming had been nervous and agitated before he disappeared.”
“He was anxious on the phone, but I wouldn't call him nervous,” Sam interjected.
“Maybe something happened after he called you,” Jonas suggested.
“Speed,” Jack muttered thoughtfully.
“Sheriff Knox showed me a bag of amphetamines that had been found in the glove compartment of Flemming's car,” Jack explained.
Sam shook her head, opining, “I don't believe Doctor Flemming would take drugs.
“Close friend?” Jack challenged.
“I get it, Carter. I'm not buying it, either. We need to do some digging.”
SG-1 headed for Flemming's house. Using Sam's abilities to pick locks, they searched the home, but found nothing. It was clear that the residence had been cleaned. While deciding how to proceed, a delivery person arrived with a package requiring a signature. Jack shrugged, motioning for Sam to accept the package.
“It was sent by Flemming ... to himself,” Sam informed as she stared the package.
“Okay,” Jack replied, feeling intrigued. “Let's see what's inside.”
Opening the package, the team discovered a cylinder that encased a large syringe, which contained an amber-colored liquid within it.
“Any idea what that is?” Jack asked.
“No, Sir,” Sam responded. “We should send this to SGC and have Doctor Fraiser analyze the contents,” she suggested, getting a nod of agreement from Jack.
Unbeknownst to the colonel, however, Sam only sent a sample of the liquid to the base, choosing to keep some of it in her possession. She had a feeling they might need the unknown substance later on.
The next day, Jack, Teal'c, and Jonas were in the diner eating when Sam joined them. She'd been trying to make contact with workers at Immunitech, while her teammates had been talking with the townsfolk.
“Nice lunch,” Sam observed about the burger and fries that Jonas was eating.
“Mmm. I'm really starting to enjoy this, uh, traditional American food. Mmm,” the Kelownan replied.
“We have another tradition,” Sam began. “It's called hardened arteries.”
Jack had just taken a bite of the triple-decker burger that was stuffed full of toppings. He glared at his second-in-command with displeasure.
“Carter, what did you find out?” Jack questioned harshly, his glare shifting to his hearty burger. He stared at it a minute and started to take a bite, but he stopped, Sam's words echoing in his mind. “My arteries are just fine, thank you,” the man mumbled indistinguishably. With that near-silent declaration, he took his next bite and moaned in delight, “Mmm, mmm good,” effectively interrupting his second's report. Just then the waitress came over to see if Sam wanted anything. “She'll have a salad,” Jack spoke with a smirk on his second's behalf. “No dressing, and water to drink.”
Sam sighed and attempted to ignore her commanding officer's 'gotcha' look. Somewhat frustrated, she then reported that she hadn't found out anything of use in her discussion with the employees.
“Our efforts have also been fruitless,” Teal'c replied.
“Don't be so sure,” Jack interjected, earning looks from his team. “Don't any of you pay attention?” he snarked, almost boasting at the meaning of his comment.
“What do you mean, Colonel?” Jonas asked, hating that he'd missed something.
“Listen and learn, kids,” Jack began. “That man behind Teal'c just put eight cubes of sugar into his coffee.”
“Maybe he likes hardened arteries,” Sam mused. “Sorry, Sir,” she spoke upon seeing SG-1's team leader stare disapprovingly.
“The lady sitting at the counter has been reading the same article for a half hour,” Jack continued. “Since we sat down, the waitress has dropped her tray twice, the cook has gotten three orders wrong, including my hamburger, which I ordered well done,” he looked at his food and grimaced, “but if it were any rawer, it'd be alive.”
“I think you may have something, Sir,” Sam acknowledged as she began to replay some of the odd behavior she'd witnessed without pausing to really think about it.
“It's like the entire town's half asleep,” Jack opined.
At that moment, the deputy came in and requested Jack accompany him to the sheriff's office.
“Knock yourself out,” Jack teased as he stood up, leaving half of his burger behind. “What's an artery to do?”
Sam simply stared in reply, but then she succumbed to temptation and reached over for the burger.
“Okay, so I'm hungry,” Sam admitted as Jonas gave her a big grin.
At the sheriff's office, Jack was told that the police had found gasoline residue at Flemming's lab, indicating the fire had indeed been deliberately set. Knox also advised that the workers at Immunitech had all signed confidentiality agreements, so it was a safe bet that none of them would be giving up any information.
In addition, Flemming's partner, a man named Stofer, had disappeared two months earlier. Knox was suspicious and subpoenaed papers from the business. He gave these documents, which were stamped 'confidential', to Jack.
Examining the papers, Sam discovered that the two scientists had ordered all of the latest material on stem cell research, which was unusual since the company wasn't involved in that area of research.
“Why would they keep that a secret?” Teal'c wondered.
“Well, stem cells can be used to create skin grafts or replacement organs, but theoretically, they can also be used to create human clones,” Sam answered.
“Which is illegal,” Jack pointed out. He flinched and added, “Though they obviously don't care about that.”
“Do you think Flemming wanted out?” Jonas asked.
“That would make sense, Jonas. He decided to blow the whistle, and they silenced him,” Sam put forth.
“But why would he call you?” the Kelownan inquired.
“It pains me to say this,” Jack began, groaning slightly, “but Jonas has a point. Flemming had to have a reason to make that call.”
Trying to piece it all together, Sam thought for a moment before supposing, “It must have something to do with Adrian Conrad.”
“See what else you can find,” Jack ordered, motioning towards the box of documents.
The next morning, Janet called to report on the contents of the syringe that had been delivered to her the day before. The preliminary results indicated it was some kind of sulfa-based antibiotic.
A while later, the team was walking down the street.
“Nine o'clock,” Jack warned quietly.
“We are being followed,” Teal'c concurred.
“I've seen him before,” Jonas added, having sneaked a peek at the dark-haired man.
With a subtle nod, Sam pointed out, “He was standing outside the sheriff's office when we first arrived in town.”
“And he was at the diner yesterday,” Jack added.
With a simple bob of his head, SG-1 went into action, managing to get hold of their follower.
The cornered man claimed that Doctor Flemming had been murdered. He'd come in contact with Flemming when the scientist had asked him for a gun, claiming that his life was in danger.
“Why would he trust you?” Jack questioned.
“Well, that's the weird part. He said that the people who were after him only come out during the night while everyone's asleep. Since I work the graveyard shift and sleep during the day, I guess he figured I wasn't one of 'em. First, I thought he was crazy, and then he went missing. That's when I decided that working for Immunitech was a little too dangerous.”
“This town is like Zombieville,” Jack remarked, having noticed more strange behavior from the citizens during the team's walk. “These people are Zone-ish.”
“Zone-ish, O'Neill? I do not know that term,” Teal'c replied questioningly.
“Come on, Teal'c, you know,” Jack prodded. Seeing no response, he reared his head back a tad and explained, “The Zone -- The Twilight Zone.” Still getting nothing but a stoic expression from the Jaffa, he scowled in frustration and translated, “They're strange, Teal'c; too strange for my taste.”
“Indeed,” Teal'c agreed.
Jack stared skeptically at his friend and teammate, while feeling certain that Teal'c was just putting him on. Teal'c knew all about the famous TV show. After all, Jack had quoted it often enough on their past missions.
Jack's inner musings ceased when Teal'c and Jonas mentioned an incident that had happened to them the night before when they'd gone out to eat. Two men had been very aggressive towards them and insisted that the teammates were in their seats. The situation had almost escalated to a physical confrontation. Then this morning they'd run across the two men again and they acted like they'd never seen Teal'c and Jonas before.
“What's your point?” Jack questioned.
“Maybe they're clones,” Jonas stated straightforwardly. He looked at Sam and reminded, “Yesterday, you said that there was evidence that Flemming and Stofer were conducting research into cloning.”
“No, I said there was evidence they were reading up on stem cells,” the major corrected.
“Which can be used to create human clones. What if the man from the restaurant doesn't remember because the man in the bar wasn't really him? He was a clone?” the smiling alien queried.
“Jonas, even *I* know that a human clone would be a baby first. Right, Carter? They'd be infants, not fully grown people,” Jack stated, certain, or at least hopeful, that he was correct in his assertion.
“That's right, Sir,” Sam answered.
“So, no clones,” Jack reiterated.
“Still, the people of this town are behaving strangely even for humans,” Teal'c put forth.
Jonas then remembered having seen some tire tracks off the road. When the team went to the location, they immediately noticed several footprints leading to a large building in the distance that was part of the abandoned shipyard.
Knowing the shipyard had gone out of business a couple months before, the team went to investigate. Breaking into the building, they discovered some CDs and the schematics of a spaceship. More than that, as they continued their search, they discovered the partially constructed spaceship inside one of the rooms.
“Okay, now what?” Jack asked, not having expected to see anything like this.
“We could go visit my dad,” Sam joked.
Jack turned around and headed for the door while saying, “It'll be a long trip; there's no engine yet.”
Back at their hotel, Jack reported what the team had found to Hammond, who decided to hold off sending any personnel to assist until SG-1 could find out who was behind the spaceship being built.
The team began to review the CDs while tossing out various possibilities of who could be responsible for what was happening. All they really knew, though, was that the ship was most likely being built at night. The key had to be on the disks. Of course, the media were safeguarded, meaning Sam would have to crack the code to get to the most valuable information on them.
“Okay. Jonas, Teal'c, let's get some rest. Carter, keep going through those disks and see what you can find out.”
“Rest?” Jonas asked.
“You won't be sleeping tonight,” Jack stated. “Stakeout,” he stated simply as he walked over to one of the beds and jumped on it, closing his eyes almost immediately and beginning to dream of Boston cream donuts.
“This place is sure getting busy,” Jack whispered under the sky of darkness to Teal'c and Jonas after several cars had arrived at the shipyards.
Meanwhile, Sam was at the hotel, working hard to find something that would provide more detail about what was really going on when all of a sudden a new window opened up.
“Here we go,” the astrophysicist stated quietly, confident she'd just broken into the coded files. “Holy Hannah!” she exclaimed, seeing hieroglyphs filling up the screen.
Sam's stunned expression subsided only when there was a knock on the door. Quickly, she grabbed her revolver, holding it down her side as she put her hand on the doorknob. In a flash, she opened the door and placed her weapon at the ready.
“Uh, hi,” the surprised archaeologist greeted. “Is it something I said?” he asked, pointing at the gun.
“Oh, sorry,” Sam replied, replacing the safety and tossing the gun onto the bed. She hugged her friend, happily welcoming him inside. “You're just in time.”
“Yeah,” Sam said, heading back to her laptop. She looked over her shoulder and asked, “How was the conference?”
“Uh, you know. I had to lie a lot. Of course, they still think I'm a crackpot, but I'm used to it.”
Sitting down, the blonde refuted, “They just don't know what we do, Daniel. Without you, there wouldn't even be an Earth.”
“Thanks. So, what's going on? Where's Jack?”
“The colonel, Teal'c, and Jonas are staking out the shipyard. Are you up to date?”
“I think so,” Daniel answered, nodding as he sat down next to Sam. “General Hammond gave me the report to read on my way ... here. Sam, that's Goa'uld.”
“That's why I'm glad you're here. I know the basics, but there's no doubt that you can translate this a lot quicker than I could.”
“Sam, is this one of the disks you found?”
“In the shipyard,” Sam answered.
“Then that means ...”
Not waiting for Daniel to finish his sentence, Sam called out over the radio, “Colonel O'Neill, come in.”
At the shipyard, Jack recognized the tone. Whatever the major was about to report, it wasn't good.
“What is it?” the colonel questioned.
“Sir, they're Goa'uld. Repeat, the people building the ship are Goa'uld.”
“How is that possible?” Teal'c inquired.
“I'm not ...”
Sam's words were interrupted by Daniel grabbing the radio from her. She recognized his expression. Whatever he'd just read, it was a doozie.
“Daniel, is that you?” the instantly happy colonel asked.
“Hey.” Remembering they had a serious situation at hand, Jack asked, “Daniel, what's up?”
“Sam's opened these files, and they're written in Goa'uld. Uh, Jack, Adrian Conrad's symbiote was cloned. They're ... they're cloning symbiotes.”
“The whole town must be full of Goa'ulds,” Sam responded loud enough for her CO to hear.
“Why did we not sense their presence?” Teal'c questioned curiously.
“Because there isn't any naquadah in their blood,” Daniel answered as he continued to read the file. “Jack, I think you guys should come back here until we can read more of this.”
“Yeah, I agree. We're on our way.”
Putting the radio down, Daniel continued to read the files. Sam remained at his side, reading what she could as well.
“I'm so glad you're here,” Sam repeated. “This is going to go a lot quicker now.”
Unfortunately for the team, nothing went as planned. Jack, Teal'c, and Jonas had been detained by two NID agents. Forced inside a van, the three learned that the NID had been aware of the situation in Steveston for quite a while. They were just waiting for the ship to be completed before moving in. The completed ship would be the first line of Earth's new planetary defense system.
The agents rationalized holding back by claiming they were simply taking advantage of the situation set up by Immunitech when it had made the symbiote clones. There wasn't any long-range danger because the symbiotes were too immature to take permanent control of their hosts; they were only strong enough to take over at night. During the nighttime, the human hosts did their bidding and then awakened in the morning, having no idea about what had occurred during their sleeping hours.
“That's why Flemming began taking amphetamines,” Jack surmised.
“So he could stay in control,” Jonas acknowledged.
“You may acquire a ship, but what of the townspeople?” Teal'c inquired.
The main NID agent, a man named Cross, responded curtly, “Oh, don't worry about them. We have ways of dealing with that situation.”
“I don't think SGC will be happy with that response,” Jack challenged.
“This isn't some rogue operation, Colonel,” Cross responded. “We have the full support of our superiors, and when this mission is completed, we will have succeeded where the SGC failed for five years. We have all the angles covered.”
Seething, Jack retorted, “Cross, this isn't a contest. There are innocent people here being used as hosts.”
“They'll be fine, Colonel,” Cross insisted. “Everything's under control. All we need right now is for you and your team to leave Steveston.”
“Kicking us out?” Jack dared as he glared at the agent.
Cross just smiled, letting the conversation end for the moment.
At the motel, Daniel looked up from the laptop, having heard the sound of vehicles driving up.
“It's too soon for them to be back,” Sam reported, getting up and peeking out the window. “Trouble,” she reported, turning around and picking up her gun from the bed. “Do you have your Beretta?” she asked as she went over and looked out the window. “There's too many of them,” she mumbled to herself.
“Never leave home without it,” the archaeologist quipped as he reached over and opened up the duffel bag he'd brought with him. “Sam, what are you doing?”
“Following a hunch,” the major answered as she began to inject the liquid from the syringe SG-1 had found two days ago.
“Sam!” Daniel exclaimed, walking forward a couple of steps until Sam spoke again.
“It's okay, Daniel. I know what I'm doing ... I think.” Sam flinched for a moment and then handed her friend the syringe. “Daniel, they don't know you're here. Hide.”
“I don't have time to explain. Trust me, please. Let them take me.”
Daniel didn't like the plan. After all, he didn't know what the plan was, but he had no choice but to do as Sam requested. Grabbing his bag, he went to closet and hid, leaving the door ajar just slightly in case Sam's life was threatened.
Feeling helpless, the archaeologist watched as men entered the room and forced Sam to go with him. He wondered if he was making a mistake by not interfering, but the major had given him a covert look to indicate she was in control.
Reluctantly, Daniel waited until he'd heard the vehicle drive away. Giving it an extra minute as a precaution, he finally decided it was safe to come out of the closet. He'd barely taken two steps when he heard another vehicle speed to a stop just outside the room. Quickly, he returned to the closet, believing the men who had taken Sam had returned for some reason. He just hoped they weren't looking for him.
“She's gone,” were the words Daniel heard. He smiled in relief as he opened the closet door and walked out. “Jack, they ... whoa!”
Daniel stopped dead in his tracks to avoid becoming dead for real when the NID agents instantly drew on him.
“Relax. He's with us,” Jack told the agents. “Where's Carter?”
“They took her,” Daniel answered. “They didn't know I was here.” Seeing his commanding officer's stare, he sighed, “She insisted I let her go with them.”
Turning his attention to Cross, Jack asked, “I assume you have a containment contingency?”
Cross thought about what Jack was saying. Acting now would thwart their entire plan.
Bristling from the lack of a response, Jack stated gruffly, “If you aren't sure, I'll be happy to call the President. He owes me one, from the last time my team saved the world, and might I point out that one member of that team is in jeopardy while you're standing there rotting.”
Cross sighed in defeat, clicked his radio, and called out, “We have a code six. I repeat, a code six. This is not a drill.” Then he told Jack, “We'll have this whole town locked down and quarantined in forty-five minutes.”
“Make it thirty,” Jack ordered.
“We just lost five hundred years of technical advancement,” the agent griped.
“It's much worse than that,” another agent stated cryptically.
Before anyone could react, the other agent fired his zat repeatedly, knocking everyone unconscious.
As the team began to come to, Teal'c was the first to regain his senses.
“O'Neill, are you all right?” the Jaffa questioned.
“I'll take a maple bar and two chocolate-covered glazed ...”
“O'Neill!” Teal'c called out more forcibly, while at the same time Daniel and Jonas were rousing.
“Huh? What?” Jack looked around as he muttered, “I was dreaming about big, giant donuts.”
Seeing Jonas looking confused, Daniel explained, “Jack has a thing for donuts.”
“We don't have donuts where I come from,” Jonas replied, looking up when Sam entered the room looking very self-assured. “What's going on?”
Slapping Jonas hard across the face, Sam stated, “You should only speak when spoken to.”
Jack and Daniel exchanged a confused and concerned look. This wasn't the Sam they knew.
The team listened as the agents and some of the townsmen talked about what was happening. Since they'd see him last, Cross had been implanted with a symbiote. With the containment team on the way, their new plan was to take the symbiotes back to NID headquarters and infiltrate the unit.
“It'll only be a matter of days before we've taken control of the organization,” the second agent assured.
“That's an ambitious plan,” Jonas interjected.
In an instant, Sam slapped the alien again.
“Give him a break,” Jack called out.
As Sam walked towards the colonel with the intent of slapping him, Daniel spoke up, saying, “Yeah, he's new.”
When the blonde turned around and started for the archaeologist, Jack called out, “You know how newbies are, always doing stupid things,” causing Sam to redirect her attention to him again.
“But he'll learn. You just have to ...” Daniel began, continuing the verbal game.
“*Shut up!*” Sam ordered, tired of being the ping pong ball.
“Should we use these as hosts?” one of the townsfolk asked.
“No.” Sam pointed out that Teal'c was a Jaffa and Jonas was an alien who wasn't really trusted. Referring to Jack and Daniel she said, “I'm just tired of hearing these two talk. We'll have to kill them.”
“Can't we talk about that?” Daniel asked with a hopeful smile. Seeing an assortment of glares directed at him, he added, “It was just a thought.”
Acting on advice from Sam, the two agents went back to the hotel to retrieve her laptop, which she told them had important information on it.
While that was happening, Sam inexplicably left SG-1 alone, saying only, “I'll kill you when I get back.”
Aware that the containment teams would be there at any minute, the major raced to reach the roadblock at the edge of town, getting there shortly after the teams had arrived. Exiting her vehicle, she strode hurriedly to where Cross and the other agent were talking to members of the newly-arrived team.
Cross was surprised to see Sam approaching and immediately took her aside to find out why she hadn't stayed in town, following their original plan.
“Major Carter's far more valuable to you if she hasn't been exposed,” Sam claimed. “I can infiltrate Stargate Command.”
“It's too risky,” Cross opined.
“You worry too much,” the second agent told Cross. He looked inside the van at two coolers that contained the symbiotes and boasted, “The humans have no idea what's going on here.”
With a pleased smirk, Sam replied, “Oh, I wouldn't exactly say that.” With that, she pulled out her zat and aimed it at the two men. “You guys aren't nearly as smart as you think you are.”
Sam called out for help from the containment personnel. She wanted to head for the sheriff's office to talk to her teammates, but she was held for questioning and wasn't able to speak with the rest of SG-1 until they arrived at the SGC for the debriefing with General Hammond. It was then that they all learned the rest of the story.
Smiling confidently, Sam was concluding her report while General Hammond, her teammates, Jonas, and Janet listened.
“So, it just made sense that Immunitech must have engineered the symbiotes with a built-in kill switch, just like a computer programmer would include a backdoor, a way of getting into any program they created, even if they sold it. I realized that syringe had to be the kill-switch. Besides, I had nothing to lose. We weren't going to get out of there, so I injected myself.”
“And it acted like a vaccine,” Janet surmised. “It probably only took a few minutes to kill the symbiote.”
“You're right, Janet,” Sam affirmed. “After that, I just played along,” she said somewhat playfully.
“What about the people who live in Steveston?” Daniel queried.
“I told the containment team about the antibiotic before I left. We should have heard something by now,” Sam responded, looking over at the general.
“I received a report just before you arrived,” Hammond acknowledged. “The townspeople have all responded positively to the treatment.”
“Each dead symbiote will slowly break down and be absorbed into the host body,” the physician pointed out.
“Uh, do they remember what happened?” Daniel questioned.
“Not a thing,” Hammond reported. “As far as they know, they were all inoculated against an outbreak of meningitis.”
“What about the ship?” Jack asked, eager to know its fate.
“It's been transferred to Area 51. Even though it's not complete, it may still prove valuable,” Sam answered.
“Good job, people,” Hammond praised. “Dismissed.”
“So, Carter, when we were in the sheriff's office, you knew exactly what was going on?” Jack questioned.
“And you felt it was absolutely necessary to really slap me?” Jonas asked.
“Had to make it look good,” Sam answered with a smile. “Let's get some lunch,” she suggested, heading for the mess.
Jonas frowned, saying, “She slaps hard.”
“It's the price you pay if you want to join SG-1 on missions. Can I dial the Gate for you?” The rumble of his stomach drew Jack's attention. “Maybe they have donuts. Come on, Daniel.”
[Colonel O'Neill walks away. Daniel looks guilty, shrugs apologetically towards Jonas, and follows Jack.]
[Jonas waits three beats. He looks perplexed.]
JONAS: “I still say he doesn't like me.”
“Well, what do you think?” Sam asked eagerly, her eyes bright with anticipation.
Jack, Daniel, and Teal'c looked at one another with uncertain expressions. They were at Jack's home for a team night, all casually dressed. As the team sat around the living room, bowls of popcorn, chips, and snack mix were visible, along with bottles of beer and two large pizza boxes.
“Carter, it's ...” Jack began.
“It's, uh ... well, it's ...” Daniel stammered.
“It is not accurate,” Teal'c stated bluntly.
“Well, I know that,” Sam replied flatly.
“What's with all the donut references?” Jack questioned defensively.
“Well, Sir, you have to admit that you do love donuts ... and food.”
Daniel snickered, causing the colonel to glare over at him.
Seeing the glare, Daniel asserted, “Well, it's true, Jack. Anytime we're on a planet with food, the first thing you do is check it out.”
“Okay, fine, but this makes me sound like I'm a donut fiend,” Jack groused.
“MajorCarter, the briefing is just hours after the events end, and yet things have occurred in too short of a time.”
“Teal'c, you can't take it so literally,” Sam sighed. “You have to just go with it,” she urged energetically. She saw the odd looks on her friends' faces and said, “You hate it.”
“No, Sam, we don't ... hate it,” Daniel refuted quickly. “But ... where am I? You wrote me out of most of this. I mean, uh, I was there when we went to Steveston, for all of it.”
“Indeed. JonasQuinn was not part of the mission at all.”
“Good thing,” Jack responded. “I would have fed him one of those clones myself.”
“Guys, you're missing the point,” a frustrated Sam responded. “This is a parody. It's not supposed to be real. Besides, I couldn't hit any of you, so I had to have another character, and everyone knows how you feel about him, Sir, so I figured it would make for a good laugh.”
Jack leaned back in his chair, thumbing through the short skit that his second-in-command had written about their adventure in the small Oregon city.
“Maybe we're too close to it,” Daniel offered. “I mean, uh, we know what really happened.”
“This isn't *that* far from the real story,” the blonde insisted ardently.
“Carter, you got the call for help; we went in, met with Flemming and Stofer and found out what they knew. We called for backup, staked out the place, and arrested the bad guys within forty-eight hours. The Doc whipped up a magic batch of 'bye bye juice' for the clones, and we told the folks there'd been an outbreak of meningitis. The ship was removed without them knowing anything about it. They're clueless. We're fine. End of story,” Jack stated, ending his rant.
“It was several days before we knew that the symbiote clones had been successfully absorbed by their hosts and posed no further threat to the citizens,” Teal'c added.
Letting out a disapproving grunt, Jack questioned, “Why'd you kill everyone off?”
“It's like a TV show,” Daniel mused. He looked at Sam and teased, “You just wanted to be Dirty Sam.”
Sam chuckled, “Hey, a girl has to have some fun.” Anxiously, she asked, “So?”
“So ...” Daniel echoed uncertainly.
“Guys, the SGC Follies are this weekend, and we have to do something. None of you wanted to help, so it's this, or you write something in a hurry.”
“At least I don't have a lot of lines to learn,” Daniel pointed out, deciding that was a good thing.
“I want real donuts,” Jack added. “Krispy Kremes,” he insisted.
“I will do my best, Samantha,” Teal'c stated with a nod.
“Who's going to play all these other parts?” the archaeologist questioned.
“I could contact Kelowna and,” Sam paused, seeing the look that always reminded her just how chilly it could be in the Antarctic, “On second thought, maybe Ferretti, Sergeant Siler ...”
“You'll figure it out,” Jack responded as he began to re-read the skit.
Seeing her CO writing on his copy, Sam asked, “Sir, what are you doing?”
“Rewrites,” Jack answered with a grin. “I've never looked like a wounded puppy dog in my life,” he complained.
“Colonel, it's an exaggeration.”
“Of course, it is,” the silver-haired man acknowledged, though he still continued to make edits.
“Sam says she's going to wear all black in the final sheriff's office scene,” Daniel stated as he joined his lover in bed. “She wants to look as evil as possible.”
“Maybe I should let her bring Mister Smiles here for the play.”
“It was just a thought,” Jack replied, smiling himself when his lover leaned down for a kiss. “I love you, Danny.”
“I love you, too,” Daniel replied, settling in on his Jack Pillow and becoming the colonel's much loved Danny Blanket.
“I can't believe we're actually going to get up on a stage and say all that stuff,” Jack stated.
“We could do what SG-11 is doing.”
“They're giving a recitation on ancient Goa'uld mythology ... A to Z.”
“Goa'uld mythology?” Jack questioned, feeling unsure what that meant.
“They're making it up.”
“We'll make sure they go first,” the older man stated. “That way, everyone will be asleep by the time we get on stage.”
“Good thinking, Babe,” Daniel laughed.
“You know, Love, Carter had one thing right in that script of hers,” Jack stated.
“SG-1, and me -- all of us -- are at our best with you around.” Jack caressed his Love's back and added, “I always need you with me.”
Daniel was warmed by the words. He nestled his head on his soulmate's chest and smiled.
“That's how I feel, Jack.” Daniel smiled and added mischievously, “Even if you are a donut fiend.”
Laughing, the lovers settled in for a good night's sleep. They'd had a fun evening with their teammates and rehearsing for the SGC follies. The play was an exaggeration, but it was going to make for a fun team presentation, especially after they'd added their own creativity to it. Right now, though, sleep was calling. Their bodies warming the other, Jack and Daniel drifted off, both happy and deeply in love.
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