Survival aka: The Future of Tomorrows
(Slice of Covidity - September 2020)

Author: Orrymain
Category: Slash, Drama, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating: PG-13
Season: Beyond the Series - September 1-4, 2020
Spoilers: "The Fifth Race," "New Order"
Written: January 17,19,30, March 15,18,26, April 15, 2021
Summary: COVID-19 is still an issue, but that means little to the Asgard who, led by Thor, give Jack and Daniel a unique and precious gift of necessity.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
Notes:
1) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s): "The Gift" and "JD's Miracle"

Slice of Covidity - Survival aka: The Future of Tomorrows
by Orrymain

Aboard the Daniel Jackson in a galaxy far away from Earth, Commander Thor of the Asgard reviewed the subjects on the view screen. He watched for a few minutes, making visual observations, after which he ran various scans. Asgard technology was so advanced that basic scans could now be performed on subjects not only within a given galaxy, but in galaxies nearby.

The Asgard commander blinked at the analysis. Immediately, he set course for Earth. He needed more precise information, so he contacted a colleague to handle the current mission. The Samantha Carter would arrive within a day to take over for the Daniel Jackson.

--

Now in the Milky Way galaxy, Thor opened the view screen, located the subjects, and began a more thorough examination.

"Heimdall," Thor called out via the ship's communication device.

On another screen, Heimdall appeared and asked, "Yes, Thor?"

"I need your assistance. Please stand by."

In seconds, the other Asgard was beamed to Thor's location aboard the Daniel Jackson from another Asgard vessel to review the disconcerting data.

"It is most serious, Thor," Heimdall verified. "We must take swift action."

"I will contact the High Council."

"Hmmm, Thor, might I make a suggestion first?" Heimdall interjected. "In the past, the High Council has not been receptive to what needs to happen here. I suggest assistance."

"Backup, as O'Neill calls it." Thor stared at his colleague. "Who do you suggest?"

Heimdall smiled. Smiling was still infrequent among the Asgard, but in their new more humanesque bodies, old expressions and desires were slowly resurfacing.

The Asgard were once part of an alliance with three other great races, the Ancients, the Nox, and the Furlings. The highly advanced Asgard were originally quite human looking, but they entered into genetic manipulation and practically doomed their society to non-existence. Unable to reverse what they'd done or to reproduce normally, clone bodies were created. These empty shells were small, gray bodies that resembled Roswell aliens on Earth. The bodies only came to life when a consciousness was placed inside them. These bodies, too, though, began to fail, threatening their ability to continue. Physiological degeneration caused disease to enter the small clones. Their time for finding a solution was dwindling.

It was only when JD Jackson-O'Neill, the only completely biological child of Jack and Daniel, was found to have the ancient gene necessary to solve the problem of the clone bodies that hope returned to the scientific race. JD provided the mathematical solution required and then Heimdall and other Asgard genetics experts began to create new more human-like bodies, thus saving the Asgard race at last.

Thor was one of the first of his race to experiment with the new bodies, which were updated and improved frequently. With every advance, the Asgard were closer to regaining their ability to reproduce and move forward with their society on their current home world of Orilla. At this point, with the disease rampant within the gray shells, all Asgard consciousnesses were transferred to various versions of the new bodies in which their future was assured. Time was still a problem for any Asgard whose consciousness continued to rest inside the small clones.

The actual home world for the Asgard was originally a planet called Hala, but it was turned into a black hole in order to keep captured human replicators from escaping. The race next colonized Othala, part of the Ida galaxy. This is where Jack went after inadvertently downloading the knowledge of the Ancients into his mind. Of course, he only had a brief glimpse of an interior building or ship before he was returned to Earth.

To try and save their race, the Asgard also found another home base which they called Orilla. It, too, was jeopardized by the Replicators, until Jack once again had the knowledge of the Ancients downloaded into his brain and created a weapon capable of destroying the Lego-like beings as well as the ones that were human in appearance. This device was called an disrupter, an essentially big gun that Jack loved using.

Orilla was where the Asgard hoped their new world would begin again. The future was looking bright. Scientists were speculating that if all went well, the first attempts at reproduction could begin within two years.

Heimdall's expression said it all. The best bet for support would be the Nox, especially Lya, who tended to be the best at diplomacy while also retaining the race's strict non-interference stance. The Nox were the proverbial Switzerland of alien planets.

====

Contact was quickly made and the situation explained while the two allies walked through the forest on the Nox planet.

"It is that serious?" Lya questioned.

"Perhaps just weeks," Thor responded.

"This is unfortunate."

"We can prevent it," the Asgard reiterated.

"Jack and Daniel will not allow it, Thor."

"That is why my plan is imperative."

"It is risky."

"Humans are the next great race. One day, they will truly be part of us," Thor proclaimed.

"Perhaps," Lya replied. "The Nox tend to agree, but the Furlings are not convinced."

"They have removed themselves from the possibility of the future."

"It was necessary, Thor. You know this."

"I do."

"You believe in this plan?"

"It is necessary," Thor insisted. "Lya, without O'Neill and Doctor Jackson, the Asgard would no longer exist. We not only owe them our thanks, and therefore this action, but we must help in this small way to ensure their destinies are fulfilled."

Lya let out a smile in acknowledgment. She knew exactly what her friend was thinking about. The Jackson-O'Neills were special beings in the universe, whether or not they recognized that fact themselves.

"They are not aware of the gene," the Nox woman stated.

"No. They know only of JD's potential," Thor announced. "Lya, this family knows not what their destiny is. We must do all we can to nurture the possibilities."

"This is most difficult, Thor," Lya stated with a small sigh. "They have always tried to help, but they are very young."

"Very young," Thor agreed. "They have learned."

"Not enough, but possibly, they will one day have the knowledge and wisdom."

"Lya, I realize the Nox do not wish to interfere, but I would consider it a favor if ..."

"A favor, Thor?"

"It is our new bodies."

"The Nox are happy for you, my friend," Lya spoke from her heart. "I agree that Jack and Daniel are owed of all our thanks. I do know they are reticent to accept this kind of help, but I also believe your plan is appropriate. Sometimes, the very young need a push."

"You will assist me then?"

"What is it you need from the Nox?" Once the fleet commander explained, Lya bowed her head and assured, "We will assist as best we can."

====

Soon thereafter, Thor faced the High Council which currently consisted of five leading Asgard members. They ruled the race and ensured their policies were followed.

"Commander Thor, what you are asking is against our universal policy. You know this," Freyr, the leader of the Council, stated.

"It is Asgard honor that says we must do this. O'Neill and Doctor Jackson have extended themselves more than once to save our civilization. It was their son, with their blessing, who has made these new bodies possible. How can you refuse this plan?"

"These bodies are refreshing," Fjorgyn stated. "It is pleasing to enjoy their function," the female put forward. "Freyr, perhaps it is time to review our future and who we want to be."

Another female on the Council, Gefion, interjected, "I am in agreement with Fjorgyn. I have not met this Jack and Daniel, but I am aware of how their actions have contributed to our survival and this transition to our new selves. We must adopt the plan. There is no risk here. We are not interfering in the politics of another planet. All we are doing, Freyr, is offering our thanks to ones who have helped us."

"We have agreed many times that the humans of Earth are the next great race," Thor added. "We must assist them as they would assist us."

Freyr looked over at the other members of the High Council and saw the nods. Still, the leader looked uncertain.

"Freyr, if I may speak," Lya requested from the back of the room.

"Of course, Lya. It is an honor to have you in our chambers."

"Thank you," the Nox woman responded with complete gentleness as she walked to stand beside Thor. "The Nox know the Jackson-O'Neill family very well. Some have even been to our cloud city."

The comment had the High Council looking at one another and sharing words of shock and surprise. Few non-Nox were ever allowed to visit the cloud city.

"We do not wish to interfere or influence your decision, but the Nox do believe that Jack, Daniel, and their children would be most honored to receive this gift. It is appropriate, is it not, to show thanks and not just to speak it, especially to a race with such potential?"

"Thank you, Lya," Freyr responded. "Commander Thor, you are given permission to proceed with your plan. This session is concluded."

"I hope I was of help," Lya said to Thor.

"You carry much weight with the High Council," Thor responded.

"Congratulations, Thor," Heimdall said as he approached the two.

"It was Lya who made this possible."

"You are too kind, Thor. I must go now. Please, if I may help further ..."

"I will let you know."

Lya departed, leaving the two Asgard.

"We must prepare immediately," Thor told his colleague as he headed out of the chamber.

"I am ready to assist."

"Thank you."

====

It was under the cover of darkness that Thor readied the equipment and prepared to enact his plan.

"This first procedure will be the most difficult," Heimdall opined.

"Be precise. It is of the utmost importance," Thor said. With a flash of light, the first two subjects appeared in the lab. "Welcome. I am sorry not to warn you, but this cannot wait." He looked at the first subject and asked, "Please step to the circle. A dome will surround you, but there is nothing to fear. I am Thor. I am ... your friend."

Once the subject was in place, Thor and Heimdall worked their controls.

"Do not move," Heimdall called aloud. "There. We must be exact. This will take several minutes."

Finally, the dome disappeared and the subject's eyes were brighter than before as was the energy exhibited within them.

"I am glad," Thor responded. "It is your turn," he said to the second subject. "This will only take a minute. You may feel a slight prick at the injection site, but it is no worse than shots you've had before."

"This has gone well," Heimdall reported at the conclusion of the procedure.

"Yes." Thor told the subjects, "It was good to see you again. I wish we had time to visit, but there is much to be done tonight. Goodbye."

For the next couple of hours, Thor and Heimdall continued with the plan.

"We are done."

"No," Thor negated. "There is one more. He does not live with O'Neill."

"Is that not unusual?"

"Yes, but O'Neill had reasons and they do visit regularly," Thor explained. "Hello," he called out when the last subject appeared. "Do not be afraid. We are friends of O'Neill and Doctor Jackson. We are here to help you. Please, move to the circle."

Hesitantly and feeling uncertain, the subject did follow Thor's request. The dome was engaged yet again.

"Oh my," Heimdall noted. "This can be quite painful."

"Yes. Let us proceed."

When the dome went away, the subject ran around joyously, expressing his delight.

"I am so glad ... you are happy? ... yes, they are good people, and they love you." Thor continued to listen and finally replied, "I will tell them. Good luck."

"Now we are done," Heimdall stated.

"We are done," Thor stated as he left the view screen are and walked to look out through a window.

"What is wrong, Thor?"

"I do not know that I can keep this a secret as I committed to in the plan."

"You must. The High Council would be displeased if you revealed what we've done."

"They are merely afraid of having conflict with Earth."

"Things are still shaky after the truth of Roswell was told to us."

"This is not politics, Heimdall. This is O'Neill and Doctor Jackson. They do not like being deceived."

"Thor ..."

"You may tell the High Council of my disobedience."

"No, I will not," Heimdall refuted. "They approved your plan. If they wish to followup, they can, but I suspect they will not."

"I must do this, Heimdall, even if it means being stripped of my command." Thor paused and added, "They are ... friends."

"I understand."

"Do you?"

"I'm not sure, but part of me thinks I do."

"That is good. I will report back later," Thor told his colleague.

====

Jack and Daniel were sound asleep in their large bed when something caused the general to stir. His eyelids fluttered open and he practically jumped to a sit-up position.

"For crying out loud, Thor, it's," <Jack looked at the clock on the nightstand> "O-three-hundred-eleven. What in Netu are you doing here?"

"I wish to speak with you and Doctor Jackson."

"Daniel! *Daniel,* wake up. The little ... Thor is here," Jack called out as he shook his lover's body.

"Wha...what? Huh?"

"Put on your glasses. We have company," Jack told his husband.

Daniel stared as he tried to focus on the world. With a bit of a start, he reached for his glasses and sat up while putting them on.

"Uh, hello, Thor."

"Look, Thor, you can't possibly need us to save the universe again," Jack snapped. "We're out of the universe saving business."

"The universe is steady ... for now."

"That doesn't sound ..." Jack paused, shaking his head adamantly. "No, I'm not going to ask. That's not what we do anymore."

"It is not why I am here."

"The ear looks better," Jack observed out of the blue.

"Yes, I believe these ears are now perfected," Thor replied proudly.

"Okay, give it up," Jack urged. "What brings you here before dawn's early light?"

"The Asgard have said 'thank you' to you and your family for all you've done for us."

"You're welcome," Jack stated. "Can we go back to sleep now?"

"I ... I must confess that in saying thanks, I convinced the High Council to violate our policy of non-interference in the affairs of others."

"Thor, what did you do?" Daniel inquired pointedly.

"You would not have agreed if asked prior to the Asgard providing their gift, but I knew this gift would be beloved."

"One of those we're better off because you did whatever you did things?" the archaeologist questioned.

"That would be correct."

"Okay, Thor, just tell us."

"You do, of course, remember when we detected the mind-altering drug that was once injected into your bodies. The drug was from Krynor and was called Krynik. Krynik mutated into Sugna which is most difficult to remove as it becomes part of the body."

"Yep, I remember the science lesson in alien drugs," Jack responded somewhat sharply due to his weariness.

"The Sugna has a side effect, that of long life. It slows the aging process in adults and animals."

"You gave some to Bij and Katie, as well as us," Daniel recalled quietly.

"Yes." Thor continued, "You may recall, we did not inject the brood. Children are not able to process Sugna in their systems."

"Right," Jack responded, motioning for Thor to get to the point.

"I must confess that without your knowledge, I have been monitoring the zoo from the Daniel Jackson."

"Monitoring?" a confused Daniel returned.

"It has not been necessary to intercede until tonight. Time was vital. It could not wait."

"Thor, what couldn't wait?" an exasperated Jack questioned strongly.

"My scans showed many issues with the zoo."

"Issues?" Jack snapped.

"Bijou had cancer. Calico had kidney disease, and Bogey had congestive heart failure," Thor reported. He continued to list the affected zoo. "Chocolate had a sprained leg, and Zeus had immune system issues. The guinea pigs were on their last legs due to age. The donkey had asthma that was very painful for him." Thor paused for a few seconds and concluded, "Katie, Mittens, Ptolemy, Hot, Peanut Brittle, Jelly, Apollo, Athena, and Ares are completely healthy. You probably are not aware that fish retain normal life cycles as their tiny bodies make it impossible to use Asgard technology at this point."

"You left out the bunnies."

"My apologies. Bagel was fine. Cream Cheese had a scratch; nothing serious, but we did take care of it."

"Bijou had cancer," an emotional Daniel whispered, not even hearing the alien's statement about the two rabbits. "You said 'had'. What did you do?"

"Asgard medical technology far exceeds Earth capabilities. I administered corrective procedures and interjected each of them, including the healthy ones, with the appropriate amount of Sugna. This should give every creature more years of life, but still does not prevent the nonoccurence of disease or other diseases from developing; or accidents from happening. I took the opportunity to implant a special marker that will make it easier for the Asgard to track the zoo. Any sign of disease will be reported to me immediately. I can alert you should such situations occur. I regret that there is a limitation on the administering of Sugna, so Bijou and Katie cannot receive a second shot."

Jack got out of bed, grateful he was wearing his pajamas, and approached the alien. He stared at him for several seconds.

"You're saying you cured the pets, gave them a shot to further ensure the things outlive me, and put a marker in their bodies so you can follow them wherever they go?"

"Yes."

"Listen here, you ..."

"Jack, shut up," Daniel ordered, stunning the general. "Come back here and sit down."

The silver-haired man wasn't happy, but rarely did his husband speak to him in the tone he just did.

"Thor, you saved the lives of our zoo, including Bijou. Is that correct?" Daniel asked in verification.

"That is correct."

Daniel turned his head to face his lover and gently spoke, "Jack, Bijou could have died. We've been so wrapped up in this stupid disease that we didn't even notice."

"What was to notice?"

"Little Danny said Bijou wasn't eating right. That would have sent us to see Pam right away. Why didn't we do that?"

Jack coughed as truth set in and he conceded, "Because she's in self-isolation after one of those vet techs thought it would be awesome to have a summer cookout for her nearest and dearest fifty friends, forty of which she didn't even know, and tested positive for COVID-19."

"Exactly. We put it off and then we just put on blinders. How about the others, Jack? I had no idea Calico was ill, but remember last week Lulu said she thought Calico was acting funny. We dismissed it as some type of isolation frustration. We messed up, Jack, and I won't have you chastising Thor for saving their lives, for keeping Bijou safe. Do you hear me?"

Jack sighed, "Okay, Danny. You're right. Thor, I'm sorry, but you know I feel about surprises."

"It was not intended as a surprise," Thor refuted. "It was a 'thank you' for being of assistance to the Asgard over the years."

"Okay, call it what you what."

Slowly, the alien turned and walked a few steps. He turned back to face the couple.

"I will understand if you are angry and not wish me to ... pop in anymore."

"Whoa!" Jack objected. "We never said that."

"I must report my disobedience to the High Council. You were not to know the truth of the Asgard intervention, but I could not keep it a secret, knowing how you feel about secrets."

"We appreciate that," Jack responded.

"Thor, are you ... eating yet?" Daniel inquired.

"Scientists believe the first consumption test will begin within the next few months."

"I was wondering, even if you aren't actually eating, if you might want to come to dinner one night? The brood always love seeing you, and I suspect the zoo would love it, too. Uh, maybe you'd prefer to come by after dinner. We often sit in the rec room and just talk or play games or watch TV. We'd ... like it, if you'd come."

"I would be honored." Thor blinked and then announced, "I should go."

"Hey," Jack called out. He again got out of bed and walked over to the Asgard. Jack extended and said, "Thank you."

Thor was taken aback. He only recalled one time that he'd shaken the hand of a human. He wasn't sure what to do, but cautiously, his hand moved until it touched Jack's hand. The two shook, a firm handshake between friends.

Suddenly, a tear fell from Thor's right eye. That had not happened in millennia. He looked around nervously.

Needing to distract himself, the Asgard said, "The donkey, Jack, he wished me to tell you he is happy at his home. He loves your visits and understands why he is separated from you. He wished you to know he has many friends there and that he is well cared for."

"Thanks for the message," Jack returned. "It's good to know."

"Thor, we'll ... call to make a dinner date, okay?" Daniel asked.

Thor nodded and, in a flash, disappeared.

"Daniel, did he just ... cry?"

"Yes. The Asgard are turning human, Jack. It's wonderful to watch."

"Dinner?"

"He's a friend, isn't he?"

With a nod a smile, Jack affirmed, "Yes, he's a friend." He saw his husband suddenly rise up out of the bed. "Where are you going?"

"To find Bij. I need to see her."

"Me, too."

Truth be told, the lovers needed to view all of the zoo, at least the ones living with them. They didn't sleep anymore that night, but they spent the hours cuddling up with various zoo members. Both were grateful to Thor.

As the pandemic continued to hold a firm grasp on America, life for the Jackson-O'Neills was full of unexpected moments that kept life exciting. The most important thing for all of them was being together and now Jack and Daniel knew that, barring an accident, their zoo should be safe for years to come.

"They're going to outlive me, Danny."

"You're exaggerating."

"Danny, Peanut Brittle and Jelly already have a normal lifespan of over a hundred years. My namesake donkey could normally live fifty years. The horses could easily live into their forties and beyond. With this shot, you double that. We'll be long gone when they pass."

"You forgot Ptolemy," Daniel mused, unable to stop from laughing.

Jack did a double take in the direction his lover and noted, "Yeah. She's gonna live sixty years times two, thanks to Thor."

"Don't worry about it, Babe. Like you said, we'll be dead, so we won't even notice."

Jack chuckled, "You're right. We won't care." He frowned, "Daniel ..."

"Jack, Calico wants your attention."

"Hey, Callie. How'd you like Uncle Thor?"

"Meeeeeeeeoooooooooooooooow!" the cat praised.

Laughing, Jack replied, "Yeah, I think he's pretty great, too."

"I love you, Bij," Daniel declared. "We're so lucky you're here with us."

The loving expressions continued without hesitation. After all, to be complete, Jack and Daniel needed their brood and their zoo.

~~Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?~~

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