By. Kelly Mullins
Three Months Later...
Jack O'Neill was on his way out the back door of his house as the telephone started to ring, he looked longingly at his wife who was already out there speaking with their friends before turning around and grabbing the receiver.
"Jack dear, is that you?" An oddly familiar voice asked on the other end.
"I got your letter, we had no idea you'd been missing for over five years, and then we only found out you had been found a couple of days ago."
"We haven't spoken in nine years, why call now?"
"Because your father and I love you, it upset us both that you had been missing in action for five years before we found out."
"Both of you made it pretty clear you wouldn't mind seeing me dead, I wouldn't have even written that damned letter if Carter hadn't made me."
"Ooh... father, you said a bad word! Mother isn't going to be happy when she finds out." Maja happily hopped off the last step and walked oddly over to him. Maja and Toran had refused to wear anything other than sandals until they had realized that Colorado tended to get a little bit cool, Maja still hadn't adjusted to walking in her new tennis shoes.
"Hold on a minute Mom." He said pulling the phone away from his ear and setting it on the kitchen counter he was leaning against. "Maj, why don't you go find your brother and play outside?"
"But Father, Mother said we could wait for Grandfather."
"Maj honey, I promise the minute he gets here I'll send him around back. I'm pretty sure Cassandra and Rya'c are already here, and it looks like Shelly's stealing everyone's attention." Reluctantly Maja ran up the stairs yelling her brother's name.
"Sorry Mom, I believe we were just about to hang up on each other."
"Jack," She asked curiously. "Who was that?"
"My daughter, today's my wife's birthday... we've got a lot of friends and family coming."
"You've gotten remarried?"
"Yes, and right now I'm happier than I've ever been. So if we're done with this little stroll down memory lane..."
"Why didn't you tell us? You've even had more children? They really just waited for you while you were gone?"
"No, I was with them. It's a very long, very classified story."
"Why can't you even be civil to us?"
"Because mother, everything is wonderful right now." He smiled, relieved as Sam came in the back door and wrapped her arms around his waist, seconds later there was a knock at the front door as it opened.
"Hello? Anyone home?"
"Dad's here." Jack stated to Sam. "Hey Jacob, we're in the kitchen." He called out. "Listen Mom, I've gotta go, if you're really that interested in my life you can call back some other time." He hung up the phone.
"Mom?" Jacob questioned.
"My mother, said she just found out I'm not MIA anymore."
"Did she get the letter you wrote?" Sam asked giving her father a hug.
"Yeah, that's how she found out I was gone. Nine years with no communication and she just up and calls me out of the blue."
"Grandfather!" Maja had obviously found Toran as both children bound into the room attacking the now much-loved Grandfather.
"Hey guys." He said as the five of them made their way out the back door to join the small crowd gathered there.
"Rya'c and Cassandra have arrived." Teal'c stated.
"Hi Jack! Maja, Toran come here." Cassandra ran off with the two children, Rya'c stood proudly next to his father, both in matching hats.
"Hard to believe she's grown up so much."
"She's more mature than I was at that age." Janet answered.
"I can't believe she had herself transferred here."
"I'm pretty happy about it, with us working at the SGC again, it's nice to have her at least in town." Rya'c excused himself to go stand by Cassandra as she played a game with Toran and Maja.
"Rya'c asked my permission to court Cassie." Daniel announced.
"What did you say?"
"That she's her own person and can make her own decisions." Teal'c had of course noticed his son's extreme attachment to Cassandra, but he hadn't realized he had become so serious, Jaffa do not take courtships lightly.
Soon everyone ate, steaks (considering Sam and Jack still weren't satisfied after their five-year absence from all beef products) and bananas because everyone seemed to be going through soli withdrawal.
"Mother, father said a bad word while he was talking on the telephone."
"Father, you did?" Toran gave up trying to imitate Teal'c's silence.
"I'm sure your father is very sorry for what he said and I will make sure he apologizes." Jack just looked sheepishly at his wife.
"Yeah guys, very bad thing I did, won't do it again, I swear." That exciting conversation over they moved on to the presents. Sam received a book from Daniel and Janet, a shirt from Cassandra, a 'You! Off my planet!' coffee mug from Teal'c and Rya'c, Yuatyu and Sokj gave her a gift certificate to Omaha Steaks (obviously they had been exploring the world around them), her father gave her a beautiful necklace similar to one her mother used to wear, but with a non-terrestrial luster, and lastly from Jack and the kids she got a framed version of their first family photograph which had been taken only a month earlier.
After everyone had sat around talking for hours, with the express purpose of boring the children out of their minds, everyone left leaving Jacob in one of Sam and Jack's guest rooms. Maja and Toran still didn't want to have their own rooms so everything was much as it had been on Thalma.
Jack helped both kids get ready, as Sam made sure her father had everything he could possibly ever need. After Jacob assured her he would happily allow Selmak to watch television until a more reasonable hour of sleep rolled around, it seemed that none of the Thalmans had gotten used to the idea of waiting around after dark to go to sleep, even Sam and Jack, who had spent their entire lives living by an earthly sleep pattern still felt the urge to hop into bed no matter what time it was.
Two hours later Sam was jerked out of sleep by the annoying ring of the telephone. She looked to her husband to find him sleeping soundly; she grabbed her robe and made a mad dash down the stairs pulling up the offending device on the 4th ring.
"Could I please speak to Jonathan?"
""I'm sorry but he's asleep already." She winced at the harshness of her voice; after all it was only 2100.
"Could you wake him?"
"I'm sorry but we've got work very early tomorrow morning. I would be happy to have him call you back."
"Who is this?"
"I'm his wife, Sam."
"Please tell him his mother called, we will be in Colorado Springs soon."
"I will tell him, but I don't know when he'll be able to get back in contact with you." They both exchanged the necessary pleasantries and once Sam had replaced the telephone in its cradle she headed back up the stairs.
"Who was on the phone?" Jack questioned as he welcomed her sleepily back into their bed.
"Your mother, she said they're going to be in town soon."
SG-1 left at 0700 the next morning, this was only their third mission since Sam and Jack's five-year absence. Jacob was more than happy to spend a few days with his grandchildren, he had regretted missing everything, and just as everyone else who knew the family had, he had forgotten about the fact that Toran really wasn't related to them at all. Everyone in Cheyenne Mountain held their breaths as SG-1 went through the wormhole and the Stargate deactivated. They wouldn't be back until late the next evening.
Jacob Carter had spent the entire day with his two wonderful grandchildren, a job that he felt was much more tiring than playing cat and mouse with the Goa'uld. He had realized that the two people in his body were not match for the energy contained in the bodies of the two spunky children.
Jacob laughed at a joke of Selmak's as he finished the dishes from their dinner and looked around for something to entertain his /minds/, the children having claimed it was time for them to go to bed at 1830. Deciding for lack of anything better to do he went out on the back porch to try out his son in law's telescope.
It was 1915 when Toran tiredly rolled over and looked at his sister's angelic sleeping face. Realizing that he was never going to bet back to sleep if someone didn't answer the door and that his grandfather obviously wasn't going to get it he plodded tiredly down the steps.
"May I help you?" He asked the two people standing on the front porch.
"Um..." They stared at him in open-mouth dismay.
"It's late and I would like to go back to bed..." He tried to get them to whatever their reason for banging on /his/ door in the middle of the night.
"What's your name?" The woman asked.
"Oh, is your um... father home?"
"No," Toran heard a sound and then looked behind himself. "Grandfather, there are some people here to see father."
"I'm sorry, but Jack's away on business."
"We're his parents."
"Oh then come in, I'm Jacob Carter." He stuck out his hand and soon the two people had shaken it.
"Olivia and James O'Neill."
"Would you like some coffee?"
"We would really appreciate that." James spoke for the first time. As Jacob led the way into the kitchen Toran followed silently.
"So, what brings you to see Jack? From what I've heard you haven't spoken in almost nine years." Jacob spoke as he busied himself with the rarely used three-month-old coffee maker.
"We wanted to see our son, we knew nothing of his new life, and it bothered us that we didn't even know he'd been gone for over five years." Olivia could feel Toran's curious eyes burning into her back.
"Grandfather, may I go back to bed now?"
"Oh sorry Tor, didn't realize you were still down here." Jacob hugged his grandson, rubbing his shaven head. "Of course you can go back to bed, just try not to wake your sister."
"I will see you as the Tau'ri sun rises." He said formally before turning and running back up the stairs. Jacob turned back to the O'Neill's who just looked bewildered.
"He's great kid, your son is a wonderful father."
"How old is 'Tor'?"
"Toran is six and his sister Maja is five. I just met them three months ago and already I'm crazy about 'em."
"When did Jack remarry?" "Almost six years ago, when I found out my daughter had married her commanding officer I wasn't really surprised, it was the two children that left my head spinning."
"Your daughter is in the Air Force?"
"Yes, Sam's a Major, she worked with Jack for four years before they were um, declared MIA."
"What were they doing while they were gone? The military said analysis of deep space radar telemetry but how could they have been missing in action if they were working in a mountain all day?"
"Everything about that is classified, I'm very sorry I can't give you any more information, I had to join up myself before Sammy would even mention her work around me."
"We heard he had retired again and then it was just a few months ago that we found out he was even working again."
"Jack should be back tomorrow night, you're welcome to stay here tonight and get to know the children."
"I don't think he would welcome us to just interlope on his home and family while he's not here."
"If Jack's got a problem with it then let me deal with him."
"Thank you Jacob." They said and he quietly led them up the stairs and into the remaining guest room. Once they retrieved their bags from outside the O'Neill's settled down in their son's home for the first time in nearly a decade.
"What are we going to do today grandfather? I want to see Shelmeria. Will you call Sokj and Yuatyu on the telephone and see if she can come over?" Maja prattled as the got her shoes tied.
"Maj, I'm sorry but we got some visitors last night and you're going to spend the day with them."
"Who are they grandfather?" Toran asked giving up on tying his shoes and presented his foot to Jacob.
"They are your father's parents."
"I thought they didn't like him."
"Where did you hear that?"
"Mother and Father we're discussing it on the boat to Kalhia."
"They were discussing Charlie and the baby mother lost when I was younger." Maja stated matter-of-factly.
"You guys aren't supposed to be listening in on your parent's private conversations." The O'Neill's came down the stairs; both were rested and fully clothed.
"It's early, do you get up this early everyday?"
"They do, I like to keep semi-normal hours." Jacob pointed Olivia in the direction of the coffee pot. I
t was about ten minutes later when the front door opened.
"Hello, anyone around?" Jack called.
"Father!" Maja jumped up and ran to the front door, her long blonde braid bouncing.
"Oh Jacob... coffee!" Daniel ran towards the coffee pot with a very uncharacteristic exuberance. The O'Neill's looked at the mud-covered doctor in dismay; he hadn't even noticed the extra people the room. Teal'c, the giant Jaffa, stalked into the room tracking dirt from his combat boots onto the floor that had previously been soiled by Dr. Daniel Jackson.
"I apologize Jacob Carter, it has been a long day... and an even longer night." Teal'c said wiping the mud from his gold emblem with the back of his hand.
"Where did Jack and Sam go, they've got company."
"I believe they felt the urge to cleanse themselves, undoubtedly Toran and Maja followed them."
"So... who are you guys?" Daniel asked, having calmed down as the caffeine started in on his system.
"Dr. Daniel Jackson, this is James and Olivia O'Neill."
"Jack's parents? I thought you weren't speaking."
"We wanted to see him." Olivia defended.
"Dad, General Hammond wanted you to... uh hello." Sam came into the room hair still slightly damp.
"Olivia, James, this is my daughter, Dr. Samantha Carter. Sam, meet your in-laws."
"Hi." She had the classic deer-in-headlights look on her face; Jacob just put his arm around her shoulders as she looked between James and Olivia picking up the minute features they shared with their son.
"You're a doctor?" Olivia broke the tense silence.
"She's way smarter than the rest of us." Jack came into the room toweling his hair making it spike, he just looked at his
parents and shrugged off his surprise at them sitting at his kitchen table drinking coffee.
"Where are the kids?"
"Calling Yuatyu, Maj wants to see Shelly and I don't see a reason for her to hang around here all day."
"Both children were supposed to spend the day with their grandparents."
"Jacob, they're starting school soon, let them have some fun."
"Jack, I think..." Maja and Toran ran down the stairs interrupting their grandfather mid-protest.
"General George said he would send a vehicle for us, and he said that Grandfather had better be in it when it leaves."
"I meant to tell you that earlier, you're needed at uh... your work." Sam said attempting to make their conversation sound normal.
"Guess the vacation's over." He gave Sam one last quick hug before heading up the stairs.
"We should probably get going too. Janet was going straight home and Cassie and Rya'c have invited us to Teal'c's house for an early lunch." Daniel attempted in vain to use a paper towel to clean up the wet, muddy puddle that had formed around his customary coffee drinking perch.
Teal'c and Daniel left quietly both understanding the awkwardness of the situation in Sam and Jack's kitchen. Olivia and James just sat in their seats at the kitchen table unconsciously sipping their coffee as Sam and Jack ran around making sure their children were fully outfitted for a day at Cheyenne Mountain.
"Jacob, what exactly are my parents doing here?" Jack asked as he assisted Jacob to pack up the Tok'ra goodies he always traveled with.
"How am I supposed to know? They just showed up and I know how hard it was for me to go for so many years without talking to Sammy and it has been twice as long since you've been on good terms with them."
"I haven't seen any reason for us to talk."
"Let them share in the joys of their grandchildren, if not for yourself then be nice to them for Toran and Maja's sake. Your parents have lost a son too."
"Thanks Dad. Hey come back soon and tell the Tok'ra to forget about getting a hold of you."
Soon Airman Bob arrived and after receiving his safety lecture from Jack he departed with the two joyous children and their slightly depressed grandfather.
So, er... I guess that leaves us." Jack stated sitting down on the living room couch next to Sam and then looked over to meet the stare of his mother.
"Why didn't you call us, we would have liked to be in on what's happened in your life over the last nine years." James jumped in with out giving his wife the chance to speak.
"Well you didn't seem very interested and then I got busy with work."
"But you were gone for five years and we never heard anything about it until your letter was brought to us."
"Everything I've done and am doing is classified, we were MIA for almost six years. True we missed a lot of things in our lives, but out of all this have come our two children. If you're here because you found out about Toran and Maja you can go back home, I'm not going to make any of the same mistakes again."
"No Jonathan you're going to make all new ones!" Olivia burst out making Sam realize that she now had an all out war taking place in her living room.
"Hey! Excuse me, could we at least make an attempt at civilized conversation here?" Sam stood and paced back and forth between her in-laws and her husband. "I don't know what I can say or do to help the three of you be civil towards each other, but before my children get back the three of you had better have come to an agreement." She just stood looking accusingly between the three of them. "I'm going to the base to work in my lab, I'll bring the kids home later." With that she grabbed her jacket and purse and headed for their barely cooled SUV.
Jack looked guiltily at his parents to find them both staring at the front door. "She's okay, the last three months have been a tough adjustment for all of us. I think she feels under a whole lot of pressure to make sure everything goes off without a hitch."
"She really seems like a wonderful woman. And she didn't seem too unhappy until we all started in on our old methods of conversation."
"Sam's wonderful but sometimes people just forget we're together and they'll act surprised when we touch or when we don't understand something that's common knowledge around the base because whatever it was happened in the last five years while we've been away."
"Your children seemed very well behaved." James stated in a blatant attempt at changing the subject.
"They're great, very smart, actually they're going to be starting school for the first time next week."
"You mean they never uh, received an education where you used to live?"
"They did but it was all verbal. Sam and I taught them to read and write in English."
"Your life seems pretty good now, as you said. Have you spoken to Sara since all of this came about?"
"I saw her about seven years ago, but since we've been back we have been too busy with work."
"We spoke with her father, he was at Charlie's gravesite on his birthday last year... she still lives around here, it seems she hasn't moved on yet."
"Mother I don't want to talk about my ex-wife or Charlie or even Andrew because I know he's next on your list of Jack's remorse. But you know what, I didn't kill Andrew, I wasn't even around, accidents do happen and there's nothing you can do about it."
"We weren't going to blame you for anything."
"Yes you were, you always do. First you lost your beloved son and then you lost your only grandchild. Okay yeah I know Charlie was my fault but come on mother you've managed to twist Andrew's and Charlie's deaths into one huge mess that was all my fault!"
"Jack dear, we're sorry about how we acted, but you've got to understand all that we've lost."
"All that you've lost!" He said incredulously. "At least you got to see your son grow up. Mine was just a child, my wife miscarried three years ago, and that baby never even had the chance to live. I don't want to hear about all that you've lost." He got himself a beer out of the refrigerator in the kitchen, he took a swig of it wincing at the sting in his mouth at the amount he had taken in, he was drinking beer like it was henket. "Look, we've got to make something work here or my happy home is going to become a whole lot less happy." He sat back down and drank his beer while his parents feigned muteness.
"Have you spoken to Emily lately?" His mother broke the silence.
"Not in about seven years, after Michael was born."
"She got divorced from Sean and ended up marrying a wonderful man named Lawrence, they had a baby boy Jonathan last year."
"Yes, it's not right for families not to talk, you should call your sister."
"Do you have her number with you?"
"Yes, I'll make sure you get it before we leave." They lapsed back into silence; somehow, sometime during their conversation they had made peace with one another and the O'Neill feud had ended.
Sam tossed down her pencil giving up any hope of devoting her full attention to the Naquadah reactor she had longed for so long to dissect while she was on Thalma. She was frustrated with Jack, the man she had never had more than a minor disagreement with in almost six years... she was starting to wonder if the honeymoon was over. Had they had their marital bliss on Thalma and then had the need to be shocked back into reality by returning to Earth? Why did he have to be so damn hardheaded about everything when it came to any conflict? Jack just couldn't let bygones be bygones and make amends for things that had happened in his family over ten years ago. Sure she understood that the loss of Charlie was the worst thing that ever happened to him but he had managed to work past that until his parents had to come around reminding him not only of Charlie's death but the death of his brother Andrew. From what Jack had told her Andrew Lucas O'Neill had been like any normal younger brother, they fought all the time but when they really needed each other, for things like annoying their sister, they always had each other's backs. Andy's death a year before Charlie's had been devastating to the O'Neill family, Andrew had just completed his college education and had started working as a research chemist, he was excited and was always attempting to teach his family about the joys of science. Jack had been living in Colorado Springs and had been spending so much time with his son that he really hadn't had time to socialize much with his family that was still living in Minnesota. Andy's car accident occurred on a sunny June day, he had been rushing home and ran a red light; his life had ended in a blinding flash. Jack had buried his grief and devoted himself wholly to Charlie. With Charlie's death Jack had finally been forced to accept both, and ended up almost loosing himself as well.
"Samantha?" Yuatyu placed his hand on her shoulder.
"Yuatyu, sorry, I didn't hear you come in."
"Are you all right? You look distressed."
"I'm fine, just thinking."
"Sam you've got water on your eyes, you have a problem." She smiled slightly at Yuatyu's Thalman accent and mannerisms.
"Yes, I've got a problem, but no one can solve it. I'm going to have to manage on my own."
"Your husband would not wish you to undertake this alone."
"Well Yuatyu it's not that simple, Jack is the problem, or at least a part of it."
"What did he do? Did he harm you?"
"No, nothing like that. I guess I just miss being home on Thalma with Jack and the kids, things are just so different here now that I wonder if we're the aliens."
"I do not understand."
"Remember Jack and my first few seasons in Abadah? How we didn't know what to do or how to relate? Well that's how I feel now, I don't remember how to fit in here any more, I'm different from everyone else. I don't know if Jack feels this way or not and I feel terrible for saying this but I want to go home." Yuatyu pulled her into a hug as she attempted to wipe away the tears that had managed to slip out. "I thought I could make this work, but no one seems to know how to act towards us, Maja and Toran are supposed to start school next week and neither of them knows anything about how American children act."
"Do not worry Sam, the Gods are very intelligent. Adjustment takes time, now I must go locate my wife; she took the children to the surface."
"Thank you Yuatyu." She said pulling herself together and following him out of her lab. The two part in the elevator, Sam getting off on the level for the infirmary while Yuatyu took the long ride up to the surface.
Jack was bored, realizing that they had nothing more to speak of his parents had taken to perusing the book shelves which were filled with books from Sam and Jack's old homes, mostly Sam's with several astronomy and military books of his mixed in. Their house had taken on an odd sense of familiarity- there were items that they both had owned and been accustomed to but to Jack they always seemed out of place, to him his television set was as alien as having a Stargate in his living room.
Jack sighed, frustrated with himself for longing to be back on Thalma with Zoro, he had even on occasion found himself with the urge to see Sov'vo, no matter how annoying that guy could get sometimes he was a great teacher and companion to the kids.
Jack compulsively started cleaning, the kids didn't seem to enjoy their Earth toys as much as they did the ones he had made for them on Thalma, but considering the fact that everyone especially Cassandra and Rya'c showered them with gifts the few toys they had brought back with them were greatly out numbered. He placed the toys in their assigned bins before heading into his and Sam's bedroom.
He stripped the sheets off of the bed, realizing just how long it had been since the last time they'd made love. They usually seemed so worn out after spending the entire day at the base that the only thing either of them had on their minds was sleep. Of course there was downtime but it seemed on Earth they both felt that despite their marriage they were breaking the rules, on Thalma they could just pretend everything that stood on Earth was just the rapidly degrading memory of a past life.
"Sam? You okay?" Janet asked as she entered the infirmary.
"Yeah, I just figured I might as well come early for my exam."
"Why don't you get undressed while I finish up with SG-11." Soon Janet joined Sam and began by drawing blood.
"Notice any side effects?"
"Just what Dr. Godfrey told me to expect- queasiness, abdominal pain, breast tenderness."
"How's your sex drive?"
"It's all right, it's the actually having sex that's been the problem."
"Sam, fertility drugs won't work if you don't have sex."
"I know Janet, but it's so hard, he's my commanding officer, am I just supposed to jump him when we're on a mission?"
"If that's what it takes, you're only talking about a window of two or three days a month when you could get pregnant. He's your husband Sam, you can't tell me you've been this shy about making love to him for the last six years."
"No, of course not Janet."
"Then what's the problem?"
"I don't know, I guess it just feels wrong on Earth, that sounds so stupid- but it's like we're both afraid to get too close here, it seems to me that the regulations are hanging over our heads, over the positions we shouldn't rightfully hold anymore."
Janet scrutinized her friend, the last three months everyone had been so blissfully happy over their return that she hadn't taken the time to really look at Sam. True she had examined her on several occasions but there was a big difference in looking at Sam as a patient and looking at her as a friend. There were so many differences in her expressions that Janet wasn't sure if this was the same person she had confided with every day only six years before.
"Sorry I'm laying all of this on you." Sam said through the sparse tears that had begun to slide down her cheeks. I didn't know things we're going to be so different, I hadn't even thought about coming back to Earth... well really thought about it, of course I'd dreamed about being able to show the kids everything that we'd been telling them about, but I never really thought how being here back with everyone would change things between Jack and me."
"Sam, maybe it's too soon for the two of you to conceive again, maybe you should take some time and think about if another child is what you really want or if you think it would just help you acclimate better to what's going on here on Earth." Janet's speech was interrupted by the alarms announcing to the whole base that there had been an unauthorized Stargate activation. Soon after Sam was called to the control room.
Sam arrived in the control room about the same time as Daniel and Teal'c who like Janet had finished up their lunch with Cassandra and Rya'c over an hour earlier.
"Hey Sam, we didn't know you were here until you were called up here."
"What's going on?" She asked the man who had called for her.
"There was an unauthorized gate activation." Sam gave him a 'yeah and?' look. "It was activated from L2J-409."
"Did you open the Iris?"
"Yes, we had been told by Dr. Jackson that the inhabitants of L2J-409 pose no physical threat to us."
"Did anything come through?"
"Yes, a box."
"Where is it?" She demanded impatiently.
"It's being security checked."
"Where's General Hammond?"
"I phoned him, he's on his way, he said to hold the delivery until he arrives." Sam started pacing the control room, she was executed about the surprise contact from home on her worst day back yet.
"I'm going to call Jack." She announced about ten minutes into their waiting for the General to arrive.
"Are his parents still there?" Daniel asked looking up absentmindedly from the computer screen he had been staring at.
"I don't know, I left about 15 minutes after Dad and the kids; he just couldn't understand how important it is for them to get along!" She picked up the telephone and dialed the number she had just managed to memorize.
"Hello?" It was answered after several rings.
"It's um... Sam, is Jack around?"
"He went upstairs about an hour ago, we didn't know if we should answer the phone or not."
"Thank you for answering it, could you please tell him that there's been a development at the base and we need him here ASAP."
"Okay, goodbye dear."
"Goodbye Mrs. O'Neill." She disconnected and turned to the General who had just arrived.
"Okay people, what's going on around here?"
"Something just came through from Thalma, it just passed security's checks."
"L2J-409, sorry Sir, I should have used it designation not the name used by it's inhabitants."
"Don't worry Major, lets go see what they sent us."
Olivia and James mounted the stairs nervously in search of their son. They started at the first room they came to, knocked quietly on the door and entered; what they found was, sadly, not what they were looking for but something interesting non the less. It was obviously the children's room because of the two beds, two toy boxes, and two bureaus all set up on opposite ends of the room- the beds were devoid of linens, which sat in a large pile in the middle of the room. Both seemingly remembering their goal at the same time backed out of the room, they passed the room they had slept in the previous night and came to another door; after knocking again and again receiving no answer they opened the door. They found a similar pile of bed clothes on the floor and the sleeping form of their son on the bare bed.
"Jonathan." Olivia stated without success. "Jonathan dear, wake up." She shook him finally getting him awake.
"Jack your wife called. You're needed at the base." James stepped in when it was clear Olivia was unable to convey the message properly.
"When'd she call?" He asked standing up and fishing his shoes out from the closet.
"About ten minutes ago, it sounded important." Shoes on he grabbed his jacket and ran out the door, seconds later he walked in bewildered.
"Um, could I get a ride to the base? I hadn't realized we only own one car."
"Sure son." His father jumped up. "Don't worry Olivia, I'll drop off Jack and be right back."
The ride to the mountain was uneventful, neither really having anything to say to the other.
"You'd better let me walk from here, security gets worse. If we don't come home tonight feel free to make yourselves at home."
"Thanks son." James gave his son a fatherly pat and Jack was soon walking fearlessly toward the men with really big guns pointed at him.
"Well, what is it?" Daniel asked attempting to get a look over Teal'c and Sam's shoulders.
"Hold on, we're still trying to get it open." There was a loud 'crack' as the wood splintered, the light in the gateroom seemed to penetrate the black abyss slowly... soon Sam could see four very clear, very familiar items. She reached in and pulled out the first item, smiled fondly, and handed it to Daniel who had been able to squeeze in between Teal'c and Major Davis. To Daniel the solid gold square seemed oddly familiar- other than the obvious Earth impressions the picture he knew he had seem before. Daniel held the heavy thing tightly after he was able to pry his eyes off of it due to the fact that Sam had pulled out another item, or actually, several items bound together which she handed to Teal'c. They appeared to be a bundle of fruit- a curious looking blue-green fruit, but Sam didn't seem phased by them. Next a doll was pulled out- she didn't give it any kind of look only handed it to major Davis who received it with an awkward look. The last item she pulled out, clearly a book, she seemed to be the most thrilled to see this above the others, it was an average book, something that could have easily been obtained on Earth.
She pulled it open to reveal very strange writing, all hand written, some quite sloppy and all over the page- Sam flipped to the last few pages, she studied them and then closed the book.
"What's this?" Jack had arrived, he was questioning the crowd in the Gateroom.
"A message from home." Sam murmured quietly. Jack noticed what she held in her hands.
"Yes, he wrote us a note, he said, 'Abadah's changing, people need life!' " The gateroom was absolutely silent, as it had been since Sam had pulled out the first item, this was O'Neill and Carter's show, no one knew this stuff better than them.
"What did he mean by that?" He asked walking through the parted crowd to take the notebook from her. He studied the strange writing before noticing that Teal'c, Daniel, and Major Davis all held items as well. "No way! He sent soli!" He smiled happily as the notebook was quickly passed back to his wife and he stole the fruit from Teal'c's arm to cradle them adoringly.
"All right Colonel, don't eat that." Hammond warned. "SG-1 I want you in the briefing room. Major Davis please have Mr. Yuatyu join us."
"Yes Sir." The Five people said before heading off.
Soon everyone had gathered in the briefing room, Sam and Yuatyu going through the book happily, Jack staring longingly at the soli, Daniel studying the strange artifact, and Teal'c attempting to stare down the doll he had inherited from Major Davis.
"Could someone please tell me what's going on here?" Hammond asked for the second time in under an hour.
"We were sent gifts Sir."
"Presumably from Sov'vo Guof'k, this is his handwriting in the journal."
"Who is Sov'vo Guof'k and what the hell did he mean by that message?"
"Sov'vo was Toran's first attendant- his nanny Sir, from before we even arrived on Thalma."
"Thank you Major, now why do you think he sent us all of these 'things'?"
"Well Sir, I think he needs our help, we did live with them for almost six years and then we just up and left them with a civil war on their hands."
"But why didn't he just say he needed your help instead of being so cryptic and why go to all of the trouble to send those items?"
"Well Sir, as Jack, Yuatyu, and I can all tell you the written language of the Thalmans is cryptic in nature, and very difficult to write in a hurry." Sam paused and received expressions of encouragement from Jack and Yuatyu. "I believe Sir that he sent the items as a message to Jack and me that it actually is him sending the plea for assistance."
"Why these items? If it was a call for help then couldn't he have sent something of more consequence?"
"General Sir, these items all mean some thing to each of us." O'Neill piped up allowing Sam a chance to rest her brain. "That doll my daughter received as a gift from a child in Kalhia, that ornament used to reside in the Raper of Hemef Toran'ra- he used to stare at it for hours while he was 'learning' and while we were on the boat because it is the same as a tapestry that hangs... uh used to hang, in our home. That notebook is one of Sov'vo's that he used to teach us to write Thalman, and that is perfectly ripe soli- my favorite food. Sov'vo is the only person who could have known of those items importance to us."
"Sir we've got to go, we owe it to them." Sam stated bluntly.
"I will not allow you to become involved in their civil war, must I remind you both that you're still officers in the United States Air Force?"
"No offense Sir, but we have to go, we may not be Thalman by birth but our children are and we have to defend their birth-place in case they want to go back there when they're older... and lets face it, with Maja's birth we ended up strengthening the beliefs of these people and drawing more attention to them... we essentially caused this civil war."
"Major you're out of line."
"General, I think that despite Jack and Sam's connections we do need to help when asked and Sir, Sov'vo's asking."
"I concur General Hammond, as many people of your planet have, these people too are being persecuted for their religious beliefs." Teal'c joined in the debate after Daniel, it seemed that SG-1 would support one another to no end. The General sat back and pondered the implications of the rapid fire, tag-team discussion- it was clear to him he only had one option.
"SG-1 you leave at 0600 tomorrow, SG-6 and Mr. Yuatyu will accompany you." He stood up and turned away from the smiling faces. "Colonel you can give those items to your children, please have that fruit checked by Dr. Fraiser before you eat it." His decision had been made and he knew he couldn't go back on it, there was no going up against SG-1 when they believed so strongly in something.
Everyone decided to converge on Jack and Sam's for dinner- and all had promised to help cook considering the fact that cooking for 14 was not on the top of their priorities list. Cassandra and Rya'c had volunteered to stay with Toran and Maja with Sokj and Shelmeria joining them, the only problem that remained was finding a polite way to kick Olivia and James out of the house.
"What time is the crowd converging on our location?" Jack asked happy to be back in his wife's good graces.
"1830... which gives us roughly thirty minutes to prepare for take over."
"So do you wanna head upstairs , or should I go hunt down extra chairs?" He asked snaking his arms around her waist as she opened the front door to their house.
"Your parents are waiting, and we've still got to talk to the kids."
"Okay, so chairs it is." He sighed disappointed as the children, who had gone to retrieve the mail, rushed past them into the house. "Mom, Dad, how was your afternoon?" He lapsed back into this characteristic sarcasm.
Soon the house was filled with people...family all of them, but there was no sense of community that evening. The children were both in bad moods- neither able to understand why their parents were going home without them. Both James and Olivia could sense the disputation of thoughts, whatever it was that had occurred at the base had been enough to make everyone, children included, lapse into a catatonic silence, it seemed a strange occasion to throw a dinner party.
"So, everything go all right at the base dear?" Olivia asked in attempt to break the silence.
"Yeah, we're actually shipping out tomorrow." All heads shot up to glare at him, that was the reason for the sour tension?
"Where to son?"
"They're going home!" Toran yelled jumping up from the table and running up the stairs. Jack stood to follow him but was pushed back down by Teal'c.
"No O'Neill, I believe it would be best if I speak to him."
Sometime later when both Carter and O'Neill were ready to rush up the stairs and take their troubled child into their arms, the large Jaffa emerged holding the hand of his miniature.
"Toran'ra has something he would like to impart unto you."
"I would like to apologize for my emotional outburst earlier, you must help our people and as Teal'c explained to me it would not only be unsafe for Maja and me to accompany you but also unwise as well." The brave looking child was pulled into his father's arms.
"Tor, you're a kid, it's okay to act like one sometimes." He was released only to be pulled into his mother's embrace.
"So, Jonathan, where are you going?"
"A galaxy far far away." He murmured causing Daniel to nearly choke on the after-dinner beer he was being forced by Jack to drink.
"I'm sorry Mrs. O'Neill, what Jack is trying to say," Sam glared at her husband. "is that it's classified for security reasons."
"Oh Jack, Sam look at the time, we've gotta be at the base at 0430." Daniel said standing and helping Janet up. Cassie and Rya'c stood as well both getting hugged by Janet.
"Night Mom. I'll see you tomorrow I guess." Cassandra said getting one last hug from her adoptive mother. "'Night Teal'c, keep the family safe while you're gone." She hugged her soon to be father-in-law; their engagement had been announced to no one's surprise that day at brunch. Everyone did a round of hugs with the children and then Daniel, and Janet left, Teal'c got the duty of taking Yuatyu and his family back to the base.
"So Cass, Rya'c, you guys can sleep wherever you want... I do know from personal experience that the couch makes an excellent bed Rya'c."
"Thank you O'Neill."
"Of course Jacob and Selmak's room is open to you as well... Cassie, or Rya'c or both of you." Jack said not knowing exactly *how* Cassandra and Rya'c were on the physical side of romance.
"Come on Maj, Toran... time to get ready for bed." Sam raced her children up the stairs, Toran winning on his own and her letting Maja come in second. Together the three put sheets on their two beds considering their father had fallen asleep before he had replaced the dirty ones with fresh ones. Once that chore was completed the children hurried to get their bath over with... of course covering the walls, floor and everything else in water first. Sam was joined by James and Olivia for help and soon they had both kids out and dressed in PJ's with their teeth brushed and(in Maja's case) hair dry.
"Why didn't Jack come up with you." She asked as the children helped her carry their discarded bed clothes to the hamper.
"He did come up, he went into your room, he also mentioned he needed something from outside."
"Oh." She turned to the two children. "Okay guys, bed, now."
"Hey I remembered something," Jack said coming into the room as the children were tucked into their respective beds. "With all the commotion we forgot to give the kids their presents."
"Presents? What presents?" Maja asked happily.
"Sov'vo sent the two of you a gift each when he asked for our help."
"Really? Why didn't Sov'vo come with his message?" Toran asked of his beloved caregiver and teacher.
"Because he probably has a lot of things that he couldn't leave." She glanced at her in-laws, wishing they weren't there so she could explain things to her son clearly.
"Is he a prisoner? Did Sov'vo get in trouble because he let us get away? What about Incaha, is she still alive? Why didn't she send a message as well?" Toran's questions could be answered by no one until they were able to see for them selves, and that scared them, what if they really were prisoners or worse?
Cassandra stepped forward and handed the doll she was holding to Maja with a smile.
"Kalika gave this to me in Kalhia!" She squealed hugging the cloth bundle to her chest. Toran was also handed the raper ornament which he just stared at for a while.
"Did he send something for you?" He looked to his father.
"Yes. He sent me some soli, but Dr. Fraiser is running tests on it to make sure it wasn't 'tampered with'." Everyone said their good nights and retired to their own beds.
"This has been the second longest day of my life." Sam stated as she lay down next to her husband and his arms automatically went around her.
"And the longest would be..."
"Our first day back here, so much happened," She sighed. "And now it feels like every thing's undoing it's self- sometimes I feel like we could easily just turn back the clock and slip right back into our roles as the perfect Thalman family."
"But, we can't, things have never been easy for us Sammie, and I don't think they ever will. Earth is the strangest place in the galaxy to live and while it's scary re-adjusting I think it's the best place for us and the kids to be."
"I know, it just seems that Earth has been the root of all evil since we got back, we're not who we used to be, and I don't know if things will ever be as wonderful as they were on Thalma."
"No Sam, things have just happened. We've never been 'us' here, and with your Dad staying with us so much I think we've grown apart."
"So now your blaming all of this shit on my father!" She quickly scrambled out of bed.
"Come on Sam, you know I didn't mean it that way." Jack called, but it was too late- she was already gone. He stood up and hurriedly ran down the stairs after her. "Sam, you know I love Dad." He stated jumping off the stairs in the entry hall.
"But do you love me? have we been fooling ourselves for the last five years? Do we really have this strong, mysterious bond that spans space and time? Or were we fooled by our need to embrace any remnants of Earth we found in each other on Thalma?" She was yelling without regard for those sleeping upstairs.
"You know that's not true. I have loved you from the moment I pushed you through the 'gate nine years ago."
"Oh God Jack," She said more tears cursing down her cheeks. "I've been on fertility drugs for 2 and a half months, and in that entire time we haven't made love. Janet told me today that I probably wanted another child for all the wrong reasons, and it hurts so much that she's probably right."
"Sam I want another child too, let's face it, for the last three years we've been attacking every person with an infant we come across, we've been afraid to admit to each other we want another baby since you miscarried; I don't see there being any 'wrong reasons' we've just had a hard time being ourselves recently, which has caused a serious rut in our sex lives." She gave him a slight smile and was pulled into his warm embrace, a great contrast when compared to the icy air that had engulfed them as a thunder storm had moved over their home.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you, but it just felt too weird." She sighed against his shoulder. "I still can't get past the idea that you're my commanding officer."
"Get over it Sammy, we've broken just about every regulation we can, and I plan on breaking them all over again." There was a clicking sound as they started to head up the stairs. "Why don't you go ahead, I'll be right up, today has been rough and I'm not sure it's going to be any better tomorrow."
Jack went to the room he was positive the sound had come from. The living room was dimly lit by one lamp, but that didn't stop him from seeing the four people residing there. "Doesn't anyone ever sleep around here?" He asked.
"I wasn't tired Jack, so I came to disturb Rya'c's Kel-nor-reem." Cassandra confessed.
"We came down to watch television with Cassandra and Rya'c." Olivia answered. "We didn't know you would be running around the house in your underwear fighting with your wife."
"We had a misunderstanding, that's all." He said turning, embarrassed and heading up the stairs to explain to his wife that not only did his parents know their business, but Rya'c and Cassandra as well.
When Jack joined Sam in their bed she was already asleep, he stared at her for some time feeling an unwanted voyeur in her happiest dreams. The next day there hadn't been time to speak, they had neglected to inform the O'Neills that they were expecting them to leave that day as well. So in the end Olivia, James, Cassandra, Rya'c, Maja, and Toran waved goodbye to Jack and Sam as they headed out at the ungodly early hour.
Once on base it was like the day almost six years before when SG-1 had gone out on 'just another mission' that had ended up changing all of their lives in every way forever. This time though they were confident in their abilities at getting everyone home and alive with minimal complications along the way. SG-6 was suited up and ready to go only moments after SG-1 with Yuatyu joining them last, everyone was there, there was nothing holding them on Earth any longer.
Hammond gave the ten gathered people a very short, sentimental pep talk before they bravely walked up the ramp and into oblivion.
Jack and Sam were the first through the Stargate, followed shortly by the five members of SG-6, Daniel, Yuatyu, and Teal'c.
"Davis dial right?" Jack asked turning a full 360.
"It came up on the screen as L2J-409."
"Three months isn't very long, what'd they do? Move the 'gate?"
"No, this is Thalma." Sam said recognizing the familiar pathways leading in several directions from the Stargate.
"Re-modeling?" The trees from the forest were nearly gone, thin shrubs were all that remained.
"Lets get to Abadah and find out."
Their walk was lengthened by their cautious approach and the fact that they were all a bit paranoid about the fact that there was now no where to hide if hostels were to come from any direction. Yuatyu was silent the entire trip, trailing dumbly behind while looking at the unfamiliar land where he had been born, grew up, and had even started a family.
Abadah had changed as well, gone were the happy faces of men, women and children, the village was occupied by people both known and unknown to Jack and Sam, everyone's faces drawn and bitter. The bright, happy colors that would normally be present in abundance in the heat of summer had somehow been replaced with a sad rainbow of gray. They sat transfixed as they viewed their home, realizing that even things on Thalma had changed without them.
"Oh God." Sam whispered upon seeing Incaha, her daughter's caregiver, step into the street. Incaha had lost over half of her body weight making her look like a sickly child; her long glorious hair had been cut to an unflattering near baldness, and worst of all her body was clearly showing signs of the child that was surely growing within her.
"Reynaud?" Jack asked her quietly as Incaha walked away, Sam shook her head in the affirmative. Reynaud was the man Incaha had taken up with in Kalhia, they had spent almost every night of their four month stay together- both had claimed they had no intentions of claiming themselves 'married', Incaha had confided in Sam that they were just enjoying themselves. At approximately seven months pregnant it was clear that by Thalman standards Incaha had indeed married Reynaud.
Knowing no other alternative SG-1 left SG-6 to keep watch while they openly headed into Abadah. The reaction was immediate. Someone called out and an old man, Nevhin, pulled Jack into his home, Incaha who had come running shoved the others through the door and then left it open a crack as she looked out.
"Uh, excuse me, what's going on?"
"Abadah is occupied by the Theocians, if they were to see you they would kill you on sight." Nevhin answered. "Come now, we must change our attire." He led them through his home and into the grotesque back alleyway that ran the length of the street and served as a sewer. "the Theocians never come back here, we now use it for a great deal of our transportation needs, especially that concerning the revolt." They came to a house that was dark and boarded up. Incaha pulled gently on the board covering the back entryway and it swung open easily. Sam, Jack, and Yuatyu recognized the place immediately; it was their home.
"This place has become off limits to us because it serves as a reminder to us of our gods and that is the last thing the Theocians want." Everything was still how it had been the day they had left, furniture overturned and their belongings laying about.
"Gee sorry guys, if I had known you were coming I would have cleaned up a little." Sam said attempting to use humor like her husband to disguise the intense emotions she was really feeling.
The group was led to Sam and Jack's bedroom, it had been righted and their things from the boat were also in their rightful places.
"The Theocians are not very through in their searches, they only searched your home once, and the front rooms are checked on a perfect solar pattern. We managed to gather all of your and your children's belongings and place them in their rightful places." Incaha took to looking through what Sam realized to be her clothing. "I'm sorry Samantha, you will have to wear one of your winter dresses, the Theocians are a very sour people who despise any colored attire."
"As for you Jack you may wear this." Nevhin took out one of Jack's favorite summer robes, it did fit the Theocians color scheme quite well. Daniel, Teal'c and Yuatyu excused them selves as Sam and Jack stripped down and were assisted into their familiar garments by Incaha and Nevhin. As they were exchanging their footwear the three men were invited back into the room for a rundown on the Theocian Occupation.
"I don't get it, if they're sure Maj and Toran are gone then why are they still here?"
"They remain because they believe our belief in the gods is blasphemy. They have developed a hatred that goes beyond Maja'ra and Toran'ra- they dislike all of us, those of both Abadah and Kalhia."
"Samantha you must wear this over your hair." Incaha took out a scarf. "You no longer wish to be known as the mother of Maja'ra." Sam's hair covered and Daniel in another of Jack's robes they made their way back through the sewers of Abadah.
Teal'c, being much too big and having no way at covering his head was left to keep Nevhin company in his home. As Yuatyu was putting on one of Nevhin's robes they radioed SG-6 and told them to stay put. The group then exited and walked slowly down the street, no one paying them any heed. They entered a building that had been poorly constructed some time while they had been on Earth, passing quickly through the front room that was occupied by a man Jack assumed to be a Theocian, the man leered at Sam- something no Abadonian would dare do, before he went back to his ta and henket. Incaha led them into a room that had a peculiar odor, they soon realized it's source, the body laying on one of the several beds.
"When?" Jack asked after several moments of just staring wide eyed.
"Yesterday morning, he made it all the way to the 'Stargate' before the Theocian guards managed to kill him." Sov'vo's body had been obviously cleansed but the dark splotches covering his skin served as unspoken evidence to the severity of his brutal death. "He will remain indefinitely to serve as a reminder to us of the futility of reaching out to our 'false gods'. She imparted solemnly before turning and running out of the room. Everyone followed her to find her in the alleyway heaving violently as her stomach emptied it's self of it's contents. "I apologize, I have become very sensitive to odors."
"It's okay Incaha, where is your room?" Sam asked, feeling bad for completely forgetting the fact that the woman was pregnant.
"I share the room Sov'vo is in, all of the former attendants to your family occupy that room."
"I'm so sorry, this is all somehow our fault."
"No. Never speak like that Samantha, you protected the gods, you got them to safety."
"Where is Zoro?" Jack asked out of no where.
"The Theocians have him working at the shore- since Holorgqu was put to death in the first band of the take over he has been there until the late hours of the night."
"They dared to kill the mother of my wife!" Yuatyu exclaimed loudly before remembering the guard that was only two rooms away.
"We must get back in before they become suspicious." They went back into the room with Sov'vo's barely cold corpse. They spoke for quite a while before deciding on a plan of action, Jack and Daniel were going to attempt to make it to the shore and gather as much support as possible while Sam, Incaha, Yuatyu prepared everything in the village.
"Incaha, are you all right?" Sam asked as they made their way to the home that used to belong to Zoro and Holorgqu.
"I am, for now, I have been told that I will not survive the birth of this child, I have the Seckta."
"What is that?"
"It is a common problem, no one has ever survived it, usually there are many women willing to raise the child, but sadly there is no one who is able with the Theocian occupation to take on another body."
"I'm so sorry Incaha." Sam whispered as they approached their target and Yuatyu motioned for silence.
"So Cassandra, what are we doing today?" Maja asked as Rya'c finished up the breakfast he had prepared for all of the early risers.
"Oh I don't know, what do you want to do?"
"I want to take the doll Kalika sent me and show it to Sokj, she's all alone with Shelmeria now that Yuatyu has gone home with mother and father." The small child rambled as her grandparents listened on curiously. "When do you think they'll be back?"
"I don't know Maj, I'm sure General George will call us as soon as they're back."
"But what if they get hurt and are in the infirmary with your mom?"
"Then my Mom will take care of them and we'll be able to go see them. Either way I'm sure the General will call us."
"But Father doesn't like the in the infirmary, the needles scare him." Toran interjected.
"Come on guys, why don't you eat your breakfast and we'll call and see if Sokj and Shelmeria want to come over, okay?" They agreed and ate their breakfasts.
STILL ON EARTH...
"Thank you SG-6, no, don't activate the Stargate until you absolutely need to. We don't want to take the chance of these Theocians noting our presence." General George Hammond said as SG-6 radioed in their report through the open wormhole. They had been on time and were in contact with SG-1 until they had split up, the had seen Jack and Daniel leave and head toward what they assumed to be the waterfront, followed by Sam, Incaha, and Yuatyu as they made their way to some of the older better built buildings on the outskirts of Abadah.
No one was quite sure of their plans, they hadn't said and no one was really asking, Sam and Jack were infamous for their abilities at improvising a way out of any situation or at least improving the situation through their improvisational skills. Teal'c was in Nevhin's home and getting a glorified account of everything that had happened to the small village since the beginning of the Theocian occupation and even before that- the selection of the gods and the rearing of those god-like children; the poor old man was even getting a lecture on false gods from Teal'c who strangely resembled a preacher man.
Hammond was afraid to admit to himself, but he was worried about his people. There was never a time that they went through that 'gate that he wasn't worried about them not coming back, especially after loosing two of his best officers to L2J-409... and now they were back there again and there was nothing he could do to stop history from repeating its self.
BACK TO THALMA...
"So Jack, how long do we have to go?" Daniel asked about 20 minutes into their walk to the waterfront.
"About another 20 minutes. It used to seem so much faster, but I guess that after five years without cars I got used to how slow walking is."
"So Zoro is who exactly? Other than Sokj's father of course."
"He's my best friend." Jack realized his mistake by the hurt look on the Space Monkey's face. "I mean on this planet, he's my first attendant."
"Ah come on Daniel, when you bathe with a guy everyday you get kinda close."
"It's all right Jack, you were with him for five years, I know I'm not your only friend." Daniel adjusted his robe for about the hundredth time.
"The key to it is to just let it settle Danny buy, weren't the ones you wore on Abydos similar?"
"No. The ones on Abydos were lighter, this is... heavy." Finally after about an hour of walking they arrived at the shore.
"What are they doing?"
"Fish Daniel." Suddenly there was a loud noise and the men and woman came rushing out of the water and headed for several barrels that were scattered around the shore.
"What's going on?" Jack was for once not the expert on 'his' planet.
"My guess would be lunch."
"Then I suggest we grab some Soli before we're spotted." They grabbed the food, which Jack was more than happy to begin consuming and started to make their way through the people who had their heads down as they quickly took their breaks. "I'm glad they don't have wanted posters around here, there's no way any of the Theocians will recognize me and the people of Abadah seem to scared to even look at one another which makes going unnoticed a whole lot easier." The Theocian guards, who were easily identified by their war-like garments and nasty faces, sat around at various intervals consuming the icthes the over worked people that just caught. When they finally spotted Zoro they were unexpectedly surprised, the poor man that had just recently lost his wife was sitting around joking with the men who had been her killers.
The moment Rya'c had left the house to go get some take-out Cassandra knew something wasn't right, for one thing the O'Neill's hadn't been back down from upstairs for over three hours and for another that darn feeling in her chest she got when Rya'c and Teal'c were around wasn't going away. The whole place felt weird, maybe house and kid sitting just wasn't for her.
"Maj, Tor, come here." She called to the children, they came running out from their parent's 'office'. "Why don't we go outside and play?"
"Okay!" They pulled on their jackets and were out the back door in no time flat. They were outside until Rya'c returned with the food.
"Are you not cold Cassandra?" Rya'c asked concerned as he gave her a hug.
"I just didn't want to go back inside yet, it feels weird."
"'Weird'? What displeases you?" Rya'c having lived with Tau'ri teenagers and being in love with a former Tau'ri teenager had mastered the meaning of most of their 'strange language'.
"There's something wrong, it's like you or Teal'c or Jacob are in there. Naquadh."
"Perhaps Jacob Carter and Selmak neglected to pack one of their Naquadh powered devices?"
"Possibly, but have you ever known them to forget something?"
"No, but there is always a first time for everything." That earned a smile from his fiancé. They called the kids inside so that they could consume their dinners and hopefully stop bombarding them with questions about what was happening to their parents.
Sam and Yuatyu followed Incaha through the familiar building, they all kept their heads down until they ducked into a room Sam recognized as Sokj's from before she married Yuatyu.
"We will serve the evening meal to the Commander and his followers."
"And he would be?"
"A very evil man."
"What has he done?" Yuatyu asked seriously.
"He has claimed Reynaud's child as his own. When I die it will be sent to a Theocian Child Education Camp.
"That's terrible." Was all Sam let slip out before realizing she needed to act less like a 'girlfriend' and more like a soldier- something that was seeming harder and harder on Thalma- seeing how her former home had been destroyed to the point of being unrecognizable. Incaha quickly coached them in *how* to hand out the food to the barbaric Theocians and they left Yuatyu in his wife's childhood room.
The O'Neills finally came down to dinner, only an hour late. Cassandra was just finishing up the dishes when they joined her in the kitchen.
"I put your dinner in the oven, are you two feeling all right?"
"Yes, we're only a bit tired." James answered. Olivia came over and reached for the coffee pot next to Cassandra, she jumped and stepped away from the woman.
"Are you all right dear?"
"Yes Mrs. O'Neill... I'm fine... just a little tired." She said and ran in to the living room where Rya'c was sitting with the children who were quietly reading to themselves.
"What's wrong Cassandra?" Rya'c asked her for the second time that day.
"We've got to get the kids out of here, and call the base." She whispered.
"The O'Neills, I don't know how or when it happened, but they're Goa'uld." They get the kids on their feet and started to head for the entry hall way when they realized it was too late, Olivia and James entered the room and their eyes were glowing.
Daniel and Jack didn't know what to do, they were counting on Zoro, he was someone all of the people of Abadah listened to. Jack decided that they were still too far away to see if Zoro was just playing along with the Theocians or if he really had befriended them that easily. They crept closer, blending in with the people as much as they could, Jack seemed to be able to do that better than Daniel considering he knew the specific mannerisms of the people; but soon they were close enough to see what they needed to... and it disturbed them greatly. There was an emblem on Zoro's forehead and they both knew what usually came with an emblem on the forehead- a Goa'uld in the stomach.
EARTH...(feel like a ping-pong ball yet?)
Jacob Carter popped through the Stargate he had exited through only the previous morning and Selmak stated to him that nothing had really changed since his last visit. He had obviously surprised his good friend George Hammond with his repeat performance, the two generals met at the end of the ramp and shook hands.
"Jacob, the Tok'ra send you home again to be with your grandkids?"
"Afraid not George, I'm here on official Tok'ra high council business."
"Okay then follow me."
"Uh George, where's SG-1?"
"They're on L2J-409. Yesterday afternoon after you left we received a package from the people there asking for our assistance, your daughter can be very persuasive when backed by her entire team."
"My Sammy's amazing isn't she?" Jacob bragged good-naturedly to his good friend. They sat down at the briefing room table alone, the usual crowd of course unavailable. "Let me cut to the chase here George, a Tok'ra operative has informed us that the largest Goa'uld alliance in several hundred years has formed and they've got it in for SG-1."
"SG-1? Are they in any danger?"
"We didn't know they were off world, but they were on L2J-409 for several years without the Goa'uld interfering."
"Do we know any of the Goa'uld involved?"
"The Goa'uld calling himself 'Osiris' has joined up with several others who have a grudge against the SGC and especially SG-1."
"How many of them are there?"
"Six that we know of, but they've got many followers, and they're fighting in the names of Isis, Seth and of course Ra."
"Both Isis and Seth were Earth-bound for a long time before they died, surely there can't be that many followers."
"You'd be surprised, we're talking about some of the oldest Goa'uld the Tok'ra know of here, and they're out for blood."
Sam followed Incaha into the large room she had found the few remaining people of Abadah in only three short months before. The place had been redecorated, it was now brightly lit and suspiciously golden, a stark contrast to the chosen gray colors of most Theocians. There were two thrones in the back of the room, both empty, and that was where Incaha led Sam. They knelt down next to the thrones and soon the room was silenced as several Jaffa entered followed by two humans... one male and one female. Sam readjusted her scarf over her head not wanting to be recognized by the female as she came and sat down next to her, she stood and served Sarah with her head bowed never looking up at the woman who had once been one of the loves of Daniel's life. The male was unfamiliar to Sam, but she had an inkling that Jolinar had at least seen him before, he was leering at Incaha the entire time they were in the room together and Sarah seemed to approve of this. Thankfully they were soon done serving and went to retrieve Yuatyu before making their way quickly through the pitch-black streets of Abadah.
"We were worried about you." Jack said as they entered the room where Sov'vo was laid out.
"We found some disturbing things."
"Us too... Zoro's been made a Jaffa."
"We spotted several Jaffa and two people we know are Goa'uld."
"Anyone we know?" Jack asked as he tossed some bedding over Sov'vo.
"Osiris and a male Jolinar's seen somewhere before."
"I know I saw more than two kinds of Jaffa... it seemed like all of the ones at the waterfront had different emblems."
"Well like on Chulak there are so many Jaffa serving all the different Gods, maybe that's what they're trying to do here." Daniel hypothesized.
"There will be plenty of time to think about that later, right now we've got to radio SG-6 and tell them not to open the 'gate again, I'm surprised it wasn't better guarded when we got here considering they know Sov'vo was able to get the box through. And we've gotta find somewhere else to stay, Zoro lives here too and he'll surely give us up." Everyone got busy, a sense of exhilaration went through Carter and O'Neill, this was the first time in almost six years they'd been face to face with the Goa'uld and they were ready to seriously kick some Goa'uld butt.
They had been corralled into the living room, the two Goa'uld seemed to be having a disagreement in Goa'uld which only Rya'c could understand.
"Who are they?" Cassandra asked whispering, although she doubted the quarreling Goa'uld would have noticed if she'd yelled to him.
"The male is called Geb and the female is Nut, from what they're saying this is a grand scheme on the part of several Goa'uld, the others are on the planet Thalma."
"But that's where mother and father are!" Toran exclaimed from Rya'c's side where he sat with his arm protectively around his sister.
"Calm down Tor, we'll be fine." Cassandra said more to reassure herself than the strong child. The Goa'uld finally came to some kind of agreement and pulled out a Goa'uld long-range communications device
Nevhin was a great host. The old man hadn't had so many people in his home in a very long time and he was more than pleased to prepare dinner for the parents of the gods. Of course they couldn't stay with Nevhin, no matter how wonderful and hospitable he was they were still in danger every moment they were with him... there was no telling when there would be an inspection by the Goa'uld and Theocians. So back to the sewers they went, SG-6 had been able to cross over to their side of the village under the cover of darkness- one thing that was never in short supply on Thalma. All of SG-1 and SG-6 settled down in Sam and Jack's room, it was strange for the two of them because even though they had only been off of Thalma for three months it had been a year before that that they had been able to sleep in their own bed. SG-6 offered to go sleep in the children's room in case the Goa'uld came... but Jack had of course turned down that offer on the fact that there was safety in numbers... the more people in one room the more alert that room was on the whole.
The way of life on Thalma had changed drastically to say the least, but it was still just as much home to Carter and O'Neill as Earth was. being back in their home where their daughter was born and where their son took his first steps was a bittersweet experience, they both knew they could never live in this place with their children again.
Nerves still raw from months of difficulty in trying to reassimilate into Earth society and culture both found it impossible to sleep.
"Our guard I guess?" Jack asked as they quickly got up to go out and guard in the hallway in case someone came in through the front or the sewers. They sat quietly for a while, out there it was harder for them to imagine they were back 'home'- the main living area was still wrecked, nothing in the great order of their bedrooms.
"I wasn't expecting anything like this." Jack confided in the darkness. "I thought maybe giant evil guys, but definitely not the Goa'uld, it's been so long since we've seen them- I thought they'd forgotten about us, I guess they were just pooling their resources."
"We've never encountered this many at once, and for some reason they're getting along- this is not about Thalma Jack, the Goa'uld wouldn't form an alliance of this size just to take over one insignificant planet. There's something going on here that we're not seeing."
"We'll find out tomorrow and then kick their asses." Jack assured. "Someday Maj and Tor will be able to come back here, I think the next time I retire I'll do it right here in Abadah, although considering you won't ever come fishing with me and Zoro's... well Zoro's going to be unavailable I guess I'll be fishing alone."
"No, I'm sure Nevhin would be more than happy to join you." She reached out and grabbed his hand in the darkness. "Just think, you could go fishing in the morning and then you could come back here for lunch and maybe a nap with me... sounds like a wonderful retirement to me."
"You're too young to retire."
"We're not retiring for a while Jack, there's still a lot of the universe to explore. Besides, I'm only five years younger than you were the first time you retired." He smiled oddly at her.
"That's still young... you're 40 years old Sam, you're hardly ready for retirement." She knew his age had always bothered him... and her age in relation to his seemed to distress him the most. After all he was 15 years older to her- closer in age to her father than to her, but he was married to her and not her father... that was all that mattered to Sam, not how old he was.
"When we do retire it will be together Colonel, you're not getting out of this early- we're going to work on the same number of years on this project." She started with finality before she found herself wrapped firmly in her husband's embrace.
"I love you Sam, I know things haven't exactly been great since we've been back on Earth but I think some where inside I just couldn't let go of our lives here." They stood guard for a couple of hours before awakening Teal'c and Daniel to take over for a couple more hours so they could move out before the Theocian morning patrol came through and checked the house.
"That's funny, there's no one answering at Sam and Jack's." Jacob said as he hung up the telephone.
"They could have gone out. Why don't you try Rya'c's cell phone?" Hammond suggested.
"Good idea George, you don't happen to have that number do you?" He supplied the number and soon Jacob was talking to a young man named Sheen who both he and Selmak would have sworn was high. Obviously Rya'c had left his cell phone in his dorm room before spending the weekend away- forgetfulness was a very unusual trait for Rya'c and it disconcerted Jacob even more that he couldn't get ahold of his grandchildren.
"George, you mind if I take a car and go over there?"
"No of course not Jacob, do you need some airmen to go with you?"
"No, they probably just went to get something to eat." Jacob arranged for a car and was walking out of the NORAD facility as the klaxons started to sound and soon he was being paged back to the control room.
"George? What's up?" He asked as he re-entered the room that was in a state of mass pandemonium.
"Jacob the Tok'ra have just contacted us, they're sending someone through the 'gate momentarily. And NORAD just detected something leaving orbit around Earth... it was cloaked obviously, according to them it was very similar to the ships you've brought here in the past."
"That means there was a Goa'uld on Earth... who knows what it were doing here." The Stargate activated and out stepped a noticeably pregnant Anise.
"I bring troubling news." She said as she was met by Generals Hammond and Carter. "We just intercepted a communication between the Goa'uld Nut and Osiris, Nut claims to have the children Maja'ra and Toran'ra as well Cassandra and Rya'c. This seems to have been arranged long ago... they are on their way to the planet Thalma where they are confident they will be able to capture and torture SG-1." She delivered crisp and efficiently.
"I thought there weren't any ships that could get to L2J-409 fast enough for it to even be a worth while trip."
"Uh George, that's why the Tok'ra called me back yesterday." Jacob stepped forward once he'd recovered from the shock of his missing grandchildren. "The Goa'uld have a new ship that more that triples the speed they can go through subspace, they work almost like a stargate... they create a wormhole and then are already through it before the wormhole collapses. The good news is we've been able to get our hands on one of them.
That morning everyone had managed to regroup at Nevhin's home in order to come up with a somewhat coherent means of defeating the massed Goa'uld forces on L2J-409. That morning Sam realized that Incaha wasn't looking well at all, she was actually much worse than she had been when she was vomiting at the sight and smell of Sov'vo's body. Everyone had their own thoughts on how to take out the as yet indeterminate amount of Goa'uld in Abadah... and there was no telling how many there were in Kalhia or on a ship that could be orbiting the planet.
"Okay, SG-1's going to go see what we can find out about the other Goa'uld." Jack announced. "SG-6 and Yuatyu see if you can get word to as many non-goa'ulded Thalmans as possible to be ready to move out if any commotion breaks out. Teal'c, Nevhin, and Incaha stay here and keep watch so we know if the Goa'uld move any where." He ordered falling for the first time in five years into his truly military self.
Everyone followed orders, all clad in Thalman attire, and soon they were fanned out all over Abadah. SG-1 went to Zoro's home, the place where the Goa'uld were living. having been in the home several times in the time that they had lived there it was not hard for Sam and Jack to find an unguarded way inside.
"When will the ship be arriving?" Selmak questioned as they waited for General Hammond who had announced he would be joining them in their journey to save the 'children of the SGC', the four people who had been kidnapped had all began their lives on Earth by stepping through the Stargate.
"Malcolm and Karennia should be here momentarily."
"You're allowing Karennia to come along? Don't you think that could be a little dangerous? We've never encountered this many Goa'uld at one time." Jacob took over.
"She's a very capable apprentice... she can help repair any thing that might become damaged during our journey."
"She's three years old for crying out loud."
"And I am with child, does that mean that I should not be coming on this mission?" Freya took over in defense of her treatment of her young daughter.
"Malcolm and Kieroff agreed to this?"
"They are her father Jacob... we make decisions regarding her together. Soon they were joined by Hammond and then came the communication from Malcolm that he was ready to 'beam them up'.
Once on the ship everyone was shown around quickly and told what to expect when they went through the wormhole and it quickly began to collapse behind them. Karennia, of course, had to be carried around by her mother and her dear Uncles Jacob and Selmak.
"General Sir." Malcolm saluted as General Hammond entered the bridge of the ship. " I didn't know you'd be joining us."
"Neither did I son, but I just don't like the idea of my people being in danger." George turned to study the young man. "You look well son."
"Thank you sir, I am. Kieroff's made all the difference." Malcolm smiled fondly as his wife briefly came into the room and then left again going along with her business.
"Your family also looks well, when's the next little one due?"
"Sometime next spring Sir, well spring for Earth at least, Vorash is pretty boring on the seasonal front."
Captain Malcolm Rogers USAF expertly maneuvered the ship the distance away from Earth and especially the sun that it had to be before they could safely attempt to create a temporally stable wormhole. It had been over four years since Malcolm had left the SGC to work with the Tok'ra, and the SGC had missed his quick wit and easy going persona. It had been almost a year after Carter and O'Neill had been trapped on L2J-409 when it had been discovered that Malcolm had advanced and inoperable lymphoma, he had readily agreed to join with a Tok'ra and had then began his life as two people, both of which fell hard and fast in love with Freya and Anise. They had soon been married and despite all thoughts to the contrary had remained just as devoted to each other as ever for four years. Actually Freya/Anise and Malcolm/Kieroff were the first people to have the ability to start a family amongst the Tok'ra, their daughter Karennia being the first child to ever be born to two people who both possessed active symbiotes, advancing medical technology had found a way to not only allow the Tok'ra to remain active throughout pregnancy but to also ensure the child would not be harsesis.
"Jacob, Annie, you ready to go down there?" Malcolm asked once they'd gotten sufficiently far enough from Earth and its solar body.
"Yeah Malcolm, go ahead, punch it." Jacob responded, George was told to hold on tight as the wormhole opened up infront of them and the ship began it's novel journey.
Daniel was wondering what Janet was thinking... she had been left on Earth, at least she had her daughter to comfort her if they didn't make it out of this one, of course she probably wasn't worrying about him considering they were originally going to calm the natives, not fend off a massive contingent of Goa'uld. He vowed to every celestial deity he had ever heard of that he would propose to the tiny doctor that brightened his world if only he could live though this with his friends. They were in the house that he had been informed earlier had once belonged to Zoro and his family, the second largest home in Abadah... the largest having belonged to Sam and Jack, the room that they were hiding out in appeared to be a sitting room of sorts and was tastefully decorated in a form that he would have expected from seeing his friend's former home and that of the old man Nevhin.
"How far are we from where the Goa'uld's main room is?" Daniel asked quietly.
"We're in the servant's waiting room, they should be right out that door... from what I gathered yesterday this and Sokj's old room are the only rooms not being utilized by the Goa'uld." Sam answered, habitually rearranging her robes as she joined the men on the floor.
"So how are we supposed to spy on them with out them noticing we've opened the door?"
"As usual the Goa'uld have let their fashion sense take away from any tactical advantage they might have had in this place... they've decorated with tapestries that cover three of four walls... this door opens in so they'll never notice our opening of it." Jack stood and pulled the door cautiously open to be faced, as promised, with the back of a brightly colored tapestry. The immediately heard the loud voice of an angry Goa'uld.
"I am Haroeris, you will bow before your god." To them it sounded like the usual Goa'uld speech, until they recognized the responding voice.
"The Goa'uld are false gods, my father does not bow to you and neither will I." Rya'c stated proudly before the sharp sound of a staff weapon hitting his skull could be heard, followed by the distressed squeal of a child. It was all Jack or Sam could do to keep from ripping back the wall hanging and going to their daughter, but they settled for pulling up the bottom corner slightly to allow them to see what was going on. What they saw scared them to no end... there were six Goa'uld standing over their two small children, Toran with his arm bravely around his little sister's shoulders, Cassandra was there as well with tears slowly trickling down her face as she stared from Rya'c's prone form to that of the two children she was powerless to save.
They had exited the wormhole and there had only been minimal damage done to the vessel. Karennia came up to be with her father and the curious old man she'd never seen before but had heard plenty about from all the Tok'ra she lived with. To her he looked nice enough... but she had heard stories of how he commanded all the Tau'ri who went though the Chapa'ai, and it seemed to the small child that a man that powerful couldn't be a very amiable man. Hammond caught the young girl looking curiously at him, he took in the miniature Tok'ra dress and the curly black hair in blunt pig-tails on top of her head, her smooth dark skin made her favor her father much more than her mother, but it seemed that even at three years of age she moved with the same grace and assurance of Anise and Freya. He wondered how she was able to deal with four parents in two bodies, from what he had been able to see she just called them Mommy and Daddy and got whomever was in charge at that moment.
Suddenly the lights went dim and there was a quick beeping sound.
"What was that son?" Hammond asked alarmed.
"We've never cloaked this ship before... it seems that if you cloak as soon as you get through the wormhole the ship goes to minimal power, which in turn cuts off all communications inside the ship."
"So what do we do?"
"Well no Goa'uld can see us, so we'll just approach Thalma as we'd planned and hopefully by the time we get there our 'batteries' will have recharged." Malcolm turned to his daughter who had silently been listening in on her father's explanation of the problem. "Karennia, why don't you go tell your mother and Uncle Jacob what's going on?"
"Okay Daddy." She said and skipped off happily though the corridors.
"Take these weaklings away from me... I do not wish to see their pathetic faces any longer." Haroeris stated before several Jaffa led the children out of the house. Jack quickly closed the door to their room before turning to his wife, her face mirroring the absolute horror at seeing their children in the hands of the evil Goa'uld.
"We've gotta get to them." He stated quickly. Jack then radioed Teal'c and SG-6 to warn them of the hostages and that their number one goal was to find where they'd taken the children.
"How'd they get ahold of our kids? They were on Earth, they were fine." Jack stated as they slowly made their way back to Nevhin's residence.
"I don't know... there were so many people in our house, I don't know when they could have gotten ahold of them... and they must have come in a ship, but there aren't any ships that could get here fast enough."
"Nothing makes sense." Daniel broke into his two friend's exercise in bouncing ideas off each other. There was a rather large commotion in the street across from them, it seemed that a Thalman had attempted to halt a large group of Jaffa who were walking through guarding someone who was completely obscured from view. The Jaffa responded immediately by shooting the poor man who Jack quickly recognized as Tappu, one of his former attendants, the man was killed instantly by the multiple staff blasts.
"Jaffa Kree!" A Goa'uld yelled out ceasing all commotion on the street. It was then that Jack could clearly see his parents... eyes glowing brightly.
"Oh for crying out loud, I knew they couldn't have really had a change of heart."
"The O'Neills are Goa'uld?" Daniel asked... catching on to things a little slower than the other two. "How long have they been that way?"
"Two more Goa'uld... they've all gone to the trouble to kidnap our children, take over our home, and then converge on this place just when we're supposed to be here."
When they arrived back at Nevhin's chaos had broken out, Teal'c greeted them at the door looking very scared.
"What's up Teal'c?" Jack asked as they quickly piled into the house.
"I believe Incaha is about to bear her child." He answered flustered. "On Chulak we do not speak of such things, it is the place of women and their mates... not outsiders."
"Well Incaha doesn't have a 'mate'." Daniel piped up matter of factly.
"Where is she?" Sam asked, much more concerned than the rest of the men.
"This way." Teal'c led them through the house to a room the had not been in the previous times they had been there, the place was tastefully decorated as a bedroom, Teal'c quickly retreated back into the main part of the house.
"Incaha... are you all right?"
"I'm sorry Samantha, I know the gods have been taken. This child was no supposed to come for almost a season." She was struck by pain as another contraction racked her body.
"It's all right Incaha, we'll get our children back. And we'll take care of this baby, don't worry, we have the ability to multitask." Incaha didn't know the meaning of multitasking but she still gave Sam a small smile. "Guys, can I speak to you outside?"
"What's up Sam?"
"Incaha's going to die."
"Why? She looks perfectly fine to me."
"She's got something called the Seckta, I'm not sure what it is but from what she told me a Thalman woman who has it has never survived the birth of a child."
"The Seckta is one of the most feared conditions among our people." Yuatyu offered as he joined them outside the small room.
"This is not happening, our children are in the hands of the Goa'uld and we've got a woman in labor who is going to die as soon as the kid is born."
"From what I've seen and heard Thalman births are fast, we should be able to deliver this baby within the next fifteen minutes." Sam said, quietly disbelieving that her daughter's beloved companion was really going to die in the next few minutes.
"So that's what we do then, we make sure Incaha is comfortable, the baby gets here okay, and we'll have SG-6 on the lookout for Tor, Maj, Rya'c, and Cassandra. We're SG-1, we can manage this."
The team united, SG-1 with the assistance of Yuatyu and Nevhin, they were able to talk Incaha through the process of birthing her child. As births go, all who had been through one mused, it was relatively clean, Sam took the child and quickly wrapped it in a blanket before handing it to the mother who was starting to pale considerably.
"Thank you Samantha, if you had not been around I know she would have fallen into the hands of the Theocian commander. Would you please find a home for my daughter? And tell whom ever takes her as theirs that I wish her name to be Temka after my own mother who died when I was born?"
"Yes, of course Incaha." She assured as Incaha's head fell back and the life went from her eyes. Sam caught the baby and held her possessively to her chest. "Let's move out, we've got our own kids to save now." She handed the little girl to Nevhin and wiped her eyes as the tough males in the room did the same, they then walked proudly out of the house- the Goa'uld knew they were there already and they were done hiding.
"Mommy, are we there yet?" Karennia asked as she walked onto the bridge.
"We're close honey." Kieroff answered for his wife. "we're just now entering orbit."
"Are there any ships?" Anise asked going up to the screen to check for herself.
"Yes, but only the one used to bring the children from Earth... and none are cloaked either." Malcolm took control again.
"I thought you couldn't see them if they were cloaked."
"This ship is so cool... all the ships that were made before it can be detected weather they're cloaked or not."
"Sounds like just the asset the Tok'ra could use."
"Yes, the Tok'ra are very excited about this ship, their only request was that we not let Colonel touch any of its systems." Freya's joke was unexpected but well received.
"Okay... who's getting beamed down?"
"George and I will go." Jacob said walking to the center of the room. "You've got your radio George?"
"Yes." He joined Jacob on the round circle.
"Okay them Malcolm, we're ready, make sure it's somewhere we won't be noticed." There was a flash as the rings moved and they were gone.
Janet Fraiser was worried, she knew what had happened to her daughter, and she knew what it meant for her lover. The children of the SGC were all special and it was a very hard blow to have lost all four of them at once. She walked through the corridors of NORAD... having nothing better to do with her time, she was hoping this would all be over soon, but as always she also realized that nothing was ever that simple with SG-1. Janet nodded to Duke and Andy who were the lucky ones to have gotten the duty of tightening the bolts that day. It was always easy to tell the difference between the NORAD personnel and the SGC personnel but today it was like night and day... the NORAD people looked, for the most part, happy and carefree, but the SGC people wandering around for various reasons looked like they were carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. All the people from NORAD knew was that the people who worked below them had the tendency to get everyone sealed inside the mountain for one reason or another when they screwed up... and that of course meant that they had pretty high pressure jobs, even more so than the ones they had.
The waiting was the most unnerving part of things with the Goa'uld, they did things whenever they pleased and tended to go about things slowly- after all when you're an all powerful god the world waits for you, not the other way around. SG-1 had given up waiting for the Goa'uld the same time the Goa'uld stopped hoping they would come out of the woodwork alone. The Goa'uld had called for all the people of Abadah to gather in front of what had once been the proud shrines of Toran'ra and Maja'ra. Everyone complied- the Theocians, proud partners in the takeover with the Goa'uld, had been almost completely wiped out when the Goa'uld Nephthys had a disagreement with their former commander.
By the time SG-1 and SG-6 arrived, blending in well with the Thalmans, all six Goa'uld were standing with their Jaffa and hostages. As usual they were debating something, Nephthys was fighting with Osiris apparently over which hostage to torture first, finally Anubis stepped forward and, casting a skeptical glance at his quarreling parents, selected the first to be tortured.
Jacob and George made their way through the forest they had been 'ringed' down into. It had been mostly cleared away and there was an odd sprinkling of human belongings scattered about, both had been in war, and Jacob and Selmak had seen the lengths people would go to when they were fleeing the Goa'uld or any other formidable adversary. For George this was like reliving his youth, he hadn't been in combat for more than a decade, he was used to commanding people who went out there and did this, but his thoughts were that it was kid stuff... better to keep the older and not necessarily wiser ones where they would not only be safe but where they wouldn't be a threat to the ones that they could possibly let down. They were both nervous, this was their family, Jacob's daughter and grandchildren, and George's best people, very much like his own children in many ways- and definitely more troublesome.
When they saw the village of Abadah it was from closer than they had thought, the first buildings were meters from their position. The two men walked quietly through the streets and were astounded at how it could seem so dead, not a single soul was out, and for a village they had heard was normally full of life and excitement it was very disheartening.
EVEN MORE THALMA...
It was obvious what Anubis's intentions were, he wanted them to show themselves. It was clear even from far away that he was not a Goa'uld, or even a Jaffa, the man was tall, dark, and handsome, he also seemed to have the most common sense of the members of the group. His hostage, Maja, had been ripped from the arms of her brother who had been futility trying to protect her. Now he stood along with Cassandra and the unconscience Rya'c staring in horror at the sight of the innocent child being gripped by the man who obviously thought nothing more of her than a bargaining tool.
Her parents, both in the crowd, were torn, they knew that going to their child would not only be a death sentence for them but also Maja'ra- considered a god among the gathered crowd would also be killed. To them there was only one solution- take out all six at once and as many of their Jaffa as possible. It was decided by Colonel O'Neill that 1.)the Goa'uld knew they were there anyway and 2.)the crowd was noisey enough, so it was all right for them to go ahead and quietly use their radio to communicate with SG-6.
"Johnson." Jack stated quietly into his radio.
"Colonel?" He could tell by the tone in his voice that he was looking around trying to locate the four members of SG-1.
"Johnson... just look straight at one of your people and act like you're speaking to one of them."
"Johnson, what's your location?"
"About 10 yards from the Goa'uld Sir, to the right of the crowd." O'Neill looked and with the help of Carter and Teal'c they were able to locate all four of the heavily robed members of SG-6.
"We see you... we're about dead center in the crowd... straight ahead of the bastard with my daughter."
"We see you Sir."
"Good, now here's the plan Johnson, how many Zats does your team have?"
"Damn, Daniel'll bring you one." Daniel took that as his cue to wade through the stunned crowd to relinquish his weapon. "Please tell me you know how to fire a Zat?"
"Yes Sir Colonel, point and fire... one shot stuns and hurts like hell, two kill, and the third takes care of the evidence."
"When I tell you to, take out Harry- the Goa'uld next to the blonde one we know as Osiris, if you could manage to get both of them at once that'd be even better." He cast a nervous look at his daughter- she was terrified but not crying, the man who held her high in the air for all to see was being surprisingly gentle. Jack's son, Toran, was being held onto by a particularly unhappy looking Jaffa who was quickly recognized as Zoro- just keeping the child from rushing the giant Anubis.
"We've got three Zats now so we're going to try and get the others... if you can shoot twice... whatever you do don't take the second shot if you're not positive you won't hit any of our people. The rest of your people should just fire their weapons... but make *sure* you don't hit anyone." The Zat had been exchanged and Daniel was soon back with his team. Jack, Sam, and Teal'c all pulled their Zats from their robes and O'Neill gave the signal for SG-6 to fire.
As expected the sound was near-deafening... the MP5s were loud enough but the mass of screaming Thalmans added to the noise. Jack took out his mother and father first, Nut and Geb had been standing off to the side watching proudly as their 'children' ran the show of their revenge upon the Tau'ri, he was able to get both of them in one shot, Sam was able to hit the beautiful Nephthys killing her, and it was Teal'c who managed to shoot Osiris twice ending Daniel's uncertainty about another woman he had cared for and had had taken by the Goa'uld. Soon the only people standing were Zoro, Cassandra, and Anubis; Anubis was still holding tightly onto Maja- it was clear that he was alone and even though the Jaffa had been able to return fire he was not protected any more... the only thing he had was the child. Teal'c had been hit by a staff blast and was barely alive... all four members SG-6 were dead. There was no way either Sam or Jack could make the decision to shoot their own child in that short amount of time no matter how dedicated they were as soldiers. The shot did eventually come, but not from them, it came from somewhere behind SG-1, as did several other shots taking out most of the Jaffa around. Maja had screamed as she had been shot, she was probably suffering so much from the blast that she didn't even feel herself slam into the ground as she was thrown from nearly six feet in the air, immediately both O'Neill and Carter took off running to get to their two children. Oddly enough they found Toran and Cassandra being shielded by Zoro- who it seemed had been faking the Goa'uld all along, having known who the 'evil ones' were when they arrived he had gone along with the larval Goa'uld implantation because he had heard from O'Neill that they were a very powerful race and his people wouldn't be able to free themselves alone. Maja was easily revived and clung tightly to her father, Daniel took one of the Zats and shot Anubis again so they wouldn't have to worry about him coming back to haunt them later. George and Jacob rushed up, Hammond immediately going to secure the Goa'ulded O'Neills while Jacob was checking his little grand daughter he had been forced to shoot.
Everything was over quickly, soon the injured were on the Tok'ra's ship being tended to and Nut and Geb- the two surviving Goa'uld were on their way to be with the Tok'ra for a merry extraction procedure. Anise had been able to commandeer the other Goa'uld ship and it was decided that one ship would go back to Earth while the other went on to the Tok'ra. Anise and Zoro were going back to the Tok'ra with the prisoners, Malcolm was 'driving' as he called it the ship to Earth, he had stated his intentions of introducing Karennia to her grandparents and catching up with his old friends at the SGC for a couple of days. Rya'c was sleeping peacefully and Cassandra had been assured that he would make a fully recovery, she occupied herself during their long wait of the ship being loaded and people tended to by holding and rocking the infant Temka. Teal'c, after checking on his son to find him being cared for by his fianc‚e, had gone into a deep state of Kel'nor'eem to allow his larval Goa'uld to repair the damage the staff weapon had done to his body. Jacob had been detained longer than he would have liked, Selmak was needed, and where Selmak went he went. When he found his daughter it was in the arms of her husband with both of their children sprawled across them- the had all managed to fall asleep in that impossible position; for the first time in over a month his daughter looked truly happy, some how in the midst of all the chaos of the Goa'uld and the Theocians and everything else they had managed to get their lives under control again. Selmak said to Jacob as they made their way through the corridors of the golden ship to seek out company in Yuatyu.
ONE YEAR LATER
Temka was walking... much to the amazement of her parents... of course it was also a very scary prospect for them to have to deal with not only their first child but also a child who could walk *and* talk. The decision of Cassandra and Rya'c to adopt Temka had been easy- Cassandra had fallen in love with the infant the moment she had set eyes on her and she had lovingly presented her to Rya'c when he had awaken from his restorative Kel'nor'eem, he too had seen that she was a miracle sent for the two of them. They had been married later, a couple of months, enough time for her mother to get everything just how she wanted it and for Teal'c to thoroughly lecture his son on how to treat a wife. Sheen had missed his roommate moving out, but there was no way Rya'c was going to be away from his new daughter and wife, he also liked the idea of not having to wear a hat to bed and a shirt every moment of every day.
Sam's birthday had come again, only this one was much more happy, both of the O'Neill's had returned from the Tok'ra and she had finally gotten to meet her 'real' inlaws, and considering they had been aware of everything that went on while they were possessed by Nut and Geb they had already settled their differences with their son. Even Jack's sister Emily and her husband Lawrence had rejoined the family with their two children Michael and Jonathan, both of which got along with Maja and Toran very well.
Daniel and Janet had finally set a date to get married, they had wanted to be married sooner, but of course neither had any intentions of stealing Cassandra and Rya'c's thunder over their wedding and family. Of course they weren't in any rush- living through what they had in the SGC they liked to savor things and days like Sam's party where everyone was happy was what everyone yearned for.
"Hey Danny, will you go check on little Tal please?" Jack called over to his friend who had been watching Karennia decide if she belonged with the big kids or Shelmeria, Temka, and her little own little sister Regina. He wasn't around long enough to find out which side she chose, he had popped up out of his seat to check on the 9 day old Tal, short for Thalmn, he had been a surprise to his parents, because Sam had stopped the fertility treatments months before his conception, but everyone was excited over the newest addition to the ever growing population of the 'children of the SGC'. Toran and Maja were thrilled at the prospect of having a baby in their own house, both children had started school at the same elementary school Cassandra had attended and they both had Ms. Stubert as well, both picked up on things very fast and neither one seemed to consider themselves religious figures in any sense.
The SGC had been able to help the people of L2J-409 rebuild and recover, Zoro was back with his people, and even Yuatyu and Sokj were considering moving back there with Shelmeria. Over all the SGC was a great place to be, and L2J-409 was definitely the top retirement spot for the staff. Both Sam and Jack were fully planning on retiring there... together.