Spoilers: Children of the Gods
The Enemy Within
Season: One, Right after “The Enemy Within”
Rating: PG 13
Summary: The SG-1 Team embarks on the first missions
and endeavor to get to know and trust each
Note from the Author: This is my take on what happened on P3X-595, the incident Sam did not want to discuss in “Emancipation”. This work is not betaed so all mistakes are mine.
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for the enjoyment of Stargate SG-1 fans all over the world. No copyright infringement is intended and no monetary gain is expected.
They wordlessly watched the ripples of the event horizon shimmer like a puddle of water under the sun, a serene, beautiful curtain concealing the potential perils waiting for them on the other side. The four team members were standing at the base of the ramp, each taking a deep breath before their very first mission as SG-1, a formerly retired and seasoned Colonel as commander, a brilliant woman scientist as the only other military member of the team, an anguished archeologist searching for his lost wife, and an alien centenarian warrior turned ally that looked no older than his teammates.
As they approached the puddle, bracing themselves for the still rather uncomfortable trip through the wormhole, Colonel Jack O’Neill pondered on how such an unlikely group had come together as he took stock of each member’s qualities.
Jack, a veteran of many black operations for the Air Force, was ready and eager to deal with anything they may encounter during their missions on extraterrestrial planets. Having not much more than an instinctive sense of self-preservation and a lack of regard for much else made him an ideal choice for the job. He realized, however, that he felt an unusual sense of responsibility and pride over this particular group of soldiers. The responsibility weighted heavily on his shoulders, but the pride stemmed from his appreciation for the uniqueness of each of his subordinates.
Here he was, in charge of a team comprised of an alien being who, even thought Jack’s instincts told him he could trust with his life, his training pressured him to keep a watchful eye open, an experienced but, he sensed, rather vulnerable scientist woman soldier who carried a bit of a chip on her shoulders, and, finally, another scientist who, although had previously proven to be brave and loyal, was completely untrained and unprepared for the type of obstacles they were surely to encounter.
He would not have it any other way, though. As odd a team as they seemed to be, they all brought special and valuable skills to the first SG team assembled by General George Hammond, their base Commander. Jack was the team leader, the over-forty soldier hardened by many brutal encounters with enemy forces all over the globe. Now he was about to step out of familiar terrain and make other planets his stomping grounds. He had lost his son to a stupid, tragic accident, his marriage to his inability to cope with it, and his former career as an up and coming military strategist to bitterness and cynicism. But Hammond had dragged him back into service appealing to his sense of honor and duty, and, now, for the first time in what seemed like ages, he truly wanted to be a part of something. He felt alive again, but this was something worth dying for.
Captain Samantha Carter, a strong woman and capable soldier who was almost child-like in her enthusiasm and natural curiosity, challenged Jack to open up his mind to matters beyond seeking and destroying an enemy. Hammond had made him aware of the young woman’s privileged brain and had predicted that she would prove to be an invaluable member of his team. She had performed well during the first two missions through the Gate. She had shown the aplomb only acquired through experience and bravery to match any man’s. Jack was also very much aware of her physical attributes, which he had to admit added an unexpected appeal to his very often-sinister occupation, but he had to watch out for that. Having a dark sense of humor and being able to laugh at himself, however, he realized that she would definitely be making his future more interesting.
Teal’c, the alien warrior, was a complicated man, one scarred by a life no one on Earth could ever imagine, a life that had challenged his natural goodness and honor, a life that had forced him to become a skilled and lethal warrior. Now he had a chance at redemption, and he had grabbed on to it with all the ferocity he had previously demonstrated as First Prime to Apophis. No one besides Jack really and completely trusted him yet. He was too alien, too freshly turned and too closed to others to inspire trust, but Jack was determined to help him overcome the obstacles the Jaffa would surely face in his new home.
And, finally, there was Daniel Jackson, a brilliant, gentle soul who was now forced to become a man of action in order to rescue his wife from the hands of the Goa’uld. That was all that mattered to the man. It was the one thing motivating him to embark on the dangerous missions ahead. Pain was the driving force — pain, and the thought of holding his wife in his arms again. As much as Daniel provoked Jack’s darker, cynical side, the Colonel felt protective toward him. He felt he owed him that much for what the young man had done during the very first incursion through the Stargate. He was the reason Jack was still alive today, in more ways than one. He had unwittingly convinced the bitter Colonel that life was still worth living, and he had saved his skin and that of his men a year ago on Abydos by showing them the way back home.
So here they were, ready to jump into their first mission as a team, headed to a planet poetically named P3X-566. Jack knew the risks. The first mission through the Stargate had cost the lives of most of his team. The second and third missions, back to Abydos and then to Chulak, Teal’c’s home, had cost him the life of one of his best friends, Major Charles Kawalsky, and left another friend, Major Louis Ferretti, seriously injured.
Jack briefly glanced at his team and fervently hoped that everyone would make it back unharmed this time. Then, sighing as he started to march toward the puddle, he led his team into the unknown.
Jack vaguely heard the others being flung out of the Stargate and then tumble down the hard stone steps behind him. He had expertly rolled to a crouching position and was already scanning the area for possible threats, but all seemed clear.
He looked over his shoulder as his team picked themselves up from the ground, Daniel groaning painfully and Captain Carter taking deep breaths in order to fight nausea. The Gate seemed to affect everyone in a different way. All he felt was uncomfortably chilled for a few seconds. Daniel would probably start sneezing soon. Carter would be fine after looking green for a few minutes. Teal’c did not seem to be affected at all.
“I do not recognize this planet, O’Neill,” remarked the alien man quietly as he crouched next to him, also scanning the area carefully. “However, it bears the signs of terra-forming.”
“How can you tell?” asked Jack as he looked at the tall trees around the clearing holding the Stargate. He thought it was just another earth-like planet, seemingly harmless and beautiful. One of the advantages of having Teal’c in his team, however, was precisely having this kind of intel available. He constantly wondered about the details that would indicate potential Goa’uld threats.
“The type of plant life present, specifically those tall trees, is typical of the planets I have already visited and which I know to have been at least partially terra-formed,” explained the former First Prime. “I had initially thought that the Goa’uld had been responsible, but now I suspect that another race of beings did this a long time ago.”
“Really? Why you figure?” Jack asked curiously.
“I overheard Apophis complaining about not knowing how to transform a planet he coveted because of its strategic position in his territory,” Teal’c concisely explained.
“Huh!” was the extent of Jack’s comment.
“This planet is either under the domain of a System Lord other than Apophis or it has been discarded.”
“What do you mean discarded?” asked Carter, joining them as they stood up, now certain that they were not in imminent danger. She still looked a little peaked but was making a valiant effort of not showing any discomfort.
Daniel sneezed behind them, blowing his nose into a tissue and tucking it into his pocket afterwards. Jack smiled to himself realizing that the doctor was making a conscious effort not to litter.
“There are many planets that the System Lords have decided are no longer worth exploiting, where the natural resources have been depleted or the slave population is too small or weak to serve their purpose,” the Jaffa explained.
“What other purposes do the populations serve besides serving as hosts or mining labor?” asked Daniel as he joined the conversation. Jack had started to walk toward the tree line leading the others as he carefully watched their surroundings. Little mouse-like animals scurried away as they stepped through the tall, dry grass, and he was thankful for his sturdy, thick boots.
Teal’c was answering Daniel’s question. “Where the populations are large enough, they can grow food or serve as manufacturing labor for Goa’uld-coveted products. They build ships, weapons, armors, and other equipment for the system lords. There are particular planets from where Apophis prefers to obtain hosts for his Goa’uld brethren, and there are others that provide clothing, jewelry, and other such luxuries.”
“What kind of planet does this one strike you as?” asked Jack rather sarcastically.
“The area around the Stargate indicates that this planet has been abandoned long ago. It does not appear to be an active Chappa’hai. There are no trails leading to it,” Teal’c replied carefully inspecting the ground around the clearing.
“Okay, we’ll walk for a few miles, circle the Gate, spend the night, and return tomorrow if we have not found anything interesting,” Jack informed them. “Then we’ll tag it for an aerial survey before we send other teams to examine it more closely.”
“I agree. I don’t see any point in spending too much time in a planet where there’s no activity. We have to find where Apophis went to,” contributed Daniel, looking rather disappointed. Sha’re had clearly not been brought to this planet.
“Once we have finished upgrading the probes we’ll be able to do a much better recognizance job before first contact missions like this one,” Captain Carter reminded them encouragingly.
“If the upgraded probes work as well as the adjustments you made on the dialing computer, I just can’t wait,” Jack teased sarcastically.
“Oh, come on, Sir! You have to admit that the trip was not as rough this time. The lack of a dialing device is to blame, but I’m obviously on the right track. I already know what I’m going to do to improve the ride even more. I just need to…” started to explain Captain Carter with enthusiasm, but Jack brusquely interrupted.
“Your explanations would be wasted on us, Captain. Just fix it so that we don’t risk breaking a bone every time we step through the damn thing,” the Colonel requested. He didn’t want to hear techno-babble that he always found confusing and annoying.
“Yes, Sir,” the Captain Carter responded in a resigned tone. She heard Daniel sneeze again and smiled at him in commiseration. “Bless you!” she told him, at which the young man smiled with watery eyes as he tucked another tissue into his pocket.
They had walked for miles away from the Gate and there had been no evidence of intelligent life anywhere. They had only stopped briefly to eat lunch, and now they felt sweaty and tired, so Jack had decided to call it a day.
The rest of the team started to set up camp while Jack stood guard. Teal’c then surprisingly offered to stand guard for the whole night insisting that he did not need sleep.
“What do you mean? Don’t Jaffas need to sleep in order to rest?” asked Daniel sounding very jealous.
“We do not. We kelnoreem instead,” Teal’c replied.
“What’s kill no ream?” asked a puzzled Jack.
“Kel-no-reem,” corrected Teal’c in a dignified tone. “It is something we must do regularly in order to stay healthy. It requires quiet surroundings and no interruptions so that we can get in touch with our souls and allow them to replenish our bodies. If we do not kelnoreem, our physical forms start to deteriorate and our symbiotes can die. I kelnoreemed last night for a number of hours. I, therefore, will not need to do so again for some time.”
“Sounds like meditation. I guess that can come in handy. We can all rest while you keep watch,” suggested Daniel hopefully, but Jack had to dash his hopes. He knew that the archeologist did not trust his own abilities on the field, but he had to practice to improve.
“We’ll take turns, anyway,” Jack decided, and he heard Daniel groan, “We would not want you guys to think you can slack off just because Teal’c and I are around for the heavy lifting,” he teased, giving Carter a playful look.
She gave her CO a patient smile, then, as she spread her sleeping bag on the hard ground, she suggested, “I can take first watch. I’m not at my best when I just wake up. It takes me a while to stop feeling grumpy.”
“Okay,” Jack agreed. “Anything to avoid a bad-tempered female,” he teased with a smirk, fully expecting a huffy response. His Captain, however, retorted in good humor.
“I should caution you, Sir, that I had a bellyful of female jokes during the Gulf War. And every one of the jokers had to eat their words at the end,” she warned her commander with her hands on her waist.
“I don’t doubt that,” Daniel said smiling. “I promise you won’t get any of those from me,” he assured her, lifting his right hand as if making an oath.
“I do not deliver any kind of jokes,” Teal’c stated seriously, looking even more dignified.
“I’ll try to restrain myself, Captain. That’s all I can promise,” Jack smiled at her, not really meaning to hold his tongue at all.
“Well, if you don’t mind, I do need a few moments to myself before dinner,” Sam said as she picked up a small bag and started to walk into the surrounding bushes.
“If you see any scary bugs, just scream and we’ll come and squash them for you,” Jack called after her, unable to help himself. Heck! She had almost dared him!
Carter threw him a nasty look over her shoulder but said nothing, and he suspected that she did hate big bugs after all.
“Mary Steenburgen,” Sam heard her CO’s voice as she was approaching the camp. She instinctively stopped where she was and peered through the bushes in the semi-darkness. She could see he was leaning on his pack, relaxing while chewing his rations and looking almost dreamily into the fire.
“Really?” commented Daniel, sounding surprised.
“She’s hot!” the Colonel added, his eyes still on the flames.
“She’s attractive but I prefer the curvier type,” replied Daniel. “I fell for Salma Hayek the first time I saw her in some vampire movie with George Clooney. I thought she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, fangs and all. Sha’re kind of reminded me of her,” he said forlornly as he leaned on his side across the fire from O’Neill, also eating.
They were discussing women? Now what was she supposed to do? Just stay away so that they could have their manly chat?
She just stood in the darkness and just listened, not sure of what else to do.
“I prefer strong, fiery women,” contributed Teal’c, surprising both men before him and the woman concealed by the shadows. “Captain Carter is a fine specimen. She would be a fit mate for a warrior,” he added, nodding to himself and looking at no one in particular.
Sam almost decided to head back into the bushes, her face feeling suddenly hot.
“You like Carter?” her CO asked in an astonished tone.
‘Now, why the hell would that be so damn unbelievable?’ Sam thought feeling a little insulted by her commander’s reaction. Still, she didn’t know whether she should feel flattered by Teal’c’s comment or upset for being discussed in such a manner.
“I did not say I liked Captain Carter for myself,” Teal’c clarified. “I just said I liked her type. But I would think she would be a good match for you, O’Neill,” the Jaffa added, looking at Jack with an inquiring raised eyebrow. Sam almost choked! But she managed to stay very quiet, expectantly waiting for her CO’s answer.
“My liking?! Why?” he asked, suddenly straightening up and looking around guiltily as if afraid that Sam would show up any second.
“Well, you do look good together,” contributed Daniel innocently. “I was thinking that today when the two of you were walking side by side, ahead of us. Are you going to tell us you don’t find her attractive?” he asked, sounding clearly incredulous.
‘Oh, God!’ she thought. ‘Now what?’ she wondered as she braced herself for O’Neill’s answer.
“Whether I find her attractive or not is none of your business!” he answered testily, evidently forgetting that he had just asked Teal’c the same thing. “And even if I did, I would never act on it. I’m her superior officer and that’s all I can ever be. It’s against regulations!”
It was true. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t have those kinds of feelings for each other. At this point, Sam decided she had heard enough and made a deliberate sound so that the men would stop talking.
They were innocently and quietly chewing on their food by the time she stepped into the light of the fire. She took out her rations and ate silently without looking at them. She could not help feeling somewhat embarrassed by their earlier conversation even if they did not know she had been listening. And she could not help wondering whether Colonel O’Neill found her attractive or not, although she really did not want to care either way.
She furtively looked at her CO by the light of the fire. His eyes were fixed on the flames as if afraid of looking at her. Daniel was already flat on his back trying to get comfortable, and Teal’c sat against a tree, his eyes closed as if in meditation.
She felt very uncomfortable. Would it always be like this? Would she always be the odd ball in the group just because she was the girl? Would they always be talking about her behind her back?
Sam had always felt she needed to prove herself everywhere she went. She knew being a woman in the military was a challenging proposition at best, and she also knew her smarts tended to intimidate men, especially the kind of men she had to deal with every day. So she had developed a hard shell where the opposite sex was concerned. She did not pay too much attention to men in the hope that they did not notice her, either. Sometimes she felt this worked; sometimes she realized she was fooling herself.
Her lack of experience in romantic relationships had led to a few disappointing affairs in the past. The first one had been in high school. She had had platonic feelings for the most popular, athletic boy in her school. He, however, had never paid any attention to her until one day, out of the blue, he had approached her and asked her out.
Sam had mumbled incoherently, too shocked and disbelieving to answer, but she had finally and shyly agreed. She remembered she had been wildly excited to go on that first date, and she had let him kiss her. She had felt like a girl for the very first time, wearing a dress and holding hands at the movies with a handsome boy, only to feel crushed a few days later when she had found out that the date had been the result of a juvenile bet.
The boy’s football buddies had dared him to steal a kiss from the brainy ice queen, and he had won. The whole high school had been gossiping about it the next Monday, and Sam had been crushed!
Even though her date had tried talking to her after that, she had blindly turned her back on him and walked away every time. Her first experience with a boy had left her feeling used and humiliated, and she had not paid attention to anyone again until her senior year in college.
A classmate, Tom Henderson, had seemed beautiful but harmless. She had agreed to tutor him in physics for extra spending money, and he had been attracted to her from the beginning, but she had fended him off for many weeks. Although she had found him attractive, she had not wanted to get emotionally involved with anyone on her last year at the university.
One afternoon she had arrived at his apartment for his lesson to find him in distress. His mother had unexpectedly died, and Sam’s heart had gone out to him knowing what such a horrible experience felt like. She had earlier shared with him how she had suddenly lost her mom years ago.
She had only meant to comfort her classmate, but one think had led to another and she had ended up losing her heart and virginity to the grieving young man. She had dated him for a few months and she had felt, for the first time in years, truly happy — until the day she had come to his apartment and had found a middle-aged woman efficiently tidying up the place. The woman was his mother.
Tom had lied to her in order to get through her defenses, and Sam had felt used again. She had left the apartment and had never seen Tom again. He had kept calling her repeatedly, but she had never forgiven him.
Sam had casually dated here and there after that, never allowing her feelings to get involved. She had fully concentrated on her work for years — until Captain Jonas Hansen came along.
Charming, emotionally wounded Jonas had slowly wormed himself into her heart. She had let her guard down again and she had ended up regretting it. Her father had warned her about him, but she had felt spurred into the relationship instead of the opposite, a natural reaction to what she perceived were one of the General’s usual attempts at trying to rule her life.
Jonas had eventually revealed himself to be a controlling, slightly over-the-edge man. She had been deeply involved with him, with a ring on her finger, when she had realized that he was not the right guy for her. He had seemed jealous of her success in the military and, the better she did, the more strangling the relationship had become.
Sam had finally broken up with him, and he had strangely accepted it without too much fuss, as if he really did not believe that it was over. She had expected to find him waiting for her around the next corner during the first few weeks after the break up, but it seemed her fears had been unfounded. She had not seen or heard from him in many weeks, and then she had been transferred to Colorado Springs.
Men, in her experience, were not worth the trouble. She knew, of course, that this was a generalization and that there were some good men out there. Her brother was proof of that, as well as her father, in his own way. He had made their mother happy despite the long absences required by his job.
Sam surreptitiously watched the three sleeping men near her, one by one. Colonel Jack O’Neill was a handsome, virile man. She found him very attractive and she already respected and admired him for his previous accomplishments. She loved his sense of humor and his self-effacing, irreverent attitude. She also truly believed he did not hold her gender against her. He just had to have fun at her expense, as he did with everyone else. She felt truly privileged to have been assigned to his team and she knew she would have no trouble following his lead, wherever it took them.
She then looked at Daniel’s boyish face, even more innocent-looking in sleep. Here was, she sensed, another example of a good man. She felt deep sympathy for him. The poor guy had lost his wife to the Goa’uld and was desperate to get her back. He had already demonstrated his willingness to share everything he learned, and he clearly was a generous, brilliant man who shared her own fascination for learning and who just wanted to live a simple life while doing so. Now he was in way over his head. He was the least prepared to face their upcoming missions and she felt an almost sisterly sense of responsibility for him already. She would try to watch out for him, as any good sister would.
Sam then switched her attention to Teal’c, the alien man sitting very still against the tree with his eyes closed. She did not know what to make of him yet. He had already proven his determination to participate in the effort to fight the Goa’uld. He had actually thrown away a privileged position in his world in order to do so but she had to admit that she did not understand him. Could he really hate the Goa’uld so much that he was willing to live among strangers who may never get to accept him? Did he ever have second thoughts about what he had done?
His comment about her had surprised her, but had proven to Sam that the man was not as detached as he appeared to be, and she wondered if he had left loved ones behind. They really did not know much about him, and this made her feel rather uncomfortable around him. She could not help but feel wary. He was so… different.
She was surprised at how short her watch had seemed when a sleepy looking Daniel relieved her. He motioned her toward her sleeping bag and sat close to where she had been sitting, yawning widely.
As Sam laid down to sleep, she was thinking that it would be a while before she felt completely comfortable in the exclusive company of her teammates.