* * * * * *
Daniel continued, grinning at Sam's chuckle.
The entire vehicle had gotten into a discussion about Goa'ulds...whether they could be vegetarian or not since Cassie had found out Amber preferred to eat vegetarian.
Jack had stopped his comments long enough to fall asleep, but Daniel, Teal'c, and Sam had continued while she drove.
Cassie listened to the conversation, but mostly she watched Amber twist a bit each way, obviously uncomfortable with her dreams.
She'd fallen asleep shortly after Jack had and while his face had relaxed, her face had folded into a horrified grimace.
Cassie bit her lip as a small tear escaped Amber's tightly closed eyelid.
It seemed to fight its way down her cheek until Cassie's finger caught and scattered it over her fingertips.
Amber groaned, muttering a bit in her restless sleep.
Jack's hand reached out and Cassie looked over to see if he was awake.
His eyes were still shut, but his breathing was becoming slightly erratic.
Cassie considered calling Janet, but decided to wait since they didn't look like they were in pain.
Cassie took Amber's clenched fist and placed it in Jack's outstretched hand.
They both relaxed a little at the contact and Cassie twisted in her seat, getting a coke that Jack had snuck into the cooler since Janet had vetoed alcohol for everyone.
She'd need the caffeine since she was staying up to see what happened next.
* * * * * *
Hagar grimaced as he gained partial control of his body.
The pain he felt with the rising levels of electricity made it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand.
He was exhausted, but knew he couldn't stop or he'd quite likely lose himself in the mental tangle he could feel just outside the realm of his consciousness.
* * * * * *
"Okay...this is strange."
"Where did you come from?"
"I don't know...I was having a great time in Tahiti when suddenly I'm on a Goold ship with you."
"Is that what this is?"
"Yep...Apophis' from the looks of it."
"How many have you been on?"
"Luckily, not too many."
"Okay...so we're...dreaming together."
"Probably the one thing we haven't done."
"I sometimes see your dreams while you're asleep..."
"Yeah, but the only time I saw yours were when I was awake...I have my own when I'm asleep"
"I wonder what this means."
"We've probably dropped into complete insanity."
Amber grinned at that, wiping her hands on her jeans.
"Well, if this is a dream, we can probably control the elements around us."
Jack looked around him.
Amber rolled her eyes before walking down the corridor with him.
"I wonder what'll happen."
Three Jaffa in pudgy armor appeared around the corner, coming to a stop before the bemused mindmates.
"I've never seen armor like that before."
"It looks vaguely familiar, but strange."
The Jaffa turned and walked the other way and after a glance at each other, Jack & Amber followed.
They walked through an archway and found themselves in a throne room of sorts.
"What the...is that what I think it is?"
Amber didn't answer, sweeping past the now kneeling Jaffa to the raised gold dais where a large lumpy potato rested on a soft blue-velvet pillow.
"Jonathan, it's a potato. Why would we dream of a potato?"
Jack smacked his forehead.
"Cass was talking about vegetarian Goolds and potatoes, remember? So now we know why, let's get rid of it and get some decent action here. I like happy dreams...not weird ones like this."
Amber glared at him.
"I think maybe we're overlooking the whole "sharing dream" aspect of this. I wasn't really listening to the whole conversation, but I was thinking about a few things so if nothing of mine comes into this dream, then I'm just getting your mental leftovers again...that makes me sick."
Jack winced as the venom built in her voice and her eyes.
"Hey...hey! Just...calm down. It's not the end of the world."
"Jonathan, there's a potato on a pillow. This is not my idea of fun."
Jack threw up his hands.
"Fine. Great. Wonderful. So miss almightiest of all annoying...women...please, by all means fix this since you don't seem in any great hurry to simply make the best of it."
Amber's eyes narrowed and then she gaped at the potato when its eyes began glowing.
Jack's eyes followed hers.
"Oh for crying out loud. Its eyes are actually glowing?"
Amber didn't bother answering out loud, letting her incredulous expression speak for her.
"You realize there is an actual cult that worship potatoes...called Potatoism"
Jack stared at her for a moment.
"There is not."
"Yes, there is."
"No one's that stupid."
"I swear, there is."
Jack just shook his head.
He was not going to believe people could go that mentally low.
Another Jaffa carried in another pillow covered in red velvet.
"Your queen, my lord."
The Jaffa kneeled with difficulty in the rounded armor, presenting the Queen Potato to her husband.
Amber covered her eyes with her hand, trying not to let anymore of Jonathan's complete insanity seep into her brain.
Jack stepped forward, wondering just how far this dream was going to go.
"Okay...who are you?"
The Queen Potato's eyes glowed as she answered him in a gravelly voice.
"I am Queen Potato. This is King Potato. He is the greatest potato of all time."
Jack just stared at Amber, trying to decide whether to crack up or just shoot them.
"Okay...why is he the greatest potato of all time?"
The Queen rolled a bit closer to the King and her voice showed immense pride.
"He was baked at the age of two."
"Ugh. Only you would have dreams with atrocious punch lines. Oh I think I'm going to kill myself if I don't get out of here."
Jack glared at her before turning back to the Royal Potatoes.
"On your knees."
Amber sighed and took the staff weapon from the surprised and not very happy Jaffa.
"Oh please, let me."
Jack whirled, realizing what she was going to do, but wasn't fast enough to avoid his knees being knocked out by the heavy metal.
"Oh thanks. Like they don't do that enough."
"I figured I'd have more fun doing it."
Amber's self-satisfied smirk was the last straw.
"Careful, Amber. If you're right, this is my dream."
Amber's eyes widened as Jack motioned toward the entrance, obviously concentrating hard.
She turned as a rumble began behind her and she stared as a hundred sweet potatoes bumped and ground their way into the room through the door.
She turned back to Jack, obviously not understanding his point.
"They're sweet potatoes...you know...Tok'ra?"
Amber just groaned again, her head in her hands.
The two foremost Tok'ra potatoes opened mouths full of sharp teeth.
"Jonathan, potatoes don't have teeth."
"It's my dream. Now they do."
Amber watched as the Tok'ra jumped up and down on the Royal potatoes, smashing them.
One yelled in an echoing voice.
"Tonight. We dine on our mashed enemy."
Amber's mouth worked for a moment and then she just went to sit down in a corner of the throne room.
He was batty.
That was the only possible reason why anyone would have such a weird dream.
* * * * * *
Misheille Bantristq stood back as Tesaf carefully moved to the lifeless figure on the bed.
Eloise had been special to all of them, but Peri was beside herself with grief.
True to her word, against the advice of her brothers, she had waited until Eloise was completely gone before joining her new host.
Misheille looked over at her cousin, Arlin Trieber.
Peri had taken to him easily enough, but he was still shaking from the realization that she'd been serious about the Shifters actually existing.
If he didn't adapt, then when Peri was strong again, they'd find someone else who wanted to join with her, but Misheille figured it was just shock and he'd soon come to know how wonderful Peri was.
The initial impression of Peri's true body had not been impressive to him and that might be what was making him shiver so strongly.
Onar grieved deeply for Eloise, but his anger with Peri for taking such a risk by waiting almost too long before leaving colored his emotions greatly.
Thus, Misheille stayed in charge so his anger wouldn't filter through while Peri was still too emotionally weak to handle it.
* * * * * *
Cassie shook Jack awake, curious at the grin that immediately touched his mouth.
Amber came awake a second later, glaring at Jack.
Sam called back that they were almost to Oklahoma City proper, that everyone needed to wake up and see if they needed anything while they were stopped.
Daniel followed the map, talking to Sam about the different places near the Flying J they would be fueling up at.
Jack's finger scratched his eye and Cassie gently took his hand in hers and put it in his lap.
He'd been scratching every time she'd turned her attention anywhere else, so she'd become used to the action.
Jack smiled at the expression on Cass' face.
It was just like Janet's whenever he was trying to get out of the infirmary early or did something stupid.
The itch was killing his brain and the little spot in Amber's forehead had turned brown like a large freckle.
Sam pulled into the Flying J.
Daniel hopped out and around to fill up the Voyager while everyone piled out of the vehicle and to the bathroom.
Cassie was the first out and stood looking at the watches while Janet and Amber finished.
Jack stepped beside Daniel.
"You see any place to eat or are we doing sandwiches?"
Daniel realized the few people who were there were starting to look a bit oddly at Jack in his sunglasses.
"It's almost midnight, but I saw an "open late" sign on the Carl's Jr. Maybe they're still open?"
Jack sighed, resisting the urge to scratch.
"Yeah...okay. How about you head that way and if they're open we'll eat there.
"It may just be drive-thru."
"Well, it's still summer so they might have the whole thing open."
"Okay, be back in a bit."
Jack wandered back in and after paying for the gas, he took a covert looksee at what was keeping Cassandra's interest.
A small ballerina necklace made of polished petrified wood with small flecks of quartz embedded along the edges of the skirt and as small decorations in the ballerina's hair.
Cassie stared at it before looking at the price tag and blanching.
Jack ducked out of sight while Cassie walked over to Janet who was looking through the books to see if one was out that she wanted.
As soon as she was gone, he looked at the price tag himself.
He gagged a bit, but got out his credit card after asking the lady behind the counter if she had one already boxed he could get.
She smiled, asking if the girl had been his daughter.
He started to answer, but then grinned.
"Not yet, but she will be."
* * * * * *
George signed the order sending a back up science team to join SG-13 on the planet they'd been on for hours.
They'd found a massive amount of Naquadah ore.
George started to smile at the good news, but then sighed as Col. Harry Maybourne swept into the room.
"I won't authorize it, Colonel."
Maybourne barely concealed his contempt as he looked the General up and down.
"The fact is, that Capt. Carter died and yet is alive and sharing the body of Dr. Janet Fraiser. That temple somehow granted her immortality and we would be remiss in not exploring it further."
George had already read the fifteen previous requests for a mission to the planet as well as receiving a call from the President about yet another proposal by the NID for such a mission.
He'd said he'd support George's decision, but had made it clear that George would get to be the one to deal with Maybourne.
Apparently Maybourne was finally stepping a little too hard on the President's toes.
George reached into the little bucket of M&Ms Lt. Simmons had given him that morning.
"I have more important things to do than send people on missions already proven to be dangerous."
"I see no danger."
"Capt. Carter was injured on that mission. They were all caught off guard and had a building fall on them. That strikes me as dangerous."
Maybourne started to speak, but George waved him off.
"I don't have time for this."
"Then I'd like to talk to you about Dr. Corvores."
He was interrupted by a knock on the door.
Lt. Simmons stuck his head in.
"Sorry to interrupt, sir, but we just got the Tok'ra iris code and an inbound traveler."
"Open the iris. I'm on my way."
George gratefully brushed past Maybourne and out the door.
Janet was beside Amber in the middle bench while Jolinar drove.
Hagar had been moved away from Jack and Amber to ride Shotgun.
In his strange condition, they hoped passing cars wouldn't see anything amiss with him leaning against the window.
Teal'c had moved to the back with Jack and Cassie so that Janet could work on Amber.
Janet had the different medical cases out and was trying to determine the cause for the small golden rash beginning to surround the brown freckle-ish spot in Amber's forehead as well as the woman's jitters.
Janet looked back at the Colonel, catching Cassie's hand movement yet again as she stopped the Colonel from scratching and ran through more possibilities.
"Sir, I need better equipment."
"You need trustworthy equipment you mean."
"Not going back to the SGC, Doc."
"We will eventually, Jack. How do we know that the problem will be fixed there any more than it is now?"
"Well...we don't exactly, but..."
"Jack...the airman, Amber, and you all need proper treatment that I can't give here."
"Not goin' back."
Janet pursed her lips against his stubbornness.
"And if Amber dies?"
Amber's head whipped around.
"Why'd you say anything about me dying? Why can't you say the Goa'uld up there might die. Sheesh."
Janet smiled a bit at the woman's indignation.
"Because I know your death would hurt Jack. I don't think the airman's death would cause nearly as bad a stir."
Amber glared at Jack and Jack glared back.
"So kill her."
Amber's eyes widened and Janet would've killed to know what she was saying to make Jack's ears turn pink like that.
His eyes looked down and he frowned a bit.
"Viv has a medical condition that makes it where she's got a lot of access to the better hospitals. If absolutely necessary, while we're down there, I'll call in a favor or two. Okay?"
"It's the best we're going to do."
Janet glared at him, beginning to really resent his stubborn refusal to consider going back.
Jack knew she was ticked, and he understood why, but he also knew he'd rather take his chances in Florida than go back and have more stuff done to him in Colorado.
He hadn't decided that they even were going back yet, although he hadn't imparted that information to anyone.
Janet was not getting him to go back early...that was certain.
* * * * * *
Bre walked by the Grapevine HQ on level 16, looking for the man she usually gave her information to.
She slipped in the door and gasped when large arms wrapped around her shoulders and pulled her into a nearby storage room.
She struggled until her head hit something hard and she sagged, unconscious.
* * * * * *