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    * * * * * *

Harry Maybourne was in a complete snit.

"Excuse me? I'm not SGC Personnel. You can't, with all due respect, order me offworld."

Something was terribly wrong and he had a sneaking suspicion in his gut that the thunderous expression on the General's face was due to his earlier fumble.

He was not made for sneaking around...he still couldn't understand why they forced him to do it.

If they'd just put Earth first, there wouldn't be a need for any of this.

Harry deliberately put on his best, "you can't hit me right now" sneer and lifted his chin.

He would be a General, too, and then Hammond would be nothing but a bad memory.

For less than a moment, Harold Thomas Maybourne allotted himself time for a mental image of Hammond dying of natural causes and him being forced to accept the position of the SGC's commanding officer.

Then, Harry let his gaze fasten on the moving mouth, and sighed heartily, hoping this was just a joke or method to get him to reveal information they assumed he had...and probably did.

"I assure you, I can send you off world, Colonel. You have been nothing but poison and I want to know everything you know about how one of our nurses became a vampire and why he then attacked Martouf and Qesir in the corridor."

A joke...had to be...

Harry stared, gape-jawed, when he realized the General wasn't being funny...not one iota.

"I have no information on a vampire. Surely, they're a myth."

George sat back in his chair for an instant longer; his anger at what security had told him about where Maybourne had been visiting growing with each passing second.

Maybourne might know everything and he might only know some, but he knew about

He'd had enough.

George stood, moving faster than the Colonel expected him to, and dragged him bodily out of the room.

People parted like inspired water at the sight of their CO hauling the man who'd been annoying all of them daily down the corridor, not even bothering to lower his voice as his feet kept catching and tripping.

They hid their smiles until the two men were out of sight and then small snickers were exchanged before getting back to their duties.

Harry's eyes were switching between ice cold, humiliated, and livid.

This was unprecedented and he could only assume Hammond had cracked.

That meant the situation had become unpredictable and out of his control.


He tried to dig in his heels, but the floor was too smooth and he was being jerked around too hard to get any secure purchase.

What could Hammond have found out that would get him to do this?

Harry stopped trying to slow down, annoyed at the sweat trickling into his eye.

His panting was showing just how out of shape he was, but the General wasn't even breathing hard.

That fact sent a trail of fear down into Harry's toes.

He'd always thought he could take Hammond if it came to an all out fight, but now...he was wondering if the man was as soft as he'd always taken him to be.

They passed into the infirmary and Harry glared at the people avidly watching the show until he entered the room where a man with fangs and flashing eyes hollered and screamed as he jerked incessantly against the restraints.

"Explain this, Maybourne, and I promise you. If it doesn't make sense, doesn't ring true, or proves in any way you should be shot, I'll do the honors myself."


Harry bit his lip, hating it when he stuttered, but he was looking at a real vampire.

A vampire, who's presence they were blaming him for.

"I have no idea how it g..."

The business end of a cool 9mm settled between his eyes and Harry's heart resigned it's commission and checked out.

George lowered the gun, handing it back to Dr. Warren as he jumped to catch the fainting Colonel.

"He's not breathing."

"Sir, I need you to move."

George quickly assigned three security guards to watch over the man and walked out while the doctor worked on reviving the downed Colonel.

Maybourne didn't know about the vampire, but he visited the room where they'd found the Asgard and Dr. Jacey.

Warren's shake of the head when questioned about the likelihood of her survival made him sick.

She was only alive in the most literal sense of the word and brain damage was a certainty.

The word "sarcophagus" had become an infirmary icon.

It meant, little to no hope, but if someone could pull a miracle, more power to them.

It essentially meant the person would die and nothing could be done.

She wasn't responding to any medication and had needed the most severe blood transfusion ever given in the SGC's history and some pretty decent transfusions had been needed since the program's inception.

George slipped to where multiple beds were set up and no curtains drawn because of how violent the small creatures on them became when they couldn't see one another.

They refused to speak to anyone and hatred just seemed to surround them.

George had started to call the President about them, but like with the vampire, didn't.

The fact that the President had set up the Grapevine in the first place, no matter how well used it was by personnel now, and through that information setup had possibly...that's impossible.

He'd known Bill and had asked for the assignment of the SGC to end his career.

It was as if another layer had been added.

Even his phone calls seemed to have double meanings they didn't when they first met.

At least SG-1 would be home one form or another.

Maybe they'd have some answers.


Wide-eyed at the site of the Asgard tied to the beds, Drey'auc had moved to the farthest wall, a few feet away from where her son lay, sleeping.

"What are they?"

George turned to her, annoyed at the slight cramp pulling in his calf.

Maybourne was heavier than he looked.

"Those, ma'am, are Asgard. Mistreated, tortured, and apparently lethal."

He fixed his eyes on her, not wanting to look at them anymore...the human arms that dangled from one's body, the jewel set in the middle of a forehead, the strange scars and metal bits and pieces barely seen under small holes in their skin...

"Tortured? By you?"

"No...some very bad people who seem bent on causing us the biggest problems they can. It's as if they want our planet destroyed."

"Will that happen? Teal'c told me stories of the Asgard. They're a good people and fight the gods."

"They aren't gods."

Drey'auc looked into his eyes, her whisper revealing her fears.

"I least, part of me does. Still, every time I hear Apophis' name, I tremble. What if he is a god and does find me and punish me for..."

She broke off when her hands were gently taken and held in the General's warm grasp.

"I promise you that I will not let him come near you or your son again. It'll be difficult to arrange for you to live here because of how thoroughly we keep records on those born on our world and where they are, but it can be done and if it's what you and Teal'c truly want, then we'll find a way to do it. In the meantime, you'll be forced to live on base since Teal'c has refused to move in with any member of SG-1 so far."

"You would have him live with one of his brothers?"

The thought of her husband living, alone, with Samantha only briefly passed through her mind.

"Well, that Colonel O'Neill is dead, I've been thinking about what to do with his..."


Shock had her gazing into the General's eyes as a host of memories of the man Teal'c had so closely bonded with played.

Teal'c had trusted and respected him so thoroughly that she and Rya'c had been pushed to a minor role in his mind.

What was worse...she had trusted him, too, and he had not betrayed her.

This meant Teal'c would be in a foul mood and would take her appearance in his life badly.

"I am sorry. I know he was a truly great man."

"Yes, he was."

George decided against explaining the body-jumping currently occurring and moved her to the chair beside her son's bed, smiling a bit when he saw the autographs on it that marked it as SG-1's personal chair.

His mind just couldn't fathom the SGC without Jack O'Neill.

* * * * * *

Heru'hur stared at the planet before him, its beautiful colors making only a dim impression on his mind.

Cimmeria...that was what the slaves had called it.

He had taken this world, only to have it snatched out of his grasp by SG-1 and the Asgard.

Now, the death of Apophis could not have come at a more fortuitous time.

With the strong Jaffa of Chulak, Apophis' ships, and the people of Abydos his QueenMother was turning into Jaffa for their joined kingdom, his army would be larger than even his father's had been.

Ra had died at the hands of O'Neill and Daniel Jackson, something Heru'hur had not known until his mother had returned to him to be his Queen.

With Hathor by his side, revealing the secrets his father had not even told him, his supremacy among the System Lords was assured.

Having taken an Asgard world would only heighten the fear he had heard in the voice of Apophis' Queen when he demanded an explanation for the death of his rival.

His father's brother...gone...

Today was truly a great day and his gratitude to the one host who had truly proven herself far greater than the unworthy Queen inside her was boundless...for today.

The defiance in her eyes had amused him, though her arm was a truly hideous sight,

One so lovely, yet deformed.

She refused help and/or to back down when he threatened her.

His mother had risen and demanded to know, upon hearing of Amaunet's presence, whether or not he intended to challenge her.

Heru'hur remembered the angry flash in her eyes, glad he'd had the captured Queen taken to private quarters.

Now, Hathor was with her and while his mother had promised she would not torture her, he doubted Amaunet would live much longer.

* * * * * *

Shae'ris stared into the eyes of the one who had dared to take her husband against his will.

Memories of his soft, strong, precise hands were tainted by Amaunet's fear and taunting to cover her fear.

*She will not kill us.*

*She is sickened by our appearance.*

*Our skin falling off in her hand when she grabbed our arm is a memory I will cherish.*

*Her host is more beautiful than mine, now.*

*Perhaps, but her host is as evil as she is. I have no sympathy for her.*

*She is the first Goa'uld to have a willing host that did not try to then rebel against the System Lords.*

Shae'ris lifted her chin, uncomfortable in the silence that had settled since Hathor had learned that she, and not Amaunet, was in control.

A quick snap of her fingers and Hathor's Jaffa appeared, bare-chested and obviously handpicked for their job.

"You will take Shae'ris to my chambers where she will lay in the sarcophagus until properly healed. Then, my dear, I will find what knowledge you have that will help me rule without any competition."

The harsh Goa'uld language only strengthened her determination.

"I will not use your bed, demon, nor will I help you fight my husband. Kill me or do not, but know that I have seen how weak you are and I do not fear you."

Hathor stepped forward so her breath caressed Shae'ris' forehead and each word dripped with rich honey.

"I will not kill you. When our Beloved learns that his Beloved is with us...that we saved her for him, then he will come to us willingly. You will serve us as will he."

"Your magic does not work on me, demon."

"No, but it will work on him and he will do anything we ask. Do you not wish to have the power your fallen goddess possessed? You may have it, now..."

"Her only power was in breeding more evil like you. I will never..."

"No, I do not wish you to breed, either. From now on, all children will bear my mark, not that of Apophis. Nor will you lay with my son. His power will only feed mine. You will lay in the sarcophagus and heal. While you sleep, I will find a way to...cover that."


Sighing lightly, Hathor trailed a finger down Shae'ris' nose and lips, igniting a fresh and searing trail of fear from Amaunet.


Hathor's lips curved cruelly as she dropped her voice to an insulting whisper.

"...demon is truly weak and if you wish to be free of her, then you must heal. Accept my help and we will forget your unfortunate alliance with Apophis."

"I did not ally with that demon!"


Shae'ris' angered shout was cut off as a wave of exhaustion rolled over her.

She had not slept, knowing that she would be killed by Heru'hur if she dared.

Now, she feared what would be done to her as a sarcophagus, when set to do so, could make you wish you had never awakened...pieces of you missing or combined with the clothing in which you laid.

She was terrified her resolve would crumble should such horrors be performed on her as Apophis had performed on the three sons who had not proven themselves as Klorel had.

*No, you must not.*

*She would not harm herself.*

*Ask for Heru'hur instead.*

*She will see that as a challenge and I would rather not awaken than have him beside me.*

"Lay with me."

Hathor turned, her eyebrow rising.


"Enter the sarcophagus with me, demon, and I will sleep."

"Why would you wish me to do thi...Apophis knows how to change the sarcophagus to kill instead of heal. You will teach me this. Now."

Shae'ris tried to flee, only to feel many hands grab her, pulling her until a rock solid chest was against her back as she faced Hathor and the excitement in those blue-grey eyes chilled her to the core.

"We will rule together, then, if that is your wish. From now on, we will share a sarcophagus to prevent you from hurting us when we sleep as well. Now, come. We are not tired and wish to view the burning of the Asgard world that taunts my son. We will watch and then we will sleep."

Hathor held out her hand and, hoping her fear did not show, Shae'ris took it, cursing herself and her demon for the weakness that made it necessary.

*Perhaps it will heal me so I can take my rightful place, ruling you and killing her.*

*You have nothing else of which to speak?*

*Power is the only need a Goa'uld has.*

Shae'ris sighed heavily, causing Hathor to tighten her grasp.

A more unlikely partnership, Shae'ris had never imagined.

* * * * * *

"Uh...I thought we were going to the base."

Jack raised an eyebrow at the odd look he received, wiggling around inside Arlin's head to get comfortable.

*What are you doing?*

*'ve got a great brain, by the way. Why?*

*You're making us ill.*

*You know, I hate that...actually...I hated it cuz I couldn't do it, too. Sweet...from now on, we're a we, too.*

**We, hmm...yes, we are incredibly amused.**

**Yes, Amber. You can say "we", too. Wouldn't be right to leave out all your other fascinating personalities.**

"What, Daniel?"

Daniel cocked his head.

"Jack, half of that echoed and half if you were the host."

Jacob looked back before ducking his head and letting Selmac take over.

No echo was in her voice as she spoke and the thought of not having that distinction to know which was speaking made Jack shiver, earning him another annoyed thoughtwave from Arlin.

"If O'Neill is truly inside a Goa'uld symbiote as you say, then we must speak privately to discuss how to properly bond with the host. First, though, the reason we are not returning to the base is because of a few..."


Jacob took over, sarcasm lighting his voice.

"...intrigues that have been uncovered in the SGC. Now, because there's no telling what's happened since we one called to check, we'll go with George's original request and go to the Academy hospital. A full lab based on everything so far discovered has been set up and I'm sure Dr. Fraiser will want to get in as soon as possible."

Daniel had been quiet before his comment to Jack and had gone back to being silent when he realized he might lose control of his face if he didn't.

As soon as Sam got a body, she was gonna hurt him.

He just knew it.

Therefore, no need to antagonize her, but in the van Jacob had brought for them, Janet was sitting in a captain's chair against the left wall.

Sam, bent over and incredibly upset, was in the aisle and Daniel didn't have to read lips to know she was threatening him with dire consequences should he tell anyone.

*Lean closer.*


*I will not yell.*

*I think you've yelled enough to lose brownie points for a few years.*

*Brownie...ah. I wish to sit closer to Martouf.*



*I'm not interested at the moment.*

*He will leave and perhaps die. Then you will have squandered these moments.*

*I know what you have in mind and it's as if all the agreements you made with me are just gone. So no way...and no, you won't be making out with him here. I don't want to know how fast Jack is and I have no doubt I'd die.*

*Fools...all of you.*

*Are you pouting?*


*You are!*

 *You would deny me...*

*Give me five minutes of silence and I'll move over an inch, okay? Compromise?*

*Very well.*

*Starting now.*

Daniel waited a moment, enjoying the fact that though he could feel her and her emotions, he wasn't mentally assaulted with verbal commentary.

Smiling, he turned to Amber and took in the fact that she was in a rather good mood now.

Jacob was driving, Teal'c and Cassie had shotgun together and Daniel wished for a moment that Janet and Teal'c weren't so carefully guarding her.

They were the ones she knew hadn't changed, though, especially now that Sam wasn't in...well, wasn't really in Janet anymore.

A light snicker broke through and Sam's death glare only made it worse.

Martouf tapped his shoulder and Daniel looked over to see the Tok'ra incline his head in query.

Daniel lost it and the laughter was accompanied by small bits of spit.

Jolinar immediately tossed aside the five-minute promise, caterwauling about the disrespect Daniel had showed bewailing the disgust on her mate's face.

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