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    "I...I...I'm sorry, but Sam..."

Jack exchanged a look with Amber before getting up enough to be able to rap his knuckles on Daniel's head.

"It's not that funny, Daniel."

**So why are you laughing?**

**I'm not.**

**I can hear it. What is so funny?**

*Carter is bent over and she's trying to pull out of...Janet in Daniel's direction. Jack thinks it's to...*

*Thank you! I can give my own opinions...sheesh. I think Carter's gonna hurt Daniel. *

**Wish I could see it.**

**Yeah. Me too.**

*You can see it.*

*I know what I meant.*

*Yes, but Amber is right. You're easy to tease.*

Amber's snicker made Janet look back.

"Why don't you just do this one thing for me? Just get up and kick the both of them."

Janet smiled and realized that she might as well reply since Jack could hear Sam and through that awful mindlink, Amber could hear, too.

"If you really want me to..."

Daniel didn't like the way Sam was looking at him.


"Give you and Amber a good swift kick, compliments of Sam."

"No! No...that's quite okay. I'm fully recovered now and so is Amber. Just...stay seated and enjoy the rest of the ride."

Jack watched to see if Carter was actually gonna pull free and realized she was slowly moving out of if through thickened sludge.

**Oh I bet Janet would love to hear that flattering comparison.**

**You gonna tell her? I doubt it would get me a much bigger black mark than I've already earned there.**

**Are you giving up?**

**No...I don't know. I'm tired and I'm ready for this all to just go away.**

**Uh huh...**

Jack leaned back in his seat, knowing that any time he looked at Amber it just antagonized Janet more.

*Peri must be very lonely and scared right now.*

*Yeah...I just wish she had shared more with you.*

*You already know about their main goal.*

*Yeah, but I wanna know the details about the Asgard part. You don't know anything and I thought you would since you were her host.*


*The President...*

*Yeah, I didn't expect that either, but anyway, Kaden said Peri wouldn't like to know what all he was doing there because she was like her mother. If Peri had known more than that the aliens captured in Roswell had been revealed to be Asgard, I would know it too. At least you know they're in the SGC.*

*True. Just gotta figure out where, now.*

*Is there no way to get Peri back in here?*

*I don't know. We'll work on it.*


**I'm here.**

**Not saying anything.**

**I just...I didn't know any of what the two of you just said, but you were saying it as if it was just...fact.**

**It is...we didn't talk about it. It was part of the memories of his that I was sifting through. There's a lot to sort and it's gonna take me time so I'm trying to get just the recent ones that'll help.**

**Makes sense. Auh!...Martouf just put as much space between him and Daniel as he could.**


Jack turned to see, smiling when he saw why Amber's tone had been annoyed.

Martouf hadn't moved himself, he'd moved Daniel.

The look on the archaeologist's face was most unappreciative.

*Jolinar, you may take control now so that I don't have to deal with having just been put in Amber's lap.*

*He is disgusted with you.*

*At the moment, it's mutual. Amber doesn't like being touched. So of course, to punish me, he pops me into her lap.*

*She is becoming responsive.*

*As she pointed out at McDonald's, she considers it weak to depend on anyone else and we're all needing to depend on each other. So tossing people at her, especially ones she opens up to a bit is just not the best way to make her more comfortable.*

*If you ask him to move his hand, he may allow you to move back onto the seat.*

Daniel saw the amused expression Jack was wearing, could feel the annoyance seeping into his pores from Amber, and was just waiting for someone to make a comment.

Fed up with the lack of response or help, he got up, holding onto each seat as he made his way forward in the slightly bouncing vehicle.

"Jacob, will you please pull over? I'll meet you at the hospital. I know the way from here."

"Daniel, are you nuts?"

"Jack, I'm sick of being in here, sick of the company, sick of all the weird...stuff. Period. I need some time to think and so I'll meet you there."

"Dr. Jackson..."

"Jacob, you might as well call me Daniel. I haven't called you General Carter for awhile now."

"Good's another hour to the hospital, walking time."

"Then I guess I'll run."

"Great. We'll take a bathroom break while we peel you off a tree or something when you didn't change course in time to avoid..."

Daniel threw a sour look and Teal'c's empty coke can at Jack before opening the side door.

"Hey! We haven't stopped yet!"

"So stop."

Jacob, not completely certain Daniel wouldn't actually jump in his current mental phase, slammed on the breaks.

Instant female squeals of displeasure at the sudden, jerky stop were followed by a slew of pens, lipstick, and various small objects pelting Jacob as Teal'c and Cassandra slipped out the passenger door to avoid the attack.

Daniel ducked out the door, followed by Jack.

Jacob, unable to turn and glare at anyone, waited until the escapees were clear and hit the accelerator to make the rain of domestic weaponry cease.

Amber dropped Janet's purse, clutching her seat in shock at the unpredictable driving.

Janet, taking advantage of Jacob stopping at a mostly obscured stop sign just a very short ways down the road from where Daniel and Jack were walking, grabbed her purse, glaring at Amber, and slipped out of the van, too, to make Daniel get back in.

Jack could go hang.

Rolling his eyes, Jacob motioned Teal'c back inside.

As soon as the dark man was seated, Cassie climbed into the seat next to the door and shut it on Jacob's command.

"What about..."

"Let 'em all walk."

As soon as he heard the click of the door, Jacob gently put the van back in motion.

"Get buckled, Cassie. We're gonna stop for something to drink and then we'll meet them at the hospital. I doubt Daniel will be leaving those two in the dust now."

"Why did they get out?"

Amber moved into the seat Janet had vacated, reaching over and buckling Cassie's seatbelt when it stuck and the girl began to get frustrated with it.

"Jonathan says he got out because I got some decent shots on him."

Jacob turned, his brow furrowing.

"You're the one throwing stuff?"

"I hate it when people slam on their breaks and it was a way to get Janet to stop glaring at me every chance she got. Like it was my fault Jonathan died or something."

"Jonathan, you know where the Goa'uld is?"

"Peri? She's still attached to Teal'c. She needs to get attached to Jonathan if there's going to be any chance of her getting her body back."

"Can she do that? Take her body back?"

"I assume so. That's how the paramedic took back his body when Carter booted him."


Amber paused, realizing Jacob didn't know what she was talking about.

"I thought someone told you..."

"I've been hearing bits and pieces, but I was waiting until I could get Sam alone to talk to her about what's happening now."

Amber immediately froze, her eyes widening.

"You mean, you don't know...any of it."

Teal'c exchanged a look with Amber, before looking back to check on CassandraFraiser.

This would be difficult to explain.

"JacobCarter, your daughter was forced out of DoctorFraiser shortly after ColonelO'Neill was killed."

Jacob immediately turned onto a side road, pulling into an empty driveway.

"And no one thought it important to relay this information?"

"More than likely, everyone thought someone else had done it. I'm so sorry."

Jacob looked back at Amber, seeing no expression on her face, but hearing locked up emotion in her voice.

The way she was now accepted as part of the group had surprised him, given the previous hostility between her and the others, but he'd realized quite a few things had happened since he had left the first time so he hadn't questioned it.

Now, he wondered what else he hadn't been told.

*They did not deliberately keep this from us.*

*I don't care. I've been sitting here making plans and all the time, they were impossible since she's not even inside Dr. Fraiser anymore. Kinda hard to show her the new facilities we've captured and watch her light up at the chance to examine and take apart Goa'uld technology if she can't even touch the stuff.*

*I am most sympathetic.*

"Carter tried to go back into Janet and inadvertently walked into a passing paramedic. She took his body, forcing him out. Jonathan convinced the man to take his body back and when he did, your daughter was pushed back out and into Janet...only instead of going inside Janet, she umm...stuck."


Jacob winced, momentarily distracted by a sharp twinge inside Selmac.

*What's wrong?*

*Nothing. The pain was to alert me that fertilization has finally occurred. We will have fifteen strong and possibly another thirteen weak. We will need to return to the Tok'ra in order to birth them properly.

*I wasn't sure it would actually work. Umm...I don't think we should tell Sam, yet. Sounds like she's having enough problems without freaking about her old man and her half siblings...*

*She should know. It will lessen her shock if she knows before than if she finds out by meeting one of our young when it has matured.*

*I'm not even able to completely wrap my mind around this.*

*You are having doubts. I presented the details fully from the beginning and have included no deception.*

*Selmac, I know. I'm not doubting your word. It's like jumping out of a plane. You know all the details and you're as prepared as you can get, but still, the moment right before you leap, you realize what a truly bonehead decision it was.*


*No. I know the Tok'ra need these children and I'm glad we were able to do this. It's still...big.*

*I am honored you agreed to this. I assure you that I will do all I can to deflect any embarrassment from your daughter and any other who would not understand our need.*

*No prob. I'm just getting pre-birth jitters.*

*You will make an excellent Tok'ra teacher, Jacob. Do not allow your previous discord with your children to influence who you are now. That man no longer exists. Simply learn from his mistakes and teach them to others so they may also avoid them. This is not your fault, either.*

*I know.*

*The Tau'ri may be able to make use of the technology we have developed as well. Their birthing methods are most painful.*

*No kidding. We'll talk to them about it once we're certain there aren't any side effects. Being the first Tok'ra to give birth in over four hundred years is a bit overwhelming.*

*The ability to asexually reproduce will eliminate Goa'uld dominance in numbers and the superiority of their Queens. Your fear is reasonable and so we should be fully monitored for the duration.*

*We'll leave either tomorrow or the day after.*

*Very well.*

"...and so the reason Daniel was laughing earlier is because she's bent over, though Jonathan said she's starting to pull out."

"I see. Well, I'm glad I know what's going on there...anything else that's happened?"

Amber paused, looking at Teal'c and raising her eyebrow to match his.

"I don't think so..."

"You are aware of DanielJackson's physical changes, are you not?"

"Physical changes?"

"Yes. At first, we thought he was simply becoming superhuman, but although he does have improved eyesight and speed, he's hypothesizing that his body has begun constructing a body for Jolinar's mental essence. That is impossible, scientifically, and I'm more inclined to believe that she's gaining more control over our realm, like Jonathan has and your daughter was developing before she entered Janet, but until we can perform sufficient tests, we won't know. That's why I am very glad we're going to the hospital lab, especially if they followed the recommendations I made when I first inspected it in..."

Amber trailed off when she realized the other four occupants were all staring at her and she couldn't hear anything in her mind.



"AmberCorvores, you are recovered."


Amber began to mentally panic when nothing but her own thoughts answered her constant mental query.


"I have not heard you speak so clearly for quite a time. It is good to hear you regaining yourself."

Amber stared at Teal'c as if he were some strange growth she'd never seen before and slowly, his words penetrated.

"I'm not the same person I was, but I am glad to be back in familiar territory."

Amber deliberately controlled her breathing, trying hard not to show her fear.

"You are no longer alone."

He wasn't actually gone, just around something that blocked his thoughts.

He couldn't be gone.

Not now.

"I know. I know I'm not alone. Thank you."

Teal'c inclined his head and after another glance at Cassandra, turned to face the windshield.

"Should we not begin the remainder of our journey to the hospital?"

Cassandra had been watching Amber intently and as soon as Teal'c had turned, realized something was wrong when part of Amber's mask relaxed a bit and her eyes darkened.

Cassie held out her hand and as soon as Amber automatically grasped it, turned and stared at the back of Teal'c's seat.

She didn't want to talk about it and she knew Amber wouldn't either.

* * * * * *

Daniel watched the van drive off and turned to see the two who had found themselves stranded with him.

"I'm not offering rides, if that's what you were hoping. I'll see you there."

"You're going to leave us here?"

"Well, I assume you'll walk and get there eventually. Like I said, I'm not offering rides."

Janet blinked and Daniel was gone, blurring his way along and then was out of sight.

"Well...yet another idiotic move. Wonderful."

Without a look at Jack, she started walking in the general direction of the hospital, not even considering hitchhiking the rest of the way.

Jack watched her go for a moment and then sprinted to catch up, Arlin's commentary in his head most unwelcome.

*Even Amber would be quiet and let me think.*

*She doesn't like you. She might hit me again.*

*She hit me, not you.*

*My body is the one that took the blow, so no matter who she was aiming at, she missed and got me.*

*I'll be diplomatic and not tell her that.*

*You said yourself that she's mad at you.*

*Mad, yes, but she doesn't hate me and as long as she's not bitter, we can fix this.*

*'re a ghost! How can you fix anything? You don't even exist anymore.*

*Oh, so what...I'm a figment of your imagination now? I don't have rights? What happened to ' I think, therefore I am ' ?*

*I don't know, but she's got a purse and that can be a lethal weapon and so far, she's been nothing but mean.*

*She's not always like that. She's got a temper, but after it simmers, it goes away and she thinks rationally again. Trust me. I know.*

*This is a bit worse than anything you've done before.*

*Exactly why I'm gonna try to fix it now. They'll send for us when we've been missing long enough.*

*I really don't wanna do this. Please don't do this.*


**Amber, you're quiet again. Still upset about not hearing every...Amber?**

*I don't hear her.*

*Me either.*


*That's think if you yell she'll hear you?*

*I don't know what to think. I don't understand any of this!*


*Ow! I'm getting a headache.*

*Don't worry, I just shoved a bunch of pink goo into something so that might help.*

*I'm not sure I like the way you describe things. I never paid attention to how Peri did things.*

*Yeah, well...*

"Janet, wait."

Janet paused for a moment, looked him up and down, and then resumed walking briskly down the sidewalk.

A small smile for a child on a tricycle noisily trundling by was the only softening in her expression.

"Janet, I can't hear Amber."

Janet stopped, sighing.

If he couldn't hear Amber, then a number of problems could be occurring.

His mental process could be aligning itself to the physiology of the Shifter and that might prevent telepathic communication, Arlin might be somehow disrupting it, something could be happening on Amber's end to quiet the connection, or the telepathic connection could have only been a remainder of the implant's opening of a previously closed off part of the brain and it just took awhile for the remnant ability to close naturally.

All these possibilities and more ran around her mind as she turned to face the body of a boy who housed Colonel Jonathan O'Neill.

"Then that's all the more reason for us to get to the hospital."

"I agree, but I think we should take a minute and talk before something else..."

"Talk? Talk, Jack? Talk about what?"


"No, I'm not talking about this, because when I'm with you, I'm not myself."

"Not yourse...Jan, just give me a chance."

"Don't call me that. You're the only one who does besides my cousin and I don't like it when she does it either."

"Fine. I won't call you Jan. Now will you listen?"

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