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The Chaapa'ai's activation chilled Shae'ris and she could only hope her brother had been freed from his demon and had fled to another world as this one was about to meet its new rulers.
She had no doubt Heru'hur would torture everyone he found there, unwilling to leave even a small home untouched by the fires his army would spread across the planet.






*Amaunet, be silent. You are like a child.*


*Your voice is unwanted.*



*I will not be silent, you...insolent, ungrateful, pitiful human. You are nothing without me.*

"Does your weakness trouble you, our child?"

Shae'ris tried to keep the disgust she felt from showing at Hathor's almost motherly approach to her, now.
Her weakness had become increasingly agitated at the way Hathor had referred to it and even now, would not give Shae'ris a moment's peace.
Constant wordings of impotent power swirled through her mind and many times she was tempted to use her good hand and physically rip the horrid creature out of her just to know a little bit of quiet, but then she would hear all of the other voices...the Jaffa reporting, Hathor encouraging her son, and Heru'hur's rare, but confident replies.
He didn't speak often...not because he was shy, but because he only felt the need when his words would add something to the quiet.
Shae'ris' fearful respect for Ra's son was boundless and her earlier bravado was failing miserably before the strength of the duo before her.
Amaunet's ravings were becoming almost mad, as if she could not stop for fear of realizing how small and helpless she truly was.

* * * * * *

Misheille itched.
She was slightly allergic to the makeup and had begun to puff up, her face swelling.

*Even if they were to pull it off they wouldn't be able to ID us for a week.*

*You're the one who wanted to pass as a boy.*

*Well, even if Arlin does rat on us, they'll hardly expect someone they've seen regularly from day one, now would they?*

*Anyway...just be glad Dr. Warren isn't here. He knows...*

"Hold it, right there."

Mish froze as a pointy feeling centered itself in her back.

*Arlin ratted.*

*You guessed that, too.*

*We're dead.*

*Naw, we just blame it all on your dad.*


*Oh c''s not like they'll ever catch him. By the time they even try, he'll be in someone else and he'll get us out. Follow the rules. When caught, blame dad.*

*I have never approved of those rules.*

*You've never been caught before. You heard what Kaden said about what secret military installations do to prisoners...I mean, just look at what we did to those Roswell threats. They were gonna invade us and see? Now they know we're not gonna just take that sitting down.*

*I still don't think they were the threat Father thinks they are.*

*Your dad might go illegal, but he'd never hurt innocent people, no matter what race.*

*What about O'Neill?*

*You heard Hagar. O'Neill messed him up and made it where the Ashrak almost got him, not to mention refusing to tell him where your mom was.*

*What about Dr. Corvores? She's done nothing.*

*And nothing bad's happened to her. I'd give anything to be in her shoes right now...linked to someone with all that information and have you seen O'Neill? I mean, I know you looked at the pic, but did you really see him? For an old guy, he's not too bad...*

*You are a hormone, Mish. I don't know who mistakenly classified you as a human female, but you are nothing more than a conniving, evil, hormone.*

* ya, too.*

"Tell General Hammond we have another possible."

"Yes, sir."


*They're on alert and probably holding anyone that doesn't quite match.*

*Mish...don't do that.*

*Hey...what's the point of having technology if ya can't use it?*

Onar's protests were ignored as Mish swung around, her hand slipping into her labcoat to pull out a small stinger when a discharge sent her to the ground, shaking uncontrollably as multiple waves of energy pulsed through her body, electrifying her nerves.

"Amend that. Tell General Hammond we found the expected intruder."

* * * * * *

"Are you sure he can be trusted?"

"Yes, sir. Colonel O'Neill's able to literally extract information from his mind at will, with no ability on the host's part to stop him. It confirms that when it takes the time to do so, a symbiote can learn and act like it's host should it decide to do so."

"You realize we can't bring charges of an alien conspiracy against the President. We'd be laughed out of the military."

"Sir, I don't know what you want to do with this information, but I'm bringing everyone over there and I'll just examine Am...Dr. Corvores on the base. I need to look at those Asgard and see if the Colonel is able to get any information that might help me as I go."

"I see. Well, I can contact a few...friends...and we'll take care of it as best we can."

"Yes, sir."

George smiled a bit, noting the "I really would rather not know anything else" tone in the doctor's voice and he let it drop.

"Where's Cassandra?"

"I called Misty and she's picking her up in oh...another five minutes. They're heading to the movies and apparently a small party so Cassie'll have some other influence besides our group. Sir, she's going to need counseling as soon as possible. The Colonel's death has severely set her back again."

"I'm not surprised. We'll set that up as soon as you're here and have the time to do so unless you're planning to bring in a different doctor."

"Actually, sir, I think Dr. Perski would be a good choice. We brought her in to help with the two children who were abused by Lt. Bersin when she was infected by the flower pollen on..."

"I liked her. She's a good choice if you can get her. I tried to convince her to join our staff fulltime, but she insisted that because she specializes in child psychology, she'd be just another scientist hanging around until something right up her alley came along."

"That sounds like her. I think keeping her on retainer is the best option so she'll stay on top of Earth's problems as well."

"How is everyone else?"

"Jacob's uncomfortable at the moment, though I think he should be the one to tell you why, Col. O'Neill's going through a very traumatic moment and his host is, as well. I'm not sure what the Shifter's going through, though the Colonel insists she's the only good one of the bunch...his words, not mine, Sam's happy to have been able to pull out of me, and sir, I really wish you would find a way to do something special for Teal'c. He's been...amazing through all of this. He's been a rock, even though I know he had to have been experiencing horrible feelings of loss when the Colonel died. He's also seemed to have bonded with Dr. Corvores...a few strange bonds there, actually."

George, trying to stop wondering what could be going on with Jacob nodded, even though she couldn't see it.

"I'm very glad I was wrong about Teal'c."


"Uh...ask Dr. Jackson when you have a moment alone with him and I'm sure he'll explain the concerns I had. In the meantime, how much control does Capt. Carter now have? I could really use a good computer whiz right about now. The iris is still malfunctioning, even though we were sure we had it completely fixed. I've recalled all SG teams and will be putting all missions on hold until we're certain it's not going to kill another team."

"Kill, sir?"

"Yes, it didn't open completely and only parts of the team came through. To ensure no one else hits a partially or completely closed iris, we alerted offworld teams the Gate would be offline for a day and the iris was removed. That means, as you know, that we're having to post full military defense teams in the Gate room on a twenty-four hour basis."

The silence on the phone didn't surprise him and he leaned heavily onto his elbows, allowing the desk top to prop him up until she was ready to talk again.

"I'll...pass that on, sir. I think the Colonel will be very interested."

"Good. Call me if there's a problem. Otherwise, I'll expect you to be here within the hour."

"Yes, sir."

* * * * * *

"Kill, sir?"

Jack sat up, listening to the strain in Janet's voice.

He lifted an eyebrow as she went very still, her jaw tightening as she finally met his eyes and he sighed, wondering what else she'd found to blame on him.

"I'll...pass that on, sir. I think the Colonel will be very interested."

The double entendre wasn't lost on him and he was tempted to slip out the door, but since that was exactly was Arlin was pushing him to do, he knew he couldn't do it.

"Yes, sir."

As she hung up the phone, Janet carefully folded her hands on her desk, making sure each one was perfectly arranged before looking up at him.

"An SG team died while we were gone because Sam wasn't there to fix the computer. The iris didn't completely open and they...died...with apparently body parts coming through. Oh and of course, the Asgard were found and are in the infirmary along with Dr. Bre remember her, don't you?"

"Red head, bouncy...flighty...crush on Danny..."

Janet rolled her eyes.

"Mostly dead, on full life support even after receiving a massive blood transfusion that probably caused even more trauma. The Asgard were...feeding on her as far as the General can tell. "

Jack sat down, his heart heavy.

**It's not your fault. If we hadn't left, you wouldn't be dead, but you wouldn't be in Arlin with all of the information you now have.**

**If we hadn't left, Carter could have...**

**What? What could she have done? If we'd stayed, Janet would still be on suspension, I'd be on suspension, we'd be off base until...Monday...seriously...think about it. We're back almost exactly when we would've been back anyway...just a day later.**

**What exactly is your point?**

**If she's that hot to blame you and find things to blame on you, then she's not worth it.**

*Don't tell her that.*

*Arlin, I'm really, truly, not suicidal.*

*I don't believe you.*


"So...I should what? Fall down and apologize for killing those people? Tell Bre, I'm sorry, that if I'd been here and hadn't convinced my friends to go with me that she wouldn't have been hurt by the Asgard? Tell the Asgard...what...that I wish they hadn't been experimented on by descendants of the Goold? What, Janet...please inform this lowly, dumb man what he should be doing, feeling, saying..since I obviously can't get it together enough for you."

"This isn't about me."

"Yes, it is. I should be worried about my base, my men, my people, my job and instead, everything's tinged with what you think I should be doing. I'm sick of this judgement thing you've got going all of a sudden. You used to be so...comfortable."

As soon as he said it, he knew he was doomed and Arlin's groaning wasn't helping.
Amber's snickering just made him ill and he promised himself to give her a nice, swift kick as soon as he saw her.

"Comfortable! Like what...a couch? A chair? Furniture? Is that what you....oh I can't believe I'm saying all that. It's just too cliche. Egh..."

Jack peeked one eye open at her almost amused tone of voice, now totally confused.

"Weren't we about to have a Jack-bashing?"

"Yes...and it's the most ridiculous thing...I just realized how dramatic this is getting. I'm ready to thump you and it's like I can't even think. Out...out of my office and don't come back in unless someone else is with you., Colonel, are not good for my state of mind at the moment. I need five minutes alone and then I want everyone ready to go."

Her mouth curved at the way his hands were on his hips, his confusion turning almost indignant.

"Go. Out. Now."

Her pointing finger highlighted his ordered direction and obediently, to Arlin's relief, Jack turned and walked out the door, deliberately thunking his feet down with each step and ignoring the stifled laugh behind him.

**Amber, you're a hypocrite.**

**That's what friends are for.**

**No, friends are supposed to see things from the outside and give good advice.**

**Oh. Well, I figure sometimes you need to be told you're wrong and sometimes you need to be told you're right.**

**Ugh...women's so...bizarre...**

**Took us centuries to get that way, too. Just another hundred years, your grandson might finally be at the level I was when I was four...**

*You can't actually do that to her. It just doesn't work that way...if she defends herself, she'll hit me and I'm trying really hard to reason with you instead of just tell you what you should be doing unlike Amber, so you need to listen more to me than her, okay?*

**I will laugh at you for my next two lifetimes for having been stuck in not only a pacifist, but...**

Her giggling caught Daniel offguard and he stared at her a moment.
Amber clapped a hand over her mouth to stifle it and then blanked, trying to keep it all in.
He shook his head, cocking an eyebrow as he pulled on the t-shirt she handed him as they walked down the corridor.

"Can't believe that nurse took my shirt."

"It was dirty, apparently."

Daniel sent a wry glance at Jacob, earning a grin in return as they walked toward Janet's office.
Finally under control, Amber handed him his wallet and keys and stepped faster to take the lead.

* * * * * *

He picked up the clock and unplugged it.
The alarm continued.
His annoyance growing, he tried to shush Apophis' whining so he could turn off the alarm.
He pushed every button.
No change except that it seemed to be getting louder.
He jamed his finger across the buttons, slamming the sliding switch one way and another.
Still, the alarm rang on.
He pulled out the mesh covering the speaker, tearing it apart and sucking on his fingers when it left little gridmarks in his skin.
Frantically, he pushed on the buttons, sliding the bar, until he sat up, terrified and shaking in his bed.
Looking over, the innocent clock rang it's alarm, letting him know he needed to get up.
Sighing heavily, he reached over and turned off the alarm, giving into a moment's temptation and laying his head back on his pillow, nestling in it and enjoying the warmth and silence before heaving himself up and off the bed.

"Had to have been really tired to stay asleep through that."

He'd been working around the clock until the General had finally ordered him to sleep before he dropped.
It was only supposed to have been a two-hour nap, but instead it had lengthened into a six-hour nap with the alarm ringing it's heart out.
Sargeant E. F. Siler stretched his arms above his head before going into a warm up routine to get himself thinking and moving easier.
Syla Mason's smile mixed with computer and hardware problems in his mind and he concentrated on repetitions to clear his mind so he could then focus where he was most needed.
Not like she was interested, anyway.

* * * * * *

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