*You're sure you're not doing anything different.*
*I am not. This sensation is most unpleasant.*
*Yeah...I know. Janet'll figure this out, though.*
Janet glanced at Daniel, worry etched in her brow as she led the entire group to the
infirmary, glad Cassie had earned a clean bill of health at the hospital.
"Janet, will you please ask Teal'c to stop walking, sandwiched between two people at any given time?"
Although she didn't expect to see anything, Janet couldn't resist turning around and look back in the direction of Sam's voice.
"Teal'c, you need to make sure there's enough space around you right now. Sam's being pulled through people..."
"No, I'm constantly flying through Teal'c cuz I can't take the chance of taking over other bodies. Peri's passing right through them just fine, but that's probably because her body's still available or else because she wasn't in the Temple with us."
Teal'c stopped, though Janet was unsure whether he'd stopped to accommodate Sam or because they were waiting for the elevator to deposit it's cargo on another level and come back
up for them.
"I'm not saying you shouldn't join the Tok'ra."
"You just think I'm running away."
"It's not my place to give you any advice on that."
Daniel's incredulous glare made Amber fight to control her amusement.
**No, he won't.**
*Are you sure? Jack thinks he might...*
*Will you please stop telling her what I think. If I want her to know, I'll tell her.*
**Don't worry, Arlin. We'll just pop over to Cimmeria and hammer Jonathan right on out of you.**
*Promise? I'm sorry! Jack, really...I am!*
Amber rolled her eyes at the panic in
Arlin's eyes, straightening up as soon as the double knot stayed in place.
*O'Neill must be suffering greatly.*
*And naturally, you wanna help him.*
*Our link must be failing.*
*As was my response.*
*Stop speaking with Amber and address Martouf.*
Daniel stepped into the elevator, wedged in the far corner between Jacob, Arlin, and Janet as everyone crowded in and the Airman took them to the Infirmary level.
*Martouf's sticking pretty close to Teal'c. Sam must be in misery right now the way she's having to stay inside him.*
*No ounce of give in you, is there?*
*I have much mercy.*
*It's okay, Jolinar. I'm not changing my mind. You don't have to pretend to be nice to people you don't want to.*
*You are having doubts.*
*I always have doubts. I can't think without having doubts.*
*Peri isn't doing anything anymore. When did she stop thrashing around?.*
*She is unimportant as long as she has no host.*
Daniel closed his eyes and projected a mental image of Jolinar to glare at.
Sam kept her eyes closed, scrunching them as much as possible, and waiting for the first tug that would let her know she needed to open them and move.
*Martouf must be outside.*
The dryness in his voice made her smile and she opened her eyes, unable to see Martouf anywhere.
*Do not rush. He will take this body back as soon as he thinks of it. Until then, I wish to speak with you.*
*I miss...speaking with you, but I know Jolinar gets upset when I spend any time with you or Martouf. I try to give all of you space.*
*Jolinar is inside a host I find physically appealing, but he is also rude, annoying, selfish...*
*He's my friend.*
*That is one reason I wish to speak with you. Why would you be friends with such as that?*
Sam turned around, enjoying the freedom of
movement as she looked around, both for Peri and Martouf.
"Whatever it is that gives you and your friends this ability...we need to hide it. My father would stop at nothing if he realized just how completely immortal you are."
"You know what's been going on?"
"Yes. When inside a host, the only things I can hear are the body's automatisms. Outside, however, I can hear everything. I have never been outside a host for so long. It was terrifying and I never want to do that again."
Chaos and confusion reigned as
everyone tried to figure out what had happened and who was in which body now.
Jonathan's mental retort was wordless, but very clear and she suddenly realized she felt him...and heard him...only him.
**Yeah, I know. No, I don't know...yeah, okay. So if I'm in a body, we only hear...**
**Yes, and if there's too much distance between us, we can't hear through...well, I don't know if it's physical since this originated when you had a body, so more than likely, it's the fact that it's not your body...**
**Theory's full of holes.**
**I know. I don't understand it.**
**I don't know.** "Where's Arlin?"
Daniel's voice met hers, sounding distinctly tried.
"Jack's the only one who appeared...well, besides Martouf."
**So Arlin's fine.**
**No, he's not fine. When I got bumped, I heard his girly shrill until I was completely out.**
**Oh, you are so prejudiced. Not everyone has to be into Rambo and hockey.**
**I'm not into Rambo...Schwartzenegger, yes and I'm not doing that.**
**Well no, not while your leg is bisecting Janet's body. You must look ridiculous with your head sticking out her leg. I would hate to see everything upside down...**
**Yeah, you'd probably get confused.**
**Right, sure...umm...I don't think so.**
**If you die, right now, that's it. No telling what'll happen.**
**Maybe you'll be able to hear me in Heaven.**
**But if you just go to the Temple thing, then there wouldn't be any chance of this ever stopping.**
**That's completely hypothetical.**
**But I'm glad you want me to do it.**
Daniel looked around, unable to see Sam
or the Shifter and assumed they took Martouf and Jack's places.
A medic passing by had already started examining him as Amber stumbled forward, pushing Jacob and Martouf...or whoever he was now...backwards, followed by Janet and both women joined Daniel as he turned Teal'c over.
"It is in much distress."
Martouf and Jacob dragged Arlin's body with them as they left the elevator behind, barely noticing as it closed and left to ferry someone else, the airman calling for a full medical team as he left.
*The larva is most assuredly dying and Teal'c will also die. He will not leave you. He is your friend so you must kill him quickly.*
Daniel froze realizing Jolinar was serious.
*How could you ever tell me to do that?*
*He is honorable and does not deserve to suffer before joining us in this form of eternity. You are only delaying the inevitable and allowing him to endure great pain before his death. Reach forward like this and...*
*No! How could...no!* "Teal'c! It's gonna be okay."
"Teal'c! It's gonna be okay."
*He is Jaffa. Unless you procure a new larval Goa'uld for him, he will die...most painfully.*
*He's not gonna die.*
Amber ran her fingers across Junior as he fell limp, ignoring the gasp Daniel gave when she realized Arlin had a decidedly disgusted look on his face...except...
**Martouf's here and I don't see the snake, so I'm betting that's Carter.**
**Doesn't look like a Carter expression.**
**You're right...she might be upset, but she wouldn't be that disgusted with Teal'c.**
**She'd be talking, too. I'm betting that's Peri. Five bucks?**
**Yeah, sure. In my back pocket.**
The sarcasm was acknowledged and ignored as Martouf spoke and his voice became eerie as everyone realized it was Sam.
"Medical team should be on their way. Daniel, help us up so that..."
"I'm in here with Lantash. Oh! Martouf's next to Janet."
Sam gave a wave, glad she'd found him, and then turned to Arlin.
"Peri's still in you? I just wanna make sure."
"Yeah, Peri's here and she's umm...she's pissed."
Arlin backed off, obviously not feeling the need to be any closer to the dying Jaffa or the limp Goa'uld in his hand.
Janet smiled a bit to show she was okay and Sam relaxed,
her eyes straying again to the Colonel and she began to feel incredibly self-conscious at the way she couldn't avert her gaze from him, but that just had to be uncomfortable.
"Teal'c, is there any way your larval Goa'uld is simply...asleep or in a coma and can be revived?"
Teal'c slowly shook his head, realizing fully what it's death heralded for him.
"So we need a new symbiote for you."
"Then that's what we'll get him."
George Hammond was a few steps behind the medical team, getting out of their way, but personally assessing the physical condition of his people and their guests.
"Explain what just happened here."
Amber started before anyone else, happily ignoring Jonathan's comments.
"As far as we can tell, and anyone pop up and correct me if I'm wrong..."
Amber ignored Jonathan immediately trying to pop up and do just that, but only succeeding in entrenching himself deeper into Janet.
"Capt. Carter and the Shifter, Peri, collided and now Peri's in her own body, Carter's in Martouf's body, and Jonathan's stuck in Dr. Fraiser. Martouf's...over there."
Amber waved in Janet's general direction since she couldn't see unless Jonathan looked and he was busy trying to figure out how Sam had gotten herself out of Janet.
"They, Sam and Peri, were apparently inside Teal'c when it happened so I would theorize Junior's demise to be connected, but, sir, we won't know until after an autopsy. If we could...?"
Daniel's exclamation drowned out Janet's pronunciation of Junior's death.
"What is it? Daniel?"
Sam stared, unable to speak and Lantash seemed similarly stunned as possibly the most beautiful man ever imagined lay before them, slightly out of phase.
"You don't think..."
The man's eyes were slow in moving at first, but then he smiled, pure evil filling them.
"Yes. I will accept that name until I choose a new one."
Amber closed her eyes as Jonathan projected his incredulous images of Junior to her.
"How can he choose a different form?"
"This is the host I would have had. Perfect, unblemished...suitable for someone of my power. I am not so weak that I would allow any of you to direct my fate."
Teal'c passed out, questions in his gaze before unconsciousness took over.
"Maybe...you could imagine yourself...some clothes?"
"I will not mar my beauty with your lower forms of modesty. If I find a garment worthy of me, I will then wear it."
*I can hear him!*
*Teal'c's immature larva. I can hear him as well as see him.*
Daniel's tingles became painful, feeling as if small, vicious miners were stabbing him with their pick axes over and over...mining his sanity.
*Daniel, you must relax. When you tense, the sensations worsen.*
*How can you hear him? Why couldn't you hear anyone before? Why can't I hear him?*
*I did!...oh, fine. Please.*
*I mean ask someone else. I do not know.*
*Oh. Ow!* "Janet...umm...help..."
His legs turned to heavy putty and he could almost feel them melting to the floor as nausea and
massive weight dropped across him.
"Can none of you go anywhere without dragging trouble along on a leash?"
Jacob snorted, pulling his daughter up off the floor, away from Teal'c's side, so she would be out of the way as white-coated, clean people rushed about, picking up the rest of SG-1 and company.
"George, how about we take those still alive and walking away from those who aren't in case it's a new contagion?"
The General rolled his eyes, waving along the group to the infirmary, but keeping his distance now...superstition starting to take seed. * * * * * * The Gate opened and the bouncing blue waves crashed against each other for a moment before
smoothing into a lightly rippling surface.
* * * * * *
The Gate opened and the bouncing blue waves crashed against each other for a moment before
smoothing into a lightly rippling surface.
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