Page 23

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Jack found Daniel immersed in the largest books he'd ever laid eyes on.
Only a few were in English and as thrilled as he was to see Danny researching like normal, the thought of what he needed all those books for promised a very long explanation.
Debating whether to sneak back out or not, he inwardly winced when the decision was taken out of his hands.
"Jack! I may have found a way to contact Sam."
Shock and pity filled Jack as he looked into Daniel's determined eyes.
"I knew the rock formation on P4X-75H2 looked familiar. The goa'uld threw me off a bit because of it's placement in the rock, but I knew I'd seen a picture of that formation."
Jack sat down, fearful of having his hopes raised just to have them dashed again.
He really missed Sam.
"Okay, Daniel. Tell me how we can contact Sam."
Daniel paused.
"Ummm...well that's a different ritual and I haven't fully finished translating it. The archaeologists that found the inscriptions that detail it weren't able to translate it because they'd never seen the goa'uld language before. Teal'c's helping on that one, but..."
Jack felt sick.
"She's gone, Daniel! Why can't you just accept that she's gone and get on with your life!"
Daniel paled and shut up as Jack forced each word out.
"Do you think you're the only one that's died inside because of this? The general, Doc, me...I can't imagine what Carter's dad's going through...we all lost a piece of ourselves when Sam died..."
Daniel opened the book and in deliberate contrast to Jack's loud, pain-filled words, he spoke softly.
"I know. I'm sorry if it doesn't seem that way, but I do know I'm not alone here. Jack, if she'd died, I would've hurt and eventually gotten over it, but I think she was removed from her body differently. I think she was separated from it mentally before her death."
Jack narrowed his eyes at him.
"You're trying to link the bright light to her again, aren't you?"
Daniel sighed.
"I think the light was a side effect of what happened. I'm not even going to pretend to explain it, but did you read the latest update SG-13 and SG-9 gave on P4X-75H2?"
Jack rubbed the point between his eyebrows.
"No, I've been a bit busy and I wasn't especially happy with that particular planet in the first place."
Daniel grimaced a bit.
"Yeah, I know, but by my request, they took a look at the temple."
Jack glared at him.
"I thought your request was just to go back and get the big pieces of technology and stay out of the temple!"
Daniel took a step back and then raised his chin.
"It did and they didn't enter the temple, they just looked at it to confirm my theory."
"What could a bunch of busted rocks tell you that being there didn't?"
"That's just it, Jack. There are enough busted rocks to show the destroyed temple we went inside, but there's also a brand-new, old-looking temple right smack in the middle of the new debris. When we first went to it, there were a lot of rocks around, as if something had been destroyed and then the temple was in the middle. I think a previous temple had been destroyed..."
"Okay...that's definitely weird and I'm sure you have some fascinating theories to explain it, but what does it have to do with Carter?"
Daniel's exasperated expression only gave Jack a second's guilt before the fear that he was about to go looking for Sam in vain again squashed it.
"The text that pictures the temple was found in Southern Africa about 4 years ago..."
"Ummm...those books look a little older than that."
"Exactly! I found an earlier reference to it in a European mystic's reference..."
"A what? Nevermind...what did it do to Sam?"
"The temple separated her..."
"Did it separate you from your eyes, too?"
"No, Jack...Dr. Corvores came by earlier and showed me how when she experimented with the substance the rocks were made of on the retinal tissue they took last year, it changed it. It didn't affect anyone else like that because no one else had had their eyes healed by the sarcophagus repeatedly. My eyes never fully returned to normal and so when the 'whatever-it-was' hit me, it affected me differently. Not only my eyes are changing, although nothing else was obvious at the time."
Jack just stared at him, not-so-happy memories whisking behind his eyes of Daniel's addiction.
"You mean you're getting addicted to this..."
"No! I mean, I don't think so and neither does Corvores. She thinks that my body is fixing itself according to the basic DNA structure in my cells. My eyes weren't meant to be messed up, something caused my eyesight to fail after birth, so my body is simply reverting to it's proper state."
Jack tried not to look as doubtful as he felt.
He was totally out of his league when it came to genetics.
"So you're saying you're turning into the perfect human being?"
Daniel shrugged.
"To be honest, I'm scared. I mean, I can see fine without glasses now and that's new, but I'm very uneasy what will happen when Maybourne finds out."
Jack grimaced.
"Oh...Corvores knows it was you that sent that card to Maybourne."
Daniel's eyes widened until Jack thought they might actually pop out.
"How'd she figure that out?"
"Apparently, Maybourne thought she was serious and wrote her back."
Daniel's mouth twisted in half a disgusted grimace and an amused grin.
It wasn't very pretty.
"My thoughts exactly. Anyways, she narrowed it down to you and Carter and unless you're going to blame Sam, you're dead."
Daniel sighed.
"Figures. Anyways, we have to go to the infirmary and get Sam's body for the ritual so I'll get back to..."
Jack figured Daniel couldn't possibly be talking about actually doing the whole 'raising Carter from the dead' ritual.
"You obviously haven't thought this out properly. To get her body for anything you'd have to request it. You can't just take it. Plus, something happened to the head..."
Daniel turned white.
"What? What happened to it? We have to fix it for the ritual to work."
Jack felt ill all over again.
"I heard Doc Fraiser talking to one of the nurses about the advanced state of decay the head was in and apparently some chemical reaction to some substance caused it to fall apart and I really think I'm finished with our current conversation topic."
Daniel sat down heavily in the chair.
"I can't believe it. I finally find a way to bring her back and some stupid accident happens to stop it."
Daniel gave a short, choked laugh.
"Murphy's Law. The one, true constant in the Universe."
Jack sighed, very glad he hadn't allowed his hopes to raise again.
"Listen, the funeral's tomorrow and you are attending with me."
Daniel glared at him.
"Why? So I can listen to everyone talk about how dearly departed she is?"
Jack's soft reply went where his yelling had never gone.
Daniel looked up and saw Janet standing in the doorway.
Jack turned, noting she'd obviously taken extra care with her appearance.
You could hardly tell she'd been crying.
Janet shook her head, a small smile gracing her lips.
"I need Daniel to go through some more tests. I want to track the scars on his lower back. The rate at which they heal could tell us how far this thing is going."
Jack raised his eyebrows at Daniel.
"Gee...too bad. Looks like you're going to be with the Doc for awhile."
Janet smiled fully for the first time since Sam had disappeared.
"Colonel, I want you to report to the infirmary to have that shoulder looked at. You apparently missed your scheduled check-in today."
Jack cocked his head at her, wishing he could tease her out of it, but he knew she had no problem going to the General about his health.
Sighing in defeat, he started to step by her when the alarm for off-world activation went off.
Daniel jumped to his feet and both men raced out of the room, glad to avoid the infirmary for a little longer.

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