Page 42

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"Dr. Fraiser, can I help you?"
Janet turned to Corvores, trying to keep a straight face.
"No, thank you."
She then opened her office door and walked in, Daniel right behind her.
Corvores followed, only to be stopped by Janet.
*You're probably enjoying this just a tad too much,*
*Shush and let me gloat.*
"Dr. Corvores, can I help you?"
Corvores' expression didn't alter at all.
"Dr. Fraiser, you're under specific orders not to do anything infirmary-wise, unless as a patient."
Janet smiled sweetly and stepped forward until she was almost nose-to-nose with Corvores.
"So go report me."
Corvores' eyes did widen then and she stepped back out of the office.
Before she moved again, Janet firmly shut the door in her face.
"Everyone can just try getting me out of here now."
Daniel collapsed into Janet's chair, laughing.
"Janet, you truly have an evil streak. As much as I know you want your job back, I have to admit I'm glad you won't be practicing on me."
Janet sighed.
"The infirmary is not slang for Hell, Daniel. You've got to get over this allergy you have to it."
"It's not that...well, not just that."
"What then?"
"I just have waking nightmares at the thought of you getting ready to give me a shot and Sam taking over right before the needle enters me. took the Hippocratic Oath. Sam didn't. Pincushion practice is what first comes to mind in that situation."
Daniel was still chuckling when he looked up into Janet's wide eyes.
All amusement drained out of him as fast as the color had drained out of her.
"Janet, I was joking. Here. Sit down."
Daniel got up and gently pushed her into the chair.
Janet looked up into his eyes.
"I know you were joking, but do you think that's why the General removed me from infirmary duty? I mean, I can understand him being concerned Sam would fly into one of my patients or something or my impaired judgement for now, but you don't think he's lost confidence in my ability to function as a doctor permanently..."
"No! Janet, I'm sorry...I didn't mean..."
Daniel went down on his knees in front of her, getting as upset as she was.
The door opened, Martouf, Teal'c, and Jack walked in at the same time.
Closing the door behind him, Jack took in Daniel's stiff posture and then looked at Janet and inhaled abruptly.
"What's wrong?"
Janet folded her arms and hugged herself to steady her emotions.
*Janet, stop it. The General is just taking precautions and your staff is being a bit over-zealous in following orders. That's all.*
*How can you be sure?*
Sam laid very still on the ground.
She'd been knocked down by a multitude of fear-driven thoughts racing one direction and then another in Janet's mind.
The one way to really get to Janet was to take away her ability to heal.
*I would've done the same thing in his place.*
Everything went still.
Sam breathed evenly, deliberately, waiting for what would happen.
Jack stepped behind Daniel.
"What. Is. Wrong."
Daniel looked away from Janet then.
"I made a joke about Sam and Janet took it seriously. Corvores really shook her up by taking all her stuff out of here and putting it all in Sam's quarters."
Jack stared at him for a moment.
Then he really looked at the desk.
All the pictures of Cassandra were gone.
He glanced over and didn't see Janet's overnight bag. He noticed Teal'c had taken up guard at the door and nodded to him.
"Corvores just came in here and took the Doc's stuff out. Just like that."
Daniel nodded glumly.
"Now Janet's wondering whether the General removed her from duty because he thinks he can't trust her and Sam not to play around during an exam or something."
Jack and Janet both started at that.
Then Janet smiled.
"That's exactly what all that boiled down to, isn't it? Sam's informing me I'm not allowed to have panic attacks anymore."
Jack sat on her completely uncluttered desk.
"You're as tired as I am. Well, as soon as the Tok'ra leave today, we all go to my place and stay there until Monday - General's orders."
Daniel scooted against the wall.
"Any conditions on that?"
Jack grinned.
"Oh yeah. Jolinar and Carter shut up anytime anyone might see the flashing eyes or hear the vocal thing. Also..."
Jack trailed off dramatically.
"The General has just posted an official order. One that I thought for sure he was joking about, but I just saw it, in print."
Janet made an encouraging motion with her hands.
Jack cocked an eyebrow at her.
Grinning, Jack paused one more second.
"I quote, "Colonel, for the next month, no one in this facility is to refer to anyone's backside as anything but "tush."", end quote. That, by the way, and I asked to make sure, includes all slang references."
Jack looked around, easily seeing that not one of them believed him.
"Fine, go ahead and say something else in front of the General. I read it and it clearly states anyone violating the order gets to clean the Commissary, giving those who normally have that pleasant duty paid vacation, until the end of the month."
He saw doubt enter their eyes and that was enough.
He definitely wanted that order archived in triplicate under a couple hundred filenames so that no one would ever forget the precedent Hammond had set.
Just wait until the next time he was in charge.
No more, "With All Due Respect, sir, I can't see General Hammond authorizing that, sir.
Well, they'd probably still say it, but now he had something to say back besides simply pointing out their rank was lower and he was in charge.
Janet looked at Daniel, grinning at him as Sam swore repeatedly, daring Janet to report her.
*You idiot. Of course I'm not going to report you. Then I'd have to work.*
Sam grinned.
Daniel, after having answered each of Jolinar's questions on the subject was already fed up.
He didn't curse that much anyway, so it wasn't really going to effect him.
He'd probably enjoy hearing seasoned soldiers say it, although he really figured the Commissary would probably be populated with soldiers who didn't believe the order, so he wasn't going to actively listen for anything.
*You ready to talk?*
*I thought Selmac would be here.*
"Jack, is General Carter coming?"
"Nope, he's in closed session with Hammond. Tell Martouf and us and we'll either fill him in or Martouf can."
*Yeah, okay.*
Martouf sat down so he was on the floor in front of Jolinar and beside Janet's feet.
Jolinar took a deep breath, the reality of what she was about to say hitting her again.
Daniel, for the first time, was allowed to see it.
What he saw shocked him silent in horror.
"I can finally speak of this. I was not sure I would be able to relive it, but the Tok'ra need this information."
Martouf took his wife's hand, squeezing gently in support.
Jack grimaced, but didn't say anything.
Daniel had been avoiding him pretty successfully up until now, using Janet and Carter as go between.
That would change.
Janet curled herself into her chair, trying to relax instead of react to the tension flowing off of Jolinar.
"I had only just left the Tok'ra, and Martouf, for a information retrieval mission on a planet held by Heru'hur, when a malfunction in the Chaapa'ai caused me, as well as the three operatives with me, to land on a planet that was barren of life. Corpses of a species I have never before seen littered the landscape. They looked as if they had been eaten from the inside out. They were the only things I saw until a dark line on the horizon became visible. As it came closer, I realized it was made out of living members of this species. They were eating the dirt. That's when I noticed the ground was substantially lower all around the platform on which the Chaapa'ai was perched. Small plants were visible along the edge of the platform, making me think these creatures had eaten everything in layers. I had a vision of them eating the planet in waves until nothing was left...although I doubted at the time they would go that far."
Jolinar shuddered.
"The Chaapa'ai activated. We prepared to leave, but Tar'gre moved closer to look at the beings. I warned him to get through the Chaapa'ai, that we were expected, but he tried to talk to them. As I watched, hundreds of the beings fell to the ground. For each one that fell, a thousand or more miniature ones burst out of the fallen body and joined the larger ones. They reached Tar'gre and ate him as if he was the dirt they had been steadily ingesting. They did not leave his clothing or weapons. They ate it all. They reached the platform edge and split around it, not even looking at us. I can only assume they either cannot consume Naquadah or it is against their beliefs to eat the Chaapa'ai or perhaps it is their means of travel as well. I cannot be sure."
Jolinar hesitated only a moment.
"I had assumed they were not sentient. That they devoured everything and that was all they were. Only instinct. I reported their existence and put them from my mind as best I could."
Janet's eyes flashed and she looked a bit off for a second before speaking.
"What did they look like?"
Jolinar glanced around her.
"If you will give me a pencil and paper, I will draw it. I was inside a quite remarkable artist for awhile, and although she used technology that is far superior to your own, I learned much from her.."
Jack rolled his eyes and tossed her a pencil as Sam handed her some paper and a hard book to use as a surface.
They all re-positioned themselves to get a better look as she sketched.
Jack noticed a bit of Daniel's rather trademark shading techniques, but decided not to goad her about using information from a primitive Tau'ri.
The picture was looking a lot like a bi-pedal dragon-type.
Martouf was looking at her in concern.
"I do not understand why this has upset you so greatly."
He noticed the surprised attention he'd attracted and hastened to explain.
"She reported this. As tragic and interesting as it was, I do not understand why you are referring to it again."
Jolinar looked up again.
"Because I saw them again, but different."
Jolinar bit her lip, trying to describe it.
"This is what they looked like when not inside someone else."
Seeing everyone's confusion, she sighed.
"I was distracted during the battle in which Rosha was wounded beyond my ability to repair. I was distracted because it was not a clean battle, us against them. Many on my side suddenly turned and began killing us. We would have defeated Apophis and the other Goa'uld allied against us, we were that good, except that I lost over half of my people to my own people. It was all I could do to call a retreat and get through the Chaapa'ai. Only two others had gotten out before I did. I do not know where they went."
Jack looked disgusted.
"Okay, so you think these...aliens...bribed your people into betraying..."
"No! They were you call them."

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