Dead Man Kneels beside Osiris
 


 

Chapter Eighty

"Sir..."
"Amber was sedated by a male, blonde nurse. We both got a good look at him. I waited about ten to fifteen minutes, and then decided to ditch the infirmary. I went to Daniel's office, saw a package on his desk, and yes, Danny, you're gonna to be upset with me. I snooped, figuring Daniel had bought a new recorder already to replace the one you kamikaze'd, Carter."
Sam smiled at the memory, relaxing in the armchair Janet had dropped her into.
"Umm... I did buy a new one, but it's in my bag. At least it should be. I could've left it in my office, but it wouldn't have been in a package..."
"Daniel, it wasn't yours."
"Oh...how do you know?"
"Do you have access to an extremely classified mission de-briefing? Mine, from when I returned from Iraq to be precise?"
"Ah...no."
"I thought not."
"You'd be right."
"So the recorder you found when you went through Daniel's things had your debriefing on it, sir?"
Amber, bouncing back his own memories into his mind caught Jack's attention.
Not complete memories, just pieces.
Agonizing pieces.
"Sir!"
Jack snapped back, focusing on Janet.
He realized her hand was wiping away tears he hadn't known he was crying.
"I'm here. Sorry. Amber relived my memories...is still reliving some of them. Parts keep slipping from the wall she's built up and they catch me off guard."
"What memories do you have that could do this?"
Teal'c stepped forward.
"Prison memories, DanielJackson. AmberCorvores is reliving events that should not have happened in reality. She is unable to distinguish us from the Iraqi prison."
"Prison...that's what you meant when you said you'd been in prison."
"Yeah, Danny."
"How long?"
"Four months, but Amber doesn't know that."
"Sir?"
"Something you won't read in those medical files, Doc. They made me believe I'd been there for over a year...two years at times...then they'd tell me the truth, just to shake me up. They messed with my head. Why do you think I hate it so much when aliens mess with my head?"
Janet stepped back, the extra space a defense against the vehemence in his voice.
She knew she wasn't who he was upset with, but it still hurt.
*Doctor mode, Janet. Treat the patient.*
*Sam, I deliberately left out the section that dealt with the Colonel's incarceration in Iraq from the file you read. I knew it would kill you to read what he went through.*
Sam sat up, her eyebrows drawing close.
*What could he have gone through that we haven't gone through as a team?*
*It's incomparable to his state of mind when he got back, Sam. He didn't believe he'd actually been rescued until he was allowed to go home to his wife and even then he thought it was a hallucination induced by the drug injections they constantly administered, trying to lower his defenses. He became alcoholic and each withdrawal and re-hab experience re-traumatized him. I read the medical reports and then listened to the debriefing he's describing. They wanted me to be prepared when I joined the SGC.*
Sam couldn't make a sound, her heart was breaking for the man on the screen in front of her.
Janet snapped to attention.
"Okay, we'll modify it as needed, but we do this by the book. Colonel, I'm going to assume that this bedroom is pretty much the opposite of what your surroundings in prison were like. Yes?"
Jack chuckled harshly.
"Yeah, Doc, that's a safe assumption."
"Then we'll keep Dr. Corvores in here to lessen the chances of flashbacks caused by what she sees."
"Okay."
"Everyone watch for anything that triggers extra anxiety in her. It could be as simple as a pencil. Colonel, if you'll look around for us, removing anything you're certain will hurt her...what?"
"I can't move. She won't let me, but I can guarantee that the rug Sam hung on the wall at Christmas needs to go. No baseball bats...oh, and everyone with sneakers on needs to get them out. She may not react exactly like I did, but..."
"Sneakers?"
Jack flinched at the disbelief in Daniel's voice.
"I wasn't able to look at sneakers for awhile. Especially old ones. Got a problem with that?"
Daniel's voice caught in his throat at the angry shame in Jack's tone.
"Jack, I'm sorry. I have no idea what you went through. I'm not meaning to be insensitive."
Jack's breath caught.
"Ah, Danny...I'm sorry."
Daniel waved it off, carefully taking the rug off the wall and laying it in the hall.
Janet tried not to cry.
She'd counseled a few torture victims on SG teams, but no one who had gone through what the Colonel had.
"Dr. Fraiser, what do we do?"
Janet looked over at the General, knowing she had the best physicianal knowledge and was needed.
"We have to make sure she isn't re-traumatized while we find out what happened from her point of view. There isn't going to be any physical damage to evaluate, so everything will be psychological unless she causes herself harm."
Sam sat very still as words, sentences, and books flew around her.
She felt like she was frozen, wishing she were able to help.
*Relax, my mental aim has improved. I won't hit you.*
*I think I'll sit still anyway.*
Janet smiled briefly, and then turned to address the room at large.
"There's a very strong likelihood she'll develop Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Colonel was able to recover, but he's military. That difference between them may be important. There's no telling what her personality and training will help her to deal with. She's a doctor so I'm hoping that will help, but she will probably have recurrent, intrusive, and distressing recollections of her time in Iraq."
"She wasn't in Iraq."
Jack turned to Daniel, trying to keep himself under control.
"She doesn't know that, Daniel. She thinks she was...is there. There may even be a chance she'll get addicted to something like alcohol or drugs to try to get rid of the nightmares. Like I did. We're going to have to watch her like hawks."
Janet watched Daniel freeze, his eyes meeting Jack's.
She could see another piece slipping into place.
"When you said you knew what it was like. When I was addicted."
Jack didn't reply, his gaze fixed back on Corvores.
Daniel sat heavily, Jolinar's horror filling his mind.
She tried to keep her memories quiet, but he could see and feel both the torture she endured that decided her on joining the Tok'ra and the Harakash the Ashrak used to destroy her body.
Janet continued, laying her hand on Daniel's shoulder when she saw him shiver.
She didn't like what she saw in his eyes and decided to elaborate a bit.
"She may hallucinate, have dissociative flashbacks, physiological responses when exposed to anything that cues a memory, perhaps even have severe psychosomatic tendencies. We have to take away as much surprise as possible. Make sure she knows everything we're doing and want to do before we do it. Whenever possible, she has to feel in control...to counter the helplessness she felt during the imprisonment."
"She's not responding to anything right now, though."
"She will."
"Jack, how do you know?"
"Because I just saw myself getting rescued for real, even though I didn't know it was real at the time. She's almost through."
*Janet, flip back to the General.*
Janet turned, bringing Hammond into her line of vision.
He looked old, tired, and hammered.
She walked over to him, compassion in her eyes.
"Sir, maybe you could help Cassandra get drinks for everyone?"
Hammond jumped up, ready to do anything that kept his attention diverted for even a moment.
"I'll do that. What does everyone want?"
Jack shook his head, shaking it again as Janet opened her mouth to tell him to drink something.
"Amber'll want water, though, sir."
"Alright. Anyone else?"
"Sam and I already have our drinks."
"Well I don't. Sir, I'd appreciate a bottled water from the fridge."
Hammond nodded, turning to Teal'c.
"Water will be sufficient, GeneralHammond."
"Be right back then."
Daniel stood up, moving his chair so the General could slip out of the room.
"Jack, if you can't talk to her and there's a wall between you, how can she be re-living anything of yours. That would require..."
Jack sighed.

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