The members of SGC-1 and General Hammond patiently listened to a new mission briefing from the team’s civilian scientist, Daniel Jackson. Or at least, they attempted to be patient. Daniel had been downright twitchy for several days, drumming his fingers on the table and constantly moving as he discussed the possibilities of PFR-356. The team’s leader, Colonel Jack O’Neill, would have liked to grab him, hold him, and kiss him senseless until Daniel stopped fidgeting. He could imagine Hammond’s scathing lecture on such behavior, right before Hammond drummed him out of the Air Force. Finally, Jack couldn’t tolerate it. He grabbed Daniel’s hands and held them flat on the table.
“For chrissake, Daniel, what's wrong with you?” Jack colored his voice with irritation. In the curious logic of the military, Hammond would forgive his impatience with a perceived subordinate more than his concern for a lover.
Daniel shrugged and grimaced, the base’s fluorescent lighting reflecting off his glasses. “I don’t know. I feel restless, disturbed.”
“It is Obi-Wan,” Teal’c said calmly.
“How do you know that?” Jack demanded.
Teal’c arched an eyebrow at Jack, as if astonished that the Colonel had not made the logical deduction himself. “Daniel is responding to stimulus outside himself.”
“He may be right,” Daniel said, considering the suggestion. “But if it is Obi-Wan, it’s not like last time. He hasn’t been physically hurt.”
A control technician announced over the base's loudspeakers. “Incoming traveler. General Hammond, please report to the control room.”
Chevron 3 locked before the five reached the busy control room. They waited as the remaining 4 Chevrons locked into position and the Stargate whooshed its dimensional gateway to another world. None of the SGC teams were due back, so an unexpected traveler meant either an off-world team in trouble, or unexpected company.
As soon as the technician confirmed the incoming signal was Jedi, Hammond ordered the iris open and SGC-1 moved to the Stargate room.
Obi-Wan Kenobi stepped through the Stargate's shimmering silver surface. Daniel approached him, clasping hands and hugging him briefly, as did Sam. Jack and Teal’c restrained themselves to handshakes as the General asked, “Obi-Wan, dare I hope this time you have good news from the Jedi Council?”
“No, General, I’m afraid I am here without their knowledge or permission. I have come with a personal request of my own." The Padawan's effort to maintain serenity was obvious. "I need the assistance of the SGC-1 team. Qui-Gon..." He stopped, realizing he looked solely at Daniel. What had to be said must go directly to the General. Looking at anyone else implied a disregard for military chain of command. Obi-Wan turned and took a full step closer to the base commander.
"Qui-Gon has become Goa’uld.”
In the conference room, Obi-Wan wrapped his hands around a cup of hot coffee, as if squeezing a tangible object could vanquish the horror. “Your universe is so different from ours. The only connection seems to be a dominant human species, but we have no planet Earth. We have so many non-humanoid races that apparently never evolved in your universe that it astounds us. The Jedi researchers have been analyzing the information I provided from Daniel's memories, and comparing it to our own mythology and history banks. They found evidence of Stargates on a few planets in our own universe via descriptions of 'Great Silver Circles' that allowed instantaneous travel between worlds. They also found descriptions which fit Goa’uld, 'serpent monsters' which enslaved humanoid populations. Our researchers theorized that the Goa'uld were vanquished before they could take control. Perhaps by the original creators of the Stargates. Perhaps by the Sith.”
“Sith?” Jack asked in his ‘I’m clueless here’ tone of voice. Daniel shook his head at Jack, indicating that the Sith were an unimportant detour.
Obi-Wan continued without acknowledging the interruption, staring at the coffee's fluid surface. “It was believed that several Stargates may still exist on remote planets. The rest must have been destroyed. Qui-Gon and I were sent to explore Taberus, a planet rich with the Dark Side. It seemed most likely to have been a Goa’uld stronghold. The Council hoped it contained useful archeological information.”
“Okay, dark side?” Jack hoped his flippant tone would earn a small smile from Obi-Wan. He was wrong.
“Evil, pure evil.” Obi-Wan shuddered. “We landed on the planet in a small spacecraft. We found the Stargate but the dial-home device was destroyed. We were searching the deserted ruins of a nearby temple when it happened. I was several feet from Qui-Gon. I heard a noise and turned to see a Goa’uld spring from an animal and enter his body. I – I ran. I knew I couldn’t kill Qui-Gon and I doubted I could overpower him. Not alone.” Obi-Wan’s voice lowered as he confessed his shameful reaction.
Sam reached out and clasped her hands around his. “We understand, Obi-Wan, we’ve been in similar situations.”
The young Jedi didn't dislodge her hands, but his bitter inflection indicated he resisted her attempt at comfort. “Well, the Jedi Council haven’t. They’ve decided I’m a hysteric, that I’m unstable because of what happened with Daniel and again when I was brutalized. They sent another Master/Padawan team to retrieve Qui-Gon, even though I begged them to send more than two people.” His despair at his own actions and the folly of the Jedi Council was evident from his tone, which cut with pain's sharp edge.
“So what did you do?” asked General Hammond. “How did you get here?”
“I explored Daniel’s memories and took lessons from James Bond." He finally gave the attentive audience a tight smile but his eyes stayed grim. "I faked a message to the space port to have a ship prepared for me. It was rather ridiculously easy – the Jedi don’t protect themselves from within. I flew to Kalistan and traveled through the Stargate to you. Qui-Gon must be captured before he escapes Taberus. We have no time to waste.”
"General, we have to help." Daniel was the first to speak, still compelled by the loyalty forged in bonding with Obi-Wan.
Hammond raised a profound objection. "You have no idea how dangerous this man could be. He has Jedi abilities with a Goa'uld's ruthlessness."
Obi-Wan contradicted, "I don't know how dangerous Qui-Gon would actually be, General. I admit he is one of our best warriors. But much of Jedi abilities depend on training as well as a high midi-chlorian count. It's never been demonstrated that Goa'uld can tap into a host's learned skills."
Obi-Wan paused, marshaling his arguments. "Even if the Goa'uld can control the Force, Qui-Gon is used to working with me, having my support, and countering blaster attacks rather than gunfire. I believe with five of us, we can overwhelm him, if necessary wound him enough that the symbiont must concentrate on healing the host body. It's a violent action, but it may be the only way to capture Qui-Gon, keep him under control, and return him to Coruscant. I trust the Jedi healers will find a way to kill the symbiont."
Sam hesitated adding her suggestion, not wanting to imply the Jedi healers couldn't save Obi-Wan's Master. "Maybe we should return Qui-Gon to our universe, take him to Cimmeria and let 'Thor's Hammer' destroy the symbiont."
"I've thought of the Asgard device. The Council wouldn't believe me when I described what happened to Qui-Gon, despite what I've learned from Daniel about the Goa'uld. They can hardly deny the truth with a possessed Qui-Gon in front of them. Yes, I wish to save Qui-Gon. But just as importantly, the Council must realize the danger of the Goa'uld and that any and all Goa'uld on Taberus must be contained."
The General reflected while Sam and Obi-Wan discussed practicalities. He wanted to raise more protests. SGC-1 would be alone in a foreign universe, accompanied by an admitted fugitive, without support from the local government. Moreover, the mission would be to capture an individual who might be as easy to handle as Obi-Wan hoped, or more dangerous than any enemy yet encountered. Hammond studied his best team's eyes, one member at a time. Their determination to support the Jedi was plain. He believed sometimes command must know when to follow subordinates' orders. Risking everything was better than deserting Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. Hammond gave his consent with a studied nod.
The trip through the Kalistan Stargate was uneventful, the "jumping tracks" quirk working perfectly. Obi-Wan's 'borrowed' spaceship rested on the open ground close to the Stargate and lifted off easily, launching the five toward Taberus.
The rest had followed Obi-Wan on a tour after entering the ship but the Colonel's interest in examining ship designs and engines was limited. Instead he waited in a tiny communal room, sitting at the plain white table. Clearly the ship was designed for function rather than comfort. Living space was severely restricted, leaving five people feeling like three too many in the narrow corridors.
Jack hated waiting. Trust the military to be perverse - take energetic young college graduates, ready to be officers, teach them to both follow commands and lead others, to kill strangers, to think quickly under fire. And then teach them to wait, wait for orders, wait to arrive at the battlefield, wait for the support units, wait for enemy fire, sometimes wait and pray for the signal to retreat.
He stifled impatience, having surrendered to waiting as his only useful function. Thankfully, Daniel walked in and lounged on the bench next to him.
"Have a good chat with Obi-Wan?" Jack tried lightening the atmosphere, though his attempt to keep jealousy from his voice was not entirely successful. Falling deeply in love with Daniel wasn't wise, but Jack hadn't been able to help himself. He envied the unshakable tie between the scientist and the Jedi.
"He's teaching Teal'c the controls of this ship. He thinks someone else should know how to pilot."
Jack draped an arm around the man, pulling him into a casual embrace. His touch encouraged Daniel's admitting, "I think Obi-Wan will kill Qui-Gon rather than permit him to remain Goa'uld."
"A Jedi Goa'uld would be a nasty guy to have loose in anyone's universe." Jack wasn't particularly surprised at Obi-Wan's decision. He'd skimmed Daniel's report on the Jedi universe, deciding the chapters on trade dynamics were dull beyond military regs. He knew Jedi cherished peace above self. Killing Qui-Gon might be doing him a favor - the Master would hate to be imprisoned in his mind, knowing that his body was used for evil.
"To kill his lover - I don't know if I could kill Shau'ri," Daniel confessed.
"Shau'ri is one woman. She needs Goa'uld technology to be truly powerful. Qui-Gon has Jedi abilities. Hopefully, he doesn't know now, but sooner or later he'll figure out how to use the Force." The differences between Qui-Gon and Shau'ri's situations excused Daniel's hesitation in Jack's mind. "And Obi-Wan's a trained warrior."
Major Carter entered before Daniel could chastise himself for being a scientist rather than a warrior. He started to push away from Jack, but found himself clasped fast. "Sam already knows, Daniel. It's a little late for pretense," Jack assured.
The scientist shifted closer to Jack, relishing the chance to not lie. His life was conflicted enough, torn between Jack and Shau'ri. Maintaining the constant façade around SGC Headquarters was a drain on his emotional resources. Always knowing he couldn't touch Jack, couldn't smile too much, couldn't let his eyes linger on his lover's handsome face. At least, now, he could be himself on missions.
Sam opened cabinets, acting as if the exchange hadn't happened. "Obi-Wan said there was a drink which resembled cold coffee." Finding the container described by the Jedi, she lifted it out and waved it at the two men. "Want some?" After their nods, she located cups and began pouring, moving to sit at the table opposite them. "Sir, if I may ask a question?"
Jack would have liked to say no and avoid the Major's probing, but figured since he'd let Daniel handle the initial confession of their relationship, Sam deserved a crack at him. She smothered her curiosity at the SGC headquarters, but no one was likely to overhear them in space.
Taking his grimacing as permission, Sam continued, "I must admit I was surprised. I believe when homosexual relationships were mentioned in the past, the kindest phrase you tossed around was 'not appropriate behavior for the military'. And let's see - words like 'loathsome' and 'repulsive.'"
The Colonel squirmed, trapped by his prior statements. "I got burned once, okay? Look, in college, I had this one roommate and we... I was falling in love, I guess. Then one night we had sex and the next morning he pretended like it never happened. It really shook me up in a lot of ways. I felt betrayed.
"I like women, I knew I was entering the military. Suppressing that interest - just seemed easiest. So maybe I occasionally went a little overboard at fitting in. Sometimes I even made myself believe I had never felt that way." He decided to turn the tables, uncomfortable at exposing himself. "And may we inquire about your love life, Major? Since we're dealing with true confessions? Anything you want to share with your buddies?"
"No, sir. Not at the moment." Sam began rising, picking up her drink. "But if I ever jump Janet, I'll be sure to let you know." With that parting shot, she sailed out of the room, leaving Jack and Daniel trying to determine if she was serious.
Taberus was rife with the Dark Side in Obi-Wan's estimation, and the beautiful vegetation wildly overgrown, leaving many avenues for ambush. Like on many planets, the Stargate was located in a meadow, spacious enough for Obi-Wan to land his ship gracefully next to another spaceship of the same design. The alertness of SGC-1 could be observed in their stances, weapons at ready, eyes scanning the surrounding territory as they waited for Obi-Wan to explore the other Jedi ship.
Walking down the ramp, Obi-Wan shook his head, indicating confusion. He deactivated his lightsaber but kept it in his grasp. "No one is aboard. It appears functional. If the Master/Padawan team were successful in capturing Qui-Gon, they should have returned to Coruscant by now."
Teal'c uttered one of Obi-Wan's fears. "If they did not take your warnings seriously, they may have been captured or killed by the Goa'uld. Or became Goa'uld themselves. We do not know how many symbionts may live on this planet."
"I don't understand why the Qui-Gon Goa'uld didn't take the ship and leave the planet," Sam remarked. She'd temporarily hosted a member of the Goa'uld renegade group, the Tok'Ra. She intimately knew the quest for power that drove most Goa'uld. Being trapped on a deserted planet would not satisfy one of the symbionts.
"He's waiting for Obi-Wan." Everyone stared at Daniel, who appeared oblivious to their reaction, seeking inside himself for answers. "I can feel him. He knew Obi-Wan would return."
“That doesn’t make sense, Daniel.” Sam questioned, “How can you feel him if Obi-Wan can’t? And why would a Goa’uld care about a host’s apprentice?”
Worry touched Obi-Wan’s semblance of calm. “I’ve kept my shields up, hoping to surprise him. I should have realized that Daniel has no shields. Our prior bond must make Daniel vulnerable to Qui-Gon. But why the symbiont would want me – I have no answer.”
“Can he tell that the rest of us are here?” Sam asked.
“Jedi normally don't have the ability to register life forms from a distance. Qui-Gon can only sense me when my shields are down because of our bond through the Force. But now that he's touched Daniel's mind, he'll guess the rest of you are present.”
Jack blew a frustrated breath. This mission began foolhardy and was quickly going from bad to disastrous as they rushed headlong into danger. "And he'll know you're here because how else could we get here?" No one answered the rhetorical question. “Do we have any plan other than finding him and overpowering him?” As the Jedi shook his head in hopeless response, Jack continued, “you might as well lower your shields and point us in the right direction then. Unless Daniel can be our human compass?”
Daniel also signaled no with a shake of his head. “I can feel him. I can’t pinpoint a location.”
Directing his attention internally to the life-bond which linked himself to his Master, Obi-Wan stared sightlessly at the surrounding greenery. “He’s at the temple. The symbiont is in control but Qui-Gon is fighting him. That may give us an advantage.”
"To the temple it is then. Stay alert. Remember our best-case scenario – we have two allies wandering around this planet. Worst-case – there are now three Jedi Goa’uld. I’m hoping for best-case scenario myself. But I'll settle for five against one." With that optimistic proclamation, Jack headed in the direction Obi-Wan indicated.
Jack forgot to mention that any scenario might deteriorate into a debacle which would have been embarrassing under less dire circumstances.
The Goa'uld was easily found, not hiding his presence. SGC lobbed tear gas, though as Obi-Wan predicted, Qui-Gon held his breath through the fumes.
Separating, each entered the temple through different doorways breathing through masks to avoid the lingering acrid gas. The Jedi Goa'uld was calm, alert, and with one wave of his hand, people flew through the air like toys tossed from a child's fist. As the greatest threat, Qui-Gon slammed Obi-Wan hardest into crumbling bricks, rendering him unconscious. SGC-1 opened fire but the bullets ricocheted away, hitting a swirling energy field. Obi-Wan had guessed disastrously wrong about the Goa'uld's ability to control the Force. If anything, rather than being weaker, the Goa'uld used the Force even more vigorously than the Jedi Master. Teal'c was assaulted next, then Jack, and finally Daniel as the Jedi sneered contemptuously.
Seeing Qui-Gon effortlessly defeat her team, Sam's feet knew now was the time to restrategize. The Jedi Goa'uld controlled an immensely powerful Force, and Goa'uld were never hesitant to use force. She retreated through a half-collapsed temple doorway, flying across the overgrown grass to gain safe cover in the forest beyond.
Sam continued running until a stitch hit her side, forcing her to stop, gasping for breath, her gun cradled in her arms. Following Jack's final instructions before they stormed the temple was now more important than her teammates' lives. The last person had to return to the ships, destroy the engines enough to prevent take-off, and alert Coruscant. Surely the Jedi Council would listen to a strange woman from another dimensional plain telling the same story as Obi-Wan. Maybe the planet could be quarantined, confining Qui-Gon.
Calling on her military training, Sam slowed her breathing, calming herself enough to make sure she was heading in the correct direction. She cursed that they hadn't been pessimistic enough to set the ships' self-destructs. No one had truly wanted to believe Qui-Gon might be irretrievable. Shau'ri and her brother Skarra had fought their Goa'uld symbionts at different times to covertly assist SGC-1. The team all hoped Qui-Gon would be more resistant than the Abydons.
The thought that Qui-Gon might escape the planet with the Master/Padawan rescue team had driven SGC to move too quickly for logical preparations. Battles 'off the cuff' never went well in Sam's estimation and this one hadn't diminished that belief.
When the harsh noise of her own breath settled, Sam heard a step behind her and turned to see a stranger grinning at her. She smiled back with relief at the young woman, obviously a Padawan by her spiky black hair and braid dangling over one shoulder. At least one of the Master/Padawan team survived. Another Jedi could help her sabotage the ships and validate her story, thus improving her chances to force the Council into action.
Then Sam's abilities as a former host warned her, this Padawan encased a symbiont. Raising her gun took no more than a second, but that was a second too long. The Padawan lifted her hand and Sam's body flew through the air before connecting heavily with the ground.
Teal'c recovered first, finding himself bound in bands of Force energy. He rolled and struggled but could not free himself from the invisible ties. Qui-Gon's lean figure hovered over Daniel, patiently winding vine strands around his hands. A make-shift remedy, but Teal'c realized tight plant would be as limiting as rope, thus allowing the Goa'uld to cease the draining flow of energy. Obi-Wan's hands and legs were already tied; Jack's unconscious figure lay too far away for Teal'c to assess.
Sensing his motion, Qui-Gon crossed the temple, to kneel beside Teal'c. "You are awake," he said in an almost soothing tone, one hand caressing the Jaffa's cheek. "I am Karvas and your Master."
"I will serve no Goa'uld."
Karvas did not acknowledge Teal'c's words, but steadily unbuttoned the Jaffa's shirt, exposing the criss cross cuts in his abdomen that signaled the presence of a Goa'uld symbiont. His hands delicately traced the cuts as an expression of rapturous wonder crossed his face. "There has been so few of us for so long," he murmured, uncaring of his audience. Leaning forward, he ran his face over the incisions, licking delicately. "I shall put you in Obi-Wan." Karvas reflected a moment, seeming to communicate with the larvae, then shook his head, still lost in his Goa'uld meld. "No, you are too young. I must have an adult symbiont for my Obi-Wan." Qui-Gon's fight against Karvas had obsessed the symbiont with possessing the Jedi apprentice.
Teal'c tried to growl, to force the Master away from him, but the Force energy bands held him, hands tight to his sides. A voice whispered in his mind //Distract him. Give Obi-Wan time to recover... Or Sam to disable the ships.// and Teal'c realized that the scientist spoke to him. Risking a sharp glance, he saw that Daniel watched the scene with slitted eyes. Teal'c didn't dwell on Daniel's telepathic ability, accepting the logic of his suggestion. Delay was a valid military tactic.
"Are you warrior enough to fight me without your powers?" he snarled, challenging Karvas.
"I have already fought you and won." Karvas' smile mocked the Jaffa's feeble dare. "You are completely in my control." Karvas leaned forward, resting his body on top of Teal'c's, their faces only inches away. Long brown hair fell loose, touching the Jaffa's bald head on each side. "You shall obey me." Their lips met, Karvas' thinner lips forcing open the fuller lips of the Jaffa's. His tongue invaded, demanding Teal'c to respond.
Teal'c was startled at Karvas' actions. Not entirely at the sexual desire, since many Goa'ulds fully enjoyed all the human body's possibilities. In Teal'c's experience, the Goa'ulds rarely approached their Jaffa warriors, who would have been overwhelmed at the thought of mating with a god. Besides, the Goa'uld preferred the rush of dominating slaves. Here, in this universe, the system lords had never risen to power, his people were never enslaved if they even existed, and warriors never treated with a respectful distance. Teal'c was viewed as a potential slave, a body for Karvas' use until his larvae was old enough to choose its own host.
The revulsion at the thought of kissing a Goa'uld was suppressed. Time and distraction were the important factors. Teal'c concentrated on Qui-Gon rather than Karvas--on the Jedi's agile tongue seeking his own, the warm heat of his mouth exciting Teal'c's senses, too long suppressed by his concern with Earth's confusing sexual attitudes. Strong hands felt the skin of his head, traced the symbol of Aphophis on his forehead. The lips left his, the mobile tongue licking his cheekbones, discovering the sensitive earlobe. Teal'c could feel his breath increasing, his own arousal reacting to the delicate touch. He had never been dominated in sex; never known the thrill of being held down, a toy for his partner's use.
Qui-Gon - it was only Qui-Gon, the Jedi Master's capable hands exploring the heavy bunched muscles of Teal'c's chest, rubbing the ebony skin. That tongue again, on his nipples, suckling one while a blunt thumb rubbed the other. Teal'c tried to move, discovering that the bands were loosened by the preoccupation with sex. Rather than breaking away, he grabbed at Qui-Gon, caressing the strong planes of his back, stroking the small of the limber back, reaching further down to cup the tense cheeks through the linen of the Jedi's trousers. His hold was broken as Qui-Gon moved further down his body, finding the belt buckle, undoing the zip, exposing Teal'c's erection to vision and touch.
Qui-Gon savored the feel of Teal'c's powerful hardness, the curling hair surrounding the groin, caressing the heavy testicles. Thrusting into the Jedi's hand, Teal'c groaned harshly as Qui-Gon stroked his erection.
With one hand at the base of Teal'c's cock, Qui-Gon tasted the tip, sucking lightly, teasing the plush head with his tongue. Opening his mouth wider, he swallowed as much of the length as he could, engulfing the shaft, his tongue rolling, creating wet paths of desire that spread throughout Teal'c's body. The Jaffa groaned, delighted by the wondrous feeling, a sensation too long denied. He thrust into that warm, seeking mouth. Qui-Gon's strong hands flexed on his firm thighs.
Sensing that Teal'c was too close, Qui-Gon pulled back, dragging his lips and tongue off in one final, lingering caress. Teal'c could feel the sweat gather on his forehead as Qui-Gon slithered back up his body, loosening his own trousers, erection meeting erection. Heated bodies bumped together, hips bucking and jerking as each was driven with overwhelming hunger, lips and tongues frantically devouring. The orgasm shredded Teal'c's sanity first, as he held tightly to the Jedi, howling in his excitement, his low voice blending with Qui-Gon's harsh cry as he quickly erupted.
In that split second, as Qui-Gon lay shuddering in Teal’c’s arms, sides heaving as he gasped for breath, Obi-Wan struck. Not with the strength of his arm, but with the power of his mind. As Daniel hoped, Obi-Wan had remained quiet after regaining consciousness, dampening his thoughts, swallowing the unworthy shimmer of jealousy that rose at the vision of Teal’c with Qui-Gon. While the Jedi believed in the sanctity of love, possessiveness of the physical form did not command them.
Obi-Wan smashed through the Goa’uld’s mind and through Qui-Gon’s own shields, yanking at Qui-Gon’s soul and mental energy. Fortifying that spirit with the essence of his own midi-chlorians, he bound the two of them together, cocooning Qui-Gon with the power of his passion and the uniting love of their life-bond. He pulled Qui-Gon to the forefront of his own mind, shoving the Karvas personality screeching defiantly into the dark recesses of the brain.
Teal’c saw the glow of the Goa’uld’s presence fade from Qui-Gon’s eyes. “Are you alright?” he asked.
“At the moment, but Karvas is fighting back.” The Jedi disengaged himself from Teal’c, both men rising and straightening their clothes. Qui-Gon took a moment to place his hands on the Jaffa's shoulders as Teal'c rebuttoned his jacket. "Thank you. You may have just saved my life." Qui-Gon hurried to Obi-Wan, releasing him from the cords as Teal’c did the same for Daniel.
All four men froze as Jack recovered, grabbed his gun, rolling into firing position on the ground before his action could be expected and countered. “Qui-Gon freeze!” Jack yelled as he pointed his gun at the Jedi Master, expecting Daniel, Teal’c and Obi-Wan to drop to the floor and leave a clear line of sight. Jack was willing to risk shooting Qui-Gon to protect his friends, depending on the symbiont’s strength to keep the Jedi’s body alive. He was shocked when the three formed a loose circle around Qui-Gon.
“Jack, it’s okay!” Daniel yelled back, fluttering his hands in a ‘Stop!’ gesture. “Obi-Wan is helping Qui-Gon control the Goa’uld.”
"Oh. Everything's hunky dory now?" The Colonel rose from the ground, keeping his gun pointed at the four, uncertain whether to trust them. The Goa'uld were born manipulators, but it seemed unlikely another three had entered the Temple and taken over his friends while he was knocked out. "Don't tell me I missed the main event while unconscious?"
Teal'c abridged his report. "I do not think 'hunky dory' is an appropriate assessment. It would be more accurate to say that the situation is currently stabilized."
"Thanks for the correction." He was tempted to ask why Teal'c and Qui-Gon were so disheveled and stained, but stopped himself. Someone would explain later if they thought he needed to know. Jack had the military instinct not to ask a question when discretion seemed prudent. "So, we can leave?"
"I think we should." Qui-Gon's tone was pained and the look of concentration on his face agonized. Karvas continued struggling for dominance, having lived too many years without a human host to willingly relinquish this victim.
"Carter?" Jack looked around as if expecting the blond Major to suddenly emerge from a cloaking field. No luck. "She must be headed to the ships. Let's hope she hasn't managed to disable both."
Qui-Gon chimed in, "Padawan Zly has a Gao'uld inside her. Sam isn't aware of her danger. The Padawan's symbiont wants off this planet as much as mine does. We'd better get to Sam before Zly does."
They staggered to Obi-Wan’s ship, no longer alert, dedicated warriors, but a stumbling mess of exhausted men: four physical battered, the fifth fighting for possession of his soul. The Jedi kept both hands tightly clasped, as if the physical connection helped withstand Karvas’ mental assault. One of Daniel’s hands rested on each Jedi's back, lending support. Jack led to scan for trouble and thus first saw the other ship missing. Carter sat on the ground by the destroyed dial-home device, apparently dazed and confused.
Jack rushed forward, “Carter, you okay?” He squatted to examine her face, gentling his voice in response to Sam’s lost expression.
“I don’t know sir – I don’t know.”
“Stand up.” The command was softly given, as he helped her rise to her feet. Physically, she seemed unharmed. “Were both of the Jedi on the other ship when it left?"
Slight comprehension began to register in her eyes. "I saw a Jedi …. I saw …. I don't know sir."
Jack sighed with annoyance. "At least one of them must have escaped. We'll deal with that later. C'mon gang, let's get out of here. Teal'c, you'll have to pilot. I don't think Obi-Wan and Daniel can separate from Qui-Gon." The Jaffa stoically accepted the responsibility and the six reeled up the ramp.
Once aboard, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon fell onto the bench flanking the table. They leaned into each other. Neither spoke. Their faces shouted of Qui-Gon's internal battle. Daniel slid onto the bench next to Qui-Gon, who broke his hands free from Obi-Wan's to hug both men close. It could have made a beautiful tableau; the older Jedi with the two younger men cradled in his arms, heads leaning against his shoulders, the ends of his silver brown hair falling over their dark brown and tawny blond locks. The cream of Jedi tunics contrasting with the blue of Daniel's uniform. The scientist's glasses slightly fogged by the change in temperature from the coolness of the planet to the interior of the ship. Three men, all very handsome in different ways, holding each other with care and compassion.
The sweat and strain disfiguring their faces from the ferocious inner conflict ruined the image.
Teal'c passed them en route to the control room to start the ship's engines. As Jack and Sam watched the motionless men the Colonel asked, "Major, do you think you can contact Coruscant? Let them know we're coming and Qui-Gon's condition? I think Daniel's back in the bond."
"Yes, sir. I'm sure Teal'c and I can figure out the communicator. May I ask what you're going to do?"
Shucking off his submachine gun and flack jacket, Jack sat down across from the trio. To the major's chill shock, O'Neill placed his service revolver on the table. "I'm going to put a bullet in Qui-Gon's symbiont if they start losing this war." He never sounded deadlier.
"Sir, maybe I should - "
He cut off her suggestion. "No, Major. If anything happens to Qui-Gon, it will be on my head. Just make sure Coruscant is ready for us."
"Yes, sir." Carter accepted the dismissal and left to handle her assignment.
In their hundreds of missions, the members of the SGC-1 had deciphered a significant number of alien technologies. Teal'c mastered the ship with stunning flare, guiding it deftly off planet and soaring through space. Sam struggled momentarily with the communicator, but it was reasonably simple, designed for use by humans or humanoids. By the cream tunic worn by the blue-skinned person who answered her mayday, Sam was positive she'd reached the Jedi Temple on her first attempt. Unfortunately, no one factored on Obi-Wan, Daniel and Qui-Gon all being semi-comatose when she needed an interpreter and she didn't know Republican Basic. So even though she knew it didn't make logical sense, Sam did what most Americans tend to do when speaking to someone using a foreign language - talk louder and clearer.
"My name is Major Samantha Carter of Stargate Command, SGC-1. We have Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi on board. Qui-Gon is possessed by a Goa'uld. We are in need of immediate medical assistance." She emphasized the Jedi's names, speaking them even louder and clearer.
The blue-skinned individual listened to her repetitions several times, before walking away from the communication signal. Not good, but not bad, in her opinion. At least he hadn't closed the channel, deciding she was a lunatic. She and Teal'c exchanged a glance, but he only raised an expressive eyebrow and resumed checking instruments on the pilot's console.
Looking back to the communication screen, a small green being appeared sitting in a chair. "Master Yoda, am I. Assistance, need you?"
Yes, English! Incredibly bad syntax, but understandable. Sam stopped herself from an exuberant victory cheer. "My name is Major Samantha Carter of Stargate Command, SGC-1. We have Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi on board. Qui-Gon is possessed by a Goa'uld. We are in need of immediate medical assistance."
The green gnome took the news without overt response. "Fly to Coruscant, can you?"
"Yes, we are on our way. Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Daniel Jackson are bonded together. They are controlling the symbiont."
"Then correct, Obi-Wan was." The green ears lowered straight down on each side, seeming to signify sadness. "Misjudged him, we did. Bring my Padawan to us, you will. Save him, we must try."
Your Padawan? Carter tried to imagine a young Qui-Gon, standing respectfully behind this green imp, hands clasped in the folds of his sleeves, as Obi-Wan stood deferentially behind Qui-Gon. Maybe when Qui-Gon was young, but once he started growing, his lanky body reaching full height … Her mind rejected that image even as Yoda's ears perked up and a hint of smile crept into the corners of his mouth. "We're on our way," Carter promised.
Carter checked on the four men several times during the voyage, but the tableau rarely changed. Jack occasionally stretched and she persuaded him to eat a little, but otherwise the three remained trapped in the mental nightmare, while the Colonel stayed devoted to his protective duty. Now, as they arrived at Coruscant, Sam was secretly relieved she had never bonded with Obi-Wan and Jack had refused her offer of assisting guard. Leaning over Teal'c to stare out the navigation window, she gaped at the astonishing sight. Daniel's report had concentrated on facts, omitting many physical descriptions. Even if he tried, words couldn't replicate some realities. The entire world was a never-ending city. From horizon to horizon, pole to pole, graceful skyscrapers rose, so tall that their beginning was lost in the distance. The sight was breathtaking.
Atmospheric spaceships of many varieties sailed in long streams of traffic. People were too small to distinguish against the majesty of the buildings, but Sam knew a stunning blend of unusual races would be represented in the swarming crowds.
Teal'c skillfully landed the ship atop a floating platform. //Anti-gravitation?// Sam marveled. Looking out, she could see several waiting figures, two tall, one short, all wearing Jedi robes. Teal'c powered down the ship and the two left the cockpit. Daniel, Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and Jack were already descending the ramp as they followed.
Little was said. Everyone knew the dire nature of Qui-Gon's predicament. One of the taller Jedi stepped forward, hands squeezing Qui-Gon's upper arms. "Come, Qui-Gon, let us help you." Qui-Gon leaned into the healer's strength, before walking off with him, Obi-Wan and Daniel robotically attending.
"We'll be waiting!" Jack called after them in his overly cheery tone. "So - I'm Colonel Jack O'Neill. And you guys are?"
The dark-skinned bald Jedi introduced himself. "I am Mace Windu. The Jedi wish to thank you for rescuing Qui-Gon."
"Well, you know, we coulda avoided all this if you guys had just listened to Obi-Wan." Jack believed in respect for the chain of command, but not to the point of stupidity. For the Jedi Council not to trust the only Goa'uld expert in their entire universe was fairly senseless in his opinion.
Master Windu's lips tightened, his only sign of displeasure at the Colonel's bluntness, but he accepted the reprimand with grace.
"Thank you for my Padawan, I do." Jack, Sam and Teal'c looked down at the short figure, Sam recognizing Qui-Gon's Master. The tall Jaffa noted the green gnome at his feet barely reached his thighs.
Sensing Teal'c's reaction, the gnome craned his head back to see his ebony face. "Surprised, are you?" he inquired.
"I had not realized a Jedi Master could be so short," Teal'c responded calmly. All of a sudden, he felt his feet lift off the ground. An invisible hand pushed him back and he landed softly on his back on the ground. Yoda hobbled to stand by Teal'c's head and glanced down.
"Shorter than me, you are now." At least Yoda's demonstration of the Force was considerably kinder than Karvas'. Though, Teal'c mused, unlikely to end so pleasantly with wild sex.
"Yoda,” Mace said patiently, “we have more urgent concerns.” Yoda laid back his ears at the muted scold and freed Teal’c.
“Concerns, yes, but urgent for us, no. Wait for Chu’ron to say what he can do, we must. Come,” the Master said, gesturing for Jack, Sam and Teal’c to follow him. “Clean clothes, food and sleep you want.”
Too weary to argue, the three members of SGC-1 accompanied Yoda into the Jedi Temple.
Jack, Sam, and Teal'c showered, changed into clean clothes, ate, then napped before being summoned. Chu'ron wished their participation in a healing ceremony. The Jedi declined to explain the ritual, stating that preconceptions might ruin the flow of energy. The four members of SGC-1, Obi-Wan, and Chu'ron spaced themselves around Qui-Gon’s prone form. Most sat cross-legged, though Daniel curled one leg into his chest, resting his chin on his knee. Obi-Wan cradled Qui-Gon’s head in his lap, their hands locked once more in a deathgrip, eyes focused only on each other, as Qui-Gon fought off Karvas' increasingly manic mind attacks.
The Master/Padawan's hands clasped so long so tightly, Obi-Wan's fingers were becoming bloodlessly pale without circulation. He thought of another time….
_His hands were clenched then, but for more satisfying reasons. Those few exciting weeks after the formation of the life-bond. Missions and duties and responsibilities existed during the day. At night, life revolved only around Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. New lovers, exploring each other's bodies with passionate intensity. Years of suppressed fantasies could now be fulfilled. Laying on his stomach, on Qui-Gon's big bed, now their big bed, his Master massaging his shoulders, working each muscle, digging into the tenseness from a tiring day of training. Obi-Wan's hands clenching the pillow as the touch became more exciting, less medicinal, when his tight buttocks were kneaded. His hips thrust automatically into the bed responding to those inquisitive fingers, trying to restrain himself from panting, wanting to stretch out the pleasure. The sensitive finger tips traced the crevice between his cheeks, one digit sliding inside the opening, easing the way…._
Chu'ron captured Obi-Wan's passion, the drive of the Padawan's love, building mental energy to physically imprison the Goa'uld symbiont within Qui-Gon's body.
Even laying on the ground, a fine sheen of sweat on his forehead, Qui-Gon radiated a regal dignity that Sam found magnetic. Thrown into this unknowable ritual, she could only sit beside Qui-Gon's hip and nervously stare at the floor.
Her eyes flicked to his long thigh. For a moment, she wondered what would have happened if she had pressed the issue back at the SGC Command, if she'd just jumped his bones after Obi-Wan suggested she should. Would Qui-Gon have protested? _Jumped those long, sturdy bones….
And she remembered Dave. Dave of the dark hair and blue eyes, bluer than Qui-Gon's. His mocking smile and the way he'd pushed her constantly. Teased her, taunted her, demanded her best, never revealing if her best was satisfactory.
She broke one night when they worked late on her fighting skills, alone in the gym. Tripping him, landing on him, kissing him, her hands sliding under the Air Force sweatshirt to caress his furry chest, crisp hair tickling her palms.
Half of her petrified at her own actions - she was ravishing a superior officer. Half of her no longer cared. She needed this, needed to have this, lived too long within the prescribed military rules. When his nimble fingers released the clasp of her bra and began kneading her breasts, she broke the desperate kiss. He smiled. "Finally," he murmured, "a little initiative. I may make an officer of you yet."_
Adding Sam's energy, drawing intensity from her memory, Chu'ron began twisting the symbiont, cutting off the blood within its system.
Jack's eyes met Daniel's as they sat on opposite sides of Qui-Gon. _And then they were walking in the forest after a mission. Despite success, despite returning safely, Jack nearly lost Daniel that day. Jack was clobbered with the realization of losing him. He'd restrained his fear during the mission, during debriefing, while in the SGC Command Center. Now, pushing him against a tree, he locked their lips together, kissing wildly, as if the taste of Daniel could erase the fear. He had never been so afraid for a compatriot, but he'd never fought alongside a lover. His lips dropped to the pulse in the scientist's neck, wanting the reassurance of the strong heart beat. Daniel's hands pressed against Jack's shoulders as he muttered, "Jesus, Jack, do NOT give me a hickey."
Reason penetrated Jack's driving need. The Colonel kneeled before the younger man, unzipped his pants and freed Daniel's cock. Using one long finger, O'Neill traced the vein on its sensitive underside. Daniel was alive and wholly his. Licking at the tip, tasting the sharp flavor, his tongue circling the soft head, hearing an ecstatic moan as the length in his mouth increasingly stiffened…._
Snaring the power of Jack and Daniel's shared vision, Chu'ron began squeezing the life from every cell of Karvas' body.
Teal'c realized something unusual was occurring, as Sam slumped to the floor, breath slowing. Daniel's hands squeezed himself by the legs. Jack panted. Obi-Wan leaned down, awkwardly bending his back, to kiss Qui-Gon on the forehead. Kisses could be so uncomfortable when loving someone the first time. Adjusting to the feel of another body, the taste of another's mouth…
_Nas'n was so handsome, so strong. A dedicated warrior, like Teal'c, honored to be in service of the Gods. No matter how many sessions they trained together, Teal'c always fought a second battle for internal concentration, to avoid losing himself in the fascination of watching powerful muscles rippling under ebony skin. That first time no words were spoken. Their eyes admitted the attraction that could no longer be denied or ignored. Dropping weapons, stepping together, lips meeting with voracious hunger, hands ripping without care at the metal links of their uniforms. Teal'c wanted to taste all of that warm mouth, licking tongue and teeth with frantic haste. He felt supple fingers burrowing into his clothes, stroking him, as his own hand found Nas'n. Sinking to their knees…._
Chu'ron tapped Teal'c's power, crushing Karvas. The symbiont raged, but the healer's mental energy, supplemented by Obi-Wan and SGC-1, held him easily.
_Obi-Wan moaned in response to those clever fingers, looking back at his lover, as he felt the hardness slide into his body. Qui-Gon holding his hips as he thrust slowly, Obi-Wan's body adjusting to his size, eyes speaking their adoration…..
Dave felt so good inside her, so solid, as she rode him, rocking and crying. Then it wasn't Dave, but Qui-Gon staring up at her, his blue eyes so similar and it didn't matter who, as long as she could be lost forever within this feeling….
The throbbing in Jack's mouth signaled imminent release as he sucked harder, wanting to drive his love insane. He looked up, waiting to see that beloved face, but it wasn't Daniel, it was Qui-Gon, Qui-Gon's hands in his hair, Qui-Gon's face contorted with pleasure….
Teal'c and Nas'n were pumping each other, the desperate need to achieve satisfaction overriding any other thought. A little rough, a little careless in their intense need. Then it was Qui-Gon, Qui-Gon's hand on his cock. Qui-Gon's lips on his own…
Daniel knew he couldn't wait any longer. His balls were tightening, preparing to release, he had to plunge as deeply as he could into that engulfing mouth. But it wasn't Jack's, it was Qui-Gon eagerly licking, swallowing his come ….
Thoughts and memories blended together in one long kaleidoscopic vision of erotic power, all directed toward the Jedi Master. Every dream centered on Qui-Gon, his tall form, handsome face, long hair, hard muscles. Lips kissed his, sucked at his nipples, rising them to taut peaks. Tongues licked at his tongue, made wet paths on his golden skin. White teeth took delicate bites as five sets of hands visualized stroking his body and tangling in the strands of his hair. Sexuality released, devouring their minds in a torrential outpouring of emotion and frenzied need. Writhing on the hard floor, unconscious of their actions, immersed in the rush of sensation from their imaginations reaching throughout every erogenous zone in their bodies, they flared in a cascade of overwhelming strength._
To those adept in the Force, power strobed pulsar-like in the healing room. Qui-Gon was a brilliant quasar. He would have blinded the humans were they not part of the starshine themselves.
With one last sharp attack of mental energy, Chu'ron strangled Karvas, every cell in the symbiont's body collapsing into singularity. The Goa'uld ceased being, freeing Qui-Gon from captivity.
Jack woke to the sound of crying. Shifting on the hard floor, he listened to the sobs. Happy tears, he decided. Tears of relief. Opening one eye, he looked at the high arched ceiling. Focusing hurt. He shut his eye, resting his brain, hearing the gentle murmur of two male voices intermingling, "Obi-Wan, Master, Padawan, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan…" Tried to open his eyes again, rolling his head toward the noise. Their hand clasp released, each man's fingers stroked the other's face in wondering exploration. Happy ending. Good. He shut his eyes again. He didn't want to watch. That is, it hurt to watch - because it hurt. He decided to sleep on it.
Suddenly he felt his body lifted, held against another's chest. A cup tilted against his lips. He drank refreshing water, knowing he was both exhausted and dehydrated. His military experience prepared him for mind-wrenching bodily fatigue but that never made it easier. He was wrung out and left to dry.
When the Jedi visited Earth, they played ping-pong, saw a movie, had sex … but no! Here in the Jedi universe, they fought nasty Goa'ulds. They were challenged, tried not to kill friends, and mentally drained.
Jedi hospitality sucked.
He risked another peek. A Jedi with green skin and a long neck was holding him. His neck was amazingly flexible, curving in a half circle so that the alien could look Jack in the face. That sight made the pain even worse. The contortion reminded O'Neill of the morning after his bachelor party. As if sensing his discomfort, the Jedi's head straightened back up to a point two feet over the Colonel's head. Definite improvement.
Daniel whimpered from the other side Qui-Gon's body. "I think I'm glad we can take Shau'ri and Skaara to Thor's Hammer." His teammates grunted agreement with the inference. Jedi Healers or Masters sat beside each member of SGC-1, helping them recover.
Even the placid Chu'ron appeared mildly ruffled by the experience. "If for any reason the Hammer does not work, I will gladly provide assistance." He swallowed, as if regretting the offer. "It was difficult to know how the mental energy would flow. Obi-Wan's feelings for his Master became the dominant impetus in the mind link. With another person, another person's controlling emotions….Shau'ri is your wife? And Skaara a young male?"
Daniel could guess correctly where Chu'ron's questions were leading. "Yes."
"Then your emotions would likely control for Shau'ri and for a young male," Chu'ron shrugged, permitting the obvious conclusion to be drawn. Apparently, young men were the same in both universes. "The experience would likely be similar."
Daniel whimpered again, remaining curled in a small ball. "We'll try the Asgard first, thanks."
Jack was acutely aware that he'd come in his pants, though he was too tired to be embarrassed. He wasn't even going to think about repeating this experience with Daniel's wife or her younger brother. The Asgard were cool little gray aliens - totally calm and gentle. They could handle any future symbiont-host extractions.
Carter was cradled by one of the women Jedi, an almost Arabic-looking woman with black hair tied in two braids. "When it started, it was a real experience from my life, but then... - Did everyone focus on Qui-Gon?"
"Major, we are not discussing this. Ever. Never. Not between us, not with anyone else." Jack's command was less firm than he hoped, given the cotton filling his mouth.
The Jaffa disagreed, though politely. "Colonel, I think it would be wise if we discussed what has occurred." Jack glared at him, noting at least he wasn't the only one with a wet stain drying on his pants.
The healer supported Teal'c. "Discussion can be very important, Colonel. It was Qui-Gon's report about what happened during his second visit to Earth that directed me how to kill the symbiont. The mental energy of your species during sexual release is quite astonishing."
"What happened on Earth?" Sam asked quizzically. Qui-Gon hadn't been present at the motel, but he had been in mental touch with Obi-Wan. Did that mean...? Her thoughts were broken by Jack's yelp.
"And we are definitely not discussing that!"
Despite her fatigue, Sam glowered at Jack. Trust the man who could be so outspoken and blunt to become reticent about the most interesting events.
"My friends, forgive me." Qui-Gon was sitting up, Obi-Wan's strong arms supporting him. "Forgive me."
"Hey, any time," Daniel mumbled flippantly through tired lips.
"You do not realize. The symbionts knew of your universe from my memories. They lost control here a long time ago and were almost completely destroyed. They cannot regain power. The Jedi are too strong. I withheld as much information as I could, but Karvas extracted Earth's coordinates. It was obvious to him Obi-Wan would seek your help. It was a trap. I fear your signal device has been stolen." Qui-Gon modulated his voice to softness as he confessed.
"Carter?" Jack asked. Sam supervised the packing of the equipment. The device was critical to their trip home. Without an acceptable signal, Hammond would close the iris over the Earth Stargate and any incoming travellers would be killed, smashed against the titanium plating as they tried to reintegrate dimensionally.
"I don't know sir. I never looked after we left Taberus. It could have been taken." Sam was as controlled as years of disciplined training required, sweat shining on her face and plastering her blond hair to her forehead.
//Shit!// Jack thought. Then articulated it. "Shit! Which one escaped? Or both? What's Earth facing?"
"Only the Padawan, Zly. She killed her Master," Qui-Gon confessed with despair.
"So how do we get home? We have to help Earth. If the Padawan Goa'uld is in charge, she won't allow us through with the signal we gave to the Jedi. She may not let any of the SGC teams return." Sam dared the question everyone dreaded expressing and the worst scenario imaginable.
Since the device was gone, stolen by the Padawan, the Jedi Council instantly dispatched a team to Kalistan while SGC-1 recovered. No one believed they would arrive before the Padawan fled to an unsuspecting Earth. Too much time had elapsed while SGC-1 rescued Qui-Gon, traveled to Coruscant, and killed the symbiont.
Showered and dressed in clean clothes, the quartet and Obi-Wan gathered around one of the dining tables at the Academy. Chu'ron continued examining Qui-Gon to ensure every trace of the symbiont was eradicated.
Daniel shared Sam's anxiety but tried to be optimistic. "Hopefully, she'll only scan the database for coordinates and immediately travel to a Goa'uld planet, leaving Earth alone. She may be as powerful as Karvas with Jedi powers, but controlling the entire base for any length of time would be difficult."
Teal'c offered the most feasible alternative. "Even if the General is in charge, he may reject any future signal from the Jedi. He will have recognized her uniform. I recommend travelling from Kalistan to another planet in our universe, connecting up with another SGC team and using their signal device."
Sam shook her head in frustration. "But that assumes that she did leave. If she didn't, we'd only be wasting time. Besides, after being attacked by the Padawan, the General may not trust us if we come through with another team. The Goa'ulds have fought among themselves in the past. Just because we're not with her doesn't mean we're still good guys."
The discussion washed over Jack as he mulled the issues and ate. Jedi food tasted great but too obviously healthy for his appetite. Valid points were being made but the Colonel was too impatient to wait. Daniel would know exactly what teams were on which planets and be able to recite their coordinates, but even he couldn't predict how far any particular team had wandered from the gate. Jack needed reassurance Earth was okay without bouncing around the universe seeking comrades. "I think we should send a signal device through with a message that will attract Hammond's attention. Something un-Goa'uld. See if he'll send at least a mobile unit to Kalistan to check."
Sam could tell that the Colonel had a definite idea. "What sir?"
"Big band. Hammond loves that music. He's got a CD system hidden in the credenza in his office," Jack revealed their superior's secret. "Listens when he works late."
The Jaffa accurately critiqued the scheme. "This attempt will only be successful if the Padawan did leave the base and if the General believes a Goa'uld would not think of large band music."
"Hammond and I had a chat once," Jack said, noting to explain big band music upon safe Earth return. "The Goa'uld may control humans, but they generally act like arrogant Goa'uld. I think it's worth the trip to Kalistan and tossing a recording through to see if Hammond will remember that conversation. And if the Padawan's in control and doesn't respond, we'll link up with another SGC team and try to contact the Asgard for help."
"I hate to be pessimistic, sir, but it also depends on whether Hammond trusts that you haven't been possessed by a Goa'uld. They can suppress their arrogance to be deceptive."
Jack shrugged to Sam's comment. The biggest bonus and problem with intelligent team members was their ability to analyze strategic pitfalls. "Obi, how about it? Can you record some big band from Daniel's memories onto a signal device? Fairly quickly so we can get going?" Obi-Wan looked blankly at Jack, then blankly at Daniel. "Oh chrissake, don't tell me Daniel's never heard big band."
Daniel and Obi-Wan stared at each other, searching memories for endless seconds before Obi-Wan whistled a brief refrain.
"Little Brown Jug," the Colonel gleefully identified the tune. "Glenn Miller. That works. One of Hammond's favorites."
Obi-Wan rose to this feet. "I will talk to Je'tik, one of our best musicians, and have him record the tune. It will be done by the time Qui-Gon is released from the healers."
"We'll wait," Jack replied flippantly. His words belied his inner anxiety, cursing at the damage the Padawan might have done to his friends and comrades. Even if Zly went to another planet, a Goa'uld was likely to create havoc first.
"Obi-Wan - just a minute." The Jedi sat back down again in response to Sam's request. "I grabbed these while I was checking on the signal device." Handing him an envelope, she said, "We had them prepared in case we ever got to visit you."
Opening the flap, Obi-Wan smiled at the first depthless two-dimensional image. It showed him standing with Hazel in front of the grocery store. He flipped through, smiling more. He and Jack in front of the movie theater. He and Daniel, ready to eat steaks. Himself, lounging on the fence in his black leather outfit. He and Qui-Gon leaning against the motorcycles at the end of the trip. A final shot of SGC-1, Hammond, Frasier and the two Jedi by the Earth Stargate. Hammond had blustered, but allowed himself to be persuaded to pose with the group. Janet gleefully cited her lack of height and positioned herself at the front, with Qui-Gon's hands resting on her shoulders.
"Thank you. I shall appreciate having these souvenirs after we deliver you back to Earth," he promised. "Come." He smiled as he rose, gesturing them to accompany him. Jack fidgeted impatiently to get going, but Obi-Wan sensed Daniel's eagerness to see the Academy. "Let me take you on a tour on the way to Je'tik. You should see our home before you leave."
Daniel was so ecstatic, his unrestrained ebullience was almost embarrassing in the hallowed halls of the Jedi Academy. "Jedi High," as Jack referred to it. They toured the buildings where Obi-Wan had spent virtually his whole life. Daniel's faded share-bond memories flooded back anew in a dazzling explosion of sights and sounds. Jack was more right than he joked. For Daniel this was a high school reunion, where forgotten friends and barely remembered places and events come sharply back into focus. The scientist gushed enthusiasm, co-opting the Jedi's role as tour guide, gleefully identifying locations, recounting stories of Obi-Wan's life. They walked through the teaching rooms, Daniel fondly reminiscing about past teachers and difficult lessons. In the young student dormitories, Daniel described childhood games, shuddering as he recalled his fear of never being chosen as a Padawan. In the gardens, he proudly showed plants, "I hybridized. I mean Obi-Wan developed." At the Center for Music and Cultural Expression Daniel confessed his absolute inability to sing or dance. Or was it Obi-Wan's inability? None of the other members of SGC-1 were sure as his use of the terms "I" and "Obi-Wan" merged. Obi-Wan smiled, letting the words flood from Daniel's mouth, instinctively understanding the scientist's need to connect with this place where he lived all his life and yet never visited.
The meeting with Je'tik was terse. He touched the heads of Obi-Wan and Daniel briefly, heard the music in their minds, pronounced it full of satisfying vigor and passion, then promised to deliver a functioning signal device within the hour.
Teal'c questioned his Jedi friend as the group left the musician. "I am surprised, Obi-Wan. I did not realize Jedi created art."
"Much of a Jedi's life orbits around helping other cultures resolve their differences. Appreciating a people's art and music can be one of the most effective ways to comprehend their concerns or way of life. It's only logical that art, music, drama are honored and studied by us. Though... -"
Everyone paused as Obi-Wan's words faltered. Daniel picked up his train of thought. "Jedi music itself generally tries to replicate the divine feeling of being intimately in touch with the Force."
Colonel O'Neill could guess what that meant. "Ya can't dance to it. Not much of a beat, huh?"
"It's not rock n roll," Obi-Wan agreed, a quirky smile on his mouth.
"Bant!" Daniel yelled, as one of Obi-Wan's oldest and dearest friends rounded the corner and began walking down the hallway toward them. He rushed to greet her.
Pulling his hat off and scratching his head, Jack asked, "Major, please tell me Daniel isn't hugging a big fish. A surprised big fish in Jedi uniform."
"I think she's a Calamarian, sir. They were mentioned in Daniel's report. Maybe you should read it, sir."
"Major, would you dare to imply that I didn't read every word of that tome Daniel produced? Hi-ya," he smiled at Bant as Daniel introduced her to everyone. Bant accepted the hasty greetings with aplomb, instantly connecting this unusual stranger with Obi-Wan's tales of Earth. She was genuinely pleased to meet his Terran friends.
At the training grounds, they stopped momentarily to watch the day's sparring sessions. The older students, the 11 and 12 year olds, hoping to be chosen soon as Padawans, practiced with sabers at reduced strength. They demonstrated astonishing skill, even at their young age. Many possessed Obi-Wan's gymnastic ability, adding leaps and backwards flips into the matches. Obi-Wan tensed as large hands settled on his shoulders, then relaxed as he recognized the sure touch of his Master. Turning on the bench, his eyes fastened onto Qui-Gon's smiling visage before their lips and arms held each other fast.
SGC-1 averted their gazes toward the match until Jack wondered when the happy reunion would end. "Hey come on! Enough necking."
"I apologize." Qui-Gon hugged Obi-Wan to him, his words directed to SGC-1 but his eyes caressing the fair head resting on his chest. "Chu'ron has released me. Our ship and signal device are prepared. We should leave immediately."
"Yeah," Jack agreed. "Let's get out of here and find out what's happened back home."
Confirming their fear didn't take long. The Jedi team failed to stop the Padawan Goa'uld, succeeding only in finding her deserted ship. They waited on Kalistan for the others to arrive, ready to travel through to Earth if necessary. Standing with SGC-1, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, all watched as Daniel dialed home. The wormhole formed and Jack tossed through the signal device.
Surprisingly, the wait was short. Within five minutes, a wormhole formed. Jedi hands held lightsabers tightly; SGC-1 cradled their guns in their arms.
A mobile video recorder trundled through, slowly panning over the gathered crowd. Either Hammond was in charge, or the Padawan was interested in them for some unpleasant reason. Jack hoped the former as he hunkered on the ground by its microphone.
"General, we saved Qui-Gon, but another Jedi Goa'uld stole our signal device. We are not Goa'uld but we know you may not believe us." He swallowed, not wanting to say the rest. Jack was deadly serious few times in his life, but this was one of them and his voice wavered. "We know you may not let us come home, but we need to know at least if you guys are okay. Send us a sign." He didn't mention connecting with another SGC team, not wanting the Padawan to close any doors she may have overlooked.
"Convince me." Hammond's quiet voice ordered.
The Colonel tottered off balance before rising. Hammond stood before him, having stepped through the wormhole just before it dissolved. He wore full battle gear.
He repeated, "Convince me you're not Goa'uld. You've got ten minutes. If I don't walk over to the recorder and give a signal, access from this gate stays closed forever. No more Jedi. No exceptions."
Jack dropped his weapon. He stifled his need to ask what the Jedi symbiont had done. In his early years in the service, he often needed to break the tension of interminable waiting. He'd learned ways to make people laugh or at least smile so they wouldn't contemplate whether they would still be alive tomorrow. So he riffed the Three Stooges (Now listen you numbskull!), merged into Abbot and Costello (Who's on first? No, who's on second.), added a little Marx Brothers (Madam, if I was any closer, I'd be behind you), and even dabbled in some W.C. Fields (Don't mind if I do…Don't mind if I do.), changing his voice, inflection, and body postures to fit each comic. He concluded with Durante's warning, "I've got a million of 'em!" Then appended a Mae West afterthought, "...but I'll [say] 'em one at a time."
Daniel and Obi-Wan laughed; Sam rolled her eyes; Teal'c and the other Jedi paternalistically smiled, as if their child exhibited bizarre behavior that must be tolerated to determine the root cause.
Hammond raised his AK-47 point blank at O'Neill's chest. Sam shivered at the sight. "I don't know who you think you are, mister," the General sighted down his weapon. Speaking meticulously, "There are some things not even a Goa'uld would do. Only Jack O'Neill would be crass enough to misquote Mae West." He lowered the gun in a way that showed neither his finger was near the trigger nor was the safety released. "But you do it again, Colonel, and I will have you shot."
"I shall live by those orders, sir." Jack half smirked, leaving the General with the sense he'd just received another one-liner.
Sam interjected, "The Padawan, sir?" She gladly returned to business. All the delays agonized her, feeling personally responsible for losing their signal device.
"Fortunately, we were only a means to an end, Major. The Goa'uld scanned our database and as quickly left for Chulak." Hammond didn't dwell on his own humiliation, waiting at the ramp as she strolled through, assuming she came with SGC-1. She took him captive; made him her human shield. With a lightsaber at his throat, she ransacked the computers and ordered his subordinates to dial Teal'c's home planet. Everyone complied, unwilling to risk Hammond's life. She released him at the last minute before stepping through the Stargate, but Hammond dreaded her reappearance.
"She wanted to join other Goa'uld and knew Chulak was a favored gathering planet. She wanted the companionship of her own kind. ...And power." Qui-Gon spoke softly, deeply regretting the information he provided when his mind and body were beyond his control. "General, I apologize that this woman is now loose in your universe. She wouldn't be had your brave team not come to save my life."
"All I can say, Master Jinn, is this time the Jedi Council damn well better provide some help. She's one of yours. I expect you to do something about her."
Obi-Wan focused on the panel's instrumentation, overriding the navigation computer to calculate the coordinates for Coruscant. The task was soothing. He liked losing himself in mathematical equations. Qui-Gon sat serenely at his side, silent until the glowing stars streaked into strands of white and the Padawan's ship safely jumped into hyperspace. Checking the sensors, he could see the other two ships behind, manned by members of the Jedi team.
"Obi-Wan." Events blurred behind them like the stars. Now their friends were home and the two Jedi needed to re-establish their relationship. "Please."
The Padawan understood the request, reciprocating the feeling. He switched the ship to auto-pilot, sagging back into the chair. His shields had blocked much of his mind from Karvas to avoid the maddening taint of the symbiont. Now he dropped all his defenses and Qui-Gon groaned with an almost orgasmic ecstasy as the life bond between the two was energized. No lingering trace of the Goa'uld existed. The connection with SGC was severed. It was only the two of them, Master and Padawan, friends and lovers for eternity. Qui-Gon stretched out one hand, connected with Obi-Wan's seeking hand, brought the fingers to his lips.
Thoughts, pains, fears, hopes flowed between the two as they explored each other's souls. Qui-Gon felt Obi-Wan's anguish as he deserted his Goa'uld possessed Master on Taberus and murmured his response to that pain. "Obi-Wan, you had to flee. If you hadn't, the Goa'uld that invaded Zly would have possessed you. We could have gone to Coruscant together, retrieved our own signal device, traveled to Earth. The Jedi would never have known. Together - together you and I could have enslaved the SGC command. Your actions were not shameful. Forgive me, forgive the Council for not taking enough precautions. Only by fleeing could you warn the Council and trap Karvas until you returned. You have incurred no dishonor."
Obi-Wan shared Qui-Gon's agony that a promising Padawan was now enslaved in his place and another Jedi Master dead. Unless Zly could be saved, two lives were lost for his own. Though glad to be alive and with Obi-Wan, the sacrifice was too high. Qui-Gon expressed his frustration when Karvas schemed with the Padawan to escape their universe. He regretted attacking Teal'c. "Master, that wasn't you, that was Karvas. We all understand the Goa'uld possession. You fought as hard as you could. Besides, I think Teal'c enjoyed the experience."
Qui-Gon heard that last statement's half-teasing, half-disgruntled intonation. "My love, does it bother you?" He didn't search Obi-Wan's mind for the answer, but let the Padawan examine his own feelings. Qui-Gon conceded, "In their minds, they have now all made love to me."
"It bothered me, when Daniel kissed you." the youth confided. "I loved you for so long and he kissed you before I could. I was jealous-- and fearful. I was afraid his kiss might endanger our Master/Padawan relationship, that you would realize my feelings and not share them."
"Love," he touched Obi-Wan's consciousness. "I would have spoken after your knighting ceremony. Only my concern for your training held my tongue." The reassuring mind-kiss echoed his words. "But Teal'c and the rest? No jealousy then?"
Obi-Wan smiled. "Their love saved your life. I can only appreciate their help. And with our shields down, I know I have all your heart."
"All my heart and soul, love. I could live without your physical love. ...If I had to, though I would miss the gratification of seeing your beauty in the midst of your pleasure. But this sharing, this joining - I never want to be separated from your mind again. I must know your thoughts; feel your reactions. I never dreamed to experience such closeness with another person."
They lapsed into silence, love pouring through their minds, appreciating being in the moment with each other as the ship carried them homeward. Finally, Obi-Wan disturbed the satisfying bliss. "Master, Daniel said he was able to send a thought to Teal'c. He didn't understand why. He spoke to me privately. It frightened him."
"Yes." The word was soft. "Goa'uld are in our universe. The midi-chlorians must exist in theirs."
"Then Daniel is instinctively using the Force. The bond and his memories have allowed him to access Jedi abilities."
"I feared it since he experienced your pain when you were attacked on our last mission. I planned to ask the Council for permission to return to Earth after we researched the Stargates and Goa'uld in our own universe. Daniel is a good man, but the Force can be dangerous without proper training. We have a responsibility to help him. We also have a responsibility to Earth, for allowing a Jedi Goa'uld to invade their dimension. Saving my life may have endangered their planet. I cannot rest until this debt is repaid."
"Then we will return to Earth to train him? You will ask the Council for permission now?"
"Obi-Wan - "
"No!" Obi-Wan reacted instantly to Qui-Gon's thought. "No. Not Daniel."
Qui-Gon gripped Obi-Wan's protesting fist. "Removing his memories is only one option. If his use is instinctive, an erasure may not end it."
"Master, I - " Obi-Wan stopped, their life-bond-link showing him all of Qui-Gon's speculations on Daniel and the potential of Earth people. He practically gaped at his Master, stunned by the scope of his plans. "You can't be serious. Daniel would never be interested."
"That's why he would be the perfect person."
The apprentice shook his head in amazement. "Do you think the Council will agree?"
"All I will ask the Council is that they grant us time to work with Daniel and assess his universe while we seek the Padawan. While Daniel may be strong in the Force, the midi-chlorian level among Terrans may be weak. The Force will direct us to the proper course."
"Yes, Master." Obi-Wan gnawed at the matter in his mind, examining his knowledge of Daniel's personality and Earth culture, trying to decide if Qui-Gon's ideas would work.
"Obi-Wan, we can't reveal anything to Daniel."
"No. I realize that, Master." Though he assented, he hated concealing anything from the scientist. Qui-Gon was right. Daniel couldn't know he was being judged; nor that his planet's Force sensitivity could be decided based on the actions of one man and the evaluation of one Master.
"We will both work with Daniel. But your training must not suffer. You will be a great Jedi Knight."
"We will be together, Master. That's all that matters."
The Stargate started circling, signaling an incoming traveler. As the final chevron locked, the technician listened for the ID code. "It's Jedi, sir."
"Open the iris. Let them arrive," commanded Hammond.
Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi were dressed atypically as they stepped through the quicksilver surface of Stargate. Qui-Gon wore a long-sleeved, buttoned down sky blue shirt, darker blue slacks with a crease down the middle, and loafers. Obi-Wan sported blue jeans, white t-shirt, sneakers, and a leather jacket. Both carried large duffel bags over their shoulders.
The base commander extended a somewhat surprised greeting, "Master Jinn."
"General Hammond. The Jedi Council agreed it would be beneficial for my apprentice and I to spend some time on Earth, both to defend you and to locate the Padawan Goa'uld. We will attempt to return her to Coruscant, if feasible."
"We would appreciate that assistance. May I ask how long you'll be with us?"
"However long you need us, General. But there are two conditions."
Hammond wasn't surprised. Few elements of military life came without complications. "Very well, Master Jinn. What conditions?"
"My Padawan needs much training in the Jedi arts. We will search for the escaped Goa'uld, prepare your people to defeat her and assist your missions in any way possible, but Obi-Wan and I will require time to work together."
"I can accept that. And the second?"
The Jedi Master hesitated, before speaking firmly. "Obi-Wan and I are life mates, bonded together. We will be tactful, but you must accept us as partners. In your terms, we are essentially married. We will not pretend otherwise."
Hammond reflected before agreeing. "Very well. Welcome to the permanent staff of the SGC, Master Jinn, Padawan Kenobi."