Daniel was sitting at a table in the SGC's commissary. He'd been there for an hour already, having spent the night working on a translation of a table inscribed in Mesopotamian cuneiform for SG-5. The other team was going off world today and needed to have the information on the ancient stone tablets they had found and brought back with them from P42X 031. That it was one of the addresses that he had originally found in the Abydos cartouche room made it a special project for him only. Jack had objected to him staying overnight in the mountain, but he had agreed when he found out just what it was they had located...another reference to Ra and his area of control in space.
Just as he was about to leave, the young Archaeologist saw the rest of SG-1 arrive. First Sam and Teal'c went through the hot food line. Teal'c was carrying one tray that held both of their breakfasts due to Sam's advanced pregnancy. Then, Jack appeared from the cold cereal area, stopping only to grab a carton of milk and a banana for his Fruit Loops. Daniel waved at his teammates, and they all headed towards the table where he was sitting. As they approached, Daniel could catch the tail end of their conversation.
"You're gonna have to face it, Carter." Jack was saying. "If you want to keep it fine, but you'll need a bigger car. Just park your Volvo and get yourself a mini-van."
"Colonel," He could tell Sam was getting frustrated with their team chief. "I don't want a mini-van. You know I don't like to drive big vehicles."
"I know that," He stated patiently, "but when the princess is born, you're gonna need a bigger car. You can't put a stroller, a diaper bag, a car seat and everything else you're gonna need in that little sports car of yours."
"I don't think I'll need all that much stuff, Colonel."
"Oh, believe me, you'll need it. All of that and more, Carter. There's never enough stuff when a baby's involved." He looked back at Teal'c. "Is there?"
Teal'c shook his head. "I must agree Majorcarter. Babies here on your planet do seem to require a lot of luggage. Your present vehicle will not be large enough."
"But I like my car." Sam was trying to sound mature and failing.
"I've rebuilt it practically from the ground up."
"Hey, Daniel." Jack looked at him critically as the three sat down at his table. "Were you here all night?"
"Yeah, I finished the translation about five thirty this morning." He played with his coffee mug. "It was much more in depth than I had been led to believe."
"Isn't there anyone else that can do this stuff, Daniel?" Jack shook his head at his team member.
"Jack, this was found on a planet whose address was in the Abydos Cartouche. You know that makes it my job."
"No, I don't." Jack groused back at him. "I think it makes it of interest to you, but you can't keep doing all the Abydos stuff. There's too much of it. You don't have that many hours in the day." He looked at his watch. "We've got a mission tomorrow. You're through with it right?" At Daniel's nod, he continued. "Go on home; grab a shower and a nap. Are you staying with Carter tonight?"
He nodded again and smiled over at her. She looked at him with concern. "Look Daniel, if you're too tired..."
"No, I'm fine." he replied, "really." Glancing at Jack, "We've got a mission tomorrow and Cassie or Janet will take over. I won't see you for several days." Daniel smiled at her. "My luck I'll be off world when the baby's born. At least I can have this privilege."
"Or you'll be slumped over your worktable, dead to the world from overwork when the baby's born." Jack remarked sarcastically. "Workaholics do not good dads make, believe me, I know."
Both Daniel and Sam looked at the older man sharply, concerned for their friend's sake, but he seemed to be speaking calmly if decisively. "You two have to accept the idea that your lifestyles are gonna have to change."
"Okay, I give up." Daniel smiled at the other three. "I'm going to my place and follow my team leader's orders. Brunch, shower, nap and I'll be at your place about six." He made the circle with his eyes. "Is that okay with everyone?'
"Somebody write the date and time down, it's a miracle." Jack announced in a moderately loud voice that carried to the next several tables and caused some other diners to look at them curiously. "Doctor Jackson is following orders."
Daniel blushed a furious red. "So help me, Jack...." But the Colonel just grinned at him as he got to his feet and picked up his tray.
"See ya in the morning, Daniel."
That evening at five thirty, Daniel pulled his car up in the front of Sam's small ranch style home. He knew immediately that she wasn't home yet due to the absence of her Volvo in the carport. He pulled his overnight bag, some books and his laptop out of the back seat and went into the house.
As Sam obviously hadn't been home yet, Daniel carried his things into the guestroom. He didn't want to push his way into her life. If she invited him to sleep in her bed he would, but he would not assume anything in their relationship. She had made it clear that, though she loved him dearly, she was not in love with him. And he valued her friendship and the part he wanted to play in their child's life above everything else.
Raiding the refrigerator, he put together a large green salad and picked out what he was going to prepare for their dinner. Daniel expected Sam home at any moment. Jack would make sure that she didn't work too late. Selecting some minute steaks to pan-broil and some potatoes that he would nuke in the microwave, he started the preparation.
Finally, he turned on the television to sit and wait for his hostess with the mostess to return home. He found an old movie showing that he remembered particularly enjoying as a young child and settled down to watch Ben Hur.
Just as the young Jewish Prince of Hur was involved in the Roman Sea battle, the phone rang. He hit the mute button on the hand control and picked up the receiver.
"Hello, Carter residence."
"Hello, Mister Carter?" There was an unfamiliar voice on the other end of the line.
"Well, no. This is a friend of Sam's. She's not home, may I help you?"
"Is there a member of the family there that I can speak too?" The voice was sounding rather insistent.
"Who is this?" He could play persevering too.
"This is the Colorado Springs Police. Who am I speaking with?"
"I'm Doctor Daniel Jackson, a friend and co-worker of Sam's. Is everything all right?" Now, he was getting concerned.
"That's why I'm calling sir. This is Sergeant Holliwell. I'm presently out with Major Samantha Carter's car. It was reported as a suspicious vehicle. I'm afraid that it was found off the road in a ditch here at Interstate Highway 25. Her money, credit cards, checkbook, and her Military ID are still in it."
Now, he was very concerned. "Sam's not in the car?"
"No," the calm voice continued. "The car isn't badly damaged, it just appears that she might have lost control, except for some new damage to the right front fender, the grill and the left rear panel. But she's no where around. " Holliwell continued.
"She may have crawled out and been picked up or is just walking home."
Daniel was shoving the food back into the refrigerator, pulling his shoes back on and looking for his jacket. "That's not possible, Sergeant. Major Carter is seven months pregnant. I don't think she could do that by herself." Finding his coat, he shrugged it on. "Look I'm going to call our team leader and we'll be there in fifteen minutes."
He hung up on the police sergeant and immediately called Jack's house.
"O'Neill," Jack sounded bored and a bit tired.
"Jack, is Sam with you?' Daniel asked, hopefully.
"No, isn't she home yet?" The boredom suddenly gone.
"No, and I just got a call from a policeman. They found her car in a ditch off of I-25. and she's not with it."
"Shit," Daniel could hear the rustle of clothing as Jack pulled on something that scraped across his phone. "I'm headed that way now."
"Meet you there."
Ten minutes later, the two men pulled up behind two patrol cars from opposite directions. Sergeant Holliwell came forward to meet them. Lights playing into the brush told of others down in the ditch close to the car still searching the area.
A tall, dark Police officer with stripes on his sleeve came forward to meet them with a concerned look on his face.
"Sergeant Holliwell." He introduced himself and looked at the two concerned men. Making an educated guess, he looked at Daniel who was wearing civilian clothes and inquired, "Doctor Jackson?"
Daniel immediately nodded and extended his hand. "Yes, that's right. This is Colonel O'Neill, our team chief." He introduced his friend who had come up to stand beside him.
Jack, still in his Air force uniform, stepped forward. "We're very concerned about Major Carter." He glanced down the steep sides of the ditch. "There was no way she could have climbed up that slope in her condition," He said to the Sergeant.
"That's what Doctor Jackson said over the phone." Holliwell nodded. "Is Major Carter married?"
"No, she's not." Daniel answered.
"You're the father?"
"Yes, I am." Daniel was looking more and more upset the longer he gazed down at the wrecked Volvo.
"Do you live together?" The officer pressed, hopefully. "Co-own property, anything like that?"
"Why?" Daniel looked at him in confusion, brows knitted together.
"Daniel..." Jack started to say something to calm him down, but the Sergeant explained his meaning.
"I'm trying to establish if you might have some authority over the vehicle...you're not on the title, but if you were common law spouses..."
"I have a Power of Attorney," Daniel replied, "We had it drawn up when we found out that she was pregnant so that I could help her with things when the baby comes."
"Good," the officer nodded. "We'd like to get the vehicle out of the ditch and to a safe area where it could be examined more closely."
Daniel nodded numbly. Jack laid a hand on the younger man's arm in support. "Sergeant, before you do that, I need to contact our Commanding Officer and apprise him of the circumstances. We may need to get the OSI involved."
The Sergeant looked at him, judging him, then answered. "You're Major Carter's supervisor?"
"What was her job, what kind of duties did she have?"
"Unfortunately, I can't tell you exactly what she does." Jack shook his head regretfully. "First because it's a high security job, and then because I don't exactly understand how she does what she does." He looked at the policeman, "but she works in the Deep Space Telemetry Program in Cheyenne Mountain."
"So, you're saying she's a scientist?" The policeman pulled out a small notebook and jotted down some notes.
"Yeah, that's about what I would be saying." Jack looked at him suspiciously.
"So her disappearance could be work related?" Holliwell asked.
"There is that possibility." O'Neill turned and spoke softly to his friend. "Danny, there could be more to this than a car accident."
Daniel looked at him sharply. "You don't think this was an accident? What are you saying?"
"Daniel, I'm not saying anything yet," O'Neill replied smoothly. "Just trying to get some facts so that we figure out what happened to Carter." He looked over at the patient policeman. "Go ahead and talk to him, Danny, I'll call Hammond."
Samantha Carter slowly woke up. As she became more aware of her environment, Sam realized that she was not in familiar surroundings. She was obviously in a medical facility of some sort. She was wearing a hospital style gown, an IV, and an oxygen cannula. Her second thought was of her unborn child and she moved her free hand to her distended abdomen. The child was quiescent, unmoving. She closed her eyes again and rubbed her belly, willing her daughter to move but got no response. Tears gathered in her eyes.
As she lay there with her eyes closed, she heard the door open and someone come in. A rustle of clothing told her that whoever it was had come to stand beside her bed.
"Samantha?" A calm female voice called softly to her. "Samantha, I know you're awake."
Carter opened her eyes and rolled her head over to look at her visitor. She saw a smiling woman wearing the white uniform of a nurse hovering at her bedside. Sam blinked at the woman. "What happened?"
"Why dear, you were in a car accident...but don't worry, you weren't hurt badly at all."
She knew that, but... "My baby? Is my baby all right?"
"Of course. Don't you worry. You just bumped your head and have been unconscious for a while, that's all."
"But she's not moving! Why isn't she moving?"
"There's nothing for you to worry about Samantha. She's fine, she's just feeling the effects of the tranquilizer that you were given." The nurse continued to smile at her in a very maddening way. "It was just Ativan. Nothing harmful."
"Where am I? I mean I know I'm in a hospital, but which..."
"You're at Saint Vincent's hospital just outside of Denver."
"Denver?" She was confused, that didn't make any sense. "Denver, why was I in Denver?"
"I'm sure I don't know dear, but that's where you are." The nurse turned to leave.
"Uh, wait...has someone called my doctor? My commanding officer?"
"No, Samantha, we didn't know who to call. Do you know their numbers?"
"Yes. Yes, I do. Just call the Cheyenne Mountain Complex at this number." She gave her the eleven-digit number. "Ask for Colonel Jack O'Neill, Doctor Daniel Jackson, Major General Hammond or Doctor Janet Fraiser." She looked pleadingly at the nurse. "You can talk to any one of them."
The nurse dutifully wrote down the names and number. "I'll have the doctor call them first thing in the morning." She said reassuringly. "You go ahead now and get some more sleep. We'll take good care of you...and your baby."
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Jack and Daniel found Sam's Volvo at the police impound lot where it was being gone over by both the Colorado Springs Police Department and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. The car was not too badly damaged other than a crumpled right front fender, broken headlight, front grill, front bumper, and dented left rear quarter panel. But it did show some valuable information to anyone who would look. It was obvious that the car had been forced from the roadway by another vehicle from the left rear damage. The driver's door had some scratches on the paint possibly from a jimmy bar that had been used to unlock it. Both of these pieces of information served to indicate that Sam had been taken against her will and possibly that she was unconscious at the time. Sam Carter would not have been an easy victim. Even in her condition, she was a tall, strong woman and highly skilled in self-defense. Someone went to a lot of trouble and effort to take her.
As the officer locked the gate behind them, Daniel stopped and turned around to look sadly at the sports car. Jack put his hand on the younger man's arm. "What's wrong, Daniel?"
"It just doesn't feel right leaving it here all alone."
Jack looked at him oddly. "Daniel, it's a car, not a puppy. It doesn't really care that it's here."
The younger man frowned at his comments. "Sam will care." They walked away and got into Jack's truck. "Did they decide on anything?"
"No, nothing really, other than it was hit in the left rear, she lost control of the car, and it went down into a place she couldn't get it out of or get away from them on foot." They climbed into the big Ford F-250. "There was a little bit of blood on the steering wheel, but not enough to imply she was seriously hurt."
"So...she's officially listed as endangered, missing, possibly kidnapped. She's being listed in the National Crime Information Computer's database, which is nationwide, and everyone we know is on the lookout for her." Jack looked over at Daniel's worried expression. "Now, we go to Sam's house and wait. Hopefully, the kidnappers will call with some kind of demands so we can work on getting her back. Janet's there now, and the General went back to the SGC in case they call at the base."
"We need them to have someone checking our e-mail too, Jack. They may try and contact us through them."
"Good idea." The older man nodded. "We should have someone at our places, now that you mention it, for both the phones and the computers." He frowned. "We can request Simmons for my house... and, uh, who do you want at your place?"
"Uh, I don't know. Nyan maybe."
"That'll do," Jack nodded. He knew that Daniel trusted his young alien protégé with all his stuff and, more importantly, the man would not let them or Carter down.
They pulled into Sam's driveway, behind Fraiser's red bronco. There was a police car, a dark blue Air Force Sedan, and another obvious large car parked out front of the house. They walked in the living room and found an electronic jungle already in place. Janet, looking worried and tired, was sitting at the dining room table nursing a cup of coffee and talking with a group of official looking men. Cassie jumped up from her place next to her mom and ran over to the two men. She hugged Jack first then transferred her arms to Daniel's waist. The two of them stood holding each other for a few minutes before they finally decided to let each other go.
She looked up at Daniel then whispered fiercely; "They'll find her, Daniel. She's gonna be okay."
"Sure she is, Cass." Daniel managed. "Sure she is."
Jack walked over to where Janet and the men were sitting at Carter's table. "Heard anything?"
The doctor looked up at him. "Nothing yet, but then she's only been missing a few hours." Brown eyes met brown. "Do you have any idea who would have taken her?"
Jack shook his head. "I haven't a clue, it could be somebody who hopes to take us for a million dollars or..." he lowered his voice. "It could be someone wanting her for her technical knowledge or...." He let his voice fade off.
Janet looked at him, eyes widening. One of the men spoke from his place by an electronic listening device. "What are you thinking, Colonel?"
"Nothing really, just guesses." He said absently. "But I think I need to use the bathroom." He glanced over at Daniel who was standing in the middle of the living room looking around helplessly. "Hey, Danny."
"Yes," he looked to his team leader hopefully.
"Look," Jack said softly as he walked past the younger man and pitched his cell phone to him, "I've got an idea that I want to explore. Why don't you call Hammond and have him send those guys to our places with our extra keys to start monitoring our phones."
Daniel nodded. He caught Jack's phone out of the air and started dialing.
Jack went past the bathroom and into Carter's work area in what was originally a third small bedroom. He turned on the computer and impatiently waited for it to boot up. When the wallpaper of an F-117 appeared, he clicked on the icon for her Internet access and e-mail. He realized there were a few new personal messages from friends when he scanned them, but nothing that had anything to do with the apparent kidnapping.
Closing down her Outlook Express, he went to Yahoo and then into the Personals website. Going to the male to female section he typed in a message.
'SWM, tall, gray, and secretive looking for short, mysterious admirer. Urgent for hot date ref BDSM.'
He felt someone come into the room and then Daniel's hand on his shoulder. He looked over Jack's shoulder. "Jack, I'm shocked. I didn't think you were a BDSM kinda guy."
"It's to Maybourne. I'm hoping he'll pick up on this and call me."
"Maybourne...as in wanted by the government for treason Maybourne."
"That's the one. If anyone can find out anything about whether the NID has anything to do with Carter's disappearance, he's it."
"But don't you think it's kind of risky?" O'Neill could feel Daniel's blue eyes staring at the back of his head.
"Yes and no. Risky for him definitely, for me maybe, for Carter...I don't think so. If, and I do mean if only, the NID has something to do with this, they've got her for a purpose. Whatever that purpose is, it is too important to risk hurting her over a little snooping by a federal fugitive. They might kill Harry, but they wouldn't hurt her." He looked up at Daniel. "Do you want to go with me to my house, or me to drop you off at yours? It's up to you."
"You're not staying here?"
Jack shook his head. "I can't do anymore here then is all ready being done." He looked at his watch. "If Harry calls, he'll call my place. It's four thirty in the morning, and I need some shut eye so I can think straight tomorrow, or rather, later today." Jack turned off the computer. "I'll head back to the mountain later on and pick up T. I know he's about ready to go off with a big boom if he can't be involved in this." Jack turned his chair around and smiled up at Daniel. "If I thought you had a rival for Carter's affections, it would be him more than anyone." At the younger man's raised eyebrows, he continued. "Why not? He's tall, dark, handsome, smart, single, and built like a brick house.
The cell phone rang noisily by Jack's ear. He reached for it groggily. " 'Lo. O'Neill."
"Bruce Wayne, this is Clark Kent." A familiar voice chirped in his ear.
"Oh, 'lo, Clark."
"What are you doing, Bruce. Sounds like you had a late night."
"Early morning more like it."
"What can I do for you, Bruce?"
"Uh," Jack had to think a minute, "Diana is missing."
C'mon Harry, get with the program. "Yeah, you know Diana Prince."
"Oh, really?" He finally got it. "That's....interesting."
"Yeah, thought you'd find it...interesting. Do you know anything that's going on there in Smallville?"
"No, most of the big guys are on vacation, as you may well know."
"Even Lex Luthor?" Daniel, hearing Jack talking on the phone, had come into the room and was looking at him strangely.
"I can't talk now. Can we meet somewhere?" Harry's voice asked quietly over the phone
"The greasy spoon on I 40. We can talk there." The voice paused. "Come alone, Bruce."
"No, Dick's coming with me."
"Oh, all right." There was resignation in his voice. "But, be careful. No one else. Got it?"
"Yeahshuryabettcha." The phone went dead in his hand.
"Who was that?" Daniel asked.
"Clark Kent. He wants to meet Bruce and Dick for breakfast."
Daniel just looked at him oddly. "So, do I need to get dressed?"
"That would be a yes. Let's go, Dick." At Daniel's look, he smiled. "Dick Grayson, I'm Bruce Wayne."
"Of, course." The blue eyes looked at him suspiciously. "And that would make Sam Diana Prince?"
"Makes sense to me." Daniel headed into the shower shaking his head.
The two heroes drove the F-250 bat-mo-truck to the requested location. The parking lot was empty.
Jack glanced over at Daniel. "Stay here for a minute." He then handed Jackson his 9mm.
"Watch my back, I don't think there will be a problem, but you never know with these paranoid types."
Daniel accepted the weapon, glanced around the immediate area then looked at Jack.. "Why do I have to wait here?"
"Cause you're the sidekick...it's your job."
"Why am I the sidekick?" Daniel frowned.
"Cause I'm the last action hero. It's in my job description...to go in first."
"Okay, it's not, but...somebody's got to first and it isn't going to be you, Dad." Jack got out of the truck and slammed the door. "Give me six minutes, then follow me in."
"Cause you're watching mine." Jack and walked nonchalantly to the cafe's entrance. As he reached the door he could see Harry Maybourne, aka Clark Kent, sitting in a booth through the windows that lined the front of the building. He looked back at Daniel, raised a hand with all five fingers extended and nodded. He then opened the door and went in.
As Jack approached the table, he nodded at the waitress who brought him an empty cup and a pot of coffee. He slid into the booth and reached for the cup. "Hello, Clark. How are things in Metropolis?"
"Not bad." The small stocky man took a sip of his coffee. "And Gotham City?"
Harry looked past Jack and watched Daniel approached the table.
"Ah, your sidekick, Robin the boy-blunder."
Daniel glared at him then took his seat next to Jack.
"He's awfully unfriendly this morning." Harry addressed the comment to Jack who glanced over at his friend.
"Well, Dick here doesn't do well without his caffeine." He waved at the waitress who brought another cup. "And we're both a little upset about Diana."
"With good reason, it would seem." Harry put down his cup. "Jack, you old dog...I never would have thought it."
"Well, don't." O'Neill scowled into his cup. "I'm here as her CO and friend. Nothing else, but then that's enough. Have you heard anything?"
"Yes and no." Maybourne looked at him curiously. "So, who is the father?"
"None of your damned business, Maybourne." Daniel replied flatly. "It doesn't matter."
"Oh, but there's where you're wrong, Dick. Look, Bruce, there are several reasons that she could have been taken. All of them lead to different possible bad guys." Harry continued on reasonably. "There is an opinion popular with certain groups that you are the father. If it is you," he nodded at O'Neill,
"well, Makepeace reported you were snaked a few years back. They think it may lead to the creation of a Harsesis." He looked back over at O'Neill. "See what I mean?"
Jack nodded unhappily.
"If it's by one of your alien friends, a Tollan say, then there's the alien DNA theory. If it's father is, say, another genius" he looked directly at Daniel, "well, then there's all kind of possibilities from the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, the French, to some other groups." He looked back over at O'Neill. "Get it now?"
O'Neill again nodded his comprehension. Maybourne continued.
"Now, I'm willing to bet that Bruce here wouldn't be stupid enough to get her pregnant in the first place, if for nothing else, her career. And I'm willing to bet that Diana wouldn't let herself get pregnant by an alien just because of the medical implications. She could also get an abortion since you have your own medical personnel. That leaves someone that she would want to have a child by. I know she doesn't have a varied social life. Jack and the Jaffa have already been covered, so that leaves..." Harry looked at Daniel, "Dick Grayson here."
When neither of the other men said anything, Harry just grinned.
"What makes you think so, Clark?" Jack growled.
Maybourne shrugged, "He's young, bright, she trusts him, and he's attractive in a pretty boy kinda way." He grinned salaciously at Daniel.
"What's your point, Harry?" Jack interrupted.
"Well, the point is that someone wants her or the baby, or both. It'll be up to you to decide which it is. Then, you may figure out who it is."
Jack looked at Harry with an unhappy expression. "And what do you know, Harry?"
"I know that I looked in all the right places..."
"And got squat. I need more than that, I need answers."
"I don't have any for you." The smaller man shook his head. "It's not the regular NID caper, you know that. It they had wanted her, she would have been gone months ago. It's out of my circle." He leaned over his cup and lowered his voice. "I think you need to look closer to home, like at your...allies."
"Are you saying that someone here at the SGC may have her?" Daniel demanded. "Why? For what purpose?"
Maybourne glared at the younger man, then shrugged. "Okay, it's not them; I don't know who it is. But I do know this, it's not the NID, at least not the regular group." Maybourne sat there thinking. "Look, if you two come up with any bright ideas I'll be more than happy to check them out for you. I like Carter; she's a good kid." He glanced down at his wristwatch. "I've been here too long. You know how to reach me." Maybourne stood up and pulled on his light jacket than looked at O'Neill.
Jack picked up his bill and put it with his and Daniel's. "I got it. We'll be in touch."
Maybourne nodded and headed for the door.
Samantha Carter awoke again in the strange hospital room. Looking around groggily she could make out the lit dials on the different monitors as they read her diagnostic information. She had been in and around Janet's infirmary enough to know what was normal for her, and all the faces read plain vanilla. Her heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, Electroencephalogram, and Electrocardiogram all were right on perfect. Moreover she had no pain, nothing, not a headache or body twinges anywhere to indicate an injury. She was however a bit dizzy and lethargic, but it was the feeling of being drugged, not injured.
She laid her hand on her distended abdomen, feeling for any movement. There was none. The baby seemed as sluggish as she felt, apparently content with or unable to cause any unnecessary motion. Sam was worried; it couldn't be good for the infant; if she was feeling half as bad as her mother was. This had to stop and soon.
Carter fumbled with the bed controls until she managed to raise the top of her hospital bed, and succeeded in dropping the railings on the sides. Sitting up cautiously, she dangled her feet over the side and tried to overcome the wave of dizziness and nausea that held her to the bed.
Finally she felt well enough to try to stand. Slipping off the side of the mattress Sam managed to stand on her own. The cold, tile floor gave her another tactile physical sensation to cling to, helping her to recover her equilibrium.
Strengthening her nerve and patting her tummy as a promise to her unborn child, the woman took the few steps to the doorway. Once there, she started to unplug all the sensor leads from their electronic hosts. Turning the alarms off one by one, Sam disentangled herself. Finally she was free.
Looking into the room's only closet, she discovered a terrycloth robe and some rubber- soled slippers. Obviously, she was expected to stay a while. She slipped the robe on over her backless hospital gown and pulled on the shoes. Picking up a broom that had also been in the closet she started her journey.
Feeling better about the idea of going outside, she slipped out of the room into the deserted hallway. This was final proof to her that she was not in a legitimate active hospital. Creeping down the hall she followed red arrows that she hoped indicated the way out.
Sam was a little concerned that there was no one around. The lights were on, the vents blew air, but there was no sign of life anywhere. There was none of the incidental little sounds that accompanied any building, no phones ringing, no loudspeakers, not even any Musak. Then she saw what appeared to be an exterior door. This had been entirely too easy, the Colonel would be advising them to 'keep their eyes open, expect the unexpected and kids, don't touch anything'. Of course, she would also have O'Neill on point, Daniel at her side and Teal'c on her six. Damn, she missed them.
She skittered across the open hall that was between her and the doorway. There was still no one in sight. Sam rubbed her belly, looked both ways and hit the door. Sure enough an alarm started howling in the background.
The door opened out into an almost empty parking lot with a chain link perimeter fence. A few older cars were in evidence but no people yet. She tried to crouch down and run, but couldn't get up much speed. By the time she reached the first row of automobiles, she was completely out of breath. But she continued on at her best possible speed, a medium paced waddle. God, she felt so helpless...damn it all!! She wanted her guys so bad, she could cry.
As she reached the fence, she could see a signpost outside. As soon as she could see the lettering, she stopped before the fence and did, finally, cry. Sam collapsed down to the ground and as she turned to face the building, keeping her back against the wire fence. Several men bearing rifles and wearing uniforms had come pouring out of the building in hot pursuit of her. As they ran towards her, she managed to raise her hands above her head. She knew that tears were running down her face and she must look like a terrible, cowardly woman. But she also knew that she had no hope.
The sign was written in Russian.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Major General Hammond called the three remaining members of SG-1 into his briefing room. Major Carter had been missing for two weeks now. The Air Force and FBI investigation had been downgraded due to lack of any activity on the case, the local Police due to lack of manpower. General Hammond understood intellectually, but Jack O'Neill, Daniel Jackson, and Teal'c did not take the news well.
"I don't get it, General! How can they just give up after a couple of weeks?" The younger man spoke out quickly.
"They're not giving up, Doctor Jackson. They just have other things to do. The search will continue, just without so much concentration on it." Hammond shuffled his notes unhappily.
"They're treating it as a kidnapping now. All the Major's passwords and applicable codes have been changed or cancelled. If you go off world without her, a new iris code will be issued to you.
"Be that as it may, General," O'Neill started to speak glancing at his two team members, "we're still going to be looking."
Hammond nodded. "I thought that you would want toŠbut where will you look? I know you've been beating the bushes since she's disappeared, but you haven't turned up anything yet."
O'Neill looked over at his Commanding Officer. "I've got feelers out; it's just a matter of time before something turns up." He glanced at the other two men. "We just have to be ready to act when it does."
"Pulling in a few old favors, Colonel?" Hammond looked at him curiously.
O'Neill nodded. "I have a few left out there, but I have to wait for them to bear fruit." He nodded at Daniel and Teal'c. "We've all put in for leave, but I'm holding them till there's something to be done."
"Very well, you three just stay available on base. I won't assign any away missions for awhile." He looked at them. "I assume you all can find something worthwhile to do on base, that is until you want to start your leave."
A quick sharp rap sounded on Jack's door. He answered it in his jeans and tee shirt to discover a familiar looking young man standing on his front step. "May I help you?"
The man was as tall as O'Neill, fair skinned, with very short black hair and dark gray eyes that darted nervously around the front yard as if expecting someone or something to show itself. The individual looked nervously at him then back over his shoulder, then in a very broad Russian accent, he replied.
"Colonel O'Neill, I must speak with you, "
He looked at the young man curiously. He looked very familiar, Jack knew he'd seen his file in the group of incoming personnel recently. He was obviously the new member coming in to fill a new vacancy on the Russian team. O'Neill thought a moment. Then he remembered, The Man From UNCLE. "Kuryakin, the new guy on SGC-14. You're the replacement for Blintz."
"I am Sergey Kuryakin. I am member of Stargate-14 team. I am replacing Belenski" The Russian replied, glancing around again. "Please, may I come in? I have information for you to want to hear."
O'Neill looked down at him thoughtfully. "What about?"
"Please, Colonel. I must come in; I do not want to be seen here. It could be bad."
Curious, the Colonel stepped back from the doorway and waved him in. "Kuryakin, I've seen you on the base, at my Incoming Personnel briefing." Jack led him into the living room area and indicated for him to have a seat on the couch.
"I am new come from Belgrade." The man looked around at the living room. Jack noted that he was wearing painfully new blue jeans and a heavy dark green knit sweater. "This is very nice house of you." He appeared to become more nervous as he entered the center of the room.
"Look, Lieutenant, can I help you with something?" This was getting him no where fast, and he was beginning to understand that there was a language problem. He indicated the couch, and the young man sat down carefully. "Would you like a beer or a coke?"
He looked at Jack and tilted his head as if trying to cross translate in his head. "Oh, da, yes please a Coca-Cola."
O'Neill returned to his guest. "Look, why don't I call Daniel? Maybe he can help us; my Russian is rusty at best." He knew that Daniel spoke some sort of Russian, Jack only hoped it was modern enough to work for them here.
Sergey looked after him, quickly rubbing his hand on the soft leather of the divan. "Daniel?"
Jack nodded, "Daniel Jackson. My team member?"
"Daniel Jackson! Oh, da, da. That would be...." The Russian's face lit up, as if Jack had offered to call Brad Pitt or Tom Cruse or maybe Julia Roberts. "That would be magnificent."
"Okay, hold on." Jack chuckled as he nodded. "Stay right there." He crossed to the phone and hit the speed dial.
Within twenty minutes, Daniel's car pulled up into the driveway. He pushed the door in without knocking. Jack met him at the foyer, handed him a cup of coffee and they went into the den where Sergey was waiting.
As the two men entered the room, the young Russian leaped to his feet. Daniel glanced at Jack who shrugged his shoulders. "I didn't do anything to him. We're just having a language thing."
Daniel smiled at Kuryakin, then spoke to him in Russian. Good morning. I'm Daniel.
Good morning, Doctor Jackson. I know who you are, The young man stuttered. I'm honored to meet you and Colonel O'Neill.
Daniel waved him back to the couch. Please, Sit. Jack told me you might have some information for us.
The man sat back down and accepted the second glass of coke that Jack handed him. "Thank you. I hope so, Doctor Jackson." He took a sip of the drink, then continued "I was assigned to the SGC two weeks ago. I arrived on a transport plane that landed in the city. I was brought to the base, Peterson Field. After several days, I was taken to the SCG told that I could communicate with my family.
Daniel looked at Jack who was hovering. "He's only been here two weeks." Jack made an ah face and Daniel nodded for the Russian to continue.
"As I was waiting to use the telephone, I overheard a conversation between a man who was there before me and someone else he was talking to on the phone." He stopped to consider his next phrase. "They were talking about the delivery of a package to Siberia."
Daniel looked at him curiously. "A package?"
Yes, he asked if it had recovered from the drugs. Sergey shrugged. It did not sound correct. the package...recovered from the drugs?
Yes, he was asking if the package was awake yet.
Daniel looked from Sergey to Jack. Jack looked at him. "What?"
"A package was delivered to Siberia, and it had been given drugs." He explained to O'Neill. "Jack, what kind of package do you give drugs too?"
"A very unwilling one." The two men looked back towards the young Russian sitting on Jack's couch.
Sam moved restlessly around the room that she had been brought to. After her escape attempt, they had not returned her to the fake hospital room but to this place. It resembled the VIP Suites at the SCG, consisting of a double bed, a small round table and four wooden chairs, couch, a bookcase with a television set, and some rather outdated magazines and journals. They were in English, at least, and were scientific in nature.
Her contact with her captors so far had been very limited. Her three meals a day were brought in by female guards, only one of which admitted to speaking a little English. Sam had not been ill-treated, just locked in the room and left alone.
Since they had not resumed her drugs, her baby had also apparently returned to her normal active self. Sam could feel her movements and hoped that her child had not suffered any ill effects from her mother's misadventures.
Sam had started a one-way dialogue with her daughter. In the last few days, since her abduction, she had decided on the name Claire Elizabeth Carter-Jackson. She knew that Daniel would like the idea of naming the baby after his mother. She just hoped she'd be able to tell him herself soon.
She knew that her men would be literally turning over every rock and blade of grass looking for her, but she herself had been surprised to discover that she had not only been kidnapped, but also transported to this facility in Russia. She had no idea how the guys would find her here, but she knew they would...she had to keep believing that.
Why she had been taken was another quandary. No one had approached her at all, leaving her to question why she gad been taken in the first place. Was it because of her involvement in the Stargate program, her training and ability as an Astrophysicist, for her security rating as an Air Officer, or for something unrelated? She had no idea. She only knew that she wanted very badly to go home to her team, her job and her life.
The doorknob rattled as keys were applied to its locking mechanism. Sam was surprised to see three people in uniform enter her room.
Daniel was on the phone long distance to Yakutsk, Republic of Sakha, Russia. He'd gone through an American Military telephone operator, a Colorado telephone operator, a California telephone operator, a Moscow telephone operator, then a secret location's telephone operator, and finally to Doctor Markov.
A harried sounding feminine voice picked up the phone and answered in Russian. Doctor Markov.
Doctor Markov. This is Daniel Jackson.
There was dead silence on the other end. Who?
Doctor Daniel Jackson of the SGC. We met two years ago...in Siberia. I was with Samantha Carter.
More silence, then finally an inhaled breath of air. Oh, of course, Doctor Jackson. I'm so sorry, I didn't recognize you speaking Russian.
Oh, sorry. I am a linguist and I thought.....
Of course. I'm sorry... She started to apologize.
Of course, we spoke in English last time. But never mind that, I'm calling about Samantha Carter.
Yes, how is Doctor Carter?
Daniel hesitated a moment, then continued on in English. Actually, that's why I'm calling. She's gone missing.
"What?" That question was asked in English. "What do you mean?"
"Is it a good time for you to talk?"
She obviously picked up on his oblique reference to security, but Markov continued on. "Yes, Doctor Jackson, it is all right. What do you mean about Doctor Carter?"
"She went missing two weeks ago and we have a contact that believes she may have gone to the vacation spot that we visited last year."
"I don't think that the resort is open anymore." She replied. "I haven't been able to get reservations there in quite a while." Markov paused. "Let me check with my travel agent. Perhaps I can suggest something for you."
"That would be wonderful. I would like to ask Colonel Chekov, but I don't know his preferences."
"Oh, I know the Colonel quite well." The woman's voice was reassuring. "He has excellent taste. At least as good as mine." She continued. "Tourism has become very popular here, and I'm sure you would be welcome. But I will see what I can find out for you." A pause. "What is your time frame?"
"As soon as possible, there are some health issues at work here." Daniel thought quickly, this talking in veiled allusions was difficult. "She has a nine month deadline and is at eight all ready."
There was silence on the other end for a moment. "Oh. Very well, then. I shall get back to you quickly. Where can I reach you?"
"At this number," Daniel gave his cell phone number to her. He hoped she got his reference. "Let me know when the reservation is confirmed."
"Of course, I'll be in touch." The phone went dead. Daniel turned around to look at Jack and Sergey. "Well," he grimaced. "Now, we wait."
Several hours later, Daniel's phone rang. It was Markov.
"Doctor Jackson, my friend," She started the conversation casually. "I have good news and bad news. The state facilities did not have your reservation. They claim no knowledge of them. However, there are several smaller groups that could be involved. Groups that are acting on their own cognizance. But if you would care to make arrangements, I can get you an official welcome."
"Thank you, Doctor Markov." Daniel nodded at Jack. "We appreciate your help for this vacation."
"You and your friends are very welcome to come for your vacation. You will be under the auspices of the National Science Institute. This way you can have an official guide for your sightseeing. I, in particular, want to see this issue resolved with plenty of safety margin."
"It is not a problem, Daniel. We wish this resolved in a positive way. "
Daniel disconnected the call and looked at O'Neill. "The Russian government says they don't know anything about it, but they are giving us official sanction to come there." The three men looked over at him. "Evidently they have their own internal problems. She hinted at other groups that could be involved." The young man frowned.
"Peachy, just what we need, " Jack commented. "Their own version of NID."
When Samantha Carter heard the door being unlocked and opened, she moved back to sit down on the bed. She felt exposed; no one had seen fit to give her anything else to wear so she was still in her hospital gown. If it was her normal jailer, there wasn't a problem, but the time was wrong. She'd already had her three meals that day.
When the door opened, three men entered her room. One was obviously a guard, wearing a uniform of some kind, stayed by the door. The other two, both in suits, approached her where she sat on the bed. One was smiling; one was not.
Smiley started the conversation in educated English. "Good evening, Samantha, how are you feeling?"
"I'm unhappy, miserable and want to go home. Thanks for asking." She glared at the two of them, looking from one to the other. "Why am I here?"
"I am so sorry to hear that the accommodations are uncomfortable, though I have been informed that you are eating well."
"I'm pregnant, I get hungry." She replied tartly. "Why am I here?"
"My dear Samantha, you are here for several reasons." Smiley pulled up a chair next to the bed. Not-Smiley stood directly behind him with his hands clasped in front. "The first one is that you are carrying a child that, according to our information, could be a Harsesis. Then of course, you were building a stargate in your basement. We would like to have the plans for that." Smiley nodded happily at the very thought of it. "And of course there's all that important National Security and American Air Force information that you will be able to give us."
Carter looked at him and shook her head in amazement. "I don't quite understand why you think that I can or will do any of these things." She frowned. "And what makes you think that my baby is a Harsesis?"
"Come, come now, we know that you were the host of Jolinar of Malkshur and we also know that Colonel O'Neill was implanted with a Goa'uld by Hathor. Your child could still retain the knowledge."
She could only stare at him for a moment. "Colonel O'Neill? What does Colonel O'Neill have to do with anything?"
Smiley smiled knowingly at her. "But who else could be the father of your child? Surely you would not mate with an alien?" Then an idea seemed to occur to him. "Is it Jackson?" When she didn't reply, he clapped his hands together and raised them to in front of his face. "Of course, it must be. He is at least your intellectual equal, and the child will be more valuable than one by O'Neill! It will be a genius! This is perfect. And he has already produced a Harsesis by his first wife. This is marvelous!" Smiley actually clapped his hands in glee.
Sam just stared at him. "No, you're wrong, Daniel didn't father the Harsesis. His father was Apophis. Sha'uri was Ammonet when she had Shi'fu. Sha'uri was only the host, she was raped against her will, and when she had the baby she gave him to Daniel to hide it from them." She shook her head negatively. "You are so wrong, your theories are so incorrect....My baby and I are useless to you. I don't know how to build a Stargate, in my basement or anywhere else and I sure don't know any government secrets that you obviously don't all ready know."
At her denials, Smiley wasn't smiling anymore. "My dear, you underrate yourself and your importance; also you obviously underestimate me." He leaned forward in his chair and put his hands on either side of her on the bed. "Once you give birth, I am sure that you will be much more easily persuaded to help us."
Carter stared back at him, from the few inches that separated them. "I don't see how."
"Don't play coy with me, Samantha." He sat back from her. "I would truly hate to see anything happen to your child." The man glanced down at his wristwatch. Oh, my. Just look at the hour, it's past your bedtime." He stood up and smiled down at her again. "Sweet dreams my dear. I'll come see you again...soon." Smiley nodded and stood up, leaving the chair facing the bed. Non-smiley followed him to the door which the uniform held and followed the two men out of the room. She heard the key in the door again and then all was quiet.
After her visitors had left her room, Sam got up and paced around the small circle that she had made through her furniture. After a few quick turns, Claire moved violently in her mother's womb. Obviously she was just as unhappy here as her mother. Then a cramp hit...and Sam headed back to the bed. She did not need to go into premature labor now, she scolded herself mentally. Calm down already!
As she sat down on the mattress, the weight of the world seemed to settle on her. Where was the Colonel? Where was Daniel? Where was Teal'c? Surely they were looking for her, they must be! But could they find her here, so far away from home, in Russia for crying out loud? Finally, she turned out the light next to her bed, lay down and stared at the ceiling. Only one tear escaped to run down her cheek.
Two days from their hurried departure from Colorado found SG-1 and Sergey Kuryakin hidden in the woods outside of a tall chain link fence surrounding a secret facility deep in the Siberian Mountains. Doctor Markov had been as good as her word. Once General Hammond and Colonel Chekov had been briefed fully, it had taken four phone calls to get the rescue on the road. One to the President of the United States, one to the president of Russia, one to the leader of the Siberian government and one back to Doctor Markov.
The Doctor had met them at the international Airport in Moscow, then escorted them to a Russian military cargo plane that would be their transportation to the area of the suspected facility. A long cold uncomfortable flight later brought them to a very small poorly equipped base in the Siberian Mountains. There they were given a four-wheel drive van and a map to an area where the local government suspected there was a secret facility.
Jack had taken point. He knew that he was the most experienced in this type of combat. The insertion had gone well, the other three men performing admirably, but when it came down to it, he had the most special ops training. In other words, he was the sneakiest one there.
Using the verdant overgrowth of the woods to cover him, he only needed to ascertain when the evening security check was completed. Then, he would signal for his team to begin the stalk and the hunt.
Jack glanced over his shoulder at the three men behind him. He trusted Teal'c and Daniel implicitly. They were there to do one thing and one thing only: the removal of their teammate, his Major, Teal'c's comrade in arms, and the mother of Daniel's child and to get her out of harm's way. They looked ready, like finely honed weapons waiting for him only to target the enemy and loose them into battle. Anyone who got in their way would be disposed of with varying degrees of intensity, dependant completely on the condition of Carter and the child when they were found.
Teal'c sat in repose, in a lotus position, preparing himself by centering and concentrating his physical and mental powers to their highest degree of efficiency. Ferretti had once said in jest that the warrior was O'Neill's First Prime. Actually, it wasn't too far from the truth. At times, the Jaffa could second-guess his team leader, knowing instinctively what the proper course of action was. He could see it and react. This had saved their lives quite a few times in the past.
Teal'c was as protective of his team mates as Jack O'Neill was. He knew that their younger team members were their vulnerabilities, and Jack had no doubt that he would kill for or die for either Carter or Daniel. When Teal'c had been informed of Carter's disappearance, the big man had been both infuriated and inconsolable. She would be found and her abductors would reap either retribution for her suffering or revenge for her death. And Teal'c would be the terrible swift sword that performed the final act on them.
Daniel was also sitting quietly, but where Teal'c's anger was cold and calculating, Daniel's was radiating red-hot fury and smoking rage. There was fear there also, but not for himself. The young man whose life path had been strewn with incredible acts of cruelty by the uncaring fates, was not taking no for an answer this time. Too much loss, his parents, his wife, her child, his ex-girlfriend, and he would not, could not deal with another heartbreak. Carter was more than just a friend to him. She was colleague, sister, lover, and sometime mother. She was also his mental twin, his intellectual equal. She understood him as well as most and better than others. Sam also carried his child, a child conceived of their gentleness, respect, and affection. This daughter of theirs would be the inheritor of not only a great genetic potential, but also the beneficiary of great love from all of her extended family. The child was their future, their hopes and their dreams. If Teal'c was the sword, Daniel was the stiletto, ready willing and perfectly able to be plunged to the hilt into the heart of the ones responsible for this transgression.
O'Neill looked appraisingly at the young soldier. Jack wasn't so sure of Sergey and had wanted to leave him with their vehicle. It wasn't that he didn't trust the man; he just didn't know him. He was Russian after all, the breed that Jack's generation had grown up learning to be wary of. But the young man had risked it all, his reputation, his career, and possibly his life, to bring them the information when he thought his suspicions were enough to warrant investigation.
Before agreeing to bring him along on this mission, Jack had done some checking into his background. Kuryakin was too young to have been in the military during the Communist regime, but he had also admitted that it had been his ambition to serve his country and his people. Kuryakin had been raised in a rural community and had learned hunting and marksmanship at his Grandfather's knee. The old man had been a sniper in World War II and had been very good from his grandson's glowing pride in him. With this training all ready in place, the youngster had risen quickly in the ranks of the Russian Army. When he had been selected to come to the Stargate Program, Hammond had to approve him, so Jack was satisfied with his qualifications.
One thing of interest to Jack was the young man's near hero worship of Daniel. The archaeologist was not usually the sort that attracted military types. He knew that Daniel would befriend him after this fiasco was over, much as Carter had looked after Lieutenant Simmons. But he wasn't jealous of either of either of his teammates...no, not him. HA! As if sensing his thoughts, Daniel looked over at him and smiled.
O'Neill nodded back, acknowledging Daniel's attention. The change of guard was completed. It was now time to see what was down there in that armed fortress.
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
It was early evening. The sun had sunk slowly in the west and the trees were casting long shadows in the protective woods. O'Neill wanted to wait until the late evening to take his team into the facility. He figured that it would be easier on the way in for his men to blend into the shadowed places and harder for any pursuers to track them in the darkness on their way out. They knew where they were going, the guards would not.
Once Jack made sure the sentries had completed their shift change, he signaled his team. The three other men double-checked their weapons for readiness. They all carried the SGC standard issue P-90s and 9-millimeter pistols. Teal'c had not been permitted to bring his staff weapon or a zat with them due to security reasons. Jack really hated that.
They fell into a loose formation. O'Neill was on point, Daniel to his left, Sergey to his right and Teal'c on their six. They traveled swiftly and quietly through the heavily wooded area until they reached the narrow paved road. Jack glanced at the sign hanging from the chain link fence; the word he recognized was laboratory. They crossed the road singly then reassembled behind some convenient overgrown bushes. Jack looked at Daniel and in sign asked him what the marker had said. Daniel's eyes darkened ominously as he mouthed the words, Genetic Research. Somehow, he managed to get a tiny bit angrier. His eyes met Daniel's. Obviously the other man had already beaten him to that level of rage.
Jack nodded his agreement and then indicated a small single gate that was partially obscured by shrubbery. It was chained shut and had a padlock on it. Jack indicated for the second team to wait here, and then he slipped through to the darkness to the metal mesh portal with Daniel slightly behind him. He quickly pulled his lock pick kit from the side pocket of his trousers and as Daniel crouched behind him, he selected the proper size instrument. Five seconds later, the lock snicked open, and he motioned his remaining team members to come on in to him and through the gate. Teal'c and Sergey continued onward to the shadowed side of the large building, tucking into the small corners of darkness that it hosted. Daniel entered then turned remaining with Jack, crouching in the moon shade of a cedar tree, until the gate was closed and the lock twisted back to its original position giving it the appearance of being secure.
O'Neill traveled at a quick trot to the position of the other two members of his team. The younger man followed after a suitable interval. Once the four were reunited they skirted the footprint of the building and headed for what appeared to be a seldom-used side door. It too was locked, but again proved no impediment to the determined skill of the Colonel. Once more, Teal'c stepped into point position, with Sergey close behind and to his left. Slipping into the darkened hallway they insured the room was clear and then awaited their leader and his companion to resume forward position. Only some dim single bulbs at each corner of the hallways lighted the building on this floor. This made it navigable but still dark enough to assure them some safety.
When they were all in, Jack signaled for the search to begin. With both Daniel and Sergey being fluent in Russian, their job was to read any signs or posted information that would help them locate Carter. He and Teal'c took the strategic position to insure that they knew their relative location in the building at all times and act as security. Once they located the missing Major, the lucky pair would click their radio mikes twice, the other pair would rejoin them, procure her release and hit the proverbial road to the hidden van and freedom. After they were on the road, the worst part would be over, he hoped. Of course, this was assuming everything went perfectly...yeah, right.
The two pairs split up at the junction of the first hallway. Jack and Daniel went right, O'Neill slightly in front with Daniel tucked in behind his right shoulder. Teal'c and Sergey in similar formation headed left. After six doors that opened into offices, there was a cross-hall where the two teams could actually make eye contact for a moment. The hall continued on for another six doors then, at the end of the corridor, they met briefly at a central staircase. Since all they had discovered on this level were office cubicles, O'Neill made the decision to hit the second floor.
The second floor turned out to be labs and exam rooms. There was even a large, ominous appearing refrigerated area with several hospital gurneys sitting empty. Teal'c made a quick sweep of the space and left it with a shake of his head and a relieved look in his eyes.
On the third floor, there were several rooms that appeared to be fully set up hospital rooms. There was even a small complete nurse's station in evidence. The four split back into their teams and started a door-to-door check. Then, Jack heard something. Sweeping his right arm backward to push Daniel back behind him, the two flattened themselves back up against a door and into its shallow space.
As the two men waited, they could just make out the dark figure that was walking casually down the hallway. The man was obviously not expecting to meet anyone in the darkened corridor, especially a Special Operations trained Colonel. It was his last mistake.
As the sentry approached their position, O'Neill made his decision. As the man came closer, Jack carefully popped a button off of his sleeve cuff and in one abbreviated gesture, tossed it against the opposite wall slightly behind them. It hit the bare wood floor with a snapping sound, catching the approaching man off guard. As he turned his head to the sound, strong arms caught him from behind and quickly, cleanly, and quietly, snapped his neck.
Jack silently eased the body down to the floor, then glanced at Daniel. He looked back, expressionless.
They moved on down the hallway, checking every room on the third floor. Rounding the corner at the end, there were lights on and several voices could be heard. Then, Jack's mike clicked twice in his ear; Teal'c had found Carter. He backed Daniel and himself a short distance away from the lighted area and spoke softly into the radio.
"What's your location?"
We appear to be in the next hallway over from you. There is an area with lights and several people talking."
"Acknowledged. We'll circle around to the first connecting hallway and come to your side. Where's Carter?"
"She is asleep in a room on this hallway. I recognize her profile in the moonlight."
Daniel spoke into his mike for the first time. "Is she okay? Can you tell?"
"She appears all right. She is still carrying the child. I am concerned that we may not be able to move her without alerting the others."
Jack spoke again. "Gottcha. We'll be there in one minute. Stand by."
O'Neill and Jackson moved swiftly and silently down the hallway rounding the two corners to take them over to the other fourth and farthest hallway. Within seconds, they could see Teal'c and Sergey standing well back in the shadows. There was a second body lying on the floor, tucked back into a corner.
When they met, Teal'c indicated a doorway farther up the hall and close to the occupied area and said in a soft voice. "She is in there, and unaware we are here."
O'Neill glanced from the door to the lighted area. They could either go in covertly, try not to alert the office personnel and risk an alarm being set off; or they could do a preemptive strike, secure the area and possibly injure some innocent scientists, that is if anyone who worked in a Genetic research facility on human beings...particularly their human being...could be called innocent.
His team was looking to him for direction. O'Neill signaled Teal'c and Sergey to stand fast and guard. Then he indicated to Daniel to tuck behind and they would proceed to the door. They slipped up the corridor quietly and within seconds reached the indicated door. Jack reached over and silently turned the knob. It was locked.
Jack looked back at Daniel and nodded at the recalcitrant handle. Daniel nodded and brought his weapon up to ready. Jack allowed his to swing free from its neck strap while he got the lock pick out again. Then they repeated the choreographed movement as they had on the gate outside.
When the lock clicked quietly, indicating it had surrendered and unlocked, Jack stood up and slipped his hand into the doorway. Tucking it close to his body, O'Neill signaled to Daniel and the younger man slipped quietly into the room.
Sam was asleep on a double bed, covers pulled up and tucked under her chin. Daniel approached her quietly and reached to touch her on the shoulder. Thinking better of that plan, he shifted to her wrist and knelt down beside the bed where he was actually a bit more out of range of any defensive actions. "Sam," he whispered. "Sam, wake up."
When she didn't move, he gripped her a little firmer and leaned over the bed. "Sam, wake up. We have to go...Jack's waiting."
Carter startled up out of her sleep, narrowly missing Daniel with an open hand. He managed to deflect it with an up flung arm.
"Yes," he smiled at her confusion. "Come on, Jack's waiting for us, let's go."
Sam sat up awkwardly, her out-of-balance body hampering her movements. She blinked at him in confusion. "How did you get here?"
"Shsssh," He shushed her gently, "I'll fill you in later." He saw she was wearing only an open backed hospital gown. Daniel quickly slipped off his vest and took off his BDU shirt. "Here," he held the garment for her. "Put this on."
She gratefully slipped the shirt on over the gown and Daniel pulled his vest back on over his black tee shirt. "Are you ready?" He whispered.
Sam nodded eagerly. He took her by the hand and led her out into the hallway. O'Neill was standing in the shadows nearest the doorway. As the couple passed by under his watchful eye, he nodded at her smile and winked at her. As the two of them continued on down the corridor to the other waiting pair, Jack remained at his post covering them until they reached the darker area of the hallway. Once they were safely with Teal'c and Sergey and on their way to the stairs, he followed them.
The men surrounded Sam. Teal'c took point, Daniel and Sergey flanking her, and O'Neill covering their sixes. He stayed in the back, insuring that no one had been alerted by their movements.
The group descended the stairwell carefully, Daniel holding her firmly by the arm to help her balance. When they reached the bottom floor, Teal'c stopped to be certain all was still well with their charge.
O'Neill caught up with them at the doorway. He pointed to the floor and her bare feet. In a low whisper, he commented, "You forgot something."
Carter shook her head, "They took them after my escape attempt, sir. Sorry."
Jack nodded at her in acknowledgement. He understood the helpless feeling of being a prisoner.
Teal'c slung his P-90 back over his shoulder and swung her up easily in his arms. "It will not be a problem, O'Neill." She gratefully put her arms around his neck.
"Sweet," Jack replied. "Carter, you ready to blow this Popsicle stand?"
"Oh, yes, Sir! More than ready."
"Let's go then," he replied with a quick grin at her, white teeth flashing in the near darkness.
The five of them made it out of the compound with only one small hold up. Daniel had stopped to secure the building's door, the others going on ahead by a few yards. As he turned around to join the team, he could see a sentry hiding and watching them from behind some bushes. The man obviously hadn't seen him, trailing so far back and had his blind side angled towards Daniel. So intently was he watching the other four as they traversed the yard, the sentry didn't see him scoop up a rock the size of a tennis ball, he didn't hear the stone as it flew towards him and he didn't hear the impact when it caught him right behind the ear.
When he hit the parking lot pavement, Jack spun around with his weapon on ready, but all he saw was the unconscious guard lying on the ground and Daniel moving swiftly to catch up with the group. When he had joined them, Jack nodded approvingly in his direction. They continued on out through the gate, locking it behind them.
As they were about to leave sight of the building and start towards the road and the hidden van, all the yard lights suddenly came on and people began running out of the structure. They had discovered that Carter was missing. The men started to speed up, Sam hanging on to Teal'c's neck as he increased to an easy jog. Jack motioned Sergey to hang back with him and Daniel to continue on with his two teammates. Jackson stopped and turned to look back at O'Neill and Kuryakin; Jack waved him on after the Jaffa. He finally turned and followed Teal'c and his precious burden on into the woods.
Sergey had also stopped and watched the interplay between the two men, but Jack caught his attention with a jerk of his head, and the two of them faded into the woods. After several minutes, the first of their pursuers burst into the small clearing. Jack dropped one with a well-placed shot to the calf muscle. The younger soldier picked one off with a bullet to the shoulder. Both were non-fatal wounds, but it would definitely slow down their tracker tails. When the first two fell, the following group took cover behind the brush. They continued to lay down fire to dissuade the pursuit.
After a few minutes, Jack signaled the other man to fall back. Every once in a while, they could hear some talking but O'Neill was unable to translate what they were saying, and Kuryakin was too far from him for him to ask.
After a few minutes, Jack caught some more movement in the trees. He signaled to Sergey who nodded his acknowledgement. Then, he saw more activity on his side. They were trying to flank them to get past their blockade to cut off their escape route to the van.
O'Neill and Kuryakin continued to fire, in a defensive fashion and finally settled into a leapfrog pattern, trying to slow down their pursuers and still be able to rejoin their teammates in their journey to the waiting vehicle.
They caught up with the three others as they rounded a corpse of trees, machine gun fire rattled across the ground behind them. The reunited team had to take cover in a drainage ditch beside a narrow paved road.
As Teal'c landed on both feet at the bottom, Sam stepped out of his arms. "I'm okay." She assured him and reached for his 9-millimeter pistol. Daniel, who had followed them into the ditch, handed her a full clip for the weapon and hunched down next to her, putting his P-90 to work against their followers.
After a few seconds, Jack slid down the bank to lay next to them, catching his breath for a moment. Sergey was the first to notice the bloodstain on his sleeve. "Colonel, you're hurt."
O'Neill waved him off. "I'm fine, nothing to worry about." He glanced over at Carter. "How ya doing, Major?"
She nodded in response to his question. "I'm okay. How did you find me?"
"We had a little help from the new member of SG-14." He nodded towards the young Russian. "Daniel, how ya doing over there?"
"I'm good, Jack."
"O'Neill," Teal'c called out from the other end of the line. "There are at least ten others in the trees."
Jack scooted up the bank and peeked over the edge. "Yep, we thinned them out a little, but there's still too many of them. Daniel, Carter, follow this road about another three or four miles and you'll come to the van." O'Neill reached into his pocket and pulled out the keys handing them to Daniel. "We'll stay behind and cover you, Daniel, get Carter to the van then you can think about coming back after us." He looked at two pair of blue eyes. "No arguments," he added. "If you drive towards us and still hear gunshots, just wait right where you are. We'll be along."
"Sir, I don't think we should leave you." Sam complained.
"Carter, You've got other things to worry about now...Daniel, you get her to that van, you hear me."
"Daniel, we don't have any time here. Now, go!"
Daniel nodded. As much as he hated leaving the others, he knew that Sam's safety and that of the baby was of primary concern to all of them. He reached a hand down to her and helped her to her feet.
The two of them followed the drainage ditch for as long as they could. Finally, it got shallower and they could easily climb up to the road. Sam was holding up bravely but he could tell her bare feet were causing her problems.
"Feet hurt?" Daniel asked her.
"Well, yes, they're actually cold, so the bruises bother me more too." She replied honestly. "I'm sort of cold all over."
"Could you wear my boots?" He nodded, knowing her state of undress was making her uncomfortable. He looked at her feet.
"No, they're way too big."
"Hummm," He thought a moment and dug into the large pocket of his utility vest. He pulled out a pair of socks. "They're not much, but they are better than nothing. Here, sit down for a minute and I'll slip them on you. "
Sam gratefully leaned back against the embankment and put her hand across her belly. A cramp caught her unawares and she grunted softly.
"What's wrong?" Daniel looked up at her from where he knelt at her feet.
"Nothing, just a cramp." She replied with a grimace.
"Yeah, I've been having them on and off since last night." She admitted.
"On and off? How far apart?" He stood up next to her and put his hand on her abdomen. He felt a contraction.
"Um, they've gotten worse, been happening about every hour or so. It must have been something I ate. Why?"
"Sam, you're in labor." He told her grimly.
"No," she said calmly. "That's supposed to hurt; besides it's too soon."
"Sam, you're at least at eight and a half months. You're not that early." He said worriedly.
"Daniel, I had an appointment with Janet last week, I'm at thirty-two weeks."
"Sam," He looked at her in frustration. "Sam, you've been missing for three and a half weeks. You're closer to..." He did some quick math in his head. "You're closer to nine months."
She looked at him in disbelief. "Three weeks? It couldn't have been. Where have I been?"
Daniel looked at her oddly. "I'd say you've been in Russia."
The three SGC marksmen concentrated their firepower on the pursuing guards. At three against ten, it didn't take Jack, Teal'c, and Sergey to cause them to lose all remaining enthusiasm for the chase. Finally, after thirty minutes of a hot firefight, the residual bad guys finally determined that their pay was not equal to the task of taking on these three particular sharpshooters.
Finally, when Jack was satisfied that the soldiers had all turned tail and headed back for the Genetic Research Center, the three of them started out towards the van. They'd only gone about two miles when they saw Daniel and Sam moving slowly up the road. Daniel had his arm around her shoulders supporting Carter. Breaking into a trot, they soon caught up.
As they reached the couple, Jack jogged up to Carter's side across from Daniel. "What's up?"
Daniel glanced over Sam's head to his friend. "Sam's in labor. I didn't want to rush her."
"Labor?" Jack looked at him in surprise. "Whadda mean labor? How close are the contractions?"
"I mean, Jack," Daniel said calmly, "she's in labor, and they're at thirty minutes apart now."
Carter looked up at him through her tears. "I'm sorry, Sir. I thought I had indigestion."
"Indigestion? For crying out loud, Carter." He looked helplessly from her to Daniel.
"Jack, shut up! She can't help it." Daniel scowled at him. "She's almost at nine months you know."
"I know, I figured she might do this." He looked grim.
"What do you mean by that?" Carter sniffed.
Jack noticed that Carter had tears running down her face and she was biting her lower lip. "Carter?" He immediately felt bad about his frustrated comment.
"I'm sorry, I tried not too, but... "
"Damn it, Jack..." Daniel was getting mad now.
"Carter, Sam, I'm sorry." Jack looked helplessly around at Teal'c, who shrugged his shoulders. "Sam, don't cry. Carter, I'm sorry. All I meant was we should have been more prepared for this."
"I'm sorry, Colonel. I didn't mean it." She raised her tear-streaked face to him.
Teal'c came up from behind the three. He took one look at them, picked Carter up and started walking at a fast pace in the direction of the waiting van. Carter wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her face in his shoulder. As Daniel ran past him to keep up with his two teammates, he glared back at Jack.
O'Neill stopped and waited for Sergey to catch up to him. As the young Russian took his place next to the Colonel and the two men started to follow the others down the road, Kuryakin looked at O'Neill in confusion.
Jack looked over at him and shook his head. "I don't know."
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
O'Neill and Kuryakin trudged up the road following their teammates. They were only a mile or so from the van.
"Major Carter is in difficulty, yes?" Sergey asked
"Major Carter is in labor, yes." O'Neill admitted glumly. "Luckily Daniel has experience in delivering babies." Jack suddenly stopped in his tracks, raised his head and listened intently. He then exclaimed, "Oh, crap!" and started running in the direction of the van with Sergey hot on his heels. They could hear the staccato sounds of gunfire from both the P-90 and AK-47 assault rifles.
O'Neill and Kuryakin rounded the heavy growth of trees that blocked their teammates from their view. Teal'c, still carrying Carter, was disappearing into the dense foliage of the underbrush. Daniel, running backwards, was firing his P-90 at two men who were fleeing into the woods on the far side of the narrow road away from their van. As Jack and Sergey ran forward to assist him, Daniel went down.
Jack cursed loudly as he ran to his fallen comrade. "Damn it, Daniel!" He grabbed the younger man around the waist and slung him over his shoulder in a fireman's carry. He then followed Teal'c and Carter into the shelter of the forest. Sergey continued firing, giving cover to the heavily-laden Colonel and their injured teammate.
As they joined the other two, Jack deposited Daniel on the ground next to Sam and swung his weapon up to cover Kuryakin as he crashed into the brush behind him. Teal's was also laying down fire with his weapon. Seeing things were under control for now, O'Neill lowered his rifle and turned to tend to Daniel. "What happened?" He asked, kneeling down beside his friend.
"As we approached the van, two men ran away to the tree line and began firing at us." Teal'c replied looking over his shoulder. "Danieljackson returned fire, covering us as I carried Majorcarter to safety. I was unaware he was injured."
Sergey joined the group and continued to watch the opposite side of the road as he caught his breath. Jack tore the fabric of Daniel's BDU trousers to better see the wound. He was bleeding badly from the fleshy part of outside upper thigh, too close for comfort to the large artery and groin area.
"I'm okay," Daniel gritted out through clenched teeth. "How's Sam?"
Carter was halfway sitting up, leaning back on her elbows. She nodded at Jack's inquiring look.
"She looks fine except for the fact she should be in the hospital having a baby, not here in the woods getting shot at." He replied deadpan. "Now, lay still and let me look at this. You can't bleed to death right now. She'll need you soon, and I don't want to break in a new archaeologist." Jack tore a long strip of material from the already ruined pant leg and applied it as a tourniquet above the wound. He checked his wristwatch, pulled a pen out of his vest pocket, and wrote the time on Daniel's leg. Daniel made a face at him.
"When we get to the van, I'll do a better job, but for now every fifteen minutes or so loosen that for a quick bit. You might want that leg for a while longer."
"Thanks, I think." Daniel said wryly. "Ouch! Damn it, Jack!"
"Bitch, bitch, bitch." O'Neill sat back to admire his handiwork.
"Jack," Daniel motioned him back closer. O'Neill bent back over him; Daniel plucked on O'Neill's shirtsleeve, pulling it away from where it was sticking to his arm. The shirt was a dark red against the green patch of the BDU material. "Jack, why are you bleeding?"
Jack looked down and noticed the stain. "Oh, that. No problem. Went right through the triceps. I don't feel it yet; I'll have more time tomorrow." He smiled with chagrin. "Don't worry about me, Danny. Worry about the two of them."
Daniel shook his head. "Yeah, right."
A groan from Carter took both of their attention. "Sam," Daniel looked at her thoughtfully. "How far apart?"
"How the hell do I know?" She replied hotly. "I don't even know what day it is!"
"Carter, it's Thursday and my goddaughter's birthday. Now, how far apart are the contractions?" Jack asked her evenly.
"About ten, I think...but they've started coming a lot faster now." She was relaxing again, the spasm passing.
Jack looked around again. "Shit, well, we're gonna have to go take care of some business here kids." He glanced at Teal'c and Sergey. "You two come with me. Daniel, you still got your nine mil?"
"Yes, Jack. What are you going to do?"
The three men stood and checked their weapons. Jack looked down at Carter and Daniel. "We're gonna go get the van. Then we're gonna bring it over here, load you up and drive like hell to get you both to a hospital."
Leaving their two teammates well hidden in the brush, the three men came out into the clear area by the road and went back to the van. The two men that had been there had seemingly cleared out all together.
Jack motioned Sergey into the driver's seat. When the young man turned the key nothing happened. With a curse, O'Neill opened the hood and reached in to do something.
The young Russian leaned out of the vehicle's door. "What is wrong?"
"They were trying to take the damned distributor." Jack snarled out from under the vehicle's open hood.
"They didn't get it, but it's all pulled loose. I have to reconnect it; it'll take a minute." He bent back to his task. "Ouch, damn it all to hell anyway!" He came up from the motor compartment and yelled back. "Try it again, Sergey!" This time the motor started up without problems. O'Neill didn't hear the bullet that spanged off the metal bumper over the engine's roar, but he did hear Teal'c's P-90 chatter in response and he definitely felt it when the big man pulled him to the ground and drug him to the sheltered side of the van.
The two old warrior brothers looked at each other and the same thought obviously crossed their minds. For them to get away safely, the two enemy soldiers had to die...before they did.
Jack crawled over to the vehicle's cab. Kuryakin had dropped to the floorboard to avoid the bullet and the flying glass from the window that had been shattered. "Hand me my gun, Sergey," he hissed.
"Hand me my weapon. Teal'c and I are going hunting. You take the van and get Daniel and Carter while we're keeping them busy. We'll meet you back here in thirty minutes."
When the other three men left them alone, Daniel crawled over to where Sam was laying. He could see her panting, trying to remember to do the breathing exercises she had learned from Janet. She saw him and tried gamely to smile back at him.
"How are you, Sam?"
She nodded, "I'm okay, Daniel. How's the leg?"
"It's kind of numb." He replied honestly. "I think it's the shock." He scooched over next to her side and gently laid his hand on her belly. "Jack's right, I should have been expecting this. With everything that's happened to you, it's surprising that you haven't gone into labor earlier."
Sam reached for his hand. "Daniel, they drugged me. They kept me, well, both of us, asleep for almost the entire time I've been gone. I'm worried that it might have hurt the baby."
He squeezed her hand comfortingly. "It wasn't your fault and there wasn't anything that you could have done. We saw your car, how they forced you off the road. It's a miracle you both weren't killed." He took her hand in his. "I'm surprised they put you and the baby at risk. Do you know why they took you?" He looked at her curiously.
She sighed. "This man came to my room and talked to me. He said they took me, us because they thought the baby might be a Harsesis or even have alien DNA. They didn't know who the father was; they thought it was the Colonel." Sam shook her head. "They knew that we'd both been blended, well, had symbiotes. Then, when they realized that you were the father, they thought that you were Shi'fu's father and they figured...
well, then they didn't care because they said we were both geniuses...and...." Another contraction hit her and took her breath. "Then, they were going to take her and make me work on some program for them..." She gasped again.
"Relax, Sam." Daniel spoke soothingly, trying to keep her calm. "Remember to breathe through the contractions, it's all right, it doesn't matter what happened anymore."
Her eyes widened suddenly, unable to talk through the spasm but from her expression Daniel turned to look behind where he was sitting. A man was standing, framed by the brush and trees, pointing a gun at them.
Jack and Teal'c had slipped away from the van and into the deep undergrowth. They both knew that the only way that they were going to get Daniel and Sam out of here was to get rid of their pursuers; and there was only one sure way to do that. Following the trail into the woods they found a campsite of what Teal'c identified as four men.
As they quickly searched the camp, a crack of wood drew their attention. They turned in the direction of the noise, and weapons fire commenced from a small steep ravine. O'Neill and Teal'c both hit the ground and rolled, splitting up and finding cover for themselves. Teal'c escaped unharmed, but Jack had managed to land on his injured arm. He ignored the sharp pain and signaled for Teal'c to head for the opposite side of the small ravine, effectively surrounding it. Working their way closer in, both of them took care of their targets in a short, deadly firefight. A quick inspection showed two men wearing uniforms from the Research Lab. Leaving the two bodies where they fell, they quickly proceeded on following the trail of the two remaining gunmen.
Teal'c stopped and looked back at O'Neill, "Their direction of travel changes here." He said worriedly. "they are going towards the clearing. We should return to the others as quickly as possible."
Jack nodded, "I've screwed this up from the start. Let's go and hope it's not too late." Teal'c, being the faster runner, took the lead, O'Neill following as quickly as he could, cradling his injured arm. They followed the road to where the van had been parked. They could see where the young Russian had moved it closer to the spot where the young couple was hiding. When they reached it, Sergey was not with it.
"Where the hell....?" Jack has a quick flash of distrust towards the young man, but there was nothing here to suggest betrayal. Sergey had probably...
More weapons fire from the brush. A P-90, an AK-47, and Daniel's 9 millimeter pistol. The shit had hit the fan again.
Jack and Teal'c plunged into the wooded area that surrounded Daniel and Sam's hiding place. As they found the little clearing again, they could see their two teammates, still on the ground where they had left them. Except now Daniel was sitting down between Carter's out spread legs, with one hand on her belly and the other adjusting the position of her pelvis on the hard ground. He was talking, slowly and calmly to her as she strained in a major contraction.
Sergey was dragging a body out of the clearing and out into the woods. As he returned to the clearing he saw the other two members of the team arrive. Jack immediately went to Carter's side, knelt down and took her hand.
"Hey, kids...how's it going?" He asked flippantly, but he was watching Daniel's intent expression as the younger man continued on his with his efforts. The younger man was biting his lip and beginning to sweat a little. Jack couldn't tell if it was nervousness or shock.
Daniel glanced up at him, flashed him a grin, then returned his concentration to what he was doing. "Pretty good, Jack. I think she's a little anxious to come though."
O'Neill nodded, and smiled down at Carter. "Hey."
"Hey, Sir." She managed to breathe out. "You made it." Sam had tears in her eyes, and he could tell she was hurting, but she hadn't made a sound.
"Wouldn't miss this for the world, you know that." He glanced around then over to where Sergey and Teal'c were talking quietly. Jack made a circling motion with his hand and the two men split up and started to check the perimeter.
Sam looked up at him with concern. Jack just shook his head. "No, I don't think there's anyone else out there, but after the day we've had, I just want to be perfectly sure there are no more surprises."
"Good." Daniel grunted at him, not raising his eyes this time. "I don't need anymore right now. The baby... she's definitely in a hurry."
Jack looked back at Sam and indicated the direction that Sergey had dragged the body off into. "So you want to tell me what happened?" he asked conversationally.
She was able to muster a giggle, "He was annoying us, and so Daniel shot him." She gasped again. "Daniel!"
"You're doing great, Sam. Just hang on for me," He dashed a hand across his face, wiping sweat out of his eyes. "I'm going to tell you to start pushing at the next contraction...okay?"
Sam managed a nod, and gripped Jack's hand hard. He smiled down at her. "That's it. You're doing good, Carter." He looked over at Daniel trying to gauge the younger man's state of mind. All he could see was Daniel's concentration on the task at hand. But O'Neill knew that he'd have to deal with the shooting later.
"Jack, I don't want to put the baby down when she comes, I need you here." Daniel's tone of voice brooked no argument.
"Oookay," He looked from Daniel to Sam to Teal'c. The Jaffa and the young Russian had finished their perimeter walk and were standing together. "Come here, Teal'c. I need you to take over for me on this end." Jack looked at Kuryakin. "Sergey, keep an eagle eye out, or a bear eye, or whatever."
"No one shall get through, Colonel." The young man assured him. "I will make certain you are not disturbed."
Teal'c moved in and knelt behind Carter's head. He took both of her hands in his. "I have you Majorcarter, you may squeeze as hard as you can, you will not hurt me." He smiled gently down at her.
Sam nodded, biting her lower lip, not to cry out. They didn't know what or who was out there in the woods, and she was determined not to give their position away.
Jack, sitting there at Carter's hip, could watch the expression of absorption on Daniel's face as the younger man continued to talk softly to Sam. He then realized he needed something to wrap the baby in to protect it from the ground's dirt. He quickly unfastened his vest and dropped it behind him.
Then he slipped off his BDU shirt and opened it up to serve as swaddling. Jack, not sure what would be needed, pulled his K-bar survival knife out of it's sheath, and the canteen with it's clean water and laid them out within easy reach of Daddy Danny. He also quickly went through his vest pockets and found two clean handkerchiefs stuck in its back pocket. He folded one of them into a rectangle and passed it up to Teal'c who offered it to Carter to bite down on. She couldn't talk but nodded her thanks.
"Sam, she's crowning...push, I need you to push NOW!"
The pain hit her with a jolt. Sam felt like she was being split in two pieces. She could vaguely feel Daniel's hand pressing down on her abdomen and then a slight relief when he took the pressure off, but he wasn't through with her yet. "Again, Sam, push again!" She panted and pushed again...anything to get her ordeal over with.
"Okay, Sam, her head's out...next the shoulders, but they won't be as hard...next contraction I'll say push again, okay."
She nodded breathlessly. Sam looked up and saw Teal'c's looking down at her. He nodded and stroked her face, brushing the perspiration from her with his hand.
Jack watched Daniel, marveling at the calmness in his voice. Here he was, a trained commander and all he could do was hold out a sort of clean shirt for the baby's first blanket.
Sam grunted, biting down on the cloth between her teeth, Teal'c took both of her hands like his very life depended on it. Sergey was busily looking elsewhere with only a glance or two their direction, but he steadfastly guarded their safety and their privacy. Jack's attention was pulled back by a strangled cry from Carter. She had her eyes tightly closed again, strain reflected in her whole being.
"Sam, again! Push again!"
Carter arched back into Teal'c's hands, in a spasm of pain, her eyes closed.
Then, a soft matching sound from Daniel. Looking up at him, O'Neill caught the first glimpse of the baby, the little girl that they had all been thinking, hoping and waiting for. Her diligent father matter- of-factly held her close to his body, cleaned her mouth with his finger, and patted her on the back expectantly. Finally, there was a soft answer to his attentions. And with a little more encouragement, her wail sounded in the clearing.
"Yeah, Danny, what do ya need?"
He looked at O'Neill, saw the knife and nodded. "Uh, cut the umbilical cord."
Jack got it. He picked the knife up, and at Daniel's nod, he ripped two narrow strips off the second handkerchief. He tied the cord off in two places and cut the tissue between them.
Daniel handed the baby to Jack who took her tenderly in his hands and laid her in his BDU shirt. He took what was left of the second clean handkerchief, tipped a little clean canteen water on it and began to clean the baby.
Daniel finished his midwife duties with speed and efficiency, now that the baby was breathing normally, he could sit back and relax for a moment. As they waited for the after birth to pass, Jack handed the baby to her mother who showed her to Teal'c. The big man smiled fondly at the pair, reaching down to caress the baby's soft skin.
Jack then shifted his attention to Daniel. He removed the tourniquet from the younger man's leg and taking the knife, slit his BDU pant leg further to reveal the bullet wound. He smiled wolfishly up at his friend's pained expression. "You lucked out again, Danny boy. Over any further, you would have bled to death and I couldn't have done a damned thing to stop it." Jack brought out his first aid kit, applied a sterile gauze pad and a pressure bandage, taping it tightly to keep the wound from starting to bleed again. Then he tightened the strip of material and noted the new time. Jack then looked in his medical kit and pulled out a small pre-prepared syringe.
Daniel looked at him questioningly.
Jack shook his head. "Daniel, when the excitement wears off, that leg is gonna hurt like hell. If you let me give you something now, by the time you come down off your adrenaline high, it'll already be at work."
Daniel looked at him for a minute, then finally nodded. "Yes, well, I just want to be awake long enough to finish this."
"I'd say, you've done just fine, Danny." Jack smiled gently at the younger man, as he pushed the sleeve up on his friend's arm, and quickly gave him the morphine injection.
Daniel smiled back at him then looked over at Sam and his daughter. His medical care completed, Daniel was able to return his concentration to Sam. She soon passed the afterbirth without any complications. He then wrapped it in a mylar space blanket and handed it off to O'Neill. Jack nodded, and then carried it some distance from their spot and, using his knife again, dug a hole two feet deep and buried it, covering it with dirt, which he stamped down, and then rolled a large rock over the area. He didn't want another search team from the research lab discovering the placenta and using it for experimentation.
Daniel looked at Sam carefully, she was obviously tired and relaxing with her head on Teal'c's lap and appeared to be almost asleep. She had delivered perfectly and showed no immediate problems. Teal'c was sitting there, holding the newborn infant with a very mellow expression on his face. He looked up at Jack who now approached their little band. Sergey followed him in, carefully staying on the sidelines of the group and keeping an alert eye on their immediate area . When Jack got to them, Teal'c handed the baby to him. The hard-ass Colonel took her carefully from him and was soon completely fascinated with her, cuddling her and making soft, little noises at her.
After fifteen minutes of domestic bliss, Jack looked up from the baby and said regretfully. "Well, kids. I think we need to get Carter and the princess here back to civilization." He looked over at Sergey. "Did the van run all right when you drove it over here?"
The young Russian soldier came a little closer. "Yes, Colonel O'Neill. I will go check it to see if the wires are properly seated, but it started and ran with no problems for the short distance here."
Jack nodded, looking from Carter to Daniel, who nodded. Jack wrapped the baby securely in his shirt and handed her to her father. "How's the leg feel, Daniel?"
Daniel looked up at him and nodded. "It's not bad; I think the bleeding's stopped already."
Jack shook his head, "Good. You were so damned lucky..." He left off at the thought of it.
The younger man nodded. "Yes, I know what you mean." He smiled up at jack and his infant daughter in his friend's arms. "I need to be around for eighteen years or so."
Jack climbed to his feet, careful not to jostle the baby, and reached a hand down to Daniel. "Do you think you can walk to the van?"
"Yes, I think so, but you'll have to carry her though." He reached down and hoisted a vest to his shoulder. "If I fall on one of these it won't matter."
Jack nodded, "Teal'c, can you manage Carter?"
Teal'c nodded. "With no difficulty, O'Neill."
Sam pulled herself up out of his arms to a sitting position. "I can walk, Sir."
Jack watched Daniel as he bent to pick up the rest of his gear. He then looked at her. "I know, but it'll make Teal'c feel better if you let him carry you." She rolled her eyes at him and Jack smiled back. "Won't it, T?"
"Of course, Majorcarter, I would be most gratified to carry you to the van." He helped her to her feet, then picked her up in his arms. "I assure you, it is no bother."
She chuckled into his neck. "Okay, if you insist."
Sergey had returned to the group, "The van is good, Colonel. We can go whenever you are ready."
O'Neill nodded. Daniel had his weapons and vest, Sergey had Teal'c's rifle and his pack, Teal'c had mom and he had the baby. Jack motioned for Sergey to take point and he brought up the rear with his own P-90 in hand.
Once at the vehicle, they arranged the packs and their bedrolls that had been left in the van into a comfortable bed for Carter and the baby. Sergey said he would drive, Teal'c took the shotgun seat and Daniel and Jack settled in the back on the floor with mother and child. Jack reached over and loosened the touniquet again and checking on his friend. The bleeding had finally stopped with the bandage in place. Within a short time, Daniel was asleep on Jack's shoulder.
Chapter 6: Chapter 6: The Finale
The trip back to the city was almost anticlimactic. After they arrived back at their hotel, Doctor Markov made arrangements at the Sakha State University, which boasted the Medical University, for a local doctor to treat their wounds and check out Sam and baby. The Doctor assured them that all was well with both mother and child, but he admitted them for rest and observation and urged them to stay a few days to allow everyone a chance to relax a bit and grow stronger before their long trip back to the United States.
There was also a legal matter of a birth certificate and other documentation for customs and other governmental agencies that they would meet on the way back to the United States.
The following day found Daniel on crutches, Jack and Sergey standing in the town square looking at a sheaf of official looking papers that declared one Claire Elizabeth Carter-Jackson a citizen of Yakutsk, Republic of Sakha, Russia.
"Humph," Jack shook his head. "A Russian citizen no less."
Daniel looked at him curiously. "So? I was an citizen of Egypt by birth. What difference does it make?"
"None, I guess." Jack acknowledged with a sigh, "It just doesn't seem right."
"Oh, I don't know Jack;" Daniel smiled over at Sergey. "I know some really good Russian citizens."
Jack glanced over at Kuryakin, "Oh, yeah, well, you know what I mean."
Sergey nodded, "Thank you, Doctor Jackson."
"As soon as we get back, we can apply to have dual citizenship granted for her." Daniel commented,
"I'm just glad she's as healthy as she is. I was worried when I found out how long Sam had been kept unconscious."
"Yeah, that bothered me too." O'Neill admitted. "I'll just feel better when we get them both back to the states."
"Have you called the General yet?"
"No, I couldn't find a secure phone yesterday. Markov said to come by this morning and she'd make arrangements." Jack smiled at the thought of breaking the news to Hammond. This was gonna be fun.
Daniel and Sergey did some time computations during their lunch at a small downtown cafe and determined that it would be five o'clock in the afternoon in Denver. Knowing that General Hammond never left before six, and often stayed later if there was anything going on at the SGC, Jack felt fairly sure he'd still be in the Mountain.
Jack pulled his notebook with Doctor Markov's office address out, and they called a cab for transportation to the college campus where she worked and did her research. The old Mercedes cab was missing some paint and had a dent or two, but the driver, who was surprised to find two of his passengers were Americans, got them back to the State University safely through the crowded narrow streets of the old city..
Making their way in the old brick building that served as office space for the teaching staff, they finally located the petite Russian woman who had willingly come to their assistance during their foray into Russia. Her office was small and cramped, but crowded with books, journals, and a very impressive looking computer. Obviously, her work here had government backing and financial support. As the three men squeezed into the tiny space, she put down her pen on her crowded, paper filled desk and smiled up at them.
"Good morning, I hope you've had a profitable day so far," she said in English.
"Oh, yeah." Jack replied nodding. "We got the paperwork in order from this end. But I'm afraid that we'll have to borrow a phone to let our General know to clear the way on into the US for us."
"Of course, and Major Carter? She is doing well?"
"Yes, thank you." Daniel shifted his weight on his wooden crutches. It had been a long walk for him.
Markov got up from behind her desk and came to where they were standing. She pulled some books off of an old armchair and sat them on the corner of her desk. "Here, Doctor Jackson, sit down." She nodded to his crutches; "I know how awkward it is to be incapacitated in strange surroundings. I'll have my assistant make your connections. Then, you can take your call from in here."
Daniel eased himself down gratefully into the chair. "Thank you, Doctor Markov."
Jack came over and stood by his friend, "Do you want to tell Hammond?"
Daniel smiled up at Jack, "and take that away from you?" He chuckled. "Not for a moment."
Sergey looked back and forth between the two men, "So, Doctor Jackson, you are really the father of the child?"
Jack and Daniel looked at him curiously. Finally, Daniel nodded at him, turning slightly pink. "Yes, we decided that we both wanted a child and didn't have much of an opportunity for normal lives and relationships, so..." he shrugged.
Jack tilted his head slightly, and asked with a grin. "Why? Who did you bet on?"
"Me? I did not bet. I do not know of you and your team. But there are many who will lose money when we go back to the SGC." The young man smiled slightly. "Most of them were betting on you, Colonel O'Neill."
"Then they don't know us very well either." Jack replied smugly.
Doctor Markov's secretary came in and said something in her native language to Sergey, who nodded at the Colonel. "The phone call, it is waiting."
Jack picked up the phone and spoke into the instrument. "O'Neill."
"Colonel, this is Hammond. How are things going there?" Jack had to smile at the concern wrapped around the Texan twang.
"General, everything went well. Mission accomplished. We just need some transportation back to the States."
"Excellent, Jack. I've been keeping an eye on the scheduled flights from your area." Jack could hear the sound of paper rustling. "The soonest thing back is a C-5 out of Osan."
O'Neill thought about it briefly, but decided to pass on that one.
"Uh, General, I'm afraid that won't be suitable. There will be six of us, Sir, and one of the parties needs more specialized handling than is available on a cargo plane."
"Oh?" I was given the information that there was some time left."
"Well, as you know, Sir, things just seem to happen."
Jack could almost hear the General shake his head. "They certainly do with SG-1." There was a pause, and O'Neill could hear some voices in the background. Then Hammond came back on the phone. "Understood, Colonel. We'll make some special arrangements for your transport...and to get you through customs with your special delivery package."
"Yes, Sir. Thank you." He had to smile. "We appreciate your help, Sir. The less stress on the team at this point the better."
"I understand completely, Colonel, don't worry about it. Your paperwork will be expedited. Just a moment." More noise and then another voice came on the line.
"Just a moment, Colonel." More noise and then another voice came on the line.
"Colonel O'Neill? This is Fraiser, is everything all right?"
"Oh, hi, Doc. Yes, everything is just fine," he smiled at Daniel.
"Here, I'll let you talk to the Doctor in charge." He handed the phone to his friend.
Daniel made a face at him as he took the receiver. "Hello, Janet. This is Daniel."
"Daniel. Is everything okay?"
"Yes, everything went very well. They are in a hospital for observation overnight, but delivery was normal, and they'll be released tomorrow."
"Oh, Daniel, that's wonderful! How are you?"
"Fine, Janet." At his words, Jack rolled his eyes. Fine was not a term Janet Fraiser approved of.
"Daniel? What do you mean fine?" Her voice took on a suspicious tinge.
"Uh, you know, fine." He looked at Jack for help. "We're good now, Janet. Honest."
O'Neill made a gimme motion with his hand, giving Daniel a look of disgust. "Hey, Doc."
"Just what does he mean by fine, Colonel?'" She demanded. "What happened?"
"Oh, you know, Doc." O'Neill used his casual voice. " We came, we saw, we conquered, and Daniel got shot in the leg, nothing serious." He thought he heard a strangled sound. "Package is find, carrier is fine, entourage is fine, no problem."
"Colonel." He could hear her eyes rolling.
The phone changed hands again. "Colonel, There will be a C-21 en route to your location in an hour. It should be there by tomorrow. Is your initial documentation in order?"
"Yes, all paperwork is finalized and on file at this end." Jack looked over at Daniel. "All signed, sealed, and delivered, from Russia with love."
A week later, Jack was playing host to SG-1 and friends at his suburban home. Daniel was staying there until his leg healed as per his usual habit. The bar-b-que had been delicious, the weather fine and the company congenial. It had been a very good day. The conversation was lively and interesting as always. Sergey looked uncomfortable but everyone had gone out of their way to make him feel welcome. Cassie especially was taken with the handsome young man, much to Jack and Janet's chagrin.
People had started to leave soon after dark; Fraiser admonishing Daniel to be careful of his injured leg and giving Sam a hug. George had finally agreed to give baby Claire back to her doting father, adding his name to the babysitting pool before leaving. Ferretti graciously paying Teal'c the hundred dollars he owed on their private bet, though he mumbled about inside information being unfair. Jack had pointed out that he should have known better than to bet with a team member.
After the bulk of the guests had left, Daniel and Claire retreated to his upstairs room, with a little help from Uncle Jack, to get some rest. Both of them needed a break from the excitement. It was the princess' first public appearance and she needed a nap; Daniel was still having some trouble with his wound and they were both getting fussy. He also knew that for the pain meds to work he needed to rest his leg for a while or he would suffer the consequences of a return visit from Janet.
Finally, just the team was left. O'Neill, Carter, and Teal'c were seated around the kitchen table. Jack poured coffee for himself and Carter and juice for Teal'c.
"Colonel," Sam started when he had sat down. "Sir, we've been talking."
"Yeah, I saw the three of you huddled up today." He acknowledged.
"What were you talking about?"
"We were speaking of you, O'Neill." Teal'c replied.
"Yes, Sir. We were." Carter took a deep breath. "I, well we, know that you're contemplating retirement so that you can take care of Claire."
"Yeah," he took another sip of coffee.
"Well...we don't think you ought to." Sam said definitely.
"Really," he put down the cup. "Why? Don't you trust me?"
"Oh, please, Colonel! Of course we trust you, no one more. It's just we're a little selfish."
Teal'c nodded soberly. "O'Neill, the SGC needs your wisdom and skills. The fight against the Goa'uld is far from finished. General Hammond is a wise leader, but he does not lead in the field. The Taur'i still need a great warrior to show the way. Your loss at this time could be a fatal mistake."
Before Jack could reply, Carter jumped back in. "Besides," she grinned at him. "If you retire now, I'll have to take a team, if not SG-1 than another. I want some Mommy time. And," she shook her head. "I wouldn't like to see Daniel go through the gate without you. You're the only team chief that he'll listen to."
"That's not true, Carter. He goes off world with different teams all the time." O'Neill shook his head, smiling at Daniel's reputation for trouble.
"Yes, Sir. But you always give them instructions about the care and feeding of archaeologists. And they try their best because they know what will happen if they let him get hurt," she laughed. "I heard Major DuPrat say that he'd rather get killed or goulded before leaving Daniel behind, because O'Neill would rip his head off and stuff it down his neck."
"I never said that!" Jack replied with a grin. "I said I'd make him wish he was dead or goulded, I didn't give any details."
"I believe Major Ferretti added the in-depth procedures that would be forthcoming, O'Neill." Teal'c added with a small smile. "He has an active imagination and a vivid speaking pattern."
"Yeah, that does sound like Lou all right."
"But the point being, Sir is that the SGC can't afford to lose you just yet. Janet has said that she and Cassie can babysitting for a while." She shrugged. "Besides I have my three-month maternity leave. I can always do light duty for some time afterwards too. There are plenty of projects that can keep me on base. And, Daniel always needs down time too." She looked at him slyly. "Retirement just seems so permanent..."
"I hadn't noticed." O'Neill groused back. "I've tried it two different times and it never seemed to take."
Carter chuckled. "Well, don't let it take this time either. I want some time to be a Mommy, and I want Claire to have a Daddy, and an Uncle Jack, and an Uncle Teal'c. I just think that to do that, SG-1 has to stay intact for a while longer." She ducked her head and looked up at him from under her eyelashes, "and it would make Uncle George really happy too."
"Okay," O'Neill groused back at her with a grin. "I guess I'm not quite ready to hang up the old P-90 yet, and it will come soon enough on its own. I won't write that letter now...I'll give it a few more months."
Carter smiled at him in relief and glanced at Teal'c. "Well, now that that's accomplished, I guess I'd better call it an evening. Claire's up entirely too late, and I think her Daddy is too. Auntie Janet is not going to be pleased if his leg swells up again."
"Yeah, you're right, Mommy. Let's go check on our kids."
The two men helped Sam gather up the baby items that had now become a part of her lifestyle and took them all out to her brand new Jeep Cherokee. The vehicle had been sitting in her driveway when she had returned to her home from her short stay at the SGC's clinic. She had immediately accused first Daniel, then O'Neill of buying it. They both had denied any knowledge of the jeep. At first Sam had been adamant about returning it, but O'Neill had pointed out that her car was still in the police impound yard and would need some extensive repairs to return it to its original pristine condition. He also mentioned that Teal'c had recently acquired a Jeep CJ-7 and you did not insult a Jaffa by returning his gift. It would hurt the big guy's feelings and he would pout. Jack did not want a pouting Teal'c; so suck it up, Carter! She had finally relented and by now was happy with the car.
Upstairs was very quiet as they approached Daniel's room. Jack carefully pushed the door open, smiled broadly, and motioned to the other two with one hand while putting a finger to his lips in a gesture of silence. As they looked into the room, they could see where Daniel, lying on his back on the floor, had been reading to Claire. She was lying sprawled on his chest, asleep. Her father had also dozed off, with the book he had been reading to her from on the floor by his side. The two had the exact same expression on their faces, mouths just barely open and eyebrows pulled slightly together as if studying some esoteric language. Jack managed to slip out of the doorway and into his room. He returned in a moment with a digital camera and clicked off several frames.
Sam looked at him in curiosity. He smiled, then whispered to her. "If anyone asks you who the father is, just show them this. There is no doubt that this little acorn didn't fall too far from the oak tree."
Teal'c nodded and whispered back. "Indeed, I will collect a large sum of money from Lieutenant Colonel Barrett. He insisted the child was yours."
Daniel awoke to the presence of his three teammates. "Hey," he asked groggily. "What's going on?"
O'Neill looked at Carter with a grin. "Okay, Mom, you get your kid.... I'll get mine. It's way past their bedtimes."
A happy ending.