Things Not Done - Part 4
by Suz

Disclaimer - 'Singularity', 'Thor's Chariot', 'The Fifth Race', 'Past and Present', 'Upgrades', and 'Window of Opportunity'. General Tok'ra spoilers.

Use of {} indicates memories.


Thor blinked.

Jack leapt up onto the ramp. “Thor! Good to see you buddy!” Mimicking his earlier farewell, he bent down and tapped the Asgard on the shoulder.

At least, he presumed it was a shoulder. For all he knew it could be some kind of sexual orga-

He moved his hand away.

“It is good to see you too, O’Neill.” As Thor spoke the Stargate shut down and the base lights powered back up.

Glancing around the room, Jack focused his attention back on the little guy standing next to him. “You know, one day you gotta show me how to do that.”

Hammond was now in the Gate room, and stepped forward. “Thor, welcome back to Earth.”

“Thank you, General Hammond.” This time around Thor actually took a few moments to greet those he knew, before again facing Jack. “I am relieved to discover that you have indeed returned to your own time.”

“All thanks to you. How’s the Replicator situation?”

“Better than expected, thanks to Major Carter. We have used similar methods to hers to destroy many of them. However, those that remain are still learning and feeding. Soon we will no longer be able to fool them.”

“I’ll still be here if you need any more stupid ideas,” Sam pointed out.

Jack grinned. “Just as long as your IQ has gone down instead of up.”

“Well if I stay in your presence that’s almost a given, sir.”

She looked as surprised as he felt that she’d actually said it. In front of Hammond no less.

“Riiiiight,” Tearing his gaze away from Carter, he smiled at Thor. “Actually, there’s another reason I’m glad you’ve turned up now.”

“What reason, O’Neill?”

How to put this? “Things have gone a little cock-eyed,”


Sam beat him to it. “You knew he was going to get younger?!” Realising she may have spoken out of turn, she glanced furtively towards O’Neill. “Uh...sorry sir. That probably should have been your angry outburst.”

“That’s quite all right Major,” Nodding to her he then swivelled to face Thor and cleared his throat. “You knew I was going to get younger?!” He knew that Sam was smiling.

At Hammond’s suggestion they’d moved to the briefing room so now SG-1, Hammond and Fraiser were seated around the briefing table. Thor, thankfully, wasn’t sitting. Instead he was standing at the opposite end of the table to Hammond. It was just as well he wasn’t sitting down - the visual image of Thor sitting on a chair with his feet not reaching the floor was almost too much for Jack. It’d been weird enough watching him walk up the stairs to get there.

“That is not what I said,” Thor insisted.

“It sounded a heck of a lot like it,” Jack argued.

“My apologies, but your language is insufficient to describe the process in any other term that you would understand.”

Jack held up his hands. “Okay, can we just start again? Explain it to me slowly, in words of no more than two syllables. Maybe three if it’s a scientific term, and then I can ask Carter what it means.”

Thor nodded. “The device I used to heal you,”

“The bubble thing in your hand, right?”



“It returns your body to an earlier state.”

“Now see, that’s where you lose me.” Leaning forward, Jack continued to wave his hands about. “How is that possible? How can you just return my body to an ‘earlier state’? Whatever the hell that means.”

“We have used the device for many thousands of years for this function; it has been a part of our physiology for much longer.”

“So...” Daniel definitely took an interest in that comment. “It actually is part of your body? Not something held in place on your hand like the Goa’uld use their own healing or ribbon devices?”


“Wow. I’d love to know how the development of that began-“


Jackson got the hint. “I know, I know. There’s a time and place for xenobiology, right?”

“I was gonna say ‘shut up’, but that’s close enough.”

“Actually sir...” Janet chimed in.

“Someone’s going to agree with him again, aren’t they?”

“It might be important.”

Sighing, he relented.

Clasping her hands together, Janet rested them on the table. “Thor, do the Asgard use this device on their own people? To heal, to restore youth?”


“Of course,” Daniel commented. “When Sam and I ‘met’ Thor for the first time on Cimmeria, he said it had been ‘ten span’ since he created the Hall of Might. Now I just assumed that the Asgard have a naturally long life-span, but the...uh...bubble device probably extends it even more.”

“Like the Asgard equivalent of a sarcophagus?” Sam asked.

“Basically, yeah.” He turned to the Asgard. “Thor, excuse me for asking old are you?”

“In Earth years?”



Hammond broke his silence. “Old?”


Now Teal’c. “How old?”

Another one word answer: “Very.”

It was Jack of all people who figured out what was going on first. Slack jawed he gaped at the alien. “You’re *modest* about your *age*?”

He said nothing. He just did that blinking thing again.

Sam spoke up quietly. “Why not sir? Most humans can be sensitive about how old they are.”

“Yeah, but he’s *Thor*. He’s an *Asgard*. They’re supposed to be concerned about bigger things, aren’t they? Somehow I can’t see the great Thor pounding along on his chariot, waving his hammer and striking fear into the hearts of his enemies everywhere, only to suddenly ask ‘Oh, are my roots showing’? No offence.”

Sam’s attempt at political correctness failed. She giggled, but managed to make it sounds like a sneeze. “Uh...excuse me.”

Daniel didn’t look amused. “That’s easy for you to say, Jack. You’re the only one in the room who’s actually getting younger.”

“Which is exactly what we should be talking about,” the Colonel agreed. “Thor, do have anything or know any way that we can stop this from happening? As nice as the benefits of being younger may actually be, we should probably try and stop it.”

“There is only one option that I am aware of.”

“Which would be?”

“That I ‘undo’ what I did to you.”

Sam sat forward. “You can do that? Make it as if it never happened?”


“ does that work? Actually, how does any of it work? What you said before about healing him by returning his body to an earlier state…is that some kind of time dilation?”

“It is not.”

“Then how-“

“You would not understand Major Carter, even with your stupid ideas.” He wasn’t mocking her or being egotistical; it was just a statement of fact. “You are still very young. As far as you have come, you still have much to comprehend.”

“Okay,” Jack began. “What exactly does ‘undo’ mean? That I’ll go back to the way I was before you healed me?”


“So I’ll be sitting here and suddenly - BAM! One broken leg. Again.”

“Essentially, yes.”

Jack nodded, faking an expression of thoughtfulness. “Does anyone else think that’s a bad idea?”

“We may have no choice,” Teal’c pointed out.

“Thanks, Teal’c.”

The Jaffa either missed or ignored the sarcasm.

Hammond caught Fraiser’s attention. “What’s your opinion, doctor?”

“To be honest sir, I would like to know a little more about exactly how this bubble device of Thor’s works. Frankly, I think a sudden reversal of what’s happening to Colonel O’Neill could be potentially more dangerous than allowing him to continue to become younger, at least in the short term. It’s the kind of shock that can do huge amounts of damage to the body.”

“Well, isn’t this cheery?”


“Daniel, what do you expect me to say? Damned if I do and damned if I don’t.” Crap, he hated this feeling. Choiceless.

“Vyas!” Sam suddenly remembered. “The people of Vyas weren’t affected by suddenly becoming younger.”

“Yes, but they weren’t becoming younger and then suddenly became older. And they weren’t exactly human, either. Close, but not exactly.”

“That’s it?” Jack asked. “Broken leg or nothing?” Realistically he realised there wasn’t much of a choice. If he continued to get younger…it wouldn’t be good. Even he knew that. He stared at Thor again. “What about doctors or physicians on your planet? Specialists.”

“We do not have ‘specialists’ in this area.”

“Why not?”

Thor lifted his hand, exposing the bubble device.

Daniel spoke first. “Of course. If it’s a part of your physiology then everyone must have one. What happened to Jack was an unexpected side effect - as we suspected - that wouldn’t affect a normal Asgard. Why would they need specialists?”

Shaking his head, Jack muttered. “How do you *do* that?”

“Uh, do wha-?”




“Get a medical team in here, stat!”


“Sir? Sir, can you hear me?!”

“Sam, keep his arms held down!”

“Christ, what’s happening?!”


“His body is doing something the human body was never designed to do is what’s happening, Daniel. Colonel, look at me. Teal’c, take over from Sam.”


“Colonel, look at me! Exactly where does it hurt? Sam, don’t worry about wiping away his tears.”

“Look at his hair!”

“Oh my God...”

“What, Sam?”

“The scar on his’s vanishing.”


“Shit, he’s stopped breathing! 1-2-3-4-5...get that trolley in here now!”




He was so still.

Everyone who had been in the briefing room earlier were now in the infirmary. Most of them kept their distance on the other side of the room, giving Janet extra space to move about.

Except for Sam, who stood next to the bed, and next to her stood Thor, whose expression was the closest to frowning it had ever been.

Janet had managed to get him stabilised since God knew what had happened; all anyone knew for sure was that he'd been in incredible amounts of pain, and rapid bruising had suddenly sprung up over most of his body.

Then he had stopped breathing.

Not only that. His hair at the roots was coming out brown, the colour it had been when they first met. Maybe a little darker.

And the scar on his left eyebrow had completely vanished. She wouldn't have believed it if she hadn't seen it herself, hadn't seen the impossible happen as the scar simply disappeared as if it had never been there, his eyebrow left perfectly formed afterwards.


Mostly terrifying.

Even unconscious he didn't look peaceful or calm. He just looked as if he knew what would be waiting for him when he woke up.

Thor was the first to speak for a long time, just loud enough so she could hear. "You are fond of him."

She didn't move her gaze from the familiar face she'd been staring at all along. "I'm not the one who named a spaceship after him."

It seemed to amuse him. "I suppose - in terms you would understand - that I am 'fond' of him. He reminds me of a Leren."


"Domesticated creatures found all over Ida. We feed them, take care of them, treat them as members of our own gatherings."

It took a few moments for the comprehension to make its way through Sam's worried mind. "You mean...he reminds you of you dog?"

"That would be a fair assessment."

Smiling to herself - perhaps a little sadly - Sam continued to study Jack. In a perfect world he would have woken up, overheard what Thor had said and would now be ranting about being compared to a damn dog.

Even though he liked dogs.

Even though he thought every kid should have a dog.

And then she probably would have compared his IQ to that of a dog's and made a very logical argument for the comparison.

He would do one of two things: roll his eyes and say "Carter..."

Or grin.

Maybe he'd grin.

But in his current situation he wasn't likely to do either.

Janet returned from wherever she'd gone; from what she was holding in her hands, she'd been retrieving the results from his latest round of x-rays.

She didn't look happy. She looked close to tears herself.

Sam had never been more thankful for not being a MD. "What..." God, her voice kept catching. "What is it?"

Those who had been standing back stepped forward, their expressions no doubt as morose as hers.

Janet licked her lips and forced herself to meet Sam's gaze. "I don't to...his bones are shrinking."

"Jesus," someone whispered.

Sam closed her eyes.

"It's stopped for now," Janet continued, voice wobbling. "I think that much in the same way a growing adolescent experiences growth spurts, the Colonel is experiencing spurts of...youth, I suppose. It was so sudden that he almost died from the shock."

Hammond found his voice. "And if it happens again?"

"I don't think he'll survive it, sir. To be honest, I'm not even sure he's going to survive as it is."

"Then we have no choice," Teal'c announced. "We must allow Thor to perform the procedure."

"He's not going to be pleased about that."

"But he may at least survive to be not pleased about that. If we do nothing, he will certainly die."

What else could they do? Contacting the Tok'ra and the Tollans had turned up nothing, and as yet they hadn't heard back from the Nox. If they waited much longer...dammit! After all this time, after all these years of going through the Stargate, hadn't they encountered anything that might be able to help him?

{Jolinar was extremely annoyed.}



{Jolinar was extremely annoyed. It was bad enough that she had found out about it, but that she had insisted that she had to come along and study any was making her unbelievably angry. This was *supposed* to be a planet where they rendezvoused in secret - not somewhere where she could indulge in her little obsessions.}

{"You're much too hard on her you know."}

{"Be quiet, Rosha." Sighing, she glared at the Tok'ra who was currently kneeling down in one of her less than conservative outfits. "Have you discovered anything? We have to leave. Soon."}

{"I believe this passage reads 'The Constructor builds all.'"}

{"What does that mean?"}

{"Presumably the 'Constructor' - whomever that may be - built these. Put them here."}

{"For what purpose?"}

{She moved closer to the etchings. "I am uncertain. 'The Constructor will alter the fabric; he will put right what once went wrong."}

{"This does not sound like something we should be experimenting with. And, if this planet was altered to trap enemies as we suspect, why put these here?"}

{Anise frowned. "I do not know."}


She was still upright this time, which was a definite bonus. "Contact the Tok'ra - we need Anise to come here immediately!"


Gasping, she sat on the edge of Jack's bed. "We're going back to the planet, sir."


"Explain this to me, Major."

Carter and Hammond entered the gate room as the incoming wormhole formed.

"I'm not sure I can, sir. I just...know there's something on the planet that can help the Colonel. In my memory Anise was there with Jolinar. She may not realise it, but she knows something important."

Without further questions, Hammond faced the Stargate.

Glad at his faith in her, Sam did the same and waited for Anise to appear. Thor had elected to remain with O’Neill and Teal’c was...probably with him as well, actually.

As she had the first time she arrived, Anise travelled through the Stargate alone - and she was wearing the same outfit, too. Reaching the end of the ramp, she stepped off and pulled her hood down. "General Hammond, Major Carter."

"Anise," Hammond greeted.

Sam added her own greeting. "Thanks for coming so quickly."

The Stargate shut down.

Anise lowered her head, and when she spoke this time it was without the voice distortion. Freya was now in charge.

"Your message indicated the level of urgency, Major Carter. Your father has been called away on a mission, but before he left he informed me of the situation involving Colonel O'Neill. How is he?"

Sam was too concerned to even be bothered by Freya's obvious concern for O'Neill.


"Not good. He doesn't have long if we can't find something to help him."

"Then how may we be of assistance?"


The briefing room. Again. Sam couldn't remember the last time she'd been off base.

Freya was standing next to the windows, looking down at the Gate room.

"Jolinar and I were not what you would call friends. I...annoyed her, although I am not entirely sure why. As a matter of fact, my relationship with Rosha was much closer, but Jolinar did not seem to be fond of either myself or Anise."

Maybe that explained her lingering resentment of Anise and Freya, when she didn't really know either of them particularly well. Maybe there was some left over feeling of annoyance from Jolinar.

Freya continued. "I was...greatly disturbed when I heard of her death. The idea that I may never speak to Rosha or even Jolinar again was...upsetting." Turning from the window, she faced those sitting around the briefing table. "In all truth, that is probably why I did not make an effort to get to know you, Major Carter."

Sam blinked. "Sorry?"

"I did not want to lose her again."

Okay, she was having some serious Martouf flashbacks. "Well...umm...thank you, but that's not why you're here. Now about the 'Constructor'..."

"Yes," Daniel sat up. "I have to say that from Sam's description of what she can remember, I'm fascinated already."

It was Anise's turn to speak. "I am afraid I did not learn as much as I hoped I would. Jolinar was extremely resistant to the idea of allowing me to go to the planet at all. She had somehow formed an...attachment to the planet, and it was not an official Tok'ra hiding place,"

"Uh..." Daniel said. "Isn't that the point? I mean none of them can be official or the Goa'uld would know where the Tok'ra are."

"Yes, but not all hiding places were made available to all the Tok'ra."

"If anyone was caught the information could be tortured out of them."

"Indeed, when the entirety of the Tok'ra move to a new planet, it is sometimes only High Councillor Persus himself who knows the destination."

"The less number of people who know, the less number of people who can tell."


Sam frowned. "But P4W 692 wasn’t one of these destination planets?"

Anise cocked her head to one side. "No. It was used only for rendezvous and hiding. Most races prefer to avoid it because of the visual confusion. The Goa'uld of course can navigate their way through it, but why should they? They do not do anything that does not come easily."

Daniel agreed. "They don't build anything unless they have to; they just steal and claim it was theirs all along. Even the Gods they portray were ideas stolen from Earth."

"Okay, Anise," Sam sat forward. It was quite clear that she had taken over the briefing. "This 'Constructor' on the planet...did you ever figure out exactly how it works, or how to make it work?"

"No. The nature of the Tok'ra means we have limited time and means to investigate archaeological discoveries. It may be my speciality, but we have limited resources. In what little free time I have I do my best to study anything we may come across, but I often do not have the time to fully understand anything that may be of assistance."

"But you did translate some of the markings, right? I saw that in my...uhh...memory." Please, let her say that she had.

"I did translate some of the markings as best I could, yes, and I also took some rubbings."

"Do you still have them?"

"I believe so."

"Good. Get them. Now."



Radio. Check.

Canteen. She probably wouldn't need it, but check.



Check, check, check and check.

From her position seated on the bench in the locker room, Sam looked up. Daniel was peering around the edge of the door clearly looking for her without actually looking at her in case she wasn't dressed. "Here, Daniel."

"Ah. Good." Definitely relieved, he stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. He had that 'we need to talk' expression on his face. " you doing?"

"Fine. Why?"

"Well I know this has been a hard time for you. And it probably doesn't help that you have Hekyl and Jekyl following your every move," He nodded towards the closed door, referring to the SF's outside.

"Yeah, well. At least they allowed me some privacy in here. Besides, I understand the General's decision to at least have a couple of guards around me. In his position I'd probably do the same."

Hands in his trouser pockets, he silently moved until he sat next to her on the bench. He spoke quietly as he met her gaze. "But how are you *doing*?"

Was everyone around here a psychic lately? "Fine, I told you. But I'll be even better once Anise gets back and we can go the planet-"



"You know...even with Anise's help...this is an entirely new language. It's going to take time to translate. And Jack may not have-"

"Don't, Daniel. We are not giving up on him, do you understand that?"

"I know that Sam, and I'm not suggesting in any way that we should give up on him. All I'm saying is that...there's the possibility that we may not be able to do this in time - and that’s presuming this ‘Constructor’ does whatever you think it’ll do anyway. Janet says she has no way of predicting when his next 'youth spurt' will take place, and even if there was a way she couldn't do anything about it. I...I'm just trying to say that you should be ready to face-"

"Daniel, I've been ready to face the fact that he may be dying or dead since the moment he first vanished through the Stargate. I'm military, remember? I'm trained for this."

"Sam...I don't think anybody could be trained for this."

God, why couldn't they just leave her alone? She'd been doing perfectly well for years without discussing this.

"Off-world activation!"

She thanked whatever God was listening to her today. "Come on. Let's go."


Daniel's office seemed the most logical place to go with the rubbings, so within the next three minutes they had met Anise at the Stargate then moved immediately to Daniel's domain.

Having placed all her papers on a table, she unfolded one and laid it flat. "As well as the rubbings I took I also made a sketching of the stones. There were four of them in a basic square formation..."

"Four stones?" Daniel asked, grabbing the paper from her and looking for himself. After studying them for all of two seconds he launched across his room and picked through a large pile of books and papers on another table. Successfully finding whatever he was looking for he pulled it out and walked back over to them. "When we originally sent the UAV through it transmitted back images of several rocks a few miles from the gate. From their layout I assumed they weren't a natural formation and from what you've said...I guess I was right." Placing the paper he was holding next to her sketches, he compared the two. "I had this still made from the telemetry."

Sam nodded, understanding. "It's the same place."

Anise agreed. "I concur. This...telemetry...does indeed show the place where we found the stones."

Excited, Daniel continued babbling. "I knew there was something special about them, I knew it! I don't know how I knew...I guess you just develop an instinct after so long...let me see the rubbings."

Complying, Anise opened up the next sheet.

Daniel blinked. Several times. He was next to the phone before anyone realised he'd moved. He spoke into the receiver. "The infirmary please. Dr Fraiser? Daniel. Is Teal'c there? Great, send him to my office, will you? We need him for something. Thanks." Hanging up, he grinned.

Sam stared at him. "What? What the hell is it?"

"Well there do appear to be a few differences - probably affects the pronunciation and the specific meaning but..."


"Sam," He smiled again. "Except for a few small, subtle differences...the carvings on those stones are a language I've encountered before. Several times. It's the language of the Ancients."


"What have you got, Dr Jackson?"

Daniel took centre stage - metaphorically, anyway. In reality he stood at the opposite end of the table, with the image of the rubbings projected on the wall behind him. "With the help of Anise, Freya and Teal'c - who learnt quite a bit of the Ancients language during the time loop he and Jack were stuck in - we've managed to translate a large portion of the rubbings Anise took. This part here," He turned and lifted a pen towards the image, indicating a grouping of several carvings. "Is the part Anise translated when she first found it, according to both her and Sam's memory. Now her initial translation came out as ‘The Constructor will alter the fabric; he will put right what once went wrong’, but we've managed to refine it a little, and despite the differences between this and the versions of the Ancients language we've encountered before, we're pretty sure it actually says ‘The Constructor will alter the fabric; he will create the right from the wrong’."

"Which means...?" Hammond prompted.

"To be honest I'm not entirely sure, sir. Obviously it sounds like it would make a change of some kind, and Major Carter is positive that it's something that can help Jack."

"And what do you base this on, Major?"

Here it was. "Instinct."

His surprise was obvious. "Instinct?"

"Yes sir," She understood his disbelief. She may have been a scientist, she may have needed to see the scientific proof behind something before she believed it, but sometimes even she went with instinct. "I don't think it's something from one of Jolinar's memories. I just...know. This will help him."

Hammond sighed. "Dr Jackson, you said there were differences?"

"Yes sir. Umm...nothing huge...or at least not something that I think will really affect our understanding of the Ancients language too much. This version of the language seems to be a bit less formal. I mean, when we've encountered it before there seems to have been no contractions - just 'cannots' and 'will nots' as opposed to can't and won't. This version isn't like that."

"So you're saying this version has contractions."

"Yes. Now I don't know if the Ancients who put these stones here were at a different stage of evolution, or an offshoot, or some different sect...considering how little we know about them, the possibilities are endless. In any case, we do need to go back to the planet. Anise did make many rubbings, but she didn't have time to get rubbings of all of the stones. Some of the other information we've managed to translate ends, well I suppose you could call it mid-sentence, and to understand it fully we're going to need to translate all of them." Catching his breath, he paused. "And for Jack's sake sir, I recommend we do this as quickly as possible."

There was an air of agreement throughout the room even though all of them - Sam, Teal'c and Anise - remained silent.

Hammond nodded. "Very well, Doctor. This is a rather unorthodox mission but I think the current circumstances leave us with no other choi-" He was interrupted by the sound of the phone ringing in his office. "Excuse me," Standing, he moved to his office and picked up the phone.

As he discussed whatever required his attention, Daniel gave Sam a supportive smile.

Hammond hurried back, surprising everyone. "He's awake."

No one waited for the "Dismissed." In fact Sam would have been the first one out the door if Hammond hadn't pulled her aside. After he was sure that everyone had left, he spoke.


"Sir?" What could he possibly want? She wanted to get to the infirmary and see how he was...

The General was doing his goldfish impression again. "When they go on this mission..."



They. Them.

Not her.

"You don't want me to go," She whispered as she realised, amazed.

"Your behaviour of late has been quite worrying, Major."

She couldn't believe this. She just couldn't believe this.

"And I'm not sure if it's in your own best interests for you to go."

"Sir, I have to go!"


Because I have to do something. Because I can't just sit here and wait. Because I can't do nothing.

"I still have Jolinar's memories of being on that planet. Granted, I don't remember all of them, but they could still come in useful."

"Your memories of Jolinar are exactly what are troubling me."

"Sir," She had to make him understand. She had to. "I know that you still have doubts about what kind of control Jolinar may have over me, but I also know that you have never doubted *me*. Trust me."

"It's not a question of trust, Major. You've had that from the start. It's a question of doing what's best."

"And I'm telling you that what's best is for me to go on this mission. In any case, Daniel and Teal'c will be there with me - and I'm sure you'll send along a couple of SF's, too. There's no way I could overpower all of them, even if she did still control me. Which she doesn't," She added with what she wasn't supposed to know but did know that Jack described as her ice-melting smile.

It seemed to work. Not without some further heavy sighing on his part, but it seemed to work.

"Very well Major. Just...please. Be careful."


Daniel had held the elevator door open for her, so they entered the infirmary at the same time.

O'Neill - who'd apparently been in the middle of a conversation with Thor - tipped his head towards them. As expected he was still lying on the bed. He looked awful, but somehow he was wearing that grin.

"Hey kids,"

They moved closer.




Anise was the last one to speak. "Colonel O'Neill."

He looked surprised for a few seconds. "Anise...Freya...whichever one you are right now...always a pleasure."

Thor leant his head back to look at her. "Kremel, Anise."

She smiled warmly in return. The warmest smile any of them had ever seen. "Kremel, Thor."

Everyone blinked.

Daniel cleared his throat. "You know each other?"

Anise nodded. "Yes."

Jack rolled his eyes. "Don't even bother asking how, Daniel. They won't tell you. A little something I've learned over the past few..."

The last couple of words he was planning to say trailed off into nothingness. Sam had moved and was standing next to him.


"Sir. Has Janet told you what's happening?" Her fingers hovered near his again, afraid to touch, afraid not to touch. She had no idea if it would hurt him.

His eyes were darker than normal. "Yeah, she's keeping me informed."

"How are you feeling at the moment?" He looked so much younger...

"Ohhhh...not too bad. She's drugged me up quite a bit. I think it's helping. In any case, Teal'c looks a lot prettier than he normally does. Either that or he's had a sex change."

She smiled. Good. He was still trying with the humour. Although he did look odd. As if something wasn’t quite right.

There was an understatement.

"You find anything that can help yet?"

He always asked her. He always knew she'd find an answer.

He always did.

"We think we might, actually. We're going back to P4W 692. You remember those rocks Daniel was so interested in? We think they'll actually be able to heal you."


"Yes sir."

"Wow. Well...good! No offence to vertically challenged people, but if I end up shorter than Thor it's gonna do serious damage to my capacity to lead SG-1. Not to mention my success with the ladies." He waggled his eyebrows.

She chuckled, trying not to let her feelings of depression get the better of her. "I don't know about that, sir. Some women prefer shorter men."

"Is that so? Hey, Thor - are you popular with the ladies of your planet?"

"We do not reproduce in the same way you do."

"Ah. I see." Noticing the archaeologists mouth opening, Jack continued with, "Daniel, if you ask him how I'm going to shoot you."

Jackson remained silent.

Thor was still focused on the subject. "Besides O'Neill, why would you wish to be favoured among the females of Earth?"

"Um...I'm a *guy* Thor. Why wouldn't I be?"

"As the Asgard understand it, your society is based on long term monogamous relationships."

"Actually," Daniel began. "That's not exactly true anymore. I mean for some people it is, but others prefer to 'play the field'."

"Play the field?"

Daniel closed his eyes briefly. "Sorry. I should probably try and stay away from metaphors...what I mean is that some people prefer to...have many partners. Without the intention of a long term commitment."

"I see."

Jack lifted his eyebrows. "A little behind on your research are we?"

"We have not visited your planet in a research capacity for quite some time, due to our ongoing conflict with the Replicators."

"Well why'd you wanna know if I wanted to be 'favoured among the females' anyway?"

"As I believed that humans eventually become part of a monogamous relationship, I did not believe you would insult Major Carter by mating with another female."

Stunned expressions filled the room.

Thor finally realised something was amiss. "Are O'Neill and Carter not mates?"



"No, no."


"They are not."

"I do not believe so."

Perhaps looking the most surprised he had ever looked, Thor nodded in understanding. "Very well. It is clearly my mistake. Although Otan believed the same."

If they hadn't seen the evidence with their own eyes, no one would have believed that Jack was still in serious condition. "You've been discussing this with your *friends*?"

"That is-"

"You and your pals have been gathering around the water cooler, discussing whether Carter and I are shacking up together?"


"Don't, Carter. Let me tell you something, Thor." He licked his lips. "Here in the good old Air force we have some pesky regulations which basically mean I can't have that kind of relationship with anyone under my command. Now I respect those regulations, and so does Major Carter. I have worked in the service of my country for several decades and I have followed my orders or disobeyed them where I thought it necessary. I find these regulations necessary."

Daniel recovered first, finding his voice while everyone else continued to gape at O'Neill.

"Um...Jack? Are you okay?"

"No Daniel, I'm not okay. I'm in a bad mood, my bones are *shrinking*, and I think those drugs Fraiser gave me are wearing off." As if to prove his last comment he winced and shifted painfully on the bed.

His words caught Janet's attention, who until now had been lurking on the other side of the infirmary, trying to look as if she hadn't been listening to every word. She was by his side in a second. "You're in pain, Colonel?"

"Oh yeah," He gasped, closing his eyes.

Sam's hands grasped onto the bedclothes.

Pulling a thermometer out of her pocket, Janet took his temperature. "Where?"

"Everywhere. Not as bad as before but definitely...ah, crap."

She turned to the nurse. "Karen, keep him comfortable for a moment, would you?"

As Karen took over Janet nodded to Sam. Understanding, Sam followed her to the other side of the infirmary.

"Well?" Carter asked anxiously. "He's a lot more coherent than I thought he would be given the circumstances."

"He is," Janet admitted cautiously, "But I think that's the only good news we're going to get."

"What do you mean?"

Holding up the thermometer as proof, Fraiser showed it to her. "His temperature is rising."

Sam closed her eyes, remembering. When they'd rushed Jack to the infirmary after his first 'youth spurt' they'd discovered his temperature had risen dramatically. After he'd stabilised, it'd dropped back to normal.

"I can understand why it rose so high the first time," Janet began. "A sudden shock like that is bound to throw your metabolism out of whack, but from the signs I've seen so far I think it's happening again - only slower."

"Will he survive it?" Sam's lips pursed tightly together.

"In my opinion, no. He won't."

"So what do we do?"

"Well, you believe this 'Constructor' thing can help him, right?"


"I'm a sceptic in such things, but it looks like our only choice - or rather no choice at all. No treatments I've ever heard of can stop what's happening to him. You go through the gate as planned with the others to find out how to make the Constructor work. The only difference will be that you won't have to figure it out, come back for him, then go all the way out there again to treat him. He's going with you. And so am I."


"Wow," Janet commented the moment she stepped through the Stargate.

"Indeed," Teal'c agreed. He'd volunteered to help carry O'Neill, so he and a SF by the name of Poupart who had extra medical training carefully lifted the stretcher Jack was lying on down the steps leading from the Stargate and onto solid ground.

Once there they rested him on the ground and waited for the others. Sam, Daniel, Anise and another SF - this one called Connor - were just a step behind, and soon appeared through the wormhole.

Regrettably Thor had had to return home, so before their journey here he had retreated back through the Tauri Stargate - presumably to his home planet. He had, of course, paid Anise a fond farewell before he left.

Which still confused the hell out of most of them.

Sam was effectively in command, although Hammond had made it clear that they were to pay close attention to her behaviour at all times. In any case, one point she hadn't made in her earlier argument now came in extremely useful: only she and Anise could make sense of their surroundings on the planet, and it was best for both of them to go to make sure no one got separated from the group.

Okay, she *knew* that was a weak argument, and she also knew it wasn't the real reason she came along.

Still, here she was. As was her technology. "Connor, set up the locator beacon."

"Major," He nodded and bent down next to the Stargate. Placing the device he was holding on the ground, he switched it on and checked the frequency. "Activated Major."

Sam checked her instruments. "Good, I'm getting a reading. Anise?"

The Tok'ra pointed towards something only Sam could see. "That way."

She nodded. "That's the way the UAV footage showed the rocks would be. Good. Let's move."


The journey was slow going. Although Teal'c may have been rather more than human, Poupart wasn't and needed rest as much as anyone else would. They'd stop every now and then. Connor and Poupart would take turns carrying, and sometimes Daniel would volunteer. Janet remained at O'Neill's side throughout, worrying, monitoring, reassuring.

Before they came through he'd been sedated, as much to keep him quiet as it was to try and keep the pain away. For the most part he was silent, but occasionally he'd start muttering and murmuring. Usually something embarrassing but Sam commented that of course it could be blamed on the drugs.

At least that was the cover story she was using.

Daniel was starting to turn into an annoying child as he helped carry Jack. "Are we there yet?" He stumbled, nearly dropping his precious cargo and causing everyone to gasp. "Whoops! Uh...sorry." Chagrined, he continued carefully. "You know this isn't easy when you can't actually see where the real floor is..."

Anise studied him. "We are not far, Dr Jackson."

Janet broke away from O'Neill for a moment to catch up with Sam who'd barely spoken a word since they'd started walking. It was extremely hot, too. An uncomfortable trail of sweat made its way down her back, but she ignored it. "Hey."

"Hey." She didn't lift her head, focusing on the ground.

"How you doing?"

"Fine. Just want to get there. How is he?" On the rare occasions when she did speak, that was the only thing she asked.

"Still deteriorating." Janet sighed. "I've done all I can to make him comfortable, but in these conditions..."

"I understand. We'll be there soon. He'll get better." Still she stared at the ground.

Not for the first time Janet wished the terrain wasn't so rough - or strange, for that matter. If they'd been able to bring through some kind of vehicle or even a trolley with wheels to put the Colonel on, it'd make their trip a whole lot quicker.

She had to admit, she was more than a little dubious that this 'Constructor' thing would be able to help him, but what she'd told Sam earlier was true - there was nothing on Earth that was going to help him. Sam had been through so much lately and was holding up better than most would.

It'd be confusing enough just trying to cope with the memories of Jolinar, but add to that whatever it was between her and the Colonel...

Not the ideal stress-free situation. When this was over - whatever the result - she would personally see to it that Sam took a long, sunny, holiday.

Actually she wouldn't mind a long, sunny, holiday herself. One where she wouldn't have to wear these cumbersome clothes. Where she could just relax on a beach drinking cocktails, and perhaps be joined by someone who she knew looked *very* nice with his top off...

Maybe getting involved with someone whose appendix she'd held wouldn't be *that* weird...

Oh, yeah. She should just forget about medical ethics and the fact that...damn, she'd had a good argument against this a week ago, she knew she'd had one.

A groan from O'Neill reminded her of where her priorities lay.


They were close. They were so close. Sam could feel a shiver run across her body, the hairs on the back of her neck standing up.

This had happened before. This had happened to Jolinar.

Moving further ahead she stepped into a clearing that only she and Anise could see properly. "This is it," She whispered, even before she looked at the rocks.

{Something powerful was here.}

{She could sense it even before the rocks came into view, but once they did she shivered.}

{She was just being stupid, of course. There was clearly just a breeze in the air. Besides, more than anything, she was annoyed. In fact...}

{Jolinar was extremely annoyed.}

She turned to Anise as the others slowly lowered Jack to the ground. "You can feel it,"

"I can."

Daniel swung his arms about, trying to get full sensation back as he crept towards the rocks. "Uh...feel what?"

"Something powerful," There was a pressure in her mind - not oppressive, just...there.

He paused and stared at her. "Sam, you're starting to freak me out."

She blinked and the feeling was gone. The coldness, the chill, had vanished. The sun was as hot as it had been since they'd arrived, evidenced by the fine sweat over most of her body. "I...sorry." She tried to shrug it off. "That was weird."

"Yes it was," Janet commented, kneeling next to Jack but looking at Sam. "Are you okay?"

"I am, really. Just tired I guess. Anyway Daniel, Anise, there you go."

Hours passed. Daniel and Anise argued over specific translations and meanings. Teal'c stood to one side, trying not to be drawn into the argument but finding himself right in the middle anyway. The words "Teal'c, don't you think...?" were repeated more often in those hours than any of O'Neill's catchphrases had been used in his entire life.

Sam and Janet stayed with Jack, keeping him as comfortable as they could as well as keeping him in the shade as much as possible. Connor pointed out that as the shade kept moving it was something of a moot point.

Janet glared at him and he quickly volunteered to help.

"It's strange," Janet commented after more time had passed.

They were both sitting on the ground either side of O'Neill. Sam had unhooked and taken off her pack, relieving her back of the weight and while staying alert, also trying to relax a little. "What *isn't* strange?"

A small smile graced Janet's features. "True, but I was actually referring to the sun. We've been here many hours?"

"Coming up on eight."

"Right. Almost eight hours since we came through the Stargate, and as far as I can tell the sun hasn't moved."

Sam immediately looked towards the sky. Janet was right. She hadn't really been paying attention to it before, but she was right. "Well it is an alien world. One of the factors that determine different seasons on Earth is the way the planet tilts when it revolves around the sun. Maybe this planet tilts towards its sun as well as being closer to it for a longer period during its revolution than we're accustomed to."

"Maybe," Janet shrugged. "But then I'm no astrophysicist. I just thought it was strange. And...I don't know if it's strange or not, but..."


She'd clearly thought better of whatever it was she'd been about to say. "Never mind."

"Don't do that Janet, please. Do you have any idea how irritating it is?"

The MD chuckled briefly before pausing to collect her thoughts. "Just now...before...when we were saying how strange this was,"

Carter was frowning. "Yeah?"

"You spoke like him. You sounded just like him."

Trying not to get annoyed, Sam lowered her head for a moment. "Contrary to popular belief Janet, not everything I say or do relates to him."

"I'm not saying it does."

"Then why say it at all?"

"Because...I thought it might be interesting. Because I thought you might want to start a new career doing impressions. God Sam, because it just seemed like the thing to say. There was no great conspiracy behind it, it was honestly just the first thing that popped into my mind."

Feeling immediately like an idiot, Sam shook her head. "I'm sorry, Janet. I just feel a bit sensitive to everything lately."

"Which is also completely understandable. But you have to remember that you're surrounded by people who care about you, and also aren't going to leap at every opportunity to judge you, okay?"

"Okay," Making an even more overt decision to relax, she leant back against her pack and closed her eyes. "If I'd thought about it I would have brought along my bikini. Could have worked on my tan."

"Now there's a nice mental image,"

"Sir!" She was sitting up and completely alert in the less than a second it took to say that one word.

He was definitely awake, smirking as he looked at her although his grin was obviously forcing its way through the pain on his face. "Carter,"

"Colonel," Janet began, checking his pulse then his temperature. "How are you feeling?"

"I've been better." He tried to joke, but it obviously wasn't working. "The pain's definitely getting worse."

"Can you give him anything?" Sam asked, fingers brushing against his.

"I'd rather not," Janet admitted as she continued examining him. "I've already given him more pain medication than I'm comfortable with."

"Progress?" He asked.

"Nothing. Yet," Sam added. "Daniel and Anise have been at it a few hours. I don't think it'll be much longer."


Daniel's excited shout drew everyone's attention. He was practically leaping around the rocks, and even Anise - who was standing just a few feet away - was smiling. Almost.

In any case, she definitely wasn't frowning.

Getting to her feet, Sam stood up. "What is it?"

"I think Danny's just had a Eureka moment," Jack commented. "Looks like you were right, Carter."

"We'll see," She murmured before walking over to the archaeologist who'd managed to calm down by the time she reached him. Sort of. "Daniel?"

His eyes were practically on fire. "We still haven't deciphered all of the text, but I do think we've figured out how to activate it."

"Activate it?"

"Yes. Whatever 'it' is. Obviously the 'Constructor', but so far there's no clarification as to what that actually is. I mean we know it ‘will create the right from the wrong’, but that's more than a little vague."

Carter nodded. "How do we activate it?"


She followed him inside the 'square' of rocks - there was a gap at every corner that she could easily get through. The rocks were about waist high and brown in colour.

Daniel pointed to the one he was now standing next to. "We turn this clockwise."

"Turn what? The rock?"

"No, this protrusion."

She bent down at the knees, squinting. "What protrusion?"

"*That* one."

Finally the Major saw it, and she stared in disbelief. "That tiny little thing? We're supposed to turn that and it'll fix everything?"

"That's the theory, yeah. Actually it's *your* theory, but yeah."

"Janet was right," She muttered as she stood up. "Okay, keep at it."

Anise had - surprisingly and thankfully - remained silent throughout the whole thing.


Janet was shouting. Shit, Janet was shouting.

She knew what was happening.

Pushing past Daniel and Anise she ran out from between the stones to see the Colonel convulsing on the floor. Janet was trying to comfort him, trying to discover what was wrong, trying to restrain him.

Connor and Poupart did an adequate job of holding him down, but Teal'c appeared to assist anyway.

Sam was surprisingly calm, simply looking down at his jerking body. "What is it?"

Janet clicked off her penlight. "Something else. Not his bones." Lifting her head, she held Sam's gaze. "Sam..."

She understood. They had to do it now. They couldn't wait.

They couldn't wait.

"We have to do this now. Pick him up." She didn't watch, she calmly turned away and walked in between the stones where Daniel and Anise looked on anxiously. "We're doing this now, Daniel. The rest of your translation will have to wait."

It was a struggle, but they managed to get O'Neill between the rocks and on the ground.

"Will it work if he's here?"

Daniel seemed to be shocked by everything. "I...yes, I think so. But Sam we don't know-"

She met his gaze and didn't look away. "We are doing this *now*."

He blinked, then nodded.

"Good. Do it, Daniel."

"I'm not sure we should all-"

"He's stopped breathing!"


He did it.

There was no flash of light, no blinding glare, nothing that would force her to close her eyes and look away in pain.

Instead there was blackness.


The sky blackened and then it was falling it was on her in her mouth in her throat in her nose choking no breath every orifice every pour she was moving flying impacting screaming screaming but not feeling every sense aware only of the darkness.

And the knowledge that this had been a very, very bad idea.


When she opened her eyes, Janet, Anise, Connor and Poupart were peering down at her. Janet was flashing a light in her eyes.

Squawking, the memory of the last thing she remembered before losing consciousness passing through her mind, she sat up suddenly, gasping, tears in her eyes.

"Major Carter, snap out of it!"

Janet's voice.

The hysteria passed. Red-eyed, she stared at the doctor. "Janet...?"

"It's okay, Sam. You're okay. At least you seem to be."


"I'm guessing it was the 'Constructor'. Whatever it was, we all had the same reaction you did when we first woke up."

The terror was subsiding. Breathing easily without the earlier tightness in her chest, she started to feel a little foolish. But there were more important things to consider. "The Colonel?"

Finally Janet smiled, and the reaction it caused within Sam was indescribable.

"He seems fine, too. Of course I need to get him back to the infirmary but from outward appearances at least, he looks okay."

Pushing herself up she crawled over to O'Neill who was lying on his side a few feet away. Carefully reaching out she touched his arm and pulled him down until he was lying on his back.

No bruises. Not a sign of bruising. The scar was still missing but he didn't seem to be in pain and she honestly wasn't sure if he still looked younger than he should. And, most obviously, he was still unconscious. "Is he...?"

"Just unconscious, I think. He's responsive but won't wake up. The same can be said of Daniel and Teal'c. Although there is something rather more worrying about Teal'c."

Daniel and Teal'c. Daniel and Teal'c.

"Daniel and Teal'c," Sitting up on her knees she turned until she saw them. And blinked. Several times. His tattoo was gone. Not as if it had been removed, but as if it had never been there.

And it was only then, after being assured that everyone was at least alive, that she finally noticed the most obvious thing of all.

The planet was...normal.



"-then Connor and I came back to the Stargate, sent the message through, and the rest you know, General."

Amazed, Hammond simply nodded his head. "Indeed I do, Major."

The infirmary was packed. Not just with those who were still unconscious, but everyone who had been on the mission was there as well as concerned friends.

Janet was rapidly losing her temper. "Okay, anyone who isn't a General or doesn't have a valid excuse for being here should leave, *now*. Argue with me and I'll have Mr Teal'c do something very nasty to you when he wakes up."

No one argued.

After Sam and Connor had sent the message back through the Stargate requesting help, SG teams three and fourteen came through, as well as Janet's favourite nurse, Karen. Although she did have the training, it'd been Karen's first trip through the Stargate and though she managed to pull herself together remarkably quickly, for the first few minutes she'd been quite shell-shocked.

Thanks to their help they'd managed to get everyone back through the Stargate and now, here Sam was, sitting on the edge of an unused bed, keeping Hammond informed.

Glad that her infirmary had been deserted, Janet set about her work with ease, addressing the nurses. "Okay, I want PET scans on those who are still unconscious. All three patients are responsive but won't wake up, and although I don't think brain damage is likely, I want to rule it out. I also want PET scans performed on Major Carter, myself, Anise, and airmen Connor and Poupart. While we seem to be fine we were also all exposed to this alien 'technology', so let's make sure there are no lasting effects. Okay? Let's go,"

Nurses veered off in opposite directions, pulling curtains around Jack's, Daniels's, and Teal'c's beds.

It didn't take long for something to happen. "Doctor!"

Dropping her clipboard, Janet ran between the curtains surrounding Teal'c's bed.

Concerned, Sam and Hammond waited impatiently outside the cornered off area.


"I was just about to get him into a medical gown when...well, look at this!"

Janet Fraiser actually swore.

Sam was so eager to get in there that she was almost bursting out of her own skin. "Janet?"

When Janet responded it wasn't to her. "In addition to the PET scans I want MRI's, x-rays, blood tests, anything you can think of. Now! Move it!"

Tim suddenly appeared, pushing past the curtains and pelting out of the infirmary.

Fraiser finally stepped out, shaking her head in shock.


"Dr Fraiser?"

"'s uh...his symbiote is gone."

That couldn't be right. That didn't make any sense. "Gone?"

"You mean it's missing?" Hammond asked.

She faced him. "No sir, I mean it's gone, as is his pouch. There seems to be no indication that he's ever had one. It's as if he's completely human."


"This is the kind of thing I'd love to write a paper about," Janet commented, shaking her head in amazement as she looked over Teal'c's readings. "Of course I'd never be able to publish it."

"So...?" Sam asked, standing next to Janet at Teal'c's bedside.

Janet shrugged. "The symbiote is gone, but he's absolutely fine. Obviously it no longer sustains his health, and it seems as if he has a completely normal human immune system."

"But being 'human' isn't normal for Teal'c."

"I'm well aware of that Major," Janet found herself smiling. "But those are the facts. I'm at a loss to explain the actual science of how this happened, but obviously it did happen because we activated the device - for lack of a better term - on P4W 692."

"What about Colonel O'Neill and Dr Jackson?"

It was Anise who had spoken, who - intentionally or otherwise - had pretty much been ignored since they returned from the planet.

"I'm happy to report that the Colonel's blood tests came out clean - there's no sign that the alien organism is still in his body, and he no longer seems to be aging. In fact, I'd say he's almost back to the age he should be; maybe a few years short. There's still no sign that he's ever had a broken bone, but I'd say things are looking good."

"And Dr Jackson?"

" worrying me a little more."

Sam moved her gaze from Teal'c to Janet. "He is?"

She nodded. "I'm assuming Teal'c and the Colonel are still unconscious because of the changes that have been made to them, but I can find no evidence of any changes to Daniel, or any signs of injury."

"So why is he still unconscious?"


Precisely on cue, Daniel started to groan.

The three women rushed over.



"Dr Jackson?"

As expected, when he opened his eyes he freaked out.


"Daniel it's okay. You're with friends."

"Do not be concerned."

With his back pressed firmly against the wall at the head of the bed, he began to calm. "I..I...what happened?"

"We're not entirely sure," Sam admitted softly.

"How are you feeling?" Janet asked fondly, and once sure he had calmed down shone her ever-handy penlight in his eyes.

He blinked repeatedly but didn't pull again. "Okay, I guess. It's just that was...weird."

"I know. We all felt it." She smiled reassuringly.

Daniel nodded, not really sure of anything. Then he remembered... "Jack! Jack?"

"He's fine. From what I can tell, he's pretty much back to normal. Teal'c's a bit...different, but he seems to be okay too."


"I'll explain later. Just want to make sure you're okay first, all right? I'll just be a moment," She moved away and picked up the phone, no doubt to inform the General.

Sam smiled at Daniel. "You're really okay?"

He smiled back. "I feel great, actually."

"Good. I'm afraid your glasses got lost during whatever happened on the planet, but I brought your spare pair from your office," Reaching to the bedside table she picked them up.

"My glasses?"

She held them out to him. "Yep."

He honestly seemed confused. "You mean I'm not wearing them already?"

"Nooo..." Oh did she have an idea where this was heading...

"But...I can see you. I'm looking at you Sam, and I can see you perfectly. I have perfect eyesight."


part five

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