Weapon of Choice
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer - MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them. Spoilers for ‘Need’, ‘Thor’s Chariot’, ‘Fair Game’, and ‘Upgrades’. General knowledge of the show. Set after ‘Upgrades’ but before ‘Divide and Conquer’.

A silly, silly story.


"No way! There’s not a chance in hell!"


"It’s not gonna happen, Daniel. Don’t even think about it!"


"Forget it!"

"Would you prefer it was me who did it?"

"Don’t you think we should let her make up her own mind? You know, she is a human being, Daniel. She does have a brain."

"Yes! She does! And that’s why she’ll know - just as I do - that it has to be *you*. And you know why. It’s the only way."

"Fine. Fine, but this is your idea. This is all your fault."

"It always is."




He had nothing to do. Absolutely nothing.

Prowling the corridors of the SGC, Jack O’Neill’s feet unwaveringly found their way to the doorway of Daniel Jackson’s office. Jack O’Neill’s body - obviously being attached to Jack O’Neill’s feet - rapidly followed.

“Hey,” He greeted.

With his head stuck in the middle of five books (that had to be a new record), Daniel didn’t even look up. “Hi Jack.”

Bouncing across the room, trying to use up his excess of unused energy, Jack dropped into the chair opposite Daniel’s. “How you doing?”

“Good. You?”


After a few minutes Daniel seemed to realise Jack was still there and finally looked up, pushing his glasses further back towards his face with his index finger. “Did you...want something?”

“I’m bored,” came the inevitable reply.

“Oh,” Daniel frowned. “Don’t you have some mission reports to finish or something?”



“Nope. I finished all of them.”

“Oh. Well...really? You? Reports? Finished?”


Still having trouble with the concept, Daniel shrugged nonetheless. “Why don’t you go home?”

Because he was bored. Because he was lonely. Because there was no one there.

Crap, maybe it really was time that he got a dog...

“Don’t want to.”

“Well you’re welcome to stay here if you like and help out - I really have to get this translation done, although I’m having quite a hard time trying to decipher-“

“Uh, thanks for the offer,” Jack interrupted, deciding he wasn’t quite that bored. “But I’ve had enough of doing that to fill several lifetimes.”

Daniel smiled. “Maybe you could see what Sam’s doing.”

Was that a suggestion, or a hint? Didn’t they amount to the same thing? Wasn’t the smile on Daniel’s face staying longer than it needed to?

“Right,” Jack eventually responded, having no intention of taking Daniel’s advice.


“Psst. Teal’c?”

Sticking his head further round the door leading to the Jaffa’s quarters, Jack studied the still form facing away from him on the floor. Upon getting no reply, he closed the door and approached his target. “Teal’c?”

Still nothing.

“Teal’c buddy, you awake?”

The first sign of life was the shifting of back muscles under his shirt. “I am now.”

“Oh.” Oops. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to disturb you.”

“Yes you did.” Teal’c moved, standing to face him, candlelight flickering on his face.

Well, he really couldn’t deny that. Best not to mention it at all. “So, what are you up to?”


Right. Of course. “I knew *that*...I was just wondering if you were planning on doing anything *else*. Soon.”

“For what reason, O’Neill?”

“I’m bored! I’ve finished all my reports and we’re not due to go off world for another three days.”

That eyebrow went up. “You have finished all of your reports?”

“Why does everyone sound surprised by that?”

Teal’c didn’t respond to the question, either believing it to be rhetorical or just too much trouble to answer. “Have you not located someone else with whom you could do something?”

Didn’t he want to hang out? Jack was almost offended. “Daniel’s translating something, I don’t think Hammond would appreciate me pottering around his office...”

“And Major Carter? Could you not do something with her?”

Why did everyone keep suggesting that? “I thought I’d ask you first. As you’re...you know...right here.”

Thankfully Teal’c chose not to point out that Carter’s lab was closer to both Daniel and Hammond’s office than his quarters were. “I see. Did you have something specific in mind, O’Neill?”

Ah. He probably should have thought about that in greater detail. “Maybe we could-“

“Unscheduled off-world activation!”

“-see who’s coming through the gate?”


Jack and Teal’c arrived in the control room just in time to hear the announcement:

“Receiving the Tok’ra IDC.”

Carter barrelled in. Hammond was already there. “Open the iris.”

Jack frowned, studying the event horizon as it was revealed. “Not expecting anyone, are we sir?”

Daniel appeared.

“No we’re not, Colonel.”

Great. He hated surprises, and the Tok’ra had more of them than anyone. Please, he thought, please, please, don’t let it be-


Oh thank God.

Yep, there he was. The only Tok’ra he liked came strolling down the ramp as Carter rushed into the gate room. Jack was a few steps behind, relieved to discover that no one else had come through with him.

As the Stargate shut down, Carter threw her arms around her father. “Dad,”

“Sam,” Jacob greeted, returning the hug, obviously delighted to see her. Pulling away, he grinned. “How you doing kiddo?”

“Good, dad. You?”

“Oh same old, same old. When you’re a Tok’ra your health really doesn’t change that much.” He turned towards the others, who had now clustered around father and daughter. “George, good to see you.”

His old friend smiled. “You too, Jacob.”


“Jacob, always a pleasure.”

The General rolled his eyes. “Daniel, Teal’c.”


“General Carter,”

Hammond broke the introductions up. “What can we do for you?”

Jacob studied each of them in turn. “Actually, I have a proposition for you.”


"A weapon?"

"Yes," Jacob told him. "The device has...well, almost become the stuff of legend. It doesn't have a name as such, and there's no actual proof that it ever existed. Just stories."

"But?" Jack continued, knowing this was going somewhere.

Jacob studied everyone around the briefing table. "It's supposed to be one of the most destructive weapons ever made...when it's interfaced with a humanoid body."

He didn't like the sound of that. "Uh...interfaced?"

"In much the same way we're able to utilise the ribbon and healing devices. From what the stories tell us, naquadah is needed in the blood stream to be able to use it."

"Excuse me," Daniel said. "But this is all sounding like supposition. I mean, we don't even actually know that this thing even exists."

"True," Jacob agreed. "And you know better than anyone else how stories are passed down thanks to your work, however...Apophis firmly believes he has located a planet where this device can be found."

Ah, dammit. He hated that snake. "Apophis?"

"One of our operatives managed to get word to us, as well as sending the co-ordinates of the planet."

"How convenient."

"Jack, I know this doesn't sound good-"

"-but the fact remains sir," Carter interrupted. "That we can't risk letting Apophis even get his hands on it. As it stands he's too powerful at the moment, if he manages to obtain this 'amazing weapon'..."

Good point. How did she always do that? "Okay, I see your point." He felt like a tag team of father and daughter was cornering him. "What do you say, General?"

Hammond - who until now had been watching proceedings with a growing frown -sighed heavily. "We'll send the MALP through and see what telemetry we get back."

"If we move quickly Apophis shouldn't have arrived yet. He prefers to travel in a mothership - a display of his 'power'. Of course, covering great distances is a far shorter trip via the Stargate."

Nodding, Hammond was about to speak again when Daniel piped up.

"Uh, can I ask something?"

"Of course."

"Isn't this stuff...ancient technologies...more Anise's speciality?"

Jack rolled his eyes. Oh, he had to bring *her* up.

"Usually, yes." Jacob admitted. "However she's currently busy on another assignment."

"So you got this one instead of her?"

"Actually, I requested it. In fact..." He hesitated. "It was all my idea."

Carter's eyebrows shot up. "*Your* idea?"

Her father shrugged awkwardly. "The High Council...are not entirely convinced that there's anything worth being found on the planet, or that the stories are true. That said, being the oldest and wisest of them does have *some* benefits. They can't spare anyone else at the moment, but at least they're letting me try."

"So..." Jack held up a finger. "You're all the help we'll be getting from the Tok'ra on this one."

"I'm afraid so."


Well, at least he wasn't Anise.


"Proceeding with MALP deployment."

Everyone from the briefing room had now moved to the control room, clustered around the same monitor - despite the fact that there were dozens of the things.

Jack was starting to feel...concerned. Jacob and Carter had a valid point. Apophis was too much a pain in the ass as it was, if he somehow did get his hands on it...nope, wasn't gonna happen. They'd gate to the planet and find it before he did.

Of course, first Hammond had to give them clearance to go.

"Receiving telemetry," Davis announced, and on cue the monitor frizzed into life.

Oooh, a forest. *There* was something they'd never seen before.

Actually, it did look a little different, mostly because the trees seemed to be...

"Blue," Daniel announced, sounding surprised. "The trees are very..."

"Blue," Jack agreed. "I thought that 'pigment' stuff in plants always meant they were green?"

"Well on Earth, sir," Carter leaned closer to the monitor. "But this is an alien planet, after all."

Cool. Blue trees. This might actually be interesting.

Daniel spoke again. "No current signs of life...but definite indication of a Goa'uld presence some time in the past."

Huh? "What makes you think that?"

"Well," He pointed towards the monitor. "Pyramid. You know, landing site for Goa'uld mother ships?"

Carter was grinning. So was Jacob.

Okay, so he'd been distracted. He hadn't seen that yet. "Just a slight indication then."

Telling himself that he wasn't going to get distracted again - blue trees notwithstanding - he focused his attention on the monitor. The MALP had done its probing thing and just to the right of the Stargate, in the middle of a large clearing, was a pyramid. Given the terrain it wasn't one of those stone ones; it definitely looked like one of those brown ones - probably made of metal.

"Looks clear," Jacob commented.

"Or, we could be walking into an ambush."

"Isn't that something you risk every time you go through the Stargate?"

Again with the good points. How did Carter's always do that? "Well, I...General," He turned to Hammond quickly. "What do you think?"

Hammond was clearly concerned, but he also knew what their choices were. "You have a go. Just be careful on this one."

"Don't worry General. 'Careful' is my middle name."

"Really?" Daniel asked. "I thought it was Steven."


Stepping free from the wormhole, Jack immediately crouched down and took a defensive position, weapon poised and ready to be fired.


He continued to stare suspiciously at the blue forest that surrounded him as the rest of his team and Jacob appeared. Each of them did the same, as a precaution. Even Daniel made a half-hearted attempt to look like he knew which end of his gun the bullets actually come out of.

Okay, maybe he was being a bit harsh.

He looked at Carter, Jacob, then Teal'c. All of them nodded slowly.

Jack took a last look at the few trees that may have been big enough for someone to hide behind; saw no suspicious movements or shadows, and finally relaxed. "Clear," He announced, stepping down from the gate and slipping his shades on.

Everyone else followed suit - apart from the shades part.

Carter gave the MALP a quick once over to make sure it was fine, and after receiving a nod from her Jack set off.

"This way kids," It wouldn't take long to reach the edge of the forest, but it *was* a big ol' clearing. Still, it was nice that these things were relatively close to the gate for once. Made a change. "So Jacob, are you gonna be able to use the weapon if we find it? If it actually exists? If it isn't some fairytale?"

Jacob fell into step next to him, leaving Carter, Daniel and Teal'c to bring up the rear. "There's a chance, yes."

"A 'chance'? But you've got naquadah in your blood, right?"

"Yes, but that doesn't automatically mean I'll be able to make it work."

"Dad's right, sir," Carter called out from behind, obviously over-hearing. Or just plain being nosy. "The first time I tried to use the healing device I got nowhere, and even when I did eventually get it working, it took some doing."

He remembered.

"It's not just that..." Jacob hesitated. "According to the stories, although you have to have naquadah in your blood to be able to use it, it actually works through emotion."

Jack stopped. "Emotion?"

Carter had caught up with him. "Well, that makes sense. Our current theory is that you need naquadah to 'power' the ribbon device, but it actually works because of thought, with some input from your emotions."

"How does that make sense?"

"Well think about it Jack," Daniel had arrived now. "We all know how powerful and crippling emotions can be. If you could somehow find a way to harness those emotions, those energies..."

"It could indeed make a powerful weapon."

Daniel nodded. "I agree with Teal'c. And as the Goa'uld seem to be prone to the more...aggressive emotions, this really could be a very dangerous weapon."

Sweet. Tugging at his cap, Jack started walking again. "So Jacob; *love* the way the Tok'ra do things. I take it you didn't think this was worth mentioning?"


For the rest of their journey Jack pretty much kept quiet, as - thankfully - so did Teal'c. Unfortunately Carter, Daniel and Jacob got into a big discussion about differing Tok'ra and human philosophies. Admittedly the subject *was* of some interest to him, but the conversation seemed to be going somewhat over his head.

It wasn't the first time he’d felt that way in their presence.

They'd cleared the forest in almost no time at all. While it seemed to be big in length, it wasn't particularly big in width. Now they were making their way through the 'clearing' which was something of a contradiction in terms. It really had been a long time since anyone had been here; as evidenced by the grass he was pushing his way through. No doubt some years ago it'd been as short as his military regulation haircut, but now it had grown up to his waist.

Daniel continued to babble as if he'd had a whole weeks supply of caffeine in the last ten minutes. "-really is interesting how the Tok'ra see us as-WOAH!"

Jack knew what had happened even as he spun around, weapon poised.

Daniel had fallen over. Big surprise.

Nonetheless, he - and everyone else - rushed to the floundering archaeologists side.


Jack kneeled down, resting his knee on a hidden log or something, ducking away from a flailing limb. "Jesus Daniel, will you stop flapping your arms about?"

Finally reappearing from among the grass, Daniel stuck his head up and pushed his glasses firmly back into place. "Uh, sorry."

"You okay?"

"Yeah, I just..." He looked understandably chagrined. "tripped over this..." He looked back at what he was sitting on, then fumbled in the grass to actually try and figure out what it was.

And then he did.

"...dead body," He announced, strangely calm. But not for much longer.

Yelping he suddenly pushed himself up and away from the body, as everyone else took a step back.

Except for Teal'c.

Jack realised he'd probably been resting his knee on the thing and shivered.

Daniel was throwing his hands about as if that would take away the sensation of touching a dead body. "You know, I really don't want that to ever happen again."

Teal'c - ever the stoic soldier - knelt towards the corpse, and bent back as much of the surrounding grass as possible. "It appears to be a Jaffa."

Jack's hands were still tight around his weapon, as he threw glances towards the surrounding area in case this was some kind of diversion. "Serving what Goa'uld?"

"I do not know."

"No mark on the head?"

"No," Teal'c replied, letting go of the grass and rising to his full height. "No head."

Ah, dammit. He had to ask, didn't he? "Ooookay..."

"I do not believe it was cut off. The damage appears to be more...explosive."

Eww. O'Neill glanced towards Jacob, who looked a little disturbed himself. "Your weapon?"

Jacob shrugged. "Could be."

That was about as useful as Daniel's continued efforts to flap his arms about like a wild bird. "Okay, let's keep our eyes open, shall we?" That statement was also pretty useless, but he had to say *something*.

Resuming their journey with a great sensation of unease - not to mention Daniel's freaking out at every inch of uneven ground beneath his feet - it wasn't long before they were close enough to the pyramid to get a really good look at it.

"If it just me," Jack began. "Or does that thing look kind of...?"

"Old?" Carter suggested. "Decrepit? Worn out?"

"Thank you, Madam Thesaurus."

She grinned.

Daniel's nervousness was starting to edge away now that he had something dusty to focus on. He gaped up at it, frowning. "I guess it makes sense that the Goa'uld would have some kind of upkeep. If no one's around or they're all dead..."

"So...what? You're saying the maid hasn't been doing her job?"

"Something like that."

Jack shook his head, and made his way towards the pyramid's entrance. "Can't get good help these days..."

His humour, however, faded by the time they'd all reached the entrance. Taking up positions they quickly moved in, flashlights illuminating their route. They'd become used to light in these mother ships being provided by torches on the walls, but not a single one was lit.

They found no one.

There were signs of battle damage, but they discovered only a few Jaffa bodies.

All headless.

Jack was officially creeped out.

Eventually they came across the main atrium, or whatever the hell it was called. Daniel bounded in without any regard for his safety.


He paid no attention. "This is just like the one on Pyrus' planet. I wonder..." He moved towards the centrepiece of the room; a higher level upon which a throne of sorts rested. Jack had to admit, it looked very much like Pryus' had looked.

In the middle of the centrepiece were several 'bricks' with Goa'uld symbols on them. Daniel pressed something, and suddenly the area under the bricks made a loud noise and started moving.

Dammit! Up came his weapon again. "Daniel, what the hell are you doing?"

"It's all right Jack."

"Oh it is, is it?"

"Yes, look!"

Jack did, watching as whatever was under the bricks came sliding into view. It was... "A sarcophagus?"

"Yes," Daniel moved towards it. "This is where it was in Pyrus' pyramid. I figured they might have the same thing here."

Huh. "You're fighting the urge to hop in that thing, right?"

He rolled his eyes. "Yes, Jack."

"Good. Just making sure."

Daniel, however, didn't respond to that comment. Instead he was frowning. At Jack's look, he shared his thoughts. "The one I used...when it came out like this, it opened automatically."

The sarcophagus was firmly closed.

O'Neill looked at Daniel, the sarcophagus, then back at Daniel again. "You think there's someone in it?"

"I don't know."

Making a decision, Jack glanced to the upper level. "Carter, you and dad take positions up there."

"Yes sir," Nodding, Carter and Jacob climbed up the few steps to the higher level, and were soon standing in the middle, their weapons pointed down towards the closed sarcophagus.

Jacob grasped his zat gun firmly. "Ready."

Jack moved to the opposite side of the sarcophagus to Daniel, and both men pointed their weapons at the device.

Teal'c waited for Jack's nod, and when he received it he pushed at the orange crystal that opened the sarcophagus, then immediately lifted and aimed his staff weapon.

The sarcophagus shifted ominously open, the rumbling seeming to emanate throughout the entire room. Jack's arms bent in tighter, his shoulders hunched more, and his finger flickered over the trigger.

Carter was the first one to announce it, having the best view. "It's okay. Whoever it is is dead."

"You sure?" He asked, not doubting her, but just needing to know. The sarcophagus opened further and he saw the answer for himself. "Ah. Never mind."

It was a skeleton.

It seemed to be dressed in the usual opulent style of the Goa'uld, but there was still no indication if it actually had been a Goa'uld, or if so what one. There was, however... "What's that thing on its head?"

"Don't touch it!" Jacob yelled, for once sounding over excited as he jogged down to the lower level.

Jack had no intention of touching it, and smoothly moved out of the way so Jacob could get to it.

The older man soon appeared, handing his zat to Jack and carefully lifted the 'whatever it was' from the body. It hung loosely around the head - although Jack assumed it fit snugly when there was some actual flesh there - and definitely looked Goa'uld-ish. It was gold in colour, and there was a round orange crystal that rested on the forehead.

Pulling it free, Jacob examined it closely.

"Okay, I'm guessing..."

"It matches all the descriptions of the weapon."


"Okay," Jacob admitted. "One. The one description of what it looks like. Most of the stories tend to focus on its destructive capabilities."

Jack held up a hand. "All right. So we're all agreed this is the weapon we came looking for, right?"

Carter nodded. "It looks like Goa'uld technology, and it definitely contains naquadah."

Teal'c concurred, and even Daniel agreed.

"Great," Jack nodded. "Our mission is concluded; let's go."

"Excuse me," Daniel stepped around the sarcophagus.

Jack sighed. He *so* knew where this was going. "Yes Daniel?"

"Uh...shouldn't we find out what happened here? I mean all these people *died* here."

"Well, considering one of them was probably a Goa'uld and the rest of them were Jaffa, I'm really not that broken up about it."


"Daniel - I understand why you want to stay and investigate. Really. There is a kind of...Perry Mason feeling about this place. But Apophis could-"

The room started shaking. Jack knew immediately what it was.

A mother ship was landing.

"-arrive at any time." He started running. "Let's go!" He didn't need to tell any of them twice.

The place would be like a labyrinth if you didn't know where you were going. Fortunately he had a pretty good memory, and the trail of flares Carter had left behind came in pretty handy too.

He was pretty sure they made it out of the pyramid in less than a minute but as he gaped up at the landing mother ship, he knew they'd never make it to the Stargate in time. It was much too far away. Much too far.

Jaffa would start ringing down any second.

Once chance. The forest on the other side of the pyramid - the wrong side - was much closer. They might make it there and be able to use the cover. "Go!" He yelled, pointing them in the right direction while he took up the rear to make sure they made it.

This grass could definitely come in useful...

Jaffa started to exit the pyramid.

"Down!" He ordered, and thankfully everyone - including himself - hit the deck. A few random shots passed well over their heads. So, they knew they were there, they just didn't know exactly where. Grabbing his radio, he pressed the transmit button. "Start crawling towards the trees," He muttered, not waiting for or expecting any response as he followed his own instructions.

From the sounds behind him, it seemed like dozens of Jaffa had appeared by now. Hadn't someone said those mother ships could hold a thousand men?

Woo hoo.

The day was just getting better and better. It didn't help when his face ended up in Daniel's butt. "Daniel, what the hell are you doing?"

"Sorry. There's some kind of queue."

A *queue*? They were crawling away on their hands and knees in a desperate bid for escape, and there was a *queue*? "Well go *around* it!"

The archaeologist started crawling again - although Jack suspected it was just because the queue had moved, and not due to any demands on his part.

Great, so...he was on his hands and knees, probably about to meet the choice end of a staff weapon, and he had to spend the last few moments of his life staring at Daniel's butt.

Why couldn't it have been someone else's? Mentioning no names, of course.

The trees! Yes, they'd reached the trees! They could actually make it!

He crawled between two prime examples of huge honkin’ trees, and was spending so much time trying to scurry away that he unfortunately didn’t realise how suddenly Daniel’s feet were disappearing downwards, and he couldn’t stop himself from following suit.

Suddenly falling, he tumbled down a rise several feet high before landing on top of Daniel.


Now he realised what the queue was for.

“No one thought to tell me that huge ass drop was there?”

“Jack...you’re...” Daniel was gasping for breath.

“Uh, sorry,” Jack rolled off awkwardly, managed to find his footing and starting climbing back up the rise. Carter, Jacob and Teal’c had already made the journey and had their weapons resting on the top of the rise.

Carter spoke. “It’s defendable sir, but...”

“They out-number us,”

“A lot,” Jacob confirmed.

“I got that.”

“And that ship carries staff cannons,”

“I got that.”

“Not to mention gliders-“


A staff weapon blast suddenly exploded above them, cutting off a branch that narrowly missed Daniel’s head. Jack swore that man had the best luck...or not, depending on your point of view.

“Jacob, we’ve got some C4 and some claymores...but there’s no way we’re gonna be able to take out all of them.” Not to mention the fact that they were obviously trying to drive them away from the gate - and considering their numbers, they’d probably succeed. “Is there any chance you can use that-?”

Jacob was already fitting the ‘weapon’ - and God, Jack really hoped it was at the moment - onto his head.

Carter was helping him get it on precisely when Teal’c spoke up.

“O’Neill, they are closing in. I do not believe they know our precise position, but it will not be long before they discover us.”

Yeah, and that long grass was a mixed blessing. While a few of the Jaffa seemed to believe they could be hiding amongst the grass and were searching there, its height was obstructing his view, preventing him from getting a good look at what was going on.

Well, he had at least two ‘symbiote detectors’ with him. They should come in handy.

“Okay, I’m ready to try this,” Jacob announced.

Turning to face Jacob, Jack stilled. If the situation hadn’t been so dire, he may even have laughed.

The Tok’ra was clearly aware of the looks he was receiving from everyone, and how stupid he must have looked. “Do you want me to use this thing or not?”

“No it’s fine, really.” A small smile did manage to escape. “I’m sure everyone will be wearing them next year.”

Teal’c didn’t seem to get it; fortunately he was paying attention to their situation, and pointed vaguely to the right side of the clearing. “A Jaffa draws near.”

“There’s your cue, Jacob.”

Exhaling heavily, Jacob frowned - no doubt concentrating heavily - and focused on the closest Jaffa. He grunted, sighed, looked like he was passing something nasty, then finally sighed. “It’s not working.”

Dammit. “Are you sure you’re trying hard enough?”

“You think I wouldn’t give it my best shot?”

“I’m just saying that the Tok’ra have been known to be unreliable...”

“Do you really think this is the time to get into this?”

“Why the hell not, huh? The Tok’ra say jump, we jump. The Tok’ra bring us alien arm bands, we put them on and nearly get ourselves killed.”

“That wasn’t my idea.”

“No, but this was and look where we are now! You Tok’ra are all the same; frankly I can’t see how you and the Goa’uld differ in any way.”

Jacob’s eyes suddenly glowed, and his voice distorted. Selmak was in control. “We are not Goa’uld!”

Just as suddenly the crystal on his forehead glowed, and an orange beam of *something* shot out, heading straight to the approaching Jaffa.

It was so sudden they didn’t even see what happened, but he quickly collapsed.

“Woah,” Jack murmured. “What happened?”

Daniel cleared his throat. “Well, as I just got splattered by brain matter I think I can guess.”

Oh, yeah, that...maybe he wasn’t so lucky.

Jacob looked a little stunned, and Carter touched his arm. “Dad, you okay?”

Shaking his head, he gingerly touched the device. “Yeah Sam, I just...that was weird.”

Reassured, Carter looked at Jack. “Nice work, sir.”

Aww, shucks. “Yeah, well...figured I’d have more luck making Selmak angry than dad. Him being so much easier to get along with and all. Unfortunately it’s not gonna work again.”

“Good point,” Carter agreed grimly.

Now that Jacob knew Jack was trying to make him angry, it probably wouldn’t work. Jack presumed that the more you used it the easier it would be to control, but until then, they needed to provoke strong emotions to get a response.


He was about to ask what it was, when a glider went screaming overhead. “Cover!”

The forest exploded about twenty feet away from them; scattering blue leafs and twig debris over the surrounding area. The canopy of trees seemed to be obscuring them somewhat, but it wouldn’t be long until they honed in. “Jacob, we really got to get you to use that thing again!” That one death glider was undoubtedly just the beginning.

“Make me angry!”


“Make me angry!”

“How the hell am I supposed to do that?”

“Well you usually manage it somehow...”

Talk about pressure to perform. “Yeah, but anything I say...you’re not gonna buy it! You’re gonna know it’s not real.”

Another shot. More flying debris. Teal’c took out a few Jaffa with his staff weapon.

Daniel pulled a twig out of his hair, and then slowly raised his hand. “Uh...I have an idea.”



“No way! There’s not a chance in hell!”


“It’s not gonna happen, Daniel. Don’t even think about it!”


“Forget it!”

“Would you prefer it was me who did it?”

“Don’t you think we should let her make up her own mind? You know, she is a human being, Daniel. She does have a brain.”

“Yes! She does! And that’s why she’ll know - just as I do - that it has to be *you*. And you know why. It’s the only way.”

“Fine. Fine, but this is your idea. This is all your fault.”

“It always is.”

Stalking away from his conversation with Daniel in as private a spot as they could find - just around a tree trunk, as it happened - Jack ducked a staff weapon shot and kneeled next to his 2IC who was currently taking out three incoming Jaffa with her P-90. Uh, damn...how was he supposed to say this?

A tree exploded five feet away.

Okay! “Carter...”

Those Jaffa taken care off, she met his gaze. “It’s all right, sir. I’ve pretty much guessed what Daniel said. I understand.”

Damn, she was *so* smart. “And you know that I wouldn’t normally-“

“Yes, sir. Absolutely.”

He held her gaze for a moment longer, then turned his head and cleared his throat. “Jacob!”

Fresh from zatting a Jaffa, he swivelled towards them. “What?”

Jack looked at Carter, shrugged, then kissed her.

The death glider was blown out of the sky.

“What the *hell* do you think you’re doing?”

A Jaffa’s head was blown off.

“Colonel, I’m talking to you! Why the hell are you kissing my daughter?”

An entire platoon was vaporised.

“You must be-aaaaagh!”

Jack regretfully pulled himself away immediately to see Jacob on his knees, clutching his head.

“Dad!” Carter was by his side already, gasping for breath. Damn, how did she look so unaffected by the kiss?

“Selmak,” He croaked. “This...this thing is hurting him.”

Carter started pulling it off, her mouth working faster than her brain. “I guess that explains the corpse in the sarcophagus. Too much use of this weapon probably ends up killing the symbiote and it took the host with it. Too much damage for the sarcophagus to heal.”

Daniel ducked away from flying mud. “So now what?”

Jack looked at her.

She stared at him, wide-eyed. “No way,”

“Carter, you’re the only one with naquadah in your blood, and you don’t have a symbiote any more. It can’t hurt you!”

“Yeah, but the odds of me being able to make this thing actually *work*-”

“Will you *please* stop being negative?”

She wrinkled her nose. “Sorry sir.”

Another death glider zoomed overhead. “Look, just try Carter. At least then we’ll know we’ll have exhausted that option.”

She looked grimly from him to her dad. “All right.”

As a wincing Jacob helped her put the device on, Jack and Teal’c planted the claymores as a back up. They wouldn’t help against the gliders, but if more Jaffa turned up...they quickly returned to their group to find Carter already concentrating firmly.

“Anything?” Jack asked, fingering the detonator for the claymores.

“Not yet,” Daniel murmured back.

Two more death gliders joined the other one.

“Uh, Carter...”

“I’m *trying*!”

From the look of things *her* head was going to explode soon if she frowned much harder.

The attack hit seconds later. Teal’c narrowly avoided death, and it seemed as if the entire forest around them was being destroyed.

They were the recipient of a mud, wood, and leaf shower. “Carter!”


Still nothing, even with the anger.

Fine. Only one thing left to do. Only one option.

Grabbing her arms, he turned her towards him, and spoke.


The mother ship exploded.


“Welcome back, SG-1.”

Jack strolled jauntily off the end of the ramp. “Glad to be here, sir.”

Hammond took in their ‘woody’ appearance. “I take it Apophis turned up?”

“Yes sir, but not to worry. The mission was a complete success. We got the device, destroyed his mother ship...yadda, yadda.”

George was understandably pleased. “So Apophis is dead?”

Jack glanced at the rest of his team who looked disturbingly wary. “I really wouldn’t like to say, sir.”

“Very well. Get yourselves cleaned up and checked out. Briefing is in one hour.” Nodding, he turned away and left the gate room.

Teal’c, Daniel, and Carter quickly followed - the last person extremely quickly.

Jacob was all set to follow, when...

“Uh, Jacob...about what happened on the planet...”

“It’s all right Jack, I understand.”

*Huh*? “You do?”

Jacob smiled. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Right, yeah, he’d agree with that. “Sure. But you totally get that I wouldn’t normally have-“

“Of course not, Jack. I know you better than that. And...not a word of this to George. Promise.”

Wow. This was going well.


The briefing had gone easily. Almost too easily. The official line was that he’d said something sexist to Carter to really piss her off, and taking out the surviving Jaffa after that had been relatively easy.

Hammond bought it. Or, if he didn’t buy it he was keeping it to himself.

They were all heartily congratulated, Selmak was announced as being well on the road to recovery, Earth and Tok’ra specialists were studying the device to see if there was any way to use it without the nasty side effects...

And he still hadn’t talked to Carter yet.

So that’s why he was here, heading towards her favourite place. He wasn’t going to procrastinate; he wasn’t going to lurk outside her lab deciding whether or not to go in. He was simply going to stride in and make things right.

Of course, how he was going to accomplish that was another matter entirely.

So involved was he in his thoughts that he didn’t see Carter until he bumped into her. Literally.

“Sir! I’m sorry! I...was a little distracted. Didn’t see you.”

Now, should he let her take the blame? Naaah. “That’s all right Carter; wasn’t paying that much attention to where I was going myself.”

“Ah,” She nodded. “I see.”

She nodded some more.

So did he.

This was procrastination. He had to stop it. “So Carter...”


“About what happened on the planet...you...get why I did it, right?”

“Oh of course.”

“I needed to provoke a strong reaction...”


“And *that*, well, coming from your superior officer...”

“Just the thing to provoke a strong reaction, sir.”

Ah, thank God. She was making this easy. Still...it did feel awkward. “I never would have said it normally,”

Did she look disappointed? Or relieved? “Of course not.”

“So...” He pointed at her, then at himself. “We’re okay?”

“We’re okay, sir.”

Relief. Absolute relief. “Glad to hear it. Well, if you excuse me, I no doubt have some fascinating paperwork to complete. Lots of it. You know how that stuff catches up with me.”

A grin. “Yes sir. See you later.”

She left then, and Jack - grinning and not entirely sure why - quietly continued his journey along the corridor, turning to the right and-

-pausing when he saw Daniel, Teal’c, Fraiser and Jacob hiding around the corner. Looking extremely conspicuous.

An array of wide eyes greeted him.

The cover story started.

“So, if you look at the construction of these walls, you can see how vastly they differ from the construction on P4X 399.”

“I believe I see it, Daniel Jackson.”

“This is more of a concrete blend than...” Fraiser paused, lost for words.

“Wood, wasn’t it?” Jacob asked.

“Yes, wood!” Daniel agreed. “Now if you follow me, I’ll show you the light fixtures in the storage cupboard...”


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