It's end of the year fic amnesty time, and although I have lost all sense of whether this is done or not, I'm posting. Because there's late for a ficathon deadline, and then there's absolutely bloody ridiculously late and continuing to delay posting for no particular reason. Sorry! *distracts you with story*
Characters/Pairing: Teal’c and Daniel, friendship
Spoilers: S8, Avatar, playing loose and liberal with the details.
A/N: for the reel_sg1 challenge: incorporate the themes or plotlines of Run, Lola, Run into an SG-1 fanfiction story.
Betas: rydra_wong and sg1_fignewton, who have cheered and encouraged and are not to be blamed for the lateness of this story.
For: kellifer_fic, who has had the patience of a saint.
“Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said into his radio, pressing and depressing the rectangular button with his thumb slid to the side, the plastic digging into the pad of his fingers, “Daniel Jackson.”
“I’m here,” Daniel said breathlessly into the phone, “I had a problem getting to my office; there was a fire. I’m there now.”
“I am no longer at the prescribed coordinates,” Teal’c reported back, “we have lost control of the gateroom.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry about that, the program is incorporating seemingly random obstacles now,” Daniel said, voice tinny with mechanical interference, “harder to predict.”
“I can not reach Colonel Carter’s laboratory,” Teal’c interrupted.
“I can get there from here,” Daniel said, white noise creeping over the words.
“How will you then overcome the barriers to arrive at the gateroom?” Teal’c asked, fatigued. He could not follow Daniel Jackson’s logic; knew Daniel was there to help, but hadn’t the energy to think as he did, follow his thought patterns. Adapt further to the game.
“I’ll do it, just… just wait,” Daniel said, and Teal’c knew that there was no strategy, Daniel could likewise see no way to circumvent the supersoldier in the hallway. Teal’c did not have the energy to argue with him; he began to resign himself to inevitable. “Wait for me, I’ll take care of it, Teal’c.” Daniel’s voice sounded urgent, but Teal’c was unable to muster the ability to understand why. He would wait, try to hold the control room and fail, but he would wait.
Teal’c dropped his hand from the radio without any useful purpose to put it to; he placed it carefully on the control room console, five fingers spread wide.
He was resigned.
Daniel released the talk button on his radio and paused for only a moment before deciding on the best course to take to Sam’s lab and bolting for it. He wasted precious time waiting for an elevator; he hit the button four times before he gave up and sprinted to the stairs. He tried taking them two at a time going down, but found it too ungainly and opted instead for the stutter step, double-timed. He was thrilled to see the door to his floor and sprint out of it.
He turned the corner near the science labs and hit the edge of a folding table that served as a safe place for food, eating utensils and coffee mugs; a carafe half full of coffee rattled loose from it’s improper placement in it’s machine and did a half roll until it hit the handle, throwing it’s contents at the wall.
Later, Daniel thought, there would be problems with the outlet shorting, destroying an important experiment not because a machine lost power, but because the lights flickered and the scientist holding the implements made a mistake as a result. Maybe the failed result would delay an important development by a week, or two weeks, as they reran the experiments; maybe it would be too late to help with the latest crisis of the month, the latest need to save the world. It would all be down to Daniel’s failure to avoid the table as he ran.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the battle was lost, he chanted, a loose evensong in his head to fill up the space where he had no plan except to find Sam. His musings beat time with the pace of his boots. Daniel ran, and burst through Sam’s office door and felt the tread of his boots skid six inches on the concrete floor. Sam had the controlled volume in her voice that suggested that she was trying not to yell at whomever was on the other end of the line, and the way she turned her glare on him said Daniel was interrupting something.
Teal’c stood quietly in the control room and let his gaze drift over the blast screen behind the viewing window. A few hipnotic tendrils of smoke were trapped between the glass and the metal; a legacy of Teal’c’s failure to hold his position. Dents in the metal, with the occasional indication of charring, spoke to the impossibility of Teal’c’s task, and the formidable opponent he faced.
The chirping sound of a bell was incongruous, and at first Teal’c did not even react to it. On the second set of rings, Teal’c reset his grip on his weapons and followed the noise down the stairs and into the hallway.
“Remember, T,” O’Neill’s voice called from down the hall in a rapidly increasing volume as he rode by on a bicycle, “every time a bell rings.”
The tassles on the handlebars brushed the fabric of Teal’c’s t-shirt as he stepped to the side of the hallway to let O’Neill pass.
“An angel gets his wings,” Teal’c said in a low voice as O’Neill negotiated a tight turn without losing momentum. O’Neill’s balance looked insecure for a moment, though, and Teal’c was suddenly sure that eventually he would fail to maintain an upright position and injure himself quite severely impacting the walls. The recovery period would be painful for all who considered themselves close acquaintances, Teal’c was sure.
Teal’c took stock of the weapons damage to the hallways in the direction O’Neill went. He looked back and saw no sign of Daniel Jackson coming from the other side.
The regular sweep of gunfire in the gateroom swung over the door to Teal’c’s left and changed timbre as it ricocheted off concrete, then metal, then concrete. Teal’c considered entering the gateroom with weapons firing; it would be unsuccessful, but it would allow them to restart the game and possibly better implement their plan in the next iteration.
The prospect of having to redesign the plan was unattractive; it was unlikely to be better implemented. Teal’c resolved to wait, as Daniel Jackson requested.
For a moment, he considered sitting on the metal grate of the stairway before he widened his stance and lowered the substantial weapon in each hand to his side in parade rest.
Daniel watched Sam set the phone receiver carefully in its cradle. She abruptly huffed out a breath by way of greeting. “Sam,” Daniel began, “I’m sorry to…”
“If you’re here to tell me about the General going missing,” Sam interrupted, a flinch in her left eye the only chink in the all-business armor, “Harriman just told me.”
“Jack’s missing?” Daniel asked, suddenly worried about new directions, and the game doing a suspicious amount of lateral thinking since he arrived.
Sam walked forward towards her bench, like a security blanket. “Something weird is going on, Daniel; we have to figure out what it is.”
“Oh, I know what it is,” Daniel said, remembering he was in a hurry, “There are supersoldiers loose on the base. Probably two, maybe more, you never know.”
“What? Oh my God,” Sam said, standing up straight. Daniel rocked forward on his toes, ready to run again. “We’ve got to…”
“We’ve got to get your new anti-Supersoldier weapon thing to Teal’c,” Daniel supplied, taking his turn at interrupting and gesturing at the gun and power source balanced decoratively on tripods on her bench.
“It’s only in prototype stages, Daniel.” She’d said that the last two or five iterations, so Daniel wasn’t that surprised. “The power source has problems with surges, it hasn’t even been through testing…” She picked up the power source cartridge as she talked, turning it over and, apparently, willing it to be fixed.
“No time like the present,” Daniel said cheerfully and briskly as he lifted the gun with practiced hands out of its holder and reached out for the power source from Sam. “Let’s go find Teal’c.”
“Teal’c?” Sam said, a little confused, but following him to the doorway “We need to find the General, Daniel.”
“No,” Daniel said with a drawn out vowel that only emphasized how very much time they were wasting by turning and discussing the plan, “We need to get this to Teal’c, he’s holding one of them in the gateroom by himself.”
“By himself?” Sam asked, coming up short.
“Yeah, himself and two large guns,” Daniel said, hand on the doorframe. “Come on, Sam.”
Sam nodded shortly. “You take the weapon to Teal’c, I’ll find the General.” It was her command voice, and Daniel didn’t have time to deal with talking her out of it.
“Okay,” he said, “watch out for the fire on the gateroom floor, and the other soldier.”
“Take the access shaft,” Sam called after him, head sticking out into the hallway, “it’ll take you to the offices outside the briefing room.”
Her voice trailed off as he rounded the corner. Next time, he thought, he really needed to give her a radio.
Teal’c waited through the focused weapons fire on the otherside of the blast door until a hole had been burned through the metal. Then he took position as a fist moved into the space, and focused all his firepower on the hand that would open the door.
It bought him a little time. When the hand shifted to fire from the wrist, he ducked sideways, after a dangerous moment where he contemplated not moving, and so earlier to gain a moment’s rest. Even if they had no better plan of attack for the next interation of the game.
Daniel ran down the hallway by the infirmary to skirt the fire.
It took him probably five hundred yards out of his way, but it felt like five miles. The pounding of his boots on concrete was beginning to jar his feet and legs.
“Janet!” he called as she appeared down the hall, “do you think I can change my virtual appearance to include running shoes next time?”
“What?” she asked. And really, Daniel couldn’t blame her for looking confused, he just couldn’t bring himself to care.
“Take your antihistamines!” Daniel heard Janet call after him.
Strange for Teal’c to feel so fatigued leveling gunfire through a small hole considering he had done little but wait in this iteration of the game. He shifted to the stairwell side of the blast door as the soldier returned fire.
The sound of projectiles hitting concrete ceased. The sound of a metal door being manually shifted screeched into the silence.
Teal’c watched the Supersoldier gain a few milimeters. He once again concentrated weaponsfire through the makeshift handhold, then ducked the weapons fire. This time, though he shifted to the wrong side—he lost the angle that would allow him to fire into the room as the door opened.
Daniel Jackson appeared on the other side of the flashing weapons fire, in the stairway. “Teal’c!” He yelled, “I’ve got it!”
Teal’c had never understood the Tau’ri obsession with names. “Power up the weapon in the time it will take to open the door,” he suggested.
Daniel nodded, and the ringing sound of machinery filled in background noise as the soldier ceased fire and reapplied himself to the door.
The screech was louder as this time the door shifted noticeably. “Is there sufficient clearance to discharge the weapon?” Teal’c asked, trying to decide whether to fire on the soldier’s hand again.
“Almost,” Daniel Jackson replied, “just wait…”
The door shifted. The few LED lights on the weapon began to flicker. Daniel Jackson took aim, but did not pull the trigger.
The weapon discharged anyway. Teal’c shut his eyes against both the light and the image.
“It’s ridiculous to even hint that you are replacable,” Daniel had said that morning, his voice rising in to a pitch inappropriate for kel no’reem, one open hand gesturing sharply at a place on the wall behind Teal’c’s shoulder.
Teal’c turned his head to look fully at his companion as he said, “you have all gained a significant understanding of the Goa’uld, including fluency in several dialects. You have a breadth of understanding of the mythic history on your planet, and now you are now capable of discerning the truth in your ancient stories.”
“So are the jaffa,” Daniel pointed out, only to stop after having said it, to apparently consider whether he had just argued against his own point. Teal’c found the transparent play of emotions over his companions face decadent and amusing.
“You have alliances among the ranks of the Jaffa, the Tok’ra, the Tau’ri populations, and even, however inadvisedly, the Goa’uld themselves,” Teal’c continued gently, “You have friends among the Asgard, and other free peoples. I shall add myself to their ranks if my usefulness here becomes obsolete, and count myself honored to do so.”
Daniel Jackson opened and closed his mouth several times before he said, finally, “I would miss you.”
Teal’c replied, “I have not yet taken my leave, Daniel Jackson.”
The game reset.
“Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said into the radio as he picked it up from the floor, the plastic digging into the pad of his fingers, “Daniel Jackson.”
“I’m here,” Daniel said breathlessly into his radio, “I had a problem getting to the locker room; levels 23 and 24 are both locked down this time. I’m there now, though, have a radio.”
“We have lost control of the gateroom,” Teal’c reported back, bypassing the asinine statement about having a radio.
“Do you think the program is acting more creatively?” Daniel asked, voice tinny with mechanical interference.
“I am likewise unable to reach Colonel Carter’s laboratory,” Teal’c interrupted.
“I got it,” Daniel said, white noise creeping over the words, “but we should be on the lookout for more changes than just this one.”
“There are additional barriers to the gateroom,” Teal’c asked, fatigued.
“Just… I’m coming,” Daniel said, and Teal’c could hear pain in his words. Teal’c did not have the energy to lend while Daniel tested for expected injuries and found himself whole, but Teal’c could afford to wait. It was the least he could do.
He dropped his hand from the radio and placed it carefully on the control room console next to one of his weapons, five fingers spread wide. Residual adrenaline drained slowly away and he deliberately lifted his hand and turned, assuming a meditative pose on the control room floor, back to the blast screen.
The steam outline of his handprint on the console began faded.
Daniel released the talk button on his radio and paused while he decided on the best course to take to Sam’s lab. He wasted precious time waiting for an elevator; he hit the button four times and was about to start talking to it in the hopes that would make it go faster when the tell-tale chime told him his ride had arrived. He used the ride to shake his arms and legs free of tingling burning sensations and sprinted out of the doors when they opened, grateful that the hall was empty.
He turned the corner near the science labs and hit the edge of a folding table that served as a safe place for food, eating utensils and coffee mugs; an empty carafe rattled loose from it’s improper placement in it’s machine and fell off the table. The crack echoed in the space behind him.
Daniel made a mental note to come back, later, when the world was saved, and buy whomever a new coffee machine. A good one, maybe.
Or not, since this is virtual, Daniel thought.
He ran, and burst through Sam’s office door and felt the tread of his boots skid six inches on the concrete floor. Sam was yelling at whomever was on the other end of the line, and Daniel was very glad that he was not the recipient of the anger.
The chirping sound of a bell roused Teal’c from his meditation. On the second set of rings, Teal’c stood and followed the noise out of the control room into the hallway by O’Neill’s office.
“T! Off to fight the good fight!” O’Neill’s voice called over his shoulder as he kicked off the bicycle, balanced and swung a leg over the central bar, “Hey, there’s a fruit basket in my office if you’re hungry, buddy. Mi casa, et cetera. You look like hell!”
Teal’c would have responded in kind, but he had only a view of O’Neill’s backside as he rode away on the carpet, and he was unsure whether saying so would violate the incomprehensible “Do Not Ask, Do Not Tell” military regulation. It would have been unfortunate if O’Neill found himself on the receiving end of an inquiry as a result.
The regular sweep of gunfire in the gateroom echoed weakly through the control room doorway behind Teal’c. Teal’c considered the regularity of the change in din as first concrete, then metal, received the brunt of the weapons fire, and turned to quietly make his way back to the door the supersoldier would attempt to shoot through.
Daniel watched Sam slam the phone back into the headset hard enough to create a disgruntled jingle from within the plastic. “Sam,” Daniel began, “I’m sorry to…”
“The General is missing,” Sam interrupted without turning around.
“Yeah, there are supersoldiers loose on the base,” Daniel said quickly, “can I borrow your new gun to go get them?”
“What? Daniel,” Sam said as he took a few strides across the room and gathered the gun and power source. She grabbed his wrist somewhat roughly, which was probably due to lingering anger at whomever was on the phone (Harriman again, Daniel guessed, only this round he’d probably go home and drink a bottle of chalk to combat the ulcer Sam’s anger likely caused.)
“We’ve got to get your new anti-Supersoldier weapon thing to Teal’c,” Daniel supplied, knocking over the precariously balanced tripods on her bench to break the wrist hold.
“It’s only in prototype stages, Daniel.” She’d said that the last two or five iterations, so Daniel wasn’t that surprised. “The power source has problems with surges, it hasn’t even been through testing…” Daniel fitted the power source into the weapon and reached back out for Sam’s hand.
“I know, I have an idea about that, actually,” Daniel said as he turned and half dragged Sam to the door, “Let’s go find Teal’c.”
“Teal’c?” Sam said, a little confused, “We need to find the General, Daniel.”
“Teal’c first,” Daniel said, letting go of Sam’s hand and breaking into a run in the hallway, “he’s holding one of them in the gateroom by himself.”
“Oh boy,” Sam said, getting up to speed behind him.
“Yeah,” Daniel said, taking some deep breaths in advance of the run that was coming, “Well, he’s doing the double-fisting thing. “Levels 23 and 24 are in lockdown, is the elevator still an option, or should we go for the access shafts?”
Sam caught up the few paces lag she was behind and called “Elevator ought to work most of the way, then access shafts to the control room.”
Daniel slowed enough to pull his radio out of his vest, hand it to Sam and say, “I’ll head for the elevators, you tell Teal’c we’re coming.”
Teal’c waited through the barage weapons fire on the other side of the blast door until a heart-sized hole had been burned through the metal. Then he took position as a fist moved into the space, and focused all his firepower on the unprotected hand that would open the door.
When the hand shifted to fire from the wrist, Teal’c watched it impassively. The soldier was unable to accurately target him and fire at the same time, so the bullets went wide.
The sound of projectiles hitting concrete stilled, the hand shifted to grip the door and Teal’c got a view of the soldier’s helmet. He raised both weapons and opened fire. The bullets glanced off the helmet, a few found their marks in the hand, though. When the disembodied hand turned again palm down and made a fist in preparation to return the volley, Teal’c decided to change positions to avoid injury.
It still took him a few long moments to convince his legs to move him. Perhaps during the next iteration, he should partake of O’Neill’s fruit basket.
Daniel and Sam ran down the infirmary hallway after the elevator opened on the wrong floor.
They were only two floors away from Teal’c, but the slabs of concrete that made up the floors were becoming serious obstacles.
“Janet!” Sam called as she appeared down the hall.
“The General went this way!” Janet called back, “what the hell is he doing on a bike anyway?”
Sam nodded once at Daniel and then followed Janet.
Daniel ran on.
He thought he heard shouting behind him as he climbed into the access shaft, but he had too much momentum to stop and investigate.
Teal’c was once again on the wrong side of the door to fire as it opened.
Daniel Jackson appeared with a great clatter out of the stairwell from the control room. “Hey,” he said, breathing heavily, “does it feel like the game is incorporating more random choices?”
Teal’c did not find the question relevant. “The weapon will explode if you attempt to fire it,” he stated as the supersoldier began to move the blast door manually.
Daniel Jackson nodded and looked towards the hand applied to hot metal. “I thought we might deliberately overload it and throw it through the blast door at him,” he said over the noise.
The screech was louder as the door shifted noticeably. Daniel Jackson looked at Teal’c with raised eyebrows, then lifted his shoulders slightly and looked down at the weapon. “I was going to ask Sam if it would still work, but she took off after Jack.” He appeared unsure of the wisdom of his own intentions.
Teal’c reached out his right arm, the nozzle of his gun pointed sideways at the screech of the door. Daniel Jackson’s focus shifted from gun to hand to Teal’c’s expression to his own hands. They exchanged weapons. Teal’c grasped the weapon at the barrel and used the tip of a finger from his left hand to trigger power.
The door shifted. The few LED lights on the weapon began to light. Teal’c set down his second gun. They watched the supersoldier’s progress with the door, they watched the lights come to full strength on the weapon.
The soldier gained enough of an opening to apply both hands to the edge of the door. The lights on the weapon began to flicker and Teal’c shifted to shove it narrowly between the door and frame.
The enemy fired when the weapon was still half exposed to the hallway, warm in Teal’c’s hands.
“You can’t be serious,” Daniel Jackson had said, his tact overcome by outrage.
“It is no great honor to be cut down by one’s own weakness; to have a symbiote reject the use of your body, to die slowly and with so little dignity.” Teal’c had said the words in the safety of candlelight, in deep shadows that hid even the cold rigidity of the walls. It was not proper for a guest to question him in these deep ways while accepting his hospitality, but Teal’c sometimes learned great truths when those around him behaved with unorthodox manners.
“But,” Daniel had pressed, as he always did, “you can’t wish for that now, you can’t value dying young so much now.”
Teal’c had closed his eyes then.
“I cannot, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c had said with clarity, before the game reset, though he could feel the blood in his mouth, “I cannot wish for an early death.”
The copper taste in his mouth receded.
The game reset.
“I’ve got a radio,” Daniel said breathlessly without prompting, “I’m picking up a vest in the weapons locker, do you need ordnance?”
“I do not, the situation is unaltered,” Teal’c reported back.
“I’m on my way to Sam,” Daniel said, and Teal’c could hear the rhythmic pound of footsteps in his breath and in the background. “I’m sorry, Teal’c, I’m sorry that didn’t work.”
Teal’c stilled. “Daniel Jackson,” he said into the radio, after a moment, “I believe I require grenades.”
Daniel ran as though the devil chased him. He banged the down button on the elevator with a closed fist as he ran by and skidded to a halt in a corner of the hallway. He picked up the phone and dialed Sam’s lab.
She picked up after two rings, a brisk and preoccupied announcement of her name telling him she’d been on the other side of the bench, might still be looking at a piece of whatever she’d been experimenting on when he called.
“Sam,” he said, “you’ve got the anti-supersoldier weapon, right? Haven’t taken it apart or anything?”
“Hi Daniel, I was going to work on the power source later, but haven’t started yet.” That boded ill for future loops, Daniel thought. “What’s up?”
At least he caught her in a good mood this time, for the moment. “Well, Teal’c and I are in a virtual simulation of a battle situation in which a supersoldier has entered the base, you are a virtual character, Jack has gone AWOL on a bike, probably, (Harriman was just going to call you) and I really, really need to you to take the anti-supersoldier weapon to Teal’c outside the gateroom now.” He heard the tell-tale chime of the elevator arriving and stretched, trying to get a foot in the door to hold it while he explained to Sam.
“Okay,” Sam said, “I’m on my way.”
Daniel blinked once, dropped the phone and lunged to catch the elevator doors before he couldn’t get a hand between them.
Teal’c rose from his resting pose when the changing din of Supersoldier sweeping fire ceased its regularity and focused on a metal target. Faster than it had in the last few iterations.
Turning, Teal’c walked to the stairway and down, realizing as he did so that the ringing in his ears ceased and the din of weapons fire was quieter. On achieving the landing, he tilted his head slightly and followed the corridor around to the other side of the gateroom.
Teal’c planted his feet carefully outside the other blast door to the control room and ignored the complaints of his eardrums. He prepared for battle.
Daniel watched the numbers in the elevator change as he absently checked the contents of the tac vest he’d lifted from the armory. The numbers reached his target, but instead of the doors opening, all the lights blacked out.
“Oh, come on,” Daniel said, pushing buttons and kicking a well-placed boot into the sign that read ‘in case of emergency, break glass’.
Teal’c was watching a section of the blast door blister as projectiles hit it from the other side. The noise was great, and he did not hear footsteps coming down the hallway until they turned the corner.
“Colonel Carter,” he greeted her, momentarily turning his attention from his enemy on the other side of the door. “Where is Daniel Jackson?”
“I thought he was meeting us here,” Colonel Carter answered, looking behind her as though she were prepared to go back to find her missing comrade.
“He has not arrived,” Teal’c told her, perhaps unnecessarily, “but he is unharmed.”
“Okay,” Colonel Carter replied, coming up beside him, weapon in hand to contemplate the supersoldier's work, “What’s the plan?”
Daniel had jammed the emergency ax in between the elevator doors and leveraged a six inch gap in the doors when Jack’s face appeared on the other side of the gap.
“Jack!” Daniel yelled, prompting Jack to raise an eyebrow.
“Daniel?” He loaded at least four questions into the word. The tip of the ax pointed directly up at Jack's chin.
“Jack,” Daniel said, wide-eyed with disbelief. He wrenched the ax back and gestured broadly at the doors. They each took a side and pulled.
Daniel emerged from the elevator and nearly tripped over Jack’s ten-speed. He put a hand on the bars without knowing whether he was steadying himself or the bike.
“Jack,” Daniel said, running through scenarios in his head, “I need your help.”
“With what now?” Jack said, looking put-upon, "sychronized swimming tips? Minesweeper? Rubic’s cube?”
“Actually, I just need your bike,” Daniel said, pulling the handlebars and leading the way to the stairwell.
“Oh, Daniel,” Jack said, avoiding the precarious fishtailing of the bike, “is it wise to ride a bike down a stairwell?”
“No, it’s not,” Janet said, as they rounded a corner, “I just knocked a supersoldier down this one.” She had a side-arm in one hand.
“Nice, did you kill it?” Jack asked, as Daniel stood with his mouth open rather stupidly.
“Not sure, though I shot him a lot. I wouldn’t say no to one of those grenades in your vest.” Janet said sweetly. Daniel handed over a grenade and Jack called for a team of marines to back her.
Looking back over his shoulder, Daniel headed for the next stairwell; Jack followed. Janet pulled the pin on the grenade.
Colonel Carter suggested a crossfire technique to prevent the supersoldier from effectively targeting them when he attempted to fire through the hole in the blast door. They had effectively prevented any progress opening the door up until the point where Daniel Jackson and O’Neill arrived in possession of a tac vest and a bicycle.
“Hey guys,” Daniel Jackson greeted them, removing a grenade from the vest, “brought you something.”
Teal’c smiled grimly and focused a blast of gunfire on the supersoldier’s hand so that he would remove it from the hole in the blast door. Daniel Jackson withdrew the offered grenade, removed the pin, stepped up behind Teal’c and shoved it through the hole in the door when it was clear.
All four turned without a word and took cover. The quiet after the blast was somewhat disturbing.
“Okay, that was cool,” O’Neill said in a reverent tone, “now what?”
“I was going to send the overloading weapon into the gate room on Jack’s bike,” Daniel Jackson said, “but he didn’t get the door open.”
“Can’t we shoot through the nice grenade shaped hole in the door?” O’Neill asked.
“The weapons power source is unstable,” Daniel Jackson said, “it overloads pretty reliably.”
“It’s just a prototype,” Colonel Carter said, somewhat defensively.
“We require the door to be opened,” Teal’c announced, “I did not lock the controls; access is available from the control room.”
“Oh,” Daniel Jackson said.
“The soldier may regain consciousness at any time, I suggest we send the bicycle in from the other direction,” Teal’c said, listening for any movement from the supersoldier.
“Hey, why isn’t he dead from a grenade?” O’Neill said, “Are we sure he isn’t dead?”
“We’re still here, Jack, the game would have ended,” Daniel Jackson said absently.
“We’re simulated, Sir,” Colonel Carter announced, “Daniel and Teal’c are in a military simulation."
“Cool, guess that explains the bike,” O’Neill said equably; he and Teal'c looked at each other.
“It absolutely does not explain the bike, Jack,” Daniel Jackson argued tiredly.
“Does too! Ask Teal’c,” O’Neill retorted.
“Colonel Carter, control the door from the control room, O’Neill and Daniel Jackson prepare the weapon,” Teal’c delegated, “I will remain here and draw the enemy’s attention should he regain consciousness.”
“Okay, take these then,” Daniel Jackson said, handing Teal’c two more grenades.
Daniel heard Sam call down the stairway, and thought for the umpteenth time that they really needed to start making sure she picked up a radio in these scenarios. He said as much to Teal’c.
“There will not be a next time, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c replied through the radio.
“God, I hope you’re right,” Daniel said with feeling; Jack looked at him.
“So, what,” Jack said from his position with the bicycle by the door, “I’m a virtual…what?”
“Representation, Jack,” Daniel said as he heard both Sam calling inarticulately and Teal’c announcing movement from the supersoldier. He sprinted up the stairs.
“Ready Sam?” Daniel asked Sam as he took the stairs two at a time.
“I…” Sam replied in a drawn out way, “yes, I'm ready.”
“I am attempting to draw the supersoldier’s attention,” Teal’c reported, and gunfire was heard through the blast guard.
Daniel sprinted far enough down the stairs to lean down and speak around the doorway and tell Jack to hit the power on the weapon. He waited long enough to hear the high pitched whirr that indicated power was on before he reported through the radio that they were commensing. He didn’t get a response from Teal’c, but it was just as well since he was counting in his head.
“Okay Sam, get the right door, alright?” Daniel said as he climbed a few steps and gained a line of sight on Sam.
“No pressure,” Sam said, "count me down."
“Sorry, it’s been a strange game,” Daniel said absently as he reached a countdown in his head, “on three, two…” he sprinted back down to the door and stopped short, “Jack,” he said, finding the man about to balance and push off on the bike, “what are you—“
“The game had me riding around on a bicycle during a crisis, Daniel,” Jack replied as the door began to open, “so that’s what I’m going to do.”
“It’s not a hint, Jack,” Daniel said, alarmed, as Jack looked at the opening.
“The bike won’t make it all the way over there on it’s own balance, you know,” Jack said as the door reached two feet open, “get Carter to let me out the other side, okay?”
Daniel caught a glimpse of the back of the soldier as Jack pushed off, but the enemy was already turning. Jack was through, and Daniel once again bolted up the stairs to give Sam the word. She turned and began typing to shut the door when she saw him; Daniel could already hear multiple types of gunfire through the metal.
The flash of light edged around the blast door, Sam looked up as it did. Daniel watched Sam's hands.
“Sam,” Daniel said, “open Teal’c’s door so he can get Jack and we’ll—“ Sam turned around in her seat, eyes wide, but she only made it a quarter of a turn before the game ended.
Daniel was briefly blinded by light. It, fortunately, turned out to be Doctor Fraiser’s omnipresent penlight. He turned sideways to find Teal’c just stirring; Daniel had never seen him wake so slowly.
“Hey, good game?” Daniel heard the voice come from far out of his line of sight, but he could picture Jack wincing even as he made the joke.
Sam appeared behind Janet, smiling reassuringly, and then going to talk to Teal’c as he woke.
“We’re going to let you guys get some sleep as soon as we make sure you’ll do so peacefully,” Janet said as Sam started pulling at all the Velcro and restraints. Jack was doing the same for Teal’c, Daniel saw, only Teal’c immediately reached out and pulled him in for an exhausted looking embrace.
"Hey," Jack said, biting off the protest as he was smashed inelegantly into Jaffa shoulders.
Daniel thought that might not be a bad idea, but the group hug would have to wait until he’d gotten some sleep.