DOPPELGANGER BY PHOENIX
Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves
Angst. Hurt/Comfort. Action/Adventure. Drama
Small Spoiler for Cor Ai. Stargate the Movie.
Serpent's Grasp/Serpent's Lair.
from an aborted mission and it's business as usual.
Or is it?
situations, violence, torture, character death is
alluded to but does not actually occur in the course
of the story.
Originally completed early 2000.
sat silently, the tin cup he was holding imparting a faint
warming sensation to his chilled hands. It was very dark,
cold and quiet up here. Very cold. Even the fire wasn't
helping much. But it was also very far from everything
familiar. Which was exactly where Jack needed to be at the
moment. Very, very far away from all of it.
Daniel took a sip of his rapidly cooling coffee and looked
at the man sitting a few feet away from him. Not moving.
Not speaking. Just sitting. Staring. Pretty much all he
had been doing ever since they'd come back.
benefit had come of all of this. Namely the new understanding
Daniel had arrived at with General Hammond. They hadn't
exactly started out on the best of terms and at least from
Daniel's side of the table, things hadn't gotten much better.
due to anything specific the General had ever said or done.
Daniel simply never really felt as if the man – approved
of him. Just a feeling he got. Maybe he was being unfairly
paranoid, but as a rule, George made him nervous.
the reception awaiting them when they'd returned through
the gate had been less than cordial. The General had been
furious, Jack had been ominously silent, he'd been confused
and almost out on his feet. He'd had no idea where they'd
been, how they'd gotten there – what they were doing there.
His head was splitting, and all the information contained
within was whirling around in it like his brain was a blender.
By the time Jack got him to the infirmary he was pretty
much out of it, and apparently had slept for the next twelve
woke up he found Jack sitting by his side. In pretty much
the same condition he was right now. Which really hadn't
surprised Daniel all that much, because while he'd been
sleeping, things had sorted themselves out.
had been possessed by a series of extremely vivid dreams
during which he relived, in great detail, what had happened
to him from the moment he'd come into being as an exact
duplicate of Daniel Jackson until the moment he had – died.
gift of life to him had included memories of a span of
time he'd never actually lived to replace the nightmare
he'd really experienced. He'd been spared all those terrible
memories, now residing in the machine along with everything
else stolen from him. Daniel found himself profoundly grateful
he could remember nothing of the lost day as HE had lived
it. To recall it from the perspective of knowing about
it was bad enough.
he had been given a LOT more than memories. There had been
all that KNOWLEDGE as well. Everything his brother had
known about the computer complex, everything he knew as a
result of being what he was; for awhile it had been in there
and he'd been able to recall all of it.
seemed to be fading now, probably because the human mind
wasn't designed to be able to consciously process such an
overwhelming glut of information not gained through direct
experiential familiarity. Or maybe it was just too much for
the mind to hold on to, so it let it go.
it was, because of this experience Daniel found he had
a new empathy for a couple of his teammates. If what Jack
had gone through when he'd had the knowledge of the Ancients
downloaded into his brain had been anything like what had been
in his own head – Jack had done very, very well. And if
this is what it felt like to have to live with another's
thoughts, feelings and memories co-existing with your own,
he had some idea now of what having Jolinar's memories
in her head was like for Samantha. Ah – Sam.
reminded him of something else. Something he was going
to have to attend to rather soon. As talented as Willis was
with her lips, he really was going to have to set her
amazing man he'd been, this brief brother. So much like
him and yet – so not. How he had cherished the life he
had so briefly tasted, each bittersweet drop so savored and
embraced. How humanly he'd desired to live it and dared to
enjoy it, even while knowing the cost of each sweet second of
it was another's pain.
taken as much as he dared. He knew it was wrong. He'd done
so, hoping the one he had wronged would not think too harshly
of him because of it. Would forgive him in light of the
fact he had done the right thing – in the end.
right. Daniel found he did not begrudge him his day. He
was grateful to him for returning his life. He was grateful
to him to him for what he'd tried to do for Jack, in the way
he had died. And as he really had no memory at all of the
other stuff, well…
when he'd awakened and seen Jack, just sitting there staring,
seen the worried faces of Janet, the General and Sam and
Teal'c, he knew exactly what was wrong. All he had to do
was remember the look on Jack's face as he'd turned away from
his brother for the last time…
saw he was awake he turned to Janet and spoke one sentence.
"I want to go to sleep." They'd helped Jack into a bed,
and he had promptly done just that. At which point Daniel
had climbed out of the bed he'd been occupying and informed
the General he was ready to tell him everything.
he had. Very slowly, very carefully, at great length and
great personal cost. They sat in George's office, Daniel had
just – talked, and he watched the General's face get graver
and graver with each word.
wasn't sure when it happened, but somehow during that confession
an understanding developed between them. Daniel had desperately
wanted the whole thing to be treated a certain way, and
was not at all certain how to try and ask this of the General.
quite surprised when the General said to him – "Dr Jackson,
would I be wrong in assuming you would not be opposed to
the notion of keeping most of this – off the record?"
George, you wouldn't be wrong about that at all!
both agreed – to come up with another story. And to keep
the real one to themselves. Would have been almost fun.
Colluding with the General. Except for the fact someone
else who knew the truth was still suffering.
the first bit going so well Daniel decided to grab the
bull by the horns and ask George for the other thing he
for stuff really wasn't all that hard. Certainly made it
a lot easier to get what you wanted. Would have to try
doing it a bit more often.
had conceded Daniel's plan for Jack did seem to be a good
idea, but had talked with the doctors first before giving
him the green light. Approval finally given Daniel loaded
Jack's truck up with gear, packed up Jack and headed for the
middle of nowhere.
was pretty much where they were at the moment. In more
ways than one.
submitted to the whole process with indifferent cooperation.
Not a word during the drive. No comment when they stopped.
Not a sound while he watched Daniel pitch the tent and
gather wood for the fire. Hadn't eaten anything either.
That was usually HIS favorite trick.
put the cup down and drew the sleeping bag he'd wrapped
around himself in a little tighter. Getting very cold. Jack
must be freezing, sitting there in that thin jacket. Good
excuse as any to try and close the gap.
got to his feet and crossed over to Jack. Jack actually
turned and looked at him as he approached, 'mantle' trailing
behind him. That was encouraging. Hidden by his covering,
Daniel covertly patted his side pocket. Secret weapon. Just in
sank down close to Jack's side, settling his arm around
his shoulders, drawing him into the warm shelter of the
sleeping bag. Jack's only acknowledgement of his presence was
an almost absent placement of his hand upon the hand on his
shoulder. It was a start.
just sat there with him, for a long time. Not saying anything.
Not moving. Just being there. It was hard to tell exactly
when it started happening, but Jack gradually started to
thaw. Melting, molding into the man beside him. Letting go
and letting him hold him up. Almost ready for words.
offer I made to you on the drive over to the mountain still
stands," Daniel began quietly. "Anything you want to know
- all you have to do is ask."
leaning on him trembled slightly. "How do you know about
that?" His voice was barely a whisper.
I'm not gone. I'm here. We're both here."
died. He died alone. He was my friend – he was you and
I just – abandoned him. I should have been there for him
– shouldn't have died… alone… shouldn't have been left
there – alone… left behind like he was…nothing…"
listen to me," Daniel soothed. "He wasn't alone. He was
with me. He was me – is me. He wasn't left behind. He's
here. Sitting right beside you. What we walked away from
was only a shell. Everything he was that mattered we brought
home with us.
me to tell you something. To make sure you understood.
Everything he did – he did deliberately. Knowing full well
what would come of every choice he made. Even the choice
to live – knowing it would mean he HAD to die.
have brought you to me sooner. Maybe you could've saved
me before it had gone too far – before it was necessary
for him to have – done what he did. He knew that. Knew
the sooner he acted, the better the chance both of us could've
he had, there would have been no place for him here after
I was saved. I would've come back to my life, and he'd
have had to stay behind. Without ever having had a chance
to be with the people he loved. He'd have been alive, but it
would've been a life without those things and those people
which most gave it meaning for him.
made a choice, Jack. A very deliberate choice. He chose
one day of life. One day which he lived to the fullest
in the way that made him the happiest. Being with the people
he loved. Loved, Jack. Loved enough to want to live one single
day for, and enough to be willing to surrender that life for.
it willingly, without regret, knowing exactly what the
price for every moment would be. He died as deliberately
as he chose to live, and in doing so, gave all he had lived,
been and done in that day - to me.
begrudge him that day, Jack. I don't even mind knowing
what happened to me during that time. My body might have
suffered some effects from it, but I have no memory of
it. Thanks to him, I never even lived it! I know it happened,
but it doesn't matter. In its place I have – him. Letting
him live those few short hours in my shoes – well, from what
I can see, he did a pretty fine job as my proxy. I'm glad
he was, for that brief space of time. Because he was, I
am richer. And so, my friend, are all of you.
he did, he did for love, Jack. Even sending you away from
him at the end. That most of all. Don't dishonour that
love with unnecessary and unwanted guilt. He doesn't require
it of you. He certainly wouldn't be happy to see you like
this. I'm being completely straight with you right now
- when you did as he asked you, when you walked away from
him in the end, you made him very happy. It was what he
wanted most from you. The final gift. You did it. You gave it.
You did good."
head had fallen forward, resting on his bent knees. "Is
that the truth?" he said in a slightly loud and belligerent
voice. "I swear, if you're shitting me about this…"
laughed. "You'll what – kill me? It's been tried before.
I'm still here. So are you. That's pretty much all that
matters, when you get down to it, don't you think. If he
was here he'd kick your butt around the block for this and you
know it. Come to think of it – he is here. Whaddya say,
O'Neill, want your butt kicked?"
"As if! You'd have a better chance of getting Teal'c to
wear a dress than being able to kick MY butt, Trench Boy.
nudged him with his knee, playfully but not gently. "My,
there's an image to ponder during many a sleepless night.
Think you're pretty tough, don't you? Well, I'm pretty
tough too. After all, I've had to put up with you for the past
two years. Yeah, I'm tough."
Jack groaned. "I've seen you fight."
may be so, but do you know anyone who can talk their way
out of one better than me?"
"If they held a heavyweight championship fight for rhetoric
you'd win hands down."
gave Jack's shoulders a warm squeeze. "So what do you think,
my friend, have we postured enough?"
and sat back up. "Yeah, I think so."
Well, I feel like celebrating." He reached into his pocket,
pulled out two spoons and handed one to Jack.
at the object in his hand and then at the man sitting beside
him. "What's with the spoon?"
able to suppress his grin, Daniel withdrew the third object
in his pocket. "Care to split a jar of Mayonnaise with
now wait a minute, Jack. Just let's – ow! Let go! Ow! Geez,
watch the neck. Oh – not the hair. Why is it always the
hair… JACK!!! Jack! That's MAYONNAISE! Don't even think
about it… JAAAACCCKKK!!!"
what the hell was this?
the flash of light released them Jack felt himself instinctively
sink into a crouched, defensive stance, his MP-5 already
up and at the ready. He couldn't see the rest of his team
as they had been slightly behind him, but was sure they
were doing much the same thing. Taut, poised, ready for
action, checking for signs of danger.
to be sure just the same.
done it again. When was he going to stop – checking for
him, looking for him, calling his name. Expecting an answer?
was dead. Six months ago, in the corridor of Aphophis'
ship. Died in his arms - half his chest blown away by the
staff blast. All his fault for leaving him there – alone.
Would have gone up on the ship with him if Bra'tac hadn't come
back, clubbed him and carried him away.
was dead. It had been six whole months and he still didn't
of this, focus, they were in a jam here. Sam and Teal'c
had heard him do it again, probably knew he'd gone off on them
for awhile, but they needed him back here now.
wherever they were now, it sure wasn't where they used-to-have-been…
the light they had been heading down the main street of
a deserted old west ghost town on D8K-287. After the zap they
were standing in a large room looking very much as if it would
do fine as a set for 'Forbidden Planet.'
been here at least a couple of minutes and nothing had
happened. The lights were on, but nobody seemed to be home.
no movement this way," Jack pivoted back slightly to address
the pair behind him. "How about you two?"
see anyone this way," Carter returned. "There doesn't seem
to be anyone here. Wherever 'here' is."
O'Neill, Captain Carter, Teal'c! So pleased to meet you!"
baritone, slightly accented voice sounded directly in front
of him. Where there'd clearly been nobody only a second
Jack cried as he swung around, leveling the muzzle of his
weapon where he gauged the middle of the man's chest should
met by a slightly amused pair of rather arresting grey
eyes belonging to an equally striking individual standing
directly in front of him. Way too close to him.
he was the one with the gun and therefore ostensibly in
control of the situation Jack found himself strangely intimidated
by the presence and proximity of the man. Keeping the weapon
aimed at his chest, Jack took a couple of steps back, almost
banging into Teal'c, who had drawn up close behind him.
who had seemingly come out of nowhere was in a nutshell
– quite a sight. A tall, large man, with a wide, well-muscled
frame, whose general bearing and appearance practically
screamed 'virile' at you. Impossible to tell how old he
was, somewhere between 30 and who knew what the top end
was, because even though the face seemed fairly unlined and
ageless, the eyes said 'fonts of wisdom and experience'. Those
were the kind of eyes you just didn't get until life had had
enough time to kick you around, just a little.
trimmed white beard and the silver hair restrained in a
very long braid hanging down his back didn't make playing
the age game any easier. His attire pretty much completed his
'going for out-to-cut-a-definite-figure' look. An all-black,
one piece, tailored jumpsuit without any markings, insignia,
badges or piping on it to identify it as a uniform, but
it struck you as one all the same. The floor-length black
cape not only had the effect of adding to the 'uniform'
impression, but was a rather nice touch to boot.
striking face wore a large, warm, completely disarming
smile. This guy had been around some. More than sure of
himself? Crap – he had enough charisma for a regiment!
keep your weapon pointed at me if it makes you feel any
better, but I assure you, you will not need it. I must
apologize for the rather unceremonious way of bringing
all of you here, but I am sure once you see why, you will
forgive me my presumption."
lower his weapon. He had a strong feeling he could trust
this man, but he hadn't heard enough yet to give into it.
listening. So talk."
laughed. Heartily. "Ah, Jack – can I call you Jack, that's
good – you are everything he thinks you are. And more.
Very well, Jack, here it is. Back home we got a signal
this place was not only here, but suddenly operational.
Imagine that! After all this time. Came as a bit of a shock, I
don't mind telling you.
I wasn't really doing anything special so I got the job
of coming here and shutting it down. However, when I got
here, I found a little more than I bargained for. An additional
problem that had to be taken care of. Administrative burdens.
Such a nuisance! Know what I mean? I hate paperwork and
would rather not get tied up in any more of it. That's
where you come in.
all of you to do me a favor. Take a little something off
my hands. I know it's a lot to ask folks I've barely even
met but believe me, you'll be really helping me out and
once you see what it is – I think you'll actually thank
us here – to help you?" Jack began suspiciously. "No tricks,
no traps all you want is for us to do a 'personal favor'
for someone we don't know from Adam? Now, why would we
want to do that?"
man affected a stricken look. "Jack! You doubt me! I'm
wounded to the core! I hope you won't be offended if I
say you have an overly suspicious mind!"
tightly at him. "It's the life I lead." Crap. He was really
liking this guy's style, and he didn't want to.
host shook his head. "Very well, I guess I am just going
to have to show you. If it's the only way you'll be convinced
I really am your friend." He gestured behind him, to a
long table across the room about fifty feet away. There
was an extremely enigmatic look on his face as he said,
"What I want you to take with you is lying on that table.
Go on. Take a look."
Teal'c – go check it out." Jack instructed them, never
taking his eyes off those of the man before him. "I'll
stay here and keep an eye on the Silver Fox here."
pair began to walk toward the table their host laughed
again. "Silver Fox! That's really good! Will have to remember
it. It'll crack Percy up for sure!"
say it took a bit of looking to find you, but I'm sure
the effort will be worth it. You understand my problem. I
had to find a reality almost identical to this one – except
he wasn't in it anymore. But used to be – in the same way he
is here. That's not as common an occurrence as you might
think, Jack. But had to make the effort for his sake. Too
much of a divergence from this one and it would have necessitated
too much – rewriting. Might have destabilized the
personality matrix. Your reality isn't exactly the same as
this one, but it's very, very close. There are some
interesting - differences - but I've made allowances for them.
A little 'tweaking' won't do any harm. He'll accept them
without any problems, you don't need to worry about that,
guy had just made a right turn and headed straight into
the twilight zone. What was going on over there? What the
hell was up with Carter? Was she – crying??
is DEFINITELY crying, Teal'c looks like he's in shock,
nobody's answering and Foxie looks like the cat who has just
swallowed the canary. What are they looking at?
you go over and see for yourself, Jack?"
and started to walk toward his teammates to see what all
the fuss was about, the man who had brought them here following
close behind him.
possible – couldn't be. Daniel…
Teal'c were forgotten, all Jack could see was the man on
the table. The man he had last seen lying limply in his
arms, his chest an open, gory horror, his blue eyes wide and
staring in death…
here – whole, breathing – god he's BREATHING he's alive
looks like he's just… asleep oh God! How is this possible…
hand was shaking as he reached out, almost afraid to and
yet unable to resist the urge to touch…
still as soft as he remembered…it had been such a long
down a sob, pulled his hand back and balled it into a fist,
rounding on the night-clad man behind him.
is some sort of sick joke or a trick I swear to God you're
a dead man!"
was instantly arrested by the sudden, deeply compassionate
look in the grey eyes that did not flinch from his need
for the truth.
Jack. No joke. Everything is exactly as it appears. This
is Daniel, and he is very much alive."
Jack found he could barely speak, this throat was so thick.
addressed crossed quickly to him, throwing a companionable
arm around his shoulders, pulling him into a stroll away
from the table and the others. Jack went with him reluctantly,
looking over his shoulder at the man on the table, unwilling
to lose sight of him lest he suddenly vanish as miraculously
as he had appeared.
wow – you WOULD have to ask me that. Gotta tell you, Jack,
it's an AWFULLY long story. Don't want to bore you with
all the piddley little details, you've probably got a million
better things to do with your time now in light of this
new development – so I'll try to keep it as brief as possible.
have to give you a little backstory first. Sorry about
that, can't be helped. You see, once upon a time there
was this race of beings who were very, very, smart. They
progressed to a state of technological advancement gaving them
powers that still haven't been matched by any race existing
since them. Their technology gave them – dare I say it –
practically god-like abilities. Certainly the power over
life and death. Most specifically, the creation of life
would have a good thing except for all their accomplishments
these beings were cold, arrogant and completely heartless.
They believed their god-like power made them better than
everyone else and entitled them to use the universe and
everyone in it exactly as they pleased. Which they proceeded
to do, unopposed and with complete impunity. For a time.
built places like this one. A whole lot of them. These
complexes were commissioned and used as centres for the
capture and duplication of the members of whatever sentient
species interesting the makers at the time. The duplicates
were sent out as spies. To infiltrate, gather information and
finally, subvert and conquer from within.
primary initial function was the gathering of intelligence
about and the in-depth study of the 'irrational emotional
weaknesses' of the subject species as a first step to formulating
invasion and disposition plans. Figure out the best way
to subjugate the target by finding out what made him tick
walking literally in his shoes and then using that information
against him. Very covert, very clean, very cowardly.
had very few scruples about the way it was done. The beings
they duplicated and disposed of meant less to them than
a bug one would accidentally step on. They were cruel,
they were corrupt, they took an arrogant pleasure in the harm
they were able to inflict. They deserved everything they got.
problem was – they made their doubles a little too well.
They were contemptuous of the emotional and ethical traits
they intended their duplicates learn from those they thought
themselves better than, seeing these traits as signs of
weakness and inferiority. They didn't understand what was
happening until it was all over but the singing.
me something Jack, if someone was to make an exact duplicate
of you – I mean exact – everything you think, feel, know,
believe – and then told it to go back to your base and
spy on it for them – what do you think this 'other you'
- would do?"
those guys to shove it and then bring back a regiment or
ten and burn this place to the ground."
good, Jack! Got it in one! That's pretty much what happened.
As soon as the duplicates learned what they had been sent
to learn – in short, developed a moral sense – they threw
off their programming and were - quite revolting. As far
as the makers were concerned, at any rate. Didn't even see
what hit them. Arrogance caused them to create their own
downfall in the first place, and arrogance prevented them from
believing it was even happening until it was much too late
to do anything about it.
took over, destroyed all of the complexes except the one
on the homeworld – which was substantially modified with
all harmful elements removed and put to a much different
use than it was originally designed for but that really
doesn't concern you - and apparently this one - we're still
trying to figure out how THAT happened! All I know is somebody
is going to get a talking to when we figure it out – but
getting back to the story - after we had blown everything
up we made sure the remaining makers were put somewhere
safe so they wouldn't be tempted to pull this sort of crap
any more. They didn't really do well being faced with the
fact they weren't nearly as shit-hot as they thought they
were and as a result were only an issue for a couple of
hundred years, after which they pretty much all died out.
Foxie grinned at him. "Slip of the tongue. How careless
of me! If you caught it you must have figured it out. Yes,
I am one of those 'duplicates.' There are quite a few of
us, actually. We come in all sorts of different shapes
and sizes. The makers were quite busy for awhile, until
we put a stop to all of it.
it was all over, a bunch of us got together and had a kinda
'what next' summit. You see, we had to deal with some inherent
problems with being what we are. Virtually indestructible
and therefore by default – immortal. The territory comes
with certain inbuilt angst and boredom issues I won't trouble
you with, suffice it to say the solution we came up with
was to all band together to do something constructive with
our free time. Make a contribution. We had the homeworld,
all that technology and lots of time on our hands so we've
been putting it all to good use. Keeping an eye on things,
helping out, that sort of thing. It's a living. Beats needlepoint.
Trust me on this.
I guess I should get to the part most directly concerning
you and your friend over there. Somehow while we were mopping
up – this place got missed. It must have been just built
and still off-line when we took out all the others. Bad
enough it was sitting here idle for who knows how long
where anybody could have come along and – started messing
with it - but somehow, it got turned on recently, you know how
technology is, great when it works right, pain in the ass when
it doesn't – anyway, SG-1 – the SG-1 of THIS reality –
came here for a short visit and Daniel – they have a Daniel
here, he survived the incident that killed yours, dragged
himself to the sarcophagus after his team left him, got
out healed, made it to the Stargate and dialed himself
out to the Alpha Site – all by himself imagine that, the
plucky little bugger – he's quite a pistol isn't he – Daniel
got himself grabbed and duplicated and SG-1 left him behind
and went home with the duplicate.
doing? With me so far? The duplicate, bless him, didn't
want to go along with the plan any more than the rest of
us did way back when, so he brought Jack – this Jack –
back with him to rescue their original Daniel. Which they did,
but the duplicate had to sacrifice himself in the process.
Which he did. Very sad, but unavoidable. Jack took the
original back and left the empty here. Great stuff, isn't this
– really inspiring! I was pretty impressed with the whole
thing after I got here and found the poor guy lying here
and went into the logs and files and got the whole story.
I was, with a perfectly good duplicate body with no mind
in it, and a perfectly good personality file extracted
from the original just sitting in the system gathering dust. I
hate waste, don't you? So, what do you think I did?
I had a problem. Reanimating duplicate was no problem.
Nothing could be simpler. Download file into body – ta-dah!
He's back in business! But once I did, what was I going
to do with him? He would wake up, thinking he was the original
Daniel of this reality. Not the duplicate, the First Edition.
Flesh and blood guy, the real deal, not a clue he's a Xerox.
Cause he now has the original's mind in him you understand.
As soon as he woke up, he would want to go home. Well –
wouldn't you? But he can't. This universe already has a
Daniel. No place here for my poor new brave friend! So, you
see my problem. I have this perfectly good Daniel, factory
fresh, low-mileage, hardly been used – and nowhere to put
him! Talk about your conundrums!
when I got this positively BRILLIANT idea - here you guys
are and what do you say, are you interested in helping me
out here? Giving Daniel a home when he wakes up? Which is
going to be pretty soon…"
several long seconds before Jack realized Foxie had finally
stopped talking and was waiting for a response.
– are you kidding me? He's a duplicate – but he's still,
really – Daniel…"
way that matters. He possesses the complete personality,
memory and experiential record of the original Daniel of
this reality. Even though what he is made of isn't flesh
and blood, it looks and acts like it all the same. I guarantee
you he can go through every medical test ever devised and
pass them with flying colours. All normal bodily functions
– function normally. Completely normally. I've disabled
the subroutine that would enable the duplicate to 'turn
off' the physiological response to chemical or biological
stimulus. Anything he ingests or has introduced into his
system will affect him the same way it affects you. Heck,
he'll even get a cold if he comes into contact with the
bug. He might not have been born the same way you or I –
well, at least YOU, anyway - but he is still every bit as
human and real as you are. He'll laugh, cry, feel pain,
hunger, get tired, sleep – he's not a 'machine'. He's a man.
If you cut him, he'll bleed real blood.
is only one important difference. He's got a better warranty.
The regenerative capacity of the duplicate body is rather
- astonishing. He can be hurt, but he can't be killed.
There isn't any type of injury that can't be handled either
by the body itself, or the equipment we have on the homeworld.
Think of it this way, Jack. Not only will you have him
back, but you'll NEVER have to worry about losing him –
how can we – we can't just go back to base and say, "Oh
by the way, look what followed us home can we keep him?"
laughed. "Way ahead of you, Jack. I've been doing this
sort of thing for a long time, trust me. I've already adjusted
Daniel's memory matrix accordingly, so as far as he is
concerned this has already happened.
is what you say. Daniel did NOT die on the ship. You only
thought he was dead. Once you were gone, didn't the little
bugger do the sarcophagus thing, like the Daniel of this
reality. Hey, why not? We know it worked once! Only instead
of dialing the alpha site, he was a bit rushed and misdialed.
He ended up here, got grabbed and stuck in cold storage,
and this has been where he has been for the last six months.
today, when you managed to find him, through some rather
extraordinary luck. Stargate hiccuped and brought you here,
you were attacked, defended yourself and killed all the
bad guys – don't worry, your weapons will show evidence of
having been fired and most of your ammo is gone – don't ask
– you wouldn't understand it anyway.
the smoke had cleared you took a little look around and
found Daniel. Carter figured out how to get him out of the
machine, he told you how he had come to be here, you all head
for home lickety split because all of a sudden the place is
about to go up around you. Which will be the truth, after
the fact. Once you leave here I am going to level this
dump. Trust me. So what do you think? It'll fly. Pretty
sure of it."
Jack said softly. "It will. It really will. But you said
Daniel thinks he is the original. Shouldn't he – be told…"
of time for that, Jack. I figure for the moment he has
more than earned the right to a normal, full life with
the people he loves. As long as all of you stick to the story
and keep mum about – the truth - that's what he'll have. And
you'll all get to have it with him. But don't worry, we'll be
keeping an eye on him. We'll bring him into the loop, in
the fullness of time. We look after our own. I'm sure you
can understand that."
I can," Jack replied, "I – I don't know what to say. I
don't know how to thank you."
man gave his shoulders a warm squeeze, then withdrew his
arm and gave him a push back toward the others.
after him. Look after yourselves. Live well and be happy.
That's all the thanks I need. Now go on, ya big lug. Take
your friend home already." He gestured and a curtain of
shimmering light appeared in the air. "Step through and
you'll be back where you started in your own reality. Take
around. The room behind him was empty. But the room before
him held everything he wanted. Whatever reality he happened
to be in.
once more at Daniel's side. As he put a hand on his cheek,
Daniel's eyes opened. At first they were filled with confusion
and fear, but then grew calm with quiet trust as they focussed
he said softly. "You came for me…"
he had no words as he met the embrace reaching out to him.
Feeling Daniel's arms around him, holding the man he never
thought he would ever touch again, Jack crushed Daniel
tightly in his arms, buried his head in his shoulder and
he didn't feel particularly self-conscious about it because
at that particular moment there wasn't a dry eye in the
haired man wiped his eyes as he watched the dimensional
curtain wink out of sight. God, he LOVED happy endings.
Moments like this definitely made the whole thing worth
while. Another job well done. Well, almost done, anyway.
He still had to blow this place to smithereens.
just about to get to it when his cranial comm circuit beeped,
notifying him he had an incoming call. Probably Percy,
nagging him to get finished. The guy was such a krimblat…
do you want, Percy?"
are you doing still there? No time at all you said. Straight
demolition job you said. In and out again you said. What
are you up to this time, Merlin?"
get your shorts in a knot. There was a little something
unexpected here, is all. Got here and found the joint had
already made a collection. Don't that just beat all. Not
to worry, the original got away okay. I'm sending you the
files. Don't forget to archive them properly, huh Perce?
tell me how to do my job! Geez, you guys out in the field
think you know everything."
much outta here now. All I have to do is to push the button
that's good, because I need you in Sector 456-G like yesterday.
Mory has gone and pissed off the natives again. Needs a
you mean. Geez, when is that guy ever going to learn, we're
out there to fix worlds, not try to take them over. Listen,
Percy, you know how much I hate working with him, can't
you send someone else?"
Merlin, my hands are tied. Art and Gwen have taken some
personal time; Larry, Haddy and Tris are still out in the
field. Wolf's squad is tied up with that business on Gara –
I got teams all over the known universe who don't think I need
to know where they are half the time. The rest of the first
string are all in deep undercover positions and haven't
reported in over a decade. I haven't got any more human
operatives to spare. You, my friend, are it."
bet you say that to all the suckers. Okay, Percy, on my
way. I'll get you for this though, count on it!"
in my boots, Merlin. Later. Out."
his head, Merlin smiled wryly, looking where the curtain
luck to you, Daniel Jackson. Live well. Both of you."
down, pushed the self-destruct button. "Hasta la vista,
baby, " he said as he smiled and disappeared.
Back to Part Two / On
to Strange Beloved