GateWorld FanFic Presents
Shades of Grey: The Afternath ( Chapters 11-20)
by MandySg1

Rating: Teens
Category: Action/Adventure, Mystery, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Crossover
Season: SG-1 Season Three
Related SG-1 Episode(s): 202 In the Line of Duty, 222 Out of Mind, 317 A Hundred Days, 318 Shades of Grey
Featured Character(s): Jack ONeill, Samantha Carter
Summary: Someone is planning to get one member of SG1. Can anyone at the SGC be trusted? Or is it up to a lawyer to figure it out. Continuation of the story.
Sequel to: Shades of Grey: The Aftermath (Chapters 1-10)

Author Notes: This is a Crossover with Jag, but you don't have to know the series to read this story. Warning some language and a lot of violence. Minor character death. Can also be found at fanfiction.net in chapter form.




Chapter 11

"Daniel Jackson, are you certain you know the correct route to take?" Teal'c asked, knowing the drive was taking a longer time than expected.

"Yes Teal'c I know the way." Daniel said getting a little annoyed himself that the drive was taking so long. "It should be around the next corner."

When Daniel and Teal'c turned the next corner, they got the shock of their lives. (Well maybe Daniel got the shock of his life, no telling what it would take to shock Teal'c) "Are you certain that is the correct address?"

"Yes Teal'c it's the right place; or at least it used to be." Daniel said as he stared at a pile of rubble from a recently demolished building.

"Well then we can be utmost assured that Major Carter and Colonel Mackenzie are not here."

"Yes Teal'c I got that, I just hope Jack and Rabb are having better luck finding Sam." Daniel reached in his pocket for his cell phone and dialled Jack.

"O'Neill."

"Hey Jack, any luck?" Daniel asked hopefully.

"We're just coming up on the warehouse now, it's huge and may take a long time to search it, how's it going on your end?"

"Well we're sure they're not here seeing how the building's been demolished."

Jack swallowed hard, not knowing whether to be relieved that at least there was one less place to look, or worry that the only place left, may not be the right place.

"Ah Jack, you sure Sam didn't find any other places to search?" Daniel said concerned.

"Ah just a second Daniel, I'll ask Rabb." Jack took the phone from his ear and turned to Rabb. "Was Carter working on the computer earlier and if so did she find anything?"

"Ah she was working on the computer, but didn't say anything before we were attacked." Harm said thinking back to the day's events.

"Where's the computer now?" O'Neill asked.

"Ah, I don't know, I don't remember seeing it when we were waiting for the others."

"Well when's the last time you saw it?" Jack was getting annoyed and the less than helpful answers he was getting.

"She had it on her lap when I brought her some water, then I went to check the house before all hell broke loose."

Jack sighed and put the phone back to his ear. "Listen Daniel, Carter was working on the computer before she was captured, I'm afraid we left it behind. Why don't you and Teal'c go get it and see if there's anything helpful on it. By all accounts it should be in the living room...somewhere." Jack turned to look at Rabb when he said the last part. "We're almost at the warehouse now, so we'll be checking things out here. Call and let me know if you find anything."

"Will do Jack, you do the same." Daniel answered, as he headed back towards the house they had just left.

Jack put the phone to vibrate before putting it away; after all, he didn't want the cell phone giving away his position. He parked the car far enough away from the building so hopefully it wouldn't be noticed. "You ready Rabb?" Jack asked as he got out of the car and equipped himself with the weapons.

"Ready as I'll ever be Colonel." Rabb said doing the same.

******

Sam was trying her damnest to stay on her feet, she was hanging from that damn hook just high enough above her head that she couldn't free her hands. Her arms were aching from every time her legs gave out on her, and her right knee wasn't going to hold any of her weight. Then she heard that awful voice again, asking her the same questions she had no intention of answering. "Now, now Major, it's a simple question, are you able to control the alien devices?" Stan asked, his voice showing no emotion at the time.

"I don't know what you're talking about." Sam slurred, with her head slumped forward.

"That's the wrong answer Major." Stan said then hit her across the face yet once again. Sam wasn't sure, how many times this jerk had hit her, just that he was alternating between her face and stomach, the right of her abdomen that is. She felt the blood trickling in her mouth, and with what little energy she had left, she spit the blood in his face, after all, he shouldn't have been in spitting distance in the first place.

This only infuriated Stan, making him punch her in the stomach with more force than he had before. This one proved to be too much as Sam lost consciousness forcing all her weight to be held up by her wrists.

"Stan you idiot! She's not going to be able to tell us anything now!" Frank was truly mad at Stan now. For over an hour, he had been asking the same questions and getting nowhere all he managed to do was repeatedly beat on this woman. "You know they want her alive, if you keep at it like this you're going to kill her."

"They said they wanted her alive, they didn't say what shape they wanted her in; and last time I checked she was still alive Frank." Stan said pulling Sam's head upright by the hair.

Frank took charge of the situation, "Get her down from there, and take them both back to the storage room." Then Frank went over to Mac, crouched down and looked her straight in the eye. "I suggest you convince your friend to start talking, things could get much worse." He then stood up and watched as Stan came over and untied her.

"You know the way." Stan said pointing a gun at her. He followed her out of the room, and was followed by two others dragging Carter.

When they reached the room Mac waited for the door to be opened, she thought it might be a good time to make her move. Only one guy had a gun, and the other two had their hands occupied by Sam. However, this little voice in her head told her she couldn't leave Sam alone in this condition and decided against it, as she stepped into the room. Sam was then deposited on the floor and the door locked once again.

The first thing Mac did was check Sam's pulse, she was relieved to find it was steady and stronger that before. All she could think about when she looked at Sam's battered face was the beating she witnessed. How the asshole asking the questions, took too much pleasure whenever he struck her. Sam just kept saying she didn't know the answer and he just kept hitting her. Mac had to shake her head, wondering why he would ask such ridiculous questions. Was she able to control alien devices? What did it take to control the devices? There was something else she didn't really understand; what on earth was a tokra?

Mac believed Sam wouldn't be able to take much more of this if it continued; she'd either answer the questions or die. She didn't want the latter to happen, and wondered if she should try to convince Sam to make up some story to pacify these guys; after all what would anyone know about alien devices, they didn't exist.

She noticed Sam start to stir, "Take it easy Sam try not to move."

"Oh, I must still be alive, dead wouldn't hurt so much."

Mac gave out a little snort at her ability to still have a sense of humour. "I hate to say this Sam, but you look terrible."

"I think the term is you look like crap." Sam said as she let out a moan.

Mac grimaced in sympathy, "is there anything I can do for you?'

"That depends, got any morphine on you?"

"Don't you think you've been drugged enough today?" Mac said joking; knowing she probably could use some morphine right now.

"Well then, do you think you could untie my hands?"

"Oh yea, sorry I was checking your pulse first." Mac proceeded to untie the ropes around Sam's hands and had to scowl when she saw the rope burns.

"Any idea how long I was...up there?" Sam asked, somehow being tortured made you lose your perspective of time.

"A little over an hour, I'm sorry to say. Sam...why don't you just tell them something, make something up, after all their talking about aliens! How stable can they be?"

"Somehow I think they'd know I was lying. They want specific answers and I can't give it to them."

They heard the doorknob rattling again, this time Mac jumped to her feet and stood in front of Sam, there was no way she was going to let them do anything else to this poor woman.

When the door opened the same woman who was there before was standing in front of her. "What do you want?" Mac asked showing the fury she felt.

"I need to get another blood sample, now if you'll step aside; this will be easier if I don't have to call them in to assist." The young woman with long dark hair said motioning to the two men outside the door.

"Look she needs medical attention, not her blood taken." Mac stood her ground with her arms crossed over her chest.

"Look you make this easy and I'll have some medical supplies and water brought in."

Mac thought about it, and realized there wasn't much she could do with the two men outside the door so she acquiesced, stepping aside and allowing the woman to enter.

The woman once again knelt beside Sam and she pulled Sam's arm out beside her. "Ah! Geez, take it easy will you." Sam said with the most energy she could muster, the movement of her arm caused a sharp pain to travel up to her shoulder. "What the hell are you doing?"

"I need a blood sample Major." The woman said with no sympathy while she continued her task.

"Shouldn't you be asking my permission?" Sam asked knowing the answer, but the woman didn't say anything.

"Look you appear to be some sort of doctor; can't you see what shape she's in? You should be trying to help her." Mac said exasperated, trying to get through to this person.

"I'm not an M.D." She said as she was finishing taking the sample.

"Couldn't handle the math eh." Sam said knowing this response pissed off most PhD's who specialized in the biology's.

"Ah Sam it's not a good idea to piss off the person holding the needle." Mac advised.

"Can't help it, it's in my nature." Sam said weakly, as she watched the strange woman leave.

Mac went back to her side and once again held a swab against the injection site. "How bad is it Sam?"

"Wouldn't know where to start, but anymore time on that hook I think I might dislocate a shoulder... or two."

"Well then, Major I'm ordering you to tell them something, try making something up. You're a doctor of astrophysics; you should be able to come up with some sort of bull shit."

Sam had to snicker at the order, "thanks for the uh...compliment Colonel, but like I said, their looking for answers I can't give them, they'll know if I'm lying."

"Wait a minute; they'll know if you're lying? Does that mean they'll know if you're telling the truth? Is what they're asking you about real? Are you telling me, there are actual alien devices?" Mac was shocked at what she was realizing. "I mean can you...really control alien devices? Is that why they keep taking your blood?"

"Listen Colonel, it's like you said earlier they're unstable, there are no aliens or devices." Sam said hoping Mac would believe her. She was still lying on the floor looking at the ceiling when an ideal came to her. "Mac, this is a supply room right?"

"Ah yes it is."

"What kind of supplies are in here?" Sam wanted to look herself, but was still unable to move.

Mac got up and moved around looking at the shelves and supplies. "It looks like a mixture of office supplies and cleaning supplies."

Sam finally had something to smile about, but before she could tell Mac, she heard a noise at the door again. Mac quickly made her way back to Sam's side. When the door opened, the guy she heard referred to as Frank was standing there holding supplies, while another man stood beside him holding a gun. "Here's the water and first aid kit." He crouched down and set the items beside Sam. "Look Major, I don't like this anymore than you do; I hope the colonel's convinced you to talk. The next round may just be worse, it seems my colleague has some sort of alien pain stick in his possession, and he's been dying to try it out." He then got up and headed for the door.

Mac noticed Sam`s expression change, for the first time she actually saw fear in Sam's eyes. "Ah Frank is it?" Mac asked. He turned to face her and nodded yes. "Look Frank, I'm afraid the Major's not going survive another round with Stan. Any more time on that hook and her shoulders are going to get dislocated, and she'll most likely pass out again."

"I'll do what I can, but I don't think it will be much." Frank said and left the room.

Mac let out a sigh; she hoped she was able to get through to Frank only time would tell. She then went back to the matter at hand. She reached for a bottle of water then eased Sam up putting her arm behind Sam's shoulders and helped her drink; then took a drink herself. She rummaged through the kit and found a cold pack. "I have a cold pack here Sam, where do you want it first?"

Sam thought for a few minutes and decided it would probably do the most good on her face, her ribs and abdomen were a lost cause. "Face I think."

Mac activated the cold pack and placed it on Sam's face, she saw Sam struggle with her arms to hold it in place.

"Ah Sam I saw your reaction to Franks information about an alien pain stick...what is it? And don't even try to tell me you don't know, I saw the reaction on your face, you're really scared I can tell."

"Sure I'm scared, aren't you, what if they decide to try and get me to talk by torturing you?"

"Don't try to bullshit me Sam, I think were past that now."

"All I can tell you is that if they use that thing on me...I probably won't survive."

Mac's eyes grew large in shock, knowing that Sam believed what she was saying. "They don't want you dead Sam."

"They may not realize what that thing can do."

"And you know, for sure?"

"Yea, I'm afraid so. Look Mac, I need you do a favour for me."

"Anything, just ask."

"If I don't make it...I need you to grant my last request."

"Sure I will, but you don't have to worry you'll make it, we both will." Mac didn't know who she was trying to convince herself or Sam.

"If I don't make it, I need you to relay a message; but if I do make it you have to keep it confidential, forget you ever heard it. Can you do that for me?"

"Yes Sam, what ever you say, will be confidential, between a lawyer and client, and friends, I hope."

Sam nodded and took a deep breath, saying this out loud was going to be harder than she thought. "First of all I want you to tell my teammates I love them. Not to blame themselves for my death; but most of all I want...Colonel O'Neill to know that I ..."

"That you're in love with him?" Mac finished her sentence, knowing Sam was having difficulty saying it.

Sam looked up at Mac's face surprised. "Yea, how did you know?"

Mac let out a little snicker, "I may be a marine Sam, but I'm still a woman; I could sort of tell back at the house when O'Neill was taking care of you. I could also tell he has the same feelings for you."

"I ah, don't think so...he kinda met someone else on his last mission. Made it quite clear how he feels about her." Sam said with sadness in her voice

"Are you sure?" Mac was puzzled by her reply; she didn't believe Sam couldn't see what was in front of her eyes.

"So you'll do as I asked?"

"Yea, but only if I have to, which I truly believe I won't need to."

Sam thought it was time to take matters in their own hands, if she wasn't going to survive; she was going to make sure Mac had every opportunity to get out of there. "I have an idea Mac, but first I have to know if there's anything flammable in the kit?"

Mac looked the kit; "There's some rubbing alcohol, and plenty of bandages."

"Good." Sam said taking a deep breath, "now I need you to get the cleaning supplies and bring them to me."

Mac looked at her puzzled but did as she asked; she gathered the bottles and brought them to Sam. She was going to hand her one, then realized Sam wouldn't be able to hold the bottle, so she held them up so Sam could read them.

Sam smiled as she read the ingredients. "Yes! This will work. Now I just need to MacGyver a timer and we'll be all set."

"What are you talking about Sam?"

"Look Mac, in most likely hood we won't be coming back here, we'll either escape or ..." Sam knew she was most likely going to die in the next session, "I'm going to mix up a little bomb."

"With us in here? Are you nuts?"

"No just a scientist who likes to blow things up." She said grinning slightly, but even that hurt to do. "Don't worry I'll set it so it won't blow up until we're gone, but I'll need your help." Mac nodded, and then followed Sam's instructions; she emptied the plastic first aid kit and poured the chemical solutions as instructed. "Now take the cap from the water bottle and fill it with the alcohol, then carefully place it on the bandage roll, but make sure it doesn't spill."

Mac took in a deep breath and let out a sigh before performing the delicate task. "Okay done."

"Good, now unroll the other bandage and stick one end in the box and carefully close the lid. Now take the rest of bandage and extend it to those boxes and put the end in the bottle of alcohol."

"What exactly is going to happen?" Mac asked as she finished.

"Well when we leave one of us is going to knock the first aid kit, spilling the cap of alcohol and thus starting a chain reaction. It will only take a few minutes for it to bubble up and cause a flash point igniting the bandage leading to the alcohol and boxes, this room should go up in flames in no time."

"Yea but won't it be confined to this room?"

"There's insulation running through the entire ceiling system, once it starts burning in here, it should continue on throughout the building."

"Sam you do realize we'll be stuck in this building with the fire."

"Yea but it will hopefully cause the distraction we need, they'll have to go put it out or run, giving us a chance to escape."

"Well I have to say it's quite an ambitious plan, I only hope it works."

"Just remember to knock the box, when they come for us."

"I definitely will." Mac said shaking her head.

*****

"We've been at this for hours O'Neill; I don't think they're here." Harm said sadly.

"Yea, I'm afraid your right. I'll give Daniel a call and see what he's up to." With that, Jack took out his cell phone and dialled. "Daniel, it's me, did you find anything?"

"Ah yea Jack, Sam had some other places on her computer. Teal'c and I are back at the base co-ordinating with Hammond."

"What places Daniel, were not having any luck here." Jack said exasperated.

"It seems the NID acquired three buildings in a medical complex, they all contain a bunch of labs."

"Damn it!" Jack shouted, "There's no telling what they'll be doing to Carter in there."

"Give me the address, Rabb and I'll head over there now."

"Jack it's too much for the two of you to search, the general's co-ordinating a rescue mission."

"Well they can join us when they get there then, just give me the address; Rabb and I will figure something out."

"What did you find out Colonel?" Harm was very concerned from the bits of the conversation he heard.

"It seems they're holding them in a building containing medical labs. This doesn't look good for Carter."

*****

Mac was sitting against one of the metal shelf units watching the door and keeping an eye on Sam who had managed to fall asleep; at least Mac hoped she was just sleeping and hadn't passed out. Then she heard the noise of the door being unlocked again. She took a deep breath. `Time for another round, or the last round if Sam's plan works.' She thought to herself as she moved over to sit beside Sam.

"Time to go ladies." Frank said as he stepped into the room. Then he noticed Mac trying to wake Sam up, it took her longer than expected so he was about to come over and `help', when Mac spoke up.

"Just give me a minute, with all you've done to her, how do you expect her move quickly? Mac said angrily, as she struggled to help Sam to her feet. It felt like Sam was getting heavier, but she knew it was just the result of Sam becoming weaker and unable to hold up her own weight. As Mac moved with Sam towards the door, she `accidentally' knocked the first aid kit.

Frank saw the two women struggling, he handed his gun to one of the other men and went over to Sam's other side putting her arm over his shoulder and helped them walk to the room.

The first thing Mac noticed about the room was another chair was brought in, and that she and Sam were being led to it. Frank motioned for Mac to sit Sam down, then he pointed out Mac's chair. Mac moved over to `her' chair and was once again tied to it dashing her hopes that things were getting better. She wondered to herself how long it would be before the fire started to engulf the storage room.

"Well Major, as you can see we really aren't that barbaric." Frank said gesturing to the chair.

"Oh how kind of you." Sam said sarcastically, `maybe I've been around the colonel too much' she thought to herself.

"You're actually very lucky today Major, it seems the boss wants to meet with you personally and ask you some questions directly."

"Lucky me, I can hardly wait." In normal circumstances, her voice would be dripping with sarcasm, but she could barely get her answer out above a whisper.

"Well I think that's him coming now." Frank said when he heard the footsteps approaching.

The first thing he noticed when he entered the room, was that all eyes were on him, he then noticed how Captain, `no it's major now' how Major Carter looked. He couldn't believe this was the same woman he met years ago. He thought for sure she would have given in by now and avoided all the pain. She was slumped in the chair, barely able to keep her head up, her face all bruised and two black eyes. He shook his head as he walked closer to her, ignoring the other woman tied in the chair. "Now now Major Carter, why did you put yourself through this? We just need to know a few things."

Sam slowly looked up and couldn't believe whom she was seeing. "Well Colonel, long time no see, I'd get up and salute but I think you've lost that right."

"That's okay Major, you can stay seated. Now let's see I think the last time we met, was when I was trying to take Teal'c into my custody. It's a shame, because if I had been able to take him, we may not have had to take you."

"What are you talking about Kennedy, you know everything that goes on at the SGC, what did you need me for?"

He motioned for Stan to enter the room; then pulled up a chair so he was sitting in front of Sam. "You see Major; I've been working closely with Maybourne and was able to acquire a few items. Now we're pretty sure you're able to use these, but we want to know how you are able to use them. Imagine if all our soldiers were able to use these items, we'd be as strong as the Goa'uld. That's why we've been testing your blood, to see if the answers could be found."

"I don't know what you're talking about; I'm a soldier like everyone else on the base."

Kennedy took two of the items Stan was holding and placed them on his lap. One was a Goa'uld hand device, and the other was a Tok'ra healing device. "Now Major right about now, I would think you'd want to use the healing device on yourself."

"Which one would that be?" Sam asked not letting on that she knew how to use the items, although not that well.

"Come on Major, don't lie to me, I've seen your blood tests and there is definitely something foreign in your blood, which I suspect gives you the ability to use these."

"Look I'm just the expert on the base, and a soldier, if you've found something strange in my blood, then I think I should go see the base doctor and get it checked out."

"Oh I know you know exactly what I'm talking about; after all it was because of you we were able to make allies with the Tok'ra. Look, all we want to do is be able to arm our soldiers, and I think you're the link to getting the answers. Now why don't you demonstrate how this device works and explain how it works" He said holding up the healing device.

Sam was tempted to take it and try to heal herself, but she knew she had problems controlling the device when she was strong, there'd be no way she'd be able to control it in her present condition. So she just lifted her head with a look of defiance on her face.

"Very well Major, you know I've also acquired another Goa'uld device, one that anyone can use." Kennedy said as he motioned Stan forward.

Stan had a look of pleasure on his face as he thought he'd get his chance to use this `new toy.'

"Now will you do as I ask, or do I let Stan try out this item?"

"No! You can't it will kill her!" Mac yelled; she was shocked at everything she heard, but also remembered Sam say she'd probably die if they used that thing on her.

"Now Colonel Mackenzie, how would you know if this device would kill her?"

"Just look at the shape she's in, any type of trauma to her right now will likely kill her."

"I find it so peculiar, that you're so concerned for the Major, after you've been such a help to us."

At hearing this Sam's head perked up, and she stared bewildered at Mac. "You? How could you?"

Chapter 12

Sam couldn't believe what she was hearing. Had Mac been on their side all along? How could she show such compassion and kindness and be working with the people who were torturing her.

"What! What the hell are you talking about? I've never met you people before!" Mac saw the look on Sam's face, the look of utter betrayal.

"How could you?" Sam said once again, not with anger but with despair.

"Sam, I don't know what he's talking about; I never helped them and never will. You have to believe that." Mac was trying her hardest to get Sam to believe her, there was no room for dissention between them if they were going to escape. Mac looked at Kennedy, hatred burning in her eyes. "How dare you say I helped you, the only thing I would help you with is choosing which prison to do your time."

"Ah well yes, I can see how you might be confused. You see when Commander Rabb was meeting with Colonel Makepeace, we made sure to put a tail on him, and keep an eye on his close contacts. That would include you Colonel Mackenzie." Kennedy said walking between the two women as if he was giving a lecture. "You see when we lost Major Carter to Colonel O'Neill and Commander Rabb; we decided to watch his close friends who would be able to help him. When we saw you heading to the airport, we had someone waiting on this end to follow you."

Mac was having a hard time hearing this; she couldn't believe they had used her to get to Sam.

"Then why didn't you come after me, when I was at the first house?" Sam asked, still not believing what she was hearing.

"Because Major, the people following Mackenzie lost her." Kennedy said this part looking over at his people in the room. "However, we knew the vicinity she was in, so we staked out the local fast food restaurants and gas stations, hoping to catch a glimpse of her. When she was finally spotted, we followed her to the house you were staying at, but by that time, you were in the midst of moving. So we followed you to your new home. We waited patiently for the opportunity to present itself and it did. Unfortunately Mackenzie chose to wear that hat, and my people weren't sure if it was you in the car or not; so we chose to hit both targets at the same time."

"Huh, lucky me." Mac said she was now at least relieved that Sam didn't think she had betrayed her.

"What about the SGC, do you have people in there?" Sam asked hoping to figure out if she could trust the people she worked with.

"Now now Major, you don't expect me to give away all my secrets, do you?" Kennedy now made his way back to the chair in front of Sam and sat down. "Well I've told you some information, now it's your turn Major. Are you ready to answer my questions?"

"When hell freezes over." Sam said as smugly as she could.

"Well that's a pity, now were going to have to try and change your mind." Kennedy motioned to Stan, who eagerly stepped in front of Sam with the pain stick in his hands. He placed the stick on her chest and waited, but nothing happened.

"Ah, are you sure anyone can use this thing?" Stan said looking at the odd rod he held in his hands.

"You have to turn it on moron." Kennedy answered, not believing what kind of idiots he was stuck with.

"Oh, yea sorry." Stan said shrugging. He tried once more placing the object on Sam's upper chest then activated it.

Mac watched as Stan turned the stick on and held it to Sam's chest, to her horror she saw the light emitted from the stick also come out of Sam's eye's and mouth, she couldn't believe Sam had enough energy to scream the way she did. Then when it stopped, she saw Sam slump and fall off the chair landing on the floor with a hard thump; not moving.

Frank moved over to Sam, knelt down and reached to feel for a pulse on her neck. He stood up slowly shaking his head, then glared at Stan. "She's dead."

Stan stepped back looked down to the floor then to Frank and Kennedy, still clutching the stick in his hand.

"No, no she can't be." Mac said quietly shaking her head, with one tear running down her face.

The room was suddenly filled with the sound of alarm bells ringing. "What the hell is going on?" Kennedy yelled. Then another man came running in the room.

"The building's on fire! We have to get out of here!"

"Go check it out!" Kennedy ordered as the room cleared and he ran out after them, dropping the devices to the floor.

`Oh shit!' Mac thought; she was still tied to the chair and the fire was spreading throughout the building. "You can't leave me in here like this!" She called out, hoping someone would come back and free her.

*****

Jack and Harm met back at the car. "Did you find anything?" O'Neill asked.

"No, I went in there pretending to be a patient needing some tests, they were actually very helpful. It didn't seem like they were trying to hide anything."

"Same here I just walked in there started walking around, their security was a joke." Jack shook his head, "these buildings are too big to search ourselves; I guess we'll have to wait for the re-enforcements."

O'Neill noticed four black SWAT type trucks drive up, he took out his cell phone and pressed speed dial. "Daniel, tell me that's you driving in here with the cavalry."

"Yea Jack we're just coming into the complex now, Janet's in the last truck, she's set up a mobile medical unit...in case we need it."

"That's good..." Their attention was caught by the sounds of alarm bells ringing and people running out of a building. It was one of the buildings they hadn't scoped out yet. "Daniel get every one to meet in front of the building with the alarms, I have a feeling that's the one were looking for." Jack hung up the phone, got in his car with Rabb and sped over to the building. When he stepped out of the car, he saw the SGC security detail exiting their trucks and took command. "I want this building searched floor by floor and I want everyone detained until we find Carter and Mackenzie." Jack heard a chorus of `Yes Sir,' as the soldiers headed out gathering the people who were running out of the building.

"Where do wish us to be O'Neill?" Teal'c asked.

"I want you and Daniel out here, making sure no one leaves before we can interrogate them."

"Okay Jack, here take this." Daniel said handing him a radio so he could communicate with the others.

Jack heard the radio come to life; "Colonel, there's a fire in the building. They think it started in the basement."

"Okay, Rabb and I will check out the basement, you get your men checking the other floors." Jack grabbed a utility vest from Daniel and headed into the building with Rabb behind him.

"So what makes you so sure Mac and Sam are in the basement of that building? Harm asked, hoping for an answer that would give him hope of finding them.

"Oh just that my 2IC likes to blow things up." Jack said with a slight smile.

******

Mac was fidgeting trying to get out of her restraints, but the ropes were tied too tight. The room was starting to fill with smoke, which made her start to cough. Then she thought she heard something, it was very quiet but she definitely heard a moan. She looked over to where Sam way lying and stared at her intently, then she heard it again, a definite moan. "Sam!" she yelled. "Sam can you hear me? You have to wake up!" Mac now realized that Frank `did what he could' by telling everyone Sam died it gave them, an opportunity to escape; but Sam would have to wake up first.

"Come on Sam, the plan's working; the fires already started. Now it's our time to get out of here."

Sam could hear Mac's voice in the background anxiously calling her, Sam tried to move but was finding it more difficult than before, for once she actually wished she was dead. "Ahhhh." Sam moaned once again.

Mac was ecstatic hearing Sam respond to her voice. "Sam I need you come over here and untie my hands, then I can get you out of here...Come on Major ...Move, that's an order!"

"Ah, yes Sir, uh Ma'am." Sam said sluggishly, slowly crawling forward pushing her way towards Mac's voice. She finally made it to the chair Mac was tied to; with what strength she had left, she rolled herself onto her back. It was agony but she lifted her arms to the rope that was tying Mac's arm to the chair and started to untie it. She let her arms fall when the task was finally finished.

"Thanks Sam, I can handle the rest." Mac said as she started to untie her other arm, then her legs. When she was finally free, she looked down to Sam. She knew there was no way Sam was going to be able to walk out of there, and the increased smoke was making it more difficult to see and breathe. Mac spotted the phone on the desk and rushed over to it. She picked it up, but found no dial tone. She went back over to Sam crouched down and put her arms under Sam's, then noticed the object that had been referred to as a healing device; 'this might come in handy' Mac thought as she placed the object in the waste band of her jeans at the back. She went back to Sam and again hooked her arms under Sam's and started dragging her out of the room. Sam tried to help by pushing with her left foot, but found she had no energy.

It was difficult for Mac, pulling Sam, meant she was travelling backwards through the smoke filled halls. Both women were now coughing from the smoke, "Just leave me and save yourself." Sam managed to say between coughs.

"No way Major, we marines don't leave our people behind." Mac said as she continued struggling to pull Sam along with her. They were both coughing more, and Mac felt her strength declining. `You can do it Mac, if Sam can make it through what she endured than I should be able to do this.' She told herself.

The fire was spreading causing the smoke to get thicker. Mac was finding it harder to breathe, and pulling Sam who was now unconscious was becoming impossible; "Where the hell is the door?' she thought to herself as she slowly made her way down the hall, hopefully going in the right direction. Mac was startled by a loud noise, then realized part of the ceiling was falling. Mac dropped Sam quickly and protected her by covering Sam with her own body.

*******

Jack and Harm were at the basement door and saw smoke coming from the bottom; Jack tried to open it but found it was locked, the door was a metal one, so he knew there was no way he'd be able to kick it in; he reached into his vest and pulled out some explosives. "You better warn the others to expect a blast." Jack told Rabb as he set the material around the doorknob.

Harm used the radio to warn the others what was happening then took cover when O'Neill motioned him. Within seconds, there was a loud bang and more smoke coming from the door. He saw O'Neill kick the door and it flew open.

The first thing Jack noticed as he entered the stairwell was the thick smoke; he only hoped they would be able to find Carter and Mackenzie in time. He and Rabb continued down the stairs and into the hallway; they called out Sam and Mac's names as they searched, covering their noses and mouths with their arms, for protection against the smoke. "CARTER!" Jack called again.

"MAC!" Harm called after O'Neill had done so.

They continued down the long corridor, checking each room as they passed. "What's that?" Harm called out to O'Neill pointing in the direction. He saw the outline of a large mass on the floor ahead of them. They both ran towards the forms on the floor and were shocked by the sight. They could see slabs from the fallen ceiling and parts of bodies buried underneath. Both men frantically started moving the slabs and uncovering the bodies. They noticed that Mac was shielding Sam and took the brunt of the force. Harm's face paled as he tried to find a pulse, very relieved to find a faint one.

"We have to get to Carter!" O'Neill yelled out nervously; he knew Mackenzie was in bad shape but they didn't have time to be careful. He helped Rabb roll Mackenzie so she was laying on her back, then checked on Sam. "Oh God! She's not breathing," he said distressed; he quickly started mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. As Jack was breathing for Sam, Harm checked for a pulse; he breathed a sigh of relief when he found one. Jack kept up breathing for Sam, watching to make sure he could see her chest rise and fall. He was relieved when he felt her move slightly and start to cough.

"Come on we have to get them out of here!" Harm yelled seeing the flames drawing closer to their position. He didn't want to move Mac, but knew they didn't have a choice, either move her now, or let the fire and smoke get them.

Jack grabbed his radio, "Daniel its O'Neill, we found them. Have medical ready when we come out." Jack put his radio away, and then he picked up Sam, while Rabb picked up Mackenzie and both men headed back down the corridor, hoping to make it to the stairwell before anything else bad happened.

Daniel and Teal'c were waiting anxiously by the door to the basement. After Daniel received Jack's message he informed Janet of the situation having her wait just outside the doors to the building. There was chaos outside, with all the security forces trying to keep the building personnel in check. Daniel kept trying to look to see if he could make any thing out, but the smoke was so thick he couldn't see anything down the stairs, he only hoped Jack and Harm would be able to find their way out.

"I believe I hear something Daniel Jackson." Teal'c said tilting his head towards the stairwell.

Daniel then heard the sound of coughing, "This way Jack!" He yelled as loud as he could hoping to guide the group by the sound of his voice. Then he saw the figures appear through the smoke, as they got closer he could see Jack carrying an unmoving Sam and Harm carrying an unconscious woman.

"This way O'Neill!' Teal'c yelled as he lead Jack and Harm to the waiting medical personnel.

Jack ran as fast as he could carrying Carter and coughing, he was relieved when he saw the awaiting stretchers. He placed Carter on the stretcher, and for the first time got a good look at her; her face was hardly recognizable not just from the dirt and soot from the fire but from all the bruising and swelling, a knot was forming in the pit of his stomach as his anger at those who did this rose. "She wasn't breathing when we found her; I had to give her mouth to mouth." Jack told Janet when she approached.

Harm carried Mac to next stretcher, praying that she would be all right; he could feel his clothes had become wet with her blood. Then he saw a man approaching wearing green BDU's and assumed he was a doctor. "A part of the ceiling collapsed on her, most of the damage is to her back." The doctor pushed him aside and with the aid of an assistant, they carefully turned her over to assess the damage.

Dr. Warner was surprised when he saw an object covered with blood sticking out from her waistband; he pulled it out and recognised it as Tok'ra healing device. He shook his head thinking `too bad I can't use this; it would sure come in handy right now.' He then put it in his pocket and continued his assessment.

Daniel and Teal'c made their way to Sam's stretcher standing next to Jack. The shock on Daniel's face was astounding, "Oh my God." Daniel had to put his hand on Jack's shoulder to steady himself. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.

Janet was assessing Sam's condition; she had put an oxygen mask on her face for the smoke inhalation trying to assist her breathing. When she saw Sam's face she was appalled and worried about a concussion and broken bones as she checked her eyes. She then went to check her abdomen after O'Neill informed her of Sam's initial injuries. Janet took her scissors and cut Sam's shirt open, she found an odd red mark on Sam's upper chest, but didn't know what caused it.

Teal'c knew exactly what caused that mark and his jaw clenched. "That mark is from a Goa'uld pain stick Dr. Fraiser."

Janet shook her head in disbelief, she knew about these items and the amount of pain they caused and had to hold back the tears that threatened to fall for her friend.

"Those bastards!" Jack yelled when he realized what was done to Carter.

"I shall seek revenge for Major Carter." Teal'c informed his friends; "Of this you can be sure."

Janet continued her assessment by cutting away the bandages around Sam's a ribs and abdomen. She was shocked to find that Sam's entire abdomen was bruised; she could see old bruises on the right side as well as new one's forming covering even the left side. "I hope there's no internal bleeding." Janet mumbled under her breath as she palpated Sam's abdomen.

Sam was feeling like crap, she was awake but not able to open her eyes yet, she felt something over her face, which actually hurt like hell. Then she felt someone poking her stomach, but could only manage a small moan, then the coughing started.

Jack heard Carter moan and start to cough and was at her side in a flash. He took hold of her hand and placed his other hand on her shoulder "It's okay Carter, your safe now; we've got you." He saw her eyes flutter open and lock onto his; he could swear he saw a look of relief wash over her features.

"Sam, oh geez Sam, I'm so glad we found you..." Daniel started.

Sam moved her left arm slowly to pull down the mask on her face, "It was....Kennedy..." she managed to say with a raspy weak voice. She started to cough again and Janet moved to put the mask back on Sam's face.

"That same asshole that tried to take Teal'c away to experiment on him?" Jack saw Sam nod her head yes.

"I'm sorry gentlemen but we have to get her back to the base, I'm afraid she might have internal bleeding, and I need to get x-rays." Janet said as she started to move the gurney towards the medical truck.

Teal'c spoke up before Sam was wheeled away, "Rest assured Major Carter, I will exact revenge on those whom have harmed you."

"Excuse me Colonel O'Neill, Dr. Warner asked me to give this to you." A young airman said as he passed O'Neill the Tok'ra healing device.

"Thank-you airman." Jack said then turned to Daniel and Teal'c, "It's too bad, the only one who can use thing right now is the one who needs it." Jack saw the other gurney holding Mackenzie she had an oxygen mask on and was also being wheeled to the medical truck. He saw Rabb following it, looking utterly lost. "Rabb, over here." Jack called waving him over. "How's Mackenzie doing?"

Harm was feeling so hopeless, as he moved to join O'Neill. "The doctor's not sure, he thinks there might be damage to her spinal cord and a concussion, but won't be able to fully assess her until she wakes up...She hasn't woken up yet."

"She will, don't worry." O'Neill told him, but didn't really know if she would. "Look Rabb, you can ride back with me to the base; I know all the good waiting spots in the infirmary. Jack motioned to Daniel and Teal'c, "Look guys I'm going back to the base inform Ferretti who we're looking for, and ... ah hell detain everyone until we can find out who else was helping Kennedy."

"Okay Jack, and look after Sam. Teal'c and I will help handle things here." Daniel told him, and Teal'c bowed his head.

"Come Daniel Jackson, we must search for those who perpetrated this heinous act on Major Carter and Colonel Mackenzie."

Chapter 13

The drive back to the base had been a long one; too long for Jack. Now both men were seated in chairs waiting outside the infirmary, for a word, any update would be appreciated right now. Jack noticed that Rabb was oblivious to the fact he was covered in blood, or maybe just didn't care. "Airman!" Jack called out to a passing soldier, "Would you get Commander Rabb a set of BDU's to change into?"

The airman took in the appearance of the man in question, noting the blood, "Yes Sir, right away Sir." He saluted and hurried on his way.

Harm took note of the conversation, then looked down at his clothes, his face paled as he realized how much blood was on him. "Oh God, I hope she's going to be okay." he said as he held out his blood stained hands.

"You know Rabb, it probably looks worse than is, I'm sure they're doing everything they can for her. The doctors here are the best, she'll be fine." Jack was trying to convince Rabb as well as himself; when he thought back to how Carter looked, he felt both intense alarm hoping she would make it through her ordeal and intense rage at those who would do this to her. He was brought out of his thoughts by the airman returning and handing Rabb a set of clothing., then motioned for him to follow.

Jack sat quietly in the hallway looking down. "Any word?" Harm asked as he returned , now looking refreshed and clean.

"Nothing yet." Jack said as the infirmary door opened.

Janet was tired and worried, she did not like having to go and update the colonel but it was part of her job. As she stepped into the hall, she saw both men jump to their feet. "Sir, Commander." Janet acknowledged them nodding her head, and rubbing the back of her neck.

"So Doc how's Carter...and Mackenzie?" O'Neill asked anxiously.

"Well Sir, they both have very serious injuries, which will require surgery. Colonel Mackenzie received trauma to her back causing two broken vertebrae in the lower lumbar area of the back. We won't know how bad the spinal chord injury is until we operate. However right now she is more stable than Sam, who has internal bleeding from the beating she took and two broken ribs on the right side. Honestly Colonel, I don't know how she managed to stay alive, especially after they used that Goa'uld device on her." Janet was looking down and shaking her head truly disturbed by the condition of her friend.

Jack sensed Fraiser's sadness and put his hand on her shoulder, "I know you'll do everything you can Doc, Carter's a fighter, she'll make it."

Janet looked up into his eyes and gathered strength from him, "I'm sorry I have to go now Sam should be prepped for surgery by now."

"Ah Doctor, can I go in and wait by Mac's side?" Harm asked hopefully.

"Ah yes Commander, but only until they prep her for surgery." Janet looked at both men before turning around and heading back into the infirmary to the O.R.

"I'll show you the way Rabb." Jack led Harm into the busy infirmary to Mac's bed. He saw the nurses looking at him, "The doc said we could wait in here for a while." He said as he went to get a chair and placed it next to Mac's bed. "You can wait here, but try to stay out of the nurse's way; they can get pretty mean when they're annoyed." Jack said jokingly.

"Thanks Colonel, I appreciate the help." Harm said taking the chair and pulling it closer to Mac's bed, as he saw O'Neill walk away with his head bowed. Harm now sat down next to Mac and took her hand in his. Except for the bandage around her head, and her slightly pale complexion you wouldn't have thought she was that serious; but he knew looks can be deceiving, and prayed that she'd be all right. "Mac, it's me Harm, can you hear me?" There was no answer or movement. He stood up and leaned over the bed looking down at her face and brushing her cheek with the thumb of his other hand "Come on Mac, you're not the quiet type, wake up and argue with me." Harm thought he felt her hand move. "Mac, if can you hear me squeeze my hand." He waited, and a few moments then he felt it again. "That's it Mac, come on back I know you can do it." Harm was half laughing as he felt Mac responding to his voice. Then he watched her eyes start to flutter. "Nurse! I think she's coming around!" Harm called ecstatically.

One of the nurses came to the bed and checked over Mac. "Colonel Mackenzie, can you hear me?" She saw Mac's eyes flutter and called her name again.

"She goes by Mac." Harm told the nurse, while he still held onto her hand he stroked her hair at the top of her head, keeping away form the bandages. Then he saw the most beautiful thing, her eyes opened. "Welcome back Mac." He said to her as he squeezed her hand.

"I'm afraid you're going to have to leave Sir, while I assess the patient." The nurse told Harm.

"Okay, but come get me as soon as I can see her again." Harm said then left the infirmary to wait where he was waiting before. When he entered the hall way he saw O'Neill seated looking down and ringing his hands. "Colonel."

Jack looked up at the sound of his name being called. "Oh, Rabb, I didn't hear you come."

"Yea well you have other things on your mind." Harm said sitting down next to him.

"So they kicked you out already?"

"Yea, because Mac woke up." Harm said grinning from ear to ear.

"Hey, that's great news; how is she doing?"

"I don't know yet, I got kicked out pretty quickly so they could do an assessment.'

Jack chuckled under his breath. "Yea they have a habit of doing that, I think it's so they can order superior officers around, gives them a feeling of power."

"You can come back in Sir." The same nurse said as she poked her head through the door.

"Mind if I join you?" Jack asked Rabb as he was headed back into the infirmary.

"I don't see why not." With that said the two men headed back into the infirmary with Harm leading the way.

Mac was still lying flat on the bed, in same position she was in earlier. She spotted Harm and O'Neill coming towards her and gave a slight smile. "So I guess we made it?" She said quietly.

Harm came up to her and sat down next to bed again. "How are you feeling Mac?" he said as he once again reached for her hand.

"I've got a pounding headache, a little sore but that's about it." Mac didn't like the position she was in because she was having a hard time seeing what was going on around her, she attempted to turn on her side and was given the shock of her life. Panic started to set in as she squeezed Harm's hand tightly. "Harm...I ...I can't move my legs!" She looked desperately in his eyes for answers.

"Mac, I know it's hard but try to calm down."

"What's wrong with me Harm?" She said with tears starting to form in her eyes.

"Mac listen, calm down and I'll explain." He was now on his feet, holding her hand looking down to her face. When she started to calm down, he began talking to her soothingly. "Mac, when we found you part of the ceiling had fallen on your back while you were covering Sam. We got you two out and to the infirmary; the doctor's said you have two broken vertebrae in your lower back...but they won't know the extent of the damage until they operate."

It was a lot for Mac to take in, she was still groggy from her head injury and coming too, "So you don't know if I'll be able to walk again?"

"I'm afraid we won't know until the surgery."

"Well what are they waiting for? Why aren't they operating yet?" Mac said looking wildly into Harm's eyes, the look of fear most evident.

Jack took this as his cue to enter the conversation; "I'm sorry Colonel Mackenzie, but Major Carter is in surgery right now."

Mac couldn't believe that in her panicked state she had forgotten about Sam. "Oh Geez I'm sorry...how is Sam?"

"Well like I said she's in surgery right now." Jack said looking down at the floor sounding despondent.

"Ah Sam had internal bleeding, that's why they took her to surgery first." Harm said seeing that O'Neill was clearly distressed.

"Is she going to be alright?" Her panic being replaced by concern.

"We're still waiting to find out. They've been in there a long time now." Jack said looking at the clock on the wall.

Mac let out a sigh, thinking back to the ordeal. "Those bastards...they just kept hitting her over and over again, only letting up when she passed out. They had her...hanging from a metal hook, like she was some slab of beef." The fury in her voice was evident.

Jack's face paled at the description of some of what Carter had gone through, "Don't worry Mackenzie we have our people rounding up everyone that was in that building, we'll find the one's responsible." `They just may not live to see the light of day' Jack thought to himself.

"Ah the man in charge, his name is Kennedy, Colonel Kennedy."

"Yea Mackenzie we know, Carter told us before the medics took you two away. Is there anything else you can tell us about the people helping him?"

Mac took some time to think, "There were two women, one who kept taking blood samples from Sam. Sam actually figured out she was a PhD in biology, and five men that we saw off and on; but the one called Stan...that pig, was enjoying torturing her. He won't be hard to find look for the guy with two black eyes."

The infirmary started to get noisy and busy as Jack and Harm noticed more people entering wheeling in a gurney. Jack took a few steps closer to see that it was Carter being wheeled back in. He wanted to run up to the gurney and make sure she was alright, but he knew the doctors would just force him away, at least over here he could see what was going on. He watched as they transferred Sam to the bed and hooked her up to the machines next to her bed. She had an IV, which had a clear bag, and a smaller bag of blood hanging. He saw the nurses put a mask on her face, and take her vital signs and writing in a chart. He finally saw Janet coming into the room, look at the chart and then to Carter. "Hey Doc, how's she doing?"

Janet looked up, a little startled to see the colonel in the infirmary so soon. "Well Colonel, she lost a lot of blood but we managed to stop the bleeding, the beating has also caused some damage to her kidneys and liver. All we can do now is keep an eye on her and hope they will heal on their own in time. So for now all we can do is wait and see, and pray she's strong enough to pull through."

"She's one of the strongest people I've met." Mac said just loud enough to be heard.

"That she is." Jack said chiming in.

"Ah, I see you're awake Colonel Mackenzie, I'm Dr. Janet Frasier." Frasier said as she walked over to Mac's bed. "They're getting the O.R. ready for your surgery next; I don't know if anyone told you about your condition."

"Yea, Harm told me and Dr. Fraiser...I can't feel my legs." Mac said quietly.

"Well Colonel, we're going to do our best to hopefully change that; but I can't make any promises. Now the nurses are going to give you some medication for the operation, but first I'd like to check your eyes." Janet took out her pen light and checked her eyes. Then a nurse came over forcing Harm and Jack to move out of the way. Within a few minutes Mac was falling asleep and being wheeled out.

Harm took the opportunity when Mac was out of the room to talk to Janet. "Dr. Fraiser, what are her chances?"

"Like I said before we won't know until we operate, but we will do everything we can. If you'll excuse me, I have to go and scrub up." Janet said taking her leave.

Jack made his way to the foot of Sam's bed; he waited until the nurses finished up before moving to her side. He looked down at her, noticing her skin was pale, where it wasn't bruised. He wished he could hold her hand, and squeeze it to reassure her she was safe. Yea safe, that's what he was supposed to do keep her safe...and he failed. Damn it, the most important assignment he's ever had, and he failed. He had to blink away the tear that had started to form. Then he cleared his throat before speaking. "Rabb, could you do me a favour?" He said without looking up.

Harm moved over to stand beside O'Neill, and placed his hand on his shoulder. "What ever you need Colonel."

"I need you to stay close to Carter, while I go to the site and help look for those..."

"You got it; I'll stay close by, both of them. You don't have to worry."

"Thanks just let me know if anything changes; I mean I don't want her to be alone." Now Jack couldn't help himself, he started to rub her arm up and down, avoiding the bandage on her wrist, and shaking his head. He felt useless here, he had to go out into the field and make things right. He then turned and walked away, not looking at anyone he walked by.

********

"Yea okay Jack, we'll keep an eye out." Daniel said hanging up his cell phone. "Well Teal'c Jack gave us a description of one of the men helping Kennedy. He said we can't miss him since he has two black eyes; apparently received from Sam."

Teal'c tilted his head to the side, "Indeed."

"We're also looking for two women and six other men."

"Any thought of how we are to find them among the vast number of people we have here?"

`Well Jack should be here any minute, I'm sure he'll come up with an idea. After all I don't think we can detain all these people indefinitely."

"Indeed."

Daniel heard his name being called, turned around to find Jack jogging to his location. "Jack, how's Sam doing?"

"She just got out of surgery when I left, God Daniel, she looked terrible. The doc said she lost a lot of blood, and has internal injuries."

"Major Carter is a formidable warrior, she is very strong and I am sure she will be alright."

"Thanks T, I hope you're right. So what's happening here?" Jack asked looking around seeing the security force had a larger group of people crowded together using the lights of the parking lot to help keep an eye on them.

"Well we're trying to figure who among this vast number of people aided Kennedy, who by the way we haven't found yet." Daniel said exasperated.

"Well let's go have a look, Teal'c I want you beside me, give them that angry Jaffa look."

"I do not know of what you are talking about O'Neill?"

"Ah just think about what they did to Carter, that look should scare anyone with a guilty conscious. `

"Very well O'Neill."

The group headed to the crowd, they searched the faces and just hoped O'Neill's Jaffa plan would work, because without Sam or Mac to point them out, this was going to be a very difficult task.

Teal'c's jaw clenched as he spotted a man at the back of the crowd looking down as if trying to hide his face. "There O'Neill!" Teal'c pointed out the man in question.

Jack got an idea and hoped it worked. "Stan!" His heart raced when he saw the man look up with two distinct black eyes. Jack launched himself into the crowd heading straight for him. He could only see red as he approached the man, who now was trying to run away, but unable to with the guards surrounding them. With Jack's blind fury, he didn't see Stan raise the stick he had concealed in his jacket until it was too late.

"Ahhhh!" Jack cried out, as he came into contact with the stick, but it only lasted a few seconds as Teal'c was right there, knocking Stan to the ground with one powerful punch to the nose and grabbing the pain stick.

"Jack! Are you alright?" Daniel asked helping Jack stand up.

"Yea Daniel, I'm fine." Jack said out of breath. He couldn't believe how much that hurt and he was only exposed to it for a few seconds, mind you a very long few seconds. "Get that creep over here; I want to have a little talk to him."

Teal'c dragged the whimpering man over to O'Neill by the collar, and threw him to the ground at Jack's feet. "Let me see that thing will you Teal'c?"

"Most certainly O'Neill." Teal'c said handing the device over and bowing his head.

"Ah Jack, don't you think we should take this somewhere else, you know a little less public." Daniel advised Jack not wanting Jack's emotions to cause him to do something that could get him in trouble, like use an alien device in front of a crowd.

Jack looked at Daniel than at all the people watching him, he had to agree with Daniel on this one. "Yea Daniel you're right, let's move this questioning to the van." Jack said motioning Teal'c.

Teal'c once again grabbed Stan by the collar and pushed him along following Jack and Daniel.

When they arrived at the truck Jack ordered the guard out, then he, Daniel, Teal'c and Stan entered the truck. More like Stan stumbled in when pushed by Teal'c. The once feared man was now shaking nervously while holding his nose. "I think you broke my nose again."

"Ah, I'm sorry does that hurt Stan? Your name is Stan isn't it?" Jack said coldly.

"Ah no, no its not, my name is John." He hoped this ploy would work.

"Well John, let me guess your last wouldn't be Smith would it?" Jack was taking his time toying with this piece of slime.

"Yea, how did you know?" Stan said still not sure of the situation he was in.

"Well, for now I'm going to call you Stan. You see a very good friend of ours had a run in with this guy named Stan; it seems he enjoyed himself torturing her. Kind of like I'm going to enjoy myself torturing him." Jack said keeping his voice even, showing no emotion, which was even more frightening. Then Jack held up the pain stick and watched Stan's face go pale. "Oh, I see you know what this is. Seeing on how you used it on our friend."

"No...no I don't know what it is, I just found it...picked it up." Stan said swallowing hard.

"You know Teal'c, I've always wanted to try one of these things out; and I think I've found the perfect subject."

"Indeed O'Neill I think he would make the most perfect subject."

Stan was very frightened now, he remembered the horrendous scream that came out of Carter when he used that on her, and wanted to avoid that for himself. "No please don't! I'll tell you what ever you want to know." Stan pleaded.

"Damn Teal'c, he caved too soon, I was soooo looking forward to using this on him."

"We want to know where Kennedy is, and we want all those who were working with you." Daniel told him.

"Okay what ever you say, but I think Kennedy got away, he didn't leave with us, one minute he was behind us the next he was gone."

"Well you better hope you can help us find him. In the mean time I want you to show us the people who helped you, ALL OF THEM!"

They opened the back door of the truck and all four men got out, with Teal'c keeping a restraining hand on Stan as they headed back to the crowd. Then Jack's cell phone rang. "O'Neill"

"O'Neill its Rabb, I think you might want to get over here."

Jack's face paled as he hung up the phone, "Look guys I have to get back to the infirmary. You two round up all the people we're looking for and get them back to the base. Ah Teal'c could I speak to you for a second." He waited for Teal'c to come up close, "As soon as you get everyone in custody I want you to have a little talk to Stan with this." He said handing the pain stick to Teal'c. "I'm sure we can get one of the others to help us if we need to."

Chapter 14

Jack didn't like the sound of Rabb's voice when he called, there was something going on in the infirmary and it had to do with Carter. He rushed through the security as fast as he could, rushing through the hallways just avoiding collisions until he came upon the door to the infirmary. He stopped, took a deep breath and prayed under his breath, `let her be okay', then he stepped through the door.

Harm was trying to stay out of the way, while trying to keep his promise to O'Neill to stay close by Sam; but there was nothing he could do for her and only hoped O'Neill would get there soon. He heard a gasp and when he looked, he saw O'Neill had entered the room looking totally shell shocked; Harm went to fill him in.

"What's going on Rabb? Why is she in restraints?" The sight of her struggling against the restraints took him back to the unpleasant memories of him being strapped to a bed being drugged out of his mind.

"They think she's having an adverse reaction to the medication; she's not coming out of it and it looks like she's stuck in some sort of nightmare. She started mumbling, then yelling and thrashing about. They were afraid she was going to hurt herself, so they put the restraints on...I thought you'd want to be here." Harm said truly concerned.

"Are you telling me Fraiser Okayed this?" Jack said feeling the pit of his stomach burning.

"The doctor's are still operating; they said someone would be here as soon as possible."

Jack couldn't stand it anymore; he rushed to Sam's side and took in her appearance. From the door, you would have thought she was conscious, but looking down on her, he could see her eyes were closed but moving rapidly under her lids. Her oxygen mask was now gone replaced by a tube delivering oxygen through her nose. She was mumbling and sounded scared. "Carter, its O'Neill, you have to wake up." he said but noticed no change. He placed his hands on her shoulders and gently shook her, "Carter, time to wake up." His voice was more forceful, but she kept fighting against the restraints. He looked to the nurse who had moved away to give him some space. Then without asking anyone, he undid the restraint around her hand and took it into his squeezing it. "Come on Carter, you're safe now." This time his voice was gentle and he was stroking her hair.

Harm felt useless, he tried to calm Sam earlier but had no effect. At least now, he could offer O'Neill his support. He went to the other side of her bed and undid the other restraint on her hand. He saw O'Neill nod to him, then look to the foot of the bed. He got the hint and moved to uncover Sam's feet and undo the restraints.

As soon as she was freed, Jack could feel her relax a bit, "That's right Carter just relax, you're safe now." He kept a hold of her hand and continued to stroke her hair.

"Okay, what's happening?" Janet asked as she rushed into the room peeling her mask off.

The nurse who had been taking care of Sam spoke up. "Major Carter was getting combative; we were unable to wake her and thought it best to use restraints so she wouldn't hurt herself. She still hasn't woken up doctor."

"Yea Doc, why can't she wake up?" Jack asked quietly, but not letting go of Sam's hand.

Janet came over to Sam's bedside and noticed that the colonel was holding her hand then she took her pen light out and looked in Sam's eyes. "She's having an adverse reaction to the medication we gave her for the surgery."

"Why would she?" Jack asked puzzled.

"Well Sir, you know with Sam's ...unique condition..." Janet was choosing her words carefully since Commander Rabb was right there. "We have to use a higher dose than normal to put her under, and make sure it's high enough during the surgery, after all we don't want her waking up in the middle of an operation."

Jack could only cringe at the thought, but understood the necessity. He could see that Rabb was looking puzzled.

"Usually she comes around a lot quicker, but for some reason she's having a problem waking up."

"Ah Dr. Fraiser, when we were attacked earlier today they used some kind of tranquilliser darts on us, I don't know how many they used on Sam, but one was enough to knock me out." Harm said trying to help.

"Well that should be out of her system by now, but who knows maybe there are some residual effects, interacting with our medications." Janet could see that Sam was deep in REM sleep and still thrashing a bit. "It's not good for her to moving around right now."

"Yea, well this is nothing doctor; it was worse when she was in the restraints." Harm informed her. "O'Neill somehow managed to get her to calm down."

Janet looked at Jack, she'd had her suspicions about these two; she saw what Sam had gone through when he was missing; but she never knew how he felt about her, until now. However, suspicions were one thing proof was another. "Well I'm glad you were able to calm her down Colonel, I'm afraid we're going to have to keep her calm until she wakes up; which she should be doing soon. I hope."

"Yea well doctor, after what Carter's been through, the last thing she needs is to be put in restraints." Jack was obviously bitter at finding Sam tied down.

"You may be right Sir, but my nurses did the best they could do given the circumstances.

"Ah doctor, I hate to change the subject; but how is Mac doing?" Actually, Harm wasn't sorry to change the subject.

"Dr. Warner was just closing when I came here; as for the surgery, I'm afraid its not good news. The spinal chord was severed. We fused the bones together, but I'm afraid there's nothing else we could do." Janet said with sympathy.

"So she's...she's never going to walk again?" Rabb was totally shocked by this news; his legs were feeling wobbly as he thought about Mac being stuck in a wheel chair.

"I'm afraid not Sir." Janet said shaking her head, she hated when it turned out that there was nothing she could do. It made her feel useless as a doctor.

"So who's going to tell her?" Harm asked his voice now just above a whisper.

"Well Sir, either I or Dr. Warner can break the news to her, but sometimes having someone close to the person tell them is better. It doesn't seem so impersonal." Janet said looking at Rabb compassionately.

Harm was finding this whole situation overwhelming and reached out to steady himself against the foot of Sam's bed. "I...I don't know if I can do this." He said shaking his head.

Sam was hearing voices, they seemed far away but she could just make them out. She recognized one voice, that of Janet. "severed spinal chord"..."never going to walk again." `No this can't be; she didn't remember receiving such an injury.'

Jack felt Carter start to stir again, "No, can't be..." she mumbled, as Jack once again gave her hand a squeeze. "Carter, its okay, time to wake up."

"Never...walk again." She mumbled, and started to move violently. Jack once again tried to hold her down putting his hands on her shoulders.

Janet leaned over the bed to look at her friend. "Sam, it's Janet, you're okay, now try to wake up." Janet saw Sam still struggling to come to the surface, given other circumstances she would try to slap her face to bring her around; but seeing that her face was all bruised and swollen Janet couldn't bring herself do it.

"Carter! Wake up! That's an order!" He took his hands off her shoulders and hoped the order would bring her around. What he didn't expect was for her to suddenly sit up straight and cry out in pain. This caused him to jump back and lose his footing slightly, not noticing that something fell out of his pocket landing on the floor under the bed

"Sam are you okay?" Janet was concerned by her sudden movement.

"Dumb question, Janet." Sam said through clenched teeth, trying to breath through the pain.

Jack looked at Janet shrugging his shoulders and raising his eyebrows. "What ever works hey Doc?" Then looked back at Sam, "Good to see you awake Carter."

"Ah, thank you Sir?" Sam was totally puzzled by what the colonel said.

Janet was right beside Sam, "Hey Sam, let me help you lie back down."

"Here let me give you a hand Doc." Jack and Janet both put a supporting hand behind Sam's back and a hand on her shoulder and eased her back down. Jack couldn't help but feel a tingle as his hand came into contact with the bare area of Sam's back.

Janet noticed the pained look on Sam's face. "Sam I know this is going to sound stupid, but how are you feeling?"

"Still really groggy, I could swear I heard you talking about being paralysed." As Sam said this, she was moving her legs to make sure she wasn't paralysed.

"Ah no Sam, you don't have to worry about that." Janet said trying to relieve Sam's concern.

"Oh, I'm, ah sorry Sam; I didn't realize you could hear me." Harm said looking at her with the most heartbreaking expression, she's seen.

"Oh no, its Mac isn't it?" She asked not taking her eyes off his face. From his expression, she knew she was right.

"I'm afraid so Sam.? Janet told her placing a hand on her shoulder.

"Isn't there anything you can do?" Sam was looking up at Janet with hope.

"I'm afraid there's nothing we can do."

"How did it happen, she was fine when I told her go and leave me behind." Sam's apprehension was growing.

Jack decided it might be better if he gave her the news; "Look Carter, when we found you two, the fire was spreading and part of the ceiling fell in...when we dug you two out Mackenzie was laying on top of you...and her back took the brunt of the collapse."

"Then it's my fault isn't it?" Sam's voice and the look in her eyes were full of remorse.

"No Sam, it's not your fault. Mack was just being Mac; you wouldn't expect her to leave anyone behind? Would you in those circumstances?" Harm was still feeling his despair, but didn't want Sam feeling guilty for Mac's heroics.

"No, you don't understand; I started the fire, it is my fault." The guilt in Sam's voice was heart breaking.

"Look Carter, Mackenzie told me to look for Kennedy, which means she saw him; knowing these people do you really think they were going to let her just go knowing he was behind this?" Jack was trying his best to be convincing.

"No." Sam answered quietly.

"So if you didn't try something, it was most likely they were going to kill her."

"Yea we kinda figured that part out." Sam tried to put her hand over her eyes and winced when she tried to lift her arm.

Janet noticed Sam's reaction, "Sam what's wrong with your arm?"

"It's just a little painful to move right now, but I'll be fine." Sam was trying to convince Janet as much as herself that it really was okay.

"Ah Doc, Mackenzie told us that Carter was...hanging from a hook for long periods of time from the looks of her arms I guessing it was by her wrists. Is that correct Carter?" Jack tried to sound detached, but his emotions were in turmoil when he thought about it.

"Ah...yes Sir." Sam didn't like everyone knowing what she went through, she hoped she could keep most of it to herself; it was something she didn't want to talk about.

At hearing this confession, Janet started to feel Sam's shoulders and tried moving her arms in different positions in order to assess the damage. Janet could tell Sam was trying to hold back from showing her pain, but she wasn't fooling her. "Okay Sam I'm done for now, I'm going to want to have some X-rays taken, but I'm afraid there may be some tendon or ligament damage."

"Great and how long will it take for that to heal?" Sam didn't want to be laid up any longer than was necessary.

"Given your current situation I think that should be last on your mind. Sam you have some serious internal injuries, and the trauma to your abdomen and ribs is going to have you laid up in bed for quite some time." Janet knew that the last place SG1 ever wanted to was in the infirmary, yet alone for an extended period of time.

"Janet I can't just lie around here and do nothing."

"Yes you can Major, even if I have to make it an order; although I usually don't order people to stay in bed." Jack said with a half mocking voice and a raised eyebrow.

All of a sudden, the room started filling with more people coming in wheeling a gurney. Harm felt his heart jump start, as he saw Mac go by him. He waited anxiously for them to get her settled before he would go over to her.

He saw Dr. Warner writing in the chart and giving orders to the nurses. Then he felt weak as the doctor came his way. "I take it Dr. Fraiser filled you in on the Colonel's condition?" Warner could tell by the look on the man's face that he knew the prognosis.

"Yea doctor, I know all about it." Harm could feel his heart racing and a lump forming in his throat.

"Ah she should be waking up soon, and it might be best if she had a friendly face to wake up to."

"Yea, doctor no problem. Ah how long should I take before telling her the news?"

Warner saw the turmoil the man was in and put his hand on his shoulder, "Well I would make sure she's fully awake, or else you may have to do it all over again."

Janet thought that Rabb might like to be alone, and decided to clear the infirmary. "Okay everyone, I'm sorry to have to do this but Sam needs to rest right now. Colonel I'm afraid you're going to have to leave for a while, and anyone not needed in here should find somewhere else to be. Of Course you can stay Commander."

"Thank you doctor." Harm said a little relieved that he wasn't being kicked out.

"Okay Doc, I'll leave, but I will be back later. Carter you get some rest and stop thinking, that's an order." Jack said placing his hand on her forearm and squeezing it lightly before he headed for the door.

Sam watched the colonel leave not sure what to make of the squeeze he gave her. She saw Harm make his way to Mac's bedside, and the guilt started all over again.

Harm slowly made his way to Mac's bedside, and noticed Dr. Fraiser pulling the curtain between the beds. Well at least now, he a little bit of privacy and the way Sam looked she's probably be asleep soon. "Well Mac here we are together, I just thought it would be different when I'd picture seeing you in bed." Harm shook his head; he couldn't bear to think of her like this. "It's all my fault Mac; I should never have brought you in as back-up." Harm couldn't stop the tear that had formed from falling down his cheek; he wiped it away and held on tightly to the bed rail, as he looked down on Mac. `God Mac, how am I supposed to break this news to you?' He thought to himself. Harm felt the sudden urge to pace, he normally wasn't the type to pace, but these weren't normal times. He had to think of a way to tell Mac, and maybe pacing would help him think. As he made his way up and down the aisle at the end of the beds something shiny under Sam's bed caught his eye.

Sam was pretending to sleep; it was the least she could do for Harm, to let him think he had some privacy to be with Mac. She could hear him pacing and figured he must be feeling as guilty as she did. Should she let him have the time to himself or offer an ear to let him vent; even if it meant she took the brunt of his anger, `which I deserve'. She couldn't help but wonder what he was doing; she could swear she heard him right next to her bed, `well time to bite the bullet.' Sam opened her eyes and was surprised to see the top of Harm's head next to her bed.

Harm was trying to reach the object, it was odd looking but it also looked like it was made of gold; it must be important. In order to the object, he had to get down on his knees next to Sam's bed. As he reached the object, he started to rise up, lifting his head first to a puzzled looking Sam.

"Ah hey Sam, did I wake you?" He said giving her a guilty little grin.

"What are you doing down there?" Sam said trying to lift her head higher off the pillow to get a better look at what Harm was doing.

"I ah... saw something odd under your bed and I was trying to reach it." He said looking more sheepish now.

"Well if it has a tube and looks like it's attached to something, I'd rather you leave it where it is."

Now Harm felt a little embarrassed and turned a little red; "Ah no, nothing like that, I found this." He said finally getting to his feet and handing the object over to Sam.

Sam had to grin at the colour Harm had turned, but then her expression turned to surprise as he handed her the healing device.

******* The first thing Jack did when he left the infirmary was to call the security office to find out if Daniel and Teal'c had returned with the one's responsible for Carter and Mackenzie's current conditions. He was relieved to find out that everyone except for Kennedy was accounted for and resting their heels in some nice little cells on the base. He was going to head right down there, when the security officer informed him that General Hammond wanted to see him. The ride up on the elevator seemed to take forever. When Jack entered the briefing room he noticed that Daniel and Teal'c were already there waiting for Hammond to join them.

"Jack! How's Sam doing?" Daniel asked as soon as he noticed Jack enter the room.

"I'd like to know as well Colonel." Hammond said as he entered the room and sat at the head of the table.

Jack took his regular seat at the table, as did the other members of SG1; he couldn't help but look at the vacant seat next to him. "Well Sir, Carter made it through surgery fine, but it looks like she's going to be laid up a while. Colonel Mackenzie on the other hand...well the news isn't good. It looks like she'll never walk again."

Hammond was quite shocked he wasn't expecting that news; in fact, he wasn't even sure why Colonel Mackenzie had been brought in, in the first place. "I'm sorry to hear that Colonel, why was Mackenzie there at all?"

"Well Sir, you put Rabb in charge and he didn't trust anyone from the base so he called Mackenzie in as back-up."

"What? Why would you bring someone else in to protect Sam and not call me and Teal'c?" Daniel was quite hurt that Jack had left him out.

"Daniel, I had nothing to do with calling in back-up; Rabb did it while Carter and I were asleep." Jack didn't like having to justify his actions or inactions. "Anyway, what's going on with the prisoners?"

"I'm glad you asked Colonel, it seems our holding cells are now quite full; but I'm not sure how long we can hold them or if we even have jurisdiction over the civilians. One thing we need for sure is a positive ID either from Major Carter or Colonel Mackenzie."

"Ah neither of whom is able to get out of bed at the moment." Jack said shaking his head.

"Teal'c didn't that Stan guy pick out the accomplices?"

"Yes, indeed he did O'Neill." Teal'c said bowing his head.

"Ah Jack I'm afraid he might say he was intimidated into picking people out, that's why we need a positive ID." Daniel said looking at Teal'c.

"Are you telling me he found Teal'c here to be intimidating? That's just not possible." Jack said grinning at Teal'c. "He's just like a big teddy bear."

Teal'c raised his eyebrow in a puzzled look.

"I take it Stan is the one with the injuries?" Hammond said, not really wanting to know how the man got his injuries.

"Ah yes General that would be him." Daniel said looking down

"Well he was complaining so much I had him sent down to the infirmary to be checked out."

"What!" O'Neill yelled jumping out of his chair. "He's the one that beat the crap out of Carter! I have to get down there Sir." Jack just noticed Hammond nod his consent before he was out the door followed by Teal'c and Daniel.

Chapter 15

Harm saw the look on Sam's face when he showed her the object. "Where did you get that?"

"It was lying on the floor under your bed, what is it?" Harm was looking closely at the object as he kept turning it over in his hands.

"That's actually classified." Sam said lifting her arm slightly tying to reach out for the `object'.

"Oh come on Sam aren't we passed that? You know I have clearance."

"You have clearance for some things but not everything. I'd have to get permission to tell you about it." She was looking at Harm still painfully holding her hand out for the item.

Harm could see she wanted the object and didn't have the heart to keep it out of her reach, knowing how painful it was for her to hold out her hand like that. He gave in and handed her the object. "Just remember, when you get the word, I want to hear it from you." He stood up straighter and headed back to Mac's bed.

As Sam watched him go behind the curtain, she thought to herself that now maybe there was some hope for Mac and felt grateful that she may actually be able to help her out. Now all she had to do was figure out how to get over to Mac's bed without anyone seeing her. `There's no way Janet will let me try to use this in my current condition; and the colonel would probably go along with Janet. What I need is an accomplice, I'm sure Harm would help, but he needs to get clearance first; and how can I raise his hopes in case it doesn't work.' So for now she decided to hide the item in her bed until she came up with a plan.

"Hey Mac, are you ready to wake up?" Harm said, but silently hoping she'd stay sleeping a little while longer, the longer she slept meant the longer he could keep the news from her. He looked down at their joined hands and then closed his eyes.

******

Janet heard some loud voices in the hall from her office, `Oh great, I hope they don't disturb my patients.' Janet thought as she got up from her desk and headed out to the hallway

Two security officers were escorting another man down the hallway. "Look, you kept complaining you wanted to see a doctor, so we're taking you to see a doctor! Now stop trying to fight us."

"Airmen what's going on?" Janet asked the young lieutenant.

"Sorry Ma'am, but this civilian kept insisting on seeing a doctor." Lt. Simms answered.

Janet could see the two airmen holding onto a handcuffed man whose face looked almost as bad as Sam's did. "Who is he and what happened to him?"

"He's one of the civilian prisoners being questioned in the abduction of Major Carter and Colonel Mackenzie Ma'am."

Janet could feel her jaw start to clench as she thought that he might be one of the people responsible for beating Sam. "He is, is he?" Janet looked at the man's face for any sign of guilt or remorse but found none. "Well make sure you keep out of that area." Janet said pointing to the room that held Sam and Mackenzie. Then she pointed in another direction and motioned for them to go into a different room.

******

Harm's eyes popped open when he heard what sounded like arguing outside the room, he took a deep breath and headed towards the commotion.

"He's one of the civilian prisoners being questioned in the abduction of Major Carter and Colonel Mackenzie Ma'am."

Harm stopped in his tracks when he heard this, then he noticed the man in handcuffs; he had two black eyes, just like the man Mac described. Harm didn't know what came over him next; all he knew was that all he could see was red.

The two guards were shocked when a large man came bounding at them and ran right into their prisoner, pinning him right up against the wall. He held him upright by the lapels of his jacket and spoke in a quiet steely voice. "So you like to kidnap and beat up women?" The next thing Harm felt was his fist making contact with the scum's gut.

"Sir you have to stop!" Lt. Simms yelled as he tried to stop the man from hitting his prisoner.

Janet was shocked by what she was seeing, she understood what Harm was feeling and wanted to the same thing, but the doctor in her wanted it to stop. Then she wasn't sure if she was relieved or worried when she saw the rest of SG1 come running down the hall.

The first thing O'Neill noticed when he came down the hall was Rabb pinning a guy against the wall punching him in the gut, the two SF's were trying to pull him off the guy but weren't succeeding to well. The next thing Jack knew he was also trying to pull Rabb off of Stan.

The three men managed to get them apart but still had to keep Harm back. Daniel and Teal'c took over for the two SF's. When the barrage was over Stan slumped to the floor clutching at his gut. "Now I really need a doctor over hear." Stan yelled out.

Janet looked down at Stan and shook her head, "Take him to an exam room." She ordered the two guards.

Before anyone could say anything, the two guards pulled Stan up and escorted him through the doors.

"No! Not that room!" Janet yelled too late.

Sam had been lightly dozing off when she heard a skirmish outside her door, the next thing she saw was the door opening. She kept blinking to try to clear her blurry eyes, then she saw him standing there Stan! She started pushing against the mattress with her legs while trying to sit up and get as far away as possible, she pulled the wires from her chest and the IV from her arm, then managed to force herself off the bed. She landed on her feet for a few moments before her right leg gave out on her causing her to land on her back but still trying to get away sliding back on the floor.

"Oh Shit!" Jack exclaimed as he saw Carter's reaction, he and Daniel ran towards Sam. Within moments, Jack was on the floor at Sam's side grabbing her arms and looking into her eyes. For the first time since he's know her he saw true terror in her eyes. "Carter look at me; you're okay you're safe here." He could still feel her trembling, this time he gently put his hands on her face and forced her to look at his eyes. "It's me Carter, you're safe, trust me." Jack finally felt Sam relax and nod her head.

Daniel was kneeling on the floor behind Sam resting a hand on her upper back, "Yea Sam its okay now." He said in a soothing voice,

"W-what's he doing here?" Sam managed to get out while trying to catch her breath. She was now leaning heavily against O'Neill looking at Stan and for the first time noticing the guards beside him.

"Ah, the piece of crap was complaining he needed to see a doctor but they made a mistake and brought him in here." O'Neill said this glaring at the two guards who suddenly became pale themselves.

Janet had followed the group into the room and saw O'Neill and Daniel comforting Sam, then she looked at the guards and their prisoner. "Get him out of here! Take him to the room at the end of the hall." Then she went over to Sam, O'Neill and Daniel who were all on the floor. She knelt down in front of Sam to take in her appearance. "Do you think you can get up?"

Sam's head felt as heavy as lead as she slowly lifted it. "With a little help." She said managing to grin.

"Okay you two help Sam back into bed and be gentle." Janet told Jack and Daniel.

"Would I be anything but Doc.?" Jack said sarcastically. "Okay Daniel you get her other side." Jack nodded to Daniel and they slowly eased her up to a standing position.

"Ahh take it easy will ya!" Sam cried out as she moved. "Sorry Sir."

"No need to apologize Carter, I'd say worse if I was in your position."

Sam sat on the edge of the bed; Jack put his arm around her back for her to lean back, while Daniel lifted her legs onto the bed. Daniel was a little uncomfortable noticing how short the hospital gown was on Sam. Then he furrowed his eyebrows when he noticed something else. "Ah Janet, there's blood on Sam's gown."

"Yea Daniel I'd expect that seeing that Sam pulled her IV out." Janet said making her way back over to Sam.

"No Janet it's not from her arm." Daniel said pointing to Sam's abdomen. Jack also took note of the blood seeping through the gown with a look of shock coming over his face.

Janet was at Sam's other side of the bed; she pulled the blankets to cover Sam as she looked at the area. "She must have popped some stitches." Janet said as she started to pull the gown up from under the covers to reveal the blood soaked dressing

Daniel's face paled as he saw the blood and the rest of the damage, it looked worse now than it had the first time he saw her. He felt his blood start to boil; if Stan had still been there they would have had to pull him off of him as well.

Janet called to one of the nurses to get a suture kit, as she removed the bandage over the incision. The nurse came rushing over and pushing Daniel and Jack out of the way. "You'll have to wait out side." Janet told the men as she applied a clean gauze pad to the wound to stem the bleeding.

Jack and Daniel watched the curtain being drawn as soon as they stepped away. Jack raised his hand to rub his eyes. "Oh my God Jack, I can't believe what I just saw. I want to kill that bastard."

"Yea Daniel I know the feeling, and so does he." Jack said motioning to Rabb who was now calm and standing next to Teal'c.

"Huh, of all the people, I would have expected that it would be you we would have to pull off Stan."

"The day's not over yet Daniel, and I think there may be a line-up for that one." Jack said clinching his fist, then headed over to Teal'c and Rabb.

"Is everything alright with Major Carter?" Teal'c asked.

"I really don't know to be honest Teal'c."

"I cant' believe she jumped out of bed like that; what was she thinking?" Daniel asked.

"It's most likely she wasn't Daniel; she was reacting."

"Hey I'm really sorry if my reaction led to Sam hurting herself." Harm said looking down at the floor.

"It's not your fault Harm; you did what we all wanted to do, still want to do." Daniel said trying to ease the man's guilt.

"I really should be getting back to Mac, it's a wonder all this noise didn't wake her."

"You do that Rabb, she's going to need you when she wakes up." Jack told him.

The sound from the curtain being pulled back got everyone's attention as they watched the nurse leave. Jack was back at Sam's bedside in a couple of strides followed by Daniel and Teal'c. "So how's she doing Doc?"

"Well like I said, with all that movement Sam managed to pop a few stitches."

"Which Janet so kindly fixed." Sam said, the pain evident on her face.

"You should be feeling better in no time Sam; I gave you some morphine in your IV."

"Thanks Janet, I sure can use it."

"Don't stay too long, Sam needs her rest, even more now after all this excitement." Janet said looking at all three members of SG1

"Yea, sure Doc what ever you say." Jack said in ever so sweet voice he used just for Janet.

"So Sam...how are you doing?" Daniel asked nervously

"I'll be okay Daniel, don't worry about me. How are things going with rounding up the people who abducted us?"

"Well as you already noticed we got Stan and Teal'c persuaded him to turn in his accomplices."

"They are being detained in our security cells on level sixteen, Major Carter." Teal'c informed her and nodded.

"Wow that's great." Sam said weakly trying to smile.

"Ah there's one little snag Carter."

"Snag Sir?"

"Yea, it seems Kennedy got away before everyone was detained." Jack said in a low voice.

"Well I'm sure we'll get him eventually." Sam said; the three men noticing her eyes start to droop.

"Well we should let you get some sleep Carter; we'll come by to see you later."

"Yea, sleep well Sam." Daniel said squeezing her hand.

"Rest well Major Carter." Teal'c said bowing his head as he turned to leave.

Sam watched all three members of her team leave, then she reached under her mattress to make sure the healing device was still there, relieved when she felt it. `Good, now I just have to figure out a way to get over to Mac.'

Mac's eyes started to flutter, she felt groggy and thought maybe just a few more minutes of sleep wouldn't hurt. Then she felt a pressure squeezing her hand. "Hey Mac, you going to sleep all day." Technically, it was night, but this day just seemed to go on forever Harm thought.

"Ha...Harm?" Came a weary reply.

"Yea Mac it's me. You ready to wake up?"

"No, just a few more minutes, we don't have to go into work today." Mac just realized what she said, wondering why Harm was waking her up. "Harm?"

"Yes Mac."

"What are you doing in my bedroom?"

Harm had to snicker a little at Mac's confusion. "You know Mac, as much as I would love to wake you up in your bedroom, that's not where we are. Do you remember?"

"Hmm. What?" Mac said softly, then the cobwebs began to clear, and the events of the day came rushing back to her. "Oh my God! Harm what did the doctor say?" Mac's voice was weak but panicked

Harm looked down at Mac, seeing her eyes were wide open and staring at him intently. `Well that's as awake as she's ever going to be.' Harm thought then took a deep breath and grasped her hand between his. "Look Mac, the doctors did everything they could do, but...your spinal cord was severed...I'm so sorry Mac."

Mac couldn't comprehend what she was hearing, no this can't be, the surgery was supposed to make everything ok, it was supposed to make her whole; so she could go back to being the marine she was. There's no way I can't not be a marine; the corps saved my life, no it gave me a life; how can I just give it up?

"Mac, ah did you hear what I said?" Harm said gently still holding her hand.

Mac blinked her eyes bringing herself out of her contemplation; she looked into Harm's eyes seeing his sorrow. "Yea Harm I heard you... Are you sure there's nothing they can do?" Her voice almost pleading.

"Yea Mac I'm sure, but if you want to talk to a doctor, I'm sure I can get Dr. Fraiser over here."

"No that's okay Harm, I trust you. Harm, I'd like to be alone for a while if you don't mind."

Harm could see the anguish in Mac's eyes; he wasn't sure if he should leave her alone but decided to abide by her wishes. "If your sure Mac?"

"Yea I am, I just need some time alone."

"Okay." He said getting up from the chair and placing a kiss on her forehead before leaving. When he came out from behind the curtain he noticed Sam was asleep, `well I guess she will be alone for a while.'

*********

"Would you stop squirming." Janet snapped, as she probed the man's nose and face but not as gently as she could.

"Well you're hurting me doctor." Stan complained.

"Well you have a broken nose, but you already knew that, other than putting a bandage on it there's not much else I can do for it." She said snapping her gloves as she took them off.

"Well it was broken by that blonde bitch first, then that big black guy broke it again." Stan said touching his face with his right hand since his left was handcuffed to the bedrail. If he were paying attention, he would have noticed the anger growing in Janet's eyes. "Ow!"

"Oh sorry, I just had to recheck to make sure I didn't miss anything?" Janet said `Like causing you a little extra pain, you son of a...'

"Excuse me doctor."

"Ah what can I do for you Commander?" Janet asked looking worriedly at the man standing at the door. `Hopefully he'll stay out of the room.'

"Ah Mac woke up...I told her the news, but she said she wanted to be alone. I asked her if she wanted to talk to a doctor but she said no. I'm just think that maybe she should talk to you...I'm not sure if she's accepting the facts.

Janet walked away from her `patient' and looked at the guards. "He's all yours." She said as she walked towards Harm grabbed his arm and lead him into the hall. "Commander, it's going to take time, its hard news to take."

"Yea I guess your right...its just hard not to be able to help her."

"I know Commander, but you have to give her time to grieve her loss." Janet said as she and Harm walked towards the room holding Sam and Mac.

********

Sam was starting to feel better, a lot better thanks to Janet's magic drugs, only Janet didn't get the dose quite right for the morphine to keep her asleep. At least the pain had eased some. Maybe now, she could try to make her way over to Mac. At least this time the wires were no longer attached, she took the oxygen off and slowly started to sit up. It was difficult but not as painful as before. She eased her self off the bed and put most of her weight on her left leg while holding onto her IV pole. `There that's not so bad, I knew I could stand.' Then Sam reached for the curtain and pulled it open. Mac had her head turned the other way but by the shaking of her shoulders Sam could tell she was crying. She reached out and put her hand on Mac's shoulder.

Mac could hear Sam rustling in the next bed but was too dejected to even turn her head. Then she heard the curtain being pulled back, then felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned her head to see Sam looking down at her. She wiped her eyes and then cleared her throat. "What are you doing Sam? You shouldn't be out of bed." She could tell by looking at her that Sam shouldn't be up, and was wondering how she was managing to stay standing.

"Don't worry about me Mac; its you I'm concerned about." Sam said quietly

"Well there's nothing to worry about, I'm doing fine, just a little problem with walking that's all." She didn't mean to sound as harsh as she did but she couldn't help it.

"Mac, do you remember when we were being held...Kennedy asked me if I could use the healing device?"

"Yea Sam, it's a hard thing to forget. What ate you getting at?"

"Well, I'm not supposed to talk about it, but I think you've earned the right to know." Sam could see the puzzled look on Mac's face. "Well the answer is yes, I can use the alien healing device. I'm afraid I'm not that good at it, but if you let me I can give it a try."

"W-what are you talking about Sam? The doctors said I'd never be able to walk again, that there's nothing they can do." Mac's voice showed her annoyance, it was bad enough to have to deal with this yet alone having to explain it to Sam, when she knew the truth.

"Mac, I know there's nothing they can do...but there is something I might be able to do, if you let me."

"Hey I'm willing to try anything if it means I'll walk." Mac just couldn't believe what Sam was saying, all that time together, when she was being questioned, she kept denying she could use `alien devices', and now here she was saying she could. `I wonder if the drugs are doing this to her? Well I guess it won't hurt to humour her.' "Yea sure Sam knock yourself out." Mac watched as Sam took a couple of wobbly steps to her bed and reached under the mattress for the item Mac had last seen in Kennedy's possession.

Sam took another couple of steps leaning heavily on the IV pole carrying the device in her hand. "Mac, I'm not as strong as I normally am when I've used this, so I'm going to need your help to make sure the device stays above the injured area; just guide my arms if I start to stray from the site."

"Sure Sam, anything I can do to help." Mac wasn't sure if it came out as sarcastic as she felt. Then she watched as Sam steadied herself against the bedrail slipping the device on her right hand and putting her other hand on top of her right then holding them above her waist. She felt like laughing at the show Sam was putting on as she closed her eyes and dipped her head.

Mac was startled when all of a sudden a glowing light was being emitted from the object, she saw Sam waver a little and grabbed onto her wrists to keep her in place. Then she started to feel something warm. `Yes! I'm feeling something! I can't believe this; I think its actually working.' Mac couldn't hold back her excitement as her feeling was coming back. There was no way in hell she wasn't going to keep her attention on Sam to make sure she kept the device in position. Mac could feel Sam start to sway, and tightened her grip on Sam's arms. Then the light turned off abruptly and Sam crumpled to the ground, Mac was unable to hold Sam up as her weight took her down. "We need some help in here!" Mac called out, and without thinking quickly got out of bed going over the bed rail and kneeling next to Sam.

Harm and Janet heard Mac yell and ran towards the room. They were shocked to see both beds empty. "I need help over here." Came a frantic voice from between the beds.

"Oh Geez, Mac must have fallen out of bed." Harm said as he headed to the area between the beds followed by Janet. They found Mac kneeling next to Sam who was unconscious on the floor.

"Harm, Doctor you have to help her." Mac said worriedly, as she stood up.

"Mac...you're...you're standing. How?" Harm was so shocked he was speechless and unable to move.

"What's going on in here?" Jack said rushing into the room taking in the scene. "Oh no Carter you didn't!" Jack said as he saw Sam laying there with the device still attached to her hand.

"I'm afraid she did Colonel." Janet said looking at Mac while taking Sam's pulse.

Jack pushed Rabb and Mac's bed out of the way then picked Sam up and laid her in her bed. "Ah Carter I can't believe you did this."

"Mac, your standing!" Harm said ecstatically, then grabbed and hugged her. "But how?"

Mac became overwhelmed with the situation and let her tears fall while in Harm's embrace. Then she wiped her eyes and sniffled, "Somehow Sam did it, she cured me." Then she tightened her grip around Harm and just enjoyed the feel of his arms around her for an extra moment. Then they broke apart Harm still keeping an around Mac's waist to offer her support. They both watched as O'Neill picked Sam up and placed her on the bed. "Is she going to be okay?"

Chapter 16

Jack, Harm and Mac waited patiently for word on Sam; it had been about twenty minutes since they had found her, and Janet and the nurses pulled the curtains to work on her. Mac was back in her own bed with Harm sitting beside her on the edge of the bed and Jack occupying the chair. They listened as Janet barked out orders and saw nurses coming and going through the curtains. Finally, the curtains opened and three sets of eyes all focused on Janet. "What can you tell us Doc?" Jack asked standing up quickly.

Janet wiped the sweat from her forehead and looked at the three officers. "Well we put her back on the monitors and we're watching her closely. I've given her extra glucose in her IV to try to help. The device seemed to drain what little energy she had left."

"What on earth is going on here, you told me Mac would never walk again and yet here she is with full mobility, and what does it have to do with Sam's condition?" Harm asked truly perplexed from what he had witnessed.

"Well I guess you two have seen enough to warrant an explanation, but I think we'll have to wait for an official briefing with the general. I can go set one up, but I'll have to know when you can leave the infirmary. Any idea Doc?"

"Well give me a few minutes to check the Colonel then I'll be able to give you an idea Sir."

"I'll want you at the briefing also Doctor, so keep that in mind when you give me a time frame."

"Yes Sir. Well if you two will wait elsewhere I'll examine Colonel Mackenzie." She waited for the two men to move out of the way before drawing the curtain around Mac's bed. "Well Colonel, I'd like to examine your back, so if you'd lie on your stomach I can get started."

"Certainly Dr. Fraiser, but I tell you I've never felt better, and I'm just so grateful to be able to walk again."

"I'm sure you are Colonel." Janet said as she examined Mac's back. The upper area of Mac's back still had the initial damage from the ceiling falling on her, but the area where they had performed surgery was clear, as if no trauma had occurred. `Remarkable' Janet thought as she felt the area. Janet was always amazed when she saw the effects from the healing device. She wished she could use something like that, or that Sam would use it more often, but seeing the affect it had on Sam, she quickly changed her mind.

"Well Colonel, you still have damage to your upper back you will be sore for a while and will need the bandages changed, but I don't see any reason to keep you confined to the infirmary.

"Thank you doctor but putting up with some pain is nothing compared to what I was facing, I'm just so grateful for getting a second chance."

"I'm sure you are, but the person you should be thanking is in the next bed." Janet said as she finished with Mac.

"Any idea how long Sam's going to be out of it doctor?"

"There's no telling given her condition before the incident; but we'll have to cover that during the briefing. I'll get one of my nurses to get you some clothes."

"I'd appreciate that doctor; I don't think I'd make a very good impression on the general showing up at the briefing dressed like this."

"Oh I don't know Colonel; you might turn a few heads." Janet said laughing slightly with Mac. Janet left Mac's area and told one of her nurses to get the clothing then she headed back to Sam's bed noticing the Colonel sitting next to the bed.

Jack was sitting next to Sam's bed waiting to see if she'd wake up, he saw how pale her features were now, even more so than before. He kept watching the machines that were monitoring Sam, he watched as the numbers changed and the line that kept moving that monitored her heart. He was mesmerized by the blips and bleeps and was only snapped out of it by the sound of Janet coming towards him.

"So Doc?" Jack said looking up into Janet's eyes.

"Well Colonel Mackenzie can be released and after I check on Sam one more time we can go to the briefing. Give us about twenty minutes so the colonel can get ready."

"Okay Doc, I'll set up a meeting with Hammond." Jack stood up, took one last look at Sam then headed out of the infirmary.

***** General Hammond put down his phone and got up to go to the briefing O'Neill had hastily put together; maybe now he would be able to get some answers he was looking for. He headed through the door seeing the blast doors had been closed and three members of SG1 sitting to the right of his chair with Jack seated first. On the other side of the table was Commander Rabb and whom he presumed to Colonel Mackenzie; both were wearing the customary blue BDU's. Everyone stood as he entered the room. "Be seated everyone." He waited for everyone to be seated, noticing Col. Mackenzie moving stiffly. "Colonel O'Neill I thought Dr. Fraiser was going to be joining us?"

"She is Sir; I think she just had a few last things to take care of first."

"Very well we'll start without her." Hammond said looking at O'Neill.

"Sorry I'm late Sir." An out of breath Janet said as she rushed in to take a seat nest to Mac carrying files in her arm.

"That's alright doctor, I know you have your hands full. Now why don't we start at the beginning and maybe find out how this all went to hell." Hammond said looking at Jack.

"Well Sir after Commander Rabb and I left here we went to get Major Carter, unfortunately we were too late, she had already been attacked by two men wearing black ski masks. They were attempting to carry an unconscious Carter out the front door when Rabb and I intervened." Jack took a few moments to take a sip of water before continuing. "We managed to get Carter away from them but many shots were exchanged in doing so. Rabb carried her to my truck and I provided cover fire. Then we drove off, but we were being followed. We managed to lose the tail and we took refuge in a friend of mine's house. He was away for a while so there was no problem in bringing someone else in. While I secured the area Rabb watched over Carter." O'Neill couldn't help but grin at the memory.

Rabb decided it would be a good time for him to add to the briefing. "Ah Sir, Major Carter was suffering from a concussion and was still unconscious when O'Neill went to secure the area. Major Carter started to coming around, and let's just say she was a little surprised seeing me there."

"Surprised, I'll say she attacked him." Jack couldn't help but laugh a little.

"She what?" General Hammond said astounded.

"Ah when she came around she didn't recognize me, and she tried to get my gun. I can't blame her for that Sir, after what she went through. Unfortunately we ended up struggling for the gun, which is when Col. O'Neill came back in and got Major Carter to calm down." Rabb said, still feeling guilty about the whole situation.

"How's the hand by the way?" Jack asked grinning.

"Fine thank you?" Rabb said his annoyance at Jack showing.

"What's wrong with your hand?" Janet asked puzzled trying to look at Harm's hands.

"Oh nothing much, Carter just bit him."

Daniel couldn't help but spit out a little of the water he just drank. He couldn't help but remember when Sam did the same thing to Jack a few years ago. "Sorry." He said a little embarrassed at his reaction.

"Anyway Carter passed out again and that's when we discovered her other injuries." Jack looked at Janet while listing the injuries. "She had severe bruising on her right side from her abdomen to her spine. One of the bruises on her back had the distinct shape of a boot print." Jack's fist tightened as he recounted that fact.

Daniel covered his forehead with his hand while resting his elbow on the table, Teal'c's jaw clenched and the quiet room was filled with the sound of a pencil snapping coming from General Hammond.

"We weren't sure if Major Carter had a broken rib or not, but when she came to again we discovered that her right knee had also been injured when she tried to stand." Rabb said his anger coming through in his voice.

"Yes Sir, Carter wasn't very mobile so we decided to rest there that night and figure out a plan in the morning.

"Ah General, during the night while Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter were asleep I called in Colonel Mackenzie as backup, O'Neill had no idea I had done so until Mac showed up the next morning."

"And why didn't you contact me Commander?" General Hammond asked his anger at the matter showing.

"Well Sir, as you know we weren't sure who we could trust on the base, and I didn't know if contacting you on the base that someone could have had us tracked down." Rabb said explaining his reasoning hoping the general would agree.

"Understood Commander, continue." Hammond said sighing.

"Well Sir, Mac showed up and assisted us in taking care of Major Carter." Harm decided to leave out the part of Mac and O'Neill almost shooting each other, after all the general seemed upset enough. "Mac brought a laptop with her which Major Carter used to get in touch with Dr. Jackson.'

"So that was you I was talking to Col. Mackenzie, it was a good idea using Arabic. Where did you learn the language Colonel?" Daniel asked quite interested

"Well actually..."

"Ack Daniel you're getting a little of topic here." Jack interrupted. "Sorry Mackenzie."

"That's alright Sir." Mac answered feeling a little out of place here.

"I arranged a meeting with Daniel for the next day, and Carter used the computer to do some research to try and find some NID hiding places. We changed hiding places that day and when I went to meet Daniel I gave him the list to check out and to report to you Sir; but before the plan could be carried out...all hell broke loose." O'Neill shook his head at the memory. "When I got back to the car, I found it empty and a dart where Mackenzie was supposed to be."

"Colonel Mackenzie care to fill us in on what happened." Hammond asked looking at the beautiful young woman.

"Ah, yes Sir. While I was waiting in the car for O'Neill, I was keeping an eye on the area; I noticed a young woman pushing a baby carriage, I could hear the baby crying and I was worried for her if anything should happen. When she got closer to the car she reached into the buggy and pulled out a gun and starting shooting. I managed to evade the first shot, that's when I noticed it was dart, unfortunately I couldn't respond fast enough to avoid the second. That's all I remember until I woke up in a locked storage room." Mac explained trying to keep her voice calm and cool in front of everyone.

"After I found Mackenzie gone I called Rabb, but there was no answer so I rushed back to the house. I found the door busted open, an empty gas canister and more darts all over the room. I searched the rest of the house and found Rabb unconscious in the basement; but there was no sign of Carter. That's when I called Daniel to join me with Teal'c Sir. We split up the addresses, Daniel and Teal'c taking the first; Rabb and I taking the second."

"Okay Col. O'Neill, why don't you take a rest. I'd like to hear more from Col. Mackenzie right now." Hammond could see this briefing was more distressful on Jack than he would like to show.

"Yes Sir." Mac began. "After I woke up, I realized that the people after Sa...Major Carter mistook me for her." Mac could see the puzzled looks on the faces across the table. "Major Carter and I were both dressed similar and I was wearing a baseball cap on my head, and Major Carter had been wearing a cap earlier that day when we switched houses." She had to smile as a look of comprehension spread on their faces. "It wasn't long after I woke up that I heard voices outside the room, the door opened and Major Carter was dragged in; one of the men addressed me by name and said he knew a lot of things and that Carter had put up a fight and ended up with three darts." Mac had to lower her head for a moment. "Sir, I know how I felt after one dart; I'm still puzzled how Major Carter managed to survive three."

Janet was listening intently at everything that was going on and had been jotting down notes, she noticed Mackenzie looking at her when she mentioned the darts. All Janet could do for now was ignore the questioning look, and wait for her to continue.

"A little while later a woman came in and took a blood sample from Major Carter. A little after that Carter came to, but was having difficulty moving. She tried to talk me into escaping if I got the chance. She told me to do what ever was necessary to get away and how to act when they were going to...question her." Mac had to stop for a moment; she was trying to regain her composure before going on with the more difficult part of the briefing. She reached for the pitcher of water but Teal'c beat her to it, pouring the water and handing her the glass. She took it from him and for the first time noticing the strange emblem on his forehead. She took a sip and began to resume her report.

"When they came back there were four men, one holding a gun on us, they made me help Sam walk to another room; there was a column there, where they had attached a large metal hook, after I was tied to a chair...they tied Sam's hands together and then hung her from that damn hook." Mac had to look down, she couldn't face the people in the room; know they were all Sam's friends and cared about her.

"Are you able to continue Colonel?" Hammond asked gently, he could see the toll this was taking on Mackenzie, but it had to be done no matter how distasteful it was.

"Ah yes Sir." Mac said looking up at the general only finding compassion in his eyes. Then she felt Harm place a hand on her forearm and give her a light squeeze.

"Sam was unable to stand up, her knee wasn't able to hold her up and that bastard Stan had punched her in the stomach, she was barely catching her breath when they put her up there. Then Stan started asking her questions."

"I know this is difficult Colonel but we need to know what was said during the interrogation; from everyone." Hammond didn't like what he was hearing but it was his job to find out everything; his emotions could wait.

"He kept asking the same questions over and over again, could she control alien devices, how did the devices work and they wanted to know about something called the tok'ra. Sam kept saying she didn't know what they were talking about, ah Sam did manage to spit some blood in Stan's face...which only infuriated him, the next blow caused Sam to lose consciousness." Mac had to take a break and reached for her glass of water again, noting the looks on the other men's faces.

O'Neill couldn't hide the fury; his face was turning red and his knuckles white. Daniel had a look of utter shock. Teal'c didn't show any emotion, but if you looked closely, you'd be able to see hid jaw clench.

"Another man, who's name I learned later to be Frank, was angry at Stan. He said they wanted Sam alive and if he kept this up, he was going to kill her. All Stan said was that they said they wanted her alive, they didn't say what shape they wanted her in. Then Frank ordered the others to take her down, then he came over to me and told me to convince Sam to talk or things might get much worse. Uh as if, they could. Then we were taken back to the storage room. I have to admit Sir that an opportunity may have presented itself for me to escape. There was only one man holding a gun, and the other two were holding Sam up, I could have tried to escape...but I couldn't leave Sam alone in that condition; even though she told me to earlier."

"That's understandable Colonel, I'm sure you did what you thought was best." Hammond said, not knowing what he would have thought of her if she had left a fellow officer in that condition.

"After Sam regained consciousness I tired to talk her into making up a story to tell them; I figured if they were asking about alien devices they couldn't be very stable. Sam just said she couldn't because they wanted specifics she couldn't give them, and they'd know if she was lying." Mac had to shake her head at this part. "Then the same woman came back and took another blood sample. I told her Sam needed a doctor; she said if I co-operated she would send some water and medical supplies so we did. Then Frank came with bottled water and a med kit. He told Sam he didn't like what was happening and hoped that I had convinced her to talk. Then he told her that the other guy had an alien pain stick and things could get worse. The look on Sam's face...well it's actually, the first time I saw fear in her eyes. I managed to talk to Frank; I told him that any more time on that hook would probably dislocate Sam's shoulders, and that she probably wouldn't survive another round with Stan. He told me he'd do what he could, but didn't think he could do much. Then he left."

The briefing had been taking a toll on everyone in the room, they were trying to keep their composure, but the more Mac kept recounting the events the more Jack felt his blood boil. Janet had seen the ghastly results, but hearing how she received them gave her mixed emotions of anger and sympathy for her friend. Daniel who was the most passionate member of the team felt like he could cry over what had happened to his friend, no she had become closer to him, more like a sister. Teal'c on the other hand still looked calm as he took in the information, choosing to wait until he heard everything before reacting. Harm kept his emotions in check, choosing to help Mac through this by offering her a comforting hand and a reassuring nod. General Hammond kept feeling guilty; he promised Jacob to look after his little girl, but had obviously failed miserably. He remembered the enquiring big blue-eyed youngster that used to run around the house when he would visit. Now hearing what happened to this vibrant young woman under his command was breaking his heart; but right now, he had to finish this briefing no matter how painful it was on everyone.

Mac started again, bringing everyone's focus back on her. "Sam told me she didn't think she would...live if they used the pain stick. Then she told me her last request." Mac's voice was faltering and Harm squeezed her hand again.

"Anything you can tell us about?" Jack asked quietly looking at Daniel and Teal'c.

"Well I suppose it wouldn't hurt, she wanted me to tell her teammates that she loves you all and she didn't want you blaming yourselves for her death." Mac knew that this part would be ok to say, as it had no implications; but she wouldn't talk about how Sam felt about O'Neill. Mac noticed Daniel remove his glasses and wipe his eyes, and Teal'c put his hand on the man's shoulder.

"Thank you for telling us." Jack said, his voice choked up a bit.

"Next Sam came up with a plan to start a diversion, to give us; but most likely she was just thinking of a way to get me out of this. I really believe she didn't think she would be getting out of this. She managed to talk me through how to make a small bomb out of cleaning fluids and a first aid kit."

"That's our Carter; she does love to blow things up." Jack said with a small grin, feeling proud of Sam.

"She made sure it wouldn't go off until we left. I had to knock it in order to set it off. Then it would ignite and start a fire. When the time came, I helped Sam up and knocked the first aid kit, which stated the chain reaction. Sam was getting weaker and I was struggling to help her walk, then Frank came over and helped me with Sam. This time when we entered the room, they had a chair for Sam sit in but she wasn't tied up. I was tied to my chair again. This was when we learned the identity of the person behind this. Sam recognized him right away calling him Colonel Kennedy. He said something about the last time they had met, he had tried to take Teal'c into his custody, and if he'd been able to back then, he probably wouldn't have had to take her."

Everyone was startled by the sound of Teal'c's fist hitting the table and him quickly rising from his chair, the anger now fully showing on his once composed face.

"Teal'c I know how difficult this is on you, hell on all of us; but we have to know everything. So if you'd please take your seat, then we can continue." Hammond's voice was firm but yet compassionate at the same time. Then he nodded to Mac to continue.

"Sam mentioned that he knew everything that was going on at the SGC and didn't know why he needed her. He had Stan bring in some items, then said he had acquired them when working with Maybourne and was pretty sure she could use them, but he needed to know how she was able to use them. He said that if our soldiers were able to use them that we'd be as strong as the...Gould. I think that's the word he used but I can't be sure." Mac said looking at the general, he nodded and motioned for her to continue.

"Then he said that's why they had been testing her blood, to see if the answers could be found there. He then showed her two items and said that she would probably like to use the healing device on herself. Sam asked which one would that be." Mac shook her head, now knowing that Sam did know how to use it.

"Kennedy mentioned that he'd seen Sam's blood tests and there was something foreign in her blood that he suspected gave her the ability to use the devices. Sam just kept denying everything that she didn't know what he was talking about."

"Excuse me Colonel, but what did Major Carter say about the foreign substance?" Janet asked.

"She said that she was just the expert on the base and a soldier; that if there was anything in her blood she should have the base doctor check it out." Mac said smiling at Janet. "Kennedy then said something about Sam being the reason they were able to make allies with the Tok'ra and that all he wanted to do was be able to arm our soldiers and she was the link to getting the answers. Then he held up one of the items, telling her to demonstrate it and explain how it works. Sam said nothing, then he threatened to use the pain stick, that anyone could use the item." Mac took another drink before continuing, then looked at everyone at the table.

"General Hammond, I next learned how they found us. I'm afraid it was my fault." Mac had to look down, she couldn't face them knowing what Sam went through was her fault.

"What?" Jack said, not angrily but mystified.

"It seems after Sam had disappeared on them, they kept an eye on Commander Rabb's friends and associates; when I left for the airport they had someone waiting here to follow me...They lost me when I went to the first house, but kept an eye out at the area fast food places and gas stations. They picked up my trail the day we were moving. They followed us to the new house...and that's how they were able to get a hold of Sam."

Harm could see that Mac was feeling very guilty, "Look Mac if it's anyone's fault its mine. If I hadn't contacted you, or anyone else they wouldn't have found us. I'm so sorry everyone."

"Well at least you know it wasn't me." Daniel said quietly, he didn't want to say I told you so, but he didn't like the implication that was made about him being the leak.

"Look everyone, its no use playing the blame game. I'm sure many things could have been handled differently, but I'm sure there's been enough guilt to go around. Right now we should finish the briefing." Hammond told the group, hoping to get things back on track.

Mac cleared her throat before continuing. "After Kennedy told us how they found Sam, she asked him if he any people in the SGC, but he wouldn't answer. He asked once more to answer the questions, she adamantly refused." Harm could see Mac's hand start to shake slightly so he placed his hand on hers to comfort her.

"Kennedy then called Stan in, he had that pain stick. What I saw next...I...I still can't believe. He touched her chest with it and there was this light that seemed to go right through her...I can still hear her scream before she passed out and fell to the floor." Mac was unable to hold her emotions now, as tears started to fall down her cheeks.

O'Neill took a tissue out of his pocket and handed it to Mac, if there weren't people around he thought he might start to cry too.

Mac took the tissue and wiped her eyes before continuing. "Frank went to Sam and took her pulse; he told everyone she was dead. Then alarm bells started going off and another man came running in yelling there was a fire. Then everyone ran out of the room."

"You mean they left you tied to a chair in a fire?" Harm asked her, his fists tightening.

"Wait if you were tied to the chair how did you get down that hallway?" Jack asked truly puzzled.

"After they all left, Sam started to come around, I managed to get her come over to me, she had to crawl; it was slow going and she was in a lot of pain. Once she was by my chair, she managed to untie my hand and I did the rest. I saw that healing device and picked it up, then I started dragging Sam out into the hallway, the smoke was thick and we were both starting to cough. Sam told me to leave her and get out, but I kept dragging her, then she passed out again. I remember hearing a noise from above and then I covered Sam. That's all I remember Sir, until I woke up here."

"Thank you Colonel, I know that was difficult. Why don't we take a little break and continue with the rest of Colonel O'Neill's report."

Chapter 17

The briefing had broken up for a break about ten minutes ago; Harm had been standing next to Mac offering her comfort placing his hands on her shoulders. Janet was still on the phone to the infirmary checking on Sam's condition. Jack had been pacing in the hallway trying to get rid of his nervous energy, all he really wanted to do was go level sixteen and have a face to face with Stan. Daniel had poured himself a cup of coffee holding it nervously but not really drinking it. Teal'c had not moved from his seat, and looked to be meditating. Then Hammond returned from his office and called the meeting to order. "Alright everyone if you'd please take your seats so we can get back to the briefing. Colonel O'Neill if you're ready."

"Yes Sir," Jack said nervously, then he started to recount the events, starting with how he and Rabb had split up the searching with Daniel and Teal'c; as he continued his report of events Daniel and Teal'c had nodded in agreement with the events that included them. They kept a keen eye on Jack, Daniel noticing that Jack was keeping his voice under control betraying no emotions, but Daniel could tell it was an act. He'd known Jack for a while now, and knew he was hurting inside. Jack tended to take the weight of the world on his shoulders; he was feeling responsible and guilty for what happened to Sam.

"Then we saw what looked like a pile of rubble, Rabb and I rushed over and found there were bodies buried underneath. We removed the slabs of the ceiling and found Mackenzie covering Carter." Jack had to stop and take a few calming breaths the flash of memory still horrified him. "Carter wasn't breathing..." Jack continued to recount the events of rescue of Mackenzie and Sam.

"Sir." Rabb spoke up, "We had to move Mac to get to Carter and to get her away from the fire. I'm afraid that moving her may have caused the paralysis." The guilt was welling up in Harm, thinking it was his fault that Mac had to go through the pain of thinking she'd never walk again.

Mac saw the turmoil Harm was going through, "It's alright Harm, I'm okay now." this time she put her hand on his, to offer comfort.

"Thank you Colonel, Commander." Hammond said nodding his head to both men, seeing both of them fighting with their guilt.

"Dr. Fraiser, if you'd care to make your report." Hammond said looking over to his CMO who had been jotting down notes.

"Yes Sir, thank you." Janet said opening one of the files in front of her, and passing the general a few pages. "I took the opportunity to take a few pictures of some of the damage. As you can see Major Carter took quite an extensive beating, but what you can't see is the internal damage it caused or the two broken ribs."

Hammond took the pages that Fraiser had handed him, shocked when he saw they were photographs of Major Carter, the first of her abdominal area, which was covered in black, blue and red marks; there was no sign of her skin's natural colour. The second photo was of her face, he had to gasp and shake his head as he saw her once beautiful face was now swollen and also covered with bruises.

"She also sustained a concussion from Colonel O'Neill's report, and the continued blows only made it worse, as for her knee the x-rays didn't show anything so it's most likely a strain." Janet had put on her professional doctor's face for the briefing, but her emotions were fighting to come to the surface.

"And what about Colonel Mackenzie?" Hammond asked.

"Colonel Mackenzie sustained two broken vertebrae, a severed spinal chord as well as multiple contusions and abrasions on her back." Janet couldn't help but look at Mac who was sitting at the table.

"And yet here she is, up and walking; could you explain how this is possible?" Harm asked his curiosity getting the best of him, as well as knowing that Mac was dying to know as well.

"Before we can continue, Colonel Mackenzie as you know this is a high security classified facility; anything you've seen, heard or learned must remain confidential." Hammond pulled a document out of a file and handed it to Mac. "Before we proceed, I need you to sign this non-disclosure agreement."

"Of course Sir." Mac said while looking the document over then signing it.

"Very well then, Dr. Jackson if you would be so kind as to fill in Colonel Mackenzie. "

"Ah yes Sir." Daniel stood and started his explanation going into his lecture mode that Jack just loved so much. "Well Col. Mackenzie, years ago at a dig in Egypt an artefact was discovered..."

Mac was looking puzzled and slightly annoyed; she wanted to know what was going on around here, not a history lesson.

"Ah Daniel can we skip to the good parts." Jack said trying to move Daniel along, noticing Mackenzie's discomfort.

Daniel looked at Jack exasperated; he hated it when Jack would cut him off. "Ok Jack, well to hurry things along... the artefact was in fact a gateway. It allows travellers that pass through it to travel to other planets."

"What? Are you serious?" Mac asked dumbfounded.

"I assure you Colonel; he's telling you the truth." Hammond said, he motioned to Teal'c, who got up from the table and went to press the button that raised the blast doors, now allowing the gate to be viewed.

Both Mac and Harm got up and moved towards the window, Harm knew about the gate but this was the first time he saw it. Mac just stared down at the large room below, which held a large metal circle with some sort of writing on it. She then looked back over to Daniel, "How can this...ring, send people to other planets?" Mac was truly perplexed by what she had heard and what she was seeing.

"Well actually the best person to answer the how part is Carter; she's our expert on the gate." Jack told her.

"Actually, it works by forming a wormhole between two gates; when the wormhole is established you are transported to the planet the other gate is on."

"That's amazing, but...how do you know where you're going...and how do you get back?" Mac's brain was working a mile a minute trying to take this all in.

"Well you see those symbols on the gate, they are used as addresses, it takes seven symbols to form an address. Kind of like dialling a phone number." Daniel explained, he was used to these questions and he had given these answers many times before.

"Yea but it's the telemarketers you really have to worry about." Jack couldn't help giving one of his smart-ass remarks.

"So you people go to alien planets on a regular basis?" Mac said looking at Daniel, choosing to ignore Jack's remark.

"Yes they do Colonel." Hammond spoke up.

"So the device Sam used to heal Mac that came from another planet?" Harm asked truly amazed now that he had a chance to see the gate.

"Ah yes it did Rabb." Jack answered.

"So why was Sam the only one who could use it?" Mac asked, thinking back to the questions Sam had been asked during their ordeal.

"Well Colonel, Major Carter was exposed to something on one of the planets, which gave her the ability to use the alien devices." Hammond answered; they were being briefed, but didn't need to know everything.

"So why can't you use it to allow others to control the devices?" Mac asked, thinking how much good it could do.

"Well Mackenzie the ordeal almost killed Carter, so I don't recommend putting people through that." Jack said remembering how hopeless he felt when he found Carter in the cell after the attack from the ashrak.

Mac suddenly was brought back to the reality of the situation. "So how is Sam doing?"

"Well Colonel, using the device takes a lot of energy, and seeing that Sam didn't have a lot to begin with, well I'm not sure how long it will take for her to recover. She's always had some trouble using the device. I'm just amazed she was able to use it." Janet told her.

"Hey Doc, you know Carter, given her determination and stubbornness she can do anything." Jack said still astounded by Carter's abilities.

"You're absolutely right Sir, but right now I should be getting back to the infirmary; General, if I may be excused?" Janet asked looking at Hammond.

"Yes doctor by all means."

"Sir, I owe Major Carter so much, there must be something I can do to help her." Mac said looking at the general.

"Well actually Colonel Mackenzie, we have quite a few people in our holding cells, and we need definite identifications on them, to make sure they are the one's involved in your abductions."

"Yes Sir, I'd be more than happy to identify those responsible."

"Very well, Colonel O'Neill would you please escort Col. Mackenzie to the holding cells."

"Yes Sir, I'd be happy to." Jack said, revelling in the idea to finally face these bastards.

*******

Jack didn't know how he managed to get in this situation, but here he was in an interrogation room beating the crap out of Stan while Daniel held him and Teal'c held the door closed. He kept punching the man in the gut over and over again, not thinking of the consequences for him Daniel or Teal'c. Then he heard the pounding at the door and General Hammond calling for him to stop. `There's no way in hell I'm stopping not until this bastard is dead.' "You Asshole, this will teach you to beat on the woman I love. "

"Colonel, Colonel O'Neill."

"No, won't stop." Jack said as he continued to pound on the now bloody man.

"Sir?"

Jack felt a hand shaking his arm, "Bastard!" He raised his head looked around and realized he had been sleeping. His arms still on Carter's bed where his head had been resting. Then he realized the hand on his arm was Carter's, he looked to her face and saw two blue eyes staring at him in confusion. "Carter, you're awake thank God."

"Really, I thought you just called me a bastard?" Sam said weakly, still trying to keep her eyes open and stay conscious.

"Oh no sorry, not you Carter, I was just having a dream."

"Must have been a hell of one." She said smiling slightly.

"Hey, how are you feeling?" Jack asked extremely concerned.

"Tired and still sore." She said yawning.

"Has the doc seen you yet?"

"Don't know, just woke up."

"Well why don't I just call her." Jack said, knowing Carter must be feeling really weak and tired for her to use such short sentences. Jack reached for the call button and pressed it.

A few moments later Janet came into the room and headed to Sam's bed. "Well I see you're awake." Janet said checking her pulse then taking her trusty pen light out and checking Sam's eyes.

Sam tried to fight the pen light shutting her eyes and turning her head, but Janet had her hand next to Sam's head preventing her from turning it. "You know Sam, using the healing device was a stupid thing to do." Janet said, annoyed that Sam had make herself weaker.

"Did it work?" Sam asked ignoring the tone

"Hey! Sam am I glad to see you awake!" Mac said as she entered the room she used to occupy.

"Well I guess that answers your question." Jack said grinning as he stood up and let Mac sit down.

Harm followed her in went up to Sam squeezed her hand leaned forward and gave her a kiss on the forehead. "I'm glad to see you're awake too." Then he stood back to allow Mac to talk to her.

Jack watched the little show Rabb put on and felt his anger start to surface again.

"Sam, you don't know how glad I am that you're okay, I just can't believe you risked your health to cure me. You shouldn't have done it." Mac said putting her hand on her forearm

"Had to...my fault you were injured." Sam said weakly trying to reach for a cup next to her bed.

Jack and Harm both noticed Sam's dilemma, but Jack reached the cup first, filled it with water and proceeded to help Sam. He reached under her shoulders so her neck was resting on his arm as he assisted her up slightly so she could get a drink. (If he was thinking he could have just raised the head of her bed and held the straw out for her; but then he wouldn't have an excuse to have her in his arms.)

"No Sam that's not true, it wasn't your fault; and I never blamed you; I blamed Stan and his cohorts. Now it seems I'm in your debt, I don't know how to pay a person back who's given me the use of my legs back."

"You don't owe me anything, you saved my life."

"Hey this argument just keeps going back and forth, and if you must know Rabb and I saved both of your lives; if you give us some time, I'm sure we can come up with some way you two could pay us back." Jack said raising his eyebrow and putting on an evil grin.

"You know you're right Colonel, there must be some way we could come up with to have them pay us back." This time Harm had his most mischievous smile on his face.

Janet finally had enough of this teasing; "Now now everyone, Sam needs her rest so I think everyone should leave for a while." She waited and watched as everyone filed out the door. "Now Sam, I really think you should sleep for a while. Do you need anything for the pain?"

"Well, I can't say that it doesn't hurt, but I just don't like the effects it has on me. You know it makes me have weird dreams, makes it hard to distinguish between mine and Jolinar's."

"Yea Sam I know, what if I give you something a little less potent, it will be better than nothing."

"Okay, that sounds good."

"I'll be right back." Janet said leaving to get the meds.

Sam closed her eyes to rest until Janet came back, then she heard a noise coming from the door.

"Psst Carter, is she gone?" Jack half whispered, but loud enough so Sam could hear.

"She'll be back in a few minutes; maybe you should wait until she leaves later."

"Gothcha, I'll just do my creeping around the hallway thing until the coast is clear."

"Okay Sir."

"Did you say something Sam?" Janet asked as she walked up to Sam's bed.

"Uh no, just thinking out loud."

"Well here's some pills." Janet said as she raised the head of Sam's bed then handed her the pills and held the water for her to sip. "Okay, now get some rest, that's an order." Janet said smiling at her friend.

"Will do Sir." Sam said joking with Janet, then closed her eyes and waited for Janet to leave. She waited a few moments then took a peek. "The coast is clear Sir." She knew she wouldn't be able to see him, but had a feeling he was lurking close by.

Jack slowly opened the door and peeked around the corner to make sure the coast was clear, then sauntered to the chair by Sam. "So Carter, I hope you don't mind my asking, but have you tried to use the healing device on yourself?"

"Well Sir I've tried to practice with it, but when I use it on myself it only stays on for a few moments, so if I want to heal a scrape it's not a problem. I think it has to do with some biofeedback loop or something or another."

"It's a shame; I sure hate to see you like this. The general has been trying to get a hold of the Tok'ra, but hasn't been successful yet."

"Calling my father Sir?"

"Well, I'm sure he'd like to know, and maybe he could fix you all up." Jack could tell Sam didn't like the idea of them calling her father, he knew she valued her independence, but sometimes you need to ask for help.

"How's the investigation going?"

"Well, Mackenzie identified the people we're holding, looks like we might have everyone...except for Kennedy."

"What about base personnel Sir?"

"Sorry, we haven't come up with anything." Jack said sounding disappointed.

"So nothing has really changed then?" Sam decided it was time to stop wallowing in her depression and decided to take matters in her own hands. "Well, one thing I know for sure; I'm not staying here. As soon as Janet lets me out of here I'm going back home."

"But Carter it may not be safe." Jack said looking at her not believing what he was hearing.

"It may never be safe out there, but I can't hide in here forever."

"Not forever, just until we finish the investigation." Jack was hoping he could talk some sense into her.

"We may never uncover who was in on this Sir; I'll have to go home sooner or later; I'd just prefer sooner. In fact I'm going to make sure Janet lets me out of here ASAP."

Jack could see Sam was trying to be forceful, but she didn't have the strength to pull it off, making her seem more adorable to him. "Well I'm sure we won't have to worry about that for a while yet, so why don't you get some rest for now." Jack stood up, took one more look at Sam before leaving the room, making sure that Janet wasn't able to spot him.

Sam watched him leave, and before she fell asleep, her mind was working on a plan to hopefully flush out those hiding and get her life back.

Chapter 18

"Very well Major, if you can get that report submitted I'll have a talk with Dr. Fraiser about getting you out of here." Hammond said, finally getting the chance to visit with Sam. He didn't like the idea of making her work right now, but she was the only one able to do the job.

Janet walked into the infirmary and noticed General Hammond visiting with Sam. "Sir." Janet acknowledged while picking up Sam's chart and reading it over.

"Dr. Fraiser, I've been talking with Major Carter and unfortunately there's an important job that needs to be done that only the major can handle.'

Janet looked at the general in shock. "Ah, I'm sorry General but Major Carter is in no shape to be doing any work."

"Janet, all I'll need is to access the base's computer for a little while, then I'll be done."

"Sam you can't even get out of the bed on your own." Janet's anger was starting to show.

"I think I already proved you wrong on that point."

"Yea and where did we find you...unconscious on the floor."

"Well if I get some help this time, I won't end up on the floor."

"Doctor, I know this is out of the ordinary, but could you please help Major Carter do what she needs to." General Hammond said knowing that Janet Fraiser would take the request as an order.

"Yes Sir." Janet said, not liking the situation one bit.

"Good morning everyone." Jack said exuberantly walking into the room noticing everyone there. "Sorry Sir, I didn't know you'd be here or I would have brought extra." Jack put down the items he had been carrying on Sam's bedside table.

"That's quite alright Colonel, I was just leaving anyway. Major Carter I hope you're feeling better soon." Hammond smiled at her and then left.

"What have you got there Sir?" Sam asked looking at the bag, the two paper cups were obviously filled with coffee.

"Why it's called breakfast Carter, not that healthy stuff your always eating." Jack looked at Janet noticing her scowl. "Ah Doc, something wrong?" Jack asked as he opened the bag, handed Sam a nice greasy egg and bacon breakfast sandwich, and opened the coffee cup for her.

"Why yes Colonel there is, General Hammond has re...quested that Major Carter work on some important job that only she can do." Janet said shaking her head.

Jack had just taken a bite of his own sandwich and swallowed hard when he heard this. "Are you serious? Carter's in no shape to be doing any kind of work." Jack said then took a sip of his coffee to help wash it down.

"Look Sir, it's just something I have to do, I can do it on the computer and it shouldn't take long. Besides I was working on a computer when we were hiding out."

"Yea, but that was before you another go around with Stan; I just think you should put it off until you're feeling better, or give it to someone else to do."

"Well Colonel for once we agree on something, unfortunately the general made it specific that he wanted it done."

Jack shook his head in disbelief. "Well at least wait until after breakfast before you get started." Jack said nudging the sandwich that was now on her table towards her.

"Alright Sir, I'll wait until after breakfast." Sam said slowly moving her arm to pick up the sandwich.

Jack felt bad, that even the simplest tasks were causing her so much pain; how could Hammond order her to work in this condition.

"MEDICAL TEAM TO LEVEL 16, MEDICAL TEAM TO LEVEL 16" was heard over the PA system. Janet ran out of the room catching up with medical team.

Jack looked at Carter, wondering what could have happened on the security level. He wanted to go and find out, but figured he would just get in the way and decided to wait here, after all they were going to end up on this floor anyway.

"I wonder what's going on?" Sam said as she slowly tried to eat her breakfast. Some how the smell and greasy taste just wasn't agreeing with her stomach. She put it back on the table and pushed it away.

Jack noticed Sam turning a little green and pushing the breakfast away. "Ah Carter, are you going to be okay?"

"Yes Sir, it's just that the meds are hard on my stomach."

"So one of your healthy boring breakfasts would have been better eh?"

"I'm sorry Sir; I appreciate you going out of your way for me."

"Oh think nothing of it Carter; I was buying my own breakfast so I just picked up a little extra. Here let me take this away for you."

"Finish your breakfast first Sir, I'm sure the nurses will bring something fit for the infirmary soon."

"Well now, I'm sure that thought is enough to spoil anyone's appetite." Jack said grinning as he finished his breakfast. Then took the offending sandwich away from Carter and threw it out.

Moments later noises could be heard from the hallway and Janet's oh so dainty voice could be heard barking out orders. Jack got up and went towards the door, opening it slightly and peeking out. There he could see medical staff surrounding a gurney, "We need a CAT scan stat." He heard Janet yell, then as the gurney rolled by he could see who was on the gurney; it was Stan and looked like he had a head wound that was covered by a very bloody bandage. "Oh boy"

"What is it Sir, what's going on?" Sam asked, trying to sit up a little more so she could get a look.

"Ah, nothing for you to worry about Carter. Looks like someone had a little accident." Jack didn't know how Sam would take the news; he had to find out what happened before he informed Sam. Just then his beeper went off he took it out and looked at it. "Ah looks like the general wants to see me Carer, I'll come back later and fill you in." He said managing a slight grin.

"Okay Sir, I'll be right here...Still." Jack couldn't help but grin at her comment as he left.

******

"So what are you saying Sir?" Jack asked Hammond

"Jack the man was attacked in his cell! This is a high security facility that's not supposed to happen here."

"What about the security cameras Sir, they must have picked it up?"

"That's why I asked you here, I need to know where you were thirty minutes ago?"

"I've been in the infirmary with Carter since you saw me Sir. You don't suspect me do you?"

Hammond picked up his phone and dialled. "Yes, this is Hammond; I need to speak with Major Carter."

Jack watched and waited as Hammond questioned Carter over the phone. "Very well then, thank you Major."

Hammond hung up the phone and faced Jack. "Sorry about that Jack, but I had to make sure. By the way Major Carter said that you were there the whole time and even had one of the nurses vouch for you."

"Well I guess it's a good thing that I annoy them so they will never forget me." Jack was a little annoyed that Hammond didn't trust his word and had to bug Carter to back him up.

"Well Jack the reason I had to get confirmation on your whereabouts is that about half an hour ago, our security cameras stopped working. That's about the same time the prisoner was attacked."

"What about all the guards Sir?"

"Looks like someone used a canister of knock-out gas, they were coming around when they discovered the prisoner had been attacked."

"And you suspected me Sir?" Jack knew better than to yell at his superior officer, but his anger was showing.

"Take it easy Jack; I know how angry you were at the briefing when you found out everything that happened to Major Carter. I had to clear you from the list of suspects before I could fill you in."

******

Hammond and O'Neill made their way to the infirmary hoping to get a report from Fraiser. They waited outside the treatment room Stan was in. Finally, Janet made her way out into the hallway to an anxiously awaiting general and colonel.

"General, Colonel; it seems our favourite patient has a severe head injury. He was hit with some sort of blunt object, we're watching for swelling of the brain, but for now I'm treating him with medications to take the swelling down." Janet said showing no emotions talking about her patient.

"Is he going to make it?" Jack asked this time.

"It's hard to say Colonel, it could go either way."

"You know I just don't like the idea of some one trying to commit murder on my base." Hammond said shaking his head.

"Ah Sir, don't we have a little meeting to go to." Jack said looking at Hammond.

"You're right Colonel. Doctor keep me informed." Hammond said as he followed Jack.

******

They entered the quiet room, noticing Sam was asleep, Jack hated to wake her but they needed to have this meeting, the sooner the better. Jack walked up to her and noticed a sheen of sweat on her forehead her face contorted; she was in the midst of another nightmare. "No...please stop...don't know anything." She said as she started thrashing around.

Jack gently grabbed her shoulders, "Carter wake up." He gently shook her as he spoke in a tender voice.

Sam slowly opened her eyes feeling frightened and agitated, then she saw the Colonel's deep brown eyes looking into hers. "Colonel?"

"Sorry to wake you Carter, but the general and I need to talk with you." Jack said then raised the head of Sam's bed and held the glass of water for her to take a drink from the straw. Sam took the sheet and wiped the sweat off her face before facing a meeting with the general.

"Major Carter, I've filled the colonel in on your plan." Hammond said, he noticed her earlier predicament, but knew there were likely to be many more nightmares before this would be over.

Sam swallowed nervously as she looked back at O'Neill.

"Yea, nice of you to go over my head with your plan Carter." Jack said, he tried to sound angry but just wasn't able to be mad at her right now.

"Major we've run into a snag with the plan though; it seems that someone was able to breach base security and attack one of the prisoners. Until we find out who's responsible we may not be able to go ahead with your plan." Hammond explained sounding sorry.

"Security cameras?"

"They were some how disabled. Any idea who could have done that?" O'Neill asked.

"Besides me, it could be any number of scientist, or anyone who's good at hacking. I could try and find out what computer they used."

"Sir what if it's the same person we're looking for, the mole." Jack asked.

"Well it could be, we were planning an extensive questioning of the prisoner today. Do you think he could know who the mole is?" Hammond asked out loud.

"Could be Sir, but unfortunately there's a large list of suspects who wanted this character dead."

"Yourself included Colonel."

"Yes, but you've already cleared me, and I was with Carter, so I don't think she did it." Jack said grinning, knowing there was no way in hell she did it.

"Well we have two JAG lawyers at our dispense, I think I'll put them in charge of the investigation."

"Ah Sir, I hate to say this but both of them would be high on the suspect list, and Rabb already had a go at Stan." Jack said informing the general.

"Well then the first thing I have to do is see if I can clear them from the suspect list." Hammond said getting up to leave. "And Major, I'd appreciate it if you could look into which computer was used, as well as the other matter. And as far as anyone else is concerned you're working on a gate problem."

"Yes Sir." Sam said, feeling that she might have bit off more than she could chew. She watched Hammond leave than turned to the colonel. "Sir, I'm afraid I need to ask you a favour."

"Shoot."

"Janet was supposed to help me get to a computer, but as you know she was called away."

"What about your laptop?"

"It would be easier if I used a computer hooked up to the base computer; Janet has one in her office; if you could help me get to it?" She said looking down feeling a little uncomfortable.

"Oh, yea sure." Jack said, then he looked like he got an idea and gave her the signal to wait a minute as he left the room.

Sam had a puzzled look on her face, wondering what he was doing. Then she saw him come back in. "Is that Janet's chair?"

"The one in the same."

"You know it's her favourite chair don't you Sir? She has it adjusted just to the right level."

"Yea well I don't think she'll mind us borrowing it, just this once." He said.

"As long as you leave it where it...is." She looked in horror, she was too late the Colonel had already changed the height of the chair.

"Uh oh, well I guess it's too late to worry about now, besides I'll have it all fixed up, she won't even know it was used." Jack said grinning as he pushed said chair next to Sam's bed.

"I think you should bring the IV pole over to this side first Sir."

"Hey, no giving orders, I'm the one in charge here."

"Not orders Sir, just suggestions." Sam said, unable to hide a grin that was forming.

Jack proceeded to raise the head of Sam's bed even further, then awkwardly reached for the blanket that was covering her. He looked at her and was given a nod so he continued to uncover her. `Damn those hospital gowns' he thought as he now saw her nicely exposed legs, one of which had a brace on the knee. He then moved to put one arm behind her shoulders, but stepped back when he felt exposed skin. "Ah Carter, I hate to ask this, but are you sure you're covered...ah back there." Oh yea, Jack knew all about how those gowns opened at the back, leaving your backside flapping in the wind.

Sam shifted a little, then a look of embarrassment came over her face. "It ah does feel a little drafty Sir."

"Maybe I should go get one of the nurses?"

"They're all busy helping Janet Sir." `Oh, this cannot be happening, how am I going to be able to face my CO with my butt hanging out?' Sam thought to herself.

"Ah, don't worry about it Carter I have an idea." Jack said as he went over to the next bed and pulled the blanket off it, then returned to Sam. He placed the blanket at the foot of the bed and then proceeded to help Carter into a sitting position. He then reached around her and placed the blanket behind her so it would be blocking the view. He then went behind her and did notice that yes the gown had come undone giving a rather unobstructed view of her back, (and more if the blanket hadn't been there). His mind took him back to Hathor's ship, after being defrosted and thinking everyone was dead. Then the relief he felt when he found Carter and got that nice view of her back. Only this time it was covered with bruises. He took one last look before tying the gown closed, then he pulled the blanket up so it was covering her shoulders.

"Thank you Sir." Sam said feeling relieved.

"Okay, now for the hard part, lean on me as much as you need to Carter." He then helped to ease her into a standing position, waiting until she got her bearings. Then he used his foot to bring the chair closer and helped Sam sit down. He then wheeled Sam to Janet's office and behind her desk.

"There you go Carter, all set. Anything else I can do for you?"

"Yea keep guard on the door, I don't want to see Janet's anger when she finds me here."

"Carter, you know I'm brave and everything, but that's asking to go above the call of duty. Have you seen the size of needles she uses just for me?"

"Well Sir, better your butt than mine." She said smiling at Jack. Then started working on the computer.

***********

"Well Commander Rabb, Colonel Mackenzie, I've checked your alibis and it does prove that you two were in the commissary at the time of the event Now that you've been cleared I'd like you two to head up the investigation into the attack."

"Thank you Sir, we appreciate your trust in us, however there maybe many names on the list that you will not like." Harm told the general.

"I'm aware of the Commander, however Col. O'Neill has already been cleared and obviously Major Carter was in no condition to have anything to do with the attack."

"Ah General, Major Carter is quite adept at getting around computer security Sir." Mac said, she didn't like bringing it up, but she did have a duty to perform.

"I'm well aware of that Colonel, but she hasn't been able to get out of that bed since she healed you." Hammond didn't like Carter being on the suspect list, she'd been through enough already.

"I'm sure the Colonel didn't mean anything by that Sir, we're just trying to clear her from the suspect list." Harm said nervously.

"Well I've already asked the Major to lend a hand, she's finding out which computer terminal was used to disable the cameras."

"Very well Sir, we'll check in on her progress before we start our investigation." Harm said standing waiting to be dismissed. Hammond waved them both out of his office, then ran his hand over his head. `I'm really not going to like what's going to happen.

*******

"Sir, I think I've got it." Sam said as she leaned back in the chair.

"Well I hope it's not catchy."

"No, Sir, I've got the computer that was used. It was on level 17, room C45."

"And what room would that be?" Harm asked as he came into the room.

"I see the general has pressed you into service." O'Neill said looking at Rabb, wondering where his sidekick was.

"It's a security room, where guards monitor the cameras all over the base." Sam informed Harm, still leaning back and looking very tired.

"So then we must be looking for a guard." Harm said.

"Ah, not necessarily. The base has been going under some changes, and that floor was being converted to an armoury. That security room is no longer manned or used; it's in the process of having all the equipment moved out." Jack informed him, not liking where this was headed.

"So how many people know about this room and the changes?"

"Oh, I'd say just about everyone who works here." Sam said shaking her head.

"So no closer to finding a solution?"

"I'm afraid not Sir."

"So on to Plan B." O'Neill said.

"Plan B Sir?" Harm asked.

"Yea, it's the one after Plan A; you know that there's always a Plan B don't you?"

"I'm beginning to find out." Harm said, not knowing what O'Neill was talking about.

"So this is where everyone is; Sam I thought you couldn't get out of bed?" Mac said wondering if she could do more than she let on.

"Not without a little help from her friends." Jack said smiling.

"It seems that Sam came up with a dead end on who used the computer." Harm told Mac.

"Well then I guess we'd better get started with our interviews, starting with the rest of SG1." Mac said, seeing O'Neill and Sam's faces drop. Then left the room with Harm following her.

"They can't suspect Daniel and Teal'c." Sam said sounding worried for her friends.

"Daniel no, Teal'c... well there is always the possibility; but knowing T he would do it face to face with his bare hands, he wouldn't hit him from behind using a pipe or something like that."

"Your right Sir, I'm sure they'll both be cleared."

"Now about Plan B."

A/N: Thanks for all the reviews, and Captain Morgan I don't mind the little reminders they let me know your waiting patiently (or impatiently for an update). BookWorm37 I do know that the gate room is on level 28 which I think is enough, all the other floors don't really matter anyway. LOL. I'll tell you though I was debating myself whether that blanket should have slipped and having Jack singing Blue Moon.

Chapter 19

"So Carter you just about done?" Jack had been watching Sam working methodically at the computer for a while now. It looked like she was drained and about ready to fall asleep.

"All done Sir." Sam said leaning heavily back into the chair.

"Ok then Carter, let's get to bed."

Sam had to blink at what she just heard and couldn't help but grin. "What ever you say Sir. Do you think there's room for both of us?"

Jack looked at her in surprise, then realized what he just said. "Oh you know what I mean Carter." He said shaking his head. "Now grab the pole." Jack saw Sam start laughing. "The IV pole Carter, the IV pole. Geez you can be really evil sometimes." Jack said turning a little red.

Sam couldn't help but start to laugh at O'Neill's embarrassment, and could tell he was getting a little annoyed.

"Laugh now Carter, but remember who's going to be helping you into bed. Wouldn't want any little accidents now would we?" Oh yea that did it; Jack got Carter and could see the look on her face change as she took a gulp.

"Sorry Sir."

"Yea well I'll forget it this time, but remember no giggling Carter."

"Yes Sir." Sam answered, she knew O'Neill was putting it on but didn't want to take any chances he'd want a little revenge.

*******

General Hammond had given Harm and Mac an interrogation room to work out of, for their investigation. They had piles of personnel files in front of them as well as print outs of lists of who was on and off base at the time of the attack.

"Boy this is going to take a while Mac." Harm said sighing as he looked through another file.

"You got that right Harm; so first up is Dr. Daniel Jackson." Although they had already met Daniel for a short time they still read through his file to get a better idea of what the man was really like.

"So are we ready for the interview?" Harm asked putting the file down.

"I think so." Mac said getting up and going to the door calling Daniel in for his interview.

"Please take a seat Dr. Jackson." Mac said going to take her own seat.

"Wow, so I guess we're being really formal for this, Colonel Mackenzie."

"Sorry but we have a job to do, and it is a serious one." Harm answered.

"So Dr. Jackson, we need to know where you were from 7 to 7:30 this morning?" Mac asked watching the man closely as he answered the question.

"Well I stayed in my quarters last night and went to my lab this morning. I'm not sure what time it was but it had to be around 5:30 and I was there when I heard the announcement over the PA system." Daniel said calmly.

"Do you always start work so early Dr. Jackson?" Mac asked.

"Well actually sometimes I even pull an all nighter; so the answer would be yes I do work long hours."

"Did anyone see you in your lab around that time?" Harm asked.

"I don't know, when I'm working I tend not to notice what's going on around me." Daniel was starting to feel a little angry at being a suspected.

"So there's no one who can vouch for you?" Mac said.

"Look Colonel, Commander in case you forgot, I've been working on trying to find out who tried to kidnap Sam...and yourself, for the past few days. We may have some people in custody, but we still don't know how many more people are out there, or where Colonel Kennedy is. Attacking that man would be counter productive; we need him to help us find the answers. I would think you would want to make that a priority not trying to place blame on me for something I didn't do." Daniel's face was starting to go red and felt like he'd had enough, all he wanted to do now was to get out of there and go talk with Jack.

"Well thank you Dr. Jackson, that will be all for now; if you think of anything else please let us know." Mac said as she watched the man get up and leave the room.

"Well he's certainly passionate." Harm said to Mac.

"Yea, you saw how he reacted in the briefing; his passion could have gotten the best of him."

"Yea but Mac, we were all quite affected by that briefing. If we didn't have a stone cold alibi we'd be on the top of the list too, and we didn't do it."

"Well let's just put him in the pile of possibilities and move on to the next person.

Teal'c sat stoically at the table facing Harm and Mac; other than telling them that he had been in his quarters he had not answered any more questions. "Come on Teal'c, we just want to know what you're feelings were about Stan." Mac asked feeling exasperated that he was not answering any more questions.

"Alright Teal'c I can see this is going nowhere, you can go for now." Harm said running a hand over his neck.

Teal'c got up, bowed and left the room; still not uttering a word. "Geez, he's not making this easy." Mac said.

"Yea well I've been reading his file, and somehow I don't think he'd be able to access the computer and hack into the security system."

"No, I bet Dr. Jackson could; what if they did it together? From the files, I've read they seem to work well together and have a close bond. All of SG1 have a close bond."

"Yea well it didn't take long for us to bond with them either." Harm said thinking of his time trying to protect Sam.

"I don't know if it was bonding, or admiration?" Mac said shaking her head.

"You know if either one of them is found guilty, Sam's not going to take it well."

"You never know, she still could have been responsible for the computer hacking, with a little help from her friends. We both know she's a genius when it comes to computers."

"Aren't you being a little harsh Mac, she did after all heal you and now you're suspecting her." Harm couldn't believe what he was hearing.

"You know me Harm, I'm always suspicious of everyone it makes me a good lawyer." Mac said with a shrug.

"Yea but come on Mac, this is Sam you're talking about."

"I know, I will forever be in her debt but I can't let my feelings get in the way."

"Do you really think she's capable of being in a conspiracy to commit murder?"

"Harm, you weren't there. You didn't see what she went through; if it was me I surely would want him dead."

"But would you risk your friends' lives and careers to do it.? Would you risk mine?"

"No...no I wouldn't."

"So don't you think Sam would put her friends before herself? She put you ahead of herself to heal you, and you weren't even friends."

"I don't know Harm, I hope I'm wrong but I have to keep the options open."

*****

"Geez Jack, I'm just so mad! I can't believe they're wasting time suspecting me, when they should be trying to find out who the leak on the base is."

"Take it easy Daniel; go to your happy place." Jack said grinning, hoping a little levity would calm his friend down.

"Argh! I'm just so mad right now."

"I know Daniel but if you keep this up you're going to wake Carter."

"Ooh sorry, I didn't realize she was sleeping. How is she doing?"

"Well I think she tired herself out this morning working on the computer."

"Ah wait why was she working on the computer? She's supposed to be resting."

"I know, but she had a few things to do for Hammond before she gets out of here."

"Wait, out of here? Are you telling me Janet's going to let her out of the infirmary so soon?"

"Well that depends on Hammond, he's supposed to talk her into it. I guess Carter had a talk with Hammond and swayed him on her side."

"She can't get out of here; she's in no shape to take care of herself." Daniel was totally exasperated hearing the news.

"That's where her team comes in Daniel; we're going to help her out for a while." Jack said grinning.

"Are you sure that's a good idea Jack, I mean us being men and uh Sam being a woman and all."

"Why Danny boy is that a blush I see on your face? Come on she's one of us, if you can't depend on your teammates who can you depend on?" Oh yea use the guilt trip Jack, works every time on Daniel.

"So Daniel I need to talk to Hammond for a bit, I want either you or Teal'c with Carter at all times. After all if someone could get to Stan...I don't want to risk Carter being left alone."

"Okay Jack, not a problem; and Teal'c was going to be headed this way when he was finished with his interview."

******

"So General, Carter did that little job you wanted her to do."

"Actually Colonel it was actually her idea, I just went a long with it. You know her idea just might work."

"Yea I agree with you there, it's just that I don't like the idea of putting her in danger like that." Jack said running his hand through his hair.

"I know Jack, but you know Sam there's no way she wants to live always having to look over her shoulder. This way we may be able to find those who want to get their hands on her, and clean up the base."

"Well everything's set up on the base, now we just have to get Fraiser to release Cater." Jack said grinning at Hammond.

"You know Jack I may be the general, but I still hate going up against Dr. Fraiser."

"Better you than me Sir." Jack said rubbing his butt.

"Now if you'll excuse me I have a meeting with a couple of lawyers." Hammond said pointing to the door for Jack to leave. As Jack was walking down the hallway, he could hear Hammond telling the sergeant very loudly, to "get those lawyers in here".

*****

Jack entered the infirmary and saw that Teal'c was seated next to Sam and seemed to be in a state of Kel noreem. "O'Neill." Teal'c acknowledged Jack with a nod.

"How is she doing?"

"Major Carter has been asleep ever since I arrived."

Jack looked around, "Where's Daniel?"

"Daniel Jackson said he had some things to `get together' if we were to accompany Major Carter home."

"Ah, he just can't leave his work alone can he? Has the Doc been in yet?"

"She has not O'Neill."

As if on cue Janet entered the room, looking rather tired. "Colonel, Teal'c."

"Has Hammond talked to you yet Doc?"

"Yes he has and I'm not happy with it but I guess I don't have a choice."

"No you don't Janet." Sam said just waking up and taking in the conversation.

"Sam you're in no condition to be going home."

"Look Janet all you're really doing here is keeping me on bed rest; that I can do in my own bed. Besides its more comfortable and not as noisy as in here."

"We're also giving you meds and you have an IV."

"I'm guessing now that I'm awake, you can take the IV out and just give me the meds in the pill forms."

"You know Sam I know you're a doctor, but just remember who has the MD here."

"She'll be okay Doc, we'll look after her." Jack said trying to break up the little argument.

"Well in that case Colonel come with me and I can give you some instructions." Janet said leading Jack to her office.

Janet entered her office and started to go behind her desk. Jack looked a little nervous as she sat down. When she sat down Janet's brow furrowed in a look of confusion. "Something wrong Doc?" Jack said trying to look as innocent as possible.

"Ah someone's been messing with my chair." She said trying to adjust the offending piece of furniture.

"Ah Doc, can we get back to the matter at hand?"

"Ah yes sure Colonel." Janet said still trying to adjust her chair as she worked on her computer. Which she noticed also had to be adjusted. `If one of my staff has been playing solitaire on my computer I'll kill them,' she thought to herself.

"So how's your other patient doing?"

"He's still touch and go right now, I may need to bring in a neurosurgeon if his inter cranial pressure doesn't improve."

"Not that I really care, but he could clear up who attacked him."

"Well here's a list of the meds she'll need and when to take them. There are also two types of pain meds. This one she's been taking regularly but this one's stronger if things get too bad. However, don't mix the two together wait for the first one to ware off before giving the other one. She'll also need to keep her fluids up, and do try to get her to eat something. Maybe you'll have more luck."

"Well I'm glad you wrote this down Doc, because I might get things mixed up." Jack said looking at the list Janet gave him.

*****

Jack was a little nervous; he couldn't believe they were actually doing this. He was driving his truck with Carter next to him and Teal'c on the other side. Daniel said he would be over as soon as he got things cleared up in his office. `Yea right Daniel, just staying far enough away so you don't have to do anything,' Jack thought. Jack did however realize that Daniel and Teal'c didn't know what was going on yet; he didn't want to take the chance of being overheard when filling them in on the plan. "Ok kids we're home." Jack said pulling into Sam's driveway parking behind her car. The car hadn't been touched since the initial event.

Teal'c exited the truck first getting ready to help Sam down. Jack stayed beside her to give her leverage as she slowly manoeuvred herself to the open door. With a little help from both Jack and Teal'c, she found her self in Teal'c's arms. "Uh I think you can put me down Teal'c."

"I am sorry Major Carter, but I do not think you should be walking."

"He's right Carter, just let Teal'c carry you into the house. Or I could get the wheel chair Janet made me bring." Jack said motioning to the back of his truck.

"Okay, but only this once." Sam said knowing she really didn't have a choice.

Once in the house Teal'c set Sam on her couch. She couldn't help but notice the mess the house was in, chairs were knocked on the floor pictures had been knocked off the wall but what was the worst was the dried blood on the floor.

Jack came in the back door through the kitchen carrying the bags of supplies they would need. He took in the site as he put the bags down on the counter, then he headed for the living room where Carter was. He could tell she was staring at the bloodstain on the floor; he moved towards her making sure she could no longer see the blood. He leaned on the edge of her couch before speaking. "Sorry Carter you had to see this, I thought someone would have cleaned it up for you."

"All that...blood." She said sounding shocked.

"Yea there is a lot, but the good news is it's not yours; its Stan's from when you broke his nose."

"It's just that I thought I'd feel better if I got home, now it just takes me back to the attack. Damn it I'm supposed to be safe in my own home!"

Jack placed his hand on her shoulder, he could see she was upset and had every right to be. "It'll be alright Carter; things will get back to normal you'll see."

"I hope so Sir."

Jack squeezed her shoulder before he got up, "Come on Teal'c we've got some cleaning up to do. Carter you get to supervise."

"Uh, that's okay Sir, I don't expect you two to clean my house." Sam said still looking around in shock.

"Now Carter if this was ordinary circumstances Teal'c and I wouldn't be doing your housework; but this is a little more than just dusting and vacuuming. Besides knowing you, you'd be trying to sneak around and clean it up yourself. So as your commanding officer, I'm ordering you to rest while we clean this up." Jack said motioning with his hand between him and Teal'c.

"O'Neill is correct and it will not take long for us to do so." Teal'c said as he nodded. "Yea, and where the hell is Daniel, he always seems to be getting out of the dirty jobs?" Jack said grinning. Then he and Teal'c started their task, while keeping an eye on Carter.

Teal'c got Jack's attention while in the kitchen and spoke quietly to him, "O'Neill, I do believe Major Carter is in a lot of pain."

Jack looked over his shoulder at Sam and realized that she was in more pain than she was showing earlier. "Let me handle this Teal'c." He said as he headed to the couch. "Hey Carter, how are you doing? I know the trip must have been hard on you."

"I'm okay Sir."

"Ah by the looks of you I'd say you're not. How about some pain pills and not the mild one's either."

"No it's fine Sir, I'll be alright." Sam didn't want to admit the trip home had caused more pain than she expected.

"Well Carter, I don't think you are, so I'm going to go get the pills and you're going to take them." Jack said leaving the room, not giving Sam any chance to object. As he walked back to the couch he heard a crunching noise as his boot stepped on something. He looked down and saw that he had stepped on some broken glass from a picture frame. With his free hand, he picked up the picture and looked at it. "Ah Carter, this was on the floor, the glass is broken but the picture seems to be fine."

Sam took the picture that was still in the frame and held it to her chest.

"You know we can always get another frame for it."

"Yes Sir I know, it's just that it's the last picture we took of my mother before she died." Sam said looking once again at the picture to see if had been ruined.

"She was one beautiful lady Carter; I can see where you inherit your looks from." Jack said now holding out the pills to Sam.

"Yes she was Sir." Sam said sounding depressed not even noticing the complement Jack gave her. She looked up at him and saw him holding out the pills. She didn't have any fight in her so she just accepted the pills and water.

Jack was beginning to wonder if this `plan' was such a good idea, seeing how Carter was reacting now that she was at home. "Say Carter do you think you'd be more comfortable in bed?"

Sam tried moving a bit on the couch, "Yes Sir actually I might." Sam took one last look and placed the picture on the coffee table.

Jack moved next her and helped moved her into a sitting position then eased her arm over his shoulder. "Okay up we go." They slowly made their way to Sam's bedroom; he pulled down the covers and helped her sit down.

"So did you want to change first or something?" Jack said feeling a little uncomfortable.

"Well Sir if you could help me a few more steps to the bathroom I could take it from there."

Jack waited for Carter sitting on her bed and looking around. The bed wasn't that big, but would sure be cosy for two. He never thought that he'd be in Carter's bedroom like this. He always had thoughts of it being more romantic. He was brought out of his musings by the sound of the bathroom door opening. He saw Carter leaning up against the doorjamb wearing long pyjama pants and a longer tank top than the one he remembered in the men's locker room. "All ready?" He asked getting up from the bed and going to her side.

"Yes Sir." Sam said now sounding tired, the pills obviously starting to take effect.

Jack helped her to the bed noticing that she was even less stable on her feet than before; he helped adjust the pillows and pulled the covers over her before heading for the door.

"Thank you Sir." Sam said yawning and closing her eyes.

"You're more than welcome Sam." Jack said quietly not knowing if Sam was awake to hear it.

When Jack entered the living room, he saw that Daniel had arrived and was helping Teal'c clean the blood off the floor. Teal'c had done good job straightening out the house. "So Daniel it's nice of you to show up."

"Sorry Jack, I was going to leave earlier but Janet stopped me and explained everything we have to do for Sam. How is she doing?"

"She was a little upset seeing her house and we noticed she was in a lot of pain so I gave her the stronger meds." Jack said going into the kitchen making sure not to step where Daniel and Teal'c had just cleaned.

"You know Janet told me Sam sometimes has a bad reaction with those pills." Daniel said sounding a little worried.

"Really, she didn't mention it to me." Jack said sounding a little worried.

"Yea she may get somewhat confused."

"Oh that's just great. Just when she needs to be somewhat clear headed."

"Ah, why Jack? I mean if we're here she should be alright." Daniel said.

"Okay I guess now is a good time to fill you two in on the plan."

"What? A plan?" Daniel said confused.

"Of what plan are you speaking of O'Neill?" Teal'c asked looking at Jack.

"Well actually Carter came up with the plan and convinced Hammond to go a long with it; that's why she had Janet release her from the infirmary so soon." Jack said moving to sit down at the table.

"You mean Sam would still be in the infirmary if it wasn't for this plan?"

"Yea, it seems Carter has set herself up as bait to catch those after her."

Chapter 20

Harm and Mac sat at the table in the interrogation room reading over the file they had just been given. "Well it looks like your suspicions panned out Mac."

"Yea, I just wished for once I was wrong." Mac said staring at the report and shaking her head.

"I guess we're going to have to go tell General Hammond." Harm said not liking the idea of how this meeting was going to go.

******

"I don't like this Jack, not one bit." Daniel said walking to the living room and sitting down in the chair.

"I agree with you Daniel, but Hammond agrees with Carter. So all we can do is back her up." Jack was feeling edgy not knowing how this was going to play out but grateful he had Daniel and Teal'c to help back him up. He looked out the window noticing the sun was shinning directly in the house, glancing at his watch he noticed it was getting close to 5 O'clock.

A loud scream was heard coming from Sam's room. All three men jumped into action pulling their guns at the ready. Jack was the first at the door holding his gun up; he slowly turned the knob, while Daniel and Teal'c waited on either side of him. He threw the door open and entered quickly pointing his gun at the bed. Daniel and Teal'c also entered the room scouring the area but finding nothing. Teal'c went to the bathroom and also found it empty. Jack put his gun away and saw that Sam was still asleep and thrashing around; but what surprised him was that she was talking in her sleep; in Goa'uld.

Jack went and sat next to her, he didn't want to hurt her but he didn't see any other way; he grabbed her shoulders and pulled her up into his arms holding her tightly. "Carter, it's okay." He looked over to Daniel and Teal'c, "Why don't you give me a few minutes here." He told them, and then watched as they left the room with Daniel closing the door.

Jack continued to hold her tightly and speak to her in a calming voice; he could feel and hear her crying. It didn't matter that he didn't understand what she was saying, he could figure out that she was having a nightmare, a drug induced nightmare. What made it worse; it was one of Jolinar's nightmares. Only this time it was his fault, he insisted she take those drugs. Then he heard her say the name that brought bad memories to himself, Binar.

"Come on Sam, wake up; its okay." Now he was stroking the back of her head and rubbing her back. He could feel her breathing even out, then he felt her tense up.

"Sir? Uh what's going on?" Sam said sniffing, not realizing at first she was crying.

Jack held on to her for an extra moment longer, then released her already feeling the emptiness. He leaned back so he could look into her eyes, "I'm sorry Carter; I should never have made you take those pills. If I'd known they'd have this affect on you."

Sam wiped her eyes and sniffled again, "its okay Sir, I kind of needed them."

"So do you want to talk about it?"

"Talk about it?" Sam was still feeling confused from the drugs and wasn't sure what O'Neill was asking.

"You're ah dream." Jack said, noticing Sam was drenched from sweat, her tank clinging to her body.

"Ah not really Sir, it wasn't actually my dream." Sam said with a shiver; it may be summer but the AC was working well and the dampness making her cold.

"Yea, I kinda figured that out when you were speaking Goa'uld; remind me to ask Daniel for a translation."

"You mean Daniel saw me like this?"

"Ah yea, and Teal'c too." Jack didn't want to make her feel worse, but he didn't want to lie to her either. He saw her bury her head in her hands as if in shame. Jack took her hands gently away form her face and held on to her wrists. "Carter, what's wrong?"

Sam tried to look away; she couldn't bring herself to look him in the eyes. Jack released her wrists reached out and put his hand against her cheek, turning her to face him. "It's alright, you can talk to me."

"It's just...I hate you seeing me like this."

"What? Injured?" Jack really didn't know what she meant. "We've all been injured before; you never held it against us."

"No not injured....weak." Sam said so quietly Jack almost didn't hear her.

"Come on Carter, you're the strongest person I know. I don't mean just physically but mentally also."

Sam wiped the tears from her eyes, "You're just saying that, I couldn't even protect myself in my own home."

"Ah Carter if I recall correctly didn't you protect the whole base not long ago from aliens taking over the SCG? Didn't you figure out how to get us out of `Hell'...literally, and didn't you save our whole planet from being invaded by the Goa'uld by healing that no good snake head Cronus, not to mention figuring out the impossible to get me back from Edora. And that's just this year, I could go on you know but I have this thing about my 2IC getting a swelled head." Jack said smiling

"You really don't think that I'm the weak link?" Sam said with disbelief looking into Jack's eyes.

"Never Carter, never." Jack could see a look of relief on Sam's face. He couldn't believe she thought so little of herself, when everyone else thought so highly of her, and respected her. "Come on Carter I think we need to get you cleaned up. You strong enough to take a shower?" Jack hoped she would say yes, he didn't know what he'd do if she needed help.

"I think it would be better if I just cleaned up by the sink Sir, don't want any accidents do we Sir?" Sam would liked to have used the shower but wasn't sure if she'd be able to stand up long enough.

There was a light knock at the door, "Jack, is everything okay?" Daniel asked nervously through the door.

"Yes Daniel." Before Jack could say anything else, Daniel was in the room looking at Sam with concerned eyes.

"You okay Sam?"

"Yes Daniel, thanks I'm fine."

"So Danny why don't you get some food cooking while Carter gets cleaned up."

"Ah, you want Daniel to cook Sir?" Sam said trying to get the attention off herself.

"Yea, why not?"

"You remember last Thanksgiving don't you Sir?"

"Oh yea when he tried out that Abidonian recipe on us." Jack said shuddering.

"Hey I'll have you know I worked hard on that meal, considering we don't have the same ingredients here."

"Not as hard as I worked getting rid of it afterwards." Jack said shuddering once more.

"Well you don't have to worry; I'll keep my selection to Earth recipes." Daniel said hoping this little `attack' would cheer Sam up.

Once Daniel left, Jack once again helped Sam to the bathroom, "I'll be close by just shout if you need anything." O'Neill said as he left the room, leaving the door slightly ajar. He went back into the bedroom and decided to change the sheets; this allowed him to stay close enough to Carter to hear her if she needed him.

"Ah dinner's almost ready." Daniel said from the doorway.

"Okay, I'll check to see if she's ready." Jack said making the last adjustments to the bed covers. He walked towards the door and inadvertently got a glimpse from her reflection in the mirror. He stopped suddenly and was transfixed to the spot, unable to move or look away, he watched as she dried herself off; the towel covering her chest was moving lower. Jack took a gulp and felt a shiver down his spine, feeling he should move but just not being able to. `Just a few more seconds he thought, then I'll move away.' Those were the longest seconds he ever felt, then the towel dropped. Jack saw the two most perfectly shaped beautiful creamy white breasts; he shivered and took a deep breath then closed his eyes and took a few steps back. Now he felt guilty for taking advantage of the situation and when he closed his eyes all he could see were Sam's breasts. He cleared his throat loudly, "Ah Carter, you almost done? Daniel says dinner's almost ready."

"Yea I'll be out in a minute Sir."

`Yea call me Sir, make feel like a heel' Jack thought, how was he going to face her without her seeing the guilt.

"Okay Sir, I'm ready." Sam said leaning against the doorframe. She was now dressed in a grey tank top and sweat pants.

Jack's attention was brought back to Sam; he looked at her, but not into her eyes as he positioned himself next to her. "So would you like dinner in bed?"

"Ah, actually I'd prefer to eat at the table with everyone else Sir."

"Sure Carter no problem, let's go see what Daniel's concocted." Jack said as he helped Sam to the kitchen.

****** The room was small with grey walls filled with security monitors; he sat in front of them watching over the SGC. He tuned to the camera in Hammond's office and watched as the two lawyers had a heated discussion with the general. What he wouldn't give for audio at the moment. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a device then dialled the phone.

****** "Ah hell who's calling me now?" Jack huffed as he put his fork down to answer the phone. "O'Neill."

Daniel, Teal'c and Sam watched Jack's expression change as he talked on the phone.

"Yes Sir I understand, but now is not a good time." Jack got up and walked into the other room pacing as he talked. Then he shut his cell phone and put it away, turning to face the others.

"That was Hammond; he needs me back at the base right away." Jack said sounding rather annoyed. Hammond knew what was going on here, he should know better than to call him away.

"Look Teal'c, Daniel I have to go but I want you two to be on your guard. Don't let anything happen to Carter."

"We will protect Major Carter O'Neill, this you can be assured of." Teal'c said nodding his head.

"Yea Jack, don't worry Teal'c and I know what we're doing." Daniel said wiping the pasta sauce from his mouth.

"It's okay Sir, I'll be fine, after all what can go wrong with these two here?" Sam said trying to eat her spaghetti without showing any pain. Leave it to Daniel to fix something that takes both hands to eat.

"Okay leave me some dessert for when I get back; hopefully it won't take too long." Jack said digging his keys from his pocket. He didn't want to leave but Carter should be safe with Daniel and Teal'c.

****** He listened to conversation going on between Walter Harriman and another sergeant as they walked down t he corridor. "Yea General Hammond was angry. He couldn't believe those lawyers wanted to have Teal'c and Dr. Jackson arrested right away."

"You're kidding! Right?"

"No, he said it would have to wait, that they were doing something important right now."

"Aren't they on downtime?"

"Yea, that's what I thought; but you know SG1; they don't know the meaning of downtime. Well maybe except for Col. O'Neill." Walter said with a grin.

"It's a shame what happened to Major Carter."

"Yea I tell you if I had a chance I would have beat the crap out of that SOB myself." Walter said as he and his friend entered the elevator.

`Well here comes another chance.' He thought as he reached in his pocket for the device, then went to one of the base phones.

"Sgt. Parker." The young security officer said answering the phone.

"Yes Parker, this is Sgt. Harriman; I have orders from those lawyers. They want Dr. Jackson and Teal'c arrested right away."

"Ah we don't take orders from them; we take orders from Gen. Hammond." Parker said.

"They're under orders from Hammond to get the people responsible for that attack on your prisoner."

"Oh, well I guess we have our orders then. You don't happen to know where they are, do you?" Parker asked.

"Yea they're both at Major Carter's house; it should be easy to pick both of them up there."

"This is one job I hate to do; not to mention the size of Teal'c. I hope he doesn't put up a fight."

"Yea I know what you mean. Good luck." He said putting down the phone. `Well that takes care of SG1, now for the next part.' He thought to himself.

He went into an empty room and pulled out his cell phone, only to be irked when he found he wasn't able to receive a signal. He put his phone away and went to the phone on the wall. "Yea it's me...it's done, Carter should be alone within the next hour."

"I'm so glad to hear that." Kennedy said smiling as he hung up the phone. Then he opened the desk drawer and looked at the two guns, one held bullets the other darts.

******

Daniel and Teal'c were cleaning up the kitchen; Daniel had already helped Sam back to bed and was hoping she was resting comfortably. He had given her the prescribed medication and changed her bandages just like Janet's list instructed. Only this time he gave her the less potent pain meds.

"I shall check the perimeter Daniel Jackson." Teal'c said after drying the last dish.

"Okay Teal'c, I'll stay close to Sam." Since it was only the two of them Daniel left the door to Sam's room open so he could hear her.

Daniel was surprised when he heard Teal'c outside arguing very loudly. He wanted to go outside and check it out, but decided to stay by Sam instead. "Hey Sam, you awake?"

"Yea Daniel what's going on?" Sam said looking around the room with confusion.

"I'm not sure, but Teal'c's having a loud discussion outside with someone." Daniel reached behind his back and handed Sam an extra gun he had been carrying.

Sam took the gun and hid it under the covers keeping her hand on it. Then they heard the sound of her front door being swung open and hitting the wall. Both Daniel and Sam jerked at the sound. Then three SF's came rushing into Sam's bedroom with guns drawn on both Daniel and Sam.

Daniel and Sam also had their guns drawn. "Put the gun's down!" Sgt. Parker ordered the occupants of the room.

Sam recognized the man from the base. "You had better have one hell of a good excuse for breaking into my home and drawing your weapon Sgt.," Sam said in her most intimidating Major's voice.

"I have orders to take Dr. Jackson and Teal'c into custody Ma'am; so please drop your weapons." He said still having his men keeping their guns on them.

"Okay, Daniel do what he says." Sam said, still not believing what was going on. `Boy this is the most action my bedrooms' seen in a while.'

The SF's took Daniel and Sam's guns before pushing Daniel up against a wall and putting handcuffs on him.

"Tell me what's going on Sgt." Sam said angrily.

"Sorry Ma'am, but I'm under orders to take both Dr. Jackson and Teal'c into custody"

"For what, and by who's orders?" Sam asked.

"The orders came from the JAG lawyers, who are under Gen. Hammond's orders. They are being arrested for the attack on the prisoner."

"What!" Both Sam and Daniel yelled at the same time.

"You can't do this! Major Carter can't be left alone; her life is in danger!" Daniel yelled struggling in the handcuffs.

"I'm sorry Sir, but I have my orders." Parker said.

"Does taking orders mean you leave your brain at home?" Daniel said angrily. "I'm sure Gen. Hammond didn't want you leaving Maj. Carter unprotected."

"I don't know anything about that Sir."

"Well maybe you can find out. As you can see the Major's in no condition to be left alone."

Parker took a look at Carter, and realized that Dr. Jackson could be right, but he had his orders to follow.

"Where's Teal'c?" Sam asked her voice losing the strength it previously had.

"He's already in custody Ma'am; we have him outside in the car."

"So you're planning on leaving a superior officer in danger?" Daniel said trying to reason with the man.

"I'll tell you what Sir, I'll stay here and protect Maj. Carter while you and Teal'c go back to the base. "

"Fine." Daniel said. "We'll probably have this cleared up when we get to the base. Just make sure you keep her safe; or you'll have Col. O'Neill to deal with."

Parker took a gulp and looked very nervous at the thought of dealing with O'Neill. He gave orders to his men to take the two prisoners in while he stayed with Major Carter.

"Ah Sgt.?"

"Yes Ma'am?"

"Could I have my gun back?" Sam asked not liking the situation one bit.

"Ah yes Ma'am." Parker said as he handed Sam her weapon.

"Don't worry Sam, Jack should be back soon." Daniel said, as he was lead out of the bedroom.

"Well Sgt. I hope this doesn't come back and bite you in the butt." Sam said.

"Me too Ma'am." Parker said feeling nervous, now realizing he was alone with Maj. Samantha Carter in her bedroom.


DISCLAIMER: "Stargate SG-1," "Stargate Atlantis," and its characters are the property of MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Film Corp., Showtime/Viacom and USA Networks, Inc. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations and story are the property of the author(s), and may not be republished or archived elsewhere without the author's permission.

Archived on March 14, 2006

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