"Well, there's no sign of any Jaffa here, that's good at least," O'Neill said when they had set their teltac down in a clearing in a forest close to the place where they had found the entrance to the Furling laboratory.
"Agreed. I still think we should conceal the ship and keep guard," Jacob said.
"Sure. There's plenty of foliage here. It shouldn't be a problem," O'Neill said, looking around at the greenery.
They spent some time hiding the ship, before walking along a path to the cliffs where the entrance was.
"It was somewhere around here," Daniel said, looking at the rockface.
Sam slid her hand along the rough surface and found the small outcropping they were looking for. "Here!"
She pushed, hard, and part of the rock slid noiselessly aside. Inside, light came on along the corridor, just as it had the first time they were there.
"Nice. Good to see that is the same," O'Neill said. "You guys go ahead and see if you can find anything else in there. Teal'c and I will keep guard. Just make sure you don't activate the cube or anything else that might screw with the timeline until we're in the same room, okay?"
"Of course, sir," Sam promised.
"This was the room we found the Furling device in originally," Daniel said.
Martouf looked around in the cave-like chamber. "It looks as if they just cut the room directly from the rock. As if it isn't quite finished. The corridor we came through, and the other rooms we saw, they all have a smooth, almost translucent surface on the walls, floor, and roof."
Sam nodded. "Yeah, we noticed that when we came here first. We think this was made later, maybe just for hiding the device in."
"Where was it?" Martouf asked.
"Behind a concealed door. We found it by accident, really," Daniel said. He walked to the opposite wall and placed his hand against it, just under a small bump in the rock.
A door opened in the wall, maybe 5 feet above ground.
"Like that," Sam said, smiling.
"Sam... there's another device in there!" Daniel exclaimed. "How can there be another device? We already have it!" He held the original one out before him.
Sam stared at that, and then at the one that stood in the small enclosure. "The timeline was changed at a time in the past before we picked up the device," she said. Then she frowned. "But you're right. We haven't come across another copy of any of us, presumably because we were moved along with the cube, through the different possibilities. The cube should not be here too."
"Perhaps it is different because it creates the changes in the timeline," Martouf suggested.
Sam shook her head slowly. "Your guess is as good as mine. I have no idea why there are now two copies of it."
"Let's not worry about that now," Jacob said. "We should try to find out if there is anything else down here."
"This is the only room that had anything in it?" Martouf asked. "Of the ones you searched, I mean."
"Yes," Sam confirmed. "However, from what we can tell, it is only a small part of the underground complex."
"It is strange there were so many empty rooms. Could they have hidden entrances as well, perhaps?" Martouf wondered.
"Doubtful. We searched them fairly thoroughly," Jacob said. "All right, why don't we spread out and see if we can find anything. Just remember; don't touch any weird alien tech! Fetch the rest of us instead."
"Whoa!" Daniel exclaimed, when the wall suddenly disappeared before him and a long corridor appeared.
He had been searching the rooms in one of the corridors leading from the part of the complex they had gone through the first time they were here. All the rooms had been empty, with no hidden doors or enclosures that he could find. Until this.
"What happened?" Sam asked, as she came running into the room. "Wow, a secret entrance to another part of this underground complex? I wonder how big it is in total!"
"It would appear to be pretty huge. It's just strange that all of it is empty - at least the parts we have found," Daniel said.
"This was built a long time ago. Maybe they took most of the things they had here with them when they left?" Sam suggested. "I'll go get my Dad and Martouf. I think this secret part of the complex has the highest probability of having something useful left in it."
"There is stuff in every one of these rooms," Daniel said.
"Mainly everyday things. We've found kitchens, storage rooms, personal quarters, bathrooms..." Jacob said.
"As well as a few laboratories which mostly contain weird stuff we have no idea what are," Sam added.
"It is unfortunate none of understands much of this variant of Furling," Martouf observed, studying what was obviously a computer. "If we did, maybe we could find an inventory of everything."
"Well, Selmak knows something, and Daniel knows something. Maybe together they can figure it out?" Sam suggested.
Jacob shrugged. "It's worth a try."
"Look at this!" Selmak exclaimed, pointing at the display. "I believe this may be what we are looking for!"
"What does it say?" Sam wondered.
"It is actually a kind of inventory. The timeline-changing device is listed as well, with a short description... and a warning. It was created by a researcher named 'Re'app'l' and his colleagues 'Shou'l' and 'Visn'. They were interested in the fluidity of time and history," Selmak told them. "It is all very interesting - we should definitely make a copy of this!"
"I agree!" Daniel said, eagerly.
Selmak shook her head. "But we should focus on repairing the timeline first."
"Do they have a way to do so?" Martouf asked. "The Furling."
"Yes, the researcher made that at the same time as they created the device - which they were in fact forbidden from using by their leaders, but apparently they did test it anyway. There is a description on how to make a, a backup I believe is your word, of the settings for the original timeline."
"Meaning we have no chance of fixing it because we didn't do that," Sam groaned.
"Unless they had one saved, somehow?" Martouf suggested.
Selmak shook her head. "Unfortunately not. However, they have something else which we may be able to use. It was developed for their research as well, and does in fact look at the experiences of a person and compares it to the events of the current timeline. Like you suggested, Martouf."
"That sounds like just what we need!" Sam exclaimed, looking hopeful. "What do we do?"
"Apparently the Furling had detection devices which scanned the events on a number of worlds that interested them - including the world of the Tau'ri, since it was of interest to their allies."
"The Ancients," Daniel said.
"Yes. However, the scans does not appear to be very thorough, except in what would now be considered ancient times on your world. With no maintenance the devices have either stopped working or become less reliable."
"Meaning what?" Sam asked.
"Meaning we probably need to scan all of us - and hope it gets enough data to make a reasonable estimate of the correct settings."
"Uh, one thing concerns me," Daniel said. "We've all gotten some recent memories of things in different timelines, things we don't want included."
Selmak nodded. "Very true. We do not want to risk zombies appearing. These Furling scientists thought of this problem. It is possible to set a time period whereafter nothing should be included."
"Good, because then you can use my memories as well," Martouf said. "As long as you exclude the last almost two years."
"Exactly. One more thing. When - and if - we do get the correct settings, we should go to the teltac and activate the device there," Selmak said.
Sam hesitated for a moment, then nodded. "Right, because if we do get it right, we risk Olokun's Jaffa still being here - even if more than a month has passed since they came here. It's not unlikely Olokun has decided to make a permanent base here."
"That is correct. Olokun is a very patient, persistent Goa'uld," Martouf said.
"Actually, that would be one way to easily see that it was the right timeline. If Olokun's Jaffa are on this planet," Selmak said.
"So what? We get Jack and Teal'c, scan all of us, and then get the settings. Which we enter into the cube and then go to the teltac," Daniel summed it up.
"Yes, and one more thing," Selmak said.
"What?" Sam wondered.
"We make a copy of everything in this database before we leave," Selmak said. "There is too much important information here to leave it behind."
Daniel smiled. "Agreed."
"All right, so you've got the correct settings now? You're going to be able to fix the timeline?" O'Neill asked.
"Hopefully," Sam said.
"Selmak says she believes so, but that we cannot know for sure until we have tried," Jacob said.
"But we can be certain that the timeline will be close to what it should be," Martouf added. "That is good."
O'Neill nodded. "Yes, but if the timeline is the same except there is no Simpson's then I'm not going to be happy!" he threatened, holding up his index finger.
"Simpson's?" Martouf asked, a confused look on his face.
"A television show which O'Neill favours. It features the daily life of a population of yellow beings, who generally behave in a less than optimal manner," Teal'c said.
"Great description!" Daniel laughed.
"I thought you enjoyed it last time we watched it!" O'Neill said, looking offended.
Sam laughed, then turned to Jacob. "Dad - did you get a copy of their databases?"
"Yes, the crystals are in the box over there." Jacob pointed.
"It's too bad we can't bring all of this with us," Sam said, looking wistfully at the alien technology.
"If we're lucky, Olokun's Jaffa never finds it and we can go back here when they leave - if they haven't already," O'Neill said. "Come on - let's get back to the teltac so we can get the timeline changed."
"We're in orbit. If Olokun's Jaffa are there, they won't detect us unless they brought scanners. Which they should have no reason to," Jacob said.
"Okay, we're activating the device," Sam said. "Ready?"
"Yes, by all means, fire it up!" O'Neill said. "And let's hope it's the last time we have to do that!"
Sam pushed the crystal and a flash enveloped them.
"Well? Are there any Jaffa down on the planet?" O'Neill asked, tension clear in his voice.
"Just a moment..." Jacob scanned the area around the Stargate. "Yes, there are. Several, in fact. They have set up camp not far from the Stargate."
"Are they Olokun's?" Daniel asked.
"That I can't tell from up here. I can take the ship in close and scan them, but they'll almost certainly see us, so we have to leave the planet immediately afterwards."
"No problem. Do that," O'Neill said.
They all waited with bated breath as Jacob flew the cargo vessel down through the atmosphere, close to the Jaffa.
"It's Olokun's Jaffa!" Jacob exclaimed. "And they've detected us!" He turned the ship around just as a staff shot hit them, making the ship shake. They flew on and moments later they were out of range.
"Does that mean the timeline is back to normal?" O'Neill asked, hopeful.
"Yes, sir. It does," Sam told him, smiling.
"Except for one change - Lantash and I," Martouf said.
O'Neill grinned. "I believe that is a change we can live with."
Sam sent him a dirty look, then turned to Martouf. "Don't listen to him. We're happy you're alive."
"And very happy the timeline is fixed." O'Neill smiled. "Set a course for Earth. We are going home!"
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!