"It was supposed to be here," Jacob said. He took a deep breath. "Well, I guess it could just have been picked up by another Tok'ra. We don't have too good communication between the various bases and outposts right now."
Sam nodded, thinking with sadness at the attack on Revanna and all the Tok'ra who had been killed then, including Lantash. "I know."
"Then again, this could just as well mean that blasted cube-thingie screwed up the entire universe," O'Neill said. "Is there any other ship we can get to without too much trouble?"
"Well, we can probably steal a ship from one of the Goa'uld, but it might take a little while," Jacob said.
"I said 'without too much trouble'!" O'Neill repeated. "Teal'c?"
"I do not believe I know anyone who currently has access to a teltac."
"Terrific. Which Goa'uld would be easiest to steal from?"
"Wait - I know where we can find a ship. One that should be there, even if we've travelled ah, a few years into past, at least," Sam said. "Jolinar hid the ship she used when she escaped from Cronus's court. Back when the ashrak was after her."
"Okay, if you know where that is, then take us there," O'Neill ordered.
"All right, there it is." Sam pointed, relieved.
"Awesome!" O'Neill smiled widely, then frowned. "That thing looks pretty beat up. Are you sure it will fly?"
"It will fly. Jolinar just left it here in order not to lead the Ashrak back to the Tok'ra," Sam explained.
"Finding the ship, that also means we haven't travelled further back than five-six years, right?" Daniel asked, hopeful.
"Yes. If we travelled in time at all, but I guess we'll know soon enough," Sam said.
They removed the leaves and other material that Jolinar had used to conceal the teltac, then entered the craft. To everyone's relief, it took off without problems and they set a course for Earth.
"This vessel is equipped with a cloak, but I believe it will still be detectable when flying through the atmosphere," Teal'c observed. "it is fortunate we are arriving during nighttime."
"Very much. We should probably still contact Stargate Command," O'Neill said. He looked with some concern at the planet which was rapidly closing. "We don't want to risk them thinking we're hostiles."
"Understood." Teal'c inclined his head in agreement, then sent the encoded standard greeting that would notify Stargate Command that those arriving were friendly - or at least that they had the code. In any case, it should stop anyone from firing at them outright.
"Three long days cooped up in this thing - I so look forward to fresh air again," O'Neill said.
"At least Selmak has had time to heal you, dad," Sam said, smiling at Jacob.
Jacob nodded. "I was healed days ago."
Meanwhile, Teal'c had been trying to contact Stargate Command. He now turned to O'Neill. "There is no response."
O'Neill frowned. "That's odd." He considered for a moment. "Take us in for a landing in the forest just behind Cheyenne Mountain."
They flew the last bit of the way filled with a sense of dread. It was clear that something was not as it should be.
"There is no Stargate in Cheyenne Mountain," Jacob told them when they had just stepped out of the teltac. "I don't sense it, and I'm more than close enough that I should."
"It just confirms everything else we have noticed - and explains why we ended up on Antarctica," Sam said. "The Furling device is the most likely cause."
"You're thinking time travel?" O'Neill asked.
Sam considered it, then slowly shook her head. "No, or at least it's not only time travel. Jolinar left that ship back there around April 1997. That's after the Stargate was placed under Cheyenne Mountain."
O'Neill nodded. "That's true. Well, that's something. I hate time travel. What then? Parallel universes?"
"Maybe the cube works like the Quantum Mirror?" Daniel suggested.
"It's possible, but I think it's more likely it actually changes the timeline," Jacob said. "Can I see the cube again? Selmak thinks she may have figured some of the text out."
"Sure." Daniel handed it to him.
"Just make sure you don't set that damn thing off!" O'Neill warned.
"Relax, as long as you don't press the crystal hard it doesn't activate - except for lighting up the letters," Jacob said.
"I wonder why the corners didn't glow as brightly back when we found it," Daniel mused. "Perhaps we didn't push it hard enough?"
"Possibly, but I think the reason is something else. I suspect it was charged by the staff blast," Jacob said.
Sam nodded. "That makes sense. So, what is it you think you found out?"
Daniel leaned closer as well, very interested.
"Notice this-" Jacob pointed. "This here looks very much like the word for 'change' in standard Furling." He pointed again. "And here, Selmak thinks it says 'your experiences'."
"Yes! That's right! Only it's not quite 'experiences'." Daniel exclaimed. "Now I see what they mean! Look, there, it says 'adjust the tips to change your past, present, and future'."
Jacob nodded tiredly. "The timeline. It changes the timeline."
O'Neill groaned. "That's just typical! Why do things like that always happen to SG-1? Please tell me you can at least change it back!"
"Well, theoretically it should be possible... as long as we can figure out how." Daniel stared miserably at the cube.
"We'll figure it out," Sam said hopefully. "Might take a little while, but we can do it."
"That's the spirit!" O'Neill said. "Let's make sure the teltac is well hidden, then walk to Colorado Springs. No reason not to make sure we didn't time travel as well."
"April 15th, 2002," Daniel said, looking at a newspaper in a newspaper vending machine.
"At least the time is the same," Jacob said.
Daniel nodded. "That's good. It means we can focus on just changing the timeline back."
"Yes, we 'just' have to fix the timeline. Nothing to it!" O'Neill snorted sarcastically.
"We should probably try to find out how much has changed out in the Galaxy - as a consequence of us not being out there, I mean," Sam said.
"Plenty of snakeheads are still alive, that's one difference for sure!" O'Neill said. "But I'll admit everything here looks deceptively peaceful and similar to what we're used to."
"Do not be deceived by this. It is only a matter of time before the Goa'uld decide to attack this world," Teal'c said.
"Ra is still alive," Daniel reminded them. "Maybe the Goa'uld will leave Earth alone."
Jacob nodded. "Possibly, but there is no way to know. Not if Anubis really is out there, gathering strength. He is even more ambitious than most, and certainly more evil. If he becomes strong enough to attack the System Lords or maybe even threaten Ra, then many more troops will be needed. The only place which has that many potential fighters is Earth."
"But that's humans, not Jaffa," Sam pointed out. "And humans from Earth won't fear and obey Ra for being a god."
"Humans will do if that is what he can get, and there are ways to make them obey. Besides, there is also ways of turning them into Jaffa."
"That's right," Sam agreed. "Like what Hathor did to Colonel O'Neill."
"Yeah, let's not talk about that," O'Neill said, shuddering.
"Sorry." Sam sent him a sheepish look.
"Okay, so we definitely want to fix the timeline - as if we didn't want that before. However, first order of business should be to find something to eat, and maybe some different clothes. Any ideas how we get that?" O'Neill said.