December 5

5.

"You're sure there's no way to know?" O'Neill asked.

"Sorry," Sam said.

"But it won't be more different at least, will it?" he asked, hopeful.

She looked apologetic. "I can't promise that."

"I, ah, changed the setting a bit randomly at first, before we knew what was going on, and I don't actually remember what they were set to in the first place," Daniel admitted.

"Wonderful. So what do we do now?" O'Neill asked.

"How can we be certain we will all remember the original timeline?" Teal'c asked. "Will we not change as well?"

"Good question, but my guess is that everything within the radius of the flash will be transported along, unchanged," Sam said, hoping it was true. "At least it seemed that way the first time."

"All right, then get close together, people," O'Neill ordered.

They were standing just outside the teltac, in the small open space where it had landed. They were all gathered together, as near to each other as they could. If Sam was right, the teltac should be included as well, but they did not dare be inside any structure unless they had to. Not when they did not know how the device worked.

"I think we're ready," Sam said, tinkering with the device a moment more.

O'Neill closed his eyes and held his hands over his ears. "Okay. Fire it up, Carter."


"Well, it doesn't look any different here, at least," Daniel observed, clearly relieved.

"What did you expect? That the sky was green and the trees purple?" O'Neill asked, sarcastically.

"No, but the trees could have been fewer, or-" Daniel began. "It's winter?" He looked around.

The others did as well, noticing the trees were covered with a fine, white layer.

"It's ash," Sam said. "Not snow."

"Look at the sky!" Teal'c told them.

They turned to look in the same direction as him. The dark evening sky was a deep orange red.

"Colorado Springs! It's burning!" O'Neill exclaimed.

Just as they looked up, several death gliders streaked across the sky over their heads, in the direction of Colorado Springs. Moments later they heard the explosions.

"I think you can adjust the device again - we're not staying here, that's for sure!" O'Neill said.

"It's cold!" Daniel complained. "And the snow is deep!" He looked down at his legs, realizing he had sunk down to above his knees.

Sam nodded. "I agree. This time it is winter. Very strange." She frowned at the sky.

"Why? If everything else can be different, then so can the weather, can't it?" Daniel asked.

"Sure, but everything else around here looks the same. Granted, we're in the middle of a forest, but I'd still have expected there to be other changes if the weather is different." She shrugged.

"I've rarely seen this much snow around here," O'Neill observed. "I tend to think this is a bad sign. Well, we should see if it's possible to walk to the city. The snow isn't as deep over here, so I think we can do it without too much problems."

"The Stargate is here this time. I can feel it," Jacob told them.

They bundled up as well as they could and started walking towards the city. The snow had started falling when they set out, and it did not take long before the air was filled with snowflakes. The wind was picking up as well, and it was pretty cold.

They had not come far before they realized the weather was just too bad, and the snow too deep in many places. They turned around and returned to the teltac.

"It's become a regular blizzard out there!" O'Neill said, when the door to the teltac had closed behind them. "I suggest we wait it out."

"You'll get no argument from me," Jacob said, taking off his jacket and shaking it clean of snow.

"We'd have died from the cold if we had continued for much longer," Daniel said, shivering.

"The teltac is able to receive radio, so why don't we listen to that until we can get to Colorado Springs. It should give us some idea if this place is the same or not," Sam suggested.

"That is an excellent idea, Major Carter." Teal'c sat down and calibrated the receiver for radio signals, beginning at the lower bands and slowly working his way up.

"Wait - there was something there!" Sam said, when Teal'c had gone through the entire spectrum that was used for radio communication and had started going backwards again.

Teal'c nodded and carefully tuned the receiver and sure enough, a crackling signal could soon be heard.

"Can you clear that up?" O'Neill asked.

"I do not believe so," Teal'c told him after a few moments.

Jacob dipped his head, and Selmak took control.

"Let me try. I have many more years of experience in this than any of you have."

Teal'c got up and she sat down and began to do her best to clear up the signal.

"What could be causing the interference?" Daniel wondered.

"Well, it could be the weather, I guess. The mountains, or the trees... it's just weird the interference of the signals is so complete in all the frequencies - well, almost all the frequencies," Sam said.

"I believe I can clear up the signal somewhat, but it is fairly weak, so there is a limit to what I can do," Selmak said.

She tweaked it for another few moments, then suddenly the signal became almost clear and they could hear what was being said. "I repeat, I'm at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs. Anyone out there-" the message was interrupted by a loud crackle, then returned, "can come here. We have-" Another crackle was heard, for much longer this time.

"It's Siler!" O'Neill realized. "Get him back!"

Selmak worked the controls, and the voice returned. "If you have any-" followed by something unintelligible. "We will be listening for-"

That was the last clear part of the message they got, the rest was noise.

"Push the send button, Teal'c!" O'Neill leaned forward and spoke, as soon as Teal'c had nodded that he had done as he was asked. "This is Colonel Jack O'Neill of the US Air Force. Do you read me, Siler?"

There was a long silence, then a crackle from the radio.

"There's no way to tell if he heard you or not," Jacob said.

"I know." O'Neill sighed. "I wonder what's happened" He shook his head. "We need to get there as soon as possible and see if they're okay."

"No offence, sir, but why? This is obviously not our timeline. We should just change the settings on the cube and reactivate it," Sam said.

"How do you it isn't? We've been gone for more than four days. Maybe Earth has been attacked. Or hit by some sort of natural disaster!" O'Neill exclaimed. "We need to at least make sure!"

Sam nodded. "You're right, sir. I don't think this is our timeline, but I agree. We need to make sure - and it probably wouldn't hurt learning how different it is here. It might help us calibrating the Furling device."