December 8

8.

"Ready to activate the damn thing?" O'Neill asked.

Daniel double-checked the settings, then nodded slowly. "I think so, yeah. Jack - what about Reynolds? He helped us."

"I think he'd rather not remember this timeline if that's what you mean," O'Neill said. "He's still alive back in our own timeline. I don't think it's a good idea for him to be here when the change happens, if I understand Carter correctly."

"We don't even know if the changes we are making is going to improve the timeline," Sam pointed out.

"Right." Daniel let his hand slide over the cube's smooth metal surface and come to rest on the red crystal. He suddenly felt that it glowed menacingly at him. He sighed. "Okay, here we go!" He pressed hard, and the now familiar flash enveloped them.


"Well, we're still in the cell," O'Neill observed. "That's something, I guess."

Jacob nodded. "Agreed. The Cheyenne Mountain Complex is still here, at least."

O'Neill walked up to the door and pushed down the handle. It opened easily. Grinning, he stepped outside and motioned for the others to follow.

"Good thing it wasn't locked. It would have been hard to explain why we were in there," Daniel mused.

"Yeah, it may still be a bit strange that I am suddenly here at the SGC, but we'll see what people say. We should find George and talk to him," Jacob said.

"I wonder how close this is to the real timeline," Sam said, looking around. "Everything looks the same."

"So did the base on the frozen iceball-Earth," O'Neill reminded her.

They walked around in the corridors for some time, the strange silence soon beginning to affect them, hushing their sparse communication.

After several minutes they reached the elevator without having seen anyone. They entered it and pushed the button for level 27 where Hammond's office was located.

"This is creepy," Daniel observed when they stepped out into an empty corridor.

"I agree. It is a little spooky. I wonder where everyone is?" Sam said.

Getting more and more worried, they opened the door to Hammond's office, then to the briefing room they had used so often in the past. Everywhere it was empty, and many places had evidence of fighting, including broken furniture and blood on the floor.

"That's a staff blast," O'Neill said, looking unhappily at the wall.

"Yes. There were more in the corridor," Teal'c told him.

O'Neill nodded. "It looks like they were overrun, but why are there no bodies? I mean, it's not like I want to find bodies, but..."

"It's eerie that there aren't any, yes," Jacob agreed.

"They were attacked by some Goa'uld, clearly. Maybe we can find out which one if we take a look at the surveillance videos?" Sam suggested.

"My guess would be Weneg. He is a minor Goa'uld, a son of Ra who fell from grace and has at times been allied with Apophis, Ra's enemy. He is, well, I guess you would say obsessive. He will not leave any enemy behind, even dead, fearing they will attack him if they are out of his control. Yes, that includes rising again to attack him. I never said he was sane, but he is a useful ally for Apophis, from time to time," Jacob said.

"Well, the Goa'uld do have sarcophagi, so it isn't as strange as you would think to worry his dead enemies will rise again," Sam observed.

"True," Jacob conceded. "At any rate, if this attack was carried out by him, then it happened in Apophis's name, and with his Jaffa."

O'Neill shrugged. "Okay. I don't really care which Goa'uld did this, but if you think it's important, then by all means, let's go and take a look at the surveillance videos. We'll stop on the way there and see if there's a weapon's locker that still has weapons."


"You're right, that's Apophis Jaffa right there," O'Neill said.

They were looking at one of the videos, which showed a battle taking place between Jaffa and soldiers from Stargate Command. After some time, a tall man with black hair and a muscular build walked up to a group of Jaffa. He was wearing sky blue clothing, styled as in the ancient Egypt, and also wore a long, flowing black cape. He said something to one of the Jaffa, then handed some sort of device to him. He turned around with a cruel grin and left the scene.

"What was that?" Daniel wondered.

"That is a Goa'uld device used for dispersing a gas. My guess is that it is some sort of nerve gas, or perhaps just a sleep gas," Jacob said.

"Could it still be in the air?" O'Neill asked quickly, a concerned look on his face.

Jacob shook his head. "No, it wouldn't make sense to use a persistent gas."

"Well, we know what happened. The Goa'uld attacked, then won." O'Neill looked unhappily at the screen. "Let's get out of here."

"Don't you think it's strange that they just left? Wouldn't they have sent anyone here to take over?" Daniel wondered.

"I'm sure they will, but most likely they took everyone they didn't kill prisoners, then the Jaffa went topside to help conquer and suppress the population," Jacob said. "The only thing that's strange is that we didn't see anyone in the gateroom when we looked there."

"We only looked through the window of the control room, and only briefly. Let's have a look again," O'Neill decided. He checked his weapon before walking out the door ahead of the others.


"There is no one there," Teal'c said, when they had reached the control room and were looking down into the gateroom through the glass that was covered in marks from staff blasts.

"Then let's get the hell out of here. We can find someplace safe and figure out the next step," O'Neill said. "Carter, dial it up - land of the light sounds good to me."

"Yes, sir." Sam sat down by the dialling computer. She typed for some time, getting a puzzled expression. After another several minutes, she looked up. "I can't dial out, nor can I open the iris. Someone has introduced a virus of some kind."

"A virus?" O'Neill asked.

"Yes, sir. My guess is that the Goa'uld decided it wasn't worth spending time fixing until they've got the planet under control."

"Makes sense, I guess."

"Sam, can I take a look?" Jacob said. He had been keeping an eye on the screen and discussing with Selmak, and they had a suspicion.

"Sure, dad." She got up and let her dad take the seat.

Jacob gave Selmak control, and she spent several minutes typing on the computer before turning to look at O'Neill. "It is as we suspected. The computer virus is of Tok'ra origin."

"What?" O'Neill looked very confused. "What does that mean?"

"It means that a Tok'ra put it in the dialling system, most likely in order to stop the Goa'uld from either dialling out or in, bringing in troops."

O'Neill nodded. "Good plan, I guess - only the snakeheads came in ships, so it didn't really help."

"Do you think the Tok'ra is still here?" Daniel asked.

"Probably not. He or she would be trapped," Sam said.

Selmak suddenly froze, and looked towards the door. "Symbiote," she said, .

The others turned to see as well, just as the door opened and someone very familiar entered the room.