Note that the last chapter has two versions, one that is NC-17 and one that is PG-13.
Chapter 2 summary: A meeting is held to ascertain the identities of Sam, Daniel, and Teal'c, and comparisons are made between the two realities.
[ Chapter 1: A New Reality | Chapter 2: Old Friends, New Friends | Chapter 3: Jolinar | Chapter 4: Getting Acquainted | Chapter 5: The NID | Chapter 6: Cimmeria | Chapter 7: The Tok'ra | Chapter 8: Mission with the Tok'ra | Chapter 9, version I: Together Again (NC-17) | Chapter 9, version II: Together Again (PG-13) ]
Later. Sam, Daniel, and Teal'c had been escorted to one of the briefing rooms. They had waited there, under guard, together with O'Neill and Janet. Shortly after, Hammond arrived. Everyone sat down around the table, ready to begin the debriefing.
"Welcome..." Hammond looked at them, shaking his head a little. "You really do look like our people...Doctor Fraiser?"
"Yes. They do. It's very strange."
"Believe me, it's strange for us as well." Sam shook her head, still a little carefully. Janet had bandaged her head wound and she was feeling much better.
"So...are they who they say they are? I seem to notice differences - like hairstyles." Hammond remarked, looking at Daniel.
"Yes, I am convinced they are Doctor Daniel Jackson, Captain Samantha Carter, and Teal'c. Though there are minor differences, as you say, they are essentially the same people."
"What kind of differences are we talking about?"
"Wait - I'm a Captain here? That's one more difference. I was a Major in our reality." Sam said.
Janet nodded. "Maybe you will be one in this universe...reality...as well. One day. You see, I believe many of the differences can be explained by you being older, and having experienced some things that you have yet to experience here..."
"What!...you think we time-travelled? The quantum mirror doesn't do that." Sam pointed out.
"You're sure? What year was it where you came from?"
"2004 - what is it here?"
Sam, Daniel, and Teal'c looked at each other.
"We did travel through time!" Daniel exclaimed.
"Indeed. 6 years." Teal'c observed.
"The energy fluctuation...the image in the quantum mirror flickered just as we went through. It must have been caused by the weapons fire from the Kull warriors!" Sam concluded.
"I believe that would explain the differences I found on Doctor Jackson. They are minimal - except for the obvious, like shorter hair - they consists mainly of a number of extra scars. However, Major Carter and Teal'c are another matter." Janet explained.
"What do you mean?" Hammond asked.
"Teal'c no longer has a symbiote. He has told me he instead uses something called 'tretonin'. This is something we will have to talk about. Aside from that, he seems to be the same - and he still has his pouch, even if it has started to close."
"And Captain Carter?" O'Neill wondered.
"She actually has more changes than the others. Apart from having naquadah in her blood, she also has several protein markers and cells with foreign DNA floating around in her bloodstream. In fact, her body chemistry has been completely altered. For instance, she no longer reacts the same way to drugs like tranquilizers. She has explained that it's because she's been host to a Goa'uld - twice, actually, though she says the first one really was something she calls a Tok'ra." Janet saw the alarm in O'Neill and Hammond's eyes. "Don't worry - I gave her an MRI. She's not a host anymore."
"Why doesn't she have any entry scar, then?" O'Neill said, having given Sam's neck a quick glance.
"I will leave it to Sam to explain that."
Sam looked towards O'Neill. "The first time I was a host, the symbiote was a Tok'ra, as Janet said. If this is really 1998 then you probably haven't met them - yet. The Tok'ra - while biologically the same species as the Goa'uld - are philosophically very different. They do not believe in taking an unwilling host. They share the body with the host, and they fight the System Lords. Another difference is that they enter through the mouth instead of the neck - according to the Tok'ra because the hosts do not like the scars. It also lets them blend in among humans, which can be useful. They actually became very valuable allies for Earth." Sam took a deep breath. "The second time I was possessed by a Goa'uld symbiote, though only very briefly. It did enter through the neck, however, some time later I was being hunted by a Kull warrior and ended up being quite badly wounded. Incidentally, one of the smaller wounds were in the exact same spot as the entry scar and it was thus removed when I was healed, with a healing device."
Hammond nodded. "You appear to have been through a lot...Doctor Fraiser, if I understand it correctly, you're saying, that in your professional opinion, they are who they appear to be? The same people?"
"Yes. They are. They even seem to have the exact same personalities, except maybe Sam, who seems...a little different."
"That's because of Jolinar...the Tok'ra symbiote. She left some stuff...memories, feelings..." Daniel explained. "We've noticed it as well, but I'm surprised you saw it this quickly."
"I think we should hear a little more about these Tok'ra. Why are you not still a host to this Jolinar, if they are good guys? It could really be useful to know if a symbiote can be removed and the host survive." Janet said.
"Yeah, and who are these 'Colt warriors' you keep mentioning?" O'Neill added.
"All right, people. Let's hear your story from the beginning instead. We learned from Doctor Jackson's experiences that what happens in one universe may be useful in another. How different have things been up until now? And by now I mean until this date in your universe...reality." Hammond wanted to know.
"Well, how and when did we die? Perhaps we can start with that, since it seems to be the most obvious difference." Sam suggested.
"No long ago. It was actually in connection with the discovery of the quantum mirror. Doctor Jackson happened to visit another reality where he learned that Apophis was going to attack Earth. This attack happened here as well, but SG-1 was able to thwart the attempt. Unfortunately, Doctor Jackson died when the ships exploded. Captain Carter and Teal'c were killed when the death glider they were fleeing in was caught in the edge of the explosion and crashed. The only survivor was Teal'c's symbiote." Hammond looked to Janet. "It's currently still in the infirmary, awaiting transfer to another lab where they are going to study it."
"Yeah, it's not doing so well, so they may not get a chance to do that." Janet added.
"Amazing! It sounds like everything went almost exactly the same. We also came very close to dying in just those same situations." Sam said.
"Then perhaps other things are the same as well." Hammond suggested.
They spent a long time going through all the missions SG-1 had been on since the Stargate project had been initiated. It quickly became clear that everything had been not just similar, but exactly the same up until the time when Sam, Daniel, and Teal'c had been killed. Because they had been killed here, there were only one version of them in this reality and they could safely stay. Given that everything else seemed to be the same, it was decided they would be allowed to stay. Perhaps they would even be allowed to join SG-1, eventually.
"General. We've agreed they're the same. Everything happened the same where they came from - all the way up until when they were killed here. Why can't they just be put back on SG-1, then?" O'Neill demanded.
"I agree. Things did indeed turn out the same way. Until this point in time. What about later? While having this information about the future seems like a great thing, we can't be sure everything will continue to unfold the same here."
"Actually...we can be almost certain they won't. Our being here, having this knowledge...it's already changing things." Sam said.
"Excuse me...we have a more immediate concern. Teal'c. He has only a very limited supply of tretonin and he cannot live without it." Janet pointed out.
"Can't you just synthesize it?" Hammond wondered.
"No, not just like that. It will take me a long time, if I'll even be able to do it. Apparently it's being made by an ally of ours - the Tok'ra we talked about earlier."
"Damn! That suddenly reminds me...we're in 1998 - and just after Apophis attacked Earth. What date is it? What's the next mission that's scheduled?" Sam suddenly asked.
"It's July 2nd - there's actually a mission tomorrow, back to...eh..." O'Neill looked towards Hammond, who shrugged. "Nasya...or something..."
Sam looked over at Daniel and Teal'c. "Nasya! We need to be on that mission! At least I do - otherwise we may never meet the Tok'ra."
"You need to explain that in a little more detail if you want to be allowed to go there..." Hammond said.
"We need the Tok'ra. They have saved Earth many times, they've freed the Jaffa from having to carry symbiotes, given us various kinds of technology...there are just so many things which would have gone differently - and so much worse without them! I doubt Earth would have even survived, and we certainly wouldn't have conquered as many of the Goa'uld as we did, had we not been allies with the Tok'ra!"
"Well...I admit they do sound like a valuable ally. All right, I agree. We should probably meet them. You're saying that has to happen tomorrow?"
"Yes." Sam quickly explained what had happened there and how she had become host to Jolinar. Then she told them how Jolinar had died saving Sam and how her memories had led them to the Tok'ra.
"And you want to go through all that again - are you nuts?" O'Neill did not look happy.
"No, not in the same way, no...but with what we now know we should be able to save Jolinar from the ashrak - capture him - perhaps before he can harm her."
"You know who the ashrak is hiding in?"
"Yes. I can recognize him. When we have brought the Nasyans here to Earth we can place him in a holding cell and - well, maybe give him to the Tok'ra. They can remove the symbiote from his host."
"There are probably some people here on Earth who will insist we hand him over to them instead."
"He is dangerous. We can't risk him getting away from some NID people who have no idea who they're dealing with."
"Sam, couldn't we leave earlier and find Jolinar before her host is killed? Then maybe you don't even have to become her host this time." Daniel suggested.
"We should absolutely try to get there earlier. That way we'll be able to save more of the Nasyans. However, I'm not totally sure Jolinar will trust us - remember, even when she was faced with the prospect of the ashrak killing her she said very little. The Tok'ra depend on secrecy to such a degree that I doubt she can be convinced to introduce us to them. With me as a host I think she might agree to trust us."
Hammond nodded. "It does sound as if it might be necessary in order to improve our...trustworthiness. Captain Carter...I can't order you to do this, of course. It will have to be your own choice - and I suggest you make absolutely sure it's the right one. In any case...you're allowed to accompany our SG-teams tomorrow."
"Thank you sir...I promise I will think about this. Carefully."