stepping through the rippling blue surface of the Stargate event
horizon, I looked around me in amazement. The Asgard had kept their
promise to me and disabled the protective iris so I could return home
safely. I ignored the sound of the Gate disengaging behind me as I
walked slowly down the ramp. Once again, I found myself deep within the
bowels of Cheyenne Mountain at Stargate Command. The familiar
military-gray walls of the Gate room and the expectant faces of two
members of my team were waiting for me. I couldn't see Captain Samantha
Carter, my 2IC, yet, but figured she must be in the control room doing
her thing with the computers. Dr. Daniel Jackson, my team archeologist,
had a look of wonderment on his face and moved to greet me. Teal'c, my
Jaffa friend from Chulak, had one eyebrow raised which meant he was
turning cartwheels, at least on the inside. They both looked relieved to
see me. To tell you the truth, I felt the same way. The last time I had
seen this place, I had thought it would be my last glimpse of a Base
that had become my home.
"I'm back," I quipped.
happened?" asked Daniel. Of course, he would be the one to ask. After
all, he had been my lifeline and my only means of communicating with my
own world. More importantly, he had understood some of the agony and
terror I was experiencing as the knowledge of the Ancients had slowly
taken over the brain of yours truly, Colonel Jack O'Neill, USAF,
Commander of SG-1.
"Do you still possess the knowledge of the
Ancients?" That question came from Teal'c. Trust my Jaffa friend to get
straight to the point. He's like that.
remember a thing. But you know that meaning of life stuff?" Daniel
nodded to show his comprehension of my question.
we're going to be alright." I couldn't tell any of them just how I knew
this, of course. The reason being that I hadn't quite been telling them
the whole truth when I said I didn't remember a thing. In all honesty I
remembered a whole lot more than I really wanted to. Foremost in my
memory was the pain and frustration I had felt as the very essence of my
being was slowly devoured and taken over by the data from the Ancients.
My head had hurt so much that it felt like it was going to explode. As
for the knowledge that had been downloaded into me, that was gone, at
least for now.
introspection was interrupted by the familiar voice of the Commanding
officer of Stargate Command, Major General George Hammond. I noted that
Carter had joined Teal'c and Daniel in the Gate room. She gave me one of
her incandescent smiles, the kind that makes my day. I smiled back.
"It's good to have you back, Colonel O'Neill. Get
checked out at the Infirmary and then report for your debriefing. I have
a feeling you have a lot to tell us," commented the General.
"Yes Sir. Oh by the way, Thor's buddies send
their regards," I answered and snapped off a salute to him as he gazed
down from the Control Room. I turned and started towards the Infirmary.
I noted that my team, SG-1, were surrounding me. They had closed ranks
around me, as if afraid I would vanish if they weren't there. That
really wasn't surprising, considering everything that had transpired
since my fateful encounter with the Ancients' headgear on planet
P3R-272. They had been forced to watch as the co-worker they knew was
slowly taken from them, leaving behind a pseudo-Jack that spouted
incomprehensible gibberish and made weird doohickeys. Daniel had been
the only one of my team who could even begin to understand what I was
saying or what had been happening to me.
thing I knew, I was staring straight into a bright light. For a moment,
I panicked, 'Crap, not that head-grabbing Ancient thingy again!' I
squinted my eyes to lessen the glare and covered my eyes with my arm. I
could hear the voice of Dr. Janet Fraiser, Chief Medical Officer of the
SGC. Well, that explained the bright light,' I thought. 'Just Doc armed
with her pen-light from hell.' When I could see clearly again, I
realized I was staring at the familiar ceiling tiles of the Infirmary.
"Crap! What happened?" I muttered blearily. The
ceiling was replaced by Dr. Fraiser's concerned face.
out, Sir. In fact, if it weren't for Teal'c catching you, your head
would have bounced off the cement floor of the Gate room." Crap. I
couldn't remember that happening. I guess my little adventure must have
taken more out of me than I had thought. Come to think of it, I couldn't
remember the last time I'd slept. Right now the idea of sleep seemed
pretty attractive to me, but I knew I couldn't keep the General waiting.
I struggled to sit up in the bed.
"Colonel O'Neill. You need to stay still. I
haven't finished my exam yet," announced the Doctor sternly. To add
further emphasis to her suggestion, she placed her hand firmly on my
chest and pushed me back down. I squirmed under the pressure.
"Aw, for crying out loud. I feel fine. The
General is waiting for me to report to him and we don't want to keep him
waiting. Do we, Major?" trying for a bit of intimidation in order to
escape her domain.
"Colonel O'Neill, the only reporting you will be
doing for the time being will take place right here. The General ordered
me to check you out, and by God, I intend to do just that. After all,
you've just returned from an unknown destination and it is my job to
give you a thorough examination. The General knows this will take some
time and is already aware of the situation. In fact, he was there when
you hit the floor, so lie still while my nurse gets some blood
"Sir, if you don't cooperate, I will get the
samples and my needles are much bigger than the ones my nurses use." I
settled back on the bed. I knew when she had me beat. Dr. Fraiser wasn't
a big person, but she ruled her corner of SGC like a tyrant and struck
fear in the hearts of everyone, especially me. I nodded wearily and
stuck out my arm for the waiting nurse, using my free arm to cover my
eyes once more.
"Oww!" I yelped as the needle struck home. The
nurse just smiled and continued filling the vials. I spared a sideways
glance, and noticed that she had already filled two tubes and had
attached a third. By now I had noticed that my uniform had been replaced
by hospital scrubs at some point. 'Hmm, the Doc must have ordered the
switch while I was out for the count,' I thought. I realized I must have
really been out for the count if being stripped out of my uniform by a
bunch of female nurses hadn't woke me up.
"What're you trying to do, drain me dry? At the
rate you bloodsuckers are going, I won't have any left. And where did
you put my clothes? I hope you didn't cut my boots off again because I
so don't want to break in another pair. I hate blisters, you know," I
grumbled. I grimaced as the Doctor turned her eagle eye towards
"Are you going to cooperate, or do I need to take
over?" Jerking my eyes away from her steely gaze, I winced. I so did not
want to get the Doc pissed off at me. The size of her needles were
legendary and my butt did not make the ideal pin cushion.
"Sorry, Doc, I guess I'm just tired. It's been a
busy couple of days for me, you know."
"All the more reason for me to check you out
thoroughly, Colonel. I'm just looking out for you. By the way, Sir, when
was the last time you ate anything?"
"Umm, I don't remember Doc. The Asgard offered to
throw me a party, but I turned them down. And as for sleep..."
so, Sir. After the tests are over, I am prescribing a stay in my
Infirmary for overnight observation. By then your test results should be
in and I'll know if you're OK. So you might as well relax and get some
rest while you can. I'll send someone down to the Commissary to get you
something to eat. Your blood sugar level is probably pretty low at this
point." I shrugged my shoulders to indicate that I would go along with
her orders, for now.
I must have
drifted off to sleep again, because the next thing I was aware of was
distant voices talking softly. It seemed like too much effort to open my
eyes, so I just laid there, listening. By concentrating, I found I
recognized the voices, and they seemed to be getting easier to
understand. The General's gruff voice was interspersed with comments
from Janet. I decided to open my eyes, figuring my boss was there to
hear my report. Dim lighting greeted me and I realized some time must
have passed. I had been a resident of the Infirmary often enough to know
that the lights were dimmed during the night shift.
"How can a
guy get any sleep around here with all this racket, Sir?" I groused good
"I'm glad to
see you're finally awake, Colonel." General Hammond smiled at me as he
watched Dr. Fraiser aim her penlight towards my eyes. I winced and
slammed my eyes shut to avoid the sudden pain that lanced through my
"I see your
eyes are still very photosensitive," murmured the Dr. as she put the
light back in her pocket and began taking my vitals. "Pulse is strong,
and no sign of any fever. How bad is the headache, Colonel?"
"Not bad," I muttered.
"How bad is
it, Sir, on a scale from one to ten?" she asked.
"Umm, a five?" Squinting my eyes seemed to help
the pain a little, but I could see she didn't like my answer. She looked
"Sir, I can
give you something for the pain." With I grimace, I slowly nodded. The
Doctor seemed relieved at my agreement and quickly administered a shot
into the IV that was sticking out of my arm. Immediately, I felt the
warmth of the drug spread though my body, leaving relaxed muscles in
it's wake. The pounding in my head gradually lessened, and I expelled
sigh of relief.
"While you were napping, I started an IV as you
were severely dehydrated as well as suffering from low blood sugar,"
continued Dr. Fraiser. "You'll be glad to know that you are definitely
you, and your MRI showed no abnormalities. I must have looked puzzled,
so she clarified her statement.
sample showed a perfect match, Sir. We had to make sure they returned
you in good condition, Colonel. And according to the MRI, your brain
functions are back to normal."
"Do you feel up to answering some questions for
me, Colonel?" asked the General. I looked at him, surprised to hear to
hear the anxiety evident in his voice. I didn't look that bad off, did
"Yes Sir, where do you want me to start?" The
General walked to the side of my bed and sat down before
"How about telling me what was on the other side
of that wormhole you went through. You know, we weren't sure if we would
be able to get you back, Jack."
"I wasn't sure that I would get back either, Sir.
The man that left here through that Stargate wasn't really me anymore.
It was like I had someone else sharing my head with me. Hell, I couldn't
control any part of my body and couldn't communicate with any of you,
except for Daniel. You know, he was right when he told you I was already
gone. Thanks, by the way, for letting me go, Sir. I really don't think I
would still be alive if you hadn't."
"Why else do you think I let you go, Colonel?
That was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I honestly didn't
know if I would ever see you again." I gave him a grateful look before
"But, the good news, Sir, is that I got to visit
Thor's home planet. After one hell of a ride on the Stargate Express, I
ended up on the Asgard home planet of Othala. Evidently, it's not every
day that someone rolls down the steps from their Stargate so I got the
attention of several of Thor's Asgard pals right away. One of them had
this cool thingy on his palm that he used to help me out. They got a
little condescending after that, telling me our brains couldn't handle
all that stuff." I took a deep breath as I remembered tumbling down the
steps from the Stargate and coming face to face with those skinny gray
guys. The General nodded to indicate he understood.
Both Janet and Hammond seemed pretty engrossed in
my story. I'll have to admit, it was a doozy. It wasn't every day that a
human being was able to visit a planet in another galaxy. However, I
also knew that there were some things that I couldn't tell anyone, not
if I valued my freedom. In fact, I was surprised that the NID hadn't
sent Colonel Maybourne over to pick me up by now. I decided to take the
bull by the horns and ask about those slime balls.
"By the way General, have those NID goons been
nosing around yet? I would so not like to spend the rest of my Air Force
career as a lab rat at Area 51."
depends on what I tell them, Jack."
"I've been able to stall them for now, but you
know as well as I do that they are notoriously persistent when they get
wind of something that could be used as a weapon. And Colonel, when they
heard about all that stuff you were doing, they got VERY interested in
you. Is that info from the Ancients gone now, like you said in the Gate
room?" Now I was glad that I had asked. At least now I knew what I was
all that Ancients crap is gone now. It's zip, no more, nada, taken a
hike, and shuffled off to Buffalo. All you got now is just one very
tired and worn out bird Colonel who would love to do nothing more
complicated than sit down in front of the TV with a beer and watch a
hockey game." Hammond let out a relieved sigh and Dr. Fraiser actually
smiled as she turned to the General.
"General, the Colonel really needs to get some
rest now. He's been through quite an ordeal and his body needs sleep to
help him heal. I already sent his team to bed because they were
practically walking in their sleep. I realize you need this information,
but can't he finish with the debriefing tomorrow?" I could feel my
eyelids getting heavier and knew I wouldn't be able to keep them open
for much longer. Crap, the Doc could read me like a book. My CO must
have noticed too, because he agreed.
"Very well, we'll finish the debriefing later,
Colonel. In the meantime, you get some rest. Keep me informed on his
condition, Doctor." With that, he walked out of the
I must have
fallen asleep again, because suddenly I was back on Othala listening to
the Asgard guys talk to me. One of them raised his hand and I could see
that his palm was all glowy. I watched as a shimmering light formed in
front of my eyes and traveled quickly to end at the glowing thing in his
It was then
that I realized what had really happened back there. Thor's buddy hadn't
used that palm thingy to suck that stuff from my head. Thanks to the
enhancements gained from that download, my brain had reached out to him
and manipulated his palm device to help me to adapt to all that
information. My brain had used that palm thingy to transform all that
knowledge into something that wouldn't end up killing me. The knowledge
of the Ancients was all still there locked away in a corner of my mind,
just waiting for the right time to come out. Somehow, I also knew that
this information would be made available to me on a "need to know"
Now their cryptic statement of "You have already
taken the first steps towards becoming the fifth race," made sense. The
Asgard hadn't been talking about the human race as a whole. They had
been talking about me. No wonder they had seemed surprised. Hell, I was
surprised too! After all, that Alliance IS a pretty heady
this insight, I opened my eyes. I realized I needed to do some thinking
about this new and improved version of the one and only Jack O'Neill,
especially where the NID and the snakeheads were concerned. After all,
Momma O'Neill didn't raise no fool.
to play the dumb soldier would be harder now, but I felt like I already
had the act down pretty good. After all, not even Daniel and Carter knew
about my college degrees or the fact that I was fluent in five
languages. No, make that six now. And if I had anything to say about it,
they certainly weren't going to find out about it any time soon.
I resolved right then and there that I wouldn't
tell anyone just how much I still remembered from my encounter with that
crazy headgear. Not the General, not my team, not anyone. A part of me
felt badly about withholding this from the General, but if I told him
about what was still tucked away in a little corner of my brain, he
would be put in the position of having to report it to his superiors.
From there, it was just a short step to a one way ticket to the NID labs
in Area 51 for yours truly. Not to mention what the snake heads would do
to get their slimy hands on all that intel. Becoming one of their
"guests" was so not on my list of fun things to do. Their brand of
hospitality definitely left a lot to be desired and their over-the top
décor really sucked. No, this definitely was a secret that I would have
to keep to myself. I sighed as I as I drifted off into sleep again. It
was going to be alright, I just knew it.
Original Header/Footer Information:
Title: "Downloaded Jack" Part 1 of the
"Becoming The Fifth Race Series"
Category: Missing scene, Angst, Drama
Spoilers: "The Fifth Race"
Summary: Jack's POV
after returning from the Asgard home planet.
Disclaimer: Nope, don't own any of them. Couldn't
afford to if I did and don't have a mountain to hide them in.
Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Productions
do. I wrote this for entertainment and won't be making any money for it.
So, whatcha think? A big thank you to Alice and my husband Jerry for
betaing this for me. Yes, send feedback!
To be continued? So tell me what you
think. Don't quit your day-job or what? Do you want me to write Part 2?
Give me feedback, please! dinkydow