The Asgard VIP
by dinkydow

Part One

Medical Records:Property of U.S. Air Force

Subjective Observations: 47 year old Caucasian active duty-Air Force (O-6) male presented at SGC Infirmary at 1630 hours due to increasing inability to maintain adequate nutrition intake and sleep. Complaints include: fainting spells, headache, nausea, pronounced startle response, increased irritability, and difficulty sleeping due to flashbacks and nightmares. Patient was accompanied to Infirmary by two SF as per orders of SGC OIC. Patient has thus far refused medical recommendations to discuss the cause for psychological trauma.

Objective Observations: Upon examination, pupils were equal and reactive, the sclera of both eyes were red in color. The patient complained of pain when eyes were examined with a pen light. Temperature: 101.6, Pulse:120, Respirations: rapid and shallow, BP: 180/94. Facial bone structure more pronounced, due to recent loss of 30 pounds. Dark discoloration present under both eyes. No evidence of previous physical injuries is present. (see previous entry dated two weeks ago)

Assessment: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, accompanied by nausea, insomnia, flashbacks, nightmares, and pronounced startle response.

Plan: Treatment will consist of...


Dr. Janet Fraiser, Chief Medical Officer of Stargate Command sighed and gazed wearily around the Infirmary located deep in the bowels of Cheyenne Mountain. The Infirmary, her little kingdom, where her word was law, was much quieter now. The only sound she could hear was the steady beeping of the EKG monitor affixed to her current patient.

"Thank God it's quiet," she muttered under her breath. Quiet meant that her present resident was asleep, thanks to the sedatives she had administered two hours ago. 'A little Ativan IM can do wonders,' she thought.

She sighed again and glanced at the watch. It informed her it was 0238 hours. 'Oh-dark-thirty in the morning!' No wonder she felt beat!

Her eyes wandered back to the medical file she was up-dating. 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Such an impersonal sounding phrase. Such innocent words could never convey what it meant. How it turned horror into a daily personal movie filled with images engrained in the brain. Horrible images that numbed the mind and made the eyes of its victims glaze over. Shell Shock. Yeah, that's what they used to call it. Well, the word shock certainly fit.' she mused.

Grimly, she pulled her eyes and mind back to the task at hand. If she didn't finish up-dating these charts, she'd never get out of here. The medical chart she was presently working on was pretty thick and getting thicker by the minute.

The chart's name said it belonged to Colonel Jonathan (Jack) O'Neill. His chart kept getting bigger every time the owner stepped through the Stargate. And this was volume III. 'Whew! Not a good sign.'

It wasn't that the afore-mentioned Colonel was a complainer. Hell no! In fact, he was just the opposite. She smiled and shook her head as she remembered the time he'd called her a Napoleonic Power Monger. 'Yeah right!' She half chuckled to herself as she remembered the thud that sounded as he had hit the floor, face first, beside his bed. 'So much for that escape attempt. Jack had definitely had that one coming to him. He couldn't even stand on his feet, and he had been trying to sneak out of the Infirmary. Napoleonic Power Monger, indeed!'

Her mind drifted back to the cause of that attempted "jail break". Daniel Jackson hadn't come back from that mission, and Jack was worried sick about him. So the combination of his fear for his friend, and the guilt he felt for leaving him behind had pushed him to make a stab at escaping from her clutches early. That hadn't really surprised her. One of Jack's most firmly held rules was, "We don't leave anyone behind."

Her mind shied away from the reason Jack felt so strongly about this. She had read his chart. Hell, that was part of her job. As CMO, she was duty-bound to familiarize herself with the past medical histories of all personnel assigned to SGC. Still, his chart didn't make for pleasant reading. Four months as a prisoner of war in Iraq would give anyone nightmares, flashbacks, and everything else that goes along with experiencing such traumatic events. Well, I guess that's one way of putting it. Yeah, I'll bet those "events" were traumatic.

Janet sighed again, and grimly pulled her attention back to finishing the notes in Jack's chart. At this rate, she's never finish, and she still needed to complete her report to General Hammond. No one keeps a General waiting, not even the Chief Medical Officer.

'Let's see, where was I? The plan. Which treatment should I try this time?' she asked herself. 'Oh yeah, and just how am I supposed to explain how those broken bones of his had healed so quickly?' The General has already been hounding for an answer to that one.

She was still trying to figure it out, and it rankled her to admit that she didn't have a clue. It would have made her look real good to be able to say that her skills as a Doctor had repaired him. But she knew she would have been lying to herself and everyone else, if she had taken the credit for that miracle.

Giving up on the charts for now, she tiptoed over to the isolation room where her "miracle patient" was lying in bed. The General had recommended he be placed in an isolated room for privacy, and she had agreed that it would be a good idea. She moved to stand at his bedside. He was sleeping, at last. She placed her hand on his forehead to brush his hair back. His skin felt dry, normal. The fever was gone; he was breathing easily on his own.

Jack turned his head away from her touch and groaned in his sleep. "Please stop," he muttered. "Hurts."

As if that was a signal, he suddenly became more agitated, his body beginning to thrash about on the bed. "No! No! You can't do this!" he moaned, as his head continued to jerk from side to side on the pillow.

Janet drew back quickly, dodging Jack's wildly waving arms. She turned to the bedside table and efficiently picked up the vial of Ativan and a new needle. Drawing out the required dosage, she gave the syringe a practiced flick with her finger to remove any air bubbles. In one fluid motion, she inserted the needle into to his IV line and injected the sedative.

In the meantime, Jack's level of agitation was growing. His body was now writhing on the bed and his moans were growing louder. "No, I can't. Please stop," he whimpered.

Suddenly, he sat straight up in bed and screamed, "Oh, God! No!"

Janet stood riveted to the spot. She realized she was holding her breath, afraid to make a sound. She let her breath out, slowly. It came out as a long, drawn-out sigh.

Trying to talk over the sound of her own rapidly beating heart, she asked, "Colonel?"

At the sound of her voice, Jack's head whipped around to look at her. His eyes were wide open, glazed, and seemed to be looking straight through her.

Again she asked, "Colonel O'Neill? It's Dr. Fraiser. You're in the Infirmary. You're safe now," she crooned soothingly.

She noted that his respirations had slowed somewhat, and his clenched fists had begun to relax. 'Yep, right on schedule. Ativan will do the trick every time. Of course, it helps if the dose is enough to knock over an elephant,' she mused. As the sedative continued to do its work, Jack's eyes blinked. He started, as if seeing Janet for the first time. He ran his hand shakily through his sweaty gray hair.

"Doc?" he asked fearfully. 'Good, he's with us now,' she thought.

"Sir, you're in the Infirmary. You're safe now," she repeated. Her words seemed to calm him somewhat. He rubbed furiously at both eyes with his fists.

"Oh God," he whispered. "That one was a doozy."

"Sir, look at me," she ordered, with the hope that she would regain his attention. Her words had the desired effect on her patient.

"Can you tell me about it? It would help if you did. You know it would, Colonel," she said.

"Crap," he said watching her out of the corner of his eye. "You know I would have to shoot you if I did, Major," he replied stubbornly. 'Maybe he could pull rank on her,' he thought hopefully. At that, Doctor Janet Fraiser stiffened, crossed her arms in front her, and glared down at her recalcitrant patient.

"Colonel O'Neill!" she bellowed. "If you insist on disrupting MY Infirmary time after time with your shrieking, I will have no choice but to take my concerns to OUR Commanding Officer. Just what do you think General Hammond will have to say about that?" Eyes blazing, Janet continued to tower over the subject of her ire.

Jack blinked several times before answering. Putting on his best "little boy lost" face, he stammered.

"Uhh, that I should be discharged from your tender care and sent home to recuperate?" Judging by the sound of Janet's foot tapping on the floor, and the fire in her eyes, his ploy wasn't working. 'Crap,' thought Jack. He wouldn't have been surprised if Hammond's face suddenly appeared over Janet's rigid shoulder.

He took a deep, cleansing breath, as he ruthlessly forced the horrifying memories back down into the darkest corner of his mind. 'It was better that he kept them hidden,' he resolved. Continuing her attempts to draw him out, Janet uttered just one word.

"Colonel?" Seeing that she had his attention again, she added. "So, what's it going to be, COLONEL O'Neill? Do I go up OUR chain of command to GENERAL Hammond, or will you talk to me?"

At that, Jack's eyes widened and his fingers started drumming nervously on the sheets.

Jesus, I think she means it this time, he thought His mind was racing, frantically trying to find a way to avoid divulging the latest in a long string of nastiness. He knew General Hammond would NOT be a happy camper if he heard an unfavorable report about him from his CMO. 'Double crap.'

He glanced at her again before looking down. "I don't know if you could take it if I told you," he confessed. "I mean, those snakes can get pretty rough out there, Doc" he added, hoping she would buy it.

Janet responded by rolling her eyes and retorting, "Colonel, may I remind you that I KNOW those snakes can get rough. Just who the hell do you think cleans you up and records every single bruise, cut, burn, broken bone, or whatever else you can get afflicted with in your chart? Hmmm?" 'God, that man can be so exasperating,' she thought.

Jack sneaked a peek towards her, unwilling to meet her eyes. 'Yep, She is really pissed now.' He let out a long breath and looked at the ceiling. 'If I don't look at her, I'll be OK. Yep, just peachy. The cesspool I have for memories won't come spilling out if I just don't look at her.'

"I'm waiting for an answer, Colonel. And, I don't have all day." Colonel O'Neill continued to stare at the ceiling, counting the tiles to distract himself.

"Look at me, dammit!" His concentration broken by the outburst, his head and eyes jerked automatically towards the author of the curse. In doing so, his eyes were caught like a deer caught in the headlights of an on-rushing car. Inside, he could feel the barriers he had erected to keep the darkness in beginning to weaken.

"Oh, God," he moaned. "Don't do this, please."

Janet could see the panic in his face. She knew reliving those awful days would hurt like hell. She was equally certain they would eat him up from the inside if he didn't find a way to release them. Those remembered horrors were like a poison in his system, not allowing him to sleep or eat. She couldn't stop now when he was so close to finally letting it all out.

He could feel the dam he had erected to hide away those thoughts beginning to crack.

"Oh, God. Can't you just leave me alone?" he whimpered. He squeezed his eyes shut, as if that could prevent the dam inside his head from crumbling.

Janet could see beads of sweat pop out on his face, making his skin glisten. His hands were clenched into fists and were rhythmically pounding the bed. She didn't like to see her friend in such pain, but knew she couldn't stop now. Remembering to keep out of reach of any sudden punches, she decided to push harder.

"Colonel O'Neill!" she barked. He jerked and involuntarily looked at her again. His body seemed to relax and his eyes glazed over.

"Ok, you win, Doc," he said softly. "But don't blame me if you toss your cookies over this," he warned as he tried to smile. Janet nodded at him.

"Don't worry about me. Spill it, flyboy!" She waited, and said in a quieter tone, "Mind if I sit down, Sir?" Jack's eyes lost that glassy stare as he answered her question by nodding. He took a deep breath.

"You think you can really handle all this?" he asked, hoping for a last-minute reprieve. Janet cocked her head at him.

"Have I ever lied to you, Sir? Come on, let's get this over with so we can both get out of here. That is, unless you like it here," she taunted. "Let's see, that special shipment of needles I order just for Colonels who are a pain in the mik'ta just came in. And I'm just dying to try them out on someone."

'Crap, not those big, honking, needles,' he thought. His cheeks were still sore from the last injections. He glanced in her direction again. 'Nope, she was still there.' This was so not his day. He could feel the beginning of a headache coming on. He pinched the bridge of his nose and let out another long breath.

Janet could see him struggling for composure as he confronted his inner demons. 'Well, the Ativan should help a little,' she thought.

"You remember how this crap all started, don't you?" he asked.

Yeah," she agreed, "It was about two months ago at that barbeque, wasn't it?" General Hammond had invited the SGC staff officers over for some well-earned R&R.

He ginned and nodded.

"That must have been something to see. One minute I'm sitting drinking a beer, chewing on a hotdog, and then poof! I'm gone in a flash of white light and beamed up to Thor's ship. Thor even brought along my beer," he chuckled. "I would have loved to have seen the look on Hammond's face." Janet chuckled, remembering back to that day.

"I thought I was going to have to do the Heimlich maneuver on him. His mouth dropped open, and he just about choked on his hotdog. Of course, I was doing a pretty good fish imitation myself, you know. I think we all were. Can't that guy ever give us any warning before he zaps you away?" Jack's smile faded away as he continued to remember.

"Nah, he likes it to be a surprise. Especially to the zappee." He sighed as he continued. "Thor was all business that day. It seems he was worried about me. He said he'd heard about the death glider problem, and he wasn't at all thrilled about it. He bawled me out for awhile, and said I should be more careful. He told me the Asgard couldn't take the risk of me kicking the bucket somewhere cause I was too important." 'Gee, you could have fooled me,' he thought.

"Anyway, to make a long story short, he put a locator beacon doohickey in my arm. He said it would tell them when I was in trouble. It's supposed to have something to do with my blood chemistry, I guess. I've still got it, see?" He raised his arm to show it to Janet. "No one can figure out how it works, and it's been driving Carter crazy," he continued with an impish grin.

Turning serious again, he continued. "You know, Thor never did tell me what it is that makes me so damn important. He still hasn't."

"So, after he injected that beacon thing in my arm, he zapped me back down to the party. I did invite him to come along too, but he turned me down. I guess he had better things to do than eat hot dogs and drink beer."

Janet laughed to herself, Only Jack O'Neill would invite a member of the Asgard to a backyard barbeque! She looked at his face. He wasn't looking at her again.

Instead, he was back to the "gazing at the ceiling" routine. 'That's not a good sign,' she thought.

Reviewing her own memories of that day, she realized he hadn't returned to the party. In fact, no one had known where he was until he appeared in his quarters at SGC the next day, not even the General.

'He's hiding something. Better confront him now and get it all out in the open,' she resolved firmly. She took a chance and leaned a little closer to Jack.

"If your visit with Thor was no big deal, why were you gone so long, Sir? You were missing for over twenty-four hours. Just what are you leaving out, huh?" she asked in her best "I'm the Mom here, so you'd better spill it" voice.

Startled, Jack whipped his head around to find her boring a hole in his head with her eyes. And he could see those eyes knew he was trying to bullshit her. He swallowed hard and tore his eyes away.

"I told him no," he mumbled.

"What? I'm sorry, Sir, I really didn't catch that last one. You're going to have to spell it out to me."

"I said, I told him no!" he shouted. "I told him to keep his fucking locator thingy and that I didn't want it," he shouted. Seeing the puzzled, incredulous look on Janet's face, he turned away again.

"I spent most of the day arguing with him," he continued in a lower tone. "Can you imagine that? Jack O'Neill spending the day arguing with a guy who looks like something out of a low-budget science fiction movie from the fifties. A short, gray guy who knows how to build big, powerful spaceships that can zap unsuspecting humans off the planet. A skinny-assed guy who can ruin your life, just when you least expect it. I yelled at him, called him names, kicked the wall, everything I could think of, to talk him out of it. And do you know why?" He took a deep breath before continuing.

"Because I knew that once I got back with the news about that locator thing in my arm, I could never live a normal life again. As soon as I told anyone that the Asgard thought I was important, I was screwed."

"Hell, once the NID found out, I knew they would be just itching to get me into one of their labs to find out just why O'Neill was suddenly so damned important. I spelled it out to Thor in detail. I pointed out to him that they could have me sliced up before anyone even knew I was missing." Jack stopped to wipe the sweat off his face with his bed sheet. He was dripping with it and had already soaked his hospital scrubs.

"I begged him. Thor, old buddy, please don't sentence me to this living hell! I explained to him that every bad guy in the universe would want to know just why O'Neill was suddenly so fucking important to the Asgard. They would say, hmm, maybe O'Neill got some more stuff downloaded into his brain. Let's slice him open and find out."

"And you know that the NID would hear about this bit of juicy gossip five minutes after I came back. Once the NID knew, then it was only a matter of time until the snakes found out. You do remember, don't you, Janet, that the NID has this nasty habit of snaking their own guys, thinking they can control them. Even I know that's fucking impossible." Nervously, he rubbed the scar on the nape of his neck and shivered. He ran a shaking hand through his hair again before continuing.

"The minute Thor put that beacon in my arm, I knew any chance I had to live a normal life was over. It was as if he'd painted a big, honking, bull's eye with neon lights on my forehead and sent out engraved invitations! Thor just told me that they would be able to tell when I was in trouble and beam me up to their ship, or something. If they happened to be in the neighborhood, I guess," he said morosely.

"I told him not to do it, Janet. I begged him not to. He just said they couldn't afford to lose me. Hell, I even demanded that Thor explain to me in simple words about why I was suddenly so damned important to them. Do you know what he told me, Doc? He wouldn't tell me squat! Something about how I wouldn't be able to understand it yet. Well, he's right about that. I DON'T understand it! And I DON"T like it! Believe you me, the Asgard are definitely off my Christmas list!" Janet could see that the Colonel was on a roll and had a lot more anger to vent.

"Hell, he might as well have had a sign taped to my back saying "Attention all bad guys, O'Neill, the famous Tau'ri, has a secret in his head. Come and get it."

"I explained all that to Thor. I begged him not to do it, but his mind was already made up," he said tiredly. "Crap, why else do you think I had him beam me back to SGC? Thanks to his skinny gray ass, I couldn't even stop at the local gas station to fill up without putting other people in danger. Can you imagine what would have happened if those NID headhunters tried to grab me there, or on my way to work? Cuz I would defend myself, have no doubt about that," he stated soberly. "But at what cost? Who else would be hurt while I was fighting to stay alive?" He paused and looked at her.

"Didn't you notice that I spent all my time here at SGC after that? That I never left, not even to look at the stars at night? That I never even sent Daniel out for pizza? Didn't you notice?" he asked again. "I COULDN'T leave."

"When I briefed the General about what had happened he was pretty upset too. He called me a security risk. Me, Colonel Jack O'Neill, a damn security risk! And it was all Thor's fault!"

"Of course, I had to break the news to Carter, Daniel, and Teal'c. They didn't like what had happened at all. I could see that they were worried about me. Then, they started treating me different. They wouldn't let me go anywhere alone. I swear they took turns hovering over me. I told them to stop it, but they told me that the General had ordered them to protect me. God, I hated that."

"The way Teal'c handled his babysitting chores helped a little. He's a soldier and we think a lot alike. We worked it out so that he would sit in my quarters doing his kel-no-reem thing when I was trying to get some sleep in my bunk. Yeah, trying, and failing. You know that I didn't sleep much those days. The nightmares, real bad."

He paused and looked down before continuing.

"You know how I feel about being cooped up, Doc. I wanted to go out and do something, anything to force the NID to show their hand. I've always hated waiting. But the General threatened to sic a body guard on me if I so much as looked like I wanted to catch that elevator to the top. Can you honestly see me with a body guard? ME? I'm supposed to do that stuff!"

Janet sat still, not saying anything. The General had given her the "short version" of Jack's visit with Thor soon after he had been debriefed. She remembered how she had noted in his chart how the normally vibrant, active Colonel had changed since then. She'd given him an exam every other day after his visit with Thor, General's orders. The medical notes had told the story of how much his physical and mental condition had deteriorated over the weeks of his confinement at SGC. He'd become increasingly nervous and jumpy. He started losing weight because he wasn't eating or sleeping right.

Janet dragged her attention back to the man lying on the bed in front of her. She could see that Jack wasn't finished yet.

"The Pentagon informed Hammond that my going out on missions with my team was out of the question, at least for awhile. They all agreed that it was just too damn risky. And to tell you the truth, I had to agree with them." He paused and looked at Janet. "Just how the hell was I supposed to be leading my team, when I was such a big, fat, juicy target, huh? How was I supposed to go through that gate knowing I was putting my friends in danger?"

"The NID and the Goa'uld did find out, didn't they, Sir? The word did get out, just like you figured it would," added Janet as she started putting what little she did know together.

"Yeah, I guess you could say it did, didn't it?" He replied softly. "Only we didn't know it had gotten out, or that the bounty on my head had gotten so high, did we, Doc?"

Janet whispered "No, Colonel, I guess we didn't. Did General Hammond have any idea?"

"No, I really don't think he did. I mean, he wouldn't sell me down the river like that. After all, he'd been working overtime just to keep me off the slice and dice table at NID. You know that couldn't have been a walk in the park. Those guys play dirty. Senator Kinsey may be a slime ball, but he has a lot of power where it counts."

"So, SG-1 took a chance and went off world, anyway," Janet prompted.

"Yeah. The General and I figured that any interest in me would have died down. After all, a month had gone by without me building any strange doohickeys and I wasn't even talking weird. We figured that I was over the worst of any threat from the bad guys, so he gave the OK for SG-1 to gate to that planet." Jack continued.

"We'd been to their planet before. In fact, I'd nicknamed it BR 549 cause they did a lot of farming." At her questioning look, he explained, "You know, from that corn-ball TV Show from the 60's with all those country hillbillies and cornfields." Seeing that she still didn't get it, he said, "Well, I guess you had to be there. See, this planet had cornfields out the whazoo! Miles of 'em."

"Anyway, the people on Planet BR 549 seemed real friendly. We had made some good contacts with the guys in their High Council. I surprised the hell out of Daniel when I spoke fluent German with them. I considered those people to be my friends." He chuckled, remembering how Danny's mouth had dropped open when he took over the introductions. "Hell, I even taught some of the kids how to play ball."

"So we thought it would be OK for SG-1 to carry out the negotiations for a treaty when they asked for us. The plan was that we would give them some of our technology, and they would give us some naquada. Everyone would go home happy. A nice, easy, meet and greet. Let SG-1 dress up spiffy in Class A's for a regular dog and pony show. Yep, go impress the natives, Jack. Go play catch with those nice kids, Jack. A piece of cake, Jack. Yeah, sure ya betcha." His voice trailed off at the last.

"But it wasn't a piece of cake, was it, Sir? They were waiting for you, weren't they?" asked Janet.

"Yeah, Doc, they were waiting for us. We never stood a chance."