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19 May 2012 @ 05:05 pm
Fic: Five Times Jack Met Sam in Alternate Universes (4/5) [SG-1]  
Title: Utah
Word Count: 1885
Rating: Teen and Up
Original/Fandom: Stargate: SG-1 AU
Characters/Pairings: Jack, Sam
Warnings: major character death
Summary: Jack leads the survivors from the SGC after a goa'uld attack
Notes: written for writerverse Table of Doom Five Times prompt.

REVISED 6/5/12


Jack blew out a breath as he stepped out of the overcrowded makeshift barracks, happy that he hadn’t stepped on anyone; people had started sleeping on any available surface once all the cots were claimed. He stopped when he saw Walter standing in the hallway, the gash along his jaw still vivid against his exhaustion-pale face.

“I found you a scientist, Colonel. Captain Samantha Carter. She brought in the latest group from Area 51.”

Jack nodded his acknowledgement. “Any more patrols spotted?”

Walter shook his head. “No, Sir. It looks like they don’t know we’re here.”

“Yet,” Jack added grimly. “Okay, where’s this Carter at?”

“Waiting in the office, Sir.”

“Thanks.” He started off toward his ‘office’ and then turned. “And Sergeant, get some sleep.”

“Yes, Sir.” Jack watched with resignation as Walter headed away from the sleeping quarters, no doubt off on some task that would keep this abandoned ranch-cum-military headquarters functioning for another day.

As Jack crossed the grounds between the ranch house and the small outbuilding they’d converted to an office, he thought back over the last two weeks. Apophis’ attack had been sudden and brutal. They had been able to evacuate a few groups to the Alpha site, but the Mountain had fallen under attack earlier than anyone had anticipated. Hammond had ordered Jack to oversee the evacuation of SGC personnel; he’d gotten less than a third of them out. Hammond had stayed at the Mountain to ensure the self-destruct went off; they’d lost Siler and Fraiser in the first wave of troops through the gate; and Daniel...

Jack almost welcomed the dull pain in his heart when he thought about Daniel; it was the only proof he had that he could feel anything anymore. Daniel who, only weeks before, had gone through some magic mirror thing and come back with predictions of the attack and a device that could contact the Asgard if they needed help. Only no one could seem to make the thing work, and since most people (and Jack didn’t know if he’d ever forgive himself for being one of them) put Daniel’s warnings down to hallucinations or paranoia, researching it just hadn’t been a priority. Maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Jaffa had already overrun several levels of the SGC and Jack had just made the call that everyone who was getting out was out when Daniel had appeared, bloody, limping, each breath rattling loudly in his chest. Jack had stared at him, stunned.

“I sent you with the first group, Daniel. You’re supposed to be on the surface already!”

“Had to... get... this.” Daniel held out the alien device. “It will help... Jack. Trust me.”

Jack took the device from Daniel as the archaeologist slumped against the wall, his face contorted in agony. Jack looked from him to the access shaft, its ladder the only remaining escape route. Daniel shook his head.

“Just go, Jack.”

And he did. He tucked the device away and climbed the ladder. He organized the survivors and led them to this place in the middle of BFE, Utah, where they were supposed to meet up with any survivors from Groom Lake.

He paused outside the office and shook the haunting memories off. He entered to see a blonde in dusty BDUs sitting on the floor, leaning against a wall. When she saw him, she jumped to her feet. He didn’t know where she got the energy seeing as the exhaustion written on her face easily matched his.

“At ease, Captain Carter.” Her shoulders slumped a bit, but she stayed standing. “You’re science and tech?” he asked, doubtfully, as he assessed her age as younger than he’d expected.

“Yes, Sir. My degree is in astrophysics, but I’m reasonably familiar with all the technology that’s been brought back through the gate.” She sounded confident, at least.

Jack grabbed the device off a shelf and tossed it at her. She caught it neatly and started examining it right away. “I bet you’re not familiar with that, but you’re going to need to get familiar, fast.”

She nodded and he could already see her making mental notes. God, her expression was just like Daniel’s when he found something particularly fascinating.

“So, where’s your CO?” She glanced up, a defensive look in her eyes. “No offense, Captain, but what you’re holding may well be the key to saving what’s left of Earth. I just want to make sure we have our best people on it.”

“I’m the highest ranking officer from Research who made it out. We were hit from the sky and then everything, it was just gone,” she finished softly. Their eyes locked for a moment before she looked sharply away, but he saw in her eyes the same look he’d been seeing for weeks: haunted by so much death and destruction, but left with no time to process it. He should say something inspirational, or soothing, but he just didn’t have it in him right now.

“Okay, then. We’re in your hands, Captain.”

~ ) O ( ~

Jack tried not to hover over the next few days as she worked. Fortunately, he had plenty to keep him occupied given the realities of setting up a defensible living arrangement on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, with a mess of civilians who had no idea that aliens were real until the attack.

She had taken over the shed he had been using and had put together a team. They were scavenging parts and tools from anything and everything in sight. With the limited sleeping areas everyone was sleeping in shifts, so Jack couldn’t be entirely sure, but he strongly suspected that she hadn’t actually seen a bed since he’d assigned her this project.

Finally, after three days, he dropped by one afternoon to find her alone, muttering at the inert device. “Carter!” he snapped. She pulled to attention and he gave her a careful look: definitely exhausted. “You’re taking a break. Come with me.”

She looked confused but followed him out into the noontime sunlight, shielding her eyes for a minute until they adjusted to the brightness. He led her over to picnic table and took a seat, motioning for her to do the same. She did, giving him a questioning look.

“Rest, Captain. I hear it does wonders. You’re never going to figure it out if you’re asleep on your feet.”

She looked like she wanted to argue, but ultimately just nodded. They sat together quietly watching some of the children pull together an impromptu kickball game, laughing even in the middle of all the horror.

“I just,” she began after a while, then fell silent. Jack turned his attention back to her and she grimaced. “When it started, there were explosions and fires and everyone was running and shouting. And I did what I was supposed to, what I’d been trained to do. But all I could think was that I didn’t want to die. That there’s so much to life that I want to experience.” He saw her watching the kids intently.

“I just, I want to make sure I get that chance. That we all do.”

His eyes dropped to her hands. No ring on her finger. She was young, had probably been focusing on her career, putting everything else off for the future that was suddenly in quesiton. “You’ll figure it out, Captain.” Jack was a little surprised to find himself believing the words as he said them. But something told him that if anyone could, it would be the determined young woman sitting beside him. Over the past few days, he had learned that she had led a dozen civilian scientists here from Area 51, through several Jaffa patrols, and hadn’t lost anyone.

She smiled weakly at him and turned her attention back to the game. They sat in comfortable silence for a while before Jack’s heavy eyelids reminded him that he’d been up for something close to 24 hours now.

He stood slowly. “I’m gonna get some sack time. You should think about it yourself, Carter.”

She looked up at him with a start, as if her mind were miles away. A big grin spread across her face. “Actually, Colonel. I think I have an idea.” At his frown, she added, ”I’m just going to try one thing and then I promise, I’ll get some sleep.”

He watched her head back to the shed with a wry chuckle, then headed for the bunkroom, thinking what a different situation it would have been had she and Daniel both been at the SGC at the same time. Apophis wouldn’t have stood a chance against their combined determination and optimism.

It was a couple of hours later by his internal clock when she was shaking him awake. He sat up, blinked the sleep from his eyes, and asked, “What is it, Carter?”

“I think I did it, Sir. I think it will work now. I figured you’d want to be there for the test.”

Her enthusiasm was contagious. He took a deep breath and pushed off the cot. “Lead the way, Captain.”

They were halfway to the shed when they both stopped simultaneously, each turning in a circle to identify the source of their discomfort. “There!” she shouted, pointing to an incoming squadron of death gliders at the same time Jack spied the ground troops coming up the road.

“Everybody, take cover!” he yelled. His people immediately fell into place, the drills they had discussed over the past few days being executed to perfection. The civilians were being shepherded to the designated escape routes. Jack scooped up a little girl that was running, terrified, and then turned to see Sam heading for the shed, even as the Jaffa drew near enough that their staff blasts were now making contact with surrounding objects.

“Carter, get back here!”

“No time, Sir. I’ll meet up with you at the fallback point,” she yelled over her shoulder as she slipped inside.

Jack started running, trying to protect the child as best he could from the debris flying all around them. Her voice was loud in his ear as she watched behind them. “Look!”

He spared a quick look back in time to see a beam of light shoot up from the shed and through the sky. Almost immediately, a glider headed straight for the shed. He held his breath as time simultaneously slowed down and sped up. The glider zeroed in on the small building, an energy pulse flew through the air, then the shed collapsed in on itself in a smoky haze.

He reached the edge of the clearing and handed the girl over to the last group of civilian evacuees, one eye still on the shed, willing the impossible to happen. He drew his weapon. They would hold a line here for as long as they could, to try to buy the civilians time to escape.

They stood their ground for as long as they could, but it was obvious from the beginning that the Jaffa forces had the upper hand. Just as he was about to sound the retreat, there was a bright flash of light and he and his men were left standing alone. The Jaffa had all disappeared.

Another minute and the image of Thor appeared in the middle of the clearing. “O’Neill,” came the strangely reverberating voice. Jack and his men walked out toward the alien hologram. “We received your signal. The current threat to your planet has been eliminated. I must take my leave now, but I will send others to assist in your rebuilding efforts.”

Jack found his voice. “Thank you.” Thor nodded and disappeared.

He heard people talking, radioing the evacuees that it was safe to return, relieved laughter, and pained grunts as the injured were tended to. He knew his people would take care of it; he could hear Walter organizing logistics already. So he slowly walked over to the shed/workroom and began digging through the debris.

Half an hour later, they found her body. She had likely been at the door, thrown back into the interior by the force of the blast. Jack gently took her hand in his. He thought of all the things she would never get to do, and all the things that others would be able to do because of her. “Thank you, Captain,” he whispered.

A month later, he was finishing moving into his new office in the temporary US capital outside Washington, DC. He fished out a set of files from the last box and laid them on his desk. Samantha Carter, Daniel Jackson, George Hammond, were at the top of the stack.

Government was still a loosely defined entity. Everything was temporary right now. There was serious talk of abandoning national governments in favor a worldwide system. The one thing Jack knew for sure was that whatever system the powers that be came up with, he would make damn sure that these people, these heroes, would receive all the honor due to them.

Continue to #5: Double Agent

Ami Ven: Team Proseami_ven on June 3rd, 2012 02:31 am (UTC)
Very nice! Sad and tragic, but really well done. #5 is happier, right?
magickmoons: teal'cmagickmoons on June 3rd, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)
Kate: J/S_looksupplyship on June 7th, 2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I like this (despite Sam's heroic end). You really nailed that connection that every Sam and Jack seem to make, even if it is just mutual trust and a quiet moment at a picnic table.
magickmoons: kawooshmagickmoons on June 7th, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I think that scene at the picnic table was actually where this one originated in my head.
Vashvash26 on June 10th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
*snif* Well done, but heartbreaking.
magickmoons: Lights on Jackmagickmoons on June 10th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)