6. A Plan
They did not dare take the elevators, but instead hurried down the stairs as fast as they could. Teal'c had been uncertain on his legs at first, but he seemed stronger now. Or perhaps it was just his willpower.
Sam was feeling hot, tired, and sweaty, and she was just carrying her weapons and ammunition. Teal'c also had the alien body and he was infected with the virus - or whatever it was.
She stopped just before opening the door. "I checked the surveillance before going to find you. There were many guards - I estimate more than 10, including two of the alien creatures - several in the corridors on levels 27 and 28, and more in the gateroom. We'll never get past them even if the alien-controlled humans are creepy slow. We need a plan."
"How many grenades do you have?" Teal'c asked, letting the body of the alien creature down on the floor.
"I've only got 2 left, but I have some C-4. I've considered that. We might be able to plant it somewhere that will take out a lot of hostiles, and then blow it, but I don't know where to put it or how to get them to go there."
*There is a round hallway just outside the control room. If we blow the explosives there, anyone in the adjacent corridors will be killed or severely incapacitated. We can lure them there with your radios.*
*Not a bad idea, as completely unvetted plans go, but we'd never make it there without being shot, and if we did, they'd see what we did immediately.*
*Then we need a diversion. Teal'c can enter on level 27, make some noise, throw some grenades and get them to congregate there. Meanwhile, you and I set the explosive charges and hide the radio somewhere nearby.*
*It's crazy, but I haven't got any better ideas. Okay, let's try!* She looked up at Teal'c. "Jolinar suggests... ehrrr, I mean, I think I have an idea."
"I am well aware that the parasite is still inside you, Captain Carter."
"You are? How? Why?" She stared at him.
"You regularly appear to 'zone out' as Colonel O'Neill would say. Also, you would not have remained unaffected by the alien's mind altering gas if you were not a host. I, too, was unaffected."
"Ah." Sam shook her head slowly. "Okay. Listen, we have an agreement, for now. Jolinar and I."
"I understand. It is not a problem. As you say, we have bigger problems."
Sam nodded. "Okay, then. This is the plan..." she began to explain.
As soon as she heard the noise from Teal'c's diversion, she snuck down the stairs to level 28. Holding her zat'nik'tel at the ready, she stepped out in the corridor. No one was there, but she could hear someone move around slowly, dragging their feet, some distance from where she was.
She moved as silently as possible to the nearest door and pressed down the handle. The door slid open almost noiselessly, which she was thankful for. She listened with concern to the weapon's fire from above, then pushed the thought aside. Teal'c could take care of himself.
*Relax, we are almost there.*
*I hear someone.*
*So do I. As long as they do not hear you, all is well.*
Sam made a mental snort and continued on. She froze after a few steps. *They're coming this way!*
She spotted the guard - human, fortunately - seconds later, when he walked past the corridor she was standing in. She had her zat'nik'tel ready and shot him once, before he had time to do more than turn to look at her. Fortunately, the brainwashed humans were much slower than normal.
She glanced briefly at the guard - airman Watson, she remembered, then stepped out into the corridor which was otherwise empty. She could hear the sound of weapon's fire from above, though.
*All right! Hurry now!* Jolinar urged.
*Yeah, yeah, I will,* Sam grumbled.
She got to the round hallway, and saw that the control room seemed empty. Quickly, she snuck in there and took a look around. It was indeed empty, but she could hear people shouting above, and the sound from weapon's fire was louder in here - hardly surprising, since an open staircase led to the briefing room above.
The gateroom was not empty. She counted eight human guards and two of the alien creatures. So it was only those in the corridors who had gone to fight Teal'c. That was the best they could have hoped for in any case, of course, but they would never get through all those hostiles.
They would have to hope their plan worked.
She jogged the few steps back to the spot they had picked. She glanced at the camera which was located so that it overlooked the area, and would show them if their enemy took the bait. It was part of the reason they had chosen this location.
She placed a large charge - most of the C-4 she had brought, actually, then connected the detonator. She had just finished and was looking for a place to hide the radio, when the human guard she had stunned a short time ago started to wake up and she heard him moan in a low voice.
Sam quickly placed the radio so it was hidden in one of the niches along the wall.
Then she hurried to the guard she had shot, trailing detonating cord after her, making sure it ran along the wall, hopefully being less obvious that way.
The guard, Watson, had risen, but looked confused. "What... is going on?" he asked when he saw her. "Captain," he added.
She looked at him suspiciously. "What do you remember?"
He was quiet for a moment. "Nothing, really."
Sam made a quick decision. "Okay, come with me!" She gave him a push into the corridor leading to the stairs, then threw the end of the cord into a room just before the stairs, that she knew had a small control station with a monitoring system that could connect to the camera feeds for that level.
The guard followed, a bit slowly, but without complaint.
"Wait there!" Sam ordered.
He nodded and sat down on the lowest step of the stairs, while Sam hurried up to the floor above.
"Teal'c!" she called into the corridor.
"Coming!" he shouted, firing another round of shots at the attacking enemy, then followed her.
They ran down the stairs and into the room she had picked. They dragged the still confused guard with them in there and then shut the door and pulled a heavy rack in front of it, before Sam sat down at the computer station, activating it.
While it booted, she rummaged around in her backpack and found a detonator which she handed to Teal'c, who connected the cord to it while Sam typed on the computer for a few moments. Then the camera feed of the corridor where they had set the charges came up. She pulled out the other radio.
"Ready?" she asked.
"What?" Watson asked.
"Sit down!" Teal'c ordered him.
"Yes, sir," Watson answered, sitting down immediately.
"I am ready," Teal'c told Sam, placing the detonator on the floor and crouching beside it.
She smiled and activated the radio. The one at the other end was set to merely transmit the signal it got - loudly.
She spoke into the radio, hoping that what she said would work to lure their enemies to where they had placed the explosives, "Teal'c, I am in the control room. I am ready to upload the virus now. No one will be able to dial in or out when I'm finished. Come here as fast as you can - I need your assistance afterwards so we can set the auto destruct!"
She could see on the screen how one of the aliens walked towards the round hallway, with a handful of human guards following. Just as he passed the camera, the other alien from down in the gateroom showed up, with more human guards following. He stood still and seemed to receive or perhaps send a telepathic message.
Worried that the aliens had seen through their plan, she made the signal to Teal'c to detonate, which he did immediately.
The explosion was extremely loud, even where they were, and the walls shook and things fell out of the racks and shelves and down to the floor, with loud crashes. Some crumbled pieces of plaster fell from the ceiling, and then all was quiet.
"Wow!" Sam exclaimed.
"Indeed. We should move quickly. More guards and creatures may soon arrive," Teal'c said.
They pushed the heavy rack aside, and opened the door. Outside it was quiet and the air was full of dust - from the concrete walls.
They found no one alive, and hurried through the corridor without looking too closely at the gruesome scene of the mayhem.
Watson followed them, looking pale. He was less confused now, and seemed to have thrown off the alien brainwashing completely.
"The computers in the control room are completely smashed - so is everything in here," Sam observed. She looked towards the staircase. "Including the stairs - no one is coming down that way, at least."
"We will dial manually, then," Teal'c said.
"Yes. One more thing; we need to set the auto-destruct before we leave." She sighed. "Those people up there in the room where I found you, and two more rooms, they will transform into aliens soon. We can't risk them getting out on the surface of Earth - or to any other planet for that matter."
Sam turned to Watson. "Listen, Watson, have you been infected? Stung by the aliens?"
"What?" He frowned. "What aliens?"
She sighed. "Just answer the question."
"No, I haven't been stung by anyone."
"Pull off your shirt."
He looked puzzled, but obeyed.
Sam checked his back and chest, then let out a sigh if relief. "Nothing. I didn't think you'd been stung. It makes more sense that those infected are the ones caught in the alien webbing, where it's warm and humid, but I had to be sure."
*It also means all those infected are likely in those rooms, and the human guards are merely drugged. That means destroying the base is likely to remove the contagion from this world,* Jolinar pointed out.
They had set the auto-destruct and had returned to the gateroom. They were in the process of doing a manual dial-out when another one of the alien creatures showed up, the biggest they had seen so far. It stood in the corridor outside the gateroom, and roared at them when it spotted them.
"You... will fail!" it growled.
Teal'c shot at it twice, but it barely reacted. Instead it made a kind of guttural laugh.
"Teal'c... surrender to... the inevitable. Become one... with the winners."
"Never!" Teal'c pressed down the trigger and fired repeatedly at the creature that was now releasing the purple smoke Sam had seen on the recordings before. Then his weapon clicked. "I am out of ammunition!"
*I believe that is similar to what drugged the others at first,* Jolinar warned Sam, who was running for her own weapon, which she had placed on the floor while helping to dial.
"No... you will not... harm... our overlords," Watson suddenly said, reacting to the purple mist. He snatched the weapon just as Sam was about to grab it.
"Kill them!" the alien ordered. "Kill them now!"
Watson raised his weapon, and Sam threw herself to the ground, rolling aside - and towards where her zat'nik'tel lay.
Teal'c let out a cry as he was hit by the bullets from Watson's weapon. Sam grabbed her zat'nik'tel and shot Watson, who collapsed immediately, the MP5 clattering to the ground.
"Teal'c!" Sam exclaimed. "Are you all right?"
"I will be."
The alien roared and suddenly jumped at Teal'c, who moved aside at the last moment and hit the being hard in the stomach. There was little reaction. The creature turned and stroke Teal'c over the head with its clawed hand, causing the large Jaffa to stumble. He did not fall, though, and swung around and smashed his assault shotgun into the head of the alien.
This was enough to make the alien creature stagger, and Teal'c pushed it further away. The being stumbled towards Watson, then righted itself.
Since it was now clear of Teal'c, Sam held down the trigger of her MP5 and emptied the clip into the alien, causing it to fall to its knees.
With some of its last energy it hit out with the singer, injecting the unconscious Watson.
Teal'c had reloaded his weapon and now shot the creature several times, until it fell to the ground, dead.
Sam let of a sigh of relief. "I was getting pretty worried there." She sent Teal'c a half-smile. "How are you?" She looked at him in concern.
"The bullets hit my left shoulder, but I do not believe any remained in the wounds."
Sam looked at his shoulder. "Maybe not, but you're bleeding badly."
*Time,* Jolinar reminded her.
"Oh, god! We'll have to look at it later! We only set the timer on the auto-destruct for 15 minutes, and most of that has passed!" She suddenly realized Watson had been stung. *He's infected now.*
*Yes, most probably.*
*We should bring him anyway. The Tok'ra biochemists may learn more about the aliens this way,* Jolinar suggested.
*Yeah. I just hope that means curing him.*
They quickly turned the Stargate the last of the way to cause the seventh chevron to lock, then jumped aside as the wormhole kawooshed.
Sam looked towards where Watson was waking up, wondering if he had been cleared of the alien control again. She hesitantly approached him, and he looked at her, puzzled.
She sighed. "Do you remember what has happened?"
He shook his head. "No. Captain."
"Great." She held out her hand. "Come on, get up!"
He took her hand and rose, wincing.
"Anything wrong?" she asked.
"My shoulder hurts."
Sam sighed. It was where the alien had stung him. "Yes. We'll look at that later."
Teal'c had picked up the dead alien, despite his injury, and was walking towards them.
Just before they all stepped through the wormhole, Sam took a last look at the gateroom. If she ever returned to Earth, the SGC would no longer be here. Neither would her friends and coworkers. She closed her eyes for a moment, trying to take it all in.
The rumble from the first explosions of the auto-destruct tore her out of her reverie and she turned and stepped through the gate, following the others.
Towards a completely unknown future.