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Fic, Stargate SG-1, Invasion, NC-17, 10/21

10. Safe - for Now, At Least


"Finally! I thought you'd never let us out again!" O'Neill exclaimed when Jacob opened the back door of the van, several hours later.

"Good to see the situation hasn't affected your friendly mood, Jack," Jacob said, drily.

"It was unfortunately necessary, in order to get as far away from the aliens that had captured you as possible," Martouf told them.

"How is Sam?" Jacob asked.

"She's still unconscious - or asleep, but I think her fever's down," O'Neill said, feeling Sam's forehead.

Jacob nodded, relieved. "Good. Come on - let's get her inside."

"This place belongs to Janet's sister," Malek told them. "We are in the state you call Idaho."

"Right, I remember Janet mentioning it once, when she was taking Cassie there for a vacation," Daniel said.

"I will give Samantha some more of the strengthening medicine," Martouf said, taking out the small bottle again.

"Shouldn't she have woken up yet?" O'Neill asked.

"I am sure she will do so very soon," Martouf said, gauging her energy levels by holding a hand over her forehead. "She is stronger," He touched her forehead. "And her fever is down."

"That's good to hear," Jacob said, relieved.

"It is," O'Neill agreed.

Martouf lifted Sam up so she was half-sitting, and poured some more of the strengthening medicine down her throat.

"Janet!" Daniel said, smiling, when he saw her approach them, followed by Aldwin. "And Aldwin!"

Janet smiled. "Hi, Daniel, Colonel - Teal'c." She noticed Sam, and got a worried expression. "What's wrong with Sam?"

"She was injured during their escape from the aliens," Jacob told her. "But she's doing better now."

"That's good. Get her inside so I can take a look at her."

"Hello, Janet," Malek said, going up to her.

Janet smiled at Malek, and gave him a hug. "Welcome back!"

"I'll hide the car, then I'll join the rest of you inside," Jacob said.

Martouf picked up Sam, and carried her into the cabin. The others followed, still not sure they could believe all this was true.

Daniel, Teal'c, and O'Neill was sitting in the living room in Janet's sister's cabin. Martouf had placed Sam on the couch, and Janet was currently examining her.

Malek, Martouf, and Aldwin had gone to the kitchen to find something warm for SG-1 to eat.

"This is weird," O'Neill observed in a low voice.

"How so, O'Neill?" Teal'c wondered.

"You know, all of this. Doctor Fraiser, the Tok'ra..."

"Right, knowing all that stuff was something we hallucinated is a lot different from actually seeing proof of it!" Daniel agreed.

The door opened and Jacob entered, immediately looking towards his daughter on the couch. "How is she?"

"The wound itself is healed. I'll have to say those healing devices are effective!" Janet said. "Her body has almost won the battle against the infection, so I don't think it will be an issue." She looked relieved. "You know, we really need to get our hands on some more medicine - some antibiotics at the very least - now when it's not just you Tok'ra I have to look after."

"We'll think of something. Raid a pharmacy if we have to," O'Neill said. "I'm assuming there's no way we can contact anyone from Stargate Command?"

Jacob shook his head. "No, that's the headquarter for the aliens. Everyone there is an impostor." He walked over to the couch and caressed Sam's cheek, brushing aside a few strands of hair, then touching her forehead.

O'Neill nodded. "Okay. Speaking of impostors..."

Martouf entered the room then. "You don't trust us to be who we appear to be."

"Frankly, no. I mean, Teal'c tells me that someone with a symbiote probably couldn't be, ah, mimicked with those devices, and he's probably right, but I'd still like some proof."

"Teal'c is correct, but I can understand your concern." Martouf went back to the kitchen and returned a moment later, carrying a knife.

"Whoa!" O'Neill exclaimed, standing quickly when Martouf approached him.

Martouf quickly cut himself across his palm, and held it out to O'Neill. Red blood trickled out and a few drops dripped from his hand. "Will this be acceptable proof?"

"The aliens have purple blood," Teal'c said.

"I know." O'Neill sighed. "Yeah, that's, that's fine, Martouf. Thanks."

Martouf nodded and went back into the kitchen.

"You want the rest of us to do the same?" Jacob asked.

"No, I guess I'll take your word for it - I'm assuming Marty would have said something if he suspected any of you guys of being those aliens," O'Neill said.

Aldwin, Malek, and Martouf entered, bringing a large bowl of soup, some bread, and bowls and spoons.

"Okay, let's get something to eat, then we can bring each other up to speed," Jacob decided.

"We should move Sam into bed," Janet said.

"Yeah, that's probably a good idea," O'Neill agreed.

"I will do so," Martouf said, gently picking Sam up.

He only just had her in his arms, when Sam began to wake up.

"What is going on?" she mumbled, groggily. "Where am I?" She opened her eyes, and a look of disbelief came over her face when she saw Martouf. "Martouf? No... no, I must be hallucinating..."

"No, I am here with you, Samantha," Martouf said. He looked at her with concern. "How are you feeling?"

"Better... I think." She shook her head as she looked at him again. "Unless I'm going crazy."

"You're not," Jacob assured her, walking over to them.

Martouf let Sam down, but did not let go of her as she was more than a little unsure on her legs.

"Dad?" Sam looked around, her expression of disbelief remaining. "Janet! And Aldwin - and Malek!" She shook her head.

"It's like you said, Sam," Daniel told her. "It was only in our imagination that they died."

"Died?" Martouf asked.

"Long story. We'll get to that after dinner," O'Neill said. "Good to see you awake, Carter!"

"We were getting concerned," Teal'c added.

Sam nodded. She was a little more sure on her feet, but not completely so.

"Would you like something to eat?" Martouf asked, indicating the food on the table.

"No... yes, in a moment. I... need to use the bathroom first."

Martouf nodded. "I'll help you get out there."

"No, no that's okay. I can walk myself." She smiled at him. "Wow, you're really... real!"

He raised an eyebrow and gave her an amused smile. "I assure you, I am quite real."

"That's wonderful." She gave his arm a squeeze, then began to step away from him, before suddenly throwing her arms around him in a tight hug. Before he could recover from his surprise, she quickly let go of him, a somewhat embarrassed expression on her face. "I've... I've missed you."

He gave her a sweet smile. "I am also very happy to see you, and to know that you are well."

She nodded, still smiling. Supporting herself against a table, she approached her father. "You too, dad." She shook her head as she embraced him.

He returned the hug. "We're all glad you're okay, Sammie."

She let go, and looked around. "I, I know, well, thought you were alive, some of you at least, but to actually see that you are alive... it's a bit overwhelming. You too, Janet." She smiled warmly at her friend, then went on to give her a hug.

"Sam?" Jacob wondered, looking towards Janet who had asked the same.

"I'll explain - or try to," Daniel said.

Sam nodded. "Thanks. I'll be back in a moment." She left the room.

"You guys will have to help too." Daniel looked to O'Neill and Teal'c, then took a deep breath. He began to explain.

"All right, most or all of Stargate Command has been infiltrated. Same goes for much of the higher ranks of the Air Force, some of the police, and some of the civilian leaders." O'Neill shook his head. "That's bad."

Jacob snorted. "No kidding!"

"So, you've been here a month?" Sam asked. She was feeling a lot better now, and some warm soup had given her more energy.

"Yes. We came by teltac, as I said. The Stargate is in the hands of the aliens," Jacob said.

"No offense, but why are you still here?" O'Neill asked. "I mean, don't get me wrong, we're grateful for the rescue, but I'd have thought you'd returned to the Tok'ra with the information that your allies were gone. Not expected to be heard from ever again."

"Is that really what you think?" Lantash asked, looking offended. "That we would just leave you to your fate like that?"

"Well, uh..." O'Neill said. He shook his head. "To be honest, I don't know what to think. About anything."

Jacob nodded. "We understand. From what you have told us, it's got to be difficult to tell what is real and what was in the simulation."

"Yeah... well, I'd like to apologize in advance - because I'll probably screw up and say something stupid to you guys. Several times," O'Neill said.

"Understood. Apology accepted," Lantash said. "Your situation is certainly not enviable." He gave Martouf control.

"Please understand that we really do wish to help you. We do have... great hopes for what we can achieve in cooperation with you." He sighed. "In addition, we cannot allow these aliens - hitherto almost unknown, except for what we have learned from you - to take over your world."

"You don't want a new, possibly dangerous, player to become that powerful, eh?" O'Neill said. "Don't worry, I can understand. The Goa'uld is more than enough. We don't want these guys to take what we've learned from the Goa'uld and use it to start conquering worlds."

"True," Jacob admitted.

"Okay - well, I guess we're... glad you're here," O'Neill admitted. "Hopefully, together, we'll find a way to throw those damn impostor aliens off Earth!"

Jacob nodded. "Yes. We should figure out a plan of attack. As we told you, while we've been here we've gathered as much information as we can. We have also tried to construct a device to disrupt the mimetic devices - like Doctor Fraiser says you did, Sam. However, with nothing to test on, we can't be sure if we've hit the right frequency - or if there just weren't any aliens near the device."

"You may well have hit the right frequency. Unfortunately we've learned that they've developed their devices to the point where it's no longer sensitive to what I did before," Sam said.

"Damn. That makes it harder," Jacob exclaimed.

"No technology - and no species - is invulnerable. We will find something else we can use," Malek said, determined.

"It would be easier if we had one of the aliens to test on, though," Martouf added.

"Agreed, and we may be able to help you there," O'Neill said.

"We know that Major Davis has been substituted for an alien, but we did not succeed in capturing him," Martouf said.

"No, but we did see some of the people that were in the room with us when we woke up, back at the facility, so we just need to find one of those walking around out here," O'Neill said.

"We'd know they would have to be aliens. Not a bad idea," Jacob said.

"You said you had gathered intelligence. Do you know where these aliens congregate?" Teal'c asked.

"We believe their headquarter is located in Colorado Springs," Malek said.

"Stargate Command," O'Neill concluded.

"Yes, we believe everyone there is one of the aliens. Presumably many in Colorado Springs are as well, but we don't know that for sure," Martouf said.

"There are a few in Washington whom we suspect are aliens. You were one of them, Jack," Jacob said. "And you, Daniel."

"Well, you were right there," O'Neill said, laconically.

"Other than that, we have determined that the aliens are concentrated in five localities - one of them in a town near the facility you were in," Malek added.

"By the way, have you found out what these aliens call themselves? We only know SG-6 met them on P3X-118, and that their language is very different from ours. It sounds more like a collection of guttural grunts than actual syllables. I haven't been able to make heads or tails of the snippets we've recorded," Daniel said.

Malek nodded. "We have the same problem. Their language does not seem to follow any pattern we have ever seen."

"Because they're alien," O'Neill pointed out.

"True, but even our own original language, as symbiotes, is in many ways structured like most humanoid languages. Such is not the case for these aliens," Malek said. "We suspect some of their communication is telepathic, and that this is part of the problem. We have, however, found the 'word' we believe they use for themselves - 'Thlmnnuorghs'."

"Yeah, we can't call them that! Let's go with Targs," O'Neill said.

"Targs?" Sam wondered.

"Klingon boars. From Star Trek, I believe," Teal'c said.

"Spot on, T!" O'Neill smiled.

Jacob raised his eyebrows, then shrugged. "Well, for lack of a better word, I guess it works."

"Okay. Targs it is." O'Neill grinned. "So, do you got any other intel on these guys? They must have run into the Goa'uld at some point. Ever try taking them as host? You did say you had almost no knowledge of them before. Meaning, you must have some prior knowledge of them."

"We have very little information about them. I do not believe it would be possible to take them as a host," Malek said.

Jacob gave Selmak control, and she nodded. "I agree." She was silent for a moment. "There are some... stories about a people like this, which the Goa'uld Bastet came across many centuries ago."

"Really? What happened?" Daniel asked.

"If I remember correctly, the operative we had at her court reported that it was a small group of aliens, who had appeared human at first, but it had turned out to be a ruse. I believe Bastet's lo'tar had been taken by them, and an alien substituted for him. She was not amused."

O'Neill grinned. "I can imagine!"

"Bastet tried to get more information, but the aliens self-destructed before she could make them talk. They were never heard from again. I think Bastet decided they were probably from another Galaxy."

"Another Galaxy? Well, I guess that would make sense," Daniel said.

"Okay, well at least we know a little more." O'Neill said. "Anyway, as for a plan, I guess that our first step is clear. We need to find an easy way to tell if someone is an alien or not. Carter? You've got an idea how to change that disruption device?"

"She's fallen asleep, Colonel," Janet said, indicating Sam who's head was leaning against the couch, and who was clearly sleeping.

"I'm tired too," Daniel said, yawning.

"Then let's call it a night," Jacob said. "We'll continue this tomorrow morning."

"Sam needs to sleep - and so does the others after this ordeal. Tomorrow afternoon is more than early enough!" Janet insisted. "There's several bedrooms. I've got one of the two small ones, and I was thinking Sam could have the other. The Tok'ra are sharing one of the two bigger ones - you guys can take the other."

"What about guard duty?" O'Neill asked. "I'm noticing we're all in here - unless there are more people I don't know about."

"We have an automated warning system set up, with camera surveillance as well, Jack," Jacob said.

"But there is always one awake during the night as well," Malek added.

"We take turns. Tonight you should get some sleep, then we can start incorporating you into the schedule," Jacob said.

"As I am the only one not in need of sleep, it would stand to reason I should stand guard," Teal'c said.

"You still need rest - and to kel'no'reem," Malek pointed out.

"It is my turn to stand guard first," Aldwin said. "You are welcome to join me for some of the time, Teal'c. When you have done your kel'no'reem."

Teal'c inclined his head. "It would be my honour."

O'Neill yawned. "Okay, with that settled, it's time to get some sleep!"

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