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12. Daniel's Secret Lair

Using the Tok'ra mobile controllers it had not taken long to get the ring transporter to work. It had indeed been encrypted, but the algorithm was one the Tok'ra had encountered before.

They were transported down into the control room where Daniel had taken O'Neill earlier that day - and from where Daniel had controlled the weapon that had blown up several Russian, Chinese, and American cities.

"You said Daniel could get to his secret private rooms from here?" O'Neill asked.

"Yes, he's had a hidden door installed." She looked along the ceiling, frowning. "I just hope the cameras in here are out." She sighed and walked up to the back wall and felt along a panel. It did not take long before she found the controls, and part of the wall slid aside to reveal a doorway.

"Watch out!" Teal'c exclaimed, pulling Sam aside.

Two guards could be seen through the door. They had both raised their weapons and were pointing at Sam, O'Neill, Teal'c, and the Tok'ra, who all quickly moved out of the line of fire.

Lantash pulled out a small version of a Goa'uld shock grenade from his BDU pants pockets. "Watch out!" he told his friends, then threw it through the door into the other room.

They all closed their eyes as the grenade exploded causing both of the guards to fall unconscious.

"You brought a shock grenade too?" Jacob asked, incredulous.

"Sorry," Lantash said, not looking the least bit sorry.

Jacob just rolled his eyes.

"Come on - let's go catch Daniel before he gets away or something. Carter - there isn't any other way out of here except the rings, are there?"

"I don't know," Sam admitted.

"As paranoid as he is right now, there probably is," O'Neill said, hurrying past the unconscious guards and to the door ahead.

"He won't have wanted to run unless he absolutely had to - the room back there contains the only way he can control the orbital weapons platform, and that's what gives him power," Jacob said.

"Let's hope so. Get the door open," O'Neill ordered, when he realized is was locked and very sturdy.

"I think it's coded to naquadah in the blood," Sam said.

Lantash reached out a hand and pushed down the handle, and the door opened. "Interesting. I have never encountered a door with such a mechanism."

"Mixture of Earth and Goa'uld tech - makes sense, all things considered," O'Neill said, shrugging. He carefully stretched out his hand. Not meeting any force field he hurried into the corridor behind.

Five doors met them, one at the end and two on each side.

"Bathroom, kitchen, combined living room and office, bedroom, and storage" Sam said, pointing.

"Check them all." O'Neill started opening doors on one side, finding both bathroom and kitchen deserted.

"No one in the storage room, nor in the bedroom," Teal'c informed them.

"Nothing that looks like there could be a tunnel out of here either," O'Neill said. "Okay - straight ahead."

The door to the living room/office was locked, and no sounds could be heard from in there. It was merely a normal door, and Teal'c put his shoulder to it and forced it.

"The room is empty," Teal'c said.

"What?" O'Neill hurried inside, and the others followed.

"Did we somehow miss him? Could he have been hiding upstairs somewhere?" Jacob asked, puzzled.

Sam shook her head. "I don't think so. He must have had a way out."

Lantash spotted a picture that was hanging at an angle, and went to it, searching along the edge of it. When he touched both sides at the same time, that part of the wall swung inwards, revealing a tunnel.

They raced through the tunnel, afraid Daniel would have had time to escape.

As they were about to turn a corner, Lantash stopped. "Naquadah!"

Jacob nodded. "Yes."

A very agitated man jumped out before them, pointing at them with a hand device, the crystal in the center glowing. Daniel!

"Jack! How dare you come here, bringing the shol'vah Teal'c" He stared angrily at Teal'c, then at Sam. "And my former friend who betrayed me! And two false Goa'uld!" he screamed. "I thought you were my friend, Jack!"

"Daniel! Calm down! I am your friend! So are all of us here. We're here to help you!"

"Help me? What kind of help is that? Storming my palace? Killing my worthless guards?" He laughed maniacally. "I don't need any help! I am the Lord of this world! It is mine!"

Jacob gave Selmak control.

"Then let us serve you, my Lord." Selmak kneeled down before Daniel, hoping to placate him and get him to let down his guard.

"Yes, we... are your servants, Daniel," Lantash repeated, also kneeling down.

Sam did the same, then Teal'c, and finally O'Neill.

Seeing this, Daniel visibly relaxed, and grinned widely. "Good, good. I am pleased you recognize my superiority. You shall be my trusted lieutenants." He turned to point in the direction he had come from, the hand device powering off. "Your first task will be to secure the exit - our former 'leaders' are treacherous and have sent soldiers to my mansion - despite their promises! They've parked a number of armed vehicles or something close to the exit of my escapeway. It is unforgivable! They will regret it!"

Teal'c had moved fast and grabbed Daniel before the other man could raise his hand with the hand device.

"Treason!" Daniel screamed, but he could do nothing as Teal'c held both his hands in a firm grip. He called to the others, "Rescue me, and I'll reward you greatly!"

Lantash hurriedly rose and removed the hand device from Daniel's hand, pocketing it. Now sure Daniel was not a danger, he put his hara'kesh on and activated it, using it to put Daniel into a kind of trance. "He is cooperative now."

O'Neill shook his head. "Poor Daniel - he's lost it completely now."

"I assure you, we will do what we can to return him to his former self," Selmak promised, getting out the small device they had brought, which they would use to temporarily suppress the Goa'uld genetic memory in Daniel. "I need him completely stationary, so we should take him to his bedroom and lie him down."

"That will not be a problem," Teal'c said, lifting up Daniel.

Daniel groaned and slowly opened his eyes. "What happened? Where am I?"

"Are you okay, Daniel?" O'Neill asked.

"Yeah, I'm okay, I just have a bit of a headache."

"That is understandable," Martouf said.

"Martouf?" Daniel looked surprised. "You're alive?"

"I am. It is, as you say, a long story."

"He doesn't remember anything about what has happened?" O'Neill asked.

Jacob shook his head. "No, the best we could do this quickly, without risking permanent harm, was to simply block all his memories from the time he received the Goa'uld memories."

"I thought it would be possible to, uh, block just that part, since it's not in his mind, like the other memories," O'Neill said.

"The way Shifu transferred the memories, they did end up in Daniel Jackson's mind in the same way as his own memories," Jacob explained.

"Ah. Crap," O'Neill said.

"What are you talking about?" Daniel said, sitting up in the bed. He groaned and lay down again immediately.

"Take it easy. There was a lot of memories to block," Jacob said.

"Listen, not to rush you guys, but with no guards to keep anyone out of here, and no one to, ah, threaten the world with annihilation, the government forces will probably be here soon," Sam reminded them.

"What!" Daniel repeated, staring at them. "What is going on?"

"It's a very long story, Daniel, and believe me when I say, you're not going to like it," O'Neill told him, grimly.

"Let's get to the ring transporter and call Bra'tac to come pick us up," Jacob said.

"Don't worry, Daniel. We'll tell you everything on the way to Cimmeria," O'Neill promised.

"...and you, yourself, are asking to have these memories removed?" Thor asked.

"Yes! The sooner the better!" Daniel exclaimed. "I have done horrible things, and I don't want to go back to being that person!"

"We will assist you. I will come for you shortly," Thor said.

They all made relieved sighs and went out from the 'Hall of Thor's might' to wait for the Asgard commander to arrive.

"While Thor is here, we should ask him to make it possible for Bra'tac to visit Cimmeria as well," Teal'c said, thinking of the other Jaffa who was waiting on the planet where they had landed the teltac.

"I'm sure Thor will be happy to help," O'Neill said, sitting down on a large rock. He yawned. "What's keeping the little grey fella?"

"Patience, O'Neill. I am certain he will not fail us," Teal'c told him. He looked at the sky and smiled. "In fact, he is arriving just now."

"Sure you're okay again?" O'Neill asked. "No lingering desire to subjugate the Galaxy and rule us all?"

Daniel rolled his eyes. "I am fine."

"I assure you, O'Neill. Daniel Jackson is himself again," Thor said.

O'Neill nodded, looking relieved. "Good." He slapped Daniel on the shoulder. "It's great to have you back, Daniel!"

"Welcome back," Sam told him, smiling.

"Indeed. I am most pleased that you are once again the Daniel Jackson I have come to like and admire," Teal'c said.

After they had been transported back to the surface of Cimmeria, SG-1 and the two Tok'ra were ready to return.

"We'll have to go by teltac," O'Neill said. "We don't have a GDO."

"We do," Martouf reminded him. "We can go to our base and use the one there."

Sam nodded. "Of course."

"Sounds like a plan," O'Neill said. He gave Daniel a concerned look. "There's probably going to be some trouble when we return, though."

"You think?" Daniel said. He looked down, adding in a low voice. "I have killed many millions of people, and risked war on a global scale." He shook his head. "How can I ever forgive myself?"

"You weren't yourself," Sam reminded him.

"I doubt that's going to help much."

"You are welcome to remain with the Tok'ra," Martouf offered.

Daniel nodded. "Thanks, but I need to get back home and face the music. Not to mention make sure that terrible weapon can never again be used against Earth... and I also need to try and stop World War Three from happening, I'm afraid."

Jacob had been silent, but now spoke up, "I can't see a way out of this, except coming clean about the Stargate project. The Russians and Chinese... will accept nothing less. Hell, the rest of the planet will probably demand full disclosure about this."

"I agree that may be what happens. I can't think of any other way to explain how the US came to have such a weapon - nor why it was used." O'Neill shook his head. "It's a horrible mess."

"The Tok'ra will gladly appear before your people, and bear witness as to the effect of Goa'uld genetic memory. We will explain how terrible an enemy the Goa'uld are, and why the weapon was originally constructed," Martouf said.

"We may hold you to that, but I don't know how to tell people of Earth about the Goa'uld and all the rest without causing widespread panic," O'Neill said. "It'd really be better if there was a way to avoid it."

Sam nodded. "This is one of the - many - times where I'm happy I'm not a diplomat."

After taking their goodbyes of the Tok'ra, SG-1 was ready to return home.

None of them knew what waited ahead, but it would not be easy. An all out war on Earth had to be avoided, and the threat of the Goa'uld had never been greater.

"Ready to go home?" O'Neill asked.

"No, but I'm going," Daniel said, staring unhappily at the event horizon. "Maybe, if I just take all the responsibility and say no one else is to blame, then we can resolve it without disclosing the Stargate program."

"I doubt many people are going to believe you could do all that on your own, and you're not the only one responsible," Sam said.

O'Neill nodded. "People listened to you because they wanted a weapon against the Goa'uld, but they should have paid better attention. We should have paid better attention."

"Thanks, it's nice of you to say all this, but it still comes down to the same. The best hope we have for stopping a war and keeping the Stargate secret is that I take responsibility," Daniel said.

"Come on - we've faced worse before," O'Neill said, trying to cheer him up.

"We have not, O'Neill," Teal'c said.

"Teal'c! We'll find a way! We always do."

"Yes, O'Neill. We have - and we will."

They stepped through the wormhole - to an uncertain future.




A/N: The most open-ended story I've written in a while. Will Earth be thrown into war or will SG-1 find a way stop it? Will the Stargate program become public? Will there be chaos? Will Daniel be executed - or will they come up with a way of saving him? Who knows, but if my muse ever returns to this story, then I may write a sequel about it.

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