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 What the Eye Beholds, the Heart Denies


Chapter 10

There was just enough light filtering in from the small fire he'd started in the antechamber to light the entrance to the room. Once again he picked up a burning limb. Carried it deeper into the temple proper. The ceiling was rather low for a temple, although what he could see was dirt, and the roots of the meadow grasses above that were poking through. The columns that were visible seemed to have been broken off at the top. Whatever had happened had sheered the top of the building off, it seemed. The room was long and narrow, although he'd bet a month's wages that excavations to the sides would expose more of the main temple, and the small side chambers that had various uses.

He moved deeper into the room. The hieroglyphs on the columns and what walls he could see were faded, but still colorful and easily recognizable. It was habit for him to stop and examine the closest column. Just more praises to Ra. The flickering light from his quickly burning torch urged him to continue his examination of the inner temple. Heart pounding, his breath coming more quickly, he stepped toward the middle of the room...afraid to hope...desperate to see the two things that would get him home...lowered his eyes to watch his boots as he took two more steps forward. Slowly raised his gaze...

Dropped to his knees, his chin on his chest. Standing in the place of honor was a Stargate, leaning forward slightly from the weight of the dirt above it; and in front of it, a DHD...a perfectly intact DHD to be precise. Twenty-one days. It was finally over. "I'm coming home, Angel," he whispered.

"Dan'yel? Are you hurt? Should I come in there?"

The sound of concern in Kiam's voice was enough to pull him from the stupor that his discovery had caused. Heart pounding, hands shaking, he pulled himself to his feet and walked back into the antechamber. "Kiam, there is a Stargate...um...Chappa'ai. I'm going home!"

Even in the dim firelight, Kiam could see the tears of joy in Dan'yel's blue eyes. "I am happy for you, Dan'yel."

"So am I," he grinned. "Let me help you out of here. I want you to promise me one thing. It's very important."

Kiam nodded.

"I want you to put out the fire near our shelters. Gather everything you need to take with you, and I want you to get as far away from here as quickly as you can."

"But why?"

"Because I'm going to reseal this chamber. There are...creatures...that can use the Chappa'ai, they bring slavery and oppression and horror everywhere they go. I don't want them to find you or your people."

The young man shuddered. "I understand. But how-"

"Just trust that I can do it, Kiam," Daniel said gently. "Thank you for everything that you've done for me. For saving my life."

"It was meant to be," Kiam replied sagely. "You have taught me many things, Dan'yel. I will keep the wisdom with me always, and teach my people. You will not be forgotten, Dan'yel."

"Nor will I ever forget you, Kiam." He pulled the young man in for a hug, felt the hesitation at first, then nearly gasped for breath at the bear hug he received in return.

The two men crawled back to what had been the very front of the temple. Once again Daniel gave Kiam a hand up, struggling to keep the young man from falling back into the room while he clambered to find a handhold.

Still panting from the effort of lifting himself out of the hole, Kiam stuck his head through the opening. "Goodbye, Dan'yel."

"Goodbye, Kiam. Thanks again."

With a nod and a smile, the young man disappeared.

Daniel waited for a few minutes, trying to hear any movement above him. He smiled when he heard the young man's voice, singing a song. When it seemed to fade, Daniel turned back to the hole in the stone wall. It was tempting to toss the stones into the antechamber, and then replace them, sealing himself in, and the rest of this innocent world out. But if he and Kiam had been able to so easily breach it, then it wouldn't stop any other curious adventurer. Better to just blow the place to hell.

Deciding that bringing the antechamber down would seal the door to the temple closed, he placed the C-4 on the stone wall. Hoped that it would work the way he intended for it to. He pushed the timer into the soft plastic explosive. Watched it begin to count down from fifty-nine.

He ran into the temple, closed the huge doors. Gave the lock a twist for good measure. The flame of the torch that laid on the floor near the DHD began to flicker. Time to go home, Danny.

Shaking fingers pressed the symbols that would open the 'gate and take him to the Alpha site. The sound of the inner ring spinning, the familiar clang of each chevron as it engaged only added to the quickened pace of his heartbeat.

The 'whoosh' of the event horizon being established echoed in the temple chamber. Filled the room with shimmering blue light. A smile on his face, Daniel raced up the steps in front of the 'gate. He was going home!


A  A  A  A  A  A


It was nearly midnight on the planet when Daniel emerged through the 'gate; filthy, tired, hungry, but absolutely giddy with relief to be where he was.

The audible click of several weapons filled the night air. Bright lights blinded him, he raised his hand to shield his eyes.

"Holy shit! It's Doctor Jackson!" a voice hissed.

"Halt! Who are you?"

Daniel recognized the voice. "Colonel Reilly, it really is me," he said quietly.

"We'll have to verify that."

"I know. Contact the SGC, request Doctor Fraiser. She'll have to run any medical tests."

"Why her?" the colonel demanded to know. The Alpha site had a medical doctor who was perfectly capable of conducting the needed tests.

"Because it's in my contract. You can ask General Hammond about that."

Reilly stepped into the circle of light in front of Daniel. His face was deeply shadowed. "I'd really like to believe it's you, sir. But until we have proof-"

"I know," Daniel smiled. "If I could just get a shower, and something to eat, I'd be obliged."

"We can do that," the colonel said.

Of course they could. And he'd be under heavy guard the entire time. Not that he cared one whit. He really did want to clean up. He was certain that the wide berth the men were giving him wasn't due to their fear that he was a Goa'uld. He also wanted...needed...to eat. He was so hungry he was lightheaded. And then, like it or not, if he didn't get a bit of rest, he wasn't going to be up to properly greeting his beautiful Wife. A couple of hours, that's all he needed.

He was led into the main building of the complex. There were two holding cells near the back, an absolute necessity when dealing with the unknown. There was also a small bathroom, attached to the CO's quarters, which was just behind the control room of the site. It was here where the colonel took him. Daniel pulled off his dog tags, tossed them to the man. Dropped his tac vest onto the chair in front of the large desk that occupied the majority of the room.

"I'll bring clean clothes, if you'd like to get started," Reilly offered.

Daniel grinned. Yep, he was pretty ripe, and the sooner he was cleaned up, the happier they'd all be! "Thanks, colonel, I appreciate it."

"There's soap and shampoo in there. Help yourself."

"Thanks," he said again. "Colonel?"

Reilly stopped at the door, turned around. "Yes, sir?"

"My Wife...is Casey all right?"

Word had it that the slender seer had damned near checked out of reality for the duration, the colonel thought. Three days ago, she'd had one of her 'downloads'; she'd 'seen' the disappearance of the archaeologist's escape pod, and knew that Dr. Jackson was alive...just not where. Every team in the SGC was looking for the archaeologist. "Last I heard, she was fine," he replied truthfully.

He closed his eyes, sent up a prayer of silent thanks. Nodded his head. Stepped into the bathroom.

The two armed Marines who had followed them took up positions beside the door, one inside the bathroom, one outside. The room was small enough that stripping with the guard standing there wasn't easy. Daniel didn't give a damn. He pulled the clothes off, turned on the water, and stepped into the fiberglass shower. When he heard the door open, he glanced through the glass shower door. Grinned when he watched another Marine gather his filthy clothes. "Just burn 'em," he called out. Wasn't certain, but he thought he heard them chuckle.

There wasn't a razor available, but he figured Casey wouldn't mind if he waited until he got home to shave. Casey...home. He closed his eyes. Let tears of relief...of pure joy...wash down his cheeks along with the clean water. He had given up hope. Had been resigning himself to life among primitive people...never to see his beautiful Wife again. Now...Just a couple more hours, Angel, he thought happily.

He wrapped the towel around his hips. Accepted the clean BDU from one of the guards. Didn't argue when he was taken directly to the holding cell. He'd barely finished dressing when Colonel Reilly appeared, another man behind him carrying a tray of food. And more importantly, a mug of hot coffee. He could smell the tantalizing aroma from across the room.

The colonel sat down on the only chair in the cell, leaving Daniel to sit on the cot, the tray beside him. "Where in the hell have you been, sir? You were declared dead when the snake's ship blew...Colonel Ronson on the Prometheus was never able to locate the homing beacon for your escape pod."

He sipped the coffee, let the words sink in. Casey had thought him dead almost immediately. Oh, god...what had she gone through? Flashes of the emotions he had suffered after Sha're's disappearance, and her death, left him worried about Casey's well being. "You said that Casey is okay?"

"Yes, sir. She hadn't been able to go near the SGC...she didn't do so well during the memorial service that they had for you-" Reilly broke off, the look of pain and worry in the doctor's blue eyes warning him that the man had enough to deal with...he could learn about his wife's breakdown later. After he was home and safe and Mrs. J was back to her usual smiling self. "Three days ago she had a download or something. She was running through the corridors, grabbing SG-1, and telling them that you were alive. Whole damned place has been on stand-by while teams are out looking for you."

Well, if she knew he was alive, seeing him walk down the ramp would be less of a shock for her. "Guess you should let them know they can call off the search."

"Just talked to the general. Doctor Fraiser should be here any time. Have some dinner, Doc. As soon as she's here, you'll know about it."

Daniel nodded. He began to eat, so hungry that he gulped it down. He never knew that a simple bologna sandwich and chips could taste so damned good! There was a brownie and a small container of fruit cocktail as well. When he finished, not a crumb remained.


A  A  A  A  A  A


General Hammond read the message twice. "Page Doctor Fraiser to my office."

"Yes, sir," Gracie replied. She'd been the only one working in the control room when the commander of the Alpha site had made contact. And the general wanted the contents of the message to remain 'undisclosed' for the time being. She knew how much Teal'c missed his best friend, wanted so badly to tell him...there had to be a reason that the base CO wanted this kept quiet. She just had no idea what it could be. Being a civilian, she decided, could be a distinct disadvantage when working with the military...what might seem obvious to the one was a complete mystery to the other. With her being 'the other' in this particular instance.

The general dropped to his chair. If the man who had just shown up at the Alpha site was indeed Daniel Jackson, he could recall eight SG teams and cancel the briefings for six others, including SG-1. He could alert the president that once again a miracle would see SG-1 together, whole and healthy in every way. If this man wasn't Daniel Jackson, he wanted the imposter dealt with quickly, and very quietly, preferably before Casey Jackson learned of the man's presence, and had her hopes raised, only to be disappointed.

He looked up when Dr. Fraiser tapped lightly on the door. "Come in, Doctor. Close the door behind you, please."

Just a bit confused, but not alarmed, Janet closed the door. "May I ask what's going on, sir?"

"Your presence has been requested at the Alpha site."

Certainly not what she had expected to hear! "Why, and whom?"

"It seems that about thirty minutes ago, Daniel Jackson walked through the Stargate."

She grabbed the chair in front of the desk before her knees gave out, barely managed to sit before she fell flat on her face. "Are they certain that it's him?"

"That's the reason for the request. He asked for you by name, informed Colonel Reilly that it's in his contract that you're the only doctor who is to examine him."

"Which is true."

"He also wanted to know about Casey."

"Which might not mean anything, considering that it's well known that she's his wife," Janet admitted.


"Was he hurt, disoriented in any way?"

"No, Colonel Reilly reported that he was filthy, hungry, had apparently lost a bit of weight, and seemed damned glad to be there," Hammond replied.

"I'll get my bag."

"Let me know as soon as you have the results."

"Yes, sir." She stood on slightly shaky legs. "Should I tell Casey?"

"No, Doctor, let's wait until we know for sure. I'd hate to have her get her hopes up, only to have them dashed if we have a Goa'uld imposter on our hands."

"Yes, sir, I understand."

"Embark as soon as possible."

"Not more than five minutes."

"Very good, Doctor."

The general sat back in his chair. As much as he wanted to believe that Daniel was waiting on the Alpha site, there was at least a fifty-fifty chance that it wasn't him. It would probably be easier to believe that he was alive and well if he was located in the escape pod, and returned to the SGC to reanimate. For him to walk through the Stargate three weeks after disappearing, according to what Casey had 'witnessed', was almost impossible to grasp. If it was Daniel, no doubt he'd have one hell of a story to tell.




Janet ran to the infirmary, grabbed her off-world medical kit. Ignored the questioning looks from her staff. If she was going after Daniel, she could tell them about it later. If the general didn't want Casey knowing, then keeping quiet about what she knew was the best way to accomplish that. And, she thought drolly, avoiding the seer would probably be a good idea as well.

There had been so many teams coming and going for the past three days that no one seemed to pay any attention to the klaxons as they wailed. If something came up, the announcement would be made. That was to her favor, she thought, as she hurried to the elevator.

She sent up a silent prayer that the man she found at the Alpha site would be Daniel. Casey knew that he was alive, but each day that passed without finding him dimmed the light in her eyes just a little more. The magnitude of the possible scope of the search for Daniel had everyone at the SGC just a little more discouraged with each time a team returned empty handed.

By the time Janet was walking up the ramp, the rumor mill was already in full swing...someone had been hurt, badly...during the search for Dr. Jackson. The only question was which team...which team member?




Casey looked up from the papers in front of her, trying to decipher Daniel's notes, when Jonas walked into the office, a large chocolate chocolate-chip muffin in each hand. "Jonas, you're a mind reader," she sighed.

The Kelownan smiled. "Thought you might need a little 'pick them up'."

She giggled. "It's actually 'pick me up'."

Jonas frowned. "Oh...well, that makes more sense, doesn't it?"

Taking the two empty mugs from the edge of the desk, she hurried to the coffee maker to fill them. From the third pot of coffee she'd made that morning...so far. It had taken hours just to locate any of the work Daniel had done on the Ancients and the Ascended because, she had groused loudly, of his 'piling system'. He seemed to abhor filing cabinets, choosing instead to stack folders, notes, writing pads and books in piles on every available surface. Granted, he was able to find was he was looking for in a matter of minutes. Hadn't helped her. To top it off, the man had an annoying habit of jotting his theories in the margins of his notes, the letters running together as he wrote so quickly, trying to get his thoughts down, making them damned near undecipherable to anyone but himself.

"I heard an interesting rumor while I was getting these," Jonas said, smiling his thanks as he accepted his now full mug.

"Which was?"

"Doctor Fraiser left about forty minutes ago, carrying her full field medical pack. She didn't say anything, but the medical technicians said that she looked very upset. Rumor has it that someone has been hurt...badly."

"Oh, crap!" She lowered herself slowly to the chair behind Daniel's desk. "I didn't see anything! Every one of the mission folders was...there wasn't...there was nothing there!" she whispered hoarsely.

Realizing that the slender seer would blame herself for any injuries incurred on a mission she had 'cleared', Jonas leaned forward, grasped her hand with his own. "You see what you see, Casey. Sometimes, these things happen for a reason."

"There is never a reason for one of the people I work with...one of the people I'm supposed to be protecting...to get hurt! Never! What good is a gift that doesn't work?" Agitated, she jumped to her feet. Wrapped her arms around her waist, began to pace behind the desk; small tight circles of movement that reflected her frustration.

If only Dr. Jackson was here, Jonas thought worriedly. He was always able to calm his wife, to help her accept the things that she had no control over, things that she couldn't influence or change.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Janet practically led her escort to the holding cells. If this was really Daniel...

He was on his feet as soon as he heard the electronic locks disengaging. Smiled when the petite, auburn haired woman practically ran into the room. "And people say Casey never walks anywhere," he said in way of greeting.

That Casey seemed to run, or as Colonel O'Neill called it, 'flittered' from one place to another was widely known...within the walls of the SGC. How far it had traveled outside of those walls was anyone's guess.

"Do you need blood, or just a DNA swab?" Daniel asked.

"Both," Janet retorted. She was already pulling gloves over her small hands.


She couldn't help but smile. "So how were the withdrawal symptoms? Or have you faced them yet?"

He grimaced. "Brutal. About six days, from what I can piece together. I would have drowned, or died of exposure, if not for two very adventurous natives."

"It was cold, wherever you were?"

"Late autumn, I guess," Daniel replied, rolling up his sleeve. He watched as she prepared the tube that would accept the blood taken from the vein in his arm.

"Mind telling me about it?" She wiped the sterile swab over his inner elbow. "Just a bit of a poke."

He never flinched as the needle sank into his skin. "Bad shakes. Really bad. Aggression. Lots of...purging. I hadn't had much to eat, so there wasn't much to come up. But there was enough in my system to make...to make a mess," he said softly.

"I'm assuming you passed out and fell into water somewhere?"

"I guess. I was trying to clean up...me and my clothes. I remember being so damned angry. That must have been when I smashed the shit out of the radio."

She withdrew the needle. Capped the tube. Laid it on tray beside her. Ripped open the specially treated swab. "Open."

Daniel opened his mouth, waited patiently as she rolled it over the inside of his cheek. "Is Casey okay? Has she been eating? What about sleeping? She can't sleep if she has nightmares, and sometimes-"

Janet put a latex covered finger across his lips. "That alone proves to me that you're the real deal," she said quietly.

"Is Casey okay?"

"She is now."

He didn't need a degree in linguistics to understand the hidden meaning in Janet's reply. "How bad?"

"Let me get this started. Then we'll talk," Janet promised.

Daniel gave a weary nod. Leaned his head back against the wall behind him.

Janet started the tests, using the portable equipment that had been part of a negotiated trade deal with the Tollans. When she had finished, she pulled the gloves from her hands, tossed them into the trash bin. Sat down beside her friend. "This won't be easy to hear."

"I have no doubt of that," he replied.

"When Colonel Ronson couldn't locate a fifth beacon, he had his crew look for an hour before he opened up the escape pod with Jack in it. Jack nearly lost it, or so I hear. Demanded that he, Teal'c, and Sam be allowed to take F302s out and look among all of the debris. They searched for seventeen hours."

Seventeen hours. It hadn't been a quick fly-by search, he thought, taking comfort in the fact that his death hadn't been so quickly accepted.

"Sam said there weren't enough large pieces left to be able to identify anything. There were a couple of very small pieces that had the same coloring as the escape pods. She was certain that the empty one had been disintegrated, and that what they had found was..." she took a deep breath. "Was the one you had been in. When Jack opened Casey's escape pod, she was almost unconscious. The oxygen levels were low, it had been damaged somehow. She...the doctor on the Prometheus sedated her. Just a bit. When she came to, she pushed Teal'c out of the way, marched to an armory, grabbed a Beretta, then headed to the bridge, where she proceeded to threaten Colonel Ronson and the bridge crew, insisting that they return to the site of the explosion, and continue searching for you. Jack said she didn't fight him when he took the gun, she just sort of crumpled into his arms. Dr. Wilder sedated her again, and that's the way we kept her, for about twenty hours. Because when she was awake, she was..." Her voice faded as she watched his face pale.

He closed his eyes. Could feel the desperation, Casey's pain...her grief. "Go on."

"Jack stayed with her. Never left her side. Right after your memorial service, which, by the way, that's getting old! You really have to stop doing this."

"I won't argue that," he replied, accepting her attempt to lighten the mood slightly for what it was.

"Anyway, afterwards, she sort of lost it. We're not sure why she was on level twenty-four, whether she intended to go to the Memorial Room or not. Jack found her there, screaming her heart out. He said she was really out of it. Then, just when she seemed to be coming back to us, she figured out what that download had meant. She was catatonic for two days. I guess getting hit with glass and whiskey when Jack threw that bottle brought her out of it."

Anger flared in his chest, burned in his eyes. "Wait a minute! Jack threw a bottle of booze at Casey?"

"No! Absolutely not! He threw it at the wall. She just happened to be coming through the door of his room at the same moment."

"His room?"

"He'd taken her with him to pick up clean clothes. He was staying with her...we didn't dare leave her alone," Janet explained calmly, quietly.

"Okay." He shivered. Just how much of his nightmare had been illusion? No, he wasn't going to think about it. Jack loved Sam, he'd never make a move on Casey. No way.

"It was a slow process from there. She couldn't even get through the main gate, she'd hyperventilate. Jack checked on her in the morning before he came to the base, and on his way home. Teal'c ate lunch with her every day...took lunch to her," Janet said. "Sam and I called and stopped by at least once a day. Gary did, too."

So she'd never been alone...at least not for long periods of time. That was a good thing. He knew what grief could do to a person who had too much time to think, too much time to spend regretting.

"Miss Eloise actually called her...as on the telephone called her. Casey was so angry, so distraught, she didn't believe in herself or her gift. Until Miss Eloise gave her what for. That's when she 'saw' what had happened to your escape pod. She said that just before the final explosions, a bright white light surrounded your pod, and then it was just...gone."

Well, it seemed that his theory was correct. He still didn't know the 'why' of the matter. Not that he really cared. But someone...most probably those three glowing beings, had saved his life.

"She's been getting quiet again...it's only been three days, and every team on the base has been out looking for you, Sam is setting up search perimeters like crazy, trying to keep things in a logical order."

"Guess everyone can get back to the real work now," he said softly.

"She's going to be so glad to see you," Janet said softly. "All of them are going to be so glad to see you."

"Not any more than I will to see them," Daniel replied.

"Right now, you need to sleep," Janet said gently.

"I really want-"

"The results won't be verifiable for another two hours. You can't go anywhere near the SGC until you've been identified. That's SOP, Daniel."

"I know."

"So sleep. What's two more hours, after what, three weeks?"

"Twenty one days, eight hours, give or take," he said.

"Do you want another blanket?"

Daniel stretched out on the cot, pulled the thin wool blanket over his legs. "This is fine."

Janet smiled. He was asleep almost before his head hit the pillow. She sat quietly beside him, watching him breathe. Knew that he was tired when he began to snore. According to Casey, the more tired the archaeologist was, the louder he snored. From what she was hearing, he was completely exhausted.


A  A  A  A  A  A


He paused outside the door. Peeked in. She was sitting in front of her computer. Looked like star charts. Jack shoved his hands into his pockets. "Hi."

Sam turned around. Offered a tentative smile. "Hi."

Leaning against the doorframe, he took a deep breath. "I thought maybe we could grab a pizza and some beer. Maybe sit on the roof."

"It's supposed to be down in the mid to low twenties tonight."

"Yeah, a bit cold. But I have an electric blanket, and a long extension cord."

Her smile was genuine. "We'll be off world."

"Maybe. We should be off world right now."

The fact that General Hammond had cancelled all of the briefings that had been scheduled...and the 'gate had been ordered on standby until further notice...had the entire SGC in an uproar. Toss in the fact that Janet had taken off without a word to anyone, her off-world med kit in hand...Sam turned to face the man who continued to watch her. "Something is going on."

"Ya think?" He cringed slightly, the words much sharper than he had intended, hanging in the air between them. "Carter, I-"

"It's all right, sir," she said. Taking another step away from him emotionally. This was the first time in...in how long?...that he had stopped in her office. She was Carter again...her name rolling off his tongue with no more emotion than it had been spoken when they had first met. "Was there something specific you needed, sir?"

Sir. Sam had been great about keeping their relationship low-key. Which helped to cut down on the rumors. But the way she said it...so different than before. The warmth that had filled her sapphire blue eyes had faded as quickly as her smile. There was a hard edge to her voice. They needed to talk. He knew that for a fact. Something was wrong between them, but he was damned if he could figure out what had happened. Ever since Daniel's death...supposed death, he corrected himself hastily...it seemed something had come between them, and the distance continued to widen. "Nah. Just thought I'd see if you needed anything for..." He used his chin to point at her computer.

"I'm using a basic program to make a list of the planets nearest to where Ares' ship was destroyed."

"Already been to those."

"I know that...sir. But this program will work outwards from that point. It will provide a list of the most likely planets to search. There are several that don't have Stargates."

"Which means the Prometheus will have to check them out."

"Yes, sir."

Damn. He hated how stiff, how formal she sounded. "Guess I'll let you get on with it then. Let me know if you change your mind about tonight. We don't have to look at the stars."

She ducked her head, didn't want him to see the tears she was fighting. "Yes, sir."

Another fucking 'sir'. He cleared his throat. "See you later."

"I'll be here. Sir."

Before he could tell her to take the 'sirs' and shove them, he turned on his heel and left the room. He was lousy at relationships. Not much over a year and a half, and he'd already screwed up the best thing that had ever happened to him. What made it worse was this time he had no idea how he had managed to do so.


A  A  A  A  A  A


He rolled over. Damned near hit the floor as his body teetered on the edge of the narrow cot. He sat up, scrubbed his hands over his face. Tried to focus sleep-blurred eyes on his watch. Hell, he'd have to reset it again, wouldn't he? Wasn't even certain what time it had been when he had arrived. The soft clearing of a throat pulled his attention to the diminutive woman sitting in the chair near the bars of the cell. "How long have I been asleep?"

"Not quite three hours."

"Three hours? Does that mean...do you have the proof-"

Janet smiled. "Ready to go home, Daniel?"

His smile brightened his face. "Damned straight!"

She stood up, gathered her kit. Waited for him beside the unlocked and open door. "I need to let the general know we're coming through."

"Good plan. Wouldn't want to meet up with the wrong side of that iris," Daniel said, shivering slightly.

Colonel Reilly was working in his office. When he saw the pair walk by, he called out to them. Met them in the narrow hallway. Handed Daniel his dog tags and the tac vest he had dropped onto the chair earlier. "Damned glad to have you back, Doctor."

"I'm damned glad to be back," Daniel replied sincerely, shrugging the vest over his shoulders.

"We need to call home," Janet said.

Reilly nodded. Led them toward the operations room. "Dial it up. Establish communication with the SGC."

"Yes, sir," the tech replied. The sound of the chevrons clanging into place was audible from where they stood, watching through a bulletproof window. "SGC, this is Alpha. Do you read?"

"Read you loud and clear, Alpha," Gracie's voice replied.

"Doctor Fraiser, this is General Hammond. Results?"

"Identification confirmed, sir."

Standing in the control room of the SGC, General George Hammond lowered his head, closed his eyes, and said a brief prayer of thanks for yet another miracle.

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