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No Matter the Time
The planet was rocky and arid. There were a few trees near the ‘gate, short twisted specimens with little or no foliage.
"Now this is the most depressing place I’ve seen in a long time," Tony said as they made their way carefully down the crumbling steps.
"Amen, brother," Texas said.
Casey just smiled. "Not every planet can look like Eden," she teased.
"I’d be happy to just find one like that," Tony shot back.
Major Parker looked around. "Jackson, any bad vibes?"
"No, sir," she replied.
He nodded. "Okay. Sabotti, you’re on point. Texas, you have our six. Trenton, you and Jackson are with me. MALP said that way," he said, pointing straight ahead of them.
The team began walking. Casey fell into step beside young Allen Trenton, one of the newest members to the SGC. He had been accepted on Gamma less than a month earlier…eager to leave Earth and join the fight to protect the planet of his birth. He was one of dozens of young military recruits who requested assignment to the colony planets, one of the very few who actually made it.
"So, this is your third mission?"
"Yes, ma’am," he said, his eyes scanning around him.
She giggled. "You can call me Casey. Or Case. All the guys do."
She shook her head, smiled. She knew that he'd been raised in Mississippi. Southern men were always so…polite. "So, how do you like being on an SGC team?"
"It’s been downright interesting, ma’am. Seen things I never figured to see for real," he said with a grin.
"Yep, it is like seeing your favorite sci-fi stories come to life, isn’t it? Although, I’m happy to report, more often than not the missions are boring. After a few ‘heart-thumpers’, you really appreciate boring!" she said, with the wisdom of experience.
"Is it true that you can tell when trouble is coming?" Trenton asked, glancing at her. Damn, she's pretty! Those eyes are something else. The BDUs she was wearing couldn’t hide that slender figure, or the curves that went with it. Doctor Jackson is one lucky man!
The ruins weren’t far from the ‘gate, and when they came into sight Casey immediately grabbed the camcorder. It didn’t take long for Tony and Texas to start setting up strings to make a grid over the area. Major Parker sent Trenton to the top of a nearby hill on guard duty, while he helped the other two men.
There only two walls standing, and only one had any markings on it. She examined them, found them to be a language she didn’t recognize. She carefully recorded each symbol, grabbed the notebook so that she could copy them when she had finished taping them. She was changing the CD in the camera when she felt it. Trouble. With a capital ‘T’. "Major, we need to head back to the gate right now," she said quietly.
His head came up from where he sat, carefully brushing dirt away from one of the fallen walls. "Bad?"
"Oh, yeah," she replied.
"Trenton, get down here, we’re heading to the gate," Major Parker said into his radio.
"Roger that sir. On my way…holy shit, sir! I can see a group of…looks like some sort of military unit."
He grabbed his weapon, Texas and Tony already on their feet, guns in hand, running toward Casey. "Move Trenton! Gate, now!" Parker barked.
The young man was already sliding down towards them. They were all running now. The men that Trenton had seen were cresting the hill, and shooting at them. They took turns returning fire. Casey had just fired, bringing down two men, and was running past the major, who had turned to fire.
"Jackson, get to the gate and open it! Texas! Cover her!" Parked ordered. He, Trenton and Tony were already taking cover behind the scraggly trees.
Casey ran to the DHD and dialed for home, Texas lying at her feet providing cover fire. She watched as the gate tried to open, then remained closed. She tried again. Shit! She dialed for Beta. The same results. This was not good. The men who were firing at them were getting closer. And they outnumbered SG-6 four to one. She tried dialing again. She watched as the ‘gate closed. Gamma, Beta, now Alpha. None of the ‘gates were responding.
"Jackson, get that damn ‘gate open!" Major Parker yelled from his spot behind one of the trees.
"No response to any known ‘gates!" she called back.
"No choice…dial Earth! We’ll see that the NID doesn’t get their hands on you!" he said.
She dialed Earth. The gate opened.
"Go! Go! Go!" Parker screamed at the team.
She thought she saw an ‘extra’ flash of light as she traveled between the gates. She rolled down the ramp, weapons fire exploding above her. The gate closed suddenly. She was on her knees, looking at the empty circle. "No!" she screamed. She dropped back onto her heels, her heart pounding against her ribs. What had happened to the rest of SG-6?
"Get your hands up!" a voice commanded from behind her. It was not a friendly voice.
Not friendly at all.
She rose slowly to her knees, put her hands on top of her head, and turned around. She gasped. General Hammond stood there frowning at her. Beside him Jack, Sam, and Teal'c were looking at her, suspicion in their eyes; Daniel, his hair longer than it had ever been since she'd known him, stared at her. "Oh, shit!" she muttered.
"Who are you? How did you get an SG-1 IDC?" General Hammond asked gruffly.
"This might sound like a really weird question, but what year is it?" she asked, her soft voice shaking slightly.
The general and the team members exchanged uneasy glances. "It’s 1997."
"Wow. I’m uh…sort of from…your future. Not too far in your future…but…I joined SG-1 in 2004, after the team rescued me from Gargantua…er…Wepwawet. Jack…er…General O’Neill and you were instrumental in getting me on the team. I guess my Immortality helped some…and then after Daniel died and Duncan and I were going to go through with the Ceremony of Fire, and Oma stopped us and brought all of you back, well, SG-1, including Jack, and made you all Immortal…we’ve been working together…" the words tumbled from her mouth. She stopped when she saw their eyes, began to pull her lower lip between her teeth. "Not making any sense am I?"
General Hammond smiled. "At ease, men," he said to the Marines who still held their weapons on her. "We’ve had an experience or two with the quantum mirror. Welcome to Stargate Control."
Casey shook her head. "I wasn’t anywhere near a mirror. But there was this…like…well, sort of an ‘extra’ flash as I was coming through the wormhole." She frowned slightly. "Control? Not Stargate Command?"
Major Carter nodded. "Solar flare. You were rerouted somehow by a solar flare. It happened to us just a few months ago." She looked at the patch on the young woman’s shoulder. It was different from the patches that she and her companions wore, and she considered the slight difference in the designation of the facility. "You’re from an alternate timeline, I’d bet on it."
"I don’t suppose you can get me back where I belong? Daniel is going to freak," Casey said softly.
"I am?" Daniel said, smiling slightly.
Casey couldn’t help but giggle. "Not you…my Daniel."
Carter noticed the large diamond and the wedding band on the 'visitor's' finger. "You and Daniel are married?"
She nodded, the strands of blonde hair that had come loose from her braid falling forward into her face. She brushed them back impatiently. "Fifty years, well, that I have memories for, seven since Oma sent us back. It’s sort of a long story."
O’Neill nodded. "I’ll bet it is. Come on, we’ll get you a cup of coffee and you can tell us about it."
She stood to her feet, then looked back at the gate, again pulling her lip between her teeth. "They didn’t come through. Did the ‘gate there close as quickly? Maybe they can still get home?"
"Who?" Carter asked softly.
"SG-6. I was on a routine site dig with them."
"I thought you said you were a member of SG-1," the colonel said.
"I am. But you and Sam are on vacation, Teal'c is visiting his son and daughter-in-law and grandson, and Daniel is up to his ears in new artifacts-" she broke off, looked at the familiar, yet strange faces around her. "This is just too freakin’ weird." She pulled at her lip again. "We were under attack from unidentified, very definitely un-friendlies. Damn! I was hoping to be home tonight, Emily wasn’t feeling well when I left this morning."
"Emily?" Daniel asked gently.
"Our…my daughter…mine and my Daniel’s daughter," she replied. "She’ll be seventeen months old next week."
Jack glanced at Sam. "You said that Carter and…him…"
Casey smiled. "When Oma brought us back, she…influenced General Hammond, and he made it possible for the two of them to finally get together. You…rather, my Jack and Sam have been married for almost six years. They have a daughter as well. Evelyn Denise."
Sam started. "That’s my mother’s name," she said.
"I know. Took you two…er…them long enough to decide on it. Just about two days before she was born as a matter of fact," Casey smiled.
Daniel took Casey’s arm and led her toward the door. "Let’s go get that cup of coffee," he said. He could feel her trembling beneath his fingers.
"You’d probably rather have your doctor take a look at me first, wouldn’t you? I don’t mind. It’s SOP to have a physical before and after each mission. I can swear to you that I’m snake free…but I understand if you need proof." She smiled bravely at each of them.
Colonel O’Neill nodded. "Yeah, we would like to have Doc take a look at you."
She nodded. "It’s been awhile since I’ve been here, but I think I can remember how to get to the infirmary. If your SGC is the same as ours was."
"So far, every encounter we’ve had, everything is nearly identical, just a few minor differences," Sam said.
"Wait a minute," Daniel said. "Does this mean that your SG-1 isn’t on Earth any more?"
"We all left a couple of hours after Emily’s birth. General Hammond was running Area 51 at the time. He brought those he could trust, and emptied out this mountain, sent all the teams and scientists and their families to either the Alpha or Beta site, or to Gamma. We all went to Gamma because that’s where all of the Immortals were…are." She shook her head.
"Why?" Jack asked.
"Politics. NID. It was the only way to guarantee that we could continue to protect Earth. The Joint Chiefs were refusing to let the program go public in order to garner support, the Senate Oversight committee was cutting back funding, and the NID had found out that I was Immortal, and would have found out about you…er…my Jack, Sam, Daniel, and Teal'c being Immortal as well. They would have had no problems cutting us into tiny pieces to figure out what makes us Immortal."
Jack nodded. "I can see that coming around here. Well, all but the Immortal part. Sounds like the NID in your universe is as nasty and useless as it is here."
Casey stopped and looked at Daniel. "If everything is the same…Have you been to Kelowna?" She shook her head. "Stupid question, you’re here!"
He looked at his companions, then shook his head. "No. Why?"
"You’ll die there…well, get radiation poisoning and die. Then you’ll Ascend. Oma Desala will help you."
"This is the same Oma that made us…er…your SG-1 Immortal?" Sam asked.
"Yeah. She’s my cousin. See, Immortals were created by the Ancients to protect the Innocents, or mortals. She was part of the Immortal Council before she joined the Ascended." She turned back to Daniel. "You wind up un-Ascended, because you can’t just stand by and watch your friends hurt and tortured."
Again the team members exchanged confused looks.
"Anyway, you guys take out Seth, this snake-head named Wepwawet takes over his territory, you have a run-in with him and he manages to get back here with you, NID takes him to Seacouver, he gets loose, and kidnaps me, makes me a slave, you guys come through the ‘gate to rescue me just about the same time I’m escaping, Oma’s doing, I’m sure of that, and then…well…" she dropped her eyes, glanced at Daniel, then looked up at Jack. "You put me through three weeks of hell in your private boot camp, and then, General Hammond and you convince the President to offer me a job here…there…well, at the SGC. You put me on SG-1 because of Daniel. Well, that’s what happened in my universe, anyway."
Daniel looked at her, took in the delicate features of her face, the amazing green eyes, the soft voice. She was beautiful. He could sense the quiet strength that she possessed. His heart was pounding in his chest. He was very attracted to this woman. Could easily love her. "When did you and…he…get married?"
"July 4, 2004. He didn’t want to wait. He said he loved me, and I loved him, and that waiting was just a waste of time."
"You said you’ve been married fifty years?" Sam asked.
Casey nodded. "Well, see, we were married for forty-three years. Daniel was seventy-seven, and he caught a cold…it turned to viral pneumonia, he died within days. I was broken-hearted…lost without him. I was supposed to go through the Ceremony of Fire with Duncan…Duncan MacLeod, another Immortal…but Oma had already told me, more or less, that I’d see Daniel again. Before Mac and I could finish the ceremony, she appeared, told me to choose my path. I wanted Daniel…and she brought him and Sam and Jack back…made the three of them, and Teal'c, he was still alive…Immortal. Sent us back to July 1st, 2005." She missed the looks that were exchanged a third time by the four SG-1 team members. Looks that conveyed a slight disbelief.
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