DISCLAIMER: I only borrowed them for a while. MGM and whoever can have them back whenever they want. No copyright infringement intended.
SPOILERS: up to Season 8 premiere (which I haven't seen) and AU after that.
SERIES: This is the second story in the Dayspell series, a sequel to Darkspell (Sunshine, Shadow, Shimmer) and Dawnspell (Past, Present, Future) You really need to read those first.
WARNING: Violence and description of gruesome injury / mental torture.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author

By Celievamp


General O'Neill listened to Colonel Ronson's report in silence. "So Hailey thinks that the pod somehow went to warp before the missile hit."

Ronson nodded. "She's positive. And the sensors do show an energy discharge before the explosion occurred." His holographic image distorted a little and then returned to normal.

"He's got almost as many lives as Daniel," O'Neill mused. He knew his first instincts about Fifth had been spot on. They should have destroyed the whole lot of them when they had the chance.

"Commander Thor has alerted the fleet to be on the lookout. Latest estimates are that the virus had infected almost 90% of the Replicators. Most of them seem to be deactivated or destroyed. There's no sign that they're adapting to it." Ronson said. "Sir, is there any news on Colonel Carter and Dr Fraiser?"

"Not so far," O'Neill said. "We can't make contact with the Nox Gate. We're just hoping that no news is good news."

Sam opened her eyes. She was in what looked very like Lya's lodge on the Nox homeworld. In fact it could be the same pallet that she woke up on the first time that she died, when Apophis killed her. The first time she died… it bothered her that she had lost count now of how many times she had died in the last eight years. One of these days she wasn't going to come back.

She climbed off the pallet and checked herself over. There was no sign of any of the injuries she had had the last time she had been sure she was awake and in reality. That could mean that this was another illusion or that the Nox or someone else had healed her.

It was very quiet. She was alone, but suddenly she had the strongest sensation that Janet was very near by. For a moment it felt as if her lover was standing behind her, her arms around her. She could distinctly feel the pressure of Janet's breasts against her spine, the weight of her head resting against her shoulder. She felt so loved. She smiled, hugging herself. The smell of Janet's perfume was in the air. She was near. She was close enough to touch if only Sam could find her way back to her.

A new strength flowed through her at the sensation. One of these days she wasn't going to come back. But not today. She had beaten Bastet. She had beaten Anubis. She had beaten Fifth. And she was damn well going to beat whoever was behind this whether it was the Weapon or the mysterious Cat entity she had encountered earlier.

Sam was pretty certain that this was another illusion. She could not think of a way that she could have got from the limbo she had been placed in to this place. Though they still did not know much about the Nox and their powers – she was presuming from her current location that the Nox had something to do with this. They could have healed her. They had brought her back from the dead once before. And she did seem to be healed. In fact she had rarely felt better.

Grace had referred to her `Makers'. Was she a product of Nox technology? All the Nox she had encountered, everything she knew about them indicated that they were committed pacifists. But perhaps that had not always been the case. As Antaeus delighted in telling them – they were very young. And none of their informants about the Nox had exactly been forthcoming about their history. They had gone to war with the Goa'uld before, as one quarter of the Great Alliance of the Asgard, the Ancients, the Furling and the Nox.

Perhaps she was `out of phase' as Daniel had been when he looked into the crystal skull. She walked towards the wall and rebounded. He said he had been able to walk through walls. Well, she obviously couldn't. Though why he could walk through walls and didn't sink through the floor or anything he sat on puzzled her. Something to do with perception and will affecting the physical reality…

But thinking about that could wait for another day.

All of which got her precisely nowhere. She realized that she was gnawing at the edge of her thumbnail – something she always did when she was distracted and hastily put a stop to it. So, she couldn't walk through walls. But there was a door. All she had to do was open it and see what was on the other side. Easy.

Janet held herself absolutely still. The muzzle of the gun was shockingly cold against her skin. She gazed up into this Sam's eyes and saw neither warmth nor compassion there. This was the pure soldier, doing the job she was ordered to do. She could expect no quarter, no compromise, little mercy.

Then the gun was pushed aside by a black leather jacketed whirl of motion as the soldier staggered backwards impelled by a well placed right hook.

"Don't you dare touch her," the newcomer snarled. "I'll tear you a new one you asshole if you've hurt her."

Strong arms were around her, holding her securely. Sam without and within. Dizzy and disorientated, Janet closed her eyes, her hands clenched around the leather of the jacket, drinking in the familiar texture and smell. It had been so long.

"I've got you," Sam whispered. "I've got you safe, my love." Janet felt herself lifted back off her feet and laid on the pallet, the blanket wrapped around her, Sam's long fingers stroking through her hair.

"What the hell were you thinking?" she heard this Sam berate the soldier-Sam. "What kind of sick puppy are you? How could you not know that this was Janet? Or was it just that you didn't care. You've always had a problem dealing with your feelings for her."

Unlike this Sam, Janet realised. This Sam was all feelings, passion, anger, love, daring. This was the whirlwind, the adrenaline junkie, the drag racing flygirl, the Sam who didn't stop to ask why who had no comprehension of rules and regulations.

"If that truly is Janet, then what the hell is that?" Soldier-Sam indicated the bulk of her pregnancy.

"How the hell should I know?" Whirlwind-Sam said. "Obviously something's been done to her. But that's not important now. We have to get her – and ourselves out of here." The fact that there were four of her now didn't seem to faze her at all. "So – you got any ideas on that?"

Perhaps it was time she explained the situation – as best she could, anyway – Janet thought. She struggled to sit up, easing herself out of Whirlwind Sam's embrace.

"This isn't real," Janet said. "I think we're in my head. Your consciousness is sharing mine whilst the Nox heal your body. When we found you… well, you were near death. The Replicators had badly injured you. Fifth had tortured you. To save you Nefrayu somehow separated your consciousness from your body and put it into me…" her hand rested on her abdomen for a moment. "But your consciousness appears to be splitting into different facets of your personality – perhaps it's some sort of defense mechanism…" Psychologically it was fascinating. Janet had read a theory somewhere that most people's interactions with the outside world were almost as a result of committee decisions amongst a host of facetted personalities rather than the actions of one single fixed personality.

"Fascinating, but implausible," another Sam said. She looked about her with interest. By the lab coat this had to be Scientist-Sam. This could get interesting, Janet thought. Sometimes Sam's pursuit of scientific knowledge could get a little too intense. She tended to forget or overlook the human element. Once it was pointed out to her she was usually pretty distraught about her apparent callousness. Though it was still her Sam Janet knew she had to watch this manifestation pretty carefully.

"It's the truth as far as I understand it, I assure you," Janet said.

"Well I'm certainly real enough. I am not a manifestation of anyone's subconscious, least of all yours, Janet."

The last time Janet had heard Sam used that tone of voice with her she had been in the thrall of Anise's superhero armband. Janet had had the strong urge to slap her then as well.

"So if you're real, what about all these other Sam Carters? How do you explain them?" Whilst they were talking another Sam had appeared. At least Janet presumed it was Sam. She looked about ten years old, her long fair hair held back from her face with a dark blue Alice Band. She was wearing a sweater with Scooby Doo on the front, jeans and sneakers. She looked at her adult selves with some confusion and not a little fear in her huge blue eyes. Janet's heart went out to her.

"It's okay, sweetie," she said softly. "No one's going to hurt you."

Whirlwind Sam looked at the child curiously. "I used to have a sweater like that," she said. "Gran knitted it for me. I wore it all the time. Mum had to sneak it out of my room when I was asleep to wash it."

"I remember," Soldier-Sam said. "I wore it until it just about fell apart."

"Then Mum died and I had to wash it myself and it shrank in the wash," Scientist Sam said. "I couldn't wear it any more."

"We have the same memory," Whirlwind-Sam. "Maybe Janet's right."

They all turned to look at Janet. Child-Sam came and stood next to her, then reached out to take her hand. "Are we going to be okay?" she asked.

"I hope so," Janet said. She wasn't at all certain that this fragmenting of Sam's personality was a good thing. Another one had appeared now, one whose influence Janet had seen only a handful of times in their relationship. Mentally she dubbed this one girly-

Sam. Her hair was fluffed out more, her make-up more vibrant and the dress she wore oozed femininity – as well as sex. It looked completely out of place in the homespun simplicity of Lya's lodge. As did the heeled strappy shoes.

"Janet – what's going on?"

"I'm not sure, yet. But I don't think we're in any danger."

Girly-Sam stared at her soldier-self, taking in the scrubbed face, the muscled arms, the fierce grip on the P90. "Why does she look like me?" Soldier-Sam stared right back at her not bothering to hide her distaste at the vision of femininity before her. Girly-

Sam proved that she might be blonde but she certainly didn't fit the stereotype. "Are we talking alternate universes again? I don't remember seeing any mirrors… I don't remember…" She fixed her gaze on Janet for a moment, taking in her altered appearance. "What happened to you?"

"She is you. And you are her." And we are all together a little voice sang inside her head. Janet steeled herself. She had to hold herself together. Was this fragmentation her doing, her own psyche's attempt to cope with the totality that was Sam? "And as for me… well, I think I'm pregnant – with you."

"Okay that is too weird," Girly-Sam dusted off a bench with her hand and sat down.

"Tell me about it," Janet muttered.

Child-Sam squeezed Janet's hand. Janet looked down at the upturned face, almost lost it at the trusting expression in those wide blue impossibly innocent eyes. "Yes, sweetie?"

"Can I stay with you until my Mum comes to get me?"

"Of course you can," Janet managed a smile. This aspect of Sam was obviously from the time before her mother had died.

"Are we going to be okay?" Child-Sam asked.

"I hope so," Janet said. "I hope we're all going to be okay."

"You're a doctor," the child said.

"Yes, I am," Janet smiled. "How did you know that?"

The child shrugged. It did not matter how she knew. She just did. "I might want to be a doctor when I grow up but I don't like squishy things," she said. Janet suppressed a smile, remembering Sam's reaction to dissecting the dead Goa'uld in the Isis jar. Janet had thought Sam was going to throw up there and then. How on earth she'd managed to last through the autopsy of the first Kull warrior they had captured still amazed Janet.

But then her lover was an amazing woman.

Hailey continued to analyse the sensor data from the escape pod that had disappeared. There was a signal in the high band that could almost be a unique signature for the type of engine the Replicators had created to power the craft. Whatever it was it had generated enough power for them to make the leap into hyperspace just before the missile had hit. She remembered reading Colonel Carter's report on the alterations the replicators had made to Apophis's ship, bringing them untold distances in a matter of hours. It looked as if they had put that expertise to use again. She wished that there was a way to safely study the Replicators – perhaps find out how they stored and utilized their knowledge for starters. Each separate tile must store data somehow. Perhaps it had something to do with the energy particles that they utilized – the keron. Thor had once told Colonel Carter that the interior of each block was made up of millions of these keron particles which acted not only to bond the blocks together but also allowed intercommunication with them. Reports on Replicator activity and the information the Asgard had passed on had shown that they regularly cannibalized each other for blocks as well as assimilating anything else that looked `useful'. It was this very trait that had enabled the nanovirus to embed itself so quickly.

She programmed the signature into the sensor array, adding it to the general search parameters. They might get lucky, she reasoned.

Major Gant joined her. "We've just got new orders from Earth. We're to proceed to the Nox home world. General O'Neill is worried that the Replicators might still be after Colonel Carter."

"I've programmed the engine signature I detected into the sensors. If that ship does head there…" Hailey knew from her studies of SG1's mission reports that the Nox's apparently pastoral lifestyle masked a highly technologically advanced civilization. If the Replicators got a taste for that, their allies could be in big trouble. Hopefully the escaping Replicators were already infected with the nanovirus and would succumb to it before they got too much further but Hailey knew that Major Carter's greatest fear was that they would adapt to it before it could wipe them out completely. The adapted survivors would then go to ground and replicate until they were ready to swarm again. She was intrigued that Gant was going out of her way to take an interest. She was only on board the Prometheus as a mission specialist. Gant was second in command. She was also kinda cute. Jennifer realised she was staring and looked down, feeling herself blush a little. Sometimes it was a pain being so fair skinned.

"Good work," Gant said approvingly. She had heard a lot about Hailey but this was the first time they had worked together. The young woman was a lot easier to work with than her somewhat prickly reputation indicated. Hailey smiled and blushed slightly at the complement. Emily Gant came to a decision. She wanted to get to know Jennifer Hailey a lot better than she did at the moment. She got the feeling that that could be a very worthwhile way to spend her free time.

"I don't think there's much else to do here until we get closer to the Nox homeworld. And the sensors will alert us if that ship shows up again. When did you last have a break?"

Hailey considered the question for a moment. "It's been a while," she said at last.

"Come on. Mess Hall. I'll nuke us some dinner," Gant said.

Fifth studied Eighth closely. She was different to him – not just in her feminine aspect but in her approach. He had emotions. She did not. But she was not like the others either. He was the only exemplar she had. And she seemed to be trying to emulate him, to acquire or simulate an emotional response. She genuinely seemed to care for him and wanted to please him.

The infection was spreading. Lesions had formed on his back and his right leg as well as the one on his left hand and he felt feverish. He had not been able to make contact with First. It was likely that his siblings were dead. The nanovirus was insidious. Only his changed nature seemed to make him resistant to it otherwise he had would have succumbed long before now.

And so far Eighth seemed clear of obvious signs of infection. Somehow she seemed to be immune, yet her tissues swarmed with the nanovirus. It appeared to have been incorporated into her structure during her creation. Though she did not suffer damage herself she would bring the nanovirus to wherever they went in Replicator space. So they could never go home. It would be just the two of them for however long he had left.

All the other units were dead, their structures decomposed into brown filth. Their knowledge, their beautiful singleminded purpose lost.

They were the only ones left. And he did not have the resources to make any more. And even if he did they would not survive long in Eighth's presence. Any new race would have to come from her. But there was still the problem of resources. They had to find somewhere quickly where they could go to ground long enough to build up their reserves. This was just a hiatus, it was not the end.

He had hoped for a marriage of minds but that was not to be either. She seemed at the same time more and yet less like Samantha as time went passed. He did not make the mistake of calling her by that name. She was Eighth. She was his Eve.

But for now at least, their new race seemed stillborn.

There had been no new developments for some time, the different aspects of Sam continued to more or less ignore each other. No new avatars had appeared. Janet eased her position, her back was aching a little. Her belly shivered as the child within her moved. Whirlwind Sam leant towards her. "Can I?" she indicated, miming putting her hand on Janet's belly to feel the child move. Janet smiled, took Sam's hand and placed it over where she had felt the child kick a few moments earlier. Strange how accustomed she had become to feeling this, considering she had never had a child before. She smiled at the intense concentration on Sam's face and then the wide smile that graced her features as the child kicked again.

"That is amazing," Sam whispered. "So, you think that's me again, in there."

"I think so… I can feel you. Don't ask me how or why," Janet said. "When Lya described what might happen she never mentioned phantom pregnancies.

A noise from the corner where the scared-Sam crouched alerted them all. "I don't know who's behind this," the woman said. "But I'm not playing any more. I don't know if it's Fifth or one of the System Lords, or even NID for all I know. But I'm not playing any more. It ends here!" She struggled to her feet. She looked almost-

strung out, terrified. Janet had no idea what she was going to do – harm herself or one of the others. Either way it would be a bad thing.

Soldier-Sam took the initiative. She cold-cocked her other self, catching her body as she fell and then with surprising gentleness, lifted her alterego in her strong arms to lie her down on the pallet beside the sleeping-self. "Can't be doing with that attitude," she said sternly. "Giving in to weakness, to emotions like that. We have a job to do." Janet checked scared-Sam's pulse which was rapid but steady. Soldier-Sam had calculated the blow well: she would be out for a little while anyway. She checked on the sleeping Sam as well. There was still no indication as to why she was unconscious – or what she represented in all of this. And she was the only one that Janet did not feel any kind of connection to.

She gently brushed the thick blonde hair back from the pale face and withdrew hurriedly as something seemed to move under the skin. Whirlwind Sam had also seen it and pulled her away. "What the…."

Sleeping-Sam's mouth dropped open slightly and a replicator bug crawled out and then a second. Sam's body seemed almost to deflate slightly, more movement under her skin, her eyes hollowing. Soldier-

Sam lifted scared-Sam clear, telling girly-Sam to look after her. Janet pulled Child-Sam to her, Whirlwind Sam's arms around them both as the replicators bugs continued to multiply.

"Oh my god, it wasn't her, it wasn't her, that's why I couldn't sense her," Janet breathed sharply. Her backache was increasing exponentially. "We have to get out of here. We can't let them…"

Agony speared her and she slumped against Whirlwind Sam who was hardpressed to hold onto her. She was going into labour. Scientist Sam helped her to sit down,

"You're going to be okay, Janet. We won't let anything happen to you. We love you. We all love you."

Child-Sam's arms were around her as well. "Won't let the monsters get you."

Janet tried to pet the child but the effort was too much. It felt like her insides were being torn out of her. Everything went dark.

Sam walked through the doorway into a bedroom. Her bedroom. Unmistakably hers, from the starcharts and map of the moon on one wall, the bookcase double stacked with books, the Matt Mason doll propped up against the mirror on the small dressing table.

This was her room from her early teenage years. From the time when her mother died. The last time she had `been' here, Apophis had forced her to drink a strong hypnotic called the Blood of Sokar. He had entered her hallucinations in the form of her father and tried to persuade her to betray Earth by giving up the IRIS codes.

She had reasoned out the whys and wherefores of being `stuck' in this moment then – but why was she back here now? She moved towards the dressing table and looked at herself in the mirror, checking something out. The last time she had looked in a mirror when she was lucid dreaming she had seen Jolinar, not herself. Who would she see this time?

She was still her adult self in appearance, but in her reflection her clothing was different. She appeared to be wearing faded jeans and a handknit sweater with Scooby Doo on the front, very different from the BDUs she was wearing in… well, she couldn't exactly call it real life, could she. Whatever aspect of reality she was currently inhabiting.

Scooby Doo. Her gran had knitted her a sweater with that design on the front when she was eleven or twelve years old. She had loved it, wearing it every chance she got, winter or summer. And then Mam had died and she hadn't worn it much after that. Something had happened to it. Sam closed her eyes, remembering.

It had shrunk in the wash. Her dad was busy and Mark had told her that laundry was girls work and should be her chore not his. So she had done a load of laundry in the basement whilst he had gone to hang out with his mates but it hadn't quite turned out right. The Scooby Doo sweater had shrunk, the fibres becoming hard and harsh. Dad had thrown it out telling her that there was nothing that could be done. It was ruined.

Everything was ruined.

Why? Why was her mind showing her this? What did it signify?

"You cried more over that sweater than you did over your mother," Grace observed, materializing on the bed. The door creaked open and Cat walked in, tail held high, looking around these new environs with great interest.

Stung beyond fury by her words, Sam turned on the child. "How dare you say that! How dare you… so cruel!" She had cried for her mother. She had.

In private, without making a sound, where no one would see her. In public she was quiet and composed. She remembered overhearing conversations about her behaviour from concerned relatives. Uncle Irving saying that `it hasn't sunk in yet. She'll grieve when she's ready.' She had cried for her mother where she thought no one would hear her no one would see. So no one, especially not her father, would think her weak. Carter's don't cry.

The ruined sweater… was that the last time she cried? And what had she been mourning, the death of her mother, the loss of her childhood, the realization that whatever she achieved in her life it would never be quite enough for her father to give her his approval?

Why was she here?

She was not the same person as that lost and lonely child. She had grieved long and hard for her mother over the intervening years. She had her father's (occasionally grudging) approval. Her brother and his family were an important part of her life again. She had Janet's love to sustain her, a family of her own with Cassie. She had committed herself without question or doubt to Janet Fraiser, her wife, her lover. She considered their relationship a marriage, a sacred and personal bond between them. So why did this have a hold on her?

"You never quite let go did you?" Cat said, leaping up onto the dressing table and examining his own reflection for a moment. "There's still a part of you that's stuck here. There's still a part of you that fears that one day it's all going to go away, that you're going to ruin it. That you will be found lacking." He started to groom himself.

"You were so afraid of failing in a relationship that you never let anyone get close to you for years," Grace announced from the bed. She bounced experimentally on the mattress. "You said you didn't need anyone else to complete your life – you had your career. Sometimes you even believed it. For all that you say you love Janet, that you say you have committed to her, you still believe it. She will always come second to your career."

"Stop this!" Sam cried, putting her hands to her head. "Janet means everything to me. Everything."

"When did you last tell her that?"

"You cannot overcome your weaknesses if you do not face them," Grace said. "You have to be stronger than this, Sam."

"I'm not here staying to listen to this," Sam said. She turned to the door, but it was no longer there. The walls were silver, bare, thousands upon thousands of Replicator blocks. Her heart slammed in her chest. No – she had escaped this. Hadn't she? As she turned again to look at Cat, the shape morphed, growing into one of the largest Replicator bugs she had seen. A queen bug.

Even though she knew that Grace was not at all what she seemed, Sam's first instinct was still to protect the young girl. "Grace, come stand behind me. Don't let it touch you."

The queen bug began to break apart, thousands of replicators bugs swarming, coming towards them, the circle of clear tiles at their feet growing smaller by the moment.

Suddenly agony speared her and she dropped to her knees. Nausea convulsed her, something blocking her throat, pain tearing through her abdomen. As she vomited up a replicator bug, another tore its way through her stomach, a trail of bloodied glistening intestines escaping after it. Grace knelt beside her, touching her face.

"I'm sorry," the girl said. "But you knew it had to end this way."

Lya watched over Janet Fraiser as she slept uneasily. The strain was beginning to tell on her body, her heart racing, her temperature beginning to climb. Housing a second ka was hard on anyone, regardless of whether it was as powerful and vital as that of Samantha Carter.

Nefrayu, Antaeus and a healer called Belline were working on Samantha Carter. Her body was enveloped in a softly glowing mist as they repaired her injuries removing any trace of what the Replicators had done to her. But it was a slow process. The damage was extensive, pervasive. Samantha Carter's survival was still not certain.

"Nefrayu, how much longer?" Lya asked at last. "Janet Fraiser is weakening."

"We cannot risk the ka yet," Antaeus said. "The vessel is still too weak and somehow it resists us. I suspect the Astrapi. It knows we intend to destroy it. Do not fear for Janet Fraiser. She will prevail. The fenri protect her. Can't you hear their song?"

Lya could. It was unprecedented that the fenri should involve themselves with Outsiders in this way. "There is more to this than we can see," she said.

"Indeed," Antaeus nodded. The three Nox redoubled their efforts to heal the human warrior. Lya cradled Janet Fraiser in her arms, soothing her as she moaned softly in her troubled sleep.

She came and sat beside him, laid her head on his shoulder. "You're thinking about her again," she observed.

"Who?" he asked, playing for time.

"Her. Carter. The one that looks like me."

He did not reply. He did not know what to say.

"You wanted me to be her. But I'm not. She was human. She failed you. I will not fail you, Fifth."

"I know."

"What am I to you?" she asked.

"I created you – so a daughter, I suppose," he said softly. "Though I don't feel for you as I would for a daughter. Then again we are both of the same flesh so I suppose we are siblings. But then I don't feel for you as I would for a sister either."

"Do you love me?" she asked.

"Do you know what that means?" he asked in return.

"I think so," she said. "Do you love me?"

"Yes," he said. He would not lie to her. He loved her because of what she represented.

"Do you love me or do you love me because of her. Do you love me because I am the image and essence of Samantha Carter."

"At first I loved you because I created you to love. I created you in her image. But you are not her. And I believe I will come to love you as you Eighth, not because of your purpose."

"You still love Samantha Carter. But she betrayed you. She failed you. She did not return your feelings. She loved another…" From her assimilated memories of Samantha Carter Eighth drew on images of Janet Fraiser. She knew that Fifth possessed the same images. "And she is with her love now. The Nox protect them."

"Yes," Fifth said, a note of wistful sadness in his voice.

"We should go there. Your revenge is not yet complete. And the Nox could be useful to us. We can adapt, spawn, take their technology for our own. What we tasted of that which had melded with Samantha Carter was intriguing. I would have more of it."

"There are only two of us, Eighth. The Nox are many and powerful."

"Then we will act in stealth. We shall prevail, Fifth. I know we shall."

He looked into her eyes and smiled. The fervour that he saw there reminded him of Samantha.

"With your strength of purpose, my love, I know we shall."

Eighth looked at Fifth. He was not functioning properly. The nanovirus was starting to take a hold on him. It might be that he would not be with her much longer. There were things she had to do. Through her link with Fifth she had all of Samantha Carter's knowledge. The time dilation device that she had originally used to trap her siblings. Perhaps she could give herself more time with Fifth. He would never agree to it. But he was malfunctioning. It was in his best interests. She would have to make the decision for him.

As for the Nox, they were a means to an end. Perhaps the survival of her kind. But that was a secondary purpose.

They gave shelter to Samantha Carter. And whilst she was alive Fifth could never feel for her what he should feel. She would always be there as an exemplar, someone whom she could never live up to in Fifth's mind. She was a copy, superior in many ways, inferior in others. Fifth only saw the inferior things, the `errors' that made her different. If Samantha Carter was dead there would only be her. And for all the time she had left with Fifth he would only see her.

Continued in Death

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