DISCLAIMER: I only borrowed them for a while. MGM and whoever can have them back whenever they want.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The language is mine notes on that at the end of the story. The poem is also mine. Not a hundred percent happy with the way this one turned out so let me know what you think of it good bad or indifferent.
SPOILERS: set Season 5ish, some time after Desperate Measures
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author

Different Geometry
By Celievamp

Sam Carter knew she would always have problems coping with hot, wet planets. She could never seem to get enough oxygen and knew that within a few minutes she was red faced and perspiring heavily with the humidity. The heavy jungle made the going treacherous, the ground was mud and decaying organic material. The moisture laden air frankly stank. There were creepy crawlies everywhere all seeming to have more legs than was entirely sensible. And she was positive there would be snakes involved somewhere along the line. She hated the place already. And they were due to be here for three days to explore some Mayan ruins that the UAV had detected some way from the Gate.

Daniel was excited, already revising his theories on the basis of the carved stones they had found in the vicinity of the Gate in which he had detected strong Celtic as well as Mayan influences. O'Neill could not see it himself. He peered at the overgrown eroded stones. "You sure about this?"

"Absolutely. The cup and ring designs are typical of Celtic carvings. And both Celtic and Mayan statuary involve the cult of the head, though they are very different stylistically. Both types are represented here." He indicated something on the rock surface in front of him. O'Neill squinted and tilted his head to one side, allowing after a moment's unfocused gaze that there might just be something there.

"We have come across worlds where more than one racial group has been settled at the same time, sir," Carter said. O'Neill noticed that she was already looking a little flushed. But then it was hotter than hell – and they should know – as well as being uncomfortably humid.

"Okay, Danny hurry up and take your pictures. We've got some rough ground to cover if we want to reach those ruins before nightfall."

That had been three hours ago. O'Neill had acknowledged in his heart that there was no way they were going to reach the ruins today. The jungle they were climbing through was primal; he kept having flashbacks to Jurassic Park, or maybe it was just Laura Dern. That reminded him to check on his own blonde scientist. He had put her on point, allowing her to set the pace but he had noted they had slowed considerably the last half hour or so. As he watched, she stumbled, almost falling. Teal'c who was only a pace or two behind her managed to steady her and she murmured her thanks.

They had reached a natural clearing caused by the recent fall of one of the giant trees. It was as good a place as any to stop. Another reason was a second example of the carved pillars. Daniel was already salivating. O'Neill was just about to tell him to hurry up take his pictures and move on when he noticed how flushed Sam was.

"Carter, you okay?" O'Neill asked. He knew from previous experience that whilst Daniel and Teal'c coped with atmospheric conditions like this, Sam usually had a hard time. Not that she would ever let on. Not his II1C.

"I'm fine, sir," she said. One look at her slightly glazed expression told him that she was far from fine.

"Well, I need a rest even if you don't," he said. He sat down and took out his water bottle, taking a good hit from it and pouring some over his head for good measure. Carter stared at him for a long moment before managing a faint smile and following his example, almost losing her balance as she lowered herself to the ground. O'Neill reached for her but again Teal'c beat him to it. He helped her sit against the fallen tree trunk and handed her his own water bottle, urging her to drink, his hand covering hers. O'Neill could see that he was surreptitiously monitoring her pulse. Daniel pulled himself away from his pillar long enough to sit down on her other side and took out a clean handkerchief. He poured a little of his own water onto it and used it to wipe off Sam's face and neck. Her eyes were closed, but she was looking a little better. The veins under her flushed skin were not so visible.

"Sorry," she whispered. "Felt a little woozy for a moment."

Some days she felt like Wendy looking after the Lost Boys. It made a change for them to be taking care of her. Sam felt she could almost get used to it. Not every day perhaps – she had her reputation as the big bad kickass Major to uphold after all - but certainly once in a while.

"This humidity takes it out of the best, especially if you're not used to it," Daniel said diplomatically. "I've worked in equatorial regions before and so has Jack so we are more or less acclimatised and Teal'c of course is at home anywhere thanks to Junior regulating his systems." Teal'c looked up at him and nodded.

"That is true, Daniel Jackson. A Jaffa is expected to follow his Master across any terrain without weakness or complaint. My symbiote regulates my temperature and hydration regardless of the current environment."

Sam tried to recover her composure whilst she smeared some more of the insect repellent gel on her exposed face and neck. Her hair under her cap was dark and lank with sweat, the hollows of her eyes ringed with it. She slipped off her hat and tried to fan herself with it to get the air moving a little more. She still felt as if she was getting far too little oxygen. The heat on its own she could probably have dealt with – she had done two tours of duty during Desert Storm after all, but it was the humidity that took it out of her. In Iraq and Kuwait it had usually been a dry heat. Here it was like drowning in air. Daniel laid his makeshift cold compress across the exposed skin on the back of her neck, pulling down her shirt collar a little. For a moment she lost herself in the sensation of the tepid water trickling over her overheated skin. Teal'c quietly urged her to take another few mouthfuls of water. Sam forced herself to swallow the water even if it made her stomach gripe. If she went down with heat exhaustion and dehydration she would never hear the end of it from Janet.

Janet. As ever she could not help but smile to herself when she thought of the small doctor who had somehow stolen her way into her heart. And it was mutual. As ever the night before a mission she had slept badly and had lain awake for hours watching Janet sleep. She counted it a great privilege to be allowed to do so.

Not many people knew that she liked to write poetry. Even fewer had ever seen one of her poems. Janet was the only person she had ever written a poem for and left it for them to read. In the wee small hours she had been inspired, the recent memory of their lovemaking still with her. She could smell Janet on her skin and the sense memory of that made her smile again.

Some of what she had written and the activities that had inspired the words came back to her:

I catch your breath our tongues clash twine
seek dominance compliance
skin slips on skin sweat hot sweet honey
your fingers in my hair
my mouth on your breast
I hold you and am held
your love weightless supports enfolds my heart
feather light

Covertly watching, O'Neill saw Carter relax somewhat and smile. Satisfied that his II1C was not about to expire from heat stroke, O'Neill stood up and stretched himself. He walked over to the pillar which stood about eight feet tall. The carvings were deep and well preserved as far as he could tell. He could not even begin to tell how old they were or what they signified. "So, Danny – what is this? The local equivalent of trespassers will be prosecuted?" His spidey sense was working overtime. A flurry of movement in the trees caught his attention and he tracked it for a moment, satisfying himself that it was more than just an example of the local wildlife. He decided to work on the principle that if it didn't bother them, he would not bother it.

"Funny you should say that," Daniel said. He stood up and pointed out the relevant glyphs. "That's pretty much how this bit translates."

Teal'c joined them. "We are observed," he said softly.

O'Neill nodded. "I know. I have one at twelve o'clock, in the trees. Where's yours?"

"Four o'clock. About five metres away from Major Carter. Two individuals. They are most adept at concealment."

"Gottem," O'Neill whispered. So much for stopping for the night. Carter's eyes were closed, her breathing rapid and shallow. She was going to need help if they had to retreat. "You get…" Before he could complete his order the undergrowth erupted around them. Several dart like objects struck both him and Teal'c. With a snarl, Teal'c brushed the dart from his skin and fired his staff weapon into the foliage. There was a muffled cry and then silence. They caught a glimpse of small dark figures fleeing before they merged into the foliage. Daniel was on his feet, his back to the pillar, pistol in hand, waiting for any sign of movement. Carter… Feeling the growing weakness in his body from whatever poison the darts had been primed with, O'Neill turned to see Carter fall forward to the soft earth, her limbs shaking, a brightly feathered dart clearly visible at the top of her spine, just below her hairline, another embedded in her left shoulder, a trickle of blood darkening her sleeve.

"Teal'c, get Carter out of here! Danny, you're with me. Get back to the Stargate."

Teal'c picked up Sam's convulsing body and threw her over his shoulders. He held her securely one arm wrapped around her legs, his staff weapon ready in his other hand. Another volley of darts was fired into the clearing, luckily missing their targets and Teal'c fired again at their origin point. There was another scream. Daniel put O'Neill's arm across his shoulders and helped the injured man to move, his pistol still ready in his free hand. Teal'c moved ahead of them, Sam now very still over his shoulders.

They were harried all the way back to the Stargate. Despite their exhaustion and injuries and the growing darkness they made the four hour trek in a little over three. Every time their pace slowed there was another volley of darts sent their way. O'Neill was leaning more and more heavily on Daniel and Teal'c was very concerned about Sam by the time they reached the Stargate. Daniel dialled home and sent the GDO signal. As soon as they received confirmation, they went through the Stargate back to the SGC. O'Neill dropped as soon as they reached the other side, Daniel crouching beside him. Acknowledging Hammond's presence with a dip of his head Teal'c just kept walking, carrying Sam towards the Infirmary.

Janet ran towards him as he deposited Sam as gently as possible onto a bed, careful to position her on her right side. Janet looked at the darts that pierced Sam's flesh with foreboding. They looked to be about an inch deep and were bleeding freely. The one in her shoulder could be removed fairly easily, but the one in the back of her neck could be a problem depending where it was lodged. The way she was carried could have exacerbated any damage: ideally her head and neck should have been supported, preferably with a thoracic brace on a backboard. But the team obviously had other priorities at the time. The flesh around the darts was raised, red and there were darker red lines beginning to radiate away from the wounds. Sam was very still, barely breathing, her pulse just to say registering, her lips and the skin around her mouth and under her eyes showing a distinctly bluish tinge. "Okay, I want her x-rayed and an MRI now. Bloods and a full tox-screen. Bag her – I don't like her colour at all. Let's get moving people." Sam was wheeled away and Teal'c made as if to follow but Janet stayed him. "I need to check you as well, Teal'c. How many times were you hit?"

"I am all right, Dr Fraiser. Colonel O'Neill was also hit." As Janet turned towards the Colonel who was being wheeled in complaining loudly, Teal'c made his escape, following Sam's gurney.

Daniel was fussing around O'Neill who looked on the point of losing consciousness. He had two darts in his lower back and a bleeding wound in his shoulder where he had obviously pulled one of the darts out without waiting for medical assistance. "Okay, let's get him onto a bed. How are you feeling, Colonel?"

"Novocaine," he gasped. "Novocaine all over. Numb, like I'm wearing thick gloves."

"Okay, Colonel, we're going to do some tests, get these darts out of you." Dammit, Janet thought. It sounded like some kind of neurotoxin, a paralytic perhaps a derivative of curare. This could be bad. "Dr Jackson – how are you?"

"Remarkably fine," Daniel said, surprise evident in his voice. "I don't think I was hit."

Chalk one up for the record books. Daniel Jackson comes back from a mission without a scratch. "Amazing," she said, drily, "but I want you in the Infirmary for your post-mission check anyway."

"Come see me as soon as you're finished, son," Hammond said.

Sam was still being scanned. Janet removed the remaining darts from O'Neill's back and set him on oxygen, IV fluids and a wide spectrum antibiotic. The darts were sent for analysis tagged as a priority. The wounds were still bleeding freely so Janet knew that the substance coating them must have contained some form of anticoagulant as well as the neurotoxin.

Armed with the scans, Janet felt she had enough information to safely remove the dart from the back of Sam's neck. It had not pierced the spinal cord or the base of the brain stem as she first feared, but rested just above it. There were signs of swelling and infection beginning in the surrounding tissue. They had to get it out before it moved or the infection got any worse. Sam's temperature was beginning to spike. She was still on IV fluids and oxygen but her colour had improved. Daniel had told her that Sam had been somewhat unwell even before they were attacked. She had been slightly dehydrated, her fluid balance thrown even further out of wack by the toxin in her system.

Janet removed the dart, flushing out the wound and dressing it. She set Sam on the same wide spectrum IV antibiotic that she had given O'Neill.

Janet tested Sam's responses. Reaction to stimulus tests in her extremities was sluggish but present so Janet theorised that she was suffering from the same `novocaine' reaction to the toxin as O'Neill. The Colonel was reporting pins and needles and that the numbness was slowly receding. Janet could find no reason for Sam's continued state of unconsciousness but at least she was comfortable, most of her vitals had normalised and her lover appeared to be in no immediate danger. Janet could breathe again.

Four hours passed and O'Neill who was feeling almost his normal self was fretting to be released. Daniel had finished briefing the General on their short and ignominious mission and Janet allowed O'Neill to be released into Daniel's care with the proviso that the Colonel was to remain on base, was not to drink anything with more of a kick in it than fruit juice, and was not to be left unsupervised in case he relapsed.

She had just finished the Colonel's paperwork and went to do a quarterly check on Sam when she noticed the change in her status. She was still unconscious but exhibiting every sign of being in intense pain, her muscles rigid, fists clenched, her breathing harsh and ragged. Her heartrate was increasing, her pulse thready.

"Sam?" she ran her fingers down Sam's cheek. "Sam, can you hear me? Can you open your eyes for me, Sam?"

Sam's body was suddenly wracked with tremors, her muscles locking, her back arching off the bed, Janet called for someone to help her hold Sam down as she began to slowly push an ampoule of anti-

convulsive medication into Sam's IV. Gradually the tremors lessened. Janet administered more pain relief medication and watched as Sam's heartrate approached normal again. She did not regain consciousness and her brain activity appeared far from normal. Her temperature was also up a degree or two. Janet continued to examine the data from the CAT scan. Some areas of Sam's brain seemed to be in a state of hyperactivity, others almost dormant. Her bloodwork showed up the toxin clearly but it was already starting to break down. It was one of the compounds that it was breaking down into that appeared to be causing the problems.

"Sepul'ka kree," Sam whispered, her brow tightening into a frown. "Sepul'ka kree ne me tanaka."

Janet had been around Teal'c and Daniel long enough to recognise Goa'uld when he heard it. She had heard Sam speak it before, when she was having flashbacks or nightmares about Jolinar.


"Sepul'ka kree! Sepul'ka kree ne me tanaka! Has'ak!" Sam shouted. There was movement behind her and Janet realised that Teal'c had entered the cubicle.

"Teal'c, what is she saying?"

"She is saying that she will never surrender, that she will never give them what they want," Teal'c said. "I believe she is having a flashback to events in Jolinar's life."

"Did Jolinar have any happy memories?" Janet muttered. Sam was twisting her body, her hands raised as if to ward someone or something off. "Sam, you're safe, you're safe. You need to wake up now."

Sam's eyes flew open, but her distress only seemed to increase. Janet noticed that Sam's eyes weren't tracking but she was too intent on getting Sam to calm down and keeping the young woman on the bed to do any deeper investigation at the moment. Sam's head snapped back, her body going rigid for a moment and then she relaxed again.

"Sillaar, sillaar aanaakhee, ashruelleen aannaakhee aansillaar" her voice was soft, breathy the sibilance's totally unlike her normal speaking voice or the tone she had used early to speak in Goa'uld.


"I do not know, Dr Fraiser. It is not a language that I recognise," Teal'c frowned. He reached in to help as Sam began to convulse again, but she shied away from his touch, half-scrambling, half-

falling off the bed before either of them could prevent it, the IV and monitor traces detaching setting off alarms that seemed to frighten the disorientated woman even further. Sam crawled swiftly into a corner of the room and crouched there, keeping her face hidden to the wall, her shoulders hunched, her body almost foetal shaking visibly as she hugged herself, rocking gently. Janet hurriedly disconnected the alarms and shooed the two nurses who had appeared to assist back out of the room again sensing somehow that their presence would only make Sam's terror and disorientation even worse.

The two friends stared at each other in horror for a moment before Janet crouched down beside Sam. "Sam, you can't stay down there," she kept her voice light her tone as non-threatening as possible. "You're safe, back at the SGC. No one is going to hurt you. Let me help you get back into bed where you'll be more comfortable. Sam?"

"I do not think she knows us, Dr Fraiser," Teal'c said gravely. With surprising ease he reached in and lifted Sam's crouched body into his arms. Sam turned her face into his chest making faint keening noises sounding more like a wounded animal than anything human. Janet could not stop herself from reaching out to touch her. She felt Sam flinch further into Teal'c's arms for a moment and then she was very still, frozen with terror it seemed, feral, unknowing.

Teal'c laid her back on the bed, but kept his hand on her arm as she curled into herself again. Janet sat on the bed beside her. "Sam, please help us to help you. Tell me what's wrong." She reached out to stroke Sam's hair back from her face when Sam's hand closed on hers. Janet froze. Sam brought her hand closer to her face as if she was sniffing Janet's scent. Then she scrabbled on the bed again this time intent not on getting away but on getting as close to Janet as she could. Janet `oofed' with surprise as five foot nine of astrophysicist wrapped herself around her, sobbing gently.

"Perhaps I was mistaken," Teal'c said drily, helping Janet support Sam's weight. "Major Carter does know you, Dr Fraiser."

"Yes, but it was as if she recognised me by my smell," Janet said, her hands automatically stroking down Sam's back to try to calm her. "There's something strange going on here. Whatever toxin was on that dart has affected her brain chemistry, certainly her sensory perceptions. Teal'c – I think she's having problems processing what she's seeing – and I have no idea what language she is speaking. She appears to be suffering from something called `synaesthesia' where the sensory perceptions are distorted – you see the words that people say or things you smell as colours, for example."

"Aannsillaar kheeoowen ashruakeen sillaar, ne mezz vaalleen suffith," Sam whispered, her head buried in Janet's shoulder. She reached up her hand to stroke Janet's face and hair again. "Aannsillaar."

"I will bring Daniel Jackson. Perhaps he can identify the language and help us to communicate with Major Carter," Teal'c said.

"Good idea," Janet said, her hand stroking gently down Sam's back trying to comfort and reassure the stricken woman. She did not want to sedate her again unless she absolutely had no other choice. What she really wanted was to give Sam another CAT scan to see if there was any swelling in her brain, particularly in those areas concerning speech and perception but she needed to calm Sam down first. In her present state prepping her for something as normally stressful as a CAT scan might well be impossible.

Noise overwhelmed her, voices, machine buzzing, nerve grating scraping of metal on metal, voices babbling nonsense, sourceless yet all around her. So loud that it was a physical pressure on her skin. And light, blinding light whether her eyes were open or closed it made no difference. She was lost, drifting. She had no idea where she was or what she was. Images dazzled through her mind, each making less sense than the last.

Then something touched her, something warm and strong yet yielding. There was a connection, a recognition. This meant something to her yet it was not enough, it would not be enough to protect her. It was not the one she sought though it was close. There was a kinship.

The noises grew louder the presence changing something happening opening unfolding inside a remembrance. This one. This one. She needed the presence to keep safe to keep it safe. To touch to be as near as possible to this one. And the light and the noise would be just light and noise. They could not harm her. She tried to convey this to the presence but was unsure whether it understood. But it did not withdraw. She knew it. It was her beloved, her heart-

soul. Another noise came to her now and she recognized it as a heartbeat. She crooned her pleasure at finding this anchor in the chaos. Now she could rest. Everything faded away as she concentrated on the soft rhythmic noise.

Sam was still clinging tightly to her, her head resting against her chest over her heart, her eyes were closed now and she was breathing more easily. For a while she had been making an odd crooning noise to herself, very softly, little more than an exhaled breath, but now she was silent. Janet thought that she might have fallen asleep. She gently stroked her fingers through the sweat-damp hair and smiled.

"What am I going to do with you?" she whispered. Janet closed her eyes, began to go over Sam's test results again in her mind, testing out and rejecting theories. The dart had penetrated the same area where the two Goa'uld symbiotes Sam had been infested with over the years had rested. The toxin might be reacting with the residue of the alien tissues. But why Sam was suffering such acute sensory disturbances? What language was she speaking or was it just aphasic nonsense syllables that happened to sound like a language? Would she be able to repair the brain damage or at least stop it from getting worse? She should ask General Hammond to contact the Tokra. They needed someone who could use a healing device. For a moment there, Sam had been Jolinar. Or was this something else entirely. The patterns of activity she had seen before, the almost feral behaviour reminded her of something. Her mind still in turmoil, she looked up as Daniel and Teal'c entered the room, O'Neill limping behind them.

"I think she's asleep," she said softly.

"Well she certainly looks comfortable," O'Neill smirked.

"When Sam first regained consciousness she was absolutely terrified," Janet said steadily, ignoring the Colonel's trademark juvenile comment. "She was suffering from some sort of sensory disturbance, possibly synaesthesia, where her senses were all mixed up. She had no reference point, nothing to hold on to. I was something familiar, as was Teal'c."

"Teal'c said something about her speaking some strange language?" Daniel said.

Janet nodded. "Very sibilant. I've never heard anything like it bef-" She paused as Sam stirred, mewling softly. "It's okay, Sam. You're safe."

"Aansillaaar mehokhee sheraann ashruelleen," Sam said. Her eyes were still closed but she unerringly brought her hand to Janet's cheek.

Daniel had perked up the moment Sam started to speak. "It's like nothing I've ever heard either," he said. "The sounds are very debased. `Aansillaaar Aansillaaar' wait, that sounds almost familiar." He muttered under his breath, changing the sound of the word slightly with each iteration. "Of course!"

"You recognise it?"

"I think so. It's very debased and there's been a lot of drift. It's a derivative of the Ancient's language, I think. `Ansilar' means…" he glanced at Janet and blushed. "It means Beloved."

O'Neill's eyebrow shot a degree or two higher. "Beloved? Since when were you my II1C's beloved, Doc?"

"I think you're missing the point here, Jack," Daniel said hastily to cover Janet's obvious embarrassment. "How is Sam speaking a derivative of the Ancient's language?"

"Could we still be speaking to Jolinar of Melkshur?" Teal'c asked.

"When Sam first regained consciousness she was speaking Goa'uld," Janet explained. "We thought she was having a flashback."

"Have you managed to make out any more of what Major Carter said?" Teal'c asked.

"I'm not sure. Janet – could you try to get her to speak again? The more of it I hear the more I can get my ear in, translate what she says more easily," Daniel said, his expression intent. O'Neill moved closer to the bed but froze as Sam tried to scramble away again, her expression fearful.

"Maakaash! Maakaash!"

"It's okay, Sam, it's okay," Janet tried to soothe her again, running her fingers down her long slender back as Sam burrowed her head in her lap. "Sam, talk to me, please. Tell me what's wrong. Tell me what's happened to you."

"Alaaassna mehkeynaah maakaash. Veruulaam shermeen." Sam raised her head, her blind gaze fastening unerringly on Janet's face.

"Makash. Alasna mekeyna makash. Verulam shermen," Daniel muttered, his eyes closed as he tried to mentally picture the symbols that the sounds Sam was making represented. "Makash – unknown, stranger. Alasna mekeyna makash. Alasna – individual, one alone, mekeyna – foreboding, fear. Verulam shermen – verulam – truth, rightness, order shermen – manufacture, making."

"Sam – or whoever this is she's channelling – is afraid of the stranger and wants me to make things right," Janet said, trying to make sense of it all. Sam's hands were stroking the bare skin of her abdomen, burrowing under her shirt. Janet tried to still their movements without drawing further attention to what Sam was doing. As ever just the simplicity of Sam's fingers touching her was enough to arouse her.

Daniel shrugged. "Essentially." He noted the shivers running through Sam's body. "My god, she is terrified," he said softly. "Janet - she is going to be all right, isn't she?"

"I hope so. I think at the moment all of her sensory perceptions are vastly distorted," Janet said. "And I'm still not 100% sure if it's actually Sam that we're dealing with or some other personality. When she first woke she was definitely speaking Goa'uld. Then she had what looked very like a petit-mal seizure and started speaking Ancient. The best thing we can do for the moment is keep her calm and in an environment she perceives as safe. Hopefully these symptoms are a side effect of the poison and will wear off as her body processes the toxin."

O'Neill tried to approach again only for Sam to grasp Janet tightly enough to make the smaller woman gasp in pain. "I guess I'm the stranger she's afraid of. I must smell bad or something. Knew I shouldn't have gone for the cheap aftershave," he tried to joke but Sam's terrified rejection of him was obviously hurting. "Anyway, I don't think I'm helping things by being here. Keep me in the loop, okay, doc? I'll be in my quarters."

"Yes Colonel," Janet said noticing that Sam seemed to relax slightly as O'Neill left the cubicle. Certainly Janet found that she could breathe more easily as Sam's stranglehold on her eased. Her relief would have been short-lived had she seen the dark look O'Neill directed at the pair of them as he left.

"Sam? Can you understand me?" Daniel reached out to touch Sam's arm. She allowed his touch, turning her head to peek in his direction. Her eyes were unfocussed, a fathomless blue.

"Seresh va kalash. Seresh va elyssien kalash. Dakantha. Dakantha."

"Hurts the soul. Hurts the beautiful soul. Must not. Must not," Daniel translated hesitantly, frowning. "There's probably more to it than that but that's the basics."

"Whose soul? Sam's?" Janet asked. "Is she Sam or is she another personality who is aware of Sam?" A beautiful soul. That was certainly an apt description of her lover. The woman shifted in her arms. She seemed to be tiring again. Suddenly she turned her head towards Daniel and smiled at him.

"Ammaayssa," she whispered. "Cherreen schetheenaass?"

"Amaysa cheren schetenas," Daniel repeated.

Sam shivered again, a frown crossing her features. She seemed in pain.

"Saafreez dakuta," Daniel said softly. "Saafreez elyssien kalash. Curesh laan." Sam closed her eyes, relaxed against Janet, sighing softly. She appeared to fall asleep.

"What did you say to her?" Janet asked.

"I think I just told her that everything was going to be okay," Daniel frowned. "She asked if I was one of the Brethren – or the Anointed, maybe the Watchers. I'm going to have to look that up. A lot of the meaning depends on the inflection of the speaker and the way she's speaking is very strange. Anyway I sort of told her that I was and that we would protect the beautiful soul as she asked and that she should rest." He picked up the dart Janet had removed from Sam's back by its feathered end and looked at it curiously. "Elf shot."


"Elf-shot… an old Celtic belief that stone age arrowheads and the like were actually the remains of faery artillery. We found Celtic as well as Mayan influences on the planet. If one hit you, you went mad or received the gift of tongues… I need to look that up as well." Daniel picked up a second dart, one of those that had been removed from Jack's back and frowned. The design was subtly different. It could just be a matter of personal design: from a different weapon than that which had fired the darts that hit Sam but maybe there was more to it than that. It might explain why Sam's reaction to the toxin was different to Jack's.

"I thought – because of where the dart was lodged in Sam's brainstem – that the venom might have reactivated some residual tissue traces from the symbiotes?" Janet shrugged. "We're really working in the dark here."

"The Jaffa are taught that nothing of the host survives," Teal'c said. "But the Tokra, Major Carter and Skaara are proof that that is fallacy and lies. What if this person we are talking to is an imprint of one of Jolinar's previous hosts?"

"I don't know if that's possible," Janet sighed. "We obviously need to talk to the Tokra. We need to know more about Jolinar's previous hosts." Sam had relaxed enough that she could ease her way out of her grasp and with Daniel's help, she laid the unconscious woman on the bed again, hooking her up to the monitors. "And I need to do a lot more tests."

"I'll go and talk to Jack and General Hammond," Daniel said. "See if he can authorise a message to the Tokra. There's still a contingent based at the Alpha site."

"Teal'c – would you stay with her?" Janet asked. After herself, Sam seemed happiest with his presence. They needed to keep her calm. Uncertain of their effects on her altered physiology, Janet did not want to use any more sedatives or mood-controlling drugs on Sam unless there was no alternative. The only other option they had was physical restraints and after her abduction experience Janet knew that their use would be far too traumatic for Sam if she came out of this her normal self and found herself restrained again.

"Of course, Doctor Fraiser," Teal'c bowed his head. "I will watch over Major Carter. Be assured she will come to no harm."

Sam remained unconscious during the second MRI and round of tests. Janet carefully took bloods and a lumbar puncture. She also made the decision to invoke Code 17 and move Sam to one of the Isolation Rooms where there would be fewer disturbances and she could be held under secure conditions. Even though she was 100% certain that they were not dealing with Goa'uld infestation Sam's condition was still a security risk. So far she hadn't been violent but Janet could not in all conscience take the chance. Sam's hand to hand skills were deadly.

The test results came through as quickly as the lab could manage. Daniel had mentioned to her his theory that the darts might contain different toxins and so far the lab results bore that out. It seemed that the organic poison on the dart that had hit Sam was subtly different to that on the dart removed from Colonel O'Neill. It was reacting with the residual Goa'uld proteins in Sam's body, combining with it to form chains of protein which were now threading through Sam's normal brain tissue. Her brain activity was still all over the place, her neurotransmitter, serotonin and endorphin levels highly elevated, acetylcholine levels minimal. Janet tried to interpret the results as best she could, comparing the film with one taken a few weeks earlier. She could see no other physical reason for Sam's apparent blindness or the synaesthesia she was experiencing. They could be looking at an almost Alzheimers or nvCJD scenario although there was as yet no sign of any of the physical deterioration associated with the latter condition in particular. Sam appeared to have full motor control.

Janet prayed that her interim diagnosis was wrong because if that was the case – then there was no way Sam would recover. It was beyond current Earthly medical science. As she scanned through the medical database she had built over her years at the SGC another line of research did appear. The patterns of brain activity and suppression did resemble those she had seen in the early victims of the Broca virus – including in Sam herself. However Sam's histamine levels were unchanged.

The SGC had a consultant neurologist on call with the necessary clearances to work with personnel: Dr Nina Makarayam. She knew Sam and had worked with her before when Sam was having neurological problems after the Entity incident. Janet made a call and emailed her copies of Sam's current files. Nina promised to get back to her within a couple of hours.

She briefed General Hammond on Sam's condition and their progress or lack of it to date in diagnosing and treating her.

"Based on what Dr Jackson told me earlier I have communicated with the Tokra. They have not responded yet," Hammond's expression of irritation spoke volumes. "Whatever you need to do, Doctor. Major Carter is too valuable to this facility to lose."

"I know sir," Janet said.

She had to detour on her way back to the Infirmary to her office where behind a locked door she gave in to her tears, fears and frustrations just for a few minutes. Once she had calmed again, she brushed her hair, repaired her make up and squared her shoulders. She could do this. She had to do this. Sam was relying on her.

Janet went back into Sam's room. Teal'c was kel-nor-eeming but opened his eyes as she came in. "She had not woken, Dr Fraiser," he told her, "and her sleep has been restful. Have you any more information on her condition?"

"Whatever was in the toxin has combined with the residual Goa'uld protein structures into chains of material that are threaded through Sam's brain tissue," Janet said. "I've never seen anything like it before. They seem to be making new connections and causing the confused perceptions. Certain areas of the brain are being stimulated – areas that we don't normally use any more. The last time I saw anything like this was the Broca incident. I managed to get MRIs on the first few victims before it went pandemic, including Major Carter. She was one of the first cases if you remember? This is stimulating the same areas of the brain. However the protein chains are not something I've seen before. If they are cross-

connecting areas of Sam's brain, her condition may well only get worse."

"Can it be reversed?" Teal'c asked.

"At this point I have no idea," Janet confessed. "What I'd really like to do is to see if I can contact Sam at all. The last twice she has woken she has been this other persona."

"Dr Jackson provided me with a voice recorder if Major Carter wakes again to see if we could get more samples of her speech," Teal'c said.

"Good idea," Janet said. "I'm going to try and wake Sam now. I really need to try to get her to eat something otherwise we're going to have to feed her intravenously and I'm not sure how well that will go down."

She sat on the edge of Sam's bed and gently stroked her cheek, calling Sam's name. "Sam, come on please. I need you to wake up now. Please Sam, wake up." She glanced up as one of her nurses came into the room with a covered tray.

"The Commissary was able to provide everything you asked for, Doctor, especially when I explained it was for Major Carter."

Janet smiled. "Thank them for me later, will you Tina?"

"Of course, Dr Fraiser." Tina put the tray on a side table and left as unobtrusively as possible. All the Infirmary staff had been briefed on how Major Carter reacted to the presence of all but a few other people.

Janet turned her attention back to her patient. "Sam, come on, wake up, please," she cajoled, and then in a sharper tone. "Sam!"

The rhythm of Sam's breathing changed as she opened her eyes. Fight or flight set in again as Teal'c and Janet held her close, calming her with their presence.

"I think it is safe to say that she is still suffering from the effects of the toxin," Teal'c said as he held on to the struggling woman.

Janet was now kneeling on the bed, straddling Sam's thighs, her hands on either side of Sam's face as she tried to get her attention. Sam's eyes still weren't tracking but her focus seemed better. Her features weren't as slack.

"Shhh, Sam," she said firmly. "Sam, it's just us, Janet and Teal'c. You're okay, you're safe. There's no need to fight us, no need to fight. You're safe."

Breathing heavily, Sam suddenly slumped back into Teal'c's arms. Tremors ran through her limbs.

"Aansillaar, mehokhay laanssee ashruelleen vaanaah," Sam cried out, twisting again in Teal'c's grasp. He held her securely, determined that she would not hurt herself or anyone else.

"I'm here, Sam, I'm here," Janet said, running the backs of her fingers along Sam's cheekbone. "Sam, do you know me?"

"Aansillaar!" There was such yearning in Sam's voice that Janet felt tears prick at her eyes.

"Yes, Ansilar," she repeated softly. "Your Ansilar. I am here, Sam." She continued to caress the woman's face until she quietened. "I don't know if you can understand me, Sam, but we need to get you to eat or drink something otherwise we're going to have to start intravenous feeding and I don't think you'd like that." She left hold of Sam for a moment, hopping off the bed and went to bring the tray of food over, setting it on the end of the bed. She opened a carton of apple juice and put the straw to Sam's lips. "Drink, Sam."

After a moment's hesitation Sam started to suck at the straw. As the sweet liquid filled her mouth she paused, her brow furrowed. Janet hastily picked up a napkin in case her altered perceptions meant that Sam did not like the taste and she spat it out but she swallowed and commenced sucking again until she had obviously quenched her thirst.

The bowl of tuna and sweetcorn sandwich filling – normally one of Sam's favourites – did not fare as well. The first mouthful was forcefully rejected, Sam turning her head aside and refusing to open her mouth, her expression one of extreme disgust. The tub of plain cottage cheese faired better. The expression of disgust was on Teal'c's face now. He did not understand the Tauri obsession with bovine lactose in any of its forms. Janet fed Sam the soft curds, praising her, keeping up the physical and emotional contact to keep Sam calm, centred.

"Hopefully getting her to eat something will help her to metabolise the toxin faster and reduce its effects," she told Teal'c.

"You still hope that the condition is not permanent," Teal'c said. "That Major Carter will recover."

"I do, because if it is permanent then we can't look after her here," Janet said. "We're not equipped to deal with cases of long term brain damage. She would have to be placed in a Veteran's facility."

"That would not be for the good of Samantha Carter," Teal'c said. "She would not know anyone. She would be lost."

"I know, Teal'c," Janet said heavily. "but that's not my biggest fear for her."

"NID," Teal'c almost spat the words. His own experiences with NID had not been fruitful over the years. He trusted the humans of the SGC but not those of NID apart from a select few who had proven themselves to him in battle. He would do everything in his power to protect Major Carter from such unworthy creatures.

Sam had finished the cottage cheese. She reached out to touch Janet's cheek. "Vaashaa mayloaar, aansillaar," she said and smiled.

"You're welcome, sweetie. Sam, try to say my name, please," Janet implored her. "Try to say Janet. Come back to us, Sam." Come back to me.

"Sssssaaaaaammmmm," Sam frowned and closed her eyes as if her name, the word brought unpleasant associations. "Sssssaaaaaammmmm."

"That's right," Janet said. "You are Sam. I am Janet and the big guy here is Teal'c." Sam opened her eyes again and seemed to focus on her properly for the first time.

"Jaaaannnnt," she tried to say. "Aaansillaaar."

"That's right, your ansilar, you're doing well," Janet said, deciding to leave it for now in case Sam became too agitated. "Let's see what else the Commissary sent up shall we?"

There was a glass dish of blue Jello. Normally it was Sam's favourite desert, in fact in Sam's habitual diet it was almost a food group of its own alongside coffee and chocolate. However Sam was quite agitated enough without the addition of any caffeine in her system so they were both off the menu for now. How would the blue Jello fare?

She smiled at Teal'c's snort of amusement as she revealed the dish and spoon. "I know. Let's see how she copes with this?" She scooped up some of the dessert and held it towards Sam's mouth. "Sam, sweetie, try this."

Sam sniffed, looked puzzled but did not draw back. "Keeloosh?"

"Blue Jello, Sam. Your favourite. Try a little bit, please." Sam opened her mouth and Janet slid the loaded spoon inside.

"Keeloosh!" Sam's face was transfigured with a beaming smile. Without warning she grabbed the dish from Janet's hands and began to feed herself the squares of Jello with her fingers, stuffing them greedily into her mouth. Janet could not help but laugh.

"Some things don't change."

"Indeed they do not, Doctor Fraiser."

Sam quickly finished the desert and held the empty bowl out to Janet. "Keeloosh vaamaat daall. Daakaat mel aannsillaar." Her wide blue eyes gazed up at Janet, her expression beseeching.

"I believe that Major Carter is asking for more, Dr Fraiser." Teal'c's voice held the merest hint of amusement.

Janet smiled. "I think you're right, Teal'c. She seems to be a lot calmer now. I think we'll be okay on our own for a while. Would you go and see if you could charm some more Jello out of the commissary? And another carton of juice."

He bowed his head and took the dish from her. "I will be as quick as I can, Doctor Fraiser. Do you yourself require any refreshment at this time?"

"A coffee would be really good about now. And a Danish if there are any fresh. Thank you, Teal'c," she smiled up at her alien friend.

Snagging a container of wet wipes from the shelf, Janet managed to wipe the sticky residue of Jello off Sam's hands and face. Sam seemed quietly content to stay put for the moment, her knees drawn up under her chin. She was crooning quietly to herself again seemingly lost in a world of her own but she was alert to every movement Janet made, her head coming up every time Janet moved more than a step or two away from her.

"I wish I knew that it was really you in there, Sam," Janet said softly, coming to sit on the bed beside her lover, idly brushing her fingers through Sam's cornsilk hair to try to bring it back into some semblance of order, "and exactly what is going on in that head of yours." Sam hummed softly under her breath, almost like a cat purring in appreciation at the contact. The last set of scans was still on the light box on the wall behind Sam's bed. She gazed at them, frowning. The chains of protein could clearly be seen weaving through Sam's brain tissue. The thought that the damage might be permanent shook her again. "I wish that I knew how to help you."

"Jaaaannnnt," Sam whispered, her hand unerringly finding Janet's, long fingers closing around her own. "Aansillaar." The blue eyes that stared at her were fathomless, serene. At least she wasn't terrified any more. That was something. She hated to see a look of fear on Sam's face. It had no place there. "Haaiko daa'aan. Elloohiiim."

"I don't understand, Sam. I'm sorry," Janet said ruefully. "I'm truly sorry. I wish I knew how to help you, my love." The last said in an agonised whisper. "My Ansilar." My Beloved. Daniel's recorder was getting all of this, she had to keep that in mind. Not to mention the other security devices operating from the observation room above them. Whilst she could trust Daniel and Teal'c to be discreet, there was always the chance that the recording could fall into the wrong hands. She would do nothing to risk Sam's career.

Sam smiled, one of those smiles that Janet felt were reserved for her alone and reached out to touch her face, running her fingers gently over Janet's brow and cheek bones. "Saallaahh Aansillaar." Her questing fingers brushed Janet's lips and then skimmed along her jaw and down her throat. "Saallaahh." She smiled again. "Saallaahh."

Janet had been awake for almost thirty six hours straight by this point. Sam's soft voice, the long sibilances and her gentle touch were starting to have an almost hypnotic effect on her. Sam's hands were now on her shoulders, running up and down her arms. Janet swayed.

"Sam, I…," Sam held her close, pulling her onto the bed beside her, burying her nose in Janet's hair, her hands running slowly up and down Janet's back. Janet did not have the will to resist. She was so tired.

"Saallaah Aansillaar. Whenoath. Taakaashh mee laannnaa."

"Sam, we mustn't, not here. Teal'c will be back soon," Janet whispered drowsily, trying to force her eyes open again. "Someone might come into the observation booth." But it was too hard. Sam's breath was warm against her throat, her arms wrapped around her, holding her safely.

"I found the poem you left for me Sam," she whispered. "It was beautiful. So beautiful and powerful. Just like you, just like you."

breast to breast we lie
our heartbeats slow steady
we smile kiss cuddle sleep
our worship done
word made flesh made light made love
made infinite.

The memory made her smile, the words lulled her into sleep.

When Teal'c returned with more jello and juice and Janet's coffee and pastry the two women were curled up together on the bed apparently fast asleep. He laid the supplies on the table and retreated outside the room, standing guard over his friends. No one would disturb them.

The Beloved was safe, the danger had retreated for now though it was still waiting to be dealt with. The light had begun to take on form and function. The respite gave her hope. She was beginning to remember beyond the moment. Her name was Eliathar. Her purpose was to protect the Aansillaar and defeat the Maakaash. There was more but that was yet to be revealed.

Eliathar was also beginning to remember Sam. The food had helped, the familiar flavours and textures had reawakened the sleeping self. Somehow this mind was able to protect itself, to deny her entrance. But she would prevail. She pondered over the tone of love and affection in the Beloved's voice and that of the male who was like and unlike her. He had no part to play in this yet his presence comforted. And the other, she recognized him, the one who could speak her tongue though the wordshapes were as stumbling and simplistic as a newborn.

Some of the awakened memories were sad, others frightened her. But in those memories that were happy, that made her feel safe and loved, the presence of the woman, her Beloved, was a constant. And the evil that threatened her had a form, a name. He could not be permitted to harm those that she loved. She must remain on her guard. But for now resting with her lover in her arms she felt she could relax.

Jack O'Neill listlessly stirred another spoonful of sugar into his coffee.

Normally when one of his team was injured he would have been watching over them in the Infirmary. But whatever had scrambled Carter's brain had made her terrified of him. She could not stand him near her. That hurt. Teal'c she trusted, Daniel she trusted, Fraiser she wouldn't let out of her sight. But him? He was a bad smell, the bogey man. Maakaash. She was terrified of him. And he had no idea why. But that wasn't the only thing currently bothering him.

She had called Dr Fraiser her Beloved. Her Ansilar. Neither Teal'c nor Daniel had shown any reaction to this statement. If his II1C was having a relationship with the doctor then both men knew about it and he was the only one who was out of the loop. And that hurt. More than that, dammit, it made him angry.

"Ansilar" he hissed. How dare she call another that name. After all he had done for her. After all he had gone through for her. How dare she reject him! The insult could not be borne. Vengeance was his for the taking. "Me shonath de chaana." It was his right, his duty.

Woah, where had that come from? He shook his head as if to dislodge the strange train of thought and took a sip of his coffee, wincing at the sweetness of it. He didn't take sugar in his coffee, what the hell was going on with him today? He banged the cup down on the table sending half of its contents spilling over the Formica surface and getting more than a few curious glances from his fellow diners.

The sight of Carter's soft blue eyes gazing at him filled his mind. He heard her breathy voice "Aansilar." Beloved.

It should have been him.

"Uh, Colonel – are you feeling okay?"

O'Neill looked up into the concerned eyes of Lieutenant Hailey. "I'm fine, Hailey – why?"

"You spilt your coffee, sir. And you've been acting kind of… preoccupied." She decided not to mention the talking to himself. O'Neill was already looking pretty pissed with her.

"You been keeping tabs on me, Lieutenant?"

"No sir!" She looked down at the table. "Yes sir. Dr Jackson asked me to keep an eye on you. Said you were still feeling the effects of some kind of toxin you got shot full of. That Major Carter's still in the Infirmary because of it."

"Yes she is," O'Neill said. "But Dr Fraiser's taking care of her." Unbidden images of the kind of care the doctor might be giving his second came to mind and he growled in frustration. And she called him Maakaash! "It's time I checked in anyway. Give ol' Doc Fraiser another chance to perfect her vampire routine. And by the way, Hailey, you never saw me with a cup of coffee. It's not exactly on my approved list at the moment."

"Understood, Sir." He could feel her eyes following him as he walked out, heading towards the Infirmary. It probably was a good idea to check in with Fraiser, tell her that he wasn't exactly feeling himself, make sure she wasn't getting up to anything with his Major. And if the opportunity arose. "Aansillaar," he whispered, wanting to spit. "Eliathar co merek. Taugheth na varda. Beteth si halles ourobast!" His fists clenched.

Teal'c was waiting outside the isolation room. "How's things, T?" O'Neill asked.

"Dr Fraiser managed to get Major Carter to eat something. She hoped that this would speed up the metabolisation of the toxin. Major Carter is now asleep, as is Dr Fraiser. I have promised that no one will disturb them."

"Well, I'm just going to look in, okay. No disturbing, I promise. Have you seen Daniel?"

"He was in the observation booth earlier but left to retrieve some notes and some pictures he took of a structure on the planet that he believed would aid in the translation of the language Major Carter is speaking."

"Okay. Good." He brushed past Teal'c and went into the Isolation Room. His expression hardened as he saw the two women curled up together on the narrow bed. Abomination! "Taugheth na varda!" he snarled.

A discarded pillow lay on the floor. He picked it up and walked over to the bed. Without hesitation he pressed the pillow over the smaller woman's face. Within seconds she was awake and kicking out at him her hand gripping his arm, her nails embedding themselves in his skin. Her terror woke the other, his woman, his enemy. She screamed at him and adjusting his hold on the pillow he smashed his forearm into her face, knocking her to the floor. He would punish her for her treachery after he had dealt with this one. The small woman was weakening but too slowly. The lacerations she had inflicted on his arms and the back of his hands stung fiercely, blood marking the pillow. He heard someone shout his name, the sound of something hitting glass and then there was a blinding pain in his side and he started to fall just as the woman's hand fell limply to her side.

Daniel was in the observation booth listening to the recording of Sam's voice, translating and transcribing what she was saying – and mindful of the relationship between his two friends judicially editing out many of the endearments on both sides. At the same time he was still working on his theory about the differing effects of the toxin on his friends unaware of how soon he was to see his assumptions horrifically proven.

He heard someone come into the room but did not look up, intent on his translation. Then he heard a male voice snarl "Taugheth na varda!"

Die without honour. That did not sound good. He looked up in time to see Jack smash Sam across the face with his forearm sending her flying into an equipment trolley. She went down hard, skidding across the floor to lie in an unmoving heap several feet away. Jack was struggling with Janet. Horrified, Daniel realised that he was holding a pillow over the doctor's face, intent on smothering her.

He banged on the window with his fists and shouted over the intercom hoping to distract Jack from his murderous course of action and alert Teal'c and the SFs that all was not well. He saw Sam begin to slowly move, her eyes open. He watched as her hand closed around a pair of scissors lying on the floor a few inches away from her and yelled again as he realised her intention. She ignored him, pulling herself to her feet, the scissors clutched in her fist. Jack also ignored her, his focus only on killing Janet whose struggles were getting weaker by the moment.

As Teal'c barreled through the doors, Sam stabbed Jack in the side with the scissors and Janet went limp. Daniel pressed the emergency button and called for a medical team to the Isolation Room.

He beat the emergency team to the room by seconds. The noise of the alarm had driven Sam into the corner of the room where she cowered, her hands over her ears, her face turned to the wall. Her nose was bleeding from where Jack had hit her, her upper lip was rapidly swelling and her cheek beginning to bruise. Teal'c was struggling to hold onto Jack. He was still screaming abuse at Sam, Daniel's mind automatically translating. Thank God no one else could understand him. As it was this was going to feed the SGC rumour mill for weeks if not months. Jack's shirt had a growing bloodstain on it from the injury Sam had inflicted, the scissors still embedded in his side. Livid scratches on his forearms and the back of his hand oozed blood. And Janet was still and quiet on the bed, her lips blue, her skin chalk white. He was glad her eyes were closed. He could not have coped if they were open. Quickly he felt for a pulse and then began CPR, aware of the medical team taking up positions around him.

"It's okay, Dr Jackson, we've got her now," he heard Dr Wiseman say as they began to work on his friend. To his relief Daniel saw a heartbeat and then a second register on the monitor before they rushed the gurney out of the room. Daniel withdrew looking up to see Teal'c hold Jack still whilst Warner sedated him. Hammond came into the room.

"Dr Jackson, what in god's name happened here?"

"Colonel O'Neill attacked Major Carter and Dr Fraiser. He just about threw Major Carter across the room and then tried to suffocate Dr Fraiser who was asleep. Before either Teal'c or I could get in here, Major Carter had regained consciousness and stabbed Colonel O'Neill – she was trying to get him away from Dr Fraiser. I was up in the observation room. I saw everything. Jack was speaking the same language as Sam, he was… is not himself." He glanced over to where Sam still cowered in the corner, an SF standing guard over her. Two orderlies were getting ready to put her in restraints. "General – I have to go to Sam, I'm the only person who can understand her. Do they have to put her in restraints? She was acting in self-defence and to protect Dr Fraiser. I don't think she's any danger to anyone. She's just lost and scared, General. Putting her in restraints will only make her terror worse make it that much harder to make contact with her."

O'Neill and Janet had both been rushed to the infirmary. Teal'c had left with them. The room suddenly got a lot quieter and Sam's breathy incoherent moans could be heard. The orderlies reached for Sam and she cowered away from their unfamiliar presence crying out for Janet. "Aaansillaar! Aaansillaar!"

"Stand down, gentlemen. I don't want the Major put in restraints. It will be too distressing for her in her current state." Hammond followed Daniel across the room to where Sam Carter crouched, rocking gently back and forth.

"But sir, it is standard procedure. She did stab Colonel O'Neill," one of the orderlies protested.

"Stand down, son. I take full responsibility," Hammond said. "Now, wait outside. You are just making her more agitated." The orderlies withdrew and Hammond approached Sam. Sensing a new presence she shrank even further back into the corner.

"Sam, let me help you," Hammond said quietly, hunkering down so that he was on a level with her. "Sammie, it's your uncle George. Come on out, now, there's a good girl."

The distraught woman suddenly became utterly still and silent. She did not resist as together the general and Daniel Jackson managed to lift her to her feet and ease her out of the corner. She shuddered and Daniel spoke to her softly trying to reassure her that the danger was passed.

"Aansillaar?" she whispered her tone imploring. "Behaath taugheth. Kaalaash ne taugheth. Eliathar Kistra. Me Kistra."

"Ansilar ne taugheth. Vo ne kistra," Daniel said. Sam thought that Janet was dead, that she had failed in her mission to protect the `beautiful soul'. Janet had thought that the persona was referring to Sam. Perhaps it had been Janet all along?

"What is she saying, Dr Jackson?"

"She thought that Janet was dead that she had failed to protect her. I told her that Janet was not dead, that she had not failed," Daniel said. "General, apart from myself and Teal'c, the only person that Sam has made any kind of connection with is Janet. And she was terrified of Colonel O'Neill from the beginning. Perhaps she sensed it inside him."

"Yes, but what is `it'? Hammond asked. "Dr Fraiser assured me we weren't dealing with any kind of Goa'uld incursion."

How could he put this into words without getting all parties into trouble. "Sir, I think I can explain, but I can't do it on the record. I…"

"Vo ne kistra?" Sam's voice reclaimed his attention. Tears were streaming down her ashen cheeks. "Aansillaar allowen. Me ne kistra elyssian kalash ne seresh." Her eyes closed, her head falling back and abruptly the General realised that she was deadweight in his arms. Daniel's hand was at her throat feeling for a pulse. For one awful moment he thought she was dead then life flared beneath his fingers. The two men lifted her onto the bed.

"I think she's sleeping again. She keeps going in and out like this, as if communicating with us is very stressful for her," Daniel said.

"What did she say?" Hammond asked.

"I did not fail. My beloved lives. I did not fail to protect the beautiful soul," Daniel said. "I'm still not 100% on the beautiful soul part but it kind of fits… she said something else earlier – Eliathar – I think that might be her name or her function."

"What does that mean?"

"Guardian, Protector," Daniel shrugged, rubbed his hand through his hair. "I need to do a lot more research."

"You were about to explain your insights into what was going on," Hammond reminded him.

"I think that the poison on the dart contained some kind of psychoactive compound that is causing Sam and Jack to re-enact a scenario if you like. Janet got caught up in the middle of it. Think of something like Othello, drawing on really primal emotional states. I mean you know how much of an emotional connection there already was between… " Even though it was off the record Daniel didn't want to say the names aloud. Hammond knew his command well enough to fill in the missing words. He nodded.

"I understand. Continue, Dr Jackson."

"Janet theorized that the toxin reawoke some of the same areas that were stimulated by the Touched virus." Daniel had a vivid flashback to being beaten up by Jack when he had innocently enquired about Sam's health. "I think we're talking about primal archetypes here. The basis behind most of our myths. Love… hatred… jealousy…" he shrugged. "Anyway, they're reenacting some pretty deep emotions here."

"Dr Fraiser described her findings related to the Touched virus. Are we talking … a love triangle?" Hammond asked.

"At a very basic level, yes. I don't think the identities or even the genders of those concerned matter that much," Daniel continued. "The toxin is making latent feelings surface, magnifying them in Sam and Jack. Sam's devotion, her need to protect. Jack's need to possess, the alpha male instinct, perhaps even his jealousy of a relationship he can't have. There are references to it on the pillar we found though I haven't completed the translation yet. I think it is some sort of defence mechanism that the natives have created. The toxin does the work of destroying any invader for them. They turn on each other."

"That's all very interesting, Doctor, but may I remind you that neither relationship can happen," Hammond said somewhat grimly. "I am going to have to word my report into these events very carefully as it is." The regulations about these things were very explicit on the kind of relationships between people that were acceptable under his command: triangles and same sex relationships belonged to a geometry that just did not fit with military thinking, the exceptional circumstances of serving in the SGC not withstanding.

Daniel Jackson did not envy the General his job some days. He realised that he was still holding Sam's hand.

"What I'm saying, sir is that these emotions are very powerful, powerful enough to incite violence. It's a great deterrent if you think about it, General. Invade our territory and we will make you mad, make you kill each other. We won't have to lift a finger."

"I see what you mean, son. I suppose I had better go and check on the status of Dr Fraiser and Colonel O'Neill," Hammond sighed. "For now, I think you had better stay with Major Carter. As you pointed out, you are the only one who can understand what she says at the moment."

"Sir, will any charges be brought against Sam or Jack for what happened?"

"I can't see how. Major Carter was acting in self defence and to protect Dr Fraiser. Both Carter and O'Neill were under the influence of an alien toxin. Dr Fraiser could press charges for assault against the Colonel if she wants to but…" Hammond shrugged. "Some days, Dr Jackson…"

"I know, sir. I know."

She could not breathe. A harsh voice in her ear guttural words she did not comprehend but her body understood. Terror thrilled through her. He meant her death. Her lover screaming. Fighting, her nails penetrating skin, scoring flesh but the hold was unyielding the soft thing over her face clogging her mouth and throat could not be budged. She was too small, too weak. She was going to die.

Her eyes snapped open. She was lying on a bed in the infirmary attached to a cardiac and other monitors. Somehow she was alive.

A dark shape drew her attention. She blinked and the image resolved into Teal'c. "You are going to be fine Janet Fraiser," he said softly. "We were able to subdue Colonel O'Neill before he could accomplish his task."

"Sam, is she safe?" she breathed. It hurt to talk. It hurt to move. Hell, it hurt to be.

"Her condition remains as it was. Daniel Jackson is with her as is General Hammond."

"Teal'c – what happened?"

"It seems that O'Neill was also affected by the toxin. He attacked both you and Major Carter though his intention seemed to be to end your life."

"The Colonel – Sam has been terrified of him since she first regained consciousness. Did she know?"

"We are not certain. Daniel Jackson has been working on your theory that the toxin affects those parts of the brain that were also affected by the Touched virus. He believes that it has influenced their behaviour in a similar fashion."

"So Jack went Alpha male again. And Sam…" She had only known Sam a few days when the woman had been infected with the Broca virus but already she knew that her friendship with this woman would be one of the defining features in her life. After her initial instinctual reaction to mate with O'Neill, Sam had turned her attentions to the doctor alternately aggressively sexual and dominating and intensely protective of the smaller woman. It had been an exhilarating if occasionally terrifying experience. One that had assured her that then and forever Samantha Carter loved her with her entire being.

"Her first instinct was to protect you. O'Neill hit her hard, knocking her right across the room. He then tried to suffocate you with a pillow. By the time Daniel Jackson and I reached you, Major Carter had stabbed O'Neill with a pair of scissors."

"She… stabbed him!" Janet sat up, her head still spinning slightly. The cardiac monitor registered her increased heartbeat and beeped its disquiet. "Oh my god!"

"In doing so she may well have saved your life. You had stopped breathing by that time. If O'Neill had been allowed to persist in his attack you would be dead. O'Neill's injuries were not severe," Teal'c said. "But he is still greatly disturbed. He has been treated and is held under guard."

"Does Sam know that I am all right? I have to go to her," Janet asked. She began to methodically disengage herself from the monitors glaring at the nurse who dared to try and stop her.

"I believe Daniel Jackson has informed her. He is still the only individual who can communicate with her effectively." Teal'c said. He reached for a robe that lay at the foot of the bed opposite. "Dr Fraiser, you are…"

Belatedly Janet realised that she was wearing only a gown. One that tied at the back. She took the robe from him and hastily wrapped it around herself. "Thank you, Teal'c." It was an SGC standard issue one size fits all and she looked about four years old in it as it reached way past her knees and the sleeves covered her hands and fingers. She noticed that several of her nails were broken and there was a rim of dried blood under the ragged edges, presumably O'Neill's from when she tried to fend him off. Her wrists were banded with bruises, fingermarks clearly visible. She paused in front of the mirror at the wash station and stared at her reflection. She knew that she bruised easily but she looked truly awful. Her jaw was bruised and swollen, there were dark bruises around her mouth and nose from burst capillaries, across her left cheek where he must have hit her. More flowered across her throat and upper chest. There were still more under her gown from the CPR, she could feel the stiffness in her skin. He must have used a lot of force to hold her down. She shuddered. Another few seconds and she would have been dead. Teal'c said she had stopped breathing.

"Major Carter is still in the Isolation Room," Teal'c reminded her. Janet took a deep breath and nodded.

"I'm okay." And she was. She was alive and Sam needed her. Ignoring the stares from staff and patients she walked towards the door. Teal'c fell into step beside her.

Images flowed through the mind of Eliathar past present and future. Her life and that of the one she inhabited. Faces and emotions the memories of who she had once been and those of the symbiote that had once possessed her. Eliathar felt everything with a new poignancy – the death of the mother, the weight of the father's disappointment, the withdrawal from an emotional life, the loneliness that suffocated the other a little more each year, the little death of her soul. The death of her lover, her Aansilaar. The death of Janet. She felt the fear of the other, the sleeping mind, that this had happened, the guilt over the injury to the one who was Maakaash.

But that had not happened. The one who spoke her tongue told her that her Janet was alive, that the Maakaash had failed in its task. Her Aansilaar was safe despite her failure to protect. She still had her place in the world.

Eliathar shuddered. A price still had to be paid for her failure. She was unworthy. And the Maakaash still lived. As long as that was so the Aansillaar would not be safe. The memories of who she had been, the one called Sam were starting to surface again. She was strong. She would fight. Eliathar did not have much time.

Janet was half way to the Isolation Room, trailed by Teal'c when she was intercepted by General Hammond.

"Dr Fraiser, are you sure you're okay?" Hammond was no doctor but he was damn sure that his CMO should not be wandering around a scant hour after she had had to be given CPR.

"I'm fine, General. I have to see to Sa… Major Carter."

"Dr Jackson is with her. Her condition does not seem to have changed. But seeing you – that you are okay – would certainly make her less agitated." The two men escorted her to the Isolation Room.

Sam was sleeping restlessly. Janet gently touched her lover's bruised face, carefully checking the delicate bone structure for fractures. As she finished, satisfying herself that she was just bruised, she realised that Sam's eyes were open, her gaze focussed intently on Janet's face.

"Hey," she smiled. "See, I'm fine. There was nothing to worry about."

"Elyssian Aanssillaar," Sam breathed. "Jaannt."

"Janet, yes. Sam, say my name again, please. Fight it!" Come back to me, her heart yearned.

"Jaannt!" Sam closed her eyes, an expression of concentration on her face. "Jaannt. Help. Me. Plizz."

"We're all here to help you Sam. You're not alone in this. We will do whatever it takes to get you back."

The telephone on the wall buzzed. General Hammond went across to pick it up. He listened for a moment then nodded and held the receiver out to Janet. "It's for you, Doctor."

She gave Sam one last caress. "I'll just be over here," she said, directing Sam's gaze towards the telephone. "I won't leave you alone, I promise."

She smiled her thanks at the General as she took the phone from him.

"Dr Fraiser," she said, feeling her medical persona gather around her again. She could do this.

"Janet – it's Nina Makarayam here. We've studied the data you sent on Major Carter and have come up with some treatment options. I've just got a few more questions for you…"

Janet answered the specialist's questions and listened to the treatment regimens that she proposed. There were still more `ifs' and `maybes' then either woman was entirely comfortable with but at least they had a place to start.

The proposed treatment was radical – large dosages of acetycholine and beta carotene to stimulate neuron production and megadosage DHEA, an estrogen compound used to treat Alzheimers. She would treat Sam first and if her condition improved, try the same regimen on O'Neill.

She explained it as best she could to General Hammond. "I can't give you any guarantees, sir. And the treatment will have side-

effects but they can be medicated."

"Whatever you need, Doctor," Hammond said gravely.

"Janet!" Daniel called her. Teal'c was holding on to Sam's arms. She was becoming increasingly agitated.

Janet went over, cupped Sam's face in her hands. "Sam. It's okay. I'm here."

"Maakaash mehkeynaah!"

Janet glanced sharply at Daniel. "Maakaash – that's the word she used to refer to the Colonel."

"Yes it is," Daniel said softly. "Maakaash severteem, Eliathar. Maakaash ne seresh va Aansillaar. Saafreez elyssian kalash."

Sam's huge blue eyes focused on him for a moment and he swore that for the first time since this started she saw him clearly. Her mouth worked silently as if she was trying to bring something to mind. She reached out and placed her hand on his chest. "Daneel?"

"Daniel, yes!" Daniel grinned at Janet and Hammond.

"Jannt," she said, her gaze falling on Janet. She blinked, turned her head to focus on Teal'c. "Ti'lk." Finally, she regarded Hammond curiously, her mind putting together the fragmented images the other had of him: the kindly honorary uncle of her young childhood, the mentor and father figure of her teenage years, her commanding officer. "Georjj," her voice slurred slightly.

"Close enough," Hammond chuckled. "So our Sam is still in there, somewhere."

Sam/Eliathar turned to Daniel. "Maakaash. Aansillaar jeren darvo." In retrieving the memories of the other she had reassured them that she was getting better that she was no danger. All it would take now was the right moment. She would be ready.

The others immediately looked to Daniel for a translation. "Erm… Eliathar's still worried about Jack. About Janet's safety."

"Eliathar?" Janet asked. Sam turned towards her, smiling.

"This is Eliathar. She remembered her name. Now if I can identify which glyph that represents I may be a little closer to deciphering the whole pillar. We will keep Janet safe, Eliathar, don't worry."

"If she's also remembering being Sam then it might mean the toxin is breaking down. I'll get another blood series done," Janet said. "If it is we might not need to explore the more radical treatment options, we just have to wait for it to be metabolized out of her system."

"I will leave you to it, Doctor, but I insist that you get some rest as soon as you can. You've been through a distressing experience," Hammond said kindly.

"I'm fine, sir, really," Janet said. When the time came for it she would happily fall apart but for now Sam needed her and the Colonel needed her and if she was ever to get her lover and one of her closest friends back, she had to stay focused.

Sam let her take some more blood and set a hydration IV in her arm. Janet introduced a mild sedative. Sam swallowed the drugs that Janet gave her – the first dose of Aricept and Ebixa, both used in the treatment of Alzheimers by promoting acetycholine production and a megadose Vitamin E capsule. As soon as Sam was sleeping, Janet went to change into something a little more suitable than a gown and an oversized robe – she was getting sick of constantly pushing the overlong sleeves up out of her way.

Teal'c went to watch over O'Neill who was still under sedation and Daniel stayed with Sam. He had the photographs he had taken of the boundary marker spread over the floor and continued to work on the translation.

He realised that some of the things Sam had said were represented on the pillar. It was a lot more than a simple `Trespassers will be prosecuted' sign. With an uneasy thrill he recognized the glyph for `Maakaash' the evil that seemed to have inhabited O'Neill. And there was `Aansillaar' the Beloved, represented by Janet in this particular instance. It seemed that his theory might be right. Here was the story his friends were unwittingly re-enacting, the roles they were being forced to play.

There was another glyph he did not recognize and he immediately thought that this must represent `Eliathar'. It was as he was trying to puzzle out the wordshape that Sam woke again. A soft noise from the bed alerted him and he looked up to see her watching him intently.

"Ammaayysa Cherreen," she whispered. "Daneel."

"Friend Watcher," he translated automatically. "How are you feeling, Sam?"

"Saalaashan. Virey Aannsillaar?"

Rested. She wanted to know where Janet was. Eliathar was almost as protective of her as Sam was.

"Aansillar saafreez. Kheeoowen accoutrey. Kheeoowen comest." He hoped he was getting it right. Janet was safe, she had gone to find herself some clothes and get something to eat. Sam nodded as if she understood him.

He picked up the photograph with the unknown glyph on it. "Eliathar? Does this mean Eliathar? That is your name, isn't it? But it means more than that. I think it means Guardian. Which is quite apt really… So you are the Guardian, you are Eliathar and you are Sam. We call your Aansillar Janet. And the Maakaash – he is Jack. It's all here, like a cast list." She looked at him, her head cocked slightly on one side in a very `Sam' gesture. He realised that he was rambling. He hoped that she had followed what he said because there was no way he could translate it into Ancient without several hours work.

She took the photograph from him and studied it intently. "Eliathar," she pronounced, nodding. She sorted through some of the other photographs and picked out one. She pointed to the glyph and then pointed to him "Ammaayysa." She dropped the photograph and reached out to caress his cheek. "Haaiko daa'aan." She meant it.

The brief period of unconsciousness had brought clarity of purpose. There was only one way that this could be resolved. The body she inhabited knew what to do even if the sleeping mind was horrified by her actions. The right hook caught Daniel sweetly on the jaw. She lowered his unconscious body to the bed then went in search of her enemy and her beloved.

This had to end. And there was only one way that could happen.

Janet stopped off to check on Colonel O'Neill. The wound had been deep and had taken eighteen stitches to close but had missed perforating any organs. Jack O'Neill would have another scar to add to his already impressive collection.

He was in restraints. That a feeling of relief at that ran through her worried her more than a little. It had not been Jack O'Neill who had attacked her. Okay it had been his hands holding the pillow over her face but he had definitely not been in the driving seat at the time. It was Maakaash who had tried to kill her. The question was when he woke up would it be Maakaash or would it be the Jack O'Neill they had all come to love and respect over the years? And how could they separate the two?

His eyelashes fluttered open as she watched. He blinked, she watched as his mouth quirked recognising the banal familiarity of the Infirmary ceiling. Then he realised he was in restraints.

"For cryin' out loud! Doc, anyone want to get me out of these things!"

Steeling herself, she stepped into his line of sight.

"Bloody hell, Doc. Did you get the name of the truck that hit you?"

"That would have been you, Colonel. Hence the restraints. It seems you weren't as immune from the personality transforming effects of the toxin as we thought."

"Christ, no!" he gasped, his eyes dark with shock. "What did I do? Why…?"

"You attacked Major Carter and myself. You knocked her out then tried to suffocate me. Major Carter regained consciousness and stabbed you in the abdomen with a pair of scissors to get you off me."

"I don't remember any of it. I was in the Commissary getting a cof… something to drink and I think I talked to Hailey for a bit. Then…" he shook his head. "It's a blank, doc. Look, can you get me out of these things?"

"Not until we get some test results back that prove that the toxin is metabolised out of your system," Janet said. "Major Carter is definitely still affected by it. We're looking at some treatment options to speed her recovery."

"Still speaking in tongues, huh."

"She's still firmly in this other personality. Daniel's with her, he's…" she stopped as O'Neill's expression changed. "Sir?" Some inner awareness made her turn. Sam was standing behind her.

Sam stared at her, eyes bright with anger. "Kulash!" she whispered. This went beyond her understanding. She had given of herself to protect the Aansilaar from the Maakaash and yet here they were together. Betrayer indeed.

"Sam, it's okay. He hasn't hurt me. He can't – he's in restraints, see!" Janet moved forward to reassure her but stopped as Sam turned her hand to reveal the long hypodermic she had concealed there.

O'Neill struggled against the restraints. "Co merek, Eliathar! Beteth si halles ourobast. Say taugeth me cona!"

"Kulash!" Sam spat the word at her. Janet got the message. Whatever `Kulash' was it was not a good thing. The scenario had obviously taken a new twist. A rather dazed looking SF appeared at the door, rubbing his neck with one hand.

"Ma'am – sorry, she knocked out Dr Jackson and jumped me. I…" Teal'c appeared beside him. He took in the situation and acted immediately. He drew his zat and fired it at Sam. She went down, the needle dropping from her hand and skittering across the floor.

"Get her back to the isolation room. Get ready to put her in restraints." She looked up at Teal'c. "I'm sorry, there's no other way." He nodded to her in understanding and picked up Sam's body, cradling her in his arms.

As sometimes happened with him, somewhere crossing the border between unconsciousness and consciousness Daniel had an epiphany. He realised that what Sam had called him - Ammaayysa Cherreen - was as much a role in this drama as Maakaash, Aansillaar and Eliathar were. He had finally translated it: Intercessor. As such, it was up to him to get the cure from the shaman whose tribal territory they had inadvertently trespassed upon. All he had to do now was persuade Hammond to let him return to the planet alone and persuade Teal'c to stay here.

Sam was heavily sedated and in restraints whilst they waited to see if the treatment regimen Dr Makarayam recommended had any effect. Colonel O'Neill remained in restraints and under armed guard. And Janet – Daniel's heart went out to Janet who looked as if she would break at any moment. And much as he hated to capitalise on that, her fragility was probably the key to getting Teal'c to remain here. He took the big man to one side made his request. It worked. Teal'c agreed to stay behind to watch over Janet.

Daniel finally got permission to go alone to the planet to talk to the natives about an antidote for the toxin. It went against every procedure in place and Hammond was not happy but the seriousness of Sam's condition in particular finally persuaded him.

"You have twelve hours Doctor Jackson and then I will send in SG2 to retrieve you."

"I understand, General. With any luck that won't be necessary. I'll be meeting them on their terms this time."

Daniel quickly made his preparations. He dressed in his Abydonian robes, the clothing in which he felt most comfortable, most himself. From his own private collection and from that housed in the storage rooms in the SGC he made his selection of `gifts' for the Shaman. With Hammond's good wishes still echoing in his ears he exited the Stargate and made his way to the pillar sitting at its foot. He gathered dry moss and wood and lit a small fire. Throwing an incense stick on the fire he began to meditate. The sun was setting. He prepared to wait.

As the first moon rose the shaman came out of the forest. He was small, thin to the point of emaciation, his ribs and belly ritually scarred. His leaf green eyes regarded him intently for a moment before he closed the space between them. Daniel greeted him politely and invited him to share a simple meal of fruit and unleavened bread that he had brought with him.

Daniel told him of all that had occurred between Sam and Jack O'Neill and begged forgiveness for any trespass they may have inadvertently made.

"They are good people and do not deserve the fate that you have put upon them," he said. "To show you our good intent, I bring you gifts from our world." From the bag he had brought with him he took out a highly polished and chaised copper bowl, a small replica of the one found at La Tene on Earth, a circular mirror and a set of amber beads, all objects which would have resonance with a shamanistic figure of his own world.

"Your people are strong. Most people would have succumbed to the demons by now, their souls rent from their bodies. But if it is as you say they can be helped." The shaman called out and another man appeared from the edge of the trees. "My apprentice," the shaman explained. Quickly he explained to the young man what was required and the man nodded and disappeared into the trees again.

"Tell me of your world, Daniel Jackson. How is it that you speak my tongue?"

Daniel began to tell him of his studies, his skills with languages, his interest in other cultures. He asked what they knew of the Goa'uld.

The second moon rose and the apprentice shaman approached them again carrying two small leather bags one dyed white, the other black. "The Black is for Maakaash, the White for Eliathar. Mix them with water and let them drink. The demons will be expelled but expect them to struggle. The battle will be hard. Afterwards your people will want to sleep. Let them. When they awake they will be themselves again."

"Thank you," Daniel said. "I would like to come back and talk with you again one day if that is permitted."

"Eliathar named you true. You may return, Ammaayysa Cherreen, Daniel Jackson. But only you."

"I understand. Thank you. May I know your name?" Daniel asked, quite prepared for it to be refused. A name was power after all.

The shaman picked up a stick and held it in the fire until the end burst into flame. He drew a shape in the air. Somehow it stayed visible for several seconds before fading into darkness.

"Verron," he said. "My name among the people is Verron."

Shaman. Lawgiver. Dreamer. Another role to be fulfilled. And knowing it would give no Daniel no power over him."

"Thank you, Verron."

They sat in companionable silence a little while longer and then as the first streaks of dawn lightened the sky Daniel stood up. "I must leave now," he said, touching the bags that hung from his belt. "For these I thank you, Verron."

"Good luck to you Ammaayysa Cherreen Daniel Jackson. May you continue to guide your people wisely."

General Hammond met him at the foot of the ramp. "Were you successful?" he asked.

"I think so. I have the antitoxin for both of them and instructions on its use. It's not going to be easy, General. How are they?"

"Major Carter is still sedated but Dr Fraiser is worried about her overall condition. She has had several small seizures. And Colonel O'Neill has been quite… vocal about his intentions. Get yourself to the Infirmary."

"Yes sir," Daniel said.

He could hear Jack shouting even before he got through the infirmary doors. It was a good thing that no one understood what he was saying otherwise no one within hearing would have had any doubts about the relationship between Major Carter and Dr Fraiser. O'Neill or rather Maakaash was not a happy man.

Teal'c intercepted him. "You have returned, Daniel Jackson." A huge hand descended on his shoulder. "You were successful."

He showed him the small bags of herbs. "I hope so, Teal'c. Where's Dr Fraiser?"

"With Major Carter. Her condition has not improved. Neither has O'Neill. His temper is…"

"Teal'c get your Jaffa ass in here and get me out of these frickin' restraints!" Jack O'Neill roared.

"I see," Daniel said drily. "I need to get these to Janet straight away so that she can begin treatment."

"I will try to placate O'Neill," Teal'c said.

Sam's bed was surrounded by a lot of technology monitoring her life signs. "She's reacting to the medication," Janet said. "Her temperature spiked at 105 and then fell back again to around 102 and she's had three petit-mal convulsions."

He handed her the bags. "The white's for Sam, the black for Jack," he winced at the unintended rhyme. "It will release them from their demons. I got the impression that it won't be an easy time."

"Well she's not having such a great time of it at the moment!" Janet burst out, then closed her eyes, leaning her forehead against Daniel's arm. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

He let his hand rest on the back of her neck for a moment. "It's okay, Janet." He could see that she was past exhaustion, past existing on her nerves.

"No it's not. I'm so scared, Daniel. If I lose her to this…" she fished in her pocket and pulled out a much folded and unfolded piece of paper. "She wrote this for me, left it on her pillow before she left that last morning before you went on the mission. Read it. This is what I'm losing."

Daniel unfolded the paper and saw it was a poem written in Sam Carter's distinctive script. He scanned it until he was half way down the page stopped and then started again from the top. He did not know that Sam Carter wrote poetry. He did not know that Sam Carter was capable of writing poetry. There was such love and intensity of emotion on the page that it broke his heart to think that this could be lost.

Janet was examining a sample of the contents of the white bag under a microscope. "Did they say how it was to be administered?" She glanced at the chemical analysis that the machine printed for her and frowned. There was nothing here that would make them worse but she could not see how it would make them better either.

"Mix it with water and get them to drink it," Daniel said, folding up the piece of paper again and handing it back to Janet.

She put it back in her pocket without comment. "Easier said than done. You might have to help me with Sam. She doesn't trust me anymore. What does Kulash mean?"


Janet nodded. "She saw me talking to Jack." She poured the contents of the white bag into a glass and poured water over it from the jug. It effervesced slightly and the grey powder dissolved into the liquid as she stirred it, leaving it a pale green. She sniffed it cautiously. "Doesn't smell too bad."

She started to undo the restraints on Sam's wrists and across her chest and Daniel helped her sit the semiconscious woman up. Janet supported her whilst Daniel held the glass to Sam's lips.

"Eliathar," he coaxed. "Velmeth. Verulaam methos. Velmeth."

He coaxed her to take a mouthful and then a second. Her eyes fluttered open. "Ammaaysaa Chereen," she whispered.

"Velmeth," he said again. "Velmeth, Eliathar. Come on Sam, drink it down."

She started to choke, her eyes widening and he hastily took the glass away before she bit down on it.

"How fast does it start to work?" Janet asked.

"I've no idea," Daniel said. A bone deep shudder ran through Sam's body and she whimpered in pain, pulling against the lower restraints as if she needed to curl up. Janet had raised the head of the bed and they lay her back down again. Janet studied the read outs and shook her head.

"They're all over the place. At least her temperature is dropping." Sam's breath came in pained gasps, sweat pouring from her. Janet noticed the tremor in her hands and warned Daniel to be ready just as Sam went into a full blown convulsion. They did their best to stop her hurting herself or anyone else whilst one of Janet's nurses injected sedatives and anticonvulsive medication into Sam's IV. Janet tried to assess Sam's state of consciousness as soon as the convulsion had receded to a tremor again. Sam's eyes were open, but their expression was dulled.

"Sam, can you hear me?" Janet asked. "Sam, do you know my name?"

Sam's lips parted but she did not speak. Janet was not certain whether she saw the tiniest flicker of recognition in Sam's eyes before they closed and she slid into unconsciousness again.

Janet told the nurse to monitor her constantly and to let her know the moment anything changed.

They went through to where Jack lay. Better prepared now, Janet told her staff to have sedatives and an anti convulsive shot on hand. She mixed the contents of the black bag into the water. It readily dissolved leaving the water pale and cloudy. It smelt bitter.

Jack was himself for the moment but the way he tensed when Janet approached told them that Maakaash was not far away.

"I need you to drink this, Colonel," Janet said firmly. "Hopefully it will do the trick."

"The medicine man came through, huh." O'Neill watched Janet's every move. Unnerved by his scrutiny Janet handed the glass to Daniel.

"Perhaps it would be better if you or Teal'c…"

Daniel nodded. "Probably a good idea." He looked at the expression on Jack's face for a moment and handed the glass to Teal'c. "He has to drink that down."

Teal'c nodded. "He will."

Teal'c did not quite force it down Jack's throat but made it clear that that was an option. O'Neill had drunk down about three quarters of it when he started to shudder and cramp. From there his symptoms progressed in much the same way as Sam's.

Sam woke. She felt as if she had been asleep for ever and the strangest dreams… blearily she opened her eyes and frowned as she tried to reach up to rub the sleep out of them. She was in restraints. She looked around, not immediately recognising her surroundings and was getting ready to go into a full blown panic mode remembering the last time she had woken alone, restrained and in a strange place when the doors opened and Janet rushed in followed by Teal'c.

"Janet… what the hell's going on?" she asked, her voice harsh and scratchy with disuse. Her mouth and throat felt silted up.

"You're okay, Sam, just lie still for a moment whilst I check a few things." Janet busied herself about the monitors, took a blood sample. Teal'c went over to a side table and came over with a cup of water and a straw. He held it for her so that she could slake her thirst.

"Teal'c – what happened?" she asked. "How long have I been… here?"

"You have not been yourself for several days, Major Carter," was Teal'c's carefully considered answer.

Sam shuddered. In her experience that could mean only one thing. "I got Goa'ulded again? How?"

"Not a Goa'uld, I promise," Janet said, rubbing her fingers softly up and down the skin of Sam's forearm. "I just need you to rest a while longer, Sam until I get these test results back and then hopefully we can see about moving you back into the main infirmary."

Janet took the samples she had drawn off back to the lab for immediate comparison. The series she had taken since the antidote was administered showed that the toxin was out of her system. The MRI from four hours previously showed no sign of the anomalous protein chains. Sam's brain activity was back within normal parameters. And for the first time in days she was conscious and responsive – as herself. Eliathar seemed to have gone.

O'Neill had woken about six hours previously and all his test results were clear. He had no memory of events from the native attack onwards. His attitude to her was the same as it had always been. The injury to his side was healing well and he would be released from the infirmary later that day if he continued to do well. He was no longer restrained.

Sam's test results came back clear of any sign of the toxin. Janet breathed a sigh of relief as she went to remove the restraints. She was wearing heavier makeup than usual to hide the bruises on her face but she had forgotten about the ones around her wrists where O'Neill had held her. Sam glimpsed them as she leaned over her to unbuckle the chest restraint and as soon as her hands were free Sam reached out to her, holding her hand and pushing up her sleeve. The shadows on her face must have caught the light because Sam stopped her from pulling away.

Janet saw mute terror in her eyes. "Did I hurt you?" Sam whispered. "Is that why…" she gulped unable to finish the sentence.

"No, no you didn't hurt me, Sam. You were my protector, as always. The restraints were a security precaution as much as anything. When you didn't come back as, er, yourself, I invoked a Code 17." Daniel came in with a wheelchair forestalling Sam's next question. "Now, we're moving you into the Infirmary. General Hammond wants to brief both you and the Colonel on what has been happening. It's quite a story," she glanced at Daniel and grinned. "Apparently, we all had starring roles."

They helped a decidedly wobbly Sam into the chair and Daniel wheeled her into the Infirmary. General Hammond was already there, talking to Colonel O'Neill. Teal'c stood at the foot of the bed. He moved to help Sam transfer from the chair to the vacant bed.

"Hey Carter," O'Neill said. "You've been upgraded to the main infirmary, I see." He grinned. "Me, I get to sleep in my own bed tonight."

"Maybe," Janet said. O'Neill's face fell.

"Well," General Hammond said. "I realise this is quite unorthodox for a briefing but it fits in pretty well with the events of the last few days. Dr Jackson, as perhaps the only person who has the full story, perhaps you would like to begin…"

It was two days later before Sam was cleared to go home. Janet drove them, a little concerned by her friend's silence.

"I still don't remember anything about being Eliathar," Sam said at last. "I remember feeling pretty crappy on the planet and thinking about the poem I left for you. The Colonel yelled something and…" she shrugged. "Then I woke up in the Isolation Room. All the time I was this…"

"Mythic archetype," Janet smiled.

"Mythic archetype and I don't remember any of it." Sam sighed, wrapping her arms around herself. "I declare my undying love to you in front of everyone, stab Jack O'Neill and beat the crap out of Daniel. Of course, I wasn't really me at the time but still… and O'Neill – god, he could have killed you, you could…"

"…he didn't. You stopped him, you were my hero, Sam, then and always," Janet said firmly. She glanced across at Sam who met her gaze and she felt absurdly heartened at the smile that graced her, setting her heart at rest.

Sam's poem…

you are not a temple

a woman my woman
you are not a temple
yet here I worship
on the altar of your thighs your breasts
as you high priestess of my soul
chant my name to heaven
a prayer, a supplication

I taste of your wine in private communion
if god is love
how can this be sin?
no incense sweeter than your musk
no hymn more inspiring
than my name on your lips

I catch your breath our tongues clash twine
seek dominance compliance
skin slips on skin sweat hot sweet honey
your fingers in my hair
my mouth on your breast
I hold you and am held
your love weightless supports enfolds my heart
feather light

joy bubbles through me
I laugh
nuzzle down the cage of your heart
soft hard dark light dichotomy paradox
a different geometry

give and take
pulse building beating exploding
our voices hearts as one entwine the charm
your name my name
meld mend the travails of the day

breast to breast we lie
our heartbeats slow steady
we smile kiss cuddle sleep
our worship done
word made flesh made light made love
made infinite.

© Jo Raine June 2004


"Sillaar, sillaar aanaakhee, ashruelleen aannaakhee aansillaar"
my love my love I will find you do not lose heart I will find you beloved.

"Aannsillaar, kheeoowen, ashruakeen, sillaar, ne mezz vaalleen suffith,"
Beloved, I have found you my heart, my love I will never leave you again.

"Aansillaaar, mehokhee, sheraann ashruelleen,"
Beloved, long lost to me, I will keep you safe in my heart."

"Maakaash! Maakaash!"
The Stranger! The stranger! (Evil One)

"Alaaassna mehkeynaah maakaash. Veruulaam shermeen."
I fear the Stranger (Evil One). Must make things right/restore the balance.

"Seresh va kalash. Seresh va elyssien kalash. Dakantha. Dakantha."
Hurts the soul. Hurts the beautiful soul. Must not. Must not.

"Ammaayssa, Cherreen schetheenaass."
Friend. Are you of the brotherhood/the Anointed (Intercessor).

"Saafreez dakuta. Saafreez elyssien kalash. Curesh laan."
You are safe. The beautiful soul is safe. You may rest.

"Aansillaar, mehokhay laanssee ashruelleen vaanaah,"
Beloved, I don't want to lose you again, it would break my heart.

"Keeloosh vaamaat daall. Daakaat mel aannsillaar."
"Sweet, a wonderful delicacy, may I have more, beloved."

"Haaiko daa'aan. Elloohiiim."
Thank you for taking care of me, my darling."

"Saallaahh Aansillaar." Rest, beloved.

"Saallaah Aansillaar. Whenoath. Taakaashh mee laannnaa."
Rest beloved, Sleep. I will watch over you.

"Me shonath de chaana."
My right, my duty.

"Eliathar co merek. Taugheth na varda. Beteth si halles ourobast!"
Eliathar you whore. Die without honour. Rot in deepest hell.

"Behaath taugheth. Kaalaash ne taugheth. Kistra. Me Kistra."
She is dead. The beautiful soul is dead. Failure. My failure.

"Ansilar ne taugheth. Vo ne kistra,"
The Beloved is not dead. You did not fail.

"Vo ne kistra?" "Aansillaar allowen. Me ne kistra elyssian kalash ne seresh."
I did not fail? My Beloved lives. I did not fail to protect the beautiful soul.

"Elyssian Aanssillaar,"
Beautiful Beloved.

"Maakaash mehkeynaah!"
I fear the Evil One.

"Maakaash severteem, Eliathar. Maakaash ne seresh va Aansillaar. Saafreez elyssian kalash."
The Evil One is restrained, Eliathar. The Evil One can not hurt your Beloved. The Beautiful Soul is Safe.

"Maakaash. Aansillaar jeren darvo."
The Evil One. The Beloved must keep apart/safe

"Ammaayysa Cherreen,"
Friend/Watcher. Intercessor.

"Saalaashan. Virey Aannsillaar?"
Rested. Where is the Beloved.

"Aansillar saafreez. Kheeoowen accoutrey. Kheeoowen comest."
The Beloved is safe. She is getting dressed. She is getting something to eat.


"Co merek, Eliathar! Beteth si halles ourobast. Say taugeth me cona!"
You whore, Eliathar. Rot in deepest hell. I will kill you with my own hands.

"Velmeth. Verulaam methos. Velmeth."
Drink. This will make everything better. Drink.

The End

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