DISCLAIMER: The story, and characters and anything and everything else concerning SG: SG1 belong to MGM, Gekko, Secret Productions etc, they are so not mine and no money is being made from this and no copyright infringement is intended. X Files belongs to Chris Carter and again no copyright infringement intended
SPOILER: X Files Episodes: Ice, Darkness Falls, Dod Kalm & Roadrunners. Stargate - set sometime early season five.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
"Sam, this might interest you," Janet Fraiser said, entering her friend's lab. "I've just received a copy of a medical report on an incident involving an FBI officer and what sounds awfully like an attempt to make her host to a symbiote."
"What! When did this happen?" Sam asked, abandoning her research instantly.
"Juab, Utah. Six days ago. The remains of the symbiote are being flown here as we speak, the agent is still recovering in hospital in Provo." Janet handed her friend the files.
"Does the General know about this?" Sam speed-read her way through the first few pages of the file in growing fascination.
"Yes, he passed the files on to me."
"We have to see the general. And we have to talk to this woman."
Later that day Sam watched, trying to control her queasy stomach, as Janet dissected the remains of the symbiote. It was not in a very good condition having been shot several times and possibly stomped on by one or more people. Pre-mortem it had already been in a weakened state having changed hosts twice in a short period of time. However it was clearly a Goa'uld, and an old one.
"The cult believed that it was the second coming of Christ," Sam said, deciding to read over the latest set of information they had been sent pertaining to the case rather than continuing to watch the dissection. The forty cult members were about to go in front of a grand jury, jointly accused of at least eight murders.
"Familiar story," Janet said. "Slightly scary though. I mean, I can sort of accept it when it's the Egyptian or Mayan gods that they are representing themselves as, but I was brought up a Catholic. This is a little close to home."
"You find anything?" Sam asked.
"No," Janet sighed. "Goa'uld decompose very quickly; the internal organs were in a very bad state. But I can confirm it was an old specimen, older than any we've seen before. I can't tell you how long it's been on Earth or how it got here."
Sam glanced at her watch. "Pity. Look, you've got five minutes to wash up and then we're seeing the General." Janet nodded.
"I'm done." Sam waited for her as she took off her protective clothing and scrubbed her hands.
Hammond readily agreed to the two women taking a trip to Utah. "I understand that you've encountered this agent before, Dr Fraiser?"
Sam's head went up. Janet had said nothing about knowing this - she flipped through her notes Agent Scully. Agent Dana Katherine Scully. Sam studied her picture with renewed interest. A redhead. Pretty in an icy kind of way.
" a couple of times when I was at the CDC. She and her partner Fox Mulder worked on something called the X Files at the FBI. They specialized in cases that were supposed to involve the paranormal, the unexplained." Janet shrugged, smiled. "To be honest they'd fit right in here. Anyway, the two of them got themselves in some weird situations that landed them in the care of the CDC for monitoring and assessment on three occasions whilst I was there, once after coming into contact with a larval creature in the Arctic that caused those infested to become homicidal. The second time they had been investigating the disappearance of loggers up in Washington State. They found a swarming insect that could suck all the moisture from its victims before cocooning them. Agent Scully nearly died. We got to know each other quite well during her recovery. The last time I treated them they had come into contact with a substance that caused the appearance of advanced ageing within hours. It made those Argosian nanocytes that got into Colonel O'Neill look benign. Luckily we were able to reverse it. Then I got posted here and we lost touch."
"So you think she will talk to you?" Hammond asked.
"Yes sir, I think she will."
"So, what is she like?" Sam asked. They had been on the road an hour or so. Sam was driving, habitually skirting just below the speed limit.
"Dana? I think you'll like her. She's very bright, absolutely dedicated to her job and not afraid of extreme possibilities," Janet smiled. "Mind you she's not the easiest person to get to know. Private, very driven, workaholic, sublimates everything that could remotely be called a personal life. Kinda reminds me of someone '
Sam chose to ignore that one. "So, did you two "
"No! No I'm not saying there wasn't an attraction there, on both sides. I mean, you've seen her picture and it doesn't do her justice, believe me. But the time wasn't right. I was still just to say married to the waste of skin and she was well, not exactly involved with her partner, Fox Mulder, but there was definitely something going on between them. And to be honest I don't think there was room in her life for anything or anyone new at that time. But there was definitely a spark." Sam discovered that she wasn't exactly pleased to see the smile on her lover's face.
"Between the two of you or between her and her partner Fox? What the hell kind of name is Fox anyway?" That was all she needed, right now, channelling Jack O'Neill. That was not going to help the situation she was rapidly talking herself into. Why was this bugging her so much?
Janet wasn't sure that she liked where this conversation was going, but she knew that she had nothing to hide. "Both. Dana and Mulder and everyone called him Mulder had been through a lot together. They trusted each other implicitly, it was like they could read each other's minds sometimes. It wasn't sexual between them, it went deeper than that. But between me and Dana, yeah, if things had been different, there might have been something. But there wasn't."
"And now?" Sam didn't know how that had slipped out. She had no reason to be jealous of this woman, Dana Scully. This had all happened years before she had even met Janet and as Janet had just told her, nothing had happened between the two of them further than a mutual acknowledgement that there was an attraction. And Sam knew that Janet would never lie to her. Take it back, she told herself, take it back before it's too late.
"And now. Now I'm with you and I'm not looking for anyone or anything else," Janet said quietly but with a hint of steel under the velvet of her voice. "I love you and you alone, Samantha Carter and I don't understand why I suddenly have to prove it to you? Is this what's been bothering you all day? I haven't seen nor heard from Dana Scully for six years. I hadn't even thought about her until I received the report."
Sam could feel how tense her hands and arms were on the driving wheel and made a conscious effort to relax before she spoke. "I'm sorry," she replied contritely. "Please forgive me, Janet. I didn't mean to get jealous. I don't I know that this happened before we met and I have nothing no right to " Unable to formulate her thoughts, she sighed heavily. "Ignore me, please, Janet - I obviously have my dork head on today." Sam knew why she was handling this so badly. Something about the image of Agent Scully had attracted her as well. She was feeling guilty about her own reaction and passing it on to Janet instead.
Janet's hand rested gently on her arm, her fingers smoothing up and down her bare skin. "I've never seen the possessive side of you before," she said softly. "I could just take it as a compliment?"
Sam shot her a grateful glance and then concentrated on the road again. "So, tell me more about these two. What are the X Files anyway?"
After a brief chat with the doctor treating Agent Scully, the two Air Force officers went up to her room. She was lying in bed on her side when they got there, leafing through a report. Janet was a little shocked when she saw her, Dana was a lot thinner than she remembered, and somehow harder. The young woman had been through hell and back in the last six years, she could see that immediately. There was a strange mixture of strength and vulnerability about her she had only ever seen in one other person the tall blonde standing at her side.
All that Sam could think of was that the photo on her file did not do the young woman justice.
She was exquisite, just an inch or so taller than Janet, with collar length rich auburn hair and very fair skin slightly hazed with freckles across the cheekbones and bridge of her nose. There was something in her eyes, a combination of candour and wariness, in colour a darker blue than Sam's own, that made Sam want to protect her from the world, though something in the wiry strength of the young woman's body made Sam think that she was entirely capable of protecting herself if the need arose. The woman's smile of delight when she recognised Janet was entirely genuine. Sam stayed back, not wanting to intrude on the reunion, not wanting to make Janet think that she was still hung up on this. Which she was but not in the way that Janet thought. Dana Scully did something for her. And she had thought she was set for life on a certain brown eyed girl.
"Hello, Dana. It's so good to see you after all this time," Janet said. "How are you feeling?"
"In order stiff, sore and a more than a little relieved to be alive," Dana said. "Right now all I want to do is to get out of here and get back to work."
"Well, we need to talk to you about what happened, about the creature that the cultists tried to implant into you," Janet said. "But first can I introduce my colleague Major Samantha Carter of the United States Air Force. Sam, this is Special Agent Dana Scully."
"Pleased to meet you, Agent Scully" Sam said, holding out her hand. After a moment's appraisal, Dana took it.
"And I you, Major Carter. Are you the Dr Samantha Carter who has written several papers on wormhole theory? I noticed on her bio that she was a serving Air Force officer. I majored in physics as well as medicine, and wormhole theory and relativity have always fascinated me."
"That would be me," Sam could not stop the blush rising in her cheeks. She did not often meet other people outside of a rarefied view who had anything beyond a basic understanding of astrophysics. O'Neill had commented more than once that she could probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of people who understood what she did. Some days, faced with acres of blank incomprehension, it felt like he was right.
"Then I'm very pleased to meet you, Major Carter. Though I'm now even more confused as to why you want to talk to me."
"We were investigating a murder, a John Doe found with his skull pulverized in the Sevier Desert. What was unusual was that there seemed to be multiple participants judging by the disturbance on the ground and the glycoproteins left at the scene. I asked my partner Agent Doggett to check our files as I was sure I had seen something like it before."
"I was following a hunch, or rather a bus. It was the only other vehicle I had seen all day," Dana said. "Anyway, I noticed I was running low on gas as I came across this settlement that didn't appear to be on the map. There was a gas station and I stopped to get some gas and ask about the bus I'd seen earlier. I'd been in touch with the authorities at Sugarville earlier that day and warned them to expect some files from Agent Doggett."
"Nothing about the place rang true, if you know what I mean. I got some gas and continued, and then about a mile down the road my car quit on me and I figured that it had been tampered with. I headed back to the settlement."
"Everyone I met was about as helpful as they could be without being any help at all. There was no other transport, no phone. I was shown to what had once been a guest house, run by a man named Milsap. I got a room for the night. Then I was woken up and asked to take a look at one of the other guests. When I saw him it looked as if he was in the middle of a grand mal fit. Then as I was examining him I noticed the wound at the base of his spine and I could have sworn I saw something moving under his skin, along his spine." She shuddered at the memory and her hand rested on her abdomen for a moment, palm flat as if she was protecting something. Sam glanced across at Janet to see if she had noticed the strange gesture. Janet was watching Dana intently.
"I tried to get them to let me take him to a hospital, but they wouldn't. I realised that they had captured me for the sole purpose of taking care of him when I had stopped for gas initially I told the guy at the gas station that he should get a cut on his hand taken care of and that I was a doctor. I realised that I had to escape.
"I found the bus and then realised it was a set up. Everyone was there including the injured guy. He told me that my life was about to take a wonderful turn. That I was going to become to become a part of something much much greater than I was. And that I was going to be so loved." Self-consciously she wiped a tear from her cheek with the back of her hand. Sam snagged a box of Kleenex from a side table and handed them to her without comment.
"And then he knelt down, and they killed him. They picked up rocks, bits of pipe, anything that came to hand and they beat him to death, broke open his skull. And then one of the women reached in and pulled out a creature."
"The symbiote," Janet breathed. She cast a concerned glance at Sam who had gone very pale.
"It looked like a snake, or a deformed lizard, white and glistening with mucus and blood. I fought. I fought so hard, but there were too many of them. They held me down and exposed my spine. They laid it on my back and it went inside me. I could hear my skin tearing. The pain I thought the pain was going to kill me whatever else happened. I don't remember much after that."
"They took me back to the boarding house, put me on the same bed the man had been on. They laid me face down, tied my wrists to the bed head. It was hard to move my legs. I cursed them all, threatened them with the police, the civil authorities, anything I could think of. I told them how much I hated them for doing this to me, to my " Dana swallowed convulsively. Sam realised that she had just self-edited something out of her story. "Nothing I said seemed to have any effect. They acted as if they had just given me the greatest gift imaginable. They said that I would love them that I would protect them and teach them, make them better than they were. Their leader, Mr Milsap even said that he envied me." Dana paused, gathered her thoughts. Janet went to a side table, poured Dana a glass of water and handed it to her. Dana drained half of it before she continued.
"Milsap said that there was a good chance that I would be a 'suitable tabernacle', that my body would not fail him and that he would be in me forever. Then Doggett arrived, looking for me. They gagged me so that I could not cry out. I managed to move my legs enough to knock over an oil lamp, set the room alight. Doggett had already figured that there was something weird going on. He left but doubled back, found me. The creature was half way up my spine by then, trying to get to my brainstem. Doggett cut me loose and got me out of there. He he cut it out of me with his penknife and pulled it out and pumped a clip into it. All Milsap and the others could say was why. I passed out and woke up here two days later."
"Did the creature try to communicate with you at all?" Sam asked. "Did you receive any impressions, any thoughts or images from it?"
"No. But Doggett cut it out of me before it had bonded to me, I think."
Sam realised that she was the object of intense scrutiny. "You've seen these things before, haven't you?"
"I'm afraid we can't confirm or deny, Dana," Janet said softly. Sam just stared at Dana. Milsap had been right. Dana Scully would have made a formidable host. Thank God her partner had got it out of her before it was too late. Sam prayed that Dana never find out how lucky an escape she had had.
"I know I'm right," Dana said softly. "And that there are more of these things out there."
"Out there, yes," Sam said. "But not here."
Dana lay down again, her hand gentling her stomach. She realised what she was doing when she caught the Air Force Major staring at her, and pulled her hand up to her face again. "Do you have any more questions? I'm still a little tired."
"No more questions for now. Thank you, Agent Scully for your co-operation." The tall blonde got to her feet, followed by her old friend.
"If you want to talk, about anything, here's where you can reach me," Janet said, handing Dana a page torn out of her address book. "I'm based at the Academy Hospital in Colorado Springs. Anytime, Dana, don't forget."
"I won't," Dana said softly. It would have been very easy indeed to fall in love with this woman, she realised, if things had been different. And, if she wasn't very much mistaken, if things were different now. Sam Carter was trying very hard to be nonchalant and failing. The way things were going in her life, Dana knew that she needed as many friends and contacts as she could get. With Mulder gone and Doggett still much of an unknown to her, she had rarely felt so isolated. "Major Carter, it was very good to meet you as well. If I am ever in Colorado, I hope I can look both of you up?"
"Please do," the tall woman smiled, and Dana felt her heart break a little. Janet Fraiser was a lucky, lucky woman.
Janet drove on the way back. She pondered the enigma that was Dana Scully. There had been things in Dana's medical file that she had not passed on to Sam. Her battle with cancer inexplicably cured but leaving her sterile. The fact that she was now pregnant. Janet could not help but admire the young woman. It was hard enough bringing up a teenager on one's own but a baby They had not had a chance to meet Agent Doggett, Dana's new partner and Fox Mulder had not been mentioned once but Janet could guess that he was the source of the pain in Dana's eyes.
"I can see why you were attracted to her," Sam said. She had been silent most of the way.
"She's something, isn't she. If her career in the FBI is souring as much as I think it is, she might be someone we want to recruit to the SGC. She's a damn good forensic pathologist and a lot tougher than she appears. Her family is career military navy, I think."
"Mention her to Hammond as someone we should keep an eye on and not just because of what happened to her here. If the implantation had been successful " Sam shuddered.
Janet reached out, laid a gentle hand on her lover's thigh. "It didn't happen, Sam. She's safe." She considered her next words and smiled. "She got to you as well, didn't she? All that brains and beauty in a package."
"Some package," Sam smiled. "Yeah. But to quote something a very wise person said to me only this morning I love you and you alone. You do know that, don't you, my brown eyed girl?" She covered the hand on her thigh with one of her own, tracing her fingers down its length and leant in to kiss Janet's cheek, nuzzling her ear for a moment. Janet's breath hissed.
"Sam trying to concentrate on the road here!"
"Okay okay Just wait till we get home," Sam settled back in her seat and closed her eyes. Dana Scully looked back at her, her blue eyes shining, her expression enigmatic. If things had been different. She heard Janet start to sing under her breath and blue eyes melted into brown. Sam smiled. Dana Scully was something else but Janet Fraiser was the keeper of her heart and the answer to all of her questioning on life. If things had been different, she would still have made the same choices. Some things were just meant to be.
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