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Long Time Coming --SG1/TOC Files (2/2)

Title: Long Time Coming
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Characters: SG-1, OC (Alan Kelly)
Word Count: 6645
Rating: PG-13 ?
Notes: This is the sequel to "Count Time" in which SG-1 meets up with Col. Alan Kelly, a time traveler from the future. His stories can be found here: The TOC Files. This takes place during season 9 but there are no specific spoilers except perhaps for "Ex Deus Machina". There is a third with the possibility of a fourth if I get some ideas.

Part One





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Eric couldn't believe it! He was making battle plans with SG-1! It was kind of Alan to share this time. They had explained what had happened to bring them here. The fact that Canaan was a Goa'uld explained why they couldn't get him so easily. Everyone knew from the stories they were hard to kill. The stories also told how the SGC along with the Tok'ra, Asgard, and rebel Jaffa finally broke the hold of the System Lords. Unable to regain their position they died out-all but one, it seemed.

Almeida connected the ships and Kotsovitch began. "I asked for this meeting because new information regarding our enemy has been brought to my attention. Col. Kelly was able to see Canaan up close and understood what he was facing. With this in mind, he went to the experts. I give you SG-1!"

When Kotsovitch stepped aside to reveal them, it looked like half the officers were about to keel over due to shock. SG-1 for the most part looked embarrassed. You couldn't tell with Teal'c.

"Would you care to continue, Colonel?"

The three colonels looked at each other, not knowing which one should go first. It was Mitchell. "Going by Col. Kelly's description, we concluded you're facing Ba'al. I know I'm the new guy, but I think I can be more objective as I haven't seen him face-to-face. He started taking over territory left by System Lords we defeated. It wasn't long before he shot to Number One on the Most Wanted List. The last time we saw him was a few months ago our time. It was then we learned he had cloned himself."

"Clones?" questioned Capt. Zagorska of the Lützow. "So this may not be the original Ba'al?"

"There is that possibility," put in Col. Carter. "It's impossible to tell without a DNA sample."

"If this is the real Ba'al, how could he have stayed alive and undetected for so long?"

"It's only a theory, but he could have used a sarcophagus which would have kept him in a state of suspended animation indefinitely."

"Is there no way to negotiate with him?" asked Adm. Ronkainen from the Tapperheten.

"You could try," said Daniel. "He could make you think he was giving up points then walk away with all in his favor. He is cold, cunning, manipulative, and completely untrustworthy."

"He sounds no different from any of the others we have heard about," put in Cmdr. Xu of the Sevastopol.

"Believe it or not, he has a certain charm that makes you overlook all his bad points until it's too late."

"If you do not deal with Ba'al once and for all, he will only disappear to try again when it will prove beneficial to him," stated Teal'c.

Eric listened and watched as SG-1 carried on the discussion like passing the baton. They were also an unlikely group if you saw it only on paper: an archeologist, an astrophysicist, a pilot, and an alien warrior. They had truly melded together to form an elite unit. He noted it was a similarity shared with the TOC. Where else would you find a bona fide hero teamed with an historian from the 20th century, a wanted criminal, and a mercenary?

That said, he decided it was time to get to the point. "Enough of why we need to beat him, what about how?"

"Eric's right," said Shannon. "As long as it's understood that he's nasty and evil, do we really need to go into it?"

"Very well, Major. What is your proposed plan?" asked Ronkainen .

Alan answered with a tired smile. "We Gate in while you provide cover fire and a diversion."

"As simple as that?" questioned Zagorska with sarcasm.

"As simple as it needs to be," put in Mitchell. "The more complicated it is, the more that can go wrong."

"We don't even know if the Stargate still works, " put in Xu.

"As long as there is a strong enough power source nearby, I'm sure I can make it work," replied Carter.

"And you want us to risk the lives of our men for a diversion?"

"Wouldn't it be better for them to die as heroes instead of forgotten in a lost cause?" retorted Ryan.

"I believe they will go forward with it anyway," said Kotsovitch. "As for me, I would prefer to be part of it instead of it happening during my watch and not doing a thing."

Eric had to give it to Kotsovitch for playing upon their glory-seeking ways. They couldn't pass up a chance to be associated with a TOC mission as well as the legendary SG-1. They had their support team.

He looked over at Alan who seemed to have a glazed look on his pale face. He probably hadn't slept for days. If they weren't needed anymore, perhaps he could convince Kotsovitch to move the conference to his office. He made eye contact with the admiral and then nodded covertly at Alan.

Kotsovitch understood. "If all we have left is to coordinate our forces, I suggest we move this to my office. I promised our guests a tour of the ship. If you will hold a moment, we will continue soon."

"All right then," said Ryan. "I guess we'll have to take you ourselves. Lucky for us we won't be able to explain too much how things work."

"We'd better keep Carter from studying too closely or she might figure 'em out," joked Mitchell.

They headed out and Eric stopped to look at Alan who hadn't moved. "You coming?"

"Hunh? Oh, you go on. I'll catch you up in a bit."

"If you'd rather catch up on some sleep..."

"I'm okay, Eric. Thanks."

"If you say so." Eric knew that his friend wasn't really okay but didn't want to push it so he nodded and left to join the others.

********************************************************************************************

After they left, Alan stepped into his bathroom and pulled up his T-shirt to expose his side. As he feared, red skin was showing around the edge of the bandage. The damn thing was infected and he was starting to feel the effects. He was surprised no one had caught on. At least Eric only suspected he was over-tired.

He just had to make it through the mission or they'd force him to pull out. No way that was gonna happen. He reached into his pocket and took out one of the prescription bottles Dr. Lam had given him and popped one of the pain pills. With any luck, it would hold him a few hours. OK, time to join the tour.

*****************************************************************************************

Recently-promoted Maj. Ramon Hernandez heard the rumors that Alan Kelly had been killed down on the planet and quickly dismissed them. He wasn't sure how but Kelly always seemed to cheat death at every turn. So until he saw the body for himself, Kelly was still out there.

He turned the corner and bumped into another pilot, setting him staggering back. "Sorry." He reached out to steady the other man and saw it was Kelly. He must have been through a lot because he looked very pale and haggard. "Everyone thought you were dead."

"Yeah, well you should know not to believe it of me until you see the body."

"You look a little worse for wear. Are you okay?"

"You're being too kind. I look like crap. I haven't slept for a couple of days and I won't until this next mission is over."

"Flying mission or..."

"The latter. Kotsovitch and the other ships are coordinating air coverage for our little sortie. Might as well fill you in on it as you'll be the officer of rank. C'mon, we've got a tour to catch."

Tour? What he hell? Ramon walked with Kelly and ended up in the docking bay. He spotted the other members of Kelly's group along with... "Madre de Dios! Is that..?"

"Yes, it is. If you can control yourself, I'll introduce you."

Ramon was near beside himself. Aside from meeting SG-1, their presence was confirmation of what Alan and his group had been doing for years. He kept himself in check as Kelly made the introductions. He didn't ramble or stutter but kept his composure. "An honor to meet you all." He noted both colonels and Teal'c eying the FX304s. "Care to take a look inside?"

"Hell, yeah!" declared Mitchell.

"I won't be able to explain how most of the stuff works. I'm sure you'd have a better idea of that," he said with a look at Carter.

They walked over to his ship and Carter climbed inside first. Her eyes went wide at the array of buttons and screens in front of her. "This is amazing. Many of these controls we've thought of but haven't figured a way to successfully integrate them."

"Now you know it will happen," Kelly called up.

"Alan, since the mission hangs on this, do you even know where the Stargate is?" asked Jackson.

"You're going to use the Stargate? But it hasn't--"

"Been used in ages. We know," said Mitchell as he peered over Carter's shoulder into the cockpit. "That's the whole point."

"That's why you're going to lead the air attack," Alan told him. "You'll draw them away from the Gate making it easier for us."

"My first major battle as squadron leader and I'm helping SG-1. This is too damn amazing."

"Your first as squadron leader?"

"Well, Alan's usually been around during major offensives. Since he'll be with you, the job falls to me."

"No offense, but aren't there higher ranks?" questioned Carter as she got out to allow Teal'c to view the cockpit.

"Ah, well, things involving the Rangers run a little differently than regular pilots."

"They're like Army Rangers and Navy SEALs," Shannon clarified.

"Right. There's a hierarchy within the Rangers as different squadrons rank higher than others."

"So the highest ranking officer of the top squadron is the leader of the pack, as it were," finished Jackson.

"Alan Kelly, you said you knew the location of the Stargate?" questioned Teal'c as he joined the others on the floor.

"Hm? Oh, yeah. It's back in the mountain."

"What do you mean 'back'?"

"I think this falls into the category of What You Can't Know, Col. Carter," replied Shannon.

"Sam. I don't think we need the formality."

"Thanks. Shannon."

"So we can guess that it went public at some point but due to the creation of your long-range ships, it was made obsolete and returned to the mountain," said Daniel.

"And how did you come by that?" Ryan looked like he wanted to find whoever spilled the beans.

"Oh, I just pieced it together from what Gen. McGuire said."

"OK, then. Yeah, it was something like that and that's all you're gonna get. No details."

"That's fine. I really don't need to know more."

"All right, ladies and gentlemen. This concludes our tour. Feel free to browse the gift shop for lovely souvenirs." Eric steered them out of the docking bay, a guiding hand on Alan's back.

"So, what now?" questioned Carter.

"We set the timeframe with Kotsovitch then head to Colorado," stated Alan matter-of-factly.

"I'll need to see a star chart for this planet to compare them to the glyphs on the DHD," said Jackson. "Otherwise it might take us longer to discover the address."

"If we could get the actual spatial coordinates as well, we could use them as confirmation," added Carter.

"That shouldn't be a problem," volunteered Ramon. "I can get a copy printed up for you."

"Great. I think we're just about ready." Ryan looked around. "I can't think of anything else."

************************************************************************************************

After clearing things with Kotsovitch, they used the buddy system to pair up before going down to Cheyenne Mountain. Alan was with Mitchell (two pilots), Shannon with Daniel (history geeks), Eric with Teal'c (silent types), and lucky Ryan found himself matched with the beautiful and brilliant Samantha Carter. After seeing her in person, it was amazing how much restraint O'Neill showed while her commanding officer. If he were still harboring feelings for Shannon, he didn't know if he would have been able to hold out as long.

Since Alan already had the physical coordinates in his machine, he just changed the temporal settings and they just piggy-backed onto him and followed. They arrived in pitch black and Ryan was thankful he wasn't claustrophobic. Everyone switched on their torches and revealed an office with a large desk, swivel leather chair, and a bookcase alone one wall. A wall perpendicular to that had a Plexiglas window with a representation of the galaxy marked on it. This could only have been the commanding officer's. Just imagine, O'Neill, Hammond, Landry, and even Weir sat in that chair.

He noticed he was not the only one awed by the experience. Eric was just as amazed. Shannon's reaction was probably due only to the fact that the SGC existed in the first place. She had met Alan (and himself) a number of years before it was created so had missed all the times the Goa'uld had attacked Earth-and the subsequent cover stories.

Sam walked away from him. "It looks the same but different at the same time."

"I thought it was just me," commented Daniel.

"I guess it couldn't hurt to tell you that this was once set up as a museum," said Alan. "They made the office a little generic so as not to favor any of the commanders."

"That must be it then." She looked around for a few moments before heading out the door that lead to the briefing room. "I want to check the computers to see how they're functioning."

"Everything's the same," Eric said. "The story goes that when they dismantled it to move everything, they made diagrams so they would be able to hook things up exactly." He slowed as he saw the Stargate through the window that looked down onto the Gateroom. "Holy crap!"

Ryan couldn't help gaping either. As kids they had read everything they could, but seeing it now it person, it was still hard to take in. "It's a lot bigger than I thought."

"There are still times I have to pinch myself," commented Mitchell.

"What purpose would such an action serve?" questioned Teal'c.

"To prove I'm awake and not dreaming."

Teal'c cocked an eyebrow.

"Oh, never mind."

"You guys went through this to other worlds?" asked Shannon. "When was your first mission?"

"That was 19--," answered Daniel. "Once we learned that the glyphs represented constellations, we knew it would open the Gate."

"So you went through blindly, not knowing?"

"Luckily the people there spoke ancient Egyptian that I could piece it together."

"And you kept it secret? All that time? I'm having a hard time now."

"I think most people know our secret now anyway," said Eric. "After seeing SG-1, I don't think there's any question."

Sam checked the computers in the control room to verify that everything was connected properly. "Teal'c can you go switch on the main power?"

"Certainly, Col. Carter." The Jaffa left the room.

"Is he always that talkative?" Ryan asked.

"It makes what he does say all the more important," Daniel answered. "He never says anything trivial."

With a hum, the lights came on and Sam booted up the computers. "Once they're ready, I want to run a quick diagnostic to make sure we won't hit any glitches."

"How long are we looking at?" questioned Mitchell.

"Somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour."

"That falls within the timeframe we gave Kotsovitch," came Alan's voice from his seat in the corner.

Ryan was concerned for his brother. He didn't look well and he wasn't being forthcoming with the explanations either. If he could get one of the SG-1 team away from Alan's hearing, he'd ask if they knew something.

"While the computers are doing their thing, I guess we can return the favor and give you a tour," offered Daniel.

"That would be fantastic!" responded Eric.

"It could be informative," commented Shannon.

"This isn't an educational field trip, Shane." Ryan looked at Daniel. "You can count me in. What about you, Alan?"

"I think I'll stay here and give Sam a hand."

"I don't think..."

Alan looked at her pointedly.

"...that's a bad idea," she recovered.

That exchange confirmed Ryan's suspicions. Something happened and SG-1 knew what it was.

"You can pick me up a t-shirt at the gift shop!" he called after them.

**********************************************************************************************

Sam looked over at Alan who seemed to look worse than before. She wondered if the medicine Dr Lam had given him was having an adverse effect. "How are you feeling?"

"I'm running a high fever, have some moments of lightheadedness, and I feel very drained. If I could catch some shuteye without them getting suspicious, I would."

"I think your brother already is. Why haven't you told them?"

"They'd get me off the mission. They wouldn't mean to, but it would happen."

"If you're sure you can make it, I won't say a word." She gave him a crooked smile. "Why don't you go up to the general's office and rest a bit. Someone once told me 'Try resting. I can tell you it's very beneficial'."

"Thanks. I just might do that." He rose slowly and walked to the spiral staircase that led to the briefing room.

Sam turned back to the computer, more determined than ever to get it working.

**********************************************************************************************

From his base on Saphon, Canaan, once known as Ba'al, watched as his men trained. He would have once thought using humans as his soldiers a step own from his loyal Jaffa but these men thought they were fighting for a cause and would therefore do anything. It was easier to maintain his position as a leader with advanced technological knowledge than that of a god. Granted, his followers thought him accessible no matter how distant he tried to remain.

When he had awoken from his sarcophagus, he had found the once-remote planet heavily populated by humans of all creatures. Having learned a lesson, he did not immediately assert himself as a god. Instead, the humans had taken pity on him mistaking his surprised state as one of confusion and befuddlement.

In playing along with their assumptions, he learned all that had occurred as he slept. Allowed to roam unimpeded, the humans had spread across the universe like vermin. And as in most civilizations the lower echelons believed they were being taken advantage of. Like any great orator, Ba'al began to play upon these feelings of anger and frustration, gathering his followers from those willing to act.

However, it was when he showed knowledge of the abandoned Stargate that they looked at him in awe. It seemed that the secret of the Stargate had been lost over the years. The Goa'uld, Jaffa, SGC-all had passed into legend. He couldn't help but be pleased at the fact that he would have no competition and no pestilent adversaries to stop his plans. Being the only one in the galaxy who knew how to operate the Stargate would be a major advantage. If he used a few ships while sending the majority of his "troops" through the chapp'ai would keep their numbers unknown.

Now settled in his new base he had rediscovered a long-lost armory of both human and Goa'uld weapons. He had the soldiers train hard so they would be ready when the Alliance sent its fleet. When the inevitable happened, his men proved themselves worthy by fighting off an attack comprised of land troops, fighters, and large battleships. The Alliance forces withdrew to lick their wounds but did not leave. The scanners proved that.

His first convert, Meadon, the one who acted as a First Prime stood at his side as always, his staff weapon in hand. He was large and muscular for a human, unshaven, unkempt, and utterly loyal. "Sir, what are they doing? Why haven't they attacked?"

"They are waiting for something. Perhaps new orders, perhaps a signal, but they will not act without it." He strode across the room and picked an apple from the bowl of fresh fruit-something he craved since his awakening. "I have found the Military quite predictable. How I long for an adversary to provide a challenge, to do something completely unexpected." Like O'Neill. He took a large bite of the apple.

"As far as I know, there is only one who would fit that description. A bit of a loose cannon, he never got taken to task because he always gets the job done."

"Does this man have a name?" He was almost down to the core.

"Col. Alan Kelly, probably the best pilot of the Alliance. He got reassigned to some hush-hush Government project and only fought when it was something major."

"You speak of him in the past tense."

"He was part of the group that made it to the control room in the last attack. I shot him with this." He gave his staff weapon a shake. "Now I know what it takes to kill a hero." He looked at Ba'al, disbelief in his face. "You really don't know anything about him?"

"My 're-education' did not cover Alliance heroes."

"That's surprising. He's almost as legendary as the SGC."

Ba'al was ready to tell him about the SGC when one of the technicians called. "Sir, we have fighters coming this way. They should be within range in 12 minutes."

"Order the men to their positions." He looked at Meadon. "You will lead them."

"No, sir. My place is here guarding you."

Ba'al would have shot him for such open defiance in his days before the sarcophagus. As it was in a display of loyalty, he let it slide. "Very well. Pick five of your best men to remain with you." At Meadon's concern, he explained, "Why would we need any more?"

***********************************************************************************************

Meadon left Canaan in the main control room and head for the barracks to pick his men. Six men to defend the building? What was he thinking? Last time we had close to 25 men and they made it to the control room before being driven back.

He singled out five fighters and told them of their new duty. "We are to be the last line of defense. You will be placed in pairs to guard the approaches to the control room. If you feel you are being overwhelmed by the enemy, fall back to the next pair. We will not let the Alliance take us without a fight!"

He then placed two of the men in the outer-most room, the next pair, two rooms in and the fifth was with him just inside the control room.

"Your timing is impeccable. The fighting has just begun," said Canaan as he motioned to the screens that displayed the battle.

He doesn't seem the least bit nervous or upset. He's watching this like it's a sport. I suppose watching the drones of the Alliance does have some attraction.

At that moment the Stargate lit up as it was being dialed. "Sir, were you expecting reinforcements?"

"No, not even communications." Canaan turned to the tech. "Is there anything coming through?"

'No, sir. I can't tell its point of origin."

"It's probably someone who dialed in error and has either run away, fainted, or is standing there staring at it."

A group of eight walked through the event horizon, weapons at the ready. One had a staff weapon and three had old-fashioned automatic rifles. "Or it could be your worst nightmare," said one of the men.

Canaan paled. For a moment he actually seemed afraid. Who were these people that knew how to use the Gate and who knew Canaan? After that moment of hesitation, Meadon fired at the newcomers, Carnet joining him. The newcomers scattered and Meadon got a look at one of the faces: Kelly. Damn! I thought I killed him! He fell back next to Canaan, pushing him behind some cabinets for cover before calling his backup.

"C'mon, Ba'al. You didn't think we wouldn't find you?" called a male voice from across the room.

"I didn't think you would have the capabilities to do so, Colonel. I don't believe this is something the Asgard would allow either."

"It's something to do with friends and allies," said another male voice. "I don't expect you to understand."

Meadon saw Canaan give a brief smile. "That comment was worthy of your friend O'Neill. He didn't make the trip with you?"

"He wanted to," said a voice Meadon recognized. "But we told him it would be a waste of his time."

Canaan looked at Meadon. "That's Kelly," Meadon said in answer to his silent question. "Who are the others?"

"Old and worthy adversaries."

Meadon then connected all that had been said and all that he had seen. They were SG-1! They knew how to use the Stargate and Canaan had asked after O'Neill. But how did he know them?

At that moment, Wyn, Fin, and Mac arrived in answer to his call and immediately opened fire on the intruders. With their attention elsewhere, Meadon had time to look out and assess the situation. SG-1 and Kelly's group had limited cover and it would be hard for them to cross without being hit, but it was possible. Even as he watched, two broke from hiding to run behind a desk. He couldn't tell who it was, but they had two different uniforms.

***********************************************************************************************

Mitchell saw Alan make a move towards the next bit of cover; a desk covered with papers and bits of electronics. He knew that wound had to hurt more than he was letting on so he made a point to follow. "Cover us," he whispered to no one in particular before following.

"What's your plan?" he hissed as he came up behind Alan.

"I figured if we get to the right spot, they'll have to show themselves in order to shoot us. When that happens, the others will have a clear shot at them."

"Not much of one is it? I mean, their timing could be off and we'll end up getting shot."

"If you do get hit, remember I didn't ask you to join me."

Amidst bullets and energy blasts, they inched their way to the next piece of cover and then the next. Soon they were close enough for Mitchell to see the top of Ba'al's head. Alan's plan hadn't worked yet and they were running out of room. He took a firmer grip on his weapon and prepared himself for what was to come--whatever that was.

Alan saw that the other members of the TOC and SG-1 had the four newcomers occupied and made a headlong dash to Ba'al's barricade. Caught unawares, Mitchell was a few seconds behind and was unable to do anything when Ba'al used his hand device to hurl Alan to the wall. Unconscious, he slid to the floor.

Knowing that his gun was ineffective against Ba'al's shield, he aimed for the muscle that had been acting as bodyguards. Without any form of armor both fell, riddled with bullets. The other four soldiers seeing they were outnumbered as well as in the open, surrendered. Teal'c and Eric went to them to collect their weapons and cuff them while the others rushed over to where he was.

***********************************************************************************************

Shannon and Daniel checked on Alan. "He has a pulse but it's weak," said Jackson after checking his neck. "Alan, can you hear me?"

The man's eyes slowly opened, showing a glazed look. "No offense, Daniel, but you're not the first thing I wanted to see."

"He's fine," joked Ryan.

"How are you feeling?" asked Shannon.

"Not much on my left side, to be honest."

"Make a fist," Shannon ordered.

She watched his left hand as it remained motionless. She then looked at his face and could see the concentration. This can't be happening! What if he's permanently paralyzed? How will he take it?

Daniel seemed to know what she was thinking. "It shouldn't be permanent. The force with which he hit the wall might have pinched a nerve or something."

Shannon looked up at Canaan-no, Ba'al, she reminded herself-an amused smirk on his face despite the weapons aimed at him. She had seen the bullets hit some sort of shield, leaving him unscathed. He knows we can't hurt him. But why is he still here? He hasn't even tried to escape.

"We're going to take these guys up to the Dreadnought," called Eric from across the room. "Shall we come back after?"

"I don't think there'll be any need," answered Ryan.

"OK, then. We'll wait for you there." They used Eric's machine to return to the ship.

"Daniel," Alan said softly.

"What is it?" He leaned over.

Alan reached with his right hand to Daniel's belt and pulled out the knife that was standard equipment. With a clear path, he threw the blade at Ba'al, striking him in the shoulder of his raised arm, the one with that device. That brief moment allowed the shield to go down and Sam and Ryan pressed the advantage. While Ryan held a gun on Ba'al, Sam removed the hand device and bound his arms.

"Nice aim," complimented Mitchell.

Alan didn't hear him for he was unconscious.

**********************************************************************************************

We've got to get Alan to the sick bay, pronto," declared Ryan as he went to lift him.

"Let me help." Daniel went to Alan's other side.

Mitchell released his automatic so he was held solely buy its strap and picked up Alan's legs.

"I'll take Ba'al up to the brig then, shall I?" suggested Carter.

"You'll be all right?" questioned Ryan.

"We've taken away his weapons and restrained him so there should be no problems."

"I'll take you," volunteered Shannon. "We'll meet up with you at Alan's quarters." The two women left with Ba'al.

"Looks like it's just us," said Mitchell as he got a better grip on Alan's legs.

"Not for long." Ryan took the wrist holding Alan's machine and programmed in the coordinates. "Since we're all holding him, we'll be fine. Ready?"

"As ready as we'll ever be," said Daniel.

"Hit the button," said Mitchell.

The moment they left a squad of Alliance soldiers rushed in to secure the base.

**********************************************************************************************

Teal'c and Eric Rader entrusted their charges to the caretakers at the brig, warning them that there would be another along none too soon. They walked back to Alan Kelly's quarters to await the others. "Should we not go to the infirmary? Alan Kelly was severely injured."

"There's no need to stand in the way when Alan's not even there," said Eric Rader as he led the way.

"Alan Kelly is a true warrior," said Teal'c as they sat on the couch in the pilot's rooms. "I have read many epic tales and legends of Earth's heroes and he has many of the same qualities."

"You read a lot of literature?"

"Daniel Jackson once informed me that one could learn much of a culture by reading its fiction. I have discovered that, as in many cultures, Earth civilizations like to write of heroes and their adventures. The main difference is that the heroes are not just brave and courageous warriors. They show doubt, fear, and guilt as well as compassion and honor. The former are seen as weaknesses to the Jaffa."

"Yes, things like that can be a weakness that can be exploited. I used to play upon the supposed failings of others when I was a mercenary. They can also be a driving force that keeps you from giving up."

"I have seen that with the SGC as well as some of the other cultures we have encountered. I believe that is what makes humans so unpredictable."

At that moment the door slid open and Col. Carter entered with Shannon Flynn. "Any word on Alan?" Col. Carter asked.

"No, not yet. Ryan will contact us with any news."

Teal'c knew that Alan Kelly would fight his illness for he was not one to give up under any circumstances. He was very similar to O'Neill in that respect.

**********************************************************************************************

When they appeared in the infirmary--or sickbay as this was a ship--nurses and orderlies rushed to help and Alan was placed on an examination table. They were then ushered out of the way. Daniel just couldn't get over seeing him like that. He knew the pain inflicted by a staff weapon having experienced it himself a number of times. He had never seen anyone react to it like this. Antibiotics usually did the trick.

Other wounded began to come in now that the battle was over and Daniel became aware of the looks he and Mitchell were attracting.

"Why don't we hightail it out of here," said Mitchell. "All those stares are making me self-conscious."

"I guess it'll be hard to keep a lid on things now," commented Daniel as they headed off.

"I think it was the favored theory with all our odd comings and goings. Alan will be able to display his souvenirs finally."

"Wait. You mean he brought different things back with him?" asked Mitchell, incredulous.

"Oh, yeah. He's got weapons, medals, first editions, and even some autographs. My stuff from the beginning was confiscated and auctioned off to collectors and museums."

"How come they took your things but not his?" asked Daniel.

"I had just been convicted of treason so I really didn't need it anymore. Every now and then I wish I still had some of them, but now I've started a new one."

They reached Alan's quarters where they found the others waiting. "How is he?" asked Shannon.

"From what we could tell his fever was serious due to an infected wound," Daniel replied before remembering they didn't know about it.

"When was he wounded?" demanded Eric. "He should've told us."

"Would you have let him go through with the mission?" Sam asked. "That's what he was afraid of. I think we got him to a doctor before it became life-threatening."

"So all we can do now is wait to hear from the doctors," said Ryan as he took a seat on one of the matching chairs.

"So," Daniel said to fill the silence, "you and Alan were at the opening of Tut's tomb?"

She smiled. "We bluffed our way in somehow, I don't quite remember exactly. I would not have missed that for the world."

From there, everyone began swapping stories well into the night. When the call came that Alan was out of danger, there was a group sigh of relief. "We'd like to keep him sedated for a day or so to make sure he gets the rest he needs."

Daniel could easily see Alan wanting to check himself out early.

"We could always take you back if you want," Shannon volunteered.

"I don't think we should go while Alan's in the infirmary," said Sam. "It doesn't seem right."

"He'd appreciate that."

"We'll just have to find something to keep you busy and out of trouble," declared Eric.

**********************************************************************************************

Alan woke up slowly and groaned when he saw he was in sickbay. He was beginning to lose track of how many hospitals in which he had awoken. He also had a feeling that he had been kept under because his head had that foggy feeling that was a sure sign of sedation.

"Colonel, how are you feeling today?"

"Better now that I can put together full coherent sentences. How long has it been?"

"Only a couple of days. You needed rest so we kept you sedated."

"I had a feeling. And now?"

"We're releasing you. I've prescribed new antibiotics--" Alan caught the emphasis on "new"--"so you should be well in a week or so. Because of that, I want you to take some sick leave. I know you have a number of places you can visit." He left so Alan could change in private.

"Thanks, Doc." Alan slowly sat up and swung his legs over the die of the bed. Some civilian clothes were laid out on the foot of the bed, most likely put there earlier by a nurse. The clothes themselves were probably picked out by Ryan or Shannon. The shirt was button-down blue cotton with long sleeves and his charcoal pants fit just right so they didn't irritate the wound.

The doctor returned with the prescriptions. "Are you walking back to your quarters?"

"How else would I get there?"

The doctor looked pointedly at Alan's wrist. "I only ask if you need help."

"I think I'll be OK."

"Just take a cane should you get tired near the end."

"And advertise the fact that I've been wounded?"

"I'm afraid that's out of your hands anyway. The media has broadcast every aspect of this battle."

"Every? Crap." That meant they had seen SG-1 and connected the dots. "I guess I should take that sick leave ASAP."

"Doctor's orders."

"All right, then." Alan walked towards the door, cane in hand.

The moment he stepped out of the sickbay, the barrage of questions began. The only thing he confirmed was his wound and that he was now on sick leave. Any questions regarding SG-1 and time travel he danced around, neither confirming nor denying.

Leaving the aggravated reporters behind, he made his way back to his quarters somehow knowing the others were there waiting. He found himself leaning on the cane a bit more as he walked down the final corridor. The door to his quarters skid open and SG-1 and the TOC looked his way. "Is there a party going on I don't know about?"

Shannon was the first to get up. "Alan! You're back!"

"Why didn't you let us know? We would have come for you," said Ryan, vacating his seat.

"Good thing you didn't. The press was camping outside the sickbay." He eased himself into one of the chairs and made it recline.

"How come no one told me it did that?" muttered Mitchell.

"As I have been placed on sick leave effective immediately, I plan to make myself scarce for a bit. You guys can join me in a few days."

"And until then we'll be dodging calls from Jason and the Committee because of this," said Eric.

"I'm sure Mitchell, Sam, and Teal'c wouldn't mind taking the FX304s for a spin."

"What about me?" asked Daniel.

"Oh, didn't I say? You're coming with me."

"You've got this all planned out, don't you?" teased Sam.

"Pretty much, yeah. Your surprise will just be a little delayed." He sent Shannon and Ryan the coordinates. {Pass them on to Eric. Give us a couple of days because Daniel will want to explore.}

{If you're sure you're up for it} replied Shannon.

{Sure. And thanks for leaving us your mess to clean up} came Ryan's voice.

{What are brothers for?}

Alan stood and walked to the closet by the main door. Reaching in he pulled out a packed satchel. "Grab your kit, Daniel. Time to go."

"Should you not rest, Alan Kelly?"

"I've been resting for two days, Teal'c. I'll be all right. I've no need to push myself now."

Daniel joined him. "You're in a bit of a hurry."

"Yeah, well, when you expose a top-secret Government project--unintentionally or not--you deserve the right to disappear in all haste."

"Fair enough." Daniel looked to his teammates. "Guess I'll see you in a couple days."

In the blink of an eye, they were somewhere else. The room was open and sparse; its architecture was akin to a combination of art deco and modern. Alan turned his head. Yep, there was the Stargate.

Daniel was gaping in awe at the sights and he slowly rotated in place.

"Dr. Jackson, what brings you to Atlantis?"


to be continued. . . .

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