Jackfic Archive Story

 

The Sleeping Beast General Jack Year Three - Part Nineteen

by Flatkatsi

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).


"Get off of me, you stupid mongrel!"

Pushing as hard as I could, I managed to move the massive body about a millimetre to the right. At this rate my foot, no - my whole leg - was going to lose all blood flow and have to be amputated.

I ignored the unwelcome presence and lifted my face up towards the ceiling from where blissfully warm water ran over me, the steady flow washing away the accumulated grime of the past several days. Whatever the Asgard put in their shower water certainly worked, even my head was feeling squeaky clean without the need for shampoo.

Crap!

Garmr stood, his bony head hitting a part of my anatomy that didn't take knocks well, and I leaned back quickly, resting on the dull gray wall of the shower and trying to breathe.

That was it! I knew this was a bad idea the minute the cubicle door had swooshed open and the werga had stalked in. Either he was taking this whole guardian thing a little too seriously or he felt the urgent desire to be clean.

Speaking of which ... I peered down at the floor of the shower stall, searching for any sign of small black insects, but finding none. I just hoped that meant the fleas had been already washed away, and weren't still clinging for dear life to his coat, ready to abandon it for me as soon they could.

"Out!" I waved my hand to stop the water and again in the vicinity of the magic-eye mechanism I knew was there. The flow stopped and I waited, but instead of leaving, Garmr bent and lapped at the lingering traces of moisture on the rapidly drying floor.

Sighing, I decided I had finished anyway. There wasn't really a lot of time before we reached Orilla. The captain had said it was only a few hours away at the speed this ship could travel, and that I should just rest until we got there. He hadn't seemed at all interested in debriefing me about what had happened to us on the planet, in fact I got the distinct impression he had much more urgent matters to attend to.

I shook my head and moved slowly from the cubicle, grabbing a soft towel from a small shelf as I did so. Apparently the Asgard dried themselves with hot air, but the temperature it was set at would do little to dry my human skin. I didn't know if the pale yellow cloth was designed as a towel, but it sure did a good job substituting for one and I was soon almost dry, with only my legs still wet.

Bending at the waist, I reached down carefully, keeping my balance with one hand on the wall, and positioned the towel at my right ankle - and was hit by a sudden downpour that rivalled a tropical monsoon. I suppose it wasn't so much a downpour as a sidewayspour, but the distinction was lost on me as I held the towel in front of me in a vain attempt to stop the water reaching me.

Another long and vigorous shake and Garmr had finished. His coat was almost completely dry, with only a tiny sheen of moisture making it glisten in the harsh light of the room. I, however, was soaked again, holding a sopping cloth with nothing else to wipe myself with.

I glared at the stupid animal and walked the few steps to the door. Sure enough, one of the crew was positioned just outside, waiting to escort me once I had finished my ablutions. He looked at me, his large eyes roaming down my body, and I controlled a sudden urge to cover myself. Hell - these guys wandered around without clothes all the time, so what was so interesting about a naked human? Still - it was probably something he didn't see everyday.

"Could you get me another towel?" He looked puzzled at my use of the English word mixed in with Asgard, so I held it up, drips running off it and down my arm.

"Certainly, General O'Neill. If you would wait here?"

I nodded. Where the hell did he think I was going to go in my current state of undress?

Moving a short distance back into the bathroom, I cast Garmr another look of disgust.

"I don't know what you're so pleased about. If the captain had listened to me, you would be sitting back on that asteroid we passed an hour ago."

The Asgard had refused my request to leave the werga on any planet we came near, acting as though I had suggested they put him in a plastic bag and drown him. It seemed the rediscovery of a long thought extinct species was of far more importance to them than my desire to be rid of the annoying creature. I was stuck with him; at least until we arrived at Orilla and I could offload him on the Asgard equivalent of the pound.

"General."

Damn it - my nerves were shot! I hadn't heard the crewmember return and his sudden appearance at the door had given me an unpleasant shock. I took the proffered towel and nodded my thanks, shutting the door before finally drying myself and dressing in the clean uniform I had retrieved from my luggage.

It was time for some food. Right now I could eat a . . . Garmr curled his lips at me and a low growl throbbed from his throat. Damn thing could obviously read minds. I dragged my gaze away - the creature was probably all muscle and not much meat, tough as old boots.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

"General O'Neill. We have arrived at Orilla."

I unburied my head from the pillow and peered at the Asgard standing beside the sleeping platform. It seemed as if I had only just lain down after eating a quick and very light meal of some sort of soup the ship's medic had insisted I have.

"Already?"

The puzzled stare he gave told me this was the same crewmember who had found me the towel. Poor guy must be on punishment detail to have been given the task of looking after the human.

"The 'Typherion' remained at a steady speed throughout our journey and our time of arrival is exactly as calculated."

"Of course." I couldn't resist the tiny note of sarcasm that crept into my voice, but I was sure he hadn't picked up on it. I twisted around and sat, head hanging and knowing I had to ask, but reluctant to do so. Damned pride, it usually came before a fall, but not this time. I was going to be realistic. It was only for a short time, until I was transported to the planet's main medical center. "Could you pass me those?" I gestured at the improvised crutches the chief medic had provided me with. "And give me a hand up?"

Briefly wondering if the small alien had the strength to lift me, I pushed up, shifting my weight as quickly as possible to the crutches.

"Thanks."

"You are welcome, General O'Neill."

He waited patiently while I manoeuvred myself across the room, the desire to place too much weight on my legs warring with the need to be careful. The walk to the command center was short, but tiring - the brief rest I'd had having done little to alleviate the aches and pains. At least it seemed that I wouldn't be standing around too long as Thor stepped forward to greet me. I looked him up and down rather enviously, seeing no sign of the broken leg. I had been told the ship's equipment was more than able to handle such a simple task, but it was some relief to me to see the result for myself.

"Are you ready, O'Neill? We shall transport directly to the medical facility."

I nodded. "More than ready."

As Thor gave the officer at the transporter controls a brief gesture my gaze roamed around the room, the nagging feeling I was forgetting something twitching at the back of my mind.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

I felt a hard thud and fell backwards, totally unprepared for the impact. Usually the Asgard transporter beam just sparkled a little, made me feel a bit tingly, and dumped me where it wanted me. This time it seemed to have come equipped with a component that inflicted a blow on my already wobbly legs.

"What the. . . !" I sat up, several pairs of small hands assisting me, and stared into a mouthful of teeth and foul breath.

"Are you all right, O'Neill? Garmr unexpectedly entered the transporter at the last moment."

Giving myself a quick mental inventory, I nodded and allowed the concerned Asgard surrounding me to help me up.

"I'm okay," I answered, looking at Thor, but feeling the werga's strange eyes on me I turned to him with a glare. "Isn't there somewhere else you'd rather be - like anywhere except here?"

"Perhaps it would be best if he be taken to the research facility now, General?" An unusually dark skinned Asgard moved from the group. "We have a team of scientists anxious to begin studying him." He put a hand out as if trying to entice the werga to come with him.

The growl that erupted from Garmr's throat was like nothing I'd ever heard before. It began as a low rumble and built to a deafening crescendo of menace. His lips were curled back, exposing his long fangs with a string of thick saliva hanging from the largest. As one, the Asgard retreated several steps and, to be honest, if I hadn't been leaning heavily against the creature allowing him to support most of my weight, I would have joined them in cowering.

"Ah . . . I think we should delay the studying."

A sea of large bulbous heads nodded in unison at my suggestion.

There was a long uncomfortable pause, broken when Thor finally spoke. "You should commence the treatment for your injuries, O'Neill."

When no one moved I decided I needed to take things in hand.

"Okay. Where do you want me?"

A pointed look from Thor had one of the still huddled group stepping out from behind his buddies.

"This is Eriffer, the head of this facility. I will leave you in his care." Thor placed his hand on my arm in farewell. "I am sorry I cannot stay, Jack, but I must give a report to the Council on these new foes."

I nodded, understanding he had duties to perform that could not wait.

"I shall contact the SGC to inform them of your safe arrival."

I was surprised I hadn't thought to ask him to do that. It should have been my first priority - that and making sure they were told of the Wraith incursion in the Ida Galaxy. In fact, considerations of my own health could wait until I had reported also.

It was as if Thor could read my mind, or maybe he just knew me too well. He shook his head. "I shall send a full report to Earth, Jack. There is no need to delay your treatment." He turned back to the Asgard he had introduced, giving him a nod.

Eriffer gestured, careful to avoid placing his hand anywhere near Garmr.

"If you would come this way, General O'Neill?"

I hesitated for a moment, duty warring with a strange lethargy that seemed to sap my will and make me want to do nothing more than go back to sleep for a very long time. I didn't even say goodbye to Thor as I followed the doctor.

Garmr and I moved as one, my hand still firmly attached to his back - merely to prevent him from taking a chunk of Asgard for dinner - and we entered a small room containing nothing but one of those rather claustrophobic medical pod things. It didn't look anywhere near long enough for my human frame.

"You got anything a little less snug?"

"It is no different to the stasis capsule you were placed in while on board the 'Daniel Jackson'."

Yeah, but I didn't get into that one voluntarily, and when I woke up I'd jumped out of it pretty damn quickly. My mind went back to the nightmare I'd had in the pod on Thor's ship a few days ago, and I concealed a shiver. It seemed I had developed an issue with small confined, coffin-like spaces - especially when I was being 'fixed', be it by the Goa'uld or the Asgard.

But I wanted to be fixed, didn't I?

Yes, no doubt about it, I did.

The pod floated down to a level that made it easy for me to get in and I really didn't have any choice in the matter. Taking a deep breath, I tried to look as if the whole thing was a piece of cake and wasn't freaking me out completely. Then, releasing my hold on Garmr's fur, I swung my legs up and lay down.

The lid closed over my face.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

It seemed only a few minutes before the pod opened again. I hadn't even had time for the panic to build to more than a desire for fresh air. Several Asgard faces looked down at me, but they immediately stepped back to give me room to sit.

The still present heaviness in my legs was the first inkling I had that something wasn't right. I didn't say anything - I'm not sure why, maybe somewhere deep inside I was scared of the answer I might get. Instead, I reached out and accepted the help I was offered to exit the pod, and was soon standing, towering over my companions, with my furry living crutch holding me up once more.

"Brymer shall show you to your accommodation, General O'Neill. We should have the results of these first scans within a few of your hours. In the meantime it would be best if you rest and take some nourishment."

I was already being led away before I had the presence of mind to ask some questions. "Scans?"

The Asgard who had spoken inclined his head. "We will need to do several tests before we determine the best course of action to treat the chemical imbalance present. It is not a simple task."

"What about. . . ?" I waved a hand at my legs, but realised he didn't have any idea what I was referring to, so I spelt it out. "My legs - what about them?"

He was turning back to his equipment and tossed his answer back over his shoulder at me as if it was of no importance.

"Your physical injuries are now completely cured. You may experience some residual weakness, however it should not last long, especially if you rest then follow the exercise regime I suggest. Brymer will go over those details with you."

Cured.

Fixed.

Back to normal.

I took a step.

Back to normal - like hell! I could barely move one foot in front of the other. This was some sort of trick. They hadn't fixed me at all.

I tried to turn back, to argue, to complain, damn it - anger began to rise in me, unreasoning, passionate, fiery anger that made me want to grab the thin gray neck and twist.

Instead of turning I meekly followed the small Asgard to a reasonably large, but plainly furnished room just down the hall from the laboratory. Brymer spent several minutes telling me what I assumed was important information, none of which I listened to, just standing there staring without comprehension, and when the door shut behind him, I twisted, added a second hand to the one already tightly entwined in Garmr's coat, and sank on my knees to the floor, my head resting on his solid back as despair washed over me.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

Throwing him across the room, I followed, my hands reaching for him, while the darkness cleared from my vision and the steady throb of sound held me.

This time I had been ready. This time I wasn't the victim, I was the aggressor.

The sound grew louder, leaving only small gaps through which I heard him crying for mercy, begging me to stop.

I ignored him, pressing against his skinny body until I was enveloped in light and my blood boiled in my veins.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

The first thing I saw when I woke was Thor's anxious face, his large eyes luminescent in the subdued lighting.

"Hey, buddy." My words came out in a raspy whisper, but I persevered. "What's happening?"

It seemed to me that he was reluctant to answer, finally leaning a little closer, and I realised I was on some sort of bed, unable to move. I shifted my eyes, trying to see what was holding me, but not finding anything.

"Thor?"

"Do you know where you are, Jack?"

It seemed an odd question. "Sure. Orilla. They were doing some tests."

There was a sound from the side and the Asgard doctor, Eriffer, came into view. "You had a psychotic episode and attacked Brymer when he came to wake you. I needed to be sure you were aware of your surroundings before I removed the restraints." He did something I couldn't see and the slight pressure enveloping my body disappeared.

I lifted my left hand, but apart from that stayed where I was, unmoving on the bed.

I had attacked someone. An Asgard. What harm could I do to one of their fragile bodies?

What had I done?

"It is all right, Jack." Thor's hand came out and took mine. "Brymer is fine. He was slightly injured but is fully recovered. It is you we are worried about."

I could understand that. Turning away, I stared at the gray, featureless wall. I was dangerous, a risk not worth taking. I bet they were regretting asking me to be an ambassador. I'd made a great start at that career, hadn't I.

"I wish to speak to General O'Neill alone."

I turned my head at that, surprised Thor would take the risk of being alone with me. He held my gaze as Eriffer left the room, not speaking until he was gone.

His opening words stunned me. "I must apologise, Jack. I have failed you."

"Failed me? How?"

"I allowed you to think your illness could be cured easily. I had no idea the problem would be difficult to address and in my arrogance I have caused you distress."

"No. None of this is your fault."

How could he think that? My smashed knees were fixed, weren't they? I could walk again - something I never thought would happen. The rest was up to me. It was my problem, not Thor's - not anyone else's. It was my weakness of spirit, my giving up, my losing. . . "It's my fault."

"Jack."

I realised Thor had been speaking for a while and I made an effort to concentrate on his words.

"Jack, it is the illness you are experiencing that is causing you to think like this. The doctors have explained to you already that your body chemistry has been disrupted. Once the balance has been restored you will be back to normal - back to the man you were before this happened."

I flinched. He didn't know what he was saying. Back to the man I was before. Did I want that?

"What did I do? To Brymer?"

"You were having a nightmare. He attempted to wake you."

Just like Carter.

"He was able to alert the medics, only sustaining bruising to his arms and chest, but unfortunately they were unable to approach because of Garmr and had to stun you both."

"Garmr?" I looked around, already so used to the presence of the werga that I expected to see him sitting somewhere nearby.

"He prevented Brymer's rescue."

I started to worry. Memories of the effects of whatever they had used to stun me surfaced and I imagined what it must have felt like for the werga.

"Where is he? Is he okay?"

Thor squeezed my hand slightly. "Do not worry. He is still sedated and we are using this opportunity to study him as we intended when he first arrived on Orilla."

They wouldn't hurt him, would they? These were the Asgard - the good guys. Right?

Footsteps sounded, bare feet slapping on the floor.

"I am sorry, Commander Thor, but I have been monitoring the general's life signs and they have elevated dramatically." A light flashed in my eyes as Eriffer pointed some sort of instrument at me that looked remarkably like a penlight. "He should not be placed under more stress."

"Then wake Garmr up and get him back here!" I don't know who was more stunned, them or me. Where that hell had that come from? It wasn't like I was that concerned about the aggravating creature. "Look, I didn't bring the werga here to be a guinea pig."

The two gray guys exchanged confused looks and I took a deep breath. "He's not a just an object for you to study, he's . . . " Actually, I didn't know what he was, I just knew I felt as bad and worried about this as I had when our scientists wanted to get their hands on Teal'c.

"He is dangerous. It may be better if we returned him to his planet without delay."

I pushed myself up, angrily turning my attention to Thor. "He isn't dangerous. He's fine. Anyway, you said yourself that he's a wild animal. Personally, I think he's been pretty well behaved considering." I paused in an effort to collect myself. "And he doesn't want to go back."

If Asgard had eyebrows they would have raised them.

Oh, crap! I'd gone completely wacko.

Eriffer stepped forward again, this time putting a hand on my chest as if to push me back down. "You should not upset yourself this way. Your serotonin is already at a dangerous level."

"I shall bring Garmr here, O'Neill. Please listen to Eriffer while I am gone." Thor hurried from the room without another word, leaving me sitting on the bed, my head pounding in time with the pulse in my forehead.

"Please lie down, General, while I explain what we have found." I did so, which seemed to cause him an extraordinary amount of relief. "The test results have enabled us to develop a plan of treatment."

"So you can stop this - this . . ." I stopped, unsure how to explain the totally fucked up emotions I had experienced over the last months.

"We can, however we need a sample of the medication you were prescribed by your Earth physician and which Commander Thor tells me you discarded while on his ship. The amount remaining in your body is not sufficient to extrapolate the effects it has had. We thought to contact the SGC and obtain some, however Commander Thor suggested we wait until I had spoken to you first."

No one at the SGC knew about my problem expect Daniel and Teal'c and I couldn't be sure they would be on base. Did I want to trust anyone else with the knowledge?

The short answer was - no way!

To contact anyone other than through the Stargate would mean a trip to my home galaxy in an Asgard ship - something I wasn't willing to do so soon after the last disastrous voyage. That left only one way to handle this. I would have to go through the gate myself. That way I could keep the whole thing as low-key as possible, and I had a perfectly logical explanation for my sudden return. The Wraith.

"How soon do you need the sample? I would prefer to go get some myself."

He took a small object from a nearby table and peered into it, then answered. "It would be preferable if your physical condition was improved before you travel through the wormhole. We can begin treating some of your symptoms while you regain weight and start the exercise to restore strength in your legs. Brymer would have explained some of this to you."

I nodded, not wanting to admit just how confused I had been when I first left the medical pod. He seemed to take that as agreement.

"Very well. I see no reason why you shouldn't return to your quarters as soon as I have administered the first medication, if that is agreeable to you?"

I nodded and he took a remarkably evil looking metallic needle from the same table and placed it against the side of my neck. The shot was quick - a sudden jolt and a burst of warmth throughout my body. My eyes were already closing when he spoke again.

"I shall have you taken to your room now, General. Do not worry, the sleep will do you good."

My last thought was that I hoped they set an alarm clock to wake me up this time.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

Six days later I was standing in front of the Orilla Stargate, waiting for the wormhole to form, Garmr at my side.

"Now, last time I asked you not to embarrass me look what you went and did. And we haven't fully discussed the issue of fleas, have we." The surface of the large circle burst into brilliant blue and I tightened my grip on his coat. "What about a black leather collar with spikes?"

His snarl echoed through the vortex as we stepped forward.

TBC


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