Jackfic Archive Story

 

The Tears - Part 10 of 'An Education'

by Gumnut

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).


Daniel heard Jack call his name, and had been on the verge of responding when something else caught his attention.

Cassie's body was shaking.

He staggered over to the prone girl, his balance interrupted by the erratic movement of the chopper as it suddenly shifted sideways, and the battering of the wind that seemed to come from everywhere at once.

There was foam on her lips.

Her eyes were rolled back, seeing nothing. Seizure.

Oh, god.

What should he do?

The chopper suddenly started to spin on its central axis. Jack? Daniel stumbled forward and found the pilot just about unconscious. Jack was lifting his legs. What? Oh god!

Jack's scream as he put pressure on his broken ankles, raked across Daniel's nerves. The chopper stabilised itself momentarily only to start to spin once again as the pain riddled man teetered towards unconsciousness. Daniel grabbed Jack's shoulder and shook him. C'mon Jack. He hadn't realised he would need his feet. Damn.

"Jack!"

The shadow of the mountain cut off the sunlight and Jack suddenly focussed. Sweat ran down his brow, his hands white on the controls.

There wasn't anything Daniel could do.

He glanced back at Cassie. But then...

There was something he could do.

Reaching her, he loosened the straps slightly and rolled her onto her side. He dared not attempt to clear her airway, her teeth biting down in seizure sure to make short work of his fingers. She still trembled, but the shakes seemed less persistent. Spittle ran down the side of her face. Her pulse thudded fast under his fingers.

Glancing out the hole in the cabin, Daniel saw the ground leering closer and closer. He quickly checked to see if Janet's stretcher was secure. The chopper spun sideways and threw him into a bulkhead. His head contacted hard metal and he saw stars.

There was a scream of pure defiance and heart rending agony, torn away by the wind.

Daniel heard his name.

And the world slid sideways once again, inverted, and came crashing down on him.

**********

It was damp.

Damp, rough, and it was stabbing him like a thousand large needles. Grit ground between his teeth. There was blood in his mouth.

He spat dirt.

Opening his eyes, Jack was confronted by a mass of green and brown. Bark and leaves. Pine needles? A forest? Another reason to hate trees.

Where the hell was he?

Voices.

The screech of metal.

He lifted his head and the world spun. Oh god, that was not good. He raised a hand and rubbed it across his face, clenching his eyes closed. A burning raked his arm. He glanced down and found a bloody graze amongst shredded material and dressings that ran the length of his arm. It was hardly registering at the moment but he knew soon he would wish for oblivion.

His abrupt movement suddenly set the pine needles beneath him moving. Pain shot up his legs, his spine, oh god, he hurt all over. There was blood on the ground. Bile rose in his throat and he spat onto brown needles. The surface beneath him shifted again.

He froze.

He was on a slope. How he came to rest here, he didn't know, but his position was tenuous at best.

"Jack?!" Daniel?

"Jack?!"

Daniel? His brain struggled to function. Where had he been? What planet was he on?

He looked up to see a figure at the crest of the slope. Backlit by the light of the sky, Jack had to squint to see. Mangled cyclone fencing. Earth? He couldn't think. His head swam. The figure wavered, holding a hand to its head.

"Jack?!"

Daniel almost toppled over, but another figure caught him. Voices murmured, he couldn't understand what they were saying, he was too far away. The figures disappeared. No, come back!

He tried to call out, but his voice was gone, a vague croak, the taste of bile, pine resin, and dirt.

He had to get up there. He needed help.

His body was trembling.

He had the determination. He had the will.

But his body had no more to give, and as he attempted to move his legs, the ground shifted under him. He slid further down the slope. Hot pokers stabbed from his ankles to his spine, and a knife dug into his side.

He cried out. A ragged sound of pain and desperation swallowed by the trees.

His head dropped, needles stuck in his hair. He couldn't give up. His nails clawed pine and ground into the dirt. He couldn't. He couldn't. He couldn't.

He had to move.

He had to move.

His body drifted sideways and slid down a little further.

He choked on his own frustration, and anger. Blood and spit ran down his chin leaving trails in the dirt on his face.

He closed his eyes.

Yelling. His name?

He looked up. A dozen silhouettes stood against the sky. Movement. The soft hiss of pine needles. The soft chatter of worried words.

They were coming.

They were coming.

Oh, thank god.

***********

Sam Carter had never driven the mountain road so fast in her life. She took corners so quickly that at one point she could've sworn she had only had two wheels on the road at a time. Teal'c clung to the door and the dash for dear life, but said nothing.

They were both in a hurry.

Hammond had called, his tone urgent and more high pitched than usual. The chopper was in trouble.

They had a Goa'uld on board.

The pilot had radioed base screaming something about a crazed woman and a weapon capable of ripping a hole in the side of the cabin. There had been screams in the background.

The base, having received orders from General Hammond, reported directly to him. Hammond recognised the probability of a Goa'uld on board and ordered the chopper to the Mountain. SG teams two and five had been ordered up top, and Hammond had called in two F-15s from Petersen. They couldn't afford to let a Goa'uld loose in the population. That chopper was coming down in their control or not at all, regardless of who was on board.

Then the pilot had reported the loss of his co-pilot. The craft had staggered out of control on radar, and for a moment Hammond had thought they had lost it anyway.

The roar of the two F-15s as they tore over Colorado Springs only had Sam slamming the accelerator harder into the floor. They hadn't seen the chopper since it had left Janet's house, but the images of those close to her on board floated in her brain.

It had to have been Cassie. The Colonel had no entry wounds. Though they had seen Goa'uld enter a host through other means. But then she should have sensed it. She cursed, shoving the car down another gear and gunning the engine again.

Her phone rang. A glance at Teal'c and the Jaffa reached down and answered it.

She could hear Hammond's measured tones. Teal'c's face twitched.

He ended the conversation before turning to her, her attention darting between him and the swerving road.

"The helicopter has crashed in the Cheyenne Mountain parking lot." His face betrayed little expression, but the worry was in his eyes.

"Damn!" She hit the steering wheel. "Do they know anymore?"

"General Hammond has sent the SGC medical teams to the site. We will be there shortly."

She knew it, but that didn't stop her from expressing her frustration and worry. God forbid anyone from coming down the mountain and getting in her way.

**********

They had to stop at the gate. Security was still a priority. She literally threw her ID at the guard, cursing the delay.

She was waved in, and drove around the bend into a scene of chaos.

The chopper had obviously come in too low and too fast. Gouges in the asphalt where the skids had contacted clearly tracked its path. The tail rotor had attempted some form of origami with the cyclone fence and finding itself snagged, had spun the main body of the craft around in pivot, flinging it into a group of parked vehicles.

Fire retardant foam was everywhere, and a group of emergency workers had set up the `jaws of life' preparing to break into the mangled cabin.

She shoved the car to the side of the road and was out and running before the engine died.

There were people in uniform everywhere. Medics, the flash of SGC patches. A familiar bald head caught her attention and she hurried over. "General!"

"Major!" He raised his hands to halt her headlong rush. "We're getting them out now."

There was the screech of tortured metal as the cabin was broken open from the side not jammed up against the remains of a car. She forced herself not to run over and attempt to assist, she knew she would only get in the way, but she edged sideways desperate to catch a view of her friends.

Janet was the first one out.

Fortunately the inside of the cabin, though jammed shut, had remained mostly intact. Most likely the tail rotor tangling in the fence, the saviour of the moment.

Medics hovered around the unconscious Doctor, worried glances bouncing back and forth, medical gadgets surrounding her, buzzing and beeping.

Cassie was the second person rescued, quickly followed by a conscious, though wobbly, Daniel Jackson. He caught sight of the General and with a hand to his bleeding head, ignored all attempts to direct him to a waiting gurney, barrelling past the medics to his commanding officer.

"It was Cassie, General. A Goa'uld. I don't know how, but she has one in her." The General signalled Teal'c and the Jaffa made his way towards the stretcher where the young girl was urgently being attended to by the medics.

Daniel suddenly drifted sideways, and would have fallen if Hammond hadn't caught him. The archaeologist swore softly before forcing himself to stand up straight. "Sorry, sir." He suddenly looked around, his expression worried. "Where's Jack?"

"They haven't pulled him out yet." Hammond reached out an arm and made an attempt to direct the stumbling man to the medics hovering behind him, but Daniel refused, turning and heading towards the cockpit of the fallen chopper.

"Where is he?"

Sam caught up with him as the man started yelling out Jack's name. "Daniel!"

The wavering archaeologist nearly fell, the edge of the slope down the mountainside a hairsbreadth away from claiming him, and she had to move quickly to prevent his fall. He was mumbling the Colonel's name over and over. "Daniel?" With the General's help she made to walk him back to the medics, but he suddenly started struggling and she was hard put to restrain him. If it weren't for his head injury she wouldn't have had a chance. Even the General seemed to be straining to hold the man in place.

"Sam! Lemme go!"

"Daniel, you've been injured. You need medical attention."

"But Jack....oh, god, his feet."

"Emergency services will get him out. They are doing their best."

"Sam, Jack was flying the damn thing!" He dug his heels in and pointed to the cockpit, its smashed glass revealing plainly its lone occupant, the pilot, being attended by two medics in preparation of his removal. He was still unconscious.

Sam's blood froze. Oh god.

She glanced at the General. His brief nod sent her running.

Where could he be? If he had been thrown out during the crash, he could be anywhere. Cars marched in lines like a forest of places to hide an injured man.

Goddamnit, Carter, you're a physicist, work it out!

There were shouts of the Colonel's name as Hammond made it back to the medical staff, his orders sending SG-5 branching out amongst the vehicles in search.

She eyed the tracks where the chopper had impacted with the ground, and followed them. She detailed in her mind where in its descent it would have tangled with the fence, where it had suddenly stopped its motion, where a hapless pilot could be thrown.

Her eyes skipped over the edge of the car park and down into the forest below.

Oh, god, oh, god, oh, god.

She made it to the top of the slope, her eyes squinting, desperate to see down under the dark trees.

A distant pile of discarded rags.

"Colonel!"

The rags moved.

With a scream to the General, she stepped off the edge.

**********

It had hurt.

It had hurt bad.

The manhandling up the mountain side, the shaking, the jarring, the simple effort of breathing.

But through it all had been familiar voices of reassurance, the occasional touch, guarantees of his safety, and once his stretcher was lifted above the top of the slope, he got a clear view of the Doc, and her daughter, plus an array of familiar faces. Recent events surfaced in his mind as he realised where he was, what was happening, and the fact that he and his team were safe from threat. He finally allowed himself to relax.

He was safe.

Janet was safe.

Cassie would be safe. He promised himself that. Jacob owed him a favour. Damnit, half the frickin' universe owed him a favour. They would get that stinking Goa'uld out of her, and he would gain some immense pleasure by grinding it to death under the heel of his boot.

The medical staff had been busy with him from the moment they saw him. Poking, prodding, wrapping, testing this, testing that, and, yes, that did goddamn hurt, thanks for asking. But the moment they had him secured, they trundled him off towards the infirmary.

Janet was stabilised and was sent along with him and the mob of medics. Daniel also hitched a ride with Jack. Apparently the archaeologist was taking a note or two out of the Jack O'Neill Book of Patient Conduct and wasn't behaving himself in the slightest. A doctor continually hovered behind him as if waiting for the man to fall on his face.

Jack could empathise with that.

As they entered the familiar tunnel and the sun was cut off, Jack O'Neill closed his eyes.

**********

"Sir!"

Hammond looked up from his discussion with Meyers - on how they were planning to remove the mangled wreck from on top of his car - to see Major Carter and Teal'c hurrying over to him.

"Sir, we have a problem." The look on Carter's face was enough to stop him breathing for a moment. "The Goa'uld is missing."

"Missing?"

Teal'c's voice was matter of fact. "It is no longer in Cassandra Fraiser."

"Well, where is it?"

Carter swallowed, worry creasing her brow. "We don't know, sir."

**********


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