Dr. Warner entered the control room. “Sir, I have those medical reports you were waiting for. Major Griff did suffer some minor frostbite, but the rest of his team is fine.”
“Thank you, Doctor.”
“Any word from the planet?” he asked.
“I spoke to Administrator Caulder. He regretfully informed me that his search of the city turned up nothing.”
“So, that’s it?”
“Short of going to war, all we can do is break off diplomatic relations. I’m not authorized to do that just yet.”
“I take it they have something we want?”
“They’re quite advanced in metallurgical, chemical, and medical technologies.”
“We must have something they want, or they wouldn’t have proposed trade.”
“Stargate technology – gate addresses.”
“I can understand that. They’re surrounded by ice.”
“As far as I’m concerned, they need us a hell of a lot more than we need them. Apparently Administrator Caulder doesn’t seem to think so. I think he likes things just the way they are.”
“Doesn’t leave you with many options, does it, sir?”
“No, it doesn’t. Which is why I’ve asked Colonel O’Neill and Major Griff to draw up covert search and rescue plans.”
“I’m sure you won’t have any shortage of volunteers.”
The general nodded.
Therra and Neva were sitting together eating their meal. After Karlan got his food, he joined them.
“Any more dreams?” Therra asked.
“I saw that pool of light again, except this time we were all there – including Tor.”
“A lot of numbers and letters keep popping into my mind. SG-1, DHD, GDO...”
“Sounds like gibberish to me.” He looked at the brunette. “Neva?”
“Um... I dreamed about... naked people.” She quickly took a bite of her bread as she blushed, and stole a glance at Therra.
A heavy silence hung in the air for a few seconds.
Therra noticed another worker eating from a white plastic bowl – it triggered something in her mind. “Excuse me?” She offered her practically full portion of gruel for his empty bowl. He accepted and the blonde turned the bowl upside-down.
“Therra?” Neva prodded.
She placed the bowl on the table. “That means something.”
“What is it?”
“I don’t know yet.”
Therra and Neva got up and left, wanting a few minutes alone before their break was over.
Kegan, seeing that Karlan was finally alone, walked over. “I see you’ve made some new friends.”
“I’m sorry, Kegan.” He walked away, leaving the upset woman behind.
Brenna was brought in to check on Tor.
“I don’t understand. His condition is getting worse. Let me check his wound,” a male worker said and reached for the bandaging around Tor’s waist.
She stopped him. “Under no circumstance are you to remove those bandages. Just make sure he continues to eat and drink.”
After they walked away, Tor opened his eyes and started to undo his bandages.
Therra and Neva were sitting on the ground in their ‘out of the way area’ next to each other, their shoulders touching.
“I remember something,” said the blonde. “There’s a man... tall, graying hair... and somehow he’s important to me. I think his name is Mac... Mac Gyver.”
“Doesn’t ring a bell.”
Neva bit her lower lip, not sure if she should say anything. “Just a lot of vague images,” she said, looking away. However, she leaned against the blonde’s shoulder. “You know, there are things about this place that I like.”
“Really?” Therra asked, looking down into dark brown eyes.
Neva met the blonde’s gaze, letting her feelings show in her eyes. Therra seemed to suddenly understand... and looked away. She spoke after a few moments of heavy silence.
“Would it mean anything if I told you I remember something else?”
“I remember feeling... feelings.”
Neva’s smile was beautiful. “For me?”
“No, for Tor,” she said with a sardonic smirk. “Yes, for you,” she said softly.
The brunette gazed into bright blue eyes, her heart skipping a beat and then racing.
“I don’t remember much, but I do remember that,” Therra said.
They both leaned in until their lips met in a sweet kiss. A contented sigh escaped from both as they kissed again and again. Then one parted her lips and lightly traced the other’s lip with the tip of her tongue.
Neva shifted to sit on Therra’s lap, straddling her thighs, as the blonde’s hands slid under Neva’s top. Therra trailed kisses down the brunette’s throat, nuzzling her pulse point as she captured a full breast in her hand. Neva sucked in a quiet gasp when a thumb flicked across her hard nipple, sending shockwaves through her body that all seemed to terminate between her legs. The brunette lifted Therra’s head so she could capture her lips in a passionate kiss. She took the blonde’s hand in her own and guided it down between her legs.
“Touch me,” she quietly implored.
Therra could feel the heat radiating from the brunette. She gently cupped Neva and felt the material of her pants dampen as the brunette squirmed on her lap, pressing herself against Therra’s hand. It wasn’t enough. She needed to feel Neva without the barrier. Therra moved her hand away, eliciting a whimper, but only long enough to untie the drawstring of the brunette’s pants and slip her hand inside.
Neva’s breath hitched as nimble fingers explored her, touched her, teased her. Her hips began moving of their own volition, seeking more pressure on all the right places. She gasped as a couple of fingers suddenly slid inside her. She clung to the blonde as every nerve ending in her body sang.
The blonde moaned at the sensation of her fingers buried inside Neva’s wet heat. She pumped her fingers in and out of the brunette, using the heel of her hand to keep pressure where Neva needed it most. Neva’s hips jerked in time with the thrusting of Therra’s fingers until she threw back her head and moaned as her entire body spasmed. Therra gently cradled Neva’s head to her shoulder after the brunette’s entire body collapsed following her orgasm.
“God, that was incredible,” Therra whispered and kissed Neva’s shoulder. She could feel the brunette’s lips smile against her neck.
“It feels like I’ve waited for that... for you... for years,” Neva murmured.
Therra gave her a squeeze. “I’m sorry we didn’t do that sooner,” she said softly.
Neva lifted her head up and looked into beautiful blue eyes. “It’s okay. What matters is what happens from now on.”
She lowered her mouth to Therra’s and kissed her gently and thoroughly. She deftly untied the drawstring on the blonde’s pants and slipped her hand down through damp curls to find wet, swollen flesh. Already on the edge from their activities, Neva’s skillful touch made Therra come after only a few seconds.
Neva withdrew her hand and brought her fingers to her lips, sucking them into her mouth and moaning at the exquisite taste. There was a fire in her eyes when she locked eyes with Therra. “Mmmm, I want more.”
They spent most of the night discovering what made them moan and whimper with want and need. They managed to make it back to the barracks and Therra’s bed mat an hour or so before morning.
Brenna once again stood across from the Administrator’s desk. She handed him a report, after which he immediate used a steri-cloth to wipe his hands.
“For some reason, Tor seems to be having an adverse reaction to the memory stamp. I-I think he may be dying.”
Caulder shrugged. “Workers die. What about his friends?”
“I’ve received a report. They are gathering together in secret. Administrator, I think they are starting to remember. Their brain chemistry is slightly different than ours – that could be the reason. But we can re-stamp them.”
“No. No, I think it’s time they found out what it’s like outside.”
“All they really did was disapprove of our treatment of the workers,” she tried to reason.
“No, NO! No, they did much more than disapprove,” he exclaimed angrily. “They passed judgment on us, Brenna. I’m simply doing the same.”
“Yes, sir.” She wasn’t happy with his decision.
“Brenna, if for some reason you can’t comply with my orders–”
“It’s my honor to serve, Administrator,” she quickly cut in.
He smiled arrogantly. “Yes, it is.”
Therra woke up on her bed mat spooning Neva. It felt so right. Why hadn’t they made love before? She spotted the white plastic bowl from dinner the previous night. She couldn’t take her eyes off of it. She reached over Neva and turned the bowl upside-down. She thought she could imagine an image inside of it... the image of a city.
“Very impressive. Too bad, it’s a lie!” Sam said.
Administrator Caulder frowned. “I don’t understand.”
“While we were on the grand tour, Daniel spotted some ventilation shafts coming out of apparently nowhere. We checked it out.”
“You were supposed to stay with your escort.”
“Yeah. I see how you wouldn’t want outsiders to know about your little slave labor force underground.”
“They are merely workers,” he said with a dismissive wave of his hand.
“And what made them so worthy of that?”
“Administrator, I will not recommend trade with a culture that enslaves its own people. I don’t care what technology you have to offer.”
“This system of government has allowed our culture to survive an ice age,” he pointed out.
“Tell me, what’s the secret? Starvation? Fortune? What?”
“Our methods are quite... civilized.”
“Really?!” she asked, clearly unconvinced.
“Yes. In fact, I’ll show you.”
A buzzer sounded, waking up Neva. Therra gave the brunette a squeeze before they both got up. She spoke quietly to her as they dressed. “Neva, I think I know what’s going on.”
Before the brunette could respond, a foreman walked up. “Therra, Neva, report to Brenna’s office.”
Just as the two women, and Karlan, arrived in Brenna’s office, two men carried in an unconscious Tor.
“Put him down over there,” she said indicating the couch. “You’re dismissed.”
“What’s the matter with him?” Neva asked.
“Kelnorim!” Karlan excitedly exclaimed.
“What?” asked Therra.
“I’m not sure what it means, but I think–”
“It’s a kind of meditation. He has to do it every day, or he gets sick. Right?” Therra finished.
“So, why doesn’t he do it?” Neva asked.
“Because he can’t remember,” the blonde said quietly... a few sporadic memories were beginning to return.
“Major Carter is correct. As you’ve begun to suspect, all of you have had your memories altered. You are Dr. Janet Fraiser, Dr. Daniel Jackson, and your friend here is named Teal’c.”
“Where does Mac fit in?” Sam asked.
“You were all they sent down. At first, I thought it was necessary to protect the city. Now things have gone too far. You don’t belong here. You need to return to your own world. Your memories will come back more quickly once you are home.”
“Yes, through there.” She opened a door to show them the way... only to find Caulder and a couple of guards, all with guns. “Administrator Caulder!” She backed away.
“Brenna, I must say I’m disappointed, but not surprised. See, I’ve been watching you grow weaker for some time now,” he sneered.
“I’ve been coming to my senses.”
“Either way, you’re no longer of any use to me.” Without any compunction he shot her.
She dropped into her chair with a bullet wound in her shoulder.
“As for the rest of you, it’s time you found out what the surface of this planet is really like.”
During Caulder’s rant, Teal’c had gotten up from the couch. When a guard saw him from the corner of his eye and turned, Teal’c punched him in the face, sending him into the opposite wall, falling to the floor unconscious. As Caulder turned to see the commotion, Daniel grabbed his gun and hit him in the stomach, doubling him over and dropping him to his knees. Sam punched the other guard and took his gun. She aimed it at Caulder’s head.
Janet went to Brenna and helped her up from the chair, steadying her with an arm around her waist.
Sam looked at the big man that walked up to her. “Teal’c? Are you alright?”
“What happened?” Daniel asked.
“When I removed my bandages, and realized I was unlike the rest of you, I began to remember. I placed myself in a deep state of kelnorim for the night, and my symbiote restored me back to health.”
“Brenna should be alright if we can get her to the uh...” Janet trailed off, searching for the right word.
“Infirmary,” Sam supplied.
“You’ll never make it back to the stargate,” Caulder growled.
“You know something? We’ve got you as a hostage. I don’t see a problem.”
“Therra–” Daniel started.
“Sam,” she corrected.
“Right! We can’t. We have to tell these people what’s happening,” he said.
“You’re right.” Sam, with gun held to his head, forced Caulder to stand up. She then prodded him out onto the platform.
“Everybody! Can I have your attention please?” she called out to the workers below. She continued when she had their attention. “I’d like to introduce you to someone. This man has been keeping you locked up down here, while he and his friends live it up on the surface!”
“What are you talking about?” Kegan asked, clearly skeptical.
“Don’t listen to them! They shot Brenna! It’s true!” Caulder yelled.
“Listen to me! There is a big, domed city up there full of people you serve! They’ve been hiding it from you your entire lives!”
“It’s a lie!” yelled Kegan.
“She’s telling the truth, Kegan!” Daniel countered.
“You can’t let them get away!” Caulder insisted.
“Who are you?” Kegan asked.
“That’s a good question,” Sam replied.
“My name is Caulder. I was a supervisor in the mines before my transfer.”
“Yeah, whatever,” Sam muttered. “You want proof?!” she yelled. She aimed her gun up at the skylight.
Kegan cried out, “NOOO!!” as Sam pulled the trigger.
Glass showered down, but no snow or ice. Sunlight shone down on all the workers. Janet looked at Sam and smiled approvingly.
“No ice, no snow!” the blonde yelled.
“You’ve accomplished nothing! These people will never be accepted in the city.”
“I think you’re right about that.”
“That’s why we’re going to offer them a better place,” Daniel said.
“There’s this nice little tropical planet out there, where the beaches go on forever. This I remember clearly,” said Sam. “You and your people can do your own shoveling for a while.”
“You’re destroying a way of life!”
“That’s a shame. Teal’c? Want to show these people how to get out of here?”
“Ah! It hurts!” Brenna exclaimed as they walked back into her office.
“I know,” Janet soothed. “Try not to move it. We’re going to take you home with us.”
Daniel walked Brenna out.
Janet looked at Sam, not knowing what to expect. “So... Major...”
Sam looked at her friend and coworker for a few seconds. “Doctor.”
“That man, tall with graying hair, you were trying to remember?”
“He’s from Minnesota, you know. It’s all coming back.”
Sam’s gaze dropped as other, more recent, memories ran through her mind.
She looked back up at Janet. Finally, she spoke. “Let’s go home.”
Despite the hard labor they had all been subjected to, all four members of the team were checked through the infirmary with nothing more than a few aches and pains from strained muscles. After that, it was time for their debriefing.
Sam was standing outside the briefing room as the others arrived. She reached out and caught Janet’s arm, pulled her aside. “Janet, I need to talk to you.”
The blonde hesitated, but finally spoke. “About what happened on the planet...” she looked away, unable to maintain eye contact, “between us... or rather, Therra and Neva.” She took a deep breath. “We can’t... tell anyo–”
“Of course not. What happened was private, just between us.”
“You mean between Therra and Neva.”
Janet stiffened, hurt that Sam was so quick to distance herself from what had happened between them. “You needn’t worry.” She turned and quickly walked into the briefing room.
Sam saw the general coming so she headed into the briefing room as well. She noticed that Janet was already seated between Teal’c and Daniel. It surprised her a little because Janet invariably sat next to her when they were in briefings together.
The debriefing went well, but Sam did notice that Janet refused to look at her. When the general dismissed everyone, giving them a few days of downtime, Janet was the first one out the door. She didn’t even hold the elevator when Sam tried to catch up to her.
“Mom? Can I go with Ellie to the movies tonight and spend the night at her place?” Cassie frowned when her mother didn’t answer her. She walked from the kitchen into the living room, moving around the couch where her mother was seated. The expression on her mother’s face was pensive. “Mom?”
Janet blinked and looked up at her daughter. “I’m sorry, sweetie, did you say something?”
Cassie sat down next to her mother. “Are you okay, Mom? You’ve been... quiet since you got home yesterday.”
She smiled and patted her daughter’s leg. “I’m fine, sweetheart. I just have a lot on my mind.”
“Because of what happened off-world?”
“What?” Janet felt a moment of panic, wondering how her daughter knew!
“Having your memory taken and being forced to work like a slave.”
She relaxed and nodded. “Yeah, that’s all it is. So, did you want something?”
“I was going to ask if I could go to the movies with Ellie and then spend the night, but I can stay here with you if you want.”
Janet smiled. “No. You go with Ellie. Have a good time.”
“If you’re sure...”
“Go on, sweetie.”
Sam lay in bed tossing and turning. She hadn’t slept well the night before either – she’d had some very vivid dreams. Finally, she gave up and got out of bed, going into the kitchen and pouring herself a glass of juice.
When she got her memory back she had panicked. If the Air Force ever found out what had happened between Therra and Neva– No. What had happened between her and Janet. She took a deep breath and slowly let it out. If the Air Force found out it could jeopardize her career. That was why she had pulled Janet aside before the debriefing.
She closed her eyes and replayed certain events in her mind. She’d never felt anything like what she felt when making love with Ne– Janet.
That was it – they didn’t just have sex, they had made love.
“I’m in love with Janet.” As soon as she said it, she knew beyond any doubt that it was the truth... and had been for some time.
She stood and marched back into her bedroom. She needed to make things right. She got dressed and headed out, hopping on her bike and rushing over to Janet’s.
Janet was woken up by the insistent pounding on her front door. She grabbed her robe and slipped it on as she headed down the stairs. She managed to get it tied by the time she got to the front door. She looked out the peephole and frowned. She unlocked and opened the door just as Sam was about to start knocking again.
“What the hell are you doing, Sam?”
“I need to talk to you.”
Janet glanced at the clock in the hall. “At 2:30 in the morning?”
“Yeah. It’s important.”
With a sigh Janet gestured towards the living room as she relocked the door. When she entered the living room she found Sam pacing.
“What’s so important that you rode over here in the middle of the night?”
Sam stopped, turned to face Janet... and froze. She was on the verge of the best thing that had ever happened to her, and she was afraid of screwing it up.
Janet, still not completely over being hurt by the blonde’s recent actions, was beginning to lose patience. “Sam, either say whatever it was you came over here to say, or else I’m going to go back to bed and get some more sleep.”
The blonde took a deep breath and walked up to her best friend, gazing into her beautiful brown eyes. “Janet...” Sam reached out and took both of the brunette’s hands in her own. “I’m sorry.”
“For acting like an asshole when I didn’t want to acknowledge what happened between us. I was out of line.”
Janet dropped her gaze as tears welled and stung her eyes. She couldn’t say anything around the lump in her throat.
Sam let go of her hands, reached up and took Janet’s face in her hands, and gently urged her to raise her head and look at her. It broke her heart to see tears in Janet’s eyes. “The only excuse I have is that I was afraid. I was afraid of what would happen if the Air Force found out.” She lightly placed a finger over Janet’s lips when the brunette started to say something.
“I was afraid to admit my feelings,” she said softly. “I’m in love with you, Janet.” She gently tucked a strand of hair behind Janet’s ear. “And the only thing I’m afraid of now is losing you.”
Sam ducked her head and captured Janet’s lips in a tender kiss. Janet sighed softly as she felt the blonde’s arms wrap around her and she slipped her own arms around Sam. Their kiss deepened but remained gentle. Finally, they parted, but continued to gaze into one another’s eyes.
“It’s late, Sam.”
The blonde nodded. “I know. I’ll go so you can get some sleep.”
Janet smiled. “I’d rather you stayed.” She received a dimpled smile. “That way I can show you how much I love you.”
Arm in arm, they turned out the lights and walked upstairs.