Title: A Different Point of View
Word Count: ~ 7380
Summary: What if it hadn’t been Jack that Dr. Carter was married to in her reality?
Spoilers/Timeline: This is an AU version of S3E06 – Point of View
Archive: Only with permission
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and their characters do not belong to me. They belong to MGM and Gekko. No copyright infringement intended; no money being made. This is just some fan-fiction fun.
A Different Point of View
“Major! Come on!” the blonde yelled.
“We got to go back for the general!” Kawalsky exclaimed, hesitating.
“I can’t shut it down. I won’t find this window again. We have to go now!”
Kawalsky threw a grenade down the hall and they both reached out to touch the mirror. Sooner than either of them could form the thought that they’re in a new universe, the grenade went off and the mirror went black.
“You sure this is the right one to go to,” the major asked.
“Anywhere’s better than the alternative,” Dr. Carter responded as she took a couple of steps and tripped a security sensor.
“I guess we’ll see about that.”
Armed SFs swarmed the area.
“Drop your weapons! Do it now!”
They did so reluctantly.
“I’m Dr. Samantha Carter from the SGA. This is Major Kawalsky. We need to speak to your commander.”
She wanted to smash the damn phone for rudely ringing only a couple of hours after she’d gotten to sleep. She reached out and brought her hand down on the cordless phone, a little harder than necessary, and picked it up.
“Doctor? I need you to report to the base, immediately.”
She came immediately awake at the sound of General Hammond’s voice. “Yes, sir.”
The phone clicked off before she could even think of asking a question. Captain Janet Fraiser, the Chief Medical Officer of the SGC, got up and dressed. Before leaving, she opened the door to her daughter’s room. Cassie was sound asleep.
Downstairs, Janet grabbed her purse and walked out of the house. Before getting into her car, she knocked on the neighbor’s door. After only a minute the door opened.
“I’m sorry to wake you, Mrs. Beckett. But I’ve been called into the base.”
“Oh, dear. I hope it’s nothing too serious.”
“Of course, dear. Go. I’ll stay with Cassandra.” Mrs. Beckett stepped out onto her porch, closing the door behind her. She walked down the porch steps with Janet and over to the Fraiser home. She waved to Janet as she got into her car and then entered the house.
Janet entered the general’s office. “Reporting as ordered, sir.”
“Thank you for coming in, Doctor.”
“What can I do for you, sir?”
He stood and came out from behind his desk. “Come with me.”
When the general opened the door to a conference room, Janet’s eyes widened. She looked at the general. “Sir?”
“This is Dr. Samantha Carter and Major Kawalsky. They say they’re from an alternate reality. I need you to verify they are who they say they are.”
Janet did what she could to put her two patients at ease. But there was definitely a lot of tension in Dr. Carter. No matter what Janet tried, the blonde simply wouldn’t speak beyond the minimum number of words required to answer her questions.
Dr. Carter was having some difficulty dealing with things. Despite the fact that it was her theories she’d proven correct by using the quantum mirror, she felt a little out of her element. In her reality, Janet, Jack, Walter, and so many others, were dead. It was good to see Janet alive and well, but at the same time, it was more than a little disconcerting.
Colonel Jack O’Neill had also received a call from the general.
“So, what’s the big emer–” The sight of Carter with long hair threw him as he walked into the infirmary. “Whoa! What happened to you?”
“Jack?” Since when did Carter call him by his first name?
“It’s me. It’s Samantha.”
“I never expected this variation. You’re alive... just like Janet.”
Kawalsky entered and smiled at Jack’s expression. “Don’t feel so bad, Colonel. Everybody around here is telling me the same thing.”
“Kawalsky?” Jack knew he was seeing things.
“In a manner of speaking,” said General Hammond.
Janet entered. “Actually, in a manner of fact, sir. This is Major Charles Kawalsky in almost every physical respect: his blood work, his dental records–”
“But I’m not supposed to be alive in this reality any more than you or Doc are in mine.” The major looked at Dr. Carter. “Sorry, Samantha.”
“It’s not the same here,” she said softly.
“Does anyone want to let me know what the hell is going on here? Anyone?” Jack demanded.
General Hammond was the one to answer him. “They appeared a few hours ago in a Nellis high security lockup.”
“That quantum mirror you got locked up at Area 51? You guys never figured out how to use it?” asked Kawalsky.
“Is he talking about that alternate reality thing Daniel futzed with on 233?”
“Who’s Daniel?” the major asked.
“We can’t be followed if that’s what you’re worried about. We brought the remote through with us,” Dr. Carter said.
“I’ve ordered the device sent here under heavy guard,” Hammond stated.
“Where we come from, the Goa’ulds just took over the world, Colonel,” Kawalsky explained.
All of SG-1 had been called in. After the general tried to explain the situation, as he understood it, he turned on a video made at Nellis of an officer interviewing Dr. Carter.
“Look, I’ve told you this. Now let me talk to someone from the SGA,” Dr. Carter insisted.
“SGA? There is no such organization.”
“Well, then you call it something else. The Stargate Project. Stargate Command.”
“The stargate. What do you know about the stargate?”
“What do I know?! Everything! We’ve been through this!”
“Well, let’s go through it again.”
“Oh, for crying out loud! It’s a big round thing. It takes you to other planets. I made it work four years ago and we have been exploring the galaxy ever since. That is, up until yesterday, when the Goa’uld came and started taking over every major city from orbit and making slaves of the population.”
General Hammond paused the tape.
“Oh, my god. This is too weird,” exclaimed Sam.
“Yeah. How about that hair?” O’Neill quipped unnecessarily.
“She claims to have travelled from an alternate universe in the same manner Dr. Jackson experienced a year ago,” Hammond explained.
“Well this can’t be the Dr. Carter I met in the alternate reality. She’s... dead.”
“Alright, uh, just to clarify... this Carter is from an alternate alternate reality?” Jack asked.
Daniel nodded, “Apparently.”
“Anybody else have a problem with that?”
“Which reality is actually real?” Teal’c asked.
“She explains it,” the general said and restarted the video.
“Look, I know this is hard for you to understand. But, according to quantum theory, for every possible universe, there are an infinite number of variations, diverging at every choice we make like forks in a road.”
Hammond again paused the tape.
Sam perked up. “She’s right.”
“You just agreed with yourself,” Jack said.
“No, actually Major Carter agreed with Dr. Carter,” Daniel pointed out. “She never joined the military in her reality.”
Jack looked at him. “Fork in the road stuff?”
“Alright, so it’s possible there’s an alternate version of myself out there that actually understands what the hell you’re talking about?”
“They’ve asked to be debriefed,” said Hammond. “I’d like you all to participate.” He turned to the SF at the door. “Show them in.”
Dr. Carter and Major Kawalsky entered. Kawalsky didn’t react well to Teal’c’s presence.
“What the hell is he doing here?!”
“Kawalsky!” Jack tried to calm his friend.
“He’s a member of SG-1,” Daniel calmly informed him.
“Who the hell are you?”
“Oh, um, I’m Daniel Jackson – also a member of SG-1.”
“Have a seat, Major,” the general ordered.
Kawalsky sat on the opposite side of the table to Teal’c, next to Daniel. As Kawalsky took a seat, Dr. Carter noticed Sam.
“Nice... hair,” she said hesitantly.
“Uh, Air Force.”
“I can’t imagine that – going military.”
“Wow. I can’t imagine not.”
Dr. Carter also took a seat and the general got things started.
“First of all, I would like to say we know what you’ve been through. Dr. Jackson experienced a similar alternate reality some time ago on a mission to P3X-233.”
“Well, that’s where we found our quantum mirror as well,” said Dr. Carter.
“Fortunately for us, Dr. Jackson was able to return with some intelligence that enabled SG-1 to stop the Goa’uld attack here on Earth.”
“Nice. That goes a long way to explaining why yours was only one of a handful of alternate realities that looked like it hadn’t been overrun by the Goa’uld.”
“Actually, it’s probably the very differences that set our universes apart from yours that have contributed to our survival,” Sam pointed out. “Daniel’s participation in the Stargate Program, Teal’c’s change of heart, the fact that I joined the military–”
“You think that your being in the Air Force could have made that big a difference?” Dr. Carter snapped at Sam.
“No. I just said it made a contribution.”
“And therefore I didn’t?!”
“Ladies. Sams... we’re all in this reality together,” Jack pointed out, trying to calm things a bit.
The general nodded. “What we need to know is where you intend to go from here.”
Dr. Carter, obviously still a bit upset, answered. “Our Beta site was instructed to bury their stargate the moment the last man stepped through. And our own world is under Goa’uld control, so we can’t go back.”
“We want to stay,” Kawalsky said, cutting to the chase.
“That is... if we’re wanted. We just left behind everyone we know, everyone we ever cared about. If you’re not going to give us a second chance, I don’t know any of you.”
“That’s it exactly,” said Jack. “You don’t know any of us. And we don’t know you. For all we know you could be her evil twin,” he said pointing at Sam. “But then we’d be dealing with clichés, and you know how I feel about those. No, actually, you know how I feel about those,” he said once again pointing at Sam. In his own clumsy way Jack had actually made a valid point.
“Okay, I’ll speak with my superiors and make a determination. For now, you’ll be assigned temporary accommodations. Take them to A3 quarters,” Hammond ordered.
Sam walked Dr. Carter to her quarters. “Listen, I didn’t mean to offend you back there.”
“Look, Major, I’m the one dealing with the inadequacy issues here. Just forget about it.”
“We knew the Goa’uld were coming for six months. I couldn’t think of a way to stop them. You did.” Dr. Carter dejectedly walked into her assigned room.
“I'll be just outside if you need me, ma’am,” the female SF standing at the door to her quarters said.
“Of course you will.”
The SF closed the door.
Inside the room Dr. Carter sat on the bed and took a photograph out of her pocket. After tenderly caressing it with her fingertips she set it on the nightstand. It was a wedding picture.
Jack sat in a chair waiting as General Hammond fielded an important phone call.
“Yes, sir. I understand, sir... Thank you, sir.” Hammond hung up the phone and looked at the colonel. “They can stay.”
“That was quick.”
“Too quick. God knows what we’re getting into.”
“Well the combined IQ points of Earth might go up a few points having two Carters around.”
The general didn’t smile.
“I take it you figure there’s a down side.”
“It just doesn’t sit right. Some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.” He sighed. “Nonetheless, I’ve been encouraged to find a way to incorporate them into this command.”
“Okay. In the meantime, do you want me to have them informed?”
There was a knock on the door before it opened.
“Just put it on the table and close the door on your way out,” Dr. Carter said without turning and looking.
“I’m sorry? Put what on the table?” Sam asked.
Dr. Carter turned. “Major. I’m sorry. Come in. Your... your Dr. Fraiser keeps insisting that I eat something.”
“Ah. Well, she’s your Dr. Fraiser now, too,” Sam said with a smile. “You’re in. They said yes.”
A look of profound look sadness crossed Dr. Carter’s face before she managed to school her features into something more neutral. “That’s good.”
“Yeah. I can see you’re overjoyed.”
“I just never expected this. It’s so hard.”
“Uh, look... I can’t even begin to know what you’ve been through. I know you’ve lost a lot–”
“I lost her. I watched her die, Major. Three days ago, trying to defend the mountain. And here she is, alive and safe in this perfect world, and you don’t even–” She stopped abruptly and turned away to hide her tears.
“I don’t what?”
“You don’t even see her that way, do you?”
Sam noticed the pictured on the nightstand. All the pieces suddenly fell into place. “I take it, where you’re from, you and Janet were...”
Dr. Carter turned to face Sam. “This makes you uncomfortable.”
“No, no, not at all. I just...”
There was another knock on the door. The female SF opened the door, holding a tray with a meal on it.
“Ma’am?” She saw Sam. “Sorry, Major. I... I didn’t realize–”
“Just put it on the table, Airman,” Sam ordered.
“Close the door on your way out.”
The SF set the tray down, left, and shut the door behind her.
“I haven’t had a hot meal in forever,” Dr. Carter said with some wistfulness. “It was a couple of weeks ago. We were celebrating our first anniversary. We got the call that the Goa’uld ships had been spotted entering our solar system. We just left everything. I blew out the candles and Janet turned off the oven and we just left. They didn’t hit Colorado Springs from orbit like most of the big cities, so the table must still be set.”
Sam didn’t know what to say. She moved towards the door. “Listen, um, I should probably–”
“Please,” she pleaded. “And call me Samantha.”
“Look... you’re dealing with a loss right now that I can’t begin... What I mean is, maybe I’m not the right person to help you.”
“Who do you suggest I turn to? Your Dr. Fraiser?!” She took a couple of breaths in an effort to calm herself a little as she sat on the edge of the bed. “Look, I know you well enough to know you don’t have a clue what to say. But you don’t have to say anything.”
Sam sat next to the distraught woman and put her arm around her shoulder. “I’m sorry.”
“God, I miss her!”
Sometime later, Sam exited Dr. Carter’s quarters. She had a lot on her mind. Samantha had told her about how she and the Janet of her universe had been attracted to each other from the very beginning. But due to Janet being in the military they’d had to be careful. Eventually, after saving the world more than once, Janet had petitioned the White House for dispensation, paving the way for them to be able not only to be publically open with their relationship, but also to eventually get married.
She didn’t notice Colonel O’Neill as she stepped away from Samantha’s quarters.
She looked up and saw O’Neill. “Sir. General Hammond told me the news. I took the liberty of informing Dr. Carter.”
Jack nodded. “I just left Kawalsky. I thought I’d drop in on Dr. Carter, see how she’s doing.”
“She’s fine. I think she’d rather be left alone at the moment, sir. I’d wait until tomorrow.”
“Oh. Okay.” Jack sounded a little wounded. He couldn’t do anything about his attraction to his 21C, but Dr. Carter was a civilian. And she was still Carter... wasn’t, she?
“Well, good night, sir.” She turned to leave.
“Yes, sir?” Sam turned back.
“How are you doing with this... twin thing?”
“Do you have a couple of hours?”
“Okay,” he replied with uncertainty.
“That was the answer.”
“Good night, sir.” Sam walked away.
“Good night, Major.” O’Neill stood and stared at Dr. Carter’s closed door.
Sam entered the infirmary. She’d rushed from home as soon as she’d been called. She saw Janet standing next the bed Samantha was lying in.
“What is it? What’s happening?” Sam asked.
“Dr. Carter had gone into some sort of convulsive shock. I don’t know the cause and I don’t know how to stop it,” Janet said. Janet’s professionalism allowed her to appear composed to most observers, but Sam knew her well enough to hear the distress in her calm voice.
Dr. Carter went into a short-lived seizure.
“Easy.” Janet tried to comfort her, what little she could, with her gentle touch and voice.
“Not medical. Temporal. Entropic cascade failure,” explained Dr. Carter.
“On the cellular level?” asked Sam.
“Yes. I thought it would take years not days.”
“So it’s a side effect of travel through the quantum mirror.”
“Then why don’t I have it?” Kawalsky asked as he and O’Neill arrived.
“I’m guessing Dr. Carter has it because I’m here. The increased entropy generated by both of us existing in the same reality might theoretically be causing the temporal distortion.”
“Not theoretical anymore,” Dr. Carter pointed out.
“Okay, so then how do I treat this?” Janet asked.
“You can’t,” Dr. Carter said.
“The more time passes the worse it should get,” Sam added.
“So I’m going to die here.”
“You’re not going to die,” Jack insisted.
“Carter,” he snapped to shut her up.
“Well, the only way is if we send her back.”
It was obvious no one was happy with the answer Sam gave.
Kawalsky pointed out the obvious. “If she goes back, the Goa’uld will kill her.”
General Hammond and SG-1 were once again gathered in the conference room.
“Think about it,” Daniel said earnestly. “Billions of people enslaved. I just can’t help but feel that in the grand scheme of things, we owe them. Besides the only way to really help Dr. Carter is to stop the Goa’uld in her reality and save whatever’s left.”
“How do you suggest we do that Dr. Jackson?” the general asked. “The resources of their entire world couldn’t defend against the Goa’uld.”
“What about the resources of our world?”
“What do we have that they don’t?” Sam asked.
“Our fate. We made contact with the Asgard.”
Jack didn’t understand. “So?”
“So if Dr. Carter can make contact with the Asgard in her reality, maybe their Asgard will be willing to help them.”
“And just how do you propose we raise the Asgard, in their reality?” Jack asked.
“Okay, we still have the dialing program that took you to the Asgard home planet, right?”
Sam understood and got excited. “Which we could download to a removable hard drive. But that still won’t do it. Remember, in order to dial the Asgard home world Colonel O’Neill had to build a generator to transfer extra energy to the gate’s capacitors. I can’t get it to work again. Apparently, it was designed to work only once.”
“Assuming Major Carter can figure it out, once in her reality it will be difficult to get Dr. Carter to the stargate without the Goa’uld detecting and stopping her,” Teal’c pointed out.
Kawalsky stepped into the briefing room. “That’s where I come in. Permission to join the briefing, sir?”
Hammond gave permission with a nod and indicated for him to sit down.
“I’ll get her to the stargate. What? You think I’m going to let her go alone? She’s one of my best friends – I was in her wedding.”
Jack’s head jerked up at that. He looked at Sam, trying to divine if she’d known Dr. Carter was married. Sam refused to meet his gaze.
“You’ll need someone to hook up the power generator,” he finally said, obviously volunteering for the mission.
“And download the dialing program,” Sam added.
“You will also require my assistance,” Teal’c stated.
Kawalsky shook his head. “We can handle this,” he said, declining the Jaffa’s offer of assistance.
“No, Teal’c has a point,” Daniel said. “You said yourself that Teal’c led the assault on the mountain in your reality. Couldn’t we use something like that to our advantage?
“Quite the military mind, Daniel Jackson,” Jack quipped with a smile.
“No, sir. I’m sorry. Teal’c can’t go anymore than I can – entropic cascade failure. If I go, there will still be two of me in one reality. And the same will be true with Teal’c.
But Teal’c disagreed. “Dr. Carter did not become ill during her first 48 hours. If our mission is not completed during that time, it is most likely that we will be dead.”
“Good point. Are you okay with all this, sir?” Jack asked.
“If you feel confident you can pull this off, I have no objections. However, on your return, I want that quantum mirror destroyed.”
“Okay, well this is all well and good, but none of us are going anywhere unless we get that Asgard generator working again,” Daniel pointed out.
“Okay. Carter, download the program to the removable whatever-it-is and meet me and yourself in the lab,” O’Neill ordered.
Samantha was with Sam in her lab, examining the generator O’Neill had constructed while he had the Ancient repository in his brain.
“Well this is incredible. If the Asgard could design this to give the gate extra juice then they’re just the little green men we’re looking for.”
“They’re grey actually. Roswell grey to be exact,” Jack said as he entered.
“And actually, it was information from another race, the Ancients, that had been downloaded into the colonel’s mind that allowed him to build it. I had a hard time trying to figure out how this worked the first time let alone make it work again.”
“If it’s powered by the energy module of a staff weapon, why doesn’t it–”
“Blow up? My best guess is the device creates a modulated dampening field around the liquefied naquadah cell.”
“Which controls the energy transfer to the capacitor. So maybe the modulation is thrown out of whack each time it’s activated.”
“That’s exactly what I thought!” exclaimed Sam. “But how do you even begin to recalibrate a field that you can’t generate in the first place?”
O’Neill had gotten lost in the enthusiastic back and forth of the two blondes. “Hey, hey, hey, hey! Are you Carters going to be able to figure this out?
“We’ll figure it out,” they responded in unison.
Samantha suddenly cried out as she went into another convulsive shock.
“We have to figure it out,” Sam said with determination.
Jack nodded and left them alone.