Title: A Hundred and One Days
Pairing: Janet/other, Sam/Janet
Word Count: ~12000
Summary: What if it wasn’t Jack that had been stranded on Edora? And what would the repercussions be?
Spoiler/Timeline: AU (and extended) version of S3E17 – A Hundred Days
Disclaimer: Stargate is owned by MGM, Gekko, B.W. and J.G. No copyright infringement intended, no money being made.
A Hundred and One Days
Captain Janet Fraiser, M.D., the Chief Medical Officer of Stargate Command loaded up her medical pack and headed to the gate room. General Hammond had heard from SG-1 on P5C-768. They were already in negotiations for naquadah which was in the planet’s mineral-rich soil. The people of the planet lived simple, agrarian lives. They had a healer, though no hospital, and basically relied on home remedies made from local plants and herbs. So Hammond had authorized Janet to join SG-1 and see what she could do to contribute.
With a ‘good luck’ from the general, she walked up the ramp to the gate and stepped through to another world. Major Samantha Carter was waiting for her with a bright smile.
“Hey, Janet. Welcome to Edora.”
Janet returned her smile. “Thanks, Sam.” She stood for moment atop the stone dais and looked around. “It’s beautiful.”
“Yes, it is. Come on, I’ll show you to the village.”
The two women walked side by side while Sam brought Janet up to speed on the current negotiations. “Some of the villagers are very wary of us, which is understandable, but most of them seem to be quite open and friendly. We were dealing mainly with a woman named Laira, but a close friend of hers who’s been sick has taken a turn for the worse. So, she’s halted the negotiations for the moment to be with her friend. The local healer says there’s nothing more he can do. Maybe you can help.”
“I’ll do what I can.”
They arrived in the village.
“Hey, Doc!” Colonel Jack O’Neill bellowed in greeting from the doorway of a house several houses away.
Janet simply gave a wave to acknowledge him, but restrained from yelling back. Only when she was a few feet from him did she say anything. “Hello, Colonel.”
“It’s about time you’re here. Laira’s friend is real sick.”
“Any idea what may be wrong with her?”
“No. They haven’t allowed us in to see her. Laira’s real upset since Talmar, the local healer, said there’s nothing more he can do.”
“Where is she?”
“In here.” O’Neill stepped aside and allowed Janet and Sam to enter the small house. He then knocked on a closed bedroom door. “Laira? Our healer, Dr. Fraiser, is here. She may be able to help your friend.”
The bedroom door opened and an attractive brunette looked out.
At the woman’s dubious expression, Janet introduced herself. “Hi, I’m Dr. Fraiser – Janet. Will you let me take a look at your friend? I might be able to help.”
“Okay.” Laira admitted Janet into the bedroom, closing the door behind her.
Janet moved to the bed where her patient was. “Hi, my name’s Janet. What’s your name?”
“Neva,” the sick woman replied softly.
Jack jumped to his feet as soon as Janet exited the bedroom. “Doc?”
“I’ve taken a blood sample and a throat culture to be tested back at the SGC, but I’m pretty certain it’s a staph infection.”
“So you can treat it, right?”
“I’ve already started her on an IV and antibiotics. Unless something really unexpected shows up in the test results she should be fine.”
“Great! I knew you could do it, Doc.”
“With your permission, sir, I’ll head back with the samples.”
“You’re coming back though, right?” Laira asked as she exited the bedroom. “You should see the fire rain.”
Janet smiled at the woman. “I’d love to see it, Laira. I should be back in plenty of time.”
“Good. Fair day and be well, Janet,” she said in their traditional manner.
“Fair day, Laira.”
Janet left with samples in hand.
Jack loudly clapped his hands together and bounced on his heels. “So, what’s this fire rain you talked about?”
“It’s a beautiful thing to see – fire rains across the night sky. It happens every year at this time.”
“I look forward to seeing it,” he said with a smile. “What time should I pick you up?”
“Pick me up?”
“What time should I come by to escort you to where we can watch the fire rain?”
“Oh. We can meet at Downer’s Hill. The view from there is particularly nice.”
Even though O’Neill would have liked to ‘pick Laira up’ and have the evening be a date, he nodded and left.
The tests result came back just as Janet had predicted. Neva would be fine with the course of treatment she’d already started her on. When Janet returned to Edora, she was surprised to find Laira waiting for her at the gate.
“Laira, is something wrong? Has something happened with Neva?”
“Oh, no. In fact, Neva is sleeping comfortably. Thank you for treating her.”
“You’re more than welcome; I’m glad I could help. Just make sure she continues to take the pills as directed.”
“So, was there a reason you were waiting for me?”
Laira smiled. “I just wanted to. And I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss out on the fire rain. There’s really nice place to watch it from on Downer’s Hill overlooking the lake.”
Janet smiled. “Lead the way.”
As they walked the two women talked, getting to know each other a little better. Laira told Janet about her son, Garan, and Janet told Laira about her adopted daughter, Cassie. Even thought Janet had only been a mother for a couple of years, she had much in common in the experience of motherhood with Laira. And since she didn’t have to lie about Cassie being from another planet, she felt more at ease than usual when discussing her daughter. Laira found Janet intriguing and funny.
They were the first to arrive at Downer’s Hill. They sat on the ground next to each other and leaned against a large tree. They were laughing about a story Laira had told about her son when SG-1 arrived.
“Sounds like you two are having a good time,” Jack said.
“Just sharing a few motherhood stories, sir,” Janet replied.
A silence fell over the group as each member of SG-1 took a seat on the ground.
“So, Laira... when’s the big show going to start?” Jack asked.
“Soon, be patient.”
“Oh, I’m patient. I’m nothing if not patient.” He paused for a couple of beats. “When’s it start?”
“Is he always like this?”
It was Teal’c who answered, “Quite frequently.”
Daniel and Sam both snickered.
“Thank you, Teal’c.” Jack sounded proud of himself.
“Laira, we haven’t seen anything you could call ‘fire rain’ these past few nights,” Daniel pointed out. “How come you’re sure it’s going to fall tonight?”
“It begins this night each year.”
Sam’s eyes widened. “Whoa. The same night every year? That doesn’t make sense... I mean unless the planet’s orbit travels through a debris field like an asteroid belt, in which case–”
“Please, don’t suck the fun out of this,” Jack said, interrupting her.
Laira explained to the whole group, though she was looking at Janet when she spoke. “When I was a child, my father told me that the fire rain was the tears of our ancestors longing to be reunited.”
A star streaked across the sky.
Laira pointed to it. “See? There.”
“A falling star, that’s what we call ‘fire rain’ where we come from,” Janet said. She leaned her head closer to Laira’s and softly added, “In our culture, you’re supposed to make a wish.”
Laira looked into Janet’s eyes and smiled. “Then I know what my wish is.”
“Don’t tell anyone,” Sam said. “If you tell your wish won’t come true.”
“On Chulak we call it tel’pac’rai.”
“Which means, uh... falling star,” Daniel translated and smiled.
“What do you think, Jack?” Laira asked. “Was it worth the effort?”
“Oh, yeah. Yeah, I’m a big fan of fireworks.”
Suddenly a large meteor shot across the sky so close that flames were actually visible.
“Whoa... Carter, how close was that?”
“How big?” asked Daniel.
There was definitely concern in the astrophysicist’s voice. “I was... rather concerned for a minute there, sir.”
“I don’t understand,” Laira said.
“Laira, that was what we call a near miss,” Sam explained. “If that meteor had struck the ground instead of bouncing of the atmosphere...”
“And this happens every year?” Janet asked. Though not an astrophysicist, she had eyes and saw for herself how close the meteor had come.
“Yes, though it grows more spectacular every year. By tomorrow evening the entire sky...” As Laira took in everyone’s expression her voice trailed off. “What’s wrong?”
Sam addressed the colonel rather than Laira. “I’ll make some more observations tonight, sir.”
“I’m going to check the uh, geological record in the morning,” Daniel added.
“I’ll... make a wish,” said Jack.
A heavy silence settled over the group.
In the morning, Laira and Janet went to check on Neva, who was already showing improvement. Afterwards, they were having a really nice talk back at Laira’s house when Sam tracked them down.
“If you have a few minutes, Laira, I have something I’d like to show you.”
Sam opened up her laptop computer. Janet was sitting next to Laira at the kitchen table as Sam stood behind them. She reached over their shoulders and tapped a key, starting a Power Point presentation.
“See this bright dot? It represents your world, Edora. It orbits your sun in a big circle like this and crosses through an asteroid belt up here at its widest point. Now, as you pass through the millions of tiny rocks and particles, some of them burn up in Edora’s atmosphere.”
“As fire rain.”
“Exactly. The problem is, the asteroid belt isn’t uniform, so certain orbits in certain years must pass through a denser debris field. Can you ever remember the fire rain striking the ground?”
“Not in my lifetime, nor in my father’s... but there is a tale of the ancestors that on the second day of the fire rain, there was a distant thunder and the horizon burned as though the sun never set.”
“How long ago was that?” Janet asked.
“Many, many years ago.”
Jack stuck his head in from outside. “Morning, campers! Who’s going on our little geology fieldtrip?”
“Sir, I’d like to go back to Earth and input the data I collected from last night’s observations into the base’s mainframe.”
“Garan?” Laira called out to her son.
The teenager came out of his bedroom.
“Garan can show you the way to the caves. He and a young girl go there from time to time, though I don’t know why,” she said with a knowing smirk.
“Fair day, and be well,” Laira said to the parting group. Once they were all gone, Laira turned to Janet. “You haven’t seen much of our world since you’ve been here. Would you like to go for a walk, Janet?”
“I’d love to,” Janet replied with a smile.
Daniel was examining the strata exposed in the walls of the caves. “I figure the decay rate differential between the layers of naquadah is about 150 years, give or take, so–”
“What’s naquadah,” Naytha, Garan’s girlfriend, asked.
“A mineral substance,” Teal’c answered.
Daniel ran his hand along the wall of the cave as he explained. “You see the farther down these striations we go the further back into Edora’s past we travel. You see these layers are different. They represent naquadah dust thrown up by impact events.”
“Cool.” Garan hesitated when he saw the look on Daniel’s face. “Uh... J-Jack says that.”
All eyes turn to Jack where he sat in a corner playing with a yo-yo. The sudden silence made Jack look up at the others. “What?”
Daniel cleared his throat. “Anyway, I’m not really sure that cool applies to this, Garan. You see, something like this happened on our world millions of years ago and nearly wiped out all life.”
“That’s what’s going to happen here?” asked Naytha.
“Well, we only know that it has happened, uh... in varying degrees of destruction every 150 years or so.”
“And it appears that is precisely the amount of time since the last impact.” At Daniel’s warning look, Teal’c added, “I see no reason to withhold the truth from these people, Daniel Jackson.”
“Is there anything we can do to stop it?” asked Garan.
“No,” Daniel said sadly.
Sam went to speak with General Hammond after she ran her calculations through the base computer.
“Sir, according to the observations I made last night, the near miss we experienced was just the first of hundreds of car-sized asteroids directly in the path of Edora – P5C-768. The night sky is full of them.”
“We can’t evacuate an entire planet, Major.”
“As far as we know, these are the only descendents of a race brought to Edora by the Goa’uld thousands of years ago. There may only be a small number of strikes locally. If that’s the case, we can send them home in a few days. If not, we’d be saving the last of a people, sir.”
Janet and Laira walked onto a small bridge where a man was pulling his traps out of the water.
“Paynan, this is Janet.”
“They say you’ve come through the stone ring. Hard thing to ask a man to believe.”
Janet smiled. “Believe me, I know just how you feel.” She nodded at his trap. “Any luck?”
“There’s nothing more than meets the eye here – our fields, those few buildings, our children. What we have, we need.”
“We’re only interested in fair trade, sir.”
Paynan dismissed the women without another word and threw his trap back over the side of the bridge. Laira and Janet continued on their way.
“Many of my people are most curious to know what it is we have that you could possibly want.”
“Well, from what Sam told me you have something we don’t.”
“Something in our soil.”
“It’s a mineral called naquadah. We don’t have it on Earth, and it’s very important to us.”
“And in return for taking this naquadah from our soil?”
“Well, there are a lot of things we could help you out with – technology, education,” she smiled, “medicine.”
“So we’d become friends.”
“We’re already friends,” Janet replied.
“Closer friends?” Laira asked hopefully.
Janet gave the beautiful woman a coy smile. “My mother taught me to be wary of people wishing to be closer friends.”
They stopped walking and faced each other.
“Well, if you’d like, I’ll remove myself from the negotiations, that way there’d be no conflict of interest...”
Janet gazed into blue eyes that looked at her with hopeful want and felt her heart skip a beat. No one had looked at her like that in years. “Laira, there is no conflict of interest between us. I think we’re interested in the same thing.” She was rewarded with a soft smile.
They were inexorably drawn toward one another. Their almost-kiss was suddenly interrupted by fiery meteors streaking across the sky, even though it was broad daylight.
“I’ve never seen the fire rain in the light of day,” Laira said with concern.
A particularly large meteor blazed overhead, clearly larger and closer than any previous meteors. Janet keyed her radio. “Did anybody else see that?” she asked.
“See what, Doc?” O’Neill replied.
Sam had just returned through the gate in time to see the ominous meteor. “This is Carter. I saw it. It was the largest and closest meteor yet... and I think it’s just the beginning, sir.”
While Jack spoke to Sam on his radio, Daniel bent and picked up an artifact in the cave. “It’s a cooking utensil. Which probably means at some point a number of people spent time here.”
“Perhaps this cave provided a means for a small number of Edorans to survive the last meteor bombardment,” Teal’c surmised.
“The ancestors!” Garan said excitedly.
As soon as Jack finished speaking with Sam he addressed the group. “Alright, campers, back to the village ASAP.”
Back in the village, Laira, Janet and Sam had gathered the villagers so Jack could address them.
“Folks, we think the fire rain is going to start hitting the ground pretty soon. As a precaution, we’d like to take you all back to our planet, until the threat is over.”
“There is no threat,” Paynan barked belligerently.
“If just one big meteor lands within a few miles of here, the resulting explosion could wipe out the entire village,” Sam explained.
Paynan wasn’t convinced. “Year after year, the fire rain comes, goes and harms no one. Do you not see what they are doing? They want us gone so they can claim our lands for themselves.”
“That’s not true,” Daniel insisted.
“If you go with them, you will never see your land again,” Payton sneered.
Jack lost his patience. “Oh, for crying out loud, there’s always one like you in a crowd. You want to stay... stay.”
Laira spoke up, “I have come to know these travelers,” she couldn’t resist a glance at Janet, “and though their world seems far, it is only a step away. I will take that step in good faith. If you wish to follow, join us at the stone ring. And if you do not, may the ancestors protect you.”
“You need only take what you can carry. There’ll be plenty of food and water where we’re going,” Janet added.
Another large meteor streaked overhead and crashed somewhere off in the distance.
“Okay, folks, train’s leaving. Let’s move,” Jack ordered.
Laira was rushing around her home, packing the bare necessities and a couple of priceless mementos. “Garan? Don’t forget the prayer chain that your father gave you. Garan?” Getting no response she walked to his bedroom door and opened it.
He wasn’t there.
“Oh, no.” When she ran out of the house she practically ran Janet over.
“Laira, what’s wrong?”
“Have you seen Garan?”
Janet looked around and saw Daniel. “Daniel!” she called out to him. “Did Garan come back with you?”
“Yes.” A sudden thought occurred to him. “The caves! We were talking about how previous generations survived. They must have gone back there.”
“Okay. Make sure everyone gets to the gate. We’ll get the kids and catch up.”
Before Daniel could object Janet and Laira took off running for the caves.
Daniel went through the gate to the SGC with the first group and helped others as they came through.
Sam stood in front of the gate on Edora and helped people walk through as small meteors were beginning to impact the ground. “Don’t be afraid; the others are waiting for you on the other side.”
Teal’c and Jack arrived with the last of the villagers willing to leave their world.
“That’s the last of them. The rest are going to stay,” Jack said.
“Approximately one-third of the village,” Teal’c responded.
“What?! We can’t leave them behind, sir! We’re getting multiple strikes; their entire village could be destroyed.”
“I know, Carter,” Jack growled. “But we can’t forcibly remove them from their homes.” He looked around. “Where’s Daniel and the doc?”
“Daniel went through with the first group and to help the others as they arrived.”
“Daniel said she went with Laira to the caves to get Garan and Naytha.”
“What?!” Jack slapped the back of his hand against Teal’c’s stomach. “Come on, we’ll get them. Carter, you go on through and let the Edorans know everything is alright. We’ll be on your six.”
Janet and Laira arrived at the caves.
“Garan! Naytha!” Laira called out.
The two teenagers came from deeper inside the cave they’d entered. “Mother! This is where the ancestors survived. We brought food, and some water.”
“Garan, we really need to go,” Janet insisted.
Suddenly there was a large explosion that shook the ground. Rocks began to fall from the ceiling of the cave and a torch was knocked from its holder.
Teal’c saw what Sam did – a large meteor headed straight for them. “O’Neill!” He grabbed Jack’s arm and dragged him to the gate where he threw his arm around Sam and dove through the gate, saving both of his teammates.
In the SGC, General Hammond rushed down from the control room and stood next to Daniel. “Report.”
“Dr. Fraiser went to help some villagers. We waited until the last possible moment, sir,” Sam responded.
“I know you did. We almost lost you – the wormhole was losing stability.”
“General, we need to return immediately with a search party,” Jack insisted.
“You can’t, sir. That last hit was right on the gate, you’d be walking into a firestorm,” explained Sam.
Teal’c scowled. “I am willing to take that risk.”
“So am I.”
Hammond shook his head. “I’m not willing to let either of you take that risk.”
“We can wait 24 hours and send a MALP through, sir.”
“Major Carter’s right. If it’s safe by tomorrow you’ll all go.”
Janet stood at the mouth of the cave watching rain and ash fall. She could see several fires lighting the landscape as explosions from meteor impacts continued. She tried her radio one more time. “Colonel? Sam?” She paused, listening for an answer. “Daniel? Teal’c? Can you hear me?” Just as with her previous attempts there was no response. She hoped it meant the team made it back to Earth safely.
With a sigh, she turned and went back into the cave to join Laira, Garan, and Naytha. She rechecked the cut on Naytha’s forehead where she’d been hit by a falling rock. “You’ll be fine. Even minor head wounds bleed a lot.”
Janet sat on the ground and leaned against the wall of the cave. “It’s still pretty hot out there, we should stay put. But there is some good news – it’s raining. It should put out at least some of the fires.”
“Could you see the village?” Laira asked.
“No.” She looked at the boy. “We had a plan, Garan. Why–”
“Daniel said there was nothing you could do.”
“We were afraid,” Naytha added.
Another explosion, not far from the cave, rattled everyone. “Me, too,” Janet replied.
Laira moved to sit next to the doctor, slipping her arm through Janet’s. The teenagers, wrapped up in each other, didn’t notice the closeness of the two women... or the looks they shared.
General Hammond and all of SG-1 gathered around Sgt. Walter Harriman as he dialed Edora.
“Chevron six encoded... chevron seven locked. Wormhole established.”
“Thank God,” said Sam.
“Standing by for MALP deployment, sir.”
The general nodded. “Send it through.”
“The MALP should reach Edora in four, three, two, one. We should be receiving telemetry now, sir.”
There was nothing but static coming over the speakers and snow on the monitor.
“No signal. Environmental reports no telemetry... communications no telemetry.”
Sam shook her head. “The MALP must have been destroyed as soon as it reached the other side. There’s no other explanation.”
“Shut it down,” ordered Hammond. He looked at Sam, “Until you can provide me with answers to this problem, the rescue mission is scrubbed.” He turned to Jack. “Inform our visitors they’ll be staying with us until we can make a proper assessment of the situation.”
Teal’c and Daniel followed Jack out of the control room. Sam stared at the gate for several seconds. How was she going to tell Cassie she’d left Janet behind on Edora? She had to figure out a solution; it would crush Cassie to lose Janet... it would also crush her.