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Fanfiction: Frozen in Action - Part I

Fandom: Stargate SG1
Series: Aftershocks
TAG to Episode: S7 Lost City
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sam/Jack UST. Sam/Pete. Team friendship.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. Written for entertainment purposes only.


Part I: Shards of Ice

For a second there was nothing but pleading blue eyes begging Jack O'Neill to live.

'Please! Jack.'

He might have let go, given into the darkness pulling at him, except for that: his name on her lips.

Such a simple thing.

Such a telling thing.

Samantha Carter loved him.

He knew it even if he'd denied her the opportunity to say it in the days since he'd stuck his head into an Ancient repository again. She loved him and she didn't want him to die. He was supposed to be letting her go but in the end, he couldn't. The word slipped from his lips; the way to save him…

He clung to the memories of the people he loved as his brain drowned in Ancient minutiae: his son bright and cheerful playing catch in the backyard: his ex-wife Sara on their wedding day; his Mom and Dad, his Grandpa and Grandma; his brother, Jimmy when he'd shipped out; Cassie and the dear departed Doc; General Hammond with his paternal care and kind eyes; his team-mates – so much more to Jack than merely friends and family.

Teal'c carried him into the chamber to sleep; Daniel Jackson translated his goodbye. His heart ached for them both; his brothers. Carter, his Carter, stood in front of him bravely. He wished he'd told her he loved her; that he'd let her say the words, regretted that he'd stopped her because of some vague notion that when he died she would move on quicker and easier with her life, with the cop she was dating, if she didn't know how he felt about her.

It was too late.

He held her eyes with his as the cold stole over him and froze his breath.


Klaxons sounded through McMurdo drowning out everything else. Adrenaline surged through John Sheppard as he took the flight of steps at a run, leaping the final steps, and headed for the door that led to the helipads.

The briefing for the search and rescue had been succinct. A classified situation; classified technology deployed to fight a classified enemy who had death gliders (and seriously John had never thought he would ever hear that in a briefing), tattoos on their foreheads and were to be killed on sight. Their own guys were in advanced planes of a similar design to the enemy; those that were flight capable were being diverted to McMurdo for emergency landing but more had apparently been downed on the ice in a massive dogfight with the enemy. The McMurdo helicopter squad was being scrambled to find and retrieve the survivors.

That's all they needed to know; all John needed to know.

Cold air swamped him immediately as soon as he opened the door, biting through the layers of weather gear, flight suit and thermals. He didn't stop running; boots pounding on the ground, careful of the ice. He spared a glance to the sky…something was incoming. The first advanced plane shrieked overhead and headed for the far end of the runway. His mouth went dry at the sight of its sleek, powerful lines but he continued running, reaching his helicopter first ahead of the rest of the squad.

Another plane went over his head. God, John wanted to fly one so badly he could taste it, but it was unlikely that he ever would, not with the black mark and his record of ignoring orders. So what if he wasn't flying the latest tech; he was flying, that was the main thing, John reminded himself. He shook off his thoughts as he got inside the serviceable helicopter and focused on his pre-flight, automatically running through it.

A doctor ran up and clambered in with a medic bag. John gave a nod of acknowledgement as he turned on the rotors and was pleased to see the forty-something African-American already stowing his bag and reaching for his headgear. 'This is some kind of crazy. Did you see that light show before?'

'Yeah, I caught it.' John replied absently, finishing his checks. It had been spectacular at a distance; he could only imagine how it had been in the heat of it. He radioed the control tower. 'This is Penguin Five, we are good to go. Request permission to take-off.'

'Permission granted, Major. You have Search Grid Alpha. Leopard One is in the air and will give you cover fire. Good hunting.'

'Search Grid Alpha. Roger that, and out.' John took a breath and lifted her upwards. There was a mission; people to rescue. The buzz of action felt good after the months of feeling like he was in the deep freeze; it was like he could breathe again.


Cameron Mitchell jolted back into consciousness with a sharp intake of breath. It was so goddamn cold and he had to stay awake.

The battle was over.

He couldn't see any fighters in the darkening sky anymore; no sign of brilliant yellow lights painting the blue with flashes of colour and taking out the enemy. He blinked hard. SG1 had done it. They'd found the weapon and destroyed Anubis. Earth was safe.

They'd had a hand in that; him and Banks. The Lieutenant was unconscious or dead since he hadn't responded to calls since they'd crashed. Cam hoped it was the latter. It had been a rough landing – definitely not his best. He laughed weakly and ended up in a coughing fit that hurt his chest.

Sitrep, Cam instructed himself weakly. Radio was receiving but not transmitting. His 302 was a wreck. It had taken a bad hit, the eject hadn't worked and he hadn't been able to control the descent properly; the controls not responding. He was responsible for Banks being…whatever. He was fairly certain that the kid had lost consciousness with the last hit.

But before then…they'd protected SG1, taken out a ship converging on their position. They'd helped keep Earth safe from Anubis.

Sitrep, Cam thought again stubbornly. He was on the verge of hypothermia. The landing had knocked out the very expensive not-glass that surrounded the cockpit. His legs were in agony; shattered and pinned under the console. He could feel wetness when he touched his knee and he figured he was bleeding. He'd also pissed his pants at some point and the sharp scent of urine assailed him. He was finding it difficult to care. His breathing was erratic; a familiar sharp pain told him he'd cracked his ribs. His face burned with pain and cold; he had a vague memory of debris crashing through the cockpit, smacking him in the face.

So, Cam considered sluggishly; on paper he was screwed. He had no way of getting help to himself and to Banks if the kid was still alive. It was getting dark. It was freezing. But Earth was safe. It wasn't a bad trade.


No. He wasn't giving up; he would NOT give up. He could make it. He could…turn his lights on. He reached forward and gritted his teeth against the rush of pain. He hit the switch. A faint beam shot out across the snow and ice in front of him. Lights on. It was something. A chance for someone to save him. Cam felt himself sliding into darkness. Please, he thought desperately as he fought the cold stealing over him. Please.


Sam's fingers stroked over the surface of the stasis pod; it felt like crystal. It was smooth and cold to the touch. She shivered despite the warmth of the air around them. The power module that Jack had collected from the other outpost was evidently keeping the temperature at a reasonable level along with the lighting. Part of her mind was already whirling with the "how" and the "what" but she pushed it away, focusing on the man suspended in the clear substance in front of her, his eyes still open and looking at her.


Had the stasis chamber frozen him or was it some kind of suspended animation? Could he see? Could he hear? Could he feel?

God, she'd just been so grateful to have a way to save him. She hadn't thought about whether the chamber was safe; whether they would be able to reverse the process. She hadn't thought about anything beyond wanting to save him.

She loved him so much.

He hadn't let her say the words. He'd said he knew. Had he refused to hear her say she loved him because he didn't feel the same way? Because he couldn't say it back to her? Or maybe he did love her because for a moment standing in front of him in the engine room, she could have sworn that he did. But even if she'd said and he'd said it, she was ostensibly dating someone else regardless that it wasn't all that serious in Sam's mind and hadn't been since Pete had confessed to stalking her. But what would her confessions change in the end if Jack didn't feel the same way? Maybe that was why he hadn't allowed her to say anything; hadn't said anything to her.

Maybe her need to tell him had been selfish. Maybe her need to save him had been selfish.

She remembered their conversation in his house; so awkward and stilted because of everything she wanted to say and everything she couldn't. He'd told her his sacrifice would be worth it if they found the lost city; if they found what they needed to save Earth.

She'd felt then what she'd felt when she had been trapped by a force shield and about to be captured, watching him stay with her rather than leave; utter despair at the thought of losing him. She'd lost so many people.

But she wasn't losing him.

Sam drew in a deep breath and placed her hand flat over his heart. 'I don't know if you can hear me, but I promise you: we're going to save you.' She let her eyes take in his features one more time.

She dropped her hand, readied her orders and turned to her waiting team-mates beside her. Jack had given them a chance to save him; all they needed to do was take it.


'The President is on the phone for you, Doctor Weir.' The technician said crisply. They were all crowded into the control room having just listened to the communication from Antarctica. It seemed like SG1 had saved the world. Again.

How the hell did they cope with this type of thing all the time, Elizabeth wondered, looking round at the happy and relieved faces of the SGC personnel. Her body was faintly trembling; the adrenaline draining out of her in the wake of the battle.

Elizabeth forced herself to nod calmly though and pretended her legs weren't shaking as she walked back up the stairs to the small office off the main briefing room. Her office supposedly but it didn't feel like it; she wondered whether it ever would.

'Mr President.' Elizabeth picked up the phone and tried to smooth the nerves out of her voice. She reminded herself again that she'd dealt with ten other Presidents of various nations without getting flustered.

'Elizabeth.' Hayes greeted her warmly. 'General Hammond has confirmed Anubis has been eliminated. The Prometheus is remaining in Antarctica to deal with the clean-up there.' He paused. 'It was a good suggestion sending her to cover SG1.'

'Thank you, sir. Have we any news on SG1?' Elizabeth asked tentatively, sliding into the leather chair behind the desk.

'We're hopeful they survived but it's not confirmed.' Hayes sighed. 'We're trying to get a full report on the Nimitz carrier group that Anubis hit and most of the two F302 squadrons deployed are believed downed or destroyed. Hammond's reported a small number of additional casualties aboard the Prometheus but no fatalities.'

Elizabeth's eyes closed as she calculated the potential numbers of injured, of dead. 'I assume there'll be a cover story?'

'Meteor shower.' Hayes answered back promptly. 'Apparently it's a classic.' There was a sarcastic edge that Elizabeth appreciated because how many times had they read the same thing in the press themselves without knowing the truth. She wished for a moment that she had the option of not knowing again. 'Unfortunately, we also have a lot of angry governments involved with Antarctica who aren't falling for it as they have eye-witnesses on site, and who are asking us what the hell is going on.'

Finally, something she knew how to handle. Elizabeth leaned forward eagerly. 'I could help…'

'No, I need you right where you are, Elizabeth. You look after that 'gate.' Hayes said briskly. He signed off with a promise of a status briefing in another hour.

Elizabeth looked around the office and sighed heavily. She felt impotent; stuck. She wished again that she was somewhere, anywhere else where she would be needed and useful.


'General Hammond, we're receiving a transmission from Master Bra'tac.'

'Put him through.' Hammond ordered, swivelling in his chair to look forward. The Prometheus was approaching Earth again; limping with multiple injuries back toward Antarctica to render assistance to SG1 and do sweeps of the ice to find the downed missing F302 pilots. The causality and fatality lists were beginning to come back and they were sobering. They'd saved the Earth and given SG1 the time they'd needed to deploy the Ancient weapon but they had taken heavy losses. Hammond still didn't know the status of SG1. He hoped the lack of communication from the team was simply because they were out of range given the distance they had travelled below the ice.

'Hammond of Texas.' Bra'tac greeted him warmly over the radio.

'Master Bra'tac.' Hammond smiled despite his worry and concern. 'It is good to hear your voice.'

'It is good to be heard.' Bra'tac said dryly. 'I wished to inform you that I am returning to my previous coordinates. I am hopeful Teal'c and the others will use the rings to return.'

'Understood.' Hammond said. He refused to consider that SG1 hadn't survived. They had survived before when he had least expected them to do so; they would survive again. He held onto that thought like a talisman.

'We have fought a great battle here today.'

'We couldn't have done it without you.' Hammond replied honestly.

'We will meet later and toast our victory over Anubis.' Bra'tac said cheerfully.

Hammond smiled again. 'I look forward to it.' He signalled to the Major to end the transmission and turned the chair back to the forward view. The ice stretched out gleaming silver in front of them in the creeping darkness.

'Alright, people.' Hammond ordered briskly. 'Let's get the scans working and relay the coordinates of any life-signs to McMurdo.'

'Yes, sir.' Colonel Kirkland shook his head. 'We're not going to be able to save them all, General.'

'We'll save as many as we can.' Hammond shot back. 'We're not in the business of leaving our people behind, Colonel.'

He'd bring them all home; the survivors, the missing, the dead…SG1. He firmed his lips, grateful beyond measure to be where he was; to be where he was most needed.


Jonas paced back and forth in his lab. Dog watched him warily from the large cushion Jonas had placed on the floor beside the main desk. He'd known the communications blackout from Earth was coming. The team had sent him emails every time the Stargate had been open between their two worlds. Jonas was fully informed – probably even better than Dreylock and the official Ambassador – of the situation: Anubis was on his way to Earth, a new President had placed the SGC under review, Hammond was replaced by someone called Weir, and the team was trying to find the Lost City to save their world. It hadn't been a surprise when they'd gotten the formal notification that Earth was suspending the treaty negotiations.

He finally staggered to a halt and slumped onto a stool. He lowered his head into his hands. He felt helpless. He should be there with them. Teal'c's last email had said the Colonel had downloaded the Ancient knowledge into his head again. He should be there to help Daniel with the translations; to give Sam someone else to hand off the technical stuff to; to be there for Teal'c because the Jaffa needed someone despite his strength; to help the Colonel…

But Jonas wasn't there. Instead, he was stuck on Langara, working for the Joint Council and the government of Kelowna as they tried to rebuild their world after Anubis had attacked it. And he was responsible for that. It had been because he had been captured that Anubis had learned of Langara and the naquadria that was their main asset. Anubis would never have looked at Langara if not for Jonas.


It was the way he'd been feeling ever since he'd returned from his home planet to help rebuild. It had worsened in the previous couple of months after the Langaran government had restricted his travel to and from Earth. The team had tried to compensate; Cassie Fraiser had gone so far as to have given him her dog to keep him company, the rest of SG1 sent him constant emails even the Colonel who usually sent him jokes and cartoon strips.

He wouldn't even have that while Earth was incommunicado. He wouldn't know if they'd survived or were safe. He could only trust that if they were they'd be in touch eventually. The urge to leave, to gather supplies and take off through the Stargate nagged at him. Maybe he could go to the Tok'ra; he had memorised a few addresses of safe planets where they kept contacts. Maybe he could find out what had happened…

And then what? And what about his responsibilities on Langara? No matter the times he questioned it, he knew the Council needed the buffer he provided; the knowledge of the galaxy he had acquired. He owed his home planet a debt he needed to repay. But still...

Dog gave an unhappy whine and stood up, waddling over to nudge his leg. Jonas stooped to pet Dog's red fur. 'I know, boy.' He sighed. 'I wish I was there too.'


Teal'c let the light from the rings fade from his vision before he stepped out of the circle and greeted a beaming Bra'tac with a firm handclasp to his forearm.

'Teal'c!' Bra'tac said with delight. 'It is good to see you.'

'It is good to see you too, old friend.' Teal'c allowed himself the moment of comfort, of companionship with the Jaffa who was his father in many ways. But the urge to move filled him and he dropped his hand, stepping away to gather the supplies Major Carter wanted.

'You found what you needed below the ice.' Bra'tac said, placidly.

'Indeed.' Teal'c gathered up a naquadah generator and placed it on the rings along with a crate of food rations, a duffle that contained warm outerwear, another bag that contained the Major's second laptop and other technical equipment.

'You are returning?' Bra'tac inquired.

Teal'c paused and inclined his head. 'O'Neill has been placed in a stasis device to prevent his death. Daniel Jackson believes the chamber in which we found ourselves is part of an Ancient outpost. Major Carter has ordered us to begin exploring so we may discover a way of saving O'Neill.'

'I believe the Tau'ri will expect an update.' Bra'tac commented mildly.

Teal'c opened his mouth to protest; he needed to return to his team-mates.

'I will inform Hammond of Texas of your survival and plans.' Bra'tac's eyes twinkled at him. 'Is there anything else you wish for me to report?'

Teal'c bowed his head. 'Thank you, old friend.'

Bra'tac tugged his cloak tighter around his body. 'Be safe, Teal'c.'

He nodded and gave the signal for Bra'tac to engage the rings. The transport took him again and he found himself back in the dimly lit ice chamber. Major Carter lowered her gun. She and Daniel Jackson immediately began to unload the rings of the equipment.

'This is great, Teal'c.' Sam shot him a grateful smile. She rubbed her nose. 'OK, so I'll get the generator connected up to the Colonel's stasis pod. Daniel, I'm going to need you to help translate the symbols. I'll feel better knowing there's a back-up for the power module. We really don't know how much power is left and I…'

Teal'c let her words wash over him as he helped her set up the lights. He was just pleased to be there to ensure his team-mates' safety.


Jacob started hard at the crystalline structure of the ceiling above him and tried hard to calm his breathing. Selmak was fragile enough without having to deal with the mix of anger and worry coursing through him.

It is OK, Jacob, Selmak said soothingly. It is understandable for you to be worried. Anubis is attacking Earth. I am worried.

He let out a long sigh and brushed a hand over his face. I'm mostly worried about Sam, he admitted. As a member of SG1 she would be right on the frontline of defending Earth.

I know, Selmak said quietly. But she has her team and if anyone can stop Anubis, it is SG1.

Jacob sank into her comfort. I think it's the wait for news that's the worst thing, he said. Not knowing what's happening.

We'll hear the intelligence as soon as our operative reports back, Selmak assured him. She hesitated. We could return…

No, Jacob retorted before she could finish the thought. You know half of the Council is just waiting for us to do that so they can say we're not committed to the Tok'ra cause because I am your host.

Honestly, I think they don't deserve to have us here, Selmak retorted. I would rather be on Earth.

Jacob hushed her mentally. It hadn't been easier for them since deciding to mend fences with their Tok'ra colleagues in the wake of the alliance with Earth falling apart. Selmak didn't deserve to be treated with the disdain some of the Council had taken to using.

We're making inroads, Jacob pointed out. Elmal even spoke to us voluntarily yesterday.

Selmak snorted. Elmal is a bigoted old fool.

But our charm offensive is working, Jacob insisted.

He'd always been good at the politics on Earth. His smile faded as his mind drifted back to the original subject: Earth and Anubis's attack. He just had to believe that Earth would make it through; that SG1 would save the planet again; that his daughter would survive.

Rest, Jacob, Selmak urged.

Jacob closed his eyes and let Selmak tug him into sleep. He trusted her to wake him when there was news and there was nothing more he could do but wait.


Cassie looked at her watch. She glanced at the clock and looked again at her watch.

'You know time is relative.' Jennifer Hailey remarked from her place on Sam's sofa. She rested a hand over the swell of her belly.

'Funny,' Cassie said tersely, 'and Colonel Dixon said he'd call with an update at four o'clock. It's already five minutes past.'

Jennifer rolled her eyes. 'He'll call, Cassie. If he's running late it's because he's getting the latest information, that's all.'

Cassie sighed heavily and sank back into the oversize armchair. Her eyes strayed to the photographs on the mantelpiece. Sam had insisted they add the Fraiser's photos to her own so the entire mantel was weighed down with a multitude of pictures. Among them was one of Cassie with her Mom. She wished her Mom was still alive; that Janet Fraiser would walk through the front door to hold her again, to reassure her that SG1 would be OK; that they would be home soon. Her gaze moved on to the team photo that was proudly displayed. She hoped they were OK.

She'd said goodbye to Jack before they'd left; she knew there was a chance she wouldn't see him again as his brain was being destroyed by the Ancient knowledge he'd downloaded. She hoped they found some way to reverse the process so that he would live. Sam would do everything she could to save him; Daniel and Teal'c would do everything they could, Cassie knew that.

The phone rang and Cassie jumped to answer it.

'They're fine.' Dixon said by way of greeting. 'Well, fine as in Jack's been put in some kind of medical stasis but they're all OK.'

Cassie breathed a sigh of relief. 'Thank you.'

'You did not hear this from me you understand, kiddo?' Dixon replied. 'And you owe me like four nights of babysitting.'

'We said two.' Cassie shot back. 'Are they on their way home?'

'Weir's in a status meeting with the big shots now deciding what happens next.' Dixon said.

'OK.' Cassie said. 'OK. Thanks, Dave.'

'Pleasure, kid.' Dave signed off.

Jennifer pushed off the sofa and wrapped an arm around her. 'They're OK?'

'They're OK.' Cassie said and turned to hug Jennifer. She wouldn't be happy until they were back home and safe, but at least the wait for news was over. 'They're OK.'


Daniel glanced back toward the stasis chamber. Jack looked sightlessly back out at him. Daniel tried hard not to feel creeped out. Jack was safe; he was alive, and they would find some way of reversing Jack's decline. They may have found an outpost and not the Lost City but Sam was right; the chair was a valuable source of information and who knew what else they would find when they excavated the site fully. He threw another glance over his shoulder.

Sam was crouched just beside the chamber, checking and double-checking that the naquadah generator was hooked up properly to the stasis pod so that it would kick in if the power source Jack had found failed. It would keep Jack safe until they could reach the Asgard or come up with their own solution for helping him.

Daniel didn't want to consider the alternative; not having Jack alive and well. It felt like they'd just lost Janet and the loss had hit them all hard. When Jack had said he was going to need the weekend to get his affairs in order…Daniel's heart had all about stopped. His gaze drifted back to Sam. He wondered if she and Jack had actually talked about their feelings for each other in the past week. Probably not, Daniel mused; he'd found it hard enough trying to find the right words himself.

The rings activated suddenly. They all took up defensive positions automatically only to drop their weapons at the sight of General Hammond, wrapped up in a huge coat.

'Major,' Hammond began immediately, 'we've been ordered to leave the ice. I'm here to bring you topside.'

'We can't leave the Colonel, sir,' Sam said stubbornly, 'and it will take a few days to establish whether we can remove the pod safely.'

'Sam's right.' Daniel immediately jumped in to support her.

'I'm sorry, Major, Doctor.' Hammond's kind blue eyes shone sincerely in the dim lighting. 'But we have a major diplomatic incident on our hands. We'll get it sorted out and return but until then, you all need to come with me.'

Daniel could see the temptation to defy orders on Sam's face. If she did, he didn't have to look at Teal'c to know that they would both back her up.

'You have my word we won't forget the Colonel's situation.' Hammond said. 'We might physically have to leave him here but we're not leaving him behind, I promise, Major.'

It was the only thing that could have swayed her and Daniel figured Hammond was the only one who could have convinced her. Sam deflated and nodded.

They began to pack up; Hammond waiting silently. Teal'c bowed his head in front of Jack. Sam stopped, touching the surface again briefly. Daniel paused to make his own goodbye. Not goodbye, Daniel thought determinedly; but a 'see you again.' They would be back.


Rodney McKay almost barrelled into Simon Coombs as he hurried into the room. Rodney shot him a 'get out of my way' look and made his way into the circle of the rings. Lindsay Novak stepped up beside him and hiccupped loudly. He glared at her.

She smiled nervously back at him. 'Sorry,' hiccup, 'I know it's annoying,' hiccup, 'but it only happens,' hiccup, 'when I'm nervous.' Hiccup.

Rodney decided not to reply to her. The Prometheus was doing a quick fly-by of Nevada to pick up the repair team and supplies before returning to the Antarctic ice. The ship had sustained heavy damage in the attack by Anubis.

He didn't know what was worse; that there had been an attack that had left him pacing the command centre, listening to the military feed of the battle with practically everyone else at Area 51 who had high enough clearance to know what was going on, and worrying that life on Earth was about to end, or the stupid want that had coursed through him to actually be on the Prometheus helping the engineering team figure out how to stretch another minute out of their shields so Sam – and the rest of SG1 – had another minute to save the world. He had obviously gone insane working on the Stargate programme.

The world had almost ended. Rodney didn't fool himself on that. They had heard about the attack on the Nimitz battle-group. If SG1 hadn't done their thing and pulled off another impossible miracle…

He thought again about calling his sister. Jeannie had to have had the baby by now. It had been more than a year since she had called him and told him she was pregnant and marrying some English major. She had to have actually given birth to the kid at some point. OK, so maybe she had made the wrong (so, so wrong) choice in giving up her academic career to play at having a family but he should call her. He should have called her months ago but he'd been off-world a lot repairing the Prometheus on Tagrea, and the longer he left it the more difficult it seemed to pick up the phone.

Simon entered the rings with a frown, adjusting his glasses. 'They say eighty per cent of the 302s went down.'

'I heard,' hiccup, 'that both the squadron leaders were killed.' Hiccup.

Rodney rolled his eyes. 'Midget's not dead. They pulled him off the ice like an hour ago.'

'He's in critical condition. They don't think he's going to make it.' Simon said. 'And his name is Mitchell.'

'Whoever.' Rodney said dismissively. OK, he was so over this conversation. He'd just step out and call Jeannie, say hello…

'Heads up for transport, people!' The Colonel in charge yelled.

They were on their way. The rings descended and the last thing Rodney heard before the light took him was another hiccup.

Continued in Part II.





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