Greeks Bearing Gifts
Daniel Jackson has told me that the Tau'ri have a saying - beware of Greeks bearing gifts. Although the gift in this situation is three ancient armbands, not a large wooden equine, and the bearer is a Tok'ra, not a Greek, I am still suspicious. I do not trust the Tok'ra. They are Goa'uld, even if they do not care for the designation. Not calling myself a Jaffa, does not make me any less a Jaffa.
And this Anise ... she does not seem concerned with General Hammond's reservations. The female bandies words of treaty and cooperation between the races implying that fate of the Tok'ra-Earth alliance hinges on the experiment with the armbands. The race who developed these machines is now extinct. Gone the way of the dinosaurs, as O'Neill would say. And there is no answer for why, but at least Daniel Jackson thought to ask the question. Odd, that no one objects to not having an answer.
Odd too, that ... Anise ... does not seem bothered by her inability to use the armbands. Instead she appears to me to be overly eager to utilize my friends in her ... experiments. I do not like this. I remember only too well similar expressions many times in my Goa'uld masters and the look did not bode well for the recipients. My Tau'ri friends are enthralled by the armbands. Daniel Jackson sees only their history, while Samantha Carter sees only the scientific possibilities. I have seen that look in her eyes before. And even the ever careful Colonel O'Neill is beguiled by the thought of an advanced weapon against the Goa'uld.
I must be vigilant. My friends depend on me to be watchful.
O'Neill boxed with much prowess today. His movements were smoother, much less clumsy than is normal for him. Although I would not tell him this. He would not deal well with the term 'clumsy' in regards to himself. I attempted to make contact but was blocked at every turn. My comments on his ability cause him to pause, giving me my chance.
This is ... unexpected. O'Neill has successfully avoided my rapid punch technique. He has never done so in the pas...
...Dr. Fraiser is concerned for my well-being. I assure her I will be fine. O'Neill expresses false regret for my discomfiture, but readily agrees that he has no regrets when I expose his insincerity. This is not good. Even if O'Neill really did not regret the incident, concern for his team's ability to work together would compel him to conceal that emotion. Anise has said the armbands enhance the natural abilities of the wearers. I do not believe this to be an enhancement. And now she wishes to inflict the armbands on the remainder of my team. I do not believe this to be a good thing, but have no true argument to make against it. I fear for their safety.
Sergeant Siler is sleeping now, but was in much pain before. I have expressed to him my apologies for the behavior of my commander, but I fear only a personal apology from O'Neill will set the sergeant's mind at ease. I am certain that O'Neill did not intentionally harm him and will do more than send flowers when he is once more permitted to move freely about the base. General Hammond has ordered O'Neill to be confined, along with Daniel Jackson and Major Carter; he wishes to have no more such 'accidents'. My concern for their safety has risen considerably. Their personalities are changing with increased exposure. I no longer recognize my friends. And General Hammond and Doctor Fraiser are very worried now. The armbands will not come off. Even Anise seems puzzled by this turn of events. She has promised to seek advice from the Tok'ra High Counsel.
It is very alarming the armbands cannot be removed. But of even more concern to me is that my friends seem unaware of the threat to their safety. They do not wish the devices removed. They are enjoying their increased abilities. This cannot be good.
Perhaps when Anise returns, she will have more information from the High Council. I will not hold my breath.
Anise has just come through the Stargate, and, as I feared, has no helpful information concerning the devices worn by my friends. Instead, her ... people ... wish to borrow their new abilities to destroy a new Goa'uld ship, built by Apophis. General Hammond is very angry, and rightfully so. The Tok'ra knew of the ship before Anise was sent to the SGC. This has all been, as O'Neill would say, a 'set-up'. She has even successfully downloaded the information on the ship into the SGC computers, without receiving General Hammond's permission.
My friends' personalities continue to change for the worse. As General Hammond shows me the specifications for the new ship, he relates to me the latest of their ... escapades. It is with deep dismay that I realize they have been engaged in an altercation in town, defying an order to remain confined to base. Apparently the search for ... protein ... overrides their good sense. To make matters worse, it is equally apparent that the new ship is an undeniable threat.
A horrible thought occurs to me. "General Hammond, does Major Carter have her ... laptop ... in lockup?"
"Yes. They're not under arrest, Teal'c, just confined for their own safety. And ours."
The general is a wise man, but he does not understand the altered personalities of my friends. I must proceed to the Gateroom before it is too late.
I am too late. "O'Neill!"
"Sorry, Teal'c, not this time."
Then they are gone. So rapidly that I do not see them move. The effect is most disconcerting. The noises above me tell me the unconscious control room staff is being cared for. Despite the concerned voices, I know they are in no danger. O'Neill is not so lost to the madness of the armbands that he would deliberately harm them.
General Hammond is angry ... again. As well he should be. My friends have made many errors of judgment during this experiment. Perhaps this is what led to the extinction of the creators of the armbands?
"Teal'c, there's a chance the armbands may come off by themselves. It appears that SG-1's bodies are developing anti-bodies to the virus."
"Then I must wait no longer. I must find my friends. How are they armed? They left so quickly, I could not tell."
The general's eyes hold great sadness, and no small amount of fear. "They only raided the kitchen, Teal'c. They didn't take weapons, they took snacks."
Doctor Fraiser and Anise stand silently behind the general, but Anise has the wisdom to flinch under my gaze. The female has some sense. She knows if my friends are dead, I will avenge their deaths. And she will pay the price for her complicity.
My heart is heavy as I search. The Jaffa near the Stargate will be unconscious for quite some time, but there is no sign of my friends. The speed with which they are moving leaves no trail. They pass over an area too fast to bend a branch or leave a footprint. But I know they will approach the ship by the shortest path. I hope I have chosen correctly.
Ah. I am able to breathe more easily now. This path is littered with fallen Jaffa. My friends have used their time well, but I fear they have only a small amount of time left. If the armbands reject them too soon ... I will not consider it.
Staff weapon? I have found them. We have found them. Apophis' current slaves will *not* murder my friends. Two Jaffa down. Excellent. But Daniel Jackson is injured? No, his armband has fallen off, his body is but stunned by the sudden release.
The next few moments are a blur of activity as I assist Daniel Jackson toward the exit. O'Neill desires it to be so, assuring me that he and Major Carter will join us soon. The concern in his eyes tells me the madness is almost at an end. He is almost himself.
Daniel Jackson is an honorable man. He feels compelled to tell me of the danger we are in, that the C-4 has been planted and the timer initiated. But he is not a warrior. He does not know that the mountain will implode. That it will fall inward upon itself. That there is still time to make our escape. He remains because I choose to do so, prepared to die with me, with our friends. I remain to assist O'Neill and Major Carter if necessary, however, I will not allow Daniel Jackson to die. We will have time to reach safety after the explosion. But not very much.
It is almost time ... and they are coming. We will all survive this ... mission.
O'Neill, Major Carter, and Daniel Jackson have all apologized to General Hammond for their actions. He is an understanding leader, holding them blameless, knowing they were under the influence of alien technology. A Goa'uld would have executed them immediately. I confess to being most annoyed with my friends. Even knowing they could not help themselves does less to relieve my anger than seeing the expression on O'Neill's face as I pass him on the ramp. "I have no need to apologize. I was following orders." The feeling of ... superiority ... is most gratifying.
Anise is apologizing to my friends, as well she should. However, I doubt she is sincere. I do not trust the Tok'ra ... particularly those bearing gifts.