((30 second recap of “Full Alert” and “Revival”))
Samantha Carter stands on the edge of a dock somewhere on the American coast, looking worriedly at the small fishing boat bobbing in front of her. Dressed in civilian clothing and carrying a small knapsack, the Colonel watches while Jack O’Neill
loads gear and supplies onto the S.S. Homer
. She can’t help but voice her hesitation to ride off into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in vessel that barely looks seaworthy, but Jack just waves her concerns off. Insisting that he’s done this “a million times or so,” he hoists a box of foodstuffs onto the deck and steps over himself. He reaches a hand out toward Sam, suddenly softer, and promises her that everything will be alright. Her face flushing slightly, Carter takes his hand and steps onboard, taking a seat and looking up at the clear blue sky while Jack starts the motor.
A few hours later, they’ve made their way out to sea and are coasting along in perfect boating weather. After a moment of humming to himself, Jack turns to see Sam fiddling with an Ancient artifact she pulled from her knapsack. He sighs, cutting the engine, and walks up behind her before taking the device off the table when she moves to get her laptop. Carter tries to grab it from him but fails, and settles for insisting he give it back so she can at least try and get some work done. Frowning, O’Neill points out that she’s supposed to be on medical leave to help recover from the Tok’ra procedure she just underwent (“Revival”), and doing SGC work wasn’t part of the prescription. Sam tries again to get at the artifact, failing, and explains that she’s trying to help the Atlantis team with a data storage reallocation problem they’re having. The device he took is a similar node found in Ancient facilities in the Milky Way, and she’s close to figuring out how to tweak the systems in the necessary manner.
O’Neill crosses his arms and asks what the data node is needed for. Anything pressing or vital? Carter replies that that it allow the Expedition to store large amounts of the city database on portal storage systems as opposed to bulk supercomputers. If it was successful, they could actually bring that knowledge with them offworld when the situation called for it. Jack just rolls his eyes, saying that if it’s just going to let the eggheads drool a little more, it can wait until this trip is over. He tucks it in his own backpack and tells Sam that if she so much as touches it, he won’t let her do any fishing the whole time. Though she insists that she doesn’t really want to do something so boring anyway, and jabs that he should have used his vacation time to do something a little more worthwhile, Samantha can’t help but smile. She takes a rod when he hands one to her and sits down next to Jack, happy to be there with him.
That night, the two of them are preparing to go to sleep when Sam realizes that the boat’s tiny cabin only has one equally-tiny bed. Jack seems to have forgotten that up until now, awkwardly admitting that he hasn’t had free time to go on a trip like this in years. With all that time, he didn’t remember just how small the cabin was, and now they have a small dilemma. Clearing his throat, Jack sets their bags down on the floor and offers to sleep up on the deck. But Samantha refuses to have him kicked out of his own bed; she’ll sleep up there and he can stay in the cabin. O’Neill maintains that the lady should get the comfortable spot, and Carter fires back that the lady should get to choose for herself. The argument could well escalate, but they swiftly grow quiet when a clap of thunder roars overhead and it begins to rain. Looking out at the downpour, Jack picks up the bags and holds them toward Sam, grinning and saying that she’s right, she should stay up on deck.
Before she can respond, a bright white light engulfs the two of them, and they vanish in a flash. The S.S. Homer
is left to soak.
An Asgard transport beam
rematerializes them inside a ship very-clearly of Goa’uld design. The walls are sparse but polished, gleaming by the light of wall sconces, and a pair of decorative staff weapons are crossed above a console on the far wall. More of note, however, are the half dozen armed men standing around Sam and Jack. Each of them holds a zat gun, and there are pistols holstered at their sides and submachine guns slung around their torsos. Dropping the bags he’s holding in shock, O’Neill asks how they’re all doing, glancing uncomfortably at Samantha. None of the soldiers say anything, but after a lengthy delay, someone enters from another room. A woman of African descent, she slips past two of the silent guards and begins circling her guests.
She introduces herself as Linda Manning
, a name Carter immediately identifies as a South African businesswoman and lobbyist. Impressed, Manning said she wasn’t aware that her profile had grown so noticeable, something she would have to address in the near future. It’s not really important that she was easily recognized, though, since Sam won’t be going back to Stargate Command to expose her. Glaring at her, Carter remarks that the leader of SG-1 and the head of Homeworld Command
disappearing won’t just go unnoticed. Backing her up, Jack claims that he has a locator beacon on him that will allow the Pentagon to track his location and ensure his safe return. But Manning doesn’t quite buy that, calling his bluff and asking how stupid he thinks she is. Her people did extensive background checks on the security measures employed by the U.S. government for its highest officials. While tagging VIPs with locator beacons has come up as a possibility, it has yet to be implemented due to cost, privacy, and potential abuse concerns. As far as anyone in Washington, D.C. is concerned, the two of them are still on a boat a ways off the eastern seaboard.
Growing tired of this, Jack demands to know what this is all about. He’s gotten used to being taken hostage and held captive and pretty much anything else that could be in store for them, but he at least wants to know what deranged scheme it’s all a part of this time. Manning laughs, telling O’Neill that they’ll get along just fine, then grabs a zat from one of the guards. She points it at pair and tells them that everything will be revealed in due time, provided they cooperate with her demands. Then her eyes flash, showing her to have a symbiote inside her. Smiling at the surprised Carter, she asks why the al’kesh they’re in didn’t give that away, then stuns the Colonel. Furious, Jack lunges, only to be felled by a zat discharge from behind before he can reach her. Manning tosses the gun to one of the guards and orders them to lock up the Tau’ri personnel before heading for the exit.
Outside, a cloaked al’kesh maneuvers away from where it had taken up orbit directly over the Atlantic. It glides right under space-suited crews hard at work tweaking Asgard orbital defense satellites
, the same kind SG-1 promised to the Jaffa as soon as a sufficient number to defend Earth were produced (“Darkest Before Dawn”). Once the grid is in place, hundreds of the weapons modules will fire pulse variants of the beams installed aboard the Odyssey
. It should serve as a powerful supplement to the Ancient defense platform in Antarctica, but it will take some time before the network is fully operational. But as long as it’s offline, it’s of no use in stopping threats to Earth. The al’kesh easily ducks toward an opening in the satellites and makes for the moon, where it can safely execute a jump into hyperspace.
Several hours later, Jack comes to in a small room elsewhere in the craft. He looks around and sees Carter up at the door trying to pry the controls loose, a look of intense concentration on her face. O’Neill sits up and makes a guttural sound to get Sam’s attention, then asks what she’s trying to do; the odds of their captors not disabling their side’s control panel are slim to none. Pulling at it again, she grunts and explains that a redundancy in Goa’uld systems will ensure a current is still running somewhere inside. If she can realign the crystals a certain way, she should be able to draw more power from the generator and reroute it to open the door even if it’s been locked down. Watching, Jack asks how long it would take to do that, and there’s where Carter admits it may be a pointless pursuit. Even with the perfect conditions, it could well take a day or more to bypass security measures that would instantly detect a power-up.
Finally giving up, she turns around and says that she can’t just sit there and wait while they’re whisked away to wherever they’re going. There’s only one group that both has access to symbiotes and Asgard technology, and that’s the Trust
. They’ve been quiet for a while now since Baal
was killed, and it’s likely that he supplied a great number of their operations on Earth. With the disgraced System Lord presumed dead (“Dominion”), the Trust has been leaderless--and, the SGC hoped, powerless. That assumption, however, was clearly mistaken. They must have found a way to replicate the tech Baal stole from Anubis and also replace the funding he provided them. Jack agrees, guessing that Goa’uld infiltration of major human corporations is worse than they suspected. What worries him more, though, is that they’ve even managed to slip into the Pentagon; he told no one outside of the President and his staff where he was going, and Sam only received the invitation the day before. It’s possible she was followed, but this abduction doesn’t quite seem spur-of-the-moment.
Just then the door opens and startles Carter, who had been leaning against it. She backs away and stands near Jack, watching as a handful of Trust guards enter with zats at the ready. Manning is nowhere in sight, but an older gentleman steps in and welcomes the two aboard their al’kesh in a thick Nordic accent. Samantha eyes him suspiciously, trying to place the face or voice, but comes up empty this time around. O’Neill, though, recognizes him almost at once as the head of a Swedish military contractor who visited the Pentagon a few months ago to cut a weapons deal with the Navy. His name is Henrik Salander
, and as Jack understands it, he has the ear of Sweden’s Prime Minister on a regular basis. Nodding, Salander congratulates him on a fine reading of his personal dossier, but can’t help but add in that he’s also been a high-ranking member of the Trust since Baal took command. That probably wasn’t in the report, so he won’t hold Jack accountable for not knowing it sooner. The organization needed a powerful voice in Europe, and the Salander Group
has been tapped by half the European Union to do work for one branch of their militaries or another. He was the logical choice for Goa’uld implantation, and it’s paid off.
But he didn’t come here to answer questions all day, and he directs his men to seize Carter and bring her along. He needs her assistance with something, and in the meantime, O’Neill can relax in the cell until he’s needed for interrogation. One of his guards grabs Sam and drags her from the room, leaving Jack to helplessly stare after her, teeth set and fists clenched. Smiling, Henrik pats him on the shoulder and promises not to harm her... at least not yet. With that, he turns and strides from the room, letting the blast door slam shut behind him.