Title: ALife Interrupted
Spoilers: With the exception of the beginning of the first part, which takes place during 'Secrets', the story is set at the beginning of Season Eight, so there'll be spoilers from 'Stargate: SG-1' up to that point. All of 'The 4400' is fair game, spoiler-wise.
Summary: "The last thing I remember is being in Washington. How could I be gone for six years and not remember?" Crossover with 'The 4400'.
Feedback: Feedback is more than welcome, flames are not.
Disclaimer: 'Stargate SG1', 'The 4400' and all the characters associated with both shows belong to people who aren't me. As I doubt that the owners would be willing to trade their rights for some magic beans that aren't in any way magical, this is not going to change at any point in the foreseeable future.
Author's Note: This was originally a challenge I posted on a few of the forums here, but the idea kept nagging at me.
Author's Note II: While some of the events between 'Secrets' and this story happened as they did onscreen, this is for the most part an alternate timeline so obviously, there will be changes.
August 21, 1998
"I have cancer, Sam."
"What?" She couldn't believe what she was hearing, though her father's words echoed in her head even as she spoke.
"Lymphoma." His tone was calm, but she knew that even if he had been terrified, he would never have let his feelings show, especially in front of her.
"That's bad." Oncology wasn't her area of expertise, but she knew enough to know that.
Her father smiled wryly. "Well, it's not good. But it's not the worst." He reassured her. "Don't you worry. I'll be around for a while."
"Oh God, Dad!" She hugged her father tightly, holding back her tears, knowing that he had never had much patience with them. Carters didn't cry.
"I was hoping to stick around long enough to see you become an astronaut." He said coaxingly. "Sweetheart, I don't care what it is you do in that mountain, nothing in the world can live up to the chance of actually going to space. Not for you. It's something you're wanted your whole life. And I admit it, I want to see you fulfill your life's dreams before I die."
"It's my dream. Doesn't that make it up to me?"
"Fathers have dreams, too."
"Sorry, I can't…" She hated not being able to tell him the truth about why she had to reject his offer, an offer she would have jumped at a few years ago.
"All right." His tone became brusque as he turned away, hurt by her rejection. "Like I said, this thing's going to go on for months, so you don't have to check up on me tomorrow."
"Dad, please don't go like this…"
"Congratulations on the medal. I'm sure you deserve it." He left, not waiting for her to respond.
"Dad!" He never looked back.
The tears flowed unchecked down her cheeks as she turned to face the window, looking out onto the neighbouring buildings.
The sunlight seemed to be magnified through the glass, the glare almost blinding her. It took a second for her to register that the light she was seeing wasn't coming from the sun, but from the ceiling.
She was gone before she could make a sound.
August 14th, 2004
"The first three groups have gone through to the Alpha Site." Jack reported to General Hammond. "The fourth and fifth groups are getting prepped."
Hammond nodded acknowledgement. "Good. And your team?"
"Major Mitchell went through with the first group. Daniel and Teal'c are ready, they're helping Dixon co-ordinate the evacuation."
"I want all of you to go through as soon as possible. When you get to the Alpha Site, you're to take command." Hammond ordered.
Jack's expression was sober. "What about you, sir?"
"The Alpha Site's resources are very limited." Hammond reminded him. "And there isn't a lot of time."
The comet had changed course so suddenly – which Dr McKay, backed up by Jack, had insisted meant that it wasn't really a comet – and was approaching the planet so rapidly that they had not had time to appeal to the Asgard for assistance or to contact more than a handful of the people on the Genesis List.
Most of the people being evacuated to the Alpha Site were SGC personnel. Hammond did not plan to be one of them.
"I've made my decision, Jack." He sad gently, knowing the other man well enough to see that he wanted to argue, that he would be willing to drag him down to the 'gate room and through the stargate kicking and screaming if that's what it took.
"With all due respect, sir…"
Whatever Jack might have said was lost when Rodney McKay, never exactly a respecter of rank, called for them to join him in the briefing room.
"The comet's changed course again." He announced as soon as he saw them. "Not that it's really a comet… whatever it is, it seems to be heading towards Washington, by Mount Rainier." His attention was focused on the screen of the computer tracking the comet's movements. "The speed is dropping; it's at Mach seven… Mach two… subsonic… it's leveling off and continuing to lose speed."
"Is the damn thing coming in for a landing or something?" Jack demanded. A couple of hours ago, he had been looking forward to observing the comet through his telescope then things had gone from bad to worse and now to bizarre.
"What's going on?" Jack scowled darkly when he saw Daniel enter the briefing room, Teal'c following close behind. "Shouldn't you two be at the Alpha Site by now." Daniel ignored him completely.
"Turn up the volume." Hammond instructed Teal'c, who was standing nearest to the television brought up to keep an eye on news reports. The glowing blue object was growing larger, it's approach captured by a slightly shaky camera while the newscaster kept up a running commentary.
"We're close to the base of Mount Rainier. The ball of light is massive; one hundred, two hundred feet in diameter, it's hard to tell. We're going to try to get in closer. I can tell you that this is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible sights I've ever seen. We're still looking for some sort of official from the government."
Apart from the reporter's words, the briefing room was silent as those within watched the ball of light shimmer and seemingly collapse inwardly before the light burst forth from it, the glare from the television screen bright enough to oblige some of them to shield their eyes.
Hammond pitied those at Mount Rainier. They must have been half blinded.
"We're not sure what's just happened. The ball of light is gone."
The steam from the lake shroudedthe beach and for a moment, that was all anyone could see. As it slowly cleared, they could begin to make out shapes.
"Thousands of people have just suddenly appeared!" The reporter's tone mingled excitement and awe. "This is amazing. There are thousands of people as far as the eye can see."
The cameras focused on first one person, then another, zooming in on bewildered faces, then panning out to show larger groups as those holding the cameras tried to decide what they should be concentrating on.
Those in the briefing room were silent for a few moments, their attention split between the footage on the television and the images on the computer screens.
A flash of blonde hair and a glimpse of a blue military uniform caught Jack's eye and he felt a lump form in his throat when the camera zoomed in on a familiar face for the briefest of instants.
"O'Neill?" Teal'c was concerned when he saw his friend pale.
"I think I just saw Carter."