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Stargate: Carbon Copy 6/12 (Fanfiction)

CARBON COPY 6/12

Word Count: 32.873
Summary: An alternate reality asks for Daniel’s help. Earth is surrounded by enemies: Ba’al forged an alliance with the Ori to conquer the planet. The last hope is the Lost City of the Ancients. Daniel, along with Jack O’Neill, Rodney McKay and Carson Beckett, embarks on a mission to save the alternate Earth, not knowing that this adventure will change his life and relationship to his best friend forever.
Pairing: Jack/Daniel, Rodney/Carson
Rating: PG
Spoiler: Small ones for The Movie, The Enemy Within, In the Line of Duty, Seth, Point of View, Double Jeopardy, Meridian, Avenger2.0, Heroes, The Lost City, New Order, Avalon, Origin, Ex-Deus Machina, The Ark of Truth
Crossover-Spoilers: Stargate Atlantis: Rising, Hide and Seek / Stargate Universe: Air (blink and you’ll miss it)
Warnings: Torture, slash
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-shows Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe and the characters appearing within them belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.

Carbon Copy Masterlist
Chapter 5


6.



“You’re kidding me, right?“ Rodney asked, staring at Jack in hurt disbelief. The general’s hands were buried in his trouser pockets and he was looking at Rodney with his eyebrows raised.

He was standing at the window of the conference room in the SGC. Behind the window, a level under them, the embarkation room with the huge Stargate was situated. The fleece jackets of the four men were on the large conference table. After the Artemis had brought them to the SGC thanks to the Asgard beaming technology, they’d gotten rid of the warm jackets. They had the address.

Now, they were about to decide who should go to Atlantis. Jack wanted to keep the group as small as possible since everybody was needed on Earth and they weren’t expecting anything dangerous in Atlantis. The event horizon was shimmering behind the closed iris, throwing shadows at the rear wall of the 'Gate room. In twenty-four minutes the 'Gate would close. The only question was whether the scientists in the control room would be able to dial out faster than Ba’al could dial in. Jack had asserted his influence with the president and he’d agreed to give the journey to Atlantis priority over the evacuation.

“Doctor McKay,“ Jack started, but Rodney interrupted him rudely.

“No. I’m going with you to Atlantis. Don’t you think that I won’t. You need me.“

Someone cleared his throat behind them and Daniel turned around. A man, smaller than Daniel, was standing there. He had almost shoulder-length salt and pepper hair and his dark eyes seemed tired but determined.

He was wearing glasses that were accentuating his stubbled cheeks and chin, but were hiding the dark circles under his eyes. When he spoke, Daniel could hear a strong, Scottish accent which was more distinctive than Carson’s. “I’m sure the argument about who will go to Atlantis, and who won’t is rather interesting, but General …,“ and he looked Jack in the eye with an expression dripping with contempt, “… we don’t have all day. We can dial out in twenty-two minutes. You should be ready to step through by then.“

Jack ignored the piercing intonation, looking at Daniel instead. “This is Dr. Nicholas Rush, our Stargate expert.”

Daniel couldn’t avoid hearing Rodney snort contemptuously. Jack ignored it. “He’s writing the new dialling program. Doctor Rush, you know Dr. Jackson.”

The Scotsman nodded. “Sure.”

Jack stepped towards the scientist. “Are you sure that we’ll be faster than Ba’al?“

“Yes,“ the man answered, looking straight at Rodney, “I’m the lead expert on the Stargate.“

Rodney rolled his eyes. “And how did you plan on us coming back, Dr. Rush? I’m sure, the 'Gate will be in use when we want to dial home.“

“A timer should help you to find the right time to try and dial in. You’ll have a DHD at your disposal. That’ll help and I’ll write down what modification you have to make on the DHD, then you should be able to establish a wormhole faster than Ba’al can.“

“We should be able or will we be able?“

Rush narrowed his eyes in irritation. “Trust my expertise, Dr. McKay. If you would have studied the 'Gate instead of working for the QMC and spending your time in Antarctica, you would know that I’m right.“

“Alright,“ Jack interrupted the fight, “We’ll be right there, Doctor Rush.“

The other man nodded and left the conference room with one last glare towards Rodney.

“Arrogant Know-it-all,“ Rodney muttered, eliciting a raised eyebrow from Jack.

“Right, Doctor McKay, you’re not like him at all,“ he said. Rodney crossed his arms. Sighing, Jack returned to topic. “I need Dr. Beckett,“ Jack said calmly, “because of his gift to operate the Ancient systems and I need Daniel because he’s fluent with the Ancient language.“

“I’m just as good at reading Ancient as Dr. Jackson is, plus I know everything there is to know about the Ancient technology, General. If you take me with you, you don’t get just a translator but someone who actually knows what we’re looking for. The only reason you want Dr. Jackson to accompany you is because he looks like your dead boyfriend.“

The following silence was all encompassing. Daniel stared at Rodney, then Jack. All colour seemed to have fled from the general’s face.

Carson gave Rodney a light push in the ribs. “Rodney,“ he hissed.

“What?“ the scientist asked, “It’s the truth.“

Jack cleared his throat. “Dr. McKay, you will come with us,“ he said softly, “We’ll meet in fifteen minutes at the 'Gate.“

Rodney nodded contentedly and left the conference room. Carson cast an insecure look at Daniel, however, he followed the other man when Jack nodded at him. Daniel wanted to follow him but Jack said, “Danny, I wanted to tell you.“

Daniel shook his head. “No. That’s your personal life.“

Jack stepped closer. “I swear, I-“

“Jack,“ Daniel interrupted with a shake of his head, “we don’t have time for this.“ He smiled. “Everything’s okay.“ He left the conference room, Rodney’s words still ringing in his ears, and with the question on his mind what he was really doing in his reality.

***

It wasn’t as if the thought repelled or disturbed him. Daniel had always considered himself a liberal person who wasn’t only accepting and investigating other cultures but was also open to sub-cultures.

He was just a little surprised. Not because of himself, Daniel had flirted with his college roommate for a while although they’d never went beyond that, but because of Jack. Daniel wasn’t the kind of guy who believed in drawers but, until now, Jack had never given him reason to believe that he was gay.

Daniel should know. Years ago, he’d given up any hope that Jack could be interested in him in that way.

Daniel stared at his alter ego’s locker and brushed a thumb over the nameplate. Behind him, Rodney was complaining about uncomfortable shoes while Carson was trying to put on the equipment given to him in the correct order. Daniel opened the locker and looked inside. Uniforms were in it, lying properly on each other. Green on beige on black. Base uniforms were there, also. Blue and green. Civvies were lying in the shelf under them. Daniel recognized the white pullover he also had at home in his reality. Everything looked just like his locker. That had to mean … under his jeans, he found one of his journals. Sometimes, he wanted to write down something immediately before or after work. One of his journals was always in his locker – well hidden under his civvies.

Daniel took it and opened it, leafing through diary entries and stopping when he met a photo. Cassie, Jack and he himself on the steps of the porch behind Jack’s house. He was sitting one step lower than Jack, leaning against his shoulder. Cassie was squatting behind Jack, her arms wrapped around his shoulders.

They were smiling into the camera. Daniel turned the photo over.

Uncle Jack, Uncle Daniel and me after moving in, summer 2004

Daniel put the photo back and leafed to the last entry. A note slipped into his hand. Jack’s handwriting was ignoring the predefined lines. The blue colour of the ballpoint pen was faded and the paper soft and dog-eared. Old.

One more year, Danny.

Under the words a smiley. Carson’s soft voice startled him.

“Daniel?“

He closed the book and looked at him.

“You okay?“ Carson asked. He was wearing the full black mission equipment, even the vest, his backpack slung over one shoulder. Rodney was gone.

Daniel cleared his throat and nodded. “Fine.“

“We have to leave,“ Carson said.

“Yeah,“ Daniel answered slowly, “sure. I’ll be right there.“

Carson nodded and left the room. Daniel sighed deeply, putting the notebook back, before he took the black uniform.

The thought wasn’t repelling or disturbing him.

In fact, Daniel was a little envious.

***

The Stargate room was two levels high and besides the huge ring made of Naquadah, the only thing in it was a ramp leading up to the 'Gate. Daniel was standing at the foot of the ramp with Carson when the event horizon snapped shut. A new dial-in immediately started. On the ramp in front of Daniel and Carson, a MALP was standing, ready to evaluate the area for the team. The iris remained closed while the 'Gate was dialling. Daniel looked over his shoulder into the control room that was divided-off by a window. There, Dr. Rush was staring at a screen in concentration, ignoring Rodney who was wearing his black uniform and speaking intently to him. Jack, also in his mission gear, was watching the two with an expression bordering on amusement, while the technicians surrounding them chose to ignore the argument. Daniel breathed out, turning around to face the Stargate again. “We have to be faster,“ he mumbled. Carson nodded. The third Chevron engaged.

Carson stared at the 'Gate. “I have a bad feeling.“

The fourth Chevron engaged.

“What do you mean?“ Daniel asked.

“I don’t know,“ Carson answered. Chevron five engaged. “It’s just a bad feeling.“

Rodney and Jack joined them. Rodney was carrying an opened laptop in his arms. He seemed breathless with excitement, and Daniel also tensed up. It wasn’t just the tension from the hope that they were dialling faster than Ba’al, it was also excitement about the upcoming journey. Atlantis. Chevron six engaged.

Rodney looked at his laptop screen and nodded. “Energy levels look promising. No spikes.“

“How are you powering the 'Gate?“ Daniel asked, “To dial the Asgard homeworld, we needed an external energy booster.“

Rodney nodded. “Yes, we have a device developed by the Asgard. Another reality gave it to us in an exchange,“ he explained and looked at the 'Gate.

Chevron seven engaged.

“We’ll make it,“ Rodney smiled. Chevron eight engaged and the 'Gate opened with a kawoosh behind the iris.

Jack turned to the control room. “Good job, guys,“ he said. Doctor Rush accepted the praise with a hardly noticeable nod, but then concentrated on the controls again. The MALP was steered towards the event horizon and the iris opened.

“Let’s wait and see what’s on the other side,“ Rush suggested via the intercom and the robot vanished into the event horizon. Rodney looked at the laptop in his hands and Jack peeked over his shoulder.

“We’ve got daylight,“ Rush said. Daniel grew curious and stopped on Rodney’s other side. The screen was displaying a big, bright room. Directly in front of the camera, stairs were leading towards a second level and a window front. A blue sky could be seen through the glass. The camera of the MALP swung around and found corridors that led more deeply into the city. The floor was red and the walls kept in a neutral gray. Color elements - also red - on the walls warmed the atmosphere. In the walls and in some of the columns were water elements installed: small waterfalls and aquaria without fish in them. Altogether, the architecture was plain and practical, it was Ancient.

“Wow!“ Carson said, “I was on the Artemis and beneath the ice of Antarctica, but this …“

The camera sweeped the room but there was no sign of life.

“Looks abandoned,“ Rodney said.

“The warmth sensors aren’t picking up any life signs,“ Rush added.

“Let’s go then,“ Jack nodded, pulling his cap into his eyes. His hands found the MP hanging from his shoulder.

Rodney looked at the stopwatch. “We have thirty-six minutes and thirty-two seconds left.“ He put the watch into his trouser pocket. Daniel went up the ramp next to Jack.

The general glanced at him. “You okay?“

Daniel nodded. “Yeah.“ And he meant it. The headache had abated to a dull, bearable pain and he was about to set foot into the Lost City of the Ancients. In another reality … but nevertheless …

Jack’s voice betrayed his insecurity. “I mean-“

“I know what you mean,“ Daniel answered, smiling in assurance, “I’m fine, Jack. Really.“ He entered the event horizon.

***

He entered Atlantis. Daniel loved it at first sight. It was everything he imagined and he hadn’t even left the 'Gate room, yet.

Jack was looking around, the weapon ready, but at ease. They didn’t expect any residents. The city was called “lost” for a reason. Carson let out an astonished “Wow!” when he joined them, looking around. Rodney was the last one arriving, however, he immediately stuck his hand into the event horizon. They wanted to leave the 'Gate open the full thirty-eight minutes. Rodney waited until Rush’s voice sounded over the radios, “We blocked the event horizon.“

He pulled his hand out and stopped next to Daniel. “Well, one thing is for sure: They had taste.“

Daniel nodded. Jack took the stairwell towards the big window. “Look,“ he said and the others followed him. An ocean stretched in front of the window. No landmass could be seen. The sun was reflected by the gentle waves hitting the piers of the city. The city itself was gigantic. They were standing high up in one of the many towers surrounding them. Glass fronts were shimmering in the sun and only gave an idea of how many unexplored rooms were waiting here. The city was beautiful, looking like one of the modern metropolises on Earth with their skylines, and Daniel would have given everything for a little more time here. With a sidelong glance, Daniel saw an area which seemed to be a control room a couple of steps away. The equipment was standing there mutely, covered by sheets, waiting for its creators’ return. Daniel hoped that it would be content with them.

“Is the whole planet covered by water?“ Carson asked.

Rodney pulled a face. “Not likely.“ He turned away. “Let’s turn on the devices.“

Carson nodded, following Rodney towards the control room. Jack activated his radio. “Looks secure. We’ll search for ZPMs and other technology and dial home as soon as we modified the DHD.“

“Got it,“ Rodney said, pointing to a waist high table in front of him he’d freed of the protective foil.

Daniel joined him. The 'Gate’s symbols were engraved on the oversized buttons. Beside it, a screen was installed. The table and the other devices were of bright orange, which contrasted with the red floor. The Ancients were known for their esthetic technology. He admired them for it. His fingers traced the origin symbol.

Rush asked, “Tell me about it.“

Jack’s answer was curt. “I’ll give you a slideshow later.“

Daniel could imagine how Rush was feeling – left behind on Earth – and activated his radio. “The city’s huge. Surrounded by water.“ He hesitated for a second. “Beautiful,“ he finished. Rush didn’t answer.

“No, not that one,“ Rodney sighed and pointed out a device in the room’s corner, “Try that one.“

Carson unpacked the device and touched it. The control fields came on. Rodney started carefully and concentratedly to operate them. Carson watched him in fascination. Daniel left the DHD, approaching a narrow transition which led into a divided off room. It seemed to be the equivalent of General Hammond’s office - which was Jack’s now - and Daniel could imagine the city’s leader sitting behind the desk, delegating his people.

He took one step towards the office, but stopped on the bridge, putting a hand on the cool metal banisters. His eyes went to the open 'Gate and he smiled.

“Is it what you thought it would be?“ Jack asked softly and Daniel smiled at him.

“More.“

Jack swallowed, avoiding his eyes and looking at the 'Gate. He seemed to be embarrassed.

“What is it?“ Daniel asked in concern.

Jack shrugged. “That smile,“ he answered. Daniel ducked his head.

“Sorry,“ Jack said.

“It’s okay,“ Daniel answered.

“Got it!“ Rodney called and the two men joined him and Carson. Rodney was looking at a holographic screen, touching one of the whitely shining buttons on the control unit and nodded slowly. Carson curiously tapped one of the buttons. “Don’t do that,“ Rodney snapped. Carson crossed his arms.

“Where to?“ Jack asked.

“The ZPMs …,“ Rodney said, calling up what seemed to be a blueprint of the city. It looked like a faulty star. “… are on the north- and south piers of the city.“ He pointed them out.

Daniel nodded. “The third’s in the city’s centre,“ he added, pointing to the signal.

“Yes,“ Rodney answered. “Right …“ He called up a new blueprint showing the city from the side. He pointed at the highest tower. “We’re here. The ZPM’s ten levels below us.“

“Where’s the elevator?“ Jack asked.

“We can’t take it with us,“ Rodney answered.

Carson frowned. “Why?“

Rodney rolled his eyes. “The city needs it. The Stargate needs it. We’re taking the two ZPMs from the piers with us, but we can’t take the one in the centre. Not if we want to be able to dial out. Besides, we’ll need it if we come back some day.“

“Okay,“ Jack nodded in understanding, “two are better than none. What about weapons?“

Rodney breathed out in irritation. “I’m doing what I can, General, but I’ll need a while to read through the log.“

“Okay,“ Jack answered, by now used to Rodney’s curt ways, “Daniel and me will get the ZPMs. You’ll read, and work on the DHD. Doctor Beckett will help you.“

Rodney nodded his consent.

“Good. If there’s a problem, we’ll radio you, Doctor McKay.“

“You better,“ he answered.

“Let’s go.“

Chapter 7
Carbon Copy Masterlist