Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Characters: Sam Carter and a bit of everyone
Summary: She's not afraid of dying, but she's just not ready yet.
Author's Notes: Written for the wonderful amilyn, sorry that it's late, dear ;) Thanks to the wonderful people that helped read this over for me and come up with a title -- selmak, tielan, jadestrick, & venom69
Prompt: Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person. --Dr. David M. Burns
Janet Fraiser easily moved her legs to straddle the prone body of her best friend. Her hands expertly sought out the woman’s sternum and began pumping in a steady motion as she visually checked the woman over and took account of Sam’s vitals – or lack thereof.
All of their experience had proven that two shots with a zat were virtually one hundred percent fatal. Now they had to do everything that they could to prove those statistics incorrect. Janet knew that if there was anyone who could prove them wrong, it would be Sam.
Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person.
Sam wasn’t sure where the thought had come from. Was it something from her past? Something she’d read in one of the hundreds of books she’d pored over for hours while in school? Or was it something the entity had picked up from their computers and left behind? A little gift for her to remember it by for the short hours she had left before her life blinked out of existence for once and for all?
She pulsed through the computer system – pulsed through the core at the same steady beat that her blood had once pulsed through her veins and supplied her body with the very elements it needed for survival.
That realization scared her.
She knew that Janet was hooking her body up to machines right now in the hopes that there would be some way to save her after what the entity had done. And she knew that Janet would only allow that to continue for so long. Janet knew about her living will. So did the Colonel, Daniel and the General. They knew that was not the kind of life that she wanted to live. Sam knew that they wouldn't allow her to remain like that for long. As far as they knew, she was already gone.
She needed to find a way to get through to them.
She needed to find a way to get back to her body.
She needed to keep herself together and sane in the process.
Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.
The quote flittered on the surface of her thoughts and she held onto it. She needed to regroup, needed to hold things together. The last thing she needed was to find a way back to her body only to leave something of herself behind.
Images coalesced in her thoughts and she watched as a fourteen year old version of herself angrily tossed a ruined casserole into the trash.
“So, girl genius can’t cook. Finally, a sign that she might actually be from this planet after all.”
''Mark….” Their mother had warned.
''Hey, I'm just saying, Mom.” He'd taken a bite from the carrot he'd been waving and left the kitchen.
Sam stood there staring at the cookbook. It just didn't make any sense. She could understand Physics, she loved math – could do most of it in her head – and could do most of her science homework in her sleep. Yet she couldn't combine a few simple ingredients together and get an edible outcome.
''Not everyone can be a master chef, Samantha. And it’s not something that can be learned in a day.”
She sighed. How could she explain it to her mother? She didn't want to be perfect at everything, there were a lot of things kids at school talked about that she had no interest in at all. But when it came to classes she was expected to be the best. By her classmates, by her teachers, by her father.
Failing Home Ec, of all things, was NOT an option.
She hadn't failed.
Just after she'd given up and become content with the fact that she would never be any good at cooking, she seemed to get the knack. She'd passed, though ''only'' with a B+.
Sam remembered that time in her life well.
A few months later, her mother had been killed and she'd never wanted to step foot in a kitchen again. Eventually, she'd gone back into the kitchen: she'd become the main chef for her and her brother.
And, eventually, he'd even stopped making fun of her for it.
Now, living alone and rarely ever home for long periods of time, she didn't get to cook nearly enough. She'd have to try and change that. Invite the guys over for a team night and cook her mother’s casserole or something. Once this was all sorted out....
She filed the memory away in the core and hoped she would be able to retrieve it all when she made her way back to her body.
The next memory was that of an older, more confident Samantha Carter. She was engaged in a heavy debate on astrophysics with her professor. The 'strictly conventional' knowledge that he'd been teaching them stated she was wrong, but Sam had gone above and beyond when it came to her homework. She'd read a lot of the more controversial articles on the topic, some of which she too found to be ludicrous, but some of which she found merit in. These articles, combined with her conventional teachings, had lead her to her own conclusions, and no matter what Professor Monroe told her, she was sure she could support her reasoning and she would not sit quietly down while he just flatly insisted that she was wrong.
He'd been after her to come back to the Academy for a while now, even more since her last visit. He wanted her to teach, and maybe someday she would, but not yet. There was still so much for her to do in the field.
Her memories continued to flash through the circuits.
The proposal she had flatly refused while at the Academy when all that was on her mind was NASA and thoughts of a family were nothing near what she wanted.
The first time she'd ever executed a perfect maneuver at Mach Three in an F-16.
Her first bombing run over Iraq.
The first time she'd learned of the existence of the Stargate.
…touched the event horizon…
…stepped foot on a new world...
…met an alien…
…experienced a time dilation field…
…flew an interstellar ship…
…shared her body with an alien entity – definitely not on her list of favorites.
Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person.
She was happy.
And her work was more than productive.
Though she couldn’t deny that there were a few things about her life that she would want to change, work on, and improve.
She needed to spend more time with Cassie.
Call her brother more often, maybe even go out to San Diego for a visit some time soon.
She needed to stop putting off the ‘girl’s night’ Janet wanted to have.
Sit down and just watch the Star Wars trilogy with Teal’c.
Go to the mall with Daniel so that he would have that ‘female opinion’ on whatever it was that he needed to buy and wanted her opinion on.
Shoot pool with the Colonel. He’d been after her to shoot for a while now, though she suspected he was more interested in managing her side career as a pool shark.
Spend more time with her father. Maybe even get him and the General together the next time he was in town – out of the mountain – it had been a while since she’d listened to the two of them go on and on about the ‘good old days’. She knew damned well which one of that pair was the true Hell Raiser, and it certainly would never be veiled by the charming Texas accent.
All of her thoughts were neatly filed in a subsection of the memory core that the entity had built in the MALP room. Now, she just had to find a way to get their attention.
The energy level in the computer picked up. She pulsed through the system with a little more force than before, not just the subtle hum of energy that a dormant computer always had coursing through its memory core, but an energy filled with life, with direction, with purpose.
It took her a little while before she could find the right circuits – it was very different from this side of things – but she was able to manipulate the pixels. A simple message was all that she needed. Something to get their attention. Something to tell them not to give up.
“I am here.”
It started fairly simply, but the more she concentrated the easier it became and the further it spread. She could feel it, feel herself, reaching out beyond the MALP room, into the mainframe, onto each monitor.
“I am here. I am here. I am here. I am here. I am here. I am here. I AM HERE.”
Her voice grew stronger, louder, and she was screaming for them to hear her; to understand what she wasn’t sure she understood herself.
She felt the machine as it was connected to the core, she felt the instinctive pull of the energy, but she knew it wasn’t right, not yet.
They had heard her, but they weren’t sure. They might have thought they were grasping at straws.
The second connection was different, the pull more urgent, more right. The subsection of the core was easily uploaded, all of her memories easily transferred through the connection available and, before she knew it, she once again felt the refreshing feel of cold air against the inside of her lungs.
The effort it took to make her eyes flutter open nearly drained her of what remained of her strength, and the clarity of her vision almost took her breath away after seeing things through the two dimensional view of a computer screen.
The Colonel’s face greeted her, with Janet standing there beside him, smiling.
“Hey, Carter, where ya been?”
She sighed, the total feeling of physical exhaustion a bit overwhelming. “It’s gone?” She was fairly certain that the entity had been destroyed, but there was nothing wrong with being too sure, right?
“Yes, it is.” Hammond replied from the other side of the room.
“I was shouting for you to hear…”
“We heard,” was the Colonel’s steadfast reply.
She exhaled a deep breath and felt the burn in her lungs as she waited just a second too long before inhaling again. She wasn’t afraid to die; she’d faced death several times before and faced it head on. But she had always imagined that she would die at the hands of the Goa’uld, or in the middle of a firefight, not because some technological entity thought that her body would be a cool place to hang out for a while.
She had more to do, and now she had some more time to do it.
She wondered if Teal’c would mind watching Star Wars on the DVD player in the infirmary. Or if Cassie would be up for a game of chess. After she got some decent rest.