Sara walked out of the grocery store. It wasn’t normal for her to feel on edge anymore, but for some reason her ‘spidey senses’ were going off. That’s what her old teammates would call it when she could feel an ambush approaching. More than once did her intuition save their lives.
“Keep walking, as if nothing is wrong,” a voice all too familiar said behind her.
“What do you want, Colonel?” she asked as she reached her black Ford Explorer.
“You need to come back to the team,” Colonel Maybourne replied.
“No, I left that life years ago. I can’t go back.”
“You’re country needs you,” he said as she looked at him for the first time in three years.
“I have a new life now.”
“And does your new boyfriend, Doctor Jackson, know about your past assignments?”
“There is no need for him to know. I want to leave the past in the past, where it belongs, sir.”
“And what if your secrets come back to haunt you? What will you and your precious Doctor do then?”
Sara turned and faced her old commander. “I am haunted every night by my secrets. You have no idea what kind of hell I live in, what kind of demons I fight just to stay human. Daniel needs not know.”
“What if he finds out?”
“I don’t plan on that happening. But sir, if he was to somehow find out, I would make sure that the person would pay for his suffering.”
“What about yours, Sara? Who would pay for your suffering?”
“I’m sure you loose sleep over thinking about my suffering,” she said sarcastically. “My suffering is my own. Now if you would excuse me Colonel, I have things to do,” she said opening her car door.
“This is not the end of the Captain,” he said. Sara turned from him and when she turned back, he was gone.
Inside her car, on the drive back she knew that she had to go to General Hammond and let him know everything before someone pulled her back to the darker side of the military.
Sara climbed into her bed, alone. Daniel was off world and wasn’t expected home for another two days. She was usually too busy during the day to miss him too much. At night, alone in bed was harder, even harder after her run in with Colonel Maybourne. She had worked too hard to get away from all that, there was no way she could go back without losing what was left of her soul.
She had just turned out the lights and laid her head on her pillow when she heard a car pull up. It was probably a neighbor, getting home late, she figured. Every little noise put her more on edge that night. Her ‘spidey senses’ had not disengaged since that afternoon. Not even the two stiff drinks she had consumed helped to take the edge off her tension. Someday she hoped that her demons would leave her alone and she prayed that it would happen sometime while she was still cognitive enough to realize it.
Sitting up straight in bed, Sara knew that she heard something. It sounded like her back door opening and closing. Not many people would hear such a quiet noise and be able to place it. Footsteps, quite footsteps went from her kitchen to her living room and were heading towards her bedroom.
Reaching under her bed, her hand found the 9mm pistol she kept secured against the frame. Silently, she unfastened it and brought it into bed with her, lying down, not wanting to tip off her intruded as she took the safety off. If she were to have anything on her side, it would be the element of surprise. If it was a burglar or other petty thief, they had chosen the wrong house to come to, but if it was someone with similar training as she did, Sara knew she was already dead but was determined to go out fighting.
A male figure stood in the doorway as she sat straight up in bed and cocked her weapon.
“Don’t come a step closer and put your hands where I can see them. NOW!” she told the intruder.
“Sara?” the figure said.
Not taking her eyes off the figure she switched on the light next to her bed, she saw Daniel standing there, looking terrified. Immediately she lowered the 9mm and put the safety back on.
“Daniel, you weren’t supposed to be back for two days. You scared me.”
“I thought I would surprise you,” he said sounding shaky. “Jack twisted his ankle, so we came home early.”
“I thought you were a bugler or something worse.”
“Why do you have a gun in here?”
Sara looked down at her hand to see that she still gripped her handgun. “Protection. I am sorry Daniel.” She emptied the chamber and returned it to its place under her bed. All of her actions were so practiced that she barely realized that she had returned the weapon to his holder. She pulled her knees up to her chin and wrapped her arms around her legs.
“I am sorry too. I didn’t realize that I would frighten you,” he said as he crossed the room to sit next to her. Sara stared straight out, not really seeing anything.
“I… I could have…shot you.”
“But you didn’t,” he said as he put an arm around her, realizing that there was more than just his surprise visit that was upsetting her. “Do you want me to go?” he said softly.
Sara shook her head no. Tears began to fall from her eyes; the adrenalin from the whole day was finally wearing off. Daniel pulled her close to him, holding her in his arms as the tears fell faster. He placed a kiss on the top of her head, never seeing her like this before. “Do you want to talk about it?”
She shook her head no.
“Then let me hold you. Lie down, my Sara. You’re safe with me,” Daniel said in barely a whisper. She did as he asked and he climbed under the covers with her after quickly removing his clothing and held her tightly until she finally drifted off to sleep.
“Oh, Sara. What kind of demons haunt you so much?” he asked the sleeping Sara, knowing he would not get an answer, slightly afraid of what the answer might be.
Sara snapped to attention in General Hammond’s office as he entered. She was very nervous, but knew she had to inform her commander.
“Thank you for seeing me on such short notice, sir,” she began.
“You said it was important. So what is so urgent, Captain,” the General said as he took his seat behind his desk.
“Yes, sir. Last night on my way home, a former commander of mine approached me. He told me he wanted me back.”
“Who was this?”
“Colonel Maybourne, sir. He was the one who gave me my first assignment after the Academy.”
“Colonel Harry Maybourne?”
“You know of him, sir?”
“Let’s just say that we have had our run in’s with the Colonel over the years.”
“I see, sir. Well, he seemed rather insistent about me returning. I don’t know why he would want me back; I haven’t done that kind of work in almost four years. He even threatened to reveal my past.”
“Why would that bother you?” he said and then it came to him. “You’re concerned about Doctor Jackson and how he would react to the information, aren’t you?”
“Yes, sir,” she replied, trying to not look embarrassed by everyone knowing about her relationship with Daniel.
“So you haven’t told him?”
“No, sir. He is not cleared for that kind of information. I’m sure you don’t even have the specifics of some of my missions.”
“Your loyalty is admirable but don’t you think he will find out anyway? Doctor Jackson is a smart man.”
“I know sir but I cannot betray my country so I sleep better at night. General, I came to you to let you know what happened and to tell you that I do not want to be reassigned. I like it here. The work I am doing is amazing and I feel that I am doing a lot of good.”
“Yes, you are Captain and I do not intend on transferring you anytime soon.”
“Thank you, sir for listening to me. There is nothing about my past that I would want to return to and I wanted to make that clear to you before anything ugly rears its head,” she said.
Sara felt a little better after her conversation with General Hammond. Colonel Maybourne really did scare her and she knew that she had to protect both herself and Daniel from her past.
Sara returned to her lab, working on her project. She knew the answer was close, so close she could taste it, but the final pieces eluded her. She had run every test she could think of and several suggested by Major Carter. Leaving her computer, she went over to one of the other workstations and looked around for some kind of inspiration when Sara found a kit she had used back at the Academy. It was the kind of kit that you could make models of molecules in organic chemistry class. It had been years since she had used the kit but figured that she had tried everything else, what did she have to lose?
Taking the kit back to her computer, she had begun to put the structure together with the known components first. It was coming together nicely and she was amazed that it was working so far. Such a low-tech tool, she had run a computer simulation like this easily a hundred times but this was different. This was something she could touch, something she could build with her own hands.
The solution came to her all of a sudden. The reason why she though the sample was contaminated was that there was a new element that she had never seen before. Normally something like this would be discovered earlier on in the project, but this new element mimicked traits of several other known elements. Before she went off naming this element, things would have to be verified, but she knew she was right about this.
“Major Carter,” Sara said excitedly over the phone. “I solved it! I have discovered the composition of the metal.”
“Are you sure Sara?” the Major said, trying not to get excited herself.
“Yes, ma’am, I don’t think I have ever been so sure in my life about anything.”
“I’ll be right down. Start running off copies of all your work and lock up your originals,” Sam said and hung up the phone before she ran down to Sara’s lab.
“Whoa, where’s the fire, Sam?” Jack asked as she almost ran into him.
“Sara just discovered what that metal is made up of. She sounded very excited about it,” she continued down the hall, Jack following her.
The two of them arrived in Sara’s lab, seeing the chemist scuttle around the room, collecting papers.
“Sara, let me see what you have,” Sam said as she entered the lab. Jack stayed back, not wanting to get “hit” with too much information.
“Look at this,” Sara said as she pulled out some papers and pointed to the module that sat on the table. “The reason I thought it was contaminated was because of this element here and here. It has some of the properties of Tritium and some of Iridium but not all of them. It took building the molecular structure to finally realize it.”
“This is great news. We need to get this all verified but I think you need to start thinking of what you are going to call this,” Sam said getting excited as she looked over the data. “I think it’s time to call General Hammond and let him know.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Sara replied as she went over to the phone and called her commanding officer’s office. He seemed excited about the discovery and told her to start getting her data together to send out for confirmation. The next thing she did was called Daniel’s office, but he was not there. Jack offered to go search for him as the two scientists looked over the data some more.
Jack searched for Daniel, finding him in the mess hall with Teal’c eating lunch.
“Daniel, there you are,” Jack said as he approached the table. “I’ve been sent to get you.”
“What’s the matter?” he asked.
“Sara, she…” Jack said.
“Where’s Sara?” Daniel said jumping up from the table, remembering the night before.
“In her lab, she sent me to get you.”
Daniel ran off in fear that something had happened to her. He had never seen her as distraught as she was last night. What kind of horrible thing could have happened to her? He could vaguely hear Jack calling out to him, but all of his attention fell on getting to her lab.
Expecting to see med teams in the lab, Daniel was shocked to see only Sam and Sara in the room, focused on the computer.
“Sara?” he said as he approached them, very confused.
“Daniel!” she said seeing him, her whole face lighting up as she ran over to him. Instinctively, his arms wrapped around her as she practically threw herself into him.
“What’s the matter?”
“Matter? Oh nothing is wrong. I solved it,” she said, not able to keep her excitement in.
“Solved it? Oh, the metal. That’s good but why are you so excited about?”
“Because, oh geese,” she said running her hand through her hair and unable to stand still. “I think I discovered a new element!”
Daniel was shocked to hear what Sara had said. All this time she though it was a tainted sample and felt that she was running into a wall. This was a major discovery. He hugged her tightly, not caring that she was in uniform or not.
Sara took his hand and brought him over to the computer she was working on to show him. All of his fears left his body as he watched Sara explain everything to him. Looking at her, all he could see was the Sara that he knew, the Sara he held in his arms as she cried last night was gone.
“Congratulations Sara,” Jack said as he toasted her. “I have no clue what any of it means, except that it’s a big deal.” They all sat around a large table at O’Malley’s, a restaurant frequented by many of those assigned to the SGC. Daniel squeezed her hand as she smiled, still bubbling with excitement from her discovery.
“What are you going to name it?” Sam asked.
“O’Neillium sounds good to me,” Jack said, only half joking.
They all laughed. “I don’t really know, sir. I was thinking Pantheronium, after my old unit, but I am not sure about how that sounds. I feel like I am naming a child not a new element.”
Daniel wondered what old unit she was talking about and why she would name it after them, a unit she requested a transfer from.