Disclaimers and other info in part 1.
"Unscheduled off-world activation."
She looked up from the intricate piece of... something she was studying. Barely glancing back at it, she jumped from her stool and walked quickly down the corridor.
"What's going on?"
She looked back at a man with short brown hair and blue eyes framed by glasses. The same one that had appeared frequently in her dreams lately. Daniel. "No idea. Guess we'll find out."
They walked by a guard who nodded in greeting and climbed a set of stairs. The stairs led to a room full of extremely expensive equipment. She knew it was extremely expensive because there were thousands of tiny lights flashing at her.
"Who is it, Sergeant?" a tall, gray-haired man asked. He wore the uniform of an Air Force brigadier general.
"I don't... receiving IDC, sir." The sergeant's brow creased. "It's the Tok'ra, General."
"Open the iris. Wonder what they want this time?" he drawled.
She watched as a metal shield retracted into a giant ring. The same blue light as last time shimmered at them, and two forms stepped through. She followed as the general and the man called Daniel hurried down to them.
"Jacob. What brings the Tok'ra 'round these parts? I thought we weren't friends anymore." The general's voice was tinged with sarcasm.
"Hey, Dad," she spoke up.
"Hey, Sam." The taller, balding man gave her a quick hug, then turned to her CO. "Jack... we need to talk."
"Colonel MacKenzie? Colonel?"
Mac blinked. "I... I'm sorry, Your Honor."
The judge looked at her strangely. "Your witness."
Mac stood. As she did, she realized that the entire courtroom was looking at her oddly. How long had they been waiting for her?
She began her cross-examination of the witness. Her head was spinning, and she didn't pace the floor as she usually did. Instead, she simply stood in front of the witness stand and asked her questions.
The room blurred, and she shook her head to clear it. A dull pain was forming behind her eyes and at the small of her back.
"And you're... absolutely certain..." Mac trailed off in the middle of her question, having lost her train of thought.
"Colonel MacKenzie? Are you all right?"
She grabbed for the stand, trying to keep herself upright. Her knees gave out, and she collapsed to the floor, weak from dizziness.
"Mac!" People were calling her name, but it was as if the sound was traveling through water. The judge rapped her gavel, calling for a recess.
Mac struggled to sit up, but was urged to lie down until an ambulance arrived. She obliged, and the darkness took her.
"Harry, why is it that whenever you show up, there's always trouble?" Jack paused. "Actually, it's the same thing with you, Jacob."
She watched the interaction between her commanding officer and the visitors with amusement. The general didn't seem quite as put out by the impromptu briefing as he tried to look.
"Jack, Jack, Jack..." the one called Harry smirked. "Can't a friend drop in just to say hi?"
"When they're wanted for treason? No, not really," Jack shot back. She raised her metaphorical eyebrows. Treason?
Jacob shot Harry a glare. "We've been questioning Colonel Maybourne for quite some time on NID activities that took place before he was arrested. Apparently, the NID was working on experiments that Nirrti had started."
"Wait... you're saying that the NID was trying to create a hok'tar?" Daniel asked, his brow creased in puzzlement.
Jacob nodded. "Not only that," he continued grimly, "but they succeeded."
The room fell silent. The group turned and stared at Maybourne, who was nearly squirming under the weight of their collective gazes.
"Almost succeeded, Jacob. Almost. Actually, we didn't do much of anything."
"Oh, no, Maybourne. You're not weaseling your way out of this one," Jack said quietly. That was the tone of voice that always preceded something... not pretty.
"Oh, come on, Jack! You can't expect me to tell you every little detail--"
"When I save your ass, I damn well do!" Yeah. Not pretty.
"I think the ass-saving was mutual a few times there, Jack."
Silence. Then, "Names, Maybourne."
"I want the names of the people whose lives you screwed around with."
"It's not like I remember everything from one op four years ago, Jack."
The general focused on Maybourne with laser intensity. "Then give me the name of the person you 'didn't do much of anything' with."
Maybourne glared at Jack. "It doesn't matter, Jack. She already had some kind of psychic ability before we--"
"Experimented on her? Like a lab rat?" Her voice was cold, and she was unsure who was talking--herself or Sam. "Like something that exists solely to be poked and prodded and stuck with needles for the betterment of mankind?" She rose from her chair. "Give us a name, Maybourne. Or I swear I will beat you senseless."
She expected the general to tell her to stand down. However, he didn't, and she advanced on the cowering man.
"Sarah MacKenzie!" he finally blurted. She straightened, and he couldn't hide his relief. "She was a Marine lieutenant colonel when I last saw her."
"And did she know you were experimenting on her?"
"No," Maybourne said through gritted teeth. "But she was our best bet to find out exactly what Nirrti was trying to do. Like I said, she had already shown signs--"
She turned away from the furiously backpedaling man. "Permission to be dismissed, General?" she asked crisply, fairly vibrating with rage.
"Sure, Carter," the general replied, smothering a grin. "Why don't you go with her, Daniel, Teal'c? I think Harry and I need to have a little... chat. Between friends. You know how it is."
Her eyes snapped open. "What the hell is happening to me?"
"You blacked out, Mac," a disembodied voice answered. She suppressed a sigh. Harm.
"That's embarrassing," she muttered.
"Let me go get a doctor." She didn't object. The sooner a doctor examined her, the sooner she could get the hell out of there and find out what was going on.
Hours later, after suffering through a myriad of tests, she was finally released. "There's nothing wrong with you. At least, nothing that shows up on the PET scan or MRI--or wasn't already there." The doctor shook his head in confusion. "I suggest taking it easy for the next few days. And if you have any more dizzy spells, I want you back here ASAP."
Harm escorted Mac out of the hospital and helped her into his car. "Harm, I'm not going to break!" she snapped.
"I know that, Mac. I'm just worried about you. Humor me?" He smiled sheepishly, and she couldn't find it in her to stay angry with him.
"Yeah, yeah." She waved a hand and leaned her head against the headrest.
"General Cresswell wants you to take some leave," Harm said a few minutes later. She looked over at him. He was obviously bracing for an explosion.
"You know, that's actually a pretty good idea," Mac replied. Harm glanced at her in shock.
"Did you just agree to take leave?" he asked incredulously.
Mac smirked. "Yeah. I guess I did."
They pulled up to a stoplight, and Harm leaned out the window. "Did you see that?"
"That squadron of pigs that just dive-bombed us."
Mac rolled her eyes and punched her laughing friend in the arm.
"Gooood morning, Colonel. This is your four thirty a.m. wake-up call."
She groaned and rolled onto her side. "Four-thirty?"
She opened one eye. Dream or reality?
A grinning, graying Air Force general stood in the doorway. Dream. But this was the most oddly coherent set of dreams she had ever experienced.
"'M up." She sat up and tossed her blanket aside. She rubbed her eyes and yawned. "What's going on, sir?"
"We've found Maybourne's laboratory victim. Just thought you'd like to know."
She sighed. "All due respect, sir, but couldn't this have waited another hour?"
He paused. "Probably. But it's six-thirty in Washington, and you have to catch a flight."
"For the last time, Harm, I don't need a babysitter!"
He put his hands up in surrender. "Okay, okay. But I'd feel a lot better if you weren't going alone. I mean, who knows what could happen?"
She pressed her lips together. When she thought she had her temper under control, she spoke. "Harm. I am a Marine. I have my cell phone and my gun. I. Will. Be. Fine."
He stared at her. "I'm sure you'll be fine," he finally said. "I'm more worried about anyone who surprises you on this little field trip of yours."
She knew she was edgy. She couldn't help it, though. Those damnable dreams wouldn't stop, and she had the strangest feeling that they weren't really dreams.
"I'm sorry, Harm." She shook her head. "Hopefully, I'll come back in a better mood." She opened the car door and climbed out of the passenger seat. "See you in two weeks."
"'Bye, Mac. Have a nice trip! Find lots of ichnites for me!" he called after her.
She waved, acknowledging his farewell.