Jack watched the young boy open his present with unbound
enthusiasm. The fragile paper was eagerly torn from the round package
and Kirn's face lit up with delight when he spied the small gizmo lying
nestled in yet more tissue.
"Thank you!" the dark haired child squealed as he excitedly removed
the gift from the box. His parents beamed and then pushed another gift
towards him. Jack smiled, remembering Charlie's birthdays and his son's
enthusiasm at ripping through his gifts as fast as he could, never
taking the time to appreciate any single one until he could gather them
all later and go sit in a corner, testing each one out, running back to
Jack or Sara to show them something or question them about its
It looked like celebrating birthdays on this planet had developed
in the same manner as on Earth. The toys Kirn had already unwrapped
were now forgotten as he dove into the remaining pile, including the
small token of chocolate that Daniel had quickly gift wrapped with
lined writing paper and then decorated with hieroglyphics upon hearing
of their hosts' private celebration for their child.
Carter reached over and picked up the small mechanical device Kirn
had just unwrapped that resembled an MP3 player. Seeing her curiosity,
the boy's mother leaned over and removed a very thin, pliable wire
covered in plastic, still resting in the packaging.
"It recalls memories. You place it on your head, like so." Sholpa
placed the thin wire over Carter's head and plugged the end lead into
the gizmo resting in Carter's hand. She pointed to a button on the
side. "Close your eyes and think of a happy memory."
Carter closed her eyes, and Sholpa showed her how to scroll to
adjust the settings. A wistful smile appeared on Carter's face, and
after a moment, she sighed deeply. She opened her eyes several minutes
later, then glanced over at Jack.
"Molasses cookies. I'd forgotten my grandmother used to bake them,
and how much I loved them." She closed her eyes once again, a happy
look on her face. "The spices in your cake reminded me of her cookies,
Sholpa." She reached up and removed the wire, handing it over to Jack.
"Here, sir, try it."
Jack fingered the slim wire, not sure he wanted to try anything
alien. He looked at Kirn, who had made a huge dent in his gifts and
hadn't lost any of his enthusiasm yet. If this gift was safe for a
child, then most likely it should be okay for him to use. He stared at
the small device a moment longer, afraid of the memories it might
"It's similar to a Tollan device Narim gave me," Carter added,
probably seeing Jack's hesitation as being overly cautious with alien
doodads. "Except that Narim's recorded emotions and you could play them
back." Jack cocked an eyebrow at Carter, and she blushed when she must
have realized she'd never informed anyone of the Tollan gift. He'd let
it slide. This time.
Jack glanced over at Daniel, who'd been watching them both with a
quizzical look on his face. Teal'c watched him impassively. Jack held
his hand out and offered the toy to the Jaffa, not quite ready to try
Teal'c merely raised an eyebrow, indicating there was no way Jack
was going to get that piece of metal on his head. Jack shrugged, and
placed the slim headpiece on top of his head. He decided to play it
safe and go the way Carter did. He took a deep breath, the sights and
smells of the house evoking memories of when he'd been a kid and had
gone to his grandparents' home.
For a moment he felt nothing, and recalling Sholpa's instructions, thumbed the control up slightly.
// "Here, let me take him." Rose took Charlie from Sara's arms,
beaming at the toddler who was wriggling in his mother's arms, eager to
see his grandmother. Jack could still feel his mom's welcoming hug as
she turned her attention to Sara and Charlie.
"Charlie's getting bigger," Rose said as Charlie demanded to be put down.
Jack frowned, realizing that he'd wanted to remember his own
childhood, and not Charlie's. The memories came quickly, the feelings
of love and pride flowing over him before he could react.
"Yes, it's your birthday," Rose crooned to Charlie as she carried
the squirming child into the living room. Balloons and ribbons were
hanging from every conceivable spot and several gaily wrapped packages
were waiting on the coffee table. Charlie had gone quiet and was
staring wide-eyed at the multitude of decorations.
"Think my mom went a little overboard?" Jack whispered loudly to
Sara. Sara giggled at the look his mom gave him as she put Charlie down
on the floor. Immediately his son toddled to the gifts and he grabbed
the nearest bow.
"Hey, it's not every day my grandson turns two." Rose came to Jack and, rising on her tiptoes, kissed his cheek. //
Jack reached a hand up and hurriedly removed the device from his
head. Holding it away from him, he realized that everyone was staring.
He was glad to see that his hands weren't trembling, despite how the
recollections had shaken him to the core. Charlie, dead four years now;
Sara, divorced and no longer in his life; and his mom, estranged from
Jack since Charlie's untimely death.
"Well, that was... interesting," he said, happy to hand the
headpiece over to Daniel's outstretched hand. Kirn grabbed the device
from him before Daniel could take it from Jack, quickly placing it over
his own head. The boy fiddled with the controls and closed his eyes.
For a moment Jack was tempted to rip it from the boy's head, afraid
that the boy would be traumatized by his memories. He waited for the
Instead, Kirn giggled.
The child continued to play with his toy while everyone watched him
during a lull in conversation. Jack sipped his tea, needing to do
something to keep his attention from the residual emotions still
running through him. He could hear Charlie's laughter echoing in
Kirn's, almost smell Charlie's unique scent in the kitchen of a house
set on an alien planet light years away from where his son was buried.
"Where's Teal'c?" Jack suddenly realized that Kirn's father and
Teal'c had left the room at some point during the time he'd experienced
that flashback. He'd presumed it had lasted for only a few seconds, but
he was beginning to suspect that time had passed more slowly than he'd
"They went outside," Carter replied. "Malkor said he had some old weapons in the barn he wanted to show Teal'c."
Apparently tiring of the gift, Kirn removed it and thrust it onto
the tabletop. Daniel raised an eyebrow at Jack and reached for the
"You sure you wanna do that?" Jack put the empty cup down onto the
table and sat back in his chair. Daniel looked at Jack in puzzlement.
"Not exactly what I expected," Jack admitted.
"I don't think it's harmful, sir." Carter smiled, her eyes turning
soft as she spoke. "I can still smell my grandma's cookies, hear her
voice as she sang to me."
"It's been popular for several years," Sholpa added. "And although
sometimes the memories do catch one unawares, it won't bring about bad
ones if you don't want to remember them. It is a wonderful tool for
learning self-discipline, especially at Kirn's age. It's a requisite
for preschool, the children are taught to focus and control their
thoughts. That's why we bought it for him."
"Momma, can I go play outside?" Kirn was holding some kind of toy vehicle, waving it at his mom.
"Stay in the yard," she cautioned.
As Kirn ran to the door and rushed outside, Daniel placed the wire
headpiece on his head, the ends of it overlapping the frames of his
glasses. Jack saw Daniel close his eyes and take a deep breath.
Loud rapid clicks raced into the kitchen and something yellow and
furry, about the size and shape of a Dachshund but with too many legs
to count, made for the open door.
"Kirn! How many times do I have to tell you to shut the door behind
you!" Sholpa dashed for the door before the family pet was able to
escape through it.
- - - - - -
// "Daniel, how many times do I have to tell you to shut the door behind you!"
Danny cringed at the angry voice, nearly dropping his book in
fright. He turned, wide-eyed, and saw the partly opened door being
nudged aside as Mrs. Hart's beloved FrooFroo darted through it. His
foster mother's heavy tread approached and Danny suddenly envied the
dog's freedom as it ran down the street as fast as its legs could carry
"Can't you remember to do anything right? It's going to take me
forever to find that dog again. Get back inside!" Frozen in fear,
Daniel didn't obey and then jumped as she grabbed his arm roughly, her
fingers pinching his skin as she jerked him towards the door. Danny
stumbled as he entered the house, and only his foster mother's cruel
grip on his arm prevented him from landing on the floor.
This time he did drop his book. He hung by his arm, his shoulder
burning as it bore all of his weight while Mrs. Hart's fingers dug more
deeply into him.
He hadn't meant to forget to shut the door. Dogs always came and
went in Egypt, and they never acted like this pampered miniature poodle
did. Danny struggled to get his feet underneath him, to try and take
the weight off his aching arm and shoulder. Before he could do so, he
felt himself pulled up and thrown across the room. //
Daniel gasped at the remembered pain of the coming beating while a
stinging sensation burned the bridge of his nose and cheeks. He raised
a hand to rub at the irritating tingle, wondering how he could move his
arm knowing he had torn something, when he was yanked back into the
// "Daniel, how many times do I have to tell you to shut the door behind you!" //
- - - - - -
Jack saw Daniel raise his hand to his cheeks and rub the area
around the bridge of his nose, then slip his fingers beneath his
glasses and rub his temple. The movement dislodged the headpiece and it
slipped off Daniel's head, making a soft chiming sound as it landed on
Jack reached over and picked it up while Daniel scrunched his eyes
closed and removed his glasses. Jack pushed the toy back towards Sholpa
while keeping an eye on Daniel. Their host collected the toy
absentmindedly while talking with Carter.
When Daniel continued rubbing his face, Jack tapped Daniel's arm. "Hey, you okay?"
Daniel opened his eyes and looked at Jack. "Yeah, I'm fine." His brow furrowed in confusion and he rotated his shoulder. "Why?"
Jack pointed to the toy in Sholpa's hand with his chin. "That thing packs quite a wallop."
Daniel turned to squint towards the device Jack had indicated. That
was when Jack noticed the slightly glazed look in Daniel's eyes.
"Daniel, you sure you're okay?"
His words must have caught Sholpa's attention because she cut off
her conversation mid sentence and began to examine the toy in her
hands. "Oh no." She put the toy down and reached over the table to take
Daniel's face in her hands, examining him intently. "Kirn must have
turned the setting on to full."
Daniel didn't resist; he just sat there unresistingly, blinking back at her.
"Daniel?" Carter leaned forward, her face close to Sholpa's.
"Sam, I'm fine." Daniel pulled away from Sholpa, although Jack saw
the effort he made as he over-corrected and nearly fell off the chair.
Then Daniel smiled, but to Jack, it seemed forced. "Jack's right. That
thing does pack quite a punch."
"I am sorry, Daniel." Sholpa smiled nervously at Daniel, then at
Jack. "The memory recall is harmless, but it's always recommended to
start with a lower setting and gradually work up to a higher one. Had I
known, I wouldn't have let you use it for so long."
"It's okay." Daniel glanced at them all, and this time his smile
was more genuine. "I feel a little weird, but I guess it's like wearing
a Walkman at full volume. Keep it on too long and you get a headache
for your trouble."
"How about we head on home?" Jack pushed away from the table,
thinking maybe Fraiser had better have a look at Daniel as soon as
possible. In any case, they'd finished their mission, and had stayed
behind a little longer to wish Kirn a happy birthday. The information
they'd come to collect according to the treaty signed last year was put
away in Daniel's backpack, ready to hand over to the scientists.
Jack watched Daniel with an eagle eye as the man stood, and
although Daniel hid it well, Jack could see he was unsteady. While
Sholpa insisted on giving them some more cake to bring back home with
them, Jack moved closer to his friend.
Daniel simply glanced at Jack, then lowered his gaze to the glasses he still held in his hand.
Carter took the proffered dessert with a smile and thanks. Sholpa
led them out of the house just as Teal'c and Malkor were returning.
After saying their goodbyes, the four began the short walk back to
the Stargate. Jack didn't miss Carter's worried glances at Daniel when
he stumbled for the third time on the smooth path.
"Look, I'm fine," Daniel finally exclaimed when it was obvious both
he and Carter were flanking him. "Okay, I'm a little light headed, but
you all said the effects were temporary."
"But we didn't have that gizmo on the highest setting," Jack argued.
"No, but Sholpa said the thing's safe enough for kids to use."
"I don't think there should be any negative effects, Daniel, or
else they wouldn't allow children to use it. But I think Janet needs to
look at you as soon as we get back, just in case."
Jack swore under his breath. He knew he shouldn't have allowed his
people to try anything untested � and he should have known better to
allow himself to use the toy, although he had to admit that he had
shrugged off most of the ill feelings he'd had and was now left with a
nice, fuzzy memory of holding Charlie in his arms.
Jack could tell Daniel had a headache, just by his pale and pinched
look. He'd been carrying his glasses in his hand, which spoke volumes
to Jack. Just as Teal'c began to dial Earth's address, Daniel took a
deep breath, put his glasses on, and straightened his shoulders. Yep,
he might put on a brave front, but Jack was gonna haul his ass straight
to Fraiser the moment they got home.
- - - - - -
Fighting back the headache and bouts of disorientation, Daniel
stepped through the Stargate. Travelling at unimaginable speeds through
a wormhole, he was spit unceremoniously through Earth's portal. He
stumbled on the first steps, then slowly walked down the metallic ramp
by rote, *knowing* he was home but having problems telling his brain
that *this* was home.
He couldn't understand why Jack and Sam didn't seem to be having
any problems with the toy they'd used, unless they were both trying to
hide any symptoms from him, and if they were, they were a hell of a lot
more successful at it than he was.
"So, Doctor Jackson." Daniel looked up at General Hammond's expectant face. "Did you get the reports?"
Suddenly Daniel was at a loss. What reports? He looked down at his
empty hands, then looked at his teammates in confusion. He'd just come
through the Stargate, of that he was sure. Where had they gone? He
remembered a birthday party, and a dog, and Mrs. Hart and Principal
"I'm sorry," Daniel whispered. "I think I lost my homework."
"What the hell�"
Danny looked up in fright. At no time did teachers or the principal
swear; they must really be mad at him. He *knew* he'd done his homework
last night � as usual, it hadn't been challenging in the least and he'd
finished it in no time. Lisa and Sebastian had accused him of slacking
off, jealous that they were struggling with their own. It wasn't until
he'd shown it to their foster mother as proof that he'd finished, had
he been permitted to go and escape outside.
He wasn't feeling good. His head hurt and his vision was swimming.
Someone had to have hidden his homework, because he had put it into his
schoolbag himself this morning. He looked down, unable to meet
Principal Connors' gaze. The man didn't like him, Daniel just knew it.
From his first meeting with him and his latest foster mother, Mrs.
Goudreau, he'd been condescending to them both when she had asked that
Daniel be placed in a grade befitting his intelligence.
"Daniel, are you feeling okay?"
He nodded his head, unable to take his eyes from his feet. His
sneakers were scuffed and there was a hole next to his big toe. His
feet were already feeling squeezed inside them and he knew that Mrs.
Goudreau didn't have the money to buy him a new pair.
"Okay, that's it. Come with me." He felt someone tugging his arm
and he followed blindly, watching the patterns on the hardwood floor as
he was marched down the corridor. It was odd walking in a nearly empty
hallway; normally he had to fight his way through the swarms of
students rushing to their various classes. The silence was eerie
instead of soothing, making the pain in his head escalate.
- - - - - -
Jack couldn't help throwing worried glances over at Daniel, who was
walking with his head down, docilely being led down the corridor
towards the infirmary. He hadn't said a word since mumbling something
about homework, but the scared, desperate expression on his face was
something that had sent Jack's unease up a couple of notches.
Daniel silently climbed onto the bed that Jack steered him to while
the nurses descended on them like hungry scavengers. Jack took the bed
next to Daniel, while Teal'c and Carter sat behind Jack. Fraiser went
first to Carter, and Jack could see them talking, glancing their way.
He assumed Carter was telling the doc her worries about Daniel.
Daniel flinched and pulled away from the nurse, and Jack knew
something was definitely wrong. The nurse noticed Daniel's reaction and
raised her eyes, seeking Jack's counsel.
"Hey." Jack reached across and patted Daniel's leg. Daniel jumped, startled. "You okay?"
Daniel nodded, his hands now tightly clenched together, and still
not meeting Jack's gaze. Jack caught the nurse's understanding look and
she moved aside while Jack crossed over to sit beside his friend. "Get
Fraiser," Jack said softly to her. When the woman walked away, Daniel
seemed to relax a tiny bit.
"So, you wanna tell me what's the matter? You look a little worried."
Daniel gnawed on his lower lip, then quickly glanced over at Jack.
Jack could tell he was debating whether to talk to him, and breathed a
sigh of relief when Daniel finally spoke. By now Fraiser was standing
next to them, with Carter and Teal'c at the bed's end.
"I lost m...my homework." The voice was soft, hesitant, slowly spoken.
"Yeah, you mentioned that already. Do you have any idea what might
have happened to it?" He figured it was probably best to play along
until they could figure what was going on.
Daniel shrugged, hunching his shoulders and trying to curl onto himself, as if he wanted to hide.
"By homework, Daniel, are you talking about the information that Malkor gave us?" Carter cautiously took a step forward.
"Huh?" Daniel squinted at her, then shook his head again. He rubbed
his temples, then massaged his cheeks beneath his glasses. "No, I mean
my history homework. I had to hand in an essay and I can't find it."
Daniel began to rock slightly back and forth, obviously very ill at
ease while he wrapped his arms around his stomach. "My head hurts," he
admitted to his feet.
Before anyone else could speak, Fraiser quickly took control of the
situation. "Daniel, I can see you're not feeling well." Her voice was
low and soft, her hand coming up to squeeze his shoulder. "I'd like to
give you a quick checkup and see if we can find what's wrong, okay?"
Daniel nodded, his teeth working his lower lip.
As she took his blood pressure, pulse and temperature, she asked started asking him questions.
"Do you know where you are?"
"Do you know why?"
"Because I'm in trouble?"
"No, you're not in trouble. You're here because you're not feeling well, remember?"
Daniel raised his head, looking around quickly before staring at his hands once again.
"Why are there so many people here? There's supposed to only be the school nurse."
"Well," Fraiser started, "I needed to check out a couple of other
students and these people came to help me." She motioned for everyone
to leave, and to pull the privacy curtain shut behind them. Jack,
however, remained where he was. Once Fraiser finished, she had Daniel
lie down, and Jack shifted to give him room, then bent over and began
untying Daniel's bootlaces.
"Here, take this, it'll help your headache. Try and get some sleep,
okay?" Daniel nodded, took the pill with the water Fraiser handed him,
and lay back down. He took his glasses off, and Frasier took them from
him and placed them beside the bed.
Jack tossed Daniel's boots under the bed and pulled a blanket over his friend.
"Jack?" Daniel turned his head towards Jack, his eyes barely open.
"Yeah, it's me. Go to sleep." Jack patted Daniel's shoulder, and
his friend turned onto his side and buried his face into the pillow. He
seemed to be sleeping now or just on the verge, so with a last glance
at Daniel, he followed Fraiser to the other end of the infirmary where
Carter and Teal'c were waiting for them.
"Sam said all of you tried that device out?" She crossed her arms and stood staring up at them all.
"It was just a toy, doc!" Jack exclaimed, knowing she was right and
wishing in hindsight that he'd ordered everyone not to try the damn
"I did not." Teal'c stood tall and proud and Jack couldn't help but
reminded of the time after the fiasco with the Tok'ra armbands.
"An alien toy, sir," Carter argued. "Janet, I feel fine, I don't even have a headache."
"Ditto," Jack chimed in.
"Well, something's obviously affecting Daniel. His BP's high, his
pulse is racing and his temperature's slightly elevated, not to mention
that episode just now. I need to run tests on all of you and run
comparisons with Daniel. So, good people, if you'll follow me."
Rolling his eyes upwards, Jack followed, knowing that the coming hours were going to be long and tedious.
- - - - - -
The headache was back, or maybe it had never really disappeared.
Daniel opened his eyes and immediately saw he was in the infirmary. He
didn't remember walking here from the Gateroom, he must have been more
tired than he'd thought. He stretched, then sat up.
He felt lethargic and sad; he'd had strange dreams, about how he'd
gotten into trouble at school as a kid. Funny, he'd forgotten all about
that episode, but now he remembered how distressed he'd been when
someone had stolen his homework and nobody had believed him.
He looked around and saw Jack was sitting on one of the beds
farther down with Janet, Teal'c and Sam standing nearby. One of the
nurses noticed he was awake and approached them, and within seconds,
all four of his friends were walking towards his bed.
He didn't feel like putting his glasses on, he felt that bringing
everything into clarity would just make his headache worse. He squinted
up at his friends, their forms slightly blurry with his mild myopic
vision. But despite the haziness of his vision, the worry on their
faces was more than evident.
"What's going on, guys?" He rubbed his eyes with his thumb and fingers, wishing the pounding behind them would go away.
"Can you tell me where you are?" Janet smiled at him as she took his wrist in her hand, checking his pulse.
"Infirmary, SGC. Look, what happened? I don't remember... we came back from P4... um, Kirn's birthday party, right?"
"That's right." Jack stood balancing back and forth on his toes,
hands thrust into pockets. "It looks like you had a bad reaction to the
memory recall toy thingie."
"What about you guys?"
"We're fine." Sam sat on the bed opposite him and leaned forward. "How are you feeling?"
"Headache. Confused. Tired."
"I gave you something for your headache three hours ago. I'll get
you something stronger. In the meantime, Daniel, I have some tests I
need to run."
"We can start with an MRI. Come on, the room's set up and the technician's waiting for you."
Daniel stood, reached for his glasses and reluctantly put them on. He edged past Sam and Jack and followed Janet to radiology.
As he walked through the infirmary, he averted his eyes as he
walked past a bed with a patient lying in it. An alarm sounded just as
he was going by and he jumped, his gaze flicking towards the flashing
lights. He closed his eyes a moment, seeing the pattern superimposed on
the back of his eyelids, almost like a lightning strike.
A loud clattering sound shattered the relative quiet of the infirmary, and Daniel...
...cowered in the far corner of his room as thunder shattered the
night outside and spears of electricity lit up the sky. He was wedged
between his bed and a small dresser, the only spot in the room where he
didn't have a clear view of the window. His eyes were tightly shut and
his hands covered his ears, but nonetheless, the flashes of light
continued to burn into his retinas and the thunder shook the house.
He'd never heard thunder this loud, this severe, this angry. He had
never believed in any of the ancient gods his parents kept telling him
about, but now he wasn't so sure. Someone, something, out there, was
furious, and he was afraid that it was looking for him.
He heard his mother's voice and got up to run into her comforting
arms. But something was holding him down, preventing him from moving.
"Momma!" He desperately tried to get free but he couldn't move. The
lights shone blindingly into his eyes again, causing twins spears of
pain to lance right into his brain. He wanted his mother, why wasn't
she coming to help him? He yelled again, then yelped as something stung
The thunder roared again, and he lay there on the floor, helpless,
expecting the lightning to come crashing through the window to find him
now that he wasn't hidden away. He whimpered in fear.
After a while he realized someone was holding him tightly, and with
the realization, he suddenly felt safe. He thought it was his momma,
but the person didn't feel all soft and squishy like her. It wasn't his
dad, it didn't smell like his dad. Still, he wasn't afraid anymore, and
he was beginning to relax. He was getting sleepy, and the hand that was
rubbing circles on his back felt heavy, and warm, and nice. There was a
voice whispering, telling him to sleep, and so he closed his eyes,
despite the disturbing knowledge that his parents hadn't come when he'd
called, and slept.
- - - - - -
Jack felt Daniel start to relax and he knew Fraiser's sedative was
beginning to work. Damn, but Daniel had startled them all. Someone had
dropped a metal tray of instruments and before they'd known it, his
friend was curled up between two beds, cowering in fear.
Jack was terrified. Seeing and hearing Daniel screaming for his
mother... Daniel, the guy who had stood up to Ra, to Apophis, to...
God, this couldn't be happening!
Daniel became heavier in Jack's arms as the medication took a good
hold. He was calm now, no longer crying and struggling. Jack continued
to rub Daniel's back, hoping it soothed him as he drifted off into
"Help me get him up," Fraiser ordered a medic, a gurney having been
wheeled behind them. Jack helped them put Daniel's limp body onto it
and then watched as they wheeled him away. Teal'c placed a hand on
Jack's shoulder, and Jack turned to look at him. But his friend's gaze
was on the door where Daniel had disappeared through.
- - - - - -
A voice penetrated the sleep-fog, and he ignored it, too
comfortable and sleepy to try and answer. When it called his name
again, he realized he'd been hearing it for a while through what seemed
like a long, echoing tunnel. He ignored the hand that was shaking his
shoulder and tried to pull away from it.
"Come on, Daniel, it's time to wake up now."
Cold air rushed around his shoulders and back, and he sighed. He
cracked open an eye to see Janet looking down at him, a worried look on
"Janet?" He turned onto his back, stretching and sighing. His mouth
was dry and thick, and his brain was full of cotton. He saw Janet's
frown turn into a smile.
"Hey, that's right." She bent over him, pulling the blanket she'd
removed from him back up to his chest. "I'm sorry, but you've been
asleep for most of the afternoon. Do you think you're up to eating some
Daniel realized there was a tray on the roll-away table next to the
bed and that yes, he was hungry. He nodded and waited as Janet raised
"What happened?" he asked, shifting around until he was comfortable. He leaned forward as she stuffed pillows behind his back.
"We're not sure. What do you remember?"
He squinted and rubbed the sleep from his eyes with one hand and
took a sip of juice to erase the awful taste from his mouth. He
recognized the after effects of a sedative. And he realized he still
had a headache.
"I'm not sure. Weren't we going for some tests... an MRI, right?" He looked up at her, yawning, and she nodded.
She handed him his glasses and he accepted them, only to take them
off a few seconds later. They were bothering him, he wondered if the
frame had been bent. He had a cursory look at them but couldn't see
anything wrong with them. Deciding he'd have a better look after his
meal, he put them back on.
He looked at his meal; some kind of chicken in gravy, mashed
potatoes, peas, carrots. He pushed the peas aside and shovelled some
chicken onto his fork, dragging it through the gravy. Just as he put
the forkful into his mouth, he heard Jack's voice.
"Hey Daniel! Sleeping Beauty finally woke up."
Daniel waved his fork, too busy chewing. He noticed Jack was geared up to go offworld.
He swallowed. "I know I'm not fully awake yet, but I do remember
we're not due another mission for a couple of days yet. What's up?" He
ate some potatoes, while carefully pushing a few stray peas aside.
"We're going back to '764 to get our hands on a memory recall machine."
"Thinking of putting that thing on the market and making a killing here on Earth?"
Jack smacked Daniel's blanket-covered foot just as he took a bite of chicken. His hand jerked and gravy flew onto his scrubs.
"No, we're going to take it apart and see why it's been affecting you, and not us."
Daniel rubbed at the stain on his chest and tried to make sense of
Jack's words. He didn't remember, unless he meant the dreams he'd had
about a thunderstorm, and the time he'd lost his homework...
"Affecting... you mean, my dreams?"
"Flashbacks, more like."
Daniel didn't miss the look between Jack and Janet.
"Flashbacks? I don't remember�"
"You've had two since returning from�" Janet checked the chart she
was carrying in her hand. "P4H 764. The last one was so severe we had
to sedate you."
"Honest, Janet, I don't... did any of them have to do with thunder, or with my forgetting my homework?"
"I don't know about the thunder, but you appeared to be terrified
of something, and yes, one of the episodes had to do with your
Daniel toyed with the mashed potatoes, making a hole in the middle
and trying to get the gravy to flow into the channel he'd created. A
few peas floated with the gravy and Daniel pushed them away.
"Hey, aren't ya gonna eat your peas?" Jack never failed to tease
Daniel about his hatred of that particular vegetable. He waited for the
inevitable, "They're good for you, y'know," and wasn't disappointed.
He smiled, shovelling a few onto his fork and getting ready to
flick them at his friend, when suddenly he heard Miss Cray's shrill
voice right beside his ear. "Daniel Jackson. You *will* eat those peas
or you will not be permitted to leave the table. Is that clear?"
Didn't she know how much he hated peas? He kept telling her and
telling her, but she never listened to him. Just the smell was enough
to make him gag.
He'd never really cared for them but he had eaten them nonetheless,
until the time a year ago when he'd been sick after eating some. His
mom had listened and had never served him any after that when he'd
asked her not to give him any. Why did the foster home constantly put
them on his plate every night, and why did Miss Cray insist he eat
them, knowing full well he'd be sick afterwards?
"I don't like peas," Daniel said in a small voice, not
understanding why everyone else liked them. He had eaten everything on
his plate, except for the small pile of peas. But now his supper sat
heavily in his stomach.
"You ate them last night, didn't you? And the night before that?
That's no excuse, dear child. Now you finish your plate. We get little
enough money here and you're not about to start wasting food." She
turned away from him and wiping down the empty table, all the other
children having been sent off to play.
"What about the food I'll be wasting when I get sick again." Daniel
couldn't resist the barb, but knew he was in for it when she suddenly
straightened and stared down at him coldly.
"And you will clean your mess again, young man. Now, are you going
to sit there all night? Those will be pretty unappetizing for breakfast
in the morning."
The fight suddenly deflated from him, Daniel slowly reached a hand
and picked up a small, cold and wrinkled pod. He stared back at Miss
Cray, who still was showing no sympathy for him, and put the pea into
He chewed it quickly, forcing the mush back and swallowing it
quickly. He took another, grimacing, and put it into his mouth. As he
chewed, he felt his stomach start to contract, and the sour contents
start to rise. He forced that one down, and picked up another.
This time he didn't chew it, hating the taste in his mouth, but he
felt his mouth fill with saliva despite his best efforts to swallow it
whole as quickly as possible.
But it never went down, getting caught at the back of his throat,
and he gagged. He felt his stomach contract and he spit out the pea,
his mouth dribbling saliva down into his plate.
"It's okay, take it easy." The offending plate was suddenly removed
and he looked up, startled, at two strangers. Miss Cray had
disappeared, and in her stead were a kindly looking lady and a
piercing-eyed man. The woman had his unfinished supper in her hand, and
the man was leaning close to him, wiping the saliva that kept flowing
from his mouth and the tears streaming down his cheeks. His throat felt
tight, and his head was pounding.
"I'm s...sorry. I don't like p...peas." He was suddenly
embarrassed, and he tried to duck his head, but the man had a hold of
his face and wouldn't let him.
"I know, big guy. It's okay, really."
Daniel looked up and thought the man didn't look angry.
"Miss Cray wants me to f...finish them, I c...can't go until I eat
them all." Daniel fought the urge to cry, despite the tears that seemed
to flow with a mind of their own.
"Daniel, I've spoken to her and she said it was okay for this time.
You don't need to eat them." The lady smiled at him and he noted that
the plate had disappeared. But everything around him was misty, and the
sounds were strange. The man let go of him and sat down in a chair next
"Where am I?" He tried to look around but couldn't seem to focus on
anything beyond a foot or two around him. He seemed to be in a bed, but
that wasn't right, he hadn't left the dining room, because he hadn't
finished his supper.
"You're safe. You've been sick. Do you remember?"
He shook his head. "Are you a doctor? Is that why my head hurts so
much?" He raised a hand to rub at the bridge of his nose, the pain
there not quite like the sinus problems he often suffered from.
"Yes, Daniel. Your headaches are most likely part of the problem. And no, I'm not a doctor, but she is. I'm Jack. A friend."
"I'll get you something for your headache, okay?" The woman moved
out of his sight and Daniel squeezed his eyes shut. He continued
rubbing his cheeks and temples with the palm of his hand, having taken
his glasses off because they were in the way. He heard whispered voices
but he ignored them, it being too hard to try and concentrate on them
He jumped when he felt a hand on his arm and looked up. The woman,
no, the doctor, was holding out a couple of pills, and a glass of
water. He looked at the pills, uncertain whether to take them. Maybe he
should ask Mrs. Cray first, he knew that he shouldn't take stuff from
strangers, and these people were strangers, after all.
"Go ahead. It's just a couple of Tylenol."
Uncertain, Daniel took them and swallowed them, thinking how funny
it was that the medicine went down so much easier than the dreaded
peas. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes again.
"Daniel, I have to go now. I'll be back soon, okay?"
Go? Where was Jack...? Oh yeah, to '764.
"Tell Sholpa that this isn't her fault, okay?" He opened an eye and
peered at his friend, the lights making his head throb even more.
"You back with us now?"
Daniel tried to answer, but the effort was too much.
"Okay. Try to rest."
He nodded. He hoped he wasn't going to be sick; he had the most god-awful taste of peas in his mouth.
- - - - - -
Jack stood in the elevator, his hands squeezing his temples, trying
to get the sight of Daniel crying over the uneaten peas out of his
mind. The change had been sudden; one second he'd caught a glimpse of
laughter in Daniel's eyes when Jack had teased him, the next second
there was fear and illness. And then the confusion, that little boy
voice that was so weird coming out of Daniel's mouth, and then just as
quickly, Daniel was back.
That toy had better hold the answers - Fraiser's tests had shown
nothing wrong with any of them. Even Daniel. But just before he'd left,
Fraiser had told him she'd be hooking Daniel up to an EEG to see if she
could catch whatever was the trigger to these episodes.
Jack stormed into the Gateroom and both Carter and Teal'c caught one look at his face, and immediately came rushing towards him.
"What happened, sir?"
Jack ignored her for a moment, looking up to see why they weren't
dialling P4H whatzit. Just at that moment, he heard the machinery start
up and he turned to Carter and Teal'c.
"Daniel had another episode."
"Has DanielJackson recovered?"
"Yeah, he's fine now, but he was really confused for a few moments. He's sleeping again."
Jack glared towards the slowly spinning 'gate, and turned back to
his team. "It was the damn peas he was eating. It's like something
keeps triggering memories from when he was a kid and he gets lost in
"But they don't last very long, at least that's a good thing."
Carter herself turned to glare at the Stargate. They were all anxious
to get out there and bring back a memory device and try to find an
answer to Daniel's strange flashbacks.
The wormhole finally erupted and they went through. It only took
them a few minutes to get to Sholpa and Malkor's house. At their knock,
Malkor, surprised to see them, invited them inside.
After explaining what had happened, Sholpa rushed out of the
kitchen where they'd been sitting around the table, and returned a
moment later, holding Kirn's memory recall machine.
"Here, take it."
"This is Kirn's." Carter reluctantly took the toy. "I didn't think
we'd wanted to take his." She looked at Jack uncertainly. "I thought
maybe we could have bought one..."
"This is what caused Daniel harm. Maybe it's something specific to this particular toy."
"Sholpa, we may have to destroy this in our study of�"
"Samantha, it doesn't matter, we can get him another. Take it. Find
what's making Daniel sick. Here." She handed her some papers. "These
are the instructions for its use."
"If you are willing to wait several minutes," Malkor said, "I'll
try and find as much information on our computer. Studies were made to
prove the safety of the toy. Maybe these will help you in your
Jack nodded, and accepted the tea that Sholpa served them as they waited.
True to his word, Malkor came back about fifteen minutes later with
a small stack of papers. "None of these had any negative findings. I
searched specifically for anything harmful and all I could find was the
mention of a slight, residual headache if used too long at a high
setting." He shook his head. "There's nothing in there to explain what
happened to Daniel."
"We'll examine both the toy and the information. Thank you." Carter
placed the papers, along with the toy, in her pack as they stood up.
They hurried back to the 'gate, and Carter went straight to the
medical labs so that she and Janet could start studying the memory
recall device and take it apart.
Jack and Teal'c went to look in on Daniel. Fraiser had put him in a
private room to try and keep all triggers of a flashback at a minimum.
Not surprisingly, he was asleep, curled up on his side. Electrodes were
stuck to his face and head. It looked uncomfortable but wasn't
preventing Daniel from sleeping. The episodes seemed to take a lot out
of him, leaving him exhausted and hard to wake. Jack was worried, in
almost twenty-four hours, Daniel had been awake for only a few minutes
and had had a flashback each time.
Leaving Teal'c to remain by Daniel's side, Jack went in search of Carter and Fraiser.
- - - - - -
"...So the memory recall device is made up of plastic and metal
alloys which vibrate at a very specific rate, with a simple on and off
switch and a setting control. The vibrations stimulate the portion of
the brain that controls memory. The concept is amazingly simple, but
still, the technology is so far ahead of us that I doubt we could
duplicate anything this intricate and portable."
The device in question was sitting before General Hammond, gleaming
in the harsh lights of the briefing room. Fraiser picked it up and
fiddled with it.
"To be honest, there's absolutely nothing here that Major Carter or
I could find to be harmful, or prove to be causing any of the problems
Daniel is suffering from."
"So you're saying that this device isn't responsible for Doctor Jackson's condition?"
"No, sir, I'm didn't mean to imply that." Fraiser sat up straighter
in her chair and put the toy down. "Colonel O'Neill did state that
Daniel looked confused and disoriented right after he used the device,
but that he was fine before. Even though we haven't found anything
*yet* to prove the device causes these flashbacks, it still doesn't
disprove that the toy isn't responsible for them."
She looked around the table before staring at the toy on the table.
"Daniel's still asleep, and so far his EEG is showing normal patterns.
But when he wakes up, *if* he has another flashback, hopefully with the
EEG, we'll have an idea what might be triggering them."
"He's been sleeping for several hours now. He should be waking up soon, right doc?" Jack glanced over at Fraiser, who nodded.
"Each episode seems to exhaust him, and he falls into a deep sleep
soon afterward, except for the time I had to sedate him in order to
calm him down."
"Has anyone else tried that device other than SG-1?" Hammond
reached for the toy. For a crazy moment, Jack thought that the General
was going to try it out himself. Instead he examined it closely.
"Yes, sir, under controlled conditions. Teal'c, myself, Major
Carter and two of my nurses. All with no ill effects. And I have to
point out that Major Carter has used the device twice now."
"Its effects were actually very enjoyable," Teal'c said. "I
remembered the birth of my son; it was as if I were experiencing the
emotions of the occasion once again."
"Like Teal'c, everyone's experiences were pleasant. The device
triggers and enhances your senses and emotions that accompany the
memory. Like when you wake up and remember a dream and the details fade
after a minute or two, but you still retain the memory of the emotions
it produced. Or when the scent of fresh cut grass reminds you of your
"Grass? That doesn't remind me of anything except that I should get
a lawn service to mow my lawn." Jack regretted the words the moment he
said them; the last time he'd cut his grass, Daniel had come over and
Jack had teased Daniel into helping him. Afterwards they'd sat in
Jack's back yard, relaxing and enjoying each other's company. That had
been two days before this last mission.
Hammond chuckled and put the toy down onto the table. "I can
recommend a good company, Colonel." He turned his attention back to
Fraiser. "So you believe you can identify whatever sets off these
episodes with the EEG."
"I'm hopeful. There has to be some outside influence and I hope to
isolate it. It's like Daniel is still connected to that thing, even
though he's not, physically. All his tests appear normal, except for
the after effects, which are exhaustion, headaches, nausea and slight
"Very well. Keep me informed. Dismissed."
Everyone except Teal'c quickly stood as Hammond got up and left.
Carter picked up the gizmo and looked at Jack. Although no one spoke of
it, they were all heading for Daniel's room. Looked like Sleeping
Beauty was about to get an audience.
- - - - - -
"He woke up about twenty minutes ago," the nurse immediately
informed Fraiser as they entered the infirmary, handing her Daniel's
chart. "I went to check on him and he drank some water and went right
back to sleep. He did complain about a headache, though. I gave him
some Extra Strength Tylenol for it like you prescribed."
Jack moved to the monitor, and there was Daniel, flat on his back,
one arm resting on his chest, the other curved above his head on the
pillow. Jack winced; if Daniel stayed in that position for very long,
his arm was sure to go to sleep.
Fraiser looked up from the chart and studied the monitor readouts a
moment before turning to everyone. "I want to keep stimuli to a
minimum, so I'd like everyone to remain here. Colonel, if you don't
mind, I might require your help in keeping him calm if he regresses
Jack nodded, then met Teal'c's gaze. If Daniel got aggressive, he
knew Teal'c would be in that room within seconds to help Jack forcibly
contain him. He also didn't miss the syringe that Fraiser prepared and
slipped into her coat pocket.
At her nod, he followed her into Daniel's room. He let the door
swing shut behind him and at the click, Daniel opened his eyes and
turned his head.
"Did you get it?" he asked sleepily. He yawned, raised his other hand and stretched both arms above his head.
"Get what?" Jack answered vaguely, not sure if Daniel remembered their last conversation.
"The toy. The memory... thingie." He waved a hand in Jack's direction before using it to stifle another yawn.
Jack raised a brow; Daniel reduced to using Jack's vocabulary was not a pretty sight.
"The memory device," Daniel said irritably.
"Yeah, we got it."
Daniel sat up, careful of the wires leading to the EEG machine,
then looked around for the controls to adjust the bed. Jack found them
and raised the head so Daniel was sitting comfortably.
"The toy is harmless." Fraiser moved to Daniel's side and began
performing a quick examination. "We're not discounting it as the
probable cause to your flashbacks, but we haven't been able to find out
how it's affected you."
Daniel, keeping his head still while he followed Fraiser's moving
finger, frowned at her words. "I haven't had another... flashback, have
"Not in a few hours." Jack patted Daniel's leg comfortingly.
"That's supposed to make me feel better?"
"Well, yes. The good news is that you're not having flashbacks while you sleep."
Jack caught Fraiser rolling her eyes at him and he tried to look innocent.
"Funny, Jack. Funny." Daniel yawned again, reaching over for his
glasses and putting them on. He then glared at Fraiser when she stuck a
thermometer in his open mouth.
"Give a guy some warning," he complained, mumbling around the thin tube. "Denise already took my temperature."
"Yes, and it was slightly elevated."
"Mm not sick." He crossed his arms over his chest, only to unfold
them when his hand got caught in the bundle of wires from the EEG
leads. He pulled at them irritably, trying to move them out of the way.
Jack reached over and caught the wires before Daniel managed to
dislodge the leads.
The thermometer beeped just as Fraiser told him to 'sit still'.
"Look, I just want to get out of here." He shifted again while
Fraiser checked the digital display, and Daniel rubbed at his cheeks
"Are your sinuses bothering you?"
"No." Daniel's reply to Fraiser was sharp. "Can't you just give me something for the damn headache?"
"Well, maybe you have a sinus infection. That could be part of the
reason for the headache." She pressed against Daniel's cheekbones.
"Does this hurt?"
Daniel batted her hand away. "I told you it wasn't my sinuses!"
"Maybe you better let the doc be the judge of that," Jack snapped
back before he could help himself. The retort had been so
uncharacteristic of Daniel that it had caught Jack by surprise.
"Maybe I should let another doctor look at me since she's not doing
much to help my pain." Daniel pulled on the bundle of wires again, and
this time Jack noted one or two came loose from Daniel's scalp.
"And maybe you just better shut your mouth and sit still." Jack
reached for the wires again, pushing them behind Daniel's pillow, out
of the way.
"Gentlemen, please." Fraiser glared at both of them as she adjusted
the displaced leads, then tapped Daniel's leg, ignoring his continued
glare. "You have a low grade fever. Your pain could be sinuses, or it
might not. If it is, that I can take care of with antibiotics. If it's
due to the memory device, then I'm still at a loss on how to treat it.
In the meantime, I'll prescribe some stronger painkillers for your
headache. But there's nothing I can do for you if you don't help me,
Jack knew the moment Daniel lost it, even before the monitor
displaying the EEG began to go wild. Daniel's face tensed with pain and
once again it somehow got... younger. Then Daniel was leaning forward,
his hand clutching his shoulder, keening softly.
Jack jumped forward, catching Daniel and holding him steady while Fraiser tried to look at his shoulder.
"It hurts, it hurts," Daniel cried, tears streaming down his face.
Jack could feel Daniel's body trembling as he pulled Daniel's uninjured arm so it wouldn't impede Fraiser's examination.
"I know it hurts," Fraiser said in a soft, soothing voice. "Can you tell me what happened?"
"I fell. I wasn't supposed to go inside the tomb but I wanted to
see the passageway my dad discovered and I tripped and fell." Daniel's
breathing suddenly got faster. "I want m...my mommy. Where's my
d...daddy?" Now he was shaking visibly, and Jack felt the cold sweat
begin to seep through Daniel's sweats.
"He's going into shock. Get some blankets." While Jack grabbed two
wool blankets from the supply cabinet, Fraiser adjusted the bed's
controls, lowering the head and raising the foot. She stuffed a pillow
beneath his legs while Daniel continued to cry for his parents.
One of the nurses rushed into the room and while Fraiser ordered an
IV, Jack covered Daniel up, being careful of the shoulder Daniel was
clutching once again.
"Hey." He leaned over and wiped the tears from Daniel's face, the
stubble rough beneath Jack's fingers. "It's going to be okay. Doc
Fraiser's gonna patch you up in no time. Try to relax."
"I want my m...mommy," Daniel whispered. "I'm scared."
Fraiser began to disinfect Daniel's injured hand for an IV and when
Daniel turned to look at what she was doing, Jack forcibly turned
Daniel's head away so he was looking at him.
"I know, I know you're scared, Daniel. But listen, your parents are
outside, waiting. Here," Jack said, picking up Daniel's good arm and
threading his fingers through Daniel's. "You hold onto me until
everything is fixed."
Daniel squeezed Jack's hand, his hand shaking visibly.
"My d...dad said my arm was unlocated."
Jack glanced at Daniel's perfectly normal looking shoulder, and then looked at Fraiser. She just shook her head, and shrugged.
Jack forced a smile at Daniel. "I think you mean dislocated and yeah, that's gotta hurt."
Jack moved aside while Fraiser took Daniel's blood pressure. The
shivering was slowing down, and Daniel's fingers weren't as icy cold.
Fraiser began injecting something into the IV. "Daniel, I'm giving
you something that'll help with the pain. It's going to make you a
little sleepy, but that's okay. That's normal."
"Make it go away. Make it stop."
Fraiser discarded the syringe and bent over Daniel, her fingers
flitting gently over his forehead, careful of the EEG leads. "It won't
be long now. You should be feeling better in a minute."
Jack looked over at the EEG, which he'd totally forgotten about.
The display was still all over the place, nothing like the earlier
"I've never seen anything like it before," she told Jack, also
turning to look at the monitor. "And there's no sign of..." She glanced
down at Daniel's shoulder, then back up at Jack.
Daniel had closed his eyes, but his grip on Jack's hand hadn't
lessened. His whole body was tense with pain, and Jack knew the
medication should have started to kick in by now. Tears continued to
leak despite his tightly squeezed eyes.
"Daniel, try and relax and give the medicine a chance to work."
Fraiser probed Daniels shoulder again and he whimpered, trying to pull
away from her.
"Okay, I'll wait a little bit longer before seeing to it. Is the pain getting any better?"
"Mmm, a little." He sniffled loudly and Jack finally saw some of the strain begin to ease in his friend's body.
"Here, let's make you a little more comfortable." Fraiser removed
Daniel's glasses and folded them before putting them away. Daniel made
a face, like he was trying to relieve an itch on his nose without using
his hands. He turned to look at Jack, his pupils dilated and his gaze a
A nurse handed Fraiser a damp cloth and she wiped Daniel's face
with it. He sighed deeply, then looked down at the hand that was still
clutching Jack's tightly.
"Jack?" Daniel asked in a confused voice. "What...?" He looked
around blearily, looking up at Janet who was standing next to him.
"Why's my shoulder sore?" He closed his eyes sleepily, blinking twice
before looking at Jack again. "Was dreaming..." He swallowed and licked
his lips. "Hurt my shoulder. Scared my dad..." He smiled. "Remember
being coddled for days after."
His eyes drifted shut and stayed shut. Jack gently disengaged his
hand from the fingers that were still wrapped around his. He moved away
from the bed when Fraiser motioned for him to join him her. He wasn't
surprised to see Carter and Teal'c standing in the doorway, watching.
Carter entered and brushed by Jack. She leaned over the bed for a
moment, then picked something up from the bedside table. She returned
to them, smiling. Her eyes were glowing and Jack knew from her
expression that she'd solved the mystery.
"It's his glasses." She spoke in a low whisper, but her excitement
was still very evident in her voice. "His EEG went back to normal the
moment Janet took his glasses off. Look." She unfolded the spectacles
and pointed to the plastic frame. "There's metal inside to make the
frame more flexible. I bet somehow the metal is acting like the memory
"Do you think that's possible? There were no reports of this happening in any of the information we read through."
Carter shrugged. "Maybe it has to do with the property of the
metal, maybe there's an element in ours that doesn't exist on their
world." She folded the glasses. "I'll run some tests on these. But I
bet you the metal's vibrating at the exact same frequency as the memory
She rushed out of the room, Fraiser following on her heels. Jack turned to look back at Daniel, who was sleeping heavily.
"Looks like he'll be out for several more hours," Jack said to Teal'c.
"Indeed. If you wish to get some rest, I shall remain and sit with DanielJackson this evening."
"Thanks. You know what? I'm gonna go check out the tests that
Carter's running, and then I'll get some shuteye. You need anything?
Did you eat?"
"I am not in need of sustenance at the moment. But I would appreciate being informed if the tests are conclusive."
"You betcha." Jack gave Teal'c a friendly slap on the arm and then
turned to make his way to Carter's lab. Finally, things might be
starting to look up.
- - - - - -
His stomach gurgled and rumbled loudly. He was hungry and he was thirsty, his head was pounding, and he needed to pee.
Daniel turned onto his stomach, not quite ready to wake up fully.
He felt sluggish, his nose felt stuffed up, his eyes scratchy and
swollen. He rubbed his eyelids with the pads of his fingers, then
buried his face in his pillow.
He had vague memories of pain in his shoulder, and of clutching
Jack's hand with desperation. The small glimmers of the dream were
punctuated with confusion, running round and round in his mind. That,
plus the insistence of his stomach and his bladder, finally had him
turning onto his back in frustration.
Daniel looked around and saw the room he was in was empty. He
frowned, wondering where all his friends were. He knew he'd been in
this room for a while. He remembered his friends visiting a couple of
times; and he distinctly remembered a nurse helping him to cross the
room to the small bathroom once or twice.
He sat up and with the movement, realized he desperately needed to
go. He got up, then sat down abruptly when the room spun and his head
was suddenly gripped in a vice. He concentrated on his breathing until
his vertigo began to abate and the pounding lessened.
He stood again, this time more slowly and cautiously. Then he made his way to the bathroom as fast as he could.
Bladder finally emptied, three cups of water sloshing in his
stomach, Daniel padded back into his room. He stopped when he saw Janet
waiting for him by his bed.
"How are you feeling?"
"Stiff and sore," he replied as he sat on the bed. "A little weak. And I think my head's about to fall off."
"The headache I can take care of right now." She pulled a syringe from her pocket and deftly injected it into his bicep.
"The stiffness, well, that's to be expected, you've been sleeping for nearly two days."
"Well, that would explain why I needed to pee so badly," he joked
as he massaged the back of his neck. He looked around for his glasses
but didn't see them anywhere. He laid back down slowly, the change in
position causing his headache to act up again.
"What do you remember?"
Daniel rubbed his forehead. "Dreams? No, wait." He squeezed his
eyes shut. "I kept getting flashbacks, didn't I? The toy I tried on..."
"P4H 764. Yes, that's right." She put the blood pressure cuff around Daniel's arm and began pumping it.
He lay there quietly as Fraiser went through the various tests.
Temperature, neurological tests... all of which were vaguely familiar
in a dream-haze sort of way and Daniel realized he'd gone through all
of this a few times recently. By the time she finished, the medication
was kicking in and other body parts were beginning to complain again.
"Janet, can I get something to eat?" Daniel sat up and raised the
blankets, trying to see if maybe his glasses had fallen off while he
"Breakfast is on its way as we speak." She smiled and looked at him, pausing a moment from making notations in his chart.
"Good, 'cause I'm starving." He turned and lifted his pillow, but there was no sign of his glasses there either.
"What are you looking for?" she asked as she finished with his chart.
"I can't find my glasses."
"Oh. Well, that's because they're not here."
Daniel frowned at her in confusion.
"We discovered that your glasses were the cause of your flashbacks.
Somehow the memory device was replicated into the metal in the frame.
Because the metal in your glasses is denser, its effects were several
times more powerful than the memory device itself."
"My glasses? How...?"
"Sam thinks it happened the first time you tried the device. It must
have touched your glasses and imprinted itself into the metal."
"But how could this... I remember the first time I used the toy...
all the other flashbacks after that were more like dreams. I can only
remember vague images."
"We think that all the other flashbacks were at such a high
intensity that your brain simply wasn't able to cope with it, and
well... in simple terms, your brain shut itself off by forcing you to
"I still recall the last... flashback... I remember dislocating my
shoulder when I was five... but it's kind of jumbled up... Jack was
there, but he couldn't have been, I was only five years old. I know my
dad didn't leave my side when they put my shoulder back in, but now..."
He pressed his palms to his forehead, trying to force away the pain
that remained of his headache and hating the muddle of his thoughts.
Daniel raised his head and lowered his hands, then smiled as Jack,
Sam and Teal'c entered his room. Jack was carrying a tray and Daniel
could smell bacon and coffee. He began to salivate as Jack lowered the
tray onto the roll away table.
"Fraiser told us you might be hungry so we took the liberty of
getting you breakfast." Jack passed styrofoam cups to both Sam and
Janet, put one aside for himself and handed Teal'c a glass of juice. As
Jack pushed the table towards the bed, Daniel reached for the remaining
styrofoam cup. To his disappointment, it wasn't coffee, but weak tea.
"Oh come on!" Daniel exclaimed, insulted that everyone would be
drinking coffee in front of him when he wasn't allowed. "Janet!" When
she simply hid her smile in her cup, he turned to Jack. "That's not
"Actually, you're right." Sam reached and switched cups with him.
"The tea's mine." She grinned and Daniel smiled back, strangely happy
at having been teased.
"Thank you," he said, joyfully taking a sip of the steaming brew.
"Oh, you might want these back." Sam took something wrapped in a
piece of material from her pocket and handed it to Daniel. He took it
from her, opened up the small piece of cloth, and found he was holding
"They're safe. The imprint on them was erased by an electromagnetic pulse."
Daniel unfolded them and held them up to the light. They didn't
look any different, but somehow he was reluctant to put them on. He
glanced at Janet, and she smiled at him, and nodded. Holding his
breath, Daniel slipped his glasses on, and waited for the memories to
He jumped, and looked up at Jack.
"It's okay, they're safe. Carter erased the stuff that got recorded in there. She even tested them on me."
Unable to stop himself, Daniel tore the glasses off. He realized
his hand was shaking, so he put them down beside his coffee cup.
"Um, you tried my glasses?"
"We tested them in a controlled experiment. Colonel O'Neill volunteered and..."
Daniel turned from Sam's explanation and stared at Jack in shock.
"I only got the effects for a couple of seconds and no, it wasn't
pleasant," Jack admitted, staring into his coffee cup. "So I know what
you're thinking and how you're feeling." He waved towards the glasses.
"They're okay now. Trust me."
Still wary, he reached out again for them and put them on. Okay,
everyone said they were safe, but he pledged to himself to exchange
them with his spares that he kept in his office the second he got out
of the infirmary.
He took another sip of coffee, then pulled the tray towards him.
There were scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, juice, and some applesauce. He
took a bite of the eggs, then before he'd realized it, he'd finished
He licked a bit of sticky jam from his fingers and looked up from
his plate, only to notice everyone watching him. Embarrassed, he
realized he'd just wolfed down his meal.
"Why? You've hardly had anything to eat lately. Are you still hungry? I could go get some cereal or..."
"No, I'm fine, Sam. Thanks." He nervously fingered he frames of his
glasses once more. "So, has this ever happened to anyone on P4..." He
frowned. He normally had no trouble with planet designations.
"P4R 776," Sam supplied. "No, we spoke with Sholpa last night and
she confirmed that they've never heard of anything like that happening.
I'm pretty sure it has to do with the properties of Earth metals
compared to those on her planet." Sam shrugged. "I've tried to
duplicate the effects but haven't had any luck so far."
"Duplicate? With what?"
"Sholpa gave us Kirn's memory toy. We needed to study it to see how�"
"You took his birthday gift away from him?"
"Well, yeah." Jack tapped Daniel's temple. "There was some nasty stuff going on, if you remember."
"I know. I just feel bad... he was so excited about getting that toy."
"Hey, we can give him something better when we go back." Jack's
eyes lit up and Daniel realized that he and Jack were probably going to
be spending their next free day together, walking up and down the
alleys of the nearest toy store.
- - - - - -
"And the batteries go in here." Sam looked up at Sholpa, making
sure she understood. "You shouldn't have any problem charging them -
I've adapted the charger so it'll work on your planet's current."
"And what does it do?" Kirn asked excitedly, staring at the small toy Sam was holding in her hands.
"Well, you turn it on, like this," she explained. A soft chime sounded, and the small monitor lit up.
"Here, this is how you play." Jack impatiently grabbed the Gameboy
from Sam's grasp and began punching the tiny controls. Kirn was soon
enmeshed in the adventures of Mario Brothers, or whichever of the ten
games this was that Jack had picked up.
"Are you okay?"
Daniel turned at the softly spoken question, and saw Sholpa's worried face close to his.
"I'm fine. Thank you." He smiled, and patted her arm. She continued
to gaze at him, then nodded, accepting his word. "Don't blame
yourself," Daniel said. "There was no way of knowing that Kirn's toy
would affect my glasses."
"But you were hurt and we are partly responsible."
"No. Please. Really. I'm fine."
"I'm just sorry your experiences were so unpleasant. Normally people remember the good things."
"I have a theory," Sam interjected. "Daniel's first memory with the
toy wasn't a pleasant one, and that occurred just at the moment it
imprinted onto his glasses. Because it was such a strong emotion, it
continued to trigger those types of memories. It was in a loop, causing
only vivid, unpleasant memories in people."
"Then maybe you'd like to try Kirn's recall device once more. This
time, perhaps without your glasses?" She smiled gently at Daniel, and
his heart began to hammer in his chest.
"Um, thanks, but, I'll skip."
"But you should. Kirn." She placed a hand on her son's arm. "Go get
your new toy." Kirn slipped off the chair and raced noisily to his
"No, Sholpa, really, it's all right. Please, don't."
"Hush, Daniel. You've had nothing but bad experiences. Let me show you what it should be like."
She reached out and removed his glasses and Daniel turned to Jack, pleading silently.
"Sholpa, I think Daniel's had enough with the memories."
"But it would show him that not every memory is bad." Kirn ran back
in and gave his mother the toy, then climbed up onto his chair to
continue playing his Gameboy with Jack.
Sholpa held the small wire to Daniel. He stared at it a moment, extremely reluctant to do this.
"Daniel." He turned to look at Jack, who was staring at him intently. "You don't have to."
"I know." As much as he was afraid to put that small piece of
plastic on his head again, he knew that if he didn't, he'd be hurting
this woman's feelings. She and her family had shown nothing but
kindness to SG-1, playing host to them the several times they'd come
here to continue their negotiations.
He took the toy from her and put it on his head.
"Here, slowly turn the controls to a comfortable setting as you
begin to remember." He took the device, keeping his thumb on the small
controls. He closed his eyes, trying to think of something pleasant.
For some reason, his mind became blank.
He could hear Jack and Kirn talking and laughing, but he knew
Jack's attention was focused on him. Kirn giggled, happiness evident in
his voice. Daniel remembered times when he and his father had played
games together; his father had taught him chess and although Daniel
hadn't been good at it yet, his father had been very patient with him.
Hot, sultry afternoons spent sitting in the relative coolness of
their home in Cairo. Daniel sitting on his father's lap as his father
explained some of the various myths and legends associated with the
artifacts his mother was cataloguing.
Trudging through the hot sands, the sun blazing down on him as he happily followed his father to the newly-discovered ruins.
Sitting in the shade with the Egyptian workers' children, retelling
them the stories he'd learned from his father, and looking up and
seeing his father staring down at him with pride.
Running to his mother to show her the artifact he'd unearthed,
knowing better than to try and excavate it himself. He smiled to
himself at the remembered excitement she'd shown when she'd realized it
was something truly important to the dig.
Daniel sighed, opened his eyes, and smiled. Sholpa reached over and
removed the wire band around his head, then wiped at his cheeks with
her thumb. He reached up and realized his face was wet. The love he'd
felt from his parents still enveloped him, leaving him feeling slightly
vulnerable, but happy.
"See, it can truly be a wonderful experience," she whispered.
Self-consciously, Daniel wiped his face with his palms, then
blushed as he saw his friends all watching him. "You're right," Daniel
said. "That was incredible. Thank you."
This was what that device had been all about, and he now knew why
Sholpa had been insistent that he try it. It wouldn't erase all the
muddled memories caused by the mutated version of the device, but one
good thing that had come from that was several of the unpleasant times
in his childhood were now overridden by memories of Jack being there
for him during those disturbing times.
All memories weren't bad, it was how you looked back at them. And
now, thanks to Sholpa, Daniel had a few old ones made new again.
He smiled up at Jack when his friend walked around the table and placed a hand around Daniel's shoulders.
"Ready to go home?"
As he got up Daniel glanced at Kirn and was pleased to see the
young boy happily playing with his new toy. Kirn would have plenty of
memories to keep; plenty of things to remember with his memory recall
Daniel had been lucky, for a few minutes, the best parts of his
childhood had been played back in living detail. Still feeling his
parents' love for that young Danny, Daniel looked at his friends as
they walked back to the Stargate. That little boy was still lucky - he
grew up and found another family who loved him.
Thanks to my heartsisters, who have
made me laugh and smile, and who I have come to rely on so much in my
writing, and will always hold a special place in my heart.
And a special thanks to devra for her sharp Alpha eyes; and for letting me borrow Rose for a short time.
to contact me
mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film
Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have
appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles
and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide
Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions
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