Unknown and Knowing.
We need to escape. But I find that this enveloping time loop becomes enervating as it progresses. There is also a matter weighing on O’Neill’s mind and it prevents him from acting.
While he has never voiced his concerns; he believes that DanielJackson died on P4X 637 at the hands of Malachi.
Realisation that DanielJackson was missing came before the lightnings warped the gate and sent us into the loop. Our friend lay unconscious or dead, hidden behind a pillar and Malachi was responsible.
DanielJackson had been attacked and left for dead while O’Neill and Carter bickered and I set out our equipment.
This galls me and claws at Colonel O’Neill’s conscience.
We cannot know if DanielJackson is dead; Major Carter crouched at his side to render aide while the colonel and I sought to prevent Malachi from finishing whatever nefarious purpose he had initiated.
DanielJackson died in a heartbeat… alone.
Or is he merely unconscious? We will never know. But Malachi appeared to be a desperate man. It is likely that as he sought his goal he would allow none to stand in his way.
When we do break free of this loop, which holds us, will we be transported to the point when we entered the loop? Will DanielJackson live or die?
I know that this weighs heavily on O’Neill’s mind. He spoke covertly with Major Carter on our last loop – asking if we succeeded with our endeavour when would we restart time?
In all innocence she told him, “at the point we left it.”
Colonel O’Neill took the next day off and I believe that he has gone ‘a little mad.’
He has redirected his efforts to teaching me golf.
I am better than he is.
This also galls him.
But the matter has not been resolved. When we resume our lives will DanielJackson live or die?
So here we sit in the commissary, once again facing Fruit Loops.
He looks up from contemplating his navel. Why he should wish to contemplate his navel, I do not know. But he said that he wished to spend this loop in navel contemplation.
“We cannot remain here.”
“I *know* that,” he snaps in his manner of emphasising words.
“While we stay here it is a matter of living death for the Tau’ri.”
Pushing back on the commissary table, he merely glowers at me.
I continue implacable. “Regardless of the unknown we should continue.”
“Eh?” A dark suspicious cast falls over his eyes.
While Colonel O’Neill is adept at playing the buffoon, I know that an intelligent man lurks behind his clownish façade. One does not become a leader of men if one is an idiot.
“Look at it this way, Teal’c, at least the Goa’uld can’t invade.”
“Neither can we free the slaves of the Goa’uld.”
“I’m just trying to take a break,” he protests, trying to change the subject that we are skirting around.
“DanielJackson spoke to me of the Lotus Eaters.” I refuse to be side tracked.
“You know, you’re an alien, you’re not supposed to know about that kind of stuff.”
I deliberately raise my eyebrow in that manner which I know amuses and frustrates him.
“This loop grows more seductive at every turn. You are able to live without consequence, knowing that you cannot face reprisal.”
He licks his lips unconsciously.
“We should persevere in our attempts to escape this loop,” I reiterate.
“We are.” He is casual and offhand, but his dark eyes give him away.
“If time had continued unchecked DanielJackson may have died. But to stay here is to sentence him to a living hell.”
O’Neill blanches and stalks away without a word.
I spoke the truth. O’Neill – and I will never say this to his face – feels things strongly. He will never forgive himself for leaving DanielJackson on Klorel’s ship to die. He will never leave someone again to suffer alone and … die alone, even if the fate of the very universe rests upon his shoulders.
He is a man of great integrity.
DanielJackson is alive in this reality, so some small part of him does not wish to face the unknown.
“What if we can figure out how to get out of the loop before Daniel dies?”
I had not realised that O’Neill had returned. He must have made an immediate about face on exiting the commissary.
“We do not know if DanielJackson has died.”
“He looked pretty dead to me.”
“Indeed, but he may yet still live.”
The woman cleaning out table starts at my words, I dismiss her.
“What if he isn’t?” O’Neill says through grated teeth.
“As we persevere with the translation we may learn how to fine tune the device. But Major Carter has warned us previously of the effects of manipulating time.”
“This is an entirely different kettle of fish.”
“I am unfamiliar with the idiom.”
“This is a time loop! Nothing’s real!” he exclaims.
“DanielJackson was injured prior to entering the loop.”
“We cannot stay here, O’Neill. Many of our allies, including my wife and son, are outside the area effect of the time loop; they are vulnerable.”
O’Neill’s eyes are sorrowful as he weighs the import of my words.
“And if Danny’s dead?” he utters.
“We shall continue,” I intone. “ And Malachi will die.”