Title: Hok Tau'ri
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.
Summary: "She simply shouldn't be able to do the things she's doing, sir; I have no explanation for it."
Spoilers: B:tVS through "Chosen" (7.22), SG-1 through "Full Circle" (6.22)
Notes: This is a sequel to the "Inexplicably Chosen", one of my "Ten Slayers Who Were Never Called" drabbles, and was intended as Chapter One of a longer fic that looks like it won't ever materialize. The title is a Goa'uld phrase that means "advanced human", usually shortened to hok'tar in conversation. Note on the timeline: "Full Circle" aired March 21, 2003, "Chosen" aired May 20, 2003, and "Fallen" aired June 13, 2003.
General Hammond frowned paternally down the length of the briefing room table at the current members of his best team. SG-1 still hadn't quite regained their equilibrium after their disastrous encounter with Anubis two months prior-- they had lost many friends among the Abydonians, especially Skaara and his father Kasuf, and the sequence of events had renewed their uncertainty about the fate of their former teammate, Dr. Jackson. Aside from that, however, they seemed to be functioning well enough. Too well, actually, in one case.
Which was, of course, the purpose of this meeting. "Report, Dr. Frasier."
The base's chief medical officer had been researching the problem of Major Carter's new strength and speed, among other abilities, since they had first begun to affect her two weeks ago. The popular explanation among those in the know was that Dr. Jackson had had a hand in her "upgrade", an opinion the Major herself seemed to espouse, but the timing of the event seemed rather suspicious to the General. No one, not even Colonel O'Neill, had heard from the Ascended man since the destruction of Abydos; it was very likely that Daniel was not in any position to be giving mysterious physical upgrades to old friends.
"I have run every test I can think of, sir," Janet said, a puzzled frown marring her features. "As far as I can tell, there is absolutely no physiological basis for the enhanced abilities Major Carter has exhibited over the last several days."
"Isn't that impossible?" In all honesty, the General had expected to hear something of the sort-- the members of his premiere team seemed to make a habit of breaking the laws of nature-- but that sort of logic didn't tend to go over well in the inevitable reports to Command, hence the asking of obvious questions.
"Frankly, sir, if I didn't know better I would think this was all some kind of hoax," she replied. "No unaltered human being should be able to lift over a thousand pounds without breaking a sweat, or break a treadmill running at upwards of thirty miles per hour. Not to mention the expansion of her sensory range and the apparently prophetic dreams she seems to be having."
"Prophetic dreams?" That was news to Hammond.
"Uh, yes, sir," Carter said, looking vaguely embarrassed. "Just before our good-will mission to P3X-797 last week, I dreamed of a, well, it looked like a canine of some kind about the size of pony, attacking a small child in their settlement. I, um, took a moment to check it out while we were there..."
"Ah. The predators you reported encountering on your patrol." He'd wondered at the time about the terseness of her description of the event; ordinarily she was capable of relating everything that occurred in extreme detail, which made up a great deal for Colonel O'Neill's tendency to gloss over everything not of immediate interest to him.
"Yes, sir," she replied. "There was a nest of them approximately half a mile from the settlement. According to what Tuplo told Jonas, the beasts normally range several days' journey to the south on the planet's dark side, but the climate has been unusually dry this year and they had migrated north in search of better feeding grounds."
Hammond glanced over at Jonas for confirmation, and the Kelownan nodded in agreement. "They call them 'devil dogs'," he said, wrinkling his nose in apparent distaste at the appellation. "According to local legend, they're not native to the planet; they appeared out of nowhere one day several decades ago and savaged an outlying village. The survivors fled back to the main settlement, and they've kept clear of the area ever since."
"I see," the General commented, pursing his lips. "Is this the only prophetic dream you've experienced?"
Carter bit her lip, twisting her hands around a pen, blue eyes wide. "Um, no sir. I've had other dreams that, well, for lack of a better word, *felt* important. However, that is the only one that we have been able to verify."
"And that is what makes me think that the visions aren't actually her own," Jonas chimed in, sitting up straighter in his chair and throwing a brief sideways glace at the Colonel before focusing on Hammond again. It was obvious that he'd already tried this argument on Jack and lost; however, that didn't necessarily mean that he was wrong.
If anyone here were likely to have any genuine insight into the topic at hand, it would be Jonas. As a result of genetic tampering by the Goa'uld Nirrti a couple of months ago, he had experienced several episodes of what had appeared to be precognition. Unfortunately, the new, dense brain tissue that had enabled the new ability had also threatened his life, and Dr. Frasier had been forced to remove it. Any theory that reduced the likelihood of Major Carter experiencing the same health risks from her new abilities was one that Hammond wanted to hear.
Jonas took a deep breath. "When I was having visions, everything I saw was immediate and personal. Either I was seeing through my own eyes in the future, or I was watching over something that would happen to my team-mates. Most of the things Sam has seen, however, have nothing to do with the Stargate program and involve people and places she has no known connection to. It just doesn't make sense. If precognition is, as we assumed with my experience, the ability to perceive the patterns around you in incredible detail and then project them into possible futures, then it follows that you have to have some kind of prior knowledge to project *from*. I think she's somehow tapped into a greater source, something with connections to other people who may have experienced the same kind of enhancements, and that the rest of her visions were intended for other recipients. For some unknown reason she was able to overhear them, so to speak."
It was fuzzy logic at best, but at the same time made a certain amount of sense. Hammond considered the idea for a moment, nodding thoughtfully as he examined it from several angles, then turned to the voice of rationality in the room for a countering opinion.
"Colonel, what's your take on all of this?"
Jack looked up from the notepad he had been studiously covering in scribbles, eyeing both his commanding officer and team second with an inscrutable expression. "I think that's reaching a little far, sir. I do agree with Jonas about one thing, though. This all has to be coming from an outside source. Are we sure the Tok'ra aren't being sneaky? Carter didn't kill those demon things with her P90, she tore them apart with her bare hands. It was undoubtedly cool to watch, but it left me feeling a little uneasy. The last time I saw that kind of attitude out of her, not to mention muscle, was when Anise tricked us into testing those atomic armbands."
"Atoniek armbands, sir," Carter corrected him automatically, then shrank back in her chair as Jack gave her a quelling look in response.
Hammond stared at the now-blushing Major a moment in astonishment, wondering just what else she'd left out of her report, then turned back to his CMO. "Doctor?"
Janet glanced down at her notes again, then shook her head. "I do agree that except for the dreams, Sam's symptoms seem remarkably like a toned-down version of the effects the armbands produced," she said. "She's even showing signs of increased metabolism, though we're not certain why. However, her bloodwork shows no signs of the viral activator used by the Atoniek technology to interface with a human body, nor any kind of drug or other foreign agent that might produce even one of the effects we've seen. She simply shouldn't be able to do the things she's doing, sir; I have no explanation for it."
"Very well." Hammond sighed. "Major Carter, Dr. Frasier, I suggest you continue to research the matter and record your observations as you find time to do so, but otherwise return to business as usual. Much as I'd like to keep SG-1 grounded or running routine missions until we find out what's causing this, the effects so far seem to be far more positive than negative, and I see no reason to invite undue attention into the matter."
"Good idea," Jack commented, lazily. "The last thing we want is for the NID to get wind of this. They'd be even more excited to get their hands on Carter than Teal'c, especially now that he's lost Junior."
"Agreed," Hammond concurred, then stood, shuffling the pile of reports sprawled over the table before him into an orderly stack. "Dismissed, people. And try to avoid getting into any brawls this time around."
"Indeed," Teal'c commented, his sole contribution to the entire briefing, then inclined his head respectfully toward the General and headed toward the door with his team.
Hammond watched them all go with a sigh, then headed toward his own office. Problems had a way of working themselves out on their own with SG-1, but he had no doubt that things would be... interesting... around here in the meantime.