What Remains von Rudesmom

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Daniel watched as the last of the Tok'ra hesitated for a moment on the ramp. He might be old but he wasn't senile. The third Tok'ra, that was Sam. What the hell had happened on P5X-719?

Sam heard the gate shut down behind her and looked around the gateroom. It hadn't changed much. The actual gateroom that is. Security, on the other hand, was certainly lax these days. The System Lords might be defeated but there were there were too many non-essential personnel in the gateroom. What kind of idiot would allow it? If the team of SFs on hand needed to open fire they were going to have a problem with friendly fire. Somehow, she didn't think that the gray heads in the crowd would be able to get down fast enough. And what was it with all the number of old...

Holy Hannah! Was that elderly man Paul Davis? Her eyes swept over the crowd. She thought she saw Haley and the tall man with a stoop in the back row, could that be Siler?

/Garshaw, please take over. I can't do this./


/That's Paul Davis. They must have brought him out of retirement. I think that they brought a lot of people back. I can't do this. Not yet./

Sam dipped her head as Garshaw took control.

JD turned back when he failed to hear his mother follow him down the ramp. Her body language was wrong. He moved back up the ramp and quietly asked, “Garshaw?”

“Yes. It seems as if the Tau'ri have arranged for a reunion of the original SGC. Sam was not expecting it.”

“Is she alright?”

“She will be. She's stronger than she knows.”

“Do you think that they will recognize her?”

“She has changed much since I first met her. And, in truth, they have thought her dead for nearly forty of their years.”

JD smiled slightly. Maybe that was part of the problem between the Tok'ra and the Tau'ri. Never give a direct answer when indirect would suffice. He offered his arm to Garshaw and escorted her down the ramp and to a small stage to his right.

Daniel watched the interplay between the two with interest. Her hair was longer, darker, and her face was noticeably thinner, but it was Sam. The other Tok'ra seemed vaguely familiar but he couldn't place him. There was definitely something between the pair, or at least between their symbiotes. Was he the reason Sam let everyone believe she was dead? Had the Tok'ra prevented her from contacting the SGC? Had it been her choice? His speculation continued as the pair approached him on their way to the ceremonial stage.

There was a small disturbance at the back of the crowd as General O'Neill entered the gateroom with his aide following close behind. The general's progress came an abrupt halt as he recognized Anise climbing the steps to the stage.

“God damn snakes. They just had to send her didn't they?”

“Sir?” His worried aide nearly collided with him.

“Don't worry Mitchell. I'll behave,” O'Neill growled. “Let's just get this over with before I'm overcome with the desire to shoot to kill. I'd hate to upset the PR flaks. And what the hell were they thinking to put this many people in the gateroom anyway?”

“Hoping to cut the pension rolls if anything went wrong, Sir?”

“Let's hope the SFs know to shoot the reporters first.”

O'Neill worked his way through the crowd and failed to get a good look at the other two Tok'ra. The Tok'ra came to an abrupt stop just before the steps. The female Tok'ra reached out a hand to an elderly man on crutches.

As Garshaw and JD walked towards the stage, Sam watched from the background. She thought she recognized a couple of scientists from the SGC and then Garshaw's eyes fell on the face of man they both thought long dead.

/Garshaw? Please, let me out./

Garshaw came to a halt and allowed Sam to resume control.

“Daniel?” She whispered, tears beginning to pool in her eyes. Her hand brushed his face.


“Oh God, Daniel. I was told you were dead, that you were all killed.”

“Teal'c and Trainor were. I survived.” He used his head to indicate his crutches. “Barely. And you? Jack said you were killed.”

“I'm sure he did. We need to talk, but not here.”

Daniel had agree to the wisdom of that and so did the other Tok'ra if his nod was any indication. Several people near them were watching with undisguised curiosity. Fortunately, not one of them appeared to recognize her but it was unlikely that that would continue. He had spoken with Siler and Davis earlier that day. Those two, at least, should be able to figure out who she was. General O'Neill might recognize her, but then again, considering how the original had apparently forgotten her existence, maybe not.

“Later then.”

Sam smiled her first real smile in years. A misty eyed Daniel returned it.

Garshaw retook control and she and her escort continued towards the stage. They climbed the short staircase and turned to face the crowd.

General O'Neill reached the first step. All he needed to do was make a quick speech. He walked across the stage. He was already planning to follow it with a hasty retreat. He pulled out his notes. There was no way he was going to spend one more second than absolutely necessary in Anise's company. Maybe he would get lucky and the Asgard would beam him out and he wouldn't have to even give his speech. He didn't look at the Tok'ra, in fact, he avoided it.

The Tok'ra, however, did look at the general. They had been told that following the conclusion of the war, a civilian had been given command of the SGC. None of them expected to see O'Neill. Anise and Garshaw were stunned at his youthful appearance, he had to be nearly ninety yet looked much as he had some forty years earlier. A cold rage filled Sam, nearly overcoming Garshaw. It took several moments before she remembered that it couldn't be Jack. The clone, it had to be the clone. Her fury subsided to a low burn but with Garshaw in control, no one was any the wiser.

O'Neill's speech was brief, much to the disappointment of the PR department. As he stepped away from the podium, Garshaw stepped up to it. She introduced herself and congratulated them on their victory over their mutual enemy. At the sound of an oddly familiar voice, O'Neill turned to look at Garshaw.
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