TITLE: The End
AUTHOR: Kathleen Anderson
STATUS: This part complete
CATEGORY: Angst/Drama, Sam/Jack, Daniel/Janet, AU
SPOILERS: Fail Safe, Rite of Passage, Tangent
SEASON/SEQUEL: Season five, a sequel is planned
CONTENT WARNINGS: death, cataclysmic event
SUMMARY: A "Fail Safe" what if. What if Carter couldn't fix the cargo ship?
ARCHIVE: Heliopolis. Anyone else want it? Mail me!
FEEDBACK: Of course!
DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. We have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the authors. Not to be archived without permission of the authors.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: "Fail Safe" refuses to leave me alone. I've been thinking of this story for several days now and I finally wrote it. There are more parts planned, but I don't know how long that will take me. Some parts of this story are taken almost straight from the episode "Fail Safe" I'm not trying to pass them off as my own.
"If Major Carter is unable to repair the cargo ship, you will report immediately to the Alpha Site and assume command."
"No debates on this one Jack, that's an order."
When we first found out about the asteroid we had eleven days and sixteen hours. I'd seen the movie, I knew it hits Paris but Carter said that this one would most likely hit Greenland or the Bering Sea. It sounds like a cliche, and I hate cliches, but according to Carter, this is serious. She's getting a team of geeks ready to go through the Stargate to Ravanna where Daniel and Jacob had crashed a Goa'uld cargo ship. It's kind of ironic that the one thing that can save us was built by our biggest enemy.
"We're good to go sir!" calls Carter as I enter the gateroom.
I see that her geeks have been busy. There's a big ass nuclear warhead loaded onto a transport and the guys all have packs strapped to their backs and many of them are carrying things that look like suitcases.
"Teal'c, show them the way."
Several of the guys follow Teal'c up the ramp and through the gate. Daniel joins us and asks Carter if the nuke is big enough. Never ask Carter questions about anything technical. She gives him a run down of the specs and Daniel seems impressed. Mind you, I'm pretty impressed myself.
"Hey! What are you doing?"
One of Carter's geeks, Spellman I think, is backing away from the Stargate, holding cases in his hands. Carter and I surround him as he babbles away about me not knowing what happens to my body when I go through this thing.
"Spellman, you're going."
I've had just about enough from this one. Giving Carter a glance, we push him into the event horizon. Carter follows and after a brief glance at the gateroom, I follow her.
The cargo ship is sitting in a large mud puddle. It appears to be in one piece, amazing. Carter gets the hatch open and we step in.
Shining my light around I observe, "It doesn't look so bad."
Carter assigns tasks to her geek force and they all head off, except Spellman who's asking for a restroom, he says it's his "first priority". Carter rolls her eyes and leads him away. That guy is really annoying me.
"Ah they'll fix it up." I say knowing that Carter can fix anything, "I'm confident."
"Me too." says Daniel.
"As am I." intones Teal'c.
I try to make myself useful, but that's hard when you know next to nothing. I noticed that Daniel was engrossed in a book, before he fell asleep. I should have brought some magazines. If Carter gets this thing moving, it's gonna be a long, boring ride.
One of the geeks notices that I'm not doing anything and asks me to watch some glowing green thing. I'm not sure what it's supposed to be doing. I feel someone breathing down my neck and tilt my head slightly and see Carter in my peripheral vision. Ahhh, see Carter, I am being useful!
After what seems like forever, we're all gathering in the forward section of the ship. One of the guys walks in and says that he's looked again, and he still can't find it. Someone else asks him if he checked the guidance system. Turns out that he's checked it twice.
Carter purposefully marches in and says, "Okay, well I guess we'll have to assume there isn't one on board."
Okay, now I'm really confused, "One what?"
"We're about ready to attempt an engine start, sir."
She still didn't answer my question, "Yeah fine, assume there isn't one what?"
Ooooooh, bad memories there, "The X-301?"
I'm suddenly disliking these geeks even more, "That was you guys?" I say, pointing a finger at them.
"You have to admit, it performed beautifully right up until the point that it sent you and Teal'c into...deep space."
Well now, if that's not the understatement of the century, "Shh..yeah"
Daniel looks at them, "Nice work."
Way to go with the sarcasm there Danny Boy! Ah yes, he'd learned from the best.
Enough of this, "Carter?" I give her a nod.
"Attempting engine start."
I love how she always knows what I'm thinking.
Carter bends down and flicks a switch, or something and then pushes a few buttons. The engines engage, the lights come on, this a good sign! And then they die.
Carter looks a little disappointed. I give her a look and she pushes the buttons again. Same thing. This is not a good sign.
Carter looks frustrated, "I don't understand why it won't work!"
One of the geeks steps forward and rattles off a string of technobabble that I don't even pretend to understand. Carter gives him a nod and he scurries off to adjust the power flow or something.
I look at Carter, and give her a small smile, "It'll work, I'm confident."
Daniel also smiles at Carter, "Me too."
Teal'c raises an eyebrow, "As am I."
"General, we're receiving a signal, audio only. It's from SG-1 sir."
"Patch it through."
Sergeant Davis nods and patches the message through.
"Stargate Command, do you read? Over."
"We hear you SG-1, what's going on?"
"We've hit a bit of a snag sir. Carter and her team are working on the problem, but it seems unlikely that this ship is ever going to take off again."
"I understand Colonel. You have your orders. Major Davis has arrived from the Pentagon and he's beginning the evacuation plans."
"Yes sir. SG-1 out."
I glance over at the Sergeant, his face looks paler than normal. We both had full confidence in Major Carter and her team of engineers. Hell, I didn't think there was anything that Major Carter couldn't fix. Until now. We've sent another message to the Tok'ra, but the clock is ticking. With a glance at the Sergeant, who is still looking stunned, I leave for my office. There's a phone call I have to make.
"Yes hello, Mr President. I've just received word from SG-1. It would appear that the ship is grounded.... Yes sir, I understand, my place is here.... Alpha Site evacuations will commence within the hour.... Thank you Mr President.... "
I hang up the phone and then pick up the receiver again. I dial the number with a slightly shaky hand.
"Hi sweetheart...yes, I'm still at work...is your sister Kayla there?..Can you put her on?..Hullo sweetheart, I won't be able to make it to your play tomorrow night...I know sweetie, I'm sorry...Something has come up..Yes it's very important..I know you do, I love you too..I promise that I'll make it up to you..We'll go out for ice cream soon...Say hi to your mom and dad for me....I'll see you soon..bye bye."
It's a lot easier to order people to their deaths than it is to lie to your Granddaughter.
"I'm sorry sir. The engines are just too badly damaged."
Daniel looked at Carter as if she'd suddenly sprouted another head.
Everyone had assembled in the forward section again, looking somewhat less than enthusiastic. Carter hung her head, I knew she felt as if it were her fault that the engines wouldn't work. The geeks were looking suitably sorry as well.
"Daniel, Teal'c, and the rest of you," I said gesturing towards the geeks, "Gather your things and report to the Alpha Site. Major Carter and I will follow you shortly."
There is much shuffling and murmuring as they pick up cases and bags and depart the ship.
Carter looked up at me, her eyes looking me over questioningly.
"General Hammond has ordered me to assume command at the Alpha Site in the event that the cargo ship could not be repaired."
Carter looked as appalled as I had when Hammond first informed me of this, "He can't do that, can he?"
I merely shrugged.
Carter murmured something, almost under her breath, I didn't catch what it was, "What did you say Carter?"
She grimaced, "I said, I guess the Captain always goes down with the ship."
I thought that it was an awful thing for her to say, but I chose not to say anything. She was right.
"I'm going to send another message through to the General. Why don't you gather up anything that could be useful."
Carter nodded and headed off. Might as well salvage what we could. Lord knows we'd need it on the other side of the gate.
I don't know if I can do this. I arrived at work this morning after dropping Cassie off at school as usual. I put on my lab coat and began to review the reports on the blood samples taken from SG-1 after their last mission. I had no idea that in two hours, Major Davis would be walking through the door and informing myself and my nurses that we were to begin evacuation of the SGC immediately. He handed us a sheet of paper. It was a list of names with dates and times.
"Take only what you need."
I stood facing Major Davis, looking up at him, "We're not going anywhere unless you tell me why and where we're going."
The Major looked at me, his brown eyes were clouded with emotion, "There's an asteroid that's going to hit Earth in approximately ten days and eight hours. We've been ordered to begin evacuating teams to the Alpha Site."
I didn't want to believe him. I'd seen the movie, Cassie and I cried, it was sad. But the asteroid didn't hit Earth.
"Aren't we going to try and stop it? Blow it up or something?", asked one of my nurses.
"SG-1 had gone yesterday, along with a team of engineers to Ravanna, in an attempt to repair a Goa'uld cargo ship that could have delivered a nuclear warhead to the asteroid. They were unsuccessful. They have since reported to the Alpha Site. By the orders of the President, everyone is to keep quiet about this. He doesn't want to start panic."
Major Davis turned and left, leaving me holding the sheet of paper, open mouthed.
I glanced over the lists, I was scheduled to depart with the last team in ten days. Ten days. What am I supposed to tell Cassie?
Carter and I had arrived at the Alpha Site and were taking the grand tour. I hadn't been here in a couple of months. Someone had sure been busy. It was basically a replica of the base at Cheyenne Mountain. There were enough quarters to house about a hundred people. I couldn't imagine that everyone would want to live in stark military quarters for the rest of their lives. We'd have to build houses and churches. This site was never intended to be a village. We'd have to work hard. Maybe I'm being pessimistic about Earth's chances, or maybe I'm just being realistic.
"General Hammond said we can start expecting evacuees within the hour. We'll have to start assigning quarters and delegating positions. Carter, are you listening to me?"
Carter looked at me, "Yes, sir, sorry sir. I was just thinking about how much this looks like the SGC. This could almost be Earth."
Before I could reply, we were joined by Daniel.
"Hey Daniel, what did you do with the ge...uh engineers?"
"Oh, they're uh, working on something they found in one of the labs."
Great, I can't believe those guys are going to be the future of the human race.
"Well, that's good. Keep them occupied."
"Oh yeah, and Spellman wants to know where the restrooms are."
If the situation weren't so dire, that would have been funny, "Probably the same place they are at the SGC, Daniel."
Daniel shook his head, "I checked, they aren't there. I've been looking for them, but I haven't found them yet."
"Oh well, okay, keep looking then. Let me know when you find them."
Daniel nodded and took off down the hall.
I glance at Carter, "Don't tell me they forgot to install restrooms..."
She offers me a smile, "I'm sure they didn't sir, I'm sure they didn't."
It's been eleven days since we were informed about the asteroid. I haven't been home since. If I leave, I'll never come back. They need me here. A knock on my door alerts me to me a presence.
"General?" It's Doctor Fraiser.
"Doctor.", I thought she'd already left, "Shouldn't you be off-world by now?"
"I'm leaving with the next group sir."
Ah, that would explain it.
"Your name isn't on the list sir."
"May I ask why?"
Doctor Fraiser steps into my office and closer to me. She's wearing fatigues, they suit her.
"When that asteroid hits, the only chance for the survival of the human race will rest with the Alpha Site. We've limited their number because they'll have limited resources. Everyone will have to contribute."
"Your experience makes you more than qualified sir."
"Hm, I appreciate what you're trying to do Doctor. But my decision is final."
Doctor Fraiser doesn't seem content with my response but nods her head and gives me a "yes sir."
She turns on her heels and leaves. I continue stare at the spot that she had occupied. I know that this situation is difficult for her as well. She's leaving Cassie behind. Hell, it's difficult for all of us.
When I dropped Cassandra off at school this morning, I hugged her. She looked embarrassed and tried to push me away with a "mom, my friends might be looking!" whine but I continued to hug her. I didn't tell her anything. I think she had noticed that I was more on-edge than usual. She wanted to see Sam, and she was disappointed when, on Saturday, Sam didn't show up to play chess. Sam had told her the previous week that she was going to be on Earth. I gave her some lame excuse that I don't think she bought. She spent the afternoon with Dominic at the mall instead.
It was strange to arrive at the base and be greeted with empty corridors. Of course, almost everyone had already been evacuated to the Alpha Site. There were three teams scheduled to depart today. I was on the last, which would depart approximately thirty-nine minutes before the asteroid would hit Earth. I changed into fatigues today rather than put on my lab coat. Then, there was someone I needed to talk to.
The General is staying behind. I noticed that his name wasn't on the list, and hoping that it was merely an error, I went to speak with him. He told me that he wouldn't be going. Another person that I'll never see again.
Carter and I had just welcomed another team of evacuees. There was still one more team to come through that gate and we had another half hour before they arrived.
I had assigned Daniel to the task of putting people in quarters and he was leading the team out of the gate room and into the corridors. I saw the looks on their faces. It's the same with every team. None of them can really believe that this isn't Earth.
I rub my hands over my face, and try to suppress a yawn.
Carter puts her hand on my arm and silently lets me know that I'm not alone. We've been doing that a lot lately, touching each other.
"So, Carter...when that asteroid hits. What will happen?"
I've been wanting to ask that question for a while now. It just never felt like an appropriate subject before now.
"The force of the impact will most likely result in a series of volcanic eruptions. Much of the Earth will be buried in lava and the dirt and ash will block out the sun's rays. It will be cold and dark and the planet will no longer be able to support life."
Trust Carter to know the cold, hard facts.
"Isn't that what they think wiped out the dinosaurs?"
Carter nodded, her face grim.
The last team stands on the ramp, awaiting my order to proceed through the gate. I'm in the control room, with Sergeant Davis and Major Davis. We've waited until thirty-nine minutes remain. Someone had calculated that this was when the asteroid passed the fail safe position. We'd still been holding out hope that someone would help us. Now it's too late.
"Major..Sergeant, take your positions with the last Alpha group."
The Sergeant opens his mouth as if to say something, but I stop him, "That's an order Sergeant."
He gets off his chair and heads down the stairs, Major Davis follows, but then turns to face me, "General."
"I haven't been relieved of this command Major."
Davis takes my hand and shakes it.
He hurriedly leaves the room. I look out at the Stargate, shimmering. I watch as the teams, my people, make their way through. Doctor Fraiser is the last to go. She turns around and knowing that I'm watching, gives me a salute. I raise my hand and salute her as well. I salute all of them.
Everyone's through now. Everyone who is coming. Carter has gone off to be with Janet, leaving me alone in the gateroom. Sergeant Davis, who came through with the last group, has gone to the control room to see if he can be helpful there and Major Davis is with Daniel. I check my watch. Thirty minutes.
This is so damn hard. A lieutenant came up me yesterday and asked me if I was planning to hold a memorial service. I told her that it was a good idea. But how do you hold a service for six billion lost souls? I'd made a mental note to consult Carter on that one. She always had good ideas. These people need closure.
Daniel and Sam showed me to my quarters. Daniel held my hand and then said that he had to go. Sam chose to stay.
"Cassie missed you on Saturday."
"Did you tell her?"
"I couldn't. Not just because of the orders. I didn't want her to know."
Sam nodded, she understood. Cassie was like a daughter to her. They'd always been close.
"It's so damn hard."
Sam looked close to tears. She'd probably been holding back her emotions since she got here.
A tear slipped down her cheek and she angrily wiped it away.
"It's not fair. It's not fair for us to be here, while there are people who are still on Earth. Better people than me."
"General Hammond says good-bye and that it was a pleasure to serve with you."
The General had asked me to pass that along to all members of SG-1. That's all it takes for Sam's walls to come down. The tears stream down her face. She's not bothering to wipe them away at all.
I grab Sam and hug her. My own tears fall onto the dull green fabric of her fatigues.
Ten minutes. I hadn't bothered to disengage the count-down. It was dark now, save for the emergency floodlights. It didn't feel right to be lighting up an empty base. I'm sure the electricity would be needed more somewhere else.
I gaze out into the gateroom. The Stargate stands there proudly. I hope that my people will still continue to explore once they have settled into their new home. It would be a shame if they didn't. I had ordered Major Davis to lock out Earth's co-ordinates from the dialling computer at the Alpha Site. I didn't want them trying to return.
Eight minutes. I think of my granddaughters. Kayla and I never went out for ice cream. She loves chocolate ice cream. I think she would live on the stuff if given the opportunity.
Five minutes. I try to remember what someone had told me would happen when the asteroid hits. At ground zero, all life will perish instantly. Volcanoes will erupt, killing millions and flooding much of the Earth with lava. Everything else will cease to exist as the sky fills with ash and dust.
Two minutes. All I can do is pray.
The alarm on my watch beeps. I don't bother to look at it, or turn it off. I know what it means. Daniel stands beside me, and Teal'c beside him. We are looking at the Stargate. We are honouring those who have died.