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samcarterfic

"And You Peacemakers Go to the Same Place as Soldiers" by splash_the_cat

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August 29, 2006 | 09:36 pm | angst | drama
Posted by: surreallis in samcarterfic

Title: "And You Peacemakers Go to the Same Place as Soldiers"
Author: splash_the_cat
Rating/Warning: PG
Spoilers: Seth
Your recipient: amilyn
Request details: Sometime after "Seth," Sam has to use the hand
device in a crisis situation...can she do it or not, does she overdo it or
not, does she get more people hurt in the process or not, how does she
feel about any or all of the above and what is the next step?




The Academy cemetery was where the SGC buried most of its Air Force dead,
when the family had no other preference. Sam had only ever been on the
grounds twice: once during a tour when she was twelve, and today, where
she stood apart from a cluster of Sergeant Casselberry's family and
friends, tightly packed in consolation.

When the crowd eventually thinned, Sam approached Casselberry's wife.

"Ms. Schrift?" Sam always did her research; Casselberry's wife was a
lawyer who had kept her name after her marriage. She was also enormously
pregnant with their first child. Sam forced her eyes away from the
woman's distended belly after a glance. "I'm Captain Samantha Carter.
I..." And her mind went blank. Why was she here? What was she thinking?
What good would this do for anyone?

"Yes, Captain?" Ms. Schrift settled back into the chair someone had
provided for her. Fatigue owned every movement.

Sam said, "I worked with your husband. He was a good man, a good soldier.
He was-" She made herself stop the words before they ran away from her.
"And I'm sorry. I just wanted you to know I'm so sorry."

Ms. Schrift nodded an acceptance of her words, but Sam knew well enough
that while what she said had registered, the woman wasn't concerned with
Sam's apologies. But she murmured "Thank you, Captain," and Sam watched
her rest both hands across her stomach, clenching her fingers into the
fabric of her dark green dress. The color was familiar, too familiar; Sam
blinked away the image of Ms. Schrift's pale fingers wrapped in gold.

Suddenly feeling sick, Sam left Ms. Schrift to her grief and retreated to
her car.

****

"Carter. Hey, wakey, wakey, Captain."

Sam inhaled: clean, antiseptic. No charred flesh, no power residue. No
blood. Her eyes were crusted, and she blinked a few time before the
Colonel's face came clearly into view. He smiled, relief tugging at the
corners of his mouth. "Hey there."

Her "What happened?" came out as a croak, and on cue the colonel held a
glass and straw to her lips, lifting her head so she was able to sip
enough water to clear the worst of the sedative taste from her mouth. It
hurt to breathe in more than shallow pants, and her throat ached like it
had the one time she'd been intubated.

The colonel knew the routine well enough by now; they all asked the same
questions, every time. "You've some broken ribs-"

"And you need to rest." Janet appeared and nudged the colonel out of her
way, her stern tone reinforced by the firm hand she laid on Sam's arm.
"You can get the report later."

Shaking her head, and regretting it immediately, Sam said, "I want to know
what happened."

There was something in the glance Janet exchanged with the colonel that
Sam was too fuzzy to interpret. "What happened," she said again, louder,
even though it hurt her throat."

The penlight came out, and Janet flashed it into Sam's eyes. Sam blinked
into the bright light. Like the flash of the Goa'uld shock grenade on the
planet they were surveying with SG-8.

"How much do you remember, Sam?"

Waking up on the mothership that had appeared in orbit and sent them all
running for the gate. Daniel, Casselberry and Freemont following her
through corridors. A Goa'uld. An explosion. Jaffa. Too many Jaffa.
Gold. Something gold.

Hand device.

Dragging herself to the Goa'uld's body and ripping the hand device from
him. A terrible pressure building in her head, pushing her, burning along
her skin until she had to let it go, let it out before it ate her away to
nothing.

"Oh my God, what did I do?"

"You took out a bunch of the Jaffa," Jack said. "And… and there were some
other injuries."

Daniel. She remembered Daniel yelling. "How bad, how bad did I... Daniel,
I heard Daniel..."

She didn't realize she was struggling to sit up until Janet was pressing
her back down onto the bed and the colonel hurried his explanation. "Hey,
whoa, easy Carter. It's okay, Daniel's okay. Dislocated shoulder and
what will be some spectacular bruising. But he'll live."

And there was that look again, Janet's mouth thinning to a tight line, and
she said, "That's enough for now, Colonel," as she inserted a syringe into
Sam's IV line, and Sam's world faded away.

*****

Sam woke into the muted nighttime of the infirmary, heart pounding, mouth
dry, and rubbing the palm of her right hand against the sheets so hard it
was scraped raw. Her monitor was beeping frantically as her heart rate
climbed, and it wasn't long before the night nurse appeared.

She played along with the nurse's prodding, and when she retreated to her
station, Sam turned off her monitor and slipped out of bed, IV stand in
tow.

Daniel lay only a few beds over. The colonel hadn't been kidding about
the bruises - black and blue mottled what she could see of his chest and
one side of his face. He shifted when she brushed his hair from his face,
and his eyes blinked open, slow and heavy.

"Sam." His hand found her wrist, fingers wrapping loosely around it. His
mouth worked like a fish, and as the colonel had done for her, she helped
Daniel take a sip of water. When he spoke his words were slurred, and
Sam had to ask him to repeat them.

"You know it wasn't your fault, right?"

"What's not my fault?"

"Casselberry."

The colonel had said there were two injuries from SG-8. But when Sam
looked around, she realized only one other bed in the infirmary was
occupied.

"Daniel..." But he had slipped into sleep again, his fingers falling away
from her wrist.

*****

"Is that from Seth?"

The colonel was standing in the door of the hazard storage room, pointing
at the box in her hand. He didn't say anything about her infirmary garb,
or the smear of dried blood on the inside of her elbow, where she'd pulled
out her IV.

"Yeah. I talked Dad into leaving it with us for study." She'd spent
hours staring at it in the days after that mission, taking it to her lab
and later returning it to storage untouched.

"You, uh, want us to call him?"

"No." She bristled at the implication she needed her father to come
running and kiss her scraped knee. Especially when she knew he would only
give her that look of disappointment, the one that made her stomach knot
and her hands go cold. Because she'd - "Tell me the details. All I have
are bits and pieces. After we split up, Daniel, Casselberry, Freemont and
I got pinned between the Jaffa and the Goa'uld." She picked up the hand
device, examining the crystal. It was different than other Goa'uld
crystal technology. They must have cannibalized it from a different
source. "It gets a little messy after that."

The colonel scuffed his boot against the floor. "Near as we can guess one
of the Jaffa got a little over-eager and hit something vital with a staff
blast. You and the snake took the brunt of the explosion. Daniel,
Casselberry and Freemont were okay, but there were too many Jaffa for them
to hold off. You…"

Smoke. She remembered the acrid smoke from the explosion. It burned her
nose and eyes. She remembered Freemont yelling for covering fire, weapons
chattering. Her weapon was jammed, and how to fix it eluded her, process
and procedure scattered fragments in her throbbing head.

She remembered seeing the glint of the hand device against the Goa'uld's
green silk robes. Weapon, she'd needed a weapon to help them. She had to
help them…

"It looks like you lost control of it," the colonel was saying. "The
damage in the corridor was pretty extensive, and you weren't breathing
when we found you. Doc says it did a number on your system."

"Lucky me." It slipped out, her voice thick with scorn.

"Carter, you know how this works. You made the call you had to make-"

Sam threw the device down onto the table. "Don't give me the good soldier
crap, sir. This," Sam shook the hand device, the fingers clinking like a
windchime, "this wasn't ever in the cards. NASA, going into space,
finding ways to make a difference in the world with science, that's who I
am… not this, not some freak with the power of a bunch of megalomaniacal
aliens." She was too sick with what she'd done to quell what that tumbled
free. "She felt it too, even though she was supposed to be one of the
good guys, she had that power, liked using it..."

Sam gestured helplessly at the hand device. "It made her feel like I do
when I fly. And that's part of me now, it's in me and it's never going to
go away." Surprised by the shock creasing the colonel's forehead, she
fell silent.

"I thought," he finally said, "you were okay with the Jolinar thing."

"I'll never be okay with Jolinar."

"It's just... I mean, you pushed about remembering the dreams, about
contacting the Tok'ra..." He trailed off. "I had no idea."

"Well, that was the idea. Buck up, push on, do your duty..." Sam cringed
at the bitter edge to her words, but she saw sympathy flash across his
face just ahead of a sardonic smile.

"I thought you didn't want the good soldier crap, Carter."

She didn't tell him to shut up, tempting as it was. As she gathered up
the hand device and placed it back in its storage box, he said, "There's
going to be an inquiry."

"I know." Sam took a deep breath. "I killed one of our own people." The
admission filled the room, crowding out any further discussion, and as she
closed the box, the colonel turned to go.

"Carter," he paused at the door. "It may not be the last time that
happens."

The storage box was heavy, and her hands shook as she put it away.

****

Teal'c stood sentinel at the secondary security checkpoint when she
returned from the funeral. "Captain Carter."

"Is something wrong?"

"No." He fell into step beside her as she flashed her ID at the guard and
cleared through the checkpoint. As they waited for the elevator, he said,
"O'Neill has told me that you must face an inquiry into the events on the
mothership."

"Yes, this afternoon, actually." She planned to go find some paperwork to
do in her lab so she wouldn't have to change out of her dress blues. Or
think of anything other than equations and requisitions.

"Do you think you will be penalized for your actions?"

"If the committee finds that my actions were negligent, then yes, I will."
A judgment of manslaughter. Dishonorable discharge. Potentially jail
time. Worst case scenarios, she knew, but...

"That would be unfortunate." The elevator opened and Teal'c bowed her in.
She pressed the button for her lab level, as the elevator lurched into
motion, Teal'c said, "You have not yet decided what your fate should be."

Her eyes snapped up to meet his at the statement. She hoped the thoughts
chasing each other around in her head were not so nakedly written on her
face. "One minute yes, one minute no. I'm not sure I'll ever know if I
did the right thing."

Teal'c tilted his head, regarding her for a long moment. "Not now. But
perspective will come with time. And until then, you have our support,
Captain Carter."

Sam patted his arm, forcing a smile. "Thank you, Teal'c."

Maybe someday that would be enough.

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Comments {33}

One Whose Honesty is Stronger Than Her Fear

(no subject)

From: amilyn
Date: August 30, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)

VERY nice.

Thank you, thank you.

I LOVE the exchange with Jack about Jolinar, the comparison of the power of the device to the high of flying, the fact that Jack had fallen for her "No, no, I'm fine" routine about the whole mess.

I love the scraped knee metaphor, the description of how it felt like the device would destroy her if she didn't vent the power from it. I like the unwavering, unquestioned support from the guys, the horrible situation of being at one of the two wrong ends of friendly fire.

I like that it ends without the inquiry, since we know what the outcome was. It sets up a much longer time frame between "Seth" and "Fair Game" than I'd have expected, but I like it being near to the first use of the device so that she's had less time to build up an aversion to the device...but so that it explains her NEVER using it again (a ball I think the show dropped).

Really nice skipping back and forth with the scenes just as her mind is all scattered. Her confusion and pain and horror and guilt are palpable. Nicely done.

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

(no subject)

From: splash_the_cat
Date: September 5, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC)

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Amy! I hope it lived up in at least part to what you wanted.

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(no subject)

From: amilyn
Date: September 6, 2006 12:53 am (UTC)

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(no subject)

From: amilyn
Date: September 13, 2006 02:04 am (UTC)

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Wojnderful job!

From: anonymous
Date: August 31, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)

Loved it! Absolutely wonderfully written. Thanks so much for writing and posting this for everyone! - astrogeologist

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

Re: Wojnderful job!

From: splash_the_cat
Date: September 5, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)

Thank you very much!

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scarimor

(no subject)

From: scarimor
Date: August 31, 2006 11:20 am (UTC)

Great stuff. This is a part of the Jolinar legacy which I would have loved to see explored in the show - "Hail Dorothy" had legs which could have run and run. Well done for tackling it so well here.

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

(no subject)

From: splash_the_cat
Date: September 5, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)

Thanks much!

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Karen T

(no subject)

From: poohmusings
Date: August 31, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)

Ooh, very nice. I love what you did with the prompt you were given -- you definitely could have gone the shiny-happy route, but took a risk going darker. LOVE the emotions that run through the story, and it's a great twist on the concept of "friendly fire" and how it affects those left behind.

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

(no subject)

From: splash_the_cat
Date: September 5, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC)

Thank so much, Karen!

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(no subject)

From: aurora_novarum
Date: September 12, 2006 10:09 pm (UTC)

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(no subject)

From: splash_the_cat
Date: September 13, 2006 01:45 am (UTC)

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annerb

(no subject)

From: annerbhp
Date: September 1, 2006 03:37 am (UTC)

Lovely and gutwrenching. I always loved the scene in Seth where the guys are congratulating Sam for killing Seth and she just looks...disgusted. This is just an amazing look at the horror of having such an amazing power at her disposal that makes her dangerous and semi-freak like at the same time. Great job.

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

(no subject)

From: splash_the_cat
Date: September 5, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC)

Thanks so much, Annerb!

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Denise

(no subject)

From: skydiver119
Date: September 1, 2006 12:49 pm (UTC)

i like the premise. it's not often we see Sam messing up - heck that we see anyone on the show messnig up and having the consequences of that mess up dealt with-

this story, li ke many here, could be seen as jumping off points for longer stories. ones that could go on and deal with all the fallout

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

(no subject)

From: splash_the_cat
Date: September 5, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)

Thanks much, Denise! Yeah, I wish I'd had time to really do more with this - there's a lot more I wanted to put into it.

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(no subject)

From: skydiver119
Date: September 6, 2006 12:53 pm (UTC)

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siggy

(no subject)

From: siggy63
Date: September 3, 2006 06:56 pm (UTC)

Wow, very good. Fucked up Sam is always a bit of favorite of mine. This was beautifully written and the flashback scenes where horribly tense and frantic. Super, thanks for sharing I really, really enjoyed this.

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

(no subject)

From: splash_the_cat
Date: September 5, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC)

Thank you, Siggy!

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grime and livestock

(no subject)

From: cofax7
Date: September 3, 2006 07:29 pm (UTC)

Yes. Sam is never going to be okay with Jolinar, regardless of how much benefit they ultimately got from it.

I really liked the conversation with Jack, particularly. And knowing that Sam killed Casselberry makes that scene at the funeral much more fraught.

This was very good.

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

(no subject)

From: splash_the_cat
Date: September 5, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)

Thank so much, Cofax.

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(no subject)

From: regan_x
Date: September 4, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)

Great story. I like the way you handled Sam's reaction to what had happened, her guilt and her statement that she would never be okay with what had happened with Jolinar.

Well done.

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

(no subject)

From: splash_the_cat
Date: September 5, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)

Thank you, Regan!

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Dev Mackie

(no subject)

From: devmackie
Date: September 4, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)

Okay, I'll admit that at first I was confused because I read the request parameters and was thinking the healing device rather than the ribbon device, but I caught a clue pretty quickly.

I enjoyed this story. If there is one aspect of Carter I wish the show had dealt with more, it's this one without doubt. Memories and personality are inextricably linked; it's illogical to think that Carter could have Jolinar's memores yet show no effects on her behaviour. Thank you for tackling this subject in all its complexity. I particularly liked the language about releasing pressure and the high of flying.

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

(no subject)

From: splash_the_cat
Date: September 5, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC)

That is the danger of canon/fanon having multiple names for stuff.

And thank you very much!

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(no subject)

From: amilyn
Date: September 13, 2006 02:05 am (UTC)

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Fig Newton

(no subject)

From: sg_fignewton
Date: September 7, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)

This was just... wow. Totally blew me away.

Of course Sam will always hate Jolinar and what it's done to her and twisted inside her. I loved her metaphor, how Jolinar's pleasure in using Goa'uld technology mirrored Sam's love for flying. The stuttering memory recall unspooled the story in just the right bits and pieces.

Great Teal'c support there, in the end. Despite this being wholly Sam's story, a nice team feeling all round.

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

(no subject)

From: splash_the_cat
Date: September 9, 2006 01:43 am (UTC)

Thanks so much!

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(no subject)

From: anonymous
Date: June 13, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)

Enjoyed this *so* much. I second everyone else's raves. The specifics they mentioned were things I would have mentioned, too. Good job.

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

(no subject)

From: splash_the_cat
Date: June 15, 2007 02:09 am (UTC)

Thank you so much!

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Wonderfully written!

From: anonymous
Date: June 18, 2007 02:54 am (UTC)

Wow! Wonderful story! Love your perspective on Sam and her feelings about using the device. Also loved how you handled a very difficult subject: friendly fire. Great job!

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Wonderfully written!

From: anonymous
Date: June 18, 2007 02:58 am (UTC)

Wow! Wonderful story! Love your perspective on Sam and her feelings about using the device. Also loved how you handled a very difficult subject: friendly fire. Great job! (astrogeologist)

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Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition

Re: Wonderfully written!

From: splash_the_cat
Date: June 18, 2007 02:06 pm (UTC)

Thank you so much!

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