Rascals - Chapter 2

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"Did you hear that?" O'Neill said.

"Yes. It started as a loud humming noise, but that has stopped now." Teal'c confirmed. He looked decidedly worried.

"It came from where Daniel and the others are working!" O'Neill was now alarmed.

He and Teal'c looked at each other for a moment, then they both began to run towards the building.

They hurried through the corridors and to the room that was connected to the laboraory. Carefully, and with weapons drawn, they peeked inside. The room was empty.

"Are you all right, guys?" O'Neill yelled.

No one answered. Worried, they entered, immediately seeing the opened door to the laboratory.

"Damn! Why didn't they tell us they figured out how to open it? Instead they just went exploring! With 4...6 of them, if you're counting the snakes, one would think one of'em had enough common sense to inform us!" O'Neill grumbled, irritated. His annoyance only lasted moments before his worry took over again.

Teal'c entered the laboratory first and carefully looked around. The room was fairly large. Along the walls were desks and control pults, as well as shelves. In the middle of the room stood a large, ominous looking device.

"Major Carter, Daniel Jackson, and the Tok'ra are not here." Teal'c said. "However, I do see someone."

He walked towards the nearest of the four prone figures. Frowning, as he leaned down to get a closer look at it.

It was a little dark-haired girl, no more than 5 or 6 years old. She was wearing a much too large, blue dress.

Teal'c checked her pulse. "She is alive."

"Good..." O'Neill just gaped at it all for several moments, then collected himself and went to check on the nearest of the other unconscious forms in the room. "This one is alive as well."

Teal'c had gone to the two that was further away. "As are these two. O'Neill, from the clothing, I would gather..."

"I don't want to hear it!"

"It does seem unfathomable, however, the most likely explanation is that these are indeed Daniel Jackson, Major Carter, and the Tok'ra Martouf and Garshaw." Teal'c said, ignoring O'Neill's exclamation.

"No one else is here... They are wearing clothing similar to what they wore...and it's much too large." O'Neill shook his head. "I don't know what to believe. However, they're still unconscious, so I think we'd better get them back to base and have Doctor Fraiser take a look at them."

They carefully carried the still unconscious children to the Stargate, and dialed Earth.

"Well?" O'Neill worriedly asked Janet.

He and Teal'c were waiting in the infirmary, while Janet finished the examinations.

They are still unconscious, but except for that, I can find nothing wrong with these children. They seem to be fully healthy, so I'm assuming the unconsciousness is a temporary side effect of whatever did this." Janet shook her head, still not believing it. "I can confirm their identities. The DNA matches. They really are Samantha Carter, Daniel Jackson, Martouf/Lantash, and Yosuuf/Garshaw."

O'Neill sighed deeply. He did not know if he had hoped they were someone else - and his people still missing - or preferred they had been turned into children.

"Can you reverse the effect?"

"I have no idea. I didn't even think something like this was possible!"

"Yeah, I know what you mean." O'Neill sat down, heavily.

"Can you determine when they will wake up?" Teal'c said.

"No, but as I said, there's no reason I can find for them to be unconscious. They should wake up at any time." Janet frowned, then remembered something. "One other thing. I gave them all an MRI, to check they hadn't hit their heads when they fell. That alien machine didn't just affect the humans. The symbiotes are younger too. Children. About two, I'd say."

"That would be the equivalent of a six year old human child." Teal'c said.

"The thing turned the snakes into...eh...snakelets? Why would anyone want to build a machine that did something like that?"

Janet shrugged. "It's an alien device, probably not meant to work on either humans or symbiotes. I guess it makes sense it would reverse any life form to a corresponding age. That is, as much as something like this makes any sense."

"O'Neill. I believe Martouf is waking up." Teal'c observed.

"Maybe we can finally get some answers, then!"

He walked over to the child, who by now was sitting up in the bed and looking around with a puzzled expression. His hair was a lighter blond colour than that of the adult version, and his face was more rounded. However, he still looked like Martouf, and the same blue-grey eyes looked curiously at the adults as they approached. Since all his clothing had become very much too large, he now only wore his shirt. It, too, was quite big on him, and hung loosely around him.

"Martouf, do you remember what happened?" Janet asked.

He looked at her, with a wide-eyed expression, then shook his head.

"You mean you've got no idea why you're all kids? Did any of you touch something you shouldn't have?" O'Neill sounded angry.

Martouf just shook his head again, looking scared now.

"Wait, Colonel..." Janet said, suddenly realising something. "Martouf, do you remember anything? Do you know who you are?" She smiled kindly at the little boy.

He nodded. "Yes, I am Martouf."

"You're not Martouf. You're Lantash!" O'Neill said, irritated.

"I am Martouf! You said so yourself!" He got a stubborn expression.

"Listen, sweetie. Martouf is your host. We just thought you were him, but when we heard you speak, we realised you're Lantash."

"What's a host? And why does that man hate me?" Lantash pointed at O'Neill who groaned.

"He's...um...not angry at you." Janet sent O'Neill a warning look. "He's just frustrated because we don't know what's happened to you and your friends." She indicated the three other children. "Can you remember anything?"

He shook his head slowly, looking as if he was about to cry. "No."

Janet took a deep breath. "Okay. Don't worry about it. It's okay. My name is Doctor Janet Fraiser, but you can just call me Janet. That's Colonel Jack O'Neill, and that's Teal'c." She pointed at each of them.

Lantash nodded, then suddenly got a puzzled expression. "I don't know where this is."

"Um...you're...you're in a hospital." Janet said, deciding not to say anything about Stargate Command, since it might confuse the child. Now that she thought about it, so might a hospital, given that the child in question was a symbiote. "You're here because we need to figure out what's wrong with you."

Lantash continued looking around the room. "Where are you?" He sounded a little annoyed. "Inside? How can you be inside me? That does not make sense!"

"Uhoh..." Janet looked at O'Neill and Teal'c. "I think Martouf is awake and talking to him..."

"And he has no idea they're in the same body - or how. What a mess!" O'Neill suddenly looked very tired.

"Lantash, can we speak with Martouf? He's the one...uh...talking inside your head."

"Yes, of course you can. Why are you asking me?"

Janet took a deep breath and started explaining hosts and symbiotes to him.

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