Title: Doctor Watcher
Author: akire
Email: akire@mailcity.com
Status: C/U
Category: Crossover: Highland /Stargate SG1, plus misc others
Spoilers: umm, got a basic grasp of the Highlander and Stargate
universes? Fine. Oh yeah, we’re a Clan Denial fanfic. Mention of
‘Legacy,’ so it may help to know that ep. 
Disclaimers: D/P and MGM/Gekko really DO own them. If you don’t
recognize it, it’s probably mine. If it’s silly or crazy, definitely is
mine. But if anyone sends the lawyers after me, I’m sending out the
boys with swords ;) Oh yeah, and imitation is the sincerest form of
flattery. If you recognize a specific fanfic creation, it belongs to
its author (when this series is finished, I may tally them up) 
Rating: PG, prob. Hey, I’m not offended by much, if it should be rated
higher, tell me! 
Content Warning: purists beware. Language may offend some readers. 
Summary: Janet’s just doing her jobs, and compares the man with the
That’s long enough. On with the show! 


‘So childlike in his wonder at the Universe.’ Janet sat at the far end
of the briefing table and watched an animated Immortal describe temples
and cultures and peoples on a world so far from his own that it did not
even have a name yet, just a string of letters and numbers. ‘How can he
be so old and so enthusiastic, when the rest of us are already jaded
with barely half a dozen decades to our credit?’ 

She jotted down the thought onto her notepad, to transfer it, somehow,
into her report later. Many Watcher’s preferred just to record names
and dates and places, with none of their insight into motivation or
personality or character. Janet was not such a Watcher – she believed
that any little snippet of information may help one of her charges’
future Watchers. 

It was not as if her predecessors had passed down a wealth of
information to her. Danya’s Watcher during his time in London in the
middle of the last century had recorded the occasional impression, a
teasing glimpse into the man behind the Hunts and the Quickenings, but
that was the exception rather than the rule. 

She wished it were the other way round. Knowing those details now would
make it much easier for her to complete her self-appointed task of
diving into the old man’s psyche, in trying to clarify what made him
tick, what kept him sane. How he kept his sense of wonder in such a
gruesome and long existence. Joe Dawson, her immediate superior in the
Watcher corps, supported her goals, supplying her with a seemingly
endless stream of research passes and antique Chronicles not yet
uploaded to the main computers. But the details she gleaned from all
the mounds of information he gave her only the most teasing of glimpses
into what made Danya tick. 

The briefing concluded with few immediate questions. Daniel’s
presentations had that effect. Everyone usually had to go away and
digest the huge amount of information he had just poured into their
skulls before they could think of anything intelligent to say. Janet
folded up her notes, both medical and observational, and stood up to
join the queue filing out of the conference area. As she passed Daniel,
who was packing up his notes at the head of the table, he murmured so
only she could hear. “Good observations, Watcher?” 

She smiled sweetly, inured against Danya’s jibes and gentle barbs. “As
always, old man, as always.” She swept out of the room as gracefully as
she could in a uniform skirt. 

Nodding a greeting to a few SF’s as she passed, Janet headed back to
the Infirmary and was soon ensconced in her office, a steaming cup of
coffee in hand. One airman, recuperating after having his leg badly
broken yesterday, was her only patient in an otherwise quiet Infirmary.
Miracle of miracles, she was also pretty much caught up on her
seemingly endless stream of paperwork. 

Looking at her desk over the rim of her favourite cup, she saw the
notepad she habitually carried. She swallowed and smiled – Joe Dawson
must be due another report, surely. Writing in the Chronicle certainly
seemed more interesting than tallying pharmaceutical inventory right
about now. 

Booting up her computer, she felt under the tabletop for the unlabelled
black disk that was stored there. Slipping it in the drive, she waited
to the screen flickered then returned to what seemed to be her standard
desktop. There was nothing onscreen to betray the fact that this was
actually a chameleon cover. Hitting the spacebar, she then tapped in
her eight digit passcode into virtual thin air. The standard icons –
medical files, email, internal messaging – instantly dissolved, to be
replaced by a new set of icons – the Watcher’s Database, her personal
files and Watcher email, and ObserverNet, the Watcher’s informal
discussion network. 

Whilst her mail downloaded, she logged briefly into the ON. Smiling as
she read the list of active chatters, she clicked into one of the many
‘rooms’ in the system. 

**WDanya has logged into chat 0814GMT**
[WDanya]: Good day, gentlemen
[WDMac]: Janet! Come to chat to us plebes, have you? 
[WRRyan]: **bows down low**
[WDanya]: Joe, Dave, keep that up and I may start demanding it when I
visit you lot in person. 
[WDMac]: Any time, my dear lady, any time. How’s Danya? 
[WDanya]: Blowing everyone’s mind with the extent of his ‘academic’
knowledge. How’s the crew up SC way? 
[WRRyan]: Seacouver? Try sunny Bora Bora! 
[WDMac]: Some guys get all the luck. 
[WDMac]: **grumbles good naturedly**
[WDanya]: Dare I ask what takes you to Bora Bora? 
[WRRyan]: Not what – who. The lovebirds have flitted off again. 
[WDanya]: Wish they thought to invite Danya. My tan could use the work.

[WDMac]: Join the queue. Speaking of queues, I’m looking at the list of
reports in my inbox and your name is conspicuously absent. 
[WDanya]: **smiles innocently**
[WDMac]: Need to do better than that, my lady
[WDanya]: It’s in the mail? The dog ate it? I have a note from my
[WDMac]: Why don’t you try ‘I’m writing it now, oh Great Watcher Boss
Man, and you can expect it tomorrow at the latest’
[WDanya]: Yeah, that too…umm, I have to go now guys. You know, patients
to sew up, scripts to order…
[WRRyan]: …reports to write…
[WDanya]: Let me guess, yours are on the back of a postcard and end
with the line ‘Wish you were here?’ 
[WDMac]: They do and I’m swapping assignments! 
[WRRyan]: **sighs**
[WRRyan]: There goes that great idea. 
[WDanya]: Have fun in the sun, Dave. Joe, report __is__ incoming.
[WDMac]: I’m holding you to that, doc! 
[WDanya]: You do that Joe. Enjoy the sun, Dave. Enjoy the bar without
Dave, Joe. Ciao
[WDanya]: **waves**
**[WDanya] has logged out of the Network 0825GMT**

Sniggering, her mind halfway to Bora Bora already, Janet closed that
window and opened up her own Watcher log. As was her habit, she
windowed it and filled the other part of the screen with the link to
Danya’s Chronicle in the central database. The familiar logo span on
the screen for a moment as it routed through blind connections to the
New York server. Checking to ensure that the door was closed and that
there was nobody skulking around nearby, she returned her attention to
the screen as the soft, neuter voice whispered out of her speakers. 

**Chronicle: Danya. Current identity: Doctor Daniel Jackson. Current
location: Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Colorado Springs, Colorado USA.
Six thousand, eight hundred and ninety six confirmed Immortal kills.**
The screen lit up with a global map, liberally dotted with red, marking
the location of each of his kills. She flicked the mouse to the small
rotating Watcher logo which span southeast of New Zealand, and brought
up his in-depth text file. She had updated the photo just last month,
pilfering the one off his security pass. It was certainly easier than
getting a target to ‘accidentally’ walk through a tourist shot or one
of the other tricks she had tried on prior assignments. Next to the
file was all the basic statistics -- current location, birthplace, age,
teacher, weapon-of-choice, and brief character profile. 

Clicking another link, she brought up his chronology. The full file, if
printed, would probably make a stack a metre high. Without this unusual
but effective indexing system, searching for a reference could take
months. Hence the chronology – a hypertext list of years, eras and
major events, separated by Watcher period. Flicking to the end, she
clicked on her name to jump to the start of her stint as Watcher five
years ago. 

Her report began with a summary of what had happened during the first
mission to Abydos – extremes of classification be damned, this was
History! Scrolling down rather than using the anchorlinks, her eyes
flew across the screen as the pages flicked past. Accidents and
incidents covered up, missions completed without anyone being the
wiser. His one head taken since his return from Abydos – a young
Headhunter who picked the wrong bar, the wrong man to challenge. It had
been the only time Janet had seen him fight for real. If bidden by her
thoughts, the report scrolled into view. 

**…he introduced himself formally, with a little bow of respect for his
opponent. As he said his name, the last vestiges of the Jackson
personality seemed to dissolve. I knew and he knew that he could
probably beat this kid in his sleep, but a Challenge was a Challenge,
to be taken seriously or not at all. 
I never envisioned Danya to be a ritualistic Gameplayer, but with
hindsight I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. The introductions,
the respect shown and demanded in return – the precision of his attack.
There was only one defensive move that I saw from my position – the
very first one, as he gauged the strength behind that initial parry and
chose his course accordingly. Not a wasted motion or overuse of power.
Every stroke was minimalistic, with just enough power and extension to
do what it must, the footwork almost excruciatingly neat as he span and
wove around to deliver a pommel blow between the kid’s shoulders. I did
not count, but I estimate that Danya had him on his knees with perhaps
a dozen strokes. No offers of mercy or clemency either – I don’t know
if I was expecting any. Daniel Jackson is the personification of
kindness, forgiveness, giving. Danya just took the kids head, shook off
the aftereffects of the Quickening, cleaned his sword on the corpses’
shirt and went back into the bar to rejoin Jack, Sam and the other SG
personnel inside. The entire combat took maybe ten minutes from when
they met up in the alley.**

The date stamp on that report was just under eighteen months ago.
Thinking a moment, she scrolled up to the last recorded kill –
September 1991, another youthful challenge successfully met out the
back of the Oriental Institute, Chicago. Nearly a decade with only two
kills, a year spent entirely off the planet, another five years working
almost constantly either through the Gate or in his office under the
Mountain. Two Immortal kills in ten years, a fraction of his average
for the same period. 

How would he fare in a more even contest, she wondered? She knew,
intellectually, that Watcher’s should not feel personally involved in
the lives of their charges, but she considered Danya a special case. No
doubt Joe Dawson felt the same about Duncan Macleod, Dave felt the same
about Richie. Every Watcher could think of at least one subject they
felt ~connected~ to, one assignment which went beyond the bounds of
merely observing. Danya was hers. 

Pulling up the wonderful search engine that ran on the Watcher Network,
she set up parametres to search for extended periods of inactivity,
followed by several challenges in quick succession. Perhaps his history
would indicate whether enforced idleness in the Game would lead to
Danya loosing his skills. She certainly didn’t want to see him loose
his head now just because he was a little ‘rusty.’ 

She turned off the monitor and went out to check that the airman was
resting comfortably, and that his leg had not gotten infected. By the
time she had returned with fresh coffee and turned the monitor back on,
the first results were filtering through. 

She sighed at the size of the task she had set herself. Statistically,
Danya averaged something over twenty confirmed kills a decade. But he
was by no means consistent. Take the period 1790-1864. No confirmed
kills, yet from 1865-1869 he had taken nearly thirty heads. She perked
up slightly at those dates. Those were his hunting years, as recorded
by one William Lever – a Watcher after her own heart. He was the only
Watcher in recent times who, like Janet, recorded more than names,
dates and places. Clicking through, she called up the Lever Chronicles
and began to read…. 

London 1866 

William Lever, youngest son of a merchant, ducked from shadow to shadow
as he trailed his quarry. He suspected that he could have followed
Danya whilst dancing a jig and the older man wouldn’t have paid him the
slightest attention, but it paid to be cautious when following an armed
killer. Danya was his first assignment, and he was determined that his
contribution to the old man’s Chronicles would be thoroughly complete. 

He knew he had only been assigned Danya because of the man’s nearly
century-long neglect of the Game. How were his superiors at HQ to know
that Danya would suddenly begin taking heads with a Hunter’s zeal? He
was well aware of the debate amongst senior London Watchers as to
whether he should be replaced with a more experienced Watcher. But
until he made a serious error, William felt his position relatively

Being Danya’s Watcher was certainly a busy duty now. As Danya paused to
look up a small blind alley, William reflected on how bored he was when
he first began this assignment. Night after night sitting in the slush
and snow, wishing that the old man would do something more exciting
than read in his study. He remembered what his father always said – be
wary what you wish for… 

The clash of sword on sword alerted him to the fact that Danya had
found tonight’s prey. Edging to the end of the blind alley, he saw
Danya’s dark figure fiercely engaged with an unknown Immortal. It was
difficult to make out the other man’s face in the dimly lit alley, but
he could tell the stranger was not a local. His midnight-black skin and
unusual clothing were token enough of that. 

Tucking his gloved hands under his armpits, William tried to ignore the
steamy plume that flowed out of his mouth and nose as he focussed on
the battle playing out before him. This wasn’t personal. Danya’s face
was neutral to the point of blank as he swung and blocked – just as it
had been every time for the past few months. William had spent every
spare minute available to him researching not only his own subject’s
history, but the history of every one of his victims – twelve in the
past eighteen months. So far he had found no link, no common element to
suggest a reason why Danya had suddenly decided to go out late at night
and hunt down any Immortal he found. It was occurring with such
frequency that William now knew the routine. Danya would continue on
with his current life, as scholar, tutor and gentleman of society. But
then he would scent the Buzz, and undergo a frightening transformation
from gentleman to savage. He would leave the warm comfort of his London
home to track down the source of that Buzz. Young and old, male and
female, English and foreign, there was no-one he wouldn’t Hunt. 

William discreetly fell back deeper into shadows as the small hairs on
the back of his neck began to rise. He swallowed convulsively as the
awe-inspiring spectacle of the Quickening filled the small space
between buildings. 

It was after midnight by the time William made it back into the humble
accommodations the Watchers had found for him a street back from
Danya’s well-appointed home. Stretching numb fingers towards the banked
fire, he let the heat flow over him for nearly half and hour before
lighting a lantern and bringing it over to his writing table. 

As a tingling sensation returned to his fingertips, William gathered
together pens, ink, and the Chronicle. Marshalling his thoughts as he
jotted down the date, William bent to the page and began to write. 

‘He is leaving his home earlier and earlier each time he Hunts. This
evening, there were still people on the streets returning to their
homes for the night as he set out. It certainly made it easier for me,
as his Watcher, to follow him: I could blend into the crowd, and thus
keep closer tabs on this most intriguing Immortal. 
But these earlier departures are beginning to worry me. Danya seems
less and less concerned with maintaining his daylight cover. Scholarly
gentlemen of society do not normally stalk the streets at night,
Hunting and killing with impunity. I fear it is only a matter of time
before he is spotted. London is a busy city, there are eyes everywhere.
I am not the only one Watching his kills, of that I am almost certain. 

I have also noted that the distinction between his daylight personality
and the Hunting persona that comes out after dark is beginning to blur.
There are stories that just last week he verbally berated one of his
students – they say he was in a terrible rage. No doubt he will loose
students to tutor if he continues to deteriorate. 

However, these small indicators of rage or a lack of self-restraint are
not evident when he fights – it is almost as if, by Hunting, he is
satisfying some deeply buried urge. When he controls himself in a
manner suitable for civilized society, he is denying these urges, and
it pains him, hence these outbursts I have heard tell of. If my theory
proves correct, I dread what will happen when these urges completely
overwhelm the veneer of civilization.’ 

Reading through what he had written, William nodded to himself. Pausing
only to stretch his finger to the fire once again, he continued on to
sketch a brief description of Danya’s latest victim. A quick search of
the corpse before he disposed of it had yielded few clues as to the
strange Moorish man’s identity. 

William had kept the loser’s sword, to be delivered to the London
Watcher’s office on the morrow. Perhaps they could identify the man by
some distinctive feature of the weapon. 

Yawning widely, William left the journal open to dry as he moved around
the small room, checking the bolt across the door and ensuring the
curtains were drawn tight before he headed to his bedroom, determined
to get a few hours sleep before dawn. 


Janet read the scanned copy of the journal twice, the spidery writing
straining her eyes. Daniel loosing control? Leaning back in her chair,
she sipped at the cold dregs of her coffee. William’s notes were not
gelling with her experiences of the man…or were they? 

She knew Daniel had an almost phobic fear of loosing it, going mad.
That whole scene with Machello was proof enough of that. But perhaps it
tied in with something else, something older? Earlier that day she had
wondered how one could get so old and not get jaded? Perhaps nature’s
pressure release valve for his kind was not to become jaded, but to…go

Rubbing her brow against the headache she knew was approaching, Janet
put down her coffee cup and tried to think through this logically. 

Nearly 150 years ago, Danya had just started killing Immortals, hunting
them like some of the younger ones were prone to, issuing Challenges on
a frighteningly regular basis. They began suddenly, with no warning –
no visitors, no unusual Quickenings in the months prior. According to
Lever, Daniel just walked out his home one evening and laid into the
first Immortal he found. Janet knew from her induction that London in
the 1800’s was like Paris today – a busy and popular Immortal haunt.
Danya had plenty of choice of prey. 

The next night he did it again. The evening after was a Friday, he went
to a party and, according to Lever, was its sparkling star. Saturday
night, he took a child Immortal’s head. 

That alone was enough to give Janet pause. Danya almost never attacked
the children, and Janet could not recall another episode in his
Chronicle where he had Challenged a child. Like many cultures and
communities across the world and through time, it had been engrained in
him that children were special – the future of the clan, the people. It
took a lot for the rational knowledge that this ‘child’ could easily be
older than you were to overcome those deepest of impulses. 

Scrolling on, Janet read further, Lever’s descriptive prose painting
pictures of Danya the scholar turning into Danya the hunter – it was a
Jeckyl and Hyde transformation, but without Hyde committing suicide to
destroy Jeckyl. The nighttime personality encroached further and
further into the civilized personality until one day…Janet flipped to
the next scanned page…Danya discovered his surveyor. 


Lever swallowed and felt the hard, cold tip of the steel blade press
even further against the bare skin of his neck. His mouth went as dry
as leather, yet William didn’t swallow again. 

Those blue eyes, until now only seen from a distance, were focussed on
him with the intensity of summer sunshine. William felt he couldn’t
have looked away even if he had tried. 

“Who are you?” 

There was no choice in William’s mind to stay silent. He knew the credo
of the Watchers – death before dishonour, never betray the secret. 

Those old men in the hall to whom he had sworn his oath were not here
now with a sword at their throats. “William Lever, sir.” 

Danya’s expression twisted into a cruel grin, his eyes still slightly
dilated from the Quickening he had absorbed only minutes earlier. “Sir,
hmm? Yes. Why were you following me?” 

William tried to bolster his courage. He did swear an oath…the fist
which held him up by his shirtfront clenched tighter and shook him
violently. William’s courage fled. 

“I had to.” 

The shaking stopped. Danya’s voice was barely above a whisper. “Why?” 

William considered not answering for a fleeting second. “You’re…you’re
my assignment.” 

The back of William’s head struck the stone wall with the force of
Danya’s fist in his chest. The blow was contained, only a fraction of
his true strength, and William knew it. “I’m meant to Watch you, record
who’s heads you take, when and how. I’d never interfere! You were not
even to know I was following you! Please!” 

“Watch for whom? Record for whom?” 

Closing his eyes and pressing down the panicky sobs that were welling
in his bruised chest, William told him about the Watchers. 

“So these Watcher’s, they know who I am?” 

William just nodded. “Yes sir. You have their attention, taking so many
heads after so long out of the Game.” 

Danya looked at him, his face too pale even in the cold night air.
William saw him come to some kind of mental decision a split second
before the pommel of his sword impacted above his right eye. 

When he came too, he was alone in an empty room. He knew it well, but
never from the inside. Danya’s parlour. The heavy furniture was still
there, but all the books and personal details had been taken. Rising on
shaky feet, he completed on full circuit of the room, eyes seeing but
brain not comprehending. 

On the small table by the couch where he had lay was a folded piece of
paper. Picking it up as if it were a dangerous animal, William unfolded
it carefully. The cursive script that filled the centre of the page was

Leave me be, Watcher, lest I loose all control of myself.
William looked around the now bare and soulless room. He would have to
leave Danya alone, now. For William doubted the Immortal was even still
in the country. Sagging on the couch, fingertips stroking the fine
texture of the page, William sighed, alone in his failure. 


‘…loose all control…’ Janet murmured the phrase out loud as she
massaged her temples. What had begun as a simple check to ensure Daniel
wasn’t getting rusty had turned into a speculation about his continued

Janet knew, that in mortals at least, there was some trigger, some
defining event or moment which set off the whole reaction. It could be
a simple as a smell, or a particular sound, or as complex as a
Quickening. William hadn’t been able to spot it, but he was a raw
recruit, inexperienced in reading the signs of Immortals and untrained
in medical observation. 

Janet was skilled in both areas, and she couldn’t see it either. Her
phone rang, the gate room alerting her to the return of SG-12 from
their survey mission. Sighing again, she logged out of the database and
dashed off a quick missive to Joe to cover the still-absent report.
Seeing the five man team enter her Infirmary, she logged out of the
system and went to work as a doctor. Automatically poking and prodding,
asking questions and noting responses, one part of her mind was totally
focussed on the job at hand. Yet another part of her was turning over
and over what she had just read. 

Just as she was signing off her report giving SG-12 a clear bill of
health, bootsteps alerted her to visitors. The man of the hour appeared
from around the corner, a small smile lighting his face as he spotted
Janet. Behind her, Janet was well aware of her duty nurses poking their
heads out of offices or from behind cubicle screens – even Liam, the
latest addition to SG Medical, gave the newcomer a long and
appreciative look. 

One glare from Janet was enough for ogling eyes to retreat back behind
curtains or into stock rooms. There were some benefits to having a
reputation as a ‘napoleonic power monger’. Danya, as usual, seemed

“Hey Janet, what are you doing tonight? I haven’t seen Cassie in ages.”

She gave him a look. “What am I? Chopped liver?” 

Daniel’s smile was sweetly wicked. 

“Don’t answer that. Anyway, Cassie’s class has gone a camp. She won’t
be back until Sunday. I’m all by myself tonight.” 

He shrugged. “Come over then. I’ll cook, and we’ll gossip.” 

She smiled. “Oh, let me see, a reheated frozen meal and the latest
reality show, or some of your fine haute cuisine and intelligent
conversation. Decisions, decisions.” She paused for a beat. “Seven

Daniel nodded, hands in pockets, looking adorable in that little-boy
way he had. “It’s a date. See you then.” Janet watched as he strolled
out the room. As she returned to her own office, she couldn’t help but
overhear the excited whisperings of her nurses. She snorted and turned
to the Inventory – they obviously needed something to do if they had
time to gossip like that. 


“Have you heard of a wonderful invention called a dishwasher, Daniel?”
Janet asked playfully as she unfolded a teatowel. 

“Do you want to try and lug one up here?” He retorted. “Besides,” he
added with a wave of his sudsy hands. “Where could I put one?” 

Janet shrugged and picked up a plate, wiping it dry. “Oh, you’d be
surprised where they’ll fit.” 

Daniel shrugged, hands under the water. “Nah. I like doing them by
hand. It’s actually an old archeologist’s trick. On digs they all want
to be washer – best way to get your hands clean.” He stopped scrubbing
and held them up to the light. “See. Spotless.” 

Janet laughed and flicked him with the towel before resuming her duty. 

Dinner had been incredibly enjoyable, Janet truly relaxing for the
first time in far too long. Their conversation had skipped across a
dozen lightweight topics, humorous stories and anecdotes that can only
be shared between staff of their most secretive base. 

She had wondered how to broach the subject of the Lever Chronicles. How
do you just out and ask someone if they had ever gone on an insane
killing spree? 


“Huh?” She asked, suddenly tuning back into her surroundings. 

“I think the plate’s dry,” Daniel chided gently. 

Janet felt herself blush slightly. “Sorry.” 

Daniel reached over and put the plate back on the draining rack, before
relieving her of her towel. Using it to dry his hands as he spoke, he
told her “I think the rest can be left out to dry. Now, what is it you
want to ask?” 

“Huh?” She asked again, then mentally slapped herself. 

Daniel chuckled. “Janet, for a member of an ultra-secret organization,
you read like an open book some days. You’ve had a burning question all
evening, I can tell. Now, go sit down, compose your thoughts, plant you
mikes or whatever it is you do, and I’ll get coffee.” As if she were a
child, he gently pushed her in the direction of his living room. 

Unsure whether to seethe or smile, Janet did as she was told. She was
curled up on one end of the sofa, shoes off and feet tucked beneath
her, when Daniel rejoined her a few minutes later. 

Settling down with his own mug on the other end, he regarded her with a
steady gaze. “Okay, shoot.” 

“Do you remember a man named William Lever?” 

Daniel paused mid-sip. Swallowing his mouthful, he nodded slowly. “Yes.
Just a kid given a job to big for him. I’d heard rumours of mortal’s
recording the lives of Immortals by then, but hadn’t put much stock in
them until I found one for myself.” 

Janet smiled despite herself. “Proof in the pudding?” 

“Something like that. So tell me, why are we talking about the
delightful Master Lever?” 

“I was reading his Chronicle again today, and something caught my

The slight air of amusement faded from Daniel’s expression. “A whole
lot of somethings, if my memory serves,” he spoke softly. “Though, for
that period, it’s doubtful in the extreme.” 

Janet pounced. “So there was something wrong?” 

Daniel snorted, but the humour evident earlier was now noticeable by
its absence. “I was going out of my mind, Janet. Already falling fast
by the time the good Master Lever and I had our little chat. If he
hadn’t forced me to run, I don’t know what would have happened.” 

“Where did you go? Our Chronicles have a gap.” Off his sly look, she
held up her hands. “Completely off the record if you’d prefer.” 

“I do. I headed where I always go when I think the Universe is having
too much fun kicking me in the guts.” 

Understanding dawned. “Egypt. Of course.” 

Daniel shrugged, cradling his mug carefully. “Out the back of beyond,
past all the gentlemen explorers stripping the mummies for their
wrappings and looting the tombs in the name of ‘science.’ No Immortal’s
to hunt, no one at all, in fact.” He tried for a joke. “I do so hate
falling apart in front of an audience.” 

“It’s happened before.” Despite her best intentions, it came out as a
statement rather than a question. Daniel just nodded, eyes on his
coffee as if the dark liquid held the secrets of the Universe. 

Janet took a deep breath, well aware she was past the point of no
return. “Why then?” 

The silence dragged on so long Janet felt she wasn’t going to get her
answer. “A lot of reasons, I suppose. My time again, maybe.” He stopped
again, but Janet could almost hear his mind turning as he thought of
how to phrase his words, and so she kept her silence. “I was already on
the way down when I took that first head. I had been fighting so hard
for control, but then this…this kid, really. He just crossed into my
radar and…and I just lost it. Next thing I know, his head is on the
cobblestones and my mind is getting fried. He was a Hunter, you see.” 

Janet felt her jaw drop open. “A Dark Quickening?” 

Daniel was immediately shaking his head negatively. “No. I just got an
up close and personal reminder of how…how thrilling it can be to Hunt.”
He looked up at her from beneath his long fringe. “I was a Hunter once,
Janet. I’d felt the bloodlust before, but normally I could control it.
But…I was already so tired…” 

“So you ran with it,” Janet murmured, more to herself than to her
friend. “I think I understand.” 

Another shake of the head. “No, I don’t think you do. You don’t really
know what it’s like to Hunt, Janet, and I hope you never do.
Anthropologists and animal behaviorists get it, to some extent. They’ve
seen how really good Hunters take on attributes of their quarry. They
become their prey to capture their prey. I…I did that, Janet. I went
Hunting and became my worst nightmare. I went cold inside, my only
pleasure came from the kill, nothing else came close. It was all I
wanted…” he trailed off slightly, looking anywhere but at Janet. “I
scared myself, Janet. Even as I Hunted, there was a part of me that was
sickened by what I was capable of…” 

Janet sat back, Lever’s words echoing around her head. ** I dread what
will happen when these urges completely overwhelm the veneer of

“But you recovered,” she whispered to herself. She almost jumped off
the couch when Daniel answered her anyway. 

“Eventually. We all do, you know. Well, we recover from the insanity
part, anyway. It’s almost like its part of our makeup – we have to have
a break every few millennia. Time off for bad behaviour.” The joke was
almost acid for the self-recrimination in the tone. “Live, grow
stronger, fight another day. Trite but true.” He smiled self-
consciously and looked into his empty mug. “More coffee?” 


“Doctor? That was the Gateroom, SG-1 is heading down for their check-

Janet looked up from the never-ending stack of paperwork with a small
smile for the distraction. “Thanks Susie, I’ll be right out.” 

As the nurse retreated from her office, Janet rose and began stacking
her files neatly. She had been brooding all day, trying not to ponder
on the awkward way she and Daniel had ended the previous night. But
what do you say when your friend tells you he habitually falls into a
bloodcrazy insanity every once in a while? How are you meant to react? 

Any further musings were cut off as the man himself strode into her
domain. Even at a distance, she could see something was up. There was a
tension in his neck, a certain something in the way he carried himself
which screamed ‘Stay Away From Me.’ 

Concern growing, Janet stepped into the Infirmary in time to see Daniel
disappear into one of the curtained cubicles. Turning her head, she saw
the rest of SG-1 come in, confusion and worry on their faces. Okay, so
Jack wasn’t being an ass again – what else could it be? 

Deciding it was time to do a bit of covert investigation, she waved
Susie over. “Take Doctor Jackson up for his MRI, would you Susie? I’ll
get started on the others.” Forcing herself into nonchalance, she
watched through her eyelashes as Susie escorted Daniel away to the
medical imaging. The crossed arms only reinforced the ‘Keep Away’
attitude he was all but screaming. 

Waving the other three team members onto examination beds, she started
with Sam. “What’s up with Daniel, he looks a little tense?” Janet hoped
her tone wasn’t conveying her concern. Feeling behind Sam’s ears and
along her neck, she listened as the physicist spoke. 

“I don’t know. He barely said two words all mission, then almost
snapped Graham’s head off when we got back.” 

Jack chimed in with his usual flippant humour. “There were none of his
rocks on P4X…whatever. Danny just got in a snit cos he was bored.” 

Janet pasted a smile on her face as she took a blood sample. “And

“Didn’t move fast enough out of Danny-boy’s way, obviously.” Jack
winced as Janet approached with a tray of needles. “Never get in the
way of a deprived archeologist.” He shrugged, then whispered an apology
as Janet yanked his arm down to hold it still before sticking the
needle. “He’ll drink some coffee, play with those gizmo’s SG3 brought
back and he’ll be as happy as a grave robber in ruins.” Wincing as the
needle was withdrawn, he smiled and changed the subject. “How’s

Admitting to herself that she could not get any more out of these three
without arousing suspicions, she allowed the conversation to drift
around her. That was one of the benefits of working in a top secret
military facility – the base grapevine was fantastic. 


A trip to the Mess for an ‘afternoon snack’ soon yielded her the full
story, as it were. Graham Simmons had been in the Gateroom checking on
one of his sensors when SG-1 had returned. He had jumped down to say
hello – no doubt eager to talk to Sam some, his crush becoming
painfully obvious – and had strayed too close to Daniel. Whilst his
actual words to the technician were inaudible to any of the witnesses,
the general consensus was that it was enough for Graham to go a rather
spectacular shade of first white, then red, before he raced out of the
room like Apophis itself was on his tail. Apparently even the General
had noticed it, but Daniel had stormed out for her Infirmary before he
could be called on it. 

Detouring several levels to walk casually past his office, she noticed
the door to his office was firmly closed. Janet was more than a little
surprised. He always left his door open when he was in, it was the only
way people would come to talk to him. Very early on in his career with
the SGC, he had learnt that people weren’t knocking and ‘disturbing
him,’ on pain of death from a certain over-protective Colonel. 

Sealing himself up like that, it was out of character for the Jackson

“You looking for Doctor Jackson, maam?” She turned, startled out of her
reverie, by the young technician who had addressed her. 

“Um, just seeing if he had gone home, that’s all. Nothing that can’t

The tech nodded, leaning in conspiratorially. “That may be a good idea,
maam. He’s not exactly in the best mood at the moment.” The tech nodded
once. “From what I understand, it’s interrupt him on point of death.
I’ve never seen him this grumpy before!” 

Janet smiled, her mind going into damage control. “Rough and dull
mission. If it was me, I’d be shooting things with a P-90 by about

The tech laughed and saluted before heading off down the corridor.
Janet returned to her own domain slowly, Janet turned over in her mind
everything that she had learnt in the past few days. 

Was it her own overactive imagination filling in the gaps? Everyone was
allowed an off day once in a while, weren’t they? It didn’t mean
anything, surely? Forcibly, she put these thoughts to the back of her
mind as she completed her early evening rounds. 

But once her duties were done, and she was back in the office, she
managed to resist temptation for all of ten minutes before the black
disk came out and she was logging into the Chronicles. Typing rapidly,
she soon found the passage that was on her mind. 

**There are stories that just last week he verbally berated one of his
students – they say he was in a terrible rage. No doubt he will loose
students to tutor if he continues to deteriorate.** 
So he was snapping at people when he was…before. That meant nothing.
Shutting down and locking up her office for the day, she picked up her
bag and coat and headed for the surface elevator. It was a coincidence,
nothing more. She wouldn’t have thought twice about it if she hadn’t
been reading the Lever Chronicles. Besides, she argued with herself as
she approached the final check-out, Danya had been Hunting almost
nightly before Lever noted the change in his daily behaviour. Danya
hadn’t played the Game in over a year, and there was no sign of that

She noted that Daniel had signed out over an hour before. Hopefully
tomorrow would see him return in a better mood, and she could put these
fanciful ideas to rest. 

Picking up her bag, she nodded goodnight to the SF on duty and stepped
out into the cold evening air. A voice hailed her, and she smiled hello
as Doctor Warner, her opposite number, walked up to greet her.
“Evening, Janet. Heading home? Hope Cassie isn’t afraid of thunder?” 

“Why?” She asked with a smile. 

“Oh, just saw this intense bolt of lighting as I was driving out of
town.” He looked up as he shifted his own bag from one hand to another.
“Strange, its not really the right time of year.” He shrugged. “Oh
well, just a storm, right?” 

She nodded weakly, a sickening knot forming in her stomach. “Right.” 

Warner didn’t notice her discomfort as he waved farewell and headed
into the mountain. Dazed, Janet unlocked her car and drove home,
arguing with herself all the way. It couldn’t have been a Quickening.
And even if it was, it didn’t mean anything. There was no pattern yet,
it could have just have been a chance encounter – Colorado Springs was
certainly a logical stopover point for anyone passing through the area.
It didn’t mean anything, yet. 

The argument ceased when she saw her email that was waiting for her at
home. A cc- message from another field watcher to Joe, noting the death
of her subject at the hands of another Immortal in Colorado Springs.
The description was a near-perfect match. 

It was Danya. 


“I was wondering when you would appear,” an exhausted voice told her as
the door swung wide. 

She held up a shopping bag. “Icecream. Irish coffee, nice stuff.” Janet
was inordinately pleased when the Immortal smiled. He stepped back to
let Janet enter. 

As she passed, she took visual stock of her charge. The battered
tracksuit pants and t-shirt looked like they had seen better days, but
the bare feet were surprisingly cute, as was the rumpled hair and
slightly dazed expression. 

She strode through his apartment, finding two spoons before returning
to the living room and pulling him down to sit beside her. She thrust a
spoon in his direction. “Dig in. It should be nice and melty now.” 

The smile returned. “Melty? Is that a word?” 

Janet dug out a good size scoop. “You got anything better?” 

He sighed and put his spoon to use. “My neurons are too fried to
remember my own name at the moment, let alone a proper adjective
for…mmmm” He shut up and just savoured the flavours. “Good.” 

She smirked and took another spoonful. Side by side, they ate in
companionable silence until they were scraping against the bottom of
the small container. Putting it aside, she settled back against the
cushions. “What happened?” 

Daniel dropped his spoon on the coffeetable and scrubbed his face,
ruffling his hair even more. “A bad day got even worse.” He looked at
her from between splayed fingers. “I stop to pick up something for
dinner, felt a Buzz.” He shrugged. “Went outside, to the carpark. He
was waiting. We took it round the back, I won.” The long-fingered hands
dropped back down to his lap. “BIG Quickening,” he sighed. “Really,
really. He was old for a Hunter. Lots and lots of heads to his credit.”
Another sigh, longer and more drawn out than before. “I came home, had
a shower, you came, we ate ice cream, I tell you the story.” He
shrugged. “And that brings us up to date.” 

She smiled, feeling reassured and slightly foolish for the wild flights
of fancy that her imagination had taken. People had bad days, even laid
back Immortals. Challenges were issued all the time, even in places
like Colorado Springs. It didn’t mean anything. 

“Are you alright?” 

Janet laughed. “I was going to ask you that!” 

Daniel smiled, his eyes twinkling. “Great minds think alike. I’m fine,
just exhausted and jittery all at the same time.” He shrugged. “I’ll
survive.” He raised an eyebrow as if to say ‘now you.’ 

She nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine. A little worried about you, but fine now.”
She rose. “And as both your Doctor and your Watcher, I am telling you
to get some rest.” She leant over and pecked a kiss onto his forehead.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, okay.” 

“Sure thing, Janet. Goodnight.” He shuffled along after her and saw her
out the door. Smiling, Janet returned to her car. 

It wasn’t until she was almost home that she realised. Neither Daniel
nor the death report had said who had Challenged who.