Striving To Be Normal
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Title: Striving to be normal
Author: Venom_69
Rating: PG-13
Status: complete
Spoilers: Tin man
Season/sequel: Set directly after tin man, kind of an epilogue.
Parings: S/J
Summary: When you know that you aren't normal anymore, you still strive to achieve it.
Content warnings: Swearing. A hint of sex, nothing major.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of this.


I want to be normal. We all do, and that has become our objective. To try and be normal as possible.

It will probably take time, and we are all getting extremely bored striving to be normal.

Six months.

I've only been here for six months and I'm already bored. It's not like there’s nothing to do, it's just that I want more than a bunch of stuff to study.

I need more.

I want the sunlight, I want to be able to watch some cheesy movie on cable and then be able to complain about how bad the special effects are, and I want to be able to go for walk without seeing some waked Jerry-rigged piece of shit that the old bastard hooked up. Not to mention what a crap job he did on it all.

As you can see, I'm a little bitter.

I have good reason.

Sometimes, when I lay in bed at night, I wonder what *she's* doing. I wonder if she ever made it to that date she was supposed to be going on. I doubt it though, I know that I wouldn't have gone on a blind date with some friend of Janet's. I wonder if she ever figure out a way to make the program that calculates the planetary shift of Stargate addresses work faster and more efficiently. I think she would have, eventually.

Our first night here, I was laying on the poor excuse for a bed that I have, and I started thinking about it. Twenty minutes and thirty four seconds later, I had figured out the answer. I don't know how. Maybe it's because I'm smarter now, maybe because I was, and am, so bitter that my mind was grateful for the chance to think about something other than how my life went down the plug hole. I honestly don't know, all I do know is that, as soon as I figured out the answer, I had the most overwhelming urge to run to the control room and start working on the answer. Even if I had to pull yet *another* all-nighter.

Not that it matters any more.

I don't need to sleep. I don't need to drink, or eat, or go to the bathroom. Yet for some strange reason, I still do all of those things. So do the others, and deep down I think we all know why. It's just the last bit of normalcy that we have, and we tend to want to embrace it. Even if it's the stupid things, like tying to pee even though we know that it makes no difference, we still do it.

Actually our bodies are quite well designed in that manner. We don't need to do all of those things, but if we want to, then we can. And it works. Just like it would work if we were still alive. Okay, so that's a bad term. We are still alive, but in another respect, we aren't.

The way that these bodies are made is really quite fascinating. They are just like our real bodies. The ones that *they* have. I guess that it will take time for us to get used to the fact that we aren't skin and bone anymore. If we fall over, then we don't scrape our knee, or bleed. Well, we do bleed, but it's just some white crap that looks like sour milk, but I guess in the grand scheme of things we *do* bleed. Which, all adds to that 'normal' thing. We need to feel normal, we need to feel like e did before we were changed and most of all we need to feel *human* even if it is only in our heads.

Harlan says that we'll get used to it, but I think that it'll take some time. Actually, I think that it will take *alot* of time.

We need time to adjust.

You cant get used to the fact that you are now a walking, talking, and emulating the act of breathing, as well of all the other bodily functions, robot. And that's what we are.


Okay so my terminology needs a little work. We are very *advanced* robots. With a human conscience. So this would lead me to the very depressing conclusion, that we would make a very good price on
E-bay. Not a nice thought.

I can see it now, "Sold! Four million dollars for the robot with the mind of a human." No thank you! I don't think that the guys would appreciate it either.

Speaking of the others, we are all getting along alot better now. Which I must admit, I didn't expect. I though that we would all be at each others throats by now, knowing that unless something went seriously wrong, we would be together for an eternity.

I once heard a saying, that at the time I thought was crap, but now may just have a deeper meaning to me. I think it went something along the lines of, "Eternity is a very depressing though, I mean when's it going to end?" Kind of appropriate, don't you think?

"Sam!" I can hear Daniel calling my name, but there are times when I wish that I was able to find a sound-proof room to lock myself in.

"Yes Daniel?" I sigh, as he comes running around the corner, and into my room, for lack of a better term.

"We found some sort of mirror." He tells me, breathing heavy from the run. There's another thing that we still do, if we run, we have the natural reaction of starting to breathe heavier as our mechanical hearts beat faster. "Jack want's you to come and have a look at it." He finishes.

I slowly stand up, and follow him through section 3, to the middle of section 4 and finally down to section 5. We should pick better names than 'Section 1.' I mean, if we decide to explore, what do you say to the 'where are you going?' question? I certainly don't see me saying "Oh I'm thinking of going down to section 15. I hear it's nice there this time of year." It just doesn't sound right.

"Sam!?" Jack whispers. He's looking at me as though he hasn't seen me for ages. When in truth, I only saw him about an hour ago.

"Colonel, why are you looking at me like that?" I ask. This look that he's giving me, is damn creepy.

"I don't understand, I saw you die, we all saw you die." He says, shaking his head, and sitting down on a step that the mirror sits at the top of.

"Listen. . . Jack. I don't know what you think is going on, but let just look at the facts. 1 you didn't come through the Stargate. 2 in case you haven't taken your eyes of Carter, I'll point out one interesting thing. There are two of us here. 3 Carter is very much alive. No-one on this planet saw her die. With the exception of that time we met the Nox, but we all died then and they brought us back." The Colonel says, pacing.

"Okay you want to look at the facts, then fine. Let's do just that. 1 No, I didn't come through the Stargate, I came through the mirror that's behind me and before you even start, Sam could you please hold your theories in until I've finished?" He asks me, looking at me long enough to see me nod. Well at least now I have some time to actually *think* of some theories. "Okay 2 the mirror that I came through is called a Quantum mirror. 3, yes you ignorant prick, I did take my eyes of Sam long enough to see that there are two of us here and even if I hadn't stopped looking at her then I would know that you're here just by the way that you talk." He says, looking angrily at Colonel O'Neill.

"The way *I* talk, my ass!" My Jack exclaims.

"Anyway, 4 Yes I can see that Sam is alive here. We met the Nox as well, only Sam was the first one of us to die. Yes we all died and those lovely tree people bought us back, but the couldn't heal Sam. The chemical imbalance that the Tok'ra Jolinar left in her body, after she died to save Sam's life made it impossible to bring her back from the dead. And 5 would you please stop being such an insensitive son of a bitch. Not only did I see my wife get taken over by a worm, but then I saw her die." He says, with his eyes starting to shine with the tears that are resting very close to the surface, but are confined there until he can be alone.

That's another thing that we don't do, we can't cry. . . wait a minute his *wife!?*

Was it just me or did he say that he was married? To me?

"Okay, did you say that you came through a Quantum Mirror?" I ask, the other Jack. I know that I am totally ignoring the fact that he said we were married, but I don't think that it would be a good subject to broach at this moment.

"Yes, something to do with Alternate reality's. That's what Sa. . . you said when we found it." He says. If he really is like The Jack that I know, then he has no idea what she said.

"Okay, the theory goes that for ever point in time there is a different reality for ever choice we make, diverging like forks in the road. If we make a choice to do something, then another reality exists. One in which we would have done the opposite to what we did in our own reality. If we do happen to cross then there is a big chance that there would be entropic cascade failure and that would ultimately and eventually lead to. . ." I say but get cut off.

"Stop!" Both Jack's say, in perfect unison. "Oh for crying out loud." They look at each other and mutter. This is actually quite amusing to witness.

"Can we send him. . . Jack home to his reality?" Daniel asks. I had almost forgotten that he was here, not that my mechanical mind would allow that.

"Give me a while to work on it." I say, smiling at my Jack and then the other one

15 minutes later, I have the answer. Sometimes it is easier when you are 'better.' Only sometimes. "In theory all he would have to do is touch the mirror and he'd be back in his reality, with one hell of a story to tell." I say.

"Good, my daughter will be worried sick if I don't get back soon." He says. Oh what!? He has a daughter now too?

"Daughter?" Jack repeats, obviously as surprised by this situation as the rest of us do.

"Okay, nine years ago, the Stargate was re-opened. After a few missions, the first of which we met Teal'c. Speaking of, do you know him?" He asks, almost as though he had forgotten Teal'c.

"Indeed they do O'Neill." Teal'c says, coming out of the corridor.

"Hey T." He says, "Anyway about four missions later we went to the land of light and dark, where we met the Untouched and had a nasty encounter with the Touched." He says.

"We had that encounter also." Teal'c says, finally he's learning the art of participating in conversation.

"Really? Cool! So as I was saying, Sam was the infected first out of SG-1 and she attacked me in the locker room. She bit her wrist, and then my neck and mixed our blood. That effectively made me infected too and we. . . well use your imagination. When Doc Fraiser finally found the cure, Sam and I talked it over and decided to let sleeping dogs lie. Three weeks later, she came to see me and tell me that she was pregnant, so we got married and had a little girl two months after the wedding." He says, pulling out a picture from the top pocket of his fatigues. I had almost forgotten what it was like to wear them.

"She's beautiful." I breathe, looking at the photograph of a girl of about six, maybe seven. She has blond hair, like mine, and the chocolate brown eyes of the Colonel. The Sam of that world is standing behind her, and the only physical difference that I can see is her hair. She has hair that sits just above her breasts. Jack is standing next to her, and he looks happy. He doesn't have the same permanently shadowed look over his face and in his eyes, that the Jack of my world has.

"Thanks." He replies, obviously very well adjusted to getting complements about the young girl.

"What's her name?" I ask. For some strange, and probably sick, reason I have to know.

"Jennifer Samantha O'Neill. She's eight now. About three weeks after her sixth birthday, we met the Nox and that's when Sam died. The rest of SG-1 and I have been raising her ever since. With the help of the base CMO Janet Fraiser. She's no Sam, but after becoming an instant mother to Cassandra, she has been a great help." He says, smiling.

"Look, for what's its worth, I'm sorry for acting like an ass. But you have to understand, six months ago, we came to this planet to explore and the guy who lives here, Harlan, copied us and our conscience's into these bodies, which are machine made. We can't leave or the battery's wear down, and it's not a pretty sight." Colonel O'Neill says, and the other Jack grimly smiles, obviously understanding what it's like for us without actually. . . knowing. Thankfully, he doesn't seem to have had the same experience.

"Thanks, it means alot. Now all I have to do is touch the mirror, right?" He asks, and I nod, giving him the conformation that he needs.

"Bye, and thanks for telling me about your experience. I'll see what I can do to repay the favor. Do you have any electrical outlets?" He asks, with his hand raised and ready to touch the mirror.

"Nope." Our Colonel O’Neill says.

"Well then I strongly suggest that you get one. I'll see what I can do about sending you a TV, VCR and some movies. You could obviously use some entertainment." He says smiling, and we all nod our thanks and he places his hand on the mirror and the suddenly he's on the other side.

Wow, what a story!


Well it's been three weeks since we met the other Jack and, as promised, a few days after he left we got a shipment through the Quantum mirror.  It was accompanied by Janet.

There was a 61" TV with a Panasonic VCR. Janet only came with five movies, but they said they'd send more. She had 'Dave', 'Lost in space', which Jack went nuts about, 'Top Gun', which I loved, 'The long kiss goodnight', and 'Space Jam'

Teal'c was a very big fan of cartoon movies before we were stuck here.  We all missed being able to go out to the movies and watch the latest shows. All though now we have a TV and a VCR, after I spent sixteen hours hooking an electrical outlet,  it's not the same as being able to go to the theater and buy popcorn and choc tops and Jaffar's. No not the serpent guard ones, the little chocolate balls covered with red candy shell.

The last time that I went to the movies, The colonel showed me the art of rolling them down the aisle, trying to piss of the people in front of us. The others were supposed to come, but Daniel got sick so Janet had to go into 'doctor' mode and help him recover, and since we had a week of Downtime Teal'c decided to get a pass to leave the base and he went to Jack's cabin in Minnesota. Jack said that he wasn't up for a trip so Teal'c was free to use the cabin if he wanted.

I think that the trip would have maybe done him some good and I didn't understand at the time why he declined Teal'c's offer but he later admitted to me that he wasn't ready to face the memory of Charlie. Then I understood. The entity crystal had only just been sent back through the 'Gate so I guess he needed time.

And now, we have a lot of time. Too much, if you ask me.

If we have something that we need to adjust to, it's not like we only have a week. We could take a decade if we really wanted to. I'm starting to go on the theory that's why we are so bitter about being stuck here. Time. We just have too much of it.

So because of the amount of time that we have, there are always plenty of opportunities for us to think about what we miss. What we lost. I know that I miss the food that's on Earth. Especially chocolate. No woman can live without chocolate. I miss my bed, the pathetic wire cot that we have as a 'bed' is horrible, especially considering the fact that my wrist is thicker than the mattress. I think that I will ask the Genera Hammond of Jack 2's world to send over a few beds. Speaking of beds. . . I wonder if these bodies are able to, well not so much reproduce, but basically I want to know if these bodies can have sex. Not that I'm in any position to get some, but it would still be nice to know.

Maybe I should ask Harlan. Okay, scratch that idea, I remember how he reacted when we came here seven months ago. "You are female!" He had said to me, almost as though he was excited at the prospect. Yeah, so I'm female, you are a male, but that doesn't mean that you'll get anywhere because of your politely phrased observation.

Jackass. At least, at the time, that's all that I though of him. As far as we were concerned, this alien eleven thousand year old man had stolen our bodies and dumped out conscience's into his version of a Star Trek's Borg. I never did like it when Jean Luc Picard was turned into a Borg and then brought back to his original human state. It just never seemed fair. The good guy's are supposed to save the day, do it without getting hurt and then at the end they get either the guy or the girl. Whatever the case may be. It never happens that way.

We are Tin. . . people. Okay, so we are very advanced Tin people but we are that none the less. Kind of Ironic, if you think about it. The colonel is always making references to the Wizard of Oz. The scarecrow was always his favorite, but maybe now he'll change his point of view. We aren't made of straw, but we are pretty much made of a tin alloy. I wouldn't call us Tin Men, because given the fact that Teal'c isn't technically human, and I'm female than it wouldn't be politically correct. Not that there is anyone to offend by saying it anymore.

I just had an Idea! If I was in the movies then you would see a little lightbulb light up above my head.


"Hey guys, what are you watching?" I ask them, walking into the room that we've dubbed the 'living' room. Harlan doesn't really interact with us when we play cards, or watch videos. The General sent through Monopoly, The game of life, just stuff like that to keep us entertained. I do have plenty of things to study, and work out, but it's really no fun when you have all of the knowledge already inside your head. Harlan thinks that it's a good thing, but we need something to look at. Something that even the Colonel doesn't know how to operate. For example, the power generator that keeps us going, every one of us could pull it apart and then put it back together in approximately four minutes and thirty seconds. There is no challenge in that!

"We just got a shipment from the general. Some taped episodes of Star Trek, The four Star Wars movies. . ." Daniel begins.

"There are only three. A New Hope, The empire strikes back and return of the Jedi. When did the fourth come out?" I ask. Last I checked George Lucas was only *thinking* about making another one.

"The fourth episode of Star Wars was released two months ago. It is called Star Wars Episode 1 The phantom menace. We thought that you would appreciate it if we refrained from watching it until you were with us."

"Thanks Teal'c that's sweet." I say, nodding my head at the large Jaffa.

"No, actually what's sweet, is the little package that Jack sent to you. We were given strict instructions to deliver it to you and only you." Jack says, a little bitter. It even sounds like jealousy.

Yes, he's Jack now. We talked about it and decided that if we ever find a way to go 'Gate hopping, then we'd go back to the 'Colonel' 'Captain' thing, but while we're here, then there is really no reason for us to keep it up in a non-military situation. Not that there is anyone here that would reprimand us, but yet again, it all comes back to the 'normalcy' thing.

"Really?" I ask, accepting the package that Daniel hands me. "I'll be back in a minute." I say, leaving the 'living' room and heading down the corridor to my 'bedroom' to open the package in private.

I sit on my bed and look at the card that was accompanied by the parcel.

'Dear Sam,
  I know that you're not my wife, not the mother of my daughter, but I still think of you as *my* Sam. I hope that this doesn't make you uncomfortable, but there are some things that can't be helped. I sent everything that you asked for, and I talked to the General about your request for a few beds’ and he said that he would see what he could do. If our General is anything like yours, then you know what a teddy bear he is inside, so I think that you and the others have a good chance of getting some beds.

That guy that's there, Harlan, I think your Jack said his name was, did he want one too? Might as well get everyone a bed in one hit.

If there is anything, anything at all, that we can do for you or get for you, then you know that we keep the mirror open at all times so you just have to let us know and we'll do our best, it's the least that we can do. After all you are the ones responsible for getting me home and back to Jen.

I hope that your Jack likes the stuff you got him, and I hope he realizes that he is very lucky to have you in his life. I know that you don't think so, but he does love you. Don't waste time, because you think that you have an eternity. Trust me when I tell you, that even though you aren't exactly human, there are still plenty of ways for your life to go sour. I don't want to repeat myself but Don't, under any circumstances, waste time.

Despite how much of it you have, ever moment that you two will have together will be precious and you should embrace it wholeheartedly. Wow, big word for a Jack O'Neill, huh?

Take care, JO2.'

If I had tear ducts that could produce tears then I would have to wipe them out of my eyes. Even though we can't show emotion through crying, we can still feel it. All though, even if our bodies can't feel it then our minds can, and they do.

I open the package, and pull out the pre-wrapped, smaller, package and place it on the bed. There is also a few 'Wilbur Smith' novels that Daniel promised to lend us. Once we have all read them, then we can give them back. We only need to read them once, considering that every second of every day is permanently burned into our minds. So we can pretty much read something once and then we could repeat everything in the book.

I pick up the smaller package and walk back through the corridors, that I had walked only moments before, and head back to the living room.

"Hey Sam. What did they send you?" Daniel asks as I walk into the room and sit in *my* chair. Yes, we do all have chairs. Lazy-boy's I believe they are called in the other reality. We also have a kitchen table and chairs that match. We aren't 'roughing it' by any stretch of the imagination.

"Well, the other you sent us some novels. Wilbur Smith's latest four books, so at least Teal'c will get to read something new. And the other Jack also sent me something that I requested." I say, placing the small package that I asked for on the table that sits beside my chair.

We actually have a nice little set up here. Teal'c's chair is nearest to the corridor leading to our bedrooms. He never uses the reclining part of his chair, but I have seen him eyeing Jack as he uses his.

There is a small table that sits in between his chair and Jack's, and then there is another small table that sits between Jack's chair and mine, and another table that sits between Daniel and I. The TV sits about five meters away from the chair and it has it's own stand, with a small slot underneath the television for the VCR. We have a digital picture of the four of us, in a very badly made frame that sits on top of the TV.

"I spoke to the other Jack today." Daniel says, and I raise my eyebrow by way of a 'please continue.' "Yeah, they have this new thing out in their world, a DVD player. Apparently it has better graphics than a VCR, it has a better picture and you can hook up a Sub-woofa and speakers so that you have surround-sound. It doesn't use video cassettes, instead it has CD's. They are exactly the same as a tape except that they have more features and are better quality and they're guaranteed to last longer than a VCR. The only down side is that they are worth about a thousand dollars to buy at the moment and the CD's are worth twice the price of a video tape. He said that as soon as the price of the DVD came down, he would try and get us one." Daniel says. If he was still human then he would be in desperate need of oxygen by now. He starts to breathe heavily, as though it was an instinct, and again I can put it down to wanting to be normal.

We have a bit of a fixation with being normal, don't we?


Well, we watched the new Star Wars movie, which Teal'c absolutely loved, and then we watched a few episodes of Star Trek, although we could notice a few differences between their reality's ST and ours. For example, in ours we had Captain James T. Kirk, but theirs has Captain Jim F. Kerk. Obviously the first thing that we noticed was the spelling differences, not to mention the way they say it.

It was a little bit of cheap comedy.

"Guys, I'm gong to go to bed now." Daniel says, putting his chair in the upright position and standing to go to bed. He gestures to Teal'c that he should go to bed too. Daniel is a sweet guy. He likes to play cupid, but he's still a sweet guy. Guess who his first victims are in his new match-making career. Yep, Jack and I.

But that isn't why he want's Teal'c to leave the room. He knows what I have planned, and he told me that despite my invitation to stay, he thinks that this is something that I should do alone. He told me that he though that if I went ahead and did what I have planned, then my question as to weather or not these bodies are capable to have physical intimacy will be rapidly answered. I think that his little
'cupid-mind' is working on over drive again, but I'll just let him have his fun.

"I think that I might hit the hay as well." Jack says, making absolutely no move to get up and leave.

"Before you do, I was wondering if I could have a word with you?" I ask, knowing that he would never pass up the opportunity to have a conversation that wasn't about science or astrophysics.

"Shoot." He says, turning of the TV and twisting his body to look at me.

"You remember our first meeting?" I ask him, I know he does. He has lots of fun paying out on me for the 'arm-wrestle' remark that I made. It would actually be interesting to see how that little competition would turn out now that we are 'better.'

"How could I forget?" he says, laughing. "You memorized my mission reports." he finishes, smiling.

"Well, I did memorize your mission report and I also read your personal file. So I know that today is your birthday." I say, giving him a grin in response to his shocked face.

"You did?" He asks, clearly surprised.

If I though that I was capable of feeling emotion, then I would say that I loved Jack. I didn't mean for it to happen, but after we were trapped in the Antarctica we became really good friends. We started to depend on each other and we got closer. Then two months later, just as we had become really good friends, we came here. P3X 989, biggest mistake of our lives as Jack says.

"Yes, I did. So I was thinking about you the other day," Oops, wrong thing to say there Sam, "Anyway, I realized that today was your birthday and if I know you as well as I think I do, then I know that you wouldn't want to make a big deal out of it, instead of throwing you a surprise party that would only have four people in attendance, I just settled for getting you this." I say, handing him the package that JO2 sent for me.

"I don't know what to say." He replies quietly, looking at the package now resting in his lap.

"Well open it and then you should be able to think of something to say." I tell him, and he complies opening his birthday present.

His smile grows when he sees the contents. The Wizard of oz, book and video and an antique chess set.

"Wow, thank you Sam. Up until now the thought of a birthday was depressing, but you just made it a whole lot better. Thank you." He says, standing up and moving to give me a hug.

I stand, to meet his waiting arms. "I was happy to do it." I say, into his chest, my voice muffled by his body.

We pull back slightly to look at each other, still within our embrace. "I'm sorry for being an ass." he whispers quietly, his head lightly touching mine.

I guess Daniel shot one of his 'Cupid' arrows into Jack.

"I understand. I'm frustrated with this existence as well."  I tell him, moving my head inches forward so my lips connect with his.

I guess that I'll get the answer to my question. Damn, I hate it when Danny's right, he'll now have the pleasure of taking the piss out of me because I told him that he was nuts if he thought that Jack and I would get together.


The good news is that we now all have a bed. The bad news is that Harlan died. Somehow he got some dust in his 'body' and it caused a malfunction. So the 'body' shut down.

But the mind didn't.

So that's when I got an Idea. I used the cloning machine to clone Harlan's robotic body. Then I cloned his mind and all was done. If the original that I used as a template had been his organic body, then he would have had a double.

Harlan thanked me and then remarked on how that little experience was a 'close one.' Then like a bat out of hell, it hit me. We need back ups. So I programmed our bodies into the computer, we had to lay in the creation chamber for three hours, remaining perfectly still until the computers had scanned us enough to be able to reproduce us without our mechanical bodies there.

It worked, and I made a copy of each of us to be sure. They were very accurate, and the computers worked at 118% of predicted efficiency.

Jack was thrilled to see me next to my clone. He walked over to us, lent over so that the others couldn't hear him, and he made a very crude suggestion as to what us three should do, before the 'original' us, destroyed the third copy o SG-1. Did that even make sense?

I looked at my clone and she smiled at me and then we turned to Jack, and in perfect unison said "Okay, we'll do it on the condition that tomorrow you, and your clone let the first Sam clone have the same privileges." He pretty much shut up after that.

The only thing that he muttered was 'I'm gonna be sick.' Even though, that night when we were laying in our king sized bed, I tried to explain to him that his comment was incorrect because, being robots, we have no actual 'stomach' to produce vomit, he was still fairly adamant that he was going to be sick. It's all an illusion. But, even after almost a year here, we are still aspiring to be normal.

I think that we will always be trying for our little slice of normalcy, even though a big part of me knows that there is a big chance that we will never get it, we are still determined to try.

And while we are trying, we will have something to do, so hopefully no more boredom.

So maybe we aren't normal, but we are as close as we are going to get, and we're happy. That has become our objective, to be happy, and striving to be normal has taken a back seat to our happiness.

Which is what counts.


The End