“Nanites,” Jack echoed. Oh, the day just kept getting better.
“We think they’re maintaining the victims’ physical condition.” Janet’s words had the clinical tone of a doctor who’d seen the utterly unknown snatch too many lives from her hands. “We’re fairly certain they’re delivering… whatever Kayaba cooked up with the NID for genetic manipulation. And we know they kill the patients if you take the NervGear off. Something in the helmet, maybe part of the program delivered through the hidden servers, keeps the nanites working. Doing – whatever Kayaba’s nightmare made him do to these people. Take the helmet off, the nanites berserk, and….” Her voice failed her.
“That’s all she wrote,” Jack filled in. “Got it.” He chewed on a knuckle, thinking. “So we’ve definitely got genetic manipulation going on here. But it’s from some kind of human? Not some weird Goa’uld… thing?”
“That’s the problem, sir. We’re not sure.” Sam touched the back of his seat. “Kayaba’s samples came from the NID’s offworld teams. We think that’s where the creatures came from; worlds the NID visited, that we haven’t seen yet.” A mix of controlled anger and even more controlled scientific avarice played over her face. “A lot of them seem to have been Ancient-listed worlds.”
Places the Goa’uld had never visited. Worlds that might be treasure troves of tech, knowledge, or flat-out planet-threatening peril. Or all of the above. Yeah. Right. Now it made sense. “We disappeared these people, because you don’t know if they’re human anymore.”
“Jack,” Daniel started.
Janet held up a hand. Turned in her seat, so she could look the archaeologist in the eye. “He’s right. I hate it, Daniel – but he’s right. The families know the victims are alive, but they think we moved them here to protect them from Kayaba. They don’t know we’re protecting everyone else. We don’t know what Kayaba planned to do to these people. And we’re dealing with alien technology, which means it doesn’t matter what he planned. He may have done something entirely different.” She sighed, as if letting some of the weight of the world slip off her shoulders. “That said, Jaffa have a few odd genes in their makeup,” she glanced at Teal’c, “And I defy anyone to tell me you’re not human.”
A slight smile creased their alien buddy’s face. “Indeed, Janet Fraiser. I would be honored to defend the Tau’ri of Stargate Command as equal to any Jaffa of Chulak.”