Title: The 'Better' Life - Daniel
Author: Sarah Gower
Email: gower@unbounded.com
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Rating: G
Summary: Set sometime after the events in "Tin Man" - the Daniel clone's thoughts.
Series: #1 in the Clone series
Category: Epilogue
Spoilers: Tin Man
Date: 14th April, 1999
Disclaimer: All characters and property of Stargate SG-1 belong to MGM/UA, World Gekko Corp. and Double Secret Productions. This fan fiction was created solely for entertainment and no money was made from it. Also, no copyright or trademark infringement was intended. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. Any other characters and the story are the property of the author.
Archive: The Place of Our Legacy, Heliopolis, StargateFan, Haven Of Fic
Notes: Thanks to Alex and Dee for beta reading - virtual hugs, choccies and flowers making their way to you as I type! This is an answer to the challenge about the clones that Kazz posted on the sgfic list.

Hammer on the left... hammer on the right... flip it over... do the same again... add it to the pile. Mundane work but someone's gotta do it.  Banging the dints out of metal for repairs is not something that is at the top of my 'Things to do' list - but it saves me from going completely out of my mind with boredom.

Argh, damn. Thumb got in the way. The fact that there's no pain is slowly becoming accepted. There are certain advantages to being a clone - a machine - like when you're doing meaningless manual labour.  Already, the thumb is slowly going back to its original shape. Odd, but I'm getting used to it.

"Hey Daniel?"

I looked up from my thumb as Sam spoke.

"Can you go and find Teal'c? We're almost ready here."

Sam and Jack were fixing some wires on a small generator.

"Yeah, sure," I answered, putting down the sheet of metal, forgetting my painless injury.

We were getting ready for our first trip up to the surface, when there'd been a slight malfunction in Sector C - it was always giving us trouble. Teal'c had volunteered to fix the problem while we finished organising what we would need.

I walked through the large corridors, formed by the enormous cylinders on either side of the walkway. It was quiet, except for the dull, clanging echo of my feet on the metallic grill.

I steered myself through the now-familiar halls, like I was on auto-pilot. It became easier and easier each day, doing what we did - upkeep of the facility, basically. And that was because of Harlan.

Harlan. He's been gone 6 months now. An accident with one of the main generators. We tried to mend him - but it was futile. The damage was too severe. So now it's just the four of us - together, for a very long time.

"11000 going on infinity," I muttered, repeating Harlan's words. 11000 years - so hard to imagine. But life will continue to go on... and on... and on... Scrubbing a hand over my eyes, I sighed deeply. 'I've got time to get used to it. More than enough time,' I thought. And it will just be Sam, Jack, Teal'c and me. No one else. We won't ever see General Hammond give Jack his 'look', Dr Frasier worry about what mess we've gotten ourselves into this time, or Cassie giggle in delight at the games we played.

That's one of the hardest things for Sam, it would seem. Sometimes, when we slip into reminiscent mode, we'll talk about some of the fun we used to have off base - Cassie is a regular topic of discussion. And while Sam laughs along with the rest of us, if I look closely enough, I can see that her smile doesn't quite reach her eyes. There's a certain pain there - I know she misses Cassandra terribly. And it can't be any easier knowing she can't have children. We used to talk about it, and she used to say that she'd love at least two kids. But that's gone now.

Teal'c can't be taking it too well either. Rya'c is... was... his son. Knowing he won't ever be able to see him can't be at all nice. And Drey'auc too - his family. He got to see them once before... it happened. Now knowing that he can never see them? I can't begin to fully imagine what that must be like. Of course, I feel a great loss that I'll never see Sha're again... but I've had longer to become accustomed to it. While the pain never totally goes away, it gets a little easier to bear each day.

On the other hand, Jack misses Sara deeply. I see it when he talks, in his actions, I see it in everything he does. It's probably not as obvious to Sam and Teal'c, but I can see it. Jack still loves Sara, and I think he really regrets not doing something about it. Now he has to live with it... for quite a while.  But we all have to live with our regrets.

My main regret is that I won't be able to continue looking for Sha're.  Even if the pain does become a little less each day, I do still miss her and she deserves more than to be a host for the goa'uld. But the 'other' me is stitll out there - I know he'll find her... eventually.

It's strange knowing there's another me out there... somewhere. I'd like to know what's he's doing, and I try to guess, but often enough I have to be content with simply wondering. And try not to let jealousy overwhelm me. Of course, I know it's his life now, but a very 'real' part of me still believes I have a right to that life - as much rights as a copy can have, anyway. There's no use playing the scenarios over and over in my head - torturing myself with 'what ifs' won't do any good. What's done is done. Now I have to live with that, and try not to let the bitterness creep in.

I was brought out of my reverie as I heard metal banging on metal. Rounding the next corner, I found Teal'c bashing a mallet onto a large pipe. I stood there, observing, for about ten seconds, before he finished.

"Teal'c. We're just about ready to go have a look outside. You done?"

"I am, Daniel Jackson. The funnel has been repaired as much as is necessary."

"Great. Let's go then. I think Sam's eager to check things out."

"It will indeed be interesting to see the state of this world's surface."

"Let's hope there's something up there - keep your fingers crossed."

"To do so would make tasks difficult to carry out."

I grinned. "Ahh, it's just a saying, Teal'c. It basically means 'hope for good luck'," I explained.

"I see."

Another grin from me and we set out, back to Jack and Sam.

It's been year since we've been here - and it's about time we saw what this world is really like.