Milky Way Galaxy
The sun was setting by the time Sam and Bra'tac reached the cliff overlooking the stargate. They stopped for a break because Ife started whimpering and Sam was getting hungry. After, they could make their way down and walk the last two klicks or so to the stargate. It would take another hour or two before the sky actually turned dark, as they'd learned during their time on this planet.
Bra'tac kneeled on the ground and started on a fire, for some tea. He drank a surprising amount of it when he got the chance. On the less tropical planets he often made some soup too, if they had enough vegetables.
"Do we have enough food left?" Sam asked, as she sat down on the grass and undid her robe to reveal her hungry daughter. Ife was rooting around for food already, pressing her face against Sam's breast barely giving her the opportunity to remove what passed for a bra among Jaffa women.
"There is plenty to sustain us for several days if we do not find sustenance near our new camp right away."
She took the strip of meat he offered her, while supporting Ife with her other hand as the girl latched on to nurse. "Do you know what kind of weather to expect on that planet this time of year?" She had long ago learned that asking him about the seasons wouldn't give her the kind of answer she was looking for.
"Precipitation." He looked apologetic about it.
"I knew those warm planets were too good to last."
"Indeed," Bra'tac replied. "Soon, we will travel to colder planets. We must prepare ourselves and the child for such circumstances."
Sam nodded and grabbed some of the fruit he'd laid out. They would need to get warmer clothing for Ife and socks or something as well. So far, the baby just wore simple dresses made from the cloth Bra'tac once bought them, but those were too flimsy for snowy climates.
"Perhaps we should visit a marketplace first to acquire the necessary supplies."
"That's a good idea."
"We will need to select items for trade."
She grimaced and bit back a yelp when Ife's new teeth scraped her skin before unlatching. "I might have a few things," she said, lifting her daughter and handing her over to him. "See if she'd like a piece of fruit."
Bra'tac plopped Ife on his lap and looked at Sam, frowning. "You cannot continue āmā?"
"No, it's not that."
"Perhaps Shan'auc knows a trustworthy ȧrtu-"
"No!" Sam interrupted him, shaking her head. Just the thought of finding someone else to feed her daughter was distressing. How could she possibly trust another outsider with the wellbeing of her daughter? Especially one from Chulak, where Klorel now ruled. "It's fine. I can nurse, it's just that we're both still adjusting to her teeth."
She rolled her eyes at his typical male response. "I know I should be able to nurse her without her teeth getting in the way, because my sister-in-law had the same problem with my niece."
"My brother's wife," she explained. At the time, she'd thought it was too much information and only listened with half an ear, but now she wished she'd paid more attention to Laura. "It'll take time, but Ife and I will work it out. I've just had enough for today."
"Very well," Bra'tac said, before turning to Ife and offering her some fruit.
Sam got up and turned her back to the two of them to rub the sore spot. It had happened earlier that day as well and the day before, but she couldn't figure out if it was a latching-on problem or if Ife just thought it was interesting to see what would happen when she bit into her breast. Either way, Sam had had enough. She continued massaging as she walked over to the edge of the cliff. There was some sort of compound she'd never seen before down below. She frowned, "Did you see a compound on the ground when we arrived?"
"There was no building of any kind."
"Well, there's one now." She covered up and peered down, feeling pretty sure it was a building and not some strange spaceship. They'd arrived almost two weeks ago on this planet but had gone inland straight away because Bra'tac knew of an abandoned settlement where they could set up camp. "How long would it take for a Goa'uld to build a compound?"
Bra'tac didn't say anything until he joined her, with Ife in his arms. "It depends on the complexity of the compound and the number of slaves at the Goa'uld's disposal. However, it is possible it was transported here by ha'tak or somehow shielded from sight when we arrived."
Sam bit her lip, eyeing the distance between the compound and the stargate. "Do you think we can still get to the stargate before they detect us?"
"Yes, but it will take more time and caution."
"We should probably head out soon, then."
Sam watched as he took Ife back to where they'd been sitting and fed her two more pieces of fruit, before taking her a few yards away for a latrine break. It still amazed her that after the initial mess it had been, Ife was now almost completely potty-trained. They just had to remind her with the whistle Shan'auc had taught her and hold onto Ife so the girl could pee or poop. According to some of the mothers Sam had spoken to in a few of the kresh'taa camps, it would be about another year before Ife could do it all on her own but that was to be expected considering her young age.
Suddenly, the gate down below activated and Sam caught sight of the kawoosh as she whipped her head back.
"Bra'tac!" She hissed, not wanting to be too loud because sound carried well in the evening air.
"What is it, Sām?"
She ducked down and beckoned him over to their fire. "The stargate activated just now."
His eyes were narrowed in that dangerous look he sometimes got and he handed Ife over before sneaking to the edge of the cliff. "You stay there with the child."
"Can you see anything?" The Jaffa's eyesight was better than hers, especially over such distances and with little daylight.
"There are people exiting the stargate."
"Four and what appear to be Jaffa are coming from the compound to investigate."
Sam knew it was irrational but she immediately thought of an SG team on a recon mission. "Whose Jaffa?"
Bra'tac remained silent for a while and when he spoke up, there was confusion evident in his voice, "They appear to be Horus and Serpent Guards."
"Indeed. Such a collaboration is an unusual combination."
Sam was itching to join him to see for herself, but she had a sleepy child in her arms whose safety always had to come first. "Do you think they could belong to Klorel? Moac said that Apophis had been low on Serpent Guards when Sokar captured him. Klorel might be supplementing them with Jaffa from Heru'ur."
Bra'tac must have heard her concern – he was well aware of her fear of Klorel finding her after witnessing her waking up terrified from many nightmares – and came back to join her. "I do not believe this to be so."
"Then who could it be? I mean-" Sam cut herself short when a firefight broke out below them. "Those are MP5s!"
She handed him Ife none too gently and dashed over to the edge. "That's the name of the weapons the Tau'ri use. Oh my god! The Jaffa… they're overpowering that SG team. We've got to help them, Bra'tac!"
"How do you propose we do this, hm?"
Sam knew he made a good point when he indicated Ife, but couldn't fight the instinct to help her people when there was suddenly a deafening silence. The Jaffa were dragging the bodies of the SG team towards the compound. "I don't know, but we've got to do something. Wait… I only count three bodies."
"Of what do you speak?" Bra'tac asked, cautiously coming over with Ife.
"With the Jaffa. You said there were four people, right? That's the standard number on an SG team."
He peered over the edge, before pointing to somewhere near the stargate. "There. A fourth body."
She frowned and followed his finger. "They left it there?"
"Perhaps that one has perished and the other three are merely unconscious."
"Either way, we need to help them."
She shook her head and walked back to the fire, waiting for him to join her before she spoke, "The least we can do is see if the fourth person is still alive. Maybe they have a GDO or radio and we can inform the SGC so they can send backup. Please."
He seemed to think this over for a moment. "Very well. You carry the child and I will gather our belongings."
By the time a sleeping Ife was strapped into her sling, Bra'tac had put out the fire and grabbed their things. Together, they made their way down the cliff as quietly as possible. When they reached the ground, the Jaffa were nowhere to be seen. Probably back inside the compound with their three hostages. Bra'tac took point and set a course over the terrain that would allow them to remain under the radar from whoever was in the compound, unless the Goa'uld running it had sophisticated tracking technology, perhaps. But nothing came from the compound, so it was unlikely.
All of a sudden, Bra'tac sped up and almost sprinted to the body. Sam followed at a slower jog, mindful of the baby strapped to her chest. Ife didn't seem to mind though, as she slept soundly. Once Sam reached Bra'tac who was kneeling near the body, she understood his reaction. She'd never seen his former apprentice from up close, but was pretty that was him. "Is that Teal'c?"
She pushed him aside and let her field medical training take over as she checked over the unconscious Jaffa. "Good news is he's still alive," she said. "Bad news is that he's injured and has no GDO."
"You can heal him, yes?"
"Maybe." Sam could tell Teal'c was seriously injured and she wasn't that skilled with the healing device yet. Not to mention how wiped out she'd been after healing Bra'tac a few months ago. "I'll try, but I don't think I can heal him completely."
Bra'tac watched her as she used the healing device, the tension visible in his posture. "We can take him to Dar Eshkalon and contact Moac to bring him to the Tau'ri."
Beads of sweat were dripping down Sam's temple and her hands shook from the effort it took to use the healing device, but she was determined to save Bra'tac's friend. "No."
Teal'c grunted but didn't regain consciousness and Sam nearly fell over from exhaustion, so she stopped. "No, we can't do that," she said, breathing labored.
"No," she shook her head. "I've healed him as best I can and I know the SGC can fix him right up, but we can't leave now. What about the rest of SG-1?"
Bra'tac frowned, gaze going from his unconscious friend to the compound. "Hammond of Texas will send more people to retrieve them, once Moac delivers Teal'c to him."
Sam sat back on her knees, breathing hard and wiping the perspiration from her face. "But you don't know how long it will take for Moac to come or General Hammond to get permission from his superiors to send a retrieval team."
"We cannot leave Teal'c here to save O'Neill and the others."
"Teal'c has a symbiote-"
"It will take too long to heal him," Bra'tac said, interrupting her.
She took a deep breath and put the healing device away. "No, I meant that they only took the Tau'ri."
Understanding dawned on his face. "You fear they will be implanted with a Goa'uld?"
"We can't wait for Moac."
"But what of the child?"
Sam looked down at her sleeping daughter, trying to decide their next course of action. She couldn't go after SG-1 with Ife, but if she left them there and Jack went through the same hell she did, then she'd never forgive herself either. Teal'c needed medical attention and soon. Swallowing hard, she made up her mind and undid the sling. "Take her."
"I want you to take Ife and Teal'c somewhere safe, contact Moac and let him take Teal'c back to the SGC."
Bra'tac grabbed her hand, halting her movements. "I cannot take your child and leave you here."
"But Teal'c needs help."
"And so do you," he said. "You cannot do this alone, Sām."
She stood up and cradled Ife, kissing her forehead. "Take her to Dar Eshkalon and ask Moac to bring Shan'auc with him."
He nodded in understanding and took Ife from her. "Once Moac takes Teal'c to the Tau'ri, Shan'auc can take care of the child and I will return to assist you. Together, we will liberate the Tau'ri from this compound and return for Ife."
"Yeah," she said, blinking back tears. Bra'tac had told her many times that Shan'auc could be trusted, but even so Sam had never been separated from her daughter. She had to save Jack and his team, though. If she didn't, she might never be able to take Ife home. "That's the plan. Be careful."
"Take care, Sām."
She leaned over to kiss her daughter one more time, before stepping back and checking her weapons. The zat'nik'tel was strapped to her thigh, a knife was concealed in her boot and the ribbon device hung on her belt. She leaned down and took Teal'c's zat'nik'tel as well, just in case. "Good luck, Bra'tac," she said, before sliding on her hand device and dashing off towards the compound without a backwards glance.
On her way to the compound, she heard the stargate activate and disengage but refused to look for fear of changing her mind and going after Bra'tac. She needed to be strong to save Jack. Ife would probably sleep through the whole thing, anyway, and not even notice she was in the care of Shan'auc.
Or so Sam kept telling herself.
She was careful when she approached the compound, wary of any hostiles that might come out to investigate the stargate's activation but she didn't run into anyone. It took her a moment to get her breathing under control from the sprint, as it had been a long time since she'd run that fast – it couldn't have taken her more than ten minutes. Rounding the building to look for an entrance took a lot longer. The compound was huge and she was wary of guards or other security measures. Before going in, she took a handful of nuts to keep her energy up and steeled herself for her mission.
It was cooler indoors and the décor was typical Goa'uld – a lot of gold and hieroglyphs along the straight and narrow hallways. To her surprise, there weren't many guards – Serpent or Horus – around, but she still took precautions as she made her way through the compound. She went from one corridor to the next, all of them looking exactly the same. It took forever, like an endless maze that ate up precious time that Jack and his team might not have…
In a way, her surroundings reminded her of the ha'taks and that brought back a flood of bad memories. The timing was bad and she knew memories like these often came when she felt weak and exhausted, just like the nightmares. She paused and used one of the golden pillars for support, telling herself to focus on her breathing and the situation at hand.
Just as she felt the memories and their accompanying feelings disappear, she heard the familiar clanking of Jaffa armor and boots stomping her way. She pressed herself flat against the pillar and waited for them to pass. With her eyes closed, she focused her mind and sensed six Jaffa. A regular patrol then. She bit back a sigh of relief, knowing they weren't alerted to her presence yet.
The Jaffa moved at a snail's pace through the long corridor and Sam could feel time ticking away before they finally turned the corner. Sam ran off into the opposite direction. The place was huge and she felt like she was going in circles, but the few doors she'd encountered were locked and she couldn't find a way around them. Another hour must have passed by the time she nearly ran into a few hostiles after a door unexpectedly opened. Thankfully – she'd been close to giving up hope.
Sam managed to hide – not that they seemed to be looking for intruders – and noted the strange white outfits the duo was wearing. They almost looked like scrubs hospital staff on Earth wore, except the material wasn't as flimsy. She had no idea what they were doing there or who they were, but Sam decided it was a better outfit to blend in than her own heavy robes. She pulled her zat'nik'tel out and shot both of them, making a face when they went down.
Dragging the two bodies – humans – to the other side of the corridor was strenuous when she was still weak from using the healing device. Sam stopped to wipe some more perspiration from her forehead and looked around for a place to hide the bodies; there was none. Sighing, she started stripping the one with a physique most similar to her and then, with a grimace, used the zat'nik'tel twice on both humans, making them disappear. She quickly exchanged her robes for the white outfit, balled them up and stuffed them in a corner behind a pillar. Maybe she could retrieve them on her way out…
Sam found a keycard in the pocket of the white pants she now wore and used it to open the door the two humans had come from after picking up a fallen clipboard. Obviously, there was something important behind that door. Maybe the unknown Goa'uld wanted to use SG-1 for medical experiments or something. The door opened and revealed an elevator.
"Strange," she muttered to herself as she stepped in and swiped the card. They'd had ring transporters on the ha'taks and considered elevators to be more a human design. They were relatively primitive, after all. Actually, the elevator bore a remarkable similarity to what they used on military bases back home. The last time she'd been in one of those had been the SGC, but she really didn't want to think about that right now. When the elevator doors opened, she was stunned.
The corridor was a replica of the SGC! She stepped out of the car warily and glanced around. The details were quite remarkable. She wouldn't have been able to recreate the SGC's corridors in such a manner, so it must have been done by a Goa'uld who spent a lot of time there. But who could that be?
Sam dismissed the thought and continued to explore, walking around with her stolen clipboard as if she belonged there. It had been a long time since she'd been in the SGC and she wasn't sure which direction to go, so she randomly chose one. She'd already lost so much time searching for them and was beginning to feel desperate.
After a few dead ends and walled-up doors, Sam saw blast doors at the end of a corridor and quickened her pace. Those doors were supposed to lead to the gate room and maybe there was a clue there…
As she came closer, she overheard voices and quickly took up cover next to the door.
"… contact the Asgard so that we might align with their forces?"
"Try Roswell, little place in New Mexico."
The man's voice made her heart skip a beat and Sam was pretty sure that it belonged to Jack. Relief flooded her system at realizing she wasn't too late. Not yet, anyway.
"What is the sequence of numbers necessary to open the barricade protecting your Stargate?"
That was definitely a Goa'uld, she thought. Sam closed her eyes again and tried to sense the naquadah in the room. Aside from the Goa'uld's strong presence, she sensed at least a dozen Jaffa and knew she'd be no match for them. Not alone. She wasn't strong enough right now to keep the ribbon device's shield up for long enough and Jack and the others might not trust her if she did.
"If you will not give us the information that we desire, we do have another means of retrieving it. An opportunity has presented itself, at a most… fortuitous time. Our friend here is ready for a host. Tell us, which one of you shall it be?"
No! Sam felt the bile rise in her throat when she heard a familiar screeching sound and it took all she had not to run. Instead, she forced herself to keep listening, knowing the Goa'uld would choose a more private moment for any actual implantation.
"We ask you once more. Which one of you shall be host to our new friend?"
Despite the nerves Sam was overcome with, she almost snickered at Jack's reply.
"It has her eyes."
"Silence!" The Goa'uld said menacingly. "Shall it be…our Beloved? We could spend an eternity together. Do you not remember the joys that we once shared in one another's arms?"
A different man replied, "I really try not to."
Sam thought that was Doctor Jackson, since Teal'c was with Bra'tac. The things they were saying sparked a memory for her and she remembered reading about a Goa'uld invading the SGC while she was still at the Pentagon – the CMO had even told her about this Hathor spawning young in the men's locker room.
"Shall it be the female then? She who would challenge us?"
"I'm not afraid."
"You should be, my dear, for the pain a symbiote can inflict in its host is unimaginable."
Sam shuddered and, for a moment, she was back on the ha'tak with Klorel, but she shook it off. She couldn't afford to be distracted right now.
"It seems that our friend has chosen," Hathor said.
"What, the grey doesn't bother you? All right, fine, let's do it. Just, please, I beg of you, not in the back of the neck, I've got some problems…"
The sound of a zat'nik'tel firing was heard before Hathor spoke again, "Take him somewhere where he can be properly restrained."
Sam clenched her jaw and knew that was her cue. Hathor's Jaffa would take Jack somewhere else, more private so they could implant him with the Goa'uld. Hathor wouldn't want too many witnesses, just in case something went wrong with the blending.
So, she would follow them, rescue Jack and together they'd kill Hathor and go back for his teammates.
Jack struggled against the straps in the cryogenic tank, but he was well and truly fucked. Hathor was coming closer, holding the screeching Goa'uld in her hand.
"We are not pleased."
"Neither are we." He winced when she pulled the memory device from his temple.
"Once host to a Goa'uld, you will take the lives of your friends."
Jack couldn't see them but he knew Daniel and Kershaw were standing a few feet away. God knew where Teal'c was, hopefully at the SGC to bring the cavalry. Hell would freeze over before he'd kill his team. "We don't think so."
"You will have no say in the matter. You will witness their deaths through your own eyes… helplessly." Hathor reached down and tore open his shirt, exposing his chest. "It may take some time for the Goa'uld to take control. But we will greatly enjoy experiencing your eventual defeat."
Panic overtook him when she placed the snake on his chest and struggled against his restraints. But he couldn't get loose and the snake continued to slither up his body. His heart was racing and he briefly wondered if this was how Sam had felt when she was snaked. The snake reared up and he wanted to scream, but was afraid it would jump into his mouth. He looked away, pulling back as far as his restraints allowed him. "Oh god, no."
"And when you awaken from the joining, you will kneel and pledge your loyalty to us."
The snake attacked and Jack could feel him burrow into the back of his neck, the pain and fear he felt unlike anything he'd ever experienced before. "God!"
In the distance, he heard a staff weapon discharge, followed by gunfire but the snake was already entering his body, warm blood trickling down his back.
"Jaffa, kree mel!" Hathor shouted and there was a commotion as everyone left.
Jack was struggling, trying to brace himself for what was to come. Sweat broke out over his body and fear clawed at his back. He'd be damned if he let some slippery little snake take over his body! "I'll kill you," he ground out, as Hathor looked down on him, smiling.
Suddenly, her expression changed and she flew over him, screaming as she went down the shaft of the cryo-whatever. For a moment, he was too stunned to move, wondering what the hell was going on but then everything slowly turned black at the edges of his vision…
He blinked, feeling lightheaded and warm and cold at the same time – was he dying? A woman came into view, leaning over him but he didn't recognize her.
"Jack!" The stranger reached for him and turned his face to the right, his cheek hitting the cold metal. "I'm sorry."
He wanted to ask her why she was apologizing – it wasn't her fault that he was dying – but words wouldn't come, until… "Fucking Christ!" Pain exploded in his neck and seared down his back, his hand and feet twitching in shock. "What the hell…"
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," she repeated, moving out of his sight.
"Wait!" He yelled, his voice hoarse. Where did she go?
"I'm here, Jack." She reappeared, turning his head to look at her. "Are you okay?"
He blinked a few times, the black spots disappearing. "Wh-what?"
"Come, sit up."
Jack looked down at his body, surprised to see the restraints were gone. Dazed, he brought one hand up to the back of his neck and winced at the pain he felt upon contact. His fingers came back bloody and as he sat up, he felt more blood trickle down his back. "Ow."
She smiled and that did strange things to his insides. "Sorry about that."
"I had to remove the Goa'uld before it entered your body completely and wrapped itself around your brainstem." He must have looked at her funny, because her expression softened and showed concern. "Hey, do you remember me?"
Jack was still feeling the effects of almost getting snaked and he idly wondered how severe his blood loss was because he was getting lightheaded again. "Uh…"
"Let me take a look at your neck," she said.
He leaned his head forward at her gentle instructions and closed his eyes. She moved her fingers over his skin, the touch feather light. Her hand was warm and he could feel her breath ruffle his hair. It felt kinda nice. Belatedly, he realized her other hand, the one holding his head up, actually felt cold and metallic from the ribbon device she wore. Panic welled up again and he pushed her away, just in time to see her grab another Goa'uld-like device from her pocket. "What the fuck? Get away from me!"
She stumbled backwards, looking stunned. "Jack?"
"You're a Goa'uld!"
"No, it's me!" Her voice sounded pained and she kept her distance, raising her hands in surrender. "I just wanted to heal your wound."
Jack blinked and got to his feet. He waved her off when she looked like she wanted to help him as he moved unsteadily. Wiping his bloody hands on his pants, he looked around the room. There was no one there, except her. "Hathor?"
She frowned and indicated the shaft under his cryo bed. "Dead."
"Right." He took a deep breath and scrubbed his hands over his face. "You used that hand thingy on her, didn't you?"
"And that snake?"
"I threw it in after her."
They stood there, simply staring at each other. She was wearing the same outfit he was and hers was just as ill fitting. But she also had a Goa'uld hand device. Her hair was long, reaching all the way down to her waist. It was blonde and a bit tangled.
He wondered what it would look like in the sun.
When his gaze rested on her face, he felt a spark of familiarity. He blinked again, trying to remove the cobwebs from his brain. Those blue eyes… "Sam?"
She beamed at him and he wondered why he hadn't recognized her earlier. "Yeah, it's me."
"Believe it or not," she said, chuckling softly, "I was in the neighborhood. Bra'tac and I heard a firefight and went to check it out. We saw Hathor's Jaffa take you away."
"I healed him as best I could," she said, holding up the healing device. "But he didn't regain consciousness. Bra'tac went to meet Moac, so he could return Teal'c to the SGC."
Jack was confused by the unexpected turn of events and said the first thing that came to mind. "So, you're not a Goa'uld then?"
She winced and he wanted to take it back, but she replied before he could say anything, "No, not anymore. I went to Cimmeria-"
"You fixed Thor's Hammer. That's pretty amazing."
The hurt look on her face was replaced by another charming smile. "Thanks. Didn't Bra'tac already tell you this?"
He shrugged and winced at the pain it elicited in his neck. "He didn't really elaborate."
"Sounds like him. Let me check your wound."
Jack forced himself to relax when she got closer and let her examine his neck. "How bad is it?"
"You're going to need a lot of stitches or you could let me fix it."
"I thought you said you couldn't heal Teal'c?"
She pulled back and shook her head. "It requires a lot of energy and focus. I'd been walking all day and I think his injury was too severe for the energy I had left."
He grabbed the hand that still rested on his shoulder and squeezed it. "Maybe I should let the Doc stitch me up then."
"I'm willing to try."
"As tempted as that sounds, I don't think it's a good idea." Jack was thinking ahead and knew questions would be asked if he showed up at the SGC without so much as a scar when his team witnessed him getting snaked. It would be difficult enough to convince people she really wasn't a Goa'uld anymore; how would they react if they found out she could use Goa'uld doohickeys?
Understanding dawned on her face and she looked away, cheeks flushed. "You're right. That's not a good idea. We should probably get going then, because you're still bleeding and I don't have a med kit."
"Do you know where my team is?"
"The Jaffa took them away, but I'm pretty sure that firefight we heard earlier is the backup General Hammond sent. It shouldn't be difficult to get out of here now," she said and thrust a zat in his hand.
Jack admired the way she suddenly took charge and, knowing he was a liability with his bleeding neck, followed her when she headed for the corridor. "Lead on, Macduff."
She glanced at him over her shoulder and smiled, dimples showing. "Yes, Sir."
He found himself smiling back at her, even when she was already ten feet away. Quickly, he caught up with her, steadier on his feet than before. He still couldn't believe she was here, though. And she seemed so… normal. There was no awkwardness between them and she seemed genuinely happy to see him. Hell, she'd risked her own life to go after him and his team. Then again, she probably wanted to go home and seeing fellow Earthlings might be enough to cheer her up.
"Uh, I don't know which way," she said, pausing at the end of the corridor. "I have a keycard if that helps."
"Ah yes. Well, fortunately I know the SGC like the back of my hand. Follow me."
Together they made their way through the fake SGC and into the Goa'uld facility. They worked well as a team, he thought.
After the tenth corridor, they suddenly ran into Daniel and Kershaw.
He smiled and clasped Daniel's shoulder. "Daniel. Lieutenant. Good to see you."
"Yeah, you too. We were worried about you when that Jaffa took us away, but Colonel Makepeace came to our rescue. There was just a little problem with a force field preventing us from reaching the stargate, so Makepeace let us go back to disable it. We figured we could use the opportunity to look for you, too," Daniel said, smiling deviously.
Kershaw nodded, "We found the generator and blew it up, Sir."
Daniel looked around Jack, smiling politely. "Hello."
Jack glanced back and realized Sam was standing there nervously. "Oh, right! You remember your friend Captain Carter, right?"
Daniel did a double take, eyes wide. "Whoa! I almost didn't recognize you. Hi! It's great to finally meet!"
"Um, hi," Sam said, leaning away as Daniel enthusiastically shook her hand.
"Sam, that's Doctor Daniel Jackson. Your pen pal," Jack added. "And this is Lieutenant Kershaw."
Sam took another step back but smiled politely at Kershaw. "Nice to meet you."
Jack figured this was probably the first time in a long time since she was among this many people after planet hopping with Bra'tac and felt bad for her. "Sam saved my ass. Ripped that snake right out of my neck."
"Wow," Kershaw said, eyeing the bloody wound on Jack's neck. "You have great timing, Ma'am. Guess the Colonel is lucky you happened to be around."
"Lucky coincidence," Jack said. "Where's the cavalry, Lieutenant?"
"Just outside, Sir."
It took them another twenty minutes before they found the exit but by then the whole field had been cleared of Jaffa, much to Jack's surprise. He spotted Makepeace and his team and jogged over to him. "I didn't know you had it in you, Robert."
Makepeace chuckled and hit him on the arm. "Afraid I can't take all the credit, Jack. Those two Jaffa saved our asses with that neat little spaceship of theirs. Don't know where the hell they came from or how they knew we needed help, but they had great timing."
Jack looked over to where he was pointing and wasn't surprised to see Moac and Bra'tac standing next to something that looked like an older version of the death glider. "Lucky us."
"I thought Jackson and Kershaw said you got snaked," Makepeace said hesitantly.
"Yeah, you're not the only one who got his ass saved in the nick of time," he replied, gesturing at his bloody neck. "So, if we're finished here, I'd like to go back to the SGC and get the Doc to fix me up."
"Sounds like a plan," Makepeace said, before calling his 2IC over with Jack's retrieved things and handed them to him. Then, he turned back to the teams he'd brought along. "Time to go home! Let's go, people."
Jack hung back with Sam as everyone made their way over to the gate. "Go on, Daniel," he said, when the archaeologist waited for them at the steps. "Just gotta have a word with Bra'tac."
"We'll keep it open for you." Daniel said, before following the others and stepping into the gate.
Jack turned back and saw Sam staring at the event horizon. God, she had to know she couldn't come with, right? He stepped between her and the gate, resting his hands on her shoulders. "Sam…"
"I know," she said, smiling sadly. "You've got to go."
"I want you to know we didn't believe Grieves' version of events," he said. "But we couldn't prove anything, so he was eventually transferred out."
She nodded, smiling sadly. "I know, Bra'tac told me what you said. As long as Colonel Grieves is out there, working for someone else, I can't go home."
"We'll figure it out, it's just gonna take time."
"Don't worry about me. I've got Bra'tac on my side and Klorel is way too busy keeping the Jaffa on Chulak from rebelling to come looking for me. But you should go, before you pass out from blood loss."
Jack hesitated for a moment, before he took his GDO and gave it to her. "Take this, just in case."
"The code is 1631253," he said. "I'll make sure it remains an active code, so you can use it if you ever get in trouble."
He brushed her cheek and locked eyes with her. "I promise I'll clear the way for you to get home."
Sam smiled and reached up to kiss his cheek, "I know you will. Now, go home."
A/N: I hope you all enjoyed reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing and sharing it. As you've probably already guessed by the ending, this isn't the end yet. I've been working on the sequel for the past month and hope to have it finished in a few weeks. Keep an eye on my Twitter ( femsuii) for teasers and such of 'Only the Just Survive'.