The fire pops, showering sparks onto the ground. The flare of heat is welcome on this cold, clear night. The nebulous gases being ejected from the planet's sun shimmer in colorful waves overhead.
O'Neill crumples up his cookie wrapper from the MRE and stuffs it in the canvas trash bag. He looks at his team. Jonas is enjoying the chili mac and crackers by the fire. Teal'c gets up and strides off into the night, checking the perimeter.
Carter is glued to the telescope. He can see her lips moving and he assumes she's making notes into Daniel's small tape recorder. Carter took Daniel's recorder after his 'death' and he notices she carries on every mission.
Nodding to Jonas he pushes to his feet and wanders over to the telescope.
Sam jerks to attention as he approaches. "Sir."
"What's to see, Carter?" he asks idly.
"Take a a look, sir," Carter moves away from the telescope.
He adjusts the eyepiece for his vision and peers up into the sky. While he can't claim the expertise of his second, he knows enough to be impressed.
"Nice," he finally says.
"Yes, sir. I think we're seeing a shedding of the stellar matter in an early stages of a collapsing star." Sam's face is hidden by the shadows, but he recognizes the excitement in her voice.
"It's only been theorized up until now that this is even possible. Actually being able to witness it." Sam takes a breath, "It's amazing." She sighs happily.
"It's safe here right?"
"Yes sir, it takes millenia for a star like this one to collapse."
"Yes, Carter. That I know. I meant about the radiation."
"Sorry sir." She mumbles. "Yes, it's safe. The solar radiation isn't much more dangerous than what we are used to on Earth."
"I left my sunscreen in the tent," he mutters.
Sam grins briefly. She moves toward the telescope. "If you'll allow me, sir."
"What?" He sees where she's looking and nods. "Right, back to your star." He waves at her.
Sam bends back to the eye piece and he hears the snap of the tape recorder as he walks away.
At the campsite, Jonas is stuffing the remnants of dinner into the canvas bag.
"Colonel." Jonas puts the trash bag onto the FRED. He holds up Daniel's notebook. "Gonna read Dr. Jackson's notes." Jonas disappears into the tent he's sharing with Teal'c.
Jack nods at the newest team member.
He sits in front of the fire. To keep his mind and hands busy he pulls out some paracord. He wraps the cord around his wrist and ties it off. He braids and weaves the cord into a bracelet.
"I need a button," he muses.
"Sir?" Carter appears out of the shadows.
He reaches for the P-90 before his mind realizes he can relax. Sam stands off to the side as he relaxes back into watchfulness.
"All finished, Carter?"
Sam moves to perch on the log. The fire illuminates her face. "Yes, sir. For the night anyway. I want to write up my notes and observations."
He nods. After five years with her and Daniel he knows the drill. They would disappear into tents and write up everything they learned by flashlight. Well Daniel would draw and write in his journals. Sam would lug a small laptop along after the first few years.
"Hey, Carter you got an extra button?"
Sam nods. She rummages in her vest pocket and pulls out a button. "Here you are, sir." She fades back into the shadows and the rustle of the tent canvas is heard.
"Thanks." He threads the button onto the bracelet and ties it off. Pulling out the new Zippo he burns off the edges of the paracord, sealing the weave. The Swiss Army knife scissors clip off the string.
Teal'c looms out of the dark.
Jack jumps, "Jeez T. Don't DO that."
"My watch is over, O'Neill." The Jaffa announces. "All is quiet."
"Well, we expected that."
Teal'c nods. This moon is not on the Go'auld map. They were sent here to evaluate it as a potential off-world base in addition to the Alpha site. The cool stellar display is just a bonus for the science areas.
Jack shoves up from the ground. "Get some rest." Teal'c bows his head again and silently slides into the tent he shares with Jonas.
Night passes slowly, but calmly. Jack takes the time to observe the stellar gases through the telescope and makes his own observations. He'll talk to Carter about them when they get back to base.
Sam looks up over her coffee mug. "Yes, sir?"
He hands over the bracelet he wove last night. "Your button, your bracelet."
She looks down at the paracord, button and string and back at him. "Thank you sir. What's the mission?"
"What it always was, Major. Taking down the Go'auld."
Sam buttons the bracelet around her right wrist. "Taking down the Go'auld." She smiles at him. "That'll be a good day."
"Oh, I made some notes about the gases last night," he remembers.
"I'll look over them, sir."
He nods and the scowls into his cup. Jack fishes out the floating dust from his coffee.