Jack O'Neill studies the small campfire currently popping and snapping in the wind. It's not going to be hot enough or large enough to get them through this weather.
The remote observatory sensors have shown a worrying trend in the weather the last few days. It's gone from late summer to late fall in just a few days. The sun sets earlier and the temp has dropped alarmingly. Finally making his decision he rummages through the supplies on the FRED. An inventory of survival gear eases his mind somewhat. It's enough for a few more days. If the weather stays the same. He doubts it. He worries most about the lack of warm clothes. Their standard BDU's aren't enough protection against the colder weather.
"Teal'c," he calls out. He winces. He hates having to interrupt Teal'c doing his kel'nor'eem.
His Jaffa teammate emerges from a tent after a few minutes. "O'Neill?"
"Sorry to interrupt, but I need you to make a fire pit." He points to a shovel propped up on the FRED. "Something longer." Jack sketches his idea for a deeper, long trench with a handy stick. Building a bigger fire near their tents will warm them up. "I'm going to find more wood, and some rocks to line it."
Teal'c nods and picks up the shovel. He soon has a narrow one foot deep trench started in front of the tents. Jack grabs a field pack and heads to some of the brush cover. A small ax is hooked into his vest loop and he cuts some dry branches off the trees and scoops up leaves and small sticks for kindling. Those he stuffs into the field pack. The larger pieces of wood he piles near the edge of the brush.
He makes three trips with the wood and kindling back to camp. Soon he has a decent pile of fuel. Teal'c has a four foot long trench dug.
"Good going." The two friends hike out to find rocks to line the trench. "It'd be easier if we can take the stones from Daniel's ruins." Jack muses.
They've found half a dozen flat wide stones and are placing them carefully into the pit. "We may yet do that, O'Neill."
The pit doesn't have enough stones to line it. They stare at the trench and back to the temple. "Daniel's gonna throw a fit."
"It seems we have little choice." Teal'c watches as the soft dirt crumbles slowly into the bottom of the trench.
"Daniel!" Jack raises his voice to be heard over the rising wind. The tents rustle and flap in the background.
An olive green bandana pops up over the collapsed wall. The archeologist stands up from where he's been kneeling and cleaning off dirt to a layer of rock beneath. His bright blue eyes behind the glasses glare at both of his friends.
"What?" Daniel snaps. He's annoyed at being interrupted. Daniel checks the sun level and turns back to Jack and Teal'c. He scowls at them both. There's plenty of light left for him to work.
"We need flat stones. What part of the temple is a bust?"
Daniel's expression morphs into outrage. "You are not dismantling the temple, Jack. It needs to be studied, photographed and measured."
"Daniel, we will freeze." Jack states. His words are clipped and cold. "Find me a dozen flat stones for the fire pit or I'll take them." Jack offers his friend a choice.
Daniel's gaze bounces from the fire pit to the temple and back to Jack and Teal'c. He can and has argued with Jack before, but he recognizes the look Teal'c is giving him. "Fine. Come with me." He stomps over to the lowest part of the temple. Jack hears some muttering going on. He recognizes a few words of the Arabic dialect his friend is venting in. He smothers a grin when Daniel turns around.
The stones there are so worn the writing on them is impossible to read. He did rubbings of the carvings earlier in the week so these are the most expendable areas. "You can use these," Daniel points out a group of free standing stones. The three men muscle the rocks into the trench. The hot rocks from the campfire go into small cracks.
Jack carefully lines the stone trench with the leaves and sticks from his pack. They start to smolder when the campfire rocks touch the kindling. Teal'c then shovels the embers from the small campfire onto the kindling. Small fires pop up. The logs from the campfire are placed carefully into the trench with the shovel. When the fire consumes the campfire fuel. Jack drops the new wood into the dying fire. The coals light the dry wood on fire.
Soon the larger fire is burning steadily. The heat radiating up from the stones warm the three friends.
"That feels better." Daniel holds out his hands. "I didn't realize how cold I was." He shudders as the warmth touches his face and arms.
Jack checks the light. "Teal'c, go get Carter." In the distance the fourth member of the team can be seen working on the DHD.
"Indeed." The Jaffa jogs toward his friend. Soon they can see her arguing with him.
Daniel shivers in the wind. "I have an idea."
"And?" O'Neill keeps his eyes on Teal'c and Carter. Finally she gives into Teal'c and packs up her tools.
"The materials tent we packed. What if we set that over our actual tents for a wind barrier?" Daniel reminds his friend of the extra archeological supplies.
Jack groans. More work in the wind and the fading light. But it's a good idea. It will protect their tents and conserve heat. "Yeah, let's do it."
They pull out the tent from the FRED and stake it out. It takes longer than they expected, mostly because they move the sleeping tents and cut holes in the material tent to thread the sleeping tent ropes through. Setting it closer to the temple wall was another good idea. It helps block the wind, but it took a while to figure out sight line to the Stargate and still close to the fire pit to benefit from the warmth. Carter was a big help with that.
"It's like a Russian nesting doll." Sam swipes the sweat off her face, as they finish setting it up. Daniel and Teal'c set the stakes deep into the ground. "Tents in a tent." She explains seeing the confused look on Teal'c's face. Daniel explains the actual doll to his friend.
"Hopefully it'll help." The wind has kicked up and Jack can swear he smells snow in the air. "Let's eat and turn in."
The MRE's fill their bellies and the fire provides much needed warmth.
"How're the repairs coming, Carter?" The DHD took a hit at some point and the crystals were shook loose. Sam is trying to replace them so they can dial home. Or at least unlock the inner gate ring for a manual dial. It's slow going. The SGC sent diagrams and photos of other DHD's which help. Sam has been checking them all to make sure there are no cracks in the crystals or in the connections.
She shakes her head. "Slowly, sir. I've got most of them checked and I think they're in the right spots."
He nods. "Still locked up," Jack guesses.
"Sorry, sir." Sam looks down at her cookies. "I'll start again when the sun rises." She sips the hot coffee Daniel made and warms her hands on the mug.
"Not your fault." The DHD was knocked off the pedestal when they got here, so who knows how long the thing was broken.
"I'm wondering if there isn't enough power to transmit to the gate," she muses. "It could have drained out slowly."
"Like a battery!" Daniel holds up his video camera.
Sam nods excitedly. "Exactly. We know how much energy is needed to unlock the ring for it to spin. We also know the gate stores energy, but perhaps the DHD provides it with a constant charge." Sam shrugs. She's been thinking about this for a while. "Just enough to keep the gate ready for use."
"So like when you flip on a switch for the lights?" O'Neill surprises his team with the observation.
Sam nods. "It could be. And having the crystals out of order and loose meant the light wasn't plugged in." She sips her coffee. "I'm going to try hooking up the naquadah generator tomorrow. See if it takes a charge." Suddenly she yawns. "I'm going to turn in. Wake me for my watch." The Major disappears into the left side of the materials tent.
"I will take first watch," Teal'c announces.
"Okay." Daniel crawls into his tent.
Jack helps Teal'c stack the limited amount of firewood. He tosses in more leaves and small branches to feed the fire. "We could use more wet fuel." He's thinking about how to bank the fire so it lasts. The logs they placed on the fire earlier have collapsed into glowing embers.
"Like in Hawaii." Teal'c says suddenly.
"What?" O'Neill has stopped in the midst of reaching for one more log. He stares up at the Jaffa. His mind boggles at the thought of Teal'c on a surfboard or at the beach.
"The ritual of a luau. The Hawaiians pack their cooking trench with vegetation which are wet and the fire slowly cooks the meat. It provides enough heat and steam to cook meat, but not to burn out."
Jack stares at his friend. "Where did you learn about luaus?"
"The base library. And the travel channel." Teal'c says calmly. "We should look for fresh leaves and green wood tomorrow."
"Uh, sure." Jack shakes his head. Teal'c never fails to surprise him. "After breakfast. Wake me in a few hours, buddy."
"I shall, indeed."