Misery Loves Company

"Finally," Sam Carter thought to herself. "Some down time! Now, what to do with herself"?

It had been a brutal several months. Missions, one after another with no down time in-between. On the last mission she had been knocked unconscious by a ribbon device and was out for several hours during their escape. Janet had just released her from the infirmary and now she had two weeks to herself. Her team, her friends, had stayed near her until her release from the infirmary and was now taking advantage of the General's largess. Teal'c was going offworld to visit his son. Daniel had plans to join an expedition in Egypt where a friend had requested his assistance. Janet and Cassie were visiting Janet's family, so they wouldn't be around. And the Colonel. The Colonel had invited her to his cabin several times in the last several hours, but, as much as she'd like to go, she declined. It just wouldn't look right. So, now what to do?!?

She had cleaned her house until everything was spotless, and this had taken approximately 4 hours of her two weeks. As happy as she was to be on downtime, the two weeks stretched endlessly in front of her. The General had forbidden her to come back to base without 'a damn good reason' and she didn't have one, so that was out. Her Father was away on some secret Tok'ra assignment and wouldn't be available to visit. Her brother and his family weren't an option. So again, what to do?

The weather outside was beautiful for October. It was sunny and cold. Maybe a ride on her bike? The more she thought about it, it seemed the ideal thing to do! She quickly packed a small backpack just in case she decided to stay somewhere overnight, put on her leathers and grabbed her wallet and helmet. She went to her garage and lovingly ran her hands over her cherry-red Indian. How she loved that bike and now all her hard work was finally finished. She quickly mounted up, cranked it and was on her way.

She loved to feel the wind blowing past her. Ok, so it was a little cold, but hey, a girl can't have everything! She decided to head up into the mountains and maybe find somewhere out of the way to do some communing with nature. This suited her mood to a 'T'.

She had been riding for about an hour when she stopped to grab some gas and a soda. She pulled into a service station and coasted to the pump. Even though this was a self-serve pump, a kid of about 17 hurried out to her.

"Hey is that an Indian?" He asked her.

"Sure is", she replied. "You sure know your motorcycles".

"Ahh, just a hobby", he replied as he began to fill her up. "Where you headed? It's a little cold to be out on this isn't it?"

She smiled at him. "Yeah, just a little, but I don't get much time to ride, and it is a pretty day. Just looking for some time to myself and maybe see some color on the Aspen."

"Well, I might be able to suggest a nice ride for you", he said. "Up the road about two miles there is a left turn onto a dirt road. There's no street sign, but that road takes you on a 3-hour trip through some of the prettiest aspen you can find. Road comes out about an hour south of the Springs. Lots of twists and turns, but beautiful". Then he blushed. "My girlfriend and I go out there some, for some privacy, if you know what I mean. Not much out there in the way of houses either, but there are a few".

"That sounds like just the thing I need", she told him. "Thanks!" She stepped into the store and paid for her gas and grabbed a soda. On going back outside, she saw the young man still admiring her bike. She smiled, handed him a $5 as a tip and climbed on her bike and left. Just as he had said, she found the dirt road and turned onto it.

The scenery was beautiful. The aspen had just started to turn and were a brilliant yellow. The road was curvy enough to make the ride interesting. It followed a stream that flowed over and around boulders and sparkled in the sunlight dappling through the trees. She had been riding for over an hour and had yet to see another soul. She had passed 2 houses, but there were no signs of life around them.

"This is just what I needed", she thought. It wasn't often that she had time to herself and no major project on her plate. Just her and the bike and nothing to do but relax. The road began to climb and became curvier. She could see the stream below her on her left as the grade increased. It felt good, so she increased her speed.

Suddenly, without warning, as she came around a sharp turn, an elk leaped out in front of her. Her mind was relaxed and her reaction time was slow. She swerved left to avoid a collision and felt her front tire lose traction on the dirt road. She tried to leap from her bike so that she wouldn't damage it too much, and found herself being carried down the hillside toward the stream by her momentum. She slid sideways and pitched headlong down the hillside. She felt her left leg snap and pain flooded her. She continued her slide, trying to brake herself, until her head impacted a tree. Her last thoughts were of pain and her bike before losing consciousness. She wasn't awake to see the clouds that rolled in from the west and darkened the sky. She wasn't awake to feel the frigid air that came with the clouds. She wasn't awake to see the first snowflakes begin to fall.