Disclaimer: Don't own 'em.

Notes: This came about because of Sam's throw-away comment in 'Redemption' about Captain Matheson lasting only two hours... And because the giant hairy lobsters must spread and infect everyone. ALSO. Captain Matheson had no name, as far as I knew, until I was looking for info on Sam's middle name, and discovered it's Kim. Sucks, damnit. Although A.j. suggests that he's merely nicknamed that, 'cause he looks like Harry from Voyager. ;) OH! And some of the Jack lines and Sam lines are stolen from A.j., who I randomly spammed bits at.

Rating: PG

Spoils: Randomly, up until season 6.

Other notes: Vague Sam/Jack leanings, but nothing specific. Erm. I don't think. The title is ripped off from Roxette's "Joyride".

Archival: Have at it.

Season: pre-6. But post-5. smirk

Hit the Road Out of Nowhere

by Ana Lyssie Cotton

It was a normal recon mission. General Hammond was sending them through the Gate with another person to replace Dr. Daniel Jackson. Major Sam Carter was trying hard not to think of the men and women they'd been saddled with as 'replacements'. But it was damned hard when none of them had been any good at Daniel's job. This newest one was a Captain Matheson. A nice enough kid, if a bit uncertain. Colonel O'Neill (their commanding officer) made him jump when he clapped him on the back in the Gateroom.

But the MALP data was clear, and so they were going to PJX-187, to check out the local flora and fauna, get a few rock samples. And maybe even look at some ruins. There weren't any natives, as far as the UAV could tell. And so Hammond had given his blessing, hoping that this time, SG-1 would have found their fourth member.

The other three members, Colonel Jack O'Neill, Major Samantha Carter, and the jaffa warrior Teal'c; kind of hoped they would find their fourth, too. The good captain was the fourth person to attempt to mesh with the other three, and the time spent breaking in new members was beginning to grate on their nerves.

It really wasn't the fault of the other persons who had attempted to join SG-1. It was just that... SG-1 were very particular. They needed someone diplomatic, intelligent, linguistic, and able to handle themselves in a dangerous situation (since that's where SG-1 was, a lot).

But they also needed someone that they could all stand.

Captains Neena Wilson and Arthur Grizwalski hadn't been too bad. Until Wilson's sense of humour was revealed to be rather more risque than the Colonel's. And Grizwalski couldn't say anything smaller than four-syllable words. Even Sam had a hard time understanding him (SG-8 seemed to be just as happy to have him back, though. Which would have worried her, but Major Tarrant seemed to like words).

And poor Lieutenant Patricia McMillan just wasn't up to dealing with natives who thought women made good bargaining chips. Sam had been there, done that, but the other young woman had been nearly in tears for a while.

Last, but certainly not least, Major Garrison Kane had been a pain in the ass. He couldn't follow an order to save his own life, and probably made SG-5 work extra just to keep him from dying. He could've given Daniel a run for his lusting-after-rocks obsessions, and he tried to pretend he understood Sam. Daniel, at least, had never pretended. He'd asked. And if he still didn't understand it, he asked again. Or made the Colonel ask.

So, really, SG-1 were all three of them kinda hoping that Captain Matheson would be the one. Maybe not The One. But someone they could stand, who wouldn't bore them, piss them off, cry on them, get them into trouble, or die.

Luckily, no one had died again. Yet.

Teal'c led the way into the gate, with Carter and Matheson following. O'Neill brought up the rear, surreptitiously watching the newest member for signs of... something.

In her heart of hearts, Sam was willing to admit that part of their inability to gain a cohesive fourth member was that it was Daniel they were trying to replace. It was like having your arm ripped out and having a guitar grafted on. Or a pedarest onto an Anglican bishop.

The new planet had a nice, mild climate. The grass under their feet was springy, and slightly damp with dew. Sam guessed that they'd come out of the gate into early morning.

"Oh, look. Trees." Jack waved a dismissive hand. "Grass. Flowers. MALP. Carter?"

Moving to the DHD (Dial Home Device), and starting the dialling-out sequence, she said, "Sending the MALP back, sir."

"Good. Captain?"

"Yes, Colonel, sir?"

The Colonel waved a hand again, "Which way to the ruins?"

And that was the moment that it all went wrong. As the gate closed down, Carter turned to find out the answer to the Colonel's question. Movement from the left drew her eyes, and she had her P-90 up and pointed an instant later.

"Carter?" The Colonel had followed suit, Teal'c a milisecond behind them.

The three looked almost silly, their weapons pointed at... grass.

"Sir?" Matheson looked between them and the tufts. "Is there--"

"O'Neill. There is something there." Teal'c's voice was matter of fact, calm, collected.

But, then, he'd died at least four times. He really didn't have much to worry him, these days.

The grass moved again, resolving into a mottled green shape. It was huge, hairy, and appeared to be shaped like a lobster. Carter stared at it, relaxing slightly. It seemed to just sit there, its antennae waving in the slight breeze.

A moment later, another appeared. Then another.

O'Neill relaxed, dropping his P-90 to hang down his chest. He pulled off his hat, scratched his hair, then put it back on. "Hey, Carter, you think they taste like chicken?"

"Chicken?" She eyed her commanding officer with a worried look. "Sir, they look like lobsters. Giant hairy lobsters the size of a large alligator, but lobsters."

"Yeah, but everything tastes like chicken. Even chicken tastes like chicken."

Rolling her eyes at his logic, she gestured with her loosely-held P-90. "What now, sir?"

"Well, they don't seem to want to attack us," Matheson said, his voice full of what might have been excitement. "They could be intelligent, look at the way they're tasting the air with their antennae, and--"

"Whoa, there, Matheson."

The captain paused in his movement towards the creatures. "Sir?"

Jack shook his head. "We don't know if they're hostile."

"Or how they didn't show up on the MALP or UAV, sir." Carter frowned. "I suppose the--"

"This is incredible!" Matheson started to move forwards again, almost vibrating with enthusiasm.

"Hey! Ah-ah-ah!" Grasping the young man's arm, O'Neill shook his head. "No playing with the lobsters, Matheson."

"Just because they look like lobsters doesn't mean they are lobsters, sir."

"Carter, I'm not gonna call them Unidentified Life Forms. It's too long, for cryin' out loud."

Ducking her head to hide her smile, she replied, "Yes, sir. Maybe we could call them ulfs?"

"Ulfs." O'Neill scoffed, "Carter, they're lobsters."

"Fine, sir." Glancing back at the creatures, she frowned. "So, now what, sir?"

"Matheson?"

Pleased to be asked, the captain bounced. "Well, sir, I suggest we attempt to zat one and bring it back to the SGC for analysis. Or maybe we can zat it and study it here, or--"

"Right. Zatting it is." The Colonel pulled his zat out, triggered it, and blasted at the lead lobster.

For a moment, the energy crawled over the creature. The others reacted a second after that. A strange screeching sound hit the air, and Sam rocked back on her heels instinctively. The lobsters broke into a stampede.

It was a disconcerting sight. One-foot high hairy, green, alligator-sized lobsters stampeded towards SG-1.

Without waiting for the Colonel's order to retreat, Carter reached out and grabbed Matheson by the elbow. "Move, Captain!"

"Right. Retreat!"

"O'Neill, should that not be, 'Run away!'?"

Only Teal'c could make a bad Monty Python reference in the middle of a stampede.

The Colonel attempted to fire the zat at the lobsters, with no effect. Other than to make them screech louder. Carter tried a quick blast from her P-90, but the bullets merely spattered to the grass, or over the 'heads' of the lobsters. It didn't dissuade them.

Not bothering to dial the gate, Carter sprinted for the trees, Matheson in tow. Minutes later, they were rapidly climbing, the Colonel and Teal'c directly behind them.

From her branch, Sam watched the creatures milling below them. They had quieted down once SG-1 had been treed.

Matheson, unfortunately, took that moment to attempt some humour. "Lobster porn?"

"Captain Matheson, I suggest you never say that again."

The captain looked chastened, but then a moment later, he was looking down at the lobsters, and began babbling. "Y'know, I bet they have algae in their fur. That would be what gives them the--"

"Matheson!" The colonel held up a hand. "I don't care if they have alligators in their fur. They're tryin' to eat us."

"Well, sir," said Sam from her own branch. "So far, they haven't succeeded."

"Because we climbed a tree."

"Yes."

"And have no way to get past them to get to the gate."

"Yes, sir." Sam tilted her head to the side, considering. "We could use bait, sir."

"What, Carter, throw 'em Matheson and hope he slows them down?" The sarcasm was mixed with an obscure hope.

Matheson let out a squeak.

"No, sir." Resisting the urge to throw one of the pinecone things in the tree at her commanding officer, Sam sighed. "Maybe some of the food we're carrying?"

"What? Even the Nox hate MREs, Carter."

"We don't know they're trying to eat us," Matheson said, interrupting their banter. He looked almost scared to be interjecting a comment. "They could..."

"Be waiting for us to die of old age?" The Colonel scoffed. "Look, Matheson, I don't care if you're a closet zoologist. They're tryin' to eat us."

"He could be right, sir."

"Carter--"

"Well, think about it, sir, they did only attack us after we attacked one of them."

The Colonel paused, then glanced up at her. "Got any MREs, Major?"

Silently, she unclipped her pack and rummaged for a moment. Then she handed one of the packages down to him.

"Let's see if the nice giant green hairy lobsters want MREs," Jack muttered. He bent over on his branch, balancing, and ripped the bag open. A moment later, he poured the contents onto the ground. Tried to, anyway. It landed half on one of the lobsters, and half on the ground.

There was a slight stir from the creatures at the base of the tree, but they didn't eat the fallen food (if you could call it food). And they didn't leave.

"Here, sir." Carter handed him another. "Try the gravy. Schroedinger used to like them."

Poor cat, Jack thought. But he opened this packet and dumped it as well. "Carter? You had a weird cat."

Immediately, a strange buzzing rustling sound came from below. And then the lobsters were fighting amongst themselves for the smallest pieces of the gravy.

"I think Mikey likes it." Carter observed.

"They like gravy?" With a shake of his head, Jack accepted another packet and opened it. "NO ONE likes gravy!"

"Indeed. Daniel Jackson would leave the gravy to the end." Teal'c observed.

Carter poked at the previous topic. "He was a great cat."

"Also weird."

"He was a cat."

"True. So glad I'm a dog person."

"Why am I unsurprised. Sir." She added when O'Neill eyed her.

It was at this moment, that Captain Alexander Samuel 'Kim' Matheson had finally had enough of it all. The great SG-1, reduced to cowering in a tree. And sniping at each other. He didn't understand how Dr. Jackson had stood it as long as he had. At least Teal'c had the excuse of being a jaffa. He was used to stupidity and deprivation. "Oh, get a ROOM already."

Dead silence met his mutter.

"Shit." The man flushed. "I'm sorry, sirs."

"Y'know, Matheson, when we get back, I think you're gonna find that SG-10 is much more to your liking." The Colonel gestured at the lobsters. "Stuff like this, never happens to them."

"Lucky bastards," Sam muttered.

"Oh, c'mon, Carter. You know you'd miss this."

"In your dreams. Sir."

"O'Neill, it appears that the creatures have become bored. I believe it is now safe to descend from this tree and approach the stargate."

Teal'c's words drew their attention to this pertinent fact.

"Okay, kids." Jack clapped his hands, "Let's blow this popsicle stand."

"It's a tree, sir."

"Duh, Carter."

"There are no popsicles in the general viscinity, either. Sir."

"Major."

She shot him a look as she dropped down next to him. "Or pudding. Or pie."

"Major."

"I believe, O'Neill, that this discussion can wait until we are safely back at the SGC." Teal'c interrupted.

Matheson was grateful to the jaffa. He was getting very tired of the Major and the Colonel. Had gone beyond being very tired at them, and moved into strong dislike. They were, seperately, nice people. Could do some grand things. But together, they reminded him of his grandparents. Always picking little fights here and there, just because it was something to do.

The gate dialling went without a hitch. The wormhole kawooshed, then SG-1 (and Matheson) plodded through. There were no reappearances of the giant green hairy lobsters. Matheson was certain they were green from specialised algae in their fur. He ached to study one, but doubted there was a good reason to. He heaved a sigh as Hammond's voice rang across them.

"Welcome home, SG-1!"

"Sir." The Colonel shook his head at the General's questioning look.

Nope. Not this one either, sir. Sorry.

"Very well, de-brief in an hour. Get yourselves to the infirmary."

"I'm making a detour," Major Carter muttered as she handed over her zat and P-90.

"Carter?"

"I want pie, sir."

"Get me a piece?"

"Get your own. Sir."

"Fine, fine. Teal'c, tell the Doc we're on our way."

And they left the gate room, leaving behind Teal'c, and Captain Matheson. The captain looked at the jaffa. "Daniel Jackson..."

"He was irritated by them as well." The tall man confirmed.

"Ah." He sighed. "Well, I suppose it's time to face Janet and her big needles."

"Indeed."

-finis-