Ah – oops. Sorry for the delay in getting this out, I'd written it months ago (literally) but had some serious problems with my pc resulting in the whole thing being dragged off to the person who originally built it. But hey – it's fixed now and here's the next chapter. Enjoy.

Chapter 5

Daniel sighed, stretching his muscles as he stood from the shallow trench he had painstakingly dug. He glanced at the group who looked down at what he had created, with expressions ranging from bewildered to bored.

"Here we have an example of an atypical trench." He stated, noting who was paying attention and who wasn't. Time for another approach. He decided. "Okay, if you want to show me how you would go about this Kenners?"

Private Kenners, obviously eager to begin, grabbed the tools that he believed were correct for the task. Daniel just managed to refrain from rolling his eyes before wondering exactly how long it would take for them to grasp what he had been trying to explain. Surely it isn't that hard? He queried subconsciously, watching the still confused group of recruits. He knew that they still didn't quite understand how important the whole process was. They should already know this is important if they've read even a small percentage of reports from the field.

Daniel's train of thought was disrupted as he watched Kenners. Realising that if he didn't step in now, Kenners would manage to bury himself in Daniel's trench.

"Okay…" He said, holding his hand out to take the small shovel away from Kenners, who had managed to wield it in a manner to ensure that the trench now listed and looked rather dangerous. Daniel inwardly winced as he wondered exactly how Jack would react if he brought the team home after almost burying them alive.

"That's interesting, what you've done there. You've got the digging technique down very well, but your walls may not support that weight for very long. Any ideas on how you can avoid any issues with that?"

Kenner gazed at the trench walls, peeked at Daniel and then turned to his team mates, his eyes watching them hopefully.

Daniel gazed at the team mates wearily.

"Sir?" A young-looking captain with a shock of brown hair and wide eyes finally spoke.

"Simms?" Daniel answered, already remembering that this captain's hobbies included re-enactments of past wars. Hopefully some of that knowledge will save this appalling fiasco of an archaeological dig.

"Sir, structurally the wall needs supports if it goes any deeper. If it was necessary to go deeper we could use some of those boards," he pointed at the supports that Daniel had conveniently left lying in full view nearby. "That way we could dig deeper." He paused; Daniel nodded for him to continue. "This would help us get a better idea of what may be buried beneath the surface."

"Thank you Simms." Daniel turned to the group as a whole. "There won't be time on every mission off-world to dig like this, but it is essential to know how to construct a secure trench and how to analyse the data that it provides. Any questions? Unsurprisingly there were none. "Dismissed."

The group broke up making their way back to camp leaving Daniel to survey his now distinctly unsafe trench. I didn't expect much from this group; none of them have expressed any previous interest in archaeology. He sighed. And there is more than one of them chosen for their abilities for following orders, not their lateral thinking. But it's a start. He looked away from his trench, debating whether it was salvageable or whether he would get up early to begin again. He watched the group make their way to the tents and noted ruefully, it's going to be a long week.

Ali concealed a groan as he realised who approached him. Not today! He thought. Not after the last report!

"Honoured leader, the meeting has already begun." Stated the council's messenger. A distinctly unpopular figure amongst the Medjai leaders, who were united in their dislike of the man who revelled in bringing bad news. The one reason that he was tolerated was simply that he took no sides in his gloating over bad news.

Ali grimaced as the messenger opened the door, noting the smug expression on the man's face. Daniel was right when he described you as a vulture circling your victims waiting for the moment to ruthlessly strike.

He noted the individual blank expressions on each of the leaders' faces that sat around the table before taking his seat.

"The Americans are not managing their actions." The fifth leader of the Medjai tribe, Philipie Horue said. A stately looking man whose flowing robes matched his flowing voice. "We must…"

"What does Doctor Jackson say?" Interrupted the third leader Romal Yusg, a squat looking man, rumoured to enjoy a very close relationship with his secretary.

"Doctor Jackson has filed his report as you have seen." Ali stated.

"Nothing else?" Queried Romal.

"Nothing as yet."


"We expect Doctor Jackson to report as soon as he is able."

"And when will that be?"

"Doctor Jackson is due to report in 2 days."

"No sooner?"

Ali maintained his calm façade whilst inwardly he was growing more impatient. The Council is always demanding reports on everything from Daniel.

"Doctor Jackson reporting sooner may be difficult." Stated the sixth Medjai leader, Ardeen Bafli, a man Ali loathed. "Is that not so Honoured Leader?"

Ali inwardly swore.

"It appears that our intrepid Doctor Jackson has decided to test the suspect himself."

"Test?" Asked Romal.

"Indeed." Ardeen responded, not quite managing to keep the smugness out of his tone, "Is that not why Doctor Jackson is currently offworld?"

The eyes of the Medjai council turned as one to their leader. And not for the first time since he had woken up that morning, Ali inwardly swore.

Major Paul Davis found himself in the unenviable position of having to explain something to Brigadier General Jack O'Neill, which Jack O'Neill would be distinctly unhappy about.

"Major?" Drawled O'Neill.

"Sir." He replied, keeping his voice calm and level.

"Care to explain Major?"

"Yes sir." He said standing directly in front of the General's desk. "There was a breach in the D Section sir, one of the captains was coerced into revealing one of the documents."

O'Neill raised an eyebrow, much in the same way that Teal'c was famed for.

O'Neill sighed, sensing that this would be a long and drawn out report. "Sit down Major." He said, before leaning back in his chair.

Paul Davis sat and opened his briefcase. Taking out the 'Confidential, Eyes Only' report he passed it over to O'Neill. "This is what we know so far." Jack O'Neill sat up, reached over the desk and took the report from him.

O'Neill opened the report and the read the first page. He took a long hard look at what was detailed there, before glancing up at Major Davis and shutting the report. Placing it directly in front of him on his desk, he reached over with his left hand and picked up the receiver before speaking. "Get me SergeantHarriman." Walter entered the room moments later, having been in the gateroom.

"Sergeant." O'Neill spoke softly, "Please sum up the situation for the Major."

"Sir. We can't dial the gate. We don't know what is causing the problem. Most of our teams are back on world, except SG teams 12, 9 and 1." He paused. "SG12 are due back at 08:00 hours, SG9 at 12:00 hours." He glanced at the Major to gauge his reaction before finishing his report. "SG1 are due out for at least a week. To summarize sir, the one person who has the best shot of fixing this is out there, the other people who could fix this are in Atlantis." He took a breath and looked over to O'Neill who nodded.

"Thank you, Walter." He turned to face Major Davis. "Major?"

If Paul Davis had not had the extensive experience at negotiating in the Pentagon on a daily basis as he did his expression would have shown his dismay. As it was O'Neill noted he paled over so slightly.

Major Davis mentally pulled himself together. "Sir, the recommendations in the report are no longer valid." He stated. "Colonel Carter's team are essential to the plan. Doctor Jackson and Teal'c would have been necessary for the ruse." He stood from the chair and summed up. "I'm sorry sir, butit looks like you're on your own."

The council was in uproar.

"Once again it appears that Ardeen must show his hand at attempting to undermine the work of the Medjai!" Ali declared vehemently, standing with his fists supporting his upper body as he leant against the table. "Can you not even attempt to conceal your venom?"

"You lie!" Cried Ardeen, glaring at a man he loathed. "How dare you!"

"This is ridiculous!" Philipie interrupted trying to calm down the council.

"Once again your emotions override your reason." Ardeen continued, "Doctor Jackson has overstepped his duties and yet you do nothing!"

Ali closed his eyes in an attempt to gain control over his very frayed temper. "Enough." He said in a deadly voice, silencing the room. He glared at each council member, daring them to speak against him. The council stayed silent.

He stepped away from the table, moving his chair back to make room for him to leave. Still facing them he spoke through gritted teeth. "This council meeting is over."

The others stood as a mark respect, but as he reached the door one of them finally spoke. "But my lord…"

Ali froze. It has been a long time coming. He turned and faced the table. "Is there something you wish to ask?" He spoke quietly, the danger in his voice very evident.

There was no reply.

He gazed at the council member who had spoken. "Are you questioning my leadership?"

"No my lord!"

"Good." He said looking at each council member in turn. "Then this meeting is over."

The council filed out, grim faced.

"This is not good Ali!" Hassim stated urgently.

"I aware of the problem." Ali replied.

"Once again they move against you."

Ali looked out of the window as he answered quietly. "It is time." Aware of the others who lurked, listening to his every word he spoke loudly. "I am going to visit my grandfather."

Right. Not sure when the next one will be out. Hopefully faster than this! R&R it reminds me to write more!