An alternative ending to Emancipation. I thought it was a very vanilla take on the Mongol civilisation -–they could be very ruthless, and often treated their women as such. Warning, kinda dark, but with a Daniel/Sam pairing in the end.
Captain Samantha Carter, United States Airforce, was furious about being treated like such… like such… a woman! She hated this bulky dress – even if it was kinda pretty, she hadn't worn anything so feminine and unwieldy since her high school prom. United States Airforce Captains did not wear poufy dresses!
" I can't move, I can't walk, " she complained to the male members of her team, who were too busy ogling their suddenly very female-looking captain to care much what she had to say. Christ, you put on a pretty dress and men treated you like a simpleton. She wanted to march out there and tell those antiquated Mongols what she thought of their barbaric customs. She was a United States Airforce Captain, she had a lot more to offer then being a blond bimbo in a pretty dress.
" Uh, I wouldn't do that if I were you, Sam, " Daniel said, and Samantha thought she detected real fear in his voice. " These people – these men – " he said the word apologetically, he knew what Samantha thought of the patriarchy that existed back on Earth, let alone the patriarchy that existed on this planet " – are pretty rigid about what women can and can't do. They let you off once for saving Abu's life. I don't think they'll be so… forgiving next time. "
Samantha glared at Daniel. Stupid Daniel, who was drooling just because she was wearing a dress. Stupid Mongols, who couldn't comprehend that a women could be equal to a man. Stupid patriarchy. " Fine, " she said irritably. " You all just go to this party tonight and I'll get to stay in this yurt, that smalls like rancid yak butter – see if I care. " And with that she turned her back to her men. She hoped they ran into something they didn't understand and needed a scientist to help – that would serve them right.
" Hey, Sam's pretty pissed, maybe we should have argued harder, " Jack suggested to Daniel when they left the tent. " You know what she's like about equal rights. "
" Sure I do, and on Earth, that's fine. But this isn't earth. Mughal was serious about the death penalty for women who don't… act like women. " Even in the context of the situation, Daniel's excuse sounded hollow to his ears. " They will kill her, Jack. This is for her own good. "
Jack had to agree, but he didn't want to be the next person of the team to come up against Samantha's wrath.
As it turned out, it was a moot point, because when they went to check on her the next morning, Samantha was gone. Mughal's son Abu was the most likely perpetrator, and Jack and Daniel listened with growing horror as Mughal explained she had most likely been taken to another tribe as trade – like she was property. Samantha would never stand for that. And she was far too feisty to see that it was in her best interest to keep her mouth shut, do what was told of her and wait for her men to bail her out.
When presented with her potential new 'owner' the first words out of Samantha's mouth were " I don't belong to this man, I was abducted against my will." And then, " My friends will come after me, they have weapons more powerful then you can imagine and they won't hesitate... "
" Silence, or I will have you beaten, " the man ordered, his eyes full of contempt for this strong-willed woman. He would take pleasure in breaking her. " Name your price, " he told Abu.
Abu wanted his daughter, but he had other plans for her – to marry her off to another chieftain to create an alliance between their tribes. " How can you do that to your own daughter? " she asked incredulously.
The man – Turghan – responded with a powerful blow to Samantha's face. " Here, a women does not speak, unless she is spoken to, " he informed her. Then to Abu, " The offer of the women is 300 weights of gold. Take it or die, either way the women is mine. "
Seeing that he had no choice, Abu took the money and left Samantha alone with Turghan.
Samantha immediately lashed out at her would-be master, kicking as best she could in the constricting dress. If her arms had no been bound she would have strangled the man with her own two hands. Women were not possessions to be traded.
In her bound and constricted state, Turghan easily subdued Samantha and called for his guards. " I could have you killed for your rebelliousness, " he informed her. His eyes wandered her fair, trim body greedily. He would enjoy possessing such a creature. Women, like horses, were made to be broken, and the harder it was to break them, the more satisfying the achievement. " But I won't. "
" How generous of you, " Samantha said sarcastically.
He responded with a swift blow to her face. " SILENCE! " he roared. " You will learn not to speak unless spoken to, and to show appreciation for my compassion " He looked at one of his guards. " Get the dress off. It is too nice to be ruined. Perhaps my daughter would like it. " No woman of his would be wearing such finery ; she would have no need for it.
Samantha thrashed and kicked as hard as she could while the guards were pulling her dress off, revealing a plain white shift underneath. It got her three more blows for her trouble, but it wasn't in her nature to be manhandled like this without a fight.
" Tie her up tightly! " Turghan ordered. " I don't want her evading her punishment. " The two guards lifted her bound arms into the air, fastening them to a rope that was suspended from one of the beams that held the hut together. They lashed her legs together and weighed them down with a bag of gold – crude, but effective. Samantha could only more a few inches. " Now leave! " Turghan instructed his guards. " Stand outside – make sure no-one comes in. " The guards departed.
Turghan smiled triumphantly at Samantha. " You will learn not to talk back to me, " he said, picking up a leather strap that resembled a cat-o'-nine-tails. " You will learn to be subservient… and call me master! "
Samantha bit down tightly on her lips in anticipation of the first blow. The thin material offered little protection to the pain but she would not scream for this chauvinist.
" You do not scream like a woman! " Turghan stated hotly, taking this as another affront to his dignity – a woman, his woman, bought and paid for, not acting like a woman. She was acting more like a warrior who felt no pain. It was an embarrassment for a man of Turghan's standing to have such a woman in his harem. He would break her.
He brought down the whip on her back over and over, sometimes hitting the same place to create a deeper wound that would hurt more, sometimes hitting on unmarked skin so the other women would see the mess of her back and learn from her insubordination. Samantha's breathing became more laboured as agonising pain ripped through her body ceaselessly, but she held back her screams.
" Scream for me! " Turghan ordered, infuriated at Samantha's rebellion. " You… will… scream for me! " In his fury, he applied more pressure with the whip, until Samantha couldn't take it anymore and let out a gut-wrenching cry of agony.
Satisfied, Turghan released Samantha and dragged her paid-riddled body to what Samantha took to be his bed. Knowing what his intentions were, Samantha found new strength to fight him, kicking, clawing and biting for her life. In retaliation, Turghan beat her senseless until she passed out.
She came to several minutes later with the effect of a foul-smelling herb. She was lying on the bed naked with her arms bound above her head and fastened to a heavy chest at the head of the bed. Her whole body ached like it had never ached before. She breathed tentatively, and felt her chest stab painfully. Broken rib.
" You have spirit, " Turghan said half contemptuously, half enjoying the challenged. He had never before had a woman so full of rebellion. " I shall enjoy having you. "
Glaring at him hatefully, Samantha did the only thing she could – she spat in his eyes. Furious, Turghan wiped his face and then threw something in her eyes that made them burn. Samantha whimpered. She clenched her thighs shut with all the strength she had. If he was going to force her, she'd make it as hard for him as possible. But as she felt his rough, strong hands wrapping around her flesh, she knew it was a losing battle.
Jack, Daniel , Teal'c and Mughal entered Turghan's camp and, after demonstrating the power of their weapons on a tree, were escorted to Turghan's cabin. Where what he'd done to Samantha was immediately apparent. She was a naked, bloody mess tied up on the bed like – like – they couldn't even liken her to an animal, since humans didn't treat their animals the way Turghan had treated Samantha.
With blind fury, Daniel retrieved his pistol from his belt and shot Turghan with deadly accuracy. The chieftain fell to the floor, blood gushing from the wound between his eyes.
Daniel rushed to Samantha's side and used his knife to cut the ropes that bound her. He shrugged out of his jacket and slipped it over her shoulders. Samantha groaned and Daniel suspected a broken bone, probably a rib.
" It's OK, Sam, " he whispered protectively. " I know it hurts but we'll get you home and get it fixed OK? "
Samantha nodded and winced as Daniel lifted her into his arms. She had always found it easier to show her softer side in front of him. He'd understood her bond with Cassie, and she'd shared his pain when Sha're had died. Maybe it was because he wasn't military, he didn't get all that stoic stuff that Jack was so big on, and Teal'c seemed genetically programmed for.
Outside the tent, there was the sound of growing footsteps as the rest of the tribe gathered to see what had happened. " Great going, Danny-boy, " Jack said sarcastically when confronted with a horde of angry Mongols. " It wasn't like we wanted to get out of here alive or anything. " In Jack's opinion, that was why you didn't take civilians on military missions. Even if said civilian's language and diplomatic skills had gotten them out plenty of times before – but right now they were in deep trouble.
On cue, Teal'c and Jack drew their weapons and aimed them at the crowd. " OK, listen up, " Jack called to the crowd. " You can see what he did to our – warrior, " he said. " We acted in defence of our – tribe. " Jack found it difficult trying to relate to the crowd, especially since they weren't looking very peaceful, but it seemed to be working. The fact that they probably considered themselves well rid of the ruthless leader helped.
" So here's what we're going to do, " Jack said, feeling a little more confident. If they were going to attack, they would have done it already. " You have seen how superior our weapons are. You know the guy had it coming. If you let us leave peacefully and get on with your lives, we won't have any reason to use our weapons on you. If you attack us, then we will defend ourself, and you will lose. "
The Mongols talked among themselves. Jack had a point. He and Teal'c could take out a dozen of them before one of them even got his knife unsheathed. And no-one was really sorry Turghan was dead ; in fact, some were only sorry that instant of the instant death he received, he was tortured in the way he liked to torture others.
After a few moments, the crowd parted. Jack and Teal'c flanked Daniel, holding Samantha, at they exited the tent. " And don't attack Mughal's tribe in vengeance either, " Daniel added as an afterthought. " We'll be back to check on you. " Like hell he was stepping foot on the planet ever again, but they didn't know that.
They made it to their horses without incident. " Sam, " Daniel said gently to Samantha, " this is going to be absolute agony for you, but it's the only way to get home. " He lifted her onto his horse and straddling the animal behind hind, wrapping his arm around her awkwardly. It was hard to hold a person with a broken rib against you without causing them pain. Actually, it was downright impossible. It would have been easier for Samantha to ride behind him, or better yet, on her own horse, but Daniel doubted her capacity to keep herself upright without his arm around her.
The ride back to Mughal's camp was difficult. Samantha was in a lot of pain, although she tried to pretend she wasn't, it was hard to miss every individual whimper and wince when the uneven rhythm of the horse's trot jarred against her battered body. Daniel could feel his chest becoming damp, and he knew Samantha was bleeding onto him. He didn't care so much about his shirt (though he'd never wear it again) as he did her wounds. People tended not to die of blood loss from a beating, but the way she felt against him – it frightened him deeply.
" It's going to be OK, " he whispered in her ear as confidently as he could. " I won't let anything happen to you. " With great difficulty, Samantha squeezed Daniel's hand. He responded by kissing the top of her head. That her hair was streaked with blood and dirt didn't matter. This was his Sam that he held in a precarious grip while she struggled to remain conscious. She had been through hell, and now she was in agony. He hated witnessing it. He would trade places with her if he could.
The five of them made it back to Mughal's. If we get another lecture on women exposing themselves I might just shoot them all, Daniel thought, tired and angry. Fortunately – maybe it was the we-mean-business on their faces – no-one protested Samantha's appearance.
Though he was gentle as he could be, Samantha cried out when Daniel lifted her from the horse. " I'm sorry, " he whispered. The pain in her cry had been obvious. " We'll be home soon. "
Samantha opened her eyes. Her pale blue eyes, while reflection the pain that her body felt, were still her eyes – the eyes of the woman he loved. " You've been so – good, " she whispered. " Thankyou. "
" It was nothing, " Daniel said, and when it came to Samantha, it really was nothing. I would kill for you. I would die for you. He knew it wasn't the appropriate time to say so. Would it ever be the appropriate time? Briefly, he contemplated all the obstacles that were between him and Samantha being together. Military regulations. He was sure Jack had a thing for her. Not to mention Sha're.
It was funny how the thought of his wife didn't make his heart feel like it was literally, physically breaking when he was with Samantha.
But now was not the time. He felt his team member's body stiffen as she battled to deal with the pain that coursed through it. He knew it was in her best interest to stay with them until she could get proper medical attention but he couldn't stand watching her in so much pain. " Sam, " he said softly. " You don't have to hang on if it's too much for you. You can… let go if you want. I'm here. I'll make sure you're OK. " Dear God, he hoped Jack hadn't heard that. Jack O'Neill, who could walk through the Iraqi desert with two broken ribs or whatever it was to get to safety. Well, Samantha wasn't Jack, Samantha was in a lot of pain and Samantha had him to look after her.
She smiled at him. " Stay with me, " she urged hoarsely.
" I'm here, Sam. I'll stay. I promise. " She smiled at him, and closed her eyes. He could feel her body get heavier as even the token effort she had been making to stay up on her own left her body as she slipped into unconsciousness. " Good girl, " he said. OK, so it would have been easier if she'd stayed conscious but she was in so much pain – and she had him to make sure she got home safely. " I love you, Sam, " he said, knowing she couldn't hear him.
" OK, " he said to Jack, who was surprised at the authority in Daniel's voice. Usually the slightly-unsure anthropologist followed Jack's lead, or at least pretended to. " We need to form a stretcher of sorts – just some kind of flat surface, it doesn't matter, we only need to get to the gate. " He turned his gaze to Mughal, intending to play on his guilt if it got Daniel what he wanted faster. " The longer it takes, the more painful it will be for her and the angrier I will be. Can you organise that? "
Mughal nodded and scurried off. " I think you put the fear of God into him, " Jack said. Samantha had passed herself, and them off as warriors, the best thing she could think of to explain their standing on Earth. If Mughal thought himself somehow responsible for the harm caused to another tribe's injuries – well, it seemed to have worked. After only a few minutes Mughal came hurrying back with a crude but sturdy stretcher made from the same material as the tents were lashed to thick planks of wood.
Daniel shrugged. " Right now I don't care who thinks what, so long as we get Sam back safely, " he said, and it was obvious where his thoughts lay. Jack's heart tightened, just a little, when he realised the depth of Daniel's feelings for Samantha. Not that there was anything going on between them, not that there ever could or would be, but still – well, no point in worrying about that now. He concentrated on helping Daniel getting Samantha onto the stretcher with minimal movement.
" OK, Teal'c, let's go, " Jack ordered the Jaffa. " Daniel and I will take Sam, you keep an eye on the locals, make sure they don't cause any problems for us. " He didn't trust these primitives, even if Mughal had helped them. This was definitely a planet they wouldn't be returning to.
They got from Mughal's camp to the Stargate with no problems (Teal'c's stoic glare and staff weapon helped) and Teal'c took Daniel's place holding Samantha's stretcher while Daniel dialled up. His hands were shaking, and he had to concentrate to get the address right. Please, let her be OK, he prayed fervently to no-one in particular.
He got the address in, and the gate opened. He stood by Samantha's side, stroking her hair. " Almost there, sweetheart, " he said to the unconscious woman. " Just hold on for a little longer. " And the four of them exited this planet and entered their own.
Hammond was on the other side to greet them. He had only to take one look at Samantha, dirty, bloody and unconscious, to know something had gone badly wrong with this mission. " What the hell happened? " he demanded.