Summary: Sequel/Parallel to The Visit and The Holidays. I screwed with my story and now I shall endeavor to explain.
Disclaimer: I have no relationship to TPTB and all recognizable characters herein are the property of others. I am borrowing the idea of them because it is easier than making up completely new characters on my own. Resemblance to writings by others is unintentional and the result of the fact that there actually are a limited number of stories to be told.
Daniel made a list in his head as he ran through the alien forest.
Things I should have learned after more than eight years at the SGC…
1. There will always be Goa'uld
2. Humoring Jack O'Neill can be dangerous
3. If it looks to good to be true …it is!
Daniel jerked away from a close call with a staff blast and attempted to pick up his pace and catch Teal'c in their rush back to the Stargate.
The pre-mission briefing with SG1 was boring General Jack O'Neill out of his mind. This was the third time Daniel had used the phrase "quick and easy" to describe the trip, giving Jack what he considered a justifiable feeling of paranoia.
I can't believe Danny isn't more superstitious after all we've been through over the years. He's totally jinxed the mission now. I can't let them go like this. Hmm…SG3's due back soon. Nah, they need down time too. Don't trust anybody else. Guess I'll have to go along myself.
"All right Daniel, you can go. SG1 you leave in two hours."
Jack hurried off to his quarters to get ready to join his old team.
Finally I get to get out of that stuffy old office. Maybe this'll be my one last trip before retiring. I'm not made to be a desk jockey.
Jack walked into the gate room in time to hear Sgt. Davis announce the beginning of the dialing procedure. He smiled as he watched his 2IC react to his presence.
"Are you joining us, Sir?"
"Uh, Sir, are you sure this is a good idea? You can't just leave the base without a commander sir."
"Actually Carter I can do whatever I want, well almost. But don't worry I'm leaving Colonel Reynolds in charge. And I even added General Hammond's new phone number to the speed dial. The base is in good hands Carter. Besides according to Daniel this'll be quick and easy."
"Relax Carter. I just need to get out of the mountain and remind myself how this stuff actually works."
"Chevron Seven Engaged!"
"Let's move out people."
Shouldering his pack Jack stepped through the wormhole. The rest of the reunited SG1 appeared on the other side shortly after. The Stargate's clearing was sharply demarked by a ring of trees and a stream that seemed to come from nowhere and plunged down into a crevasse that shortly widened into a canyon, running in the general direction of the ruins barely visible above the tree line.
"It is good to have you with us again O'Neill."
"Thanks Teal'c. So…the Naquadah trace appears to be localized around the ruins right Carter?"
"Good. Teal'c, you take point. We'll follow the ridgeline towards the city. There should be fewer trees that way."
Daniel hadn't been paying much attention to his surroundings, knowing that the rest of his team would certainly sense any danger long before him. Even after eight years his instincts still lacked the sharpness of military training.
Those ruins looked as if they might be Ancient in origin. Like the Temple at D'kara or the setup in Antarctica. Maybe there'll be another weapon for Jack to play with. Of course that's highly unlikely, though the Naquadah readings indicate that some technology has survived. Regardless there should be something useful…
Daniel's thoughts trailed off as he bumped into Teal'c's solid form. The Jaffa's hand was up in a fist signaling a stop and as it lowered Daniel crouched behind a nearby log. Jack and Sam crept up alongside them.
"T?" Jack whispered.
"I am sensing Jaffa nearby, O'Neill."
Sam canted her head to the side, listening to an inner voice.
"I agree with Teal'c, Sir. There are definitely Jaffa in the vicinity, possibly off to our left."
"I concur, Colonel Carter. There is also a group directly in our path."
"Why are there always Jaffa?"
Jack lifted a large branch from the ground and launched it between the directions Sam and Teal'c had indicated. The resounding crash the branch made as it landed was closely followed by a staff weapon blast and a faint cry.
Damn it! Why did Jack have to go and do that? Didn't he just draw attention to our position? He should know better.
Jack glanced quickly over the top of the log.
"So much for non-existent or friendly natives. Time to head home. T, you're in the lead. Carter you stay with Daniel. I'll be right behind you. Go!"
Teal'c took off in a crouched run, jagging along the edge of the forest ridgeline. A few moments later Daniel could feel Sam alongside him as they followed. When Sam suddenly stopped running Daniel turned to look at her. She waved him on and then pointed back in the direction from which they'd come, obviously intent on waiting for Jack."
I hope you know what you're doing Sam. I guess somebody's got to make sure he makes it out alive. After all he's the big kahuna now, can't leave him behind. Not that we ever would have. His tendency to put himself last sure can cause problems though.
4. The Stargate is always in the middle of a field with no possible cover, other than the DHD.
Teal'c had already taken up a defensive position by the DHD and was laying down cover fire as Daniel dashed across the clear areas surrounding the Stargate. Surprisingly there had been no Jaffa guarding the gate. Daniel dialed Earth's address and sent SG1's GDO code.
Jaffa were approaching from the far side of the clearing and there was no sign of either Sam or Jack.
"We must go Daniel Jackson. We will return for O'Neill and Colonel Carter if they are unable to make it on their own."
The two men left their moderately sheltered positions by the DHD and dashed for the gate. As they stumbled through onto the ramp at the SGC a staff blast followed.
"Close the iris," called Daniel.
"Teal'c, Dr. Jackson, where are General O'Neill and Colonel Carter?" Reynolds' voice came clearly through the speakers.
"They were separated from Daniel Jackson and myself when we were forced to retreat by an encounter with a Jaffa patrol. They had not arrived at the Stargate by the time our position became unsafe enough as to require our departure."
"Understood. Get checked out and report to the conference room for debriefing. Sgt Davis, keep a close eye on that gate."
"Teal'c, Dr. Jackson, thank you for being so quick. I have General Hammond listening in to advise."
"General Hammond, Colonel Reynolds." Teal'c nodded acknowledging the two officers.
"Teal'c, Dr. Jackson, I understand that General O'Neill and Colonel Carter did not return with you from your latest mission. Could you please tell me what did happen." General Hammond's voice sounded abnormally metallic through the speaker phone.
Teal'c looked at Colonel Reynolds and then nodded for Daniel to begin.
"Well…Jack approved our mission earlier this week. There were ruins, probable Ancient origin, and high levels of Naquadah according to the UAV, but no signs of current civilization. Jack just showed up in the gate room and insisted on accompanying us. Sam raised concerns about chain of command back here at the base, but Jack over ruled her."
Teal'c took up the narrative.
"After arriving on the planet and ascertaining that the DHD was functional, we proceeded towards the ruins. I led while O'Neill acted as the rear guard. We had only been walking for ten minutes when I detected the presence of Jaffa in the area. Colonel Carter agreed. O'Neill ordered us to return to the Stargate while he stayed to cover our retreat. Only Daniel Jackson and I made it to the Stargate before the approach of the Jaffa made departure prudent. I regret that I do not have more knowledge of what befell Colonel Carter and O'Neill."
"Do you have anything to add, Dr. Jackson?"
"The last time I saw Sam she had stopped to make sure that Jack was coming."
"I see," commented General Hammond. "Colonel Reynolds I recommend dialing the planet and trying to open communications with the MALP. Begin organizing a retrieval team. If the situation looks tenable I will approve a rescue mission."
A/N: So it took a little longer than originally anticipated to get this out. I'm not sure I really like it, but here it is the 'long awaited' (who am I kidding) next story in this little series I seem to be writing. This has to be about my third draft on paper and I am finding that it harder to write this than the others and that I'm missing my young SG1. Please let me know if this is working.