The Threat of the Thief
by Cleo the Muse
Rating: Teens
Genre: General, Humor, Missing Scene/Epilogue
Warnings: One little curse word, gratuitous Tok'ra-bashing, slightly-more-than mild sexual innuendo.
Episodes: Missing scene for "Avalon, Part One". Contains major spoilers for "Avalon, Part One" and "Prometheus Unbound".
Synopsis: Response to a request/challenge by Mary... what happened at the Alpha Site?

The Threat of the Thief

"The female of the species is more deadly than the male."

-- Rudyard Kipling, "The Female of the Species"

Gunnery Sergeant Jimmy Emerson grinned. "Oh, come on, Lieutenant, this is a cake walk. We're just going to the Alpha Site for a supply run and your off-world orientation. Five day mission, hot food, soft bedding... easy stuff."

Second Lieutenant Ed Barger didn't look convinced. "Yeah, Gunny, but it's off-world. Doesn't that freak you out?"

All the time, Emerson thought, but only shrugged outwardly. "You get used to it. Hell, most of these planets don't look that much different from Earth, anyhow. They say General O'Neill used to complain about it all the time back when he was a Colonel."

"Yeah, but it's still... different."

"Not so much, Barger," said Major Hendricks, entering the 'Gate room along with the final member of SG-12, Staff Sergeant Klopel. "Trees look the same, sky looks the same, even the air smells the same. That's partly why they chose this particular planet for the Alpha Site, Lieutenant, 'cause it feels like home. You wouldn't know it from Colorado."

"Except for how you get there," chipped in Klopel as the Air Force sergeant dubbed "The Chevron Guy" announced the final step of the dialing sequence. "Now, going through the 'Gate beats the best at Six Flags any day."

The wormhole flushed outward, and Barger gulped. "I never liked roller coasters," he admitted, eyeing the brilliant event horizon.

"You'll like this one," Emerson promised. And if 'Gate travel doesn't make you toss your cookies, nothin' will.

"SG-12, you're cleared to depart," General Landry announced over the intercom.

"You heard the man!" Hendricks barked. "Klopel, get the FRED moving."

"Yes, sir."

"Emerson? Let's get Barger's feet wet."

The trio of Marines stepped up to the Stargate after the transport cleared, pausing just long enough for Barger to admire the rippling surface. Then, sharing a knowing look, Emerson and Hendricks pushed the young lieutenant through the 'Gate.

A wild eternity of a ride later (that actually took only a few seconds) SG-12 arrived in the Alpha Site 'Gate room. Barger had just barely managed to keep his feet on the exit, and was now staring about with a dumb expression on his face. "But this--"

"Looks just like Earth," Emerson grinned. "Told ya."

"I thought the Stargate would be on the surface."

"It used to be, 'til they built the bunker below ground," Hendricks answered. "Second Alpha Site in a row built like the SGC, actually. The first got compromised by the Replicators, but this one's been up for a few months, now."

A blue BDU-clad man stepped forward. "Welcome back to Alpha Site, SG-12."

"Thanks, sir," the Marine major replied. "Brought us a newbie, Colonel... Second Lieutenant Barger. He's our new linguist. Lieutenant, this is Lieutenant Colonel Pearce... he's the Alpha Site commander."

Pearce nodded. "Welcome to the Stargate program," he acknowledged. "Not much happens around here anymore but research. We no longer house the Tok'ra or the Jaffa Rebellion, so it stays pretty quiet, for the most part."

"Occasionally, they get a drop-in from one or the other, but those are few and far between," Emerson explained with a grin, "so if you joined the SGC to meet women, you're SOL."

"Yeah, the Jaffa women could break you in half, and the Tok'ra women really do have two minds to make up," chipped in Klopel. "But if you go for that sort of thing--"

"I'm married," Barger blurted. "Four months next week." Anything else he might have said was interrupted by the sudden activation of the Stargate. Swearing, the airmen around the 'Gate scrambled to move the FRED, just barely getting it out of the way of the vortex before it exploded outward.

"No signal, Colonel!" called a tech who had scrambled to a computer terminal.

"Heads up, people!" shouted Pearce.

The SG-12 Marines dropped their packs and readied their weapons. They didn't have to wait long, as a slim figure stepped through just moments after the event horizon had settled and began eyeing the room with an amused smirk. "Well, well, well... Not quite what I'd expected."

Pearce stepped forward a pace as the wormhole disengaged. "Identify yourself, ma'am."

Given the copious amounts of black leather and skin the attractive woman displayed, Emerson surmised she was either a Tok'ra or an interstellar hooker. Either that or cast member from The Matrix, he thought wickedly, his initial tension subsiding.

"Vala. Vala Mal Doran," she smiled, not at all fazed by the many weapons pointed her direction. Slowly and deliberately, she set down the satchel she had been carrying over her shoulder, placing the other hand on her hip. "That's an awful lot of firepower for little ol' me, boys."

"Just being precautious," Pearce explained. "I'm Lieutenant Colonel Pearce of the United States Air Force. How did you learn of this 'Gate address?"

"From a lady who knows a man, who just so happens to have a Tok'ra symbiote in his head," she explained. "I come bearing valuable information that Doctor Daniel Jackson will just be dying to get."

What... again? Emerson grinned to himself, witnessing a similar expression on Klopel's face.

"And just what would this information be, Miss Mal Doran?"

"A treasure map," Vala answered, "left behind by the Gate Builders before their disappearance thousands of years ago."

"You mean the Ancients?"

"Exactly. Now when I talked to the Tok'ra about it, they were naturally anxious to gain the treasure for themselves. I insisted only an expert on the Ancients could interpret this tablet, and to that end I came seeking Daniel's expertise." She grinned broadly. "He and I go way back. I'm sure he'd be absolutely thrilled to hear from me again."

Pearce looked nonplussed, gesturing toward SG-12. "While I'm sure Doctor Jackson would gladly vouch for you Miss Mal Doran, we do have protocols to adhere to. I'm afraid you're going to have to go with these gentlemen here while we verify your claims."

"Excellent!" she beamed, practically hopping down the Stargate's steps. "Where are we going, boys?"

Emerson gingerly picked up the satchel she had discarded as Hendricks answered, "To a more secure location within this facility, ma'am."

"You mean a holding cell? I have fond memories of the holding cells aboard your ship, Prometheus," Vala smiled, gamely following the major out of the 'Gate room and through the narrow halls. "Tell me, do I get to wear one of those adorable blue suits again?"

"I'm sure we could arrange for one for you, ma'am," Hendricks replied in bemusement, stopping in front of a metal door which bore a single small window. "In here, please."

The simple twelve-by-twelve room contained a table, two chairs, and a small bed. Emerson carried the satchel over to the table and eased it open. Peering inside, ha spotted a bundle of cloth lying on top.

Hello, what have we here? Reaching in, he pulled out the surprisingly heavy bundle and began unwrapping it.

"What's he doing?" Vala asked. Emerson looked up to see her peering around Klopel.

"I'm searching your belongings, ma'am. We have to make sure you aren't a threat."

She crossed to the table and stood by his shoulder. "Well, I don't think it's very polite, going through a lady's things."

"It may not be polite, ma'am, but we have to be thorough." At last, the cloth was aside, and the object was revealed to be a stone tablet covered in squared-off scribbles. Emerson recognized it as the writing of the Ancients, and presumed it must be the 'treasure map' she'd insisted only Doctor Jackson could help her with. Laying it carefully aside, he dug into the satchel again, coming up with a flat piece of gold-colored metal, sculpted into a series of intricate segments. "What's this?

"Not quite sure, really," she answered, sitting on the table and plucking the object out of his hand. "I've been told it and its companion have something to do with finding the treasure, but I'll need Daniel's help to solve that particular mystery."

Considering that Doctor Jackson himself was a mystery to Emerson, he let her explanation slide, delving into the bag once more. He located the second of the two flat objects, a small box containing several crystal shards, and few garments which looked too small to fit even his own twelve year-old daughter--and he would kill his daughter if she tried to wear anything like that.

"What's with the crystals?" he asked, going back to the box. One of the pieces was a bit larger than the others, and actually looked like it might be intact.

"Just a few little knick-knacks I picked up," she explained, pouting. "Some of them must not have liked the cold temperature between the 'Gates, but I might be able to salvage the rest."

He nodded, setting it aside once more, then turned the bag wrong-side out. "It all checks out, sir," he told Hendricks.

Vala hopped off the table. "Excellent! Now, which of you boys wants to help me get undressed?"

Barger coughed, face turning bright red. "What?"

"Undress? Disrobe, remove my clothing? You can't expect me to untie all these laces by myself, now do you?"

"Excuse me?" Emerson choked.

She deftly began loosing the buckles holding her jacket closed. "Well, you did say you intended to be thorough. How can you possibly even claim to be that, if you haven't even searched me?" With a roll of her shoulders, the jacket slipped off, falling to the floor.

"Emerson? Klopel?" Hendricks asked weakly, gesturing in the alien's direction and grabbing the red-faced Barger as he stepped out the door.

Chicken! Emerson hissed inwardly, scowling at his commanding officer's back. He stepped forward with a grimace. "You can keep your clothes on, ma'am, we'll just, uh--"

"Make a cursory search," Klopel finished.

Get a hold of yourself, Jimmy! Emerson admonished himself. This isn't the first time you've been this close to a woman of her questionable morals! It was, however, the first time his proximity to such a woman had been a) in front of a fellow Marine; and b) an alien.

Thinking himself rather clever, Emerson stepped around to her backside and began lightly patting her down, starting at the weird collar-thing at the nape of her neck.

"Go on, don't be shy," he heard her say, and glanced up to catch sight of a rather hard swallow from Klopel, whose hands were placed just below her shoulders. It wasn't easy to tell if a black man was blushing, but the sergeant's skin certainly appeared a lot darker than normal.

"It wouldn't be appropriate, ma'am," he managed, lifting his hands away and resuming his frisk much lower on her torso.

Emerson reached the small of her back, feeling rather foolish. Her clothes were skin-tight, how could she possibly be hiding anything in them? As he moved to step away, she looked over her shoulder and impishly said, "Don't stop now, soldier boy, you haven't gotten to the good part yet."

"I think I'm done," he answered quickly.

"Me, too," Klopel agreed, removing his hands from her hips.

"Really? Your turn, then," she grinned, grabbing for Klopel.

"Gunny!" he yelped, and Emerson dove forward to save his teammate from the deranged alien.

Thus it was that interesting tableau in which Colonel Pearce, Major Hendricks, and the impressionable young Lieutenant Barger found them: Klopel's defensive efforts had deflected Vala's hands downward as she had reached for the zipper on his ballistic vest, leaving her outstretched fingers resting slightly below his belt, his own hands seemingly guiding her arms in that direction. Emerson, having made a frantic grab for her waist in his noble effort to pull her off Klopel, had overshot his mark slightly, ending up with his hands considerably higher than intended.

Pearce cleared his throat. "Are we interrupting something, gentlemen?"

"Just getting to know one another," Vala replied cheekily, running one hand back up Klopel's vest.

Emerson coughed, quickly removing his hands from the their resting spots as he and Klopel abruptly turned to face the door. "There was a bit of a misunderstanding, sir," he managed.

"Won't happen again, sir," Klopel added, blinking furiously as he attempted to rein in his emotions.

At Hendricks' gesture, Barger stepped over to the table with a heavy metal briefcase and began carefully placing the tablet and Vala's other possessions into the foam cut-outs. "Well since you have gotten so well-acquainted, sergeants, you can accompany Miss Mal Doran back to Earth."

You're letting her go to Earth? Emerson gulped, visions of the alien woman sitting on General Landry's desk and swinging her feet swimming through his head. And Heaven help the man who got too close to her wandering hands.

Vala placed those hands on her hips. "You're letting me travel to Earth?"

"I'm not," Pearce answered, "but apparently Doctor Jackson recently received word from the Tok'ra that you might be on your way here. He's the one who decided to let you through."
She bent down, picked up her jacket, and slung it over one shoulder. "I knew I could count on my Daniel! Well, then what are we waiting for?"

Emerson accepted the case from Barger, giving the young lieutenant a look promising swift retribution if word of this encounter found its way to the SGC rumor mill. Luckily, he seemed to get the message.

Following his superiors and the smug woman out of the holding cell, the troupe made their way back to the 'Gate room. The airman manning the DHD punched in the sequence for Earth, then the tech behind the computer announced the transmission of the Alpha Site IDC.

Trailing behind Vala as she mounted the steps, Emerson was hoping to get through to Earth and pass her off to the capable hands of Doctor Jackson without further incident. Even so, he was hardly surprised when turned around just shy of the event horizon, and gave the room a wave. "Thank you boys for your hospitality. You sure know how to make a girl feel welcome!" she grinned. Without warning, she gave Emerson a playful swat on the behind before stepping backward through the 'Gate.

He gulped. So much for avoiding the rumor mill...

Author's Notes:
Thank you to all the wonderful people who have made this girl feel welcome to the SG-1 fanfic world! Admiral, Alisa Russell, Alison M, Allison, Angel Queen, angw, Blonde-Existentialist, Chas54, Cora, CynicAlb, Diane, The Dreamer Lady, gatermage, Grace, hawk stout, happy molecule, Hawk50, Hellen, Jan Q, Janet Moonshine, Jeanida Myrishi, Jenn R, Jessie88, Jill Dahlinghaus, Jordan Loki, Kanikan, kasluvsg1, Kurt the Military Brat, La Diosa, Lady Raider, Laura M, Loethalis, logo, Lord Magus, Mary, Matt1969, Meriem Clayton, Mierin, Morien Alexander, Mrs. M, mtee, Nancy Montague, Nicola Swan, Nighshae, Paula Cole, Pentagon Merlin, PhDelicious, Porthos1013, Rainey, Sabine Holterman, Sara, SG-Fan, Shannon K, Snail-sama, Stephanie Schultz, stevewraith, Tori... (GASP)... and, of course, Yuma!

I hope I didn't miss anyone :)

For those of you who DON'T know, the antics of Vala and Daniel continue in my new series, "The Archaeologist" :)