TITLE: Under Fire
AUTHOR: Strix varia
EMAIL: RATING: K+
SUMMARY:On one of their first adventures through the gate, Sam has to prove to herself and her team that she can operate competently when things get rough.
SPOILERS: Maybe some for the very beginning of season one.
WARNINGS: Sam, Daniel, and Jack whumping…
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to my beta readers.
DISCLAIMER: The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.
"Dammit, Captain, focus!" The Colonel's angry voice finally broke through into Sam's consciousness.
"Sir?" she asked in confusion. She was on her knees in front of an alien control panel, several of the brightly colored crystals pulsing with light almost to the same rhythm of her pounding headache. The only reason she was upright, she realized, was because Teal'c was holding her up by one shoulder, while the Colonel tightly gripping the other. Pain lanced through her chest with every breath. Her knee hurt, her hand hurt, her head hurt. What the hell happened? She looked up into the Colonel's face, hoping for an explanation. His eyes were hard, unyielding.
"Get us the hell out of here, Captain. We're running out of air."
"Air?" Her dazed mind struggled to remember, and she looked around, confused, her eyes finally landing on Daniel sitting nearby. His face was pale, his arm, leg and shoulder bandaged. Corpses of several small reptiles littered the floor, bleeding from bullet holes.
The shocking site of the lizards' mangled bodies jolted her memories free. Reptiles attacking… sharp teeth snapping… they'd taken refuge in the small, pyramid-shaped, dirt-covered hilltop structure they'd come to investigate. From the picture sent back by the MALP, Daniel had thought it might be a temple, but as soon as they'd entered, Sam had suspected differently. They were standing in a control room of some kind, with panels and screens arranged carefully around the interior.
Teal'c had been the one to hit the panel beside the door, closing it with a hiss as she and the Colonel shot the reptiles that had followed them inside, trying to pull Daniel down for the kill.
"This is not a temple, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c had stated as the archeologist sank to the floor holding his wounds. "This is a spaceship, a small goa'uld vessel of extremely ancient design."
"I don't give a damn what it is," the Colonel had said, "as long as it keeps those freaking lizards off our asses. Trust SG-1 to get sent to Jurassic Park instead of the goddamn marines. We've got to figure out a better way to do recon than just snapping a couple pictures from the goddamn MALP." He looked at Sam. "Sounds like a project for you, Carter. Figure out some way to detect the dinos before we step through the gate to get eaten."
Sam had smiled then, it was unusual for the Colonel to be in such a foul mood, but he'd twisted his knee badly in the jungle while running for shelter, and Daniel had been bitten while trying to help him up. She and Teal'c had done their best to keep the reptiles at bay, but there had been too many of the things hunting in the pack.
The Colonel had looked around the ship. "Well, boys and girls, this is what we came to look at. Technology is your realm, Captain, so take a look around while I bandage up our archeologist."
The Colonel's voice interrupted her reverie. "Captain?" he asked, bringing her back to the present with a shake of her shoulder.
His frown intensified. "Air… remember, we're trapped in a goddamn airtight Goa'uld temple, and we're running out of air."
She remembered. Fascinated by the ship's technology, she'd come across what she thought must have been the life-support control panel, as dead as all the other consoles on the ship. It occurred to her with a little alarm that a spaceship would be airtight when sealed shut, a fact that didn't bode well if life-support functions were not operating correctly.
The Colonel had cursed creatively when she'd informed him of her suspicions, and he'd ordered Teal'c to crack the outside door. When Teal'c had failed, the Colonel had ordered her to figure something out.
She still knew virtually nothing about Goa'uld technology, but she supposed even it had to obey the laws of physics, so perhaps she could figure something out. She had hoped Teal'c might be able to help her, but she'd been surprised to learn that the warrior quite possibly knew even less about the inner workings of the ship than she did. She supposed the Goa'uld didn't want to share the secrets of their technology with their Jaffa for fearing of appearing less than god-like (or perhaps giving them too much knowledge), but she would have thought that someone with the rank of First Prime would have picked up something useful along the way.
Apparently not. But at least he could translate the writing for her.
She remembered she'd been trying to trace the power cables to the control panel by the door when her memories of what had happened next ended rather abruptly. Hadn't she been fiddling with the wiring to the crystals in front of her? She reached towards the cover to the panel below the crystals only to have the Colonel grab her wrist and pull her hand away sharply.
"Ah-ah," he said sternly. "Been there, done that already," he said. He turned her hand over. "You were shocked. Try something else."
She stared at the burns on her hand and fingers dumbly. They looked bad… second, possibly third degree. No wonder her hand hurt. She flexed her fingers, wincing at the sharp pain.
"I connected the two cables you were working on," the Colonel said. "It got the crystals to light up. But the outside door still won't open. What do we have to do next, Captain?"
Sam felt like she was swimming in molasses. She tried to remember when she'd felt like this before… Then it came to her…during pilot training… oxygen deprivation scenarios… She stared at the pulsing crystals, desperately trying to think.
"I tried switching crystals around," the Colonel said handing her the pair of needle-nose pliers from her toolkit. "Nadda."
"Open the other control panels," she finally said. "Try to find crystals similar to the ones burned out." Hopefully that would keep the Colonel busy enough that he wouldn't notice what she was about to do. She didn't tell him that she didn't think that the crystals had anything to do with the door controls. The door controls were apparently wired directly to the power source that the Colonel had connected to the now pulsing crystal interface.
"Right," the Colonel said, standing up. "Teal'c, let's get to it."
As soon as the Colonel's back was turned, Sam opened up the panel beneath the crystals. Sure enough, two of the power cables she's been messing with had been spliced together, but the third wire… the wire that actually needed to be connected was still lying loose at the bottom of panel. At least there was power to the crystals, indicating that the power source was still viable. The crystals obviously served as power regulators of some sort, either as capacitors or amplifiers of some kind, but the cable feeding the power to the doors by-passed the crystal interface completely. It was spliced to the other two by an alien version of a wire nut that had apparently degenerated over time, finally disintegrating after Teal'c had activated the door one last time.
Sam glanced at the Colonel guiltily. His movements were slow and awkward, more than could be explained by his injured knee, and she realized that if she didn't do something quickly, they would all be dead sooner rather than later. Vaguely remembering being shocked the first time she'd tried this, she used the pliers instead of her hand to try to grab the disconnected wire. Her hand-eye coordination was suffering from the lack of oxygen, and she missed on her first two attempts. Sweat dripped into her eyes. She took a deep breath and almost cried out as her ribs protested with ripping pain. Fortunately, the pain seemed to clear her head momentarily, and she grabbed the wire with the pliers. As she touched the exposed end to the splice, sparks flew.
"Now, Teal'c!" she said, ignoring the urge to pull away as the sparks singed her exposed hand and arms. "Try the door now!"
The big man was at the door control panel in two strides, reaching for the controls. He pulled his hand back as if shocked, but the door slid open with a welcome hiss.
Not so welcome was the army of hungry knee-high lizards that darted through the open door.