Author's Notes: This story is definitely Jack/Sam ship, but also has some very strong Daniel/Sam ship and is rated for strong language and sexual situations.
After my last two fics (insanity and rape are difficult subjects, at best), I definitely needed to work on something with a lighter tone to it. This story filled the bill. Granted, there is a lot of angst, anger and inner pain involved, but I did have fun in writing it.
A quick word of warning: I want to let you all know in advance that I have been told, rather strongly and by a lot of people, that Jack is out of character in the beginning of this fic. This was deliberate on my part, but it seems that most people don't like that stuff. So as of chapter 7, I've gone back to writing Jack the way I've always written his character.
I have to thank Lynette, who pointed out a problem with this fic (I can never get Sam's behavior right) :-D and as always, major thanks go out to Diane, who tries to tell me what's wrong with a chapter, and then puts up with me when I don't go with all of her suggestions. I accept most, discard some (depending on what it is I want to convey), and flat out goof up when I do my final changes after I get the beta'd version back. As always, all mistakes are my own. So with that said:
While all characters, planets and races that were introduced to us through the Stargate movie and series belong to the creators and producers of said movie and series, all original characters, plots and mistakes in this story belong to me.
As missions go, this one started out badly. And when they start out badly, chances are things were going to go downhill from there. But for Jack O'Neill and the members of his team, bad missions seemed to be the norm lately.
Bright sunshine illuminated the landscape, almost blinding the members of SG-1 when they exited the Stargate on this particular mission. Jack had come prepared though, and he immediately put on the sunglasses that were hanging around his neck in an effort to shield his eyes. He needed to stay alert to any possible danger. It didn't pay to let his guard down when visiting a planet - any planet.
The Stargate had deposited them in the middle of a field, with the mandatory trees in the far distance. Jack liked trees, even if he did complain about them occasionally. Trees were great for hiding behind when times got tough, and their presence meant that he wasn't in a desert. As long as he wasn't required to travel through sand, Jack was semi-happy. Sand and long hikes didn't go well together, as far as he was concerned.
He continued to scan the horizon, looking for any unfriendly natives, while his team spread out to look around. Teal'c was already moving away from the Stargate, in the opposite direction Jack had taken, using his own brand of reconnaissance to help in the determination of enemy warfare – just in case there were any. The MALP had sent back pictures of an area that had just a few men walking around in the distance. They didn't seem to be too preoccupied with the activity around the Stargate, or the MALP, so General Hammond had deemed the planet visit-worthy. Jack knew better than to rely on preliminary pictures from the MALP, though. 'Better safe than sorry' was a motto that he held dear to his heart during every mission he went on.
Something was up, he realized, as he tried to make sense of the inner warnings that had him on edge. This was just a general visit. SG-1 was here solely to explore and possibly to meet and greet with the natives. "Uh… Jack?" Daniel Jackson intoned, his voice laced with a warning that Jack heard loud and clear and had adrenalin pumping through his veins. So much for safe, he thought. He immediately gripped his weapon tighter, as he turned to see what Daniel was looking at.
A group of men were heading their way, their weapons raised and aimed toward Jack and his team. Jack briefly considered yelling for his team to take cover, but realized the futility of it when all that was available to hide behind was the MALP, DHD and the Stargate. It didn't help matters any when he saw what looked like an army of soldiers marching toward them from the trees.
Wonderful, he thought snidely, as he tried to come up with a viable, working strategy to escape.
"Lower your weapons," one of the men closest to them snarled. Jack stared at the man, still working on possible scenarios. He knew that his team would be waiting for him to let them know whether to lower their weapons or to start shooting, but he couldn't come up with anything to ensure their survival. He reluctantly loosened his gun from the harness and made to slowly put it down on the ground. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Major Samantha Carter, his second in command, do the same with her gun, but he didn't relax. He stood there, tense and alert, ready for any opportunity to escape.
These guys were good, he realized, as the leader nodded at a few of his companions who then came over to them to force them to their knees. Jack went down willingly, having been the recipient of a staff weapon jab to the back of his knees way too many times. He was still on the alert, but given his current condition, his outlook didn't fare too well. Someone grabbed his arms from behind and quickly tied his hands behind his back and Jack didn't try to hide the grimace as the rope was pulled tightly. Carter grunted in pain when it was her turn, but Jack didn't take his eyes off of the leader. He was determined to find a way out of this mess, and he figured the leader was the best person to try to get through to.
Luck wasn't with him today, as all four of them were suddenly pulled up by their arms and dragged off toward the trees. They were surrounded, some in front, some in back with even more walking along side them and Jack knew he was not going to be able to make an escape with these people dogging his every step. He glared at the leader's back, all the while cursing under his breath. Some missions just were not meant to be taken on.
Once they had reached the trees, half of the men left them and Jack couldn't help but be surprised. The surprise lasted only a few minutes, as a fenced in compound came into view, and he understood why they felt they could leave the visitors with fewer guards. They had made it to their destination.
Jack watched everything the guards did, hoping to find a weakness – everything from the poking and prodding to get him and the others to keep moving, to the locking of the gate once the entourage had walked through. He even scouted out the compound, although the first cursory glance didn't help too much in working out an escape plan.
He glanced over at Daniel, who was taking in the sights with a great deal of interest. The buildings, people, even the carvings fascinated the archeologist and Jack wished his hands were free so that he could smack his friend in the head. Hello! He wanted to say. We're in trouble here.
Carter walked alongside him, looking at the people with interest, as well. Unlike Daniel, Carter's interest was purely for strategic reasons, and more than likely for curiosity's sake. Knowing her, she was probably looking at their situation from a scientific standpoint, as well as looking for any technical gadgets that just may get her out of this mess.
Teal'c, on the other hand, just stared at the leader's back. Jack knew the reason why Teal'c didn't spend too much time noticing the others around him. They wouldn't be able to help him in serving his purpose. He, like Jack, was looking for a way out, and the people, who appeared to be servants, wouldn't be any help, judging by the defeat in their eyes.
Jack and his team were taken to a large building, and shepherded up the stone stairs to the entrance. Once there, they had to stop for the guards to go through a ritual that required them each to pass a hand over their face and down to their chest before they allowed themselves to enter the building. Jack couldn't help the smirk that graced his features when he saw Daniel goggling at this display of respect. If he knew Daniel, he was already running through the catalog of cultural customs that he somehow had stored in his brain, cross referencing what he had seen with the multitude of cultures he had come in contact with. The wealth of knowledge Daniel carried around in his mind was a constant source of amazement for Jack.
The guards finally led them into a large room where a man sat in a huge chair, surrounded by servants. It reminded Jack of some movie he'd seen, where the lord of whatever lounged on a chaise while a dozen servants stayed within arms length to do his bidding on a moment's notice. He glanced over at Carter, rolling his eyes, as if to say, here we go again, causing her to grin at him before turning to give this wannabe lord her full attention.
"Why are they on their feet?" the lord of whatever demanded, his voice booming over the entire room. Jack wasn't surprised by this fact. The guy was huge. A booming voice just seemed to fit, somehow. The man stood up as he spoke and Jack stared at him warily, impressed that someone that big could actually move at all, but then found himself on his knees again, when one of the men behind him prompted him with a jab of his weapon. He glared at the guard, before grousing, "All you had to do was ask."
"Silence!" Big Guy boomed out. He came over to them, stopping to study each one of them, while paying particular attention to Carter. "This one may be useful in the breeding tent," he told the leader of the guards. Carter tensed up at that remark, looking for all the world as if she was going to let the bastard have it, but was stopped when Big Guy grabbed her by the hair and jerked her head up toward him. "Yes," he said tersely. "You will produce spirited children."
"No!" Carter spit out, and Jack waited for the customary slap to the face for her impudence. He was not disappointed, and he growled when the slap knocked her into his side.
"Do not attempt it," Big Guy warned him. Jack listened to the warning, knowing he would pay dearly if he retaliated. He glared at the bastard instead, waiting patiently for his chance to kick his ass.
Big Guy obviously wasn't worried about Jack's plans, because he then came up to him and jerked his head up by grabbing his hair, and stared thoughtfully into his face. Jack continued to glare, while waiting for his sentence, and found it was his turn to become indignant when Big Guy informed his guards, "This one is too old. He will be assigned to the barracks."
"Excuse me?" he just had to say. "Just what do you mean by too old? I'll have you know…"
"Silence!" the voice boomed out again, causing half of the servants to scurry away from the immediate vicinity. Big Guy didn't seem to be concerned with his servants, as he had two more people to pass judgment on. He moved on to Teal'c next, and seeing that he didn't have any hair to grab on to, he stood there and tried to see Teal'c's face from his vantage point. Teal'c wasn't about to cooperate though, and continued to stare straight ahead, making it hard for Big Guy to take a good look.
Apparently, Big Guy didn't need to see too much, as he announced, "This one is not human. He is not fit for anything but hard work. He will be assigned to the barracks." Except for a slight rise of an eyebrow, this news didn't phase Teal'c in the least.
"At least I'll have someone to talk to," Jack grumbled sarcastically, before receiving a sharp rap to the back of his head from one of the guards behind him.
"You will remain silent," a voice behind him said. Jack didn't bother trying to look to see who had hit him. Big Guy had already moved on to Daniel.
He did the hair-grabbing thing, jerking Daniel's head up, causing Daniel to yelp in pain. Big Guy didn't even blink. He stared at Daniel for a moment, then said, "This one will be the provider to the woman," he proclaimed, with a jerk of his head toward Carter. "You will breed with her and give her several strong children."
"What?" Carter spouted off, unable to keep quiet on the subject any longer.
"Uh… wha…" Daniel sputtered, looking at Carter with a worried expression.
"Over my dead body!" Jack snarled, voicing his feelings on that subject.
"Silence!" the voice boomed out once again. "I will not tolerate this behavior any longer." He stared out at the members of SG-1, his anger causing veins to pop out on his neck, and Jack silently hoped the man would have a heart attack on the spot. It would be just deserts, he thought grimly.
"I'm sorry, sir," Carter spoke up respectfully, "But you see, I can't be a part of this 'breeding'… project. I…"
It was Carter's turn to receive a rap on the back of the head, and she cried out in pain. "You were warned," growled a voice behind them and Jack turned to put a face to that voice. That son of a bitch was next on his list.
But he didn't get the chance. His head was jerked back by Big Guy, who had grabbed him by the hair again. "I am Lord Reymes," he announced, causing Jack to smirk. He had apparently hit the target with his first assessment of the man, in terms of being a 'wannabe'. "You will abide by the rules," Reymes intoned, his voice carrying throughout the room. "You are now my slaves and will do as you are told at all times. You will work at the assigned tasks, and you two," he said, pointing first at Carter, then at Daniel, "will be required to procreate each night until a child is conceived." Daniel gave a small strangled sound at that bit of news, which was ignored by Reymes, as he continued, "Failure to perform your duties or to produce a child will be dealt with in the form of punishments." Jack tried hard not to think of Daniel and Carter doing what was expected of them. He couldn't bear the thought of the woman he had come to feel deeply for sleeping with his best friend. Jack remembered all too well the passion Carter possessed, having been on the receiving end of it when they thought their names were Jonah and Thera. It didn't bear thinking about her sharing that passion with Daniel.
Reymes just kept on with his 'rules'. "If you miss a meal, you go hungry until the next one comes along. There will no be exceptions…"
"Yada, yada, yada," Jack said, voicing his thoughts out loud. He realized his mistake the moment the words came out of his mouth, and he groaned inwardly when the room became deadly silent.
"Perhaps we will make an example of you," Reymes decided. Oh crap, Jack thought. He so hoped this guy's version of an example was a slap on the wrist.
Somehow, he didn't think so.
"Uh… I was just… I apologize if I've upset you," Jack groveled, deciding at the last second it would be in his best interest to do so.
"You apologize," Reymes said, seeming to be in awe at the uniqueness of those words. I am in so much trouble, Jack thought with a trace of panic. He knew from experience what horrors aliens could think up. Jack could only hope it wouldn't be too painful.
"Do you know how many times my slaves have said that to me?" Reymes said in a conversational tone. Jack just stared at him. "Many, many times." He laughed then, and all four members of SG-1 ended up staring at each other when everyone else in the room laughed with him. It was a forced laugh for them all, but being good little slaves and guards, they knew exactly what to do to stay alive. What was even stranger, they all stopped laughing the minute their lord did.
"Show them to their quarters, then put them to work," Reymes said, as he walked back to his throne. He sat down on it before pointing at Jack, and saying, "See that this one is punished for his impudence."
"Yes, my Lord," came a chorus from the guards.