Unsuspecting Universe

Raised voices were rarely a good thing.

Raised voices speaking Goa'uld were definitely not a good thing.

Raised voices speaking Goa'uld in the middle of what was essentially a Goa'uld junkyard...

Bad. Very bad.

Even as he opened his mouth to hush her explanation of the way Goa'uld weaponry worked, Captain Carter's head lifted from the intent study of what appeared to be a jukebox stuck in the middle of a car engine. From the corner of his eye, Jack saw the swift movement that transferred the small squares of etched plastic she'd been studying to her left hand as her right stole to her sidearm. He liked her instincts, even as he hoped that they wouldn't be necessary.

"I'll check it out," he said, keeping his voice low. "If I need backup, I'll click twice, then twice again. Try to keep low until then."

Blue eyes looked uncertainly at him for a moment, then nodded, and Jack shot her a brief, encouraging smile. Not quite the 2IC he'd expected when he came onto the Stargate project, but she was turning out fine. A bit over-fond of the convoluted explanations, but Jack liked listening to her enthusiasm as she explained things.

He moved cautiously through the junkyard. When Teal'c had offered this planet's address as a low-risk, high-gain location for the kind of technology Earth sought, Hammond had jumped at it. Some wins early on in the program would pave the way for a hard slog later. And from what Jack had seen, it would be a long, hard slog.

So far, they'd found absolutely nothing.

Which was extra bad considering that they could do with some kind of weapons backup right now.

"Hashak, kree!" The language was gutteral. Jack grimaced to himself at the first syllables - speaking Goa'uld was like clearing out your throat on a cold winter's morning.

"Uh, hi. We're peaceful travellers from a planet called 'Earth'..."

The sound of a staff weapon priming brought Jack's weapon up and stopped Daniel's spiel short. "Yak tek no maraka, shak yal kree!" That was Teal'c, speaking calmly, but with the an edge that Jack recognised.

The former First Prime of Apophis was about to get into a fight.

Jack clicked for Carter's backup, trusting that she'd know when and where to show herself, then stepped out from behind his pile of junk. "Excuse me, is there a prob--" He saw the staff weapon swing around and instinctively flung himself down to the ground, firing at the Jaffa who'd shot at him.

Firing at one of seven Jaffa who had Teal'c and Daniel surrounded.

Crap.

The others were already beginning to point their weapons at him. Jack had the advantage that he was already firing and his gun just kept firing - but some had ducked for cover and there were two standing behind Daniel and Teal'c and he couldn't get those without killing his team-mates.

He didn't need to. Teal'c whirled and slammed his staff weapon across the throat of one, jabbing the other in the temple and jostling Daniel into a pile of trash - and out of harm's way.

However, the remaining three had dodged behind some trash and were levelling their weapons in preparation for a shot at any of the three unprepared men.

There was a whomp. Ozone filled the air as a burning fireball of something flew over his head and promptly incinerated the trash behind which the remaining three Jaffa were hiding - and, incidentally, the three Jaffa with it.

Jack rolled over, staring up at his 2IC.

She was holding this weapon that looked like it had been cannibalised from...well, Jack didn't know what it had been cannibalised from, but it was huge.

Vaguely, he heard the sound of running machinery rising into the sky. Carter's aim changed. Another burst of ozone, and the noisy boom of an explosion - this time from the sky.

The sky?

Jack stared at the burning backside of what looked like one of those small Goa'uld fighter ships as it wobbled its injured way out of the atmosphere. Things went quiet. Engagement over. Then he checked Teal'c and Daniel. Two team-mates alive, seven Jaffa dead.

And one Captain Samantha Carter with a junked-up gun, and a glitter in her eye that boded badly for the universe. Dear God, what had they unleashed? Would the universe ever be the same?

Jack had a feeling the answer was 'No.'

"Are you okay, sir?"

He shook his head and climbed to his feet as she rested the end of the weapon on the ground. "Fine, Carter... What the hell is that and where did you get it from?"

Captain Carter glanced down at the weapon, slightly sheepish."Uh, I found it, sir."

"Just like that?" Jack stared at the weapon. "In perfect working order?"

"No, sir." She laid it carefully down on the ground and knelt beside it in the dust. "It seemed okay but the crystal array was shattered, so I tried inserting a few arrays from the other device..." As she spoke, she flipped open a panel, setting free a cloud of foul black smoke.

Jack took a hold of the Captain's shoulder and helped her scramble back from the...well, Jack would have called it a phaser cannon - but what the hell did he know about Goa'uld technology? "I think it's dead, Carter."

"Sorry, sir. You said to back you up--"

"And you did," he reminded her with a quick shake of her shoulder. "Good work, by the way. Very unexpected."

Pleased by the praise, she grinned at him, and nearly bounced off, saying something about checking something else she'd seen. Almost mischeivously, she turned around. "Try not to need saving while I'm gone, sir."

Jack was a bit taken aback, but rallied. After the stunt with the weapon, she'd earned that flippancy. "Sure thing, Captain."

He watched her go and felt a reluctant grin start on his face.

So she wasn't the kind of officer he'd expected to be working alongside at the Stargate project. She was still a damned good soldier.

And Jack had to admit, he liked the way she thought.

- fin -