Her lungs burned, the moisture from her stinging eyes blurring her vision causing the ground before her to shift and sway as though manipulated by the hand of a higher power. Muscles and tendons screamed within her body, begging, pleading for a reprieve but still she pushed on, fighting her way past the physical pain. She had to escape, regroup then return to free the rest of SG-1, captured by violent villagers who knew this land far better than they did. She glanced back and saw the riders still on her trail, cantering through the dense forest, weaving through the trees as those some giant slalom. She had to find somewhere to hide, somewhere to rest, and recover for a short time. But time was something she didn't have a lot of right now.
" There!" Shouted the lead rider, his handsome black mount almost rearing in excitement. For a time she had lost them, her bootprints obscured by the dense underbrush, but the moist riverbed she had just run across provided little cover, or protection from their trackers. Sam swore to herself and pushed forward, ignoring the protest of her weary body. In the middle distance, through some more dense brush, she could see a set of hills, hopefully she could find a cave, or a fallen tree, anything. Desperation had kicked in a long time ago, and the experience felt strangely similar to the time the super-soldier had tried to hunt her down for the device she had designed to use against it. Damnit why was the galaxy always against her?
Thankfully the dense brush returned shortly after she crossed the riverbed, allowing her to duck and weave and try and lose those that pursued her. They were gaining on her position, and arrows started whizzing by, some nearly clipping her as they continued to whistle through the air, but once again the thick brush had slowed them down. She couldn't quiet tell if they had sighted her, or were shooting blindly and she wasn't about to waste time turning around to find out. Another volley of arrows as they lost her bootprints another time, she could hear the shouting of the leader again, calling for them to scout faster. They knew she wasn't far ahead of them.
A scream of pain was bitten off as one of the arrows lodged itself firmly in her side and she dropped unwillingly to the ground, clutching at the wound. Forcing an eye open she spied a large fallen tree, its core rotten by years of weathering and use by animals. The large trunk was mostly intact and also hollow and she dragged herself towards it, breaking the arrow off near the tip and tucking it into her boot, being as careful as she could not to leave any tracks. Once hidden she remained perfectly still, fighting the urge to curl into a ball and cradle her injury. The arrow had bitten deep, but thankfully was no near any vital organs. It hurt like hell though, and tears of pain leaked from her eyes, already adjusting to the dim light of the hollow. It stank, reeked even and she could feel insects of some sort beginning to crawl over her body, legs and bristle sliding over her clothing and across bare skin. She fought the urge to shudder.
What seemed like an eternity later, the voices and hoofbeats dimmed and eventually faded all together, and still she remained perfectly silent. They could have left scouts on foot, or it could be a ruse to flush her out under the cover of nightfall.