Again, Sam's eyes creaked open, her breathing coming in raggard gasps as her body adjusted to the level of pain she had just inflicted on it. The wound now cleaned and bandaged, would slowly get better with time, but at the moment all she craved was the morphine that would be in the first aid pack that she conveniently didn't carry. At least she wouldn't die of an infection now. A small victory in the whole scheme of things. She took out her ration packs from her pockets, looking at the assortment of dried shriveled food and dehydrated taste. She had a little water left in her canteen, but didn't feel like eating much at the moment. Stregnth had to be conserved, but later she would eat. Instead she took a few sips of water and rested her head against the smooth bark of the tree behind her. She craved to be back home, arguing some scientific mission over Jack's traditional 'let's go kick some ass' mission, she craved the less than appetizing meals in the commissary, heck, she even missed her simple attempts at cooking. Sagging cheesecakes, el dente pasta, and slightly soggy soufflé. Oh the joys of culinary delights that so paled against the crisp dry crackers that some scientist with no tastebuds called rations. She missed Schroedinger terribly and wondered what piece of her furniture he was currently sleeping on. Thoughts of home kept her grounded and prevented her from spiraling into disappear. It seemed hopeless, alone and injured how was she going to rescue the rest of SG-1? First things first, she had to get moving.
Grunting she took her time getting to her feet, carefully examining the area around her to make sure no-one was watching or still hunting for her. She remained perfectly still, listening for anything, but hearing only the small rustles of the native fauna. No-one was there.
Slowly and carefully she moved out of her hiding place, still extremely alert and aware, she progressed through the forest, leaning on a tree truck here, resting in a small cave there, but still moving forward. She came across the dry riverbed and realized she had no way of crossing it without leaving evidence that she had done so. Even now her bootprints were evident in the mud a day after she had originally crossed there, partially obscured by the cacophony of hoofbeats around them. She had to find another way in case they got curious, she couldn't let them know she was still alive, and plotting a way to free her friends. An idea came to her and she moved upstream, nearly a kilometer to where a small weir had been built, levying the flow of water downstream. She could cross here with water not raising above her waist, thus leaving no footprints for all to see. Tentatively she advanced, thankful for the dense crown of foliage overhead, casting deep dark shadows over the low water. The water was freezing as it seeped into her boots, but she pushed forward, grimacing as her legs became soaked and then nearly up to her hips. It was like walking through pure ice, but it afforded her the cover she needed. By the time she had reached half way her teeth were beginning to chatter, but she forced the sensation away, trying to focus on a hot summers day in Colorado Springs. It didn't work but she pushed on anyway, dragging herself out of the water and back into the forest undergrowth. Her boots squelched uncomfortably and her socks would soon become a wonderful breeding ground for all kinds of fungus and bacteria. As soon as she freed her team she would spend hours in a hot shower, washing away the cold and the dirt she was caked in. Oh how that would be nice.
After hours carefully making her way through the scrub using only her memory and compass to guide her she finally came to a large field that bordered the village. She could just see the prison on the far side, its barred windows and solid stone walls making in one of the most imposing buildings in the village. Just what she needed when she had to break into it. The C4 was still safely secured in her vest along with its detonator, she had a few grenades, and a fresh clip of ammunition for her P90. Her zat was lost somewhere in the forest and it was not something she felt like backtracking all that way for – not matter how valuable it would be. But then again, a P90 and a few grenades were going to do bugger all to get her inside the village without sticking out like a sore thumb. She needed an alibi, and she needed a change of clothes.
Forunately a few women from the village were washing their dresses in the river downstream, using an old fashioned washboard and cakes of soap to get the well worn material as clean as they could. Sam could hear them chatting amicably, singing songs here and there as they worked. It wouldn't be hard to follow them back to where they were hanging their clean clothes on large wires strung between two trees, a makeshift clothes lines. Sheets and other bedlinen billowed in the breeze and would be easy to hide behind while she unpegged a dress and bolted.
An hour later her plan had been accomplished, her BDU's safely stashed in a cave near the river and herself now sporting a slightly larger working woman's dress and bonnet. The soft fabric felt strange over her close cropped and rather grotty hair, but it easily concealed the telltale blonde strands against the casual observer's eye.
At least now she could move relatively easily around the village, but now she was practically defenseless. There was nowhere to conceal her P90, so it had been left behind with her clothes, her knife was concealed within her boots, but the rest was back in the cave. She could always go back and get it if needed. But for now – she had some serious scouting to do.