A/N: I've posted a short character piece here, but this is my first actual story. The idea came to me as I read small teasers for Stargate Universe. This story takes place between seasons 8 and 9. Let me know what you think. I love reviews!
Disclaimer: They are not mine. Bummer!
Warning! Sam/Jack ship... not so much in this chapter, but it's coming real soon! Also, quite a bit of hurt/comfort and whump in this story. Don't say you weren't warned.
P.S. I want to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who was kind enough to review my first fanfic. Those reviews gave me the courage to post this. Thanks again.
The Ninth Chevron
Jack grumpily hunkered down in the corner of the small cell, Daniel lying on his back next to him. The archeologist's arm was wrapped in a makeshift sling created by pieces of his green BDU jacket. Teal'c sat silently across the room, his legs crossed and back straight. His eyes were closed in kel'no'reem. Jack had always wondered at his ability to sit like that for hours on end. Was there some Jaffa school for perfect posture out there in the universe somewhere?
"How long has she been gone?" Daniel's voice interrupted his thoughts.
Jack flipped open his watch. "A couple of hours," he reported gruffly.
Daniel pushed himself off the floor and started pacing… again. Jack had been grateful when he'd given it up thirty minutes ago and thrown himself down on the floor. Daniel's pacing had a way of getting Jack keyed up, too.
"Sit down, Daniel."
"What could they be doing that takes two hours?" Daniel grimaced even as the words left his mouth. He shook his head. "Don't answer that."
Jack knew why. He knew exactly what they were doing with Carter, and the longer she was gone, the worse it was for her… especially since she'd already been hurt when they took her. He'd been trying to keep his mind off of it since the Jaffa had rounded them up and dragged them in here sans his Colonel and the local driver who had been assigned to take them from the gate to the trade negotiations Jack was supposed to conduct.
He was used to missions going bad. It was a joke among the other teams of the SGC that if there was trouble to be found, SG-1 would find it. Still, it had been so long since he'd been in the field that he hadn't really been ready for this particular mission to go to hell so quickly. Maybe it was him. Maybe he had bad karma… had been jinxed… hexed… made some voodoo queen out there in the cosmos wish him a lot of really bad days. Since Carter had taken over command of SG-1, he had to admit, their knack for getting themselves into unforeseen peril had tapered quite a bit.
Now, here they were alongside him, stuck in a cell aboard some Goa'uld mother ship.
It had happened so quickly, there was nothing any of them could have done to stop it.
"Cool! A beach!" Jack said gleefully the second he stepped through the gate and on to the platform of P3X-469.
Carter grinned next to him. "You knew it was here, Sir."
"Carter," he barked. "Let me have my fun."
"Yes, Sir." He did love making her smile.
"If you'd like, I could take you to a spot with one of the best views when the negotiations have been concluded." Jack turned to the owner of the incredibly high-pitched voice and immediately averted his eyes. The local was dressed… barely, in what looked to be fishnets and shells that almost covered his whatnot.
"That would be," he tried to keep his voice casual, but his gun unintentionally moved around to cover his own unexposed front, "kind of you." A quick glance at Carter told him she knew exactly how uncomfortable he was and she was enjoying it far too much.
The man bowed humbly and smiled. He accepted Daniel's outstretched hand. "It's good to see you again, Rhian." Daniel gestured for Jack to step closer. "This is General Jack O'Neill."
"It is a pleasure to finally meet you, General." The man bowed again. "Your people have told me much about you."
"Yes… well," Jack pulled the bill of his worn hat down a bit, "Don't believe everything you hear."
Rhian looked confused as he moved his gaze from the General to his friends and back again. "I do not understand. Do you not trust your subordinates to tell the truth?"
"Oh, there's trust…" he looked at Carter briefly and then smiled back at Rhian, "… among other things." He stepped down past the man and onto the soft sand of the beach. The breeze coming in off the ocean was cool and refreshing after being cooped up inside the SGC for the last three days.
Sam stepped forward and pointed out a medium-sized metal trunk to Rhian. It sat atop the FRED that had stopped just beyond the gate. "The antibiotics we discussed are in there. I can show your people how to adapt your technology to reproduce them using spores found in your own world."
"If they work as well as you say they do, my people shall have much to thank you for." The man stepped off the steps and approached the General as Teal'c moved to retrieve the trunk. He gestured to a small vehicle that sat a few yards away. "If you will come with me, we can move to the Hall of Ra, where the negotiations will take place."
The man stepped in front of Jack and led them to the vehicle. He caught a brief flash of Rhian's fully exposed backside before turning to Daniel."
"After you, Daniel."
Daniel gave him a knowing look, but stepped in front of Jack, effectively blocking his view of Rhian's full moon.
Suddenly a lot more comfortable, Jack spied the vehicle. "A dune buggy… nice!"
"Indeed." Teal'c helped tie the chest to a bed at the back and took a seat at the rear next to Daniel. Carter squeezed in on the other side, leaving the passenger seat for Jack, who sat and moved his sunglasses off his head and onto his face.
The vehicle was, in reality, quite a bit larger than a dune buggy. Its outer shell was crafted from bits of metal, as were its wheels. They appeared to be hollow and had large spaces scored out intermittently along the surface. The design probably helped them cut through the sand for a pretty smooth ride. Rhian moved to the back of the vehicle. Jack couldn't see what he was doing, but before he could turn to look, the engine coughed and turned over. So, they'd mastered the combustion engine, he thought. He said as much to the local when he sat beside him and set the vehicle moving across the sand. He didn't add that he thought it ironic that a civilization could be advanced enough to build an automobile and yet choose to remain in the Fred Flinstone era where fashion sense was concerned.
"We are a simple society, General, but we mastered this technology many years ago."
"The General was just amazed at how similar our two cultures are," Carter called from the back seat. She cast a warning glance at Jack, to which he had the good grace of looking a bit sheepish.
Rhian laughed. "If what Dr. Jackson has told me is true, we could have been cut from the same cloth, so to speak."
Daniel had to yell to be heard over the engine as he sat forward a bit in his seat to speak to the men in the front. "It is true, that your people could have been brought here by Ra from Earth thousands of years ago. There are many worlds that were populated in much the same way."
"And you think this mineral you found in our caves can help you fight those who enslaved us?"
"Naquadah," Carter supplied. "And, yes, though most of their kind are already in hiding, there are a few who would still like to use what little power they have left to insight fear."
"I am sure your people and mine will be able to…"
Jack knew where the conversation was leading, but he didn't get to hear the rest. Rhian's voice was drowned out by the sudden explosion just outside the vehicle to the right. His senses instantly keyed up, he looked up to see an Al'kesh bearing down on them just before a second blast rocked the car up onto two wheels. His hands grabbed at whatever he could reach to hold on to as it settled back down and rushed forward. Rhian's face was awash with fear as his hands clenched the two steering levers like a vise.
"If you can get us behind one of those dunes over there, they may provide us with some cover!" Carter called out.
Rhian nodded and pointed the vehicle to the large shapes in the distance.
They never made it. Another blast slammed into the left side of the car and sent it up into the air. Jack saw everything move in slow motion as he was tossed around inside the cab until it finally settled on its roof with a crash. He was dazed, but knew the situation was urgent. They needed to find cover and fast, before the Jaffa in the Al'kesh arrived to retrieve them. "Everybody out," he croaked. He heard some answering grunts as he crawled out onto the sand.
There was no sign of the Al'kesh, but Jack knew it wasn't far away. At the moment, it was probably unloading a number of Jaffa nearby.
"Roll call, kids."
"I'm here, Jack." Daniel had crawled out directly behind Jack and was standing, albeit unsteadily, cradling his right arm.
"As am I, O'Neill."
"You injured, Teal'c?" Jack asked the Jaffa. He always asked, but he also knew the answer before he asked the question. Teal'c was always the first to bounce back, even when he did take a licking.
"I am fine." Teal'c looked at his commanding officer with an assessing gaze. "Are you well, GeneralO'neill?"
Jack nodded. "Carter?"
There was no answer. He took a closer look at the upside-down vehicle. The side she'd been sitting on was facing away from him, but Daniel's face when he rounded the hunk of metal and saw the damage shot worry through his chest.
"Jack, it's completely crushed in over here. I can't even see the window."
Jack threw himself back onto the ground and slid on his stomach under the car. Rhian was just pushing himself to the window. His face was bloody and his shoulder looked pretty raw and just a little bit charred. Jack reached out a hand and pulled him out. Teal'c grabbed his arm from behind Jack as soon as he let it go and continued to pull him further away from the vehicle.
"Thank you, my friend," he heard the man say to Teal'c. Jack could picture the Jaffa's answering nod even without looking. He paid little attention, though. His mind was on Carter and why she wasn't answering.
He pushed himself further into the vehicle so he could see past the passenger seat and caught the sight of her short blond hair. "Carter," he called again. She didn't move. He crawled closer to get a better look. She lay at an odd angle on the roof, her leg held above her by the twisted metal that had trapped it. He could see the edges of some pretty nasty burns along her left side. She must have caught part of the blast that had flipped the car. Not good. "Carter." He reached out and touched her hand that lay limp and outstretched. He felt it twitch a bit at his touch. He couldn't help the sense of urgency that was bubbling inside him. They needed to get out of here fast. "Carter," he said again. "No laying down on the job."
A groan. "Sir?" Her head moved a little as she tried to find the direction his voice was coming from.
"Carter. Can you pull your leg free?"
"Sir?" She seemed confused. Jack was about to explain when he heard Daniel's warning cry followed by a deep and authoritative voice.
He felt strong hands grab his feet and pull him out of the vehicle and away from Carter. He turned and looked up into the sun to find the dark silhouette of a rather large Jaffa. A quick glance around told him they were surrounded. The symbols on the Jaffas' foreheads let him know they were dealing with Ba'al. "Oi."
Well, there it is... Questions? Comments? Talk amongst yourselves...
Chapter two should be posted tomorrow.