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That was the first word Janet Fraiser had heard from the SGC's newest guest since she'd entered the infirmary. To be fair, it was an expected utterance from someone who was having sharp bits of stone pulled out of her arm. But the fact remained that the girl hadn't said anything else. She'd just glared at everyone, (if looks could kill, then half the SGC would already be in the morgue) and pressed her lips together in the universal body language meaning: I won't talk and you can't make me. So there, you jerks.
The girl had arrived at the SGC, having been forcibly pulled through the 'gate by SG-1 when they'd returned early from their scouting mission to P3X-529. Despite the very particular rules surrounding acceptable circumstances for bringing aliens back to the SGC, Col. O'Neill and his team hadn't even got the mildest rebuke from General Hammond. Mostly because it wasn't quite clear if the girl was an alien human. Of course, she had been found on a different planet. But the fact that she was wearing Nike sneakers and a blue hoodie with the letters U S A clearly printed on it had confused matters somewhat.
What the General currently wanted figured out was; if she was from Earth, how had she ended up on P3X-529? (The Russians had already denied involvement.) And if she wasn't from Earth, then how had she gotten her rather Earth-distinctive clothes. The girl had so far declined to speak and General Hammond wasn't about to order the interrogation of an apparently defenseless teenager. In any case, she was injured and Doctor Fraiser had made it clear that there would be no asking questions, politely or otherwise, until her patient was bandaged and given a full check-up.
Having treated her patient to her satisfaction and run as many of the usual tests as she could, Janet Fraiser was now in the boardroom with General Hammond and SG-1. She wished momentarily that they wouldn't look at her so expectantly, because she didn't really have any good answers right now. Thankfully, the General was still speaking, giving Janet a moment to collect herself. She shook her head hoping to clear it, but only succeeded in making Major Carter look at her in concern.
The General finished speaking to SG-1 and then nodded to Janet, prompting her to announce her findings. She cleared her throat. "Well, as far as I can tell from the limited amount of tests we've been able to run, she's human. Not badly injured, but she's still not speaking either. She certainly looks as if she's from Earth but I have no way to confirm that medically. I've also found nothing to explain how a teenager from Earth could end up on P3X-529."
Once Janet had finished speaking she found SG-1 and the General looking at her in mild confusion.
"Limited amounts of tests?" the General questioned.
Janet smiled in amusement. "Our guest apparently has a fear of needles. She wouldn't let me take a proper blood sample and I didn't think it would be a good idea to force the issue, considering her current mental state. The last thing we want to do is make her more withdrawn then she already is. However, I did manage to collect a little from the stone shards I pulled out of her arm. Those samples aren't exactly the best, but nothing harmful has been found in them so far."
The General nodded, satisfied and turned to Col. O'Neill. "Colonel" he said, "how exactly did you come across this girl?"
O'Neill shrugged. "Just like I said in my report Sir. We'd been ambushed by Jaffa and were withdrawing to the 'gate. That's when we saw her. She was curled up in front of the DHD, holding her injured arm and looking frightened as hell. Then the Jaffa caught up with us and we pulled her through the 'gate first to stop her getting shot in the crossfire."
O'Neill gestured to Teal'c. "T here thinks one of the Jaffa started aiming at her on purpose because he seemed to recognise her. Can't comment on that myself Sir, as I was a little busy with my P-90. But T's pretty sure, aint'cha big guy?"
Teal'c inclined his head. "Indeed" he said formally. "That particular Jaffa began to snipe at the girl, once he saw her. He considered us a secondary target."
"Lucky for her, staff weapons weren't designed with accuracy in mind," Daniel Jackson interrupted. Teal'c raised an eyebrow at him and Doctor Jackson flushed guiltily. "Present company's staff weapon excepted of course," he said lamely.
"Still," Daniel continued, "we have no idea how she got there. She's wearing Earth clothes. Not to mention, the people on that planet were primarily of Middle-Eastern descent. Our guest is far too pale to be one of them, even without her obviously Earth-specific clothing."
"What about you Major Carter?" the short-sleeved General queried. "Any ideas?"
Carter sighed. "Plenty Sir," she admitted, "but unfortunately they've all come up blank. I thought maybe there might be a third 'gate on Earth that we're not aware of, since the kid clearly isn't dressed for the antarctic. So I had Walter do a radar and satellite search for any other sort of gate activity anywhere, but he drew a blank. And I doubt the Asgard have been randomly using transport beams to drop people on the other side of the Galaxy. Honestly? I'm stumped."
Half a galaxy away, in a dungeon on P3X-529, a slender wild-haired man stiffened in shock and then glared in helpless rage at the elaborately robed person on the other side of the cell bars which trapped him. The robed person smirked and spoke again, eyes flashing gold, his voice seeming to echo on its own.
"Come now, Doctor" he said in a mock-sincere tone. "Your young friend is dead because of your foolishness. My Jaffa killed her just before she reached the Chaapa'ai. Give me the knowledge that I seek and perhaps you can stop anyone else from joining her."
The man addressed as 'Doctor' made no reply. With his back pressed against the wall he slid to the floor of the cell. He gazed up at the creature with defiant eyes until it tired of him and left, promising to return with 'encouragement' for him to speak. As soon as he was sure of the creature's abscence, the man curled his arms around his knees, lowered his head and began to weep.
The tunnel was dark and cold. In the distance she could hear the shouts of those who were hunting for them. Her companion's grip on her arm was painfully tight as he rushed her forward through the small tunnel. Clothes and hair caught on jagged edges of rock, tearing viciously. Mud from the tunnel floor coated her shoes.
A small explosion hit behind them. She turned her head towards her companion in concern when the grip on her arm lessened and saw his face twisted in pain. Then his expression became resolute as he drew his favourite tool from his pocket.
"I'm going to create a distraction for our implacable friends back there. Keep going and don't wait for me. Once they're busy I'll leave through the second passage and go for the Tardis. I'll catch up with you at the 'Gate
"Go. Now. Get back to the 'gate and wait for me there. If I don't turn up with the Tardis in an hour, then press the symbols I showed you and step through. Now go!"
"What? No way. I'm not leaving you here!"
"Yes you are. Those soldiers are catching up and we can't let the Goa'uld have control of the device. Now get out of here. That's an order!"
He pushed her onwards towards the pinpoint of light at the end of the tunnel. She ran, breath tearing at her throat. A bigger explosion sounded behind her. Sharp rock fell from the tunnel walls and she screamed as it tore the flesh of her arm. She hit the ground in a roll, dodging the rock falling everywhere. Dust rose up, blinding her.
When the dust cleared she looked around. The tunnel had collapsed behind her, with her companion on the other side. There was no way to go back. Pushing herself off the ground, she staggered out into the light. She saw the 'gate on the horizon. Exhaustion seemed to pile upon her as blood continued to drip down her injured arm. Shots of laser blasts and gunfire echoed in the distance.
In the SGC's infirmary, the occupant of one of the beds jerked awake, tears streaming down her face, her jaw clenched painfully in an unconcious attempt not to scream. Briefly confused at waking up in a strange place, she raised herself on her elbows and looked curiously around for a moment before a stabbing pain in her right arm caused her to collapse back onto the pillows.
The quiet noise was enough to attract the attention of Janet Fraiser, who looked up from her desk and realised her patient was awake. Walking over to the girl, she smiled down at her. "Hello" she said gently,"how are you feeling now?"
The girl looked up at her but said nothing. Doctor Fraiser sat next to the bed and took the girl's hand. "We can't help you if you don't talk to us." she tried. The teenager gave no response, turning her head away from the doctor and pulling her hand free.
"You don't have to be afraid," Fraiser tried again, "if it's the Goa'uld you're worried about, you can tell us. We'll protect you."
When there was still no response from the girl, Janet thought of something she'd missed. "You are back on Earth, you know" she reassured her patient, "just talk to us. I'm sure we can find your family. You must have them worried."
Janet felt a moment's relief when the girl swung her head around sharply at the mention of Earth. She saw something close to worry, or perhaps guilt, flash across the teenager's face as quick as lightning. Then the generalized irritated scowl that the girl seemed to habitually display was back in place. Said scowl was immediately aimed at the unflattering hospital gown the girl had been given to wear after her stained, torn clothes had been dumped into the nearest laundry basket Janet could find.
The doctor chuckled in amusement at her patient's apparent disdain for the garment she was wearing. Summoning one of her subordinates, Janet sent the woman off with instructions to find serviceable clothes for the girl. She arrived back some time later with several pairs of plain BDUs in blue and green. The girl occupying the bed gave a cursory glance at the clothes and then fixed Janet with an incredulous look which said plainly: You expect me to wear these?
Doctor Fraiser smiled at the girl's indignant look. "General Hammond let me know while you were asleep that he wanted to speak with you as soon as possible. So unless you plan to be wearing just that hospital gown. . ." Janet trailed off, leaving the image hanging in the air, nodding to herself as the girl's scowl deepened and she pulled a green shirt and pants towards herself.
"Thought you'd feel that way," Fraiser muttered to herself under her breath as she pulled a curtain around the bed to give the girl privacy. An indignant snort sounded from the other side of the curtain and Janet realised the girl had heard her. She grinned to herself.
Back on the Goa'uld controlled planet a confident System Lord strode towards his dungeons accompanied by his First Prime and his best interrogation device.
"As soon as we have the information we need, tell the engineers to prepare our new weapon for some target practice," he instructed his most loyal Jaffa. "I think Earth will do nicely, don't you?" Smug satisfaction dripped from the System Lord's voice.
The First Prime bowed. "At once, My Lord." he intoned, relaying his God's instructions through the communicator on his wrist. Soon, he thought, the Taur'i would be crushed and the other System Lords would follow, along with the heretics who called themselves 'the Free Jaffa'. All beings in the galaxy would bow before the one true god and as First Prime to ruler of the galaxy he would be exalted above all others.
Upon entering the dungeon, the System Lord strode to the cell at the end where the latest prisoner was being kept. With the help of his mind probe the System Lord was confident that he could tear the knowledge he seeked from the alien's living brain. The fact that the process would cause the prisoner extreme pain was an added perk.
However, upon reaching the last cell in the block the System Lord was presented with a shock as he opened the cell doors. The cell was completely empty. Not a trace of the prisoner or his method of escape could be seen. The Doctor was gone.
Ba'al roared in fury.
Ooh! Fresh new story! Review please, the chibis will steal my shoes if you don't.