Saying Nothing At All

Chapter One: Vacation Gone Wrong

Based upon Stargate: SG-1

Takes place late Season 5, before "Meridian."

Rated T for themes and mild language. Sam/Jack.

Fits into CANON, so fear not. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

- - -

Major Samantha Carter looked through the specially designed telescope at the binary suns surrounding P6R-989. They really were amazing. Seeing a binary system from this perspective was a spectacular opportunity. She was glad that she decided to take her vacation on a planet other than Earth.

Although, to be fair, General Hammond wasn't counting this as a vacation. He allowed her to accompany SG-4, even though he had been reluctant on allowing her to continue doing any kind of work when Doctor Fraiser said that SG-1 needed a break.

She gave him a well practiced "chance of a lifetime" speech and almost squealed with delight when he gave her the go-ahead; almost.

It felt a little strange not to have a P-90 strapped to her, but she was "on vacation," and who took an assault weapon on vacation?

She recorded a few more readings before the suns set. There was an odd EM pattern being released. She would not have expected such dramatic readings from such small stars, even if they were paired. She suspected that they were releasing a lot of high frequency radiation which she had no way of detecting. However, due to tests run on the ample plant life, she was not concerned for the safety of herself or SG-4.

After watching the suns set — which was unbelievably awesome — she headed off to her tend for a good night's sleep.

She had offered to take a watch on their first night, but Colonel El Tahir was under strict orders to not let her. She argued with him, but not whole-heartedly; she was on vacation after all.

She was exhausted, but excited to wake up and see the suns rise. A small part of her wished the rest of SG-1 was there to experience it with her. Daniel was always amazed. Teal'c would have appreciated it. Colonel O'Neill would have loved it, being an amateur astronomer in his own right.

She missed them.

Lying on her cot, she took a deep breath and let her mind wander before falling asleep.

- - -

Something woke Sam from a dream which she immediately forgot. She couldn't tell what had awoken her, so she sat up and listened intently.

It was quiet for a moment before she heard SG-4 getting up. She heard a firing pin being pulled back, three separate times.

She reached into her bag and pulled out her own 9 mm, and readied it to fire. Staying in her tent, Sam listened for SG-4.

She then heard three shots from a zat and she froze. She was sure that SG-4 had armed their pistols; not their zats.

Taking a deep breath, she stuck her head out of her tent cautiously. Through the moonlight she saw something no one should see on vacation: Jaffa.

She started counting as they pulled four bodies to a central location. One of SG-4 had a staff-blast to the chest. The staff blast must have been what had awoken her. She tried to see who had been hit, but in this light she could not tell which one of them was now dead. The other three must have been hit by the zat-fire she had heard, and were therefore simply unconscious.

Sam stiffened when she heard a single footstep behind her, and then the familiar zing of a zat being armed. Trusting her instincts, she whipped around and fired her weapon into the Jaffa's face.

However, before she could turn and continue firing, electricity raced through her body and she knew she's been hit. Sam was unconscious before she hit the ground.

- - -

Klaxons blared as Major General George Hammond hurried down the staircase from his office to the gate control room.

"Unscheduled off-world activation," the sergeant on duty announced, sensing his presence.

"Who is it?" the large Texan asked, taking a familiar spot behind the gate operator.

"Receiving GDO transmission, it's SG-4."

"Open the iris," Hammond ordered as he headed towards the gateroom. SG-4 wasn't due to return for another three days. Something must have gone wrong.

Major Greene came through first, carrying the fore half of a stretcher. Lieutenant Richie followed him with the aft half; a blanketed figure lay on the stretcher between them. The wormhole closed behind Richie.

"Major, what happened?"

Major Greene looked solemn, yet concerned. He and Richie handed off the stretcher to a pair of SFs. He removed his hat and wiped his forehead.

"We have a situation, Sir. Lieutenant Kendell is dead, and Colonel El Tahir and Major Carter have been captured by the Goa'uld."

Almost without thinking, Hammond turned to face the control room. "Sergeant, recall SG-1!" To Greene and Richie, he motioned to the corridor. "Why don't you give me the whole story."

- - -

Jacob stopped listening when he heard the words "daughter" and "hostage" in the same sentence. Before the council could give him any further details, he found himself running towards the Star Gate.

"Selmak, wait." Delak stopped him at the rings to the surface. "There is more you need to know. The Goa'uld holding your daughter is Ericthonius."

Selmak froze. He never wanted to hear that name again. He had thought he had killed Ericthonius 700 years ago. He had been undercover in the minor lord's ranks, and had left him in his disabled Ha'tak with the self destruct set.

He made eye contact with Delak. "Ericthonius was bad enough 700 hundred years ago. His twisted sadism made him deserve assassination," Selmak said. Jacob took over, "But now he's taken Sam, and I'll make sure he dies this time. If I have to rip his symbiote from his head, I'll make sure he dies this time."

- - -

Jack sat impatiently at the briefing table waiting for General Hammond to arrive. Daniel looked just as anxious, and Jacob, even more so. Teal'c was as stoic as ever, but Jack new he was just as concerned as the rest of them.

He glanced over at Major Greene and Lieutenant Richie. They looked like they were holding up nicely, but then again; they were in a much worse situation than SG-1, with their commanding officer missing and one of their own dead. He knew they were both ready to do anything to get El Tahir back in one piece.

Hammond walked in. "As you were," he said before any of them could stand on ceremony. "Doctor Jackson, what do we know about this Goa'uld?"

"Ericthonius, also known as Erechtheus, and king of Athens for some time. Known to both Homer and Plato, although there has been some confusion there: Homer knew only of one Ericthonius, while Plato spoke of two. That however is inconsequential because we're dealing with the one who was supposedly the son of Hephaestus and Athena; known to be half-man and half-serpent; sounds like a Goa'uld to me. He didn't greatly impact the world around him, and he was not considered a God, meaning that he was and probably still is a minor lord at best." Daniel shrugged, "Sorry I don't have more, but short notice . . ."

"Thank you, Doctor Jackson." Hammond turned back to the rest of the group. "As explained by Major Greene, Ericthonius is willing to trade both Colonel El Tahir and Major Carter for Selmak. The fact that he has only retained two members of a five member team leaves me somewhat encouraged. I am also encouraged that he says he will release both Colonel El Tahir and Major Carter for the location of Selmak, and not necessarily him personally.

"However, he is still a Goa'uld. Colonel O'Neill, Doctor Jackson, and Jacob, under the guise of another Tok'Ra, will be our delegation to deliver the location of 'Selmak' in return for the hostages."

"What a second, George!" Jacob tried to butt in, but Hammond continued over top of him.

"MEANWHILE, Teal'c and the remainder of SG-4 will ring aboard the mothership from a cargo vessel and attempt to take the Pel'tak to prevent Ericthonius from double crossing us. If he releases both hostages, we'll simply leave, but if not . . ."

"George, I won't do it. I will not risk Sam's life for a ballsy rescue plan. We'll go in, Ericthonius will release Sam and your Colonel when give myself up," Jacob said, attempting to force his point.

Hammond shook his head. "And what stops Ericthonius from detaining all of you? If he knows you're Selmak, he very well may just keep you all for bargaining chips in some other trade. I'm sorry, Jacob, but we can't trust Ericthonius to his word."

"Ericthonius may be a twisted, sadistic psycho, but he enjoys being known for his word," Jacob explained.

Jack raised his hand. "Um, excuse me. Won't Ericthonius know that Selmak's tagging along with Jacob?"

Jacob shook his head. "No. I've changed hosts a few times since I've last seen Ericthonius. He won't recognize me, but there's a good chance that I won't recognize him either."

Jack nodded slowly. "I think this could work."

"Jack, you can't be serious!"

He leaned forward. "If we were going after just Carter, I'd say we could try it your way, because she would do the same. But Colonel El Tahir is in trouble, too. We have to make sure they're both safe."

Jacob searched the table for a sympathetic face, but found none. "Alright, it looks like I'm outnumbered. We'll do it your way, George."

"Teal'c, Major Greene, Lieutenant Richie, you depart in 30 minutes for PL9-656, a Tok'Ra with a ship will meet you there. Colonel, Doctor Jackson, Jacob, you leave in two hours."

"Two hours? Shouldn't we go get them right now?" Daniel asked.

"No. We need to give Teal'c team time to get to the mothership," Hammond explained.

Daniel nodded.

"If that's all, dismissed."

- - -

Sam sat with her back against the wall in the Goa'uld brig. El Tahir sat similarly on the other side of the room. They were waiting in silence. She knew all El Tahir could think about was his team. They knew Kendell was dead, but as for Greene and Richie . . .

The First Prime said that he had sent them back to Earth with a message from Erichthonius.

Sam could only wonder if there actually was a message, and if they were actually alive.

She heard footsteps and watched the door. El Tahir must have heard them, too, because he stood next to the door. He was going to jump them.

"Colonel, what you doing?" she whispered.

He gestured for her to be silent, and stood at the ready. When the door opened, he pounced on the second Jaffa through the door. Sam took the opportunity to grapple to the first's zat.

There was a struggle, but it ended with a third Jaffa grabbing Sam and the second Jaffa beating El Tahir in the face with the butt end of staff weapon, knocking him to the floor as blood seeped from his nose.

She stopped struggling against the two Jaffa when the First Prime arrived.

He raised an eyebrow. "I would advise against similar actions in the future." He waited for her to nodded and then glanced at El Tahir on the floor. A smile came to his face. "Normally, I would describe to you your eminent doom at the hands of the God, Lord Ericthonius."

"He's not a god," Sam said dryly.

The First Prime shrugged. "Maybe so," he conceded lightly, which surprised Sam. "As I was saying, the delegation of the Tau'ri has arrived."

"Delegation?"

The First Prime laughed. "Your infamous Colonel Jack O'Neill, Doctor Daniel Jackson, and an unknown Tok'Ra have come to negotiate your release in return for the shol'vah Selmak."

"Shol'vah Selmak?"

The First Prime scoffed. "Seven hundred years ago, Selmak was Lord Ericthonius' right arm until he betrayed him, leaving him for dead. He has been searching for him ever since. While the Lord Ericthonius is infinitely patient, and has enough power to destroy you and your delegation and then turn and hunt down Selmak . . . he is merciful as well, and willing to trade you and your friend for the location of the shol'vah.

"He has already released your other friends."

El Tahir rolled over and attempted to stand, he settled sitting down, apparently unable to stand. "What about the one you shot?" he spat.

"Do you regret every Jaffa you shoot?" the First Prime asked.

El Tahir did not respond.

The First Prime chuckled. "As I believed . . ." he turned back to Sam. "You will be summoned before Lord Ericthonius when the Tau'ri arrive."

The Jaffa released Sam and followed the First Prime out.

Sam helped El Tahir to his feet, then to a bench on the wall.

He took off his jacket and held his sleeve to his profusely bleeding nose. "Okay, that was a bad idea."

She smiled and took a look at his nose. "I don't think it's broken, but you're going to have a nice bruise."

El Tahir leaned his head back against the wall. "Bruises are fun."

- - -

Jack stepped through the stargate with Daniel and Jacob on his heels.

"Okay," he said turning to them. "We head to the ring site, meet the Jaffa, get onto the mothership, and lie our asses off? Got it?"

Both Jacob and Daniel nodded.

"Alright, let's go."

- - -

Greene stood with Richie behind Teal'c in their borrowed Tok'Ra scout ship.

"Think they're alright?" Richie asked him.

"They're fine, Lieutenant. The Colonel is a tough guy and . . . Teal'c how would you describe Major Carter? Rock solid?"

"She is extremely resourceful and a formidable warrior," he replied, not taking his eyes off of the star field in front of him.

Greene slapped Richie's shoulder. "There you go, Richie, rock solid. They're fine."

- - -

Jack felt uncomfortable on a Goa'uld mothership without an assault rifle. However, there really wasn't anything he could have done. The Jaffa weren't going to let him on their ship with it. He supposed she should have felt grateful that they allowed him to keep his sidearm.

The Jaffa leading him stopped, causing Daniel to bump into one of them. He apologized, and then looked around sheepishly, trying not to appear too nervous.

The First Prime approached them. He seemed to study them for a few minutes. "Colonel Jack O'Neill, Doctor Daniel Jackson, and . . ."

"Jacob Carter," Jacob identified himself.

"And you are?" Jack led.

The First Prime glanced at him before turning his attention back to Jacob. "You wouldn't happen to know a Major Samantha Carter, would you?"

"Only by reputation," Jacob lied.

The First Prime smiled. "I respect your wish to protect your kin, but I know you lie. She is your . . . daughter?"

Jacob pursed his lips. "Yes," he admitted.

"Very interesting." He paused gathering his thoughts. "You are Tok'Ra. Which?"

Jacob paused. "Delak," he lied.

The First Prime nodded. "The Lord Ericthonius will see you now." He turned and headed back in the direction he had come. The Jaffa contingent followed him.

They were led into a large throne room where Ericthonius was waiting, all decked out in cliché finery.

From another door, five Jaffa brought in Carter and El Tahir. The Colonel had a nasty looking bruised nose and the sleeve of his jacket was covered in half-dried blood.

"They been treating you nice?" Jack asked.

"Oh, you know, Colonel," El Tahir replied in an equally light tone. "A nice room, we even had a boxing match. Apparently," he tapped his nose lightly, "I should get more practice."

Jacob stepped towards the Goa'uld. "Ericthonius," his symbiote spoke, "you have been lied to. I am not the Tok'Ra Delak, but the Tok'Ra Selmak."

Ericthonius sprung to his feet. "Jaffa, kree!"

In half a second, Jack was grabbed by two Jaffa and disarmed, as were Daniel and Jacob.

Ericthonius chuckled, stalking a circle around Selmak. "My dear nemesis, Selmak. I suppose that you assumed my offer of leniency would stand as soon as you turned yourself in."

Jacob didn't move, and his silence was not at all encouraging.

"Well, generally you would be correct. I do enjoy standing by my word. A foreign concept to you, I know. However, today is different." He smiled darkly. "I was going to let them all go, really I was. But then I learned that Jacob Carter, the father of my prisoner, was indeed the shol'vah Selmak, not Delak as he had originally claimed. I simply cannot pass that opportunity up."

Jack glanced at Jacob, who looked terrified. It was obviously that he realized he should have not said anything and, instead, stuck with the plan.

Ericthonius retrieved a torture weapon from the wall and motioned to his Jaffa. They drug Carter to the center of the room. He tapped her once with it and an orange light shot from her eyes and mouth.

"Oh, Selmak, I'm afraid you brought this upon yourself."

Then it began.

Jack fought against his captors. He fought with every ounce of strength within him. He had to stop it. He had to save her. As her screams stung his ears, he couldn't imagine anything worse than what he was then witnessing: the brutal torture of Major Samantha Carter.

- - -

Control of the Pel'tak came with relative ease. Ericthonius was a minor lord; he did not command many Jaffa. Most of them must have been below deck with him and the Tau'ri delegation.

Major Greene and Lieutenant Richie stood guard at the doors while Teal'c took control of the Ha'tak. He prepared for a hyperspace jump to the designated Tok'Ra reinforcement location.

However, as the window formed, a problem arose.

"Teal'c! How are we doing! They're beating down the door!"

"Major Greene, someone is attempting to reroute control of the vessel. We are headed towards the binary star."

After a second or so, Lieutenant Richie shouted, "Go through them!"

"I do not understand, Lieutenant Richie."

"The hyperdrive, go through the stars!" he clarified.

Teal'c nodded. "It will take a few moments to make the necessary adjustments."

- - -

Jack had stopped struggling, but stood in a tense forward position, putting strain on the Jaffa holding him. He had no idea how long it lasted, but it felt like hours . . . like days . . . like millennia.

He tore his eyes from Carter writhing in agony on the floor at Ericthonius' feet just long enough to settle them on Jacob. He hung limply from his Jaffa captors. He was in complete shock, and simply stared at his dying daughter.

Looking back at Carter, his heart throbbed in his ears and behind his eyes. For a split second, they made eye contact before she shut her eyes in an attempt to shut out the pain.

Then Ericthonius stopped, glancing at Jacob. "It seems, Selmak," he said with a sadistic smile, "there is only one more thing I can do."

Carter lie on the floor, trying to breathe.

Ericthonius took a staff weapon from one of the Jaffa and the room got very loud, very quickly.

Daniel and El Tahir begun to shout incoherently.

Jacob found his voice. "Don't! I will do anything! I'll do anything! Just don't kill her!"

Ericthonius laughed again. "Selmak, I only want one thing from you."

"Anything," Jacob struggled towards Ericthonius, attempting to kneel at his feet. The Goa'uld nodded to his Jaffa and they released him. Jacob knelt on the floor in front of his archenemy of centuries. "I will do anything," he pleaded.

Ericthonius' smile grew and he lowered the staff weapon in Carter's direction. "You will suffer," he charged the weapon.

"Carter!" Jack shouted.

She looked up at him with the bluest eyes he had ever seen. She knew exactly what was happening, and her eyes seemed to tell him "I know you tried."

He obviously hadn't tried hard enough.

Time slowed as Jack felt the ship accelerate. He was momentarily distracted and when he regained his thoughts, he heard the staff weapon discharge.

The energy blast hit her square in the chest, sending her sprawling onto her back, dead.

Jack heard someone shouting her name; it took him a moment to realize that it was him.

- - -