A short introductory chapter to my new story. I still plan a follow up to some of my other stories (10,000 BC and Betrayal) but am doing something new for a while. I hope you enjoy.
Not mine (sigh) although I can dream right? I make no money off this story.
"There's nothing here Daniel." Jack had been pacing back and forth while Daniel checked out some of the ruins around them. They'd gated to this planet – P something – this morning and so far they had seen nothing.
There was a small village about 15 kilometers from the gate but all the readings showed it was a pre-industrial farming community and offered nothing for their fight against the Goa'uld. The only thing of any interest had been the ruins that had shown up on the UAV camera. Daniel had been thrilled.
"Jack, there could be something important. Maybe it'll give us some more information about a civilization or ally who can help us."
"Daniel, they're ruins! That means everyone is dead and dead people aren't of any use to us."
"That's not true. What about the Ancients? They helped us."
"Yeah, and almost fried my brain in the process. Anyway, it wasn't Ancient ruins that helped us – it was Ancient technology. Now, if you were to tell me there was some of that here I'd be happy to go. I expect we'll just find a bunch of broken buildings and stones."
"Jack, you have no appreciation for what history can teach us."
"Sure I do Jackson! I watch the Discovery Channel all the time. I just don't like to spend my working day watching you dig up things that aren't going to help us save the planet."
But that's exactly what he'd done. It was hot and dusty and boring. He could have used just a bit of action. Maybe a Jaffa or two? No Goa'ulds, that was too exciting – but a little running, chasing, using the zat? Now that would be much less boring.
He looked at his watch, for probably the hundredth time until finally he figured he'd given Daniel enough time. Not that the Archaeologist would agree with that. He'd stay forever, or until he'd looked at every rock, before he'd think it was time to leave. Well, that was why Jack was in charge.
"Okay, time to go home. Daddy Hammond told us to be back in time for dinner so let's go."
"But Ja -"
"Nope. No 'but Jack's' Daniel. Get your stuff and let's get going. I'm tired and dusty and hungry. You can look at all your pictures when we get back and if you find anything interesting I'm sure you can ask General Hammond to let you come back – with another team."
It took Daniel twenty minutes to clear everything and put all his equipment away. Jack did another walk around the perimeter, meeting Teal'c along the way. "We're heading back in half an hour Teal'c."
"That is good O'Neill."
"Indeed", Teal'c bowed his head.
"Yeah, me too. Have you seen Carter?"
"She's just beyond the building", he pointed to the one standing structure, twenty feet away. "She was taking some readings."
"Thanks Teal'c" O'Neill gave a small wave with his fingers and headed over to check on his other science geek.
"Hey Carter. You here?"
"Yes Sir", she called. He could see her kneeling on the ground looking at something on the ground.
"See something interesting?"
"Not really Colonel. My scope indicated there were some mineral deposits here but it's nothing interesting. Looks like the soil is heavy in iron."
"So today's been pretty much a write off?"
"I would say so Sir. Unless Daniel's found something."
"I haven't heard him do his "I found something fascinating Jack" routine so I don't think so. We're packing up and heading out Carter. I want to be home for dinner."
"Sounds good to me Colonel. I'm ready to go." She stood up and wiped her hands and put her few pieces of equipment away. It took her no more than two minutes and she stood waiting, all ready to go.
It was one of the things he loved about Carter. She was super efficient and never wasted his time. You could always count on her. And the best part of it was – she had a great sense of humor to go along with it. Yup, Carter was definitely the best 2IC he'd ever had.
"Let's go Major." He grabbed her pack and helped her on with it. They walked back to where Daniel was just finishing up.
"O'Neill" Teal'c's voice suddenly came over the radio. "We have Jaffa approaching from the direction of the gate. It appears that there are a significant number."
"Crap!" Jack started to run towards Daniel. "Get your stuff now. We're heading out. We have Jaffa at 3:00 o'clock coming fast." He grabbed his radio. "Make your way to our position Teal'c. We'll head out north and see if we can avoid them."
"They are moving quickly O'Neill. I'll be at your position in 2 minutes." It took less than that by the time they saw Teal'c. As soon as he'd arrived they quickly headed out, away from the ruins and the approaching Jaffa. The problem they had was that except for the ruins there was no cover for quite a few kilometers. The land surrounding the old settlement was pretty much flat desert with only a few small plants.
They hurried away, hoping the Jaffa didn't know they were here. It could be that they were headed towards the village and wouldn't notice the 'Tauri' who were here before them.
Jack wanted them to get far enough away before the Jaffa looked in their direction and then they'd hunker down. Hopefully the Jaffa wouldn't see them or would simply think they were rocks in the distance.
Of course, like most of their Plan A's – it didn't work. They'd only made it about 30 meters out of the ruins before they heard a shout. They'd been spotted.
"Run campers!" They began to sprint, knowing their lives depended on their speed.
For a while it looked like they had a chance. They were moving ahead of the heavily armored soldiers. If they could keep going they might just make it. It was just as Jack thought things might be looking up that a small, innocuous plant, partially buried in the dusty earth, put a stop to their escape.
The Colonel glanced at his teammates to make sure they were keeping up when his toe caught the plant. He went flying and could feel something go in his knee. With a yelp he landed on the ground and grabbed the wounded joint, rolling in agony.
"Go, go" he gasped. "Get out of here!"
"We're not going to leave you Jack."
"Damnit Danny, there's no point in all of us getting captured. If you're free you can come and get me now GO! That's an order."
"Come on Daniel, the Colonel is right." She grabbed Dr. Jackson and pulled him to his feet. Teal'c was watching their six.
"We must leave. They are coming quickly."
"We'll come for you Sir, don't worry."
"I know – now go." Without any further words the rest of his team ran ahead. Jack pulled his P-90 forward with one hand and grabbed his zat with the other and waited.
It wasn't long before the Jaffa were close enough for him to begin firing. He took out half a dozen of them before he was hit with a zat. The last thing he remembered was one of the Jaffa shouting for them to get the others.
The first thing he discovered, when awareness returned, was that he was no longer on the planet. It was dark so he couldn't tell where he was, just that he was laying on a hard, cool, obviously man-made (Jaffa made?) surface. The next thing he noticed was that he hurt. At least his knee hurt. In fact, it was throbbing like a toothache. It was when he tried to move to give himself some relief that he realized one more thing – he was bound hand and foot.
"Damn", he groaned.
"Are you okay Sir?" a voice rose out of the darkness.
"Double damn! Is that you Carter?"
"Yes Sir. Are you okay?"
"Just fine Major. So they caught you too?"
"Yes, and Daniel. I think Teal'c got away."
"Daniel? Is he here too?"
"Yes. I think he's still unconscious though. They zatted him."
"Are you all right Major?"
"I'm fine Sir, I didn't get Zatted. I'm just a little – pissed that we got caught."
"Yeah, that was my fault I'm afraid." He cursed himself. What a time to trip and fall on his ass.
"I think they would have caught us anyway Sir. There really wasn't anywhere to go."
"Sound's like Teal'c found someplace."
"I think they just let him get away. I think they were satisfied with the three of us."
"Any idea what they want us for? Do they know who we are?"
"I don't think so. In fact, I don't think they really are Jaffa."
"Not really ….?"
"I mean, they're Jaffa, but I don't they're in the service of any System Lord. They had a number of different tattoos and this isn't a Hatak. I think we may have run into some renegade Jaffa."
"Renegades? Are they Free Jaffa? Maybe they'll let us go when they find out who we are."
"I don't think so Colonel. I don't think these are good guys."
"Any idea what they were doing on the planet?"
"No, they didn't say."
"Mmmm" Damn, his knee was killing him and not being able to move made it worse. "Are you tied up Major?"
"My hands are tied to some kind of bar or pipe. I can move a bit but I'm stuck over here."
"Any idea about Daniel?"
"Yeah, he's over here beside me. Unfortunately I can't quite reach him."
Jack wondered if he could move over towards Sam and see if he they could help each other with the ropes binding their wrists. It would be struggle to make it over, bound as he was, but no pain, no gain!
He began to wiggle himself over. He tried bending his legs to give him some leverage but realized quickly that that wasn't a good idea. The pain from his knee made black spots appear in front of his eyes and he almost passed out. He must have screwed it up good!
In the end he simply rolled over. It was ungainly and uncomfortable but was also the quickest way. "Keep talking to me Major. I'm heading over your way." She spoke softly to him and eventually he bumped into her feet. He wiggled up until he could feel her hands, which were tied behind her and then attached to something anchored in the wall. She did have a little bit of movement however.
"Think you can try and release me?" He rolled so his back was up against her hands. She started to try and pick at the ropes but it was extremely difficult. They were thin but very strong cords and they were tied incredibly tightly. She worked at them for a long time and barely felt any loosening of the knots.
"Wha? Where am I?" Daniel sounded out of it but at least he was finally awake. Jack had been getting worried.
"Daniel. You okay?"
"Jack? Where are you?"
"I'm here and so is Carter. She thinks Teal'c got away. We're trying to get these ropes undone. Are you tied up as well?"
"Uh yeah. Are you alright Jack?"
"Me? Yeah, I'm fine – my knee's just a bit sore and I'm tired of lying here like a mummy."
"I don't think I'd use that word here Jack."
"Huh? What? Oh, oh yeah. Okay so I'm tied up like a – whatever. The thing is we have to get out of here."
"Do we know where 'here' is?"
"We were brought aboard their ship. It's like nothing I've ever seen before. It doesn't look Goa'uld."
"Carter thinks these may be renegade Jaffa."
"Renegade? What do they want with us?"
"We don't know and I'd really rather not wait to find out."
"Have we taken off yet, do you know Carter?"
"I don't think so Sir. It doesn't feel like it."
"Well, that's one good thing then. We still might be able to get out of here."
"If I can get these ropes … there!" He could suddenly feel the ropes loosen. After pulling at them he managed to take them off and then reached down and quickly untied his ankles. If anything, that made his knee hurt more. He rubbed it for a second and then turned to Sam and removed the rope around her wrist. After freeing Daniel he decided to try and get to his feet and see if they could find the door out of here.
"Crap!" He almost stumbled and fell. The combination of blood returning to his limbs along with whatever was wrong with the blasted knee made it hard to stand. Suddenly he felt someone's hand steadying him.
"I've got you Sir."
"Thanks Carter!" He took a couple of deep breaths and then hobbled over to the side of the room. "It would be great if we could get some light in here. I hate not being able to see." He reached around, trying to find a panel or switch. Not sure what to look for he turned in Carter's direction. "Any idea what kind of button I'm looking for?"
"Sorry Colonel. I've never seen this kind of ship before."
"You didn't notice when they brought you in?"
"Uh no. I think they may have given me something when we first arrived. I was out for a little while myself."
"Okay. Well, here goes." He limped around the perimeter of the room, using the wall to support him. "There"
"Yes, but I don't know what it is." He took a chance and pushed it. He could hear a hum but nothing happened. He tried it a few more times and still nothing. "I guess that's not it."
"Colonel?" Sam's voice rose out of the darkness. She sounded hesitant.
"What is it Carter?"
"I uh, I don't think it's dark in here Sir."
"Not dark? Of course it is. I can't see anything. Can you?"
"No and I think that's it."
"I don't think we can see. I think we're blind."
"WHAT! What do you mean? How could we be blind?"
"I don't know Colonel. It's just that our eyes should have grown accustomed to the dark by now."
"Not if there is no light in here Sam", Daniel said.
"No, that's true but – I can't see my watch and I'm still wearing it."
Jack realized he was wearing his too. He flipped the cover off and looked at it. Unless it had suddenly stopped working he should have been able to see the fluorescent numbers.
"Damn! Do you think this is like the Goa'uld shock grenade? Maybe it's just temporary."
"Yes, it is temporary." A voice spoke to them. How did he get in here Jack wondered? He hadn't even heard the door open.
"I see you have managed to loosen your bonds. You are obviously resourceful people."
"Who are you and what do you want with us?" Jack turned and faced he direction of the voice.
"Want with you? We want to make money with you."
"Money?" Jack wondered if they were after the bounty the System Lords had on their heads.
"Slavers." Daniel said quietly. "I think they're slavers."
"Oh dear, we don't like to refer to ourselves that way", the voice answered. "We think of ourselves as marketers in high class wares."
"So, slavers", Jack replied. "And what about our eyes?"
"Oh that? That is just a precaution to keep you from running away. The antidote is simple and effective, but we will not give it to you until after we arrive at our destination. Until then you will stay here." The voice started to walk away and Jack was pretty sure the man was leaving.
"How long?" he asked.
"Until we arrive?"
"We will arrive when we get there. You will be given food and water. There is a piss pot in the corner. I suggest you be careful as we won't clean up after you." This time they could hear the door open. "Relax. Once we arrive you will no longer have time to rest." The door shut and they were again alone.
"Okay, this isn't good." Sliding down to the ground Jack rested his head against the wall. It didn't look like they could do much until they got their sight back. He just prayed Teal'c would be able to find out where they were headed.
"What should we do Jack?" Daniel asked softly.
"Do? We wait – and we hope."