"Pull up Teal'c! Teal'c, pull up!"
pulling up. Crap! That was one BIG honking explosion, and we just busted
right through the middle of it. Better give my team a heads up on this
mayday. We are so going in." Now, that's the understatement of the year.
Yep, good old Jack is going to turn into a bug splat on the canopy of
this damn glider.
background I vaguely hear a voice answering my frantic radio warning,
but I'm just too busy getting ready for the splat to really pay any
attention to what they said. I just hope SOMEONE heard me. My pucker
factor just went to 99.9, and I swear I can feel my skivvies being
sucked right up my ass! Where's a landing field when you need one? At
least we won't hit any damn trees.
Teal'c, we're coming in way too fast! Pull up! For God's sakes, pull
up!" Oh shit, oh shit, oh shi...
see gray blobs now, so I guess I'm not dead. Well, what do you know,
Jack, you cheated the grim reaper again. Must be the luck of the Irish!
I wonder how long I've been out. Let me do the math. It can't have been
for long, I hope. Huh? I can hear someone talking, but I can barely make
out the words.
"O'Neill, Are you well?"
can't think straight. Am I alright? Umm, let's see, legs are a little
sore, but they move. Arms, ditto. I try to nod my
Now that hurt! Aww, for crying out loud! Another nail in my head. Must
have hit it on something. Got to stop doing that. Still, it's better
than doing the bug splat thing.
get out of this glider. Need to get off this planet before it goes BOOM.
Did I mention the nail in my head? It's still there, and I can feel
something wet running into my eye. I put my hand to my eye, and it comes
away sticky and red. Crap. Yep, definitely a nail in my head with a hole
to match. Where is that damn aspirin? I could use it right about now.
"Are you in need of assistance, O'Neill?"
can handle it. I move my head around to look at Teal'c. Ooh, that was a
mistake, make that two nails in my head... stomach isn't feeling too great
either. Let's see, nail in my head, blood in my eye, want to puke,
trouble concentrating. Hmmm, put that all together and what do you got?
Can you say concussion? I knew you could. Great, ole Doc Fraiser is
going to love this. On second thought, maybe a little help from the big
guy wouldn't hurt.
"Yeah, that would be nice." I give him my best tough guy
that didn't hurt... much. Wonder if they stock aspirin in these gliders?
Note to self: send out a memo about that. Betcha Doc Fraiser would agree
to it. Her supply has got to be running low. Oh yeah, she probably buys
in bulk. Probably gets them from the same place she gets those big
needles of hers.
"O'Neill, Your eye is bleeding. I believe you are in need of my
come to think of it, your help would be nice," I reply with a faint
smile. "But first, would you please just get me the hell out of this
yelling is not a good thing to do. Those guys pounding the nails in my
head are working overtime now.
me to assist you, O'Neill" prompts Teal'c.
up, bend your knees, and climb on out of this thing. Easy, done it a
million times. Oooh, still a little dizzy there. Definitely got a good
knock on the head. I should know all the signs by now. That power monger
in charge of the infirmary will want to keep me there for at least a
week. Guess I'll just have to let Teal'c get me out of here. After all,
I'd do it for him, right?
out of the glider and on my feet, I take a look around. Nothing but sand
for miles. No sign of that Goa'uld bomber we shot down, or Tanith, that
slimy snake head, for that matter.
has found the med kit and is helping me wipe the blood off my face. It
stings, but being the macho guy that I am, I take it. He puts a
butterfly strip on it and stands back to view his
"Still got my good looks?" I ask with a smirk.
Teal'c merely raises an eyebrow and states, "Indeed."
Teal'c, just how long do we have on this god-forsaken hunk of sand
before it blows up?" I figure I might as well get all the good news all
"According to my calculations, we have approximately 50 minutes
before the sun explodes. It would be wise to find the rings as quickly
as possible. It is likely that we will also find Tanith there," Teal's
somberly states. With that he turns and starts walking around the
he's definitely still on that Jaffa revenge thing with Tanith. Now don't
get me wrong, if it were up to me, that slimy snake-assed son of a bitch
would have been dead a long time ago. But, right now, we have to
concentrate on getting out of here before we all get blown to hell and
back. Wait a minute, we blew up hell, didn't we?
Yep, still not able to focus very
well, can you, Jack. Well, you need to get your shit together and figure
out how to get out of this one. Concentrate, dammit!
first, where is that aspirin I packed? Yep, right there next to the
extra ammo clips. I dry swallow a couple and grimace. I pick up my P-90,
load up some extra clips and climb up the nearest sand dune.
at the top, I turn back to look at Teal'c, surprised that he isn't
already at my side. I spot him climbing off the glider with his staff
propulsion system and communication array have been damaged beyond
repair," he reports when he reaches my side.
another look around me and grimace, "Ah, that's good, because, according
to my calculations, we are roughly in the middle of... nowhere. Give or
cruiser was on its way to pick up Tanith. Therefore we cannot be far
from the Tok'ra base. If we can make it there, Major Carter and Daniel
Jackson can ring us aboard the mothership," Teal'c advises as he gives
me one of his emotionless stares.
assuming they're assuming we're alive, and they're coming back for us,
of course." Did I just say that, and did it make any sense? Not that I'm
a pessimist, understand, I just know from experience about Murphy's law
and how it affects ANYTHING connected to my
turns to me and asks, "Care to make a wager,
which part?" I reply. Damn, Teal'c gambling? I guess I'm training the
big guy well!
turns and walks away before saying, "I believe it is this way."
out and announce, "This is so the last time I help someone move!"
Not only do I have to worry about the paint getting scratched, now I
have to wonder if that mothership is even around. I wonder if Hammond
got any insurance on that thing. I can see the claim now, Mothership
damaged beyond repair due to being in path of exploding sun. The
insurance investigators would have a cow No wait, the Joint Chiefs will
have a cow.
headache is back; so much for that aspirin. Those rings can't be that
far; at least I hope not. We don't exactly have all day to find them.
Course, when we DO find them, Teal'c won't want to leave without killing
Tanith first. And if that snake head isn't there... Crap! This was suppose
to be so easy, yep, a piece of cake. Just help the Tok'ra move,
this is a bad idea. I said that, remember? Remember I said, General,
this is a bad idea," I grumble around my headache. Don't those guys with
the nails ever take a break? My head is pounding in time with my pulse
and feels like it's going to explode.
remember, O'Neill," replies Teal'c. Yeah, he's still not saying a whole
lot. At least he doesn't seem to be hurt. Junior takes care of him
that's what I said," I repeat. Wow, ain't I the talker? At this rate
I'll have dibs on Daniel's job as diplomat to the stars, aliens, er...
speaks, startling me out of my dark thoughts. "How much time remains
before the sun explodes, O'Neill?"
"Huh? Oh, 45 minutes," I reply after looking at my watch.
"Then, at least we have prevented Tanith from escaping."
"I sigh and reply, "Yes, at least we have that."
Yep, still definitely got his mind on wasting that slimy snake head.
around; we've got to be getting close to those rings. We don't have any
more time to waste if we're going to make it out of this one in
relatively one piece.
"O'Neill, have you located the rings?"
Yep, Teal'c is getting a little nervous now, too. That's not a good
sign, is it?
"Yeah, should be around here somewhere."
"Indeed, the rings are centered here," Teal'c points.
I look around and spout the million dollar question, "So, now
As if my
remark was a signal, Jaffa spring up all around us. They must have been
waiting for us! I hear a staff blast and whirl around, only to catch
Teal'c as he falls to the ground. Oh God, the staff blast caught him
right in the back! With the combined momentum of the blast and Teal'c
falling against me, I can't hold him up. I try to lessen the force of
his fall by bracing his body with one shoulder, lowering him to the
ground The stench of burnt flesh fills my nostrils, sickening me. I
raise my P-90 with my free arm while giving him one last quick look. He
hasn't moved or made a sound, just lies there on his stomach.
Everything's happening too fast.
for cover behind the nearest dune. Taking aim, I fire at the nearest
Jaffa. Got him. Take that you son of a bitch!
adrenalin has kicked in now, and time seems to have slowed. I scan for
my next target. I sight another Jaffa and take aim.
I feel that all too familiar electrical shock and sizzle that indicate
I've been hit by a zat blast. The muscles of my body threaten to
convulse, out of control. Not now! Arrgh!
can't quit now, have got to help Teal'c, I think as I crumple to the
sand. I attempt to turn my collapse into an awkward roll and make it
onto my knees. I bring up my P-90 and start shooting at my next targets.
Good, got another one!
where are you? Got to get you out of here. Can't think very clearly now.
Those damn zats will do it to ya every time. Regular brain scramblers.
struggle to my feet just in time to see Tanith bathed in the light that
means rings are on their way. I can see Teal'c lying at his feet. Can't
let him get away, can't let him take Teal'c!
I fire a
burst in their direction, but the rings have already taken them. The
bullets just bounce off. I'm too late.
those snake heads all to hell! You should have seen it coming. But no,
Mr. Special Ops expert, you let your guard down, and look who pays.
God, I let you down, Teal'c!
realize I'm back lying on the ground half on my side. When did that
happen? My gaze is still riveted to the spot where I last saw my friend.
I feel awful, my headache's back, but worst of all I have this empty
cavity in my gut that threatens to swallow me whole if I let it.
must be planning to present Teal'c to Apophis on his ship. That damn
snake head who just won't stay dead has wanted to get his slimy hands on
Teal'c for quite some time. So, even if Teal'c is dead, he won't stay
that way, not with a sarcophagus around. I might not be a rocket
scientist, like Carter, but even I know that the only thing worse that a
Jaffa with a revenge thing, is an over-dressed Snake Head with a revenge
onto my hands and knees and then struggle to my feet, hoping I will see
something to tell me this whole sorry mess will turn out OK.
come in. Jack, come in," the radio sputters.
That's Daniel, I guess they didn't leave or get blown out of the
sky after all.
I'm here." Yeah, just me. "Hey, thanks for checking in." I can't tell
him. I just can't do it, not yet. Maybe if I don't say it out loud, it
won't be true. I'll wake up to find that this will all be just one
honking big mother of all nightmares, and Teal'c will be kel-no-reeming
his heart out back in his quarters at SGC.
breaks into my reverie, "Yeah, we had a little trouble avoiding Apophis'
fleet. Are you in position to be ringed up?" he asks.
Dejectedly, I take one last look around. Nope, still no Teal'c in
sight. It isn't a dream. Crap.
"Yeah, I guess," I mumble.
"Jack, if you're not in position..."
well blow this joint before it blows me and everyone else up with it.
Can't put it off any longer. Damn.
just get me the hell out of here, will ya?" I mutter as I let the rings
and the light take me.