Peaceful. That’s the only word that described his current
Of course you could also add bored. Bored was good too.
The problem with recuperating on PC3 928 was that there was nothing
to do. Nothing. Nada, zip. Big, huge, fat zero for him to do.
Of course that was the whole point of him having been forcefully
shipped out here in the first place.
"You’re going to rest Colonel, whether you want to
or not. PC3 928 is a paradise from what I’ve heard and I’m
ordering you to enjoy yourself."
"But Daniel’s got something to do." He’d
whined back in return. Why did Daniel get to work and he didn’t?
They weren’t even letting him take any ordnance with him.
Not even a back-pack, fer crying out loud!
"That’s because the planet’s long deserted and
SG-5 found some ancient ruins. Daniel’s no more going to
be running around there than you are, but even so, he’s
not been as sick as you. So SG-1’s going on a short vacation,
whilst you’re all a little under par, and we can afford
The General genuinely thought he was doing his 2IC a favour. The
Colonel rarely took holidays, frequently had too much stress on
his plate and had recently spent far too long in the infirmary
for the CMO’s liking. The fact that he’d nearly died
twice in the last fortnight hadn’t done anything to alleviate
everyone’s worries. The man was long overdue a break and,
whilst things were quiet, Hammond was going to insist he took
O’Neill had continued to sulk like a peevish schoolboy,
slouched in his fatigues in the chair.
"Go and get your team ready, Colonel. Even SG-5 are only
out there, doing routine survey work, as we’re going through
a lull at the moment. Lie back, work on the tan and relax for
a few days."
"Is that an order, Sir?" He hadn’t raised his
eyes from where his fingers were dismantling one of the General’s
"Yes son, I guess it is."
The Colonel had risen out of the chair, still moving a mite slower
than normal, and headed for the door, belatedly putting the remains
of a once expensive pen back down on the desk.
He’d turned around to face his CO, still hopeful that this
was all a big mistake.
"Just enjoy yourself, Jack. OK?"
"I’ll try, Sir." The look on his face had suggested
it wouldn’t be easy.
So it was, that three hours later, SG-1 stood on the ramp, watching
the familiar, yet still stunning, wormhole form before them. All
four of them looked slightly less than comfortable in their pared
down uniforms. They were so used to going out in full BDUs, complete
with enough ordnance to sink your average battle ship, that shorts
and tee-shirts just didn’t feel ‘right’. At
least Daniel had a small back-pack with some of his books with
him. However, the more military members of the flag-ship team
felt somewhat naked without their assorted weapons. The Colonel
had a Swiss Army penknife tucked away in a shorts pocket and a
hunting knife secreted in a sheath inside them, but even he couldn’t
find a way to hide the handgun he usually had in his ankle holster.
Looking around him, at his team though, he had to consider that
they, at least, deserved a break in the sun. Both Daniel and Sam
still looked a little pale and it was a while since he’d
seen either of them smile with their usual enthusiasm. Seemed
the illness the three of them had been through had taken it out
of the two scientists. Teal’c looked as solid as ever, but
it would be amusing to see how the big guy relaxed, with nothing
to do. All *he* had to do was find something to keep *himself*
occupied with, apart from building sandcastles on the beach, whilst
the marines took the mick out of him. Why did it have to be the
jar-heads who were waiting to baby-sit them? Why couldn’t
they all have just gone and rested at home instead? Because you’d
have been back on the base two days later, O’Neill, that’s
why, he told himself. Also, as Daniel could be useful with a bit
of translation work, Hammond was killing two birds with one stone.
The trouble for the Colonel was that the stone in question was
going to feel like an mill-stone hanging around his neck. Why
was it always SG-1?
Hammond and Doctor Fraiser both watched from the Control Room,
as the four members of the premier team stepped through the gate.
They breathed a joint sigh of relief and smiled at each other.
A nice little holiday in the sun was just what the troubled team
needed and they’d be back, fighting fit, in no time. What
could possibly go wrong?
Yup, bored. No other word for it.
Spectacular views. Pretty even.
Clear blue sky. Clear green water. Pure white sand. Blue/grey
jungle on the horizon. Palm trees dotted along the beach.
All of it picture postcard stuff.
They’d had one night of being teased and patronised by the
marines and the Colonel’s patience was rapidly evaporating.
Even before they’d landed planet-side, SG-5 had already
taken receipt of a store of supplies for them, setting up the
tents in advance, near the beach, and arranging food and drink
stores. Fraiser had sent over a pile of medications for Daniel
and Carter and another one, twice as large, for the Colonel alone.
Then Major Jenkins watched, smirking, just to make sure they took
them all. The jar-heads were actually enjoying this, pandering
to them, taking every opportunity to make him, in particular,
feel like an invalid. ‘Come on now Colonel. You don’t
want us to rat to the Doc, do you?’ What the Colonel wanted
to do, was strictly forbidden by the regs, so he resisted the
bait and chalked up all the infractions for another day. Even
Makepeace at his most irritating, hadn’t goaded him as much.
Revenge was sweet, as they said, and he always paid his dues.
Daniel and Carter had disappeared first thing that morning, to
investigate the writings that SG-5 had found. They both seemed
to be enjoying a break for once, but at least they still had something
to occupy themselves with. Carter seemed able to ignore the Major’s
constant jibes, whilst in typical Daniel fashion, it flew straight
over the archaeologist’s head, like most things did that
hadn’t been dead for several hundred years. Teal’c
had offered them his services, as though he too had no desire
to spend the day with nothing to do, but the dialect was unfamiliar,
so he was unable to help. That was why he elected to stay on the
beach and keep O’Neill company instead.
You could tell, just by looking at him, that the Colonel was unhappy.
However, he was always like that during this stage of recovery,
when he’d got enough energy to get out of bed, but not yet
enough to return to work. He muttered loudly about knowing how
Robinson Crusoe must have felt, needing to get off the island.
Yo-yo’s and a pack of cards just didn’t carry the
same weight as a P-90! He even had his own Man Friday now for
company. Teal’c felt he would never get to grips with all
the references O’Neill came out with.
Major Jenkins and Captain Walker (who was the quietest marine
they’d ever met) had accompanied Daniel and Carter that
morning. Even though the planet seemed uninhabited and risk free,
you never took anything for granted in the stargate world. That
left Captain Muir and Lieutenant Soames to keep an eye on O’Neill
and Teal’c. Soames didn’t have the bottle to annoy
the Colonel on his own and generally kept out of the way if the
Major wasn’t present, but Muir was different. He was younger
than the rest and generally didn’t seem keen to join in
his team-mates constant verbal sparring.
"Sirs, do you want to try some of these?"
"What are they?" The Colonel asked for both of them.
Anything to relieve the boredom of playing cards for the twentieth
time, or watching the local seagulls fish for food. They’d
been sitting down, leaning against one of the palm trees near
the camp all morning. A cool breeze blew in from over the water
and they were in the shade, but he was still hot and fractious
with nothing to do.
Muir held out a handful of what looked like small pink oranges.
"They’re really tasty, Sir, and thirst quenching in
this heat." The Colonel reigned in his bad mood for the young
Captain. Muir had treated them OK so far. In fact it was a shame
he was a jar-head, he should have been Air Force.
O’Neill took one and looked at it, then slowly peeled it,
watched carefully by Teal’c.
"I’m not suddenly gonna grow in size am I? I can’t
see any bottle with ‘drink me’ written on it around
Muir laughed. "No, Sir, they’ve been fully checked
out for human consumption. Although I wouldn’t cook them,
Sir, they give out rather noxious fumes."
"Really?" Now here was something which finally *did*
interest the Colonel.
"Why would you grow in size, O’Neill?" Teal’c
asked, as he watched his friend rip out a segment of the fruit
and pop it into his mouth.
"Never read Alice In Wonderland, Teal’c?" O’Neill
asked him as he savoured the sweetness in his mouth and proceeded
to rip off another segment.
"I have not. Was Alice some kind of scientist?"
"Nah, although she did test out the mushrooms too."
Teal’c nodded, as though he was well used to these cryptic
answers. He knew that if the information was useful to him, O’Neill
would furnish the necessary explanation as soon as he was able.
The Jaffa also took one of the fruits being passed his way and
ate into it quickly, soon enjoying the thirst quenching moistness.
"So tell me more about these fuming fruits, Muir."
"Well, we tried to cook them a couple of nights ago and something
weird happened. I don’t think anyone back at the SGC has
found out why yet, but they give out fumes that knock your socks
off. Perfectly safe raw, but knock-outs when cooked."
"Poisonous?" He studied the fruits with a new appreciation.
"No. It just knocked Soames out for about half an hour, we
think, before we found him. He was fine when he came too."
"Remind me to send a basket of them to the Goa’uld."
Muir left several more of the fruits beside them and disappeared
to tidy up around the camp. The Captain could see his two charges
from over there, without having to appear to be constantly watching
over them. In truth, he felt awed to be given the responsibility
of looking after the famous SG-1. Everyone knew of them. The two
brilliant scientists who’d opened the gate and did so much
to ensure the continued running of the program; the large warrior,
a genuine real-live alien, who’d given up his former life
to join them in their fight; and *the* Colonel O’Neill,
who kept them all together, a living legend both on and off the
field of battle.
They were truly unique.
Even if they were Air Force, Muir would do his best to treat them
with the respect they deserved. O’Neill might bristle at
being in a submissive role to them, but it was obvious the Colonel
wasn’t yet up to his full strength. The medications that
Doctor Fraiser had sent over were testament to that, so the Captain
would do his best to respect his unease and not add to it. The
man had saved the whole Earth, at least once that he was aware
of, so it was the least he could do.
"O’Neill?" Teal’c struggled to focus on
"Yup, that’d be me. No other O’Neill’s
around here – no siree." The Colonel swivelled his
head around to stare, somewhat cross-eyed at his companion.
"I feel strange."
"Ya look pretty strange too with that big stamp thingy up
there, but *I* still like ya."
"Thank you O’Neill. I also have feelings of affection
towards you. However, I still feel strange."
"How’s that buddy?" The Colonel leaned over and
placed a hand on the Jaffa’s shoulder and nearly missed.
"The planet appears to be moving around us."
"No kidding? Isn’t it supposed to move? I mean, moons
go round the planets--- the planets round the--- suns--- and the
suns move--- kinda--- out thatta way. Big bang and all that."
"What is a big bang?"
The Colonel laughed. "That, my friend, is a night out never
to be forgotten!"
Teal’c nodded. "My head feels strange. Perhaps a walk
will assist my equilibrium." The large warrior got unsteadily
to his feet and the Colonel grabbed at one muscled dark arm, as
it swung beside him.
"Hang on there a minute T and I’ll come with ya. Could
do with an airing myself." He hauled his long frame up from
the ground, in a similarly unsteady fashion and the two men walked
haltingly away towards the far tree line.
"Should we not report our intentions to Major Jenkins?"
Teal’c stopped walking, so that he could look at his companion
without falling over.
"Nah, he’d only spoil our fun. Jar-head, bottle-head,
empty-head." He sniggered at his own attempted humour. "He
can go on his own walk if he wants one. He ain’t spoiling
mine." With that, the Colonel took a deliberate step forward
and promptly fell on his face. "Mmmmph."
Teal’c reached down and pulled O’Neill half upright
again by the belt of his shorts, leaving his CO hanging with all
four limbs trailing beneath him. "Do you require assistance?"
The Colonel got to his feet and straightened himself, looking
"Whatever gave you that impression, big guy?"
"I am a big guy?" The Jaffa’s chest puffed out
at the praise.
"Sure are Teal’c. Didn’t think I hired you for
your looks, did ya?"
They started walking again towards the far trees, their footprints
leaving an unsteady zigzag pattern in the sand behind them.
"Are my looks not acceptable, O’Neill?"
"Well, I hate to tell you this, buddy, but they do squat
Captain Muir hadn’t meant to take so long sorting out his
P-90, but the weapon hadn’t felt right when he’d been
handling it earlier and, not wanting to be caught out, he’d
taken some time out to completely dismantle, clean and reassemble
it. After doing that, he thought to clean the baretta too. Sand
could be a real problem, getting into all the workings and, once
he’d got his cleaning kit out, it seemed sensible to do
the whole lot. Lieutenant Soames was having a sleep inside his
tent, as he’d taken the last shift of the night watch. Even
on a ‘safe’ planet, you’d be stupid to forego
the watch pattern and Jenkins was not stupid. Arrogant, maybe,
particularly against the Air Force, but not stupid. Soames would
be up soon and would probably want his coffee, so Muir headed
around the other side of the tents to set up the stove. He spared
a quick look over towards the palm trees, where he’d last
seen the remaining two members of SG-1 and stopped in surprise.
They were nowhere to be seen.
Not wanting to be seen to be worried, he nevertheless trotted
over to where he’d left them. He spotted the rinds of the
fruits that he’d given them, left on the ground, and saw
the hap-hazard trail of footprints, heading towards the far trees.
"Christ on a bicycle." He cursed as he reached for his
radio. Neither the Colonel, nor Teal’c had communication
equipment with them. It seemed like they were living up to their
reputations. Only SG-1 could cause so much trouble.
They were walking, or rather staggering, along the water’s
edge, as it washed wave upon wave over their booted feet, patiently
eradicating any trace of the men’s progress. Was it raining?
Slightly uncoordinated, the Colonel wiped the perspiration from
his forehead. Man Friday didn’t seem to be having the same
problems, perhaps it all collected in his tattoo?
"O’Neill. Do you feel well?"
"Teal’c, it doesn’t matter what I feel like,
the damn Doc’s still got me out here." The frustration
in his voice was plain to hear.
"You misunderstand me. I think *I* may be unwell."
The Colonel stopped instantly in his tracks, well swayed in them
to be more accurate, but he turned around to grasp his friend
on the arm, concern written over his flushed face. "What’s
"I can feel a strange presence building up within my digestive
system. It is most uncomfortable." The Jaffa held his hands
to his stomach, a pained expression on his normally placid features.
The Colonel creased his forehead up in concentration. This was
bad. If Teal’c was sick, then this was bad. Yup, bad.
"It feels like a pressure building up within me. The nearest
experience I can compare it to is the first time you gave me soda
pop. I expelled gas from my stomach through my mouth, only this
time it feels different."
O’Neill remembered the first time Teal’c had belched
after downing a whole bottle of the new drink too quickly. It
had been highly amusing to see the puzzled look on the Jaffa’s
face. He couldn’t be experiencing the ‘other end’
of the problem now could he? He tried not to giggle at the thought.
"Sounds to me like you’re suffering from a perfectly
normal biological condition."
"Ummmmm. Perhaps you just need to get rid of some intestinal
wind?" He smiled with his ability to remain professional
under all circumstances.
"Ya know, like Carter would say ‘Gas is a natural by-product
of any chemical breakdown’." Wouldn’t she be
Teal’c considered this information, running it around inside
his confused head. "My symbiote has always assisted in regulating
my digestive system before. Why is it unable to do so now?"
The Jaffa now looked positively pained with the effort to control
"Hey, I don’t know. Maybe Junior’s just having
an off day. But hey, Carter’s not about. There’s just
you, me and the sea breeze, so just kinda point it out there and---
do what comes naturally."
"This is not natural for me, O’Neill." The Jaffa
had never felt like this before and had never understood the childish
competitions that O’Neill and DanielJackson had often engaged
in whilst suffering from this complaint. However, unable to contain
himself any longer, and despite his commander’s poorly concealed
amusement, he turned his back on the sea and expelled the waste
gas. It was a long moment.
"Way to go Teal’c." O’Neill comforted his
friend as best he could.
Once Teal’c had indicated he was finished, they continued
on their walk. Looking over to his right, the Colonel spied the
strange mirage of blue/grey trees, dancing about above the sands
and thought ‘cool’. It really was getting hot out
here under the sun. Jar-Jar Jenkins would be after them soon,
but he wasn’t ready to be hauled back yet and the trees
would make them a lot more difficult to track. He grinned to himself
and grabbed an armful of the long palm tree fronds that were washed
up on the beach all around them.
"You ever been surfing, Teal’c?" The waves also
looked incredibly inviting at the moment and he considered going
for a swim. The different shades of green of the water whirled
all around him, leaking into the sand, as though it wanted to
join in the fun. However, he knew Jenkins would be after them
"I have had frequent use of your internet facilities, O’Neill.
I particularly liked the female wrestling sites that you found
for me." The sky seemed to come right down to the shore around
the Jaffa and mingle with the sea.
"Nah, I mean take a surf-board out on the water."
"I do not recall ever taking part in such an activity. What
would be its purpose?" He stumbled slightly and this time
it was the Colonel who held him upright.
"No purpose. Just fun Teal’c. You never did anything
just for fun?" He watched as the golden tattoo seemed to
strobe over his friend’s forehead. He didn’t recall
it doing that before!
"Not before I met the Tau’ri, O’Neill. You have
done much to entertain me over the years." That much was
certainly true on more than one level. Whilst the rest of the
Tau’ri might try to educate him in Earth culture, O’Neill
did more on his own to encourage the alien to break out of his
"You just whoosh straight out over the waves." His arm
flew through the air in a slicing movement. "It’s like
flying, ya know, only you don’t need a parachute."
"I do not think I have ever whooshed, O’Neill. Can
you explain further?"
The trees jutted out nearer the shore and, as they left the water’s
edge, the Colonel started using the fronds to wipe over their
boot prints behind them.
"Well, first you need a surf-board." He stumbled, face
down into the sand again, and Teal’c once more hauled him
"Is this board made of ice?"
"Huh?" He shook the sand out of his shorts, wondering
what had tripped him up this time.
"I do not understand how this board can be made of water,
if it is of the surf."
"No. It’s made from wood."
They started walking again, this time with Teal’c also taking
some fronds to help cover up their traces.
"Then why is it not called a wooden board?"
"Because you take it over the surf, not up a goddamn tree."
"I see." There was a pause, whilst the Colonel nodded
happily to himself, pleased with their progress. "O’Neill?"
"Why are we erasing our tracks?"
"I don’t know--- Damned if I can remember. Can you?"
He was finding it difficult to keep on one train of thought.
"I do not." Teal’c was finding it difficult to
think at all.
They carried on covering their tracks, until they disappeared
into the greenery.
Major Jenkins stalked around the campsite, his face as red as
the sun beating down on them, furious at what had happened. Muir
stood patiently, trying not to take his CO’s ire personally.
Although Carter and Jackson looked worried over their team-mates’
disappearance, it was obvious this sort of occurrence wasn’t
outside normal SG-1 behaviour.
"How did they seem when you last saw them?" Carter asked,
as she and Jackson wandered over towards the palm trees.
"Fine. The Colonel seemed bored, but nothing out of the normal.
Teal’c neither. They were both just resting under the trees.
I took them some fruit over and that’s the last I saw of
"Fruit?" Jackson asked. They’d reached the trees
by this time and he bent down to pick up a handful of the rinds
and a couple of playing cards. It was odd for Jack to leave a
mess like that behind. Their CO was meticulous about taking all
their litter home with them. Even in the most peaceful of locations,
it paid to leave no trace of your presence, or direction of travel,
for a potential enemy to find. It was so built into the experienced
soldier’s mannerisms that he cleared up around camp without
thinking about it.
"Oh, it’s OK. It’s all been tested."
Carter took a piece of rind off Jackson and sniffed it. "How
in-depth were the tests?"
Muir shrugged his shoulders. "It was tested OK for humans.
I didn’t think there was anything else it had to be tested
for. I was only trying to help." He felt mortified that he
might be the cause of the two men disappearing.
"We’ve been eating them for days." Jenkins stated
Walker just sulked beside him, whilst Soames finished putting
his boots on, back by the tents.
They all followed Carter’s gaze, as her eyes tracked the
crazy path of foot prints in the fine sand, now slowly disappearing
under the slight sea breeze. The trails were obviously not made
by two fully in-control adults.
"Yes, but what about Teal’c, or his symbiote?"
Jackson asked, his eyebrows disappearing into his hairline.
"Or the medication the Colonel’s on?" Carter finished
off. Fruit, like anything else could contain a lot of chemicals
and these were alien fruits too. Who knew what it had done to
"I’m going to kill that crazy Colonel of yours, when
we find them." Jenkins huffed. In a way, he realised this
was his fault. If the fruit had affected them, they were his responsibility,
even if Muir had been the one to actually hand it over and even
if no one had thought of this possibility. However, he wasn’t
about to admit to this to the rest of SG-1. He’d haul their
asses back, without any apologies for man-handling their precious
egos. This was still disrupting his survey, making him look somehow
incompetent in front of the rest of the base, if news of this
got back. SG-1 always seemed to come up smelling of roses, no
matter what they did. Well, not this time. They were dealing with
the marines now.
Jackson sniggered quietly. "Well let’s try to find
them first, eh?" He doubted the Major could lay a hand on
Jack, even if he wasn’t already out-ranked. The archaeologist
had seen the Colonel in combat too many times to be taken in by
the Major’s frustrated bluff.
Jenkins looked at him suspiciously. Was the civilian daring to
look down at him? Probably not. He was a geek and geeks didn’t
have the bottle for that. Soames arrived then, ready to move and
begin the search.
"Just give me five minutes to get back to the gate and radio
back to the SGC. Then we’ll go after them. They won’t
have got very far, or anywhere *we* can’t find them."
This time, as he turned around, Jenkins missed hearing Carter’s
quiet laugh and seeing the knowing looks which passed between
the two scientists. The other three didn’t, but neither
Walker nor Soames felt able to take on the Major, or Jackson,
without their CO’s presence. Muir just looked out over the
beach. The Colonel and Teal’c were masters of survival,
but they weren’t exactly in control of their faculties,
if the tracks were to be believed. They’d be OK, wouldn’t
Whilst SG-5’s leader went back to report the latest development,
obviously not looking forward to the General’s reaction,
Daniel went through their belongings and picked up a handful of
medications for all of them. No point in not being prepared, after
all. Teal’c, luckily, wasn’t on anything, but Jack
would probably be needing his soon, providing the Colonel let
them find him. That’s if they thought it was safe to give
them to him, once they’d found them. Looking at the two
crazy tracks leading away from the camp, who knew what was going
on in their team-mates’ heads? Why did these things always
happen to SG-1?
"Wow, will ya look at that!" The Colonel was looking
at the huge trees surrounding them, turning around in a circle,
with his face upwards, feeling the drops of moisture dripping
onto his face from above. To his mind they seemed to reach right
up to the skies and tangle with the fluffy clouds high above them.
"They are indeed an impressive height." Teal’c
readily agreed. He could not understand why he had never appreciated
how tall this particular type of vegetation could grow before.
He reached out and ran his hand over the trunk of the nearest
tree, tracing the markings of the bark with his fingers. It felt
incredibly ancient and much older than even himself. How many
Goa’uld had walked through here and not noticed this one
tree? Perhaps he should ask O’Neill? He seemed to know much
more than he ever admitted.
For half an hour now they had been forcing their way through the
semi jungle. Twice the Colonel had despatched snakes that hung
down out of the foliage towards them, neatly severing their heads
with his hunting knife without preamble. He didn’t even
know if they were poisonous, or not, but better safe than sorry
in his book. Teal’c was not as used to taking out enemies
on such a small scale, especially in such close quarters, and
stayed behind his CO in this strange environment. He was more
used to desert planets and quite happy to defer to O’Neill’s
greater experience, just as he knew his friend would defer to
him if the positions were reversed. It was no slight to his capabilities.
Besides which, the trees refused to stay still long enough for
him to differentiate between the branches and the hanging snakes.
Perhaps O’Neill had better vision in such climates? If he
had been allowed to bring his zat, or staff weapon with him, he
would have been able to remove the creatures from a distance,
protecting his leader. However O’Neill seemed eminently
at ease removing the threats at such close proximity.
The air got progressively more damp as they penetrated deeper
into the jungle-like terrain, moisture dripping constantly around
them, gradually soaking through their meagre clothing. Neither
of them seemed to notice. Strolling through the trees with a nonchalant
disregard for the possible dangers, O’Neill led the way,
until they reached a log and he rapidly stopped the Jaffa from
stepping over it.
"Whoa, there, big guy." The Colonel studied the large
area of water pooled on the other side, several feet wide by a
few feet in length. His head was on one side, as though trying
to sort through muddled memories. "Hey, pass us that stick,
will ya?" He pointed over towards a large branch that was
lying by the Jaffa’s feet.
Teal’c obligingly reached down for the item and handed it
over to O’Neill, who proceeded to prod into the suspect
puddle. The branch was a good seven foot long and kneeling down,
so he didn’t fall over, he managed to poke all of it down
under the water. "Wow."
"It is but a layer of water, O’Neill."
"Yeah," grinned his friend, "but in *just* the
right place!" He looked around at the jungle debris, scattered
around their feet. "Now to show the marines who’re
the wet blankets around here. Give us a hand, eh, T."
The Jaffa watched, puzzled, as O’Neill started to gather
up the forest waste and lay it across the top of the deep hole.
The effort at concentrating was written on his face. Even the
hole seemed to shimmer with each breath as the Jaffa watched.
"Probably made by a burrowing animal of some sort."
The Colonel explained, as he made a point of not collecting too
much material from any one place. Teal’c took note of the
correct procedure and assisted. "It’ll be an old set
of some sort that the roof’s caved in on."
"A set?" Teal’c asked, as he steadied himself
against a tree to stop it from weaving about so much. "Will
there be a matching depression nearby then?"
O’Neill stopped for a moment, sitting down suddenly in the
litter, before shaking his head and looking back up. "Nah,
the only extra this is gonna get is gonna be one pissed off marine---
A set is a word for an underground animal home, like a den, or
a lair. Had to inhabit a few in my time." He raised himself
slowly, ignoring the puzzled looks off the Jaffa.
Carefully, he arranged a support of longer branches over the water
filled hole and then laid leaves and other material on the top
of it, finally sprinkling a small amount of dirt over the top,
complete with insects. He then smoothed over the rest of the area,
feeling happy that nothing gave the impression of being interfered
with. "And now for the pièce de résistance."
Walking to the side of the hole, farthest from the log, he reached
into one of his pockets. Carefully selecting a single playing
card, he dropped it on the ground, just beyond the trap.
"Well, Teal’c. Now to find a seat to watch the show."
He scanned around the area and backtracked a few yards, retreating
over their previous trail, dropping another single card on the
ground. Teal’c followed behind, puzzled as often by his
friend’s behaviour. O’Neill dropped another card a
few yards further on, then laid down and rolled on the ground.
Teal’c stood with his head on one side, studying his now
dishevelled friend through fuzzy eyes.
"Are you unwell, O’Neill, you seem to be squirming."
The Colonel stood up again and laughed, grabbing the Jaffa by
the arm. "A little bit of misdirection, Teal’c. Jenkins
won’t know what’s hit him." He continued to giggle,
as he reached down to grab a handful of pebbles, which he pocketed,
a grin still on his now dirty face. "Communication."
He explained which, of course, explained nothing to the Jaffa,
but Teal’c was used to that. O’Neill had many strange
ways, but he always seemed to know what he was doing and it *was*
altogether a very strange day.
"If you say so." Was his trusting reply. Even the trees
seemed to sway in agreement with him.
"You betcha!" O’Neill grabbed his arm and led
him off the trail they’d just made, being extra careful
not to tread on anything, or leave any tracks. Doubly difficult
when everything seemed to shimmy around them as they moved. Reaching
a tall, stout tree, with a clear view through to the trap, he
urged Teal’c up ahead of him and climbed behind him, giggling
as he nearly lost his footing several times.
"This tree does not seem able to refrain from moving."
Teal’c complained above him, as the Jaffa slipped and banged
"Nah, probably just the breeze." The Colonel replied
as he wiped the sweat from his forehead. His hair was plastered
to him after all his exertions and a tiny portion of his mind
wondered if he should really be doing something so strenuous.
Fraiser was probably not going to be pleased with him. It was
only a tiny portion though and he managed to ignore it without
trying very hard. He yanked on one of Teal’c’s legs
when he thought they’d gone high enough and settled down
in a fork between the branches. Teal’s sat above him, his
feet hanging over the Colonel’s shoulders, almost resting
them on his chest.
Reaching around him, O’Neill broke off a couple of branches
and tucked them into his clothing and Teal’c’s boots.
The Jaffa looked down.
"I seem to have greenery growing out of my boots, O’Neill."
It was all the Colonel could do to stay on the branch.
They followed the hap-hazard tracks down the beach, until they
reached the water’s edge, and then continued in the direction
of the trees. It seemed unlikely that the two wayward soldiers
would have decided to change directions. The beach stretched for
miles in the other direction without anything to hinder their
view and there was no sign of the men that way, for as far as
the eye could see.
"Looks like they walked in the surf, Sir." Soames volunteered,
as he took the lead.
"OK, lead on then." Jenkins muttered, as they set off
in pursuit. He was still burning from the subtle reprimand the
General had given him over the radio. Even more frightening was
the thought of what Doctor Fraiser would have in store for them,
in their post-mission medicals, if they didn’t find the
errant men. Everyone knew how the ‘powers that be’
favoured the number one team. It was grossly unfair, but that
was life in the airforce run program. Suck it up marine, he told
himself. He’d get his revenge in a few hours, when he hauled
their asses back. He’d do his best to make life as uncomfortable
for the Colonel as he could under the circumstances.
Jackson studied his notes as they walked.
"I’m still puzzled by this reference." He said
conversationally to Carter. The rest of the marines appeared to
ignore them completely. Having changed positions, Jenkins and
Walker were now in the front and Muir and Soames behind. As far
as Jenkins was concerned, the SG-1 scientists were purely along
for the ride, although he had allowed them to bring along zats
"What do you mean?" She asked, as he showed her the
notations he’d made that morning.
"Well, originally, I thought this was probably a warning
about the Goa’uld. You know, something along the lines of
‘Scream and shout, Goa’uld about’, but now I’m
not so sure."
"Well, if I’ve understood this correctly, the tenses
and verbs are all slightly off. It’s as if whoever did this
was inebriated, or something."
Carter took the notebook off him, but her speciality wasn’t
linguistics and the notes made very little sense to her. She handed
the book back.
"So what do you think it says?"
"Something more like ‘The order is sunk, our Goa’uld
"Doesn’t sound like anything the Goa’uld are
likely to write."
"I know, but it fits what little we know, doesn’t it?
Why else does the place seem so deserted? Why else would Teal’c
let Jack go walkabout when he’s supposed to be resting?"
"You really think the native food got to them?"
"It’s the only thing that makes sense. They were fine
until they ate the fruit, then look at those crazy tracks they
made. Jack would never go off like that, no more than Teal’c
would let him."
"Janet’s probably putting those samples they already
had through more tests right now, but that doesn’t help
us find the Colonel and Teal’c."
"That’s if they WANT to be found." Daniel looked
ahead to the very stiff backs of Major Jenkins and Captain Walker.
He’d also had enough of the patronising behaviour of the
marines and part of him was pleased Jack had got under their skins
so much. Jack was very good at that on his best days! However,
it didn’t detract from the fact that his recuperating friend
and Teal’c were both missing, without weapons, on a strange
planet. Well, not exactly weapon-less, with Teal’c about,
but if they were both as high as kites, that might not exactly
be of any help.
Carter looked beyond him, to where the trees suddenly jutted out,
catching her attention. They grew outwards in a patch from the
jungle, heading more towards the sea. It was so hot out under
the sun and her clothes were sticking to her in the heat. It would
be pleasant to get into some shade.
"Don’t worry, Daniel. The Colonel can take care of
himself." She raised her voice a little. "Why don’t
we head for the trees, Major?"
Jenkins turned around to her, his face anything but pleasant.
"I don’t see any tracks going that way, do you, Major?"
His voice was condescending.
"No, but I know the Colonel and you don’t. Let’s
just call it a hunch, OK, but it’s hot out here and I think
he’d have headed for the trees."
"Haven’t you ever covered your tracks behind you?"
Daniel supported her.
Jenkins studied the two scientists. Two geeks, even if one was
a major and could handle a gun. He’d no reason to believe
they knew more about tracking than he did, but they ought to know
their team-mates, if nothing else.
"All right, but if we’re wasting time, it’s your
He turned and, with Walker at his side led the way, Muir and Soames
still bringing up the rear. Carter hated being kept in the middle,
like a liability, but she could understand Jenkins not wanting
to lose anyone else. She remembered his very red face, after he’d
come back from dialling up to radio back to base. No doubt the
General had not been pleased with SG-5 for what had happened on
a simple duty.
They walked over the sand and Carter spotted a couple of palm
fronds lying on the route, several yards to one side. Having an
idea, she walked over to them, and reaching down, saw what could
be knuckle prints underneath them.
Daniel looked over towards her, whilst Muir and Soames stopped
to wait. She smiled over towards her team-mate and Daniel nodded
in understanding. They were on the right track. However, she wasn’t
going to tell Jenkins, he could continue to stew in his own juices.
If need be, they’d leave the marines and find the rest of
their team themselves.
Teal’c looked down at the silver head, bowed beneath him.
His friend was leaning against the tree trunk, using Teal’c’s
leg as a pillow, as he quietly slumbered away. Teal’c wondered
how the Tau’ri managed to do that without falling out of
the tree, although he would be quick to restrain him if he felt
the human move. He had spent the last half hour studying what
seemed to be primates above them. The creatures had not descended
any lower towards them, for which he was grateful. They seemed
to shimmy and split into two, before reintegrating back into one
being. It was most disconcerting.
He could hear voices coming in their general direction and was
about to gain their attention when he remembered O’Neill
did not seem keen on company. Perhaps he should wait and find
out what the Colonel’s intentions were.
He nudged his commander gently in the chest with his left boot.
"O’Neill. We appear to have company."
The Colonel woke up slowly, to the gentle nudging of the heel
on his chest.
"I believe SG-5 are heading our way."
Instead Teal’c reached down with one hand and placed it
over his friend’s mouth, only just about managing to not
overbalance. The team was now near enough to be seen in the distance,
following their trail through the trees. O’Neill tapped
the hand on his face and Teal’c removed it. O’Neill
was smiling as he saw the uniforms pause in the distance.
They’d been following an obvious trail through the trees
for some time now. It was easy to see where branches had been
broken only recently, sap flowing from the fresh breaks. Twice
they’d come across dead snakes in their path, testament
to the fact that someone had smuggled a weapon with him, and that
the same someone was also at ease in this environment. Hardly
likely to be Teal’c, thought more than one person.
Jenkins stopped them when they came across a disturbed area on
the ground. There was a playing card in the middle of the crushed
"Looks like the poor old Colonel took a tumble here."
He mused as he poked about in the slight depression, picking up
the card. He walked a few more yards and came across another card.
"Looks like he’s losing these from his pockets. It’s
going to be easy to track him like this and he calls himself special
Walker joined him at his side again, the Captain as silent as
he’d been during the entire time SG-1 had been with them.
Together they walked ahead, slowing down when they reached the
fallen trunk, waiting for everyone else to catch up. Carter looked
puzzled, but it was hard luck for the young woman if her CO wasn’t
as clever as she’d been led to believe.
"Get a move on." Jenkins ordered them, as he and Walker
stepped over the log, the sight of another card enticingly lying
on the other side.
Carter and Jackson had almost reached them and were similarly
about to step up to the log, when a small object suddenly whizzed
passed them, almost catching Jackson on the arm.
"Hey!" The young man called out, catching Jenkins’s
attention, just as he disappeared from sight, Walker sticking
loyally to his side and disappearing with him.
The Colonel pocketed the rest of the pebbles, just in case they’d
be needed later, his face hurting with the effort of not laughing.
Water had shot up around the sinking officers like a spout from
a dolphin’s blow-hole. He’d been lucky not to hit
Jackson with his warning shot and it had taken all of his powers
of concentration to manage that little feat.
"Was that worth it, or what?" He whispered up to Teal’c,
who was watching the rescue proceedings with a slightly amused
expression on his face.
"It was indeed a rewarding experience." The Jaffa replied.
Carter and Jackson wiped their wet hands on their already wet
shorts, as Jenkins and Walker rested on the ground. Walker was
holding onto his ankle, cursing quietly to himself. It was the
most noise they’d heard out of the taciturn officer.
"Here, let me look." She offered as she reached down
and started to undo the laces on his boot.
"Don’t bother, it’s only sprained." He complained,
gruffly, as he yanked the offending leg back, muffling another
small moan at the movement.
"Bad?" Jenkins asked, for once a note of concern in
"I’ll make it back to camp, Sir."
Jenkins nodded. "But not alone. Muir, this is all your fault,
you take him back."
"Yes, Sir." Muir said. It looked like it was time to
apportion blame, the younger Captain thought resignedly.
He reached down to haul his team-mate up, studiously avoiding
the now obvious muddy hole. It was difficult to get hold of Walker,
without getting covered in the filth that now soaked into the
officer’s uniform, but he managed a reasonable grip and
helped him upright. As they hobbled passed the scientists, Muir
sent them a small grin, unseen by the rest of his team, which
both Carter and Jackson returned.
"Now let’s find out where the hell that precious Colonel
of yours has got to." Jenkins moaned as he got to his feet.
He was drenched in the muddy water and decidedly more angry than
he had been earlier. He reached down to pick up the one remaining
card from the ground and scowled silently at it. It was the Joker.
O’Neill watched as everyone disappeared into the jungle
again, then looked back up at his team-mate who was, as ever,
right beside him.
"Come on T, let’s get the hell outta here, before they
figure out which way we went." Even in his befuddled state,
he knew it wouldn’t be long before it was discovered they’d
back-tracked. Especially with Carter there. His Major was good
at tracking them down, which came from years of practice and mother
henning, and Daniel was like a dog with a bone where the rest
of his team was concerned. Jar-Jar might not have a clue, but
his team would do him proud--- after he’d had his fun of
course. This was a trip the marines weren’t going to forget
in a hurry.
Removing the greenery contributing to their camouflage, the Colonel
climbed slowly downwards, only missing his footing once and slipping
heavily the last few feet onto the ground.
"Are you injured, O’Neill?" Teal’c asked,
as he gracelessly slid to the ground beside him.
"Nah, few scratches, that’s all."
There was a delay as they studied each other’s torn clothing
and collection of grazes, accumulated from their less than elegant
adventures that day.
"Perhaps we should ‘mosey on out of here’ then?"
Teal’c asked, as he stood up, reaching down with a large
hand for his friend.
O’Neill took the proffered appendage, with a huge smile
on his face.
"Teal’c! That really IS the spirit. Let’s get
"I do not partake of alcohol." Although it certainly
felt as if he might have consumed some. He compared his actions
to those of his friends, when he had witnessed them during evening
celebrations. It could explain why nothing seemed to make any
O’Neill had his head on one side. "You sure? Is it
you weaving about, or is it me?"
"I am not sure of anything at this moment."
Perhaps meditating might help him? Perhaps it might also help
his Prim’ta, which seemed as disturbed as he was. Perhaps
he would also wait until O’Neill had finished his business
here. Yes, that sounded an agreeable plan.
The Colonel grinned. "Well that makes two of us, Friday,
let’s see what else this place has to offer."
He put a hand out to steady himself and grabbed a nearby branch,
which swayed under the Colonel’s weight. Then he took a
brief moment to re-orient himself and strode off, almost immediately
tripping up over a large root.
Teal’c reached down once more and hauled his friend upright.
"I am not Friday." He said to the hanging Tau’ri
in his hand.
The Colonel turned his head to look up at the bronzed face swaying
"You sure you’re not drunk, cause I’d appreciate
it if you stood still for a minute."
"I will endeavour to steady myself."
"Good." Replied O’Neill as he stood up again and
headed off. "Cause one of us oughta be."
Hammond looked up at the slight knocking coming from his door.
Shutting down his lap-top he acknowledged his visitor.
Doctor Fraiser walked in, with a sheaf of papers clinging to a
clip board, held close to her chest. She did not look happy.
"I’ve got some preliminary reports back on the further
tests I’ve just been running on those fruits off PC3 928."
"And?" He just knew the results weren’t going
to please him.
"I think we may have a problem."
The General indicated for his CMO to take a seat, which she did,
wiping some loose strands of hair off her forehead.
"The segments of the fruits themselves are fine under normal
circumstances and passed every test we did on them."
She took a deep breath.
"There was an adverse reaction when I tested the pith with
the medications I’ve given Colonel O’Neill. The results
suggest he’s probably going to react as though drunk, or
drugged. I’m still conducting tests, but we need to get
him back asap."
"Is his life in danger at all?"
"I don’t know at the moment, but the longer he remains
out there, the more likely it is he’ll get into trouble.
His reasoning is bound to be impaired and he might not know what
he’s doing. He’s still weak from the infection he
had and we need to get him back to clear out whatever’s
in his system. I don’t know yet how long it will take for
it to break down naturally within him. We just haven’t had
enough time to study the phenomenon."
"Granted. SG-5 are trying to do that now. What about Teal’c?"
"I’m not too sure. I don’t have much in the way
of Jaffa, or symbiote samples to test against. However, from what
I have been able to deduce, after breaking down the chemical components
of the fruit, I think we may have a similar scenario."
"That’s all we need." Hammond brushed one hand
over his bald head. "The Colonel and Teal’c running
amok off-world, drugged, or worse. What did I do to deserve this?"
"Nothing, Sir. However, it isn’t their fault either.
They probably don’t even realise what they’re doing
at the moment. In effect, SG-5 did this to them."
"Only SG-1." The General sighed as he raised himself.
"I guess I’ll just have to contact SG-5 and let them
know what we’ve found out so far."
"Hey, look at all these." The Colonel said, as he studied
the ant and bee type insects scurrying across the pile of fallen
fruits on the ground.
Teal’c leant forwards and overbalanced, landing face first
next to one of the rotten fruits. He nearly went cross-eyed as
he watched the miniature creatures milling over the dying foodstuffs.
"They are but tiny creatures, O’Neill."
"Yeah." Grinned his CO. "But you haven’t
got in mind what I have. Give us a hand will ya?" He studied
the branches up above him and seemed to settle on one, several
feet above their heads. An arrangement of branches seemed perfect
for his choice, and after helping the Jaffa up off the floor and
wiping some of the spoiled mush off his shorts, he got his friend
to boost him up into the tree. "One mush surprise coming
up for Jar-Jar." He crawled carefully across the lower branches
and started to methodically strip the foliage from them, but didn’t
throw the greenery away. Instead he started to make a subtle platform
from the leaves, a plan forming in his confused head as he pictured
a muddy wet marine and twenty four hours of snide teasing.
"Teal’c. We’re going to need some long vines.
Can you strip me several yards of whatever’s nearest?"
Teal’c’s eyes widened, as though concentrating on
keeping them opened. Then, nodding his head, he went to the nearest
tree and started pulling off some of the vines that grew in profusion
around the trunks. He’d no idea what his commander had planned,
but he expected it to be as successful as his last endeavour.
"Yes, Sir." Captain Walker replied into the MALP, as
he finished wrapping up his own ankle. He was sat on a log, next
to the gate. Embarrassment precluded even allowing Muir to help
him. "That would seem to fit in with what has happened. Major
Jenkins and Lieutenant Soames are still with Major Carter and
Doctor Jackson. I don’t think it will be too long before
they’ve caught up with the Colonel and Teal’c."
The General’s tone, even coming through the equipment and
the wormhole, sounded full of scepticism. "We’ll see
about that Captain. You get yourself back here and report to the
infirmary and I’ll get another team out to try and track
down the rest of SG-1."
"Yes, Sir." He waited until the gate shut down and re-dialled
for the return journey.
Muir watched from a distance, as his team-mate limped through
the wormhole without a backwards glance. Sometimes he regretted
being a marine, but this WAS only ONE day. Others would be better.
Now all he had to do was wait for a rescue team to come through.
Somehow he doubted Jenkins was going to be pleased with developments.
He could have radioed back to his CO, but didn’t fancy receiving
the verbal backlash he was sure was in the offing. Instead, he’d
wait for the next team to come through and leave that delight
Jenkins led the way through the jungle, the trail easy to follow,
now they’d found the correct path again. It hadn’t
taken long after the pool incident to realise the Colonel had
gone back on his path and then taken a side turn. Several times
they’d come across slight disturbances that suggested one,
or other, of the men had fallen over in the litter. Possibly they
were simply getting tired and, if so, it would make catching up
with them easier.
Daniel had ideas about what had nearly hit him previously, just
before they’d stepped over the log, but kept that information
to himself and Sam. The Major had been amused at her CO’s
antics, happy to know that whatever else he’d planned, they
only had to be aware of his warnings to avoid falling into the
same traps. So it was that they kept their eyes roving around
the jungle, looking for any signs of the rest of their team in
hiding. Jenkins still expected them to be trying to get away,
but Sam and Daniel were looking for them in the near vicinity.
Jenkins was at the front and Soames was bringing up the rear,
even though Jenkins was sure the so called invalids were in less
danger than himself. Even so, he had his pride, and he was damned
if he was going to admit that he was less than capable of being
in charge of a couple of scientists. They’d been on the
move for nearly an hour without any further incidents and Jenkins
was starting to think that maybe nothing else was likely to happen
and he started to relax. The slight pulling of something in the
undergrowth around his boots was the only warning he got. He glanced
down and saw a perfectly innocuous vine caught around his foot,
before he realised his mistake. The sight of the jungle around
him disappeared as a mass of leaves and rotten fruits fell from
above, many of the spoiled fruits splitting open as they landed
on his head and shoulders.
Carter had felt the slight projectile, barely grazing her arm,
as the trap was sprung before her, making sure she wouldn’t
go any further. Her quick reactions stopped Daniel from getting
any nearer the mobile mess in front of them, as Jenkins picked
himself up off the floor. His previously muddy and wet uniform
was now thoroughly covered with dripping seeds and mouldy pulp
from the rotten fruit. Insects crawled around him, still feeding
off the sweet foodstuffs. It was easy to see how the vine had
been used to spring the trap. A perfectly innocent item used to
advantage in its natural environment. She had to admire how much
her CO had managed to accomplish whilst he had such a short head-start
on them. Both she and Daniel looked around them, convinced he
was nearby, but couldn’t see him anywhere.
Daniel hoped Jack was having as much fun as he was, as he and
Sam stood side by side, watching a very quiet and fuming Major
sweep most of the rotting pulp off his BDUs with his hands. Soames,
behind them, was also quiet, but a smile lurked behind his eyes.
Muir would be sorry he’d missed this. Slowly, Jenkins looked
at each of them, as if daring anyone to speak.
"Soames, take point." Was his terse command, as his
Lieutenant tracked their way away from his CO’s latest embarrassment.
The Colonel was getting really tired by now, but his work wasn’t
yet finished. Waiting until everyone had disappeared, he slid
down from their tree again, unable to stop the laughter as he
helped Teal’c down behind him. He’d long ago lost
track of how many scratches and scrapes they’d both got.
In fact it was hard feeling his arms and legs any more. If he
didn’t get to sleep soon, he’d crash out on the move.
"I now understand what you wanted the fruit for, O’Neill,
but this has not been your usual battlefield tactics. Where did
you learn such manoeuvres?"
"Oh, I’ve been around Teal’c. You ever heard
of an ice-cream bomb?"
"No." The Jaffa looked perplexed by the idea of exploding
a dessert in the commissary.
The Colonel looked at him, a smile registering on his face as
he remembered an incidence from his training days.
"We have got to introduce you to that one, but in the meanwhile,
how about joining me in a fruit gas bomb?"
"I am eager for your tutelage, as always, O’Neill."
The Colonel checked into his damp pockets for the waterproof matches
and, satisfied at locating the items, grabbed Teal’c by
the arm and dragged him away. It would not be long before Soames
discovered he was following a false trail and the hunt would be
on again. This time, the game was for keeps. Jenkins was so going
SG-8 emerged from the wormhole to be met by Muir, who was eager
to be on the move again. He’d received a very cryptic radio
check-in by Jenkins that led him to believe things weren’t
exactly going the way the Major expected. He wasn’t sure
who’d need protection more when they finally all met up
– the Colonel, or his CO.
Normally the medic team came with another field unit as escort,
but on this uninhabited planet and with most of SG-5 already dotted
about, the General had thought it safe to send them through alone.
Doctor Fraiser was also with them, not being one for giving up
the responsibility of caring for the number one team herself.
Not only were they the premier team with singular knowledge and
skills, the Colonel was the SGC’s 2IC and Teal’c was
the only Jaffa they had. The whole team was unique and, although
she wasn’t supposed to have favourites, they were also her
friends. She looked at Muir for guidance as to where they were
going, urgency written in her stance.
"This way, Ma’am." He indicated politely, following
the trail once more towards the beach. It did not escape his notice
that the medic team carried two collapsed stretchers. He only
hoped they wouldn’t be needed.
"I don’t know how long we’ve been moving, Teal’c,
but mother nature’s starting to call."
Teal’c stopped to listen, with his head on one side. "I
do not hear her, O’Neill."
"Aww, come on T." The Colonel challenged, nudging him
on the shoulder. "I *know* you know that one!"
The Jaffa merely smiled back at him, neither admitting, nor denying,
"I also feel the need to relieve myself."
"Well, here’s as good a place as any."
The Colonel started to undo his pants, as Teal’c stood alongside,
copying the motions.
"See that bug up there?" O’Neill asked as he pointed
with his one free hand to a large moth type creature a few feet
above them on a tree trunk.
"Bet you can’t hit it."
Teal’c turned around to face his friend, his eyes twinkling
at the ridiculous challenge.
"What would you bet?"
Six challenges later the competition was declared an honourable
draw, with three wins each. The Colonel had to take Teal’c
to an event of his choice, had to teach him how to ice-skate and
had to help him re-decorate his SGC quarters. Teal’c had
to take his CO fishing the next time they were on Chulak, had
to teach him the worst Goa’uld swear words and had to laugh
at all of his jokes for a week. Neither was sure who’d come
off best, as most were things they would have done anyway. However,
the Colonel was laughing by the time they’d finished and
even the Jaffa had a definite smile on his face once they’d
tidied themselves up again.
Carter and Jackson strolled side by side between the trees, something
of the adventures of the day getting to them.
"Do you smell something?" Jackson enquired, his head
on one side as he sniffed the air around them.
"What kind of something?" She answered, aware of the
less than subtle movements of the Major behind them.
"I’m not sure. Just something---"
"I don’t know. It’s hard to tell with all the
dying vegetation around here."
"Oh, *that’s* what it is. You see, I knew you’d
They laughed quietly with each other, huddling together like schoolchildren,
whilst Jenkins continued to stomp along behind them.
Muir stalked about the muddied pool, long since removed of its
camouflage, keeping the medical team out of the way. It didn’t
take long to find the fresh path through the jungle, aided by
his radio communications with Jenkins. Fraiser couldn’t
help smiling at the Colonel, not believing the antics he was getting
up to, even if he wasn’t really fit enough to go charging
through the jungle. Any moment now she expected to hear Tarzan’s
‘Aaaaaaaagggggg’ floating through the air at her.
He’d need grounding for a week after these adventures.
For the last couple of miles they’d been trudging along,
pants pockets full of the fruits O’Neill had insisted they
both pick. It was the same fruit Muir had given them earlier and
grew in frequent patches around them, but the Colonel hadn’t
wanted to risk not finding the items where he needed them. They
were now both so weary, that they were almost holding each other
up as they stepped over the various fallen trees and protruding
roots that frequently threatened to trip them up.
Finally, he found the right area and proceeded to prepare it.
A section of the jungle gave way to a tiny cleared area, although
the surrounding trees were quite dense, making the area relatively
closed in. No breeze blew through the surrounding trees, the natural
barrier making the air very still.
The Colonel almost fell, rather than sat down in the middle of
the clearing and signalled for Teal’c to move out of the
way. He dug a small pit with his hunting knife and bordered the
inside with nearby stones. He didn’t want to start a jungle
fire, after all. Using the waterproof matches he’d brought
along, he quickly had a very small fire going in the depression,
into which he placed all the fruits they’d picked. Patiently
they waited and within a few minutes they saw small wisps of brown
smoke, spiralling lazily above the flame. Moving away from the
fire and smoke, he fumbled about with diminishing co-ordination
and pulled off one boot and a sock. Tying the sock around his
mouth and nose, he then made a concerted effort to hold his breath
whenever he was near the fire. Once the fruits were almost cooked,
he put out the flames and gently covered over the still heating
items, satisfied at the smoke seen wafting up through the leaves.
Only just able to get up without Teal’c’s help, he
tidied over the area, giggling as he saw the smoke dissipate the
further it got from its source, but still clinging to the area.
He quickly tidied up the clearing, but made no effort to disguise
his entrance to it, instead sitting down immediately outside to
replace his footwear. Then, grabbing Teal’c by the arm,
dragged him away to the side, this time being more careful to
conceal their tracks, whilst also confusing the Jaffa by dropping
several more cards behind them on the way.
"Do you now wish MajorJenkins to follow us?" Teal’c
asked, confused, no longer knowing who was keeping whom upright
the most as they stumbled away.
"Nah, whatever gave you that idea?" O’Neill answered,
as he swayed from side to side.
Teal’c’s eyes widened as he made a concerted effort
to stop them from closing. It had been a very long day and O’Neill’s
perplexing behaviour was not helping to clear his head.
"But you have clearly left a trail of playing cards for the
Major to follow."
"Teal’c, my man." O’Neill slapped him on
the shoulder, nearly overbalancing in the process. "Have
you never heard of misdirection?"
"I have never heard of this Miss Direction. Does she work
at the SGC?"
This time the Colonel did fall over as he laughed.
Muir poked about in the remains of the pile of rotten fruits,
carefully keeping his grin in check. However, Fraiser wasn’t
as successful and the smile covered her face. This was so typical
of the Colonel in one of his mischievous moods. She very much
doubted Teal’c had ever needed to learn how to do that as
a First Prime. However, said Colonel and Teal’c were long
overdue to be delivered back into her care. They must have been
running on reserve power for some time now and she didn’t
know how much longer they could go on for. She’d still no
idea how long it would take for the effects of the fruit to disappear
from their systems. Her team got up from their short break and
followed the Captain as he led them off once more into the jungle
after the rest of their SG personnel.
Soames was following the tracks of the errant men, when he came
across the trail of cards and was about to follow it, when Jenkins
ordered him to stop.
"What have we here?" The Major asked, the smell of his
BDUs making everyone turn away as he walked passed them. He tried
to ignore the tiny smiles on the faces of the scientists. It was
bad enough having fallen for the other traps, without having them
witness it too. He saw the trail of cards, but wasn’t about
to be fooled a third time. Did O’Neill really think him
such a fool? Looking around him, he spotted the entrance to the
clearing, the broken branches and disturbed leaves evidence of
"Your Colonel’s a fool, if he thinks he can outwit
me so easily. Obviously, he’s getting tired and careless."
He scoffed at Carter and Jackson, then signalled the other three
through the gap ahead of him.
They were about half way across when Soames stopped and looked
back at his CO. Something wasn’t right here. Something smelled
familiar. Something--- He crashed to the floor as the almost invisible
gas entered his lungs.
"Soames!" All three shouted at him as they rushed over
to the downed man’s side. Carter and Jackson were there
first and only the fact that they were already kneeling down saved
them from falling any further as they too fell victim to the gas.
"Damn it, O’Neill!" Were Jenkins last conscious
words as he crumpled behind them.
The Colonel landed with a thump, his hands too tired to hold onto
the vine as he descended the tree. Funny how he used to be able
to do this with ease, but his hands refused to co-operate today.
"Come Jane." He demanded, getting back onto his feet
and thumping his chest.
Teal’c paused in his more careful descent off the tree,
not wanting to attempt the vine swinging that his CO had just
"I am not Jane." His foot slipped and he banged his
head for the second time that day.
"Well, you’re a bit big for Jai and you sure don’t
look like Cheeta."
He waited until the Jaffa was on solid ground and led them back
to the clearing, trying hard not to laugh as he crept along. Any
ability to use stealth seemed to have evaporated in the heat.
"See, what’d I tell ya?" He said as he poked his
head through the gap in the trees. Removing one boot and sock
again, he indicated for Teal’c to copy the make-shift mask
and, together, they entered the clearing. O’Neill stopped
just inside, with his hands on his hips, surveying his handiwork
with puffed out chest pride. "Wish I could bottle this stuff.
Bet you could take an elephant down with it."
"This has still been a *Major* achievement, O’Neill."
"Teal’c, that’s another joke you’ve cracked
today. Going for the world Jaffa joke record?"
"As I am the only Jaffa on this planet, the record is already
The Colonel only laughed, shaking his head. "Come on. Let’s
get the kids outta here." Holding his breath, he walked over
towards Carter and Daniel and tried to pick the Major up. All
he succeeded in doing was toppling over himself. Instead, he crawled
away for a breather and looked over to his accomplice.
"Crap. I’ve got the muscles of a jellyfish right now.
Give us a hand?"
Teal’c wandered over and, together, they managed to haul
the Major upright and half carry her between them outside the
clearing. Laying her down within eyeshot, they went back and recovered
Daniel the same way.
"Should I move Jar-Jar and his playmate too?" The Colonel
asked, more or less to himself. "Nah. That’d be too
Wandering back to the fire, he quickly stomped it out and kicked
the fruits away, then waited for a few more minutes for the gas
to thin out. Searching around the clearing, he found a long length
of vine and, cutting it away from the tree it was growing up,
proceeded to tie up the Major. Once his feet were tied and his
hands were secured behind his back, he took a moment to survey
his work and muttered, in a very satisfactory way.
"Trussed like a turkey."
Then he did the same with the Lieutenant, which was a bit difficult
as he was struggling to keep his eyes open, yawning the entire
Quickly rebuilding the fire with fresh wood, he soon had a new
one going in the pit. Then he exited the clearing to create another
one where Teal’c was busy making their team-mates more comfortable.
They hadn’t seen any snakes for some time, but it didn’t
mean to say there weren’t any nasties to be kept at bay.
All he wanted to do was lie down and rest now. It had been a very
long day and he ached all over.
"Teal’c?" He mumbled as he lay down beside the
"Yes, O’Neill." Came an equally sleepy voice from
the other side of the fire, as the Jaffa sat down heavily and
crossed his legs.
"It’s been fun today."
"I have also experienced pleasure, although I am unsure why.
I do not understand what we have gained by attacking our own forces,
but I have still learned much."
"I feel like I’ve drunk the cellar dry." He could
hardly keep his eyes open. Shouldn’t someone be on guard,
"You have not been drinking."
"Could still go a spicy Mexican."
Silence descended on the area, as the monkeys continued to travel
in the trees far above them.
Carter came to, wondering at first where she was. She was used
to waking up off-world, but she was normally ensconced in a sleeping
bag and BDUs. She had a slight headache and brief memories of
traipsing through the jungle after the rest of her team flashed
through her mind. Quickly she sat up and looked around her. Daniel
was lying on the other side of a small fire and, thank heavens,
the Colonel and Teal’c were with them. The last thing she
remembered was entering the clearing, Soames collapsing, and then
her head getting fuzzy. It looked as though they’d fallen
into another one of the Colonel’s booby-traps, but he and
Teal’c had obviously stayed near enough to move them from
Wandering over to her sleeping team-mates, she thought she could
recognise the first signs of Daniel stirring, so she left him
to look over their once missing friends. Both of them were covered
in a multitude of scratches and bruises, their uniforms torn and
muddied beyond recognition. For some reason, Teal’c’s
symbiote hadn’t yet started to heal all the tiny trails
of damage. Whatever had affected the Jaffa, had also affected
‘Junior’. At least it all seemed superficial damage.
She tried to wake the Colonel first, then Teal’c, but got
nothing more than grunts and moans to get away from the first
and a similar, if more polite, response from the second. Giving
up on them for the moment, as they appeared to be nothing more
than asleep, she started to look for Jenkins and Soames. Wandering
around a little bit, she recognised the entrance to the clearing
and saw through the gap to where the two members of SG-5 were
tied up, still unconscious, a few feet away from another small
She wanted to giggle at the sight and was left in a quandary as
to whether to check out the marines first, or help Daniel. The
linguist started to moan as his eyes opened and the decision was
mercifully taken out of her hands.
"Wha---?" He asked, as Sam came over and helped him
She grinned at him and indicated he should look around them at
their sleeping team-mates.
"Jenkins did it again, huh?" Daniel asked as he got
to his feet.
"Hook, line and sinker."
"That would be ‘hook, line and stinker’."
Daniel corrected. "Where are they, anyway?" He asked,
as he made a bee-line for Jack and tried to wake him.
"Still in the clearing, through there. I don’t think
you’re going to be able to wake either the Colonel, or Teal’c.
I’ve tried and they’re both out for the count."
Daniel looked worried. "Why?"
"I think they’re just worn out. Possibly the effects
of the fruit are simply wearing off, but they both just seem fast
asleep. Pulse and respirations seem OK."
"Janet’s going to have our hides for this. Look at
the state of them."
Sam just laughed. "It’s hardly our fault. Not even
theirs." The pair of them looked like schoolboys who’d
been fighting in the playground.
"Which reminds me." Daniel carried on. "We really
ought to find a radio and give her a shout. She can’t be
that far away by now."
As if in answer to his problem, they heard the unmistakable sounds
of people quickly marching through the jungle towards them.
"About time." Muir called, as he saw them ahead of him.
"We were getting worried about you when you didn’t
answer our radio calls."
"Sorry about that." Carter answered. "The Colonel
left another trap of those fruits you told us about. The gas got
to us and knocked us out. Jenkins and Soames are through there,
still out of it." She pointed through the gap and Muir went
to check on his team-mates, as Janet crouched down next to the
"Colonel?" She shook him, but got no response.
A firmer shake got a mumbled. "G’way." As he tried
to roll away from her.
"Come on now, Colonel. That’s no way to talk to your
CMO. Open your eyes for me."
She took the resultant grumbling as a definite ‘no’
and proceeded to examine him without his co-operation. His body
was remarkably compliant, even if his mind wasn’t prepared
to participate. Once she’d finished, she indicated for her
medical team to load him onto a stretcher and went to examine
Teal’c. He was no more interested in waking up than the
Colonel, although he did open his eyes for a moment before shutting
everything out again.
"They don’t seem too bad, considering what they’ve
been getting up to. So I’m not going to give them any meds
until we’ve got them back to base and got some of this chemical
out of their systems. I don’t really want to start the whole
ball rolling all over again. Let’s just hope they don’t
need anything before that happens."
By the time they had Teal’c strapped onto a matching stretcher,
Muir had managed to cut his team-mates free and woken them up.
They wandered back out of the clearing, looking decidedly sheepish
to have been found unconscious. They watched as the two patients
were hoisted up off the ground, Jenkins holding his fingers to
the bridge of his nose. After all, they’d been left in the
vicinity of the gas for a lot longer than SG-1 and he’d
already had a stress headache. Fraiser took one look at the bedraggled
Major, replete in stained and sodden uniform and couldn’t
help but ask.
"Are you alright Major?"
He eyed the Colonel with barely concealed anger and answered with
Fraiser just nodded.
"We’ve done more tests with the fruit samples you sent
over. You’ll be pleased to note the only residual effects
are a slight headache, but I can give anyone a mild painkiller
if they feel bad enough."
Jenkins muttered. "Not necessary." Whilst everyone else
just shook their heads.
Satisfied that everything was OK, Muir automatically led the way
back through the jungle towards the camp. It would be a few hours
walk and dark by the time they arrived. At least now they could
work out a more direct route and avoid any more of the Colonel’s
handiwork. The Captain wondered what was going through O’Neill’s
mind as he slept. Was he dreaming and what were the dreams about?
He wished the Colonel could have seen Jenkins’s face as
he’d woken up. It had been a picture and one he’d
remember a long time. He liked being in the marines, liked the
SGC and he liked his unit, but this mission had also been a hoot,
taking down the sometimes overtly anti-USAF Major a notch or two.
Reading the mission reports later on would be a scream, but he
doubted it would be talked about much once the dust had settled.
True to their reputations, only SG-1 could have managed this.
The Colonel woke up to the distinctive smell of the infirmary
and the quiet noise of nurses going about their business.
"I think he’s waking up Janet."
That had been Carter’s voice. What the hell was he doing
back here again? At least beep-beep seemed to have taken a vacation.
Oh, heck. Vacation. Now it started to come back to him. Hazy images
of sneaking through the jungle with Teal’c, feeling as drunk
as he’d ever had the misfortune to be. Where *was* Teal’c?
"Colonel? Are you going to wake up for us this time?"
This time? How many more times did he have to wake up in this
place? It was getting damned repetitive. Repetitive? Oh, yeah,
taking the marines out time and again. Now *that* had been fun.
So how come he was back here again? Guess the only way to find
out was to actually wake up. Plus it was the only way to stop
the annoying pesterings of the Doc too. When you were awake she
wanted you asleep. When you were asleep she wanted you awake.
You just couldn’t please some folk. Slowly, he prized his
"Well, hello there. Glad you could join us at last."
She had that damned pen-light in his eyes before he could avoid
it, then she was putting a straw to his mouth. He took a quick
swallow of the cool water and looked around him. Carter and Daniel
were looking at him, grinning fit to bust, and Teal’c was
propped up in the next bed. The Jaffa was no longer laughing,
like he had vivid images of him doing earlier, but their large
friend looked content. Why was he covered with so many scratches
though? Shouldn’t Junior be taking care of all that? Looking
down at himself, just to check everything was where he last saw
it, he realised he was covered with bruises and grazes himself.
"What the hell happened to me?" He groaned, much to
the delight of the other humans present.
Carter sat on his bed, avoiding the IV that was helping flush
her friend’s system of the chemical imbalance caused by
the rind within the fruits.
"The fruits you ate caused a reaction with the meds you were
on and similarly affect Jaffa and their symbiotes. That’s
why the Goa’uld left the planet. It makes them and made
you drunk, for want of a better description."
"So that’s why I feel hung-over then?" He asked,
still feeling tired. "Did I really do all that stuff I remember?"
"What? Like nearly drowning Jenkins and Walker, Walker spraining
his ankle, dropping all that fruit on Jenkins’s head and
then knocking us all out with that gas? That stuff?" Daniel
could hardly stop laughing.
"Yes, *that* stuff."
"Indeed, we did, O’Neill." Teal’c answered
from the other bed, a curious half smile on his scratched face.
"That was quite an adventure you got up to, Sir." Carter
commented, pleased that after twenty-four hours of straight sleep,
her CO was awake again.
"What? You call that an adventure?" He mumbled sleepily,
as he decided he’d had enough for one day. He tried to picture
Hammond’s face as they’d been brought back from their
enforced holiday. Guess the General wouldn’t be doing that
again for a while. Only his team, SG-1, could find trouble in
the middle of nothing. Yup, he’d done good. "You ain’t
seen nothin’ yet."