Between A Rock and A Hard Place
by Peg

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Jack O’Neill heard the shouts behind him. An arrow whizzed past his ear as he ran full tilt towards the edge of the forest. ‘Dammit!’ he snarled internally. ‘Why does this always have to happen to us!’

In front of him Dr. Daniel Jackson and Captain Samantha Carter darted through the trees while behind him, Teal’c let off a staff-blast to slow down their attackers.

When Jack saw Daniel trip, and fall, he used one hand to pull the archeologist to his feet and the other to spray P-90 fire at the horde of tribesmen closing in on them.

“Go, Danny!” Jack shouted, as Teal’c let off another staff-blast.

O’Neill whirled, and joined the others in their flight into the dark forest. Jack’s senses were on high alert. Even as he scanned the brush for possible dangers, military instincts in full gear, he was trying to figure out how this mission had gone to the dogs.

Daniel Jackson’s mission report stated that all goa’uld activity on PX3-89B had stopped suddenly 300 years before. For that reason, Daniel had requested a more detailed study of the ruins on this planet. He'd wanted to translate the writings to see if whatever reason the goa’uld departed could be applied to other planets. General Hammond had agreed with the assessment, and the team embarked on a second expedition to the planet. It was supposed to be an easy mission ‘looking at rocks.’

“ Easy, right!” Jack thought to himself. “Easy and archeology rarely go together.”

Jack followed his team as they dodged between the trees and moved further into the undergrowth, ducking as projectiles splintered into the trunks behind them. O’Neill’s mind could not help but run through other routine archeological missions that had gone bad – Ernest’s planet, the gameskeeper incident, and the whole ancient download thingee – wasn’t THAT fun!

“How is it that ‘easy archeological missions’ always turn out so badly?” Jack muttered, irritably.

Jack thought over the situation. The expedition to study the ruins of P3X-832 had been uneventful until this morning. This was their second expedition to the planet, and the tribesmen had always appeared friendly. SG1 brought gifts of food and medicine. They helped out in the village. They had dug villagers out of collapsed homes after an earthquake earlier in the week.

Jack searched for reasons for the attack this morning. He was sure there had been no goa’uld incursion through the gate and was positive Daniel would have mentioned any reference of human sacrifice in the temple writings. There seemed to be no logical reason for the tribesmen to attack.

Yet, almost every hunter in the village participated in the ambush by the temple ruins. SG1 had barely escaped with their lives and the few possessions they carried in their daypacks.

Jack ran beside Teal’c, following Carter and Daniel. He knew that part of the success of SG1 was the connection he shared with Teal’c as a warrior and man of honor. Their uncanny ability to anticipate each other had saved SG1 more than once. Even now Jack sensed Teal’c beside him, running with practiced ease – both aware of each other’s movements; both prepared for battle at the first sign of trouble. Jack knew he could count on Teal’c to cover his six.

Jack’s face was flushed with exertion when they finally stopped moving. They found themselves in a small clearing deep in the woods, and no longer heard pursuers crash through the underbrush behind them. His knees ached.

Teal’c scanned the underbrush for any sign of pursuit, his staff-weapon ready to fire. Jack turned his attention to Daniel and Carter. He made sure they were uninjured, then tossed his pack against a tree.

“What the blue blazes was that all about?” Jack exclaimed, glaring. “Did we do something to piss them off?”

“No,” Teal’c deep baritone said thoughtfully.

Jack turned to face him. Teal’c raised one eyebrow as he mused, “Perhaps this was their plan all along. Perhaps the people of this planet acted with guile, waiting until they believed we had their trust. It may have been their intent to kill us from the start.”

“I don’t think that’s the case” Daniel’s voice interjected. Jack glanced over at his young friend. “I think this is a case of a bad interpretation of cause and effect.”

Jack O’Neill stared incredulously as the young archeologist continued. He could tell from the frenetic actions of Daniel’s hands that he was in earnest. “I heard what they were shouting during the attack. I should have put it together sooner. They think we caused the earthquake.”

Jack’s eyebrows rose almost to his hairline. He waited for Daniel to continue.

“After we left the planet last time a flood wiped out a number of staple crops. Cause, effect.” Daniel paused to take a breath. “After we arrived an earthquake struck the village. Cause, effect.”

Jack shook his head, amazed at Daniel’s ability to give strangers the benefit of the doubt. He expressed his own view with a cynical “You’ve GOT to be Kidding!”

“I know, bad interpretation on their part,” Daniel agreed - his expression intense and focused.

The younger man leaned forward earnestly. “Jack, I really think the villagers believe that our arrival and actions were the cause of these events, and so by killing us, the effect leaves.”

“Crap, Daniel!” Jack O’Neill grumbled. “We brought medicine, and gifts. We provided food for their table! Doesn’t that count for something?”

Jack heard, rather than saw Daniel’s exasperated sigh. “Children died in the quake, Jack. The grieving villagers need closure – they needed someone or something to blame, and we became scapegoats. I should have suspected something was up yesterday. The hunters were spying on us in the ruins. The villagers must believe that our presence in the temple provoked the anger of their gods.”

Jack knew that Daniel was right. He had sensed an uneasy intensity from the village since the quake, but had brushed it aside as grief. He turned to ask Carter and Teal’c if they had noticed anything. Before he spoke a word O’Neill saw Teal’c cock his head as if listening.

“What’s up, Tee?” he inquired, apprehensively. Teal’c turned with an almost imperceptible look of worry on his face. Jack had learned to read his warrior-brother’s face and heart and paid attention.

Teal’c voice was quiet, but strong. “We must not remain here any longer, O’Neill. It is dangerous. On our last expedition to this planet I watched these people on a hunt. When their quarry entered the forest, they released a chase-animal. It was some sort of cat-like creature. I was impressed by it’s ferocity.”

Jack grimaced in frustration. “Peachy!” he grumbled “Let’s move, kids. .I’ll take point!”

He lifted his pack from where it rested, then continued, “If we make it to the river, we can follow it downstream towards the stargate. Crossing the river could help us shake loose the hunting animals – if they hunt by scent.” He gestured towards the right. “The river should be that way.”

The team moved out in the direction the Colonel indicated. Jack knew that they trusted his ability map terrain in his head. He had demonstrated that ability on many previous missions. It had saved his bacon in more than one country – and on more than a few planets.

They traveled almost half an hour without incident when Jack heard a twig snap to his left, and looked just in time to see a predator ready to pounce. It looked like a cross between a lynx and a bear – huge teeth pulled back in an unearthly snarl. As it leapt fired his P90.

The weapon spat a burst right between the eyes of the huge cat, killing it instantly, but not before one sharp claw grazed a foot-long furrow down his thigh. The animal landed across his legs, knocking him to the ground, where Jack hit his head on a log. In the distance he heard other bear-cats crashing through the brush towards them, attracted by the noise.

Jack fought to catch his breath, the wind knocked out of him. He was glad that Teal’c was close at hand to pull the huge beast off his body.

As Daniel helped him from the ground, Jack observed Teal’c use his knife to cut the bear-cat’s stomach open. He understood Teal’c’s actions.

“The others may stop to feast rather than follow us,” Jack explained to Daniel.

Teal’c nodded curtly and declared, “We must use this time to get as far away as possible. Is your leg badly injured, O’Neill?”

Jack knew they needed to move fast, but leaving a blood trail would make tracking them easier. He pulled the rip in his camo-pants apart, and breathed a sigh of relief. The cat’s sharp claw had sliced through his leg almost as precisely as a knife wound. There was little tearing, and Jack knew from experience that it would heal much easier that way. He jury-rigged a bandage, wrapping his leg tightly.

“OK, kids. Let’s make tracks,” the Colonel said, his voice deceptively strong. He saw relief wash over Carter’s and Daniel’s face, but Teal’c only raised an eyebrow.

“Never could fool the man,” Jack thought to himself.

O'Neill followed his team in their dash through the underbrush, mindless of the scrapes and cuts he was receiving. His leg throbbed, but he gritted his teeth and kept moving. Right now his priority was getting his team to safety, and home to the SGC.

The team reached the river ahead of him. Jack entered the water, almost losing his footing as the shock of the cold water on his injury startled him.

“Let the river move us down river,” he said to the team. “It will make it harder to pick up our trail.”

Jack was unnerved as he noticed tiny lizards that had been resting on the bank pursue them into the river. The creatures seemed to be following him. It was not until they began swarming towards his leg that O’Neill realized these reptiles looked all the world like miniature crocodiles, except with shark-like tendencies. They seemed to be attracted by blood.

Jack was reminded of a piranha attack as he felt daggers of pain on his thigh, and realized that the lizards were feasting on his injury. Barely disguised panic echoed in his harsh whisper. The team whirled as one, scanning the opposite river bank for danger.

Jack saw horror on SG1’s face as they realized the predicament he was in. Teal’c surged towards him. Jack barely had time to take a breath as the huge Jaffa hoisted him out of the water and threw him towards the bank.

Jack sputtered as he landed head first, breathing a mouthful of water. He felt hands pull him up out of the river. Carter and Daniel were at his side, hindering the lizard attack until they could get the Colonel out of the water.

Jack heard Teal’c exit the river behind him. “We must move away from these lizards,” Teal’c whispered with such sharp intensity that it could have been a shout.

O’Neill turned to see the swarm of reptiles exiting the river, and closing in on him in a feeding frenzy. He grabbed a tree trunk and forced his way up the bank and then watched anxiously as his team followed him into the tree line. When he realized that the lizards were staying on the river bank, he breathed a sigh of relief. That probably meant they were water creatures. O’Neill frowned in frustration as he realized that the mini-crocs were creatures he would have to face again if they were to reach the stargate. It stood on the other side of the river.

With an effort, Jack forced himself to move on through the trees. The throbbing in his leg had changed to muted agony with every step. They had not gone far before the pain forced Jack to rest. He paused by a tree, leaning back against it with his eyes shut.

Jack heard Carter’s quick intake of breath, and looked up in alarm. He followed her gaze down to his wound, where blood flowed freely down his leg. The lizards had ripped the bandage away.

Carter’s voice was firm. “Colonel, we can’t go any further until we bandage that leg.”

Jack was reluctant to let Carter see the injury, but knew he must. He nodded curtly, made his way to a fallen tree, and eased himself down onto it. Carter cut away what remained of the jury-rigged bandage and gasped.

Jack looked down at the torn flesh of his thigh. What had once been an easily healed slice was now a ragged and gaping wound. Each tiny lizard bite had torn away a mouthful of flesh, leaving an agonizing open wound. It looked like hamburger.

“Get on with it.” Jack barked through clenched teeth.

His face blanched as Carter used canteen water to wash the injury, and sprinkled penicillin powder over it. Even as Carter re-bandaged the wound tightly, Jack could see the shock in her face. She seemed appalled by the extent of the damage. He knew Carter was thinking that the situation could get a lot worse without proper medical treatment. He knew she was right.

Jack forced himself up and then moved over to a small stand of straight trees.

“Sir, you need to rest.” Carter insisted.

Jack shook his head as he used his knife to cut down a small sapling, and quietly stripped the bark from the trunk. O’Neill was aware that his face was not masking his pain, but he kept his voice firm. “We have to get a lot further away from this area – fast. It won’t take long for the natives to find where we entered the river, and even though we moved downstream a bit - they will find where we exited it.”

Jack tested his new walking stick for strength as he continued, “I will rest when we find a safer location.” He turned to scan the area, and said, “This bandage is holding, and that is all we have time for right now.“

Carter had not given up. “We still need to take stock of what we resources we have in our pack --“ she began.

Jack’s voice was harsh. “We know what we don’t have, Captain,” He barked, “and that is time.”

He used all his self control to force his pain into the background, and turned back to the team, Iron Colonel mask in place.

“We need to travel, campers. Let’s go.”

Jack limped up the hill as swiftly as his injury would allow, forcing himself to breath normally – instead of gasping each time his leg touched ground.

Jack was aware of Teal’c moving closer to one side. ‘Crap!” Jack’s eyes narrowed as he realized that he wasn’t fooling any of them. Obviously Teal’c was worried, as well.

The team moved down-river towards the stargate, laying false tracks whenever possible, but Jack knew that in a society of hunters their trail would not remain hidden long. He knew that their pace was slower than usual. He also noticed that blood was beginning to seep through the dressing. That meant they would have to stop soon. He fumed, irritated at his own limitation.

His mind went back to the mission’s start. He hated these expeditions to look at rocks. Something always seemed to go wrong.

“Easy archeological mission, ya sure, youbetcha!” He grumbled under his breath.

Did you say something, “O’Neill.” Teal’c inquired.

Jack’s only response was a glare.

Daniel was the one who noticed the hunters on the river. Jack saw Daniel’s posture tense up, like a bird-dog at point – and direct Carter’s attention to the water. Jack saw the same tension flood into her demeanor.

She signaled DOWN in the military hand language SG1 used in the field. Teal’c and Jack dropped immediately.

Jack breathed in sharply over his teeth as this injury was jarred. He wiped one sleeve shakily across his face, then he and Teal’c crept up beside Carter and Daniel. They peered through the undergrowth to where their pursuers paddled by in leather boats. The camouflage outfits SG1 wore merged them into the shadows, and although the tribesmen stared at the riverbank, the team remained unseen. The hunters paddled on.

“They are either searching for us, or moving ahead to lay a trap.” Jack whispered. Teal’c nodded in agreement.

O’Neill glanced at his team. Carter’s face was worried, but Daniel looked thoughtful.

“They know we crossed the river, but they haven’t seen any sign of crossing back,” Carter murmured.

Daniel nodded. “Do you remember where the women were doing laundry a few days back?” he whispered, excitedly. “They used rocks as scrubbers, and placed the clothing on boulders to dry.”

Jack nodded, impatiently, and then listened, eyes wide in shock as Daniel made his point. “That riverbank was strewn with field-stone and boulders. We know we need to cross the river. If we planned our exit in that location, we would leave very little trail.”

Jack was impressed. Danny-Boy was finally showing that he had learned something in his time with SG1. Military strategy wasn’t something learned from books, but by experience.

He nodded, and heard Teal’c agree. “The path is well worn and well used. With care any of our tracks could be hidden among the tracks of the women. I believe that beach is less than two kilometers ahead.”

O’Neill looked down at the river again. “Right.” Jack whispered harshly. “We will make the crossing at dusk.”

Jack sat up. His face was drawn and pale, but he knew what had to be done. “Right now, we need to travel farther from the bank. We don’t want to be in sight when those boats go by again,” he whispered in a harsh undertone.

He used the walking stick as a prop to force himself to stand. O’Neill did not see the worried glances of the team when they saw this. He was concentrating on trying to hide his pain.

“We’ve already missed our daily check-in,” Jack continued. “I should have contacted Hammond while we were in the forest on the other side, but I was otherwise occupied.” He glanced down at the bloody bandage, and grimaced.

“Our next contact opportunity is late tonight,” he continued. “If we miss it, the General will send through another team. He believes the natives are friendly. It’s likely the other SG team will end up as the scapegoats if we fail to contact the SGC.”

He pushed himself to move on, forcing his way up the hill. Every movement seemed to take so much effort. Jack knew that the leg injury was dragging the team down, but he also knew that there was no way they would leave him – just as he would never leave them.

By the time they reached the area across from rock-strewn beach it was nearing dusk. Daniel approached with fresh bandages. Jack looked down at his blood soaked pants, and nodded.

“We need a better bandage before we cross the river. Those lizards were pretty nasty,” he said.

Daniel looked as though he might be sick when he saw the gaping wound. Jack realized that the injury looked even worse than when Carter had examined it. The whole area was red and inflamed. Jack shut his eyes and almost blacked out when Daniel washed the area and used a clean bandana to pat it dry. Each touch was torture. Daniel used the last dose of the penicillin powder, and then Jack helped him pack the wound with gauze, and they re-bandaged it.

Daniel used duct tape and a bit of torn plastic raingear to try and water-proof Jack’s leg.

“I’m sorry, Jack” Daniel said softly.

O’Neill realized he must look like death warmed over. He could tell that most of the colour was gone from his face.

He placed a hand on Daniel’s shoulder. “It’s okay, Danny,” he said.

Daniel’s face was worried. He gestured towards the bandage. “I’m not Janet,” He quipped, “but it’s the best we can do. Do you want to take some morphine?”

Jack smiled grimly. “I’d rather be alert and aware, Daniel. I’ll leave the morphine for my last option.” Jack knew that a dose of morphine would mute his senses, and decrease reaction time in an encounter with their pursuers.

The team ate an MRE as they waited for dusk. Jack forced himself to eat, knowing he would need the energy the meal would provide even though his appetite was non-existent.

SG1 took stock of what they had in their day-packs. They were out of fresh water, but had purification tablets left. The river held plenty of water. They had two almost depleted first aid kits, an almost empty roll of duct tape, matches, the GPS that would direct them to the gate, and the pair of binoculars. A miniature fishing pole and line were gleaned from Jack’s pack. Jack saw the team grin at his ever present fishing gear.

They had 3 P-90’s, at least 2 rounds of ammo each and the GDO. Teal’c still had his staff-weapon, and they had 3 grenades. They were almost out of food, but had enough for one more meal. Jack grinned as Carter reached into the depths of her bag and pulled out a Hershey’s dark chocolate bar.

“Never try to separate a woman from her chocolate,” she said, jokingly.

Jack forced a chuckle. “We’ll eat that just before we cross the river,” he said. “We may need the extra burst of energy.”

When the edge of darkness crept across the river the team made its way to the edge of the river. Jack heard Carter groan in frustration, and scanned the opposite bank. He frowned when he spotted the villager assigned to guard the area. Jack realized that the sentry was a wise precaution on the villager’s part. They knew the terrain and knew it was a logical location for a river crossing.

Jack O’Neill’s years of combat experience swung into action. On their earlier visit to observe laundry-detail with Daniel, Jack had performed an unconscious reconnaissance of the area, and filed it away. Now, he accessed that memory.

Jack recalled seeing driftwood left by the flood lodged a bit upstream. It gave him an idea. He rummaged through the packs, and with a bit of innovation, O’Neill managed to turn a piece of heavy drift-wood into a floating diversion. Jack taped two grenades to the log, and attached his fishing line to the pins on the grenades. He had Teal’s push the log out into the river. When the fishing line reached 200 feet Jack reeled in the line, pulling out the grenade pins. 8 seconds later, explosions were heard far down river.

Jack hid in the shadows along the bank and watched with his team as boat after boat passed by carrying shouting villagers. The guard on the opposite bank waded out into the river and was pulled into one.

As soon as SG1 was certain no guard remained, the team crossed. Jack was unnerved by the ever-present lizards by the bank. He breathed a sigh of relief when the creatures made no move towards him. The water-proofed bandage had masked the scent of blood.

The few mini-crocs that attempted to attack were quickly dispatched by Teal’c.

Jack almost slipped once during the traverse, and was glad to have Daniel and Carter providing balance. He found the river water chilling, although the others did not seem to feel it. It seemed to sap Jack’s strength. They exited the river, and Jack collapsed against a boulder. He watched as Teal’c erased every sign of their exit from the river, and movements along the bank.

Teal’c suggested that they stay close to the river, but move to a location closer to the stargate. It was clear that the tribesmen would continue to search downstream in the area surrounding the explosion of the grenades. Jack knew they should try to make it to the stargate tonight while most of the tribesmen were occupied downstream. He also knew he was too weak to make the trip. He needed rest. He glanced up at Teal’c’s face, and saw worry etched there. Teal’c knew it, too.

Jack knew that it would be hard to find a secure place to hide-out in the dark, but Teal’c lead the way to an opening he spotted from across the river earlier.

“I believe that this might be a cave, O’Neill,” he said, pointing to a small opening.

Jack watched as Teal’c and Carter climbed the rocky bank to examine it. Carter turned back to where Jack and Daniel waited, and confirmed that the small chasm at the top of the crag did seem to lead into a cavern of some sort. She asked Teal’c to lower her down into it.

Jack heard sounds from the river a moment later. He whirled to find Carter pulling herself up on bank. Jack was exhausted. He barely heard Carter explain the hidden entrance disguised by reeds. It would remain unseen to any boats that passed on the river.

Jack followed Carter into the river, easing his way through the hidden entrance. He inspected the small grotto. It was tiny, but would work as a hiding place.

Jack crouched with his team-mates in the hidden cavern, their backs flush with the wall. He knew that even if the Tribesmen found their air hole, they would not be able to see SG1 crouched far in the back of it. His team would be safe in their hiding place. He could rest.

Teal’c volunteered to stand the Colonel’s watch. Jack agreed knowing that Teal’c could go days without sleep because of his symbiote. He didn’t see alarm flash across the faces at of his companions at his unusual acquiescence.

Jack felt horrible. His whole body throbbed in pain. He felt dizzy, queasy, and his head felt like someone had driven a nail through it. He didn’t say anything, but he was cold. Of course, they were in wet clothes, but this was a warm planet, so that didn’t explain why he felt so cold. Too cold.

Jack shivered and drew his arms around himself. It felt like Antarctica –“Wait, didn’t that mission start as an ‘easy archeological mission’ too? Damned archeology missions! Too Cold.’ He hoped shock wasn’t setting in.

He shut his eyes, and tried to sleep. He heard the others speaking about the situation, but didn’t have the energy to enter in.

”This isn’t good.” Daniel’s voice said. “The whole injury looks infected, and the leg around it is inflamed - and who knows what toxins those lizards carry?”

Carter’s voice was anxious. “I know – we have to get him to the gate. Can we make a stretcher?”

“Jack wouldn’t sit still for that.” Daniel’s laugh was harsh.

“I will carry him if need be.” Teal’c’s deep baritone joined in. “We will get O’Neill home.”

“Our next window for communication with the SG is at Zero three hundred. I will explain the situation to General Hammond.” Carter’s voice was firm and decisive. “I can at least have the infirmary standing by, and warn the SG about the hostile nature of the villagers.”

“Sleep.” Teal’c commanded. “I will awaken you in time to make that call – and we will plan our escape for first light.”

Jack’s attention was fading, he knew the voices continued, but didn’t hear anything more. He fell into an uneasy sleep.

It was still dark when Teal’c awakened Jack. The others were already up and munching on portions of the last MRE’s. Daniel smiled at him, tension evident on his face.

“Tastes like Chicken,” he whispered.

Jack’s grin was wan. His stomach lurched at the thought of eating, and his leg was throbbing. Jack forced himself to eat a few mouthfuls, washing it down with water. He could feel himself shaking.

Jack took stock. Morphine was almost an option this morning. The pain in his leg was up to a 7 or 8 out of 10. He didn’t say a word, but could tell from the glances of his team that pain was evident in every move he made.

They crept along the river bank, ready to make a run for the gate. Jack was aware that the team was gearing their pace to his. SG1 had learned many things from him, one being the deep-held principle - nobody gets left behind.

He thought about ordering them to leave him, but he knew one of the other things they had learned was his own understanding that there were conditions under which orders should be ‘misunderstood’. He sighed, and tried to speed up.

They were in position for the run to the gate. Jack gestured for Carter to take lead, and she headed off first. No shouts broke through the early morning air. “They just might make it.” Jack thought, exultantly.

Jack and Daniel moved next, moving across the open field. Jack knew he was holding the team back. He swore internally with every step – the searing agony in his leg was distracting. He did not see the rock in front of him until he tripped over it.

Jack stumbled to the ground and landed on his injured leg. Agony seared through his body, and he pressed his hand against his mouth, biting as he tried to stop the guttural cry of pain from erupting. Waves of blackness fogged his brain.

He shut his eyes tight; opening them only to see Daniel’s worried face and offered hand. Jack took a unsteady breath, and gave Daniel a feeble grin. He grasped the hand, and forced his way to his feet.

“Let’s move,” he heard himself say, allowing himself to be half-carried and half-dragged by the young archeologist.

Jack realized that they were nearing the gate. It loomed large ahead of them. They almost made it when shouts were heard behind them. Jack realized that their flight to safety had been noticed. Jack and Daniel moved on in unison, reminding Jack of a long-forgotten victory in a grade school three-legged race.

He heard staff-blasts behind him, and realized that Teal’c was using his weapon to dissuade the natives from pursuit. It slowed the tribesmen down long enough for Carter to reach the DHD and begin the dialing process.

Jack heard increased shouting as the natives realized their quarry was almost out of their grasp. They were attacking en force. Daniel let go of Jack to fire his P-90 at the approaching tribesmen. Jack fell to the ground, and rolled to face the attacking horde. His body screamed in agony, but his focus was on Teal’c.

Jack’s P-90 spat out cover for his friend’s approach. O’Neill struggled to his knees, fighting to clear his vision. He saw the chief hit Teal’c from behind, and saw the two locked in mortal combat.

Jack took out his side-arm and aimed, forcing his hands steady, and his full focus on the situation. He fired, and the chief fell. Then the world grew grey as Jack collapsed to the ground.

He was barely aware as the Teal’c hoisted him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and ran towards the shimmering blue wormhole. Jack struggled to stay conscious through the wormhole, breathing a sigh of relief when he saw the familiar wall of the gateroom, and Teal’c placed him on a stretcher. They had come through the wringer again.

Jack looked up into the concerned faces staring down at him. He recognized The Doc, General Hammond and his team. He saw Daniel’s worried face, and forced a wan grin. “Daniel,” Jack said gruffly, “The next time you say the words “easy archeological mission” – I’ll shoot you myself.” He was only half-joking.

He felt the relief wash over the gateroom as the personnel heard him. He knew instantly what they were thinking. “Only Colonel O’Neill could joke at a time like this, but it meant that he was going to be alright.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Story assigned to: Peg (kempl@telus.net)
Time frame: Seasons two to four
Pairings: None
Plot: SG-1 goes to a planet for the usual archaeological exploration
stuff. While there, they are blocked from returning home and must
survive with minimal supplies/resources in the hostile wilderness (and
among the hostile
flora/fauna) until a way can be devised to get them home. Injuries
happen, but nothing that would completely immobilize our intrepid
heroes, and of course Jack gets the worst of it but still manages to
soldier on. Eventually, of course, they figure out a way home. No Tok'ra
or Aris Boch, please.