A/N - Thanks again, EVERYBODY who has been reviewing. Much, much appreciated! Sorry these chapters are so short - just seems like a logical place to break...Please continue to review - I need my fix!


Chapter 9

Captain Larry Kempson stumbled as rapidly as possible towards the stargate. The first sun was just beginning to rise, making his way easier. Now at least he could see! The journey down the mountains that they had climbed the day before had been nothing short of a nightmare. He couldn't recall how many times he had fallen, drug himself back up and then fallen again. His ankle was twice normal size and walking was a struggle. The cuts on his hands and body were bloody, but not life threatening. He knew he was pushing himself harder than he ever had before, but he would NOT be responsible for Major Carter's death. She was the brightest that Earth had to offer and he had felt honored just to be in her presence. Now, she was depending on him to get her home alive. He WOULD NOT FAIL!

He shambled along as fast as he could, estimating, and praying that the gate was just ahead. When it came into sight, he let out a sigh of relief. Quickly, even before taking a break to catch his breath, he dialed P2X-575 as the Major had ordered and threw himself through the wormhole.

Quickly orienting himself as soon as the wormhole spit him out, he located the emergency transmitter and dialed the gate, putting in the emergency IDC.

General O'Neill was jerked from his near doze in the control room by the klaxons urgent call. It had been several hours since Teal'c and Daniel had returned and he had kept telling himself that the rest of SG-1 would be right behind them. Refusing to go back to his office, he had alternately paced then called the infirmary to check on Daniel. Once assured that Daniel was truly stable, he stopped trying to hide his concern and succumbed to inactivity. Jumping to his feet he was at Harriman's side in moments.

"Got a positive IDC?" He asked quietly, voice controlled tightly.

"Yes sir. It's the emergency box on P2X-575. Shall I open the iris?"

"What teams are out?" O'Neill asked, apprehension edging his voice. Sam wouldn't need to go to the emergency site unless….

"Only SG-9 and they are at the Alpha site," Harriman replied. "Sir, I need to know what to do here!"

"Yeah, go ahead, open her up," Jack replied, lost in thought. As he watched, Kempson staggered through the gate, collapsing on the ramp like a rag doll. O'Neill leapt from his chair and raced down the steps, meeting him before he was able to stumble to his feet.

"Where's Carter? What happened? Report, Captain!" O'Neill barked, barely giving him time to catch a breath.

"We have to go back now, sir!" Kempson gasped out. "Major Carter is trapped. The entrance to the mine collapsed and she…I, I, I… she can't move!"

Brigadier General Jack O'Neill felt his heart shatter. For a moment, he was unable to formulate what he had just been told. The bad feeling he had been harboring proved all too correct. She was hurt…and he wasn't there to help her. It was deathly quiet in the control room while his mind wrapped itself around what he had been told. Suddenly, he knew exactly what to do.

"Then let's go dig her out. Time's a wasting!" Striding up the stairs to the control room he reached for the phone. "SG-13, SG-15, Dr. Frasier, report to the briefing room. NOW!"