When You're Not Strong

The primordial ground trembled as a low rumble of thunder rolled lazily through the thick, gray clouds. Droves of thickly foliated willow-like trees swayed and shook in the powerful winds, their gnarled trunks groaning loudly in protest. Wave after wave of cold raindrops plummeted from the dark skies above, their hasty journeys coming to a violent end as they met the ground with a muted 'sploot.' Sharp, jagged bolts of bright yellow lightening tore across the black sky, twisting and turning as they struggled to find the shortest path to the ground below. Off in the distance, a mountain of immeasurable proportions slept on, impervious to the vicious storm that raged on around it.

In a brush filled clearing not far from the base of the mountain, a metallic clang rang out sharply before being lost behind a deafening clash of thunder. The clanging continued, however, evident only by the warm glow of seven small red triangles that flanked the outer ring of the moon's most curious object. Standing taller than most of the giant willows surrounding it, the massive stone circle had perched prominently atop a simple three-step platform for centuries.

Within moments of the final chevron glowing to life, an explosive force of swirling blue energy burst forth from the center of the giant ring, expanding out several meters before shriveling back into itself to form an undulating vertical pool. Rippling slightly in the storm's wind, the puddle's shimmering surface was abruptly broken as a tank-like vehicle slowly crawled its way down the stone steps and sank slightly into the muddy earth below. No sooner had the puddle recovered from this disturbance did it happen again as four figures immerged from the swirling blue sea and stopped on the platform.

After taking a moment to study their new surroundings, the small group of poncho-clad visitors slowly made their way down the stairs as the great wall of blue energy flickered brightly behind them. It was then without warning that one jagged bolt of lightening found a path to the ground, striking the round pedestal located beside the giant ring and sending several pieces flying into the bushes nearby. Thrown off their feet by the deafening concussion alone, the team quickly found themselves being plunged into near darkness as the iridescent portal literally disappeared into thin air.

"Carter!" Using the MALP to haul himself up from the muddy ground, Colonel Jack O'Neill's bellow was nearly lost in a resonating crack of thunder.

With a disgusted frown, Captain Samantha Carter swiped her muck-covered hands against the sides of her raincoat as she made her way toward the now smoking Stargate controls. Watching as the blue and yellow sparks continued to dance across the faceplate of the DHD, she hesitantly reached out to check it for damage. Just as she was about to make contact with one of the 39 alien glyphs, a darkly colored hand suddenly appeared and wrapped firmly around her wrist. Startled, she looked up to see the serious face of Teal'c, SG-1's loyal Jaffa friend.

"I do not believe touching the Dial Home Device at this time would be wise, Captain Carter," he said, releasing her hand.

Realizing that he was probably right, Sam took out her flashlight and began searching the ground for a small branch. By the time she had found what she was looking for, the others had gathered around to see what she was doing. Quickly stripping the rain sodden branch of its leaves, she took aim and tossed it onto the faceplate of the DHD.

"Whoa!" Jack exclaimed, skirting back a few steps as the piece of wood was instantly consumed by a myriad of colorful sparks before bursting into flames.

"Now what?" Dr. Daniel Jackson shouted, clapping a hand over his boonie hat as a gust of wind threatened to remove it from his head.

"We'll just have to wait until the extra charge dissipates," Sam replied, stomping out the smoldering branch that had landed at her feet.

"Are you saying we can't dial out of this monsoon until the DHD stops this little lightshow?" Jack demanded, his question punctuated by a flash of lightening.

She grimaced. "Yes, sir. That's exactly it."

"Damn, I hate when I'm right."

"What if Earth tries dialing in? Will the Gate still form an incoming wormhole?" Daniel asked, squinting against the rain that had begun to fall.

"It shoul…" her answer was cut short as a deafening crash from above forced everyone to cover their ears. "It should. We've been in situations before where the DHD has been disabled, but we were able to connect from our end just fine."

"We are not due back at Stargate Command for 24 hours. It is unlikely they will attempt to establish contact before then," Teal'c remarked, seemingly unaffected by the cold water that was beating down on his bald head.

"Teal'c's right," Jack agreed. "We need to try to fix that thing before then."

She shook her head. "We can't, sir."

The Colonel sighed and held the bridge of his nose, the familiar ebb of a tension headache already forming between his eyes. "Why not?"

"You saw what happened when that branch touched the DHD. Any attempt to make contact with it while it's still overcharged could be fatal. Besides, I think the Gate activation may have been what attracted the strike in the first place."

"And just how long is this all going to take?" he pushed.

"I'm not sure. It could be a few hours, or it could take days. Even then I can't guarantee I'll be able to fix it," she replied, looking back at the still flickering DHD. "I'm afraid we're going to be stuck here for awhile, sir."

The older man grunted. "Great."

At a momentary loss over what to do, SG-1 stood quietly in the clearing, watching as the storm raged on around them. It was Jack's backpack squishing to the ground that finally broke the silence, his team turning to look as he settled onto it like a bar stool.

"Might as well lighten your loads, kids. Looks like it's going to be a long day."

Daniel's eyebrows shot up over his rain-streaked glasses. "Wait a minute, Jack - We're not just going to sit around and wait for the DHD to stop smoking, are we?"

"Ah, yeah."

"What else did you have in mind, Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c inquired, his gold serpent tattoo shimmering in a distant flash.

"Well…I was just thinking, since we're already here, why not proceed with the mission?"

"Might help pass the time, sir," Sam agreed, hoping for some physical activity to help stave off the chills being caused by the cold rain.

Teal'c inclined his head. "I concur."

Heaving a sigh, the Colonel found himself beginning to regret ever agreeing to take what had been simply classified as a "UAV Recovery." Something had caused the unmanned airplane to fail, and now it was their job to find it, secure the data module, and destroy what they couldn't carry back. At Daniel's request, they were also going to stop along the way and investigate an odd grouping of rock piles that the UAV had spotted just before going down.

Noticing her CO's reluctance to leave the area when their only way home was temporarily locked, Sam spoke up. "Also, sir, we should consider that the Stargate is probably the biggest lightening rod on the moon. By staying here…"

"We run the risk of being struck. I realize that, Captain," he uttered, wiping the water from his face with a gloved hand. Taking a moment to mentally weigh their two options, Jack finally lifted his pack from the ground, shook off the excess mud, and settled it on his shoulders. "We're here, right? What the hell."

The archeologist grinned. "My thoughts exactly, Jack."

"The last transmission we received positioned the UAV about 8 klicks north of the Gate, sir," Sam reported, double-checking her notes.

"Then north it is. All righty, folks, let's keep our eyes open for any deep puddles, fallen trees, and wandering land sharks."

Not totally up to par on his Earth culture, Teal'c missed the joke completely. "Did the UAV data not suggest this moon to be uninhabited?"

"As far as we know," Daniel replied, looking back to see his friend's face knotted up in a concerned frown. "He's just quoting an old TV show, Teal'c. There's no such thing as a land shark."

There was a slight hint of disappointment in his voice. "I see."

"Hey! You two coming or what?" Jack shouted from where he and Sam stood at the edge of the woods.

"Coming, Jack!" he called over his shoulder before turning back to Teal'c. "Ready?"

"I am."

"Good." Taking a moment to readjust his pack, Daniel started off to meet the others with Teal'c at his heels, eager to explore the many secrets and wonders of the new world around him.


Several hours later found SG-1 deep within the alien forest, heavily surrounded in all directions by various species of willow trees. Although the dense foliage made for difficult travel, they were grateful that the tangled leaves prevented most of the steadily failing rain and hail from reaching them. Despite making good time, the team had opted out of their usual rest break in favor of munching energy bars while on the move to keep warm in the damp, chilly air.

Using the UAV tracker as a guide, Captain Carter led the others along a crooked path through trees and shrubbery, relying primarily on the frequent flashes of lightening to illuminate the way.

"Are we there yet?" Jack asked unenthusiastically as he craned his neck back to get a better look at the massive boulder they were approaching. It seemed to be out of place in the middle of a forest, but it was obvious it had been there awhile just by the amount of vines and moss that covered it.

"Not quite, sir," she replied, finding herself becoming bored with bland scenery as well. They had yet to come across any signs that intelligent life had ever inhabited the tree enshrouded world, and it was beginning to look like they never would. It also had her wondering why there was even a Stargate on the moon in the first place. "It's a little less than three klicks away."

"Great…" he drawled, carefully wading through an ankle deep puddle of mud. Pausing to scrape the worst of the offending substance off against a nearby stump, Jack's scowl deepened as he wiggled his toes around in his boots. "God, I hate wet feet…"

"Pretty impressive rock isn't it, Jack?" Daniel asked as he slogged through mud like it was nothing.

Gazing up at the 10-foot high spectacle, the Colonel simply shrugged. "I've seen bigger."

"O'Neill," Teal'c boomed suddenly, his hands pressed against the side of the rock.

"Whatcha got there, T?" he asked, swinging his weapon's light around.

"I believe I have found something that would be of great interest to you."

Cursing softly as he forged his way back through the mud puddle, Jack arrived at the Jaffa's side just as a brilliant flash of electricity tore across the sky. Temporarily blinded by the light, he tripped and stumbled against the gigantic rock, his unprotected fingertips digging into its oddly moist, slimy surface.

"Is that what I think it is?" Daniel's inquisitive voice almost lost in a crash of thunder.

"It sure looks it," Sam uttered, focusing the beam of her light in front of her. Following suit, the others aimed their flashlights at the massive object to reveal what appeared to be a very old, run down shuttle. About the size and height of two buses put side by side, the craft was oddly oblong in shape and seemed to be embedded in hard rock along the base.

Teal'c looked at it thoughtfully. "It appears this craft has not been in service for a very long time."

"Ya think?" Jack muttered, retrieving his combat knife and slashing through the thickly grown vines in search of a way in.

"Sir, this ship doesn't look like anything we're ever come across before," Sam said as she also went for her knife.

Daniel ran his hands over the hull, taking in the rutty surface and odd feel. "This hull – it doesn't feel like metal. It's too rough and it feels wet and sticky."

The Captain scraped her knife through a tuft of dark green leaves. "That could be just from algae and exposure to the…wait, sir, I think I found something."

Sheathing his knife, the Colonel swiped his dirty hands across his pants as he walked around to where she stood. After observing the rectangular outline of a door and small sensor panel beside it, he raised his weapon and prepared for entry. "All right. Everyone keep low and to the side. Who knows what we'll find behind door number one."

Teal'c readied his zat as he positioned himself behind his leader. "It would appear that this vessel contains only a single door, O'Neill."

"Thanks, Teal'c. We ready?"

Sam answered for them all. "Whenever you are, sir."

"Right. On three then. One…two…three!" Finding the sensor panel to be inactive, Jack rushed the door shoulder first and forced all his weight against it. Corroded shut from lack of use, the old door protested loudly before it finally slid open with a grating squeal. Entering the craft on high alert, he quickly swept the searchlight of his weapon around every inch of the dark interior, making note of the single door that was straight ahead. Satisfied there were no immediate threats, he took a step forward and allowed the others to enter. "Clear!"

The first thing that occurred to Daniel as he stepped into the alien ship was how small the interior was. Not much bigger than what he would have considered a spacious bathroom, he found he had just enough room to move around comfortably without bumping into his teammates. Glancing around the room, he reasoned the craft was probably for beings that were of a much smaller stature and was never meant to house three relatively tall humans and a Jaffa.

"Looks like this is the bridge," Sam uttered, nodding towards the two swivel chairs and simple control panels that were nested below a fairly large picture window. Slowly guiding her light along the bridge controls, a slight gasp of shock escaped her when the beam fell on what was slouched in one of the chairs.

"I guess he didn't make it," Daniel muttered, walking over to the grayed skeleton and gazing into its hollow eyes.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Master of the Obvious…"

Ignoring her CO's sarcastic remark, she began to look over the pile of old bones with interest. "Doesn't appear to be trauma of any kind. It almost looks like they just sat down and died…"

Her musings having caused him to take a tighter grip on his weapon, Jack felt a wave of unease wash over him. "All right, Carter, Teal'c, check out and see what's behind door number two. Daniel, you're with me. And be careful."

"Yes, sir," she said, getting to her feet and following Teal'c to the back of the bridge.

Once certain they'd made it safely into the next room, Jack brought his attention back to the team's archeologist. Although Daniel still had his weapon drawn and ready, his boyish grin and wide eyes clearly showed that his mind was elsewhere.

"This is unbelievable…"


"This ship, Jack. I mean, just look at it. It's just so basic, so…" he uttered, his hands gesturing to the control panel. "…So primitive."

The Colonel turned and looked closely at the control panel, noticing how simple it really was for the first time. Rather than the computerized screens, flashing buttons, and multifunction keyboards of their world, he found only basic knobs, switches, and crystals mounted on what looked like a wooden dash. Stepping closer, he reached out and ran a finger between two of the knobs, the surface of the dash feeling exactly like wet, spongy wood. "Huh."

Daniel appeared at his side. "I think Sam was right – we haven't seen a ship like this before."

"The other rooms check out, sir," Sam reported as she and Teal'c emerged through the small door. "I think it's safe to say there's no one on board."

Teal'c nodded his approval. "Nor has there been for a considerable amount of time."

Jack's eyes wandered back to the skeleton sitting quietly in the chair. "Yeah, we gathered that."

"So what did you find?" Daniel prodded, eager to know what he had missed.

"Not a whole lot," Sam began, a hint of disappointment in her voice. "Just a space slightly larger than this one that looks like a crew sleeping area. Other than that, there are your basic onboard facilities, a few storage compartments, and a less than impressive engine room."

Daniel's eyes shown brightly behind his glasses. "This is incredible…"

"Now what?" the Colonel muttered, dropping heavily into the vacant chair beside the grinning skeleton.

"Don't you realize what we've found?"

"We have discovered an abandoned means of transportation," Teal'c replied flatly.

"No, no, no!" Daniel uttered quickly, his hand gestures becoming more animated as he spoke. "It's a new culture to research! New technology to study! New…"

Jack signaled a time out to stop his rant, the old chair creaking noisily under his shifting weight. "Whoa, Danny! New technology? I think it's fair to say that my watch is more advanced than anything on this ship. I mean, just look at it…" Striking out at the nearest wall with his heavily booted foot, the Colonel raised an eyebrow when the resulting moist thud clearly emphasized his point. "Sounds like it's made of wood for crying out loud. "

"Actually, sir, you might be onto something," Sam replied, examining the small splinter that she had just carved out of the wall with her knife.

"What?" The bewildered question coming simultaneously from both Jack and Daniel.

"I think the hull is made out of wood," she said, holding up the scrap for them to see.

Daniel plucked the splinter from her grasp and rolled it around in his fingers several times. "Sure feels like wood."

"If that is the case, than this vessel would have never been capable of interstellar travel," Teal'c interjected from his place by the door.

"Well, could it be a terrestrial transport of some kind? Maybe someone's personal craft?" the archeologist suggested,

Sam shrugged. "Possibly. I mean it's certainly not built for security or hauling large amounts of cargo. And judging by its ungainly shape, I'd have to say it probably didn't move more than a few hundred miles an hour."

The Colonel rested his chin against his hand and gave the others an incredulous look. "You think someone would go to the trouble of hollowing out a tree just to hotwire it? Please."

"On the contrary, O'Neill," Teal'c began, a slight smile touching his lips. "Were the first successful aircrafts of your world not constructed of wood?"

Jack gave the Jaffa a warning glare before turning to meet Daniel's hopeful eyes. "And I suppose you want to study it?"

"The chance to study a potential new race? Yeah – You could say it crossed my mind."

"And who knows, sir," Sam added quickly, eager to poke around some more herself. "We might just find something that's useful," her comment eliciting a sarcastic a snort from her CO.

"Do you not believe in the saying manifestations can be misleading?"

The three humans monetarily exchanged a baffled look as they attempted to decode which cliché their alien friend was trying to use. Amazingly, it was Jack who spoke up first.

"Teal'c, it's 'appearances can be deceiving,' and yes, I do believe in that. Sometimes."

"It couldn't hurt to look, sir. I mean you never know what you're going to find until you do."

Jack set his jaw in thought and sighed, allowing his eyes to roam slowly over the gray bones of the skeleton that sat beside him. Giving it a dissatisfied frown, he looked up to find the others watching him with eager eyes.

We're here right? He asked himself. What the hell

"All right," he said, clapping his hands against his knees, the chair creaking loudly as he stood. "I know when I'm outnumbered. Carter, flag this place with a marker so we can come back another time."

"Whoa, wait, Jack!" Daniel exclaimed before the words had completely left the older man's mouth. "We're just going to leave it here?"

"Yep," he replied bluntly, tucking his weapon back under the safety of his poncho in preparation to leave. "It's been here for what, a couple thousand years already? I think it can wait a little longer."


"Ah!" Jack waggled a finger in front of his face. "We still have a UAV to find and that pile of rocks to check out, remember? Let's go."

Daniel watched as he stuffed his soggy ball cap down onto his head before leaving the relative safety of the shuttle followed closely by Teal'c. Although curious about the rock pile located near the crash site, he was still hesitant to leave such a rare find behind without at least taking some notes and pictures for future reference.

"Come on, Daniel," Sam urged as she made her way past him and out the door. "We'll come back later and have a look around."

Frowning, he replaced his own rain sodden hat and paused to take a final lingering look around the small craft. Sighing dejectedly, the archeologist shook his head and started after his friends. How come the most exciting things in life are always just out of my reach?


SG-1 made good time arriving at the crash site, their progress only slightly impeded by the slick footing and steadily driving rain. As they walked, the violent storm raged on overhead, the brilliant lightening providing them with a show more spectacular than anything they'd ever seen on Earth.

To make better use of their time, the team split three ways with Sam and Teal'c going after the downed UAV, Daniel searching for items of interest in the rock pile, and Jack diligently patrolling the short expanse between them. They had been at their separate tasks for nearly 45 minutes when the wind started to intensify and the clouds opened up to deliver a deluge of icy water.

Quickly becoming cold, wet, and decidedly bored, Jack wrapped his arms around himself in an effort to keep his poncho from being torn to shreds by the whipping winds.

"Sir!" Sam shouted, her form materializing out of the heavy rain and appearing at his side. "Have a look at this. I think the UAV was struck down by lightening."

He moved the beam of his flashlight to the opaque object in her hands, recognizing it as a piece from the body of the UAV. "Lightening, huh? In beautiful weather like this? Imagine that! You find all the bells, whistles, and widgets you came for?"

"Yes, sir. Everything else is just melted composite material. Teal'c's taking care of that now." Through the wall of rain, they could just make out three distinct bursts coming from what could only be a zat gun.

He nodded. "Nice."

Lapsing into momentary silence, both officers jumped when a deafening clap of thunder roared overhead, followed by a dazzling bolt of lightening. Not far in the distance, the colossal mountain loomed passively, seemingly impervious to the deadly lightening that danced around it.

"Hard to believe it's over twice the size of Mt Everest," the Captain uttered, shaking her head at the impressive sight.

A wry grin spread across her CO's handsome face. "How 'bout it, Carter? Race ya to the top?"

"Sure," she replied. "And I'll even spot you a head start, sir."

His eyebrows rose at her quick comeback. "All righty then."

"Jack! Jack!" Daniel's excited voice came floating through the veil of rain. "I think I've found something! Jack!"

"Oiy," he grumbled under his breath as he began to close the distance between him and the over exuberant archeologist. "What is it, Daniel?"

"It looks like a relic or a religious piece! Or…"

"A rock?"

Daniel's shoulder's sagged at the older man's cynical comment, but it was quickly forgotten when his eyes returned to the object at his feet. "Jack! Will you at least help me lift it out of here so I can see what it is?"

"Oh for crying out loud," he muttered, wiggling out of his backpack and tossing his light to Sam before stalking over to the pile of rocks.

Shining the light on her two friends, she watched as both men struggled to lift what appeared to be a fairly large stone from the center of the mound, the rain making the surface of the object slippery and difficult to hold. Shivering slightly in the cold rain, she glanced over her shoulder to look for any signs of Teal'c returning, wheeling back when she heard her CO shout.

"Son of a bitch!"

Swinging the light around, she accidentally blinded him before quickly dropping the beam. "Sir, are you okay?"

Ignoring the question, Jack gave his right hand a hard shake before looking at his palm and uttering another curse.

"Jack? What's wrong?" Daniel called, still clutching the now noticeably smaller item in his hands. He'd felt the hard outer shell of the object starting to crumble beneath his own grasp, but had not been unable to warn his friend in time before a large piece had disintegrated in his hands.

"Let's just get this thing out of here so Teal'c can deal with it!" Jack shouted, reclaiming his grip on the object. Working together, the two men were able to wrestle the awkwardly shaped rock over the unstable and slippery surface of the pile without further incident. By the time they made it to solid ground, Teal'c had appeared beside Sam to watch the proceedings.

"What happened, sir?" she asked, watching as they practically dropped the stone at the Jaffa's feet.

"Damn thing bit me…" he growled, motioning for her to hold up the light for him to use. Carefully tugging off his fingerless glove, Jack grimaced at the deep gash that ran from the base of his thumb, all the way down to his wrist. "Aw, crap…"

Sam paled when she saw the blood and rainwater readily streaming down his arm. "It looks awfully deep, sir."

"Nah, just a scratch," he replied, pressing his hand against his raincoat to staunch the bleeding. "Teal'c, Daniel wants this as a souvenir. Think you can handle it?"

"I believe I can, O'Neill."

"Good. Just be careful. It bites," he joked, missing the perplexed look that crossed the Jaffa's face as left to retrieve his gear. Less than halfway back to where his pack sat slouched in the mud, Jack's brisk pace gradually slowed to a stop, an odd feeling of detachment unexpectedly washing over him. It began with the slight flutter of his heart against his chest and a whirl of dizziness that threatened to send him to the ground. Waves of powerful nausea came next and when he tried to swallow back the rising bile, he found he could not. The terrifying realization that his throat was closing up caused a heavy sweat to break out all over his body despite the chilling rain.

"Sir, Teal'c's got the rock with no problem. We're ready to move out when you… Colonel?" Sam looked up from her gear in time to see her CO drop to his knees, a hand pressed to his throat. For a fleeting moment, her heart stopped. "Colonel, what's wrong?"

"What's going on?" Daniel asked, having heard the change in her voice. Following her gaze, he too felt his heart miss a beat as he watched the older man slowly slip completely to the ground. "Jack?"

"Oh my god…" she gasped and took off running with Daniel not far behind. Skidding to a stop on her knees in the thick mud, she immediately rolled the Colonel onto his back and took him by the chin, trying to force his unfocused eyes to meet hers. "Sir? Talk to me. What's wrong?"

Jack hardly noticed her presence as he struggled to breathe against his rapidly swelling throat. Black spots danced dizzily before his eyes, and the ground beneath him spun wildly like a child's toy that was out of control.

"Jack?" Daniel called out, desperately trying to obtain some sort of response from the wheezing man below him.

"Holy crap…" Sam uttered, suddenly realizing what was going on. Cramming the flashlight into Daniel's hands, she tore back her poncho and began rifling through the small field kit in her vest.

The archeologist was stunned, his hands shaking as he gripped the slippery shaft of the light. "W-what's happening?"

"He's going into anaphylactic shock," she uttered as her hand finally closed around the item she had been blindly searching for. Withdrawing an epinephrine pen from the depths of her pocket, she removed the cap and firmly pressed the barrel against her CO's thigh in one fluid motion. Just able to hear the spring driven needle engage against the howling storm, she held it in place for several seconds before checking for a response. Returning to his head, she lightly slapped his face to try and get his attention. "Colonel?"

"He is not responding," Teal'c declared aloud, having joined the vigil at Jack's side, the massive rock still clutched in his hands.

"No - It's not working fast enough…" she agreed, observing his rolled back eyes and almost nonexistent breathing. Removing a second pen from her vest, she repeated the same process she had done with the first injection. "Come on, sir, come on. Snap out of it…"

A tense moment passed as the small group waited and watched, each second seeming like an eternity. Just as she was about to consider a third dose of epinephrine, Jack coughed deeply and gasped for air as his throat began to reopen. Firmly pressing a hand against his shoulder, she fought to keep him laying back. "Easy, sir! Just lie still. You're going to be fine."

His face tight with confusion, the Colonel struggled to remain conscious as he tried to figure out what was going on. Taking a few shuddering gulps of air, he jumped as a loud clap of thunder roared overhead.

Sam brushed the rainwater away from his face. "Calm down, sir. You're all right now."

Unable to fight the shock any longer, Jack's eyes fell shut as he finally passed out.

"Is he okay?" Daniel asked, in a minor state of shock himself.

Sam leaned forward and rested an ear against her CO's chest, frowning at how fast his heart was racing. "His breathing's far from normal, but I think he's getting enough air. Yeah, he should be all right in a few hours."

"What caused O'Neill to react in such a manner?"

"I don't know, Teal'c. But we should try to get him out of this storm somehow."

"The shuttle," Daniel suggested, eager to return despite the situation. "It's not far from here and it seemed safe."

She nodded in agreement. "Good idea. Teal'c, can you carry him?"

"I can," he said, immediately settling the heavy rock at his feet. With amazing gentleness for a man of his stature, the Jaffa knelt and carefully collected his friend into his arms, holding him close to preserve his warmth.

Daniel bent down and lifted up the discarded rock with a grunt. "I'll get this."

"Daniel, just leave it here. We can come back..." Sam began, seeing the struggle he was having with its weight.

"No! I've got it!" he insisted, maneuvering the awkwardly shaped item around until he gripped it in a hug. "See? No problem."

Throwing him a "if you say so" look, she turned to check on the unconscious Colonel one final time. Despite their situation, she couldn't help but smile to see her CO looking so relaxed in Teal'c's arms, his head resting heavily on the larger man's shoulder. "All right. Give a shout if he starts to wake up. Let's move out."

After allowing to Daniel struggle by with the rock still clutched to his chest, Teal'c fell into step behind him, taking special care not to jar the precious cargo he supported in his arms.


The shuttle's sleeping quarters were small, obviously built for function over comfort. There was a pair of stacked bunks recessed into the walls on each side of the room, the set up closely resembling the sleeping quarters of a submarine. The passage between the bed compartments was narrow, with just enough room for someone to be able to shuffle through without disturbing the gray privacy curtains that hung from each section.

Captain Carter sat on one of the lower bunks with her legs folded beneath her, tinkering with the computer they had collected from the UAV. She was listening to the quiet hum of the ship's auxiliary power generator that she had managed to find and activate, marveling at how well it worked after being inactive for so many years. Although uncertain as to how long they would have access to ship's lighting and climate controls, they could at least be comfortable for the time being.

As she waited for the next batch of data to load, Sam glanced over at the still form resting on the lower bunk across the way. Having yet to awaken from his encounter with anaphylactic shock, Jack slept, securely wrapped in his heavy sleeping bag. The walk back from the crash site had been uneventful, the team pausing every fifteen minutes or so to check on his condition. Each time they had found him unconscious but stable, safely cradled in Teal'c's protective grasp.

Inwardly wondering if there was anything more she should be doing for him, Sam jumped when the computer in her lap began to emit a high pitched whine. Grimacing at the unpleasant sound, she hastily slapped the power button and plunged the small machine into silence. With a frustrated sigh, she began to search for the reset button, looking up when a muted curse drifted from the bed beside her.

Quickly forgetting the malfunctioning device, she went to her CO's side. "Colonel?"

Slowly his dark eyes opened and searched her face, several moments passing until a look of recognition finally set in. Clearing his dry throat, he attempted to speak. "Ca-Car..."

"Here, drink," she instructed, holding a canteen of water to his lips.

He took several swallows before motioning for her to take it away. "Thanks."

"How do you feel?"

"Tired…what the hell happened?" he asked, examining the heavy bandage that was wrapped around his right hand.

"You went into anaphylactic shock after cutting yourself on an artifact that you and Daniel were moving. We're still not exactly sure what caused it."

The older man grunted. "Not a party then?"

She smiled. "No, sir, I'm afraid not. Once you were out of immediate danger, we decided to come back to the shuttle we found for shelter. You gave us quite a scare."

He shrugged under the blankets. "…time is it?"

"It's just past 1630 – you've been out for a few hours."

"Teal'c? Daniel?"

"Teal'c's been trying to patch up the few leaks we've found and Daniel's busy bouncing between studying the ship and cleaning up the artifacts he brought back. They've also relocated our resident skeleton outside for now."

Nodding, the Colonel absently rubbed a hand across his face. "Danny must be a kid in a candy store." Feeling oddly relaxed, he took a moment to bury himself deeper into the soft lining of his sleeping bag. He could vaguely recall being cold, wet, and miserable while out at the UAV crash site, but now he was content just to lay back and soak up the comforting warmth that surrounded him.

Resting quietly as Sam rechecked his vitals and the dressing on his wounded hand, an unusual thought slowly seeped into his mind. Since when are wet BDU's this comfortable?

"Ah…Carter?" he asked, suddenly realizing the only thing between himself and her were the sleeping bag and his shorts – both of which were beginning to feel uncomfortably thin.


"My clothes?"

"They're drying. You were so cold and wet by the time we got here that you couldn't stop shivering. We had to get you warmed up, and we figured a sleeping bag was the fastest way to go."

He shut his eyes, satisfied with her answer. "…tired…"

"You've got a pretty high dose of Daniel's antihistamine in you to help keep the residual reaction at a minimum. Why don't you go back to sleep for a bit? I don't think we're going anywhere tonight."

"Sounds good…Captain," he uttered, already half asleep.

"Pleasant dreams, sir," she said, tucking the sleeping bag in around him before returning to her work and allowing him to rest.


Daniel sat with his back against one of the strangely cool walls of the shuttlecraft with the troublesome artifact tucked carefully between his knees. He'd been working on cleaning it for the past several hours, and had removed a significant amount of hardened clay, rock, and ash. It slowly seemed to be taking shape, and he could identify what looked like two stone spheres – one the size of a basketball, the other a grapefruit – joined side by side.

At the opposite end of the bridge, Teal'c perched on one of the pilot chairs deep in a state of kelnorim. The large man found the muted drumming of the rain against the hull relaxing, and had taken the opportunity to catch up on his meditation.

"Huh – it can't be."

Teal'c opened an eye in time to see Daniel wiping his muddy hands across his pants, a frown on his face.

"You are confused, Daniel Jackson?" he asked, rousing from his meditation.

Daniel looked up, his glasses sitting half way down his nose. "What? Oh, sorry, I was just thinking out loud. The designs I've uncovered so far don't make any sense."

"To what are you referring?"

Taking care not to knock over his partially eaten MRE, the archeologist picked up the artifact and walked over to his friend. "Take a look at these," he said, turning the object around so the larger of the two spheres was visible. Dropping into the seat beside him, he pulled a pencil from behind his ear and pointed out the glyphs painted on the stone.

Teal'c tipped his head as he studied the three symbols before him. The first and third symbols were identical in shape: small ovals with sharply tapering ends. The only difference between the two was their coloring; the first being a yellowish white while the other was solid black. In between the two sat what appeared to be a spider, or at least a creature with two round body pieces and eight spindly legs.

"Any thoughts?" Daniel asked, after giving him a moment to think.

"I do not. Perhaps their meaning will become clear as you discover more."

"Yeah, that's what I was thinking too."

As the door to the living compartment slid open, both men looked up to see Sam entering the bridge.

"How's Jack?"

"Still a little groggy but he's doing better than a few hours ago. He'll be out as soon as he's finished getting dressed," she replied, noticing the object Teal'c held in his hands. "How's it coming?"

Daniel shrugged and picked at some dry mud under his fingernails. "All right. Although it would be a lot easier if I had my reference material and a lab to work in. The glyphs don't appear to be Ancient Egyptian; at least not like any I've come across before. There's still a lot of packed on clay and ash I have to remove – there might be more left to uncover."

Before she had a chance to respond, a deafening crack of thunder roared overhead causing everyone to flinch.

"The storm appears to be returning."

"The last readings I got from the weather probe on the MALP indicated that the current system is over 150 miles wide and moving at an average of 5 to 10 mph," she explained, leaning her weight against the wall.

"So this thing could last for days?" Daniel asked, gazing out the large window at the storm.

"Actually, if it stays at this speed and in its current circular pattern, it'll be more like weeks."


All eyes turned when the door at the back of the shuttle opened again, this time revealing a pale and tired looking O'Neill.

"Hey, Jack," Daniel greeted, automatically jumping out of his chair and offering it to his weary friend. "How you feeling?"

The Colonel squeezed past the overly concerned archeologist and dropped into the vacated seat with a grunt.

"It is good to see you have recovered, O'Neill," Teal'c said, bowing his head in greeting.

"Thanks, Teal'c," he replied, his voice lacking its usual energy. "So, what did I miss? Anything good?"

"Yeah, actually," Daniel uttered absently as he wandered over to his stuff and picked out a small clay pot. "Teal'c and I found some of these and a few paper scrolls in one of the storage compartments on board. The scrolls are too brittle to work with out here, but…"

Accepting the item, Jack turned the small pot around in his hands a few times and sniffed its interior before looking back to Daniel. "It's empty."

"I know, but look at the designs painted around the outside. Aren't they neat?"

The Colonel raised an eyebrow, but returned his eyes to the object just the same. Upon closer inspection, he could just make out the faint lines of what once was some sort of celestial design. "It's still an empty jar."

"Yeah, but just think about it, Jack," the other man argued passionately. "Why was it made? How was it made? When was it made? Where was it made? Who…"


Gritting his teeth, Daniel snatched the pot out the man's hands and stalked back to his corner, knowing all too well he wasn't going to win the argument.

Wearing a wry grin, Jack turned to Teal'c and noticed the relic resting on his lap for the first time. "Whatcha got there, T?"

"I believe this is the artifact that bit you, O'Neill," he replied, then adding with a slight twinkle in his eye: "Although I have yet to see it act aggressively towards Daniel Jackson."


Sam grinned widely at the Jaffa's subtle joke. "Are you hungry, sir? I can heat something up for you if you'd like…"

"Nah, some water would be good though," he said, not looking up from the relic. He brushed a finger over one of the delicately painted symbols, his forehead creasing in thought. "A spider…"

"That's what I thought too," Daniel agreed, looking over his friend's shoulder. "I've just never come across one in glyph form before. At least not in any of the Earth cultures I've studied."

Jack nodded absently and slowly turned the piece around in his hands to look at it from all angles. While inspecting what he assumed to be the bottom, a white, wax-like plug stuck on one end caught his eye. "What's this?"

"I think it's what you cut yourself on actually," the archeologist replied, removing the wax stopper to reveal two, one-inch long, gold metallic prongs. "I'm anxious to see if there's a design under all that hardened clay that might shed some light on their significance. "

The Colonel snorted, accepting the canteen Sam held out for him. "…Significance. Everything has to have significance with you scientists, doesn't it?" Pulling the cap off with his teeth, he drained nearly half the container of water in one long swallow. "The thing's obviously a weapon of some sort."

"Not necessarily, sir. You could have had a reaction to any number of things: something you ate, an insect bite, a plant you came into contact with, or..."

"Or maybe the rock really did bite him…" Daniel uttered, taking back the mysterious relic and carefully replacing the wax stopper over the prongs. "Can't imagine why…"

Casting the younger man a threatening scowl, Jack stretched his long legs out as best he could in the cramped space. "Carter, remind me again why there aren't any people living on this lovely little planet?"

"Moon," Daniel corrected.


"The geological data we've gathered so far suggests that there was a cataclysmic volcanic eruption about three thousands years ago. We saw the mountain it created– remember the one you wanted to climb back at the crash site?"

"A volcano killed everything?" he asked skeptically.

"Probably not at first. It's obvious that some places weren't affected as much as others because the Stargate is still standing. But with a mountain that size, it's logical to believe that hot ash and noxious gases quickly overwhelmed the atmosphere, snuffing out the oxygen."

"The place looks fine to me. A little wet maybe, but…"

"It's been at least two thousand years, Jack," Daniel argued. "The moon's had plenty time to recover and rejuvenate."

"Do you believe this craft to be that old as well?" Teal'c questioned.

The Captain shrugged. "Yeah. I mean from what I've seen so far, it appears to be embedded in some sort of hardened molten overflow. It's quite possible the ship was caught in the initial eruption."

Jack frowned, his thoughts going back to the skeleton they'd found when they first entered the ship. "So you think our friend Crypty suffocated two thousand years ago during some…massive eruption?"

"Well, it's all speculation, sir, but if the logic fits…"

"Hey, it works for me," he agreed, taking another pull off the canteen. "So, who brought the cards?" he asked when he was finished. "Anyone?"

"Oh, umm…" Daniel muttered and began patting down his pockets. After a moment of searching, he withdrew a battered deck from his vest. "I did."

Jack canted an eyebrow. He'd only been kidding. "Those aren't exactly standard issue, Daniel…"

He shrugged. "So I like to play Solitaire sometimes."

"Of course you do…" the Colonel said, holding out his hand for the cards. "Egyptian Goddess motif – cute. So, what'll be? Poker? Hearts? Black Jack? Fish?"

"I am unfamiliar with any of those terms, O'Neill," Teal'c said, watching in amazement as he shuffled the cards like a pro.

"Well, Fish is probably the easiest one to learn. Why don't we start out with that one?" Sam suggested, settling down on the floor close to the others.

Daniel dropped down beside her. "Sounds good to me."

"All right. Fish it is then," Jack declared, cutting the deck several times to be sure it was well shuffled. "Teal'c, pair up with Carter, she'll show you the ropes."

Moving over to allow the larger man some room, Sam watched as her CO began to expertly deal out the cards, relieved that he seemed no worse for wear after his close brush with death. The man's got nine lives… she thought and settled into play.


Nearly two hours later found the team still sitting in a circle, passing the cards around. Teal'c had caught onto the rules of Fish fairly quickly, and actually seemed to be enjoying himself.

Rubbing his eyes with the heel of his uninjured hand, Jack sighed and shifted around stiffly. He had been steadily growing tired over the past hour, but was enjoying the candid down time with his team too much to excuse himself. Like before, he found that he was feeling unusually relaxed for being stranded off world, something he had convinced himself was a side effect of the drugs Carter had given him.

Taking a long drink from his canteen, he was startled when his entire midsection abruptly began to spasm and cramp.

What the hell? He thought, straightening up in his chair. I've never felt anything like that…

"It is your turn, O'Neill."

"Huh?" he asked, Teal'c's deep voice cutting into his thoughts. "Oh, um, Daniel, any Queens?"

"Nope," he replied, shaking his head. "Go Fish, Jack."

Slowly stretching forward to take a card from the deck, he stiffened when the pain returned, this time coupled with a powerful surge of nausea. Swallowing hard, he let the card slip from between his fingers as he carefully settled back in his chair.

"Colonel?" Sam asked, noticing that all the color had drained from his face. "You okay?"

"Ah…y-yeah…you kids keep playing. I just need to sit…over here…for a minute," he rambled, standing up and handing his un-played cards off to Daniel.

Still unsure what was happening, the others watched in uncomfortable silence as their leader made his way to the back of the bridge on unsteady legs. With his back pressed against the wall, he slowly lowered himself to the floor and buried his face into his hands.

"What was that all about?" Daniel whispered.

Sam looked over her shoulder in time to see her CO shift uneasily and slide an arm down around his stomach. Something was wrong. "I don't know. Here, Teal'c," she said, passing her cards off to the large man seated beside her. "Keep playing for me. Make sure Daniel doesn't cheat." She stood and walked the few steps to his side. "Colonel? What's wrong?"

Jack slowly lifted his face to look at her, his pale skin already shiny with a fine sheen of sweat. "It's nothing, Carter. Just got a little queasy for a second there."

"Do you think you could be hungry? You haven't had anything to eat since we left Earth this morning. If I can find something light, would you give it a try?"

Although the thought of eating anything made the cramping in his middle worse, the concerned look across his second's face made him nod just the same. As she left to scout out a snack, Jack drew his knees to his chest and rested his forehead against them with a low groan. Forcing himself to breathe slow and deep against the unusual pains flaring across his belly, he tried focusing his attention on the two men quietly playing cards several feet away. Comforted by the familiar sounds, he had nearly dozed off by the time he felt Carter slip something into his hand.

"Hope you like graham crackers, sir, it's about as light as we've got."

"They're fine, Captain," he uttered and began trying to open the foil package. When his shaking fingers refused to cooperate, he allowed her to pull it apart for him with a sheepish look. "Thanks…"

She nodded and rocked back on her heels, watching intently as he took one of the square crackers from the wrapper and hesitantly brought it to his mouth. Feeling his stomach lurch the moment the nutty flavor met his tongue, Jack compulsively swallowed against the bile that started to rise in his throat. It was when the nausea returned even more prominent than before that he realized there was nothing he could do to stop the inevitable.

"Crap…" Casting the crackers aside, he hastily launched to his feet and stumbled over his friends seated on the floor as he made his way towards the shuttle's entrance. Overcome by vertigo, he just managed to get the door open before landing heavily on his hands and knees in the sloppy mud.

"Jack?" Daniel called, breaking the stunned silence that had fallen over them all.

Sam hurried after him, ignoring the cold rain that greeted her as she left the protection of the ship. "Colonel?"

Too busy fighting his nauseous stomach to acknowledge her presence, Jack began to find it more and more difficult to remain upright, as the ground seemed to dip and twist beneath him.

"Sir, what's wrong?" she demanded, feeling his body tremble as she reached out to steady him.

"Diz…" his response cut short as his midsection clenched again, the sudden, sharp pain causing him to retch.

Grimacing, Sam supported her heaving CO as he forcefully emptied his stomach onto the forest floor. "Colonel?"

Sagging against her grasp, Jack shut his eyes to try and ward off the spots that were blurring his sight.

"What's wrong?" Daniel shouted over the storm as he appeared at their side with a light.

"He's sick," she replied, trying her best to comfort the shaking man beside her. "Where's Teal'c?"

"I am here, Captain Carter."

"Can you help me get him inside?"

"I can." Crouching down in the mud, Teal'c slipped a hand beneath his friend's arm and gently coaxed him to his feet.

"Easy, sir…" Sam uttered, reaching out to help steady her trembling CO when it became clear he was barely able to stand on his own. "Let's get him inside."

Once certain they had things under control, Daniel hurried ahead and met them at the ship's entrance with a blanket. "Is he okay?"

"I don't know," she replied, helping to wrap it around Jack's shoulders.

About half way to the crew's quarters, Jack started to fold up in Teal'c's grasp as his stomach muscles started to clench once again.

"Sir?" she asked, seeing the distress register on his face. "What is it?"

His pained eyes momentarily met her concerned ones before he cried out and sunk unceremoniously to the floor. Hunching forward he began to cough and gag, losing what little liquid remained in his stomach from the previous bout.

"Colonel?" she asked, dropping to the floor next to him and rubbing his heaving back.

"Carter...argh!" he cried, wrapping his arms around his abdomen as the spasms intensified, the pain stealing his breath away.

Alarmed by what she was seeing, Sam frantically racked her brain for a way to help him when he suddenly went limp under her hand. Instinctively catching him so he wouldn't fall, she supported his lifeless body as Daniel pressed two fingers against his throat.

"His pulse is fast but strong. What the hell just happened?"

"It would appear that O'Neill was in a great deal of pain."

"Yeah, but why?" Sam muttered, noticing that the fine lines of pain remained on his face even in his unconscious state.

"Could it have something to do with what happened earlier? When he cut himself?" the archeologist asked, his blue eyes wide with concern behind his glasses.

"Maybe – It's hard to say what's going on," she said before adding silently to herself: Except that he just lost his stomach everywhere and was in so much pain it caused him to pass out

Puffing out a sigh, she looked down at the floor and noticed there was a pool of rainwater collecting under each of them as it dripped from their saturated clothes. "All right, we need to get him settled and then get out of these wet clothes before we all catch cold."

With Daniel's help, she managed to get Jack on his feet and into the crews' quarters without much of a struggle. While Daniel held him upright, she began unbuttoning his waterlogged over shirt as fast as she could, finding that he was already starting to shiver from the cold. "Teal'c, you want to see if our other uniforms are dry yet while Daniel helps me with the Colonel?"

"As you wish, Captain Carter," he said with a short bow before retuning to the bridge.

Doing his best to hold his friend in a manner that allowed Sam to work quickly, the archeologist frowned at how pale and still he was. "He's going to be all right, though? Right, Sam?"

Kneeling down to work on the muddy laces of her CO's boots, the tone of the Captain's voice clearly expressed her concern. "I sure hope so, Daniel. I really, really hope so."



With a troubled scowl, Daniel removed his glasses with a muddy hand and rubbed at his tired, strained eyes. Squinting at his watch, he saw it was just past 2300; almost four hours had passed since he'd watched one of his best friends suddenly turn ill. After helping return Jack to the safety of his sleeping bag and then changing into dry clothes himself, he had decided to go back to work on the dirt-encrusted artifact to try and pass the time. Teal'c, having double-checked the integrity of the small ship, had returned to the pilot's chair to resume his meditation.

Unable to justify sitting around any longer, the archeologist slapped his picks against the floor with a frustrated sigh.

"Something troubles you, Daniel Jackson?" the Jaffa inquired without opening his eyes.

"I just feel like we should be doing something – anything - Not just sitting around and twiddling our thumbs."

At this, Teal'c opened his eyes and studied his hands. "What is this 'thumb twiddling' you speak of?"

"It's a figure of speech, Teal'c," Daniel replied when he saw the large man rotating his thumbs in small circles. "It means we're wasting time."

"Are you not attempting to excavate your artifact from the rock that entombs it?"

"Yeah – I am."

"Then you are not wasting your time," Teal'c surmised.

Daniel shook his head. "No – I mean we should be doing something to help Jack, not simply sitting like there's nothing wrong."

"What do you propose we do to help O'Neill?"

The younger man thought for a moment before uttering a sigh of defeat. "Other than find another way home – I don't know."

"Captain Carter believes the dial home device will become accessible by morning. It would seem our only logical course of action would be to wait until such time."

"Yeah, well, I don't like waiting. Especially when someone I care about could be in trouble," Daniel muttered, picking absently at a smudge of dirt on his knee.

Realizing that there were no words that could comfort his friend, Teal'c simply bowed his head in empathy.

Daniel wiped a layer of grime from his hands. "I'm going to go see how he's doing. It's almost my turn for watch anyway. You mind keeping an eye on things out here?"

The large man settled deeper into his chair. "I do not."

Forcing a small smile of gratitude, Daniel stood and hefted the artifact under his arm before heading into the other room.


Being as quiet and unobtrusive as possible, Sam sat down on the edge of her CO's bunk and carefully held a strip thermometer against his warm forehead. Looking at his sleeping face, she couldn't help but wonder how long it would be before he awoke again, dazed, disoriented, and in pain.

Concentrating on monitoring the progress of the thermometer, she didn't look up when the door opened behind her.

"How is he?" Daniel asked, dropping onto the bed across from her.

"He's running a fever – 101 degrees," she replied with a sigh. "It's low right now, but…"

"Any idea what's going on?"

"I don't know. It's too soon to be an infection and it came on awfully fast to be the flu – any Earth flu that is. Plus he's the only one who's sick – so far anyway. I just…" she stopped, her shoulders slumping with dismay. "I just don't know."

He frowned, the dimness of the room doing nothing to hide the concern that was written across her face. "Look, why don't you try and catch a few hours rest? Teal'c's keeping an eye out up front and I can sit with Jack for a while."

Although his offer of rest was tempting, she still shook her head. "I really shouldn't…"


Startled, the two scientists locked eyes for a moment, uncertain if the feeble, gravelly voice they'd just heard could have possibly come from their leader.

"Colonel?" she called quietly, trying to position herself so he could see her clearly. "I'm right here, sir, Daniel is too. How are you feeling?"


Daniel's eyebrows rose over his glasses. "Tingly? What's that mean?"

Sam shook her head. "Colonel, what do you…?"

"Watch?" he interrupted, seeming not to have heard her question.

"Watch? Watch what, Jack?" Daniel asked, sliding off the bed and onto the floor so he could be closer to his friend.

"My watch…time for it?"

"Oh, no, sir. You don't have to worry about that…"

"Carter…know the rules. Equal shifts…last one up makes the coffee…oh, god…" his words dropping off in a groan as he rolled onto his side and hugged his aching midsection.

"Easy, Jack," Daniel uttered as he reached up and took the other man's arm.

"My watch?" he asked again, not opening his tightly closed eyes.

"You've already had your watch, sir," Sam told him, hoping she sounded more convincing to him than she did to herself. "Don't you remember?"

"Yeah, that's right," the archeologist joined in. "It's my turn now, then Sam, and Teal'c. You go back to sleep, Jack – we'll wake you up if there's any trouble. Okay?"

Nodding his acknowledgement, he quickly became still once again.

"Wow," Daniel uttered, feeling as equally disturbed as the Captain looked. "He's really out of it, isn't he?"

She nodded almost sadly. "It's going to be a long night."

"Then you definitely need some sleep," he declared. "Use one of the upper bunks if you'd rather not leave. I'll be quiet. You won't be able to help him if you're too tired to think straight."

Knowing he was right, she sighed and nodded reluctantly. "Thanks, Daniel. Why don't you wake me up in a few hours and we'll trade places?"


Smothering a yawn with the back of her hand, she tugged off her boots, grabbed a blanket, and hauled herself onto the top bunk on the opposite side of the room. Positioning herself on the firm mattress so she could easily see the Colonel, she took one last look at his sleeping form before allowing her eyes to shut. With a weary sigh, she forced herself to relax, falling asleep to the sounds of Daniel alternating between scratching at the artifact and trying to soothe their restless team leader with reassuring words.


It was just past 0615 when Sam first began to hear the sounds of Teal'c moving about the bridge, preparing to get an early start on the day's mission. It had been decided that he and Daniel would hike back to the Stargate in order to check the status of the DHD and be present when the SGC dialed in to see why the group had not yet returned. That left her to remain at the shuttle with Jack, her field medical training making her the best candidate for the job.

Perched on the vacant lower bunk, she was quietly searching through her gear when the door slid open, spilling warm yellow light into the room. "Hey, Teal'c."

"Good morning, Captain Carter," he greeted, his raingear squeaking slightly as he moved. "I trust that you rested well?"

Her eyes immediately went to the bed where Jack lay dozing, his face pale even in the dim lighting. "I got a few hours in, but I was up most of the night with the Colonel. He's pretty sick."

"That is most unfortunate," he replied, allowing a somber silence to fall between them for a moment before getting down to business. "General Hammond should be establishing contact at 0900, as we will have surpassed the 24 hour contact time. I believe it will take us approximately two hours to get there in the present weather conditions."

"You'd better wake Daniel then so he can get ready," she said, motioning toward the quietly snoring lump in the bed above her.

As Teal'c proceeded to do so, Sam finally found the bundle of brown packets she had been searching for. Scanning through the labels, she selected and tore open one-marked "electrolyte replacement." Emptying the powdered contents into a canteen of water, she replaced the top and gave it a few shakes as she moved to her CO's side. "Colonel? Can you wake up?"

With a low groan, Jack stirred and slowly opened his eyes, seeking out the person who had disturbed him.

"Hi, Colonel," she greeted, moving forward so he could easily see her. "I'm sorry to wake you, but I want you to try and drink some of this. You lost a lot of fluids last night and this will help keep you hydrated. Think you can do that for me?" Slipping an arm behind his shoulders, she helped him sit up a bit and held the canteen to his mouth.

Grimacing at the sickly sweet citrus flavor, he managed to take a few swallows before coughing and pushing her away. With a sympathetic smile, she eased him back down and watched as his eyes shut almost immediately. "Good job, sir."

Allowing Teal'c to move past her to access the bridge, she began fixing the blankets that covered her CO when Daniel dropped down beside her.

"Morning, Sam," he grunted, running a hand through his unruly hair and straightening his tipped glasses.

"Hey, Daniel," she said, smiling slightly at his ruffled appearance. "Sleep well?"

"Yeah, not too bad," he replied, straightening out his clothes as he looked down at Jack's still form. "How's he doing?"

"His fever's up a little from last night, but he's hanging in there."

"He's too stubborn not to be," the archeologist remarked with a small grin, but quickly sobered when she didn't follow suit. Making his way towards the door, he changed the subject. "I ah, I found another glyph on the larger part of the relic last night."

"Really? What was it?" she asked, following him out onto the bridge.

Daniel picked up his raingear and began to pull it on as he spoke. "Looks like another spider, only this time it was standing on a person that was laying face down on the ground."

"And you sure these glyphs are for real? Maybe they're just for decoration like on that jar you found?"

"They have to stand for something. I mean art's considered a form of communication in most cultures."

She shrugged. "Maybe."

"Do you wish us to relay anything specific concerning O'Neill's current condition?" Teal'c asked as he waited patiently for his friend to finish gearing up.

"Oh, yeah…" she uttered, quickly patting down her pockets before locating a scrap of paper. "I wrote everything down, including what we've done for him. Hopefully Janet will have a better idea of what's going on than I do."

The large man accepted the note and slipped it into his pocket. "Very well."

"What about the DHD?" Daniel asked as he zipped up his heavy raincoat. "How should we check it?"

"Well, neither of you should touch it – it could still be carrying enough of a charge to be dangerous. I suppose you could try throwing another stick at it. It's not the most practical way, but it worked before."

"Sounds good to me," he agreed, double-checking the weapon strapped to his thigh.

Sam watched as both men headed for the door, the sounds of the still raging storm breaking the silence. "Oh, and you might want to stand clear of the Gate and DHD when the wormhole engages. I think that's what caused the DHD to be struck in the first place."

Daniel nodded. "Right."

"We shall contact you as soon as we confer with General Hammond," the Jaffa told her as he placed the hood of his jacket over his bald head.

"Be careful and good luck, you guys."

Daniel gave her arm a quick squeeze and looked toward the room where Jack was sleeping. "You too."

"Thanks," she uttered, opening the door and watching as both men quickly disappeared - the darkness of the intense storm swallowing them whole.


Very little sunlight filtered through the thick storm clouds that seemed to be choking the sky overhead as the two men trudged along toward the Stargate. They had been walking for nearly two hours, Teal'c in the lead with Daniel not far behind, both finding the going difficult as the condition of the ground had gone from poor to horrible overnight. Although the rain had slowed for the moment, they knew the reprieve wouldn't last as thunder still growled in the distance.

"So, do you think Jack's going to be all right?" Daniel called over the wind as he struggled to keep up with his friend's stronger pace.

"It is hard to say, however, I am hopeful for his recovery."

"Yeah, me too. I mean if you think about it, this whole thing is really my fault."

"Why do you believe that?" Teal'c inquired, glancing over his shoulder.

"It's obvious, isn't it? I'm the one who insisted we carry out the mission even though the DHD was busted. If we'd never left the Gate in the first place…"

"Then we would have never discovered the shuttle craft or the artifacts you have been studying," the Jaffa reasoned.

"That all seems so trivial now with Jack being sick," Daniel muttered, his tone slightly bitter.

Teal'c didn't reply for a moment, as he was lost in thought. "Are we not explorers, Daniel Jackson?"

"Well, yeah, I suppose…"

"And are we not knowledgeable of the risks that come with our occupation?" he continued.

"I guess…"

"O'Neill will not blame you for his affliction. He is very aware of these risks of which I speak"

Daniel sighed, understanding his point. "I know…I just can't stop thinking about all the times Jack has pulled my butt out of the fire these past few years. And, for some reason, I just can't seem to stop jumping back in."

"Perhaps our current situation will provide you with a chance to remove O'Neill's posterior from the flames."

"Yeah, maybe," the archeologist said, smiling at the mental picture Teal'c had given him.

"We are almost to the Stargate. Do not worry, Daniel Jackson. If there is a way to help O'Neill through this predicament, it will be found."

Tripping over a hidden stone and stumbling against a tree, Daniel took a moment to catch his breath as he thought about what the Jaffa had said.

If there is a way to help…it will be found…

"Damn right it will," he muttered, pushing himself off the tree and fighting his way through the tangled bushes to catch up with his rapidly moving friend.


Settled into the empty lower bunk of the crew's quarters, Sam stared intently at the small pocket computer she had clutched in her hands. It was remotely linked with the MALP that was stationed back at the Gate, and displayed everything from the current weather conditions to radiation levels and topographical data. She was watching an animated weather map of the storm that was overhead, amazed at how large and encompassing the slowly rotating cloud mass was.

Makes hurricanes on Earth almost look pleasant…

On the bed beside her, the Colonel groaned quietly as he turned in his sleep, his right arm slipping out from under the covers. Setting the computer aside, she moved to the floor and gently lifted his hand, surprised to find fresh blood seeping through the bandage. Taking a seat on the edge of the bed, she began to slowly remove the wrappings when she felt him flinch under her touch. "Hurts, doesn't it, sir?" she asked, looking up to find his dark eyes watching her.

"Mm," he replied with a short nod.

"Let me take a look at it, okay?" When he nodded again, she finished removing the sodden bandage, and was unable to hide the grimace that crossed her face once the wound was fully exposed. What had been a simple deep gash the night before was now inflamed and quite red, the swelling extending deep into the soft tissues of his hand and wrist. Fresh blood mixed with an opaque fluid slowly seeped from the wound, and she could feel the excessive heat radiating off his skin. "I think it's infected, sir."

The Colonel pulled a face and covered his eyes with his free arm. "Great…"

Sam withdrew an antiseptic wipe from her pocket and tore it open before gently balancing his hand against her thigh. She silently apologized for the pain she was about to cause, and quickly passed the pungent smelling cloth over his hand to clean away the discharge.

The disinfectant meeting his raw wound with an audible hiss, Jack inhaled sharply and cursed under his breath.

"I'm sorry, Colonel," she apologized, repositioning his hand as she stood. "I have something that might help. Wait here." As soon as the words left her mouth, she realized just how ridiculous they sounded. Where was he going to go? Expecting her CO to pick up on this as well, she paused in the doorway and braced herself for his sarcastic retort. When she was met with only silence, she looked back to find that he hadn't moved at all.

This can't be good…

With a concerned frown, she entered the bridge and went to her gear, quickly locating the instant icepack she was searching for. Activating it with a sharp twist, she quietly slipped back into the sleeping area and sat down at his side. Taking his hand in hers, she gently wrapped the pack around the worst of the swelling, gripping his fingers tightly when he tried to pull away from the sudden pressure.

"This will help dull the pain, sir. Please, trust me," she said and held his hand steady until she felt him start to relax. A few minutes later, she noticed a few of the lines of discomfort were beginning to fade from his face as the ice worked its magic. "Better?"

"Yeah," he replied hoarsely, allowing his arm to slide away from his eyes. "Danny? Teal'c?"

"They've gone to the Gate to make contact with the SGC when they dial in to check on us at 0900."

"Should have gone together."

Sam shook her head firmly. "No, sir. You're in no shape to make that trip right now and I think you know it too."

A guarded look crossed his face, but it quickly faded into a small grin. "Hate when you're right."

"I know it doesn't happen very often, but…" she said with a smile.

His smirk widened slightly as he sighed and shut his eyes, his energy levels dropping.

"Go back to sleep, Colonel. They'll be back before you know it."

"Yes, ma'am…" he muttered, his long form relaxing as he dropped off almost immediately.

Once certain he was asleep, Sam carefully positioned his hand so the icepack would remain in place before she stood and settled down on the neighboring bunk. Although her hands automatically went for the small computer she'd been working with, her eyes remained focused on the Colonel- his faster than normal breathing and pallid skin worrying her. Realizing there was nothing more she could do for him, she finally forced her attention back to the small screen and the image of the rotating storm.

Please hurry, you guys…


"How are your supplies holding out, Dr. Jackson?" General Hammond asked, gazing intently at the monitor before him. He had been talking to the two members of SG-1 for nearly 15 minutes, their image fading in and out as the storm raged on in the background. They had already informed him about their current situation, and the fact that his premier team was stranded off world with their leader out of action made the hair on his neck stand at attention.

"We've got enough water and rations to last us another few days, but we're getting low on medical supplies," Daniel replied, nervously ducking as a bolt of lightening cut through the sky above him.

"I think we can help you out with that, son," he said, turning to look over his shoulder when the familiar sound of clicking heels approached from behind. "Doctor."

"What's going on, sir?" Dr. Janet Fraiser asked, having simply been told a team was stranded off world and she was needed in the Control Room. Hammond pointed to the monitor where the two men were waiting patiently. "Daniel? Teal'c? Are you okay?"

"We are fine, Dr. Fraiser," Teal'c answered, his deep voice sounding even deeper through the MALP's small microphone. "It is in fact O'Neill who is not."

"Janet, Jack's really sick. It all started yesterday afternoon when I asked him to help me remove an artifact from a pile of rubble. He cut himself and went into anaphylactic shock and…" the archeologist began, his rambling words showing her just how upset he really was.

"Whoa, whoa! Daniel! Slow down!" she exclaimed, holding her hands up for him to stop. "Now what happened?"

There was a pause as Teal'c reached into his pocket and removed a piece of waterproof paper. "Captain Carter has been tending to him and transcribed everything she has done."

"That's great, Teal'c. Read it to me, please," she instructed. Listening closely as he read off the note, Janet made a mental note to praise her friend for her quick reactions to what had obviously been a very stressful situation.

The General turned to her as the Jaffa finished. "Could this be a residual effect from the anaphylaxis episode?"

"I don't think so, sir. He should be over that by now," she replied, turning back to the screen. "You said he's been having these muscle spasms since last night?"

"That is correct."

"And they seem to be getting worse," Daniel added, his arms wrapped around his chest in a protective hug.

The small doctor frowned in thought as she motioned her superior to step away from the microphone.

"Excuse us a moment, gentlemen," he said before following her. "What is it, Doctor?"

"Sir, there is definitely something wrong if he's in that much pain."

"What are you suggesting?"

"Well, ideally I need him here so I can see what's causing this to happen."

"But the DHD on their end is still charged from the lightening strike it took over 24 hours ago. They can't get near it."

Janet sighed in frustration. One of the few things she hated about her job was not always being able to get to the people who needed her help the most. With SG-1 literally thousands of light-years away and unable to Gate home, she would have to rely on Captain Carter's note alone to diagnose what was going on with Colonel O'Neill.

Mentally running through a list of possible causes, she absently turned and looked into the Gate Room below. Pausing momentarily to gaze at the shimmering event horizon, she soon found her eyes wandering to a small group of base personnel who were busy loading gear onto a FRED. Slowly, the seed of an idea began to form in her mind.

"General, we can still safely send things to them though, right?"

He joined her at the shatterproof window and nodded toward the small platform vehicle below. "That supply FRED is being loaded for them as we speak. Is there something you'd like to add?"

"Not exactly something…" she began slowly.

"I'm sorry, but I can't risk sending a medical team to M4G-887 with a chance they could be stranded there for days."

She shook her head. "No, sir. I'm not asking you to send a team. I'm asking you to send me."

Hammond drew his head back in surprise. "Absolutely not, Doctor…"

"General, after hearing Sam's note, it's obvious that Colonel O'Neill needs help," the small woman interjected. "We have no way of knowing how long their DHD is going to be disabled and until then, they can't get home. Sir, the Colonel may need more than just a few supplies to help get him through this."

"I need you here in case something happens. Besides, Captain Carter has field training…"

"I'm aware of that, sir," she said, trying to keep herself from bordering on insubordination. "My concern is that this could quickly escalate beyond her level of education. If those spasms continue unchecked and spread to his heart or lungs he could easily go into shock or even arrest and die."

When he still didn't appear convinced, she pressed on. "Doctor Warner is scheduled to come on duty at 1030 and is more than capable of handling anything that may come up in my absence. Please, sir. Let me try to help the Colonel."

The General sighed and looked at the pleading, but determined expression on her face. It was clear she wasn't going to back down, and although he wasn't thrilled with sending his CMO off into a literal storm, he certainly couldn't justify letting Jack and his team suffer either. "Can you be on the ramp and ready to leave in 15 minutes?"

"I'll be ready in 10, sir."

"Then you have a go. Dismissed."

Watching as she made a dash for the exit, Hammond shook his head and turned back toward the front of the room to inform the awaiting members of SG-1 of the new plan.

I certainly hope that this isn't a mistake…


A short time later, Hammond made his way down to the Gate Room, intent on seeing the doctor off in person. It was taking the technicians longer than expected to get the FRED prepared for departure, and he was trying his best to stay out of their way. He found Janet standing at the base of the ramp, her black backpack and green raingear making her look a bit like a turtle. He knew this wasn't her first trip through the Stargate, but he could tell she was nervous just by the mask of concentration on her face.

"Doctor?" he said as he approached, startling the smaller woman slightly.

"General, I didn't see you there," she replied, wobbling a bit under the weight of her pack.

Hammond smiled and held out a steadying hand. "You'll rendezvous with Teal'c and Dr. Jackson as soon as you exit the Gate. From there, they'll take you to the abandoned ship they're using as a camp."

She nodded. "Thank you, sir."

He followed her gaze back up to the rippling wormhole. "Nervous?"

"A little. But to be honest, the butterflies aren't about the trip, they're for what I might find on the other side."

Hammond nodded solemnly. "Just do the best you can, Doctor. That's all we ever ask."

"Yes, sir."

"How much longer?" he asked as a tech hurried by.

"Shouldn't be long, sir."

He looked back in time to see the doctor cringe – she knew they were wasting valuable time and was anxious to get moving. "Why don't you go ahead, Doctor? We'll send the FRED right in behind you as soon as it's ready."

"Yes, sir," she replied. With a calming sigh, she began to climb the ramp, her boots thudding hollowly against the gray metal. She paused when she reached the base of the Gate, running her fingers through its watery façade.

"Good luck, Doctor," he said, and watched as she stepped into the wavering puddle. Satisfied he had done the best thing for the sake of his people, Hammond turned and headed back to the Control Room just as the FRED finally started up the ramp.

As he crested the stairs, a flurry of activity around the monitors caught his attention, as did the now fluxing wormhole.

"Sergeant, what's going on?"

The other man glanced away from the main screen briefly, his eyes wide with apprehension. "I'm not sure, General. We're getting high-energy readings from the moon. There may have just been another lightening strike. The wormhole is failing."

Hammond's eyes moved from the screen that displayed "Traveler in Progress," and back to the Stargate in time to see it sputter and vanish. "Traveler Lost" flashed across the screen. "Did they make it through?"

The sergeant tapped at his keyboard. "It's hard to tell, sir, but I think some of it did."

The General's face went white then red. "Some, Sergeant?"

"Yes, sir. The computer indicates that nearly half of the FRED failed to rematerialize on the other side."

A strangled gasp escaped his throat. "D-did you just say the FRED, son?"

"Yes, sir," the sergeant replied with a nod. "Dr. Fraiser exited the wormhole safely several seconds before the instability even began. You didn't think it was…?"

Hammond nodded and heaved a great sigh.

"Oh, General, if I had known that, sir…"

"It's all right, son. Just find out what happened, okay?" he said, resting a hand on the younger man's shoulder.

"Yes, sir," the sergeant answered, turning to watch as a very pale Hammond headed slowly back to his office.


Back on M4G-887, time was passing slowly for the two waiting members of SG-1, the chilly bite of the wind making things even harder to bear. Dark, heavy storm clouds hung low in the sky, their ominous presence a sure sign that the dry lull they were experiencing would be short lived.

Daniel squinted towards the sky. "I don't like the looks of that…"

"The storm is growing stronger again," Teal'c agreed, listening to the thunder as it groaned off in the distance.

"Well, if that's the case, I hope they hurry up with the – oof!" His comment was cut short when a jagged bolt of lightening suddenly slammed into the ground several hundred yards from the Stargate platform. Finding himself facedown in the mud, Daniel assumed it had been the strike that had knocked him off his feet until he found that there was something pinning him to the ground. It was only when the burden began to squirm and shout that he realized what had happened. "Janet?"

"Oh my god! Daniel! I'm so sorry!"

"Doctor Fraiser, are you damaged?" Teal'c asked, offering the small woman his hand.

"No - I'm fine, Teal'c, thank you," she replied, watching as the large man helped the now muddy Daniel to his feet. "Daniel, I am so sorry…"

"No problem," he replied as he straightened his tipped glasses and shook several globs of mud from his coat. "What happened anyway?"

"It would appear that Doctor Fraiser exited the Stargate at an extreme velocity," Teal'c remarked. "Perhaps it was caused by the lightening strike that occurred mere moments before her arrival."

"Maybe," the archeologist agreed. "But that's really Sam's area of…okay, why is the Gate doing that?"

Turning to see what their friend was looking at, the others were surprised to find that the shimmering wormhole was being to flux with instability. As they watched, the front of the FRED began to appear at the base of the Gate, its platform heaped with supplies. Then, as if someone had flipped a switch, the Stargate disengaged, severing the small vehicle in half.

"That's never happened before…" Daniel muttered, watching with wide eyes as what remained of the FRED crashed nosily to the ground.

Janet's face suddenly went pale as the reality of the situation sunk in. "If General Hammond hadn't sent me through the Gate early and I had waited for the FRED…"

Teal'c rested his large hand on her shoulder. "Do not think of such things, Dr. Fraiser. You are here and undamaged. That is all that matters."

The doctor nodded and patted the Jaffa's hand, although her eyes lingered on the inactive Gate for a moment longer. "Thanks, Teal'c, you're right."

"You are welcome."

"I guess we should help Daniel and then get moving, huh?" she asked, the archeologist already picking through the remains of the FRED for salvageable supplies.

"Indeed. O'Neill is in much need of your healing skills."

"Then lets be quick about it," she said, and started off toward the wreckage with Teal'c close behind.


He was trapped. Stuck between oblivion and awareness, Jack fought to make sense of his situation in the brief moments when the pain was tolerable. He knew that he and his team were trapped off world; on some moon deep in space with a map designation tag he couldn't remember. Then there was something about being bitten by a rock, a thought that sounded absurd to him even in his current state. Now they were hiding out in a small ship they had found that Sam thought was made of wood.

Caught off guard by a sudden flare of pain, he was unable to stop the groan that escaped him as another wave of spasms struck. Rolling over to face the wall, he brought his knees up to his chest and wrapped his stomach in a protective hug. Never hearing the footsteps that came up behind him, he recoiled when a cool hand brushed the sweat-matted hair from his forehead.


"Captain?" he asked through clenched teeth.

"It's me, sir," she said, sitting down at his side.


"When what?"

"…will this nightmare be over?"

Sam set a hand on his shoulder. "Very soon, sir."

"…hope so…god…" He coughed and heaved, but his stomach was empty; the electrolyte drink he'd been given having come up shortly after the others had left. He curled up tighter as another spasm took hold, the pain beginning to radiate through his entire lower body.

"Easy, sir, help is coming," she said, lightly rubbing his back in an effort to calm him down.

For Jack, time seemed to be standing still. It felt like someone had taken a death grip around his stomach and was slowly clenching it tighter and tighter. He could barely feel his second's hand against him, and her comforting words were lost in the deafening roar that had formed between his ears. Just as he was about to submit to the luring pull of oblivion, he became vaguely aware of another presence entering the room.

"…Thank goodness…"

"…going on, Sam?"

"It's…again…getting worse …"

"Colonel?" a new, but familiar voice asked. "Let…at him. Help me…over…"

He groaned loudly in protest as his warm blankets were removed and he was carefully repositioned onto his back. Moments later, the unbearable pain in his midsection became excruciating as small, cold hands began putting firm pressure against the still contracting muscles. Crying out, he instinctually swung a closed fist toward the source of his pain, only to have it intercepted halfway to its target.

"…sorry, Colonel…Won't do that again…" the kind voice said, immediately releasing him from the agonizing pressure.

Gasping for breath as he waited for the remaining pain to abate, Jack returned to his side and buried his face into the mattress to muffle his grunts of discomfort.

"…easy, sir. Sam…the blanket?"

As he felt the sleeping bag being wrapped around his shuddering form, he finally thought he recognized the person who was talking to him. "Doc?"

"Yes, sir, it's me."

"…came through the Gate?"

"I sure did. Just to see you."

He nodded slightly, his body finally starting to settle down. "Nice."

"Can you open your eyes for me?"

Although slow to comply, he gradually opened his dark eyes to see the doctor's blurry form sitting on the bed beside him.

"There you are," she said quietly, resting a hand against his overly warm forehead. "Not feeling too good, are you, Colonel?"

"No," he admitted, completely missing the look of concern that passed between the two women.

"Well, let's see what we can do about fixing that, okay? I just need to talk with Sam for a minute," she said, tucking the sleeping bag around him some more before standing up.

Jack simply nodded and allowed his heavy eyelids to shut against the dim lighting. Worn out and still in a fair amount of pain, he was already fast asleep even before his friends had made it to the back of the room to talk.


"How long has he been that lethargic?" Janet asked as she and Sam ducked into the doorway of the small engine room for privacy.

"All night. It worries you too, huh?"

The doctor nodded and glanced back at the dozing man. "I don't think I've ever seen him this down and out before."

"Do you think this has something to do with yesterday's accident?"

Janet shook her head and began to pull off her mud caked raingear. "I don't know. I'll take a closer look at him, but I don't think I'll be able to tell you much until we get back to the SGC and I can run some tests. Have the spasms always been that severe?"

"Aside from the initial one he had last night, that looked like it was the worst one so far," Sam replied, noticing that the worry was not leaving her friend's face.

"Well, from what I felt his abdomen was as hard as a rock," she muttered, leaning against the wall as she tugged off her boots.

The Captain's face blanched. "You don't think he's bleeding, do you?"

"No, I don't think so," Janet said as she rolled up the sleeves on her baggy green shirt. "This was a completely different feel than you usually get with internal hemorrhaging. It almost seems like the muscles were locked in a hyper contracted state. I could actually feel them becoming tighter and tighter under my hand."

Sam grimaced at the thought.

"It's certainly nothing I've ever come across before and it's obviously uncomfortable for him," she remarked, recalling how close she had come to catching Jack's fist in the head when he struck out in pain. "Oh, and that was a good catch you made a moment ago. Thank you."

"No problem," she said, looking over her shoulder to her dozing CO. "What can you do for him?"

"Let me check him over first and see what I find. I also want to have a look at that wound on his hand and start him on some fluids. You said in your note he was up vomiting a lot last night?"

"During the worst of it. Although it quickly got to the point where there was simply nothing left to come up."

"We'll get him through this, Sam, don't worry," she assured her when she saw the dismay on her face. "Listen, Daniel and Teal'c are sorting through the salvaged supplies sent from Earth. Why don't you go lend them a hand?"

"Wait - what do you mean by salvaged?" she asked, noticing for the first time how muddy her raingear was. Sam's eyes grew wide as she listened to her friend reiterate what had happened to the FRED back at the Gate. "Oh my god. Are you all right?"

"A little shaken up, but otherwise I'm fine. I'm just grateful Daniel isn't as bony as he looks," the small woman said with a wink.

The Captain smiled and squeezed her friend's shoulder. "I'm glad you're all right, Janet."

"Me too!" she agreed wholeheartedly, then adding as she saw the worry start to return to the Captain's face. "Now shoo. I'll let you know as soon as I'm through in here."

"Yes, ma'am," Sam replied, heading back toward the front of the small room. Pausing at her superior's side, she rested a hand on his blanket, taking in the tight expression on his face. "I'm going to go help Daniel and Teal'c with the stuff General Hammond sent us. You're in good hands now, Colonel."

"Was before, Captain…" Jack said as he looked up at her, his eyes revealing both pain and gratitude.

She offered him a small smile. "Feel better, sir."

"Go on, Sam," Janet said, seeing that she was starting to have second thoughts about leaving. "I've got him now."

With a shaky sigh, Sam nodded and finally turned to leave the room, leaving her CO in the capable hands of her friend.