Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate SG-1 or any of the characters.


"Hey, dude, what's for(school) lunch?"-me

"Oh, you know. The usual. Crap on a plate, crap on a bun, crap on crap..." -Deandre

Now, on with the story!

At the SGC, next day:

Maria hoisted her backpack up onto her shoulders, ready to go. She was standing just inside the gate room with her father, waiting on Sam, for once. She'd last seen her older sister in her lab, engrossed in a recent project of some kind, and they were hard-pressed in prying her away from it. Apparently, for Sam, these projects of hers, her work, was more addicting than Sudoku. And that was saying something.

But she'd promised them she'd be there in exactly five minutes. Maria checked her watch. Forty-five seconds to go...

Just when she was about to jokingly ask their dad if he thought Sam would make it to them in her self-imposed time limit, Sam rounded the corner, packed and ready to go.

"Ready," she told them, in lieu of hello.

Then, as if that had been the magic word, the Stargate activated, dialing out to their destination.

Maria watched as the wormhole appeared, shooting out from the gate, then going right back to it, like a fountain in reverse.

"What's it like, to go through it?" She asked, eyes still on the gate. She'd seen it activated before, but never experienced it, of course.

"Piece of cake," Sam and Jacob replied at the same time.

Maria smirked. "You just jinxed yourselves," she recalled the old joke. Just don't jinx the trip.

Sam was about to reply when General Hammond's voice over the loudspeaker interrupted.

"Away team, you have a go." He stated.

"Understood, Sir," Sam answered, looking up at the windows of the control room.

She started to head up the ramp, Maria and Jacob following her, when General Hammond spoke again.

"Have a good time, you three."

This time Maria looked up at him, seeing his warm smile. His grandchildren sure were lucky to have him for a grandfather, she thought.

"Will do, Sir," Sam replied just before she went through the gate. Her father went next.

Maria looked at the gate for a minute, then glanced back one final time, and nearly had a heart attack.

Senator Kinsey had entered the control room behind General Hammond. He seemed as surprised to see her there as she was to see him. What was he doing here?

But his surprise soon turned to great annoyance, which showed quite clearly on his face, while hers turned to fear. But also determination.

She turned away, back toward the gate as soon as she saw him reach for the loudspeaker to say something. By the time he pressed the button to talk, she was at the gate. By the time he opened his mouth to issue an order for her to halt, she'd already gone through it, not pausing for a second to study the wormhole up close. It looked so much like water, however, that she unconsciously held her breath as she stepped through it.

You can drag me out of my physics' class, she thought. But you can't drag me away from this. I won't let you. Not this time.

What she experienced next, however, wiped away any and all thoughts of Kinsey.

She felt like she was being both pushed and pulled forward at the same time, and yet... felt nothing whatsoever. Light streaked by her on all sides, like strobe lights. It twisted and turned like a roller coaster, until she came to a wall of light, completely blinding her for a second.

And then her foot hit solid ground. She was through. She let out the breath she'd been holding. The journey had been both instantaneous and drawn out at the same time.

Her sister and father stood nearby, waiting and watching to see her response.

"Well?" Sam asked. "What do you think?"

Maria blinked. "I think somebody spiked that piece of cake. Freakin' awesome."

They laughed, Maria along with them.

Then she noticed her surroundings for the first time. They were at the edge of a forest, the tree line just on the other side of the gate from them. Mountains loomed far off in the distance, with nothing but grassy fields between the them and the forest. The sky was bright blue and clear, and the sun felt warm on her skin. It was a beautiful day.

"Gorgeous weather," her dad commented like he'd read her mind.

The world around them looked so much like earth, and yet... not somehow. It was different in a way she couldn't describe. Untouched, maybe? No humans had been there except for them and the team that had come to explore it before they had arrived.

This is great, she thought. Paradise.

"So what now?" She asked Sam.

"Now," she replied, "We make camp."

Sorry to make chapter four so short, and for not updating in awhile. Please review! More reviews would make my day!