* * * * * *
As soon as the gate disengaged, the chill in the air hit the two teams. "Dr. Mason, what do you make of this?"
Sheilding their eyes against the bright sun, all eight teammembers put on sunglasses and fell into the separate routine each team had developed upon
arriving on a new planet.
Capt. Mason looked over at Carter and her mouth quirked a bit.
"It looks like mud."
She grinned as Carter rolled her eyes.
"Give me a sec to get these sample containers out and I'll be right there."
Carter waited until Syla had started gathering mud samples before walking to the cart holding the teams supplies.
Smiling, Carter grabbed one of the two camcorders and handed it to Frome.
"Unless you have an objection, you're elected to be videographer."
Nora grinned and shouldered the video camera.
"No prob...who knows, one of the guys might do something stupid and we'll get some decent footage."
Gorowitz slanted her an evil grin.
"Careful Captain. It would be a shame for some of that fantastic footage you're hoping for to contain you going head first
into the nearest mud puddle."
Frome barely contained her laughter.
"Yes, sir. I'll remember that, sir."
"You do that."
Teal'c began moving toward the thrashing doctor.
"Dr. Mason. I do not believe you should move."
"Get it AWAY from me!!"
Frome quickly turned
on the camcorder, unable to resist recording the abject humiliation playing out in front of her as Jack and Gorowitz whirled to confront...a large mud puddle.
"O'Neill. Do you wish me to rescue her?"
Jack choked back a laugh at seeing the small doctor waist high in mud.
So much for military women not minding getting dirty.
"No, Teal'c. I'm closer so I'll get her."
Unable to suppress a chuckle, Jack carefully approached the terrified doctor.
"Mason, reach out your hand and let me pull you up."
Syla looked at the Colonel with huge eyes.
"With all due respect, sir, no way. I'm not budging until it does."
Confused, Jack looked down into the mud in time to see a large lizard moving quickly toward the doctor.
Suddenly, realizing the doctor wasn't just objecting to being covered in
mud, Jack ignored Mason's protests and pulled her out of the puddle and onto the dais.
Gorowitz handed the Colonel his gun as Harris grabbed a gun and joined the Colonel at the edge of the dais, near the puddle.
near Teal'c, away from the lizard while the Colonel shouted to everyone.
"There's a lizard-thing in there! It's as long as my arm. Carter, see if there's
evidence of lizards in the dirt or if they're just in the puddles."
Sam grabbed some stuff off the cart as a thought hit her.
"Sir, if I give you a container and thick gloves, can you catch it so we can check out whether it's
poisonous or not? If it has venom, we might be able to apply it medically..."
"Carter, I'll consider it if and when I'm sure I won't get bitten the moment
I step back off the dais."
Carter handed the container and gloves to Daniel.
she picked up some stones and prepared to toss them at various places in the dirt.
Frome put the camcorder in her pack and armed herself, just in case.
Carter tossed and nothing happened.
Carter tossed again, this time
making sure one went into a different mud puddle, and a very upset lizard reared up on very small, but strong legs.
In the moment everyone's attention was trained on the second lizard, the first lizard charged the group, heading
straight for Dr. Mason.
Mason grabbed an automatic and, her eyes wide with fright, used it like a baseball bat and sent the lizard straight at Daniel.
Daniel yelped as the lizard went head first into the DHD beside him,
splattering vile-smelling liquid on the DHD and Daniel before falling, lifeless, onto the dais by his feet.
Syla flinched at the purely revolted glare Daniel sent her before taking the gloves from him.
"Augg...it smells like rotten eggs. Carter...do something about that."
Smiling at the disgust in the Colonel's voice, Sam held the
container while Mason put the lizard remains inside.
Jack and Gorowitz watched the other lizard as carefully as it watched them.
Suddenly breaking eye contact, the lizard reared up and was promptly blown away by repeat fire
from Jack, Gorowitz, Frome, and Harris.
Harris kept his gun trained on the puddle the second lizard's corpse had fallen down in, not trusting the threat was truly subdued.
Jack and Gorowitz looked at each other, obviously
assessing the risk value of the lizards versus the technological potential of the planet.
"Teal'c, you ever seen those lizards before?"
"I have not."
"Sir, maybe if we avoid the puddles we won't aggravate the lizards."
Jack gave a small sigh at the look Carter, Daniel, and Frome gave him.
They really didn't want to leave the planet just yet.
"All right, we'll explore. But the moment it looks like the risk is bigger than..."
"Thank you, sir."
Jack allowed himself a small smile at their grateful expressions.
Jack intoned in his best "dad" voice. "Let's get the show on the road. We'll split up, keeping in constant
radio contact. Mason, Harris, and Jackson. You're with me. Teal'c, you and Carter baby-sit the Major and Frome. Regroup in 3 hours by that...churchy...building over there."
Studiously ignoring the exasperatedly amused look Daniel gave the Colonel, Gorowitz motioned his team to the right.
"We'll head thataway and check out those
buildings Captains Carter and Frome were practically salivating over when we first arrived. Sir?"
Gorowitz looked at O'Neill for approval.
At the Colonel's nod, Gorowitz,
Teal'c, Frome, and Carter gathered their gear and went exploring, the women chatting lightly about the technology apparent in the city.
Teal'c and Gorowitz carefully inspected each puddle as they passed for evidence of lizards.
Jack helped his team as they all made sure they had everything.
Syla checked Daniel to make sure he wasn't reacting in any way to the lizard guts that had graced his skin and then nodded to the Colonel to show they were
Jack gave one last distrustful look around the area.
"Ok kids, let's go."
* * * * * *
NOTE To help dispell confusion about who's with who, I thought I'd make a quick reference.
Capt. Syla Mason, Lt. Greg Harris, Dr. Daniel Jackson, Col. Jack O'Neill
Capt. Nora Frome, Capt. Sam Carter, Teal'c, Maj. Terry Gorowitz
* * * * * *
"Wow...do you think it still works?"
Nora practically glowed with excitement as she held a small gadget in front of Carter.
Teal'c walked over and gave the women a funny look.
"What is its purpose?"
knows? I can't wait to run a full spectral analysis on it...Janet will really appreciate some of the chemicals we've found in here."
Carter looked like a kid in a brand new toy store.
"Talk about hitting the jackpot."
at the enthusiasm the women were exhibiting while helping them store the smaller devices and containers.
Nora picked up a crystal knife and pushed a button on the hilt, causing the knife to light up.
"Ummm...Nora, was that such a good idea? We don't exactly have on much in the way of defensive clothing if one of these things explode or worse."
"Sheesh, Carter. You're such a whimp, sometimes. Besides, It's harmless. Just a sharp flashlight...doesn't seem to do anything else."
Gorowitz narrowed a hard gaze at Frome.
"You're out of line talking to Capt. Carter that way. You have no more of a clue what all these do than she does so
kindly show us some compassion if not some basic common sense...we really don't want to get blown up. Wait until we're out of the room before turning on alien devices if you're so determined to take chances."
The reprimand caused bright red to cascade down Nora's cheeks, bringing with it both resentment and guilt.
"Sorry, sir. Sorry, Sam."
"No prob, Nora. You're as excited as I am so it's understandable to get a bit carried away."
Carter quickly forgave her and got back to work.
Gorowitz took one last look around the room.
"Are you two sure this is the last building we need to look in?"
Frome relaxed as soon as Gorowitz stopped looking at her.
"Yes, sir. We're definitely going to have to make a second trip, though, to get the rest of all this technology."
Carter's eyes lit up again as a smug grin revealed her dimples.
"I can't wait to see Daniel's face when he gets a look at the language on some of these."
"Okay ladies...time to check in with the Colonel and get moving back to
Sam snorted, causing Nora to collapse into giggles.
Teal'c easily lifted the large bags onto the cart they'd brought with them while Gorowitz
alerted the Colonel that they were on their way.
The women each took a side and pulled the cart while the men armed themselves and led the way.
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