* * * * * *
"Sir, that looks like the last puddle for awhile. Do you think there's a lizard in each of them?"
Jack shot a quick look at Frome
before directing all of his attention to the huge puddle around which they were navigating.
"I'd rather not take a chance and find out the answer's yes."
Jack motioned to Harris to check behind the larger rocks.
There was a lot of gadget pieces laying around, but other than the "temple" rocks, nothing whole.
In fact, it looked suspiciously like debris from an explosion.
"...amazing...rune structures completely undamaged...like they were carved 5 minutes ago...the
rock is obviously very old...look at the crumbling around the edges...a couple thousand years, perhaps..."
Daniel spoke fast and reverently as his mind reached into a
bottomless hole of knowledge and presented fact after fact for the others to review.
Jack pretended to be completely bored, but couldn't help feeling a swell of pride as he watched Harris and Frome's eyes get wider and wider.
He had long ago realized that most people only saw some of the real Daniel on base.
It wasn't until they were on a mission like this that someone other than SG-1 would get to see Daniel in his element...in the field, with the
brilliance of his I.Q. outshining any previous impressions he had unknowingly made.
When he was in "Daniel-mode", he spoke clearly and confidently with none of the uncertainty and shyness that sometimes accosted the
anthropologist when dealing with his own race on his own planet.
"Jack, Sam, Teal'c...look."
hushed whisper broke into Jack's thoughts, causing him to look over where Daniel and Sam were inspecting what they were assuming to be the entrance.
Jack walked over to see what was so important.
"Is that what I think it is?"
"Yes, it is...it's a fossilized goa'uld entombed in the rock."
"Wonderful...I do believe it's time we le.."
Jack was interrupted by a bright light burning his eyes.
He heard Sam cry out and then he felt someone shaking his shoulder.
He slowly opened his eyes and saw blue-grey ones, full of concern, staring back at him.
Daniel leaned forward to get a better grasp on his shoulder and
help Jack into a sitting position.
"You don't seem to have anything broken, although it took me 15 minutes just to wake you up. How are you feeling?"
Jack just looked at him...no retort coming to mind.
Daniel looked even more worried and started talking, hoping it would pull Jack out of the stupor he was in.
"Sam's still out of it...she hit some rocks pretty hard, but she's breathing normally. Nora's awake, but groggy. Teal'c's got some scratches, but he's fine...he's watching Sam. The ceiling
completely caved in when that light hit and the walls just fell apart. My glasses are wrecked because of the way I hit the ground, but I'm fine. Harris wasn't inside when everything happened so he wasn't even blinded or anything.
He saw the ceiling cave in and he radio'd Gorowitz for back-up. They're on the way here..."
Everything Daniel had said was suddenly sinking into Jack's brain and he jumped to
his feet, pulling Daniel with him.
Kneeling by Carter, he checked her pulse for himself...just to be sure...and then took in his surroundings.
The entire "temple" was gone...not gone as in 'disappeared', but rather
gone as in rubble. It looked as if some giant had clubbed the structure to death.
"I want us out of here. Now."
Jack's voice was calm, but deadly.
"Daniel help Frome. Teal'c, grab Carter. I'm not going to stay here and wait for whatever that was
to come back for a second shot."
At first, Sam was hanging limply in Teal'c's arms, but as she stirred, Daniel reach over and hooked her arms around the jaffa's neck to give
Teal'c better balance and make Sam a bit more comfortable.
He didn't tell Jack, but he could see the beginning's of a large bruise on her side where her jacket and shirt had been ripped by the rocks.
He prayed fervently
that there wasn't any serious internal injuries as they moved as far away from the temple remains as fast as they could without hurting Sam even more.
They all watched the puddles closely, hoping against hope the lizards
wouldn't take offense at the rather obvious pounding the ground had taken during the temple's demise.
The walk uphill was rough, with Nora falling a few times and Daniel almost losing his balance since his eyesight was a bit
bleary, but they met Gorowitz and put Sam on one of the stretchers Mason had requisitioned.
Syla was immediately at Sam's side, checking her.
Then, after she had done everything she could for Sam, she motioned for them to
carefully carry her to the gate, knowing Dr. Fraiser was anxiously waiting on the other side.
She quickly checked over the rest of the two teams, just to be sure, but other than some bruises and scrapes, everyone was fine.
Everyone moved through the gate as soon as the wormhole established.
* * * * * *
sir. We have no idea what the light was or why it hit the temple while we were inside. I suggest we treat the rocks and gizmos we brought back with the utmost care considering we have no clear idea to their function."
Jack finished his recommendation stiffly, knowing the general didn't like mysteries any more than he did.
Gen. Hammond suppressed his impulse to scowl, knowing the Colonel would
have told him more if there was more to tell.
"I agree. NID wants everything sent to them, but because of everything that's happened I compromised and said a
couple of their people could come here to oversee the initial experiments until we're sure it safe to transport them."
Jack grimaced at the thought of NID people walking
around the base, freely, but knew it was probably better than a gadget exploding on the way to Area 51 and possibly killing non-NID employees.
Daniel looked sick at the mention of the NID and Jack realized just how quiet he had
been since they'd left Sam in the infirmary.
He should probably have a talk with him as soon as the debriefing was over...just to make sure everything was okay.
He looked up as Dr. Fraiser walked into the room.
Hammond watched her expectantly as she took a seat between Daniel and Teal'c, across from Jack, the situation not dulling for a moment the quick sparks in the brief glance the doctor and Colonel shared.
"What is Captain Carter's condition?"
"She'll be fine, sir. 3 bruised ribs, a slight concussion, and she'll be
stiff for awhile, but no permanent damage. I recommend a week stand-down and then light duty until she's up to going back out."
Janet smiled as she noted the pronounced relief on the men's faces.
She sobered a bit, though, as she mentioned what had been nagging at her since she'd gotten Sam to finally sleep.
"I'm a bit concerned about the bright light that made everyone blank out during the temple collapsing. Other than a tingling sensation, none of SG-1 or Capt. Frome seem to have any physical indication
that it even happened. A light bright enough to cause unconsciousness should leave retinal traces, but there's none. If anything, Dr. Jackson's eyesight has improved...not enough to leave off wearing his glasses, but certainly
better than it was. If it's ok with you, general, I'd like SG-1 to come into the infirmary at the beginning of each day until Captain Carter is ready for full duty, just so I can be completely sure nothing was missed."
Jack caught the concerned look Daniel and Janet shared as the general affirmed her request.
"Was there anything else, doctor?"
Janet paused before answering the general...she knew the Colonel would like her next request even less.
"Actually, yes. I'd like the Colonel, Dr. Jackson, and Teal'c to come by for another blood test. Dr. Covores wants to run some different tests on fresh samples to see how different their
blood is now, compared to what it was when the program first started. She's already turned up some changes in Sam's blood that I hadn't really thought about since I've been so close each time something has happened. I'm used to how
each of you are now. I'm curious what an un-biased view point will turn up."
Daniel looked like he was about to ask a question, but the general beat him to it.
"Is there anything about these changes in the Captain's blood we should be concerned about?"
Janet smiled reassuringly.
"No...this is more for curiosity than anything."
The men relaxed a bit and Jack smiled as he ask Janet.
"So this is voluntary?"
Gen. Hammond looked at the Colonel, deliberately stifling a smile, even though he knew his
eyes were giving him away.
"No, Colonel, it most certainly is not. I expect the three of you to report directly to the infirmary after this debriefing."
Daniel wasn't too thrilled, either, but smiled at Jack's objections.
Everyone knew how much Jack detested going to the infirmary when he was injured.
To go, just to go, well...that must be particularly awful.
Grinning, now, Daniel turned to Janet in time to find her trying to hide a matching grin.
"Does anyone have anything else to add?"
Four "No, sir." 's echoed in the room.
"Very well...SG-13 will be debriefed while the three of you are in the infirmary and if there's anything I
need cleared up, I'll call you back in."
The General looked around the table one last time.
* * * * * *
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