PXX-496, six months earlier...
Riley ducked as a staff blast rocketed past his head. Staying low, he peered through the dense smoke, doing a quick visual of his team, checking their status. He saw Dr. Hastings and Lt. McDaniels staying under cover as they traded shots with the Jaffa troops trying to kill them. He didn't see Graham, but that was of the good, since if things went according to plan, he would be working his way around the Jaffas' flank. Riley stroked the trigger of his P90, firing a quick three round burst at a Jaffa that abruptly broke cover, trying a rush while his comrades kept up covering fire. Taking at least two rounds in the chest, the Jaffa went down, while Riley dropped like a rock back behind cover as the fire on his position intensified.
The one thing he missed about demons was that most did not use modern weapons. Although as far as tactics was concerned, Jaffa were only moderately better than the average demon, he thought as Graham raised his gun from the Jaffas' left and using full auto, dropped three out of the five remaining Jaffa. Gesturing Lt. McDaniels forward, while raising his P90 again, Riley broke cover and ran forward as well, burst firing as he went to keep his enemies' heads down. Reaching where their cover behind the fallen tree, he raised his barrel over the top, squeezed hard on the trigger, and fired on full auto, riddling the last two Jaffa. Lt. McDaniels duplicated his action from the Jaffas' right side, while Graham moved into covering position on the right, watching the surrounding area.
Riley stopped firing and in the ensuing silence, listened. The only sound he heard was his own breathing and the slight ticking sound of metal cooling. He and his team were alive, which was a good thing. A not-so-good thing was that PXX-496 was supposed to be uninhabited. At least that was what intel said. Instead there was a substantial native population and a sizable Jaffa invasion force as well. He didn't blame intelligence for the invasion force, since it had arrived after SG-15, but the natives shouldn't be there.
He and his team had killed at least one hundred and seventy-five Jaffa since their first exchange of fire with the large Jaffa force now guarding the gate. Unfortunately, that left another one hundred or so still around. Riley and his team were all out of claymores and grenades as well as their other heavy ordinance. Of course, since his was the only team that “burdened” themselves with mines, grenades and mortars, despite being told that carrying this stuff was unnecessary, they had managed to make quite a dent in the Jaffa population.
Riley still remembered the first time he had loaded up with extra weapons while going off-world. Colonel O'Neill had taken one look at the two bandoleers of grenades, the two LAWS tubes, and what he suspected were several claymores and had gone ballistic. “Oh, fer cryin' out loud! Do you think you're taking on the entire planet? You're only going on a milk run, Finn. Taking that stuff is waaay overkill.”
Riley had calmly stated, “As Team Commander, I have the authority and responsibility to take whatever I feel I need to get the job done. I would rather take this stuff and not need it, than need it and not take it. In my experience, no amount of firepower is overkill when going into an unknown situation.”
Jack had jumped on that, “And exactly what is your experience, Captain Finn?”
“That's classified, sir.”
“Huh, well, you are responsible for filling out the paperwork and
the after-action reports for all of this. If you want to fill out three times as much as normal, then so be it.” Turning away and muttering something under his breath, Jack had walked away from SG-15.
Of course, they had not needed anything on that mission. Or the next. Not even the next one beyond that. It had gotten to the point that even Graham had begun to resent the thirty extra pounds each of them had carried. Now, all of them were grateful for those pounds. That extra weight had kept them alive and able to hit back when all hell broke loose four days ago. All hell being an invasion force of over two hundred and fifty Jaffa, probably looking for the same naquadah that SG-15 sought.
The claymores had been the single most devastating weapon against the Jaffa. When they had first been cut off by the Jaffa, Riley and Graham had quickly come up with a plan to hurt them as badly as possible, while they did not suspect their existence. Moving back into the jungle, they had rigged the trail they were following, creating a fifty-yard-long kill zone. Riley sent McDaniels off with Dr. Hastings, after setting up a rendezvous spot.
Luring a patrol of five Jaffa into an ambush, Riley and Graham had killed four of them, allowing the last one to escape, while pretending to pursue him. When they had broken out of the cover of the jungle, the entire Jaffa force, already alerted by the sound of gunfire, had taken off in pursuit of them. Running as fast as they could, they had managed to gain some distance on the Jaffa, while not losing them. When the Jaffa had entered the “kill zone”, Graham had tripped the claymores. Thousands of steel balls had ripped the pursuing Jaffa columns apart, killing several dozen. Riley and Graham had then poured grenades and automatic fire into the survivors, who had milled around, apparently leaderless. After a few minutes, when they began taking effective fire again from the regrouping Jaffa, Riley and Graham had melted back into the jungle, circling back to the rendezvous point. Only later after surveying the surviving Jaffa had Riley realized just how many they had wiped out that day. Two men had taken out over a hundred.
Using hit and run tactics from there on, the four had managed to further hurt the Jaffa, although Dr. Hastings role had been more of a support one, mostly maintaining the various camps they had used. They had used the LAWS to take out a heavy weapons platform that the Jaffa had constructed near the Stargate. It had taken both launchers to destroy it, though with the added bonus of it overloading and exploding with stunning force, killing another thirty Jaffa with many more injured. Late-night sneak attacks had used the rest of their supply of grenades up, but they were brutally effective. No Jaffa were willing to patrol in groups of fewer than ten and even then they weren't safe, as evidenced by the latest victory of superior Terran tactics over superior Jaffa numbers.
Riley know that their time was running out. Even with the extra ammunition they had packed, they would be out soon. While they had captured zats and staff weapons galore, it was the superior range and rate of fire of the Terran's automatic weapons that had kept them on top up to now. Riley knew also, it was just a matter of time until their luck ran out as well. It was almost a miracle that none of them had been hit yet. Good tactics, training, and luck had kept them uninjured so far, but eventually someone or several someones were going to become casualties. Losing even one person would reduce their effective firepower by a fourth.
As Riley helped gather the fallen Jaffas' weapons, he suddenly stopped. “Everybody, come here please.” As crazy ideas went, this one was a doozy.
As the other three gathered around him, they exchanged puzzled looks at the excited face Riley wore. Not keeping them in suspense, Riley stated, “Each of you knows that we are running on limited time here. We are not going to keep winning these constant firefights. Sooner or later, one or more of us are going to become casualties, reducing our available firepower even further. However, I have a plan...”The next day...
Waving a white flag, Riley stepped out of the jungle, slowly approaching the Jaffa stronghold. As he walked up to the gate, several Jaffa pointed staff weapons at him. Here we go, he thought...