As Riley stepped up to the gate, every Jaffa in sight pointed a weapon at him, either a staff weapon or a zat. Keeping his face expressionless, he calmly walked right up to the gate, staring down the guard.
“I need to speak to whoever's in charge,” Riley stated simply to the glowering Jaffa guards. Neither of them said anything, but a minute or so later, another Jaffa came to the gate and faced him. He carried himself with an air of importance, but his forehead tattoo was plain black, indicating he wasn't very high-ranked.
“I am Ra'tar, Tau'ri. Why should I not have you shot? Or give you another scar on the other side of your face to match the one you have? You were foolish to come up here unarmed, waving a piece of cloth on a pole.” The head Jaffa's contemptuous tone bothered Riley not at all. He knew what he was trying was a long shot, but it was probably the only chance they had left.
“The white flag is a symbol of our desire for a truce to discuss terms. My people consider the person of the bearer to be inviolate. Shoot me and all of you are dead. You've already lost over two-thirds of your troops. I'm giving you a chance to surrender. If you don't take it, I just want to make it clear that you had the opportunity and threw it away.” Riley projected absolute confidence in his tone and demeanor. It wasn't all that difficult, considering he had done something similar before when dealing with a tribe of demons. Only there the consequences for failure weren't getting shot, but rather being slowly eaten alive from the inside. Compared to N'katul demons, Jaffa were pussycats. Actually compared to some of the girls he had dated, Jaffa were pussycats, Riley thought, thinking back to some of the stunts Buffy had pulled back in the day. Even Sam had done enough hair-raising stunts to keep him on his toes around her.
Forcing his mind back to the present, he contemplated the expressions of Ra'tar and his troops. His bluff seemed to be working. Ra'tar was trying for a poker face, but his eyes betrayed his nervousness, darting towards the jungle line behind Riley. The other Jaffa didn't even try to hide their worry and spoke together in Goa'uld, while surreptitiously eying the jungle. Riley mere stood there with his hands at his sides and waited, head held high, careful to stay non-threatening, while still expressing dominant body language.
“Bah, we may have lost troops, but so have you. We've killed over a hundred of your troops. And we are not afraid to die for our god.” Ra'tar spoke arrogantly, but again, his eyes gave him away. He didn't believe what he was saying.
Riley pushed back, “You haven't killed any
of our troops. We haven't lost a single man to your hundreds. You know it and I know it. DON'T try to mess with me. The only reason you're still alive is because we chose to minimize our casualties, otherwise we would have wiped you that first day when we ambushed you.” Riley looked from the Jaffa commander to the two gate guards, neither of whom would meet his eyes, to the other Jaffa standing just beyond. They appeared frightened and demoralized, ready for the next step.
After a minute had passed, he decided to up the ante. Glancing at his watch, he stated, “I don't have all day. You have five minutes, starting... now. Surrender or die. You don't have the numbers to stop us anymore. You're just lucky my commander listened to me and let me give you all a chance to surrender. He was for just storming this compound, now that your numbers are reduced, and executing everyone. Now I've heard that Jaffa are loyal unto death, but your god isn't here, and you're not dying for him. You're just dying to guard a gate. And I don't think you want to throw away your lives for nothing. Hell, he
wouldn't want you to waste your lives for nothing.”
“I cannot make a decision in five minutes, Tau'ri. I will require more time. Call off the attack and we will talk further.” Ra'tar spoke with confidence, but his eyes betrayed him. Riley thought he would make one sucky poker player.
“You don't have more time. You have three minutes and forty-four seconds now. Besides, you've already decided. So don't screw around with me. Get your troops out here now. Have them put their weapons on the ground, as they file out. They need to go stand over there with their backs to the jungle, facing this compound and kneel on the ground with their hands behind their heads. Do that and no one gets hurt.” Riley was no longer worried. The Jaffa commander had blinked. Riley had thought he would, but you never knew for sure until you got in their face and looked deep inside them. Even the best, most elite troops could only take so much strain before cracking. And these were not elite troops, instead appearing to be mostly green troops without even an intermixing of veterans to keep them from folding under pressure. Probably sent here as a training mission, to give them seasoning. So many rookie mistakes. These guys wouldn't last too long in the jungles of Bolivia against K'luntre or N'katul demons. They would have shattered like glass the first few nights, when things from their worst nightmares flowed from the shadows to kill. Riley and his squads had survived that and worse.
“I have not decided and...”
Riley interrupted the Jaffa, grabbing his arm and giving him a push towards the spot he had indicated he was to kneel at. The Jaffa looked stunned, like he couldn't believe what was happening, but finally shuffled over to kneel where he had been directed. Riley gazed steadily at the gate guards, then gave a toss of his head toward their commander. After a moment, they dropped their staff weapons and joined him, kneeling with their hands behind their heads. After a few seconds, more Jaffa filed out of the compound. Most would not meet his eyes, instead staring at the ground before their feet. The few that did, reflected the bafflement of their commander, stunned that they had lost so easily without every even coming to grips with their enemies. An hour later...
“Fer cryin' out loud, you must have nine lives, Finn. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I never woulda believed it.” Jack was beyond surprised. Everyone had written off SG-15, when, after missing their second check-in, a rover had been dispatched through the gate and immediately come under heavy fire. It had transmitted images of dozens of Jaffa and what appeared to be a defensive emplacement encircling the gate before being destroyed. They had immediately shut down the gate, while thinking about what could be done to help SG-15. It had stayed shut down until they had received a connection request backed with Riley's authorization. He had himself appeared at the top of the ramp. Riley had only stayed long enough to grab half the gate guards, while requesting another outgoing wormhole be established for his return. Trusting his judgment, General Hammond had immediately authorized it, whereupon he had headed back.
When Jack had followed ten minutes later with thirty men, he found a small army of Jaffa, disarmed, kneeling with their hands clasped behind their heads, being guarded by the eight gate guards and the four men from SG-15. To say he was taken aback was an understatement. His astonishment only grew when the situation was explained to him, primarily by Finn's team, who led by Lt. Miller, gave Finn full credit for the plan that had resulted in the surrender of over seventy Jaffa to the four man team of SG-15. Seventy surrendering to four. It was one of the most impressive victories that Jack had ever heard of. It was also one of the craziest things he had ever heard of. At least as bad as anything Jack
had done in the past. But the worst thing was he wouldn't be able to give Finn grief anymore about all the gear he took on every mission. The explosives and extra weapons had apparently come in pretty handy. Rather, Jack figured it was only a matter of time until other teams would try loading up for bear. And Jaffa. And who knows how that would turn out? Muttering to himself, he headed back through the gate, “And General Hammond says I can't keep out of trouble. Wait until he hears about this...”