Beast of Burden
((I would apologize for being late, especially when you consider I've had this chapter written for quite a bit *cough2monthscough* but I'm on a firefly/riddick kick atm. so, yeah.))
This may have turned into a Dawn Daniel in that time as well..
“Dawn has made amazing leaps and bounds in her lessons, with your permission I'd like to take her with us on our mission to investigate the disappearance of the Unas.”
Hammond considered the proposal. For the last four weeks, Dr. Jackson had been keeping his protege under lock and key whenever she was on base. Constantly escorting her around or assigning an airman as a guard. He was almost more protective than the girl's own family. It was half amusing, and half worrisome.
“Miss Summers is familiar with the Unas language?”
“The Initiative managed to do one thing right,” Daniel laughed bitterly as he thought of the collected data. “It turns out that the Pylean is a dialect of Unas. Or Unas is a dialect of Pylean, we haven't exactly figured that part out. But, because of this common link, Dawn has a better grasp on Unas than I do at the moment.”
That was rather interesting. And useful. So long as Miss Summers had a reference handy, she was nearly as talented as Daniel when it came to deciphering alien languages. Dr. Jackson himself had reported her to be far better at deciphering sub-terrestrial languages than himself. By skill alone Hammond would have allowed her on a mission, but there was the issue of Miss Summers' age. Major Carter would have to sign a number of papers in order for her to leave the planet. More than she'd signed to allow Dawn inside of SGC.
“Miss Summers has several health issues that might prove inconvenient.”
“This mission isn't exactly life threatening sir,” Daniel pointed out. “It's a recon mission to a peaceful planet and really, so long as she has a Snickers, Dawn will be just fine.”
“Indeed it is. I'll get the papers together. Although, I would like to know who is taking responsibility for this.”
“I will. I'm requesting Dawn's assistance as my protege. I'll take full responsibility for her safety.”
Sam looked ready to blow steam out of her ears when Hammond explained Dawn's presence in the briefing room. Faintly, Jack wondered if it might actually happen. Dawn looked elated, beaming as she listened to Hammond's words and instructions. They were so opposite sometimes. For instance, Sam was wearing fatigues while Dawn was wearing civvies. A black tshirt was the rival of a white peasant top. A pair of olive pants were only slightly related to Dawn's similarly colored miniskirt. And while Sam's midcalf combat boots were well worn and standard issue, Dawn's gray knee high combat boots were still unscuffed and quite possibly a gift from Spike.
Jack could see Daniel studiously ignoring Dawn in her miniskirt. Every so often though, his eyes would glance over at her and that was what made Jack scowl. When Dawn had the crush it had been amusing. It still was. It was hilarious watching Dawn try to get Danny's attention. But it wasn't quite as funny when Daniel was starting to notice.
“Get ready, you leave in half an hour.”
“Sir, I still don't understand why you're sending Dawn on this mission.”
“Miss Summers has more than enough experience in defending herself Major Carter.” Hammond had obviously thought about Sam's protests. “According to the Initiative files she's made more confirmed kills than you have.” A faint 'I did?' sounded from Dawn's direction. “We need someone with a grasp on the Unas language and Dr. Jackson has reported Miss Summers to be more fluent than himself.”
“She's going Major Carter.”
Jack didn't like it when Dawn started bouncing out the room, dragging Daniel to his office. Not when Daniel was looking anywhere but Dawn's rear. He was dragged away from his self-appointed chaperone duty when Sam started complaining about Hammond's decision. Shooting a look and a head jerk at Teal'c, Jack resigned himself to calming the major down. Teal'c wouldn't let anything happen.
The gate kawooshed the next time he saw the three. Dawn was still dressed in her civvies and Daniel was focusing very hard on showing Dawn how to handle a gun. Teal'c was walking over to him, a question on his face.
“I am curious as to the signal you gave me earlier.” Was he serious? He didn't understand that...
“I wanted you to keep an eye on the kids,” Jack sighed. “You did right?”
“Daniel Jackson and Dawn Summers did not become intimate if that is your concern.”
“What? No, you were supposed to make sure they didn't...she's too young and Daniel is too old,” Jack hissed. When the pair in question lifted their heads Jack waved them off. “Just going over some details.” The two shrugged and started up the ramp. “It's inappropriate for them to even think of being anything but friends.”
“Dawn Summers is well beyond age to partake in marriage. Had she been my daughter, I would have ensured her betrothal the day she was born and paid for her wedding upon the completion of her first bleeding.” Teal'c began to walk up the ramp; Sam, Dawn, and Daniel had already gone through. “If it makes you feel any better, she is older than Daniel Jackson's first wife.”
Teal'c went through the gate.
“That does Not make me feel any better,” Jack scowled before stepping through.
When Jack came through on the other side, he was greeted by Dawn's laughter and bright sunshine. Daniel was focusing hard on a notebook while Teal'c surveyed the area and Sam was actually smiling. She wasn't as excited as Dawn, but she looked relaxed. She looked like there was finally something she could have in common with Dawn.
“Feeling better about the decision?” Jack walked over to his Major.
“Yes. I actually am. Not so much the decision to arm her, but I'm glad to see her smiling.”
“Ah come on Carter, she has more confirmed kills remember?”
Sam rolled her eyes with a smile. “I'm not sure it counts if the kill is already dead.”
Dawn was actually asking Sam questions as they walked to Chaka's normal domain. How far were they from home? How many suns did this planet have? What was the environment like? Laughing girls and tripping boys made the whole thing seem like a family picnic. Maybe they could come back before long and actually have a picnic. Jack's planning for their picnic nearly took his mind off of Danny's faltering will power and Teal'c pointing out the age of the late Mrs. Jackson.
Then again, Jack had known Sha'ure's age from the beginning. He'd just hoped to forget it. Sha'ure had been a year younger than Dawn on that first mission. Jack could remember laughing at Daniel's unease during that first mission.
Dawn called out something gutteral when they reached Chaka's cave. Unas spoken cheerfully was a strange sound. Several Uns stepped out of the cave, spears held defensively as they questioned Dawn and Daniel both. Daniel wasn't even trying to speak, instead he was listening as Dawn spoke with the proto-pyleans. She was calm, polite, listening intently as the tribal aliens explained what had happened.
“Humans have been coming, they've been leaving cold clams around with teeth, and they've been taking the unas that are bitten away in cold cages.” Dawn leaned back for a second before asking them something. Their answer made her frown. “They have a cold clam they can show us.”
Jack lifted his hand. “Lead the way.”
Jack was crouched in front of their cold clam with a broken stick in his hands. It was a bear trap.
The Unas were being captured.
“So what do we do now?” Sam asked. They'd been sitting silent around the trap for a goodly amount of time.
“We could storm in with guns blazing demanding they let our people go.” Dawn was sitting next to her aunt, weaving flowers together in a chain.
“Or we could take a much more civilized approach and kill them in their sleep.” Daniel had a furious calm. The only upside of his fury, in Jack's opinion, was the fact that he wasn't looking at anything but a spot on the dirt.
“Why don't we try to go reason with them,” Sam suggested slowly. “I mean, surely if they see the error of their ways-”
“It took hundreds of years before humans accepted slavery was wrong. I don't think these guys are going to just accept what we tell them.” Jack sighed and threw his broken stick to the ground. Hundreds of years and there were still underground slave rings all around Earth.
Their Unas guides were sitting on the grass, talking about lord knows what. Well, Dawn knew what. Possibly Daniel.
“We should travel to the slave camp and investigate.” Teal'c. Always the voice of reason.
“Yeehaw,” Sam snorted as she walked into the slaver camp. It was more than a camp. It was a town.
“And a yippekayay,” Dawn agreed.
Off planet, the two of them got along splendidly. Dawn listened to instructions and Sam listened to opinions. They stuck together, Dawn slightly behind her aunt and keeping an eye on their rear. Maybe Dawn should join them a bit more often. On safe planets. Then again it might have something to do with the gun at Dawn's waist. Probably not though.
Dawn seemed to prefer threatening to light people on fire.
And Sam liked to throw things.
“The local blacksmith specializes in forging brands,” Daniel came back to them after a quick walk about the township, Teal'c had gone with him. Jack had stayed behind with Sam and Dawn once it was obvious women didn't walk about alone. Not respectable women at least.
“That's terrible,” Sam breathed.
“No!” Dawn's eyes were alight with excitement. “That's wonderful!” at the raised brows around her she clarified. “All pylean's have a mark on their lower backs to show the clan they were born too. If the Unas are actually related to Pyleans-”
“We could find the mark and reclaim Chaka.” Daniel nodded. “If we manage to show them that Chaka belongs to one of us, we might be able to send other teams back to reclaim the others.”
“Alright, so which one of us is going to claim ownership?” Jack looked at his crew. Sam looked too uncomfortable. Teal'c didn't look like he'd care if someone stole his slaves and Jack didn't really care that bloodthirsty beasts were being enslaved. Especially when their pylean cousins enslaved and ate humans. It was rather Karmic in Jack's opinion.
The only person who looked genuinely angry was Daniel. And the only person who could manage to form a simple sentence was Dawn.
“Alright, let's head back to our pals, check in with base, then we'll work out the rescue plan.”
“Dr. Jackson I do apologize for the mixup, we were under the impression this planet was free.”
Daniel glowered through his glasses. “Your assumptions have caused my dear wife no small amount of distress. Not to mention the disruption it has caused in my research and fields.”
Daniel sounded exactly like a southern gentleman Jack realized. It was almost unnerving.
“Of course, you're more than welcome to look through the kennel,” the slaver nodded his head, standing from his desk and hurriedly moving them out of his office. Sam and Teal'c were in the shed, snapping pictures of marks to take back to base.
“And not a single bullet fired or building set afire,” Jack grinned with an arm around Dawn. The mission was a success and very soon they would have the Unas freed. The Unas who'd already been shipped off might not be so lucky as to return home but the slaver had made some sort of mention about informing his customers to the misjudgment he'd made.
Hammond was watching as a group of men and women prepared to deport. At their feet were a number of steel poles and a box of flags. The flags bore the symbol of various Unas clans along with the words 'property of' in Unas/Pylean.
“No, but we may have accidentally started a turf war,” Dawn pointed out.
“They would have had it eventually,” Jack waved it off.
“Yeah but now you guys are partially responsible for it,” Dawn shook her head as several more airmen walked past.
Jack stopped and looked at Dawn with a large grin. “You were there too Dawnie. You're just a responsible for a civil war as the rest of us.” Jack started them walking again. “Didn't Sam or Daniel go over that?”