Fly by me
Author’s Note: Thanks very much to Letomo for the beta-ing on this. I do not own Stargate, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Mummy or the crossover that will appear in the next chapter. The following ways of notation may be found in this story. This is excluding whatever I need to represent chatting, texting and stuff like that. And you can thank Twilightwanderer for the Abbott and Costello. Speech:
“Who’s on first.” Thought:
*What’s on second.
#I-don’t-know’s on third.#
A partial cast of characters is up on the forum, as are some genealogies http://waifsandstrays.freeforums.org Reviews are much appreciated, they inspire me. Children of a greater god Chapter 1: Fly by me
Carol kicked and screamed as they dragged her into the bathroom, trying to hold onto the doorway, but the large men carrying her were far stronger than she was and she stood no chance. The one who had carried her most of the way threw her bodily at the group of cowering, simpering women.
“Bathe her and prepare her for the Chamber of Possible Ascension.” His words were coldly spoken, in a voice leeched of all emotion. “Whip her if she resists, but do not break the skin.”
Carol froze at the impersonally spoken declaration. The armoured men who had dragged her to the bathing chamber filed out, leaving her alone with the four women. They were identically dressed in simple cotton smocks and their hair was cut to shoulder length. Two of the women approached her and reached for the fastenings of her jacket. The biggest of them took a raw hide knout from a hook on the wall, an incongruous item in the otherwise luxurious bathroom. She gave Carol an assessing look. Carol shivered and shook her head in defeat, drooping as the women undressed her. She bit her lip as she lowered herself into the warm, scented bath and tried to hold back the tears that threatened to start. A single one escaped, but no more. No matter what the future held, Carol was not going to give in. She would find a way out. She would escape.
Jack O’Neill was not a happy man. He was sitting in a cell, with Kawalsky and they were going to have to come clean about the whole ruddy mess on Abydos. About Daniel being alive. About the fact he had not blown up five thousand people with an atomic bomb. It was strange, he mused, that he now had to defend the fact he had only destroyed the enemy, he remembered a court martial where he had been very closely questioned regarding civilian casualties. But that was long ago. He sighed. And if his granddad ever found out he had not only opened the Gate, but been through it, met a False god, killed it…and not told him about it…he was sooo in trouble.
Senior Airman Carol Weterings woke up, cold and shivering and naked. There was a terrible smell and cold, heavy things pressed upon her, weighing her down. She remembered the expression on the face of the strangely dressed man as he ran the glowing device tied to his hand over her body and head. He’d obviously valued her less than an insect, something to swat, or tread beneath his sandaled heel. She opened her eyes, to see where she was, to see what was holding her down. Cold, dead things. Cold dead people. Carol swallowed heavily and carefully started to move. She did not know by what miracle she was alive, when her location made it clear her captors believed her dead, but she was not going to question it. She needed to get out, and she needed to get dressed and then, if possible, she was going to kick the ass of the pervert who’d had her bathed and oiled and felt her up and then had the gall to throw her in charnel pit alive when she was rejected by a snake. Bastard.
Her dog tags chinked slightly as she emerged from the charnel pit. She tried to orientate herself and nodded. Smoke was rising over the trees to the south. Was it south? The trees were wrong and the Gate…rumour had led her to believe that it led to other worlds…In the distance the smoke kept circling. Far enough away that someone not too fastidious about his peoples’ health would create a charnel pit. Not so far that the servants would have to waste valuable time toting dead, useless bodies. She shivered, not entirely from cold as she realized that in protein starved communities the bodies of outsiders had once been used as food. “Soylent Green is people…” She whispered to herself. Covering her nudity as best she could with her hands, she set of, carefully, to the south.
Carol made a short list of objectives. The first one was to acquire clothing. It was not exactly warm and walking around naked was bound to attract attention. Not to mention it was embarrassing. The second was to reconnoiter the complex. The third was to establish a method to get home, or barring that, to do the most damage to the enemy. And all without being captured. She was not going to be…no one would ever take advantage of her like that ever again. She’d die first.
All the corpses were naked. She wondered why her tags were still there. She’d made warding gestures when the women had tried to take them from her. Maybe they thought they were magical amulets. She also needed to bathe. Lying in a pile full of corpses and whatever leaked from them and other waste was not conducive to feeling or smelling clean. She shivered in the cold. She tried to remember her history lessons from Mr. Ross, long ago in Boston, before things had all gone wrong. Medieval buildings, large ones, had dedicated areas. Kitchens, laundry rooms. Heck, a linen closet would do…She shivered again and moved to the closest door. It was unguarded and open and she went inside. It was barely warmer than outside, but there was no wind, so it felt much, much better.
There was a small closet by the door and it held cloaks. Hoping wearing one indoors would not give her away she slung it around her, covering her pale shoulders and the rest of her nakedness, savouring the warmth despite the scratchy, rough texture of the cloth. The laundry room would be fairly close to the kitchen, she’d guessed. No need to have the dirtier type of servants traipse through the halls after all. Concentrate them in one place and ignore them.
She smiled as she spotted the woman staggering through the door, carrying a load of laundry. First, she needed a bath. She knew where the women had bathed her, but she was fairly certain going back there would be very unwise. She doubted the Bastard liked smelly servants cooking his meals…there had to be a bathing room for the servants. There would be one fairly close to the kitchens and laundry. Probably the water was heated from the same source.
She was dressed and washed now, wearing the grey smock and shapeless trousers of one of the common servants. She kept her head down and her dog-tags hidden.
Carol had paid attention while she had been dragged through the hallways of the palace and had noted the highest of concentrations of the armoured guards. One had been around the quarters of the Bastard. Another around the quarters she tentatively called the Harem, the rooms, including the elaborate bath, where the women were kept before they met the Bastard.
That meant that the two others she’d observed probably were the Armoury or whatever passed for it and the barracks. The lesser guards, the ones in the grey cloth with the ridiculous caps, had their own barracks. Carol wandered into the barracks, following another servant, and helped gather the dirty bedding. She carefully counted the number of beds and then left, dumping the laundry and looking as if she had been assigned another task, The Palace was not set up for defence, or even particular practicality. It was a show piece, to let it be known how powerful and rich the owner was.
Servants entered the Armoury area more rarely, and only bearing rough cleaning equipment. It was strange to see the rough clothing the servants wore and the obviously machined items that the elite soldiers wore side by side, the low tech, medieval and the high tech futuristic in one and the same place. She managed to find a bucket and mop and sidled unobtrusively into the heavily guarded block. She did clean, it was not a task she was unaccustomed to after all, but all the cleaning led her to the center of the considerable activity in the area. When she came to what had to be a hangar, her breathing stopped in sheer admiration, and, she had to admit, desire. *To fly something like that…*
Carol had long ago given up on the dream that one day she would be a pilot, not with her record and background. But she set out to study the working of the aircrafts, for they could be nothing else, avidly and with great attention to detail, also studying the dismantled pieces lying on various work benches. She might never get off this planet, but she had found her target for the most possible damage.
Her chance came when the Bastard got on the large aircraft, when the explosion pulled away most of the troops guarding the hangar. She grinned at the stupidity of the guards. They were obviously not used to any opposition, and certainly not from within. Now all she had to do was get the bird of the ground and do what damage she could. She doubted she could take down the bigger plane, but if the small ones had weapons, and she thought they were mostly weapons, then she could use them. And she was far more likely to die if she had to be shot down.
She moved towards the deadly looking craft and made ready to enter when a harsh voice addressed her. She froze when the hard hand came down upon her shoulder, before slamming her elbow into the guard’s gut and her foot down, hard, upon his instep. All she got was a startled ‘oomph’ and a bruised elbow and heel from his armoured midriff and foot.
But she had surprised him and managed to tear herself from his grip, her rough cotton shirt torn almost completely of her, and dove into the narrow opening, slamming her fist down on the closing button, the one she’d seen the armoured guards use over the last few hours. The hatch closed in the startled guard’s face, most of her shirt still in his fist, and she ripped of the cover from the closing mechanism, tore out a few wires, hoping it wouldn’t hinder her use of the plane scampered to the cockpit, praying that she’d manage to take off before they could get the hatch open. If they could do it on Star Trek…
Jack swore under his breath, mild oaths. It was the tone that helped him, not the actual meaning of the words. The refugees moved along the path. The enemy was following and the women and children and untrained men were slowing the faster ones down. They huge man was herding them along, picking up small children and carrying them for a while, then putting them down and picking up an old woman, and Jack found himself admiring the man’s willingness and courage and calm strength. He himself knew how much a child could weigh after walking with one for a hundred yards. To do so and then pick up an adult and keep on going. Well he had to be both strong and determined. Their retreat was chaotic and even with the help of the deserter, Teal’c, it was hard going.
They were going to lose more people and the notion bothered Jack. Bothered him a lot. He glanced at Carter’s back and was glad that the guards had not taken her. She was brave, if annoying. Young and so easily awed by the power of nature and science. Jack’s appreciation for such things had always been more practical. He swore again as an aircraft came into sight and started what he knew was a strafing run. And then there was a whoosh.
Another aircraft swooped down from the side and fired, erratically and Jack could see the wobble in the flight path as the new plane attacked. But the surprise and the proximity was enough; the first, attacking plane exploded into a fragments. The refugees ducked and then continued as the second plane wheeled to engage the troops that were following. It almost stalled and nearly clipped a copse of trees before pulling up sharply and continuing on course. Whoever was flying had no idea what he was doing, but Jack could admire the bravery. He just hoped that the pilot was not going to be buying their safety with his life.
Teal’c rationally knew that he was a dead man, and that the people he was fleeing with were dead as well. The smart thing to do would have been to take a small, trained dedicated group and flee. The fact that the man he’d sworn himself to had not done so, that proved to Teal’c he’d made the right decision. He wondered if one of Apophis’ lesser guards had rebelled and taken the Deathglider. It was being flown inexpertly, but he mused, with great enthusiasm.
The Stargate was in sight and Skaraa and Sha’re were passing through it. ‘Their’ plane was trying to get close to the passenger vehicle that had born Old Glowy eyes here, but another flyer had appeared and it became obvious that their support might be brave, but lacked any and all familiarity at actually flying
the sleek winged aircraft, even if he did show talent and excellent spatial awareness. The Gate closed behind the passengers and Jack exclaimed. “Oh, come on! We were so close!”
He could hear Carter let out a breath of relief as the friendly aircraft dodged an attack. The refugees were crossing the plane to the gate now, and Jack was driving them on. André, as Jack had been calling the giant man they’d freed in his mind, was running with him, carrying the old lady still. They reached the base of the platform and Jack noted that the stranger on the plane was keeping the guards of the ridge by strafing irregularly, while still under attack by the more experienced pilot.
He exchanged signals with Kawalsky. Casey had already managed to down one plane with a Stinger, but this one was chasing an ally and they did not want to risk injuring him. The lead plane, their ally, wobbled and nearly fell and the opponent dove like an avenging demon and then the Stinger launched, perfectly into the opening provided by the falling plane. Mere meters above the ground, roaring up through the falling, flaming debris their ally pulled up and regained altitude, making a loop and then thundered along the ridge line, adding its firepower to the explosions being set off. Jack whooped at Kawalsky.
“You getting the vibe that pilot knew Casey was ready to fire?” Kawalsky slapped the junior officer on the back, grinning at him and Warren. “Good shooting. Now let’s get going, don’t want to be stuck here when Daniel finally manages to get the Gate open.” Kawalsky supplied cover fire while Casey and Warren ran towards the gate, seeking cover behind the standing stones and then supporting his own retreat. He grinned at Jack’s stentorian bellow.
“DANIEL!!! GET THAT GATE DIALLED!!”
Daniel was dialing Earth and the sideways flush appeared. Jack and André stood back, holding the fort, helping the people through. Far more than if they hadn’t had air cover. A group of guards ran towards them, but they had to dive for cover as the wobbling but brave plane dove and strafed over them, trying valiantly to stop the tide of grey and metal clad warriors from getting at the small group near the Gate.
Two more planes appeared and Jack swore as it became obvious that their ally was badly outmatched. Warren took a hit from a staff and Kawalsky dragged him up the platform and through the gate while Teal’c fired at a group of enemies who tried to follow him up. Kawalsky handed the wounded man off to André, who seeing no-one else was left, carried him through. That left Jack, Kawalsky and Teal’c. Jack winced when he saw that ‘his’ pilot took a hit, a bad one. The plane listed and swerved. It was obviously going down, or would soon. But the pilot was not giving up. It seemed impossible but the plane pulled up from its damage induced nose dive and fired of shots at the massing forces on the ridge, causing death and destruction, managed to barely clear the edge of the ridge and pulled off a wobbly, spinning looping.
The enemy craft, unaware or unconcerned about the survival of the fugitives’ ally, came in to strafe the Gate. The strafing forced the defenders to duck, but Jack and Teal’c lined up their staff weapons as the craft drew off and Kawalsky fired his M203, a fierce, fixed grin on his face. They ducked in unison as the plane exploded into flaming fragments, showering the three and the approaching enemies on the plain below with hot debris and the smell of burned flesh. Their allied plane was now in trouble, obviously losing altitude and yet still trying to keep the massing soldiery from getting to the gate. Another opposing aircraft appeared and Jack winced.
Teal’c held up his staff and fired it in the air, waving, drawing the attention of the pursuing planes to himself. He gestured at the gate. “Go through, I will follow. Prepare them for a crash.”
Jack gaped and Kawalsky let out a rather less gentle oath than Jack was wont to do as both men realized what he meant. But neither man hesitated or thought to argue. They ran through the gate, emerging cold and shivering on the other side.
“CLEAR THE GATE ROOM! CLEAR THE GATEROOM! CLEAR THE CONTROL ROOM OF ALL NON VITAL PERSONNEL!” Jack shouted, echoed by Kawalsky’s more earthy command.
“GET THE FUCK OUT! NOW!! ALLY COMING THROUGH!! PLANE
The refugees, the few remaining ones, and the startled soldiers, hurriedly left through the open door. Jack ran towards one of the armoured screens and hunkered down beside it, Kawalsky next to him. He could see the other man’s tension.
Teal’c looked at the wobbling Deathglider, his eyes calm. He reasoned that whoever was flying knew something of flying, but nothing of flying Deathgliders. Yet he felt very strongly that anyone brave enough to take one up and do what this person had done deserved a chance to live. He just hoped that whoever it was had the skill to Thread the Needle in the badly damaged craft, one not designed to fit the Gate at that, and had understood his signal. A Jaffa would have understood, it was a traditional signal given by the judges at the Training Games. The problem was, it was a signal that his enemies would have understood as well. Teal’c had after all, trained most of them.
But that was a risk that had to be taken. He waved his staff again and then dove through the gate. He emerged breathing the dry, dead air of the room he’d entered once before, where he’d taken the blonde woman, the brave one. He dropped his staff to make clear he was no threat. He saw the screens and realized their importance, throwing down his staff weapon and diving behind one. The strange man, the one he’d trusted and who had been worthy of his trust, grinned down at him, as did the other man, who’d covered their retreat with the refugees. Comrades in arms.
Teal’c nodded. “Hopefully our friend will be through soon.”
Carol felt the sweat drip down her face and drop on her mostly naked chest. She wasn’t entirely certain how she’d managed to take off, or had taken down her opponents. The controls were unfamiliar to her, yet what other chance had she had? She had no desire to live out her life on a strange, rough planet, a virtual slave if not an actual one. The movement of the staff, the beckoning staff, had been clear enough. Was her control of the unfamiliar plane good enough by now that she dare attempt taking it through the Gate? Through it and safely out on the other side? She’d need to bleed speed very fast before hitting the rear wall. She’d have to enter it almost dead slow, or at least as dead slow as any flying object could travel. She had three choices: fly her crippled bird away and hide for the rest of her life, but likely be captured, fight until she was shot down and hopefully killed, or try and take the plane through the gate and hope she didn’t die. If she did, at least her bones would rest in the soil of her own world. She closed her eyes for less than a second, throttled back on power and aimed for the gate. It was time to go home.
George Hammond stood behind a hastily erected blast screen in the control room. He saw the armoured figure speed through the gate, drop his weapon and hit the deck behind the screen. This had to be the defector Carter mentioned. The way he dropped his weapon and then dove for cover strengthened this view. The way he was not attacked by O’Neill and Kawalsky clinched it. He still could not believe what he thought that O’Neill’s and Kawalsky’s warnings had meant. Not until the burning, alien space craft hurtled through the gate, wings torn off, wiring and structural struts exposed by the entry into the opposite portal, hit the edge of the gate upon emerging and ploughed down through the metal ramp, slower than its mass and speed had a right to do, gouging huge furrows in the reinforced concrete of the floor before coming to a smoking, screeching halt against the wall below the control room.
“CLOSE THE IRIS!!” He thundered. “FIRE TEAMS TO THE GATE ROOM! FIRE TEAMS AND MEDICAL TEAMS TO THE GATE ROOM!”
The iris closed and seconds later the hardened titanium started to glow as the molecules failed to reform into a coherent shape and sought to release their energy. The red hot gate became white and the temperature in the Gate room became stiflingly hot as the metal radiated the excess heat into the confined chamber. The Iris pinged once as it slightly expanded due to the instant massive heat then silence reigned. Hammond was tearing down the stairs seconds later, slamming open the door to the gate room and hastening inside before the medical team had time to get back in.
The hatch of the odd craft opened, haltingly and hissing, releasing vapour and hydraulic fluid. A shape appeared, stumbling, and it fell out of the hatch, almost straight into his arms.
It was a slim, sweaty, bloody shape, her blonde hair plastered to her head. The ragged remnants of a torn cotton shirt barely covered her upper body and her blue grey eyes had rolled up in her face. But it took George Hammond less than two seconds to recognize her. His missing airman, Carol Weterings. The medical teams had hurried in and one approached. Hammond lowered her gently to the stretcher they put down by him and he stood looking as the shirt fell off, revealing more of the young woman than was appropriate, and he was sure she would be comfortable with.
The medical team had no blankets left, he knew. They had been provided to the refugees who’d emerged, in shock and freezing, from the gate. He unbuttoned his coat and gently put it over the girl. He could feel the eyes of half his command on him, but that was better then that they were upon her. He was an officer and a gentleman and the motto of the Order of the Garter came to him: Honi soit qui mal y pense, shame on him who thinks evil of it.
He absentmindedly noted that O’Neill and Kawalsky seemed to be noting who was looking at him and who had been looking at Weterings. The medical team had finished their initial exam and quickly carried the Airman out. Hammond, in his dress shirt, turned to face the large armoured alien who had appeared in his base and questioningly eyed O’Neill.
“Ah, Sir, this is Teal’c…He helped us escape and save these people… End note: Carol Weterings is the female Senior Airman whose kidnapping is the start of the whole mess, to paraphrase Jack. I did not create her, but as the Star Gate authors saw fit to kill her off in episode one, I’m picking her up and running away with her. She was portrayed by Rachel Hayward. This story occurs during the pilot of Star Gate, Children of the Gods and therefore chronologically occurs at around the time of: Of Witches and Confused mothers.