SG-1 and that Brit, part 7
A/N: This is a sequel to “The League of Extraordinary Women”. It will make a lot more sense if you read that first. Also, this chapter is a follow-up to the first and fifteenth chapters in this story, so go back and read them if you haven’t done so yet.
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me. If you want details on ownership and all that jazz, you’ll want to read the appropriate intros in “The League of Extraordinary Women”.
The Jaffa on the left snapped out something in Goua’uld, which probably didn’t mean ‘whatchoo talkin’ about Willis’ or anything they wanted to hear.
Danny spouted off some Goua’uld, but just didn’t have the swagger to pull it off. The right-hand Jaffa swung his weapon at Danny.
Jack whipped out his zat and fired twice. One shot for righty and one for lefty. Rupert was moving just as quickly, and fired once into each Jaffa also. Four shots, two dead Jaffa. That went well.
An alarm began blaring, and someone shouted something in Goua’uld over a hidden speaker. Danny translated what was being bellowed over the intercom, “We will protect the bridge, get to the engine room and the fuel storage.”
Jack cursed silently but said, “Fine. Grab a staff weapon.” He kicked one of the staff weapons so it was half out the entry door. That ought to cause a few problems when they wanted to close up the ship.
He moved out, trusting Danny and Rupert would have his back. Danny had learned enough of these drills to know what to do, and Rupert was a Double Oh who had survived for years. Jack would have been happier with Teal’c and Sam at his back, but you couldn’t have everything.
He’d done this enough times that he knew where the corners were for the ambushes, and he knew where the engine room was. He got to the first ambush corner, and snapped out his backup spec ops periscope to take a look. Sure enough, two Jaffa standing stiffly with staff weapons at the ready. They even had their helmets in place for maximum protection.
And minimum visibility. He dove around the corner, firing the zat as he went. He hit the floor hard. You’d think they would build some give into floors that had armored guys stomping on them all day, but no. He still picked off both Jaffa before either of them managed to target him.
There was still one staff weapon blast that put a hole in the wall behind him. Good thing staff weapons were less accurate than one of those knockoff AK’s those terrorists were running around with.
Danny and Rupert ducked around the corner with weapons ready. Rupert ran over and kicked the staff weapons out of the hands of the downed Jaffa, just in case someone was still mobile.
Danny said, “Okay. Engine room. Door’s right down there.” He pointed down the hall. “No idea how many in it.”
Jack said, “Well, ya think you can get that
Danny just gave him one of those looks and made for the panel beside the door. It only took him four tries. And when the door started opening, Danny ducked over to the side, just in case.
That turned out to be a good thing, because a staff weapon and a ribbon device blasted out into the hallway, which would not have been good for Danny’s work safety record. Not that Daniel had a good work safety record, since he seemed to get hurt on most of their missions. Jack told himself, not for the first time, that he really needed to take better care of the guy.
Rupert ran down the hall and dove to the floor so he landed on his back. He slid on his blazer past the open door and fired off two shots. A lone staff blast came as reply. Rupert jumped up into a crouch and used American military hand signals to indicate ‘one down, one live’.
Danny slid the staff weapon along the floor, and the Jaffa inside opened up at floor level. Jack poked his head around the other side of the doorway and nailed the big lug with two shots from his zat.
They hurried into the engine room. Jack and Rupert fanned out looking for any other forces, while Danny kept watch on the hallway. But the place was otherwise empty.
Jack opened up the panel for the secondary engine crystals. Sam had shown him a neat trick. All you had to do was switch the crystals that controlled the engine coolant systems with the crystals that controlled the engine temperature, and the thing would overheat in no time. It wouldn’t work on a great big ha’tak, because they had four engine rooms like this and more redundancy, and you’d have to do this on all four systems at pretty much the same time. But that was what C-4 was made for.
He said, “Rupert, I need your blazer.”
Rupert yanked off the tweedy thing and automatically handed it over, as he kept an eye on the hall. Jack wrapped the blazer around one temperature crystal and pulled it, then its partner. He pulled the coolant crystals and shoved them into the engine temperature slots, making sure to turn them the wrong way like Sam said. Then the two painfully-hot crystals went into the other two slots.
Rupert took his blazer and just stared at the burned areas. “You will be getting a bill for this from my tailors.”
Jack said, “Just be sure to spell my name right. That’s George Hammond. H-A-M-M-O-N-D.”
“Jack!” Danny complained.
“Okay, that’s O’Neill. With one ‘L’.”
“Jack!” Danny fussed some more. Hey, it wasn’t like the Colonel O’Neil who didn’t know how to spell O’Neill right had any sense of humor at all. The guy deserved a big tailor’s bill from England.
Rupert said, “I hear armor tromping this way from the other direction. I suggest we move rapidly.”
Jack complained, “Where’d they get all these Jaffa? Was there a special at Wal-Mart I missed?”
Danny said, “They must have landed with Camulus in a cloaked ship. If they’re not using it, maybe it’s too damaged to fly now.”
He finished closing up the panel and moved. Once they were in the hall and the engine room door was closed behind them, he put a staff weapon blast into the door control panel, and they ran.
Rupert panted, “Will that stop them?”
Danny said, “Should take ‘em ten or fifteen minutes to get the doors open.”
Jack added, “And they’ll need somebody trained right to see what we did.”
They got to the exit door just as two more Jaffa were clearing the doorway of the now-damaged staff weapon that had been left blocking the door. Rupert was in the lead, so he picked off both Jaffa before Danny could get the staff weapon pointed in the right direction.
Uh-oh. Someone was already cranking up the engines. “Let’s move it,” Jack said.
“How long do we have?” asked Rupert.
“Depends on how long they take before they start using full system power to fly away,” Jack said.
Danny said, “They’ll probably use full power to the shields to clear all this stuff off the hull first.”
Jack groaned inwardly. “Then maybe we’d better hurry a bit more.”
He made sure to drag both Jaffa so they were blocking the exit door too, and the three of them ran for the lava tube. He glanced over his shoulder in time to see the exit door sliding closed and jamming against the Jaffa. Okay, so Camulus may have noticed something. “Let’s step on it, kiddies.”
They raced into the lava tube as a Jaffa fired at them from the exit doorway. Fortunately, at that kind of distance, most Jaffa couldn’t hit an elephant. The blast hit off to the left of the opening, and they sprinted down the lava tube toward the big gap.
Danny was in the lead, because Jack was watching their six and Rupert was keeping an eye on Danny. So Danny was already clambering over the girders and stepping onto the other side when the Al’kesh exploded.
Even though they were hundreds of yards from the cave, the pressure wave still knocked Jack down, and knocked Rupert out through the opening. The car ripped free of the girders, pulling one girder with it as it fell into the abyss below. The second girder groaned and slid toward the gap, until the end of the girder was right on the edge.
“Rupert!” Danny yelled.
Jack scrambled to his feet and rushed to the edge of the tube. Air was still blasting down the lava tube like he was in a wind tunnel. Rupert was hanging onto a rock outcropping about eight feet below Jack’s feet. Jack dropped onto his stomach to see if there was a way to get down there to help.
Rupert glared at him. “Don’t be stupid. We’re out of time. What’s going to come down the tube next?”
Oh crap. That blast was bound to destroy at least part of the forcefield ceiling, and then part of a lake was going to drop in for a visit. There would be a billion gallons of water blasting down that tube in a matter of seconds.
Rupert snapped, “Take that girder now before it’s washed away!”
Jack said, “There’s rope in the truck. If I can get to it and get back here…”
Rupert said, “I’ve got this under control. You get to the other side. Now!”
Jack stepped onto the girder and gingerly balanced his way across the girder. It was only thirty feet. Thirty feet on a girder that was about to be knocked off by seventy gazillion tons of water.
He stepped off the girder and into the tube on the other side. He instantly turned back to check on Rupert. But Rupert wasn’t trying to climb up a sheer cliff to get to the tube. He was hanging on with his left hand and taking off his belt with his right.
Jack turned and said, “Danny. RUN.”
Daniel looked at him, looked at the tube they’d just been in, and gulped. Jack said, “We’ll be right behind you.”
Daniel nodded unhappily and took off at a sprint. Jack watched to see if there was anything he could do to help. If Rupert had a way of hooking that belt onto the girder eight feet above his hand so he could clamber up, Jack was going to go back over and help.
Rupert held one end of the belt, pointed it at a spot well over Jack’s head, and fired it. A thin line whistled out. With a vicious crack, something like a piton on the end of the line sank into the rock well over Jack’s head. Rupert grabbed onto the belt with both hands and swung to Jack’s side of the abyss. That left him hanging about thirteen feet below Jack’s feet.
But the line ran down right past Jack. He yanked off his jacket, wrapped the sleeves around his hands, and grabbed the line. It wasn’t easy to get a grip on the damn thing, but he pulled for all he was worth.
Water came rushing down the tunnel. At first it was a wave about a foot high that shot out and splattered against this side of the crevice about ten feet below Rupert’s feet. But more and more water kept coming. The force of the water kept increasing. The spot where the water hit crept relentlessly up toward Rupert’s legs. And as soon as that much water hit him, he would be washed away.
“Move to the side!” Jack called out over the roar of the water.
Rupert stepped onto a tiny outcropping about two feet up and two feet to the side. The rushing water moved upward. Jack hauled as hard as he could, and only managed to help Rupert up another foot or so. Not good. Jack squatted down, got as good a grip as he could on the rope, and did his best to stand up.
Crap, his knees were not made for this anymore.
He managed to bring himself to a standing position, which hauled Rupert another three feet up the cliff wall. Rupert grabbed a handhold and pulled himself up another foot.
The water turned from a four-foot-high wave to a solid cylinder of liquid that smashed into the wall just inches away from Rupert. Jack dropped to his stomach, grabbed Rupert’s hand, and heaved.
Rupert stepped on a minute foothold, grabbed Jack’s shirt, and hauled himself up into the lava tube.
The two men turned and stared at the water, which was blasting across the gap with such force that the cylinder was smashing into the wall only two feet below the edge, and throwing splatters onto Jack’s boots. He asked, “So… Rupe… how long you think we got before water’s pouring down this tube too?”
Rupert thought for a second and said, “Less than thirty seconds.”
They turned and ran. They had well over half a mile to go. Jack knew that even at his best time, he couldn’t make it to the far end of the tube in less than three minutes.
Well, he was just gonna have to break the record for the half mile.
He ran as hard as he could. The slope wasn’t bad. A steep slope would have killed his knees. This was maybe a hair better than running on the flat. He sure hoped so. And they had one hell of a tailwind too. He could tell by the heavy breathing that Rupert was only maybe twenty feet behind him, even if Jack was pulling ahead just a little.
Water came rushing down the tube. He knew he was moving pretty damn fast, but the water rushed past him. At first, it was only an inch deep, but he knew that would change. Fast. The water was moving at maybe forty or fifty miles an hour, and as it got deeper and deeper, he would just be running slower and slower, until it swept him away. And when he got to the end of the lava tube, either the water would sweep him down that tube for however far it went down, maybe a couple miles, or else it would just slam him past the exit and down into that far end. Either way, he would probably be smashed to kindling before he could drown.
The water moved up to his ankles. Once it got to his calves, it would really start cutting into his speed. And once it got to his knees, the ruthless force of the water would just rip him off his feet.
“Got any secret Double Oh stuff? Maybe a hairpiece that turns into a U-boat?” he yelled over his shoulder.
“Just shut up and bodysurf it!” Rupert yelled back.
The water rose another couple inches, and he decided bodysurfing in this would be at least as fast as running through it. He dove forward just about the time he heard a similar splash behind him.
The water picked up speed, and he rushed forward at a ridiculous rate. At least he could keep his head above the water. And it kept getting deeper, until he couldn’t touch bottom with his arms or legs as he swam through the torrent.
But this was only keeping him going until they got to the end of the lava tube.
The water dragged him forward with relentless speed. It seemed like the tube was already six feet deep in water, and getting deeper by the minute.
Then he saw light up ahead. It was that nice, square-cut exit on his left, and he knew he was going to be swept past it at fifty miles an hour. He struggled to swim to the left edge of the tunnel. He didn’t really think he could grab on and hold onto the edge at fifty mph with a gazillion gallons of water sweeping him downstream, but he wasn’t just going to give up and quit.
And maybe Rupert had one more Double Oh magic trick up his sleeves.
He rushed toward the light, and then he could see the water was sweeping – not down the tube – but out the lit opening. Okay, he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth, but what the hey?
As he was swept forward, he realized why most of the water was changing course there. Their truck. Danny had driven the truck into the lava tube and wedged it diagonally in the lava tube at an angle so the water was going out the square tunnel. Go Danny!
If he survived this themepark ride, he was going to have to buy Danny some of that really good coffee for their next mission off-world. This rescue had Jamaican Blue Mountain written all over it.
The water hit the truck and swept sharply to the side, tumbling over itself so Jack was swept under the surface and rolled about like a chunk of cookie dough in a milkshake blender. He knew he was being swept past the place where the truck had gotten parked. He knew he was being swept out past the ‘crevice’ where they had turned in.
And then his head was above water, and he gasped for air. He was tumbled over several more times, but the water was now spreading out in a big delta. The flood shoved him out across the road and onto a flat, sandy area that was now a swamp. Rupert smashed into him from behind, knocking him back down into the water, but he clambered to his feet again and dragged himself out of the knee-deep flood that was still blasting out of the tunnel.
Daniel hobbled toward him. Jack could guess what happened. Dannyboy was soaking wet and had wet sand all over him. He must have taken so long to get the truck in place that the flood caught him, and now he had a sprained ankle. Again. Given how many times Danny got sprained ankles, they ought to name the injury after him.
So now they needed to walk out of the Syrian desert and get back somewhere they could summon help. Maybe that first truck of the convoy was still working. If not, maybe they could flag down a passing motorist.
Rupert stood up and brushed wet sand off his shirt. Then he looked over at Dr. Jackson, who was limping toward them. “Now then, Dr. Jackson. Perhaps at this juncture you’d care to explain to me why the U.S. government is fighting aliens and not informing their British partners about possible international security issues.”
Daniel groaned and shifted his weight to stand on his good ankle. “It’s Need To Know. And we have
informed the appropriate people in your government. It’s not our fault if they don’t tell you
Jack brushed himself off and grinned at him. “Maybe you shoulda signed Danny-boy’s non-disclosure agreements when you had the chance.”
* * * * * *
Rupert squeezed some more water out of his shirt sleeves and groaned out loud. “We have a ten mile walk to the convoy, which may have one working truck, and may have attracted attention we want to avoid. And we have an archaeologist with a sprained ankle. This could take a while. Perhaps you could assume I am signing an NDA as soon as we get back, and you could give me some details, including the people in my government who have been informed.”
Rupert really doubted he would get enough details. How was he going to explain this to M and not have her assume he’d had a mental breakdown?