We are running as fast and as hard as we can. I feel my chest burning with the effort and there is a catch in my side already. We're tearing down a rugged woodland path that's littered with loose rocks and dead branches. We jump small bushes and stumble over the debris in our headlong flight to safety. Trees flash past as we sprint through them, branches catching at our hair and clothes
We were ambushed, the enemy laying in wait for us. Only the Colonel suspected, and maybe Teal'c. I know he'd said something about the woods not feeling right, but Daniel and I were so focused on our objective that we didn't see any warning signs. We were headed to some ruins that the UAV had spotted. From what he could see Daniel had determined that they might be a small city or an extensive temple complex. Either of which could hold information about whatever Goa'uld had held sway there, or even one of the Colonel's honking big space guns if we were very lucky. But before we even got to the city, the attack had begun. A small group of Jaffa had ambushed us and started firing at first sight. They looked young, from what I could see which admittedly wasn''t much. The Colonel ordered us to turn and 'run like hell' so we did. Daniel is the fastest runner of our group so he took the lead and I was doing my best to keep up with him. I could see him glance back at me occasionally; to be sure I was still there with him.
By the time we reached the Stargate's clearing he'd pulled a little ahead. I knew that he was going to hit the DHD and I was already fumbling for my GDO transmitter. The Colonel and Teal'c are bringing up the rear covering our sixes to allow us to do our part of the job. The Colonel's P-90 is chattering at full auto and I can hear Teal'c's staff weapon discharging with proficient regularity.
I'm concentrating so hard on my GDO that I never see the Jaffa standing next to the Stargate. The next thing I know, Daniel has swerved into me, knocking me roughly to the ground. I lose my grip on the transmitter and by the time I look up I see the staff weapon blast him on the chest and Daniel goes down hard a few feet from me. My little brother has saved my life at the cost of his own.
I get to my hands and knees and crawl towards him. He looks dead to me. He's lying facing me. His glasses are gone and his face is scraped from the gravel but his expression is so peaceful, like he's asleep. But I can see the side of his vest is blown away, the remaining material is smoking from the fiery blast. I get to him and touch his exposed throat to check for a pulse. There is one but it's very faint. He's unconscious and bleeding profusely. The wound wasn't cauterized this time, probably because of the angle of impact. Unthinkingly, I try to pick him up, even though I know full well that he's much too heavy for me. But I know we can't leave him.
I hear and almost feel the energy blast from Teal'c's staff go over our heads. He's taken out the Jaffa that shot Daniel. We now have a clear field of travel to the Stargate.
The Colonel reaches us and pulls me to my feet, handing off his P-90 to me. The barrel is so hot that it burns my hands but I take it and start to return fire immediately. Teal'c is still between us and the rest of the squad. I take advantage of his cover fire and run to the DHD then hit all seven symbols to take us home. When the wormhole is established, I punch in the code on the GDO and stand there waiting for the required time to pass. I know Master Sergeant Davis will be quick but we don't want to jump too soon.
I see the Colonel has gotten Daniel on his shoulder in a Fireman's carry. I can tell the load is heavy but there's no way Teal'c or I can help him, or if he'd even let us. He shouts for me to go on. I start forward but let him pass me up as I again return fire, allowing time for Teal'c who''s been covering us the whole time to get to the Stargate with us. We enter the energy flux of the Stargate right after the Colonel had gone through with his precious burden.
As we exit the other side, I order the Iris closed. The Colonel is already down the ramp yelling maniacally for the Medics. I see Janet and her Trauma Team come running through the hall blast doors pulling a hospital gurney along with them. Two Medics and Janet go to the Colonel and Daniel, carefully taking my injured friend from our leader. They lay him on the gurney and start treatment immediately. They cut Daniel's uniform shirt open and start the IV. Janet does a down and dirty exam on him then says something to the Colonel who hasn't moved from Daniel's side.
I finally get a good look at my CO. Colonel O'Neill looks to be in shock, not surprisingly. He's covered in Daniel's blood from his head to his waist and I know for a fact that none of it is his. It's all Daniel's and its all my fault. My friend took the blast that was meant for me. It would have killed me, with my lesser body mass. He has saved my life possibly at the cost of his own.
I see Major General Hammond making his way towards us through the activity of the room. He looks at the Colonel, then comes directly to us. "Major Carter, are you and Teal'c all right?" I manage to get out the proper response as he looks at me closely. "Can you tell me what happened?"
I try to answer him but Teal'c speaks up for me. He knows how upset I am. "We were approaching the city's ruins but were attacked by a group of Jaffa. As we attempted to return to the Stargate, we encountered a lone sentry who had been posted by the base. He was attempting to kill Major Carter when Danieljackson interceded and was struck down instead. I removed the Jaffa but I was too late to prevent his injury. Colonel O'Neill retrieved our comrade and we were able to return immediately afterwards."
"It was my fault, General. If I had seen the Jaffa, this could have been avoided. Daniel saved my life by knocking me out of the line of fire." My voice cracks betraying my emotions.
The General looks at both of us, pursing his lips, and then finally shaking his head. "Report to my office as soon as you get cleared. We need to figure out why this happened." We look over towards Janet and the Colonel but all we see is them accompanying Daniel out the doors on their way to the Infirmary.
Teal'c and I head to the Medical Section. We get a quick exam from the nurses in the outer area and are released to make our official debriefing to the General.
Teal'c and I sit in our usual places. He looks very somber even for him. General Hammond arrives through the connecting door from his office. He nods his permission for us to remain at ease. The Colonel is conspicuously absent. We know he's still in the clinic waiting for word on Daniel's condition.
The General sat down in his normal place at the head of the briefing table. "I just got off the phone with the infirmary, Doctor Jackson is still in surgery but is holding his own. Luckily the blast apparently was not a direct hit but from an angle. It didn't penetrate too deeply. He has a very good chance," The older man sighed deeply, "thank God." He looks up at us. "Now, lets figure out how this happened."
After about twenty minutes into the meeting, Colonel O'Neill joins us. He's cleaned up and is looking exhausted and suspiciously red eyed. He slides into the chair across the table from us.
Hammond looks from O'Neill to his notes and back again. "Colonel, I thought you'd still be in the clinic."
He looks a little embarrassed, like a small boy caught in an act of defiance. "No, Sir. The nurses did their worst then kicked me out," He tries to smile and fails utterly. "Probably cause of the smell. Then I hit the showers before coming here."
Hammond just nods his head. "Well, the Major and Teal'c have given me enough information for now. It sounds like a pretty cut and dried scenario. Both the MALP and the UAV failed to indicate any Gould presence on the planet. You walked into a bad situation, Colonel. You tried to get your team home intact...."
"...And failed miserably." Colonel O'Neill finishes for him. "I screwed up and now one of my team is lying in the clinic operating room with our medical personnel trying to save his life."
The General looks at him sadly then turns to Teal'c and myself. "I think I have everything I need, people. You are dismissed. Thank you for your reports." Then he turns to O'Neill with a nod. "Colonel, I'd like to talk to you in private."
We get up from the table and I try to make eye contact with the Colonel. He nods his thanks for our support, making a shooing motion with his fingers. We leave them alone and Teal'c pulls the door shut behind us. We can only speculate what is being said.
I turn to my friend. "You don't think that General Hammond will hold him responsible for Daniel's injury do you?" I ask.
"I have found General Hammond to be most wise in his dealings with O'Neill. I do not foresee any problems."
"It wasn't his fault."
"Indeed not." My friend intones. "It was my fault."
I stop and stare at him. "How do you get that? It was my fault."
"No, you were merely the intended target. I am the one who failed in defending your efforts to activate the Stargate. I did not see the Jaffa who fired at you. Therefore it is my guilt, not yours."
"The Colonel thinks it's his fault."
"Then he is wrong also. It was I who failed to provide proper covering of your sixes."
"But I'm the one Daniel saved......."
"Agreed, due to my inability to protect you."
I look at him in frustration; he eyes me with severe stoicism. I sigh, "Okay, but it's not the Colonel's fault. He tried to get us home safely. He did nothing wrong. It's not your fault either, you were keeping the others back."
My friend nods, "O'Neill is correct that he bears the final responsibility. He was in command. It was not his fault, but he did not succeed in returning his team safely because I have again failed in my duty to protect my teammate. I understand his feelings, as will General Hammond.
Both of us need to eat something, but by mutual need we make the decision to clean up first. I head to the women's showers and stand under the pounding, hot water. I just feel numb, like this day was a horrible nightmare that I want desperately to be over; or better yet, to have never had it happen.
Just four hours ago, we were all together in the Gateroom. Daniel was in a rare happy mood, one of the first since his wife's death some months ago. He and the Colonel were joking about Wizard of Oz references , a yellow brick road and whether or not this town could be the home of Munchkins. Teal'c had joined in with references to the Emerald City. I even thought that I had heard the Colonel whistle 'We're off to see the Wizard' as we stepped into the wormhole.
When we had emerged on the other side, the landscape was a beautiful verdant forest complete with birds singing in the trees. It had been a fine happy perfect day until my friend had tried to die for me. I wanted to scream and cry and hit my head on the shower wall, but I couldn't. I could only stand in the steam and hot water and sob like a six year old girl.
After a little while, I pull my self together as best as I can and climb out of the shower and to get dressed. Teal'c was waiting for me in the hallway. We went to the cafeteria and had a silent dinner together. Everyone must have known what happened. No one came near us.
After we ate, we went by the infirmary to check on Daniel. He was out of surgery and resting well. Janet had gone home and Doctor Warner had the night shift. He allowed us a quick visit to our unconscious teammate. Daniel looked like he was asleep. He was swathed in bandages from the shoulders down and his face and hands were scraped from impacting the ground but he looked beautiful and peaceful. Checking the monitors I could tell that he was stable with normal EEG and EKG. His BP was still low but he was receiving whole blood so that would pick up. I touched his hand, it was cool but he was alive. That was enough for now.
Warner finally shooed us out. He said that Janet had banished the Colonel earlier and told him to get some sleep. He was recommending the same for us. We could come back in the morning.
Early the following morning, I see Janet in the hall. She's on her way to the clinic. We ride down in the elevator together. There's a small stain of dried blood on the floor. I looked at it for a long moment.
Janet put her hand on my arm and says soothingly. "I called in this morning, Sam. Bill said Daniel slept through the night and is resting comfortably. He's going to be fine."
I nod numbly.
She pats me on my shoulder in comfort. "Why don't you come with me and I'll make you a cup of really bad infirmary coffee and you can see for yourself." She smiles, "The Colonel is probably there all ready."
"Okay, you talked me into it." I try to smile back at her.
As we enter the Infirmary, we start to pass the ICU were Daniel is being closely monitored by both machines and personnel. Sure enough, there's Colonel O'Neill sitting by his friend's bedside. He's leaning in close, holding Daniel's hand and talking softly to him.
As he hears our footsteps, the Colonel turns and looks at Janet. "Doc! Doc! He's awake!"
Janet immediately runs to the bedside and the Colonel steps back, releasing Daniel's hand from where he'd been holding it. She begins to check Daniel's vitals. She's smiling broadly. Evidently the Colonel is right and Daniel is regaining consciousness. Janet looks over at me and nods her head. Everything is going to be all right. Now, that's something to hold on to.
|Genres:||Action/Adventure, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Vignette|
|Series:||A Day In The Life|
|Summary:||SG1 goes off world and things just seem to happen. A day in the life of Samantha Carter, whatever can happen, will happen!
Author's Chapter Notes:
Gate travel is hazardous to your health. Be prepared to duck.