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The Sam and Daniel Ficathon

Runcible Spoon (G)

The Sam/Daniel Ficathon

Sam and Daniel - Patience

Runcible Spoon (G)

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SG-1 Teamy Goodness
Title: Runcible Spoon
Author: aurora_novarum
Rating: G/Family
Warnings: None
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pairings:Sam & Daniel friendship; Classic Team friendship
Spoilers: Set early Season 4-ish.

Summary: While their teammates enjoy the benefits of an "easy mission", Daniel and Sam explore a fascinating cave on an uninhabited planet. What could go wrong?

Prompt: For sg_fignewton, who wanted : "early season, off-world, Sam and Daniel solving something together" and didn't want language, sexual situations, overly dark ending

Author's Notes: Hopefully this fits the bill, er, prompt. Jack and Teal'c got jealous, so it turned into a teamy thing at the end. Knowing fig as I do, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping she won't mind. *bg* Thanks to beta Fabrisse, who amongst her fab advice came up with the title.




A shadow crossed the entrance to the cave where Daniel Jackson and Samantha Carter were exploring. Daniel glanced over, surprised; Sam cradled her assault rifle. She lowered it as the figure became recognizable.

Jack O'Neill entered, a worried expression changing to one of annoyance. "You haven't been answering your radios."

They blinked back at him innocently. "We haven't heard you call," Daniel replied as Sam tested her radio.

She pulled out her scanner and waved it around the cave. "It must be the mineral composition. It's blocking out the radio waves."

She stepped outside the cave and tested her radio again. Teal'c immediately responded. After assuring him both she and Daniel were fine and the colonel was there, she stepped back into the chamber.

"It's definitely the high density composition mixture of the..."

"Aah!" O'Neill held up his finger stopping her explanation. "It's the cave."

"It's the cave, sir," she confirmed.

"Teal'c and I have finished our initial recon. Except for some small animal trails, there's no evidence of anyone inhabiting the area."

Daniel nodded. "That fits with my findings. These artifacts have been untouched for centuries, maybe even millenia."

"Okay. Well now that I'm up here checking on you...Have you had enough of your spelunking? Ready to check out the real treasure of this planet?" Jack smiled.

"Real treasure?" Daniel raised his eyebrows.

"A lovely beach that goes on forever, only blocked by a great little rocky atoll that makes a perfect fishing pier."

"Fishing?"

"Fishing, Daniel."

"I didn't know you packed a pole."

"You don't need fancy equipment to fish. Just some line, a hook, and this!" He held up a long thin branch. "See, trees on every planet can come in handy. I'm sure I can find a couple more suitable branches."

Sam Carter responded first. "As...tempting as that is, sir, we still haven't definitively located the source for these energy readings I've been detecting. And Daniel has found some signs of the civilization that used to be here."

Daniel jumped in with enthusiasm. "We've found mustabas!"

"Must a.."

"Mustabas. It's fascinating, Jack. It's unusual to find such burial practices here in a cave. Usually it was a free standing structure. Of course, the climate and geography here is much different from Egypt, so it looks like the people adapted to their environment. Based on the items I've found, these seem like people from the lower social stratas–merchants, farmers...essentially their version of a middle-class preparing for existence in the afterlife."

"Burial practices?" O'Neill looked askance, but Daniel continued, oblivious to the lack of interest .

"Exactly. I've found evidence of probably a dozen graves in this cave. Perhaps it's a family. A more detailed excavation would have to be made. I've only explored two of the plots, and that's only because wind erosion's exposed some of the artifacts. But look at these items related to their daily life..."

Daniel pointed to a mostly unburied eating utensil glinting in the light.

Jack O'Neill was about to say something, but became distracted by the shape of the object. "A spork?"

Daniel glowered. "Look at the complexity in its design. A skilled artisan made this. Keeping one with them here could be a sign of their position, or maybe it's a common..."

"That's okay. I'll read your report later, Daniel."

Daniel pursed his lips, this time catching O'Neill's tone. "Right," he answered dryly. "In any event I think Gen. Hammond may appreciate our finishing our analyses rather than the value of the planet as a fishing hole."

"Not if I can catch a giant alien crappie!" Jack held up his small pack of fishing hooks as emphasis.

Daniel looked at him, eyebrows raised. Sam ducked into the shadows, her face struggling to retain its composure.

"Last chance to join Teal'c wiggling his toes in the sand!"

"Teal'c? Barefoot on the beach?" Daniel asked.

O'Neill cocked his head to one side. "Well, figuratively speaking."

Daniel didn't respond, just turned back to the markings covering the wall.

Sam ducked her head once again. "I really need to get back to my study, sir. Maybe take some samples of the deposits to see if they have any use."

Jack O'Neill sighed. "Your loss. You guys have been doing studies on the last two missions, and we've had search and rescue or Goa'uld recon the three missions before that. Hammond didn't know about this cave from the MALP or UAV. I think this was meant to be an easy, fun mission for us."

"This is fun, Jack," Daniel's tone was insulted.

Jack O'Neill sighed as if expecting this response. His expression instantly altered, no longer teasing, now carrying the authority of command. "Right. Just remember to come out for air in...", he glanced at his watch. "two hours and do a radio check-in. All right?"

"Yes, sir." Sam nodded.

Daniel waved absently to indicate he had heard. Jack left the pair to their studies.

After he was gone, Daniel and Sam looked at each other. "Giant alien crappie?" Daniel mouthed, and Sam could no longer prevent her giggles. After a few moments of shared laughter, they turned back to their various studies.

A few minutes later, Sam called out, "Daniel, can you come over here?"

"Hmm?" Daniel glanced up absently from his study of the ancient mummies. He was cataloging one of the artifacts. Pictures and measurements taken, he was now studying it in a glove covered hand. Seeing Sam's puzzled expression, he stood and walked over, still holding the artifact. "What is it?"

"It's these readings. I was thinking if the cave contained an inherent mineral, the readings should be scattered. But they're proving to be focused in this region further back."

"You think it's a central deposit of the mineral here?"

"This type of reading seems to indicate more than raw ore. It's drawing power."

Daniel's eyes widened in understanding. "You think there's something active here?" He glanced over to the remains once again as if trying to find something he missed with this new hypothesis. "These ruins seem long abandoned, and the rituals used are...well, primitive if we're going by an advanced alien technologies standard."

"Primitive as in Nox or primitive as in the Land of Light?"

"Good point. But I'd say more the latter. I find it hard to correlate the burial rituals here to a place with your readings. The tools left with the dead are nowhere near that level of development." He held up the artifact he still held in his hand.

"An abacus." Sam said.

Daniel nodded. "And the rest of the tools indicate a similar level of development. They were advanced for an independent people, but not that advanced. Perhaps this was a Goa'uld temple, and after the Goa'uld disappeared the natives kept its symbolic spiritual significance to use it as burial grounds?" Daniel started to study the area where they were standing as Sam crouched lower, running her scanner near the ground.

"I'm not detecting anything that would show a hidden panel or ring system or anything here, but there's definitely a stronger reading below us."

"Sam, I think we should step back–" the rest of Daniel's comments were swept away as the ground shifted beneath them and both tumbled into the newly formed abyss.




Daniel was barely aware he had finally stopped moving. He coughed a few times as the dust continued to settle down around him and took stock of his injuries. Except for his left wrist, which had somehow twisted on the way down, he didn't feel too bad.

"Sam?" Daniel questioned, trying to find his teammate through the dust. He spotted Sam's pack first, in remarkably good shape, but his focus was its owner. Finally he saw her silhouette a few feet from him and scrambled over, pleased his own body wasn't protesting too much at the movements.

Sam wasn't moving or responding. Daniel fumbled in the mostly darkness to find a spot to check her pulse. As his fingers reached out to her throat, he felt her steady breath along his arm. His panic eased.

"Sam?" he asked again. He fumbled for his flashlight, which was still somehow attached to his belt and turned it on. She was covered in dust and her right cheek near her temple was red and starting to swell. Daniel started to feel around her scalp for other injuries, when she suddenly shifted and groaned.

"Sam?"

She blinked a few times then looked up at him.

"Daniel, you okay?" she asked cautiously, her voice slightly slurred.

"I'm fine. You're not looking so hot."

She squinted and blinked a few times. "No, no, I think I'm okay."

"Your head." He stopped short of touching her injured cheek.

She felt for herself, wincing slightly. "Tender, but I don't think anything's broken. Help me up."

"I don't know if I should move you. You just fell through a hole."

She looked at him and smiled wanly. "You fell through a hole too. You're moving around."

"I wasn't unconscious."

She ignored him and started tentatively moving her limbs. "I'm not noticing any pain or difficulty moving. Janet wouldn't approve, but we've got to check out where we are. Help me up," Sam reached out for him, and he instinctively clasped her arm, bracing to help her to her feet. She stumbled for a moment then nodded.

"That's much better." She nodded reassuringly at Daniel's worried expression. "I'm all right."

There was a strange aroma in the room, stronger than when they were in the other cavern. Sam mentioned it first. "The air smells sweet."

"I noticed that too. There's a lot of cross ventilation. It's hard to find the source."

They both used their flashlights to view their new surroundings. The landslide left debris blocking most of the path in one direction about fifteen up. The passage continued behind them into darkness beyond. They could barely see the hole through which they skidded, some thirty feet above. Both exchanged looks in the semi-darkness. It was lucky their slide hadn't injured them more than the few bumps and bruises they sported.

"I don't think we can climb back up." Daniel touched the stone in front of him, which crumbled apart in his hand.

"Even if we could, we'd still be too far below the hole." Sam too felt the sandy surface between her fingers and shook her head.

"With no guarantee that's any more stable." Daniel scanned the rest of the ceiling with his flashlight. "It looks safe enough for now. But a lot of erosion has weakened the area. We'd better keep an eye out."

Sam nodded, then tested her radio. It worked no better than it had in the cavern above. Then a reflection off Daniel's flashlight caught her eye, and she bent to the ground, brushing away some dust.

"What is it?"

"My scanner!" Sam sounded like a child who had found her favorite toy. "And it still works!" Her expression turned to that of a wince. She clasped her head before shifting it as if to brush the hair out of her eyes, but her movements caught Daniel's attention.

"Are you sure you're okay?" Daniel shone his light directly in her face, taking note of the swelling developing along her cheek. "You may have a concussion."

"I'm fine," Sam shook her head. "I'm sure it looks worse than it really feels." She turned back to her device. "The energy readings are even stronger now, and they're coming from this direction. It's definitely active technology."

"Really?" Daniel ran his flashlight back down the tunnel, but the beam just became swallowed in the darkness. "Well. With no way up and no way to call for help. I guess our choices are to either wait until Jack or Teal'c come when we don't check in, or..."

"Or, find the source of theses readings." Sam's eyes glittered with excitement.

"And possibly a way out of here." Daniel continued reasonably. The pair paused long enough to place a marker their teammates could see from the opening, then headed down the wide passageway.




They had been travelling for about half an hour when they came to a chamber flanked by gold statues and engraved with hieroglyphs.

"Well, no question what type of advanced alien race is the source of my readings."

"Definitely Goa'uld," Daniel nodded and moved to study the markings. "The glyphs are worn away...eroded."

"Wind?" Sam asked, noting the increased breeze brushing some of the dust on the floor in miniature dust devils.

Daniel shrugged. "Some kind of weathering, but I really can't tell in this light and without my tools. The plus side is that everything's pretty beat up."

"And how is that good news?"

"Everything here was beaten down by natural wear. Nothing being actively used would look like this."

Sam nodded. "Which fits with all our other indications this place is uninhabited."

"Exactly."

Sam moved closer to the glyphs herself, studying the faded colored pictographs on one wall and hieroglyphic engravings on the other. "How can you make any of this out, Daniel? It's so pockmarked and faded."

"Some of it is illegible, but there's still indications to get an idea of the context."

Sam pointed out a blotch where the red pigment had faded. "All I see here is a pink elephant." She chipped away at the missing pieces of wall spotting the blurred image. "...with polka dots."

Daniel looked at her askance, then noted what she indicated and nodded half-heartedly in agreement. "Like I said, some are worn beyond recognition. But here." He pointed to some more legible pictographs. "Look. It's a depiction of an ascent to the afterlife, where they will follow the gods in their daily voyage across the sky."

Sam squinted at the images he pointed out. "It looks like they're in boats."

Daniel smiled. "They are. It was a part of Old Egypt mythology, predating the Great Pyramids. They travelled in boats across the heavenly Nile, following the gods. Being this close to the coastline, I'm not surprised they continued the tradition. There's more being uncovered about this aspect of the culture. In fact, a whole fleet of boats was recently discovered in Abydos."

"Abydos?" Sam started, interrupting him.

Daniel blinked and an expression of shock and grief passed over her face before he schooled his expression. "Oh, not...not...I mean Abydos, Egypt on Earth." He ducked his head, avoiding meeting his friend's eyes.

Sam for her part regretted her outburst. Daniel didn't talk about the planet that was his home for over a year very often anymore, not since the burial of his wife there a few months ago. She gave him a bit of privacy by turning her attention to her scanner once again. After a few moments, her eyes widened.

"Daniel, abandoned or not, I'm still getting a reading of active technology just beyond this wall. "

She looked over at her friend cautiously, but Daniel had composed himself. His expression was merely one of curious interest. He raised his eyebrows and quipped, "They forgot to turn the lights off?"

Sam rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Something is causing a spike on this display."

Daniel studied the glyph wall, noting one symbol and shifting it around. "I can't do anything with this, but it's definitely the door handle. Do you think you can jerry rig this open?"

Sam moved over to the console. The symbol was similar, but not identical to the snake symbol in Klorel's ship–more like animal horns than the House of Apophis snakes. "Well, it's not like a typical door I can pick open, Daniel. You're right; the system's pretty beat up." She started to unclasp her pack, and Daniel helped her get it off.

She pulled out her laptop, some cables, and her screwdriver set and pried the panel apart. Sam studied the displays on her laptop monitor before ducking back down to the panel with one of the smallest screwdrivers Daniel had ever seen and adjusted something with a grunt.

"Can you move my laptop so I can see the readings from here?" Sam's voice was muffled. Daniel complied with her request. "Thanks." Sam looked back and forth between her Earth device and the inner workings of the console.

"I will never understand how you can plug your laptop into so many alien gadgets and get them to work," Daniel mused.

"Trial and error." Sam grimaced as she shifted. "And a lot of crystal adaptors. Thor taught me a couple of tricks when we working on Hala."

"Ah, that explains a lot." Daniel grinned.

"There, I think it's stabilized now." A few sparks shot out, causing Sam to jump back in shock.

"Well, something's still on," she joked.

"You okay?"

"Yeah." Sam tested the tips of her fingers, but the numbness was immediately fading. "Mostly startled me is all." She frowned. "There's surges in the power relay that's affecting the control systems."

She tapped a few keys on her laptop, then leaned in again, careful not to touch the sparking crystals. "Something's damaged this badly, but it doesn't look like Goa'uld weaponry. I think you're right. More like age."

She carefully adjusted one of the small crystals, watching the display of her computer before the whole system blew, Daniel bodily pulling her away from the sparks.

A faint tendril of smoke appeared from the exhaust fan of the computer. "Well there went about four grand of taxpayers' money," Sam looked dejected at the loss of her computer.

"You had everything backed up, right?" Daniel asked, making a mental note to make personal backups of all his computer files as soon as he got home.

"Yeah," she nodded. "But some of those adaptors will be tougher to replace."

"Well it didn't die in vain." Daniel pointed his flashlight at the wall, which had creaked apart, leaving a foot wide gap.

He approached the opening and peeked through, lighting the interior with his flashlight. "Oh," he uttered.

"Oh?" Sam questioned, moving to opening herself.

The light captured another weathered chamber, still shiny with gilt. A dozen large, brightly colored objects encased in wood frames lined the main part of the chamber, but at the far end on a dais was a smaller rectangular gold object Sam recognized all too well–a sarcophagus. "Oh."

They exchanged looks. "We definitely need to check it out."

Daniel nodded.

"No way to tell if it's...?"

"Occupied?" Daniel finished for her. He shook his head. "Not from here."

Sam sighed. "That's what I figured."

Daniel tried to use his flashlight as a lever. He and Sam forced the doors open a bit wider until they could squeeze through.

Once they entered the chamber, the shape of the colored objects became clear.

"They're boats." Sam voiced her surprise as she still kept watch on the sarcophagus in the corner.

"So they are," Daniel's voice was barely a whisper, as if in awe. He licked his lips, and turned to his teammate, clearly holding back the excitement that danced in his eyes. "First things first." His eyes drifted up to the sarcophagus, and the light in his eyes died somewhat.

They approached the sarcophagus cautiously, keeping their flashlights trained on it.

"Anyway to know who may be home?"

Daniel flicked his flashlight beam on the walls before focusing it again on the center of the sarcophagus. "The symbol indicates Isis."

"Isis?"

"Goddess of femininity and motherhood and protector of Pharaohs."

"I don't recall her coming up before now."

"No, we haven't run across her yet. But legend has it that she had Ra bitten by a snake then gained power over him. I don't recall seeing her in your father's system lord family tree, though."

"Well, if she's been stuck in this place, it's kind of understandable."

"With her defeat of Ra, she probably had system lord status at one point. Plus she's credited as the mother of Horus, so she's possibly a queen."

"A queen?" Sam pulled Daniel back slightly.

He looked at her questioningly then shook his head. "Sam, Isis is not Hathor. She's considered benevolent. And besides we're supposed to be immune from that mist and nishta now."

"Still, do you really want to take the chance? You did say goddess of motherhood, and I've heard that 'benevolent goddess' line before..."

Daniel looked at her with raised eyebrows, then backed away from the sarcophagus.

"Good point," he acknowledged. "It may not be Isis herself though. It could be any of her progeny. A "house of" kind of thing."

"Like Klorel with Apophis," said Sam.

Daniel nodded. Sam handed him her rifle, which he grasped, setting the safety back to fire mode. Sam pulled her sidearm and aimed carefully, touching the control panel then backing away slightly, careful to stay out of Daniel's line of fire. Nothing happened.

The pair exchanged looks. "O-kay...?" Daniel raised his eyebrows.

She shrugged. "Looks like we need to do this the hard way." She bent underneath and grabbed her screwdriver once again to access the control panel.

"Is this wise?" Daniel steadied his grip on Sam's rifle as he glanced down worriedly.

"Do we have a choice?" Sam responded as she pried open the panel. Sparks started issuing out. "Okay, now that is getting old."

"You okay?" Daniel kept glancing from the sarcophagus lid to his teammate.

"Fine, fine. But there's no way for me to reset anything. It's too unstable even if I knew what did what." Sam slid away from the device and stood, pulling her knife from its sheath. "We're just going to have to pry it open."

She used her knife as a wedge to twist enough of an opening for a finger hold, then both she and Daniel pulled aside the edges. They only needed to pull a bit before the hinges started to move outward on their own. Sam and Daniel both backed away, weapons at ready. When no one rose from the sarcophagus, they cautiously approached, Sam running her flashlight through the interior.

"It's empty." She sighed in relief.

"Not completely." Daniel reached down and pulled out a ribbon device. "They left this."

A momentary flash of disgust crossed Sam's face before she schooled her expression to one of academic disinterest. "Strange thing for a Goa'uld to leave lying around. Don't they usually carry them around?"

Daniel was again scanning his light over the walls. "Maybe this was a hidden sanctuary for Isis. Someplace she kept hidden to recharge and resupply." He nodded to the boats. "A pleasure planet forgotten over time."

"Well, she obviously hasn't been back for a while. Maybe she abandoned the place and the sarcophagus when it no longer worked."

"It's hard to say what happened to her. Killed by a rival Goa'uld. She may have even changed her name. There's a lot about the inner workings of the Goa'uld we still don't understand." He looked at the device, his voice holding a hint of hope. "You're sure the sarcophagus is irreparable?"

"Pretty sure." Sam nodded. "I doubt there'll be anything to salvage from it."

Daniel nodded. He muttered under his breath, "good."

Sam overheard and looked at her friend. He stared at the sarcophagus lost in thought for a moment, then turned to her with a wry smile, still holding the Goa'uld hand weapon loosely in his grip. Sam's eyes locked on the item. She took the ribbon device from Daniel and stuffed it in her pack with disgust, then chuckled at her actions. "We're a pair, aren't we?"

"Oh yeah," Daniel deadpanned while watching her. "See the universe. Meet aliens. Get exposed to their wacky tech."

He watched her cover the ribbon device in her pack with her spare shirt and nudged her arm playfully, gauging her reaction. She smiled back at him as she put her pack on and pulled out her scanner once again.

Daniel looked at her more closely. "Are you sure you're okay? That injury to your cheek is looking worse."

"I think the wall got hurt more," Sam kept up the light banter as she studied the results of her scan. Her eyebrows raised, immediately causing her to grimace as her skin tried to stretched around the injury.

"You were saying...?" Daniel looked at her pointedly.

Sam shook her head dismissively, still watching her scanner. "Daniel look at this. The spike in the power readings came from the faulty sarcophagus, but that's not the only power source in here."

Daniel looked at the various markings on the device, then back to Sam, patiently waiting for an explanation.

"These readings are unmistakable. There are low level power readings coming from here." She pointed to the boats.

Daniel moved closer, studying the vessels set upside down on the wooden frames. "Some are set up with oars, a few have sailing rigging, but you're right. Four here have no visible means of propulsion. No setting for the oars and no space to use them with the high sides. No set up for sails. He bent low near the stern. "It looks like a retractable rudder." He looked up, lost in thought. "I wonder if Teal'c has ever come across something like this."

"Well, if and when we get out of here, we'll ask."

Daniel's face fell. He glanced at his watch. "Still twenty minutes before we're supposed to check in, and it'll be another ten at least before Teal'c or Jack come looking for us."

Sam looked around. "There's still fresh air circulating. There has to be an exit coming from somewhere."

Daniel walked towards the door. "There may have been a direct passage from this chamber to the Stargate. It'd be consistent with what we know of the Goa'uld."

"All we have to do is find the exit." She turned around running her scanner along the walls. "I can't read anything. It's all coming from the devices in here. I don't think there's any ring system here as a shortcut."

"I'll see if I can make out anything in the antechamber. There's been so much wear though."

Sam said. "If we can't come up with anything in fifteen minutes, we'll hike back to where we fell and wait for the colonel and Teal'c."

Daniel nodded and exited. While Sam stayed in the Goa'uld room, Daniel tracked his flashlight along the walls and up to the ceilings. He could smell the sweet air, but couldn't pinpoint the source. The walls were all eroding so evenly, there was no specific area that seemed more faded than others that would indicate the source of the breeze. A cross-current deflected direction.

"What am I missing?" he muttered to himself as he stared at the walls breathing in once again.
That's when he spotted it. Something so obvious he should have picked it out right away. Hieroglyphs and pictograms, still vivid along the upper edges of the walls. Wind erosion had not worn away the lower writings. The arid nature of the caves had dried them out between times, but the only thing to explain the evenness of the wear was water.

Water erosion meant water was getting in. He spotted the gaps in the rock, the place where even the upper panels were washed away. And he spotted the oncoming wave.




In the meantime Sam had finished checking out the ruined sarcophagus and stood near the boats. A sudden gust of wind made her turn to one wall. There. She saw the opening behind the statue. Another long passageway with a cool sweet breeze. A sweet breeze....

She remembered their comments on the scent of the air when they arrived. And Col. O'Neill's mention of the shoreline. Why were they presuming sea air would be salty on an alien world? She moved back to the boats and was about to call out to Daniel when he suddenly ran into the room.

"Sam!" He called out.

She spoke at the same time. "Daniel, the sweetness in the air...it's the sea."

"I know!" Daniel replied, unable to explain more.

He dove away from a watery blast, instinctively reaching for Sam and tucking her close to his body. Half-planned, half accident, the pair's trajectory pushed them into the boats still moored in their now not-so-dry dock. Daniel's right side struck the framing near a green boat. The combined force of the water and bodies colliding was too much for the ancient timbers to take, and they splintered, half tilting the upside-down boat on its side.

The water was rising quickly, coming in from both where they had entered and the new passage Sam had discovered. The pair were sheltered amongst the boat frames from the worst of the forceful current, but that was quickly becoming a tenuous reprieve. The creaking of the breaking wood served as a chorus to the roar of the waves covering them.

"Can we close the doors?" Daniel gasped.

"Wouldn't help." Sam spluttered, spitting out the water she had swallowed. "Water's already been leaking through." She pointed to another area where water was coming into the room. "I found the other doorway. That's what I was about to tell you before the water struck. It's also what was wrong with the sarcophagus. They're not made to be waterproof."

She shook her head, blinking as if to clear it. Finally the dizziness passed. She maneuvered the pilings and reached into the bow section of the half loosened green boat, ignoring the water lapping at her body.

"What are you doing?" asked Daniel.

"We need to get out of here. Who knows how high the water will rise. Some of these boats are powered. Maybe we can use one. If I can just get..."

Daniel reached out to help, gasping as he twisted his already injured wrist. He tried again, and together they were able to get the boat released and turned completely right-side up.

The small vessel already floated in the now knee-deep water. Sam scrambled into it and started touching keys. "If this doesn't start..."

"We'll be up the creek without a paddle?" Daniel deadpanned as he clambered into the boat behind her.

Sam groaned and glanced back at her friend to find his gaze was serious and a bit concerned. She tried to keep her response light, but was disappointed to note her voice sounded drained. "Was that a test to see if my pun detector was intact?"

Daniel grimaced and shook his head. "You're looking a little pale. At least your sense of humor is working. Besides, the sentiment was sincere."

Sam nodded. She shifted something under the control panel and felt a piece jam back into place. The boat sputtered to life, and after a few choking noises as long-unused gears became active, the boat started moving in surprising silence.

The pair motored against the rising tide through the passageway Sam had discovered, using the current to guide them to what they hoped would be open water and a way to get help. The water was higher as they moved further down.

"The water's getting awfully high," said Daniel. "Do you think we could go any faster?"

"I don't dare," Sam answered. "The gears are so old, any faster and I don't think I could control it. It's barely maneuvering as it is."

Daniel continued to train both his flashlights ahead as a type of makeshift headlights. He made the light of one track up to the ceiling.

"The damage in this area concerns me. It's unstable. There's a lot of debris falling."

"We don't have a choice, Daniel." Sam's voice was strained. "I don't think I can turn this around."

Daniel noted the whiteness of Sam's hands over the controls and a bit of sweat on her brow. "Sam...?"

"It's okay. Just getting harder to see and control."

"Let me take over."

"I've got it, Daniel. Just keep watch for falling rocks, okay?" Sam spared a glance at her teammate before looking ahead. The adrenalin of keeping them moving was the only thing keeping her awake. Obviously, Daniel was able to see the toll this was taking on her.

"Tell me if it's getting too much, Sam," he said quietly.

Sam nodded, her jaw set and steered. "Is it my imagination, or is it getting a bit brighter up ahead?"

Daniel had been so focused on keeping an eye on her and their immediate surroundings, he hadn't focused on the distance. "You're right. There's light ahead. You did it, Sam."

"I did it." Sam smiled, then slumped in the seat. The boat continued along straight ahead.

"Sam? Sam!"

Daniel scrambled closer and fumbled to feel her pulse. It was a bit fast, but strong. Daniel looked at the controls she had been working, seeing if he could translate the buttons. He didn't notice the stone breaking free and falling towards them. He only noted the shadow an instant before everything went black.




Jack was finding the fishing disappointing. No fish were nibbling on his line, and even though everything looked natural, the oddly sweet smell of the water and strange bird cries made it seem wrong–too alien to be completely comfortable.

He glanced back towards the beach. Teal'c had finished his walk around the area and was now standing there as still as a statue. Jack wondered if you could kel'no'reem standing up.

Jack checked his watch. It was seven minutes past Carter and Daniel's scheduled check-in time. He keyed his radio and called to his errant team members, unsurprised at the lack of response. He considered asking Teal'c to go after them this time. The climb was a bit rough on his knees, but he decided he'd rather chide them firsthand. He started to make his way back across the atoll to go up and drag the two out of the cave.

"O'Neill!" Teal'c's sudden cry caught his attention. He looked up, then followed Teal'c's line of sight back out to the water, instinctively having his weapon at ready.

A boat had appeared some distance from the shore, moving faster then the current with no obvious means of propulsion. The light green vessel appeared abandoned, though the sides of the vessel meant it either sat high in the water or had a very deep hull that was hiding things...or people.

While he rummaged for his monocular to study the vessel more closely, Teal'c began calling into his radio, "Daniel Jackson! Major Carter!"

Jack was about to question why Teal'c was bothering considering the interference when he realized the green tarp he had seen as part of the boat was actually a much more familiar military issued fabric.

Jack fumbled for his own radio and echoed Teal'c's cries. He put the monocular up to his eye. Yes, it was definitely Daniel. He appeared to have been sitting in the second seat of the boat, but was now sprawled forward, face down. As Jack looked closer, he spotted a tuft of blond hair peeking out from underneath Daniel's half-prone form.

"Daniel! Carter!" Jack cried out again more desperately. "Sam! Daniel!"

The boat had drawn close enough that he could hear his and Teal'c's cries tinny echoes being received on their radios. Their path would take them past Jack and Teal'c and unless one of them responded, Jack wasn't sure how to retrieve them.

"Daniel Jackson! Major Carter!"

Jack spied a bit of movement in the boat. Daniel was –no, it was Carter moving.

"Come on, Carter!" No response. "Sam!" Pausing a moment and channeling every ounce of his former drill sergeant into his voice, he bellowed, "Major Carter, report!"

Sam bolted upright. Jack winced as Daniel's limp form suddenly slumped backwards, now sprawled on his back in the boat. The boat itself rocked wildly at the movement but stayed afloat. Definitely a deeply made hull.

"Carter!" He didn't bother with the radio this time, just yelled and waved his arm from shore.

The major shook her head, sending a spray of water where her hair had not dried in the twin suns and blearily gazed around, finally settling on Jack with a not-quite focused look. "S-sir?"

Her right cheek was bruised and swollen, her eye almost shut. Jack winced again as he worried she suffered possible head injuries.

He keyed his radio and spoke slowly, enunciating each word carefully. "Carter. Can you turn off the boat? We need you to stop the boat."

"Boat?" Sam looked around blankly, then suddenly stiffened. "Daniel!" She started searching the boat frantically for her teammate, again causing it to tip dangerously as she shifted. The boat was almost even to Teal'c's position now.

"Carter! Sam!" O'Neill yelled the names into his radio to get her attention.

She started calling out, "Sir, he's..."

"I need you to stop the boat, Carter." Jack spoke the words slowly, trying to get her to focus on the situation. His orders had nothing to do with denying anything was seriously wrong with Daniel. Not at all. This was just focusing on the immediate issue before assessing injures. Because injuries were all either of his two team members in the boat had. Minor injuries.

Jack watched as Carter again leaned forward into the bow of the boat and reached towards something he couldn't see. Then the boat's direction turned slightly, heading towards the atoll and slowing considerably.

"Can't shift it anymore, sir."

Carter again turned back to Daniel. Was it Jack's imagination, or had he just seen Daniel's hand move?

"O'Neill!" Teal'c held a rope aloft in his hands and had moved closer to the atoll.

"You should have been a boy scout, Teal'c." Jack grinned and started working his way across the wet rocks.

Teal'c merely tilted his head quizzically.

"Never mind." Jack shook his head as he reached the beach and approached his friend.

He rummaged his pockets for something to use as a weight, reluctantly deciding on a spare nine millimeter clip and knotted it to the end of the rope. He looked at the boat, still heading to the rocky shoreline of the atoll. He looked at Teal'c.

"Do you think you can throw it that distance?"

"I can."

Carter's voice came through on the radio once again. "Daniel's coming around, sir. He's sustained an injury to his head."

"I was just jealous of yours." Daniel's hoarse voice broke through the transmission. He groaned and Jack could see him moving. "I'll be okay. Just a little woozy. Everything feels like it's swaying."

"It is swaying, Daniel. You're on a boat!" Jack called out, not bothering with the radio. He waved, trying to draw their attention to the shore.

Daniel sat up, leaning on his right arm. "Jack?"

Jack waved again, then keyed his radio. "Teal'c is going to throw you a line. Ready to catch it?"

"Ready, sir."

Teal'c threw the rope which sailed through the air, landing just short of the boat. Both Daniel and Sam reached out, Daniel's longer arm snagging part of it and pulling it into the boat. He handed to Carter, who knotted it to something amongst the bow. Teal'c and Jack started pulling the boat to shore.

As they drew closer, Jack was pleased to note that Daniel looked a lot better than Jack had expected. Jack was not so pleased to note Carter looked worse. She looked pale except for the growing bruise gracing her cheek. Despite his concern, Jack opted to go for light banter to test their states of mind.

"You're late for check-in." He scolded. "I thought you were enthralled with your cave."

"Well, you had promoted fishing so much, Jack. We decided to check out the water activities."

Daniel obviously had seen through the ploy, but Jack was happy to note Daniel's wit was intact...as was Carter's ability to overwhelm him with information in less than five seconds.

"A section of the cave floor collapsed on us, sir. We found an older set of tunnels underneath which led to the source of my power readings–a variety of Goa'uld technology, including a non-functioning sarcophagus and several powered boats."

Her eyes, what he could see of both of them, were clear and bright as she gave her report. Jack allowed himself to relax a bit more as they drew the boat closer. Then the contents of her report sunk into his head. "A broken sarc and a Goa'uld boat?"

"Yes sir."

The boat was close enough to reach by now. Jack and Teal'c each grabbed a side and dragged it to the beach. Well, technically Teal'c dragged, Jack practically was dragged along with the boat.

"I told you they were after Minnesota!" Jack purposefully continued the lighter tone, ignoring the implications from sarcophagus reference for now. He studied the light green color of the vessel. "Shouldn't it be gold?"

"Gold is too heavy." Daniel answered seriously. "There were different colored boats in the chamber. Perhaps they were meant to be used in certain rituals or for different seasons."

"Or for camouflage," Teal'c responded as he reached out to help Daniel out of the boat.

"Really?" Daniel sounded surprised.

Jack wondered if he imagined Daniel wincing, but his attention was mostly on Carter, who he was trying to help out of the boat. She was worrying about her half-unclasped backpack and fooling with the controls, apparently turning off the silent engine. He was worried at how wobbly her movements were, predicting it was not related to her shifting from sea-legs to being on shore. Aside from her facial injury, he only saw minor cuts and bruises, and her actions were showing her mind was still in full gear--if a bit slow.

When he saw she had closed her pack and was about to refasten it, he grabbed it and threw it to shore; she glared at him, but he was willing to face her wrath. Daniel's and her health were more important than her gadgets, no matter what she may protest to the contrary. He helped her over the steep side of the boat and let her take a few steps, staying close to help her keep her balance.

Jack only half-listened as Teal'c was explaining the few times he had seen Goa'uld boats. Jack got the impression they were essentially museum pieces.

Carter had established her pack was basically undamaged and was continuing her initial report. "If anything was salvageable from the sarcophagus before, Colonel, I doubt it is now. A lot more water entered the chamber at higher levels."

She exchanged an inscrutable look with Daniel that didn't escape Jack's notice. All of SG-1 were all too aware of the issues with that device. Jack was just as happy the device was unusable. What he was more worried about was the reason why.

He repeated, "Tidal changes flooded the chamber?" The chamber they had said they were both inside at the time? No wonder they were wet.

Sam nodded, tentatively attempting to move independently of Jack before more confidently walking on her own. "Yes, sir. It's likely been happening in the lower tunnels for years. But Daniel and I opened another way for water to enter. We did retrieve a ribbon device." She grimaced, averting her eyes from Jack to look at her pack. "Likely the only things still salvageable from the chamber are more of these boats, aside from Daniel's camera and equipment still in the upper cave."

Was she seriously considering going back to those caves? Perhaps her mind was still a bit addled, because even if the water had lowered and the rest of the cave stable, there was no way anybody was going anywhere but home right now. Before he could speak, Carter was continuing.

"We were near one of the boats with power, so we used it to move against the current and out of the caves. After that...well, after that, you spotted us."

Jack said, "And so glad we did. Don't worry about salvaging the boats, Carter, or your stuff, Daniel. Right now the only thing going anywhere is the four of us, back home, now. Teal'c, take point."

Neither protested, which also told Jack a lot about how they were feeling. Jack stayed to the rear as SG-1 began its procession back to the Stargate. He watched both Daniel and Carter carefully. They were both relatively steady on their feet. For now Jack was accepting walking and talking, but he'd prefer knowing more.

"How'd you get the shiner, Major?"

There was a pregnant pause. "In the initial drop through the floor, sir. It really looks worse than it is."

Daniel turned back to Jack, rolling his eyes. Apparently Sam had been trying to convince him of this same thing for a while. Daniel's nonverbal communication had the unfortunate side effect of showing how unsteady he too was. Pot, meet kettle, Daniel Jackson.

Daniel spoke up, perhaps trying to cover for his stumble...or deflect from it. "She lost consciousness for a couple minutes when it happened. Plus swallowed some water in the flooding, and got a couple different electrical jolts when she was examining the various Goa'uld devices."

Daniel's voice trailed off and Jack wondered if he left something out. They were both unconscious when Teal'c had spotted them. Maybe Daniel had figured out the flaw in his report.

"I hadn't gotten that far," Sam said. She got a wicked gleam in her eye and continued. "And I noticed you didn't list your wrist injury from the fall, or jamming your side against the boat pilings when the wave struck, or being unconscious yourself in our escape."

"He hadn't asked about me," Daniel replied innocently. "And my wrist is fine...mostly. My ribs...are probably a little bruised." He winced slightly.

Jack defended Carter. "Uh-huh. A good officer predicts his or her commander's next request. And what you're revealing is just confirming what I already know. You'll both be spending a lot of quality time with the good Doctor Fraiser upon our return."

This silenced both Sam and Daniel. After they again exchanged a long look of that silent kismet communication they tended to do from time to time, Daniel spoke again. "It could've been worse. But we're up and moving, although..."

"...I don't think either of us will say no to a bit of resting, even if it's on one of Janet's cots." Sam smiled wanly and nudged Daniel's left shoulder, which he gently returned.

Glad to see his teammates were at least acting relatively well, Jack took another deep breath to relieve the stress he'd felt since they first spotted the boat. "At least the trip wasn't a total loss."

Sam asked, "Because of the boats?"

"Because the fishing was a success! We caught you two." Jack smirked at the pair.

"Funny, Jack. Very funny."

"Well, it's not every day you reel in a big boat filled with two scientists."

"Indeed," said Teal'c. "When Daniel Jackson, Major Carter and the boat first appeared, I recalled a poem I have read from your Tau'ri folk tales."

"A poem?" Daniel looked curious.

"One Cassandra Fraiser and I have studied with interest." Teal'c began to recite: "The owl and the pussycat went to sea, in a beautiful pea green boat. They took some honey and plenty of money wrapped up in a five pound note."

Daniel blinked at Teal'c blankly and Carter turned a shade of red Jack couldn't tell was from embarrassment or anger. Jack decided to quell his instinct to ask who was owl and who was feline in this analogy.

Besides, they were now approaching the clearing where the Stargate sat. Daniel appeared to swallow several comments directed towards Teal'c and mutely started to dial home with practiced ease. Carter, though pale, remained steadily by his side. Jack was confident the Doc would do her magic. All things considered, it turned out to be a good day.

Fin.




Endnotes:

"The Owl and the Pussycat" is a nonsensical poem by Edward Lear published in 1871.

References to mustabas and the boats in Abydos, Egypt came from a History channel special I caught when I had insomnia, and unfortunately I never caught the name. But googling will bring up all sorts of articles about the Abydos boats. Any inaccuracies are mine.

My limited research on Isis was done here: Isis.
  • This is just a rapid fly-by, because even though I have no time today, I just had to snatch enough to quickly read my fic!

    SQUEE!!! You put in the pink polka-dotted elephants! :) :) :)

    I'll be back on Friday with slightly more coherent feedback, when I've had time to read and enjoy it properly.
    • LOL! Yes, I put in the elephant. You're such a terrible influence, and you didn't even know you were the prompter!

      See you on Friday, and take care. :-)
  • Very Nice. Love the two of them being all geeky together.
  • That was a fun and engaging story. I was just as interested in discovering the planet's secrets as Sam and Daniel were. I love the setting and image of the boats in Isis's chamber - they brought a unique touch to the story. Nice job!
  • Oh, Aurora, this was just wonderful... I loved them thinky and bouncing ideas off each other, and getting mildly whumped (who doesn't like that, honestly) and worrying about each other. And Sam's cheerful handwave of her Magically Compatible Laptop (tm)! And mythology and quick thinking and humor, not to mention Jack's fishing...

    ::happy sigh::

    And, of course, Teal'c's zinger. Because any fic that lets Teal'c snark at his teammates is automatically a winner. :)

    Thanks so much for this great fic!
    • Oh yay! I'm *so* glad you liked it. You're certainly very welcome.

      Sam and Daniel wonder-twinning is just teh awesome, isn't it? See, you probably thought I was kidding when I said I whumped them a bit to get them back in line with the muse. ;-) And of course Jack and his fishing...I imagine sometimes this is the planet Jack thought of in "Beneath the Surface" where the beaches go on forever.

      And Sam's cheerful handwave of her Magically Compatible Laptop (tm)!

      Little secret. That was the first part of this story written--although altered a lot in setting--because I co-opted it from a scrapped opening scene in "Netscapade". Then when you griped about Sam's laptop in one of your ep reviews, I knew no matter what, it had to stay. LOL.

      Teal'c is great to play with humor, because he does it so deadpan, you can never tell if he's playing "ignorant alien" or totally screwing with you. (I think it's 90% the latter).
  • Lovely fic Aurora!

    It's always fab when you manage to incorporate small details that you've picked up into fic - it just adds so much to the atmosphere. :D

    I definitely laughed at Sam and her laptop. Especially her woe when it died on her :P
  • This was cute! Love the Wonder Twins action.

    Daniel obviously had seen through the ploy, but Jack was happy to note Daniel's wit was intact...as was Carter's ability to overwhelm him with information in less than five seconds.

    And since those are the skills they get paid for...heh.
    • Aw, thanks so much!

      And since those are the skills they get paid for...heh.

      Hee, yeah saving the world is just their sideline. Their true full time job is to drive Jack crazy in their own ways. ;-)
  • "Was that a test to see if my pun detector was intact?" ... "I was just jealous of yours" ... Pot, meet kettle, Daniel Jackson ... "Because the fishing was a success! We caught you two" -- lol. This is so fun! Very teamy, with wonderful Sam and Daniel at the center, getting to explore and use their expertise and find cool stuff and get in a jam and get themselves out of it. That's Old Skool in the best way, and I really enjoyed. :-)
    • Aw, I'm so happy you enjoyed the "old skool" fun!

      Hee hee--Teamy with Sam and Daniel center. That makes it sound like an awesome tasting double-stuff oreo! Yum!

      Thanks so much for the nice feedback. :-)
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