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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

3 parts- i feel generous

Teal?c was extremely displeased with the situation. Moments after stepping out of the shack, the Amazon women had surrounded them, tugged their arms behind them and placed manacles over their wrists and chained their ankles together. They then proceeded to prod him and O?Neill with their spears, guiding them through the village. Perhaps a kilometre past the village, they came upon a colossal temple.

Teal?c recognized the structure immediately as an exact replica of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus he had read about in Daniel Jackson?s reference books. The foundation of the temple was rectangular in form, made of marble, with a decorated fa?ade overlooking a spacious courtyard. Marble steps surrounding the building platform led to a high terrace. Teal?c raised his eyebrow at the extravagant temple, noting it had well over 100 columns, the capitols of each gilded in gold and silver. It seemed out of place on the rustic planet.

Hordes of women gathered in the courtyard, the electricity of their drug-enhanced mood sizzled through the air. Things truly did not bode well for O?Neill and him. Despite their own unpleasant circumstances, Teal?c could not help but think of his other two companions.

When they had been forced apart, neither Major Carter nor Daniel Jackson looked well. Teal?c clenched his jaw at the idea both his young teammates were already dead. Selene?s intentions were no doubt suspect and based on Daniel?s state after their first ?discussion?, if they were not dead they were certainly in danger of it.

A glance at the silent man beside him told that O?Neill?s thoughts mirrored his own. The colonel?s strict countenance revealed nothing to a stranger, but Teal?c noted the slightly twitching muscle on his jaw and answered it with one of his own.

The crowd howled as they and the rest of the men from the surrounding villages were led into an oversized corral on the high terrace. Teal?c growled as wandering hands made a quick perusal of his back, arms and?his head snapped around at the unexpected touch. The largest woman he had ever seen assessed him, her eyes nearly straight on with his. Her tongue brushed quickly across her thin lips and she nodded slightly.

Teal?c felt abnormally uncomfortable.

****************

Daniel held his breath. Nothing happened. He opened his eyes.

Selene?s eyes glinted in the thin shaft of light, mirroring the thin blade of metal resting in her hand. Daniel stared, transfixed.

?Stand up, Slavedaniel,? she tilted her head to stare at the knife. ?I will stop this nonsense for once and for all.?

Daniel couldn?t help the pathetic whimper from escaping. He could barely lift his head from the cool, hard floor.

?No.?

Selene?s eyes narrowed further, ?Very well. No man resists me and lives to tell the tale.?

Daniel closed his eyes in resignation, hoping that maybe Jack and Teal?c could at least get away.

***********************************

Jack choked back a cry as he was shoved hard. He landed viciously, all his weight firmly on his swollen knee. When his vision cleared, he unfolded from his more stable slouch, stretching his arms backward to balance himself better. His neck cramped painfully and his bound wrists chafed at the old-fashioned manacles, preventing him from massaging his tired muscles.

In the middle of his hasty ministrations, an oppressive silence hit him like a heavy wave. Jack turned slowly, dreading what he would see now. He was not disappointed. A monster of a woman stood in the center of the corral and the large ring of people gathered around her marked her presence.

The men were backing away from her, pressing into a thin band without touching the edges. The few that went too close to the perimeter suffered jabs, pinches and slaps, but soon scrabbled back into the safety of the herd. The Amazon women not participating in the years festivities were apparently finding other means to entertain themselves.

Only he and Teal?c were not hugging into a safe ring.

The woman stalked around Teal?c, then surveyed the rest. Her impassive eyes flickered slightly as she saw Jack, but continued until she had taken in the whole of the tribute. This must be the infamous Leyda. She was a brute ? nearly Teal?c?s height with dirty blonde hair, cold gray eyes and thin lips perpetually shaped into a leer.

The Amazons were silent, greedily eyeing the men. Themina stood proud and impassionate alongside a few others, but the majority of the thronged masses were clearly inebriated to the extreme. For one long moment, Leyda stood silently studying the throng of women.

?My friends,? she smiled maliciously, ?Atermis has smiled upon us this year. Although some of our less fortunate sisters offered some less than adequate stock ? such as our dear Penelope,? she glanced at a young woman who turned an angry shade. Clearly, pity and loss of status were bestowed as quickly as favour.

?Whereas others,? she nodded to Themina, who smiled faintly, ?Have brought me much more... intriguing and challenging trophies. I understand Selene will be along shortly with an additional contribution and this Samantha I am eager to meet. I am not pleased by her tardiness, or the fact she chose her specimen without my authorization. Let it be known that Selene will be punished severely.?

Leyda twirled back to Teal?c and stood thinking for a moment. Jack noted that some of the women had become very uninhibited. They were fidgeting impatiently even during their leader?s speech. Leyda spun back.

?I?m taking the Jaffa for myself. Themina, you have the first pick, then the rest may choose. Penelope, your tribe will choose last.?

Penelope nodded slightly, clearly unhappy about the punishment for her poor tribute. Themina swung imperiously into the paddock, her head held so close to that of the giantess that he thought she might take off.

Themina strode through the ranks, making a huge show of eyeing the other tribes? tributes. Deathly silence pressed in at all sides, all eyes on Themina as she ambled lazily towards Jack and paused right behind him. Then, very deliberately, she grabbed his hair and tugged his head back, feeling the tension in his shoulders as he shook angrily. His nostrils flared at the sight of her grotesque grin. Then, she released his head, jerking it painfully forwards until his spine clicked.

A huge roar swept through the crowd as the women ran in. Jack fought the press of the bodies, struggling to get to Teal?c; they couldn?t afford to be split up now! As he was tugged farther and farther away, he called out, ?Teal?c! Teal?c!!!?

Teal?c turned as he heard his name and saw O?Neill being dragged backwards over the heads of the shorter men. In the confusion, he made to follow him, but a strong hand gripped his elbow.

?Just where do you think you are going, Jaffa?? Leyda asked, amused.

Teal?c stared at her, lip curling in ire.

The Valkyrie-like woman shoved Teal?c in front of her and Jack shouted out in desperation as he was dragged under.

More tomorrow

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Old Post 11-08-2001 06:28 PM
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The Ash Man
Senior Member

Registered: Oct 2001
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Posts: 1372

Talking

ROFLMAO that's the funniest thing i've read in SG-1 fic (the bit about the big woman liking Teal'c). Now that's something i'd love to see in an episode, if only to see CJ's facial reaction, which he does good ones of.

More please

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Old Post 11-10-2001 08:13 PM
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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

Daniel waited for the final moment. And waited. Blood thundered deafeningly in his ringing ears and he couldn?t bear the terrible suspense a second longer. He warily opened his eyes, to find Selene lying face down in front of him. Daniel gasped and shot up to a vertical base, backing away from the picture before him, sore side momentarily forgotten. The stench of vomit and metallic blood mingled in the stale air and the whole room swum.

Confused, his eyes flicked up to see Sam swaying like a drunk in a high wind, the shattered handle of a mead jug hanging from her limp fingers.

?Sam!? he shouted and lurched for her. He hugged her quivering form in his arms, ignoring the crushing weight on his chest.

Sam looked awful, her gray skin was streaked with sweat and her eyes were dark. Her lips moved quietly as her legs gave way. Daniel followed her down, guiding them both to the floor clumsily.

?Daniel- Daniel, I?m sorry. So sorry, so sorry...? The voice was barely audible.

?Sh- sh- it?s OK. There?s nothing to be sorry for. Are you all right?? Daniel?s voice was low and gentle. He knew the answer to that question.

?Th- thirsty,? she managed. Daniel grabbed a canteen and helped her drink.

That had to be a good sign, surely? At least it may help clear the toxins out somewhat. Sam leaned back, exhausted.

?Sam, we can?t stay here. We?ve got to go and get help, Jack and Teal?c are still out there!?

Sam shuddered, ?Yes, but how? Look at us!?

***********************

The tribe leaders dragged out their choices from Leyda?s stock, their underlings behind them. Jack was herded out yet again. He was beginning to get dizzy, even the sitting and waiting was better than the constant shoving from one place to another.

Themina paraded him up the steps of the temple, and forced him to his knees in front of the brashly painted altar. Strange, but Jack had always thought that the Greeks liked white better. Seeing the bold, garish colors seemed to spoil the effect and take away some of the mystery of that civilization. Leyda was already standing behind the large, decorated altar, Teal?c kneeling beside her. One by one, the other tribe leaders brought their choices before her.

Jack squirmed painfully, the hard, cold floor biting into his knees. This whole thing smelt worse than a kettle full of fish in high summer.

Leyda looked at them each in turn. ?We give praise to Artemis, who has blessed us with such a bounty,? her eye turned to Teal?c.

Jack did not like the sound of that one bit. He glanced at the brilliant marble slab. It would be a shame to spoil the delicate sheen with crimson blood; but then, it did look hygiene friendly and easy to wipe clean...

?Now we mark our quarry, in the way of our immortal ancestors.? She flipped out a blade from somewhere and leaned down to Teal?c?s side.

Jack?s mouth opened in a wide ?O? of shock, but he gasped as cold steel bit into his arm, shinning teeth carving through his upper arm. ?What the hell are you doing?? he screamed.

Themina kicked him in the small of his back and he collapsed. His leg twitched convulsively as his jaw hit the floor hard. He stared down at the floor, noting with some twisted satisfaction that he had been right. The blood he had spilt could easily be mopped up. He felt incredibly unimportant; here his blood meant nothing and no one would notice it, other than the mess it made.

Jack felt himself dragged upright again and let his head hang low, better to hide how well you were when your enemy already knew you couldn?t fight. Maybe later on, you would need to bite... and besides, his head really did hurt.

Themina kneeled beside him and slapped a handful of cold salve onto his freely bleeding wound.

?Why thanks,? he hissed, ?I never knew you cared!?

?Hah, don?t worry, I don?t. This will keep you going long enough to make a sport of it. And pretty soon, you will find that cheekiness of yours kicked out of you. Now then, Samantha said you were trained in evading capture. I will be interested to see how well you do. You are not the youngest bracket of the tribute.?

Jack laughed derisively. He may not be the youngest, but surely he was not the oldest. Hadn?t Teal?c given them a run for their money?

Themina ran a finger over the bloody knife. ?Let the hunt begin.?

*******************

Daniel struggled under Sam?s weight, but the major was pulling it as best she could. All he knew was he had to get away from the vile stench, from the bloody countenance grinning up at him.

Sam twisted painfully to get a better look at him. He was awfully quiet.

?Daniel, what?s wrong??

?Nothing.?

?Daniel.?

Daniel looked up guiltily, ?No, Sam, I?m fine. Really I am, just a little sore. I think we should be concentrating on getting the hell out of here.?

Sam sensed the underlying tension in his words and noticed Daniel had turned an unhealthy gray-green.

?Daniel, I don?t think I can make it all the way back to the ?gate. You should go get help.?

The young archaeologist gasped, astonished, ?But we can?t split up now! I won?t leave you alone!?

?You have to! I can?t make it. Besides, I?ll be safe here. I?m one of them remember? Daniel, you know.?

Daniel surveyed his friend closely. Sam was deteriorating rapidly. His own condition was such that he couldn?t carry her all the way back to the ?gate, and she couldn?t help him at all.

?Yeah, I know,? he reluctantly agreed.

?Daniel, what about Selene? Is she--? Sam looked sickened at the thought.

?I don?t know. To be honest, I don?t care,? Daniel stated flatly, his blue eyes flashing coolly, ?What I do know is that the other Amazons will notice if she doesn?t make it to the tribute. And if you don?t show up. We?ve got to move fast. C?mon. Show me where you?ve been staying all this time.?

Sam flashed one last look at the heap on the floor before she turned to Daniel, with a weak laugh, ?Just wait?ll you see it! It?s the Ritz Carlton compared to this place!?

Neither of them noticed the right hand of the fallen Amazon clench into an angry fist.

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Old Post 11-10-2001 08:14 PM
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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

The forest was thick and the scrubby bushes scratched painfully at his legs. Jack?s breath came ragged in his chest, burning his tortured lungs. But whatever Themina had dosed him with it was good stuff. They sure were good at drugs, pity none of them could be put to a good use. His heart was racing faster and faster and still his endurance held. He was headed back to the village, towards the Stargate.

Jack?s knee was killing him worse than ever; as it swung forward, he could almost feel the tendons, muscles and ligaments tearing loose. Any second now, he was going to swing it forward and the whole damn lot was going to carry on going forward and fly right past him. What a nice mental image.

He had to stop thinking and keep moving. If he could get back to the ?gate, then he could grab a few hundred marines and anti-aircraft guns and cruise missiles and...damnit. No freaking GDO. Jack wondered if Themina would expect him to take the scenic route through the village. He had to believe the Amazons brought their packs there. Somewhere.

He had to keep moving. Themina was bound to be after him by now. She was probably an expert tracker and he hoped he?d covered his tracks well enough. He had also hidden his direction, twisting back around the temple. Jack knew he couldn?t save his team alone, but he was damned if he wasn?t going to get them back and see justice done. Oh, screw the justice. Jack just wanted to get everyone off this rock, and preferably while they were still breathing.

Adrenaline swamped his system, blinding his vision and fuzzing his thoughts. Putting his head down, he charged headlong through the forest. It would be a cold day in hell before Colonel Jack O?Neill was beaten in field craft. He was born to it.

***********************

Teal?c glared at the woman in front of him, wondering briefly what animal had died to make a skin big enough for her. Leyda had not released him at the same time as the others, prompting raised eyebrows and lewd comments, but she had merely laughed them off.

?Are you ready to run, my pretty? It looks as though you already tried. Never mind, I?m sure your primta had little difficulty. What I am wondering is how many it took to bring you down. You seem to be a worthy tribute for once, one who will challenge me in the hunt.?

Teal?c felt his stomach churn and knew it was not something he could put down to Junior for once. Leyda didn?t seem to be too badly intoxicated, like the others in the hunt. Teal?c could hear the Amazons who preferred their slaves fresh ?performing the annual ritual? with very little restraint and far less modesty in the spacious courtyard. Teal?c was glad the pillars hid most things from sight, because what he could hear was far worse. It left little to the imagination.

Leyda undoubtedly knew he would have tried to escape with O?Neill, so she had staggered them.

?Now we find out ? how fast can you run??

*************************
Jack peered through the hedges into the village. It suddenly reminded him of an Old West ghost town, and he half expected to see tumbleweed rolling through the deserted walkways. Nothing good ever came of strolling into a seemingly harmless ghost town. Images from television shows sprang to mind. Some poor sap walking right into a trap, hidden enemies perched on roofs and behind buildings. Well, he wasn?t going to make that mistake.

He had to think. Where the heck would their equipment have been taken? It?s not like he got the grand tour of the place. He?d caught a glimpse of a building in the centre of the village that seemed larger than the rest, perhaps a meeting hall. He decided to start there and work his way to each building in a systematic search. Maybe he?d get lucky.

Jack crept through the outlying shrubbery to the closest building. He snaked his way around it and headed for the next, and then the next. Finally, something was going right! Jack paused. The last time he?d thought that, Sam had waylaid him with instructions on killing Daniel. OK, so he?d better not take the ease of his current task quite so readily.

?OK, it?s that one on the right,? a weak voice floated Jack?s way.

Carter! That was Carter?thank God!

?Good, just a few more steps and you can rest,? an almost-as-weak voice followed.

Daniel! That was Daniel?thank God!

Jack?s faces lit up in a child like grin, exuberant at learning his friends were alive and well. OK, alive at least. They didn?t sound all that well. His plan of attack changed and he turned in the direction of the voices. Things really were looking up. Caution flew out the window and he raised his arm in a wave, his mouth opened to deliver a welcoming shout.

A burly hand clamped itself over his mouth and pulled him into the shadows before he had the chance.

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Old Post 11-10-2001 08:17 PM
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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

Teal?c crept through the woods, careful to disturb as little as possible of the surrounding foliage. Leyda was not an individual to trifle with, and he intended to do no such thing. He decided the best course of action for him was to combine evading capture by the formidable Amazon with traversing the woods to the Stargate. This of course meant he had to return to the village to collect a GDO he hoped was there.

There were far too many flaws in his plan than he cared for, but ultimately decided he had little choice. The last he had seen of O?Neill was not encouraging. In the bedlam of the corral, he witnessed O?Neill receive another wound from Themina and then released to the hunt. Themina had not waited long before following after him.

Teal?c shook his head as if to force the grim thoughts from his mind, but only succeeded in calling up visions of Daniel Jackson and Major Carter. Perhaps they were still alive. Perhaps Selene was unsuccessful in her attempt to kill the major and? ?perform the annual ritual? with the archaeologist. She would not be gentle in her actions, as the women in the courtyard had not been.

He must concentrate on his own survival for the time being. Becoming distracted by the plight of his team-mates would only increase the chances of his defeat, and in turn sentence them all to death.

Teal?c surveyed the village with a trained eye. He would not make the same error he made during the first escape attempt. He must not. He approached an outlying building and entered it. He would search each shack for their packs and then he would endeavour to locate his missing friends.

?Rest is good,? Sam?s faint voice reached his ears.

?Oh, yeah!? Daniel?s chimed in.

Teal?c?s heart soared. His friends were alive! Heartened by this, he turned in the direction of the voices, catching sight of a figure hiding in the shadows of a nearby building. His eyes narrowed angrily and he manoeuvred himself behind the interloper. He would not allow harm to befall Major Carter and Daniel Jackson.

*************************

Daniel cringed as he and Sam tripped on the doorsill. He managed to stop them from falling, his right hand bracing against the frame, his left still wrapped tightly around the trembling major. Despair threatened him. He could barely make it through the village, how was he supposed to reach the Stargate? It was at least 10 kilometres away. Sam might be dead by then. And Jack and Teal?c.

Selene! She gave Sam something, so wouldn?t it make sense that she?d have the cure to it?

?Sam, I was thinking--?

?Not again!? she joked, ?You know that?s not healthy.?

Daniel paused. Sam?s strength always amazed him. Here she was suffering what he could only imagine was torturous pain and she still was able to joke. He shook his head in wonder.

?Sam, be serious. I don?t think it?s a great idea for me to head for the ?Gate. The woods are filled with Amazon women on the prowl, and I don?t think I can really avoid them. And I also don?t think they?d have second thoughts about, er?? Daniel flushed.

?Taking on a second tribute? Yeah, I already figured that out Daniel. Put me down over there, will you?? Sam breathed.

Daniel guided her to the cot and eased her down gently. He wondered if she had come up with any ideas to get everyone out of this unscathed. He glanced down at Sam and amended that. Less scathed.

?Maybe we should focus on finding the colonel and Teal?c. I have NO idea how we?ll manage that. They could be anywhere, but I?d be willing to bet both of them have already decided to head for the ?Gate,? Sam continued.

?Sam, I??Daniel started hesitantly. This was going to be hard to vocalise. ?I don?t know if you?re going to make it until any of us get back, regardless of how quickly we can move. Whatever Selene gave you, it?s working way too fast. I think before I do anything else I should go see if she has some kind of antidote anywhere. You didn?t happen to see where her, uh, house is, did you??

Sam sighed her agreement to his assessment of her physical condition. Daniel didn?t like the implication of that one bit.

?I did, actually. She?s two condos down on the left. But, Daniel, be careful,? Sam warned.

?When am I not careful, Sam?? Daniel asked innocently, batting his eyelashes rapidly.

Sam responded with a feeble laugh and rolled her eyes, ?Just hurry.?

Daniel sobered. He brushed his hand through her hair, kissed her forehead and turned to leave. His ribs balked at the movement and he had to pause for a second to catch his breath, trying hard not to stoop over from the pain. Sam didn?t need to see that, to worry about him.

?I?ll be back,? Daniel commented in monotone.

Sam?s laughter rang in his ears, encouraging him. Things were going to be all right. He had to believe that.

***********************

?Heurgh?? Jack?s call was muffled by the beefy hand across his mouth. He struggled against the strong grip, but the days of little to no food had left him weaker than usual and he couldn?t break the grip around his waist.

Jack mutely watched Carter and Daniel enter a hut agonisingly slowly. He hoped his captor didn?t see them, that he didn?t give them away. He?d be damned if he would be the cause for their deaths.

?Quiet,? a strangely familiar voice whispered in his ear ominously.

?Mmph?? Jack responded.

?Yes, O?Neill, it is I. I am going to release my hand now. You must remain quiet. I will explain,? Teal?c?s hushed words continued.

Jack nodded, finding it humorous that his own team-mate had caught him. Humorous and extremely fortunate. Teal?c let go his mouth and the arm around Jack?s waist disappeared. Jack turned around to face his friend.

?What was all that about? Carter and Daniel are right in there!? Jack muttered quietly.

?I am aware of that, O?Neill. But we are not the only ones in the village. To draw attention to ourselves would greatly decrease our chances of helping them. We must remain hidden.?

?What? Who? Damn, I was careful,? Jack spluttered.

?Indeed. As was I. I believe it to be Selene,? Teal?c informed him.

?Damn. I was hoping she was dead,? Jack sighed, rubbing his suddenly aching head.

Activity from the shack Carter and Daniel entered garnered both men?s attention. Daniel exited the building and headed shakily to the left. Where was he going? Couldn?t Daniel have just stayed put until he and Teal?c joined them? Jack knew his frustration was unfounded.

?Great. Where?s he going?? Jack murmured to Teal?c.

?I do not know, but I believe he should not be alone. He is exhibiting signs of being in great pain,? Teal?c solemnly returned.

Jack?s stomach felt like he?d just swallowed a ten-pound weight. If Teal?c was right and Selene was traipsing around, Daniel would be her number one target. He wouldn?t let her touch the archaeologist again, he vowed.

?Right. I?ll catch up with him. You see how Carter?s doing.?

Jack made sure Teal?c made it into Sam?s structure before he headed in the direction Daniel had taken.

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Old Post 11-10-2001 08:19 PM
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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

Sam sat down onto the rude cot, exhaustion consuming her. Taking deep breaths, she tried to overcome the wooziness surging up through her. She held one breath longer than necessary and closed her eyes. She focused all her effort on listening to the gentle rustling hoping to calm herself. The rustling gave way to... footsteps? Footsteps close by... quiet padding at the doorway!

Sam?s eyes widened, Daniel wasn?t due back so soon! Who could it be?

Gagging suddenly, she shifted to the end of the bed and searched the hut for a weapon, for anything. No such luck, no rocks, sticks, lead piping or conveniently placed anvils. Well, she could probably have ruled that out from the start, but nothing?

Struggling not to hyperventilate, she dragged herself behind the door and leaned against the frame. Maybe she could buy a few minutes...

A dark shadow fell across the threshold and the door swung in, slowly and oh-so quietly. Sam held her breath as the stranger entered.

?Teal?c!? Sam gasped in shock and relief.

?Major Carter,? Teal?c spoke softly, ?I apologise if I startled you, but stealth was required.?

Sam let go the breath she had been holding in a drunken giggle, ?Oh, Teal?c! And we thought we were going to have to come for you... oh...? Sam?s knees buckled again, wheezing in pure, unadulterated relief, the wash of abject fear totally vanquished.

?Major Carter, are you not well?? Teal?c sounded disturbed.

?Not exactly. I?m just...? she stopped, leaning against him. ?Teal?c, my head hurts.?

Sam?s voice was quiet and childlike, her emotions involuntary passengers on a roller coaster. Her head reeled with the sudden changes from fear to giddy relief to lethargy.

?Major Carter, the Amazon Selene is in the town and I believe that Daniel Jackson is in danger. We must retrieve a GDO and return back through the Stargate.?

?Mmmm, ssshure. Just let me sleep a little first, M?kay??

Teal?c frowned, ?Major Carter, the poison is making you feel drowsy, you must fight it.?

?Hmmm??

Sam heard Teal?c?s muffled voice, but his works registered no meaning. She slid further into his strong arms, incredibly glad for the comforting embrace.

******************

Daniel surveyed the shelves upon shelves of bottles lining one entire wall of Selene?s home. She seemed quite the amateur alchemist and Daniel wondered if any of the Amazons even realised their drink of choice was spiked.

Daniel didn?t know which to choose. Neat, angular lettering announced each of the vials and beakers, but he squinted impatiently at the writing. Dim lighting, a pounding head and the notable absence of his glasses rendered the script illegible. Damn! He didn?t have time for this. Sam didn?t have the time. Nobody had time. Daniel moved away from the wall toward the door where he hoped the sunlight would aid his sight.

?Looking for something, Slavedaniel??

The archaeologist?s jaw dropped at the unexpected intrusion. He jumped back in shock, his ribs protesting the movement. Framed in the doorway, Selene stood with matted hair crowning her bloody face like some bizarre avenging angel.

?Surprised to see me, are you?? Selene uttered in a weakened voice.

?No,? he half-lied, ?I knew I shouldn?t let sleeping dogs lie.?

It was Selene?s turned to look shocked and splutter.

?Don?t come a step further, Selene,? Daniel warned, his panicked hand grabbed for something with which to defend himself. His fingers fumbled onto a wooden object and he brandished his weapon with determination, not bothering to verify what he was holding.

?You wish to defend yourself with this, Daniel? Do you really?? Selene scoffed.

Daniel held his weapon up higher, but never diverted his stare from her. Damnit, he couldn?t let her plant doubt.

?Yes, I do. Now tell me which of these will cure Sam,? Daniel injected as much bravado as he could, last refuge of the cornered.

Selene laughed a horrible, gurgling sound and stepped forward. Her head pulled back in a cobra-like stance, ready to strike, hand fisted on her knife. Blood from her head wound trickled down her jaw line, tracing an intricate pattern down her neck. Daniel stared in fascination at the crimson and braced himself for her attack.

?Not so fast!?

********************

Jack clung to the wall, hobbling as stealthily as he could manage. A shape stumbling with grace to match his own caught his attention and he looked up. Selene. He gritted his teeth with the realisation the woman would reach their common destination before he could. Ignoring the protest from tired joints, he lurched forward at an unsteady pace.

Selene?s hacking laugh grated on his ears as he flung the door open. She advanced on Daniel, who was clutching a hairbrush as though it was a machete.

?Not so fast!? Jack growled menacingly.

Selene twirled, confused at the new voice. Seeing the threat, she swung out toward Jack with the blade in her hand.

?Jack, no!? Daniel cried and grabbed at Selene?s shoulder in a frantic attempt to stop the swing.

Jack stumbled back awkwardly in an attempt to avoid the deadly arc. He hadn?t considered if she was armed, concern for his team outweighed caution. He fell against the doorframe but it was not far enough.

Selene carried on forwards, bloodlust writ large behind her otherwise dull eyes. Daniel clung, the jerking swing obviously causing him pain. Jack noted the archaeologist?s eyes water and his face twist into a grimace.

?Let go of me!? Selene screamed and shrugged Daniel off. He went flying and landed solidly on the bed.

Jack was simultaneously trying to cringe against the wall and stand up, but as Selene turned to swat at Daniel, he lunged desperately at her legs. Together they tumbled onto the floor, a mess of tangled limbs.

?Daniel! Grab her arms!? Jack yelled, hoping his cry would reach the stunned man.

Daniel immediately stepped forward and stamped a foot on the Amazon?s right hand. Jack pinned her other arm down and she was forced to release her grip. Daniel kicked the blade from her fingers, bent down and picked it up.

?Good, good...? was all Jack could manage. He held out his hand for the knife, but Daniel merely stared at his hand then glanced at the bloody blade.

Selene drew back and Jack pulled himself up in the corner, eyeing her as she retreated to the opposite corner. ?Daniel, give me the damn knife, get the hell back to Carter. Teal?c?s with her.?

Daniel stared at the blade mournfully another second, then looked over at the snarling Selene.

?No,? Daniel stated with deadly calm.

?No??

?No,? Daniel reaffirmed and turned to Selene, ?Tell me which is the antidote.?

Selene spat at his feet and laughed insanely.

Jack?s eyes widened. Poison?

?Tell me which is the antidote.? Daniel?s voice carried a note of quiet authority that startled the Colonel.

?Never. If I can?t have you, then she won?t, either!?

Jack snarled, he wanted to make this sadistic bitch pay and if she?d hurt Carter... He needed to get whatever information he could from her NOW, but he sensed Daniel needed to do this.

Daniel stepped forward, ?Selene, you will tell me how to save Sam. We came here in peace and all you have done is beat four kinds of crap out of us, starve us, pump us full of drugs and just generally abuse us.?

Selene glared up at him, a silent, mocking grin curling her lip.

?Now, I am a patient man, but I know plenty of people who are not. I?m sure... Leyda- or whatever her name is- won?t be too pleased with you. Why don?t you tell us which is the antidote and we?ll let you go.?

?Hah! Do you think you can threaten me?? she laughed. ?Never have I seen men like you before, but that will do you no good.?

Selene drew back to stare at him from under her matted fringe. Daniel sighed slightly and half turned to the Colonel, but gasped as a whirr of browns flew at him. Bringing his hands up protectively, Daniel shrieked.

Daniel stood yelling, bellowing as if his life depended on it. Jack watched in horror as Selene lunged again, her war cry ringing in discord. And then it stopped. And only Daniel?s voice remained.

?Daniel. Danny...? Jack stood and touched the younger man?s arm gently. Daniel turned to look at him, face gaunt and harrowed. ?What?s wrong, Daniel??

The linguist stepped back, and Jack could see Selene?s slumped form crumpled on the floor, crimson lifeblood gushing in arterial fury. And Daniel was holding the knife.

?I- I killed her!?

?No. No you didn?t. She jumped you. She knew you had the knife. You reacted in self-defence. It wasn?t your fault.?

?But I...?

?Daniel. Don?t. She would have killed you, me, Teal?c... and if you?re not quick, she could still kill Carter.?

Daniel jumped and Jack felt incredibly guilty for jerking him out like that, but it had to be done. ?Daniel, this is important. Can you tell which of these is the antidote??

?Didn?t you hear me asking the same question? I can?t even read the labels in here!? Daniel cried, running a hand through his hair.

Jack noted Daniel sounded slightly panicky and decided the younger man needed him help focus on something concrete, ?Grab as many as you can. We?ll see if we can read them outside, or at least take them back for the Doc to analyse.?

Daniel nodded quietly and reached for the closest bottles.

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Old Post 11-10-2001 08:22 PM
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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

Teal?c moved slowly and gently toward Selene?s home. He was concerned that O?Neill and Daniel Jackson had not returned to Major Carter?s accommodation. Selene must have caught up with the men. Teal?c was sure the woman was moving as thought injured and he clung to the hope the damage she sustained was significant enough to assure the safety of his friends.

Major Carter stiffened suddenly, consciousness returning. Startled, Teal?c nearly dropped her but managed to avoid catastrophe, sinking gracefully to his knees and softly placing her on the ground. The young woman moaned piteously at the jostling.

?I am sorry, Major Carter,? Teal?c murmured, ?I do not mean to cause you pain.?

Her blue eyes opened slightly, confusion mapping its way across her features. Panic shortly followed, and Teal?c?s worry multiplied.

?What? W-where am I?? the major whimpered.

Teal?c rocked back on his heels, stunned at this new development. ?We are on P3S 279, Major Carter. Do you not remember??

?Oh?yeah. I remember, Teal?c. I just couldn?t think for a second there. Where are we going? Her words were barely audible. Her skin was cold and clammy, yet she was sweating profusely.

?Colonel O?Neill and Daniel Jackson have not returned. I thought it best to locate them,? Teal?c explained.

?OK. Teal?c??

?Yes, Major Carter??

?Do you mind if I just rest here while you go get them??

?I think that?s a fantastic idea,? a third voice intruded on their hushed conversation.

Teal?c spun quickly around, prepared to fight the owner of the voice. He came face to face with Leyda. The Amazon had her knife in hand and was rocking side to side on her feet, already one step ahead of him. Teal?c cursed himself for once again failing to fully anticipate his enemy.

He was determined not to let the mountain of a woman harm Major Carter. Teal?c placed himself in front of his friend?s still body, blocking Leyda?s view.

Leyda laughed at his concern, ?Do not worry for her. I hold this woman in the highest respect. She has obviously gained your devout following. It is a shame she will be losing an acolyte today.?

Teal?c cocked his head and raised an eyebrow, confident she was incorrect, ?I do not believe so.?

?We shall see, slave. You were amazingly easy to track. I had so hoped for more of a challenge this year,? Leyda hissed. Her cold, dark eyes narrowed ominously. She circled Teal?c as if looking for the perfect angle of attack.

Teal?c waited motionlessly, waiting for the Amazon to make the first move. He was not yet completely healed from his previous injuries and could not risk a tactical error. Muscles tensed, Teal?c bolstered up every ounce of reserve energy he possessed.

Time seemed to slow until Teal?c thought he would no longer be able to await the predator?s move. Leyda continued to circle him, stopping suddenly when she was directly behind him. She pounced on him, one arm wrapping around his throat, Leyda effectively cut off his airway. Teal?c reached up and grabbed the unwelcome limb. He hefted the large woman over his shoulder with one strong heave, grunting with the exertion.

Leyda landed with a screech and scrambled to her feet, a look of infuriation displayed on her face. She lunged for Teal?c once again, knife at the ready. Teal?c easily sidestepped the frontal attack, grabbing the mad woman?s knife hand. He twisted it sharply, and Leyda cried out, her hand automatically releasing the weapon. It fell harmlessly to the ground. Teal?c kicked it away.

Leyda?s fury made itself known as she wrenched from Teal?c?s grip ferociously. She brought her arms together and pummeled Teal?c in the stomach. His Achilles heel.

Agony seared through Teal?c, and he was unable to keep himself from dropping to his knees. Crowing at her success, Leyda?s fingers tentacled around the Jaffa?s throat once again. Teal?c struggled to free himself, the pain of his symbiote numbing to a dull throb. The woman?s fingers tightened and she hauled back her other arm for a follow up blow to his abdomen.

Teal?s could not break Leyda?s hold, his attempts becoming more and more desperate. One hand clawed at the Amazon?s tight hold, the other falling to his side. Anger surged through him and he ripped her hand from his throat. Simultaneously, Teal?c felt something fumble with his free hand. An object was thrust into it and he unconsciously gripped it. Raising his hand to eye level, Teal?c was pleased to see Leyda?s knife.

Leyda screamed in rage and brought her fist forward. Teal?c blocked the swing and countered it with a well-aimed stab of the knife. The blade caught the woman in the side and she crumpled with a groan to the ground. Teal?c kneeled over her, gasping for breath. He spared a glance toward Major Carter, relieved to see her propped up on one side watching them fearfully. Her eyes widened.

Before Teal?c could register the silent warning, he felt Leyda?s hand reach into his pouch. The Amazon groped around his belly brutally. Teal?c roared in pain and shoved the woman away, her hand still clasping his symbiote as she fell. Teal?c was weakened almost instantaneously. He fell forward toward the squealing larval Goa?uld. Leyda squeezed it ruthlessly.

Teal?c saw movement out of the corner of his eye. Major Carter was inching her way over to the battle locked duo. Teal?c concentrated on dispensing with Leyda. He jabbed the knife over and over again into her side, holding it there on his last shot and he twisted the blade. The Amazon screamed and let go of his symbiote. Teal?c collapsed completely, breathing labored.

The equally harsh rasps of Major Carter joined his gasps as she held his symbiote and slid closer to him. She eased it back into his pouch and slumped face down in front of him. Teal?c placed a hand on her head and closed his eyes.

***********

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Old Post 11-10-2001 08:55 PM
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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

Daniel moved on automatic pilot as he searched the small room for a bag to place the bottles of chemicals he hoped contained an antidote for Sam. Shuddering, he tried not to look at the gruesome figure lying on the ground. Jack saw his discomfort and had placed a blanket over the body, but it wasn?t working.

Selene?s accusing eyes still bore into him. Every move he made seemed to be monitored by his latest ghost. Daniel had killed before, and much as he disliked it, he would most likely do so again. It never got any easier. He honestly didn?t know how Jack, Sam and Teal?c dealt with it so readily, a difference Daniel felt sometimes isolated him from his team.

Shaking himself from his self-inflicted misery, Daniel scooped the remaining vials into the sack. He didn?t have time for this. Jack was keeping a wary eye out for his hunter. Daniel grimly smiled ? of course the head of the village would choose Jack. Anyone else would have got some second rate Amazon, but not his friend. Actually, from what the older man said, Teal?c hadn?t fared any better.

Daniel made his way over to the door gingerly. His little rough and tumble with Selene had aggravated his side enough for his concern to grow and his vision seemed even more blurry. Well, he thought it was anyway.

Jack sat poised just outside the door, ready for action. Daniel took a moment to check Jack out. He doubted Jack was aware he sported a permanent pained scowl. Regardless if Jack knew about it or not, it worried Daniel. If they had to fight once more he wasn?t sure how much assistance he could provide. Sam was out of commission. Teal?c was all right, but still not one hundred percent. They were just going to have to make it out of here with no further activity.

?I?ve got them all, Jack,? Daniel whispered, placing a quick hand on Jack?s forearm.

Jack jumped slightly, ?OK. Let?s go get Carter and Teal?c.?

Daniel nodded and they moved as one back toward Sam?s hut. They stuck close to the walls of each building, both for stealth and support. Daniel had to bit his lip to keep his pain in check and noticed Jack clenched his jaw in time with each footfall. Their process was slow but undisturbed and they made the short distance without incident.

When they reached the door, Jack held his hand up to signal Daniel to stay put while he entered the structure. Daniel figured Jack thought it was better to be safe than sorry and he concurred. Seconds later, the colonel emerged with a concerned frown splayed across his face.

?They aren?t in there.?

?What do you mean they?re not in there??

?What do you think I mean, Daniel?? Jack snapped, ?They?re not in there.?

?Wuh-well where would they go? We didn?t see them on our way here. I doubt Sam and Teal?c felt up for a leisurely romp through the woods,? Daniel retorted, his words tempered with fear and inappropriate sarcasm.

Jack glared at him before replying, ?Well, I was going to head to the big building in the centre of town and spiral my way out. Maybe Teal?c had the same idea. Or maybe one of our female friends caught up with them and they had to leave. I don?t know.?

Daniel decided he liked Jack?s first theory better. The other was more likely, at least given their luck for the past couple of days. He nodded his head the direction of the main hall.

?Shall we, then??

?Yeah,? Jack answered quietly.

Daniel turned to go, his ribs raging against the motion. He couldn?t hide the wince, nor could he stop his free hand from cradling his tender torso. Unfortunately, Jack noticed and grabbed Daniel?s arm.

?Whoa! Maybe I?d better wrap those again before we do anything,? the older man suggested.

?No. No time,? Daniel grunted.

?Daniel,? Jack warned carefully.

?Jack. Look, I?ll let you look at my side if you let me wrap your knee,? Daniel volleyed, knowing he was playing dirty.

Jack remained silent but his eyes spoke volumes ? that the conversation wasn?t over. It was just delayed. Daniel didn?t care. He just wanted to find Sam and Teal?c and get home. The battle temporarily won, Daniel resumed walking. Jack waited several seconds before joining him.

The approached the hall with caution, aware of the many Amazons still on the prowl for their tributes. Jack had to be thinking about Themina specifically. Daniel hadn?t actually seen the Amazon Queen much, but Sam had told him all he cared to know. If Selene was the diplomat of the village and Themina the brawn, Daniel didn?t have to witness her physical prowess to know it to be impressive.

Flanking either side of the doorway, Daniel and Jack braced themselves to enter the expansive building ready for anything. On a count of three, Jack led them through the door and what met their vision stopped them in their tracks.

********************

Sam found herself upside down and swaying left to right, not of her own volition. She figured Teal?c must have picked her up again after that horrifying fight with Leyda. The massive woman had shocked Sam with her ability to nearly defeat the strong Jaffa, and she felt her admiration for her friend increase. She knew that had she not managed to retrieve his larvae, Teal?c would have survived. To think otherwise was inconceivable.

Suddenly realising how clearly she was thinking, Sam opened her eyes in excitement. Instead of seeing Teal?c strong back, the broad shoulders that greeted her were a woman?s. Sam jerked violently about to try and break free. She discovered that her clear thinking was not accompanied by regained muscle strength.

The hulk carrying her bent over quickly and dumped Sam on her butt abruptly. Sam moaned at the rough handling, her stomach cramped insidiously and she felt as though she was going to vomit. Instinctively curling on her side, Sam dry heaved painfully and squeezed her eyes shut once again.

When she peeled them open again, Sam saw Teal?c?s still body lying next to her. She raised her head weakly and realised they had been brought into the main hall. But by whom? And was Teal?c all right? Sam assessed his condition the best she could from her vantage point, and he did not look well.

Teal?c?s skin had taken on a sickly taupe, ashen colour. Sweat rolled down his face and he was also curled in a defensive ball. Sam flashed back to the fight with Leyda, the Amazon squeezing his larvae torturously. Angrily, Sam concluded that it had been damaged. Judging from Teal?c?s state of health, his primta was in as bad a shape as the Jaffa himself.

Rustling noise above Sam?s head drew her attention. She suspected them to be coming from their captor or captors. Raising her head as far as her weakened muscles would allow, Sam strained to catch sight of the other occupants. Her eyes fell on another still form huddled in the dark shadows of a corner. She squinted, focusing on the figure.

It was Leyda, apparently still alive, though barely. The Amazon ruler wheezed noisily and her entire frame was shaking visibly. Each raspy breath came weaker than the next and further apart. Despite herself, Sam felt pity for the dying woman. She stared at the woman blindly, unable to figure out who had brought them all here.

A large boot directly in her line of sight answered the question. Themina leaned down her head to be more level with Sam, an evil grin plastered on her face. Sam shivered and attempted to shift away from the woman. A rough hand latched onto her arm, forcing her to remain as she was.

?Sister Samantha! What a shock it is to see you in such poor health!? Themina falsely placated.

Sam mustered up her strength for a weak reply, ?Yeah, I?ll bet you?re real broken up about it.?

?Do I sense sarcasm in your words, Samantha? Really, that?s not very lady like,? Themina rumbled pleasantly, seemingly extremely pleased with herself.

?My apologies. I?ve had a rough day,? Sam sighed, ?Let?s just skip all this talk, I?m not up for it. What do you want with us, Themina??

?You? Oh, nothing, really. The Jaffa interests me, but he is not looking so well. Perhaps when he is healed, he will provide sufficient entertainment. For now, however, I still have your older companion. I tracked him closely and I figure he will know to head this way. I expect him shortly, along with the young one. A bonus I am much pleased with,? Themina snarled.

Sam attempted to betray no emotion at the Amazon?s threats. Her eyes slid shut as she realised she and Teal?c had become bait for a live trap. She was helpless to help the colonel this way, and if anything was more of a detriment to him. Bargaining chips. Sam choked back a dismayed sob.

She couldn?t let this happen. She had to think of something, anything to stop Themina. Sam swallowed the fear and spat, ?The colonel won?t come here. He?s--?

Contradiction to her assertion made itself known in the form of Colonel Jack O?Neill and Doctor Daniel Jackson, who burst into the building ready to fight.

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Old Post 11-10-2001 08:56 PM
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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

Daniel?s jaw dropped. He should?ve expected this. He could?ve seen it a mile away. Teal?c lay on the floor looking as bad as he had ever seen him, grey and semi-conscious. Beside him lay Sam, who was at least conscious, her eyes flashing recognition, sorrow and warning at him in equal amounts, but between them stood a dark, massive woman. Daniel assumed it was Themina ? he had only seen her briefly at the beginning of this mission-from-hell and she fit Sam?s description perfectly.

Daniel glanced over at Jack for confirmation and direction, but the older man?s eyes were only for the Amazon standing between him and his friends.

?Ah, what took you so long, slave? Moving a little slowly, are we??

?I?m moving just fine,? Jack barked, his hand reaching back to his waistband.

Daniel scanned the room, there was no way he could reach Sam and Teal?c until Themina moved, preferrably very far away. He didn?t think he could be of much use against Themina, but he was damned if he was going to sit idly by.

Ah! Over in the corner. A huddled shape, quaking slightly, curled up, obviously in her death throes. Leyda? From the size of her and her dirty blond hair... it must be her. Daniel tried to piece together what had happened. Teal?c had probably gone up against her and taken her, injuries and all. No wonder he wasn?t with them.

Themina began to pace in a large circle, hefting her knife casually. Jack was doing the same with Selene?s blade, his fingers running up and down the crudely decorated hilt as he looked for any angle to attack, any weakness.

?Daniel, stay back. Help the others if you can.? Jack bit off, jaw tightening in frustration.

Daniel felt the tug of the bag on his shoulder; a good weapon if ever he?d seen one. If he only knew which would help Sam, he could use the rest against the growling woman, he shot a desperate look at Sam, who was lying back, exhausted.

?Don?t waste your time. As soon as I have finished with this one, I?ll see to you lot in no time,? she sneered.

?Over my dead body,? Jack shot back.

?But that would spoil my fun!? Themina pouted and laughed.

Jack was leaning heavily on one side, his injured knee obviously hindering his movements. Themina noted this and sprang suddenly, as his weight was all on it, driving at his bad side. Daniel winced as the colonel leapt back, landing badly on his ankle and barely managing to stay on his feet.

Damn, he wasn?t going to stand by and watch this debacle, he had to do something. He knew Jack would want him to stay back, but honestly, he wasn?t that bad and how could he possibly prove a hindrance in this macabre dance? A glint of light in the corner of his vision distracted him briefly and through the fuzzy air, he could see a knife in Teal?c?s belt. Obviously he had disarmed an Amazon too.

Daniel could see that Jack tiring rapidly. The older man parried Themina?s blows and side-stepped those that came to close for comfort, but they were coming closer and closer and he was responding with fewer and fewer feints of his own. Themina was totally engrossed, her attention solely on taunting the airman she held at bay.

Daniel shuffled round, wanting to maintain the element of surprise, he inched his way to Teal?c?s side. The wounds on Jack?s arm and stomach had opened again and Daniel could see the blood staining his shirt. Themina lunged again and Jack avoided the knife, but not the follow up kick that swiped his feet from under him. Jack scrambled back again, looking desperately for Selene?s knife. Daniel couldn?t see it either, and turned his back on Themina to grab Teal?c?s blade.

?Well, that was fun while it lasted...? Themina padded to Jack, struggling between the metaphorical rock and the hard place. He kicked back, but Daniel saw his legs had all but deserted him and Themina jumped joyfully out of the way, laughing gleefully, ?Ah, a fighter to the end? That?s sweet.?

Daniel pulled out the knife and advanced on the Amazon. Themina twirled at the rustling sound and swept at his right arm. Daniel dropped the knife, not before it sliced a large gash into her arm. Jack had successfully punctured her leg with a feeble thrust. She bent down to remove the weapon from her thigh.

Roaring, Themina?s hand rose in anger catching Daniel on the jaw and sending him flying into the wall. Daniel felt something snap in his chest. He slumped back, red spots dancing in front of his eyes. As the world swam up to meet him, he saw Jack make another desperate lunge.

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Old Post 11-10-2001 08:57 PM
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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

Jack saw Daniel go down and lurched forwards, but his knife hand was blocked by Themina?s own. He landed on his bad side, sending another spasm up his side. Themina pressed her weight and Jack sprang back as lightly as he could, but failed to avoid her legs as she scissored him to the ground. He went down with a crash, hitting his hip badly. The pain was incredible and he curled up involuntarily, concentrating on his own private world of pain.

The burly woman placed a booted foot on his knee and rolled him onto his back. Jack couldn?t think, couldn?t see. He felt the motion and he struggled against it. Themina kicked out again, forcing him to untwine his legs. Jack was getting dizzy with pain. The stimulant he had been given earlier wasn?t working anymore. All he could do was scrabble with his free hand and search for his dropped knife. Nothing. Dirt and a few pebbles. Jack scooped up a handful desperately and with all his remaining strength flung the dirt into the Amazon leader?s eyes.

?Gahhh!? she cried in annoyance. ?Enough with the fooling.?

Themina kicked his other leg for good measure and kneeled down beside him. She grasped his hand before he tried anything else. With one swift movement, she ripped his shirt down the front and laughed, ?I see someone has already tried their hand with you,? she indicated the shallow wound across his stomach. ?Selene never could control that temper of hers.?

Jack snorted, immediately regretting the act as his breath caught painfully in his throat. He struggled helplessly against her grip, breath coming more laboured. The world dissolved into red again as she leaned in and bit his split lip. He drew his head back sharply to butt her.

?NO!!!?

Themina suddenly vanished from Jack?s field of vision and the pressure on his wrists vanished. Jack struggled to rise on his elbows, finding his unlikely saviour to be the mortally wounded Leyda. The huge giantess had gripped her wounded rival around the throat and was dragging her into the centre of the room.

?I know what you want, Themina. Trying to steal my tribute and my power- I see you studied well.? The dying woman hissed ominously.

?I learned from the best,? Themina gurgled and twisted round in the vice-like grasp, bringing her hands up between the circle of the hold and breaking it.

Jack wheezed, exhausted, trying to become as inconspicuous as possible. Using his forearms, he inched his way over to the rest of his team.

?You know... I cannot let you... succeed me...without... a fight,? Leyda gasped.

Themina smiled back horribly, ?Then I am prepared to give you one.?

The duelling women charged at each other with abandon, the immobile SG-1 forgotten. Themina rushed the Amazon Queen, pushing her into the wall. The whole building shook with the impact and Jack feared the walls would collapse on them.

?Teal?c, Teal?c?? he tried, shaking the still Jaffa by the good shoulder. Teal?c roused, eyes flicking open in an instant.

?O?Neill?? he replied in equally hushed tones.

?We?ve got to get the hell outta here.?

*************

Sitting up wearily, Teal?c watched as the two warring Amazons took their brawl out into the village.

?Agreed.?

He saw O?Neill pull himself painfully to his feet and search the room frantically as Teal?c attempted to wake Carter and Daniel. Ransacking the hall, Jack finally joined the others with a sigh of relief holding the longed-for item aloft. A GDO!

Teal?c nodded with a slight smile at that, at last something was going their way. He struggled to pick up the mumbling major and frowned that even this task weakened him. O?Neill chose a couple of stout spears from the wall and tossed one over.

?Walking stick,? he mouthed quietly.

Shifting his weight onto the narrow beam, he limped to the door. O?Neill was behind, with Daniel Jackson?s arm over his shoulder. Peering around the doorframe, Teal?c checked that there were no Amazons in sight. The whoops and cheers of a small crowd reached his ear, obviously the bout had gained a small circle of spectators. Fortunately, they were headed in the opposite direction to the ?gate.

Bearing his precious load, Teal?c set out for home, praying for no more interruptions.

*************************


Daniel?s head hung low and he struggled to raise it, but someone appeared to have filled it with lead.

?J-jack?? he managed hoarsely.

?Danny boy, back with us??

Daniel cringed at the intentional use of the nickname, ?Yeah, I ?spose. What happened??

Jack grinned slightly, ?Oh, just a little domestic between our gracious hosts. We thought it best we didn?t intrude and slipped away peacefully.?

?Can we stop?? Daniel coughed weakly, trying to ignore the spasming in his chest.

?Thought you?d never ask. Teal?c! Wait up a second.?

Teal?c stopped and slid the insensible Sam gently to the ground. Jack leaned against a tree and eased himself and Daniel to the ground. Daniel winced painfully and Jack moved to see to his ribs.

?Jack, no. I?ll have to deal with Janet soon enough.?

Jack laughed, ?Don?t worry, you?ll have plenty of time to prepare for her. We won?t make it back any time soon at this pace.?

A hacking cough from Sam?s direction drew all their attention and doused the brief levity.

?God, Carter.? Jack moved over to Sam and placed a hand on her cheek. ?I don?t know if she?s going to make it.?

?O?Neill, I regret that I will no longer be able to carry Major Carter,? Teal?c added, the pallor of his face supporting his statement.

Jack looked around hopelessly. Teal?c was the only one who might be able to carry Carter ten kilometres on a good day, and he had just admitted how badly he was feeling. Exhaustion played on his every muscle. He knew they had to get moving again before they completely atrophied.

?We could make a?? Daniel started, interrupted by a body-racking cough. He hunched over in distress, his arms clutched around his sides. Looking up again finally, he finished, ?travois.?

A tiny track of blood made it?s way down Daniel?s chin and Jack?s stomach lurched. ?Daniel??

?What??

?You, uh, you have?? Jack stopped and simply grabbed the sleeve of his T-shirt and wiped the blood away. Daniel gazed back at him, wide eyed.

Yeah. Sh*t.

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Old Post 11-10-2001 09:01 PM
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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

?Wh?.happened??

?Little domest?.best?intrude?peacefully.?

Sam faded in and out of consciousness. Her limbs were dead weight and it was increasingly difficult to breathe. She could hear her companions distantly, but their words held no meaning. God, her head hurt so badly.

?Janet?.?

?Plenty of time?won?t make?soon??

Cramps attacked her stomach once again and Sam felt herself coughing weakly. The movement hindered her breathing further. Coolness suddenly enveloped half of her face and she leaned toward it gratefully.

?God?I don?t?she?s going to make it??

?No longer be able?Carter??

?We could???.travois??

Sam felt herself being rolled gently onto something. The world moved erratically, her closed eyes adding to the spatial dementia. She was spinning down further and further, down a never-ending chasm. Sam cracked open her eyes a slit to see what was going on.

What? How had they escaped? The trees blurred sickeningly. Faces of men scattered throughout the forest taunted her. Bleeding, moaning spectres she wished would go away. She tried to turn away, but they were surrounding her. Pointing at her. Calling her evil.

?Easy?.Sam?try?.drink?? a faint voice garnered her attention.

Unexpectedly, an object was forced to her lips, a hand grabbing her jaw open firmly. She tried to turn away.

No! Drinking was bad! She couldn?t!

?Jack?.won?t?you try??

?Carter??mon?work??

Colonel? Sam automatically opened her lips, cool liquid flowing immediately into them. She choked, coughing painfully. It was so good.

?Good?.take?almost??

The jostling began again, and Sam felt herself slipping into the deep and welcoming recesses of unconsciousness.

**************
Fifteen minutes. He?d give them another fifteen minutes before sending SG-2 after them.

General George Hammond paced listlessly in his office. Every ounce of him wanted to be in the control room, but he figured the Stargate was an immense pot. It wouldn?t boil if you watched it.

SG-1 was only about a half an hour late returning from P3S 279, but with that team, half an hour was deadly. Hammond had even taken the liberty of notifying Dr. Fraiser to have the infirmary ready for multiple injuries. He didn?t want to be pessimistic, but if he?d learned anything since he had headed the SGC it was not to assume silence was good.

Glancing at the piles of paperwork he should be diligently completing, Hammond instead kneaded his temples. He heard running footsteps coming in his direction and turned to greet Sergeant Davis.

?Sir! Off world activation. It?s SG-1!? the man cried and scurried back to the control room.

Hammond followed at a brisk walk, heart thumping wildly in his chest. He sent up a brief prayer that his concern was unfounded, just this once. He?d selected SG-1 for this mission because they had been overstressed lately and this looked routine. There was no absolute when it came to alien worlds, he knew.

He raced into the control room just as the iris retracted. Seconds later, the sight that greeted him affirmed his suspicion.

?Medical team to the Stargate room!?

***************

Daniel never thought he?d be so glad to see the dim walls of the SGC. Today the normally stark atmosphere was a comforting blanket. His feet hit the ramp and all his energy abandoned him. He tried to maintain his grip on the travois, but with a silent apology to Sam his fingers released. Daniel faintly heard it crash behind him the same instant his knees connected with steel.

Strong, small hands grasped his shoulders tightly. He could hear Jack calling for help, his words muffled and distorted in Daniel?s ears. Activity bustled around him, everything melding together into one big, hazy blur. Daniel?s eyes blinked slowly, each time they closed it became more difficult to open them.

?Dr. Jackson! Daniel?!? a woman?s voice called loudly.

?Sam?? was all he could muster.

?Sir, he?s not responding. Can you tell me what?s wrong with him??

?Broken ribs, possible internal injuries,? Jack?s voice wavered.

?And Carter?s been poisoned with something. The bag has stuff that might help. We tried to get fluids into her. Teal?c let some crazy lady squish Junior and I?feel like sh--? Jack gasped as he joined Daniel on the ramp.

He saw Carter hoisted onto a gurney and hauled away. He turned his attention to Daniel. The scientist had become increasingly white as their journey progressed, the blood trickling out of his mouth at a more steady flow. And yet the kid insisted on dragging Carter along. Said he was in no worse shape than he or Teal?c, so damnit, let him help.

?What about you, sir?? a medic asked him.

Jack stared numbly at the white clad figure. ?What??

?O?Neill?s leg has been severely damaged. I believe he also sustained injuries to his ribcage, though not to the extent of Daniel Jackson,? Teal?c contributed wanly.

******************

Teal?c hunched over, latching onto the railing for support. There had been moments during their trek back to the Stargate where he questioned whether they would make it. Teal?c didn?t like the loss of control he?d been dealing with since Leyda injured his symbiote.

Medics swarmed around him, blocking the view of his friends. If Teal?c felt one hundred percent, he would brush them aside authoritatively. But his muscles were uncooperative. Fleeting glances revealed Major Carter and Daniel Jackson were already well on their way to the infirmary. O?Neill was being carried to a gurney. Teal?c felt himself being led to his transport and did not hesitate to collapse on it.

?All right people! Move!?

Teal?c heard nothing more.

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Old Post 11-10-2001 09:12 PM
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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

Janet wanted to clone herself and be in four different places at once. She knew she couldn?t do that, so she relinquished the care of Daniel, the colonel and Teal?c to her trustworthy staff and focused her attention on Sam. The young major?s pulse was thready, her breathing ragged and even in her unconscious state, Sam retched convulsively. Colonel O?Neill mentioned poison, but that didn?t really help her much.

?OK ? let?s get a full blood work-up. I want to know exactly what we?re dealing with. In the meantime, I want charcoal. We?ve no idea if she still has the poison in her stomach, but I?m not taking any chances. Start an IV, stat. We need to watch her potassium levels and I?m sure her electrolytes are out of whack.?

Janet watched her orders carried out. She kept an eye on Sam?s vitals until she was satisfied they were stable. Now all they could do is wait for the results of the drug screen. Janet moved quickly to the next patient on the list.

Dr. Warner?s hands worked surely and rapidly on Daniel. Janet took the opportunity to appraise the scientist from a distance. His face was more bruised than not, his throat showed signs of strangulation and his bare chest revealed severe discoloration indicative of the broken ribs the colonel warned of.

All things considered, Daniel didn?t look too bad.

?Dr. Warner, what?s his condition??

?Dr. Fraiser,? her colleague greeted, ?He?s got superficial bruising to his face and throat. Three broken ribs on the right side, one of which punctured his lung. He has some minor internal haemorrhage. We need to get him into surgery right away, but I think he?ll be just fine.?

Janet breathed a sigh of relief. Two semi-positive, at least not negative reports down, two to go. She edged her way over to Colonel O?Neill, totally surprised to find him still conscious.

?Hey, sir,? she said softly.

?Doc. Carter, Teal?c, Daniel??

?In a moment. First I want to be sure you?re all right.?

?Doc!?

?Ah! Now let?s see that leg. Looks like you decided to abuse an already abused body part. Did a pretty good job of it, too. You?re going to be off it for at least three weeks. And your face looks as bad as Daniel?s. Really, Colonel, I?d think you two were competing or something,? Janet teased, knowing it was inappropriate. Somehow the colonel always brought out her snide side.

?Funny, Doc. I?ll live. Just remind me never to take a stomp through the woods on an injured leg again.?

Janet stopped smiling. ?Colonel, what happened to you out there??

O?Neill?s eyes were unfocused and closing as he said, ?I?ll tell ya after you tell me how Carter, Teal?c and Dan--?

Brushing a hand through the sleeping man?s hair, Janet left his side and headed for Teal?c. The Jaffa lay unconscious, his pulse weak and sporadic. His caramel complexion was waxy and grey. She knew there was very little anyone could do for Teal?c. It was all up to his larva now, provided it had not been too severely damaged. She?d have to keep an eye on it and inform General Hammond immediately if it looked like it wouldn?t survive.

Janet knew most of the teams would volunteer to make a ?baby Goa?uld run? if it came down to it. As with all of them, time would tell. Speaking of, she was positive she knew a Major General who would be interested to know how her patients were.

****************

?Doctor. How are they doing?? Hammond anxiously greeted the petite woman as she exited her office.

?Oh, hello, General Hammond. I was just on my way to see you,? Dr. Fraiser said quickly.

Hammond studied her face for signs of bad news. While some doctors were able to remove emotion from their expressions, Janet Fraiser couldn?t. Not with the uniqueness of her clientele. Hammond appreciated that she truly cared for each member of the SGC and counted that one of her most valuable attributes. His shoulders relaxed with the anticipated good?or rather not bad?news he was about to receive.

?Well, sir,? Fraiser continued, ?First, they?re all severely dehydrated, I?ve got IV?s correcting that. Colonel O?Neill is in the best condition out of all of them. Now that?s not to say he?s in tiptop shape. He?s got nice bruising on his ribs, but no breaks. He?ll be tender for a while. He also looks like he?s been subjected to some minor strangulation, also not an issue. The crux of his injuries is his right knee. If I?d have to venture a guess, it started out as a simple aggravation. Somewhere along the line, whoever did this to them must have decided to continue the abuse. That coupled with prolonged activity on it did extensive damage. We?ll see how it heals on it?s own, but surgery may be called for. If all goes well, I?d estimate him to be off his feet for about a month.?

The doctor paused briefly. Hammond dreaded her next words. If Colonel O?Neill had just been grounded for a month, he didn?t want to think about the rest of SG-1?s injuries. It couldn?t be good. Hell, just looking at them told him that.

Dr. Fraiser seemed to read his body language, saying, ?Don?t worry, sir. Barring any complications, all of them will be just fine. Teal?c is hard to predict, as most of the injuries he sustained actually were to his symbiote. I?m afraid there?s not much we can do but hope it will be able to recover and in turn heal him. There are indications of a severe beating some time ago. Fortunately, it must have been before the assault on his larvae. Right now, he?s got a high fever we?ll need to monitor. If I don?t see any improvement in his symbiote in the next 24 hours, I?ll be very concerned.?

?I?ll send a message to the Tok?ra to see if they would be willing to assist us in obtaining a new larvae if necessary,? Hammond noted immediately. No way in hell would he just let Teal?c die.

?Of course, sir.? Fraiser sounded relieved. ?Daniel has three broken ribs, a punctured lung and some minor internal bleeding. Dr. Warner?s in surgery with him right now. He should be just fine. Daniel also sustained similar bruising to the face and throat as Colonel O?Neill to a larger degree. As I said earlier, barring complications with the surgery, he should make a full recovery. He?ll be off his feet as long as the colonel.?

?What about Major Carter??

?Sam was poisoned. Drug screen indicates poison hemlock, and we?ve pumped her stomach as a safeguard. Her blood work also indicated high alcohol content, and I?m guessing that was the method of delivery. Had she drunk anymore, I?d be concerned with alcohol poisoning. We?re also monitoring both her electrolytes and potassium levels closely. When she came in, I thought she might have chest aspiration. Fortunately for Major Carter, whoever was administering this poison was not very careful. She was not given a lethal dosage. That?s the only thing that kept her alive.?

The litany of injuries resonated in Hammond?s head. All this from a routine mission. Fate both spit on and smiled on SG-1 once again.

****************

His sweat dampened skin was drying quickly as a result of the brisk air in the infirmary breezing over his body. Shivering uncontrollably, Teal?c opened his eyes to find the worried faces of Dr. Fraiser and General Hammond hovering over him. Throat too dry to talk, Teal?c waved his left hand toward his throat. He was rewarded with ice chips, causing his trembling to increase.

?Hey, Teal?c, how?re you feeling?? Dr. Fraiser asked gently, pulling a blanket to his neck.

Teal?c swallowed the melted ice and ignored the inquiry. His mind flashed back to a similar scenario, him waking up in the infirmary to discover his friends gone.

?SG-1??

?They?re going to be just fine, Teal?c,? Dr. Fraiser assured.

On cue, O?Neill?s voice sounded through the infirmary, ?Hey, Teal?c! Glad you could join me!?

Teal?c relaxed at O?Neill?s good-humoured remark. He lifted his head off the pillow to get a better view of the room. O?Neill was three beds away, sitting up and looking considerably better than when Teal?c last remembered.

?It is good to see you, O?Neill. What are the conditions of Daniel Jackson and Major Carter?? Teal?c felt his strength returning.

Dr. Fraiser?s face suddenly filled his line of vision, her brows knitted. ?Both still unconscious, but stable. Daniel got out of surgery to stop internal bleeding about forty-five minutes ago. He will be just fine and should wake soon. Major Carter had a close call ? she nearly suffered respiratory arrest. You guys got her back before any permanent damage was done. She?ll be on a ventilator for a while.?

Teal?c?s head fell limply back onto the pillow, relief filling him. Dr. Fraiser?s warm hand held his wrist as she checked his pulse. Her hand moved to his forehead and rested there. Teal?c allowed himself to take comfort in her kind touch.

?So we all get an unscheduled vacation,? O?Neill chimed in. ?Now if we could just get the sleeping beauties to wake up...?

?It?s nice to see you following the rules for a change, Colonel,? Dr. Fraiser laughingly poked.

?Well, you?ve kind of got me immobilised here, Doc. I?m choiceless. Besides, I?ll have pretty good company this time. Usually it?s just your evil hench-nurses.?

?Colonel! I think you?d better watch your mouth. These hench-nurses have your health in their hands, you know.?

?You think I?m scared? I just got back from Amazon Central. Bring it on!?

Teal?c couldn?t hold back the smile. It was indeed good to be back home. He would be completely at ease once his other two friends were awake, but for now Teal?c was lulled into sleep by the banter.

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Old Post 11-10-2001 09:14 PM
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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

Daniel?s head felt twice its usual size. Again. He could hear muffled laughter, accompanied by beeping monitors. A soft mattress cradled his sore body. He?d almost forgotten what that was like. Rustling to his left made him turn toward it, a sigh escaping before he could prevent it.

?Doc, I think he?s waking up!? a voice bellowed.

Footsteps clattered toward him and he opened his eyes hesitantly, not quite ready for the assault on his retinas. Dr. Fraiser snatched up her penlight and immediately shined it in his unprepared eyes. Daniel groaned and wondered why she never gave him any warning. She released her grip and he blinked rapidly.

?Hello, Dr. Jackson,? Dr. Fraiser said.

?Unh?? he replied. Instantly, ice chips appeared at his lips. He took them in gratefully.

?That?s all you have to say?? Jack joked.

Daniel swung his head toward the older man. Jack sat in a wheelchair at his bedside, right leg shooting out in front of him, swathed in braces and bandages.

?Sam, Teal?c?? Daniel rasped.

?Teal?c?s two beds down, he?s all right. Junior came through for us again. Carter?s still unconscious but Doc says she?ll be OK.?

?Good,? Daniel breathed and closed his eyes again. His side throbbed in beat with his head, but the pain was bearable now they were home.

The trip back to the Stargate had been harrowing. Moans and pleas he?d somehow tuned out while in the village surrounded them. Countless men, bloodied and abused begged for help. Help they couldn?t provide. But Daniel would make sure to argue their case to General Hammond. Surely the Amazons would consider changing their lifestyle. An all female team could go through and?

?Sorry, Danny,? Jack said, eerily responding to his thoughts, ?P3S 279 has been put on the ?Do Not Return To? list.?

Daniel?s eyes popped open. ?Shouldn?t we do something for those men? How can we allow them to suffer like that if we can prevent it? We?ve lived it, Jack!?

?C?mon, Daniel. I believe you?ve always advocated not influencing or interfering with cultures.?

?I know, Jack. But this was directly caused by a Goa?uld. We should help them,? Daniel pleaded.

?What?re we going to do? Take out all the women? This ritual has been ingrained for years.?

?There has to be something. We?ll think of something,? Daniel cried, his side protesting the activity.

?Not now, you won?t,? Dr. Fraiser said with finality, gently pushing his head back down, ?Now you?ll rest. All of you.?

She went directly to Jack and began wheeling him toward his bed. Daniel slid his eyes shut again. Actually, now that she mentioned it, rest seemed like a really good idea.

********************


Two smiles met Sam as she flickered her eyes open. Colonel O?Neill and Teal?c were seated on their haunches, ready to jump at her first move. Well, Teal?c was ready to jump. The colonel would have to be content with rolling. His wheelchair wouldn?t allow for anything else. Wheelchair?

?Get out of my way, Jack! I can?t see!? Daniel?s eager voice rang out.

Sam laughed weakly. She regretted it as it turned to racking coughs. Hands leaned her forward and rubbed her back until the fit was over. The same hands then provided her with a glass of ice.

?Well, if it isn?t the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Tinman,? Sam managed finally.

?Carter? How are you feeling? Doc! Damnit, where is that woman??

?I?m right here, Colonel. If you?d be so kind as to move, I can see to my patient. Hi, Sam. I?m going to do a couple of checks, OK??

Sam nodded. Janet could do anything and she wouldn?t care. She was away from that place. From the blood and craziness. Closing her eyes, Sam was visited by horrific images of men scrabbling for escape, too weak to move more than a few feet. After only one day of that damned festival.

?Looks good,? Janet confirmed, ?Of course, you won?t be leaving here until you are not longer reliant on the ventilator, but even now you don?t need to use it frequently.?

Sam only half heard the petite doctor. ?We have to go back and help them.?

?Funny, that?s what Daniel said. General Hammond was ready to nix that planet, but super-talk here convinced him otherwise,? the colonel commented caustically. ?Personally, I don?t plan on another visit.?

?Sam, I discovered an unusual substance in your bloodstream, alongside the poison. After analysis, it was determined to be a testosterone-like chemical. Daniel mentioned how your behaviour changed almost immediately after consuming some alcohol??

?Yeah, about that--?

?Forget it, Carter.?

?Sam, don?t--?

?Major Carter, you do not need to mention it.?

Sam grinned at the trio, positive her face was bright red despite their assurances. Chemical or no, she?d humiliated herself. The earnest faces of her team-mates showed she had not lost ground with them. She wasn?t ready to completely give up the apology, but she let it slide, nodding instead for someone to continue.

?Anyway, based on the drug?s influence, I think the Amazons truly can change. If we send only women back to the planet and attempt to detoxify the women, they might consider changing their ways,? Daniel finished.

?And Hammond bought that,? the colonel stated almost quizzically.

?Indeed,? Teal?c said, ?There seemed little indication Artemis had made a visit to the planet in recent history. Should this remain the case, the society could very well be changed forever.?

Sam tried to assimilate all being thrust at her, but she was still too weak and tired. She simply smiled her approval. Like the colonel, Sam didn?t think she would never revisit P3S 279. She was happy General Hammond agreed to help the men, and hoped that knowledge would be enough to lessen the nightmares she knew would come. Sam gazed silently at her three companions, glad at long last they were home.

THE END..... finally

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Old Post 11-10-2001 09:15 PM
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The Ash Man
Senior Member

Registered: Oct 2001
Location:
Posts: 1372

wow, that's definently the best fic i've read (although i've only read a few).

Keep up the great writin skip, and post more kewl fics please

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Old Post 11-10-2001 10:00 PM
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VAE VICTIS

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Tara, land of dreams
Posts: 317

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW THANKYOU!
I will certainly post if people want to read, and I'm not just spammingThankyou sweetie
Woods will be up soon

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Old Post 11-10-2001 10:02 PM
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