Running….running….he had to get away! He had to run!
“Ooh, that was good,” Daniel Jackson groaned as he rubbed his stomach.
“I told you, man,” his co-worker Blair Sandburg laughed as they walked out of the restaurant and headed for the jeep.
“Next time you recommend a restaurant, I am there! Daniel chuckled.
“Jim doesn’t share your view of good food,” Blair quipped. “His idea of haute cuisine back in Washington was a grease-bucket chain called Wonderburger!”
Daniel grinned at him. “You’re in trouble, then – Wonderburger is coming to Colorado!”
Blair groaned dramatically. “Don’t tell me that….”
They laughed together for a few moments, then they made it to the jeep. “Home, Jeeves!” Blair chuckled.
“Home again, home gain, jiggety-jog,” Daniel shot back as he put the jeep in gear.
Blair spent the next twenty minutes regaling Daniel with the historical origins of nursery rhymes. Daniel disagreed with him on a few points; and that led to a vigorous, good-natured debate.
“No, Daniel! It was obviously King Louis of France and Marie Antoinette – the ‘Jack fell down and broke his crown’ was a veiled reference to the guillotine and -- LOOK OUT!”
Daniel had seen him – the man bolted from the woods right into the jeep’s path. Daniel spun the wheel, and the jeep swerved.
The rear bumper, however, still clipped the man. He was sent flying backward, landing in an insensate heap.
Blair was out of the jeep before it had completely stopped moving. He ran to the man’s side and felt at his neck. “He’s alive!”
Daniel frowned at him. “He’s dressed….”
“…..like a Jaffa. I know. Let’s get him okay, then we can interrogate him!”
“Agreed.” Daniel helped him wrestle the man into the jeep. “I’d love to know what world he’s from, why he’s here….”
Blair nodded, his eyes narrowing. “How he got here without benefit of a gate…”
“Not to mention why he was running as if the hounds of hell were on his heels!”
Blair steadied the Jaffa’s body as they pulled out. He glared toward the woods. “….maybe they were….”
Jim Ellison scowled over the briefing table at Blair. “Only you can stumble onto a mystery of this magnitude going out to eat!”
Jack O’Neill was looking at Daniel the same way. “You took the words right outta my mouth….”
With visible effort, Blair refrained from sarcastically completing the inadvertent Meatloaf quotation. Instead, he looked over at Jim and said softly, “We didn’t stumble onto it—“
“—It ran into our jeep!” Daniel finished.
By now, Sam Carter was chuckling quietly. As impassive Teal’C turned to her, she shook her head. “Mental twins,” she repeated the by-now familiar tease the team used for Blair and Daniel.
“Aaah…” Teal’C nodded. Then he leaned forward and addressed the table. “I will go talk to the Jaffa. Perhaps he will speak more freely to one of his kind.”
Jim pointed at him. “He’s got a point. Let him talk to the lump in Sickbay – see what info, if any, we can get!”
Sam was serious as well. “He seems very uncooperative with Janet.”
“It’s almost as though he’s terrified of women,” Blair said slowly – thoughtfully.
Jack raised a skeptical brow. “And you base this on--?”
“Well, he cringes when Janet touches him. Sam came in and he went whiter than his robe. And when he realised I was just a long-haired man, he all but cried with relief!”
Teal’C nodded and rose. “I will return.” He left the briefing, headed in the direction of Sickbay.
The meeting unofficially over, Jim turned to Blair. “I don’t think I will ever understand how you managed to hold onto that mane – under the military’s nose, no less!”
Blair just grinned as he got up and left the room.
A couple of hours later, Jack walked in to find Blair already in the planning room, fingers flying over his laptop. “Teal’C give you any more information?”
“Hm?” He looked up and smiled. “No – I’m just working on a theory.”
“Do tell.” Jack sat down. Sandburg’s theories – while coming from left field more often than not – had proven invaluable over and over.
“Well, like I said earlier, our Jaffa guest seems to fear women. And you know how the Go’auld were the ones the Egyptians based their mythology around…”
Jack nodded, though he was not quite grasping how the subjects were related.
“Well…” Blair sighed. “If a Jaffa is here, more than likely a Go’auld could be as well. Seeing as how he’s scared of women, I’d lay odds it’s a woman. So—“ He jabbed a finger at the screen. “I’m downloading the files of all the women in the Egyptian pantheon. Mut, Put, Isis, Sehkmet – all of them.”
“I think you’re reachin’, Sandburg.” Teal’C walked in, and Jack turned to him. “Any answers?”
“I believe so,” Teal’C said. “We have no whats or whys yet, but we have a who. A woman Go’auld named Isis.”
Jack shot an incredulous look at Blair, who shot back an unrepentant grin.
“Isis,” Blair said as they sat around the briefing table. “Egyptian mythology says she was the wife of Osiris, god of the dead. When Anubis tore Osiris to pieces, Isis scoured the universe for his body parts and literally put him back together.”
“And so,” Daniel put in. “Osiris was brought back to life, and resumed his reign with Isis by his side.”
Jack nodded thoughtfully. “But that doesn’t tell us why this lady Go’auld is here.”
Janet’s eyes went wide. “I can’t believe it!”
“What, doctor?” Blair asked.
“I must be going deaf or stupid! He kept saying he was from the mine! I kept hearing ‘gold’ mine—“
Sam’s eyes widened. “But he was saying ‘Go’auld’ mine!” At Janet’s nod, she whirled to Jack. “The mines are mapped out—“
Get the maps,” Jack ordered. “Daniel, which way was our Jaffa friend coming from?”
Daniel shook his head. “I didn’t see it plainly.”
“West.” All eyes turned to Blair. His eyes were closed he seemed to be sinking into deep meditation. “He came from the west and ran into our jeep.” He opened his eyes and smiled. “West.”
“Okay, so we find the mine, we find Isis.” Jack stood up, rubbing his eyes. “And here I thought that was just an old Saturday morning show.” Seeing the incredulous looks, he frowned. “What? I’m not that old!”
“It’s not that, sir,” Janet replied, “It’s just that…well... you don’t seem the type to have enjoyed a show about female empowerment.”
“What female empowerment?” Jim asked. “I don’t remember that!”
“Me either,” Jack grinned. “All I remember is a black-haired cutie in a white miniskirt….”
“….that was always flying up….” Jim put in.
Sam groaned. “Figures!”
“Maps have arrived!” Blaire crowed as he walked in behind Sam. Both had their arms laden.
Moments later, the team was poring over maps of the mountain and surrounding environs. “Here, here, here and here,” Daniel tapped on his map. “Here are the mines.”
“Yeah, but a Go’auld wouldn’t be using an active mine,” Jim pointed out. “Too much risk of discovery.”
“You’re right,” Blair mused. “That eliminates this one and this one…the other two are inactive mines.”
“Blair,” Sam said with a smile. “Look – there are two others on this map.”
“That map’s from the 1800s,” Jack protested.
“And both mines are closed completely now,” Jim mused. “Perfect cover for a Go’auld.”
“And look here.” Daniel jabbed his finger at both maps. “Only two of them are west of that restaurant.”
Jack frowned. “One due north of the mountain. One due east.” He traced a line with his finger. “Exactly due north. Exactly due east.”
“Okay,” Blair nodded. “We’ve got two starting points.”
“But what would a Go’auld want with a mine?” Daniel asked.
Silence fell, then Teal’C raised his head. “A way into Cheyenne Mountain.”
Jack and Jim looked at each other and gasped in unison, “The Gate!”
One group went north and another went east. The strategy was simple: Find which one Isis was at and then high-tail it back to the mountain for reinforcements.
Unfortunately, with Jack in charge of one group and Jim in charge of the other, nobody on either team figured they would be going back for reinforcements.
Jim froze as they neared the mine. Blair put a hand on his arm and softly asked, “Got something?”
“I think so…I’m picking up voices and tool sounds.”
“From the mine?” Blair asked.
Jim shook his head and pointed at his own feet. “Underneath us…” His eyes went wide and met Blair’s. “We found them.”
Blair’s eyes were wide as well. “We’re miles from the mine – are you telling me they’re tunneling toward Cheyenne Mountain?”
A slow nod. “And once they’re there….they’ll tunnel into it! Toward the Gate….” He grabbed his walkie-talkie. “Jack, it’s Jim! We found them, and brother are we in a shit-load of trouble!”
Jack’s immediate reply was: “You sound like Sandburg.”
Jack’s jaw dropped. “Those yahoos are what?”
“Using the mine as a starting point and tunneling toward Cheyenne Mountain!” Blair burst out.
Jack glared at Jim. “You get all the fun.”
Jim shrugged. “What can I say? It’s a knack.”
Daniel hefted a pack onto his shoulder. “So we’re going in?”
“We’re goin’ in,” Jack and Jim said simultaneously, then mock-glared at each other.
Moments later, they were formulating a strategy. Time of attack: 0400 the next day.
“Four in the blamed morning,” Blair groaned. “You’d think I’d be used to it by now…”
Jim grinned at him. It was refreshing to see that no matter how long they were here, some things would never change.
At precisely four AM, several teams invaded the mine. The battle that followed was long, bloody, but ultimately successful.
When Isis realised she was losing, she and her closest retinue attempted to escape in a hovercraft.
A well-shot shoulder-aimed missile ended that attempt. Jack beamed with pride as he lowered the launcher and watched the hovercraft fall and explode.
“One less Go’auld to worry about,” he grinned as he returned to the mop-up efforts.
He completely missed Daniel’s muttered, “I wouldn’t be so sure…”
Hours later, the enslaved Jaffa were streaming through the Gate to freedom. Jim and Blair’s team were monitoring that as Jack’s team supervised the strategic planting of explosives.
Four times, the earth rumbled as explosions filled in the tunnels leading from the mine to Cheyenne Mountain.
After a long pause in the action, Janet walked over to Jim and Blair. “Almost done here?”
“Four more groups of refugees, and we’re done,” Jim nodded.
“Why?” Blair asked. “Is something wrong?”
Janet shook her head. “No, not wrong. Colonel O’Neill wanted the two of you to get to the mine ASAP. He wouldn’t tell me why.”
Jim and Blair locked eyes, then Jim said, “Tell Jack we’ll find someone to finish here and we’ll be right there.”
Fifteen minutes later, Jim and Blair headed toward the mine with an astonished Janet’s McCoy-ish “I’m a doctor, not a cosmic babysitter!” ringing in their ears.
Blair spoke the whole way on how much a part of America’s cultural psyche Gene Roddenberry’s shows had become. Right when Jim stopped the jeep, Blair’s rambling ended with his musing: “I wonder what he would say if he had realised aliens were real?”
Shooting Blair an amused smile, Jim got out and walked over to where Jack was standing. “You wanted to see us, O’Neill?”
“I did,” Jack grinned. “Since Blair was with Daniel at the start of this, I figured you’d want to be here at the end.” He jerked his thumb. “We’re about to seal the mine.”
Enthusiastic agreement from Blair was his answer, and a moment later Blair and Daniel stood shoulder-to-shoulder as they watched the mine implode.
“That’s that,” Daniel sighed. It’s over.”
Blair nodded. “So…what say we take the team out for Thai to celebrate?”
Since that was where this began, Daniel started laughing – as Blair had intended.
Return to The Realm