Title: Five Teams SG-1 Wasn't
Summary:SG-1 is fired on while at an ancient temple. Wacky hijinks - or death, depending on the universe - ensue.
Rating: PG (for language)
Archiving: Always welcome; just let me know you have done so.
Thanks to: My other half, for the Catherine idea. Orca Girl, for Col. Jackson.
FIVE TEAMS SG-1 WASN'T
The shooting stopped for a minute, and the people firing at them shouted out a question. At least, Colonel Jack O'Neill assumed it was a question, from the rising inflection at the end of the sentence. For all he knew, the locals spoke this planet's version of Valley Girl.
He stood up, raising both hands. Maybe they could talk - somehow. "Right back at'cha!" Jack shouted at them in the friendliest tone he could manage.
If it weren't for Major Charlie Kawalski's quick reflexes, he would have been shot. Kawalski hit Jack with a flying tackle, knocking him behind the low wall just as an energy blast flew over both their heads.
"Thanks, Kawalski," Jack said, patting his second on the shoulder as he pushed himself into a kneeling position, peering through a gap in the wall at the heavily-armed men ranged around their position.
"Nice peaceful planet," Kawalski said. "Yesterday they try to mug us, today they're trying to kill us."
"Fun times," Jack said. "What's the news?"
"Well, there's a thing back there," Kawalski said.
"I think you'd call it a whatzis," Captain Ferretti said, belly-crawling up next to Kawalski.
"Thanks for using the technical language, Captain," Jack said, shifting his gun to full auto and laying down a spray of bullets as Coombs advanced to their position.
"Hey, I'm all about the science," Ferretti said. He looked over the wall, sighted his rifle, and took down one of the men shooting at them. "It's got a big red button, so it's gotta do something."
Lieutenant Coombs was kneeling next to Ferretti now, firing on automatic at the attacking force. "Give me five minutes, and I bet I can figure out what it does."
Ferretti laughed. "What, you, Coombs? You can't even set your VCR to tape WWF."
Their attackers were starting to back off, wary of their combined firepower. Kawalski and Jack looked at each other. "You know, I'm startin' to think Dr. Jackson has a point," Kawalski said. "It'd be nice to have someone along who could figure out how all this stuff works while we're in the field."
"Scientists," Coombs scowled. "You want to try to provide cover for some egghead while these guys are firing at us? We wouldn't stand a chance."
"Jackson's all right," Ferretti said. "You should have seen him on Abydos."
"Doesn't matter," Jack said. "Unless he bites the bullet and signs on to the military, there's no way the General will let him any closer to the gate than Level 18." He shot at their attackers again, just to warn them to keep off. "Like I told Carter, scientists don't belong in the field anyway."
One of the aliens shouted at them again - the same words. "Any idea what they're sayin', sir?" Coombs asked.
"No clue," Jack said.
"Right back at'cha," O'Neill shouted at the attacking aliens. Catherine didn't think it would be received well, and it wasn't. She saw Teal'c wrap one arm around the Colonel and pull him down behind the wall, but not quite quickly enough; the energy bolt flying at Jack just nicked his shoulder.
"I'll be OK," Sam said, crouching behind the metal of the console door, elbows-deep in the innards of the alien machine. "Go tell the Colonel. If you can just keep them out for a few more minutes, I think I can get this working."
Catherine crouched down low and ran up to the wall, once again wryly thanking the anonymous Jaffa who had shot her to death on Abydos. If she hadn't been shot, Ra would never have put her in the sarcophagus, and she'd probably still be plagued with arthritis that would have kept her locked in the SGC.
"Looks like they don't appreciate your Midwestern manner, O'Neill," she said, pulling out her sidearm and firing over the wall.
"I'm not the diplomat on the team," O'Neill growled, one hand pressed against his shoulder. "You're the one who went to finishing school. What are they shouting at us?"
"Well, they're not asking if I want another cucumber sandwich," she replied, as she fired the last round. She glanced over at Teal'c, who was loosing his staff weapon on the approaching force. "You don't understand them, Teal'c?"
"It is a dialect I am unfamiliar with, Doctor Langford," Teal'c replied calmly as he continued firing. "We hoped that you might perhaps have knowledge of it."
"Contrary to what you two think, I'm not that old," Catherine said, slapping a new magazine into her gun. "They'd stopped speaking Ancient Egyptian by the time I got to Cairo. Sorry, my specialties are diplomacy and getting grants - not linguistics."
O'Neill picked up his P-90, resting it on the edge of the wall. "You figured out yesterday that they wanted all our food," he said.
"Mugging is a universal language," she said tartly.
"Well, your diplomacy did great yesterday - at least they gave us a piece of paper." He pressed down on the trigger, grimacing as the recoil jolted his wound. "What are you gonna do, threaten 'em with paper cuts?"
"Hey, flyboy, while you were taking in the scenery just now, I was deciphering some of the writing on these walls," Catherine fired back, her own lips twisting into a grin as she focused on the enemy. Four down, far too many to go. "At least I figured out that it said 'shields' in big, bold pictures."
"The shields will only be helpful if Captain Carter can bring them online before our position is overrun," Teal'c said.
"Let's see if we can make them back off a little, give her some more time," Jack said, reaching into his pocket for a grenade. "How's Carter doing?" he asked.
"It's a mysterious alien machine with a big red button, and it's broken," Catherine said. "She'd be in hog heaven if we weren't getting shot at."
"Glad someone's having fun," O'Neill said, pulling the pin out of the grenade and lobbing it at the approaching fighters.
"They put me in charge because this was a diplomatic team," Major Paul Davis gritted out through clenched teeth as he slapped another magazine into his gun. His shoulder burned from the energy blast. "If I'd known we'd spend every mission in combat, I would have told them to find someone who was used to being under fire."
"You have done admirably at, as your people say, learning on the job," Teal'c said, unflappable as always as he fired his staff weapon at the approaching force.
"It'd be nice if there was a little less to learn," Paul said, getting onto his knees behind the wall and laying down fire. "Do you have any idea what they're saying?"
Teal'c shook his head. "It is similar to the language spoken on Abydos, but I am unfamiliar with the dialect."
"Great," Paul said. "Remind me to tell the Defense Language Institute to add Ancient Egyptian to their curriculum." He shook his head. "Yesterday the natives try to mug us, and now this."
"They did give us a piece of paper in exchange for our food," Teal'c responded.
"The last time I got stuck with that bad an exchange rate was when I went to China," Paul growled. He shouted over his shoulder. "Captain, how's it coming back there?"
"We're almost done, sir," Carter shouted back to him. "We should have the machine up and running in another minute."
"Captain, Doctor, I suggest you make that thirty seconds," Paul said as their attackers advanced.
"Bingo!" McKay said as a loud humming noise came from the machine. "It's online. Now we just need to figure out how to fire it up."
"I think the big red button is kind of a giveaway," Carter said.
"It's red," McKay fired back. "Red means danger. It could be the self-destruct. What about these buttons at the bottom?"
Teal'c's staff blast took down yet another approaching warrior, but there were too many of them; their position was nearly overrun. "This is your last chance to see if it works!" Paul shouted.
"Here goes nothing," Carter said. Paul looked over his shoulder to see her pressing the red button.
Bra'tac threw himself on the ground behind the wall next to Colonel Jackson, firing at the approaching force. His commander leaned against the wall, letting out a hiss of pain as his wounded shoulder pressed against the stone. "Obviously the linguistic drift here went a little differently than it did on Abydos," Jackson said. "I think I just said something offensive." He closed his eyes for a moment, obviously frustrated. "I think they're asking for proof, but every time I ask for an explanation they shoot at us. I'm not doing any better translating this than I did with the paper the muggers gave us yesterday."
"Next time you must duck more quickly, Colonel Jackson," Bra'tac said.
"Thanks for the tactical insight, Bra'tac," he replied, quickly discharging his emptied magazine from his P-90 and loading in a fresh one.
Bra'tac smiled as one of the men in the opposing force fell. "In Apophis' army, when one was wounded and required medical treatment, Apophis would deduct money from that Jaffa's pay. I have calculated that, were you fighting for Apophis, you would have to fight until you were ninety in order to no longer be in debt to him."
Jackson rested his gun on the wall, sighted, and fired, wincing as the recoil jolted his wounded shoulder. "Wow. Bridging the culture gap with you guys will be even harder than it was when we went into Iraq in '91."
"I'm sending Carter over to cover you!" Dr. O'Neill called to Jackson.
"Captain, you stay right there and help O'Neill. That's an order!" Jackson shouted back. "Those shields come first."
"Who's gonna translate the instruction manual if you're dead, Colonel Jackson?" O'Neill spat out.
Bra'tac could see Jackson's jaw clench. "He makes my rank sound like a swear word," he hissed to Bra'tac, then called out, "I've already told you everything that's important. Left button, right button, middle button. Just - whatever you do, don't hit the red one!"
O'Neill's next words were muffled; when Bra'tac looked over his shoulder, he could see the engineer was shoulder-deep in machinery as Captain Carter connected wires.
"If he wants to be in charge, he can tell Hammond he wants to join back up with the Air Force," Jackson said. "He can negotiate with the muggers."
A loud hum came from the machine behind them. "We've got it, sir," Carter shouted.
"Great," Jackson shouted back. He glanced at Bra'tac. "Maybe if they can't shoot at us, we can negotiate."
Sha're threw herself against the wall next to Jack, who sat clutching his wounded shoulder. "Next time, let me do the negotiating," she said, slapping a new magazine into her sidearm. As Jack got to his knees, he saw Teal'c calmly firing at the advancing force.
"What have you got, Sha're?" Jack asked.
"Sam is nearly finished," Sha're said. "She believes it is some sort of shield device."
"Just what I wanted to hear," Jack said.
"Unfortunately," Sha're said, "she is not sure whether the large red button turns on the machine or triggers the self-destruct."
Teal'c looked at her, one eyebrow lifted.
"Sweet," Jack snarled, getting ready to fire again. Can't we ever catch a break?
At that moment, the shots coming at them paused, and one of the opposing fighters called out to them.
"What's he saying?" Jack said.
Sha're shook her head. "He is calling for proof of some sort. It is like Abydonian, but they speak it differently."
"You can't understand them because they have funny accents?" Jack asked incredulously.
She gave him an irritated glance. "You watch Mad Max with subtitles." She shouted back at the warriors; it sounded similar to what the warriors had shouted but not precisely the same. "Proof of a...proof of a gift?"
"What?" Jack said. He saw her eyes go wide as realization hit him. "Oh, for cryin' out loud."
"Where is it?" she asked.
"The piece of paper?" he said. "I didn't think it was important. I thought you had it!"
Sha're called out to the impatient fighters as both she and Jack searched their pockets. Even though he didn't know the language, Jack could get the gist - the tone of "hang on just a second!" was roughly the same in any language.
Jack finally found a piece of parchment in his pants pocket, right next to his stash of extra toilet paper. He handed it over to Sha're, who leapt over the wall, waving it over her head. The leader of the troop of warriors, in black pants and a gold-trimmed jacket, took the paper from her hand and reviewed it. He nodded twice, and then looked up at her. Jack couldn't hear a word, but the guy's body language said it all: Oh, so sorry. Terrible misunderstanding. We'll just be on our way.
Sha're folded the paper as she walked back to Jack and Teal'c. Behind her, the fighters were carrying their wounded away.
"So, what was that all about?" Jack asked.
"This is a receipt, from the Revolutionary Army of Akkad. Apparently, yesterday we were charged a tax. They were merely asking for proof of payment."
Behind them, a loud hum came from the machine.
"Congratulations, Carter," Jack called out.
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