Exiles Gate
By Elizabeth Carter

Chapter 7

When All Other Lights Go Out

They had formed a pattern. They would phase into the flank of a Jaffa patrol, Sam and Cassie would use the Ribbon devices to force the five to six warriors into a bulkhead, Teal'c and Arion would use their Zat guns to disintegrate the bodies. So far they had disbanded seven patrols in such a manor.

Sam's inspirational idea of becoming apart of the Jaffa Guard had paid off. They had learned bits and pieces of information. They were aboard Zipcana's ship. Imhotepe and Baal coveted the dragon eggs and had sent patrol after patrol after them. Zipcana had another ideas on how to gain the rare items. He had made an alliance with a religious fanatical group that called themselves the Calabim: Keepers of the Lambent Reproach.

Apparently the Keepers also hunted something of great value and the Goa'uld had convinced them they could acquire it here. So in payment for Malakim prisoners and handing over whatever the Chose One was, (probably a fine specimen of humanity for a host) the System Lords had destroyed the Stargate. Though why would a non-Goa'uld religion need a host? Unless the Chosen One wasn't to be a hoist, but something other.

"Sam? We found a way to the second Stargate. But it isn't going to be easy getting there."

Sam breathed in a sigh of relief. A shadow of doubt and unease had festered within her mind for the last few hours they had been entrapped upon the Goa'uld mothership. Daniel's words offered a bit of solace to that heavily weighed mind. But for the warning in her heart, Sam would have believed they were homeward bound. Dressed in the armor of the Jackal headed Goa'uld, they had, had a measure of safety. Her ploy to learn what it was the System Lords desired had paid in a way the young Colonel had not accepted.

"Acknowledged." Sam uttered quietly back in the SGC headpiece. "Recall SG3 from the lines, tell them it is a direct order from me that they retreat back to your location. If in five hours we do not rendezvous with you, you are to proceed down into the Temple and locate the Stargate."

"Sam, I'm not going to leave you here!" Daniel protested.

"Daniel…if in five hours you don't hear from us…there is no us to hear from. You are to go thru the Stargate once you found the Exiles Gate and go home."


"That is an order!" She would have no argument.

There was a lengthy pause, then. "Sam…I'll hear from you in five hours, Jackson out."

Colonel Samantha Carter was one of the most able officers in the US military. She was considered one of the best CO's in a hundred years of Air Force history. Sam had fount in conflicts all across the galaxy in the span of her years in service to SGC and against odds so great that many others would not have stood a chance. She had survived battles that had tested her skill and resolve in every conceivable way.

She brought youth and stamina and was battle hardened. She was a warrior in her prim, never to be better, her powers at their apex. In addition she was driven by her messianic hatred and distain for the diabolical system lords, the enemies of all free peoples of the galaxy. She had worked and trained all her life, because of who her father was, for moments like this.

When Cassie looked upon her Colonel she saw also her beloved mother, one of two and her confidence had increased. She knew that without a doubt that her mother, her Colonel would see them thru this. It never occurred to the younger woman it might be otherwise.

"Okay, you heard Daniel…we need to give SG3 and the rest of the Malakim sometime to gather at the temple. The Death Gliders are being deployed; we are going to join them. We'll fly in typical V-formation until they start laying down fire. Then we go on the offensive. Take as many gliders you can, do fly-bys. We are only trying to distract the flyers from our ground troops. As soon as our people are clear, disengage fighting and abandon your craft by ejecting, let them think they shot us down. We'll rendezvous with SG3 and the Malakim at the temple.

"I want you to keep radio silence until I initiate contact. I don't need to tell you that we need to go with care in order not to tip our hand too soon. Right now they don't know they have been infiltrated I want to keep it that way as long as possible."

Sam turned to the spot where she felt the invisible winged being to be. "Arion, the Goa'uld didn't have Malakim in mind when they designed the Death Gliders. Stay in stealth mode and fly above our ships, and lay down what cover you can, but don't play the hero…we can't see you and I don't want you downed, least of all by friendly fire."

"I understand my Liege Commander." Arion bowed. Sam once more was reminded of Samurai of feudal Japan that would submit to their Shoguns. "I will heed and obey."

"We have four point five hours to make the rendezvous point. We wont have much time people, lets move out."

Teal'c nodded, and from her side Sam felt that Arion had complied, and she saw her daughter take position behind the mountain of a man. Sam inhaled deeply. For an instant she was weighed between command and parenthood. Duty won over

It is the duty of every parent to tell their child they loved them.

"Cass?" Sam pulled her daughter to a hidden alcove and removed her Jackal headed helm. In seeing her do this, Cassandra followed suit.


"No…" A golden head shook. "It's Mama." Sam smiled. And she took her child into her arms and hugged her. "I …I want you to know you are such a pride for me. And I love you very much. You mean so much to me. You know that right?"

Cassie grinned widely and inhaled a deep breath trying to steady her voice, she dare not tear up in front of her CO, but she could not stop herself from hugging her blonde mother. "I know. I love you too, Mama. We are going to make it thru this…you are leading, how can we not?" There was not a trace of doubt in the young girls voice. "Don't ware that long face for me."

"I cannot help it. You're my daughter as surly as Rebecca is."

"Mama." Cassie pulled her parent into her arms and hugged her tightly. "Don't worry about me…I've got a great CO, and mentor…she taught me everything there is to combat flying. And I am one hell of a pilot just ask her. And I logged over a hundred flight hours in the Death Glider simulator in combat situations and gun solutions that you yourself wrote. "

Sam beamed. "Yes you area good flyer, nearly as good as your CO." A blue eye winked. "Cassandra…you're very brave, remember that."

"So are you." Cassie repeated old words and hugged her mother tightly. "Come on lets get this over with, then you and Mom can take me to Graystokes for a beer."

"Graystokes! That's not exactly you're kind of bar…and besides you're not old enough."

"Mama…I'm twenty-four."

"Holy Hanna...I'm old!" Sam blinked. "When the hell did that happen, and were was I?"

Both women would laugh.

As they left, Cassie watched her mother, a bit stunned at tall woman's last words. Because of what the Nox had done to her and to Janet, it was easy to forget how old each of the ladies were. For they were not in appearance older then their mid thirties to late thirties. No one could attest their true age. Because of their unique physiology, both Janet and Sam had many decades left to them to serve in the Force if they chose to. Cassie watched the retreating form of her mother in awe. To her Sam had always been a hero, and she always would be. Perhaps more now then ever. Cassie knew that the statuesque blonde was worried. When Sam Carter was worried, Cassie paid attention. Had the younger woman been anyone else she would never have known the concern in the Colonel. But Cassie was Sam Carter's daughter and only because of that was the younger woman able to read the CO's carefully hidden emotion.

Sam Carter had made a promise to herself and to Janet that she would protect Cassie from harm that she would see to it some how that nothing bad happed to her. She knew when she made the promise how hard it was going to keep. Somewhere in the back of her mind where she would admit such things privately, she knew how foolish it was even to make such a commitment. But she was passionate and brave at heart, and she had lived her life pretty much on her own terms because to live it any other way would have broken her long ago. It hadn't been easy doing so; especially as Jacob Carter's 'little girl' She had survived, mostly because she had always believed that one day she would find a way to overcome the circumstances of her fate. She was not afraid to accept such responsibility. She was not daunted by the challenge her decision presented. But now her resolve was put to the test.

Sam had every confidence in every member of her team. As warriors they were the best. Special Forces, SEALS, Green Berettas, Black Ops, Rangers, Marine Recon, could not hold a candle to the specially trained SGC teams. They were given the same training as the aforementioned. And them some, they went thru the harsh training of The Jaffa Guard via Teal'c to learn their enemies strengths and weaknesses. All flyers were required to log at least a hounded hours in the Death Glider simulators so that they may pilot them, as well as the helm of a mothership.

SG1 had a strong tradition of not only beating the odds but also being the absolute best of the SGC teams. None of the teams could out match SG1 not even the marines. Everyone hoped to be assigned to SG1 when they came to the base. But it was up to Sam Carter of who she wanted on her team, and she was exceptionally particular. Physical abilities aside, Carter chose the metal of intelligence over everything else. She chose Cassie to be on her team because the girl had been a Top Gun in flight school as well as in combat situations. She was intelligent and an accomplished scientist in her own right. She was going for her doctorates in both Quantum Physics and Medicine. She was an accomplished young woman and Sam would allow no other CO of SG teams to have her. Besides she wanted her daughter a fair shot. Yes she was hard on Cassie, but less so then a jealous COs of other teams that might use Cassie to get to Sam or Janet. O'Neill had agreed; besides there was none better he wanted his 'niece' with then Colonel Sam Carter.

Bustling flight crews, and pilots preformed final checkouts, elevators hummed busily, lifting more and more deadly shapes in the primary hanger. Sparks flew as power couplings were disconnected the gliders were already cocooning Jaffa warriors.

Down the bay Sam saw what had to be one of the First Primes of the Goa'uld sit in his acceleration chair and singled the ground crews. Another roar was added to the monstrous din filling the hangar area as ship after ship activated its engines. In that enclosed triangular temple space the steady thunder was overpowering. Non-would have noticed the added three pilots as they slipped into cockpits locking the canopy least a gunner climb in behind, adding an unwelcome variable to the plan.

Even as the Jaffa guard crawled into the cockpits, the First Prim of Zipcana began to address his counterparts. "Jaffa, ghIj qet jaghmeyja!" May your enemies run with fear. "Jaffa SuvmeH 'ej charghmeH bogh!" Jaffa are born to fight and to conquer. "reH Suvrup Jaffa SuvwI' A Jaffa warrior is always prepared to fight. "vey' DaneHbogh Goa'uld yIchargh, Ryn tel'Nok Goa'uld" Conquer what our gods desire, we protect our gods!

This of course got a rising cheer out of the guard, well all but four, which opted to busy themselves with other things.

Sam eased herself easily into her seat, and studied the various controls as ground attendants began wiring her via cords and umbilicals into the ship. The ship began to hover forward, slowly but with increasing speed, toward the gaping mouth of the pyramid. It was not long before all ships were away.

The fog still clotted the green purgatory before, but sometime during their stay the Jaffa had managed to realign their scopes with digital images of the terrain below and around them not only a holographic projection of a virtual reality world. Everything was a bit to crisp; a bit too green for tree leaves, a bit too blue for the sky…this was a CGI world to aid the flyers to navigate the inclement blinding fog.

Muted cries, moans and primeval gurgling drifted up to them from the highest treetops. Some were frightened but lee so, but none of the wildlife was indicative as to what the new sounds came from, or what it meant when three to five falcon like fighters kept a tight formation. They exploded through humid air to vanish in seconds into the morning cloud cover far above. Sound shadows rattled the trees moments later in a forlorn attempt to catch up to the engines, which had produced them.

Slowly assuming attack V-formations the Death Gliders began to move outward from the motherships, out past the oceanic atmosphere of mist cover in search for the Tau'ri and Malakim raiders.

Sam's thoughts traveled back over the years. Over the uncountable injustices, and innocents taken away for hosts and never returned to their families …the whole multitude of evils incurred by an increasing corrupt and indifferent imperialistic despot parasites. All the terrors and agonies were concentrated, magnified, represented by the bloated feats of technological terror the Goa'uld imposed upon innocent races.

It was something that Sam Carter and her band of freedom fighters battle to stave off. It was worth it, to live free from the Goa'uld infestation was worth so much. Here and now, Sam was about to go into indefinable odds if only to cripple the enemy just a little. That was why they had come to Chimera. To create a base in which SGC, Malakim, Tok'ra and even the Asgard could come and use as a frontline base against the incursion of the Goa'uld Empire.

"Jaffa" the First Prim addressed his intership communications. "Adjust your selectors and check in. Approaching target zone at one point seven…"

Ahead, displayed by the Death Glider HUD was the massive grove of trees, already bits of firefighting could be detected from the aerial recon.

"All ships stand by to lock in attack mode."

One after another, from Teal'c and Cassie and Sam, and the other 'members' of the Zipcana assault squadron; the replies came back, "standing by…"

"Execute," the First Prim commanded, when the last of the Jaffa pilots indicated they were in readiness. The folded wings on the Death Gliders were raised, like falcons taking flight. Each fighter now displayed wing mounted armaments and twin ion engines now deployed for maximum firepower and maneuverability.

Ahead the forest, continued to grow. As they neared the thick woodlands, Cassie's breathing grew faster. Automatic life-support machinery detected the respiratory shift and compensated properly. She remained in control and followed orders, doing exactly what she should have. Piloting in a simulator had prepared her for every imaginable scenario however the experience of actually being within the cockpit was something other. Almost as she had felt it, Sam flew closer giving her daughter a thumbs up, letting her know she was going to be okay. Cassie calmed, she believed in the power of her mother's presence and took heart that the masquerade would succeed. It had to. Sam said it would. Her Mama always kept her word.

'You're very brave Cassandra.' Cassie said the words as a mantra; only it was the words spoken to her when she was twelve. 'You're very brave…you're very brave…yep that's me brave…'

Something began to buffet her fighter; the turbulence of the storm was more of deterrent then the Jaffa had expected. She shaking and buffeting continues, worsened, then the turbulence vanished after the onboard stabilizers kicked in and stabilized the craft.

Though half the forest remained enshrouded in a wall of mist, they were now near enough where Sam could see the scurrying members of SG3 and the Malakim take flight into line of caverns of the Ridgeback Mountains. Grim determination showed in Sam's expression as she flipped several switches to her left and began adjusting her computer target readout.

From the approaching swarm, two squads of fighters broke clear. As the words of the First Prim came over the link, "Accelerate to attack velocity." The Death Glider dove directly for the bulge of the ground troops far below, while another squad curved down and northward over the forest canopy.

Sam removed the com-link attached to her cheek and used her the SGC headset. "As soon as the leader fires, find a gun-solution and engage the enemy." She looked to either side of her cockpit windows and saw that her wingman…Cassie and Teal'c had likewise removed the Jaffa communications, fortunately the human radio was set on a different frequency and they could now commune without the Jaffa overhearing them.

Below hell-flowers bloomed. That was all SG1 needed to start their own attack run. Putting her fighter into a twisting dive, she sliced across the vertical horizon. Cassie followed Sam on a similar run, even as Jaffa pilots prepared to engage their own gun-solution.

The first three Jaffa didn't know what struck them, before it was too late; their ships mushroomed in the stratosphere. So to it was the next squadron. Third realized what was happening and vectored to retaliate against the rebel fighters.

"I got one! I got one!" Came Cassie's less experienced cry of triumph over the com-unit. She had chased a Death Glider across the fog-clotted landscape. Bolts jumped from the Death Glider in steady succession until the enemy craft blew in half sending leaflike glittering metal fragments flying in all directions.

"Good shooting, Cassandra." Teal'c commented.

"Watch it here they come." Sam warned. "They coming in at eleven' o'clock."

"Maintain visual scanning." Teal'c's voice came over the headset. "Remember they can jam every instrument on your glider except your eyes."

"I see them." Cassie said. "God look at them all!" The gleeful smile of the young pilot vanished instantly as she looked around her.

Sam turned again and this time saw a Death Glider already pursing Cassie's ship. "Cassie!" She shouted, "You've picked one up. On your tail…watch it!"

"I can't see it," came her daughter's panicked response.

Sam watched helplessly as Cassie's ship shot away from her flight path and out into clear air, closely followed by the Jaffa. The enemy vessel fired steadily at her, each successive bolt seeming to pass a little closer to Cassie's hull. "He's on me tight," said the voice in Sam's cockpit, "I can't shake him." Twisting and spinning into a spilt-ass maneuver Cassie looped back toward the dogfights, but the pilot trailing her was persistent and showed no sign of relinquishing pursuit.

"Hang on, Cass," Sam called, wrenching her ship into a roll out turn so sharply and so steeply that straining gyros whined, "I'm coming in."

So absorbed in his pursuit of Cassie was the Jaffa pilot that she didn't see Sam, who barrel-rolled her own ship, flipped out of the concealing fog below and dropped in behind him. Electronic crosshairs lined up according to the computer-readout instructions, and Sam fired repeatedly. There was a small explosion in the sky and the Jaffa was vaporized with his ship.

"We got to get them away from our ground troops." Sam said. "Lets do some flying." She shot a ray of energy over the hull of the lead ship, challenging him. She banked a hard right veering for the cannons of the Ridgeback Mountains. The three rebel ships roared into the cannons.

The Jaffa pilots chasing the rebels were among the best in the Goa'uld Empire. To follow the rebels was pure lunacy but they had no choice but to do so. They undoubtedly would be better off perishing in off chance of the cannons then reporting failure to their gods.

Sam made a daring banking maneuver that brought it skirling out of the narrow gap between two rock formations her wingmen copied exactly.

As SG1 pilots darted in and out of the mountains, they were fallowed closely by three squadrons of Jaffa fighters that veered through the rocks in hot pursuit. Suddenly one of the gliders was fatally scraped by a shapeless chunk of rock and spun off in another direction, hopelessly out of control. The other two in the wing continued their chase, accompanied by the last two squadrons.

Sam glimpsed the pursing ships through the windows of her cockpit as she spun her craft around, speeding under low bridge of rock, then bringing the glider back to its right side up position. With expert precision, the Colonel, steered her ship toward still another giant formation, summoning all the skill that had made her reputation known through out the airforce, she maneuvered the glider so that other only object between it and the other fighter was the deadly outcropping of rock wall.

There was only a brief, brilliant flare of light, then nothing the shattered remains of the two Jaffa fighters rained down upon the fog-chocked earth.

Two more wings of Jaffa pursued Teal'c chasing after him trying to mimic his every move as they fired their deadly cannons.

"Watch you're back Teal'c" Sam's voice sounded over the speakers, "fighters above you, coming in."

Teal'c continued his dive even as he looked back and spotted the object of Sam's concern close on his tail. Reluctantly he pulled up and away from his flight path, abandoning his target. His tormentor was good, however, and continued closing on his.

"I cannot shake him," he reported.

Something cut across the sky toward both ships. "I'm on him, Teal'c." Shouted Sam. "Hold on."

Teal'c didn't have to wait for very long. Sam's gunnery was precise, and the Death Glider vanished brightly shortly thereafter.

"Thank you, Colonel." Teal'c murmured, breathing a little more easily.

Unexpectedly two Jaffa dropped out of the cloud cover. One of them even sparked as it grazed the walls with its metal hull. Twisting and banking and turning her ship, Sam pressed through the narrow gorge. Sam glanced backward as she spotted a Jaffa fighter slipping in behind her. She tried losing the enemy ship by going into a steep dive toward the thicket of trees, to avoid a burst of offensive fire from yet another ship below her. Neither maneuver shook the pursuit.

"I see you, Mama," came a reassuring call from Cass.

Sam looked up above, below and to the sides, but there was no sign of her daughter. Meanwhile energy bolts from her trailing assailant were passing uncomfortably close.

"Cass where the hell are you?"

Something appeared not to the sides of behind, but almost directly in front of her. It was bright and moving incredibly fast, and then it was firing just above her. Taken completely buy surprise, the Jaffa fighter came apart just as the pilot realized what had happened. "Good move Cass. Fooled me too." Sam praised her 2IC even as she leveled off, let go of full weaponry as she descended upon another wing of Jaffa fighters. A series of sequential explosions hopscotched across from one ship to the next as the fuselage of the middle ship mushroomed.

"I am just getting started," her daughter announces as she twisted her ship violently to avoid the fire from below. She hove into view over Sam's shoulder and executed a victory roll. "Just point me at the next target." She torched her ship up finding a new target…her glee turned to terror as she realized she couldn't swerve her craft in time to avoid laser fire striking her hull.

"Cassie, pull up! Pull up!" Sam bellowed over the comm-unit.

But despite commands to shift course, the automatic pressures wouldn't allow the necessary centrifugal force, her fighter was stalling, plunging into the cavern below.

Teal'c spiraled in his lasers locked on target, finding the gun solution hunting the ship behind Cassie.

Then she was through and clear, on the other side. "I'm hit. Not too bad." A rapid check of her controls caused her to frown. "I've got a bad malfunction…" She uttered trying to sound cool-headed.

"Cass, listen to me." Sam had to calm her down. Her mind raced desperately. "You fed too much fuel from the stall, the engines can't handle all that power at once. Pull pack on the stick, ratchet the switches to the feeder dump and clear the lines, then seal then anew."

Sweat beaded on her forehead as Cassie tried to comply with her CO's orders. A quick glance at the main and sublevel control panels revealed at all the indicators light were still red. The systems were overheated. She jammed the stick back, to cut the power, jettisoned the stabilizer, and switched to an auxiliary mount, pushed the ignition causing the straining ion engines to whine as it zipped up in time to avoid becoming apart of the forest ground. She pulled back hard on the stick causing her ship level out.

"It worked!"

There was a new set of singles coming in hard and fast.

"Colonel there are more of them." Teal'c banked a hard left trying to entice the hunters to go after him. He plunged his ship into the ravine, firing all cannons after the wing. He started his attack run—staying low and waiting until he was right on top of the squadron. What he was trying to do would not be easy. Going in full throttle he might not have enough time to pull out of the cavern in time.

His maneuver avoided most of the volley of attack of the Jaffa assault. He took a direct hit on his main power cell; black hateful smoke billowed from the ion engines a millimeter closer and his fuselage would have blown. "My ship is losing power. I have to eject."

"I have him Liege Commander." Arion said, then all at once the Malakim warrior was uncloaked diving for Teal'c's dying ship.

Sam saw the ex-Jaffa eject from his crippled ship, and caught up in the arms of a winged being. He was safe. She smiled slowly to herself; maybe there really were angels.

In the next instant, a slash of pulsing light swept past her. She glanced over her shoulder and saw a swarm of gliders bearing down on her. "Here they come!"

"Oh god! They're coming in to fast! I can't get a fix!"

Sam flew past Cassie, slightly to port side. Ion energy bolts from the pursuing Jaffa began to streak close about them. Both women crossed in rolling scissors repeatedly, striving to present as confusing a target as possible. Cassie was fighting with her controls when several small flashes and sparks lit her control bard. One small panel exploded, leaving molten slag behind. Somehow she managed to retain control of the ship. Another burst of energy rocketed her ship. Something flared brightly, hitting even closer and the interior of the now open cockpit became a mass of flames.

"I'm hit! I'm hit!"

A loud desperate cry sounded over the speakers, blending into a final agonized scream of flesh and meal as Cassie's fighter burst into flames, careening to earth. Sam heard the explosion over her speakers, before oblivion took the glider.

Sam didn't reply immediately. Her eyes were watering and she angrily wiped then clear. Tears were blurring her view of the targeting read out. With inhuman precision Sam Carter depressed the fire control of her fighter again. Vengeance fuelled her soul. Her daughter was dead. The Jaffa would pay. She would wipe them out. All of them.

Sam descended on the remaining three fighters as an avenging angel. She didn't see the near-lethal explosion, which burst close behind her. Nor did she have time to examine the smoking shell of twisted metal which now road alongside one engine. In a matter of moments she caught one bobbing fighter with a crippling burst. Now there were only two Jaffa pursing. The third had become an expanding cylinder of decomposing derbies, bits and pieces of which slammed into the walls of the Ridgeback cannon.

The remaining wingman looked around in panic for the rebel fighter eclipsed his vision, and it was diving directly at him. Wildly he adjusted his controls in an attempt to avoid the anticipated collision of the kamikaze run. Who ever the rebel pilot was either crazy or unconscious, the wingman decided. The rebel glider swept by just overhead, but in missing it the wingman slide too far to one side. A small explosion followed as the fins of the Death Glide rammed into the mountainside, his ship erupting in flames.

Sam let go of her entire load, leaving nothing behind; her attack run was nose to nose with the enemy glider. She held her course, mindless of the turbulence the enemy fighter created by firing his own cannons. Her wing was shot her scopes were down. She had lost ninety percent of her shields; she only had fifty percent of engine power. Her helm started to spark irregularly, threateningly. Tiny bolts flashed dangerously close. But the enraged colonel would not yield.

'Janet…oh god Janet I love you…'

The fire remained intense as Sam randomly changed direction and speed. A series of indicators on the control panel slowly changed color: three vital gauges relaxed and returned there they belonged.

The enemy pilot realized he could not lose his hunter. She swung close to him. Within the transparent canopy of the Death Glider she could see the jackal head of the First Prime. The tall blonde smiled as she shot her cannon directly into the cockpit of her enemy.

Several critical gauges were beginning their swing back in to the danger zone again. Sam's stabilizers had broken lose, the energy beams and explosions had been to sustain for her glider the near lethal explosion created a smoking shell of twisted metal. Sam struggled with the controls as her ship plunged toward the ground, leaving a trail of smoke and flames behind. By then the heat in the cockpit was nearly unbearable. Flames were beginning to leap about inside the glider and were coming uncomfortably close to Sam. Small flashes of fading light marked with metal fragments littered the carven floor.

Sam pulled herself out of the carcass of the fiery wreak that was once a Death Glider. Something warm and sticky oozed from the side of her head; it took her a moment to realize what it was she was looking at when she pulled her fingers into view. Blood. And a lot of it. Her lungs burned with each intake of breath, each breath-sending wave upon wave of anguishing pain into her every nerve point.

She had only wondered a couple of feet from the crash-site, trying to take short quick breaths filling her lungs. It made her feel light-headed, but the hyperventilation would allow her to regain her momentum; she didn't want to keel over from smoke inhalation before she had a chance to completely evacuate the zone.

The blackened shell of the smoldering cockpit—and the blackened husk of the glider made a testament to Sam just how close she had come to becoming barbequed. She had sustained first and second degree burns all along her right side that was sickeningly glossy with blood and sweat.

Her Jaffa armor had protected her from most of the assault, though it hung on her in bloody shreds. She managed to drag her body over to a stump and her head spinning, she couldn't contain her weight anymore and her knees buckled. It would be so easy just to close her eyes right now. Just close them and never open them again.

There was Darkness for an indeterminate time, silent and complete. The Darkness was all around them. Not even shades of grey to create a half world of recognized shapes. Silent, easy shadow without form. The sudden silence was total, broken only by the deep shuddering, breathing in the warm muggy darkness. Then there were sounds, drawing her through the black depth of her limbo, sounds that their footing minds could not identify at first.

She listened strained to hear the approach of . . . Of what?

The screams of Cassie as she was crashing echoed in her mind threatening to send her back into the abyss. She couldn't think, no not true didn't want to think of the possibilities of what waited for her. But she was alive the dream continued. Sam switched her thinking. She could feel the coolness of the breezes caress her body.

She saw Janet smiling one of those brilliant smiles of hers dancing across her lips. I must stay alive and complete my mission, my promises…Janet…

The humming of insects, whispering of tree leaves dancing in the soft breezes, silent witness to the horror the abomination of Cassie's death. Where were the evils ones? Tensing straining to no avail to hear any soft pawed footfalls, breathing a sign of relief, breathing…

"I can feel myself breathe." And the droplets of one single tear "Move!"" She screamed within herself. A long delicate finger did it move. Testily she tried it, it moved again. Slowly as if this would all disappear into a dream. Sam opened her eyes blurry; everything looked surreal around her. Unconsciously Sam moved her long fingered hand slowly towards her face and taking a deep breath she forced her other hand to move. Painfully with great effort strength beyond her endurance Sam pushed herself off the ground into a sitting position. The world was spin, pain shot through her, turning sharp throbbing. Trying to focus as her hand ran down her leg. Moisture…not water…it was blood.

The pain was far too intense to want to do anything but curl up into a ball and wait for sergeant death to arrest her. She had made a promise. She could not comply with the want to die…she had to keep her word.

'Janet...my Janet…' It would be better to die trying then not to try at all. She tried to get up. She really wanted to stand up, but her body was furious with her and would not comply. "Okay...I'm not standing up…have to stand…have to move…come on body that's a direct order."

Her body seemed to scream back 'screw you I'm staying right here and there is not a dammed thing you can do about it.'

She took a deep shuddering breath that instantly ended up in coughing, blood trickled from her lips. Absentmindedly Sam wiped it away with the back of her left hand. "Coughing up blood? This is so not good."

Her body whispered 'HA! I told you! You move and we'll hurt. Now don't fucking move.'

"Have to move. Get up. Have...to...made promise to Janet…" Sam hurt all over. She sat up slowly, feeling sick from the seeming hundreds of aches and pains that yammered for her attention. Her neck and stomach hurt, she'd jammed her right wrist, both knees felt like they were swelling---but it was the shard pain in her right side that was the worst, because she thought she might have cracked or even broken a rib.

Sam leaned back; supporting her strained neck with her uninjured hand and crawled to her feet, using the rage to overcome the pain. She had to get out, to get back to Janet---but oh, she hurt so very much! The stabbing sensation in her gut was terrible, a knife sawing at her insides, and base camp seemed a million miles away.

Sensations of two jagged tears in her boot, gingerly touching pain exploding into her mind, sharp flashes of light enough to double her over, every cell, atom, molecule freezing even the blood running though her veins ice cold, follicles of hair prickling up. Blood graining from upper surfaces of skin. Sustaining the precious inter organs of her body. Endurance. With a quick intake of breath Sam pulled herself upright. Closing her eyes tightly as the pain washed over her, getting ready for the next jolt. Sam flung her hand back leaning it onto the rock behind her, teeth clench, and muscles straining. She forced all her weight on her long fingered hand and with her good leg righting herself. Pain ricochet sending thousands of splinters into her brain, each one blowing up, involuntary cry, her right leg being dragged.

Sam tenderly put a little bit of weight on her right foot only to have intense pain threatened to tremble her. Sam tossed her body straight into the nearest tree letting the tree support her slight weight, allowing the pain in her leg to become bearable.

Determination settled into her blue eyes, mouth slightly parched, nails biting into her palm while the other one tightened its grip there was no thought of turning back, knowing that pain would insure she placed her leg down, pain shot though her. Sam hobbled. Feelings of needles being pushed though muscles; with every scream of protest from straining bleeding muscles she closed her eyes. Being pushed though muscles, with every scream of protest from straining bleeding muscles she closed her eyes. Nothing would stop her. She promised herself under throaty tones in finding Cassie and return to her beloved Janet and their youngest.

Sam struggled with every footfall; her mind seemed to be taking in the horror before it but not registering its full effects. She followed the drag marks the blood and the torn pieces of what she believed to be Cassie's Ship that littered the ground but her mind was focused on finding Cassie. Sam could feel the soft breeze of Janet's distant mind reaching out to her in these desperate minutes where reality seemed to blend in to the surrealism of this repulsive event.

Somehow her touch seemed to keep her moving, a welcome relief from the shearing pain she felt. But it was but briefly felt her tender mind touching her's as it disappeared. Sam could feel her mind reaching out wanting to contact the only thing that made her feel relief, comfort her. She needed Janet.

'Janet…sorry…our…Cassie…Oh god Janet…I promised…Oh god baby-girl our daughter is dead…I…I ordered her…god its my fault…Janet…oh god Janet…'

Sam brushed herself away from the earth falling against the thick truck of a tree. Clenching her teeth, Sam pushed herself back up with her good arm, her muscles cold and stiff from the damp chill of the earth. Her right shoulder brushed once more against another truck of a tree, and she gasped as the pain intensified briefly, stabbing and hot –but it ebbed, receding to the duller throbbing sensation after a few seconds. Sam waited it out, breathing deeply, reminding herself that it could have been a hell of a lot worse.

When she was finally on her feet, she decided that she could take it; she wasn't light-headed or dizzy, and although there was blood on the ground and tree trunks, there wasn't nearly was much as she'd thought there would be. Of course she had no way of knowing how much she had lost as she had been climbing out of the husk of her burnt our downed glider.

Careful not to jostle her wound, Sam turned and walked thru the fog, trying to gain her bearings. She could see smoke billowing to the west. Where there is smoke there is fire. She staggered toward the second downed glider to the cavernous forest beyond, one arm wrapped around her burning chest---and stopped, titling her head, listing. She could have sworn she had heard someone moving. One thought flashed in her mind…Cassie…she might still be alive!

'Janet…I love you…we're coming home…'

Tired and aching, Sam stumbled to the grove where the burning carcasses of the downed glider. Another step and another, the movement was making her quezzy and world was spinning. She fell. The pain and dizziness too much, her bruised and swelling knees hitting the stone clotted earth, sent fresh needles of agony through her legs. Blood tricked from a corner of her mouth as she coughed once more desperately willing herself not to vomit. Gagging, her ears ringing, and arm bleeding Sam fought her way from the bleakness of unconsciousness that threatened her reserve.

She'd been exhausted before, but the relentless pain of her injuries had sent her to some delirious place that she'd never imagined could exist. Her thoughts came in spiraling, uneasy bursts of feeling that she couldn't' seem to sort through, at least not to her satisfaction; she knew what had to be done---base camp---Janet somehow someway she had to reach her wife---but the rest had become some strange, disjointed grouping of free association, as if she had taken some drug that had overloaded her senses, like the armbands, and would only allow her to think a bit at a time.

The wave passed and Sam found her feet once more. On her way to the destroyed ship she had coughed and coughed, finally losing the battle of wills as she vomited from the pain a thin and acidic string of bloody bile that pooled in from of her eyes. Turning, limping and gasping the tall blonde stumbled into the cold darkness of fog concentrating on the shell of rubble in front of her.

She saw…what she saw stunned her.

A body little more then bits of bone, shredded burnt flesh stared up to her in a plea. This was not Cassandra this was not Jaffa. It was…A Goa'uld! It was Zipcana!

"Holy Hannah!" Her small hopeful whisper that the downed pilot was her daughter only fed the red burning heat that pounded through her—the feelings were so powerful they transformed into rage, focusing her intentions into something brutal and precise. Never before had Samantha Carter so thirsted for vengeance. Never before had her anger, her rage became so overpowering that she wanted nothing but blood. And blood she would have.

Glowing yellow-white eyes flashed, the double voice of the would-be-god croaked out. "Jaffa, Ryn Tel'Nok!"

"No I won't protect you." Sam offered in a hoarse voice as cold as this new savagery that filled her up transforming her into a hunter. Each step she took toward the struggling Goa'uld was measured and deliberate and his fear was real this time. She could see it in the way he stumbled back. The look on the System Lord was more then shock as he realized he was not looking at a Jaffa, but a Tau'ri…more then that, he knew of this bloody statuesque blonde warrior. This was the plague of many System Lords before him stood none other then SamanthCarter Colonel of SG1.

"Cho'va Tau'ri! I will kill you." Zipcana found that he could stand; facing his enemy had given him some hidden strength to find his feet.

"I am not a traitor either, you tin-god maggot." She swallowed her own bile as a wave a nausea hit her. Another burning surge of rage tore thru her. She was driven by demons of hatred and loss. Her eyes flashed the echo of that rush. The other hand shot to his neck, silencing him before the scream could tear out of his straining throat. A blinding surge of anger burned thru her arms launching the 200-pound man into the truck of a tree as though she meant to put him thru it. His shoulders smacked the trunk with a loud crack. He dropped as a sack of flour to the ground, gasping for air like a fish out of water. He was fighting unconsciousness as he rolled on his back...in the blink of an eye Sam was standing over him. Terror gripped Zipcana's heart as her eyes locked with his.... he tried to shrink away but every movement was blinding agony. Her eyes were dark like two sapphire orbs burning into his own glowing eyes. Then the truth of the matter hit him. He saw the hurricane within her eyes.

"And you are in no position to do anything…but die." She raised her blood-covered hand to the wounded scull of the fallen Goa'uld, exhausted, sick, in pain—and deeply filled with loathing. "You killed my child you fuck!" Lips curled back. "…No parent should EVER outlive their child. I owe you pain." She was going to kill him. He could see it in the depths of his soul. His eyes grew wide as Sam smacked him down to the ground with a palm to the chest.

She crouched over Zipcana. He almost swore that his heart stopped. He could see the rage flaring like sapphire lava in her eyes. Zipcana shied in nervous pain as he saw that the woman before him had a ribbon device, and he felt…she had been…she had been host once…and she could use the weapon…

She swallowed. "You see…I'm dying but not before you!" A snarl of such fury and pain that it spoke for her heart had with her rage she drove her will into the Ribbon device, pouring her pain into the mind of her captive. Such rage. Such power.

A bellowing scream bubbled from the throat of the Goa'uld; his cries only intensified Sam's hatred. "Before…I go…I will destroy you, you killed my little girl!" She breathing was as a lioness on the hunt. She pressed harder into her enemy's scull. Blinding white waves of energy coruscated from her palm, and wrapped around the fallen pray like sorceress's lightning, and tore the Goa'uld insides. The system lord never heard of such power, such a concentration willful force, let alone experience it. He felt a white-hot ice encase his soul.... encasing his whole body to tremble. Sam bore her eyes directly into his soul. The swirling mass of fury within her tempted, her vengeance...she clenched onto his soul.

Nearly unconscious beneath the continuing assault of the enraged colonel's will the Fallen system lord would have given anything for it to stop if only for a moment. Tormented beyond reason, betaken of a weakness that drained his very essence he hoped for nothing more then to submit to the nothingness toward which he was drifting.

"You killed her! You killed her!" Sam rasped manically; "you killed thousands of millions of innocents! No more!"

Zipcana never thought it possible but the outpouring of ribboning power emanating from the blonde's palm actually intensified. The sound screamed through the forest, the murderous brightness of the gold waves was overwhelming. Zipcana's body slowed, wilted, finely crumpled under the hideous barrage. He stopped moving altogether. At last he appeared totally lifeless. Sam hissed maliciously. It was a universal truth. The most dangerous life form was a mother protecting her child…even if that child was KIA.

All at once she stopped. All it would take was one last strike and he was dead. She had wanted to destroy this think of complete darkness, this think that was a terror of the galaxy…this thing that…she was becoming… "No!" Sam wheeled away, "NO!" Her body shaking, trembling, hot tears fell blood-covered streaks. What coursed threw her was Darkness. Pure and powerful. This was the dark she had hunted; loathed because it prayed upon the weak…the innocent…there was but one way to obliterate darkness "No… I wont memorialize her by taking your life." She took searing gulp of air. "I forgive you…I forgive you…for trying to turn me into a murder …I am not going to turn into one of you…I am NOT!" Weaker then she had ever been, Sam had concentrated her every fiber of being on this one, concentrated act---the only action possible; her last, if she failed. Ignoring pain, ignoring her shame and her weakness, ignoring the bone crushing noise in her head, she focused solely and sightlessly on her will—her will to give the evil embodied Goa'uld compassion. She defeated the dark by renouncing it. Here in the end, she had made the decision.

Hate like fire is a fearsome thing. It starts as the merest spark, the tiniest wisp of smoke. It grows and gains power and spreads until it become a great conflagration consuming what ever it can find.


"…Why? You have me…at your mercy."

"Do no harm." She spoke coughing up more blood. "It is an oath … my beloved wife took. If I am going to die…it wont be giving harm to you. In remembrance to her…to my children…" She breathed in desperate air… a trembling hand reached into the tattered remains of her ALICE vest and pulled out painkillers. "Here. Eat these. It…might take away the pain. No doubt you singled your Jaffa…they can put you in that sarcophagus…heal you." She looked into the glowing eyes of her enemy.

"I would not have stopped." Zipcana tormented her. He made a face as he chewed upon the six bitter tablets of painkillers.

"That's why I did." Sam moved away from him, finding just enough strength to leave her gaunt frame against a tree trunk. "I won't become a Goa'uld. I condemn you to life, to know in the end your enemy chose mercy. I defy your evil…your ways...your godhood…I won't let you turn me into a killer…" Sam swallowed hard, her tenuous hold on her life failing fast.

'I...beat him Janet…I didn't become him…I couldn't do it…not like that…cold blood…no... I wont become him…I love you too much…do no harm…I can't kill …not like that…not like that...I am not Goa'uld I won't let that be my epitaph…my legacy…I love you Janet…my hope…my all…tell Becky I love her…I love you baby-girl.'

She had lost enough blood to be dazed, almost helpless and she was in mild shock. It was almost over, that was something to hang on too. One of the only constants in her mind was her love for her wife that she would reach Janet she had to. A positive and somehow magical phrase that she could still, see no matter how blind she became. She sank to the base of a tree the thrumming of forest lulling her into a deep and instant sleep. She was going down, her muscles relaxing, her aches and miseries losing their hold—and for some endless reach of time, she found silence-----Her eyes fell upon a familiar looking constellation. Her body brutally withering in shockwaves of pain, blue eyes glinted with unshed tears as she stared out at the heavens.

'My beloved Janet…my all…sweet baby mine, my everything. Look to the stars tonight…look to the Lovers…my Janet…know I love you. My beloved Janet.'

"My beloved Janet." Sam wrapped her arm around Janet's waist, her lips finding that delectable spot behind her lover's right ear. "Humm…I've missed you." She continued nuzzling the smaller woman's neck, placing very small kisses along the ivory skin. Strong long fingered hands tightened around Janet's back, yet gingerly kneading the flesh hidden beneath the silk shirt.


Janet reached up onto her tiptoes, meeting soft satin lips. She felt Sam gently lower her back to earth, so she didn't have to stretch, and bent a little further down. Hungrily their tongues dueled for domination, as their mouths pressed together devouring one another.


For three weeks Sam was off world, now back she wanted to spend every moment of her down time with Janet. Touching her, loving her, listing to her sweet voice as the chattered over everything and nothing. Sam was hungry for Janet, for her company, for her love, just for her. Sam had missed her lover with great desperation. Tonight all Sam had wanted to do was to monopolize her tiny lover's time, worship and adore that little body. But Janet had wanted to go to Graystokes. How could Sam deny her anything?


If Janet wanted to go to their bar then they were going to go to Graystokes. However they were going to go Sam's way. It was unseasonably warm for December; in fact it was fifty-four degrees out. Warm enough…


Her tricked out and souped up 110 cubic inch Harley-Davidson Electraglide Standard thundered thru the now calming traffic of the evening. As the two lovers soared up the street, the entire goings on of the day just seemed to dissipate into nothingness. That was one of the things she loved about riding a bike. No matter how bad of a day you had or what you were going thru; as soon as you were on the motorcycle with the wind in your hair, all of it fades away. It all goes away. Nothing else existed except you, and the iron steed roaring beneath your legs as you roar down the asphalt. Nothing else even came close. Today had been one of those days too.


As they neared the bar Sam, turned slightly; "Love…hang on very tight."

"What are you going to do?"

"You trust me, Baby girl?"



Janet never believed it possible not to trust her beloved. She did as Sam had asked her and hung on very tight around the muscular waist. Sam wrenched open the throttle while simultaneously downshifting and letting out the clutch. The 900 plus pound motorcycle's front wheel reared off the ground, exhaust pipes bellowing loudly as she roared a pass by their favorite bar. They received a chorus of ow babies and wahoo's from some of the ladies outside, which were regular patrons of the establishment. The engine roared as Sam sped around the corner and decelerated down the alley. Janet's chestnut hair settled around her shoulders as Sam shifted into neutral and turned off the ignition.


As they dismounted the bike, a couple of the women came running up to greet her with hugs and how are yous. The duo hugged each of them, friends. The two placed their helmets into the saddlebag of Sam's motorcycle and walked inside with Janet.


"Ladies, the next round is on us." Sam decreed, for it had been a while since she and Janet had time off together to indulge in a night out.




Sam was losing miserably at pool, thanks to Janet. She was a vision to behold tonight. She was dressed for seduction with out being blatantly obvious. Tight jeans that would make a woman cry, a very form-fitting long-sleeved blouse with ruffled cuffs and a low cut neck. As if that wasn't bad enough, it was made of blue silk. Sam had no doubt as to why she was losing. She knew exactly why. Janet was a force of sensuality to be reckoned with. She knew she had a power over Sam, and reveled in it. Janet loved nothing more than to tempt and tease the athletically muscled body of Sam.

"Your shot Sam" she called across the table. The golden maned Captain slid to the other side of the table lining up a perfect bank shot. She knew the easily made shot was doomed as Janet leaned over in front of the line of fire, her breasts pressing against the silky fabric. "Are you going for the bank shot?" she added, with that voice disguised in mock innocence.

Sam's concentration was gone. Needless to say she missed the shot. Dammit. She always did that. She sighed. "Janet, its your shot" Sam voice came in a low, soft tone. She saw the woman's chocolate eyes flash as she walked over to her pulling back the long sleeves of her blouse. She ran her long, delicate fingers down Sam's arm and across her own fingers as she took the pool cue.

She took a sip of her beer and examined the table. She really had no shot to make. Everything was blocked. 'Story of my life she thought. Hmmn. I'm going to make this worth not having a shot' she thought to herself. Janet looked over at Sam....who was studying the pool table, lost in thought. Obviously she must be lining up her next three shots...mused Janet. Suddenly she was hit by a wonderfully sinful idea. She walked around the table in her prey's line of sight. As Sam looked up and caught her gaze, her own blue eyes locked with the other woman's own. In Janet's minds eye she fantasized briefly about what it was like to kiss her...causing her eyes to absolutely smolder with desire. Sam shifted under the gaze, but tried desperately to concentrate on the pool table.... The small doctor slowly pushed her long flowing hair over her shoulder as she leaned a bit too far over to line up her shot. Her porcelain skin contrasted sharply with the midnight blue silken fabric, as she shot another smoky look at Sam, biting her lip. Janet smiled as she watched Sam's concentration shatter into a thousand fragments like breaking glass...

Sam's thoughts came to a grinding halt as she caught the sultry sight of Janet as she leaned into her shot her eyes burning on the young woman's own. The woman with hair of ember-cinnamon broke the look and took her shot. The Captain's mind shot into first gear, blinking the previous vision of loveliness out of her mind. As the jammed cogs in her mind started to turn it dawned on her as she had a flash of the ball position on the pool table in her mind. A twinkle was borne in her eye, putting two and two together. Janet didn't have a shot. Therefore, if she distracts Sam, she won't make a shot. Crafty. How did that saying go? Turn about was fair play.


Janet had once told her that she loved her eyes. "Your eyes... it's like they have a voice of their own." Her voice got small and quiet. "They say things, when you talk...and they speak volumes when you're silent..."


'Lets us see if my eyes do speak volumes...when I don't'. Observing the pool table she grinned broadly. She had three shots at her disposal. Should her little plan work, she'd fix Janet's little red wagon. The tall blonde mentally mapped out her shots like geometry puzzle. Sam had been teased, tempted and tormented by the scorchingly seductive Janet for the past three hours. She leaned over and sighted her first shot down the barrel of the pool stick. As if taking a cue off of a card, Janet nonchalantly walked over in Sam's line of vision. As the chestnut haired temptress stood before her, she allowed for all the days of ache and desire swirl together in a smoky twister. It condensed into a blindly spinning rose-colored orb within her being. As she brought her gaze up to Janet, she breathed out her name.

"Janet." The name came out of Sam in a low smoldering tone, causing Janet's heart to quicken and her eyes to grow wide. She caught the gaze of the momentary hunter, and about lost the breath from her lungs. It almost felt that Sam was diving into her soul thru her sapphire eyes.

Sam imagined the rosy orb of passion spinning within her bursting into a warm, gaseous and smoky cloud funneling itself into the already slightly taken aback Janet. In her mind's eye, as soon as all the mass had transferred, she returned her attention to the pool table. Sam made two of her shots before finally missing on the blue two ball. Her eyes flashed a grin as she saw that Janet was looking at her in shock.

Janet was stunned as shed seen in Sam's eyes the passion and desire denied. She'd have sworn to god, if she didn't know better that she'd felt that same burning passionate fury swirl about her soul for a moment. As fast as it came, it went, leaving her with a momentary vacant stare at her lover, stumbling a step and steadying herself on the pool table. And to her dismay, when her chocolate orbs did manage to focus, Sam had all but cleared the table. Janet's heart was pounding in her chest, now she was the tormented one. Oh my god, she thought, I so need a drink.

Sam smiled as she saw the blank stare and then the eyes focus to find Sam almost winning. Ha! The younger woman smile turned to a beaming grin. A taste of your own medicine my lovely doctor. She hadn't expected quite that much of a reaction. But hey, some people are better at reading the eyes than others. Janet apparently was one of the ones who must be quite good at it. She watched as her beloved walked away, up to the bar. Sam went back to the game at hand. 'Lets see, wherever the cue did end up on Janet's next shot, I myself will likely have a shot and be setup for the eight ball, thus totally fixing her little red wagon. Hell after my last small victory, I've friggin rotate the tires on that little red wagon too', she laughed to herself. Instinctively she looked around the bar for her lover, should the tiny woman have 'heard' her thoughts. She found Janet by the bar that was deserted, aside from Annette the bartender who just went into the back.


Sam, taking a healthy sip of her beer set it down on the windowsill, and crouched eye level with the pool table. Should she make it to the eight ball and she was pretty sure she would; she should be able to just breathe on it with the cue ball and it should be just enough momentum to go in the side pocket. She mused to herself 'well theoretically it should work.'


Janet came back with a glass of cadillac rum and coke, after her encounter with Sam's eyes smoldering as they were, it was all she could do not to pounce on her lover and make love to her on that purple velvet of the pool table. Pouty lips curled into a smile as she approached her tall blonde lover from behind.


Janet paused as she ran her soft, gentle hands up Sam's arms and across her chest. The young Captain could feel her studying every muscle with her hands. She turned around and gave the slightly smaller woman a huge encompassing body hug. Sam heard a slight gasping sigh escape Janet "You feel incredible," she breathed into the golden haired woman's ear, her voice like crushed velvet. She felt Sam trembling in her arms. "My shot?" Janet moved stealthfully around the table to set her glass down next to Sam's beer bottle, just after taking a large swig nearly draining it.


"Um yeah…" Sam mouthed. Apparently that little red wagon had a complete overhaul by its owner. Now how in the hell had she lost control? She looked into dark brown eyes. Oh yeah…that was why. Janet played the seductress well. Far too well. The last thing on Sam's mind was her premeditated thought of the eight ball.


Janet knew Sam was watching her intently; she had been toying with her lover's self control since she had returned early that day. She wetted her lips with the just the tip of her tongue knowing she drove Sam up the proverbial wall. Not looking up from the table, Janet leaned just enough to allow Sam yet another glimpse of her cleavage and heard a most satisfactory intake of breath. Janet had never played fair when it came to pool, Sam could beat her hands down any day with her manipulation of and through understanding of geometry. So Janet used Sam's weakness against her. Her own libidinous thoughts when it came to the smaller woman.


Janet smiled just so, knowing she had won the game this night, and it had nothing to do with pool. It was Christmas Eve, and for the next few days SG1 had been granted down time. Janet had every intention in seducing her willing lover, the entire time. This was their first Christmas together; it was something of a milestone.


Janet took her shot; the striped yellow bounced into the pocket and back out, she had hit it too hard. Sam was smiling as if she had suddenly become a feline and ate a canary. Janet moved guilelessly around the table allowing her lover to take the hit on the eight ball. "The table's yours love." Janet whispered, dropping her voice a smoky octave.


Sam took her beer and downed the rest of it, trying to regain some measure of control over herself. Swallowing hard, she moved to the table, knowing that she could easily put the black ball home. Janet moved to the pocket Sam had indicated she would put the ball in, and leaned just a little.


The eight ball went home, as did the que ball. The blonde's mouth was a gape. She had scratched! How the hell did she scratch? She couldn't believe it; she knew that she had just hit the eight ball soft enough for it to go in, but to put in that damn white ball too? That was not in the parameters of her theory.


"Umm…guess I win by default." Janet said slowly standing to her full five foot one height.


Sam pouted. She had lost? Like that! Her blue eyes so filled with a confused expression Janet thought it absolutely adorable. "Guess so." Sam blinked still baffled how she could have lost so miserably.


Janet slipped up to her lover, placing both arms around the statuesque blonde, drawing the distracted lips to her mouth. She leaned close to her soul mate as her hand soothingly caressed Sam's face. "I can make it up to you, lover." She lifted her head up and gazed into Sam's eyes for a few seconds before the blonde leaned down, her breath softly tickling Janet's throat.


Small chestnut craned her neck to the side, allowing Sam room to work. The blonde traced Janet's jugular with the tip of her tongue, feeling the quick pulse of her heart before encountering the barrier of Janet's silk blouse. She continued downward over the soft blue material. Her heart was pounding. She was now repentant she had spent so long teasing the blonde... it was payback time. Sam could play dirty. She bit almost painfully at Janet's earlobe, causing Janet to gasp her desire. Teased into further actions, Sam brushed her lips across the soft smooth skin of her lover's cheek, finally taking the silk of Janet's lips with her own.

Janet felt her whole body to is core pulse in a thudding heat as she felt Sam devour her in heated hungry kisses. She felt her blood pulsing, thundering the white searing lighting pooling, demanding more. Sam probed her mouth with her tongue tasting the sweetness of liquor upon her breath. The blonde murmured Janet's name with a heated silky purr, causing the fires to rippled within Janet once more. Her own tongue strove for dominance with in Sam's own mouth tasting her feeling her drawing her back into her mouth. The brunette felt her whole body start to weaken as Sam's strong arms pulled her into own body, both screaming to start a primal dance of love.


"Love…I think we should go home…Annette wont like it if we start disrobing one another and ravish each other, even if the bar is nearly deserted." Janet murmured, regaining her composure. "I just hope you can navigate that machine of yours safely home."


"Of course…"


"Hey ladies, Merry Christmas." Stacey said as she came up to them.

Sam moved ever so slightly from in front of her beloved to take a possessive hold behind her. "Merry Christmas Stace." Sam smiled; her hand increased the pressure of her hold around Janet's waist.


"Happy Christmas." Janet nodded. "You having a good holiday?"


"Yeah," the tall brunette commented "Lynn and I just stopped in for a drink, then taking off to be with Michelle and Deanna. You two are welcome to join us for Christmas dinner tomorrow. Might, be fun six of us together. I know it's your first together, but you're more then welcome, if you don't already have plans."


"Thanks." It was Janet that answered. "Let us think about it."


The mechanic nodded. Then looked up to see her girlfriend bound in from outside. Lynn was actually shorter then Janet standing four foot nine, and a little thinner with an almost boyish frame; she had thick blonde hair that was cropped very short, large blue eyes and a forever-mischievous smirk. She was a jockey, one of few female riders. She seemed to have endless energy and was a quick as the mounts she road in the races. To Sam, she was reminded of a small house cat before the mouse hole waiting for the rodent to peek out and then she was on the kill. Pent up energy waiting for the gate to open to be set free. It was almost odd to see her ex with one such as the tiny blonde. Lynn wasn't fem, but she wasn't exactly butch either, and Stacey had always gone for the more butchy girls. But she was happy that Stacey had finally found someone. And Lynn was very easy to like.


"Hey girls." That smirk turned into a full warm smile as she hugged each air force officer in turn, each had tenderly returned the hug. Sam always felt that she would break the fine boned woman, whenever she embraced her. Lynn was so much smaller then Janet and seemingly as frail as spun glass. Though the jockey had proven more on one occasion she was exceptionally sturdy as anyone in the military. She took a step back, the smirk had returned. "I have something for you two...a stocking stuffer." Bright blue eyes shown with the mischievousness of a faery. Sam narrowed her blue eyes not for what Lynn was doing but for some reason the smaller blonde reminded her someone, though the taller blonde could not recall whom. Lynn took out of her leather jacket a disposable camera from Fuji. "You know how this works flygirl and doc. You have to smile."


Sam held Janet close to her and smiled brightly. The flash clicked and Lynn handed the camera to Janet. "The rest are for you to take on Christmas when you open your presents." She winked. "Its my experience most people forget to take out the camera. So I had to remedy that. I gave one to Annette and Stephanie and Michelle and Deanna." She shrugged "Stocking stuffers."


"That so sweet." Janet hugged the smaller woman, feeling, as Sam must when she hugged her. Lynn was so tiny compared to herself. The doctor in her knew that Lynn suffered from anemia, but it was a hazarded that came with riding Arabians and Thoroughbreds. Jockeys were worse then supper models when it came to diets.


"You're welcome." Lynn smiled kissing Janet on the cheek then Sam. "Hey! Before I forget." She withdrew an envelope from with in her pocket. "I don't know if you guys can make it, but I have box seats for you for the…" She suddenly stood in a Peter-Pan stance, balled hands upon her hips her feet shoulder width apart. That was it! Sam thought that was who Lynn reminded her of Peter-Pan! Hell the blonde had the same unruly haircut as the Pan.


Janet reached out for the extended gift. "Box seats?"

"For the derby…Sequoia and I made it to the Triple Crown!"

"Congratulations!" Both Janet and Sam chorused.

Stacey put her hand around her lover's shoulders. "My baby is quite the athlete. I'm so proud of her." She kissed the tiny blonde's lips that hinted more when in a more private surroundings. "She's one hell of a rider."


Sam smiled, catching the pun. Obvious the tiny blonde did to for her face flushed bright red. "Lynn that's great news." The taller woman tired to levitate the poor woman's' embarrassment. "I've seen you in a race before, you're one hell of a jockey."


"Thanks. So if you two can make it…you've got some of the best seats, they even serve champagne there and caviar…if you like fish eggs." The tiny jockey made a face of distaste. "Its kind of dressy affair up there. Your seats are by the owner's box."


Janet nodded. "If we can we'll be there. Hell all expenses paid to see the Triple Crown…sounds like a lot of fun. Thank you for the tickets"


"Merry Christmas." The tiny blonde smiled. "Come on Stace, you promised me a dance." She pulled the tall brunette to the hard wooden floor. Sam did a triple take. When they had been dating Stacey never wanted to dance with her, in fact the mechanic was absolutely adamant that she would not set foot upon the floor. She had refused Sam's request so often it became a futile to even think of dancing with her. The tall blonde had not admitted it, but it at the time it had stung. Hell it kinda stung now that Stacey was more then willing to dance with Lynn when Sam couldn't even get out onto the floor.


"They make a good if not odd couple." Janet commented her eyes following the two as they went to the dance floor. "Lynn is so full of life, I think Stacey needed that kind of change in her life."


Sam looked down to her beloved, and all thoughts of her ex swiftly departed. Lynn could have all the dances she wanted with Stacey. Janet was all she ever needed. Janet was her heart her everything. Her arms went tightly around the smaller woman's waist.

"I believe you're early attempts of seducing me, had hinted at other promises…" Sam kissed Janet's beautiful neck. "I think I want to open one of my presents early."


"Is that so?"

"Humm." Sam continued to kiss a line down the column of ivory skin.

"Oh I think that can be arranged."


 The black and teal motorcycle wove fluidly in and out of the last minute shopping rush hour traffic with ease. Like a shark nimbly navigating a corral reef, bike and riders moved as one between cars and lanes. Rounding the second to the last corner of a predetermined route, the motorcycle roared thru the Colorado Springs streets. Approaching the stop light ahead the rider guides her large steed between the cars, splitting lanes. Five more blocks and they were home free. Suddenly without warning the lights of the city blinked twice then were no more.


The riders see the moving van stirring precariously towards a larger car. Swerving because the sudden patch of black ice. Thinking the vehicle is attempting to merge into that lane, Sam quickly pulls in the clutch and downshifts the iron horse. The engine roars with thunder as the bike decelerates. The moving van neither stops nor slows in its path, crowding the already narrow gap between lanes. The engine roars with thunder as the bike decelerates. The moving van neither stops nor slows in its path, crowding the already narrow gap between lanes.


Unnerved, the biker coming ever closer to the rear of the moving van pulls in the clutch and wicks rearward the throttle of the motorcycle. The pipes howl as the riders clothing wipes in the wind


"Sam He's not going to stop..."


"Shit he's skidding on the ice!"


Sam and Janet's eyes widen and an adrenaline surge as a split second decision is made. Her heart pounds in her chest.... Sam suddenly disengages the clutch; the rear tire grips the asphalt forcefully, causing the front wheel of the bike to rise off the ground.


Squeezing between the van and the town car. Drivers of both vehicles become startled by the narrowly averted accident. Instinctively the trucker slams on his brakes. His tires squeal in protest as the van comes to a halt safely in an abandoned parking lot of a 7-11. The Lincoln like the Harley continue it trek. Hearts of all four pounding hard as silent prayers were offered up for the safe outcome. At least no one was hurt. The city was still dark from the sudden power outage, and no doubt elsewhere similar accidents or near accidents would occur. Sam just wanted to get her lover home safe and sound and in one piece. If they had been in her Mustang, the accident would have been worse, there would have been no way to escape as she had with the bike.


A few blocks latter, and Sam pulled into the drive of her house, for it was closer to the base then Janet's new home. Janet's embrace was still breath stealing strong, but not once had she thought to mistrust her beloved's skill on the bike. Her body molded perfectly with Sam's in so much that Sam felt at times she was alone on the bike, Janet road 'bitch' with exceptional skill.


The tall blonde cut the engine and threw the kickstand down. "Janet, honey let go."

Janet didn't move, for a moment her entire body was pressed into Sam's long back. "Baby-girl, please let go, we're home."


The doctor let go reluctantly and moved off the bike, so that Sam could. As soon as the blonde had disengaged her body from her iron steed, Janet threw her arms around the woman she loved, hugging her tight. And for a moment they stood like that simply holding one another. Blessing providence they weren't road-pizza and that the other two drivers would go home to their families shaken but unharmed. Perhaps this was not a traditional Christmas miracle but neither woman would contest that divine interference had worked this night with saving grace.


The city was still dark as pitch, when Sam allowed some distance to become between her and Janet. Her blue eyes looked up to the heavens and felt her breath catch. Plums of mist escaped her lips as the cool air hit. "Lover, look up…"


"Janet titled her head up to see the Milky Way in all of its radiance. With the light pollution even minimal as it was where Sam lived, view the stars was a real trick. Tonight however with the entire town of Colorado Springs in a black out the entire heaves could bevies in a blaze of glory.


"Oh my god…" She smiled.


"I've got an idea." Sam almost like a child gleamed in delight. Taking her lovers hand she dodged into the garage. "Lover…go into the hall closet and in the cedar chest you'll find two thermal artic sleeping bags. Would you please get them?"


"Sammy?" Janet only called her the pet name when they were in complete privacy. It was a name as a child Sam hated, but upon her lover's lips it was a sweet sound to her ears. For the most part Janet only uttered it when they made love.




Janet no matter how hard she tried could not say no to those wonderful blue eyes.


The smaller woman went into the house via the door connecting the house proper and the garage. Sam in the meantime lifted the extension ladder from the hooks holding it to the wall of the bay and carried the mettle contraption outside to the back. She then returned and took from a shelf a large box that contained an air mattress. She planed to take Janet camping in the mountains when it became summer and the airbed would be idea for camping comfort. As a member of SG1 Sam was accustomed to roughing it while camping, however while off duty she could splurge and sleep on a bed of air nuzzling her lover.


The object of her heart walked around the back just as Sam was hoisting the ladder to the flat part of her roof in the back. Janet remained silent watching her tall blonde lover mount the ladder and scale it quickly. She saw something blue puff up and Sam leaned over the edge of the roof with a delightful smirk. Quickly the younger woman came back down to earth and took one of the thick thermal sleeping bags from her love's arms.


"Go ahead, I'll follow right behind you." She encouraged after placing a warm delicate kiss on Janet's succulent lips. Janet knew Sam had some sort of surprise in mind so she kept her curiosity at bay, answers would come soon enough. Once she was up Sam was right on her tail, enjoying the view she had of Janet's posterior.


The blonde took the protective sleeve off her sleeping bag and unzipped it then laid the thick blanket down upon the air mattress. Placing another kiss on her lover's sweet lips, Sam did the same with the second bag, and then quickly zipped then together. Without further word she moved to Janet's side and took the smaller woman's hand into her own. She brought the delicate hand to her lips and gently kissed each digit, before she pressed a hungry mouth to Janet's. But before the amorous doctor could fully respond, the blonde led her love to the airbed and gingerly lowered her to its surface. With the same delicate care she removed Janet's shoes, making sure she placed each leg on the bed as not to get wet by the traces of snow upon the roof.


"Crawl under the blankets my love before you freeze that desirably tooshy of yours off."

"Sam…you're a hopeless romantic anyone ever tell you that?"

"Shh, don't let the secrete out. I have to maintain some of my bravado." She smirked, and then crawled under the thick down coverings. She had no worries about the sleeping bags as they were designed for artic exploration. Add this to the fact two very warm bodies pressed together; there was more then enough heat to keep them from hypothermia.


Snuggled together, the duo looked into the night sky, enjoying the celestial wonder. "Its no wonder you love the stars so much Sammy." Janet murmured her breath hot against Sam's neck.


"My love for them is second only to my love for you baby-girl." Sam closed her azure eyes for a moment savoring the touch of her lover.


"I've always liked that." Janet admitted quietly.




"That you call me baby-girl." Dark chocolate eyes bore depths of her love into Sam's soul. "Its not something anyone would think for you to say, I think that's why I like it. It isn't a sentiment that you would have said to anyone else. 'Baby-girl' is mine and mine alone."


"Yes it is." The blonde smiled, as she thought of it. No she never called anyone else in her past that particular pet name. Yes she had used: Love, Lover… Sweetheart… Babe…Hon… even Sweety but anything more then that she was uncomfortable with. But not with Janet. Her beloved…her baby-girl made it easy to say something like that with out self-conciseness getting in the way. The blonde nuzzled the pulse point of her lover's neck softly breathing the words. "Do you know what constellation that is?"


Janet looked to where Sam was pointing. Her brow scrunched for a moment as she tried to jump-start that area of her brain. At the moment the last thing on her mind was the heavens, though it should have been since she felt she was there already within Sam's embrace. She continued to think, then said. "Gemini?"


"Humm." Sam continued to kiss her neck. "You know for someone dating an astrophysicist you know little about the stars." Sam deepened the kiss. Before Janet could become defensive about her knowledge of the firmaments, Sam added. "You were close lover. But you mispronounced the name."




"Not Gemini…" Janet felt Sam's lips curl into a smile. "It's true pronunciation has been missed by scores of thousands over the years." She said it with such genuineness that for a moment that Janet thought she was serious. Maybe it was something like Uranus, apparently everyone mispronounced that too.


"So how do you say its name?"


"Jan-an-I." Sam said.

"Jan-an-I?" Janet sat up with a complete puzzlement on her face…well that didn't make since…then she blinked. Her lips pulled black into a glorious love filled laugh as she fell back down upon the arms of her lover. "Jan-an-I…" She repeated, drawing Sam's arm over her body, intermingling their fingers. "Then I guess it isn't' two brothers…"

"Nope." Sam uttered. "See…" she pointed with her free hand. "Its actually two lovers. Two women holding one another in an eternal beautiful act of love."

"Act of love?"


"Show me, how they love."

"With pleasure." Sam moved her hand trailing down the tantalizing body of her petite lover. "Merry Christmas Baby-girl."

Sam opened her eyes, aware at once that she'd hazed out again. The realization made her catch her breath, the sudden fear jolting her fully awake.

'Janet…oh baby-girl…it hurts…I have…I am lost…I'll find my way home…Have to keep the promise…have to keep my word…have to find you.'

She gently pulled her hand away from her right arm, the blood gummy and thick between her fingers. It hurt, but not as sharply as before and the bleeding had stopped, at least at the entrance; the shreds of her torn uniform had clotted to the wound, forming a stiff seal.

She leaned forward, reaching around to touch where the shrapnel had come out; again hardening, tacky patches of fabric beneath the pulsing ache of the wound. She couldn't be positive, but she thought the shrapnel had gone straight through the flesh, missing the bone completely- which meant in one respect she was extremely goddamn lucky.

'Well that is something my lover can easily patch up.' She laughed slowly that turned into a spasm of coughing, ignoring the blood seeping from the corner of her mouth Sam, mused: 'how many times have you patched me up and put me back together my lover? More times then you'd like…I'd wager.'

She thought it was the shock of the trauma that had made her black out—and she couldn't afford anymore time to recover. Something crackled in her ear…She tapped the side of her head shacking it causing a spasm of dull dismembered pain to ripple into her neck and head. But the crackling continued. It took the colonel a moment to realize it was her headset.



"Mama…stay where you are…we'll find you …"

"Cassie?!" Sam didn't care if anyone heard her, she didn't give a fuck if it was not professional… "Cassie you're alive?! Oh god kiddo I thought…"

Apparently Cassie didn't care if she any heard her as well for she addressed not the colonel but her blonde mother. "Mama, just hang on…I'll get you back to mom. I made a promises to her…she'd be…pissed if I broke it."

Sam laughed. Oh what a glorious wonderful beautiful day it was!

Her daughter was not KIA! Cassandra Frasier lived! Even as jackal headed shadows surrounded her, even as she felt something going around her neck, Sam laughed. She couldn't move, her body was a burnt broken shattered bloody mess, but it was a glorious day. She heard Zipcana issue orders. And she laughed rejoicing in a flood of relief.

Her daughter wasn't killed.

Part 8

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