I'm gonna pop
A/N- Disclaimers on the first part...and I noticed that somehow the end of the chapter was chopped off. I fixed this on 3/04/05 so if you haven't read it, it's done now...the chapter, not the story.
The night was cool, crisp and alive. While most things went to sleep at night, Jacob was waking up. He opened his door and smelled the crisp, night air. “Lana. I am going to the north fields. There is something making the G’Vrna anxious.” He said.
Lana smiled, popping her head from the kitchen. “Very well Jacob. Be safe.” She called.
Jacob turned and headed out the door when he suddenly stopped. A figure was slumped against the porch, breathing heavily. “Are you well, friend? Is there something wrong?”
The figure nodded. “Please. I need help.”
Jacob opened his door. “Please. Come in. Sit by the fire. “
The figure looked up and smiled. “Thanks. Don’t mind if I do.” He said as his face morphed into a visage unlike any Jacob had ever seen. The man snarled and leapt at Jacob, sinking his teeth into Jacobs neck, drinking deeply as he pushed into the home.
As Jacob died, the last image he saw was a man in a green suit smiling down at him. He saw the strange markings on his sleeve and didn’t even have time to wonder what an “SGC” was before the life faded from his eyes.
The screams of Lana and her four children echoed into the night and on through the morning.
Xander stared in complete awe at the sight before him. He stared at the lush forest around them, the strange birds flitting overhead and the bizarre sight of three suns overhead. He had seen and experienced many strange things in his time living on a Hellmouth, but nothing he had ever witnessed had compared him for what he just experienced.
“Are you alright Private?” Colonel O’Neill asked Xander.
Xander only nodded, then remembered that the view wasn’t the only reason he wasn’t moving.
“He’s gonna pop.” O’Neill said quickly. The three recruits beside Xander stepped back immedeatly.
T’ealc raised an eyebrow. “I do not believe he will.” He said, having already taken Xander’s measure.
O’Neill sighed. “Wanna bet?”
T’ealc only nodded.
A few seconds later, Xander was darting for the bushes.
Colonel O’Neill simply held out his hand. “When will you guys stop betting against me?” he said, folding the money and slipping it into his pocket. “You ok Private?” he called out to the bushes.
“Be out in a minute sir…just looking for my dignity.” Xander called back.
Major Carter smiled. “Don’t worry Private. We all went through it.”
O’Neill looked hurt. “I didn’t.”
Major Carter sighed and looked at their surroundings. She smiled when she saw that the other two recruits, Private Amanda Paris and Private Donald Farther, as she recalled, were both holding their stomachs and trying not to imitate Harris, who was coming from the trees. “Are you alright Private?” she asked.
Xander nodded. “Yeah. Just remind me never to eat a big breakfast before we do that again, will ya?” he asked, smiling.
Carter grinned. “You will get used to it.”
O’Neill was looking around, his sunglasses reflecting the terrain of the planet as he turned his head. “Now that that’s out of the way, what do you say to an introduction, Major?” he said.
Carter cleared her throat, getting the attention of the recruits. “Welcome to PX1-731, a small planet on the other side of our own galaxy. We are on the opposite arm of our own Milky Way.” She said, smiling.
The recruits were all stunned, their mouths hanging open, all except for Xander, who had a big grin on his face.
“Something amusing Private?” Carter asked.
“Just thinking how much a friend of mine back home would love this.” He smiled, thinking of Willow. “She would spend hours and hours learning everything about this place, studying everything from the technology the gate used to the dirt we brought back on our shoes.” He grinned.
O’Neill smiled. “Maybe you could get her to apply for the Air Force.” He grinned.
Xander shook his head. “Nah. She wouldn’t enjoy that particular ride.” He said, chucking his thumb back over his shoulder at the Stargate. A Stargate that was dialing an incoming wormhole.
“Let’s move double time, folks.” O’Neill said, slipping his P-90 off of his shoulder and leveling it at the Stargate as the last chevron encoded.
The gate opened up as O’Neill and the rest of the recruits, as well as SG-1, made the tree line and hid out of site. Six Jaffa warriors, each with a glyph tattooed on his forehead, stepped through the gate. Turning to T’ealc, O’Neill raised his eyebrows in silent question.
T’ealc simply shook his head once and stared at the soldiers as they fanned out.
O’Neill grumbled. This planet was supposed to be a safe place to take new recruits in order for them to get used to wormhole travel and it also served as a small outpost for the science geeks who were into all of the stellar…stuff. It was NOT supposed to have Jaffa warriors stepping through the gate as soon as they arrived. He would have to get General Hammond to put a damn iris on this end. That would mean someone manning a radio position to receive a GDO signal around the clock. That would mean building the base closer to the wormhole. That would mean more money and THAT would mean more paperwork. O’Neill chambered a round angrily and gave the signal to SG-1 to prepare to attack. He hated paperwork.
T’ealc prepared his Zat and nodded his readiness, as did the rest of SG-1.
Giving a silent countdown from three, SG-1 attacked, taking out four of the Jaffa immedeatly and the other two before a single staff weapon discharged.
O’Neill walked from the trees and turned to face the team, who was slowly emerging. “What the hell are Jaffa doing coming to PX1-731, Carter?” he asked. “I thought PX1-731was safe. You said PX1-731was safe, the Jaffa resistance said PX1-731was safe. Even the freakin Tokra said PX1-731was safe!” he yelled, kicking up a cloud of dust. “And yet…” he closed his eyes, trying to calm down. “I have a Jaffa scouting party coming through the Gate on PX1-731.” He said.
Major Carter, who had been securing the Jaffa along with T’ealc looked up at O’Neill. “Sorry sir. It was very secure up until now.” She said.
Xander and the rest of the recruits continued to scan the perimeter as SG-1 dialed Earth and sent radio message to Hammond. “Man…I just wanted to see the world.” Private Farther said.
Xander smiled. “One world…two worlds…I get the feeling that we are gonna see all sorts of new things.” He said, grinning from ear to ear.
Xander sat on the small, fallen log the three recruits had pulled to the fireside and stared at the fire. They had moved almost a mile from the Stargate in case any Jaffa decided to make another entrance. Xander sat quietly, staring into the flames. Private Paris sat next to him doing the same. He looked over and saw a scared expression on her face. It wasn’t one born from the Jaffa scouting party; it wasn’t even really one of fear. It was more like all of this was really starting to sink in. They had traveled literally hundreds of light years from home in a few steps. They were on an alien world, or more accurately an alien moon, and they had just killed several hostile aliens.
Xander found this a lot easier to believe since he had been raised on a Hellmouth and been fighting demons and vampires since high school. Amanda, however, grew up in Sacramento. She went to a normal high school, then to a normal college. She was a little smarter than the average person, a lot smarter than Xander, but that was about as weird as she got. Amanda had joined the Air Force because she wanted a career in astrophysics and the Air Force would pay for a lot of her school as well as start her on the path to that very goal. The brochure never said anything about aliens or wormholes.
“Hey. You ok?” Xander asked softly, smiling gently and turning on the old Harris charm.
Amanda looked up at Xander and tried to smile. “Just a little wierded out by all of this I guess. I mean, I always believed there were other life forms. It’s a little arrogant to believe that we are alone; the universe is just to massive for that. Statistically speaking the chances are overwhelmingly against it.” She said. “But…” she shook her head and tried to form her next few words.
“But, they should look like E.T. and be friendly, just as happy to see us as we are to see them?” Xander supplied.
Amanda smiled sheepishly and shrugged. “A little foolish, huh?” she said softly.
Xander shook his head. “Not really. We all have a pre set notion of the way things should be. A picture in our heads of what is real, what it does and why it does it. It’s what we all like to call normal. Anything falling outside of that is abnormal and a cause for fear, anger or some other fight or flight notion.” He said. “And we live, every day, in that world we have created. Constantly shocked and surprised when things don’t go the way they’re supposed to.” He grinned. “It doesn’t mean for one second we have to like it. We just have to survive in it.”
Amanda stared at Xander for a moment before a large grin split her face. “That’s the biggest load of double talking, psychological muck I have ever heard.” She said. “But I feel better knowing that I’m not freaking out about nothing.”
Xander returned her smile. “I was the class clown in high school. Willow was the smart one.”
“Harris!” Colonel O’Neill barked, making Xander jump. “You have the watch. Wake Farther in three hours and he’ll wake Paris. You notice any more Jaffa you wake everyone up immediately if not sooner. Understood?”
Xander nodded. “Yes sir.” He said. Looking over at Amanda, he grinned. “Relax and try to get some rest.” He said. Amanda nodded and lay down beside the fire, slowly drifting off to sleep.
The night was calm, and a little cooler than Xander was used to. He checked his watch again and sighed. It was exactly five minutes later than the last time he checked, which meant that he had 55 minutes left until he needed to wake up Farther.
Peering out into the night, he kept his eyes roving. He knew from many patrols that if he focused on one spot for to long his eyes would start seeing things. Suddenly, Xander picked up a small sound, very faint and quite far from their position, almost like machinery. He couldn’t quite place it but the harder he concentrated the more he heard it. Suddenly, it was quiet again and Xander chuckled to himself; now he was hearing things. He was about to turn and begin his walk around the camp when he caught movement in his peripheral vision. Snapping his P-90 up, he focused on the spot, but there was nothing there.
He stayed there for a few seconds and slowly lowered his weapon, peering around the darkness. This was a bad situation, and his instincts, from living and fighting on a Hellmouth, told him something bad was happening. He moved into the camp and, without taking his eyes from the darkness, knelt by Colonel O’Neill and woke him. “Colonel. I think we have company.” He said when O’Neill opened his eyes and frowned at him.
“What kind of trouble, Private?” O’Neill asked, standing and picking up his weapon.
“I thought I heard machinery in the distance, and I think I caught movement in the woods.” Xander reported.
“You think?” the Colonel asked, staring into the dark. “What did this machinery sound like?”
“I’m not sure sir. Like grating metal. I don’t know of anything in nature that makes that sound, so I decided to play it safe.” Xander shrugged.
O’Neill nodded, picking up a pair of night vision goggles. “Good idea.” He said, slipping the goggles on and scanning the tree line. “Looks like your instincts were right. We have some visitors.” He said. “Carter. T’ealc. Jackson.” O’Neill said over his shoulder. “We have some visitors.” He repeated.
Xander jumped as T’ealc suddenly materialized beside him, in full gear and holding a large staff. “Great googly-mooglies.” He snapped.
“My apologies Xander Harris.” T’ealc said, scanning the tree line.
“Harris. Wake the others. They aren’t Jaffa, but they aren’t our people either.” Colonel O’Neill said.
Xander nodded and hurried over to where the recruits lay asleep. He soon returned, flanked by the others. “What are we going to do now sir?” he asked.
“Now we wait. It’s going to be light soon, and they’re not moving, so we wait.” O’Neill said.
“I don’t like being this exposed, sir.” Major Carter said. “If they have weapons they’ll cut us down without much of a problem.”
“I concur with Major Carter.” T’ealc said. “We should fortify our position.”
O’Neill sighed. “With what? Do you happen to have any sandbags, maybe a wall?” he snapped. “Besides. I don’t see any weapons. They’re just sort of…standing there.”
Dawn broke and Xander blinked rapidly, realizing he had fallen asleep while sitting on the small rock he was on. He jumped up, spinning and looking for any sign of trouble.
“Easy there, Harris.” O’Neill said quietly.
“Sorry sir. I must have dozed off.” Xander said, trying to appear calm while his heart hammered in his chest.
“It’s alright. You were the only one who didn’t get any sleep.” O’Neill said.
“Any sign of the…uh…visitors?” Xander asked, unsure of how to classify the movement he saw. They hadn’t attacked, so he didn’t want to say hostiles, but he didn’t know if they were friendly either.
“Not a peep. The sun will be up soon and we will be able to see them more clearly.” O’Neill said, looking through the binoculars. O’Neill frowned as he looked through the binoculars. “Huh.” He said.
Xander looked up and then out towards the treeline. “Sir?” he asked.
“They’re gone.” O’Neill said, handing the binoculars to Xander. “Just inside the line, along that copse.” He said.
Xander looked and sighed. “Guess they didn’t want to play.” He said. He couldn’t help feeling, however, that something was very wrong.
“Pack it up people. We’re heading to the research facility.” O’Neill barked.
The six other people moved with precision, the members of SG-1, however, moved with a practiced ease from years of experience while the three recruits still moved with an unsure gait as they checked off everything in their head step by step.
O’Neill held his hand up and they group stopped and took up positions along the path, scanning the area for trouble. “Something’s wrong.” He muttered.
Xander could feel it too. “There’s no sound.” He said softly.
T’ealc raised an eyebrow. “You are correct, Xander Harris.” He said. “There is no wildlife in the background. A sign of an ambush.” He said, his respect for Xander raising a notch.
O’Neill nodded. “There’s that, and the research facilities door is off of the hinges and there are bodies scattered around.” He pointed out towards the complex as they crested the rise in the small trail they were following.
Teal’c and Carter immediately brought their weapons to bear, watching their flank for an ambush with practiced eyes.
“Sir, maybe we should take them home and come back with SG-3.” Carter said softly.
Jack looked at his 2IC and shook his head. “They gotta learn sometime.” He said.
Carter nodded once. “Yes sir.”
Xander, meanwhile, was looking down at one of the corpses that was laying broken in the clearing. More accurately, he was looking at the gashes in the corpses neck and the distinct lack of blood. “Dammit.” He muttered. “You can take the boy from the Hellmouth and ship him light years away to another freakin planet, but you can’t get the Hellmouth away from the boy.” Shouldering his weapon, Xander knelt and looked closer at the wound. ‘Yep.’ He thought to himself. ‘Defiantly bites, add a lack of blood and what do you get?’ Xander shook his head. “Space vampires.” He muttered softly. "Sometimes, I hate my life."