Title:            “Got To Make it Home”         

 

Author:         Peg  

 

Email:           kempp@telus.net

 

Status:         Complete – Part of series                    

 

Category:     Action/Adventure                    

 

Pairings:       none in this story, although the series is Jack/Janet

 

Spoilers:        Anything with Cronus                       

 

Season:        4

 

Sequel/Series Info:          “Strength and Courage”

 

Rating:              CONTENT LEVEL: 13+    

Content Warnings:       violence, and an occasional word    

  

Summary:           Jack risks his life to save his team – and almost loses it.

 

Disclaimer:        Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions  This story has been written for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended.  All original characters are my own - yada yada yada - In other words - I don't own these guys. I never will....I just like to play with them now and then.

 

Feedback:        Yes Please.  Constructive Criticism to improve my craft is appreciated.  Flames are not.                

 

File Size:           63 kb              

 

Archive:                             Please ask

 

Author’s Notes:     Please note that no actual Jack O'Neill's were injured in the creation of this story - grin

 

For those of you who are following the series “Strength and Courage”   This is what happens on the SG1 recon mission that Johnson and Hobbs heard about in the Cafeteria in "Commissary Vignette".

 

My definite thanks and appreciation go to Wendy for her help in Beta-reading. Her assistance and suggestions went a long way to making this story what it is, as this is my first attempt at an action story.

 

 

“Got to Make it Home”

 

 

Daniel Jackson was on the run, dodging through the trees, following Major Sam Carter --- heading for the area of the Stargate.    ‘Dammit!’ he snarled internally.  ‘Why does this always have to happen to us!  As Daniel glanced over his shoulder he saw Colonel Jack O’Neill and the Jaffa Warrior Teal’c taking point.  They had turned and were scanning the area around for any Jaffa scouts.  The team had already avoided 4 patrols, and killed one lone scout with a knife, hiding the body.

 

Soon they were on a low rise above the large plateau that hosted the stargate.  Behind them was a wilderness filled with patrolling Jaffa.  SG1 had traveled through the stargate to do a third recon of the planet for traces of naquada, and had soon discovered that they had been set-up for an ambush by goa’uld system lord, Cronus.

 

The expedition had been uneventful the other two times they’d been on this planet.  They’d already done a major recon, and encountered nothing dangerous.  There had been no sign of human habitation, and definitely none of a Jaffa settlement.  This was the final recon mission before a geology team from the SGC was cleared for the on-world investigation of a possible naquada vein. 

 

Sam Carter had her military instincts in full gear.  Hundreds of thoughts were dashing through Sam’s mind as she was running.  She knew that the MALP hadn’t indicated any incursion through the gate, so the Jaffa had either been here, or had come by ship.  The Jaffas arrival by ship was far more likely, because with Teal’c’s level of expertise in tracking, Carter was sure that they would have seen some sign on the previous expeditions if the enemy Jaffa had been on the planet. 

 

Sam ducked for cover just before the top of the rise, joined a moment later by Daniel, the Colonel and Teal’c. 

 

“The reward for our heads must have gone up.” The Colonel said wryly, dusting himself off.  That got him an eyebrow rise from Teal’c, and a harsh “No Kidding.” from Daniel. 

 

SG1 could see the gate in the distance. It was obviously heavily guarded by Jaffa.  Colonel O’Neill lay down on his stomach, and crept towards the edge of the ridge.    Jack pulled out his spyglass and began doing a scan of the area.  He gave a heavy sigh, and pulled back to where the rest of the team was waiting. The Colonel looked over at Teal’c.  “How many do you count, T?” he asked, quietly.

 

“I believe there cannot be less than 30 patrols.” The solemn Jaffa intoned.

 

“Any ideas?” Jack asked pleasantly, already running through options in his mind.  Few people realized that when the Colonel said, plan A, B, or C – those were only the spoken plans - if the truth were known, he was probably already on plan P, Q or R – of plans that flashed through his mind, and were discarded as flawed or fatal.

 

Carter looked at her watch.  “Well – if we sit here and wait, the gate should open soon. We’ve already missed our check-in time.” Carter glanced up at the Colonel hopefully. “If we can get another hundred feet closer we should be within range to send a radio message through to Hammond.  We can ask for reinforcements.”

 

“I’ve already thought of that, Major.” O’Neill said. “Take a look a hundred feet ahead of us.”  He handed her his eyeglass, and she winced as she saw the number of roving Jaffa patrols down the hill ahead of them.  

 

“We’ve done that before with Cronus.” The Colonel said bitterly.  “He has obviously made note of it, and is learning some of our SOPs.  We need a new strategy.”

 

As the team watched, the stargate sprung into action.  Jack was ready to thumb the radio, just --- hoping against hope that the signal might reach through to Hammond.  It took only a moment to realize that this wormhole had not come from earth, as more of Cronus’ Jaffa warriors marched out of the shimmering blue ring. Teal’c’s eyebrow ticked up, and then the stoic Jaffa motioned to O’Neill, who nodded. 

 

“I noticed.” He said, wearily.

 

“They are really quite intent about this.” Daniel mused.  “Now we have about 60 Jaffa patrols out looking for us.” Jackson’s voice was filled with sarcastic gloom.  “I wonder what they want?

 

O’Neill looked at Daniel sharply, and then chuckled.  “Yeah, Danny Boy --- you’d think we ticked him off or something.”  They shared a smile, remembering their last encounter with Cronus, and Teal’c’s long vendetta against this particular goa’uld.

 

Jack gave a sigh, and motioned to the others to huddle near.  “All Right, Campers.” He said with mock cheer.  “It’s only a matter of time before they find us.  They obviously know we’re on the planet.  We need a solid plan.” O’Neill looked at each of them in turn.  He gave a sigh.  “Seriously, there is no way we’re going to get close enough to send a radio message as things stand.  Now, I have a plan --- but you’re not going to like it.  So I’m giving you the opportunity to throw out any options you have before I make my decision.”

 

Jack waited for a moment, looking at each face intently. Carter and Jackson knew that the situation was bad.  Teal’c looked at him solemnly.  He understood that the only way to get Carter and Jackson close to the gate was to get all those Jaffa someplace else.  Teal’c had already deduced what the plan had to be.

 

O’Neill nodded.  “Okay, then!  This is it.  Last time we were here” Jack began, gesturing to a rock face in the distance, “we set up those claymores to dig a bit of rock out of the hills to test for Naquada.  We only used 3 of them, and didn’t dig up the rest because we planned on using them this time.”  Jack skirted over to the edge, and took another look with the spyglass.  He was giving them time to follow the logic of the plan through on their own.  “No change down there.” He said simply, and then turned back.

 

“Carter, you and Jackson wait here.” Jack said decisively.  “Teal’c and I are going to draw this group of Jaffa away from the gate by setting off the Claymores and using the P90s to make them think we’re over there.” Jack gestured towards the distant crag of rock.   “When the Jaffa clear out – you go down and make your phone call – then wait for reinforcements to arrive and under their cover fire – get to the gate.”

 

“But Jack, how will you guys make it back to the gate? Those claymores are 2 clicks from the stargate?” Daniel hissed, with eyes narrowed.

 

Jack O’Neill smiled, easily – a jaunty smirk disguising his fear “If all else fails, we’ll hide out until you can find us.” Jack said.  “But the truth is – there are 60 Jaffa patrols out there – and that’s only the ones that we KNOW about.” Jack said emphatically.  His eyes glinted like steel.   He knew the hard facts had to be faced.  “We haven’t seen a ship, although that’s how we suspect they got here.  There could be a battalion more.  You know that”

 

O’Neill saw the look on Daniel’s face, and scrunched down close, wanting to forestall any further argument.  “Daniel,” he said in a low undertone. “You know that there is no other way to do this.  We can’t survive with just the four of us – not against that many Jaffa.” He placed a hand on his friends shoulder. “---You and Carter have to do this, you can get reinforcements over here to help us.” Jack paused again, then looking intently into Daniel’s eyes, said forcefully “You need to do this so that you can at least even the odds a bit.  It’s the only way.”

 

Daniel nodded unhappily.  He knew that it was true, but that didn’t mean he had to like it.

 

Jack looked at Teal’c. The two brothers in arms knew that the chances of getting out of this one unscathed were minimal --- at best.  “Right!” Jack took a deep breath.  “We should be able to make it there within a half hour.  If nothing starts by that time, it will mean we didn’t make it to the claymores.” He stared at Carter. “Start looking at other options, but get yourself out of here alive.  That’s an order!”

 

Carter nodded, blinking back tears that she dared not show, but already turning ideas over in her mind.  Jack stripped his pack down to the bare necessities of what might help him against an enemy incursion force.  He looked over at Sam Carter and Daniel Jackson, and gave them the warm grin that they both knew so well.

 

Jack turned once again, checking his extra clips.  He was almost ready to head out.  He looked back over his shoulder and nodded at the two of them.  “Take Care of each other.” He said meaningfully.  It was the closest thing to goodbye they had ever heard him say.  Teal’c turned and bowed towards them.  “It has been my honour.” He said solemnly; then he turned and was gone.

 

Colonel Jack O’Neill and Teal’c moved stealthily away through the bush, leaving Daniel wondering how two such big men could make so little noise. Daniel looked at his watch, monitoring the interminable slowness of the passing seconds, and waiting with excruciating dread for the far off sounds of gunfire.  ‘At least then I’ll know they made it to the claymores,’ he thought, not even wanting to think about what might come next.

 

The Colonel and Teal’c managed to avoid the Jaffa patrols for most of the distance.  The one patrol that they hadn’t managed to avoid would have regretted it --- had they lived.  The two-man patrol had almost gone by the tall undergrowth where Jack and Teal’c lay hidden. Where other Jaffa might have passed without noticing, a brush of dirt to the side made this patrol curious, and they investigated deeper into the brush.  Teal’c erupted from his hiding spot a second later, twisting and snapping his opponent’s neck in seconds. By the time the first Jaffa had hit the ground, Jack’s boot-knife had made short work of the other.  They dragged the two Jaffa into the underbrush, erased all evidence of the fight, and moved on swiftly.

 

It was not easy to move both quickly and undetectably, but it was necessary.  They managed to make good time, and soon made it to the location that Jack had in mind.  The Colonel called Teal’c to a stop in a treed area that his military mind had noticed on the last recon mission.  It was just over a kilometer from the gate, and the perfect place for a surprise attack.  “This is where we part ways, Teal’c.”  Jack said firmly. 

 

The Jaffa looked at him with two raised eye-brows, determined not to leave his side.  O’Neill smiled wearily, and explained that he intended this area to be a secondary battle-front.  It didn’t take long for Teal’c to agree.  It was a wise and prudent plan.  Jack gave Teal’c the task of setting up several booby-traps to take out Jaffa on their way to the claymores.  Teal’c could then move a ways ahead, and lay in wait for any of Cronus’ warriors that made it beyond the traps.  By doing that he could cut down on the Jaffa warriors that would actually be attacking Jack’s position.

 

Teal’c had enough respect for O’Neill’s abilities as a soldier to know that both of them had an equal chance to make it to the claymores.  Teal’c also recognized O’Neill’s real intent with the secondary combat area.  The truth of the matter was that Colonel O’Neill saw this as a second option, and a second chance to save Jackson and Carter.  If O’Neill didn’t make it to the claymores, then this secondary position would still allow Teal’c the opportunity to stage a counterfeit attack using his staff weapon and P90 to draw the Jaffa away from the gate.  What was foremost in both their minds was the safe retrieval of the rest of their team.

 

It didn’t take Jack O’Neill long to trek the rest of the way to the rocky ridge, where he found the claymores already set up for the intended scientific portion of this expedition.  Jack made for the claymores, and fixed the detonators quickly.  He worked as swiftly as possible, as the claymores had been a bit in the open.  Jack assessed the tactical applications of the area.  He moved two of the claymores down to an area just beyond the tree-line, which seemed the logical place for an ambush.  O’Neill then began to search for several defensive positions.  Jack settled on a site that provided adequate cover, but also had a clear line of fire to the tree-line.  He noted several secondary positions that would work, as well. 

 

Colonel Jack O’Neill looked at his watch.  ‘Here we go.’ He thought.  There was no time left.  He set off one of the claymores far up the ridge, watching as it caused a minor landslide of rocks skittering down the steep slope.  Then he sprayed a bit of gunfire over another area of loose rock, causing more land-slides, and listened for movement anywhere around him. Jack looked around carefully, scanning the distance. 

 

Jack waited a few moments more, and fired his sidearm, two or three shots at a time, until it was empty.  He put the last clip in his sidearm, and listened.  ‘Yes!’  Colonel O’Neill punched the air, with a ‘hoo-rah’ gesture.   He could hear the approach of Jaffa through the underbrush.    Spraying a bit more P90 fire to keep the Jaffa interested, Jack placed in a fresh clip, took cover, and scanned the tree-line until he saw the Jaffa beginning to emerge from it.

 

Jack waited until the Jaffa just breached the tree-line, and then let off another burst with the P90, cutting down a few of them.  Staff-blasts were coming from the area where he had left Teal’c. He muttered “Shepherd’s prayer” and chuckled internally.  It was amazing what came to your mind at a time like this.  Alan Shepherd’s prayer had been uttered in the early 60’s in the capsule of a NASA rocket.  He was rumored to have said “Oh, Lord please don’t let me screw this up”.  That certainly fit the situation.

 

O’Neill saw a number of Jaffa exiting the tree-line, and emptied the clip of his P90, spraying the trees with gunfire again.  He heard a throng of Jaffa crashing through the brush, and watched the forest closely until he could see movement in the background.  Then Jack armed the detonator, and pressed the button, setting off a claymore planted right by the tree-line, with rocks covering it.   He could see splinters of exploding trees flying everywhere.  He could hear shrieks of pain, and crashing in the underbrush.  Jack used the resulting confusion to change clips in his P90, and moved downhill, to a secondary position.  He watched as dirt and small rocks exploded into the air from where he had been.  The smell of scorched earth reached him as his first defensive position was obliterated by staff-blasts as a few Jaffa figured out where the gunfire had come from.

 

‘Well,’ Jack grinned to himself.  ‘That seems to have gotten their attention.’

 

Jack waited a moment more, until he could see some leaves moving in the background, and shot off another burst from the P90, spraying the tree-line with more gunfire.

 

Jack’s senses were on high alert.  Something was not right.  Suddenly he heard the skittering sound of a small rockslide a little ways behind him.  He whirled to see a lone Jaffa that had managed to circle around him.  The staff weapon, was already up and aimed, and beginning to fire.  “Crap!” O’Neill swore, and moved into action, rolling away from the target zone.

 

He almost made it.  Pain seared one shoulder as the blast grazed him.  Rock shrapnel sprayed his back, as he finished the roll.  Jack landed on one knee, and was bringing his P90 around to fire as it jarred on a boulder and went skittering down the hill.  O’Neill reached for his secondary weapon, and less than a second later was shooting his sidearm at the Jaffa.  All the shots hit, dead center, but it did not seem to slow the large servant of Cronus’ down.  This Jaffa was intent on killing him. 

 

As the Jaffa tracked his staff weapon to the present location of Colonel O’Neill, Jack had no option but to jump at him, forcing the Jaffa off-balance. All those sparring sessions with Teal’c came back in a flash, and Jack used some moves that had worked with Teal’c against this Jaffa.  It was a battering fight, but Jack was able to jar the staff weapon out of his hands, and kick it down the hill.  He then shot the Jaffa with the last bullet in his sidearm.  The Jaffa fell back, as if dead.

 

 Jack whirled to check his six, and saw another mass of Cronus’ troops making their way past the tree-line.  He reached for the other detonator, and set off the third claymore.  It was particularly well placed, sending rock and splinters of wood in a deadly explosive burst.  The injuries and unexpected mayhem caused confusion as the Jaffa spun, looking in all directions, trying to see where this horrendous attack had come from. 

 

O’Neill was preparing to dash to where his P90 was lying at the base of a boulder, when suddenly there was a sharp pain in his back.  It spread through him like fire and Jack silently cursed himself for not checking to ensure his adversary was dead.  O’Neill spun back to face the Jaffa who had stabbed him in the back with a blade, only to see him on the ground at his feet.  The last futile act of this Jaffa servant of Cronus had been one final attempt to vanquish the enemy of his false god.  He was dead.

 

Jack didn’t hesitate; he fell to ground, and slid to where his P90 was. Dizziness washed over him as pain radiated from his back and shoulder. Ignoring it, knowing he had no time to waste, he crawled towards better cover. Jack closed his eyes, taking a deep shuddering breath; and assessed the situation.

 

There were obviously more Jaffa than they believed.  O’Neill had counted at least 30 in the combat zone; and those were only the ones that he could see.  Jack knew from the sounds he had heard in the distance earlier that Teal’c had also encountered a large force.

 

He assessed his injuries.   He was battered and bruised, his shoulder was seared from the staff-blast, but it wasn’t bleeding.  His whole body hurt like hell.  The hundreds of shards of sharp rock imbedded in his back from the staff-blast were painful, sending a constant reminder of their presence.  None of these things was life-threatening.  The knife was another story. 

 

The blade protruding from O’Neill’s back was sending waves of agony with every move he made.  The agony would diminish if he pulled the knife out, but Jack knew that was the worst thing he could do. Jack knew that there was blood oozing from the knife wound, but at the moment the blood was only seeping out around the blade; the blade itself was actually stopping the wound from bleeding freely.  If he pulled out the knife, the blood flow would actually increase, and the trail it left would be even larger. And he would probably die from blood loss before he reached the gate.  Jack sighed.  ‘This was SO not good!’

 

Jack moved quietly down the slope, biting on his bottom lip to keep from crying out as he took cover in a patch of low vegetation.  He was out of sight of the Jaffa, and it allowed him a bit more time for assessment.  The Colonel’s sidearm was empty, and he had just replaced the last clip in his P90.  It was almost full, but it was the last of the ammo.  He still had his boot knife.  Jack could make a last stand if he had to, and could take out a number of the Jaffa.  He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and was preparing to rush out when his radio crackled to life.

 

“Colonel O’Neill” Teal’c’s resonant voice rang out.  “I have heard from Major Carter.  Our plan worked.  They have contacted General Hammond, and reinforcements have arrived.  We must now make our way to the gate.”

 

Colonel Jack O’Neill peered out through the brush.  The remaining Jaffa were beginning to organize search parties and patrols, and Jack knew it was only a matter of time now until they found the corpse of his attacker, and the blood trail from the knife wound. But he still had one more trick up his sleeve.  He could, at least slow them down. He pulled the last detonator from the pocket of his BDUs, and armed it.   The fourth claymore had been left where it was because the Colonel had recognized a strategic placement.  A blast from the location of the last claymore would cause a small avalanche of rock from an overcrop.  He set it off, and stole away through the trees in the resulting confusion.

 

O’Neill was as silent as possible as he traveled through the underbrush.  He stopped for a moment, and leaned against a tree.  The agony was overwhelming, but Jack knew that there was no way he could take a rest. He could only try to stay conscious as long as possible, and to make it to the gate.

 

The Colonel Jack O’Neill moved stealthily, using all of his black-ops training to leave as small of a trail as possible, and heading towards the location where he had last seen Teal’c.  A sheen of sweat covered his body as he fought the urge to rest.  Agony became his companion, washing over him in waves.  He forced himself to stay alert, to move silently – knowing that Cronus’ Jaffa would be upon him in a moment if he failed.  Jack was exhausted.  His injuries were beginning to weaken him but he knew that he must keep going. 

 

The Colonel had managed to make a fair distance before he heard shouts in the background.  He could make out enough of what was said to determine that the Jaffa had found his trail. Being silent would have no more benefit for him, although it had given him a head start.  Jack began to lope through the woods.  It was no longer the time for sneaking – O’Neill dropped all unnecessary weight, and began running, trying to keep ahead of the approaching horde of Jaffa. 

 

The pain in his shoulder was intense, and a quick glance revealed darkened and blistered flesh showing through the charred remains of his sleeve.  “Great.” He murmured to himself.  “Add shock to the mix.” Jack knew if he wasn’t already in shock, it would hit him soon.

 

Jack’s legs had become heavy, like lead, and every step wracked his body with agony.  It was taking all his effort not to make a sound, as the waves of pain washed over him.  O’Neill fixed his mind on one goal.  ‘I‘ve got to make it to the gate.  Got to make it to the gate.  Got to make it Home.’

 

Jack stumbled and fell, scraping one knee, as he hit the ground hard. Pain exploded through him and he cried out, unable to stop himself. Knowing that his life depended on it, he forced his tired and battered body to move.  Using a nearby tree, he pulled himself up, staggering to his feet once again.  Jack set off running again, one aching step after another, unaware that he was muttering.

 

“Going to the Gate”

“Must Get Home.”

“Got to get to the Gate.” 

 

Jack O’Neill burst through the area where he had left Teal’c, and saw the bodies of dead Jaffa.  This had been where Teal’c had made his stand.  He hesitated, looking quickly. He knew it was taking time away from his escape, but Jack would not leave a man behind.  He checked the bodies quickly, then thumbed his radio.  “Teal’c” he muttered into his radio – “Where are you.” 

 

I am with Major Ferretti, we have taken the gate.  Are you well, O’Neill?” the deep voice boomed.                                     

 

“Peachy.” O’Neill  said sarcastically.  “Got to run.  Teal’c.  They’re behind me.”  Jack finished unsteadily, as the next wave of pain hit.  He was relieved to know that his friend was not injured.  He didn’t have to worry about Teal’c – Teal’c was safe.

 

It was like a weight lifted from his shoulders.  He felt almost euphoric.  Jack shook his head, trying to shake the cobwebs out of it.  He regretted almost immediately, as the next wave of pain paralyzed him.  Jack re-assessed, recognizing that the intense fight with the Jaffa might also have caused a concussion.  O’Neill could feel the cold creeping through his body. He recognized the onset of shock, but he couldn’t let it dull his senses

 

‘Make it to the gate.  Make it to the Home.”   He fixed his mind on that, and began moving as swiftly as he could.  Jack could feel dampness on his pant legs now.  The knife wound was seeping steadily. His shirt was soaked, and gravity was drawing the dampness ever downward.  “Make it to the gate.” He murmured.

 

Jack stumbled into a ravine, and landed in a small creek. The fall jarred the knife.  The Colonel pressed his hand against his mouth, biting as he tried to stop the guttural cry of pain erupting from his own mouth. It passed.  Jack took a unsteady breath, and scooped some water to his mouth with a shaking hand, the cool liquid helping to revive him a little.  Remembering his training, he sloshed upstream quickly, looking for a place where he could exit without leaving much of a trail. ‘That should set them back a few moments,’ he thought.  He took off running again.  He had to be close now.

 

O’Neill came over the top of a rise.  In the distance he could see the top of the gate was showing on the horizon.  He could see men running towards him.  Jaffa,’  he thought foggily - looking for cover.  ‘No, wait!.  Jaffa don’t wear green.’   It was Ferretti and his team coming to the rescue, lead by Teal’c.  ‘Here come the cavalry,’ Jack thought hazily.   He continued running, stumbling to

the ground again, staggering up, and moving on.  Running.  ‘Make it to the gate.  Make it home!’

 

Jack felt the footsteps rushing behind him.  He heard the unmistakable sound of staff weapons being charged.  The Jaffa had caught up with him.   “Crap!” he swore, as he whirled, weapon at ready.  He saw seven Jaffa taking aim with staff weapons.  Jack fell to the ground and rolled, forcing the knife further into his back, his body screaming out in agony and his hands shaking as he sprayed all seven Jaffa with P90 fire. 

 

Four of the opposing Jaffa were down, and looked dead.  O’Neill struggled to his knees, fighting to clear his vision.  Two Jaffa were struggling to get up --- the seventh was already aiming.  The last burst of gunfire from his P90 took that one out.  Now there were only two enemy Jaffa, but he was out of ammo.  One was still reaching for his staff weapon, the other was aiming. Jack reached for his boot knife, and threw it, hitting the armed Jaffa in the chest.  The Jaffa was still aiming.  Jack swore a steady stream.  No more ammo.  No more weapons.  He had no knife.  Knife gone.  Knife gone.  KNIFE!

 

Jack O’Neill reached for the blade in his back.  His world dimmed as grasped the protruding handle of the blade, and pulled it out. The world around him faded, but he concentrated his vision on the Jaffa in the process of aiming his staff weapon.  O’Neill balanced the knife, and threw it, using all his energy.  Jack fell forward onto his hands, as the agonizing pain wracked every iota of his being.   The blade hit the staff-weapon wielding Jaffa in the chest a second time. This time the attack had effect.   The staff weapon fell from lifeless hands, and he toppled over like a huge tree cut down by loggers.

 

The last Jaffa had his staff weapon up, but Jack was out of time, out of weapons, and on his knees. The world seemed to be spinning around him.  “So,” the Jaffa sneered, as he began to charge his weapon, “This is how the mighty Tauri die.  On their knees to Cronus.” 

 

“NEVER!” Colonel Jack O’Neill roared.  It took every iota of strength he had, but Jack forced his way off his knees to full height.  He took a painful breath.  His pants were wet with blood all the way down, now.  He could feel dampness in his boot.  With one last burst of strength he charged towards the Jaffa.  O’Neill saw the staff weapon raised and aimed at his chest.  He wasn’t going to make it.  He saw the enemy Jaffa’s hand begin to activate the weapon, and thought ‘this is it’, but he didn’t slow down.  Just as Jack reached his adversary, he saw the blast from another staff weapon erupt in the middle of the Jaffa’s chest.  The enemy staff weapon dropped from lifeless hands.  Jack whirled to see Teal’c, Ferretti and the calvary finally reach him.

 

As the world faded around Jack, he began to fall.  He felt Teal’c’s arms catch him.  “I have you, O’Neill,” he heard.   Jack muttered. “Got to make it to the gate.  Home.” 

 

“Indeed.” Colonel O’Neill,” Teal’c exclaimed.  “You have made it.” 

 

Jack was barely aware of the big Jaffa picking him up like a sack of potatoes, and running for the gate.  He could vaguely hear Feretti’s stattico voice shouting into the radio.  “Dial it home, Major.  We’ve got the colonel, but he’s hurt bad.  We need that gate running when we get there, and a med-team in the room.” 

 

Jack struggled to stay conscious through the wormhole, breathing a sigh of relief when he saw the familiar wall of the gateroom, and Teal’c placed him on a stretcher.  As he looked into the familiar but worried face of Doctor Janet Frasier, a faint smile crossed his lips. As Jack O’Neill faded into unconsciousness, he stared at the face of Janet Frasier, and murmured one word.    “Home.”

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