Just a Small Experiment - Part Ten 


It was after two in the morning when SG-1 finally made it back to Earth. Hammond declared that their debriefing could wait until ten o’clock the next morning and ordered them to the infirmary for their usual post-mission check up. Sam in particular couldn’t wait to get through the standard procedure. There was a little boy waiting in a VIP room that she couldn’t wait to get back to.

The four of them were surprised when Janet stood waiting for them in the center of the infirmary, a large smile lighting up her features. “You have no idea how glad I am that you all made it back.” She eyed them up critically. “And apparently in one piece. Get up on the beds and we’ll make this quick so you can get some sleep.”

The flagship team did as ordered. Sam couldn’t help but fidget as she mentally hurried on the nurse who took care of her examination, her desire to see her ward pushing her to the breaking point. Finally the woman was done and gave the major an all clear with a knowing smile. Sam returned the expression and hopped off the bed. “Thank you, Lieutenant,” Sam said, starting to turn toward the door.

“Sam, wait a second,” Janet called as she made a note on Jack’s chart.

“What is it, Janet?” the blonde woman asked, trying to control her impatience. “I need to get...”

“Sam!” an unexpected yet familiar voice called from the other side of the room. She spun around at the sound in time to see a tiny blond whirlwind carrying a yellow plush ape come flying at her and wrap himself around her legs. “You’re home! You’re okay!”

Sam stared down at the small boy in shock, the utter surprise freezing her thoughts for a long moment. Finally she shook it off and scooped Danny into her arms, taking advantage of his proximity to rub her cheek against his soft hair. “I’m home, Danny. You have no idea how glad I am to see you.”

Danny squeezed his arms around her neck for a moment. “I missed you,” he whispered into her ear. “I was scared.”

“I was too,” she admitted, tightening her own embrace. “But we did it, Danny. We wrecked Anubis’ weapon.”

“I knew you would,” Danny said happily before drawing back and giving her a bright smile. “SG-1 always wins.”

Sam struggled not to let her smile falter. “Well, we try,” she said.

Janet came over at that point, Jack’s post-mission physical having been completed. “Daniel was waiting with me in my office and fell asleep on the cot in there. I figured it couldn’t hurt for him to stay there for the night.”

The physicist gave her friend a smile. “That’s fine,” she said. “I just got to see Danny all the sooner.” She turned her head to look at the boy again. “I thought about you a lot while I was gone,” she told him.

“You did?” Danny asked.

“You bet I did,” Sam assured him.

“So did Sunshine there help like I thought he would?” Jack asked as he joined the trio in the center of the room.

Danny nodded shyly, dropping his chin slightly. “I... I hugged him like you told me,” he said in a barely-audible voice.

Jack grinned. “Good boy.”

Jonas came up then and smiled at the child. “Decided to wait for us, huh?” he asked.

“He was nice enough to keep me company,” Janet said when it was obvious the boy wouldn’t say anything further, having buried his face into Sam’s neck to leave only his wide blue eyes visible.

“Your actions were noble, young Daniel,” Teal’c declared, having come up with Jonas. “It is quite honorable to share a friend’s vigil.”

Sam gave Danny a squeeze then turned a smile on the friends that surrounded her. “We should get some sleep.”

Jack nodded. “Yeah, that briefing is going to be here before you know it. Let’s all catch some shut-eye. You all did good.”

“Thanks, Colonel,” Jonas replied, smiling.

“Oh, get out of my infirmary,” Janet told them, shooing them toward the door. “I want to get some sleep myself. Doctor Warner has the night shift so I can go as soon as you do. Now beat it!” They all did as they were told, chuckling as they went.

It wasn’t long before Sam and Danny were in his VIP room. But the boy wouldn’t let go when Sam tried to seat him on the edge of the bed so she could get ready to go to sleep herself. “Danny?” she queried, confused. “What’s wrong?”

There was a long silent moment. “You didn’t come back on time,” Danny finally said into her shoulder, his voice muffled.

Sam’s eyes fell closed. “I know,” she whispered.

“No one knew where you were.”

“I know.”

“I heard someone say Anubis took you away.”

Sam flinched at the admission, her eyes springing open. “Kind of,” she told him.

Danny drew back slightly to look her in the face. “Huh?” he asked.

Sam took a deep breath and released it. “Anubis left for another part of space while we were on board, but he never knew we were there. We didn’t get caught.”

“He didn’t take you away on purpose?”

“No, Danny. It was just bad timing, that’s all. He decided to go fight another Goa’uld. We just happened to be on his ship when he did. That’s all that happened.”

Danny stared intensely into her eyes for a long time. Sam held his gaze without hesitation, something inside her saying he needed to find something there that would tell him she was telling the truth. “Anubis didn’t hurt you.” There was just a bit of a question in the simple statement.

Sam smiled slightly. “Anubis didn’t hurt us. Like I said, he never even knew we were there. And we wrecked his super weapon. We just had to avoid a bunch of Jaffa on our way to the Stargate on the planet we ringed down to before we could come home, that’s all. That’s why we were so late.”

The boy hugged her again. “I didn’t like it when you were late. It scared me.”

“I was scared too, Danny. I much prefer coming back on time, I promise.”

“I know,” Danny said with a sigh followed immediately by a huge yawn.

“Let’s go to bed, Danny,” Sam said gently. His grip finally loosened as he nodded and she laid him back against the pillows. “I’ll get ready and we’ll go to sleep. Is that okay?” He nodded again. She smiled. “I’ll be just a minute.” She disappeared into the bathroom with a set of pajamas she pulled out of a drawer of the dresser in the room.

When she came back she settled the both of them under the covers, and the exhaustion of their ordeals quickly pulled them into a deep slumber.

* * * * * * * *

“Can I see you for a moment, Colonel?” General Hammond asked after SG-1's debriefing was over the next morning.

Jack paused in the act of turning toward the door. “Yes, sir,” he replied, then followed the older man into his office.

Hammond gestured for Jack to close the door behind him and sat down behind his desk. “You really ordered Major Carter to destroy the Eye of Ra?” he asked quietly.

“Yes, sir,” Jack said promptly, stiffening his spine as he stood before his commanding officer.

“You do realize the trouble this is going to cause with the Tok’ra, not to mention our own government.”

“Yes, sir, I’m aware of that.” Jack’s face was completely shut off.

Hammond sighed. “I want to believe you had a very good reason for what happened out there, Jack. I really do. But I cannot imagine a reason that will satisfy anyone. What were you thinking?”

Jack shifted his shoulders slightly, his gaze still staring straight ahead at the large eagle behind Hammond’s chair. “The Tok’ra would not have allowed us to keep the Eye, General. Telane was emphatic about that. She threw the treaty in our faces after only a few minutes. I doubt we would have even been allowed to work with them on the research on it. We also know the Goa’uld have been successful at infiltrating their ranks before; what would have happened if the Eye fell into the wrongs hands? I only had a few moments to make a decision, sir. I believe I did what was best to preserve our treaty and the balance of power in the galaxy.”

The general said nothing as he leaned back in his chair and watched his second in command carefully. After a long moment of silence he spoke. “Why are you covering for the major, Colonel? This is going to be a huge black mark on your record, if certain people have anything to say about it.”

Jack met the other man’s gaze. “Daniel was willing to sacrifice everything for that damn Eye of Ra. He never would have wanted it to be used as a pawn in a power struggle between us and the Tok’ra, or in some devious way by the more unscrupulous people connected to our own government. And who knows who else would have come out of the woodwork when they found out we had the Eye? I support what was done with the Eye of Ra one hundred percent, and I’ll gladly accept my punishment for my part in the actions that took place on that planet. Besides,” he continued with a more casual shrug, “Carter’s more important around here than I’ll ever be. On top of that, I’m her superior officer. What happened was my responsibility.”

“Interesting wording, Jack,” Hammond murmured, his eyes narrowing for a moment. “So you’re telling me,” he went on in a normal tone of voice, “that you felt our security was threatened by the continued debate over the Eye of Ra?”

“Definitely, sir,” Jack replied, immediately seeing where the general was going. “Telane implied that our treaty with the Tok’ra would be endangered by not immediately agreeing to surrender the Eye. I have been assured in the past that preserving that treaty was a high priority.”

“And for good reason, including the continued safety of our planet by virtue of intelligence obtained by the Tok’ra and the limited amount of advanced technology they have exposed us to,” Hammond agreed, nodding sagely. “I must say that I believe you acted hastily, Colonel, but in what you perceived to be the best interest of Earth. I will be sure to relate this to my superiors. Dismissed.”

Jack snapped off a salute and headed out of the office and toward Sam’s lab as soon as it had been returned. He knew the general was now suspicious of what had really happened to the Eye, but at the same time understood SG-1's actions. He’d do what he could to protect them.

The colonel found his team plus one little boy gathered at his destination. “Well, hi there, kids,” he greeted them all as he walked into the room. “And what have we been doing with ourselves?”

“What did the general say, sir?” Sam asked, ignoring his question.

“What did you expect him to say?” Jack retorted seriously. “He wanted to know why I let the Eye be destroyed.”

Sam shook her head. “I still don’t understand why you covered for me, sir,” she said quietly. “I made that decision on my own.”

Danny blinked at the blonde woman from his seat on the stool beside her and cleared his throat lightly. In the uncomfortable silence that had befallen the group, it practically echoed from the walls. The adults all looked at him. “You destroyed the Eye of Ra?” the boy asked nervously, his voice shaking under the scrutiny.

The team members shared a look before Sam answered. “I can’t explain what happened, not here,” she said softly, her eyes gentle. “Just trust us that we did the right thing, okay?”

Danny nodded. “I trust you,” he whispered, looking down at the piece of paper he’d been drawing on. He raised his eyes. “I always trust you.”

“Oh, Danny,” Sam murmured, a smile twitching at the corners of her lips. The admission truly touched her heart, as well as the hearts of the others. Jack and Jonas looked away for a moment, the older man clearing his throat, while Teal’c gave the child a small silent nod of acknowledgment and appreciation.

“Hey, I was hoping to catch you,” a female voice said from the open doorway. They all looked over to see Doctor Sabrina Marconi leaning against the doorjamb. “I’m glad to see you’re all back safe and sound. Janet called me this morning.”

“Why did she do that?” Jonas asked, confused.

Jack nodded his agreement with the sentiment, his eyes narrowing slightly. “The man has asked a pretty good question, Doc.”

Sabrina smiled. “Well, when I heard about your mission from Major Carter - since we had to reschedule my weekly visit with Daniel - I was naturally concerned.” Her expression faded to something more serious. “About everyone involved.”

The colonel didn’t miss the shift of her gaze to the little boy that was currently staring at his nearly-finished drawing. “I see,” he said after a beat.

“Did you want to reschedule your visit for today then?” Sam asked, also having seen the shift of the psychologist’s focus.

“If it’s possible, yes,” Sabrina agreed. “But it doesn’t have to be right now. Why don’t you guys tell me what happened? I’m sure it’s quite an exciting story.” She smiled impishly, but the concern for the young boy under her care never left her dark blue eyes.

Jack rolled his eyes in mock irritation. “Great, now we’re just here to entertain the masses,” he grumbled. He gave Danny a wink when the child brought his head up at the comment. “Fortunately, I like entertaining people, people I like anyway.” He pretended not to notice Sabrina’s start of surprise, and began to relate what had happened during their mission. When he finished with a shrug a while later, he met the psychologist’s gaze. “I hope that helps satisfy your curiosity,” he said, the look in his brown orbs adding a silent, “and that you can use the information to help the kid.”

Sabrina smiled, having understood both messages. “I’m more than satisfied, Colonel. Thank you.”

“Actually, could I talk to you first?” Sam asked the psychologist, her eyebrows slightly creased.

“That would be fine,” Sabrina replied, her gaze sliding over to gage Danny’s reaction. His eyes darted between the two women briefly, then he sighed and began to fidget with his unfinished drawing.

“Danny, we’re just going to go talk for a little while, then I’ll be back,” Sam said to him. “Will you stay here with Teal’c, Jonas, and the colonel while we’re gone?”

Danny lifted wide blue eyes to meet Sam’s and bit his lower lip. A silent moment later, he nodded. “You won’t be gone long?” he whispered, his voice barely audible.

Sam smiled. “Not long at all. You can show these guys how far you’ve come on your new language program,” she suggested, gesturing to the lap top to his right. He gave her a tentative smile, and with one last gentle hand through Danny’s short blond hair, Sam left the lab with Sabrina right behind her.

The two women went down the hall to an empty lab and seated themselves at one of the tables. “So, what’s bothering you?” Sabrina asked once they were settled.

Sam told her about her reunion with Danny upon her return, along with the discussion they’d had in their VIP room before going to sleep. “I’m just afraid this has caused a huge setback,” Sam concluded. “I know you’re worried about that, too, or you wouldn’t have made such a point of being here this soon after the mission.”

“You’ve got me there,” Sabrina admitted. “However, what you just told me makes me feel a lot better.”

“What do you mean?”

“From what you’ve said, it’s obvious you’ve earned a deep trust from Daniel. Considering the child grew up in an environment where emotions were not encouraged, and life was an immutable routine, he seems to have adjusted to the uncertainty of the situation and the emotions that come with it amazingly well. You’ve truly made him feel secure in his new life so far.” Sabrina gave a soft, encouraging smile.

Sam shook her head slightly. “But how do you know he hasn’t been adversely affected by this? I mean, the very first mission we go on, barely three weeks after he comes to live with me in his new home, and we end up overdue, possibly captured by who he knows is the worst Goa’uld we’ve encountered yet. How is that not damaging?”

Sabrina sighed. “I’m not saying it isn’t damaging. I can’t say anything for certain until I talk with Daniel and some more time has passed. But I can say that his willingness to tell you about how he was feeling is a very positive sign. I have a feeling that he’ll be clingy for a while, but that in general he’ll be all right. He’s just having to adjust to what really happens during all the exciting stories he’s heard about all his life.” The psychologist shrugged.

“Adjust how?” Sam asked.

“Well, Daniel is fully aware that SG-1 goes on dangerous missions sometimes; he’s been read your mission reports for bedtime stories. But now he has to live through those missions instead of just hearing about them long after the fact, when he already knew you all lived to fight another day. Add to that his emerging emotional attachments, and you have quite a lot for a previously-sheltered three-year-old to deal with.”

“Are you sure I should still be a part of SG-1, considering all that?” Sam asked worriedly, her eyes wide.

Sabrina nodded. “Definitely. It was said from the beginning this was a double-edged sword; you’re experiencing both of those edges right now. But you handled everything well, explaining what happened as soon as you could, assuring him that your mission had been successful, and telling him about your feelings. You all showed him in the infirmary that you were all right, that his world hadn’t been shaken up again. Daniel knows this is the kind of thing you guys do, he just has to adjust to how it feels to be in the middle of things while you do it. Fortunately, children are resilient, and I’ll be keeping an eye on things to make sure everything works out - as best I can, anyway. You just keep doing what you’re doing.” The black-haired woman smiled again.

Sam took a deep breath and released it. “Well, if you’re sure. But I think I’ll put in a request not to go on another mission for a while. I want some more time to settle in with Danny.”

“That makes sense,” Sabrina agreed. “Don’t make it too long, though. Like I said, Daniel needs to get used to you going on missions and him being left behind to wait. I’m sure after you’ve gone on a few more typical trips, where you’re gone for only a day or two and nothing overly exciting happens, that he’ll start to get the hang of everything.” She paused and creased her eyebrows. “Actually, I think you’d be all right working here on base from now on, like you normally would between missions. I’m not sure I want to establish anything in Daniel’s mind that would suggest you’ll retreat and go home every time something bad happens during a mission, or if something scares him about one. I know it’s not normal procedure, but I’ll see if I can clear things with General Hammond to have you bring Daniel in with you. There’s no way he’s ready to be left with daycare.”

“If you’re sure,” Sam conceded. “But I also don’t want him to get used to always coming into work with me. Eventually he’s going to have to go to daycare.”

“I agree,” Sabrina said. “We’ll take things one step at a time here on base when he’s a little more ready for it. We’ll get him ready for that step, don’t worry.”

Sam smiled. “I’ll try not to, but I’ve noticed my general level of worry has increased ever since Danny came into my life.”

Sabrina laughed. “Welcome to motherhood. Is there anything else you wanted to talk to me about?”

“Not right now, no. I guess I should let you talk with Danny.”

“That can wait a little while. I want to watch him for a while longer first. Let’s go back to your lab.”

* * * * * * * *

Sabrina did eventually talk to Danny, and reassured Sam that she thought he would be fine with a little extra attention and time. General Hammond agreed to the psychologist’s request to have Sam bring Danny in with her for a time, since he had proven to not be disruptive. Then the team invited her to stay for supper, and the six of them - including Danny - enjoyed their evening.

Sam and Danny’s routine didn’t change much other than location over the next few days. Because Sam had prepped her department for a longer leave of absence, it was easy for her to take a lighter load, although she had to fight every instinct in her to do it. It had been Sabrina’s last suggestion before her departure, promising to come in again on Friday for their usual visit. Sam split her time between a few projects and watching over Danny during his lessons, taking him out for lunch every day to make sure he spent time outside in the improving weather as well as supper and nightly rituals at home every night.

That Friday began like any other day, Sam and Danny coming in by eight and meeting the other members of her team for breakfast. “So, what have you got on your agenda for the day, Carter?” Jack asked once the woman and child seated themselves at the commissary table.

“Well, I have a couple of experiments to check up on, then I need to do a preliminary scan on the dialing computer to get ready for the full-scale diagnostic that’s coming up. Sabrina will be coming by for dinner before her weekly session,” Sam replied. She turned her head and smiled at her charge. “Danny’s going to add a new program to his language lessons today.”

“What language are you going to be learning, young Daniel?” Teal’c asked.

Danny glanced at Sam then took a deep breath. “Greek,” he whispered shyly, his eyes darting around the bustling room.

Jack blinked in surprise. “That, uh, seems like a big bite to chew,” he commented.

Jonas shrugged as he swallowed a bite of pancakes. “There are plenty of reports that say it’s easier to learn languages the younger you are. And considering what we know...” He shrugged again, not wanting to say any more in front of the boy.

“Languages are fun for Danny,” Sam defended her decision. “I make sure he does other things, too. Actually, I want to do some research on activities we can do together.” She smiled at Danny again. “Now that we’re busier and getting used to days closer to what will be normal for us, I’m going to need to schedule projects we’ll have time for instead of winging it like I have been. It’ll help me have a wider variety, too.” She laid a gentle hand on the boy’s shoulder until he returned the expression.

“I guess I’m just surprised you don’t have him started on advanced math yet,” Jack said with a smirk.

“I’m just thinking of job security, sir,” Sam shot back, struggling to control a grin. “If he’s as good at math and science as he is at art and languages, he’ll have me beat in no time.”

Jonas leaned in to whisper in Danny’s ear as the colonel laughed. “You don’t have to blush,” he said softly in response to the growing pink tint on the toddler’s cheeks. “Sam’s telling the truth.” He gave Danny a small grin.

Things calmed down for a time while they all finished their meals. “I understand SG-9 has been having difficulties with the treaty they are attempting to conclude with the natives of P8C-463,” Teal’c commented as they lingered over their plates.

Jonas nodded. “Yeah, I guess they’re having a hard time following the rituals the natives are insisting on conducting before they sign. It’s not that they’re not willing, of course; the rituals have just been very... different than anything they’ve done before.”

“What teams do we have out there at the moment?” Sam asked. “I haven’t been able to follow too closely.”

“Well, SG-14 and 19 were supposed to be at the Alpha Site going through maneuvers,” Jack replied.

“Is it true an outbreak of the chicken pox happened right after we left?” Sam asked.

Jack nodded. “Oh, yeah. The medical team has been surprised by how many people have come down with it, but they’re handling it all right. We’re steering teams clear of there for another week or so just to be safe.”

Teal’c’s forehead creased. “Is that not a disease associated with children on this planet?”

Sam nodded. “Usually, but some people never get exposed as children, or only have a mild case. It’s a lot worse when you get it as an adult.”

“That explains why Janet kept such a close eye on us this week,” Jonas said thoughtfully, thinking of the tests the base CMO had put them through as soon as she had received the update from her Alpha Site personnel.

“Well, yeah,” Jack said, glancing briefly at Danny. He knew the real reason the doctor had been so paranoid. “Anyway,” he continued, looking at Sam, “you know about SG-9. SG-2 is doing a follow-up with the people they came across on their mission three weeks ago. SG-11 is running an archaeological dig on a planet that looks like it was abandoned by the Ancients centuries ago. They haven’t run into any other natives. SG-5 is leaving in an hour or so to check out a planet that looks like it might have been abandoned by Ba’al recently.” Jack rolled his eyes. “I’m glad we didn’t pick that one up. SG-21 is exploring your typical desert planet, and SG-10 has gotten to visit a planet with a nice, thick, dense jungle.” The team leader smirked wickedly.

“Oh, Lou has to be loving that,” Sam said, fighting back the urge to laugh.

Jack wasn’t nearly as successful. “Yeah, Ferretti had a few choice words for me during their last check-in,” he said once his chuckles stopped.

The conversation wound down soon afterward, and they each went their separate ways to begin the workday. Sam and Danny went to her lab on level nineteen, and the morning went by smoothly. Lunch was spent in the mountain due to a cold rain coming down topside, and the afternoon began with the two of them working on an art project together. Once Sam put Danny down for his nap, she went to the control room to run her scan.

The gate starting spinning a half hour later. Sam looked over at Sergeant Harriman who was manning the control panel. “Is anyone due right now?” she asked.

“No, ma’am,” Harriman replied before announcing the unscheduled off-world activation and closing the iris.

“What have we got?” General Hammond asked as he joined them not long after.

“No IDC yet, sir,” Sam replied.

Harriman adjusted his headset with a look of intense concentration. “Radio message coming through, sir. It’s SG-5.”

Hammond nodded. “Put it on the speakers.” He watched as the sergeant pushed the right buttons. “What’s your status, SG-5?” he asked into the panel’s microphone.

A loud explosion was heard before a voice finally came through. “We’re under attack, sir,” SG-5's team leader Lieutenant Colonel Chad Byron half-shouted over the continuing din behind him. “The only problem is we’ve got refugees with us. We can’t send them to the Alpha Site, and if we leave them here they’ll be wiped out.”

“Bring them with you,” the general decided after a very brief pause. “Open the iris. All security teams at full alert, and send for medical teams,” he ordered.

“Yes, sir,” was the last message heard before the transmission ended.

A moment later the iris slid away to reveal a shimmering event horizon. It wasn’t long before the placid surface was being disturbed by Lieutenant Matthew Jacobs of SG-5 followed by a large number of mud-covered people streaming through, some of them limping while children cried. Stray staff weapon blasts shot through as well, exploding against the wall opposite the gate and the protective glass of the control room. The chaos continued until the last of the refugees and the rest of SG-5 ran through, Byron shouting out the order to close the iris. Once it was closed, only the quieting sobs of some of the new arrivals broke the sudden silence.

“Now that we’re all safe, I’d like to welcome you to Earth,” the general’s gentle voice came over the gateroom’s speakers. “My name is General George Hammond, and I’m the leader of this facility. Our people,” he continued as Janet and her staff hurried into the crowded space, “will be checking all of you out and taking care of any injuries or illnesses you might have. Please follow Doctor Fraiser’s instructions and everything will be just fine. Doctor,” he concluded, handing over control of the situation to his capable CMO.

Janet immediately issued orders, her people taking the most seriously hurt visitors to the infirmary first. A schedule was quickly set up to allow the newcomers access to the base showers, samples taken of the mud that covered them in case it would end up being needed. Sam watched the orderly emptying of the gateroom, then turned to face the general. “If the Goa’uld are laying waste to these people’s home planet, we’re going to have to find them another home,” the major declared. “I can talk with some of them, find out the parameters I’ll need for a search.”

Hammond nodded. “Do that. I don’t believe they’re any threat, but it would be best to make their transition as fast and smooth as possible. Let me know what you find out.”

“Yes, sir,” Sam said, then left the control room after giving instructions on how to complete her preliminary dialing computer scan.

* * * * * * * *

Sam made a quick stop at the VIP room to check up on a still-sleeping Danny before deciding to hunt down SG-5 to hear their version of what had happened during their abbreviated mission. She found them in the infirmary, their post-mission exams being taken care of by Janet’s nurses, the doctor in charge focusing her attention on the seriously injured refugees. The blonde major approached Lieutenant Colonel Byron as he sat on his infirmary bed, having waded through dirt-saturated people to get there.

“Major Carter,” Byron greeted her with a weary smile. “Come to ask about our visitors?”

“Good guess,” Sam replied, smiling in return. “I’m still probably going to end up interviewing some of the refugees, but I figured I’d come to you first, since you’ll have a better idea what information I need. General Hammond authorized me to find these people a new planet to settle on, and I need to know what kind of world they came from. You were there for a while before the Goa’uld attacked, right?”

“A few hours, yeah. But that won’t do you any good, Major. The refugees came running through the gate twenty minutes before the attack, at the most a half hour. We were just trying to sort things out with them when the first death glider did a fly-by.” Byron shrugged. “I’m pretty sure they had just escaped from a massive flood.”

Blonde brows creased. “Pretty sure?”

Byron shrugged. “Like I said, we were trying to sort things out with them. Most of them were scared and panicked; I guess a group of children were almost lost when the wind started blowing waves onto the high ground around the Stargate where they’d taken refuge. That’s the only thing we could get out of them before the attack.”

Sam shook her head in surprise at the unexpected tale. “Well, I guess that explains the mud,” she commented somewhat slowly, gathering her wits.

Byron nodded. “Most of it. I’m sure some of it’s from the explosions during the attack.”

“What about their injuries? Do you know when they got them?”

“Some of them they came though with. The rest came from the energy blasts and the chaos that went with them. Honestly, I’m surprised we didn’t lose more than we did. It was nasty.”

“Luck was on our side today, I guess.” Sam took a deep breath and glanced around the infirmary where the medical staff was keeping the curtains drawn between the beds to preserve the off-world visitors’ unknown level of modesty. “I’d better go out where the rest of the refugees are waiting and do a little asking around. If they’re still too shaken up, I’ll have to wait until later.”

Byron nodded his approval. “Good luck, Major.”

Sam gave him a small smile. “Thank you, sir. And I’m glad SG-5 came back in one piece.” With that she gave him a quick nod and headed for the hallway outside the infirmary.

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