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01/28/2005 6:06 AM

...The figure stepped from the tanslucent shimmering portal, its surface rippled with a myriad of tiny waves as he passed the threshold, the butt of his P-90 pressed firmly to his shoulder as his pale blue eyes, lost behind dark glasses, scanned the landscape before him for signs of threat. Almost immediately he was buffeted by the torrential rain, the stifling oppressive heat and the cacophany of sounds from the lush jungle-like vista before him.

Moving forward quickly, the lean figure moved to the side of the portal, still searching the treeline which began only ten or so feet from the base of the Stargate and then crouched, sweeping his weapon before him as he peered down the sights, rain dripping from the brim of his camoflaged peak cap causing him to shake his head to clear the dripping water from his vision.

As he waited for the rest of his team, Lieutenant Nathan Riley let out a small curse as the rain ran in rivulets down the nape of his neck, drenching his camoflage gear and causing him to shiver despite the jungle heat which seemed to draw perspiration even though he was not moving.

The seconds ticked away and the soldier flicked a glance over his shoulder toward the rippling portal, his mind wondering what was taking the rest of SG-21. He had stepped through that very portal more times he could recall over the last two years and had seen things that no one could ever possibly believe outside of the Military complex. New worlds, new species and new enemies. And now his former squad SG-16 were stepping onto a new world without him and he was going on his first real mission with his new command. Somehow out here amongst the galaxy, a billion years from Earth, the planet suddenly seemed so very small...

01/28/2005 2:45 PM

Sahara was still getting used to being a member of SG-21, this was so much different than what she was doing before they found her…. Every time a Chevron was activated her muscles tensed, “What is waiting on the other side this time?” she would wonder. The militant training she received helped to keep her mind focused on the task at hand…”but do they trust me yet? ….

After watching the lieutenant enter the portal, Sahara took a deep breath and exhaled letting the air escape her lungs in a nice controlled manner, slowing her pulse and taking the edge off her nerves. With a nod back at the General she darted into the watery substance only to be thrust into a new territory. Immediately she felt the cold drops of the rain pelting her cammo, a definite contrast to the muggy heat, the humidity almost crushing ones lungs…with her P90 up she lined the sites and made a sweep of the area. She missed her staff weapon, it was much more effective and accurate than this little thing, but it was the preferred weapon of the team. then with no sign of an immediate threat she moved gracefully to the spot the lieutenant was crouched

“Great, couldn’t they have at least warned us of the weather beforehand?” she asked in a soft yet frustrated growl. “I should have them add that feature to the M.A.L.P. then we wouldn’t have these …surprises” she snarled. She scanned the area again and waited for the rest of the team. . “Have you discovered anything yet, Sir? All was clear when I came through…but something just does not feel right…almost as if we are being watched”

She reached up and took off her cap. Small delicate hands deftly adjusted the long auburn tresses that were tied up in a ponytail as a snarl crossed her lips… “Where are they?” her growl intensifying. She definitely was not gifted with patience… with the rhythmic pounding of the rain and the drum of the forest her adrenaline started pumping again and she wanted to get into the fight… if there was going to be one… “Knowing my luck this will turn out to be another scouting trip” she thought…She was after more… a lot more… especially against someone in particular…. but now she must focus on the task at hand...

01/28/2005 8:13 PM

...Riley glanced over at the figure of Sahara, even in fatigues and dressed like the rest of the SG team there was something undeniably 'different' about her. The fact that she was a snake-head made him uneasy, but Stargate Command assured him she was not a risk but an asset to the team. Riley was unsure.

"Clear." he said as he continued to sweep the jungle line, blurred from the heavy rain. "At least, for now." he murmured to himself as he raised himself from his crouch and slightly lowered his weapon craning his neck to regard the female jaffar. He wondered idly what she got out of this deal, why she would turn against her supposed gods for some small blue-green planet she probably cared little for.

"They did warn us, I thought a little rain and some heat were pretty insignificant. Besides I like to keep you all on your toes." he said as he once again glanced back to the shimmering portal...

[Edited by Arandur on Friday, January 28, 2005 8:15 PM]

01/31/2005 9:43 AM

The gate…. His emerald eyes watched it shimmer… How old was it? Millions of years old, or one of the new ones build by the Goauld? Part of him longed to remember that time, that place. It was back when the gates were new and the galaxy was a wonderful place. The Civilization had fallen and all that remained were these roads…

Dominic adjusted his pack, then double-checked his equipment… Radio… check… Zat… check… Pistol… check… Food… Cam…. Water… all check… He went through all his gear like that before finally adjusting his hat. All was go! He stepped through the aqua portal, wondering what would be on the other side.

The Stargate on the other side made a watery sound as he came through. Within a few seconds enough water had poured down on him to soak him… all except his head. The wider rimmed hat he had worn to provide shade offered a little protection from the rain. It deflected some of the water away from his neck and eyes. He smiled confidently… Unlike some other on the team, he always came prepared. He made his way down to where the others stood. Dominic glanced at them, wondering why they both seemed so… irate.

The leader seemed agreeable enough normally. Since this was the first team he had been assigned to, Dominic didn’t have a lot of experience with commanding officers. It wasn’t like he was part of this military, and really he only had light training. Most of his expertise lay in other areas.

The woman… she was one of the ‘Goauld’, the scavengers. Most would have been wary of her for what she had been, a Jaffa incubator, although he knew he shouldn’t blame her for her past. She was another victim and deserved pity rather than malice.. He knew she had physical strength, but he wondered just how strong the Goauld had left her will. Regardless, she had sworn her alliance to the same world he had. She was his ally until something proved otherwise.

Dominic turned his attention to the treeline, then over to Lieutenant Riley.

“What is the status here? Any sign of native life?”

02/01/2005 4:31 AM

...Riley looked over Dominic as he stepped through the portal, the watery surface rippling in his wake as the rain hammered mercilessly down on the ancient stone block plinth upon which the Stargate portal rested. The lieutenant reached up and removed his cap letting the warm rain fall on his face for a moment before he replaced the cap and scrubbed his free hand across his face to remove the water.

"No sign of anything but jungle, mud and rain. What makes you think there are natives here? I know Stargate Command thinks there is something here besides mud and jungle but what gives you all that impression?" he said as he glanced across the almost prehistoric vista before him...

02/02/2005 1:36 PM

“There is that attitude” she thought as a smirk replaced the snarl that was previously decorating her delicate features. Despite having a strong distaste for males – of any species actually – the lieutenant had enough edge to make him intriguing – a pain in the ass most of the time, but intriguing none-the-less.

As she was preparing to respond to the lieutenant – the portal was active again. It’s liquid surface spitting out another male form. She studied Dominic for a moment “He looks nothing like a warrior” she thought… “That damn hat” she whispered as her eyes stared at the wide-brim on top of his head that managed to keep his face clear…

yet as she looked, her eyes were quickly drawn away as a flash of midnight shadows darted behind the Stargate – her eyes focused on an area cautiously observing the perimeter of the gate.

A second flash of ebon moved just off to her right, then blacker than pitch it came into view – its head tilting right, studying – then twisting to the left as if sizing up the three intruders… “Not anymore” Sahara growled silently to herself. She matched stares with it…glaring as her eyes were transfixed on the ebon spies. Sahara was familiar with these agents of the goddess – the dark winged messengers of the System Lord better known in the ancient Celtic circles as Morrigan. Dark and devious, this goddess was not known for her cheerful disposition – but rather the cruel and twisted tricks she played on her faithful followers…. Sahara was once one of these…a high priestess to be exact… until…. “Lieutenant, Dominic… we are not alone, she knows we are here. Look” she signaled in the direction of the dark birds...

02/02/2005 2:52 PM

...With a smooth and well-practised motion, Riley turned and brought up his P-90 sighting the weapon on the nearest of the dark shapes and easing the trigger. The weapon bucked twice in quick succession against his shoulder and the target dropped from the tree trailing ebony feathers in its wake. The other forms took to wing, flapping madly as they disappeared into the dull gray skies and the rain-deluged canopy of the jungle.

Lowering the gun, Riley made his way quickly over to the creature to inspect it, raising the weapon as he neared the site and trained it on the wet, lifeless black husk. He cocked his head to one side and nudged the bird with the toe of his foot recognising the dead crow that lay at his feet. He looked back over his shoulder at Sahara, his expression one of wry amusement.

"You have got to be kidding me right? Its a crow, a now dead crow -but a crow nonetheless. I was expecting snakeheads or something. Now you tell me that this system lord 'Morrigan' was it?" he asked rhetorically adjusting his cap in the rain before continuing.

"This Morrigan uses birds instead of Jaffa? She must have seen too much Hitchcock as a baby..." he stopped suddenly and looked over at Dominic, "What the hell do they call a baby goa'uld anyway?"...

02/03/2005 1:54 AM

His expression changed slightly to a puzzled one. Surely it was obvious why he thought there to be life here… The signs were everywhere… Dominic gestured at the gate and the small clearing they stood in.

“…This jungle is so dense that it must be fairly old. Given that we are in a clearing, it’s reasonable to assume someone or something has kept the Stargate cleared. Otherwise the native flora would have grown over the gate and prevented us from dialing in…” he replied.

Dominic walked over to a stone device protruding from the ground.. Like always on a DHD, the top slanted slightly, making it convenient to reach. Letters or buttons, whichever you considered them, encircled a raised red crystal. He studied each and every symbol for reference until he found the point of origin.. He noted that the DHD had moss growing midway up, but the top was relatively clean. This meant one thing…

“Sir… I recommend we take caution if we progress further… Command picked up energy readings in the nearby vicinity, but the MALP showed no signs of inhabitation. The evidence suggests otherwise, given nature would have covered this place without intervention…”

A little too late… He had focused on the Gate and dialing device and thus not noticed the crows arriving. Dominic spun around at Sahara’s warning, then jerked back at the sound of gunfire. The sounds made his ears feel like screaming. Even with combat training he hadn’t fully adapted to the explosive nature of gunfire. That was why he preferred the Zat; it was far more silent and usually non-lethal to the victim.

“…Birds? How could she manipulate birds like that? “ he asked, halfway to his commander, halfway to Sahara. He shook his head and looked at Lieutenant Riley. “Larvae Goauld are the infant form of the parasite. Jaffa serve to incubate the larva until it reaches maturity. This increases the likelihood that both Goauld and host will survive the melding process…”

Dominic looked curiously at Sahara, then at the crow… She’d have answers, of course, at least he hoped. He moved over to the crow corpse, then kneeled down to it. Reaching to one of the small packs around his belt, he lifted a Velcro flap, breaking the relative quiet of the forest.. He slipped out his standard issue combat knife and cut into the bird..

“Sahara, what can you tell us about this 'goddess' Morrigan? Any information would be helpful. I‘d like to know how she controls these things, as well as if she employees a similar method in her attack forces..“ he murmured, not looking up from his dissection. He seemed to be looking for something, particularly around the brain/spinal cord.

02/09/2005 3:09 PM

"Sir! What did you do?" Sahara's shock overcame the rage that was starting to well up deep inside of her. "That is a sacred animal! How could you?" she stared at the man incredulously, knowing that she couldn't unleash her anger on him - he was her commanding officer - but that didn't stop the pain and bitterness towards his senseless act of violence. "They might have been her spies, but that does not give us the right to take a life," the harshness of her voice betrayed the pain that was in her eyes. "They are more than just crows..." her voice trailed as she caught sight of Dominic's scalpal. "That bastard!" without thinking Sahara lept out at the man disecting the bird. Silently she ran towards him reaching his side just in time to see him plunge the knife into the base of the birds skull. Enraged she raised her hand and smacked him on the back of the head. "i thought you knew about religions and cultures! This is how you demonstrate such wealth of knowledge!??"

With a growl she remembered what the Lt. asked then resigned herself with a sigh, after all Morrigan was a false god...a painful and harsh truth to learn, but truth none-the-less. Now this 'team' was her new truth.... "yes, she uses Jaffa as well as nature. Out of all nature though, crows are her favorite, but she has used wolves in the past - more as sentinels but with a greater bit more attitude than crows and ravens." the Lte. seemed bearable....at times.

It was definitely different taking orders from a male back at Morrigan's temple Sahara was the one dishing out the orders... but SG-5 and especially the Jaffa commander they had, helped to show her the truth to the Goddess she served. Sahara was the one that was in charge of the Crows, Ravens and Wolves... and any other minion of nature Morrigan might need to serve her purpose, so hopefully this secret could aid them later on.

"You will not find what you are looking for there. I shall tell you what to look for in that mangled corpse if you grant me the remains for a proper burial ritual. Then and only then will I grant you the information you seek"

After Dominic nodded his approval she gingerly picked up the lifeless, sacred form and took a few steps away from the man, bowing her head in silence she cast a few words into the wind and delicately placed the form on the ground. Turning back towards Dominic she decided to explain things before starting the ritual. "When it comes to crows and ravens there is a special pheromone that is used" her voice was soft and other-worldly... then she let it trail off to focus on her ritual.

[Edited by goddess_dawn on Wednesday, February 9, 2005 3:11 PM]

02/14/2005 3:52 PM

A sacred animal? He knew that many religions held life sacred, but he had never expected her to still follow the ways she had learned under the false goddess.. It had never been his intention to offend her, although that was obviously what had happened.

Dominic frowned when she smacked him in the back of the head.. It didn't exactly hurt, but it wasn't one of those things that could help.. That 'stupid' hat of his went flying off, causing torrents of water to go cascading down his hair and face... Now he was just as soaked as they were.. Dominic indeed nodded his approval, then wiped some of the water off his face.

“Pheromones.. This could be very dangerous... I apologize for violating your beliefs. I had no idea you still practiced these rituals... “ he replied, sighing some “I merely wished to see if she controlled the creature with computer technology. Anything like that we could scramble and turn against her...”

His eyes lingered on the bird corpse and the ritual she was starting... It was fascinating, but he feared they would not have time to study it. If Morrigan truly knew that they had arrived, could they risk lingering while she mustered her forces against them? He turned his attention to Lt. Riley.

“Sir, if Morrigan is using Gouald pheromone weapons we should proceed with caution. We cannot trust any person or animal we meet here. Anything around us could serve as a warrior for her... Respectfully speaking and given the situation, do we have time for this?”

While he respected her beliefs, his better judgment told him to keep moving. This was a scenario that had too many risks to worry about rituals and spells. Everything like that had a time and a place. Doing it while a Gouald could be sending a hoard of Jaffa to fight you didn't seem like the best time to him.

02/15/2005 2:45 AM

...Riley suppressed a smirk, glancing the opposite direction to hide his sudden amusement as the exotic Jaffa slapped the back of Dominic’s head. He instead focused on sweeping the surrounding jungle through the sight of his P-90.

After a few moments he came to stand beside Dominic and watched absently with a raised eyebrow as Sahara began her ritual

“Great the snakehead worships birds…” he muttered to Dominic, as he wiped a hand across the peak of his cap to dislodge the growing number of drops which were gathering on its brim.

As Dominic asked whether they had time for this, Riley nodded his agreement and then glanced over at Sahara again before taking a few steps towards where she knelt in the rain and clearing his throat loudly.

“Sahara, Dominic is right -every moment we wait here could bring Morrigan’s Jaffa down on us. Let’s sweep the area first. Are you listening? Mission first, prancing about in the rain and singing songs to dead birds later.” He said as he again looked around the clearing, an odd feeling growing in the pit of his stomache…

02/15/2005 10:28 AM

The portal shimmered once more as Traci Wade stumbled through. The young woman stopped herself from falling, and looked up, brushing her black hair off her face. This was her first time through the gate, and she didn't know what to expect.

She looked around, ignoring the rain. So far, this place didn't look too different from some of the places she had seen in books on Earth. But, looks could be decieving. Traci ceased in looking around when she noticed Sahara kneeling before some birds.

"Uh, what did I miss?"

02/15/2005 2:39 PM

With the sacred words already whispered into the air, the ritual was almost over. She took a handful of the wet mud and smeared it over the bird’s chest as she heard Dominic’s plea for forgiveness. She growled softly and restrained the anger that tried to smother her. “I know how this works…I was the one in charge of them… all the wildlife Morrigan used was in my care. Crows and ravens keep you on your toes… but it is the wolves that you should fear. They are closer to her truer form, so NO, you shouldn’t trust any animal you encounter here. She narrowed her eyes towards the two men glaring “and I do not worship birds”

The bile was building inside of her “trust me Sir, this IS for the mission. If a ritual is not performed, the mental link is not severed. In other words, the crow will still be animated and could serve as Morrigan’s eyes, but this way without a will of their own, making them more dangerous. She uses the pheromones to control the will of the animal…when there is no will, there is no struggle for control. I will make sure the next one we encounter's ritual be quick and performed in stealth.”

There was contempt in her voice, she could tell how they thought of her and that just made her enraged…. “Teal’c better not have mislead me into this farce of a life” she thought as her lip curled into a snarl, accenting her pretty features with a bit of distrust and anger. She silently stood up and turned away from the corpse, her steps gingerly taking her away as her eyes scanned the skies for a hint of the spies while her delicate sense of hearing listened for the baying of the wolves…

“Why should I be trust them to heed anything I say, when this is the respect I am shown, was SG-5 not held in as high of regard as they claimed?” the thoughts swirled in her mind as she noticed the portal activate, the surface rippling like an ocean being pelted by the rain, as the gate spewed forth the final member of the team.

03/01/2005 6:33 AM

This seemed to be heading nowhere, he mused, watching her nearly blow her temper. At any moment he expected to see steam shoot out of her ears like from one of those Earth cartoons. This was most concerning. Would all their missions be like this, with her getting upset over the slightest comment he made?

Dominic figured the ceremony wouldn’t do much. Pheromones usually needed to be dispersed with something like a zat blast. He didn’t dare try it, knowing that if he hit the bird she’d probably throw a fit that would be heard all the way to wherever Morrigan had her keep. Instead he looked to Lt. Riley.

“Sir… I really must insist we get moving. There will be time to debate this ceremony later. We are at a severe disadvantage as long as we are in the clearing. Anything could come from….” he stated, his voice getting cut off by a loud howl.. It sounded fairly close by them, maybe a few hundred yards away. Another howl responded to the first, then another and another.. Soon it was chorus of at least seven wolves howling. The air seemed to ‘shiver’ with the sound… Dominic went wide eyed..

“I believe my point has been made… Sir, we should either find a better spot to defend, or we should dial the gate back to Earth..”

It was then he noticed Traci coming through the gate. At her question he shook his head. Now was not a good time to discuss things. Thus he gave her the quick rundown…

“Our probe did not report any sign of hostile forces, unfortunately, and we have ended up on a Gouald stronghold world. Currently she has spied on us, knows our numbers except for you, and has sent a small attack force of wolves at us, which are currently circling our position…”

03/12/2005 4:55 PM

...Riley glanced from Sahara, to Dominic and finally to Traci his mind racing for the best course of action as Dominic condensed the events. So far they had only the words of the Jaffa that the bird was anything but ordinary and a howl of a some native beast to go on.

Not much at all for Stargate Command to go on, Not enough for any decent Intel anyway...

"Alright team we find a better vantage point, somewhere defendable if we can." he said, his tone once again commanding. "And if you see anything at all that howls or has teeth or looks Morriganish...take it down." he finished, his ordered military training and instincts rising to the surface.

As the last of the words escaped his lips, the lieutenant was moving towards the treeline, where the lush jungle terrain seemed to slope upwards. His P-90 held before him at the ready, the butt pressed firmly against his shoulder as he swayed the short barrell across the pass before him...

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