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A Better Ending

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Sam wasn't sure if calling him could help, but he knew, he could see, that Lew wasn't going to wait. Sam grabbed Sarge and clicked off his radio.

"I need to call the States. I have an idea that could save Lew." He ignored the look that got him and headed down range. Spike was gathering items up and Sam knew he didn't have a lot of time. "Hey Lew."

"Hey. What the Hell are you doing?"

"I have an idea that could save you, but you need to hold out a little while longer."

Lew gave him that pained look that Sam had seen in dying soldiers' faces. "You said the weight transfer won't work."

"This wouldn't be a weight transfer. I have to make a call and see, but Lew, if I can get them to help it is the best chance. I need you to promise that you'll wait for me to get an answer." Sam knew his face was showing desperation, but he really didn't want Lew dying in front of the team like this.

Lew leaned his head back and looked at the sky for several moments before turning to look at him. "It wouldn't endanger Spike?"

Sam shook his head. "It won't. I swear it."

Lew thought some more and then nodded. "Okay. I'll wait."

Sam touched him on the shoulder and then after carefully stepping back past the other mines, he jogged back to the others. Sarge handed him a phone.

Sam took it and dialed. "I need to speak to General Jonathan Jack O'Neill, Air Force. There is two 'L's' in the last name." Sam ignored the others as they stared and listened carefully. "Yes, it is an emergency. My name is Sam Barddock. I was Joint Task Force 2 for Canada and currently I'm SRU in Toronto."

He turned and watched Lew watching them as he was connected. Jack's voice was strong as he said his name. "Sir, I'm hoping you remember me..."

"Thought I told you to call me Jack."

"Yes, sir, you did."

Jack sighed and it whistled through the phone. "What's your emergency?"

Sam outlined the situation as quickly as he could, describing the mine and how Lew was positioned.

"Shit. Tell him to hold on." Sam could hear footsteps moving fast. "I'll have help to you in less than five minutes. Don't turn off the phone." Jack disconnected.

Sam sighed and clicked on his radio. "Lew. I've got help coming, just hold on."


Sam clicked off and Sarge was right in his face. "Sam. You want to explain the plan?"

Sam grinned. "I did something classified and saw something else classified that might be able to save Lew. The General I spoke to is having it brought to us."

"A US General." Sarge made it a statement.

"Yeah. I owe his people my life, Sarge. They should be able to help."

Sarge looked down range towards Lew and then at Spike being held in place by Jules. "How long till they get here?"

Sam started to answer when Jack stepped out of their command truck. Behind him came Dr. Jackson and the huge man they called T.

"Hi, Sam" Jack stuck his hand out and after shaking hands Sam turned to point out Lew.

"That's Lew. There's several other land mines near him. Spike has them marked." Sam looked at them studying the situation.

Jack nodded. "Russian C-38's you said."

Sam nodded. Dr. Jackson came up beside Jack.

"Our Sam says we ought to lay super soldier armor around Lew's foot before the Apollo tries it"

Jack nodded. "Get it down here." Jack motioned everyone together. "Someone turn their radio on for Lew." Sam clicked his and Jack turned so he was including Lew in the conversation. "Okay. We're going to set some really strong armor around your foot and then we're going to use a classified technology to move the mine. I've gotten you all emergency clearance from the President." Jack grinned at him and Sam could feel the blush creeping up his neck. "You're lucky he liked your Sam."

His team was staring again and Sam narrowed his eyes at Jack, because he was lying about the clearance. That would have taken more than a couple of minutes, even if the President liked him. Dr. Jackson came back out of the command truck with a dull black square in his hands. T followed carrying more of the same sort of squares.

"Jack. Sam says they are ready."


Sam went down range with them and helped spread the armor plates around Lew's foot.

"What sort of armor is that stuff?"

Dr. Jackson looked up. "You really don't want to know."

Sam snorted. "Maybe Jack could show them the tape."

That got him a startled look from Dr. Jackson. "You wouldn't care?"

Sam sat the last plate. "They'd understand me better."

"Scar them for life in the process."

Sam gave a bark of bitter laughter. "Yeah, I'm sure it'd do that."

He stood up and there was a edge of light for a moment from under the armor next to Lew's foot and he nearly toppled into Sam as he fell into the sudden hole under his foot.

Dr. Jackson looked at the sky. "Little early there, Sam."

They helped Lew back towards the others and his team came to met them. Laughing and crying. Spike hugged Lew while Sam got mobbed by Jules and Wordy.

Lew turned to Sam over Spikes' bent head, where he was hugging Lew. "You are showing us that tape, Sam."

Sam nodded as Jack clapped him on the shoulder behind them there was an explosion. Everyone ducked and scrambled for cover. After several moments of silence they stared standing back up.

Sam blinked as Carter, the other Sam, jogged up.

"Sorry about that, sir. They had a problem with the targeting system."

"Carter, why exactly did they go early on Lew?"

She shrugged. "His leg was starting to tremble too much."

"Ah. A little warning next time, alright?"

She nodded and Sam herded his people away as best he could. Sarge sidled up beside Jack and they moved away quietly. Dr. Jackson came up beside him and Jules.

"How about we pack everyone into the truck?"

Sam nodded and they piled into the truck. Sam started to follow Lew in, but he was pulled back by Jack.

"You don't need to see it."

He shrugged him off. "I was there. I can handle seeing it on tape."

Jack shook his head, but he didn't stop Sam as he climbed into the truck. Sam sat where he wasn't really watching the tape so much as his team. They laughed along with the jokes as on the tape the group of assigned soldiers coming from various Companies tried to feel each other out. That sort of thing was always hard, when so many were pulled from other teams and just dumped together for a single mission. They piled into the Humvees and Sam had a momentary pang of guilt for switching last minute with Thompson.

The tape skipped forward to the part where it FUBAR'd. He closed his eyes for a moment as the energy weapon hit the Humvee ahead of his and killed everyone in it, including Thompson. The camera jumped around as his group scrambled for cover. He had had the civilian, Dr. Jackson, in a death grip as he pulled him along. Sam watched his current team jump as the energy pulse that killed him came in and hit. On screen Dr. Jackson cursed in a couple of languages as he pulled Sam deeper into cover. The ground below them fell away and they dropped.

Sam watched the tape here, because he'd been dead for this part and had only seen the tape the once. On-screen, Jackson looked around and suddenly stopped.

"You have got to be kidding. Jack's going to kill me." Jackson stood up and grabbed Sam's body. He drug him across the ground until he got to a huge box. Jackson ran his fingers across the box as he muttered to himself. He looked down at Sam and then towards the direction of the battle above them. "Right." Jackson pressed a button on the box and stood well back, almost out of frame from where Sam's helmet cam lay in the dirt. The box opened and a figure sat up.

Several of his team jumped as Jackson emptied a clip into the figure. Then he drug the body from the box, reloaded, and shot it in the head several times. Then he turned and pulled Sam up and shoved him in the box. The light that Sam remembered started as the box closed.

Jackson settled in front of it and guarded the box as the sounds of the battle died down. There were footsteps and Jackson tensed.

"Daniel Jackson!"

Jackson smiled and lowered the weapon to his thigh. "Teal'c. Down here."

They watched as the big man, T, appeared in the frame. "You are well, Daniel Jackson?"

Sam smiled at the way T ran Dr. Jackson's name all together. His team was glancing between the tape and him now, so Sam made sure he seemed relaxed.

On-screen the box started to open up and T aimed his weapon at it until Jackson stood and pushed his hand down.

"It's just one of the others, the Canadian, Braddock."

On screen he shot upright from within the box, gasping as he felt along his bare chest where he'd been hit. Sam reached forward and turned off the tape. In the silence he kept his eyes on his hands. Suddenly, Sarge was right in his face.

"Hey. Look at me."

He looked up. Parker had that face, the one where he was all understanding, and he was reaching towards him. Sam froze and let Sarge grab him and yank him forward into a hug. In his ear, Sarge spoke quietly.

"I'm glad you came back."

He nodded as they pulled apart. And then he was being hugged by everyone. Lew pulled him close and didn't let go for a while. Sam held still because both Sarge and Ed were motioning for him to stay put. Jules was smiling at him and Spike was grinning. Wordy was hovering behind them.

It was a much better ending than Sam had first pictured.