They looked out over the thick forest that started almost at the Stargate. The trees stood so closely together that it looked like a solid mass of wood. It looked quite foreboding.

"So Bra'tac is supposed to be on this world," Martouf said. "Right?"

Daniel nodded. "Yes."

"Perhaps there's a village in that direction?" Martouf pointed at a fairly well-trodden path that disappeared among the trees.

Sam looked around. "There doesn't seem to be any other way to go. The forest is all around us, and is very dense." She threw a glance at the odd, pale green sky, and the two suns - one a faint red, and the other a strong white-yellow one.

Daniel shrugged. "Then that's an easy choice, for once!" He started walking along the path, and the others hurried after him, none of them wanting to be left alone.

"This forest looks evil!" Freya complained, looking at the tall dark trees. Their heights were great, and they stood very close together, which meant it was cold and almost dark on the path, despite the fact that it was close to noon.

"It's just something you i-magine," Sam insisted, a look of superiority on her face.

"No, it is not!" Freya said, angrily. "I am certain the forest is full of monsters, hiding - and just waiting to eat us! See? That tree moved!"

"There are no monsters!" Sam told her. "You're just i-magining it... and trees doesn't move!"

"You should have listened when they said 'The Lord of the Rings" where for older children!" Martouf added.

"We all watched those movies!" Freya insisted, hotly. "You were as scared as I was, when the trees started walking!"

"There was only one part of the movie where I was afraid, and it was only briefly - when they were attacked by a giant spider. It was quite sensible of me too, as spiders are real, but moving trees are not," Martouf reasoned.

Freya scoffed, and they all continued walking. They had gone for maybe five minutes more, when Daniel let out a blood-curdling scream.

"Help! It's eating me! It's a giant monster!"

Sam giggled. "It's a lizard... a tiny cute lizard! It just fell on your shoulder!"

"Where is it?" Daniel tried to see, but the animal had moved to his back. He could feel it move around on him. "Get it off me!"

"Relax!" Martouf said, trying to catch the lizard. He did not succeed, as it was very fast.

"We'll get it!" Freya exclaimed, and started chasing the small creature that was making for the safety of the trees.

"Could you possibly make less noise!" a voice suddenly said from behind them.

They turned to see Bra'tac standing on the path.

"Bra'tac!" Sam exclaimed. "I mean, Master Bra'tac!"

"We were coming to find you!" Daniel told him, eagerly, immediately forgetting everything about the lizard.

"Now is not a good time! An Ori Prior has come, and I was on my way to inform Stargate Command!" Bra'tac told them.

"Oh, no!" Daniel said, a horrified expression on his face.

"Why are you here alone?" Bra'tac asked, pushing them ahead of him in the direction of the Stargate. "You must return to the Tau'ri immediately."

"We can't return yet! We need to save Cam!" Sam told him.

"Cam?" Bra'tac frowned.

"Cameron Mitchell," Martouf clarified. "He's missing."

"Adria has taken him," Freya added.

"Then he is lost. Besides, you are merely children. You must leave things like this to the adults," Bra'tac insisted. "Now move. Quickly! We do not want to risk the Ori stopping us!"

Bra'tac used the GDO to send his iris code. "Now we will all go through. Come!" He walked ahead.

The children looked at each other, but did not follow him. They saw Bra'tac disappear into the wormhole.

"We must get away from here - quickly," Martouf said.

"Where do you want to go? Bra'tac clearly didn't know anything useful!" Sam exclaimed.

The wormhole shut down. Daniel threw himself at the DHD, and started dialling. "We need to go somewhere, before they come from the SGC to get us!"

"The Prior is coming!" Freya cried. "Hurry!"

"What?" Daniel half-turned and saw the man. "God!" Shaking, he stared at the DHD, suddenly unsure what the address was. The Prior got closer, and Daniel quickly input two more symbols and then hit the center button. A wormhole opened. "Go!"

They all ran through. As soon as the wormhole shut down, Martouf ran up to it to dial another address - in the very likely case the Prior had seen the address they went to. Of course, it was not really likely he would follow, at least not right away. It would seem the Ori took the worlds little by little.

Before Martouf had time to dial a new address, however, someone else dialled in.

"Incoming!" Daniel exclaimed.

They all jumped behind some nearby bushes, hoping they would not be discovered.

"Jaffa!" Martouf whispered.

Sam nodded, then spoke, keeping her voice low. "Yeah, I see that..."

"What's in those crates sitting by the Stargate?" Daniel wondered, suddenly noticing a large number of boxes.

"Naquadah. Raw ore," Martouf told him. "I can sense it, even though the chaapa'ai masks it somewhat."

It was a fairly large group of Jaffa, consisting of twenty strong warriors, all armed with staff weapons. The Jaffa did not notice the children, and instead focused on the crates with naquadah. They talked among themselves, sounding angry, then almost immediately set out on the fairly wide road leading away from the Stargate, and up a hill.

When the Jaffa had disappeared behind the hilltop, the children drew a relieved breath.

"Well, I guess it's better to have Jaffa than Ori..." Daniel shrugged. "And I guess they're occupied with the naquadah, so we can leave."

"It is likely to be the tribute from the villages of this world," Freya said.

"So, what Goa'uld are they serving?" Sam asked.

"I don't know..." Martouf frowned. "I didn't recognize the symbol. At all."

Freya shook her head. "Me neither."

"So a minor Goa'uld?" Daniel wondered.

"Or maybe you guys don't remember it because those memories haven't returned yet?" Sam suggested.

"Possibly, but I don't think so. I think it's a new Goa'uld," Martouf said.

"New Goa'uld?" Daniel frowned at him.

"Yeah, you know... one who has taken ad-vantage of the power va-cuum left when the System Lords disappeared."

"Oh, no! That could be bad!" Sam looked horrified.

"You mean... like a symbiote snatched a host when it matured in its Jaffa?" Daniel asked.

Martouf nodded, then got an important expression. "Yes. It was bound to happen."

"Okay... well, never mind that - we should save Cam!" Daniel insisted. He turned around and was about to go to the DHD and dial an address. "Where do we go?"

"We have no idea where Adria took him," Sam reminded him. "And no idea who to ask!"

"We also kind of need to find out about this Goa'uld," Martouf said. "Lantash agrees with me."

"Yes, we could risk him - or her - getting all powerful and undoing what we have ac... ac-complished!" Freya looked scared. "That would be bad!"

"That will hardly happen. The Ori will just swat him - like they do everyone else," Daniel insisted, looking defaitistic.

"Maybe - but I agree with Martouf and Freya. We should check on him. Since we don't know what else to do anyway," Sam argued.

They looked at each other. Daniel shrugged. "Okay - so we follow the Jaffa? Or what?"

Sam nodded. "Sounds like a good idea."

Martouf and Freya both agreed, and they set out following the path the Jaffa had left by.

Next chapter >>