“Hurry father, catch up!” Annalii laughed over her shoulder at her father as he tried to keep up with her and her horse during their ride through the forest. Annalii had chosen this path to the caves out of sheer enjoyment of the ride. Cupia, her horse had been cooped up for too long and Annalii could feel her energy just beginning to break free. Gregorios, Annalii’s father had urged her to take the safer path, through the densest part of the forest where there was more covering but the horses could not roam free there. Moreover, they would not have the opportunity to breathe in the fresh air of the open countryside. Living as they did, in hiding, the opportunity to do so was rare.
Annalii did not even realize they were so close to the ancient door until she heard the strange noises coming from it. It seemed to be coming to life. Lights were lighting up all around it. Gregorios approached quickly from behind and pulled her and Cupia into a hiding place. Annalii had heard of the strangers who came through the door looking for her people, she knew they were dangerous, but she had never witnessed anything like this. From her hiding place, Annalii could see the circle explode in something that looked like water. Immediately, dangerous bursts of energy made their way through the door. Just as quickly, four forms stepped quickly onto the ground in front of the door. Three males, one female – the female took a hit from one of the bursts of energy and fell to the ground.
Even without the use of her gifts, Annalii knew this fair haired female was in danger. She struggled away from her father and ran up to the strangers. She had heard that the enemies, those looking for signs of life on her world, looked different than her own people. That they wore armor and often had a symbol displayed on their foreheads. She had no way of knowing for sure that these strangers were safe, but she felt compelled to do something. These people had not come in fighting, they had been fought against.
While still a few feet from them, Annalii saw the watery surface of the inside of the doorway disappear, this stopped her with a small gasp. At the sound, two of the males who had been tending to the injured female looked up, weapons drawn. Annalii tried to communicate with them, tried to calm their fears, but it seemed they could not hear. Slowly she started to move toward the injured one.
“Whoa, hold on.” Said one of the men. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“I can help her” Annalii replied, walking slowly and steadily toward them.
“Like hell you can” replied the man.
The male who remained bent over the injured person looked up then. “Jack, you can’t just dismiss someone’s help. Sam’s in really bad shape.”
“Look Daniel,” Jack, the apparent leader walked back toward the one who had spoken without moving his eyes or his weapon, “I don’t know who these people are, let alone how we ended up on this planet. I’m not going to let just anyone walk up to us without a little caution.”
At this point Annalii was stopped by the large, so far silent, man who was holding the other weapon. “I wish you no harm. Quite the contrary in fact. I am a healer; I can help your friend. In fact, I fear without my help she is in grave danger.”
Suddenly, Annalii heard her father’s voice behind her. “We will all be in danger soon if we remain where we are. We must move into the caves.”
Annalii immediately began conversing with her father. Will it be safe?
We have no choice. You have revealed us to these people and we need to move away from here.
But how can we know if we can…
It is too late to question yourself now, child. We must move ourselves, and these strangers, to the caves before the others come.
“Look buddy, we’re not moving anywhere until we have a better idea of what’s going on.” Jack spoke over the father-daughter conversation. “In fact, I say we just head right back home and get out of here.”
“The others will be coming” Gregorios said. “We can’t be here when they show up.”
“Who will be coming?” Asked the other armed man. At this, Annalii and Gregorios both looked at him really looked at him, for the first time. Fear suddenly gripped her as she glimpsed the symbol set into his forehead. “You. You are one of them.”
As the man with the gold symbol looked on, Gregorios stood his ground before his daughter. “You will not take her without a fight.”
“Teal’c,” Jack said, walking over the man, “are you starting a fight again?”
“I am not. These people have mistaken me for my previous comrades.” Teal’c replied. Turning his attention back to the father and daughter, “You are hiding from the goa’ould?”
Gregorios replied, “We do not know them by this name, but we know they are dangerous and come with warriors who look like you. We must all leave this area immediately.”
Jack shrugged at the warning, “we’ve stood up to these guys plenty of times. You all should try it; fighting back that is.”
“You don’t understand,” Gregorios explained, “we don’t hide for fear of the fight. We hide because they do not have any proof we exist. We must maintain this secrecy if we are to remain.”
“Jack,” Daniel called from his position next to the injured woman, “Sam’s lost consciousness. Whatever we’re going to do, we need to do now.”
Annalii looked intently into Jack’s eyes, trying with all her might to communicate with him in her most natural way. Please, let me help her. Whether it was a response to her plea or not, Jack gave the slightest nod and let her pass. Annalii knelt on the ground next to the woman, seeing the greatest of her injuries had occurred around her abdomen. The wounds were bleeding heavily and the flesh and even muscle was torn and charred in many places. “I don’t know if we can move her. I need to do something to give her strength.”
“We don’t have time,” Gregorios said, walking up behind her. “We need to put her on your horse and walk her in the long way.”
“No, there’s not enough time. She must be treated within the hour. I must strengthen her now and bring her in through the underground.”
“They will be upon us before you can do that!”
“For crying out loud!” exclaimed Jack. “We’re done arguing with you, can we just move?”
“Perhaps if one of you could carry her, and come with me into the caves. We can go the shorter route and I will be able to minister to her sooner.”
“Fine,” Jack answered quickly. “Teal’c you go with her, carry Sam where she needs to go but be careful.”
Daniel stood quickly, mere inches from Annalii’s face, “Are you sure she can be moved?”
For a moment all Annalii could do was stare into his blue eyes.
The intense worry for his friend was evident on his face, in the depth of his eyes. She could feel an instant connection with him that the others had not brought from her. Without turning away she answered him, “I will make sure she is safe. Leave her in my hands.”
Annalii moved to be closer to the side of the injured woman. Kneeling on the ground, she placed her arms in a rough circle above the worst of the wounds. The weapon’s blast had torn a hole as big as both of Annalii’s hands and deep enough to expose muscle, tissue and small area of bone near the woman’s hip. The blue eyed man had placed a stip of cloth against the wound to slow the bleeding, but as Annalii peeled it back the wound was open again. With as much power as she dared give this early in the game, she worked to create a protective shield around the injuries. Her energy created warmth and a slight glow as she worked, trying to isolate the damage and stabilize the patient. Within moments, she stood and gave the signal that she was ready to move. The large man who seemed to be known as Teal’c easily scooped up the slight blond woman and looked to Annalii to guide them. With one last moment of concern, Annalii started off across the field toward the hidden entrance to the network of caves.