Colonel O’Neil scanned the perimeter as his team and Mithrandir’s people ran towards the treeline.
It was clearly a retreat but even a cynic like him had to be impressed by the orderly way they did it. He thought the old man would hold them back but amazingly he was sprinting better than marines half his age.
As for the pointy-eared ailens…they were fast and strangely silent. He had the feeling that they had slowed down so that SG1 could keep up with them.
A quick glance showed Teal’c was watching their six while Sam and Daniel were up front with the old man.
O’ Neil wondered if the ‘enemy’ would come after them. The thought had barely formed in his mind when he heard distant scream of rage from behind him. Several stopped and looked back including O’Neil.
“Urukai!” warned someone from the back. O’Neil was preparing for a defensive response when an iron grip landed on his right fore-arm. He turned to face Melvin
“Make for the trees; they will not follow,” then he left; wasting no more time in convincing O’neil. The others had resumed the sprint and O’Neil had to force himself to go faster as the yelling got louder.
He had a chilling feeling that being captured by the ‘Uruk-hai’ would be a living nightmare. He looked back to see if Teal’c was okay and was startled to see the Jaffa right beside him.
“They are close O’Neil.”
“I know that!”
It seemed like centuries passed before they got in between the trees. However O’Neil was sure the ‘Uruk-hai’ would storm in after them. He whipped round with his FN P60.
Suprisingly enough the Uruk-hai had stopped at the treeline and were hurling what could only be insults at them. But one walked up closer and snarled at them.
The rest seemed a bit subdued…almost frightened.
“They…stopped,” O’Neil glanced at Daniel and Sam who had left their position upfront.
The Colonel nodded. “The question is why?”
“This is Lothlorien.” O’Neil knew without turning who owned that arrogant voice. He made a mental note to put his questions to the older guy. He seemed more amicable.
“Colonel I think we should move back we could still be in arrow range,” advised Sam.
“They would not dare,” declared Melvin confidently as he came to stand beside Teal’c.
O’Neil stared at him. “Look…” His sentence was cut short when the snarling one raised his bow and arrow ready to fire. Before O’Neil could react several white feathered arrows filled the Uruk-hai’s chest.
O’Neil swore silently. That’s it; the rest are going to storm us.
Then a fierce wind blew from within the forest. O’Neil was surprised he was not blown down; however the Uruk-hai were not so lucky.
The fallen Uruk-hai; pushed each other in order to flee from the strange wind. In mere moments they were gone and the wind died down.
Stunned silence reigned for several seconds.
“W-What was that?” gasped Daniel.
For the first time Melvin was smiling.
“Welcome to Lothlorien.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * *****
The journey to where ever they were going was now a walk; though one of haste.
O’Neil found himself revising his earlier opinion of his escorts ‘primitive weapons’.
That wind had not harmed SG1 or the natives of this forest but it had blown down the enemy and he was certain that it could have been stronger thus resulting in lasting injury.
“The wind bothers you.” O’Neil glanced at Teal’c.
“You don’t seem that worried.”
Teal’c nodded. “In fact you seem quite pleased to be here. Do you know this planet ?”
It took a while for Teal’c to answer. “I have never been here…O’Neil may we talk about this another time?”
Something in his friend’s voice made him look closer. Teal’c expression warned him from asking anymore questions.
“Sure.” O’Neil turned to look round and saw Melvin glaring at them before turning away. The colonel shook his head.
That kid had anger management issues. He was clearly the captain or whatever the equivalent rank they had in…Lothlorien.
The boy also had problems with losing members of his squad. O’Neil could relate to that but using anger and distrust to strengthen one’s spirit was only going to make things worse.
Somehow O’Neil doubted the boy would take advice from him.
“He’s no child O’Neil,” said Teal’c softly
The colonel sighed. “I swear at times that you have this ability to read minds.”
Teal’c raised an eyebrow and said nothing.
“Jack,” they turned to face Daniel who ran up to them.
“Sam and I have been with Mithrandir; he says it will take us a while to get to the main base. He also told me that though he leads this group he’s not of their race…or of that of man.”
That almost stopped O’Neil cold. Daniel had an exasperated look on his face.
“You won’t believe this; he says they are elves!” the disbelief was pain on his face.
“Who also have excellent hearing thank you,” they turned to see an ‘elf’ walking beside Teal’c. No one had heard him approach
Teal’c and the new comer exchanged respectful nods. “I am Cenaron. I apologize for interrupting your conversation. My intent was to show gratitude for your support.”
“As well as hasten us on our way,” added O’Neil dryly.
Cenaron smiled. “Not exactly; I am a scholar as well as a warrior and you intrigue me. You are men; but not of this world.”
It was not a question.
“How did you know we were coming?” asked O’Neil. He didn’t expect an answer so was surprised when the elf replied.
“Mithrandir asked us to retrieve the artifact from its resting place to open a doorway. I know not why; but i believe you are about to have your answers.”
This time O’Neil heard someone approaching them. The old man and Sam soon fell in alongside them.
Cenaron made to leave but Mithrandir raised his hand.
“Stay and listen if you please.” The elf nodded with a slight smile; he was clearly pleased to be included.
O’Neil turned his attention to Mithrandir.
“The walk is long and time is short; I fear that as soon as we reach Galadriel’s Glade I will have to depart the woods. So it is imperative that you know why you are here.”
“Indeed,” agreed O’Neil. Mithrandir wasted no time in talking.
“Seven nights past; a tube of metal fell from the skies; it was thought to be a falling star but where it landed an injured being crawled forth.”
O’Neil and Sam shared a significant look. An escape pod; which meant a ship.
“The being said his name is Martouf and Jolinar.”
This time SG1 stopped walking. Mithrandir and Cenaron stared at them.
“Please; we must hurry.”
“What happened ?” asked Sam; worry written on her face.
“He had been in the middle of a battle,” continued Mithrandir “and fled but was pursued by his enemy; his vessel was destroyed so he had to leave it behind.”
“You mean his space ship? ” asked Daniel incredulously. Mithrandir nodded while Cenaron listened attentively.
O’Neil was stunned beyond belief. These people were clearly not impressed by star faring technology.
“What of his pursuer?” asked Teal’c. SG1 knew who that meant.
“You mean the Gould” added Mithrandir “it was destroyed as it tried to follow.”
“Wait a minute; you destroyed it?” asked O’Neil.
Mithrandir shook his head. “Martouf told me he dealt it a mortal blow before he abandoned his vessel.”
O’Neil wasn’t convinced. “Are you sure?”
Mithrandir smiled. “I am.”
“Then why do you need us?” asked Teal’c. The smile left the elderly man’s face.
“Martouf has fallen into a deep sleep and Jolinar speaks for him. Our medicines cannot help them both. I’m afraid that they are dying.”
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