Here’s another extract from the journal of Lt Kestrel, with a few photos to illustrate the mission as well. Whilst a couple of the photos are mine, the credit for most of them goes to Revford.
We were being briefed on gate P3X-1928 which we were due to be heading through for a reconnaissance mission when word came through that we were to be sent after SGR5 who were now several hours overdue from returning from P3X-256 where they were showing a BBC reporter the sights of an uninhabited jungle planet.
Apparently someone much higher up had decided that a video record of what we were doing was needed and that rather than send us through with cameras, sending a man from the BBC was just what the doctor ordered. Still it’s nice to know what my licence fee is being spent on.
Due to the terrain, we would be walking, as whilst the gate had made a clearing for us to arrive in, beyond the reach of the vortex it was thick jungle. With a MALP indicating that arrival at least appeared safe enough we set off at a jog through the gate. On arrival whilst Skirt tried unsuccessfully to raise the SGR5 on the radio, the rest of the team and I spread out looking for signs indicating which direction they had set off into the jungle. My first impression of the planet was the noise, with panicked cries from animals alarmed by our arrival through the gate – Or more likely animals alarmed by the gate opening itself.
It appeared that they had initially set off bearing east from the eye and so with Bull taking point we set off following their trail.
About 50 yards in Bull signalled for us to halt for a moment, despite the gloom under the canopy he’d sighted something. Leaving us he went forward to check it out whilst we covered him. He’d discovered Pound a member of SGR5 lying unconscious on the ground with his general purpose machine gun lying a short distance from him.
Calling me forward Bull left me to examine Pound, whilst he checked the machine gun. Checking Pound over I found that he had been received what looked like wounds inflicted by staff weapon fire. Alerting the rest of the team to this 22, Skirt and Pop continued advancing forward into the trees, whilst I tended Pound’s wounds.
Although I was unable to treat all of his wounds I was able to clean them and bring him round. Once he had regained consciousness he reported that SGR5 had been ambushed by Jaffa and that he had been falling back to the gate, as he had seen the rest of the team taken down. He only avoided the ambush himself due to being the rearguard, although dazed from his injuries he asked a question that was rising in my mind – Why did they not pursue him and let him escape? They knew he was there, that much was evident from his injuries.
Able to walk, but clearly of limited use to ourselves I indicated the direction of the gate and ordered him to report back to the SGC, reporting that we would continue investigating to establish the fate of the rest of SGR5. Although low on ammo, Bull was happy with the condition of the machine gun and headed back in the direction of the gate setting it up to cover any retreat we might be forced to make if we encountered Jaffa.
I moved forward to rejoin the rest of the team who were attempting to follow the trail and as I caught up with the group I thought I heard a noise in one of the trees up ahead, 22 indicated that he had heard it as well and that he would check it out. Creeping forward through the trees with his rifle, we saw him suddenly drop his rifle and start scrabbling at his throat as he gave a strangled shout that was rapidly choked off. As I ran forward to help him I could see that the problem was a vine that had dropped around his neck and drawing my knife I cut though the noose freeing him from the grasp of the plant.
Waiting for 22 to catch his breath, I noticed a colour that seemed out of place amidst all the the greenery, there was a patch of blue at the base of a nearby tree. Noticing it I pointed it out to Skirt who went towards it carefully double checking the canopy above him, as well as the ground in front. At the base of the tree he found a backpack, that from it’s colouring was obviously didn’t belong to a member of SGR5. Quickly checking the contents he found a laptop and a collection of discs marked ‘BBC Natural History’.
Shouldering the pack Skirt joined me at the front of the group and we continued along the trail that SGR5 had walked before us. Over the radio Bull indicated that Pound had successfully made it back through the gate and that he was in entrenched with the machine gun if we needed to fall back onto his position. Continuing our progress through the jungle I sighted movement ahead and silently signalled the group to halt whilst I crept forward to check it out, it turned out to be a false alarm however as it turned out to be a camouflaged snake that would have remained hidden among the vines but for the movement that had given it away.
Suddenly off to my right I heard the sound of staff weapons firing, shortly followed by Pop indicating contact with 3 Jaffa who had evidently been heading towards the gate to find out why it had been activated. Ordering Pop to fall back towards Bull’s position, 22, Skirt and I moved to flank the Jaffa – Judging by the direction of the sound of the fight Pop had not held position when I had ordered previously and continued moving round to the west.
22 catching sight of the enemy attempted to catch him unaware with a shot, but missed and gave away our position instead. The Jaffa aware that he had a battle on two fronts turned to face us and fired upon 22, hitting the tree he was using as cover and causing splinters to fly into his face.
His comrades however, continued their pursuit of Pop into the sights of Bull.
Of the two Jaffa chasing Pop, one was too engrossed to be aware of the danger they were being led into. The other however was not so foolhardy and on becoming aware of the danger managed to fire off a hasty shot in the direction of the machine gun, before being cut in half by the stream of lead that began to issue from it.
The second Jaffa who had not noticed the machine gun, had also not noticed me and running across my line of sight received a 3 round burst to the chest and fell to the ground motionless.
22 and his Jaffa continued to exchange fire with each other to little effect due to the cover afforded by the jungle, whilst Skirt followed by myself moved round to try and get a better position. Skirt taking advantage of the Jaffa’s preoccupation with 22 attempted to shoot the Jaffa in the back but narrowly missed. Now aware of Skirt, the Jaffa spun round and whilst he was protected from 22 by the tree now behind him, it was of little use against Skirt’s second volley which easily passed through the gold protecting his head.
Expecting further company of the orangey kind I ordered 22 to fall back and cover the gate with Bull and Pop. Pop indicated that he was preparing a surprise on one of the bodies of the downed Jaffa in clear sight of the gate for his friends to investigate after we had gone. Whilst he did that Skirt and I pressed on, although by now it was obvious what had happened to SGR5. This uninhabited looking planet evidently wasn’t and SGR5 had found out the hard way. Still their trail hadn’t come to an end yet and so it I wanted to satisfy myself that Pound wasn’t the only survivor from the mission.
The trail didn’t continue much further though and from what I could read from the battlefield remains SGR5 had walked into an ambush and been taken almost completely by surprise. They had resisted, but not for long as whilst there were spent rounds lying about they hadn’t even expended about half of the munitions brought with them.
None of their bodies was present, presumably they had either been captured or the Jaffa had taken their bodies and planned to resurrect them in a sarcophagus before torturing them – It must be handy not having to take prisoners alive. if nothing else, it’d certainly make guarding them a lot easier.
There was however a dead Jaffa lying face up on the ground, going over to the corpse I noticed that something didn’t seem quite right about this Jaffa. Cautiously I checked the body for booby traps, knowing that if Pop had thought of booby trapping a corpse, he might not be the only one. Finding nothing except a scroll case around his neck, I deactivated the Jaffa’s mask and found myself looking at the face of a particularly ugly Jaffa. Whilst I didn’t recognise the sigil on his forehead, I did note that whilst not the gold of a Prime, it not a tattoo either. It had been made by scarification, I can only conclude that this difference indicated some sort of rank.
Unable to identify the Goa’uld responsible for these Jaffa, I turned my attention to the scroll case which had a map inside of it. Taking a few minutes to decipher the Goa’uld writing it appeared that the chart indicated a patrol route originating from a concealed base about 3 miles west of here in the foothills of some nearby mountains.
To be continued…..