The beach was silent. Deathly silent. So silent in fact that when the giant upright ring half submerged in the waves suddenly started flashing, shuddering, and groaning, a number of seal-like creatures who’d been hunting for ants further up the beach came to have a look. Normally they wouldn’t have bothered, but they were very bored.
The ring ceased it’s palsied shaking and with a loud “whoosh” shot out a column of metallic liquid. The water rushed out of it’s path, and waves shot up the beach. The column then retracted, and the water rushed back into the gap with a loud “boom”.
The seals were impressed.
A slight disturbance rippled up the molten metal from below the waterline. The seals looked on in interest as a stream of bubbles floated to the surface just in front of the ring, along with a black baseball cap. They were followed mere seconds later by four spluttering figures, waving their arms around and making generic drowning noises.
Hacking coughs and cries of “ARRGH!”, “URRGL!” and similar incoherancies echoed up and down the beach as the four figures, who were dressed in military fatigues, stumbled to the shore. They dropped their backpacks, and collapsed onto the sand. They lay still.
After ten minutes or so of patient observation one of the seals moved up to the closest figure, which had short greying hair, and a pair of smashed sunglasses on it’s nose. The seal nuzzled it’s face.
“nurrggglll” groaned the figure.
The seal nuzzled it again.
“arrrrAGGH” replied the figure swatting weakly at the seal with it’s arm. The seal, put off by this behaviour made a loud raspberry noise and wandered back towards the anthills. The others followed it.
Colonel Jack O’Neill opened his eyes. With much coughing and wheezing he heaved himself into a sitting position and looked around. Apparently roused by the noise he was making, the rest of SG1 started making similar noises and dragged themselves over to join him.
“Well at least we AAHHHHACCCKKK! we know why the MALP reported an error” quipped Jack examining his smashed glasses with distaste. His hat had washed up further down the beach. He stumbled to his feet and wandered over.
Daniel was cleaning his glasses, which had managed to survive intact. He put them on just in time to see Jack put on his hat. Damp sand cascaded down his neck.
“Well this bites!” he commented.
By now Teal’c’s goa’uld larva had got to work, and was feeding him additional oxygen. He got to his feet and wandered down to the water. “It appears that this gate has been inundated” he commented.
“You think?” snapped Sam, who was still trying to get oxygen back to her brain, and was momentarily under the impression that she was Jack.
Daniel stumbled to his feet and wandered over towards the seals. “Seals!” he called, still somewhat out of it. He pointed. “Seals!”
“I do not believe they are seals Daniel Jackson” commented Teal’c wandering over. “They resemble the Kal’ach’ach’ach’ach’ach’kat of ancient Jaffa legend”
“Nah, they’re seals all right! Seals!” slurred Daniel.
Damn thought Teal’c. I really thought they’d fall for that one. His musings were interrupted when Daniel was bowled off his feet by a speeding seal, apparently attracted by Teal’c’s hacking noises. It danced hyperactively around his feet, occasionally sniffing the ground for ants.
That was amusing. Thought Teal’c. Ha.
Daniel staggered to his feet. "I've split my pants, look!" he cried in distress.
Sam, still sitting in the sand, started laughing hysterically “Tee-Hee! Daniel split his pants!”
Jack, who was becoming more lucid by the minute stalked over. He looked at Daniel’s pants. “Oh, for crying out loud!” he exclaimed, whipping off his hat for emphasis. A large clod of sand fell out of the crown, and splatted wetly across his forehead, covering his hair.
“Hahahahahah!” giggled Sam. “You look like the General!” she dissolved into more laughter.
“General.....General..... John Luc Picard!” howled Daniel, collapsing back into the sand.
“Will you two pull yourselves together!” growled Jack, brushing the sand off with his hand. He shook the hat out carefully before replacing it on his head. “We have got a mission to complete here!”
“We did it. The MALP drowned. Case closed” commented Daniel, pulling himself together and sitting up. He got to his feet. “Lets find the DHD and get out of here.” He stared at the seals and shook his head. “Are they eating ANTS?”
Jack ignored him “Major Carter?” he questioned.
“I’ll give you a bit longer then”
Teal’c had wandered further up the beach. “O’Neill!” he called, waving his arm. Jack and Daniel walked up and joined him.
“Here is the mounting for the Dial Home Device” Teal’c announced, pointing at a stone platform. “It has been removed”. He pointed at scrape marks in the dirt, leading towards a dirt road that disappeared into the pine trees lining the beach.
“Well I guess we better go find it then” sighed Jack “Major Carter?”
“I think I’m OK now Colonel. Picard! Tee-hee!” Jack glared at her “Sorry”
“Right, let’s move out then. Anyone know how to get these seals to stop following us?”
The road led into the depths of the pine forest. Jack and Teal’c took the lead, with Sam and Daniel walking behind, making cracks about General Hammond’s baldness. About a quarter of an hour in, an unpleasant smell started to become apparent.
“Pheeee-woo!” exclaimed Jack “That’s stinks worse than those bodies under the floorboards.”
“Bodies under the floorboards?” queried Daniel, moving forward.
“Yeah! that Christmas!”
“What are you talking about Jack?” asked Daniel furrowing his brow in extreme puzzlement.
“Oh right! You weren’t there. Sam! Remember those bodies? Under the floorboards?”
“You remember! It was Christmas, and we went to that haunted house? And then there were bricks behind the door? And we found our own bodies under the floorboards? And then we shot each other, but we didn’t really?”
“Colonel, I have no idea what you’re talking about”
“I could have sworn we went to a haunted house”
“Maybe you dreamed it?”
The conversation was interrupted when they rounded a corner and found the source of the smell. A small, rotund man in a blood splattered leather apron was sitting, sharpening a knife by a pile of dismembered animal carcasses. A variety of roughly preserved furs hung from a bamboo rack to his side. He ceased sharpening, and stared at the group in surprise.
“Uh, Daniel, you wanna find a way to talk to this guy before he decides to use that knife of his?” suggested Jack.
“Greetings!” said the small man. “Do you want to buy some furs? I am Waltur, the Skinner!”
How is it these people always speak English? wondered Teal’c. He didn’t say anything though.
“Um... not really” said Daniel eyeing the flyblown skins warily. “Actually we’re looking for the DHD, from the beach back there” He gestured vaguely behind them.
“DHD?” questioned Waltur “What’s that, some kind of seal? I have seal skins!” he pointed to a particularly pestilent example.
“Uh.....” said Daniel.
“About yeah high” interjected Jack “Made of metal, has a whole load of glyph doohickeys engraved on it?”
“Oh right!” said Waltur, slapping his thigh and disturbing several large flies that had been feeding on his apron “You mean the sacred Coffee Table! The Chief has that!”
“The Chief?” asked Daniel, his anthropological ears pricking up.
“Yes, Alagr the Ubiquitous”
“Alagr the Ubiquitous?” asked Jack in disbelief
“Alagr the Ubiquitous”
“Yes, the Ubiquitous”
“But the Ubiquitous!”
“Let it go Jack” hissed Daniel.
“It means everywhere at once Colonel”
“I know what it means Sam!” Jack shook his head “Ubiquitous”
“Where can we find this Chief?” asked Daniel stoically ignoring the extremely inane conversation going on behind him.
“Just down the road” replied Waltur. “In the big building that looks like a head. Do you want me to guide you?” He stood up, and a pile of bloody knucklebones fell out of his lap to the ground.
“No! No! Uh, I mean we can find it ourselves!” replied Daniel hurriedly.
Waltur sat back down. “Whatever turns you on. Sure you won’t buy a fur?”
“No! We’re right thanks!” explained Jack, gesturing for the others to move. They did so. Quickly.
“Tourists!” snorted Waltur, and resumed sharpening his knife.
About half a mile down the road, the group halted outside a large building shaped, as Waltur had mentioned, like a head.
“This must be it” said Daniel, staring at the construction in distaste
“See any other head shaped buildings around here?” snorted Jack
“Savage Jack, Savage”
“Say, does this place remind you of anyone” asked Sam
They looked. Heavy jowls, bald, shiny head.
“It appears to resemble General Hammond” said Teal’c after a pause.
“C’mon, his head isn’t that shiny” said Jack “Lets just get the DHD and get outa here”
“I think it is you know. If you see it in sunlight” mused Daniel.
“He waxes it you know” contributed Sam.
“Yeah he’s got a little jar of wax in his drawer, I’ve seen it”
I can’t take much more of this thought Teal’c, grasping his staff weapon and scratching his own bald head.
“People!” yelled Jack, banging the but of his SMG on a pine tree for emphasis. “We have a job to do!”
“Just because you’re going ‘hammond’ ” said Daniel, wiggling his fingers to indicate the apostrophes.
“Hey! I am not going ‘hammond’ “ Yelled Jack, wiggling his fingers back.
“Then what were you doing peering at your scalp in the locker room mirror last week?”
“I’m not going ‘hammond’ !”
“Yes you are!”
Oh for crying out loud! thought Teal’c “Perhaps we should go inside” he suggested.
“I’m not going bald” mumbled Jack under his breath as they marched into the gaping mouth of the building. “I was looking for lice!”
The inside of the head was surprisingly spacious. Directly opposite the door, on a large, luxurious couch sat a small, wizened up, old man in what appeared to be a lace nightgown. Standing on the floor in front of his couch was the DHD. It appeared to bear numerous coffee stains.
“HALT!” screamed a voice, and their path was suddenly blocked by a slightly less small than usual man, dressed in leathers, a battered motorcycle helmet, and carrying a pocketknife tied to a stick.
“What is your business with mighty Chief Alagr the Ubiquitous!” cried the guard, waving his stick menacingly.
“Oh for crying aaargh!” Jack yelped as Daniel stood on his foot.
“We are travellers from a distant land, and wish to negotiate for the return of the DHD” announced Daniel, bowing deeply. Sam grimaced, she was getting far too good a view of Daniel's "animaniacs" boxer shorts.
“The DH what?” asked the guard in obvious puzzlement.
Daniel sighed and rolled his eyes. “The Sacred Coffee Table”
“Before you may speak to mighty Chief Alagr the Ubiquitous you must be purified! You must face trial by combat!” The guard shook his stick.
“Oh, Just let them in Udum, they look interesting” called the wizened up old man.
Udum retired to the side with a look of resentment on his face. SG1 moved forward until they were standing in front of the DHD. A number of smashed coffee cups lay around it’s base.
“Greetings mighty Chief” said Daniel, bowing again “We are travellers from...”
“Yeah yeah, from a distant land and you wish to negotiate for the return of the Sacred Coffee Table, I heard ya. Sit down.”
They sat down.
“Now, before we proceed, I require a tribute of cheese.”
“Uh” said Daniel warily “I’m sorry, but we don’t have any cheese”
“You must have cheese! All travellers have cheese! It is the Law!”
“We apologise, but we are from far away and are unfamiliar with the Law” said Daniel, obviously worried.
“You Lie! I insist that you open your bags, so I may gaze upon your cheese!”
“Look, we don’t have any cheese, pops!” growled Jack.
I should probably say something thought Teal’c. “What is a cheese pop?”
“Open your bags! I order you!” yelled the Chief. Udum the guard reappeared, and shook his stick.
“We’d better do as he says” recommended Daniel, opening his backpack. With obvious reluctance the rest of the team complied. Teal’c stared into Jack’s bag.
“What is a playboy?” he asked
The Chief examined the bags one by one. “Aha!” he cried, reaching into Sam’s and pulling out a large block of cheese.
“Sam!” cried Jack in a hurt tone “Were you holding out on us?”