Crown Infernal

Summary: The S.G.C.'s marines don't think Daniel is a suitable person to be on a field team - or even a member of the S.G.C. One of them decides to do something about it.

Vignette is a short 'snap shot' of Daniel's life as an archaeologist long before That Lecture.

Author: Hatshepsut

Thanks to Kanenas for the beta. [ 2,166 words. ]

Warning: mention of a rape in the past (not Daniel.)

Vignette by Hatshepsut

Daniel was heading for his office. He was in a brown study mulling over Pelops' arrogance in tampering with people's life expectancy, Jack's venereally induced ageing and how the Argosians came by such exquisite tailor-made clothes in such a short life-span.

He was vaguely aware that someone was following him. There was no friendly hail of 'Hey, Daniel, wait up,' or even 'Doctor Jackson, you're wanted in—' Maybe this absence generated subconscious caution. When he reached his door, he didn't open it. He turned with his back to it and found a big marine in his face.

"You don't belong here, Jackson," the guy sneered. His insignia declared him to be a captain, so that would be Captain Collings of the newly formed S.G.-5.

"Oh? Really? That's your considered opinion, is it?" Daniel looked him in the eye, unblinking.

"Yeah, ya long-haired nancy boy, it is."

"Then I suggest you take it up with General Hammond."

"That old woman! It's time he was pensioned off. And you— you'll look for another posting if you know what's good for you. There's no room in a field unit for civilians. What use could a geek be in a fire fight? Digging in the sand with your little bucket and spade. Pah!" Collings eyes narrowed as Daniel's gaze never wavered.

"While you jarheads guard me with your little water pistols?" he asked.

Collings jaw dropped in surprise and Daniel took advantage of the tempo gained. "Archaeology isn't what you seem to think it is. You wouldn't be allowed on some digs without weapons training."

"Oh yeah?" Collings said with a skeptical laugh. "What for? In case you get chased by a mummy?"

"Bandits, actually. Real, live, bandits. With guns. Real live guns."

"Why would bandits be interested in a few old fossils?"

"They wouldn't, and that's paleontology."


"Fossils. Paleontologists collect fossils."

"So what?"

Daniel sighed. There was no way a marine was going to comprehend the subtle subdivisions of geekdom. "So the bandits were after jade."

"Jade? Jade who?"

Daniel rolled his eyes. "It's not a who, it's a what. Look, come into my office. I'll show you."

Inside, he pulled a book on Mayan artefacts down from the top shelf and passed it to Collings.

Collings looked at the squat jade figurine on the dust jacket. He wrinkled his nose. "Boy, he sure is ugly! Why would anyone want to steal anything that ugly?"

"Probably because they'd get more money for that than if it were made of solid gold."

Collings gave a long soft whistle. "Wow." He paused then added, "But I wouldn't buy that for fifty cents in a garage sale."

Daniel chuckled.

"Anyhow, that's beside the point," Collings was getting back to business. "Knowing which end of a gun to hold still doesn't mean you'd be any use if you really had to fire it. Bet you never saw hide nor hair of any bandits."

"Then you'd lose."

"Oh yeah?" Collings stared hard at Daniel, "You'd never have the stomach to kill a man though."

The blue eyes staring back at him hardened. They suddenly looked flat. Dead.


"Okay, so how about you tell me about it?"

"It's not something to be proud of, whatever you might think," Daniel said, looking away at last.

Collings snorted. "Thought so! I was right after all. You've never killed a man, now have you?"

Daniel looked back at the marine - the same dead-eyed look.

"Yes," he breathed, then sighed. Collings wasn't going to go away until he heard the whole sorry tale. "All right, you want to know. I'll tell you. You might as well sit down," he added, pushing the chair towards him and sitting on a corner of his desk.

"It was about ten years ago—"

"What?" Collings looked genuinely surprised. "How old are you?"

"Nearly thirty-two," Daniel replied, frowning at the interruption. "Why?"

Collings shrugged and waved for him to continue.

"I was on a dig in Yucatan, near Uxmal*. We were hoping to find more remains west north west of the Pyramid of the Magician. Uxmal flourished between 600 and 900 C.E and the name means thrice built. We were following up a theory, based on documents thought to be by Frederick Catherwood, that maybe Uxmal was originally built on a different site and... you aren't the least bit interested, are you?"

"I'm thinking you're trying to avoid cutting to the chase," Collings said nodding.

"Okay. Well, there were ten of us including Professor Pryce-Jones, who was running the dig, and our guide, Salvatore Di Luca. We'd been there a couple of weeks. Everything was going well. We'd made a few interesting discoveries, but nothing of any great financial value. Even so, we took turns keeping watch each night.

"On this particular night, I woke up. I headed for the latrines - remembered to take my handgun, even though we'd not seen or heard anything untoward, because you just never knew...

"Dr. Hugo Rasmussen was on watch, sitting by the fire, sipping coffee. I said 'hi' as I passed. When I came out of the latrine, he was lying down which didn't seem right. I ran over to him. He was dead. His throat had been cut."

"So he couldn't cry out," Collings nodded. "That when you killed a guy?"

"No," Daniel said, giving the captain a puzzled frown.

"Well, weren't you the next target?"

"Ah. No. They came from the other side of the camp. It was nearer the track. We figured they'd been aiming for a rapid sortie and a quick getaway. Anyway, I noticed shadows creeping round the camp then. I fired a shot in the air to rouse the camp. There were a couple of scuffles around the camp, several shots and someone screamed, then it was quiet. It seemed like they'd gone.

"We all gathered round Hugo's body. I guess we were in shock which was why we didn't immediately notice that Rosie was missing. She didn't answer when we took a roll-call. It was an awful moment when we realized she must've been abducted. Josh, Paddy, Simon and I constituted ourselves the search party. Armed with 9mils and flashlights, we searched around for any indications of where she'd been taken.

"After a couple of minutes, I found a shred of pink lace snagged on a twig. It must've been ripped from her pajamas as she was dragged off. There was one set of footprints deeper than the rest. It seemed likely that someone was carrying her, so I called the others.

"A quarter of a mile or so down the track, the deeper set of footprints veered off into the jungle so I followed them. I didn't go far before I found them. He had Rosie pinned back over a large boulder with one hand round her throat. He was— he was raping her."

Daniel's voice had sunk to a low growl, his expression implacable. Collings took a step back. He'd never seen that look on Daniel's face before and it occurred to him then that maybe Daniel was someone you didn't ought to cross. He let Daniel continue in his own time.

"Rosie was only borderline conscious and the guy was too far gone in his... pleasure, to pay much attention to me. He was a big guy and I was pretty skinny back then, so he probably dismissed me as no threat. I was afraid he'd snap Rosie's neck so I pressed the muzzle of my gun to his temple and told him to stop. He ignored me. I— pulled the trigger. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Now, I'm not so sure."

"Way to go, Doctor J!" Collings was well impressed.

"Please... It's not something I'm—"

"Proud of? Yeah, you said. But you should be. You killed the bad guy and rescued the damsel in distress. That's damn' near heroic."

"The aftermath wasn't so good," Daniel sighed.


"The guy I killed was the brother of the local police chief."


"Very much so! Anyway, I made her as decent as I could, then carried her back to the main track. The others joined me at the junction. Josh and I gave Rosie a 'chair-lift' back to camp and handed her over to Dr. Cardenas. She was our medical doctor - a lovely motherly woman. She took Rosie to her own tent, sedated her and stayed with her.

"We were all pretty subdued as you might imagine, so we saw the lights and heard the jeep engines quite a long time before they burst into our camp. The Professor had already notified our embassy of the attack on our camp, so thankfully he had time to follow it up with a may-day call before the two police jeeps arrived."

"A may-day call? To our embassy? For rescue from the police?" Collings exclaimed. "You're shittin' me!"

"No, I'm not."

"Boy, I bet that went down well - not!"

Daniel raised an eyebrow. "You'll see how well it went down. When the jeeps skidded to a halt, half a dozen guys - heavily armed guys - leapt out. One was the police chief. The Professor stepped forward, raising a hand in welcome. He got as far as asking if they'd come to investigate the murder and rape of two of our colleagues, then he was cut off with a hail of abuse from the chief about 'feelty murderin' Americanos' stealing their heritage. I guess, from the promptness of their arrival, some of the bandits had found the brother. That, or the police were the bandits.

"Anyway, next the chief demanded that the Professor surrender whoever had murdered his brother. I stepped forward. Several of us had Hugo's blood on our clothes and I didn't want any of them to get blame. I half expected him to shoot me on the spot, but wound up as he was, I guess he realized that if he did, he couldn't leave any witnesses. Wiping out the whole team, even assuming there wasn't someone else hiding in the undergrowth somewhere, was likely to stir up more trouble than he was prepared to deal with.

"He went into a bit if a rant about how I'd left a widow and four little orphans. I said, the rapist should've thought of them before he stuck his dick into Dr. Markham."

Collings' eyes bugged out at that. "Man, either you are very brave or very stupid!"

"The latter, I think," Daniel said, reminiscently running his hand down the side of his face. "He clubbed me with butt of his rifle. I went down and that was the signal for him and his buddies to start kicking the shit out of me. The last thing I heard before the lights went out was the engine of the chopper.

"I was a bit of a mess when I came round in the local hospital - broken jaw, several busted ribs, internal injuries."

Collings whistled softly. "Guess the embassy wasn't too pissed about the may-day after all then."

"No, they weren't. Even posted a couple of guards by my bed in case of repercussions. Our government was pretty angry about the murder, rape and assault of three of its nationals on Mexican soil though, and demanded action against the perpetrators."

"Bet that did a lot of good!"

"It did actually - well, some good. The police chief had no defence against the charge of assault against me in front of so many witnesses and lost his job. The grieving widow outed the rest of the gang that her husband had run which led to the recovery of a number of very valuable artefacts. This information was given in exchange for a new identity and a new life in the U.S. for her and the children. None of us was surprised to learn that he was a brutal bastard of a husband. She even sent me flowers at the hospital with a message of thanks for setting her free."

"And you're still not proud of what you did?"

"Well, that thank-you did make me feel a little better about it, but I still think I should've found a better way."

"Only you, Doctor Jackson," Collings smiled.

A figure darkened the doorway. "This guy giving you any trouble, Daniel?" Jack asked with a scowl at the marine. He'd heard that there was a plan afoot to run the archaeologist out of the mountain.

"Not at all, Jack. Besides, I can look after myself," Daniel said primly.

Collings grinned. "He's not as harmless as he looks, y'know? Sir."

"Yes, I do know actually, Captain. The question is, do you?" Jack put a black lagoon's worth of meaning and menace into those few words.

"Oh yeah. I do now," Collings grinned. He gave Daniel a smart salute, ignored the base's 2IC, and marched off.

Daniel chuckled at Jack's affronted expression. "Move over, Jack. Looks like I've just become the scariest man on the base!"

"Daniel, you always were! They just didn't know it yet... "

Fizz... Ting!

*Pronounced 'Oosh-mahl'

Crown Infernal