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Aberrant: Stargate Universe - Doing What We Do (SG-21 - Caine and Jaunt) [FIN]

Adrian Moss

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The message had read for Jaunt to be ready at 0900 hours, dressed in his BDU's and to await Major Caine, his new CO, in his room.

Caine was hoping that the young recruit would be ready. Of all the Specialists, he was the youngest and most rebellious if Major Logan was to be believed. Caine could appreciate that. All of the other Specials were professionals, with some life experience and education behind them. They had already lived independent lives and made life choices. They all had made the choice to be here now. They understood the necessity of them staying under wraps because some unfathomable Alien Device had twisted their lives.

Jaunt was just a kid really. He wasn't willing to take the talk of experts as gospel. He was an immediate, show-me-now kind of generation. Caine planned to show him.

The knock on the door was firm yet forceful. Caine was running on military time, after all. They had some work to do before ... well before their mission. Caine was dressed in his BDU, looking every bit the poster boy for the New Air Force. His hair was close-cropped and his eyes were bright and intelligent. He had a pack with him and wore another one on his back.

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The door opened and there stood a still half asleep Jaunt in nothing but tight, black bikini briefs that did their very best to contain obvious morning-wood. He walked away, leaving the door to swing open.

"Dude," He said, rubbing his hands on his face to rub away the sleep. "Not cool man. What? Jesus pissed off and we all have to run off to Christian World to stop him or something?"

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Caine had expected as much. That is why he had given them the leeway he had scheduled in.

"Time to get dressed now Jaunt. We do have somewhere to go and I don't want to make them wait - because they won't."

He didn't add what the would mean for Jaunt's relationship to the SGC.

"Your BDU's are in your closet, as are your boots. You really don't want to dress as someone special. Special tends to get shot at first were we are going - which is to say, the Wider World."

His tone was relaxed and conversational. He didn't sound like he was in some rush, nor put out by Jaunt's condition or demeanor.

"Come on now, get dressed. I'll pull an energy bar out of your pack," Caine says as he hoists the pack onto Jaunt's locker. He then proceeds to open a side pouch and pulls out the bar.

"I promise I'll try not to dissappoint you."

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"Figures. Getting specialists here makes sense, you can us as body shields while you military guys get the job done and come home heroes." He opened up his closet and took out his BDU's. You gotta be kidding me... "For the record dude, I can see bullets, and I can dodge them. If any come my way, I'm skipping behind you and yours. You signed a four-year to get your head blown off for your country, I didn't."

Every muscle on Jaunt had tightened and become about as dense as it could on the average gymnasts frame. Whatever the alien ray thingie did it had made him absolutely perfect at everything he was good at prior to exposure.

Caine had to roll his eyes as the boy stopped to admire himselfbefore getting dressed.

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It wasn't much of a roll because this was the exact thing Logan had told Caine to expect from the youngest Specialist. He was an egotistical bore who was full of himself in every concievalbe way. It had been privately joked that if he could create Jaunt clone, it would sleep with itself. True, Caine had a low opinion of his latest charge.

Caine waited, counting off the wasted time in his head. He really hoped it wouldn't be a total waste of time. Meat shield's aside, Jaunt had hit the nail on the head as to why the Major was doing what he was doing today. Jaunt hadn't signed on. He wasn't part of the program. If he wouldn't get his ass in gear and climb on board, SG-21 didn't need him. Hell, Declan might just kill him in the field as an expediant. Caine had enough psychological problems to deal with already.

Soon enough, Jaunt was dressed, profiled, and cutting a daper figure. Caine just had to ruin it by having him take his own pack and shoulder it, which the young man had no trouble doing.

Caine led his newest SG member to the elevator and they went to the StarGate level. The activity was accelerated here. There were people moving about and definitely more guards.

"Activation of Gate in sixteen minutes and counting," sounded over the intercom.

The Major looked to Jaunt,

"We are going off world with SG-10 today. We are going to the world of Pantheorua."

He motioned Juant into an side chamber were four other men, all dressed in their BDU's and checking a variety of weapons on a table. All of the men looked up, but only one held his gaze on the two newcomers. The rest went back to work.

"Caine," the remaining man said with a grin. "I thought you were going to pass. Times a wasting."

"No problem, Taggert. This is Jaunt, the Special that will be coming with us today."

Taggert nodded his head,

"Sure thing. The more hands the better. We got a lot of gear to move today."

"Oh, I'm ready for it, and Jaunt here is really strong as well. We are glad to pull our weight."

Caine and Taggert looked to Jaunt for conformation.

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The young man was dazed by the sight before him. It was the first time he'd seen the gate, let alone it's warm up sequence. He hardly even heard the conversation going on between Caine and... the other guy.

He finally looked to Caine and Taggert. "Uh, you just said I'm usually the one who gets shot first, so... yeah, you can pull my weight too. Second, if you brought me along because I can lift heavy things, and you guys can't... slow your roll. I don't mind helping, but I'm not a pack mule. If you two can't lift it, send equipment through that can, like a fork lift."

Without any thought about what he'd said he offered his hand to Taggert. "Yeah, Jaunt. Nice to meet ya."

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Taggart looked at Caine, something unspoken passed between them, and Taggert chuckled.

"We will all be humping gear, son - Jaunt."

After a second, he continued in a more serious tone.

"Okay. This is my mission. I call the shots for SG-10. You and Caine follow what I say."

A slight grin crossed his face.

"Not that I think this is going to be a rough jaunt. We are going making what amounts to a supply run to a friendly world. No System Lords about and we liberated the planet from the forces of the last System Lord. We have a scientific team on the sight, helping the natives a working on the Goa'uld artifacts left there. No big deal."

"Now, stay away from the women and don't get lost and we'll do fine."

He goes over to the table and picks up one of the P-90's. He tosses it to Caine who catches it on his chest.

"Jaunt," he says to the young man before him, "you get a weapon when Caine says you can."

Sensing a retort of some kind, Caine interjects,

"Jaunt, you shouldn't need a weapon. If you do, Jaunt back to the gate and wait for the Major or me to dial you home. I don't want you to get into trouble on his mission. I need to get to know you better."

"Besides, if it is any consulation, we are going to be the first two specials through the StarGate."

Caine hoped that was enough.

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Although hot headed and equipped with a bit of an attitude, Jaunt was not compeltely unreasonable. Everything Taggert said made sense, and when Jaunt said he'd be willing to help, he meant it.

"Jaunt," he says to the young man before him, "you get a weapon when Caine says you can."

"Sokay dude, I'm good." Jaunt was looking more at the gate than Taggert. He held up his hand in the universal sign for 'no thanks', but barely even knew what he was replying about. "Thanks though, I'm pretty comfortable with the size of my manhood, I don't need a gun to prove to others just how cool I am. You might wanna give Caine two though..."

"Jaunt, you shouldn't need a weapon. If you do, Jaunt back to the gate and wait for the Major or me to dial you home. I don't want you to get into trouble on his mission. I need to get to know you better."

"No sweat there man, better you than me." He about as casual and as cold as any punk kid could be, but his eyes never left the massive gate.

"Wait a sec," Something seemed to dawn on him. "What's wrong with the women?"

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"Wait a sec," Something seemed to dawn on him. "What's wrong with the women?"

The room got a bit silent at that question. Caine responded with some ... anger.

"The population was brutalized by the last System Lord. He ... harvested most of the young men to work on his projects off-world. The Jaffa were instructed to be as brutal as possible. Most of the day to day living on-world fell to the women to handle. They were the core of the resistance when it came time to fight back."

Caine checked his weapon while he spoke. When he was done, he added,

"They are only now getting themselves sorted out. We are giving them their space and trying not to interfere."

He didn't mention to Jaunt that Jaunt had an ego, a large one. He didn't want him trying to lord it over these people, though explain this to him would be difficult.

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"Dude," He jaunted from where stood to a few meters away, bringing him closer to the gate but not close enough to interfere with the technicians. "I'm all about space. A planet of Babarella's. Sounds hot, lets go. When's this thing going to be ready to get us to Panurethra, times a wastin'.

They weren't sure whether his mispronunciation was intentional, or accidental.

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The technicians were, one at at time, leaving the room as their function was done. Guards, armed air force personnel, moved into covering positions. The SG members got their weapons ready as well. Before them were six duffel bags worth of gear and supplies.

Another Klaxon sounded and the room had a certain electricity to it. Your eyes couldn't help but flicker toward the giant ring as the symbols began turning and locking. When the eigth one lit up, you could feel the suspense building up in the base of your gut then it came.

The huge flush of comsic energy lashed into the room. It looked like liquid mercury, faceting every aspect of the room and hinting at what lay beyond. It rebounded into itself like a silent crash of a wave. The ripply surface was established and it looked like someone had turned the ocean on it's side, yet managed to conain it's massive weight.

Caine nudged the somewhat stunned Juant and handed him a black duffel bag. He then stooped down and picked one up himself. The rest of the team followed suit. Once they had adjusted their weight the team up to the ramp and began to climb, Taggert in the lead. His free hand held up his rifle at the ready. The other team followed up in a staggard formation, Caine and Jaunt in the rear.

One by one, they vanished into the Stargate's surface. Jaunt could here the two members closest to him talking non-chalantly about some nurse they were seeing. Their words took on a frightening quality as they hit the gate. It was almost as if their sound was swallowed.

Then it was their time,

"This is going to sting a little," Caine said, smiling at Jaunt, "and don't hold your breath. No real harm if you do, but its awkward when you come out the others ..." and Caine was gone.

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He hesitated for only a moment. Reflexively he took a deep breath and stepped forward. In a rush of dizziness mingled with exhilaration Jaunt was swallowed by the portal and sent onward through the galaxy.

[[You haven't told me what type of planet this is, temperate, arid, arctic, or even what sort of world we'll be landing on so I can't post anything beyond him stepping through.]]

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The humidity hit them like a hot, wet towel to the face and like a hot misty spray to their sinuses and lungs as they took their first breaths. This place was definitely hotter than their underground home. Caine gently took Jaunt by the elblow and pulled him a few steps away from the gate.

"Best to not get in the habit of standing right in front of the gate," the Major told his newest team mate. "You never know what may be coming in right behind you. You don't want to be trying to stop that kind of force, so let's not get in the habit."

Already the members of SG-10 were beginning to sweat. Taggert had made contact with the existing personnel on planet while his team had spread out and taken up positions on the perimeter. Taking his hands off of the young Special, Caine said,

"Keep with me."

Caine went down the steps, through the maze of dropped bags that SG-10 had put down to take their current positons, and placed his own down at the bottom of the steps. The bag he put down so it offered minimal cover and he hoped Jaunt did the same. This world was safe ... as safe as a world could be that wasn't home.

The jungle was alive all around them, but there were signs of life for Jaunt to pick up on. The Star Gate and its Dailing mechanism were free of vegetation, as was an area almost ten meters around the Gate. Even the steps had been swept.

Beyond that perimeter, tall trees gave the forest a twilight cast. The trees were tall, at least twenty meters tall, with tangling vines that fell back to earth. Their canopy blocked out most of the sunlight just as their heigth blocked any glance of the horizon. Birds sqwaked in the immediate vicinty and as they watched two brightly colored red and blue plummaged avians crossed the clearing. With some scanning, Jaunt could make out a large snake, myriad crawling and flying insects, and monkeys. The forest was alive and unlike a zoo, this time it was the humans who felt like they were on display.

Taggert gave the all clear and his team came back for their bags. They made a buzz of quiet small talk. They were relaxed, if not totally at ease. Jaunt was second to last. Caine was tail-end Charlie. As they headed out, a fine mist began to fall from the heavens.

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Every sight, sound and scent he took in as he walked, awestruck by the world he found himself in. It was true, all true and very real. Here he was on a planet that was light years from his own, and all he had to do was look at the three eyed monkeys to tell him that.

The air was the cleanest his lungs had ever breathed, the scents were pure and the even moisture had a flavor crisper than any on his home world.

The heat didn't bother him too much, it was more the weight of the equipment that got on his nerves. Jaunt evolved with agility in mind and with the constricting BDU's and pounds and pounds of gear they made him carry he worried slightly what he would do if something stopped by to say hello and, ya know, kill him.

"How far we heading," He asked. "In English please, cuz 'a click' don't mean crap to me."

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"That's easy. A 'click' is a kilometer, a kilometer is a thousand meters, and a meter is a stride and a half - roughly. We are about two kilometers from the Plaza of the sun, but we'll see the outlying farms before then."

If the load bothered Caine or the others, they didn't show it. Jaunt did notice the lead man put on a faster pace and disappear down the trail. The jungle stilled around them somewhat, except for the occassional monkey-like creature that screached at them, through something then ran up into the foilage.

As oppressive as the jungle was, the exit to it was a grey-white beacon as they headed out into what must have been a clearing. As the two tail-end members came back into the clouded sky and mist, they could make out a series of pyramids in the distance. Up closer were water patties with some sort of vegetation floating in clumps in the center. The path had become an elevated road toward the small city that was their goal.

Women worked the patties, using small two-person boats to get around and hoping onto the floating islands to harvest some of the floating plants. They were a simple cotton wrap around their chests and short cotton sarrongs around their waists. Their skin was a burnished bronze, their hair long, black, and pulled back in ponytails. Their noses had a high, aristocratic arch to it and this gave their voices a high, bird-like quality to them as they looked at the strangers and talked amongst one another - calling out from boat to boat ahead of the column.

Farther along, after a flight of large white birds fly languidly across the teams path, Jaunt could here a hail, in English from ahead. Someone identified themselves as a Doctor Heather Robinson. Jaunt could see that she came with three native woman, one in a ceremonial feathered headress that radiated from her shoulders with a rainbow of feathers.

Doctor Robinson was a handsome African-American female of middle years and a wide smile. She made a point of coming up and hugging each of the men. When she got to Jaunt, and later to Caine, she explained as she was hugging.

"This shows them that you are part of my family. That is important to these people, since they can trust you because they have trust in me."

When Doctor Robinson was done, she went back to the Head Woman, who was an older woman, probably in her later forties or early fifties, with gray hair and a firm stance. Except for the headress, she was dressed like one of the women from the paddies.

"Greet-tings," said the Head Woman in broken English, "You are Wel-comb-ing."

That little ceremony out of the way. The Head Woman turned around and led the SG team into the city. The walkway went from packed dirt to limestone flagstones. The buidling themselves were mostly white limestone with thatched roofs. Around them, children clustered. Women, very old, or very young, came out of their homes our other ceremonial buildings, and looked them over. This close up, the three pyramids that dominated this small city loomed as testements to power. They were devoid of people too.

It took Juant a moment to really acclimate himself to the surroundings. The childen ran around naked, which was somewhat ammusing to watch. They were tended to by girls, barely in their teens, who eyed the strangers with wonder, or their Grandmothers, who eyed them with suspicion. Rarely did Jaunt catch sight of an old man. The grown women must have been in the fields, but there were no men in evidence.

It took a moment for that to sink in about this society. No Fathers, or brothers. A whole generation gone forever, and it was Jaunt, in his youthfulness that really grabbed people's attention. Everyone else from Earth was an adult, a professional, a soldier. Jaunt was young ... was real to them as no other outsider had been.

Caine reached over and took Jaunts pack.

"We'll put things together here. We have a water purifier to fix and some communication poles to put up farther up the valley. Jaunt, you take a walk around, see the sights, and try not to cause an Interstellar incident."

With that, Caine turned to Taggert and the others. Two more civilian types, though dressed in BDU's - Juant could tell the difference already, had joined the SG-10 team and they were unpacking gear. Half a dozen natives had joined them and were listening to the scientist giving instructions on what device did what, or would do what.

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He wandered about the community slowly, taking all he could with every step. There was so much going on all around him the artist within him could not deny the opportunities of this wonderful place. The jungle was beautiful, the ruins scattered about all held ancient secrets of cultures forgotten before the one that settled here now.

He walked down a path that wound past some shelters and towards carved stone stairs of a giant temple-like pyramid. Although ancient much of it remained and it was nothing short of spectacular.

He stood there marveling at it. Most would just mistake the boy as a loud mouthed, hot headed and irresponsible wound up ball of pure arrogance. Which would not entirely untrue except for Jaunt it was just his 'armor'. He'd spent a lifetime catching flak from the world around him. Pampered by his mother, ignored by his classmates, shunned by his father. Eventually he learned to just put up walls and strive for perfection for himself and himself only. The programs he took in school were for him and no one else, the art he drew was for him; his ability to take the world and capture it hideousness or its beauty as he saw fit.

In time though, like all bitter dreams, he let his desire for proving everyone wrong turn into a jaded armor that kept others away from having the opportunity to mock him or belittle him, but also never allowed anyone to see the willful and passionate young man inside that he'd become. Like all people, Jaunt was more than he appeared, getting to understand that seemed the difficult part.

"It is umpty."

A voice as soft as silk surprised him, scaring him into a start and spinning him about on his heels. For all his grace he about fell over. He composed himself, although still looking a bit of a surprised fool, and saw his silent stepping guest.

He was lovely, her skin a smooth dark tone like that of Brazilian women back home. Long dark hair hung down her back, unkept and a bit frizzed by the jungle heat. She was lean and toned, fit from days of work and survival instead of lazy from lattes and internet...

"U-umpty?" He asked, looking at her quizzically until his mind sounded it out once more. "Oh! Empty. You mean empty?"

"Yes. Empty." She smiled and Jaunt was in love. "My apologize. I not speak like you very well yet."

"No, no... it's cool. Don't sweat it, it's alright." He blushed. Not even here for an hour and here this hot girl just walked right up to him and starts talking! The difference a bajillion light years can make... Wonder if I can keep her... "Um, I'm Jaunt."

"I am called Adi." She concentrated on making sure she was pronouncing it correctly but all Jaunt really noticed was that when she raised her hand to her chest to signify that she was addressing herself it rested on some wonderful cleavage. She looked down at her own chest, following his glare and smiled pleasantly.

She presented her wrist to him on which jingled a bracelet of bronze disks that were pounded almost paper thin. She presented to her admirer what she thought he was admiring. "You like?"

Oh, me likely. Common sense, which even he'd admit was in short supply at the moment, won out and he realized she'd completely missed his being an absolute pig. "Oh, um, yeah... yeah, it's uh, very... bronze." He smiled sheepishly as awkwardness reared its ugly head.

"It was gift from my mother." The exotic angel brought the bracelet close to her heart once again and sadness melted away her smile. "She, how you say... passed out, during the fighting."

"Away." Jaunt mumbled, barely enough for her to hear him. She looked at him confused, not understanding that he was correcting her. His heart sank as he saw in her eyes the way she was remembering her mother and missing her even more. "Passed away. When someone, um, dies, we say 'passed away'."

She only smiled at him but didn't say anything she just clutched her wrist in with her other hand and tried to shake away the painful sorrow of loved ones lost.

"Um, why's it empty?" He asked, trying to change the subject. "I mean, what is it? A temple or something?"

His gambit worked and she was broken from her glum reverie by his inquiry. "I-I do not know." She said softly, still shaking away the painful thoughts. Not wanting to be rude she perked up well enough (even if she faked it a bit for his sake), smiling once again looking as radiant as a sunrise.

"It has always been um... empty." Her grin to him as she corrected himself won her a warming smile and nod from her new friend. "It is old, older than any of us remember. I can tell Jaunt all about it if you like..."

Her smile was inviting and her demeanor was so kind and pure that there was no way Jaunt could say could say no. He grinned back at her, his augmented attractiveness bringing a flush of rose to her cocoa cheeks. "Yeah, Adi. I'd like that."

She took his hand and walked him up the steps, the entire way she spoke, as well as she could, about the ancient history of the temple, it's people, and the world around. For a couple of hours this continued, the rather odd couple sitting atop the highest step of the ruin as Adi pointed out all manner of ruins and points of interest among her settlement and the lands beyond.

They laughed several times, either through fault of her language skills or Jaunt for that matter as he tried to pronounce things in her language. It was odd in a sense, the young man really didn't feel light years away from anything. The less he thought about it the more it felt like he was on nothing more than a field trip to someplace... else.

They sat alone just enjoying the others company as well as discovering that Adi had taken rather fondly to the Red Vines that Jaunt had packed for the trip. Within a few moments she'd eaten a few and confiscated the rest as 'payment' for showing him around, but it was all good and the two shared yet another laugh as she forced him to cough up his tasty treats.

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Caine didn't have much time finding him. Really now, you just asked around for the pale-skinned boy who had come with the most recent newcomers. An older lady had pointed him to the right temple and a quick scan had shown were they were.

A stealthy, and sweaty, climb had followed. Before long he was hearing their young voices - which was good. Two young adults, sitting up here, enjoying the view would be suspicious in their silence. Voices would mean that nothing anyone could get upset about was going on, or so Caine hoped.

"Excuse me," the Major said. Adi stood and made a half move as if to run away, but stopped herself. Caine could almost see her begin to blush.

"He here which me," she declared.

Caine nodded, hiding his smile. She was absolving Jaunt of any blame for 'wisking her off to some isolated spot, even if it was in the middle of the city.

"I accept that," Caine replied. "He came here with you, that much is clear. It is time we went home."

Looking to Jaunt,

"We have an hour to be back at the gate for our scheduled departure. We don't want to be late."

Nothing in his voice was accusitory, or supsicious. Apparently he was used to finding members of his team talking to beautiful young ladies all alone on the top of some ancient pyramid all the time. What a wonderful job.

"Say your good-byes. Time to go."

They would be heading out alone. SG-10 would be staying here for another day, setting up more equipment across the valley. The SG-21 team had other missions to perform though. This had been a bit of an education for both of them. Jaunt could be trusted on his own and with his special abilities that was something a commander had to worry about.

Next came making him a part of the team.

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Jaunt just nodded back. He didn't argue, cause a fuss, or give the Major some dirty look. He folded over his sketch book which was now littered with over six pages of various things like runes, carvings, and images to even the landscapes and surrounding ruins.

He slid one picture out from the binder and gave it to her. "I have to get going. Here, I want you to have this, you know, to remember me by. It was nice meeting you Adi."

"Nice to be meeting you too," she looked at the picture, which was slid into a plastic sleeve to prevent him or anyone else from folding up or bending the edges. It was her smiling, captured in graphite with such skill that she could hardly tell that she was looking at anything less than a mirror. She smiled bashfully and looked up to him. "Will I see you again?"

"Probably not." He said honestly. "I'm not really on a prefered customer list with Stargate customer service. If they knew I met someone interesting they'd do their best to send me every where but back to see that person. They suck like that."

"Suck?" Her exotic eyes looked at him inquisitively.

Devin laughed a bit, "It's hard to explain, but don't worry, I'll see about getting you some more Red Vines, that cool with you?"

With a bright smile the woman giggled and nodded. "Very cool me, yes." Sadness took a hold of her expression as they both stood, unsure of what to say next. "Good-bye Jaunt."

"Yeah," He sighed. A part of him wanted to stay, to hang out and learn more. Caine was a Major, a commanding officer, couldn't he just call home and tell em we had a flat tire or something? "See you around."

He walked away from her and towards Caine. He didn't look at his C.O., he just walked right past and down the steps. He stopped about ten or so down. "You comin' or what?"

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"Yeah, that's really funny ... the first hundred times you say it," Caine responded with a grin. There was no ill will there.

Wordlessly the two SG members walked to the edge of town. Caine's eyes roamed over their surroundings. Nothing was ever a 100% safe. Once they hit the wood line, Caine broked the silence.

"Stick close. Don't go jaunting too far ahead. It's bad mission protocal. Stay were your teammates can see you ... until I assign you point. The Sargeant will help you with that."

A few more steps down the path,

"She is a pretty girl. Do you think you could come to like this kind of work - coming to foreign worlds and liasoning with the native inhabitants. You would have to immerse yourself in their language and culture, but its rewarding work. It's what I did in the Special Forces. It helps the mind grow."

"Today was a lesson, for you and for me. I needed to know if you could both follow orders and act well on you own. If not, I was going to ask General O'Neil to assign you to a different branch of the service."

"Now I need to know if you want to keep working with me. You're no soldier. You would make a lousy one if someone tried. That doesn't mean you can't fit in to SG-21. I want you for more than your combat ability. I need you to develop your mind around the work - helping people, learning about the Goa'uld and the Ancients, and fixing what's been broken."

"I don't expect you to do it all, but I expect someone as bright as you to make the effort. That implies a desire to do the job. That means taking away worlds form the Goa'uld and freeing the humans they have enslaved for generations. That means helping people to stand on their own two feet. As I said, that takes a desire to do the job. Do you want to do this?"

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"It's always a lesson," he said to Caine. "And by lesson I mean 'test'. There's always something you guys aren't telling me, or something you're just lying to me about and calling it 'orders' or 'aptitude tests' or whatever B.S. title you want to give it. I sure haven't seen the results of any of those tests, and I know you guys are looking for ways to counter my abilities in case I 'go rogue' on you or something."

He chuckled a bit. "Do I want to do all this? Yes, Caine. I mean, I'm here aren't I? I think it'd be really cool to go all these places and help these people. I want to see these people suffer about as much as you do."

Jaunt sighed and stretched popping his neck as he did. "I'm just tired of you guys treating me like this is my fault. Like I asked for these abilities. I didn't dude, I was a victim like some of the others. It was your people who made me this way, your stolen technology that did whatever it did to me. I didn't ask for this Caine, so I'm tired of you and yours treating me like I'm supposed to bend over backwards and accept everything and just roll over like a military grunt and do as I'm told just because you have some rank, and those above you could off me in a heartbeat, and please don't think I'm stupid enough to not think they won't."

He paced around. Apparently he needed to vent, and where better than the jungle light years away. "If you want my help, you got it. I'm Jaunt, and I don't hold rank or title, I'm just a kid who got caught up in your little world of problems because of your irresponsible rogue agents. I'm not Perault, I'm not going rub up on you and suck you off just because you're my C.O. and I love my job that much. I'm a volunteer, and I volunteer to help you and the team, but I'll be damned if I'll let you or anyone else in your little 'Top Brass' put a collar and leash around my neck. I don't trust you, and I don't trust them. You're all liars and guys like me are expendable."

"Any part of that not clear soldier, or do I need to write it in crayon so your military I.Q. can identify with it better?"

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Caine looked at him. He would have shrugged if it had been in his nature, but it wasn't.

"I won't lie to you and you are not expendable. No on is on my team. If you aren't going to be able to trust me and the rest of your team, give me the word now. I'll post you to another team that cares less about how you feel about this."

"I'm serious. If you really think this is all some sort of conspiracy to keep you down, ruin your life plans, or means to your torturous end, let me know now. I want you on the team, but if you aren't going to respect us, you are a liability. I won't have that. It's my job to keep you alive - Job 1. Mission comes second every time."

"If you want somebody to fuck you over and meet your expectations look somewhere else. I don't need this "poor me, High School" crap. You aren't in High School anymore. I want you to stop blaming everyone else and look within. If you can't see yourself coming around to my view, let's call it quits right now. I won't waste anymore of your time."

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"You want my trust, earn it." He really wanted to hit him, guys like Caine irritated Jaunt to no end... if only he knew what kind of guy Caine was. It didn't matter, he wanted to hit him anyway. "If you want be to believe that the team is more important than the mission prove it. You asked me if I wanted to do this, I said yes. What more do you want?"

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"That's enough for now. I want you open to trusting us. We'll earn that trust. We are a team now. A team is a bond based on respect and mutual reliance. You do your part, and do it well, and you'll see that the others won't let you down."

"Now, its going to rain in an hour so lets make the gate before we get all wet."

Caine picked up the pace and they made it to the gate in good time ... Juant waiting for Caine, but not for long.

"One last thing: Could you cut down on the sass? It's a real pain in my ass."

Caine wasn't sure he was just encouraging the kid. He seemed that type.

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"Toughen up soldier." Jaunt grinned. "They're just words, ya big baby."

The gate was dialing, and they spent a few minutes gathering what they needed together. As they waited Jaunt spoke.

"Hey, Caine?" He asked, it was amazing the way his tone changed when he was wanting to ask for something. "Do you think we could get some Red Vines to Adi? You know, send em through with the other teams or something?"

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"Major," he says in an even voice. He stops, pulls out his laptop. He scans the environment while the clouds darken and the monkey's hoot.

He types in something then says as he types,

"There you go. Adi-Red Vines-Courtesy of Jaunt/SG-21-once per mission. It's in the report as a liaison suggestion."

He closes the file. The computer shuts down and it put away. Never looking at Jaunt as the Gate opens and the shimmering wall appears,

"You know you will probably make sugar junkies out of her and her friends."

And they want home.

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