It came into view like an oasis in the desert. Sparkling water, azure blue in the sunlight and white like the feathering clouds overhead. "Talk about beautiful." Jimmy wiped the back of his hand across his forehead and winced at the slick sheen that transferred from one expanse of skin to the other. "I am ahead of schedule on this run."
The sunlight flickered across the surface of the water, nearly shimmering in its brilliance. "And... it's been forever since the swimmin' hole has filled up enough to be more than a wadin' pool."
Sundance sidled a bit, her head dropping between her shoulders as she caught site of the expanse of water.
Jimmy's hand stroked her shoulder reassuringly. "Don't worry 'bout it. I'm not thinkin' of takin' you in with me. This swim-" He held his breath for a moment as he slipped one leg back over Sundance's rump and stepped down onto the winding road, "this swim is just for me."
The wavering light dancing across the waves of water was more seductive than any cathouse dancer's fan. With a gleeful smile, Jimmy stripped off his hat and dropped it over the horn of his saddle.
A cooling breeze slipped over the surface of the pool and rattled past him. His boots dropped to the ground by Sundance's gently pawing hooves. His eyes feasted greedily on the cool shiver of the water as his fingers made quick work of his shirt buttons and then the fastenings of his pants. In a moment, they were off and he dropped the clothes over the seat of his saddle.
He should have jumped in right then. Should have jumped head first into the bright expanse of water... but again his mind was dulled by the deep blue of this desert oasis. Again, his fingers lifted up to his throat and set to work.
Less than a moment later, nekkid as a jay-bird, Jimmy Hickok stepped closer... closer.. to the pool.. his eyes, his mind... drawn forever closer to the glowing... shimmering... pool.
Anticipating the rush of all that cold water splashing against his skin, he closed his eyes and jumped.
"We've got an incoming signal from plant XJ-446, General."
General Hammond stood up from his chair, knocking the over priced, over stuffed arm chair with a clatter. "Say that again?"
The general gave the ensign a grave look. "Call SG-1."
Jack and Sam sprinted into the room followed by Teal'C and Daniel. Jack scratched at his chin, lengthening his frown. "This is a first."
Daniel shrugged. "You can say that again. A remote unit dialed... with no dialing mechanism? I'd say that's unheard of."
Sam kept her eyes on the gate standing before them on the platform. Her gaze, like that of Teal'C, was ever watchful. "It might be the Asgard.. or perhaps ..."
Teal'C, always prone to his sober outlook, added in his own thoughts. "Or the Goa'uld have found a new technology."
"Thanks, Happy. I needed that positive reassurance."
"Jack-" Daniel was off on another tangent. "It seems more like some sort of possible-impossibility. Some sort of a... a... hiccup in space-time continuum."
Turning a frustrated look to his teammate, Jack was distracted by the alarms in the Gate Room. "Looks like Christmas came early this year, girls and boys, let's see who's about to drop down out chimney."
Sam took a step forward and tilted her head to the side as the surface of the active gate wavered. "Sir?" Behind her Jack and Daniel argued on. Again a blip in the color gave her a small measure of alarm. "Sir?"
Jack's caustic tone knifed through the air. "Yeah, Sam?"
She nodded toward the gate. "There's something wrong, Jack."
Daniel quickly appeared at her side, lifting his glasses up above his eyes, he peered into the wavering light like an elderly man. "She's right, Jack. This isn't right."
The alarms erupted into a cacophony as a voice broke over the loud-speaker from the control room. "Incoming through the Stargate."
All eyes were riveted on the glowing disk. Over the last few years, they had seen every manner of creature come through the Stargate, a number of them humanoid, and some they were still trying to classify. So as the watery field began to warp and buckle they prepared themselves to greet any manner of creature with as much decorum and aplomb as their military training provided.
The figure burst through into the gate room, rolling over the steel walkway with a muffled groan. Quickly, their new visitor regained his feet and stared out at the concrete and metal room with what could only be described as shock. "What in Sam Hill?"
Jack leaned closer to Teal'C. "That is what I'd like to know."
The Jaffa answered his commanding officer with a mere raise of his brow.
Eyes wide and skin color paling, the humanoid creature took a stumbling step back and reached his hands down to cover himself. "Where the hell am I?"
Daniel stepped forward to address him with his usual deadpan tone. "This is the headquarters of SG-1. The planet Earth."
"What the-? Earth?" His eyes darted around the room, taking in the unit of soldiers with weapons trained on him and the various machinery visible to his gaze. "I just wanted to go swimming."
"Swimming?" Samantha leaned in closer. "Did you say swimming?"
"Yeah!" His expression grew cross. "I said swimming! You heard me, right?"
Jack stepped up onto the platform and waved the visitor closer. "Why don't you come on down here and we'll talk."
His head shook violently. "Uh uh... I don't know how you brought me here, but I just wanna go back home."
Teal'C stepped up and took a single step toward the humanoid. "We will not harm you."
"Yeah, right." The humanoid took another step back. "You just keep your distance... don't make no sudden moves."
"Sir?" Sam sensed his fear. "He's going to run."
The humanoid nodded and huffed out a laugh. "Damn straight, ma'am."
With a blur of movement, he turned and jumped back into the blue plane of water behind him.
The sunlight was blinding and Jimmy threw his arm over his eyes to block it out. "What the hell?" There had to be something to explain what just happened. Too much sun? Something wrong with Blue Creek's stew from last night? Whatever it was, it was a whopper!
The burning sensation of the full afternoon sun on his bare skin quickly brought him around to the immediate problems. Get dressed, get home, save his sanity.
Jimmy scrambled to his feet, blinking and squinting into the sun. He turned a quick 360, but there was no sign of Sundance. Again, he spun around, laying his hand over his eyes to shield them from the punishing glare of the sun.
"Where did she go?" Then, he caught site of her, loping toward the horizon, nearly the size of a child's toy, with his clothes still draped over her saddle.
Jimmy's gaze dropped to the desert sand at his feet and found his boots laying in the sun. Again, he lifted his gaze to the horizon and then straight up into the sky. Sundance was a good two miles away, toting his clothes along for the ride and the sun was still high overhead. He'd be lucky if he managed to get to her before his hide turned into a crust like Teaspoon's biscuits. This wasn't good. As he pulled on his boots, a quick battering wind swept past him and deposited his hat at his feet.
Carried on a stifling breeze, Jimmy caught the wavering nicker from Sundance, even miles away. "I'll be damned," he ground out through gritted teeth, "she's laughing at me.... Keep it up... keep it up... just wait til you need your tail trimmed... I'll make you look like Ike." A maniacal smile stretched across his parched lips as he pondered the close shorn look his horse would soon be sporting.
Jimmy bent over stiffly at the waist and grabbed his hat in his hand, crushing the felt brim between his fingers. Turning it over and over before him he considered his course of action. His expression soured as he took in the vast expanse of desert between him and his wayward mount. "Heck, I'll be lucky to catch up to her but when I do..." Lowering his hat he started after his horse, with a minimal amount of shade and an overwhelming wave a heat blooming in his cheeks. "...when I do... there'll be hell to pay."