Episode Two- The Fires- Chapter Eleven

Chapter Eleven

Lieutenant Ursula Kenmore casually picks her way through the forest, not bothering to slow her speed any to be particularly quiet.  She was being sufficient enough though, not too loud to draw too much attention, but just enough sound and attention, she personally felt, to be thought of as an animal skittering around the underbrush.  And thank God that this world’s concept of underbrush meant saplings growing as high as her chest, little foot, foot-and-a-half tall sprouting shards of seedlings yet to sprout themselves to sapling status, and what on Earth was considered normal pine forest underbrush bushes of big fronded ferns, relatively giant leaves that reminded her of skunk cabbage, but they didn’t smell any, and, funny enough, a few things that looked really, really similar to Devil’s Club, Old Man, Kenni-ka-knick, and thimbleberry bushes.  She used to play around those back on mother’s ranch when she was little.  She kept heading straight then her feet found where the ground started to head up, the part of the hill she’d skidded down when she first got to this planet.  This part was one of the halves that made the valley the gate was in.  Kenmore heads up it.

Good Lord, this was boring.  Skitta marinky dinky dink, skitta marinky doo, I love you!  She needed something to take away the monotony and she’d loved that song when she was a kid.  But she couldn’t sing it out loud in the stillness of the forest and keep up her ruse.  She’d even caught herself humming it a couple of times when her mind had accidentally wandered back into the monotony of the trek even if her mouth hadn’t followed.  But she’d put a stop to the muffled vocalizations as soon as she realized she’d been doing it, didn’t need the big guy coming in and telling her to shut up.

After about ten, fifteen minutes or so she enters a clearing, one that offers her a view of the place mostly due to the fact that the trees below here had grown too short to block it from her.  A nice little patch of saplings, seedlings, and underbrush bushes.  Kenmore takes a moment to stop and look out.  Off to her left she could see the village stretched out from the base of the two hills and the valley they created.  For such a short time, it looks like she’s gone a good distance from the village.  A cluster of pale-thatched huts and small roads branching off from a double-wide main avenue going through the center of the whole thing and heading straight up to the start of the valley.  Funny, it was smaller than she’d thought it looked when she was in it.  She’d could have sworn there were more huts than that, more alleys.

Off to her right, in the distance far closer than the village, sat the Stargate with their jumper parked by it and no guards.  Clearly no one had thought there was going to be any unexpected company and that was what Kenmore had counted on:  exactly what she had expected from Sheppard and Woolsey’s ideas of “peacekeeping” missions.  Let’s just leave our butts hanging out in the wind with big ole targets plastered across ‘em.  Sure, what could possibly happen?  Clearly neither had spent enough time in the SGC to realize how bad one of these things could go whether you planned it, like she was, or not, like they were.

…This was her spot then.  Kenmore turns around and looks for the nearest tree with a trunk big enough and fat enough to hold her weight.  Plenty of thick branches too to help her up and they also had to be big enough and fat enough to hold her weight.  And the sucker had to be tall too.  She needed the height, mind tricking height.  That was going to be the only way this was going to work.

 

 

Kenmore finished pulling herself up the rest of the way up the tree.  It hadn’t taken much looking to find it.  She’d turned around and the somewhat tall tree she stopped in front of was too skinny and didn’t have any branches within her reach even when she jumped…and the branches had been to spindly even if she could have reached them.  But when she looked around behind that tree, she’d found this one.  She glances back out the clearing, which apparently became more considerable when you actually climbed a tree, especially one that had outgrown the one in front of it by a hundred feet at least and all that was left in front of you now were spindly little bits of treetop.  Perfect camouflage.  Yep, this was the spot.

She turns and sits, settling herself on the thankfully big, thick branch with her back nestled against the even bigger, thicker trunk.  Okay, this was going to take some time.  She had to wait for the perfect moment.

Kenmore takes out her binoculars and looks towards the village.  Everybody looked like little ants from here.  She puts the binoculars to her face and adjusts their range.  Okay better, she adjusts again, okay now it looked like the range of a regular scope.

And now…she waits.

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