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A Gateless Life

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The guard tossed a limp body into the cell, joining the eight US military personnel already being held there. Captain Myers, a medic who'd been captured when his helicopter went down, was the first to move towards the cell's newest occupant. He rolled them over and gasped.

"It's a girl."

The other seven occupants moved closer, needing to personally verify his proclamation. Her short wispy blond hair and feminine features made it clear Myers was correct; she was indeed a female. Not even the bruises on her right cheek and chin could mar her beauty.

Myers touched her neck. "Her pulse is strong." His hands moved along her body, checking for any obvious deformities. "I don't feel anything broken."

"Let's make her as comfortable as we can." Major O'Neill motioned towards a back corner where the men had laid their coats to make small beds they took turns using. Myers, O'Neill, and two others gently picked her up and laid her on a couple of the coats. They weren't much but they would help keep the night chill from seeping into her bones. There was nothing that could help temper the sweltering heat of the day though.

She slept for several hours. When she woke the hand on her breast set off all her alarms. Her elbow instinctively moved backwards, slamming into someone's abdomen.

"Uff, hey." The two men still awake, Major O'Neill and Captain Fields looked over just in time to see Major Jacobs take his hand off her chest. Jack was instantly incensed that Jacobs would dare to take advantage of any woman, but especially an unconscious woman.

Jack moved over and grabbed Major Jacobs' shirt. "Up."

"Get your hands off me." The noise from their scuffling was enough to rouse the remaining occupants of the cell and get the attention of one of the guards.

Jack pushed Jacobs over to the other side of the cell, away from the woman who was just starting to sit up. "Keep your hands to yourself."

Major Jacobs grinned. "Can't blame me. I mean it's been a long time and she's damn hot."

Jack's nostrils flared and his hands balled into fists. "Don't you dare come near her again." His voice was a dangerous growl.

Jacobs snorted before sliding down the wall opposite Jack. As he sat, he gave the woman a wink.

Jack looked back at the woman who was now leaning back on the cell wall. He moved over to her and slid down next to her. "Sorry about that. I should have kept a better eye on you."

She slowly looked around the cell as the other men started to settle back down. "Where are we?"

"The armpit of Iraq."

"Damn."

"Yep, that pretty much sums it up." He gave her an appraising look. "So how did you end up in their grimy hands?"

"I'm a pilot. Lieutenant Samantha Carter." Sam extended her hand.

Jack accepted her handshake. "Nice to meet you Lieutenant. I'm Major Jack O'Neill." He released her hand. "Now back to my original question, how did a nice Lieutenant like you end up in a stinking cesspool like this?"

"My master alarm went off and before I could figure out what was wrong my whole cockpit lit up like a Christmas tree. I didn't have much choice but to ditch. I'd never have been able to make it back to base and I couldn't risk the Iraqis getting their hands on my plane."

"Sounds like the right decision, Lieutenant."

"Are you a pilot, sir?"

"I was in a past life." She gave him a confused look. "Ditching like that can leave you with some nasty bruises and plenty of sore muscles. Sorry we won't be able to offer you any pain medicine but Captain Myers over there is a medic, so if anything hurts he can check you out."

"I'm sure I'll be fine."