STARGÅTE SG-1Sam & Janet (& Jennifer Hailey) in... Janet.

Escape From PelluciGor


Chapter 11


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Janet filled the teapot with boiling water to start the loose, dried, shredded leaves within steeping, then carried the tea service to the workstation table.  Sam and Daniel's translation program was busy compiling her afternoon attempt to translate what was roughly the equivalent of an advanced undergraduate cytology text.  After nearly a month of study, her fluency in the Pardesse dialect of Goa'uld was improving rapidly; however, the technical and scientific jargon could still make for slow going.

Her overall progress had been greatly accelerated when she realized the program had a "heuristic compiler" subroutine that refined the accuracy of the translation algorithms with repeated iterations.  That is, her progress accelerated after she stumbled across the cryptically labeled "HC" function during a random perusal of various sub-menus.  The sub-program was a voracious memory hog and took forever to complete a run, but the improved translations were worth the wait.  However, the next time she saw Sam, Janet fully intended to give her a swift kick in the ass and a lecture on proper software documentation... right after she hugged her so tight she cracked both their ribs.

Janet stretched, and adjusted her loincloth.  After weeks of wearing such garments she was used to the style, but the narrow linen band tended to bunch and work itself loose as she squirmed in her chair.  Her bandeau required no such adjustment, nor did the ubiquitous steel cuffs locked around her wrists and ankles.  Her robe was draped across the back of an unused chair.

Honna had given her several long, narrow hair ribbons of blood-red silk that matched the "Healer's stripes" hemming her costume.  One was tied around her auburn locks at the nape of her neck, enforcing a ponytail.  Two more were hitched through the rings on each of her wrist cuffs, wrapped around the cuffs themselves, and secured with compact, decorative bows.  This kept the otherwise dangling rings from dragging across the keyboard of the laptop as she typed.  Honna had done this for her, before leaving for the day.

The ribbons had other uses, as well.  Sometimes, Honna would use them to bind Janet's breasts, making them bulge and blush a delightful shade of pinkish mauve, and rendering them unusually, wonderfully sensitive.  Janet watched the progress bar on the laptop's screen creep towards the completion of the latest compilation, fingered the ribbon on her right cuff, and shivered at the delicious memories.

Honna never left the loops on for long
but the things she did while they were on!  She would spread-eagle Janet on the bedor frog-tie her on her back, on a soft rug out on the apartment suite's balcony... under the twin suns, or under that glorious night sky!  Then she would use her strong, gentle fingers...  her nails... her tongue... teasing feathers... cubes of dripping ice!  Janet shivered, again.  Out on the balcony, Honna always kept her gagged, usually with a wad of soft cloth and another of the blood-red ribbonsso they wouldn't "disturb the peace of the city," as Honna put it.

The laptop pinged, signaling completion of the current task.  Simultaneously, the apartment's outer door opened.  Honna had returned!

The High Polymath was dressed in her usual white loincloth, bandeau, robe, and beaming smile.  "Janet, we have a visitor," she announced, and took a step to the side.

Janet gasped!  Crossing the threshold was
"Sam!!"  Janet tipped over her chair, in her haste, as she flew across the room and threw her arms around her fellow earthling.  "Oh, Sam!" she sighed, holding her friend in a tight embrace.

Sam didn't return the hug for practical reasons: her wrists were manacled behind her back.  She also kept silent, thanks to the translucent rubber ball-gag strapped in her mouth
—but the merry twinkle in her eyes made her feelings quite clear.

Janet took a step back, keeping her hands on Sam's waist.  Her blond friend was dressed in a "scholar's-white" loincloth, bandeau, and robe, but her costume was trimmed in indigo silk with tiny starbursts
embroidered in silver thread, a scholarly designation with which Janet was unfamiliar.

As the door closed and locked, Janet noted there were four guards
in the hallway.  Two were wearing the white linen of the Dome of Learning, and the other two were in the service-dress camouflage of the War Tower.

Honna stepped behind Sam and removed the locking clip securing her wrist cuffs, then knelt and removed the connecting chain hobbling her ankle cuffs.  Sam reached up and removed her gag, then handed it to her hostess.

Sam and Janet locked eyes.
  Now that her hands were free, Sam placed them on Janet's waist, mirroring her friend.  "Hey, Janet," she said, finallyand they hugged, again.  This time it was very much a mutual affair.

Meanwhile, Honna hung Sam's chain, clip, and gag from a hook beside Janet's
"going out" chains, then walked over to the workstation.  She poured herself a cup of tea and watched the "alien invaders" continue their hug.  "The War Tower finally decided to let Colonel Sam visit the Dome of Learning," she explained, "to be examined by the Council of Polymaths.  We've been trying to pry her away from the warriors for days, and they finally relented."

They broke their embrace and Janet fingered the sleeve of Sam's robe.  "Nice threads," she purred.

"This old thing?" Sam laughed, rolling her shoulders to settle the drape of the robe.  "This is the first clothing I've worn since the cratersince the Grimbor stole our uniforms, anyway.  Those rag bikinis we threw together could hardly be called clothing."

Janet frowned and took Sam's right wrist cuff in her hands.  "Why is your hardware so much heavier than mine?"  Sam's wrist and ankle cuffs were as wide as Janet's, but they were at least twice as thick.

"Jealous?" Sam asked with a smirk.

"Concerned!" Janet retorted, favoring Sam with her best We-are-not-amused moue.

"Standard War Tower restraints," Honna said, with a dismissive shrug.  She
topped off Janet's tea and poured a third cup.  "Regarding the robe," she stated, "After the morning interview, the Council agreed to grant Sam the status of Mezzo-Polymath of Astral-dynamics."  She handed the tea to her guests.  "There were several votes for full Polymath," she said, smiling at Sam.  "The lesser rank is a reflection of your people's current understanding of the universe, not of your diligence as a scholar."

Sam took the cup and sipped the contents.  "Thank you," she said, then gave Janet a sheepish grin.  "In the War Tower, all they want to know about are things like small unit tactics, time-on-target salvos, and missile guidance technology.  Our friends in the white robes
, on the other hand, want to discuss antiholomorphic functions and M-theory."

"Eleven dimensions!" Honna said, shaking her head and chuckling
—then blushed when she saw Sam's expression.  "Sorry.  All advancement is by small steps."  She indicated an area of piled cushions near the entrance to the balcony, and they all walked in that direction.

"Anyway," Sam sighed, "by the end I felt like I was delivering a paper on 'Phlogiston as Related to Celestial Spheres' at the last AAAS Annual Meeting... to the Physicists, I mean; not the Science Historians."

Janet noted Honna's puzzled expression.  "Scientific concepts discarded long ago," she explained.

Honna nodded.  "And your version of the Council of Polymaths.  I understand.  You have nothing to be embarrassed about, Sam.  You impressed all who were present.  You have a rare mind."

Honna took a detour to the workstation table to retrieve the tea service.

Sam leaned close to Janet's ear as they settled into the cushions. 
"Hailey?" she whispered.

"Somewhere in the PardaUbar's tower," Janet whispered back
then Honna had returned.

"Thank you," Sam said, accepting a refill.  She turned back to Janet.  "Pardesse science and mathematics is very advanced.  I suspect they may be approaching the level of the Nox and Asgard."

Janet nodded.  "I can't speak to their physics and astronomy, but in the life sciences...  Sam, these people not only know how to use Goa'uld healing devices, they know how to make them."  Her expression turned somewhat grim.  "Hathor and Nirrti used to do research here, thousands of years ago, before the War of Sorrows."

Sam frowned.  "War of Sorrows?"

"Their name for the Tok'ra/System Lords schism," Janet explained.

Hathor and Nirrti were Goa'uld who had given the SGC a great deal of trouble.  Hathor had almost taken over Cheyenne Mountain, using mind-controlling pheromones; and in pursuit of her biological research, Nirrti had committed acts of genocide on the planetary scale, including the extermination of all human life on Hanka, the home world of
Janet's adopted daughter, Cassandra.

"The fact that you personally have fought Hathor-the-Traitor and Nirrti-the-Deceiver," Honna said, "that your people have killed them both...  Blessed be the memory of Bashasti-the-Kind!"  She paused to take a sip of tea.  "And that this heroism has been verified under probe-trance, silencing all skeptics...  This has done much to further your cause among the Pardesse."

Sam and Janet nodded.  "It was our duty," Sam said quietly.

Janet smiled to lighten the mood, and turned to Sam.  "How have you been?" she asked.  "What's new?"

Sam gave her friend a rather wry smile in return.  "What's new?  Oh, nothing much.  In between interrogations I've been hanging around the War-Captain's place.  How 'bout you?"

Janet laughed.  "Oh, reading, studying, answering questions, touring laboratories..."  Her eyes met Honna's, and a blush colored her cheeks.  "...that sort of thing."

A chime sounded.  "Excuse me," Honna said, climbed to her feet, and walked towards the apartment's outer door.

"Hailey's okay?" Sam whispered in Janet's ear.

"I don't have any details," Janet whispered back.

Meanwhile, Honna had admitted a new guest: War-Captain Kyna.
Escape From PelluciGor
Chapter 11
Kyna was dressed in her usual service-dress loincloth, bandeau, and robe, as well as her leather harness and boots."  She walked towards the lounging earthlings, then struck a pose, hands on hips.  "What are you doing unrestrained?" she demanded, glaring at Sam.

"That was my choice," Honna explained, coming up behind her new guest.  She embraced Kyna from behind and kissed her neck.  "Dome Guards are in the hallway.  Your guards are in the hallway.  They can't escape this level, or the city.  What do you fear?"

Kyna turned her face to the side and kissed Honna's cheek, then turned back to Sam and Janet.  "I fear nothing," she intoned.  "I simply prefer to see Straw-hair naked and helpless, as befits her status."  Her leering smile shifted to Janet.  "You may play dress-up with your charge, if you wish...  but not with mine."

Sam could tell that Kyna's objections to her current freedom were teasing and playful.  Janet had no such assurance.  The diminutive doctor gave Honna a concerned glance.

The High-Polymath gave Janet a reassuring smile, then took a step to the side, removed her robe and bandeau, and dropped them to the floor.  "We are under the Dome of Learning," she said to Kyna, "but you are my guest.  Let us compromise."

Kyna removed her own robe, and began unbuckling her harness.  "All right, but I insist on appropriate precautions."

"But our conversation has been so pleasant." Honna objected, "and Janet and Sam have only just now been reunited.  It would be a shame to bind and gag them so soon."

"W-why do we need to be bound and gagged at all?" Janet demanded, very much not reassured.

"Kyna is my guest for the evening," Honna explained.  "The meal will not be served for two hours, and proper etiquette requires me to entertain my guest before we dine."  She resumed her former embrace and kissed Kyna's neck, then rested her chin on her shoulder.  "It is normal for accompanying slaves to either be restrained, or for them to entertain each other."

Sam and Janet did a double take.  "No!" they blurted, in unison.

"Why not?" Kyna asked, "and what makes you think you have a choice?"

"Do you object to the restraints, or to the entertainment?" Honna asked.

"Both!" Sam blurted.

"And we're not slaves!" Janet added.

"Granted, you are not kajirae," Kyna conceded, "but you are slaves-of-war."

"Technically," Honna purred.  "You do not wish to make love?"

Sam and Janet exchanged a horrified glance.  "We'd rather not, if you don't mind," Janet said; and Sam nodded.

"Not to worry," Honna responded, "but it would be polite for you to strip to your loincloths, since my ranking guest has accepted my choice of costume."

Kyna had finished removing her harness, and had removed her bandeau as well.  The two Pardesse were standing side-by-side, Honna in her white loincloth trimmed with white silk, Kyna in her camouflaged loincloth and leather knee boots.  She took a step forward, smiled at Sam, and extended her right leg.

Sam sighed, shrugged out of her robe, removed her bandeau, and knelt before the War-Captain.  With practiced fingers, she untied and loosened the thongs securing the boot-top.  She then grabbed the heel in one hand and the ankle in the other, and pulled.  Kyna pointed her toes and the boot slithered from her leg.  She lifted her left leg, and Sam removed that boot as well.

Janet watched her semi-naked friend perform what was obviously a familiar task, then locked eyes with Honna.

"There are a number of loose garments cluttering my apartment," Honna noted.

Janet sighed and carefully stifled a smile.  She then began gathering the various discarded robes and bandeaus, as well as Kyna's harness and boots.  She noted that in the case of Kyna's harness, the attachment point the guards normally used for their pistol holsters was empty.  So much for a heroic escape attempt, she mused.

"You may place the War-Captain and Colonel's things by the door," Honna said.  "You know what to do with the rest."

Janet hung Sam and Kyna's clothing and gear on hooks and positioned the boots side-by-side, then pattered into the bedroom with the other items.  She hung the garments in the closet, then reached behind and removed her own bandeau.  She quickly untied her hair ribbon, combed and pulled her hair back, capturing the few errant strands that had worked their way free, and retied the ponytail.  She turned to find Honna leaning on the bedroom door frame.

"I'm proud of you, Little Healer," Honna said.  "I know our ways are different, but you do your best to bring honor to my holding."

Janet blushed.  "On earth, we're not so open with our sexuality."

"And the men who rule your world punish all intimacy not associated with increasing the number of their offspring," Honna stated, "especially between their women."

Janet nodded.  Now was not the time for an anthropological discussion of the fine points of patriarchal cultures, though.  Her nostrils flared, and a delicate shudder rocked her diminutive body.  The familiar, irresistible scent of Honna's musk filled the air.  Now was not the time for discussions of any kind.  Honna leaned close, lifted her chin, and kissed her lips.  Janet shivered with arousal.

"Bring a long coil of rope," Honna whispered, her lips brushing Janet's cheek, "and follow me."
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Back in the main room, Sam was still on her knees, before Kyna.  Apparently, however, the War-Captain had made a side-trip to the door and retrieved the clip-lock from its hook, because Sam's cuffs were now locked together behind her back.

Sam's skin was shining, and her nipples were flushed and rigid.  Good, Janet thought, still shivering, why should she be any different?

"Give the rope to my guest," Honna told Janet, indicating Kyna with a polite gesture.

Janet walked over and presented the rope to Kyna, but the grinning warrior made no move to accept the neatly coiled bundle.

"It is expected for you to kneel and present the rope with both hands," Honna explained.

Janet sighed, sank to her knees beside Sam, and followed Honna's "suggestion".

"Head bowed," Honna added.

Janet bit her lower lip
, then lowered her eyes to gaze at Kyna's strong, well-toned feet.  The rope was lifted from her hands.  She turned to gaze at Sam, then lifted her chin to lock eyes with Kyna.  "Don't hurt her, okay?"

Kyna seemed puzzled.  "Hurt her?"

Janet nodded towards Sam.  "When you tie her up."

Kyna laughed.  "The rope is for you, Little Red.  I'm the guest, remember.  Honna has accorded me all the pleasant tasks of the evening."

Janet reviewed her options.  Sam was helpless; Honna and Kyna were trained warriors and either one of them could take her in a fight without much difficulty, Kyna especially; the apartment door was locked and there were armed guards in the hallway...  She had no options.  "Okay... then don't hurt me."

"Please?" Sam said, quietly.

"You earthlings are so exasperating," Kyna said, with a smile.  "You consort with men, you don't know your place, when captured

—and you bring such welcome novelty," Honna interrupted.

"That's one opinion," Kyna responded, and pointed to the open area in the center of the piled cushions.  Her eyes were still locked on Janet like a she-wolf eying a baby bunny.  "Bara!" she barked.

Janet blinked, uncertainly.

"On your stomach," Sam whispered, "ankles together and crossed; wrists crossed behind your back."

Janet was still confused.  "Huh?"

Sam sighed.  "It's a slave position.  On your stomach

"Okay, okay, I got it," Janet sighed.  "How come you know all about 'slave positions'?"

"Ahem."  Kyna cleared her breath.

"Oh, yeah..." Janet said, sheepishly.  "Stupid question."

"I don't know all the positions," Sam muttered, "but she taught me that one."

Kyna cleared her throat, again.

"Okay, okay," Janet huffed, crawled on all fours to the central area, flopped onto her stomach, and assumed the Bara position.

Kyna knelt beside Janet, and began uncoiling the rope.

Meanwhile, Honna had reclined on the cushions.  "Please join me," she said to Sam with a languid gesture.

Sam sighed, then crawled on her knees towards Honna.  With her hostess' help, she settled against her side.  Honna lifted her arm to let Sam snuggle closer, then began combing her fingers through her hair.  Comfortable and close, they watched the floorshow.
Escape From PelluciGor
Chapter 11
Kyna untied the bows of the red ribbons looped around Janet's steel cuffs, pulled them free, and tossed them aside.  They fluttered through the air and landed near Honna and Sam.  She then lifted Janet's crossed wrists to the level of her shoulder blades, and hitched the rope through the cuffs' steel rings.

Over the next several minutes, she looped rope around Janet's body, pulling it into neat bands, rolling and lifting her "victim's" limp form as required.  By the time she was finished, the "reverse-prayer" position of Janet's hands was enforced by a web of running hitches pinning her arms to her torso, yoking her shoulders, and criss-crossing between her breasts.  More hitched bands bound her legs at the thighs, above and below her knees, and around the shins.  Finally, the rings of her ankle cuffs, the insteps of her feet, and her big toes were tied together.  One free end of the rope was looped around her waist and a series of overhand knots were tied.  Then the rope was nestled between her linen-covered labia, pulled taut, and tied off, just below her navel.  The other free end trailed from her toes, and was still several feet in length.

Honna nuzzled Sam's hair, as Kyna tied the final knots.  "I love your pale hair and your blue eyes," the High Polymath purred.  "Janet tells me there are many such variations on earth
skin ghostly pale, and as dark as volcanic glass—eyes of black, brown, gold, green, and blue—hair as yellow as straw..."  She gave Sam's hair a playful fluff." ...flaming-red, Pardesse-brown, and as black as a starless night.  You are very lucky."

"I wish everyone on earth could see it that way," Sam responded.  Her head was spinning.  Kyna's familiar perfume had already brought shivers of excitement, as she submitted to having her manacles secured behind her back
and now Honna's scent was making her embarrassingly wet!

"Yes, Janet has told me of the 'racism' plaguing your planet," Honna said.  "Such willful ignorance in the face of all logic and science is to be pitied."

"Yeah..."  Sam shivered as Honna's hands first cupped, and then gently massaged, her breasts.  Her nipples were achingly rigid, and her cheeks were flushed a bright pink.  "So many of my people are still wrestling with the great moral and intellectual challenges of the 18th-century."  She shivered again, and moaned softly.

Honna smiled.  She didn't understand Sam's reference, but her meaning was clear.

Kyna stood and took a step back.  "There," she announced.  "That should hold her."

Janet rolled on her side and glared at the War-Captain.  "No, ya think?"  Her tan flesh bulged between the tight bands.  She bucked and struggled, but not a single strand shifted or allowed any slack.  The key knots were hopelessly out of the reach of her questing fingers.  "Ow!" she complained.  "This is too tight!"

"It's only until the meal is ready," Honna responded, then lifted her gaze to Kyna's grinning face.  "Would you like to bind Colonel Sam, as well?"

"Ever the generous hostess," Kyna laughed.  "I will let that be your pleasure, Learned One; but we should kennel them before we conduct our business.  Is your cage big enough for two?"

"My kennel has no cage," Honna said.

Kyna was amazed.  "No cage?  How can a kennel chamber have no cage?"

"I am not totally unequipped," Honna responded.  "Come, Sam," she said, and helped Sam to her feet.

"What are you gonna do?" Janet demanded.

"Privacy, Little Healer," Honna answered.  "We are going to give ourselves some privacy."

"And privacy for you, as well," Kyna added, and lifted Janet's bound form onto her shoulder.

Honna led the way to a door in the far wall.  Sam waited patiently as she lifted a cover and thumbed a switch.  The sound of a heavy bolt disengaging sounded, and the door slid to the side.  The room beyond was roughly twenty-feet wide and ten-feet deep, and was lit by a single small skylight.

To the right of the door, a large steel ring was solidly embedded in the wall
.  Under the ring, a linen-covered pallet rested on the floor.  Kyna laid Janet on the pallet, hitched the end of the rope dangling from her toes through the iron ring, and tied a quick knot.

To the left was a rather curious frame of heavy, tubular steel, in the shape of an upside-down "Y".
  The base of the legs were bolted to the floor about two-feet apart, and its overall height was about five-feet.

Honna backed Sam against the frame, and secured her in place.  Wide, heavy, steel clamps closed and locked around her ankles, knees, elbows, and throat.  Her War-Tower cuffs were unclipped, passed behind the vertical, and reattached.  Honna removed the frame clamps that would have been used to secure her wrists and laid them on the floor.  All the clamps were mounted on short tracks, and Honna made careful adjustments, optimizing their positions before locking them in place.

The collar-clamp was as wide and tight as a virtual steel posture collar.  Sam found she could barely move her head.  "Thanks," she muttered.

Honna straightened the drape of Sam's loincloth, then cupped the helpless blonde's breasts.  "You're more than welcome, Colonel Sam," she purred.

Kyna was waiting in the doorway.  "That's how you secure Little Red?" she asked, nodding at Janet's prone form, "with a slave-frame?"

"Hardly," Honna asked, as her fingers teased Sam's nipples.  "I'm afraid my frame isn't designed for one as short as the Little Healer.  In fact, this is the first time she's been in my kennel."

"Let me guess," Honna said, with a mocking sneer.  "You bind her to your bed, every night."

"Not every night," Honna corrected, blushing lightly.  "Some nights she is not bound to the bed... just bound."

"Still the softy you were in crèche," Kyna said, shaking her head, "after all these years."

Honna joined Kyna at the door.  The War-Captain and High Polymath embraced, shared a long, warm kiss, then turned their heads to gaze at the captives.

Both Sam and Janet were watching their "hosts", their nostrils flaring. 
Four varieties of musk hung in the air of the kennel chamber.

"If we hear any screaming or shouting from in here," Honna said, addressing the captives, "we'll be back with gags."

Kyna kissed Honna's cheek.  "And if you hear any screaming or shouting from the bedroom," she purred, "just ignore it."

The door closed and locked, and Sam and Janet were alone.
Escape From PelluciGor
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"Why does she always leave me feeling like this?" Sam sighed, wishing that Kyna would return and relieve her "suffering".  She bucked and strained against her bonds.  The steel frame didn't even shake.

"They call it 'Gift-need'," Janet answered.  "
They're playing with us."


Janet squirmed in her bonds, seeking a more comfortable position.  "Gift-need: the effect of proximity to an aroused Gift-holder," she sighed.  "Pheromones.  We're stuck in a positive feedback loop of chemically-augmented excitement," she continued squirming, "and can't do anything about it."

"Gift?" Sam said.  "The Goddess Gift?"

"That's right," Janet confirmed.  "What have your military friends told you about it?"

"Nothing," Sam answered.  "I picked up the term, but that's it."

Janet shifted into lecture mode.  "Thousands of years ago, when Bashasti first brought the Panther-girls to this planet, she developed a series of bioengineered augments to enhance their strength, stamina, healing ability, and longevity."

"Nanites?" Sam gasped.  The Goa'uld sometimes used the microscopic robots as bio-engineering tools.

"I can't be sure of the original technology," Janet said, "but I suspect it was probably something like the genetic manipulation machine Nirrti used on P3X-367."

"Wonderful."  Sam, herself, had been a victim of that machine, and had almost died.

"Anyway," Janet continued, "the result is like a fine-tuning of cellular metabolism and physiology in general.  The Pardesse are infected from birth, of course, but the Gift doesn't fully manifest until puberty.  It can also be transmitted by a family of retro-viruses.  That's how we got it."

"So, we're infected with a disease?"

"I think 'disease' is a poor descriptor," Janet responded.  "As far as I can tell from my reading and discussions with the Healing Council, the... effect is more or less natural, for want of a better word.  My original analogy, 'fine-tuning', is about as close as I can get.  We have a little more nuclear and mitochondrial DNA then we had before, but I'm not even sure we could detect the change with current biomedical technology... back home, I mean."

"The important question, here," Sam said, "whether you want to call it a disease or a trip to Jiffy Lube... is whether or not there's a cure."

Janet sighed.  "What's the cure for perfect health?"

"So... no cure."

Janet sighed, again.  "I don't think so, Sam.  In a nutshell, the Goddess Gift is the philosopher's stone and the fountain of youth, spread by a sexually transmitted pathogen
and I think we're stuck with it."
Escape From PelluciGor
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"I don't see anything," Vala said, frowning at the holographic display.  It was projecting a multi-spectral image of the planet below, shifting through all the colors of the rainbow as the ship's passive sensors cycled through various wavelengths and processed the result.

"There!"  Galina tapped a stud to freeze the display, then traced a line around a mountain.  "It becomes more distinct with every orbital pass."

"I see it," Laura said, "that ghostly circle of pixels that keep rippling."

"Noise," Vala scoffed, then frowned.  "Half a mo'..."  She tapped a sequence of studs, and the rippling circle became clearer.  "A normal Goa'uld scan would have missed it.  No patience."

"A cloaking shield?" Laura asked.

"A very good cloaking shield," Vala nodded.  "We may have reached our goal.  In fact, I think we have.  I'll prepare a message loop."

"What sort of message?" Galina asked.

"A contact request," Vala explained.  "Universal peace and hello, an offer to trade and exchange gifts... that sort of thing; in all the common dialects on all the common frequencies."

"Exchange gifts?" Laura asked.  "Other than a half-empty case of MRE's, what have we got to give away?"

Vala smiled, broadly.  "Let's make contact first, then worry about it."

"She means to bluff," Galina said, "to make promises.  And speaking of MRE's, it is time for dinner."  She nodded towards the galley.

Vala's smile turned somewhat sinister (or maybe mischievous), as she watched her companions exit the bridge.  The pair looked good in their leather costumes, and after weeks of wear, moved as if they had worn the revealing, skintight outfits all their lives.  "Yes... a bluff," she whispered under her breath, then turned back to the controls and began composing the message loop.

Escape From PelluciGor
Chapter 11

Chapter 10
Chapter 12