On P1X-833, SG-1 is escorting a survey team back from a successful run into the naquadah-rich caves a mere kilometer away from the gate, satisfied that they've found a new place to mine the mineral from without native or alien competition. Since the planet is uninhabited, there won't be any quarrels with indigenous peoples, and because no other galactic power has a previous stake to the area, Earth can harvest all the resources they'll need free of charge. With all the gloom and doom of late concerning the Nox mass-suicide ("Pyrrhus"), it's nice to get a lift like this, even if it doesn't change the grand scheme of things.
As they approach the stargate, one of the survey team members suddenly pads himself down, remarking that he thinks he forgot a few of the vials with samples of the cave naquadah back at the dig site. Sighing, Vala mutters that she was really looking forward to being able to just go home after a long day on the job, and Mitchell reluctantly prepares to turn the group around to retrieve the forgotten test tubes. But Eaton, pulling out a digital camera from her vest pocket, says that she'll run back and grab them, pointing out that she runs a very quick mile or so. Daniel offers to accompany her, but the Major insists that she can handle herself on just a short jog, and Jackson relents, tossing her a digital camera and telling her to snap a few pictures of the local plant life on the way back, to add in to the biological portion of the survey. Snatching it out of the air, Eaton tucks the camera away in her pocket and unclips her P90, handing it and her vest to Mitchell and saying she'll be back in five minutes or so. With that, she springs off, leaving the others to take a break in the shade.
A few minutes later, Rebbecca arrives at the cave-side dig site, finding the sample vials on a rock nearby, still in their protective sling. She pulls it over her head and hangs it off her shoulders, then pulls out Daniel's camera and begins taking a few snapshots of some close-at-hand plants. Looking up, she brings up the device to take a picture of an overhanging tree, but sees an strange dot in the display. Frowning, she tries to scratch it off, but apparently it's part of the image. As it slowly begins to grow larger, she zooms in as much as she can and waits for the display to focus... and when it does, she gasps, as the group of Der'kal gunships have drawn close enough to be identified now. Immediately, she goes to grab her radio, but remembers a second later that she gave Mitchell her vest so she could run faster. Swearing under her breath, she puts the camera away and sets off at a dead run for the gate.
In orbit, a Der'kal fleet is dropping out of hyperspace, mostly consisting of smaller frigates, corvettes, and transports, with only a single cruiser escorting the large group, further evidence that the Nox's sacrifice truly dealt a terrible blow to the alien armada. But down on the surface, the bright mid-day sunlight completely hides their arrival, and SG-1 remains blissfully unaware while they wait for their fourth member to get back. Mitchell is dumping some pebbles out of his boot while Daniel and Vala talk about a new restaurant that's recently opened on Dakara when one of the surveyors glances skyward in time to see enemy gunships heading straight for them over the treetops. He shouts out a warning just as the first pelts of green plasma slam into the ground around them, and the group dashes for the treeline as the enemy craft fire down at them and prepare for another pass.
Daniel takes advantage of the momentary lull by running to the DHD and punching in Earth's address, activating the portal and sending through his IDC. The surveyors begin to run toward the wormhole, but Vala shouts that they can't just leave; Maj. Eaton is still out there. Mitchell is torn for a moment, wondering what the Der'kal are doing here and trying to think how they can make this work, but the sight of an alien corvette quickly descending from orbit makes his choice for him. Pushing the civilian team toward the stargate, he tells everyone to get through now. He'll wait for Eaton himself, but they're only going to have seconds before that corvette lines up a shot, and he can't risk them all just standing here like one giant target. He watches the others all disappear into the event horizon, then raises his weapon and scans the approach to the gate, praying that Rebbecca will appear just in time. Unfortunately, though, she doesn't and the corvette shoots off two bursts of energy aimed directly at Mitchell's position. Cursing, he hurls Eaton's equipment as far as he can, then turns and dives through the stargate, barely escaping death as the area where he was standing is blasted apart.
At the temporary ISGC in New York, Cameron comes crashing through the gate, landing heavily on the ramp and ordering the iris closed. The metal shield comes up just in time, too, as a few dozen thuds are heard, no doubt from bombardment slamming into the Ancient device itself. Coming down from the control room, Col. Taylor asks what happened out there, and where Maj. Eaton is. Still listening to the thuds from the gate, Jackson explains that the Der'kal just showed up out of nowhere and made a beeline for their position, no doubt intending to bury the stargate as soon as possible. Eaton had run back to the caves to collect some forgotten samples, and she just didn't make it back soon enough to escape with them. Realizing the implications, Taylor sucks in a breath, muttering that she's completely on her own.
Back on 833, the Major herself is approaching the stargate, listening to the sound of plasma digging into the earth and watching the debris being kicked up as it arches over the top of the nearby trees. She still has a fair bit of distance to cover, but even from here, it's clear that the energy being pounded down on the gate has almost certainly buried it by now, preventing her from being able to dial out to safety. She stands there watching her only real hope of escape disappear, then glances around for any sign of the Der'kal and darts back into the forest, determined to figure out some sort of plan.
Several hundred feet higher up, a Der'kal gunship is sweeping the area for any sign of the Tau'ri. Its pilot brings a thermal sensor online and scans the ground immediately below them, but the heat-trapping properties of the local flora make any readings next to useless. Behind him, another warrior is establishing an uplink to the cruiser in orbit, reporting to his superior that they believe a member of SG-1 may still be here; they spotted Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell, Vala Mal Doran, and Dr. Daniel Jackson when they made a run on the stargate, but they did not see Maj. Rebbecca Eaton, the human female who caused so much trouble for them on occupied Earth ("Earthfall"/"Interludes"). Since the portal itself is now inaccessible, she must be somewhere on the planet itself. The alien commander in orbit tells them to find her and bring her in, alive if at all possible, but also reminds his subordinates that they do have a rendezvous to make. Time is always of the essence.
As the gunship flies off, continuing its search pattern, Eaton watches it depart from the top of a nearby tree, breathing hard and trying to get her bearings straight now that she's off the natural path to the naquadah caves. She can see a few more gunships landing near the stargate's location, doubtless dropping off troops to come after her, and reaches down to check that her service pistol is still securely holstered at her waist. Grimacing, she slides down the tree trunk and pulls out her gun, quickly but carefully advancing through the woods back toward the caves.
In New York, Taylor is on the phone with Dr. Talbot, attempting to secure authorization for a rescue mission to P1X-833. Danielle, though, still bogged down with her new duties at the old UN complex, is reluctant to risk a ship flying into a possible Der'kal armada just to extract one person, even if it is a member of SG-1. Sighing, she says that she's starting to see things she never did, even working as a diplomat for the United Nations what now seems like a lifetime ago ("Shatterpoint"); it's not about what you want to do, it's about weighing the odds and weighing the lives, and in this case, she just can't do it yet. If they can produce evidence that it won't be a suicide run, and that there's a reasonable chance of getting Eaton out alive, she'll OK an operation. But until then, it's out of her hands.
Frustrated, Taylor hangs up the phone and turns to face the other members of the SG-1 team, all of whom can guess from his expression what Talbot's answer was. Daniel offers to cross-reference the maps they have of the area around the stargate to look for probable places the Major may take refuge in, and Vala promises to contact the Lucian Alliance and get a scout ship over to 833 as soon as possible. When they head off, Mitchell opens his mouth as if to add his own idea to help, but just settles for saying that he "needs to be somewhere..." and departs. Collapsing into his chair, Taylor wipes a hand across his face and grabs the phone again, only pausing for a split second before dialing a new number.
On 833 itself, Rebbecca is nearing the naquadah-rich caves, able to see the entrance just beyond the edge of the thick patch of trees she's hiding in. Looking around to make sure there aren't any enemies in sight, she stands and prepares to dash across the brief bit of exposure, but tenses and pulls herself back just before the edge of foliage when she hears a noise from above. Crouching down, she looks up to see a new gunship lowering into the small clearing in front of her, and her spirits sink upon seeing another patrol being deposited to sweep the area. Eaton swears, retreating a bit into the darkness offered by the overhanging timbers, and tries to think of a new strategy. She needs more weaponry if she wants to survive, and she seems to think that the caves can offer her some advantage. Glancing up, she suddenly gets an idea, and pulls back a little more as the Der'kal begin to look for her.
The warriors are alert and ready for a surprise, but they fail to notice a figure slowly moving across the thickest and longest branch of an overhanging tree directly above them. As such, when Eaton wraps her legs around it and hangs down, pistol in hand and with a clear shot on each of them, they're next to helpless when she guns down two of them with ease, filling their heads with bullets before they can react. The third warrior is a little quicker, getting off a few precise shots that singe by the Major's location, but he falls just as quickly in the end. Knowing that it won't be long before more warriors approach, alerted by the sound of gunfire, Eaton jumps down from the tree and grabs what she can off of the fallen soldiers, picking up two plasma pistols and a belt plasma grenades before sprinting off into the caves. Behind her, though, the third Der'kal she felled is stirring, not dead quite yet.