Daniel gasped, a light hitting his eyes. No words were spoken as a hand undid his binds and Daniel none-too-gracefully sank to the ground. Rough hands lifted him and dragged him out of the room. Daniel was too tired and too weak to protest or catch himself as he was thrown to the ground once more.

"Get up," a voice growled. Daniel had become strangely accustomed to being growled at. The men of Tynir, or at least a good portion of men, seemed to naturally talk that way.

Daniel sat back, resting on his legs and keeping his arms out as he felt himself fall back to his left. He caught himself and straightened, squinting his eyes as a stick roughly made contact with his side. It was a dark room, with candles it became a bit brighter, much too bright from what Daniel was used to. He looked to his side and saw Seth with his head down, also trying to adjust to the sudden light. He could see other shapes, other men being prodded to sit up.

One figure was staring back at him. He blinked and looked away.
No, no, no, he silently said. On the other side of the room, clad in a silver dress, hair hanging in a mess around her was the pair of piercing blue eyes he had fallen in love with. Sam sat, blinking the tears out of her eyes.

Daniel's throat too dry, his body too weak, he simply looked back at her. He threw her questions - Why was she here? How far did she get before coming back? What had they done to her when they got her back? His eyes once more lit up with the rage and questions.

Sam sat stoically watching as each man was dragged out of their black cages and thrown to the ground. She returned her gaze to Daniel, comforted in the way his eyes were asking more questions than he could ever express. She wanted to fly over there, take him in her arms and tell him she had found it. She had made it. She was okay.

"I am Lord Hindil, the representative of all people of Tynir," Hindil boomed, striding across the room. "You have proven yourselves very disloyal to the people, and therefore will suffer the same fate as those we conquered. You will do battle in a battle you cannot win."

Sam glanced around at each of the men. None were in any shape to fight; she estimated she was the least dehydrated, most able-bodied person among them. She could not fight for everyone, and by the way Hindil said it, each would have to fight on his or her own.
Or not fight, Sam thought, they are too weak to put up much of a fight. I hope Landry heard my plea and sent all the crew out. That's the only way we are getting home.

Sam caught Daniel's eye and gave a small smile. She prayed his face was the last thing she saw if it came down to it.

~*~*~*~

Daniel was more or less propped up by Sam. He gingerly wrapped his arm around her, glad for her support. Sam looked away as another man was beheaded, turning slightly into Daniel. Screams of agony and cries of victory melded together.

"Help should be on the way," Sam whispered again as she looked into Daniel's eyes. They held a small moment of strength before one of the Guards came and grabbed one of the men beside them. "They will find us."

Daniel nodded and rested, placing his forehead on hers. Sam went back to watching the unfair fight, gleaning anything she could about the way the men fought. Even a glimpse of weakness, unsure footing or overconfidence could be used against them, should Sam be picked before their rescue. Sam watched as the Guard threw the man down, really just pushed him slightly, and gloated. She filed that away, while the man gloated, she could be gutting him.

The final blow came, making Sam wince once more. Daniel's grip around her waist tightened as he folded her into his side. She closed her eyes as the shouts of victory filled the air; there were less people now to be in agony.

"You, woman, are next," the Guard said, a rueful smile on his lips. "I will enjoy having you." He tugged her out of Daniel's grasp, after they shared a quick kiss, and pushed Sam into the make shift ring. "Your weapon," he said, throwing a small dagger to her feet.

Sam scooped it up, keeping her eyes on him at all times. The last thing she needed was to be kicked in the head and be killed before she had a chance to seriously wound him. He nodded appreciatively as he noticed her careful movements.

"You have been trained. It will make me work harder, but it will be sweeter," he said, a smile once more gracing his lips.

"I would not count on it, buddy. You have never done hand to hand with a level three, have you?" Sam said, returning the smile. He looked momentarily confused, and Sam lashed out, nicking his arm slightly. "Don't think I can't take you down."

They circled, the Guard lunging at her, trying to get small jabs in. The style reminded Sam of a bad pirate fight except she had a dagger and he had a sword. She really wanted to talk about evenly matched opponents, but thought better of it; her kill would be that much more victorious. He swung it in the air, over his head, Sam darting in and drawing blood from his side. His eyes burned with fury now, and Sam switched her fighting stance, the blade facing down, her left hand balled into a fist.

He did a fancy, but stupid move, Sam came around and sliced at him, drawing more blood. He whirled around, swinging his blade near her abdomen. Sam did not get full out of the way, tearing her jacket. She ducked; glad she was shorter, slimmer and faster than the man. Assessing the battle strategy, she rolled to the ground, knowing the man would think he could plunge his sword into her. She was right and soon she was seeing the tip of a sword coming close to her. She rolled to the side and in one smooth, trained motion she stepped back and used the man's striding motion to back the dagger just below his ribcage. Stepping forward and removing the dagger, Sam spun around and landed a perfect kick to the side of his neck, breaking it.

Looking down at the dead guard, Sam smiled. His weakness was her victory. Looking around she saw the men wearing shocked expressions. Surveying them, she noticed all were standing still, not wanting to be the first to step out and end up like their companion at her feet. Turning, she noticed movement, and a lone man came rushing out. Before he reached her, he staged back, his chest blooming with blood. Whipping around, knowing that she should not be turning her back on her enemy, but also not sure if it was her enemy who was shooting, she stared.

There on a hill stood eight BDU clad men and women, armed with P-90s, Zats and two staff weapons. Instead of running toward them, she sank to the ground, letting the world drown away as she saw Daniel run as best as he could, falling before her and hugging her fiercely.

"My brave, brave wife. You did it, Sammy. You did it," Daniel said, also crying as he rocked Sam. He vaguely heard more shots, seeing more men coming toward them and falling, but only concentrated on the most important thing in his arms: his wife, safe and relatively unharmed. "I love you with all my heart, my brave Sammy."