||Cam let Vala and Teal'c go back to Earth, informing General Hank Landry that Sam and Daniel would be negotiating and he would be staying to assist learning the ways of the people, should something go wrong and he had to step into Daniel's place. Although he highly doubted that this would be necessary. Cam really did not see himself negotiating a treaty with people who were known - according to Din and some of the villagers who spoke to him - to kill and then identify what side they belonged to. That was a firmly Daniel Jackson thing.
Cam rested a hand on his gun and surveyed the land once more.
"I don't think it will change," Sam said coming beside him. "It kind of reminds me of some places back on Earth. Same hill after hill, same boring gray sky with little to no warmth to speak of."
"So you really want to move here, huh?" Cam said jokingly.
"Sign me up," she said dryly.
"I take it it's not your turn to study yet," Cam said. He nodded to the meetinghouse, a few yards back. "They seem to be taking a long time with Jackson."
"He said it had to do with him being considered the lead negotiator. Another custom."
"I did notice there were no women on the advisement team. Only one woman on to train you," Cam said observing her.
"Yup. She makes my pet rock look friendly," Sam said, sighing.
"You have a pet rock?"
Sam looked at Cam and shook her head. "No. But if I did..."
"Ah, I see," Cam nodded. "You know I have heard pet rocks are not that easy to take care of."
"Really? And I suppose that comes from first hand experience?" Sam said playfully. She needed to relax, and Cam had been a very easy distraction. Neither were asked to do much and had lots of time to explore thee village, trying to find where the homes that were attacked were located so they could do some scouting around. They were still trying to figure out bits of the village that was quickly looking like a labyrinth.
"I had a few pets, but, sadly, never a pet rock. My neighbor did. He seemed to think it was better then PB and J," he said laughing.
"PB and J?" Sam asked as they turned once more to go back into the meetinghouse.
"Peanut butter and jelly. You never heard of it?"
"We sometimes would skip that and go straight to high class meals of tuna sandwiches. Those were the days Dad was not with us and sometimes not all the checks would have been forwarded to our new address. Mom would make some of the best tuna and pasta salads this side of the galaxy," Sam said smiling.
"Well considering I am not sure which side of the galaxy we are even on, I'm sure it was great," Cam said. He paused as they stepped into the main hall, the woman who was training Sam motioning them to join her. "Of course these days I would eat anything that you feed to your pet rock. Gee, does she know how to smile?"
Sam looked at him and gave a small sad smile. "I'm sorry; the pet rock just ate the last candy bar. And I don't think she has the muscles for that."
Daniel knocked lightly on the door to Sam's room. As he heard her softly call to come in, he pushed open the door and peered around it. "You're up."
"As always. You're up too," Sam said smiling at him. She paused as she pulled out the notebook she was keeping notes in. "You know Mize is something like a drill sergeant."
"I'll take your word on that. Din is not much better. I feel like a small child when the officials all come around and quiz me on all the customs of their negotiations," he said. Sighing, he slipped his glasses off and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Half the time I can't see how things are connected. Like you offer the cup and then the party does a chant for more wheat harvest. It's just hard to keep it all straight when it does not seem to be linked in any way."
"It does seem kind of strange," Sam agreed. Flipping the notebook closed, she turned to Daniel. "Have they said anything as to when we might be meeting this guy?"
"Need to make a nail appointment too?" Daniel teased. Sam noticed his eyes sparkled a bit as he said it. "Sorry, no they haven't. However I have not heard anything about any more homes being plundered. Apparently the death toll has leveled off a bit also. I wonder if this 'deadly man with no regard to us' has decided to back off."
"As in we don't need to negotiate anything?" Sam asked. She shook her head. "As much as I would like to see more smiling faces and places that are laid out in a functional way, we cannot let these people go without at least trying to make some kind of peace for these tribes. If the killing has stopped for a while, it will only start again. You know walking away will not solve anything."
"I thought I was the moral conscience," Daniel said lightly. "Something about this makes me uneasy."
"Hey," Sam knocked lightly into his shoulder. "Think of this as a vacation. We are on a planet with relatively friendly people -"
"Who are depressing us with their war stories."
"- We are not as cold anymore -"
"Because we are now as cold as they are."
"- And we don't have to listen to Vala ask a million questions."
Daniel looked at her and smiled. It was one of those bright ones she loved so much. "You're right! No Vala! I'm loving this place already!"
"You want to go over the negotiation processes?" Sam asked.
"Why not. Might as well memorize them. Maybe we can show Din that we are ready and move up the meeting day."
They sat on Sam's bed, facing one another and reciting line after line of the negotiation request and greeting in Tynirese.
They met in the meetinghouse and presented the memorized dialogue effortlessly. Din and the council members beamed, nodding and murmuring their approval. Sam and Daniel were pleased their study sessions were working. Even though they still did not understand all the customs, they could recite them all in order.
Cam sat on the side with Mize and another woman who had helped teach Sam her lines and the way she should act while Daniel talked to the other negotiations leader. He looked on and smiled, sure that their three day crash course had paid off and soon they would be heading back to Earth together.
Sam and Daniel were able to escort Cam back to the home where they were staying before riding with Din and two of the council members out to the plains where the other tribe lived. They were silent as they walked back, Cam knowing that they were reciting lines and making sure nothing was forgotten.
As they gathered two sacks of supplies containing the soil and some rocks Sam thought had the potential to have Naquadah in them, he turned and looked at them with confidence. "You two worry too much. I know these people will be very grateful when you negotiate a successful treaty."
"I hope so," Daniel said. "They seem to think so."
"And they said it was normal to have a neutral party be the negotiators so I don't really see that being a problem," Sam added.
"You guys think too much," Cam said again. He watched as they mounted two horses and rode out toward the edge of the village and toward their part of the trade.
"We will send word if things start to look like they will not go well. I have confidence in these two people," Din said as he looked down at Cam from his horse.
"So do I," Cam said as they vanished over a hill and down into the first part of the plains.