|Rebuilding A Life: First Steps|
By: Lady Shelley
This is a sequel to Rebuilding a Life: Discoveries; you should read that one first to understand what is happening now.
Summary – Daniel starts to remember, what will this mean for the rest of SG-1
that hasn't forgotten?
Special thanks to Lyn for putting commas in all the right places. Thanks Lyn!
Memories and/or internal thought in italics
Daniel stood in front of the tent, not sure what to do next. He had made his decision, but what happened next? How would he find himself again? The village and the few miles of forest surrounding it were the extent of his geography. There were no roads leading to other villages, he had looked for them early on, so how did Jim … Jack? and his people get back where they belonged. Maybe they use vehicles of some kind; something that can fly and doesn't leave a path in the forest, he thought to himself. He clutched at the bag over his shoulder and watched as Jack approached him.
"Daniel, you're sure you want to leave now? We have a lot of survey work to do. You can wait, say goodbye to people here," Jack said trying and failing to hide his delight.
Daniel looked at the gathered villagers. Most were smiling and looked happy he had found the key to his past. Others were more non-committal; they didn't wish him any ill-will but were happy to know he was leaving. He had acted strangely as Arrom and they were just as happy to see him go.
The rest of Jack's group had moved to surround Daniel. He saw Samantha Carter standing beside Jack, smiling so wide he couldn't help smiling a little in return. The big Jaffa-looking man had moved silently to his left side, Jack hadn't moved from his right. The fourth man stood beside Samantha Carter watching both Daniel and the villagers.
Shamda was with a group of elders watching Daniel and the newcomers. When he realized Daniel was staring at him, he stepped up to the other man.
"Ahh, Arrom, or should I say, Daniel, you have found that which was lost. I am happy for you," he said taking Daniel's hand.
"Thank you, Shamda. I'm grateful for the help you and your people gave me." Daniel stopped speaking and looked off to the forest then turned back to the elder. "I wonder if … would it be possible … can I come back some day?"
Shamda smiled at the hesitant question. "Arrom and Daniel will always be welcome in our village," Shamda answered. He squeezed Daniel's hand in farewell and walked back to join the group of elders.
Daniel searched the crowd of villagers hoping to see Chava and tell the boy goodbye. He saw Chava's mother and three brothers standing behind the elders, but Chava wasn't with them. As he turned to look again, he felt a tug on his right sleeve.
"Daniel?" Jack asked quietly.
Daniel turned to face Jack and said, "Yeah, I'm ready."
"Great!" Jack said and clapped his hands once. "Okay, kids, I think it's time we get Daniel home. Teal'c, you wanna lead the way. Shamda, it was great to meet ya. Gotta do this again some time." Jack stepped away from Daniel to shake the elder's hand then with a follow me gesture, he started to walk toward the stairway that led out of the village.
Daniel watched as the Jaffa-looking man, What was his name? started up the stairs followed by the other man in Jack's group. Jack waited for Daniel to catch up and then walked beside him up the stairs and out into the surrounding forest. Samantha Carter followed behind them.
Just as she reached the top of the stairs, Daniel heard a crashing noise in the woods to his left. Before any of Jack's people could respond, Chava came running out of the forest and up to Daniel.
"Arrom! Wait!" Chava puffed out in between gasps for air. He had a piece of stone, roughly square and about ten inches or so on a side, clutched in his left hand.
Daniel stopped and turned around. He could feel Jack tense beside him and saw the others raise their weapons in response to Chava's entrance.
"No, it's okay," he said to Jack. "This is Chava; he's a friend of mine."
Chava eyed the strangers closely.
Jack saw the look the boy gave them. "Teal'c, take Jonas and go on to the 'gate and wait for us there. Send Hammond a message that we're coming back a little early and," Jack stopped and glanced at Daniel. "Tell him we're bringing home a lost sheep."
Daniel barely noticed the Jaffa-looking man nod and gesture to the smaller man beside him. The two headed away from the village and if Daniel had been paying attention, he would have realized the direction was toward the lightening ruin and the chappa'ai.
"Chava, umm," Daniel stuttered.
"Arrom, Shamda said that you were going with these people to learn what you forgot. He said we were to call you Daniel now," Chava said. When Daniel nodded, he continued, "I wanted to give you something so you will remember me and our walks." He held out the stone to Daniel.
It was an excellent example of the writings from the temple wall. Daniel could see even the small piece Chava had given him was covered with the markings he had spent the last four days attempting to decipher.
"Chava, did you bring this from the temple? I don't think the lightening gods, or Shamda, will be too happy about that," he said offering it back to the boy.
"No, no. This came from the ruins around my family's tent," Chava reassured him, pushing the stone back toward Daniel. Leaning close he whispered, "Even though I have never seen the lightening gods, I don't want them mad at me for taking something from the temple" Stepping back he raised his right hand and said, "Please come back some day and tell me what it says … Daniel." With that, the boy disappeared back down the path leading to the village.
The forest path was dappled with sunlight playing down through the branches of the trees. Daniel was aware the path led in the direction of the chappa'ai, but the idea that it was their final destination never entered his mind. He was certain Jack was leading him to a ship of some sort.
They had been walking for twenty minutes or so when Daniel became aware he was being watched. Samantha Carter was leading the way through the woods and Jack was behind him. She was carrying the stone Chava had given him in her pack. Daniel stopped to allow Jack to catch up. The two walked in silence for another few minutes until Jack spoke.
"So, have you remembered me yet?" he asked with a smile.
"Umm, not really much, sorry. Besides Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter, I don't even recognize your names."
Jack smacked his forehead. "Sorry about that. We kinda started out without any introductions, didn't we. Well, let's see. You know Carter." He nodded to the blond woman. Samantha Carter hearing her name turned slightly to glance at the two men. "She's a major in the US Air Force."
Daniel gave him a puzzled look.
"Air Force. It's one of the five military branches in our government," Jack tried to explain. When Daniel still looked confused Jack gave up. "Trust me, the Air Force is the best of the bunch and she is one of the best officers we have. She's also a scientist like you and she's been with SG-1 ever since there's been an SG-1, so have you by the way."
Daniel looked at Jack and then at Samantha Carter's back. "So, I'm like you. I carry a weapon and everything?"
"No, not exactly," Jack drawled. "You're a civilian." Jack stopped noting Daniel's raised eyebrow. "Not in the military," he explained. "You carry a gun, a small one and you explore the galaxy with us, but you're a scholar and a diplomat."
"I carry a gun, but I'm not in the military," Daniel said flatly.
"It's kinda complicated," Jack said.
"I can see that."
"Anyway," Jack continued, "The big guy with the tattoo on his forehead is Teal'c."
"Teal'c, that doesn't sound like your name or Samantha Carter's," Daniel mused.
"Well, that's because Teal'c isn't from Earth, he's from Chulak."
"Chulak," Daniel repeated. "He is a Jaffa? Shamda has told many stories about the Jaffa coming here and taking people against their will."
Jack hesitated before answering. He wasn't sure how much to say on the subject of Jaffa in general or Teal'c specifically when it came to 'taking people against their will.' He decided to explain Teal'c to Daniel the same way he had explained him to countless other people unsure of the Jaffa's presence. "Teal'c used to be a Jaffa, First Prime to a snake named Apophis to be exact, but he has been fighting for a very long time to set his people free. He's a good friend of yours, Daniel."
"And the other man, the one that went with … Teal'c? Who is he?"
Jack stopped walking and looked off into the distance. Daniel wasn't sure why he had stopped but halted as well waiting for Jack to explain.
"His name is Jonas Quinn; he's from a planet called Kelowna." Jack spoke so quietly, Daniel could hardly hear him. "After you, umm, died, he took over … he became our new fourth …." Jack stuttered to a stop. Daniel wondered what it was Jack wasn't saying, but before he could ask, Jack started walking again and Daniel lost his chance.
A sandstorm raged just outside the cave. Several people were huddled together, but they seemed divided into two groups: one group wore the flowing robes of a nomadic tribe while the other wore a uniform of some kind. All of them were upset by something; they talked to those within their group and eyed the members of the other with suspicion. Except the one who sat alone by the entrance to the cave watching the storm. He was joined by one of the uniformed group.
"You have accepted the fact that you will never go home. Don't you have people who care about you? Don't you have a family?"
"I had a family. No one should ever outlive their own child."
They were sitting in a sunken living area. The seating was soft and plush and a fire was burning in the nearby grate.
"Yes, when am I going to meet your wife?"
"Oh, probably, uh, never." He stops speaking for a moment and then
explains, "After I came back from Abydos the first time, she'd already
"Yeah, so was I. I think in her heart she forgave me for what happened to our kid, she just ... couldn't forget."
Daniel gasped as he became aware of his surroundings. He looked around and realized he wasn't in a sandstorm or a sunken room, but rather in a forest. Jack was crouching next to him shaking his arm and calling his name. Samantha Carter was standing behind Jack glancing first at him and then back out at the surrounding landscape.
"Hey, you back with us, Daniel?" Jack asked concern evident in his voice.
Daniel sat a moment in silence. What just happened? Why am I on the ground? "Jack, what just happened?"
"Why don't you tell me. We were walking along enjoying this lovely scenery of trees when all of a sudden you froze and then dropped."
Daniel tried to swallow and found his mouth dry. Jack handed him a container of water and he drank, using the time to collect his thoughts. "Thank you," he said handing back the container.
"Daniel? You all right?" Jack squeezed his arm to get Daniel's attention.
"No one should ever outlive their child," Daniel mumbled. Jack stared at him and even Samantha Carter jerked around at the whispered statement. "You told me that once, Jack. 'No one should ever outlive their child.' I remembered something," he said in awe. Daniel looked at Jack and realized what the memory meant. "Oh, god, I'm so sorry. I didn't … I shouldn't have said …."
Jack held up his left hand and Daniel was silent. "Daniel, stop. It's okay." Daniel opened his mouth to interrupt, but Jack wouldn't let him. "Ah, let me finish. I'm glad you've remembered something on your own. Really. I take it from your reaction this has never happened before?"
Daniel shook his head. "I've seen flashes of things, places I guess. But this was the first time I actually remembered a conversation. Well two conversations really. The first one was in a cave, I guess and then there was a second one in a room with a fire. I had asked about your wife."
"Well, the cave was on Abydos, and the second was in my living room. You had just got back after a year on Abydos and well, you needed a place to stay and …."
"Sir," Samantha Carter interrupted. "We should probably get moving. If we don't get to the 'gate soon Teal'c is going to start wondering where we are."
Jack was about to argue, but he saw her expression and changed his mind. "Daniel, you ready to move on? The 'gate isn't too far from here," Jack said rising and holding out a hand to help Daniel up. "Let's get this show on the road then shall we?"
"Major, can I speak with you a moment?" Jack asked. Daniel could see Jack was upset about something, he wondered if it had to do with his dead child. He was sorry he had obviously stirred up something traumatic from the man's own past and wanted to try again to apologize for the hurt and pain he had senselessly caused.
Daniel watched as the two moved in front of him and started an animated discussion as they walked. Curious as to what they were saying, Daniel increased his pace a little to overhear their conversation.
"Carter, you wanna tell me what that was all about? Daniel is obviously starting to remember things, and you go and interrupt," Jack said with some heat.
"I'm sorry, sir, but I thought it was necessary," she said not backing down.
"Necessary? You heard him. That was the first time he's remembered an actual event from his past."
"Exactly, sir. We can't tell him too much about it. We have to see how much will come back without our help." She started to turn around and Daniel slowed his pace so as not to look like he was eavesdropping. "Amnesia can be very tricky. Sometimes the victim remembers everything and sometimes he remembers nothing. This may be something Oma Desala did to make sure Daniel would be safe from the others. We can't push, and we can't tell him anything, sir. I'm sorry. We have to see what he figures out on his own."
Then I was right. This was a punishment for something. Oma Desala? What is that? And what, or who, are 'the others? Daniel sighed and dropped back until Jack and Samantha Carter were several feet in front of him. He had made the decision to leave the village and return with these people in the hope they would help him remember.
"Now it looks as though they won't be able to do anything and I'm still on my own to figure out who I am."
He realized he'd said that out loud and looked up to find both of them watching him. "I-I heard what you were talking about," he said softly.
Jack grimaced and Samantha Carter looked startled and then chagrined. "Daniel," she said. "I know it's hard to believe, but I really think I'm right here. You have to remember as much as you can on your own. It really is the best way."
"How am I supposed to do that if you won't tell me anything?" he asked pointedly. "I thought the whole point of my going with you was because you wanted to help." He started to pace back and forth in an effort to burn off his frustration. He didn't see Jack's grin at this very Daniel behavior.
"Daniel, we do want to help, and we will. But first you have to try on your own." She paused. "Maybe we can help you trigger the memories."
"What happened to no pushing, Major?" Jack asked.
"No, wait a minute, sir, this might work. Daniel, do you remember what you were talking about just before the flashback?"
Daniel stopped pacing and thought for a moment. "Jack was telling me about you guys, umm, Teal'c and Jonas Quinn. He said Jonas Quinn was my replacement after …."
"That may be it," she interrupted. "You and Colonel O'Neill were talking about dying and then you remembered talking about his son."
"But why that?" Jack asked. "Why not …."
"I don't know, sir," she answered and gave Jack a severe look. "Maybe it was because he was talking to you at the time. That helped open that particular door."
The interplay was not at all subtle, but Daniel didn't press for information. Samantha Carter had made it clear they would not explain anything he hadn't remembered on his own. In an effort to reduce the tension and satisfy his curiosity, Daniel asked, "So, umm, where are we going exactly?"
"We're going home, to Earth," Jack answered turning and starting to walk again. Samantha Carter shook her head and also started to move forward again.
"Yeah, I got that part, Jack. How are we getting to Earth? I'm assuming it is a different planet, since you told me this SG-1 of yours explores the galaxy. Do you people have a ship or something?"
Samantha Carter glared at Jack again, evidently he wasn't supposed to know about exploring the galaxy, and answered, "We do have ships, well, a ship. But we usually travel through the stargate to get to other places."
"Oh," he said vaguely.
Realizing Daniel didn’t know what a stargate was, Jack explained, "Stargate, big, round, stone thing usually in the middle of nowhere. Some people call it a chappa'ai."
Jack didn't understand the horrified look Daniel gave him. He tugged on Daniel's robes to get him moving again. Chappa'ai? They go through the chappa'ai? That can't be right. Shamda said only the evil ones, the Jaffa, used the chappa'ai.
Ten minutes later the trio walked into the clearing with the chappa'ai. Teal'c once again stood stiffly watching the surrounding terrain. Daniel wasn't sure what he was watching for, as there were no people other than Shamda's village some miles behind them and a few animals.
Jonas Quinn was not visible when they arrived, but he soon appeared from the direction of the lightening ruin. "Colonel, there's another ruin back in the trees. It looks similar to the ones around the village. It might be a good idea to have the survey crew check it out as well, see if we can find any more information on the lost city itself," he said walking up to Jack. Teal'c followed close behind.
Lost city? There's no city around here, just the village.
"I have notified the SGC about the, lost sheep, O'Neill. General Hammond was pleased to hear my report and asks that we return immediately." Daniel was surprised to hear such a voice come from the Jaffa. Shamda's stories spoke of the evil ones shouting in harsh tones, when they spoke at all. Teal'c's voice was almost melodic in its tone.
"Great, let's get a move on. I want Daniel here home in time for Sunday supper." Jack started walking toward the stone ring and the others followed him. Daniel however hung back. He wasn't sure it was the best idea to go near the device.
"Daniel, come on, let's go," Jack hollered at him. Daniel refused to move.
He stood facing the 'gate and watched the event horizon as it shimmered and flowed with a life of its own. None of the military men who had walked through before him had stopped to simply marvel at the sheer beauty that was the stargate.
He reached out a hand and gently touched the surface. The contact created a new pattern in the pool, and the hand that touched it tingled ever so slightly. He pushed both hands farther through and the tingling sensation tracked further up his arms in response.
Removing his hands, he took one last look at the 'gate room. Then he closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and stepped through.
"Daniel!" Jack was standing in front of his shaking his shoulders. "What's the matter? You remember something else?"
Daniel looked around and saw the rest of the group standing on the steps leading up to the stargate. One of them must have done something while he was lost in thought as a blue, shimmering pool like the one from his memory had now filled the entire circle.
"I've done this before," he stated slowly. "I saw myself playing with the surface tension of the pool. It tickled my arms."
"Ahh," Jack said removing his hands from Daniel's shoulders. "That was the first time you went through; to Abydos. I watched the security tape from the camera in the gate room when we came back. There you were, futzing with the event horizon and wasting time." Jack smiled. "Meanwhile, the rest of us were on the other side wondering if you'd gotten lost."
"Shamda's stories said only the Jaffa used the chappa'ai, he never mentioned anyone else. Why didn't I remember any of this when he told me the stories?"
Jack waved at the rest of the group to go ahead and one by one they walked through the pool and disappeared. Jack walked up the stairs with Daniel and stuck an arm into the waiting liquid. "I have no idea, Daniel. Carter thinks this was all a safety precaution by, well let's call it that higher power we were talking about earlier. She wanted to make sure you didn't remember anything until the right time."
"So does this mean, once I'm back on Earth I'll remember everything again?"
"I don't know, Daniel. I hope so." Jack winced a little and continued. "Now as you have pointed out, standing with your arm stuck in an active wormhole isn't the most pleasant thing to do, so what do you say we step on through and see what happens next?"
Daniel climbed the last step up to the chappa'ai and stood next to Jack. He turned to look one more time at the planet he had called home for the past two months, watching as the breeze rattled through the nearby trees and remembering how cold he felt when he woke up to find Shamda and his men staring down at him. Wait. It's not as cold any more. Ever since Jack and Samantha Carter and Teal'c and Jonas Quinn came here. Ever since I decided to go with them, I haven't been cold. He knew that had to mean something, but Jack was tugging him toward the chappa'ai. He filed the revelation away to think about later. At home.
He turned back to Jack, nodded once, and they both stepped through the stargate at the same time.
Comments of all shapes and sizes welcome
The series continues with Rebuilding a Life: Foundations
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 November 2005 )|
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